February 4 2010

Student strength of character to be recognized

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

It is one of the most positive stories the Squire covers in the course of a year. Actually, it is over a dozen separate stories. From every school in the Rockford district, principals and staff have the hard task of picking just one student for a very special honor. In Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference, we honor young people chosen for their generosity of heart and strength of character. In a joint effort with Rockford Public Schools, Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire, students are recognized in print, in portrait photography and in person next Monday, February 8. Photographer Dan Davison brought to Rockford the idea of recognizing kids for all they do to make a difference in the lives of others. The students are chosen by the school staff, the first step in a long process that culminates at an unveiling ceremony that will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the auditorium at the Rockford Schools Administration building. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school staff and the Board of Education recognize these youngsters and first see the biographies and photographs published in an heirloom publication that will be treasured for a lifetime. Douglas Photography’s Davidson donates his time and cost in taking portraits of the kids and creating large framed photos that will be displayed in the administration offices for the next full year. After, each family is given the portrait as a gift. At the ceremony, the portraits are seen for the first time. The Squire publishes a keepsake edition supplement to the newspaper, a stand-alone, full color Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference. Supported by local businesses, the publication is also unveiled for the first time at the ceremony before being distributed in the Squire and at participating companies. “It gives us an opportunity to recognize these very well-rounded students,” said Lisa Jacobs, Director of Rockford Community Education Services. In its ninth year, the ceremony continues to be packed with proud supporters of these students. “These students are always very humble, very thankful to be recognized,” Jacobs said. Each year the families are thrilled that their child was chosen for such an elite honor and for such a good cause. “Any time we have an opportunity to recognize […]

City to draft wind turbine ordinance, proposes moratorium on growing medical marijuana

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

The City of Rockford Planning Commission listened to advice from Cascade Engineering’s Jessica Lehti on crafting a wind turbine ordinance. She spoke before the group on Thursday, January 28 at Rockford City Hall after a dinner of pizza and soda. Cascade Engineering’s Renewable Energy Solutions has sold turbines around the world and has worked with municipalities that have ordinances in place and those that do not. According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young, there have not yet been any proposed wind turbine installations in Rockford, but Wolverine World Wide has considered putting in large wind turbines in years past. Leiti said Wolverine has contacted her company more recently and has a meeting set up to discuss wind turbines. “We waste a lot of energy in America,” Lehti said. She said it is important to look for new ways of creating energy. “The way we are doing it now [creating energy] is not very efficient.” She said it is important to look for new ways of creating energy now before we have rolling blackouts, and stated that the way we make energy now, from coal and natural gas, will not last forever. Lehti explained the output of different wind turbines in kilowatt hours and said ten 100 kilowatt-bulbs use one kilowatt of energy, and left on for one year use 8,760 kilowatts (kW) of power. In her household she took on a company challenge of lowering energy use and is leading with a low 6,000 kW per year. Smaller wind turbines, those up to the size of a water tower (a large small, Lehti said), generate considerably less energy than larger ones, whose energy creation is measured in megawatts. One megawatt is 1,000 kWs of energy. Lehti said a beneficial aspect of wind energy is that wind is often most powerful at the hours of the day when more energy is being used, between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Unfortunately, Michigan is not a particularly windy state. Wind quality in Rockford is not substantial, she said. Lehti advised Rockford to create an ordinance for both residential and industrial areas of the City and said some cities only allow installation through special use permits, which is expensive and time consuming. She said that the Federal Aviation Association already […]

Members honored at Chamber dinner

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford Chamber of Commerce members and guests met for a gala evening of honors and dining on Friday, January 29, at the Chamber’s annual meeting and awards ceremony. The guest speaker was Dan Gaydou, publisher of the Grand Rapids Press and a Rockford resident. Gaydou offered what he called “a brief synopsis of a serious topic” and spoke of the current conditions in Michigan. “Facing reality, we have to admit we are in terrible shape in Michigan,” he said. On any list of economic vibrancy, the state ranks low, yet Michigan has a lot going for it. Michigan is the second highest boating state, has very giving residents, and is rich in innovation and new technology. “I see a lot of things going on that are good, but I do believe our political system is broken,” he stated. “We have to get back to the business of people finding jobs.” Gaydou said our state’s industrial revolution has become a technical revolution and the days of low tech, high-pay jobs are gone. “We can’t live in denial. We have to start to learn to compete in this environment. I’m sick and tired of hearing that our kids are not as smart as the kids in Japan, Europe, India, China. Our urban school districts are failing our children.” Gaydou said entrepreneurship is the heart of development in this area, and that small business may be the future of the economy. He mentioned changes at the Press, symptomatic of changes in the state, saying it is “going through a tremendous amount of upheaval.” “Is it going to be fine? Yes. Is it easy? No.” Gaydou said. With 60 legislators to be term-limited out, Gaydou said, “Half the elected officials in the state could be new people. Change is up to me and you.” Gaydou’s speech was followed by board member elections, the year in review and the Business of Distinctions awards. Nominated in the Quality of Life Category were Herremans and Bosscher Orthodontics; Huntington National Bank and Wolverine World Wide YMCA. Nominated in the New Business Category were Double Take Resale, LLC and Nance-Martin Accounting Service. Nominated in the Retail Category were Baskets in the Belfry; Gild the Lily, LLC; Kimberly’s Boutique and Pegasus Sports. In the Service […]

Pizza just part of the package at new restaurant

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

“When you add a new piece of equipment, it opens up what you can offer,” Cronkright said. He referred to the fryer brought in to offer the wings: traditional, breaded and boneless, but which allows the new eatery to expand from the pizza-based traditional offerings. Diners may choose sides, such as the spinach artichoke dip, pizza, wings, Tuscani pastas, soups, salads, sandwiches or desserts. There are also kid’s meals and treats, including a gummy worm sundae. With easy access from US-31 and not far from downtown Rockford, the franchise location is prime. The possibility of a sports complex coming in across the street is just gravy, according to Cronkright. Over three quarters of a million dollars was invested in the restaurant, and 55 people were hired out of over 500 who applied. Franchise owner Trigo Hospitality has been looking for a location in the Rockford area for about five years, and the newly-built mall was a perfect fit. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday. Take-out is also available. The restaurant’s phone number is (616) 863-3311.

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