Thursday, December 31, 2015


PUBLIC NOTICE - Royalton Hartland Elementary

MicroCellco Partnership and its controlled affiliates doing business as Verizon Wireless is proposing to collocate antennas on a 33-foot building at 4500 Orchard Place Gasport, Niagara County, New York.

Public comments regarding the potential effects from this site on historic properties may be submitted within 30-days from the date of this publication to:

Julie Labate - CBRE
4 West Red Oak Lane
White Plains, New York 10604
or 914-597-6939

Publication date: December 30, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Earlier today, Nancy became the 2,000th person to like the Gasport Facebook page. Thank you everyone who likes the page, reads the content, and shares or comments on make it meaningful, rewarding and easy to maintain the page and this blog. I think it's pretty cool that 2,000 Facebook users are really interested in our humble little hamlet and farming community on the Erie Canal.


Yesterday the New York State Education Department released data for all school districts concerning the 2014-2015 school year that looks at the make-up of student enrollment. It breaks it down by gender, race, disabilities, economics, and grade levels.  Read it at

The real take home from the report is the sharp decline in enrollment at Royalton-Hartland, an outcome of an aging local population and young people moving out-of-area or out-of-state for greener pastures economically.

Pay special attention to how the grade levels drop off to enrollments below 100.

Sixth through twelfth saw a peak of 128 and a low of 100, averaging out at 115 students per grade.

For that same school year, the kindergarten through fifth numbers were incredibly low by Roy-Hart standards. The average for those six grades was 90 students. Compared to sixth through twelfth that's a drop of 25 students per class or 22%.

If you want to scare yourself even more, look at the enrollment for kindergarten in 2014-2015. 79. Yes, only SEVENTY-NINE students.

Student enrollment is on the decline at Roy-Hart and it's trending badly, far rivaling the 6% drop that occurred between 2000 and 2015.

So, in the coming years, don't scratch your heads when school boards and school officials have to make different, interesting and difficult decisions concerning budgets, services and consolidation (will we be doing more with Barker, even becoming one district?). It's been a tough go the past 15 years....what will the next 15 bring?  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Mark your calendars: The Gasport Beautification Committee's community move nights for 2016 will be February 17th (Transylvania 2 at the fire hall) and August 12th (Jurassic World at Vet's Park).


The Royalton Town Board is accepting letters of interest & resumes for the following appointed positions: Planning Board Member (5 year term) and Board of Assessment Review Member (5 year term). Here are the details of said positions:

Planning Board Member
Hours: Third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM
Pay: $65.00 / meeting
Starts / Ends: Five (5) year term
Type: Permanent

Description: Member of a five (5) person board who gather to discuss the issues that are referred to the Planning Board for the Town of Royalton. Work to administer the town's Master Plan.

How to Apply: Submit a letter of interest along with a resume to...

Town of Royalton
5316 Royalton Center Road
Middleport, NY 14105

Board of Assessment Review Member

One (1) to two (2) meetings per year on Grievance Day
$60.00 / meeting
Five (5) year term

Description:Member of a five (5) person who hear and consider the Grievance Petitions that have been filed for the individual tax assessments for the Town of Royalton. 

How to Apply: Submit a letter of interest along with a resume to...

Town of Royalton
5316 Royalton Center Road
Middleport, NY 14105

Monday, December 28, 2015


For snowbirds and Gasport expats: Gasport finally got its first measurable snowfall of the 2015-2016 season on December 28th.


On Saturday, the Buffalo News reported that three times this month a farm in Royalton had spread upon its fields the controversial bio-solid "Equate", which is produced by the equally-controversial Quasar plant in Wheatfield. While state officials consider the fertilizer to be safe, many environmentalists and other activists do not. Here's the report...

Sunday, December 27, 2015


"The streak" lasted 126 meets, but it's snapping has not deterred the machine that is Roy-Hart Swimming.

The report from the Lockport Star:

Thursday, December 24, 2015


The Town of Royalton Bicentennial Committee needs a logo! Are you creative? We are looking for something that honors our history and captures the pride and strength of our community to commemorate the Bicentennial for the Town of Royalton. The Bicentennial Committee is asking YOU for your ideas and designs. You have the chance to be named the Official Logo Designer for Town of Royalton Bicentennial Celebration.
The winning entry will be the official logo of the Royalton Bicentennial Celebration and will be showcased throughout the community and the county to publicize the events, activities and projects for our celebration in 2017. Entries are sought from anyone who would like to participate, as long as you are a Town of Royalton resident or you live anywhere in Niagara County. The logo winner prize will be 100.00, runner up will receive 50.00 and the two honorable mention winners will receive 25.00. The participants will be contacted by April 20, 2016, and will be invited to attend the May 9, 2016 Town Board meeting to be presented with their award by the Bicentennial Committee.
Design Guidelines are as follows:
1.      Logo must include the words: Town of Royalton Bicentennial 1817-2017
2.      Logo must be easily reproducible.
3.      Logo must be simple enough to be reproduced clearly in small size, as a lapel pin or key chain
4.      Graphics should be representative of our town, such as the canal, agriculture, rural.
5.      Challenge your creative senses and submit only one entry per entrant.
1.      All artwork is to be original and not based on any pre-existing design. It can be in color or black and white.
2.     Entries must be submitted on 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of white paper.
3.     The contestant's name, address, and phone number must be printed on the back of the entry.
4.     The contest entry form must be included with the art work.
a.       Entry forms can be found on the website under local events or you can email for a form.
5.  Entries must be submitted by Friday, April 8, 2016. You can mail your entry to Royalton Bicentennial Committee, 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport, NY 14105. You can drop your entry off at Royalton Town Hall, Monday-Friday 8 AM- 4:00 PM or email entry and form to
For more information, please contact the Bicentennial Committee, 716-735-7335 or email at

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Join Terry's Corners for their New Year's Eve Party! $50 per person includes a Premium Dinner buffet provided by Donna Eick's, open bar, and entertainment by Beamin' Sounds Entertainment. Tickets are available online at, Durfs Tire / MJ auto care (Rt 31, Gasport), and Olear's Inc. (Rt 77, Gasport). If you have any question please call Shelly at 716.213.3755.

This is a 21 and over event.

All online ticket sales will be held a by the last name of the card holder as a reservation at the door. Please print your emailed receipt for Proof of Purchase.


Farming is, far and away, the most important economic driver of the towns of Royalton and Hartland. Local farms account for the greatest economic output and the greatest amount of employment (other than the school district) while paying the greatest amount of property taxes.

That's why it's a good thing that the school board is at least considering bringing agricultural sciences back to the school district.

Here's the report from the Union Sun & Journal...

Monday, December 21, 2015


Last week I put the word out for businesses and organizations to share the good news about Gasport on our blog and Facebook page, and to never be afraid to do so. Carol Slack responded to introduce us to her husband's collision repair shop (Slack Automotive Collision & Paint) right here in Gasport.

Jeff Slack does excellent work, and has been in the industry for 38 years.  Most people assume that he only does Mopar restoration work, as that is what he is known for in the classic car circuit. As a New York State registered repair shop he is also able to handle insurance claims and has a great rapport with all insurance companies.

Some people don't understand that they have a legal right to take their car to a repair facility of THEIR choosing.  Insurance companies will direct you to their choice shops as they have an agreement with them to do your repairs at a discounted rate, sometimes with inferior products. So, know that you have a right to not go with the initial suggestion from the insurance company and you can go with Jeff, right here in your neighborhood.

Jeff does collision repair, deer hits, frame repair, scanner service, brake jobs, and some mechanical repairs.  His prices are reasonable as he doesn't have a lot of overhead costs. His son works with him and is also an excellent body man.

There is a Facebook page where you can look at some pictures of their work.:

They are located right on Route 104, four houses East of the Hartland Fire Hall.

"After The Whack, Take It To Slack"
8979 Ridge Road
Gasport, NY  14067

Jeff Slack 716.480.1792

Sunday, December 20, 2015


JoAnne Swick was a pillar of the greater Royalton-Hartland community, doing so much and loving our community so much. It's with a heavy heart that we report she passed away on Friday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. No one deserves to be in grief during the holidays, especially a family as special as the Swicks.

Here is her obituary...

JoAnne Kay (Gaskill) Swick of Middleport went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, December 18, 2015 in her home surrounded by her family.

She was born November 22, 1960 and raised in Medina, NY., the daughter of the late Stuart Gaskill and Carol (Annable) Gaskill.

She graduated from Medina High School and attained her Associate's Degree from Geneva College.

JoAnne married John Swick on November 29, 1980 at Hartland Bible Church, where she attended her entire life.

She started working as a secretary at Dr. Oswari's Middleport Office until having children.

JoAnne was the treasurer of Hartland Bible Church for the past 25 years, taught Sunday school for 30 years, was treasurer of the Roy-Hart PTA for 10 years, was the Royalton Tax Collector for 17 years and she served as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Royalton-Hartland Community Library.

She lovingly raised three children, enjoyed volunteering her time and spending time with her family, especially her grandson Garrett.

JoAnne is survived by her husband of 35 years, John J. Swick, her children Grace Swick, John S. (Danielle) Swick and Jeffrey Swick; grandson Garrett and one grandchild arriving in May; Mother Carol Annable Hussey and Step-Father William Hussey, sister Diane Gaskill Edwards, Aunt Kaye Annable Overbye and Aunt Shirley Gaskill Lindke along with many cousins and friends.

Calling hours will be on Monday December 21, 2015 from 4 PM to 7 PM and Tuesday, December 22, 2015 from 4 PM to 7 PM at Hartland Bible Church, 8110 West Avenue., Gasport, NY where funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM with the Rev. John Goodwin officiating.

Burial will be in Hartland Central Cemetery.

Memorials to the Hartland Bible Church would be appreciated by the Swick family.

Arrangements by the Bates, Wallace & Heath Funeral Home, Middleport, NY.

Visit to send a message of sympathy.

Friday, December 18, 2015


You've heard of mall walkers. What about hall walkers?

Roy-Hart is allowing the use of the Elementary School and the Middle School for that very purpose, so people can walk in a safe and warm environment in the winter months. Both facilities will be open from 4 PM to 7 PM. Walkers are asked to use the main entrance and sign in/out for security purposes. Hall walking will be closed in the event of a school closing or the cancellation of after-school activities.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


I've been running the Gasport blog since 2007 and the accompanying Facebook page since 2009. Even to this day, organizations, churches, businesses, and government functions based in Royalton or Hartland either forget about or feel uncomfortable with sending their news items, press releases, upcoming events, and fliers to me for posting.

Don't be afraid. I don't bite.

And I don't charge anything for the service. This isn't a commercial enterprise.

The whole point of the blog/Facebook is to share all the news and announce all of the good things that are going on in Gasport as means to show just how special Gasport really is and promote the community, its people, and its organizations.
Just email all such items to me at 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


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

Christmas Pageant: Sunday the 20th, 10:30 AM at the Church. The Sunday school students of Zion will perform their annual Christmas program, sharing the story of the arrival of Jesus.

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

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

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

The entire community is welcome to attend any of these services!

Monday, December 14, 2015


The Niagara County Department of Health Nursing Division, in partnership with the Niagara County Office for the Aging is offering free Diabetes Self-Management Workshops throughout Niagara County. A workshop series is scheduled to begin on February 2, 2016 to March 8, 2016 at the Zion Lutheran Church 4447 Central Avenue, Gasport from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The workshops consist of six consecutive weekly classes for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

The program has demonstrated proven health benefits for people with diabetes, and complements the health care individuals may already be receiving. The workshop is designed to help participants enhance their skills to maintain active and fulfilling lifestyles. Workshop participants will improve problem-solving and decision-making skills to confront the ever-changing challenges of living with diabetes. They will also learn how to improve food choices, increase physical activity and coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyles.

Individuals with diabetes, or caregivers of persons with diabetes, can register for the Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Program, by calling NY Connects through the Office for the Aging at (716) 438-3030 or the Niagara County Department of Health Nursing Division at (716) 278-1900. Groups or organizations interested in scheduling Diabetes Self-Management Workshops or Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshops should call the Niagara County Department of Health Nursing Division at 716-278-1900.

Friday, December 11, 2015


FOUND: This cat was found in Gasport on Slayton Settlement Road near the Royalton-Lockport border (it is frequenting one of our sheds). We often get feral cats around home due to the dairy farm next door, but this one is not feral -- the cat is wearing a blue collar and a green one. If this cat ran away from your home, send me an email to and we can coordinate your pick-up.


Hartland United Methodist Church on Route 104 will be having a Living Nativity from 6 PM to 8 PM this Friday and Saturday, and again next Friday and Saturday.

Here's a Lockport Union Sun & Journal report on the new event:

Thursday, December 10, 2015


The U.S. Census Bureau released new poverty data for Western New York's 98 school districts yesterday. Orchard Park had the lowest poverty rate and Buffalo suffered the highest.

Royalton-Hartland ranks as one of the least impoverished districts in all of Western New York, coming in at 13th place. At Roy-Hart, the youth poverty rate is 9.7%. Of all 1,518 school-aged children, 147 are living in poverty.

Read the report by Business First (along with a slideshow analyzing each district) here:

Sunday, December 6, 2015


The annual Light-up Gasport & Christmas Party will take place next Sunday, December 13th at 4:00 at the Gasport fire hall.

Festivities include: Santa Claus, music, caroling, decorating & lighting of the community Christmas tree, basket raffles, hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, apple cider, and sleigh rides.

This event is organized and run by the Gasport Beautification Committee. If you'd like to join the committee and lend a hand, contact committee president Debbie Babcock at 417.0718. 

Friday, December 4, 2015


Christmas at the Schoolhouse will take place this Sunday at the town of Hartland's cobblestone schoolhouse at Carmen and Seamen Roads. Festivities begin at 11 a. m. and run until 3 p. m., with a ham or turkey dinner ($9 adults, $4.50 children), raffles, a bake sale, and Christmas carols sung by Paula Phillips.