Back to the Bricks likely a repeat event for Rockford By BETH ALTENA The beauty and charm of Rockford in winter was instrumental in the successful event which took place Friday, June 7 in downtown. Organizer Charles SeKrenes visited our town during one Ice Festival weekend and fell in love—with Rockford. He proposed making Rockford one of the stops on the Lakeshore to Lakeshore promotional tour for this summer’s upcoming Back to the Bricks (B2B) car show and extravaganza held annually in Flint, Michigan. Friday’s visit by hundreds of car fans is part of an economic stimulus idea that brought Back to the Bricks to flint nearly a decade ago. As the town lost much of its auto manufacturing industry, organizers came up with a huge city-wide event to honor the auto history of the town and bring commerce to the area. It has been a huge success that now draws upwards of 400,000 people and lasts more than a week in downtown Flint. The promotional tour for the event isn’t too bad, either. SeKrenes said he wouldn’t be surprised if there were soon multiple promotional B2B promotional tours running throughout the state independently, as you can only gather so many automobiles and their fans in one location. With an emphasis on automobiles and history and with the purpose of promoting Flint’s event and bringing commerce to each town the tour visits, it is doubtful any community would fail to welcome with open arms the hundreds of car exhibitors. Those individuals, families or groups as they show off their vehicles, either vintage or otherwise cool, also buy dinner, shop and need a place to stay for the night. Rockford’s first B2B invasion included hundreds of cars parking at the South Squires parking area and throughout town. From classic antiques to themed vehicles such as the breast cancer awareness car, there were many different types of autos to view. Prior to settling in for the day in downtown, many of the exhibitors took advantage of a visit to a local automobile collector and restorer who showed off a private collection from his Belmont home. From there the tour settled in downtown and took advantage of many of the town’s restaurants and other establishments before heading out […]
Saturday June 8, 2013 Algoma Little League held its ground breaking ceremony for the addition of two new baseball fields. These new fields will be used for Algoma Little League T-Ball and Machine Pitch teams. The fields will be located along side the Jr. Baseball & Minor/Major baseball fields. Currently they have been using temporary fields located behind the Algoma Township offices and a great distance from the rest of the league. The fields are being constructed by Chaney Excavating and Cedar Springs fencing and will be ready for the 2014 season. This will be a great addition to Algoma Sport Park, Algoma Township, and Algoma Little League. Algoma Little League has already secured four sponsors for this project: Chaney Excavating, Miller Welding & Supply, Rogers Hardware, & Sparta Chevrolet. There is plenty of need for more sponsorships. To help sponsor these fields you should contact Brad Osburn at 616-540-9728 for details and to make a tax exempt contribution. Algoma Little League T-Ball & Machine-pitch fields will be located next to the Jr. Baseball field on the corner of Algoma & 13 Mile Road. We are proud to have athletes from Cedar Springs, Rockford, & Sparta School districts! The total cost of these new fields is approximately $30,000.00, a cost the league and community feels is money well spent!
Friends of the White Pine Trail’s Chairman Dave Heyboer has provided the following update on spring repairs to the trail, some new amenities and volunteer opportunities that the public is welcome to take part in. The trail is in good condition and has been swept again as there has been a lot of droppings from the trees along the trail. This year has been challenging as far as keeping the trail relatively clean. Heyboer reported, “This is the third time we have had to do major cleaning this year already. Thanks to Dave Orlow for doing the sweeping north of Belmont last Friday. On Sunday, June 9, Tony Shachowiak, Len Kizer, George Dorset, and I set out to fix and repair the major potholes on the trail north of Belmont.” The clean-up team rented a plate compactor/vibrator, which weighs just less than 200 pounds to make the repairs come out properly. The machines were rented at Advanced Rental Center on Plainfield. “They set us up with a four-wheeled dolly to transport the unit on along with a rope to pull it up on the tilt bed trailer; this was a great asset, as we had to unload and load this heavy machine several times, as the potholes we worked on were spread over several miles of trail,” said Heyboer. “At each spot, we used a six-foot breaker/pry bar, pickaxe, sledgehammers shovels and rakes to open up and remove the sunken, cracked, and broken asphalt from the pothole areas. This was a lot of work. We then sealed the edges with liquid filler, then filled the holes with “Cold Patch” asphalt, and then would run the compactor over back and forth many times to press the material into the holes. After many passes with the compactor, we would lightly spread Portland Cement on the patch material and again run the compactor over the area.” Heyboer reported that he did a bike ride to the overlook north of Rockford Sunday evening and the patches in that area looked great after a busy day of trail use. “We only fixed the severe potholes and we will be addressing more of the potholes and trenches in the asphalt at a later date. Now that we have a good process, […]
Flint-born economic stimulus plan a fun ride across historic Michigan By BETH ALTENA What began nearly a decade ago in Flint as a way to stimulate spending and celebrate the historic richness of the automotive industry has become an annual event that is rolling into Rockford for the first time Friday, June 7. Back To The Bricks is named for the brick-paved staging area in downtown Flint where the oldest of car show vehicles are allowed exclusive parking rights. Additional vehicles can be seen around town. Here in Rockford cars will congregate in the South Squires parking area (Towers parking lot) but also may be seen elsewhere as drivers enjoy the city. Rockford residents can expect 150-plus cars for the first local visit of Back To The Bricks, which crosses Michigan stopping in historic towns on a week-long rolling car show. According to organizer Charles SeKrenes, the Rockford visit is part of a week-long promotion of the “big” Back To The Bricks, which is held in August in Flint. Car fans—please note anyone is allowed and invited to participate—sign up for this Back To The Brick trip for just $35 and receive two t-shirts, a lanyard, goodie bag and can enjoy the stops along Michigan after the day in Rockford. SeKrenes said Back To The Bricks was begun in Flint as a way to generate spending and the economy after the city was so badly hurt by the closing of many automotive manufacturing plants. “We lost a lot of people, we lost a lot of jobs,” said SeKrenes. The Back To The Bricks brings in people who shop, visit, eat, stroll, stay and otherwise generate spending. A winner for Flint, the model is repeated with this week’s drive across Michigan, beginning in Rockford, heading up to the now-closed Rosie’s Diner for photo opportunities, then heads along M-57 to Greenville to visit the original historic Meijer store. Rockford residents will enjoy the show whether they sign up to be part of the tour or not. Several downtown restaurants will offer specials and provide live music. Those who have signed up or sign up to take part in the trip also receive packets that offer information about each town to be visited—historic sites, places of special interest, […]
Terry Konkle – President When I presented a “Nugget of Rockford History” question two weeks ago asking for the name of the school that Rockford High met the most times in our hundred years of football, I did not expect that most of a column would be devoted to the answer. I heard from many people but only five knew that Grandville was the school. Jan Konkle, Bob Burch, Martin Vogel, Lee Paull and Bob Winegar were the ones who selected the Bulldogs. Other schools who were given as our most frequent opponent were Sparta, Lowell, East Grand Rapids and Godwin. None of those schools come close to Grandville in games played against Rockford as the two teams have met eighty nine times. Actually, if we only count the regular season games and not MHSAA playoff contests the total would be eighty four. Of those eighty four matchups the Rams have won forty two with Grandville posting forty victories. Two games ended in a tie score. What a positive rivalry! Five times the two schools have met twice in the same season. In 2000 and in 2006 Rockford defeated Grandville during the regular campaign and again in the playoffs. Then, in 2003 Rockford won the OK Red Conference battle but lost in the playoffs. The next year (2004) the results were reversed with Grandville victorious in regular season play with Rockford winning the playoff game. The 2005 year was a strange one for the two teams. Grandville outlasted Rockford for a narrow 13-10 win in conference play, but Rockford dominated the playoff contest by a 48-0 score. Overall, in tournament play, Rockford has won four times and Grandville once. Counting the playoff game results Rockford has won forty six times and Grandville forty one. The two tie games round out the eighty nine total. One of the reasons that Rockford and Grandville have met so often is that they have been in the same conference three times. We first played Grandville in 1923 and have met them every year since then with the exception of five seasons (1965-1969) when we were in the Tri-River Conference. When we first joined the Tri- River, Grandville was still on our schedule as a non-league encounter. The most points […]