Latest Blog Posts

Naughty Nantkes

February 28, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Senator Danielle Nantkes was caught driving drunk on Valentine’s Day, and her constituents in Lincoln want her to talk about it. So far, however, Ms. Nantkes has been pretty quiet:

A Journal Star reporter made a face-to-face request Thursday for an interview. The senator said she would consider the request and respond that day. She did not. Nor did she return a phone call and e-mail asking her to address the concerns of her District 46 constituents interviewed by the Journal Star.

Politically speaking, her silence is foolish. Rule #1 in crisis management: never ignore the crisis by covering your eyes and pretending nobody can see you.

I don’t view DUI as a serious enough crime to justify Ms. Nantkes stepping down, nor do I hold any extra grudge against her because she refused to submit to impairment tests. But I do have a problem with a person hiding behind the shield of her office in attempt to ride out a storm. There is no respect in that.

Ms. Nantkes is probably very embarrassed right now, and she should be. But she should consider her humiliation part of her penance. The more forthright and graceful she is in accepting her embarrassment, the more likely voters won’t hold her crime against her over the long term.

Step up, Ms. Nantkes. Give the Journal Star its interview and make an appearance or two on local radio and/or television. It won’t be fun, but it isn’t supposed to be. It is too late for you to set a good example about responsibility and honesty. But at least you can avoid setting a bad one.

What are the Benefits of a City Manager?

February 28, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have to plead ignorance on the mayor vs. city manager debate. I really don’t know much about the city manager position. Why is an unelected bureaucrat expected to be a better leader than an elected mayor? I am willing to be convinced that our current system is broken and that a city manager position should be created, but I have a lot of questions first.

Mayor or city manager? Discuss.

Taking the Plunge, Take 2

February 27, 2007 at 8:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I just received word that the new date for the Polar Bear Plunge is March 10. That gives me lots of time to keep bugging you to donate to the cause.

Iraq War Rally?

February 27, 2007 at 7:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

There appeared to be some sort of march/rally associated with the Iraq War downtown today. It looked like many of the participants were Iraqi. Participants carried flags (American, Iraqi) and banners, but I couldn’t ever get a good look at the writing on the banners. Anybody know what it was all about?

Will it Float?

February 27, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If the City Council decides to put an $11.8 million stormwater bond issue on this spring’s ballot, do you think it will pass? A bond issue is the only way to pay for the projects (view a map [pdf]), so one typically appears on the ballot every other year.

Do you think Lincolnites’ crankiness of late will translate into trouble at the polls for the bond issue?

My Favorite Card Shop is Leaving Me

February 27, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m very bummed to hear that Avant Card is leaving Downtown. I rarely buy cards anywhere else. And why would I, since Avant Card’s selection is far more diverse (if less, erm, “appropriate”) than the usual Hallmark stuff? And then there’s the story of Avant Card’s role in Robert’s adoption.

As if its departure isn’t bad enough, finding out that it’s replacement will be an expansion of The Watering Hole was especially depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-bar. But replacing a friendly, eclectic shop with yet another source of vomiting 20-somethings just doesn’t feel like progress.

Equality, Equity, and Fairness in Lincoln’s Public Schools

February 26, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

An article in this morning’s Lincoln Journal Star notes the problem of facilities inequality when new high schools get built. Lincoln Board of Education member Doug Evans thinks we should address inequalities by spending money to upgrade every school’s facilities to match any new school’s facilities: “I’m arguing that it’s really expensive but we have to pony up to be equitable”. I agree and disagree, depending on how he intends to use the word equitable.

We should not worry about trying to get each school’s facilities to be (more or less) identical. For one thing—and most obviously—it simply isn’t a practical goal, for many different reasons. But neither is it necessary. There is no reason to expect Lincoln’s six public high schools to be facsimiles of one another.

Indeed, we should not only be OK with the schools being different, we should encourage them to be different. Each high school should be encouraged and allowed to excel in a few specific areas. Students will filter themselves accordingly, and the overall educational experience will be better as a result. LPS already uses a version of that philosophy with the Zoo School and the Arts and Humanities Program to great success.

Lincolnites should be concerned with fundamental issues of fairness. But fairness doesn’t mean that every school should have equal theaters. Instead, it means that if you get the coolest theater in town, maybe I should be allowed to hire the best math faculty in town, and that school over there should be able to start up the engineering and construction sciences program they’ve been dreaming about.

What is your vision of equality, equity, and fairness in Lincoln’s public high schools?

I’m Turning Blue!

February 24, 2007 at 4:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog what I will be saying some other day. But not today.

The Polar Plunge organizers postponed the event due to the fact that the changing tent jumped the gun and took a dive into the lake a little prematurely. Too bad, because the slushy ice on the lake would have been fun to crash through.

No word yet on when it will be rescheduled. I’ll keep you posted.

It’s Going to Be Chilly

February 24, 2007 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

So yeah ... it’s going to be a little chilly out there this morning. How will I keep warm and dry before I get soaked and frozen?

My cameraman bailed on me, so if anybody wants to come take some photos, I could use the help. I’ll be the bald guy in either the umpire or referee (basketball or soccer) uniform. And late jumpers-in are definitely welcome!

I Love Nebraska’s Weather

February 23, 2007 at 9:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I love Nebraska. says it’s 60 degrees, but all of the headlines are talking about an impending blizzard, which will be preceded by thunderstorms. Nice.

Friday Five

February 23, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Five reasons you should make a donation to encourage me to take the plunge tomorrow:

  1. It’s for a great cause!
  2. Like me you have added a little winter padding. Do you really need another frappuccino on those hips?
  3. Your tax refund will arrive soon, and what better way to put it to good use?
  4. By sacrificing me in the chilly waters of Holmes Lake, you can help convince the gods of winter weather to be nice to us with this weekend’s blizzard.
  5. It’s for a great cause!

Please make a donation today. Five bucks, ten, twenty five—however much you like. It will be the best money you spend all week.

What Does One Wear to an Ice Bath?

February 23, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As long as I’m going to be freezing my buns off tomorrow for a great cause, I may as well dress well. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Well, I don’t really have any costumes laying around the house. Two possibilities jump immediately to mind: my soccer referee uniform; or my baseball umpire uniform (itself with the option of base umpire or plate umpire). Which of those sounds better? Any better ideas?

Make a donation

Jones Coffee

February 23, 2007 at 12:18am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It appears that another new coffee place is coming to central Lincoln, this one at 11th and G next to the Davincis. This is excellent news to me because I live about 2 blocks away, and a good coffee place with free wireless (fingers crossed) would be very welcome in the area. They must be going for the near south student crowd as well as city/county people.

My only other suggestion would be that they also offer sandwiches. That would be cool - and would make the place more attractive to people who normally don’t go to coffee places.

If anyone knows more about this place, do tell. It looks like it won’t be open for a while however.

How Deep?

February 22, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Weather forecasters are predicting a big storm for this weekend. How big? Well, they aren’t really saying. That’s the thing about weather geeks; they’ll hype up big weather events (“It’s coming! It’s coming!”), but when you ask them to be specific, they suddenly get shy. And when all the hype fizzles, we let them off the hook by letting them blame a butterfly in Sumatra.

Even though Ken Siemek won’t clue us in, that doesn’t mean we can’t fire off some wild guesses of our own. What do you think this weekend’s “weather event” will look like? Will we get a massive blizzard? Just rain? Maybe a nice ice storm? (We haven’t had a really good one of those in ages, it seems.)

I’m going to call for 5.5 inches of back-breaking wet stuff. You know, the kind of snow that’s great for snowballs and chiropractors. The kind that really makes me wish I had a snowblower. I also think we’ll see some light flooding in places where ice jams are a problem, but nothing major.

What’s your guess?

UNL is a Top-Five Institution

February 21, 2007 at 6:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog sticking it to the RIAA.

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