Friday, February 29, 2008


Gasport was left powerless on Friday night due to an accident around 6:00 PM. A car struck a pole on Telegraph Road in front of Silsby's Farm in the village's west end. Luckily no one was hurt, but damage was significant. One pole was completely sheered while another one down the street snapped at the top because of the domino effect. National Grid is responding at press time and it is unknown when power will be restored. Due to damage this may be a lengthy outage.


From the Lockport Journal


DRUGS: Police say marijuana found growing in Gasport home

GASPORT — Charges are pending against two men after members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force reportedly found marijuana plants and guns in a basement on Highland Drive. The sheriff’s department dispatch received a 911 call about 2:27 a.m. from a 35-year-old Main Street woman who was at the Highland Drive home and said she had possibly been drugged. When deputies arrived, they reportedly saw drug paraphernalia in plain view in the kitchen and living room, including marijuana, a bong and marijuana cigarettes.

The woman reportedly said she did not know how she had gotten to the house, and she was not aware of what day or time it was. The woman said she believed the 51-year-old man who lives there had given her psychedelic mushrooms. She told deputies she thought she heard her father’s voice coming from the basement and that the heating vents in the living room area were glowing, the report said. Tri-Town Ambulance responded to the scene and transported the woman to Lockport Memorial Hospital for evaluation.

Deputies interviewed a 27-year-old resident, who said the 51-year-old had left for an unknown destination shortly after the woman called 911. Deputies noticed the basement and bedroom doors were both locked, and asked the man if anyone else was in the building or if were any illegal drugs in the house. The man said he did not know what was in the basement, the report said. Members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force responded and secured a search warrant for the residence. In the basement, task force members reportedly found numerous marijuana plants, along with equipment used to grow marijuana and several long guns.The items were confiscated and the investigation is continuing. Drug Task Force Chief Mark Driess said Thursday that charges are pending against both men who live in the home.


Click the image below to enlarge this legal notice...

Thursday, February 28, 2008


From the Niagara Gazette....

Local actress to bring Patsy Cline’s legacy back to the stage
By Kelly Warth Greater Niagara Newspapers

The two-woman musical “Always … Patsy Cline” will tell the story of the popular country singer’s life and feature 27 of her hit songs at the Palace Theatre in Lockport.

“If you know or like Patsy Cline, then you’ll love the show,” said Chris Parada, artistic director for the Palace.

A six-piece band will accompany Theresa Werth, a Gasport-based actress, as she belts out the most popular of Cline’s vocally challenging songs including “Crazy” and “If I Could See the World (Through the Eyes of a Child).”

To read the entire article about this (and next) weekend's production in Lockport visit:


Absolut Care of Gasport (the senior and nursing home) is hosting a demonstration by Niagara County Sheriff's canine officer Joe Moll this Thursday, Feb. 28th, at 2:15. The public is welcome to attend. Aboslut Care is at 4540 Lincoln Drive in the village.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Gasport NY- Product development firm licenses invention to NYSE Company

Design Concepts of Niagara Ltd. a Gasport, New York based product design and development company recently licensed a patent pending storable cargo trailer named Tow-N-Stow to Goshen Indiana based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI). A worldwide manufacturing and marketing agreement grants LCI exclusive rights to produce the innovative consumer duty cargo trailer. Distribution is planned for the home improvement and sporting goods markets late 2008.

The Tow-N-Stow’s most innovative feature is its ability to convert from a cargo trailer into an outdoor storage unit in less than 1 minute. The trailer conversion allows for aesthetic storage in environments where a traditional cargo trailer would not be practical. The body will utilize a revolutionary thermoplastic polyolefin material (TPO), a high impact plastic developed for automotive and military applications. The 50 cu. ft. capacity body will employ a self dampening torsion axle and steel chassis produced entirely in the US at Lippert’s manufacturing sites.

“Rising gasoline prices and a softening economy provide LCI with a great opportunity to capitalize upon the growing demand for lightweight consumer trailers utilizing our existing manufacturing capacity”, according to Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components Incorporated. Arnie Wolfe, President of the development firm states, “We have designed an extremely durable lightweight and low profile cargo trailer that will have the capacity to haul 1000 pounds behind a small vehicle. The Tow-n-Stow’s unique features will provide users with an alternate to large costly SUV’s and light trucks by providing additional hauling space when needed and a useful storage option suitable for residential areas when not, that makes the Tow-N-Stow not only practical but ‘green’”.

Lippert Components, a subsidiary of Drew Industries, a $700 million NYSE company (DW) is a major supplier of manufactured home, recreational vehicle and utility trailer components. Established in 1956, LCI’s state of the art fabrication operations and environmentally friendly powder coating technologies produce over 15,000 towable RV chassis per month with plants covering 15 states with additional facilities in Canada. Introduction of the Tow-N-Stow provides LCI with a consumer product that serves to add more market sectors with a large worldwide potential.

News Release courtesy Arnie Wolfe 716-514-4311

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Attention churches, fire halls, schools, and anyone else with sirens and bells: Niagara County needs your help on March 11th, celebrating our county's 200th birthday. Click the image below to enlarge this letter asking for your help. Let's make some noise!!

Monday, February 25, 2008


National Weather ServiceWatches, Warnings & Advisories

325 PM EST MON FEB 25 2008






It's not often that I post national issues here. This is a community-level website, not a nationally-oriented one. But, I thought people might like to read my column this week in which I discuss how the Big Three running for the presidency (McCain, Clintion, and Obama) have let us down in regard to jobs. This column should mean a lot to Gasporters since we have a long history of being blue-collar souls: farmers, factory workers and the like. You can read it here:

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Boy Scout Troop 18 honored Patrick Lawrence Augustyn with an Eagle Court of Honor. On February 23 Patrick Lawrence Augustyn, 18, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest level of achievement in the Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scout Troop 18 is sponsored by Covenant United Church of Christ in Gasport.

Patrick’s Eagle project was to install a hand rail into the gorge at Fitchlee Park (Royalton Ravine) and repair the stairway. After developing a detailed plan, he reviewed it with the Niagara County Parks Department to gain their approval. He organized several work sessions to bore holes, set posts, repair stairs and install the hand rail. This renovation provides better access to the gorge.

Patrick began his Scouting career as a Bobcat in Pack 18 in 1997. He worked his way through the ranks and in 2001 earned Cub Scouting’s highest award, the Arrow of Light. As a Cub Scout he had a knack for the Pinewood Derby, winning the Pack Race twice and taking 6th out of 200 Cubs at the Council Finals.

As a member of Troop 18 he held numerous leadership positions. He has attended summer camp at Iroquois Trail Council’s Camp Dittmer on four occasions, as well as attending Greater Toronto Council’s Camp Haliburton and Troop 18’s summer program at Beaver River. Over his Scouting career he has gained experience canoeing, hiking, whitewater rafting, camping, fishing and much more. In 2007 Patrick attended National Youth Leader Training at Camp Dittmer. He used the knowledge gained there to complete his Eagle Project. Patrick is a senior at Royalton Hartland High School where he was a member of the Soccer team. Patrick is the son of Lawrence and Jane Augustyn.

Story and photo courtesy Wayne Forrest, Scoutmaster Troop 18

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Wikipedia says....

On May 18, 1826, a geological expedition, led by Amos Eaton and physicist Joseph Henry of the Rensselaerian School (now Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) through the western part of New York state aboard the canal boat "LaFayette," encountered flammable coal gas rising from a spring. They named the local community Gasport. On the return voyage, May 26th, they passed through the settlement again, and saw that the name was already appearing on signboards.


A couple of days ago I posted an item about interviewing Gasporters. Just in case you missed our first interview -- January's interview with Gasport native and Buffalo musician Brian Wheat -- it can be read here:


The ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition plans to film an episode in Western New York and they are looking for the perfect family to help out. To be eligibile you must own your single-family home and you must show to the producers that the home makeover would significantly change your lives.

The deadline to apply is March 7th. To apply send a short description of your family's story to:

The full application is available here:

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Recently we conducted an interview with Gasport native and Buffalo musician Brian Wheat. I am hoping that it will be the first of many interviews on this website. I'd like to interview community leaders, teachers, volunteers, senior citizens, business owners and just about anybody who has an impact on or interesting stories to tell about Gasport.

I'd like you to help me figure out who we should interview. This site is for you the reader and I'd like the content to express what you'd like to see from "Life and Times...".

Comment on this post with your list of who you'd like to see profiled. Thanks for your help!


Saturday will be a big moment in the history of Boy Scout Troop 18 and the life of one of its scouts. Roy-Hart senior Patrick Augustyn will officially become the 37th Eagle Scout in the 61 year history of the troop in a ceremony recognizing his acheivement at 3:00 PM at the Covenant United Chucrh on Main Street.

The community is welcome to attend this event and recognize this rare achievement....less than 4% of all scouts earn the coveted Eagle Award.

The highlight of a scout's path to Eagle is his community service project. For his project Patrick and his crew of scouts and adults built railings on the footpath at Royaltine Ravine Park in Gasport.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


From the Buffalo News....

Fire destroyed a house on a country road about two miles outside the village of Middleport this afternoon, driving the lone occupant … described as an elderly woman … into the cold. Her name wasn't immediately released. A firefighter with the Middleport Volunteer Fire Company was taken to a nearby hospital after being overcome by the heat of the blaze, Fire Chief Steve Cooley said. Volunteer firefighters from Hartland, Gasport and Wolcottsville also battled the fire, which broke out at 12:26 p.m. at 4579 Peet St. Several other volunteer fire companies were on standby. Cooley, contacted at the scene, said the two-story house was a total loss.


There will be a total lunar eclipse tonight (Thursday, Feb. 20). Unfortunately, it will be mostly cloudy in Gasport. But, maybe, just maybe, we'll get a good look at it.

The moon is to appear high in the southern sky when the Earth's shadow begins to travel across the lunar surface from left to right at 8:42p.m. Total eclipse is to last from 10p.m. to 10:51p.m., with the moon emerging from shadow at 12:09a.m. Unlike a solar eclipse, no special eye protection is necessary to watch the event, caused when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon.


Click the letter to enlarge it......

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Every fall the local media has a heyday when the ratings of all WNY school districts come out. Most people, unfortunately, never get to see the reports on smaller schools. Well, I've copied the 2007 report for Roy-Hart. Click on the image below to enlarge it...

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The Royalton Hartland school district is on winter break for the week of February 17th. Classes resume on the 25th.


The St. Mary's parish is now looking at its last four months of existance. On June 21, 2008 the parish officially merges with St. John the Baptist in Lockport. That Catholic church's website is here (which allows show signage indicating the merger):

It is unknown what will happen to the St. Mary's facility and grounds.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...this is a bad move. Gasport and Middleport are losing their sister parishes to the merger and consolidation plan. That means you have two sizable rural communities without a Catholic venue. Who knows how many seniors will become shut-ins or how many families won't participate when we no longer have a Catholic church in town?

The Buffalo Diocese has made a descision not based in faith, but rather based on the almighty dollar. You see so many non-catholic churches in the area that have low turnouts (actually much less than St. Mary's) but stay open knowing they have a job to do. Too bad the Catholics couldn't dump their corporate mindset and follow the lead of those properly-intentioned souls.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


While listening to the police scanner last night I heard the calls and search & rescue for a snowmobile accident in Gasport just north of Chestnut Ridge Road. A rider struck something (a tree? a ditch?) and flew into his handlebars at high speed, sustaining a painful chest injury. It took the police and fire a while to find him in the dark and they couldn't properly backboard him out of the site.

This sort of incident highlights the fact that snowmobiles, like all vehicles, must be treated with respect. Racing around at night in strange fields and forests is asking for injury if due diligence isn't taken. Be careful!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Many of you know that I'm an opinion columnist for the Greater Niagara Newspapers. Here's a sneak peak at next week's column. This is an important issue for all Americans and it means A LOT here in Gasport where many landowners have streams & ponds and farmers put to use the very same for crops and cattle.....

By Bob Confer

The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights with this underlying emphasis succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

During the era in which the Declaration of Independence was framed the Pursuit of Happiness applied to property rights. Our founding fathers knew that Man has the right to attain property, keep property, and engage in the use of property to make his life better, all in manners that he saw fit as long as those same rights of others were not infringed. Despite the obviousness of such rights, the framers of our nation found it necessary to clearly define these rights in the Declaration and once again in the Fifth Amendment because history had showed to them that the inalienability of property rights had been cast aside by numerous societies and despots which in turn led to one of two things: intense oppression of their people or the collapse of such societies.

Over time, our government has strayed from these basal tenets. Property has become something that our government has gained illegally and expanded its power over, controlling it at whim regardless of landowner’s rights. Historically, we saw this manifested in our nation’s Indian giver ways when it gave land back to the Native Americans only to take it away with deadly force. In recent history we’ve witnessed our government abusing the “public use” portion of the Fifth Amendment by taking the power of eminent domain to unprecedented extremes, stealing land from families for the unjust benefit of corporations or the government itself.

Matters look to only get worse with subjugation of water rights by the federal government. There is an upcoming Congressional hearing about pending legislation known as the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007. Bills HR2421 and S1870 are sponsored by Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) and Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), respectively, and have significant cosponsorship right down the party line. This act, were it to be passed, would amend the language of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

In its current form the Act gives jurisdiction over navigable waters only to the federal government. This is not a perfect law, but its does have considerable merit because navigable waters are necessary for the common good in trade and nourishment, and those upstream can very easily affect the life, liberty, and happiness of others downstream if they weren’t regulated in their industrial and waste outputs or kept from damming the waterway.

The new version would delete the word “navigable” and replace it with the word “all.” Therefore, no longer would federal jurisdiction apply only to lakes and rivers, but it would be extended to all bodies of water – permanent or intermittent – everywhere in the United States, be they in your backyard or on your farm. The federal definition will be extended to include, among other things, streams, wetlands, sloughs, wet meadows, and ponds.

This land grab would allow the federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to regulate how you manage any body of water on your own private property, even though said water will never come in contact with the properties of others. They will be allowed to control what you do and how you do it and will be empowered to force you to mitigate anything they might perceive as detrimental. This will have an undeniably negative impact on millions of property owners. Those who will have to answer to someone for land and water they own will be people who manage their ponds for fishing and leisure, miners who need water to pump their mines and wells, ranchers who need watering holes for their cattle, and farmers who need to irrigate their fields.

Not only is the revised Act an affront to personal property rights, but it is also devised in strict defiance of the rights of the people as a whole. Our nation was built on a republic style of government. Rule was supposed to work from the bottom up, from local to state to national, not the other way around as we’ve become so accustomed to. The bill would only extend this ill-advised practice as it would supersede local and state laws and control.

In government, wording is – just like power - everything. Slipping that one little word “all” into the Clean Water Act’s language really can make that big a difference and allow them to steal our property rights. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, one that’s in lockstep with the continued erosion of what it really means to be an American.


Click the image to enlarge it.....


From the Buffalo News...

RANSOMVILLE — Niagara County sheriff’s deputies were quickly called Tuesday after an alleged second attempt was made to steal scrap copper from a home in the 3700 block of Ransomville Road.

Two Gasport residents, Joshua K. Ferguson, 20, of Quaker Road, and Jonathan M. Reeson, 20, of Chapman Road, were arrested. Deputies said they stopped the car being driven by Ferguson in the Village of Wilson and found a large amount of scrap metal in the trunk. About 200 pounds of copper, valued at $600, was reported stolen from the home Monday, and a neighbor told deputies that he saw two men in the driveway.

The neighbor called authorities when he saw another suspicious car at the scene Tuesday. He was able to identify the car as the one he had seen Tuesday and Ferguson as one of the two men he saw at the scene, deputies said.

Reeson was charged with criminal trespass in Tuesday’s incident, deputies said, and Ferguson was charged with two counts of criminal trespass for the incidents on both days, as well as with petit larceny.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


My good friend Scott Leffler hosts the talk show "Dialog" on WLVL 1340 AM. On Tuesday's show he addressed the key news item of the day which was Criswell's appointment to the Royalton town board. This was the focus of the entire show and a perfect follow-up to Monday's show about vacated seats in government.

Question: where was everyone? NOBODY from Gasport or Middleport called-in to the show. Scott took calls from every area of the county EXCEPT Royalton. Disappointing. I know people were listening.

You can download a podcast of Scott's show to hear his analysis of our little community. Right click the link below to save it to your desktop:


From the Lockport Union Sun and Journal....

GASPORT: Fire destroys home
By April Amadon

No one was injured in a blaze that destroyed a Main Street home, but two dogs reportedly perished, and the house, itself, was deemed a total loss. The two-story home was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived about 3 p.m. Niagara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Schuey said dispatch received several 911 calls about flames coming from the home. Fire crews from Gasport, South Lockport, Terry’s Corners and Middleport responded to the scene to fight the blaze, which soon engulfed the whole house. No one was inside when the fire broke out, but South Lockport Fire Chief Jim Clewell said there were two dogs in crates upstairs. Schuey said both dogs were deceased. There were also cats in the home, Schuey said, but he did not know how many. The homeowner had left the house about an hour before the fire broke out, he said.

Neighbors gathered outside to watch the flames. Smoke could be seen for miles away, and fire police closed off the nearby intersection with Route 31 as firefighters worked for more than an hour. Royalton-Hartland High School student Zach Bright, 18, lives just around the corner and saw the flames as his school bus pulled onto Main Street.“It was, like, right when the fire started,” he said. “The smoke was just coming out.” About the same time, another bus was dropping off 11-year-old Tyler Harrington, a student at Royalton-Hartland Middle School. He said his bus driver got on the radio with the school district and told them to call 911.Tyler stood on the side of the road, watching the firefighters spray water into the billowing smoke. “It looks bad,” he said. “I feel bad for the animals.”

An estimated cost of damages was not yet available. The Niagara County Origin and Cause Team is investigating the cause of the fire. Schuey said this is the third house fire he has responded to in a week. Although he could not speculate on the cause of this fire, he said winter is a prime time for house fires to break out because of problems with heating systems. “Obviously, people need to heat up, so they’re using fireplaces, space heaters,” he said. “It increases the risk of fire in the house.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


If you're looking to go outside this weekend for some exercise, the Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology are sponsoring the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. This bird count (used to track populations of our feathered friends) entails more than just backyards...amateur naturalists can observe birds in all habitats. You can participate by visiting

Here's the official description...

What is the GBBC?

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count web site. As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery. In 2007, participants reported a record-breaking 11 million birds of 616 species. They submitted more than 80,000 checklists, an all-time record for the ten years of the count.

Why Count Birds?

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.We need your help. Make sure the birds from your community are well represented in the count. It doesn't matter whether you report the 5 species coming to your backyard feeder or the 75 species you see during a day's outing to a wildlife refuge.

Your counts can help us answer many questions:

How will this winter's snow and cold temperatures influence bird populations?

Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

Are any birds undergoing worrisome declines that point to the need for conservation attention?

Scientists use the counts, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to give us an immense picture of our winter birds. Each year that these data are collected makes them more meaningful and allows scientists to investigate far-reaching questions.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The Lockport US&J reports on last night's board meeting....

ROYALTON: Criswell returns to Town Board amid protests
Staff ReportsLockport Union-Sun & Journal

Former councilman Lee Criswell was named to fill the vacant seat on the Royalton Town Board at Monday’s meeting, amid protests from members of the community. Criswell, who served for six years, declined to run for re-election in the November election. Bob Stahl also declined to run for re-election. “I feel comfortable with Lee,” Supervisor Richard Lang said Monday. “I asked him. He’s got a lot of experience and expertise and I’m comfortable with that. He has six years experience and he has best interest of the town at heart.”

In the fall, Criswell said, “I’ve had enough. Let somebody else give it a whirl. Things don’t seem to get any easier. No matter what decisions you make, you’re not right anymore.”

When Lang moved up from board member to supervisor, that created a vacancy. There were a half-dozen hopefuls interviewed in December, and Dan Bragg was endorsed and had the councilman job. “I went through the interview process,” Bragg said. “They appointed me and then rescinded me. I was appointed in December and at the end of December, they changed their minds.” Bragg, a member of the Royalton-Hartland School Board, was at the school meeting on Monday and was not aware of the complaints at Criswell’s appointment. “He’s not a bad guy and he brings experience,” Bragg said. “It’s a political process. I have no hard feelings.” Bragg placed fourth in his attempt to be elected to the board in November.

“We didn’t have the authority (to appoint Bragg),” Lang explained. “I wasn’t the supervisor, and the board was not elected at the time. We had no legal grounds to make that appointment at the time.”

Prior to the meeting, Sgt. Scott Little, a member of the 107th Air National Guard, was presented with U.S. and New York state flags, which will be on display at the town hall. Little, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Kuwait, was an employee of the Royalton water department for 19 years.

Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Bieber is collecting pictures of Royalton men and women who have served in the armed forces to put in foyer.

At the reorganization meeting, Tim DeVita was appointed dog control officer, replacing Ellen Johnston. The part-time position pays $10,800.“It was my appointment to make,” Lang said. “Tim DeVita came highly recommended and he knows the job. I feel he will do quality work.”


What's Al Gore thinking? For the umpteenth time this winter Gasport is under a storm watch/warning. This time we've been placed under a winter storm warning from noon Tuesday through 11:00 AM Wednesday. The region is looking at 6 to 10 inches of snow with a little ice and sleet thrown in for good luck.

Monday, February 11, 2008


The Royalton-Hartland School Board typically meets on Thursdays but won't this month since this Thursday is Valentine's Day. So, they are meeting tonight (Monday the 11th) at the high school auditorium at 7:00 PM. Here's the agenda:

Sunday, February 10, 2008


From the Buffalo News....

The Royalton Town Board on Monday will make a special presentation honoring residents serving in the armed forces. Staff Sgt. Scott Little, a member of the New York Air National Guard, who returned last month from a four-month tour in Kuwait, will accept two flags on behalf of residents serving in the U.S. military. He is the husband of Town Clerk Marie Little.

The flags were obtained through State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane. An American flag will be presented, along with a state flag that flew over the capital building in Albany, said Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Bieber, who helped organize the event.

In addition, town officials will announce the establishment of a display in the Town Hall foyer. They are requesting that residents submit photos and addresses of loved ones currently serving in the armed forces, abroad and stateside, to be included.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I'm a big fan of the police scanner. Mine is on 24/7 in my kitchen. You often hear some exciting stuff on there and it's a great way to find out what's going on in the community. Here are some important radio frequencies for Gasport:

Niagara County Fire Dispatch: 46.06

Niagara County Fire Ground Operations: 46.22

Niagara County Sheriff: 154.755

NY DEC: 159.225

Erie Canal Marine Radio Channel: 156.650

Tri-Town Ambulance: 155.220

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Every year during National Scouting Week, Boy Scout Troop 18 particpates in Scout Sunday in which the whole troop attends the 10:00 AM Sunday service at the Covenant Church on Main Street. The boys serve as greeters, ushers, and readers for this event. Following the service, during the refreshments hour, the boys will give a slideshow to show everyone what they did in 2007.


This year's election process will be an interesting one, not only for the presidential election, but for state elections as well. Mike Cole, a republican from Alden who represents Gasport in the NY Assembly, will be challenged in the primary election by Jeff Bono, a Newstead resident who has changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and just this week announced his run for Assembly.

This will be a tough and dirty race as Cole's stature has soured in many people's eyes due to a trangression in Albany last year when he spent the night in an intern's apartment. That caused him to lose all seniority and to be barred from the intern program.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


It has been brought to our attention by one of our readers that Arnold Barnett, the Lockport man who was missing for six days, was a much-loved guidance counselor at Roy-Hart during the 1980's. Sadly, Mr. Barnett was found yesterday, dead along the Niagara River.

The Lockport US&J reports....

SEARCH: Missing man's body found in Youngstown
By April Amadon

YOUNGSTOWN — Two men fishing along the banks of the Niagara River near Church Street on Tuesday morning brought the search for a missing Lockport man to a close. Partially down the embankment, lodged up against a tree, the two men discovered the white Buick Riviera that New York State Police, as well as the friends and family of Arnold P. Barnett, had been searching for since Thursday. About 100 feet away, police found Barnett.

“(The body) had identification ... that leads us to believe that it definitely is him,” State Police Capt. Craig Hanesworth said.

It appeared Barnett, 57, of Locust Street Extension, Town of Lockport, was driving east on Church Street and went straight through the “T” intersection with Main Street.“There’s a little field there, a vacant lot, and he traveled through that,” Hanesworth said. “Right at the end of that is the embankment for the river.”

Police don’t know why it happened. The car did not make it to the water, and it appears Barnett was able to get out of the car after the crash.“It doesn’t look like he was ejected,” Hanesworth said. “We think he got out of the vehicle and made it 100 feet. ... He could have walked. We found him by the creek bend there.”

The cause of death had not been determined. Foul play isn’t believed to be a factor, and investigators don’t know if Barnett was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Hanesworth said Barnett suffered injuries in the accident, but he did not know how severe they were. The Erie County Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy today.“A lot of it will depend on what the coroner’s examination (says),” Hanesworth said, adding it will also determine how long Barnett had been dead before he was found.

Barnett had left home about noon Wednesday to go to Seneca Niagara Casino. His wife reported him missing Thursday night after he did not return home. For now, investigators believe the accident occurred as early as Thursday.“I think there’s a good possibility that when he left the casino on Thursday morning, that he somehow ended up in that location,” Hanesworth said. Investigators are unsure why Barnett traveled to Youngstown after leaving the casino.

Hanesworth said he is “not familiar” with unconfirmed reports of Barnett losing money at the casino. A casino spokesperson said Barnett had lost some money but was actually ahead on his Casino Players Account. Seneca Niagara State Police Investigator Michael Kozlowski told police an internal investigation revealed Barnett last used his Casino Players Account at a “Let it Ride” table at 12:50 a.m. Thursday.

Barnett was chairman of special education at the Pembroke Central School District.

The search for Barnett began Thursday and involved the New York State Police, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, the NFTA, State Parks Police, U.S. and Canadian customs and other local law enforcement agencies. According to State Police Investigator John DiPasquale, members of Barnett’s family traveled from Long Island to help with the search.


Hartland butcher shop is flourishing, thanks to Old World tradition
By Teresa Sharp, 02/05/08

HARTLAND — The aromatic scents of garlic and cherry woodsmoked meats beckon customers to the small European Meat Products & Deli, a portal to the Old World. The shop, at the south end of a large, brick-fronted building at 7968 Ridge Road, boasts cases of homemade sausages and smoked meats. There also are shelves of fresh baked goods from Polish and German bakeries in Toronto and Chicago. The shop is a treat for the senses, in the old European butcher shop tradition, which owner Walter Sadujk o and his three-member staff work to preserve in the cavernous rooms behind the shop.

With a ready smile and an expansive nature, Sadujko said that it’s not unusual to put in 18-hour days to create “a few thousand pounds of sausage a week.” Sadujko is originally from Lomza, a city east of Warsaw, Poland, and his heritage is the reason for the fragrant Old World aromas and succulent tastes. He and his employees stoke the cherry wood fires burning in the facility’s three large smokers and put in long hours making and/or smoking sausages, wieners, pepperoni, hams, pork loins and more. Then he opens what he refers to as the building’s “small factory-outlet store” to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“We use old recipes and make it like old tradition,” Sadujko, 52, said in his thick Polish accent. “There are no preservatives. It’s straight garlic, salt and pepper and herbs.”

Sadujko moved into the building last fall and opened the small adjoining shop about a month ago. His goods are already drawing rave reviews from steady customers such as Barker Mayor Jo Ann Greenwald. “If you’ve ever had old-style Polish sausage and deli meats, mmm m, this is really wonderful,” Greenwald said. “It’s really Old World. They do everything homemade. And their specialty breads from Toronto and Chicago are delicious. We don’t have anything [else] like this here.”

Sadujko learned his art at his father’s knee. “My father was a butcher, and so I was around the smokehouse since I was this little,” he said, extending his hand to show the height of a toddler. “My father learned from one of the best — he was a champion.”

Sadujko did not originally intend to follow in his father’s footsteps. Through a co-op university program, he briefly worked in the auto industry in Italy but arrived in Toronto at age 24. At that point, he didn’t know a soul in the Canadian city and didn’t speak the language. He began working as a meat distributor, which led to an opportunity running a butcher shop for five years. At that time, he said, he befriended a woman who owned the shop next door. She had a brother-in-law in Rochester who saw an opportunity for Sadujko to open a shop there.

Ten years ago, Sadujko opened his shop on Hudson Avenue in Rochester, importing his goods from Europe through Chicago and Toronto. A year later, he began making his own products the Old World way in Syracuse and opened a small adjoining shop. Late last year, he moved his meat production to Niagara County, to the former Piatkowski Meats building on Ridge Road, which provides the goods for his Rochester and Syracuse shops. He said he plans to open a fourth shop in Buffalo in the coming months.

Sadujko sold his shop in Toronto long ago, but maintains his home there, where his wife, 18-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter live. He rents a house in Hartland to shorten his commute when he’s working long hours. He has a staff of 15 among the three shops and expects to hire an additional five or so when he opens the shop in Buffalo.

In addition to the meat lines, Sadujko carries a small number of specialty items from a variety of countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and, of course, his native Poland.
But also among his big sellers are the breads and pastries that arrive fresh from “the best” Polish and German bakeries in Toronto, and are delivered every two weeks from Chicago, which, he said, is the biggest Polish community outside of Warsaw. “We started selling bread three years ago, maybe a couple of boxes, and now we get a whole truckload,” he said. “We also sell [frozen] pierogies from Chicago.”

Sadujko beamed when a customer stopped in on a recent day and said how much he enjoyed the carefully prepared sausages. Sadujko is eager to preserve the traditions that he began learning a half-century ago. “There is no trade school for butchers nowadays,” he said. “I have to teach the old tradition.”

European Meat Products & Deli is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For information, call 772-2950.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Beef on Weck is a staple of WNY culture. It's unique to the region and something travelers like to sample just to say they did. Just like another regional oddity (chicken wings) arguments abound about who makes the best beef on weck in the area. Many people rave about the Canalside Inn's BOW, some people even travelling from Buffalo to eat there. I had never had it till last night (I've always eaten their fish when dining there) and must say that it IS the best BOW in Western New York. The meat was tender, thinly sliced, piled high and expertly-prepared. I work down the road from Swiston's (WNY's gold standard for BOW) and Canalside's sandwich rivals their's by far. It's no contest. I strongly suggest that local residents and visitors have a beef on weck at the Canalside Inn. You won't be disappointed.

Visitors: To get to the Canalside, take Route 31 to the lighted intersection (Main Street) in Gasport. Head north on Main Street into the village. The Canalside will be on your right at the intersection just before the Canal's lift bridge. You can park anyplace along the street.

Friday, February 1, 2008


There will be a fundraiser tonight for Roy-Hart's class of 2010. A spaghetti dinner will be served from 5:00 to 7:00 at the high school cafeteria. Cost is $7.


Here's a story from the Lockport Union Sun and Journal...

STANDOFF: Suspect has one charge dropped
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal STAFF REPORTS

The man involved in a police standoff on Olcott Street will not face charges in connection with another incident in Gasport earlier that day. Michael A. Huntington, 42, 167 Olcott St., upper, reportedly held police at bay with a shotgun for two and a half hours Jan. 14, holding the gun to his head and threatening to kill himself. The Lockport Police Department, Niagara County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police responded to the scene, and a state police hostage negotiator talked with Huntington until he finally dropped his shotgun and surrendered.

Before the standoff, Huntington reportedly drove a stolen car to the home of a friend on Quaker Road in Gasport. The Quaker Road woman told police Huntington called her from his car and threatened to shoot himself.She said she heard a gunshot, then looked outside to see Huntington driving away. At the time of Huntington’s arrest, Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Preisch said the sheriff’s department was looking into the Quaker Road incident to determine what direction the gun had been fired and if Huntington would face reckless endangerment charges.

Sheriff’s Investigator Kristin Neubauer said the department has decided not to press charges.“The two people out at the home on Quaker Road were pretty adamant that they did not want to be part of any charges against him,” Neubauer said. The witnesses are mainly concerned for Huntington’s mental health, Neubauer added. Huntington is facing several charges in the City of Lockport. He pleaded not guilty in city court to first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and several misdemeanors: third-degree menacing, third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment.He has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and is scheduled for an appearance Feb. 20 in city court.