WHAT’S IT LIKE being a pioneer in Marquette’s brand new Smartzone? Jeff Nyquist is finding out fast.
Nyquist, the founder and CEO of Neuro Trainer on Washington Street, has been in California for the last two weeks, meeting with high tech industry entrepreneurs and leaders, and searching for potential investors in his product.
The product hasn’t come to market yet but when it does, it’ll offer virtual reality training–like a flight simulator–for athletes. The idea is to enhance reflexes, focus, and awareness of what’s happening during a game.
Nyquist has had a dozen meetings on the west coast. Definite interest. More connections to be made. He’s searching for funding as well as co-founders and early employees of Neuro Trainer–the type of smart, eager folks who’d be looking for equity in a promising start-up rather than a comfortable weekly paycheck.
When he gets back to Marquette this weekend, he’ll start planning for a fundraising campaign. That could happen in November.
His hope? Raising a million dollars in six weeks or so. Yeah, that’d be a nice little start.
By the way, Nyquist’s indispensable guide through this whole process has been Ray Johnson, the newly appointed director of Marquette’s Smartzone. Johnson’s already earning his paycheck.
IT’S ALL BUT official. Stat Senator Tom Casperson (R) will be running for the Congressional seat being vacated by Dan Benishek.
Word is, he’ll be making a formal announcement in the next few weeks.
That’ll likely put him up against Jason Allen who ran an extremely tight race against Benishek in the Republican primary back in 2010.
On the Democratic side, the announced candidates are Lon Johnson, a former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, and Jerry Cannon, who lost to Benishek in 2014.
No matter what, the U.P. and northern Michigan will have new representation in Washington after next year’s election–and from most indications, someone who will be at least a little less conservative than Benishek.
PASSING LEGISLATION HAS sometimes been likened to making sausage. It ain’t a pretty process, but you hope the final product is presentable and tasty.
Well, they’re now making “dark store” sausage in Lansing. The hope, of course, is that the new bills will prevent the Michigan Tax Tribunal in the future from assessing large, successful businesses at unconscionably low rates. The Tribunal has allowed those businesses to be taxed as though they were closed-down, “dark” stores.
Those lowered rates have resulted in reduced revenues to the cities, townships and counties which in turn have had to severely cut back services.
So here’s what our legislators are doing. Casperson is introducing a bill in the Senate to stop the “dark store” taxing practice by the Tribunal.
He or another Republican will soon introduce another bill that would prohibit businesses from putting deed restrictions on properties, thereby reducing competition, devaluing that property and cutting into tax revenues.
State Representative John Kivela has already introduced a deed restriction bill in the house and is expecting a downstate Republican, David Maturen, to introduce the “dark store” legislation soon. Like in the next few weeks.
The House bills go before the Tax Policy Committee on November 4th. There they can changed, ignored or pushed forward. The wording may change, the intent may change. Lotsa backroom talking, deal-making, maybe some arm-twisting. Same thing in the Senate.
Meantime, State Representative Scott Dianda is trying to get his own “dark store” bill passed. It would allow municipalities to charge an extra services fee to businesses that have gotten their assessments lowered. Of course, that could change, too.
With luck, some of these bills pass by the end of the year or in early 2016. Without luck, they’ll be swept aside and discarded like meat scraps on a butcher’s floor.
AMID THE CONTINUING tragedy surrounding guns and crazy, alienated gunmen, its encouraging to know that gun control can work.
It’s happening on NMU’s campus with nary a dissent.
No guns are allowed on campus but, of course, a lot of students are hunters. When they arrive at NMU, they register their weapons and store them with NMU Public Safety and Police Services.
At last count, 219 guns had been registered and stored by 175 students.
When hunting season arrives, they take the guns out of storage, go and hunt, then return the guns afterwards to a secured spot with the police.
Easy peasy. No one’s trying to steal their guns, no one’s trying to control their lives, no one’s trying to deny them the privilege of hunting.
Damn. It seems so easy. And civilized.
HERE’S UNDENIABLE PROOF that Marquette has hit the big time: we now have a waxing studio in town.
Spruce Wax and Skin opened this week on Baraga Street (across from Dead River Coffee and Everyday Wines), and Elizabeth Collins, the owner, fully expects there to be plenty of business from Yooper women (and men). Collins comes here from Denver where she spent seven years in the business of waxing.
All this, of course, is something that elderly, out-of-touch, provincial males likely won’t understand.
Don’t even try. The times, they are a changin’.
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