January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Sacrifices of City employees appreciated Dear Editor, I was driving thru the city a few days ago after a snowstorm and saw a familiar sight: our city plows clearing my subdivision. It got me to thinking… all too often in the news we hear stories and complaints about city employees throughout the country. Overpaid. Lazy. (Insert stereotype here.) What rarely makes the headlines are the vast majority of public employees that thanklessly do their job, day in and day out, with little fanfare. As a citizen of Rockford, I think I can speak for the majority of us that quite often take our public employees for granted. The City of Rockford has had financial hardships just like every other municipality throughout the area. While I don’t know the exact number, I’m quite sure there are far fewer public employees than even a few years ago. Yet… our streets are plowed. Police patrol just as before. Our parks are well maintained. Even our lights in downtown were put up and taken down during the Christmas season (quicker that even some of my neighbors!). I’ve had to e-mail Rockford city staff several times in the past few months. I have always had a prompt, courteous e-mail reply within a day. Impressive. I read in the paper a few months back the Rockford Police Officers voluntarily gave up their pay increase for this year. So, not only are the officers patrolling the streets (same as before), they’re doing it while willingly giving part of their pay back to the City of Rockford to help balance the budget. I would also guess nearly every other public department has been “doing more with less,” whether it be less manpower or less in their paycheck. I think this says a lot about not only city staff but each and every city employee we have in Rockford. As I said when I started this letter, when public employees do their job, and do it well, it often goes unnoticed. So, the next time you come home from a snowstorm and see the street plowed and a police officer driving around that same plowed area, realize the sacrifices they have made to make the city the wonderful place it is to live today. […]


January 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Why the Rockford Area Museum matters Dear Editor, Several years ago, in anticipation of our Rockford High School class reunion, I went to the Rockford High School in search of sport trophies from years gone by. The athletic director suggested we head to the local museum. We were amazed at the items stored beneath the blue building near the dam! Much to our surprise, we found high school trophies that were collecting dust. I wondered then: Where do we put all of this stuff? How do we keep the past while recognizing the present? There was one item that caught my eye: the Rams head plaque that was in the entrance to the Rockford High School (now North Rockford Middle School). Looking at yearbooks from the ‘70s, one can easily spot the beautiful wood carving in the background of group photo shots. I asked, “Who made this? Who spent hours creating this masterpiece? And again, what do we do with these old items?” Today that beautiful wood carving hangs at Ward’s Hair Place in downtown Rockford in a prominent spot above the fireplace with plenty of conversations of years gone by! Today, while serving on the Rockford Area Museum committee, I ask myself, “Why do we need a bigger museum in downtown Rockford?” The answer comes quickly! We need to remember where we have been in order to appreciate where we are today. We need to remember not only the school district but the individual people and local businesses that made the Rockford area what it is today! Yes, the Rockford Area Museum matters! Mary Lou Ohnsman Rockford High School Class of 1974  


December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Vandals urged to confess Dear Editor, This is in response and addressed to the thoughtless vandals who ruined the skating pond. What in the world were you thinking? Your act of selfishness and ignorance has caused people a lot of heartache. Hard work from the Lions and newfound fun and enjoyment by families has been banished because of your thoughtless act. I have very fond memories of the old millpond rink. Mr. Cahill was the attendant in the little ice shanty with the big roaring fire in the old pot belly stove, with watered down hot cocoa to warm us up from hours of skating! Along with the smell of woolen mittens and gloves drying on that big old stove. Our parents rarely had to check on us—they knew where we were. We spent countless hours skating with family and friends and now your lack of common sense has ruined what new families and friends could have experienced and to have made memories of. They may never find who or whom has done this, but you will have to live with the guilt of what you have done, forever. Thank you for wrecking one of the fun things we could do alone, with a group of friends or with family. Do the right thing and confess your sin, and help clean up your mess you made for a wonderful opportunity to have some winter fun. Diana Hoffman, former Rockford resident


December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates Dear Editor, The opportunity to improve our local museum by relocating it to the vacant Rockford Courthouse building has appealed to the giving spirit of many individuals and businesses not only in our area but also from other places. Pledges and donations have been received on a daily basis from all over the place. Many of those, but not all, donating have ties to our area and realize that the time is now to help improve our museum situation and to make a change that will affect our community in a positive way. We need a new museum! I feel that it is important to emphasize that we need a better building to continue to do the job of preserving and presenting our history. A better, larger building will allow the display of things not available for display presently because of lack of space. A new museum will allow for easier public access to our displays and our research areas. Our new museum will have restrooms and storage space. Our new museum will be safer and public parking will be much easier. Please notice that everything mentioned so far has to do with the building improvements, but there is more. We need to have a museum that is open on a regular basis. Our present museum is not open enough because volunteers (docents) are not always available. We try to have regular summer hours but sometimes volunteers are not able to fill all of the time slots. We are not open in the winter on a regular basis. We are open by appointment and volunteers handle that. Volunteers also open the museum for Rockford student tours and other group outings. It is time to emphasize that our volunteers do a great job! We have had some hardworking museum directors who have donated their time and energy to run our museum. People like Katherine Mancell, Kathy Cornwell, Susie Fair, Char Guzin and present director, Pat Frye and her assistant Janet Matthews, have all been important in keeping our museum alive. They were not paid money for their efforts. All of the docents who worked with them over the years also were not paid. The directors and docents are not the […]

‘Dear Santa’ contest brings in many kids’ letters

December 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Although the task of reading over the many “Dear Santa” entries was fun, The Rockford Squire staff had a hard time choosing only three winners. The first three letters to Santa listed here are the winners, and the remaining thereafter were just so cute we had to print as many as we could fit in! The three winners may come into the Squire office, 331 Northland Dr., to claim their NorthStar Cinemas “Cinema Cash.”   WINNER! Dear Santa, I would like a LaLa Loozy doll with a tree house and a bus. I would like a car, but not a big one. Kind of like Cam’s, but he has a jeep and I’d like a car. A Barbie car. And a cat women figure. I like your elves Santa. And I like your suit. Make sure you don’t eat too many cookies or you will have a tummy ache. Erin Morgan, Age 5         WINNER! Dear Santa, You’re the best Santa ever! Can I please have some trucks? I’m a really good boy at school. I would like an ornament that’s not cracked. Merry Christmas to Santa! Aiden Humphrey, Age 4-1/2   WINNER! Dear Santa, Wat I want for Christmas is, love, care, headphones, IPod touch, Friends & aesy bake uven! Kaitlynn Mountney, Age 9   Dear Santa, What I want for Christmas is an I Pod touch, pillow pet, one of your bells off of your slay, anything purple, cases for my I Pod nano, a pictour of you Santa, and I want you to do the thing that you did last year you gave me some books every day and we got to unwrap them every morning. And that is what I want for Christmas Santa. Merry Christmas Santa! Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho. Love, Ashley Faulkner, Age 9           Dear Santa, I would like an electric dinosaur with stuff on it. I would like Woody’s Round-Up game. Joshua Remmes, Age 5   Dear Santa, Christmas is not about presentes it is about spending time with each otehr and the holidays. What I want is a remote control helicopter. I hope I am on the good list. ho ho ho Santa! Jordan Brechting, Age 7   Dear Santa, How are you doing? What is […]

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