Are Hospitals in Sioux Falls at Capacity?

Cory linked some stories that should be concerning;

South Dakota is seeing its highest COVID-19 hospitalization numbers so far. While state health officials insist there’s plenty of capacity statewide, some patients are being diverted hours away from home—and even out of state.

She did not directly address hospital capacity in Sioux Falls. Avera will not release numbers, and Sanford has not responded to a request for this story.

We were told on Tuesday at the Sioux Falls City Council Informational Meeting that the hospitals are managing capacity just fine.

Last night an anonymous source told me that at least ONE of our major hospitals is possibly at capacity (regular and ICU beds) and has been transferring Covid patients out of Sioux Falls. They have even been keeping Covid patients at one of their speciality hospitals because of the lack of beds in the main hospital. There is also rumors that there are very long waits for a bed if you show up with an emergency (Covid or other). But what makes this even more concerning is that a lot of the small town & reservation hospitals have been transferring patients here while their hospitals have plenty of beds. I assume this is because they are not prepared to care for Covid patients. I guess healthcare workers at this hospital are getting very nervous that this game of transfers and whack a mole is NOT sustainable, especially if we continue to spike. Like I said, I got this from an anonymous source, so I have NO idea how much is true. But the timing of the SDPB story linked above and my anonymous source has me thinking that some of this is true.

I’m not sure who is controlling the narrative here, but we need to be honest and upfront with the public. I know many people in local government and in private non-profit healthcare HATE transparency because they think if the public knows too much they may panic or be a danger to themselves. But that’s just the right-wing hogwash that has been peddled on us for far to long.

If our hospitals in Sioux Falls are at capacity or very close, the time to tell the public is right NOW!

Bonus Round Sunday Night Party

Hmmmm. Curious what the surprise is?

Is South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s investigation being delayed due to him being a Presidential Elector?

So let’s just imagine for a moment that the investigation has revealed that Jason is negligent, either big or small, doesn’t matter. And charges are filed. How does this look when he now appears on the statewide ballot where early voting has already begun?

As I told a couple of friends today, it’s all about appearance.

Legally, there is not much that can be done to remove him as an elector. People are already voting, and that is likely not to happen.

I’m not saying there is a connection, but the longer the state avoids presenting the facts of the investigation as a contentious presidential election is raging makes you wonder if this is more about timing and less about exposing a possible crime.

I’m willing to make the bet that we will not see a final report until after the polls close in November. As I said in a previous post, if it walks like duck and quacks like a duck, in South Dakota, that’s a corrupt duck.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls spends over $200K of your taxdollars to promote covid tourism and super spreader events

After watching this press conference, I just shook my head, just like I do every time I see the POTUS at a press conference.

UPDATE: You will notice in the video, Teri Schmidt, who runs the CVB mentions that ClickRain is the company who has the contract with the CVB. This of course is Mayor TenHaken’s former company. The city council just approved over $200K to go towards this promotion, which will essentially be handed over to ClickRain. Can anyone say ‘conflict of interest’?

It was also pointed out to me after the meeting, that Paul stated to someone he is very nervous about how this is all going to work with our recent spike. As it has been said, Paul, now is the time to lead.

Why on earth would we be promoting tourism in the middle of a pandemic (and soon influenza season) while our numbers are spiking out of control?

A new program championed by the city of Sioux Falls called Sioux Falls Alive aims to give people safe programs and events during the fall and winter months.

“We have to figure out how we co-exist with COVID-19 over the winter,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

“We have to continue to look at ways to give our community, give our families, give people in Sioux Falls ways to stay engaged in the community, ways to stay involved in activities to do but doing so in a very safe and socially distant fashion … believe it or not those things can co-exist.”

Sioux Falls is “going to demonstrate how that can be done,” he added.

We have hardly figured out how to keep our workplaces and nursing homes safe, how on earth can you have beer gardens and masquerade parties? At least people will be wearing masks at one of the events.

While I often have said Mayor Stoneless really does have stones (mostly between his ears) I wonder who is really pushing this hair brain idea of ignoring the covid, let’s party?!

He is right about one thing, the hospitality industry will be devastated over the winter in Sioux Falls. With our numbers spiking, especially in Minnehaha and Lincoln county, our bars and restaurants this winter will be practically empty. They struggle anyway when it gets cold out, put Covid on top of that, not a good situation.

While I commend our city leaders for trying to keep the hospitality industry going in SF during a pandemic, this is a poor plan.

There should be more exploration of how to make takeout and food delivery more convenient and affordable AND profitable for these businesses instead of worrying about our public entertainment facilities (the Romans called it Bread and Circus for a reason). One of my friends suggested easing the laws so bars/restaurants can deliver pre-made cocktails to your home with food, or to avoid the alcohol laws, deliver setups with recipe instructions on what alcohol to add.

There are many great ideas out there to keep businesses open, but promoting a Covid holiday and super spreader events in our city, while using my tax money, is about as Covid stupid as I have seen.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert’s ‘findings of fact’ hearing

It will be at 6 PM on Monday (Sep 28)

Is South Dakota Attorney General Jason Namehardtospell getting special treatment?

As you can see, Jason is a presidential elector.

I concluded when the investigation started that I would try to say as little about it publicly on my blog. Even if my opinion about Jason’s political leanings are not that favorable, or what I think of him as an AG (not sure what he has been doing?), I still believe when an accident like this occurs anyone and everyone deserves a fair shake. There are several variables we don’t know about, and it’s hard for me to stand on my soap box and say he is guilty or not. I’m not a traffic crime investigator, and while I know some mechanical things about cars, I know very little about how their computers work in recording these events.

Some things are obvious. Jason did hit a man and that man is dead. Everything else is pure speculation and the reason why I have chosen to not make any judgements yet . . .

BUT, there is one judgement that can be made, it is blatantly obvious the AG is getting special treatment. It has been over a week since the accident occurred, yet NOTHING has been released to the public. If you watch the news or read other highway patrol reports, even in deadly accidents, those reports appear usually within a 24-48 hour period (or sometimes within a couple of hours after the accident). So why is it taking so long to give the public a full and transparent report? I don’t know. I can only speculate as many other South Dakotans have that the process is being prolonged not to be thorough but to prepare damage control. It has the appearance of corruption and it would be within the best interest of the state to release the report ASAP!

And here is something else that has stuck in my craw, whether you think Jason is nice fella or not, or if you think he is guilty or not, why on God’s green earth has he continued to work during an investigation? If I were an elected official (especially the head dude of the state’s law enforcement) and was involved in a fatal vehicle accident that was actively being investigated, I would take a leave of absence until the report came back. It’s almost like Jason is in a state of denial over the fact he ran over a man and killed him. It’s one thing to determine whether or not it was accident, but you still did it, and a person is dead. I would think your ethics and conscious would get the best of you and you would just step down until we get it all figured out. Nope. That is not how the SD GOP has trained this young man . . . deny, deny, deny . . . it’s all a left wing conspiracy.

Like I said, I have no idea what happened that night, but the special treatment has to end, immediately!

End Panhandling in Sioux Falls by fining the enablers

Sioux Falls City Councilor Starr said it best yesterday at the city council informational meeting, if you want to help the homeless, give your donations to the organizations that help them with housing and food, there are several in Sioux Falls. But please, please, stop giving to the panhandlers.

I think if the city council wants to tackle this problem, they need to put an ordinance in place that fines people who give them money directly. Not sure what that fine should be, but something that makes them think about what they are doing.

As someone who only lives a couple of blocks away from 14th and Cliff, a real trouble area, I have watched them proceed into traffic and beat down people while they were highly intoxicated. Sometimes falling into the street and dancing in oncoming traffic. Will it take an innocent motorist mowing one of them down to seriously look at this problem? Think about it.

If the city council wants to fix and stop people from giving these folks booze money, they need to implement fines on those who enable it. As the Chief of Police said, citing the panhandlers isn’t working. He is right. Shut off the faucet, fine those who turn on the water. If you care, direct your giving to the fine charities in town that help these people crawl out of addiction and homelessness because what you are doing now isn’t working.

Mayor TenHaken implementing an Executive Order that benefits bureaucrats over citizens

In Paul’s latest fiddling with his extreme hatred for transparency, he changed an executive order which basically shortens up the time the public knows about an ordinance change, YET requires the council to give more advance notice to city directors about their intentions.

Once again Paul is nosing around in the legislative branch and telling them how they will legislate. While I’m okay with giving the city directors more time to mull over changes, we should also be extending the time citizens know about an issue.

I also think that this should be a decision made by the city council, NOT by executive order.

The city council doesn’t work for city directors and the mayor, they work for the citizens, this is why we elect them. But it has been evident, almost since the Home Rule Charter was founded that the city council does the bidding of the mayor and directors and has never turned down an opportunity to put more rules, more fees and more taxes on the citizens. I implore anyone who can show me when the city council has deregulated/eliminated ordinances or cut taxes and fees since this form of government was implemented in the 90’s. If you can, I’ll buy you a beer (or two).

This is the problem with the form of government we have now in Sioux Falls. It is setup so the directors form policy while the RS6 approves those policies that benefit the banksters and developers in town, while more regulations and taxes get levied on the rest of us.

This ‘little change’ is just another way of hiding city business from the citizens. And what it really is about is a deep hatred for sunshine and openness in our local government, and like covid, it will be hard to cure this deep sickness at city hall.

Events Center Complex loses $2.5 million in past year

Of course, it was no surprise they lost this much, it was just a little unusual we heard it at a SF City Council informational meeting from the finance director. The complex (EC, CC and Arena) was probably expected to lose money during Covid, but as I have mentioned over the past few days and weeks, the Denty hasn’t exactly been that stellar in attendance for well over a year and trust me, the bleeding of the complex will continue well into 2021.

What was not included in the discussion is the $10 million a year bond payment the taxpayers will continue to have to pay out of our 2nd penny (which should be spent on needed infrastructure and roads). We will also have to keep the lights and heat on as well and timely maintenance while the city’s finance director has given sponsors a pass on paying their dues.

While the management company has said they laid off many people, what they didn’t mention is if the executives took a pay cut? I mean really? What are you doing right now? I can only imagine they have all built George Costanza beds under their desks. Why not just furlough the entire management company until we can start booking shows again? Why are the taxpayers subsidizing these salaries?

The Washington Pavilion, as I understand, cut 25% of their workforce, for that very reason, if you have no shows, you don’t need people to work them.

As I said, the Denty was already bleeding, and this place will eventually become the dented up yolk around taxpayers necks for decades. I don’t expect the place to turn a profit again for at least 5 years, but that’s okay, we can keep digging into the taxpayer’s pockets even though almost 50% voted against it.

Sioux Falls (ethically challenged) City Councilor Neitzert panhandling for legal fees

No wonder the city council won’t pass stiffer panhandling ordinances in Sioux Falls, they are doing it themselves;

Although I have finally cleared my name, I really haven’t “won”. My family has been put through a lengthy emotional ordeal, and we have an enormous legal bill, which we are personally liable for. My attorneys were amazing and I will be forever grateful for their representation, and they deserve to be paid.

It always feels weird asking for money…however – Legal fees related to an elected official’s public service are qualified campaign expenses. Therefore, I can pay some of this bill through my campaign account. To the extent I do not have campaign funds available, we will be paying this bill personally. If you donate to my campaign account, Greg Neitzert for City Council, it will be used primarily for this expense, and in the off chance there is any excess to support good, positive, and principled candidates in the next city election cycle for City Councilors and Mayor. If you would like to support me, this is a great way to do it. I truly appreciate those who have supported me and encouraged me through this process and over the last 4 years. Your messages of support have meant the world to me.

I could certainly go on for a long time about the hypocrisy and irony of asking for money for legal fees after receiving a paid for partisan political trip, but you are smart, humorous folks, you get it. But this statement is rich;

I will only say that as currently constituted the ethics process is ripe for weaponization and abuse to influence elections and to hurt good people, and it must be reformed. All elected officials and future candidates are at risk in the absence of reform.

Greg continues to believe this was a political attack but the facts of the hearing don’t support it. I watched the entire circus, here is what was presented;

• Greg could never prove that the ethics complaint ‘harmed’ his reelection. Not only did he win, he beat his opponent handily.

• When asked during the hearing what collusion was taking place, and to present evidence there was a connection between his opponent and John Cunningham, all he could do is stare at his shoes. Sure, Pat forwarded a public email to John, and Pat and Janet endorsed his opponent (which the Board of Ethics said was protected free speech under the 1st Amendment). Oh and they had the envelope of a Thank You card from Pat to John, but zero evidence that John was working with his opponent, in fact John denied it, and he should, because it NEVER happened and zero evidence was presented. Just steam rising from a turd.

• While mountains of evidence was presented during the hearing that this was a partisan Republican event, Greg played dumb dumb and called it a ‘policy event’. Sure, Republican policies. Greg, you do understand what partisan means? Don’t you? Playing doofus doesn’t change the fact that it was clearly a partisan event. What does that have to do with this ‘weaponization’ you keep talking about? Nothing. Distractions.

• The only reason your ‘5 best friends’ dismissed this is because they knew the Mayor was next. I hate to say it Greg, but you should choose your friends better. They only bailed out your sorry butt because they didn’t want to bail water on the TenTantic.

No matter what you think of Greg as a councilor, the facts were clear, he went to a partisan event, paid for by partisans, and tried to kill the messenger with this made up story about collusion, even though it was well within Pat and Janet’s rights to endorse his opponent and well within John’s right to file an ethics complaint. And why did John file the complaint!? Because Greg was clearly guilty.

The only collusion that happened was between Greg, the mayor and his fellow rubberstampers. No worries Greg, it’s only a flesh wound.