August 4 2011

Heart of Belmont celebration rings true to name

August 11, 2011 // 0 Comments

“This is a great community event and a way for our businesses to give back to the community,” said Erin Wallace of Snap Fitness, located in the heart of Belmont business district at Belmont Center Drive. The first Heart of Belmont celebration proved that the business community in Belmont cares tremendously about serving their neighbors and showing how very much the area has to offer in the way of goods, services and business owners who care. Tony Griffin of B.C. Pizza and other organizers used the community celebration as a chance to help others by working with Michigan Blood and holding a community-wide blood drive and national bone marrow registry. Despite a drizzling downpour of rain throughout the event, plenty of residents enjoyed Belmont Grocery’s hotdog, chips and a beverage for a dollar, face-painting, live music, giveaways and more. The Plainfield Fire Department brought out a special truck for tours and demonstrations, and smiles were abundant. “Belmont is easy to overlook, because if you blink you miss it,” said Wallace. “There is so much going on here, though.” She was excited to be part of an event the area business owners will host annually and in her opinion, will continue to grow. “It is exciting. We are establishing our own community and identity.”                      

A Taste of Rockford to be nine times bigger than last year

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Grand finale of ArtCapsule this Saturday—all over town  For those who enjoyed generous and delicious samples of Rockford restaurants last year, prepare to multiply your experience by nine. A Taste of Rockford will now take place inside or in front of nine local eateries rather than in one location. A Taste of Rockford, live music and, of course, impressive art by nearly 30 artists will all be available on Saturday, August 6 in the grand finale of the second annual ArtCapsule by the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC). RAAC’s answer to its mission statement of promoting art in Rockford will be everywhere in downtown Rockford this week via ArtCapsule 2011. This is the second year of the event and it has grown in both entries and venues. There are 30 artists featured in 22 venues with plenty of talent showcased in the three categories of 3-D, 2-D and photography. During the week, visitors may pick up ballots at any participating venue, check out the artwork and vote for their five favorite entries. During the week, ballot boxes will be at Frame and Mat Shop, Great Northern Trading Company, and A Charmed Life… Nail Salon and more ballot boxes will appear throughout the downtown area on Saturday. Add “A Taste of Rockford”—Rockford’s eateries offering samples of their fare for $1 tickets on Saturday, and you have a wonderful exclamation point on a great week of celebrating the best Rockford has to offer. The proceeds from A Taste of Rockford will be going to RAAC this year, so the commission is grateful to the restaurants taking part in this crowd favorite. Participating restaurants are preparing samples that will cost from between one and three tickets, so visitors are assured a taste of participating restaurants’ offerings for a fantastic price. Last year restaurants gathered at one location, while this year the samples will be located at the participating restaurant’s front door. For easier access, visitors may purchase tickets at tables strategically placed throughout town on Saturday, with the main location at the Welcome Center, located on Squires Street. “We’re looking forward to a great week’s worth of art that will culminate with a tasty ArtCapsule on Saturday, August 6 with music in the park, artwork in shops and […]

Plainfield asks for clarity from One Kent Coalition

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Where is evidence local government has failed?  by BETH ALTENA The Plainfield Township Board joined nearly every other township in Kent County in approving a resolution asking backers of the One Kent Coalition to clarify the details of the plan. Only Clerk Scott Harvey voted against the resolution. “I believe it needs to be put before the voters,” he said. “When you talk about the prosperity of Grand Rapids and look at the names of things in the town, you have to believe their hearts are in the right place.” The resolution regarding the plan to establish a metropolitan government in Kent County and Grand Rapids is a two-page document. It spells out that the township is aware of the coalition’s goal of changing state law to create a metropolitan government, which would consist of a 25-person metropolitan commission with a full-time chief executive with broad powers, including the power to veto ordinances. It states that the Board is not aware of any “reports, studies or other objective evidence suggesting the need for such a radical transformation of government in the County, nor whether, if undertaken, it would result in any continuing benefits for the people of the City and the County.” It states the Board recognizes “Kent County, Grand Rapids and the townships in the County have separate powers, and functions, long established by law, that do not overlap and that enable these municipal bodies to provide services efficiently to their respective constituents… The members of the Township Board desire to adopt this resolution to express their serious concern about this proposal and to suggest the need for sufficient consideration as to whether there are such shortcomings on the part of Kent County and Grand Rapids local government as would justify establishing an entirely new kind of local government never before attempted in Michigan.” The resolution goes on to state strong support of local government and services as close to the people, responsive to their needs and respectful of the cost of government. It asserts that local government has flexibility in how services are provided to constituents and states that local government and Kent County already share public services by agreement through cooperative authorities and “continue to develop innovative ways to providing public services […]

America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest enters final month

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford Farm Market still leads entire nation by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Let’s Rockford Farm Market still leads entire nation color this as an athletic event. We are about to enter the 10th week of a 13-week contest:  America’s Favorite Farmers Markets. One might say we are entering the ninth inning of a ballgame. Rockford is holding the lead, however slim, and it’s time to bring in the “closers” to protect our lead. Our opponent is tenacious (Venice, Fla.) and has been dogging us in the vote tallies for the past five weeks. Time to put the Venice Farmers Market away and raise our hands in victory on August 31! Now just who are these “closers”? It turns out that they are the ones who have, as yet, not voted and have been holding themselves in reserve for this very moment in time. It’s their time to step to the plate and hit one out of the ballpark. Are you a closer? Then go online to to cast your vote for Rockford Farm Market or, easier still, visit Saturday morning’s farm market and cast your vote in person at the voting booth in front of the Lions Market Master stall. Those of you who have already voted, thanks ever so much—you have played a part in the storied history of Rockford—but you, also, can be a closer. You can use all of your social networking skills to spread the word and encourage the vote. (We all know the residents of West Michigan are the most social and technically proficient people in the U.S.) Vote totals as of 11 p.m. Monday, August 1, 2011 for top five in all market size categories: •            Rockford Farm Market (small market)—1,886 •            Venice, Fla. (small)—1,697 •            Snellville, Ga. (medium)—1,550 •            Fayetteville, Ark. (large)—1,252 •            New Braunfels, Texas (large)—1,133 •            Las Cruces, N.M. (large)—1,014 If you have been following this contest online, you may have noticed that Michigan has another player in this contest. The Manistique Farm Market is no threat to Rockford’s standings, but nevertheless is leading the nation in the boutique market size category with 271 votes. Imagine the possibility of Michigan, the doormat of the nation for the last 10 years, having two small city farm […]

Volley for Mitchell successful in fifth year

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

¡ Love this volleyball tourney!  by BETH ALTENA According to organizer Pete MacGregor, this year’s competition included 50-plus teams and added a whopping $12,300 to the dollars for Project Parent MD, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The total for the five years of Volley for Mitchell is pushing $42,000 to Project Parent MD. This year there were 180 players ranging in age from 10 to over 50. “We will take any age and skill level,” MacGregor said. The event is an offshoot of the ever-popular and ever-growing Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford, in its 13th year. Named after Rockford resident Mitchell Peterson, now a 10th-grade student, the run has raised $625,000 over the past 12 years. Mitchell was diagnosed at a young age with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most devastating form of the disease, which always afflicts young boys. Over the years, Mitchell’s Run has become a huge event in Rockford and has raised awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the need to find a cure. “We are very thrilled with this year’s event,” said MacGregor. MacGregor, who is a former neighbor to the Peterson family, came up with the idea of Volley for Mitchell five years ago. He said not everyone is a runner, and he wanted to offer an alternative way to support the good cause of the Parent Project MD. The Score Restaurant was first to provide a venue for the competition, and MacGregor said he is very grateful for early supporters as well as new supporters—including AT&T, Integrated Strategies Inc., Walmart and St. Mary’s, who are all onboard for the first time this year. With clear skies and beautiful, if hot, weather, Volley for Mitchell went smoothly with youngest competitors playing at North Rockford Middle School and adults ending the day’s competition at The Score. Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford is racing right up and is scheduled for August 20. The run is a 5K run/walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. The race is a family-fun event with live bands, music and a radio feed from LAV. Those not into running will nevertheless enjoy the one-of-a-kind day in downtown Rockford. They can cheer on the racers as they cross the finish line at the Squires Street bridge, purchase […]

1 2 3 4