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Left Turn Lane to Nowhere

January 20, 2010 at 4:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I went out to Fallbrook last night to attend a meeting at the YMCA. On my way there, I got suckered in by this false left turn lane:

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OK, I get it. It’s there in preparation for some future development. But wouldn’t it make sense to block it off until there’s something to turn left to? Maybe the City likes trapping unsuspecting drivers in turn lanes to nowhere. Sadistic punks.

Congratulations, Edvin!

January 20, 2010 at 2:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This isn’t Lincoln related, but I have to share it anyway because it’s so darn exciting. I want to congratulate Omaha’s Edvin Jurisevic for being named Nebraska’s first ever FIFA International Referee. Edvin is one of only six such referees in the United States.

This is a huge achievement for Edvin and for Nebraska’s referee development program. Edvin has gradually worked his way up the ranks, beginning with youth and high school games here in Nebraska, and working his way up to MLS and various international assignments. As a FIFA International Referee Edvin will be able to referee any match in the world, including World Cup matches.

I have had the pleasure of refereeing with Edvin several times, both as his assistant and with he as mine. It’s a joy to see him achieve this honor. Edvin will be officially presented with his new badge at a ceremony in Omaha tomorrow evening.

Congratulations, Edvin!

If You Build It, They Will Come

January 20, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

From Deena Winter:

“Don’t build it and I guarantee your taxes will go up.”—Councilman Doug Emery, in one of his many comments arguing in favor of building a new arena posted on a JournalStar.com story.

But the opposite is also true: build it and your taxes will go up. Granted, a good chunk of the burden of those taxes will fall on visitors, but certainly not all of it. The message here seems to be “One way or another, your taxes are going up”. That’s not a very sexy marketing slogan.

Lincoln’s Best Local Clothing Stores

January 19, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Now that Rothchild’s is gone and Knight’s Clothing is closing up shop, I wonder just how many local clothing stores there are in Lincoln. Can you help compile a list? I can’t think of many, but I don’t know if that’s because there aren’t many, or because I just plain don’t shop for clothes.

The only two that come immediately to mind are The Black Market (Downtown on O Street) and Pixi Chicks (College View). Actually, I’m not even sure The Black Market still exists since I haven’t been near there in many months. I know Pixi Chicks is around, though, since I drive up 48th Street all the time.

Can you help add more local clothing shops to the list?

Five Guys Named Yum

January 18, 2010 at 7:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Matt Olberding says Five Guys is coming to Downtown. Commence salivating.

The only question is, where in Downtown will they locate? Matt previously reported on some action in the bugly building next to the Douglas Building (nee Cinema Twin). That wouldn’t be a bad location for a burger joint.

Where else might they end up?

Where in Lincoln is this?

January 18, 2010 at 3:26pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Good going Steve!

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Common Answers Results

January 17, 2010 at 10:41pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Thanks to all of you who participated in this week’s Common Answers: Winter Wonderland game. A total of 23 people submitted entries. Who won? Find out inside.

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It’s (All But) Official: We’re Gettin’ Ourselves a New Arena

January 15, 2010 at 7:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Now that LIBA has announced their support for the Haymarket arena, I can’t imagine this May’s vote failing. Darn near every major group in Lincoln has come out in support of the arena. Opponents are many, but they just don’t have the political oomph that supporters have. Far be it from me to declare the arena a winner, but at this point it’s going to take one hell of a hail Mary pass to take it down.

Last Chance to Play Common Answers!

January 15, 2010 at 2:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today is your last chance to play Common Answers. Go play now!

The 21st Century Dragon Hath Slayed the Knights

January 15, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Knights Clothing is closing. I saw an advertisement saying as much the other day, but for some reason I thought it was old news. I guess not. Knights has been around Lincoln for over 55 years. That’s a not-too-shabby run. I remember shopping there with my mom a couple decades ago. Knights was always on our list if we were running around town shopping for clothes.

Here’s wishing the best to the owners as they move on to the next stage of their lives.

How Many Jobs Will the Arena REALLY Create?

January 14, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Expect to hear a lot from Citizens FOR Jobs and the Lincoln Haymarket Arena in the coming months. And expect me to pick on them over those months, at least if they keep spreading dubious “facts” about the arena.

Consider the number of jobs they claim the arena will create. I’ve picked on this before, but it bears repeating. The group claims: “In the future, the Lincoln Haymarket Arena will add more than 1,000 permanent jobs at the arena and in the surrounding retail, commercial and residential area.” There are several problems with the number, but let’s focus on three.

First, note that “jobs” is a fuzzy term. What is a job? Is it an FTE? Any position that earns any money? Without a good definition the term has little “punch” and supplies very little value to the discussion.

Second, we don’t know what sort of assumptions have been made to generate the “more than 1,000” value. Starting assumptions are extremely important. Assumptions about what is possible very often differ substantially from what eventually transpires. The assumptions that drive these figures almost always overestimate the good and underestimate or bury the bad. As long as the assumptions are transparent we can deal with that and make decisions accordingly. If the assumptions aren’t made known the figure is worthless.

Last, note this wording carefully: “the Lincoln Haymarket Arena will add more than 1,000 permanent jobs at the arena and in the surrounding retail, commercial and residential area”. It does not say “the Lincoln Haymarket Arena will add more than 1,000 permanent jobs to the community”. In other words some of these jobs—we have no idea how many—will simply be transferred from one area of the community to the other. That’s a hugely important distinction. Some of these jobs will no doubt be truly “created” in the sense that they would not have occurred had the arena not been built. But others—some? many? most?—will not. If Cheesecake Factory comes to town because of the arena, then we can say those jobs were “created” by the arena. If, on the other hand, Cheesecake Factory would have come here regardless, then the arena does not get to take credit for creating those jobs. However, due to the wording noted above the arena supporters still get to count those jobs toward their total.

Further note that the same is true for the arena’s overall economic value to the city. Some economic value will be “created” by the presence of an arena and surrounding developments. But not every dollar that ends up in the arena and its environs will in fact have been “created” by the arena. Some of the money will simply be transferred from elsewhere. That restaurant that could have gone in at Fallbrook will instead go in the Haymarket; the apartments that could have gone into Antelope Valley will instead go into the Haymarket; and so on. The exact same thing happens with every major development around town: some new economic value is created, and some of the economic activity could just as easily have located elsewhere.

I’ve stated this before but I’ll say it again: don’t misinterpret these sorts of comments as indicators that I’m rabidly anti-arena. I’m not. I simply demand honesty and transparency so voters can make the best decision possible. Once the formal anti-arena groups really get going—I’m sure we’ll hear more from them very soon—I will probably pick on them just the same. That’s what I do. Now you folks get to do what you do so well: argue amongst yourselves grin

Boom Shaka Laka

January 14, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m curious what you folks think about Senator Rogert’s fireworks bill making its way through the Unicameral this session. In short: it would make certain larger shells legal; bottle rockets and night parachutes would remain illegal; metal-handled sparklers would become illegal; and fireworks would be legal to use and sell on more occasions. Or put another way: bigger booms in the air, fewer burns on the ground, and more opportunities to blow stuff up.

My views on fireworks are wildly conflicted. I grew up loving fireworks, and after high school I ran a few fireworks tents. That experience, for various reasons, made me completely ambivalent about the fireworks aspect of Independence Day. Within just the past two years I have started to become more of a curmudgeon, viewing the whole exercise as a giant, wasteful barrage of foolishness and—all too often—incivility. I’ve become a party pooper.

The youthful side of me thinks the bigger booms would be awesome; the cranky old man side of me wishes people would be satisfied with snap pops, parachutes, and sparklers, with the big stuff reserved for big shows. To which the youthful side of me says: I’m not ready to be “that guy”!

Anyway, a big chunk of this discussion may be moot because Lincoln’s fireworks regulations will still trump state law. Lincoln is always going to be pickier about fireworks than the state as a whole. Of course we all know that on July 3 and 4, City regulations are a joke. So although legally these changes may not directly affect us, practically speaking they will.

Where do you folks come down on this? Bigger booms for all? Fireworks are the devil’s tools? Commence ranting and raving.

I’m All Ears

January 13, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

What over-the-air channels should a guy be able to get in Lincoln? I hooked up an antenna to the television last night just to see what I could get. I ended up with 8 (including 8.2), 10 (sometimes), 51, and a couple odd religious channels. I had assumed I’d be able to get NET and perhaps an Omaha station or two. No?

Texas-Style Justice in Nebraska?

January 12, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Senator Mark Christensen wants you to be able to kill somebody if they break into your home, workplace, or occupied vehicle, even if you face no physical harm or you can escape. It might be fun to watch the debate on this one. Expect hysteria on both sides.

The bill itself can be found here.

Two Steps Forward…

January 12, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The City Council has said yes to the plan for the half-block bounded by 13th, 14th, and Q Streets.

The developers have purchased the building that currently houses Valentino’s, Quizno’s, and Chipotle, which they plan to demolish.

Could this thing actually happen?

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