Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A news release from FMC...

Andrew A. Twarowski Named FMC Middleport Plant Manager

FMC Corporation announced the appointment of Andrew A. Twarowski as manager of FMC's Agricultural Products Group mixing and packaging facility in Middleport N.Y.

Twarowski has been with FMC for more than 30 years and comes to the Middleport plant after three years as FMC's global process safety manager. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of positions in FMC's Agricultural Products Group (APG).

"Andy will be a key member of our Agricultural Products Group operations team and his focus will be on the continued evolution of the Middleport site," said William Pasko, North American operations manager at FMC.

"Throughout his career at FMC he has added value through his ability to continuously improve new or existing commercial or manufacturing operations and manage information systems initiatives, while always exercising a results-oriented yet collaborative work style."

Employees at the FMC Middleport plant mix and package a number of key product lines used on nearly 100 different crops in more than 75 countries around the world. Over the past year, the plant has added several new products lines, and the work force has eight new full-time employees and 12 temporary employees.

Twarowski has previously managed the APG's global supply chain, and has also served as international customer service operations manager. Earlier in his career with FMC, he worked in process improvement and led the start-up of several new plants.Twarowski earned a masters in business administration from the University of Baltimore and a bachelors in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland.

He and his wife have four children. Twarowski will assume this new role immediately and members of the family will be relocating to Western New York this summer.

Contact information: Debra Overkamp - FMC Community Liaison, 735-7939

Monday, March 30, 2009


WLVL reports....

More than $4300 worth of guns and electronics were taken during a Sunday afternoon break in at a home on Ridge Road in Hartland. The loot included a 42 inch Westinghouse flat panel TV,a Sony laptop, a Remington rifle with scope, and a G-2 muzzleloader. Deputies said a neighbor saw a male in his mid 20's in front of the home and talking with some other occupants in a dark blue van. There was no sign of forced entry. The 38 year old victim told them his father may have accidentally given a woman a set of keys to his home when he gave her some others to watch over his property while he was out of town.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


A committee of residents from the town of Royalton has been working with the town board and engineering firm Wendel Duchscherer to create a comprehensive plan for the town.

The draft is now available for our review and, at first glance, it looks good. I really need to sit down and read it thoroughly. You should, too. Give it a look and send your comments/concerns to the town council. The council and the committee need our feedback. This plan sets goals and strategies for the development of Royalton. It's our future they are talking about...a future we can all influence.

The document is 85 pages long and can be downloaded here:



The Royalton Historical is meeting this Thursday at 7:30 at the Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend. This month's speaker is longtime broadcaster and WBEN's Saturday morning show host Hank Nevins who will speak about the history of radio.

Friday, March 27, 2009


As reported by the Buffalo News....

Michael D. Coe, who broke into a home on East Avenue in Gasport July 17 and was confronted by a neighbor as he fled, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court. Coe, 36, of Branch Street, Lockport, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary and facing a maximum of four years in prison when he is sentenced May 27 by Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. Assistant District Attorney Stephen J. Foley said Coe failed to pry open the home’s back door but succeeded in entering through the front door. He filled a pillowcase with cash and jewelry but dropped it when a neighbor from across the street confronted him


Our good friends at the Lockport Union Sun & Journal reported on last night's board meeting...

ROY-HART: $800,000 in cuts needed for 3.93 percent tax levy increase

MIDDLEPORT— Royalton-Hartland isn’t cutting anything in its athletics program yet for the 2009-10 school year, but it is looking to trim $50,000 from the district sports teams.

The Board of Education has to cut $800,000 from the proposed 2009-10 school year budget, in order to get it down to a tax levy increase of under 4 percent. Superintendent Paul Bona said the cuts would have to come from every area in the budget, including cuts in staffing and the $50,000 in the athletics program. To reduce the levy any further would require almost $1 million in cuts.

“That’s the dilemma the board faces,” Bona said. “It’s dramatic, it’s a bare bones budget.”

The current form of the 2009-10 school year spending plan is a $22,987,355 budget. That would come with a 3.93 percent increase on the tax levy, which in turn would raise the tax rate about 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed land value.

Board President Patricia Riegle said the budget process began with a first draft that called for a 13 percent tax levy increase. That wasn’t going to pass with voters, so the board looked at everything in the budget closely, she said.

“We are very adamant this year about being fair and consistent to everybody that’s concerned,” Riegle said. “Are there going to be cuts in programs and services to our students? I’m afraid to say most likely that is going to happen.”

When the board whittled the proposed budget down to its current form, Riegle said she felt the 3.93 percent increase was still high for some residents; but to cut further would eliminate even more from the district, she said. Riegle added the cuts would be spread out in all areas of the district.

“I also asked to see what it would look like at 2 percent (tax levy increase) and it was devastating,” she said. “If we’re all going to suffer, we’re going to suffer together as a group.”

Nothing has been decided yet to achieve the $50,000 cuts to the athletic program, but football and junior varsity field hockey were sports of interest. The number of students that participate in a sport will be considered, Riegle said. The board was given a list of the number of students participating in each sport for the past three years.

“One of the areas that did jump off the page at us was the minimal number of students that participate in our football program.” Riegle said.

Riegle said it may be possible Roy-Hart has too many fall sports, considering the number of students in the district. She added nothing is written in stone. All the board has done is decide on the sports figure of $50,000. And the district is waiting to hear about any federal stimulus money, which could ease the burden.

“But for some reason the mail is awful slow from Washington, D.C., to Albany these days,” Riegle said.

Part of the $800,000 in cuts may also come in eliminating 12 positions within the district. Bona said the majority of the positions were academic.

As far as additional funding is concerned, Bona said the only sure thing is Gov. David Paterson’s proposal for state aid which is less than the previous school year. Any additional revenue would reduce the $800,000 in cuts that the district determined was necessary.

“Nothing is guaranteed,” Bona said.

A possible option may be the community. Riegle said a lot of schools have active sports boosters clubs, and a more active one in Roy-Hart could help make up the $50,000 deficit. She said the district would also meet with the local group, the Loyal Football program boosters.

Source: http://www.lockportjournal.com/local/local_story_085234727.html

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


As reported by the Buffalo News...

Three years in state prison and $846 in restitution was the sentence Tuesday for a teenager who committed six burglaries and four vehicle thefts last fall in Lockport, Gasport and Middleport.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza denied youthful offender treatment for Dennis Schultz Jr., 17, of East High Street, Lockport, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted second-degree burglary and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property to settle all the charges against him.

A co-defendant, Benjamin Stump, 19, of Washburn Street, Lockport, is awaiting sentencing.

Source: http://www.buffalonews.com/437/story/618509.html


The Roy-Hart School board meets tomorrow, March 26th. The public meeting begins at 7:00 PM in the high school auditorium.

You can download the agenda here:



Town historian Jesse Beiber sent me a link to a really awesome website. "Historic Aerials" shows you aerial photographs that are, well, historic.

It shows photos of the Gasport area from 1958 to 2006. I just looked at our farm on the site and it was neat to see how it evolved.

Give it a try...just enter an address and it will be found on the database:



On Sunday, March 29th, there's a pancake breakfast in Hartland.

As a part of New York's Maple Syrup Weekend, the Hartland Fire Company is having an all-you can eat pancake breakfast at the fire hall from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for kids 10 and younger. The breakfast comes complete with homefries, sausage, eggs, juice, and coffee.


There is a free rabies immunization clinic from 2:00 to 4:00 this Saturday, March 28th, at the Royalton town garage. For more information call 772.2431.


This Sunday, March 29th, from 9:00 to 4:00, there will be a craft show and flea market at the Hartland Conservationists Club on Orangeport Road.

They will be selling chowder as well, from 11:00 until sold out. Get there early!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The owner of Gasport Chiropractic reported that sometime between Thursday and Monday, an unknown person attempted to enter the building by breaking the rear casement window. The alarm sounded. Items on the window sill were knocked onto the floor, but the complainant does not believe anything is missing from the office. The damage was $249.

Monday, March 23, 2009


The minutes from the town of Royalton's March 9th board meeting are now available online:



As reported by the Union-Sun & Journal.....

A character education program born out of a tragedy is coming to the Royalton-Hartland School District. The community, high school and middle school students are invited to a special assembly for “Rachel’s Challenge” April 1. Students will attend the assembly during the day, while the community assembly will be at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium, 54 State St., Middleport.

“We are very excited to bring this here,” Middle School Principal John Fisgus said. “And it is open to anyone. We want this to be a community message and try and carry on Rachel’s legacy.”

Rachel’s Challenge is a character education program that challenges people to treat others with kindness and compassion. The challenge comes from the writings of Rachel Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings in April 1999. Her father, Darrell Scott, began speaking to communities and soon set up Rachel’s Challenge as a nonprofit organization.

Shortly after the tragedy, some of Rachel’s writings were discovered, including a diary and an essay, “My Ethics, My Code of Life.” In it, Rachel said: “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”

The assembly tells of Rachel’s story, her life, her personality and that tragic day at Columbine. It also challenges people to do five things: eliminate prejudice in their lives, keep a journal and set goals, be aware of influences in their lives, pay attention to the little things and find five people who matter the most and do something special for them. Speakers have been trained by Scott and meet with a school’s staff prior to the assembly. They talk with the staff about how to promote the message of Rachel’s Challenge and start that “chain reaction” Rachel spoke of.

Rachel’s Challenge has been to more than 1,000 schools all over the globe. That includes the Lake Shore School District in Angola, where Fisgus was a principal and saw the effects of Rachel’s Challenge first-hand. The kids were changed forever, Fisgus said.“It hit the kids hard,” he said. “It changed the atmosphere of the school. We wanted to make it a community thing, and over 1,000 community members came to the assembly that evening. There wasn’t a dry eye.”

When Fisgus came to Roy-Hart in the fall, members of the Roy-Hart Parent Teachers Association asked him about Rachel’s Challenge, which appeared on his resume. Fisgus said the members were excited to bring the program to Roy-Hart.Fisgus said child care will be provided for children ages 2 through 10 for the community assembly, and there will be a gathering afterwards with light refreshments. Everyone from the staff to the students are eagerly awaiting April 1, Fisgus said.

He offered some advice for those who will be coming to Rachel’s Challenge: “Bring a box of tissues.”

Source: http://www.lockportjournal.com/local/local_story_077231623.html

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here is a legal notice for issues of note to be discussed at tomorrow's public hearing in Royalton...

Town of Royalton

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Royalton will meet on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Road, Middleport, New York 14105, to hear and consider:

1. A Special Use Permit application by Kevin Allis to have a Aseasonal roadside stand@ on property located at 4075 Hartland Road in the Town of Royalton, Niagara County, New York.

2. A Temporary Conditional Use Permit application by Norman G. Tiefel and Lois R. Tiefel, to place a mobile home on vacant land on Chestnut Ridge Road next to 9412 Chestnut Ridge Road, to be occupied by applicants.

3. A Temporary Conditional Use Permit to allow Scott Gribben to give permission for Michael Marotta, owner of MJ Landscaping and Excavating to place a sign on his property at 8289 Mill Road for business advertising purposes.

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

#L07515845 3/18/2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I received this message from a concerned parent...

I was told today by someone that works at the school, that the BOE is planning to cut JV and varsity football. I was also told that the board is trying to "sneak it through" at this months meeting. True football costs the most, but per student it is baketball that costs the most. I think it is terrible that they are trying to passs this through with out community input. As a parent of kids that play sports, I would be willing to pay a sports fee or run a boosters club if given the option. The problem with the board is they don' t gives us any say or choices. Don't they work for us? Didn't WE elect THEM? I writing to you in hopes that you will post this information on your web site. Residents of ROY HART need to know how underhanded the board is.


There will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 18 this Saturday, the 21st from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Covenant United Church of Christ, Main Street, Gasport. Sit-down or take-out. Tickets are $6 pre-sale or $7 at the door. For tickets call assistant scoutmaster Dan MacNeal at 772.5090 or e-mail him at Dan_bul@juno.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Gasport Chemical Hose Ladies Auxiliary

Spring Garage Sale

Where – Gasport Fire Hall
When – April 18th 10am – 4pm

A light lunch and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

If you are interested in setting up a table for the Garage Sale, please contact Pam Schmitt at 716-772-5084 or email at pschmitt43@yahoo.com

Set up from 8am – 10 am
Tables are $15 a table

Friday, March 13, 2009


St. Patty's Day Party at Terry's Corners fire hall from 7:00 PM till 1:00 AM, this Saturday, March 14th.

Featuring music by South Bound. Tickets are $5 presale or $8 at the door. Tickets are available at Durf's Tires on Route 31.

There is a cash bar with Guinness on tap (No Outside Beverages!).

The party is 18 and over and the firemen ID everyone.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Royalton town board: 7:30 PM Monday at the town hall

Roy-Hart school board: 7:00 PM at the High School aud

Hartland town board: 7:30 PM Thursday at the town hall

Saturday, March 7, 2009


This appeared in last Sunday's Buffalo News...

HARTLAND — A food store here is expected to become the third recipient of low-cost electricity from Niagara County’s allocation from the Niagara Power Project. New England Sea Food, which sells bulk groceries in a store at Ridge and Hartland roads, was approved for 75 kilowatts of power for the next three years by the board of Empower Niagara, a county agency set up to consider private-sector requests for chunks of the electricity the county was allotted when the Power Project was relicensed. The County Legislature is to vote on the allocation Tuesday.

Louis Mead, who owns the business with his wife, Lori, said he plans a major expansion, adding 14 full-time jobs immediately to his current work force of 25. Eight more jobs, five of them full time, are to be added in the next two years, Mead said.

“I have a 2,500-square-foot section [of the building] that we don’t even use,” he said. More food storage capacity is to be added.

“My whole company is run by electricity, because we repack from wholesale,” Mead said, adding that his current electric bills average $8,000 a month.

“That’s when I contacted Sen. [George D.] Maziarz, and he referred me to Sam Ferraro [the county economic development commissioner],” Mead said.

He isn’t sure how much he’ll save with the county’s power, but he knows the bills will be lower.

Despite the name, New England Sea Food isn’t just about fish. It sells meat, deli items and produce, too. The store receives large bulk shipments of food items and repackages them into smaller lots for sale, Mead said. The business was founded by his grandmother in 1968, and for several years was located in a plaza in Williamsville. When that was destroyed by fire, she found a site in Barker and moved there in 1980. New England Sea Food relocated four and a half years ago to the former C. J. Perry & Son farm equipment dealership here.

The retail sales are in the front of the building, in a store called NES Food Outlet. “I have about 400 customers,” Mead said.

Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, who serves on the Empower Niagara board, said the New England Sea Food application was just what the agency was looking for.

“They were looking to create some new jobs. They’ve been around for a while in Niagara County,” Ross said. “They’re homespun. That’s kind of nice.”

Previous allocations from Empower Niagara went to Russell Farms of Newfane, which received 180 kilowatts last June to help with the operation of a new controlled-atmosphere apple storage building, and Vishay Thin Film, a Wheatfield electronics company which received 85,000 kilowatts in December to reduce energy costs and keep its corporate parent from moving a production line to Mexico.

Mead, who lives in Barker, complimented the county’s economic development staff, especially Deputy Commissioner Michael A. Casale, for helping with the application process. “Excellent,” he said.

Source: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/niagaracounty/story/593676.html

Friday, March 6, 2009


February's poll on this website asked Roy-Hart residents who they would choose as their new superintendent had they the power to do so. 55 people voted. 21 of them selected Kevin MacDonald (the board of education's pick) and another 21 chose Joe Hochreiter. The remaining 13 selected Thomas manko.

The March poll will look at the local job market and how the recession has affected your job. This is timely because we just learned yesterday that Niagara County's unemployment rate has grown to a frightening 10.9%.


TV's WGRZ Channel 2 reports....

She has always lived a life of tremendous activity.

Now, Meghan Redenbach is fighting to get back to that.

Just 13 years old, Meghan was diagnosed in December with fibrosarcoma, a form of ovarian cancer so rare it has seen only 30 documented cases in the United States. This is only the second time it has been diagnosed in a child.

She is undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks for the next nine months, and she can only occasionally attend classes at Roy-Hart Middle School. But what has stung Meghan more than anything is not being able to play the sports she has always enjoyed: softball, volleyball and, this season, basketball.

Amidst all of that, her perseverance and positivity have led the way to -- thus far -- a strong recovery. This Sunday, a benefit will be held in her honor at Terry's Corner Fire Hall in Gasport; it will feature a Chinese auction and go from 1-4 pm.

To see the television video of the story, go to:


Thursday, March 5, 2009


An employee of Standish-Jones Building Supply on Central Avenue reported Wednesday morning that overnight, someone damaged the safe and took the daily receipts from the night before. The damage to the door frame and the safe was estimated at $1,200, and about $2,000 in cash was reported stolen, the report said.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The Lockport US&J reports....

FATAL ACCIDENT: Gasport woman dies after Amherst car crash

A 21-year-old Gasport woman died Tuesday evening in a car crash on Transit Road in the Town of Amherst. Police said the victim, Kahlea Hendel, was traveling northbound on Transit Road at 6:50 p.m. when her white Pontiac Grand Am crossed the center line and struck an oncoming tractor-trailer. Amherst police said Hendel was extricated from her vehicle by firemen from the nearby Swormville Fire Department. She was transported by Twin City Ambulance to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. According to police, the driver of the tractor-trailer, 56-year-old Jeffrey C. Senn of Grand Island, was also taken to Millard Fillmore, where he was treated for back pain. There were no other passengers in either vehicle.

Amherst police are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash, and witnesses are asked to call 689-1355 to speak with investigators.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


March 7th and 8th: A Niagara Wine Trail event at Vizcarra Vineyards. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a murder mystery! By popular request the Wine Trail has added another murder mystery event to their line-up this year. Similar to their Hallowine event, collect a different clue at each winery on the trail. Each $20 ticket includes a wine tasting at ten wineries, a commemorative wine glass and an information packet to get you started on solving the crime. For more information, visit http://niagarawinetrail.org/

March 8th: Chinese Auction. Meghan's Fund is holding a chinese auction on March 8th at Terrys Corner Firehall. Doors open at 1pm with drawings beginning at 4pm. All proceeds from the auction will go to help cover medical expenses for Meghan Redenbach. Meghan was diagnosed with Fibro Sarcoma, an extremely rare form of ovarian cancer. There are only 30 documented cases of this cancer diagnosed in the United States. Meghan is the second child ever diagnosed. She will have to go through chemotherapy every three weeks fore the next 9 months at Roswell Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

March 14th: St. Patty's Day Party at Terry's Corners fire hall from 7:00 PM till 1:00 AM. Featuring music by South Bound. Tickets are $5 presale or $8 at the door. Tickets are available at Durf's Tires on Route 31. There is a cash bar with Guinness on tap (No Outside Beverages!). The party is 18 and over and the firemen ID everyone.

March 21st: Spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 18. 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Covenant United Church of Christ, Main Street, Gasport. Sit-down or take-out. Tickets are $6 pre-sale or $7 at the door. For tickets call assistant scoutmaster Dan MacNeal at 772.5090 or e-mail him at Dan_bul@juno.com

March 28th: Victorian Tea. The Covenant United Church of Christ will have its third annual five-course Victorian tea. There will be two seatings, at 10 a. m. and 2 p. m., in the church’s fireplace room March 28, Covenant United Church of Christ, 4449 Main St., Gasport. Tickets are $24; for tickets or more information, contact Jackie Thompson at 772-7802.

March 28th: Free rabies immunization clinic. 2:00 to 4:00 at the Royalton town garage. For more information call 772.2431.

March 29th: Pancake breakfast. As a part of New York's Maple Syrup Weekend, the Hartland Fire Company is having an all-you can eat pancake breakfast at the fire hall from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for kids 10 and younger. The breakfast comes complete with homefries, sausage, eggs, juice, and coffee.