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.

Grattan Academy Blood Drive 2

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Grattan Academy High School students Tyler Arnold, Kelly Woods, and Barbee Ryan provide snacks during an American Red Cross Blood Drive hosted by the school on Wednesday, April 1.  In addition to purchased snacks and drinks, the Middle/High School Student Council members also offered donors a selection of home baked cookies.

Main Street

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Constantly confusing We’ve just enjoyed another Easter event with church services, goody baskets, and Easter egg hunts. We’re also enjoying some pretty nice weather compared with the last couple of months. Originally, Easter was a celebration of spring, although in these parts spring weather sometimes lags behind. At least we know the official date of spring’s arrival: the Earth moves, the seasons change. The date of Easter is elusive. If you can’t keep track, blame your confusion on Emperor Constantine. It was he who decreed that “Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.” Watch out, though. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day one corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It doesn’t always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25. Now you know everything about the date Easter falls on. You probably won’t even have to consult a calendar in the future. However, if you have any continuing confusion about when it will be Easter, watch for a pink bunny carrying eggs. Mysteriously transmitted Two guys are out hunting in the woods, and as they’re walking along they come upon a huge hole in the ground. They approach it and are amazed by its size. The first hunter says, “Wow, that’s some hole. I can’t even see the bottom. I wonder how deep it is.” The second hunter says, “I don’t know. Let’s throw something down there and listen to see how long it takes to hit bottom.” The first hunter says, “I see an old transmission over here. Give me a hand and we’ll throw it in.” So they pick up the transmission, carry it over, count one and two and three, and throw it in the hole. They’re standing there listening and looking over the edge when they hear a rustling in the brush behind them. As they turn around, they see a goat come crashing through the brush, run up to the […]

The Tax Attic

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

When is Tax Freedom Day? What a difference a year makes. No, I’m not talking about April 15. That day comes hell or high water, or maybe hell AND high water is the more appropriate way of stating it. I’m talking baseball in general and Detroit Tigers baseball in particular. I’m one of those lifelong Detroit baseball fans who grew up listening to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey on the radio and watching George Kell and Al Kaline on the television. As a youngster, what a treat it was to get to watch a Tiger game on one of those rare weekday nights when the game was on TV. Today, all of the games are on Fox Sports or ESPN, but back then usually only weekend games were shown on Channel 3. I guess bumping a regular night of programming off the air for a normal regular season baseball game wasn’t all that wise of a choice. Last year, at this time, the Tigers were zero for April. They lost their first seven games. Their bullpen gave away many of those games. I, personally, was stunned. They had more hitting firepower than any other team in baseball. Their starting pitchers were dependable pitchers. The bullpen was stocked with veteran relievers. Granted, they had a few deficiencies in the field. They were going to make some errors, but out-hitting and outscoring the opposition can make up for not catching every ball. Things unraveled quickly last year. Getting off to a 0-7 start has a way of doing that. The dependable starting pitchers either injured their arms or seemed to just forget how to pitch. The relievers couldn’t throw strikes or injured their arms, or didn’t throw strikes and injured their arms. What a disaster. However, it’s a new year, and these Tigers are off to a great start. The fielders actually do catch the ball. The hitters are hitting. Other teams have more and better hitters, but not by much. The starting pitchers are back to being somewhat dependable. Most importantly, the relief pitchers seem to be able to throw strikes, get some people out, and protect a lead in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Go, Tigers. Maybe by the time October and the playoffs come […]

Local students, teachers awarded

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Kent County Education Association (KCEA) will once again be awarding student scholarships to deserving students, along with teacher and support staff awards to those exceptional individuals who make a difference in the education community. For the past 26 years, the KCEA has sponsored the “Teacher Recognition” and “Top Support Staff” Campaign in honor of Teacher Day School Family Day. The event recognizes teachers and support staff who exhibit excellence in their job performance and have demonstrated leadership and service to the education community. In addition, eight $500 scholarships are awarded to deserving students who meet the criteria set forth by the KCEA screening committee and have shown involvement and leadership in school and community activities. The event will be held at the Bluff Banquet Center at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. For more information, please contact Ted O’Dell at KCEA, (616) 957-1944.             Local winners of this year’s event are:             Alexis Chaney-alternative education scholarship             Christopher Newell-dependent scholarship             Allison Stephens-dependent scholarship             Allison McSweeney, fourth-year teacher-Sue Burt Scholarship

School funds must be kept separate

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools   As we all know, the state of Michigan’s economy is in crisis mode. Unemployment is over 11 percent, and sales from a variety of businesses are down. Both of these factors have resulted in a serious decline in revenues used to fund the state’s public schools. In late February, Governor Granholm declared that Michigan schools would receive $59 less per student in 2009-10 than they received in 2008-09. Then, in early March, the Governor announced that because of potential revenues from the Federal Stimulus Package, it is possible that the best case scenario for school funding might be a freeze rather than a reduction. Although a funding freeze is our best case scenario, our costs continue to rise, just as in your home or business, despite active efforts to contain them. In anticipation of a freeze in state funding, we project we will need to reduce our costs by $2.5 million in order to balance the 2009-10 budget. This number would be higher in the event of a funding reduction. We are committed to doing our very best to keep most of these reductions away from the classroom, but with 85 percent of our budget delegated to staffing, that will be difficult. For the past several months, we have been giving presentations to staff and parent organizations regarding Michigan’s serious economic crisis and its impact on all public schools. We have also reported to these groups that, prior to July 1, it will be necessary for the Board of Education and administration to reduce our costs by $2.5 million. We are currently identifying where those reductions will occur, and I will notify you through our webpage and the district newsletter The Rampage once the Board of Education has approved them. A frequently asked question during our public budget presentations involved using the revenues from the $45 million bond issue passed by voters last May to ease the funding shortfall from the state of Michigan. There is only one answer to this question:  IT IS ILLEGAL TO CO-MINGLE FUNDS, such as revenues from the bond issue and general day-to-day operating funds. So, it is important to understand when you see new classrooms added to six of […]

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