Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 10, 2009 Rockford Horizons Meeting

In attendance were Vivian Plank, Mary Lou Benson, Jacob Benson, Micki Harnois and Phil Evans.

Phil Evans gave a presentation on broadband in Rockford. He has been in contact with several internet providers and cell tower companies about putting antennaes on the Town's new water reservoir (soon to be constructed). Most companies pay an average of $1,000 a month for rental for antennaes place on a structure.

Phil also talked to Mayor Wagner about having a laptop computer for community use to be located in the City Hall. This discussion is still ongoing. A desk would have to be placed in the back area of the City Hall and not connected to the Town's computer system. We will check with Patrick Malone about getting a laptop for our Horizons group.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 24, 2009 in the Harvest Moon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sign up now for the Hope & Power workshop

The Inland Northwest Spokane YMCA Alternatives to Domestic Violence Program is putting on a very special Hope & Power workshop. This group offers financial workshops and resources for survivors of domestic violence.

The YMCA location is at 930 N Monroe Street. The Holiday on a Budget workshop will be on November 16, 2009 starting at 5:30 pm. The workshop includes resources for free and inexpensive holidays activities, handmade gift, decoration and card ideas, free crafting supplies and activities for moms and kids to do together. There will also be drawings for special holiday gifts!

Childcare and dinner will be provided with registration. Dinner will be provided by the Campus Kitches Project. Please call (509) 789-9297 to register. This workshop is made possible by a grant from the Allstate Foundation.

Hope and Power offers the following financial programs:
1) Match Savings
Up to $400 to help achieve an education or work related goal.
2) Checking Account Access
Help obtaining a checking account for those who may otherwise have difficulty
doing so
3) Secured Credit Card
Help obtaining a credit card to assist in rebuilding your credit. The security
deposit is provided by the program
4) Life Coaching
Intensive Certified Life Coach lead support to help you achieve your career
related goals.

Please pass this on to those who deserve a great holiday season!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Minutes from Rockford Horizons October 27, 2009 Meeting

The Horizons Visioning/Strategic Plan was discussed and the progress reviewed.

The community events are being posted on the Town reader board. The community calendar is being circulated in the Town utility bill. It is also on the Horizons blog as well as the Town website. A few copies should be posted throughout Town such as at the Post Office and various businesses. Phil Evans will have a presentation at the November 10th meeting to discuss what he has learned from several broadband providers. A survey will be drafted and sent out to the community to find out the desire for wireless and broadband and how many households can afford it. The Town is currently on a contract for administration of the website. The Horizons blog is being updated more frequently.

Community Center:
More programs were discussed to be housed in a facility. The Horizons group is finalizing paperwork for 501(c)3 status with IRS.

Community Garden:
Ther was discussion about the sort of crops that should be planted next year and those that were not popular. A local contractor will be contacted regarding putting raised beds in one of the garden spots. A greenhouse has been donated which will help get seeds started. The three garden spots will be available for use again next planting season. The farmers market was a success this year and the hope is to have music and cooking demonstrations as a bonus.

Patrick Malone was in attendance and helped us with ideas to get youth involved. One incentive is to get a student involved in the website and other projects such as designing placemats and soliciting for donations from local businesses. They would do this during their senior year and upon entering a college would receive an incentive of $1,000.00 toward their tuition (e.g.). Patrick also gave us an application for Horizons Community Capacity Fund which Vivian P. will complete and send in.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the Harvest Moon.

You can become a Certified Money Management Trainer

The lack of financial education and current economic conditions has created serious financial distress in households throughout the Inland Northwest. Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS)invites you to become a Certified Money Management Trainer (CMMT) who can provide financial education and, ultimately improve lives and the community.

Please join over 100 leaders this year who have taken this training and use it regularly with their clients and customers.

You will be able to assist families:
Assess finances and set goals
Make and keep budgets
Pay down credit and use it wisely
Build savings
Create an acion plan when facing less income
Manage credit reports and improve scores

Additional perks:
Free resources, tools, books for the people you serve
On-going support from CCCS staff and volunteers
Educational credits or CRA credits
Bring the tools home to your co-workers, clients and family

Training will be held:
Coeur d' Alene, ID on Friday, November 20th
First Presbyterian Church, Fireside Room
521 E Lakeside Ave
Spokane, WA on Thursday, December 17th
Northtown Office Building, Columbia Room
4407 N Division St, Suite 814

Cost for this training is $45 per person-lunch is provided
Please call 509.242.4205 for more information, special accomodations or if you would like to apply for a scholarship.

Space is limited---Register Today!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2010 U. S. Census is coming to your house soon!

The 2010 U. S. Census forms will be mailed on March 15, 2010. Every household will be given the short form with 10 questions to answer. The American Community Survey (the long form) will be sent to an average of 1 in 6 households nationwide.

It is so important to your community, school and you to complete and mail back the form. This gives the Town of Rockford and Freeman School District information regarding such topics as population, median income, education, buildings constructed, and travel time to work. This data is necessary for grants and programs such as free and reduced lunch program. The ability for Rockford to be included in the Horizons program stemmed from this information.

Please send the completed survey form back as soon as you can or the Census takers will either phone or visit your home to gather this needed information. This takes billions of extra dollars to do. So please participate!

Reminders of this important topic will be posted on this blog periodically.

North Palouse Community Food Bank

The North Palouse Community Food Bank is accessible to all people in need that live in the Rockford, Fairfield, Waverly and Latah area. It is located behind the Fairfield Fire Station on Railroad Street.

The Hours of Operation are as follows:

November 2009
Saturday, November 14th 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursday, November 19th 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday, November 28th 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

December 2009
Saturday, December 12th 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursday, December 17th 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 26th 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

For emergency needs at times other than scheduled hours of operation, you may call (509) 283-4250 or (509) 844-8551
They will be distributing holidays baskets to many families throughout the area.

Free Yard & Garden Debris Collection Event

Since outdoor burning is not allowed within the city limits of Rockford, this event allows us to dispose of our leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings and it is free!

Collection hours are from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 7th. The location will be behind the Rockford City Hall.

If you need help hauling your debris, please call the City Hall @ (509) 291-4716 and someone will assist you in loading and will also take it to the collection site.

This is one big step in making Rockford an attractive community!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Community Halloween Events

Here are suggestions for a safe and fun Halloween:

The McIntosh Grange (located at the corner of 1st & Lake Streets) is having a Halloween Party. It will be from 5:30 to 8:00 pm and will have many activities. This includes a cake walk, games, treats and prizes.

The Rockford Lions Club is hosting their annual Halloween Bon Fire in the park from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Roasting hot dogs and hot cider and cocoa will be provided.

These events are free to the community!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Community Book Club

The following is a summary about the "Mayors (Community) Book Clubs" program which has been successful in several cities. The article is from the September 28, 2009 issue of the Nation Cities Weekly:

The project is an effort to develop community-wide early literacy. It is to promote school readiness among children well before first grade. Special components may include free and new books and literacy materials for families of young and school-age children, parent education classes, efforts to expand access to community-based early education resources and public events at which a community leader reads a book to children.

A brainstorming session for the Community Literacy Plan occurs to develop goals which focuses on strengthening local partnerships with schools, public libraries and community partners and developing methods to reach more children in the community while involving parents and older children.

Reading can be used as a means for problem-solving. With older students as mentors, they will be reading to young children and serve as peer leaders on such topics as the importance of helping others, staying healthy (preventing the flu, e.g.)and preparing for and succeeding in school and college. Senior citizens are also encouraged to read with children.

Since there is no library located in Rockford with the closest one being five miles away in Faifield, this would be a great community effort to engage everyone in encouraging and helping our youth to succeed in school and also become future leaders. A lending library is curently being created through the Rockford Community Center (RCC) group. Stay tuned for more information.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Presentation at the Inland Northwest Partners 2009 Fall Meeting

The meeting was held at the Coeur d' Alene Casino Resort Hotel on September 24, 2009

The theme of the event was "Revitalizing Your Community through Planning, Participation & Partnerships". The topic of discussion was economic development around the globe and in the Pacific Northwest.

The keynote speaker was David Beurle from Australia, who invented the "Future Games" and presented it to the audience. Note: several WSU Extension staff and Horizons program participants (including Nan Konishi from Rosalia and Rockford's Micki Harnois) have been trained to present this great "poverty reduction" tool to Horizon members.

Three Horizon communities gave presentations on the projects that the Northwest Area Foundation brought to their residents. These include Bonners Ferry, Northport, and the Coeur d' Alene Reservation.

Micki Harnois gave a glimpse into what is happening with the Rockford Horizons program from its introduction one year ago. She discussed the three areas of emphasis from the Strategic Plan. Horizon Leaders Mary Lou Benson, Vivian Plank and Keith Wigen also attended.

Report Out Meeting

The report out event was held on September 10th in the Rockford City Park. About forty people were in attendance including 10 youth from the community. A delicious BBQ pulled pork meal was catered by Fredneck's Saloon & Beanery. A special award was given to Keith Wigen for all his work and expertise with the three community gardens.

The Strategic Action Plan Worksheet was finalized and introduced to the community by the Horizons Leadership Team.

The Rockford Community Center project is close to receiving 501c3 non-profit status. A few small items are needed by the state to complete this.

The administrator of the blog will be keeping it up to date.

Regular meetings are held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday at 6:30pm in the Harvest Moon Restaurant.

Please Come!

Poverty Action's Vote Campaign

Taking it to the Streets in 2009
Poverty Action Vote Campaign is Back

This fall Poverty Action is hitting the streets to register newly eligible voters.

We hope you'll join us as we pound the pavement across the state. For more details or to get involved, check out the Poverty Action website or contact Poverty Action organizer Kate Baber.

Building Assets, Strengthening Communities
Join us November 5 and 6, 2009 at the Tacoma Convention Center for a conference with the Washington State Asset Building Coalition.

Register Today:

It is important for individuals and families to have access to asset building and financial planning in order to move out of poverty. Poverty Action and the Asset Building Coalition have led the charge in asset building advocacy, passing and funding the Individual Development Account program in 2005 and the Working Families Rebate in 2008. We are excited to announce the Survive and Thrive: Building Assets, Strengthening Communities conference, the largest statewide gathering around asset building. This conference is dedicated to helping improve the financial lives of low and moderate income Washingtonians--promoting financial education, home ownership, savings and smart borrowing.

Asset building strategies include:
-Increasing financial education, savings and individual development accounts
-Expanding home and small business ownership
-Increasing the availability of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax prep
-Providing programs to assist in credit repair and avoiding high-cost loans

Why join this conference?
-Weigh in about how asset building could help improve your financial situation
-Plan ways to expand financial opportunities for people with lower incomes
-Meet fellow state and national leaders as we learn together about the growing field of asset building
-Join the largest statewide gathering around asset development

Register Today:
The Survive and Thrive: Building Assets,Strengthening Communities conference on November 5th & 6th will inspire and educate you to start or expand an asset-building initiative in your community.

Scholarships available:
To apply, please send a paragraph describing why you need a scholarship to

Strengthen your voice in the state capitol. Making change depends on you. Poverty Action works to eliminate the root causes of poverty with real solutions. As the state's largest anti-poverty organization working to influence decisions in Olympia, we work to ensure everyone can have a better future. Become a member today and help us continue to achieve crucial victories.

Rockford Horizons Poverty Reduction Project

On Tuesday, June 23rd twenty-three Rockford residents and interested persons gathered at the Rockford City Park to develop a long-range poverty reduction plan for the Horizons project. Horizons is a project of the Northwest Area Foundation in partnership with WSU Extension. Below is a very brief summary of that Visioning Session and our proposed action strategies. Their success is entirely dependent upon your direct involvement. Please join us as we move forward toward implement.

As a requirement of the Foundation and the program, the Horizons Leadership Group kicked-off the planning process by conducting a community-wide survey during May. That information was tabulated and brought forward at our June 23rd Visioning session. During that session, participants were asked to identify the best possible poverty reduction strategies in three areas: individual asset development, community capacity and public policy. A total of 10 strategies were evaluated, voted upon and prioritized. The final step involved the Leadership Group identifying those that were most likely to succeed and then organized them into either short-term, intermediate term or long-term for purposes of implementation.

Plan Content
The months of July and August were spent by Horizons volunteers organizing these strategies, writing them up into a Strategic Action Plan, of which this is the Summary, and then sharing and promoting them. As mentioned above, here are the Rockford Horizons Poverty Reduction Strategies;

Short-Term (2009-2010):
-Grow a flourishing community garden
-Improved nutrition and food quality in the community
-Create/update Community Calendar
-Identify wireless/broadband customer base
-Create community access center
-Sponsor venues to show what town wants and will support
through a "floating" center
-Create the Rock Creek Internet Cafe

Intermediate-Term (2010-2011):
-Educate people to use garden produce in nutritious and
affordable ways and to preserve the surplus
-Create/expand town website
-Identify wireless/broadband suppliers
-Keep Horizons Blog up-to-date

Long-Term (2011-2012):
-Grow surplus food to be given to area food bank to help others
and to sell at Farmers Market
-Negotiate a mutually agreeable broadband/wireless contract
-Create a town placemat
-Plan, finance, build/buy our own community center building

As you can see, many of these strategies are ongoing and
need to be monitored and evaluated for success. Most also require meaningful partnerships with other community/county groups and organizations. As a living document, this plan should be reviewed annually and strategies reprioritized.

Next Steps
Now that we have an adopted Strategic Action Plan we need to recruit volunteers and begin implementing it. To support our efforts, the Northwest Area Foundation will make a direct financial investment and WSU Extension will help design necessary training and techinical assistance input.
In order for Rockford to successfully secure a remaining $3,000 training grant along with an additional $10,000 project grant, we need your active support and involvement. And now!
So we need your help! Please consider which of these action projects excite you and how you'd like to help make it a reality. Please contact Todd (at 291-4601), MaryLou at (291-3146), Vivian (at 291-3722) or Micki (at 291-3621) if you'd like to volunteer OR attend any of our monthly meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays beginning at 6:30pm at the Harvest Moon Restaurant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Horizons Leadership Team Meeting
We are meeting Tuesday evening in the back room of the Harvest Moon Restaurant at 6:30 pm.Everyone from Rockford and the surrounding area are welcome to attend. Please get involved with our Horizon's program. We are recruiting new members for the Leadership Team. If you would like to have a voice and gain greater understanding about our Horizon's program, please attend. We have monies for elder and child care available if needed. A light meal will be provided. Please contact Todd at (509) 291-4601 for more information.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stategic Poverty Reduction Plan (2009-2012)

The following is a summary of the visioning sessions which identify the strategies that were most likely to succeed.

Short Term (2009-2010)
Grow a flourishing community garden
Improved nutrition and food quality in the community
Create/update community calendar
Identify wireless/broadband customer base
Create community access center
Sponsor venues to show what town wants and will support through a
"floating" center
Create the Rock Creek Internet Cafe

Intermediate Term (2010-2011)
Educate people to use garden produce in nutritious and affordable ways and to
preserve the surplus
Create/expand town website
Identify wireless/broadband suppliers
Keep Horizons Blog up-to-date

Long Term (2011-2012)
Grow surplus food to be given to area food bank to help others and for
sale at Farmers Market
Negotiate a mutually agreeable boradband/wireless contract
Create a town placemat
Plan, finance, build/buy our own community center building

Community BBQ was a Big Success

The Horizons Community BBQ that was held in the Park on September 10th was attended by over 40 residents. All ages were represented and the food was great! Pete Abbey, manager of Fredneck's Beanery & Saloon (a local business) catered the event and served yummy pulled pork, coleslaw, beans and cornbread. Nobody went away hungry!
The Horizons team presented a brief summary of the proposed Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan and received valuable comments and additions from those in attendance. This information will all be evaluated in developing the long-range plan.

Southeast Spokane County Fair coming soon!

This weekend, September 25th through 27th is the Southeast Spokane County Fair in Rockford. It is a smaller country fair with all the activities and attractions of the larger fairs but with a hometown feel. There will be great entertainment, food sold by local nonprofit organizations, a carnival, animals, a parade, horse show and other fun events. Please go to the Fair website:www.sespokanecountyfair.org for more information. The admission is free!

Monday, August 24, 2009

1st volunteer to join blog

Linda Jones, native of Rockford, is the first volunteer to come forward to be trained by WSU assistants, so she can add news from Rockford Historical Society to the blog.

Horizons communication and education team's goal is to partner with a volunteer from each of Rockford's organizations, clubs and businesses who will take the free training and become blog-authors for their fellow members.

With the help of volunteers Rockford Community's Horizons blog will become a powerful venue, and help reduce all aspects of poverty, no matter any particular definition of the term.

Communication is key to working together toward a common goal and community residents use their blog for local news, etc., because in some way or another, it's all tied together in efforts to increase leadership and reduce poverty. The only thing the blog may not be used for is personal gain (soliciting funds, etc).

Everyone is welcome to visit other Horizons communities' blogs, to see the different ways each one benefits. You'll find links to them here, http://horizons.wsu.edu/project/communityindex.html.

Please contact Micki Harnois (mickiharnois@gmail.com), Vivian Plank "Vivian Plank" (<VPlank@bannerbank.com>), or Mona Vanek (MT Scribbler <mtscribbler@air-pipe.com>) if you'd like to join Linda, become blog-author for a civic organization, business or church, and make this blog unique.

Mona Vanek


What a great car show the Rockford Lion's club held last Saturday, August 22nd. There were around 90 cars, pickups and a motorcycle in the City park. Participants said that for the first time for this kind of show, it was very organized and alot of fun. Good job!

Speaking of alot of fun, this is the last Thursday for the "Movies in the Park" series as school starts next week. At 6:30pm there will be free hot dogs available and the movie "Sandlot" will start at 8:30pm. Remember there will be free popcorn and pop.

The Wednesday night basketball in the park will continue until it gets too cold.

The Farmer's market will be on going until September 19th. There is alot of fresh produce available from the three community gardens.

The Horizon's group is now developing the plans to continue with the community gardens in the future. Suggestions that you may have will be appreciated-such as types of crop, a gleaning program, etc.
The Rockford website is continually being updated at www.rockfordwa.com. Josh and Andrew are doing well as are webmasters.
The Rockford Community Center (RCC) group meets on the first Monday of the month in the Harvest Moon and with the help of the Horizon's committee are diligently drafting plans on the future of this project. Various programs are being researched that will be a benefit to the community such as a day care, lending library, computer lab, tutoring, veteran's mobile medical clinic, youth activites, and meeting rooms. Once a location is established a community building will be available for all to use.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I was recently given two websites to look at that offer ideas on saving money on groceries and other living expenses. They are www.frugalchicliving.blogspot.com and www.yearofplenty.org and are local websites. This is a major resource for low income familes. If you know someone who is in need and doesn't own a computer, please share this information with them. When the Rockford Community Center is in a building, a bulletin board with this sort of information will be valuable. If you know of other helpful websites, please share.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Candidate Forum Recap

The Candidate Forum, hosted by MacIntosh Grange at the grange hall last night was a huge success, in spite the small percentage of registered voters attending. A number of Horizons' members attended.

The McIntosh Grange did a great job in organizing the event, and candidates were unanimous in thanking those who came. Moderator, Kevin Fricke was neutral and fair while seven candidates for council had a chance to give their personal statements and answer questions from the audience.

Candidates are:
Council Position #1
Larry Van Every
Howard Brutschy
Stan Seehorn (did not attend Forum)

Council Position #2
Steve Meyers
Thomas Smith

Micki Harnois
Gary Wagner

Written questions from the floor were asked, with each candidate being allowed three minutes for their response. Several Horizons' members were among those submitting written questions.

A question regarding poverty in Rockford brought varied replies from those asked. Despite notable actives by citizens of Rockford and the surrounding area involved in the Horizons program for nearly a year, when asked if poverty exists in Rockford three of the candidates, Steve Myers, Larry Van Every and Thomas Smith, felt that poverty does not exist here.

Myers and Van Every claim poverty is only a "state of mind," and they voiced strong opinions that people remain in poverty by choice, rather than by working to lift themselves out of poverty.

Each pointed out that statistics generally are touted to serve a purpose, instead of being an accurate statement of affairs. Van Every said Rockford is a community of spirit and that poverty results when people "choose to be poor of spirit." Rockford provides the ability to be at peace with neighbors, he said, and "Crime will not come if there is no market." He appealed to every citizen to do his or her part to circumvent the market.

Mayor pro-tem Micki Harnois feels that elected leaders of the Town of Rockford must recognize that a sure sign of poverty is when decision makers do not acknowledge that a percentage of local citizens remain jobless, have low income, lack computer accessibility, have low self-esteem, and have no community facility or location to access resources that can help them improve their chances of joining the labor force that provides decent wages.

She also mentioned funding to continue the two debris-chipping days the town has provided since Spokane County's burn ban affected area residents.

A need for bus transportation to and from Spokane was acknowledged by most of the candidates. Partnering with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to get Casino buses to stop, or with Idaho City Link buses, could be explored. Myers said he doesn't see any feasible outlook.

Maintaining the closeness of community residents and the spirit of cooperation among them is high priority for Thomas Smith, as it is for all of the candidates. Smith hopes to work on cleaning up neglected areas in the town. Myers told of efforts (so far unsuccessful) to accomplish that. He also praised St. John's success with senior retirement housing.

Responses to questions about Rockford's website were positive, and only one member felt business should pay to be listed. When asked if town ordinances can be on the website, replies were split. A couple members thought the ordinances are too numerous and space consuming. Van Every, who has a background in website design, said it would be a simple matter to link to them. Mayor Wagner said Town Council minutes couldn't be put on the website until after being approved.

Mayor Wagner, who said that during his terms as a public official over $5 million in grants have been utilized for improving the town's infrastructure, expressed the need to grow the population by having more houses. Candidate Howard Brutschy said the need wasn't for more housing, but certainly more job opportunities through attracting more businesses is desirable. He favors controlled growth, and is active on the Planning and Zoning board and the South East Spokane County Fair board.

In discussing crime and law enforcement and the financial constraints of county law enforcement, all believe community members will be best served by participating in S.C.O.P.E. and Neighborhood Block Watch efforts.

Council Position #1 is the only position open for voting in the primary election, as there are three candidates. The two candidates that receive the most votes will be included in the general election along with Council Position #2 and the Mayor position.

MacIntosh Grange members plan to hold another Candidate forum in October.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's all happening this week!

Monday, August 10th, Rockford Community Center,6 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Todd Hart, President, Ph: 291-4601.

Monday, August 10, Candidates Forum,7 p.m. McIntosh Grange. Contact, Susan Hegney, Ph: 995-7001, Carol Evans, Ph: 535-1165.

Tuesday, August 11th, Horizons, 6:30 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room.
Wednesday, August 12th, 8:00-9:30 p.m. Basketball in the Park.

Thursday, August 13th, S.E. Spokane County Fair meeting, 7 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room

Thursday, August 13th, DUSK. Movie in the Park

Saturday, August 15th, Farmers' & Flea Market in the park. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 15th, Crochet class, 10:00 a.m. - noon, Harvest Moon Banquet room or at Farmers' & Flea Market in the Park

Friday, August 7, 2009


Last nite was the "Movie in the Park". Due to lightening, thunder and eventually torrential rain, the main Fair building bacame the local theater. The projector screen was hung on a "make shift" wall and 75+ people of all ages sat on benches and lawn chairs and watched a great movie- "Race to Witch Mountain". Free popcorn and pop was served at intermission. Great community teamwork was performed to make this great family event happen. Rain or shine-we will still have Thursday "Movie Nite".

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


On July 30th a meeting was held regarding information about a Rockford Neighborhood Block Watch program. Spokane Deputy Sheriff Travis Pendell gave an excellent presentation on home security, internet fraud, and the program. SCOPE officers were there to offer assistance as this program is affiliated with their department. About 10 adults and 10 kids were present.

You will notice at the entrance to Rockford coming east from SR 27 and from the south on SR 278 (from Idaho) there is a sign that welcomes you to Rockford and that we are a "drug free" community with neighbor watching neighborhood. The Block Watch program is the action portion of the sign. Neighborhood blocks are created where you know your neighbor's name as well as their families' , street address and phone numbers. If you have to make a 911 call for an emergency you will have the information available. Those signs with the blue eye will be posted in your neighborhood where you feel it is the most effective.

In regard to home security, if a homeowner is going to be leaving their home vacant for awhile (snowbirds, e.g.), they could hire a teen in town to keep an eye on your home, shovel the walk and driveway, gather their newspapers, etc. It gives them a responsible task as well as some money.

There will be an organizational meeting for the Neighborhood Block Watch program on Thursday, August 27th at 6:00pm in the park. Banner Bank will also be serving hot dogs and another popular movie will be shown at dusk. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


There will be a candidate forum for those persons who are running for a Rockford City Council position and for you-a citizen! This will be held on August 10th at 7:00pm in the McIntosh Grange in Rockford. The candidates will give their opening statements and an opportunity will be given for you to ask questions. Voters will not receive a "Voter's Pamphlet" this year from the Elections Department due to financial reasons. You can search this information online at http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/spokane/Pages/onlineVotersGuide.aspx. Voter's registration forms can be obtained at the Rockford City Hall. We want to express our appreciation to the Grange for having this event and hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Community Website-It is up and running and can be viewed at http://www.rockfordwa.com/. Josh Grandinetti and Andy Coumont are doing a great job as the webmasters and are entering new data as it becomes available.
Community Gardens-They are producing a great crop and are being picked by the gardeners for their use and also for those in need who can not get fresh produce on a regular basis. Some items are being sold at the Saturday Farmers Market with proceeds going into the Rockford Community Center (RCC) fund. At the closing of the market each week, perishable produce is delivered to low-income families.
Rockford Community Center (RCC)-Even though no building or facility has been designated as the town's community the fund is still being maintained. Eventually the hope is to have this money go toward a building as a small portion of a down payment, matching funds if a grant becomes available or future facility maintenance. Programs targeting senior social activities, a lending library, and a computer lab are currently being established so when a facility becomes available the programs can opperate in a central location. Income from the Farmers Market and donations from organizations and individuals are going directly to the RCC fund. Soon we will have 501C 3 status for those interested in tax-deductible gifts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


What a great time for us to be planning for our great town of Rockford! Elections are coming up and the Horizons group is working on a strategic plan that will better our community. These two events go hand in hand, don't they? Healthy decisions make a healthy place to live! Remember that this is your community and the place you have decided to possibly raise your family or to retire. If you want to get the most out of a community experience, join us in the park on September 10th @ 6:30 for the Horizons BBQ. With your help, in 6 months we can celebrate an awesome community that you want and planned for.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

URGENT ALERT re: Safe and Drug Free Schools funding

Dear Safe and Drug Free Schools Supporter

On Friday, July 17th, the Full House Appropriations Committee voted to eliminate the State Grants portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) program. The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee on Appropriations is tentatively scheduled to mark up its version of the bill that contains funding for this program on July 28th.

Please take five minutes TODAY! Phone the members of your congressional delegation (both senators and your representative) by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for your member’s office. (If you don’t know who the members of your congressional delegation are, you can find out by going to http://capwiz.com/cadca/home/ and entering your zip code.)

Senator Patty Murray (Ph: 202-224-2621; Fax: 202 224-0238

Senator Maria Cantwell (Ph: 202 224 3441; Fax: 202 228-0514

Representative, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Ph: 202 225-2006; Fax: 202 225-3392

Email to elected officials must go through their websites:
Senator Patty Murray, http://www.murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm

Senator Maria Cantwell, http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/

Representative, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers , http://mcmorris.house.gov/?sectionid=82&sectiontree=4,82.

Please deliver the following message:

- I understand that the Full House Appropriations Committee voted to eliminate the State Grants portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program

- The House Report says it would rather concentrate funding on targeted interventions, funded through the national programs portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program

- This is a huge problem and a gigantic mistake because the national programs gives very large grants to a very limited number of local educational agencies who will not be able to sustain these grants when the grant period is over

- In addition, over 90% of school districts, including mine, DON’T receive money from the national programs and probably never will

- Therefore, if the State Grants portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program is eliminated and there will be no prevention infrastructure in place in the vast majority of schools in the country, including ours, to provide K-12 students with messages and effective programming to counter emerging and embedded drug trends as well as bullying and violence prevention issues

- Please tell your boss that it is critical that the funding for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program be maintained and we need their support

*** This request was sent by Kelly LieupoDirector of Public PolicyCommunity Anti-Drug Coalitions of America625 Slaters Lane, Suite 300Alexandria, VA 22314klieupo@cadca.orgTelephone: (800) 542-2322 ext. 241Facsimile: (703) 706-0565

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monday, July 27th, Youth Group, 6:30 p.m. Rockford Community Church.

Monday, July 27th, Lions Club, 7 p.m., Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Craig Swanson, President, Ph: 291-4313

Tuesday, July 28, Summer Swim bus to Tekoa, departs 11:45 a.m., Rockford Park. $2. Returns swimmers to the park at approximately 4 p.m.

Wednesday, July 29th, Planning & Zoning, 6 p.m., City Hall. Contact Darlene LaShaw, Clerk Ph: 291-4716

Thursday, July 30th, Free Movies in the Park, dusk, Rockford Park. Free soda and popcorn courtesy of Rockford businesses. Help with cleanup appreciated.

Thursday, July 30th, Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m., United Methodist Church Parsonage. Contact Todd, Ph: 291-4601

Thursday, July 30th, Block Watch, 7 p.m. in the Park with Deputy Sheriff, Travis Pendell

Thursday, July 30, Freeman School District, School Board Meeting, 5 p.m. MS Library

Saturday, August 1st, Farmer's & Flea Market in the Park, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, August 1st, Crochet Club, 10 a.m.-noon Harvest Moon Banquet Room (or alongside Farmer's & Flea Market in the Park.) Contact Vivian Plank, Ph: 291-3722

Friday, July 24, 2009

Spokane physicians voice opposition

In an unprecedented move, physicians and staff at Heart Clinics Northwest are urging people to contact federal representatives and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and tell them how damaging the currently-in-process President's Health Care proposals for reform would be to patient's medical care.

"The proposed reimbursement schedule is devastating to the care of all patients," says the July 15,2009 open letter sent to HCN patients. "Tell them (federal representatives & CMS) how damaging this would be to your care and they absolutely can't implement these cost reductions."

Heart Clinic Northwest foresees a dramatic decrease in:
Access to care
Substantial reduction in ability to provide high quality care
Probable future reduction in quantity of care.

Comments will be received at CMS no later than August 31, 2009 at 5:p.m. Eastern time and will ONLY reach the proper CMS department at the following:

Electronically submitted comments: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=SubmitComment&o=09000064809f0082.

Written comments sent via US Mail:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Attention: CMS-1413-PP.O.
Box 8013Baltimore, MD 21244-8013.

By express or overnight mail:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Attention: CMS-1413-P
Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

Email to elected officials must go through their websites:
Senator Patty Murray (Ph: 202-224-2621; Fax: 202 224-0238; website: http://www.murray.senate.gov/.)
Senator Maria Cantwell (Ph: 202 224 3441; Fax: 202 228-0514; website: http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/.)
Representative, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Ph: 202 225-2006; Fax: 202 225-3392; website: http://www.mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov/.)

E-mail forms: Senator Patty Murray, http://www.murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm

Senator Maria Cantwell, http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/

Representative, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers , http://mcmorris.house.gov/?sectionid=82&sectiontree=4,82.

CMS is responsible for reimbursement to hospitals and physicians, and will only be open for comment until August 31, 2009 on proposed cuts in reimbursement for medical care (physician services, outpatient procedures, and imaging services.)

Heart Clinics Northwest is a major provider of cardiac care in the northwest, and advise that "the proposed cuts would amount in total to between a 25% to as much as 50% reduction ... the reduction will be superimposed on an already implemented 15%-20% reduction in the current fiscal year. Our practice cannot sustain this insult and if they are implemented January 1, 2010 as proposed, the impact to you, as a patient, will be radical."

"The risk to you is tremendous and the outcome potentially devastating." HCN wrote.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Social Networking Tips

As rural communities get faster Internet services, social networking increases, bringing opportunities to increase incomes. I have a friend who earns $90 an hour for as little as two hours a day with social networking. However, the ways social networking can endanger the unwary increases, too.

If you're new to social networking (or even if you're not), check out Debra Littlejohn Shinder's article, "10 Ways to Stay Out of Trouble when you Post to Social Networking Sites" on the TechRepublic site at http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=851.

Debra is a Microsoft MVP specializing in enterprise security and CEO of TACteam (Trainers, Authors & Consultants). A former police officer/criminal justice instructor, she has written or contributed to over 20 books and hundreds of articles for print and online publications. Debra is highly respected for her virtual-crime fighting expertise. Her titles include MVP/Security, Editor, WXPnews (http://www.wxpnews.com/), Editor, VistaNews (http://www.vistanews.com/). http://www.debshinder.com/, and Tech Blog: http://deb-tech.spaces.live.com/.

In "Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom," authors Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta wrote, "The generation entering the workforce today - and entering boardrooms everywhere - is fully engaged with social networking and its uses. Rather than feeling threatened and paranoid, today's business leaders need to understand this phenomenon, accept that it won't go away, and embrace its power in the world of business."

Give serious thought to how you use this powerful new medium. Although social networking is increasing at phenominal speed in the business world and vastly enhancing the work-a-day world, it warrants the time to learn about its many uses.

Start at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network to learn more. And be sure to read, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogging.

On the bookshelf, "Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom" is the first comprehensive book written for a wide audience about the Web 2.0 social networking revolution. ... www.throwingsheep.com/.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week in Rockford

Monday, July 20th, Youth Group, 6:30 p.m. Rockford Community Church.

Monday, July 20th, McIntosh Grange, 7.p.m. McIntosh Grange. Contact, Susan Hegney, Ph: 995-7001, Carol Evans, Ph: 535-1165

Tuesday, July 21, Summer Swim bus to Tekoa, departs 11:45 a.m., Rockford Park. $2. Returns swimmers to the park at approximately 4 p.m.

Wednesday, July 22nd, Town Council meeting, 7 p.m. City Hall. Contact Darlene LaShaw, Clerk Ph: 291-4716

Thursday, July 23rd, Free Movies in the Park, dusk, Rockford Park.
Free soda and popcorn courtesy of Rockford businesses. Help with cleanup appreciated.

Thursday, July 23rd, S.E. Spokane County Fair meeting, 7 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room

Saturday, July 25th, Crochet Club, 10 a.m.-noon Harvest Moon Banquet Room (or alongside Farmer's & Flea Market in Rockford Park.) Contact Vivian Plank, Ph: 291-3722

Saturday, July 25th, Farmer's & Flea Market in Rockford Park, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Education opportunities

Class schedules at Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, and Institute for Extended Learnging are no longer printed and mailed; go online to www.ccs.spokane.edu and click on class schedules to find fall course offerings, on campus and online. Fall quarter starts September 21, 2009.

The deadline for winter quarter financial ais applications is Nov. 30, 2009.

College prep classes and GEDs are available through the Institute for Extended Learning. Visit www.iel.spokane.edu/abe/ or call 509 533-4600.

If exercise, art, personal enrichment or skill-building classes interest you, classes for seniors, Boomers and everyone else -- CCS noncredit lifelong learning classes are for you. Go to www.ccs.spokane.ed, and click on Class Scheules, and check Noncredit Classes to see what's happening fall quarter.

If transportation is a problem, or you'd like to carpool, please make a comment to this post in the space provided.

Community Gardens thrive

Update from Keith & Linda Wigen, Community Garden team leaders.

"Dear Gardners, The gardens are in and growing well. Thanks to all who helped to plant them. There are three in all -- one next to the Catholic Church, one next to Kit and Dell Stevenson's house (Lake & Maple), and one on the highway going toward Worley, next to Lonny and Linda Thomas's house (A & 1st St.)

"Now that they are growing, we need weeders to keep them in good shape. Please do your share. We won't be setting up schedules for weeding, but are putting you on your honor to take an hour or so a week at your convenience and at the garden of your choice to hoe or pull weeds. Also, in the garden near the church, the lettuce and radishes are ready for picking. Please take what you can use.

"On Thursday, August 6th, we will be having a "weed & feed" at the garden next to the Catholic Church. Please join us. Bring a potluck dish to share and we'll weed awhile and then we'll eat. It will be a good chance to get to know each other better and also to share ideas. We'll meet at six o'clock.

"Thanks for your interest in our gardening project and your continued support. As before, if you have questions, you can call Keith or Linda Wigen at 291-3602, or Todd Hart at 291-4601.

"Your fellow gardeners. "

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Swim bus Tuesday not Thursday

The bus, taking kids to swim at Tekoa, leaves Rockford Park at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays, not on Thursdays as reported earlier.

I'm sorry for passing along the wrong day, published first in the Rockford News that's sent out with monthly utility bills to homeowners.

Horizons meeting moved

Word just arrived that tonight's 6:30 p.m. meeting of Horizons Poverty Project, scheduled to meet at the Harvest Moon Banquet Room has been moved to St. Joseph's Parish Hall, due to the Harvest Moon Banquet Room being booked for the evening.

Farmer's & Flea Market correction

Saturday, July 18th, Farmer's & Flea Market will be from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., in Rockford Park, not in the Cenex Park.

Mary-Lou Benson said it will be in the Rockford Park "and usually in the Pavilion. However, if a community gathering has been scheduled in the Park, we will be either near the fence or on the cement slab near the back of the Park. Just look for us and your search will be rewarded."

Please attend: Important meeting

Mary-Lou Benson, Team Leader, Horizons Poverty Project said, "Important decisions about upcoming projects that affect area residents will be made tonight."

Benson urges all Rockford residents to attend the meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Harvest Moon Banquet Room.

The agenda includes reviewing Horizons' team leader strategic planning, and selecting which of the outlined projects will be adopted to move forward.

Patrick Malone (MS/PCED), WSU Extension-Horizons Community Coach will be there to guide discussions and offer advice.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good news & bad

At Wednesday's July 15th Town Council Meeting, 7 p.m. at City Hall, Josh Grandinetti and Andy Coumont will explain and demonstrate the fine points of their creation – Rockfordwa.com – the town's official website.

As always, the public is welcome to attend.

The sad news is, in spite Town Council Member, Micki Harnois efforts, and Horizons' team leader's hours of strategic planning, getting lower cost Broadband access for Rockford residents is not going to happen.

Broadband is provided by Air-pipe.com to customers who are within line-of-site of their equipment, atop the seed elevators near the entrance to town. And although even the lowest installation fee, $199 for three years, is beyond the reach of the majority, because it takes three years for the company to recover their equipment and installation expenses, fees cannot be lowered.

Two other high speed internet providers, Hughes and Wild Blue, are advertised online as also providing service to area customers, but connectivity varies by location and is not less expensive.

Add to that the $49.95-lowest monthly rate, and it's not hard to realize that the majority of Rockford's youth and senior citizens won't have Broadband access.

That Rockford's residents suffer poverty of Broadband access is not only sad, it's almost criminal. Statistics show that without competitive access to the Internet, every segment of society lags farther and farther behind their more fortunate peers; in job markets, in education, in government services, to say nothing of social activities.

Broadband users can read daily newspapers and trade journals from around the globe, and have access to information that can make or break a company dependent on breaking news. They can easily zoom in on any segment of the earth, via GoogleEarth; and talk long distance, via Skype, freed from enormous long distance fees.

The options and opportunities available to Broadband users leave dial-up and cable-dependent Internet users desperately handicapped. There is no foreseeable solution in sight for Rockford.

Both webmasters kept this fact in mind when they created the town's website. Utilizing the best available resources, they designed fast loading pages and options that will greatly benefit Rockford citizens.

These fine young men are hard at work now on a website for their web design business. Watch for the advent of http://www.andrewcoumont.com/.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Upcoming events

Monday, July 13th, Youth Group, 6:30 p.m. Rockford Community Church.

Tuesday, July 14th, Horizons, 6:30 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room.

Thursday, July 16th, Summer Swim bus to Tekoa, departs 11:45 a.m., Rockford Park. $2.

Thursday, July 16th, Free Movies in the Park, dusk, Rockford Park. Free soda and popcorn courtesy of Rockford businesses. Help with cleanup appreciated.

Saturday, July 18th, Crochet Club, 10 a.m.-noon Harvest Moon Banquet Room (or alongside Farmer's Market in Cenex Park.) Contact Vivian Plank, Ph: 291-3722

Saturday, July 18th, Farmer's & Flea Market in Cenex Park, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday, July 18th, 1-3 p.m. Rockford Park. S.C.O.P.E. Bicycle Rodeo For Kids!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Word-of-mouth scoops blog!

It's true! Word-of-mouth began circulating the news -- Rockfordwa.com -- Rockford's official website is online! (http://rockfordwa.com/.)

When webmasters, Josh & Andy requested that I post an annoucement, I dawdled. I was busy, which is a feeble excuse for not posting breaking news when it happens. ;0(

This morning I heard it from everyone I talked to, on my daily walk!

Visit Rockfordwa.com NOW, click all the links, especially those on the calendar. Enjoy the thrill of knowing what's going on in our town!

Post your events, activities, and\or business information.

Click the Contact Webmaster link, and let these two fine young men know what you think, and what you might want changed or revised.

Celebrate! Rockford not only enjoys blazing fast Word-of-Mouth, Posters, North Palouse Journal, it now has access to this powerful medium, Rockfordwa.com.

Breaking news will appear more reliably and faster when folks volunteer to become an "author" for the blog, go to their computer, access the blog, and type in news as soon as they hear it.

Contact me if you're interested in becoming one of the authors. mtscribbler@air-pipe.com, or 291-3609.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Basketball in Rockford!

Some folks say there isn't much for youth to do in Rockford, but a look at the July monthly calendar that came with my utility bill shows several opportunities.

Youth Group ; 6:30 p.m. Rockford Community Church. Mondays. (326-1773)

Basketball in the Park, which sports a fine cement court; 8-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays.
Summer swim bus to Tekoa; 11:45 a.m. Bus from the Park. Thursdays. Returns to Park approx. 4:45 p.m.

Free movies in the Park. Free soda & popcorn, too! At Dusk. Thursdays.

S.C.O.P.E. Bicycle Rodeo For Kids. Saturdays, July 11th & July 18th. In the Park.

Crochet class. 10 a.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room (or in the Park during summer.) Saturdays.

Our home is uphill from the old Rockford school property that sports a baseball diamond that the current owners keep mowed; where civic-minded folks provide a portable toilet and bleachers. Many evenings I sit on my porch and savor the sounds of youngsters enjoying baseball games there, with parents and friends cheering excitedly.
I wonder -- Are they aware of how many Rockford residents care deeply about them and do all in their power to expand opportunities for Rockford's youth?

Winds wave the American flag we fly extended from our porch railing, and I'm thankful that Rockford's kids are lucky -- maybe luckier than they even realize, for they're blessed with freedom to develop their talents and skills; to play and grow, carefree, in safety, amid beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

July Rockford News bulletin from City Hall

Movies in the Park and Summer Swim Program are summer highlight events that make Thursdays special. Free movies began last month and the swim program begins July 9th.

Free movies in Rockford Park began on Thursday evenings in June, and will continue throughout the summer until S.E. Spokane County Fair time in the fall, (http://www.sespokanecountyfair.org/.)

The free movies begin at dusk, sponsored by Rockford Lion's Club and Rockford United Methodist Church. Free soda and popcorn are provided by several area businesses. Bring your family, friends, jackets and blankets.

The swim program, made available through the efforts of the towns of Rockford, Fairfield, Waverly, Latah, and Spangle, gives area youngsters the opportunity for fun and camaraderie in Tekoa's swimming pool one afternoon a week.

Beginning July 9th, children ages 5-16 from participating towns are invited to ride the bus to the Tekoa pool from now through August 13th, 2009.

The bus will depart Rockford Park every Thursday at 11:45 a.m., and proceed to pick up youngsters in the participating towns. Chaperones will be hired for the program.

Required parental permission forms can be obtained at area City Halls, and must be completed beforehand and given to the Chaperone at the bus stops.

The $2 admission to the pool is collected at the bus stops, and the Tekoa School District will be providing free lunches for participants. Parents are welcome to accompany their children, and pay the same admission fee to the pool. (Scholarships are available for Rockford children in need. Inquire: 291-4716.)

On the return trip home, the bus will arrive in Rockford at approximately 4:45 p.m. Parents are responsible for their children when they are dropped off at the park.

More events in Rockford this week

Communication is a powerful community unifier. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead/Reader's Digest January 2009.)

In partnership with Horizons, Rockford Town Council provides a monthly calendar of events that is mailed to the town's utility customers with their bills. Since the calendar only reaches property owners utilizing the water and sewer systems and the garbage collection services, not every resident gets the calendar.

Horizons Communications and Education team, with the help of local volunteers, will provide the events-calendar weekly on this blog, throughout July and August.

By then, we hope to have networked with each group, and that they will continue the posts.

Thursday, July 9th, AA Meeting, 7 p.m. Rockford Community Church Parsonage.

Saturday, July 11th:, S.C.O.P.E. Bicycle Rodeo For Kids!

Saturday, July 11th, Farmer's & Flea Market in the Park, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Please contact me if you have events information we've missed. Thanks. (Mona, Ph: 291-3609, or e-mail, mtscribbler@air-pipe.com.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

This week in Rockford: July 6-11, 2009

Residents of Rockford participate in and support a remarkable number of civic and social organzations. Their combined contributions to community betterment is awesome and commendable.

Each group invites you to attend, share your skills, ideas and talent. Experience the fun and commaraderie of joining with your neighbors to help build an even more integrated and prosperous community.

The following Rockford organizations meet this week:

Monday, July 6th, Lions Club, 7 p.m., Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Craig Swanson, President, Ph: 291-4313

Wednesday, July 8th, Town Council meeting, 7 p.m. City Hall. Darlene LaShaw, Clerk, Ph: 291-4716

Thursday, July 9th, Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m., United Methodist Church Parsonage. Contact Todd, Ph: 291-4601

Thursday, July 9th, VFW, Post 7815, 7 p.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Contact Ed Chuck Crockett, Ph: 286-3340

Friday, July 10th, Rockford Museum & Historical Society, 11:30 a.m. Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Contact, Evelyn Fricke 291-4250

Saturday, July 11th. Farmers Market in the Park, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Mary-Lou Benson, Ph: 291-3146

Saturday, July 11th, Crochet Club, 10 a.m.-noon. Harvest Moon Banquet Room. Contact Vivian Plank, Ph: 291-3722

Friday, July 3, 2009

Horizons' WSU blog training benefits Rockford area residents

Rockford Horizons team members recently took advantage of free training at Washington State University to learn blogging skills. Their goal is to use blogging in ways that reduce poverty in their hometown.

Rhonda Gollehon, WSU Horizons and JoEllen Wollman, Horizons Program Assistant provided training in both beginning and advanced classes.

Micki Harnois (advanced) and Mona Vanek (beginner) were subsequently inducted to contribute posts to Rockford Blogspot, http://rockford-wa.blogspot.com/.

Everyone is invited to visit the blog and post comments. If area residents have community news they want to share they can have either Micki or Mona post it on the blog.

Phase II Rockford Visioning

In an intensive three-hour-long session, July 30th, Rockford's Horizon-trained leaders produced detailed strategic/action plans for Horizons 2009-2012 Visioning.

At the Harvest Moon Banquet Room, of eighteen projects outlined at Phase I of Horizons Visioning, six were nominated from three criteria categories: Individual Assets, Community Capacity, and Public Policy.

Participants divided into groups and wrote plans and set deadlines for accomplishing projects they believe can reduce local poverty: Increased job opportunities, and job training and retraining; Grocery store/shop local/buy local, and more reliable/affordable Broadband Wireless Access; Encouraging small business, and getting more local government officials to take an interest and become involved in Horizons Poverty Project efforts.

Horizon Leadership will make final selection of projects soon at a Tuesday evening meeting. Leaders and team members are convinced that with increased community volunteerism, linked with the Horizons Poverty Project resources, much will be accomplished to create a better future for all residents in the Rockford area.

Leaders want residents and members from each of Rockford organizations and civic groups to attend the twice-monthly Tuesday evening meetings at the Harvest Moon Banquet Room and contribute their skills and knowledge, too. Call Todd, 291-4601 or Mary-Lou, 291-3146.

Rockford's upcoming pseudo 'daily news media

As webmasters, Josh Grandinetti and Andy Coumont, develop Rockford's town website they incorporated links so that posts on this Horizons blog will also feed to the website. When the blog is updated it instantly relays the news to the website through what is called an rss feed, a file that keeps all of the news stories organized in a way that browsers and other websites can read. Anyone can post comments to posts here.

The blog also makes it easy for Rockford residents to inform people about what's happening in Rockford.

By partnering with their Horizons team member neighbors, residents can easily have their news items posted. Simply provide the news to members, Mona Vanek (291-3609, mtscribbler@air-pipe.com), Vivian Plank, (892-4412) or Micki Harnois.

Make logging into the block a daily event to keep abreast of community activities. Communication has a positive impact of poverty reduction.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Growing awareness

Residents in Rockford and the surrounding communities that make up the Palouse region read about Rockford's Horizons blogspot in a news article published in the North Palouse Journal, May 28, 2009. headlined "Rockford develops a blogspot," and provided the Internet address.

Also, the article boosted the success of the survey Rockford Horizons Poverty Project team leaders circulated. The survey gathered ideas for what Rockford residents wanted on an official town website. Forty-four surveys were completed and returned.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rockford's "Vision"

June 23, 2009

Twenty three Rockford residents came together at the first of two meetings and began defining their "Vision" of projects aimed at further reducing poverty in their community.

Applying skills learned in the nine-week Leadership Training phase, the process of reaching a concensus on goals was accelerated. Two groups formed, brainstormed, and then each condensed potential goals into eighteen, highest priority, most achievable projects addressing individual assets, community capacity and public policy.

All community members are invited to attend next week's Part II Visioning Horizons Poverty Project meeting, June 30th at Harvest Moon Banquet Room, beginning with food at 5:30pm. The goals will be combined and further refined. Plans for achieving the final selections will be drawn up. Project leaders will then solicit volunteers from the community to complete the projects by target-dates.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Please Participate in the 2009 Rockford Community Poverty Reduction Survey

The Rockford Horizons Leadership Team, comprised of your Rockford neighbors, is beginning to prepare a strategic action plan to reduce poverty through the year 2012. (This is the third and final development step in our 18-month long Horizons community leadership project which began in September 2008). The first step is to survey residents and community members to see what they feel are the most important and promising strategies to adopt. The next, second step will be to hold two community meetings (June 23 & 30 at 6:00pm at the Harvest Moon) to gather additional public input and to write the action plan. Please plan on attending and bring friends/neighbors!

We invite you to take the survey located to your right. All answers are strictly confidential! All input will help us shape the above mentioned Action Plan! Your input is very important and all ideas will be considered in plan development.

This survey is organized around three guiding poverty reduction goals identified by our funder, the Northwest Area Foundation. They include: increased individual assets/wealth among low income people, increased community capacity to achieve sustainable prosperity, and improved public policy solutions to reduce poverty.

Thank you for taking the Community Poverty Reduction Survey.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yard & Garden Debris Collection Event

On Saturday May 9th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm there will be an area set up behind the Rockford City Hall to bring your yard waste. Leaves, grass, brush and other home yard trimmings are welcome. There is no charge. If you have a waste pile in your yard and have no way to haul it to the collection area, please notify the City Hall @ 291-4716 before 4:00 pm on May 8th.

Rockford Farmers' & Flea Market

Starts on Saturday, May 29th and 30th and every Saturday through September 12th. It is held in the Rockford City Park from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Farmers and vendors are wanted! The cost to participate is $10 per space, due at sign-up. Fresh produce from the town's three community gardens will be for sale as it becomes available Proceeds go to the food bank and a future community center. Contact Todd @ (509) 291-4601 for registration and information.

Rockford Community Wide Garage Sale

This 2nd annual community event will be on May 29th-30th. The Rockford United Methodist Church, Rockford Historical Society and the Southeast Spokane County Fair will have items for sale. If you want to participate contact Todd @ (509) 291-4601 and get your name on the free "Map of Rockford Sales".

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Basketball in the Park

The beginning of the spring/summer activities for youth begins on Wednesday, May 6th. Come to the park from 8:00 to 9:30 pm every Wednesday night and join in the fun! Adults are encouraged to participate (it will certainly keep you in shape).

Downtown Rockford