January 27 2011

Words on Weather & Climate

January 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

Trends in Snow Cover  by CRAIG JAMES  On the morning of January 12, 2011, an amazing 71% of the lower 48 states had at least a little snow on the ground. You can see on this map from the National Weather Service National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center in Minnesota that Florida was the only state with no snow, although it was not far away. That means at least parts of 49 of the 50 states had snow on the ground since the volcano tops in Hawaii were also snow covered. Last year on February 12, the same thing happened, although this time there was a little snow in the Florida Panhandle but none in Hawaii, at least not officially. However, upon further investigation, some people supposedly took pictures on that day of a little snow left on the north slope of Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in Hawaii. If that was true, it would have been the first time all 50 states had snow at the same time in living memory. There are no official records of this statistic, but it is indeed a rare event. Rutger’s University in New Jersey does have a Global Snow Lab, where they keep track of such things as global snow cover and extent. This first graph shows the snow extent (amount of land area with snow on the ground) for the winter months of December, January and February for the Northern Hemisphere since the lab began keeping records in 1967. The overall trend line shows no change, although there were huge variations from year to year. The greatest snow extent was in the harsh winter of 1978 (when we had our big blizzard) with the least just a few years later in 1981. The snow extent was the second greatest last year in 2010. On the next graph, you can see the snow extent for the spring months of March, April and May. The trend is definitely down since 1967, which appears to support the claim that spring warm-ups are occurring sooner due to global warming. I certainly have no problem with the idea that the earth has warmed slightly since 1967, but I don’t believe we are anywhere close to understanding how much it has warmed […]

Wolverine speaks up over development disharmony

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

‘At no time did we decide not to build the shoe store’ by BETH ALTENA  Christi Cowdin, corporate communications spokesperson for Wolverine World Wide (WWW), said news stories of Wolverine’s decision not to build a shoe store this spring on the site of the former tannery have been misleading. “It’s a matter of timing,” she said. “We are not in an economy that is hungry for development.” Cowdin said not much has changed in terms of the company’s long-term plans for the property between Rockford’s Main Street and the Rogue River and flanked by a section of the popular White Pine Trail. The existing shoe store, one of the company’s largest and busiest, will continue to operate, and, Cowdin said, draw shoppers to Rockford. “We have always expressed that we need to be patient, flexible and most importantly, responsible in this development,” she said. “We are still open to any and all ideas for the future of the site.” Cowdin said a plan to break ground for a new building has been delayed and it is unclear what an ideal development for the property might be. “We have spent a lot of time and money on that site and when we develop it we want it to be a nice development, to bring something special to the City. We want it to be nice for us, too.” Cowdin said the company will continue to be patient and open to any new development ideas that come their way. “Right now there is nothing. There is no plan to build X, Y or Z.” Cowdin was critical of reports that indicated Wolverine dropped plans for future development of the land at the last minute. She said it was her understanding that the groundbreaking for the shoe and apparel store, which was promoted as a flagship retail facility for the company, was slated for March. Rather than a last-minute reversal of plans, she said development of the site has just been postponed. “We will still have a shoe store. We will still have green space,” she stated. “The plan hasn’t really changed.” Cowdin said in the current economy it is unlikely a builder will step forward to partner with Wolverine in the development, but eventually the company would […]

Three students selected to All State High School Band

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

Three students from Rockford High School (RHS) were selected to participate in the All State High School Band. The selection process involved an audition that included sight-reading, scales and a prepared etude. Over 2,200 students from around the state competed for a coveted spot in the concert. Three days of rehearsals culminated in a concert given at DeVos Performance Hall on January 22, 2011. The All State High School Band was directed by the renowned guest conductor Richard Floyd. The honored students only had three rehearsals to practice together on four new pieces of music before their performance in front of the lights and crowds at DeVos Hall. Between rehearsals, the students had an opportunity to visit the Michigan Music Conference, as well as attend concerts by guest orchestras. The All State High School Band was sponsored by the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association.

Eve Wrest has been selected as Mrs. Kent County

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

Eve Wrest, a Rockford resident, will respresent Kent County and compete for the title of Mrs. Michigan America 2011 at an event featuring Delegates from all over the state of Michigan on February 12.  The winner will go on to the nationally televised Mrs. America Pageant in April at the The Greenbrier Resort, an award-winning resort located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Eve went to Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and graduated with a B.A. in Marketing. She and Brian have been married for 11 years and they have 3 sons.  Eve enjoys working alongside her family with organizations such as Kids Food Basket and Smile Train, an organization which performs cleft palate surgeries throughout the world. She is passionate about promoting financial education among young people and currently stays home to homeschool their children. Eve is a former gold-level ice dancer and coach and a gold-level Pan Am Latin ballroom dancer. Now in her spare time she enjoys salsa dancing, skiing, mountain biking and shooting. Now celebrating its 35th year in its modern format, the Mrs. America Pageant focuses the attention of the nation and the world on the versatility of the contemporary American married woman.

All the comforts of Rockford in Utah!

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

For the first time in 25 years, Thom Arends decided to close his “tonsorial parlor” (make that barbershop now days) during Christmas week to take a family vacation. He and his wife Sue planned to spend the holidays with extended family and friends in Sandy, Utah. When Arends asked the members of the three families they were about to visit, all formerly from Rockford, what they wanted for Christmas they responded without a second thought, “Bring Corner Bar Hot Dogs and our hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire!” Before leaving town Arends laughingly told Andy Tidy, of the Corner Bar, of the unusual request. Tidy didn’t think the request so unusual at all and told Arends, “No problem!” So when the Arends packed their car for the trip west part of their cargo was a freezer chest full of 5-dozen Corner Bar hot dogs along with the eateries chili topping and all the trimmings, earlier assembled by Tidy. Of course, they didn’t forget the Rockford Squire! Between skiing, sledding, and holiday festivities, Thom and Sue gathered with the three families to celebrate Christmas Rockford style. Pictured at the far left is Thom and wife Sue, reading from the Rockford Squire, while the rest of the families prepare to chow down on their surprise Christmas gift, World Famous Corner Bar Hot Dogs. Also pictured are Arends’ son Scott Hay, niece Lori (Shay) Miner & daughter Ellie, son Todd Hofert & wife Deb & daughter Madison from nearby Colorado. Also present were the Strobel family, Todd & Sheryl, and children Michael, Nichole, Ben & Matthew who just moved from Rockford to Utah one year ago. Everybody present thought the Squire reading was better than “The Night Before Christmas” and young Matthew (9) proudly holding up the famous dog said, “One of my best Christmas gifts ever was the Corner Bar hot dogs!”

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