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Um, So Lake Hiawatha Is Really Green Right Now

Plus the U of M gets its own Op Endeavor, a middle school paper rebrands, and a crazy take from a local pastor in today's Flyover.

Jay Boller

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

Ideally, Water Is Blue…

It’s not St. Patrick’s Day (we checked). Yet Lake Hiawatha in south Minneapolis has assumed a swampy green color, as you can see in the above photo. The culprit? Blue-green algae. The cause? It’s two-fold. The driest recorded September in Twin Cities history all but eliminated Minnehaha Creek, a harrowing glimpse of not-so-distant climate change realities. That means less water turnover in Hiawatha, according to Rachael Crabb, the water quality supervisor with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. During normal-flow years, Hiawatha turns over its water every 11 days, much faster than other city lakes like Bde Maka Ska that can take years. As such, the ongoing blue-green algae advisory that was declared for Hiawatha in June is getting much worse. Explains Crabb: “Blue-green algae do not take hold in high-flow years, despite having plenty of nutrients around, because they take their time growing and do not have a competitive advantage over the other types of algae.” Advocacy group Hiawatha for All points its finger at the neighboring/politically contentious Hiawatha Golf Course, the source of 242 million gallons of polluted groundwater that’s pumped into Lake Hiawatha. “Adapting to climate change is not some future problem,” H4A tweeted alongside a photo of Hiawatha’s current pea-soup water. “It is a NOW problem.”  

U of M Adopts Own Operation Endeavor: Operation Gopher Guardian 

As we riffed yesterday, Operation Endeavor—the very real crime-fighting initiative that’s definitely not a PR ploy between the city and MPD—is working great, according to its biggest stakeholders. Now, it seems, the University of Minnesota has its own goofily named anti-crime task force: Operation Gopher Guardian. (In this scenario, students are the Gophers in need of cop guardians.) Unlike Op Endev, the U’s operation arrived Wednesday with at least some concrete details. For the next two weekends, in the Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods, the university will deploy 10 bonus UMPD and MPD officers to combat the area’s reported 45% spike in violent crime. “Operation Gopher Guardian will consist of overtime MPD officers, paid for by the University, and increased overtime from UMPD officers,” writes Myron Frans, the U’s VP of finance and operations. As you might recall, the U of M paid lip service to ceasing MPD contracts following the police murder of George Floyd, before boomeranging back to status quo almost immediately.

Student Paper Emerges from Fox News Attack with New Name, Same Great Content

Back in February, the bootlicking, fear-mongering weirdos at Crime Watch Minneapolis turned their adult crosshairs on the Rhino Report, a newsletter produced by students at Alan Page Middle School in Minneapolis. The offending article? “Protest Tips and Etiquette,” which informed students attending protests about their rights and shared ways to stay safe. One since-deleted CW screen grab included the full names of Rhino Report’s grade-school contributors, whose other articles that week praised TV’s The Book of Boba Fett and advertised the week’s hot-lunch menu. Sensing bad-faith ghoulishness to glom onto, Fox News even piled on.

We’re happy to report the resilient crew at the Rhino Report has reemerged—as The Justice Pages! This week’s inaugural edition dropped with adorably reported stories on opening literal doors, sloths, the video game Hypixel SkyBlock, and, yes, the week’s lunch offerings. Interestingly, the staff bios are now just initials, likely a sad consequence of the actions of adults these kiddos are already much smarter than. (My favorite is LC’s: “I’m an only child, I have really bad eyesight, and I like the art.”) And we like The Justice Pages! Travis Koupal, the 8th grade science teacher who helps coordinate the paper, politely declined Racket’s invitation to discuss their victory over Fox News.

Lastly, Let’s Hear Bonkers Shit from a Man Who Believes We Lived Among the Dinos