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Those Ugly, Hideous, Scary looking Solar Panels


The anti-green energy folks are rearing their UGLY heads again with the tired old argument about how a solar panel looks;

“We live out of Sioux Falls, but we’re still close enough to Sioux Falls so you pay for that when you move out here. To sell this house after that goes up, I don’t think anybody else wants to look at that.” Jana Peterson said.

No Jana, you don’t want to look at it. It’s solar panels, they make no noise and are almost completely motionless, and as Geronimo energy has pointed out, there will be a cornfield around them, so in some parts of the year, you won’t even see them, and besides, what if you do have to look at them? What is so ugly about solar panels? Seriously?! Studies have also shown solar farms don’t reduce property values. But, But, But, I’m not getting anything from it . . .

“It’s not going to make a difference on us, we’re on Southeastern Electric out here. It’s not going to help us, so why do we have to look at it to help their energy bills,” Peterson said.

Actually you are wrong, the more green energy we use it benefits us all by helping our environment.

Please people, get over your anti-global warming, anti-green energy rhetoric. Green energy is the smart way to go. I much rather live next to a solar farm or a wind turbine then a coal plant.

MMM gets a statue as well


RIP Robin Williams

My favorite comedian died, very sad today.

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Found on FB

Okay, so I saw these folks downtown today, wonder if they are protesting the ‘Stogeez Steakout’?


Family Museum

This my Great Great Uncle Emil Blachnik’s museum in Tabor, SD. Love when they turn on all the gadgets.

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Phillips to the Falls

Can’t find Falls Park? Just follow the water (H/T – Helga)


Greetings from Potsdam, Germany

My South DaCola foot soldier in Potsdam was too busy to get photos of MMM during his visit, but he sent me this fantastic article (I used Google Translator, so it is a bit choppy)

“The boomendste (Boomtown?) small town” 

Interview with Mike T. Huether, mayor of Potsdam’s sister city Sioux Falls, about his home and mutual learning effects

On Thursday, the grand launch of a tram Sioux Falls was held in the name of the Potsdam sister city. “Godfather” was Mike T. Huether, the mayor of the 162,000-inhabitant city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. In MAZ Interview Mike T. Huether tells about his homeland and mutual learning effects.

Potsdam. Mike T. Huether, who with his wife Cindy in Potsdam since Monday wants to strengthen partner relations between the two cities in the future yet.

MAZ: In the U.S., many cities nickname: Chicago is known as “Windy City”, New York as the “Big Apple”. What is the name Sioux Falls?

Mike T. Huether: It is also called “Boomendste small town”. I think this is a beautiful community with Potsdam, where one can see at every step, as everything is flourishing.

Very few Potsdamer probably have some idea of ​​Sioux Falls. How would you describe your city?

Huether: There are many new buildings, many new businesses. The unemployment rate is extremely low – it is only three percent. There are also plenty of jobs. The fact is that we are desperately in Sioux Falls in search of labor.

What is the “secret” of your city?

Huether: We have a very good economic balance hingekriegt and have legs in the most diverse sectors of the economy: This ranges from the financial and banking on the research and trading to the two major hospital corporations and an Orthopedic Institute who are resident with us. Not forgetting of course the large agricultural area. Sioux Falls has a very large catchment area. The metropolitan region and include the city with 250 000 inhabitants. It’s called Sioux Falls also “The heart of the Midwest” – the heart of the Midwest. It’s like a small or a small Chicago-Minneapolis.

So no cowboys and Indians?

Huether: No, cowboys and Indians are rather rare with us, but there is as I said a lot of farmers.

Overall, it sounds like this, so if Sioux Falls would not exactly starving as a municipality.

Huether: Yes, it is a rich city. Many doctors, lawyers and bankers live in the city. It is also a very popular retirement home for retirees. We were even voted among the top five most popular cities for retirees in the United States. This is due to the cost of living, the good health care system and the fact that it is a safe place with many things to do. Another reason for the attractiveness is the fact that there are very many jobs for retirees who want to get a sense of purpose.

They are now nearly five years Mayor of Sioux Falls. What have you done before professionally?

Huether: I was a banker. But at some point in life one finds that one can not buy happiness with money. I had enjoyed my 25 years in banking, but I wanted to make something special and serve the citizens.

What skills does the mayor in your community?

Huether: The office of mayor is an impartial office. The citizens vote not for a party, but for the person. Although I am a member of the Democratic Party, but that does not matter in this context.

The partnership between Sioux Falls and Potsdam since 1990 However, you can feel in this country -. Apart from occasional guest students from Augustana College at the University of Potsdam – hardly anything of the transatlantic friendship.

Huether: One of the main reasons for my visit to Potsdam is that in the future the relations between the citizens should be intensified. It is not enough if only the city tips communicate with each other. There are so many possibilities of exchange: from tourism and the economy to the formation and administration work. When my wife and I wandered today through Potsdam, I had plenty of ideas for a mutually beneficial cooperation. I think we can mutually benefit from each other much.

Do you notice there are a few concrete examples of a?

Huether: Clear! For example, we wanted to buy in some stores, but you would not accept our credit card. “We only accept euros,” it said. We also went to four restaurants because we wanted lunch, but there played exactly the same as. “We only accept Euros, no credit cards” In this way, these stores and restaurants are missing an incredible amount of profit. This makes me absolutely no economic sense that one and the “scares” our money of other American tourists so from the city.

What things you want to inversely abschauen of Potsdam?

Huether: Of course we are overwhelmed by the architecture. With us it is, unfortunately, so that old buildings are often unceremoniously demolished and replaced by faceless new buildings. Here one takes an incredible amount of money in hand to restore historic buildings. This is wonderful invested money. I also think the concept of public transport, which we were able to experience today.

Speaking of history. They carry a German last name and have also held a little speech in German at the baptism of the tram. When are your ancestors immigrated from Germany?

Huether: Actually, they have come from Eastern Europe. My ancestors emigrated from Germany to Russia to teach the Russians in agricultural techniques. When exactly are they emigrated to the U.S., I can not say.

Interview: Ildiko Röd

He can’t resist to call us a ‘boomtown’ in the interview. He also pulls out his favorite BS line, “I was banker.” I did get a chuckle out the fact that he admitted to the press he was a ‘Democrat’. I think that is the first time he has ever said that to the press. I also was amused by his anger over not being able to use a Credit Card. LOL. That joke speaks for itself. The fact is many European retailers will not use American CCs because they don’t have the chip technology they use. And I am sure the service fee on an American CC is atrocious. You can also get a travelers card from American Express with the chip in it. But Huether probably already knew that, since he is a ‘banker’. My favorite line;

“Of course we are overwhelmed by the architecture. With us it is, unfortunately, so that old buildings are often unceremoniously demolished and replaced by faceless new buildings. “

Oh, and BTW, we hand out TIF’s for those ‘Faceless’ buildings in Sioux Falls. Bring on the Fourth Walmart!

Advice of the day; Tom Waits


Remember the original plans for Phillips to the Falls?

It was going to have hotels, retail, restaurants and apartments, well that all changed. From a DaCola foot soldier;

Lloyd would like to construct more lofts to the north and south on Phillips Avenue.

Phillips to the Falls was never intended to be ALL residential. 

This is something I had posted on southdacola previously regarding the Planning Commission/Council’s approval of his current Phillips to the Falls residential project.

At the June 5th 2013 Planning Commission meeting, Craig Lloyd appeared to request a conditional use permit for the property.  It is currently zoned C-3 which allows mixed use with residential ABOVE the first floor.  He is asking for consent to develop a four story building with the first floor consisting of 4,416 sq. ft. of commercial space and 17 TEMPORARY dwelling units.

The reason for his request became clear as he was questioned by the Commission.  The Vice-Chair of the Commission, Jessie Schmidt, clarified with Lloyd that the property had originally been planned as ALL commercial on the main floor, but a conditional use permit is being sought because of financing issues.

This is Craig Lloyd’s response, “Right now DT has more than enough office and retail space VACANT, right around 250,000 sq. ft. vacant DT, and our lenders are not comfortable with having to put a whole bunch more retail.  We went through this process at Uptown, the one that we are just finishing on Main and that’s got residential on the main floor EXCEPT FOR WHAT FRONTS MAIN AVENUE.  We also have the Tri-State Building, by the end of next month most of that main floor will be vacant and the lenders just require us to build residential as much as we can because they can finance it and we can take it to a secondary market, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac who is our secondary market WON’T ALLOW ANYMORE THAN 20% OF YOUR BUILDING TO BE COMMERCIAL, so we’re trying to meet the requirements in those areas.  Looking into the future, because I don’t know how long this will all take to happen, but that’s the reason we’re putting 14 ft. high ceilings on the main floor so that we can convert this at some point in time when the market turns around and the demand turns around to build office space.  We can make a lot more money on commercial than we can residential, BUT IT DOESN’T FIT INTO THE FINANCING PROGRAM.”

Sioux Falls taxpayers have invested millions of dollars in Phillips to the Falls.  It is designed as a gateway to our City’s namesake and to one of South Dakota’s major tourist attractions.  It was NEVER intended that there be residential housing at ground level along this important street.   The vacancy rate for commercial property is obviously high in the DT area and it does not appear this is going to turn around soon.  So, this is hardly a TEMPORARY request for a conditional use permit.  It is not the taxpayers responsibility to modify our City’s Vision for Phillips to the Falls so that Craig Lloyd can secure financing for his project!

In addition, he is also requesting that 25 diagonal parking spaces be placed along Phillips Avenue.  This will create the same kind of situation as on South Phillips Avenue with cars backing in and out of traffic.  Is this really what Phillips to the Falls was designed for?

Now that he’s gotten away with it once, he’s going to try to do the same to the north and to the south!!

It certainly is NOT very visionary of the Planning Department to allow him to do all of these “cookie cutter” apartment buildings both downtown and throughout the City.  I wonder if years down the road they will become known as “Lloyd’s Shantytown”?

Live at 3:30: ‘100 Eyes’ discusses city election

Join the Argus Leader’s Patrick Lalley and blogger/city hall watcher Scott Ehrisman as they discuss the ballot initiatives and the candidates on the ballot, as well as the latest on the pro-outdoor group that is challenging wording on the ballot. They will also compare endorsements from the Argus Leader editorial board to Ehrisman’s picks.