Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Bad Night Inspires Worse Ideas
We’re probably all pretty much in agreement that cars zooming through the city of Minneapolis shooting fireworks at people buildings is, uh, not ideal. And that a mass shooting in a city park on a holiday is a genuinely horrific occurrence. This is all despite the fact that the MPD has more money to spend than it did two years ago, no matter what your uncle in Anoka keeps saying. (And there was a fully staffed police presence on duty on July 4.) So what have our city leaders thunk up in response?
Third Ward council member Michael Rainville seems determined to prove that David Brauer was too kind when he called Rainville a “sentient Police Federation door decal”—by bringing his sentience into question. Rainville, who once promised (perhaps disingenuously!) to end crime by going to the legislature and convincing them to pass gun control, now thinks we need the National Guard to Restore Order.
The Strib ed board, in its dithering, most-reasonable-suburbanite-in-the-room way, acknowledged that the real problem is too many guns before adding, ah, what the hell, maybe we do need a military presence. (Because if you can’t do the right thing, I guess, you should just do what’s easiest.) Acting Police Chief Amelia Huffman has floated the idea of finding “ways to deny access” to parks at night.
Hard to imagine any definition of a thriving city that includes a military presence or selectively enforced curfews, but that’s always been the issue with the downtown Minneapolis booster mentality—they want the influx of cash that comes with a healthy downtown economy but distrust any actual civic life. As for our mayor, rather than advancing any single detailed policy that we might analyze or discuss, he’s making statements like this:
Can’t disagree with that. Because it means literally nothing.
MPR Kills Off Celebrated In the Dark Podcast
When top brass from Minneapolis Public Radio/American Public Media summoned Racket to MPR HQ last month, one of the many questions we asked concerned the future of In the Dark. CEO Jean Taylor, the daughter of billionaire Glen, declined to answer. Now we know: Eight additional workers from the recently slashed APM Reports division will be laid off, a move that’s “guided by the understanding that we have finite resources and talent which should be focused where we can have the greatest impact,” Taylor wrote in a memo leaked Wednesday to Minnesota Reformer. The Peabody-winning In the Dark is among the programming casualties; no word on whether host Madeleine Baran will retain a job at MPR/APM. Around 20 folks worked inside AMP Reports, and today’s news brings the layoff total to around 10. The union is not happy with how the prolonged, hush-hush postmortem has played out regarding staffing retention. Curiously, Taylor’s layoff email included a cheery aside that the company was set to hire 12 new positions, including seven within MPR News. We can think of around 10 great candidates. Click here to read Racket’s deep-dive into the years-long staff exodus at MPR, one that’s motivated, in part, by frustration over exorbitant executive salaries.
Last Night’s Sunset was Bonkers
The Sky Gods wanted us to taste the rainbow, and so, yesterday, we did. The sunset started as a neon yellow, shifted to an intense orange, then went onto hot pink, and ended with a deep purple. Depending on where you were in the region, some folks also got an emerald green. Why did this happen? According to the weather app on my phone, it has something to do with storm clouds arriving at just the right time to bend light wavelengths, and shifting the typical color spectrum from blue to the dramatic hues we saw last night. And wow, it was bad-ass. Take a look at some pics tweeted below.
Meanwhile, in Sioux Falls: