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Anti-Vaxxer to Al’s Breakfast: ‘Be on the Right Side of History’

Plus mask mandates in the 'burbs, Botticelli at Mia, and big changes at UMore Park in today's Flyover.

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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Al’s Breakfast Receives Note Mocking Staffers’ Covid Status

Al’s Breakfast is not the most covid-safe spot, and it knows it. It’s a tiny space that only has 13 seats which, when open, are always occupied. When the beloved Dinkytown institution reopened this summer, signage out front announced that vaccination was required if you wanted to eat there. But now that Omicron is raging through Minnesota, Al’s has had to close due to (vaccinated) staffers catching it. Some anti-vaxxer is taking a moment to gloat about the news, sending a stupid note to the diner via snail mail, which Al’s shared via Facebook. “It’s so interesting your sign on the door talks about human rights and how no human is illegal but you feel completely justified in discriminating against people who choose to exercise their right to their own medical freedoms,” complains the persecuted letter writer, presumably pissed off that they can’t get Al’s baller pancakes anymore. “It’s not too late. It’s OK to admit that you are wrong. Be on the right side of history.” What this viral disease specialist doesn’t understand is that vaccinated people are less likely to be hospitalized from covid and are less likely to die from covid. Letter writer: It’s not too late. It’s OK to admit that you are wrong. Be on the right side of history.

Masks Mandates: Coming to the Suburbs Today

Are you currently in Golden Valley and over the age of 2? Starting today at 5 p.m. you gotta slap a mask on that mug. Are you in Hopkins and over the age of 5? Slap on that N95 by the witching hour tonight. Minneapolis and St. Paul enacted mask mandates last week, and this week the two suburbs have followed suit. (Duluth also announced a 30-day ordinance this afternoon, according to a reporter with MPR.) They are the first ‘burbs in the Twin Cities to pass mask requirements during the plague; Minnetonka is also considering a mandate at a council meeting this Friday. Enforcement is the biggest hurdle with the requiring masks. “We’re asking people to please cooperate,” Golden Valley mayor Shep Harris kinda sorta begged. “It is vital for everyone’s health… It may not be perfect, but it is for the best of all of us to go forward in this direction.” Folks who violate the order may receive a written warning, be asked to GTFO of a business, or fined by the city. Meanwhile, Bloomington and Edina have issued strongly worded statements that wearing masks in public is the way to go.

U of M to Unload Massive Slice of UMore Park Property for $13M

Back in World War II, the ol’ Gopher Ordnance Works factory produced smokeless gunpowder to help our nation defeat Nazism. After the war, that 4,772-acre Rosemount property was sold to the University of Minnesota; it’d eventually be branded as UMore Park, and hikers (at least for now) can ogle the cement wartime manufacturing relics that remain. The future of a massive, 435-acre parcel of the grounds was announced Wednesday: Maplewood Development will acquire the land for $13.1 million and build almost 2,000 new homes there, Finance & Commerce reports. Housing (about 25% of which will be rental), parks, shops, schools, and other elemental pieces of society are part of the development plan. “It’s a terrific site and we’re very, very excited to get started. We’ve already got a number of different builders committed,” said Mario Cocchiarella, CEO at Maplewood Development. “You don’t see many nearly 500-acre sites anymore.” The project will take between five to eight years to complete, the Star Tribune reports.

Botticelli: Not a Ninja Turtle, but Maybe He Should Be

This morning, Minneapolis Institute of Arts announced that it will be hosting a massive collection of works by early Renaissance artists, including 12 pieces from Sandro Botticelli. You might recognize Botticelli for his famous works, which include The Birth of Venus and Primavera. During his life, he was also known for painting portraits of rich people in his hometown, Florence, Italy, as well as his prolific output of “Jesus and Mary” paintings, which were all the rage at the time. Mia’s show, which is scheduled for October 2022, will include over 45 masterworks of painting, drawing, and sculpture from Renaissance-era artists, all lent by the prestigious Uffizi Galleries in Florence.