Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Is Our Governor the 'Anti-DeSantis'?
That’s what Michael Daly stated earlier this week at the Daily Beast, based on Gov. Tim Walz's recent executive order guaranteeing gender-affirming care to Minnesotans and people arriving from out-of-state. Daly says that while an 81-year-old Biden would look “decrepit” running against a 46-year-old Ron DeSantis in 2024, “a younger and more vital” Walz, who’d be 60, would be a preferable alternative. “The Democrats need only look to Minnesota for a candidate... who calls out bullies when he sees them and stands up for what he seems to actually believe,” according to Daly. Hmm. While Walz has worked with the DFL-led legislature to pass an impressive progressive agenda this session, not everyone shares Daly’s approval of Walz's response to the uprising after George Floyd's murder, and the "major police reforms" Daly touts certainly did not go far enough. Also: Where the hell was Walz, a former teacher, when Minneapolis teachers were on strike? And if this seemed like a good idea, don't you think someone in Minnesota would have brought it up first?
And The Current's New Drive Afternoon Drive Host Is...
...a familiar name: Jessica Paxton! The host of the 89.3 the Current's weekly retro show, Teenage Kicks, is one of three "on-call" DJs the Current added last year, along with Barb Abney, who'd done stints at Go 96.3 and KFAI, and Chaz Kangas, also a former Go worker and once-frequent City Pages contributor. Prior to her current Current gig, Paxton was (and still is!) the programming manager and talent buyer at Minneapolis's Parkway Theater, a title she held starting beginning in 2018; before that, she honed her drivetime chops with Northfield's independent station KYMN Radio for nearly 13 years. "I’ve been a supporter and member of The Current since its inception, and I’m so excited for this opportunity with this incredible team that shares my same passion for bringing great music to this community," she said in a Tuesday statement.
Take That, GOP! Kids Will Keep Getting Free School Meals.
Making sure kids and teens can eat a free meal if they need (or choose) to do so shouldn’t be controversial. But when Minnesota legislators introduced a bill that would continue to provide no-cost breakfast and lunch to any student who wants one—a policy that has already been in place since the pandemic outbreak—it was met with some hand wringing from GOP leaders who wanted to spend money elsewhere and the Star Tribune editorial board, which argued that the plan was “excessive.” Well, they can go back to stressing out over cat people in the bathrooms, because the bill has passed in the Senate. "Look at it like a lunchbox tax cut,” suggested Sen. Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights), who estimates that this could save a two-kid household in the ‘burbs as much at $1,900 a year. “The latest example of socialism,” said Sen. Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca), a man who lists “pastor” as one of his occupations. Since the Senate made a few tweaks, the House will have to sign off on it again before it makes its way to the Governor’s desk. (Walz is expected to sign; he already has universal school lunches in his budget.) Tater tots and weird off-brand pizza for all!
No Basilica Block Party Again
How long does a hiatus have to last before it’s permanent? For the second year in a row, there will be no Basilica Block Party, though organizers of the longstanding festival haven’t ruled out a possibility that the event might be resurrected next year. (We’ll believe that when we can put our fingers into its wounds.) In his story on the cancellation, the Strib’s Chris Riemenschneider takes a look at the difficulties facing festivals currently, including “a rise in expenses on virtually all ends of concert production, plus a decline in festival sponsorship money.” With Rock the Garden already permanently retired, this means Minneapolis is now without a major summer festival. Does that make us “a cold Omaha?” Not exactly—as Riemenschneider points out, that city has two ongoing music festivals.