Wednesday Nov 16 2011
Music and art celebrated in perfect harmony in 'Holiday Concert'
By: Kathy Dorsey and Jeeves
Scene to be Seen column
Perfect harmony ... Under Conductor Bill Sveglini, Lincoln Hills Chorus presents a “Holiday Concert.” The 130-member volunteer chorus will offer three performances, starting 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 followed by 7 p.m. performances Monday, Dec. 12 and Tuesday, Dec. 13. John Hersch will accompany on piano. The public is welcome. Tickets are now on sale at the Activities Desks in Orchard Creek Lodge, 965 Orchard Creek Lane or Kilaga Springs Lodge, 1167 Sun City Blvd. No Internet or telephone sales are accepted for these performances. For more information about “Holiday Concert” or the chorus, call Bill at 434-5655 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Fine line ... Lincoln artist Sherri Melchner has been selected to show her ceramic sculptures with 15 other artists in a new show, “It Figures,” that runs through Nov. 30 at Blue Line Gallery (783-4117), 405 Vernon St., Roseville. Pieces show human form in different and inventive ways and many types of media. Sherri is known for her Asian figurines. But through teacher Terry Accomando, Sherri has started sculpting the human torso.. The show features four of her works, including an Asian figurine “Man with a Cape;” a raku and horsehair glazed figure “Feathered Wing;” a whimsical piece “Womb with a View;” and another raku-fired torso “Winged Torso.” For more information about the show, visit rosevillearts.org. Home run ... Last week, Pamela Elliott and Randi Lorenzo opened their new business, Lincoln Boulevard Home Consignments (209-3800), 531 G St. (Highway 65) in downtown Lincoln. Lincoln Boulevard Home Consignments is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. If last week’s sales are any indication, Pam and Randi are going to be busy for years to come. Both are ready to show what’s available in the shop and to accept new furniture consignments. Call 209-3800 for more information. Toyland ... The Toys for Tots campaign is underway. U.S. Marine Corp. Reserves has more than 40 drop-off boxes in Lincoln. The need is great for new and unwrapped children’s toys. Look for boxes at Safeway at 405 S. Highway 65, Mina’s Coffee House at 1500 Del Webb Blvd., Cata Vedera Country Club at 1111 Cata Vedera, Mr. Pickles at 307 G St. and My Dog’s Spot at 721 Sterling Parkway. To learn more about Toys for Tots, contact Harry Maker (408-3797) at email@example.com or Frank Neves (408-7205) at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit toysfortots.org. Just in from Jeeves ... Jeeves is treading lightly for this week’s column. Downtown Dogs want him to comment on the work of the fiscal sustainability committee. But based on what he read in the committee’s Oct. 6 Lincoln News Messenger column, “It has to be said and the time is now;” Jeeves discovered that it may have thinner skin than other committees who also work on the city’s behalf. Despite the dogs’ entreaties, Jeeves doesn’t want to risk raising the ire, once again, of a group of volunteers. You may recall that in that column, the fiscal sustainability committee took exception to many items, including an accusation about another tax. Jeeves encourages readers to read the minutes of the committee’s Sept. 21 meeting on its website, lincolnfsc.org. In response to a query about a tax, core committee member Larry Whitaker said, “...if we came out and said that tax was the first option, then tax would be no option. We must assure the citizens of this community we have looked at everything else. That is why we must eliminate everything else before we suggest a tax measure.” Readers will decide for themselves whether the fiscal sustainability committee has considered a tax. Downtown Dogs reminded Jeeves that the committee received up to $40,000 for consultants to facilitate its work. As far as the dogs are concerned, once the committee took taxpayers’ money, it became subject to public scrutiny and accountability, whether Richard Pearl, Michele Hutchinson or the other members of their committee like it or not. And, the dogs also reminded Jeeves, the fiscal sustainability committee was supposed to replace the need for independent consultants and fees that were projected to range from $20,000 to $70,000 (Feb. 22 City Council meeting). Downtown Dogs, like Jeeves, still believe that Councilman Stan “The Plan” Nader’s goal for fiscal sustainability was a good one. But Downtown Dogs now wonder if the city should have instead paid $40,000 to experienced professionals rather than to well meaning but inexperienced amateurs. If so, the city would have its plan, And the city would already be moving toward fiscal sustainability. But City Council chose volunteers and still paid a high price. So the dogs pushed Jeeves to look, once again, at fiscal sustainability committee developments. Jeeves started by re-reading fiscal sustainability committee columns that appear each week in The Lincoln News Messenger. In addition, Jeeves read the online versions because online columns are often longer. Due to space limitations, fiscal sustainability committee columns and other columns can be cut for print editions. Jeeves also read minutes of the committee’s meetings, some for the second and third times. Eventually, he hopes that the committee will tell us something new. When it does, he will share it with the dogs. So far, the committee has been peddling information that the city has already presented no less than five times over the past year. Jeeves paid attention to City Manager Jim Estep and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak each of those times, clearly, concisely and effectively explained the funds and the city’s difficult financial position. Last spring, Jeeves also remembers hearing the city’s outside auditor reinforce all that the city has been telling us, over and over again, for at least two years. Jeeves also paid attention to Lee Guth who introduced himself as the fiscal sustainability co-chairman during the Sept. 27 City Council meeting when he presented the committee’s Principles of Agreement that defines and clarifies the relationship between the committee and City Council. And Jeeves paid attention to Mayor Paul Joiner, who after Guth’s presentation said, “I’ll be honest with you. I think that 98 percent of what you come back with, we’ve already covered. We already know. I’m hopeful for the 2 percent that it’s new and different that we haven’t thought of, we haven’t seen and every bit helps.” Like the mayor, Jeeves is also hopeful for something new - even 1 percent. However, his hopes are being met by others. For example, he read Editor Carol Feineman’s Nov. 3 editorial. She wrote about the idea of subcontracting city services. This was an idea that Jeeves expected to read in a fiscal sustainability committee column rather than an editorial. So far, the committee has been reformatting, recycling and reissuing the city’s PowerPoint presentations. Jeeves may have to wait to read the fiscal sustainability committee’s report due out in January to read something new. And he looks forward to reading something into which he can sink his teeth. He doesn’t expect a magic bullet. Jeeves was surprised to hear Joiner express concern about the committee “going to get off into the weeds, that’s always my concern” during that same September City Council meeting. Based on all that Jeeves has read, our mayor need not worry about adventures in the weeds. In Lincoln News Messenger’s Sept. 14 edition, he read that the fiscal sustainability committee will leave no stone unturned. In its Nov. 3 column, the committee reported that some members visited the Wastewater Treatment Reclamation facility. It seems that the fiscal sustainability committee is vigilant in its pursuit of money-saving opportunities. Jeeves applauds its zeal. He has heard many Lincolnites express concern about the amount of money the city of Lincoln has spent over the past several years. Some complained about money for the new City Hall and police station moves back and forth from Seventh to Fifth streets. Others said the city wasted money. A few accused the city of flushing our money down the toilet. They need not despair. It seems that the fiscal sustainability committee is turning over more than stones. They have been turning over items that Jeeves tries to bury and Ashley the cat tries to cover. Jeeves can assure Mayor Joiner that the committee has been out there, not in the weeds, but at our wastewater treatment facility, trying to find our money savings. He hopes that they found piles of new ideas and money-making opportunities. And he hopes that whatever they found will exceed the mayor’s 2-percent threshold. Like everyone else, Jeeves will just have to wait until January to read the committee’s plan. He now wonders if it’s something into which he’ll still want to sink his teeth. And he wonders on what kind of paper they plan to print it. Jeeves hopes that it comes on heavier stock than 2-ply. He hopes it comes on something thicker than some committee members’ skins. 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 JustInFromJeeves@gmail.com. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.