Friday, August 24, 2012

County Board Agenda Aug 28, 2012

The agenda may be found at:

It will be removed by years' end.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Northstar Hospital 2nd Quarter 2012

No matter what an organization puts into financial
reports about how it is doing, the rubber hits the road
when it comes to actual deposits. The only reason we
know of for not making deposits on schedule is if the
cash that is being reported isn't actually there. Of
course there possibly are other reasons, but the
report provided by Northstar Hospital doesn't grant
us the luxury of such a disclosure nor do they so
much as inform of of how long the delay in making
the deposit was.

On page 7 of the FY2011 report,

Northstar discloses:

"In its letter dated April 30, 2012, the Master
Trustee notified the Obligated Group that its
tardiness in depositing its Quarterly Net Cash
Flow to the Supplemental Account for the quarter
ended December 31, 2011 has caused a Forbearance
Event of Default to occur, which Forbearance
Event of Default terminated the forbearance of
certain Specified Defaults, and which Forbearance
Event of Default has caused an Event of Default
under the Master Indenture."

Also of concern is that for FY2011 the deficit for
revenue/expenses only showed 22% of the total
achieved for FY2011 at the halfway, 6 month,
point. Ordinarily your humble correspondent 
expects a more closely linear distribution of the
underlying facts, and believes that reporting may
be inaccurate.

The net effect is not of major consequence to the
current latest report to be found at:

The positive figures provided in this report can
simply shift to depict a loss by years end, but
we'll simply have to wait to see what falls out in
subsequent reports.

The Russian wisdom, adapted by Ronald Reagan,
"Trust but verify" is the reason that the financial
statements are required quarterly in the first place.
To date the numbers for the $23,150,000
municipal bond issued have never looked very
good. We hope they improve and defaults don't

Bill Vajk

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Open Letter To: Patti Peretto

Subject: Congratulations & Expectations

Dear Ms. Peretto:

Congratulations on winning the recent election to
become a member of the next Iron County Board.

As publisher and editor of Iron County Doings, I
read your newspaper advertisement and the letter I
received from “The Committee to Elect Patti
Peretto.[1]” In these public offerings I saw no
specifics promised to the electorate.

As you are aware, this nation is in a significant
state of change, primarily because of the national
and international economic crisis. Unfortunately
Iron County has been in that sort of economically
depressed state at least since the late 1970’s, and
while there never was a reasonable excuse for it,
there is certainly no excuse for Iron County to
remain permanently economically depressed. It
is in the spirit of seeing the county pull itself up
out of this state of depression by its own bootstraps
that I am presently writing to you. I’ve enclosed
some of our recently published articles relevant
to the topic.

This present day economic “faith of our fathers”
no longer suffices in Iron County. You are getting
a fresh new start on the Iron County Board, and
you’ve impressed the public with your leadership
skills as well as your personal popularity. In January
2013, that rubber will hit the road, and it needs
badly to have some traction to pull the county out
of the economic quagmire we find ourselves in.

Crivitz, with a population of only 984, (see attached
article,) a small town with some similarities to our
conditions, has managed to do so. In the meantime
Iron County and its other municipalities can’t get so
much as a police car or a pickup truck without a state
or federal grant assisting in the purchase. Any
purchases by our residents that go beyond the narrow
offerings of our relatively few local merchants
necessitates either a 50 (perhaps more) mile trip, or
ordering off the internet.

I don’t think there’s a single resident of Iron County
who would support a statement that goes, “I’m stupid
and I’m poor and I really enjoy it!” None of us enjoys
the need to go out of the county or to the internet to
purchase many necessities. So why do the county and
other municipalities continue on this well established
path to failure? Iron County has some natural features
that make us an excellent stopping point for travelers.
Why aren’t we welcoming them in ways that enhance
their lives while enriching ours while creating long
term jobs for our youth?

Merely being a caretaker of county government is not,
and will never again, be considered an adequate effort
by officials elected to positions here in Iron County.
Please help drive this county to become the economic
success that it can be. All that actually requires is a
change of heart, and the rest will follow naturally.

Bill Vajk

[1] The County Clerk’s office reports not finding an
assumed name certificate, required by MCL 445.1(1).

Monday, August 6, 2012

What is it about Crivitz?

Last week your humble correspondent had occasion
 to travel to Green Bay by car. It had been about a
year since I last made the same trip. As a convenient
stopping point, a McDonalds with senior coffee and
restrooms, has existed there for some time now, I
usually stop for a few minutes and while there, smell
the local roses. Another stop to an interesting new
place is usually in order.

It is now well past obvious that Crivitz knows how
to build businesses. Properties on both sides of the
highway have been filling in with new businesses
that were not there just a few years ago. Considering
that the town is situated about 50 miles away from the
nearest regional shopping region (much like us,) Green
Bay, and the population of 984 (in the year 2000)
is significantly smaller than Iron River, we have to
wonder what it is that Crivitz gets right that Iron River
fails to do.

Once you begin to experience growth as Crivitz has,
the community becomes an attractive spot for people
driving through, as I do, to stop and to engage in
business. Obviously catering only to the local
population isn’t sufficient to attract the business
of those driving through. For one thing,
mom&pop style businesses that are closed
on Sundays and holidays, and keep 10AM to
5PM hours the rest of the time are losing a full
half, or more,  of the peak traffic that passes

What is there about Iron River that makes people
driving through want to stop?

In a word, nothing.

What catches the eye of the passer by? Is it
the swamp loving vegetation that chokes the
Iron River downtown? That’s one of the things
few things we’re noted for!

There are four gas stations on US2 available
to people passing through. And generally
speaking, they provide the highest price
gasoline along the US2 route in this region.

So that’s a reason to stop only for a bathroom call
or because the gas gauge is bouncing off the peg
at “empty.”

Other than that, we have the Riverside Mall and
McDonalds. So people who tend to stop, just passing
through, have nothing other than immediate necessity
to catch their eye and their imagination, and, really,
nothing worthwhile to come back to, just another bland
little town en route to the driver’s destination.

The most elementary marketing definition is, “the
process of developing, promoting, and distributing
products to satisfy customers' needs and wants.”
Here’s the thing….we have traffic passing through the
region. That means that potential customers/consumers
are already here because of the highway. So how much
does it take to capture a few dollars in profit from each?

Marketing 101 strategy says, “not very much.” But
primarily you have to want to, and given some thought,
act to capture that income that presently complains
about the 25 mile per hour speed limit as their only
exposure to what Iron River has to offer to most of
them. If only they had something to actually look at
and enjoy as they drive through town! The situation
isn’t much different at Crystal falls. Once you’ve seen
the courthouse, you’ve seen the courthouse. 20 years
from now, if one repeats the experience, nothing of
visitor consequence will have changed. Everything

that can be said about Iron River can be said about
the experience of driving through Crystal Falls.

Obviously the powers that be don’t want additional
income for this community? Good grief, is it going
to hurt them economically? Or are they afraid of real
economic progress because their personal power
might be diluted? I suspect that personal power can,
in this instance, be equated to prestige.

Tell you what folks, if you had anything worthwhile
beyond personal power in the community, that personal
power wouldn’t be so very important to you!

We have a county Economic Development
Corporation that ignores profit centers that are,
given the Crivitz example, are ripe for the plucking.
And it, too, is run by the same “powers that be”
who hold back this community.

Wake up and smell the coffee folks. Expand your
horizons. Personal power isn’t all that it is cracked
up to be, especially once you get your noses out of
this community and into the real world. Those of you
who are interested in a  new, bigger, airport can
easily have one once the tax base in this county
improves and usage justifies it to the taxpayer. How
will the tax base improve? Not by providing more
bedrooms in the forests and on the lakefronts. It
improves the most through creating an economic
advantage by bringing more businesses into the
community. Closing a Wardo’s and opening yet
another dollar store isn’t a wash, it is a step
backwards. The ball has been in your court for
some decades now. How come you haven’t done
a better job than this?

Hint to the local oligarchy: Making Iron County
your economic fiefdom doesn’t cut the mustard.
The only reason you’ve done that is because you
can’t make it elsewhere.

Prove me wrong.

Bill Vajk

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 - Men Who Cook

4th ANNUAL MEN WHO COOK for Kinship 
of Iron County

5:30 – 8:30 PM, FOOD TASTING FROM 
6:00-8:00 PM

Kinship of Iron County provides adult mentoring for 
youth throughout the county and welcomes your support!

 150 sales.  Half of the tickets are already sold so 
                   don't wait!

To reserve your place, mail your check, payable to 
“Kinship of Iron County”, with your name and address 
Kay Anderson
135 N Trybom Dr
Iron Rive, MI 49935 

Name Tags will be available at the door for all reserved 
tickets.  We do not send paper tickets to you.

Questions or reservation requests?

CALL:  503-380-6327
Published as received by Bill Vajk

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