Don't know where to start with this. I think it presently has a less than 50% chance. But with Mr. Daub behind it its probability goes up at least 30 percentage points. You don't have to like him or like his politics. But the man has a "can-do" attitude the size of this lake.
If Nebraska could find some way to be bold enough to say let's make this happen, it would be the one single event in Omaha and Lincoln's history that grows the two metroplexes into one and to a much higher level. And with that higher national and international recognition. With this development all economic development things become possible. (Not all at once, but this project becomes a springboard to which so much over time would be attributable.
My imagination or knowledge can't do such a list justice but a few, just a few that come immediately to mind:
Light rail - heck we could do monorail
Prairie version of silicon Valley
Corporate Headquarter Transfers to this area
Sprawl and urban redevelopment/infill
Tourism on a scale never before seen in this area
Summer homes for the rich and famous
Major International Airport Serving both cities
Things and technologies we can't even dream of today
The possibilities are only limited by our imagination.
One point that may be easy to overlook upon first glance is the impact this lake has on water supply. It was mentioned in the OWH articles that this lake would support the wellfields that are absolutely critical, not only to Omaha/Lincoln growth, but to the area's ability to permanently support the 1.1 million population already here.
It is easy to understand and feel empathy toward the City of Ashland. This is a tremendously difficult amount of change and a deeply personal change to accept. BUT.... if the people of Ashland can find a way to embrace this change, it will transform their newly relocated city. A huge cost yes, but a once in a lifetime of a civilization opportunity. Ashland could become far more than a fishing lake community if it chooses. Far more.
While I feel this is a very long, long shot, I am encouraged that the cities of Greenfield, Gretna and Waverly see the benefit and are not opposing this project at least initially. Developing this now in the 21st century with an eye to the future means that the project has so much more potential for economic development than if it had been implemented 50 years ago. There are very real and growing water supply issues this lake addresses. I don't know but this lake may be the only way to address our water supply issues. Also, can there be anything negative about hydroelectric power?
Someone will be enlightening me, that is for sure, if they point out the negatives to this. Let's burn less coal. Omaha and Lincoln are growing together, there is absolutely no doubt about it in my head. This brings the two together yet the lakes allows them to stay separate. Think of the skylines both cities could have. (Of course Omaha's would be larger and so much more impressive
I could just go on and on but chances are I would just ramble on even more into chaos. I am skeptical. But this project captures my imagination more than anything in my lifetime. Let's just try to make it happen. In 1960 or 1961 when Kennedy said we would go to the moon before the end of the decade who could really believe or see how it would happen. But as a nation we set our mind up to do it. And we did it.
For eastern Nebraska this is an opportunity to change our world. It could put us on a whole different growth trajectory. I believe it would with almost certainty.
Trying to keep my feet in reality but having a difficult time as I ponder the possibilities. I am pumped. Only thing that stands in the way is our self-imposed limitations. It was certainly realistic in the early sixties to note that most of our rockets were still falling over on the launch pads let alone flying let alone flying to the moon. It certainly was realistic to note that the expense was huge. It was certainly realistic to question what payoff would come from a moon mission. We certainly could rationally argue there were a whole litany of higher priorities to fund with the Vietnam War, the War on Poverty, etc. But we just chose to go to the Moon by heck or high water. And we did. In fact in hindsight, we almost made it look easy.
To me at least, the payoff from this lake project is much more apparent than that of the Apollo project.
Let's just find a way to do it. Man, the things my grandkids will see. (No I am not old enough to have them yet. Well, technically yes, but we chose to get married first and so far our kids are making the same choice. :wink: )
Gotta stop now before I think of something else to ramble on about this project. Do you think anyone reads to the bottom of such a long post when you get carried away like this? BTW, for future reference, when I start a post with the words "I don't know where to begin", watch out. Chances are I won't know where to end either.
My son got a 27 on his ACT. No this score is not as high as what Jeff's son achieved. But one has to remember the paternal gene-pool my son has to overcome. On a PGPAB [Paternal Gene-Pool Adjusted Basis], my son's score is a 37 and Jeff's son's PGPAB ACT score is 19.