Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

The Piggies are coming home to roost for Smithfield

I was hearing rumors about this during the covid shutdown that Smithfield had a large inventory of product at a cold storage unit in town with Chinese labeling, apparently it was very true;

Even as Smithfield warned of a meat shortage, the company was exporting pork outside of the country, the complaint said.

The lawsuit also cited government data, which showed the US pork inventory in cold storage “was well into the hundreds of millions of pounds.” Analysts estimated such an inventory would keep grocery stores supplied for “months,” the lawsuit stated.

“Smithfield’s public messaging amounted to a scaremongering campaign, exploiting consumer fear about food insecurity,” FWW said in the complaint. “These statements, however, were misleading, deceptive, and contradicted by the facts.”

Just more lies from Trump/Noem/TenHaken B.S. factory to keep people working in an unsafe work environment.

If I was Mayor Behindcloseddoors I would have a meeting with Wholestone in devising a way to shutdown the Communist Packing Stinkhole and transfer the workers to a locally owned packing company that doesn’t stink up our town everytime there is a light breeze.

We will see how long it takes the local yocal media to cover this.

Sioux Falls Districting Commission ask about the expansion of Central District

I’m really not going to take sides, (FF 42:00) but some of the members of the board brought up some good points about expanding the Central District. Jeff Schmidt, who basically has been drawing these maps for years and getting the rubberstamps from the commission really did quite the Mexican Hat Dance. I do think though the Commission is going to push on this once the actual census numbers come out (late August) and I agree that Central District should encompass most of the Central part of Sioux Falls. In the 29 years I have lived in Sioux Falls I have only lived out of the Central District a few times and it truly is the best part of our city, once we can get rid of the trains.

Speaking of the trains, City Hall moles have been telling me there is a push by the administration and downtown developers to move the trains out of Downtown! Bravo! While I totally support this you have to keep some things in mind;

• You should really involve the public so they help put the pressure on the Railroads and Feds. Trying to secretly negotiate with the RR’s will get the same result as the RR Redevelopment project . . .

• This should have been negotiated to begin with when the last mayor gave $26 million to the RR for $2 million in dirty land that the Federal Taxpayers probably owned anyway, but he failed, one of the biggest failures in negotiating in the history of the city, but what do expect from a low life credit card peddler?

• Which brings us to the most important part, this is Federal Easement land which means Thune, Rounds and Dusty will have to get involved, as well as the transportation secretary Pete and possibly even Congress itself, or even a signature from Sleepy Joe. Moving RR tracks is kind of like pulling King Arthur’s sword from the stone. I wish them luck, but I have a feeling I will be sleeping in my basement for years to come.

Levitt returns with some interesting adjustments

As you can see from the pictures, it was a packed house which was awesome, and the weather was fantastic.

Two things that stuck out was the very long line for drinks, because in 2019 the lines were not bad at all. I found out when I got up there that drinks went from $5 in 2019 to $7 and you could no longer buy drink tickets, so you have to run your card or pay cash every time you go get a drink which I’m sure delays the line. The bartender told me though, I could have a tab. I asked why there was NO tickets, and he said something about a ‘city decision’. I’m not sure what that is about, because if it has anything to do with underage drinking, there is nothing stopping people from buying drinks for minors. I think they just want to slow the line so there is less intoxication. I also think they should allow people to bring at least their own beer and wine, but I will stay away from that rant.

My 2nd surprise was the sound. While the quality was fine, the volume was at about the same level as your grandma’s turn table. The volume has been turned down quite a bit since 2019. I have no doubt it has to do with Downtown’s ridiculous decibel levels and people complaining about the music after they decided to live across the street from a band shell. I guess all the trains running through downtown don’t have to follow those rules, but a Jazz Band does. I wonder what the sound level was at The Alliance last night at the Martin Zellar concert our Supreme Leader was attending?

I have thought for a long time the fun police in Sioux Falls would find a way to hinder the Levitt. As I told a friend today, ‘If it doesn’t have to do with youth sports, church or dogs it is NOT a priority in Sioux Falls and the fun police will find a way to kill it.’

Idiotic Electric Foot Scooter ordinance will be withdrawn

I was actually surprised this was not pulled and killed last Tuesday in the 1st Reading. While I support these devices in Sioux Falls, and really don’t care who rents them out, they belong on the street not on the sidewalk;

The program brought up several concerns for downtown Sioux Falls, including how they would be regulated, like restricting speed and where scooters would have access to ride in the downtown area.

“We haven’t even gathered all of our data from our members, which is exactly why we had this town hall today and we heard a little bit from them. You know, the fun factor of electric scooters downtown versus the need for them, the safety and the pedestrian traffic. We are a very walkable density populated downtown. We feel like people can walk from store A to store B,” said Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Griffin.

He is correct about the walkability, and exactly the reason they should not be on sidewalks. I think they should just restrict them to side streets and not allow them on thoroughfares like Minnesota and 41st street and arterials.

I think the reason this was pulled is because Downtown business owners got pretty irate about the fact they were not included in discussions before this made it to the council agenda. As I said earlier, this is what happens when you don’t include the public in these discussions and just ramrod laws thru you concocted in a dark room. OPEN government is essential to GOOD government. I wonder if the city council will ever learn this?

Downtown Sioux Falls success is because of Carole Pagones

Every time I see the big wheels of Downtown Sioux Falls talk about their investment, I only think of one person, Carole. A little rough around the edges I still remember meeting her in 1993 with a cig hanging out of her mouth and a passion for Downtown Sioux Falls.

When I moved to Sioux Falls in 1991 I would stroll downtown, it was basically a handful of businesses and a ghost town. Zandbroz, Tina’s, Minervas, Ed Salears and the Hat. You could literally walk downtown on a weeknight and see nobody. I was reminded of this in 2019 on a First Friday where the sidewalks were so packed you could barely walk, it was like Times Square.

I worked for Pat Pilcher, a former legislator who owned a print shop in the old Lewis building (I think it is that fancy dessert shop now) and Carole would come in and ‘throw the bull’ with the ladies there. She said it like it was.

So how did Carole make downtown successful? I often joke she stuck her boot up Mayor Munson’s butt to do something, and if I can credit Dave for one thing, he listened, and move forward. He actually dared to remove the rail road tracks from Downtown, but former Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut f’d that up.

Make no mistake, downtown is what it is because of Carole and a willing partner in Mayor Munson. And in celebrating her life, I don’t want anyone to forget it, because I think if Carole was still alive today, she would look at the Bunker Ramp and go, ‘Look at the Monster I created.’ then let out a big laugh. We will miss you, rest in peace.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken lies about Village on the River

While Paul was still in his garage polishing his medals and ‘other stuff’ I have been following this POS project from the beginning, so it surprised me when he flat out lied about his position;

“Obviously, you know, it’s no surprise that that project hasn’t gone like anybody would’ve like to seen it gone, myself included,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said. “But, it was here when I took office, trying to do the best we can with it and move it forward. I’m confident that soon we’ll see some progress happening there.”

To Paul’s credit, he was NOT involved with the ground breaking or taking out the bond, BUT, the project was in stand still when he rolled into office, and he could have stopped it. We would have had to pay a small fine for returning the bond, somewhere around $1 million, but we would have saved taxpayers around $26 million in a project that should have never happened and he could blame Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut for the fiasco. Instead he accepted a bar napkin credit validation from the developer and moved forward. To say the Bunker Ramp was completed when he took office is a flat out lie. Of course, I don’t blame Paul for his normal ‘you betcha’ moment, but a cruise control media for not challenging him on that lie.

Cherapa Developers ask for ludicrous $25 million dollar TIF for luxury retail, office and housing

I have never seen so much groveling in my life at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting, and it wasn’t from the developer of this project, it was from the city councilors supporting this, almost falling over each other to thank, yes, thank, the developer for asking for this tax break.

This isn’t about affordable housing or blight, it is what it is, developer welfare while raising taxes on the rest of us. And while the developer and councilors talked about the economic impact, there still has yet to be an independent study proving TIFs work in Sioux Falls, or provide any impact to the rest of us paying higher taxes to supplement their whims. The reason why? Because they know the answer.

The Bancorp Inc. will anchor the next phase of the development, bringing its 175 employees downtown and serving as the catalyst for Cherapa’s envisioned mix of retail, luxury condominiums, additional office, parking and community gathering and event space.

The planned Cherapa development will require support from the city of Sioux Falls, including $25 million in tax increment financing for the construction of the parking and related infrastructure, such as the extension of Reid Street. The city also is assisting in helping create a quiet zone around the rail line.

I actually got a good laugh at the beginning of the developer’s TIFilicious presentation when he talked about how the city’s accomplishment in removing rail travel from Downtown. LOL. Not only is it still there, running along this development, it has gotten more intense in the neighborhoods less then a mile south of it.

The lack of leadership, economic ignorance, little historic knowledge of TIF’s and this incredibly huge hand-out to wealthy developers on this project shows just how out of touch this mayor and city council is with the real needs of our community. I keep going back to just imaging how much of our core neighborhoods we could clean up with $25 million dollars but instead our council has turned into corporate socialists who don’t even want to do their homework on TIFs.

The saddest part is that this project, Flopdation Park and the Sioux Steel project could all develop 100% with private investment and pay their full property taxes on day one, and they all know it. But hey, they got it covered, the rest of us working stiffs will pick up the slack for these destitute folks and the city council will gladly oblige, because that’s just what they do. What a bunch of goofs.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls(?) finally addressing panhandlers?

UPDATE: The sign was gone this morning and must have been removed last night. Me thinks someone wasn’t quite following the rules.

Imagine my surprise today while driving down Cliff at the intersection of 14th Street when I saw the traffic sign below, which read in 3 frames; GIVE TO . . . CHARITY . . . NOT TO PANHANDLERS.

At first I thought this may be the handy work of the city, but I am not sure, there wasn’t much info from the sign itself. If it is the city, I guess I should say ‘thanks’ for finally doing something, but this wasn’t my suggestion, I said to put in permanent signage at the intersections informing motorists it is illegal to impede traffic while handing money out the window with the listed ordinance and fine.

I’m also not even sure if this is following sign code, even if the city put it up. Also, what is it costing taxpayers? If this was a private political donation of sorts, shouldn’t there be a disclaimer?

If the city truly did this (it is on city bike trail property) it would be nice if the mayor or the part-time mayor, Beck, at least put out a press release about it.

While I applaud the administration for possibly doing this, I continue to be baffled by the way these things are done. Cruise control government at it’s finest.

Maybe they should put a Girl Scout cookie stand next to it?

The Bunker Ramp is going to bite us in the rear

The Audit Committee of Sioux Falls meets tomorrow, and they have some precarious recommendations about the Parking Enterprise Funds.

As you can see our debt service is extremely high (mostly due to an ill-advised Bunker Ramp). There is even suggestions that parking employees work in other departments.

This is what happens when supposed leaders make very bad decisions. Will we ever learn?

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000’

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.