Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Levitt has put out a temporary bike rack

I guess I really am a f’ing dummy, I found this rack by the old Parks and Rec building. It’s obviously temporary and not even staked to the ground. With the around $4 million dollar investment made into Levitt you would think permanent bike racks closer to concert grounds and more visible would have been installed, hopefully by next year. Either that or another $25 million dollar TIF for another DT parking ramp we don’t need.

I also got a chuckle out of Lloyd’s sponsored concrete pad. I guess they blew their wad on the sponsorship itself because it looks like they pulled a Banksy with a couple cans of spray paint and cardboard stencil. Hey, who says our local developers don’t keep up with the latest artistic trends?

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, June 18, 2019

Council Informational Meeting, 4 PM

May Financial Report

City Council cell phone ban proposal (Stehly). I see no harm in this. If the city council can limit public input and put a texting ban in place on it’s citizens, it’s time for the council to put their phones a way during meetings and pay attention to the business at hand.

Council Regular Meeting, 7 PM

Item #22, Bonus Round is adding a second location Downtown next to the Full Circle Book COOP.

Item #33, 2nd Reading, Item #34, 1st reading, Ordinance. This would remove the words ‘gun dealers’ from city ordinance so the city’s pawn shops can still collect serial numbers from guns, essentially skirting state law. Not sure what kind of testimony will occur, but what I find ironic is that while the city doesn’t challenge state law to ban guns in public buildings, like Carnegie where council meetings are, they want to make sure a national vendor like Leads Online can continue to collect data on guns. I guess we only challenge state law in SF when it affects expensive property being stolen or when large national vendors are being threatened with loss of revenue. Who cares about being safe at a public meeting?

Item #38-39, 1st Readings, Re-Zones for Tony Erickson (husband of councilor Christine Erickson) to convert properties from single family to townhomes to probably eventually make into Air BNB properties. We will see what the neighbors think. I expect Christine to recuse herself, though it really doesn’t matter. I wonder how many of the neighbors even know what they will do with the properties. It will be interesting to see if this is brought up during the hearings.

Calendar Coming, Click to Enlarge

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly’s cell phone ban proposal will have it’s naysayers

The arguments against the ban by the RS5 will be high theatre, so let’s review some of the cards they will pull against this ban;

• What if there is an emergency I need to attend to? That’s simple, you give the number of the council’s operations manager, Jim David to your family members. If their is an emergency, they can call him and he can notify the councilor affected immediately. The irony is that in the 15 or so years I have been attending and watching council meetings, I have only witnessed a councilor leaving once due to an emergency.

• What if I need to research something. Well that research should have been done before you came to the meeting (just like they used to do in the olden days when they had NO internet and NO cell phones) and if you have legal or logistic questions you can ask the applicant or city director to answer those questions by walking to the microphone during the meeting.

• Having my cell phone during a meeting is part of a modern society. While I can somewhat agree that technology has changed, the meetings really are a ‘public’ hearing of sorts, that means all correspondence during the meetings between councilors and staff, constituents or applicants should be public, and in a legal sense, if you are texting about policy in the meeting, that really should be released to the public.

• We don’t need an ordinance, we can just learn to be more respectful. Funny, I said the same thing about public input, but that didn’t stop the RS5 from putting more restrictions on it. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the citizens of Sioux Falls can’t be trusted to be more respectful with texting and driving how can we trust our elected leaders?

Let’s face it, they will come up with a whole host of different reasons we don’t need the ban, because they want to continue to text the ‘players’ in and out of the room. And that is really what it is about, as I said on FB about this last week;

What a sad world we live in that 9 adult elected leaders in our city can’t put their phones away for a couple of hours to do the people’s work. I grew up with landlines and didn’t get a cell phone until about 15 years ago. What did elected leaders do before cell phones and the internet?

These public meetings are about doing the people’s work, and they shouldn’t be distracted by outside testimony or influence during the meetings. If the important people want to be heard privately, schedule a appointment with them before the regular meeting. I don’t take issue with prior discussion with all the parties involved, but when it comes to the actual meeting, you need to be ready to go.

What this comes down to is a game the RS5 has been playing for awhile to gang up on certain councilors and it’s no different then watching sharks circle their prey. Guess what, you are big kids now, you can put away the video games and cartoon watching for a couple hours a week to do the people’s business. I know the first couple of meetings without your phones you will probably experience cold sweats, uncontrollable hand twitches and suddenly the need to wring your hands with hand sanitizer every 5 minutes, but you will survive.

 

Expensive home sales as ‘News’ shows the enormous gap between the wealthy and working poor in Sioux Falls

Over the past couple of years we have seen this rise of expensive home sales as somehow being ‘news’. We get to see these enormous castles on various news websites as somehow being a testament to the booming economy of community. All it says to me is that our industrial complex hospital systems are paying their doctors too much.

What’s sad is that week after week as we have to endure the sales of the week (which always exceed $500K and sometimes teether on the million dollar mark) while most working class folks in Sioux Falls are struggling to pay a mortgage (if they are so lucky) or even pay rent and feed their families. Don’t be fooled by the poorly decorated rich peeps homes that are selling like hot cakes, Sioux Falls has an enormous housing crunch right now that has nothing to do Dr. Ding Dong’s Lake Estate.

Let’s admit it, unless you qualify for some charitable or federal program (because you suddenly have 6 kids jammed into a 1 bedroom apartment because you don’t know how to use a condom) most working poor people are left behind. And even if you can manage to keep your willy wrapped and work three jobs, it is virtually impossible to build a new home in Sioux Falls for under $200K.

And rents, they are astronomical because we have allowed the apartment developer market to regulate itself with little interference from local or even state government (besides handing out TIFs like candy).

The carrot dangling by some of the news organizations is ridiculous. The constant ‘look what you could have if you just worked harder’ (or had a medical or law degree) isn’t reality. Reality would be for these same ‘news’ organizations to push for more pay equality, living wages and ending wage collusion between our top employers in town, then we can move onto affordable housing.

Let’s start talking about the real housing issues in Sioux Falls instead of Dr. Ding Dong’s indoor pool vaulted ceiling irish pub hot tub gourmet kitchen and heated floor garage.

Nobody got hurt during Gay Pride this weekend

Okay, I’m being sarcastic (but not really).

While some protestors showed up (I can’t remember if it was at the Terrace Park or at the Parade) they were quickly pushed away by love and song.

This year’s event by all accounts went off without a hitch, as it should. In fact the parade was full of love and positivity and a very large crowd turned out. The festival itself had record crowds and the most booths I have ever seen, which included banks, charities, travel agents, non-profits, youth organizations and CHURCHES!

The media did a great job this week promoting the event. While all 3 TV stations did stories on it, kudos goes to Stormland TV for countless stories about pride (I renamed them GAY TV this week).

The event organizers knocked it out of the park and should be commended.

But what was most fantastic about the event was it’s positivity. We can embrace diversity in our community. For a brief time this weekend whether I was at the Levitt, the parade or at the festival itself it put a big smile on my face to know that Sioux Falls has become more progressive, liberal and accepting while it seems the rest of the state is moving backwards. My running joke to friends over the weekend was, “You know, we live in a conservative state.” Could have fooled me. It’s the line of crap we hear over and over from our ‘supposed’ leaders, but I don’t see that in Sioux Falls, in fact I don’t see it in a lot of other major cities in South Dakota. There is a small number of whacky neo-con gun chucklers in our state that constantly bombard us with their message that we are a solid red state. While we do lean red, we are close to crossing that purple line (I think we already have). Don’t believe the ‘Red State Rhetoric’ we will eventually take back this state from the Fascist Red Baron Royalty who currently control Pierre, and sadly they won’t see it coming.

Levitt is a true gift to the community!

Yes, the Levitt has some kinks to work out, but it seemed on Saturday night they already fixed one of them (putting the wristband stand next to the beverage stand). They still need to work on the bike rack situation though.

Other than that, the most amazing thing I saw both nights was community coming together. Unlike the Pavilion or Denty or even the Midco Aquatic Center, you can go to the Levitt without a ticket and possibly see 30 concerts this year and 50 next year FOR FREE! The great part about it is, if you don’t like the act, you can leave and not feel cheated.

As for parking, I think there was plenty. I saw people walking to the event from 6th street and 8th street, and there seemed to be plenty of parking in the Raven lot. There isn’t a parking issue. I also think the Levitt volunteers did a great job of directing traffic and parking in the area.

As for the music, both nights were fantastic, especially last night. The band that performed was world class, and I enjoyed meeting them and chatting with them after the show. It was funny because I told three of the members that their trumpet player hits the notes perfectly (she is with the baby in the picture below) they laughed and joked with her saying something like “We told you so!”

I also got to meet the daughter of the Levitt founders, I got shoved into a photo with her to (God knows where that will show up!)

I think the crowds will get more diverse once more people realize the events are free (they will even borrow you a lawn chair!)

While I would still like to see BYOB, I think the adult beverage handlers (JJ’s) did a good job!

I would like to personally thank first the taxpayers of Sioux Falls for this amazing financial support and gift, like I often say some of the best things in SF are free to use, like the bike trail.

I would also like to thank the vision of Tom Dempster and Jennifer and Joe Kirby, and lastly all the hard work Nancy Halverson put in, Levitt SF really was lucky to bring her back and have her run this organization.

SIDENOTE: Please Sioux Falls, I know the previous Mayor started this trend, but it needs to end, especially now that we have a Graphic Designer as Mayor, STOP USING ALL CAPS HELVETICA ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS!

 

First Night of Levitt was Fantastic!

Click to enlarge photo

If I had to take an educated guess it was around 2,000 people. The Levitt organization was very helpful with lawn chairs, and there was plenty of room for everyone. The sound system was also almost perfect, it wasn’t too loud and it was very clear. We will see how tonight’s concert goes, fantastic band;

A couple of observations though;

• There was NO temporary bike racks and people seem to pile their bikes together or chain them together.

• People (especially women) were praising the restrooms.

• The concerts end right at 9 PM sharp. I think they should adjust the time to 10 PM on Friday and Saturdays. The sun was just going down at 9 and it would have been cool to watch the music for another hour.

• The drink ticket situation is strange. The tickets are only good for the day of the event and they quit selling at 8:30 PM. So if you have any tickets left, you are screwed. On a positive note though, the selection was really good for beer, etc. But in a strange move they put the wristband station on the west side of the park and the drink line on the east side. I guess they make you exercise for your beer.

Also, on my ride home, I took this strange photo behind Slumshine. Unrelated.

UPDATE: Are the council meetings turning into a game show?

UPDATE: City Councilor Stehly is proposing a cell phone ban at the council meeting. She is likely basing it on the Rapid City ordinance. She will do a presentation on the proposal at the Tuesday Informational.

Sioux Falls Charter Revision Commission meets next week

This is their first meeting of 2019, so it is just preliminary meeting to go over the agenda for the year. There are some new members this year, but I don’t have much hope things will change since Justin Smith will still be on the Commission reminding the members that we can’t risk putting stuff on the ballot because ‘it could pass’.

The CRC’s job is to make sure something is LEGAL and REASONABLE within the law to put on the ballot when it comes to changes to the charter. Their job is NOT to make educated guesses on whether something will pass or not.

I have a feeling nothing will be put on the municipal ballot in 2020 that is brought forward by councilors or concerned citizens or groups through the CRC. But I guess we will have to wait and see.

Thank God we still have the petition process, the only logical way to get ordinances passed in this town anymore.

UPDATE: The City of Sioux Falls needs to stop ‘Data Mining’ citizens

During public input Tuesday night, I told the council they needed to stop the city’s administration from data mining on it’s citizens through different apps, surveys and Facebook. The administration has reached out to me and have been looking into my accusations. I will let you know when they have given me ALL of their feedback.

UPDATE: The testimony after me is actually pretty good also, Duane Schipper(sp?) talks about the explosive employee wage/benefit increases under TenHaken. Are we running a city or Microsoft?