Latest Blog Posts

Unsexy Stimulus Spending

February 20, 2009 at 2:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mayor Chris Beutler wants to spend $9.3 million worth of “stimulus” money on roadway repair and street signal replacement. It’s not exactly spending that will stimulate the economy, but if you’ve been following the debate over the Federal “stimulus” package at all, you won’t be surprised; there’s not nearly as much stimulation activity in the bill as the Feds would have you believe. I digress.

Mayor Beutler makes a valid point when he asserts that roadway repair will take the money farther than new roadway construction. And repairs are needed: Lincoln has seen barely a dollar go toward major street repair since 2004. We do need new construction in parts of the city—South 56th Street between Pine Lake and Old Cheney comes to mind—but is it wise to build more roads when we can’t maintain what we’ve got?

Do you concur with Mayor Beutler’s assessment? Or should we take the money in a different direction?

Illegal Gambling in Lincoln?

February 20, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

While flipping channels last night I caught the tail end of a report on KETV on illegal gambling machines that are showing up in Omaha-area convenience stores.

Coin pusher machine

The Nebraska State Patrol has been confiscating the machines as illegal gambling devices because they are entirely games of chance, not skill. Possession of one of the machines is a class 3 misdemeanor in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, I know of a local business which has had one of these machines on site for the past few weeks. It was still there on Tuesday, the last time I stopped in. I doubt the owners have any idea the machine is illegal so I will try to get in touch with them and encourage them to investigate the legality of their particular machine. The KETV report suggests the machines in the Omaha area are all coming from the same distributor, though it doesn’t name that distributor. It’s possible the machine I’m aware of isn’t the only one in Lincoln.

If you know of a local business that has one of these machines, I encourage you to contact them immediately.

Sprucing Up Lincoln’s Walls

February 19, 2009 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I am a couple days late to this, but I just noticed that Leora Platte, the artist who painted the mural in Mr. T’s latest Where in Lincoln? post, left a couple comments on that post. I’m not sure why but I have always loved murals, and even good graffiti. I guess I just like my walls to have a little personality. Anyway, one thought led to another, and soon I began to think about how neat it could be to have a new “Tour de Lincoln” -style event, but this time feature murals instead of bicycle sculptures. There are plenty of walls around town that could use a pick-me-up.

You know what would really make me happy? If the grain elevator operators around town were to get on board with the plan. A life-sized “Godzilla Eats Lincoln” mural would really draw some attention, don’t you think?

“There’s a 24 Hour Wait for a Table for Four”

February 18, 2009 at 7:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

That’s what you’ll be hearing a lot of around Lincoln if the rumors are true that Cheesecake Factory is finally making its way to Lincoln. Lincolnites have been buzzing about CF for years so the grain of salt that accompanies the latest round of rumors is pretty hefty. No doubt Cheesecake Factory will eventually make its way to Lincoln. Will it be soon?

Fido, Customer Service Representative

February 18, 2009 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Reading about the death of Silas, the resident cat at A Novel Idea, made me think about all of the other businesses in town that have an animal as an “employee” of sorts. It’s driving me nuts because I know I have run across several animals over the years, but I am having a difficult time remembering most of them. I know there’s a big, friendly dog at Southside Auto Tech, and I think there’s a pup at the flower shop in College View.

What other animals greet customers across Lincoln?

Two to One to One to One

February 18, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It seems like we’ve heard talk of making the City’s retirement plan less generous for years. Currently the City matches employee contributions 2-to-1; every now and then somebody proposes decreasing that to 1-to-1 or something in between. City Councilman Ken Svoboda is the latest to bring up the idea of shrinking the City’s contribution, at least for new hires.

What are the odds the proposal gets any traction this time?

My Childhood Interviews Don’t Quite Stack Up

February 17, 2009 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

When I was in school I interviewed my dad about his childhood on the farm. I interviewed my great-aunt and -uncle about their (very) brief courtship before World War II and life in the war and at home. I interviewed my grandma about Grand Island’s “night of the twisters” (the house across the street was destroyed; hers was untouched).

But I never did an interview as cool as the one Taylor Headley did. Seriously, Clarence Thomas? That’s a pretty sweet interview to snag. Had I been there I probably would have shook his hand for his opinion in Kelo. Then I would have given him a dirty scowl for Hamdi.

Local Fishwrap Goes Skinny

February 17, 2009 at 2:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The semi-aborted digital television transition isn’t the only news in local media today. The Journal Star lost some weight beginning with today’s edition, trimming about an inch and a quarter off the width of each page. (I know it comes as a shock to some of you that they still publish a print edition.) They also bumped up the size of body type. From the Journal Star’s perspective that means lower costs and higher profitability. For us the readers? It means even less news in each edition.

Other big changes include the elimination of many of the special daily sections. Most—all but the creatively-titled Food and local favorite Ground Zero—will be heaped together into a daily section called 402/411. For the LJS that means more flexibility in what they present each day. It’s less clear what it means for the reader. It’s not a stretch to guess that we will gradually see less variety and more wire stories over time. We’ll have to wait and see.

On the plus side, the Sudoku is positively huge now.

For a full run-down of the changes check out editor Michael Nelson’s columns here and here.

Buy Your Own Restaurant and Bar

February 17, 2009 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Have you ever wanted to own your very own restaurant and bar? Now’s your chance! Scrumpy Jack’s and Crabby’s (Crabby Bill’s) are up for sale. Both are businesses that had the potential to be successful, but which never quite caught on in Lincoln. I suspect the Crabby’s location is likely to sell much more quickly than Scrumpy Jack’s thanks to its Haymarket location. But I think the right business could be successful in either location.

Hat tip: Josh Wiltshire

Calling All Pogo Sellers

February 16, 2009 at 3:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I would like to purchase some Pogo Cards, but I would very strongly prefer to purchase through a group’s fundraising efforts as opposed to buying them directly through the Pogo Card website. If you or a group with which you are affiliated is selling the cards, please drop me an e-mail at mrwilson at lincolnite dot com. Thanks!

Digital Confusion

February 16, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In case you missed the news, here’s the latest: KOLN (10/11) will begin their digital broadcast on Wednesday

Tuesday. Despite their desire to join KOLN, KLKN (Channel 8) will not switch until June 12 thanks to Federal decisions designed to confuse and confound as much as possible.

Where in Lincoln is this?

February 16, 2009 at 1:51pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog


Good going Avabee! Because you correctly identified the location of the Where in Lincoln is this photo two weeks in a row, you win! The prize? Your choice of a pogocard or a $20 gift certificate to the Lincoln retailer/restaurant of your choice.


Land of Ten Thousand Voices

February 13, 2009 at 10:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ladies and gentlemen, today we reached a milestone. At 10:46am Gene left the 10,000th comment on this blog. That deserves a prize, don’t you think? I think so! If only I had thought to buy balloons and confetti.

While I was counting comments I decided to see who has been Lincolnite’s most prolific commenter. No surprise here: Fletch leads the way with an impressive 843 comments, 90 more than second place. I don’t know about you all, but I think that deserves a prize, too.

Gene and Fletch, drop me an e-mail at mrwilson at lincolnite dot com with your mailing information (including your real names so I don’t confuse the USPS) and your choice of (a) a POGO Card, or (b) a $20 gift certificate to a locally-owned restaurant of your choice. Congrats, guys, and thank you!

Snow Day! Let’s Play 20 Questions

February 13, 2009 at 3:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

West A Dad solved it! Good work! Here’s the path to the answer:

  1. It is not a place.
  2. It is not a person.
  3. It is not an animal.
  4. It is not an event.
  5. It is an inanimate object/thing.
  6. It is an artistic object of some kind.
  7. It is not located Downtown.
  8. It is not listed here.
  9. It is located in a park.
  10. It is not located south of Pioneers Blvd.
  11. It is located south of O Street.
  12. It is located west of 48th Street.
  13. It is not located east of 16th Street.
  14. It is not “Smoke Signal”.
  15. It is not within 4 blocks of the Capitol
  16. It is mostly made of metal.
  17. It is not the bison/buffalo statue at Pioneers Park.
  18. It is not the elk statue at Pioneers Park.
  19. It is not this.
  20. See inside for the answer!


Double Standards

February 13, 2009 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If I were you I wouldn’t expect to receive this kind of treatment.

It’s bad enough this stuff happens at all, though it isn’t surprising when people with power abuse that power. It reinforces the notion that law enforcement officers get to play by different rules than the rest of us, even when they are off-duty. It’s all the worse when the involved parties aren’t named and the law enforcement agency brushes aside the infractions, saying only that “appropriate steps were taken”. Right.

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