RUMORS FLYING AROUND the construction site of the new hospital. And responses quickly coming back from the hospital.
First, some workers claim that there’s been some settling and sagging of the floors of the building. “Deflection” is apparently the construction term. Remember, this is reclaimed land that’s been remediated with new soil.
Nothing unusual going on, replies the hospital.
“We do not have any more (sagging and settling) than we would expect in the normal design and construction process,” says Victor Harrington, the regional marketing director for the UP Health System.
Cracks in the buildings themselves? No. Absolutely not, Harrington says.
And then there’s the more serious charge that’s been circulating: mold in the new building. Some workers say they’ve seen it, smelled it, and they’re worried that once the drywall is painted over, it’ll be hidden.
Here, Harrington makes a slight concession. Yes, the heavy rains this summer have damaged the drywall and insulation in some of the new construction. But once the contractor spots the problem, it’s been immediately removed and replaced. And yes, it’s happened more than a few times.
Again, normal, Harrington says. It’s a huge project with a huge price tag ($300 million) and stuff happens. You gotta believe that Duke LifePoint will do everything to avoid a “health” problem in its brand spanking new institution of health.
ACTION ON THE burgeoning homeless problem in Marquette?
That’s what Doug Russell, executive director of Room at the Inn and the Warming Center, is hoping to achieve. He’s scheduled a community forum on the homeless for Tuesday, September 12th, at Messiah Lutheran Church. 6:30-8:30 pm.
Everyone’s welcome. He’s inviting city and county commissioners, other city agencies, police, businessmen and women, and residents to come together in hopes of finding solutions to the problem.
And the problem, as detailed in this post on Word on the Street, is this: more and more homeless people are coming to Marquette, and they’re creating problems for the police and for some shop owners and residents.
So, how do you show compassion for people in need while not overburdening your police department and changing the look and feel of your community?
The community forum may provide some answers.
NOTHING DECIDED YET on the fate of the 13 year old girl charged with playing a social media prank on 11 year old Tysen Benz last March that led to his committing suicide.
A pretrial meeting scheduled Wednesday for attorneys in the case and Probate Judge Cheryl Hill was postponed until August 31st.
Still undecided is whether the girl will make a plea in the case or will stand trial.
The girl allegedly urged to Tysen to hang himself, which he did that evening. The case attracted national attention, and Tysen’s mother, Katrina Goss, appeared on the Dr. Phil show to support a campaign to prevent bullying on social media.
THERE IS NO campaign to clamp down on merchants’ signs in downtown Marquette. That’s the word from city planner and zoning administrator Dave Stensaas.
Some shop owners thought otherwise when a number of them were recently told they had to reduce signage to abide by the city’s ordinances, but Stensaas says the issue normally comes up only when building owners request permits to put up additional signs on their buildings.
That’s when an official will come out and measure the existing signs and determine whether there’s room for more.
Stensaas does concede, however, that there is occasional random monitoring and enforcement by his staff.
Just seems like a lot of businesses have gotten the word this summer: reduce your signage.
“Planning and Community Development have been really helpful in working with us,” says Mona Lang, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. “But we’ve got to quit nitpicking. It’s not fair to the merchants.”
She points out that the business district downtown has changed radically in the last couple of decades. Used to be, each building housed one business; now, one building could be home for three or four businesses. They all need signs.
Stensaas is not arguing the point. Not at all. He and his staff are simply doing their jobs. Most encouraging is word that zoning and signage ordinances are in the process of being updated. We should have new ordinances on the books by next year.
THE MAN WHO manages the Word on the Street blog and its Facebook site is turning out to be one helluva photographer.
Justin Carlson, who’s a digital media specialist and entrepreneur, recently took home two firsts and one second place in the professional photographers competition at the U.P. State Fair. The photo above was one of the first place winners.
But there’s more. He’s also been selected as one of the finalists in a Detroit News photo competition. Final voting is open to the public from August 30th to September 3rd.
You can vote for the hometown guy at detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan
And it really wouldn’t show any hometown bias because the man is genuinely talented. His photos are spectacular.
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