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Celebrate Lincoln

June 19, 2009 at 12:31pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The annual Celebrate Lincoln festival opens today, with today being the only day where you basically get free admission. Quick breakdown of food vendors also available courtesy of the LJS.

Thursday Night WTF Moment

June 19, 2009 at 3:23am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Anyone else here tracking the fast-changing story (or stories) about the minister who was recently charged in Council Bluffs for sexual assault? You can access the latest OWH story here and the LJS iteration here.

No doubt we can all agree that child sex predators are a despicable lot, but most Lincolnites may pick up on the somewhat striking discrepancies in reported factual background about the alleged perp’s time here in Lincoln.

As reported by the OWH:

Umana worked as a Lincoln Public Schools bus driver from 1992 to 1997. In 1993, three students reported they felt uncomfortable around Umana, according to memos obtained by The World-Herald.

The students reported he hugged them, said things like “Hi, Babe” and told them how pretty they were. He also kissed one and grabbed at their coats, according to the documents. One girl reported that she told him the bus was cold and he said, “Yes, but you and me are hot.”

In 1994, three elementary school students reported Umana grabbed them in inappropriate places. Umana denied the allegations to school officials. In 1997, Umana was terminated.

So according to the OWH, the guy was called out for six alleged cases, in 1993 and 1994, of arguably inappropriate behavior with minors. But in the LJS, it was reported:

Umaña worked as a bus driver for Lincoln Public Schools from 1992 to 1997.

Nancy Biggs, LPS associate superintendent for human resources, declined to comment on why he was terminated, but said it had nothing to do with inappropriate touching or behavior with students.

“If we thought he shouldn’t be around kids we wouldn’t have allowed him around children,” Biggs said.

All I can say is: Put this story/stories in the “Someone has some serious explaining to do” file.

 

Yet Another Haymarket Proposal

June 18, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t have a lot of faith in this actually happening, but what the heck: Speedway Properties wants to open a hotel in the Haymarket near 8th and Q. The project would involve The Tool House building, along with a neighboring building that would be torn down.

I wish I didn’t have to be so cynical about the project’s odds, but let’s face it, major project proposals in the Haymarket and Downtown have had a very low probability of happening and/or matching the initial grand plan. If it does happen? Three cheers! But I’ll withhold my excitement until there’s some actual construction.

Ditto for the nearby WRK hotel proposal. Of that project Will Scott has said “We’re still full speed ahead. We could be looking at demolition within the next few months.” That’s awfully fuzzy talk for a project that’s moving full speed ahead.

Government Comics Online

June 17, 2009 at 5:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Damn you, Mr. T, for showing me this. I’ll be distracted the rest of the day. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you UNL’s collection of government comics.

image

It’s a great little collection of American

propaganda

informational materials history. Some are boring, some are amusing, and some ... well, as you can see from the image above, political correctness hadn’t quite caught on yet.

This stuff is gold. Tell your boss I’m sorry I caused you to be distracted for the rest of the day.

Harvey “The Hatchet” Perlman Announces His Cuts

June 17, 2009 at 4:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman has announced UNL’s budget cuts to account for its $3.7 million share of NU’s $8.5 million shortfall. The cuts include 56.1 FTE positions, many of them vacant. Twenty-eight employees will lose all or part of their jobs. This narrative summary of the cuts is an informative read.

Penny Wise…

June 17, 2009 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Submitted without comment:

Board weighs question: Husker sweat pants worth $10 or $12?

What Do Grand Manse and a Strip Club Have in Common?

June 17, 2009 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for months, but this morning’s Deena Winter column is finally going to get me to do it: Those Vegas-style signs outside Grand Manse (aka Old Fed) are horrible.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to flashy signage. I wouldn’t even mind spiffier electronic billboards around town. But Grand Manse’s two electronic signs are completely out of character with the building. The first time I saw one of the signs I asked, “When did they put a strip club in Old Fed?”

I feel the building owners’ pain. They want you to pay attention to a building that they can’t directly apply other signage to. Yeah, I know, boo hoo for the people who knew that when they bought the joint. Still…

I don’t have any alternative solutions, and I doubt, after spending what must have been big bucks on the two signs, they’re all that interested in hearing them anyway. What do you think about the signs?

Are You Among the 50,000?

June 17, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

OK folks, fess up. Who among you have tickets to Larry the Cable Guy’s July 4th show? (Note: 3,400 more tickets are now available.) I’ve never been a big fan of the Larry persona, but from what I hear Dan Whitney himself is a class act. I think the show I’d really like to attend is Dan Whitney talking about the Larry the Cable Guy phenomenon. Sort of a Blue Collar Tour meets Inside the Actors’ Studio meets An Evening With Kevin Smith. Come on, you know you’d be all over that.

Dan Marvin: Arena Master?

June 16, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This isn’t going to make the LJS commenters happy.

Former City Council member Dan Marvin is expected to accept a new gig as coordinator of the City’s efforts to build a new arena in the Haymarket. The job, under the Urban Development Department, will pay approximately $70,000.

What will get many Lincolnites in a huff? Two things. First, the job apparently wasn’t open to the public. Regardless of Marvin’s qualifications, that can certainly give the impression that local politicians are in the habit of keeping each other employed through gigs like this. Second, at a time when the budget is awfully tight, Mayor Beutler is willing to spend some $100,000—I’m including a very rough estimate of benefits—toward a project that is far from a certainty.

What say you, Lincolnites? Is this job (and job offer) a crock that we citizens should be fired up about? Or is any uproar much ado about nothing?

Go Wide!

June 16, 2009 at 11:40am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Channel 10/11 is now broadcasting its newscasts in widescreen, making it the first “in the market” to do so. Not that it matters to a dinosaur like me. A fancy-pants widescreen HDTV is still an item of the future as far as The Wilsons are concerned. Still, it’s good to see continued progress in moving television forward. Onward and upward to 4K!

RIP Helen Boosalis

June 15, 2009 at 6:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln’s first female mayor, Helen Boosalis, has died.

I wish I could say more, but I didn’t even know what a mayor was while she held the office. I do just barely remember her 1986 run for governor against Kay Orr, but the significance of the event—it was the first time two women had run against each other in a state’s gubernatorial race—mostly went over my head.

I’m sure some of you have memories of Ms. Boosalis, both from her life as a politician as well as her life outside of politics. Please share.

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 15, 2009 at 12:31pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unfortunately, no one correctly identified the location of this picture.

Read more...

A Trip to Pine Crest Farms

June 15, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Last summer, The Missus won a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast from her employer. We finally used it this past weekend at Pine Crest Farms Bed & Breakfast, situated between Valparaiso and Ceresco, just north of Lincoln.

I have never stayed at a B&B before so I don’t have anything compare to, but Pine Crest was every bit as enjoyable as I had hoped. It began with our greeting committee. As soon as I opened the car door, there was Boson, the beautiful five year-old resident canine. (Good luck on your cataract surgery this week, Boson!) Not far behind was Don Gould, who runs the place along with his brother, Jack, and sister-in-law Harriett. The Goulds are wonderful and friendly people with whom, it turns out, we had a few things in common.

Pine Crest Farms consists of two houses with both guest rooms and common rooms in each. With double-occupancy rates from $65 to $100, you will find a room that works for you. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, each with a different theme. (We stayed in the Philadelphia Room.) There is also an in-ground pool on the property, but we didn’t investigate it much since the weather wasn’t exactly pool-friendly.

Breakfast varies each day, but ours included banana bread, coffee cake, eggs benedict, and a giant bowl of fresh fruit. Beyond that, it included friendly conversation with the Goulds and the other guests (a couple from the Fullerton area). In fact, we ended up sitting at the breakfast table for three hours; we would have stayed longer, but I had to get back to Lincoln to work a 3v3 soccer tournament.

Guys, if you’re looking for a great anniversary or birthday gift, you can’t go wrong here. Or you can do what we did and have a simple “just because” night or weekend away with no kids, no phones, and no computers. It was extraordinarily relaxing. The Missus is already talking about doing it again in the fall.

Congratulations, Tyler

June 15, 2009 at 11:55am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In a bit of local soccer news, Lincoln’s Tyler Polak who was chosen for Parade’s All-America High School Soccer Team. Tyler played for Pius X his freshman year, and he has spent the past two years at the U.S. Soccer Residency program in Bradenton, Florida. Polak has played soccer around the world, and he hopes to play in the U-17 World Cup this November.

Congratulations, Tyler!

Weekend Food Updates

June 15, 2009 at 11:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Three quick food-related updates from this weekend.

First up, I read somewhere—I think it was the Journal Star, but I don’t see the piece online—that Magnolia closed last week. That location on 8th Street in the Haymarket just can’t quite find a winning formula. The piece I read made it sound like another tenant isn’t far behind. jwiltshire was sure to remind me that jtk isn’t far away.

Next, Branched Oak Inn in Malcolm is closed. However a joint called Kerry’s Hog Wild BBQ is now open in the Branched Oak Marina on the north side of the lake. It’s nothing fancy, and it’s most definitely not vegetarian friendly, but it’s not bad for a meal. Apparently it opened four weeks ago, and the owners got the call just two weeks before that.

Last, the Wilsons had a little Phat Jack’s BBQ last night at Holmes Lake as part of a fundraiser for City Impact. The ribs were pretty darn tasty. I suppose I need to check out Phat Jack’s actual location (4050 Cornhusker) to give them a real try.

Speaking of that fundraiser, kudos to the jazz combo that played over suppertime. Good stuff.

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