Your home can’t take care of itself. Your monthly budget should include money for routine maintenance and repair for the house and yard. Plan to set money aside for the large, irregular expenses that occur normally as a house ages. Large expenses include interior and exterior painting, repairs or replacement of heating and air conditioning units and appliances, floor coverings, and roof surfaces. Why should you do regular home maintenance? 1. To maintain the value of the property. 2. A well-maintained home usually brings a higher price. 3. A well-maintained house is more comfortable. 4. Regular care minimizes unexpected repair work and expense. 5. Regular small repairs keep costs from becoming larger. 6. A lender’s agreement usually requires the owner to maintain the property to protect the lender’s financial interest. What is involved in home maintenance? Cleaning roof and gutters, cleaning or painting outside wall surfaces, cleaning floors and walls, vacuuming carpet, keeping sink and shower drains running freely, etc. If you are not able to do the work, hire a qualified, experienced repair company such as Brad’s Services. Ask for written estimates, and do not pay in advance for maintenance or repair services. Inspect your house regularly. Develop a system where you inspect one area per month to ensure regular inspection of each area. Start at the foundation of the house and work upward and inward. The following list of areas to check may help. • In most of Michigan, water lines and outside faucets need some freeze protection or winter drainage. In addition, garden hoses should be drained and stored for the winter. • Clean leaves and debris from around an outside heating/air conditioning condenser and trimback shrubs that may block air movement around the house. • Yard care power equipment should be drained of fuel in the late fall or early winter and serviced according to manufacturer’s instructions. • Have heating and cooling systems checked by a qualified serviceperson once a year or according to the manufactures-recommendations. • Clean and replace filters. Check your owner’s manual for recommended procedures. Some filters should be replaced as often as once a month. • Test smoke alarms and heat alarm systems at least monthly. Replace old batteries.
by BETH ALTENA When looking back on a life of accomplishments, local artist Philip Glass sees rainbows—in cookies. The long-time resident may be known for his career as an artist here. He once had a oil painting gallery in the South Squire street red kaboose now occupied by Reading Books and once painted a mural for the American Legion in honor of fallen military heroes. He designed screenprinting for t-shirts. Some people may still drink coffee from the cups he had made depicting his sketch of the Rockford dam. It is another artistic contribution that Glass still ponders, however, and it is likely little known around town. Glass believes Keebler Rainbow Cookies are the result of a vision of rainbows that came to him during a profound time in his life. Glass said about 20 years ago he was losing his vision to cataracts and feeling very emotional about the loss of his visual world. One day he looked up at a spectacular rainbow and it struck him that he may never see one again. “I made up a poem right there on the spot,” Glass recounts. He also imagined in that moment a cookie made with the colors of a rainbow and decided to submit his idea to Keebler Company. He sketched a drawing of a rainbow machine—which he still has today, crafted a letter to the company explaining his ideas and sent it in. Glass said he went about his business, which included receiving surgery to restore his vision, and later received a letter from the company. Dated November 6, 1987, the letter thanked him for his input but went on to state, “Because of the obvious misunderstandings and uncertainties which often arise from the use of ideas independently conceived, our company, as many others in the food business, has a policy of not examining or considering ideas or suggestions from outside sources unless submitted without obligation of any kind on our part.” It asked Glass to re-submit his idea with an enclosed agreement and thanked him for his interest in the company. Pursuing his cookie idea, Glass said he followed the company’s recommendation and again waited to hear from them. He received a second letter dated November 30, again thanking him for […]
A Rockford resident who prefered to identify herself only as Kelly called The Squire on Thursday, September 15, to ask if anyone else had reported mysterious balls of fire that she, her teenage son and another resident witnessed the evening before. Kelly said she was on Fremont Street near Ten Mile Road when she noticed her son looking up into the sky. When she looked up, she saw what appeared to be two spheres filled with fire floating westward. As she watched, she said the fire dimmed from the balls, leaving a dark outline of the floating spheres. “A man walked by and I asked him if he had seen them and he said no,” Kelly stated. As she was talking to the man, two more balls floated overhead and then more until a total of about ten to twelve had floated over. “They looked like those large bouncy balls or balloons,” Kelly stated, “but I know they couldn’t be filled with fire. People driving on Ten Mile must have seen them.” Kelly said it appeared the balls came from the woods up behind the Dollar General store or near the Rockford Cemetery. Kelly said after the incident was over, she drove up through the neighborhoods where the balls appeared to have originated, but saw nothing unusual. Calls to the Rockford Police, the Michigan State Police and the Kent County Sheriff Department all reported no other sightings the evening of Wednesday, September 14. According to Kelly, the incident happened just as it was getting quite dark, so she believes it must have been about 8:30 p.m. A call to Pederson Funeral Home confirmed there have been no burial ceremonies that might have included the release of floating lanterns. “I can’t believe no one else called this in,” stated Kelly. At the Squire we are very curious about the “balls of fire” floating over Rockford and hope anyone who can clear up this mystery will call Editor Beth Altena at (616) 866-4465. Anyone with photos is asked to email them to Squiremail@aol.com. We will keep names out of the story if requested. While looking around on the Internet for any postings regarding balls of fire in the sky for Rockford Michigan, the following report was located […]
Hayrides, scarecrow, art kids events all three weekends “If the Colonel [Sanders] had our recipe he’d have been a General,” said Rotarian Rick Ehinger of the annual Rockford Rotary chicken BBQ dinner sale to be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The sale takes place at the Rotary Pavilion on the corner of Courtland and Squires streets beginning at noon on Friday, September 24. Friday kicks off the first of three weekends of Harvest Festival with returning entertainment, The Great Pumpkin at Garden Club Park, a beer tent at Grill One Eleven, a brand new urban camping event and more. Among the three weekends of activities will be an art show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive, each Saturday with working artists and art for sale. Throughout downtown there will be childrens activities, including face painting at Frenz and a pumpkin contest at Sweet Tooth. The urban camping event takes place off Main Street and will feature a local Air Stream camper with modifications, a Volkswagon camper and more. The self-contained units will be open for public inspection and may become an annual event. Jim Bodenner, owner of the Air Stream, said urban camping is a new idea and allows campers to an urban area to enjoy shopping, dining and other local ammenities. The Rotary BBQ dinner is the organization’s largest fundraiser. This year money raised from the $9 dinners will go toward improvements to the Rotary Pavilion (where the sale is held). In addition to sit-down dining, a drive-up service is offered for your convenience. See more Harvest Festival savings and events on pages 10 and 11 and watch next week’s Squire for more Harvest Festival news.
‘It is difficult to validate their accusations’ —Supervisor Meek Two different investigations of claims of threats and harassment are concluded in Plainfield Township. An MDOT investigation regarding the Kent County Road Commission’s (KCRC) actions in securing agreements to grade Belmont Road property frontage found there were no threats to residents in order to receive permission for grading. An extensive investigation initiated and paid for by Supervisor George Meek and trustees Charles Weldon and Vic Matthews—threatened with recall—also found no basis for the claims of threats made by residents. A small group of verbal and accusing residents have been condemning the board members, as well as the KCRC staff, of disregarding the will of voters, breaking the law, and complaining of threats to health and home. Several of those claiming wrongdoing by KCRC and the board refused to talk to Gene Debbaudt, a former FBI investigator who was hired to look into the accusations. “While we respect their right not to talk to our investigators, without the information they claim to possess, it is difficult to validate their accusations,” said Supervisor George Meek following the board’s Monday, September 20 meeting. “We are satisfied that the issue of threats and intimidation has been meticulously and extensively investigated, not only by Mr. Debbaudt and his associates, but also by MDOT. We now consider this matter closed,” said Meek.