by ANA OLVERA “So far, it has not. People are definitely more aware because of the news, it’s more top of mind. But it has its positive; people won’t overspend and they’ll have more control. It’s great to shop locally, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.” —Guillermo Perez and his daughter Sofia, 9, Ada “My husband’s job and my job, are stable, so it hasn’t affected us at all. People will probably spend less, especially without jobs. We might also give away to those who may not have enough.” —Lynne Winkle and her son Josh, 4, Grand Rapids We’re recognizing [the state of the economy] more. We’re now setting budgets. People are less likely to buy impulsively. People look for more discounts. Shopping locally benefits everyone. It’s always a positive for the community.” —Cindy Palmreuter, Rockford “I’ve been working a lot harder to be creative for the lack of money. I’ll probably spend less. I often look for sales. I go wherever prices are cheaper no matter where it’s at, whether it be locally or not.” —Julie Underwood, Chicago, (NOTE: Julie, originally from Rockford, is home from college visiting family for Thanksgiving).
Event one of many community efforts “If you leave here hungry, that’s your fault,” said Ric’s Food Center Store Director David Brickner. Brickner is excited to offer another “Taste of Ric’s” event, free and open to the public this Thursday, December 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the store, 6767 Belding Road. Several dozen vendors will offer free samples, giveaways, and demonstrate recipes of their most delicious food items. Ric’s hosts such events periodically and the turnout and response is always enthusiastic. “We are all running around with smiles on our faces,” he said of staff who also look forward to the events. “This gives our vendors a chance to shine, and it gives us a chance to show our customers what we are capable of.” From sweet treats including ice cream, egg nog and Max and Emily cheesecakes, to Dellalo oils, dipping spices, cheeses and other Italian specialty items, Brickner said the store’s suppliers love the chance to prove how good their items are. “We barely had to whisper this to our vendors and they were right on board. They see how much excitement is generated by these events and love to be part of it.” Many suppliers deliver multiple items to the store, and many are specialty or gourmet that have a reputation for fine quality. They offer a variety of their products for tasting, and many have become household names that people look for. “We have Honey Boy Bobs, Paramount Coffee, Schuel, Carmela, Boar’s Head, Maceri and Sons, and more. Ric’s own in-store products, such as prime rib and the kielbasa created by one of the store’s butchers, Pat Ober, will also be featured. “These are internal items that we have become famous for,” Brickner noted. Other everyday names, such as Nabisco and Keebler-Kellogg will have booths. “We love to show our customers what we have to offer, not just for the holidays but for their everyday full grocery needs,” Brickner said. Customers new to the store are encouraged to make their first visit during the Taste of Ric’s. “You are not expected to spend dime one while you are here.” Brickner said people wonder how the store can afford to offer such a costly event, but he and the staff, […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL The greater Rockford community is blessed with a multitude of accomplished artisans, many of whom participated in this year’s ArtPrize competition. Local artist Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture may have contemplated entering the prestigious competition but found himself engrossed in the creative design and layout of his—to date—largest undertaking. From his home/studio tucked away in the woods between Rockford and Cedar Springs, Anderson along with two of his sons, Troy and Chad, is in the midst of completing a prodigious work of art that will forever enhance the iconic Rockford Rogue River Dam. Anderson’s Metal Sculpture has been designing and creating original metal sculpture works of art since 1975. As opposed to cast bronze sculptures, Anderson’s has carved a niche for itself, working with copper, brass and most recently stainless steel plate. “Our varieties of sculptures range from small garden sculptures to large three-dimensional pieces that bring life and texture to the inside or outside of one’s home or business,” said Anderson. Locally, Anderson’s talent is on permanent display in front of North Rockford Middle School (NRMS) and also in front of the Cedar Springs High School Red Hawk Stadium. The large-scale renditions of the Rockford Fighting Ram and the Cedar Springs’ Tom Brown Fire Hawk are but two prime examples of many gifted creations. The Rockford Dam sculpture, yet to be completed, will be a three-dimensional sculpture of three fish leaping in and out of swirls of water and mist. Working with heavy gauge stainless steel plate over stainless steel frames, Anderson is creating three fish synonymous with the Rogue River. Most fittingly, the piece will be titled “Waterdance.” Incorporating a rainbow trout, a steelhead and a brown trout, the finished piece will be grand in size and scope and will measure approximately 12 by 18 feet. Each fish, itself, will be considerably larger than life-size. The rainbow trout will be some eight feet long with a girth of five feet, the steelhead approximately 10 feet long with a girth of six feet, and the brown trout about 7.5 feet long with a girth of five feet. The gleaming stainless steel fish will be individually textured to be life-like in detail. The large size of […]
The Rockford Police Department arrested 15 local teenagers today completing a four month investigation into drug use and vandalism in local parks. Chief Dave Jones reported that an undercover officer has been working in the area parks, particularly the areas surrounding Richardson Sowerby Park, located beneath the 10 Mile bridge. The undercover officer was able to buy marijuana from three of the youths Jones said. Others were charged with Use of Marijuana, and Destruction of Property. The investigation was in response to several complaints received from park users about the unruly behavior of the teenagers this summer, Jones said. All of the offenders have been prohibited from using any city park for at least one year, using a newly enacted local ordinance allowing for expulsion from the parks if parks rules are broken. “It is our responsibility to create a safe and user friendly environment for park users in the City,” said Jones. “These young people were using our parks as their personal playground for illegal activity. Our hope is that the arrests are a learning experience for those involved and they find better things to do in their spare time.”
‘I doubt they are going to appeal’ Circuit Judge Dennis Leiber ruled against Boulder Crossings, LLC, in the company’s lawsuit against Plainfield Township. Boulder Creek’s attorney had maintained that the township was violating the company’s right to develop their property and that the zoning was “taking without compensation.” They sought an injunction against township interference in building a Family Fare store and complex at Seven Mile and Northland Drive. In addition, they asked for $2.3 million in damages. Lieber’s opinion ruled for the township consistently on each point. He ruled that Boulder Crossings failed to show the property could not be developed as residential; the zoning was in the interest of people living in the township; and that the developer did not have reasonable expectations when purchasing the property for their intended use. “It was such a strong opinion I doubt they are going to appeal,” said trustee Vic Matthews. The deadline to appeal is Dec. 16. Litigation insurance covered $100,000 of the township’s cost of the suit, but did not cover an additional $17,000, plus the cost of the trial.