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Where in Lincoln is this?

January 31, 2011 at 11:58am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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The 48th Street Migration

January 28, 2011 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Apparently there’s a northern migration along 48th Street going on.

Off in comment land, Boomer asked if anybody knew what happened to Smokehouse Deli, which was formerly located on the southeast corner of 48th and Highway 2. It turns out they’re moving to 621 N. 48th Street, behind Outback. That makes the second restaurant from that area—Paul’s was the other one—to make the move to just north of 48th and O.

I hope the migration doesn’t steal any more of my area businesses. If 48th and O steals Bagels & Joe, Great Harvest, or Grain Bin, I’m gonna really go ballistic!

The Egg is Laid, But When Will it Hatch?

January 27, 2011 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After years out of Lincoln’s eye, Clocktower Shopping Center (70th and A) is making a comeback. Its latest step: The Egg & I, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, appears to be near opening. The tables are up, the interior is lit, the exterior sign is on, and last night there were folks milling around the place. A test run, perhaps?

I’m eager for TE&I to open. I always like new restaurant options (as you know well by now), and breakfast is one of my four favorite meals of the day (they’re all tied for first place). Between this and Grateful Greens, I’m excited for my upcoming meals.

As long as we’re talking about restaurants, are there any other openings around town we should know about?

So Long, Dr. Becker

January 26, 2011 at 8:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Dr. Nancy Becker, principal at North Star, is retiring at the end of the school year. That’ll be a fairly significant blow to North Star. Dr. Becker is an amazing principal. She is the rare sort who seems to earn the respect and adoration of students, teachers, and staff. The teachers I know at North Star have had nothing but praise for her over the years.

Good work, Dr. Becker. You will be missed.

Closed for Bidness

January 26, 2011 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Remember all that happy friendly talk about the arena being built using open, transparent processes?

They were just kidding.

The Joint Public Agency will consider today a contract that would allow Mortenson Construction to ignore the City’s open bid process. That’s despite earlier agreements to the contrary. Expect a huge outcry if the contract actually goes through, and rightly so. Mortenson is whining about the bid process now, but where was their whining earlier in the process? Why did they agree to one set of rules early on, only to change those rules in the contract that matters?

It of course doesn’t take a genius to answer those questions. Just a knowledge of business as usual.

Not So Fast

January 26, 2011 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I probably should, but I really don’t pay much attention to politics up the road in Omaha. Still, I’ve glanced now and then at recent stories about the effort to recall Mayor Suttle. Apparently he has annoyed a bunch of people. Or something. Like I said, I haven’t followed it all that closely.

The recall election was yesterday and, with most votes counted, Suttle is declaring victory. But “victory” isn’t the word I’d used to describe a 51/49 split. That 49% doesn’t represent people who didn’t vote for him. It represents people who hate him so much they want him out of office. That’s a really, really important distinction. The dude is as lame as lame ducks come.

Aren’t you glad you live in happy little Lincoln where we get to bitch and moan about things like late night phone calls?

The 56th Street Bottleneck

January 25, 2011 at 1:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Folks who travel in the area have known for many years that South 56th Street between Old Cheney and Pine Lake Road needs to be widened. Now it appears the City Council may be ready to do something about it ... in 2013 or later.

Unlike some other infamous streets that travelers would like to see widened—South 27th Street being the most prominent by far—56th Street’s troubles aren’t just about driver convenience. 56th Street is narrow and, particularly on poor weather days, feels very unsafe. Roads simply aren’t designed like that any more, and for good reason.

The widening project would have been much easier ten years ago, when it should have begun. Now there are more homes, more businesses, and many more vehicles that will be inconvenienced by the road’s closure. Consider, for example, that a significant percentage of the displaced traffic will move over to 40th Street, which itself is only two lanes north of Highway 2; it doesn’t have much extra capacity.

But better late than never. Here’s hoping the project actually does begin in 2013.

Where in Lincoln is this?

January 25, 2011 at 1:43am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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The Red Eye

January 24, 2011 at 1:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Most of you have probably noticed the cameras at various intersections around Lincoln. There are about fifty scattered around town so they’re pretty hard to miss. How many of you thought they were traffic enforcement cameras (aka red light cameras)? They aren’t.

It seems to be a common misconception, although it’s one that has been debunked oodles of times. The cameras are used only for traffic monitoring purposes, not enforcement. You won’t receive a ticket or court summons in the mail if you drive through an intersection on an orange light. Not that you would ever do that, of course.

The only reason I bring this up is that I hear the “red light camera” rumor all the time. Family, friends, strangers, kids, adults—it’s a pervasive myth. It really gets me when I have to explain the truth to the same person repeatedly. (“Nope, they still aren’t red light cameras.”) It wouldn’t be such a bad myth to allow to propagate if there weren’t so much outrage associated with it. Some people get pretty feisty when talking about this imaginary intrusion upon their liberties. (The right to endanger fellow motorists, I guess?) Personally I prefer folks reserve their outrage for actual transgressions. There are plenty of them out there so it’s not like we need to go inventing any fake ones.

Lincoln may some day have red light cameras. If that day comes, I’ll be among the first to chatter about it. For now, though, let’s put this myth to bed.

For Emergency Use Only

January 21, 2011 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Fantastic news for those who aren’t fans of using robocalls to advertise parking bans. Mayor Beutler now says the calls will only be used for emergencies. Parking bans definitely don’t meet the criteria.

This isn’t a perfect solution, however. Beutler said he heard from many people who found the calls “bothersome”, even if they didn’t come at 2 in the morning. I’m among that crowd (although I didn’t directly contact the Mayor’s office). But it’s important to note that I recognize that although I find the calls bothersome, that doesn’t mean there aren’t those in the community who find value in them. A better solution would permit folks to opt-in to the calls for non-emergencies like parking bans. Then folks who live in the city’s core—where parking bans are actually enforced—can have one more medium by which to receive parking ban information. Meanwhile folks like me who live in neighborhoods where illegally-parked cars are rarely ticketed or towed (but they are plowed under) can choose to settle for the umpteen media already available to us.

There’s a catch, of course. I suspect there’s a strong correlation between the folks who need to be informed of a parking ban by phone and the folks who would never know they could opt in to receive the phone calls.

So it’s not perfect yet. Baby steps.

Searching for Lincoln

January 20, 2011 at 1:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Every now and again I like to search for “lincoln nebraska” on various websites around the web. It’s fun to see how Lincoln is mentioned. Sometimes I learn about things I would have otherwise missed. Such as a book on cranes, information about online registration for business entities in Nebarska, or that Western Nebraska could see a lot of grasshoppers.

Often I see the same old, same old. Sports news (heavy on the Huskers). Unicameral business. Stuff like that.

And occasionally I find things like this:

Amen

January 19, 2011 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today’s Journal Star editorial on the support needed by Nebraska’s foster parents makes several good points. Foster parents are under trained, under paid, under supported, and over worked. That’s not necessarily new. What is new is that the problem is getting significantly worse, not better, under Nebraska’s so-called “child welfare reform”, now with the hilariously inaccurate moniker “Families Matter”. Even Steve Urkel couldn’t muck up child welfare reform this badly.

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Where in Lincoln is this?

January 17, 2011 at 2:35pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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Happy MLK Day!

EDIT: Solved!

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Great News From Grateful Greens

January 17, 2011 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It turns out Grateful Greens, the new restaurant taking over the former Inna’s Pirogi / Roost location on O Street next to Oso Burrito, isn’t “just” a salad and raw vegan restaurant. In addition to those items, they will also serve vegetarian, meat, and seafood items.

Now, when I say this is great news it’s not because of some selfish reason. I was afraid the restaurant’s concept, as it was described to me, was far too restrictive to be successful in its chosen location. O Street plus vegan equals disaster—or at least that’s what I would expect given my experience observing the Downtown dining scene. I hate to see fresh local businesses go under, so I was very worried for them.

I’m less worried now. It sounds like Grateful Greens will offer a good variety of items. More than that, good vegetarian and vegan food is really hard to find at restaurants in Lincoln. The niche isn’t huge around here, but it does exist and it’s currently underserved. If Grateful Greens can fill that gap and offer meat/seafood items that satisfy the carnivorous majority, they’ll have a fighting chance. The rest is up to Lincoln’s fickle Downtown diners, an unpredictable lot whose opinions can swing on something as simple as the weather during opening week. I crave new vegetarian options, so I for one hope for the best.

Good Thai Eats

January 17, 2011 at 1:29am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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