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MN Lawmakers to Union Firefighters: Hubba Hubba Awooga!!

Plus an investigation into some truly shitty weather, a defense of Jay Kolls, and the latest obit for Uptown in today's Flyover news roundup.

X is what we have to call it now I guess|

Tina Smith and friends

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

MN Congressional Dems Are on Fire for Unions

Turns out the biggest attraction at this year’s State Fair is… shirtless firefighters. Shirtless union firefighters, that is. You can catch the muscular guys—you can’t miss ’em, in fact—manning the labor booths at the fair. Fun-loving (?) U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) got the good-natured ogling going by tweeting a photo of herself and the he-men on Friday.

Twitter being Twitter (or X, I guess, whatever), many overheatedly horny replies followed. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) posted her own pic among the first responders. Not to be outdone by her colleagues, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) got a cute snap of her being hoisted by a buff duo.

It’s all very fun and silly late summer nonsense. Good for our reps for indulging in it, and good for the firefighters for indulging them. (Where, we must ask, was President Dean Phillips?) And it’s such a good PR move you gotta wonder why unions haven’t thought of using beefcake before this? We do hope those shirtless fellas have some serious SPF protection, though, because certain members of Team Viraluae got lobsterified by our enemy the sun last Thursday.

Leave Jay Kolls Alone!

Well, there’s a sentence we never thought we’d write. The KSTP journalist, known for his connections to (sometimes infamous) law enforcement sources, received an email from the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office in advance of a story the station ran regarding complaints filed against Police Chief Brian O’Hara. The email suggested that the information Kolls received had possibly been leaked in violation of the Data Practices Act, and vaguely intimated that KSTP might also somehow be breaking the law. The City Attorney is now conducting an investigation to determine where the leak sprang.

The story in question: The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office hired an outside law firm to investigate three complaints filed with the Office of Police Conduct Review against O’Hara. One complaint accused O’Hara of shouting unprofessionally at a member of the Edina Police Department. Another said he’d used force without filing a necessary report afterward. A third complaint addressed the revelation that O’Hara knew that Tyler Timberlake, an MPD recruit, had been charged with assault while working as a police officer in Virginia. (O’Hara previously denied any knowledge.)

That third complaint reminds us that O’Hara was caught in his apparent Timberlake lie because of information that had also been leaked by someone, probably working within the MPD. Kolls is known as a journalist sympathetic to stories supported by law enforcement. (Who can forget when he reported that then-Mayor Betsy Hodges had flashed gang signs, in the comic foofaraw that media reporter David Brauer dubbed #pointergate?) As this is the second recent anti-O’Hara story being funneled to the media, it suggests that someone inside the MPD has it in for the chief. If so, that’s a matter the city of Minneapolis might have tried to investigate without seeming to threaten journalists.

Uptown’s Not Dead, It Just Has the Blahs

Big things have left Uptown. But big things are coming to Uptown. Thus is the circle of life. That’s the gist of this solid story on Uptown’s recent “malaise” by Adam Platt at Twin Cities Business. Some suggestions? Property owners should consider lowering rent, because Apple and Victoria’s Secret aren’t coming back anytime soon. “Property owners sold to developers who needed high-rent first-floor tenants to cover their mortgages,” says Councilmember Lisa Goodman. “If they lower rent to $5 a square foot, they’ll get tenants.” Another interesting suggestion is to become the anti-downtown, capitalizing on remote job culture with work-friendly coffee shops and lunch break destinations like the lakes. Basically, Uptown needs antidepressants, but we just don't know what's going to work yet. “It won’t be galleries and bead stores,” predicts former Uptown Association leader David Frank, speaking ill of the iconic Bobby Bead shop. “I hope it works.”

That Poop Water That Fell From the Sky Last Spring? Angie Craig is ON IT.

It’s the stuff of nightmares and '80s comedies: Last April, at least five vehicles in the Burnsville area were doused with what's believed to be shit water from the sky. It’s unclear what happened, but signs point to a commercial airline snafu or maybe a gift from the U.S. Air Force base nearby. Months later, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig is still trying to get to the bottom of what actually happened. "My constituents have the right to live their lives without the threat of sewage getting in their coffee," she wrote in a letter to the FAA in May.

A handful of weeks later, she heard back from the org and the news was… inconclusive. Basically, since no one has filed a complaint, the FAA hasn't investigated the situation, and won’t until the victims come forward on the record. Still, Craig is pushing forward in her quest for the truth. "The FAA's lack of answers concerning this situation isn't cutting it for me,” she tells the Star Tribune today. “I'll keep pushing for more transparency here—that's what my constituents deserve."

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