The Rockford Squire readers are pretty smart. John Hogan of Cannon Township e-mailed us his best guest of the mystery huge tree in last week’s edition. “The tree pictured in this week’s Squire is massive, to say the least. Judging from the deeply furrowed bark, and the fact it is at the edge of the river, I’d have to guess it is an Eastern Cottonwood. They get up to 80 feet tall with a 60-foot spread. You’ll know for sure in another month or two if it starts shedding. Small seeds attached to cotton-like strands accumulate like snow drifts—or cotton balls, depending on your perspective—hence the name. Has anyone else suggested it’s a cottonwood?” Hogan is also a writer who provides the Sunday home and garden column for the Grand Rapids Press.
April 26 2012
Senior citizens and middle-aged workers all around Kent County are coming together in support of the GRCC Yes Campaign for “our community college.” Senior citizens and middle-aged workers join local elected officials, labor organizations, public safety officials, Republicans and Democrats in the large and growing list of individuals and organizations urging Kent County residents to vote yes on this important proposal. The 20-year bond will levy 0.35 mills that would cost the average home owner just $26 per year or about $2 per month to provide essential warm, safe and dry infrastructure improvements. Capital improvements that will bring the college 21st century learning and teaching environments. June Campbell is the facilitator of the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Older Learning Center (OLC), a program open to all seniors in the community. She became involved with the program at the active age of 70. “Today, I am an 83-year-old college student at the OLC and I love it! I’ve enjoyed our community college’s computer classes and now I run them,” Campbell said. Now Campbell can teach others how to go to the GRCCYES Facebook page and GRCCYES.org. “I may be on a fixed income, but I can afford two dollars a month to support our community college,” Campbell added. Middle-aged workers and senior citizens like Campbell count on GRCC due to loss of jobs or retirement savings during the current economic recession. GRCC offers an affordable, accessible opportunity for individuals to get trained, get back to work and earn a living. Kevin Smith, certified personal trainer and owner of Smith Strength & Conditioning, was one of these students. “After almost thirty years in my profession, my position was eliminated. I was out of work and ready for a change. At 57 years old, our community college was there for me when I needed to get training to launch my new career,” said Smith. “Thanks to GRCC’s programs and instructors, I now own my own business. GRCC worked for me. Please join me in voting yes!” GRCC also worked for 50-year-old Bruce Rexford of Kentwood. He commented, “I went to school at GRCC after losing my job at ROWE AMI after 30 years of building juke boxes and dollar bill changers. I took the automotive program and […]
Rockford Rotary Club has provided scholarship funding for the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) Summer Reading Program for several years. Last year, the funds raised fell short of the increased need. “Reading is critical for success in school and life,” said Lisa Jacobs, executive director of RPS Community Services, “and the summer reading program is an important strategy to help young students be successful readers.” The three-week program, each July, helps young students maintain what they learned in the previous school year and prepare for the new school year. Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner designated this year’s annual Duck Race as the fundraiser to fund the summer reading program at a higher level and have additional funds for a special literacy project. As Jacobs reviews summer reading program needs and ideas with Bodenner, another type of planning is happening. Local businesses are sponsoring Big Daddy Ducks for $100 each for the first race on June 9 during Start of Summer. “There are just two rules for the Big Daddy Duck Race of 22 large ducks: no motor and no whining if you lose!” stated Rotarian Erik Luxhoj, chair. The Facebook page has evidence of ducks going through training and enhancements and “all in support of better readers” said Corner Bar Manager John Vanaman. Rogue River Red Hats to the staff of Rockford Ambulance all agree that it was an irresistible way to raise funds for this good cause—and they might just win the unique traveling trophy designed by Justin Kauffman and Gary Davis. There is just one big duck left. The 2,000 tickets for the regular Rockford Rotary Duck Race go on sale before May 1. Check Facebook page “Big Daddy Duck Race” to find out businesses involved, where to get tickets and the prizes being offered to get readers of The Rockford Squire involved to help young readers in our community. For more information e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Erik Luxhog at (616) 884-0694.
Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma wants teens in Kent County to have a fun and memorable experience at this year’s prom and graduation open houses. To ensure that teens stay safe, he is reminding them and their parents that underage drinking is not only dangerous but it is against the law. “You can’t have a memorable experience at prom or graduation if you are unable to remember any of it because you have had too much to drink,” said Sheriff Stelma. The consequences of underage drinking are serious. Every year underage drivers under the influence of alcohol kill or seriously injure themselves or others in crashes. In some communities a partnership between law enforcement and school officials prevents students who have been caught drinking from participating in extracurricular activities. Sheriff Stelma offers the following tips to prevent underage drinking and keep this year’s prom and graduation open houses safe for everyone in the community: • Parents and other adults must remember that underage drinking is against the law. Not only is furnishing alcohol to someone under age 21 a crime, it sends the wrong message. • Parents and teens both need to understand that “everybody is doing it” is just plain wrong! Being liked should never mean giving up your personal responsibility or caving in to social pressures. Parents have an obligation to set boundaries that tell teens which behaviors are appropriate and which are not. • Everyone in this community is responsible for preventing alcohol-related injuries. At prom time retailers, limousine drivers, hotel owners, and others in the community have a responsibility to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Suspicious activity may include: drinking and/or visible intoxication of a youth; someone purchasing a large quantity of alcohol, furnishing alcohol to a minor, or a teen using a false ID; prom parties hosted in hotel rooms. Sheriff Stelma warns, “Keep safe during your end-of-school celebrations. If you are a teen, don’t drink or use drugs. If you are a parent, remain vigilant about what your teen is doing. By making it inconvenient for kids to drink, you just may save a life.”
Jack Kison, 14, with his grandmother Jill Mackie, was proud to find his first geocache at The Rockford Squire newspaper office on Wednesday, April 14. Kison, who was visiting Rockford for spring break, found the microcache after some searching. It is ironic that the very first geocache he has ever found is located at the town’s oldest business, established February 8, 1871. There are plenty of fun geocaches in and around Rockford. Find them at geocaching.com.