photos by Melanie Ragsdale In an effort to support President Obama’s efforts to move the country to alternative energy sources, the City of Rockford has switched to windpower. “It only makes sense to harness the Earth’s natural flatulence,” said Izzy Toe, who is on the City’s committee to implement alternative energy, the Joint Open Konsumer Energy (JOKE) committee. Luckily, Rockford is known far and wide for the strength of the local winds, and is often referred to by the common nickname of “The Windy City.” The City made the leap away from electricity on Wednesday, April 1 in a ceremony where turbines installed at a tannery rooftop officially began powering the town. “I would have had to wipe tears of happiness from my eyes if the wind hadn’t blown them dry,” said the City President. “This is a life-long dream come true for me. I’ve always hated the electric company.” The City partnered in this venture with the local funny paper, the Rockford Square, which also made the switch on April 1. “We built our office wind turbine ourselves,” the newspaper spokesperson said. “We have a talented group here and are very handy.” The wind turbine is very common for residential use and can significantly decrease the global footprint of a family home. It was installed on the north side of the Squire building at 331 Northland Drive, just two doors down from the Michigan State Police Post. The Square staff would love to share our blueprint for the turbine with any readers who are interested and are currently offering tours. Within minutes of installation, the turbine began powering all Square electrical equipment. Square paper carriers are also going to windpower with their moms’ and dads’ cars. At right see the money-saving and popular auto wind turbine. “We are so, so grateful to the City for going along with us on this exciting venture,” a Square staffer said. “Wait until we tell them about our next great idea. It involves a large herd of pigs (which are surprisingly speedy animals) and a few hundred yards of velcro. We’ll have them using zero gas for their City cars lickity split.”
April Fools Day
Kent County officials have announced that March 2009 was the worst month for potholes in West Michigan in more than thirty years. Above is a Rockford Michigan State Police patrol vehicle which recently became stranded in one of the area’s large potholes. In related news, the county has also announced that West Michigan motorists have had to watch for a record number of rockslides and fallen trees.
As part of an expansive effort to use alternative energy sources (see related story above), the City of Rockford stopped using electric lights on Wednesday, April 1. Department of Public Works Director Mike Bouwcamp turned the switch off during an unlighting ceremony and a large crowd watched as the downtown was reilluminated using gaslight. “Electricity is really one of the first things you can cut to save money,” Bouwcamp said. “Gaslight is also very pleasing to the eye and fits our image.”