11/30/21

TIF planned for former Costner property


Lawrence County is known to have been inhabited by humans for at least 12,000 years before white Republicans besmirched it then turned it into the Nazi enclave and cultural wasteland it is today. Deadwood gambling was legalized with a promise to preserve all the history in the Gulch hence archaeologists still unearth Chinese opium pipes there. 

In 1994 after the success of Dances With Wolves actor Kevin Costner purchased a 240-acre parcel in Spearditch Canyon from Homestake Mining Company and traded it to the US Forest Service for 900 acres just north of Deadwood and east of the Preacher Smith Monument some of it straddling Whitewood Creek. Costner was ostracized afterwards by the tribal nations signatory to the Fort Laramie Treaty so he funded Tatanka: Story of the Bison, home to several magnificent bronze sculptures.

Homestake dumped cyanide and other toxins into Whitewood Creek for a hundred years so the waterway was named a Superfund site in 1981. And, before selling to Canadian miner Barrick, Homestake and Costner restored some of it in 1994 and the stream was taken off the Superfund list in 1996 when the deal with Costner was settled. It was euphemistically known to locals as the Un-Dunbar property until Costner sold it last year. 

How the water is even drinkable downstream in the town of Whitewood remains a mystery as mill slag and mine tailings still litter the creek into the Belle Fourche River even into the Missouri.

But, with help from former HMC land manager, now Sturgis real estate broker, Denny McKay former US Senator Tom Daschle sold out the people of South Dakota and the tribal nations trapped within its borders by drafting legislation holding Barrick harmless for all of it. 

The property has since been annexed by the City of Deadwood.
Monday, the Deadwood City Commission approved a project plan for and resolution to create Tax Increment Finance District (TIF) #14, a $12.5 million TIF request that grew from an original $10.5 million in order to pave the way for an eventual turning lane into the development, estimated to cost $2 million. Commissioner Gary Todd was the sole dissenting vote on Monday’s approval. The Deadwood City Commission June 21 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TRD, LLC for the Preacher Smith Property, also known as The Ridge development, for a proposed annual appropriation TIF of $10.5 million. [$12.5M Preacher Smith/The Ridge TIF approved with $2M for turning lane]
ip photo: an ancient window perforates the Whitewood Canyon limestone. Click on it for a better look.

11/29/21

New Mexicans anxious to return to the rails


A visitor looks over part of downtown Albuquerque from the Rio Metro depot

Beginning in 2003 the State of New Mexico bought the track bed that Amtrak's Southwest Chief uses from just north of Lamy to Behlen south of Albuquerque from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway when the Rail Runner was being built. BNSF owns virtually all the rail rights of way in New Mexico.
After being shut down for nearly a year, the New Mexico Rail Runner is releasing a new advertisement, with the hopes of attracting more passengers. The train runs along a 100-mile corridor, with 15 stations from Santa Fe to Belen. In April 2020, the Rail Runner took a big hit due to the pandemic as the train system suspended service for nearly a year. The train started running again in March, and after eight months of service, officials say ridership is at about 50% of what it was pre-pandemic. [New ad campaign hopes to attract more Rail Runner passengers]
In 2020 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin and two other New Mexico celebrities purchased the Santa Fe Southern Railroad and the depot in Lamy. SFSR was featured in the Breaking Bad episode, Dead Freight.
Sky Railway will offer a number of themed adventures along its 18 miles of track between Santa Fe and Lamy to the south where the holiday season experience kicks off with a trip through Santa’s wonderland at the Lamy station. Heading the creative team, is Santa Fe arts enthusiast and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. The train cars’ elaborate exteriors showcase six months of work from local muralist Joerael Numina. Sky Railway launches its first adventure rides on December 3. [Santa Fe Southern Railroad turned holiday experience]
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Rio Metro Transportation District, which operates the New Mexico Rail Runner, are laying new ties along a 31-mile stretch of track south of Raton Pass, replacing some 12 miles of bolted rail with welded rail between Lamy and Los Cerrillos and completing installation of a Positive Train Control system.
Business owners feel the city isn’t putting its best foot forward to welcome thousands of people into downtown and they want to change that. For decades, Albuquerque has been a stop for train passengers along the southwest. Albuquerque is now a service stop for Amtrak with passengers having layovers in the city for nearly an hour, according to Amtrak. “The downtown Amtrak train and Greyhound bus station are both leased to these companies by the City of Albuquerque. The city has met with local businesses downtown regarding a kiosk at this location and will look at ways to support them as they work with the tenants,” said Johnny Chandler, a spokesperson with Albuquerque’s Planning Department. [Downtown business owners see missed tourism opportunity at Amtrak station]
ip photo: the Rio Metro depot in downtown Albuquerque

11/28/21

Shantel Krebs back in the news

Peckerville native, Shantel Swedlund, now Krebs, was Miss South Dakota 1997 and competed in the 1998 Miss America Pageant.

Until 2007 Krebs' husband was an anchor for KSFY teevee where he was witness to Republican now-Governor Kristi Noem's extramarital dalliances and to the affair his co-anchor Nancy Naeve was having with Republican South Dakota Senator John Thune. In her 2010 phone interview with interested party Krebs said KELO teevee buried the stories replete with first person accounts of public intimate contact between Noem and her paramour

Krebs hated Noem, an amateur now-turned professional catwalk contestant, supported Chris Nelson in 2010 and gleefully gave up names of people to call who also knew about Noem’s infidelities. 

Mitch Krebs went on to work for Republican Governor Mike Rounds.

Neal Tapio told an interested party via Facebook Messenger that he was urged by the chair of the South Dakota Republican Party to get into the 2018 US House primary to siphon votes from then-Secretary of State Krebs so Dusty Johnson had smooth sailing to the nomination. After Krebs lost and was driven from South Dakota politics she was elected Chair of the Miss America Organization Board of Directors in 2019 and is now CEO. The Pageant experienced its own #MeToo scandal in late 2017 forcing several executives to resign. 

Mrs. Noem has never supported the Violence Against Women Act and if her abusers were Democrats she'd be singing like a cardinal. Anyone who believes she's never been a victim of sexual harassment or unwanted touching is delusional.

In its 100th year, the iconic spectacle will air entirely on NBC’s Peacock streaming platform in December.
“We look forward to entering the streaming world with Peacock this year to help introduce our 51 outstanding individuals to a younger, broader audience and showcase their unique personal stories,” Shantel Krebs, a former Miss South Dakota and current chief executive of the Miss America organization, said in a statement. The event, which started as a beachside beauty pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1921, awards millions of dollars in college scholarships to its winners. ['Miss America' pageant moves from mainstream TV to streaming]
Kristi Noem is a MILF. She has since been fingered for a fling with Trump henchman, Corey Lewandowski. Is she compliant, infidelitous, simply jaded or all the above?

Krebs' brother, Shurald Swedlund, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, lived in Spearditch where in the 90s and early 2000s an interested party did much of the work on some of his properties.