William Thornton would be proud of Rockford today. In 1856 the civil engineer was given the job of platting the Village of Laphamville and Thornton made sure the village, which would one day become Rockford, had lots of trees. On Friday, April 30, Rockford took the final step in a process that will qualify the town as a National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA. An Arbor Day celebration Friday featured the hard work of Valley View Elementary’s Green Team and 40 donated maple trees from the City of Rockford. During the day Rockford crews planted more trees throughout the city. Andrew Shear, who many residents may remember from his long stint at the Rockford Post Office—900 years, according to Shear—is one of the people behind the new designation. He and Lynn McIntosh approached the city council in 2008, asking council to consider pursuing the Tree City honor. They pointed out the history of our arbor roots. According to Homer Burch’s book From Samill to City, which chronicles the town’s early years, Thornton’s efforts toward a tree-filled town was appreciated. “A few years later the results of Thornton’s efforts were so evident that village officials adopted a policy of continuing his project until Rockford became widely noted for its treee shaded streets.” Burch’s book reads. Rockford council were reluctant to pursue the designation, fearing that becoming a Tree City would impose new restrictions or costs on residents. According to City Manager Michael Young, Rockford is already doing about everything required to be a Tree City USA, including caring for city trees and encouraging planting trees with a cost sharing program for residents. Having an annual Arbor Day celebration will now be something all residents can look forward to, including signs at city limits proclaiming Rockford a Tree City USA. For Shear and McIntosh, the new designation is exciting and brings endless possibilities. “I see interest in trees blooming for Rockford,” McIntosh said.
May 6 2010
River replenished with DNRE spring trout release With state funding drying up for many public programs, those who live in the Rogue River watershed can be grateful that trout-stocking monies comes mostly from the federal government. Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Energy (DNRE) staff have been busy at work in and around Rockford, replenishing the Rogue’s supply of game fish. Just after the spring trout opener, Joe Michevich, DNR Fisheries technician, put in over 17,000 Gilchrist Creek brown trout, nearly 10,000 Eagle Lake rainbow trout and have plans to put in another 7,300 in the weeks ahead. “We have a federal three-to-one match,” said Jon Jackoviak of the Harrietta Fisheries Station in Harietta, Mich. For every dollar the DNRE spends on fish-stocking, three more come from federal funds. Jackoviak said the browns and rainbows planted in Rockford are about 16 months old. The rainbows, a well-established stocking fish, are five to seven inches long when planted and may grow to their legal limit this season. The Gilchrist trout are a little smaller, around five inches, and will likely be large enough to be taken legally next year. The Gilchrist trout are a wilder strain and do better in streams than in hatcheries. Jackoviak said his facility, the oldest in the state and built in 1901, received their brood stock in 1996. The state has been stocking fish since the 1890s and brought in German brown trout, a fish that was not found in United States streams until then. Annually the Harrietta Hatchery provides 1.3 million trout to streams and rivers in the southern half of the lower peninsula. The Rogue River, like many of the tributaries to the Grand River, flows with cold, clear water from many springs and is good habitat for trout. Heavily fished, the Rogue benefits from stocking by replacing fish that anglers take and helping the population in cases where reproduction suffers for any variety of reasons. Jackoviak said field biologists survey streams to determine how many fish to plant in any given river or stream, but figures do not vary much year to year. The number of fish stocked also depends on how many eggs the hatchery acquires from their sources. Estimated survival of the young trout is also […]
Six Rockford athletes complete prestigious race by Alixan Spaulding Everyone suffers from stress on a day-to-day basis, and everyone handles it in his or her own way. One local man chooses to relieve his stress through a passion he discovered at a young age—running. That passion came through last week, when Joshua L. Miller, 26, of Rockford, competed in the Boston Marathon and not only finished in the top 100, but was sixth fastest out of the runners from Michigan. Five other Rockford runners also took on the challenge. Miller’s friend and co-worker, Robert Rinck is the one who encouraged Miller to run the race. Rinck came in with a time of 3:04:34 in 1,813th place. Also of Rockford, Brian Becker ended 3:13:34 in 3,337th; Scott Dudka came in 3:28:42 in 6,702th; Michael Bain came in 3:38:24 in 9,593th and Andrea Crumback finished 3:43:18 in 11,001th place. Miller has been running for many years. He ran track and cross country during his enrollment at Belding High School and later at Aquinas College. “It was a great group of people,” he said, in reference to the Aquinas team. Miller enjoys running so much that he has run in several marathons, including the La Salle Bank Chicago Marathon of 2006, where he finished in 125th place. On April 19 he joined over 25,000 men and women to run in the 118th annual Boston Marathon. Miller ran the 26.3-mile race in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 15 seconds. He placed 78th overall, 73rd among men, and 68th in his division. Among Michigan runners, he had the sixth fastest time. The top Michigan runner was Drew Polley of Rochester Hills, who finished 16th overall, with a time of 2:16:36. Miller’s wife, Lisa, joined him at the finish line. Lisa was there for any encouragement her husband needed, and was tolerant of his training schedule. She also joined him occasionally in his training, which included running approximately 75 miles a week, biking, swimming, and other core exercises. His friends and family were also supportive. “They were all really excited, not so much when they found out I was participating, but when I finished,” said Miller. . When asked how it felt to cross the finish line, Miller replied with a […]
You may have visited Grill One Eleven and enjoyed a first-rate meal and ambiance. You may have cooked with aged balsamic vinegar and specialty oils from Old World Olive Press. Business owners with brains teamed up to combine shopping and dining opportunities at one event. On Wednesday, April 29, Aaron Zania, Grill One Eleven owner, and Corey DeLong and Shasta Face, owners of Old World Olive Press, presented diners with a meal of Grill One Eleven fare featuring Old World Olive Press products. It was the first such dining experiment that is sure to be a repeat performance. Face said she planned to partner with other downtown business owners since she opened doors of the store at 65 E. Bridge Street. Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace uses her products in his deli, and she has plans to partner with more restaurants. At the premier dinner, a nearly sold-out crowd filled the upstairs dining area at Grill One Eleven and began the meal with hummus and pita bread. With each course, Chef Matt Lenkiewicz explained his use of the oil and vinegar products and how they complement the foods. The surprising combinations were all tastefully done, from the crostinis topped with marinated tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar to the chicken Wellington, topped with Old World Olive Press white truffle oil. The evening’s fare ended with perhaps the most interesting combination: a dessert featuring rich vanilla ice cream, fruits and a reduction of dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. The flavors worked well together, and Lenkiewicz pointed out that each element of the meal could be prepared at home and could lead to other innovative uses of the products. For those who love to eat more than cook, watch for the next joint dining experience between the restaurant and Old World Olive Press.
Michigan weather was as fickle as its reputation Saturday, May 1 with a stormy morning giving way to a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. The crowds at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road, proved reliable, however, as the parking lot and store were filled with visitors to the Spring Taste of Ric’s event from noon to 4 p.m. Store Director Dave Brickner was happy with the turnout after his staff and store vendors worked hard to prepare for a successful event with samples, music, prizes and plenty of smiles down the aisles. “We had a lot to compete with,” Brickner said, noting that many other festivals and events were held the same day. Brickner believes the strong turnout shows how much people enjoy the customer appreciation events the store holds several times a year. He said vendors and staff all look forward to offering samples of their product to a pleased public. “It makes sense,” Brickner said. “This is their chance to showcase their product to hundreds and hundreds of people all in one day.”