WINTER HASN’T BEEN kind to the bars and restaurants downtown.
L’Attitude recently shut down until May (except for private events). Now the Wild Rover has decided to close its doors three days a week–Sunday, Monday and Tuesday–until further notice.
And unlike past years when it served lunch, it’s not opening on the other four days until 4 pm. No surprise, servers have been laid off.
Oh wait, there’s more: The Rover is now officially up for sale. If you’ve got a nifty $595,000, it can be yours.
Kinda sad, what’s happening in town. Three of the very best spaces around for bar/restaurants–UpFront, L’Attitude, and the Rover– are either closed or struggling.
There is interest in the Rover, by the way, but just not at that price.
IF YOU HEARD that 1000 conventioneers were meeting in the heart of downtown Marquette tonight, you’d probably think it was a pretty big deal, right?
It’d probably be covered bigtime by the mainstream media. Front page of the newspaper, lead story on TV.
How about 1000 music-loving, fun-seeking young people gathering for a “rave” at the Masonic Building?
A rave?!!! Yikes! Gather up your children! Lock all your doors!
The fact is, a group known as Groove MQT has already held two huge raves this year at the Masonic Building on Washington Street. Organizers claim 1000 people “cycled through” over the course of each party.
They’ve even held a charity rave. Police say the events have been relatively peaceful. No big drug busts, no fights, no serious illegal activity.
The cops patrol the rave regularly and aren’t hassled. They work cooperatively with the rave’s own security force. No drinking of alcohol is allowed on the premises (the rave is open to 18+), nor are drugs.
Of course, they can’t rule out any imbibing or consumption that may occur beforehand. But still, it sounds remarkably civil, even serene.
Well, no. There’s loud, loud music from the DJs (they’re the ones who organize these events), there’s dancing, there’s dense crowds. It’s a happening. If you’re over 30…okay, over 40…you’re gonna probably wanna stay home, snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, and watch Netflix.
But just be aware that downtown Friday night, from 9 pm til 3, hordes of young folks will be invading downtown, throwing a wild party, and not be getting into trouble. We hope.
In the final throes of winter, when business is slow and the streets are usually empty, it’s nice to see downtown coming alive. Even if the revelers aren’t expense account conventioneers and they’re not featured on the front page of the newspaper.
DUCK! THE MUD-SLINGING at NMU is getting nastier and more frenetic.
The university’s newspaper The North Wind, which has been engaged in a months-long battle with the NMU administration over FOIA requests on different issues, now finds itself on the receiving end of a stinging email from Rick Popp, the chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Popp accuses the newspaper of engaging in sensationalism, scurrilous characterizations, and misleading conclusions.
Popp’s email to the entire university community comes in response to a recent story in the North Wind with the headline “The ‘Suite’ Life of NMU Board of Trustees.” The article documented NMU’s expenses in bringing its eight Board members together for their meetings.
1) $30,000 spent for transportation in the last year.
2) $20,000 spent for hotels.
3) $34,000 for miscellaneous expenses, including meals.
4) One trustee flew his private plane to the meetings and was reimbursed $737 for the trips. On other trips he picked up other trustees as passengers and was reimbursed at a higher cost.
5) When trustees fly out of Detroit, their round trip tickets generally cost $800-$1200.
6) Most trustees stay at the Landmark Inn when they’re in town. They get a special rate of $100.
7) They rent the more expensive suite at the Landmark for some meetings.
Okay, the trustees spend money for these meetings. That’s clear.
But it’s hard to say that any of the expenses are outrageous or out-of-line. In fact, compared to other boards of trustees (who, let’s face it, are mostly multi-millionaires), these expenses seem downright reasonable.
Nobody expects a university’s trustees to squeeze into a minivan and drive to their meetings in Marquette where they’d then be lodged at the Day’s Inn and fed at Pizza Hut.
Now, to be fair, the newspaper article never says that. It presents only the facts, and they appear to be accurate. Good journalism.
But it’s the headline “The Suite Life…” and the overall implication of the article–extravagance, maybe a hint of impropriety–that Popp objects to.
He’s probably right.
Still, a newspaper, in its purest form, is supposed to act as a watchdog, right? That’s what the North Wind has been doing recently. Too many other media operations have been passive and toothless.
The North Wind has been anything but.
In its most recent editorial, it accuses Popp, the trustees and the NMU administration of being “overlords” who are trying to bully the student journalists whose only weapon is the written word.
A bit of hyperbole there. Maybe, just maybe, the student journalists should pull back just a little bit, even though it is fun to poke the bull in the ass and then watch it go crazy.
And maybe the administration and trustees should accept the fact that they have a new, aggressive watchdog on campus, and it’s better to befriend him than be bitten by him.
SPEAKING OF BIG money, have you noticed the Cliffs’ stock price recently?
That’s a joke, of course.
The share price is now camping out around the $5 mark. That’s down 16% for the last three months, 74% for the last year, and a zillion percent for the last five years.
We had thought $7 a share might be the floor. Now, it looks like it might be $-1. We’ll all owe money for every share we own.
Depressed demand for iron ore from China remains the main reason. That, and a recent lawsuit filed by a Canadian bank against Cliffs claiming that Cliffs broke terms of a deal when it shut down its Bloom Lake mine.
If you’re looking for reaction to that or any rumors that might be flying around the Empire and Tilden mines, well, good luck. Cliffs has fired its public affairs officials in town. Instead, you have to call Cleveland where the answers are less than quick and forthcoming.
They must be too busy working on their next blockbuster deal.
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