Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
We’re Funding the Hell Outta the Police
Until the most recent Minneapolis Public Schools contract, a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree didn’t even make $75,000, as Minnesota Reformer’s Deena Winter points out. About 72% of Minneapolis cops, on the other hand, raked in six-figure salaries in 2021, as Winter also points out. Only one of those occupations keeps killing innocent residents while presiding over an ongoing crime wave. Since the MPD murdered George Floyd in 2020, roughly 300 cops have left the force while others milk—er, sorry, sorry, collect worker’ comp payments for their very real and serious PTSD claims.
That means the cops that do show up for work are making a shitload of overtime: Total MPD overtime dollars spiked from $6.4 million in 2019 to $12.8 million last year. Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman recently enacted a new policy to reign in excessive overtime, though it “will only affect a small number of officers,” the Reformer reports. Before you go out of your way to thank an officer for their service, you should know how lucratively compensated they are for those services. Rookies start around $73,000; veteran MPD cops make $90,000+ per year before factoring in any overtime or other payments. Winter’s piece concludes with a bullet-point list of cops facing serious misconduct allegations who also happen to be making eye-popping salaries.
City Turns Residents’ Basements into Lakes, Offers Them Loans
Last weekend, many Texa-Tonka neighbors were awakened to the sounds of sewage water erupting from their basement toilets and drains. While the cause is unknown, the city of St. Louis Park has confirmed that a burst pipe dumped 1.1 million gallons of water into the sewage system and really fucked things up in the area. The first 911 call was made around 5 a.m., and water was shut off around 7 a.m., but by then 55 homes had already been filled with several feet of sewage. Residents claim that the water continued flowing into their homes long after that shut-off time, too.
So, what happens now? Bureaucracy! After an emergency meeting, City Council passed a $300,000 plan that would offer up to $30,000 per home for repairs—first come, first served. Residents will also be offered a $30,000 loan with a 2% interest rate that they can apply for. Residents are, very understandably, mad as hell, pointing out that some homes have as much as $75,000 worth of damages and they shouldn’t be paying interest on the city’s fuck-up. The few that do have flood insurance have said that it only lets them recoup a paltry amount; one lady told Kim Hyatt at the Strib that she would be getting around $14,000 from her insurer.
Workers at Planned Parenthood North Central States Move to Unionize
Around 400 workers at 28 Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota could soon become unionized. “A majority” of ‘em recently signed union cards, the Minnesota Reformer reports, though their bosses haven’t yet decided whether voluntarily recognize the union. “I spend my days listening to my patients and caring for them. I need to know my employer will do the same for me. That is why we must form our union and make this change together,” Sadie Brewer, an RN at a St. Paul PP clinic, said during a press conference Thursday.
Their various grievances? Little things like wages, staffing, and having a voice in the workplace. Should Planned Parenthood execs recognize the union, blammo: a freshly unionized portion of the healthcare sector. If the suits decide to fight it, then the fate of the aspirational union will be determined by a worker vote overseen by the NLRB. As the Reformer notes, this labor action comes at a pivotal time for Planned Parenthood, as the looming U.S. Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade will make abortion access, a key pillar of PP’s services, more important than ever.
Minnesota Aurora’s First Game Is Tonight
Are we turning into a soccer state? Maybe! With Aurora FC, we’ve got one more local crew to root for. The pre-professional women’s soccer team is unique for a few reasons. First, they’re financed by the public, with humble investors having a say in the team’s name, mascot, and colors. Second, Aurora is part of the brand-new USL W League, which doesn’t require athletes to pay to play–a rarity in pre-professional leagues. About half of the team is from Minnesota, and it includes Division 1 players, high school champions, and other up-and-coming athletes who have demonstrated talent. Tonight’s their first game, where they’ll be going up against the Green Bay Glory at TCO Stadium in Eagan. Tickets are sold out at the 5,600-seat venue, so hell yeah. Fret not if you can’t make it tonight; they have games pretty much every week in June with general admission tickets priced at a very affordable $14.30.