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Where in Lincoln is this?

June 28, 2010 at 1:29pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved.

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Out in Ohio

June 25, 2010 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If all has gone well, by the time you read this I will be in or near Dayton, Ohio after a long night of driving. As I write this (on Thursday morning) I shudder to think how much caffeine I will have consumed by now (on Friday morning). I’m headed to Dayton for the 2010 Midwest Regional Youth Soccer Championships. I will be one of about 15 referees representing Nebraska at the tournament. Matches begin on Saturday; semis are Tuesday and finals are on Wednesday.

I’ll try to post a bit while I’m gone, but no promises. I’ll probably have to post from my phone so don’t expect any lengthy dissertations. You can check in on me via Twitter if you like your updates in 140 character increments.

See you next week!

Lincoln is Just Lincoln

June 24, 2010 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

While reading about the Omaha metro’s growth last year I began thinking about how Lincoln hasn’t really developed any suburbs the way Omaha has. Plenty of cities Lincoln’s size—or even smaller—have suburbs around the edge. Lincoln? Well, we have Waverly, but it’d be a stretch to call it a suburb. Same with Hickman and Emerald and Bennet and the other small towns in the area. Whatever suburbs Lincoln had were absorbed years ago. Havelock, Bethany, College View, University Place, West Lincoln ... they were all brought into the fold decades ago.

It kind of makes you wonder what sort of place Lincoln would be if those suburbs had retained their own identities and grown up apart from Lincoln, rather than as a part of Lincoln.

No Surprises

June 23, 2010 at 2:03pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Some folks seem a little surprised that Mayor Beutler is pledging not to raise property taxes for this coming budget year. After all, after several straight years of deficits, declining sales taxes, and the double whammy of a massive snow season and then a war against potholes, increasing the city’s revenue makes sense.

Yet after the arena vote, raising property taxes this year would be political suicide. Expect another round of here-and-there user fee increases, and programmatic changes or reductions in hours or personnel in order to make the budgetary ends meet.

The property tax nuclear trigger won’t be pulled until at least after the Mayoral election next year, if not 2012. 

The Green Eggs and Ham Effect

June 23, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been trying all sorts of new foods lately. As a consequence, I’ve had several green eggs and ham moments. You know, that moment when you realize that after years of resisting a food, you realize you actually like it. It can be a jarring experience. For example right now I’m sitting here eating pineapple. I hate pineapple. Or rather, I hated pineapple until about two weeks ago. That was when I spontaneously popped a chunk of pineapple into my mouth and realized, “Hey, that’s not half bad!”. The same thing happened earlier this spring with guacamole and avocados. And tofu.

Believe it or not, I had a green eggs and ham moment with what would become one of my favorite restaurants. That’s right, years ago I refused to try Oso Burrito. I don’t know why. Something about it just seemed weird to me I guess. Then one day a friend and I went there for lunch. I was hooked. All these years later I have eaten literally hundreds of burritos at Oso. Thank goodness for trying new things.

What are some of your favorite green eggs and ham experiences?

The New School Days

June 23, 2010 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Aaaaaand it’s finally official.

The School Board took a while to get around to it, but they finally approved a calendar for 2011-2012. That’s news because it’s the first school calendar—or at least the first in many years—that finishes first semester before Christmas and second semester before Memorial Day. Unfortunately it also begins on August 16. Early, yes, but not too horrible.

I’m not sure why I’m so worried about LPS’s calendar. We’re planning to home school so our own calendar will differ. I suppose it’s because I’ve been after this kind of calendar ever since I was in school. A late victory is still a victory.

Those Flooded Roads

June 22, 2010 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Speaking of rain and floods, it seems so odd to me that some roads—think North 48th Street as it passes under the railroad tracks at Cornhusker Highway—were practically designed to flood. It seems like such a quaint, even backwards, situation. I can only imagine how different those roads would look if planners and engineers were able to start from scratch. For now we just get to look at those spots and think, “Oh, how cute! It’s like it’s still 1955!”

What Could Have Been

June 22, 2010 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Over the years the Lincoln area has seen many flood control and flood prevention projects. Trouble is, since the floods many of the projects are designed to protect against are so rare, it’s often difficult for the public to know if the projects “worked” and if they were worth the cost. Lincoln hasn’t seen many major flooding events in recent years. How does Joe Public know whether to credit Mother Nature or that $2 million project upstream that was put in place back in 1992? Generally, he doesn’t.

Lincoln has received something like 300-400% of its “average” rainfall for the month of June (so far). That’s a fair amount of water and it’s legitimate to wonder just how beneficial projects along Dead Man’s Run or Beal Slough or whatever have been for basements around the city. It would be nifty if we could occasionally see analyses of “what could have been”. It would help the public understand what we’re paying for. Not that dwelling on the past is necessarily the best use of our resources; if the choice is describing what didn’t happen versus working to prevent what could still happen in the future, I’ll choose the latter. Still, curious cats like me wouldn’t mind the occasional computer simulation.

How many of you know that your situation is improved thanks to completed flood control projects? Do any of you still face regular water problems that could be addressed by the City?

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 21, 2010 at 2:29pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Arghh!

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Were Your Stones Bigger Than Mine?

June 21, 2010 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

We didn’t see a lot of hail at 625 Elm Street last night, and the hailstones we did see were pea-sized. Maaaaaybe dime-sized. But I’ve seen reports that some places around town saw hail in the golfball and baseball range. Did any of you see hailstones that large? Do you have any photos?

As for the rain, I hope all your basements stayed dry. Ours did, or at least has so far. Knock on wood.

Happy first day of summer!

Local Birdcage Liner Cites Local Radio Show Re: Local Politician

June 18, 2010 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It frustrates KLIN’s Jack Mitchell (of Jack & John in the Morning fame) that a local newspaper likes to cite the show in articles as “a radio talk show”. That’s it. Not as “a radio talk show on KLIN”, nor are any other descriptors provided so you could actually search out the source if you wanted to. Just “a radio talk show”. He’s right to be annoyed.

It’s particularly obnoxious when you consider that Jack’s show forms the entire foundation for the local newspaper’s front page, above-the-fold article today. This isn’t a minor piece of news buried on B5. This is something important. The message is that a columnist at the newspaper is willing to let others do a big chunk of her work, but she isn’t willing to credit them for it. I’m not sure what journalistic ethics say about that, but in the world of blogging such a thing will get you widely chastised. And rightfully so.

I have always used local media sources as the foundation for much of the content I publish here on Lincolnite, and I have always tried to give credit where credit is due. Perhaps I’ve been too generous. Perhaps as an experiment I will begin referring to some of my sources as, for example, “a local newspaper”. It’s worth a try. If it works for a local columnist and her employer, it can work for me.

Let The Heathens Have Their Mimosas

June 16, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Well yes, the City Council could focus on whether or not to allow liquor sales on the morning of July 4. (Currently booze is off limits in Lincoln until noon on Sundays.) But that focus is too narrow. Rather than periodically having to make an exception to a bad law, let’s just erase the bad law from the books.

I can’t fathom why such an antiquated, moralistic law is still on the books. Well, I suppose in fact I can. Nevertheless, it’s time for the law to go. Who’s with me?

I See What You Did There

June 15, 2010 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t really have a problem with Mike Foley’s office auditing the Haymarket arena project from the start. The increased oversight will be welcome, in fact. Foley made the same point I have made that the so-called independent oversight board keeping watch over the project isn’t really independent at all.

I do wonder, however, why the State Auditor is so concerned about a local project like this one. Did he find things during his Antelope Valley Project audit that suggested this project wouldn’t go well? Does he have a beef with the project? Does he have a beef with one or more of the major players? Is he worried he wasn’t getting enough camera time? Those questions sound accusatory and really they aren’t intended to be. I’m just trying to understand why this project merits such strict scrutiny so early in the process. Foley’s decision indicates a lack of trust. Whom doesn’t he trust, and why?

Perhaps some of you have some insight into this. What’s your take?

High Water

June 15, 2010 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I joined my family out at Mahoney State Park last night where, to close the evening, we scaled the tower overlooking the Platte River valley. It’s not often you see nary a single sand bar in the Platte River.

As I thought about all the towns across Nebraska bailing out right now, I got to thinking about Lincoln’s current water status. We’ve had some rain, but so far we seem to have avoided any major flooding issues. Even my basement is sitting dry. (Knock on wood! Knock on wood!)

Have you faced any flooding problems yet in your neck of the woods? Have any creeks misbehaved or basements gotten soggy?

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 14, 2010 at 1:06pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved.

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