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Workers at Kim’s Demand Union Recognition

Plus Minneapolis ranked 34th globally, WTF is lane filtering, and the Wolves are sooo back in today's Flyover news roundup.

Twitter: Unite Here Local 17|

Kim’s workers celebrating their union reveal.

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

Labor Making Waves at Kim's

Ann Kim has never had to worry about PR. Local news outlets, including Racket, have fawned over her every move—from Pizzeria Lola to Hello Pizza to Young Joni to Sooki & Mimi. With her latest venture, Kim's, the James Beard Award-winning Twin Cities restaurateur and Netflix star will face her first real optics test: On Tuesday, workers at Kim's informed the owner that they've formed a union. A "super majority" of the 60ish cooks, dishwashers, servers, bartenders, and staffers at the Minneapolis restaurant have signed a union petition, according to a press release from hospitality union Unite Here Local 17, and they're seeking voluntary recognition from Kim herself. (Unite Here must've given the Star Tribune the scoop, because holy smokes, check out this Strib staffer photo of Kim receiving the labor news in real-time.)

Among worker grievances, per Unite Here: respect, cuts, on-call days, and pay and benefits, including issues with the restaurant's "no-tipping surcharge model" that reportedly leads to lower pay for service staff. Here's Kaylee Murphy, a server/bartender at Kim's: “I’ve been in this industry nearly 20 years and have always moved on to a new restaurant when things got bad or unreliable at work. I don’t want to do that anymore. I live in Uptown and I came to Kim’s because I wanted to make it my career; I’m staying and organizing to make sure it is, for me and everyone after me."

We reached out to Kim's Vestalia Hospitality for comment but didn't immediately hear back. Unite Here comms person Allyssa Pollard tells Racket that workers haven't yet heard whether Vestalia will recognize the new union, adding, "But we hope they listen to their workers." Unite Here Local 17 has been on an organizing hot streak since last fall, having successfully helped workers at First Avenue and Indeed Brewing form unions.

Report: Minneapolis Is the 34th Greatest City on Earth, Baby

Is Minneapolis a failed city, a festering hellhole that must be fled? According to this dolt writing in the Star Tribune, yes! Or is it a thriving mid-sized city, a Midwest mecca that's ripe with amenities, culture, and general livability? According to Racket's resident non-dolt, also writing in the Strib, yes! The (presumably) sober minds over at Oxford Economics seem to agree with Em's account, having just ranked Minneapolis 34th on its Global Cities Index.

What does "the world’s foremost independent economic advisory firm" hope to demonstrate with its big-ass list of 1,000 cities? To provide a "holistic assessment" that ranks 'em according to aggregate of scores that balance grades on human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance. New York City (Yankees suck), London (royal family sucks), and San Jose (uhh... seems nice?) round out the top three, while Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Sokoto, and Hardoi land at the unenviable bottom. But we're more concerned about Minneapolis (go Wolves), which sits squished between Philly at No. 33 and San Diego at No. 35.

Now, it's worth noting that the report analyzed the entire 3.7 million-person Twin Cities metro. We scored high marks in economic stability, high educational attainment, and high income per person, but our weaknesses include larger temp anomalies, slower employment growth, and more natural disasters. To that last point, the authors write, "The state’s nickname, 'The Land of 10,000 Lakes,' also references the fact that the city is under the constant threat of flooding"… which seems… wrong? The important takeaway remains: We scored much, much higher than the highest-ranked Wisconsin city, Milwaukee at No. 125.

What Is "Lane Filtering"? (MN Just Legalized It.)

File this under obscure Minnesota Legislature tidbits we'll learn more about in the coming weeks: Our state just became the nation's sixth to allow something known as lane filtering—aka lane splitting for motorcyclists. The DFL-authored bill that Gov. Tim Walz signed into law Friday will allow motorcyclists to sleuth through traffic “at not more than 25 miles per hour and no more than 15 miles per hour over the speed of traffic in relevant traffic lanes.”

Rider magazine unsurprisingly touts this as a victory for riders, noting that the law also creates additional punishments for motorists who impede motorcyclists. The American Motorcyclist Association's Nick Sands is also on board, stating in a press release, “With this new ability to filter through slow-moving traffic and at stoplights, riders in Minnesota will benefit from increased safety on the open road." California, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and Hawaii are the five previous states to legalize the maneuver.

With the acknowledgment that I'm but a simple motorist, doesn't the whole prospect of motorized vehicles inching closer together on crowded roads seem... kinda dangerous? Not according to this 2015 study from UC Berkeley, though opinions on lane filtering are as split as the roadways themselves. One individual on a local Reddit biker community stated that they're neither in favor or opposed to lane filtering, adding that the temperament of the average Minnesota motorist does give them pause. "We all know that Minnesota drivers are not very 'Minnesota Nice' and take offense to the most random things," they write. "I can very easily see pissed off cars chasing you down for doing it." On a less contentious note: Rider magazine—which we just learned existed—recently raved about a lovely, bluffy ride through southeastern Minnesota

One Last Gasp for "Bring Ya Ass"

"Bring ya ass" jumped the shark at dizzying, internet-accelerated speeds once marketing yahoos glommed on, but the mastermind behind BringYaAss.com trotted out one final stunt for the Anthony Edwards catchphrase ahead of tonight's potential elimination game for the Timberwolves. (Click here to read a delightful anecdote about BRING YA ASS signage baffling tourists.) The URL, which owner/comic Jon Savitt once redirected to the state tourism board, now brings users to a hopeful fight song as the 3-0 Dallas Mavericks look to finish off our Wolves...

Great stuff.

And Savitt isn't the only one feeling wildly optimistic for the local hoops squad. Veteran point guard Mike Conley told The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski that he'll "have a hell of a story to write... we’re gonna make history.” Edwards, the team's young superstar, said this week that it's "Time to make history, fellas... I still don't feel like they can beat us, bro." And fan favorite Naz Reid, he of prodigious tattoo inspiration, concluded "If anyone can win four straight in this scenario, I think it's us." No NBA team has ever come back to win a conference finals after digging a 0-3 hole, and only four teams have ever forced a game seven from that position.

Our editorial position? LFG!!! Savitt more or less agrees, telling us...

"My very official prediction is Wolves in 7 and me losing a lot of sleep."

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