Due to the Great Bear season being like 3 or 4 days this year, the city feels guilty so they decided to open all the outdoor pools next week.

Some may think it is to cold, but Secondary Shift Eastside Assistant Parks and Culture director, (SSEAPC) Taylor Tuna, with the parks department says this;

“Cold water therapy is really trending right now, so like pickleball, refrigerated ice rinks and E-Bikes, we like to do the latest trending baloney people are into.”

But not all of the water will be cold, they also plan to heat the lazy river at Drake Springs with E-Bike battery fires.

Director Tuna says, “Instead of wasting fire department resources to put out these fires, we are just transferring those fires to the pool’s heating unit. Even a stable genius can figure that out.”

The Parks Department is considering closing Great Bear as a ski resort and making it a natural space. We asked what they would do with the chair lift?

“We are considering installing it above Falls Park, and when it is really humid after an August rain, we are going to implement a goose manure slide from the Steel District all the way to the overlook tower. Tuna replies, “That stuff is slicker then cooking oil after a good rain.”

So get out the swim trunks and puffy coats! Summer begins in Sioux Falls next week!

This was satire. I think.

A couple that recently moved here from Transylvania via California (long story) has come up with an interesting Fast Mexican concept; Zombies and Tacos.

“My wife and I just decided that getting served at most fast casual restaurants in town is like being waited on by Zombies, so we just decided, why not just make it the theme of the restaurant,” says co-owner Victor Count.

Victor does warn you, most orders take between 2 hours to 2 days. “We have one customer that orders his Wednesday lunch on Monday afternoons. He is pretty happy, usually gets it by Friday!”

We wondered how hard it may be to find good zombie (actors) these days to work in the Count’s establishment.

“You know. Not as hard as you may think. Sylvia and I drove around to the different fast food places a day before training started and we were able to round up a full staff within a couple of hours. The trick was catching new recruits by the dumpsters smoking weed . . . those are the real foot draggers!”

Victor did inform me that they also have a pretty good supply of Narcan on hand for employees and customers. “Some places carry Dental and Vision, we carry fricking life support!”

The Counts also plan to be open 24 hours like that ‘other’ Mexican(?) food joint and unlike them, you don’t have to worry about being shot in the drive thru or parking lot.

“Not only is our location well lit we don’t have a lot of people trying to rob us at gun point when our employees are already dead. During the last robbery attempt the perp served half his prison sentence before the manager could even open the safe.”

“Captain, we have encountered the Sioux Falls School District.”

The Title IX case concerning gymnastics has been interesting to watch. While I don’t have a dog in the fight, I do think that gymnastics is a legitimate high school sport, AND they had a very good case against the Sioux Falls School District. In fact, I was surprised the District didn’t concede before the hearing.

But what I found interesting in the judge’s injunction is how he dropped the athletic director and superintendent from the suit citing SCOTUS has concluded that individuals are normally dropped from these suits and only the ‘entity’ itself can be sued.

This happened recently in the Bunker House case against the city. The defendant claimed he was racially discriminated against and the city (the mayor) requested that these claims of racial bias be removed from the case. I don’t know what was said, or even if the mayor said it, but if he did, that racial bias is ON him and should not have been dropped from the case UNLESS the mayor can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he never said or did anything to discriminate.

While our local Federal Judge has no control over SCOTUS rulings and essentially wants to follow their case law I find it interesting that SCOTUS thinks individuals can’t be held liable for making bad decisions on behalf of the entity. I would have sued not only the Super and Athletic Director, but the entire school board and any staff associated with this decision.

People are NOT naive, we know since the Pam Homan days that decisions come directly from the administration and they hog house the board into going along with their poor planning.

Sorry SCOTUS but entities like school districts don’t make decisions on their own, PEOPLE do, and when those people make decisions that clearly violate Federal statutes they deserve to be sued in their official capacities AND should be permanently removed from their positions (fired).

I’m not sure how you can keep someone around who clearly advised the school board to make this decision and violate Federal law. If these are the kind of decisions she is making, do we want her running the District?

I also take issue with the fact the school district felt it necessary to spend district money fighting this. They could have probably funded the program for the next 3 years for what it cost in lawyering. I certainly am NO expert on Title IX law, but this seemed like a pretty good case that the district was going to lose. Who is giving them legal advice? Oh that’s right, no one, just the ‘ENTITY’.

While I rant and rave about transparency and city government, sometimes a councilor lifts a finger. Merkouris sponsored and got passed this city ordinance last night (FF: 44:00, Item #10);

The proposal requires council approval of contract that are in excess of $100,000 per vendor, for each calendar year. Those contracts involving the expenditure of funds less than $100,000 will be noticed on the agenda. The proposal requires that all contract subject to council approval be delivered to the City Clerk and placed on the consent agenda. Contracts/agreements that are subject to the state’s executive session laws will no require council approval. Existing ordinances that duplicate SDCL are removed.

While I have stated before this a good ‘first step’ in opening up the contracts to the public, they need to make more bold changes moving forward.

But it was Rich’s testimony before the approval vote that stuck with me. Rich told a story about how his wife tells him he needs to tell his daughters he loves them, and he replies, that he provides for them, so they should know he loves them, and his wife tells him that you still have to say it. Rich uses this example to point out that the public doesn’t always know what is going on unless you articulate it (TELL THEM). He nails it! We can assume our government is open because ‘good people’ sit on the dais, but unless you actually tell us what is going on, we can assume anything.

Short-timer and world class vitamin salesman who decided not to run for a 2nd term suggested that the $100K was too low and it should be $500k because the council is too busy to be signing all these checks. Heck, Alex, why not make it $20 million so we can build more overpriced bridges for whiney babies who check their ‘decorum’ at the mayor’s office front door.

The CounTcilor’s term on the council has been truly befuddling. He truly proved a dead person could beat Stehly, because his actions and policy legislation has been truly DEAD.


CRC member, Carl Zylstra proposed today at the CRC meeting that a wage commission be formed to study wage increases for councilors and the mayor and gives them the power to increase their salary (but not during their term). While I would say a study would be nice, not in this case. The inflationary increases have worked well and keep politics out of the pay increase, in fact, I think the mayor got over a $10K raise last year just from inflationary increases. It works and the voters agreed almost 2 years ago, they are fine with what the council is getting paid and the current setup. Leave it alone.

While I might agree that the councilors do deserve more pay, they should have to punch into a clock instead and get paid hourly, because some of these folks would make $100K a year while some of them would be lucky to collect a paycheck (they should be handing out oxygen tanks instead).

“SELBERG! You are late again! And Paul, tuck in your shirt! And where are your slip free shoes?! All Stars?! This isn’t a 1976 meet and greet with the Globetrotters!”

The argument is that in order to attract good candidates the pay has to be higher. Really? All the insider deals isn’t enough for them? Also, if the pay is so bad, maybe we should have a cap on how much a council candidate can spend on a campaign?* Maybe it should be 50% of their annual pay? I don’t think anyone spending $100K for a job that pays $20K a year is to concerned about the pay, after all, this is public service 🙁

*I have often thought the city council should implement some campaign finance rules. I’m sorry, but spending 5X the amount on a campaign this job pays in a year tells me you are more concerned about winning and less about what it pays.

Walter Portz showing off his shining achievement!

I had a heartfelt moment the other night as I was conversing and watching Mr. Portz work on a mural that is about 260 ft long and 75 ft high. I love to watch mural painters because it is fascinating to watch people work on a canvas so large. So I have been visiting Walter Portz at night watching the progress, and it has been my highlight of the day riding by at night, and Walter said to me, “You are my only visitor that has come back multiple times.” I’m an art nerd like that, but it got me wondering why others are not watching this historic art piece take shape.

The picture above was from tonight, and Walter was putting on the finishing pieces so I wanted the first photo of the (almost) completed piece. I’m little disappointed he edited out the naked lady (I will update soon about her) but for the most part, the piece, which Walter edited several times in the process, is chocked full of fun imagery and context, and it looks a Hell of lot better then what the politicians left there.

This is a sticker design I came up with last night with elements of the mural (H/T to Shepard Fairey, yeah, I stole it 🙂

But it got me thinking about all the controversy and barbs thrown at Mr. Portz. For the record, Walter and I are NOT close, I only know him thru the skatepark association and several mutual friends and our love of art. That’s it. We are NOT in cahoots and I had NO idea he was working on this before it was announced. I want to make this clear because some people have made accusations that are simply not true, and laughable if they were. MOST of our conversations have been about the piece and what he might tweak. I know, weird that two artists would just sit and talk about art . . .

First off, Portz didn’t know the rejected mural artists, and did NOT do this to spite them. That is ludicrous. And while local artists will always dig on each other about style and form, it’s not cool to rip on someone who is doing something to beautify this town. We are all in this together. And while you might be jealous that someone got this sweet gig, that only means you should strive for it and look to it as inspiration. When I walk out of a fine art museum, all I want to do is paint! Be inspired by what he did in just a matter of weeks instead of angry about your missed opportunity!

The way the original proposed artists were treated was total bullcrap, and trust me, I worked my sources to get a picture of that mural, no luck, but you must separate this work from that one. One is about transparent government, that other is about taking a different approach. And all of this could actually come to a head if they would just SHOW us what they proposed. It’s hard to say you were treated unfairly if you don’t let us make an actual determination. We can’t do that if you don’t show us. So until that step is taken, I’m not buying the crocodile tears.

As for using AI, I had a good laugh with Walter about this the other night. I have been a visual artist most of my life and a graphic designer for 30 years, everything good I did as an artist or designer was stolen. Artists have done this for thousands of years. Greek architecture is used to this day! Considered the world’s greatest modern artist, Pablo Picasso, became famous by duplicating an ancient primitive form of African tribal and folk art. The most famous artist in the world was a Klepto! I know, SHOCKER!

AI, Photoshop, Illustrator Live Trace, blah, blah, blah, are all tools in an artist’s toolbox just like a paintbrush or easel. Nothing more. Nothing less.

While I like to bitch about a lot things, this is NOT one of them. A guy decided to cover up that awful wall with colorful paint and devised a plan to do it, did it, and now it is done.

Once in awhile you just have to look up at the canvas and say ‘Thank You’ because we got a million other concerns in this town besides what we will do Lenin’s Tomb at the Zoo. Dead for 99 years and looks like he died yesterday! Don’t tell anyone, but I think I saw an Arsenic tear roll down his face. Though it might just be cheeseburger grease. I heard the West Sioux folks are also angling to move his tomb to Sioux Falls. Watch out Arc of Dreams there’s a new shiny object in town! Well, kind of shiny.