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Forget Uptown—Is Dinkytown Dead?

Plus a wacko sheriff to visit, gettin' crossfaded with MinnPost, and Ecuadoran fruit sellers in today's Flyover news roundup.

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

The Cultural Death of Dinkytown?

Is Dinkytown dead? To hear Minnesota Daily opinion columnist Gabe Tratz tell it, the U of M-adjacent ‘hood is pulseless in 2023. We learn that Tratz’s dad enjoyed a rough-around-the-edges Dinkytown of the past that was “the place to be,” with “bars, parties and long-gone third places as far as the streets could stretch.” These days Annie's Parlour and the Kitty Kat Club remain, inexplicably, closed, while "greedy developers" have propped up an aesthetic nightmare of shoddy luxury apartments, Tratz writes. (Rumors of the return of Annie’s and KKC persist, though owner John Rimarcik hasn't provided any recent updates.)

“Let’s face it: Dinkytown is dead,” the column continues, adding a perfunctory nod to the necessity of density. “The culture has been killed. Nothing is left but a dinky desiccated corpse. In tragedy’s wake, an unlikely successor arises: Como.” Venture into Como, Tratz writes, and you’ll discover a wonderland of parties, DIY house venues, and a sense of community—it’s “the eminent cultural domain of the University.” Proclamations of Dinkytown’s death are, of course, nothing new; the Nixon-era subjects of the 2015 doc Dinkytown Uprising likely considered Dinky post-mortem in the age of The Dinkytowner, House of Hanson, and the DrunkDonald's, but an objective case for its demise becomes firmer with every micro Target and flailing mega-development.

Gun Nut Who Believes Sheriffs Are All-Powerful Comin' to Town

Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, is coming to Minnesota next month on a speaking tour intended to recruit sheriffs into his mission. According to the ACLU, the anti-government movement believes that “the county sheriff is the ultimate authority in the county, able to halt enforcement of any federal or state law or measure they deem unconstitutional.” That belief, of course, is completely ass-backwards and has no grounding in law or reality. “I have no idea who any of these nut jobs are, other than they don’t understand why we have three branches of government,” Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy told Deena Winter at the Minnesota Reformer after receiving an email invite to an event. Mack, once a sheriff in Arizona, is also a member of the Oath Keepers, doesn’t believe in gun laws, and once threatened to use women and children as human shields during a 2014 standoff with federal officers. He’ll be speaking in Le Center, Freeport, Brownton, Champlin, Princeton, Deerwood, Rochester, La Crescent, and Blaine.      

Go Ahead: Get Crossfaded (for Now)

Someday, surely, the novelty of seeing esteemed publications like MinnPost use terms like "crossfading" will wear off... but it hasn't yet! As Peter Callaghan reports today, there's a confusing provision in our new marijuana law that says retailers can't serve THC beverages to customers who either appear intoxicated or have had alcohol within five hours. (Not that you could necessarily tell on that second point?) The weird thing is that the provision doesn’t take effect until 2025, meaning that for now, you're well within your rights to get crossfaded—or mix alcohol and THC—at your favorite taproom. THC bev makers like Minneapolis Cider Co. owner Jason Dayton hope lawmakers will axe the provision entirely, though; if it goes into effect, their bartenders will be responsible for hand-stamping or wrist-banding folks according to the type of intoxicant they're allowed to consume during a given visit.

Let’s Check in With Some Ecuadoran Fruit Peddlers 

If you’ve driven around Minneapolis lately, you’ve likely noticed a relatively new phenomenon: People offering to sell you mango while you’re stopped at a light. Maya Rao at the Strib spoke to an Ecuadoran woman named Rosa, who peddles fruit at a northeast Minneapolis intersection. She’s among the many migrants from Ecuador who have resettled in Minnesota and are searching for ways to support themselves—there are currently 3,389 Ecuadorian cases pending at the Fort Snelling immigration court, according to Rao. Not everyone is happy about these new peddlers, especially when they fanned out through the parks this summer. Folks with concessions licenses complained to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board this summer, as did regular park patrons. (We’re trying to imagine ourselves calling the MPRB and saying, “Hello! Someone just tried to sell me mango at the park!” Nope. Can’t do it.) Representatives of the park board made efforts to tell the fruit sellers they needed licenses but, Rao says, “regulators noticed that when the vendors saw staff, they would stop selling and walk away, then resume business as soon as staff left.”

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