Have donations to the “Flood Recovery Fund” (set up by the City of Sioux Falls) been distributed yet?

Mayor TenHaken said $7,500 had been received, and that was VERY early on . . . perhaps within hours of it being announced. That’s the only quantifier I’ve seen about how much money came in.

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation has been designated as the collecting agency for the donations. While I’ve never requested any grant, etc. from this group, I know some people who have had other dealings with them, and were not happy with the results. Their board, donors & honorees are quite the “who’s who” of Sioux Falls – a real mutual admiration society, if you will.

I believe the SFACF has a $140 million dollar war chest (most of it liquid investments) which – in spite of their very nice ongoing charitable grants, scholarships & monetary awards – grows every year via donations & their investments.

Given the tremendous existing multi-million dollar donations this organization already has on hand, I question why they have been designated to receive and disperse these donated Flood Recovery funds. . . . as opposed to the Red Cross, another existing disaster relief organization, or even some municipal equivalent of a Go Fund Me page, for example.

I believe the citizens who donate to this Flood Recovery Fund deserve confirmation that 100% of the donations received are dispersed to deserving recipients, and that no portion of these donations get absorbed back into one or more of the SFACF fund accounts.

Will we ever know?

UPDATE: According to the Minnehaha County Historical Society FB Page, this would affect the WH Lyons House which is on historical record. It also appears that if your home is flood damaged you wouldn’t get full price for your house.

I guess some of my city moles are leaking stuff to other media sources, GOOD JOB. If we can’t fix open government from the front end we can certainly go thru the back door;

According to a letter obtained by KELOLAND News on City of Sioux Falls letterhead, the city is looking at the possibility of turning recently flooded land into green space.

The letter says the city is looking at the area of Rose and Lotta on the floodplain, just off south Minnesota Avenue, just south of Interstate 229.

The letter says quote “The City’s proposal at this time is to offer voluntary purchases of certain homes in this area.” The letter also says that details are still up in the air, and that the city council has to approve this.

This is actually a great idea. The city has done this in the past of other flood prone areas. The only drawback is that even if the city gives these homeowners a fair market appraised value, a lot of these homes are so modest they may not be able to afford to purchase another home, BUT it may get them out of doing costly repairs. This also may take several years to repurpose the neighborhood. It will be an interesting process to watch.

Remember when there was all the discussion about the million dollar pedestrian bridge DT which Jeff S. (who owns Cherapa) forced the Council to follow through with?

At the Park Board meetings and Council meetings at that time there was lengthy input about how the Corps of Engineers wanted the old Railroad bridge removed but did not want it replaced with anything because in the case of flooding it would be an obstruction in the river which would catch debris and increase the risk of the river overflowing its banks.

This is exactly what was happening at Rotary Park yesterday.  So, how did they get approval for this when the Corps balked at the Downtown bridge for the very same reason?

BY Johann Hawkins


After I finished my interview with God (the almighty) I could only think of my favorite biblical verse,

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

Was God telling us the truth? I mean, would he lie to us?

This interview got rolling the other day when a fellow journalist from a real newspaper in Sioux City told me, “A lot of tax dodging rich folks are upset about the flooding in Dakota Dunes.”

And I jokingly quipped, “Maybe their greed and ignorance caused it?”

And as Starfucks coffee shot out of our noses from the laughter (which, BTW, tastes better coming out then going in) I got a call on my Dingleberry. It said restricted number, I picked up anyway. The caller said, “Is this Johann? Nevermind, of course it is Johann, I watched you pick up the phone. This is God.”

At first I was a bit nervous, right before my friend showed up I was surfing porn on my phone and thought God was calling about a little intervention. He says, “About your comment, it is true, I always punish greed and ignorance with an occasional flood.”

I said, “Well, God, I was just joking.”

He says, “I’m not. Seriously. You wanna build your house in a slew between two river bottoms that are known for flooding, hey, you are rolling the dice. Well, I am really rolling the dice, and the house never loses (a muffled giggle is heard).”

I challenged God, “So what you are telling me is that you allowed this because ignorant people think they can control mother nature?”

“Well, Kinda.” God replies. “It has more to do with Republicans and their constant hypocrisy. You know, I’m not a fan of hypocrisy?”

So I said to him, “So these floods are punishment for South Dakotans voting in Republicans?”

God says, “Pretty much. Noem was the tipping point. I just thought over 30 years of them running the working class into the ground that it was a little payback time and what a better time and place like now? Do you think it is just by happenstance that Pierre and Dakota Dunes are seeing the worst of this?”

I was a bit taken back, maybe God was telling me the truth, maybe Republicans really did have it coming? So I asked him about the Army CORPS. “Some people are blaming the CORPS for mismanagement.”

“Well (chuckling) they aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer,” God retorts, “but they couldn’t have created this mess all by themselves. Do you think New Orleans was a result of a Hurricane? Silly boy. It’s the classic ‘bait and switch’ by rich greedy Republicans, blame someone else for your stupid decisions. I mean, really, did the CORPS put a gun to these people’s heads and force them to build their homes in a historical flood zone? Nope. But a couple of people even greedier then them convinced them of a tax haven. Wonder how those tax cuts feel now while living in a hotel as your McMansion is destroyed?”

I was a bit surprised, and I said to God, “Kinda cold, don’t you think?”

God replies, “You Christians and your New Testament peace and love crap, have you read the Old Testament? You do know I am a Jew? Right?”

Well, that shut me up, momentarily, but I wanted to get back to the CORPS. I said, “What do you think of Bill Janklow threatening to sue the CORPS over this?”

God laughs, “Funny you bring up Bill, St. Peter and I were just talking about him the other day, but we won’t get into that. Who do you think Wild Bill is going to defend? Rich Republicans or government? I can’t wait to watch that spectacle, maybe that trial will actually end with putting his ass in jail once and for all.”

I was still uncertain what God was getting at, and if there was a biblical lesson to be learned here, so I asked him, and he replied,

“Stop voting for Republicans, and the flooding will end. Keep it up and you will find out just how much a grasshopper can eat.”