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Teachers (Tentatively) Win

Plus potentially sane booze laws, that's a paddlin' nightmare, and bear cam chaos in today's Flyover.

Twitter (@MFT59)

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

Striking Works

Unlike the school district, we won’t get ahead of ourselves but it appears as though striking Minneapolis teachers will be back on the job come Monday. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers announced a tentative deal with Minneapolis Public Schools early Friday, thus potentially ending a 18-day strike⁠—the union’s first in 52 years. The “fair and equitable” deal was hammered out around 4 a.m., Superintendent Ed Graff says in a statement. Among the union’s wins, per an early morning press release: “major gains on pay for Education Support Professionals, protections for educators of color, class size caps, and mental health supports.”

Details are currently emerging at MFT 59’s 1 p.m. press conference. The insulting $24,000 base pay of ESPs, as we’re sure you’re already aware, became one of the central friction points between the district and the union, and initial reports suggest those salaries will creep close to the goal of $35,000. The deal comes days after we reached the messy-leaked-texts-that-embarrass-the-district phase of the labor stoppage. Gov. Tim Walz, a former schoolteacher who never voiced support for the striking schoolteachers, bravely thanked the heroic Bureau of Mediation Services for helping end the strike. Elsewhere on social media, many educators are urging the public to pump the brakes, however, noting that membership hasn’t even seen the exact contract terms on which they’ll be voting; tensions are becoming visible within the union.

MN Might Exit the Booze-Law Stone Age

Minnesota’s liquor laws are as ass-backwards as one would expect from a state that birthed the author of the Volstead Act. But, slowly, we’re moving into a more modern, drunker era. Today represented one more tiny step forward, as the state House Commerce panel approved a new omnibus liquor bill that now has to go through House Ways and Means. The bill passed 14-1, with GOP Rep. Jordan Rasmusson being the lone buzzkill. What’s in that bill? Cocktail rooms for distilleries, a victory for the #FreeTheGrowler movement at larger craft breweries, temporary liquor licenses for venues screening the FIFA World Cup, and smaller breweries would be able to sell 6-packs on site.

What’s not in the bill? Any changes to beer and wine sales in grocery stores. But Minnesotans want those changes. A recent poll by Red White and Brew⁠—an advocacy platform bankrolled by retail and grocer groups, petrochemical salesmen, and the state chamber of commerce—found that 64 percent support selling full-strength beer and wine in the same place we buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and ground beef, while 20 percent oppose such changes, and 16 percent don’t care either way.

Paddlin’ When It’s Too Damn Cold? That’s a Paddlin’.

As our deathless winter returns with even more flakes this afternoon, consider how much worse it could be: You could be in the grips of hypothermia, ready to drown in the Mississippi River. That’s where freelance writer and “fairly experienced canoeist” Frank Bures found himself one year ago, as we learn in this harrowing first-person account of his near-deadly misadventure.

“I knew this was dangerous, but I didn’t know how dangerous,” he writes in the Strib, reflecting on the moments after his canoe tipped in the icy waters. “I’d never heard of ‘cold shock.’ I didn’t know about the ‘mammalian diving reflex,’ where cold water on your face causes blood to move out of your arms and legs to your core. I didn’t know that in waters this cold, I only had between five and 20 minutes before my body started shutting down.” Spoiler: Bures escaped with his life, but you should absolutely read his riveting/terrifying warning to all you overly eager paddlers out there.

Bears Hate Cameras

Need proof? Check out this trail-cam video from Voyageurs Wolf Project, the publicly funded research crew that studies wolves and other wildlife up near Voyageurs National Park.

Hell yeah, gets its ass, bear! We asked Tom Gable, the project leader at VWP, why cameras seem to piss off large black bears.

“Bears are just curious when they see new or novel objects and want to check them out,” the good-natured scientist informed us. “Unfortunately, bears are not the most gentle animals when they do decide to check something out. They like to use their mouths a lot and chew on things.”

Same here, same here.

The bear crunched the screen of the camera in question, Gable says, rendering it useless. Thankfully, he says, that model retails for around $200, so it’s not like the bear scored a Michelin-star-priced snack.

“A bummer but the price of doing business in a wild place with wild animals!” Gable says.