Don’t Sniff the Kool-Aid
Birds, who obviously have a discerning taste, find artificial grape flavoring, aka methyl anthranilate, revolting. Using this information, the folks at U.S. Bank Stadium were planning to curb its bird murder by planting grape-scented bird boxes around its structure, hopefully preventing them from flying into the glass. Those plans were nixed, however, after Audubon Minnesota’s executive director Rob Schultz pointed out some major concerns. The product they planned to use, BirdBuffer, isn’t just Kool-Aid: Only 20% of the compound is methyl anthranilate and the other 80% is proprietary. Schultz’s concern is not just for the birds, but also for people—you can apparently smell the BirdBuffer from the street. Mmm, grape chemicals. “We question the judgment of spraying undeclared chemical substances into the air; the moral implications of birds, wildlife and people being unknowingly exposed to it; and the legal risks if the chemical is later deemed to have previously unknown side-effects or dangers,” Schultz wrote. Right now, U.S. Banks Stadium is one of four buildings in downtown that account for 74% of bird collisions and 68% of bird fatalities according to a recent study. The main problem cited is that the reflective glass makes it hard for birds to see the building. For years, bird advocates have suggested that the stadium add etchings to the glass. Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which handles the building’s operations, has been resistant to this solution, as it would ruin the stadium’s ~*~aesthetics~*~.
The Guthrie Apologizes, Stands Against Racism
Last weekend, an audience member had a scary mental-health meltdown in front of a full audience at the Guthrie. Just as the curtains were about to go up on A Christmas Carol, the lady, apparently triggered by a couple taking a selfie, stood up, removed her mask, and began shouting all kinds of racist bullshit at the crowd. It took about 30 minutes to remove her. Folks caught it on camera, and the videos went viral. Earlier this week, the Guthrie sent out a release acknowledging that it happened. Today, they’re letting people know that they’re also sorry for not making it clear that they don’t support the horrible things she was shouting. “In crafting that statement, we failed to condemn the racist remarks hurled by the disruptive audience member. More importantly, we failed to apologize to audience, company members and staff who were harmed in our theater, particularly those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC),” writes artistic director Joseph Haj. People in the Twitterverse were also critical of the theater for waiting for the police, rather than having ushers or security, who have no training in crisis intervention, to handle the scene. The Guthrie stands by its decision to involve police rather than employees, though it is re-evaluating training. “We are currently reviewing all safety and security protocols and are planning enhanced training for all staff.”
Our newsletter pals over at Axios Twin Cities conducted a poll with populist intrigue up the wazoo: Where do locals buy groceries? The results, which dropped into our inboxes Friday, are fascinating. Just over 1,300 folks responded, and 18.3% of ’em consider high-end grocer Lunds & Byerlys the top food destination. Good ol’ Cub Foods came in at No. 2—did you know Cub is an acronym for “Consumers United for Buying”?—meaning the top two spots are locally owned and union-staffed. Nice! ALDI, with its baffling cart and bag policies, emerged as a surprise at No. 3, followed by local co-ops, then Target, and then Hy-Vee. Viewed by many as a direct Lunds/Byerlys competitor, Kowalski’s Market only finished 7th (try the chicken). Hungry for the full poll results? Click here.
MinnPost Recognized for Advanced Nerdery
As local news readers know, if you want the most granular detail on a story, you check in with the lovable wonks at MinnPost. And that doesn’t just go for the hard stuff like economics, policy, and politics. Last week, Greta Kaul was listening to Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and started wondering if the weather conditions described in the song were meteorologically accurate. With the encouragement of her editor, Tom Nehel, Kaul did some research and wrote, “What exactly are the gales of November? And is November 10 really ‘early’ for them?” We’re sharing it today because Nieman Storyboard recognized the work that went into this story, and since we really should have Flyovered (Flewover?) it before.