Rockford student donates hair

Anna, 7, a student at Crestwood Elementary School in Rockford, recently donated her locks

Anna, 7, a student at Crestwood Elementary School in Rockford, recently donated her locks to Children with Hair Loss, a nonprofit organization based in Southwood, Mich. Anna had her hair cut and styled by Erika at HIP Salon in Centerpoint Mall.

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Ingersoll to return to U.S.

Army National Guard Spec. Joel R. Ingersoll is returning to the U.S. after a deployment to Iraqi or Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, respectively. The soldiers return to Fort Dix, N.J. for debriefing, evaluations and out-processing procedures before returning to their regularly assigned Army Reserve or National Guard units.

Ingersoll served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Iraq Theater of Operations. An avionics communications equipment repairer, he is assigned to Company B, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pa. He has served in the military for six years, and is the son of Lee Ingersoll of Hudsonville, and Deb Cornell of Rockford. In 2004, Ingersoll graduated from Wyoming Community Education, Mich.

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Board lauds superintendent in annual review

The Rockford Board of Education issued the following summary of Superintendent Dr. Shibler’s performance evaluation, conducted on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010:

Dr. Shibler is in the midst of his 21st year as Superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools. In the face of unprecedented financial constraints, he has again pursued and helped achieve his goal for the district of continuous improvement. The Education YES! grades for the district were all A’s for the fifth consecutive year. Student performance in academics and co-curricular activities continues to be exemplary. He maintains his role as an instructor for future educators and facilitates others on his staff to do so as well. The district has an unusually strong relationship with our surrounding community due to his skills as a liaison. Perhaps his most visible accomplishment, apart from his customary activities as superintendent, is his outstanding performance as chair of the KISD grassroots network. Legislation has been influenced and even initiated by him in Lansing. It is remarkable that he has accomplished all of this while spearheading a successful non-homestead renewal election.

Dr. Shibler’s professional skills are second to none. Both generally and in a number of specialized educational fields, he is recognized as an expert on a local and statewide level. His philosophy of education can be summed up quite simply: Whatever is best for kids trumps all other factors. He is very professional and admired throughout the state. He is a phenomenal leader as evidenced by the number of individuals, both in his peer group and in the general community, who gravitate to his views on educational issues. Even if one conflicts with his position, he or she comes away with renewed respect for him. He is in almost constant demand as a spokesperson for education in West Michigan because he is extremely articulate, both orally and in his writing. Upon facing a new challenge, he is quick to perceive its parameters and pursue an effective approach to overcome it. He can be quite creative in his actions, with a voracious attention to detail. It should be noted that all of these attributes do not cloud his overall common sense that has served our district well.

Dr. Shibler’s management style includes extensive and effective delegation of authority. As an example of his leadership capability, his management team has exhibited tremendous improvement, especially in light of the number of changes and transitions our district has experienced in the last four years. He is a good coach and helps and encourages his team members to grow in their positions, to the point that they each are much more versatile than they were before. His skills and performance were simply exemplary in light of the severe financial crises we have been and currently are facing. His organizational and planning skills continue to be displayed by our RAMS VII goals. The pursuit of these substantial goals remains paramount, and he ensures that all in the district are accountable for their achievement. Complacency is not an option for Dr. Shibler, as he demands initiative, diligence, and supreme effort from both his staff and himself.

Dr. Shibler cultivates strong professional relationships with board members, staff, stakeholders, and external groups. He is very transparent in his role as superintendent. The proverbial door is always open. Through the years, he has honed his public relations skills to the point that our legislators look to him for guidance on most educational issues. Despite his obvious leadership capabilities, he is eager to cooperate with others in achieving a common objective. He is an opinion leader among his colleagues and is often sought out by the media on issues of educational importance and yet he understands the importance of our connections to the broader community. He has a unique way of incorporating the district in the business and broader communities to achieve mutual benefit. Putting it simply, Dr. Shibler inspires confidence in the district and throughout our community at large.

Dr. Shibler’s personal qualities are above reproach. He is certainly passionate and intense in his efforts on behalf of our district, but those who know him would describe him as very compassionate and understanding. He is of unquestioned integrity and is unfailingly honest in his dealings. He remains supremely focused on the vision for our district. He truly exhibits an entrepreneurial spirit while striving to maintain collegiality in his dealings throughout the district. He processes situations quickly and efficiently, and he understands the ramifications of decisions and actions taken by the district. He has an overriding sense of priority and proceeds accordingly. He is appropriately assertive and yet he retains his poise and composure in the face of criticism.

It continues to be a pleasure to serve alongside Dr. Shibler and his staff. He has produced consistently outstanding performance in the direst of circumstances. He remains energized, challenged and confident in his role as superintendent. He is a continual and tireless advocate for Rockford Public Schools and public education in general. In our opinion, Dr. Shibler is simply the best superintendent in the state of Michigan.

The Board of Education unanimously supports the extension of Dr. Shibler’s contract for an additional year, taking it through the 2015-16 school year.

At its regular meeting held following Dr. Shibler’s performance evaluation, motion was made by Charles Boekeloo, supported by Randall Sellhorn, to extend Dr. Shibler’s contract through the 2015-2016 school year and to approve Dr. Shibler’s request to continue to freeze his salary at the 2008-09 level for 2010-11 due to the current budget crisis. The motion was carried unanimously.

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Words on Weather & Climate — February 25, 2010

Climate Data, Part II


Meteorologist Craig James, new Squire columnist

If you didn’t see my article from last week, I showed this chart from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies supposedly showing about .8 degree C (1.4 degree F) warming across the globe since 1880. I think this chart is pure fantasy. Here is more on why.

Last week I wrote about the United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN) and the problems with bad location of thermometers on or near tarmacs, next to buildings, on paved driveways and roads, in waste treatment plants, on rooftops, near air conditioner exhausts and more. In addition, there are problems with the adjustments made for the urban heat island effect, changing thermometer locations and thermometer calibration. This article looks at the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN).

Back in the 1970s, there were about 6,000 climate-reporting stations in the GHCN, but that number had dropped to around 1,500 in 1990 and to a little over 1,000 now. That is the entire number of land-based surface observations used in calculating the global temperature. Temperature readings are still taken at most of the original stations, but for some reason, they have been deleted from the database.

A computer expert by the name of E. Michael Smith has done an exhaustive analysis of which stations have disappeared from the record and how the remaining data has been manipulated. You can read the details at his website at

To summarize, it appears that stations placed in historically cooler, rural areas of higher latitude and elevation were deleted from the data series in favor of more urban locales at lower latitudes and elevations, which are of course warmer. Consequently, readings after 1990 have been biased to the warm side not only by selective geographic location, but also by the influence of the urban heat island effect.

For example, guess how many climate stations are now in the GHCN database for California? Just four! They are San Francisco, Santa Maria, Los Angeles, and San Diego. These are all coastal, urban and low-elevation stations. All of the high-elevation, rural and cold thermometers have been eliminated.

In Canada, the number of reporting stations dropped from 496 in 1989 to just 44 in 1991 with only one—that’s right, just one—station north of 65 degrees latitude. Russia has all of three stations left in the database north of 65 degrees. Who needs real data from the Arctic when you can just estimate it?

In both Canada and the United States, almost all cold, high-elevation stations have been dropped. In Japan, there is only one reporting station above 1,000 feet. Bolivia has no reporting stations. The entire country has had no temperature data included in the GHCN database since 1990. There are many additional examples too numerous to list.

The systematic removal of many of the cold reporting stations from the recent record, while leaving in those stations from older records, has the result of making the present look warmer than it is and making the past look colder. If you want to show warming, that’s certainly a way to do it, although it is in reality nothing less than fraudulent.

Finally, as E. Michael Smith has written, “Once the data are collected, they are subject to strange and wondrous changes and manipulations. The exact methods are more or less secret. The changes are conducted by people who often have their entire self-worth and career vested in ‘global warming.’ The results often seem disjointed from observed reality. Where there are details on the adjustment available, they can often be shown to be bogus.”

Compare the two charts shown here that depict the adjustment made to the raw temperature data at Santa Rosa, Calif. You can clearly see how the lowering of temperatures in the first part of the temperature record has resulted in what appears to be a warming trend, when the raw data showed an actual cooling trend.

There are literally hundreds of similar adjustments in both the U.S. and global temperature databases. The data has been so massaged, modified, fudged, factored, tweaked and transmogrified as to no longer represent anything that might be logically referred to as the “instrumental” record. And this is the data used to initialize the computer models. It certainly seems to be a case of “garbage in, garbage out.”

Craig James has been retired since July 1, 2008, after 40 years of broadcasting television weather. He was chief meteorologist at WZZM-TV for 12 years and chief meteorologist at WOOD-TV for 24 years. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he received a Centennial Fellowship Award. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

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RCS middle school students participate in local Feeding America event

Rockford Christian School students partner with the Rockford American Legion Post to gain a better understanding of hunger relief.

Rockford Christian School students partner with the Rockford American Legion Post to gain a better understanding of hunger relief.


Twenty-six Rockford Christian School (RCS) junior high students recently participated in the Feeding America event sponsored by the Merritt Lamb American Legion Post 102 in Rockford.

Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger. Each year, the Feeding America network provides food to more than 37 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. Feeding America has a network of more than 200 food banks to serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, securing and distributing more than 2.5 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. Those member food banks support approximately 63,000 local charitable agencies and 70,000 programs, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need.

The teens arrived at the Post and were given a briefing on how to process the food and assist the visitors. When the Feeding America delivery arrived, the students unloaded 5,000 pounds of food from the truck. While the students worked hard unloading the food, approximately 100 families waited patiently and registered for the event. Each family received about 50 pounds of food.

The American Legion volunteers gently guided the RCS students and provided a smooth-functioning system for distribution. The students enjoyed meeting the people and talking with them on various topics.

Once all the food was distributed, the students helped the Post members tear down and clean up the facility. Many students were grateful for the opportunity to serve and conveyed how meaningful the day was for them personally.

The students involved in the Feeding America event were Julia Blanker, Drew Bouwkamp, Audrey Conrad, Lindsey Frontjes, Tristan Fuller, Andrew Holesinger, Kaitlynn Kimmel, Bailey Kolenda, Jake Melton, Nkatha Mwenda, Nathaniel Overmeyer, Beau Redfield, Austin Rumsey, Andrew Schumacher, Hannah Stimac, Zach Terpstra, and Laura Vanderhorst.

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