TWO WEEKS, MAYBE less. That’s when we’ll have a deal for the new Marquette General Hospital. That’s when all the courting and numbers-crunching and speculating will finally end.
Two apparent candidates remain in the running for the nearly $300 million project–the Marquette Township site just behind the Westwood Mall, and the city of Marquette’s Roundhouse site, on the western fringe of downtown.
The Township submitted its deal several weeks ago. Duke LifePoint, the owner of the hospital, seemed satisfied with it, and the two sides have not had substantial talks since then.
The city, on the other hand, has been having on-and-off chats with DLP in the last several weeks, but no one is characterizing those talks as negotiations. Just questions and answers.
Two weeks, maybe less. Then one of these municipalities will finally be able to start a friendly and prosperous collaboration with Duke LifePoint.
IT’S ABOUT TO happen. After a decade-long struggle, the Eagle Mine outside of Big Bay will begin harvesting billions of dollars of nickel and copper in the next couple of months.
Have you been out there lately? The road to the mine–510 and AAA–is a startling, ten mile long, 50-100 yard swath of denuded land. The Road Commission, which is constructing the roadway with $45 million from Lundin, concedes it’s wider than necessary but says that was the wish of the property owners. They wanted the timber.
Okay. We get it. This whole project is about money.
Further, one official suggested that this gash across the landscape might actually help the wildlife in the spring because the cleared area will melt before the forest does and maybe provide some early vegetation for the hungry animals. Of course, the critters, while snacking, will have to dodge the huge ore trucks roaring past at 50 miles per hour.
Let’s not kid ourselves, part one. The road and the mine will have an environmental impact on what was a pristine area. How serious will it be? We don’t know. Let’s hope it’s something less than what the environmental groups have predicted.
They’re the ones who publicized the leakage of groundwater into the Salmon Trout River a couple of weeks ago. That’s their job from now on: they may have lost the war to stop the mine but they’ll be maintaining a close watch on every move that Lundin and the Road Commission make. They’ll be ringing the alarm bells if something goes awry.
We should be thankful for them. The mine and road are realities but maybe…just maybe, the environmental damage can be mitigated by an alert and enlightened citizenry, and by an extra-conscientious mining industry that may want to extend its welcome it in the U.P.
Let’s not kid ourselves, part two. The mining companies know there’s a lot more ore…and money…down there. At the end of the Eagle Mine’s supposed eight year life (and likely before then), the companies will be flashing more cash and asking for an extended stay in the U.P.
NO ONE SAID it would be easy.
The July TV ratings have come in, and WJMN, the new entrant in the local TV news wars, can’t be all that thrilled.
In the coveted 25-54 age demographic, which matters most to advertisers, WBUP (ABC 10) had slightly higher ratings than WJMN. Fox UP, likewise had higher ratings for its 10 pm newscast.
What that means is that TV news viewers don’t readily change their news habits, even when the new competitor–WJMN–has a known and capable anchor and news director in Cynthia Thompson, a solid anchor at 11 pm in Gabe Caggiano, and an established parent station out of Green Bay–WFRV.
It’ll take time.
In case you’re wondering, the runaway leader in the July ratings, of course, was again TV6. That’s been the case for the last half century. Tradition is hard to overcome.
On the other hand, WBUP (ABC 10) continues to compile an impressive website showing with more than two million page views last month. Needless to say, a lot more people are reading their website than are watching their newscasts.
THE OPENING DATE for The Marq, the new farm-to-table restaurant in Marquette, was supposed to be August…but here we are in September and they’re not quite ready to serve. Not even close.
Three or four months out, businesspeople are always optimistic, but then personal, financial and governmental realities set in.
The new opening date for the Marq is November.
Drop by the site of the old Rubaiyat restaurant and you’ll see plenty of construction underway inside and out. The restaurant’s eight investors promise that they will not overspend on the re-do of the building, which was one apparent reason for the demise of the Rubaiyat.
The restaurant’s space is being opened up, however, allowing more sunlight to flow in, and recycled woods and other materials uniquely treated are being used throughout the restaurant.The Marq is also setting up a full bar for drinkers and eating customers. The design is being handled by University Michigan architecture professors Adam Fure and Ellie Abrons.
Seventy-two seats total in the restaurant which will feature as much local produce and meat as Austin Fure, Adam’s brother, a classically trained chef, can find. He says the menu will change regularly to reflect the fact that available produce in the U.P. necessarily changes.
Sounds like the right restaurant in the right place at the right time.
Expect hiring to start within a month.
INCOMING NMU FRESHMEN last week quickly learned that college life is just a wee bit different from high school.
A traveling preacher out of Texas showed up on campus to noisily denounce fornication, pornography and blasphemy. He called some of the female students whores, told just about everybody they were going to hell unless they changed their ways, and saved some of his harshest words for a transgender student.
All in all, a swell couple of days of evangelism that was chronicled by NMU’s North Wind newspaper.
The preacher, whose name is Chris LePelley, has apparently left town to spread the good word on other campuses. Nevertheless, some NMU students are now trying to start a group known as NMU Love. It’d be a way of saying we disagree with hate speech, biblical or otherwise.
That’s fine. Or you can just ignore the hate-spewing, spotlight-loving clowns and let them shout their nonsense at the sky.
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