Articles by Squire News

About Squire News
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

Summer workshops for kids at Howard Christensen Nature Center

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Howard Christensen Nature Center is the site for Wild Wednesdays-three summer workshops for students ages 5 and older. Each workshop has a special theme focusing on a different habitat at the 135-acre nature center in northern Kent County-lakes and wetlands, forests, and fields. There are two dates left-July 15 and August 12-with a cost of $20 per day and a $5 discount for members. Howard Christensen Nature Center’s trained interpretive instructors will lead groups of 10-15 students, which will be grouped by age. Activities for each day depend on recent plant and animal discoveries, but typically include hiking, make-and-take crafts, games and surprises! Each day also includes a thematic snack, while “campers” bring their own lunch. Each workshop starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. with a sharing time to which parents or guardians are invited. A new addition to the summer program is the Conservation Club, which will be offered to students over age 12 who have previously attended Howard Christensen Nature Center workshops. Interested parents should call the nature center at (616) 675-3158 to sign up, and the program will be developed based on the participants’ interests. Activities may include water monitoring, field inventorying and tree surveying and will take place on the same dates. Pre-registration is required for each workshop 10 days in advance. Registration forms are available at, in the nature center office, Kent Conservation office at 3260 Eagle Park Dr., Suite 111, Grand Rapids, and the Cedar Springs, Kent City and Sparta libraries. The Howard Christensen Nature Center is located at 16190 Red Pine Dr., between Cedar Springs and Kent City.

Rockford Register – July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thurs.-Fri., July 9-10 WCSG’s Summer Lifesaver Drive-8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Michigan Community Blood Centers, 1036 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids. Everyone who attempts to donate can register to win one of six family fun packages from the West Michigan Whitecaps, Craig’s Cruisers and Celebration Cinema. Food provided for donors courtesy of Max & Erma’s. For more information, visit or call 1-800-MIBLOOD. Saturday, July 11 Rockford Farm Market-8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. Blood Drive-9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at River Rock Church, 6060 Belding Rd., Rockford, in the gym inside Rockford Christian School. Everyone who registers to donate may enter to win a summer “Staycation.” Sunday, July 12 Breakfast-8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice. Tuesday, July 14 Huntington Rogue River Blues Series-7 to 9 p.m. at the Garden Park Stage, along the White Pine Trail near the dam, every Tuesday through August 11. This week features Steve Hilger Blues Band. Blood Drive-2 to 8 p.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 6369 Belmont Rd., Belmont, in the gym. Everyone who registers to donate will receive a free t-shirt and may enter to win a summer “Staycation.” Country Music-9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.  Thurs.-Sat., July 16-18 Rockford Sidewalk Sales-downtown Rockford, sponsored by HEART of Rockford. See pages 4 and 5 of this week’s Squire for individual store sales!  Fri.-Sun., July 17-19 “Salute to the U.S.-A Musical Tribute” Standard Flower Show- at Frederik Meijer Gardens, 3 to  5 p.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, sponsored by Kent Garden Club. Free to the public. Floral designs will take you on a musical journey through some of America’s most popular wartime […]

Church Message – July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

What more do we need? by REV. SUE YORK Church of the Holy Spirit Belmont As I write this article, I am also preparing for my final weekend before retiring from Church of the Holy Spirit here in Belmont. It seems incredible to me that we have been a mission parish for over six years, having started in Sparta in 1993. It has been a wonderful six-plus years, filled with laughter, joy, challenges and most of all a feeling that the Spirit of God was moving in and through all of us at Holy Spirit Church, and through all the churches. I have been impressed with this community and the strong ministry and witness of the churches in the Sparta, Rockford and Belmont area. Do we really understand that we are atypical of most of the country in the number of churches and the percentage of church attendance? Most of us here have a church and we attend regularly. I will dearly miss my parishioners, but I will also miss my colleagues in ministry, especially in Sparta, where we came together weekly at Sparta Baptist from 9 to 10 a.m. weekly. We gathered around a table and prayed for each other, our congregations, schools, local governments, students and anything else that was heavy on our hearts or for which we were thankful. I highly recommend this kind of prayer circle to all manner of groups, or even two or three friends gathering together. The power of these prayers are tangible and make the world and the ministries that we find ourselves part of all the more effective. I Corinthians 3:5-11 has spoken to me especially these past weeks as I prepare my final homily. Paul says, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth… for we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”  What more do we need to know than God, working through us can do even more than we can ask or imagine, that it is not about us as individuals, but about the body of Christ working through us that will grow the church and spread the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s love and message to […]

Glaucoma: the leading cause of preventable blindness in U.S.

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

by DR. CARL STITES Stites Eye Care Our visual system is a complex network of nerves, blood vessels, muscles and refractive surfaces that allow us to view the world clearly. Although we have made great advancements over the years in the study of human medicine, we still cannot repair nerve fibers. If your spinal cord is severed, paralysis is unavoidable. The eye relies on nerve fibers to transmit visual information to the brain. If the nerve fibers of the eye are damaged, transmission of this visual information is affected and vision loss inevitably and irreparably occurs. This is what takes place in glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that initially causes a gradual loss of peripheral vision that slowly advances to an eventual total vision loss in the affected eye. This article will deal with the most common type of glaucoma, “open angle glaucoma.” Unfortunately, there are no symptoms-no redness, no pain and no blurred vision. Patients do not realize they have the disease, which is why it is the leading cause of preventable blindness in our country. The earliest effect of this condition is a very gradual loss of peripheral visual field. If you notice a loss in your visual field, the disease has most likely been present for quite some time and even with aggressive treatment it is often too late to save any usable vision in that eye. Any vision loss at all from glaucoma is always permanent and irreversible since it involves damage to nerve fibers. The goal in any treatment is to prevent further vision loss. Glaucoma can affect any person at any age. I have diagnosed and treated glaucoma in 29-year-olds and 89-year-olds, although it is more common with each decade of life. There is definitely a genetic component to this disease, so if a family member is affected, your risk increases markedly. Blacks, Hispanics and diabetics are also at a greater risk of developing glaucoma earlier in life. Glaucoma has not been linked to blood pressure, diet, exercise, high cholesterol or wearing glasses. The eyes are filled with a viscous fluid, much like a balloon is filled with air. In patients with glaucoma, the […]

Letters to the Editor – July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

Reader addresses budget issues Dear Editor, First of all, I would like to say that I think Michael Young has done a great job as Rockford’s City Manager. While other towns in similar size have been struggling or dying out, Rockford appears to be doing well. Like others, I was very concerned for our financial future when Wolverine closed down. I was pleased to read that we will be getting some new retail shops on Ten Mile Road, and I agree that the proposed baseball complex by the WMSC would have a positive impact on our community. I also appreciate all the thought that has gone into the City’s planning, zoning, etc. However, I don’t think I understand the changes, fully. Will these new businesses help alleviate the taxes and fees that have increased as a result of the factory closing? Specifically, will our water bills see relief from these new additions? The fee increases have affected everyone, but sometimes it seems like when there is a financial problem, the property owners (residential and business) in Rockford are the first ones to be affected. This worries me when I see more and more houses up for sale, taking longer and longer to sell. I realize that there are many reasons why people leave, but I wonder what will happen to those of us who stay? Will more be expected of us to make up the difference when a budget falls short? For example, it’s easy to say that a new millage will only cost each homeowner $10 a year, but each one adds up… and there is always the issue of decreasing property values. Luckily, the schools were able to increase their millage without raising taxes this time, but when I read about what they were spending it on, another concern was raised. Why do we need more sports fields for our school district? Maintenance and improvements to existing fields makes sense, but couldn’t the money that went to multiple fields have been directed to other parts of the schools’ budgets? Which brings me back to an issue I’ve addressed before: a skate park. Last time I brought it up, I gave the city council a hard time. Now I’m wondering why the school district […]

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