Thursday, December 31, 2009
For many people, the economy has made 2009 a very tough year. Here's to better times ahead in 2010 for those affected by the recession.
More interviews: I plan to have one interview a month regarding issues in the news, history, tourism, business, Roy-Hart and more
More photos: Most of the time it seems like this site is all text and no pictures. I plan to post more photos over the year so snowbirds and former residents have a little bit of their hometown to admire
More tourism articles: In hopes of attracting more visitors to our fair town, and to educate folks on what you can do here, I plan to have a series of "touristy" articles about Gasport. Stories along the lines of hiking Royalton Ravine Park, canoeing the Canal, hiking/skiing the towpath, restaurant/bar reviews, experiencing the haunted hayride at Beckers or sampling wines at Vizacarra Vineyards.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Hartland Bible Church resurrects the old St. Mary’s facility
David Cain gets 55 years in jail
Royalton releases comprehensive plan
Becker Brewing Company opens
Legalized snowmobiling on the towpath rejected
The high number of break-ins and burglaries continue
Paul Bona leaves Royalton-Hartland
Kevin MacDonald selected as Roy-Hart’s new superintendent
Black bears come to town
EMT robs patient in Hartland
Long-time town clerk Carol Genet passes away
Lucille Britt passes away
New voting machines put to use
Plane makes emergency landing in field
Roy-Hart tackles sexting
Royalton highway superintendent raise is hotly contested
Construction begins on Gasport Elementary’s expansion project
Christmas morning murder in Hartland
Andy Drum saves Christmas
Meghan’s Fund is well-supported by the community
Rachel’s Challenge comes to Roy-Hart
Abdullah inducted into a horse hall of fame
Lou Roselli is inducted into Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
Becker Farms introduces 100-Mile Radius meals
Sunday, December 27, 2009
This year, due to economic conditions associated with the recession, there were more mittens than in years past and many mittens that were left unaswered. With only four days remaining before the mid-December deadline, there were more than 100 mittens left on the tree!
Andrew Drum of Drum Oil, who you may also recognize from Zion Lutheran's choir and the Gasport volunteer fire department, saw this tragedy about to occur and did something about it. He gathered the mittens and rounded up some friends to help him shop for all of the gifts, courtesy of a donation from Drum Oil.
Mission accomplished: the gifts were purchased and delivered on time and now over 50 families who were looking at a stressful Christmas saw a little bit of happiness in their day, courtesy of Andy and Drum Oil.
If you see him about town, thank him for his efforts. It's guys like him -- and small family-owned businesses like Drum Oil -- who make you glad to live in Gasport...a place where people still care for one another and real heroes still exist.
Check it out here:
All you need to do is enter "14067" in the zip code query.
Gasport: Suddenly on Friday December 25, 2009, at age 38. Predeceased by his father George. Survived by his mother Linda; sisters, Linda (Craig) Battaglia, Lisa (Eric) Gustavson; brothers, Michael (Joanie) Whitney, Joshua Whitney and many nieces and nephews. Randy was a US Navy Veteran.
Family will receive friends Wednesday, December 30 from 6-8 PM at the New Comer Funeral Home, 2636 Ridgeway Ave., where a Memorial Service will be held at 8 PM. Private interment. Memorial contributions may be directed to the First Bible Baptist Church, (Celebrate Recovery Program), 990 Manitou Rd, Hilton, NY 14468.
To share a special memory please visit:
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It all began with broccoli salad and a signature sauce.
That, along with roast turkey and dressing, was the appetizer that launched a business for Donna Eick 26 years ago and made her into what she calls a “creative foodie.”
Since then, her culinary magic with salads and homemade soups – none of which have written recipes, she claims – helped make her a catering legend in Niagara County where legions of fans agree: “I like Eick.”
“Neither my Italian grandmother or my mother ever wrote any recipes down. I go by taste. You can’t measure when you’re cooking in volume. You just have to know when it’s right,” Eick says.
She also can, she says, unlock the secrets of a recipe simply by tasting it. Like a musician who can listen to a song and play it perfectly without even knowing how to read music, Eick says she can sample a dish at a restaurant and then make it in her kitchen as good or better than the original.
You can read the rest of the article here, which features a look at her new restaurant in Lockport and offers an answer to the question, "will Donna ever write a cookbook?":
To sample some of Joe's music go to:
Friday, December 25, 2009
It happened overnight, when a murder (a VERY rare occurrence in our community) occurred in the apartments at the site of the former Hartland Motel on Route 104 between Hartland and Quaker Roads. 38 year-old Randy Whitney was allegedly stabbed to death by his girlfriend, 31 year-old Gwendolyn Garcia.
She was arraigned in Hartland Town Court around 8:00 AM this morning (no bail was placed) after being arrested on one count of second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
More to follow as details become available.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
101 teams, 64 man brackets, seven of the top 10 ranked teams in the country. There is no hyperbole in the name 'Beast of the East,' because this is the toughest regular-season high-school wrestling tournament in the nation.
And for Mercersburg's Bobby Burg '11, it was an opportunity to prove that he belongs among the nation's best in the 152-pound weight class. Burg battled his way through the challenges of 'The Beast' to become the first Mercersburg wrestler to place in the prestigious tournament, defeating Kyle Dehaut of Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic, 13-4, to take seventh place. The consolation-round victory culminated two days of wrestling that encompassed seven matches for the uppermiddler from Gasport, New York.
Burg was one of three Mercersburg wreslers who qualified for the event, which involves applying to compete almost a year in advance.
Burg, who moved up two weight classes from the 2009 season, was the No. 9 seed at 152 pounds. He pinned Nick Papa of Penncrest in his first match, before falling 5-2 to eventual third-place finisher Ryan Krecker (Nazareth). Dropping to the consolation bracket, the Storm grappler recorded his second fall of the tournament, pinning Tadeo Gonzales (Henlopen), then downing Tyler Rill (Mount St. Joseph), 2-1, and Issah Meadow (Caesar Rodney), 7-2. A tough 2-0 loss to Kenny Boyles (Smyrna) put Burg in the seventh-place consolation final.
"Bobby's jumped up a couple of weights from last year and I think he's still making some adjustments," Mercersburg head coach Nate Jacklin says. "Placing at this tournament is a significant accomplishment that should give him momentum for the rest of the year."
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
According to the article, Niagara Metals was met with significant resistance...
“To build on Main Street is ridiculous,” said Al Wroblewski of Royalton Road. “Don’t load (Route) 31 with junkyards. Put those operations out of sight.”
Don Perry of Red Creek asked, “What’s in it for the town?” and noted that the property is at the headwaters of Eighteenmile Creek. Perry feared contamination.
Robin Lake, who has a junkyard business in Albion, wanted to know where Niagara Metals would get the tons of scrap needed to make a profit. He said that the company would have to get into cars. “It’s going to be a junkyard before it’s done,” Lake said. “That’s my biggest fear.”
But, Niagara Metals did get some support such as...
Dominic Cileberto of Gasport defended the proposed project. “They’re thinking more outside the box. They’re more efficient, and competition has to be good.”
Jeff Brown is in favor of the proposal. “This area need business, more jobs,” he said. “I think it’s great that somebody wants to do something.”
There is plenty of vital information available in the news article, including what's next for the town and Niagara Metals. Check it out online at. It's a good read.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This is fantastic news for the local business scene, an idea that I hope comes true. As you know, Gasport could always use jobs, tax revenues and economic development. I've done business before with Niagara Metals and have found them to be welll-run and attentive to their business partners and community. They would be a nice addition to our community.
Bill Wolcott wrote an article about the application in today's Lockport US&J. Check it out here.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Every December since 1992 I've hosted a football game that has become an over-hyped event to the participants. The guys always look forward to Mudbowl and getting to play football for what may be their only chance each year. They also value the bragging rights that come with victory and big plays.
In 2005 it became a flag football game because, quite frankly, we're getting too old for tackle. But, nonetheless, it remains exciting.
This year's Mudbowl -- the 18th installment -- takes place this Saturday, the 19th, at noon at the soccer field at the Gasport school.
For more information visit: http://mudbowl.net/
All district residents are eligible to receive the vaccine.
If you and/or members of your family would like to be immunized please call the school to schedule an appointment. Once you have scheduled an appointment, a packet including a consent form will be mailed to your home. The consent form must be completed and signed for each person wishing to receive the vaccine. The person must bring the completed form with them on January 7th.
To schedule an appointment, please call 735-2000 ext. 2013 on December 21, 22, 28 or 29 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. An appointment must be made no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29th.
For more information regarding the H1N1 and seasonal flu immunizations, please contact the Niagara County Health Department at 439-7430.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
PUBLIC NOTICEIN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF NIAGARA MOHAWK POWER CORPORATION D/B/A NATIONAL GRID FOR A CERTIFICATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMPATIBILITY AND PUBLIC NEED FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF TRANSMISSION LINE 111 FROM LOCKPORT TO MORTIMER, NEW YORK
Pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law of the State of New York, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid is providing public notice of its intent to file an Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the reconstruction of approximately 56 miles of a 115 kV single-circuit transmission line for circuit 111 (“Line 111”) that is located within an existing National Grid right-of-way from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport to the Mortimer Substation in the Town of Brighton along Niagara, Orleans, and Monroe Counties (the “Project”), as further described below. The Project is needed to replace facilities that have deteriorated and have reached the end of their service lives.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT NIAGARA MOHAWK POWER CORPORATION, d/b/a NATIONAL GRID (“National Grid” or the “Applicant”), on or about December 30, 2009 will file an application in the above entitled matter with the Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law.
During the course of the proceedings, alternate routes not included in the application filing or affected by the proposed primary route may be offered without further notice by publication. In addition, the Public Service Commission may, without further notice by publication, approve a route for the line that traverses municipalities not presently affected by the proposed primary route. A copy of the application filed with the Public Service Commission will be served upon the chief executive officers of Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties; the Towns of Lockport, Royalton, Shelby, Barre, Clarendon, Sweden, Ogden, Gates, Chili, and Brighton; and the Cities of Lockport and Rochester (the municipalities traversed by the proposed primary route); as well as the chief executive officers of the County of Genesee; the Towns of Oakfield, Byron, Elba, Albion, Riga, Murray, Ridgeway, Pendleton, Bergen, Henrietta, and Alabama; and the Villages of Brockport, Holley, Spencerport, Middleport, Medina and Albion (the municipalities which are traversed by the proposed alternative routes discussed in Exhibit 3 of the Application and not by the proposed primary route) and will be available in the local public libraries in or closest to each community on or before the same date as the application is filed with the Public Service Commission.
National Grid is proposing a rebuild of the existing Lockport-Mortimer Line 111 in Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties. The Project is a rebuild of approximately 56 miles of single-circuit 115 kV transmission line from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport in the west to the Mortimer Substation in the Town of Brighton in the east. The Lockport-Mortimer Line 111 shares an electric transmission corridor with the double-circuit Lines 113/114 for the entire length. Lines 107, 108, and 112 also share the corridor beginning approximately 11 miles east of the Lockport Substation. The transmission right-of-way is generally 200 feet wide along most of the 56 miles with Line 111 typically centered within the right-of-way. The reconstruction will improve the electric system reliability and increase the efficiency of the electric power system in the state. National Grid holds all necessary property rights for the proposed transmission lines including fee interests, easements and licenses. The reconstruction is subject to the permitting requirements of Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, and National Grid must receive a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the Public Service Commission.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
The Project will entail rebuilding Line 111 along the current centerline, entirely within the existing right-of-way. Replacement structures will be located in approximately the same locations as the existing structures, with some structures offset between 10 and 30 feet along the existing centerline. Line 111 is supported by 618 structures, 523 of which are the original 1906 three-legged “Aeromotor” or windmill style steel structures. 553 of the 618 existing structures will be replaced with either single wood pole structures with steel davit arms or steel pole (dead-end) structures. The remaining 65 existing wood and steel structures will be reused. Additionally, access roads will be improved, deteriorated culverts or other drainage devices will be replaced, and new erosion controls will be installed, where appropriate and as required along the right-of-way to support construction and continued maintenance of the facility. Several alternatives were analyzed resulting in the final proposal as described below. These alternatives are discussed in National Grid’s application.
The proposed route will be the same route that currently hosts Line 111. In general terms, the proposed route will exit northeast from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport and run in an easterly direction through the City of Lockport, the Towns of Lockport, Royalton, Shelby, Barre, Clarendon, Sweden, Ogden, Gates, and Chili, and the City of Rochester, for approximately 56 miles to the Mortimer substation in the Town of Brighton. The precise route is described in Exhibit 2 of the Applicant’s filing, which will be available for public inspection as described below.
DATE OF ARTICLE VII FILING
National Grid expects to file an Article VII application with the Public Service Commission on or about December 30, 2009. Copies of the application will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618; the Byron-Bergen Public Library, 13 South Lake Avenue, P.O. Box 430, Bergen, NY 14416; the Chili Public Library, 3333 Chili Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624; the Community Free Library, 86 Public Square, Holley, NY 14470; the Corfu Free Library, 7 Maple Avenue, P.O. Box 419, Corfu, NY 14036; the Gates Public Library, 1605 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY 14624; the Gilliam-Grant Community Center, 6966 West Bergen Road, Bergen, NY 14416; the Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Greece, NY 14612; the Hamlin Public Library, 422 Hamlin-Clarkson T.L. Road, Hamlin, NY 14464; the Haxton Memorial Library, 3 North Pearly Street, Oakfield, NY 14125; the Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY 14623; the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, 620 West Avenue, Medina, NY 14103; the Lockport Public Library, 23 East Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094; the Mendon Public Library, 15 Monroe Street, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472; the Middleport Free Library, 9 Vernon Street, Middleport, NY 14105; the Newman Riga Library, 1 Village Park, Churchville, NY 14428; the Ogden Farmers Library, 267 Ogden Center Road, Spencerport, NY 14559; the Parma Public Library, 7 West Avenue, Hilton, NY 14468; the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia, NY 14020; the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604; the Rush Public Library, 5977 East Henrietta Road, Rush, NY 14543; the Scottsville Free Library, 29 Main Street, Scottsville, NY 14546; the Seymour Library, 161 East Avenue, Brockport, NY 14420; the Swan Library, 4 North Main Street, Albion, NY 14411; the Woodward Memorial Library, 7 Wolcott Street, LeRoy, NY 14482; and the Yates Community Library, 15 North Main Street, P.O. Box 485, Lyndonville, NY 14098. In addition, copies of the application will be available for public inspection at the Department of Public Service Offices in Albany (Office of Central Files, 14th Floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223).
For information or assistance concerning the application, interested persons may contact the following:
Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling
State of New York Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350
Christopher K. Denny, P.E.
300 Erie Boulevard West
Syracuse, New York 13202-4250
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Here are some snippets from that article...
The Tonawanda City School District has a new athletic coordinator for almost the same price as the one the dismissed earlier this month.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the school board abolished the director of health, physical education and athletics position currently occupied by Dawn Bak.
The district held off on replacing Bak immediately, shifting responsibilities to other administration staff while evaluating the future of the position. The athletic director job was one of many eyed by angry residents for the chopping block following the closing of Highland Elementary before the current school year. While the board did abolish the job Tuesday, it also created a new position for coordinator of athletics and physical education that Board President Lynn Casal said comes with nearly the same responsibilities.
While Casal wouldn’t discuss the specific circumstances of Bak’s resignation, she was confident that Bradly Halgash, the newly appointed athletic coordinator, was the right choice to “take the sports program in a new direction.”
Halgash is coming from the Royalton-Hartland Central School District, where he served as a teacher and full-time athletic director during his nine-year tenure. He will be making $58,250 in his first year with Tonawanda schools, approximately $6,750 less than Bak’s salary. Casal said the financial savings didn’t factor into the board’s decision.
Read the entire article here:
Niagara County has fired a Highway Department truck driver who was arrested last week on charges of stealing two snowplow blades and some bridge railings from the county Public Works garage and selling them for scrap.
Joel D. Allen, 35, of Johnson Creek Road, Hartland, was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony, and third-degree criminal trespass when he was arrested Thursday, sheriff’s Investigator Raymond Degan told The Buffalo News on Tuesday.
Read the whole story here:
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The action begins at 7:15 with a public hearing on a local law for outdoor furnaces. These things have become very popular with the recession inducing frugality and oil/gas price volatility doing the same. If you plan to buy one in the next few years make it a point to attend.
Here's the law...
The town board meets immediately thereafter and the agenda can be found here:
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A 25 year old Gasport man was charged yesterday with causing multiple injuries to a four month old child last month. David Stroup was arraigned in Town of Lockport court and is being held on $50,000 bail. Sheriff Jim Voutour says the injuries occurred while the child was left in Stroup's care. The arrest followed an investigation into a report of child abuse November 23 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where the chlld had beentaken for treatment. Stroup could get seven years in prison if he's found guilty.
Today's Lockport US&J features a story about the event...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It's a great conversation that begins with this introduction...
HARTLAND—Plenty of people are in the Christmas tree business these days, but veterans like James Merrell know there’s more to it than meets the eye.
James, 50, took over the tree business from his father, Harry, who also was an ag teacher at Royalton-Hartland High School. But the competition has cut into the business so much that he has to augment farming with a 36- hour-a-week job as a machine mechanic at Perry’s Ice Cream in Akron to make ends meet.
Despite that, Merrell says it never crossed his mind to do anything else. “You don’t pick farming; farming picks you,” he laughed.
The farm also grows corn, but for Merrell, Christmas trees are a year-round project, with 8,000 trees in various stages of growth.
“There’s a lot of fatalities from the weather, a lot of deer busting them up. Before they’re tall enough to sell, you might have 50 percent that are good. A deer breaks one branch, you’ve got a hole in the tree, and it never grows back,” he explained.
To read the entertaining and informative interview go to the Buffalo News' website:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Monday the 14th: High School
Wednesday the 16th: Elementary School
Monday the 21st: Middle School grades 7 & 8
Tuesday the 22nd: Middle School grades 5 & 6
The Royalton-Hartland School District is asking the state transportation department to take a look at the school zone on Rochester Road in front of its elementary school.
Superintendent Kevin MacDonald said the district has sent a letter requesting the department to take a look at a portion of Route 31 in Gasport. In the letter are three areas of concern, including expanding the school zone, lowering the speed limit from the current 45 mph to 35 mph and adding a guardrail. The guardrail is requested to go along the north side, by the soccer fields, MacDonald said.
At previous meetings, Roy-Hart school board members have expressed concerns over the close proximity of the signs and a lack of guardrails, as well as talking about the need to reduce the speed limit. Currently, the zone has the posted speed limit on two signs, one facing in each direction.
To read the entire article visit the US&J's website at:
Friday, December 4, 2009
Generation Magazine will be returning to its long-vacant and dust-filled shelves around campus next semester.
Ren LaForme, a second year senior psychology major and current senior managing editor for The Spectrum, was elected November 19 by Sub Board I, Inc. to fill the editor-in-chief position next semester.
LaForme, from Gasport, N.Y., has been with The Spectrum for two years and was inspired to run for the position so students would be more informed with campus news and issues.
“No one publication accurately advocated for students and distributing information for students,” LaForme said. “The Spectrum does a good job of distributing news for students and Visions does a good job talking about what SA is doing, but there is no publication pushing for students, students’ rights and things that are important to students. Generation is a good platform to do that from.”
LaForme said he plans to include detailed and in-depth features on issues that directly affect both graduate and undergraduate students.
“Our features stories will be about what matters to students and tackle things like textbook costs, UB2020, and big topics that I feel like we could really dive into,” LaForme said. “You’re [also] going to find that the layout is different and there is a lot more content in every issue.”
Reader favorites like the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” section will be returning as LaForme and another editor host student questions, giving one legitimate answer and one answer that doesn’t make sense, as the old magazine did.
However, LaForme said the personals will not be included and there is no immediate plan to feature the controversial and popular insults, love notes and call-outs.
“In the past, Generation has made some poor decisions in regards to the things they have published,” LaForme said. “The number one important thing to me is to make sure Generation is on the right path to the future as far as what’s ethical and what’s not.”
With the many new changes coming to Generation, LaForme is worried about student perceptions and recalled that the last time the magazine changed styles, readers did not take well to the transformation.
“Last time things switched around a little bit, people weren’t happy, but I’m not going to make the same mistakes,” LaForme said. “I’m going to make sure to give students what they want but in a way that doesn’t violate journalism ethics and standards.”
The first issue of the magazine will hit North and South Campuses, as well as locations yet to be determined around the city of Buffalo early next semester on January 12.
In addition to the bi-weekly publication, Generation will include multimedia content on a newly designed Web site.
Although LaForme has a distinct background in newspaper writing and editing, he says he is looking forward to new challenges and working for a magazine.
“I will miss The Spectrum. I’ll miss the hard work, long hours and people that are here. I really like this place; it has a great past and a great future,” LaForme said.
LaForme said his time at The Spectrum helped develop a distinctive set of leadership traits that will help bring Generation into the future, put a lasting impression on the magazine and jumpstart it for the future.
“I’ve learned enough at The Spectrum on how to lead groups of people and about ethics and good content to make sure that [Generation] is on the right path,” LaForme said.