Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Wheelbarrow sales hit all time high this past week in Sioux Falls


By Summit R. Swedge, southdacola.com

Not only have hardware stores in Sioux Falls seen an upswing in wheelbarrow sales this past week, they said the sale of mason jars and mattresses are also on the rise. A strange course of events that has some hardware store managers attributing to the Summit League Tournament.

“In the past we have seen a small up-tick in sales around the tournament time, but nothing like this. I think more people are seeing the bigger potential with the tournament now being played at our new events center,” says ACER Hardware Store Manager, Kevin Kneeberg.

I asked if people were more inclined to do yard work, brew hooch and get a good night’s rest around tournament time?

“Oh, I have speculated all of those things, but I guess I really don’t know. My wheelbarrow supplier couldn’t even tell me what it was all about when comparing market studies,” says Kneeberg.

I decided to ask some fans what they attributed the sales streak to.

College basketball fan, Marvin Boredtoudeaf thought maybe it had to do with tail-gaiting, “You, know, it’s gonna be a Hell of a nice weekend, one of those wheelbarrows would come in handy for a butt load of chips and salsa.”

Another fan, Grace Needsomtingtodo, said, “The games can get a little boring, so those mattresses would come in handy.”

I wasn’t buying it, because as I perused the parking lot at the Events Center, I didn’t see any of these items. So I decided to ask one of the Summit Tournament organizers the significance of the purchases and if there was some kind of promotion going on.

“Well, sports fans are usually full of a lot of crap . . . heck, really, I don’t have a clue, but I will concur, I could use a new bed” says organizer Carl ‘Lumpy’ Oranges.

It seemed I was getting no answers from these folks, so I decided to wait outside Acer Hardware and BINGO, I saw a guy feverishly hauling two wheelbarrows to his truck.

I yelled, “Sir! Sir! Could I ask why you and many other citizens are loading up on wheelbarrows? Are you a big fan attending the game? Have you received a special promotion?”

The man who cared not to be identified said, “College basketball? HA! I wouldn’t watch that for free at home, besides, I heard it is a real bi*ch to get tickets at that bent up tin can.” So I still wondered, why are people buying these items around Summit Tournament time?

He replies, “You’re kidding right? Now I have known for a long time that you journalists in Sioux Falls aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, but you seriously have no clue?

It’s for transporting and storing all the money this tax payer of Sioux Falls is going to make from the economic impact of the tournament, gotta be prepared, it’s like winning the lottery. Which reminds me, I also need to grab a shovel and a ticket.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell the gentleman that really isn’t how it works. I just hope Kneeberg is prepared for returns on Monday, besides, the economic impact or not, the tax payers of Sioux Falls are still going to have to make that mortgage payment on the Events Center every year, for a very, very, long time. They may want to keep the wheelbarrows to assist them in delivering that payment each year.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls & Brandon City Council holds first ‘informal’ meeting

UPDATE: Not sure if you noticed, but this meeting was only announced about 24 hours before it happened on the agenda page. That’s it, no press releases on the main page, no special announcements or even a camera man to film the event. And guess what else, while most of the SF & Brandon city council, including the Brandon Mayor were able to attend, our Mayor did not. In fact due to the lack of publicity, only one citizen showed up, and not only did he film it for me, he got invited to join the group for discussion. Let’s just say it is probably a good thing Mike didn’t show, several Brandon officials didn’t have many glowing things to say about him.

I’m told the meeting is NOT at Carnegie or being recorded because this is an ‘informal get to know each other’ meeting.

I’ll bring the snacks and handycam, who is bringing the beer?


Why are students and school administrators against the late start? ACTIVITIES, ACTIVITIES, ACTIVITIES!

My phone was ringing off the hook today about the Roosevelt students speaking at the SF school district informational meeting Wednesday night about the after Labor Day start.

I will agree with administrators that I think it is wonderful that students came and spoke up Wednesday night. But let’s be realistic folks, most of them are not eligible to vote, they are not parents and business owners AND they don’t don’t pay property taxes. So while we appreciate their opinions, they really don’t get to make the final decision.

So now with the phone calls . . .

The first (and second) was about a person attending the meeting last night, and they overheard a student say that it was announced over the morning messages at Roosevelt HS to come and speak at the meeting and they would get ‘credit’.

I later passed this information on to my favorite botanist, substitute teacher, pianist and foot soldier, Theresa Stehly. According to the principal of Roosevelt that Theresa interviewed on the phone today, credit was NOT offered, but students were encouraged to attend, and also commended Thursday morning during morning announcements over the HS’s P.A.

Theresa was told by the principal they would welcome a presentation by the Save our Summer group to the student body. I hope the SOS group takes advantage of this opportunity, and I hope the MSM gives equal time and credit to both sides of the issue. It’s an opportunity for great dialogue in our community. Lets face it, both sides have solid arguments.

And here’s the kicker . . .

Roosevelt High School principal and student council advisor both reiterated to Theresa that it would put a hardship on athletic activities. Their fear is that the SD activities association would probably not be flexible in scheduling activities if Sioux Falls changed their school start date to after Labor Day.

Theresa told them that she felt that other communities would follow suit, and the activities association would work to support these changes once they felt the groundswell from the SF policy changes.

While many reasons have been thrown at us about AP testing and Christmas break, it seems the real gorilla in the room is about starting early practices for sports.

There is also a question of state law and the legality of the students being encouraged by administrators to testify against a late start date, this is advocational in nature and kind of sits in a grey area when it comes to elections.

The school district must be very careful to not spend any tax dollars or energy on influencing this election.

I encourage ALL students to come and talk about the issue, but at the end of the day, it’s the parents, tax payers and eligible voters who will make the final decision, not HS football players or cheerleaders.

Finally, I pay for your education, and I don’t take that duty lightly, and fully support it, but I expect the highest level of transparency. This is the first thing we must teach our young minds.

TIF 19 gets approved by Planning Commission for ‘workforce’ housing

You will have to watch the meeting yourself, but I got a good chuckle out of how they are claiming that ‘workforce’ housing is similar to affordable or low income housing. It’s NOT. It pretty much means they don’t have to charge low rents like affordable housing. They use a tax credit that makes them eligible to charge rents comparable to 60% of the median income. Make no mistake, this apartment building is just that, an apartment building, nothing special about it, and certainly not deserving of a TIF.

I also take issue with developers that live out of state getting property tax rebates. At least when Dunham or Lloyd get a TIF, they put the money back into our community.

I hope the City Council grows a sack and denies this TIF, it’s not a blighted area and it’s not affordable housing.

Video tape Parks Board Meetings

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Kermit is asking for open government in Sioux Falls again and guess who doesn’t like it, again? Yup the old schoolmarm. She just doesn’t stop hating everything to do with open government. It’s as if we the people are too stupid or dense to understand the basics so she has to keep reminding us of her special place.

Kermit asks a very simple question about holding the super duper top secret Sioux Falls Park Board in the open in the Carnegie Town Hall so they could be broadcast for the Citylink viewers ability to watch.

Here we have a city department sucking and spending a major part of our city revenue with no oversight. We ask a question and they close down the meetings. The schoolmarm was once on the Park Board and still protects it from the Council. She still is so protective she doesn’t want Kermit to bring it up.

We also ask all to consider the questionably legal maneuver she has performed recently getting named to the Spellerberg Aquatics citizen committee. She got herself named to the committee to make decisions for her special interest then she turns around and votes as a councilperson on those very same proposals.

A few conflict of interest type issues to work out her and she does not want anyone to see it. Open government anyone? Next thing you know the schoolmarm will bring out her ruler to smack fingers for raising questions.

The very curious Washington Pavilion roof replacement


Roofers are going to keep themselves busy at the Pavilion.

Over the past few days I started thinking about why ‘engineering services’ alone would cost $78,000 for roof replacement. These are JUST plans, not actual replacement costs. Remember the window replacement bid fiasco? Or how the tuck and point job was getting messed up by a local contractor and an out of state contractor had to be brought in to fix the mess?

Then I started to get even more curious when Councilor Staggers made the comments about ‘the several fixes’ the Pavilion roof has gotten over the years, and I personally recall when I worked there about the leaky roof.

Make no mistake, the roof probably needs to be replaced, and when we are spending $78,000 just for engineering, it must be pretty serious.

I talked to a local contractor this morning and asked what their thoughts are on a project like this. They said that the leaky roof doesn’t surprise them, because as they understand, they had to join a new roof with the old roof on all 4 sides (remember the only part that was gutted was the center for the Great Hall). He said you would automatically have issues right off the bat, joining an almost 100 year old roof with a new roof, also take into account, it’s a flat roof, so during the winter/spring when thawing and freezing occurs, ice dams most likely happen at the openings of the downspouts.

He said the project will probably get even more expensive if they replace the balustrades (those buldgy pedestal thingies on the edge of the roof) with fiberglass replicas. I guess the terracota balustrade should be replaced because they could crack and break due to their age and fall on people below.

That wouldn’t be good.

Make no mistake, the Pavilion roof replacement is probably long overdue, but like the siding on the Events Center, it should have been done right to begin with. Can’t wait for the maintenance bids to start coming in on the Events Center in the next 10-14 years. Grab your ankles folks, this is gonna hurt.

Public Input 3/3/2015

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Media General (owner of KELO-TV) evade my inquiry

As you know, way back in December I posted about how the Mayor and his best buddy Jay went to a Green Bay game together;

I was also shown photos of the mayor attending a Greenbay game at Lambeau with the general manager of KELO-TV, Jay Huizenga. I guess it didn’t shock me too much

As you know, by reading the post, Jay said he doesn’t comment on his ‘personal life’. So I decided to ask his employer about his activities. This is the email I sent to Media General (December 30, 2014);

Courtney Guertin,
I have some concerns about one of your properties/news organizations.
KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, SD.
I have been a resident of Sioux Falls since 1991 moving here to attend technical school, I grew up in rural South Dakota and have watched KELO since I have been a child. I also follow state and city politics very keenly. I am very familiar with many local journalists and elected officials.
 Recently I was shown photos (I believe acquired from Facebook) of the General Manager of KELO, Jay Huizenga attending an NFL game at Lambeau field (Greenbay) with the mayor of our city, Mike Huether. There were also photos of the mayor attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party and announcing at the party that it was ‘Jay Huizenga Day’ in Sioux Falls in celebration of Jay’s birthday.
Mr. Huether is an elected official and acts as a full-time city manager, he is not ceremonial, and acts under a strong mayor form of government and home rule charter. Recently he has been proud of getting a new Events Center in Sioux Falls built, KELO-TV is one of the naming sponsors.
Out of fairness, I asked (emailed) Mr. Huizenga why a GM of a news organization would attend a very public event like an NFL game with an elected official and invite him to the Christmas party. I questioned the journalistic integrity of such decisions.
Jay did respond to my email, telling me, “I don’t comment on my personal life.”
I’m not sure what Media General’s policies are on relationships between journalists/news managers and elected officials, but Jay seems to be implying he is ‘personal’ friends with the mayor, and since he is, it is OKAY to attend these events with him. This kind of relationship concerns me because it puts into question the purpose of the 4th Estate, and it’s duty to perform those duties with the highest ethical standards. I think journalists and news managers should avoid those kind of situations and not encourage them so there is no ‘appearance’ of conflicts of interest.
I thought you should be aware of the situation AND await your prompt response.
Thank You,
Scott L. Ehrisman


Courtney responds to me (January 7, 2015):

I apologize for the delay in responding, I was out of the country. I will look into this with our Operations Mgmt Team.
Best regards,
Courtney Guertin
Director, Marketing & Communications
Media General


I have not heard from them since, I even sent this email (February 11, 2015):

Courtney, do you have any updates about this?

Apparently, Media General condones Jay’s behavior. Now back to scaring old people with weather reports! Carry ON!

Thumbs up to the Sioux Falls Street Department

This is something that has been tossed around for awhile, and I highly recommend the city budgets in 2016 for these units;

Sioux Falls Street Fleet Galynn Huber says the city is in line to update technology on their trucks that will make your life easier the next time it snows.

“When we eventually go to putting GPS units in our trucks so that people can see where we’re at, it’s going to be key,” said Huber

The GPS would track the snow plows as they cleared the roads.

It would also help residents see when snowplows are in the area, for parking, driveway scooping, etc.

Pavilion needs new roof

CORRECTION: Remember the cinedome that needed a new roof last year? Well the 15 year old remodel now needs a new roof at ENGINEERING COSTS OF $78K. (Can’t wait to see the final costs to come in on the roof) While this is probably true, we need to take this into account, this is the kind of maintenance we will need for the Events Center over the next 20 years. Why is it that city facilities need so much maintenance?


I also see the city needs to purchase ‘dumb bodies’, I thought we were already paying a hefty price for them :)