No sense stirring up contention on the eve of a feel-good holiday. Especially when there’s still so much to feel good about Lincoln and southeast Nebraska. So with that in mind, and in honor of Thanksgiving, we offer 10 things for which we as an editorial board – and as community members – are grateful.
1. Trails and parks: With more than 130 miles of paved or crushed rock trails for walkers, hikers, bikers and joggers there’s no excuse for not getting some fresh air and a little exercise while you burn off that second (or third) helping of stuffing.
2. Civility remains: Politics and political discourse can get downright nasty some days. But beginning Jan. 8, Nebraska’s Legislature convenes for a 90-day session. As bills are heard in committee, citizens make their cases before senators. Face to face, out from behind the wall of online anonymity, people behave pretty well. And it’s a heartening reminder of what government can be.
3. College sports: Great college sports programs of all sizes abound in the region, but the Huskers have folks talking these days. The football team is riding a wave into Memorial Stadium with a 54-7 win over Maryland. The women’s basketball team opened the season with a 5-0 record. The men’s basketball team won two in a row to right the ship before sailing into to the Cayman Islands Classic. The Husker wrestling team is ranked No. 3. And our volleyball team – a constant source of Big Red excellence -- remains in the top-10 in the coaches’ poll, poised for run deep into the NCAA tournament.
4. A great place to be a kid (or have a kid): Lincoln’s zoos, museums, nature centers and recreational centers have something for anyone of any age.
5. Neighborhood associations: Big national stories make the headlines, but lives are changed on the local level, and leading those changes are Lincoln’s many neighborhood associations, where people come together to fix and transform the places they call home.
6. We take care of our own: Speaking of changing lives, there are countless efforts coordinated by community groups, churches and individuals helping to lift those in need. The biggest charities reach lots of folks and do great work, but the unsung heroes do more than we can imagine to change lives a person or two at a time.
7. Arts and entertainment: Between community and private efforts and a vibrant higher education environment, Lincolnites enjoy a wealth of opportunities to sample art, music, drama and the community of ideas.
8. The food scene: After a turkey-filled feast, food may be the last thing you’re thinking about, but dining in the city is fun and fine, with time-tested favorites and innovative new culinary experiences. Drop the leftovers and enjoy the flavor of our community.
9. Innovation: Underpinning many of these other things we’re grateful for is creativity and innovation. Heck, there’s a whole campus named for it at UNL. And it’s our willingness to look at things in new ways that will enrich our lives into the future.
And finally, No. 10, we’re grateful for our readers: You don’t have to agree with everything we write, but by being engaged, we’re all part of a community conversation. And a community that talks together is one that grows together.
Thanks for reading and for caring.
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