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Welcome Professor Ari

July 20, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Professor Waskar Ari is finally coming to UNL after being hired in 2005 and subsequently denied reentry to the United States, apparently with no just cause. Ari’s arrival is good news for UNL, sure. But the federal government’s actions in this case have deplorable. Two years of silently barring an innocent man from the country, followed by a change of heart with no explanation? The government’s silence is extremely distressing, but unfortunately that seems to be the way things are done these days.

Let’s not be satisfied that Ari is coming and leave it at that. Demand an explanation.

Bzzzap!

July 20, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I was pleased to see that LPD had not used a Taser on a suspect this year until yesterday. Why does that please me? Because it probably means that despite the increased availability of “non-lethal” (or “less-lethal”, if you prefer) law enforcement tools, LPD isn’t rushing to use them unless they really have to. Have you ever noticed how rarely you hear about arrests gone awry, or suspects getting shot, or wrong-house raids, or officers getting hurt? Those are all signs that LPD’s officers are mostly making good decisions while they go about their jobs. Thank goodness for that.

Is the County Paying a Premium?

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

Geoffrey A. Coleman wants to know why the County is paying so much for land for a new jail. According to Coleman

(t)he published land price allegedly “negotiated” by the county is $60,164 per acre. The current county-mandated “market values” of industrial property immediately adjacent to the proposed site are between $19,047 and $43,666 per acre.

Can anybody explain the degree to which this is true, and how much it matters? At first blush the County’s purchase price looks awful. To arms! But what is a “county-mandated market value”? Governments don’t set market values, markets set market values. (Well, some governments around the world set “market” values, but let’s not emulate them.) What do the “county-mandated market values” mean, and how do they relate to land purchases by private and public entities?

Does anybody out there know the poop on this?

New Development on South Street?

July 19, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Tough call, Lincolnites: scrap the old King’s on South Street to make room for new development that includes an Advanced Auto Parts and a KFC; or stick to the original South Street redevelopment plan and wait for development that more closely fit the goals for the area?

Dining at Dino’s

July 19, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Thanks to inspiration from Moses, The Missus, Robbie and I dined at Dino’s Eastside Grill (just south of 84th and Van Dorn) last night. This isn’t a formal review, but rather a quick overview of the experience.

The first thing I noticed upon pulling into the parking lot was that our car—a 2001 Chevy Prism—seemed out of place. Most, if not all, of the other cars were newer and nicer. A coincidence, perhaps, but notable nonetheless. Once we got inside I noticed something else about the patrons: a very large proportion of them were 60 or older. Again, that may have been a coincidence.

The interior is dignified, decorated tastefully in dark tones with large photographs providing color. Televisions line the exterior wall some eight feet off the ground. The main dining area is wide open, with a row of bench seating dividing the room in two. A long bar sits along the far wall. Off to the side is a small gaming area with pool, shuffleboard, and a few video games. There is also a nice party/conference room.

The menu features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and a few “fancier” entrees like cedar plank salmon. We began with a dinner salad (The Missus) and chicken enchilada soup. The salad was fresh and included a variety of lettuces. The soup was good and it tasted like, well, a chicken enchilada. For an entree The Missus ordered a bbq chicken pizza that featured chicken, corn, and other toppings in a spicy barbecue sauce atop a relatively thin crust. She especially liked the corn and she enjoyed the sauce, though the crust wasn’t her favorite. I ordered the philly, a sandwich topped with beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and two kinds of cheese. It had surprisingly little flavor. Too little seasoning on the beef, perhaps? Mr. Wilson’s tastebuds took a vacation? I’ve grown to used to ordered jalapenos on my phillies? Who knows.

Service had its ups and downs. The greeters were friendly, but then we were seated in a tight spot near an overflowing table of older folks. Note to servers: don’t squeeze 1 year-olds next to the 65+ crowd because chances are the kid is going to annoy them, and the tight squeeze isn’t going to help matters. Our server was friendly and he offered The Missus a personal recommendation on which pizza to order when she asked. Good job there. He and his compatriots were also good with drink refills. He had a bit of a memory problem, though. First he forgot what soup I ordered, and then he left me without ketchup for my fries for ten minutes after I asked for it. Why would you not provide ketchup automatically when at least one person at the table has fries on his plate?

Prices are a little higher than your average sports bar, but Dino’s isn’t trying to be your average sports bar. They are shooting for more of an upscale market. Expect to pay a buck or two more than at, say, Brewsky’s.

Overall our experience was fine. We will plan to eat at Dino’s again to give it another shot, but we don’t plan to add it to our list of regulars.

What Book Got You Hooked?

July 19, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I wasn’t going to post this, but when I saw that Nebraska is in second place behind Oklahoma, I couldn’t resist. Go vote for Nebraska and tell them your favorite book, and let’s try to topple those Sooners.

Note that you do NOT have to enter any personal information even though the form asks for it. You can successfully submit your vote without entering your name or anything.

Mayor Potter

July 19, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Don’t let it be said that Neal Obermeyer‘s cartoons aren’t influential. One of his recent cartoons inspired Mayor Chris Beutler to engage in a little philanthropy:

Hi, Neal.  The Mayor’s office got a big chuckle out of Sunday’s cartoon! However, it inaccurately stated the Mayor’s position on the issue of Harry Potter.  To set the record straight,  Mayor Beutler will be making a generous personal donation to Lincoln City Libraries at 9:45 a.m. tomorrow at the Eiseley branch, 1530 Superior.  He would like to invite you to attend to acknowledge you and your cartoon for inspiring his donation. He will further demonstrate his interesting public persona at that time.

If you have any questions, please contact me.  We all look forward to meeting you!

Diane Gonzolas
and Mayor’s staff

I don’t suppose any of you Lincolnites will be able to make it to the event, will you? Sounds like Neal is going to miss it. Too bad. Do you think Mayor Beutler will show up dressed as Harry?

I Just Neologized

July 19, 2007 at 2:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus and I were chatting just now about a recently-married friend:

THE MISSUS: Do you think Mia is pregnant?
ME: Pregnant? Why do you think she’s pregnant?
THE MISSUS: Well, I had predicted they would get pregnant on their honeymoon. After all, all their friends have kids or are pregnant.
ME: And what, pregnancy is friend-genetic?
THE MISSUS: “Friend-genetic”?
ME: You know, inherited from your friends…

We talked a bit more and we decided “friend-genetic” was a useful word, but it was too long. We shortened it to friendetic. I hereby offer the following definition:

friendetic, adjective—of or relating to traits or behaviors acquired from or shared with one or more friends.

There you have it, a new word to add to your vocabulary. I can’t wait to see it at dictionary.com!

The Memorial Stadium Billboard’s Last Days. Maybe.

July 18, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This probably makes me a weirdo, but I kind of like the billboard outside Memorial Stadium that may or may not be coming down soon. I look at it every time I get on or off I-180. But let’s get to the real issue: should the City accept a $50,000

bribe

payment to allow it to stand for another three years?

Frightening LJS Comment of the Day

July 18, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

LJS commenter Jeannette Friesen asks:

With what authority does John Q. Public think we can help our president and the generals decide when to bring our troops home?

Ms. Friesen also wants Senators Hagel and Nelson to “submit to the powers that be”. Ignore the question of whether or not we should bail out of Iraq. That’s not the point. The beautiful thing about her comment is Ms. Friesen’s insistence that The People shut up and just do what The Leader says is best.

Seriously folks, don’t do that. At any level of government. Ever.

Smaller is Better?

July 18, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Do you remember a couple years ago when Lancaster County Events Center officials wanted to spend $18 to $20 million to build a new arena, and we were told it was a great deal, there was a huge demand, and so on? A lot of folks—me included—had doubts. As it turns out our hesitation may have been a good thing, considering the new plan is less than half the size of the original. If the other half was so great, where did it go?

Doubtfulness gone too far can turn into unwarranted negativity, and that’s no good. But when it comes to promises from government officials about the supposed return on a large investment, some degree of skepticism is healthy. Maybe we would have been fine had we gone with the $18 million plan. Yet if it doesn’t sound like a good idea these short couple years later, doesn’t that make you wonder?

Whenever I see things like this I immediately think “Haymarket arena”. Maybe Lincoln can support an 18,000+ seat arena. That would be awesome. Considering how often governments—and the consultants telling them fairy tales of projects that bring unlimited riches to the community—oversell rather than undersell, however, I’m not going to jump on that bandwagon just yet.

Wouldn’t it be great if governments were dispassionate bodies incapable of being drawn into the hype and hyperbole that surrounds big projects?

Lincoln Loves Ron Paul

July 17, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Apparently somebody in Lincoln is ga-ga over Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Have you noticed? There are hand-made signs posted all over town.

Ron Paul has quite the following on the web, but his “real world” allure has been overshadowed by the public’s love for all things Clinton-Obama-Giuliani (etc.). To see some of the online excitement bleed onto Lincoln’s streets is kind of amusing. Who knows, maybe Lincoln will vote Paul in next year’s primary.

Well, no, probably not. Ron Paul doesn’t stand a chance for two simple reasons: he isn’t promising anybody any freebies, and he plans to solve problems by doing nothing rather than something. To Americans, “free” stuff = good, and inaction = bad. Paul has his work cut out for him if he wants to change those equations.

All Alone in This World

July 17, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Less than a day old and already no parents. That’s no good.

Having done some research on related topics, it pains me to see parents—well, mostly mothers; the dads usually aren’t in the picture by this point—make these sorts of decisions in light of all of the other options available to them. I am thankful that this mother chose to deliver, and to do so at a hospital. But then she just left, and since Nebraska doesn’t have any sort of safe haven law, that puts her and her child in an awkward position. In particular, it makes her a criminal rather than a woman who made a responsible choice. And it makes her child a ward of the state rather than an infant with a loving family ready to welcome it to the world with open arms.

If you know somebody who might one day find herself in a similar position, I hope you help her make a better choice.

So Long, George

July 17, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Well damn.

I sure was bummed to see that George Landolt—of George’s Red Pepper Grill and Crawdaddy’s fame—died last week. I wasn’t all that surprised, though. A while back a little birdie had told us that George was having diabetes-related health problems. At the time it was isolated to his foot, but it was serious enough that the word “amputate” came up more than once. I don’t know a lot about diabetes, but I do know that once you start having to talk about chopping off body parts, you might be in for a bumpy road. The little birdie even half-joked that if George kept neglecting his health, it would kill him. Ha.

So long, George, and thanks for the tacos.

The Word

July 17, 2007 at 12:27am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

image

Just in case you have been living in a cave somewhere, the Benster is supposed to be on Colbert tonight, 10:30 CST on Comedy Central.

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