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Time to Whine for the Whiniest Demo on Earth

Plus more MPD hiring questions, Uptown dies again, and Taco John's lives again in today's Flyover news roundup.

5:05 PM CDT on July 24, 2023

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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Start Your Whinin', Aggrieved Small-Biz Owners!

When you're a UnitedHealth Group or a 3M, you pay legions of K Street suits to whine on your behalf, mostly in private. When you're a small business, that self-interested braying must be performed as loudly as possible via social media or through sympathetic grievance-mill news outlets. Now, weeks removed from a historically progressive Minnesota legislative sessions, that latter group is emerging to complain about perceived injustices that were heaped on them by Democrats. Today the right-wing Washington Examiner debuted its "Progressive Petri Dish" series, wherein business owners like Jerrilynn Sweeney of Burnsville-based Innovative Building Concepts get to say things like, "'Holy s***, they're going to put us all out of business." (Her kindly boss bona fides are established up top with an anecdote about buying workers lunch once a week; there's no mention of the $421,700 in forgiven PPP loans she accepted in 2021.) The Examiner's "PPD" series will revisit Minnesota for the second and final time tomorrow to explore "the Republican Party as it tries to claw back power."

Elsewhere, Alpha News recently informed readers about the unnamed owner of Big Apple Cigar & Pipe in Forest Lake who's shutting things down and moving to Florida because, "The MN government is pathetic, incompetent, and abusive to its constituents." The long open letter from Eric Josten (his name was not hard to find) rambles on about issues like "I no longer have to worry that they'll be punished for mis-gendering a confused, mentally ill peer" and his much louder point about "NO MORE FREE RIDE FOR CRIMINALS!" You get the idea.

Finally, we present you with this Martin Luther-style proclamation affixed to the door of Princeton's Frontier Steakhouse: "NEW TAXES AND REGULATIONS COMING MAKE IT TOO BURDENSOME ON SMALL BUSINESSES TO REMAIN OPEN. THANK YOU MR. BIDEN AND MR. WALZ WHO SHOULD WORK IN A BUSINESS TO SEE WHAT WORK IS ALL ABOUT." Wow, it must really be hell out there in the fifth-best state in the U.S. for businesses, per this brand-new survey from CNBC.

What’s a Cop Gotta Do to Not Get Hired Around Here?

With new MPD recruit Tyler Timberlake “separating” from the Minneapolis police amid revelations that he had been arrested for use of excessive force while working as a cop in Virginia, you’d think our hapless police force would tighten up its hiring procedures. But as Kirsten Swenson reports at KSTP, one former officer with a questionable past applied for a post, believing his past would sink his application. “As more and more information was gathered about me, I thought that’s the last stage I was going to be at,” Charles Storlie told KSTP. “But it was exactly the opposite. The more information they collected, the further they pushed it forward.” He urged them to Google him.

And what did an online search turn up? In 1997 Storlie shot a Black teen in the back, believing the boy was aiming a handgun at Storle’s partner. (It was a BB gun.) Even more significantly, Storlie shot fellow officer Duy Ngo with a submachine gun in 2003 while Ngo was working undercover. The highly publicized event sparked multiple internal affairs investigations and a $4.5 million settlement that was the largest in the department’s history at the time. Storle eventually received an offer from the MPD, but he turned it down. Which means that as long as every prospective hire is more conscientious than the department itself, the MPD should be in good shape going forward.

Uptown Still Dead: Uptown Collab Closes/Rebrands Again

The Seven Points restaurant, putt-putt course, speakeasy, sports bar, music venue, and rooftop patio formerly known as Uptown Collab has closed indefinitely for yet another rebrand, reports Audrey Kennedy over at Axios. The space originally opened as the impossible-to-Google Arts + Rec in a series of rollouts from August to November of 2022. In April ‘23, it closed for a rebranding, reopening in May as Uptown Collab. While a (now deleted) Facebook post announced its temporary closure was due to an elevator issue, event planners on this Facebook page have expressed frustration getting any details over already-scheduled concerts at the venue. Just last month, Uptown Collab was part of the Uptown is Back bar crawl. For now, it looks like Chase Bank is going to have to be the mall’s main hotspot.

Hope for the Skyway Taco John's?

Reports about the skyway Taco John's, the only TJ's location in Minneapolis proper, ascending to Potato Olé Heaven may have been premature. (Racket sought out independent verification Friday, but the company doesn't list a media contact; we cold-messaged a man who appears to be its chief marketing officer instead.) Star Tribune reporter/skyway Taco John's enthusiast Michael Rand had more luck Monday, having secured an update from the Wyoming-based Tex-Mex chain that's beloved throughout Minnesota. "Taco John's is looking forward to returning to the Skyway and Minneapolis soon!" reads a note from a PR rep that Rand posted to... Twitter? X? Well, whatever. See for yourself.

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