A new season is on for the very popular Huntington Rogue River Blues series offered by Huntington Bank, the City of Rockford and the Rockford Area Arts Commission. On Tuesday, June 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. the public is invited to enjoy the free concert on the banks of the Rogue River at Garden Club Park as the Jimmie Swagger Band kicks off the 10-week summer series. The event is sponsored for the third year by Huntington Bank, which provides funding and also hosts a booth with free giveaways at each concert. Paul Chimienti, branch manager for the local Huntington Bank at 6835 Belding Rd., said the concert is popular with people of all ages. “We have ages 5 to 85 who love to go,” he said. “Sponsoring the Blues Series is part of Huntington’s continued commitment to our local Rockford community.” Chimienti attributes the cost of the concerts—free—to their popularity, but said people also enjoy the beautiful setting, the chance to visit downtown Rockford, and the free giveaways are also a draw. The family-oriented concert series provides outstanding musical entertainment. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and pair the concert with a visit to local shops or restaurants. The first seven weeks of the series feature blues bands, with other musical talent the final three concerts. A suggestion for parking is the South Squires parking lot, accessed from Bridge Street entrance between Vitale’s and J.T. Stitchery, or from Main Street down to north of the Rogue Valley Towers building. A short, pleasant walk on the White Pine Trail is also an access option.
City of Rockford
The city was scheduled to cut down the dead tree on Courtland Street in Rockford that the eastern screech owl family was living in until Dan Heeringa arrived home just in time to inform them that the tree was inhabited with owl chicks. The family was saved and continues to grow. Sunday evening one of the chicks decided to solo out of the nest, landed on the ground and couldn’t get back. Seems like there’s always one in the nest that thinks he’s ready to fly before he really is—in humans we call them “risk takers”! Heeringa wasn’t sure about rescuing this wild bird, but put on gloves and headed up the ladder to return it to the nest. Luckily it was accepted by the parents again and continues to thrive with its other two siblings. The Heeringas and their neighbors have enjoyed watching the parent birds flying, hunting and screeching during feeding the young owls at night.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL One of the most popular entrants in last year’s 2009 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids was “Nessie,” who finished in sixth place in the inaugural event. Kids, in particular, loved “Nessie” as she regally floated in the Grand River while tethered to the Blue Pedestrian Bridge in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Rockford believes they can do Grand Rapids one better. Rockford City Manager Michael Young announced at the April City Council meeting that “Water Dance” had been completed by its creators and is almost ready to be installed above the water and in front of the concrete wall between the two wings of Rockford’s iconic Rogue River Dam. This could only happen in the biggest little city in Michigan! Readers may remember the Squire’s exclusive front-page coverage of “Water Dance” in the Dec. 3, 2009 edition (visit www.rockfordsquire.com to read the entire story). The imaginative and genius mind of Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture in the CedarRock area was then in the midst of creating a stunning and breathtaking stainless steel sculpture of three leaping fish—not just any fish, but three fish synonymous with the Rogue River: a brown trout, a steelhead, and a rainbow trout. Anderson’s Metal Sculpture had been commissioned by the City of Rockford to create “Water Dance.” Costs associated, less labor, were underwritten by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Rockford Area Arts Commission. For his part, Anderson was gifting labor costs to the City he and his family have come to love. Last week we paid a return visit to Anderson’s studio, tucked away in the woods between Rockford and Cedar Springs, for an exclusive look at what for Anderson was a work of love. It is both beautiful and stunning and, when placed in front of the dam in the Rogue River, will encompass an area 25 feet wide by 9 feet high. The fish, of the three-dimensional sculpture, are awesomely grand in size. Coincidentally, “Nessie” was recently reported to be lurking in the waters of Rockford’s Rum Creek millpond. But those rumors turned out to be a great April Fools joke. “Nessie,” in reality, is currently suffering a slow deterioration in a temporary home on the waters of the […]
City to flush hydrants The City of Rockford will be conducting the bi-annual Hydrant Flushing and Maintenance Program beginning April 12, 2010. This process will be completed by April 30, 2010. During this time you may notice an occasional decrease in water pressure and possibly some slight cloudiness in the water. Most residents will see no change in their water supply. If you should notice a change in the appearance of your water, merely let the water run until it clears, usually within several minutes. There is no cause for concern with respect to the safety of your water supply, and the City performs this service twice a year to maintain a safe, reliable and abundant supply of water for its residents. This program also ensures that the fire hydrants in the City are operating correctly and available for use in an emergency. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Brinks at the City of Rockford at (616) 866-0560. Huntington National Bank named SBA Lender of the Year The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Michigan District Office presented its fiscal 2009 lender awards at the 12th Annual Michigan SBA Lenders’ Conference held in Lansing recently. Huntington National Bank was named Michigan Lender of the Year, SBA’s award for the best overall performance. Huntington National Bank approved 184 SBA loans worth more than $24 million in fiscal 2009. “Although it was difficult to select only one lender, Huntington National Bank did a very good job of marketing our loan programs in a difficult year,” said Richard Temkin, SBA Michigan District Director. “In addition to also being our SBAExpress Lender of the Year, it was a contender for several other awards.” In fiscal 2009, the Michigan District Office guaranteed 1,285 loans worth more than $312 million. Over the past five years, SBA has provided guaranties on 13,615 loans worth almost $2.4 billion to small businesses in Michigan. For more information, please call the Michigan District Office at (313) 226-6075 x225 or visit www.sba.gov.