Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Woodbury Cracks ‘Best Place to Live’ List, Chanhassen Plummets to 27th
Insert the Arrested Development “Her?” meme right here, because somehow Fortune ranked Woodbury 14th on its “25 Best Places to Live for Families” list. They came to this conclusion by examining the education, aging resources, livability, financial health, and overall wellness of “2,000 cities, towns, suburbs, exurbs, villages, and townships.” “The long Minnesota winters may be a drag elsewhere,” they write, “but this Twin Cities bedroom community has adapted by bringing the outdoors inside with a climate-controlled indoor public park.” Other things they liked about Woodbury: the local library and the police station. Hm. The legit delightful Ann Arbor, Michigan, topped the list.
Meanwhile, Money ranked Chanhassen 27th on its “50 Best Places To Live” this year, a steep fall from its #1 position last year (which we took issue with). But then again, it was bested by places like Atlanta (#1), Raleigh (#4), and Tampa (#9). Amenities that excited surveyors include Chanhassen Dinner Theatres current production of Footloose and, of course, Paisley Park.
Rape Allegations Surface at Viking Lakes Construction Project
Earlier this year, Max Nesterak at the Minnesota Reformer reported that Absolute Drywall, a subcontractor working on the Wilf-owned Viking Lakes complex in Eagan, faced allegations of more than $100,000 in wage theft from employees. (Viking Lakes will house the team’s new HQ and training facilities as part of a larger mixed-used development; the project is being bankrolled by team owners Zygi, Mark, and Leonard Wilf, whose business dealings were described as “evil” by one New Jersey judge in 2013.)
But that wasn’t the only crime possibly being committed at the Eagan construction site. Today Nesterak tells the story of Norma Izaguirre, who was hired to do cleanup at the project and, she says, was raped by her boss, Diego Medina. The company took no action against Medina, and Izaguirre says he continued to harass her. In a response to criminal charges against Medina, Absolute Drywall called it a “consensual relationship turned sour.” The story offers a sharp look why sexual abuse and rape is underreported in male-dominated fields like construction, especially when the victims are immigrants.
No Rage, No Jingle
If you gathered that header to mean “Rage Against the Machine’s big comeback tour and the annual Jingle Ball popstar tour are both canceled locally,” then by god, you’ve got some concert news intuition. And yes, sadly, both those facts appear to be true.
Earlier today, Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha issued a statement regarding his Achilles tendon, which was almost completely torn just two shows into his band’s reunion tour. De la Rocha kept performing post-injury that July night in Chicago, and has rocked the mic from a chair during subsequent shows. But, it seems, his ankle is too fucked up for future shows on the North American leg of the Public Service Announcement Tour, including March 19-20 at Target Center. “I hate canceling shows. I hate disappointing our fans,” de la Rocha writes. “You have all waited so patiently to see us and that is never lost on me. I never take that for granted. For you I have the ultimate gratitude and respect.” Tickets will be automatically refunded if you paid by card through Ticketmaster or AXS.
Elsewhere in the musical universe: Jingle Ball, iHeartRadio’s annual showcase of Top 40 talent, announced its 2022 lineup Sunday with zero dates scheduled for Xcel Energy Center, where it typically sets up shop around the holidays. (Curiously, this unofficial website exists for some reason.) That means, unless something changes, local tweens, teens, their parents, and Star Tribune music critic Jon Bream won’t enjoy mini-sets from noted Minnesotan Lizzo and non-Minnesotans Demi Lovato, Dua Lipa, and Jack Harlow, among others who aren’t from here but are on the KDWB.
No Freaking Third Avenue Bridge Ever!!
Well, for what has and will continue to feel like forever. Repair work began on the historic 104-year-old downtown Minneapolis bridge way back in early 2020, with plans to have it partially reopened by this fall. Today, MnDOT confirmed that won’t be the case; the shuttered bridge will continue to hassle commuters of all stripes until summer 2023, reports spokesman Kevin W. Walker. What is all this so-called construction getting us, the inconvenienced townspeople? “Preserving and enhancing its historic and artistic features, improving area safety and accessibility, and upgrading walking and bicycling facilities on and approaching the bridge,” according to MnDOT. OK, that actually sounds pretty good, though we reserve the right to grumble in perpetuity.