Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Carnahan Reportedly Brawled With Hagedorn’s Family Inside D.C. Restaurant
Michael Brodkorb, the former deputy chair of Minnesota Republican Party, dished some messy gossip worthy of Righteous Gemstones yesterday. To hear him tell it, Jennifer Carnahan—the scandal-engulfed former MN GOP chair who once drunkenly joked about the impending death of her sick husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn—got into a “physical altercation” with a member of the Hagedorn family. The alleged skirmish apparently happened Tuesday after a memorial service for the Trump-loving lawmaker, who died last month following a three-year battle with cancer. Inside a goddamn historic restaurant just outside the White House! …allegedly. Carnahan recently hinted at plans to seek her late husband’s congressional seat. Completely unrelated, we’re sure: An anonymous Wikipedia editor just scrubbed the whole drunk-joking-about-cancer-stricken-husband-dying bit from Hagedorn’s page.
MN Public Defenders Object to Lowball Contract
Yesterday was a big day for strikes. Minneapolis teachers marched through the third day of theirs; Major League Baseball avoided one by ending its labor lockout, assuring we’ll see strikes from pitchers this season; and, perhaps most surprisingly, Minnesota’s public defenders slapped down the state’s “final” two-year contract offer, meaning hundreds of lawyers and staff could soon be on the picket lines. “I have never seen people so overwhelmingly furious at how we’re being treated,” Hennepin County PD and Teamsters Local 320 steward Darcy Sherman told Minnesota Reformer. If the union and the state can’t hammer out a deal during the 10-day cooling-off period, around 470 lawyers and 200 staffers will go on strike. Their beefs? Low pay and high caseloads. Sherman tells the Reformer her $78,000 salary is less than half of what rookie Hennepin County prosecutors earn. Should the PDs walk off the job, Minnesota’s entire justice system could effectively grind to a halt. More and more, labor seems to be re-discovering it has that sort of power.
Sue the City, Get a Water Park
People love to get up in arms over parking in Uptown, but what about parking in Bloomington? Enjoy the following mall parking ramp story that includes an international event, a million-dollar lawsuit, and a record-breaking water park. There’s also an IKEA nearby. Does that intrigue you? The City of Bloomington is looking to up its attractiveness as a candidate for the 2027 World Expo, aka the World’s Fair. For such a big event, they’re looking to purchase land, and MOA happens to own a big-ass plot of the stuff just north of the mall. But first, a lawsuit: When Axios requested MOA parking numbers from the city, Bloomington officials deemed the traffic data public info. But MOA decided to sue, stating that their system, which includes million-dollar cameras and sensors, was proprietary. (Axios points out that at the same time, the mall was asking for a $55 million subsidy.) When Bloomington overturned its decision, MOA dropped the suit. Now, the big news is that the city is leasing that sexy plot of land owned by the mall, and the mall’s owners, Triple Five, will be managing the (tax-subsidized) $422 million water park. (There’s also plenty of room left over for that Expo, should they get it.) “Mystery Cove” is set to open in 2024, will cost $60 to get in, and, according to the Strib, will feature the “longest indoor beach front for a water park in North America.”
Water Disaster in East Phillips
Speaking of water, tensions are rising in the East Phillips neighborhood over how to use an empty lot at Longfellow Avenue and East 27th Street. The city-owned land had been approved as a site for a new water distribution yard, but Minneapolis City Council has moved to block the project. Why? There are concerns that adding a water distribution site would contribute to pollution in the neighborhood; Smith Foundry and South Transfer Station are also nearby. Opponents of the water expansion projects aren’t mincing words, either. “I represent Little Earth in the Ninth Ward,” Council Member Jason Chavez told the Star Tribune. “They call the Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project a genocide of Native people.” Moving forward, the council awaits a vote on how to use the land, while EPNI, a group that wants to create a multi-functional urban garden and affordable housing project on the site, will have to come up with the $14 million that the city has already spent preparing for the water project.