Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

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?

Legislating Policy and Open Government make things a lot easier

One of my biggest arguments for open government is that if you apply it consistently it not only saves taxpayers money, but it prevents a lot of headaches and butt hurt. So the SFSD has spent $181K on a consultant, kept the findings secret and wonder why teachers and parents are upset?

“It’s like we’re shown a product, we give feedback, and then they go behind a curtain and do stuff,” Tony Martinet, president of the Sioux Falls Education Association said. “You don’t get to see the mess. …If from the start, they would have simply said, ‘We are cutting minutes to music, P.E. and art because we’re trying to equalize across the board,’ and just owned it from the start, then I mean, the frustration and the arguments would have not have been there.”

First off, I have never been a fan of consultants in the public sector. They usually charge to much to tell you what you want to hear. The administration usually has an expectation and if you pay someone for that expectation, guess what, you get it.

But what is even more frustrating is the lack of leadership by our School Board;

Martinet and others also urged the Sioux Falls school board multiple times to consider weighing in, but administrators have continuously said the board would not make a decision because the process is an administrative function.

While I partially agree that the School Board, as a part-time elected body doesn’t get involved with sitting in curriculum meetings, they do have the ultimate authority to tell the administration they can or cannot move forward with something without their blessing, that’s kind of their job. And when parents and teachers are telling the school board they feel the process is screwed up, the School Board needs to sit their employee (Super Maher) down and explain to him that they are the legislative body that determines how money is spent and what programs move forward. Simply telling them it is not their ‘function’ is unacceptable. When governing the school district, whether that is budgets, new schools, elections or tax op-outs, that is their job, and thye best do it. We elect them to represent us, the people and parents who fund the district. Public Schools are NOT some fascist regime that can do whatever they want to.

UPDATE: The Levitt has NO permanent bike racks. ZILCH!

UPDATE: I went past the Levitt tonight and still no temporary bike racks. (there is an ice machine for the entertainers though). Ironically on the east side of the restrooms there is a large swath that you could have put in at least 30-50 racks, instead they put landscaping. Even if temp racks show up, I am not sure where they could put them. As for ADA parking, I think they are designating the area south of the stage in the city owned lot.

Bathrooms. Check. Expensive sodding and landscaping. Check. Food trucks and beer. Check. Sound system. Check. Sponsorships. Check. Lack of parking. Check.

So you would think an organization that has been complaining about parking by the Levitt would provide bike racks. There isn’t any permanent ones at the location and temporary ones haven’t arrived as of tonight. There isn’t even any trees or other structures to chain your bike to (we could drill a few holes in the Munson plaque and use that).

You would think when we are trying to promote walkability downtown and the use of other forms of transportation to get to events we would have a bike rack?!

Wonder who was the genius that left that out of the plans?

I will say this, the next time I hear anyone from Levitt or the City bitch about the lack of parking at the Levitt I will (not so gently) remind them to install bike racks.

It’s about time!

Imagine my surprise when I got this email today! They finally admitted it 🙂

And you want to be my latex salesman (Mayor)?

City of Sioux Falls announces this morning transit system going to shuttle service

Not sure if this will be a short term experiment, but the Innovation office announced this morning in a DTSF meeting (According to councilor Stehly) that they are going to an on demand shuttle service using phone aps.

While I know they have been discussing this for places that are NOT served well by the bus routes, I don’t think going ALL shuttle service would be a good idea. You are going to still need fixed routes, and what about people with NO phones?

Also, what would be the cost of eliminating full-size buses and moving to shuttles?

It will be interesting to hear the details of the plan. I guess we will find out in an informational in July.