Latest Blog Posts

Nebraska vs Cincinnati

August 30, 2013 at 1:26am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I wanted to get a few shots up from last weekend’s Nebraska victory over Cincinnati before the team plays again this weekend (including some nice shots of Husker defender and Mexican National Team player Ari Romero doing a header).

Despite being near hellish temperatures, Nebraska pulled off a 4-1 come from behind victory against the Bearcats. Woohoo!

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Set the Night on Fire

August 29, 2013 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Here’s your friendly reminder that Ignite Lincoln is tonight at the Rococo Theatre. The Ignite events are a fun time and they feature a fantastic variety of speakers and topics. You can buy tickets online for $10—the entirety of which goes to a local nonprofit that will be selected at the event.

I can’t make it this year, so if you go be sure to let us hear all about it!

Nebraska Soccer Opener

August 29, 2013 at 12:57am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been meaning to post some photos from this past weekend’s season opener of Nebraska Soccer, and have finally gotten around to it.

The Cornhuskers are off to a strong 2-0 start, with a 4-0 victory over Southeast Missouri State, and a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati.

Go Huskers!

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Not to forget, freshman Jaycie Johnson (above) was named Big Ten Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week after scoring 3 goals in the first two games of the year. Congratulations Jaycie!

First Look - Buffalo Wings & Rings

August 28, 2013 at 9:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mr. T took some nice photos of today’s lunch at Buffalo Wings & Rings. A quick look inside:

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Lincoln, You’ve Been Sir-ved

August 27, 2013 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Pinnacle Bank Arena continues it’s string of relatively strong concert announcements this morning with the news that Sir Elton John is coming to town on November 23. Sure, Sir John isn’t exactly in his prime, but that doesn’t really matter for this sort of show. Tickets go on sale September 9 and, if Twitter is to be believed, will start as low as $29. That’s downright cheap for an arena show these days. Heck, it’s only half the cost of a Husker football ticket.

Speaking of the Huskers, they play Penn State on that date. Hopefully it’s a day game.

Let’s Do Lunch Wednesday

August 27, 2013 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Help me celebrate the opening of The Railyard’s first restaurant tomorrow by joining me at noon at Buffalo Wings & Rings. This will be a relatively informal gathering—as are all of our meet-ups—but an RSVP would be nice so we know how many seats to save. Or just show up. It’s your call.

It’s exciting to see all the work in the Haymarket finally coming together. And I’m especially excited about Buffalo Wings & Rings because it’s owned and operated by a friend of mine. He has been hard at work on this restaurant for a long time. A hearty congratulations go out to him and his team.

I hope to see you down there tomorrow at noon. Let’s eat!

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 26, 2013 at 1:13pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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Music To My Ears

August 22, 2013 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Tomorrow night is a fun night for free concerts. Trouble is, you’re going to have to make a tough decision.

At SouthPointe you’ve got the farewell performance of No Better Cause, a fantastic local vocal band. The group is calling it quits after eleven years. That concert begins at 6:30pm.

Across town there’s the Cornhusker Marching Band post-band camp exhibition. The annual event begins at 7:00pm in Memorial Stadium—but presumably they’ll do their traditional warm-up outside Kimball Hall around 6:30pm, followed by the march to the stadium.

 

Like I said, both concerts are free. Both should be a lot of fun for the whole family. Which one will you be attending?

Fiber Does a Body Politic Good

August 20, 2013 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

By almost all accounts, Lincoln is doing pretty well right now. Our city is on all sorts of “Best Of” and “Top 10” lists—Best Places to Raise a Family; Best Drivers; Best Governed Cities; and so on. And we’re loving it. Lincolnites and community leaders take joy in patting ourselves on the back every time we show up in another magazine or on another website.

We have room to improve, of course. We all know that. Some local entities think that Lincoln’s target for improvement ought to be becoming more “cool”. Putting aside the subjectivity of that sort of thing, how sad and desperate does that sound? Given Lincoln’s momentum, I hardly think chasing after the cool kids is a worthwhile use of our energies.

We can do so much better than that. Lincoln oughtn’t seek a fleeting endorsement from a small subset of the population with ever-changing tastes. Instead we should create opportunities—for growth, for innovation, for creation, for exploration. We can do that in a number of ways, and arguably we’ve been doing an ok job of it over the past decade. Antelope Valley and West Haymarket are the two most visible and obvious examples, but even smaller projects like the South 48th Street improvements in College View contribute in similar ways.

One topic that has been underplayed—shockingly so, in my opinion—is the importance of next-generation, high-speed internet access. Neither Windstream nor Time Warner have shown any hint of moving their networks forward. I had high hopes that the arrival of Verizon’s call center in North Lincoln a few years back was a sign that they had big intentions here. Nope. Smaller players like Wide Range Broadband aren’t making much of a dent. Overall our speeds are too slow and our prices are too high.

Several communities around the country are addressing that problem by providing municipal internet services. Who can blame them? They want to be competitive but private companies aren’t providing the services they need, so they build out the networks themselves. In some cases the cities retain full control, while in other cases they lease access to private companies that then sell products to customers.

I wonder if such a system would be a win for Lincoln. We know Windstream isn’t going to wow us with its internet offerings any time soon. And Time Warner is under no pressure to innovate because they have a virtual monopoly on the services they provide. We’re stuck. So why not force the issue?

There are upsides and downsides, of course, but I would like to see a more active community conversation about the possibilities. We know that municipal utility operation can work well because we have proof right here in town in the form of LES. We also know that there will be cries from the business community about unfair competition. All of these are things we can and should work through together. But so far ... zilch. For a community that thinks itself progressive, it’s disappointing that we aren’t addressing this issue.

How would you tackle Lincoln’s current and future internet needs?

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 19, 2013 at 12:26pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved!

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StarTran Goes Fencing

August 14, 2013 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In her column this morning, Nancy Hicks let us know that StarTran will soon replace a chain link fence at the bus stop at 11th and N with something more attractive. That sounds great, except for one thing: why is there a fence in the first place?

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As you can see, the existing fence isn’t particularly attractive. But more importantly, it’s not at all clear what purpose the fence serves. I suppose it’s intended to have some sort of “corralling” effect, as well as to provide a visual cue differentiating “this” space from “that” space. The visual component is somewhat justifiable, although trying to accomplish it with a chain link fence is hilariously misguided. The corralling, on the other hand, is offensive and dehumanizing. Considering what many Lincolnites think about the average bus rider I guess that’s not surprising.

Given StarTran’s public image and financial troubles, does replacing the fence make any sense whatsoever? Without an obvious and imminent need I don’t see how it does. StarTran has oodles of needs and wants. A fence without a purpose hardly seems worth the fuss. Sure, the money is (mostly) coming from the Federal Transit Administration, but one would hope that other projects more directly related to transportation or passenger comfort would likewise be eligible for FTA funds. For example: take a look at the shelters in the above photo and elsewhere around town. A little money could do them a lot of good.

This is precisely the sort of project that gets people riled up about government waste. A government entity built an apparently unnecessary fence that violates the entity’s own rules, then compounds the problem by taking it out and replacing it with something even more expensive and equally unnecessary. It’s pretty tough to blame folks for being frustrated about something like that.

Up-grade

August 13, 2013 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Keishor starts first grade today at Elm Street Schoolhouse. I was in Mrs. Rolsmeyer’s class back in first grade at Calvert Elementary. I showed up on the first day with bandages covering both hands from surgery I had undergone a week or so prior. In first grade I learned how to spell “together” thanks to a classmate’s tip that it’s just a combination of the words to, get, and her. I learned the song “Down By the Bay”. The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.

Robbie starts second grade today at Elm Street Schoolhouse. I had Ms. Cramer for second grade. She laughed because when I drew a tree, I had to draw every single branch and every single leaf. I was the only one in class to correctly complete the worksheet that said at the top, “Read and follow ALL directions before beginning”. I learned that the word “number” could also mean “song”. I dressed up as Mr. Popper in the book parade, leading a flock of penguins down 46th Street.

Joey starts fifth grade today at Zeman Elementary. I had Mrs. Dasenbrock for fifth grade. She loved guinea pigs and she cried when our class guinea pig died. We had a brand new, air conditioned classroom thanks to a massive remodel of the school. I started trumpet lessons, starting me on a path that would eventually lead to me meeting the future Mrs. Wilson. I won the Calvert Chess Tournament by beating a sixth grader in four minutes.

I can’t wait to see what memories my boys make this year. Happy first day of school everybody!

The Case of the Inverted Squirrel

August 12, 2013 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Why did a skinned squirrel appear in my yard overnight?

That’s the surreal question I’ve been trying to answer over the past hour or so. I found the remains of a squirrel in the back portion of my yard. I’ll spare you the photos unless you’re really interested and want to see a couple (Photo 1, Photo 2). I’m baffled.

So far I’ve come up with a number of possible explanations. My favorite blames the Perseid meteor shower. I figure a small space rock smashed into this guy so hard that it turned him inside out. Sounds plausible, right? No? OK, then how about electrocution. I found this guy below a powerline. Perhaps he was zapped with such force that his skin popped off.

You’re right, neither of those is probably correct. That leaves human action of some sort. That’s where I get baffled. Was this a drive-by squirreling? If so, whoever did it has a heck of an arm. Maybe a neighbor was casually skinning the squirrel in his back yard when he sneezed and the squirrel went flying. What a way to lose your dinner.

Or perhaps this is the Lincolnite equivalent of the Godfatherian horse head. I’m not sure who I ticked off or what I did to deserve a squirrel, though. Maybe my neighbor still holds a grudge from a couple years ago when people working in my yard massacred a couple of his bushes. Or maybe this guy finally trapped a squirrel and he wanted to show off his trophy.

Whatever brought the squirrel to my yard, I just want to say thank you. Breakfast was delicious.

How has your morning gone so far?

Where in Lincoln is this?

August 12, 2013 at 12:21pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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In the Dumps

August 8, 2013 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It may not be a fun topic to think about, but it’s time to ponder what we’re going to do with all the trash we generate. Sure, we’ve got a nice place to pile it that isn’t doing too bad right now. But eventually that pile is going to run out of room. What then?

Enter the Lincoln-Lancaster County Solid Waste Plan 2040. It’s actually not a “plan” at this point, but rather a plan to come up with a plan that will guide future policy. That may sound redundant, but it’s a necessary step in what will likely be a lengthy and non-trivial process. It’s not as simple say saying, for example, When our current landfill is full, just start a new one somewhere else. Well, I suppose it could be that simple. We could save ourselves headaches over the long-term by not taking such a naive approach.

This planning process is where the rumors originated that Lincoln was going to “require” recycling—with the implication being that Mayor Beutler himself would sort through your trash can and scold you if he found recyclables. That’s not an option on the table right now. Instead, Lincoln could, say, require garbage hauling companies to offer recycling services as part of their regular pick-up schedule. Or we could require those same companies to bundle recycling services into their lowest service tier, whether a particular customer wants it or not. In that scenario everybody would subsidize recycling efforts, bringing the overall cost down but jacking up everybody’s bills in the process.

We don’t have to stop at recyclables, either. Lincoln could begin curbside composting efforts, perhaps as a requirement but more likely as an optional service. That would mean that your styrofoam, your paper, and your banana peels would each have separate bins.

The goal of all of this is of course to reduce the amount of waste going into our landfill so that we take as long as possible before moving into a new one. It’s the ecologically, morally, and fiscally sound thing to do. Not that everyone will see it that way, of course. But then, that’s what the planning process is all about. There’s an open house on August 13 and several other opportunities to provide your feedback. The sooner you get involved, the better.

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