by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL What a ride it was last week for Rockford’s Farm Market in the America’s Favorite Farm Market contest. Our once comfortable lead in the small market size category (16 – 30 vendors) was nearly wiped out by our evil archrival Venice, FL. Almost as bad, towards the end of the week we lost our lofty position as overall leader in all market size categories to Las Cruces, NM. The news is much better this week however. Rockford’s Farm Market is maintaining a respectable lead against Venice, and we are happy to report that we have closed the gap with Las Cruces, NM and are in striking distance of again regaining the nationwide lead (at least as of 10 p.m. Monday evening). Our little sister farm market in Manistique, MI is also holding its own against its competition (Punta Gorda, FL) with a slight lead in their boutique market size category (15 or less vendors). We woke up early last Saturday morning to a thunderstorm dumping buckets of rain on Rockford threatening to wash the Rockford Farm Market into the Rogue River. Just what we didn’t need because voter turnout at farm market has been our greatest source of votes in our ever-increasing voting totals. Thankfully, the storm clouds parted around 8 a.m. and the market faithful, along with first timers, turned out from near and far. In response to radio, TV, and newspaper coverage regular market goers, who hadn’t as yet voted, and first timers, wanting to see what all of the buzz was about, arrived from all over West Michigan to swell our vote totals and fill their market baskets with a cornucopia of freshly harvested, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Sitting at our voting table every Saturday we have been heartened by people telling us they have become addicted to checking voting totals on the contest’s website (www.farmland.org/vote). They tell us they are also using social media (facebook, twitter, etc) to reach out to their many “friends” urging them to also vote for Rockford’s Farm Market. Their enthusiasm in seeing Rockford win this contest is contagious – if only it could be bottled. Apparently our newspartners, the Manistique, MI Pioneer Tribune newspaper and closer to home, the Cedar […]
Rockford Mayor Steve Jazwiec
The public is invited to coffee to celebrate 30 years of service Rockford Mayor Steve Jazwiec reads a mayoral proclomation recognizing the 30 years of service of Lt. Scott Mazur, of the Rockford Police Department. There will be a public coffee and celebration of Mazur’s career at City Hall this Friday, April 29 at Rockford City Hall from 1:30 to 3 p.m. with a presentation at 2 p.m. Those wishing to thank Mazur and wish him well are encouraged to attend.
Two proposals for former court building rejected by BETH ALTENA The Rockford Area Historical Society hired a consultant and had huge plans to relocated their museum, now housed in a 100-plus-year-old building with no running water or fire protection, into the unused portion of the former 63rd District Court building, located across the parking lot from City Hall. A decision by Rockford City Council to reject their proposal stunned the group and has them feeling they were turned down without a proper chance to make their case. Historical Society member Terry Konkle attended the February 14 City Council meeting and talked with Mayor Steve Jazwiec after to ask for the chance to prove to Council the Historical Society could bring in enough money to do a good job setting up and also staffing the museum in the new location. The Historical Society, along with North Kent Community Services, submitted a proposal outlining their intended use of the court and on Friday, Feb. 11 received a letter formally rejecting their proposal. According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young and Mayor Jazwiec, council was unimpressed with the business plan of the proposal and is considering an alternative use for the property. “We have a ton of people who could help us, but we can’t start asking for money when we don’t know if we are going to get the building,” Konkle said. He said he feels council is asking the organization to put the cart before the horse by expecting financial proof before they approve the move. “We’d like a chance to sit down with council and talk about the financials. If we didn’t get a shot at it without talking to council, we’d feel pretty disappointed,” Konkle said to Jazwiec. Jazwiec said council feels they put the offer out, made a decision and are unlikely to want to start over. Young said the council rejected the two proposals and is looking at the cost of upgrading the building to the standards of City Hall. Council plans to reevaluate options to have another public-use building similar to the Community Cabin, which Young said is “booked every day.” Young said as a meeting area, the court building would offer a space twice as big as the Cabin and […]