Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
MPD Training Exaggerates “Antifa” Threat, Lists Targeted Activists
According to a training presentation acquired by Unicorn Riot, Minnesota police are being briefed to focus on antifascist protesters, inaccurately described as members of a highly coordinated organization. The materials also include a list of several “Antifa accounts” on Twitter to keep an eye on (redacted by UR), which includes the social media handles of individuals who’ve never even been arrested. Anyway, it would be interesting to hear from Mayor Jacob Frey about how and why the department he theoretically oversees has assembled such an implausible watch list, whether it’s through incompetence or a desire to tamp down disapproved political speech. Either would be bad. So would both. Then again, what can we expect from a department that also trains its officers to approach outdoor cats as though they are IEDs?
Uptown Businesses: Won’t Anyone Think of the Cars?
“I can’t lease my space,” Jeff Herman of the commercial real estate firm Urban Anthology tells the Star Tribune, and, yeah, we’ve noticed—we walk past his giant vacant buildings in Uptown all the time. Herman now predicts that even thriving businesses nearby “are all going to die” because of a lack of parking, to be brought about by the city of Minneapolis’s new plan to expand transit, biking, and pedestrian options. I’m no business expert, but it seems unlikely that Apple or Victoria’s Secret skedaddled because people had to park over on Irving and 33rd, and more probable that a decade or so ago, Urban Anthology banked on a market for giant retail spaces that’s hard to imagine ever returning to Uptown. So maybe business owners, community members, and city officials should discuss what a viable model for Uptown as a commercial, cultural, and residential hub might be. Sorry, am I editorializing too much here? Didn’t realize you needed to make a bad real estate investment to have an opinion on these things.
Van Go(gh) to Mia for Actual Paintings
Why pay $40 for some half-assed “immersive” slideshow when you can see real Van Gogh paintings for less than half that (or nothing at all if you’re a student, a Mia member, or under 17). With the upcoming exhibit “Van Gogh and the Olive Groves,” our pals at what I still habitually call “the MIA” (hey, people call us “the Racket”) will display Olive Trees from its own collection with three other paintings and three works on paper. The exhibit runs from June 25 through September 18. And remember, most of the museum is free, so you can wander through and immerse yourself in all the art you want.
Local Unions: We’re Quite Pissed
You may have read about the recent flexing of labor muscle across the country and right here in Minnesota. While historically still small, that surge of union activity is heartening after decades of rapacious profit-hoovering by the other side of the workplace dichotomy. On Monday, eight industry-spanning union labor leaders representing 10,000+ Twin Cities workers issued a stark reminder via the Minnesota Reformer: We’re here, we’re pissed, and we’re prepared to strike. “At a time when billionaires’ wealth is exploding and our state is sitting on a $7.7 billion surplus,” they write, “it is maddening we are still stuck in a debate where one side insists there is not enough to provide for the common good.” Aside from COVID-19 further laying bare the abhorrent plight of the American worker, there’s no obvious time-peg for the fiery ready-to-strike warning, which concludes: “It’s a fight we don’t take lightly, and a fight we don’t plan on losing.” Give ‘em hell, various unions!
The Legislature! The Legislature? The Legislature!
Ain’t you heard? There’s a Legislative session a-brewin’, and the big question is how will Minnesota spend all its extra money. The Minnesota Reformer has their rundown here, MinnPost looks for some points of agreement between the parties here, and Axios outlines some specific positions here. And stepping far out on a limb, the Strib Ed Board says, “The Legislature can and must ultimately come together on a single plan to maximize this once-in-a-generation surplus in a way that will do the most good for the most Minnesotans.”