Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Brian Masek & Jesse Christen release new Jazz/Rock CD


You can listen to some samples HERE.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly on Neighborhood Watch

YouTube Preview Image

At Large Sioux Falls City Council member Theresa Stehly on the push for more Neighborhood Watch programs prior to the Mayor’s questionable bad neighbor presser on June 22, 2016.

Theresa wants to encourage a spirit of kindness, respect and support for all the citizens of Sioux Falls. Expanding the project nice program to a city wide clean-up day would be one step to help all the citizens with tax dollars. Other communities like Fargo and Brookings do it and so can we.

We can work together to foster a helpful loving community for all citizens . The neighborhood watch program has been a fabulous tool for her area for the past 20 years.

Theresa Stehly is out in the community encouraging neighbors to look out for neighbors to help when and where needed.

Sioux Falls City Council ignores the Shape Places Expert in the room, and blindly takes advice from the Planning Staff


Of course, I am talking about city councilor Greg Neizert who helped as a citizen create Shape Places, fought for it in a ballot initiative to prevent revoking it, helped tweak it when it came to billboards and has served on the planning board of adjustment. But hey? What does he know? He actually gave a real simple piece of advice to his fellow councilors before him and Stehly were the only two to vote against a deferral instead of a reprimand back to the planning commission. Greg said, “If any substantial changes to the development plan are made, it has to go back to the planning commission anyway. That’s the law.”

Doesn’t get more simpler than that, yet you heard nothing but crickets from planning staff and the city attorney. So now we have to depend on part-time city councilors to bring us back to reality?

The rest of the council who voted for deferral seem to be delusional if they think the developer is going to make the changes the neighborhood wants them to ON THEIR OWN. Won’t happen. And now the council just threw the flaming football to September without a real solution except a blind hope the neighborhood residents and the developer will gather around a campfire and sing hymnals together to hammer it out.

I have been saying for weeks this is deja vu of the SON neighborhood and Southside Walmart. That case is now pending in SD Supreme Court because of an inept council and planning department. The Oakview neighborhood better lawyer up, and they better do it soon.


After being dragged over the coals, MED-Star is being asked to bail out Paramedics Plus


Angela Investigatnecke over at Stormland TV decided to take a cue from Detroit Lewis and start digging around at Paramedics Plus. Even though there was ten million red flags when they were awarded the contract, like stomping all over MED-Star’s reputation because they didn’t fill out a couple forms correctly, then after getting the contract, employees stealing from dead people (maybe that is why the calls take so long? They have to finish robbing peoples homes before going on to the next call)?

While Angela reveals many interesting issues with the service, like how many times a guy running an ambulance service can lie in a TV interview (and our 911 and health director), I found this part about a ‘supposed’ contract with MED-Star hypocritical;

“Angela, we do not have a contract in the City of Sioux Falls, but interestingly enough, we’ve been called twice in the last couple of weeks to come into town to be mutual aid. But we haven’t transported anybody as of this date,” Jay Masur of MED-Star said.

The City says MED-Star has been “sent” the contract for mutual aid and Masur tells us he’s been trying to meet with Michael Bureau of Paramedics Plus to finalize the agreement.

So the company that was dragged thru the coals during the vetting process is now being asked to bail out the #1 choice for ambulance service in Sioux Falls. It doesn’t get anymore hypocritical than that.

Forward Sioux Falls swindles city council into a $2 million/5-year contract


Unlike other non-profits in Sioux Falls, Forward Sioux Falls set a precedent last night by getting the city council (Item #56) to approve a 5 year contract (instead of year to year) for workforce development and the management of siouxfallshasjobs.org.

But not without opposition.

Erpenbach pulled her typical ‘skeptical’ routine at the beginning of the discussion, than voted for it anyway. Which was too bad, because she had a great argument about signing off on a 5-year contract that would affect future councils. She must have forgotten what she was voting on, someone should have ‘REMINDED’ her.

Not only did Stehly, Starr and Neitzert vote against the contract, Greg added that if he had an opportunity he would ‘Defund’ the jobs site. I couldn’t agree more. Tax payers shouldn’t be subsidizing a employment site when there are many successful job sites in the private sector, that, and our low unemployment rate. This is a ruse to bilk tax payers into paying for classified employment ads for private industry, while doing nothing to address our real issue in Sioux Falls, WAGES!

Want to move Sioux Falls FORWARD, use the money to bring in industry that wants to pay a living wage.

Ignore the crappy roads, they will always be crappy


At the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting yesterday we had a presentation about the conditions of our roads in Sioux Falls from a consultant who studied them last year. They put in a rating system on the roads.

After Councilor Stehly asked why we will not be putting more focus on the worst of the worst streets, Mark Cotter explained that we must focus on the fair streets more to keep them resurfaced before they get bad. Which I am in partial agreement. He concluded that it cost 8x more to replace a bad street then to just resurface. Stehly argued that we should be doing more to fix the bad streets.

Of course the naysayers came out in full force. First they complained the money wasn’t there, than in classic ‘make stuff up Michelle’, Erpenbach basically claimed we were driving on streets of gold.

I will agree with her partially. Anybody visiting our community will see our arterials and main routes are in very good shape, our residential streets in Sioux Falls central and proper, not so much.

I encourage anyone to either drive, or better yet take a bike ride starting at Nick’s Gyros on 41st street and zig zag through the neighborhoods towards 14th and Minnesota. Some of the roads are in such bad shape there are weeds growing in the center cracks. They are so bad, you can tell they are not only in need of replacement, but full curb and gutter, sidewalks, drainage and probably pipe upgrades, that is why the city is scared the death of opening that can of worms. They are willing to let the central part of our community suffer (where they are building a brand new swimming pool) in the name of urban sprawl.

Erpenbach goes on to say that roads become an issue in the Spring because of potholes, but no one talks about it any other time. Huey. This coming from a councilor who hasn’t talked to a constituent since she was elected. People complain about our roads 24/7, 365 days out of the year. It’s not just during campaign season.

So how can we fix the really bad roads while maintaining our urban sprawl? I have suggested a 1-2 year moratorium on quality of life projects, (façade) maintenance on entertainment facilities, flat line the parks budget, subsidizing non-essential non-profits, etc. I bet we could easily squeeze out an extra $20-30 million dollars for streets (you know, the original intention of the CIP to begin with).

This would of course take planning and courage, something that is in short supply at city hall these days.


Sioux Falls City Council Public Input, June 21, 2016

YouTube Preview Image

Those pesky Oakview neighbors wanting to save their neighborhood and all the icky stuff a beautiful apartment house complex could change. Flower, horses, apple trees, kids walking to school and more will go away if the Planning Office succeeds with Item 38. How dare they not believe uncontrolled drainage is a good thing. Why don’t they just go away and leave us alone?

This is the message da Mayor of Sioux falls was letting the audience feel at the June 21, 2016 City Council meeting. The only place this neighborhood feels they can get their message out is in front of the Council during Public Input.

As Jon Solberg was speaking about the uncontrolled drainage damage, our thoughts turned to 14,000 floating caskets if this project is approved as presented..

Why are we here?

YouTube Preview Image

We have to ask, what is so wrong with neighbors showing up to a Sioux Falls City Council meeting? Why does the Leadership seem to get all flustered?

Our example presented here is democracy and the right to air citizen grievances gone amok. We elect people to hire competent staff to keep things straight. Look what happens when the weight of keeping a story straight begins to make the house of cards fall apart.

Remember this June 21, 2016 City Council meeting, a shaky stack of cards is getting ready to fall. We don’t know when but it is interesting how our city government is rattling and shaking.

We ask questions and expect answers, what’s wrong when we get a different answer to the same questions? Why are the answers to our question always, “You didn’t ask it in the right context” or something like “You should have asked it (fill in the blank) way.”

Remember the immortal words of Dolly Parton “It costs a lot to look this cheap” and consider. We have a city government of image and very little substance.

HUGE FAIL! $27 million Federal tax dollars and rail traffic in Downtown Sioux Falls will remain almost the same

railyard winter 15

The cold hard truth about the RR relocation project

Yesterday at the informational meeting there was an update on the RR relocation project. And while the switching yard will move outside of town (that is why we are getting ten acres of land) it was confirmed by planning staff that rail traffic will remain ‘almost’ the same.

I guess when the environmental study was done, BNSF explained that while the longer trains will not be switching cars for smaller deliveries downtown anymore with Eastern and Ellis, that those deliveries will still have to be made Downtown. Planning described it as ‘Smaller trains, but more frequent traffic’.

I went to the city council meeting last night, and during public input I expressed my disappointment in how this project has really changed from its original intent, which was to close the switching yard downtown AND reduce rail traffic. In fact, it could get worse with more frequent train traffic.

Not sure where the train went off the tracks with this project (no pun intended) but it seems the feet dragging and delay after Huether took office may have affected the final result. It was no secret that Huether was cock blocking the project so talk of an Events Center downtown could be quelled. The ten acres would have made a perfect spot for a parking lot for a downtown EC. In fact many still burning from the sting of that whole fiasco have argued that is all that property is good for, besides a public park. As I expressed last night, you won’t be able to build residential, and retail may be questionable also. Besides the noise of the more frequent trains running along the development land, the close proximity to the river could flood the Southern edge of the development. There has been talk about making the area a ‘quiet zone’ which requires crossbars on the street, but as I have understood Federal law on that, there will still have to be some kind of (audio) warning system in place. And even if the whistles are NOT blowing the rattle and clank of trains is loud enough.

Of course all of my whining really is coming to late. Our media really failed pointing out the reality of this project, the only journalist willing to say anything in agreement with me is Johnathan Ellis, and he gets chided for it.

This project is a HUGE FAIL for Federal Tax payers, a HUGE FAIL for downtown commuters and soon it will become a HUGE FAIL for local tax payers once we will be all standing around holding the bag for a piece of property we paid $27 million for that at most, probably will sell for around $4-5 million, AFTER we clean it up.

This is prime example of how pathetic government can really be with our money.


Lacey Estate Planning Commission Meeting, June 1, 2016

YouTube Preview Image

The Sioux Falls Planning Commission met on June 1, 2016 to discussion rezoning the Lacey Estate property on North Bahnson and East 6th Street.

This century old farmstead has been in the Lacey – Brown family as the last holdout to agriculture in east Sioux Falls. The Lloyd Companies have big plans which do not sit well with the neighbors.

We’ll have more on this in the future but for now sit back and enjoy our Sioux Falls Planning department personnel make a fine confusion out of a plan.