Latest Blog Posts

UNL is a Top-Five Institution

February 21, 2007 at 6:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

...in sticking it to the RIAA.

The Replacements

February 21, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Now that Crawdaddy’s and Doughboyz are both dead and gone, I’m pretty darn bummed. What will I do without a periodic big ass burrito or DBQ pizza? The Missus and I need to find replacement restaurants to fill the void in our dining repertoire. I think Paul’s BBQ could make a nice partial replacement. It’s a very “homey” sort of restaurant, with a nice neighborhood feel. But it can’t carry the load all on its own. We need at least one other restaurant—perhaps a pizza joint, or a place that can duplicate Crawdaddy’s friendly/surly waitress experience. What would you suggest?

Hold On, It’s Gonna Get Bumpy

February 21, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I hit my first really good pothole this morning. It wasn’t a huge hole, but it gave my tire a thing or two to think about. Have you run across any really good road chasms yet? Where?

By the way, if you do run across a pothole, you can help it get patched quickly:

Potholes in paved City streets and alleys can be reported in three different ways.  Persons may report a pothole online, call the Street Maintenance office at 441-7701 or leave a recorded message on the “Pothole Hotline” at 441-7646.

Entrepreneurship Center Takes Shape

February 21, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I am pleased to see that today SCC will cut the ribbon on its new Entrepreneurship Service Center in the old Gallup building at 68th and O. I look forward to seeing what sorts of local businesses emerge from the Center.

Will You Pledge to See Me Plunge?

February 20, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

[Note: I have made this entry sticky until after the event. Keep those pledges rolling in! You can make a donation online.]

I have always wanted to do a polar bear plunge, and it turns out the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s Polar Bear Plunge is this Saturday. The event benefits Special Olympics Nebraska. Unfortunately, this Saturday isn’t the best day for me, and finding out about it now doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for fund-raising.

But…

I will issue a challenge to you, my faithful readers. If you can pull together at least $500 in pledges in the comments—that’s 1% of the event’s goal of $50,000—I’ll take the plunge, and I will post a video of it online. Or, if five of you will join me and you each aim for $100 in pledges, I will take the plunge with you.

What do you say, folks?

How Long Should We Give the Bike Lanes?

February 20, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As I sat on the bus this morning and observed drivers being confused by the bike lanes Downtown, I began to wonder: How long should we continue the bike lane experiment before we declare it a failure?

Maybe it’s not fair to presume it has been a failure. But do you know anybody who thinks the lanes are a success? If so, I would love to hear his or her explanation, because I really do want to be convinced that they are more useful and safer than the previous situation. Will anybody defend the bike lanes?

Ten Pillars and a Handful of Cheap Shots

February 19, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ron Cerny and Jose J. Soto share their alternate vision for Lincoln’s future in today’s Journal Star. Why not just build off of the 2015 Vision Group’s work? Because Cerny and Soto view the Group with “concern, trepidation and suspicion”. They allege that the Group’s vision positions “the broader needs of the community ... subservient to the wishes of a few, which advance the interests of fewer, at the expense of the community at large.” Ouch.

Cerny and Soto charge that the Vision Group’s intent is to turn Lincoln into an “Omaha, or Indianapolis, or Kansas City”. They further insist that “Lincoln’s future does not reside solely in the realms of entertainment, college youth and downtown”. (A bit of a straw man, but that is a concern the 2015 Vision Group needs to more actively address.) They propose their own ten pillars for Lincoln’s future on the grounds that “moving ahead on Vision 2015 without addressing extant social needs is like ladling on the gravy before serving the potatoes.”

Their ten pillars are:

  1. [P-12] Education
  2. Childcare
  3. [Public] Transportation
  4. Serving the underserved
  5. Teen Community Center
  6. Long-range street planning
  7. Parks and trails
  8. Citywide wireless
  9. Interactive/inclusive government
  10. Your ideas

Under each pillar, Cerny and Soto offer a brief explanation of what they mean. Unfortunately, their brief explanations are not nearly enough to clarify their thoughts. I would love to see Cerny and Soto expand on each of their pillars.

In the end, though, I suspect many members of the 2015 Vision Group are giving Cerny and Soto the finger this morning. And who can blame them after reading paragraphs like this?

Residents impacted by the decisions of government, business and civic leaders should be the ones dictating Lincoln’s future, a privilege that should not be abdicated to, nor usurped by, a handful of residents. A community vision, demands community input.

Yeesh, that’s vile stuff. Whether or not you like the 2015 Vision Group and/or its pillars, Cerny and Soto are clearly being unfair here. Likewise in their closing sentence:

We must all participate in creating the 20/20 Vision of our future, and we cannot allow a “them” vs. “us” mentality to jeopardize an enhanced quality of life for everyone.

The “them vs. us” mentality originates with Cerny and Soto. The 2015 Vision Group has gone out of its way to offer participation opportunities for all Lincolnites, and their efforts have only just begun. (Whether or not they listen to the input they receive will be seen in the coming months.) I wonder if Cerny and Soto are willing to go to the trouble to subject their ideas to the same scrutiny? And I wonder if Cerny and Soto bothered to try to work with the 2015 Vision Group before penning such a divisive piece?

I have no problem at all with folks proposing “2015 visions” of their own. In fact, I encourage it. (I suspect the 2015 Vision Group does as well.) But this piece is so laden with put-downs and the very “them vs. us” mentality that the authors condemn, that it is very difficult to judge their ideas on their merits. The authors would do well to bury the hatchet and try to work with or parallel to the 2015 Vision Group, rather than trying to improve the community with ten pillars and a handful of cheap shots.

Oh Good, the Weekend’s Over!

February 19, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

This weekend was the sort of weekend that makes me glad to get back to work. Maybe now I can rest a bit.

Actually, it was a great weekend. The In-Laws came to town on Friday afternoon. On Saturday we had an open house to celebrate Robbie’s adoption finalization. We had a great turnout. In fact, we probably invited just the right number of people; the house was full, but not crowded. Robbie, of course, was the star of the show, and he managed to make it through the entire event without getting fussy. But boy did he take a heck of a nap the second it was over.

Sunday was a quieter day, but it began as all Sundays do with a 7:00am trip to Panera to meet my family. That really ought to be too early, but Robbie’s up by then, and it makes a good father-son outing while The Missus goes to the Y.

The rest of Sunday was full but subdued. We had dinner at my parents’ house to celebrate my sister’s birthday. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with meatloaf gravy, green bean casserole, and other goodies. Almost all of my favorite comfort foods were there.

As if I hadn’t had enough activity for the weekend, last night at 8:30 I decided to go for a run. High school soccer season is coming up, and I need to get into shape. Plus, I have really put on some weight this winter. As in: I weigh more than I ever have before. I guess I can’t rely on my ol’ metabolism any more to take care of these things for me. I’m not nearly as sore today as I probably should be—especially considering how many times I nearly killed myself on icy patches—but I have a long ways to go before I’m in good reffing shape. I need to knock off about 15 pounds before the state tournament. Think this food-lover can do it?

How Would You Determine Snow Days?

February 16, 2007 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I admit, today’s Friday Five is a bit of a cheap shot. What can I say, I get frustrated when parents would rather somebody else (in this case the superintendent of schools) do all of their parenting for them. Seriously, people: if you think conditions aren’t appropriate for your child to go to school, then don’t send your child to school. It really is that simple.

Still, there’s room for a discussion here. Currently LPS does not have a hard and fast rule dictating that X weather conditions should result in the cancellation of classes. Instead, school officials make a subjective assessment and, for all intents and purposes, go with their gut. I am OK with that system. It has worked reasonably well over the years, and if anything it tends to result in slightly conservative outcomes, which is the right way to err. But I think one could make an argument that at least some of the subjectivity should be replaced by more objective measures. Not just to result in “better” outcomes, but to give parents a better predictive tool so they can make appropriate childcare plans more easily.

Would you support a less subjective system for determining weather-related school cancellations? What would your system look like?

Young Professional Group

February 16, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Cindy Lange-Kubick points out an ad in the Journal Star from YPG: Lincoln’s Young Professional Group. The ad reads: “Highly organized and motivated young professionals are coming together to form an intrepid group with one goal: redefine Lincoln”. Anybody know anything about the group?

Friday Five

February 16, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A vocal group of Lincolnites wanted LPS to call off school due to the overwhelming 3.8” snowfall we received earlier this week. The group, now organized under the name of The Helen Lovejoy Fanclub, has also demanded that school be called off in these five other circumstances:

  1. Any time it is raining, because students track in water and the hallways get slick, and somebody could slip and fall.
  2. Whenever it is foggy, because an airplane might get lost in the clouds and crash into the school.
  3. If a classroom pet, like a hamster or guinea pig, gets loose, because it might chew on a wire and start a fire.
  4. Whenever a virus is found on a school computer, to help prevent the spread of illness.
  5. Any time the school cafeteria serves walking tacos. Duh.

Winter Tales

February 15, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Since today is (probably) one of the coldest days of the year, I figure it’s a good time for sharing stories about our winter memories in Lincoln. Do you have any good memories of winter in Lincoln?

I recall a couple ice storms that, as a kid, I thought were really fun. But then, I didn’t have to drive in them. The first was when I was in 3rd or 4th grade at Calvert. It was so bad they actually called off school in the middle of the day—a rare event, to be sure. Parents just came by to pick up their kids whenever they could. I remember my dad coming to pick me up and the tricky walk to the car. The sliding was fun; the falling was not.

I recall another ice storm a few years after that. This time I had a Lincoln Journal paper route. Have you ever tried to walk a paper route while carrying 60 newspapers and attempting to walk on a solid sheet of ice? It would have been fun if it weren’t so blasted frustrating. I must have fallen fifty times, and trying to climb uphill on the pavement was a joke. Then there was the problem of the papers sliding away from the front door. I would throw a paper to the porch and, if the angles were right, the paper would sometimes slide its way all the way back down the driveway. Amusing the first time, but quickly frustrating.

I’m sure both ice storms caused a lot of damage (I don’t remember), but they sure were pretty. Every twig, basketball hoop, car, and piece of lawn furniture was coated in ice.

Now that I think about it, I also remember a winter in which LPS canceled school due to fears of ridiculously low wind chills in the -60 to -70 range. It turned out to be a “beautiful” day, with actual wind chills only around -25 or so, and I remember thinking “Ha! They canceled school for no reason!” I played basketball in the driveway with my neighbors that day.

Did You Know This?

February 15, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I had no idea that members of the Unicameral can’t be arrested during or near the session. Nebraska’s Constitution reads:

Members of the Legislature in all cases except treason,  felony or breach of the peace,  shall   be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and for fifteen days next before the commencement and after the termination thereof.

I’m not looking for the mass arrest of state Senators or anything, but that just seems wrong. If a Senator does something worthy of a Nick Nolte-esque mugshot, I think the public deserves the chance to point and laugh (and scold). Surely the creators of the law should be held to a standard at least as high as the public, no?

V-Day Proposals

February 15, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Many of you went out to eat last night. How many proposals did you witness? Did anybody participate in a proposal?

Okonokos

February 15, 2007 at 1:18am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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I missed out on this October 2006 release from My Morning Jacket with all the holiday madness and usual year end stuff to do. Now I’ve been listening to it 2-3 times a day for the past week. Excellent, excellent addition to those who like quality live albums. Great performances and fantastic sound quality. Even Mr. Wilson downloaded it, and the only album he owns is Journey’s Greatest Hits.

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