Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
So Fong, Farewell
After more than six decades, a Bloomington classic is heading to Restaurant Heaven. David Fong's Chinese Restaurant opened as a small carryout spot all the way back in 1958, eventually becoming a full-service restaurant at the corner of 94th & Lyndale. A Thursday press release notes that it's always been "a true, family-centric business," with all six of David and Helen Fong’s children and many of their 13 grandchildren working in the restaurant as kids. But 64 years is a long time, and second-generation owner and operator Edward Fong announced yesterday that he's retiring later this summer and has decided to close the restaurant. “We’ve had an amazing run with David Fong’s, and have proudly carried my parents’ dream and legacy forward all these years,” Ed Fong said in a statement. He added that all restaurant employees will have the opportunity to find positions at the other two Fong’s locations, in Prior Lake and Savage, which will remain operational (and are still owned by the same family).
Those Blocked Off Streets in Downtown Aren’t For Construction
Are concrete bollards good or bad? Inconclusive, says Bill Lindeke in an interesting opinion piece for MinnPost where he waffles over whether efforts to divert traffic in Mill District are helping or hurting the city. Roadblocks–including signage, concrete blocks, and those helpless little plastic sticks–have been placed throughout the downtown neighborhood, mostly on side streets and on 2nd Street. The good? They may actually work to slow traffic down, prevent drag racing, and even encourage more foot and bike traffic on closed-off streets. The bad? People in the area have reported seeing a lot of messy U-turns, confused people trying to reroute their cars, and delivery vehicles struggling to back up. The ugly? Lindeke points out that these closed off streets tend to favor areas with rich neighbors, sending a message that us plebs do not belong there. It’s also a major problem if cutting off roads means less public access to things like Gold Medal Park and the Stone Arch Bridge.
His Name Was Tekle Sundberg
Yesterday evening, MPD released the identity of the man shot and killed by its officers during the early hours of Thursday morning. Tekle Sundberg, 20, was "a brother, friend, uncle, son, friend, talented artist, hilarious and energetic," according to a GoFundMe that's been set up to honor his life and assist the family with funeral expenses. The GoFundMe description adds that he was killed on the morning of his mother's birthday; "He leaves behind many loving family members and friends." MPD's heavily redacted incident report (26 of its 28 pages are fully blacked out), also made public last night, does not clarify the many questions about what led up to the shooting, including why officers opened fire or were authorized to use deadly force during the six-hour-long standoff. The Star Tribune reports that the two officers who fired shots at Sundberg were also part of the raid that killed Amir Locke in February.
UnitedHealthcare Does Bare Minimum, Remains Pure Evil
In a vastly dumb and dying county like ours, we’re conditioned like dogs to accept being sick and poor in the richest nation on earth. So it’s not unsurprising that when a ghastly company like UnitedHealthcare—one of the chief plunderers in our depraved healthcare system—tosses out a scrap, press outlets lavish them with kneejerk praise. That’s a roundabout way of saying the Minnetonka-based company will eliminate out-of-pocket insulin costs in “some” plans by 2023, the Star Tribune reported Friday. The seemingly benevolent move comes after the publicly traded company posted better-than-expected $5 billion Q2 profits, thus requiring a thinking person to reassess that perceived benevolence. But still: It’s nice that some UnitedHealthcare customers will get a benefit that’s already enjoyed by people in major industrialized countries with superior systems; enjoy this possibly related chart: