The Not So Merry Month of May by CRAIG JAMES The month of May can be one of the most pleasant months of the year, but I don’t think this past month qualified as pleasant. It was quite wet and gloomy. At least a trace of rain fell on 21 of the 31 days and there was only one day with 100% of possible sunshine. It was also another windy month. Every day of the month but two had wind gusts of 20 mph or more and three days had wind gusts over 40 mph. I have heard many comments that this has been one of the windiest spring seasons in memory and I have to agree. On the plus side, it was certainly a great month for growing grass and the ornamental trees have looked beautiful. We are also now up to over 15 hours of daylight. The sun on the last day of the month climbed to 69 degrees above the horizon at solar noon. The highest it gets is 70 degrees from June 11 through July 1. The sun is up for 15 hours and 23 minutes June 20 through 24. By the way, solar noon, or the time when the sun is highest in the sky, occurs in Grand Rapids on June 21, the first day of summer, at 1:45 in the afternoon. That’s almost two hours later than noon local time because we are at the western end of the time zone and also because we are on Daylight Saving Time. You may notice that our high temperatures for the day usually occur as late as 6 p.m. at this time of year. Even though the wind made it feel cool much of the time, this past May was actually a little warmer than average thanks especially to the warm Memorial Day. The highest temperature of record for a Memorial Day in Grand Rapids was 92 degrees set way back in 1919. We just missed that reading by three degrees this year. The western states have had a very cool spring. In Aspen, Colorado, there was almost twice as much snow on the ground on Memorial Day as there was on New Year’s Day and the ski hills are still […]
June 2 2011
Citizens urged to be cautious, report to law enforcement The Michigan State Police (MSP) and other law enforcement agencies are asking citizens to be on the lookout for indications of illegal marijuana growing this summer. If you come across suspicious activity or an area that may be an illegal marijuana grow site, immediately notify law enforcement officials. These marijuana grow sites are often connected to drug trafficking organizations (DTO), which are highly organized criminal enterprises trafficking in multiple illegal narcotics. For several years, DTOs have established large-scale marijuana growing operations on public lands in many western and southern states. In recent years DTOs have been targeting national and state forests, public and private lands, including large tracts of mining and paper company lands, in the Upper Midwest. In 2010, there were confirmed DTO growing operations in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. These grow sites will contain anywhere from hundreds to thousands of plants. “Our public lands are intended for recreational purposes, like hunting, camping, fishing and mushrooming,” said D/F/Lt. Dave Peltomaa, Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program coordinator. “These illegal marijuana grow sites are a potential threat to public safety and the chemicals and pesticides used in their cultivation are harmful to the environment. We are asking citizens to report any marijuana grow site on public land to law enforcement as soon as possible.” DTOs operate in the same areas that you live, work and recreate. The public plays a significant role in helping law enforcement stop this significant and growing problem. However, citizens should take caution when encountering potential grow sites and those people involved with them. Due to the high-dollar value of processed marijuana, DTOs have shown a willingness to use deadly force to protect their crops. Booby traps and cameras have also been found at marijuana grow sites. “If you come across a marijuana grow site, make note of where the plot is located, leave the way you came in, and call the police,” Peltomaa added. Remember to pay attention to the people and activity around you. Possible indicators of an illegal marijuana grow site can include: • seeing vehicles or people in unusual locations or at odd hours. • repeatedly seeing vehicles or people in an area with no obvious […]
City of Rockford residents are invited to take advantage of a special day of enjoying Start of Summer carnival rides at a deep discount with the purchase of armbands for Thursday, June 9. Armbands may be purchased in advance at City Hall for further convenience. They are $10 and will be sold next week at City Hall Monday, June 6, through Thursday, just bring a drivers license. The carnival opens at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. Non-residents can buy armbands for Thursday night at the gate for $15. This is a thank you from the City and SOS Committee for allowing the festival to take the town over for the week.
Michael Young, Rockford’s city manager, had his employment contract extended one year after his recent annual council evaluation. This extension makes his contract a three-year agreement. He graciously asked for a salary freeze so he would be in line with other City of Rockford employee groups with whom he had negotiated wage freezes and concessions. In spite of the tough times that all Michigan cities are facing, Michael was able to present the council with a 2011-2012 budget that maintains healthy fund balance. The budget keeps the current millage rate at 10.9 mills, the third lowest in the country for cities and villages that do not have an income tax. In addition, there will be no increase in sewer and water rates, which will make residents very happy. Being able to maintain the millage and sewer and water rates at a constant level is phenomenal when you take into consideration that Rockford has seen no increase in state shared revenue over the last several years. In addition, due to Michael’s grant writing abilities, we still see quality of life projects such as the Rogue River Trail and Boardwalk being completed. Michael’s overall performance rating was ninety eight percent. Michael is a positive influence on the city and the staff he works with. He truly cares about Rockford. When you look around the city and see the changes that have happened during Michael Young’s fifteen-year tenure, you have to be impressed. His influence and impact on the community are very noticeable. There are, however, challenges to be met in the future. Council feels that Michael is a real asset to our community and is up to the task of meeting those future challenges.
Cold, rainy weather did not slow the Rockford High School crew teams as they rowed into history last weekend at the Michigan Scholastic Rowing Championship Regatta held at Grand Rapids’ Riverside Park on Saturday, May 28. For the first time, both the women’s and men’s teams were crowned state champions in their individual divisions and the Rams were named the combined champions of the day. A total of 18 teams from across Michigan competed in the state event. “This has taken a lot of hard work and dedication,” according to Rams Head Coach Tim Jacobs. “Even though we were three weeks behind in our time on the water [due to weather conditions], we made that up the last two weeks. It’s a great feeling knowing you are the number one team in the state of Michigan. This is the first time we’ve done this and it’s great.” The men’s team racked up 28.5 points to beat team rival St. Mary’s Orchard Lake, who posted 24 points. The Lady Rams posted 31 points and Ann Arbor Pioneer finished second with a total of 24 points for the day. In combined scores, the Rams pulled ahead of Ann Arbor Pioneer by an impressive 28 points. Rockford showed their strength early in the day by qualifying boats in all but one heat race for the afternoon finals. Overall, the Rams competed in 14 out of the 18 final races for the day. Leading the way in gold medals was the women’s lightweight four-plus boat with Stephanie Sawicki, Tessa Powers, Zoe Zeerip, Chloe McColgan and coxswain Gabby LeClaire. They were later joined by Jennifer Vlas, Courtney Brummeler, Sammy Erickson and Emily Prus to earn gold in the women’s lightweight eight-plus event. Lady Rams Lynsey Felty, Andrea Galloway, Jessica Wheeler, Amy Fedeson and coxswain Bri Vander Berg also won gold in the junior varsity four-plus event. The men’s team posted two first-place wins in the lightweight eight-plus and junior varsity eight-plus events. In the lightweight eight-plus boat were Isaac Blenman, Tyler Truxton, Dilan Itter, Sean Ebel, Tyler Maple, Kevin Clinthorne, Mitchell Hendershott, Marcus Powers and coxswain Sarah McLellan. Ram rowers Chad Slider, Maple, Hendershott, Corey Fase, Powers, Ebel, Clinthorne, Jacob Nemeth and coxswain Lauren Rohde were victorious in the junior […]