Friday, December 31, 2010


Zion Lutheran Church will be having its secret pal luncheon this Sunday, January 2nd at 11:30. Any interested women, please attend and bring a wrapped gift (up to $10 value) to exchange with someone else. The purpose is to promote fellowship and a sense of caring for one another through thoughtful remembrances and prayer. Bring a small dish to pass (main dish or desert).


WKBW TV 7 is reporting that a Gasport man robbed a Newfane family and led the police on a chase through Niagara County...

TOWN OF NEWFANE, NY ( release ) The Niagara County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from an address in Newfane, where the caller stated that a robbery had just occurred, and that the victims had been tied up.

Deputies responding to the scene were also given additional information that a vehicle had been stolen and was last seen going south on Hess Road.

Deputies responded to the scene, with additional units checking the area for the suspect and stolen vehicle. A short time later, Deputy A. Gerhardt was able to locate the stolen vehicle going south on Lockport-Olcott Road and got behind it.

The driver, John P. Corra, 32, of Gasport refused to pull the vehicle over and continued driving south. At this point, Deputy C. Goupil arrived to assist.

The suspect continued at a moderate speed for several miles and then turned northbound on a seasonal road off of Chestnut-Ridge Road, where he lost control and went into a ditch.

Corra then exited the vehicle and ran northbound. After a short foot pursuit, Deputy Gerhardt and Goupil were able to take Corra into custody.

Corra was charged with Robbery 1st, Burglary 1st, Assault 2nd, Grand Larceny 4th, Petit Larceny, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer, and numerous traffic charges by both the Niagara County Sheriff's Office investigators, and patrol deputies.

Corra was arraigned in Town of Newfane court and remanded to the Niagara County jail on $50,000 bail. He is due back in Newfane Court on 1/4/11.



The December readers poll asked the following: "Which public asset in Gasport is your top choice for outdoor recreation or relaxation?"

123 people took part in the poll and I was amazed at how few people emphasize boating on the Canal. Only 8 people voted for it, which is surprising given the number of docks on our waters and the soaring popularity of kayaking.

I wasn't at all surprised that the Ravine Park took the #1 spot. It really is an impressive place to enjoy nature.

Here's what the poll found. Destinations are ranked from most popular to least.

Royalton Ravine Park: 51 votes (41%)
The Erie Canal (on shore): 44 votes (35%)
Veterans Park: 10 votes (8%)
The Erie Canal (on the water): 8 votes (6%)
The Elementary School grounds: 6 votes (4%)
Hartland Town Park: 4 votes (3%)

A new poll has been posted asking "Which Gasport church do you attend?"


In June 2010, Payson Brea Hamilton, the daughter of Marla Samanka and Clyde Hamilton was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1, at the age of six months. Payson Brea had a half sister Baylee Morgan Samanka that passed away December 23, 1999 at the age of three years old also from SMA.

This devastating disease is a genetic motor neuron disease affecting the voluntary muscles. She will never be able to sit up, crawl, walk, or even hold her head up. Payson lost the ability to swallow and feed and had eaten through a G tube through her stomach. Her life expectancy was 2 years old.

There was a benefit for Payson at the Hartland Fire Company in early November, where the community came out to support the young lady.

Sadly, the Gasport toddler passed away this week. Here's her obituary...

Payson B. Hamilton, infant daughter of Marla Samanka and Clyde Hamilton, entered into rest Wednesday, December 29, 2010 in Women and Children Hospital Buffalo, NY, from complications of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She was born in Amherst, NY, on January 3, 2010.

Sister of Cierra, Gavyn, Walker Samanka and the late Baylee Samanka. Granddaughter of Sue White of Lockport, Nourian Tetrault of Royalton, Lula Grooms of Lockport and the late Tommy Hamilton and Kay Tetrault. Niece of Kerensa Grover, Robyn (Duke) Jones, Renee (Lou Rotella) Tetrault, Rhys (Melanie Guild) Tetrault, Justin (Kristina) Tetrault, Carleen Currie, Kevin (Clarice) Dennis, Tommy Hamilton, Jr., Becky Hamilton, Debra (Calvin) Wright, Melissa (Jack) Carson, Sean Hamilton and Felicia Grooms.

A Memorial Service will be held TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2011 AT 11:00 AM in Victory Christian Church, 6886 S. Transit Road, Lockport, NY. Burial will be in Acacia Park Cemetery, Pendleton, at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Families of SMA, PO Box 196, Libertyville, IL 60048-0196 would be appreciated by the family.
Please visit to send a condolence to the family.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Niagara County Mental Health Association will be hosting a program called "The truth about bullying" from 6:30 to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, January 11th at the Roy-Hart high school auditorium. The community is welcome to attend.


Community says final goodbye to one tough teen:


A lot of Gasport residents don't know that our community once had a handgun manufacturing plant, Streling Arms, whose guns were well-known throughout America.

Here's a brief history of the gun maker...

E&R Machine Inc. was incorporated in the state of New York in April of 1961 with Eugene Sauls as President and Robert Lindke as Treasurer, each owning 50% of the company. The company' s first place of business was a small 900 sq ft building in Lockport, NY. By 1963, the business had outgrown the original building and they rented 5,000 sq ft of floor area in Gasport, NY.

Their business continued to grow and late in 1971, they contacted Sterling Arms in Buffalo, NY, about becoming the licensed manufacturer of their products. Sterling had been in business about three years and were having trouble with machining. E & R set up a plant at 4436 Prospect Street, Gasport, NY, to handle the manufacture of firearms for Sterling in 1972.

In December of 1973, E & R purchased all the stock of Sterling Arms Corp. making Sterling a wholly owned subsidiary of E & R. In 1975, Eugene E. Sauls, President, bought the 50% ownership of Robert Lindke and became sole owner of E & R Machine. In April of 1978, both E & R and Sterling were moved from Gasport to the new facility in Lockport.

Sadly, the former owner of the plant, Eugene Sauls, passed away on Sunday. Here is his obituary...

Eugene E. Sauls, of Lockport, NY, passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2010 in Medina Memorial Hospital. Born on September 3, 1930 in Buffalo, NY, he was the son of Clara Esthimer Sauls and the late Theodore Sauls. He and his wife, the former Nancy L. Litchard were married on December 14, 1968. Gene owned and operated E & R Machine, Inc., here in Lockport from 1961 until 1991 when he retired and sold the business to his son, Garry. He also owned Sterling Arms Corporation from 1972 until he closed the handgun manufacturing business in 1984. He enjoyed building and physically built two homes.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Litchard) Sauls; his mother, Clara Sauls; his children, Cindy (John) Donaldson, Linda (Don) Penwright, all of Lockport, Garry (Shirley) Sauls of Gasport, Jennifer (Patrick) Parmenter of Illinois and Anthony (Heather) Sauls of Lockport; seven grandchildren, Jason Donaldson, Laura (Steve) Weber, Chris (Lori) Sauls, Emmi Sauls, Joseph Sauls and Grayson Parmenter and several great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Elaine Schultz and great- granddaughter, Madeline Sauls.

Friends may call on Tuesday 7-9 PM and Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at Lange Funeral Home, Inc., 186 East Ave., Lockport, NY, where funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11:00 AM. Interment in Huskey Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.

Condolences may be offered to the family at:


Yesterday the funeral was held for Meghan Redenbach and YNN offered this touching coverage of it...

If your computer is too slow to load the video, here is the transcript of the story...

A Mass of Christian Burial was held for teenager Meghan Redenbach at St. Mary's Church in Swormville Tuesday morning. Redenbach was the Royalton-Hartland volleyball player who died on Christmas Eve after battling a rare form of cancer. Hundreds filled the church to support the Redenbach family and to say goodbye to a friend who never stopped fighting for another day.

As her parents Mike and Nancy, and brother Nick draped Redenbach's casket with a baptismal garment, close friends recalled the fighter with an angel's glow in her heart. "Meghan taught us so much about determination and courage and empathy," said family friend Joe Floss.

Diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer two years ago, Meghan focused each day on making it to tomorrow. Her competitive spirit kept her on the volleyball court and in the classroom. If friends cried for her, she gave them 10 seconds to stop. "She didn't want people to cry for her," said Floss. "She was determined to survive, she had the courage to survive."

Among those who eulogized Meghan was her 6th grade teacher Bethany Macalm, who so admired her former student, she shaved her own hair to support Meghan's cancer fight and took a leave from her teaching duties to be with Meghan and the family in her final weeks. "It's up to each and every one of us to continue this fight by ensuring that Meghan's legacy makes it to each and every tomorrow," said Macalm. "We love you Meghan."

Neighbors gathered and sang "Silent Night" outside the Redenbach home after Meghan died. The family remains overwhelmed by the love and support they've received, from the doctors at Roswell Park to Carly's Club, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted Meghan and her family a trip to Hawaii, and Mike's co-workers at the State Department of Corrections in Albion, who donated their own vacation time so he could stay at the hospital.

Meghan left Roswell Park one last time earlier this month, to cheer on her Roy-Hart volleyball teammates. "She mustered up the energy," said Floss. "It was the very next day that she was unconscious and couldn't communicate any longer. That was her last hurrah, she wanted to be there for her team."

That fighting spirit has become her legacy. Meghan was only 15 when she died on Christmas Eve. Now, said Rich Jennings who also eulogized her, Meghan has earned the eternal victory with a place in heaven.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A few weeks ago I mentioned that there are flying squirrels in Gasport.

Joe Derda of Hartland is one of the lucky local residents who has been fortunate enough to see one of the critters. He shares this awesome photo he took of the squirrel. It's rare to see a flying squirrel during the day, so I can't say enough about how awesome this photo is....


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will be meeting on Saturday, January 8th at 1:30 at the Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport. Rev. Erwin Brese will be talking about "Beer Making." This is a great presentation and a lot of fun. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. The Historical Society really needs your support for it to thrive and prosper. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Bieber at 735-7335.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas! I hope your day is a great one and you and your family create some memories that last a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the mitten tree a success...those who organized the program & distributed the gifts and those who donated the presents. 60 families and 140 kids in Gasport are having a brighter Christmas thanks to the selflessness and love that our community possesses.


Meghan J. Redenbach, December 24, 2010. Beloved daughter of Michael F. and Nancy J. (nee English); dear sister of Nicholas Redenbach; granddaughter of Joan and the late Ron English, Arthur and Jean Redenbach; also survived by aunts, uncles and cousins.

Friends may call Monday from 3-9 PM at the DENGLER ROBERTS PERNA Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Rd., East Amherst. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at St. Mary’s Church, 6919 Transit Rd., Swormville at 10:30 AM. Flowers gratefully declined. If desired, contributions may be made in Meghan’s memory to Carly Club or to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Online condolences may be made to

Friday, December 24, 2010


Royalton-Hartland residents know very well the ongoing battle that young Megan Redenbach had with cancer. Sadly, the courageous 15-year old sophomore lost that battle earlier this morning.

This is a horrible tragedy for her family and the entire Roy-Hart community...magnified by the fact that this is the time of year when joy and love -- not pain -- are supposed to dominate your thoughts.

That said, please keep the Redenbach's in your prayers. They'll need all your support and love.

It's ironic that the Buffalo News ran a front page article about the young lady in today's newspaper. Here it is in its entirety, just updated minutes ago by the Buffalo News staff....

Meghan Redenbach, who lost her battle with cancer this morning, made it to every Royalton-Hartland volleyball game she could this season.

When her body was healthy enough, even while it was battling cancer and dealing with chemotherapy, she played.

When she was able to be on the bench, the 15-year-old sophomore became another assistant coach. On one occasion this season, she was not exactly pleased with what she was watching.

"I didn't bust out of the hospital for you guys to be playing like this!" she yelled.

That was classic Meghan, according to Roy-Hart coach Bill Holahan, who watched her battle back from two surgeries to take the floor for the Rams this past season.

"When she wasn't able to play she would watch, and if people weren't giving 100 percent, it would bug the heck out of her," he said. "You have to think that time was so precious for her, and for someone not to take advantage of every single second."

Meghan died at 6:15 a.m. today in Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where she battlled a malignant tumor in her ovaries. The fibrosarcoma is a form of ovarian cancer so rare that only 30 cases have been documented -- and only one in a child -- according to what doctors have told her parents.

"She just has incredible courage and determination and the ability to fight through things," Holahan said prior to Meghan's death. "Anyone who has come into contact with her has fallen in love with her and her courage."

Last year, a joint effort by New Era Cap Co. and Roswell Park chose Meghan as one of three cancer patients whose story -- and baseball cap design -- would represent the New Era New Hope campaign.

Meghan wrote:

"I guess the saying, 'You never know how strong you are until strength is your only option,' is really true. People have said it is amazing how I can do all this and stay so positive. I strongly believe that I am doing what any other person would be doing if they were in my position.

"Being diagnosed has opened my eyes to everything in life. I have never really appreciated my friends and family as much as I do now. If it weren't for them, I am not sure I would have gotten as far as I have. Every day I tell myself, 'Just another day. No matter what, I will make it to tomorrow. Even if I fight all day. I'll make it.'"

Monday night, Roy-Hart senior Bridget Shanahan, Meghan's best friend and teammate, was part of a photo honoring the All-Western New York girls volleyball team at the Buffalo Niagara Court Center in West Seneca. She left Meghan's bedside to bring Meghan's Roy-Hart and Niagara Frontier Volleyball Club jerseys, which were held up during the photo as a tribute.

"We would have a game, and even though it would be hard for her to get there, she would still be there," Shanahan said. "The atmosphere would completely change when she would step on the court. It was unlike anything else. The whole crowd would cheer, and she wouldn't even have to do anything.

"It's hard to see someone you love so much be in so much pain. It's indescribable. You're sitting there, and you can't do anything about it. There's not much you can say. It's terrible."

On Monday, NFVB players streamed in and out of the BNCC office to sign a quilt, complete with volleyball patterns and pictures of Meghan. The quilt was crafted by Sue Haefner, the aunt of Roy-Hart player Molly Murphy, along with a friend, Jenine Morningdove.

"We all are praying for her and give her our best wishes, and it's the entire club," said Heather Feldman, a member of Eden's state championship team and one of hundreds of members of NFVB. "She has so many fans here, that she's made through volleyball, and she's an inspiration to all of us."

Meghan initially was diagnosed Dec. 12, 2008, midway through her eighth-grade year and after a successful junior varsity volleyball season, as well as a day after she tried out for the Niagara Frontier Volleyball Club team. Later that year, Meghan returned to Roy-Hart, where Holahan was her eighth-grade history teacher.

"You wouldn't believe the number of days she attended," he said. "She'd drag herself there. Sometimes, because of her treatments, she couldn't stay awake, or she'd be loopy -- but she just wanted to go to school and be a normal kid."

More persuasion

By her freshman year, she had another impressive year on junior varsity and earned a call-up to the varsity for the playoffs. At every step, Holahan was astounded by her "innate ability to lead" and her lack of bashfulness in talking to older players. At the end of the season, she did some more persuasion -- she would need another surgery, but she talked doctors into holding off until the end of volleyball.

"She told doctors, 'You're not going to cut me open now because I've got a couple of games left,'" Holahan recalled.

The Roy-Hart community rallied behind Meghan and her family -- parents Mike and Nancy and older brother Nick -- with several fundraisers and by establishing Meghan's Fund (see to donate).

Last summer, Meghan had returned to the court and attended several volleyball camps. She attended a camp at the University of Wyoming with Shanahan, who had verbally committed to play Division I volleyball at the school.

This season was shaping up to be a special one at Roy-Hart, a small school that doesn't see a Division I athlete every year. Meghan, at 5-7, was an accomplished setter, the focal point of a volleyball offense, and she had as close a connection with the 6-2 Shanahan on the court as she did off it. They were the ideal volleyball yin and yang, Meghan placing the ball in the perfect spot in the air, Bridget rising up to it and hammering it down.

Then, in August, the cancer came back.

"When it did return, rather than the typical 'Woe is me,' her first thought was that it was so untimely," Holahan recalls Meghan saying. " 'It's [Shanahan's] senior year.'"

The first thing she told her coach when he visited her that month in Roswell Park was, "Let's get ready by Albion." Roy-Hart's main rival in the Niagara-Orleans League would visit the Rams on Sept. 21.

"She's there flat on her back," Holahan said, "but she knew Albion was coming up, and she was not going to let her teammates down."

Meghan was able to get back on the court for that match -- won by Albion -- and Holahan got her into any match he could.

Meghan was able to get back on the court for that match, after a few practices -- and a minor adjustment to how those practices started out. "For the first couple of practices she was able to be there for," Holahan said, "the ball would get hit over to her, and she'd set it, and the kids would start clapping.

"Meg got mad: 'I'm not 12 years old!'" Holahan recalled with a laugh. "So we worked that out -- it just bugged Meghan that they were clapping after making a play."

Holahan got Meghan into any game she could.

"She was definitely hurting, but if she was well enough to attend the practice or the game, we were able to get her in," he said. "That was the theme of the year, to try and do whatever we can to get Meghan in.

"Everybody adapted to the situation. We spent a lot of time talking at practices, not as much time drilling this year. We all knew what was going on -- that was more important."

And once Meghan got on the court, her teammates knew where the ball was going.

"Everyone's mindset was completely different," Shanahan said. "It was so much bigger than a volleyball game, that we were a family, and to get her the ball was more than just a good pass."

Meghan had some highlight games, including a 12-assist performance Sept. 27 against Barker, but getting on the court was an accomplishment itself.

'She'd get right up'

She had lost weight, and her strength had been sapped. Holahan said the gym floor never seemed so hard as it was when Meghan went down during a play. Shanahan was vigilant about helping her friend up -- even if it came in the middle of a point.

"Just to see the fire in her eyes as soon as she would be down on the floor," Shanahan said, "I would try and help her up as much as I could. And she'd get right up and get the next ball."

More than a few plays were heartwarming and heart-rending at the same time.

"You'd be clapping with tears running down your face," said Caryn Shanahan, Bridget's mother.

The sports pages from Roy-Hart's 2010 volleyball season forever will read that the Rams lost both matches against Albion and that they fell to eventual state champion Falconer in the Section VI Class C semifinals -- another match in which Meghan was able to play.

But different kinds of victories brought different things to cheer.

At Roy-Hart's "Dig Teal" night to raise awareness for Meghan and ovarian cancer -- while the pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer, the teal ribbon is associated with ovarian -- featured teal balloons and teal cookies.

But no one knew if Meghan was going to be able to make it -- until, walking with difficulty, she showed up about 12 minutes before the match. That was the Rams' allotted time for their prematch warm-up, but instead teammates visited and took pictures with Meghan, who on this night was so ill she couldn't stay for all the action.

'Amazing speech'

On Senior Night, Meghan was on hand to present flowers to Shanahan during the pregame ceremony.

And two weeks ago, Meghan, as Caryn Shanahan put it, "busted out" of Roswell Park to get to Roy-Hart to attend "Teal Night" at a basketball game. Meghan drew another ovation as she entered in a wheelchair.

Like their season, Roy-Hart volleyball's awards banquet took on a different meaning this year. Shanahan delivered a speech that Holahan called "amazing." In it she said, "sometimes winning isn't the most important thing."

"Everything that I thought is totally different," Shanahan said just after Monday's photo was taken, still holding Meghan's jersey.

"It's not about just me, and of course, volleyball is an important part of my life, but, ... volleyball will bring me back to the old times when she could set me the ball, and I would slam it down," she said with a big smile, moments after wiping away some tears. "When I'm on the court, she'll be right there with me."


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Orchard Park police were looking for help from the WNY community in locating a missing man. Richard J. Krycia, 74, was last seen Monday around 11 a.m., police said.

He's been found.

He told police he was visiting a friend in Gasport.


Pastor Rodney Klinzing and the Zion Lutheran Church will be celebrating Christmas at these services:

Christmas at the Barn: 4:00 PM on Christmas Eve at Becker Farms

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 7:00 PM on Christmas Eve at the Church

Christmas Eve Late Service: 11:00 PM on Christmas Eve at the Church

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It's not often that a Gasport establishment is reviewed by a newspaper outside of the Niagara-Buffalo region. Walter Siebel, the restaurant reviewer for the Watertown Daily Times, has done just that in today's paper, looking at the meats prepared by Gasport's own European Meats and Deli. Pretty cool...

I had the opportunity to try some great smoked meats made by a Polish sausage maker in Western New York. His business, European Meats and Deli, is located in Gasport, north of Buffalo. Owner Walter Sadujko is the son of a butcher in Poland and brings old-world tradition to the craft.

What a great sausage fest! I got to try double-smoked Polish sausage, hunter's sausage, Hungarian hot sausage and smoked pork ribs.

The Polish sausage was thoroughly dried, much different from commercial kielbasa found in supermarkets. The drying concentrates the flavor and firms up the texture.

The hunter's sausage was similar, but with the addition of juniper berries and more black pepper and only smoked once

Hungarian hot sausage was smoked but not cooked like the others. It was long on paprika, which overshadowed the more subtle flavors.

The smoked ribs were a lot like ham, but a little fattier. They'd make a good base for a great pea or bean soup, but didn't fit the bill for a night of sausage sampling.

European Meats and Deli is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They generally have 15 to 20 products in the meat case and generously provide samples for their customers.

For more information, you can give them a call at 1(716) 772-2950. There's also a 2008 review of European Meats online:


Friday, December 17, 2010


The folks at the Niagara Wine Trail have announced their 2011 schedule of events, which should, once again, bring plenty of tourism activity to Gasport:


No one was injured early Thursday morning when a chimney fire started at a Wheeler Road, Gasport, home. Niagara County Sheriff deputies said they responded to the home and extinguished a majority of the fire before Wrights Corner Volunteer firefighters arrived. The homeowner said the fire started in his wood stove.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I have updated the web directory, listing all Gasport websites I know of. Please let me know if I'm missing anything:


Rick DeWaters of the Booster Club sent along this message about a special event this Friday...

I wanted to let you all know that this Friday (12/17) evening's Girls Basketball Games will be special in that we will be selling carnations, roses and bumper stickers, and celebrating our dear friend, Meghan Redenbach, who is recovering from her fight with cancer. We hope that you can make a special effort to attend the game and cheer on Meghan's team, the Roy-Hart Lady Rams, as they look to to break into the win column in their home opener against league rival, the Newfane Lady Panthers. JV game starts at 5:30, with Varsity to follow. All proceeds will go toward helping Meghan fight this battle. By the way, it's a "Teal" night, so wear your teal colors! We'll see you at the game!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Last night the Niagara County legislature adopted its $310 million budget by a vote of 12-7. The average county tax rate will increase 14 cents, to $7.49 per $1,000 of property value. The rate varies by the town and city based on each municipality’s property valuation record.

What does that mean for Gasport?

In either of our two towns it's a 1.9% increase in taxes.

Taxpayers in Hartland will pay $8.44, up 16 cents, while Royalton taxpayers will pay $7.51, up 14 cents.

According to, the median home value in Royalton is $102,769, meaning the median increase will be $14.39. That same website says Hartland homes have a median worth of $93,307, so the typical increase will be $14.93.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Hartland has canceled Bingo for tonight due to the weather.


Roy-Hart is closed today due to the weather. The strongest lake effect bands are expected to dump another 7" to 12" on Eastern Niagara County today.

Monday, December 13, 2010


The town board of Royalton meets tonight at the town hall. Festivities begin at 7:00 with a public hearing regarding Terry's Corner's expansion. That will be followed by a public hearing regarding fire contracts. Regular business will be addressed thereafter with the following agenda:;/content/CalendarEntries/View/1088


A driver in the town of Basom said the headlights from a DEC truck parked on Roberts Road prevented him from seeing a group of hunters standing along the road at 5:49 PM Saturday, causing an accident that injured the six men, including the DEC officer who was checking their hunting licenses.

Among the injured was Charles R. Smith, 72, of Gasport. He was transported to ECMC.

The driver, Erik Olsen, 55, of Basom was not injured. No citations were issued, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Local media outlets have been reporting on some WNY hunting accidents that have occurred this weekend. One of them was off Wolcott Road in Clarence around 7 a.m. when a Gasport man, Daniel Bernisky, was carried out of the woods after he fell approximately 20 feet from his tree stand. He was transported to Millard-Fillmore Suburban Hospital with a lower back injury.

Friday, December 10, 2010


December 13th: High School Concert 7pm at High School Aud

December 14th: Grades 5 & 6 Concert 7pm at High School Aud

December 15th: Grades 7 & 8 Concert 7pm at High School Aud


The blog has looked exactly the same for the past 3 (+) years. It was getting kind of boring, so it just received a face lift. More minor tweaking will occur over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Presented by the Roy-Hart Elementary PTA
December 11th, 2010
In the Elementary School Gymnasium

Food and drinks
Free pictures with Santa (courtesy of Edge Imaging)
Face Painting
Create your own ornament
Opportunity to join the PTA
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift still?? School spirit will be on sale!!!


The Gasport Beautification Committee's community Christmas Party for the Kids will be on Sunday Dec. 12 at 4pm at the Gasport Fire Hall. Santa will be visiting. They will be the lighting the Community Christmas Tree. There will be hot cocoa, cider, coffee, cookies, and popcorn. The Committee has received many raffle and Chinese Auction items. All Children who visit with Santa will get a ticket and goodie bag. The tickets will let them choose from the many presents on the table, when there ticket number is drawn. The Girl Scouts will be helping with the children's games, face painting and crafts.


I received the following message from Rick DeWaters of the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters...

You might know that the Sports Booster Club and Girls Basketball will sponsor the annual Holiday Tournament this year, to be held in the high school gym on December 28 & 29. JV and Varsity teams from Cleve Hill, Lyndonville, Barker, and Roy-Hart will compete. JV games are scheduled for 2 & 4; and Varsity games are scheduled for 5:30 & 7 each day.

We are looking for volunteers -- parents, friends, coaches from other sports -- to help with concessions and admissions during all times listed. Please give this request some thought and consider giving a little of your time to help with this worthy cause. Profits from this event will support all R-H sports and student-athletes.

We are graciously accepting advertisements for the tournament program. You can do so by attaching your business or personal ad to an email addressed to; and checks can be sent to: R-H Sports Boosters, PO Box 298, Middleport, NY 14105. All ads must be received no later than Monday, Dec. 20.

If you can lend a hand, please contact Rick at or 716-531-0046.


WKBW is reporting the following today...

Colonel Jim McCready will take command of the 107th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard in January, Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York, announced today.

McCready, a combat veteran and East Aurora resident, is currently serving as the wing's vice commander, responsible for equipping and training the wing's 900 Airmen. He will replace Col. Patrick Ginavan, who will be retiring after 34 years of service in the Air Force and Air National Guard as both an enlisted Airman and an officer.

Ginavan, who began his service as an aircraft mechanic in 1976, has served as the commander of the 107th since 2005. He and his wife Jill live in Gasport. His sons Sam and Charlie are members of the 107th as is his daughter-in-law, Stasha.

A pilot with more than 3,300 hours of flying time, Ginavan was first assigned to the 107th as an instructor pilot in 1986 when the wing flew F-4 fighters. He then transitioned to F-16s and then the KC-135R tanker as the wing's aircraft changed. He was commissioned in 1983 after seven years of enlisted service.

He's pleased that McCready has been chosen to replace him and he knows he will do an excellent job, Ginavan said.

"I wish the best of luck to the 107th," he said. "I am very proud to have served this unit since 1986 and been a part of it and all the things we have been through."

Ginavan's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal , Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon .

A change of commander ceremony, in which the 107th Airlift Wing colors will be ceremonially transferred from Ginavan to McCready, signifying the change in command, will be scheduled in January.

Read the article --which speaks at length of McCready's background -- online at:

Monday, December 6, 2010


If you're looking to get a gift for that special someone or maybe you're looking to add something to your wishlist, I have a great suggestion for you.

Earlier this year, Frederick Fierch of Middleport, in conjunction with Arcadia Publishing, released a pictorial book, Images of America: Royalton, Hartland and Middleport. It's 128 pages long and features a collection of awesome pictures highlighting our community's history. If you or someone you know really loves Gasport (and who wouldn't) this book is an awesome conversation starter and for many it will bring back some great memories. You won't be disappointed in the purchase.

You can buy it online here:


On New Year's weekend when I get some time, I'll be writing an article about Warren Hull for the Gasport website. Most Gasport residents don't know the hamlet was home to a Hollywood celebrity (and they can't appreciate how popular he used to be). If you have any pics or stories you'd like to share, please send me an email at


The Mitten Tree went up last week and is now awaiting your donations.

This is the fourth year for this awesome program that is run by Absolut Care, the Gasport Lions Club and the Roy-Hart Schools.

Here’s how it works…

The tree is located at the corner of Main Street and Route 31.

Take a mitten from it and give a gift that is appropriate to the age/gender of the child noted on the mitten.

Attach the mitten to the unwrapped gift and drop it off by December 15th at Absolut Care or the Elementary School. The Lions Club will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays.

Please participate and make Christmas a little better for a child – maybe even your neighbor – who is in need. That’s what the holiday is all about.


I received emails from a couple members of the Elsenheimer family indicating that the painting mentioned in the previous post was done by Reuthven Kill who was also known as Bud. He farmed Orangeport Orchards for many years and took up painting when he retired. He painted many pictures of Gasport scenery including many of the farms and houses in the area and a lot of the canal bank where he loved to sit and look at nature.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Back in the 1980s an older gentleman painted this picture of my grandmother's house, the house where I now live.

I was wondering if anyone knows who the painter was. The name in the corner says "Kill". This is for my curiosity and that of others...visitors to my office always ask me who painted it. It would be nice to let them (and me) know who did and a little about him.

If so, shoot me an email at

Saturday, December 4, 2010


LOCKPORT — Stephanie J. Verratti went to be with the Lord and is resting in the arms of Jesus on December 2, 2010. Born August 15, 1984 in Amherst, she was the daughter of Kenneth and Sally (Gugliuzza) Moore of Lockport. Stephanie was a 2002 graduate of Lockport High School and a 2006 graduate from UB. She worked for Geico since 2006, where she was a claims adjuster. Stephanie was a member of the Lockport Alliance Church where she was involved with the youth group and Sunday School. She enjoyed soccer, music, playing the flute, going to Disney, shopping, loved to give and especially enjoyed dinner out with her family and friends. Stephanie was very competitive with games and cards.

Besides her parents, Stephanie is also survived by her husband of four years, whom she married July 29, 2006, Jeremy Verratti of Gasport. She is also survived by her brother, Kenneth (Naomi) Moore, Jr.; granddaughter of Bertram and Lorraine Moore and the late John and Mary Gugliuzza; daughter-in-law of Dan Lee and Ruth Verratti; granddaughter-in-law of John and Mary Verratti and Naomi and the late John Brereton; sister-in-law of Daniel (Katie) Verratti, Ben (Jill) Verratti, Anna (Tim) Wasson, Esther Verratti and Christine (Ben) Goodwin; several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Sunday 4-7 PM and Monday 2-4 and 7-9 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 10:30 AM in the Lockport Alliance Church, 555 Davison Rd., Lockport. Interment will be in Cold Spring Cemetery. Memorials to the Lockport Alliance Church Youth Group would be appreciated by the family.

Please visit to leave an online condolence to the family.

Friday, December 3, 2010


On this website's Facebook page it was asked what Stephanie Verratti's maiden name was. It was Moore and she was a 2002 graduate of the Lockport School District.

WKBW is also reporting on the accident:


This Sunday, December 5th, Zion Church Youth Group is hosting an All You Can Eat Spaghetti Luncheon starting at around 11:45 or so. This is one of their main fund-raisers. The cost is a "free will offering" of your choice. They will also be holding a Chinese Auction with various baskets to be raffled off. Their main item, donated by the Heschke family, is a Nintendo DSI XL.


WIVB channel 4 has coverage of the fatal accident. But I have not embedded the video into this post as I normally would because the default image for the video is the mangled car. If you'd like to watch the TV news segment, go here:


This morning, local media outlets are reporting that Stephanie Verratti - the accident victim mentioned in the previous post - has, unfortunately, succumbed to her injuries.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


If you were listening to local radio today, you know a section of Millersport was closed for quite a while today. It was because of an accident that according to the Buffalo News website inolved a Gasport woman...

A Gasport woman was seriously injured this morning in a collision between her car and a tractor-trailer on Millersport Highway, Amherst police reported.

Stephanie J. Verratti, 26, was driving south on Millersport, near Transit Road, shortly before 8 a.m. when her car jumped the median and went into the northbound lane, police said. The car was hit on the passenger side by a tractor-trailer driven by Michael P. Reisinger, 31, of Highland, Mich.

Verratti was removed from her car by members of the Swormville Fire Co. and initially taken by ambulance to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. She later was transferred to Erie County Medical Center; an update on her condition wasn't available.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, police said, but it appears that icy conditions were a factor in the crash. No charges were filed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We are pretty fortunate that our community has some interesting and substantial public lands within our borders. The Erie Canal and places like Royalton Ravine Park afford our residents -- and visitors -- the chance to partake in any number of outdoor pursuits from sports to boating to hiking to cross-country skiing.

That brings us to the December reader's poll, asking "Which public asset in Gasport is your top choice for outdoor recreation or relaxation?"

The choices are...

Royalton Ravine Park
Hartland Town Park
Veterans Park
The Elementary School grounds
The Erie Canal (on shore)
The Erie Canal (on the water)

To participate, refer to the poll function in the toolbar on the right of this website. The poll ends on New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The November readers poll asked, "If you've moved to Gasport, or left and came back, what brought you here? (Choose your #1 reason)"

38 people responded with the following results:

Your Gasport roots: 6 (15%)
Rural/small town living: 24 (63%)
The people: 2 (5%)
The Roy-Hart schools: 4 (10%)
Your job: 2 (5%)

The results are not surprising. Gasport has a unique (maybe even old fashioned?) way of life that keeps people here and brings people in. Our community is a hidden little gem.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Sunday's Buffalo News announced the start of a new award by a local substance abuse services organization....

Besides providing outpatient services and counseling, Northpointe Council promotes education as a way of preventing substance abuse. This school year, the organization launched the Students Thinking and Acting Responsibly program, where the group is naming one student the STAR of the Month through May.

The first recipient of the award? A Roy-Hart student!

Brianna Kugler, an 18-year-old senior at Royalton-Hartland, won the first award in October for her commitment to squash bullying. She attended special education classes through most of school.

“A lot of years, I was bullied,” she said. “I stick up for my younger classmates that are the ones being bullied right now.”

Kugler attends the Orleans Niagara Board of Cooperative Education Services to study early childhood education. After graduation, she plans to attend Niagara County Community College in hopes of becoming a preschool teacher assistant. She baby-sits, is involved in Roy-Hart’s drama club and has acted in plays at the Palace Theatre.

Read the entire article online at:


Royalton-Hartland's beloved Don Baker was in the spotlight in the Niagara Sunday section of the Buffalo News.

The article noted how fiery of a competitor he is and how he's had to slow down after putting a scare into himself, his family and our community....

Baker....felt pain in his chest that awakened him from his sleep about 3:30 a. m. Aug. 16 — hours before the Rams’ first football practice of the season.

He figured he just had a bad case of indigestion. At least he did, until later that morning.

The pain persisted as he ran his usual errands before going to work. At that moment, he called the audible that perhaps saved his life.

Instead of heading to summer school, the teacher assistant went to nearby Medina Memorial Hospital, where the problem was determined not to be indigestion. A blockage in his arteries was causing the discomfort— a warning sign of an imminent heart attack.

“I just knew something wasn’t right,” Baker said. “Once I got into the hospital, everything happened so fast. I really didn’t have time to think of anything else.”

Had he attempted to battle through the pain, the energetic coach in all likelihood wouldn’t have been running a recent girls’ basketball practice at the high school—putting an end to a 12-hour workday.

“Maybe not that day but maybe within 48 hours it would’ve been [really bad],” Baker said. “It’s like one of these things, you can’t take life for granted. You never know when something is going to happen. It definitely came as a huge surprise.”

The article made note of his comeback...

While doctors initially said he likely wouldn’t be able to return to work until the end of October, he proved to be a quick healer, leading to them giving approval for him to return to work just 42 days after his bypass. Baker guided the Rams to a 2-4 finish down the stretch after missing the team’s first three losses.

“I just thought the kids needed me to come back,” he said. “I just felt I needed to come back to see if I could do it physically. It was good therapy for me to be around everybody. . . . I had great support from all the teachers, administrators and the community. Everyone was great and bent over backwards for me.”

Check out the entire article online (it's a good read) at:

Sunday, November 28, 2010


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will be holding it's Annual Christmas luncheon on Thursday, December 2nd at 1:00. It will be held at Town hall and everyone is asked to bring a dish to pass. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Bieber at 716-735-7335.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Edward W. "Ted" Maloney, of Medina, passed away Sunday evening, November 21, 2010 at the Orchard Manor Nursing Home. Mr. Maloney was born in Middleport, NY on October 31, 1923, son of the late Edward and Anna (Rezinski) Maloney.

Mr. Maloney was a graduate of Notre Dame and he served in the US Army during World War II in the Aleutian Islands. He was a Social Studies and English teacher at the Royalton-Hartland Central School for 25 years, retiring in 1981.

He was a member of Holy Trinity Parish/St. Stephen's RC Church in Middleport and Clute- Phillips American Legion Post #938. He enjoyed going to Notre Dame football games and he was a staunch New York Yankees’ fan.

He was predeceased by his sister, Anna Mae Pahira; a brother-in-law, Charles Pahira and a nephew, Charles Pahira, Jr.

He is survived by one niece, Patricia (George) Forester and one nephew, Michael (Patty) Pahira, all of Pennsylvania; and a special cousin, Keith Brooks of Medina.

Friends may call Friday from 7 to 9 PM at the Bates, Wallace & Heath Funeral Home, 38 State St., Middleport. Members of Clute-Phillips American Legion Post #938 will meet at the funeral home Friday evening at 7:00. Members of Holy Trinity Parish will meet at the funeral home Friday evening at 8:30 for a vigil service. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:00 AM at Holy Trinity Parish/St. Stephen's RC Church, 21 Vernon St., Middleport, NY, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Daniel J. Fawls. Burial will follow in Royalton Mt. Ridge Cemetery.

To sign guest register, visit:

Monday, November 22, 2010


Thanksgiving eve is always one of the biggest nights of the year for drinking establishments. Becker Brewing Company at Becker Farms will be joining in the festivities with live music by Dave Stockton and Pocket Change from 7pm-11pm. Food, beer and wine will be served.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Many people would be surprised to find out that flying squirrels live in Gasport.

These little animals are nocturnal, so rarely seen. Your best bet for seeing one would be while in your deer stand at dusk (as that's how I saw one last night) or travelling about on nights like these when you have a full moon and no leaves on the trees that would otherwise mask these critters as they move from tree to tree.

Flying squirrels don't actually fly....they glide. They use the flap of skin between their front and back legs as a sail and have been known to glide up to 150 feet, although the typical flight is 20 to 60 feet.

They are small, maybe halfway in size between a chipmunk and a red squirrel.

They are extremely inquisitive (if not tame) and they will spend a lot of time trying to figure you out while in a deer stand. I've had a few encounters with them over the years and every time they've gotten to within inches of me to investigate. Many people have captured their young and made pets out of them.

Keep your eyes open this hunting season and you might get that rare chance to see one.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The Niagara County Sheriff's are reporting that Ridge Road Express on Route 31 (Roy-Hart's school buses) was hit by vandals during the overnight hours this past Wednesday. 10 buses were damaged, ranging from broken windshields to ripped wires to stolen parts. There are no suspects at this time.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Terry's Corners native, and '74 graduate of Roy-Hart, Kathy Gardner is "Goin' Bald for Bucks" this coming Tuesday afternoon at the Gasport Elementary School. Kathy works there in the after school program and is having her head shaved to raise money for Roswell. Anyone that wants to donate can go to, click on "find a participant" and enter her name Kathleen Gardner. Or stop at the pharmacy at Quality Markets on Rochester Road between 10 - 2 Monday thru Friday to make a donation.


When you’re out and about shopping on Black Friday, please extend your giving beyond your family. Please buy a gift for a needy child in Gasport.

The Mitten Tree is back this year and it will be dedicated on November 30th at 10:00 AM. This is the fourth year for this awesome program that is run by Absolut Care, the Gasport Lions Club and the Roy-Hart Schools.

Here’s how it works…

The tree will be located at the corner of Main Street and Route 31.

Take a mitten from it and give a gift that is appropriate to the age/gender of the child noted on the mitten.

Attach the mitten to the unwrapped gift and drop it off by December 15th at Absolut Care or the Elementary School. The Lions Club will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays.

It’s extremely important that the community supports the Mitten Tree. Last year, very few people did and with 4 days left before the deadline there were nearly 100 mittens left on the tree. Luckily, Andy Drum saved the day. He pulled off an amazing feat and over those few days he and his friends & family used a Drum Oil donation to buy gifts for the mittens that remained.

This year, we need everyone in the community to be heroes. Please participate and make Christmas a little better for a child – maybe even your neighbor – who is in need. That’s what the holiday is all about.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The 5th annual Roy-Hart alumni basketball game is Wednesday, November 24th at 7:00 PM at the High School Gym. Come see your friends of old play against one another. There will be basket raffles. All proceeds benefit Roy-Hart athletics.


Two Amherst residents were caught by Niagara County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday after allegedly stealing $200 worth of scrap metal from a Slayton Settlement Road man. Ryan M. Stroehlein, 22, 18 Northington Road, and Donald J. Witnauer, 20, 2189 North French Road, Apt. 5, were each charged with petit larceny. Both men were remanded to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $500 bail and scheduled for Royalton Town Court on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The Greater Niagara Newspapers recently ran an awesome story about a Roy-Hart graduate who has been defending our country and talking about it...

Army Spc. Brittany Cooper has some unusual show-and-tell items, as seen when she visited Royalton-Hartland Elementary School on Friday.

The 2008 Roy-Hart graduate spoke to fourth-graders about her experience in the military. Along with her stories and pictures, Cooper also brought some memorabilia with her, such as her helmet and vest. She also brought some items she uses for investigations as an officer with the Military Police.

Cooper has met with Roy-Hart students in the past, most recently in February. Now stationed at Fort Drum in Jefferson County, Cooper usually comes home for holidays. She served from July 2009 until July 2010 in Iraq.

Check out the rest of the article online. It discusses some of the things she's seen overseas:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My column for this week's Greater Niagara Newspapers looks at the harsh economic realities of the day in local school districts. Sports are on the chopping block, but they can be saved as the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters have shown quite well...

By Bob Confer

Rick DeWaters and his friends in the Royalton-Hartland Sports Boosters Club did something this year that could be considered miraculous. They saved the school district’s athletics program by securing the funding necessary to keep alive football and fall and winter modified sports, programs that had been victims of budget cuts last spring.

That’s an accomplishment once thought impossible. Roy-Hart is the third smallest school district in Niagara County with an enrollment of around 1,530 students. It’s also one of the poorest: the town of Royalton has a median household income that’s $230 lower than the county median while Hartland’s is $5,270 lower. With those factors in play - as well as the community having already been so maxed out in its investment in the district that it was forced to cut those sports - it was unknown if district residents could dig deep enough to give the school what it needed to keep the kids engaged in competitive endeavors. One sport (football) was certain to be saved, but modified sports, too?

In the end, the community pulled together. They participated in Booster-led fundraisers and fund drives, they donated goods and services to raffles, and they donated their time to Booster activities. They’ve kept Roy-Hart sports alive. With the leadership and experience the Boosters have in place, they’ll be able to save the day again next year when called upon to do so. Goodness knows they’ll have to; Roy-Hart’s financial straits aren’t unique to this school year.

Nor are they unique to Roy-Hart. We live in some tenuous economic times and taxpayers who have seen their incomes cut or their jobs lost by the recession are unable to support ever-growing school expenses, especially with the loss of state and federal funding that was once taken for granted. School districts everywhere will be forced to follow Roy-Hart’s lead and cut sports (among other things).

It’s a very unpopular decision to make, but it’s truly a wise and necessary one. What’s the alternative, cut teaching positions and academic programs? You can’t, for schools are, first and foremost, learning institutions. As harsh as it sounds, athletic pursuits rank lowly among a school district’s best interests because there is minimal bang for the buck when looking at the student body as a whole.

In a small district like Roy-Hart far less than half of a given class might participate in school sports. In a larger district, like the Lockports of the world, much less than a fifth of a class is active in sports. When faced with an economic crisis, you certainly cannot sacrifice the enrichment of many pupils’ minds for the advancement of the athletic affairs of a select few. Even in good times it’s a questionable investment: Why should townsfolk direct their taxes towards one boy’s football adventures while not doing so for another lad’s participation in the Boy Scout program? Both activities are hobbies and are as equally important to the development of those boys.

But, that does not discount its value. Just as necessary as a book-driven education is to the students, so is the experience-driven education that comes with sports. A sport may be "just a game", but there is so much more that comes from it if properly channeled. High school athletes can learn any number of life skills ranging from personal fitness and work ethic to teamwork and sacrifice to preparedness and adaptability, things you just can’t get in a classroom. The fields and gymnasiums give the perfect outlet for achieving all of those, while at the same time, developing a powerful sense of community pride, not just for the players but also for the district residents at large.

School sports serve a great purpose, one which cannot be ignored. But, athletes and their parents can no longer consider them to be freely supported by the taxpayers. We live in a new day, one where parents must take an active role in ensuring that the sports are there for their kids. They need to put in some extra hours outside of practice and games, working with donors throughout the area to put money in the athletic department coffers.

It’s a difficult task, but not an insurmountable one, and the Roy-Hart Boosters have shown – far better than most – that working together we can all guarantee that today’s children have the same chance to compete that previous generations had.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Deer season has been open for a few weeks now with archery hunters out and about. But, they are a minority in hunting circles.

The day that most hunters consider the "real" Opening Day --- the first day of shotgun season for deer --- is this Saturday. So, the farm lanes and road sides of Gasports will be filled with parked vehicles all weekend as hunters are out in the fields and woods attempting to fill their freezers.

The shotgun season ends on December 12th.


The New York Daily News reports on the passing of a Gasport native with ties to the New York Mets who made a name for himself as a war hero...

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson's 87-year-old father, John Alderson, died early Sunday after being struck by a car as he was crossing the street in St. Petersburg, Fla., according to the St. Petersburg police department.

At 11:54 p.m. on Saturday, Alderson was struck in the middle of the 3600 block of 4th Street, when he was hit by a jeep, police say. According to police, the driver of the vehicle was Jeffrey Lechance, 21, of St. Petersburg; Edward Brownlee, 22, was a passenger. Alderson was taken to nearby Bayfront Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:45 a.m. No charges have yet been filed, though an investigation was ongoing. A police spokesman would not comment on whether alcohol or other substances were suspected.

"Saturday night, my father, John Alderson, a retired Air Force pilot and a healthy and vibrant 87 years of age, was struck by a car and died in St. Petersburg, Fla.," Sandy Alderson said in a statement Sunday night. "Our entire family is devastated by his loss. He was a beloved father and grandfather who will be deeply missed by all of us. He and I shared many baseball experiences over the years and he was excited about spring training and Opening Day at Citi Field. I am terribly saddened that we will not be able to share those new experiences together."

"We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sandy's father," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in his own statement. "Fred (Wilpon), Saul (Katz) and all of us at the Mets send our heartfelt condolences to Sandy, (wife) Linda and their family. We've asked Sandy to take whatever time he needs as it relates to this terrible personal loss."

In a recent interview with the Daily News for a story on Sandy's military service, John Alderson talked about his own military roots, growing up during the Depression and how after a career in the Air Force, he enjoyed living in St. Petersburg and playing competitive softball with an over-80 team in the Kids and Kubs league.

John Alderson was born in Gasport, N.Y., on the Erie Canal, on April 5, 1923, the son of a barber, Ernest Alderson.

"My father was a barber - getting 15 cents for a shave, maybe 35 cents for a haircut or something. So things were tough, it was during the Depression," Alderson said. "But things worked out and everybody in town wanted to be sure I knew I had to be home for supper. Everybody took care of you. Towns were great back then."

John Alderson said his father would have been of age to fight in World War I, but a childhood injury caused him to lose a leg. John Alderson joined the Air Force and flew a B-24 bomber called "Liberators" during World War II in 1944 and '45.

"I was in the 44th Bomb Group, and it was well-known for having five Congressional Medals of Honor given on one mission on the Ploiesti (Romania) Raid," said Alderson. "I wasn't there yet, Thank God, because that was a tough mission. When the war was over, I'd had 32 missions. Things were easing off quite a bit. I was pretty fortunate to have been over there then. I'm no hero."

In September of 1946, shortly after .returning from World War II, John Alderson married and he and his wife, Gwenny, had a son, Sandy, a year later. Gwenny Alderson died in May 1997. Sandy was one of three children - two boys and a girl.

John Alderson flew B-26 bombers in the Korean War and served two tours in Vietnam, the first in 1967 and '68 flying a B-57 bomber. Alderson reflected fondly on one particular visit from Sandy during the summer of '67, when John Alderson was flying out of Phan Rang air base in South Vietnam. "Somehow he wangled a (job as a) foreign correspondent," John Alderson said. "Anyway, I got him on a test hop and I took him up and got him sick, which was exactly what I wanted to do. I remember this kid came up the ramp - you had a ramp to put up a ladder for us to get out of the plane - and he said, 'Sir, we don't clean up after somebody.' I said, 'No, I understand.' I guess Sandy had thrown up a little. But it was very enjoyable. I know Sandy'll never forget it."

John Alderson later served a second tour in Vietnam - after Sandy had served a tour as a Marine officer - when he returned to train Laotian pilots in the final years of the war, 1972-73. He retired from the Air Force in 1976.

In an interview with The News last week, John Alderson said he was particularly looking forward to visiting Sandy in Port St. Lucie during spring training, even though he would have to make the trek across the state. He talked about how proud he was of his son, mentioning a recent family trip to Hawaii.

"I'll tell you what kind of guy (Sandy) is. He paid for 15 people to go over (to Hawaii). Well, that's the kind of guy he is. He took 15 people and paid for the whole schmear. He's very nice," said John Alderson.


Sunday, November 14, 2010


Many wine enthusiasts will be visiting Vizcarra Vineyards and other wineries next weekend for the annual "Share The Bounty Event" from November 19 to 21.

Here's what the Niagara Wine Trail says about the event...

A wine tasting event with an opportunity for us to give back for all that we have.

Wine tasting this weekend is $3 per person at each winery. All wine tasting proceeds will be donated directly to our local food banks and charities. The wine trail is requesting monetary donations in exchange for wine tasting during our Share the Bounty event this year to help support our local communities.

Monetary donations go much further in helping our local charities – especially with the state of our economy at this time. Rather than giving donations of non-perishable food items, the food banks can purchase more food with the money donated to them because they are able to purchase food at a discounted price. Giving a monetary donation to the food bank is the most effective way to help sustain the charity so they are able to feed the hungry throughout the entire year. Please help support our local communities this weekend and Share the Bounty with those who are in need.

No ticket or wine glass gift for this event. Wine tasting is $3 per person at each winery and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today's Niagara Gazette reports on the opening of a new art establishment in the Falls...

The old stone building that has sat vacant on Packard Road is filled once again, now home to the colorful work of more than 40 local artists. The two-story structure, built in 1866 in the Town of Niagara, is the new home of Lewis’ Artique, a business that showcases the handmade wares of local artists.

A Gasport man is one of the featured artists...

Artist Ken Wilkins of Gasport, a retiree who only a few years ago discovered his ability to carve whimsical characters out of pieces of wood bark, is also glad to have a local venue to showcase his “wood spirits.”

Wilkins appreciates Bev Lewis’ enthusiasm as a retailer. “She’s so excited, it can’t help but go the way she wants it to go,” he said of the business.

The grand opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. There will be refreshments and free gifts to all who attend. Regular store hours will be Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


The 2010 canal season officially ends Monday, the New York State Canal Corp. said.

Water will be drained from the canal system, allowing corporation workers to repair equipment used to operate 57 locks and 20 lift bridges along the waterways, officials said.

The navigation season was the 185th for the system.

“During this navigation season we witnessed a nearly 2 percent increase in traffic, and more events and festivals happening than ever before,” canal corporation Director Carmella Mantello said in the statement.

Friday, November 12, 2010


A message from Margie Granzow..

The Gasport Beautification Committee will be having the Christmas Party for the kids this year on Sunday Dec. 12th at the Gasport Fire Hall at 4pm. Santa will be visiting, there will be homemade cookies and hot cocoa, games and gifts for all children. We will be lighting the community christmas tree, singing Christmas songs, and having a chinese auction. This is one of our main fundraisers and anyone wishing to donate to the event or to help that day please contact one of our members or you can contact me at 628-7273 or at We also have money buckets at many Gasport businesses for anyone who would like to donate towards the kids Christmas party. We would like to thank everyone in the community who are so gracious and helpful to our cause.


Two of Gasport's best celebrate milestone birthdays today. Eunice Hernberger and Gerry Reynolds, both now living in Lockport, have long been members of the Royalton Historical Society and up until a year and a half ago Eunice organized their monthly programs and Gerry edited the newsletter. Today, Eunice turns 96 and Gerry turns 99! Wish these lovely ladies a happy birthday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010



The Gasport Lions Club is hosting an all-you-can eat spaghetti dinner and basket raffle at the Gasport Fire Hall from 4 till 7 on Saturday, November 20th. Cost is $7/adults and $5 for kids ages 6 to 11. All money earned at this event will go right back into the community, funding various Lions Club projects including vision screening of Roy-Hart students and the medical loan closet.


Saturday's Buffalo News featured a story about the Royalton budget...

The preliminary budget of $5.74 million proposes a 7-cent increase in the tax rate to $3.16 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for town residents and a 10-cent decrease to $1.64 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for Village of Middleport residents.

It appears labor costs are a huge factor for the increase...

“Our contribution to the state retirement fund is up from the current $47,076 to $113,586, for example, and that’s a pretty big chunk of change,” Lang noted.

Pointing to other rising costs, the supervisor said the town’s contributions to Social Security, workers’ compensation, disability insurance and hospitalization increased $123,445 over the current figure for a total of $572,191 in the proposed budget.

He added that fire protection contracts will rise 3 percent, union employees will get a 3 percent raise and non-union employees and department heads will receive 2 percent raises.

Lang said he and the other Town Board members will not get pay raises.

Read the rest of the article online -- which discusses bridge repair and equipment -- at:


Bobby Burg is a young Gasport resident who has been attending Mercersburg Academy, an independent college-preparatory school in south-central Pennsylvania. He has made a name for himself nationally as one of the best wrestlers in his weight class.

Bobby recently received offers from West Point and Annapolis and chose the US Naval Academy at Annapolis on Friday.

Congrats to Bobby...that's quite the accomplishment!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Town Board Meeting @ 7:30 PM

Date: Mon, Nov 08, 2010
Address: Royalton Town Hall
Phone: 716-772-7531

November 8, 2010

1. Open Meeting

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Public Hearings (4)

4. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented

5. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only

6. Communications / Petitions

7. Regular Meeting Agenda

8. New Business

Resolution to approve the Special Benefit Assessment Roll for the Town of Royalton for 2011:

Water District With Improvements $250.00 / Unit
Water District Without Improvements $ 50.00 / Unit
Unimproved District With Water $ 10.00 / Unit
Unimproved District Without Water $ 1.00 / Unit

Resolution to adopt the Local Law No. 3 for the Year 2010 entitled Dog Licensing and Control

Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to enter in to a three (3) year contract with the five (5) Town of Royalton fire companies. Contract dates to run from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013.

Resolution to adopt the 2011 Town of Royalton Town Budget. Salaries for the Elected Officials are as follows:

Pursuant to Section 108 of the New York State Town Law, the proposed salaries of the Town Officers are hereby specified:

Supervisor (1) $16,000.00
Deputy Supervisor (1) $ 750.00
Town Board Members (4) $24,000.00 ($6,000.00 each)
Town Clerk (1) $45,091.00
Superintendent of Highways (1) $56,034.00

Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to sign the Letter of Authorization to add the unpaid water, sewer, refuse, and town charges to the 2011 County Tax Roll as follows:

Pursuant to Section 198 of the New York State Town Law, the town board has opted to enforce various unpaid accounts for water, sewer, refuse, and other unpaid town services as indicated below, by placing a lien upon the real property for which such services were provided.

Total Unpaid Water $72,802.69
Total Unpaid Sewer $ 7,644.26
Total Unpaid Refuse $ 0.00
Total Town Charges $10,000.00
GRAND TOTAL $90,446.95

Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to sign and submit the application to the Local Government Efficiency (LGE) Grant Program for a "Shared Road Paving Project" for the purchase of a Paver between the towns of Royalton, Hartland, Newfane & Somerset. The Town of Royalton will act as the Lead Agent and Supervisor Richard J. Lang will be the Contact Person. The Town of Royalton has agreed to set aside up to $20,000.00 in reserves specifically for the joint paver, which constitutes a 10% cash match for the Town of Royalton and the co-Applicants' share of such grant and will collect a portion of this match from each partnering municipality upon further agreement therewith and notification of grant award.

Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to sign the letter of engagement and to enter in to a three (3) year contract with Berry & Berry, CPA's, for their accounting services. The amount of the contract for the three (3) year period is as follows: 2011 - $8,000.00, 2012 - $9,000.00, and 2013 - $9,500.00.

Resolution to authorize Berry & Berry, CPA's to set up a Reserve Fund in the DA Fund (Bridges) for Bridge Repair in the amount of $24,100.00.

Resolution to adopt the name of "Robert's Way" for the road on the Barden Homes property which was recently dedicated to the Town of Royalton.

Resolution for Permission to pay the bills.

9. Unfinished Business

10. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community

11. Adjournment - Motion to adjourn


The 25th annual Christmas Cupboard will take place Friday, November 19th (9:00 to 9:00) and Saturday, November 20th (9:30 to 6:00) at the Hartland Bible Church in the hamlet. Crafters will be selling a wide variety of items and there will also be foodstuff like jams, jellies and baked goods. Credit cards cannot be scanned accepted but you can use checks or cash.


Terrys Corners Fire Co. will be having a turkey party and raffle on Saturday, November 13th. Doors open at 6:00 and there will be free refreshments. There will be ham, prime ribs, and turkeys available as well as 50/50 splits, rip tickets and booze.


The Hartland Historical Society meets on Monday, November 8th at 7:00 at the old schoolhouse at Seaman/Carmen Roads. Speaker John Hall will talk about old kitchen utensils. The public is welcome to attend and refreshments will be served.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I know quite a few people who had left Gasport and came back. I know of others who specifically selected Gasport as their new hometown, rather than it being a second or third choice.

I'm curious what makes Gasport so attractive to those folks. You might even be one of them.

So, the November reader's poll asks, if you've moved to Gasport, or left and came back, what brought you here? (Choose your #1 reason). The answers are...

Your Gasport roots

Rural/small town living

The people

The Roy-Hart schools

Your job

The poll function can be found in the right toolbar of this website.


The Covenant Church is having it annual bazaar and turkey dinner this Saturday. The bazaar has crafts, baked/canned goods and more. The popular dinner begins at 3:30 and is typically sold out by 6:00. Take-outs are available. It is a donation dinner, so pay what you'd like to support the church.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Click on the image below to enlarge it....


Always Christmas, the 365 Christmas store on the top floor of Standish-Jones, will be having an open house this Saturday, November 6th from 12:00 to 5:00. There will be games, refreshments and pictures with Santa. There will be a 20% off sale at the store and you get a free ornament with your purchase (you must present the ad from today's paper to receive the ornament).


There will be a ham & turkey raffle at the Hartland Fire Hall on Ridge Road on Saturday, November 13th from 7:00 until ?. Admission is free and so are refreshments. There will also be many side raffles.



The Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports on the following in today's paper...

A former Gasport man was found guilty Wednesday morning of molesting a 15-year-old male relative earlier this year in Niagara County Court.

Joshua P. Reid, 42, now of Albion, was originally charged Feb. 19 by Niagara County Sheriff’s investigator Chuck Baker with third-degree sexual abuse, third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child.

The sexual abuse charge was dismissed Monday after Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said there was a lack of evidence, but Reid was found guilty of the other two counts.

During trial, Baker, the victim and Reid took the stand.

The victim told details of the abuse that took place in January at their Royalton Center Road home. The teen reportedly told his mother and aunt about the incident Jan. 20 before they contacted authorities.

Read the rest of the story, which talks about sentencing and a disturbing comment from Reid, at:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yesterday's Buffalo News reported the following in yesterday's paper...

William “Ross” Annable, Hartland’s deputy supervisor, said his town’s preliminary budget also proposes a 5-cent increase in its proposed tax rate to $2.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The Hartland Town Board will present its $3 million preliminary budget in a public hearing at 7:30 p. m. Thursday in Town Hall, 8942 Ridge Road, Gasport.

Annable, son of Town Supervisor William A. “Bill” Annable, has been leading the budget workshops in the absence of his father, who is recovering from surgery.

Ross Annable said, “In our special districts, fire protection went up 4 percent, the water rate went up 6 percent, but refuse went down 20 percent because we rebid the contract with Allied Waste this year and it worked in our favor.”

The proposed tax rates for the special districts are: $1.22 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for fire protection; $2.33 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for water; and a drop from $218 per unit to $176 per unit in the annual fee for refuse collection.

Annable also pointed to the savings realized in a couple of retirements, particularly that of Water Superintendent Lawrence Fuller in July.

“We are not replacing Larry with a full-time water superintendent, but are reassigning his duties to the superintendent of highways, in order to save money on that benefit package,” Annable said. “We also began sharing an assessor (Michael Hartman) with the Town of Royalton this summer, when their assessor retired.”



Andrew Auer is leaving the school district as recently reported by the Buffalo News...

The Lewiston-Porter School Board appointed Andrew Auer to the post of elementary principal Tuesday night with a starting salary of $93,545. Auer, current principal of Royalton- Hartland Elementary School, is expected to start Nov. 22 and is contracted for four years, said Superintendent Christopher Roser. The board negotiated a 1.5 percent salary increase for next year. Auer was one of two finalists that the board selected after receiving 58 applications. He has held the post in Roy-Hart for eight years, he said, and has been working in education for more than 20 years.

Roy-Hart is currently looking for a replacement and online "help wanted" ads indicate November 3rd as the deadline for resumes/applications.