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Rumor Confirmed?

October 31, 2009 at 8:03pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In Omaha earlier today I stopped by the Costco on 120th and Dodge near Millard to stock up on a 6-months supply of shampoo and toilet paper. As Mr. Wilson noted a few weeks ago, it does seem as if Costco will be coming to the LNK. A staff member told me that they have indeed purchased the land here in town.

But that doesn’t mean we will be swimming in tanker-sized tubs of salsa soon. The staff member also told me that it took them quite a while to get the Millard store built and running, and it might be the same case with the one here. But I would think if they purchased the land they would start building soon. Putting a Costco in town seems to be a great idea because given their reputation, it will definitely draw folks from GI, York, and other communities around and west of Lincoln. I have never been in a Sam’s before, but from people I know who have been in both, the majority say Costco is superior. This is good news.

Foley’s Public Shamings

October 30, 2009 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

One of the things I really like about State Auditor Mike Foley is his willingness to engage in large-scale public shamings of government agencies. The latest victim: the University of Nebraska and its employees’ use and abuse of NU credit cards. Great stuff.

In this specific situation it doesn’t matter if there are good explanations for many of the purchases or if private funds reimbursed the state. There are oodles of forbidden practices—such as “pyramiding” charges to avoid spending limits—that needed to be caught regardless of the legitimacy of the items purchased.

Auditing has to be one of the blandest tasks out there. I’m glad Foley’s office brings a little spice to the job.

Over Expansion

October 30, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Many of you will surely say “I told you so!” to this: The Downtown D’Leon’s has closed. A sign on the door says it will soon reopen with a new owner. It wasn’t made clear if that meant it would reopen as a D’Leon’s under different management, or if it would open as an entirely new restaurant.

D’Leon’s very quickly went from a must-visit, locally-owned Mexican restaurant to the sort of place that generates nary a bit of excitement. There are still plenty of locations around town but clearly the tide has turned. Hopefully the business levels out a bit as opposed to completely imploding.

Indefensible

October 29, 2009 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m glad to see Attorney General Jon Bruning reversed course and will not allow the state to use consent as a defense in a case involving sex between a 12 year-old girl and a 17 year-old state ward. The state had planned to argue that it had no liability since the relationship was consensual. Regardless of whether that argument makes sense in a vacuum, it is infuriating in this context because the state would never allow such a defense to pass if it were on the other side of the court room.

Then again I’m no legal analyst. Perhaps this is a foolish move. But to my untrained eye at least the state is being consistent in not using a defense that state prosecutors themselves would tear to shreds.

A Thought to Ruin Your Day

October 29, 2009 at 12:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

My brain simply won’t let me believe that there are as many as 2,000 slaves in Nebraska. Presumably the UNL professors who came up with that figure know what they’re talking about. But ... wow. Let’s say they’re aiming high for shock value. Even if they’re off by a factor of two, that’s still 1,000 people. Heck, even if they’re off by a factor of 20 that’s still 100 people living in slavery in Nebraska today. Yikes.

Bad Analogy

October 28, 2009 at 12:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t disagree with Governor Heineman that we should reduce expenditures in the face of declining tax receipts. But his analogies could use some work:

When family incomes go down, they reduce spending. When business income is down, they reduce spending.

Actually, when faced with financial problems American families tend to take out credit cards and second mortgages, with a little reduced spending on the side. Businesses borrow cash, declare bankruptcy, or shut down altogether. And both, in modern America, start lobbying like mad for some sort of a bailout.

I don’t think we want state government emulating families or businesses in our current situation.

The Bryan Building

October 28, 2009 at 12:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

So let’s say Bryan makes the short move to the former Hawthorne Elementary and becomes the Hawthorne Community. What should happen with Bryan’s current facility?

I haven’t been in Bryan in several years—not since my mother worked there a decade ago—so maybe it has changed. But generally speaking it doesn’t seem like a particularly useful school building for anything but small groups. It could probably be converted to offices, but the last thing we need to do is encourage LPS to expand its administration. Should LPS ever consider selling and/or leasing the building and land? What else might work in that location?

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

October 28, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

John F. Bruner says we’re wasting money on signs:

The problem is I’m not talking about street signs, nor direction signs. I’m talking about signs to label the creeks in town.

Some people might say who cares, what can a few signs cost. When you add up the cost of 70 signs and the labor to install them, we are talking about thousands of dollars.

Seems to me this money could be spent in a lot more productive and useful manner.

Mr. Bruner must know something I don’t. Is the City going on some sort of signage spree? Aren’t many (most? all?) creeks already labeled with signage, at least to a certain extent?

Restaurant Tidbits

October 27, 2009 at 6:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

So apparently there’s a new Mongolian Grille [sic] in the former daVinci’s location near 66th and O. One person who ate there recently described it to me as follows: “Chinese buffet is decent, grill is scaled down HuHot. Overall, nothing spectacular.” I wonder if it’s this Mongolian Grille, or if it’s something different—local, even. Regardless, the extraneous ‘e’ is just plain goofy in the context of a glorified buffet.

In sad news, it sounds like Roost is dead. The doors are locked and the website is dead. That bums me out. Roost was a great little restaurant that just never quite caught on. Its death was inevitable, especially given the extremely shortened hours it featured over the past several months, but I’m still saddened. RIP Roost. Maybe it will find new life somewhere else.

Track That Package

October 27, 2009 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I need help interpreting this USPS package tracking information:

DateTimeLocationEvent Details
October 26, 200901:40:00 PM—-Arrival Scan
October 23, 200903:07:00 PM—-Arrival Scan
October 18, 200908:03:25 PMFernley NV USShipment has left seller facility and is in transit

Where the heck is my package and when will it get here?

Do Raked Leaves Make Good Neighbors?

October 27, 2009 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I admit it, I’m not a very prompt leaf raker. I just don’t see it as very important. Right now the maple leaves covering my yard have created a beautiful yellow and orange blanket. Why would I want to get rid of that? It’s silly. But does that make me a bad neighbor? I do feel guilty when, after a particularly windy day, I see all of our trees’ leaves piled against a neighbor’s fence.

So I ask you, Lincolnites. How long do I have before failure to rake my leaves makes me a bad neighbor?

Didn’t I See Construction?

October 27, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I may have been hallucinating, but did I see signs of construction on the new Staples near 48th and O when I was in the area a few days ago? I could have sworn I did. Yet this Journal Star article implies that Staples doesn’t even own the land yet:

The Lincoln City Council unanimously approved the designation of two parcels of land at 48th and O streets as surplus, continuing to pave the way for a CVS Pharmacy and Staples to grace the intersection.

I think the LJS is in error, conflating the status of CVS (still in the air) with that of Staples (a done deal). But this whole 48th and O situation has been such a muddled mess I could be the one who is wrong.

Can anybody with knowledge of the area confirm that construction of Staples is already under way?

Where in Lincoln is this?

October 26, 2009 at 1:23pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

image

EDIT: Unfortunately, and very surprisingly, no one identified where in Lincoln this is.

Read more...

What a Deal!

October 24, 2009 at 8:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A quick poll. Rank the following projects in order of “best bang for the buck” for Lincoln:

  • Haymarket Arena, $350 million
  • Antelope Valley Project, $240 million
  • Innovation Campus, $220 million (Phase 1)

I don’t know about you, but in my mind Innovation Campus is by far the best value among those three projects. (I’m ignoring the question of whether Innovation Campus ever should have happened. That ship has sailed, despite Roger Yant’s sternest protestations.) It’s not even close.

When I first read the estimate of Innovation Campus’s Phase 1 costs I was surprised that the tone seemed to be “we know this is a lot of money, but it’ll be worth it, we swear”. Shoot, $220 million is a helluva bargain for all Innovation Campus promises, especially compared to the other two projects I listed above. Compare, for example, the sorts of jobs created by Innovation Campus versus the other two. The arena creates a bunch of relatively low-paying, mostly part-time hospitality jobs. The Antelope Valley Project doesn’t create any jobs on its own, though it does open up land for development that could lead to good jobs (e.g. the new Assurity headquarters). In contrast, the research and entrepreneurial opportunities promised at Innovation Campus bring excellent, high-paying jobs to town.

It’s really too bad Innovation Campus had to come about as the result of such an ugly battle over State Fair Park. It’s a great, extremely promising project that should have widespread popular support. Here’s hoping the reality meets or exceeds the hype. There’s no good reason Innovation Campus shouldn’t become a gem in Lincoln.

The Big G is Watching You

October 23, 2009 at 12:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Many of you have already noticed this, but Lincoln is now almost entirely covered by “Street View” on Google Maps. So far all my browsing hasn’t turned up a single instance of anybody acting goofy. But please do let us know if you find something! It looks like Google visited Lincoln on a very beautiful day, giving the entire city a very pleasant feel.

I did find one big glitch, though: O Street is labeled “S 66 St” on Google Maps right now. Maybe it’s some sort of Route 66 thing since O Street is the main drag.

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