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Food deserts – like it or not, Rockford has them

Chuck Sweeny’s recent post about food deserts missed the mark in both tone and in adequately defining what a food desert really is.  In lamenting his lack of easy access to a Costco, Chuck reduced an issue that deserves critical attention to a liberal buzzword.  The implication and implicit eye-roll are a reminder that people with power struggle with basic empathy, and locally, a sincere lack of understanding for a gigantic swath of Rockford residents. What is a food desert and do food deserts actually exist?  There’s a lot of debate over the...

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Mayor and Chairman visit Next Rockford this Thursday (2/13)

Next Rockford February 13, 2014 7:30 am YWCA (across from Rockford University) Special Guests Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey Winnebago County Chairman Scott Christiansen FEBRUARY IS BRING A GUEST MONTH! Looking Ahead: March 6 – Transform Rockford: Gen X & Y Vision Session 6-8 @ Prairie Street Brewhouse Sponsored by Next Rockford, Ignite, Chamber, and the Brewhouse March 13 – March Next Rockford Meeting: Sheriff Candidate Forum (7:30 am @ YWCA) Questions?  Contact me at (815) 979-4045 or frank@ebagency.com. Frank Haney Next...

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Rock Valley College – My Perspective

“Raise your hand if you have taken a class at Rock Valley College” – this question was asked of the 400 attendees at the Chamber Education Outlook Luncheon in December. A large number of hands raised, including that of the RPS 205 Superintendent as well as folks from the trades, business, professional, manufacturing, non-profit, and political communities. This clearly illustrated the impact RVC has on our region. Much has been said about RVC recently. At first, I was concerned that this could leave a casual observer with some misperceptions....

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Strolling towards transformation one volunteer at a time

Stroll on State is quickly approaching this Saturday. Last weekend, I had the privilege of working next to 350 volunteers from Heartland Community Church who were committed to cleaning up and decorating downtown Rockford. These community-minded folks used their free time with only one thing in mind; making Rockford an even better place. Together. With all the conversations of transforming Rockford and collaboration buzzing around the city, I feel compelled to chime in on something I witnessed.  I’m not sure when it hit me what was actually...

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Regional Transforma​tion The Topic At Next Rockford (9/12)

Next Rockford Meeting September 12, 2013 YWCA (across from Rockford University) 7:30 am Bring join us and bring a guest! Topic:  Regional Transformation  Guest:  Mike Schablaske  About the Regional Transformation effort: The Regional Transformation effort is working to dramatically improve the social and economic condition of the region and its residents by applying strategic planning processes used successfully in large businesses and communities. Our community vision – as well as the strategies and detailed plans to achieve that...

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Next Rockford tackles Home Rule: 8/15/2013 @ 7:30 am

Next Rockford Meeting Thursday, August 15, 2013 7:30 am (1 hr meeting) YWCA (across from Rockford University)     Topic: HOME RULE – Why?  Why Not?  (panel discussion) When it comes to Home Rule, people tend to fall into one of three categories: 1. People who have heard about it but don’t feel like they understand it completely. 2. People who are strongly in favor of it.   3. People who are strongly opposed to it. Educate yourself on this controversial topic as we welcome a panel of experts to discuss the legal aspects...

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