Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily noontime(ish) digest of what local media outlets are gabbing about.
Hold on to your vax card. Hark! Cafe in downtown Minneapolis is mandating a vaccination requirement or a negative COVID test for indoor dining. The Basilica Block Party has also joined the “vax or negative test” club, and the Ordway will open next month with similar requirements. Phoebe Bridgers is playing it even safer: She’s moved her Twin Cities show from the Palace Theatre to Surly Festival Field. With FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine providing cover, you can look ahead to even more COVID-related safety regs. The University of Minnesota, for instance, had already stated that a federal vaccine approval would trigger a COVID-19 vax requirement for students. Meanwhile, over at the Minnesota Laissez Fair, which continues to rely on the honor system of pandemic management,150 vendors have pulled out, as has Philly band Low Cut Connie, who’d been scheduled to perform at the Current’s Music-on-a-Stick Grandstand show this Saturday.
Big Fires Everywhere
As Minnesota struggles with drought conditions that have affected bees, trees, and all the rest of us, the good news (as such things go) is that the nearly 9,000-acre Greenwood Fire gained no ground over the weekend. But that’s not the only northern blaze causing concern. The Boundary Waters have been cleared of visitors for the first time in 45 years as two fires rage in the BWCA, and another wildfire started yesterday on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Locally, a large fire that engulfed four buildings near Selby and Hamline in St. Paul this Saturday, the Pioneer Press reports, wasn’t extinguished till the following day because stacked, burning tires made trouble for firefighters. Well, at least we got a few drops of rain this weekend.
Vaccination Efforts Diversify
As vaccination rates appear to plateau, we’re seeing a spike in human interest stories doubling as public service announcements. Sahan Journal has been running a series in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, and English stressing the importance of vaccination. WCCO radio personality Sheletta Brundidge received nationwide coverage for overcoming her fears and getting jabbed at the urging of her son. And MPR News talked to the surviving friends and family of north Minneapolis resident Stacey Danner, who died recently of COVID after concerns about the vaccine kept him from getting it.
Line 3 Opposition Undiminished
Though the controversial pipeline is all but completed, protesters continue to push back. As the DNR fights a tribal court lawsuit in U.S. federal court, 20 protesters were arrested outside of Cloquet on Friday, and a day earlier Line 3 opponents shut down Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge for a half hour. Rilyn Eischens of the Minnesota Reformer spoke to several members of the movement as they look back on what they learned and look ahead to the next battle.
The Long Bad Frey-Day
It didn’t quite go down to the wire—they had until 11:59 p.m. to reach an agreement—but Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey did interrupt journalists’ Friday evening plans as they volleyed back and forth over the final language of the public safety ballot question until after 6 p.m. Over at MinnPost, Solomon Gustavo has a full play-by-play of the debates, the votes, and the vetoes.