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Race-Baiting Churro Vid Nationally Backfires on Locally Launched Photojournalist

Plus churches break good, Anoka gets boozy, and Grand Marais rocks in today's Flyover news roundup.

5:27 PM CDT on August 23, 2023

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A collection of churros.

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

Right-Wing Photojournalist Dunked on for Fruit 'n' Churro Vid

Rebecca Brannon is moving up in the world! You've surely noticed the conservative Minnesota photojournalist’s coverage of Minneapolis riots and protests, from which her viewers reliably draw their own racial conclusions; her commendable work exposing the messiness of ex-Sheriff Dave Hutchinson’s banana bread-ridden cruiser crash; and her much grosser work posting images of a dead body trapped under a downtown light-rail car earlier this year. Right-wing grievance factory Turning Points USA, the brainchild of perma-child Charlie Kirk, must’ve seen something in Brannon, because she’s now posting coastal content under TPUSA’s “Frontlines” banner (not to be confused with the very, very different PBS program Frontline).

Things didn’t go great Monday, when our locally launched dog whistler fumbled the whistle part with this video of… women of color selling tasty-looking fruit and churros inside the New York City subway system. “Migrants selling food in NYC subways trying to earn money,” Brannon wrote, presumably having inspected each vendor’s citizenship documents before posting the clip. The video, which has been viewed 2.7 million times via Twitter, really picked up steam today as mockery propelled it to new viral heights. “And?” reads one quote tweet that has attracted 32,000+ likes; “Life is short. Get both the churro and the fruit,” reads a top reply. The irony of the TPUSA crowd shrieking about industrious small-biz operators? It has been noted by many. Expect Brannon back in town by at least next Fourth of July—there’ll be dumb teens playing with fireworks to EXPOSE.   

Hey, That's Something Jesus Actually Might Do

We’re not big Bible readers at Racket, but we’ve noticed that the way many Christians behave is pretty unlike the main character in their favorite book. But Auds H. Jenkins, a Strib summer intern, tracked down some churches that are putting their money where their faith is. The Presbyterian Synod in Eagan has placed $450,000 in trusts to benefit Black and Indigenous communities. A single Presbyterian church in Bloomington has set aside $267,000; Our Saviour's Lutheran church in Minneapolis donated $250,000 to the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. “The name of God was taken in vain and abused to build white supremacy," according to Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, a leader of the Truth and Reparations initiative at the Minnesota Council of Churches. "We have to make that right." Several Strib commenters, however, would like you to know that they will not be attending those churches, thank you very much.

Finally, We Can Get Publicly Drunk in Anoka

Is Anoka becoming the next Bourbon Street? Uh, definitely not. But the north metro city is creating a new drinking-friendly social district thanks to the 2022 Minnesota Legislative Session’s Omnibus Liquor Bill. According to Anoka's proposed map, the boundaries of the open container area—a “barmuda” of sorts, as Duluth’s Famous Kaylee calls it—would be along the (appropriately named) Rum River, Second St. from E. Main St. to Harrison St., and Jackson to Third St. Bars and restaurants could apply to be a part of the program, serving drinks in specific cups, while places that do not want drinking inside their facilities would have a window sign to put up to let people know. In theory this could be a boon for local bars like Serum’s, 10K Brewing, and the Hardware Store Speakeasy—or maybe even the Anoka County Historical Society, depending on how they roll. The pilot program is set to run September 6 through October 7.

Travel + Leisure Declares What You Already Know

Grand Marais rocks. The glossy travel mag said as much Tuesday when their annual "America’s Best Small Towns" series named the North Shore community the "Best Lake Town," one of the seven "Best" categories awarded this year. It's pretty clear T+L didn't actually travel to Grand Marais for their pleasant writeup, given all of the handout photos and lack of critical specificities, though writer Jacqueline Kehoe hits most of the right notes. She tells readers:

In-the-know travelers flock here looking for an increasingly rare vintage seaside vibe, adventures into the state’s famed Boundary Waters, and local-yet-world-class art. Set along the forested edges of Lake Superior, up the state’s North Shore, this is also Minnesota’s artsiest town. With that rare Goldilocks touch—think far more food trucks and art galleries than stoplights (in fact, there’s just one in the whole county)—we’re happily calling Grand Marais the nation’s best small lake town. With new openings, eclectic redesigns, and an accidentally hip devotion to all things local, Grand Marais is a grand foray on America’s “Fresh Coast.”

(Semi-hilariously, Katie Mumm, owner of the wonderful Fisherman’s Daughter, tells Kehoe the best time to visit is "late fall, winter, and spring"—aka the slow months.)

Old standbys like World’s Best Donuts, Grand Marais Art Colony, and the Gunflint Trail receive praise, as do newer attractions like Poplar Haus and the food truck Taste of India Spice & Curry. (Curiously, the Angry Trout gets snubbed.) In any case, read the whole dang thing if you'd like to nod along in agreement and/or nitpick with the gusto only a Minnesotan could summon.

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