Entries Tagged 'Corona Virus' ↓

Mayor TenHaken reveals his hypocrisy in Covid presser

Paul, we have to close the beaches!

Most would feel bad for a mayor who lacks leadership, but it is kind of hard when he is a big fat hypocrite, as I have pointed out several times.

Today at the Covid presser when asked what he has done to control the spread he got mad and I think he even started sniffling a bit, he basically claimed he can’t control the habits of 200K people in a city that is 80 square miles. I would partially agree with him, but when he said he could not control the 500K that live in the region, I would have to disagree a bit.

Remember, this mayor with the assistance of the CVB and City Council thought it was a great idea to spend $250K of our taxdollars on promoting Covid tourism in the city. On top of that, the ad firm that got the contract to promote this tourism was none other than his former(?) agency ClickRain.

Now I am willing to give Mayor Stoneless a little rope on how much of this is his responsibility, but when you are out promoting tourism in our city (to the region) while spending OUR money that you are handing over to your friends, you kind of wonder what you are using the rope for? Maybe you need to use it to pull your hypocritical head out of your butt.

Yes, Paul, not only have you not led this city during this pandemic you have wasted our taxdollars to make it worse.

How incredibly idiotic to promote tourism in the middle of a deadly pandemic. And you are not sure what you can do to influence people to not be selfish? Like your former ad agency? Or the CVB? Or the people who want to come visit Sioux Falls from neighboring states because YOU asked them to?

Maybe we should have used the $250K to hire a city manager that understands leadership.

Will the Sioux Falls City Council Proposed Mask Mandate put Mayor Stoneless in a Pickle?

As you may or may not know, Mayor TenHaken has to break ties on the council, and he may have to exercise one of his toughest next Tuesday or the following Tuesday. Next week is the first reading of the Sioux Falls mask mandate proposed by Councilors Mutt and Jeff, uh, I mean, Soehl and Kiley. If you count the votes on the council, it looks like they have a solid four votes that approve of the mandate in Starr, Brekke, Kiley and Soehl and probably a definitive NO in Councilor Erractickson and probably her ethically challenged lap dog Nutzert. Jensen and Selberg will be your swing votes on this. I could think either would cave to save the mayor from having to vote on this, if not both, but as of right now, it looks like he will have to break the tie. My prediction is he will vote against it, because he is so scared of the business community in town and Noem. What is ironic about this is, I actually agree with Soehl, if you want to see your businesses continue to stay open, especially during the busy holiday season, a mask mandate will help with this. You never know, the business community may finally give their blessing to this mandate after all.

Where I am on the fence is, is it is going to be very, very, very difficult to enforce this. Police officers will literally have to catch you in the act of NOT wearing a mask, I compare it to our useless fireworks within city limits ordinances. While I think putting the mandate on the books is good, I think the enforcement needs to be handled different. I actually think businesses should have the right to hire security and BAN people who won’t wear a mask. This of course brings us to the Constitutionality of mask mandates.

I believe it is well within the Constitutional rights of any private business or non-profit to mandate masks. It’s called FREE enterprise. I have often believed that private retailers and restaurants can limit who they do business with (as long as they are not discriminating because of protected class-obviously non-mask wearers doesn’t fall into those classes), and I think this is how the ordinance should be written, allowing them to require masks and if anyone refuses the violators can charged with trespassing instead of a mask violation. Where I think it violates constitutional rights is requiring masks in public, like in parks, on the sidewalk, etc. I think the city can limit mask use in Public buildings with a health exemption, but outside in public spaces, that’s a little tricky and doesn’t pass the civil rights smell test.

I also think with the way the Home Rule Charter is written, it will be hard to get someone to pay a citation, I think a trespassing violation would be a lot easier to collect on. I think if they do issue citations, they should be warnings only. This pandemic will soon pass, and chasing people down for mask fines or even trespassing after the virus is managed seems a bit of overkill and not worth the taxpayer expense, you know, kind of like destroying people’s records for smoking a joint.

There is going to be a lot of ‘bull’ thrown around over the next couple of weeks about this, and to be quite honest, I think we are too late on this, but I guess anything can help at this point. But we need to craft this carefully not to trample civil rights.

Is a Mask Mandate coming to Sioux Falls?

I got word today that a pair of City Councilors may be preparing a First Reading of a mask mandate for the November 3rd meeting. Of course, we would have to wait a full week before a 2nd Reading would occur.

A recent survey (I think by one of the public colleges) said that 58% of respondents approve of a mask mandate. I actually think it is a lot higher, because when I go out shopping I see well over 80% of people wearing masks.

The two councilors working on the mandate ordinance are NOT the dynamic duo of Starr and Brekke.

I am assuming the mandate will be very weak, in other words it will be a mandate, but the police will NOT enforce and no penalties will be handed out. It will be a mandate with no punishment.

I guess I will have to wait an see what it looks like. But I think even a strongly suggestive mandate is way past due. Like I said above, I think most people support a mandate, and it is just a small very loud group of libertarian wing nuts who think people are taking away their civil liberties. These people obviously have NO idea what civil rights are about. This is about slowing the spread and saving lives and has nothing to do with what party you are in.

SD GOP’s Iowan Leader continues to spread Outrageous Lies about Pat Starr

Their latest attempt at trying to smear Starr was trotting out PUC ‘lifer’ Gary Hanson, who has NO authority over Federal Rules that apply to cell phones, and has NO legal experience saying what he did was illegal. It would be like Mayor TenHaken saying he is assisting CDC scientists to come up with a safe Corona Virus Vaccine.

It’s laughable at best.

But Danny has been busy writing more press releases that are basically flat out lies about Starr, including basically calling him stupid;

Lederman noted, “it appears that Starr didn’t know or care about federal laws against robocalling and doesn’t understand laws that clearly state if you spend money as part of a campaign you need to attach a disclaimer to your expenditure. I get the impression that he’s just too dumb to be trusted with the responsibility of the Minnehaha County Treasurer’s office.

What Iowa Dan doesn’t understand is this WAS NOT a campaign expense, and since it was NOT he does not have to disclose diddly. The rules the real dummy cites have to do with political messaging and political campaigns.

. . . ‘but he’s the one responsible to not harass & bother people on their cell phones.

As I have said already, informing voters that they can vote safely and early during a pandemic emergency is hardly ‘harassment’. It would be like me calling the FCC to complain about a tornado warning I got on my cell phone at 2 AM because I was trying to sleep. How dare they wake me up before my roof blows away! The shame!

“Failing to take responsibility for one’s actions is not a quality that voters appreciate,” 

Hmm, that’s rich. Then why do people in your party continue to get reelected with things like EB5, Gear-Up and more scandals than I can count? Maybe the ‘dummies’ are your supporters? Oh that’s right, because people like you continue to LIE about the other party and blame them for YOUR failures. Your party has been in charge for nearly 50 years in South Dakota yet when something goes wrong you blame Democrats. Huh?

If I were to just take Starr’s record on the Council (Remember he had NO challengers for his 2nd term) he has consistently stood with residents when it comes to zoning and fiscal responsibility. That $26 million dollar debacle in DTSF comes to mind, voted in by a majority of REPUBLICANS on the city council. Oh, that’s right, Pat voted against it. Why? Because it was one of the DUMBEST (and fraudulent) projects ever concocted by this city government.

Iowa Dan continues by citing a FCC law that refers to telemarketers. Dan, let’s go over this again, and read this slowly. Pat wasn’t trying to sell voters a darn thing, he was only making them aware of their rights and responsibilities during a pandemic, that is called a Public Service Announcement. Usually, those announcements come from Public officials because it is one of their elected duties. Now, I know in your strange little twisted world a PSA is when the governor pays FOX News (with taxdollars) to air a tourism ad about South Dakota. There’s a difference, I hope you understand? Should we go over it again? I know from living in Iowa for a brief time, you corn fed folks tend to be a bit slower.

Let’s face it folks, the GOP doesn’t make any calls to voters unless they are trying to sell them their version of Horsepuckey, and the real idiots here are the ones accusing someone of illegal activity while the accused was giving voting advice during an emergency. Something these clowns would never do. Let’s talk about being stuck on stupid.

Noem is crying because someone told her NO

I guess not many people tell her NO. I have heard from legislators who have been in committee meetings with her that she doesn’t take the word lightly. While I am not one to defend the Argus editorial board that often (because most of the time they are day late and dollar short with their grievances) I do agree with them that you can’t just pull some mysterious anonymous doctor from your rear end and quote them in an op ed about a pandemic. If you want people to take your covid data and information seriously, it helps to actually quote REAL doctors and scientists, not ones that apparently your communications cry baby made up.

It’s called credibility and transparency.

If the doctors truly exist, and they may, it just further proves how professionals in this state never want to take a stand publicly, they always want to ‘hide’ which is no surprise because that is how SD GOP funds it’s PACS through secretive donors that have their LLC addresses at UPS Stores.

They truly are the party of Chickensh . . . .

As Maggie Seidel said, Noem’s (Mis)Communications peeps and supposed Senior Advisor & Policy Director, “Democracy dies in Darkness.” It certainly does Maggie, and from you stand, it is very, very dark.

I’m not scared of Governor Noem, why are our local leaders?

Okay, I will admit, this is a little scary. Back when Kristi was just a state legislator from Castlegodknowswhere she posted this picture on her blog. Yes, Kristi had a blog. I think it was about 4-H (proud alumni myself) but I’m not sure.

It seems a lot of supposed tough guy leaders in our state are scared of the governor, and I am clueless why.

In fact, the first time I attempted to talk to our governor (and the first time I saw her in public) she ran like the wind at Pheasant Fest. Detroit Lewis seems to have that impression on girls . . .

There is NOTHING scary about Noem, in fact she is like a gentle seed falling from a Cottonwood tree, blowing away in the wind and turning into nothingness.

But Sioux Falls City Councilor Starr seems to think otherwise;

Tuesday morning on Facebook in response to a question about why a mask mandate isn’t taking place, Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr wrote “we are scared of the governor.” This afternoon he told KELOLAND News stands by that and clarified that by “we” he means city government overall.

“I think there are a number of reasons that we have failed to act,” Starr said. “We have been waiting for leadership both at the state and the city level, and it’s not coming. and it’s time to no longer be scared, it’s time to take the action to mitigate the situation.”

Starr does support some kind of mask mandate.

“I think we’re scared of maybe offending not only our leadership, but we’re scared to offend a small portion of our community that’s not willing to act,” Starr said.

Like Patrick, I am not scared of Trump’s gold plated lap dog, Governor Noem, and you should not be either. Be nice. Be respectful and wear a mask. The Rodeo Snow Queen can’t stop you. And if you try to corner her she will run to the nearest trucker hat rack or FOX news studio to deflect.

UPDATE: Local Leadership should be more than an imaginary piece of paper

TenHaken admits on National News he has essentially given up.

Update: TenHaken was featured on Meet the Press this morning, it seems he has simply gave up because of Trump’s rhetoric. Really?!

CHUCK TODD:

I want to ask you, get you to react to something here from the mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a Republican. I spoke with him on Friday. I’m guessing you’re going to empathize with what he has to say. It’s, again, a Republican mayor of Sioux Falls. Take a listen.

MAYOR PAUL TENHAKEN:

Trying to enforce any government restrictions now at this point in the game, even if, even if I felt that was the right thing to do, it’s a non-starter in the community right now. It’s difficult for us at the local level. It’s difficult for us as local leaders, county commissioners, mayors to deal with how politicized this has gotten, and it makes it frustrating.

I’m willing to bet Paul that the people who have made mask wearing political in our town are about 20% and last I checked they are NOT a majority. Do the right thing and push a public mask wearing mandate. For those that don’t want to comply, oh well, they can stay home, I don’t want to see them anyway.

We have already seen the story;

Sixteen mayors of South Dakota’s largest cities sent a letter calling for the public’s action to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

First of all, I am confused as to where this letter was sent? I certainly did NOT get it in the mail or my email box, so I wonder about its effectiveness. I also don’t know if they are providing new information;

We are writing to you with a simple ask, but one that we need everyone to take seriously. We need you to do your part. It is crucial that we are all aware of our behaviors. Wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained, keep your social interactions to small groups, wash your hands frequently, clean frequently touched surfaces often, and stay home if you feel sick. These may seem like small actions, but can make a big difference during this current surge we are experiencing in our state.

These mayors are pretty much telling us something we have known about for a long time and should already be doing. At this point, I’m not sure what this even means.

Councilor Starr thinks we should do more and have some better planning;

Asked what measures he had in mind to address the disease in the city, Starr said that’s why he had requested the update.

“That’s the point that we need to hear from the medical professionals,” Starr said, adding that there are some actions “that are more palatable than others.”

“Are we at a point where we’re overloading our health care systems?” he asked. “Our workers?”

This is what REAL leadership does, they recognize an issue, they gather the information, and they put a plan in motion. Sometimes that is legislative, sometimes it is less restrictive, but we can certainly agree penning a letter in the form of a PDF making ‘strong’ suggestions isn’t going to stop the spread of this virus. In fact the mayors that signed this electronic document should be embarrassed and ashamed at their lack of real leadership on this issue.

It’s going to be a very long winter.

Mayor TenHaken’s employee mask proposal

When I heard about the mayor mandating city employees to wear masks a friend said to me, “Looks like he found his stones.” And I replied, “Huh? I thought city employees were already mandated to wear masks?”

And am serious about that second part. I guess I just felt that from the beginning of this pandemic that the City Manager (Mayor Paul) would have naturally mandated mask use from the beginning for city employees. During the middle of our largest spike in months isn’t really the time to go, “By the way, we might be able to put the fire out quicker if we stop pouring gasoline on it.”

I will give credit though to the city employees. For the most part, I have seen them wearing masks (this is why I just figured it was already happening) not to mention, unless you were a cop, fire fighter or parks/public works employee, you were working from home for months which didn’t require a mask.

My last dig is something I have been b’tching about since Paul was inaugurated, DO YOUR JOB AS THE CITY MANAGER, MANAGE THE CITY AND IT’S EMPLOYEES! I’m amazed it took 6 months + into this pandemic for Paul to find the chapter in city charter that lays out his job duties; run the city by managing your directors and employees. Pretty simple.

And while I’m on the soap box, where were you for a week? Conducting city business . . . or conducting 5G business? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Why is Mayor TenHaken traveling during a pandemic?

Paul did a couple of interviews today, from a hotel room. Where did our mayor go? If it was a family emergency, I would totally understand, but I’m not sure Paul would be doing an interview with CNN during a family emergency.

They just dismissed Councilor Neitzert for blatantly violating city ordinance by taking a paid for lobbyist trip. Is Paul on a paid for lobbyist trip? Are the taxpayers paying for it? I don’t know.

As I have mentioned several times in the past, embrace technology and meet with people via phone or internet. You know, like some city employees did for months working from home. What is so important that the Mayor had to get on a plane (or in a car) and meet with people in person? I’m guessing it has little to do with city business.

We will see. Maybe he will tell us some day . . . oh that’s right, our elected officials don’t give us reports anymore from what they learn on trips.

Sidenote; At the end of the interview today on Belfrage about panhandling (in which Erickson and Neitzert never talked about a possible citation to people giving the panhandlers money – which would solve the problem real quick) Neitzert continued to peddle the flat out lie that he was politically attacked over the ethics complaint. He never proved that in the hearing, because it never happened. As I said already, it is pretty cut and dry, you violated the ordinance and 5 best friends gave you a pass.

UPDATE: Are Hospitals in Sioux Falls at Capacity?

Cory linked some stories that should be concerning;

UPDATE: After talking to some people in healthcare in Sioux Falls, there has been some clarity on the issue. The hospitals are NOT at capacity, but are experiencing a higher number of patients (not Covid related).

Today, Avera and Sanford are starting to fill up their beds in Sioux Falls. I talked with both of them in the past few days. They’re busy. That’s also not uncommon. There have been times pre-COVID when our hospitals have been full or nearly full. They don’t build the church for Christmas, as the saying goes.

This may have a little to do with some people putting off medical care when this Spring many were not going to the hospital for other ailments. This was mentioned in the City Council informational. Another reason some patients may be transferred is that the local health systems are trying to maintain open beds as we continue to surge, in other words preparing themselves if more people are hospitalized. I guess Avera and Sanford plan to hold a press conference Monday to update us.

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!