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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.

EITC Receivers get Extra Credit

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JERRY COON Incredibly enough, our Michigan legislature is giving a credit on this year’s tax return that it can ill afford. Michigan’s tax revenues are decreasing by the minute and in approximately the same proportion that the unemployment rate is increasing. However, they have still found it in their hearts to give out a very large tax break. Starting this year, all taxpayers receiving a federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are going to also receive a refundable credit on their Michigan tax return equal to 10% of the federal EITC. I didn’t realize the Treasury had several millions of dollars in a rainy day fund in Lansing just waiting to be refunded as tax returns are filed. In fact, if what they are telling us is true, they don’t have several millions of dollars in any fund anywhere. The reality of the situation is that this refunded money is most likely going to cause some other program to be shorted. I’m doing a little complaining here because I’m afraid our schools might just be the ones that could get shorted, and that is just not right. In any event, the rules are the rules and I will get off my soap box. This particular rule says taxpayers who receive a federal EITC will receive an additional 10% credit on their Michigan tax return. So be it. In that light, what I really need to discuss, then, is how someone qualifies for the federal EITC. There are three sets of requirements. The first set of requirements applies to all taxpayers who wish to claim the EITC. The second set applies to taxpayers who do not have qualifying children. The third set applies to taxpayers with qualifying children. The requirements that apply to all taxpayers are as follows. The first and most important requirement is the taxpayers must have earned income. For those filing single, head of household, or as a qualifying widower with no qualifying dependents, the income range (IR) to receive a credit ranges from $1 up to $12,880. For those with one dependent, the IR is from $1 up to $33.995. For those with two or more dependents, the IR is from $1 up to $39,646. For taxpayers who file using the […]

What’s Cooking – Great 20-Minute Meals

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS In the time it takes to spin a globe, your family can enjoy flavors from around the world with these quick entrees. Take advantage of timesaving food products to stay within the 20-minute time limit. No matter which culinary journey you choose to make, it won’t take very long to get there. Linguine with Clam Sauce 1 package fresh linguine 4 bacon slices 2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Pinch crushed red pepper Ground pepper 2 (6-1/2-oz.) cans minced clams, drained 1 (8-oz.) bottle clam juice 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain. While pasta cooks, place bacon in large skillet and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add garlic and basil; sauté for 30 seconds. Add bacon, lemon juice, and the next 4 ingredients (lemon juice through clam juice); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine pasta and clam mixture, and toss well. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4. Cashew-Crusted Chicken on Basil-Pineapple Rice 1/2 cup cashews 2 tablespoons garlic-seasoned breadcrumbs 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 large egg white, lightly beaten 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained Cooking spray 1 (3-1/2-oz.) bag precooked long grain rice (such as Success) 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 450F. Place nuts and breadcrumbs in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until the crumbs are evenly ground. Pour nut mixture into a shallow dish. Brush chicken with egg white; dredge chicken in nut mixture. Spread the pineapple in an 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange chicken over pineapple, and bake at 450F for 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning after 7 minutes. While chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to package directions. Remove chicken from dish. Stir rice, basil and salt into pineapple. Serve with chicken. Serves 4. Sesame-Crusted Salmon 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1 tablespoon grated orange rind 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sesame oil 4 salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick) Cooking spray 1-1/4 cups water 3/4 cup uncooked couscous 1/4 cup sliced green onions 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1/4 teaspoon salt Preheat broiler. […]

Kimberly responds to reader’s accusations

October 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

Dear Editor, As a mother of two young women and the owner of Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford, I want to defend any store owner who reports a shop lifting experience (with a reputable witness) to the proper authorities. I will also defend strongly our police department, who execute their training to assist the victim of a crime. It might surprise many to know that thousands of dollars in merchandise is stolen from downtown Rockford stores by your sons, daughters, moms, dads, aunts and uncles. It does not matter the size, weight, color, or value of an item. It is an item stolen. It is against the law! What would you have the police officers do but investigate to protect the victim. This is not a “witch hunt,” but normal police procedures. None of us should presume to advise the police professionals how to execute their job. Shame on you for the mention of race. Shame on you for mentioning the unknown value of the item as if that should make a difference. If my children were continually let down and disappointed with coaches, teachers, shop owners and other authority figures, as you stated they were, I would look within myself to see if the guidance I was giving was appropriate. That much disappointment for any one child is not normal. Look to that child and teach them that life isn’t always fair. Sometimes they are at fault. Teach them common sense (if there is any left in our world). Teach them truth, trust, discretion, responsibility and reason. We all need to erase the “I know my rights,” “I want it now,” “Someone else is to blame,” and “I’m a victim” mentality. While you are raising your children, give the rest of us a break – we, too, are trying to do our best. Kimberly Smith, her family and staff  

What’s Cooking – Wine and Dine with Friends at Home

October 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Matching the right wine to any dish can be the ultimate way to share a wonderful meal with friends. My new column sponsor, “Rockford Dry Dock” on Courtland St., is waiting to provide you with the wine and I’m here to give you the food to put with your choice. Dry Dock owners Bill and Sue Ten Broeke have a vast array of wines and spirits to meet your needs for entertaining. I will give you several of their new wines each time to pair with something special from your kitchen to make the meal memorable. Bon appetit! Chicken with Fresh Pineapple 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/3 cup pineapple juice 1/4 cup orange juice 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons cooking oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1-1/2 cups) Hot cooked rice 1/2 cup chopped cashews Cut chicken into thin, bite-sized strips. Set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine pineapple and orange juices, and cornstarch. Set aside. Add oil to a wok or nonstick skillet. Heat to medium-high. Stir-fry garlic in hot oil for 15 seconds. Add green pepper and onions for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove vegetables. Add chicken to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push chicken from center of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked vegetables. Add pineapple pieces. Stir until heated through. Serve over cooked rice. Sprinkle with cashews. Serves 4. Serve with Domanie Lafage “Cote d’Est” wine. Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette 2 cups each: torn leaf lettuce, torn radicchio, torn arugula 1 medium Belgian endive, cut up 1 roasted chicken from the store, boned, cut up 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper 2 oranges, peeled and sliced 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced lengthwise 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned 2 green onions, thinly biased sliced Raspberry Vinaigrette Vinaigrette: In blender, combine one 10-oz. package thawed red raspberries, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 clove garlic, minced. Cover and blend till smooth. Use a […]

Rotarians give $5,000 for world water project

October 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

Rockford Rotarian Jim Bodenner spearheaded a world water relief effort that has gone global. On Tuesday, September 9, the cause was aided by a significant donation from visiting Rotarians. Guests to Rockford, Dr. Reinhart Köhler and Charlie Hillecke of German’s Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary club, amazed Rockford Rotary with a $5,000 check for the world water efforts. The visit was part of a bi-annual event since 1993. This year German Rotarians came to Rockford. In two years Rockford Rotarians will visit the German club. The check was presented during one of the many outings the Rotarians shared while visiting. “We want to help poor people around the world,” said Köhler of the generous donation. Bodenner has been promoting world-wide use of a biosand filter, acknowledged by the World Health Organization as the best of several methods to treat water in poor countries to make it safe for human consumption. The Rockford Rotary club adopted the project as one of their many efforts to improve the lives of people around the world. “They are very generous in world-wide donating for the health of people everywhere,” said Rockford Rotary President Dave Spencer. “Safe water is so important for quality of life.” Bodenner is working with the Pentagon to have American soldiers take the filters with them on aircraft carriers and other ships. They will then be able to distribute them to ports of call, doing humanitarian work along with their regular duties. At a hoedown at Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch on Tuesday, the German Rotarians enjoyed a wonderful meal and fellowship after presenting the check. They also sponsor a nursing home in the Dominican Republic and donated $5,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “Rockford and Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary have been working hand-in-hand for many years to promote international aid and understanding,” Spencer said. The Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary is located in the birthplace of the Volkswagon. Their group is 54 members strong, very close in size to the Rockford club. According to Köhler, each member was asked to give what they could for the donation. “If the world had more friends like the Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary, the world would be a better place,” Spencer said. “Our Rockford group is awed by the generosity and compassion of our brother German Rotarians.” In addition […]

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