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Old 01-08-2007, 03:44 PM
12 posts, read 53,754 times
Reputation: 31


Just a warning for anyone considering a move to the former K.I. Sawyer AFB in the UP. This place is not one of those thriving military base redevelopments that you hear about in other parts of the country. It is a decaying former base that no one wants to put any money into. A bunch of get-rich-quick speculators bought up all the property cheap- and put little or no money into it. When they didn't get rich quick it bummed them out. I never saw so many decaying houses with foreclosure notices on them.

The speculators lure people in with the relatively low house prices and low rents. They tell them that there are new jobs coming into the "industrial park."
Truth is that there have been very few employers brought in- and very few jobs. There are thousands of cheap housing units, but only a few hundred jobs- and they are already filled. The rest of the area is economically depressed. They only hire locals anyway. The surrounding communities treat you like a second class citizen if they hear that you are from Sawyer.

So, you end up moving way up there and there is no work. This means that you can't pay your mortgage or rent. There is a constant stream of people moving out- usually skipping out and leaving most of their belongings behind. It is a trap.

The gangs have discovered Sawyer and the fact that there is little police protection (the surrounding towns do not want to provide it.) I never saw so much open gang activity and drug dealing.

The lack of planning in "privatizing" this base has accomplished what I thought was impossible. It created a crime-ridden ghetto in the middle of the North Woods...
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:48 PM
4 posts, read 44,928 times
Reputation: 23
Default KI Sawyer REPLY

My husband and I had brought my family here to raise, 11 years ago and although it is true that there is not much work for all of the housing available ,it is the perfect place to start a Small Business .
There are plenty of Commercial Properties available and NO TAXES for the next 4 to 5 years as an incentive !!!!
As far as Gangs and Drugs ,we are a very small community .
What little drugs there are or may be ,does NOT COPMPARE to all other places we have lived .
We came to Marquette from Arizona and believe me there was nothing here compared to Arizonas Gangs ,Drugs and UNEMPLOYMENT.
Gwinn and Sawyer are even BETTER than Marquette !!!
The People are friendlier the Merchants are more Loyal to the Communities and the Jobs will Come if you bring them with you .
The Community is HERE !!! We just need Community Merchants !!!
We all need to go 50 miles to the nearest town ,Marquette just to get a pair of socks or Baby Gear ,Clothes of any kind , fast food ,Pizza ETC.

The Police are here all the time at the community center and riding around ....getting to know us all by being a part of the community.They most of the Community by name .
The teens here pretend to be part of the gang culture by wearing Urban Wear and giving the Rock On Sign with their hands ..but they have no clue what a gang really is. They don't even have gang names .
They hang out at the nearby supervised Community Center.
If you are looking into getting a Small Business going ,the NEED is HERE! for gaming to clothing and everything in between !!!!
In my opinion Moving here was the best decision we have ever made for ourselves and especially our children.
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:35 AM
2 posts, read 22,016 times
Reputation: 18
Default reply to rodeo cowboy, et al

Things aren't all bad at the former Air Force Base. The price of a home there is much less than in other Marquette County areas. The 20 (not 50) mile commute to a job in Marquette is the price you pay for such affordable housing.
All law abiding citizens should expect and defend their right to live in a safe neighborhood.
"Gang" activity will not flourish if the neighbors stand up against it. The "problems" at Sawyer are minor compared to many other places in the U.S., and will not last unless the citizens turn a blind eye and permit unlawful activities to flourish around them.
Be a positive influence on your family, friends, and neighbors and stand up for what is right. The return will be a much better place to live and a better life for you and everyone around you.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:16 AM
999 posts, read 3,657,716 times
Reputation: 403
Someone is complaining about a 20 mile UP commute??? Try driving from Howell or Brighton to Detroit every day.

If it were EASY to live and work in the UP, it wouldn't be the place that drew you there in the FIRST place!! The alternative is to make your living somewhere else and then retire to the UP. Don't screw it up by making it into the place you left.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:37 AM
Location: Midwest
1,905 posts, read 6,477,200 times
Reputation: 435
I drove through Sawyer this past August. It's too far from Marquette! Trees, trees ... OK, any time now ...
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:13 AM
1 posts, read 20,598 times
Reputation: 16
Originally Posted by oldengineer View Post
The gangs have discovered Sawyer and the fact that there is little police protection (the surrounding towns do not want to provide it.) I never saw so much open gang activity and drug dealing.
What?! I have been living here for years and I still have a hard time finding drugs!

Seriously though, anyone who thinks there are "gangs" here has never seen any gangs or organized crime. The "gangs" here are just teenage punks that think they look cool when they pretend to be thugs. There isn't even any tags or graffiti. How much less crime can you expect?

Jobs are hard to find though. Don't move up here expecting to find a job. Find the job and then move out here. If you don't have a degree or are a skilled laborer, you are probably going to be screwed.

It is about 18-22 miles out of Marquette to the base, but it does seem longer because before it was shut down, the Air Force discouraged or didn't allow development close to it. There are a lot of trees between Marquette and Sawyer, but it is still a pretty short drive.

I have heard a lot of exaggeration and whining in my life but gangs up here.... lol
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:33 PM
16 posts, read 91,220 times
Reputation: 20
I am from Marquette and am now working out at KI. Things are not even close to being as bad as most people say. Until I started working in the area a little over a year ago i believed everything that was said; and 98% of it is blown way out of proportion. The housing is very cheap and there are many amazing small business opportunities. There are lots of people at KI who are working hard to break free from the sterotype. Having said that i must say that KI has its issues. There are reasons kids are out in the streets at night. There is very little to do in KI; if I were a teenager again I would be doing the same thing. With the state of Michigan in its current condition there are no extra funds for such a small area. Also, recently there have been talks about making KI its own small city, and in my opinion, is a great idea. After all this rambling, my point is, KI has got a bad rap. There is so much opportunity, and things are looking up.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:23 PM
Location: The Beautiful U.P.!
137 posts, read 434,201 times
Reputation: 38
We moved to Sawyer in September, from Ohio......Gangs???? ROTF! As others have said, there ARE kids that hang out here and there....skateboarders or whatever but, good Jebus! I'll certainly take the 'gangs' here over where we came from ANYDAY! I agree, there needs to be a lot of cleanup down in the thick of things......A lot of those condos are pretty run down. However, that's just a fraction of the whole base. We live in a cutsie li'l single-home community.....We really enjoy it. We've been here 3 months and have NOT found that people are rude to us outsiders. They have all seemed to welcome us with open arms......Yeah, there's that occasional crotchety ol' fart but, in what city isn't there at least one?!?! There DOES need to be some work to improve things here.......starting with the condos.....but, that takes money.....Money K.I., West Branch and Forsyth Twp. don't have......I mean, it took a donation from a church to get 4 (yeap 4) street lights lit again....I have an idea, why don't you downstaters send us some moolah and everyone will be happy :P

Trees?????? There's TREES on the base?????? That's amazing.....I mean, afterall, we ARE in the U.P. :P :P Hehehehe!!
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:18 PM
4 posts, read 44,928 times
Reputation: 23
Thank you all for your comments , its good to know you are all there and have no problems speaking up for our area...
I also think the Gwinn Merchants and the people they have hired are More Personable and welcoming .I was pleasantly surprised of that after moving here from Marquette .I lived there for 9 years .
I enjoy the people here and I am confident that we will be able to grow in due time {Now that the Democrats have another chance in office.}
If you are thinking of starting your own small business at all ,there are incentives here through the K.I. Sawyer groups and the SBA .I am in the process of doing that now .

The businesses would have to be for neccessity items and we could really use a place for the teens to play pool ,pin ball games, etc.
I hope of few of you will consider taking the chance in the next few years.

My place will be basic clothing such as underclothes ,levis band and plain t shirts hoodies toddler denim and tees,etc plus skateboards and general merchandise neccessities.
I WOULD Like To Know what you would like to see sold here .So keep writing.
It's nice having a forum to speak in.we should get a sight up just for our community...any ideas how to ?
Thanx again Sherie Bruge
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:12 AM
16 posts, read 91,220 times
Reputation: 20
I have an idea on what needs to be for sale on KI.... GAS! Why is there not a gas station? Obviously the Shopette use to be, but why not anymore? I suppose to go anywhere from KI you have to pass a station in 10-15 minutes... but that never helped me when i was sitting on E. Just a thought....
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