Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

What is going on with the Copper Lounge investigation?

While the mayor was touting building a $25 million dollar building downtown today (that we don’t need) over on Phillips Avenue they were trying to prop up PAVE. Of course the OSHA findings could take months and there could be a lot of closed door settlements with insurance companies.

But this question was posed to me today; is Hultgren Construction still around? I guess I am not sure, but the word coming back to me is that many of the projects they were working on around town have halted. Is it a precautionary measure to freeze their assets or to liquidate them?

Funny how when this all happened every TV station in town sprouted an investigative reporter as if a college professor was getting arrested for sexual assault. Now we hear NO followup with the building collapse. Maybe they found another mysterious white truck driving through Platte, SD in the middle of the night?

Washington Square VS. City Administration Building

I’m just putting it out there, is it fair to compare the two buildings in cost and size and what would be accomplished?

Washington Square with a price-tag of $28 million;

Washington Square will feature 22 luxury condos, 7-thousand square feet of retail space, 22-thousand square feet of office space and nearly 200 additional public parking spots.

The city administration building is $25 million;

The city this week unveiled details surrounding a proposed 79,000-square-foot city administration building in downtown Sioux Falls that would include three stories and a basement level featuring 34 underground parking spaces.

I guess if I was comparing apples to apples, Washington Square is getting more bang for the buck.

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.


But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

Is Governor Hoodwink treating the Copper Lounge Collapse like 9/11?


Governor Dennis Daugaard, right, takes a tour of A&M Market with owner Art Winsky while on tour of businesses in downtown Kimball on Wednesday. Kimball was selected as South Dakota’s Capital for a Day by the Governor's office on Wednesday. (Matt Gade/Republic)

(Image: Mitchell Daily Republican)

Thursday, the Governor had a simple message: shop local.

Should the reputable developers in Sioux Falls hold a press conference?


I’ve been told over the years that I am hard on developers in Sioux Falls, and not all of them are bad guys. Okay, I’ll take the bait. I believe it.

I will be honest with you though. I hate urban sprawl, I believe in rebuilding our core and bringing current infrastructure up to par. I am also a big proponent of property rights, especially residential and I think the FREE market should determine what development is necessary. I don’t believe in TIF’s and think if something is needed, it will succeed on its own in that FREE market.

Okay, back to the press conference. I think the ‘good guys’ in the development business in Sioux Falls should have a joint press conference to talk about integrity in development, hiring safe construction companies to do that work, and the future of Downtown Sioux Falls after the building collapse.

Some might say it is too soon to say something until OSHA and other investigations are closed. I don’t believe it is ever too soon to talk about transparency, integrity and safety in the development and construction business.

It’s obvious corners were cut, we already have previous evidence through multiple complaints.

I believe that this message should come from the private sector of development alone. I think if the city, state, attorney general or OSHA want to hold their own press conferences, that’s fine. I think it’s important that these ‘good guys’ in the development business come out on their own instead of being pressured by government and regulation.

Why is this important? I think it is important for responsible developers in this community to separate themselves from the irresponsible, and show that safety and integrity can exist with profits and progress in the free market.

These are the kind of ‘Worker Rights’ you get under one-party rule in South Dakota

Anytime I hear right wing ding bats talk about less regulation, I only hear one thing; less safety, low wages and more profits.

A KELOLAND Investigation into the Copper Lounge building collapse has discovered that the family of the construction worker, who died, Ethan McMahon, may have a difficult time pursuing a case in court against the construction company he worked for. It all has to do with Workers’ Compensation and South Dakota laws surrounding the insurance.   According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Hultgren Construction had a Workers’ Compensation policy for its employees. By state law, the family would have to prove intentional injury by McMahon’s employer in order to bring a lawsuit

I have actually known about these horrible anti-worker laws for a long time, but try to explain them to workers and they blurt out some kind of anti-union garbage, then buildings collapse, and everyone is wondering why families are not being properly compensated for their losses. One party rule, corruption, lack of ethics, ALEC run legislature, just to name a few, protect big business instead of the common worker.

Workers’ Compensation would provide death benefits amounting to 2/3 of McMahon’s weekly salary to any of his children through the age of 18 or 22, if they are a full-time student. McMahon was not married. If he had a spouse she would have been entitled to that benefit. Workers’ Compensation also covers up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses.

Oh, and also being punished for being a heathen and not being married. Nice.

Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith says the city has created a log of is expenses, just as it would in the case of a natural disaster where it would seek reimbursement from the state or FEMA. In this case, the city will wait to see if any party is found responsible for the collapse and bill them.

So let me get this straight. When the city destroys other people’s property through bad plumbing, or inspections, they blame GOD and won’t reimburse those people, but when the city ‘thinks’ someone is responsible for causing them expenses, they send them a bill. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me? But no surprise.

There is so much dirty pool going on with this building collapse, it’s disgusting, and our city charter and state laws are not helping the matter much.

I also take issue with our mayor talking about how great our first responders are (in which they are) then turns around and screws their unions on raises and benefits. Kudos and compliments don’t buy groceries or pay insurance premiums.

So keep voting for the one-party rule, because like the day of the collapse, in the end, all we are going to find under the rubble is the little guy holding the bag once again.

Would the Empty Space at 10th & Phillips make a great public courtyard?


Funny, when it is 15 below out, I see things and have great visions in my head. As I was driving by the spot of devastation yesterday, I envisioned a cool courtyard at this space, similar to what Rapid City has. A small spray park fountain, public art, a small performance stage, and plenty of picnic and eating areas.

Of course there will be some legal fights etc. But what if that recourse could be solved by gifting the property as a public park? And naming it after the victim?

Seems like a fantastic spot in the heart of our city for public space.

Come see my Art


Tis the season


Santa Crass Returns w/Holiday Hustlers, Sleigher

Dec 10 at 8 PM to Dec 11 at 1 AM
Icon Lounge, Downtown Sioux Falls