Those pesky “Bucky Beavers” have been busy this past winter and spring above the dam and along both sides of the Rogue River. No tree, regardless of size, appears to be safe from “Bucky”! This huge tree, some 4 ft. in diameter (species undetermined) stands between the Rogue River Nature Trail boardwalk and the river about 70 ft. north of the Gazebo on the west side of the dam. The City has placed chicken wire screening around the tree over the gnawed area and this fix seems to be working. It’s a good thing because, if felled, this monster tree could make a splash that might create a Tsunami and knock the Rockford Historical Society Museum right off its foundation! The Squire would love to know what variety of tree this is and perhaps the “tree huggers” of Rockford might want to take a stroll over to Bucky’s work site and let the paper know.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL From purely a state-level prestige perspective the honor bestowed upon the Rockford High School’s (RHS) Women’s Chorus last Friday afternoon was perhaps greater than what might be garnered by the football team winning, yet another, state high school football championship. Echoing a sentiment heard over and over again, Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) President-Elect Doug Armstead said, “This is a really, really big deal.” Amstead was speaking about RHS Women’s Chorus being only one of five chorus’ selected to perform at the 2012 Michigan Music Conference (MMC) held in Grand Rapids last Thursday – Saturday. “When one takes into consideration that only five high school chorus’ were chosen from 600 high schools across the entire state of Michigan the honor to appear takes on a very special meaning,” said Armstead. Just prior to the start of the RHS Women’s Chorus program, it was announced that RHS Vocal Music Educator and Women’s Chorus Director Mandy Makita Scott, herself, was to be further honored. We learned Scott had been awarded the Carolyn F. Leep Scholarship by MSVMA and had been chosen by her peers, in a statewide ballot, to be the 2014 State Honors Choir Conductor. She will rehearse and conduct a 100+ voice elite high school women’s chorus at the MMC conference in January 2014. This is widely considered one of the highest honors that a high school conductor in Michigan can receive. High honors indeed for this Rockford resident. Performing in the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott, before a standing room only audience upwards of 700, the Women’s Chorus then opened a flawless 5-selection program. At times Conference Pianist Dr. Kenneth Bos, Grand Rapids Symphony Principal Cellist Alicia Eppinga, and RHS student Percussionists Aaron Bainbidge, Spencer Gordon, Tylor Hoekstra, Jason Ibarra, and Zach Kidder, accompanied the Chorus. Your reporters hearts swelled with “Rockford Pride” as the talented young women of the Chorus closed the afternoon’s performance with their beautiful rendition of Michigan Composer Jeffrey Cobb’s We are the Music Makers. You really should have been there and enjoyed, along with us, the rousing applause of everyone in attendance that afternoon.
Following the West Michigan Healing Field memorial, a local business is continuing the tribute to 9/11 victims by displaying flags that have not yet been sponsored. Until Friday, Sept. 23, 100 of the American flags displayed at Canonsburg for Healing Field will be on display at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community, 4951 11 Mile Rd., Rockford, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Each flag is tagged with the name and biography of a victim in the attack and the community is welcome to walk through the display. Flags are still available for purchase at Bishop Hills, United Bank branches, and www.healingfield.org/west-michigan-2011. “We had many people stopping by Cannonsburg after the display was taken down, sad to find out that they missed the memorial,” said Susan Bodenner, owner of Bishop Hills and project chair of West Michigan Healing Field. “But Healing Field is not just a five-day event. We are thrilled to have flags at Bishop Hills to continue this memorial, and we hope that we encourage the community to do the same. We hope to give every flag a home in a West Michigan business, school or home to forever continue the conversation about the tragedy and hope of September 11 through the eyes of a victim.” “When you bring a flag to your home, the conversation becomes even more meaningful and personal,” Bodenner added. “It also gives us a platform for sharing the story with our young people that were not born when the attacks happened or were too young to remember them.” West Michigan Healing Field has the potential to raise more than $175,000 for local first responder organizations if every flag is purchased. Facts about West Michigan Healing Field: • A five-day display of 3,200 flags on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; each of 2,997 flags represented the name of an individual victim and was tagged with their name. The remaining 203 flags represented the unnamed victims who have not been identified. • The entry path brought visitors to a center isle, creating a visual break in the flags, each side representing one of the World Trade Center towers. • The field was laid out in 93 rows. • Each flag was six feet from the next, […]