Lincoln a great place to live

Editor's column
By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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With 2016 calendars being replaced by 2017 calendars in just three days, it’s natural to reflect on the past year and what we hope for in the New Year.
Thinking about life in Lincoln is a huge part of that reflection.
I’ve worked and lived in Lincoln for eight years now and I finally consider this city home for me.
When I first moved here, from San Francisco for 18 months and before that, Nevada City for 15 years, I missed the daily entertainment occurring in those cities’ downtowns.
And I missed Nevada City’s beautiful rivers, creeks and mountain trails and San Francisco’s Coit Tower picturesque view of the bay, hills and the peaceful Japanese Tea Garden.
There’s a reason Nevada City and San Francisco are tourist destinations and that’s because they offer plenty of activities and places to see every day of the year.
But now, after eight years, I love Lincoln and I’d rather call this city home.
Because Lincoln has a lot of plusses going for it too that rival any destination, no matter how gorgeous or glamorous.
Such as Lincoln’s small-town atmosphere that long-time residents always talk about with pride.  
According to Forbes magazine in July 2007, Lincoln’s population jumped from 11,746 in 2000 to 39,566 in 2006, an increase of 236 percent.
The Sun City Lincoln Hills active-adult community opened in August 1999 and approximately 11,800 residents currently live in that Lincoln neighborhood.
Although the active-adult community significantly increased Lincoln’s population, even Lincoln Hills residents brag about the small-town atmosphere where you regularly see your neighbors at stores, restaurants and community events.
Then there’s the Lincoln Library at 485 Twelve Bridges Drive that caters to all ages. Something is always happening, from Mother Goose on the Loose Thursday mornings to family movie nights to Poets Club of Lincoln to Friends of the Lincoln Library activities. It’s easy to spend a good hour or two browsing through the books, films, magazines, newspapers, computers and movies.
And since July, the library is open an extra eight hours a week, from 23 to 31 hours. That’s thanks to Lincoln City Council approving the city budget June 28 with more funds for the library. Hopefully, City Council will continue to increase the library budget so that pre-2008 hours of 38 are back in place.
Another plus is that we are surrounded by nature here. Lincoln has 18 parks (plus several more in Lincoln Hills), a 40 percent open-space requirement by the city, and nearby, Hidden Falls Regional Park and Camp Far Reservoir. Although Lincoln doesn’t have the scenic hills and mountains that make me appreciate the outdoors, it’s easy to ride from one Lincoln park to another without changing gears on my bike.
As for Lincoln’s majestic sunsets, often with a flock of birds putting on an aerial show, they are the best sunsets I’ve seen.
In addition, living in Lincoln is high on conveniences, which saves hours every week stuck behind a steering wheel. We are minutes from stores and services. It’s much safer driving here than taking a chance on the winding and deer-populated Highway 49 or having to pay $1,000 a month to park a car in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.
So, with the new year almost here, I wanted to reflect on how good it is to live and work in Lincoln.
Becoming a part of the Lincoln community was a very smart move for me eight years ago.
I used to think it was corny when longtimers described residents as Lincolnites. But, after observing the community for almost a decade, I get it.
Lincolnites, and I now use the word proudly, will open their hearts and their pocketbooks when another family or individual falls on hard times. Residents caring about their neighbors’ welfare add to Lincoln’s plusses.
In my job, I’m lucky to meet Lincoln residents every week.
Many of these residents have become more than story sources; they are now my friends.
So I’m inviting Lincolnites, who are the best part of Lincoln, to my birthday party Jan. 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. upstairs in the Beermann’s Restaurant ballroom, 645 5th St. Stop by, say hi, tell me what you would like to see in the newspaper and dance to some live music.
The only present I want from you is your presence and a can of nonperishable food, which will be donated Jan. 6 to The Salt Mine food bank, one of my top favorite nonprofit organizations in Lincoln.
Happy New Year and I hope to see you Jan. 5.