Latest Blog Posts

Motocross That One Off Your Wishlist

September 29, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s finally going to happen.

The Abbott Motocross track will open October 8 on North 70th Street. After years of hoping, planning, building, and waiting, the track is ready for action. I personally don’t give a hoot about motocross but I’m happy for the folks who worked so long to see this happen.

Oh, and a bit of advice for those of you who plan to use the facility but haven’t yet spent much time in that part of town: prepare your noses.

Lincolnite on Twitter

September 28, 2011 at 5:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincolnite is now on Twitter. I’ve been on Twitter for a while (as @MrWilson), but Lincolnite hasn’t had its own distinct presence. As of today you can follow @LNKite for all your Lincoln-related tweets.

@LNKite is part of the behind-the-scenes changes being made to Lincolnite. Here’s a peek at the new look we’re working on:

Lincolnite logo sneak peak - L*

Runza’s Middle Finger to Breakfast Lovers

September 28, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I saw a very odd commercial for Runza last night. A Demitri Martin lookalike stood before the camera and talked about how tasty a Runza with scrambled eggs and sausage would be. And I thought: “This is it! They’re finally going to offer breakfast Runzas!” I’m a little embarrassed to admit that my heart rate actually jumped a bit.

But then the un-Demitri did something I didn’t expect. He flipped breakfast lovers the bird.

That’s right. After talking about how a breakfast Runza would be the bee’s knees, he pulled out the rug by talking about how Runza would never stoop to serving breakfast. Apparently Runzas are too special to be eaten before 10:30am.

It’s a very odd marketing strategy. I suppose the purpose is to get people to stop badgering them about offering breakfast. It won’t work. In fact, for me it will do something else entirely. If they care so badly about not listening to customer demand—an

A Crappy Situation

September 28, 2011 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The fine folks from Biggerstaff’s are hard at work in my basement this morning. Why are two plumbers huddled around our main line at 8am on a Wednesday, you ask?

Guess.

Meet Council Member DiAnna Schimek

September 27, 2011 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

DiAnna Schimek is the newest member of the Lincoln City Council. I don’t expect many changes on major Council business. (This is where angry Republicans say: “No kidding! She’ll just be another Beutler rubber stamp!”) But who knows, maybe she’ll surprise us all and go rogue. It could happen.

A Child Welfare Horror Story

September 27, 2011 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In the past I’ve been critical of critics of Nebraska’s rate of removing children from their parents. I hear lots of grumbling about how Nebraska steals kids from their capable and loving parents, but very few of those grumbles are actually accompanied by solid evidence of the State overstepping its bounds. Where are all these “horror stories” that folks fret about?

Well, here’s one.

You’ll want to go read the article for yourself, but the short version is that a perfectly competent father is experiencing delays in getting custody of his daughter, who was removed from the custody of her mother. Considering how adamantly Nebraska insists that “Families Matter”, you’d think that dear old dad would receive the red carpet treatment. Not so. Instead, he’s wrapped up in red tape.

There are some complications in the case. Dad lives out of state. Daughter is 12 and, as is typical of 12 year old girls, she doesn’t want to leave her friends and she insists that she can save mom if only she’s given enough time. Background checks are pending.

Nevertheless, the State must do a better job with this sort of case. Dad should be ushered through the process as smoothly as possible. If there are delays, they should be minimized. Every step should be communicated clearly and effectively to all the parties.

I hope the Journal Star follows up on this case. I want to know how it ends up.

My Neighborhood BBQ Joint is Now My Neighborhood Mexican Joint

September 26, 2011 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It was rumored a while back, but I don’t think I remembered to confirm that El Sitio really has closed up shop on 17th Street and is moving in to the former Paul’s location just west of 48th and Pioneers. I was really hoping Cristina’s (in Crete) would open up a Lincoln location there, but that was a fantasy with almost no chance of coming true.

I haven’t ever been to El Sitio but you can bank on me being among the first to walk through their new doors when they open sometime in October. (Apparently they’re going to wait for some of the Pioneers Boulevard construction to clear up. Smart move.) My fingers are crossed that El Sitio becomes a simple place to grab grub not far from my home. And I really hope they have good guacamole. I’m a sucker for good guac.

Where in Lincoln is this?

September 26, 2011 at 12:33pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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A Message From the Ostrich King

September 22, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Governor Heineman would like Nebraskans to speak up about their opposition to the Keystone pipeline.

Let that sink in for a few minutes.

About All That Comment Spam (Or: The Future of Lincolnite)

September 21, 2011 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

You may have noticed that comment spam has increased lately. I try to delete it as soon as I can, but I don’t always catch everything. I apologize for the inconvenience it’s causing.

You also may wonder why I’m not doing more to prevent it in the first place. I am, but not in the way you might expect. Lincolnite is receiving a complete overhaul. It’s on a new server running updated software and sporting a completely new look. Among the new features is a new comment system that I’m coding myself. Feel free to toss in your feature requests, comment-related or otherwise.

I’ll have more to say about the new Lincolnite as it develops.

Kick It To the Curb

September 21, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The United States Postal Service wants many Lincolnites to move their mailboxes to the curb to help USPS save some cash. That makes sense. There are just two problems.

First, the USPS isn’t making the move mandatory. Considering the depth of the excrement the USPS is currently mired in, you’d think they’d be a little more pushy. Saying “pretty please” isn’t going to cut it. In fact, I wonder if it won’t be more work for mail carriers when only some homeowners move their boxes to the curb. Instead of having to go door-to-door, carriers will have to go door-to-curb-to-door.

Second, even curbside mailboxes are extraordinarily flawed. They are a pain to deliver to and they are extremely insecure. (Well, most of them are anyway.) If the USPS wants to make real strides toward cutting delivery costs, it needs to mandate cluster mailboxes in every neighborhood. Many folks will flip out of course, but when you’re short a few billion dollars it’s probably time to step on a few toes.

This all reminds me that I still haven’t fixed my busted mailbox. I should really go out and do that.

That All Sounds Like a Lot of Fuss

September 20, 2011 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I love so-called “public art”. The frequently larger-than-life, typically eye-catching, and often just a bit odd sculptures scattered around town help create memories and build a mental sense of place. Pioneers Park, for example, includes the iconic “Smoke Signal”, not to mention the bison and elk sculptures; Sunken Gardens has “Rebecca at the Well”; and UNL has “Torn Notebook”.

It was with some excitement that I dove into this article describing a proposal to help coordinate efforts to bring more public art to Lincoln and to maintain the art that’s here. Unfortunately it all sounds so complicated. There’s a committee to buy art. There’s a committee to approve art. There’s indirect City Council involvement. There’s mayoral involvement. It all feels so ... well, un-artsy.

I’m not sure how you make the process simpler. Public art is so often controversial, and frequently unnecessarily so. People freak out about the silliest things. But freak out they do, and their panic often drags processes to a halt. I wish I had some answers to remove much of the red tape from this proposal while still appeasing the panickers.

As an aside, what is “public art”? Isn’t nearly all art “public”? Is public art merely art that is outside? Is it art on public grounds? I realized I’ve often used the phrase “public art” to mean “big outdoor sculptures”, but surely “public art” should encompass more than that. So what is it? Or flip that question around: what isn’t it?

Where in Lincoln is this?

September 20, 2011 at 12:42am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

image

EDIT: Solved!

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Teach Me About Pavement

September 19, 2011 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

That headline surely ought to win the “Most Boring Headline Of The Week” award.

So I’ve been watching the Pioneers Boulevard construction that’s been going on throughout the summer. The added center turn lane is a nice bonus, and I can’t wait for the bouncy, holey, washboardy section from 48th to 56th to be smoothed out.

What I don’t understand is why they’re putting in all this work and yet they’re surfacing with blacktop. Why aren’t they laying down fresh concrete? I plead total ignorance here so please don’t mock me too harshly. Is this purely a cost issue? Is this blacktop some sort of Magic Blacktop that isn’t going to fall apart in five years?

These questions don’t apply only to Pioneers Boulevard, of course. Pioneers just happens to be the street closest to my house that’s receiving this treatment. I’ve seen it happen in plenty of other spots around town over the years.

Can you enlighten me?

Todd Reckling is Out

September 16, 2011 at 8:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services director of the Division of Children and Family Services Todd Reckling is resigning effective October 14 “due to health reasons”. I imagine his resignation has nothing to do with Mike Foley’s audit of child welfare reform, nor does it have anything to do with Governor Dave Heineman finally waking up yesterday and issuing an official reaction to the audit.

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