COCO’S HAS BEEN creating a stir in the last few months.
The formerly sleepy little restaurant on Lake Shore Boulevard has been re-fashioning itself as a nightspot as well, complete with live bands and DJ’s on some weekends. It’s become lively, attractive, and more diverse.
It’s featured Pride Nights, a welcome to gays in our community, and drag shows. Fun stuff.
Not all the neighbors are thrilled with the changes. At least one–maybe more–has repeatedly called police to complain about the commotion and the noise.
Coco’s owners say they’re doing everything they can to monitor the noise and the goings-on in the parking lot, and want to be good neighbors, but the complaint calls keep coming in. It’s easy to understand why this problem has cropped up–the neighborhood is primarily residential while Coco’s is commercial and sometimes very busy at night.
Still, there’s gotta be a solution. Coco’s has been there for a long time, it’s located on a frequently busy street, it’s a business trying to make money, and it’s provided a lively alternative for night life in Marquette.
Can’t we all just get along here?
IT’S DIFFICULT TO overstate the dominance of TV6 news in this market.
The latest Nielsen book, measuring viewership in the U.P. during May, couldn’t be any more clear.
TV6’s morning news from 5-7 am gets roughly a 65-70 share. That means of all the TV’s turned on in the Upper Peninsula at those hours, more than 65% of them are watching Vicky Crystal and crew. For WJMN, it ranges from a 2-5 share. For WBUP, according to Nielsen, the share is zero.
These figures represent adults 25-54, the most desired demographic for advertisers.
At 5:30, WBUP’s news gets almost a 2.
By contrast, at 6 pm, TV6 pulls in almost a 62 while WJMN limps in with slightly more than a 2. Simple math tells you that for every viewer watching Cynthia Thompson et al, nearly thirty are watching Steve Asplund and the gang at TV6.
Yikes. That’s dominance.
At 7 pm, Greg Trick’s crew, with the only news at that hour, gets a 33. Jeopardy on WBUP does reasonably well with a 10.
Fox News pulls only a 4 at 10 pm. It’s never gotten big numbers but is very slowly improving.
Then at 11 pm, TV6 comes in at roughly a 31…WJMN at 3…and WBUP at .5 (a half share). Again, no contest.
We should mention one caveat. Nielsen’s methods are not flawless, they’ve been criticized throughout the industry for years.
A few thoughts: 1) TV6 has been dominant since Day One, more than a half century ago. It’s hard for the others to play catch-up when they’re starting so far behind 2) WJMN’s entry into the news fray a year ago has been less successful than was hoped, even with an attractive news product 3) WBUP, as well as WJMN, are woefully understaffed. Their news departments are one third to one half the size of TV6’s 4) Steve Ashland has righted the ship at TV6 after taking over as news director more than a year ago following a year or two of turmoil under his predecessor.
(Full disclosure: I was news director at TV6 and Fox UP from 2004-2011.)
A FEW MORE words about WJMN. If you’ve been watching the local CBS station you know all about it.
For the last several months, it’s been suffering through some serious transmission problems. The signal has intermittently gone off the air.
As a viewer, you lose faith and turn the channel. As a WJMN account executive, you lose sales. As a Local 3 newsperson, you gotta sometimes wonder if anybody’s gonna see the fruits of your labor.
The transmission problems, which are now being worked on, certainly have to figure into the station’s disappointing ratings.
Other problems for the folks at WJMN? They still don’t have an 11 o’clock anchor. Cynthia Thompson is doing triple duty as news director, 6 o’clock anchor and 11 o’clock anchor. Their website and social media presence seem sleepy and unambitious. And they haven’t had a general manager in months. Other than that, things are hunky-dory.
All this makes you wonder if WJMN’s parent in Green Bay (WFRV) even knows they have a child in the U.P.
NESTLEDOWN BED AND Breakfast likely won’t be opening until late August. That the latest word from the owners who’ve built the Scandinavian B & B from the ground up on Lake Shore Boulevard.
Problems with selling their home back in Appleton. Also, these things always take more time than anticipated.
It’s a nice-looking building inside and out. Rooms are spacious and attractive. A sauna in the basement with two showers.
It’ll be inexpensive as well, at least to start: $150 a night for the regular rooms, $200 for a suite, and $1400 a week for a “cottage apartment” over the garage.
Once it’s up and operating, Nestledown will be the only B & B in the city limits of Marquette, a town that markets itself as a tourist destination. Seems remarkable, doesn’t it?
IF YOU’RE NOT a golfer and you don’t give a damn about celebrities (especially second and third tier celebrities) it’s easy to dismiss the annual Beacon House Celebrity Golf Classic last week as just another pleasant, bourgeois, small town diversion.
But take a more serious look at it.
It began five years ago when Marquette General Hospital decided it could no longer afford to help fund Beacon House which provides housing and support to families of the sick and injured at the hospital.
Beacon House was suddenly down $200,000. A crisis. Its very existence was threatened.
Board members, against the advice of some, said “Let’s try a golf tournament as a fund-raiser!” even though other groups were already running golfing fundraisers. So then they said, “Well, then, let’s invite celebrities! Does anybody know any celebrities?”
Thus it was born, with no idea whether it would succeed or fall flat on its face.
It’s been Beacon House CEO Mary Tavernini Dowling’s baby ever since, and with the indispensable help of a few dozen volunteers, Steve Mariucci, Tom Izzo (who had a conflict this year), and Jay Feely, it’s become a remarkable success.
It’s had some stumbles along the way but it pushed on.
$50,000 raised the first year (after costs), $150,000 raised last year. This year, it’ll be close to the same amount even though a major sponsor in Iron Mountain pulled out. By U.P. standards, these numbers are huge.
Necessity is the mother of invention. The Beacon House has proven that.
It’s also shown it’s got a healthy dose of sisu.
By the way, Bret Michaels, who thrilled the crowd with a couple of songs and then charmed them for an hour while patiently and happily posing with all of them for photographs, says he’d like to come back. He likes the place.
Oh, and he also donated $5000 to the Beacon House. That’ll ease the burdens of some distressed families down the road. And that’s what it’s all about.
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