SF Police Chief at Democratic Forum


Police chief Doug Barthel spoke at Democratic Forum yesterday (3/28/15). He gave a good introduction where he talked about more communication with the public, which is quite ironic (which we will get to in a moment). he also touched on the Tuthill incident in which he said, “the suspect pulled a gun and pointed it at the officer.”

Later on during the Q & A, an audience member asked Barthel what the policy was with releasing police video and audio to the public (Barthel supports the use of body cameras, dash cameras and tasers). Barthel concluded that according to State Law, he doesn’t have to release those files (but has the authority to do so – he, of course, didn’t mention that) but felt he didn’t need to, because it would open up the ‘flood gate’ of the media requesting footage.

Since he brought up Tuthill, I asked him why the SFPD hasn’t released the audio or a crime scene site map and why the DCI wasn’t allowed to investigate the shooting by the officer?

He felt that releasing a map or an audio file ‘wouldn’t benefit’ the case (Even though, I suspect it’s because they don’t want the public ‘speculating’ whether the officer performed his duties correctly, even though they already are.)

He also believes there truly was a suspect and a ‘threat’ and the officer had every right to fire.

He said that the DCI didn’t need to investigate because ‘the suspect wasn’t injured.’

I found that answer interesting because we ‘don’t know’ if the suspect was injured, they have not been found.

I still think if we released the audio file and had a ‘real’ external investigation of the incident, we would be a lot closer to finding the suspect. But that of course that would require the SFPD to ‘communicate’ and be ‘transparent’ with the public, and do we really want to open those floodgates?

The return of $25 Dollar Paintings

FOR SALE, each are $25 + shipping (Free Delivery in Sioux Falls)
ALL have custom frames and are under glass. This is the third set of 4 out of 30.

‘Untitled’ 8.25 x 10″
‘Two-Faced’ 7.25 x 7.25″
‘Space & Time’ 4 x 4″
‘Band Wagon’ 6.5 x 8.5″

Click on image to enlarge



Do Lincoln County officials have a legal right to inspect properties?

I’m not sure, I am writing this post to spur discussion.

The 4 Amendment states;

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I guess the way I look at it is if a property owner gives permission to inspect their property by government officials it is okay, but without that permission, I’m not sure how they have the right to inspect (except from the public right-of-way or aerial view).

I think by allowing this in Lincoln County we are going down a very slippery slope of government intrusion of our private property.

Why are we allowing SMG to run a dictatorship on entertainment options in our community?


First we had the ticketing ordeal at the Events Center, that SMG claims they can take no action on (or will not take any action on). In other words they are allowing the promoters, the ticket brokers and artists to have dibs on tickets to a facility we are paying the mortgage/maintenance on, and holding us hostage to the higher scalped ticket prices.

Now they are not allowing a local BBQ joint to partake in RibFest, saying it is only for ‘national and international’ competitors. This isn’t a French cooking Festival, this is BBQ ribs.

But if that isn’t enough to torque you off a bit, I had a South DaCola foot soldier tell me the other day that when he tried to attain copies of the sponsorship agreements between the sponsors and Events Center, SMG told him that they were ‘private’ because they are between SMG and the sponsors AND not the city. As an attorney, he pointed out that SMG is merely an ‘agent’ of the city holding those contracts and it should be public record.

He didn’t have much luck with his argument.

I guess what bothers me the most is that we are allowing an independent contractor to not only bathe in the profits from the Event Center while we get to wallow in mortgage payments, we are allowing this public contractor to dictate to us, the ones providing them the opportunity to make a profit in our community, how and when we will be entertained and by who, and what that price will be.

If that doesn’t sound like an entertainment dictator, I don’t know what does?

The return of $25 Dollar Paintings

FOR SALE, each are $25 + shipping (Free Delivery in Sioux Falls)
ALL have custom frames and are under glass. This is the third set of 4 out of 30.

‘Snow Day’ 4.5 x 6″
‘The Rock, the Rose & the Fish’ 4.25 x 5.75″
‘Vietnam Pictorial’ 4.75 x 5.75″
‘King Catfish’ (Janoct) 5 x 6″ (A re-make from 2006)

Click on image to enlarge



South Dakota’s Top Newspapers Circulation

I had a foot soldier send me this link yesterday, I found it interesting that the smaller cities in SD take more pride in their local newspaper then the larger ones, and their circulation is more in line with the population.

The Argus Leader, Sioux Falls

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 26,720
Sunday Circulation: 44,550

APROX POP: 169,000

Rapid City Journal, Rapid City

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 20,656
Sunday Circulation: 25,856

APROX POP: 71,000

Yankton Press & Dakotan, Yankton

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 7,479

APROX POP: 14,500

Capital Journal, Pierre

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 2,932

APROX POP: 14,000

American News, Aberdeen

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 12,779
Sunday Circulation: 14,397

APROX POP: 27,300

The Plainsman, Huron

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 6,206

APROX POP: 13,000


Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 9,336

APROX POP: 22,000

Should we be cautious of charismatic leaders?

I found this an interesting story, (H/T – Lamb Chislic)


City Survey Results

There was some interesting things to come out of the city survey (mostly commentary) but you can view all of the results HERE. But a couple of quick things I found interesting.

-People will always bitch about the streets. As I have said, they are a lot better then they were 4 years ago. I will actually give the city council and the mayor credit for getting on top of this. It also doesn’t hurt that the past two winters have been mild, which saves us money in maintenance and upkeep. Could the streets be better? Yes. I agree that the traffic light time in this town is pretty bad and needs to be adjusted.

-Affordable housing is almost non-existent. When I bought my home 11 years ago I was paying $450 dollars a month for a 1-Bedroom in Pettigrew Heights. I didn’t pay heat, garbage or water. It wasn’t a dump, but it certainly wasn’t ‘nice’ I have paid the same mortgage on my home since I bought it besides tax increases, but after I re-financed a few years ago to a 15 year mortgage, my mortgage went down. Let me put it to you this way, it is almost 30% cheaper for me to be making payments on single family home then it would be for me to rent a single bedroom apartment. Rents are way overpriced in Sioux Falls, and that is evident, when you see developers continually put up apartments. They are making a racket.

-847 responses out of 3000 sent for a response rate of 28.23%. The council hours wasted on this survey is amazing. I remember sitting in the outer council room while hearing staff and councilors drone on and on about how important this was for the future of Sioux Falls? We have video for those who missed it. So for the $29.52 paid for each resident return plus the thousands of dollars spent by the council in staff time and overhead did we learn anything we did not know already? If you look at one of the last documents in this survey, you will see the comparison to other years. You will see that there wasn’t that much change from 2013-14. That tells me that we can probably hold off doing another one of these surveys for a couple of more years, instead of every year.

But the most entertaining part was the open ended question responses. Obviously, most of these comments will be negative, afterall we are asking for the opinion of the public. Very little praise was given. But what surprised me was the high number of comments about our mayor pertaining to development, building entertainment facilities and the connections to Sanford. The SFPD isn’t seen in too good of light either.

UPDATED: Where’s the MOU or is just MOO

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The Spellerberg Quit Claim Deed issue rose again during the aquatics presentation on March 23, 2015. This meeting could have taken place in 2012 with little changes. The city continues to dismiss the need to find out from the VA if they see any legal issues to once again breaking the rules governing the Quit Claim sale of the 1950’s.

To some this is no big deal and it might be just that. The problem is this, if the City continues to break the sale contract as they did with the retention ponds, the VA could demand the property back.

Anyone dealing with real estate law knows this simple fact, if a clause is written into a Quit Claim Deed, the clause can be exercised at a later date. It is so simple. It is so straight forward. In order for the city to retain “ownership” of the land, it has to follow the contract. It does not matter how old the contract is. The contract could have been written in 1650 and it would still be valid today.

Just calling an office and having a friendly chat with the janitor or today’s chief lawyer does not equal a signed written contract giving full ownership of the property. As of today, the VA still controls the land, the City is given the right to use it within murky guidelines.

Watch the Entire meeting below;

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Other issues with the site

As I was attending the end of the meeting last night, I noticed quite a few supporters of the pool actually had some good concerns. Will there be enough parking (204 spots) when meets are held at the location? Why isn’t there a designated turn lane going into the facility? Why isn’t there a road connecting the VA and Pool parking lot (just sidewalks – which further proves the ‘communications’ with the VA are questionable at best). I also wondered why we need bleacher seating for 500 people? I thought this facility was to be used by everyone? Not just the swim teams? Why is the recreational pool so shallow at the deep end (3.5 feet)? It was pretty obvious from listening to supporters of the pool that they now feel they were left out of the process in planning this facility.

Of course, this cynic is not surprised. The city is in full ram-rod mode with $24 million dollars of our money, who cares about the VA or what the public thinks.

Remind you of our Code Enforcement?

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