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The PWHL Minnesota Bandwagon Invites You to Climb Aboard

That's if you're not already counted among the passionate fans, of course. Plus helium on the Iron Range, another bike lane vs. parking space showdown, and Lake Street nostalgia in today's Flyover news roundup.

Facebook: PWHL Minnesota

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

Hockey!

I've seen your Timberwolves tweets. I know you folks love a bandwagon. So let's talk about the final game of the Professional Women's Hockey League's first season, which finds Minnesota facing off against Boston tonight.

After a crushing double-overtime loss on Sunday in St. Paul, Game 5 of the Walter Cup finals heads back to Beantown. It all comes down to this: The winner will take home the cup and the bragging rights associated with snagging the cup in the PWHL's inaugural year. But the season has made winners of all women's sports fans—after Minnesota's team smashed attendance records for women's hockey at the Xcel in January, Boston news sites are reporting that tickets for the season-ending showdown are going for more than $3,000.

In other words... who cares if you haven't watched a game all season? This is your chance to hop on the bandwagon. Tune in tonight at 6 p.m. via YouTube.

Oh, and the league has said it'll have team names before next season, meaning it's still not too late to give Minnesota's new hockey team a kickass name.

What the Helium?

Helium: It's not just the stuff that makes mylar balloons float and gives your vocal chords a funny sound when inhaled! "Liquid helium is the only element cold enough to cool the magnets in MRI machines, crucial to the diagnosis of strokes, heart conditions, cancer and spinal cord injuries," Aaron Brown writes in an opinion piece for the Minnesota Reformer. "Helium gas aids high-tech welding and the production of fiber optic cables and semiconductors."

So the fact that there's "a mother lode" of the gas just waiting to be tapped on the Iron Range is a big deal, and a potentially lucrative one—which is why a new law passed this legislative session places a moratorium on the extraction of helium and other gases until a regulatory framework and tax structure is in place. The gas is rare, due in large part to the fact that it's a tricky little resource, with teeny-tiny particles that are always trying to escape our atmosphere.

Who will benefit from the discovery and extraction of this elusive gas? Only time will tell, but that time had better be sooner rather than later: "When helium leaves Minnesota, it’s going to leave fast," Brown writes. "That’s just what helium does, in chemistry and economics alike."

On Lyndale Avenue, It's Parking Spaces Vs. Bikes and Buses

Tale as old as time, right? Just a few years after the Hennepin Avenue redesign process, Lyndale Avenue is up for its own reconstruction, and as Melody Hoffman reports for Southwest Voices, it's a classic tale of Minneapolis on-street parking advocates squaring off against folks who want dedicated bike and bus lanes.

In one corner, there's Move Minnesota's Livable Lyndale group, which wants Hennepin County to include a dedicated bus lane and protected bike lane in both directions along Lyndale Avenue. In the other? Vibrant Lyndale, a group of Lyndale Ave. business owners campaigning Hennepin County to keep parking spaces intact. (Please consider supporting my dark horse group, Shit Lyndale, which will advocate to make the transit corridor worse to navigate via both car and bicycle than it currently is—no bus lanes, no bike lanes, no parking.)

Hennepin County will share “road section concepts" at a June 11 meeting at at SpringHouse Ministry Center (610 W. 28th St.), but the final design won't be ready until early 2025.

Meanwhile, on Lake Street...

While we're talkin' transit corridors, let's wrap up this edition of The Flyover with a little walk down memory lane, by which of course I mean a drive down Minneapolis's East Lake Street. Longfellow Whatever has collected a fun series of snapshots for the nostalgic, taken by a municipal worker in 1998 as part of the city's zoning code overhaul.

"I recently came across the collection of images, and while they are definitely more science than art—35mm photos hastily taken from a moving sedan, hand labeled with addresses—I found them strangely captivating," LW's Trevor Born writes, and we've gotta agree.

There's a Blockbuster, there's a pager store, there's something called Victory in the Truth Ministries. Some of the buildings are no longer standing, either due to the Lake Street rebuild of 2006-08 or the riots of 2020; some have been vastly improved, like the apparent used car dealership that's now Himalayan Restaurant. And a rare few look... more or less the same, 25 years on.

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