Skip to Content

Rodrigo’s Management Killed Condom, Morning-After Pill Giveaways for Tonight’s Xcel Concert

Plus LOT WATCH, state-run rideshare, and NYT gets hockey hair in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

No Safe Sex in St. Paul Tonight

We're big Olivia Rodrigo fans around these parts, so when the punky pop star teamed with the Missouri Abortion Fund to distribute condoms and morning-after pills at her St. Louis gig, we wondered: Will tonight's GUTS World Tour concert at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center feature safe-sex messaging and handouts?

Rodrigo earned plaudits and predictable backlash for championing reproductive health, and it seems the latter reaction won out. Jezebel reports that Fargo-based Prairie Abortion Fund was set to distribute contraceptive devices at the X, but Rodrigo's management "prohibited" such giveaways, citing a general concern for the welfare of children in attendance. (Presumably these kids will be attending with adult chaperones who could yay or nay the condoms and pills, right?)

“We are missing the opportunity to share our resources and this feels almost performative when we have actionable things, like [emergency contraception], that we could hand out to young people who encounter so many barriers to care,” PAF Chair Destini Spaeth tells Jezebel, adding that her group will still be unloading stickers, buttons, and other swag at the St. Paul show. Says Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, whose group, the Carolina Abortion Fund, passed out EC last week at Rodrigo's Charlotte gig: "We’re in this funky zone now where media is reporting on it and folks are thrilled—except they’re not reporting on it being killed by her management team."

Bring things back home, GUTS Tour tickets are of course available on the secondary market for tonight's sold-out Xcel stop, if you love your kids a whole lot or just have money to burn: Nosebleed tickets are running $243; floor seats are going for $400+. I'll leave you with this passage from the great Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, who devoted her newsletter today to singing Rodrigo's praises: "Olivia Rodrigo is, in my opinion, en route to being a true legend... I really think when Olivia is Fiona [Apple]’s age now she’ll achieve a level of strength as a songwriter that few others have."

Every Lot Tells a Story

Sometimes lots make headlines, like when a liberal mayor orchestrates cruel, expensive sweeps to displace people living in them and replace them with rocks. Other times lots just sit there, vacant and lifeless. Those are the types of lots that David Brauer, way back in 2022, encouraged Southwest Voices to explore. And today the first official installment of "Vacant Lots of Southwest Minneapolis" debuted, with occasional Racket contributor Brian Martucci reporting on three examples of our urban landscape—two along Nicollet Avenue, one on Blaisdell Avenue—that could, well, be put to more productive use.

The highly digestible format is a whole lotta informative fun: location, value, owner, backstory, development pans, and speculation about the potential future. The most interest tidbit gleaned from this edition? The .22-acre span of grass at 2116 Nicollet Ave. is in the long, seemingly tedious process of being converted into a mixed-use building that's expected to include 54 affordable apartments, 24 of which are set to be single-room units intended for people experiencing homelessness. “We are in the design phase, but that is moving slowly as we are still working with [Alliance Housing] on securing funding,” according to Whittier Alliance's Willow Rheault Kreibich.

State-Run Rideshare?

As the Minneapolis City Council waits to see if Lyft and Uber's get-outta-town tantrum is indeed a bluff, some folks are already imagining what our potential rideshare future could look like. (If you think back 10+ years, you'll remember this town chugged along just fine before the disruptive market domination of those wildly exploitive tech firms.) One long shot contender: a state-run rideshare app. The idea apparently already has some political momentum, with state Sen. Omar Fateh (DFL-Minneapolis) tweeting yesterday, "Senators Dibble, Marty, Hoffman and I [have] formed a working group last fall brainstorming on a state-run/developed Rideshare app." Huh! With only 39 licensed cab drivers left in the city, a more immediate Lyft/Uber replacement could emerge from a crop of competing companies who've already mastered the digital infrastructure. Or, maybe, the existing big guys can simply dig deep and fork over the $15.57 minimum wage they deem "unsustainable." (In case you're wondering, Uber SEO Dara Khosrowshahi takes home a very sustainable $24 million yearly compensation package.)

Gray Lady Reports on Great Locks

Earlier this month most every Minnesota news outlet, including this one, plopped in a perfunctory embed of the all-hockey hair video that annually coincides with state boys tournament. But no local newsroom devoted as much reporting horsepower into the tradition as did... the New York Times? Sure enough, our national paper of record deployed a reporter, Scott Cacciola (check out his legit-hilarious byline bio), to Xcel Energy Center to profile the flows and salads topping the heads of our best skating boys. "As soon as our players make the state tournament, it’s like, ‘Guys, come on, we’ve got to play hockey now,’” New Ulm coach Ryan Neuman told the Times. “And they’re busy making hair appointments to get perms." You better leave our rinky-dink site and read the whole damn thing. (And then come back to our rinky-dink site please.)

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter