Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily noontime(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Teacher Cash Grab Less Entertaining Than You'd Think
In Sioux Falls, South Dakota this weekend, all that was solid melted into air, all that was holy was profaned, and man was at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind. There was a hockey game, and during intermission, fans got to witness the "Dash for Cash," an event that set ten area teachers in front of a $5,000 pile of dollar bills and invited them to scoop up as much as they could to spend on school supplies. (Congratulations to Barry Longden of Harrisburg High School, who came away with the most cash: $616.)
While an A+ metaphor for our contemporary condition—fighting each other over a limited pool of dollar bills is what most of us do all day, after all—as entertainment, the spectacle was lacking. “The educators wore hockey helmets, but they made little contact with each other as they dropped to their knees to scoop up money and stuff it into their shirts and pockets,” NPR reports. Little contact! There are probably legal issues (for now, at least) about giving the teachers actual weapons, but at least make them wear inflatable sumo suits or wrestle in jello or something.
While “dystopian” was the most commonly used non-obscene word to describe the event on social media, with people who think bad things only happen on TV comparing it to Netflix's Squid Game, local paper the Argus Leader covered this story with almost giddy approval. Ryan Knudson, the company’s Director of Business Development and Marketing CU Mortgage Direct, which donated the cash, told the Leader "The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get," and I’m sure he didn’t mean it to come out like that.
Airport Workers OK Strike
Strikeuary? That could be the case if the Metropolitan Airports Commission doesn’t meet demands from union plow drivers and maintenance workers at area airports, who voted this weekend to OK a work stoppage, if necessary. Citing an “impasse” in negotiations, reps from Teamsters Local 320 said that other union groups receive double the amount of severance from MAC, and no suitable increase in other compensation to offset this gap has been offered. Under state law, the earliest the 85 workers in question could go on strike is January 20 (four days after my birthday), which, while it at least gets MAC past the busy holiday travel season, is still not a time you want your runaways unplowed.
Make the Kmart a Public Sex Forest
Pre-COVID, pre-uprising, pre-everything-else, the last Kmart in Minnesota, which had been purchased by the city of Minneapolis for $9 million, was set for demolition. But the big ol’ retail shed has had a brief reprieve while the city was preoccupied with other matters, and it made itself useful as an interim post office when two others suffered collateral damage during the 2020 protests. Friday, our outgoing city council voted to approve a framework for the future redevelopment, subject to public input and the decisions of the incoming council. While it likely won’t be a sex forest, it won’t be a COVID morgue or Block E 2.0 either—at the very least, Nicollet will be reunited. This must be what it was like to live in Berlin in 1989. Please write a song about it, Jesus Jones.
Remember the City’s Shady George Floyd Square Survey? No, the Other Shady Survey.
“Did Minneapolis mislead, downplay public input on 38th & Chicago survey?” a headline in the St. Paul Monitor asks today. Does Jacob Frey shit in the woods? Last summer, the city sent a postcard to residents near the intersection of 38th and Chicago, a.k.a. George Floyd Square, offering a choice between two options: remove the fist sculpture at the center of the intersection, or leave it there and create a roundabout. Both options, you’ll notice, called for the square to be reopened to vehicle traffic. The Monitor notes that 49 percent of the postcards returned included comments on the optional feedback lines, and that many of these wanted the square not to be reopened to traffic. This survey should not be confused with a previous city survey that somehow found that 65 percent of neighbors wanted the streets reopened to two-way traffic.