Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

The City Council will have the final say on Pool Rates

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The Sioux Falls Park Board kinda met on July 21, 2015 in a very small meeting room in the headquarters building. Not only is it hard for the public to find these meetings but apparently the board members have problems driving down to them. Five of the members called in to join them. We guess it’s alright but it would have been better is it was televised on CityLink and internet so all could really join in.

Cameraman Bruce was able to get a very clear and concise answer from the board concerning the proposed pool rate hikes. “Let’s park the decision with the City Council and get it out of here!” (FF: 7:00 )

So it’s up to the Council to make the final rate decisions. If you want to make a difference you have to show-up. If you want to be part of the solution you have to be there. If you want to change bad policy you have to use your voice and body to show your election officials you want answers.

Is mosquito spraying in Sioux Falls killing bees, beneficial bugs and driving songbirds away?

I guess I haven’t really thought about it much until the past couple of days as people have pointed out to me that they haven’t seen many honey bees or beneficial bugs. I have several wild flower pots in my backyard, and I have only noticed one bumble bee so far this summer, and no honey bees. There are products that can be used that don’t affect the honey bees and beneficial bugs, and different application practices (avoid aerial and spraying during the day) this product uses a bacteria that kills mosquitos;

“Bti”, Bacillus thuringienis ssp. israelensis, are bacteria which infect and kill mosquito larvae. These bacteria are highly selective, killing only mosquitoes and their close relatives like gnats and black flies. Formulations of Bti will only kill these types of insects and do not harm other kinds of insects, fish, birds, worms or mammals.

– Bti is harmless to other wildlife

– Easy to apply!

– Effective within 24 hours.

– May be applied pre-flood.

When Bti are eaten by the mosquito larvae, they damage the gut cells and quickly paralyze them, then kill the larvae quickly and efficiently. A moderate to heavy dose has been shown to reduce the mosquito population by one half in 15 minutes and the rest within one hour.

Using non-biological insecticides have proven to kill honey bees;

Problems may arise if these insecticides come into contact with honey bees. Honey bees are susceptible to many insecticides, and in fact pesticides are a major cause of honey bee deaths.

Public awareness of the importance of honey bees is growing. Besides providing the beeswax, honey, propolis, bee pollen and royal jelly that are the basis for countless businesses, honey bees are essential for producing a substantial portion of our agricultural crops. As pollinators, honey bees are unsurpassed in their service to farmers producing fruits and vegetables such as apples, cucumbers, squash, melons, blueberries, pears, etc. Without a large and steady supply of bee colonies, commercial growers would not be able to produce these crops, and their businesses would fail.

As for the beneficial insects, it may be affecting them also;

With the threat of new emerging infectious diseases in the United States (West Nile virus, Malaria, Dengue), the clamor for novel personal protection/vector control devices has increased significantly over recent years. The two new tactics that have been introduced for controlling disease-carrying insects in a residential setting consist of fogging the vegetation surrounding the home withlong-lasting insecticides and the installation of residential misting systems that spray the desired area with aninsecticide on a daily basis. There have been some preliminary studies conducted that show that these tactics can have some effect on the mosquito populations in the backyard setting. However, these new control tactics and devices may have an adverse effect on the beneficial insects providing natural biological control of pest species in the areas subjected to the chemical treatments.

Beneficial insects include all the organisms that occur in the environment (may be augmented by the homeowner) that help to keep pest arthropod populations low, pollinate various plant species, and prevent major damage to backyard landscaping.

Some of those beneficial bugs are Lady Bugs, Spiders, Preying Mantids, Assassin Bugs, Ambush Bugs, Thread-Legged Bugs, and Ground Beetles.

As for songbirds disappearing, I am only speculating they are not around because their favorite food is mosquitos, flies and gnats.

Not sure what kind of product the city is currently using, but there are numerous other biologically safe ways to kill the mosquitos and save the bees and beneficial bugs.

It’s A Pool Party! Sioux Falls City Council Working Session, 7/15/2015

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Are you noticing a change at Sioux Falls Carnegie Town Hall lately?   Like, how unprepared City of Sioux Falls Parks staff is to answer real questions with real answers? Our HandiCam was handy for the City Council working session on July 15, 2015 as we caught most of the pool rate increase meeting.

It was quite a meeting of council members ready to work and the city Parks and Rec staff not expecting to. The ill-prepared staff met a council wanting to be engaged. The council allowed the public to contribute information, especially when the Parks staff could not find a body orifice to pull data out of.

It made some wonder, what has happened to the old rubber stamp? The council is getting tired of be taken advantage of just like their citizens.


UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council work session today to talk about ‘Pool rates’

The meeting will be at Carnegie Hall at 4 PM Downtown. I enjoy the work sessions because it is a pretty open forum where sometimes people from the public attending can participate. They usually hold the meeting in the foyer.

UPDATE: Many things occurred at the work session (hope to have a video up soon). One thing was clear at the end of the meeting, the indoor aquatic center is NOT being built for the same users as the outdoor pools.

I was able to address the council and dispel a couple of things discussed, I told them;

1) Our pool rates CANNOT be compared to other communities in South Dakota, our sales tax base is totally different because of our retail.

2) User fees increases (which I support) should be based on inflation, not pulling numbers out of the sky like the administration and some council members did today

3) Keep the free pool passes for the poor, but ask for a free will donation when they acquire them.

UPDATE: Indoor Aquatic Center sponsorship announcement


The Midco Aquatic Center (I heard a couple of rumors about this yesterday) $220K per year for 10 years. Now if we can just get 3-4 more sponsors like that we won’t have to subsidize the operations of the joint. Heck, I would be willing to sell the place to Midco for $.80 on the dollar, after completed.

Any guesses who it might be?

What: News conference to announce the title sponsor and the name of the City’s first indoor aquatic center, being built at Spellerberg Park
When: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
10 a.m.

I have no idea, I know people have been saying it will NOT be Sanford or Avera. If I had to make a wild guess I would say ‘Orthopedic Institute’.


So now the construction manager for the Indoor Aquatics center is spreading mis-information

If there is one thing that has been consistent about the indoor aquatic center, it has been lies, broken promises and half-truths. The Argus Leader did a video interview today with a construction manager of the site, he was explaining the three different pools that were going to be built inside the building, and when he was talking about the therapy pool he said it would/could “be used by the veterans from the VA.”

Nobody from the VA has ever confirmed this, but the administration, the parks department and NOW the construction manager continue to peddle this to the public.

Enough! Until you get a signed agreement with the VA about this, stop telling people that is the case. Now there will be nothing stopping veterans from using the pool on their own time, but don’t affiliate that with the VA.

Are there other parks with ‘problems’ in Sioux Falls?

A South DaCola foot soldier recently told me that there have been problems with homelessness and vandalism at and near another park in town. I guess the neighborhood kids have been having a little fun wreaking havoc on Veteran’s Park including vandalism to the restrooms and damaging the trees (climbing them and breaking limbs) and nearby the Russell Avenue bridge over the river is a popular ‘camp site’ for the homeless.

Not sure if any of this is true, or partially true, but it seems these days our parks in Sioux Falls are becoming play grounds for mischief and crime.

Spellerberg Webcam

The city announced yesterday a construction webcam. Apparently they are using SIRE to run the cam, because, it does not work.

I tried Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Same screen; Black.


Van Eps Park Part II

Seems Heritage Park has become the new party park (just east of the Former Zip Feed Mill on Weber Ave.);

Neighbors living around Heritage Park say it’s as if Van Eps moved to the east.

“They didn’t want people to see the crowds, the police and all that’s going on. Heritage Park will be that,” neighbor Wilma Barrett said.

Heritage Park is on the list of city parks where alcohol is banned, but these neighbors see people breaking that rule on a daily basis.

No surprise, I figured the problem would move around. In fact I still see drinking in Van Eps and I also see it at a picnic shelter by the old Drake Springs pool site. Police are there quite often.

I may get myself into a little trouble with this, but I think there should be a total ban on alcohol in ALL parks throughout the city. I would include the ball parks. I think if we are going to solve a problem like this we need to have an equal policy throughout the city.

PS – I noticed the female police officer in the video looks like the same one that tried to do a skateboard trick on a guard rail with her patrol car.

Pool Rate Tiers, Public input, 6/16/2015

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What can we say that Greg Neitzert doesn’t cover with detail. Greg showed up and started the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input on June 16, 2015 with a resounding boom. In his quiet way he laid out the issues before the council.

My cameraman Bruce also joined in on the Public Input reminding the council of the 2014 election promises made by Don Kearney and the administration now being broken. He let the council know the Park Board had a great meeting during the day and he recorded for the public to see on DaCola.

Transparency, fairness, promises and more are highlighted in this video. Join in our discussion of fairness and promises. The city illegally promised if the public voted against the outdoor pool, they would get an indoor pool by default. With this indoor pool they were promising no multi-tier pricing schemes and openness to the public. What we have discovered is the opposite.

The rate increase issue is a problem we citizens must now help them consider. Do we let the special citizens be allowed to take over this neighborhood pool as their special place or do we fight to keep it a neighborhood pool and meeting spot. Do we let the city reserve the Spellerberg Pool for just those who can afford to pay the premium prices or do we let everyone use it?

MayorCam 2015 was in full operation for Public Input on Tuesday night just for you. Sit back and enjoy.