Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily noontime(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Carver County School Board Throwdown
If you’ve ever wondered, “What would the world be like if everyone was as much an asshole in real life as they are on the internet?” try attending a school board meeting these days. Responding to rising COVID rates in schools, the Eastern Carver County school board voted to require all students to wear masks. This prompted angry parents to publicly berate school board members at a Monday night meeting, and led to an actual physical scuffle. (Money magazine recently selected Chanhassen, located within the eastern Carver County school district, as “The Best Place to Live in the U.S. Right Now.”) As Jennifer Brooks reported in the Strib, school board members are facing harassment and threats statewide, which is driving community members away from public service. You know things are out of hand when a school board has to make this statement: “It is not OK, and not acceptable to resort to violence or accuse decisionmakers of being Nazis.”
Brooklyn Center Ends Misdemeanor Arrests
Well, at least police reforms are inching forward in some Minnesota cities. Under Brooklyn Center’s new Citation and Release plan, police will begin issuing tickets for misdemeanors rather than placing a person under arrest. Brooklyn Center has not yet fully implemented the public safety plan it passed last May, following the police killing of Daunte Wright. That plan calls for having unarmed civilians handle traffic stops and creating a committee of residents to make future changes to public safety policy. But this is something.
Some Racist Guy Vandalized St. Thomas
Students at St. Thomas University woke up to a shitty surprise Monday morning: racist stickers all over buildings, street signs, and traffic lights along Cleveland, Summit, and Cretin avenues. The stickers promoted Patriot Front, “a white nationalist hate group that broke off from Vanguard America in the aftermath of the deadly Unite the Right” rally, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. These dudes are really into PR and propaganda, and attempt to cover their obvious racism with extreme patriotism—but that is, you might say, a “front.” Police spokesman Steve Linders says a lone man made his way onto campus around 3 a.m. Monday. This is the second incident from Patriot Front fanboys this month. On September 8, the nearby Hmong Cultural Center and a Hmong grocery store were vandalized with slogans used by the hate group. A nearby tattoo parlor caught three shitheads on camera spraying the buildings at 3:45 a.m. No arrests have been made in either case.
Unions—Good for Mental Health AND Mental Health Workers
Around 4,000 M Health Fairview workers are already unionized, and on Tuesday 350 psychiatric workers voted on whether to join their colleagues as part of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The results, as tallied by federal labor officials: 98% of workers demanded a union. Safety, respect, pay, and communication were the main motivating factors, psychiatric associate Erin McCormick said in a victory announcement via SEIU Healthcare Minnesota’s Facebook page. “We’ve never felt like a part of the decision-making team, including the staffing levels or policy changes that directly impact us; I think having a unified voice will get us to the table,” psychiatric associate Andrea Rivas told Minnesota Reformer yesterday. In a statement issued to the Reformer, Fairview PR suggested hyper-jargonized things like “implement[ing] fast-changing best practices” would best alleviate workplace grievances. Now they’ll have to run those fast-changing best practices by the union.