Saturday, January 2 Annual Kent County Christmas Bird Count—Birders of all skill levels are welcome. For details, please visit www.glsga.org/grac. To register, contact Ranger Steve Mueller at (616) 696-1753 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet the Author Book Signing—7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy Inc., 220 Northland Drive, Rockford. Get your copy of Tom Rademacher’s new book “Splitting Wood,” and get your book signed! For additional information call (616) 866-2900. Tuesday, January 5 North Kent Toastmasters Club Meeting—7 to 8:45 p.m. at Prudential Preferred Realtors, 502 Northland Drive, Rockford (at 11 Mile Road). Be more assertive and a better speaker. For directions, call Angela at (616) 560-4726 or visit the club’s website at www.nkctm.org. Thursday, January 7 Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting—1 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford, hosted by Madge Bolt and Evie Swinehart. “Love Around the World,” an imaginary trip around the world through song, will be presented by Dick and Helen Prohaska. Saturday, January 9 Symphony Auditions—9 to 11 a.m. at Muskegon Community College. The West Michigan Youth Symphony is seeking musicians for the following instruments: strings, oboe, bassoon, French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion, for the 2010 winter season. All school-age musicians who are members of their school music ensembles through sophomore year in college are eligible to participate. To schedule an audition, please e-mail to youth @westmichigansymphony.org or call (231) 726-3231 ext. 35. Walk-ins will be allowed and heard between scheduled auditions. Sat.–Sun., Jan. 9–10 Overstocked Book Sale—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, at the Plainfield Library, Grand Rapids. Monday, January 11 Babytime at the Library—11 a.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Join us for a special one-on-one bonding time with baby while you enjoy songs, rhymes, stories and play time; for caregivers and babies 0-18 months. Babytime will also be held Mondays, Jan. 18 and 25, at 11 a.m. at the library. For more information, call the library at (616) 647-3940 or visit www.kdl.org. Calling All “Wimpy” Kids!—3 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Can you not get enough of the adventures of Greg and Rowley? Are you afraid of “The Cheese”? Then you’ll want to come for a time of wimpy fun based on […]
December 31 2009
“Is he trying to kill you?” was one question offered by a youngster during a presentation on bats held at Wild Birds Unlimited, 5426 Northland Drive, Grand Rapids. The question came while youngsters and adults were able to admire first-hand a number of bats at a talk on animal adaptation. Bats are more closely related to humans than rodents “bat man” Dale Smart shared with the audience. Smart came from the Organization for Bat Conservation to enlighten visitors on the beauty, usefulness and necessity of bats in our world. Putting minds at ease over the actions of his hand-held bat (it was looking for a mealworm treat, a “bat carrot”), Smart talked about animals’ ability to adapt as quickly as environments can change. Successful adapters can survive and even flourish in a changing world, while those who fail to adapt die. Bats have proven to be resourceful, and Michigan bats are a good example. Today, in the midst of winter, many of our bats have left town to hibernate through winter. Rather than heading south to caves, many have relocated north to man-made mining caves in the upper peninsula. Bats also make good use of old houses in place of standing dead trees, which humans are making less plentiful. Less successful and thus rarer in our state, loons have not found a way to adapt to less shoreline in Michigan lakes. Because of their legs, they cannot walk on land and require undeveloped waterfront to breed. On the other side of the equation, some creatures are too adaptable. The Emerald Ash Borer beetle is an example of a successfully adapted visitor to Michigan. Bats are more than adaptable, Smart shared. Like us, they have hands, wrists and elbows, and fly with a motion that is the equivalent of a human swimmer’s breaststroke. Vampire bats do not eat human blood, he assured, as human blood gives them gas and diarrhea. The anti-clotting quality of vampire bat saliva is actually a benefit for humans, as it is being used to create clot-busting drugs. “The vampire bat is saving human lives,” Smart stated. “If you were a bat,” Smart said to a small audience member, “you would have to eat 200 pieces of pizza a day.” He pointed […]
Kindergartners and preschoolers of Our Lady of Consolation School in Rockford learned about Christian charity this Advent season. After reading a recent article printed in the Advance newspaper stating the need for children’s coats, Mrs. Huffman and Mrs. Milan decided to take action. The children learned about giving from the heart and helping others who are less fortunate. The children collected a total of 50 coats, 12 pairs of snow pants and 15 sweaters, along with boots, scarves, hats and mittens. The coats were delivered Tuesday, Dec. 15, to the Alpha Women’s Center in Grand Rapids. The staff was very appreciative of the large donation. The center services over 3,000 women per year. In order to shop at the center, the women need to earn Alpha bucks by learning parenting and life skills. The center is currently in the process of relocating to better service the community.