IT’S STILL A mystery. Who is planning to install 120 huge wind turbines in Marquette and Baraga counties?
Nearly 40 of the units, according to maps, would be located in and around the Yellow Dog Plains which many consider a pristine wilderness that should be left alone. Environmentalists fought to prevent the Lundin mine from being located there but eventually lost that battle.
Now, if plans work out, the wind turbines are coming to the same area.
Kathleen Heideman, a property owner in the area, has done the research and has identified the owners of the planned sites: they include the state of Michigan, Plum Creek Timber (now merged with Weyerhaeuser), Longyear, Escanaba Paper, GMO, and various other private owners.
Including herself. She owns three of the sites but has never been notified that somebody wants to install wind turbines on her property.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Midstate Indpendent System Operator, which oversees the transmission lines for much of the U.S. and Canada, have been notified of the plans, but so far, they aren’t releasing the name or names of the applicant.
Is it someone connected to the mine? When do they plan to notify the owners of the their plans?
And when the owners are all notified, what kind of resistance might the plans meet? Opposition to the Kennecott mine (which became Lundin’s) was fierce.
It’ll set up an interesting battle: Wind power, which is considered green and environmentally friendly, versus a staunch environmentalist community in the U.P. that would consider any further intrusion into the Yellow Dog Plans a violation of what many Yoopers consider to be sacred.
But the paramount question at this point remains…Who?
CHANGES AT MICHIGAN Sales on US 41. They’re no longer a showroom for new John Deere equipment.
Owner Karen Larson says, instead, that store will be selling Honda products and used equipment while providing service and parts for any brand of equipment, engine, boat or generator. Just a change in strategy.
It’ll also sell equipment on consignment.
Meantime, the Michigan Sales and Equipment store on West Washington will continue selling Kubota equipment (which is a much bigger seller here than John Deere).
Oh, something else. (This is known as burying the lead.) Larson says she’s filed a theft claim against a former employee at Kubota. She claims that the former employee made off with nearly a half million dollars in goods and equipment.
Just an accusation at this point. Police are investigating.
Larson also owns and operates Karen Larsen Interior Design. She’s a busy woman.
HERE’S A PROMISING story from downtown.
If you had walked into the three story Masonic Square building a couple of years ago, you would have noticed that nearly half of the thirty spaces were empty. Sad. Lifeless. And right in the heart of downtown.
Today it’s much different. All but three of the spaces, according to business manager Ryan Engle, are now occupied. It’s an eclectic mix of retail and offices–a boutique, a bike shop, a hair salon, massage, reflexology, and more. As well as a ballroom and a commercial kitchen on the third floor.
Looks like Engle and the U.P. Masonic Association, which owns the building, are finally on to something.
They’ve also staged big events there–a New Years Party, a health fair, weddings, and currently the Saturday market.
Just one thing missing: a viable restaurant or two to attract more traffic inside. Engle says they’re working on it.
SOMETHING NEW IN Ishpeming.
Stampede Western Wear, Tack ‘N Feed on Lakeshore Drive will be opening up in late May or early June at the latest.
Owner Jennifer Smith, who’s been around horses all her life and lives in Ishpeming, says her community needs a store like this.
It’s not only Western clothes and boots but feed and equipment for livestock, and for dogs and cats, as well. Also some gardening supplies and cold storage. She also welcomes suggestions for what else the store might carry.
The new sign went up last week. Still to come–painting inside and out, and extensive renovation.
Bit by bit, store by store, Ishpeming is trying to revive itself.
FROM THE “ONLY in the UP” file:
A ziploc bag containing change is taped to a parking meter downtown because the parking meter didn’t work. Or possibly because someone is just “paying it forward.”
That Facebook story and photo went viral and led to these stories:
- A resident left her wallet in a shopping cart at Shopko. Someone found it, looked up the address on the driver’s license, then drove to that person’s house to return it.
- Another person left a cell phone in a shopping cart. It was promptly found and taken to the service desk of the store.
- A man lost his money clip, driver’s license, debit card and a $20 bill. All were returned to the service desk of the grocery store.
- A woman left her purse in a shopping cart at Shopko and drove all the way to Negaunee before she realized she didn’t have it. She drove back and, of course, everything had been turned in to the store. Including a wad of cash.
And who can forget the story from several months back–about the motorist who didn’t have enough money to pay the toll for the Mackinac Bridge. So a restaurateur just north of the bridge said to the stranger, “Here’s the money. Don’t worry about it. Just send it back when you get a chance.”
We may be lacking in some of the amenities that communities down south offer, but we more than make up for it in good will.
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