September 9 2010

Art, music, nature at Art in the Park

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Take the opportunity to enjoy one of Rockford’s last summer festivals before the three weekends of Harvest Festival kick off the fall. On Saturday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Rockford Area Arts Commission will be hosting its annual juried art sale and exhibition in Garden Club Park.   Organizer Susie Clements said there are 29 artists plus the Rogue River Artists Association participating this year.   In addition to beautiful works of art on display there will also be an eclectic mix of live musical entertainment. The musicians this year will be The Proulx brothers, Gordon, Mark and Greg; Renee VandeWege; Kayle Clements and Blue Star Pilot (Chris Lewis, Sam Briggs, and Ryder Jones). Clements said the combination of beautiful art to view or purchase, the live music and the lovely natural setting on the banks of the Rogue River will continue to ensure the success of the event. Returning artists include Jochen Ditterich and Cathy McCarthy, members of the Woodland Weavers Guild project which has a collaborate piece entered in ArtPrize. Rockford photographer Stacy Niedzwiecki also participating in ArtPrize and was one of the entries in ArtCapsule. Other artists include MariStar Golub, a member of West Michigan Potter’s Guild and Steve Brunger, who uses corals that he finds on the beaches at Point Betsie Lighthouse to create custom jewelry. Artist Hope Atkinson uses rice paper, paint, and a marbling technique to create collage style translucent paintings. Amy Kieliszewski creates her work in memory of her daughter Ashleigh, who passed away from Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. September is National Childhood Awareness month for the disease and Kieliszewski is participating in Art in the Park to promote this awareness. Last year’s winners were Tonya Rund, Jochen Ditterich, Alison Dells, Karen Agopian, Chad Anderson, and David Piszczek (Best of Show). For more information visit or find the event on Facebook. Clements noted that the annual art show is such a tradition in Rockford, today’s organizers have no idea when the first event was held.They would love to know but are confident it will be the success it always has. “It’s become a Rockford tradition,” Clements said.

Wolverine tannery demolition underway

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Company offers reassurance on safety precautions Readers have continued to express concerns over the safety of the demolition of the 100-plus year-old tannery in downtown Rockford. The Squire contacted Wolverine and asked that some of the concerns be addressed again. The following are points of the work plan prepared by Pitch Inc. and comments from Wolverine regarding safety precautions. Environmental Responsibility and Safety during Demolition of Former Wolverine World Wide Tannery Site:   • During former tannery operations, Wolverine maintained a high level of environmental stewardship, and we are not aware of any environmental issues related to the site. In fact, over many years of continual operating, testing and permitting, no significant contamination issues were found. • It is noteworthy that both the Rogue River and Rum Creek, which runs directly under the former tannery site, are healthy water systems and have shown no signs of any negative environmental impact related to the tannery’s operations. • Wolverine World Wide selected Pitsch Companies, based in Grand Rapids, as the contractor who is handling all of the demolition, environmental testing and monitoring work. A copy of their detailed Work Plan is accessible from the City of Rockford website. • All required preparations were taken and the necessary permits and approvals were granted prior to the start of any work on the site. These included pre-demolition testing for asbestos-containing materials (ACM), PCB-containing materials, and lead-based paints, removal of any ACM and PCBs, and filing all notices required under state and federal law. In addition, all process chemicals were removed from the site, all process piping was cleaned, and all water used in the cleaning was cleaned and discharged under the proper permits. • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (MDNRE) conducted an on-site inspection prior to any demolition work beginning and the City of Rockford issued a demolition permit. • The primary objective at the site during the clearing process is to safely and properly dispose of the buildings, structures, universal wastes, and non-hazardous wastes from the premises and restore the site to grade. As a precaution, any dust from the clearing activities will be suppressed with water, and the Work Plan details how that water will be diverted away from the Rogue River and […]

Lucky reader wins Kindle at Reading Rocks festival

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

When the Rockford Rotary Club called Char Bouwkamp at D&W Fresh Market to ask if D&W would be involved in the annual reading festival, Reading Rocks in Rockford, Char responded, “Absolutely!” D&W Foods provided a Kindle Electronic Reader to be used for a drawing at Krause Memorial Library on the day of the festival. “The Kindle drawing raised a lot of awareness and excitement about the reading festival and the programs we offered during the festival,” said Jennifer German, executive director of the library. Everyone using the library’s services that day had a chance to win the Kindle, and Betsey Bolek’s name was drawn by Char. Congratulations, Betsey.

New store offers locally-made gifts, candy bouquets

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Karen’s Candy and Gifts owner Karen Elliott is thrilled with her shop location at 8450 Algoma Avenue NE, Suite C near Little Sack Grocery off Ten Mile Road. She is also happy to open a shop that offers a unique product—candy and silk floral bouquets—and locally-crafted items for gifts or home. Her store opened on August 2, but they are celebrating a grand opening now. “Karen’s Candy and Gifts is striving to put our Michigan craftsmen to work,” said Elliott. “We have a lot of talent in our area and we will be featuring more unique items and showcasing those talents.” Elliott said she purchased the Candy Bouquet franchise as a way to put herself and others to work after she tired of the commute to her long-time job of working as an office manager for an optometric practice. She originally had plans to start a business offering healthy foods and drinks with areas for parents to exercise while their children played in safety and in plain view of the parent. While the deal for the building fell through, Elliott still desired a way to help people, offering something unique. “I was ready for a change of pace and to do something creative and helpful to people,” she explained. The bouquet franchise offers a product that is an alternative to traditional gifts and has a huge range. Candy Bouquet International, the parent company, offers hundreds of choices including; Christmas, birthday, Thanksgiving, graduation, get well, sympathy, just because, good luck, for him and for her and more. Custom orders are also offered and Elliott said one of her first orders was a sympathy basket with a specific theme. “It’s not just candy,” Elliott explained of the product, pointing out bosses boxes, popcorn theme displays, tea bouquets, “thanks a million” cash arrangements, race car, humorous and more. The candy and arrangement products are just part of Karen’s Candy and Gifts with the addition of locally made products for sale. Many of the items feature nature or religious images. A Michigan woodworking company supplies Karen’s with a variety of wooden Michigan-made items from cribbage boards, sling shots, attitude adjusters, whistles, and puzzle games to framed prints and thermometers. The father of co-worker and long-time family friend, Jill Nelson, […]

Second-grader donates hair to Locks of Love

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rebecca Loker, 7, a second-grader at Roguewood Elementary School, is in the Spanish Immersion program. She has a very big heart and decided to donate her hair to a sick little girl who did not have hair. Loker had her hair cut at Design 1 on Plainfield and donated nine inches to Locks of Love.

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