WITH “CAKEGATE” CLEARLY in its rear view mirror, the Landmark Inn is now looking toward the future.
Specifically, to the opening of The Piedmont, the new northern Italian restaurant that’s replacing the old Capers at the hotel. It’ll feed friends and family this weekend, iron out the kinks, and then open to the public sometime mid to late week, next week.
No reservations, except for large parties.
Northern Italian food–wood-fired pizza, pastas, meats, fish–is what you’ll find. A few selections from the menu: Risotto ala Parmagiana, Bucatini Amatriciana, Ricotta Ravioli, Whitefish Piccata, Polenta Fries, and Cauliflower Fritters. It’s not exactly the Olive Garden.
The Piedmont will also offer a wide array of wines, half of which will be Italian. It’ll be less expensive than Capers was. The hope is, it’ll become an everyday kind of restaurant, not a place reserved only for special occasions or fat wallets.
The atmosphere? Management describes it as a northern Italian hunting lodge. We’ll see what that means.
The wine list is being curated by Everyday Wines–a nice collaboration that shows the new owners are committed to downtown.
And then there’s this for us coffee-lovers: Details are still being worked out but the hotel is negotiating a deal with Dead River Coffee to set up an espresso-cappuccino cart in the lobby, possibly by mid-summer. Hours uncertain.
Graves Hospitality, the new owners, have also invested $100,000 in new beds, mattresses and sheets for the guests, and come fall, they’re planning to renovate all the bathrooms.
Big money, big commitment. And last we heard, Joe was still making cakes at the Landmark. Good news all around.
REPORTS AND RUMORS continue to abound at UP Health System-Marquette. Doctors are leaving, either of their volition or because they were terminated.
We have names–family practice doctors and specialists, husband-and-wife teams, big names and smaller names, veterans and newbies–but they’re professionals, and understandably most don’t want to gripe, hurl accusations or burn bridges.
But they are are leaving for various reasons.
Is this “churn” greater than normal in a hospital? Hard to say.
The hospital, for its part, concedes there is turnover but explains why with this comment issued Monday evening:
“The changing landscape of the healthcare industry is allowing physicians greater mobility…This means that physicians are less likely to spend their entire career in one city…This national trend is positive for UP Health System-Marquette…It has enabled us to recruit a number of top physicians and specialists to the region…”
There is some truth to that. Years ago doctors came to town and set up their own private practices. That took time and commitment. Today most doctors don’t enter private practice; instead, they come to town and sign 2-3 year contracts with hospitals. At the end of those contracts, they’re free to move on, and many do.
Of course, critics of Duke LifePoint insist the exodus is related to the company’s practice of “corporate medicine,” in which dollars take precedence over patient care.
Hard to say who’s right. Probably both. Probably neither. In any case, none of this seems to benefit the patients.
IF YOU’RE ONE of those patients annoyed by the fact that your overworked doctor can afford only 10-15 distracted minutes with you while he/she is busy entering codes on a computer checklist, then maybe “concierge medicine” is for you.
We have one such doctor in town. Dr. Scott Doughty set up a primary care office in Harvey about nine months ago.
Crap, this is starting to sound like an advertisement.
Aw hell, let’s continue with it, because it’s important. It’s a trend that started about 20 years ago In Seattle, and it may tell us something about the future of American medicine.
Essentially, concierge medicine is this:
1) You pay your doctor a set fee for the year (it’ll be $1500 for Doughty starting in August).
2) For that, you get unlimited visits with your doctor.
3) He/she doesn’t deal with insurance companies, Medicare, or Medicaid.
4) He/she is available to you in person, by phone or text 365 days a year, 24/7.
5) Average doctor visits are 45 minutes to an hour, and the doctor actually listens to you and looks at you.
In other words, he’s your personal doctor who knows your name, your ailments and your history, and doesn’t give a crap about insurance. Doughty sees, on average, only 8-10 patients a day. Some conventional primary care doctors see 30-40.
One other thing about Doughty. He’s an MD–he’s taught at Marquette General and practiced in New Mexico, Alaska and here in the UP–but he takes a holistic approach. He’s open to anything that works. He feels that too many conventional doctors are dismissive of anything but conventional medicine: pills and surgery.
Yeah, this isn’t the end all-be all, but it’s not a bad idea. Imagine that–a doctor who takes the time to talk and listen to you, and is open to any therapy that’ll make you feel better. Crazy.
SURE SEEMS LIKE we have a lot of gyms in town.
Well, we’ll have one less, as of Friday. Snap Fitness, at the corner of Washington and 3rd Street downtown, is closing.
The 375 Snap members were recently informed of the shutdown and have been offered a deal to join Anytime Fitness farther up Washington Street across from Shopko.
Management there says they’re trying to make the conversion to Anytime as easy as possible, and most of the Snap members have expressed interest in switching gyms. Some of the Snap staff may also make the switch.
We’ve still got a lot of choices for fitness gyms in town–that must be why we’re all in such great shape.
WHILE LEGISLATORS IN Lansing struggle to deal with the “dark store” crisis and huge reductions in property taxes for box stores, a local group is taking things into their own hands.
SaveMqt, SaveMI has started an initiative known as BRITE (Businesses Recognizing the Importance of Tax Equality). It’s signing up local businesses who are not seeking property tax reductions and who are concerned with maintaining a stable tax base for local communities.
BRITE awards them signs that they can post at their stores. The hope is that the signs will encourage more shoppers to patronize their stores, and will help generate a broader movement supporting local businesses and local communities.
Michigan’s Tax Tribunal, under a relatively new legal theory, has been granting substantial property tax reductions in recent years to mostly big (but some small) businesses. The tax cuts, while welcomed by many businesses, have drastically cut into tax revenues and community services.
Some of the first businesses to sign up for BRITE include Spirits, Dan Perkins Construction, Farmer Q’s, Marquette Wallpaper, and the The Safety Store.
No, they don’t have the firepower (or the legal or financial power) of a Lowe’s, but maybe they have people power. This is how movements get started.
TALK ABOUT CLASS.
How about this from TV6’s morning anchor Vicky Crystal?
A Facebooker recently posted, “Please TV6 do not show any shots of Vicky Crystal below the waist. It grosses me out and condones morbid obesity…”
Yikes. The average person facing such brutal criticism might shrink up, suffer in silence and cry herself to sleep at night. Or alternatively, lash out at the insensitive jackass.
No. This was her response: “Thanks for the input. I have to admit that I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. However, in case you were worried, my important numbers like my blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, etc are all well within the safe zones…I do regular exercise and that seems to keep my body, while not perfect to look at, running. I count myself lucky in that…The world is a vibrant place because all people are different. Embrace it.”
You go, girl.
MAYBE YOU SAW them over the weekend near South Beach–a flock of birds about the size of 747s.
They were actually American White Pelicans, giant birds that have been extending their range eastward over the last few years. They breed mostly in southern and central Canada and the upper Midwest, but more and more frequently they’ve been spotted migrating through Wisconsin and now the Upper Peninsula.
Why the move eastward? The Department of Natural Resources says they’re likely responding to a change in climate or fishing conditions. The pelicans have taken a special liking to Escanaba.
How big are they? Try a wing span of around nine or ten feet and a weight of ten pounds or more. They make ravens look like hummingbirds. The American White Pelicans are considered the second biggest bird in North America (by wing span), after the California Condor.
So far, the DNR says there’s no indication the pelicans are nesting here in the UP. They’re just passing by and doing a little fishing on their way north. If you missed them last weekend, try looking skyward this fall as they head back south toward the Gulf states.
They look just like white and black 747s, except that their wings flap. And they’ve got long beaks.
(Truth in photography: These are stock photos, not shot at South Beach)
Question of the Day: What if no one showed up at Donald Trump’s next press conference? Would we be a lesser nation for it?
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