A free presentation at Wild Birds Unlimited, 5426 Northland Drive, Saturday, October 3, will have you hearing like a bat. Demonstrations of eco-location—the bat way to navigate in the dark—are among lessons visitors will experience. Dawn Vezina, educational specialist from the Bat Zone at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, said their bat programs evoke a range of responses from people. “People’s attitudes change, often within a couple of minutes,” she said. “They may be apprehensive about bats, but then they get a close look at them, their attitudes change. They usually warm up to them.” Vezina said other animals will be present for the one-hour show, including flying squirrels and sugar gliders. No touching will be allowed, but seeing the animals up close is exciting. In the program, viewers will learn about adaptations animals use to thrive in their environment, big eyes for night vision, whiskers, and more. The real stars will be the bats. Laurie Tiemen, manager of Wild Birds Unlimited, said she is excited to see the fruit bat, the largest bat and not native to the United States. She said bats are important to the ecosystem, and receive a bad rap. “You should be happy if you have bats,” she said. “They can eat up to 6,000 insects a night.” Vezina said among the bats food are not only mosquitos, but agricultural pests. “They are a huge benefit for farmers and gardeners, and that’s a huge benefit for all of us.” Forty percent of all bat species are threatened or endangered, often because of loss of habitat. In the United States, loss of caves is impacting bats, who need them for nursery and hybernation. In Michigan, bats that used to migrate to the southern United States to the caves of Kentucky and other states now migrate north to the upper peninsula where they hibernate in former mine shafts. People can encourage bat populations by putting up bat houses, which simulate their natural homes in cavities in dead and dying trees. Even city-dwellers can accomplish this. Vezina said bat houses can go up on a pole or building. They should be installed fifteen feet off the ground in a sunny location, preferably facing south or southeast. People can also avoid spraying pesticides. These […]
Kevin Tomasunas, 19 months, doesn’t know what to make of OPUS Mime (Michael Lee). Keeping a safe distance, he must surely be thinking, “Are you for real?” On the first Saturday of Harvest Fest, Kevin stood transfixed for 20 minutes while deciding to come a little closer to the mime extraordinaire or turn and run away as fast as his little legs would carry him. As it turned out, he never moved. More Harvest Festival fun is coming, see inside. photo by CLIFF HILL
The Rockford High School Marching Band hosted its 27th annual Rockford Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19. Twenty-three high school bands from across the state participated in the event, a Scholastic Marching Band Competition. Each band performed a show and was judged on music performance, music effect, marching performance and visual effect. Otsego High School took top honors in Class A, and also won the Grand Champion Award for the day with a total score of 88.3 out of 100 points. Godwin Heights High School placed first in Class B with 85.3, and Hartford High School was first in Class C with 81.2. Rockford’s marching band performed in exhibition during the invitation and was also judged, although was not eligible to receive awards due to its role as host. According to Patt Clement, president of the Rockford Band Parent Association, the exhibition gives the students an opportunity to receive valuable feedback from judges to further polish their performance. “The students work so hard, starting in the previous spring and throughout most of the summer,” said Clement. “Most people just are not aware of how much work and practice this takes.” The Rockford Invitational is the band’s major annual fundraiser, and this year was no exception with $19,500 in proceeds. More than 170 volunteers, primarily band parents, pitched in to help the invitational run smoothly. Band director Brian Phillips is pleased with the turnout as well as the skill level Rockford’s own marching band has already attained. “It’s always exciting to see these area bands perform year after year,” said Phillips. “It’s truly amazing to see the annual improvement of each organization. “I am especially proud of the progress our Rockford band students have made this year! Their outstanding performance Saturday is a testament to the hard work they’ve put in to the early season.” The band is competing in a total of four additional invitationals this fall, with an eye on qualifying for the Michigan Competing Band Association State Championship contest at Detroit’s Ford Field on November 7. In order to qualify for state finals, bands must compete in at least two MCBA sanctioned contests and place among the 10 highest scoring bands in its flight. Rockford has made the state finals every year since joining […]
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the October installment of its popular Bi-Monthly Luncheon series. The event is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 5 at Timber’s Inn Restaurant, 6555 Belding Rd., from noon to 1:30 p.m. The featured speaker is Chris Carlson, a financial advisor from Edward Jones Investments. Carlson will share his knowledge and expertise in his selected field during his presentation, “Financial Outlook and Opportunities.” Carlson is a financial advisor and partner with Edward Jones Investments. He earned a BS in economics from Elmhurst College and an MBA with concentration in finance from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He earned his certificate in financial planning from University of California, Irvine, and has 20 years of experience in finance and investments. To attend this timely presentation, please call the Chamber office at (616) 866-2000, or e-mail to email@example.com to register. Cost, which includes lunch, is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members. Please note that if you have registered and are unable to attend, you must call and cancel prior to the event or you will be charged. The Bi-Monthly Luncheon is a wonderful way to enjoy good food, expert advice and excellent company in a relaxed atmosphere. Drawings for prizes are conducted at the conclusion of the event. The luncheon is also a great networking opportunity, so participants are reminded to bring their business cards.
Bonding The health care debate has reinforced what we all knew anyway: people like their own doctors and want to keep them. On the surface, this seems a little strange. We don’t feel that way about our plumbers or auto mechanics or cashiers at the grocery store. We may have good relations with them, but not like those with doctors. Our doctor makes us feel better, takes away our pain, and helps us through life’s difficult times—like Mom. Maybe that’s the reason: the doc is like Mom. Fighting words The fighting words are “yes” and “no.” They come out of Washington, Lansing, Sacramento, and other legislative locales. Legislators can’t seem to approach agreement on important issues: they remain adamant, clinging to “yes” or “no.” Stubbornness isn’t a virtue. We can’t seem to get health insurance resolved, or budget problems. We have a two-party system so one side can keep a rein on the other, but the intention is that the two parties will work things out. If my dishwasher didn’t work, I’d replace it. Maybe our professional legislators should keep that in mind. “Country over party” seems like a no-brainer. Food for thought What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant? Would a fly without wings be called a “walk”? Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them? If a turtle doesn’t have a shell… is he homeless or naked? If the police arrest a mime… do they tell him he has the right to remain silent? Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines? How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow signs? What was the best thing before sliced bread? One nice thing about egotists: they don’t talk about other people. How is it possible to have a civil war? If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you really done? Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have “s” in it? Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God? More food You know it’s time to diet when: • your driver’s license says, “Picture continued on other side.” […]