Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
East Harriet: Maybe We Need Special Rich People Cops
When they said we needed a “both/and” approach to public safety, I didn’t think that meant both city cops and private security. Yet some East Harriet residents are floating a proposal to hire a private firm to patrol the relatively crime-unscathed southwest Minneapolis neighborhood. For just $4,000-$8,000 a month, unarmed agents of Securitas will apparently do much the same thing the non-defunded, non-disbanded Minneapolis Police Department is already paid to do. “Are we creating a ‘police state’ or ‘gated community’?” the message asks. “Not by design.” Clears that up! The note addresses the “unintended consequences of potential profiling, and infringement on privacy, or the appearance of elitism,” by basically admitting that the neighbors profile strangers already and calling the patrols “inoquous,” though they take the possibility of coming off as rich safety snobs more seriously. The message also says Linden Hills, Lowry Hill, and Kenwood are considering similar proposals. Incidentally, this map in the Star Tribune today breaks down which neighborhoods were hardest hit by carjackings last year. (Poor Whittier!) And you can see where (north Minneapolis) shootings and homicides have spiked here.
New Council, Old Mayor Sworn In
Minneapolis, meet your 2022 city government. A new city council was sworn in yesterday, and the 8th Ward’s Andrea Jenkins, the council’s former VP, was selected unanimously by the other council members as president. Linea Palmisano from Ward 13 is the VP, after staving off a challenge from newcomer Elliott Payne of the 1st Ward. Now comes the exciting process of learning what powers the council can still exercise as the “strong mayor” changes to the city charter go into effect. Speaking of the mayor, well, he still talks like the “About Us” section of a nonprofit’s website was granted its wish to become a real boy. “It’s on us as leaders to hold in our hearts the weight of this chapter in our history—not burdened, but reminded to our solemn responsibility to the unrelenting pursuit of better serving the people of Minneapolis” is a thing the great communicator said, according to MPR News. Strongly, of course.
Shitty Car Company Inks Deal with Shitty Proposed MN Mine
Tesla wants at least 75,000 metric tons of nickel that’s currently resting beneath the earth’s crust in Tamarack, about 50 miles inland from Duluth. On Monday, the electric car maker announced a deal to partner with Talon Metals (a company that’s bankrolled by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto) to extract those metals, which are essential to the production of Tesla batteries. The two companies, both of whom certainly have the interests of Minnesota top of mind, pledged to make all “commercially reasonable efforts” to open the mine by 2026. The Star Tribune Business section bravely set aside 20 words alluding to the potential environmental impact on northern Minnesota’s land and water; in October, the Biden administration pumped the brakes on the nearby/proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine, which has the potential to ecologically devastate the Boundary Waters. Elon Musk, of course, is the try-hard edgelord CEO of Tesla, the deeply unfortunate type of person that emerges when a Reddit guy personality inherits vast wealth and a god complex. His cars suck; I once drove a dumb news cycle after discovering the entry-level depths of his insecurity. And let’s not forget the license plate thing.
More Like… Land of 10,000 Bakes?
Lotta reasons to feel deep senses of dread these days. Among them: This just-released report from the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 2021 was the fourth-warmest year recorded in this country’s history; the six hottest years ever have all happened since (gulp!) 2012. Twenty billion-dollar disasters hit the nation last year, according to NOAA, many of them raging wildfires that took advantage of our crispy new climate. You might be asking yourself: Is there a local angle, perhaps one that elicits even more dread? There is! If you observe this terrifying heat map, you’ll see northern Minnesota is among the fastest-frying regions in all the land. Back in 2019, MinnPost’s Greta Kaul authored this handy explainer about why our state’s northernmost counties are exploding mercury at dizzying rates. And remember: Don’t get mad at the carbon impact of your buddy’s plastic straw–get mad at 100 corporations and the U.S. military.