Michigan a dysfunctional State of being by CLIFF & NANCY HILL What follows is another example of how Michigan—in spite of rhetoric from the governor’s office and the state legislature to reform the state—is still finding ways to not deliver services more efficiently and in a timely manner. In 2008, the Michigan state legislature created a new type of on-premises liquor licenses, namely Redevelopment Project Area and Development District or Area Liquor Licenses. Rockford’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is one such qualified district or area. The legislation stipulates the availability of one new liquor license within the redevelopment project area for every $200,000 of public and private investment in real and personal property over a preceding five-year period. Rockford’s DDA has met and exceeded that financial hurdle—in spades—qualifying for a goodly number of the new class of liquor licenses. This is all well and good. It was hoped that the new licenses would enhance the quality of life for a city’s residents along with visitors to their community. More importantly, it is felt by many that the new licenses would stimulate economic growth, create jobs and encourage the opening of new businesses. Now here’s the rub. In the spring of 2009, the owner of the newly rebuilt and vacant downtown Rockford storefront at 123 E. Courtland Street secured a tenant, the Mexican cuisine restaurant Cinco de Mayo. Acquiring one of the new liquor licenses was critical to the venture’s future financial success. Achieving unanimous Rockford City Council approval for license application to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), the principals moved forward and initiated the application process on June 3, 2009. At the same time, they commenced with the extremely expensive build-out of the restaurant’s interior. They were aiming for a Harvest Festival 2009 grand opening date and hopeful their new liquor license would be in hand at the same time. Were they ever wrong. Still without a liquor license on October 5, 2009, Cinco de Mayo opened their doors for business, promising in advertisements in the local newspapers a “full bar coming soon.” To this day, almost eight months after they initially made application to the MLCC, Cinco de Mayo has yet to receive their liquor license and no one at the state level […]
January 21 2010
Please sign up for the Birds of Prey (Raptors) presentation by the John Ball Zoo on January 30 (details at www.kentconservation.org/hcnc). This is a unique opportunity to see live animals up close while the Zoo is closed this winter. Advance registration is due by January 25 since a minimum number of participants is required (or the presentation must be cancelled). Attend this “Zoo Comes to You” program and get a stamp on your Connecting Families with Nature Passport! (details at www.kentconservation.org/families)
Last Friday evening, Jan. 15, the Rockford Rams traveled to Grand Haven for a pivotal match-up with the Buccaneers. A log-jam exists atop the OK Red as Rockford, Grand Haven, Hudsonville and West Ottawa all share first place with identical 3-1 records. Last week, Rockford let a win slip away in a tough loss to Hudsonville. Tonight’s contest with Grand Haven afforded the Rams an opportunity to return to their winning ways. It was not to be, as Grand Haven nipped the Rams 58-52 in a thrilling double-overtime struggle in front of a packed house. Grand Haven came out strong, taking an early 8-0 lead. Then Rockford clawed its way back to take the lead early in the second quarter, and the Rams held a 24-21 advantage by intermission. In the second half, the Rams extended their lead by 10 points behind the feisty play of sophomore point guard Kimberly Weston (16 points). The Bucs just would not go away, out-rebounding the Rams on each end of the court and blocking shots. With 56 seconds to go, Grand Haven took 43-42 lead. Trailing 45-42 with little time on the clock, Rockford’s Allison Huyser hit a huge three-pointer to tie the game. The Bucs came down court with enough time to win in regulation, but Rockford’s Halle Peterson stole the ball with four ticks remaining and drove the length of the court just as regulation time expired. The Rams took a early four-point lead in the first overtime, but could not hold on, ending in a 49-49 tie. In double-overtime, Weston was double-teamed as Grand Haven applied full court pressure. The game was decided at the foul line as the Bucs were 20 for 34 and went 7 for 15. The Rams were led in scoring by Kimberly Weston (16), Megan Kelly (12), Caitlyn Patterson (11), Rachael Henry (7) and Allison Huyser (6). The Lady Rams travel to Forest Hills Northern Saturday, Jan. 23, for a non-conference match-up.
Sam Williams pulls off a switch on Zach Rehrus of West Ottawa. Photo by JIM COOPER by TIM COOPER With the starting weight drawn at 160 pounds in Rockford’s dual meet against West Ottawa, held on Wednesday, Jan. 13, Rockford’s Robbie Gorton started the night’s wrestling. Showing a systematic destruction of West Ottawa’s Austin Sanders, Gorton began scoring early with a takedown and two near-falls, building a 7-0 lead before the end of the first period. In the second, Gorton continued to build his score by using a takedown and two-point near-fall to hold an 11-0 lead after the first four minutes. Gorton’s dominance over Sanders continued early into the third as he scored four more points, receiving a technical fall with a 15-0 win in Rockford’s first match. In the 171-pound match, number-one state-ranked Jake Dorulla remained undefeated as he followed Gorton’s scoring closely, ending the first 7-0, the second 12-0, and a technical fall in the third with a 15-0 dismantling of West Ottawa’s Joey McClure. This gave the Rams a 10-0 team score after two matches. Jake Johnson, once again wrestling up two weight classes at 189 pounds, faced West Ottawa’s sixth-ranked Steve McClure. In the first period, Johnson took McClure to the mat early, but McClure managed to escape. Midway through the first period, Johnson stepped into a throw by McClure, going from his feet to his back, giving up four points and the lead. Trailing 5-2 at the start of the second, Johnson battled back, reversing McClure, who escaped and achieve a takedown on Johnson. Trailing 9-5 starting the third period, Johnson again reversed McClure and receive one more stalling point to pull the match to within one point, 8-9. Knowing time was running out, Johnson released McClure and attempted numerous times in the final seconds to take McClure down for a final victory. McClure fought off all of Johnson’s attacks, and took home a hard-fought 10-8 win, giving West Ottawa their first points of the night. In the 215-pound match, Rockford senior Joe Stefanski faced Christian Nagelvoort. In a short and sweet 25 seconds, Stefanski added six points to the Rams’ total, winning with a fall. In the heavyweight match, Jake Banaszak (285), wrestled up one weight class. He […]
by JANE NOFFSINGER The Rockford gymnastics team hosted a dual meet against Mona Shores on Tuesday, Jan. 12. With an overall score of 139.625, the Rams proved that meeting their goal of 140 is within their reach! On the floor exercise, the scores soared with Ali VanBelkum taking the lead with an impressive 9.6. Kelsey Donely and Emily Noffsinger followed with a 9.3 and 9.05, respectively. On vault, Kaylie Newville ran hard and scored an 8.15 along with Casey Buelken scoring an 8.35. The beam proved to be the most difficult event of the evening, but the scores still reflected the skill level these girls are capable of. Jenelle Miller scored a 9.0 and Colleen Conroy an 8.65. Mona Shores took the meet with an overall score of 141.875. It was great competition held in an unbeatable venue. • • •