Rockford Family Eyecare offers new vision correction treatment

August 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

For people who need vision correction, the options for being able to see clearly typically include wearing glasses or contact lenses. The permanent correction option of Lasik eye surgery is also quite popular, but typically not an option for children or teens. Rockford Family Eyecare has another great option that allows people to go without glasses or contacts, and doesn’t require surgery. Ortho-K is a treatment that can correct vision and reduce the progression of vision loss. It’s a contact lens you wear while you’re sleeping, that reshapes the front layer of the cornea. It can give the wearer 20/20 vision for up to several days, without glasses or traditional contact lenses. Ortho-K is a great option for kids and teens because it doesn’t require glasses or contacts which can get lost or broken. To learn more about Ortho-K, schedule an appointment at Rockford Family Eyecare by calling (616) 951-7115. (Courtesy of WOODTV 8)

Mayday, downed fire fighter, search and rescue practice in doomed home

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA Passersby on Main Street may have noticed the deteriorating condition of a duplex home at 269 N. Main and 271 N. Main as ongoing firefighter and police training this summer is causing the residence to be increasingly damaged prior to eventual demolition to make way for a newer home. In the structure Rockford firefighters have been practicing six different scenarios with all the required responses. Rockford Public Safety Officer Ian Graham said city employees have been practicing Downed Fire Fighter, Mayday, Search and Rescue, Firefighter Escape, Ventilation and Ladder Training. They have filled the structure with a non-toxic smoke simulation to replicate the conditions caused by a smoke-filled home. They have broken out through interior and exterior walls simulating rescuing an injured comrade and practiced finding and rescuing injured residents within the structure. Rockford fire fighters, like many professions, require ongoing training to prepare for the sometimes dangerous job they do. Likewise, police officers are required to continually hone their skills to deal with worst-case scenarios and every day duties. In Rockford’s combined Department of Public Safety, the cross-trained force does double duty in training as well as in response. Officers, all cross-trained as fire fighters, recently completed a simulated Active Shooter incident in Valley View Elementary where live rounds are replaced by simulated ammunition, which Graham said actually hurt, but don’t kill if they strike you. With Rockford Public Schools currently replacing the entrance of every school in the district with new safety measures in place, it is hoped no shooter will ever cause an incident here, but Graham said police use schools because they are large buildings to train for techniques that would be applicable in any structure where a bad armed person could threaten or attempt violence. Ever since the first school shooting in Columbine, police across the country have trained in how to respond to such a worst-case scenario. Like the training taking place this summer in the home on Main Street, this type of hands-on practice simply can’t be simulated with classroom learning. “It’s very rare we get a house to practice on, so we take full advantage of it,” Graham said. He described those taking training first receive classroom training in the Fire Department, then respond […]

Oaks of Rockford begins selling as lifestyle community

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA Buyers are already snapping up homes on the new Oaks of Rockford, 11640 Townsquare Boulevard (at 14 Mile and Richie Avenue) in the rebirth of a former failed development. Ten years ago Landon Holdings sued Courtland Township to put in a manufactured homes development on M-57 at Richie Avenue, but the lots failed to sell. Eventually the company went bankrupt and the few home buyers were forced to relocate. The property has been vacant ever since. Today that is no longer the case and 150 homes are planned for new occupants to the Oaks of Rockford, a 55-plus age premier lifestyle community. A weekend-long open house proved that people are very interested in the concept of living in a community with a shared 5,500-foot clubhouse, 40 forever wooded acres, and upscale amenities. Residents will enjoy professionally-landscaped lawns, customized three-bedroom ranch homes, inviting front porches, insulated garages (one or two car) and the 40 acre recreation area perfect for walking furry friends or outdoor enjoyment. Gourmet kitchens, walk-in closets, and luxurious master bedrooms are featured in generously-spaced homes. Interestingly, a significant appeal of the development, according to first buyers who have already committed to moving in, is the area and its nearness to downtown Rockford. The flier for Oaks of Rockford reads: Local Area: Located on the banks of the Rogue River, Rockford is a city rich in natural beauty and recreational opportunities. For nature lovers, Rockford offers more than 30 acres of public parkland, including several situated right on the river for fishing, kayaking and tubing. The White Pine Trail, which runs for nearly 100 miles, is a scenic destination for walkers, runners and bicyclists. Rockford also boasts ten golf courses and a number of ski areas within short driving distance. Rockford residents enjoy many free community events, including a farmers market, summer concert series, and annual Fall Harvest Festival. Downtown Rockford is full of charming boutiques and restaurants, or travel just ten miles to Grand Rapids, which was ranked number one U.S. travel destination by Lonely Planet in 2014. Developer Brian Fallon believes the emphasis on community is a strong selling point in addition to premier, affordable home ownership with fewer responsibilities of home ownership. He said the residents who are […]

Local residents petition falsifies City Ordinance information

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Squire has recently learned that a group of residents are exercising their right to circulate a petition, which if it contains the correct amount of signatures, would require a super majority (4 out of 5 members) to approve an ordinance amendment being considered by the City. Last month, the Rockford Planning Commission recommended an ordinance amendment, which would amend the City’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance bringing it more in line with State law and removing a rezoning requirement for residential PUD’s within a residential district. We fully support the resident’s rights to be engaged in the governmental process and to circulate what is known as a protest petition, however, there is a “fact sheet” being circulated by the petitioners as they strive to collect signatures that contains erroneous information and is misleading. Three glaring misrepresentations jump out at us after reading the actual ordinance and comparing it to the “fact sheet” being circulated by the petitioners. The petitioners claim that if the proposed amendment is approved, PUD’s would no longer be subject to protest petitions. This is a false and misleading statement. The ordinance is very clear that only residential PUD’s within existing residential districts, would not require a rezoning to a PUD designation; and therefore not be subject to a protest petition. All other PUD’s would be subject to rezoning; and therefore subject to a protest petition. The “fact sheet” states, “PUD’s would no longer receive final approval from the City Council.” That is exactly how the ordinance is written today, so it seems misleading to suggest the proposed ordinance is changing anything with respect to final approval. The “fact sheet” also states that PUD’s would no longer require mail notification to owners and residents within 300 feet. This is a false and misleading statement because the ordinance is very clear that the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing “after notice is given.” The ordinance further states that the City Council will hold a public hearing “after notice is given.” State law requires notice by mail and publication. We at the Squire thought it would be very important to get the true facts out on what the ordinance would do if adopted, compared to what the petitions are claiming. Perhaps […]

One-room schoolhouse reunion sure to have historic interest

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA The number of people who remember attending one room school houses fifty years after most closed have plenty of stories to tell of those times. Area one-room schools began to close down in the 1960s when Rockford Public School consolidated and began taking the students in the townships of Algoma, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. According to Paul Smith, enthusiastic historian, visitors who want to learn more about the schoolrooms of yesteryear will appreciate a reunion to be held this Saturday, August 8 at Chalmers Park, at Pine Island Road and Fonger on location of the former Algoma Township Fire Station. The reunion begins at noon, and with some coaxing, alumni of one room schools may tell of the past. Smith said there were a surprising number of one-room school houses, when those edifices of education were the norm, designed to serve a spread-out population of students in the scarcely populated Michigan countryside. Back in the day the town of Edgerton was a booming village with two stores and lots of traffic. The lumber industry was in its heyday and the town was a congregation of commerce. Edgerton was home to a one room school house, which expanded to a four room schoolhouse and then had a wing added on. There were other structures in the village dedicated to public use and the road was a major byway for travelers and residents alike. Local resident Beverly Haskins Rainer is the author of a book in which she recounts the experience of being a brand new teacher in a one room schoolhouse. She taught in Gougeburg, a school located at 12 Mile Road and Algoma Avenue and she was surprised to learn her duties included bringing in the firewood and sweeping and maintaining the school. She lived with a nearby farmer and walked to work in all but the worst weather. Smith said many former students of one room schools are in their 60s and 70s, and remember a different landscape in and around Rockford. Other one-room schoolhouses in Algoma Township include Block School at 11 Mile west of Wolven Avenue (on the hill). Hull School was at Pine Island Lake and Hull Street and covered all the kids from Camp Lake. It is […]

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