‘It comes down to our elected officials doing their job’ Rockford’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Shibler recently held a meeting between RPS staff, recently laid off staff and elected officials to discuss ideas to fix the state crisis in school funding. Shibler has long been chair of a grass roots effort to push Michigan’s legislature to reform school funding, and was in agreement with State Representative Tom Pearce, who attended the meeting, on possible solutions. “It has to be a combination of cost containment and an increase in funding,” Shibler said. His ideas, also supported by a group of Michigan CEOs, and other financial boards, are threefold. Cutting costs by requiring all state employees to pay part of the cost of their health benefits, increasing income by lowering the state sales tax to 5.5 percent and applying it to some services, and cutting the Michigan Business Tax are the core of the plan. “In the national average, public and private employees pay 28 percent of the cost health care,” Pearce said at the meeting. He and Shibler propose starting with all public employees paying 15 percent, and allowing each district to remain in control of the choice of benefit providers. For Rockford, this would save $1.2 million annually to save jobs. “Michigan, because of the strong union history, has fought those changes for years,” said Pearce. “This has to come from the state. Districts can’t fight those battles themselves.” “I anticipate angry response from teachers who say we’ve voted to take pay cuts not to pay part of our health care,” said Shibler. “I understand that. The state will have to keep cutting public safety and corrections on down the line. That’s what is going to happen in the state.” Shibler also said future cuts in school funding will be devastating if legislatures do not fix the problem. Anticipated cuts on top of those already taken next year would be the equivalent of $600 to $700 per child. The state proposes cutting another $260 per child, but in addition, the pension contribution for all districts in the state next July 1 will increase 2.5 percent to 19.4 percent of payroll. That will cost Rockford another $1 million immediately. Health care costs have risen […]
February 25 2010
Cub Scouts from Pack 3285 celebrated the 100th year of Scouting at their February meeting. February 8 marks the day that Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia by founder William D. Boyce. By 1912, Scouting had spread to every state in the union and continues to be a strong foundation for shaping today’s youth. For many adults, their fondest memories of Cub Scouting center on the Pinewood Derby races. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, Pack 3285 is inviting all past members from Crestwood Elementary School to join them at their annual Pinewood Derby on March 6. Past members can create a new car to run or bring one of their original cars to race in the alumni heat. To learn more about the race, contact Guy McLellan at (616) 863-0350 or visit the Pack’s website at pack3285.ScoutLander.com.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) named DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Grand Rapids a 2010 Regional Contractor of the Year (CotY) in the “Bathroom Remodel under $30,000” category of its annual awards competition. The winning project was a complete bathroom makeover. The original bath was transformed from a very dated and dark brown-and-pink tile look to a “beach-like” contemporary look that was clean, fresh, light and relaxing. The outcome was a beautiful master bath that gave the homeowners the feeling they had just entered an upscale spa, with relaxing, vacation-like qualities. “Receiving such prestigious recognition is an honor,” said Bill Wolf, owner of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen. “We could not be prouder of our team for their quality craftsmanship and professionalism, which made it possible for us to be named a Contractor of the Year.” In addition to winning a four-state regional kitchen design award in 2008, this is the second CotY award that DreamMaker has received in the last two years. The DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen design center is located at 4658 West River Drive in Comstock Park. For more information, call (616) 632-2284 or visit www.dreammakergr.com.
Vogler Mrs. Vera Vogler, 75, died on Wednesday, February 10, 2010, at St. Anne’s Mead in Southfield, Mich., after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Family was at her bedside for her passing. She had been a resident of Auburn Hills, Mich. for the last seven years, and was a former resident of Rockford for 37 years. Mrs. Vogler was born Vera Mae Streng, on February 9, 1935, to Joseph and Dorothy Streng in Maple Grove, Mich.—the fourth of five children. A short time later, the family moved to a farm in Beal City, Mich. She was elected homecoming queen of her high school before going on to attend Central Michigan University on an academic scholarship. It is there that she met her future husband, Roger James Vogler, whom she married on June 9, 1956, shortly after earning her bachelor of science degree in home economics. After initially residing in Garden City, Mich., Roger and Vera eventually settled in Rockford, where they raised their six children. While in Rockford, Vera was an active parishioner of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church as well as the Consolata Guild in Belmont. A lover of flowers, books and the arts, she enjoyed expressing her creativity through gardening, cooking and painting. She was also an excellent seamstress who, having made her own wedding gown, found no difficulty making clothing for herself as well as her children and 18 grandchildren. Vera also cherished people. She was an active volunteer for school functions and always looked forward to hosting another get-together, be it the local ladies Rosary group, the Consolata Guild, a neighborhood ice cream social, or a holiday gathering of friends and family. Vera was a teacher in the Rockford Public Schools and taught at Our Lady of Consolation, River Valley and Parkside Elementary schools where she retired in 1994. Surviving are her husband of 53 years, Roger J. Vogler of Auburn Hills; daughter, Pamela Miller (David) of Birmingham, Mich.; sons, Kevin (Michelle) of Bloomfield Hills, Craig (Tammie) of Leesburg, Va., Christopher (Carole) of DeBary, Fla., Roger M. (Karen) of Winchester, Va., Jared (Crista) of Rockville, Md.; 18 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Patricia Fate (Robert), Maxine Finnerty (Robert), and Geraldine Schafer (Richard); brother, Fred Streng (Patricia). Interment was in Holy […]