November 11 2009

Changing auto industry discussed at Chamber After Hours

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

Elegant white table cloths and a gourmet buffet catered by North Kent Golf Course—all served up in the service garage at Decker Chevrolet—graced the Monday, November 2, Rockford Chamber After Hours. Host John Decker introduced his staff, and joked that some have been with him longer than his wife has, according to Decker. Service and sales in the auto industry have changed drastically in the 23 years Decker has owned John Decker Chevrolet. “Service is totally different in today’s world. Sales has become very interesting and very efficient,” he said to the crowd of business professionals attending the event. “We have no control over the cars. The dealerships decide,” he said. He also said nowadays no one makes a major purchase with out research, and most everyone uses the Internet. “When people come in, they may know as much about the cars as we do,” Decker stated. According to Decker, people will drive up to 300 miles for a major purchase such as a car. In the “old” days, if a dealership had a particular used car on their lot, they felt as if they had the only one in the world. Now, if a dealership has a particular car for sale, there may be 200 more for sale within the distance a buyer is willing to drive. Decker believes these changes in his industry means service is that much more important to his business and customers. “What it comes down to is trust. You find a place to buy and service a vehicle that is local,” he said. “The biggest store can show you more, but they can’t do a better job than us in taking care of our customer. It is good to know what your local car dealership can do for you.” The Rockford Chamber of Commerce hosts every other month luncheons and After Hours events. The next Chamber luncheon will be Monday, December 7. The cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-Chamber members. Call (616) 866-2000 to find out more or to place a reservation.

School Beat — November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

Prepare your child to deal with life by DOUG HOOGERLAND, Principal Crestwood Elementary School Imagine your mother or father calling your college professor in hopes of learning the reason you earned a B- in Intro to Psychology, or calling your boss demanding to find out why you weren’t promoted, and then calling your dentist to find out why she chose not to use silver amalgam for your filling. Wouldn’t it be great to have our mom or dad take care of the issues we didn’t want to deal with in college or now, like scheduling routine appointments, securing student loans, calling repair services to take care of the car or the furnace, or even the dreaded filing of taxes? Or when we are sick, to have mom there, even now. I know when I am ill, I want my mom there taking care of me. Just her presence seems to make some of the hurt go away. Nevertheless, isn’t there a point in our lives when it is time for our parents to hand over the reins; for us to take ownership and responsibility for our own lives? Is there a single age or is it little by little that our parents release their hold and hope they’ve done their jobs well? When do parents allow us to be independent? Exactly how are we supposed to know how to deal with all of the unpredictability that life throws at us, if they have never allowed us some control? When does a parent’s control begin to interfere with their child’s future ability to learn from their own mistakes, find different or better ways to do things, find answers, discover, experience, learn, or make decisions? Of course parents need to be “in control” of their children, for example, to protect them, feed them nutritious meals, enforce bedtimes, say “no” when necessary, teach and model appropriate behaviors, and get them to the dentist whether the kids like it or not. But when is there too much parental control? If our children are placed in situations or experiences where everything has been orchestrated by parents, how is it possible to learn the important aspects of growing up and gaining independence? A parent who rescues their child from a friendship conflict, […]

Letters to the Editor — November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

Parent awareness night presented by students Dear Editor, I was invited by a student to Chandler Woods’ Parent Awareness Night on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Individuals of the eighth-grade class gave presentations on topics that deal with teen issues. Some of the topics included were suicide, child abuse, peer pressure, abortion, evolution, eating disorders, divorce, drug use, etc. I fought back the tears as a student named Sarah read a poem about a three-year-old that was killed by her alcoholic father. She showed photographs she had found in magazines and pointed out statistics of abuse. Sarah shared with me that many of the children were ages 0-3 and unable to cry out for help, much of it is behind closed doors. I had no idea that child abuse was such a common problem. One of the students who was making the awareness of “cutting” said that she personally knew of about 20 kids who do this to themselves ages 10-30; some do it for attention and some because they are really hurting inside and don’t know how to express themselves. I was also amazed to find out that some seemingly harmless video games such as Pokemon and Dungeons are linked to suicides and murder. The young children that play the games are influenced negatively to devalue life and unknowingly engage in introductory forms of witchcraft. Some of the children start acting out what they’ve learned, have social, mental and/or emotional problems, and many have symptoms of bi-polar or start hearing voices. These eighth-graders were able to speak to me at such a deep level. I was impressed with their authority and boldness. I asked a few of the kids why they chose their topics. Most of them all chose topics that have affected their life and people they know. They were so passionate about what is going on around them, it was like they were showing me “look at all these dark places” and then saying “let’s turn on a light; you can be that light.” They taught me how to recognize someone who is being abused or abusing themselves and what to do about it. I was greatly impacted by my visit. I really felt like I was surrounded by a small army of heroes fighting […]

Rams’ second-half comeback cements district championship

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

    The Rockford Rams hoist the district trophy. Photo by TONY ANDERSON  by TONY ANDERSON The Rockford Rams hosted the Buccaneers of Grand Haven on Friday night, Nov. 6, a rematch of week five. At stake was the district championship and the chance to continue the drive toward Ford Field. The Bucs won the toss and deferred to the second half. Rockford returned the opening kick to the 36-yard line. The Rams mixed passes and runs, picking up two first downs. However, on a fourth-and-two, the Rams were hit with a false start penalty, leaving them with a fourth-and-seven. The Rams had the appearance of going for it, but Taylor Masiewicz punted the ball all the way to the eight-yard line. The Rockford Rams football teammates hug as they celebrate their playoff victory seconds after the clock runs out. Photo by Tom Scott The Rockford defense gave up one first down before Zach Haugen intercepted the Grand Haven quarterback, and Rockford took over near midfield at the 47-yard line. The Rams tried a trick play, but it ended in an interception by Grand Haven. The Bucs picked up a couple first downs and scored on a 14-yard run. The Rams started their next possession on the 37-yard line. Rockford picked up two first downs, before they stumbled and were forced to punt. The Bucs started on the 20-yard line and, after an offensive face mask, had a first-and-22 from the 9-yard line, and the Rockford defense forced them to punt. Rockford started on the Grand Haven 49-yard line, and the first quarter came to an end with the score Grand Haven 7, Rockford 0. The second quarter opened with the Rams’ second-and-14 from the 47-yard line. After picking up one first down, the Rams found themselves in fourth-and-one. The Rams were unable to pick up the one yard and turned the ball over on downs. Grand Haven took over on the 20-yard line and the Rams after forced the Bucs to punt. Rockford started on the 32-yard line, and after three runs they had to punt. Grand Haven started on the 23-yard line. After a chop block penalty and a huge sack from the Ram defense, the Bucs had to punt from the 16-yard […]

Rockford seeks seventh state water polo title

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford water polo team will head to Seaholm High School in Birmingham Friday afternoon, Nov. 13, to compete in the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) state championship. The Rams have won six state water polo titles in the past, including five in a row from 2003 to 2007. They will have to play their best to bring home the trophy this year. “In order to win, we’ll have to play three great games,” cautioned Coach Dave McWatters. “There are a lot of good teams and players in the state this year. Each game will be an incredible challenge, but that’s what a state tournament is all about.” The Rams open the tournament at 7:45 p.m. Friday against Birmingham Groves. Rockford took third place in the west region, and Groves took second in the east. Groves was the preseason number one team in the state. After a rocky start to their season, they’re beginning to live up to the preseason hype. Rockford, on the other hand, entered the season with a young team and a lot of question marks. The Rams have proven that when they play their best they can beat the top teams in the state. But they’ve also learned that when they don’t, those competitors will come out on top. “We finished regionals playing well,” affirmed McWatters. “In the fourth quarter of our final game, we staged one of the best comebacks ever for Rockford water polo. The boys showed a great deal of confidence and resilience. We plan to carry those qualities with us to state.” According to senior captain Derik Bothma, the Rams are looking forward to seeing what they can do at state. “We’re going in as underdogs. We’ve surprised some teams this year and hope to do so at state. We’ll give it everything we’ve got!”

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