Happy Wednesday! Megan here.
First things first: This issue is sponsored by Severance Brewing Company.
- Severance beers are not created to fit within certain style guidelines — they are severed from the norm, with recipes that focus on quality, craftsmanship, taste, and what will be the best experience for the craft beer drinker. There's still time to try the 2023 Mash Madness brew: the Exotic Fruit Octopus – a sour ale featuring eight tasty fruits! See a full tap list here.
Welcome! New to Sioux Falls? Been here a few years but still don't feel 100% up-to-speed on the community? Good news: The 2023 Simplified Welcome Guide is here!! You'll see more further in the issue, but if you're too excited to wait...
Weather check: You may be waking up to a little snow on the ground. Keep an eye on the forecast as the week goes on – there's a possible storm on the way.
☕Last chance to win a limited edition Sioux Falls Simplified tote bag and a $25 coffee gift card. Wanna win? Fill out our reader survey here.
This week, you'll learn why parents have some big concerns about gymnastics programs being on the chopping block in this years' budget process. Then, I'm keeping this issue light on news intentionally so you have plenty of time to check out the Welcome Guide. (Can you tell this is a big deal for me? Don't worry – plenty more news to come Friday!) I've also got a Super Simplified look at Airbnb rules and the spring flood outlook.
And now, news:
Parents, students fight to keep gymnastics in Sioux Falls schools
Simplified: It was standing-room-only at the Sioux Falls School Board meeting Monday night as dozens of parents, students and coaches turned out to show support and plead their case for keeping the district's gymnastics program in the budget.
Why it matters
- The school board is expected to approve next year's budget by April 10, and with an annual cost of about $95,000, girls gymnastics is on the chopping block. Cutting the sport will also save up to an additional $300,000 in equipment costs, according to a statement from the Sioux Falls School District.
- The district says money is part of the decision, but equally important are participation rates. The number of students in gymnastics through the Sioux Falls School District has decreased steadily since a 2015 peak of 133 students. This year there are 44 girls participating in gymnastics through the schools.
- But Les Coin, head gymnastics coach for both Lincoln and Washington High School, contends that the decline in participation is partly due to the district's own design and a lack of transportation between schools to help kids get to practice. He also said the rest of the state is watching to see what Sioux Falls does with its gymnastics program.
"If we cut gymnastics in Sioux Falls, it's only a matter of time before the rest of the state cuts gymnastics as well," Coin said.
Tell me more: What are the arguments being made here?
The 2023 Simplified Welcome Guide is here
Simplified: The (now) award-winning welcome guide is updated and here to keep serving Sioux Fallsians. Here's what you need to know.
Why it matters
- The Simplified Welcome Guide was created in 2022 to be a one-stop shop for everything you'd need to know as a newcomer to Sioux Falls – from weird local colloquialisms to city history to a list of local resources.
- In its first year, the Simplified Welcome Guide reached more than 5,000 people and won a national industry award for its innovative approach to sharing helpful, hyperlocal information.
- The 2023 edition features an extensive list of local resources, an updated list of local politicians and shares a new slate of local businesses to support (especially because they're supporting the creation of this guide.)
Editor's note: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this guide would not be possible without the support of our exclusive Welcome Guide Sponsor, Showplace Cabinetry. Whether you're looking for a new job or a home refresh, check them out and tell them they're cool for supporting locally owned local news.
Ok, take me to the guide already!
Say less. Here it is! (Oh and did I mention it's also available in Spanish?)
These programs help attract, develop and retain Sioux Falls workers
This is a paid piece from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
Simplified: The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is doing more now than ever before to support a strong workforce as part of our city's growing economy. Here's a look at some of the ways they're working to attract, develop and retain workers.
Why it matters
- The foundation has long been focused on bolstering Sioux Falls' economy by supporting and bringing in businesses. But without a strong workforce, those businesses cannot sustain.
- That's why, over the last several years, the foundation has developed more than a dozen unique programs to serve the various workforce needs of local businesses.
- These programs are essential in today's labor market with low unemployment and fewer applicants for open jobs, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
"You have to market," Guzzetta said. "You have to reach out. You have to connect more now – because of the tightness of the labor market – than ever before."
Tell me more about these workforce programs
Get the details here.
Super Simplified Stories
- New rules for Airbnbs. The Minnehaha County Commission narrowly approved stricter rules for short-term rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO). The ordinance passed 3-2, with some commissioners wanting to see more work done to find a less-restrictive solution. Those rules apply to county properties – not those within city limits. Here's some of the background and a look at what the changes will mean.
- We probably don't have to worry too much about flooding. Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith said he doesn't anticipate major flooding this year, despite the amount of snow that's been melting. That's largely because river levels were pretty low going into the winter, so there's room to contain the melting snow. "At this point the scenarios for major flooding just aren’t there," Smith told Sioux Falls Simplified.
THIS AND THAT
What I'm falling for this week:
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