February 18 2010

And the winners of the Best Lip of Rockford are:

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

We received dozens and dozens of entries to this year’s Rockford Squire newspaper Best Lips of Rockford contest. It was very tough to chose, but the best male lips winner was Dennis Budzinski and the best female lips were othose of Michelle Zeck. Wendy Barnes of Merle Norman and Amy McGough, Avon distributor, provided The Squire with sample lipsticks. The quality was so good with these products that our male entrants couldn’t get the lipstick off afterwards. Oops. Take a peek to see which one of our Rockford business professionals gave us their lips for this year’s contest and be sure to give them a ribbing next time you see them. Thanks for being such good sports, guys. We had so many entries we unfortunately couldn’t print them all. A big thanks to the Cub Scout pack who kicked off this year’s contest as they visited the office for their communication badge tour. Best Lips of Rockford                

Words on Weather & Climate, by Craig James

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

  Climate Data Part 1 It seems as if every time someone digs up anything new about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC), something ugly crawls out. For example, the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency has recently discovered the IPCC incorrectly reported that 55% of that country was below sea level and would be flooded by increasing sea levels. The number should only be 20%. There have been many other revelations recently about the IPCC, the committee established to inform the world about climate change, but let’s move on to the two really important issues in climate change. Has this past decade been the warmest decade on record and have the global computer models been forecasting way too much warming? Let’s take a look at how the climate data is obtained and then used to construct this chart from NASA below, which shows global temperatures warming about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. I’ll start first with what is called the United States Historical Climate Network or USHCN. There are currently 1,221 reporting stations in this network with records going back into the late 1800s. A former television meteorologist by the name of Anthony Watts took on the enormous task of having all USHCN climate reporting stations surveyed to determine if they met the National Weather Service criteria for proper siting. Over 80% of the stations have now been studied and almost 90% of those stations failed to meet that criteria. The survey shows that nine out of every ten stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited on or near tarmacs, next to buildings, on paved driveways and roads, in waste treatment plants, on rooftops, near air conditioner exhausts and more. You can read about the survey and see photos of some of the ridiculous locations of thermometers in this pdf:http://watsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf. One of my favorite examples is from The University of Arizona showing where the thermometer has recently been placed over pavement in a parking lot. It used to be over grass. Would you think this move might produce higher daytime temperatures? The thermometer shows warming but certainly not from Carbon Dioxide.   Poor current location of thermometers is just one of many problems. Since records began, most thermometers have […]

Indepent Bank donates to Haiti victims

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Independent Bank of Rockford employed haved raised $2,458.17 for Haiti victims. They also have collected a room full of items that were on the Baptist Haiti Mission (BHM) request list. Gently used and laundered items were included which were approved by BHM. Both money and items collected have been given to the Baptist Haiti Mission for distribution to the Haiti earthquake victims. Everyone at the BHM is thankful for the donations and they greatly appreciate our efforts. They said “we are proud to call Independent Bank our bank,” said Ron Sparks. The BHM has indicated there are short term goals and long term goals for the people in Haiti. “Both goals require donations of money and basic needs items, so please feel free to keep donations coming. They are and will be greatly appreciated by many,” said Cheryl Koster of Independent Bank.  “We will be making deliveries to the Baptist Haiti Mission periodically.”  “Thank you to all of you!  We can all feel proud that we are a part of Independent Bank!”

Auto Focus — February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Don’t change my tires without an electronics degree! by JON STELLEMA There’s one thing that never changes; that is Change itself. The horseless carriage compared to your modern automobile has morphed into a technological, 3,000-pound computer on wheels. And, yes, even the tires are now computerized! Well, monitoring the pressure in your tires is handled by your vehicle computer. Inside each wheel of vehicles produced since January 2007 is a tire pressure monitor that sends information to the vehicle’s computer, and the computer can know if the tire pressure is okay or not. Amazing, isn’t it? From my point of view as an auto technician for more than 40 years and an auto repair business owner, it is one more technology to learn and buy the essential equipment to service the system. Even if you rotate the tires to a different position on the car, each wheel must be reprogrammed to let the computer know in which position that each tire is currently located. The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), in part, was birthed in the 1990s out of the problems the Ford Motor Company had with their Explorer model and the Firestone Tire Company tires. Due to low tire pressure, the tires would overheat, delaminate and blow out, causing many fatal rollover accidents. The government has taken matters another step further by legislating shelf life for tires. A tire could be in a supplier’s business for long periods of time before being sold, sometimes years. The rubber compounds by nature will deteriorate or evaporate with age. The most obvious of this conundrum is travel trailers and motor homes seen with covers over the tires while parked for an extended period of time. The sun will dry rot the rubber. This is, of course, going to affect the cost of new tires. Much of the base materials used to construct a tire have risen lately. We have recently seen a wholesale cost jump of 10% to 12%. An outdated tire cannot be sold, so they will either be destroyed or shipped overseas. For the time being, we will have to put up with another amber warning light on our instrument panels. Jon Stellema is an eight-time national finalist for the ASE Auto Technician of the Year. […]

Rockford Rams ice win over Pioneers 3-1

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

  On Friday night, Feb. 12, the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team played the East Grand Rapids Pioneers for the second time this season. And for the second time this season, Rockford skated away with a well-earned victory. The Rams beat the Pioneers decisively in their first meeting, and the expectation was East Grand Rapids (EGR) wanted a little revenge. However, that was not the case, as the Rams’ hard skating, smart play and solid teamwork earned them a 3-1 win. Although the first period seemed to have momentum a little more in EGR’s favor, it ended with neither team putting a puck in the net.   Period two saw the Rams pick up the pace, as senior forward Noah Greco found the back of the Pioneers’ net at the 13:33 mark with an assist from junior forward Eric Datema, making it 1-0 Rams. Penalties followed and forced the Rams to play short-handed twice. However, the penalty kill unit gave the Pioneers nothing. After the penalties cleared on both sides, the Pioneers scored with 2:11 remaining, making it tie game at 1-1. The Rams were not done for the period and gained the lead back when senior Jake Chaffee scored at the 1:08 mark with a nice assist from senior forward Eric Conroy, closing the second period at 2-1 Rams.   Third period action saw both teams fight hard to earn the win. The Rams answered the Pioneers’ pressure when Greco scored his second goal of the night at the 8:02 mark, assisted by senior forward Robert Perry. Although the Rams found themselves on the penalty kill again with 4:30 seconds remaining in the contest, hard defensive team play and excellent goaltending by senior Christian Van Portfliet kept the Pioneers scoreless and sealed the Rockford win, ending the contest at 3-1 Rams. The Rams’ next contest is Tuesday, Feb. 16 against Muskegon Catholic Central at Lakeshore Arena in Muskegon. Game time is 5:00 p.m.

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