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Minnetonka to Megachurch: We Don’t Want Your Mega-Traffic

Plus Canadian truckers at the border, Teen Vogue’s not feeling Frey, and St. Paul’s new river proposal in today’s Flyover.

Note the tiny, two-lane road.
Eagle Brook proposal

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

Jesus Christ, That’s a Lotta Traffic!

Eagle Brook, one of the biggest megachurches in the nation, wants to build its 10th location in Minnetonka. The site, which the church refers to as one of its “campuses,” would include a 60,000-square-foot building, a 1,200-seat auditorium, a two-story parking garage, and a staff that would direct traffic funneling to the church during services. Many Minnetonka residents, however, are saying “hell no” to the project, their main concerns being that the church would be built on a huge wetland, and can only be reached via a two-lane road that you access via a frontage road. So far nearly 900 people have signed a petition against construction of the church. While no formal application has been submitted, you can see the proposed plan online. Meanwhile, Eagle Brook’s next plan that is definitely happening: a megachurch in Apple Valley going in an old Menards Space. 

Teen Vogue Published the Story Vogue Didn’t

Last week, Vogue published a puff piece on Jacob Frey that addressed how great he was at college track and the hard times he had during his first term as mayor. This week, Teen Vogue put its sister publication to shame with a seething op-ed from Minneapolis City Council Robin Wonsley Worlobah calling for Frey to resign. “No amount of glossy magazine profiles can insulate a mayor who has failed to keep his promises to the city time and time again,” she writes, citing Frey’s campaign claims about having banned no-knock warrants and the police’s recent no-knock shooting of Amir Locke. She also points out that no-knock policy wouldn’t have stopped the murders of George Floyd, Jamar Clark, or Terrance Franklin. A few other Frey failures: Sheila Nezhad quitting the mayor’s community safety workgroup over a lack of transparency, Lowry Hill residents scrounging up money to pay for more cops in their neighborhood, and re-hiring a guy who clearly sucks as director of police training. “It’s clear the process of building the department we need cannot happen under Mayor Frey,” she writes. “It’s time for him to resign and let the real work begin.” She’s not the only one calling for Frey to resign, about 100 people are at City Hall today to file ethics complaints against the mayor.

Proposed St. Paul River Balcony Looks Pretty Cool Actually?

Obviously, the whole point of artist renderings is to make a design project look awesome. That said, the preliminary sketches that architects revealed yesterday of a 1.5-mile promenade, which would connect downtown St. Paul to the Mississippi River, are pretty great. The balcony would lead to the Science Museum and Xcel Energy Center in the west and Union Depot and Lambert’s Landing in the east, and the design includes parks, scenic overlooks, sports areas, sandstone steps, food and drink kiosks, and spaces for public art and events. East Second Street would be closed to traffic and become pedestrian only. (More information on the project, along with opportunities for feedback, can be found here, and PowerPoint fans can skim the whole presentation here.) Lisa Switkin of James Corner Field Operations, the firm designing the balcony, says of the existing buildings the promenade will connect, “These are kind of like a string of pearls.” More like… St. Pearl?

That Canadian Trucker Protest is Now in America

What do you do when the Prime Minister says you gotta get vaxxed if you’re going to cross the Canadian border and enter the United States, aka COVID central? You join a convoy of truckers, picking up QAnon conspiracists and angry far-right nut jobs along the way. While most of the protests have stuck to major areas of commerce in Canada, on Thursday a hoard of post-apocalyptic truckers and farmers, some wearing Canadian flags as capes and carrying hockey sticks (relatable, Canada), reached our precious border. Right now, they’re blocking the Emerson Port of Entry, a typically high trafficked border crossing point between Emerson, Manitoba, and Pembina, North Dakota. Ontario declared a state of emergency this morning, with plans to end the bullshit with jail time and fines. “Let me be as clear as I can: There will be consequences for these actions, and they will be severe,” said Premier Doug Ford during the announcement. “This is a pivotal, pivotal moment for our nation.”