Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Xcel Energy, Post Cereal Make State’s 100 Greenhouse Emitters List
Man, we really hate the environment, don’t we? Minnesota has a non-optional statute to cut greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. According to an EPA report, we’re failing so hard at moving towards that (mandatory) goal, as Minnesota released 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas into the world in 2019. In this handy article, the Star Tribune further breaks their data down, showing how the biggest polluters are electrical, industrial, and commercial. At number one is Xcel Energy’s coal-powered Sherburne County Generating Station near Becker, which puffed out 11 million tons of greenhouse gas in 2019. Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset came in second and Flint Hills’ Resources Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount is in third. The biggest bummer? That delicious smell of toasted cereals wafting through Northfield from Post Consumer Brand is the 89th biggest polluter in the state, emitting 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas in 2019. Also interesting: The Star Tribune notes that their company “emitted 161 tons of greenhouse gases in 2019.” Racket, which doesn’t have an office or produce any paper product, and didn’t exist in 2019, emitted 0 tons that year. Score one for alternative journalism!
Civilian Oversight of Cops an “Exercise in Frustration”
If you’ve ever wanted to chair the Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission, we’ve got good news for you. Commission head Abigail Cerra has resigned, the Star Tribune reports—though she has some reasons why you or anyone else might not want to chair the Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission. Essentially, the city won’t let the civilian oversight board get anything done, according to Cerra, and her assessment is backed by other commissioners. “It’s been this incredible exercise in frustration,” says vice chair Jordan Sparks, who thinks he’ll be leaving as well. By the city, we mean the mayor’s office, which, Cerra says, ignores the commission’s recommendations. In a statement that manages to be at once empty and dismissive, a spokesperson for Mayor Frey responded that he “looks forward to working with a PCOC chair who collaborates in good faith to fulfill the commission’s role in delivering public safety services and providing input on MPD policy.” As with many other widely touted reform measures, apparently, civilian oversight of policing is a policy the city of Minneapolis is happy to establish formally without ever actually implementing practically.
St. Paul’s Only Strip Club Closes
Sorry people of St. Paul, you’ll have to go to Minneapolis or perhaps even a suburb to see a real live naked lady now. (Unless you find one that really likes you or, of course, you are yourself a lady.) The Lamplighter, St. Paul’s only strip club, is gone for good, the Pioneer Press reports. Nude bars are illegal in the city, but the club sidestepped this technicality by placing strippers in one room, drinkers in another, and separating them with a pane of transparent plastic. Community resistance to the Lamplighter picked up after the fatal shooting of Nia Black in the parking lot in June 2020, and the city had been looking for ways to yank the establishment’s liquor license for a year. After city officials imposed new restrictions, the club shuttered itself. And what did patrons think of the club? Well, as one Yelp user put it, “Terrible. I mean if you’re doing laundry next door and need time to kill, go crazy.”
More Local Restaurants Support Teachers
On Monday, we reported on a handful of local restaurants that have been vocal about their support for striking Minneapolis teachers, offering free coffee or pizza or just a place to warm up after hours on the picket line. A few other local establishments have since chimed in in solidarity. Bagel Taïm, the proletariat pop-up bagelry of south Minneapolis, is making “a shit load of bagels” for striking teachers this week. You can Venmo them at bagel-taim to help offset the cost; anything they raise over $275 will be donated to the strike fund. Misfit Coffee also voiced its support, offering striking educators free coffee and bathroom access—important for those long picketing days.
Elsewhere in strike news, Becky Dernbach over at Sahan Journal has a great feature on what North High students and parents are doing to keep busy during this school-less stretch. KSTP reports that there was very little movement in negotiations as day eight of the strike wrapped up yesterday, and here on day nine, union members are holding the line.