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Welcome Home, Clay

November 8, 2007 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ll admit I was a little nervous about his return—I have more faith in the Mercury capsules than I do in the hunk of junk we call the space shuttle—but Clay Anderson and the Discovery crew made it home safely yesterday. Good job, Clay! Anderson had been in orbit for 152 days. Look for a hero’s welcome when he makes it back to Nebraska. It would be cool if he could make it to Saturday’s football game, but that’s probably too soon.

Data Geeks Rejoice

November 7, 2007 at 2:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If you like data about Lincoln, you’ll like this...

If I Redesigned Centennial Mall

November 7, 2007 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Centennial Mall bugs me. It is ugly as sin, and it is so woefully wasted as a potential community gathering point. It represents some of the best real estate in the city and the best we can do is offer cracked, inaccessible pathways and broken down fountains. Harrumph.

I would love to be on a committee tasked with redesigning Centennial Mall. There are four main segments. (Let’s ignore the question of whether we should “de-street” the segment between M and P Streets.) Within those four segments I would create a tour of Nebraska. Some of the features I would mix and match include:

  1. A stream of water stretching north to south through all of the segments, representing the Platte River. Where it dips underground (i.e. at street crossings) it would represent our underground water resources.
  2. In one segment, several small, shallow pools, representing the state’s small lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.
  3. Real or simulated wagon wheel ruts, representing the pioneers.
  4. Native grasses and flowers.
  5. Sandstone formations for climbing and sitting.
  6. A traditional band stand, representing the city parks in towns across the state.
  7. A play area for kids, preferably near the Children’s Museum.
  8. Some flat areas, some rolling “hills”.
  9. Several small sculptures, or better yet, one single sculpture that ties together the four segments.

It sounds a little disorganized, I know. That’s how my brain works when it’s dumping ideas. It probably looks better in my head than it does in list format. I should draw it out sometime.

What would your ideal Centennial Mall look like?

Living with the Living Wage

November 7, 2007 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Former Councilman Terry Warner’s living wage ordinance may be headed to its end, at least if Jon Camp has anything to say about it. Camp wants to chip away at the ordinance by exempting non-profit groups. I’m sure his druthers is to ditch it altogether, but such a proposal would likely face the wrath of Mayor Beutler’s veto pen.

Lincolnites haven’t made much of a fuss about the impact of the living wage ordinance. Every now and then we hear that bids for various projects came in higher than expected in part due to the ordinance, but so far that has done little more than arouse a subdued grumble or two. I suspect Camp’s proposed change will have the same effect on the general population.

What’s your take on the living wage ordinance?

Flashing Red Lights in the Black

November 7, 2007 at 2:29am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The news is a bit premature, but it looks like Lincoln’s EMS will make a small profit this year. The folks at LFR are likely issuing a strong “Hallelujah!”, considering the rough times the department has been through. Just think: Only five more years of nothing but good news, and LFR may begin to re-earn some of the credibility it shed these past several years.

Nationwide, But Not in Lincoln

November 6, 2007 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After previously announcing cuts of 50 jobs over the next 3 years, Nationwide Insurance will eliminate an additional 90 jobs over the next year and a half. Nationwide’s current workforce in Lincoln is in the range of 700 employees. is Top 10

November 6, 2007 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Nebraska’s official website placed in the Top 10 in the Best of the Web awards in the category of state government websites. First place went to, while first place in the “city portal” category went to Tampa, Florida.

Another Murder?

November 6, 2007 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It looks like there may have been another murder in Lincoln over the weekend. The victim was Andrea Williams, a man apparently familiar to LPD. Details are pretty slim at this point.

Bye Bye Wi-Fi

November 5, 2007 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I know the recommendation to hold off on city-wide wi-fi will disappoint many of you, but I, for one, am relieved. Wi-fi is dead. Investing millions of dollars to turn Lincoln into one giant hot spot tomorrow using yesterday’s technology isn’t too far removed from just throwing those millions down the toilet. New technologies—WiMAX among them—are better for many different reasons. If Lincoln wants to hop aboard the municipal wireless bandwagon, doesn’t it make more sense to go with a technology at the front end of its lifespan, rather than near the end?

I wonder what sort of technologies Alltel, Time Warner, and even Verizon are working on…?

My Least Favorite Weather

November 5, 2007 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Drat. After a few days of gorgeous autumn weather, we’re going to get a dose of good ol’ Nebraska wind to start off the week. I don’t like Nebraska’s stiff spring and fall winds. Never have. When asked what they least like about Nebraska’s weather, most people say either “the cold” or “the heat”. I say the wind. (As does Mike Rozier.) Oh well, at least soccer season is (almost) over. All this wind makes me wish I were into kites.

Time to Vote: Is This Obscene?

November 1, 2007 at 6:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

OK, boys and girls, you can stop harassing me now. (You know who you are!) Here it is, the horrible, awful, offensive comic that the Lincoln Journal Star refused to print yesterday:


I don’t get it. The justification for not printing it, that is. (Although, as with many Bizarro comics, I don’t really “get” the humor of the piece, either.) Is there something about lesbian witches that crosses the line? Is the fact that she’s riding a golf club and wearing a plaid shirt offensive to lesbians, or golfers, or ... uhh, well, somebody? I’m stumped.

<aside>If you want to talk about offensive comics, let’s talk about Adam@Home’s awful parenting skills. Adam is to fathers what Britney Spears is to mothers. As a man and a father I take tremendous offense. No really. I wish he were real so I could punch him in the nose.</aside>

One of Your Neighbors is Odd

November 1, 2007 at 4:44pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your neighbors’ houses? Here’s a peak inside one Lincolnite’s house, also known as The Museum of the Odd:

Crabby Magnolias

November 1, 2007 at 1:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve heard nary a peep about Haymarket new arrivals jtk, Magnolia, or Crabby Bill’s. Have any of you hit any of those restaurants, or do you know somebody who has?

Good Cops, Bad Cops

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

The Lincoln Police Department is going through a re-accreditation process right now. As part of the process, the public get to come out and tell why they think LPD should or should not be accredited. How do you think LPD is doing?

Personally, the only interaction I’ve had with LPD since high school was getting fingerprinted as part of the background check process before we adopted Robert. The folks doing the fingerprinting had a nice sense of humor about the fact that I have (almost) no fingerprints. I am proud to hold the distinction of “Worst Set of 10 Fingerprints Ever” according to one woman who had worked there for many years.

Outside of my own experience, it’s rare to hear more than a minor complaint about LPD. Sure, some people think they’re too picky about parking enforcement, or maybe they don’t do traffic enforcement the way you’d like. But has there been a major LPD-related incident since Mr. (Carlos?) Renteria’s death? Major incidents are so rare, the use of a Taser was big news earlier this year. (A friend of mine from high school was the Taser-er, incidentally.)

There are things about LPD I wish were done differently, and there are things about Chief Tom Cassidy’s law enforcement philosophies I don’t necessarily agree with. But they are pretty small items. And in Chief Cassidy’s case, at least he has the chutzpah to post his thoughts for the world to see. How many police chiefs—or even government officials generally—write such honest and unsanitized prose on such a regular basis?

So what do you think, should LPD keep its accreditation? What are the big issues LPD needs to work out over, say, the next five years?

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