COULD THE HUGE, shadowy, abandoned ore dock become a centerpiece for downtown Marquette? Or is it just a fantasy?
We’ll start to get an answer on Monday when the folks proposing the transformation of the ore dock make their first official presentation to the City Commission. They’re looking to get the Commission’s blessing for the project.
The Friends of the Ore Dock BotEco Center are proposing to first build a promenade around the ore dock…and then create community spaces for conferences, concerts, classes and exhibitions in it, along with botanical gardens. It’ll also become something of a history and ecology center.
Ambitious? Uhhh, yeah.
Do-able? A big maybe. They’ll need money, including big grants. But the feeling is that a restored and transformed ore dock could have tremendous historical, scientific, educational, and commercial appeal for locals and tourists alike. Maybe the money’s out there somewhere.
You’ll never find out unless you try.
STILL NO RESOLUTION to the lawsuit filed by a downstate developer against the YMCA.
The developer, Gerry Haan, converted Phelps School into a mixed used development, Phelps Square, with the understanding the Y would use a major portion of it for a child development center.
However, the Y backed out of the agreement at the last minute when it discovered it was having serious financial problems. Haan wants damages.
The YMCA’s Board has laid the blame on former CEO Lisa Coombs Gerou, and the Y’s attorney Derek Swajanen, who’s working pro bono on the case, is trying to find a resolution to the case.
He’s also dealing with other creditors who are owed money.
It’s been a difficult chapter in the history of one of the most treasured institutions in Marquette County. Here’s hoping we can soon turn the page.
WE’VE ALL HEARD about the crazy, busy summer that Munising had last year.
Visitors up more than 30%. Streets crowded. Cruise boats jammed. Kayaks everywhere.
This summer? No huge increase, at least for Pictured Rocks Cruises, which is a pretty good gauge for the rest of the town. Business this summer is up but only 5% at most.
Which is still pretty damn good, after last summer’s banner season, and the previous summers which had shown steady growth.
The cruise line added a catamaran this summer. It’s faster than the other boats, and, no surprise, it fills up faster than the more conventional cruise boats.
SOME OF US have been thinking this has been an unusually hot summer in Marquette County.
Well, think again.
WLUC weather guru Karl Bohnak says temperatures at the National Weather Service in Negaunee are barely above average.
June, in fact, was slightly below average, while July was slightly above. August, on the other hand, is up 2-3 degrees, which is significant.
And September, Bohnak says, looks like it could be warmer than average.
One more surprising factoid: The NWS has recorded no days in the 90s so far. Unusual. Normally we have three days in the 90s.
So why does it seem so balmy? Maybe it’s because the lake water has been so warm at the beaches.
THE NEXT FEW months could be crucial for the Partridge Creek Farm, the educational farm project in Ishpeming.
The farm in west Ishpeming they’re now using to grow some of their crops is in foreclosure, and its owner will lose title to the property on December 31st.
A big problem for Partridge Creek. But also an opportunity.
They’d love to buy the farm outright. It could be their headquarters, the center of all their activities, a place for children and all residents to come and farm the land, take in the harvest, feed themselves, and learn about sustainability.
One eeensie-weensie problem. The 28 acre farm, complete with house, barn and outbuildings, appraises at $200,000.
Anybody out there got a checkbook and a healthy dose of philanthropy? Partridge Creek’s Board would love to talk to you. ASAP.
DAVE EDWARDS, THE former managing editor for the Mining Journal, is no longer working for UP Health System-Marquette.
Health problems have forced him to retire. Specifically, chronic pain in his feet. After yet another surgery just a few days ago, he’s struggling to get around his home, even with a cane.
Word had circulated that he was “let go” by the hospital. Not true, Edwards says. He’s been on medical leave since May, and simply has not been able to return. The hospital needed to fill that position.
He says he’s leaving on good terms. Now he’s looking toward the next phase of his life–hopefully without a cane.
SPEAKING OF “WORD circulating.”
We experienced an unfortunate case of public shaming last week. An unpaid bill of $1700, a couple of bounced checks, an angry businessman, a sign in front of his store…and then a spate of Facebook postings.
Sad. A good person with financial problems defamed and mocked.
A couple of centuries ago, we had pillories and stocks for public shaming. Now we do it on Facebook.
We can certainly sympathize with a businessperson who’s out $1700…but there’s got to be a better way to resolve this.
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