Document 11153

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Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
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Volume 17, No. 6
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128 N. Church St., Rockford, Illinois 61101
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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES: November is American Indian Heritage Month | Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful introduces recycling program |
Chicago Slaughter will compete in IFL in 2010 | Charlie Weis on the hot seat at Notre Dame | Youth Orchestra performs holiday favorites
at CherryVale Dec. 1 | Mendelssohn’s preview of A Christmas Symphony Nov. 30 | VIDA Museum lecture at Rock Valley College Dec. 1
Winnebago County News
Rockford Public Schools
Rodeo saddling up
for another ride?
By Stuart R. Wahlin
Staff Writer
There have been cement trucks, sounds of
heavy machinery, and trucks loaded with
construction materials coming and going.
That much is certain. But out of view from
nearby roadways, passersby can only wonder what’s going on at 14852 Hauley Road in
Shirland Township.
“We can’t see it,” one nearby resident
said, “but we sure can hear it.”
From the adjacent Sugar River Forest
Preserve, however, the new 200-foot-long
structure on the property is hard to miss.
Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Director of Land & Development Tom
Hartley responded, “I have not seen the
construction personally, but in checking
with our area manager, he did not report
anything that we should be concerned about,
and we have not had any complaints from
preserve users reported to us.”
Complaints and concerns were lodged
with the county, however, but inspections
by building and zoning staff determined the
new outbuilding is in compliance.
The property, owned by Enrique Jaime,
was the subject of controversy a year ago
when Jaime applied for a special-use permit
(SUP) “to allow a recreational facility/commercial entertainment/tourist establishment
for an outdoor rodeo facility and equestrian
riding trails” in an agricultural district.
Jaime applied for the permit after county
officials discovered he’d already been advertising and hosting rodeo and equestrian
events—complete with grandstand seating,
Continued on page A8 !
© TRRT
2009
Evaluating District 205
Photo by Daniel Jenkins
Two individuals are taken from Rockford East High School in handcuffs Wednesday, Nov. 18
(black boxes added, T-shirt modified in attempts to conceal identities). Mark Bonne, chief
communications officer for District 205, said Nov. 18 no students were escorted out of the
building or arrested. The Rock River Times learned Nov. 19 from Rockford police that one
student was arrested for allegedly striking an assistant principal and another student was
arrested for allegedly carrying a weapon on school grounds.
Pricing fear from the bottom up
The District 205 credibility gap
Editorial
! Failure to practice critical
Editorial
thinking, failure to tell the truth
institutionalize a culture of fear
By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher
Teachers: safely going along to get
along in these difficult economic times
racks up much higher costs for our children, your students, yourselves.
Why? Because so many supposed adults
only pay lip service to protecting education
and all that is truly green for our future.
When it comes to the moral challenge, too
often we fail to practice what we preach.
Teaching and educational results inexorably intertwine with our daily bread.
“We have to keep our jobs; we have families to provide for,” many say; actually, they
Continued on page A7 !
Rockford City Council
City to treat contaminated drinking water
! News and notes from the Nov.
23 Rockford City Council meeting
By Stuart R. Wahlin
PRSRT STD
U.S. Postage
PAID
Permit No. 397
Rockford, IL
Staff Writer
The Rockford City Council agreed to pay
up to $203,689 Nov. 23 to Calgon Carbon, of
Pittsburgh, for granular activated carbon
(GAC) removal at three groundwater processing facilities.
The agreement comes on the heels of the
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s
(IEPA) Nov. 20 notification that trichloroethContinued on page A2 !
Assistant Editor
Either Rockford Public School District 205
administrators are completely clueless about
what’s going on in the schools, or they think
they can pull the wool over the public’s eyes
when it comes to telling the truth.
Rockford police and fire units were called to
Rockford East High School for two consecutive
days Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 18-19,
after students pulled a series of false fire alarms
and food fights broke out in the cafeteria.
Determining exactly what happened beyond
that depends upon with whom one speaks.
According to District 205 administrators and
Rockford police, the false fire alarms were simply pranks, examples of “kids being kids.” Ditto
for the food fights. Little Bobby and Cindy might
have had a little mashed potatoes and Jell-O in
Index
‘Dr. Goose’ discusses nuisance
geese, other annoying animals
By Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl
128 N. Church St.
Rockford, IL 61101
By Brandon Reid
theirhair,butallwaswell.Intheadministration’s
descriptions of the Nov. 18-19 incidents, the
events amounted to little more than a “disruption” caused by a “few” rascally students.
As Rockford Public School District 205 Executive Director of Schools Earl Hernandez
said regarding the Nov. 19 incident, “That’s
what we’re hoping is that we catch the few who
are doing those things and stop it, because the
overwhelming majority of the kids in that
school just want to go to school.”
In other words, District 205 administrators
seem to expect parents and the public to believe
not much has changed in the public school
system since Carrie, Mary and Laura Ingalls
frolicked down a hill on their way to school in
Walnut Grove, Minn., in the 1870s and 1880s
on Little House on the Prairie.
Parents and students, however, paint a different picture of the Nov. 18-19 incidents at
East High School, ones more likely to draw
Continued on page A6 !
President and Vice President
Illinois Renewable Energy Association
The Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle
County recently hosted a meeting at the
new energy-efficient Kickapoo Center near
Oregon, Ill. Dr. Philip Whitford presented
an outstanding program about nuisance
geese and other annoying animals. Whitford,
known as “Dr. Goose” (according to his Wisconsin license plates), is the world’s leading
authority on goose communication.
He claims to now know the right thing to do
since he did everything wrong the first time
around. He tells of having tried to move geese
from Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin to Illinois
by rounding them up with his small plane. By
the time he reached the state line, the flock of
hundreds had dwindled to just a few. Lesson
learned: geese can be led, not pushed.
Whitford not only studies geese, he has
been intimately involved with their lives.
When he was a student, he and his wife
raised a small flock of geese to maturity. The
geese imprinted on the couple as their parents and would not let them out of their
sight. Whitford mused that for weeks he
Continued on page A7 !
Leading the media in Renewable Energy since 2002
Section A: News
! Commentary — A1, A6, A7, A9-A11
! News — A1-A8
! Obituary Notices — A3
! People in Our Times — A3
! Renewable Energy — A1, A7
! Worship Guide — A3
Section B: Vibe Entertainment
! Crossword Puzzle — B7
! TV Listings — B7
! Vibe Calendars — B3-B4, B6-B7
! Vibe News — B1-B8
Section C: Vitality
! Health — C2, D23
! Naturally Rockford — C1-C2
! Outdoors — C1, C3
! Sports — C1, C3, D23
Section D: Home & Garden
! Classifieds — D3-D7
! Home & Garden — D1, D24
! Horoscopes — D23
! Public Notices — D7-D17
! Real Estate — D2
! Real Estate Notices — D17-D22
2
A
The Rock River Times
News
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Comprehensive Community
Solutions receives funding
From press release
government and business to develop and impleComprehensive Community Solutions, ment green-collar training programs and partInc.(CCS) has been awarded a $98,000 grant nerships. The programs and partnerships
from the U.S. Department of Labor to de- will identify and meet workforce training
velop three green job training programs needs, and create career pathways for lowincome residents and other identified populaover the next 12 months.
CCS and seven other Illinois Department tions. These programs will complement CCS’s
of Labor grantees were among 62 grant current YouthBuild training program.
The grant will fund curriculum developrecipients that will use the funds to offer
training opportunities and help individuals ment, staff training and purchase of necesacquire jobs in expanding green industries. sary equipment to implement the training
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis an- programs within the next year. Programs will
nounced nearly $55 million in green jobs grants, include training in green deconstruction, enas authorized by the American Recovery and vironmental-brownfield remediation, and
weatherization and
Reinvestment Act of
energy auditing.
2009. The grants will
Kerry Knodle, exsupport job training Kerry Knodle, executive director
and labor market in- of CCS, said: “We are looking ecutive director of
formation programs forward to moving Rockford and CCS, said: “We are
looking forward to
to help workers,
many in underserved Winnebago County into the new moving Rockford and
communities, find ‘green’ economy, and particularly Winnebago County
jobs in expanding to bring these training programs into the new ‘green’
economy, and pargreen industries and to underserved populations.
ticularly to bring
related occupations.
these training proSolis
said:
“Today’s announcement is part of the grams to underserved populations. We are
administration’s long-term commitment to looking both at training our existing workforce,
fostering both immediate economic growth but also at finding ways to create jobs and spur
and a clean energy future. It’s an invest- economic development in the region.”
CCS is a nonprofit organization in Rockford
ment that will help American workers do
well while doing good. These grants provide that operates workforce development, affordan immediate return, and they are part of a able housing and community development
larger green initiative that will help lead to programs. Its flagship program—YouthBuild
increased job placements and promote eco- Rockford—works with young adults, ages 16
to 28, who have dropped out of high school,
nomic growth.”
As a part of its broader Green Development helping them earn their GEDs while they
and Training Center project under develop- learn job skills and build affordable housing
ment, CCS will work with its partners, local for low-income or homeless families.
City to treat contaminated drinking water
! Continued from page A1
ylene (TCE)—widely considered to be a carcinogen—is in the city’s groundwater and
treated water supplies. However, the TCE
levels detected in test samples are still considered to be within federal and state standards
for drinking water, according to the IEPA.
GAC is said to be an effective method of
removing TCE from drinking water.
The source of the contamination has not
been identified, but the TCE is not believed
to be associated with a June train derailment and ethanol spill.
Meantime, the city’s ongoing $75 million
water system overhaul is expected to be
complete in 2011.
their day. But they did, and that’s living
within our rules, and I guess that’s the way
things happen.”
Robertson has also served on the
SwedishAmerican Health System Board
of Directors.
Committee reports
! Approving the city’s $280 million 20102014 capital plan, which earmarks dollars
for road projects and other infrastructure
improvements. After cuts from the residential streets program, which provides funds to
individual wards for such projects, aldermen
altered the capital plan to infuse a few more
dollars back into neighborhood streets.
Among the changes, $600,000 previously
OSF, RMH to share city training contract allocated for Churchill Park flood control
Aldermen unanimously approved a three- bond payments will instead go toward resiyear contract with OSF Saint Anthony Medi- dential streets. It is hoped the $600,000 bond
cal Center for emergency medical services payment for 2010 could be grant-eligible. If
(EMS) training and licensing of Rockford that doesn’t happen, it’s unclear where the
$600,000 will come from. $125,000 originally
firefighters and paramedics.
Because OSF is eyeing a spot for an EMS slated for the arterial sidewalk program, and
training facility within Spring Creek Devel- $50,000 from city-wide bicycle lane marking
opment Group’s mixed-use project adjacent and signage earmarks, will also be diverted
to an existing fire station on West State to the neighborhood streets fund for 2010.
Street, it was initially suggested OSF should Ald. Linda McNeely (D-13) voted “no.”
! Awarding a $30,009.35 bid to Loves
be awarded the contract without a bidding
process, and that the agreement simply be Park-based William Charles Construction,
rotated from hospital to hospital every few formerly Rockford Blacktop, for work related to the Reed Avenue sanitary sewer.
years, as had been done in the past.
Although not required for services cost- The funding source is Southeast Affordable
ing less than $20,000, the city ultimately Housing Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
decided to request bid proposals so that all District funds.
! Approving a $23,000 settlement in the
three area hospitals would have a fair shot.
Rockford Health Systems partnered with case of Oliver v. See. According to City Legal
Director Patrick Hayes, the
OSF to land the new contract, which costs the city The source of the case alleges Rockford police illegally entered a resinothing, but after another
bid was rejected, competi- contamination has not dence to arrest a subject for
been identified, but the allegedly driving under the
tion was non-existent.
S w e d i s h A m e r i c a n TCE is not believed to influence. Hayes indicated
judge ruled the officer
Health System has served
be associated with a alacked
probable cause to
as the city’s EMS resource
hospital for seven years, June train derailment arrest the subject, and
charges were dismissed.
at a cost of $15,000 for and ethanol spill.
“The criminal court ruling
2009, but the contract expires at the end of the year. The health exposed the city to liability on the false
system was disqualified for allegedly fail- arrest claim,” Hayes explained. “The city
ing to include Equal Employment Oppor- determined settlement at this amount to be
tunity (EEO) records prior to the proposal preferable to the potential of a larger verdict
after a trial, and settled the matter.”
submission deadline.
Resolution
Rockford Health System, which will cover
In a voice vote with some dissent, aldertraining on the west side as its part of the
contract, wasn’t likely to make that mistake men passed a resolution supporting the
again. SwedishAmerican first won the con- federal government’s proposed purchase of
tract in 2003 after Rockford Health System the Thomson Correctional Center. The
prison could be used to house detainees and
failed to submit the same EEO forms.
Ald. Bill Robertson (I-14), who served as terror suspects presently held at
Rockford’s fire chief until retiring last year, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Council support
thanked SwedishAmerican for the level of for the plan was largely based on the thouservice provided for the last seven years. sands of jobs that would be created.
Public comments
Robertson was clearly disappointed the
Retired Rockford police officer and
hospital was out of the running for the
former Winnebago County Board member
contract, however.
“A bit silly,” he said of the bid rejection. Bruce Roberts addressed recent talk of
“Sometimes I think common sense takes offering incentives for officers to live in
high-crime areas.
vacation around here.”
He indicated, however, such a program
Reportedly, after learning the EEO file
had been absent from their proposal, would mean an officer would be perceived
SwedishAmerican attempted to submit the by neighbors to be on-duty 24 hours per day,
forms, but they would not be considered, which could lead to problems.
“You would also have a liability considerbecause the deadline had passed.
“I don’t think we need to ask how many ation if they decided to go home and have
times have they been drug into federal court something to drink,” Roberts noted, “bebecause they didn’t meet some equal oppor- cause if something were to come up in the
tunity employment—that just didn’t hap- neighborhood, that would be an impingepen, and it doesn’t happen with them,” ment into their being able to successfully
Robertson asserted. “I think we all know operate as a police officer.”
Referencing a recent editorial in the daily
that SwedishAmerican is very compliant in
that arena. And from that standpoint, I feel praising Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) for sugbad that they got tossed out without having gesting the idea, Roberts offered, “I have seen
circumstances where ‘innovation and change,’ after a
while, time showed they
weren’t really good ideas.”
Just outside 7326 CHERRYVALE MALL DR.
of Cherryvale
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS 61112
Roberts also asked the
Mall
(815) 332-9265 • TUES–SAT 10am–5pm
community to remember its
www.paintedponybooks.com
police officers and their famiBring in your paperbacks and get
lies this Thanksgiving.
© TRRT
2009
Painted Pony Books
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Absences
Ald. John Beck (R-12) was
absent. Ald. Nancy Johnson
(D-8) presided while Mayor
Morrissey was returning
from an economic development forum in Milan, Italy.
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News
The Rock River Times
People In Our Times
This week in The Times: Gilbert Elizondo
Vitals: Gilbert Elizondo, 48, is originally from Los Angeles. He has spent the previous
45 years of his life as a resident of Rockford. Elizondo was formerly a flooring systems
installer before going on permanent disablity with a back injury.
1. If you could choose any elected official - local, state or national - to speak with
one-on-one, who would it be, and what would you say? I’d speak with Illinois Gov. Pat
Quinn (D). I’d like to ask him if he is going to follow up on the promise made by former
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and extend our free public transportation passes for
another year.
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would
you miss the most? I’d miss the small restaurants, the discounted license plates for cars
and the reasonable cost of living we have here in Rockford.
3. In your opinion, what could be done to improve safety in Rockford schools?
Well, I’m not sure if they’ll ever solve that problem, but you could consider putting
cameras in the classrooms. Also, teachers could report more proactively on safety issues in the classroom.
4. What is your stance on the proposed health care reform bills, to date? They
will eventually get this one right. Little by little, they have worked these bills into a more
workable shape, and eventually I feel like our government will produce a bill that helps
the majority of our country. But, there will always be those who don’t support it.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participants Michelle Palmer
and Roxanne Lawrence: Do you feel marijuana should be legalized, and why? I
think it should be legalized, but it should be regulated very closely. I think if it were to be
legalized, they should limit how much a person could purchase. Plus, if it were legalized
and regulated, its sale could be taxed and that would put a bunch of money back into the
government’s wallet.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River
Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
Community news and notes
Michael Carroll of Machesney Park was recently elected activities coordinator for
the College of Business Executive Council (COBEC) at Illinois State University. Carroll is a
senior at Illinois State University majoring in business administration, and is also a Harlem
High School graduate. The COBEC serves as the student advisory council to the College
of Business Dean’s Office. The officers of the COBEC are elected each spring by interested
students who are members of a College of Business student organization. ... Tyler Nelson
of Rockford was promoted to senior engineer at Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. (CMT)
after his registration as a professional engineer in Illinois. Nelson is a civil engineer assigned to CMT’s Rockford Aviation Group. He is working on engineering design and
construction inspection services for taxiway and runway rehabilitation projects at the
Chicago Rockford International Airport. ... Karen Sikorski, clinical nurse specialist in pain
management at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, received the American Society of
Pain Management Nursing’s (ASPNM) 2009 Distinguished Service Award. She was nominated by the Northern Illinois Regional Pain Resource Nurse Consortium and received the
award during the ASPNM’s national conference in September in New Orleans. Sikorski
was selected based on numerous local, state and national accomplishments in pain management and palliative care, professional activities, integrity, nursing leadership, contributions to nursing, and her positive attitude about the nursing profession.
Send your “Community news and notes” to The Rock River Times, ATTN: People In
Our Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101; e-mail [email protected];
call (815) 964-9767; or fax (815) 964-9825.
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
ACCURACY
Melvyn Yurgil, 77, Rockford, 11/13/09
Gloria Cole, 75, Rockford, 11/13/09
Danny Carter, 56, Rockford, 11/13/09
James Broullard, 56, Rockford, 11/13/09
Linda Lipovsky, 68, Rockford, 11/13/09
Elizabeth McDonald, 87, Rockford, 11/13/09
Ruth Ashpole, 89, Rockford, 11/13/09
Carroll Magin, 90, Rockford, 11/13/09
Marie Jones, 87, Rockford, 11/14/09
Jeanette Gibson, 79, Rockford, 11/14/09
Wanda Johnson, 78, Rockford, 11/14/09
Faye Bergstadt, 82, Rockford, 11/14/09
Janette Maggio, 42, Rockford, 11/15/09
Adrian Harsen, 89, Rockford, 11/15/09
James Stewart, 53, Rockford, 11/15/09
Clyde Fountain, 60, Rockford, 11/15/09
Jack Zaiss, 37, Rockford, 11/15/09
Rhonda Kluck, 44, Rockford, 11/15/09
Betty Moore, 87, Rockford, 11/15/09
George Fair, 89, Rockford, 11/15/09
3
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The Rock River Times strives for accuracy. If you spot
any inaccuracies in any of our stories, please notify our
editors at (815) 964-9767 as soon as possible.
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News due Thursday by 4 p.m.
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Copyright 2009
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The Rock River Times, Inc.
128 North Church Street, Rockford, IL 61101
Editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Schier
Assistant Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brandon Reid
Copy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Johnson
Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stuart R. Wahlin
Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jim Hagerty
Vibe Calendar Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe McGehee
Sports Columnist . . . . . . . . . . . . . Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Matt Nestor
Citizens Alert!
Rockford’s City Council voted to allow an
asphalt plant to be built in a quarry on
Charles Street inside the city limits. This
is outrageous!
© TRRT
2009
Obituary Notices
A
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Helberg
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jordan Hall
Production Assistant/Webmaster . . Daniel Jenkins
Typesetter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jon Bystrom
Accounting Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . Marilyn Lamar
Classifieds Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie Castillo
Circulation Manager . . . . . . . . Brian C. Livingston
Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeanne Schaeffer
Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jody Marshall
Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kristina Leftwich
FOR ADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION:
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E-mail: [email protected]
You Can Help
It makes no sense to put an air-polluting,
water-contaminating, traffic-impeding
asphalt plant in the middle of existing
neighborhoods of family homes. A lawsuit
has been filed against the City of Rockford
to stop this injustice. Donations are
needed to help fund the cost of this lawsuit.
Please send your donations, if
you agree with this injustice, to:
NETS
P.O. Box 5124 • Rockford, IL 61125
For information:
• Clare Merwin—815-398-1653
• Alec Kaplanes—815-399-1027
www.stopasphalt.org
Marvin Wegner, 88, Rockford, 11/16/09
Dennis Johnson, 65, Rockford, 11/16/09
Hardy Henna, 77, Rockford, 11/16/09
Sarah Kieffer, 87, Rockford, 11/16/09
Marion Clikeman, 87, Rockford, 11/16/09
Norman Swenson, 73, Rockford, 11/16/09
Shirley Oberg, 85, Rockford, 11/16/09
Dawn Nelson, 60, Rockford, 11/16/09
Robert Carlile, 85, Rockford, 11/16/09
Robert Green, 75, Rockford, 11/17/09
Earl Tracey, 59, Rockford, 11/17/09
Bedzet Ljumanovski, 86, Rockford, 11/17/09
Mildred Davis, 77, Rockford, 11/17/09
Max Morley, 82, Rockford, 11/17/09
Dale Tuula, 76, Rockford, 11/17/09
Bernice Kamba, 96, Rockford, 11/18/09
Michael Calvert, 45, Rockford, 11/18/09
Jan Kilroy, 55, Rockford, 11/19/09
John Espy, 63, Rockford, 11/19/09
Joe Engebreton, 62, Rockford, 11/19/09
Place your ad in The Rock River Times! CALL TODAY! 815.964.9767
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The Rock River Times
News
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Christmas G.R.I.P.P. prayer event set for Dec. 3
By Susan Johnson
Copy Editor
Greater Rockford In Prayer and Praise
(G.R.I.P.P.), an interdenominational organization of local Christian churches, will hold a
“City-wide Call to Worship and Intercession”
at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, at 611 N. Court
St., Rockford.
G.R.I.P.P. President the Rev. Robert Griffin explained that the organization, founded
in 1997, was launched to bring together
various churches in Rockford to pray for
revival and intercede for the transformation of the city. Various guest clergy and
volunteers will participate in the prayer
meeting. Some Christmas refreshments
will be provided, and carol singing will be
included in the activities.
The Rock River Times inquired about topics
the prayer meeting wants to address. The Rev.
Photo courtesy of www.prayers4ridgewood.com
Griffin replied, “The whole passion behind our include addressing crime, homicides, our school
work is that the church (including Protestant district that needs a lot of help with truancy
and Catholic) has renewal. Nationally, [the and expulsions, school dropouts. We also pray
church] has 80 percent flatlined and declined, for jobs in the region and the marketplace.
according to George Barna [polling organiza- We are concerned that this [Rockford] be a
tion]. When you consider
great place.”
the age of the church, it is
The event is free and
on the decline, so we are “The whole passion behind open to the public. These
praying that the church our work is that the church gatherings, normally
will be renewed and (including Protestant and held on the first Thursstrengthened. I did my Catholic) has renewal.
day of each month, are
doctorate on this subject,
built upon the foundaand with every major retion of prayer efforts in
newal in history, there is radical social trans- the area over 12 years, sponsored by Rockford
formation that follows. We are praying for the Renewal Ministries and a denominationallychurch to be renewed, and we’re praying for the diverse team of Christian clergy. For more
transformation of this region. Topics would information, call (815) 962-6246.
Family-owned business going strong!
From press release
A part of Rockton since 1981, The Gem
Shop & Diamond Source on Main Street has
been growing steadily for 28 years. The
Gem Shop has served generations of families who continue to return for full-service
jewelry repairs, one-of-a-kind custom design, and unique in-store merchandise including crystals, gems, stones and fossils.
While some stores hold remount events
where stock mountings are on hand to reset
the customer’s diamond, The Gem Shop
encourages fully interactive custom design.
Customers are welcome to come in with a
sketch, idea, or inspiration to work with co-
owner Kevin Mueller to complete a fully
detailed drawing. A wax pattern of the
design is carefully hand-crafted to further
define the piece.
“At that point,” Kevin says, “we call the
customer in to review the design and adjust
the pattern to suit each person’s unique
sense of style.” Once approved, the wax
pattern is transformed into a piece of fine
jewelry. A plaster cast is made from the
pattern and is placed in a kiln where the
wax pattern is burned out.
“This step is what puts the ‘lost’ in ‘lost
wax casting,’” Kevin explains. Molten gold
or silver is poured into the cavity, taking the
shape of the original design.
When cool, the mold is broken to reveal
the piece within. It is then finished and
polished to produce a truly unique creation.
As a final step, diamonds or gemstones may
be set, and it is ready to wear. The relationship between customer and artist creates a
cherished piece of jewelry, “destined to give
a lifetime of pleasure. It allows us to stand
apart from the crowd,” Kevin proudly states.
The Gem Shop has a number of original
designs on display to show what is possible
in creating beautiful custom jewelry.
Family owners Bruce, Shirley and Kevin,
along with their talented staff, truly appre-
© TRRT
2009
Photo courtesy of http://files.turbosquid.com
The Gem Shop encourages fully interactive
custom design.
ciate and enjoy serving their customers’
unique and personal needs.
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The Rock River Times
News
Holiday Shoppe returns
in tough economy
! Best Western Clock Tower
Resort plays major role in event
MotherHouse with a $5,000 donation if
Children’s Home + Aid can raise an additional $10,000 for the Crisis Nursery. The
revenue raised from the Children’s Holiday
From press release
The Children’s Holiday Shoppe returns to Shoppe will be applied toward the match.
Children’s Home + Aid is a leading child and
support MotherHouse Crisis Nursery of
Children’s Home + Aid after the State of Illinois’ family service agency in Illinois. Each year, it
doomsday budget was passed. Thanks to the protects, educates and counsels more than
Best Western Clock Tower Resort, 7801 E. State 40,000 children, youth and families to improve
St., and a group of dedicated volunteers, the their lives. Since 1883, Children’s Home + Aid
event, which had been canceled, is now back has been a compassionate advocate helping to
with many new items and gift ideas for children shape public policy in child welfare, early childtopurchasefortheirparents,siblingsandfriends. hood and juvenile justice. Children’s Home +
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 28 and running ev- Aid is recognized for establishing best practices
ery weekend from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through and achieving outstanding results through its
Dec. 20, the Holiday Shoppe will give children an programs and services that focus on child
opportunity to shop for Christmas without their abuse prevention, healthy child development
and strengthening families.
parents being present.
With headquarters in Rockford, the NorthParents prepare the shopping lists and give
the children a dollar amount to spend. Items ern Region of Children’s Home + Aid is
are affordably priced from $1 to $5. Volun- devoted to serving the area’s most chalteers escort the children and help them pick lenged communities. The Northern Region
items for individuals on the children’s lists to of Children’s Home + Aid provides services
ensure they stay within budget. The chil- in many of the counties in northern Illinois,
dren wrap, tag and pay for their gifts. The including DeKalb. Services encompass the
needs of the enchildren then retire family, and
turn to their parinclude adoption
entswithbundles
preservation,
of surprises.
child and family
“This event
counseling,
wouldnothappen
MotherHouse
were it not for
Crisis Nursery,
Clock Tower
Pregnancy and
Resort’sparticipaEarly Parent
tion and willingCounseling,
ness to provide
Healthy Fami‘free’ store space
lies Illinois, fosfor us,” said Robin
ter care, and
Carlson-Gothe,
Photo courtesy of http://yourkidmatters.com
family support
MotherHouse
Parents prepare the shopping lists and give the children a
services.
CrisisNurserysudollar amount to spend. Items are affordably priced from
Children’s
pervisor. She con$1 to $5.
Home + Aid’s
tinued,“Thisisthe
perfect location for this type of event, and the staff comprehensive, quality programs help children and families overcome the obstacles
at Clock Tower are so easy to work with.”
The William Miller Trust of AMCORE of poverty, abuse and neglect to achieve
Bank is also stepping up to help self-sufficiency.
For more information about Children’s Home
MotherHouse, and has offered a 1:2 challenge grant. The Trust will support + Aid, visit www.childrenshomeandaid.org.
5
Comings and goings on county board
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
By Stuart R. Wahlin
A
appellate ruling in September, thereby upholding Judge Ronald Pirrello’s (D) earlier
Staff Writer
Winnebago County Board member Randy decision that Loves Park Democrat Carolyn
Olson (R-1) announced he’ll be stepping Gardner should have been a candidate in a
down after accepting a chief helicopter pilot special election last November—an elecjob offer from the non-profit Law Enforce- tion for which Biondo did not file as a
candidate, because he said he believed he
ment Aviation Coalition (LEAC).
Olson has served as chief pilot for five years in was appointed to serve the entire unexa volunteer capacity, but because of increased pired term of the late Mary Ann Aiello.
State election statdemand from participating law enforce- When voting on the issue, most ute specifies, however, that if a vacancy
ment agencies for air
support, LEAC deter- board members agreed it was a occurs more than 28
mined a full-time paid foregone conclusion Olson would monthsbeforetheend
position was needed.
be offered the job, leaving some of a term, a special
election must be held
In October, the
board agreed to let to question whether such a vote to serve the remaining two years.
LEAC use half of was ethical.
The appellate rulthe
county’s
$90,000 support for the program in 2010, ing in Biondo’s favor the day before the Noby way of federal grant dollars, toward the vember elections meant no special election
would be held, on the basis that Biondo had
$102,500 position.
When voting on the issue, most board mem- been appointed within the 28-month period.
Despite the last-minute ruling, Gardner’s
bers agreed it was a foregone conclusion Olson
would be offered the job, leaving some to ques- name still appeared unopposed on some
ballots, however, and Democratic attorneys
tion whether such a vote was ethical.
Until the chief pilot position became a are seeking to have those votes certified, in
paid one, Olson was rumored to be the which case Biondo would have to yield the
strongest Republican contender to run for seat to Gardner.
Judge Pirrello will preside in a hearing on
sheriff, for which he has run before. But
when the deadline came, Olson only filed for the matter scheduled for Nov. 25. Regardless of the outcome, Biondo and Gardner
re-election to his board seat.
Because Olson will be receiving pay- will face off again for the seat in the Novemchecks and benefits from the county, how- ber 2010 general election.
In other county races, an election comever, his chief pilot and county board posimission determined Sheriff Richard Meyers
tions will be incompatible.
With the sense Olson’s tenure on the board (D) would remain on the primary ballot,
would soon come to an end, his board seat has despite an objection by another candidate
become the most contested in the county for for sheriff, Cherry Valley Township Super2010. Democrats Wendy Schneider and David visor Randy Sturm (R).
Prior to the decision, Sturm said he exHassell are hoping for their party’s nomination, but an objection could strike Hassell pected either he or Meyers would appeal the
from the primary ballot. A ruling in the decision in the Circuit Court, depending on
who’d been ruled against. Meantime, Sturm
matter is expected Nov. 30.
With Olson now out of the February pri- is competing with Aaron Booker in the Remary race, fellow Republicans Robb Firch, publican primary race for sheriff.
The commission upheld an objection to
Richard Sneath and Lynne Strathman will
the candidacy petition filed by Democrat
compete for the nod.
As noted in the Nov. 18-24, 2009, online Nancy Edwardsen for not having enough
edition, the term of another Republican board eligible signatures. As a result, fellow Demomember may also be coming to an early end. crat Chuck Knight will run unopposed in
It’s been a waiting game for Ted Biondo (R-9) the District 8 primary. He’ll face Republisince the Illinois Supreme Court overturned an can Jenn Tate in the general election.
© TRRT
2009
6
A
The District 205...
! Continued from page A1
parallels to scenes from the 1989 movie Lean
on Me, starring Morgan Freeman as Eastside
High School (Paterson, N.J.) Principal Joe
Clark. In that movie, based on a true story,
Eastside is overcome by gang violence, drug
use and urban despair.
Students’, parents’ account
of Nov. 18 incident
Following the Nov. 18 incident at East High
School, one parent of an East High student
reported seeing approximately five Rockford
police squad cars outside the school and about
six students running out the back door of the
building. The parent described it was very loud
inside, and said there was fighting in the stairwells and hallways, and food was being thrown
around, along with plates, chairs and tables.
An East High School student said there
was a fire alarm earlier in the day Nov. 18,
then another leading into the lunch hour.
The student said a food fight broke out in the
cafeteria, and these fights have become a
regular occurrence at the school.
According to the student, the Wednesday,
Nov. 18, incident included fighting, hitting,
screaming, throwing of trash cans, breaking of
tables, and students punching other students
in the face. The student said the whole school
was practically involved in the incident, and
students were coming out of classrooms. The
student said approximately 60 percent of those
involved in the incident were directly involved
in violence, while the rest of the activity included students running and general chaos.
The student also said the incident was likely
gang-related, and there would likely be further
retaliation and violence in the days ahead.
Additionally, the student estimated approximately 30 percent of the school is involved in
gangs. The student said Aryan Brotherhood,
Latin Kings and the Gangster Disciples are
present in the school. The student added regularly seeing other students with knives in the
school, particularly in the morning.
Reports from the scene,
District 205’s misinformation
The Rock River Times
Commentary
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
received reports Nov. 18 of what was described by parents and students as “rioting”
at East High School, Staff Writer Joe
McGehee and Photographer Daniel Jenkins
went to the school. They were greeted by a
security guard, Juan Reyes, who denied anything happened at the school Nov. 18. Reyes
said maybe the reports TRRT was getting
from parents and students were in regard to
Eastern Illinois University, not East High
School. McGehee and Jenkins were also informed they would need to wait until 3:30
p.m., Nov. 18, to have anything confirmed
because administrators were in a meeting.
However, a student at the scene said there
was a lot of fighting Nov. 18, and also reported
seeing a trash can on fire.
While on the scene, McGehee and Jenkins
reported seeing what appeared to be two
students taken away by police in handcuffs.
Jenkins took a photo of the incident (see
A1). They also reported seeing two Rockford
police squad cars and a police van. Two
Rockford police officers were seen in a hallway inside the school.
Upon his return to the newspaper office
Nov. 18, McGehee immediately began calling District 205 administration and Rockford police in attempts to confirm whether
any arrests had been made Nov. 18. No
phone messages were returned.
McGehee went to the District 205 Administration Building at the end of the day Nov.
18, and, after waiting 40 minutes, met with
Mark Bonne, chief communications officer
for District 205.
Bonne said Nov. 18 no students were escorted out of the building or arrested. He also
denied any allegations of mass violence. He
said the incident report stated there was a fire
alarm, everyone was evacuated, and then another fire alarm was pulled after everyone
returned to the building. He said any allegations of violence or students being escorted
from the building were unfounded. “We both
know how the rumor mill works,” Bonne said.
“All these kids have cell phones.”
Whether knowingly or unknowingly,
Bonne’s comments would later prove to
be misinformation.
Rockford Police Sgt. Mark Spellman
confirmed Nov. 19 the arrest of a single
male student for aggravated battery for
allegedly striking an assistant principal
at East High School Nov. 18. Hernandez
said Nov. 19 the incident was not related
to the Nov. 18 fire alarms.
Later in the day Nov. 19, TRRT learned from
Rockford Police Deputy Chief Theotis Glover
that there was a second arrest, for a weapons
charge, at East High School Nov. 18. Glover
would not confirm what the weapon was, but
said it was not a gun. “It was an object a student
shouldn’t have at school,” Glover said.
Overall, District 205 administrators and
Rockford police denied there was any rioting or violence at the school Nov. 18. These
denials came despite the fact that one student was arrested for allegedly striking an
assistant principal and, somehow in all the
calmness described by administrators, a
table in the cafeteria was broken.
Meantime, the East High School student
who predicted the “calmness” would not end
Wednesday, Nov. 18, would prove to be correct.
know that, that’s why it’s going to keep
happening until something serious happens.
... Sorry I felt like sharing this, mainly
because it makes me feel sick to my stomach
that they aren’t doing anything about it!”
TRRT made 23 phone calls to District 205
and Rockford police Nov. 20 and left 13 messages in attempts to gather information about
whether any incidents occurred Nov. 20.
Hernandez returned a phone call late in the
day Friday, Nov. 20, but reporters were unavailable at the time, and further attempts to
reach Hernandez were unsuccessful. All other
messages were not returned.
Hernandez said there was an extra security
presence at the school Nov. 19. He said the
number of administrators, private security
guards and police officers were all increased.
This begs the question, if there were no violence
or rioting, why the need to spend taxpayer
money to provide extra security? Simply to try
to catch kids pulling false fire alarms, as District 205 administrators claim?
Rockford police and fire units were called to
East High School for the second consecutive
day Thursday, Nov. 19, after students set off a
series of false fire alarms.
Hernandez said the first alarm was activated around 12:50 p.m., the second one
was set off about 30 minutes later, and a
third was activated around 2:45 p.m. The
East High School student, cited previously
in this article, described the exact same
timeline as Hernandez Nov. 19.
Hernandez said two students were arrested Nov. 19, one for activating the false
fire alarm and another for allegedly throwing “a large waste container in a reckless
manner” in the cafeteria.
Hernandez, who was on the scene Nov. 19,
said there were no reports of violence (apparently throwing “a large waste container in a
reckless manner” is not violent). Students,
however, again painted a different picture.
One East High School student reported there
was a lot of fighting again during the first of the
false fire alarms Nov. 19. “Just a lot of fighting;
no guns or knives,” the student said. “From
what I could see, there was only about 2 percent
of the school NOT running towards the fight.
“The incident yesterday (Nov. 18) that happened was gang-related,” the student added. “I
knew yesterday that this was going to happen
again today (Nov. 19), and I’m sure it’s going to
happen again tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 20) if
they don’t have any security there.”
Another East High School student reported
on TRRT’s Web site through comments in
reply to an article about the Nov. 18-19 incidents: “Wow, why does the school have to try so
hard to cover up something so obvious. We
have had MANY riots, and a bunch of fights.
On the first day it happened (11/18), they
pulled the alarm twice after the fire drill,
because they wanted to fight! And they did. Ask
anyone, including the teachers. They had to
call the police because they couldn’t handle it
on their own because of the HUGE riot. ...
“Today [Nov. 19], there were food fights,
they pulled the alarm twice again, and there
was an even bigger riot in the front of the
school,” the student continued. “I had to go
home early because it was getting too scary,
and it was OK that I went home because the
officers said we could (it was THAT bad). ... I
know for a fact a bunch of people had knives
for ‘the fights,’ someone got sent home on the
first day of all this chaos for that reason.
“When my mother called the school to see
what was going on, they lied and said that
the fire drills were scheduled, and that
everything was under control,” the student
added. “Wow I don’t feel safe at that school
at all, and the people in charge of the school
lying isn’t helping much, either. The new
superintendent made it so hard to discipline
these kids causing these problems, and they
Nov. 23, five days after the first incident at
East High School, District 205 administrators sent a copy of two letters, written by
District 205 Superintendent LaVonne M.
Sheffield, to the media. One letter was addressed to parents of students at East and
the other was addressed to Molly Phalen,
Rockford Education Association, IEA-NEA.
In the letter to East parents, Sheffield
again denied there was any violence or
gang-related activity at East Nov. 18-19,
and assured parents the school provided a
safe learning environment.
In the letter to Phalen, Sheffield accused
Phalen of drawing “a false connection between
minor pranks at East High School and our
discipline code.” She also wrote: “To issue statements in the media that suggest otherwise is
doing more harm than good. If you or your
members have any information to support
such an implication, please send the facts to my
office at your earliest convenience.”
Sheffield also said in the letter to Phalen:
“I’m sure that you do not want the spreading of
half-truths and innuendo to become the norm
for the most important group of employees in
our education system. Adults should not be
perpetuating unfounded rumors.”
The letters by Sheffield were sent to the
media by Bonne at 4:58 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23,
and included the following line: “Earl
Hernandez and I will be available to offer
comments between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. this
evening in Administration Building.” If the
administration were really interested in being
upfront and honest with the media, why send a
release at 5 p.m., imploring them to be somewhere in 30 minutes if they would like answers
to their questions? If the administration were
really concerned with being honest and putting
an end to “unfounded rumors,” then why all the
unanswered phone calls and messages?
Nov. 19 incident
Letters from Superintendent Sheffield,
hastily-called news conference
© TRRT
2009
After The Rock River Times (TRRT) first
Gangs in the schools, similarity to 2007
incident
An East High School student, cited earlier in this article, said of the Nov. 18-19
incidents: “The gangs had a meeting, and
it’s all been planned out. They’re using the
fire alarms as a way to get out, and they’re
having distractions on either the front or
the back of the school. So they’re using
distractions to start fights in other places.”
Although District 205 administrators said
the incidents at East were not gang-related,
Glover confirmed the presence of gangs in
Rockford schools. He said he doesn’t understand why students don’t come forward
with their fears.
The student added that a number of students left school after the incident Nov. 19,
and said many students have expressed fear
and believe it is all a disruption, “because
nobody wants to deal with that. They had the
Continued on page A11 !
Vibe
e
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t
e
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t
a
i
Hanging Out... pg. B2
The Stone
Eagle Bar
preps for
opening
By Mike Leifheit
n
m
e
n
B
LO U T
P USL
ECTION
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
t
" Opening reception set for 5:309 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27
From press release
Celebrated Rockford artist Betsy
Youngquist, who creates colorful and compelling beaded works, will be featured in a
Handel’s
Messiah
at Trinity
Lutheran
By Anne E. O’Keefe
Tube Talk pg. B5
Crossword
Vibe News
TV Listings
B7
B1-B8
B7
Nutcracker Ballet
takes Coronado
stage Nov. 28
From press release
Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) and
the Rockford Dance Company are once again
collaborating to present Tchaikovsky’s The
Nutcracker Ballet at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.,
Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
Live music from the RSO, vibrant sets
and dazzling costumes make this the premier production in northern Illinois and a
wonderful way to celebrate the start of the
holiday season.
This year’s performance features professional lead dancers including Rockford native April Daly and her partner Mauro
Villanueva of the Joffrey Ballet; returning
guest Yumelia Garcia, now also with the
Joffrey Ballet; and new this year, Garcia’s
partner Miguel Blanco, of Ballet National de
Cuba. The year’s performance also features
Rockford community arts advocate and
dancer Shelton Kay as Herr Drosselmeyer.
Tickets for the performances are available on the Web at rockfordsymphony.com
or by calling the RSO box office at (815) 9650049. Tickets for this year’s performance
are $18-$49.
Rockford Park
District hosts holiday
tree lighting event
From press release
solo exhibition in the Kortman Gallery for Handmade Dolls from Lark Books, Bead
this holiday season. The show, titled “Fable: and Button magazine, and in 2005 her
Explorations of the Fantastic,” opens Fri- beaded rabbit “Masquerade” was featured
on the cover of American Style magazine.
day, Nov. 27.
The artist’s extravagantly-adorned cre- Betsy’s work has been on display at the
ations, part human and part animal, ex- Smithsonian Craft Show, and the Naplore a magical connection with nature tional Museum of Women in the Arts in
Washington, D.C.
through personalized mythology.
The opening reception for Betsy
“Betsy’s works not only have spectacular
colors and intricate patterns, but her anthro- Youngquist’s “Fable: Explorations of the
pomorphic creatures are truly a captivating Fantastic,” will be from 5:30-9 p.m., Frivisual journey into the fantastic,” says day, Nov. 27, in the Kortman Gallery, upKortman gallerist Doc Slafkosky. “It is fun stairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design,
and irresistible art that works so well with 107 N. Main St., downtown Rockford. Admission is free and open to the public. For
the holiday season...perfect for all ages.”
Youngquist has been exhibiting her more information, call (815) 968-0123 or
beaded mosaic sculptures at exhibitions visit www.jrkortman.com.
across the United States for
more than a decade, and
most recently featured in
the VIDA Museum in
Borgholm, Sweden, with six
other Rockford artists, and
the SOFA show at Navy Pier
in Chicago.
Youngquist’s work has
shown up in a variety of
Cherry Bowl • 7171 Cherryvale Blvd.
publications, including the
Your 1
cover of The Best in ConShop 24 vendors
-st
temporary Beadwork, proholida op
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Pampered Chef, Lia Sofia & Longaberger shopp
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Cultural Arts Center, 500
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815.977.1629 for more info
Beaded Objects and 500
© TRRT
2009
By Paula Hendrickson
Gather family and friends for the sights,
sounds and fun of the holiday season to
enjoy the free annual Holiday Tree Lighting
hosted by Rockford Park District, from 4-6
p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29, at Sinnissippi Park,
1401 N. Second St., Rockford. Because of
the construction of the Nicholas Conservatory, the location was moved across the
street for this year’s event.
Festivities begin at 4 p.m., with free kids’
Continued on page B2 !
1
Betsy Youngquist exhibits ‘Fantastic’
works in the Kortman Gallery
Arts Council News pg. B3
USA’s
Monk
says
goodbye
B
Image provided
“Woody” by Betsy Youngquist
It’s a Wonderful
Life at Pec
Playhouse
Theater Review
By Edith McCauley
Theater Critic
Diane Grosvenor-Johnson, long-time
member of the Pec Playhouse Company in
Pecatonica, Ill., directs the current production with the expertise of one with
many years of experience. The well-chosen cast performs well, and the pacing of
the production is excellent. In her notes,
she credits those who give technical assistance so vital to a good show. She especially acknowledges the work of Stage
Manager Laura Wiegert.
Community theater literally involves
the whole community. Many of the actors
grew up and performed for the first time
in this venue. As adults, some are still
here, and others have gone on to pursue
careers elsewhere.
The familiar story of George Bailey—his
friends, family and the difficulties involved
during the Depression—has become part of
our holidays for more than 50 years. The
dialogue is so predictable, we equate it with
’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Having
recently seen the musical version of A WonContinued on page B2 !
Great Furniture!
Great Prices!
Great Value!
Hours ! Fri. 12p–5p ! Sat. 10a–3p
MidCentury Modern and Retro
Furniture and Home Decor,
Vintage Fashion and Jewelry
From Rockford–take 11th St. (Hwy
2018 N. IL Rt. 251
251) thru New Milford. We are 10
miles south of New Milford
Kings, IL 61068
From I-39–Take exit 104–go 2 miles
815.988.9092
west on 64, then 3 miles north on 251
2
B
Vibe
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Old hats, stone eagles
and copper pots—part two
the east side have some first-rate hometown
competition. My only regret is that we
couldn’t persuade him to come downtown.)
Back inside, there are stone eagles everyBy Mike Leifheit
where you look. One dominates the entrance way. Immediately to the right is the
Columnist
As I arrive at The Stone Eagle Bar, the oyster bar, reminiscent of the one at Shaw’s
construction area is blocked off by a chain-link Crabhouse in downtown Chicago. Behind
fence, and I have to drive around to the west the oyster bar is a real wood-fired stone
side to enter. There is a new gazebo on the pizza oven. I ask Jim, and he says this is a
west side of the buildtwo-person station,
someone shucking
ing. Two antique copper cupolas adorn Another unique feature is the drive- oysters and a barwhat used to be up window. I questioned this, as I tender who will also
simple sloping roofs couldn’t see why he would want to cook pizzas.
atop the building.
Across the way,
They fit in with the mess with it, and he said he had there is going to be
dimensions of the never had pizza before, and he another bar, this one
former Cheddar’s, wanted to see what it would do.
with a beautiful anand change the look
tique back bar.
Jimmy is famous for
of the building dramatically. The biggest change, however, is a this. Anyone who has been to any of his
stone archway in front of the entrance with other places knows what I am talking about.
two huge stone eagles at its peak. It looks like He said he had one that would fit perfectly
something off the Reichstag. Two more gigan- into the space. The main dining area is
tic eagles are going to flank it. They sit in the along the east side of the building, where it
parking lot, quietly awaiting their new perches, was when it was Cheddar’s, but Jimmy has
which the stone masons are busily erecting.
cut the overall number of seats in the buildInside, I discover Philippe hard at work. ing from 290 to 240 to provide more comfort
He takes a few minutes to show me around, in dining. He tells me he will have 100 menu
before hooking me up with Jimmy, who items ranging from $6.95 to $12.95.
then gives me the grand tour. When we go
Down the center/middle of the building
back out front to look at the arch, I tell there are four separate private dining rooms
Jimmy how much I admire him for tackling that can be used individually or together.
this project. (I do, it’s high time the chains on Another unique feature is the drive-up win-
Hanging Out in Rockford
The Rock River Times
dow. I questioned this, as I couldn’t see why
he would want to mess with it, and he said he
had never had pizza before, and he wanted to
see what it would do. He also said trends in
the business were leading in that direction.
I don’t want to keep Philippe and Jim
from their work, so I am trying to get out of
the way, but they get me to follow them back
into the bar, where Jim is unpacking some
antique pots and pans. They are solid copper, with a lining I guess to be pewter. Jim
says he bought them from Susie Kaufman. I
try to tell them the story about Susie, but it
gets side-tracked. Jim tells me he is going to
have an opening by special invitation, and
that I will be invited and that Susie Kaufman
will get an invitation also. I say I will bring
Susie as my date.
On the way back, on the way to have some
lunch at the Café Greco, I call Susie on the
cell phone to ask her if she will be my date to
Jim’s special opening. She says she will. I
tell her about the copper pots, and she says
she sold some copper pots to Jim. I say,
“Were they lined with pewter?” And she
says they were. Susie says I should drop by
beforehand and have a glass of wine. I
promise I will. I ask her if she has talked to
Doug Busch, and say that if she does, to
remember me to him. I sit there in the
gravel parking lot talking to Susie on the
cell phone, and then I say I have an appointment for lunch and that I have to go in.
Before I get off the phone, she tells me—
with a voice that indicates a twinkle in her
eye—that she has a hat for me to fix.
Mike Leifheit’s “Hanging Out In Rockford” reviews locally-owned restaurants,
businesses and Rockford life. Leifheit is
owner of the Irish Rose restaurant in the
downtown River District.
March 1, 2010, deadline for Jane’s
Stories Press Foundation Poetry Award
© TRRT
2009
Literary Hook
“Beyond Borders.” The Foundation has a
special interest in work by and about women,
and is seeking writing that addresses resolving conflicts and boundary issues.
A first prize of $100 will be awarded. A
second prize of $50 and two third prizes of
$25 will also be awarded. All winning poems
will be featured on Jane’s Web site,
www.janestories.org. Authors also grant
JSPF reprint rights to publish winning entries in its next anthology.
An entry fee of $10 for three poems must
accompany each submission. Include $3 for
each additional submitted beyond the first
three, up to a limit of five poems. Enclose a
self-addressed stamped envelope for notification and a list of the winners or request email notification to a valid e-mail address.
All entries will be recycled rather than returned. Submissions accepted though March
10, 2010.
Enclose a separate sheet, including your
name, address, e-mail address and phone
number and a list of poems submitted. Do
not put your name on the poem itself. The
title of each poem should appear at the top of
the page. Entries without SASEs or valid email addresses will not be considered. Entries after March 1, 2010, will be discarded.
Send all entries and fees to: Contest,
Jane’s Stories Press Foundation, 5500 N 50
W, Fremont, IN 46737.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and
poet who has written several books of poetry
and formerly wrote a column called “The
Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.
Rockford Park District hosts
holiday tree lighting event
It’s a Wonderful Life
at Pec Playhouse
By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Jane’s Stories Press Foundation announces
its 2010 Poetry Contest, “Beyond Borders.”
The 2010 Jane’s Stories Poetry Award is
for previously unpublished poems written
in English by women. Results will be announced in April 2010.
Guidelines are as follow:
The Jane’s Stories Poetry Award will be
awarded to the best poem submitted and
received by March 1, 2010. Previously unpublished poems of any length or style written in English by women are eligible. Entries should speak to the contest theme,
! Continued from page B1
activities and photos with Santa and
friends until 6 p.m., and music by the
Kantorei Singing Boys of Rockford starting at 5 p.m. Santa and friends will light
the holiday tree at 5:30 p.m. Letters for
Santa can be dropped off at the “North
Pole Express” mailbox through Dec. 21
(include a return address for Santa’s reply). Treats and beverages will be available for purchase, with proceeds to benefit
the Friends of Lockwood Park volunteer
efforts. Event parking will be available in
Sinnissippi Park. For more information
about the tree lighting, accessibility for
people with disabilities attending the
event, call (815) 987-8800.
The 21st annual presentation of the Festival of Lights will open at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29. The holiday light displays are
created by local groups and businesses; the
display hours are Thursday through Sunday evenings, Dec. 3-31, 5-10 p.m. Dec. 24,
the festival will be open all night. Admission
is free; donations are appreciated. Vote
online for the best display at
www.mystateline.com. For more information about Festival of Lights, visit
www.rockfordfireandice.com or call Project
First Rate at (815) 965-0768.
! Continued from page B1
derful Life at Fireside, Pec’s efforts fared
well. Joel Ramsey as George and Sarah
Rupnow as his loving wife, Mary, on stage
for much of the evening, deliver their lines
with dramatic effect. Grosvenor-Johnson’s
direction equips the entire cast with the
assurance needed to perform and move well
in a space where imagination is critical to
the storyline.
George Bates makes his stage debut as
the Scrooge-like Henry F. Potter. He keeps
us cheering for George and uncle Billy (Jim
Thompson). Bates even received a few hisses
and boos at the curtain call. He convinces us
of his devious strategies.
With so many scenes set in Bedford Falls,
creating the illusion of a small town is a
challenge. Terry Bouray’s set design involves innumerable changes, and the stage
crew accomplishes these quickly and with
little interruption to the flow of the drama.
Arnie Ames’ lighting enables much of the
movement to take place while lines are
delivered and the play moves forward.
Jerry Vanderheyden is Clarence, George’s
guardian angel. He played the role in the
same play given at Pec several years ago,
and is delighted to reprise the part. As
Violet, Arianne Baer adds a bit of glamour
to Bedford Falls. Her first effort in theater
may be just the beginning; if not a profession, at least “a wonderful life.”
Playing through Dec. 6, It’s a Wonderful Life is a great way to begin the holidays. Pam Barkdoll continues to handle
tickets and publicity. For further information, call her at (815) 239-1210 or tollfree at 877-PEC-PLAY.
Michael Dice announced at intermission
that the current production may enable
the company to pay off their mortgage.
Congratulations to Pec Playhouse and its
many supporters.
Vibe
The Rock River Times
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
B
3
Handel’s Messiah presented by Rockford Choral Union
Arts Council News
By Anne E. O’Keefe
Executive Director,
Rockford Area Arts Council
Sixty-four years is
quite an impressive run
for any production. The
Rockford Choral Union
has been bringing
Handel’s Messiah to our
community since President Harry S.
Truman was in office.
Music
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Vinyl Voodoo – Mary’s Place, 602 N.
Madison St. 10:30 p.m. Free. Every
Wed. Info: 815-962-7944.
1st Entertainment Karaoke – Club
Impulse, 132 W. Grand Ave., Beloit,
Wis. 6p.m.-2 a.m. Every Wed. Info:
608-361-0000.
Rob Tomaro Jazz Trio w/Special Guest
Artist – Café Belwah, Beloit Inn, 500
Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. 6-10 p.m.
Free. Every Wed. Info: 608-363-1110.
KJ Laurie & 5 Star Karaoke – Shooters Bar & Grill East, 7171
CherryVale Blvd., Cherry Valley. 9
p.m. Info: 815-332-5229.
Reggae Night with DJ Tommy Tsunami – Bar 3, 326 E. State St. Info:
815-968-9061.
Open Mic Night – The Hope & Anchor,
5040 N. Second St., Loves Park.
Info: 815-633-2552.
Ernie Hendrickson & Miles Nielsen –
The Sullivan Center, 118 N. Main St.
Info: 815-9380.
Blues Kings – Red Lion Ale House, 501
E. State St. Info: 815-963-0099.
Smokin’ Gunz – The Grove, 100 E. Grove
St., Poplar Grove. Info: 815-765-1002.
FNR – Chubby Rain House of Tunes,
4210 Countryside Estates Drive,
Poplar Grove. Info: 815-765-1884.
Mana Kintorso – Brio, 515 E. State St.
Info: 815-968-9463.
Poorman Fortunes – The Hope & Anchor, 5040 N. Second St., Loves
Park. Info: 815-633-2552.
The Goodyear Pimps – Mary’s Place, 602
N. Madison St. Info: 815-962-7944.
Wykkyd Vykkyr – Rocky’s Bar & Grill,
5314 N. Second St., Loves Park.
Info: 815-298-8638.
The Sensations – Shooter’s Bar & Grill
East, 7171 CherryVale Blvd., Cherry
Valley. Info: 815-332-5229.
ROCKTAGIOUS – Bar 3, 326 E. State
St. Info: 815-968-9061.
Men of Our Times – Firehouse Pub,
10670 Main St. Info: 815-623-8389.
X51– Big Al’s Bar, 610 N. Bell School
Road. Info: 815-398-6411.
The Undecided – FIB’s, 105 W. Main
St., Rockton. Info: 815-624-6018.
Merry Cemetary – Swilligan’s Pub, 200
N. Church St. Info: 815-965-6414.
Whalebone – Big Cities Lounge, 905 E.
State St. Info: 815-965-6026.
Pistol Pete – Grant Park Tavern, 3015
Kishwaukee St. Info: 815-397-9819.
Thursday, Nov. 26
Open Stage – Mary’s Place, 602 N.
Madison St. 9:30 p.m. Free. Every
Thurs. Info: 815-962-7944.
The Monday Morning Dixie Band – FIBS,
105 W. Main St., Rockton. 6-9 p.m.
Every Thurs. Info: 815-624-6018.
Madman John & 1st Entertainment
Services Karaoke Contest – Shooters Bar & Grill, 4007 E. State St.
Info: 815-399-0683.
The theme this year is “a musical piece for
peace.” It has become a Thanksgiving weekend standard with a production including a
full professional orchestra, pipe organ, harpsichord, trumpets, conductor, soloists and
chorale of 125 from Rockford and the area
covering a 60-mile radius. Soloists this year
include Amy Conn, Tracy Watson, William
Watson and Dr. Todd Payne.
Coila Davis, one of the performers, serves
on the board of directors and works on the
publicity. She says the Messiah performances
started here in Rockford in 1945 to raise the
spirits of the community during wartime. As
DJ/Hip-Hop – Chubby Rain House of
Tunes, 4210 Countryside Estates
Drive, Poplar Grove. 8 p.m. Every
Thurs. Info: 815-765-1884.
Karaoke – Krypto Music Lounge,
308 W. State St. Every Thurs.
Info: 815-965-0931.
Harlan Jefferson & The White Chocolates – Rockton Inn, 102 E. Main St.,
Rockton. 7-10 p.m. Free. Every Thurs.
Info: 815-624-8877.
Acoustic Open Stage with Boulas – Cronies Grill, 9032 N. Second St.,
Machesney Park. Every Thurs. Info:
815-282-2262.
KJ Monte & 5 Star Karaoke – JD’s
Sports Bar & Grill, 908 W. Riverside Blvd. 9:30 p.m. Every Thurs.
Info: 815-639-9488.
Karaoke w/Mike – Scoobie’s Redneck
Bar & Grill, 2942 11th St. 9 p.m.
Every Thurs. Info: 815-742-9511.
Sweeney & Culhane – Cliffbreakers
River Resort, 700 W. Riverside Blvd.
Every Thurs. Info: 815-282-3033.
DJ/Karaoke – Whiskey’s Roadhouse,
3207 N. Main St. Info: 815-877-8007.
Latin Night – Bar 3, 326 E. State St.
Every Thurs. Info: 815-968-9061.
Mulford Village Drive. 9 p.m. Free.
Info: 815-381-0073.
DJ – Oscar’s Pub & Grill, 5980 E. State
St. 9 p.m. Free. Info: 815-399-6100.
DJ – Manor Nightclub, 293 Executive
Pkwy. 9 p.m. Free. Info: 815-394-0077.
DJ – Brewsky’s, 4414 Charles St. 9:30
p.m. Free. Info: 815-399-9300.
DJ – Cousin’s Bar & Grill, 510 S.
Perryville Road. 9:30 p.m. Free. Info:
815-316-2660.
DJ – RBI’s, 3870 N. Perryville Road. 9
p.m. Info: 815-877-5592.
DJ – Tad’s, 10 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves
Park. 9 p.m. Info: 815-654-3500.
DJ – The Office Niteclub, 513 E. State
St. 9 p.m. Info: 815-965-0344.
DJ Jonny – Shooter’s Bar & Grill, 4007 E.
State St. 8 p.m. Info: 815-399-0683.
DJ – Casey’s Pub, 77307 N. Alpine Road.
10 p.m. Free. Info: 815-316-2274.
DJ Mark & Lana – FIBS, 105 W.
Main St., Rockton. 9:30 p.m. Free.
Info: 815-624-6018.
DJ – JD’s Sports Bar & Grill, 908 W.
Riverside Blvd. Info: 815-639-9488.
DJ/Karaoke – Whiskey’s Roadhouse,
3207 N. Main St. Info: 815-877-8007.
DJ/Karaoke – Jayne’s Place, 2229
Anderson Drive, Belvidere. Info:
815-544-5153.
DJ Foley – The Breeze Sports Bar &
Grill, 3801 N. Perryville Road. 9:30
p.m. Free. Info: 815-633-4141.
RPM’s DJ Service – Backstop Bar &
Grill, 1830 Union Ave., Belvidere.
8:30 p.m. Free. Info: 815-547-8100.
is the case with oratorios, this piece is divided
into three parts: Christ’s birth, death and
resurrection, using Biblical passages. This
piece is Handel’s personal favorite, and he
suggests it was the product of inspiration: “I
did think I did see all Heaven before me and
the great God himself.”
Begin your holiday season with Handel’s
Messiah at Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N.
First St., at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, and at
3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29. Since the Messiah’s
first performances around Europe, the profits from most of the performances were donated to charity, an effort befitting the true
Seventh St. Info: 815-968-0628.
Frontiers – Shooter’s Bar & Grill, 4007
E. State St. Info: 815-399-0683.
Hard Encore – Whiskey’s Roadhouse,
3207 N. Main St. Info: 815-877-8007.
Men of Our Times – Rascal’s, 5223
Torque Road, Loves Park. Info:
815-636-9207.
Jin & Tonic – Big Al’s Bar, 610 N. Bell
School Road. Info: 815-398-6411.
Meet the Beetles – The Hope & Anchor, 5040 N. Second St., Loves
Park. Info: 815-633-2552.
Matter of Fact – Roadhouse, 807 S. Seventh St., Oregon. Info: 815-732-2300.
Val Eddy, Maxine Holler and Bob DeVita
– The Gun Club, 1122 E. Colley Road,
Beloit, Wis. 7 p.m. Info: 608-362-9900.
Open Stage Night – Northwoods Bar
& Grill, 200 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves
Park. Info: 815-636-8560.
DJ – Swilligan’s Pub, 200 N. Church St.
Info: 815-965-6414.
DJ – Oscar’s Pub & Grill, 5980 E. State
St. 9 p.m. Free. Info: 815-399-6100.
DJ – Manor Nightclub, 293 Executive
Pkwy. 9 p.m. Free. Info: 815-394-0077.
DJ – Brewsky’s, 4414 Charles St. 9:30
p.m. Free. Info: 815-399-9300.
DJ – Cousin’s Bar & Grill, 510 S.
Perryville Road. 9:30 p.m. Free. Info:
815-316-2660.
DJ/Karaoke – Jayne’s Place, 2229
Anderson Drive, Belvidere. Info:
815-544-5153.
DJ – Casey’s Pub, 77307 N. Alpine Road.
10 p.m. Free. Info: 815-316-2274.
DJ Mark & Lana– FIBS, 105 W.
Main St., Rockton. 9:30 p.m. Free.
Info: 815-624-6018.
DJ with Double D – The Breeze Sports
Bar & Grill, 3801 N. Perryville Road.
spirit of the season. Free-will offerings are
greatly appreciated, and well worth it! For
information, call (815) 654-2748.
Don’t miss another holiday classic, Rockford Dance Company and Rockford Symphony
Orchestra’s The Nutcracker at the Coronado,
Saturday, Nov. 28, at 2 and 7 p.m.—call (815)
965-0049. For tickets to the Sugar Plum Fairy
Party, just $15, call (815) 963-3341. Have your
photo taken with the Sugar Plum Fairies at
the party after the performance, and enjoy
crafts, cookies and punch.
Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the
Rockford Area Arts Council.
9:30 p.m. Free. Info: 815-633-4141.
Sunday, Nov. 29
Karaoke Joni, Madman John & 1st
Entertainment Karaoke Show –
Club Impulse, 132 W. Grand Ave.,
Beloit, Wis. 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Every
Sun. Info: 608-361-0000.
Maxine Holler – The Gun Club, 1122 E.
Colley Road, Beloit, Wis. 5 p.m. Info:
608-362-9900.
Solid Gold Songbook – Hoffman
House, 7550 E. State St. Noon.
Info: 815-229-6852.
Monday, Nov. 30
Vinyl Voodoo – Mary’s Place, 602 N.
Madison St. 10:30 p.m. Free. Every
Mon. Info: 815-962-7944.
Movin’ Mondays: Open Turntables
Night – Club 505, 505 E. State St.
Every Mon. Info: 815-962-3354.
1st Entertainment Services Karaoke
Workshop and Recording Night
– Club Impulse, 132 W. Grand
Ave., Beloit, Wis. 6 p.m. Info: 608361-0000.
Dave Potter & The Alley Kings Open
Blues Jam – Suds O’hanahan’s Irish
Pub, 435 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, Wis.
Info: 608-369-1933.
Music on Main: Donald Fraser, MCO
Holiday Preview – Emerson House,
420 N. Main St. Info: 815-964-9713.
© TRRT
2009
Friday, Nov. 27
Grieving for Gwendolyn – Chubby Rain
House of Tunes, 4210 Countryside Estates Drive, Poplar Grove.
Info: 815-765-1884.
Mulligan Stu – Mary’s Place, 602 N.
Madison St. Info: 815-962-7944.
Mike Honson, The Great Alexander, City
Never Sleeps – Swilligan’s Pub, 200
N. Church St. Info: 815-965-6414.
Prime Time – Big Al’s Bar, 610 N. Bell
School Road. Info: 815-398-6411.
Channels/229 Party – Krypto Music Lounge, 308 W. State St. Info:
815-965-0931.
Hollywood’s CD Release Party – Bar 3,
326 E. State St. Info: 815-968-9061.
Steve Ditzell & Blue Lightning Band –
The Stoop Tap, 1312 Seventh St.
Info: 815-965-2685.
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking
Altar Boys – Big Cities Lounge, 905
E. State St. Info: 815-965-6026.
Bob Affholder – Rockton Inn, 102 E.
Main St., Rockton. Info: 815-624-8877.
Missing Links – Shooter’s Bar & Grill
East, 7171 CherryVale Blvd., Cherry
Valley. Info: 815-332-5229.
Kilmar-Tor – Red Lion Ale House, 501
E. State St. Info: 815-963-0099.
Big Daddy Woo Woo – JD’s Sports Bar
& Grill, 908 W. Riverside Blvd. Info:
815-639-9488.
Tabby & Company – The Gun Club, 1122
E. Colley Road, Beloit, Wis. 7 p.m. Info:
608-362-9900.
Joey – Northwoods Bar & Grill, 200 E.
Riverside Blvd., Loves Park. Every
Fri. Info: 815-636-8560.
Madman John & 1st Entertainment
Services Video DJ Show – Club
Impulse, 132 W. Grand Ave. Beloit,
Wis. Info: 608-361-0000.
DJ – Sports Page Bar & Grill, 3907 Broadway. 9 p.m. Info: 815-399-3185.
DJ – Miranda’s Pub & Grill, 6116
Saturday, Nov. 28
RSO: Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker –
Coronado Theatre, 314 N. Main St.
Info: 815-965-0049.
Electric Six, The Gay Blades, Millions
of Brazilians– Otto’s Nightclub &
Underground, 118 E. Lincoln Hwy.,
DeKalb. Info: 815-758-2715.
June’s Got the Cash – Krypto Music
Lounge, 308 W. State St. Info:
815-965-0931.
The Sensations – Shooter’s Bar & Grill
North, 7742 Forest Hills Road, Loves
Park. Info: 815-654-3900.
Shifty Shafer – Red Lion Ale House,
501 E. State St. Info: 815-963-0099.
Megitza Quartet – Mary’s Place, 602
N. Madison St. Info: 815-962-7944.
The Usual Suspects – Shooter’s Bar &
Grill East, 7171 CherryVale Blvd.,
Cherry Valley. Info: 815-332-5229.
Infinity – The Grove, 100 E. Grove St.,
Poplar Grove. Info: 815-765-1002.
Studebaker John & The Hawks – Big
Cities Lounge, 905 E. State St. Info:
815-965-6026.
Therapy – Pee Wee’s Pub, 9461 N. Second St., Roscoe. Info: 815-282-9448.
Clark Plays Guitar, Brian Beer, Shawn
Williams – Bar 3, 326 E. State St.
Info: 815-968-9061.
Barefoot Fred – Chubby Rain House
of Tunes, 4210 Countryside Estates Drive, Poplar Grove. Info:
815-765-1884.
Missing Links – Franchesco’s, 7128 Perry
Creek Pkwy. Info: 815-229-0800.
Richard Gilewitz – Katie’s Cup, 702
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Open Stage – Mary’s Place, 602 N.
Madison St. 9:30 p.m. Info: 815962-7944.
Harlan Jefferson – Big Al’s Bar, 610 N.
Bell School Road. 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Free. Every Tues. Info: 815-398-6411.
Kamikaze Karaoke – Krypto Music
Lounge, 308 W. State St. 9 p.m.
Every Tues. Info: 815-965-0931.
After Work Mixer/All City Jam – Big
Al’s Bar, 610 N. Bell School Road.
Mixer 5:30-7:30 p.m., jam follows.
Free. Every Tues. Info: 815-398-6411.
KJ Laurie & 5 Star Karaoke – Pee
Wee’s Pub, 9461 N. Second St.,
Roscoe. 7 p.m. Info: 815-282-9448.
Open Stage Night – Red Lion Ale House,
501 E. State St. Every Tues. Info:
815-963-0099.
Please have your free listing in to The
Rock River Times the Thursday preceding our Wednesday publication.
Arts & Theater
Ongoing Attractions
Rockford Art Museum – 711 N. Main
St. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun.,
noon-5 p.m. Free for everyone every Tues. Info: 815-968-2787.
Kortman Gallery – 107 N. Main St.
Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Info:
815-968-0123.
Funktional Arts – 412 N. First St. Furniture & sculpture. Info: 815-969-7942.
Village Gallery – Stewart Square. Artists’ co-op. 45 artists. Open Wed.-Fri.,
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Info: 815-963-ARTS.
Bonzi Productions Theatre Group –
Family theater, plays, musicals. Info:
815-394-8987.
Wright Museum of Art – 700 College
St., Beloit, Wis. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tues.Sun. Info: 608-363-2677.
Logan Museum of Anthropology – 700
Continued on page B4 !
4
B
Vibe
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
“Roaringly funny!”
—The Herald Courier
With songs that touch your heart and tickle your funny bone,
“Another Night Before Christmas” is for people who’ve
reached the stage in life where they no longer believe
in miracles or Santa.
Directed by Jim Tropp
The Rock River Times
Location
Beloit Ironworks Building
655 Third Street, Beloit
Show-only Performance Dates ($28)
Dec. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8 pm
Dec. 6, 13, 19, 20 at 2 pm
Dinner Theatre Performance Dates ($52)
Dec. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 19 at 6:30 pm
For Tickets
Call 608.365.1825, or visit
wisconsintheatreworks.com
Now Featuring A
! Continued from page B3
College St., Beloit, Wis. 11 a.m.-4
p.m., Tues.-Sun. Info: 608-363-2677.
Galena Artists’ Guild Gallery – 324
Spring St., Galena. Thurs.-Mon., 10
a.m.-5 p.m. Info: 815-777-2870.
NIU Art Museum – Hall Case Galleries,
1201 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Mon.Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat., noon-4
p.m. Free. Info: 815-753-1936.
Rockford College Art Gallery – Clark
Arts Center, 5050 E. State St. Tues.Wed., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 36 p.m. Free. Info: 815-226-4034.
Womanspace New Dimensions Art
Gallery – Womanspace, 3333 Maria
Linden Drive. Mon.-Thurs., 8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m. Info: 815-877-0118.
Beloit Fine Arts Incubator – 520 E.
Grand Ave., Beloit, Wis. Mon.-Fri., 9
a.m.-1 p.m. Other hours by appointment. Info: 608-313-9083.
Monroe Arts Center – 1315 11th St.,
Monroe, Wis. Info: 608-325-5700.
ArtSpace West – 1426 N. Main St. Tues.Fri., 3-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Info:
630-546-4727 or 815-988-1501.
Age Quake Theatre – Plays for and
about those 55 and older performed
in the greater Rockford area. Info:
815-398-8090.
A Movable Feast – Edgebrook Center,
1641 N. Alpine Road. Mon.-Fri., 8
a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Info:
815-227-0102.
Jarrett Center – Byron Forest Preserve District, 7993 N. River Road,
Byron. Info: 815-234-8535.
Cholke Photography & Fine Art Gallery – 2211 E. State St. Fri., 7:3010 p.m.; Sat., 4:30-10 p.m.; Sun., 25 p.m. Free. Info: 815-226-9398.
Freeport Art Museum –121 N. Harlem
Ave., Freeport. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5
p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m. Featuring: Silent Echoes through July 11. Info:
815-235-9755.
DeKalb Area Women’s Center – 1021
State St., DeKalb. Fridays 7-9 p.m.
Info: 815-758-1351.
Ingrid Dohm Studio Gallery – 839 N.
Perryville Road. Appointments/Info:
815-519-6492.
Midtown Marketplace – 203 Seventh St.
Info: 815-961-1269.
The Gallery At JustGoods – 201 Seventh
St. Currently seeking local artist to
present works in the Community/Art
room. New art shows monthly. Info:
815-965-8903 .
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. 610 p.m. Info: 815-961-1269.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
Thursday, Nov. 26
Poetry & Open Mic Night – Borders,
199 Deane Drive. 7 p.m. Every Thurs.
Info: 815-399-2898.
Scottish Folk Dancers – 2110
Birchwood. 7:15-9 p.m. Every
Thurs. Beginners welcome. Info:
815-229-0107.
Poetry & Open Mic – The Lyric Live,
3023 N. Rockton Ave. 7-9 p.m. Every Thurs. Info: 815-519-8458.
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. 610 p.m. Info: 815-961-1269.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
Friday, Nov. 27
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. 610 p.m. Info: 815-961-1269.
“Fable: Explorations of the Fantastic”
featuring the artwork of Betsy
Youngquist – Kortman Gallery, 107
N. Main St. Info: 815-968-0123.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
It’s A Wonderful Life – Pec Playhouse
Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica.
Info: 815-239-1210.
Christmas Kaleidoscope – Byron Civic
Theatre, 850 N. Colfax, Byron. Info:
815-234-3000.
© TRRT
2009
Chef’s Carved
Prime Rib Buffet!
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Poetry for the Soul – Bar 3, 326 E.
State St. Info: 815-968-9061.
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Saturday, Nov. 28
The Francis & June Spiezer Collection
– Rockford Art Museum, 711 N.
Main St. Info: 815-968-2787.
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
Regional Juried Exhibition VI – Freeport
Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave.,
Freeport. Info: 815-235-9755.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. Info:
815-961-1269.
“Fable: Explorations of the Fantastic”
featuring the artwork of Betsy
Youngquist – Kortman Gallery, 107
N. Main St. Info: 815-968-0123.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
It’s A Wonderful Life – Pec Playhouse
Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica.
Info: 815-239-1210.
Christmas Kaleidoscope – Byron Civic
Theatre, 850 N. Colfax, Byron. Info:
815-234-3000.
Sunday, Nov. 29
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
Regional Juried Exhibition VI – Freeport
Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave.,
Freeport. Info: 815-235-9755.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. Info:
815-961-1269.
It’s A Wonderful Life – Pec Playhouse
Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica.
Info: 815-239-1210.
Christmas Kaleidoscope – Byron Civic
Theatre, 850 N. Colfax, Byron. Info:
815-234-3000.
Broadway At the Coronado: Cirque
Dreams Illumination – Coronado
Theatre, 314 N. Main St. 2 p.m.
Info:815-965-0049.
Monday, Nov. 30
Poetry for Change - Bless the Mic – Your
Solelution, 323 N. Church St. 8-10 p.m.
Every Mon. Info: 815-969-7359.
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. LinContinued on page B6 !
Vibe
The Rock River Times
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
USA’s Monk no more
Tube Talk
By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer
It’s almost hard to remember USA Network prior to the 2002 debut of Monk. The
series single-handedly defined USA as the
home of character-based television series,
something that was in short supply on broadcast networks then (and somewhat still)
dominated by procedural series.
Today, it’s almost as difficult to think of
USA without Monk, which ends its run in a
two-part finale beginning Nov. 27 and concluding Dec. 4.
USA learned a lot from the instant success of Monk. They learned there is an
audience for well-executed light drama and
hour-long comedies. They also learned how
crucial interesting characters are to the
success of a series. They also threw out a
welcome mat for producers and performers:
Characters Welcome.
Without Monk, there would likely be no
Psych, no Burn Notice, no In Plain Sight, no
Royal Pains and no White Collar, USA’s
newest original series. You could argue that
without Monk, there would be no USA. At
least not as we know it today.
Millions of viewers have watched Emmywinner Tony Shalhoub bring the “defective
detective” Adrian Monk to life, warts and
all. Monk’s obsessive-compulsive disorder—
inspired by series co-creator David
Hoberman’s real-life struggle with OCD—
made him a great detective. The character
called it “a blessing and a curse.” While most
of Monk’s many phobias have been played
for laughs, it’s his grief over the murder of
his wife, Trudy, that added much-needed
gravitas to keep the character from becoming too cartoonish.
About a year ago, I spoke with some of
Monk’s executive producers, and Randy Zisk
said it took most of the first season to find
the right tone. At a certain point, they realized going for a laugh in the middle of a very
tense or dramatic scene worked. “I think
that’s something that’s kind of unique to the
show,” Zisk said. “And that’s really about [cocreator] Andy’s [Breckman’s] writing—he
takes you down to the depths and then there’s
a little tweak of a picture or mirror that
brings you back to who Monk is.”
Breckman said that despite the laughs,
Monk is a show about loss. Monk lost his wife,
his job, his sanity. Even his assistant Natalie
(Traylor Howard) suffered the loss of her
husband. In many ways, she’s the anti-Monk.
“Natalie is a success story,” Breckman
said. “She’s dealing with it. She’s obviously
a high-functioning, well-adjusted woman
who’s dealing with the loss of her spouse as
I think most people would. It is an interesting contrast to Monk.”
So, the question many viewers have of the
series finale: Will we leave Monk as he is,
struggling with every little detail, or will he
figure out who killed Trudy and gain some
much-needed closure? Or will something
entirely unexpected happen to our favorite
defective detective?
We’ll know all too soon.
Meantime, check out the show’s interactive
Web site at http://www.usanetwork.com/
series/monk/index.html, or relive some favorite Monk moments in USA’s viewers’ choice
marathon Sunday, Nov. 29, starting at 8 a.m.
Programming notes
! “Mr. Monk and the End, Part 1,” airs
Friday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. and again at 11
p.m. on USA.
! “Mr. Monk and the End, Part 2,” airs
Friday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m., and again at 11
p.m. on USA.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has
been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your
suggestions to [email protected]
From press release
Cirque Dreams Illumination will ignite
Rockford when it performs at the Coronado
Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m., Sunday,
Nov. 29, for one performance only.
Tickets start at $28.50, and can be purchased at the Coronado box office, online at
www.coronadopac.org or charge by phone
Celebrate The
at (815) 968-0595. Discounts are available
for subscribers, children younger than 14
and groups of 20 or more.
Journey with fascination into the depths
of a city that ignites with illumination when
Cirque Dreams’ imagination, suspense and
theatrical innovation turn everyday ordinary into bright and extraordinary.
SEASON
MEET SHOP DINE
GIFT CE
RTIFICA
TES
1601 NORTH ALPINE RD
presents a benefit performance of
featuring Nancy Murray, OP
followed by “Dessert with Catherine”
Thursday, December 3, 7:00 pm
Fisher Memorial Chapel, Rockford College, 5050 E. State St., Rockford
Admission: $25 adults/$10 children (13 & under)
Seating is limited; Advance tickets are recommended by December 1
For tickets call 815-877-0118 or visit www.womanspace-rockford.org
A humorous and interactive
performance inspiring people
of all ages and faiths. Based on
400 recently translated
letters, Adrian Dominican
Sister Nancy Murray
portrays multiple
characters in this story
of the 14th Century saint,
depicting her as a feisty,
precocious, determined,
caregiving mystic who is
an incredibly liberated
woman peacemaker.
© TRRT
2009
Cirque Dreams Illumination at Coronado
WWW.EDGEBROOKSHOPS.COM
Order
Today
!
EDGEBROOK OFFERS A UNIQUE BLEND OF ECLECTIC BOUTIQUE SHOPS, EXCELLENT RESTAURANTS AND CONVENIENT SERVICE-ORIENTED
BUSINESSES. WE’RE LOCATED RIGHT IN THE HEART OF ROCKFORD – WHERE THERE IS TRULY SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.
RESTAURANTS AND FOOD A Movable Feast / KiKi B’s • Egg Harbor Café • Mary’s Market
Vitamins ’N More CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES Akerman’s Shoes • B Jones • Sara Grace Co. Sarah
McClelland Apparel, Inc • Sylvia’s Fashions • Tees & Tutus • That Boutique SPECIALTY SHOPS AND
HOME DÉCOR Annie’s Gifts & Home • Camera Craft Inc. • Enders Flowers • The Frame Shoppe
Gallery • Kitzman’s • La Mendola • Modern Space Studio • The Needle and I • Unique Yarns,
Inc. • Wonderland Books and Toys • Zanocco Ace Hardware SERVICES Associated Bank • Avalon
Bodyworks • Curves for Women • Dental Dimensions • Edgebrook Barber Stylist • Edgebrook Eye
Care • Edward Jones-Stewart Craig • Fitness Works, Inc. • Manpower • MK Nails Spa • Mobil Oil
The Postal Shoppe • State Farm Insurance-Lisa Mawyer • Studio Blu
B
“Bill Murray may have been drawn
to an acting career, but one of his
sibling’s call to the stage came
from a higher power.”
—Chicago Tribune
“Sister Nancy’s one-woman,
bravura performances
enchant, inform,
and inspire. . .”
—St. Anthony Messenger
Sponsored in part by
Dessert Sponsor
C A F E
Join Nancy at a benefit VIP Breakfast
December 3, 8:00 am at Radisson Conference Center
Breakfast Tickets $25 – Advance purchase only
5
6
B
Vibe
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
! Continued from page B4
coln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
Regional Juried Exhibition VI – Freeport
Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave.,
Freeport. Info: 815-235-9755.
“Fable: Explorations of the Fantastic”
featuring the artwork of Betsy
Youngquist – Kortman Gallery, 107
N. Main St. Info: 815-968-0123.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. Info:
815-961-1269.
Tuesday, Dec. 1
International Poetry Reading –
Pearson Hall, Beloit College, 700
College St., Beloit, Wis. 7 p.m. Info:
608-363-2137.
NIU School of Art Faculty Exhibit – Northern Illinois Art Museum, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-753-1000.
Hollis Sigler: Expect the Unexpected –
Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main
St. Info: 815-968-2787.
Michelle Coakes Exhibition – Rockford
College, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E.
State St. 6 p.m. Info: 815-226-4000.
Regional Juried Exhibition VI – Freeport
Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave.,
Freeport. Info: 815-235-9755.
“Fable: Explorations of the Fantastic”
featuring the artwork of Betsy
Youngquist – Kortman Gallery, 107
N. Main St. Info: 815-968-0123.
“The Egyptian Theatre: 80 Years of History” – Nehring Gallery, 164 E. Lincoln
Hwy., DeKalb. Info: 815-758-6363.
“Tweaks of Nature” – Midtown Marketplace Gallery, 203 Seventh St. Info:
815-961-1269.
Please have your free listing in to The
Rock River Times the Thursday preceding our Wednesday publication.
Community
Ongoing Attractions
Burpee Museum of Natural History
– 737 N. Main St. Mon.-Fri.; noon-5
p.m. Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Donation days every Mon. Info: 815-9653433.
Discovery Center Museum – 711 N.
Main St. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Info: 815-963-6769.
Tinker Swiss Cottage – 411 Kent St.
Tours 1, 2, 3 p.m., Tues.-Sun. Info:
815-964-2424.
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden –
2715 S. Main St. Sun.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-4
p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission Mon. Info: 815-965-8146.
Anderson Japanese Gardens – 318
Spring Creek Road. Info: 815-2299390.
Memorial Hall – 211 N. Main St. 9
a.m.-4 p.m.Mon-Fri., or by appointment. Info: 815-969-1999.
Camp Grant – 1004 Samuelson Road.
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Tues.-Sat. Restaurant
on premises. Info: 815-395-0679.
Lewis Lemon Community Center –
1993 Mulberry St. Mon.-Fri., 5:3011 p.m. Free. Info: 815-987-8800.
Ethnic Heritage Museum – 1129 S.
Main St. Sun., 2-4 p.m. Info: 815962-7402.
Pine Tree Pistol Club – Info about club
& classes: 815-874-7399.
Sinnissippi Greenhouse – Sinnissippi
Park. Tues.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat.Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Info: 815987-8800.
Graham-Ginestra House Museum –
1115 S. Main St. Sundays, 2-4 p.m.
Info: 815-968-6044.
Midway Village – 6799 Guilford Road.
Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Info: 815397-9112.
Stone Quarry Recreation Park –
6845 N. German Church Road,
Byron. Mon.-Fri., 4-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun.,
noon-8 p.m. Info: 815-234-8900.
Health Classes/Seniors Meetings/
Support Groups – OSF Saint Anthony Center for Health. Call for
specific meetings/dates/info: 815395-4505.
Support Groups/Youth Drop-in
Hours – Diversity of Rockford, 117
S. Third St. Free. Weekly. Call for
specific meetings/dates/info: 815964-2639.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Call for locations/times/info: 815-558-4582,
815-227-4633 or 815-968-0333.
Narcotics Anonymous – Call for locations/times/info: 815-964-5959
or 888-656-7329.
Support for Retired Grievers – Zion
Lutheran Church, 925 Fifth Ave.
10-11:30 a.m. Free. Every other
Wed. Call for dates/info: 815-6364750.
Overeaters Anonymous – Various locations/dates. Call for prices/info:
815-397-8512 or 815-547-5932.
Rockford Public Library Used Book
Shop – Rockford Public Library, 215
N. Wyman St. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4
p.m. Info: 815-965-7606.
Ken-Rock Community Center – 3218
11th St. Various activities throughout the year. Info: 815-398-8864.
Womanspace – 3333 Maria Linden
Drive. Various activities throughout
the year. Info: 815-877-0118.
Heritage Farm Museum – 8059 N.
River Road, Byron. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.4:30 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.
Info: 815-234-8535, ext. 217.
Poplar Grove Vintage Wings and
Wheels Museum – 5151 Orth
Road, Poplar Grove. Open weekdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-1
p.m. Info: 815-547-3115.
Rock River Valley Blood Center – 419
N. Sixth St. Mon.-Thurs., 6:30 a.m.6:30 p.m.; Fri., 6:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Info: 815-965-8751 or 866-8899037.
Kishwaukee Valley A.B.A.T.E. Meeting – V.F.W., 2018 Windsor Road,
Loves Park. Second Sunday of each
month, 2 p.m. Info: 815-544-3088.
Open Doors – Court Street United
Methodist Church Chapel, 215 N.
Court St. 12:30-1 p.m. Every Wed.
Enter north end. Info: 815-9626061.
Historic Auto Attractions – 13825
Metric Drive, Roscoe. Tues.-Sat., 10
a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Info: 815-389-9999.
Angelic Organics Learning Center –
1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia.
Various classes & activities throughout the year. Info: 815-389-8455.
Byron Museum of History – 106 N.
Union St., Byron. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info:
815-234-5031.
The Bridge Center of Rockford –
4861 American Road. Games &
classes for beginners through experts. Info: 815-873-9334.
Becca’s Closet – One In Christ Church,
1502 Parkview Ave. Accepting donations of gently-used formal wear.
Donations accepted Mon.-Fri., 9
a.m.-5 p.m. at: Machesney Park City
Hall (300 Machesney Road), Classic Formal Wear (Colonial Village
Mall), United Way of Rock River
Valley (612 N. Main St.), Crusader
Clinic (1200 W. State St.) & Harlem
Roscoe Fire Station (Bridge & Main
streets, Roscoe). Info: 815-2893551.
Household Hazardous Waste DropOff – Rock River Water Reclama-
tion District, 3333 Kishwaukee St.
Sat., 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., noon-4
p.m. Info: 815-387-7400.
Club Round: A Clubhouse for Round
People – 7120 Windsor Lake
Pkwy., Suite 202, Loves Park. Various activities throughout the year.
Info: 815-639-0312.
Rockton Township Historical Society
Museum – Corner of Blackhawk
Blvd. & Green St., Rockton. Open for
tours every Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info:
815-624-4830.
Having Trouble Hearing on the
Phone? – Center for Sight & Hearing, 8038 Macintosh Lane. Mon.Fri. Free amplified phone program.
Must be Illinois resident and have
standard phone service. Application/info: 815-332-6800.
Stretch & Belly Dance Combo
Beginner’s Class – Club Round,
7120 Windsor Lake Parkway. 7:309 p.m. Classes every Mon., Wed. &
Fri. Registration/info: 815-6390312.
Adventure Club – Jarrett Center,
Byron Forest Preserve District,
7993 N. River Road, Byron. 9-11
a.m. or 1-3 p.m. Ages 3-6. Info:
815-234-8535, ext. 200.
Representative Ron Wait Office
Hours – Zeke Giorgi Building, 200
S. Wyman St. Every Thursday. 8:30
a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Info: 815-9877483.
Toddler Time – Mount Olive Lutheran
Church, 2001 N. Alpine Road. 9:15
-10:15 a.m. Every Mon. and Tues.
Free. Info: 815-399-3171.
Wednesday, Nov. 25
The Rock River Times
Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St. 1, 2
& 3 p.m. Riding tours, reserve a week
in advance. Self-guided walking tours
also available. Info: 815-965-8146.
Pre-Read – Cherry Valley Public Library,
755 E. State St., Cherry Valley. 9:30
a.m. For children ages 3-6 and a
caregiver. Info: 815-332-5161.
Comedy Night – Whiskey’s Roadhouse,
3207 N. Main St. Info: 815-877-8007.
Creature Feature and Music Nights –
Otto’s Nightclub & Underground,
118 E. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Every
Wed. Info: 815-758-2715.
Prayer Vigil for Peace – Waterside
Park, Corner of E. State Street and
Water Street, Rockford. Every Wed.
5:30-6 p.m. Info: 815-520-0811.
Cheerleading Class – Ken-Rock Community Center, 3218 11th St. 6-8
p.m. Info: 815-398-8864.
IceHogs vs. Manitoba Moose –
MetroCentre, 300 Elm St. 7 p.m.
Info: 815-968-5222.
Turkey Bash 2009 – The Olympic Tavern,
2327 N. Main St. Info: 815-962-8758.
Thursday, Nov. 26
Comedy Night – Chubby Rain House of
Tunes, 4210 Countryside Estates
Drive, Poplar Grove. 9-11:30 p.m.
Every Thurs. Info: 815-765-1884.
Swing Dancing – St. Edward Church,
3004 11th St. 8-10:30 p.m. Every
Thurs. Info: 815-914-7441.
Support for Grief After Suicide – Zion
Lutheran Church, 925 Fifth Ave. 7
p.m. Free. Every other Thurs. Call for
schedule/info: 815-636-4750.
2-Year-Olds’ Storytime – Rockford Public Library Main Branch, 215 N.
Wyman St. 9:30-10 a.m. Every Thurs.
Info: 815- 965-7606, option 5.
Shall We Dance Ballroom Dance –
Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford
Road. Beginners 6 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced, 7 p.m. Every Thurs.
Info: 815-718-1814.
Pre-School Storytime – Rockford Public
Library Rock River Branch, 3128 11th
St. 11 a.m.-noon. Ages 3-5. Every
Thurs. Info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
A Ministry of Restoration Bible Study
– Montague Branch Library, 1238
S. Winnebago St. 5:30 p.m. Every
Thurs. Prayer every Tues. 6:30 p.m.
For prayer or info: 815-966-6322.
Pre-Read – Blackhawk Fire Station,
4919 Blackhawk Road, Cherry Valley. 10:30 a.m. For children ages 3-6.
Info: 815-332-5161.
Wee Read – Blackhawk Fire Station,
4919 Blackhawk Road, Cherry Valley. 9:30 a.m. For children up to age 3
© TRRT
2009
Weekly Preschool Storytime –
Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E.
State St., Cherry Valley. 10 a.m. and
1 p.m. Ages 3-5. Every Wed. Info:
815-332-5161.
Cruisers’ and Walkers’ Storytime – Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman St.
Children younger than 2. Every Wed.
9:30-10:15 a.m. Info: 815-965-7606,
option 5.
Bingo – Baltic Star Lodge, 1524 Ninth St.
Doors open 9 a.m., first bingo 11:45
a.m. Every Wed. Info: 815-965-8132.
Preschool Story Time – Beloit Public
Library, 409 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis.
Every Wed. 10 a.m. Ages 3-5. Info:
608-364-2915.
Lapsit Storytime – Beloit Public Library, 409 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis.
Every Wed. 10 a.m. Ages 12-24
months. Info: 608-364-2915.
Garden Tour – Klehm Arboretum &
and a caregiver. Info: 815-332-5161.
Kids Craft Night – Cherry Valley Public
Library, 755 E. State St., Cherry Valley. 6 p.m. Info: 815-332-5161.
Friday, Nov. 27
Drop-In Storytime – Rockford Public
Library Main Branch, 215 N. Wyman
St. 10-10:30 a.m. Every Fri. Info:
815-965-7606, option 5.
Cool Science Days – Discovery Center
Museum, 711 N. Main St. Noon.
Info: 815-963-6769.
Rockford Rampage vs. Milwaukee
Wave – MetroCentre, 300 Elm St.
7:30 p.m. Info: 815-968-5222.
10th Annual 104 Hour Metro Food
for the Needy Drive – Hilander,
2206 Barnes Blvd., Cherry Valley.
Info: 815-874-7861.
Saturday, Nov. 28
Free Tae Kwon Do Lessons – St. Patrick’s
Church, 2505 School St. 3-4 p.m. Every Sat. Info: 815-965-9539.
Public Ice Skating – Carlson Arctic Ice
Arena & Indoor Playground, 4150
N. Perryville Road, Loves Park. Info:
815-969-4069.
Rockford Tai Chi Club Traditional Tai Chi
Chuan Classes – Rockford Tai Chi
Club, 7131 Windsor Lake Pkwy., Loves
Park. 7 p.m. Info: 815-494-9483.
Cool Science Days – Discovery Center
Museum, 711 N. Main St. Noon.
Info: 815-963-6769.
Drawing with Melinda: Sauk Valley
Harvest – Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St. Noon.
Info: 815-965-3433.
Victorian Christmas – Tinker Swiss
Cottage Museum, 411 Kent St. Info:
815-964-2424.
IceHogs vs. Abbotsford Heat –
MetroCentre, 300 Elm St. 7 p.m.
Info: 815-968-5222.
10th Annual 104 Hour Metro Food
for the Needy Drive – Hilander,
2206 Barnes Blvd., Cherry Valley.
Info: 815-874-7861.
Sunday, Nov. 29
Good God Questions – Zion Lutheran
Church, 925 Fifth Ave. 9:15 a.m.
Every Sun. Free. Info: 815-964-4609.
Brew ’n’ View Movie Night – Krypto
Music Lounge, 308 W. State St. 7
p.m. Every Sun. Info: 815-965-0931.
“The Way” – Trinity Lutheran Church,
200 N. First St. Every first & third
Sun. 5 p.m. Info: 815-963-4446.
A Salute to Victory Bell – 1129 S. Main
St. Sun., 2-4 p.m. Info: 815-962-7402.
Continued on page B7 !
The Rock River Times
Vibe
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
B
7
TV Listings
! Continued from page B6
Victorian Christmas – Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411
Kent St. Info: 815-964-2424.
Cool Science Days – Discovery Center Museum, 711 N.
Main St. Noon. Info: 815-963-6769.
21st Annual Holiday Festival of Lights & Holiday Tree
Lighting – Sinissippi Park. 5 p.m. Info: 815-965-0768.
10th Annual 104 Hour Metro Food for the Needy Drive –
Hilander, 2206 Barnes Blvd., Cherry Valley. Info: 815874-7861.
Monday, Nov. 30
Story Time – Rockford Public Library Lewis Lemon Branch,
1988 Jefferson St. 10-10:30 a.m. Ages 5-9. Every Mon.
Registration/info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
Pub Quiz – Krypto Music Lounge, 308 W. State St. 5-8 p.m.
Every Mon. Info: 815-965-0931.
3-Year-Olds’ Storytime – Rockford Public Library Main
Branch, 215 N. Wyman St. 10-10:30 a.m. Every Mon. Info:
815-965-7606, option 5.
Wee Read – Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E. State St.,
Cherry Valley. Every Mon. 9:30 a.m. For children younger
than 3 w/adult. Info: 815-332-5161.
Starlight Storytime – Rockford Public Library Rock River
Branch, 3128 11th St. Every Mon. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Info:
815-965-7606, option 5.
Teen Gamers – Rockford Public Library Montague Branch,
1238 S. Winnebago St. 4-7 p.m. Ages 13-17. Every Mon.
Registration/info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
Chocolate City Nightlife – Bar 3, 326 E. State St. 9 p.m. Every
Mon. Info: 815-621-4319.
Wee Read – Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E. State St.,
Cherry Valley. 9:30 a.m. For children up to age 3 and a
caregiver. Info: 815-332-5161.
“Go” Game Club – Beloit Public Library, 409 Pleasant St.,
Beloit, Wis. 6:30 p.m. Ages 8 and older. Every Mon. Info:
608-364-2915.
Victorian Christmas – Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411
Kent St. Info: 815-964-2424.
10th Annual 104 Hour Metro Food for the Needy Drive –
Hilander, 2206 Barnes Blvd., Cherry Valley. Info: 815874-7861.
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Baby TALK – Rockford Public Library Rock River Branch,
3128 11th St. 11-11:45 a.m. Every Tues. Info: 815-9657606, option 4.
Goodnews Addiction Program: Now Living Free – First Assembly of God, 5950 Spring Creek Road. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. Every
Tues. Info: 815-877-8000.
Story Time – Rockford Public Library Montague Branch,
1238 S. Winnebago St. 10-10:30 a.m. Ages 5-9. Every
Tues. Registration/info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
Real Estate Investing Informational Class – Century Building, 7210 E. State St. 7 p.m. Free. Every Tues. Reservations/info: 815-639-9278.
“Group Hope” Depression Support – Grace Episcopal Church,
10 S. Cherry St., Freeport. 7-8:30 p.m. Every first and third
Tues. Info: 815-235-6171.
Barks & Books – Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E. State
St., Cherry Valley. 6 p.m. Info: 815-332-5161.
Family Story Time – Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E.
State St., Cherry Valley. Every Tues. 6:30 p.m. Info: 815332-5161.
Teen Gamers – Rockford Public Library Lewis Lemon Branch,
1988 Jefferson St. 3-5 p.m. Every Tues. Ages 13-17. Registration/info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
Look, Listen & Learn Storytime – Rockford Public Library
Rockton Centre Branch, 3112 N. Rockton Ave. 11 a.m.noon. Ages 3-5. Every Tues. Info: 815-965-7606, option 5.
4- to 6-Year-Olds Storytime – Rockford Public Library Main
Branch, 215 N. Wyman St. 10-10:45 a.m. Every Tues. Info:
815-965-7606, option 5.
Drop-In Storytime – Rockford Public Library Rockton Centre
Branch, 3112 N. Rockton Ave. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Every Tues.
Info: 815-965-7606, option 4.
Molly’s Black & White Movie Nights – 505 Lounge, 505 E.
State St. Free. Every Tues. Classic movies on projection
screen with drink & dinner specials. Info: 815-962-3354.
Rockford Tai Chi Club Traditional Tai Chi Chuan Classes –
Rockford Tai Chi Club, 7131 Windsor Lake Pkwy., Loves Park.
7 p.m. Info: 815-494-9483.
Edgar Cayce A.R.E Meetings – Highland Place, 2222 E. State St.
Every other Tues. 7-8:30 p.m. Info: 815-234-2394.
Babysitting Class – Ken-Rock Community Center, 3218
11th St. 6-8 p.m. Info: 815-398-8864.
Victorian Christmas – Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411
Kent St. Info: 815-964-2424.
10th Annual 104 Hour Metro Food for the Needy Drive –
Hilander, 2206 Barnes Blvd., Cherry Valley. Info: 815874-7861.
Please have your free listing in to The Rock River Times the
Thursday preceding our Wednesday publication.
© TRRT
2009
Across
1 Common Sense author
6 Cordon ___ chef
10 In a short time
14 Happen
15 Chlorophyll carrier
16 Goad
17 Gunslinger hired to find stolen
gold (1973)
20 Movie studio locations
21 Cease
22 Ploys
23 Fire remnant
24 Combat
25 Marshal of True Grit (1969)
33 Massage
34 Ages
35 “Surpise!”
36 Slightly open
37 Corruption-fighting cop (1974)
38 Traded for cash
39 Snitch
40 “Ah-___” (sneeze)
42 Lead, tin and iron
44 Pro-Vietnam war film (1968)
47 Operated
48 Abu Dhabi is its capital: abbr.
49 Sucking tube
52 Wisc. neighbor
54 The King ___
58 Fighter pilot in China (1942)
61 Sunrise direction
62 Boleyn or Hathaway
63 Wild, as a dog or cat
64 Mental sharpness
65 Sagacious
66 Sun-dried brick
Down
1 Cooking utensils
2 Be sore
3 Rapper-turned-actor
4 Cashews and filberts
5 Make a mistake
6 Casually indifferent
7 Funny man Jay
8 Wyatt, Morgan or Virgil
9 ET craft, perhaps
10 Area around a city
11 They’re found in mines
12 Shrek, for one
13 Monster’s loch?
18 Aides: abbr.
19 Boasts
23 Donkey
24 Got the prize
25 Ruler of India
26 Speechify
27 “___ the land of the free...”
28 Military observation: abbr.
29 ___ au vin (chicken casserole)
30 WWII maritime hazard
31 Fancy car, for short
32 Agrees, silently
33 It shouldn’t be put before the
horse
37 Larry and Curly’s pal
38 ___ Genevieve, Mo.
40 Move on all fours
41
42
43
45
46
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
59
60
Egg layer
Intended
Afore
Splices, as stem onto
rootstock
Kind of cord or jumping
Hearty meal
Kind of Asian cuisine
Take a load off
Kind of skirt or series
Hotels
Elderly
Infamous Roman emperor
Not colorful
Capri or Wight
Ship or aircraft motion
“___ woodchuck could...”
Last week’s
crossword answer:
8
B
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Vibe
© TRRT
2009
The Rock River Times
The Rock River Times
Commentary/Renewable Energy
Pricing fear from the bottom up
! Continued from page A1
are saying, “I am publicly silent about what
is truly right or wrong, as long as the paychecks keep coming. Me and mine first.”
Educators publicly tout the welfare of
children and the need for quality of education. Yet, regarding the riots at East High
School and the powder kegs in other
schools, many teachers this paper has
approached to speak on or even off the
record fearfully declined.
Then, they wonder why their students
and parents don’t respect them. Teachers
teach, but they lead and truly inspire by
example. Largely unconsciously, students
and parents beg teachers to stand up for
them. Students and parents would love
teachers to tell the truth about weapons and
gangs in our schools. The teachers would
love their union to empower them to speak
out, empower them to provide discipline
and empower their fine critical thinking to
provide real solutions. The teachers are “on
the ground”; and political correctness aside,
their fear compounds the conundrum. Courage in operation flies as the highest and
most effective lesson.
I was taught well, even though I was, and
many times remain, a poor student. My
mother was a teacher; she was one of the
leaders of the teachers’ strike in the early
1960s. My sister thinks there was a picture
of her on the front page of the daily with her
cane in one hand and picket sign in the
other. She fought against the broken projectors and outdated textbooks being shipped
from Bloom Elementary and Guilford High
School to Lathrop Elementary and West
High School, while new technology and textbooks only lived east of the river. By watching her actions, she taught us to fight for
people’s rights.
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
A
7
Her last name being Schier (pronounced
“sheer”), her students called her “Old Lady
Scissors.” As a single mother of four, she
could cut it. A brilliant remedial reading
teacher, really one of the first special-ed
teachers with Dr. Mildred Berry as her
mentor, she could bring a student’s reading
level up as far as four or five years in one
year. While all of her kids bemoaned her
strictness, ask me about the “Flyswatter
club” sometimes, she never let up, and she
followed up with gentle, constant love. As
my sister remembers, she never gave up on
a kid, and always told them they had value,
“You’re worth something!”
Continued on page A9 !
Wet ethanol production
Green solutions to cold
symptoms and holiday stress process yields more ethanol
and more co-products
! green thing
cup of honey. I have read you can take 1
teaspoon every hour as needed. Keep it in
the refrigerator.
Whether it helps or you just imagine it
does, breathe deeply over boiling water with
a drop or two of eucalyptus oil. Remember to
By Jan Herbert
stay at least 18 inches above the pot so you
Rockford Park District
Whether you were “green” before the color do not get hurt. Just as your mom did, drape
a towel over your head and
was fashionable or whether
the pot, but away from the
you’re just ready to find the
flames if you have a gas
“shade” that works best for
stove. If you have a better
you, here’s information about
way of doing this, would
doing just “one green thing.”
you let me know what it is?
Most people get two or
If you just need to relax
three colds per season.
with the stress of the holiHere are a few alternadays or your job, sip chatives to store-bought remmomile or black tea, or
edies. They just make you
bathe in hot water
“feel” better until the cold
sprinkled with dry valeis gone anyway.
rian root or lavender.
Almost anything that
Have a “green winter”
has a little alcohol and little
by pulling out your flannel
honey will make your
jammies and those slippers
throat feel better (many of
your grandmother knitted
you may have your own
for you instead of turning
recipe; my husband knows
up the heat. Add a hot
to buy a bottle of rum).
toddy if you must.
Here is another…add 3
For more information,
tablespoons of dried thyme
Photo courtesy of http://i.dailymail.co.uk
e-mail Jan Herbert at
(go get a new jar now) to 1
pint of boiling water. Let it cool, and add 1 [email protected]
From press release
URBANA, Ill.—Using a wet ethanol production method that begins by soaking corn
kernels rather than grinding them results in
more gallons of ethanol and more usable coproducts, giving ethanol producers a bigger
bang for their buck—by about 20 percent.
“The convenient ethanol production
method has fewer steps, but other than
distillers’ dried grains with soluble, it doesn’t
have any other co-products,” said University of Illinois Agricultural Engineer Esha
Khullar. “Whereas in both wet and dry
fractionation processes, the result is ethanol, distillers’ dried grains with soluble, as
well as germ and fiber. Corn fiber oil, for
example, can be extracted from the fiber
and used as heart-healthy additives in buttery spreads that can lower cholesterol.”
In comparing the wet and
dry fractionation methods,
Khullar’s research team
found that when using the
wet fractionation method,
the result is even higher
ethanol concentrations coming out of the fermenter and
better quality co-products
than the dry method.
In the wet process, the
corn kernels are soaked,
washing the germ, which
Khullar says is a cleaner
separation. “There’s not a
lot of starch sticking to the
germ. That’s why
you get higher oil
concentrations.”
After the kernels
are soaked, they are
ground to produce a
slurry. The slurry is
soaked with enzymes so that it
raises the specific
gravity to a point
where the germ
starts floating and
can be fished out
from the top.
Khullar explained
that in the dry
fractionation
method, the kernel is crushed,
flattening out the
germ. “The germ
is still attached to
a certain part of
the endosperm,
and you still have
a few starch
pieces sticking to
it. You have a very
high starch content germ from
the dry fractionation, and that
lowers the oil content. That’s why
there’s a big difference in the wet
process versus
the dry process.”
Dry and wet
fractionation
methods have
been developed to
separate out the
germ and pericarp fiber before
fermentation,
which is more efficient because the germ and
fiber are non-fermentable. “It’s better to remove them before the process. That way, you
have more starch in the fermenter. And you
don’t have to heat them and bump them and
cool them,” Khullar said.
The process doesn’t require developing
any new equipment. “It’s just a modification
of things that are already being done in the
corn processing industry and can be done
pretty easily,” Khullar said.
“Ethanol Production from Modified and
Conventional Dry-Grind Processes Using
Different Corn Types” was published in a
2009 issue of Cereal Chemistry. Funding
was provided by the University of Illinois
and Monsanto Company. The research team
included Erik D. Sall, Kent D. Rausch, M.E.
Tumbelson and Vijay Singh.
© TRRT
2009
‘Dr. Goose’ discusses nuisance
geese, other annoying animals
consider anywhere they are home. Being
! Continued from page A1
never even watched television without a highly gregarious, they then attract others,
gosling on his lap.
compounding the damage.
Once they were mature, the young geese
Visual scares, harassment, trained dogs
were placed in a zoo where their wings would be and noise are some methods that have been
clipped to prevent their flying away. When used to uproot resident populations.
Whitford asked the zookeepers to cut the flight
Whitford’s most appreciated work results
feathers of one wing only, causing an imbal- from his methods of removing nuisance
ance to prevent successful flight, they assured geese. Through trial and error by using a
him both should be done. After watching his proprietary combination of noise and timresearch fly away,
ing, he has elimiWhitford waited a
nated many from
year for a new start.
sites where they
After being deseemed destined to
clared endangered,
become permanent
geese were reintroresidents. Numerduced into a few loous successful efcations. Since the
forts were reported.
1970s, the populaWhitford’s patented
tion has increased by
“Goose Buster” (he
an amazing 30 pershrinks at the name)
cent per year. Birds
is at the center of his
that were exciting
control efforts.
sightings became
He also provided
nuisances, both dean overview of damPhoto provided
stroying and message caused by other
‘DR. GOOSE’: Dr. Philip Whitford
ing playing fields,
nuisance creatures,
corporate office grounds, golf courses and including pigeons, starlings, raccoons, bats,
yards with their prolific droppings. In one deer, rabbits, squirrels and numerous othcount, Whitford found 35 droppings per ers along with control techniques.
square meter. His research revealed that
Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl are founders
geese like short grass and tend to avoid and officers of the Illinois Renewable Energy
lawns more than 6 inches tall, offering a Association (IREA) and coordinate the ansimple solution to the problem.
nual Renewable Energy and Sustainable
They also can cause major crop damage, Lifestyle Fair. The Vogls and the IREA are
especially in spring when they pick delicate members of the Environmental Hall of Fame.
plants that have just germinated. Corn soy- Dr. Robert Vogl is vice president of Freedom
beans, alfalfa and wheat are special treats. Field, and Dr. Sonia Vogl is a member of
Perhaps the most serious problem caused Freedom Field’s Executive Committee. The
by geese is damage to planes. Last year’s Vogls consult on energy efficiency, renewable
Hudson River emergency landing is a good energy and green building. They have 3.2 kW
example of their threats.
of PV and a 1 kW wind generator at their
“Zero tolerance is essential to prevent home. Forty acres of their 180-acre home
initial establishment of geese on facilities,” farm are in ecological restorations. They are
he said. Feeding will encourage them to active in preserving natural areas and are
stay. Once established, they are difficult to retired professors from Northern Illinois Unimove or keep away. After a week, they versity. E-mail [email protected]
8
A
The Rock River Times
News
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Rodeo saddling up...
! Continued from page A1
concessions and portable toilets.
Jaime, who acknowledged charging $10
for admission—later calling it a donation—
said he’d not been aware such an operation
did not conform to zoning ordinances.
“It was something just for friends and
family. Well, people heard about it and
started coming. I started getting more and
more people. So, with that, there is a need
for a place like this,” Jaime told the Zoning
Board of Appeals (ZBA) at a hearing spread
over two nights. “It didn’t start out for the
public. It ended up that way.”
Also during testimony, it was alleged some
people living in the area “don’t want to come
in and say anything, because they’re afraid
that Mr. Jaime will retaliate against them.”
During the hearing, some neighbors complained about previous rodeos on the property, and expressed concerns about traffic
safety, drinking, sanitation, the effect on
property values, animal welfare and waste,
litter, trespassing and crowd control—but
mostly about the noise.
Another area resident told The Rock River
Times, “The noise is so bad that we can’t
even enjoy our property because of it when
he does have ’em.”
Police have responded to noise complaints
associated with the events, but reached for
comment in August, Jaime argued noise
wasn’t the real issue.
“They’re coming out under the pretense
that they say it’s a noise problem, when it
really isn’t. There is no noise problem out
there,” he asserted. “They just don’t like the
Mexicans coming into the neighborhood and
getting together there. That’s what my
neighbors tell me.”
During the ZBA hearing, it was noted
Jaime had been charged with alleged horsetripping, an event in which contestants earn
points for dropping galloping horses or cattle
to the ground by lassoing their forelegs.
Jaime emphatically denied the allegation.
“I haven’t thrown a rope in six years,” he told
the ZBA. “That wasn’t the reason they came
out. They were looking for an excuse to come
onto my property, and it wasn’t horse-tripping.
“I mean, I had…agents in my house,” he
noted, “For horse-tripping? I don’t think so.”
According to court records, Jaime pleaded
guilty in January to the horse-tripping
charge, a misdemeanor, subsequently completing six months of court supervision.
Dec. 11, 2008, the Winnebago County
Board unanimously rejected Jaime’s petition for an SUP. But as long as the rodeos are
not advertised and no money changes hands,
board members admitted, little can be done
to stop them—and they did continue.
When county officials got their hands on a
flier advertising an Aug. 1 rodeo to be held
Photo provided by Steve Schultz
“There were no bleachers or any other evidence that he was using the building inappropriately. He
received clearance on this building approximately a year ago,” Troy Krup stated.
at Jaime’s ranch, an injunction was filed,
causing cancellation of what Jaime described
as a private party. Litigation in the matter
is ongoing, and a preliminary injunction
remains in effect.
Since then, residents say, things have
been a lot quieter. That is, until recently.
“This started up a couple weeks ago when
I got a call from a constituent who lives out
there,” explained County Board member
Steve Schultz (R-2). “He was concerned about
a lot of material being brought in, so I called
[Winnebago County Planning & Zoning Officer] Troy Krup. I asked him to check into it.
“He sent somebody out there one day, and
he went by himself and felt intimidated to
go on the property, so he went back the next
day with two people,” Schultz reported.
“What they concluded was, ‘Well, he’s just
building a road, and the combination of the
concrete and the rebar would explain all
this huge amount of material.’
“Subsequent to that, within a few days,
there was another constituent who called
me. He said he’d been in the forest preserve
and took some photos of this building, this
great big building, that’s being built on the
back of the property on the forest preserve
side,” Schultz said. “I called Troy Krup back,
asked him if he would check it out. I said:
‘You’re being told part of the story. Yes, they
built this roadway, but they also are building this outbuilding.’ Well, he looked in the
records and, yes, he had received permission to build an ag-exempt building on that
portion of the property.”
Nov. 16, Krup made an unannounced
visit, during which he snapped photos of the
new structure. In his report to Schultz,
Krup acknowledged a large exercise and
training area within the building, but stated:
“There were no bleachers or any other evidence that he was using the building inappropriately. He received clearance on this
building approximately a year ago.”
After reviewing the photos, Schultz indicated: “It has stables. It has an arena-type
area, but the explanation was this was just
for the training of his own horses. There
were no bleachers. There’s nothing like
grandstands or anything like that, like he
has put outdoors.”
Referencing particular photos, however,
Krup noted, “The grading pics show where
he moved dirt to level off the rear of the
building for a possible future addition.”
Schultz indicated he wouldn’t be surprised if Jaime is planning indoor events.
“He came for the zoning, did not get it,”
Schultz said, “and still held numerous rodeo
events after that. In light of that conduct, I
would think that the likelihood is fairly high
that he may have some events, and move it
indoors, because it’s obviously that much
more difficult to police, or to identify what’s
being done where.”
Next month, having been a year since his
request was denied, Jaime will technically
be eligible to apply for another SUP. But
until the matter of the county’s injunction is
settled, Schultz is doubtful such a request
will be made.
“It seems to me that he would at least
want to delay it until that issue has been
resolved,” he added. “Although, maybe not.”
Jaime could not be reached for comment.
© TRRT
2009
Photo provided by Steve Schultz
Enrique Jaime applied for a special-use permit for an outdoor rodeo facility on his property and was
denied. “There is no noise problem out there. They just don’t like the Mexicans coming into the
neighborhood and getting together there. That’s what my neighbors tell me,” said Jaime.
The Rock River Times
Commentary
Pricing fear from the bottom up
! Continued from page A7
to help the parents who are at poverty level.
To her pride, two of my sibling became Part of this parenting program should doveunion stewards or leaders in the Teamsters tail with existing local employment and
and suburban schools. Even in the ’60s and day-care programs, complete with referrals
’70s, she spoke of how the union was becom- to existing local drug and alcohol programs.
ing just like the administration, concerned Community organizations and churches
with its own power, pay and politics. The must get on board to move at-risk parents
union was failing to provide for the real into these programs. The solution really
interests—the tools for teachers and begins in the home.
4. Set up more “Roosevelt Academy” schools
teacher’s strength for children’s learning.
She said essentially the unions were becom- for dropouts and students with chronic behaving what they fought against, and desegre- ior problems. The striving student must be
gation was really about the sophisticated able to learn and the teacher must be able to
maintenance of class structure, and the teach without chaos in the classroom and
dumbing down of our population for cheap hallways. Like Boylan High School, set up a
labor. Teachers, are you learning?
Continued on page A11 !
Ever since the school desegregation lawsuit, the administration of District 205 has
been bloated, top heavy, and the teachers
have paid. That inflation of administrative
numbers was supposed to be the solution for
equal opportunity education. That inflation
Ohio National’s Prime I Annuity credits 3.1%
has failed, but the inflated number of payannual interest on deposits made through the
checks cannot admit that politically incorend of the year. Your rate is guaranteed through
rect truth. Damn critical thinking, espe2010. (Surrender charges may apply on
cially when it’s not self-serving!
withdrawals.) And, unlike a Certificate of
Deceptively, the Pollyanna politicos at the
Deposit, your money grows tax-deferred.
top of this administration try to sell the public
To find out more about Ohio National’s
that gangs do not exist in our schools. That is
Prime I Annuity, call today.
a lie. The Rockford Police Department has the
guts to admit it, why can’t the supposed true
Jerry L. Kinser
(815) 316-8765
guardians of knowledge admit the truth? The
IRA Rollovers Accepted
Aryan Brotherhood, Latin Kings and Gangster Disciples may have 30 percent of our high
school kids under their lesson plan. The Gangster Disciples are the most powerful adult
gang in Rockford with constant imports from
Chicago. How soon will it be that we have
more teens killing teens, complete with drivebys, just like Chicago?
Riots and arrests did occur at East High
Prime I Annuity issued by
School last week, and to deny that is another
The Ohio National Life Insurance Company
lie or unbelievable ignorance of what is happening “on the ground” in
the local battle to change the
disfunction of the “dropout
factories” our schools have
become. If someone worked
for me and told such lies or
displayed such ignorance, I’d
be “Old Man Scissors” and
cut them loose; yes, I’d fire
them, enthusiastically.
We need to enthusiastically reduce this “misleading” administration’s numbers and use that money “on
the ground” in our schools.
Here’s the solutions as I
see them from what I know
of this city’s school history
and teachers that have the
courage to talk to me, but
will not appear, even as
unattributed sources in
print. Fear is rampant.
1. Reduce class sizes.
2. Hire more teachers, and
" Complete AV
the unions have to cooper" WiFi
ate with lower pay scales at
" Classrooms
entry-level positions.
" Break-out Rooms
7910 Newburg Rd.
3. Aggressively set up an
" Seating up to 950
expanded program of
815-332-2010
parenting skills to educate
" Banquet Facilities
Tebala.com
the kids who have kids, and
CD rates
down?
© TRRT
2009
Tebala Shrine
Center
Corporate
Meeting Rooms
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
A
9
10 A
The Rock River Times
Commentary/News
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
Thanksgiving thoughts Rep. Manzullo, we need to
about giving gifts
hear more than ‘I’m sorry’
sweat shops and prison labor camps. That’s
called free trade. Fair trade is different.
Fair trade stores work with cooperatives
By Stanley Campbell and individual artisans who receive a fair
Americans get stuffed price and a living wage. It doesn’t harm the
on Thanksgiving, then environment, and helps the whole commushopuntilwedrop.Ithink nity. When you give a fair-traded gift, it can be
beautiful and show your concern for the world.
that should change.
Sometimes there’s no time to think. When
As a shopkeeper
(JustGoods Fair Trade I do last-minute Christmas shopping,
Market, 201 Seventh St., JustGoods is a godsend. That’s why I got
open Tuesdays through involved in fair trade: to help people buy gifts
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 that are “twice given,” once to the recipient
p.m., and Sundays, 1 to and once to the person who made it.
Where did the idea of a “Buy Nothing Day”
5 p.m.), I’m surprised to
be telling you not to shop. Yet, Adbusters, an come from? Probably young, out-of-work adveranti-consumption magazine, suggests not buy- tisers, or those rich enough to afford a conscience. The magazine Adbusters rips into this
ing anything on the busiest day of the year.
This global effort just started a few years consumer society and advises “Buy Nothing
ago, telling our consumer society to take a Day.” They want to stop consumption for at least
day off. That day is Friday, Nov. 27, the day a day, and have people think about what and
after Thanksgiving, normally the busiest how much they buy, how it affects the environshopping day of the year (second-busiest is ment, and where most of the stuff comes from.
Right now, most stuff comes from developthe day after Christmas, for returns).
It’s a strange idea, one commercial media so ing countries. Poor people produce it, and
far ignore. Adbusters magazine is the originator international companies ship it to the bigof “Buy Nothing Day,” and maybe you’ll hear it box stores, who sell it cheaper than American
on public radio, but few other sources. There are workers can put it together.
How much stuff do we
some religious congregations
need? Personally, I have a
that preach simplicity, but
As a shopkeeper, I should closet full of clothes that no
most “give thanks to God for
want you to shop.
longer fit me but could outfit
blessing America.”
a small village in Guatemala
As consumers (and we
all consume something), let’s question where (where half the clothes probably came from).
Most of my stuff is secondhand. Kudos for
the stuff we consume comes from. Who
makes it and from what kind of environ- recycling shoppers! Secondhand stores don’t
ment? Well, workers, sometimes in prison fill up landfills. It’s a good way to recycle,
camps, maybe children, and clear cutting and most support nonprofit entities. So, you
are all accepted practices in the new eco- could be giving a gift that gives thrice.
As a shopkeeper, I should want you to
nomic order.
I’ve said this before: during holiday gift- shop. But as an environmentalist and a
giving, we should reflect upon those who Christian advocate, I want you to think
make our comforts and gifts. When we give a about your actions and do the best, not only
gift, we give of our resources and our under- for yourself, but for the world.
Consider where you put your resources,
standing of the recipient. Sometimes we give
what people really need, like when we give to for there is where your heart dwells. Happy
disaster relief. That gift (most often cash) Thanksgiving.
Stanley Campbell is executive director of
goes toward food, shelter, and clothing.
But a loved one needs more thought of where Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman
a gift comes from. Some come from child labor, for Rockford Peace & Justice.
Left Justified
ascertain the facts all agree that the
majority of those being held are innocent. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief
of staff to former Secretary of State Colin
Powell, told the Associated Press this
March most of those being held were
innocent men swept up by U.S. forces
unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants. He said many of those being held in Guantanamo “clearly had no
connection to al-Qaeda and the Taliban,
and were in the wrong place at the wrong
time. Pakistanis turned many over for
$5,000 a head.”
When one lives in a dark world of fear,
you can begin to see figures in the darkness that aren’t really there. Your eyes
begin to play tricks on you. Spreading
fear can also cause you to become blind to
the facts. When one loses the ability to
remain open to the human dignity for all
people, one slips off the cliff of reason and
one can then utter words that lump all
individuals of a certain group, religion or
race into one large category such as “savage.” When that happens, we need to
hear more than “I’m sorry.” We need to
hear a man of character stand up for the
rights of all human beings, regardless of
their religion. We need to hear, Mr.
Manzullo, that you believe in the system
of justice in our country. We need to hear
you have faith that our system of justice
is capable of separating the guilty from
the innocent.
And maybe you need to hear this poem
from one of the “brutal killers” held at
Guantanamo:
© TRRT
2009
Dec. 8 deadline for open RVC Board seat
From press release
Guest Column
At the Nov. 17 regular meeting of the
Rock Valley College (RVC) Board of Trustees, the resignation of Trustee Chris Beck
was accepted. It is the responsibility of the
Board of Trustees to appoint a replacement
within 60 days.
The length of the appointment to serve is
approximately 15 months, until April 2011.
Anyone interested in serving is asked to
submit a brief statement of interest, indicating
qualifications for the position, to the RVC
Board of Trustees, in care of Ann Kerwitz, 3301
N. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61114-5699.
Include name, address, telephone number,
and other pertinent contact information. The
following four questions should be addressed:
1. What experiences have prepared you to
serve on the RVC Board of Trustees?
2. Why are you interested in this position?
3. Why is RVC an important community resource?
4. Would you consider running for election in April 2011?
A copy of the Statement of Interest information is attached, and can be obtained
through Kerwitz.
Candidates must live within RVC District 511, which includes Winnebago and
Boone counties and portions of Stephenson,
Ogle, McHenry and DeKalb counties. Materials must be received no later than Dec. 8.
First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By Dan Kenney
U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) described
terror suspects that may be brought to
Thomson, Ill., prison as “really, really
mean people whose job it is to kill people,
driven by some savage religion.”
The next day, a spokesperson from his
office said Mr. Manzullo was not referring
to Islam itself, but to the suspects’ particular beliefs, which he said had perverted the peaceful nature of the religion.
Also, Mr. Manzullo has made an apology
emphasizing that he really meant terrorists practice a “violent, anti-modernity
version of Wahhabism.”
Regardless of his afterthoughts and after-words, the fear and hate hangs in the
air, and the hurt continues to burn. And,
isn’t it a sad irony that Mr. Manzullo can
refer to the detainees as being driven by a
“savage religion,” when those very same
individuals have suffered the most savage
of interrogation techniques by the hands
of our own government while he stood by
complicit with his silence?
His Web site carries the statement, “The
terrorists at Guantanamo Bay are dangerous and brutal killers, many of whom
were involved in the attacks on our nation.” And he also signed a letter from
Rep. Kirk to President Obama saying it
would make Illinois the next ground zero.
Mr. Manzullo and his fellow Republicans
seem to find their strength only by spreading terror. Rep. Manzullo, the line between fear and hatred is too thin to be
risking such reckless behavior unbecoming of a representative of the United States.
One must ask how many were turned
against our country with such a statement about a religion practiced by more
than 1.5 billion people.
Also, the statement that all of the
detainees are “brutal killers” is more
fear-mongering. The reality stated by
those who have worked with the U.S.
government and with the detainees to
Q
Death Poem by Jumah al Dossari
Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse
at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men
and the fair-minded.
uestion of the Week
Vote at www.rockrivertimes.com
Do you believe Rockford public schools are safe?
Last week—23 respondents:
Should the City of Rockford create a city council-appointed
citizens’ police review board?
Yes 52%
No 48%
Editorial Philosophy
All opinions expressed by our columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the
opinion of the publisher or staff of The Rock River Times. However, we are proud to
publish our columnists to express the constitutional right of free speech. No matter how
much we may disagree with a columnist, their opinions are their own and will be respected
as long as they do not commit libel and do come in on deadline. The Rock River Times
strives to truly be the voice of our community, whether liberal, moderate or conservative.
The Rock River Times
Letters to the Editor/Commentary
The District 205...
To the Editor
!
!
!
No flags to remember veterans
I write this letter on Veterans’ Day with a
very heavy heart. I have my current TRRT
opened to Stanley Campbell’s column. It is
keeping me from using angry words and
insults. (Stanley, I hope you know how
much I respect you.)
I’m also thinking of my father, a 13-year
veteran as a radioman in the U.S. Navy. An
American citizen who, on this day, did not
want to visit my dad at the cemetery.
So, after thanking my boyfriend for his
service to “our” country, I thought it would
be great for me to take some flowers (in my
father’s memory) to my local VFW and thank
all the veterans for their service.
In doing so, I was very disheartened
when I could not find an American flag for
sale to put in the flower arrangement,
which I had made at a prominent grocer.
Not there, not at the local “national” drug
store, not even at the famous card shop.
Plenty of Santa hats, though. Settling for
what I had, I did my deed. Along the way, I
noticed no one displaying a flag on their
homes. Nowhere! (Except for the banks.)
Are we too busy and ungrateful for jobs we
have? Not to think of those who are sacrificing their lives just to have a job? Or for a
better reason, “our” country?
I say this because the veteran next to me, as
I sat the flowers on the bar, asked, “You know
what ‘Navy’ stands for?” I responded, “Oh,
God, what?” He said, “Never Again Volunteer
Yourself.” I’m still wondering if it was a
veteran’s joke, or could this be the truth?
Thank the Vet, Not the War
Karen Grass
Roscoe
!
!
!
Recently, Congressman Phil Hare (D-Ill.)
announced he supports moving
Guantanamo Bay detainees to the Thomson
(Ill.) Correctional Facility, on the basis that
it will create thousands of jobs. While his
logic is pretty simple, I don’t believe that
just one terrorist prison is enough.
To make up for his total job losses, while
serving the 17th district as Congressman
and district director, Congressman Hare
should focus on bringing at least 10 more
terrorist prisons. One prison only makes up
for the job losses of Maytag and Seaford.
What about the job losses that he has overseen at International Harvester, Quad City
Die-Cast, Eagle’s Country Market, and
countless other small and large employers
across the district?
Congressman Hare shouldn’t just stop at
Thomson. He should put terrorist prisons in
Moline, Rock Island, East Moline, Quincy,
Springfield, Canton and other parts of the
district that have really suffered. After all,
these super max prisons do wonders for
local economies, like ADX in Florence, Colo.
I hear the unemployment rate there is only
at 9.6 percent. God forbid Hare should allow
private industry, not government, to bring
jobs back to these areas. To him, government seems to be the cure-all.
In all seriousness, if the only way Congressman Hare can bring jobs to our state
is by bringing a bunch of terrorists here,
then I say we need a new congressman
with new ideas.
Rodrigo Quiroz
Rock Island, Ill.
!
!
!
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In response to anti-hunting letter
I’m writing in response to Mr. [James]
Wilson’s anti-hunting letter [“Hunting
does not benefit wildlife,” Nov. 18-24,
2009, issue].
Let me start out by saying that I personally do not hunt, though I sometimes purchase a hunting license for political reasons.
I don’t hunt because I’m just too sqeemish
to eat something I killed. Other than that,
I’m all for it.
The problem I have is that every animal
on this earth was given ways to survive,
both by means of getting food, and avoiding
being eaten itself.
This gift was from God himself. Some are
stronger, some run faster, some are camouflaged, and some are just plain sneaky.
Man, some say, is at the top of the food
chain. We were given greater intelligence
and ingenuity, allowing us to devise ways to
take our food in face of greater size and speed.
We survive as a species because we have
developed tools to hunt with and protect
ourselves with.
Farming, raising our food in a barn, is not
natural, not the way God saw it, but necessary because there are just too many of us,
in too concentrated areas.
We would be like locusts on a feeding
frenzy, with not a morsel left for tomorrow if
we all hunted our food.
The logic that killing a few doesn’t keep
population growth down is absurd. It’s simple
math—if there are 100 deer in a herd, 50/50
male/female, and hunters take 20 deer, one
way or another, there is not going to be 50
does get pregnant, even if there were no
does killed.
There absolutely is data, by federal and
state agencies, that proves that the population of any animal, except endangered animals, is best served by regulated hunting.
As for poor people having canned goods to
eat, I’m sure they want variety in their food
just as you do, and fresh meat is much more
healthy, with no salt or other preservatives,
than anything canned.
Of course, it is indeed man’s fault there is
a need for regulated hunting—we have exceeded God’s expectations in proliferating.
We overpopulate the land, forcing the
rest of the animal kingdom into a corner,
because we have adapted to the point that
our only natural predators are ourselves.
Keith Fisher
Rockford
Credibility gap
District 205’s inability to communicate in a
timely, accurate manner with regard to the
Nov. 18-19 incidents at East High School is the
latest in a series of events that has created a
massive credibility gap.
About two weeks ago, TRRT received reports from three students and one teacher at
Guilford High School that a gun was found on
the school’s Spring Creek Road campus. After
repeated phone calls to Bonne for comment,
Bonne finally confirmed about a week later
that a gun was found, but that it was found in
the middle of Spring Creek Road.
Really? A gun was found in the middle
of Spring Creek Road? Just like no one
was arrested at East Nov. 18? What are
we to believe?
Getting back to the incidents at East, if
there were arrests Nov. 18, why not be
honest about it? If you didn’t know whether
arrests were made, why say there were no
arrests? Where is the credibility and accountability on behalf of the school district?
There certainly was little credibility or accountability involved when it was revealed in
March 2009 that the school district had provided inaccurate truancy rates to the state for
the past three years.
The district was bragging about how it had
improved upon its dismal truancy rate when,
in fact, it had gotten worse!
As the local daily reported March 26, 2009:
“A clerical error by district staff made it
appear the district’s chronic truancy rate improved last year when it actually worsened.
“Data from the Rockford Register Star
obtained this week from the school system
under a Freedom of Information Act request shows the number of chronically truant students increased 4 percent, from
1,868 in 2006-07 to 1,945 in 2007-08.”
The local daily’s article added: “In 2005-06
and 2006-07, a clerical error led to incorrect
reporting of chronic truancy rates, but the overall trend was accurate: During the first year of
the formal partnership after the creation of city
truancy ordinance, the number of chronic truants fell 28.8 percent from 2,625 to 1,868.
“What appeared to be a significant reduction in chronic truancy rates from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent on the 2008 report card
was nothing of the sort.
“The chronic truancy rate had actually increased to 7.5 percent last school year when
321 chronically truant elementary school students were accidentally not included in the
count reported to the state.”
This all from the school district that brought
us the Bill Neblock vs. David Strommer choking incident of 1997 and the massively expensive school desegregation lawsuit that crippled
our schools and, ultimately, our community.
!
Time we start cracking down on
several things
I went shopping today. It was raining,
Pricing fear from the bottom up
! Continued from page A9
demerit system. When a student reaches 60
demerits, they’re off to the “Academy.” Set up
grade and behavior goals in the “Academy”
that allow re-entry into regular schools.
5. Like many courtroom bailiffs who are
retired policemen, one policeman should be
assigned to each school, and only one. He
should become “Officer Friendly” and have
the ability to independently call in for backup.
6. PTOs, or Parent-Teacher Organizations, are essential for moral and to raise
funds for extra-circular activities. Set a fund
ceiling for each school, with funds above
that level going to less successful schools.
7. Institute an arts-based curriculum. Every school on every level should have a literary
magazine, a science team, a debate/speech
team, a fine art/sculpture team, a modern/
classical dance team, spring and fall drama
productions, and band and orchestra. These
programs define and enhance the basic “four
Rs,” and provide the all-important, after-school
and weekend activities to keep kids (and some
parents) off the street and learning.
The East High School riots and arrests
are just the start, unless teachers and their
unions have the courage to tell the truth and
operatively display their critical thinking
skills. Teachers must lead by example.
This administration is a failure and stifles
free and honest speech—a totally unacceptable example. The lesson plan must reduce
the administrators by more than half to
two-thirds, starting at the top. Bring back
the power and funding to the teachers and
principals. Teaching the “four-Rs” is an art
form, and an arts-based curriculum can
conquer any fear from the bottom up.
Wow, the kids might even have fun learnig
and feel like they are “worth something!” If we
fail to reduce bureaucracy and invest those
funds in our kids, we all lose value. Be like
Ma, don’t give up on the kids. We really can’t
afford to abandon them or ourselves. We’re
the supposed adults; let’s act like the adults
the kids should like to grow up to be. Shall our
kids have courage or fear?
Truancy, ‘dropout factories’
and what’s at stake
The sad part is that while administrators
and others in District 205 are scrambling to
play politics and spin things in their favor,
students are suffering. Did you hear me, District 205? STUDENTS ARE SUFFERING!
Want proof students are suffering? For starters, 7.5 percent of students would rather not
show up to school every day than deal with the
fear, frustration and hopelessness of attending a
Rockford public school. Furthermore, 403 students (or about 5.6 percent) dropped out of the
district in 2009—154 from Jefferson, 107 from
Auburn, 82 from Guilford and 60 from East.
According to a 2007 study conducted by
researchers at Johns Hopkins University
that looked at retention rates, Auburn,
East and Jefferson are all considered “dropout factories.” The study reported the average retention rate, or the number of fresh-
A
11
men who make it to their senior year at the
same school, is 53 percent at Jefferson and
45 percent at both Auburn and East.
I could have been a product of one of those
“dropout factories” had I not moved from the
district. Here are some of my classmates
from Rockford public schools (prison information courtesy of Illinois Department of
Corrections’ online inmate search):
Classmate No. 1—Murdered in drug
and/or gang-related activity.
Classmate No. 2—Murdered in drugrelated activity.
Classmate No. 3—Serving six years, six
months for manufacturing/delivering 1-15
grams of cocaine; served five years for felony
possession/use of weapon/firearm; served four
years for aggravated battery of a peace officer/
fireman; served four years for the manufacture/delivery of cannabis/30-500 grams.
Classmate No. 4—Serving 20 years for
armed robbery/armed with firearm; served
eight years for manufacture/delivery of 15+
grams of cocaine.
Classmate No. 5—Serving 10 years for 18+
Del sub<18/PK/SCH/PUB HS.
Classmate No. 6—Serving six years for
18+ Del sub<18/PK/SCH/PUB HS; served
five years for manufacturing/delivering 115 grams of cocaine.
Classmate No. 7—Served five years for
receiving/possessing/selling stolen vehicle;
served two years for bad check/>$150 or
second offense; and serving seven years for
aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim 13-16 years of age.
Classmate No. 8—Sentenced to seven years
for predatory criminal sexual assault; serving
three years for failure to report weekly/no
address/second+.
Classmate No. 9—Sentenced to five years
for other amount of narcotic sched I & II;
serving eight years for armed robbery/robbery
w/firearm; serving 40 years for murder/strong
prob kill/injure.
Classmate No. 10—Sentenced to eight years
for armed robbery; serving six years for other
amount narcotic schedule I & II.
I learned fairly quickly in school that these
individuals lived a completely different reality
than did I. They didn’t so much choose these
lifestyles as they felt they had no other choice.
As a community, we must offer our youth
something more to aspire to. A giant courthouse and jail in downtown Rockford are
not the answer—they send the wrong message. As former Rockford Ald. Victory Bell
said in a recent conversation, we need to
invest in the heart of the city and bring our
services and opportunities back to where
they are visible to everyone.
Any kids who live a similar reality to mine,
with the dream of going to college, frequently
face an uphill battle in Rockford public schools.
True, some do make it out, and there are plenty
of success stories. But it’s also true the poor
quality of our public schools has created a
private school empire in this town and contributed to flight and sprawl. Only those with the
means to do so can afford to move away and/or
send their children to a private school. That
leaves those in the middle and lower classes
with no options, and contributes to the cycle of
gangs, drugs, crime and poverty that has slowly
been sucking the life out of this dying city for at
least the past 20 years. Need I remind you that
Rockford has the highest unemployment and
crime rates in the state?
Maybe it’s time we start listening to what kids
are saying. They appear to be the only ones with
credibilityinthisdistrict.Ourfuture—Rockford’s
future—depends on them. The time to act is
now. If we fail to act, what future do we have?
We need to give kids a reason to go to
school, instead of punishing them for not
going to school. We need to make them feel
safe at school, and prove to them that an
education does have a purpose. This would
require a community-wide effort and a redistribution of resources.
For example, instead of spending so much
time and money fighting those who are truant and introducing them to the court system
at an earlier age, we should spend more time
addressing the reasons they do not go to
school and the reasons they drop out.
The truancy and dropout rates are symptoms of a far deeper problem in Rockford. We
can focus on the symptoms all we want, but
the problem is not going away. The statistics
prove it, despite the district’s best efforts to
cover it up.
Students are trying to share a message
with us right now: they don’t feel safe in their
schools. How can students learn anything in
an environment largely dominated by fear
and hopelessness? Are we listening to what
they’re saying, or are we just brushing it off as
“kids being kids”?
Kids are more than just kids—they’re our
future. It’s time we wake up and take a stand
for our kids—our future. We must demand
that District 205 quit playing politics with our
kids, and start telling the truth and investing
in making our public schools better and safer.
Staff Writer Joe McGehee and Photographer
Daniel Jenkins contributed to this editorial.
© TRRT
2009
Need new congressman with new ideas
!
and to my surprise, no cops out. There were
cars everywhere without headlights on. No
tickets being given out. There were cars
going down the street with parking lights
on. No one had told them parking lights are
for parking, not driving. No tickets being
given for that, either. What I want to know
is, why not? Are the police in this town
afraid to get wet?
I went shopping today. I went down Forest Hills Road. Guess what? Not a cop in
sight, and cars were going 50 mph and
faster. The speed limit is 40. All I hear is
about how the town doesn’t have enough
money for anything. One time I heard we
had a million dollars out in unpaid tickets.
Indigent, they said. Well, if that is so, why
do they have enough money to have a car
and get insurance?
It is time we start cracking down on
several things. Lights on when raining and
dusky weather, speeding, illegal turns. That
is good enough for a start?
Beverly Davies
Rockford
! Continued from page A6
same thing happen [in 2007].”
As reported by the local daily Sept. 28, 2007:
“Twelve students were arrested Thursday
[Sept. 27, 2007] at East High School and more
may be forthcoming after fights inside the
school and on the campus broke out.
“The melees brought as many as 15 Rockford
police and Winnebago County officers to the
Charles Street campus.
“The fights seemed to be triggered by a
fire alarm at 1:42 p.m., prompting a mass
exodus of students.
“School officials said it has not been determined what caused the fights, but students say
the fisticuffs were gang-related and planned.”
Regarding the Nov. 18-19 food fights at East,
the East High School student said these are not
ordinary, random food fights adults might
remember from their childhood. “It has been
happening very, very recently, and it’s not
something that…this happens on practically a
weekly basis,” the student said.
The student also added that some students
who are not directly involved with the incidents
like them because it means they get to go home
for the day. “Why should they [speak out about
the violence], because they like it because they
want to leave,” the student said. “So everybody’s
going to contribute to helping.”
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
12 A
The Rock River Times
Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009
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© TRRT
2009
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