by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In future weeks, visitors to the Rockford Farm Market will find a Rockford Lions donated shed smack dab in the center of the popular Saturday morning marketplace. The shed will serve as headquarters for the Market Master as he oversees the Market’s vendors and morning’s activities. Head Market Master Bob Winegar, on behalf of the Rockford Lions Club, said, “We couldn’t have managed this move without the generous support of River Valley Auto. Owner Dan Williams sent two of his vehicles, one a specialized flat-bed truck, to transport the shed to the site and assist in lowering it into place. With the patience and skill of the two tow-truck drivers, Ryan Nielsen and John Frazine, the difficult task went off without a hitch.” Rockford Public Services Director Mike Bouwkamp was also on hand Tuesday morning to lend his expertise and the use of a City front-loader. As the Squire reported in their story of this season’s Market opening, the Lions will vend fresh and hot popcorn from an authentic popcorn machine. Proceeds of popcorn sales will go towards various Lions Club charitable service projects. Stop by Saturday morning to admire the Market Master headquarters and get yourself a bag of good old-fashioned popcorn. River Valley was also a good neighbor to the Squire the week of Start of Summer Celebration. We forgot to bring a tarp to cover our beautiful float. With rain in the night’s forcast, River Vally kindly let us store our float safely in their garage. Thanks, guys.
June 25 2009
Big worry, short fingernails A lot of people worry about the national budget deficit. The idea of the government spending borrowed money goes against the grain. But, on a personal scale, we Americans did the same thing with our unrestrained credit card binge and mortgages we couldn’t afford. Let’s not get all moral about the national budget deficit. But the deficit problem is real and the facts aren’t simple. President Clinton was relatively frugal, so George W. Bush inherited a small surplus. Then, under the Bush administration, Congress actually reduced taxes (with most reductions going to the already wealthy) while embarking on two wars. This combo of lowering taxes during war had never been done before. (Wonder why.) The result was a gigantic budget deficit made to seem only huge-because (holy moley!) the Bush folks didn’t include the costs of the two wars in their budget numbers. President Obama inherited a uniquely ghastly fiscal fiasco; he and his team of advisers, including the respected Warren Buffet, decided on the stimulus package to try to fend off a total meltdown. We’re printing money like crazy and selling bonds to foreign governments to back it up. No wonder we Americans are biting our fingernails down to the first knuckle. On the other hand, we Americans are still buying loads of stuff from China and putting it on our bill. Way to go, Wal-Mart! Bet the Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank. Ye gods. What happens if we can’t pay those bonds when they come due? Do the Chinese get to foreclose on us? Are we going bankrupt? I can see where the Feds might have to sign over Boulder Dam to the Chinese to help cover our debts. And how about Connecticut? Will the Chinese demand ownership of some small state to cancel our debt? I think about these things as I nibble away at my fingernails. Momentary worry A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello. He’s rather taken aback because she looks familiar but he can’t place where he knows her from. So he says, “Do you know me?” She replies, “I think you’re the father of one of my kids.” Now his […]
How are Social Security benefits calculated? The catching of fish in Canada was not quite as good this year as other years. The black flies and mosquitoes were not a problem, though. I guess they don’t like 50 degree and rainy weather either. However, the fishing was as good as ever. As those of us who fish know, catching fish is only a small part of the whole story. I go to Canada fishing for walleye almost every year. I go with fellows whom I have been friends with for more than 30 years now. Around the campfire, along with a beer or two, we get to laugh about the stories of the trips we took over those 30-plus years. Some of those stories are actually true and not embellished too much, like the time we almost ran over a moose between White River and Wawa. Scary, but I swerved right around him and we kept on going. Another time, we hit a rock in the river and I flew out of the boat so fast I didn’t have time to even say “Ro……” before I hit the water. I lost my sunglasses but held onto my coffee cup and hat. They were good sunglasses too. I saw that rock quite clearly. Yet another time, we were driving down the two-track to the boat launch and looked over to see a big black bear nonchalantly walking back toward our camp on the two-track going in the opposite direction. I don’t know, but I think he knew we weren’t going to be there to defend our property. One time we bet one of the guys that he couldn’t leave the campfire, jump into the boat, go out into the lake, catch a fish and get back to his seat at the campfire within five minutes. He won the bet, too, with a nice pike. It’s just as impressive to me today as I write this as it was seeing him do it. Another time, a mink figured out how to open the latch on our minnow buckets and eat all of our minnows. Smart-aleck little fellow, but it was probably quite a feast for him. He ate probably $20 worth of minnows before we got smart enough […]
Addressing teens’ cell phone use by DAN WARREN, Principal East Rockford Middle School We have arrived at a place in our lives where we are instantly connected to each other through technology. It only takes a few seconds for us to connect for a conversation with just about anyone in just about any place in the world. We are communicating through personal technology at a rate so fast that when new information actually arrives to most of the general public, it’s already old news. Not only are we easily and quickly connected to others, our technology also allows us to gather information on any topic within seconds of pushing a few buttons. Want to find out a play-by-play analysis of your favorite professional sports team? Just dial it up. Or, maybe if you have the appropriate system, you could watch it live in the palm of your hand. Arguably, the cell phone is the personal electronic device that has revolutionized our ability to easily communicate with the world. Some of us remember the days when only physicians had pagers or the bulkiness of the first mobile phones. Today, a cell phone the size of a business card is all you need to run an international business. Personal technology devices that allow us instant communication and the ability to gather information are all probably very good for us and most likely unavoidable in today’s “need to know and do” society. And I am sure these devices will become even more efficient over time and certainly increase in popularity with each citizen. Allowing students to have cell phones in school is a challenging dilemma for both educators and parents. Aside from the obvious disruption cell phone use presents in public, how do we maintain normalcy in the instructional day, while knowing that a student is in possession of a communication tool that could easily be used for various inappropriate means? There have been many court cases involving student improper use of cell phones in school settings, most involving cyber bullying and transmitting unacceptable content. Obviously, this adds another layer of student behavior schools and parents have to manage. At some point in the future, maybe the cell phone will serve as a student’s personal computer that connects seamlessly […]