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Guess Who’s Back? (Hint: It’s Don Samuels.)

Plus depressing DOJ findings in Anoka, Gophers dress poorly, and remembering the Mighty Fitz in today's Flyover news roundup.


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

Don v. Ilhan, Round 2?

Well, the 2023 election is over, and that means it’s time to look forward to 2024, where U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN) has already drawn a primary challenger in newcomer Sarah Gad. Now it looks like a more familiar name is also stepping into the Fifth District ring. Earlier this week, Matthew Kassel of Jewish Insider teased the news that former Minneapolis council member and mayoral candidate Don Samuels was ready to announce his challenge as well. Today, Kessel followed up saying Samuels was likely to declare over the weekend.

The veteran north Minneapolis politico came within two points of defeating Omar in 2022, much closer than most had anticipated, hitting her hard on public safety issues. (Not that a congressional rep has much to do with local policing, but who said politics was rational.) Next year, according to Kassel, Samuels and his surrogates will likely accuse Omar of being insufficiently supportive of Israel, or, in Kassel’s loaded words, “equivocating” between Hamas and Israel. We’ll just have to wait and see how the political battleground in Minnesota looks next year—and how the actual battleground in Gaza looks, where more than 10,000 Palestinians have been reported dead in the past month.

DOJ: Anoka's Crime Program Actually Just a Human Rights Violation

This week, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report stating that Anoka violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. Turns out the city’s “Crime Free Multi-Housing Program" incentivizes landlords to evict tenants who make 911 calls. "The city can issue fines and revoke the landlord’s license if the landlord does not pursue eviction after nuisance calls to their property,” the DOJ states in its findings. “When tenants with mental health disabilities and those associated with them (like their families or landlords) requested or received emergency assistance, they risked eviction, fines, or loss of a rental license."

Investigations also reveal that the Anoka is sending landlords weekly reports on their tenants’ emergency calls, which include not only the caller’s name and address, but things like medical diagnosis, medications, and the names of psychiatric/medical providers as well. “This scheme is cloaked as a public safety measure but in reality it callously targets people with disabilities and their loved ones by penalizing them simply for reaching out for emergency assistance in times of need,” the report concludes. According to Bring Me the News, the city isn’t commenting on the findings at this time.

Study: U of M Students Look Like Shit

What is StyleSeat? It appears to be some sort of website (that's the most we're investigating), and it has dire news for students at the University of Minnesota: Gophers dress terribly. The site scoured 6,000 geo-tagged photos from various college campuses to better understand which "institutions are fashion-forward and trendy and which are embracing the laid-back, sweatpants?" The bottom three institutions, fashion-wise, were the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Goldy co-signs), Virginia Tech, and the U's Twin Cities campus, while San Diego State, Temple, and Louisiana State Universities snagged the top spots. "[The] University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has a score of 1.24, and its cold weather could be a compelling reason for students bundling up in low effort, no-fuss gear," concludes StyleSeat in its less-than-rigorous-seeming study.

This isn't the first time national observers have declared us shitty dressers. Consider the infamous 2011 GQ survey that placed St. Paul 24th on its "40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America" list. "For the most part, Saint Paul takes after its namesake: an old, conservative white dude who doesn't care much for earthly fashions," the multi-byline feature reports. "Fortunately, for the few fashion-minded citizens of St. Paul, the much younger, hipper, boutique-strewn Minneapolis is just a bridge away." (At the risk of angering our St. Paul readership, Viraluae's all-Minneapolitan staff declines to comment.)

Sailors Take Warning: It's Edmund Fitzgerald Day

Wishing you and yours a solemn November 10, the day that Great Lakes folk reserve for remembrances of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. That famous ore freighter sank into Lake Superior 48 years ago with 29 lives; none of the bodies were ever recovered from those icy waters near Whitefish Bay.

For some levity, let's hear from Viraluae reader Kaylee Matuszak, a park ranger at Duluth's Canal Park by day and a musician/dive bar connoisseur by night. "It's 10 November, so please have a fun fact courtesy Duluth's Famous Kaylee: The Edmund Fitzgerald was launched the same day Prince was born (June 7, 1958)," she wrote in today's Open Thread. "That's gotta mean something, right?" 


For some historical context, let's revisit the AP story that appeared in the November 11, 1975, edition of the Minneapolis Star: 

An oil slick, 2 empty lifeboats and debris were spotted today on Lake Superior near where the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm with 29 crewmen aboard, the Coast Guard said.

"It has sunk. The ship disappeared off the radar scopes in the area and we've searched 18 hours for the vessel. We classify it as sunk," declared Bryan Norris, a spokesman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington.

Oglebay-Norton Co., owner of the 17-year-old freighter, identified the Fitzgarld's captain as E.R. McSorley of Toledo, Ohio, and said 28 others, including a cadet sailor, were aboard. Some debris was reported washed up at Pancake Point on the Canadian shore near Batchawana Bay, about 50 miles northwest of Sault Ste. Marie. Ontario police were sent to search for survivors.

"We're finding a lot of debris and we've found a couple of lifeboats. But we haven't found any people alive or dead," said Chief Jere Bennett of the Coast Guard air rescue station at Sault St. Marie in Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula. The freighters Roger Blau and Wilfred Sykes joined the vessel Arthur M. Anderson to search for survivors. Coast Guard C130 airplanes and helicopters were surveying the area.

Debris began turning up after 5 a.m. about 13 miles north of Whitefish Point, 45 miles northwest of here. None of the recovered items could be definitely linked to the 729-foot-long Fitzgerald, the Coast Guard said.

Waves in the area today diminished to 4 to 7 feet after mounting as high as 25 feet last night in winds gusting to 75 miles per hour. The water temperature was 51 degrees.

The Fitzgerald was last heard from about 7:10 p.m. yesterday when it said it was taking on water but had turned on working pumps. A flare was seen about 1 a.m. 16 miles northeast of the last known location of the Fitzgerald, according to Coast Guard officials. However, the flare could have been dropped by search planes to illuminate the area, sources said.

The Anderson heard the Fitzgerald radio that the ship was taking on water last night and followed the Fitzgerald for about 10 miles, keeping it in sight, Coast Guard officials said. The Anderson, a U.S. Steel vessel, also tracked the Fitzgerald with radar, the Coast Guard said.

No distress call was reported from the Fitzgerald. It told the Anderson it was not in danger because its pumps were working, officials said.

Then the Fitzgerald disappeared from the Anderson's radar screen and visual contact also was lost. The ship has not been seen since.

The Fitzgerald left Superior, Wis., Sunday en route to Detroit with a 26,216-ton load of taconite pellets, the Coast Guard said.

The ore carrier was built in 1958 by the Great Lakes Engineering Co. in River Rouge, Mich.

And for fitting punctuation, let's hear from Mr. Lightfoot, author of this classic 1976 ode to the Mighty Fitz:

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