That's the official word coming out of Cliffs Natural Resources following the apparent...and shocking...takeover of the Cliffs board by Casablanca Capital, the activist hedge fund, on Tuesday.
Final results of the voting won't be tabulated for a couple more days but Casablanca is declaring victory, and the current Cliffs leadership is remaining silent.
What does it all mean for Cliffs? Probably the ousting of the CEO and president Gary Halverson, along with the seating of six new board members, a new direction for the ailing company, a divesting of some of its operations, and maybe a rise in its stock price. It jumped more than two dollars a share after the voting results were first made public on Tuesday.
How about the Tilden and Empire mines? Hard to say if there'll be an impact here. What we do know is that Casablanca likes the Minnesota and Michigan mines and thinks they're profitable, unlike some of Cliffs' other operations. That's good news for Marquette County and Cliffs' 1500 or so employees here.
Any loss of jobs? Can't tell yet. You can be certain, though, that Casablanca is out to make money for its shareholders. Period.
If that means hard-working people lose their jobs, so be it. That's the way the system works, especially when a company's stock price has plummeted 85% in three years.
UPDATE ON THE relocation of Marquette General Hospital (aka "The $300 Million Guessing Game!"): The Marquette Golf Club has informed Duke LifePoint that the hospital needs to make a serious offer for the golf course.
To date, that has not happened.
The club is burdened with a stubborn four million dollar debt but it's not about to give away half of its treasured Heritage course for a song and a dance and a shiny set of golf clubs.
Next meeting for the club to discuss the issues is August 7th.
In the past few weeks, he's attended services at Lutheran and Episcopalian churches as well as another local Catholic church.
He says he still considers himself a "member" of St. Michaels but he's had no correspondence with the priest or bishop.
He's pinning his hopes on a change.org petition with more than 1000 signatures that's asking the Pope to review his case. Seems like a longshot.
At some point, you gotta believe Brown will settle in at a church that truly embraces gay marriage. He'll have a new, welcoming spiritual home, and the Catholic church will continue its struggles to adapt to the changing realities of the 21st century.
SOME OF US may not understand it but you've got to admire the courage of Bob and Peggy Lorinser.
They're headed to Afghanistan. It's supposed to be lovely in the fall.
Actually these foreign service employees had volunteered to go to Iraq--another delightful vacation spot--but that was overruled as being too dangerous given the recent military gains by ISIS, the Islamic group that's considered slightly more radical than Al Qaeda.
So the Lorinsers, after serving tours of duty in Pakistan and South Korea, are off to Washington DC where they'll get three weeks of training on the Afghan culture...and then it's straight to Kabul.
Bob, a doctor, will serve as regional medical director and travel throughout Afghanistan; Peggy will perform her work at the American embassy in Kabul.
And to think, just a few short years ago, this couple, after having raised their children, was enjoying a normal, comfortable life in Marquette. And then this. A midlife crisis? A second chapter? A thirst for adventure? A hunger for meaning?
Whatever it was, it was imbued with a strong sense of patriotism for which we should all be thankful.
YA GOTTA LOVE Dan Perkins.
He's the westside businessman who's dreaming about transforming Ishpeming, and is actually pursuing his dreams.
His pet project for the last year or so has been establishing the Partridge Creek Farm, a 20 acre tract at the intersection of Malton Road and Heritage Trail in Ishpeming.
Right now the land is suitable for growing weeds and not much else but Perkins, in conjunction with the Ishpeming City Council and some far-seeing volunteers, continues to push for permitting and financing of the tract as a non-profit community farm with a ten month growing season (in greenhouses) and an aquaponics operation.
Aquaponics? That's raising and harvesting fish who, at the same time, provide natural fertilizer for your crops. Brilliant. Synergistic. Symbiotic. It's working at farms in Milwaukee. Perkins is convinced it can happen here.
Call him Don Quixote tilting at windmills. He doesn't care. Scoff at all the delays and obstacles. So what. He sees Ishpeming in need of jobs and fresh produce (He calls the UP a "food desert") and he's convinced he may have a solution. He continues to push forward.
He's hoping, with a substantial grant, Cliffs and Lundin might give Partridge Creek Farm the boost it needs to start tilling the soil and building the greenhouses. Composting the soil should take place next year, crop production should start in 2016.
Let's wish them luck.
MORE NEWS FROM the westside.
The long delayed microbrewery, Cognition Brewing Company, is finally making substantial progress toward completion.
Anticipated opening? November.
It'll be located in the tap room of the historic Mather Inn so much of the structure and furnishing is already in place. It will have the feel of an old English pub, with eight to ten brews on tap. What's not to like?
And the name Cognition? Seems a bit strange for a brewing company. Well, the owner, Jay Clancey, and the brew master, Brian Richards, want you to "think" about what you're drinking, and truly appreciate the flavors, rather than simply drinking to get a buzz.
Whatever. Craft beer at a renovated historic pub sounds like a great idea, regardless of the name.
THE MARQUETTE COUNTRY Convention and Visitors Bureau isn't having much luck so far in finding a successor for director Pat Black who's leaving her post at the end of the year.
More than 20 people have applied for the post...but none of them has had tourism experience. That would seem to be a major deficiency in a region whose economic fortunes are increasingly tied to tourism.
Case in point: after a frigid winter that really didn't seem to end until May, Marquette is now poised for what may be the biggest summer season in its history. Yeah, a lot of out-of-towners actually enjoy blustery, 68 degree days where the sun plays peek-a-boo with the clouds.
And Ms. Black? She's heading down to Arizona for a long, sunny vacation early next year. Her successor--whoever he or she turns out to be--will have some big flip-flops to fill.
You got news? Email me at briancabell.com
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