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Hospitality workers face shaky future amid new restaurant, bar shutdowns

Plus: Klobuchar, Smith call for federal coordination with states on vaccine distribution; another interview with Lisa Bender; new run on toilet paper in advance of COVID-19 restrictions; and more.

food preparation and service
Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash
This time, with no federal aid. MPR’s Jon Collins writes:Restaurant and bar workers who are already on shaky financial ground during the pandemic are facing new uncertainties as Minnesota’s latest restrictions on bars and restaurants go into place. … The shift to takeout-only is leading to another round of layoffs in the hospitality industry. Workers who have been risking their health at work now again face the prospect of unemployment without access to a lifeline that helped keep them afloat at the start of the pandemic.”

Never too late  to get started. KSTP’s Rebecca Omastiak reports: “U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, of Minnesota, are calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to begin working with state leaders for a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. … The senators are calling on federal support to ensure Minnesota and other states can acquire the ultra-cold storage capability necessary for COVID-19 vaccines to be effective as they are distributed in the coming months. … The senators are also urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work alongside local governments and health care providers, as well as leaders in rural and underserved communities, to create the plan.”

Another exit interview with Minneapolis Council President Lisa Bender. The Southwest Journal’s Nate Gotlieb reports: “After a busy eight-year run in office that has included passage of the Minneapolis 2040 plan, new policies aimed at protecting renters and controversies over policing, City Council President Lisa Bender announced in mid-November that she would not be running for a third term in 2021. … Bender represents Ward 10 on the 13-member council. The ward includes the Lowry Hill East, Whittier, ECCO, South Uptown and East Harriet neighborhoods. … An urban planner by trade, Bender said she has yet to decide what she would do once she leaves office.”

It’s as if people’s memories have been wiped. BringMeTheNews’ Adam Uren reports: “Ahead of new restrictions going into effect on Friday, Minnesotans have once again been stocking up for a long stay at home – with toilet paper a popular target. … There have been reports coming in from all over the Twin Cities of bare shelves in the TP and kitchen roll sections, a throwback to scenes ahead of Gov. Walz’s ‘Stay at Home’ order in the spring. … BMTN has had reports of shelves being emptied at a Target in Minnetonka (later restocked) and the Costco in Eden Prairie, while people on social media have shared pictures of similar situations at other Twin Cities stores.”

In other news…

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Rep. Omar in the Nation on foreign policy:Representative Ilhan Omar: ‘I Hope President Biden Seizes This Opportunity.’” [The Nation]

Just in time for winter:Minneapolis Park Board: No more citations for women going topless in the parks” [Star Tribune]

Own a piece of history:Minneapolis Auctions Off Lake Street Kmart Sign” [WCCO]

’Tis the season:Minnesota DNR shoots Bloomington mainstay Penny the turkey” [BringMeTheNews]