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Glen Taylor, Noted Billionaire, Got a Stimulus Check

Plus slower speed limits, the Strib's new food critic, and laundry workers strike.

Wikimedia Commons/Susan Lesch

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

Glen Taylor, Billionaire Moocher

Glen Taylor, the Minnesota billionaire known for his historically inept ownership of the Timberwolves and City Pages, is one of 18 billionaires who received federal stimulus checks, ProPublica reports: “Also getting a check was Glen Taylor, worth $2.8 billion, who earlier this year struck a deal to sell Minnesota’s NBA and WNBA teams for $1.5 billion.” That tidbit came via ProPublica’s fascinating, ongoing deep-dive into the tax records of the .001%, and its significance cuts about a dozen different ways. On one hand, it demonstrates the apparent bureaucratic wastefulness inside the program intended to assist middle-class Americans; there’s little chance Taylor noticed the $1,200 check. On the other hand, it reveals the tax-code trickery the wealthy use to have even qualified for the checks. And, on yet another, it drives home the folly of means-testing, a neo-liberal obsession that kneecaps true universal programs from ever taking shape. On this much we can all agree: Mr. Taylor, please sign up for Racket at the $1,000 tier—we know you’re good for it.

Slow Down, Assholes!

Bad news for the road ragers who like to speed on scenic parkways like a neighborhood highway: The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday to lower the speed limit on these roads to 20 mph, which is a pretty standard across the nation these days. Since Minneapolis parkways are loaded with pedestrians and cyclists, slower speeds could save lives; Vision Zero Network’s data shows that pedestrians struck at 20 mph have a 90% chance at survival, while only 60% make it at 30. And if you’re going 40 mph like a lot of angry drivers on Harriet and Bde Maka Ska Parkways try to do? Well, there’s only a 20% chance the person you hit is going to survive. Previous studies at other organizations have yielded similar numbers, as Bring Me the News helpfully points out. Cars: The faster you go, the more it’s going to hurt and/or kill people if you fuck up driving them. The Park Board says we’ll start seeing signs with the new speed limit in 2022. Meanwhile, south Minneapolis residents can still lull themselves to sleep at night to the sounds of drag racers flooring it on Blaisdell, Portland, and Nicollet.

New Star Tribune Food Critic Just Dropped

Star Tribune food critic Rick Nelson stepped down earlier this year after 23 years on the job, setting off a national search for his replacement. They seem to have found one in Jon Cheng, who appeared in his first byline for the paper today. Cheng gives Cardamom, the new Walker Art Center restaurant from Daniel Del Prado (Martina, Colita, etc.) and Shawn McZenzie (who collaborated with Del Prado at Café Cerés) two out of four stars. He’s not Pete Wells-scathing, but he does write that the menu at Cardamom “reads like a themed menu from Disney World’s Epcot Center” before admitting that it’s “much, much better.” We don’t know much about Cheng at this point, beside the fact that he started writing for Eater Twin Cities last month and shares a name with a General Mills brand manager and writer whose work for GQ includes “7 Foods That Make You Horny.”

Strikevember? Mpls Laundry Workers Take Stand, Increase Raise

Laundry workers at Aramark’s facility in northeast Minneapolis were ready to walk. But after they authorized a strike by a 97-1 vote last week, according to Workday Minnesota, management was a bit more amenable to continuing contract negotiations. A raise offer of 35 cents/hour shot up to 75 cents, and the workers, members of CMRJB Workers United, were satisfied. Now that’s how this union thing is supposed to work.