REVEREND LEON JARVIS, who’s served as the highly respected chaplain for Marquette General Hospital and UPHS-Marquette for the last 18 years, has retired.
His final day was last Friday. On Monday, he started a new career, with the Fassbender-Swanson Funeral Homes in Marquette. He’s a pre-planning and aftercare coordinator.
“I was getting old and tired in my old job,” he explains, “but I wasn’t burned out. I just wanted to do something different.”
He’ll still be helping people deal with death, dying, and grief, but at a different pace. For the last five years, he says, he was on call at the hospital 24/7. He loved his job but it was becoming a grind. He’s almost 60 years old.
All of us have seen Reverend Jarvis at one time or another at funerals and memorial services around town–he officiated at the services of Phil Niemisto and John Kivela–because of the high regard in which he’s held. The new job is a perfect fit for him, and he’s an ideal fit for Fassbender-Swanson.
Interesting fact: Jarvis spent 10 years as a Benedictine monk before switching to the Episcopal church, becoming a nurse, getting married and having two daughters.
GET READY FOR some major changes at NMU’s University Center. A $20 million renovation.
Construction will begin just after graduation in early May. The current bookstore will be transformed into a dining and entertainment venue, a student hangout, and a smaller bookstore. And then upstairs, on the second floor, a new, much larger ballroom will be constructed.
It’ll be big enough to handle 1400 people in a theater-type setting, or 1000 diners. The current Great Lakes Rooms can handle, at most, 550.
The first phase of renovation will take a year. Then a second phase, moving the student organization offices up to a more prominent place in front of the University Center, and changing the Great Lakes Rooms to offices, will take place next year. It’ll be completed by the fall of 2019.
The significance of all this? NMU will soon be able to handle much larger groups–almost as a convention center. And the University Center will get a much needed facelift.
SOMETHING NEW DOWNTOWN.
The Marquette Senior High School Prom will be held at the Commons this year.
“It’ll bring young people downtown,” says Mona Lang, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. “They’ll be able to eat downtown at one of the restaurants and then walk to the prom.”
Should be quite a scene. Three-hundred-fifty young folks all dressed up. Tents, lights, music by Double Trouble, dancing, outside heaters if necessary.
And yeah, we’re all thinking the same thing: Please, please don’t let it rain. Or snow.
The prom, by the way, will push the opening of the Farmers’ Market back to May 26th.
UPPER PENINSULA HEALTH System has reached agreement on a contract with its union.
Okay, hold on, don’t get too excited. It’s actually UPHS-Bell and they reached agreement with the United Steelworkers who represent about 125 Bell employees including housekeepers, maintenance, imaging, clerks, etc. No nurses. Bell’s RN’s are not unionized.
The negotiations, we’re told, were relatively simple and quick. Three sessions. A five year contract.
The contract for another group of workers–at the Bell clinic–is up in June. The Steelworkers represent them, as well. UPHS is hoping those negotiations will also go smoothly.
And as for the nurses at UPHS-Marquette? Well, those negotiations continue to drag on. No breakthroughs.
JASON SCHNEIDER, THE outgoing executive director the Marquette Chamber of Commerce, still can’t divulge exactly what he’ll be doing in the next phase of his life.
He can say this: He’s going to Juneau, Alaska. And the job will be exciting and challenging. He’d like to talk more about it, but he can’t at least not yet.
He says the exact title and structure of the job are still being worked out.
His last day at the Chamber will be April 22nd. Meantime, a roast for him is being planned before he leaves.
He’ll be leaving the three-year-old Chamber in remarkably good shape–dynamic and forward-looking with dozens of youngish businesspeople eager to tackle the challenges ahead.
CHANGING OF THE guard at RE/MAX 1st Realty in Marquette.
Fran Sevegney has bought the company from Terry Huffman, who founded the company 25 years ago, and his partner Cheryl Jackson.
Not only that, but Sevegney is moving the company into new digs out by the movie theater in Marquette Township. RE/MAX has long been stuck in tight quarters in downtown Marquette.
Move-in date is May 1st. Sevegney says the new RE/MAX headquarters will have offices for up to 30 realtors. Among them are Huffman and Jackson who will be staying with the company.
As for Sevegney, he’s only 41, with 11 years in the business. Clearly, a man on the go.
“WHAT WE CAME up with last year has worked out pretty well. We just have to get some of the bugs out.”
The words of Dave Stensaas, the city planner for Marquette. He’s talking about the city’s short term rental ordinance that governs the airbnb and VRBO rentals that have become so popular in the last few years.
Among the biggest problems to be resolved involve parking for the rentals, their proximity to one another, and the use of duplexes and triplexes as short term rentals.
The Planning Commission is coming up with recommendations for changes in the ordinance. The City Commission will be asked to approve or change those recommendations.
In the first year, about 120 properties applied to become short term rentals, Stensaas says. Only about ten of them were turned down. There’s room for plenty more, if property owners apply and are approved by the Fire Department.
The new economy seems alive and well in Marquette.
Yep, it’ll be Saturday at Lakeview Arena. 1-6 pm.
The Marquette Homebrewers are calling it Spring Ferment.
$35 bucks if you order tickets online, $40 at the door. Here’s what the brewers are going to lay out: beer, wine, mead, cider, Kombucha, Michigan cheese (who knew?), live music, food trucks. And fun.
They held Spring Ferment the last two years out at the Lower Harbor. The weather was iffy and competition with other events was stiff. Still, they managed to attract 350-400 revelers. This year, they say the ticket count’s already up to 500 and they expect many more.
Umbrellas, overcoats, heavy boots? You can leave those at home.
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