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Hub Capped, Exits Minnehaha

Plus Champlin's secession thoughts, a history of homelessness, and the guv loses a cat in today's Flyover.

3:57 PM CDT on September 1, 2023

The Hub Bike Coop

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

More Bad Outdoor Industry News

Just days after Midwest Mountaineering announced that it was ending its 50-plus-year run on the West Bank, Minnehaha Avenue institution the Hub Bicycle Co-Op said today that they'll be shuttering that south Minneapolis flagship location. "This represents a tremendous loss, both for us and for the cyclists who have called this their neighborhood bike shop for 21 years," worker-owners David, Cristina, Brian, Andrew, Ruby, John, Lisa, Henry, and Jens wrote in a joint statement. "It is also the decision that keeps The Hub in Minneapolis in the long term." The last day for the Hub on Minnehaha will be September 30, at which point they'll shift all operations to the 401 SE Oak St./ U of M Bike Center location "while we search for a location that can support the vibrant staff and passionate customers that make us who we are," the statement continues.

Moving from 12,000 feet to 600 feet of space means a number of things. For one, they'll need to unload a lot of bikes and accessories, a process they're expediting with a liquidation sale. They're also asking for donations to "keep the Hub alive," with funds supporting the transition and, once that need is met, supporting the laid-off staff members. And here's an easy, free way to help: They're asking folks to leave reviews recommending the Hub or to tell friends and family about the shop.

Champlin Wants out of Hennepin County

This is what it sounds like when doves cry: North Minneapolis suburb Champlin is considering seceding from Hennepin County. “When you look at the big picture, it feels like we’re just an ATM,” Mayor Ryan Sabas tells KSTP. “But they are not making deposits here back to the city of Champlin.” According to Sabas, that includes requests for help with roads, infrastructure, and other projects. While Champlin’s City Council workgroup begins to weigh the pros and cons of leaving, any move will probably be a clusterfuck of council meetings, legislative discussions, and votes from constituents. What is Hennepin County doing to make this relationship work out? So far, it seems like it was blindsided by the news. “The county is not aware of what transpired in the meeting this week,” a spokesperson tells KSTP. “We have had numerous conversations over this past year with city officials about transportation, other issues, and opportunities. We value Champlin and all our city partners and residents in Hennepin County.”

A History of Unhoused Minneapolis

We’re fans of the Strib’s “Curious Minnesota” feature and bigger fans of our former City Pages colleague Susan Du, so we were excited to read her response to the reader question “Where did homeless people go or live in the past?" Du’s short history of homelessness in Minneapolis circles around some common themes: The poor and displaced find a place to live and the city eventually drives them out. Early on, poor families were consigned to regularly flooded sites on the Mississippi like Bohemian Flats; eventually developers bought up the land and the so-called “squatters” were driven out. Then came the Great Depression. “In 1933, unemployed men showed reporters how they kept warm with rudimentary brick stoves in a camp called ‘Rooseveltville-on-the-Mississippi,” Du writes. “The following year, city crews and police burned the shack village to the ground.” The men who lived on Skid Row were dispersed in the early ’60s when downtown’s boarding houses were bulldozed. As Du notes, some things have changed over time: The current encampments are more visible to other Minneapolis residents, and many of the drugs that circulate within the camps are more deadly. But the general problems of inequality, addiction, and marginalization have been with us for as long as the city has been standing. 

Noooo Kitty! Let’s Find Afton!

Governor Walz’s orange tabby Afton has been missing since Thursday. Like many cats, he’s kinda awesome. “It’s not uncommon for him to demand a fresh refill by tipping over every bowl in the house,” writes the Animal Humane Society. He’s also an escape artist, and over the years has sought freedom a few times before returning home a few days later. “We appreciate our neighbors in Saint Paul keeping an eye out for him. There will be two very grateful kids over here if Afton finds his way home,” Walz tweeted. Though Afton had an Apple air tag on him when he escaped, he managed to lose it somewhere along the way. Commenters on social media have helpfully pointed out that the seven-year-old kitty might try to make his way back to the Governor’s Mansion; Walz and his family are currently staying in another mansion, Eastcliff, a spendy, $17,326 a month rental out in Sunfish Lake.

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