When is enough, enough?
Usually, whenever two entities engage in some type of warfare, it’s easy to pick a side. Like when the Packers play the Lions. You won’t find much ambiguity there.
But when it comes to Disney versus Spectrum… who you rootin’ for?
While the two behemoths are stuck in a stalemate over rights fees, aka… who gets more of your money, cable subscribers are the ones who are losing the battle, and a few of their favorite channels.
Sure, ESPN isn’t the “must see TV” it used to be, but they still carry a lot of games, and sports fans, like me, enjoy watching games. And it’s not just sports. Disney properties also feature a wide range of family fare. I’m told.
So what’s a Spectrum subscriber supposed to do? Apparently local reaction has been less than extreme, with not many people cutting the cord… yet. That may change however, as many subscribers, already weary of their ever-rising cable bill, may figure this is a good time to bolt.
Then, in the “heads they win, tails we lose” category, Spectrum can offset a loss of subscribers by raising fees even more on those who stick around. Had enough yet?
Don’t get me wrong… I really like cable television. Just plug it in and turn it on. The product, regardless of a glitch here or there, is still pretty good. But there’s a limit to how much we want to spend on it.
If social media reaction is any indicator, and it usually is, television viewers are looking for alternatives. And there are plenty. The problem comes when you try to figure out what combination of all the available options… online, satellite, streaming, tapping into your neighbor’s account, even putting up an antenna, will best fulfill your viewing requirements.
Cutting the cable cord entirely is always an option, but when you’ve been attached to it for most of your adult life, the prospect is frightening. I still remember the day some 35 or so years ago when the cable guy stopped by my house, handed me my new remote controller, and cranked up channels I didn’t even know existed. My life changed that day my friends, and I don’t want to go back.
Until the current corporate impasse is settled, we’ll just have to deal with fewer viewing options, or make the switch to a different system. Thinking outside the idiot box, one suggestion was to just unplug the whole darn thing and find something better to do.
For this boomer, who was raised on television… “What in the name of Captain Kangaroo could be better to do?”
The New Kids Cove
We can probably all agree… though the playground at Mattson Park has served us well for more than 25 years, its time is up. Now, thanks to the work of the Marquette Playgrounds for All Committee and the largesse of a number of organizations and individuals, it’s being replaced.
It’s taken a couple years and a number of various fundraisers, but the volunteer committee has raised a bunch of money for the new Kids Cove. It’s being touted as a playground that will work for the widest spectrum of users based on the concept of ALL-INCLUSIVE design.
Exactly how much is a “bunch of money?” How about a few bucks north of $1.4 million! That was the initial target, but, surprising no one, the bids came in requiring an additional $300,000 or so. The committee is confident they’ll come up with the cash, so work has started on the demolition of the current structure, with construction on its replacement to begin next spring.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier this week featuring many of the key players in the project… city officials, committee members, including but not limited to, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Nheena Weyer Ittner. There’s also a considerable amount of local influence, with both the design and construction firms being from the area.
One aspect of the new play area being touted by developers will be its commitment to children of various abilities, to play and learn together in a safe, fun environment. Caregiver access will be also be improved, helping to make it a more positive experience for all, and a great addition to the popular Mattson Park. Sounds like a good idea.
However, one concern I’ve heard is, due to its commitment to “safety and inclusion,” it may lose some appeal to kids with greater abilities.
Bill Sanders, of Sanders-Czapski Associates, the design firm of the playground, assures us that won’t be the case. “Inclusion does not equal accessibility. For our team, inclusion meant simply everyone. Design a playground so that every kid feels like it was designed for them. We have all seen places and events where there are kids on the outside looking in. We are striving for a place where those kids, all kids, are participating, rubbing shoulders with each other helping each other conquer that next challenge.”
Sanders continues… “Every single piece of play equipment and site element was carefully selected to provide multiple levels of challenge on the same piece of equipment, and different levels of risk taking. This playground puts all kids, regardless of their ability, together in play, where they can learn that in spite of visible differences we are really all the same where it counts… happiness and friendship.”
$1.7 million, or whatever it ends up being, seems like a lot of money for a playground. I guess if you can raise that much money for your project, and make it state-of-the-art, more power to you. But dang… 1.7 million for a playground. I guess the days of the simple slide and see-saw are long gone.
According to unofficial records, the original playground, initially known as Kids Kingdom, cost around $125,000 to build. Much of the labor and materials were donated, so that helped keep the cost down. But yeah… it was a different time.
Tomorrow morning at Ishpeming’s Lake Bancroft Park they’ll be dedicating their own new play area for kids… the Ray Leverton Memorial Playground. Leverton, who passed away in 2021, was known for his volunteering, fundraising, and commitment to community.
The Ishpeming Noon Kiwanis Club spearheaded the effort and was able to get it done for under $200,000, which came from a variety of sources, including local donors. It’s a much more modest setup than Marquette’s Kids Cove, but a perfect addition to that revitalized lakeside park. Tomorrow’s dedication ceremony starts at 9am.