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CNN Just Called Us the ‘Mini Apple.’ In 2022.

Plus over-regulated BBQ, striking mental health workers, and a neighborhood quiz in today's Flyover.

Photo by Karla Hernandez on Unsplash

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

CNN: “Citation Needed” Network

Where to start with this wretched mess of a CNN story on crime in Minneapolis? With the clichés? (Both “Murderapolis” and the “Mini Apple” are exhumed.) With the ever-quotable but rarely quote-worthy Don Samuels? (Seeing the “Defund the Police” banner in Powderhorn Park “was like a World Trade Center moment for us,” he recalls.) With the thickly blurred line between sloppiness and slant? (It talks about restoring “cuts” to the police budget without noting that they amounted to $8 million from a $179 million budget.) With its reluctance to demand responsibility from the people putatively in charge of the MPD? (CTRL F for “Arradondo.”) Or how about with this truly remarkable understatement: “Even before Floyd’s killing, the MPD had drawn criticism for its approach to policing the Black community”?

While the story is ostensibly about why the murder rate in Minneapolis has climbed, the primary narrative it seeks to advance is that the push to replace the police department with a department of public safety was a whites-only issue for starry-eyed progressives, with Black northsiders all but unanimously pro-police. Confirming this to be the case is the new darling of “reasonable moderates,” Jacob Frey, “who contends that the centerpiece of his proposed public safety plan—creating a new Office of Community Safety—captures much of what the ‘defund’ movement was after in the first place.” Hm, seems like he could have cooperated with city council on that matter then, eh? Oh, also, there’s a lot here about how the police are sad because the citizens they treat like shit don’t respect them. Anyway, don’t read the story—just another example of national coverage allowing well-connected locals to express their perspectives as facts.

Bold Idea From Minneapolis: Shut Down Two of Your Best-Loved Food Trucks

Let’s say you ran a wildly successful mobile BBQ operation, one so good at what it does that even folks from Texas had to admit your smoked meats were damn good. Wouldn’t you think—if you were Boomin BBQ or Animales Barbeque Co., who’ve delighted Texans and Minnesotans alike with your food—that the city where you were based would do anything in its power to help keep you open and bringing in the accolades? Not in Minneapolis! Both Animales and Boomin posted on Saturday that they’ve been fighting with the city for months now over an “archaic” regulation that says the offset smokers their businesses rely on are illegal, and they’re no longer allowed to use them come October 1. “It’s a huge blow to our operations as it cuts our volume capacity down by 70% and it’s also a huge step backwards for creating a more flourishing bbq scene in Minneapolis,” the Animales team wrote.

The announcements led to a weekend of support from meat-lovin’ fans, who inundated the mayor’s office and city council with messages about how fucking stupid, to be quite frank, this whole situation is. Earlier today, the BBQ crew at Animales updated folks to thank them for the outpouring of support: “At the moment, all your help looks like it will bring some change to the city,” a follow-up social post reads. So far no concrete word on what that’ll look like, and for the moment, the last day to get smoky meats from Animales and Boomin will be this Friday, September 30.

Striketober 2.0 

Last year we brought you an in-depth look at the movement known as Striketober, and it seems the agitated state of labor from last fall remains… agitated! In May, 400+ freshly unionized mental health workers staged a one-day strike to protest unsafe working conditions, as reported by Minnesota Reformer. In the wake of this month’s massive nurse strike, those same M Health Fairview and Allina Health mental health workers announced Monday that they’ll begin a three-day strike starting on October 3. At issue, they say: The refusal of hospital bosses to work out a fair first contract. “We are fighting for safe staffing levels and a contract that helps us work to improve our industry, but we keep running into dead ends from the employer.” Dana Disbrow, an M Health Fairview psychiatric associate, said in a statement issued by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa. “We are ready to strike because no one should worry about getting hurt at work. We are ready to strike because no one should have to worry if there will be enough workers if they need mental health support.” Give ’em hell, mental health workers.

Axios Is Trying to Start Shit with This Neighborhood Boundaries Quiz

Twin Citians have strong feelings about neighborhoods, especially in regards to where one neighborhood stops and another begins. If you’re a local journalist, you’ve probably been strongly corrected at least once in the comments section of a story because you dared to extend Uptown by one block or referred to a bar in the North Loop as being part of the Warehouse District. (Fie, you ignorant fool!) Now the people can decide via a map quiz from Axios. Participants get to draw what they believe are the boundaries of a variety of contentious neighborhoods, including Dinkytown, Uptown, Lowertown, and the Northeast. At the end, you get to find out how aligned your answers are to others. Some interesting results: Most people put Lyndale as the eastern border of Uptown, people think the North Loop goes past First Avenue, and so far participants aren’t defining Dinkytown consistently enough for there to be a general consensus. If we don’t know the boundaries, does a neighborhood even exist?