Entries Tagged 'racism' ↓

Is Sioux Falls population estimate pre-mature?

One of the most frustrating things about our supposed local news isn’t that they are fake news, but that they don’t tell the full story after passing off press releases as a news story;

Sioux Falls grew again, according to the city’s planning and development department.

The new estimated population for 2020 is 195,850. That’s an increase of 5,100 from the 2019 estimate of 190,750. The new number was released Friday afternoon by the city.

The Planning and Development Department calculates its year-end population estimate based from data released by the U.S. Census Bureau annually in July.

While this is all fine and dandy in a year without a census, I find it odd that no one asked the city why they didn’t just wait until the official census is released (hopefully SOON)? I have argued that I think that number is high and fudged so the city has more bonding leverage. I am NOT sure what it is, but I think we need to wait and see once the official Census is released.

“Sioux Falls continues to demonstrate our resiliency and optimism as evidenced by the steady growth of the past year. This confidence, along with our City’s ability to improve and expand infrastructure and manage our land resources has been a proven formula of growth for many years,” Jeff Eckhoff, director of planning and development, said in the news release.

This statement ties into another Stormland TV story about right wing radicals and racism;

“For me to sit here as the mayor and say, ‘Well, that doesn’t exist here in Sioux Falls’ would be naïve, because certainly some of the same racial tensions that we saw bubble up in Washington and some of the slogans we saw on shirts can certainly exist here,” TenHaken said. “What I can do as mayor is just continue to promote a message of unity, of inclusiveness.”

“Last summer, we’ve had it before, we’ve had KKK fliers distributed around our community, we, people found them in parks and things, and I’ve always wondered, is that just a prank, is that a teen trying to get a rise out of someone, or is it very real,” TenHaken said.

Whatever the intent or the maturity behind such imagery, the Ku Klux Klan stands for real, documented hate.

“I think that’s the sort of thing we just can’t tolerate, there’s just no place for that,” TenHaken said. “There’s no acceptance of that.”

I have often thought there is a correlation between racism and economics. I’m not sure how Amazon or an egg roll factory will solve our low wage job issues in the community. Studies have shown that Amazon actually drives wages down. Recently I was asked if I thought Noem or TenHaken had anything to do with bringing them here. My answer was simple, “Sure. They got the Hell out of the way.” Only one entity made the decision to come to Sioux Falls, and that was Amazon based on logistics of their operation. I have often chuckled about how politicians like to pat themselves on the back for bringing in business but rarely say anything about trying to prevent harmful businesses from coming. I think trickle down economics doesn’t work. In fact the founder of them, Ronald Reagan and his administration has proven that nothing trickles down to us. The rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer and main street is disappearing. I have even predicted that in 10 years or less, large corporate retail stores will be virtually non-existent.

So back to economics and racism. The state and the city can do more to combat racism, they can do it by building up communities starting at the bottom and working up. Besides cute messaging and education they can start investing tax dollars into the core of our city to provide more affordable housing they can also recruit businesses that will be locally owned and provide living wages. I had to cringe a bit last week when Planning Director Eckhoff made an interesting comment about affordable housing. He was referring to the practice of tearing down small houses in the core of our city, essentially saying they were obsolete because people want houses with two-stall garages now. He was basically saying the city’s housing department isn’t interested in rehabilitating smaller affordable houses. I have no doubt in my mind that the city’s housing and planning department (who have merged in recent years under the direction of TenHaken) has been in cahoots with contractors and developers to eventually wipe out existing affordable housing in our core (houses that are smaller with either no garage or a one-stall and one or two bedrooms) that can cheaply be fixed up because developers have seen that multi-housing units are where the money is to be made. I have suggested mini-TIFs to homeowners and small apartment owners to fix up our core neighborhoods essentially investing in people instead of big developers and international low wage corporations that never trickle it down to rest of us. (FF: 1:18:30)

If we are going to combat racism in Sioux Falls, it starts with economics, that means creating living wage jobs and affordable housing in our core. Giving millions in TIFs to egg roll factories isn’t a very good plan.

Our Brothers and Sisters are Your Brothers and Sisters

I don’t know if I have ever blogged about this before. One of the main reasons is because I am white. I have close relatives that are Asian, Hispanic, Native American and African American. People I love, not because of their heritage but because they are FAMILY.

Does their color matter? Nope.

I may have shared this a few times, but I lived with my father for a few years in a working class suburb of Seattle when I was in 10th and 11th grade in High School. We lived a few miles from the largest Boeing plant in the company and the largest manufacturing plant in the world at the time. The doors on this place were the size of football fields. FOOTBALL FIELDS!

The school I attended was Mariner High. One of the most diverse schools in the region.

Being a small town white farm boy who never saw a ‘colored’ person in my life, except on TV, was eye opening. I had African American friends, Native friends, Asian friends, but it never occurred to me they were any different. They had the same goals, love of life and interests as me. It never was a revelation, it was reality. I also had gay and transgender friends (this was the late 80’s). I also hung out with metal heads, preps, jocks and punk rockers (I actually made a little coin finishing art projects for the football players).

I guess I never understood hatred based on identity. Sure I dislike certain people, but it was never based on their color, religion or sexual preference.

Some people would accuse me of being a liberal because of my beliefs towards others, I’m not a liberal, I’m a human being. Everyone should believe in equality, it is just being a decent and compassionate person.

And while you struggle with your white privilege, never apologize for it, use it to make other lives better. Speak out against injustice. Don’t apologize or be embarrassed, use your privilege to privilege others. We all need to get along and love each other, it is of the highest importance. We are all in this together. Jesus said it best (or someone who claimed to know Jesus);

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.” – Psalm 41:1

And don’t just think police violence and domination is towards minorities. Over the past year I saw a drunk WHITE man get mauled by a dog while a SFPO kicked him, I saw another WHITE guy get tackled for flipping the bird and yet another WHITE jailed for weeks because he used hyperbole towards the mayor concerning 5G. None of us are immune folks. George Floyd is any of us, remember that.

These injustices affect us all as Americans. The police have become the judge, jury and to often the executioner. This is not their duty, their duty is to maintain peace, and arrest suspects and let a court and jury of peers decide if they are guilty of a crime.

I could point my finger at a lot of people, but today I will only point my finger at you as a citizen. Freedom is FREE, Speak OUT! It is one freedom they will never take from you unless you allow it!

A different Perspective on the Sunday Night protests

I have a dear South DaCola Soldier who lives out of state (but is from here) that frequents the various ‘city’ cams. She decided to take screenshots Sunday night as things unfolded and leaves us with some great commentary;

I watched the 41st street web cam and the Falls cam a lot.  I happened to look at the 41st street web cam Sunday night just as the cops were arriving. It was one cop with his car blocking traffic and I wondered what was going on.  As I watched more cops come and then the protestors.

After reading your page and the comments decided to send the pictures, maybe you are interested in them.

8:59 PM SF time

9 PM SF Time

Now they have turned right and gone down the street by the car dealer. I think that street is Louise.  The cops have 41 st  blocked so they can’t continue down 41 st.

9:16 pm, they are now all on the sidewalk.  9:18 and the cops are gone and so are the most of the protestors/walkers. The last of them went left through the parking lot or maybe it is part of the car dealer on what I think is Louise Ave.

9:23 pm and they are done.

Whoever is in charge of the camera moved it at least three times towards the stores, Menswear and the restaurant, but couldn’t see any people and the person moved the camera back to looking at 41st. Thought it was interesting, I am pretty sure there was a person watching that had control of the camera. (The mayor said later in an radio interview the EOC was watching)

9:09  pm

9:12 pm

9:15 pm  coming to an end.

Mayor TenHaken and the SFPD handled the situation well last night

I agree with Paul that the protest in the afternoon had very little to do with the one at night. If the SFPD, Mayor and National Guard made any missteps, they should have broken up the walking crowd before it got to the Mall (and before it got dark). Many in attendance in the march towards the Mall agreed. I also think when you are telling people in the morning five hours before the protest even started that there will be violence, you are kind of inviting it. As I suspected police chief Burns admitted today that this supposed bus load of hoodlums from Fargo never arrived, it was just empty threats on FB, which I pointed out yesterday. Most of the rioters were local latch key kids that should have been home while their parents are working 2nd or 3rd jobs. This is one of my fears about the pools being closed this summer, a lot of these kids will be up to ‘other’ things besides swimming.

Sioux Falls really hasn’t had this kind of violence since the scabs broke the union lines at John Morrells several years ago. From what I could tell it was just a bunch of young kids and hoodlums looking for something to do and very little to do with George Floyd’s death.

I still think that some of this was overblown, but the reaction by the SFPD and Mayor was legitimate and they handled the situation pretty good, especially the swat department to calm the situation ASAP. I think people freaking out about BS on Facebook, especially elected officials, should really do some investigation before telling the citizens there will violence in the streets. Sure, kids throwing rocks at cops isn’t cool, but it certainly wasn’t a combat zone. Some times our local elected officials need to just be cool headed about these things instead of saying the sky is falling.

I commend our National Guard, police force and Mayor’s office for calming the situation quickly. But next time, before you warn about potential violence in the streets, gather all your facts first. As I tell people all the time, Democracy dies in darkness, be truthful with the citizens and they will respond better next time. If anything I hope there was some lessons learned, and thank God no one was seriously hurt.

TenHaken says, ‘No Haters’!

I first want to say that I think this resolution is a good idea;

Mayor Paul TenHaken next week will introduce a resolution to the city council condemning hate, a move endorsed by the city’s Human Relations Commission.

“Hate has no place in Sioux Falls,” TenHaken said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “I’m proud to stand with the Human Relations Commission and condemn bias, discrimination and hate in Sioux Falls.

“With this resolution we reaffirm our belief that hate has no place in Sioux Falls and remind the public of ways to report discrimination to the City,” he added.

We should all disavow hate. I am actually embarrassed that in 2020 we have to pass resolutions to tell people to stop being racist jerks.

But this resolution has many procedural and intent problems. It’s nothing but some feel good reach around more than anything else. I also find it ironic that this resolution is being proposed right after the human relations attorney with the city announced he is running for State’s Attorney.

Kawinky-Dink? I think not.

So what are the issues;

1) It has no teeth. It just basically says that the city doesn’t like people being racist. Well Lah-De-Dah. I guess I am unaware of ANY city official, whether elected or employed who thinks it is a good idea to be racist. And in my personal life I ‘try’ to stay away from these people. So basically this is just a ‘memo’ or ‘sticky note’ from the mayor’s office.

2) The mayor should not be legislating. As I have told you fine folks in the past, according to charter, the city council is responsible for legislating and the mayor should run the city. As I mentioned above, this is just a campaign hat trick for the city’s human relations attorney, Daniel Haggar.

3) The mayor avoids gay pride events. I can’t tell you if PTH thinks gay peeps are ‘Icky’. Many have suspected that he does, but I have never seen him say anything publicly about it except at Dem Forum when he was running for office in which he stated that he was not ‘homophobic’. But what I find interesting about this resolution is that it did not include the LGBTQ community, or many other minority groups, like people of Muslim or Jewish faith that are discriminated against consistently. If we are going to pass a resolution disavowing hate, shouldn’t it cover all the bases?

This isn’t a Paul TenHaken issue, it is a bigger issue with politics in general starting with the top down, it’s all about ‘image’ instead of ‘substance’. If we really want to take a stand we need to pass ordinances that has teeth, otherwise this isn’t worth the paper it is written on. On top of that, hate speech is protected by the 1st Amendment, so is this a violation of our constitution?

We make change through education, and teaching people how not to hate. A more fitting resolution would be for the city to set up a grant program that funds seminars on teaching people about different cultures, creeds and sexual preferences. I have often told people that moving to a suburb of Seattle from a farm in South Dakota when I was 16 to live with my dad was the best cultural education of my life. I will sum it up really quickly, everybody has the same hopes and dreams as you do, no matter their color or creed. The city needs to educate people about cultures instead of handing out back rubs, sticky notes, lapel pins and pens.

A race war in Worthington, MN?

I stumbled on this article this morning from the Washington Post. I was astonished by what is going on only 50 minutes away from Sioux Falls, our current mayor’s hometown;

Those children, some of whom crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone, have fueled a bitter debate about immigration in Worthington, a community of 13,000 that has received more unaccompanied minors per capita than almost anywhere in the country, according to data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

So how does this happen? In the article it says that 2/3rds of Worthington is minorities.

Since the fall of 2013, more than 270,000 unaccompanied minors have been released to relatives around the country as they wait for immigration hearings. Many have ended up in large cities: 16,000 in Los Angeles; 18,000 in Houston; 20,000 in the Washington, D.C., area.

Thousands more, however, have ended up in small towns like Worthington, where their impact is dramatic.

In those six years, more than 400 unaccompanied minors have been placed in Nobles County — the second most per capita in the country, according to ORR data.

I have often argued that many undocumented workers wouldn’t come to the United States if there weren’t job opportunities for them, most likely from employers who are probably not following employment laws. The employers are really the root of the problem and why there is this massive population growth in one town;

“I wish they would have another ICE raid,” he said. “They need to get rid of the illegals.”

“Half the town is illegal,” added her 80-year-old husband, an oxygen tube in his nose.

While these statements are obviously prejudice and likely not accurate, you wonder what would happen if there was an ICE raid in Worthington? You wonder with so much anger and frustration from the white community in the town their hasn’t been a major ICE bust? I don’t have an issue with immigrants coming here for opportunities, my distant relatives came here from all over, Ireland, France, Germany (Switzerland/Austria) and Czechoslavakia. I have close relatives that are of African American, Hispanic and Native American descent on both sides of my family. Our country is a melting pot. But with that big of an influx in one small community in the Midwest, you have to ask yourself if our immigration system is completely broken. There is no reason why these people couldn’t be properly channeled all over the US. But this would take a president who actually wanted to accept immigrants and give them an opportunity to become legal thru the proper channels and give them the freedom to find a home in the US that suits them. I have been to Worthington several times, I had two art exhibits at the community college there. The student body is extremely diverse, coming from all over the US and some immigrating from other countries. We truly are a land of opportunity, but we must afford people these opportunities, so we don’t see a melt down like we are seeing in Worthington.

Want to reduce racism in Sioux Falls & SD? Stop voting for White, Male, Republicans

Just look at what our legislature does each year to encourage racism and less tolerance. Anti-choice laws, little access to affordable healthcare, open carry, bathroom bills, resisting other languages for driver’s licenses, etc. This is what happens when you have one-party rule, and that party SUCKS!

It takes more than an attitude or culture change, it takes a LEADERSHIP change, and until that happens in Pierre and in the City Halls and County Commission chambers across this state, we will continue to legislate hate instead of tolerance.

I find it a little ironic that our mayor said he scaled back a compassion program in the city because he wants others to chip in. What he fails to mention is he supposedly fired the person in charge of the program.

Make no mistake, those in power are quite happy with our Lilly-White community, and they want it to stay that way . . . at least in their minds.

Man yells racial slurs at teens and tells them he has a firearm in the heart of downtown Sioux Falls

I will warn you, the video is NOT work safe or kid safe. I saw this earlier today and was glad to see KSFY had time in between petting pigs and eating chislic stories to do a story on this. It is a very sad day in our community when three minorities get treated this way, especially since they never even provoked the guy. What is even sadder is they haven’t even arrested the man. While the slurs are protected by the 1st Amendment, threatening people with a firearm is NOT. We have a long way to go folks, and our current situation in DC is NOT helping.

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

Just another reminder of how civilized small town SD is.

This Lake Andes Motel sounds like a good place to stay . . . that is, if you are white and Republican.

I’m all for freedom of speech, and think it is fantastic that these people wear their racism on their sleeves (probably in the form of an armband) even though they seem to be in denial;

Mary Snyder swears to the Mitchell Daily Republic that she and her husband are just misspellers, not racists.

Yeah . . . right. If you don’t like black people, pull off your white hood and just say it. That is the beauty of our country, you don’t have to like people, and you don’t even have to be informed about why you don’t like them.