Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
It’s a local angle for the ages: Earlier today, WWE CEO Vince McMahon announced he’s voluntarily stepping aside from the wrestling production following misconduct allegations. It seems McMahon’s been involved in some illicit affairs with women at WWE; the board is investigating reports that there may have been $3 million in hush money paid out to one former employee. But McMahon isn’t leaving the company entirely. Tonight, for example, the beleaguered chairman will appear live and “IN CHARACTER” on Smackdown (7 p.m. Central) to address his temporary departure. And where, pray tell, is Smackdown taking place tonight? In Minneapolis, baybeee! Target Center! Is “doing an angle about sexual misconduct” “fully insane”? It is. Gonna be one heck of an episode, folks. A truly historic sports entertainment event unfolding right here in the Twin Cities.
Local Starbucks Labor Updates: One Bad, One Hopefully Better
The runaway success of the national Starbucks unionization wave hit a speedbump Tuesday at 5351 Lyndale Ave. S. That shop narrowly voted against unionizing, with five workers voting for the union, six voting against it, and eight abstaining. Alleging illegal union busting by Starbucks brass, the pro-union workers say they plan to challenge the results with the National Labor Relations Board. “It’s been a long, hard road so it’s pretty disappointing,” worker Phoebe Dehring told Minnesota Reformer’s Max Nesterak. “I know the union momentum is going to keep going, regardless of if we unionize or not.” She ain’t wrong: So far, almost 130 U.S. Starbucks shops have voted to unionize; only 23 unionization efforts have failed, a More Perfect Union Reports. Three outta four organizing Minnesota shops have voted to unionize.
And when God loses a Starbucks union election, He opens the possibility of a future win. Or, in Minnesota’s case, two of ’em! Esau Chavez, an organizer with SEIU-affiliated Starbucks Workers United, alerted media to freshly organized shops in Rochester (1240 12th St. SW.) and Roseville (2305 Fairview Ave.) this week. Both cafes will hold NLRB-officiated elections in the coming months. “We demand better from a company who claims to care so much about its partners,” the Roseville workers wrote Wednesday in an email to slimeball Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “As essential workers, we are now leveraging our working power. We demand accountability.” Give ’em venti hell!
Pro Ivermectin Doc Complains, Will Gut Medical Board If Elected
What do you do when you’re a family doctor whose license keeps getting reviewed by the state Board of Medical Practice? If you’re Scott Jensen, you run for governor of Minnesota. The GOP candidate took to Twitter last night to whine about being investigated by the board for the fifth time, and to share his self-interested goal of “reshaping” it. “I have been advised, by attorneys, that I should not have to practice medicine, or run for governor, with this cloud of, if you will, uncertainty hanging over my head. And yet that’s what I am doing. I am living with it.” Meanwhile, the MN BMP cannot discuss what Jensen has been investigated for, or even if there have been complaints against him. But if he has been investigated we’d guess it has something to do with his anti-vax mandates stance, his thumb’s up to unproven horse drug Ivermectin as a Covid treatment, and his anti-masks in schools rhetoric.
Real Estate Roundup: Highest-Dollar Mansion, ‘Harry Potter House’ Returns
We’ve already devoted too much cyber-ink to the living spaces of the elite this week, so we’ll keep these interesting home-snooping bits brief. First up: The most expensive single-family home available in Minnesota—this 9,000-square-footer built atop a private Lake Minnetonka peninsula—just hit the market for $15.25 million. That’s an astronomical price tag. In recent memory, the only homes in that ballpark that come to mind are this one (recently sold by a Crave Restaurants bro) and this 18,000-square-foot castle from ‘18. The new one in question, however, boasts something neither of those ever could: “the tallest residential flag pole in MN,” per the listing. Wow. It’s unclear what the patriotic owner—Edgar C. Ray, per county records—does for a living, but we know he built the palatial peninsula pad in 2016. (There’s a certain Edgar C. Ray who worked as a top executive at Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., according to the SEC.)
Elsewhere in the market, the most curious home in downtown Minneapolis is back yet again, this time for an asking price of $2.5 million. Jeff Arundel’s whimsical, U.S. Bank Stadium-adjacent castle, which has gone on and off the market for years, is a perpetual source of fascination for home-peepers. In 2017, the musician/restaurateur was set to unload his 108-year-old marvel to Brass Foundry Brewing Co., whose owners hoped to make it into a “destination brewery.” That deal fell through, so Arundel remodeled the rare downtown single-family home. “I created what has come to be known as ‘The Harry Potter House,’” Arundel told me in 2019. “Everything about this place was a living art piece.” A recent remodel stripped away some of that mystique, but the place remains a whimsical oddity with a killer deck.