Entries Tagged 'Sanford Hospital' ↓

Golf Tournament highlights the gap between rich and poor in Sioux Falls

While only about .05% percent of Sioux Falls residents give a rat’s ass about the Sanford International Golf Tournament, it hasn’t stopped our news media from covering it for days, including the mini-city built on the Minnehaha Country Club greens that took several weeks.

Instead talking about the massive tax increases we are facing with the new jail, new schools, new water treatment plant, lack of food tax relief in the legislature’s special session, and another property tax increase on Tuesday at the City Council meeting, our local media wants to focus on the important things; Golf.

While healthcare costs continue to sky rocket, food banks grow faster than crab grass, soup kitchens continue to expand, and treatment for addiction isn’t available in our community, one of top employers and healthcare providers decided that hosting a pro-golf tournament on an exclusive country club course was a good idea.

Will there be economic impact? Oh, probably. Will Sanford and the MCC make money from the event? Maybe.

But the golf tournament highlights something more than anything else, the gap between rich and poor in Sioux Falls.

The irony only gets thicker when you realize the tournament is being played on land that should be sold to the city for a better east-west route for commuters.

While our news media stands in line like they are at the Banquet for Sanford advertising dollars, the rest of our society is slipping through the cracks. But, hey, we are not a real news story unless we steal a pizza buffet gift card.

Sanford rumors untrue

Trust me I was well aware of the rumors swirling around about Kelby;

He was not, as a growing chorus of rumors claimed, asked to leave his job nor did he contemplate resigning, he said.

“If it wasn’t so sad or scurrilous, I’d laugh about it,” he said. “But people get worried about things like that. I think it’s unfortunate. I’ve got to believe my own people heard that and went ‘right’ or ‘good grief.’ ”

It seemed the more I heard, the more I just got to a point where, “This is so ridiculous, it can’t be true.” I guess what bothered me most was I didn’t have anyone who could verify the multiple accusations and rumors. NO ONE. What made it even worse was this was boiling up on Facebook, a place that can be full of so much bullsh*t it’s not even funny.

While at times I felt some of the things could be true, I got confirmation yesterday from a Sanford rep that NOT only was none of it true, they were baffled who started this. I have no idea, but it seems the main culprit may be a disgruntled former employee with an axe to grind. Believe it or not today’s announcement by Kelby may be in part because I encouraged this same Sanford rep to have Kelby make a statement to quell the wild fire. Which he did.

If there is one thing I learned from all this is that I’m glad I resisted beating the drum. While Facebook is a great place to connect with friends and family, remember, it’s probably not the best source for actual news.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Of course the lingering question still is out there, Who signed off on the bad events center siding? I was hoping Kelby would tell us. Darn it.

Has Sanford taken over our local media?

A screenshot of the Argus Leader main page at 10 AM, June 26, 2018.

I know, you are probably laughing at me right now. We have known for awhile that if Sanford isn’t doing it in Sioux Falls, it’s not worth reporting. But really, why would someone pay for an online subscription to the AL to just read about whatever news stories Sanford is feeding them (and probably paying them) for?

Ever since Stormland-TV’s only investigative reporter has been on personal leave, there seems to be NO controversial stories coming from them either. For instance, ‘Why did the trail derailment occur in Doon? Who’s at fault?’ Notice NO one in the local media has asked that question or been given an answer. Is journalism that difficult?

I know some make fun of siouxfalls.business for basically getting paid to write positive business stories about businesses, but #1, Jodi doesn’t hide the fact of what she does, and #2, how is she any different than our supposed unbiased local media? I don’t think the separation is that wide, except for the fact one is being honest about what they do.

Maybe our Health Care Mega-Plexes should partner with Paratransit instead?

While it’s nice that Sanford has money for liquor licenses, suite’s at the Denty, Sports Bars, Basketball arenas and now a tourist trolley, shouldn’t Sanford & Avera be looking at a private/public partnership with Paratransit?

“We’re always proud to support services in our communities,” said Paul Hanson, Sanford Health executive vice president. “We know how much visitors love the Sioux Falls trolley service and couldn’t be happier to support it.”

While that’s great, I just wish our health systems would focus on ‘health’. I think a partnership with the hospitals and paratransit could be inked. Besides, I think the Trolley should be paid for out of the CVB’s BID Tax, but I guess they refuse. Well at least Sanford is fulfilling one empty promise from the former mayor and the CVB;

The trolleys also will be available as a shuttle service between downtown and the Denny Sanford Premier Center for major events throughout the year.

Premier Center entertainment district here we come!

Council Candidate Soehl bows to the Sanford Altar

While watching the online interview today between Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidates DeBoer and Soehl, Argus Leader Metro Guru Joe Sneve asked them what they thought about developer impact fees and specifically Sanford tearing out affordable housing in the core of our city.

Sanford has mentioned in the past that they would like to expand the 18th and Grange campus all the way towards Minnesota avenue. In that process they have bought several properties in that swath, which includes some of the most affordable housing in our city.

Soehl answered the question first and pretty much towed the tired old line that Sanford has done so many things for our city including employment opportunities (South Dakota has some of the lowest healthcare salaries in the nation) that we should be careful about stopping such expansion.

DeBoer had a different twist on the topic. Besides pointing out that Avera has decided to expand in an area that doesn’t require tearing down affordable housing, he says the Sanford expansion has been detrimental to affordable housing in the core of our city. He reminded listeners that these are some of the most affordable housing options in the city that help first time homebuyer pull themselves out of poverty and rental living. He also pointed out all the blacktop Sanford is putting down in these neighborhoods in the form of parking lots. While he admitted to the economic impact of Sanford, he also said they could expand elsewhere in our city without tearing down these houses.

Zach is right. Instead of Sanford giving several acres to the school district, they could use that land for expansion.

But Zach brings up a bigger point, why does the city, and particular the council and city hall always bow to the altar of Sanford. The Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the City Council could easily say NO to Sanford when they want to tear up more affordable housing in the core of our city, or impose heavy impact fee penalties to dissuade them from doing so.

We need more councilors like Zach, who are looking out for the best interest of the citizenry and not the bottom line of Sanford.

Sioux Falls City Council votes to allow Sanford to ‘park’ a liquor license at their foundation house

So the dirty little secret comes out. Sanford Health has NO intention to use the liquor license at the foundation house, just to ‘park’ it there until they open another bar/restaurant at the sports complex.

So with so many people wanting a liquor license in town, to actually use, and generate tax revenue, the city council has allowed Sanford to actually SIT on a license, an organization that should be using all of their revenue to actually help the sick and dying instead buying up liquor licenses.

If you don’t think our city government hasn’t been bought and paid for by Sanford, you are one naive little turkey.

I was actually embarrassed that not one single councilor voted against it. I guess it is OK for a healthcare organization to horde liquor licenses but a family business owner can’t sell a Bud Light at a movie.

Shake my F’cking head.

Want to reduce opiod use? Marijuana.

A recent news report says that Sanford Health is researching alternatives to opiod pain relief and reducing there usage.

One word; Marijuana.

And I am not talking about the medical stuff they have to make syrup out of, I’m talking about good old natural THC. Either vape it or get it in an edible. It has been a natural pain reliever for thousands of years. And here’s why the medical community and big pharma doesn’t like it.

Unlike prescription drugs that are often made from dangerous highly addictive chemicals, Marijuana can be grown at home without a prescription from a doctor.

Obviously, it cannot be used for extreme pain but it can help with minor aches and pains, relieves spasms, increases appetite and can relieve minor stress and depression.

Like any drug overuse can cause problems, uh like, laziness and laughing a little too much. There is NO record of anyone dying from an overdose of Marijuana, but can cause anxiety in some people.

Why the medical community doesn’t study this natural drug more is beyond me.

There is a good chance that on Monday valid petitions will be turned in for Recreational Marijuana to be put on the ballot in 2018. I think it will pass with over 55% of the vote if it makes the ballot.

We not only need to embrace this like other states have for pain relief but the sale of recreational marijuana could change state funding like nothing before and has shown to reduce crime and criminal justice spending.

Enough goofing around with dangerous chemicals and skyrocketing crime, South Dakota needs to embrace the legalization of Marijuana.

 

Should Hospitals invest in Sports Bars?

As Washington debates the repeal of the ACA, right here in Sioux Falls one of our industrial hospital complexes seem to be so awash in money they are investing in a new Sports Bar at the Sanford Sports Complex. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think they own the original restaurant that was there, some ownership in the hotel and the sports complex itself which includes a basketball stadium.

Sanford has argued in the past that funding these things is a ‘small percentage’ of their entire budget. But I ask a two-part question, 1) If Sanford is losing money on these facilities, how does that affect healthcare costs in Sioux Falls and wages (SD is nearly last in nursing pay in the country) or 2) if these investments are actually making money, why aren’t healthcare costs going down and paying employees more?

Sanford would argue they need these amenities to bring in good doctors with families, I get it. But what should be the true duty of healthcare? Entertaining rich doctors or bringing top notch affordable healthcare to patients? I’ve never understood making a profit on healthcare, whether that is hospitals, pharma, insurance or even ambulance service.

While patients are drowning in debt or not getting care at all, our hospitals are worried about Sports Bars and basketball, and we wonder why healthcare in our country is such a mess.

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.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

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.

Another breakthrough at Sanford

Interesting signage at the hospital. One wonders what kind of sign permit you need to have a backlit photo of your late mother on a building. No, seriously. Too bad Warhol wasn’t still alive so they could have made into a pop art icon image.

edith-sign

I think Archie best reflects my sentiment.