Entries Tagged 'Media' ↓

Why is our local newspaper endorsing a TIF?

How does that old saying go about ‘Fair and Balanced’ reporting? The Argus Leader Editorial Board and columnist Jodi Schwan both have endorsed using a TIF for the Washington Square project, something I would expect out of Stormland TV news (who is always sucking up to city subsidized projects) but I found it to be a little strange for our local newspaper.

Then there is the tired old argument that TIF’s are needed for any of these projects to succeed;

But it all comes down to public-private partnerships.

They’re not important. They’re absolute. They’re critical. You can’t do it without them,” he said. “If you’re setting out to do something transformational for your city, it’s impossible to do it with only private money. You need at least a third of the money … to come from the public sector.”

Let’s think about that. The Houwmans are looking for less than 15 percent of their financing from TIF with no other public funding. Stark is saying one-third is justifiable.

While I am all out opposed to TIF’s, especially when big developers make ridiculous statements about them being the lifeblood of redevelopment, let’s say for a moment I supported them. I think a TIF would be fine for the utility work and cleaning up the alley between Main and Phillips Avenue, but 15% of the total cost? I don’t think so. There seems to be this movement by developers (and investors) in Sioux Falls (who have already seen record growth over the past several years) to feed at government’s trough. While a TIF is certainly not a handout, it is a rebate on property taxes (and they are requesting the rebate for 10 years). While the County struggles to make ends meet (they are considering another opt-out) we want to give another private development millions in tax rebates.

Worst of all, they have suckered our local paper into believing that somehow we need more parking in that area (that can only be used at night and weekends).

I think this project should sink or swim on it’s own. No pulling strings behind closed doors in City Hall or at our local paper. If we really want Downtown to be successful in development we need a stronger concerted effort of helping private homeowners and apartment owners surrounding downtown with fixing streets, infrastructure and community development grants and loans. Neighborhoods and districts are built by individuals helping each other. A couple more condos at 12th & Main in no way should be funded partially through property tax rebates, and shame on the Argus for getting in the middle of the fight that is between the developers and our local government.

A real professional

I did not attend the Eagles concert, and I think it certainly improved my quality of life.

tweetingmoron

KSFY gone Wild!

ksfygonewild

I wondered ‘who’ or at least ‘how’ they would replace Nancy.

No worries, Carleen Wild has just showed up.

Columnist should learn the basics of municipal government before writing about it

Yes, municipal governments work with the school districts in their respective territories and often school and municipal elections share a ballot like they will next Tuesday in Rapid City, BUT . . . (Stu Whitney column)

Building a new sports and entertainment complex. Working to improve race relations. Finding ways to ensure schools are properly funded. Forging relationships with businesses to spark growth.

This is what you get when you take a sports writer and turn him into a city columnist overnight. Lack of understanding.

Municipal governments have NO control over School District funding, and vice versa.

While it is nice for the mayoral candidates to weigh in on the school district opt-out in Rapid City or school start dates in Sioux Falls (as our mayor thought appropriate) they really have no control over it. That is NOT a leadership issue, it is a governing/jurisdiction issue.

Please, do us all a favor and do a little research on the basic tenants of local government. After all, it is where the big decisions are made, not in publicly supplemented indoor tennis courts.

Really!? Is Stormland-TV news turning into FOX News?

stormland-faux-news

For the record it is the ‘Republican’ and ‘Democratic’ parties. Not sure when that has changed? (KELO-TV screenshot)

I wondered what the John Thune press release news station would do for coverage of the President, so I toggled back and forth between them and KSFY while watching live yesterday. I will admit KSFY did a better job, even though it got tiresome hearing Brian Allen say ‘awesome’ & ‘amazing’ every time he saw a presidential seal and grumpy-grouchy Nancy continually interrupting so she could tell us about the color of the carpet at the White House. But at least they praised the presidential visit, instead of turning it into a pouty-pants party for Noem-Rounds-Thune.

When I heard the above Stormland reporter say ‘Democrat’ party in his report and it being on closed caption, I just shook my head. This is what it has come to in the MSM in South Dakota, partisanship, awesomeness and whole lot of caring.

Dana Dykehouse on the Su Fu Stupid show, 5/5/2015

Once in awhile I change my name when I comment on the Argus Leader Media online shows. Mainly because I think when DaCola asks questions they get deleted or not asked.

Last Tuesday I was commenter ‘Hot Air’ even though I think Patrick Lalley was a little suspicious it might be Detroit Lewis.

Dana started the show by talking about the Dakota scholarships, or whatever they are calling them. I posted this question (and Pat asked it);

“Instead of throwing $50 million at a couple hundred students so we can chain them up to a low wage manufacturing job in SD for 3 years, why not spend that money on reducing the cost of Vo-Tech education for everyone?”

Dana made some comment about the conspiracy of ‘indentured servants’ and ignored the vision that President Obama actually talked about today in Watertown, affordable or FREE community college education for all.

Then I got a good belly role out of Dana’s comments about how all the Events Center Task Forces worked together. I made this comment (Patrick posted it, but did not relay the comment):

“The Event Center Tack force worked together? LOL! I recall you stomping out of a few meetings after you pouted about not getting your way.”

Dana went into a mild rant about the ‘unintended consequences’ of the federal credit card regulations (mostly on marketing).

I made this comment (also posted but not relayed to Dana);

“Your credit card division’s marketing practices were one of the main reasons the FEDS put in the regs!”

I wanted to go further and comment that our very mayor ran that division, but it was hard to keep up . . .

Dana began to defend ‘Pay Day’ Lenders. He argued people needed them for ‘quick money’ to get out of a bind, and the usual lines you hear from these kind of lending predators, so I played nice, and Patrick actually asked my question;

“What did ‘these people’ do before pay day lenders? High interest credit cards or Food Stamps? Really, I ask the question?”

Of course Dana, as I suspected brought up loan sharks and mobsters, he even went as far as saying, “Have you seen the movie Rocky?” LMAO! So I made this comment (Pat also posted it, but didn’t relay the comment to Dana)

“I knew that was going to be your answer, everyone went to the mobsters. Sure, Dana. Actually, people depended on family and friends to help them, and when their neighbors helped them, they didn’t charge them a 300% interest rate.”

Then Dana started bragging how private investors, including himself, gave almost $100 million for upgrades to the SDSU sports palaces, some named after him.

I made a comment about how it was good that he took advantage of all those people on high interest credit cards so he could take his personal wealth and build these facilities. Lalley was not amused and did not post the comment, but did say this;

“I could only go so far hot air. Thanks all.”

I couldn’t resist to finish the show with one last comment (that was posted) about how unimaginative the host is;

“Stu, not sure if you know normal everyday peeps in our town that do great things, but in the future, I suggest you ask them to be a guest on your show.”

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
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

Watertown

Circulation Type: Daily
Daily Circulation: 9,336

APROX POP: 22,000

Media General (owner of KELO-TV) evade my inquiry

As you know, way back in December I posted about how the Mayor and his best buddy Jay went to a Green Bay game together;

I was also shown photos of the mayor attending a Greenbay game at Lambeau with the general manager of KELO-TV, Jay Huizenga. I guess it didn’t shock me too much

As you know, by reading the post, Jay said he doesn’t comment on his ‘personal life’. So I decided to ask his employer about his activities. This is the email I sent to Media General (December 30, 2014);

Courtney Guertin,
I have some concerns about one of your properties/news organizations.
KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, SD.
I have been a resident of Sioux Falls since 1991 moving here to attend technical school, I grew up in rural South Dakota and have watched KELO since I have been a child. I also follow state and city politics very keenly. I am very familiar with many local journalists and elected officials.
 Recently I was shown photos (I believe acquired from Facebook) of the General Manager of KELO, Jay Huizenga attending an NFL game at Lambeau field (Greenbay) with the mayor of our city, Mike Huether. There were also photos of the mayor attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party and announcing at the party that it was ‘Jay Huizenga Day’ in Sioux Falls in celebration of Jay’s birthday.
Mr. Huether is an elected official and acts as a full-time city manager, he is not ceremonial, and acts under a strong mayor form of government and home rule charter. Recently he has been proud of getting a new Events Center in Sioux Falls built, KELO-TV is one of the naming sponsors.
Out of fairness, I asked (emailed) Mr. Huizenga why a GM of a news organization would attend a very public event like an NFL game with an elected official and invite him to the Christmas party. I questioned the journalistic integrity of such decisions.
Jay did respond to my email, telling me, “I don’t comment on my personal life.”
I’m not sure what Media General’s policies are on relationships between journalists/news managers and elected officials, but Jay seems to be implying he is ‘personal’ friends with the mayor, and since he is, it is OKAY to attend these events with him. This kind of relationship concerns me because it puts into question the purpose of the 4th Estate, and it’s duty to perform those duties with the highest ethical standards. I think journalists and news managers should avoid those kind of situations and not encourage them so there is no ‘appearance’ of conflicts of interest.
I thought you should be aware of the situation AND await your prompt response.
Thank You,
Scott L. Ehrisman

 

Courtney responds to me (January 7, 2015):

Scott,
I apologize for the delay in responding, I was out of the country. I will look into this with our Operations Mgmt Team.
Best regards,
Courtney Guertin
Director, Marketing & Communications
Media General
401-457-9501

 

I have not heard from them since, I even sent this email (February 11, 2015):

Courtney, do you have any updates about this?

Thanks
Scott
Apparently, Media General condones Jay’s behavior. Now back to scaring old people with weather reports! Carry ON!

GM of KELO-TV says trip with Mayor Huether to NFL game was ‘Personal’

reporter_mj

“Hey, thanks for those tickets to the Greenbay game, now for some (softball) questions.”

So last week I was shown some photos of Mayor Huether attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party doing photo-ops with employees. Maybe he was the keynote speaker or the entertainment for the night. Thank Snowplows my work just sets up banquet tables in the warehouse and feeds us fried chicken for about 45 minutes for our Christmas party.

I was also shown photos of the mayor attending a Greenbay game at Lambeau with the general manager of KELO-TV, Jay Huizenga. I guess it didn’t shock me too much (the Christmas party I find stranger then the game trip).

So I sent this email off to Jay;

Jay, I recently was given a couple of photos of Mayor Huether attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party and you and him attending an NFL football game in Greenbay. No big deal. What concerns me is that the General Manager of a local news organization is crossing the line of journalistic integrity. I don’t think I have to remind you of the 4th estate, and their duties. Sometimes that means you can’t be friends with certain people. Before I post anything on my blog, I would like to hear an explanation from you.

Thank You, Scott L. Ehrisman

southdacola.com

Jay replied;

Thank you for the email.  I have no comment on my personal life.

No Jay, thank you for not answering any of my questions. I did think about sending the mayor an email, but I’m sure his ‘personal’ friend Jay probably already made him aware there are photos of Santa Cheesehead Mayor floating around on the Facebooks. C’mon Mike, didn’t you learn anything from the Lamb Chislic incident?

Though I responded to Jay that ‘I understood’ I really didn’t know what to think, but the more I thought about them, the more it frustrated me that our local news media would be this cozy with an elected official.

Like I said at first, didn’t surprise me. But then I started thinking about all the very (soft) stories this organization has done about the city, especially when it comes to this mayor or the Events Center (remember, KELO is a sponsor), and it started adding up, that the relationship is way too cozy.

First off, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people in the news industry being friends with local elected officials. Hey, if you want to go for a jog together, meet up for drinks, or even have dinner at each other’s homes, I think it is perfectly within reason. I think the more cordial journalists are to elected officials and vice versa, the easier it may be to get a story. I know my cordial relationships with public officials have yielded me many leads and information. But I certainly don’t take them to NFL games, and I am certainly not a full-time, for profit, news organization. I think more importantly I share a common interest in transparency, and integrity in government with these officials. I don’t need to scratch their backs, and they don’t need to scratch mine to get truthful information out there.

What makes this situation different is, who invited who? And who paid for the tickets and travel expenses to the game? This is where it gets complicated, and NO longer ‘personal.’ Someone indicated to me that KELO may have supplied the tickets since that particular game was broadcast on CBS, and the mayor or others in the party paid for travel expenses to make it appear more 50/50. Either way, it’s one thing for an elected official to buy you lunch or even a beer, but a trip to an NFL game? I also find it ironic that a Mayor and an Events Center sponsor would have to travel a couple of states away to ‘entertain’ themselves when they told us we needed to build the Events Center so we can see world class entertainment here instead of traveling. So which is it? Isn’t Stampede Hockey entertaining enough for you guys?

I want to know what you think. Do you agree with Mr. Huizenga that this has to do with his ‘personal life’ only? While (political) business may or may not have been discussed on the trip, it seems this kind of cozy relationship may affect the kind of news we hear about this political figure. AND I think it has. But you know what they say at these media organizations, the sales department never dictates to the news department what to broadcast. So I guess the General Manager never talks to the news department either, you know, similar to the relationship Huether has with the city council.

Though Jay did say the football game trip was personal, he failed to say anything about the Christmas party, which leads me to believe Huether was invited.

Like I mentioned above, I have often felt that this news organization has done light hearted and non-controversial stories about the city, mayor and others (I’m convinced that Thune has a staffer with a desk in their studios), and after seeing and hearing the latest about the relationship they share, I have ZERO confidence in this organization ever doing anything investigative or controversial about Huether, or even giving us the full story.

So much for Doug Lund’s post about how much better KELO is at NEWS then the Argus Leader.

I get angry when people I know in the broadcast news business, who work every bit as hard at their craft and are as dedicated to journalistic excellence as anyone at the Argus.

More like working on craft beers at an NFL game with the mayor. Speaking of the ‘100 Eyed Spaghetti Monster’ I told them about the situation and encouraged them to do a real story about it, instead of just my farting around stuff on my blog. I don’t have much confidence in that happening after reading Whitney’s column on Sunday about the mayor smiling a lot and beating up on Kermit over a wishing well. Stu, was that supposed to be a parody column? You know, parodies are supposed to make people laugh, right? At least you didn’t mention Dan Scott, and well, Janklow is dead anyway.

So much for the 4th Estate in Sioux Falls being the watchdog of local government, more like the lapdog.

I guess it is good to be King, and it only cost a couple of football tickets. I suspect to see another story about evil bloggers after this post gets published. Hey Jay, wanna join me for a Storm game? I’ll even drive, of course we would have to see it in our lousy stadium, be careful not to trip on any of the cracks in the floor and watch out for flying siding.

Monty’s last talking point

I showed up late, but got a chance to say farewell to David, and watch him tie a bow tie. A very talented writer, and more importantly researcher. I have a feeling that David will be writing for the Washington Post someday.

Good Luck.

Montys-last-talking-point