Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Cardboard Cocks Spook School Boss
Sending a box of dicks to an allegedly disrespectful employer—harmless prank or straight-up harassment? According to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court last month, the latter. The Pioneer Press reported Friday that criminal charges have been brought against 30-year-old Minneapolis resident Alicia Ann Little for allegedly having two boxes of cardboard penises mailed to Saint Anthony-New Brighton School District superintendent Renee Corneille. Both genital orders were sent anonymously to Corneille at Saint Anthony Village High School via the Oregon-based company Ship a Dick, and the second also contained an apparently vulgar message that no one at Racket would ever use, containing the phrase “choke on.” While Ship a Dick protected their customer’s privacy, investigators were able to trace the order to Little via third-party shipper Shopify. (Almost certainly a HIPAA violation!) The dick-sender in question was upset that Corneille had fired her friend Michael Shafer, a school choir director who was reinstated after arbitration. And they say the police don’t get results. The big takeaway here? Shopify are snitches.
Perception: Scary Weirdos Are Smoking and Shitting Themselves On the Bus. Reality: No, They’re Not.
That’s the main takeaway from a recent Star Tribune article on why public transit ridership is down. It has less to do with Covid and more do to with fear, scary litter, and perceived danger. “The issues aboard Metro Transit buses and trains—drug use, erratic behavior, smoking , harassment, and public urination, defecation and litter at stations and bus stops—contribute to widespread notions that the experience is not only unpleasant but unsafe.” But remember, this is a purely speculative story; even the Strib notes that serious crime dipped 38% in recent years, ridership is slowly recovering post-pandemic peak, and crime has been “inconsistent.” Soooo, if anything, public transit is safer these days? “It’s perception versus reality,” Richard Grates, interim chief of the Metro Transit Police Department, tells the Strib. “Our serious crime rates are low, but the feedback that we get is that it appears to be much higher.” Whatever, pearl clutchers. That just means more bus for me.
Maul of America
Fun wrestling fact: On September 4, 1995, the Mall of America hosted the first-ever episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Ric Flair, Sting, and Hulk Hogan—whose Pastamania franchise also graced the mall in the mid-90s—all descended upon Bloomington, in “the only building big enough to hold the debut edition of WCW Monday Nitro,” commentator Eric Bischoff gloriously hyperbolized at the time. (It was great stuff; you can watch the whole episode here. RIP, WCW.) In a Monday press release, the MOA’s VP of experiential Chris Grap [Editor’s note: Yes, that actually is his job title] says they’ve fielded “countless number of requests from fans” to bring wrestling back to the mall over the years, and so to celebrate their 30th anniversary, they’re doing it! For the first time in 27 years, the Mall of America and F1rst Wrestling are bringing the action back to the mall on September 10. Tickets for Saturday Night Nitro go on sale this Friday, June 24 at 10 a.m. Hell yeah, brother.
Strong Mayor Vetoes Strong Bus Lanes
You thought Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey wouldn’t bow to the whims of crybaby small-biz owners? Then you don’t know Mayor Frey. [Editor’s note: As small-biz owners ourselves, the editors of Racket have carte blanche to ridicule our peers.] On Friday evening, the bravest of times to make controversial public decisions, Frey sent a letter to the city council saying he’s vetoing the 8-5 decision that’d arrived the day before to add 24-hour bus lanes as part of a major Hennepin Avenue overhaul. The reason cited? The same thing we always hear when public transit-advocacy goes toe-to-toe with the concerns of capital: Won’t somebody please think of the parking! Council Member Aisha Chughtai voiced her displeasure with the mayor’s actions, writing in a letter to constituents: “On one of the most dangerous streets in the state for pedestrians, transit users, bikers, and drivers, investment in people-centered infrastructure is vital. I’ve championed this layout because it’s one where all community members benefit.” The council and the mayor will revisit the issue on June 30, the Star Tribune reports. Granular details about the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project, the first such reimagining of the thoroughfare’s Uptown stretch in 65+ years, are available here.