Thursday, Aug. 26


Railers tie first game in council chambers

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[AUG. 26, 2004]  Lincoln City Council chamber was filled with a sea of red, white and green this past Tuesday evening. LCHS senior football players, decked in their colorful team uniforms, filled the guest section. The players were there to support their petition to carry out an annual tradition of whitewashing streets for homecoming.

Students carry out a number of traditions designed to build spirit throughout the homecoming week. One of those traditions is to mark the trail to the high school with football player numbers and a couple names in whitewash paint. Names are also whitewashed on streets in front of players' homes.

The problem with that this year is that the trail passes through downtown, with its newly repaved and marked streets.

Council members and city officials and departments have been receiving complaints that the new traffic centerline and other new markings, such as the crosswalks, on the streets around the square are causing confusion for some drivers. City engineer Mark Mathon and the Streets Department supervisor Tracy Jackson are concerned that more white marking could cause problems.

Mathon said that he has consulted experts and he has some concern that the new asphalt may be too porous and hold onto whitewash for an extended amount of time. It took four months to wash off the old asphalt last year.

So the game opened with strategic plays made for the city by numerous council members, led by Mayor Beth Davis, and by the Railers, led by team captain Lance Agostino and a representative of their supporters, Rodney Matson.

The game continued, each team gaining and then losing a few yards as the ball passed back and forth. There were several interceptions by each side as well. No one lost the ball and it always stayed in bounds.


Most yards gained


Alderman Patrick Madigan: It's been over 30 years since the downtown streets looked this good. He said that he appreciated the senior recognition and the importance of supporting our students and athletes; he did this when he was a Railer 20 years ago. Basically right now we've got a new car, he said. And we want to enjoy it for a little while before it gets messed up. I think we can reach a compromise.


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Team captain Lance Agostino: The visiting team bus normally drives through downtown getting to LCHS for the homecoming game. They see, "GO RAILERS!" and this makes them think the town is backing them up.



Alderman Marty Neitzel: They could reroute the parade around the new streets

Mayor Beth Davis: We have quite a compromise.

The team could involve the business community and put names in downtown windows.

Jonie Tibbs: They could whitewash downtown sidewalks.


Matson: They could reroute the parade and not go through downtown, thereby not bringing attention and crowds to merchants that say they like the business that the parade brings.


Each team was out for a win, but neither wanted it at all costs. They were often congenial and true sportsmen, respecting what was best for all.

The final outcome was a tie. The boosters club will be permitted to whitewash the "spirit path" in the usual way. The homecoming parade follows that path from the high school to, through and around the downtown square.

They will avoid whitewashing too near all the additional new downtown pavement markings.

The parents will return after the weekend events to remove whitewash by power washing.

Everyone won.

Lincoln's homecoming is Oct. 8.

[Jan Youngquist]

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