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,

Please contact Micki Harnois (, Vivian Plank "Vivian Plank" (<>), or Mona Vanek (MT Scribbler <>) 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 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 and 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 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!