Latest Blog Posts

Tis the Season (For Hot Chocolate)

November 30, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Are there any places in Lincoln that make an awesome hot chocolate? I’m generally not a hot chocolate drinker—I’ll take my chocolaty beverages in the form of a milkshake, thanks—but after spending a few minutes outside this morning, hot chocolate sounds really good. So which outfits do it the best?

Wrestle With This Idea

November 29, 2010 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As goofy as it sounds to me initially, John Bishop’s suggestion that Pershing Center could host the WWE’s hall of fame actually makes a lot of sense. Any holes I can poke in the suggestion are relatively insignificant. There’s the minor problem that Lincoln isn’t exactly a hotbed of tourist activity, but so what? Lots of tourist attractions are in fairly surprising places and they do just fine there.

Besides, what would be a better complement for the National Museum of Roller Skating than a museum dedicated to the likes of Macho Man Randy Savage?

I don’t know what the WWE’s criteria are for their museum but there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to rule out Lincoln just yet. I say Mayor Beutler needs to don a singlet, hold a press conference, and get this ball rolling.

Where in Lincoln is this?

November 29, 2010 at 1:17pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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Ooh That Smell

November 23, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m a little distracted this morning. I engaged in some amateur plumbing and, well, cleanup is ongoing. OH GOD THE SMELL! I fixed the problem, though.

Now then, where does The Missus keep all those smelly candles I’m always making fun of…

Well, Since Everybody Else is Talking About It

November 22, 2010 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincolnite isn’t exactly a sports-oriented blog, but we do venture into sports from time to time. Today seems like as good a time as any since the Huskers are such a hot topic right now. There are two things that really get Husker fans’ chatter going: great success and abject failure. The latter applies to Saturday’s performance.

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Where in Lincoln is this?

November 22, 2010 at 1:04pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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How Are the Rococo and Bourbon Theatres Doing?

November 17, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

My question is pretty much as the title says: How are the Rococo Theatre and Bourbon Theatre doing these days? I haven’t heard much about either one in ages. Part of that is the fact that I’m not the target audience for many (most?) of the shows at either one, and part is that I tend to ignore local entertainment news during the college soccer season because I’m too busy to participate anyway.

So for those of you who have been to either one lately, how are they looking?

Heineman is a Robot

November 17, 2010 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m becoming more and more convinced that Governor Dave Heineman is a robot. He doesn’t appear to have a creative bone in his body. Instead, he just repeats a series of pre-programmed phrases that appear meaningful at a shallow level, but which don’t, in fact, have any real value. Consider his recent comments on child welfare reform.

Change is difficult. It will take time. What is best for the kids is in-home placements, not institutional care. The government’s not a very good parent. And so on. Doesn’t it all sound sterile and robotic?

Governor Heineman is dead set on privatizing all kinds of child welfare responsibilities. That’s all well and good. But the governor seems to understand privatization about as deeply as Sarah Palin understands foreign policy. Heineman thinks privatization is an end when in fact it is the means. The goal here is not to get government out of the job of parenting; nor to keep kids in the home; nor to save money; nor to shrink government. The goal is—or rather ought to be—improving outcomes for kids and, by extension, their families. By making privatization an end rather than a means Governor Heineman and his administration are engaging in a number of destructive moves.

Dave Heineman has such a singular focus on privatization I almost wonder if he literally has his eyes closed and his fingers in his ears while yelling “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”. How else can you explain this bizarre statement: “It’s real easy to sit there and say, ‘I don’t like the direction this is going,’ but I don’t hear a lot of solutions.” Individuals and organizations have been proposing solutions since before child welfare reform went into effect. I suppose it’s possible Governor Heineman doesn’t hear a lot of solutions, but it’s only because he isn’t listening. Even if Heineman has managed to ignore the cacophony of voices of individuals and organizations offering suggestions, he cannot say that the Foster Care Review Board hasn’t delivered recommendations (PDF) directly into his hands. Heineman is lying when he suggests nobody is proposing solutions.

Governor Heineman’s lack of leadership on child welfare reform is shocking. Fortunately some state senators are waking up to that realization so there’s some hope that this spring’s Unicameral session will provide an opportunity for discussion, if not answers. It will take more than that. Governor Heineman and his administration need to be held accountable. That starts with you and me. Regular folks need to learn about child welfare reform and demand fixes. This isn’t a partisan issue and it isn’t a Left/Right issue. It’s a matter of correcting an administration that has gone off course. That’s everybody’s responsibility.

It’s Not About You

November 16, 2010 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Kudos to residents near 27th and Old Cheney for putting up a fuss and winning several improvements and changes to the proposed CVS project on the northwest corner. I was starting to think they had acted too late. I guess I was wrong.

I do want to point out that several area residents engaged in one fallacy that’s all too common in these sorts of battles: the classic “I don’t want/need it, so nobody wants/needs it” argument. For example one woman is quoted in today’s LJS article as saying “I’m not that sick. I don’t need eight pharmacies within six minutes of my house.” It doesn’t work that way. Similar businesses often intentionally cluster themselves. And whether or not that’s what’s going on here, the fact is 27th and Old Cheney is an extremely desirable intersection.

An argument like “I don’t need it so it shouldn’t go there” is lazy. So what, you may ask? Lazy arguments in situations like this reek of nimbyism. Outsiders—that is, those not directly affected by the situation—don’t respond very warmly to nimbyism, in part because they know full well they don’t want the project in their backyard either. Better yours than mine! If you want to get more people on board, and thus increase your odds of accumulating enough pressure to get what you want, you need to find ways to appeal to a broader audience. In this case claims like “CVS is involved in meth manufacturing!” and “Traffic jams are inevitable!” are much more likely to resonate outside the neighborhood.

I’m not specifically picking on these neighbors. Nimbyism is rampant around these sorts of projects, sometimes for perfectly good reasons. But nimbyism rarely generates sympathy. Play a stronger hand if you want wider support.

Where in Lincoln is this?

November 15, 2010 at 2:09pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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That’ll Be One Busy Parking Lot

November 15, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Trader Joe’s is supposed to open at Southpointe in early December. This weekend I visited Hobby Town, which sits right next to the future Trader Joe’s. The parking lot was impressively packed even without Trader Joe’s being open. Combine the opening of a new store with the Christmas shopping season and wow that east parking lot is going to be a zoo. Don’t forget your walking shoes!

What You Leave Behind

November 15, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Professor Peter Bleed and his students are sifting through all kinds of stuff found buried underground in the Haymarket, remnants from Lincoln’s early days. It’s amazing just how much stuff you can find if you dig in the right spot. It makes me wonder just how much tell-tale stuff I’ve left around. Not garbage taken to the dump—that’s too easy. I mean things I’ve dropped or left sitting around and forgotten. Who knows what curiosities I’ve left lying around!

Fortunately I can’t recall ever losing anything particularly valuable. Maybe a small toy or two, and a few pens and flipping coins on soccer fields. Have you ever lost anything odd or noteworthy that some future generation could find and dig up, only to be confused by what they’ve uncovered?

Got Yer Boots Ready? Plus a Little Begging

November 12, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ahh, autumn. The time of year when temps in the 70’s and snow can come at any time. I hope we get some more warm weather days in a few weeks because the leaves on our trees have barely begun to fall. It would be a shame if our boys don’t get a chance to dive into the leaves in some nice weather.

We bought the boys some new snow boots just the other day. We still aren’t fully covered with coats, gloves, and hats. Perhaps the fact that KVC still hasn’t given us a clothing voucher over four months after our foster kids arrived has something to do with it. And to think these are the folks who are expected to take on even more responsibilities come January 1. We aren’t the only ones who are unhappy. Add folks like Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey, Nebraska Appleseed, and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska to the long list of people and organizations who think HHS is nuts.

But I digress. The fact is, our foster kids don’t have much clothing thanks in part to the fact that we can’t get something as simple as a clothing voucher from KVC. The other day our 8 year-old wore a tattered pair of sweat pants with a giant hole in one leg to school. It was a pretty sorry sight, and it’s not like a boy in his position needs to give the kids at school more reasons to see him as “different”. That’s not to say his entire wardrobe is horrible, but his options are thin—literally—and his winter clothes are minimal. Fortunately our 3 year-old is about the same size as our son, so those two share most everything. And those two dress very nicely thanks to the generosity of my fashion-conscious cousin down in Louisiana who ships us hand-me-downs every couple months. (No, we didn’t buy all those fancy name-brand clothes you see them running around in!)

Many foster kids are in the same position as our 8 year-old. And most foster parents are in the same position as us: ready and willing to buy clothes, but the daily stipend we receive just isn’t enough to rush out and purchase a decent wardrobe all at once. That’s where I hope some of you will step in. In Lincoln there’s an organization called the Foster Care Closet (Facebook). They accept clothing donations for youth all the way up to age 19. If you have any clothes sitting around the house for any age kid, please consider donating them. That includes not just the usual pants and shirts, but also shoes, coats ... the works.

And although the timing of this plea implies this is some kind of holiday-themed request, I assure you it is not. There is a year-round, ongoing need for nice clothing for these kids who often come into foster homes with nothing more than the pajamas on their back. Often not so much as a toothbrush or extra underwear comes with them.

Thanks folks! And no worries if you can’t help this time around, hopefully you can find an opportunity to chip in somewhere else.

The Sultan’s Kite

November 11, 2010 at 2:12pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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As some of you no doubt know, another new eatery has recently opened in downtown called The Sultan’s Kite. The Kite is in the old Pita Pit location - a hop, skip, and jump from the 13th and O street Walgreen’s.

In recent years, this location has been cursed. After Pita Pit left years ago, there have been at least 3-4 independently owned operations in that location. For a short time, it was Holy Land Cuisine. Then it was a burrito place whose name I can’t remember. That was followed by a Kurdish/Mexican place with the peculiar name of “Mask Fit.” And for a while there, I believe it even changed hands again and was another burrito place, but it was open for such a short time that it closed within a month or so. To be honest, that location has had so many tenants in the past two years I cannot even remember in what order these restaurants have opened and closed!

I stopped in The Sultan’s Kite earlier yesterday to check it out.

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It’s Hard Not to Be an Optimist Going Into 2011

November 9, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The world may be ending in 2012, but until that happens 2011 is shaping up to be a fine-looking year. Take these two bits of news: First, Innovation Campus is now all zoned and approved. I know, least surprising news ever. Still, it’s another baby step forward for a project that should be one of the most important in the next several decades.

And second, Catalyst One might actually happen! Groundbreaking could happen in January. This, ladies and gentlemen, is incredible. After many years and many horrible disappointments, that nasty patch of blacktop on Q Street might be replaced by something more attractive and important. Granted, the project as it stands today isn’t one-tenth as awesome as the originally-proposed project, but let’s not allow that to dampen the mood. We’re getting something, and it’s a reasonably good something. I can handle that.

For the impatient among you who can’t wait for 2011 there’s always Trader Joe’s opening in early December. That ought to hold you over, right?

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