After talking to a Minnehaha County official yesterday, I’m starting to wonder if the fire at the jail could have been prevented if they were following the city’s policy on tobacco free zones?

There is a presentation on Tuesday about the policy at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting. I found this slide interesting;

City-owned buildings; Smoking prohibited 25 feet from the entrance.

So even if the jail is county property it does lie within in the city limits of Sioux Falls. So why was this butt holder SO close to the building? Public property IMO is any Public property within the city limits, whether the county owns it or not. Shouldn’t they be following the city’s rule? Or should the county be setting their own rules?

We now know the cause of the fire at the Minnehaha County Correction Center last month. Fire officials say it was accidentally started by a cigarette butt in a holder in the corner of the building.

“It sat, it smoldered for quite a few minutes and then started the fire,” Dean Lanier with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.

It also brings up another question. Was this an employee’s butt holder? It seems the location of the holder would suggest that it was. So why doesn’t the county implement a similar policy? It seems like this could be a very expensive lesson to the taxpayers of the county.

As it was explained to me, this updated version of the ban is minus the fine and creates designated smoking areas outside of places like the EC and events like JF. It’s 20 feet for the Events Center and JazzFest and similar events will be required to have ‘designated smoking areas’.

ITEM#33 (DOC: Smoke-Ban)

Still curious how they are going to enforce this at JazzFest.

My only suggestion on this would be to put very large signs about 40 feet from the front doors of public facilities that says ‘NO SMOKING BEYOND THIS POINT’ with smoker posts (outdoor ashtrays) attached to them. The city already has a sign department that can make these signs very easily. But it seems like some people with the city cannot let this die;

“The intent is never to make this about the enforcement, the consequence of being caught, it’s really that education and creating that environment that is a healthy environment,” Michael stated.

Well then instead of making rules, laws and ordinances, do your job and EDUCATE!

UPDATE: The state gave permission to Stogeez to allow cigar smoking to continue at his new location. He is grandfathered in.

As the stink hole ashtray emporium plans to move from it’s current location on Phillips Avenue, many people (including casino/smoke shop owners) have been asking the same question “Can the smoking license be transferred and what kind of setup will the new Stogeez have;

The current Stogeez location will soon be transformed into a different bar.

Officials with The Carpenter Building aren’t releasing a lot of details at this time but say it will be nothing like Sioux Falls currently has.

Stogeez is closing on March 3rd and will reopen at the old Bogtrotters location on East 11th Street on March 13th.

Stogeez will be in the same building as Copper Lounge and a new wine bar.

I heard the new bar is going to be a gourmet cupcake dress boutique that has a bead shop and jello shot bar in the the back that serves it’s own micro brews and woodfired flatbreads called “Beaujoire Brews and Beads”. I heard Stogeez got booted because the residents of the Carpenter got tired of their entire building smelling like Fidel Castro’s office.

As for Stinkies, as you may recall when the smoking ban went into affect Krybaby Kant went to the legislature to get a special license/exemption(?) to allow cigar smoking in his establishment (two other bars got the priviledge also, one since has closed) as long as he could prove a certain percentage of cigar sales, oh and BTW, guess who monitors that? Yup, the establishment owner. There are also special exemptions for smoke shops BUT, those shops must be separate from bars or casinos and must have there own outside entrances.

It sounds like the old Bogtrotters space will house several different businesses. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like it will have a smoke shop, Stogeez and a wine bar. My assumption is that the wine bar will be smoke free. But IF Stogeez gets to keep their smoking exemption, will it have a separate entrance that is outside with NO inside entrances between the smoke shop and wine shop? Is this the city has control over or is this a state issue? Kant is no dummy (ah-hum) so I’m sure he got his ducks in a row before making the move, but you never know.

Also, was the exemption written so it could be moved to a different location?

Questions to ask.

Didn’t the Sioux Falls City Council talk and vote on smoking bans already? In fact just a few weeks ago? Why did they have to meet in a rare working session on January 24, 2017 to find out what? Even after sitting in the room for this meeting, Cameraman Bruce still is wondering all these questions. How much more time will be wasted on this non-issue while the city remains broke and the Events Center cleans out the city treasury?

The one thing we did find out with this working session were the rules of the process never before articulated. We now have them recorded for posterity. City Council members can ask a citizen to appear before the board with information pertinent to the discussion agenda. Council leadership has been very selective about this little rule.

You will notice the video quality is different than usually recorded in the main chamber. They were recording it differently and the city video was not available for us to use. Council leadership also restricted where the cameras could be set so you get to see how we anyone can record another meeting. The administration is fighting us every step of the way toward transparency. We will always find a way through their barriers as this shows you.