Latest Blog Posts

Scooter Baggers

April 2, 2008 at 1:54pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I see that Scooters and Brown Baggers are now open side-by-side at 84th and Van Dorn, in the same strip as Dino’s Eastside Grill. Note that the 84th Street Brown Baggers is not the same as the Brown Baggers on 70th and Van Dorn. I think the 84th Street BB is related to the Haymarket Brown Baggers, which also sits next to a Scooters.

I once asked what the deal was with the two different BB’s in town. The only answer I got was effectively “we don’t like them, and they don’t like us”. Suddenly buying a sandwich was like taking sides in a bitter rivalry.

It’s all so very confusing.

Interesting Conflicts

April 2, 2008 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s good to see Councilman John Spatz working on alternative conflict of interest legislation in the wake of the City Council’s decision to keep voters from deciding if city employees should be forbidden from holding contracts with the city. Unfortunately, any conversation related to the issue at this point is likely to involve little more than partisan bickering. You can largely thank the Republican City Council members and Democrat Vic Covalt for that.

Ethics shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But how can you have any sort of intellectual debate about a contentious topic like this when the sides only define each other (and themselves) by party? The two sides are being petty and childish around a serious issue:

Asked whether he had talked to Covalt about his alternative, Spatz said he can’t think of another person in the city he’d be less likely to discuss the issue with, noting that Covalt is running for chairman of the state Democratic Party. ...

In response to Spatz’s implication that Covalt is just playing politics, Covalt said Spatz is doing the same: “He’s as much a Republican as I’m a Democrat.”

Ugh. What does party affiliation have to do with ethics and conflicts of interest? Nothing. Grow up, gents, and draw the dividing lines—which, I suspect, aren’t nearly as insurmountable as the two sides think—based on principle, not party.

I Wonder if Bork Has a Permit For His Peddling Pedaling

April 2, 2008 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

While reading about door-to-door peddlers getting arrested, I realized I’ve never even thought about asking door-to-door salesmen if they have a permit. I don’t see a lot of them, and I’ve never had a problem with one, but I can see how they might cause trouble for some people. I get especially concerned for people like my great aunt. She is so trusting…

Another thing I didn’t realize is that selling items door-to-door without a permit can get you arrested. Yikes. I assumed a pushy peddler would just get a ticket.

Have you ever had a problem with a door-to-door salesperson? Are you a door-slammer, a patient listener, or a gullible buyer?

Still in the Running

April 1, 2008 at 1:57pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Half of the items still haven’t been solved in “An Exhausting Puzzler”. Can you figure them out? I will post hints in the comments periodically…

Here’s How You Should Spend My Money

April 1, 2008 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If you’ve ever wanted to tell the City how they should spend your money, you’ll have a few chances in the near future. On Sunday, an online survey will go live. It will be unscientific—that is, just because 90% of survey respondents give a particular answer doesn’t mean that 90% of Lincolnites would give that answer—but it will give Lincolnites a chance to rate budget priorities and offer written comments.

Then there will be four town hall meetings:

  • April 22: Lincoln Southwest High School
  • April 24: LPS District Offices
  • May 6: Lincoln High School
  • TBD

My bet is the fourth meeting will be held at Lincoln North Star or Lincoln Northeast.

I get the feeling there is a lot of distrust over this process. Rather than applauding the City for asking for public input on the budget—something Lincolnites have asked for many times over the years—there’s a good deal of dismissal going on. I don’t know if Mayor Beutler and the City Council will take the input seriously or not. I hope they do, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until they demonstrate otherwise. One of the first tests will be the release of the phone poll data. It is due in mid-April. Hopefully they release all the data and let the public come to our own conclusions. If all they release are soundbites and summaries ... well, I’ll be concerned.

Do you have faith in the City’s public input process? How would you have done it differently?

Saying Goodbye

April 1, 2008 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It has been interesting following the debate over whether or not the State Fair should move from its current digs to make way for UNL’s proposed Innovation Park. In the beginning, there was a lot of distrust of UNL, and the notion that the Fair should move was unfathomable to most. Or at least, to most of the people who commented on the Journal Star’s online stories. Now that the Fair is all but certainly headed to Grand Island, the tide has turned. Today’s comments are mostly supportive of the move, and the proportion of folks welcoming the tech park with open arms seems higher than even just a few weeks ago.

On the plus side, Lincoln will probably get its tech park. There’s every reason to suspect that will be good for the community in many ways. I can’t wait to see how it looks 15 years from now.

On the flip side, I’m worried about what the State Fair will look like in 15 years. I’m not as fatalistic about it as many people are. But I’m wary.

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