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Parking Is… Good?

Plus Brooklyn Center's vending machine purists and questioning the wisdom of trusting Jen Carnahan or NFTs in today's Flyover.

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

Time for a Rare Pro-Parking Blurb

After a three-year Covid hiatus, Art-A-Whirl, the biggest open-studio tour in the nation, returns this weekend. What better time for the city to close off streets and do some electrical work. That’s basically what’s happening outside the California Building in northeast Minneapolis, one of the event’s major hubs. Artists in the area found out last night when signage showed up on the street. “For Pete’s sake can’t they pull out a damn calendar and see what’s what before Willy Nilly pulling this crap?!?” one commenter ranted on a Facebook post about the signs. The corner of Marshall and Lowry has been shut down for CenterPoint Energy to do line work… during the event. Buses to the event (Metro Transit offers free rides to AAW) are also being re-routed. Artists are currently investigating what can be done about this last-minute news; not only is NEMAA’s executive director Anna Becker on it, but a few people are planning to show up at council member Elliott Payne’s open office hours tonight at Fair State, where he invites folks to “share your priorities for the Ward.” Good luck, artists!

More Like Carva-nah

“Vending machines are for chips and candy bars only!” So proclaimed Brooklyn Center city council members last week, presumably, as they rejected a proposal from Carvana to buy 3.5 acres of city-owned land for a car vending machine. Bring Me the News reported that the online car dealership submitted a letter of intent and a concept plan to purchase the parcel at 1601 James Cir. N. for $2 million back in January. It would have been Minnesota’s first “car vending machine,” a glass tower that houses cars like so many bags of Doritos and sends them to earth only after customers insert an “oversized Carvana token.” City councilors voted 3-2 against the proposal, per BMTN, citing concerns about what would happen if the site shut down and objections about exempting Carvana from having on-site repair facilities, which all other Brooklyn Center auto dealers are required to provide.

Local Press Outlets Are Covering the Giant NFT Expo Like It’s Not a Scam

The timing of VeeCon, the weekend-long NFT/Web 3 rally at U.S. Bank Stadium, couldn’t be sweeter: interest in crypto products is plummeting, fraud abounds, and, as a result, trading activity is bottoming out. It’s becoming more and more clear that the grifters behind this new, unregulated economy are in desperate recruitment mode, a must when your unraveling MLM scheme requires someone else holding the bag as it implodes. But you won’t hear language like that in previews from KARE 11, WCCO, and Minnesota Monthly about the star-studded Minneapolis event. Instead, you get sales pitches from organizers like Maha Abouelenein, who told ‘CCO: “There is a huge opportunity for those who have zero knowledge of NFTs or web3 to come to this event.” Your financial adviser would view the scenario differently!* Such an embarrassing surplus of media credulity wouldn’t matter if NFTs just involved celebs trading bored ape JPGs amongst themselves, but events like VeeCon exist to dupe everyday people into risking money they can’t afford to lose. The total absence of skepticism from local outlets? Bleak! But, as crypto power players bake the Earth and enlist Matt Damon to bilk your last $100, kinda fitting. For rigorous breakdowns about how, exactly, the NFT snake oil salesmen rip you off, consult this recent episode of media criticism podcast Citations Needed or the hunk from the O.C. who’s now an anti-cryptocurrency crusader. (*Racket IS NOT a financial advisor.)

Unpaid Debts? That Doesn’t Sound Like the Jen Carnahan We Know

We’ve allegedly known that there’s allegedly bad blood between ousted state GOP boss Jennifer Carnahan and the family of her allegedly beloved dead husband Jim Hagedorn since an alleged “physical altercation” broke out in public between the allegedly grieving widow and a Hagedorn family member following his memorial service in March. Members of Hagedorn’s family are now suing Carnahan for partial repayment of Hagedorn’s medical expenses, saying they ponied up $20,000 with the belief that she would reimburse them later. Which, lol, why would you ever believe that? In response, Carnahan said (I’m paraphrasing), “Well, bless their hearts.” “Grief affects everyone differently. Handling the affairs of my husband’s estate should be a private matter,” Carnahan said, calling the suit “a political stunt.” More fun: Carnahan, like most other Minnesotan Republicans, is currently running for Hagedorn’s seat in Minnesota’s First District; Jim’s sister Heidi has donated $1,000 to Jeremy Munson’s campaign. A Munson victory, Carnahan says, is the last thing Jim wanted. “Though it is disappointing to see Jim’s sister betray his wishes, I understand grief affects us all in different ways.” (Hope she keeps working some variation of that “grief” statement into everything she says between now and Election Day.)