Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Experts: New MPD Union Contract Basically Just the Old Contract
Just after the police murder of George Floyd, nearly six in 10 Americans wanted “major changes” to policing, Gallup polling found. But when there’s an opportunity to make changes, not much happens. That’s the main takeaway for many who have read through the new deal proposed by the Minneapolis Police Union. The big changes in the contract involve money: Not only would cops get raises, but there is a $7,000 incentive to stay on through the year. Activists are asking the City Council to reject the proposal; they want to see better policies regarding discipline, accountability, and transparency. But not everyone sees the union contract as the best route to reforms. “There is a misperception that having more disciplinary language in the contract is better,” strong Mayor Jacob Frey tells the Star Tribune. “We are better able to dictate disciplinary actions when the chief and their administration have the authority to do so unilaterally.” Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins is looking to buy time. She pointed out via email to constituents that while this contract is a failure, it’s also only good through the year. Meaning, they’ll be reworking the details yet again in a few months.
Extra! Extra! Topic Boring.
You gotta respect when a reporter takes a swing, and that’s exactly what MinnPost’s Peter Callaghan did with “The most boring issue at the Minnesota Legislature is also one of the most consequential.” In it, Callaghan identifies the boring issue—the state’s reinsurance program, aka how insurance companies get socialized dollars to subsidize eye-popping bills—while making good on the promise of explaining why it matters: Both parties wield the niche $200 million pot of cash as a cudgel. Two divisive bills have been introduced to solve reinsurance, which was sold as a temporary way to help about 170,000 Minnesotans way back in 2017. “We know that the time is coming when we have to deal with this reinsurance piece,” says Gov. Tim Walz, who approves the program’s extension. “We’re going to have to talk about it.” Could we save boatloads of public-private hassle by talking about Medicare for All? Sure seems like it but, as Ben Burgis writes today for Yahoo News, that conversation has all but died.
Norseman’s Distiller is on Moonshiners This Week
Be sure to tune into the Discovery Channel this Wednesday, as Lauren Murphy, Norseman Distillery’s head distiller, will be competing on Moonshiners: Master Distillers. Not to be confused with Discovery’s other moonshine show, Moonshiners, this program tasks three distillers each episode with making a type of booze to be judged by a panel of experts. Past efforts have yielded a variety of absinthe, mountain brandy, high proof cherry bounce, and “navy strength” rum. Along the way viewers get to learn a little bit about America’s super drunk history, making this show ever-so-slightly more educational then Discovery shows like Naked and Afraid, Shark Week, and Rob Riggle: Global Investigator. Murphy’s episode, which airs Wednesday at 8 p.m., will have the distillers making backwoods hard seltzer. According to the show’s teaser, “the results surprise even veteran liquor men Mark, Digger, and Tim.” Watch out, White Claw! Norseman will be hosting a tasting and viewing party during showtime.
Boyd’s the Best
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been enjoying Boyd Huppert’s humanizing and heartfelt “Land of 10,000 Stories” segment since it became a regular KARE 11 feature in 2004. Huppert has been a reliable presence in the lives of many Minnesotans, and now, as the Star Tribune’s Neal Justin beautifully illuminated Sunday, he’s fighting for his own life. The award-loaded reporter was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer (multiple myeloma) in September; he’s schedule for a bone-marrow operation this month. Justin’s profile reveals Huppert’s humble Midwestern decency as he battles cancer, but also tells the story of how a clean-living Wisconsin farm kid took a local TV gig in 1982 and flipped it into 137 regional Emmys and 21 national Murrow Awards. “He’s KARE’s true north,” the station’s Jana Shortal tells Justin. “No one else comes close.”