It’s Already Time for Districts

By: Mr. Wilson on April 30, 2009
The high school soccer season has flown by, and it's already time for Districts. District assignments came out yesterday (boys, girls). Wild card points are always a hot topic this time of year. On the boys side, it looks like any Lincoln team that wants a trip to State will need to win its District. Southwest and East are 6th and 7th, respectively, so although they certainly aren't locked out of a shot at a wildcard, the way this season has gone in Class A, they're best off getting the job done at Districts. Pius X isn't sitting too bad at #4 in Class B, except that South Sioux City and Columbus are #1 and #2, and they're both in the same District. One of those two is very likely to secure the wild card. On the girls side Southeast and Southwest are sitting pretty well at #2 and #4. They oughtn't rest easy, of course, but generally Class A girls have been more predictable than the boys this year so LSE and LSW are a bit safer. In Class B you have to go way down to #9 to find Pius X, the first Lincoln team. There's no free ride for them. Overall the toughest District in the state appears to be B-4 on the boys side (Blair, Columbus, Columbus Lakeview, Columbus Scotus, Schuyler, South Sioux City). There are a lot of uncertainties, though. This is perhaps the widest-open field I've seen in my career. Lots of teams have a good shot at going all the way -- and I'm not just saying that.

The Candidates Talk About Downtown

By: Mr. Wilson on April 30, 2009
Downtown is a hot topic in Lincoln. It has been for decades. For better or worse, we have put a lot of resources into "protecting" and improving Downtown, with mixed results. A group of Downtown-oriented organizations hosted a City Council candidate forum yesterday, and 10/11 caught the candidates' answers on video. The three short videos are definitely worth watching -- both for the candidates' answers and for how they present them -- so give yourselves 15 minutes or so to check them out.

Get Your Taco On

By: Mr. Wilson on April 29, 2009
Mr. T pointed me to the Daily Nebraskan's overview of Lincoln's cheap tacos. I'm not sure how much faith to put in the article, though. This line blew me away:
They come with packets of Heinz mild sauce, which adds some nice spice.
"Heinz mild sauce", "nice", and "spice" do not belong in the same sentence. I haven't done the cheap taco thing in years. I used to love hitting up George's Red Pepper Grill (RIP), Crawdaddy's (RIP), and Knickerbockers for their $0.25 goodies (with mofo salsa, of course). My record was 17 tacos, I think. Do you concur with the DN's assessment? Who has the best cheap tacos in town?


By: Mr. Wilson on April 28, 2009
Whenever people complain about the stink of a dead skunk on the road I just close my eyes and take a long, deep breath. I have never been able to smell skunk. Not to the extent most of you smell it, anyway. If somebody tells me there's a strong skunk odor in the air I can occasionally detect something, but it's not especially unpleasant. So watch out for all those skunks crossing the road. But if you do hit one I'll still be your friend, even if everybody else avoids you.

Coffee and More Booze Coming to Williamsburg Hy-Vee

By: Mr. Wilson on April 28, 2009
Meatball noted and I was able to confirm that the Williamsburg Hy-Vee is about to expand. That in itself isn't so surprising. What is surprising is that it means the long-running rumors were actually true. How often does that happen? The expansion will add some 15% to the store's area, bringing it to about 82,000 square feet. New features will include an in-store Caribou Coffee and an expanded alcohol section that will have its own entrance, just like the store on North 84th Street (and O Street?). Along with the VA regional office, that makes two fairly substantial bits of news for Williamsburg in recent days. Maybe the area is getting a little momentum.

Good Old 48th and O

By: Mr. Wilson on April 28, 2009
Go ahead and admit it. You've been craving more controversy at Lincoln's favorite intersection, 48th and O. Here's your controversy: the City is again facing trouble associated with access issues to properties on O Street. At stake, according to a recently-filed lawsuit, is the arrival of Staples at the troubled corner. The suit alleges that the City accepted $160,000 less for an adjacent property than what Realty Trust, the group trying to bring Staples to town, offered, and in addition that sale came with O Street access. That is a huge policy change, if true. The City, you might recall, spent $2.7 million to get rid of O Street access in that area. Raise your hand if you are shocked -- shocked! -- that the City may manage to once again make the redevelopment of 48th and O far more difficult and expensive than it ought to be. No one? I didn't think so.

Checking In

By: Mr. Wilson on April 27, 2009
Hi folks. Sorry for the lack of posts from me. I had a busy, busy weekend, and yesterday I discovered that my internet connection was dead. Fortunately a quick trip to Time Warner for a new modem fixed that problem. Still, I'm starting my work day two hours late, so something's got to give. Hopefully I'll find some time to post later in the day. If not, I'll see you tomorrow!

Old Timey School Gets New Life

By: Mr. Wilson on April 24, 2009
I love that the Heritage School is moving to Pioneers Park. That's a great place for it, especially if they locate it in or adjacent to one of the park's prairie areas. I would love to see them plop it out near Coyote Point, but that won't happen for a whole bunch of reasons. I assume it will wind up near the Nature Center parking lot. Do you have any fond memories of Heritage School? My memory of it is mostly fuzzy. I recall dressing up, preparing lunch, and sitting in the building, but that's about all.

Old Timey Village Gets New Life

By: Mr. Wilson on April 24, 2009
What's this? Williamsburg Village (40th and Old Cheney) is getting a new building? A new $14 million Veterans Affairs Regional Office will begin construction in June. That's great news, tempered by the fact the project probably costs taxpayers much more than it should thanks to it being located in Williamsburg Village. What's the deal with Williamsburg? I'm always surprised how many vacant lots remain in the development. I can't help but think that the project missed several opportunities to be much niftier than it has turned out to be. Or maybe this slow growth -- going on, what, 20 years now? -- is intentional. In other Williamsburg "news", I like the rumor that the Hy-Vee is planning an expansion. That's "our" Hy-Vee so I'm always on the lookout for improvements.

City Survey Update

By: Mr. Wilson on April 23, 2009
I forgot to mention something about the City's budget survey: those who complete the survey can sign up to participate in a follow-up event:
On Saturday, May 16, there will be an in-depth discussion about the City's budget hosted by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. The discussion event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 3:00 p.m. The discussion will take place at UNL's East Campus Union. Pre-registration is required. Participants will be compensated $35 for their time and input. Space is limited, and participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, complete the survey. Registration information is included at the end of the survey. More information about the discussion can be obtained by calling (402) 472-5678.
I'm not sure yet if I will be able to make it to the event. That's Robbie's birthday, and it's also during the state high school soccer tournament. But if I can make it work, I'll definitely be there.

Some Good Common Sense

By: Mr. Wilson on April 23, 2009
In the previous post I talked about the importance of context. Here's a refreshing example of the law taking context into account: a bill making its way through the Unicameral would provide exceptions to certain sex crimes so that youths don't end up being dogged by a "sex offender" label for the rest of their lives. I don't know how often it has happened in Nebraska (if at all), but across the country teens have had to register as sex offenders as a result of charges resulting from sexting and similar activities. The unfortunate result is that those individuals have a hard time finding places to live and work due to the stigma associated with the label. That's not to say sexting itself (and related activities) shouldn't be illegal. There are good public policy reasons to prohibit the practice. But doesn't it seem bizarre that two people who can legally have sex (and even, in some cases, get married) can't take and store nude photos of one another for fear of being labeled child pornographers? Unfortunately, commenting has been disabled on the LJS article so we don't get to see what those folks have to say. I am curious what you folks think. Is this, as I contend, a good example of the law making good use of context?
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