Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

He just couldn’t stop with the tennis courts

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I guess I would have hired a more professional sign maker.

More problems at Van Eps park

Apparently there was another incident this morning at the troublesome park. A lady with no legs had her wheelchair stolen, and she was left there to fend for herself. If it were not for a county employee that saw her, she might have laid in the heat all day.

Some say just outlawing alcohol at the park would solve the problem. My suggestions?

1) Remove the portapotties

2) Remove the picnic tables

3) Cut down all the trees, or at least trim them to a point where they do not provide shade

Make the park undesirable to people who want to ‘hang’ and the alcohol banishment won’t make much of a difference.

Welcome to Baghdad, South Dakota

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Image Submitted to the Argus Leader

Looks a lot like this famous landmark

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While I support public art, I wonder how much money the public will be ponying up for this project;

The Arc of Dreams will start fundraising with an initial goal of $650,000 that will allow Lamphere to start sculpting. An additional $300,000 will be needed for landscaping and foundation work.

300K for the foundation and landscaping. Get your wallets out tax payer of Sioux Falls, this is gonna cost you.

I hope we don’t need any metal siding on the new Indoor Pool

Here we go again, wanting to hire a risk management company that keeps all the contractors secret and skirts responsibility. Yeah! (Item #38)

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UPDATE: What will become of the old Ice Recreation center once the new Iceplex opens?

UPDATE: I have been thinking about this for a few days. I have been trying to access the informational meeting on the city website, but no luck. The video died about a minute into the meeting when it was LIVE and they have not yet posted it to the website. Once again, SIRE isn’t working and no one at Carnegie or City Hall is doing anything about it. Go figure. Anyway, I did have a South DaCola foot soldier attend the meeting. Parks & Rec Mob Boss Don Kearney did a presentation on saving the Rec Center (I partially agree with him, but we will get to that in a moment). Of course the stuck-up IcePlex crew showed up and cried about competing with the new facility. This could be true, and they do have a point, the city kicked in $1.5 million to the new facility, and why would we want to continue to subsidize the old Rec Center?

I think there is a solution that can make everyone happy. Let’s say we close the Rec center. We have only a few options. Tear the whole place down and just sell the land. We could use it as a Parks garage. Or we could just sell the place ‘As Is’ with the ice and throw in the Zamboni. I like this idea the best, first off, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything to sell it ‘as is’, secondly we wouldn’t have to continue to subsidize it, either as ice OR as a garage. I would also put a condition on the sale that the place that buys it (Private health club or non-profit) can either remove the ice, tear the whole place down, or what I think would be the best use make it into a recreational ice facility, much like Caurosel Skate. Use the facility for strictly ice skating and curling, etc, but not ice hockey unless it is adult leagues.

One of the reasons the Ice Association wanted a new bigger facility is because they claim there isn’t enough inside ice, keeping the old Rec Center as a private ice facility won’t hurt their business. That’s like saying Wild Water West hurts the outdoor pool business in SF Parks. There is room for two ‘different’ kinds of ice facilities in Sioux Falls, and the taxpayers can be off the hook for once.

Images below are from Don’s presentation to the city council. Click to enlarge.

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The city better tread lightly with the indoor pool and negotiations with the VA

I found this article yesterday very timely, concerning Spellerberg Park and the Quit Claim deed with the VA;

A developer who mistakenly built a $1.8 million waterfront house on parkland has been ordered to remove it.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court found that the Narragansett home was built entirely on land owned by the Rose Nulman Park Foundation, and therefore must be removed.

The developer, Four Twenty Corp., began building the home in 2009, but it didn’t discover the error until 2011 when it tried to sell the house and the prospective buyers got a survey. Robert Lamoureux, who owns the company, then contacted one of the park’s trustees to try to work something out, but she told him the land was not for sale, according to Friday’s opinion.

The foundation was set up to preserve the property as a park in perpetuity. A 2008 agreement among the family members says that if the trustees allow the land to be used as anything other than a public park, they must pay $1.5 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The developer argued it should not be penalized for an innocent surveying mistake. The court said it was sympathetic, but it said the park’s property rights outweighed that. It also said it was in the public’s interest to keep the land as a park.

I hope the city either has a rock solid agreement/contract with the VA or has the quit claim deed torn up before they even turn one shovel at Spellerberg.

Well they didn’t waste any time

And imagine that, they buried it in the ‘consent agenda’

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Imagine that!? Kid’s like to swim outdoors

But hey, outdoor pools are a waste of money, even though attendance at them will probably blow away any attendance at an indoor pool.

More people have attended the Sioux Falls Pools this past month compared to years past.

In the month of May, the Sioux Falls Aquatic Facilities had a record attendance with 30,691 visits compared to the previous record set in 1988 with 23,999 visits.

This past May they were 13,000 visits ahead of the five-year average of 17,500 and 25,000 ahead of last year’s attendance. The recreation program coordinator says this is their second season of using the electronic swim passes, which allows family members to enter the pool by using a key fob.

Family swim passes sales have been a huge success with more than 1,500 new pass holders registering and approximately 2,100 renewals so far this season.

Probably a good thing we have the outdoor pools, we will have to find a way to subsidize the indoor pool somehow.

Another thing I noticed over the past couple of days, our sewer rates are going up to pay for all the blowups and explosions we have had over the last couple of years. Too bad we didn’t have $11 million dollars laying around to help with those infrastructure upgrades . . . wait, sewer pipes are not as fun as indoor swimming pools.

How to make a press conference look important

Like I said, I am not going to talk about the indoor pool anymore. The public wants one, so we are building one.

I actually attended the press conference today because I was curious about the announcement. Turns out that the group ‘Veterans for the VA’ will be donating money towards the therapy pool (that is ‘IF’ the pool gets built at Spellerberg – there are still serious discussions about the VA’s rights to the park, especially in light of the recent shakeups at the VA on a National level and NO clear legal document agreement between the city and the VA).

What I found interesting about the small crowd at the PC today (at 11 AM) at Spellerberg Park was besides the 6-7 media personnel there was approximately 8 city managers/directors at the PC with the mayor. (there was about 3 private citizens that support the indoor pool, a Parks Board member and about 8 people from the SAVE Spellerberg group)

I often scratch my head when the mayor and city directors/managers talk about how they are ‘too busy’ to attend certain (ethics) meetings or to talk with the public. But somehow the Mayor and 8 city directors/managers had time to attend a PC that was about a small donation from a Veterans group.

What a waste of tax dollars and public resources (employees).

Some Christian advice from a Non-Christian to our Ultra-Sooper-Dooper Christian Mayor Mike Huether about charitable giving and naming rights

Nothing like the mayor waiting to announce he is going to put his name on the side of the indoor tennis facility (which just received half-million in public funds) on a Friday afternoon before a 3-day holiday weekend. Hopefully all will be forgotten when Tuesday rolls around, uh, not so fast Mike. I haven’t forgotten, oh, and it is Tuesday.

Though Huether admits he started the discussions about donating to the tennis center in April, he waited until last Wednesday (May 21) to request an ethics hearing on his proposed donation. Apparently his question was so important (Sooper-Dooper Ultra important) that they scheduled the meeting the next day, to occur the following day. It must have been important, because the mayor was able to attend, so was his wife and only child (Sanford must give time off for ethics hearings, especially when daddy is looking to boost his ego).

One has to question though if the Huethers were planning to give money to the facility before the city council approved the donation of OUR money? How would that have changed the council vote or public perception of public funds going towards a facility to be named after a sitting mayor, especially since 99.9% will never use the facility.

That’s where the ‘former’ Christian in me would like to give some ‘Jesus’ advice to our very merry Christian mayor. And yes I will be using the teachings of the man/prophet that our mayor says he follows. When giving advice to a Christian, it important to use a book they are ‘familiar’ with, and NO I am not talking about another Dale Carnegie edition.

First let’s start with what Mr. Huether did in his previous life as the marketing manager and head employee tormenter at a sub-prime credit card company (not a bank). He was in charge of selling credit cards to the most fiscally vulnerable of our society (now that is prudence). In fact the practice was so scrupulous and infamous that the FEDS made some of the things Premier Bankcard was doing to their consumers illegal.

‘And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons and subprime credit cards. ‘ Matthew 21:12

The shady marketing aside, what about Huether lying about what he did at First Premier during his first campaign. He said he was a banker. I guess that would be like me saying I am an auto mechanic because I change my own washer fluid. The closest thing Huether got to banking was calling up his sister company and asking for his checkbook balance.

‘Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets and credit card salesmen have gone out into the world.’ John 4:1

But preying on the poor and lying are the least of my concerns about Mike, like I said, I am a ‘former’ Christian, I don’t worry too much about pigeons, prophets and petty campaign promises.

It’s this whole ‘naming rights’ deal that has stuck in my craw. Do I think it is great that Mike is throwing away his daughter’s inheritance on the indoor tennis facility, sure.

‘In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give free tennis lessons than to receive them.’”  Acts 20:35

Never had an issue with Mike’s charitable giving, give away Robin Hood (was he in the bible?) It’s the precedent our city is setting by allowing a sitting mayor to put his family name on a facility that has received public funds.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, don’t plaster your name on the side of buildings, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.’ Matthew 6:1-4

I guess maybe Mike has gotten to the New Testament yet in all of his praying and bible reading. It’s good stuff, especially the stuff that Jesus guy says about charity, money and lying. He also has some dark advice for rich peeps;

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25

But, hey who am I, as a former Christian to tell a practicing Christian what advice to follow? Plaster your name all over town for all I care, after all, we need something else to look at besides Sanford signage. Just don’t combine my tax dollars with your name, could care less what that Jesus dude thinks of it, I just think it is really egotistical and honestly quite tacky.

I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite low-brow artists, and pinstriping pioneer, Von Dutch (who wasn’t a disciple, but a damn good artist) and probably didn’t have any kids that wanted to play tennis.

“I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don’t have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don’t mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don’t need much money. I believe it’s meant to be that way. There’s a ‘struggle’ you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn’t make the ‘struggle’ go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple. “

Oh, Dutch, our mayor is anything but ‘simple’