The public is invited to find out the latest plans and progress of the new Rockford Area Museum, which is slated to open in the former 63rd District courthouse in downtown Rockford. A meeting will be held at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served and any questions will be answered.
September 6 2012
Residents who voted to approve a fire millage in Courtland Township already have a tangible benefit from the monies after installation of a fifth warning siren near Braeside Golf Course on Ten Mile Road. Fire Chief Mickey Davis explained, “We now have five emergency warning sirens in Courtland Township. This is what some of our fire millage will be used for. Each siren costs about $20,000. When the National Weather Service issues an alert such as a tornado warning, Kent County dispatch activates all emergency sirens in the county. The sirens are tested at noon on the first Friday of the month from April to October. This siren is located at Braeside Golf Course on 11 Mile Road east of Courtland Drive.”
Johnson Controls employees and their families helped to plant 180 feet of native plants along Rum Creek on Saturday, August 25. This effort was part of Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative program, which began in the watershed in 2010. The project site, owned by City of Rockford resident Jack McClennen, was transformed from turf grass to trees, shrubs, flowers, and sedges that are adapted to local climate and conditions. These native plants were purchased using $1,000 from Johnson Controls’ Blue Sky Involve grant. Blue Sky Involve is Johnson Controls’ global, employee-driven volunteer program that encourages employees to form volunteer groups to work with local organizations to support environmental stewardship and leadership development projects. Rum Creek is an important waterway to protect because it is considered a “cold-transitional small river system.” These systems are defined as having fairly cold July mean water temperatures between 63.5 and 67.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Michigan’s cold-transitional small rivers represent an extremely rare coldwater resource within the Midwestern U.S. Fish populations in these transitional rivers are sensitive to small changes in July water temperature. If we make land use changes that increase the water temperature due to increased stormwater runoff, or decrease groundwater recharge through covering the natural landscape with impervious surfaces (mainly artificial structures, such as pavements, that are covered by impenetrable materials) we could see a dramatic change in the ability of these waterways to support trout. It is important to realize that while grass or lawn is not impervious, it absorbs less precipitation than a forest, or natural grass meadow. A typical lawn absorbs only 10 percent of the amount of stormwater that a natural landscape can absorb. As rain drops fall and strike the ground directly, they compact the soil underneath the lawn. The compacted soil quickly becomes saturated with water, which then has less of a chance to infiltrate into the soil. Precipitation then quickly travels as overland runoff into the nearest drainage sewer or stream, carrying with it many pollutants. Landscaping with native plants is a great way to reduce the amount of runoff and pollutants that leave your property. Native plants have deep roots (some can grow down 25 feet) and form deep channels in the soil that absorb rainwater. These extensive root […]
Save money if your mortgage is upside down Did you know the government has a way to help homeowners who are currently upside in their mortgages? Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP-2) is a federal program of the United States, set up by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in March 2009 to help underwater and near-underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages. Unlike the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which aims to assist homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure, this program targets homeowners who are current on their monthly mortgage payments but are unable to refinance due to dropping home prices in the wake of the U.S. housing market correction. The HARP-2 mortgage refinance is a great way to try and save some money or time off your existing conventional mortgage. There are a few stipulations when it comes to this new mortgage option. You must be upside down in your current mortgage but have 12 months of consecutive on-time payments, and your mortgage must also be held through Fanny Mae or Freddy Mac. Not sure if you qualify for this program? The mortgage consultant for Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, Ed Ross, said, “This program is an excellent opportunity for people who cannot take advantage of today’s rates. We have had a chance to help many members of the credit union live more comfortably by adjusting their mortgage. You do not need to be a current credit union member for us to take a look at your mortgage. It’s worth the phone call, as we can quickly find out if this HARP-2 mortgage is a good fit for you.”
Karen and Ray Fought brought their local newspaper along on a recent trip and provided The Rockford Squire with the following account of their adventures: “We went to Alaska via the Golden Princess, our first cruise. We were in the Inside Passage and saw Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria, B.C., Canada. We also visited Seattle before we left port. Alaska is a sight to behold. The serenity of its beauty just takes your breath away. We saw many humpback whales and a lot of spawning salmon. We even saw a bear onshore through our binoculars! So cool! And the sight and sound of the glacier breaking apart and falling into the sea was unbelievable. They call it calving. We are truly blessed to have enjoyed that experience. Just had to share.”