Entries Tagged 'Corona Virus' ↓

Do masks work? Duh!

I didn’t want to go here, but since my blogger to the north decided to stump me on Sioux Falls news I will;

Given these figures, Sioux Falls might want to reconsider the wisdom of removing its masks. We’re not out of the woods yet; we still need to give time for everyone to get their shots and for those shots to do their work. Mask up, stay home.

I told a couple of Sioux Falls City Councilors recently that the Covid fight is similar to a drag race, you don’t let off the gas until you cross the finish line. My Great Uncle ‘Bingo’ Ehrisman (yeah, that’s his nickname) was a well known dragster in the 1960’s and beyond, he told me once you need two things to win a race, a fast car and a heavy foot. They put a parachute in the trunk for a reason. I look at Covid this way, while in the race we are fast and furious and once we end we can pull the rip cord.

Wearing masks works, and holding back now seems futile. In fact they started wearing masks during the plague because they figured out sneezing on people isn’t such a great idea. In fact, mask wearing has made our influenza season virtually non-existent. Gee I wonder why?

I figure if we stay the course and don’t let off the gas until the finish line, Covid cases may be almost gone by September, but if we continue to jump the gun, this will last longer.

I also encourage everyone to get a vaccine, I got my first shot last week and I feel fine. Too bad there isn’t a vaccination against bad leadership.

Private Sioux Falls Airport gets deferred & the city plans to blow Covid money on NEW infrastructure

Well if you blinked your eyes yesterday you may have missed the Minnehaha CC/Sioux Falls CC joint meeting. The whopping 12 minutes of it.

Like the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting at 4 PM, the meeting wasn’t playing correctly on SIRE. They still don’t have it fixed and it seems they don’t really care. I guess the city is ran by a lot of Hi-Tech losers, who talk a big game but cannot deliver. Kind of reminds you of what that guy tells you on Sundays about your path to paradise.

Besides the fact that you could not watch the meeting online, it started right at 5 PM right when people are getting off of work.

They deferred the airport item due to a delayed FAA study, then asked for general public input at the end and that was it. I arrived at Carnegie right after it was done. I wanted to address both bodies about the excessive panhandling that has been going on all year long, what they were planning on doing about it, and some of my ideas to fix the problem (like fining people who give from their car windows and signage about ordinances and laws). But when you don’t live stream a meeting and start it as everyone is getting off of work, it doesn’t give you much time to attend.  I’m not sure who the rocket scientist is that thinks scheduling a meeting at 5 PM on Tuesday is a good idea, but . . . oh that’s right, the same authoritarian fascists who have a war on transparency in our city.

Speaking of the Informational Meeting (that was cutting out) what I could catch of it, and from the propaganda piece they sent to SF Bizzo it seems they are trying to sugarcoat how they are spending the money;

Of that, $4 million would be added to the pool of funding for arterial street expansion.

One of the things that has frustrated me is that the city continues to spend millions on new parks, new roads, and expansion while ignoring our core infrastructure. I have always preferred the mantra, take care of what you have first & if you can’t feed em’ don’t breed em’. So while they are spending our tax dollars on subsidizing corporations that pay little to no taxes & crappy wages they are sticking it to us on the back side;

The assessed value of the Platinum Point 52-unit town home complex in south Sioux Falls jumped 35 percent last year — and the developer said it’s just one example of a troubling trend.

For 17 years of owning my home the biggest increases I saw were 2% but most years it was 0%. Last year they nailed me for a 22% increase, which got reduced a bit, and this year they hit me with a 14% increase. As I have been warning people, this is what happens when we have an out of control TIF and tax rebate program to the developers, also we have an affordable housing crisis in Sioux Falls with an inflated housing market and straddle that with criminal justice costs in the County increasing (drug crimes) and a School District on a $300 million dollar spending spree and what you get is a greedy tax collection system. I have argued for a long time this is unsustainable and it’s bound to get even worse.

You can’t keep raping the little guy for more in property taxes & fees while blowing the money on more NEW infrastructure while you can’t maintain the current crumbling infrastructure in our core.

Recently a local government official told me after having a conversation with someone who studies affordable housing and poverty in Sioux Falls they said the problem is hard to fix but easily explained (paraphrasing);

“The gap between the rich and poor in Sioux Falls has widened greatly over the past 10 years, and widening even faster now. There isn’t a middle to upper middle class in Sioux Falls anymore. You are either living in poverty or close to it, in debt up to your ears, or extremely rich.”

There is also the problem with transparency that is not only affecting the citizens and our tax increases but information is being withheld from the city council by the administration. According to charter, the council is the body that is supposed to be making decisions on policy, budget, taxation and fees, not the mayor’s office.

Of course, none of this will end unless people start speaking up. While we will blab at the podium for 2 hours about masks and kids crying about it, we say nothing while our government is literally taking us to the cleaners and telling us nothing about how they are doing it.

Greed is destroying our community and it is being done by ‘supposed’ Christian leaders.

Maybe they need to listen a little bit harder to that guy on Sunday.

Is the City of Sioux Falls blowing Covid stimulus money on unrelated things?

Hard for me to answer that question since this item on the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting has no attached documents;

• Sioux Falls for all initiative

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

If you do a little digging and talk to a few moles and rats at city hall you get another picture (these items are of course speculation from said rats and moles);

• The city has already spent some of the money on paying off debt, which seems odd since most of these bonds have a 2% interest rate. While I am strongly against cities borrowing money anyway, I think the wise move would have been spending that money on helping people impacted by the pandemic instead of bond investors.

• There is supposedly around $22 million that still needs to be spent

Here are the items that they ‘might’ spend it on;

• $4 million on a decorative roof for the Pavilion

• Ice rink at Falls Park

• Hayward Park improvements

• 2nd Police Precinct

• Other projects in the mayor’s wish list.

Honestly, I think it would be difficult determining on how we should spend the money, and I think a large chunk of covid stimulus money is a complete waste, but one city official said it best, ‘Maybe we should put it away for a rainy day?’

Sure.

And does the city council even have a say in the matter? Well according to city charter, funding is their duty, not the mayor so why is this coming from his office?

There is also the little secret that while the Triage Center building fund is okay, there is no real plan for funding the operating costs. Maybe this would be a good place to spend it?

I fully understand it is hard to know what to do with Federal funding, but if I was a thinking man, I wouldn’t spend pandemic money on roofs and ice. Just saying.

I suggest Minnehaha & Lincoln Counties use the almost $50 million in Covid recovery funds for a mass vaccination site

According to NACO (National Association of Counties) The two counties are going to get almost $50 million between the two of them from the latest Covid recovery bill. That’s a hefty chunk of change.

Besides helping alleviate medical costs for the uninsured, I highly suggest starting in April they setup a drive thru massive Covid vaccination site where individuals and families can drive thru to get shots simply by hanging their arms out the window of their cars.

Other states and cities are doing this or at least prepping for it as a fast and efficient way to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.

Sometimes good ideas are just that simple.

They are also recruiting volunteers from any sector (besides nurses, doctors and pharmacists) that are qualified to give shots like animal vets.

The health systems, the community health clinic, and pharmacies could join forces and set up such a site(s).

Sadly, I suspect they will blow it on something else, you know like the state did with the first round of relief money giving it to hotels, developers, restaurants and go kart tracks.

I hope the counties get their poop in a group and spend the money wisely, but like most places run by right winger nutzos greed and selfishness will probably win the day.

UPDATE: An exercise in futility

Update: It only took 2 days, but the city reporter at the paper that barely exists decided to wake up and do a story about Tuesday’s meeting. Maybe he was tired of judging burritos or something? I will make this brief;

There’s no one single thing that led to the decision, he said, although “some of it was the fact that there were only two proponents in that entire room last night, and they were from our healthcare systems. And I think that’s very telling.”

Yes Paul, it is very telling, listen to the doctors not the quacks. A couple of dozen people showed up to spew about I’m not sure what, and if you looked at viewership on YouTube that night, there was 140 active viewers. We are not Milbank, we are a town of almost 200K that should tell you something, don’t listen to the fringe.

And it wasn’t just in-person, he said, estimating that 90% of the correspondence he’d gotten over the last few weeks had the same message: “It’s time for this to end.”

This is interesting coming from the guy who hates transparency. I would love to know who this 90% are? When in doubt Paul always pulls from his behind.

“We could be adding as little as a week on to this ordinance,” TenHaken said, referencing that the failed ordinance would have ended the mandate when the South Dakota Department of Health began vaccinating subgroup 1E. 

“And so my thought is,” TenHaken said, “what is that week worth?”

My opinion on this is simple, until most if not all are vaccinated and cases are practically at zero, that is when we let up. Do you think a drag racer lets his foot off the gas before he reaches the finish line?

While masks have been a heated topic, TenHaken said it’s not what’s really dividing people. “It’s public dialogue, it’s politics, it’s social justice issues, it’s the stress of the pandemic, it’s unemployment, lost jobs.”

I agree with Paul partially on this, we have had divisive politics over the past 4 years, this doesn’t come from people who wear masks, this comes from people in his party representation who only want to conquer and destroy. This is a guy who wants to put a death nail in affordable housing, a guy who wants to help his bankster and developer friends by increasing taxes on us, a guy who hates open government, a guy who has done little to nothing to insure a livable wage, and a person who refuses to accept sexual preference diversity. We have this hysteria because as the leader of this city you refuse to lead on the very topics you talk about. Division occurs because you allow it, and sometimes encourage it.

Still, TenHaken said he would have preferred not having to vote at all, adding that a tiebreaking vote gives a perception that the mayor is “either the savior or the villain for the item.”

“People need to remember, it’s not my item, I just get kind of put in the spot where the council couldn’t figure out how to get to yes or no on it,” TenHaken said.

This statement wreaks of hypocrisy. He is right, it wasn’t his item, because it should never be his item. By charter it is the city council that sets policy, he runs the city. But this mayor, the last one, and two before that decided they should introduce policy items, and proudly prance like a peacock that they are part of the policy making body. So Paul, either you are part of the crew or you are not. Seems he wants his cake.

But Tuesday night was a little different. The original vote was 5-3 against the mandate, until Councilor Pat Starr changed his vote to yes, making a 4-4 tie.

“When Councilor Starr changed his mind, you know, I don’t think you have to be a political pundit to recognize it was really just to put, you know, me on the hot seat for that item,” TenHaken said.

It was a genius move by Starr, because like I said above, you are either part of the body or you are not and since you chose to introduce policy like moving public input to the back of the meeting you have put yourself in the arena. If you don’t want to be there, great, follow charter and stop introducing policy.

And while TenHaken chose a side on Tuesday, he said he doesn’t want people looking at it as a win or a loss for their position.

“There’s no winners in this,” he said. “We’re dealing with a pandemic, and hundreds and hundreds of our neighbors in the state have lost their lives. So turning this into this game where ‘I won the mask mandate discussion or lost,’ it really kind of bums me out.”

Oh, the ‘bummer’ excuse. I am bummed to, because you want to play in the sandbox but when it your turn to build the castle you piss in the moat.

ORIGINAL POST BELOW

The only real thing that was accomplished last night at the Sioux Falls city council meeting was allowing citizens to practice their 1st Amendment rights, even though Stormland TV questioned some of the bull being thrown.

Ironically, even if it would have passed, it would have only been in effect for about a month because of this clause;

III Effective
Unless extended, amended, or earlier terminated by ordinance, this ordinance shall automatically terminate upon declaration of the South Dakota Department of Health that vaccinations are available to members of Phase 1 Group E.

The group is scheduled for April 15th (or sooner) to receive vaccinations.

Either way, I have often said since the mandate had no teeth anyway, there was nothing stopping people from NOT wearing masks in public spaces. And even if Covid didn’t exist, any private retail business or private hospital can require you to wear a mask or leave. There are numerous constitutional amendments and laws backing that up.

But what really reared its head last night was Mayor TenHaken’s tantrum when he didn’t understand his own rules when it comes to running a meeting. Besides Starr, three other councilors called him out on it while our City Clerk sat there silent until one of the councilors chided Greco into doing his job. Hey Tom, you work for the city council and the citizens, not Mayor Stoneless. I know it may be your wet dream to be a total suck-up like the city attorney, but you really need to do your overpaid job.

It was a piss poor way to run a meeting, and enough with the huffing and puffing Paul.

Also, while I am not a fan of Councilor Kiley, he really must have been sore when not only the mayor took back his word on the way he was going to vote, but I guess councilor Jensen did also. Like Rick or not, I felt bad that his colleagues took a big dump on him, especially the mayor. That’s not leadership, that’s cowardice.

But the thing that has been baffling me over the past 24 hours is how so many passionate people will show up to complain about a rule that has no teeth and really did no enforcement (I feel businesses have done that on there own) but don’t say a peep when the city tries to stifle them at public input, raises taxes and fees, hides stuff, is full of corruption and unethical behavior. I guess all of that is complicated and hunky-dory, but masks? The shame!

I give up.

Can you get a Covid Vaccination now?

While we are still going through the stages of the vaccination roll out, it seems there is so many doses, even if you are not in one of the specified groups you can get a shot.

I have heard from several folks today that many pharmacies in town are putting people on ‘cancellation’ lists and they will give you a shot if there is an appointment cancellation. I have heard of at least 3 people younger than me that have gotten shots and don’t belong in any of the specified categories.

I fully support this, for obvious reasons. First, if doses are not used within a certain amount of time, they have to be disposed, we don’t want to do that. Secondly, as I have been preaching for awhile, let’s not worry about those who don’t want to get them right now, let’s get everyone in line ASAP that wants one and let them get it.

POTUS says that hopefully by May 1st or sooner the vaccination will open to ALL groups. I encourage ANYONE right now to contact their pharmacy and get on the cancellation list if you are not part of the specified groups.

Once we vaccinate everyone who wants one, we can focus on the reluctant.

Sioux Falls City Councilor ‘Pat Starr Show’ wins the day

I had to chuckle about how councilor Starr successfully fought the mayor tonight about extending public input about the mask mandate, then when Pat spoke later after public input the crowd that he fought for to speak heckled him. Wow.

I often have to remind my friends, my enemies, local elected officials, relatives and others that the 1st Amendment is number one for a reason, freedom of speech is the only thing you should be concerned about. Everything else is moot.

BTW, the mask mandate failed because it was a tie and Mayor TenHaken voted it down, because he lacks leadership. Shocker.

Also, councilor Selberg made fun of Starr for taking on the mayor calling it the ‘Pat Starr Show’.

While Selberg may have invented the ‘Siouxper Hero’ award, he certainly earned the ‘Siouxper jerk Councilor’ award tonight.

Why does Mayor TenHaken live in a glass house?

First I want to commend Jodi for doing a sit down with our mayor, I think Jodi is a great writer and an accomplished person, but I do take issue with some of things said in interview by the mayor. I may not have a degree in journalism, but I think I have a degree in city politics, I have watched the last three mayors very closely, but I have watched city government in motion for over 20 years, and my BS detector went through the roof reading this article;

In his lower back, which he calls “a wreck,” while tests haven’t shown a reason why.

“The only thing we can come up with is stress,” Jill TenHaken said.

While I will agree 100% stress can wreak havoc on your physical health, I’m still wondering where the stress is coming from? Before Covid, Paul was traveling the country making sure his agenda of lining his pockets and his friends was in full swing, it still is. I have often felt that the two major contributors of stress is paranoia and guilt. If you do the right thing, and you know you are, that is leadership, and that is positive, and positivity contributes to good health. If Paul is stressed out, it makes me wonder what he is doing behind the scenes.

“And two days later, it was a state of emergency in the city,” TenHaken said.

“A state of emergency?”

He remembers even hearing the words caused people to become nervous.

“I remember having to calm people down and say it’s OK, it’s a bureaucratic tool,” he said. “You have to declare an emergency to get certain powers you may need to enact.”

It is not a bureaucratic tool, it is public safety. This is what local leaders do to protect the citizens. Why is everything a ‘tool’ to this ‘tool’? If people are in danger you act, if you don’t think they are, you do nothing. It’s really that simple. His statement shows just how little he understands the power of local government to project its citizens.

Before long, Sioux Falls became the biggest hot spot in the nation.

It became a hotspot because local government, the state, the health department, the CDC and the city council did nothing to prevent what happened at Smithfield. Virology is simple really, viruses spread when you don’t take precautions. We took none because supposed leaders failed to act early.

“When you have to send a letter to your third-largest employer, knowing the economic impact that will have … that was really hard,” TenHaken said.

“I had hog producers sending me pictures of dead hogs, 20 feet high and 50 yards long that they had to euthanize because there was no place to take them, and they saw me as the reason for that.”

Growing up as a family farmer, I can tell you why these hogs had to be destroyed, because these farmers don’t diversify their distribution because they idiotically signed contracts with Communists that they would only supply to them. That is their fault, no one else is to blame. Even a moron can see that.

One of TenHaken’s biggest worries – housing – became one of his brightest moments.

REALLY!? If he was concerned about this, he wouldn’t be allowing neighborhoods to be destroyed, he wouldn’t allow low wage employers to come into town, he would prop up affordable housing with tax incentives instead of giving them to egg roll factories in cornfields sending their profits to foreign nations.

“When people think they have opinions, you maybe don’t know the whole story. You maybe don’t know the background that’s led up to it,” Jill TenHaken said.

Jill, you are spot on. Maybe tell your husband he needs to fill us in, please tell us what is going on. Transparency and honesty will always win the day.

“I remember saying, ‘Listen, if you don’t know where your kids are now and they’re teens, I think I know where they are.’ ”

Several parents later told him he was right.

He is right, but you should think about that statement Paul. Many parents in this community are working so much they cannot properly parent, and when you apply trickle down economics and actually encourage it, you will continue to get bad kids, because parents can’t spend time with them. When you lift parents and workers from the bottom up, you fix a lot of these issues, when you continue to coddle the one percenters you only make these issues worse.

It doesn’t matter that no businesses are closed and none were ever ordered to close, he said.

“That tension and that anger” persist, he said.

This isn’t a critique of Paul, if you have a bad business plan, you will fail, Covid or not. It seems some people want to blame Covid, but I can tell you that most businesses in Sioux Falls that have failed, would have failed anyway.

“So that we hit the ground running once the weather turns and tourism season happens, and I think we’re in a good spot. Economically, this city is going to absolutely crush it this year. Businesses are coming here, tourism and events, our small-business community is going to see an incredible rebound because there’s pent-up economic power in the community right now, spending power that’s been tapped down for a year.”

Not everything is about money. While I agree the big guys in Sioux Falls will do just fine, a ‘whole’ community is achieved by caring about its citizens as that ‘whole’. We need to start governing from the bottom.

 I’m very bullish on mentorship,

While I criticize Paul on his leadership style, I totally agree with him on this initiative. I often wonder how different my life would be if I had a mentor. I just hope he can see the sun through the clouds.

A few weeks ago, TenHaken took a test to see if he has COVID-19 antibodies.

It came back negative.

Somehow, he likely led through the year without contracting the virus.

You are lucky, it’s not a party.

While I think Paul has failed us on open government and helping the little folks, I still pray he does the right thing, someday. Leading comes from within, dig deep brother.

Face the Nation calls out Noem on the Sanctity of Life

Margaret nailed Kristi with this, “I know you are conservative and you care about the sanctity of life, so how can you justify making decisions that put the health of your constituents at risk?” Noem’s response was to ask other governors that question, even though Margaret reminded her several times that she was asking Noem the question, right now, since she was on the show (that’s kind of how interviews work).

We know the real answer to that question, Conservatives only care about you before you are born, once you are out, you are on your own.

Maybe local restaurants can survive Covid by providing good service?

The Condiment Vending Machine. Patent Pending.

Trust me, I noticed before Covid that eating out in Sioux Falls was a crap shoot. Sometimes you get good service, poor food or poor service and good food or poor service and poor food or great service and great food. It’s always a mystery. As a person who worked in restaurants for over 20 years it is frustrating, but I also understand we all have bad days. I have often told people I was top of my game maybe 75% of the time, and when I was like that, you were lucky to have me as a server. The other 25% of the time, I feel sorry for you, because when I sucked, I really sucked (I was also mean to blue hairs, Hoots and people who prayed before they ate, commonly known as the people WHO DON’T TIP).

I have only ate indoors a handful of times since Covid hit and it wasn’t until after I recovered from my own bout with it that I decided to eat indoors. It has always been by myself and I try to sit away from folks. Trust me, I get it that it is probably not fun wearing a mask during a whole shift to wait on people, but it is your job. I have also noticed that service has gotten even worse since Covid. I think it has a little to do with less experienced younger servers who are not afraid of getting Covid working mostly during the pandemic, while the older experienced ones have decided to sit it out. There is also a whole different level of rudeness and flat out lying from servers that I have never really seen before. You know, you don’t have to lie to me, just grab your manager, which also lie to you to. Yah can’t win.

Last night I was baffled by the policies of a certain DTSF restaurant that is a small Midwest franchise. It is a popular place and the food is good for a franchise. I have ate there several times and have never had a bad plate. The service last year before Covid was always really good and the food has never been bad, until the service I received last night.

I sat at the bar to just simply have a quick burger and beer before going somewhere. While the service was ‘acceptable’ you would think I wouldn’t have to ASK every time I needed something. There were literally 4 of us sitting at the bar and 2 were together.

Service aside what was annoying is they have that stupid line on the ticket that asks for you to donate to a charity that they will give to in THEIR name. They have also added a line that asks if you will ’round up’ for the charity (another annoying trick retail is pulling during this pandemic). I always write ‘DUMB’ on that line and write to give their own money since this takes tips away from the servers. But what really surprised me was the $.50 charge for a side of mayo that I asked for, you know, a common condiment that should be included with a cheeseburger anyway. It’s not like I was asking for garlic truffle oil aoli or guacamole, just a side of Miracle Whip.

I will say that $.50 charge probably lost you a customer.

It’s the little things!

What’s next a bubblegum machine with condiments in it that you have to pay for to dispense? Maybe a dishwashing charge if you don’t opt for wax paper and plastic forks?

While we have certainly heard the bitching and complaining about the loss of business in the local hospitality industry during Covid, maybe it’s NOT Covid, maybe it’s your p!ss poor customer service where you beg your customers to give to a charity that you take credit for while charging me for a swab of liquified egg whites. Heck, even Wendy’s and BK don’t charge for mayo on a burger!

While some say they miss eating out due to the pandemic, let me fill you in, you ain’t missing much.

So the next time you hear about a restaurant that has gone under, maybe it wasn’t Covid, maybe it had to do with a mayo famine.