Prochoice Protest today 3-8 PM in Sioux Falls

There will be another rally today (July 1st) in front of Kristi Noem’s campaign office at 18th and Minnesota. They do have a permit this time and are working with the SFPD on the event.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Police Chief Thum holds presser immediately after Pro-Choice rally

UPDATE: The ACLU confirms that you don’t need a permit for a protest, just don’t jump in front of cars;

The ACLU of South Dakota notes says though that protesters do not need a permit to protest on sidewalks or streets. Communications Director Janna Farley said that does mean that marchers can’t block or impede traffic in doing so.

“You don’t need a permit to march on streets or on sidewalks, as long as the marchers aren’t obstructing car or pedestrian traffic.” Farley said.

I was impressed that Thum decided to have a press conference last night after the rally last night. It’s a step forward for transparency.

I had heard nothing about the rally until I ran into a couple of people yesterday afternoon telling me they were going to a pro-choice rally at Lyon Park. I never guessed that it would draw more than a couple dozen people. One person who attended told me late last night that he guessed around 1,000 folks were at the rally (he worked in public safety for over 20 years and knows how to count large crowds). That number was verified by Thum this morning on KELO AM.

The rally was organized thru private messaging and the police were aware ‘something’ might happen.

I am all for protesting and upholding 1st Amendment rights.

Where it gets ‘murky’ is what the city ordinance says about events like this;

ASSEMBLIES, PARADES AND PROCESSIONS

§ 96.180 DEFINITIONS.

   For the purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

ASSEMBLY. Any block party, demonstration, rally, gathering or group of 25 or more persons, animals or vehicles, or a combination thereof, having a common purpose, design or goal, upon any public street, sidewalk, alley or other public place, which assembly substantially inhibits the usual flow of pedestrians or vehicular travel or which occupies any public area, but does not rise to the definition of a special event.

PARADE. Any scheduled walk, demonstration, procession, motorcade consisting of 25 or more persons, animals or vehicles, or a combination thereof, having a common purpose, design, designation or goal upon any public place, which does not comply with normal and usual traffic regulations and controls.

SPECIAL EVENT.

      (1)   Any of the following activities involving 25 or more persons, animals or vehicles, or a combination thereof, open to the general public taking place on public space that involves a temporary and exclusive use of public space involving a substantial deviation from current legal land use or legal nonconforming use and may include, but not be limited to:

         A.   Amusements or carnivals;

         B.   Entertainment;

         C.   Music by way of sound amplification;

         D.   Dancing;

         E.   Dramatic or theatrical productions;

         F.   Festivals;

         G.   Parades;

         H.   Runs, walks, triathlons and bicycle races or rides that will not comply with the normal or usual traffic regulations or controls or are likely to impede, obstruct, impair or interfere with free flow of traffic;

         I.   Any activity involving the sale of merchandise, food or alcohol;

         J.   Any activity making use of structures not already present on the public space such as stages, booths, canopies, awnings, risers, bleachers, fences, partitions, stands or similar constructions; and

         K.   Any activity taking place on public space that may require for its successful execution city services to a degree significantly over and above that routinely provided under ordinary circumstances, as determined by the special events committee.

SPECIAL EVENTS. Shall not include the use of public space by governmental agencies acting within the scope of their authority.

SPONTANEOUS EVENT. An unplanned or unannounced coming together of persons, animals or vehicles as described in this section, which was not contemplated beforehand by any participants therein and which is caused by or in response to unforeseen circumstances or events and which is neither a parade nor as assembly, as defined in this section.

(1992 Code, § 38-133) (Ord. 70-87, passed 8-31-1987; Ord. 55-03, passed 6-16-2003; Ord. 39-12, passed 6-19-2012)

Cross-reference:

   Definitions and rules of construction generally, see § 10.002

§ 96.181 PERMITS AND EXCEPTIONS.

   (a)   Permit required; assembly. No person shall conduct, manage or participate in any assembly without a valid permit or outside the provisions of a permit as provided in this subchapter.

   (b)   Permit required; special event. No person shall hold, sponsor, aid or cause to be held a special event without a valid permit or outside the provisions of a permit as provided in this subchapter.

   (c)   Exceptions. The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to or affect funeral processions.

I am not sure that a spontaneous rally loosely organized thru private messaging classifies as a planned event. I certainly don’t believe a protest or rally needs to have a permit if they are gathering in public places. I think that is a violation of 1st Amendment rights. However, I do agree with Thum that once you start blocking streets it is no longer a rally on public property. Remember, the SFPD does not make the rules, the city council does and they have to enforce them.

I would advise anyone who plans a rally like this in the future to stay out of the street, it doesn’t help your cause when police have to drag you off the street. I think it was only a handful of people who were arrested and MOST of the people at the rally stayed on the sidewalk.

As the authoritarians go on their march in DC to turn our country back 100 years you are going to see a lot more events like this.

Jeff Barth is considering running for PUC

The SD Dem Party will meet for its state convention in July. I have been asking who they will run as constitutional officers, especially for AG and SOS. One candidate that may run against Chris Nelson for PUC is Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth who will end his term on the commission in 2023.

I hope the Dems can find people to run for all the constitutional slots.

UPDATE: Public Transit in Sioux Falls gets worse

UPDATE: Notice the CIP that was released today (the mayor dropped it in the councilors mailboxes at Carnegie). While their is plenty of money for NEW streets and pools no mention of public transit.

It’s bad enough that transit routes don’t go throughout the entire city, NO Sunday service and now this;

Saturday service will end at 3 p.m. for SAM’s two Saturday crosstown routes, as well as SAM On Demand rides and paratransit services, shaving about two and a half hours of of the service’s Saturday hours starting July 2.

I have often argued that a city of our size should have a transit system that runs 7 days a week, runs throughout the entire city and allow minors to ride for FREE all year long. In Kansas City they have been running a program that gives free rides to people who maintain employment status and other circumstances.

It often surprises me when we dump millions into special interest sports and parking ramps and virtually ignore improving public transit.

Former Minnehaha Commissioner Kolbe brings his critter gun to Carnegie

Last night at the joint Minnehaha County/Sioux Falls City Council meeting, Bob Kolbe brings his old shotgun for a presentation during open public input about how Republicans and the NRA have lost their minds. I’m with Bob, I support the 2nd Amendment and believe it is crucial that citizens can bear arms, but I am also in agreement with Bob, that 2nd Amendment clearly spells out with that right there is a responsibility of government to regulate that right. Just look at abortion, it was a right for 50 years, with regulation. Same goes for the 1st Amendment, numerous regulations with it comes to obscenity and libel.

What some may be wondering though is how did Kolbe walk into Carnegie, a public meeting space, with a gun (which I would assume was NOT loaded). Guess what? It is completely legal according to state law. Years ago (I believe during the Munson Administration) several councilors wanted to ban weapons at Carnegie Town Hall but quickly found out that they cannot because of our wacky legislature who thinks you should be able to carry guns anywhere. I have often been nervous about coming to meetings that have controversial items because there is nothing stopping anyone from walking into ANY public building in this city with a gun (I think the Federal and County Courthouse and Post Office is exempt). I do not own a gun and never have, but I support people who choose to. Now if we can only convince people to stop bringing them everywhere, especially public meetings.

Last Week was a Real kick in the N . .

The Authoritarian Right Wingers really had quite the week pushing their Wacky Radical agenda onto a majority of Americans and South Dakotans that don’t support their ideas;

JACKLEY GETS NOMINATED AS THE GOP CANDIDATE FOR SD ATTORNEY GENERAL

If there ever was a time I wish Jason Rumblestrips didn’t hit and kill Joe Boever, it is NOW. The SD Dem Party must dig deep to find someone to run against this guy. Remember, this is a person who covered up Gear Up and EB-5, and probably numerous other things, and if you think he has changed, you are mistaken. He has an axe to grind, and it won’t be pretty. Ravnsborg may have been a liar, a dope and a killer, but he isn’t a Marty.

NOEM SAYS IT IS A TRAGEDY TO ABORT A BABY CONCEIVED BY RAPE OR INCEST

In one of her more bizarre incidents, Noem said on Face the Nation that victims of rape and incest should be forced to have the child conceived in violence. It was probably one of the most despicable things I have ever heard her say. When she claims to be for Freedom and Liberty then turns around and forces raped children to have a child produced by their attacker, you have to wonder what is going on in her head. Cue the circus music.

ROE VS. WADE OVERTURNED

I even tell my single male friends that this decision will have further implications in the Supreme Court. They are coming for your contraception and partner rights. A majority of Americans support safe and legal abortion clearly showing our SCOTUS is extremely out of touch with Americans.

A TRUMPLICAN GETS NOMINATED AS THE SD GOP CANDIDATE FOR SOS

It’s one thing for this Stop the Steal supporter to get nominated as SOS, but her extremist views on voter registration, religion and all things wacky to the right should scare the Hell out of us. I BEG the SD DEM Party to find a strong candidate to run against Ms. Johnson. What is even more strange is that they booted an incumbent who has done a fairly decent job. My feelings are they booted Barnett because he was trying to make voting easier in SD by supporting online registration and voting by mail. Even the Republicans in this state hate moderate Republicans.

GUN CONTROL TAKES A STEP FORWARD AND A STEP BACK

While the President did sign a bi-partisan bill for more gun control, it was watered down by the Republicans involved in the negotiations. It also did not help that SCOTUS said it was A-OK to carry a concealed weapon Federally not allowing states to regulate the 2nd Amendment. A majority of Americans support comprehensive gun control.

PRIVATE RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS CAN RECEIVE VOUCHERS

This is only the case in states that have a voucher program. I am vehemently against vouchers. I have argued that if property tax payers can receive vouchers when choosing to send their children to private schools then I should receive a voucher for choosing NOT to have children. I especially think it is reprehensible to fund religious schools with money meant to go towards public education. The SCOTUS got this one wrong on many levels, as well as their ruling on prayer in schools. SCOTUS is virtually ignoring 1st Amendment rights and Separation of Church and state.

Rhoden Spreading a Little ‘Beautiful Sunshine’

Well if you needed a full wagon of fertilizer, you got it with this video;

• What has Larry Rhoden done for SD? Nothing.

• Businesses, day cares, schools, churches all closed down in SD during the pandemic.

• Freedom? You mean when you challenged Rec MJ using taxpayer’s money after they passed it?

What a bunch of BS!

Is the City Council a bunch of Fruit Loops?

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, June 21, 2021

Link to Calendar

Informational • 4 PM

• May 2022 Monthly Financial Statements by Shawn Pritchett, Director of Finance

• Housing Plan Update by Jeff Eckhoff, Director of Planning and Development Services; Kevin Smith, Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #54, 1st Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, APPROVING THE NAMING OF INTERIOR ROOMS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY. (Startup Sioux Falls wants to start naming rooms in their $1 rental. I am angling for a Detroit Lewis broom closet or break room microwave.)

Item #55, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO AMENDMENT TWO TO GOLF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS AND LANDSCAPES GOLF MANAGEMENT, LLC. (this is giving away (borrow) two liquor licenses to an independent contractor for the city. I’m sure councilor Neitzert will complain about the process and vote against it. 🙂

MINNEHAHA COUNTY COMMISSION CONSIDERING CO2 PIPELINE MORITORIUM

At their 9 AM meeting tomorrow, they are thinking about holding back on the pipeline (Item #14). I guess the meeting is at Carnegie Town Hall because of remodeling projects at the MCC admin.

Sioux Falls City Council not following Remote Telephonic policy

The City Council hasn’t updated their operations procedure manual since 2020. They have a meeting at 1 PM on Wednesday (June 22) to discuss multiple changes to it.

While I was viewing the red notes for those changes I came across the policy that has been in affect since 2020 for attending the meetings via phone. It seems the council has NOT been following one iota of the policy;

However, if circumstances prevent a City Council member from being physically present during a City Council meeting, the member may participate telephonically. Circumstances that may prevent physical attendance include:

• Personal illness;

• Emergency;

• Military service; or

• Geographical distance.

At the start of any City business meeting during which a City Council member participates telephonically, the presiding officer or Chair of the meeting (“Chair”) must announce the name of any member who is participating remotely and which of the four reasons listed above require that member’s remote participation. The Chair’s statement does not need to contain any detail about the reason for the member’s remote participation other than one of the four reasons listed. The information must be recorded in the meeting minutes.

While I do understand that Covid was a different circumstance, it has been well over a year since city employees started working back in the office. Over the past year several councilors have decided to participate in the meeting via the phone, and while the chair has said at the beginning of the (regular) meetings who is attending via phone, I have rarely heard them say one of the four reasons listed above. Remote working has been over with, if a councilor is NOT sick, or NOT out of town, they should attend in person. There should no longer be special exceptions for Covid, or any for that matter except for what is mentioned above, and it should be STATED at the meeting. This chaps my hide a bit because I have asked that citizens who may be disabled or have other mobility or transportation issues the opportunity to do public input via telephone. The council won’t allow it. So if we have to drag our butts to the meeting, a PAID, Part-time city councilor should to.

OTHER CHANGES TO POLICY

• They will be reviewing annotated agenda that former Councilor Brekke suggested before she left, and;

• They will be making changes to the travel policy (something else they have NOT been following). Notice this line in the current policy;

Travel requests for conferences, meetings, tours and other events must be nonpartisan, educational, and related to the city council’s policy-making role

One of the reasons Councilor Neitzert was impeached was because he attended a partisan event in Texas with Mayor TenHaken and former Deputy COS, TJ Nelson. While it was paid for by the event, it still is NOT in line with the council’s policy. I still think Greg, Paul and TJ getting away with unethical behavior was a sham.

BUDGET WORKING SESSION

On the same day, at 2 PM, the council will discuss these topics;

• Revenue Sources: General Fund and Capital Improvement Fund

• Government Assistance Funds and Uses

• Additional Project Funding

I find it ironic that before the election and before the yearly financial report was released the city (mostly directed from the mayor’s office) spent millions in ARPA and tax revenue surpluses with NO oversight/suggestions from the council. So now I guess they want to discuss the money they already spent?