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Local Twitter Thwarting Frey’s Plans to End Homelessness 

Plus NSFW MPD, the guv's crumbling house, and more climate dread in today's Flyover news roundup.

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An encampment in Minneapolis’s Powderhorn Park in 2020.

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

“Forget Activists and Their Tweets”

Congrats to Nick Magrino for discovering the root cause of persistent homelessness in Minneapolis: social media. In an opinion piece for the Star Tribune this weekend (we know, we know...), Magrino apparently absolves our elected officials, including our very strong mayor, of any responsibility for finding alternatives to encampments for the unhoused.

The culprits he names instead? “Upper-middle class suburbanites” who drop off supplies. Nonprofits concerned with "connecting" the unhoused to "services" (scare quotes his). The Humphrey Institute, for some reason. But mostly the problem here is “the online activists who set the terms of our policymaking conversation.” To truly address the encampments and public hard drug use, we must “forget activists and their tweets,” Magrino tells the readers of a daily newspaper whose readership handily dwarfs that of the most viral social media post about Minneapolis public policy you can possibly imagine. 

Like many ridiculous Strib opinion pieces, Magrino’s weird rant accusing accounts like @dump_frey42069 of having a stranglehold on Minneapolis politics might have been ignored and fallen quietly to the bottom of the internet had a certain mayor of Minneapolis not shared it approvingly.

For someone who rallied so hard to redraw the city charter and consolidate power in his office, Frey consistently depicts himself as powerless in the face of… who exactly? A city council that not only lost much of its governing power but whose majority largely cosigns his proposals? His hand-picked chief of police? The downtown business interests? Nope, must be those mighty "online activists." (In this, Frey is picking up on a strategy of punching left that Democratic centrists have used against progressives for decades.)

Yes, Magrino is right when he says we do need to approach these issues maturely. If the mayor has any ideas beyond crushing camps, sending their residents off to build a new camp, and then crushing that camp—well, he's welcome to present them whenever possible. Literally no one can stop him. 

All Cops Are Barenaked?

The Minneapolis Police Department sure could benefit from some intense internal auditing. (The outside assessments, like this one and this one, have not been kind.) Yesterday, via Fox 9’s Karen Scullin, we learned that the MPD's current self-assessment concerns something far more trivial and salacious than its well-documented brutality and racism: an officer’s OnlyFans account. The department “has ordered an investigation” into the unnamed officer, who Fox 9 describes as “well-respected” and “recognized for her police work,” specially examining whether she's violating ethics codes by posting homemade porno for a monthly fee.

The only clues visible from her OnlyFans bio page, which the TV station has blurred? "35 Year Old • Milf • Free Spirited • Overly Optimistic • Creator of Sexy Content to Please Others." (We’ve heard of serving and protecting others, but this is something else entirely!) Fox 9’s reporting confirms that the free-spirited milf officer, 35, has not produced NSFW content that identifies her as MPD. A spokesperson from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office provided the following statement, one that reflects his usual attitude toward police oversight: "If all we're talking about is naked pictures behind a paywall, the mayor has no issue. However, the chief will determine if there are any policy violations."

Craving more locally angled OnlyFans content? Revisit our conversation with some of the platform’s Twin Cities creators, none of whom are cops.

Gov. Mansion Glow-up Nearly Double Original Estimate

If you live in a building that’s over 100 years old, things can go downhill—fast. So it was probably not entirely surprising that when it came time to give the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion a reno, a lot of things needed to be replaced all at once. What the state wasn’t expecting, however, was the estimated bill to balloon from $7.1 to $12.8 million. Turns out the 111-year-old St. Paul Tudor needs a lot of work; the plumbing and electrical systems are as old as the building, the A/C and heat need to be replaced, and exterior updates are also necessary. 

While Republican lawmakers have used the situation as a chance to warn against political excess, Gov. Tim Walz isn’t exactly OK with the price hike, either. “[Walz] is concerned about the increased costs and would like the Legislature to weigh in before the Department of Administration makes a decision to proceed with this project,” a rep tells MPR. (Renovations are being paid for via a Department of Administration account which sets aside money for this sort of thing.) In the meantime, the governor and his family are staying at a $4,400-a-month U of M-owned property (not a dorm!) near the Mississippi River. As you may recall, plans to host the guv for $17,326 per month at a suburban lake home owned by a Republican politician were nixed following public outcry.

It's Getting (Historically) Hot In Herre

How’s your omnipresent, ambient sense of dread around climate change doing today? Mostly in check? Well, apologies for this new report from Bring Me the News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard: Minnesota was just baked by the hottest September ever recorded here, shattering a record set in 1897. Spurred by three separate heat waves, our average daily temp of 69.1 (not nice!) was “Undoubtedly… made more likely due to human caused climate change,” Sundgaard concludes; in fact, since the ‘70s, metro temps in September have inched up by almost seven degrees, we learn. And, of course, yesterday’s unsettling high of 91 degrees marked the highest-ever recorded Minnesota temperature during the month of October. Should these trends continue—and why wouldn’t they, considering our decades-long bipartisan determination to do almost nothing about them?—Minneapolis’s climate will soon resemble northern Missouri’s, Sundgaard once warned via Racket. Yeesh… uhh, stay cool out there?

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