If You Like Your Supper With Holes

By: Mr. Wilson on March 16, 2009
If you are in the mood for waffles for supper, tonight the folks at City Impact are holding a waffle feed fundraiser at Sheridan Lutheran Church (84th and Old Cheney) from 5:00pm until 7:00pm. The Missus, Robbie, and I plan to be there a little before six, so look us up if you go!

Meet the Candidates

By: Mr. Wilson on March 13, 2009
Several City Council candidates attended a forum yesterday. Here are my impressions based only on the little I know about them: Ken Svoboda: The Thomas Magnum look-alike who dances like MC Hammer and whose home is filled with dead houseplants. John Haltom: The Hugh Hefner wanna-be who walks with a cocky gait and answers questions with a confident "Daaamn right". Gene Carroll: The bookish one who never met a Chris Beutler idea he didn't like. Adam Hornung: The small-town boy slash Hollywood lawyer who came to Lincoln to film a pilot for a new reality show. Jayne Snyder: The perky fitness guru who always wears sweats and can't stop jogging in place. Toberlin Burger: The unemployed guy with the rumpled clothes who just really needs a job. Jane Kinsey: The pessimist who dresses her kids in bubble wrap and whose dog is named Eeyore. Erin Pierson: The staunch oppositionist who, like a political Bob Kelso, can't say "No" enough. Come on, Neal, I just know you can turn this into a rockin' graphic voter education guide!

A Night on the Town

By: Mr. Wilson on March 13, 2009
Last night The Missus and I attended a recital at Nebraska Wesleyan featuring the faculty brass trio. Boy did we feel out of place. Nearly everybody in attendance was at least 40 years older or 10 years younger than us. (Most of the younger ones slept in the back.) As we left the recital we tried to think of the last time we saw an announcement for that sort of event; decided to go; and actually did go. It has been a while. We have tended to restrict ourselves to more kid-friendly fare. We should really get out more frequently. The recital itself was enjoyable. At sixty minutes it was a little shorter than I expected, but that was fine. The pieces were short as well. When all was said and done the event reminded me that I will never play an instrument half as well as the instrumentalists on stage. Well, not unless I get stuck in some sort of Groundhog Day-esque timewarp.

What’s the Matter with Ray’s Lawn and Home Care?

By: Mr. Wilson on March 13, 2009
image Once again, Ken "The Hammer" Svoboda's landscaping business is in the news. And once again, the business is in trouble for not doing something it was supposed to do. This time the business is on the hook for nearly $75,000 in state sales taxes and interest. Ouch. Seems like the management at Ray's is costing the business some serious cash. They might want to look into that.

West A Dad Discovers the Interwebs

By: Mr. T on March 13, 2009
Just a quick note - there are numerous foodie blogs out there representing the 402 - and many but not all have added RSS feeds. Happy to discover that the venerable West A Dad has finally added an RSS to his site today. Thanks West A.

Should I Know When You Went to Prison?

By: Mr. Wilson on March 12, 2009
I'm as big a proponent of ensuring easy and open access to public information as anybody you'll meet. Yet I can't figure out why it's any of my business whom you visit in prison. Is that really a fact so important that the public's interest in it outweighs the visitor's right to privacy? I say no. What say you?

Nebraskans Helping to Lead the Landlineless

By: Mr. Wilson on March 12, 2009
Whodathunk Nebraska would be in the top 10 among states when it comes to residents ditching landlines in favor of cell phones? Certainly not me. I would have expected that our conservative nature would hold us back. Silly me. The Missus and I have discussed dropping our landline, but making the switch to cell-only will be difficult. Have you thought lately about just how many people need to be told you've changed your phone number? Oodles. It can seem overwhelming. A few other factors hold me back. For example, I like being able to give out a single number by which people can reach my family. Having to give out multiple numbers so people can reach The Wilsons is annoying. How many of you are already cell-only? Do you miss any of the benefits of having a landline?

Two Blind Mice Seeking Third Blind Mouse

By: Mr. Wilson on March 11, 2009
Last night was one of the NSAA's meetings of high school soccer coaches and referees. Unless a bunch of Lincoln referees went to or are planning to attend meetings elsewhere, we may be in big trouble in Lincoln this year. Referee numbers are down significantly from last year ... and we weren't exactly overflowing with refs last year. If you or anybody you know has an interest in refereeing high school soccer -- that includes varsity, junior varsity, and/or reserve -- please contact me soon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Not in Lincoln? We also need referees to cover Nebraska City, Beatrice, Norris, Waverly, and Seward. Experience is not required; knowledge of the game is, of course, helpful, but we can help train you whatever your background. Case in point: last year we had a guy show up with virtually zero soccer experience. All he did in preparation was read the rule book cover to cover (which includes some reffing advice) and attend one of our training sessions. Even with no playing experience and little game watching experience he turned out to be a very decent referee. If you want to dive right in, we have a high school referee meeting tonight at 7:00pm at Bison Sports Complex at 710 Hill Street (just northwest of 9th and Van Dorn). I would love to see you there!

Quick Take on Las Herraduras

By: Mr. Wilson on March 11, 2009
I had a quick bite to eat last night at Las Herraduras, located just over the O Street viaduct at First and O. It sits in a smallish multi-unit building, though the restaurant itself is fairly spacious. The interior is wide open with a rustic, Western theme. All of the seating is at tables and chairs; I think they would do well to add booths along at least some of the walls, if the opportunity arises. We were the only ones in the restaurant when we first arrived (shortly after 5:00pm), so service was quick and friendly. The menu isn't professionally done, but you will find all of your favorites within: burritos, enchiladas, tamales, and so on. They even had menudo on the menu, something most local Mexican restaurants only serve occasionally. Prices were pretty standard for this class of restaurant, ranging from around $7.00 to $12.00 for most meals. They also have a $6.99 lunch special from 11:00am until 2:00pm. I have been on a chimichanga kick lately, so that's what I ordered. The chimichangas at Las Herraduras are served much differently than I expected. It contained chicken and cheese, and it was topped with a white cheese sauce. On the side were rice, beans, and pico. It was tasty, but it wasn't quite my style so I would probably order something different next time. My dining companions ordered: a chimichanga; enchiladas; and a chile relleno. They all enjoyed their meals. I would like to go back to Las Herraduras when I'm not quite so rushed, but for now it doesn't look like it will make my regular rotation. Still, it's a place to keep in mind if you are in the neighborhood. I could definitely see myself stopping by before or after a game at Haymarket Park.

Being Stupid May Not Be Illegal, But Shouldn’t it Get You Kicked Out of Class?

By: Mr. Wilson on March 10, 2009
Student brings a gun to campus. Student acts out a Virginia Tech-style scenario. Nearby people flee for their lives. Student is arrested. It turns out the gun was fake. Student is not prosecuted. Student is allowed back in class. Doesn't it seem to you like at some point Ryan Labenz should be punished for being an idiot? Whether or not he is a threat to other students -- UNL says "We would not knowingly jeopardize staudents safety" -- surely when a student has "I am a total moron" on his resume, an institution of higher learning would be expected to exclude that student from their classes. Which isn't to say people don't make mistakes, people can't change, yadda yadda yadda. They do and they can. But come on, the people Ryan Labenz terrorized could end up in classes with him. Talk about a callous disregard for the innocent. I'm a firm believer in the idiot tax. While idiocy alone may not be illegal, it should come with a cost. In this case the cost should be, at least, a temporary ban from the University of Nebraska. Doesn't that seem fair?

Nimby Update

By: Mr. Wilson on March 10, 2009
I'm awfully surprised the City Council approved the controversial day care on 29th Street just south of SouthPointe Pavillions. The Council did apply a few restrictions, but I thought for sure they would apply crippling restrictions or bar the business altogether. Personally I think it's a fine place for a day care as long as the property itself and surrounding roads can effectively handle the bursts of traffic that are likely at the start and end of the day. The Council did add some silly restrictions on access to the playground -- no kids before 9am or after 5pm. I can see a morning restriction, but the 5pm restriction is unnecessary. I want to make one thing clear: although neighborhood opposition to this project is a form of nimbyism ("not in my backyard"), the opposition has merit. In general the worst a daycare brings to a neighborhood is some noisy kids playing outside. I don't have much sympathy for people who oppose laughter. Nor do I get too worried about the overall tiny increase in traffic flow that will leak just a few blocks into the neighborhood. Where I do empathize with the neighbors' plight in this situation is with regard to the timing of the traffic, which will likely come in bursts in the morning and evening. At worst, access to a major entrance to and exit from the neighborhood could be choked off at certain times of the day. That would be a major annoyance to be sure. The neighbors are right to fight to ensure that doesn't happen. In contrast, I still don't understand the complaints of neighbors of the new Alzheimer's care facility just west of 27th and Old Cheney. I noticed the other day the building is coming along quite nicely. Unlike the other sorts of things that could have gone in that location, I would be surprised if the facility negatively impacts area property values. Instead, a well-managed care facility can be a real asset to a neighborhood. We have a similar facility in our neighborhood, though ours has the advantage of a large amount of park-like green space. Any other (justified or unjustified) nimby updates from around Lincoln?

Will Dandy Dan Step on Uncle Sam’s Toes?

By: Mr. Wilson on March 10, 2009
Nebraska's own Dan Whitney Larry the Cable Guy is planning a July 4th concert at Memorial Stadium. It's a fantastic idea. I'm not a big Larry the Cable Guy fan but even I would consider spending four bucks to go to a big show at Memorial Stadium. (I probably won't, though; I would rather throw snap pops with my son.) I wonder how the City feels about L.C. Guy's plans? Surely a good chunk of the 60,000 people he hopes come to his concert otherwise would have gone to the City's event at Oak Lake. I guess we'll have to see how the details pan out. Will you be making plans to attend the event?

Where in Lincoln is this?

By: Mr. T on March 9, 2009
image Edit: It appears as if West A Dad and Nikkidemas are in a deadly fight to the finish/gladiator's duel to claim the most wins in this series. Alas, this week, Indian food-meister and grill chief West A Dad correctly identified the location of this photo. Good going West A Dad!

Read more…

Lincoln’s Pork

By: Mr. Wilson on March 9, 2009
Here is some of the pork for Lincoln from the latest omnibus spending bill, along with the sponsor(s). This list is based on the one provided by the Omaha World-Herald.
  • $1,088,000 - Systems Biology Research Facility, Lincoln. Nelson, Hagel, Fortenberry.
  • $950,000 - Center for People in Need, Lincoln, for construction and renovation to create the Non-Profits and Education/ Training Center. Nelson.
  • $866,000 - Stable fly control, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nelson.
  • $761,000 - Tabitha Health Care Services, Lincoln, for equipment. Nelson.
  • $652,000 - Salt Creek and Tributaries. Hagel.
  • $570,000 - Antelope Valley Transportation Improvements, Lincoln. Fortenberry.
  • $550,000 - City of Lincoln, wastewater treatment upgrades. Nelson, Fortenberry.
  • $418,000 - St. Monica's Home, Lincoln, for construction of the new St. Monica's Community Center for low-income women and their families in need of substance abuse and mental health treatment. Nelson.
  • $285,000 - Nebraska Community Foundation, HomeTown Competitiveness, Lincoln. Nelson.
  • $142,500 - Cedars Youth Services Inc., Lincoln, for construction of the Children's Crisis Center for abused, homeless
  • $132,000 - Lincoln Police Department technology upgrades. Hagel, Fortenberry.
  • $95,000 - Nebraska Hospital Association, Lincoln, to expand the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network, including renovation and equipment. Nelson, Hagel.
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