BURGER KING IN Marquette is planning to move and modernize its restaurant.
It’ll be leaving its current home on West Washington Street for a new location–not announced yet–somewhere else in the city of Marquette. This, according to the new general manager at BK.
The restaurant will likely have a brand new look, totally modern, including an indoor playground for the kids.
Dates for the move and other details to be announced soon.
(Note: The GM called and wanted to clarify that these plans are not set in stone. They remain “possible” plans.)
IT’S FINALLY BEGUN.
The Empire Mine, after all these false alarms from Cliffs over the years, is actually winding down. The first group of about 50 employees has already gotten their 60 day notices.
A second group will soon get their termination notices, and then there will be a final group to get theirs later this summer…and then that’s it. 400 UP residents will be out of work.
The mine, which opened in 1963 and provided well-paying jobs for thousands of Yoopers over the last half century, has outlived its usefulness and is no longer profitable according to Cliffs.
As for the 400 workers, they’ll be eligible for unemployment benefits for 20 weeks and they’ll be encouraged to take part in retraining for other jobs or apprenticeships. Some may decide to strike out on their own and start new businesses.
But inevitably, some–maybe many–will leave the Upper Peninsula for brighter job prospects elsewhere.
Thats sad because so many of the miners are Yoopers, through and through. They belong here.
SPEAKING OF CLIFFS.
How about this? Remember Casablanca Capital, the hedge fund that engineered the hostile takeover of Cliffs a couple of years ago?
Well, Casablanca, in the wake of the death of its founder Donald Drapkin, has decided to close down the firm and has now sold all of its shares of Cliffs.
Such is the crazy world of finance. Casablanca owned only 4% of the Cliffs’ stocks and yet it was able to call the shots, it upended the company’s structure, and it installed the new CEO, Lourenco Goncalves.
And now Casablanca, after a couple of years of turmoil, is saying adios to Cliffs. Good luck!
No surprise–Cliffs’ stock price is seesawing, mostly downward, on the news.
YOU MAY HAVE heard the rumors about the Veterans Administration. You know, they’d be coming into Marquette, buying up the old Marquette General Hospital, and opening up a wonderful, slightly used VA Hospital right here in town.
Not true. Not at all.
VA officials checked around in Washington DC and found the story to be bogus. No such plans.
So that still leaves us with one big problem: What to do with the old MGH which will be mostly empty and casting a dark shadow over town in 2018 when UP Health System-Marquette moves to its shiny new facility on the highway.
Lots of great ideas, but they have to make sense financially for whoever takes on the buildings–or tears them down.
AFTER A REMARKABLY mild winter, we can now look forward to a reasonably warm summer. That’s what most weather prognosticators are saying.
WLUC’s Karl Bohnak agrees. He expects this summer to be maybe a couple of degrees above average, a welcome change from the last couple of coolish summers here in the Upper Peninsula.
Why the warmer temperatures? That’s been the pattern, Bohnak says, for the last few decades. Whenever we’ve had an El Nino winter (warm waters in the Pacific Ocean), that’s generally been followed by a warmer than average summer around the Great Lakes.
This last winter, by the way, was highly unusual. December was 10 degrees above average, January and February were 3 degrees above average, and March was about 5 degrees above average.
That’s what we have in Lansing these days when it comes to dark store legislation.
You might recall that State Representative John Kivela and State Senator Tom Casperson, both of the UP, were leading the way last year in their attempts to get the big box stores to pay their fair share when it came to property taxes.
Their bills and one proposed by State Rep Scott Dianda stalled in the legislature while they attempted to get bi-partisan support for the cause.
Now it looks as though a newer bill, sponsored by a downstate Republican, State Rep David Maturen, will take precedence over the others. Why? Because Maturen is the vice chairman of the Tax Policy Committee and an appraiser by trade, and likely carries more weight on such matters than other legislators.
His bill would require the Tax Tribunal to adopt the fairest, most appropriate approach to appraisals of the big stores. In the case of a fairly new and operating store–like Lowes, for example–the fairest approach would be calculating the cost of building the structure, and then subtracting the depreciation.
That hasn’t been the approach of the Tax Tribunal in the last few years.
Maturen’s bill, which is co-sponsored by Kivela, may get out of committee and onto the House floor in the next week. And then we’ll see what happens. The state Chamber of Commerce is still staunchly opposed to any serious dark store reform.
Oh, one more thing. The massive tax reductions that have already been approved by the Tribunal? Those remain in effect regardless of what happens in Lansing. The businesses keep the money, while the cities, townships and counties all lose out.
REASON NUMBER 83 why we love the UP:
Bike enthusiast takes his bike into Lakeshore Bike last week to get a tune-up. The derailer wasn’t operating properly after five months of storage in the garage, and the chain seemed to be scraping on every gear.
“I got it tuned up here last spring,” the enthusiast explains to the bike mechanic. “I guess it needs a little work.” The expectation was that it would take a week or so for Lakeshore to get around to it. After all, it’s bike season. Everyone’s busy.
No. The mechanic immediately puts the bike up on the rack while the enthusiast wanders around the store, admiring $5000 and $6000 bikes (seriously).
Ten minutes later, the mechanic announces that the (cheap, old) bike is fixed and ready for a ride. It rides beautifully.
“So how much do I owe you?” the enthusiast asks.
“Oh, nothing,” the mechanic answers. “You got it tuned up here last year… so this is included.”
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