March 24 2011

Bronkema signs with Indiana Wesleyan

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Dylan Bronkema of Rockford has signed a letter of intent to play with the Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) men’s soccer team. Bronkema has achieved accolades from the high school level as First Team All Conference and All State Second Team. He also plays with the Michigan Wolves Soccer Club, which is one of the premier soccer clubs in the United States. Mark Castro, head coach of the IWU men’s soccer program, said that Bronkema has good strength, and at 6 feet 1 inch he is able to win balls in the air and handle himself very well in one-on-one situations. “Both of these are keys to being a great defender and why Bronkema is a great asset to this team,” he said. “Indiana Wesleyan University stuck out to me as a great campus, a lot of nice people and everyone is positive,” Bronkema stated during the signing ceremony on the campus of IWU. “It’s a good atmosphere, and I am excited to be a part of the soccer team. We have a good team and great coach, and I am looking forward to it.” Bronkema will be number 22 for the IWU Wildcats when he begins the 2011-2012 school year. He plans to double major in sports management and business.  

Ram wrestlers Scogg, Vander Stel earn MVP

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

On Wednesday, March 16, Rockford wrestlers Austin Scogg and Eric Vander Stel were recognized for their accomplishments. Scogg earned MVP for the 2010-2011 varsity wrestling season for his hard work, talent and leadership. He has been a mentor to the Rockford wrestling team and like a big brother to Vander Stel. Vander Stel earned MVP for the 2010-2011 junior varsity wrestling season. His hard work ethic and respectful attitude earned his teammates’ approval. Led by Coach Brian Richardson and his assistants, the Rockford wrestling team has a high standard for leadership and team spirit that is seen through every member on the squad. With leaders like Scogg, Tyler VanRooyen and the JV teammates, they carry guys like Vander Stel on their shoulders without a second thought.  

Mick DeBoer receives Robert Townsend/Robert Zahm Wrestling Scholarship

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 16 was the night to recognize the accomplishments of the 2010-2011 Rockford wrestling team. It was also a big night for senior Mick DeBoer, who was the recipient of the 5th Annual Robert Townsend/Robert Zahm Wrestling Scholarship. The award is given to a senior who exhibits great passion for the sport, enthusiasm to learn over a four-year commitment to the sport, and shows great leadership to others. DeBoer pushed the team through a tough season and kept a positive attitude, even through some of his own injuries this season. He had also been chosen by his peers as a team captain early in the season. Mick is the son of Chris and Danielle DeBoer. The scholarship is presented by Robert and Peggy Townsend of Rockford, Jim and Maureen Townsend of Comstock Park, and Julie and Bernie Zahm of Rockford, and their families.  


March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

What is The Earth’s Figure Axis? by CRAIG JAMES Since the huge earthquake in Japan earlier this month, I have read in many places that it not only shifted the island of Japan eight feet, but it also shifted the axis of the Earth about six-and-a-half inches to the east. What hasn’t been made all that clear is that it shifted the figure axis of the Earth, not the north-south axis. That seems even less clear. What exactly is the Earth’s figure axis? I confess to not having heard the term before. A seismologist from the University of Wisconsin explains that the figure axis is the imaginary line around which the world’s unevenly distributed mass is balanced. The figure axis deviates from the north-south axis by about 33 feet. You can visualize the difference this way by imagining “a spinning figure skater holding a rock in one hand. The rotational axis of the skater is still down the middle of the body, but the skater’s figure axis is shifted slightly in the direction of the hand holding the rock.” What he is saying is that we now have more mass on one side of the north-south rotational axis than we did before the earthquake, which will cause the Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates. This wobble has apparently had the effect of speeding up the rotation of the Earth. I say “apparently” because the change has been so small as not to be measurable. Scientists can only measure the length of the Earth’s day with an accuracy of 20 millionths of a second. Using computer models, it has been calculated that this earthquake shortened the Earth’s day by less than two millionths of a second. The Earth’s crust moved inward toward the center of the Earth, which would be like the skater pulling her arms slightly inward, causing her to spin faster. The earthquake in Japan is called a thrust earthquake, with an inward motion. This is the only type of earthquake that can speed up the Earth’s rotation and shorten the length of the day. The seismologist says, “Other types of earthquakes, such as horizontal strike-slip quakes, in which two plates slide horizontally past one another, don’t affect Earth’s rotation.” The […]

Grooming business reaches milestone anniversary

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA There are two things to know about Donna Bouwkamp, groomer and owner of Petropolis Pet Grooming Salon at 118-1/2 Courtland Street (across the parking lot from Rockford Lanes). She can read dogs’ minds and she does butts. Bouwkamp is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her dog grooming business and has seen the clientele grow over the years from 200 to 1,500 dogs. She credits the business success with repeat clients and referrals, and said it is interesting what they don’t teach in grooming school. “The cuts aren’t hard to learn. What they don’t tell you is that every dog and every dog’s hair is different, just like people are,” she said. Bouwkamp said she looked into grooming years ago when she became tired of factory work. She loved animals, so she asked area vets what service in the pet industry was needed in the area. “They all said we need more groomers,” Bouwkamp reported. She purchased Petropolis from the owner, who had just started the business and decided she didn’t like grooming after all, and Bouwkamp was on her way in her new career. Bouwkamp said grooming is a somewhat seasonal business, being slower in January and February, and really busy before the holidays and in summer months. It isn’t for everyone, she said and noted most people have no idea what goes into a full groom. In addition to a bath, drying and brushing out, all dogs have their ears cleaned, nails clipped and their anal glands emptied. “Dogs need it and vets hate to do it, so the groomers do it,” Bouwkamp said of anal gland manipulation. She said the glands are a holdover from when dogs were wild and very active, hunting their own food, and fighting for territory and mates. The couch potatoes of today need a little help in that department. “I do butts,” Bouwkamp stated. At Petropolis some staff members are better at tasks than others and Bouwkamp is the salon’s best when it comes to anal glands. Another groomer is very good with cats, and Bouwkamp admits she is squeemish when it comes to removing a stray hair from a dog’s eye—not so with anal glands. The subject is just one of the things groomers […]

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