Al Kolpack


August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Reader’s letter a ‘misdiagnosis’ Dear Editor, Dr. Jorgensen’s misdiagnosis of Lake Bella Vista politics needs a history lesson. In his July 26 letter, he doesn’t say anything about the last-minute flyer that was distributed to Lake Bella Vista in the 2000 election that scared voters into believing that they would lose their water. This information was not true then and it is not true now. Here are the facts: 1) Back then the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) Water Quality Dept. asked for a study. All private systems required approval by the DEQ and Cannon was asking to approve a fourth system for the Sunfish Lake development. 2) The town board approved $5,000 for the study of a community water system. 3) In a public meeting at Rockford middle school, the DEQ, Prein & Newhof, and I made presentations. Many in attendance were Bella Vista residents who rejected the idea of a community water system. We dropped the whole idea right then and there. I even said publicly that this was not the field to die on. Let me state for the record: I have never had any plan to take over Bella Vista water then nor is there any intent to do so now or in the future. Scare tactics do not help voters think clearly. Before Dr. Jorgensen prescribes how someone should vote, he should first read the patient’s chart. Jim Alles Candidate for Cannon Twp. Treasurer Rockford swim program ranks high  in nation Dear Editor, It is with much pride that I send the following announcement: The National Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) each year ranks all high school teams by their duel meet/conference meet strength. This is in contrast to the state meet, which has no indication of depth, just the strength of your top 8-10 athletes. This ranking takes both depth and top athletes into consideration based on your best duel meet. OVERALL HIGH SCHOOL TEAM RANKINGS BY GENDER: Our boys program was awarded 18th in the country and our girls program 34th. NISCA also ranks each program by overall strength of girls and boys teams together. (Many programs are strong in girls or boys programs, but not both.) OVERALL RANKING FOR BOTH MEN’S & WOMEN’S PROGRAM: Rockford is listed as […]

Help Wanted – Coopersville & Marne Railway Company

June 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

Squire ‘rides the rails’ on historic railway by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL All little boys love trains and some never lose that fascination. One such is Rockford resident Andrew Kersting. Squire readers will recall that Kersting founded the Rogue River Project. Since 2005 Kersting has joined forces with Trout Unlimited and local citizens for annual litter clean-up days of the Rogue River. This year Kersting was gratified and more than pleased that the annual event was not necessary because the river was amazingly clean. It seems river users had “gotten religion” and are now policing and cleaning the river themselves. Kersting, 23, is an amazing young man. Not only does he have a love of the environment, he is a volunteer Conductor and a Brakeman with the Coopersville & Marne Railway (C&M). Recently Kersting contacted the Squire and asked if we would like, one day, to take the short 30-minute drive to Coopersville to “ride the rails” on an authentic old-fashioned passenger trail. One of your reporters still has a hand-carved toy train from his childhood and for him the question was a no-brainer…”Lets GO!” Last Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. found us at the C&M engine house, in the heart of downtown Coopersville, to meet the train’s crew as they were about to prep the locomotive for the day’s two runs. The railway’s locomotive is a 125-ton General Motors SW9 switcher, #7014. Built in 1952, the engine is lovingly maintained by the all-volunteer staff of C&M. The 1,200 horse power diesel engine of the locomotive turns a generator which in turn feeds 600 volts of electricity to the traction motors that are geared to the locomotive’s 8 drive wheels. Along with Kersting acting as Brakeman, the train’s scheduled crew of the day included another Rockford resident Conductor Al Kolpack, along with Engineer Bruce Quinn and Brakeman Trainee Mike Smith, both from Grand Rapids. Kolpack and Quinn are both certified by C&M as Brakeman and Conductors and both hold federal Engineer licenses. The two of them have been volunteers with C&M for a combined 19 years. “Although the Engineer is responsible for the operation of the locomotive,” said Kolpack, “the conductor is the boss on all trains. The train doesn’t move until the Conductor says […]