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Minneapolis Loses 20% of Its Taco Bells

Plus St. Paul's new reparations committee, a case for daily walking, and Frey's take on the plow situation in today's Flyover.

Fare thee well, post-concert Taco Bell.
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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Bad News for Drunk People at the Cabooze

Perhaps you, like me, remember the Taco Bell at 1931 Minnehaha Ave. as a place to score cheap food when drunk-walking home from Triple Rock Social Club. Perhaps you, like local Redditors, also correctly remember it as a “scummy” link in the company’s 7,000+ location chain. (Real heads recall the pre-renovation scumminess.) This subject line is a fitting obit encapsulation:

Why’d the Seward Taco Bell close, leaving Minneapolis proper with just four (just four!) TBs? We asked Border Foods, the prolific local franchiser, but didn’t immediately hear back. Taco Bell is bullish on drive-thrus and the city ain’t, so maybe the car-unfriendly Minnehaha Avenue shop wasn’t worth saving for grandfathering-in purposes. Plus the clusterfuck intersection where it was located stands out even in a town rife with clusterfucky intersections. If you’re starved for additional Taco Bell content, revisit our rankings of every veggie item or our appraisal of its futuristic test concept.

Mayor Frey on Plow Delay: Calm Down, Minneapolis!

If you’ve been on local Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit today, then you know that 90% of the posts out there are people upset that their streets haven’t been plowed yet. Some have criticized the Strong Mayor’s delay in declaring a snow emergency; others are worrying that the city has spread funding for snow plows too thin, and the worst folks are complaining that the bike lanes are clear. Thankfully, Frey has made a video basically telling everyone to calm the fuck down.

“Hey, so it’s Minneapolis and we obviously get a lot of snow,” he begins, pointing out that this is our 14th biggest snowfall since the 1800s. “Thankfully we have this extraordinary public works team out there with 60 pieces of equipment–that’s like 60 plows working their tails off.” Sixty plows! Frey also reminds people to thank plow drivers if you have a chance (a good suggestion!), and to sit back and enjoy the “beautiful scenery” (a passive aggressive suggestion!).

St. Paul Creates Reparations Committee

Last spring, in response to grassroots activism, St. Paul began taking steps toward imagining a citywide system of reparations that would financially compensate the descendants of enslaved people. Less than a year later, on Wednesday, the St. Paul City Council voted unanimously to create the St. Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. The commission’s role is to advise Mayor Melvin Carter on a course of action “to specifically address the creation and sustainment of generational wealth for the American Descendants of Chattel Slavery and to boost economic mobility and opportunity in the American Descendants of Chattel Slavery community.” “By our actions, we are committing St. Paul to never go back—but to keep moving forward toward the vision of real racial justice,” said councilmember Jane Prince, who sponsored the ordinance. Things happen fast in some cities.

It’s Friday Afternoon—Go Take a Walk!

We don’t often call out opinion pieces in the Flyover—this is where our opinions go—but hey, it’s Friday, and we strongly agree with Bill Lindeke’s pro-walking column in MinnPost today. Lindeke’s resolution is to walk more in 2023, a goal he’s trying out for the fifth year running (or walking). “It turns out that walking more is not so easy, even when taking transit to work,” Lindeke reports. “Most days, I didn’t reach the the recommended 10,000 steps without making a concerted effort to walk someplace I didn’t need to go.” There are all kinds of physical and mental health benefits associated with walking, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, but there are lots of barriers, too: our infrastructure, the winter weather… boredom. But if you can get yourself to do it, it’s a fun and healthy change to make. Get on out there!