City outstanding during fire

Scene to be Seen column
By: Kathy Dorsey and Jeeves
-A +A
In full bloom ... Today, Lincoln Florist and Gifts (645-2303) opens its new location at 509 G St., which is just a few doors south of its former location at 531 G St. Owner Jennifer Ibarra, along with Kylie Halcomb, Cami Aldea and Donnya Thompson, will be on hand to greet customers. In addition to more space to display flowers, plants and gifts, Lincoln Florist and Gifts will now have a private section to discuss bridal, special event and memorial floral needs. Why not stop by to see all the changes or visit for more information? All sewed up ... Although last week’s evacuation caused a short delay in Sew Katie Jean’s a-week-ago Wednesday opening, owner Katie Trott didn’t drop a stitch. Sew Katie Jean (209-3920) is located at 603 5th St. in downtown Lincoln. Katie opened a week ago Thursday morning to offer sewing notions, accessories, fabrics and lessons. Look for her grand opening on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Katie is available to assist with all sewing needs from her shop at the southwest corner of 5th and F streets. Additional details are available at Or visit Katie’s blog at for information about classes and schedules. Something old, something new and something barbecued ... Set aside Saturday, Sept. 10 for the fifth annual Ribfest in downtown Lincoln from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ribfest is sponsored by Friends of Lincoln Kids. Again this year, President Jeff Greenberg promises another day of fun for all the family. In addition to many different styles of ribs and other foods, look for live entertainment, a kids' zone and a stilt walker. Friends of Lincoln Kids welcomes more vendors and sponsors. Proceeds go to benefit children’s programs in Lincoln. All are welcome. There’s no charge to attend. Call Jeff at 408-7503 or visit to find vendor applications and to learn more about Ribfest. Lincoln Area Archives Museum will also sponsor an Antique Faire in conjunction with Ribfest. So far, more than 30 antique enthusiasts have applied for space. To learn more about Lincoln Area Archives Museum and to participate in the Antique Faire, contact Kathy Freeman at 530-4304. Proceeds from the Antique Faire will benefit Lincoln Area Archives Museum. A new gig ... Local talents Billy Buckman, Will Morebeck and Ken Burnett will perform this Saturday during Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento. More than 200 tons of dirt will be dumped on the streets of Old Sacramento for its annual heritage festival. The clock will be turned back to transform Sacramento’s historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s. Costumed re-enactors, Wild West gun fights, musicians playing period instruments and many aspects of Gold Rush life will be presented during this Labor Day weekend event. Billy will perform as a solo act at 11 a.m. and then together with Will and Ken at 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visit for more information about Gold Rush Days. Also look for Billy and his friends to perform every Friday night at Lincoln’s Beach Hut Deli, 885 S. Highway 65 from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Visit to learn more about Billy’s music and schedule. Just in from Jeeves ... Jeeves continues to believe that Lincoln is the best place to live. He wishes that he could be as good as people of this city. A few weeks ago, both Jeeves and Kathy showed a lack of courage. In the face of a few eggs thrown in their direction, they stopped writing. Compared to the challenges presented by a propane tanker fire and the prospect of an explosion, their concern now seems trivial. Today, they admit their shame and offer a mea culpa. Big events, such as last week’s fire and evacuation, have a way of knocking out self-absorption in favor of humility. Over the past week, Jeeves has been humbled in so many ways. Within minutes of last Tuesday’s alarm, Jeeves observed firsthand how Lincoln’s public-safety officers responded to the alarm. Jeeves watched Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren and Lt. Dave Ibarra, along with two other officers, hear the call, stand up, leave their lunches on the table and rush to assist. They did not hesitate - they were resolute in their sense of duty and purpose Jeeves also watched as many as six fire engines raced north along G Street. They did not hesitate - they were resolute in their sense of duty and purpose. Yet, none knew what they were going to face. All of these activities took place within minutes of the first flames. As many as 10,000 downtown area residents and business people who lived within the evacuation perimeter did not know what they were going to face either. Those fortunate to live outside the perimeter vacated to the safety of their homes. But many more scrambled to find alternative accommodations with family, friends or at one of three city shelters. Others decided to stay in place, despite mounting risks to their safety. All of these activities took place within minutes of the first warning. What amazed Jeeves was the extraordinary ways in which the city of Lincoln responded to an extraordinary challenge. This city can be proud. During a special emergency session of City Council, Mayor Paul Joiner and City Councilmen Tom Cosgrove and Spencer Short met to ensure our public safety. As a result, this city was able to pull in resources to confront a mounting catastrophe that could have obliterated downtown Lincoln. Jeeves wonders why Councilmen Gabriel Hydrick and Stan Nader didn’t attend the meeting. Under the phenomenal leadership of Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt, disaster was averted. The chief and all our public-safety personnel have our gratitude. Some news media outlets call them everyday heroes. Jeeves believes that they are super heroes. There was nothing “everyday” about their performance last week. And Jeeves hopes that they never have to face another challenge as large. But Jeeves also wonders if it could happen again. If so, what can the city do to reduce the risk? Jeeves learned that some residents are concerned over the location of propane tanks so close to downtown homes and Lincoln High School. Jeeves also learned that the storage facility supplies propane to Gladding, McBean by means of an underground pipe. If the propane storage facility is moved, Gladding, McBean reports that its business could be hurt. City of Lincoln will have to address the needs of its residents and students versus the needs of two longstanding businesses and employers, Northern Propane Energy and Gladding McBean. As a result, Lincoln’s Planning Commission should have a new and more important issue on its next agenda. Jeeves believes that compared to the prospect of another explosion, the prospect of another adult novelty store seems trivial (July 21 Lincoln News Messenger, front page, “Adult entertainment gets city’s attention”). When it comes to assessing locations for propane storage, he hopes that the planning commissioners are resolute in their sense of duty and purpose. Jeeves also hopes that the commission never has to offer a mea culpa. There may be no one left to hear it. If you have upcoming events that you wish to appear in Scene to be Seen, please call Kathy Dorsey at 645-0660 or e-mail This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.