March 10 2011

TooBad Lacrosse takes first

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

TooBad Lacrosse took first place in the Woodland Sports girls seventh/eighth indoor lacrosse league. This Rockford team had a perfect score of 8-0 this season. The team also went undefeated, 4-0, in the middle school division of the GVSU Winter WonderLax Tournament on February 27. Pictured are (front row, l–r) Lexi Henckel, Alexandra VanderMolen, Christine Alexander, Mekenzie VanderMolen, Karrington VanderMolen; (back) Zoe Newmann, Miranda McWatters, McKenna Pant, Bailey Knittle, Grace Gunneson, and Katie Elwell. Not pictured are Samantha DeBoer, Coach David Vandermolen, and Coach Rom Elwell.

Rockford Riptide gears up for championships

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

by LINDSAY PATTON-CARSON For Rockford Riptide, this winter session has been a long one. Multiple snow days interrupted the winter session, but the swimmers have not let it affect their performances. Every swimmer showed an ability to adapt quickly to schedule changes, and as a result, 27 swimmers have qualified in 120 events at the Junior Olympics, which was to be held in Battle Creek March 4-6. “We are very proud of all our swimmers and the effort they put into the long winter season, and excited to see what they accomplish at our championship meets,” said Michael Cutler, head coach for Rockford Riptide. The Junior Olympics meet is significant for the Riptide swimmers in that it gives them one last opportunity to qualify for the state meet, which will start March 11-13 in Zeeland for the 12-and-under age group, and end March 18-20 at Eastern Michigan University with the 13-and-over age group. Currently, Riptide has 24 swimmers that have qualified for the state meet in more than 90 events. “Riptide is pleased to be a part of such a strong aquatics program in this community with swimming, water polo, school teams, Community Ed, age group and elite groups,” Cutler said. Rockford Riptide swim team is a USA Swimming competitive swim program designed for swimmers ages 5 to 18. Competitive swimming experience is not needed prior to joining. “I’m proud of the level of dedication the group has shown, and I’m excited to see how that will pay off in the next couple of weeks,” said David Carson, assistant coach for Rockford Riptide. The spring session runs from April 11 to May 26 and focuses on technique and stroke development. New swimmer evaluations and registration will be on Tuesday, March 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Rockford High School pool. See, or e-mail Suelyn Ritsema at for more information.  

City of Rockford outlines emergency procedures

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

The City of Rockford’s outdoor warning siren system consists of three sirens placed strategically throughout the city as a warning device to alert citizens outdoors of imminent severe weather. While the warning siren system is an effective method of outdoor notification, the City highly recommends each home and business have other means to receive warnings and notifications. Warnings and notifications can be received by monitoring the following: • NOAA National Weather Service Radio • Internet • local media outlets (television and radio) • sky conditions Developed as an early warning system of severe weather to persons outdoors, the system should not be relied upon for early warning to individuals indoors. Air-conditioning, thunder, wind, rain and other conditions can cause the sirens to not be heard indoors. Sirens are also subject to equipment malfunction as well as failure due to damage from lightning strikes. If you are outdoors and hear a siren, you should seek shelter immediately as the threat may be in your immediate area. Individuals, families and businesses are strongly encouraged to use NOAA weather radios to receive warnings and emergency information. The outdoor warning sirens for the City are activated when a local determination is made that a tornado or other threat to the area exists. This determination is made by Kent County Emergency Management and will be based on the evaluation of all available information. This may include, but is not limited to, National Weather Service watch and/or warning text, weather radar and reports from trained weather spotters or public safety officers. The decision to activate the sirens will normally be made by the Emergency Management coordinator. If that person is not immediately available, the decision will be made by the Emergency Communications Center staff per a written plan. The City of Rockford also has the capability of activating all of the sirens. The sirens will be sounded for three minutes initially, and then intermittently throughout the warning period as needed. The standardized warning signals to alert for outdoor warning devices has been established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These signals include: • Tornado Alert—The sirens will sound a steady tone for three minutes. This indicates that a tornado is threatening the City. • Public Address System—The sirens can be […]

ArtPrize 2011 registration dates announced

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Officials of ArtPrize, a radically open art competition giving away the world’s largest art prize, have announced the 2011 registration dates for venues and artists and special dates for submitting art to be installed in the Grand River. ArtPrize 2011 will run from September 21 through October 9. “The artist and venue registration process was developed during the last two years based on feedback provided from artists, venues, city hall and ArtPrize visitors,” said Rick DeVos, ArtPrize founder. Key dates for ArtPrize 2011 include: • Venue registration opens Monday, March 14, and closes Thursday, April 14 at 5 p.m. • Artist registration opens Monday, April 18, and closes Thursday, June 16 at 5 p.m. • Artist/Venue matching opens Tuesday, May 31, and closes Thursday, June 30 at 5 p.m. “A lot of the most memorable work in the event is created for a specific space,” said ArtPrize Executive Director Bill Holsinger-Robinson. “Artists will know all the available venues as they register.” Holsinger-Robinson cautions artists, “The vast majority of artists who did not secure a venue in 2010 were the ones who signed up at the last minute. Register early.” Any art proposed for installation in the Grand River, which runs through the heart of the three-square-mile ArtPrize district, must be submitted to the City of Grand Rapids and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) according to the following schedule: • Pre-application filed with the City by Monday, March 28 • Application filed with the DNRE by Friday, April 8. The DNRE will process the application using the following steps: public notice period begins Friday, April 22, and ends Friday, May 13; public hearing, if requested, will be Friday, June 10; required time for comments will be Monday, June 20. • Permit decision by Wednesday, June 29. “This process allows the City to review proposed work to ensure that there is artistic quality and structural integrity to the proposed installations,”said José Reyna, fiscal services manager for the City of Grand Rapids. “The DNRE application will review the proposed installations in the context of environmental, structural and navigability impact on the river.” As in 2010, ArtPrize will partner with institutions such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and others […]


March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Your Input Welcome! by CAROL HILLMAN Rockford School Board Trustee With small signs of spring beginning daily, the spring fever and longing for Spring Break also begin. Despite snow days, that Spring Break indicates a stepping back from hectic daily life, and a chance to refuel before the last stretch of the school year. You can be involved soon after the Spring Break to help our district vision. One of the many effective tools used within our district is the “RAMS—Rams Action Model for Success” publication that has become an expected way for the competent staff to reach goals that lead to the motto of “continuous improvement.” RAMS VIII is in process and will be ready for implementation by January 2012. An integral part of shaping this publication is you. This community can have an important role in what the district views as important objectives during the three years following the implementation of RAMS VIII. Those three years are expected to have staff adopt the direction the RAMS publication dictates. This becomes a document to execute and guide the district. Staff is held to these goals and must report at periodic times during the year on how the goals are being addressed. Accountability makes this document integral in district successes. You, the community member, are asked to involve yourself in this developing document. A survey will be available to you soon after Spring Break that you are asked to fill out. It will be available in a Web version as well as a hard copy form, and you will be invited to participate by e-mail.. If you need a hard copy, simply call the Rockford Public Schools Administration Building at (616) 863-6320 or stop in to any front office of the school buildings. For your convenience, however, copies will be available to you via the website at Speaking as a board member, current parent of the district, and a Rockford community member, I am truly proud of this systematic and professional procedure. I have seen first-hand during my eight years as a board member how seriously your opinion is taken and, thus, how effective the document is for the district. It supports the goal of being as transparent and available to the community as […]

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