Latest Blog Posts

A New Food Blog

August 31, 2012 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A new food blog has come to town. Named Foodpocalypse, about half the content is about local food, local food culture, or locally sourced ingredients, while the other half might be more general food topics or just miscellaneous anythings.

My favorite post so far is their Burrito Royale, a look at and ranking of a variety of burrito joints around town. As a big fan of local Mexican cuisine I could certainly nitpick the post—what, no El Chapparro?!—but it gives a pretty good overview of some of Lincoln’s major options.

Those of you who enjoy local food—my experience suggests that’s most of you—will want to bookmark Foodpocalypse and keep an eye on it.

Start Me Up

August 31, 2012 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Have you ever wanted to get a business up and running in 54 hours? If so, Startup Weekend may be for you. The event is coming up soon, beginning September 7 at Avery Hall on the UNL campus. I’m not completely familiar with the concept, but it sounds simple enough: show up with an idea that you’ll pitch to the group, the group works on the best ideas, then you pitch it again to local entrepreneurial leaders. Sounds like fun to me!

I’d love to hear if any of you have ever participated in this sort of thing. How was it? Are any of you participating in this year’s event in Lincoln?

The South Sam’s Club is Open

August 29, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The new Sam’s Club at 87th and Highway 2 opened today, with grand opening festivities kicking off at 8:00am.

City Councilman Jon Camp was present, holding a sign that read “WALMART = SATIN” [sic] and chanting “Hey hey / Ho ho / That new south Walmart’s got to go”. He suddenly stopped, however, furrowed his bro a bit, and went over to cut the giant red ribbon himself. He then went inside and purchased three carts full of merchandise. When asked afterwards why he changed his mind, Camp responded “I didn’t meant to cause any problems. I just wanted to send a message.

In related news, Walmart received a building permit on Monday for its new store at South 27th and Grainger Parkway. Dirt work at the site has already begun.

I Love Those Portable Signs

August 28, 2012 at 1:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Scattered around Lincoln are a few permanently-affixed electronic signs. There’s one at 27th and Old Cheney Road, for example, visible only to westbound traffic. Although you’ve probably seen the signs around town, there’s a very good chance you’ve rarely (if ever) seen one turned on. The signs have been a giant waste of money.

Contrast those permanent signs with the portable electronic signs scattered throughout town right now. They are intelligently placed and they provide up-to-date, relevant information to a large swath of the local population. They can be moved or removed any time the City desires. Presently they provide information about the drought and local water restrictions. They’ve also been used to warn about upcoming special events (e.g. the Lincoln Marathon), to notify neighborhoods about upcoming meetings (i.e. road construction open houses), or for other relevant uses. Their flexibility more than makes up for their aesthetic shortfalls.

The permanent signs? They’re useless so much of the time that when they are turned on it’s practically a cause for celebration on local Twitter feeds.

Going forward it’s obvious which communication method is the better bang for the buck. No more permanent electronic signs please, Lincoln. Let’s go with what actually works.

A Roundabout of Applause

August 28, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Wow:

...due to the great efficiency in which the [new 14th & Superior] roundabout handles traffic, I navigate this intersection without delay. Lincoln Public Works engineers should be commended for their design work in creating a “Superior” way of moving traffic.

Raise your hand if you expected to read letters to the editor like that once the 14th & Superior roundabout opened. If you’re raising your hand you’re either a liar or you don’t understand how the Journal Star’s letters to the editor work. This isn’t the first praise I’ve heard for the intersection and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

One thing I haven’t heard a peep about is the pedestrian aspect of the intersection. Are pedestrians using the sidewalks correctly, or are they just cheating their way across the intersection? I assume things are going ok or I figure I would’ve heard more fuss. I’d love to hear about it either way.

Some Lincolnites Are All Wet

August 27, 2012 at 4:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Public Safety Director Tom Casady has shared some humorous stories from LPD officers’ paperwork describing some of the tickets that have been handed out for watering violations. Among my favorites:

He said an officer could stop by after that time to issue the citation and said the officer could call first to see if he was home. I asked def. if his wife would be home prior to his return because she could be issued the citation instead of him. Def. said he is the one who set the controller for the sprinkler system in error. He also said that he would rather be shot than have to deal with his wife getting the citation.

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 27, 2012 at 12:32pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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Ladies and gents, we will be doing something special next week for this game. You will definitely want to check in with us… But for now, here is this week’s photo. Happy Monday!

EDIT: Solved!

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It’s Dead Around Here

August 26, 2012 at 4:34pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln Zombie Walk 2012.

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With Apologies to Petula Clark

August 24, 2012 at 4:53pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

When there’s a drought
And water’s in short supply
Lincoln should then become ... Brown Town

When you’ve got worries
And must conserve in a hurry
Lincoln should become ... Brown Town

Just listen to the music of the crunchy dormant fescue
Turn off all the faucets and the water supply is rescued
How can you lose?

Don’t be so damn superficial
You can roll up your hoses and lower your bills and go
Brown Town! Things’ll be great when we’re
Brown Town! No finer state for sure
Brown Town! Be a good neighbor won’t you?

The Wide World of Wireless

August 24, 2012 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Yesterday I learned about a new wireless internet service provider in Lincoln, WideRange Broadband. Do any of you subscribe with them?

I’ve been a Time Warner customer ever since Road Runner first came to town over a decade ago. I was one of their first customers, thanks to their initial service area covering my college apartment. After all these years perhaps it’s time to switch. Or not. I’ll need to hear from some more WideRange Broadband customers before I make up my mind.

Prices range from $25 to $55 per month for residential service, topping out at 21 Mbps down and 5 Mbps. There are no contracts, no data caps, and other good “nos” that make me happy. There’s also no service availability in my area at the present time. I hope that changes soon.

Wireless internet service does have its problems. Speed and reliability are dependent on line-of-sight and distance to towers, for example. And renters will have trouble getting the service because it requires mounting hardware on the roof. On the other hand it’s not Time Warner.

Let me (and the rest of your fellow Lincolnites) know if you have any experience with WideRange Broadband. I’d love to hear more about them.

Why I’ve Been Silent

August 22, 2012 at 3:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A small army of people have asked me why I haven’t had much to say about Charlie Rogers and yesterday’s big news that she has been charged with filing a false report. I will respond briefly.

This whole story is fantastic tabloid fare, but ultimately it’s not a matter with which we need to concern ourselves beyond hoping that justice is served and assistance is rendered. It became apparent to me early on that Ms. Rogers’s alleged “hate crime” was likely a fraud. Therefore, the situation was not one of broad community concern, but rather something extraordinarily personal and private. I won’t participate in activities that are likely to further embarrass a woman who apparently needs extensive mental health services. Yes, she shone the public spotlight on herself. We have the power to turn it away, not out of shame but because nothing good can come from throwing fuel on this fire.

I’m more interested in how Lincolnites react from this point forward. Perhaps that response will generate a blog post in the near future.

The Library Board and the $40 Million History Museum

August 22, 2012 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m still not certain why, but last night the Lincoln library board voted to build a $40+ million history museum at the site of Pershing Center. The existing building could be retained, or a new building could be built from scratch for just a few million dollars more.

Why is the library board in the business of building history museums? I’m not sure, to be honest. It seem…

Wait, what? It’s not a museum, but an actual, functioning library? People still use libraries? Huh. How ‘bout that.

That bit of bad humor was brought to you by the realities of the 21st Century. I’ve said it for many years now as buzz has grown about building a new main library in Lincoln that the idea doesn’t stand a chance unless supporters can figure out how to make it relevant to today’s Lincolnites. The present effort doesn’t show any sign of making that happen.

In fact, the latest push to build a new main library is entirely without substance. Literally the only thing the library board has told us is the approximate cost of the building and a specific address. Last night’s vote to forward the proposal to Mayor Beutler came without discussion. The lack of supporting material means that we, the public, get to craft the discussion points. Our imaginations get to generate the narrative. The board has given us the power to make whatever we want out of this proposal.

The board has made a huge mistake.

The City of Lincoln has no fat in its budget. Lincolnites are financially exhausted thanks to the stress of national economic woes, years of arena stress, and even the recent news that Lincoln will ask voters to fund a new stormwater bond issue in November. Local real estate values are flat; gas prices are creeping up again; and it’s not like trips to the grocery store have gotten cheaper.

And the library board has the gall to ask for $40 million to construct a building that few Lincolnites will ever enter and which will house books that few people will ever read?

Some of you will think I’m being unfair, but don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying that a new main library is an inherently bad idea. Rather, I’m pointing out the library board’s failure to lead on this issue. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the marketing oomph that helped promote the “Catalyst” and arena projects? Where’s the Life is Right tie-in? Look at Main Library Vision and Concept Study for yourself. Are you inspired by it? No, of course not! It’s dry and boring. Even the electronic presentation [PDF] prepared by Sinclair Hille Architects is bland and unconvincing.

Look, Lincolnites are funny about how they spend their money. Libraries are far from the top of their list of gotta-have-it expenditures. If we’re going to build a new main library, somebody is going to have to wow us first. Somebody is going to have to explain why a fresh coat of paint and some new carpet at Bennet Martin isn’t good enough. Somebody is going to have to tell us why libraries are still relevant, and how $40 million—and let’s be realistic, it’ll cost more than that—is going to result in something that’s relevant community-wide today and well into the foreseeable future.

Somebody needs to inspire us.

So far the library board has given us little more than a rough description of a fancier warehouse for a bunch of relics few people use. They can and they must do better than that.

Water These People Thinking?

August 21, 2012 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s difficult for me to comprehend, but apparently many Lincolnites just don’t understand this whole “mandatory water restriction” thing. As a result, LPD is ticketing violators to the tune of over 100 tickets yesterday alone. That’s a pretty ridiculous number. It means that even after eleven days of warnings there are still clueless property owners out there. And worse, it means a heap of local cops are stuck knocking on doors to save a few gallons of water rather than, say, working on one of the city’s three summer murders.

For those of you who need help remembering, here are the rules:

  • Properties with street addresses ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8) must limit outdoor water use to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • Properties with street addresses ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) must limit outdoor water use to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • No watering is allowed on Mondays, except for designated uses.
  • Property owners with more than one street address at the same location can choose either schedule and must notify the Lincoln Water System (LWS) of their decision.

Today is Tuesday. That means odd number addresses may water today. Even number addresses may NOT water today. It’s that easy.

Remember how last year we were talking about massive flooding along the Missouri River? Water is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Kind Words

August 21, 2012 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This showed up in my inbox recently:

Just wanted to let you know that I just stumbled across your blog, and I’m slowly reading my way through the archives. It’s really first-rate, and you obviously feel as strongly about Lincoln as I always have. ... I’m trying to move back to Lincoln now, but until I do, your blog is the next best thing. Keep it up!

Why thank you! Comments like this are a big reason why I have kept Lincolnite going all these years.

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 20, 2012 at 1:05pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved.

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