By BETH ALTENA Sale of contaminated half-acre of city property included Passionate, even tearful comments against approving a 51-unit condominium development were heard by Rockford Planning Commissioners on Thursday, March 26 before the board voted five to one to recommend Rockford City Council give the final go-ahead to the project. Developer Marcell Burger and two associates were present to answer questions The public comment session was almost entirely taken up by residents of the stretch of Monroe between Courtland and Lewis streets, although several non-residents spoke, both for and against the development. City attorney Dick Wendt was present, along with City Manager Michael Young, Clerk Chris Bedford and commissioners Tammy Bergstrom, Cliff Hill, Chair Jim Scales, Tom Sturr, Dave Rasmussen and Jon Minor. Young opened the meeting with a summary of the process of approving the Tamarack Run development, explaining what steps have been taken since the development plan was submitted to the city in October of 2014. He outlined the public meetings held since, including a two-and-a-half hour City Council meeting on February 9. Many of the same people who spoke at previous Council and Planning Commission meetings spoke at the Thursday meeting, voicing mostly the same objections to the development. New to the discussion was an explanation of steps necessary to sell to the developer a parcel of property belonging to the City within the boundaries of the development. Young said a piece of land approximately 212 feet by 100 feet was identified as city land, although it has been used as part of the former inhabitant Burch Body Works for over 100 years. The parcel, just under a half-acre, has been identified as including one of several contaminated areas on the entire seven-acre plat. As part of the development all contaminated lands will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate landfill at the developer’s expense. The Tamarack Run condominiums will occupy about half of the seven acres with wetlands on the other half being preserved. Burger spoke before the public comment session began and told commissioners that more room for snow removal had been added to the project by adding more space between homes. He said more parking had been added in response to residents’ concerns about parking on Monroe Street […]
Valley View Elementary recently held a two part assembly series put on by the Brainstormers! LLC. The Brainstormers have been working for 22 years to motivate, empower and encourage kids to be creative, both “on the page and on the stage.” The first show called The Takeoff show took place in January, and its purpose was to motivate the students to produce creative writing pieces and to, in essence, become young authors. Following the show, teachers at Valley View had their students create stories, which were then submitted to the Brainstormers! The hysterical and quirky performers from the assembly company selected 10 of the stories from the students and brought them to life on the stage on March 17th to an audience of students and staff dressed in green. The young authors, whose creative writing pieces were chosen, were brought to the Awesome Authors chair at the front of the gymnasium and were interviewed. The were able to sit in the chair of honor and see their story brought to life. Some of the stories were based on real life events and others involved aliens invading a friend’s house and SpongeBob climbing to the top of Spaghetti Mountain. Many of the kindergarten through fifth graders were also given the opportunity to use their acting and improvisational skills while playing supporting roles in each of the skits. According to many of the teachers and staff, the assembly was thought to be one of the best in years, and they all appreciated the motivational effect it had on the authors and all of the Valley View students. A large portion of the assembly was funded by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs through their Michigan Arts and Humanities Touring Program.
Thurs., September 20 Rockford Rotary Club Meeting—7 to 8 a.m. during the summer at Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch, 220 Northland Drive, Rockford. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Goldsworthy Inspired Temporary Art—6 to 7:30 p.m. at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids; free for all ages. Andy Goldsworthy is an artist known around the world for creating temporary nature art. Participants will work together to create a temporary piece that uses natural materials and is inspired by what is already there. For more infor-mation, visit blandfordnaturecenter.org or call (616) 735-6240. Saturday, September 22 “America’s Favorite Farm Market”— 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through October 27 in the S. Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring “Pure Michigan”-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers, plants and much more. A Civil War Commemoration—10 a.m. at the Oakfield Cemetery (corner of Wellman/Stultz, south of M-57) to honor Civil War veterans buried there. “History Remembered” will lead a ceremony followed by a cemetery walk to graves of the veterans and readings of their respective biographies. Everyone welcome; no charge. The Oakfield Pioneer Heritage Museum nearby on Podunk Road will be open after the event. Invasive Species Control—9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. sessions, at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Free/Volunteer, ages 13 plus. A fun way to give back to Blandford and enjoy nature too. Come learn about oriental bittersweet and why you should never collect it. For more information, visit blandfordnaturecenter.org or call (616) 735-6240. Bugs, Bugs, Bugs—10 a.m to 1 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City (for kindergarten through sixth-grade). We will have insect containers, nets and a bug-finding attitude! Then off we will go into the woods, prairies and more to see what six-legged creatures live here at HCNC. We will look for eggs and larvae while learning about insects’ life cycles, find predators, prey, and catch and release a bug or two—at the end of the day we will recycle our bugs into fish food. This is a hands on day, come dressed to get dirty! Bring your lunch and backpack. For more information call (616) 675-3158 or visit www.lilysfrogpad.com. Monday, September 24 “Balancing Grassland Bird Habitat with Agricultural Production”—7:00 p.m. social time […]
Thursday, September 13 Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan. Rockford Rotary Club Meeting—7 to 8 a.m. during the summer at Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch, 220 Northland Drive, Rockford. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Rockford Lions Club Meeting—6 p.m. social, 6:30 dinner and 7 p.m. meeting at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Meetings held every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Friday–Sunday, September 14–16 FallFest 2012—presented by West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association, held at the Kent County Fairgrounds, 225 S. Hudson St., Lowell, Mich. Weekend tickets at the gate are $25 (members $23); all children age 15 and under admitted FREE with adult. Day passes are $10 for Friday, $17 for Saturday, and $5 for Sunday. Jamming all weekend! All concerts indoors! Enjoy band scramble, music workshops, 50/50 drawings, bake sale, kids’ activities, crafts for non-musicians, and more. For more information, visit www.wmbma.org. Saturday, September 15 “America’s Favorite Farm Market”—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through October 27 in the S. Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring “Pure Michigan”-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers, plants and much more. Little House at Blandford—2 to 3:30 p.m. at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. Cost is $5 per member or $6 per non-member. Be a Pioneer as we bake a treat in the woodfire oven, harvest herbs from our herb garden, go to school in our one-room schoolhouse, and visit the blacksmith shop. For ages 7 and up. For more information, visit blandfordnaturecenter.org or call (616) 735-6240. Youth Archery Workshop—1 and 2 p.m. sessions, at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, for ages 10-16. Cost is $5 for members, or $6 for non-members. Come join Blandford and Scott Luce, a certified archery instructor, as we learn the basics of archery. There will be a booth at the event with information about whitetail deer and the hunts that will take place at Blandford during the season. Equipment […]
Thursday, September 6 Rockford Rotary Club Meeting—7 to 8 a.m. during the summer at Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch, 220 Northland Drive, Rockford. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting—7 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Public is invited to share in the “Progress Report of the New Museum.” Hostesses will be Billie Hunt and Joan Bunn. Storytime Hike: All About Harvest—6 to 7:30 p.m. at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, for ages 7 and under and their family. Program begins with a season story and short craft, followed by hiking the trails and looking for objects or characters from the book. Cost is $5 per member or $6 per non-member. For more information, call (616) 735-6240 or visit blandfordnaturecenter.org. Friday, September 7 Auditions—6 to 8 p.m. at Rockford Reformed Church, 11 Mile Road, Rockford, for “In the Eye of the Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe, with Actors del Arte Ensemble. For more information, call (616) 874-5264. Spectacular Book Sale—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (also Sat., Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 9, 1 to 4 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Plainfield Township Library, 2650 Five Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids. Hardcovers $1, softcovers 50¢, and paperbacks and children’s books only 25¢. Sponsored by the Friends of the Plainfield Library. For more information, call (616) 784-2007 or visit www.kdl.org. Giant Rummage Sale—9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (also Sat., Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford (between 11 Mile and Peterson). Saturday, September 8 Euchre Club—6:30 p.m. at the Peppermill Grill, 8 S. Squires St., Rockford. New players welcome. Donations will be accepted for North Kent Community Services. For more information, call (616) 884-0757. Gospel Jamboree—7 p.m. at Sparta Free Methodist Church, 95 Grove St., corner Grove & Union. Free music jamboree, several musicians. Please join us. Free to the public. For more information call Jim Tol at firstname.lastname@example.org. “America’s Favorite Farm Market”—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through October 27 in the S. Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring “Pure Michigan”-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers, plants and much […]