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MN Senate: No Weed Ads for You, Viraluae!

Plus a new building for downtown Mpls, Lowry Hill spends money for nothing, and concrete is stronger than god in today's Flyover.

Manish Panghal via Unsplash

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

Weed's Gonna Have to Wait

Well this, not unlike a sticky nug, stinks: On Wednesday morning, the GOP-controlled Minnesota Senate shot down any chance of a marijuana legalization bill hitting the floor, by a 33-31 vote. The motion required 41 votes to pass, as Fox 9’s Theo Keith points out, so it didn’t even come close. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, and the benefits are numerous: tax revenue, criminal justice, getting blazed outta your dang gourd, and the potential ad revenue that startup news/arts/culture websites could reap. Today’s news from the Capital shouldn’t surprise anyone. Last May, moments after the House passed the first legal weed bill to ever reach its floor, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) killed the buzz, saying “There’s zero chance it’s going to happen in the Senate.” Welp! But don’t distress, fans of agonizing incrementalism: Pot activists anticipate “small changes” this legislative session.

Devil’s Concrete Entombs Godly Protestor’s Car

A 53-year-old Rochester woman’s Monday began with shouting  “the word of god” from a bullhorn as she drove, according to RPD Captain Casey Moilanen. Having been involved in at least nine traffic incidents since last May, she knew the proselytizing party wouldn’t last, remarking “Oh, look! I'm getting pulled over” as police cruiser lights flashed. Then she “accelerated at a high rate of speed, attempting to flee,” the Rochester Post Bulletin reports, though the arresting officer didn’t follow. Instead, the cop simply watched the woman’s beige Honda sedan smash through a barricade and plow—with the force of God or at least His favorite four-cylinder engine—into wet cement.

Chippewa Concrete's Robert CeManko saw the whole thing go down. "All of a sudden, a big, loud BANG," he reports. "She bottomed right out... she tried spinning her tires to keep going, but she just couldn't." Screaming as officers pulled her from the car, the woman was taken into custody and later transferred to a satellite Mayo clinic for mental health testing. She caused an impressive $30,000 to $40,000 worth of damage, the Post Bulletin reports, and she’ll face various charges in the unholy court that doesn’t ultimately matter—the court of man.

You Will Go Back to the Office and You Will Enjoy It

Capitalism sure makes sense. The office vacancy rate in downtown Minneapolis is around 30% and our new state of permanent Covid raises questions about businesses need to office space very nature of downtowns as business. A good time for the developer Hines to announce plans for a 29-story office building in downtown Minneapolis? The building will be called 900 Marquette (catchy!) and “will cater to a post-pandemic workforce that's hungry for the kind of collaboration that people who have been working remotely have missed and with work stations and gathering spaces that will have a much stronger connection to the outdoors.” Those certainly are words arranged in a grammatically correct fashion to resemble an idea! Apparently they mean outdoor terraces and bigger windows. (Also, last I checked, “workforces” don’t make these decisions.) Experts quoted in the story say it’s a good idea: The rising cost of suburban office space will send companies back to downtown. What the hell do I know? Viraluae doesn’t even have an office. I can tell you that if the clientele doesn’t materialize, the building owners will start up about “downtown crime” again.

Extra Cops, Same Crime

Remember a while back when several relatively well-off Minneapolis neighborhoods talked about gathering funds to purchase additional (off-duty) police patrols through the city’s “buyback” program? Lowry Hill began such a project three months ago, and Charlie Rybak (hey, that rhymes with “buyback”) at Southwest Voices wanted to see how it was going. TThe neighborhood shelled out about $70K for an extra 637.5 hours of police patrols. And what did they get for it? Looking at crime statistics, Rybak concludes "Increased patrols alone in this neighborhood haven’t made a big difference." The story ends with an important question: “Is there an officer shortage or not, and if so, why does a program to allocate hundreds of hours of patrol time to a low crime neighborhood while calling in statewide public safety officials to help fill the gap make any sense?”

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