Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Yellow lines mysteriously appear in legal parking zones

A business owner on this street (8th) complained to the city about these yellow lines being painted in legal parking zones. According to the business owner when he questioned the person painting them, they said they were NOT with the city and a private citizen. I hope to have an answer from the city as to how this happened 1) without notice to area businesses and 2) how a private citizen can paint yellow fire zone lines on taxpayer owned property.

Riverfest was a great success

So there was this Seventies-ish funk dance band that headlined. Satchel Grande from Omaha.

Maybe we have a solution for the Bunker Ramp

I always thought that studio apartments on top of the bunker ramp would have been more useful than a hotel.

Inside Broadway Autopark (Milt Mounts/Essential Images Photography)

Best Levitt picture

It was a great season, only 2 concerts got fully cancelled (?) and tonight’s concert ended after about 4 songs due to lightning and rain. One more tomorrow night to wrap it up with local rockers Kory & the Fireflies.

I took this picture last night of the accordion player from the High Kings.

And I saved all my drink tickets from the concerts. Ironically, the guy who complained about not being able to bring his own beer bought quite a few drinks.

Corruption, Incompetance and Blatant Ignorance

After hearing about the settlement yesterday in the Copper Lounge collapse, we got the verification we all knew was true, Legacy and Hultgren were attached at the hip. Duh.

So when you read the headline in this blog post, you probably think I am talking about Aaron Hultgren or Norm Drake, I am NOT. They are beyond help.

I’m talking about the city councilors/mayors who approved the Bunker Ramp deal to begin with.

It is very irritating and frustrating to listen to some of the members of the RS5 blow off the bunker ramp as just a ‘bad decision’ and that they are not perfect and sometimes make ‘mistakes’.

I would qualify NOT giving a movie theater a beer license as a ‘mistake’ or ‘bad decision’. Something that can be easily passed later, and even if it isn’t, it doesn’t harm anyone. The bunker ramp is a COLASSAL F’UP! Taxpayers are currently paying $1.5 million a year in bond payments for a parking ramp that is unoccupied and will be for a very long time. We may have to dip into the 2nd penny to help make these payments.

The evidence and writing was ON THE WALL! There was mountains of evidence that shouldn’t have passed, but out of pure arrogance a majority passed it anyway.

I am still awaiting at least an apology from those who voted for it, but I still think there needs to be greater consequences. They essentially committed FRAUD on the taxpayers by supporting a project they knew would never happen and the current and past mayor are also to blame. There is also a ton of past and present city employees who helped ramrod it through.

I would like to see a recall and termination of all involved that still work for the city. But there is something you can definitely do this Spring. You can make sure that councilors Selberg and Neitzert don’t get re-elected, and if they had any sense at all, they wouldn’t run for re-election (I do know that both of them already have STRONG challengers waiting in the wings). I would also suggest to re-elect councilors Starr and Stehly who opposed this from the beginning.

We all know that elected officials often make ‘mistakes’ and are not ‘perfect’. But when you have so much evidence showing you it would be a bad decision and you pass it anyway, you have to wonder what kind of corruption is going on behind the scenes. Maybe we get lucky and the Feds that are investigating the building collapse will investigate the city for attempting to go into business with Legacy. We can only hope!

Covering up the Bunker Ramp mistake with a mural is insulting

As a fine artist and graphic artist I have been asked to do some unusual projects. Most of the time, you are asked to sell something. I told a frequent SculptureWalk artist last year that was kind of the purpose of SW, to promote Downtown and sell more beer and pizza. He didn’t take kindly to my words. I’ve gotten to do some fun projects like creating logos and t-shirt art for Jazzfest or designing posters for ZombieWalk and the SF Roller Dollz. Most of the time, these projects are not only fun, but for the betterment of the community, then I read this;

Erica Beck, chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said the TenHaken administration is taking “more intentional focus” on culture and arts through all of downtown, including murals.

The south side of the city’s new parking ramp, which faces one of the busiest thoroughfares downtown and sits on the busiest corner in the neighborhood, is an ideal candidate for a mural, she said.

I have been very vocal for years that DTSF needs to implement a public art/mural program. I have even went so far to say that spending millions on one sculpture was shortsighted and the money could have been more wisely spent on implementing hundreds of small art projects and murals downtown. Where I draw the line is when government wants to use the talents of artists to essentially cover up a massive mistake. If we paint a mural on one the most incompetent decisions our city government has ever made, what kind of message are we sending to the public and artists? When government screws the pooch, we’ll just paint over it?

If the city chooses to spend a large chunk of money on a mural for the bunker ramp (something that could cost between $30-60K) we are sending the wrong message to taxpayers. What’s next? A mural on the Denty to cover up the bad siding?

I think we should leave the ugly Southside of the bunker ramp ‘as is’ for a constant reminder of how badly things can get when our supposed leaders are not paying attention. In fact, I think we should paint the names of the city councilors, mayors, and city employees responsible for this huge mistake.

A more appropriate solution would be a temporary large scale banner wrap, you could even make it cost neutral by selling advertising on it or to put out important public service announcements, historical images or even just artistic in nature. While they used to be quite expensive, they are very reasonable these days.

Levitt releases attendance numbers

They are saying about 22,000 people have attended the 15 concerts so far (about 1,466 per show). They have been using clickers to count, and I would guess the numbers are pretty accurate. The more popular shows draw well over 3,000.

People are still bringing their dogs. Levitt cannot really control this since it is the jurisdiction of Parks Department and the city council would probably have to pass an ordinance banning pets at concerts (you know, like how they have banned people bringing their own alcohol – yet sell it there, that one still baffles me).

I was also a little annoyed last night when a volunteer said I couldn’t stand on the sidewalk because it was for people walking. I am well aware what a sidewalk is for and if someone comes along, I ‘can’ move. Besides, it’s a public park and public sidewalk. Next time worry about the dogs overheating in the sun.

SDPTV was filming the concert last night, so they put it up on the big screen which was kind of cool.

What’s happening with the apartments by Sunshine GS Downtown?

As you may or may not know, the apartments are being built by Legacy Development, the same business involved with the Parking Ramp Debacle and collapse of Copper Lounge.

I do believe the project also got some Federal tax incentives(?)

Almost every night I ride my bike through DTSF to look at how progress is going on various projects. This week Raven tore down the old building by their parking lot and they have been working on the donor wall at the Arc of Dreams (which is funny because they built a concrete block wall a single block wide, then attached cut quartzite to the concrete block. Why not just use solid quartzite? Weird.

But the one thing I have noticed is the Legacy apartment project has been hardly touched for several weeks. In fact the plywood and studs that are exposed are starting to dis-color with all the rain and heat.

I have a city official looking into the progress and hope to give an update.

Downtown Sioux Falls is turning into a great place to take a nap

Mind you, the guy below may have been just legitimately taking an ‘intended’ nap, though I think laying in the sun at 6 PM in the evening probably wasn’t ‘planned’. He also didn’t look homeless, he had on brand new sneakers and a nice backpack.

But the bigger point is more and more I have been seeing people DTSF taking ‘naps’ in some of the most random spots, and others have noticed. It happens a lot around the Dudley House and Nelson Park. The other day I saw a guy passed out in front of the Holiday Inn on the sidewalk.

While I have seen this along the bike trails for years, it seems this summer the locations of these ‘naps’ are becoming more dangerous.

I guess yesterday a drunken brawl broke out by the Dudley House until a citizen broke it up. I have thought all along concentrating our homeless services in a neighborhood was NOT a good idea. I had suggested like the County’s Safe Home that a shelter should have been built by the jail.

City of Sioux Falls collects over $20K a month in parking tickets

When you break down the numbers, that is well over 2,000 overtime parking tickets a month (people who are parked in an expired meter spot)

According to the city, in May they issued $23,881 in overtime parking tickets and $4,964 in prohibited parking tickets (parking in a loading zone, for example).

The city’s parking division is going to need all the money they can get now that they will be paying a bond on a parking ramp that has NO leased tenants, and probably won’t for several years.