Entries Tagged 'Smoking Ban' ↓

Was the fire at the Work Release jail preventable with a simple policy change?

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.

It’s Back! The Smoking Ban!

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.

I thought we killed this?

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: Will STOGEEZ be allowed to transfer their cigar smoking privileges?

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.

Sioux Falls City Council Working session (Jan 24, 2017)

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.

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.


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.

Will the smoking ban supporters start a petition drive?


Remember when the cell phone ban in cars came to the city council and the council didn’t even give it a 2nd reading? At that time there was the suggestion to either do their own petition drive or see if the council would put it on the ballot. The council took no action to put it on the ballot. And what did the cell phone ban people do? Nothing.

So I ask the question again. Will the smoking ban people do a petition drive?

I think this is different then the cell phone ban because by putting the proposed ban on the ballot, they could make it more restrictive.

They could choose to either impose a fine or not.

They could not only ban it on all public property, but also could ban it in concentrated areas like the sidewalks downtown.

80% of people in Sioux Falls don’t smoke (that’s a lot of signatures).

The Cancer Society, Lung Association and the two hospitals combined could produce an army of volunteer petitioners.

Not sure if they would make such an attempt. I was actually surprised that not one single person pushing for this ban showed up to the council meeting last night to let them have it during public input. Besides the mayor’s macabre press conference about his dead dad and a little girl talking about her asthma at JazzFest on the news, there hasn’t been a peep out of the supposed supporters of this ban.

Do you think this is due to the entitlement some of these groups think they deserve? Do they think they are to good to do a petition drive? Prove me wrong.

Liberty or Safety when it comes to a smoking ban

“This new ordinance, it just does not simply go far enough,” Huether

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Franklin

Mayor Huether to throw a hissy fit over the pared back smoking ban


It will be interesting to hear this press conference;

Mayor Huether will address the media and the citizens of Sioux Falls on Monday Dec. 12th on why he did not sign the ordinance.

This ought to be quite the show, complete with tears and stories of his dying father. Ironically, as I have pointed out over the past couple of days, their is NOTHING stopping the entertainment venues, the libraries or even city hall from putting up signs in front of the facilities prohibiting smoking. So why not just do it? Council doesn’t need to weigh in.

Mike is going to use this press conference as an opportunity to SHAME the council. I hope the 6 that voted for the alternative plan show up and let him have it. Like the admin building veto, I think Mike is going to have a rough 16 months ahead of him.

UPDATE: Will our entertainment facilities implement their own smoking ban?

UPDATE: It seems that not only can the entertainment facilities propose and stipulate their own smoking ban, it seems our libraries already have a ban on their property;

The following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

Smoking, chewing, and other tobacco use on Library property.

So the bigger question is what exactly would a city council total ban on smoking entail? The ban already existed in parks and on library property, it CAN be stipulated at the EC and Pavilion. So what does that leave? The sidewalk in front of Carnegie and City Hall? Seems a lot of time an effort was put into a ban that technically already exists.

No Smoking_2

First off, I would like to thank the 6 councilors that voted for the pared back smoking ban (Erpenbach and Kiley voted against it-they wanted a full ban).

Especially a big thank you to Councilor Erickson for spearheading this effort. Her concerns were quite simple. She didn’t want a fine or criminalization of using a legal product, she wanted to keep children safe in our parks and she wants to further look at this ban, but she wants council involvement and do it in a studied, incremental way, not a ram-rod approach our mayor and his administration takes on these issues.

But there was a bigger question lurking in the shadows. Why hasn’t our entertainment facilities that are privately managed already implemented these changes? The Events Center already has a ban on concealed weapons.

Ironically, managers from both SMG (Events Center/Orpheum) and the Pavilion were at the meeting last night asking for the policy changes. So if they want them, why not implement themselves?

There is nothing stopping either one of them from posting signage and having a management policy that restricts smoking, say, 25 FT from the entrances to their buildings. Since they are privately managed, they can make these policy changes without the assistance of executive order, council direction or health department direction.

Maybe they wanted the council to do all of their dirty work for them? Funny how two managers that make well over a 1/4 million a year combined are not capable of making this decision, that they clearly support, but depend on our part-time council to make a decision based on something that was handed to them on a turd sandwich.