Thursday, March 29, 2012


The town of Hartland will be having its annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday, March 31st at 11:00 at the old school house at Seaman and Carmen Roads. It is open to Hartland residents only, aged 2 to 10.


According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, Roy-Hart was slated to receive $11.2 million in state aid this year. Things changed with the actual budget, though.

The state Legislature and the Governor released details today on the budget. Lawmakers added $200 million to the final school-aid formula, removing most of the $250 million that Gov. Cuomo sought to make available to districts through competitive grants.

How did Roy-Hart fare?

According to Assembly reports, the District will now be receiving just under $11.5 million in state aid.

See how all districts fared by downloading the PDF here:


Earlier this week the Buffalo News ran a story about the library levy vote. As it notes....

...most district residents didn’t find out about the tax, which added about 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to their property taxes, until they received their bills in September.

There was a public outcry, but by then the statutory 30-day deadline to bring a lawsuit against a school board action had long since passed.

Mary Cedeno, of Royalton, researched the district’s policies and found that any resident may circulate petitions to place a proposition on the ballot.

Almost 200 residents signed a petition for a repeal vote, well over the 33 needed.

Read the whole article here:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The annual fly-in, drive-in breakfast at the Royalton airport has been scheduled for Sunday, June 24th from 8 till noon with the Masonic Lodge serving the meal. For details, contact Paul O'Neill at


Freeze could damage local orchards:


Multiple television news outlets are reporting that a Gasport teen has been charged with aggravated DWI under Leandra's Law for allegedly driving drunk with younger teens in the car. Niagara County Sheriff Deputies arrested 17-year-old Jacob Kleitz on Sunday morning on Lockport-Olcott Road in Newfane.

He's facing the following:

* 2 felony counts of DWI
* 2 aggravated DWI counts under Leandra's Law
* 5 vehicle and traffic charges
* 1 alcohol beverage control violation
* 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child (he had a 14-year-old and 15-year-old in the car)

Deputies say Kleitz had a blood alcohol level of .15 percent.

He was taken to the Niagara County Jail in lieu of $750. He'll appear in court today.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Today's Lockport paper also reports on the school budget...

Voters in the Royalton-Hartland School District will decide on a 2012-13 budget that raises the tax levy by 2 percent but also cuts spending by 2 percent.

Board of Education members adopted the preliminary spending plan at a meeting Thursday. The $22 million budget is $500,000 less than the current school year’s spending plan. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, Roy-Hart is slated to receive $11.2 million, a loss of $281,000 in state aid.

Learn about cost-cutting measures here:


From the pages of the Lockport paper:

Royalton-Hartland residents will get another chance to decide on the Middleport Library tax.

The Roy-Hart Board of Education voted 5-2 on Thursday to place a proposition on the May 15 ballot calling for the reduction of the library tax. That day, along with the library tax, voters will be choosing school board members as well as determining the district’s 2012-13 budget.

Read the article here:


The Buffalo News reports...

Vito J. Peritore, 56, of Countyline Road, was charged by Niagara County sheriff’s deputies with driving while intoxicated, failure to stop for a stop sign and speed not reasonable and prudent. He told deputies that he was unsure what happened and was transported to Medina Hospital to be evaluated, according to a sheriff’s report.

Read the entire article here:


According to the Buffalo News...

A Ridge Road man was charged with violating the town’s open burn policy after reports of an noxious odor emanating from a burn pile in the 9200 block of Ridge after 8 p.m. Sunday.

Read the report here:


The activist efforts of Mary Cedeno, Judy Hill and others paid off as the school board voted 5-2 to accept their petition to put on the May 15th ballot a proposition to reduce the Royalton-Hartland Free Library (Middleport Free Library) levy to $0 from its current $103,000 level, affording all district residents the chance to participate in an informed and accessible vote as to whether funding of the library should be the responsibility of the entire district.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Margaret M. Raduns, "Marg", age 54, died, suddenly, at Medina Memorial Hospital on Monday, March 19, 2012. Born on May 2, 1957 in Buffalo, she was the daughter of the late Mary (Haake) Mason; and step-daughter of the late Hal Mason. Marg married Kevin J. Raduns September 26, 1987. They would have been married for 25 years this year.

Marg currently worked at the Mental Health Association in Niagara County as a Program Director, for the YWCA of Niagara as a Domestic Violence Advocate and was serving her second term as Town Justice for the Town of Royalton. Marg previously worked for Wilson Greatbach, but will be most remembered for serving as a bartender for Campbell's Inn for more than 20 years. Marg was very proud to have had the opportunity to perform her son, Arnold's, marriage ceremony and was looking forward to doing the same for her son, James, later this year. She had recently been accepted into the Bachelor Program of Empire State College where she planned on getting her degree in Social Work. Marg was a collector of many things, but especially had a passion for cows. She was a member of the Niagara County Magistrate Association. Marg loved going to their second home in Florida and working in her flower beds. She had lived in Lockport for the past 33 years, previously of Wheatfield.

She is survived by her loving husband of 24 years, Kevin J. Raduns. Beloved mother of Arnold (Misty) Huth and James (Deirdre Eychner) Raduns; and proud grandmother to Paige and Ashton. Marg will be greatly missed by her family, many friends, coworkers; and her two cats, Satan and Max.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service for Marg on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM from the Zion Lutheran Church, 4447 Central Avenue, Gasport, NY, with the Reverend Rodney Klinzing officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to the Mental Health Association, 36 Pine Street, Lockport, NY 14094 or to the YWCA of Niagara, 32 Cottage Street, Lockport, NY 14094.

Please visit to sign guest register.

Monday, March 19, 2012


James Solomon of the local block club council writes to tell us he is hosting a meeting on March 31st at the Hartland town hall on Route 104 at 10:00 am. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend, to find out how much crime is in Middleport, Harland and Gasport and what the community can do about it. His website is

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The sports section of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle features a great feature story about Gasport's own Makiplastic....

Due to unseasonably warm temperatures, ice was mostly confined to people’s drinks this winter.

The sport of ice fishing was put on ice.

And then there was Scott Brauer, engineer, inventor, teacher, businessman and unapologetically an “ice fishing freak.”’

Thanks to some brilliant ingenuity and his passion for sharing his knowledge about catching fish, Brauer was one of the few guys this winter who experienced sitting in a shanty, hunched over a hole and feeling the excitement of a tug on his line.

In fact, he could enjoy the ice fishing experience all year long, anywhere, if he desired. All it took was constructing a 500-gallon portable “ice fishing”’ aquarium that he stocks with pan fish and trout for his teaching seminars.

At the recent Rochester Sportsman’s Expo at the Dome Center, Brauer, 48, sat atop the giant steel tank that weighs 700 pound empty and fished through holes cut in a platform. A steady crowd of kids and adults schooled in front of his display and stared through the crystal clear half-inch aquarium glass lit an eerie green, mesmerized by the rainbow trout that checked out Brauer’s wide assortment of micro-plastic baits.

Those baits are made by Makiplastic Inc., of Gasport, Niagara County, Brauer’s family-owned and operated business.

Read the entire article here:


WGRZ reported yesterday that the Royalton-Hartland baseball team fell victim to Direct Air, the airline company that suddenly cancelled all flights last week...

The cancellation of all charter flights earlier this week by the now bankrupt Direct Air really threw a curveball into the Florida plans by the Royalton Hartland High School varsity baseball team and many parents and family members of team members.

The team under Coach John Grzymala started raising $10,000 in funds last summer with can and bottle drives and other events to pay their own way for a spring training trip to Orlando. The Roy-Hart team was going to play in six games against teams from across the country in a tournament at the Disney World complex. Actually a group of 90 people, including the team, coaches, and parents and other family members were slated to fly on a Direct Air charter. Many rented condos and made other arrangements with Disney World for a week - long trip from April 5th through the 12th.

But then Direct Air pulled the plug and now the team is scrambling to make other arrangements. Plan "B" calls for a two day bus trip to Florida for the 12 players, four coaches, and a small number of parents. They hope to charter a bus from Ridge Road Express but now estimate the cost at $14,000.

Read the rest of the article to learn how the Boosters Club saved the day and how you can help out:


Saturday's Union Sun and Journal featured an article about the Comptroller's audit of the town of Hartland's fleet and how the town defends its practices:

After state auditors reported they didn’t like the Town of Hartland’s style, the rural Niagara County town responded with definitive answers about the way they do things at the Highway Department.

Supervisor Ross Annable said that the auditors spent several months looking at the town’s financials, and all the financials were in order. However, the audit raised questions about the highway department, which has been headed by Keith Hurtgam since 1988.

“I don’t think they have a good hands-on grasp of a small-town operation,” Annable said. “We keep our records differently from what they are looking for.”

The supervisor added: “Keith really has a good handle on equipment. He’s been doing it for a long time.”

Read the entire article here:

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The junior volunteer fire fighters of Gasport Chemical Hose will be doing a Car Wash fundraiser on Sunday, April 15th between the hours of 10am-3pm. They have a rain date of Sunday, April 22nd.

On April 21st, the Gasport Chemical Hose will have an Open House from 10am-4pm. Details will be provided as we get closer to the event.


I've added 5 more sites to the Gasport website directory, a directory that's grown to great size over the years. You can find the link to the directory in the toolbar of this blog.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports on an issue within Royalton town government...

There are 84 new chairs in the Town of Royalton Court room at a cost of $14,759.

Supervisor Jennifer Bieber said that chairs were needed and the town board went though proper procedures during the process. The town had a $10,000 grant.

Scott Wymyczak, who describes himself as the town watchdog, feels the new chairs were not necessary and the town did not follow its own procurement policy.

Read the entire article here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


On Monday New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced his office completed the audits of the Town of Chateaugay, Commack Fire District, Town of Concord, Town of Ghent, Town of Hartland and the Town of Tuxedo.

"My office's audits of local governments improve their financial management practices," DiNapoli said. "These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide the best possible service these taxpayer dollars can deliver."

The Comptroller's efforts focused on fleet management with the town of Hartland, and the office's news release says:

The board did not adopt a fleet management policy or complete a formal needs assessment before adding new vehicles or equipment to the fleet. The highway superintendent did not maintain key records, such as daily use logs and vehicle/equipment repair costs, which the board would need for conducting a comprehensive review of utilization. As a result, town officials may be purchasing vehicles and/or equipment that is not fully utilized, and the fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment may be larger than necessary for the town’s needs.

You can download the entire audit - and response - here:

Monday, March 12, 2012


The Royalton town board meets tonight at 7:00 PM at the town hall. Agenda is as follows:

•1. Open Meeting
•2. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented
•3. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only
•4. Communications / Petitions

New Business

•Ø Resolution to accept Ms. Jean Morse as a member of the Gasport Chemical Hose Company.

•Ø Resolution to accept the Supervisors Report for February 2012 as submitted.

•Ø Resolution to authorize Roswell Park Cancer Institute to utilize the town roads for their annual bike ride on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

•Ø Resolution to authorize the Tour De Cure to utilize the Town Hall as a rest stop for their annual bike ride on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM.

•Ø Resolution to authorize the payment of $84.00 from the Recreation Budget Contractual Line (A7310.4) for the Red Cross swim cards to be issued during the summer swim program held at Royalton-Hartland High School.

•Ø Resolution to acknowledge that the Town Board has audited the two (2) Town Justice Court books for the 4th Quarter of 2011.

•Ø Resolution to authorize Terry Nieman, Highway Superintendent, to take the old lowboy to the Palmyra Auction on May 12, 2012.

•Ø Resolution to authorize the transfer of funds from the following accounts to the Retirement Reserve Account: A9020.8-Retiree Leave Expense - $550.00, DB9020.8-Retiree Leave Expense - $6,550.00, and SW9020.8-Returee Leave Expense - $2,900.00 for a total of $10,000.00 for 2012.

•Ø Resolution to amend Resolution #27-12 for the January Audit of Claims to read as follows:

RESOLVED that the Town Clerk be and she hereby is authorized to draw a warrant upon the funds of the Supervisor for Abstract #1 for the year 2012 in the amounts of:

Fund Voucher #'s Total

A Fund 1 - 12 $ 59,243.63

B Fund 1 - 3 $ 5,030.40

DB Fund 1 - 4 $ 53,876.75

SD Fund 1 $ 1,683.00

SS Fund 1 - 2 $ 7,254.89

SW Fund 1 - 3 $ 28,388.91

TOTAL $155,477.58

•Ø Resolution to amend Resolution #35-12 for the February Audit of Claims to read as follows:

RESOLVED that the Town Clerk be and she hereby is authorized to draw a warrant upon the funds of the Supervisor for Abstract #2 for the year 2012 in the amounts of:

Fund Voucher #'s Total

A Fund 13 - 73 $ 34,318.78

B Fund 4 - 12 $ 7,344.82

DB Fund 5 - 56 $130,586.40

SD Fund 2 - 5 $ 865.06

SL Fund 1 $ 1,393.21

SR Fund 1 - 2 $ 72,795.23

SS Fund 3 - 20 $ 20,948.85

SW Fund 4 - 34 $ 20,943.55

TOTAL $289,195.90

•Ø Resolution to authorize the Gasport Masonic Lodge F & AM #787 to oversee an 8-hour Community Service Project for students from Royalton-Hartland High School at the Royalton Mountain Ridge Cemetery on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Students and lodge members will clean up the sticks and limbs, etc., at the cemetery and get it ready for the mowing season. (There will be a rain date scheduled for 4/21/12 if necessary.)

•Ø Resolution to authorize the clearing of the current "Due To" and Due From" issues created in the budget over the years as proposed by our accountants. (Formal resolution to be prepared by the Accountants for the Monday Board Meeting.)

•Ø Any additional items that need to come before the board at this time.

•Ø Resolution for permission to pay the bills.

1. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community

1. Adjournment - Motion to Adjourn

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Roy-Hart students sometimes get some unfair barbs thrown at them from other school districts, with some of the students in local cities and suburbs thinking our students are uneducated hicks.

Our students always disprove the stereotypes and they've done it again with vigor: No one came close to matching Roy-Hart's participation at the Odyssey of the Mind. Of the more than 200 students from Niagara, Orleans, and Erie Counties, nearly a fifth of them were from Royalton-Hartland! Wow!

Today's Niagara Gazette says:

Royalton-Hartland had seven of the 41 teams participating Saturday. Adam Eschborn, a Roy-Hart teacher who coached four of the teams, said he’s happy to have so many students interested in Odyssey.

“It’s cool to have so many teams involved,” Eschborn said. “There’s not always opportunities for students to work on their problem solving skills.”

Read the whole article here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Yesterday seven members of House Committee on Agriculture gathered input for revisions to the Farm Bill from eight farmers — including Gasport's Jemery Verratti —who were selected by the panel to sort out what works from what isn't working in federal farm support and regulation. Enacted in 2008, current Farm Bill legislation expires this year.

The federal government has made a transcript of Jeremy's testimony available online. Download the PDF file here:

Friday, March 9, 2012


The only hearing concerning the 2012 Farm Bill scheduled for the Northeast is set for 9 a.m. today at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake.

The House of Representatives full Committee on Agriculture is putting on this public hearing on the future of U.S. farm policy.

Among the very few panelists/witnesses (there are only 8) is Jeremy Verratti, Verratti Farms, LLC.

It's good to see a Gasport man representing farming for the entire region!


Mary Cedeno led the rally, petition drive and information drive that led up to and occurred during last night's Board of Education meeting. She wrote to thank everyone for their help in getting the fight this far.

Mary said there were a couple dozen people in attendance. Outstanding!

Mary has written an excellent recap of the meeting and the propositions (with supporting petitions) that she submitted to the board.

Read her report here:

The Lockport Union Sun and Journal was also there and their story can be found here:

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The Royalton-Hartland Board of Education meets tonight at 7:00 in the High School Auditorium. The agenda can be downloaded here:

This is a big file (19 MB in size and 159 pages long) because a new state law requires school districts to share not only the agenda, but also the "board member packet" utilized by the board, which gives greater insight and knowledge to the public.

Prior to the meeting -- at 6:00 -- Mary Cedeno, Judy Hill and other activists related to the library issue will be holding a rally asking for the Board's consideration of a re-vote that would allow for all district residents to be educated on the issue and vote appropriately.

For a background on this issue, refer to Mary's website at:

or my recent newspaper column at:

or search the contents of this website with "library" as the search term.


Interesting database provided by Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: A list of all NYS real estate transactions through the end of February...19 million records dating back to 1993


The Hayes residence and a pickup truck were destroyed by fire Wednesday morning at 4632 Dale Road (the Dale Road off of Gasport Road, not the one off of Slayton Settlement Road).

Terry's Corners Fire Company, Gasport Chemical Hose and Wrights Corners volunteer firefighters responded to the blaze.

No one was injured and there was no one home at the time. Cause is unknown.

A detailed report and numerous photos by Stephen Wallace can be found here:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Hartland Fire Hall is hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner and basket raffle on Saturday, March 17th from 4 to 10 pm to raise funds for Lawrence Kropp who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last fall. The goal is to raise enough money to help pay his medical bills and other costs.

Monday, March 5, 2012


The Gasport Lions will be hosting a St. Patrick's Day feast this coming Sunday, March 11th from noon till 3:00 at the Gasport Fire Hall.

Dinner includes: corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, bread, dessert, coffee & pop

Tickets are $9.00 at the door

Entertainment will be provided by their Irish Dancers; Brooke & Erica Little and Mya Quinn.