Latest Blog Posts

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 31, 2009 at 1:44pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Good guesses, but sadly, no one identified this historic World War II-era building.

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Never Say Yant Can’t

August 31, 2009 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Love him or hate him, Roger Yant is a persistent fellow. Yant continues to fight against the State Fair’s move to Grand Island, and apparently the fight will drag will into autumn. This despite the fact that opening day in G.I. will be less than a year away by that point.

It makes you wonder what would happen if the Nebraska Supreme Court were to halt the move. By that point how would such an action be good for anyone? Can you imagine the chaos and confusion?

Bridge to Nowhere

August 31, 2009 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Oh sure, William Ramsey supports the interchange at Pflug Road now. But what about when McDonald’s and Dr. John’s want to move in next door? I suspect he would change his tune.

Frankly, Mr. Ramsey, I think you’re better off arguing to keep the area around Holy Family Shrine as desolate as possible.

Drained

August 31, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Now that The Wilsons have taken a more active approach to recycling I have begun paying more attention to the myriad wasteful activities in our lives. No, I haven’t turned into an eco-nerd just yet, and Al Gore isn’t likely to show up my door with a biodegradeable certificate of appreciation any time soon. But I do ponder certain things more frequently than I used to.

For example: Why is it so difficult to get rid of used batteries? The toxic brew inside of each AA is surely something best kept out of landfills. Yet considering how easy it is to purchase batteries, it is surprisingly difficult to find a place other than your friendly local garbage can to discard the things.

Where are the best places to discard used batteries in Lincoln? Are there any local outlets—grocery stores, say—that make an active effort to collect old batteries?

Morning Blurbs

August 28, 2009 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It was a last night of reffing last night and it’s an early morning of working this morning, so I’ll keep this brief:

The Perils of Conformance

August 27, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Look, I understand why we have a Comprehensive Plan. But when that plan stands in the way of a fairly impressive $45 million project? It’s time for some adjustment.

All of the government officials who are presented with a project like this should start with a “Let’s make this work!” mentality, not a “What’s wrong with this proposal?” mentality. Let’s get this done. Pretty please?

Camp Gets the Ax

August 27, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Poor Jon Camp. First he feels out of the loop. Now he finds out he’s going to get the boot from the Public Building Commission.

His case for remaining on the PBC isn’t very compelling, essentially boiling down to “I’m already there” and “I don’t want to leave”. The case against him is a little stronger. He will lose a tenant as a result of a reorganization that he would oversee as a member of the Commission. Then again the reorganization is a done deal, so any conflict of interest has all but passed. As for the case for Gene Carroll, Mr. Camp’s replacement? Carroll has planning experience and he doesn’t currently have enough high-profile committee assignments.

All in all, it feels like somebody just doesn’t want Camp on the PBC any more. Camp agrees, stating “Quite frankly, I think this is a politically motivated move”. Considering that Camp has been a bit of an irritant lately, that’s not surprising. It’s also consistent with Mayor Beutler’s recent push to exert more power.

In the end I’m just glad that the mini-saga around Camp’s conflict / non-conflict of interest surrounding having the City as one of his tenants is nearing an end. Maybe.

Late September, Is That You?

August 26, 2009 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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What month is it again?

Umpteenth Time’s a Charm

August 26, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Come on, Capitol City Grill. You can do it!

Capitol City Grill is the latest to take a stab at the former La Paloma / Bacciame / Eighth Street Ironworks / Magnolia / etc. building in the Haymarket. Why is that building so deadly to restaurants? And more specifically, why is that building so deadly to some awfully good restaurants? (I still yearn for the meatloaf I had at Eight Street Ironworks days before it shut down.) I don’t get it. Is it because most Haymarket patrons park or enter to the south and they just never make it that far north? Goofy lease terms? Some sort of intangible bad juju?

Is it Worth the Fuss to Cast a Nationwide Net?

August 26, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Lincoln School Board is going to hire a firm to conduct a nationwide search for superintendent candidates. Fair enough. It’s what we did last time, and it’s a reasonable way to ensure we get a broad range of candidates.

But allow me to pose this question: Is the cost of hiring a search firm worth the value that we receive? Or to put it more bluntly, did we get the “bang for the buck” that we were promised out of the search that resulted in Dr. Susan Gourley’s hiring?

I don’t have anything specific against Dr. Gourley, yet neither can I say much of anything about her. She all but flew under the radar in her six years in Lincoln. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yet surely a strong leader should be known well by educators and the public alike. I have spoken with a couple LPS teachers about Dr. Gourley and the average response so far seems to be “She’s ok I guess”. Not negative, but far from a ringing endorsement.

Does Lincoln need a “national caliber” superintendent? Scratch that, it’s a bad question. Of course we do, our students must be competitive, blah blah blah. Instead, let’s ask ourselves what a candidate derived from a nationwide search will have that a less glamorous local or regional candidate will not.

Hang on, I’m thinking…

I’m stumped, how ‘bout you? The only difference I can come up with is street cred. Meh. Personally I prefer to have a strong leader who knows LPS and who understands the community of Lincoln. Anybody could gain that knowledge from a little study, but typically local knowledge isn’t among the qualities a national search firm is going to look for.

Is a national search for a new superintendent worth our while? What do we gain from it, and what do we lose by not doing it? Are there any excellent nearby superintendent candidates we should consider?

Following a Legend

August 26, 2009 at 11:50am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I do not envy Mike Wiese.

Mr. Wiese is Lincoln East’s new volleyball coach, the second in school history. The first coach was Myron Oehlerking, who led East to six championships and three runner-up finishes. Those are some big shoes to fill.

Good luck, Mr. Wiese!

All Politics is Local?

August 26, 2009 at 11:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

See, even Lincolnites want to engage in important national debates:

You may not have had an opinion of Property Management, Inc. before, but I’ll bet you have an opinion now!

The Budget Passed on Party Lines

August 25, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Lincoln City Council passed the budget yesterday on a 4-3, party-line vote. But first:

Welcome back, Jon Camp! Nice of you to join your comrades on the City Council and vote on an important issue like the budget. What’s that? You’re “disappointed” that you “didn’t get communicated with”? What a pity. Maybe if you hadn’t left the dang country during a critical time in budget discussions you might have felt a little more included in the process!

Democrats on the Council unanimously supported the budget, while Republicans opposed. One of the biggest sticking points? That darn 0.5% telecommunications tax hike. I’m no fan of tax hikes, but I haven’t yet figured out why that, of all the components in the budget, is what Republicans got up in arms about. Instead, I wish the Republicans would have made an even bigger to-do about the economic development fund and “one-stop development center”, concepts which deserved discussion outside of the budget process. They fussed a bit, yes, but it came across as mostly impotent whining. They can do better.

Did your pet projects receive the funding they need? Are you happy with your Council members?

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 24, 2009 at 1:10pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Good going Seth! This was a hard one and you identified the location exactly!

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Improving Your Experience By Trebling Your Wait Time

August 24, 2009 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Aren’t new technologies and computer systems typically supposed to improve the user experience? Why, then, is Nebraska’s DMV managing to provide worse service now that they have put new systems in place? I suppose we should have known problems were in store when a blip in power was enough to cripple the system for a few days.

DMV horror stories have always puzzled me. What’s so difficult about what the DMV does? It’s not like the DMV’s workload is any secret; it shouldn’t be difficult to determine, within a reasonable degree of accuracy, how many people need to be served. And the concept of customer service is no secret. Plenty of organizations, government and private, have figured it out.

For what it’s worth, my personal experiences with the DMV have been acceptable at worst. Knock on wood.

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