Entries Tagged 'Corona Virus' ↓

City of Sioux Falls Tidbits

After an incident over the weekend where SFPOs were caught cussing out suspects, the Chief of Police claims there is nothing to see, move along. As I have been saying for years, further proof we need body cams, but as he said last week, no policy changes. Shocker. They also need some diversity training and paid physical fitness time.

Sales taxes are in the crapper, but no surprise. As about 15% of the workforce in Sioux Falls lost their jobs and nobody was spending any money – we saw this coming. I just hope the budget hearings that start tomorrow prepare for this.

Speaking of money, the city could get up to $41 million in Covid money but Mayor Multi-task doesn’t think we need it. The covid crisis is far from over, and as you noticed, the cases in SD remain on an even keel and are NOT going down. If this continues into the fall and winter, we may need some of that money to combat the crisis further. Nothing wrong with planning ahead, wait, this administration doesn’t know what that means. Let’s just keep the libraries and pools closed, that’s the ticket!The Public Transit board met today but no one really knows what is on the agenda because it wasn’t posted on the agenda page. Of course this is a violation of open meetings laws not having the agenda posted (except in this mysterious zoom document). But they have been violating those rules for a couple of years now, why do anything differently?

Do Lifeguards, Librarians and City Directors have vulnerable immune systems?

In a recent national medical study funded by a local government agency they found some startling results; public employees who work as librarians, lifeguards, city directors and managers have very poor immune systems. So poor, the common cold could knock they out for months, even have life-threatening results.

Dr. Bowlshyt who assisted with the study said, “We kept wondering why everyone else in the private sector was going back to work, and managing Covid infections just fine except this group of the workforce. Heck even firefighters, public works employees and police were having low cases.”

For a long time here in our own city and across the country there seemed to be a reluctance to open public libraries, swimming pools and local government offices, now we know why.

“Some have argued that this group may be arrogant, or paranoid for not going back to work like everyone else, like they are some special class of people. But that may not be the case,” continued Dr. Bowlshyt, “While we did find a high level of anxiety and paranoia with this group, we chalked it up to being public employees. But what we found in our medical study is that not only do some of them lack a backbone (said in a sarcastic tone) but they virtually have NO immune system either.”

This may explain why our city and many other cities refuse to send these people back to work. They may have had this medical data all along.

Economist Darrell Dewnuthin also weighed in on the economic side of paying these people while they ‘Joe Biden’ it in their basements, “Well, in reality, does this sector of people really work anyway? Have we noticed any change to the functionality of our cities while this sector of people have been absent? None to report. Cities have actually been saving money because they don’t have these facilities open.”

The only difference is that the taxpayers are still paying the wages and benefits associated with this group of people while they essentially ‘work’ from home. But it’s kind of hard to check out a book, swim in a pool or get a building permit from places that are closed. So what really have they been working on the past several months?

Local citizen advocate Pam Tanga thinks she knows the answer to that question, “What they have been doing before Covid hit. NOT MUCH!”

Is it time to allow Downtown Sioux Falls Bars to sell open container?

Across the country this has been common practice for awhile, and with Covid many businesses have been adapting by selling cocktails to go in takeaway orders.

I have advocated for a long time that city ordinance should change, specifically during the summer months, that Downtown bars should be able to sell drinks to go in plastic cups for strolling Downtown strictly.

I don’t think this should be a free for all, but I think it would help out the Downtown hospitality industry in extra sales.

Give me your pros and cons.

Covid Holiday in Sioux Falls

So I have been hearing rumors that residents from Minnesota are coming to Sioux Falls for ‘Covid Holiday Weekends’. The latest was a group of middle-aged ladies who spent the weekend shopping, getting their hair and nails done than having a nice dinner downtown.

Maybe that is why Noem decided to keep everything open, Covid tourism.

Social Distancing? Not so much

I found this picture on FB last night, this is a line outside a popular bar in DTSF. While the restrictions are not set to lift until Tuesday, I have noticed many drinking establishments have chosen to just ignore them anyway. And why not? There are no leaders or people in authority in charge in this town. The worst part about this pandemic isn’t scenes like this, it is the total lack of leadership by our elected officials. Why implement half-baked rules with no real teeth if people are just going to ignore them anyway?

Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken thinks he is a Ceremonial Mayor, wish he was

Paul seems to think he is a part-time glorified city mayor instead of a city administrator. Wish he was, would save us a lot of money and heartache. Maybe it is time we do this?

As I suspected, a lot of our ‘essential’ food is going to China

I heard about this about a month ago;

Smithfield Foods has been trying to scare us away from restricting its activities at its coronavirus-riddled Sioux Falls plant by warning that any disruption of its vital activities could lead to a meat shortage. Yet even as they lobbied for an executive order from the White House to immunize their facilities from state shutdown orders, Smithfield and other mega-meatmongers have been shipping more pork to China:

About a month ago I got a tip from a reader that a certain cold storage warehouse in Sioux Falls had about 9 months worth of Smithfield product stacked up in the facility ‘awaiting shipment’. I asked this person why don’t they just distribute it already in the United States, especially with some food shortages. His answer, “The labels are in Mandarin. It’s headed to China but are struggling to get it shipped.”

So while I understand supplying food to Americans as essential, I’m not certain Americans risking their lives to pack food for China is essential. It reminds me of the XL pipeline that ships oil from Canada through the US to be put on tankers in the Gulf that go to China.

And we wonder why some of us ‘vilify’ the pork packer.

Obama finally says something

UPDATE: Why is the City of Sioux Falls waiting 2 weeks to open city buildings?

Notice in the video the Mayor said he will not being going out to eat. Good choice. But what I don’t understand is if this Mayor and City Council gave a green light to the rest of the city to reopen, why not the city buildings?

I will give you my best theory. They are using the citizens of Sioux Falls as Guinea pigs. Basically if this explodes over the next two weeks the city employees who work with the public will not be exposed, and likely not return on May 18. While I think it is a good idea for them to not return during the middle of peak why is it okay for the rest of us?

There seems to be a bit of hypocrisy going on here. You tell the people who receive their salaries from the tax payers, you don’t have to make a choice, you get to stay home, but you force the very people who pay those wages to make a difficult decision? Either go back to work, or lose my unemployment benefits, either way, I really don’t get to make a choice.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander Mayor. If you think it is okay to reopen hospitality and service industries in Sioux Falls why not direct the city employees back to the office? The Minnehaha Treasurer’s office has been operating this whole time.

I also think he fears what the repercussions would be if a city employee gets seriously ill or even dies. If he is thinking those things about his employees, why doesn’t he have the same fears for private employees?

It really shows who the mayor thinks really counts, and it’s not the people paying his wages.

UPDATE: I knew this was not going to work very well and be a nightmare for hospitality workers, I found this comment on FB from a bartender at a popular bar in DTSF;

I just worked my first shift and the guidelines they are having us follow are nearly impossible to maintain. It is so dumb to have a bar open up and expect us to make sure these drunk people don’t gather at a table with more than 6 people and making sure they stand 6 ft apart while serving them alcohol. Seriously why?! It just more reason for our guest to call us assholes because we have to tell them “you can’t stand next to your friend we have to enforce social distancing“.

People circulate at a bar and no matter how much we try to table serve they want to come to the rail. If more people come out I don’t know how we will ever be able to manage that even with a full staff. Thanks Crusty Gnome

Making this post for anyone who is curious how the first day of opening a popular downtown bar was like.

UPDATE: The choice to ‘not work’ was ripped from citizens today in Sioux Falls by the city council

I have been shaking my head quite a bit over the last couple of months with the response from the governor, our mayor and city council. They keep telling us that this is about ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘personal choice’. But that ‘choice’ was ripped from citizens today when the council voted 7-1 to lift restrictions on the hospitality industry and other similar businesses. Councilor Starr voted against the measure because they failed to pass an amendment that would sunset this on June 5th for review. That amendment was a tie vote with the Mayor voting to break the tie by voting NO.

Employees who get called back to work will have to give up their unemployment benefits. If they ‘choose’ to not return, those benefits will go away. So do they really have a ‘choice’? Nope. Because this state’s elected officials have set up a system of employment where the employer controls the employees lives and choices. Sure, you don’t have to return, but you now have no social net, so you only have one choice, the one your employer made for you. Go to work. Get sick. Hope you survive.

We have known for a long time that employees in this state have little rights. The only real right you have is that you can quit your job on a dime and their are NO repercussions from it, as well as no benefits.

I have been very fortunate that I have been able to go to work each day during this, and work from home. My choice. But I don’t work in hospitality. I also have an employer who has put a plan in place where we distance ourselves in the office, we also disinfect several times a day.

The difference from being in a secluded office setting and working in a restaurant is the points of contact. We have hand sanitizer everywhere in the office. We all have our personal stash on our desks, medical grade. And we don’t touch much except door handles. My experience as a server has thought me that you have thousands of points of contact within one shift. How can a server, a cook, a hostess or a bartender avoid that contact? It will be virtually impossible and people will get sick.

I could go on a rant about the stupidity of this, but I think that is obvious at this point. I have argued for a long time that these businesses are protected thru the Federal programs and their laid off employees are protected through unemployment benefits, now they want to f’ck that whole system up so people can go eat at Crapplebees. Completely insane. Your FREEDOM and LIBERTY ends when you endanger others knowingly. I think the Constitution is pretty clear.

ALL KINDS OF TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE HOTDOGS

While I am all for Smithfield workers getting streamlined testing, what about the rest of us? If we can knock out 2,600 tests in a couple of days, why not continue the drive-thru testing for everyone? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that widespread testing is what will stop the spread. We have been told this every day for over 60 days!

This pandemic has drawn a clear line in the sand of who the ‘Haves’ are and who the ‘Have nots’ are. We are no longer the country our founding fathers concocted. If there has been anything through all this that has given me anxiety and distress is that the country I love is ran by a bunch of f’ing greedy morons! May they rot.

UPDATE: I also want to point out that while we are basically forcing hospitality workers back to work and off of unemployment benefits, many pencil pushers with the city will not have to be ‘phased’ back into work until May 18, as announced by the mayor today. My contention all along is if private industry has to go back to work, public employees must also. How can you say it is okay for us ‘worker bees’ to show up and shut up, but the people we pay thru our taxes can shelter in place? If you are concerned about their wellbeing (and you should be) what about the people who put food on their tables? I think a great amendment today would have been to direct ALL city employees to report to work on Monday in their offices. Oh, that’s right, it is unsafe.