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May 8, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

State Senator Danielle Nantkes is guilty of DUI. Her sentence includes a $1,000 fine, one year of probation, and a suspended drivers license for two months. She had this to say:

Again, I humbly apologize to my constituents, colleagues, and family. Immediately after my accident, I sought an alcohol evaluation. I have completed all the steps that were recommended and I am thankful to be in recovery.

I sincerely thank my colleagues and members of the public for their letters and phone calls of support as I have continued to deal with these difficult personal issues in a straightforward manner. I take full responsibility for my behavior.

I continue to work very hard each and every day on issues affecting working families in North Lincoln. I pledge to utilize my position as a state senator to advocate on behalf of others who face substance abuse problems and will work to ensure that all Nebraskans have opportunities for prevention and treatment services available.

An Update From 625 Elm Street

May 7, 2007 at 12:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Wilsons have been keeping busy lately. What’s been going on around the homestead at 625 Elm Street? Some updates:

Robert is sprouting his fifth tooth, and he is really working on walking. He becomes more and more of a toddler every single day. I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Friday was Father and Son day at 625 Elm Street. Robbie’s day care provider was ill. We played and slept and went on a field trip to my office. Good times.

Robbie had his first experience with a large amount of blood yesterday when he slipped and bonked his mouth on the edge of the bathtub. As if teething weren’t bad enough! Fortunately the bleeding stopped pretty quickly and we were able to move on to more pressing matters, like stacking rings and playing the piano.

The Missus is counting down the days (just a couple weeks!) before she says adios to her current job. She’ll be staying home with Robbie at least part time from now on.

I reffed seven District soccer matches last week, and boy was I pooped by the end. I saw some good games and a couple boring games. My biggest kudos go to the Seward boys who, despite going 0-13 in the regular season, managed to win their play-in game and they even gave the eventual District Champion Lutheran Warriors a bit of a scare. I have been invited to referee games at the State Tournament, but I haven’t received my specific assignments yet.

I have been working on some freelance web development projects for a couple pretty big clients. The Power Line Forum launched its Republican presidential candidates forum this weekend. I developed some backend solutions to help the candidates’ campaigns manage their content. A second big project is currently in beta testing. That one involves a photo and video blog for a major broadcasting company. It should launch soon. I have another major project due at the end of May, but I haven’t received many details yet.

Sloppy Reasoning at the LJS

May 7, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today’s Lincoln Journal Star editorial on LES rate hikes suffers from sloppy reasoning. The editors contention is that Lincolnites should buck up and accept LES rate hikes because we have it pretty good when it comes to the amount we pay for electricity. It may be true that we’ve got it good, but that is a lousy reason to sit back and watch our rates climb. We should strive for the best possible compromise between low rates and quality service that we can achieve. Comparing our rates to those paid by others is just a distraction.

Note that I’m not saying that we should fight the current proposed rate hike. LES has done a pretty good job over the years managing our electric utility resources, and they have earned enough of my respect with regard to rates that I tend to trust them to do what’s best for their customer-owners. If they tell me they need to raise rates 5 or 6 percent next year, well, OK. Unless, of course, somebody else can come along and explain to me why that’s a horrible idea.

Now, if LES really wants me to like them, they’ll work toward constructing a new regional nuclear power plant within the next couple decades. Only in my dreams, I suppose.

Water Water Water Water Water Water Water

May 7, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This isn’t the wettest I’ve seen Lincoln—that distinction belongs to the time several years back that the softball fields at Holmes Lake were all underwater—but it’s still pretty darn wet. The Wilson basement survived more or less unscathed, though we did have a little water. Nothing the dehumidifier couldn’t handle. How many of you dealt with flooded basements this weekend? Cars? Businesses? Any good war stories?

Filthy Food

May 7, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I thought I had noticed more restaurants being cited for various health infractions, and sure enough, I was right. Don’t worry, it’s not as though Lincoln’s restaurants have suddenly become filthy. The uptick is just the result of a government agency finally joining the 20th Century by computerizing the records derived from the inspection process.

When 9-Year-Olds Attack

May 3, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Chief Casady’s latest post on elementary school violence is fascinating. Not just because it’s a little disturbing that cops have been called to Lincoln elementary schools no fewer than 37 times so far this year. No, what I find most interesting is how the post is basically a brutally honest and harsh critique of LPS’s response to “out of control” elementary students.

When I think back to my days at Calvert Elementary, I can recall several instances that, had they happened today, would have resulted in the police being called. Instead, to the best of my recollection the police were not summoned in any of the cases. I recall one problem child in particular, whom I will call “Shane”. My second grade teacher had an awesome solution for dealing with his periodic angry outbursts: she sent Shane to the lunch room / gym, where there were padded support columns. Shane would go down there, box the columns for a while, and come back when he had sufficiently vented.

I’m not saying that calling the police is never a good idea, nor am I saying that “back in the day” tough situations were always handled better than they are today. I am merely noting a simple fact: there are often alternatives to calling the police that will result in equally good or better outcomes.

Acting Unreasonably

May 3, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As I predicted, Lincoln will have to pay over $330,000 thanks to Mayor Seng’s veto of a change to group home zoning restrictions. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf cited “heaps of red tape … and inconsistent and irrelevant posturing by city officials, elected and otherwise”. He added that “by merely acting reasonably, Lincoln could have easily avoided that expensive outcome.” That’s probably not the send-off Colleen Seng was hoping for in her last weeks as Mayor.

Since Seng is on her way out the door, I won’t bother further denouncing her veto decision. However, if you are in the mood to let off some steam, go right ahead.

Blocking the View

May 3, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Good: Talent Plus wants to add 100 jobs to the Lincoln economy.

Bad: To do so, they want to buy additional Holes Lake parkland and build a new building, further angering neighbors.

I supported the original building for a number of reasons, and I probably would be inclined to support their expansion, except for one thing: that butt ugly building. Damn that thing is hideous! It could be part of the latest Fox special “When Architects Vomit”. I’m not sure that 100 new jobs are worth the pain of another eyesore. Ugh.

What’s your take? Should Lincoln be business-friendly but further tick off a handful of residents who like their view? Or should we be neighborhood friendly and risk losing jobs and economic development?

Election Recap

May 2, 2007 at 4:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Who picked 850 votes in the margin of victory pool? Anybody?

Looks like we will be picking on (or loving?) Mayor Chris Beutler for the next four years. I suppose can live with that. I could have lived with Mayor Ken Svoboda, too. Frankly, their platforms weren’t all that different. They both ran on the un-Seng ticket, and they were both successful at it. Putting aside all of the big talk of the campaign, the number one thing I want most from Mayor Beutler is strong leadership. He will have many opportunities to prove himself in that regard in his first few months.

Some of the comments over at the LJS are pretty entertaining:

“I voted for Beutler but not for the reasons you may think. Of the 2 candidates Beutler is more likely to raise taxes and and scare off businesses (look at the failing grade business groups give him). I want to drive this city into the ground, I want to see people fleeing this city like rats off of a sinking ship. Only once we have hit rock bottom will we then be able to change this city for the better and the sooner we get to rock bottom the sooner we can start building our city back up.”

“YES!!!! At least I can be assured that when Mr. Beutler runs businesses out of town and I lose my job there will be plently of new expensive and worthless social programs to cusion the fall!!! “

“Why do I feel like vomiting!! Shows how intelligent Lincoln people are when Beutler was too lazy and dense to come up with his own thoughts, and had to use Truman’s “the buck stops here” and voted for every tax increase in the legislature!!

And my favorite:

“Thank goodness Seng will be out. I blame her for Alex Gordon batting under .200.”

As for Ken Svoboda, let’s talk about those medians…

Catalyst One Expands

May 1, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I realize the long-term benefits of Lincoln Synergy Group’s newly announced 15-story building at 13th and Q far outweigh any temporary inconveniences. But holy cow, losing Valentino’s, Cold Stone, Quizno’s, and Chipotle all at once would take a huge chunk out of downtowners’ lunch options. Is that a totally petty concern? Yeah, it probably is. What can I say, keeping my stomach happy is important to me.

From a different perspective: Lincoln Synergy Group is really serious about this project, aren’t they? If they manage to pull this off within five years, we should hold a parade in their honor.

Election Day is Here

May 1, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After months of build-up, election day is finally here. Will you vote? Who (and what) will you vote for?

I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to vote, but it now looks like I will be able to sneak to the polls between work and my soccer match tonight. I’ll just need to be quick.

I had hoped to have the time to write a big article about the various races and my opinion on the best choices in each. Unfortunately, I’ve been swamped lately. So no sage advice from Mr. Wilson today. I will say that there’s no way I can vote for Allan Abbott after hearing his mean-spirited and just plain awful attack ad on the radio this morning. It probably isn’t fair for me to single him out today, but boy, his ad really ticked me off.

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