Come On Baby Light My Fire

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’ve been perpetuating my own reputation as a procrastinator this week by not making any blog entries for a few days.
The truth is, I’ve started quite a few then decided to take some time to cool off before writing something I’d regret later.
A lot of things in the news this week, though, have got my blood to boilin’.
First was the decision by the Sioux Falls school board to hold off on making any improvements to Howard Wood Field for a year in order to have more time to ponder tearing the whole place down for a new events center parking lot.
First of all, (and I’ve written about this before) how has Howard Wood, with it’s relatively new artificial grass field, all-weather track and concrete grandstands..which a couple years ago were good enough to try lure the Minnesota Vikings training camp away from Mankato, suddenly become so easily expendable? Also why would it cost six to over 20 million dollars (I’ve heard both figures) to fix it up? I know six million doesn’t go as far as it used to but, my gosh, how can remodeling the press box, fixing up the rest rooms, and patching some of the concrete cost so much?
Well, Doug, you don’t understand how expensive things are these days. Perhaps not but I was at a couple events at Howard Wood  last year and made it a point to look around a bit. The place looked pretty solid to me. I didn’t notice any huge cracks in the cement that threatened to send a whole grandstand full of people screaming and crashing to their death.  The rest room toilets, urinals and sinks seemed adequate and functional.   
I have no sentimental attachment to Howard Wood or regard it as a historical landmark. But it serves a need..it’s part of a very nice sports and entertainment complex and it’s paid for. Even if some insist that a few million needs to be spent to bring it up to  snuff, then do it.
Mayor Munson and a lot of others are set on building a new events center..somewhere.I really like the mayor and appreciate his love for our city and concerns for its future but I’m  not the only one who questions the need.
No one is saying for sure how much it’s going to cost because there’s been no agreement on how big the thing is going to be.
I’ve heard anywhere from 12 to 20 thousand seats. That’s quite a range. What type of events are we missing out on because we currently can’t accommodate crowds that large? Are there enough big name entertainers that are still touring and able to draw 20 thousand people from this area?
Even Keloland hater, music critic and self proclaimed expert on everything, Scott Hudson, says there is not.
At any rate, supporters of cramming this building..whatever the size..next to the current arena have another year to plan a strategy and convince us that Howard Wood has to go.
 
Another thing that continues to infuriate me is the latest report on how our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is draining the United States dry economically: $12 Billion a month! But even worse, in over five years we’ve lost nearly 4 thousand American troops, thousands more have been injured and maimed..yet there’s no end in sight and we still can’t find Osama.
If, as some people claim, this whole adventure in the middle east is more about oil than terrorism then why do we allow ourselves to be pushed around by OPEC at $110 a barrel?. Why don’t we just take Iraq’s oil? They owe us something, don’t you think?
No, we can’t do that because it would destroy Iraq’s fragile economy. So fragile that Americans, with our fragile economy, will have to pick up the tab for Iraq’s post war reconstruction.
Where were those weapons of mass destruction again? These are some of the things I think about when filling up the gas tank.
 
Another thing that raised the hair on the back of my neck this week was watching the governor of New York choke back tears while confessing to his involvement in a prostitution ring. As if spending 5 thousand dollars a night on a hooker wasn’t bad enough, Eliot Spitzer had the gall to have his poor wife stand there next to him while admitting his expensive indiscretions.  What a clod.
 
I could get into other issues that really frost my bobber like Steve Kirby’s decision not to run for senate after a stupid preemptive-strike by Tim Johnson’s re-election campaign that basically said Kirby and his family are too rich for their own good and probably play cribbage with the devil.
But that’s it for now. I’ll be back next time with something that hopefully will be more uplifting.
Meantime, here’s a photo someone sent this week that gave me a much needed laugh out loud.

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