The Bureau of Light and Power has a few people scratching their heads.
Here’s the background: Marquette has a fireworks committee charged with trying to fund the city’s fireworks display every July 4th. It costs about $30,000. That’s a lot of money for a small town, and there’s no public funding for it.
That means concerned citizens have to go begging merchants and residents every year to cough up the money needed for the fireworks. It’s a tough and tedious job.
Solution! Why not have BLP allow its customers to donate a dollar a month, or even five, to fund the fireworks? A check-off system, a voluntary tax.
Other municipalities do it downstate. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it eliminates the need for the yearly begging.
Well, the fireworks committee suggested this solution to the BLP board but the utility’s executive director, Paul Kitti, responded that the board, without even a formal proposal in hand, had voted no to the idea. Just…no.
No reasons given.
Kitti hasn’t responded to a couple of phone calls yet.
Meantime, some concerned citizens are suggesting that the BLP board elections later this year, which would normally draw yawns, may draw considerable interest…and some new candidates…this year.
The back-and-forth p*ssing match between the local farmers and the backers of Farmer Q’s continues unabated. It’s a dispute that reflects poorly on both sides.
Jeff Hatfield of Seeds and Spores says he, for one, would have preferred that Farmer Q’s stayed and continued its participation in the Farmers Market–if Farmer Q’s had agreed not to sell downstate produce that competed directly with produce from the local area.
In other words, cherries and plums from downstate would have been fine at the market, but not carrots and lettuces that were also being grown by the locals.
Seems like it would have been a reasonable solution but because of strong–maybe unreasonable–personalities, it could never be worked out. Too many insults, too many threats, too much bad blood.
Ironically, both sides were convinced that the Downtown Development Authority, which runs the market, was against them.
Oh well. Farmer Q’s is gone, along with their appealing bounty of downstate produce. It seems likely that the market crowds–which averaged more than 600 each Saturday–will diminish somewhat without that attraction.
Maybe someone else can step into the breach, with the downstate fruits and vegetables–but without the rancor.
Maybe we can stop the insults and anonymous emails. Maybe we can grow up.
WJMN, the CBS TV affiliate, is moving ahead with its plans to start up a U.P. newscast.
It’s found the site for its studio and offices in a strip mall at the corner of US 41 and Wright Street, just across from the Cenex station. It’s leased three units at the mall and combining them into one.
Meantime, the station is seeking an anchor/reporter, a meteorologist, a sports anchor and an engineer, among others, to join news director and anchor Cynthia Thompson.
Station executives had said they wanted to launch the newscast in the first quarter of this year. Seems a little ambitious with only seven weeks to go, but we’ll see how quickly they can put it together.
If you’re a wine drinker, you may have heard that the state legislature recently passed a “corkage fee” law which would allow you to bring your own bottle of wine into a restaurant. For a fee imposed by the restaurant.
The idea being, if you’ve got that special bottle of wine or champagne that you’ve been saving for that special birthday or anniversary, you can bring it to your favorite restaurant, and the restaurant would simply charge you a “corkage fee” to open it.
The fee might be $25, more or less.
It’s a very civilized thing to do.
One problem: the bill was signed into law by the governor in late December but it doesn’t take effect until March 14th. There are reports that at least one local restaurant jumped the gun on the law and has already started charging corkage fees for outside wines.
The Liquor Control Commission says that’s grounds for a steep fine, or suspension or revocation of a liquor license.
It’s probably best to wait until March 14th.
You got news? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org