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NYT Documents Our Iceless Winter

Plus teacher negotiations heat up, new jucy lucy doc drops, and RIP Carl Weathers in today's Flyover news roundup.

4:41 PM CST on February 2, 2024

Facebook: ASP|

The scene last weekend.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Melting Ice Shanties Go National

Last month Racket asked a climate scientist how freaked out should we be about this weird, warm winter (spoiler: fairly freaked out). But, as we stare down the barrel of 50-degree February days, it's a hard question to shake. Earlier today, the New York Times published a long feature headlined, "It’s 50 Degrees in Minneapolis. Goodbye, Ice Shanties." In it, reporter Patricia Leigh Brown journeys to Lake Harriet to take the (too high!) temperature at last Saturday's Art Shanty Projects. During this freaky season, the three-weekend festival featuring 19 arty huts will have to settle for one weekend; organizers shut it down early yesterday, citing "CLIMATE CHAOS."

Leigh Brown was among the 10,000 who managed to attend opening weekend of ASP, back when 13 inches of ice made it possible by just three inches, and her report mostly shines a light on the loveliness of our quirky wintertime tradition—Fro-Gahhh yoga, ice dancing, music from TaikoArts Midwest, etc. Sadly, the omnipresent warming air informs every bit of the story she ended up filing. “It felt like a humid summer morning with steam coming off the lake,” artist Mikha Dominguez muttered to the Times while dismantling his shanty. "I think land is more predictable... but there’s power and beauty on the lake.”

Minneapolis Teachers Announce 'Walkout Wednesdays'

Remember the 2022 Minneapolis public school teacher strike? The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers emerged victorious after striking for 14 school days, with 5% raises over two years. But, as Max Nesterak at Minnesota Reformer reports, contract talks are currently stalled at "several dozen" local teachers unions across the state, including right here in Minneapolis. This week local teachers rolled out a regular protest—Walkout Wednesday, where they'll walk out right after classes each Wednesday and not reappear until Thursday—aimed at hastening negotiations. Minneapolis teachers want 8.5% raises in the first year of their upcoming contract, followed by 7.5% the next year. Minneapolis Public Schools, which just issued a statement on Walkout Wednesdays, appears to be flat broke. MFT, however, believes that by investing in teachers the district can attract the 40% of Minneapolis students who don't attend public schools, thus solving the under-enrollment crisis. (It's all detailed in this report from Thursday.)

Jucy Lucy Doc Drops

It's pretty cheap heat to make a jucy lucy documentary—what else is there to say about those beefy molten cheese pockets? That said, as dyed-in-wool townies, we'll probably tuned into Fox 9's damn jucy lucy documentary, Minnesota Legends: Juicy (Jucy) Lucy, when it drops this Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Here is the TV station's teaser for the 30-minute doc: "Through interviews with local notables, chefs, and longtime residents, we look to uncover the basis of the heated debate (including the correct spelling), surrounding the true pioneer of the Juicy (Jucy) Lucy."

And here's where I add a truly sad flex: Did you know an article I (very poorly) (over-)wrote shares the first citation spot on the jucy lucy wiki page? It's true, and you're welcome to read that (bad) 2008 Minnesota Daily article here. (Only co-author Justin Flower's byline appears these days, so if anything has aged poorly... be mad at him!) My main memory from that reporting trip, one of my first ever, is the sweet bartender at Matt's Bar; she was quite pregnant, and offered us free burgers if we hauled beer kegs up from the basement. For that reason and others (including the wisdom of age), I'm retconning my allegiance to Matt's—sorry 5-8 Club!

RIP Carl Weathers

Just ahead of publication, we went on a mad dash to unearth any—any!—potential local angles to the great Carl Weathers, who died today at 76. His co-star in 1987's Predator, who also happens to be an ex-Minnesota governor, came through in the clutch:

We'll send you into the weekend with a classic clip we've been sharing around the ol' cyber office:

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