Main Street – March 5, 2009

mainstreetroger

Roger Allen, publisher

The Taliban and those who want a radical social system are opposed to women learning to read and write. They have rather strict penalties for lots of things we think of as being normal or right for women. These guys are the real rednecks of the world and their approach to women is ludicrous (that’s a big word – if you know the meaning you are not a “redneck”). Much of the world is tending toward equal treatment of women, and we are better for it. It’s something like a balanced diet. It’s healthier!


For better or worse – 1909

* The average life expectancy was 47 years.

* Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

* There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

* The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

* Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”

* Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

* There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.


Fairy tale

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, “The tooth fairy will never believe this!”


Bury our problem

There’s been talk of solving the problem of global warming by burying our excess CO2 in the ground. It’s not as easy as it seems. First you have to gather the gas and then stuff it into old wells and mines. Maybe it will stay there, maybe not. This stuffing is not free, either. Find the hole in the ground, get the gas to it, pump it down. We’d do better to control it before it gets into the air.


Help on the way

A man was driving on a lonely, mountain road in a blinding rainstorm when his car skidded and fell into a deep ravine. He managed to jump out – just before the car went over the cliff – and grabbed a large tree limb. Looking down at jagged rocks about 100 feet below, he yelled, “Can anybody up there hear me?”

A loud rumbling voice said, “I can hear thee, my son, and I will save you if you have faith. Do you have faith?”

The man replied, “I have faith and will do anything you say if you will only save me.”

The voice said, “Let go of the limb, my son.”

Looking down at the jagged rocks below, the man shouted, “Can anybody else up there hear me?

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Rockford Register – March 5, 2009

Thursday, March 5

Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting – 7 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St. Fu Ping Tong (Tony), an exchange teacher from China, will speak on the new China and his perception of the United States. Free to the public.


Friday, March 6

“A Mixed Up Fairy Tale” - 7 p.m. at East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) cafeteria, presented by ERMS Fine Arts Magnet. For more information, contact the school at (616) 863-6140.


Friday – Monday
March 6 – 9

Spectacular Book Sale - Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m., and Monday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Plainfield Township Branch of the Kent District Library, 2650 Five Mile Road, Grand Rapids. Hardcovers $1, softcovers 50¢, paperbacks and children’s books 25¢. Bag of Books Sale on Sunday and Monday. Sponsored by Friends of the Plainfield Library. For more information, call (616) 647-3930.


Saturday, March 7

Relay For Life Fundraiser - Little River Casino bus trip. Cost is $35 per person (includes $18 in casino credits); games, prizes and snacks provided. For more information, bus pick-up locations/times, or to sign up, please contact Cheryl, Cindy or Michelle at Independent Bank, Rockford, by calling (616) 866-4471 or e-mailing to ckoster@ibcp.com.

Organ Concert - Steve Chlesing, from the Fox Theater in Detroit, will entertain with music on the organ, along with a silent film. Before the concert, we will have lunch (on your own) at The Pearl Street Grill, and browse around the museum. Cost is $10 per guest (includes concert ticket and bus fee). For more information, bus pick-up locations/times, or to reserve your spot, please call Marcia at (616) 863-6322.


Sunday, March 8

Breakfast - 8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice.


Tuesday, March 10

Country Music - 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.

Bunco with Northview - 1 p.m., refreshments will be served. For more information or reservations, call Marcia at Rockford Seniors Unlimited (616) 863-6322.

American Sewing Guild Meeting - 6:30 p.m. at Plainfield Senior Center, 5255 Grand River Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Barb Norlin will speak on basic principles of home decorating. Cost is $2 for non-members; $1 for members. Refreshments will be served. Sew and Show will be presented. For more information, visit www.grasg.org or call Mary at (616) 698-9554 or Barb at (616) 949-6669.


Thursday, March 12

Rockford Lions Club Meeting - 6 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe, Rockford – Spouses Night. Dr. Michael Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, will be speaking about RAM Goals for 2009-2010.


Friday & Saturday
March 13 – 14

“Contents Under Pressure” Comedy Improv Team - 7 p.m. at Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th Street SW, Grand Rapids. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.masterarts.org or call (616) 455-1001.


Saturday, March 14

4th Annual Rockford Girl Scouts Daddy/Daughter Cake Auction - 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Family Center. Open to all registered Rockford Girl Scouts and their families. Auction at 2:15 p.m. For more information, contact Kelly McLellan at troop2074@gmail.com or (616) 863-0350. All proceeds to benefit the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore Financial Assistance Fund.

Annual Community Irish Stew Dinner - 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church, 7979 Belding Road. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for children – – 12, and free for children 4 and under. Macaroni and cheese available for children. For ticket information, call (616) 874-6607.


Sunday, March 15

Roast Beef Dinner – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 4195 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford. Cost is $8 for adults, and $3.50 for children under age 12. Enjoy all-you-can-eat roast beef, potatoes, corn, beans, roll, dessert and beverage. Bring your papers for recycling! “Best dinner in town… Bring the whole family!” Visit www.rockfordvfwpost3946.org.

Metropolitan Choir of Praise - 6 p.m. at Blythefield Christian Reformed Church, 6350 Kuttshill Drive NE, Rockford, for a special area-wide worship hour including a meditation based on Psalm 18 entitled, “A Psalm Suited for Our Evening.” Nursery available. A fellowship hour with refreshments will follow. Everyone is invited.

Miss Sunburst Model Search & Baby Contest - Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville. Entries accepted now. Winners go to state finals in May. Everyone receives a trophy. Baby pageant is for boys and girls ages up to 3. Model search is for girls ages 4 to 27. Entry forms available at the mall and www.SunburstBeauty.com, or call pageant headquarters at (813) 839-8054.


Monday, March 16

Free Food for Needy Families - 5 p.m. in the Mobile Food Pantry at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 6070 Kuttshill Drive (corner of Northland Drive and Rogue River Rd.; entrance on Kuttshill), Rockford, providing free food for needy families in the North Kent community. For more information, contact the church at (616) 866-1556.


Tuesday, March 17

Country Music - 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Wednesday, March 18

Lenten Series - 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Rockford, United Church of Christ, 192 E. Bridge St., on March 4, 18 and 25. Discussion topic: best-selling novel “The Shack” by Paul Young. Discussion for senior high teens and adults. Nursery provided for children up to 3. Lenten-themed crafts and snacks for children 4 and up in the Fellowship Hall. Community is welcome to attend. For more information, call the church at (616) 866-2412.


Saturday, March 21

St. Patty’s Dinner - 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post in Rockford, hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary. Tickets are $10, which include Irish entertainment. Open to the public.


Tuesday, March 24

Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Tuesday, March 31

Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Wednesday, April 1

Business Counseling - Starting a new business or have questions about your existing business? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) would like to help. SCORE is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to helping the small-business community through no-fee mentoring, business counseling and low-cost workshops. A SCORE counselor will be at the Chamber starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Chamber at (616) 866-2000, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, April 7

Mended Hearts Meeting - 7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395.

Country Music - 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Sunday, April 12

Breakfast - 8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice.


Tuesday, April 14

Country Music - 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Sunday, April 19

Roast Beef Dinner - 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 4195 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford. Cost is $8 for adults, and $3.50 for children under age 12. Enjoy all-you-can-eat roast beef, potatoes, corn, beans, roll, dessert and beverage. Bring your papers for recycling! “Best dinner in town… Bring the whole family!” Visit www.rockfordvfwpost3946.org.


Monday, April 20

Free Food for Needy Families - 5 p.m. in the Mobile Food Pantry at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 6070 Kuttshill Drive (corner of Northland Drive and Rogue River Rd.; entrance on Kuttshill), Rockford, providing free food for needy families in the North Kent community. For more information, contact the church at (616) 866-1556.


Tuesday, April 21

Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Tuesday, April 28

Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.


Notices run free in the Rockford Register as space allows. Free or low-fee community activities are accepted. To submit Register items, fax at (616) 866-4465 or email, attention Beth to: squiremail@aol.com. Rockford-area events are given first consideration.

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Take up City’s Offer to Hear Opinion on N. Main Development

Dear Editor:

Wolverine World Wide has announced the proposed closing of its tannery. Would you like to hear others’ ideas? Would you like to express your ideas? Are you interested in the future of Rockford and the potential redevelopment of the North Main Corridor from Courtland to the Shoe Depot?

Our City government wants to hear our input and get our ideas for Rockford’s future. An informal open house will be held in the City’s Council Chambers on Thursday, March 12 starting at 6 p.m. City staff and the City’s planning consultants will be there to listen.

The possible redevelopment of the North Main Corridor is something all Rockford citizens have a stake in. I hope to see you at the Council Chamber on March 12!

Mike McIntosh

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A Michigan Mistake: Handing over Wetlands to Fed Authority

Conservationists oppose move

Representative Tom Pearce in his February District 73 message said “I support and will work to transfer the state-run wetlands program, currently under the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, to the Environmental Protection Agency, making Michigan consistent with 48 other states;”

As a member of the Izaak Walton Conservation Chapter, we cannot in good conscience as “Defenders of Soil, Air, Woods and Wildlife” allow this to take place. We need to act now.

To: The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor The Honorable Mark C. Jansen, Senator District 28, and The Honorable Tom Pearce, Representative District 73.

We are writing you at this time because the Board of Directors of the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is convinced that eliminating the Michigan Wetlands program is wrong and will have a negative effect on the environment, Michigan businesses and the Michigan economy.

Michigan has been in the forefront since 1984 in protecting our wetlands, including those wetlands that the federal government cannot legally protect. Michigan is also a leader in permit review efficiency and speed. It is this quick and dependable response to permit applications that causes organizations in the private sector, beyond environmental groups, to support Michigan’s program, and who will be negatively impacted if Michigan’s program is eliminated. The federal government will not have sufficient inspectors in the field to confirm permit application, they have no incentive to issue permits in a reasonable time frame, and without a local presence, will have no incentive to be flexible if that is needed and appropriate. That says nothing about development in critical wetlands that can occur which will never be noticed by the federal government.

The potential financial savings claimed by elimination of this program will be offset by a significant loss of effectiveness in protecting the environment and providing predictability for Michigan businesses. Loss of this program will have serious negative impacts on both the economic and environmental goals of this state, precisely at a time when Michigan needs a clear focus on both objectives.

A most significant issue, other than a reduction in wetlands protection and a much longer timetable for permit processing, is the end of the ability for Michigan residents to contact a local official with whom they can meet to resolve issues or obtain answers to complex questions. In a program as difficult as wetlands protection, doing without a local contact is moving backward both socially and environmentally.

We understand the financial condition of state government and the need to cut expenses. However, abolishing this program will cost far more than any short-term savings gained by its elimination.

We strongly encourage you to vote against and speak out against passage of HB 4153 and SB 187, which provide for elimination of Michigan’s very successful and necessary wetlands program.

Ron Waybrant, Conservation Chairperson DLC-IWLA
Dwight Lydell Chapter, IWLA

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Pearce Speaks in Defense of Wetlands Change

Tom Pearce returned the Squire’s call to ask for his opinion on this topic. He said it is important to note that the governor is promoting this bill as a cost savings for the state. “Although is would only save the state a couple of million dollars, that’s still a couple million dollars,” Pearce said.

He further noted that Michigan is one of only two states to have an independent authority over wetlands. “This puts Michigan on an unlevel playing field with companies with multi-state growth. It creates a deterrent to working with the state because it brings in another layer of bureaucracy,” Pearce said.

Businesses with paperwork and documentation to deal with the Environmental Protection Agency have to start from scratch in dealing with Michigan’s independent Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), he explained.

Pearce said one of the reasons the DEQ was started by then Governor Engler was because it took so long to get approval from the EPA in wetland issues. Now, he said, it seems to take just as long to get DEQ approval as EPA approval. “Now that the DEQ is just as time consuming, one of the main reasons isn’t applicable,” he said.

Pearce said he’s received a lot of “heat” in his approval of the bill, and said it is one he can see both sides of. “I do understand their position. Water and wetlands is very important to Michigan, so maybe we should be spending more money on it than other states. This is an issue that needs to be decided on facts, not emotion.”

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