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You Won’t BELIEVE How Many Minnesotans Scored James Beard Noms. (Five.)

Plus the return of the Timmy stimmy, organic farm scams, and new parking rules in today's Flyover.

One of James Beard nominee Yia Vang's contributions to the MN State Fair this year.
Racket staff

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

Your Local 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalists Are…

Along with Café Cerés co-founder Shawn McKenzie, who’s a semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category this year, four local chefs have been nominated for Best Chef: Midwest: Khâluna’s Ann Ahmed, Hai Hai’s Christina Nguyen, Karyn Tomlinson of Myriel, and Yia Vang of Union Hmong Kitchen. This is the first semifinalist nod for McKenzie and Ahmed; Vang was a Best Chef: Midwest nominee last year alongside Petite León’s Jorge Guzmán and Owamni’s Sean Sherman (the latter of whom went on to win in the Best New Restaurant category). Nguyen, meanwhile, was a finalist for Best Chef: Midwest in 2019 and 2020 and a semifinalist in 2018, and Tomlinson was a semifinalist in 2019 during her time at Corner Table.

Tim Walz REALLY Wants to Mail Us Checks

While the DFL-controlled legislature is fast-tracking bills through the Minnesota House (even if they get tangled up in the Senate), Gov. Tim Walz has some ideas for what to do with all this money that Minnesota has accumulated—$17.6 billion at last count. Walz submitted his budget proposal yesterday, and Michelle Griffiths over at the Minnesota Reformer has a good rundown of what’s inside the $65.2 billion package. To start, Walz wants to eliminate the state tax on Social Security—for some. (The wealthy would still pay—donald_glover_good.gif—though some DFL legislators opposed an income cap.) He also wants to pay off what the state owes for our hideous football stadium, though the bill isn’t due till 2045. (Don’t worry, we’ll have a new stadium to pay for by then.) And, of course, Walz will not let the Timmy Stimmy die: He wants to send $2,000 checks to families who earn less than $150,000 and $1,000 checks to single folks who bring home less than $75,000—that would cover about 2.5 million Minnesotans, Walz says. DFL legislators seem cool on the idea, considering its political-bribery uses are less apparent after the election, and it may not be the most prudent use of funds. But your buds at Racket could sure use the $2K. (Or $1K… from you.)

FDA: No More Corvettes for Fraudulent Farmers!

In recent years, more farmers have been nabbed by the feds for selling supposedly organic crops that were, in fact, nothing of the sort. The latest fraud-farmers to make the news were (for shame) Minnesotans: James Wolf made $46 million (and bought a home in Arizona and two Corvette convertibles) by scamming buyers. Now, Ana Radelat at MinnPost reports, the FDA has proposed new rules that would allow it to keep a closer eye on organic-certified growers and prevent these schemes from advancing. The regs would tighten certifications for grains sold as organic and require certifiers (the orgs tasked with making sure the system is legit) to annually inspect (unannounced) at least 5% of the operations they certify, while also developing “fraud prevention plans.” The farmers themselves would have to keep more detailed records. Take that, you sneaky farmers.

Parking a Car in Minneapolis? Odds Are in Your Favor.

As an Uber driver recently told me, “The side streets in Minneapolis suuuuck to drive through right now.” Yep. As snow plows have struggled to make it through neighborhoods in a timely manner, angry dwellers have expressed ire for the illegally parked cars hindering the process. Well, now they’re getting a solution: one-sided street parking. That’s right, starting tomorrow night at 9 p.m. the chances of seeing a car driving backwards down the block to accommodate an oncoming school bus or emergency vehicle will be less likely, as non-snow emergency streets will ban parking on the even numbered side. (Super obvious pro tip: Look at the addresses on the homes to figure out which side is even.) Additional restrictions may apply to narrow streets, so pay attention to signage in the area, and remember, all of this changes if a snow emergency is declared again. Are you someone with mobility needs or who regularly uses disability parking? Give 311 a call to see if they can hook you up with an exception. Otherwise, we all gotta park on the odd side until April, unless restrictions are lifted earlier. Meanwhile, on the other side of the cities, St. Paul announced today that, at this time, they are not opting to limit street parking to one side.