March 31 2011

Rock the Dam concert series approved

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Youth, adult battle of the bands to begin in July by BETH ALTENA Rockford City Council unanimously approved a new music event to debut this summer. Dan DeWard of Studio D2D received a warm reception to his idea for a battle of the bands to take place downtown Rockford beginning in July. Rock the Dam will be a youth and adult band competition with cash prizes culminating in finals on August 11. DeWard said he planned the event to follow the end of the blues concert series and will start the youth competition at Garden Club Park at the dam. The youth and adult finals will likely take place at North Rockford Middle School, the soccer stadium, or possibly the high school, where larger crowds can be accommodated. DeWard said he believes the series will be a nice addition to downtown events and he is working with the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and local businesses on the project. “I want to emphasize this will not be a free-for-all,” DeWard told council during the regular meeting on Monday, March 14. He said he is experienced at event planning, and the resources of his studio dovetail perfectly with the event. RAAC volunteers will help with the organization. DeWard said he plans to limit the competition to 12 youth and 12 adult bands, and screen them prior to acceptance to make sure they are appropriate for a family audience. Sales of t-shirts in several styles, along with sponsorship of local businesses, will generate money to offer as prizes. Studio D2D will provide deejays, sound equipment and the photo booth free of charge just to add to the overall fun of the series. Each night, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 20-22, four youth bands, ages 18 and under, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Each night, Wednesday through Friday, August 3-5, four adult bands, ages 19 and over, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The top three bands per category will advance to the finals. All six finalists will perform Thursday, August 11 in the evening. Prize money will go to the top bands in each category. The public will even have their chance to vote for their favorite bands from video footage uploaded to Facebook […]

Young entrepreneur offers state-of-the-art floatation therapy

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Member of old Rockford family brings a first to town by BETH ALTENA Thirty-year-old Lucas Harger is no stranger to Rockford. The 1999 Rockford grad had his first job at the Corner Bar at age 16 and also worked at Waldon Books in the former North Kent Mall, was an art assistant to local artist Jerry Berta, and worked in a store in the Hush Puppie Factory Direct mall. Many old-time residents will remember his grandfather Vance Harger or his Myrna Harger, who used to be the school librarian. His family built housing for Wolverine in the early 1900s. Harger left Rockford for many years, but has now returned with Just Relax Floatation, a unique way to de-stress, focus mental and physical energy, and improve health. It is a homecoming that has been good for many reasons. “I was always interested in meditation and finding a way to block things out,” Harger said of the monkey depictions located in his suite at MVP Athletic Club, 515 E. Division in Rockford. His interest in meditation and focusing mental energy led him to try floatation—relaxing in a tank filled with soothing warm water and 800 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts. He was so struck by the positive effects of the experience he began his own business and now has two tanks available here in Rockford. It is a mind and body healing experience that is not available elsewhere in West Michigan. The tanks were originally designed for mental studies, and soon the benefits were recognized. Harger said they are useful for soothing anxiety, for clearing the mind for an important decision, are useful in smoking cessation, and for healing the body with the beneficial effects of the salts. Users literally float in the 94-degree water, bouyed by the salt water. Some experience sensory deprivation in the quiet dark while others may prefer to have music played. Either way, the results are striking. “It’s a weird kind of energy,” Harger said. “It’s not like how you feel after an energy drink. It’s like the energy you have when you are really well rested.” Harger said some people float for just an hour while others float as long as several hours. He has had anxious or even claustrophobic people […]

Special Olympics basketball tournaments well received

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Special Olympics State Basketball championships held in Rockford on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 brought thousands of people to Rockford and may become an annual event. Kimberly Purdy, Public Relations Director, Special Olympics Michigan commented, “The City of Rockford, Rockford Public Schools and the Heart of Rockford Business Association opened their hearts, arms and doors to the Special Olympics Michigan 2011 State Basketball Finals. We are grateful for the warm reception that our athletes, family members, coaches, chaperones and volunteers received. Our event brought more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, chaperones and volunteers from all over Michigan to Rockford. It was a very successful event thanks to the Rockford community and to the Grand Rapids Jaycees, celebrating their 30th year as host organization! Rockford students opened doors for athletes and their families. Rockford provided complimentary shuttle transportation for our athlete delegations and family members between the schools as well as to downtown. Volunteers even handed out welcome packets containing coupons, gifts and treats for those in attendance. Community members attended Opening Ceremonies and competition to show support for our athletes! We really appreciate everything that members of the Rockford community did to make our athletes and family members feel right at home.” Lois Arnold, President & CEO, Special Olympics Michigan, said, “I met the Rockford mayor and Rockford school superintendent who welcomed us warmly and graciously. Everywhere I went everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Thank you to the Rockford for community for making the State Basketball Finals so special.”   –  

Herman’s Boy Floyd returns from Florida vacation with new employee in tow

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Se habla español? Now everyone knows that Floyd Havemeier, of Rockford’s Herman’s Boy, likes to keep his thumb on the pulse of Rockford. (Huge understatement!) So it came to pass that Floyd and wife Sharon would not embark on a well-deserved two-month winter R&R hiatus to the Gulf coast of Florida unless the boys back at the store would promise to, each and every week, Express Mail a current edition of Rockford’s hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire, to their vacation retreat. During the couple’s two-month absence (mid-January to mid-March) much occurred in Rockford. Wolverine World Wide did an about-face, Herman’s Boy was honored as the “2010 Business of the Year” by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Frenz Coffee House ended a four-year struggle by closing their doors, the Rockford City Council rejected the Rockford Area Historical Society’s proposal to relocate to the Rockford-owned and vacant 63rd District Court building, and a planning consultant for the City renamed the Northland Drive business corridor: “Mish-Mash Dr.” Reading of all of these issues in the Squire sent Floyd’s heart racing but, at the same time, he was consoled by a newfound friend “Jose.” It seems that Floyd’s host in Ft. Meyers had made Jose available to Floyd and Sharon as their personal butler during the duration of their visit. Floyd quickly took a special interest in the silent, smiling and ever-attentive Jose. When the time came to return home to Rockford, Floyd had become convinced that Jose would make a perfect addition to the Herman’s Boy team. Jose was a tough sell, however, and it wasn’t until the ever-persuasive Floyd told him that the 2010 Census had revealed a huge increase in the Hispanic population in the greater Grand Rapids area that Jose agreed to come on board. Now residing in Rockford, Jose has become the official greeter of customers as they enter the “one store worldwide” Herman’s Boy in Rockford. Entering the front door of the store, be sure to say “Buenos dias” and “welcome” to the diminutive sombrero-wearing hombre with a big heart. P.S. Grandson Mike Havemeier is perhaps the most thrilled of all by the addition of Jose, saying, “It’s fine with me. Now I’m not the low man on the totem pole!”  

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

“Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World” Don’t miss it! Since Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World, we celebrate with an annual humor banquet. The banquet is always held on the Saturday closest to April 1, in front of the Corner Bar on Main Street. This coming Saturday is the big day. Everyone is welcome. We meet at noon, buy our own hot dogs, and tell jokes out on the sidewalk. Be there, rain, shine or snow! Who can resist them? Limericks, I mean. An old fellow dining at Crewe Found a very large bug in his stew. Said the waiter, “Don’t shout And wave it about, Or the rest will be wanting one too!” Final payment A businessman on his deathbed called his best friend. “Bill, I want you to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated.” “And what,” Bill asked, “do you want me to do with your ashes?” The businessman said, “Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the Internal Revenue Service. Write on the envelope, “Now you have everything.” Roger and Fred If you’ve already heard about this, stop me. Or not. It’s your choice. It was on this date, a great many years ago, that the saddest event in my life occurred. I was born one of identical twins. This was before the days of footprints and plastic wristbands. Nobody could tell us apart. The hospital nurses came in and remarked how cute we were, two identical little boys. When my mother took us home, the neighbors came over and said, “Aren’t they just darling? Like two peas in a pod!” The relatives came down from Minnesota and commented that we were exactly alike. Later on, my mother admitted that even she couldn’t tell us apart. All was fine for about six months. Then, one night, my mother put us both in the bathtub. I don’t know if we had a phone to answer (it was the Great Depression), but for some reason she left the room for a minute. One of us drowned. And we never knew which one. There’s a little tombstone in New Jersey with the inscription, “Here lies Fred or Roger. Sorely missed.” Solid citizen A […]

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