Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
North St. Paul Can't Keep a City Manager
John Stark, the city manager of North St. Paul, has resigned after just six months on the job, and two months after what this story somewhat Stribishly refers to as “a social media-related controversy.” On April 7, Stark sent an email to his staff that included a hip-hop video that his son had co-produced as a fundraiser for St. Jude's Medical Research Hospital. What Stark apparently did not realize is that the 27-minute-long video contained a racial slur. At the risk of editorializing: This is why parents shouldn’t support their kids so damn much. If, like a normal father, Stark had called rap “more like crap” or asked “is that even music?” he’d have stayed out of trouble and provided his son with the “fuck you, dad!” rage that fuels creativity. It’s important to note that Stark is the second city manager North St. Paul has been through in a year, so there might just be more to this story.
More Like St. Louis WATER Park
For the second time in less than two weeks, a water-main break had residents of St. Louis Park bailing sludge and sewage out of their basements. The first break, on May 21, slammed 55 homeowners in the Texa-Tonka neighborhood; on June 3 the dank waters returned to 22 homes. Disappointed in the city’s initial response to their pleas, the sludge-afflicted expressed doubts that they’d receive adequate compensation. In response, St. Louis Park City Council approved a $4 million relief package. Onetime sufferers can seek reimbursement up to $60,000 from the city for any damages not covered by insurance; anyone hit twice can seek up to $80,000. The reasons for these bursts, while unknown, are likely boring: a city official said brittle pipes, soil conditions, and rusted bolts are typical culprits.
This MN Meteorologist Won on Jeopardy! Last Night. Who is Eric Ahasic?
I don’t know how much a meteorologist at the Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service gets paid (more than a Racket editor lol), but he probably doesn’t bring home $18,401 a day. That’s how much Eric Ahasic, the NWS Minnesotan in question, won on his first episode of Jeopardy! which aired Monday. (It was taped in April.) The 32-year-old beat reigning champion Ryan Long, whose streak ends at 16 games. Based on this report from Ross Raihala, Cyrillic script is not Ahasic’s strong suit, but he knows his Greek mythology. Ahasic has been trying for 15 years to get on the show, and he finally made it. The lesson here? Never give up on your dreams! Unless you dream about becoming a cop or something. Or if you just generally suck and the world would be better off if you failed.
Crashing the Weed Party
The closer Minnesota edges to marijuana legalization (and yet, like Zeno’s arrow, never quite reaches the target) the more problems our state’s “legalize weed” parties run across. At the Minnesota Reformer today, Ricardo Lopez talks to Oliver Steinberg, chair and co-founder of the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party, who’s struggling to preserve the integrity of his one-issue party. Conventional wisdom has it that Minnesota’s two legalization-centered parties, which have secured a place on the ballot, siphon a small number of votes from the DFL. Republicans certainly believe that—in 2020 they recruited candidates for the small pot-based parties with just that purpose. In response, some Democrats and DFL sympathizers have toyed with renaming the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party something that might snag wayward Republicans, such as the “Marijuana Advocates with Governing Aspirations” (get it?) or the Constitutional Liberty Party. Meanwhile, Steinberg is fending off carpetbagging libertarians trying to bogart his party. Stressful stuff. Fortunately, Steinberg probably knows a good way to relax.