Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily noontime(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Carter a “Yes” on St. Paul Rent Control
The rent control ballot initiative in St. Paul got a big boost yesterday when Mayor Melvin Carter announced his support for the measure. Carter did express some reservations about the specifics of the policy, saying “we can and must make it better, quickly,” but insisted “bold action on our housing and equity goals cannot wait.” The nuts-and-bolts question we have is: Can the initiative, once passed, be amended by City Council, and if so how “quickly” can that actually happen? If it can, you’d think supporters of the proposal, which is restrictive enough that it’s drawing reservations from some who are sympathetic to rent control, would highlight its flexibility. (Yeah, yeah, I know—we’re journalists, we should go figure it out for ourselves. Well, maybe we just will, bub!)
Minneapolis Police Delay Rollout of Crisis Program
A month ago, the Strib editorial board, which never misses an opportunity to dump on the Minneapolis City Council, was furious that the implementation of a new mental health crisis program had been delayed. (Surely a “strong mayor” would have seen to that, right?) But as reported by Max Nesterak at the Reformer today, it turns out the ed board’s beloved Minneapolis Police Department had been helping to hold things up by refusing to conduct background checks for crisis workers. According to Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman, they’re prioritizing background checks for police, thanks to a court order instructing Minneapolis to meet the minimum police staff requirements laid out in the city charter. Hmm… so, what the MPD’s actions are saying is that under the current charter, there’s no way to prioritize non-police responses to public safety? Anyone have any ideas how we could change that?
Don’t Firebomb Journalists
Kinda fucked up we have to spell it out like that! But around 2 a.m. Tuesday, someone hucked a “makeshift explosive” at a window on the Star Tribune’s North Loop production facility, the Strib reports. Staff quickly snuffed out the fire, which was, thankfully, limited to a shrub. Security cameras captured two vandals writing obscenities “derogatory to the Star Tribune” on the building, according to Strib PR man Steve Yaeger. Folks occupying both nubs of the ideological horseshoe need to understand that journalists are not insidious elites attempting to prop-up police states and/or nanny states; overwhelmingly, they’re well-meaning working stiffs like you. Grow up.
Just Get Your Damn Shots Already!
A federal judge has refused to temporarily block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as requested by 188 anonymous Minnesotan health care workers. Judge Nancy Brasel didn’t dismiss the case, but she did say the plaintiffs challenging the Biden Administration’s mandate have to identify themselves by the end of the week. This is one of many such cases filed around the country.