Entries Tagged 'Floodplain' ↓

GOD, “Stop voting for Republicans, and the flooding will end.”

BY Johann Hawkins

STORMLAND ENDORSER NEWS – Sioux Falls, SD

After I finished my interview with God (the almighty) I could only think of my favorite biblical verse,

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

Was God telling us the truth? I mean, would he lie to us?

This interview got rolling the other day when a fellow journalist from a real newspaper in Sioux City told me, “A lot of tax dodging rich folks are upset about the flooding in Dakota Dunes.”

And I jokingly quipped, “Maybe their greed and ignorance caused it?”

And as Starfucks coffee shot out of our noses from the laughter (which, BTW, tastes better coming out then going in) I got a call on my Dingleberry. It said restricted number, I picked up anyway. The caller said, “Is this Johann? Nevermind, of course it is Johann, I watched you pick up the phone. This is God.”

At first I was a bit nervous, right before my friend showed up I was surfing porn on my phone and thought God was calling about a little intervention. He says, “About your comment, it is true, I always punish greed and ignorance with an occasional flood.”

I said, “Well, God, I was just joking.”

He says, “I’m not. Seriously. You wanna build your house in a slew between two river bottoms that are known for flooding, hey, you are rolling the dice. Well, I am really rolling the dice, and the house never loses (a muffled giggle is heard).”

I challenged God, “So what you are telling me is that you allowed this because ignorant people think they can control mother nature?”

“Well, Kinda.” God replies. “It has more to do with Republicans and their constant hypocrisy. You know, I’m not a fan of hypocrisy?”

So I said to him, “So these floods are punishment for South Dakotans voting in Republicans?”

God says, “Pretty much. Noem was the tipping point. I just thought over 30 years of them running the working class into the ground that it was a little payback time and what a better time and place like now? Do you think it is just by happenstance that Pierre and Dakota Dunes are seeing the worst of this?”

I was a bit taken back, maybe God was telling me the truth, maybe Republicans really did have it coming? So I asked him about the Army CORPS. “Some people are blaming the CORPS for mismanagement.”

“Well (chuckling) they aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer,” God retorts, “but they couldn’t have created this mess all by themselves. Do you think New Orleans was a result of a Hurricane? Silly boy. It’s the classic ‘bait and switch’ by rich greedy Republicans, blame someone else for your stupid decisions. I mean, really, did the CORPS put a gun to these people’s heads and force them to build their homes in a historical flood zone? Nope. But a couple of people even greedier then them convinced them of a tax haven. Wonder how those tax cuts feel now while living in a hotel as your McMansion is destroyed?”

I was a bit surprised, and I said to God, “Kinda cold, don’t you think?”

God replies, “You Christians and your New Testament peace and love crap, have you read the Old Testament? You do know I am a Jew? Right?”

Well, that shut me up, momentarily, but I wanted to get back to the CORPS. I said, “What do you think of Bill Janklow threatening to sue the CORPS over this?”

God laughs, “Funny you bring up Bill, St. Peter and I were just talking about him the other day, but we won’t get into that. Who do you think Wild Bill is going to defend? Rich Republicans or government? I can’t wait to watch that spectacle, maybe that trial will actually end with putting his ass in jail once and for all.”

I was still uncertain what God was getting at, and if there was a biblical lesson to be learned here, so I asked him, and he replied,

“Stop voting for Republicans, and the flooding will end. Keep it up and you will find out just how much a grasshopper can eat.”

 

Biblical Proportions

More on the Mo

The Sioux City Journal has a great piece on the floods;

“Because people are lulled into believing floods will never come, people began building right up to the river. I think the building of Dakota Dunes symbolizes that,” he said. “I think, again, they’re putting their faith in the Corps of Engineers and dams in South Dakota to protect their property.”

As the Missouri River has flooded in recent days, frustrated property owners have criticized the corps for its management of the river. Many want to know why the corps didn’t begin releasing water from reservoirs earlier when it knew there was above-average snowfall in the mountains.

Why? Well because government doesn’t like change;

Col. Bob Ruch, commander of the Corps of Engineers Omaha Division, said the corps follows a master manual to set reservoir releases during the fall and winter so that once spring arrives and the snow melts, there is enough room to hold the influx of water.

Imagine if private industry worked like that? There would be no innovation, no new technologies.

“What do I want to see a century from now? No dams on the Missouri River. None.” Stephen Ambrose – Author of Undaunted Courage

I was going to write a satirical piece about all the taxpayer dough that is spilling into Ft. Pierre and Dakota Dunes to save the McMansions, but I wish no ill-harm on anyone, even the arrogant and the rich, so I will take more of a serious approach to the irony.

First let’s look at the projected flood maps of Sioux City.

Most areas are in the 4 foot range. A map south of Jefferson SD down before you get to Dakota Dunes shows 2′ over I-29.  More as you approach the Big Sioux delta (see all the maps here).

Now let’s talk about the rich benefitting from democratic socialism (from a South DaCola foot soldier);

The GOvernor’s press conference yesterday mentioned that the 2 blackhawk helicopters bagging at Dakota Dunes were borrowed from Nebraska. All 6 of South Dakota’s were federalized and overseas. For the war(s). Daugaard was trying to borrow another one to have 3 flying.  He said the streets in Dakota Dunes were designed to slow traffic and stuff (gated?) so the sand trucks could not get in there and turn around to dump a sand berm.  Plus the storm sewers empty into the river so it will come up those first into the development if they are not plugged.

Those conferences are a CYA with some tea-party words to live by about taking care of your own property.

One of the state engineers said that the spillway at Pierre would not be opened for this event unless it was a catastrophic shit storm.  So I think some of the old infrastructure is not all that trustworthy.

This may also be part of the problem (SNARK)

But governor DooGard only thinks we need to use all of our FIBERS;

“We’re strong, self reliant and we’re going to fight this flood with every fiber of our being and were going to do everything we can to minimize it’s effects,” said Daugaard.

Isn’t it ironic that Doogard talks about ‘self reliance’ while the rich Republicans that piss and moan about taxes are benefitting from the social benefits of those taxes, such as the National Guard coming in to protect their homes from flooding? How does socialism feel now? According to Dakota Dunes website, shouldn’t they be exempt from receiving these benefits? Sounds like they pride themselves on self-reliance and not contributing to that icky socialism;

KEY ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES

· No personal state income tax
· No corporate state income tax
· No personal property tax
· No business inventory tax
· No inheritance tax
· No local sales tax

So who is getting stuck with the bill? We will. But as the above foot soldier points out;

If a state gave companies incentives to relocate to a corporate “city” with private security and no local government, who should get sued when the residents lose all the shit they own?

How can they sue the Feds when they don’t believe in what the Feds are doing? I mean, if you are anti-socialism, you can’t complain when a socialist entity like the National Guard fails to protect your homes. Right? Read more about Dakota Dunes and their backdoor buddy.

I merely posted this piece for discussion. Like I said above, I wish no harm on ANYONE, no matter who you are, rich or poor. I would love to put out a gigantic H/T to the foot soldier who provided me all of this info thru several emails. They will remain Anon. I would also like to say good luck to a National Guardsman I know who got called up to help with the efforts. They couldn’t have a finer person on the team.

Maybe we need to buy the Big Sioux river a pad w/ wings

We don’t seem to be concerned about transparency and conflict of interests in local government. We don’t seem to care about sewer backups, pot-marked streets and water rates being raised every 10 days. We even love to let the city spend millions on task-fucking-force after task-fucking-force on the events center (even though the public has yet to vote on a funding source).

But what do we like to get concerned about? Spring flooding.

Like a women’s menstrual cycle, spring flooding is pretty much gonna happen. Yeah, it may be off a few days, but it always happens. But it doesn’t stop our local government, officials and local media from blowing it way out of proportion;

They believe they have dodged a major bullet.  After weeks of preparing for record flooding, they now believe the flood threat for the city is over, at least for now.

While I should be having a sigh of relief, all I can do is laugh at how freaking ridiculous our city officials look making mountains out of mole hills. It would of took a civil engineer and a meteorologist about 30 minutes to figure out our flood threat was low. But hey, let’s divert attention from the real problems that exist in our city by talking about a woman’s monthly visitor.

Maybe we should hold a press conference about the threat of one-way streets downtown have on public safety. I see Iwegions and old people driving the wrong way all the time on them.

Is the flooding scare really about flooding or money?

Photo: Mike Fodness (from KELO-TV website, flood 2010)

I watched this debate unfold during the SF city council informational meeting, and I got the feeling that the feds were more concerned about money then they were about flooding, and after reading this article, I’m starting to agree;

But a process that had been moving rapidly suddenly stalled when the money request reached the Corps headquarters in Washington.

Oh, that’s right, up until this point the city of Sioux Falls has subsidized the Feds by paying for the feds levees and flood controls while contributing to the Corp’s infrastructure.

If we give them federal money now (something we all contribute to in our federal income taxes) we would be going against what we have done in the past. Better think this one through, we wouldn’t want to look like hypocrites . . .

At issue is a rule that forbids the Corps from mixing emergency funds with project funds, Cotter said. The city of Sioux Falls issued bonds in 2009 to complete the levee upgrades after years of budget delays from Congress. Officials in Washington question whether the temporary emergency upgrades would qualify as mixing of funds with the city’s plan to finish permanent upgrades.

In other words, the Corps had the money to give us to do the permanent fixes and if they give us money now, it will prove it. I have said all along paying for those upgrades, actually borrowing money for those upgrades was f’ing stupid. I actually pleaded with a few councilors not to approve it. Councilor Staggers told me their hands were tied. Boloney!

It’s simple. If the Feds (FEMA) is telling you the levees need to be raised and those levees are owned by the Feds (Corps) it only makes sence they pay for it. The city should not be involved besides upgrading the bike trails, landscaping, etc.

We were really suckered and it looks like we will get suckered again.

The real reason the levees had to be raised in Sioux Falls

As I said all along, this is the REAL reason the levees had to be raised;

Once the flood-control measures are in place, probably by the end of next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will redo its flood-plain maps and. In turn, fewer properties will be in the flood plain – saving money for property owners.

Walmart, Sam’s Club, The Empire Mall, Target are some of the businesses” that will be taken out of the flood plain, said project manager Tom Berkland.

Instead of worrying about the 1% chance that Walfart might get flooded we should have been more concerned about all the poopy in people’s basements. And isn’t that the crux of it all? While we received record rains, besides a little street flooding, no where along the river (within Sioux Falls) there was flooding. Imagine that!?

It’s not only a state policy but a city policy;

“Big Business first, citizens second.”

Stupid SF city council decision comes to fruition

I still think this was one of the dumbest city council decisions in a long time. In fact two councilors told me they were opposed to it, and still voted for it anyway;

The city of Sioux Falls is issuing $30.8 million in bonds to pay for higher levees and other flood-control measures along the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek.

The bonds were to be issued earlier this year, but the offering was shelved because city officials thought the Army Corps of Engineers would get about $11 million in federal stimulus money to finish its share of the project. That money never materialized.

Sioux Falls officials decided to pay for the project after the Federal Emergency Management Agency expanded the flood plain in the city, meaning about 1,600 more properties had to have flood insurance.

The city is pledging sales tax revenue for the bonds but might eventually be repaid by the federal government.

First off, like I have said in the past, we shouldn’t be subsidizing the FEDS, and secondly, we should not be borrowing money to build bridges, it should be budgeted into our 2nd penny budget, but since that kitty is dry from buying rock and wood thingies at McKennan Park for Quen Be De’s favorite park it looks like we are behind the eight ball once again. I can’t wait for the insanity that will be caused by closing 41st street down to 2 lanes next summer.

An Interesting Email Exchange

er_fema_logo

Councilors Litz and Staggers had a protest vote against FEMA’s floodplain maps at Monday night’s council meeting, they knew it would pass without their votes but were basically telling Washington they didn’t approve of the way this matter was handled. The city was forced to accept this map. I sent this email to Staggers and Litz shortly after the vote, Litz was the only one to respond, I found what he had to say, interesting to say the least;

Kermit-

I applaud you and councilor Litz for voting against the floodplain map, I have been saying all along it is bogus (or something like that).

Scott L. Ehrisman

LITZ: One federal agency , the Corps is told by another federal agency FEMA they didn’t get the  job done so if your house is insured in part by another federal agency HUD you must buy insurance from another federal agency. Kafka couldn’t have done it better.  The trouble is the comedy of errors involves real peoples money…..blitz

ME: I do understand that the council had to vote for this (forced) but I still wish there would have been more vocal protest. I will have to say, that for once I am not disappointed in city government on this one, I am disappointed in our Washington delegation in not doing more, your hands were tied.

Good luck, Scott

LITZ: We are powerless against our Federal Government…blitz

ME: Really? Dissent is a powerful thing. It created this country.

Sioux Falls taxpayer’s to subsidize the Federal government

vote-1-6-09-340x700

Only in Sioux Falls would our city officials make it’s residents pay for something the Feds are responsible for. I am amazed how the city will bully it’s citizens into paying higher taxes, higher rates and turned the city into practically a police state with their code enforcement, but when the Feds tell them NO, they roll over like a dog and play dead.

Sioux Falls officials are moving ahead with plans to issue bonds for a major flood control project, two months after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to fund its share of the project.

This is silly for many reasons. 1) The levees are Federal property and the responsibility of the Federal government not the city of Sioux Falls. 2) FEMA, a Federal agency, created this bogus floodplain, they should be responsible for fixing it 3) Only 11% of the Federal stimulus has been distributed. Who knows, we may still get the money.

The amount of the bond is calculated at $29.4 million, which would include the Corps’ share as well as about $12 million for the city to reconstruct the 41st Street Bridge. It could be the last major bond issue for Mayor Dave Munson, who leaves office next year.

Yes, as a city we are responsible for fixing the bridge, the bike trails and landscaping, but that’s it. But there is more to the story;

The bonds were sold competitively and garnered five bids. The winning bid had a 4.13 interest rate on the life of the bonds – much lower than officials expected. The difference between the low bid and high bid amounted to $1.4 million in interest costs.

Hmmmm. 4.13% interest rate? Boy I wish I could get that for my mortgage. Kind of sounds like the hub-bub about our tax petition drive affecting interest rates for bonds was COMPLETE BULLSHIT! Just another fear and smear tactic by the misleader in Chief, King Dave.

The success of Tuesday’s bond, as well as the potential for low borrowing costs on the upcoming flood control bonds, rests in part with the high credit rating issued to the city by Moody’s Investors Service, a credit rating agency.

In a report issued Monday, Moody’s indicated that Sioux Falls is likely to “continue solid growth over the long run after emerging from its mild recession, fueled by above-average population growth,” low business taxes and “high-wage employment opportunities.” The report noted that unemployment remains low when compared to the national level.

Don’t you mean NO BUSINESS TAXES and LOW-WAGE opportunities? Apparently Schwan is working her magic with Moody’s to. But I found this next piece of info interesting;

“Restructuring of John Morrell’s operations nationally is a risk,” the report said, as well as uncertainties in the city’s financial services industry.

Gee, haven’t heard anything from City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce or the Development Foundation about how they are going to try to keep JM’s here. Typical of supposed leaders in our community, “Just ignore the problem and it will go away.”

Jessica Cameron, a senior management consultant with The PFM Group in Minneapolis said, “Sioux Falls is considered by the rating agencies to be very vibrant.”

 

Cameron, who is serving as the city’s financial adviser, said there hasn’t been a date set for the flood control bonds.

Well Jessica ‘too good to drive to Sioux Falls so I take a plane on taxpayer’s dime everytime I come here’ Cameron, isn’t it your job to promote vibrancy in our city? Isn’t that what we pay you for? And while we are on that subject, why do we need to pay a financial advisor when we have 22 people working in our finance office?

Officials are eager to get started. But before they can, the Corps must sign an agreement that allows Sioux Falls to advance it money, Public Works Director Mark Cotter said. That agreement, after making the rounds at various offices, is at Corps headquarters in Washington.

 

“They have up to 60 days to review it,” Cotter said. “We’re hoping to cut that down to two weeks if they’ll do it.”

No, let’s hope they decide to fix what they own with their money, not ours.

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