Friday, October 31, 2008


For those looking for local election coverage, be sure to tune in to WLVL 1340 AM (or listen online at beginning at 9 p.m. on election night. Scott Leffler be anchoring coverage with news and analysis on all the local elections of note from Erie and Niagara counties, including the Niagara County Sheriff's race, State Senate and Assembly races, and local congressional races. Scott will be joined by Tom Christy and yours truly.


WLVL's John Raymond reports....

Another daytime burglary yesterday at a home in Gasport. A 52-year old resident of Mountain Road says he got home from workat 4:30 and found his front door kicked in and his house ransacked. An $850 Pentax camera with a telephoto lens was taken along witha 15 inch high definition Panasonic T-V. All the drawers had been opened in a downstairs bedroom and $50 was removed from the top of a dresser. The victim said a pint of rum was missing and abox of chocolates was removed from the refrigerator. Some of itwas eaten and the the box was left on the floor. The victim also said his detached garage was entered where nothing was takenbut items were removed from the shelves and dumped on thefloor. The total value of the items taken and the damage donecoming to over $1,200. Three nearby neighbors told deputies they didn't see or hear anything.



Town of Royalton

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Royalton will meet on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Road, Middleport, New York 14105, to hear and consider a re-zoning application by SCOTT GARBUTT to re-zone a parcel from a “Business District (non-conforming use)” to a “Residential District,” on property located at 8399 State Street in the Town of Royalton, Niagara County, New York.

All parties in interest and citizens will be heard at the public hearing to be held as aforesaid.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


One of Gasport's longest-running traditions takes place this Saturday. The Covenant Church on Main Street will host its annual turkey dinner from 3:30 to 6:30 at the Church. The always-tasty grub will be prepared by members of the Church and it will be served by a crew of waiters from Boy Scout Troop 18 . Takeouts are available. The cost for dinner: a donation.

Prior to the dinner there is a bazaar at the church starting at 10:00.


The Royalton town office will be open this Saturday, November 1st from 9:00 to 12:00 for the issuance of a new batch of deer management permits ("doe permits").

Here's an article about the DEC giving out more of them...

'Tis the season for the Department of Environmental Conservation to correct its wrong guesses in regard to antlerless deer permit allocations, and some local hunters will undoubtedly benefit.

About 10,000 Deer Management Permits will be issued to hunters who were previously denied permits earlier this year during the initial application period that ended Oct. 1.

Each summer the DEC anticipates the number of applicants in each WMU and assigns a probability to each unit to ensure the availability of the appropriate number of DMPs. As evidenced by the giveaway, it doesn't always work.

For a description on the WMU geographic units, visit

The random selection process is complete and the DEC has begun mailing permits. An average of 13 percent of the hunters previously denied permits in these units will now receive a DMP. Selection for one of these permits will not affect any preference points issued to hunters who were not selected for their first choice area during the original application period.

In addition, DEC will also reopen the DMP application process starting Nov. 1, on a first-come, first-served basis for WMUs that have not reached target totals during the random selections. Hunters may apply for leftover DMPs at any DEC license sales outlet beginning Nov. 1. Leftover DMPs will not be available by phone, mail or the Internet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


From the Lockport Union Sun & Journal....

ROYALTON: Should candidate serve on two boards?

Mary Cedeno is on the Town Planning Board, and Daniel Bragg is on the Royalton-Hartland School Board. Both hope to complete a one-year term on the Town Board. The two Republicans share a mutual respect. Cedeno, who would have to give up her position on the Planning Board, thinks that Bragg would have a conflict of interest if he served on both the town board and the school board. Bragg sees having the two positions as a positive.

Bragg won the Republican nomination in a close race with Cedeno. She is running on the Democrat, Independence and Conservative lines. They are bidding for the final year of Dick Lang’s four-year council term, now held by Lee Criswell, who did not want to run. The winner would have to run again next fall.

Cedeno, a native of Niagara Falls who has lived in Lockport and moved to Royalton in 1999, sees her background in science as helpful in getting the town to plan ahead. She objects to what she sees as the board’s “fly-by-the-seat of your pants” operation. “I can l look at this scientifically and use scientific methods to solve problems,” she said. “That may not be happening now. I don’t know how they’re deciding to fix a problem. We owe our taxpayers more than that. We don’t have that now.”

Cedeno is a two-year graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and has worked in environmental remediation since 1995. She has been a regular at town board meetings. “It seems to me they are not asking questions. There are more followers than leaders,” she said. “I really think that one of my skills is ability to see the big picture.”

She feels she has made a difference on the Planning Board and worked at getting the town board minutes on the town Web site. “I questioned why we have a Web site but the meeting minutes were not posted,” she said. “I was told there might be privacy issues. I don’t understand why there can be privacy issues when its a public meeting; the government belongs to us.”

Lang invited her to be on the Planning Board and asked her to run for the Town Board, she said. “The people who are up there are doing the best they can and trying their hardest to cut taxes, but I think it can be done better.”

Dan Bragg has eight children, five who have graduated from college, one in college and two in high school. He works at Standish Jones Building Supply in Gasport and has been involved in multiple community activities. Bragg has been on the school board for five years and does not understand the objections of some to having two public roles. “We have two taxing jurisdictions working together,” he said. “The same people are paying taxes, whether it’s to the school system or to the town of Royalton. If you’re on both, you can see how its all playing together. You’ve got to find ways to making it work within each capacity.”

“We can’t afford any more taxes. The future lies in shared services.”

Bragg pointed to his involvement in solving the drainage issue that had School Superintendent Paul Bona and members of the town board exchanging heated words at a recent board meeting. “I played an important part to help settle the disagreement,” Bragg said. “I talked to people in a calm and collected way and got it all done. Dick Lang and the town board did a wonderful job. We needed one person to get it all together. We got it all settled and it’s getting done.”

Bragg says he can handle both jobs. “I go ’round the clock all the time,” he said. “I’ve been doing this stuff for years. You got to work with other people to get anything done.”

Also...Royalton residents can vote on extending the terms of office from two to four years for the supervisor, highway superintendent, town clerk and tax collector. Each office will be on a separate ballot.



Mattheu A. Rochester of Perry was charged Tuesday morning with unlawful possession of marijuana, while Samantha J. Eberhardt, 20, of 24 Phillip St., North Tonawanda, and Laura L. Snyder, 20, 397 Spruce St., North Tonawanda, were each charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21. Deputies stopped Snyder’s car on Royalton-Hartland Townline Road about 2:28 a.m. Deputies reportedly found a bottle of Kahlua liquor in the car. Rochester allegedly possessed a plastic bag with marijuana inside, along with two sets of rolling papers and a metal grinder. All three were released on appearance tickets and are due Nov. 18 in Royalton Town Court.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The White House and the Department of Commerce have launched a website to aid businesses, farmers and regular folk in their hopes to weather the economic storm. It's a clearinghouse of sorts for information, helpful pointers and aid.

Check it out here:


The Associated Press thought Hartland's bingo theft was exciting enough to merit a national news relaese last week:

Former bingo chairwoman pleads guilty to theft

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) - A woman accused of stealing more than $8,000 from a Niagara Falls-area fire company has pleaded guilty.

Lee Ann Smith of Hartland admitted to fourth-degree larceny and will be sentenced in December.

Smith was the chairwoman of bingo games for the Hartland Fire Company at the time of the theft. The 46-year-old woman kept money earned from the games that was supposed to be deposited in the bank between January and April of this year.

Smith entered her plea in Niagara County Court Tuesday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Gasport residents who live on the Royalton side of town...count yourselves confused.

Prior to the September primary we were told there'd be only three polling places in Royalton and that would be the norm for that primary and all future elections.

This is not so anymore. Yesterday you should have received in the mail a postcard telling you where to vote. Chances are, some of you, like me, are voting in your old polling place. In my case, I'm going back to the Gasport fire hall.

Not everyone though is going back to their old site.

To verify your site go to this website where you enter your address which will tell you where to vote. It will also show you a sample ballot:


The Lockport US&J ran a piece on Saturday about Arnie Wolfe's awesome invetion the Tow-N-Stow.

To see photos and details about the product go here:

Here's the article:

BUSINESS: Local man's product idea is going national

It all started with a family camping trip.

Arnie Wolfe, president of Design Concepts in Gasport, was loading up the SUV when his oldest daughter decided to go with the family. After she added what she was bringing for the trip, there wasn’t enough room for the family of four. They had to take a second vehicle.

“He was thinking, ‘Why don’t I have a trailer?’ ” Design Concepts vice president of marketing Terrence Gallagher said. “Well, I don’t need one all the time.”

But what happens when the trailer wasn’t being used? Wolfe didn’t want one to just take up space, but rather one that served another purpose. After the camping trip, Wolfe came up with the idea of the “Tow N’ Stow,” a cargo trailer that can convert into a storage unit. The unit has 50 cubic feet of capacity, weighs about 350 pounds and can haul up to 1,000 pounds behind passenger vehicles. Once the trailer is off the road, the Tow N’ Stow can be stood up and placed against a building as a functional shed.

Shortly after the camping trip, Wolfe discussed his idea with family and friends and soon began developing a model Tow N’ Stow. Wolfe and Gallagher went to a few trade and invention shows to showcase the Tow N’ Stow. Wolfe had a little prototype of the Tow N’ Stow hooked up to a remote control car at his booth. Wolfe said a lot of people who came to the booth loved the idea.

Gallagher agreed. “It was all different kinds of people,” Gallagher said. “Craftspeople, people that went to flea markets, do-it-yourselfers, campers, sports enthusiasts. All kinds who said, ‘Oh yeah, I can use that.’ ”

Wolfe filed for a patent on the Tow N’ Stow. But there were some “ifs” he was running into, one of which was, “Would people buy it?” There was also the question of how to build one with quality materials but keeping the costs low for the consumer. To help, Design Concepts found Lippert Components of Indiana, a subsidiary of Drew Industries, a company that makes trailers and RV components.

J. Fitzgerald Group advertising and marketing agency President Jack Martin said Gallagher and Wolfe are the type of guys a troubled economy needs. “While some may be about greed, these guys are about a great product born of a great idea,” Martin said.

Another aspect of the Tow N’ Stow that Martin praised was that they were trying to work with local companies. Design Concepts has a promotional video created with Cole Media of Lockport, and is having advertising done with the J. Fitzgerald Group in Lockport. Their promotional photography was shot by Dennis Stierer, a well-known local photographer and former US&J staffer.

“If we’re not willing to support each other locally, then who’s going to turn off the lights when we’re all gone?” Martin said. “He (Wolfe) came to us and he could have went anywhere.”

Wolfe stopped by one day to J. Fitzgerald out of curiosity. While talking with Martin, he sketched out a couple of projects, one being a design of the Tow N’ Stow on a napkin. Martin thought it was a great idea.

“Jack was one of the first people to see it,” Wolfe said.

As far as the economy is concerned, Wolfe said the downturn will probably help the Tow N’ Stow more than hurt it. Trucks are being produced as much, and people might be more inclined to do projects themselves, and they need a way to move the stuff efficiently. To find out what locals think of the Tow N’ Stow, Wolfe said there will be a demonstration Nov. 8 at the Outdoor Store on South Transit Road in the Town of Lockport.



The Lockport US&J profiled one of Gasport Wood Products employees on Saturday. Here's teh article...

John Randolph, fresh from his three-year tour of duty in the Army, went to work for Gasport Wood Products in the fall of 1958 as a carpenter. His 50th anniversary on the job wasn’t noted. John just kept working and is still on the job making custom-made cabinets. So is Joe Gabrys, 75, who founded the company in 1955 and hired the 21-year-old vet from Lockport. “He’s probably one of the best mechanics in Western New York, the finest in this part of the country,” said Gabrys, who calls himself semi-retired but is a presence at the plant on East Avenue.

“He’s supposedly semi-retired, but he’s here every day,” said Randolph, 71, who has not set a retirement date. “With the economy the way it is, it’s nice to be working and have good health.”

Randolph graduated from Lockport High School in 1955, in the last class to graduate from the old schoolhouse on East Avenue, and joined the Army.

“I wanted to eliminate the possibility of the interruption of a full-time job and decided to go in military and get that out of the way,” he said. After basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., he was assigned to carpenter school in Missouri. On Christmas Eve 1955, Randolph was on a ship for a 21-day sail to Korea. He drove a jeep and did some carpentry work during the 18-month tour before returning to the states and reassignment in Virginia. He was discharged in July 1955 and went to work in Gasport in September 1955.

“I knew I wanted to do something involving construction and wanted to be a home builder,” said. “They were looking for someone to work in cabinet shop.”

The original plant was on Central Avenue. Now it’s on East Avenue on the corner of Central. Gasport Wood Products makes cabinets for a 150 radius, from Syracuse to the Southern Tier, Gabrys said. There are five full-time workers.

“We’re keeping going, but it’s not like it should be,” Gabrys said. “We got too much competition.”
The company makes kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, entertainment centers and countertops. They are better than factory-made cabinets, according to Randolph. “They’ve been in business over 50 years. They are doing something right.”

Randolph has a twin brother, Jim, who recently retired from Delphi. But John has no retirement plans.

“I just like creating things with my hands. I always was involved doing things using hands, whittling or carving,” Randolph said. “I just like creating things and seeing the end product, getting work together and building something, just creating something. I’ve always enjoyed my job. I’ve enjoyed what I’m doing.”

He still enjoys starting a project in the rough state and seeing the finished project.

“I don’t have any end date,” he said. “I’m healthy and as long as they still need me and want me, then I’ll be here.”

John and Virginia Randolph, who have been married 49 years, have three children, Wenda Wagner of Lockport, Heidi Ziegler of Hatfield, Pa., and Craig Randolph of Newfane. They have four grandsons. Virginia is a retired nurse.


Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday afternoon the engineers at WLVL 1340 AM launched streaming audio on the station's website,
This allows all internet users to listen to the station basically live (there's about a 10 second delay). It's great news for Gasport residents who work in downtown Buffalo or in offices that have too much AM interference. Now you can always be connected to your hometown radio station!


A Gasport Road man reported Thursday that sometime between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, someone stole a Chevrolet pickup that was parked next to his garage. The man said the keys to the truck were hanging on a hook near the back door of the garage, and they had also been stolen. The truck is worth about $1,500, the report said.


Mary Cedeno sent this letter to the editor to the Lockport US&J who could not print it due to limitations during the political season. So, here it is. I am always willing to post letters-to-the-editor here if you want to share your opinion....

No Mighty Oak
By Mary Cedeno, Royalton NY

I was a little surprised the other day to hear someone ask me what “ACORN” (Association of Community Organization for Reform Now) is. Then, as I was watching the local evening news, it all became clear. The three local, “main-stream” stations did not cover the investigations of ACORN voter fraud that are currently being investigated in 13 States, including the “swing states”.

ACORN, whose representatives are pounding the pavement for voter registrations, has been accused of harassing people into completing numerous registrations by following them to their homes and “buying” their cooperation. Some people have completed as many as 73 registrations. This is especially disturbing because in Ohio this year they are allowing people to Register and VOTE on the same day. The problem is, once the votes are opened (in less than a week) and separated from their envelope, the vote becomes anonymous and there is no way to determine the validity of the voter registration and thus, the vote.

ACORN has created a reputation for themselves of conducting fraudulent voter registration activities over the years, in many states. There were 12 convictions of ACORN employees during the 2004 elections in Missouri alone. On October 8th federal investigators raided ACORN offices in Nevada and secured the voter registrations their employees obtained. Additional investigations are continuing in Ohio.

Why should you care? Well, because every FRAUDULENT vote that is counted NEGATES a valid vote – maybe YOUR vote. Everyone is in favor of one person one vote. No patriotic American would disagree. However cheating is never an acceptable behavior and when it impacts such an important event as the Presidential elections, it is a serious threat to our democratic system.

Apparently, ACORN pays people to get registrations, based on the number of registrations they bring in. Their system encourages fraud. At best, this is a systemic problem with the procedures of the organization. At worst, it is a purposeful attempt to steal an election.

Voters should be interested to know that Senator Obama donated over $800,000 to this supposed “non-partisan” organization. However the ACORN organization has endorsed Obama. I’m still unclear how that is NON partisan.

To make matters worse, Acorn receives tax-payer money in the form of grants….many from the HUD organization. So, make no mistake, YOUR money is also being used to help fund this apparently fraudulent organization.

And voter fraud is only the tip of the iceberg. ACORN is one of the key community organizations that forced banks to give mortgage loans to people who could not afford them by using the accusation of discrimination to get the loan requirement standards lowered. This organization was a key player in the fiasco that nearly brought our countries’ financial structure to it’s knees. A good read on the mortgage loans fiasco can be found on the New York Post web page, search out the article titled “The Real Scandal – How Feds Invited the Mortgage Mess” by Stan Leibowitz -2/5/08.

Voters should be asking-will this organization and the people who head it be held accountable? Will Senators Gregory Meeks, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank who fought to prevent the industry from being regulated be held accountable? What about Chuck Schumer? He was right up front insisting that there is too much regulation on Wall Street…will he be held accountable??

We need to hold these people and their organizations accountable for their actions. They put politics ahead of doing the right thing. They did NOT put Country First!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


3rd Annual Family Fun Night: Friday, October 24th, from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the Royalton Harland Elementary Gymnasium. Bring your family and enjoy refreshments, music, crafts and the Scholastic Book Fair Safari, sponsored by the PTA.


The Roy-Hart school board meets at 7:00 tonight at the high school. Here's the agenda:


The issue of the town employees' wages and benefits was the subject of this week's town meeting and a focal point of local press. A discussion has been started about it at the Lockport Union Sun & Journal's message board. Check it out here:


A Johnson Road man reported Tuesday that he woke up to hear stones moving in his driveway. He looked out the window and saw his 2005 Pontiac Vibe leaving his driveway. The man said he saw the car leave west on Johnson Road. The car is worth about $5,000, the report said.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


From the Niagara Wine Trail...

October 25 & 26: Hallowine

Who did it? Collect the clues while you sample wines at each winery on the trail. $20/ person & receive the detectives initial report and enough information to set you along the way to solve the crime. A wine glass is yours at the first winery of your choice for wine tasting at each winery along the trail. Solve the mystery correctly and you will be entered to win a great prize! *The answer will be posted here and in the newsletter following the event once the winner is notified.

Purchase your ticket now from our online store or at any of these following wineries during the event: Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Eveningside Vineyards, Freedom Run, Honeymoon Trail, Leonard Oakes, Marjim Manor, Niagara Landing, Schulze Vineyard & Winery, Spring Lake Winery, Vizcarra Vineyards

Also this weekend, end up at Vizcarra Vineyards for a Hallowine Happy Hour from 6-9pm on Saturday evening. Live music with Lakeside Blues Band. Free Munchies, $3 wine by the glass, 1/2 off Haunted Hayride tickets with your wine trail ticket and a chance to win 6 bottles of wine for best costume! Male and Female winners!

For more info, visit



Learnabilities, an educational consulting and tutoring practice, and Gasport Chiropractic & Wellness, PC will be holding a Grand Opening Open House on Saturday, October 25, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 4437 Main Street in Gasport.

Community members are invited to meet the practitioners, enjoy tours of the office, and receive information for both services. Area residents will also be able to take advantage of same-day discounts for new clients, and a raffle will be held offering items from the following local businesses: Becker Farms, Canalside Inn, Chop’s Shop Pizzeria, Maria’s Pizzeria, N.E.S. Food Outlet, Rosie’s Déjà Vu Salon, Standish Jones Building Supply, and Talk of the Town. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

For more information, contact Dr. Aaron Pazik at 772-2200 or Mindy Schreiner at 870-5296.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Eric Olczak is the evening newsguy for WLVL 1340. Last night he attened the Royalton town meeting to do a story on it.

One of the interesting things on WLVL's website at is something called "Olczak's Outtakes" in which the raw auido of events he attends is available for download.

Today's outtake is 26 minutes of audio focusing on the wood furnace meeting. You can download it here:


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

ROYALTON: Residents object to 100% payment of town workers' health care

The town board approved a new four-year contract with town employees and a drainage law Monday night, but not without hearing plenty from the public. The contract calls for a wage increase of 2 percent the first two years, 3 percent in 2011, and 2 percent in 2012. The town also will pay 100 percent of health insurance.

That caused a bit of a ruckus. Residents told of how their health insurance rates have been raised drastically over the last few years and of not getting wage increases.

“We can’t keep paying and paying,” Howard Johnt said. “You have to do with less like everyone in private industry.”

Scott Wymyczak noted that Royalton is the second-highest taxed town in the county, and the county may be the highest taxed in the nation.

Supervisor Richard Lang and council members Jennifer Bieber and James Budde voted in favor of the four-year contract. Brad Criswell and Brad Rehwaldt voted against.

The seven highway and four water employees were represented by the Teamsters Union. The highway superintendent, water supervisor, town clerk and assessor are also full-time employees who will benefit from the raises.

Bieber defended the contract and praised Budde and Lang for their work with the union, along with Town Attorney Thomas Brandt. Rehwaldt argued that with benefits, the workers got a 6 percent raise and that he was not involved in negotiations. “We feel we negotiated in good faith,” Budde said. “We invited our colleagues to come in at any time and offer any solutions. These are 11th-hour positionings I find very unfortunate.”

Wymyczak noted that the businessmen on the board voted against the contract. “Those are the guys who have to pay the benefits,” he said. “The board needs more business people up there. It would change.”

Johnt said private business has realized for years and has cut back on benefits. “You’ve got to figure out how to do more with less,” he said. “You can’t keep on taking and spending money like the well will never go dry. The goose that lays the golden egg is on life support. The taxpayers can not continue to keep paying, and paying and paying." When he bought his farm 15 years ago, school and county taxes were $2,000, Johnt said. Now they are near $7,000.

"I’ve seen my wages continually go downward, and my cost of health insurance and other insurance go upward,” said Johnt, who works in Cheektowaga. “My disposable income goes down every day because everyone is picking my pocket. The point is, we can’t afford it.”

Brandt said that the Teamsters’ insurance rates are lower than any other health provider and lower by a significant amount.

In other action:

The board approved a local law regarding draining regulations in an attempt to prevent landowners from plugging ditches and flooding their neighbor’s property. The law passed 5-0. “Once it was explained, it was understood,” Budde said.

There was considerable debate over a new regulation regarding the installation, operation and maintenance of outdoor furnaces. “We’ve had complaints from people who live close together,” Lang said. “With the price of fuel, stoves are popping up.”

The draft of the regulation was four pages long, and the consensus from the residents at the public hearing was to not complicate matters. Let the DEC do it. Leave well enough alone. Less is better, they said.


Sunday, October 19, 2008


There's a lot going on at the Royalton Town Hall on Monday night, October 20th. Here's what's on tap...

An informational hearing on outdoor wood furnaces at 7:00.

A public hearing about drainage regulations at 7:15.

A rezoning hearing at 7:30.

The monthly Town Council meeting starts thereafter. The agenda can be seen here:;/content/CalendarEntries/View/782


You'll be seeing more and more vehicles parked on the roadsides and in lanes throughout Gasport the next two months. Two major hunting seasons opened this weekend. The archery season for deer lasts till November 14th (which is followed the next day by the opening of the shotgun season). The fall turkey season lasts till October 31st.

Wish me luck!


This article ran in the Lockport US&J a few days ago...

GASPORT: Learnabilities tutoring business finds a new home

Mindy Schreiner needed a little space. Tutoring since November 2006, Schreiner was meeting and teaching her students at her home. But after having a child, she needed a new place for her tutoring service, Learnabilities. Then one day she came to Gasport Chiropractic & Wellness for an appointment with Dr. Aaron Pazik. Pazik had some space open in his building at 4437 Main St. in Gasport.

“I noticed the sign,” Schreiner said. “I wasn’t ready, but then I thought, ‘now we need to move.’ He has been great.”

Schreiner moved into the building in February. Both Learnabilities and Gasport Chiropractic & Wellness will host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 25. Schreiner said community members are invited to meet the practitioners, enjoy tours of the office, and receive information for both services. Residents will also be able to take advantage of same-day discounts for new clients, and a raffle will be held offering items from some local businesses. They include: Becker Farms, Canalside Inn, Chop’s Shop Pizzeria, Maria’s Pizzeria, N.E.S. Food Outlet, Rosie’s Deja Vu Salon, Standish Jones Building Supply and Talk of the Town.

Learnabilities tutors students to their individual strengths. Schreiner said she finds something students are good at, even if it is something outside of school, such as sports, and tries to use that to help them learn.

“Every client that comes in, it’s something different,” she said. “So, we do interviews and questionnaires and talk about what they are good at.”

That strategy helps Schreiner develop a profile of the student. The profile is based on multiple intelligence theory, which basically says we all learn differently. Each student gets a folder with information on Schreiner’s teaching belief, her resume and goals of the program.Schreiner tutors students from as young as first grade all the way up to college students. She takes all kinds of students, from those who have a disability to those who need help in one or more subjects.

Her background in education started with tutoring in Ithaca. Soon, she became a tutor at Tompkins Cortland Community College and began working with students who had learning disabilities. She said had no idea what to do, but soon learned.

“I found out that’s what I liked,” Schreiner said.

Schreiner’s own education includes a master’s degree in English from Binghamton University. She is working on a doctorate in special education from Syracuse University. She also has a bachelor’s in biology and one in psychology from the University of Rochester.

Schreiner said the biggest benefit of being tutored at Learnabilities is that the student figures out how to learn, which builds self-esteem and confidence. But she said success depends on how much the student is willing to work with Schreiner.

“The goal is that they can do the stuff on their own,” she said. “Most of it depends on their motivation. They have to be willing to try things.”

College student Laura Slack was at Learnabilities on Wednesday for an appointment with Schreiner. Slack said working with Schreiner has been beneficial.“She helped (me) pass psychology,” Slack said.

Schreiner said Slack was one of her original students from when she still tutored from home.

For more information, contact Pazik at 772-2200 or Schreiner at 870-5296.



The Buffalo News reports on a call to a super-busy Becker Farms last night....

Medics dispatched to farm following fall from horse

GASPORT — Ambulance crews responded to Becker Farms Saturday night, when a female rider suffered a back injury after falling from a horse. The accident occurred just before 9 PM at the Quaker Road farm, which offers a haunted hayride, among other attractions. The victim, whose name and age were not given, did not appear to be seriously injured, according to a Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.

I happened to be there for the haunted hayride with my family...including my EMT mom. She and I provided the initial treatment while awaiting the ambulance.


PETIT LARCENY: A Wheeler Road resident reported a Razor Pocket Rocket electric scooter which was parked behind his garage was missing. The Razor was described as red in color with black and white decals and valued at $200.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


"Strife and Crimes in Gasport, New York" should be the new name of this website. It's become a damn police blotter with all the crime taking place. Here's another one...

GRAND LARCENY: Royalton Police, assisted by Lockport City Police, recovered two vehicles in the parking lot of Lockport Optical on East High Street and Davison Road. One vehicle was a blue Jeep Cherokee with switched plates and belonged to a Gasport Road woman, according to the police report. The Gasport Road woman told police Thursday she did not know her vehicle was stolen and that the last time she saw her Jeep Cherokee, it was in her backyard. She told police that she had forgotten to take the keys out of the vehicle when she parked it in the backyard, and there were no plates on the vehicle. The two plates that were found on the Jeep Cherokee belonged to an East High Street man and an East High Street woman, the report said. The report said the Jeep was worth about $3,000.

Friday, October 17, 2008


My friend John Restaino hosts a talk radio show, aptly called The John Restaino Show, every weekday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on WJJL 1440 AM in the Niagara-Buffalo market.

This coming Tuesday, October 21st, he will have me on his show as a guest...along with Niagara County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek. This will be debate of sorts as we three talk about the virtues of “our” candidates in the November election. John will talk about his guy Barack Obama, Henry will talk about John McCain’s platform, and I will speak about the Libertarian Party’s candidate, Bob Barr.

Be sure to tune in! You’ll learn a lot!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


From WLVL's news cave....

A rash of burglaries in the Gasport area prompted over two dozen residents to talk about setting up a neighborhood watch during a meeting last night at Royalton Town Hall. The session was organized byAva Beiber. She says her home has been burglarzied numerous times over the past few years. State Police Investigator John Dipasquale told them the more details victims can gather, the sooner the perpatrators will becaught. Republican Sheriff's candidate Ernest Palmersaid the department would work closely with State Policeif he's elected. The group will meet again on the second Wednesday of next month. In the meantime, they'll betalking to people who know about setting up watch clubs.

The watch is apparently needed. An 86 year old residentof Humphrey Road arrived home just after 3pm Wednesdayand found a green pick-up in his driveway. He told Sheriff'sdeputies two white males ran from behind his garage, gotinside the truck, and took off. The victim followed themfor some distance but lost them in the Wrights Corners area. When he got home, he found three Winchester shotgunshad been taken along with $300 in coins. Deputies foundthree other rifles lying next to the house that had been placedthere by the burglars. A safe inside the home had also been tampered with. Deputies said a rear door had been smashedto get inside.


There was a break-in yesterday...during the day!...on the road I grew up on, Humphrey Road.

An 86-year old man came home at 3:00 to find a green GMC in his driveway. Some men came running out from behind his garage. They stole some rifles and left a couple behind. He followed their car and lost sight of it near Wrights Corners.


A Checkered Tavern Road resident noted that the screen to her bedroom window was laying in front of the window on Tuesday. She discovered that a fireproof combination safe was taken from behind her door. The safe reportedly contained a substantial amount of jewelry and personal papers. The loss was estimated at $6,000. Two diamond pendants and a diamond ring wedding band were taken, according to reports.


Last night the Gasport Community Watch Group had their first meeting and WLVL news had a positive report on the meeting. If they post the news podcast today I put the link here later.

Even with this positive development there were TWO MORE break-ins in Gasport on Checkered Tavern, the other on Humphrey.

I strongly suggest people do two things...alarm your home and arm yourself.

I alarm my home. The alarm system came with the house when I bought it, so I can't estimate a set-up charge, but I can tell you I pay less than $200 a year for monitoring. That's a worthwhile investment for peace of mind. If you think this makes sense, check out ADT Alarms at or Sentinel Security in Buffalo:

I also pack heat and am not afraid to use it. I am a firm believer in exerting force against any criminals dumb enough to assault my family or screw with my property. I think others should practice their Second Amendment rights as well. It can take up to 8 months to get a pistol permit processed in Niagara County, so if you're gonna do it now!

Information on the process can be found here:

Pistol courses can be taken through the Niagara County Sportsmen:

For my past opinion columns about the natural right to protect yourself, go to and read columns 163, 129, 122, 118, 106, 92, 69, and 46.

Monday, October 13, 2008


In response to the unusually high number of burglaries that have taken around the village since early-Summer, a group of Gasport residents is forming a neighborhood watch group. They will hold their first meeting this Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 PM at the town hall on Royalton Center Rd. The public is welcome to attend. I Will try to make it, but I have to visit a customer in Cleveland on Wednesday so my status is up in the air.

This group, along with a heightened (but temporary) police presence, will be key to catching the thug(s) and returning a semblance of order to our normally-safe town.

Friday, October 10, 2008


A school bus from Niagara Academy was involved in an accident at Route 31 and Main Street on Thursday afternoon. The Sheriffs Department says a car driven by Gail Urtel was headed west on Route 31 and allegedly crossed into the path of the bus, which was headed south on Gasport Road. Urtel was cited for alleged failure to yield the right of way. There were nine kids on the bus and no injuries were reported.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


WLVL reports an the continued crime spree in Gasport...

Burglars entered Boyers Tavern in Gasport sometime between 3:30 am and 12:30 pm Wednesday. The owner says the cash register was tampered with, a juke box was damaged, and it appears they tried to pry open a game machine on the bar. The juke box suffered about $200 damage but it's not known if any money was taken. Entry was made through a rear door.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


There will be a debate this Thursday, October 9th concerning the 26th Congressional District, that in which Gasport is situated.

Candidates Chris Lee and Alice Kryzan go head-to-head from 9:000 PM to 10:00 PM on TV Channel 17 (WNED). The debate can also be heard on WNED-AM, 970.

Make sure you tune in so you can make an educated selection when you place your vote in November.


The Buffalo News reports...

HARTLAND — Two retirees in their 50s will square off Nov. 4 in an election for a one-year term on the Town Board. W. Ross Annable, a Republican who was a member of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years, will face off against Joe Derda, a Democrat who put in 31 years at the Delphi plant in Lockport. The candidates were nominated last week by the two major parties.

The contenders are going for a vacancy that occurred when longtime Councilman Gary E. Nichols died Sept. 19. If Nichols had lived one more day, thus passing the deadline for placing vacancies on the November ballot, the other councilmen could have appointed a replacement without having to hold an election for the seat until November 2009.

Annable is the son of Supervisor William A. Annable. Since his December 2005 departure from the Sheriff’s Office, where his last rank was sergeant, he has taken the part-time job of Village of Barker police chief. “I’ve been considering an opportunity to serve down here,” said Annable, 51. “I’ve grown up in this area. I want to serve the community.” Annable considered running for sheriff in 2001 but decided against making the race, citing family concerns at the time.

Derda, 50, left Delphi in February 2007. His last assignment at the auto components plant was as an engineering test technician. “I’ve never been one of those kind of guys who sits back and lets other people do something,” Derda said. “You can’t sit back and cry if you don’t stand up and try.” Hartland is a solidly Republican town, and a Democratic candidate is a rare sight here.
“It’s an uphill battle. I think I’m outnumbered on the voters’ list 3- to-1,” Derda said.

Annable said his platform will be to keep taxes as low as possible while maintaining town services. Derda agreed that taxes always need scrutiny, but he said a fresh outlook could help the town, too. “Maybe it’s time for a Democrat. We need a new, fresh set of eyes to look at everything,” he said.



I recieved the following e-mail from Lauren Paisely....

Jim Ellegate was killed in a car accident on Rt. 31 Saturday afternoon returning from a Roy-Hart Loyal football game in Holley. Two of his children - James Jr. and Nicole were in the car with him. They are both recovering at Children's and their mother Julie Rizzo is with them. Older sister Liana was at Girl Scout camp at the time and is now staying with friends in Lockport.

Jim was a well known figure in the Royalton Hartland area. He was a coach for the beginners football team in the Loyal program and a softball coach as well. Julie is the president of the RHES PTA, a Gasport Lion, active in friends of the Middleport Library.

A group of us met last night - as many people want to do something for the family and funeral arrangements will not be complete until the children are released from the hospital. We have set up a fund in Julie's name for the children at the Cornerstone Community Credit Union in Middleport. Wendy Davis helped us to set this up. Donations can be sent directly to the Credit Union (55 State Street) or dropped off in person. The night drop box can also be used. Checks should be made out to Julie Rizzo.

At a future date we are trying to organize a community fundraiser at the Middleport Fire Hall.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Donna Aiken wrote us to let us know that a memorial will be held this weekend for her son, Chris. You may remember that he was killed in the Metrolink Train Accident in California on September 12, 2008.

He had grown up in Gasport and went to Royalton Hartland, graduating in 1988. He was laid to rest in California at the Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo, California on Sept. 20, 2008.

The Aikens are having a Memorial Service for him on Saturday, October 11, 2008 @ 10:00 AM at the First English Lutheran Church, 185 Locust Street, Lockport.

His wife and twin daughters are flying from California for the service as well as many other relatives from out of state.

Chris was a well-respected man, beloved by people here in Gasport and in California. You can read some of the memories and praise for Christopher here:


Becker Farms' haunted hayride begins its annual run this weekend. Here's the briefing from their website:

October 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays:

Haunted Hayride and Castle Labyrinth - come if you dare...but don't come alone!! Our Haunted Hayride, Castle Labyrinth and Area 51 have been scaring the "yell" out of unsuspecting victims for some time now. It has become a Halloween tradition, so bring your friends and family, Scouts or sports groups - as many people as you can to protect you from the strange happenings and eerie encounters that go on in the Becker Farms forests after dark. First you must solve the puzzle to find your way out of the Castle Labyrinth with its twists and turns. Then you can begin the terrifying Haunted Hayride.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This article appeared in Sunday's Lockport US&J....

ENERGY: Sunny day
Homeowner uses solar power to save money

With energy prices rising, for some homeowners the dial on the electric meter seems to spin more relentlessly every day. For Viki Ingersoll, however, the numbers on her electric meter sometimes run backwards.

Ingersoll’s Gasport Road home, which she designed in the 1980s, has been specially tailored to be energy efficient. Over the years, the home has been equipped with solar panels, extra insulation and other modifications that actually produce electricity.

On one summer day, Ingersoll said, she checked the National Grid meter as she left for work and saw it was at 603 kilowatt-hours. When she returned later, the meter read 594 kwh.“So I had produced nine kilowatt-hours more than we used during the day,” she said.

Ingersoll, energy manager for the Diocese of Buffalo, held an open house Saturday, inviting the public into her home to demonstrate how the average homeowner can save both money and energy. The Ingersoll household was fitted with roof-mounted solar panels in July. The panels cost about $24,000, but half of that was paid for by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which offers incentives for homeowners to become more energy efficient. Ingersoll said they also received help via federal and state tax credits. In the end, the out-of-pocket cost was about $4,000, she said.The system became operational on July 18.

Up until then, the average National Grid bill was about $180 a month. The August bill, which included two weeks worth of the solar energy contribution, was $145. In September, the bill was $92.“I’m pretty happy with (the savings),” she said. “It’s not huge, but it’s nothing to sneer at.” As the year goes on, the bills may become even lower — possibly even down to nothing.“Once we get into June, it might be possible we may see negative,” Ingersoll said. “You’re not gonna get rich. ... but it could eliminate your bill.”

The house uses about 20 kwh per day. By about noon Saturday, though the skies were cloudy, the system had already produced about 2.65 kwh. Ingersoll said that on a sunny day, it can be even higher. The highest she’s seen was about 16.5 kwh. “During the summer, 14 or 15 was pretty common,” she said.

Ingersoll designed the house in 1985 with energy efficiency in mind. The house is wider and shorter than most, which reduces the amount of exterior exposure. The large, south-facing windows collect solar energy, allowing the house to be kept at 70 degrees on any clear sunny day — no matter what the outside temperature. Above the windows, the roof overhangs stick out 12 inches, shading the windows during the summer to help keep the house cool. The breezeway between the house and garage serves as an “airlock,” keeping cold air out of the home. The garage itself was built to the north of the home to protect the house from exposure to the elements. Each exterior wall is fully insulated. The interior walls were covered with polyethylene, to reduce air infiltration through the exterior walls.

Middleport resident John Willis visited Ingersoll’s home for Saturday’s open house and said he was impressed by what he saw. Willis said he’s been using solar energy for various projects since the 1970s, including using solar to heat his pool. “I dabble in it a little bit,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff that you can do on your own, that you can save money.”

Ingersoll said she hopes more people will give solar energy a shot. “My goal was to have an energy-efficient house, that I could live in until retirement, that didn’t look weird,” she said. “Basically, it would just be a good home.”


Saturday, October 4, 2008


On Thursday a Rochester Road man told police sometime between 5:45 a.m. and about 4 p.m. while he was at work, someone entered his residence and took his laptop computer valued at $500. Entry was made through an unlocked door, police said.

Friday, October 3, 2008


The Hartland Methodist Church on Ridge Road is having a roast beef dinner from 4:30 to 7:00 on Saturday. Cost is $8/adults and $4/kids. Children 5 and younger eat for free.


STOLEN CAR: A Dunkirk woman told deputies Thursday that overnight, someone stole her 1998 Plymouth Neon from a driveway on Central Avenue. The car is worth about $2,000, the report said. The woman said a Marlin 30/30 rifle with no ammunition is in the trunk of the car.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


WLVL offers this report about a frustrated McDonald's customer...

A Gasport man allegedly drove his vehicle into a drive-thru order box at the Wrights Corners McDonalds around 11pm Wednesday when he got upset when workers made a mistake on his order.

29 year old Wayne Freeman of 3638 Orangeport Road was arrested later at his apartment.

The entire incident was captured on videocameras. He told deputies he lost his temper because of continuous errors in orders at that location. Workers said Freeman told them hewas "going to trash this place" even though they corrected their mistake.

His vehicle also struck a guard pole near the drive thru. The damage is at least $1,000. He's charged with felony criminal mischief and leaving the scene of a property damage accident...and is due in Town of Lockport court October 21. The McDonalds has two drive-thru's and the other is open.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Bet you didn't know the waterfalls at the Ravine Park had a name...or historical significance.

Scott Ensminger, a WNY waterfalls enthusiast, talks about Norton's Falls on his website. Check it out here, you'll learn a great deal:


Royalton Historical Society Meeting-ALL WELCOME!

Date: Thu, Oct 02, 2008 at 7:30 pm at the Town Hall

The topic of discussion will be the history of Volunteer Fire Companies.