free Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009 • Volume 17, No. 6 free A The Voice of the Community since 1993 Locally owned and operated Guest Column - A10 Is Illinois really the next ground zero? 128 N. Church St., Rockford, Illinois 61101 Vibe - B1 By Dan Kenney Betsy Youngquist show opens at Kortman Nov. 27 Naturally Rockford - C1 Season of giving thanks with yoga www.rockrivertimes.com Home & Garden - D1 Try guest rooms before your guests By Jennie Williford 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 store credit to use as partial payment against book purchases. Example of our Pricing Original Price $7.99 Our Price $4.79 Less store credit if you have one -$2.40 YOUR FINAL PRICE $2.39 Novedes Azteca, Inc. Western Wear ~ Ropa Vaquera 815 E. State St.~Rockford, IL 61104 815-969-7755 20 % ~ Fax: 815-969-8110 Store Discount Mon.-Sat. ~ 10-7, Sun. ~ 10-5 Lunes a Sabado ~ 10-7, Domingo ~ 10-5 50% off all gift items with this coupon. Expires 12/31/09. 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. ROMA BAKERY 523 Marchesano Dr. • 964-6737 Tues.–Fri. 6 a.m.–5:30 p.m. • Sat. 6 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun. 6 a.m.–12:00 • Closed Monday We accept Illinois Link Tuesday is Senior Citizens Day—10% off We feature... Cannoli—Rum Custard— Ricotta—Italian Bread & Buns— Cakes all sizes—Wedding Cakes 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 is a proud member/affiliate of these fine organizations: 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. DEADLINES 0)&3 PLGZHVWIUHHFRPPXQLW\SDSHUV PCVKQPCNCFXGTVKUKPIPGVYQTM News due Thursday by 4 p.m. Information for Community Calendar events must be received by noon Thursday for the following Wednesday issue. Events are printed as space permits. Classifieds due Thursday by noon Classified advertisements must be received by noon Thursday for the following Wednesday issue. Classifieds must be paid in advance. Legal Notices due Friday by 5:30 p.m. Although 4 p.m. Friday is preferred, Legal Notices must be received by 5:30 p.m. Friday for the following Wednesday issue. FOR MORE INFORMATION Call (815) 964-9767 or Fax (815) 964-9825 Copyright 2009 The Rock River Times is a locallyowned and operated newspaper. The Rock River Times has a circulation of 22,000 free papers in the Rockford metropolitan area by Third Class mail and through more than 2,035 commercial outlets. Bulk mail subscriptions are available for only $27 for 26 weeks or $42 per year, prepaid. Send your check for a subscription. 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: Phone: (815) 964-9767 Fax: (815) 964-9825 Copyright notice: All material herein is the sole property of The Rock River Times. No reprint, reproduction or other use of any of the materials contained herein is permitted without the consent of the publisher or his duly appointed representative. Printed on recycled paper using soy ink. Visit us on the Web at www.rockrivertimes.com. 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! 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Call Rory Colwell, VP of Sales 815.226.3681 Express Home Mortgage Company 129 S Phelps #301, Rockford, IL IL/WI Mortgage Licensee 4 A 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. Galleria Hair Studio/Spa 510 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park 815.877.7171, ext. 10 35 1st hr. massage any dinner purchase | exp Nov 30, 2009 3801 n. perryville rd | rockford il 61114 ph: 815.633.5555 | fax: 815.633.5556 m–th 11-2:30 & 4:30-10 | f-sat 11-2:30 & 4:30-11 | sun 12-9 Gift Certificates for all occasions Acupuncture, Reflexology, Nutrition Located on corner of E. State & Alpine in Rockford 779-423-1700 5 off 50 1-hr. Therapeutic Massage w/Jamie any $25 purchase specializing in prenatal massage $65 Galleria Hair Studio/Spa or more of hair products Galleria Hair Studio/Spa $ $ Visit us on facebook: Galleria Hair Studio/Spa $ 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 n t e r 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 incl. Gold Canyon, Tupperware, r o o D y duced by the Dairy Barn Pampered Chef, Lia Sofia & Longaberger shopp ing! Cultural Arts Center, 500 Prizes! 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 s[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. ! ! ! ! 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 THINK OF ALL your SCHOOL could do WITH $100,000. ® U.S. Cellular is Calling All Communities: vote for your school and help it be one of ten to win $100,000. We believe educating our kids has never been more of a priority. That’s why we’re out to support the cause by giving schools money to use toward whatever they feel is important. Big, small, public, private, primary, middle and high schools—they’re all eligible. What you can do is simple. Come into any U.S. Cellular® store from 11/13/09 through 1/15/10 and get a code to use online to vote for your school. The ten schools with the most votes will receive $100,000 each. That’s a total of $1,000,000 in support of education. One of last year’s winners, the Brogden Primary School in Dudley, North Carolina, built a much-needed playground with their $100,000, delighting students, parents and teachers. © TRRT 2009 So what are you waiting for? Show your school spirit by going to U.S. Cellular today and voting. After all, we can’t think of a better cause. Visit uscellular.com to find a store near you, where you can get your voting code. brogden primary school— Dudley, north carolina Let us help you find a location: visit uscellular.com or call 1-888-BUY-USCC Calling All Communities: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Voting begins November 13, 2009, and ends January 15, 2010. See official rules at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities. ©2009 U.S. Cellular.
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