We had a lively discussion about safety issues at Falls Park during Viewpoint University Tuesday March 19th. The discussion was precipitated after the drownings of a teenager and young adult. They jumped into the river to save the teenager's younger brother. He got out ok. They did not.

The first idea was to put a fence around it. That lit up the phone lines.

Several people called in to reminisce about swimming and diving off the rocks at the falls in their teen years. That is against the law now. Here are quotes from callers:

"Can't protect people from every possible hazard."

"Personal responsibility." "Watch your children."

"Let's provide everybody with a fire rescue, police, and medical person at birth, so they will never be without help."

"The city requires fences around private pools. What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

"We promote the Falls as a great place to visit. Maybe we should spend money making it a safer place, too."

People are risk takers. Many love the adrenaline rush. There is no fence around the Grand Canyon or at Palisade Park, just outside of Garretson. No fences around other natural bodies of water.

City officials are talking about safety at the Falls. What would a prudent man do?

I hope officials carefully think and talk through all the options. The Falls are the reason Sioux Falls exists. There is nothing like it for miles. It is beautiful. Fencing it off, seems like an over reaction. Temporary barriers in the Spring when the ice is breaking up, and the "foam" makes seeing in the water impossible, may make sense. Some rescue equipment at the visitor center and in the old power plant building might be smart, too.