Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
That Scoreboard? Yeah, It’s Union
Scoreboards at sports games are super important. They help fans see what is going on, keep track of scores, and bring in revenue for the team via advertising. Now, the folks who keep it running for our local soccer fans’ enjoyment are union. “We are asking for Minnesota United to voluntarily recognize IATSE 745 as the representative for collective bargaining,” says camera operator Nick Quinn, via a press release sent this morning. Members are looking to secure the basics through unionizing: better compensation, employer healthcare, retirement contributions, parking, and addressing safety issues. In 2020, the Minnesota Department of Revenue had to get involved after video crew members complained that they had been misclassified as independent contractors by MN United–when, no, they were actual employees. According to members, things have not gotten better since. “We tried to improve our wages and working conditions without a union, but we were constantly told ‘no’ at every turn,” says camera operator Colin Brookfield.
Police React to Last Weekend’s Chaos—This Weekend
Last weekend, cops struggled to do their job. Groups of people were shooting fireworks at cars and pedestrians downtown, and there were multiple shooting victims in Boom Island Park. One woman from Savage was arrested that night, but since then no other arrests have been made. This weekend MPD, BCA, and State Patrol are going back to basics: intimidation. They’re calling it a “high visibility” effort, meaning more cops will be on duty patrolling high-crime areas, 20 extra State Troopers will be watching for drag racers, and there will be more people working 911 call centers. (Okay, that part is really good news.) Fans of helicopters above south Minneapolis can also rejoice: The State Patrol’s aviation unit will be in the sky this weekend, directly over your place.
Meanwhile, Third Ward council member Michael Rainville spent his morning at Kramarczuk’s to discuss the importance of supporting the police “emotionally” and to tout the new concrete barriers coming to the area. Rainville promised (no, seriously) to make Minneapolis as safe as Baghdad and announced plans to visit “a mosque in northeast to meet with Somali elders and tell them their children can no longer have that kind of behavior.” Muslims celebrate the Day of Arafat today, and this weekend the festival of Eid al-Adha begins. Great time for Rainville to storm into the Somali community to demand to speak to the manager. More on this in Wedge Live’s nice recap on Twitter.
Years Ago, Mitch McConnell Also Accidentally Legalized Weed
Did Minnesota Republicans accidentally legalize marijuana? It sure looks like it! The Star Tribune reported earlier this week that House DFLers strategically kept the THC edible bill quiet from their counterparts to give it a fighting chance. But as J. Patrick Coolican writes in the Reformer today, Sen. Jim Abeler and co. might not be the first conservatives to accidentally legalize weed. Coolican’s story takes us back to Kentucky in 2018, when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell enthusiastically threw his support behind the farm bill and the hemp provisions included therein. One of those provisions? Legal hemp could only contain .3% THC by weight. And you can pretty easily stay below that .3% line and still make a 5-mg THC edible, as we’ve seen here in Minnesota, which is plenty to get most people high. “2018 was the original legalization-without-Republicans-knowing,” lobbyist Jason Tarasek tells the Reformer.
Burrito Loco is Closed Indefinitely
Dinkytowners in search of a delicious burrito won’t be dining at Burrito Loco anytime soon. The shop announced this afternoon that it is closed until further notice, as its front window was shattered by a gunshot last night. “We value the safety of our staff and guests that support our establishment and cannot condone the actions of last night,” Burrito Loco’s Facebook post states. Police report that a witness saw two individuals arguing outside at 12:30 p.m., followed by a shot, which broke the glass. No victims or other witnesses have been found.