Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Down on the Farm

Verratti Farms will be hosting “Down on the Farm” on October 6th from 10:00 to 3:00. It is is a day to come out and have fun with family and friends. Everyone at Verratti Farms is pitching in together to give the community an old- fashioned good time.

Admission is FREE but donations are gratefully accepted. And, if you’re scratchin’ your head, wonderin’ anythin’ at all – call Ruth Verratti at (716) 864-9634 or message them through their Facebook page.

Events (More thrillin’ than findin’ an old pickup truck buried under your porch!)

▪ Hay Rides
▪ StrawBaleMaze
▪ Kid’s Activities (Face Paintin’, Cookie Decoratin)
▪ Churn your own butter
▪ ChickenBarbeque (We’ll be chowin’ at 12 Noon sharp)
▪ Ice Cream Bar (With all the toppins your li’l heart could hope for!)
▪ SockShowdown-The person with the most holes wins! (just kiddin’ bout this one)
▪ CountryLineDancin’

Verratti Farms merchandise will be available for sale. Cash only. Proceeds go towards event costs.

What to Bring

▪ A large dish to pass AND a dessert (And if ya would be so inclined, please put yer name on yer dish or better yet – use disposable!)
▪ Your least fancy clothes/shoes
▪ Camera (Many photo ops)
▪ Any extra friends you may have lying around
▪ Strollers/wagons for children.

Please keep children supervised; there are too many places for young’uns to get into a heap of trouble!

The Facebook event page is:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Former St. Mary's leader has passed

Francis Skupien, who for 16 years led St. Mary's Church in Gasport, has passed away at the age of 91. Here is his obituary:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Rev on the Road comes to Gasport

Rev on the Road is a two day outreach and wellness event designed to restore people’s hope, faith and love as image bearers of a good and whole God. True to the culture of Revelation Wellness® participants will experience contagious joy and freedom as we share the Good News of the Gospel message through cutting edge fitness that meets people where they are at. This event is for every body shape and size but nobody leaves the same.

It will be held at Hartland Bible Church in Gasport on October 19th and 20th.

Each event includes:

Live Worship
Bible Study
Inclusive Fitness/Movement
Grace-filled community connections
Health, healing and wholeness for the mind, body, and soul

Let us know you're coming and we will make sure you are the first to know when registration opens to save your spot!

5:30 PM – Doors Open/ Registration Confirmed
6:30 PM – Welcome & Intention
6:45 PM – LIVE Worship
7:15 PM – Bible Study
7:45 PM – Rev On The Mat – A Gentle Movement Experience
8:15 PM- Be Still & Be Loved – A practice of stillness
8:30 PM – Closing

8:30 AM – Doors Open/ Registration Confirmed
9:00 AM – Welcome & Intention
9:15 AM – Bible Study
10:00 AM –Revelation Fitness® – An All Levels Fitness Experience
11:15 AM – Refuel & Hydrate Break
11:30 AM – Live Worship
12:00 PM – Closing Intention
Sign up early so you can secure a spot. Registration and information at:

The Facebook event page is:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

EXPLORING THE NIAGARA FRONTIER: The Erie Canalway Trail: From Orangeport to Canal Road

Western New Yorkers are blessed with an incredible number of public assets -- from town parks to state forests – that allow locals and tourists alike to explore the Niagara Frontier and enjoy the great outdoors.

One of those assets is, for the most part, lightly used especially given its accessibility to some of our major population centers.

That outdoor destination would be the Erie Canalway Trail.

The trail was once commonly known as the “towpath” (many of us still call it that to this day) because back in the Canal’s heydays of the 1800s it was walked by the mules and horses that pulled packet boats and barges down the waterway.

Maybe it’s that original utilitarian purpose that keeps people away. Maybe it’s the misbelief that it’s not interesting enough. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s everywhere and everyday – something we pass over on our commutes and overlook because it’s just “there”.

Whatever the reasons may be, I strongly encourage my readers to cast those misconceptions aside and appreciate the hundreds of miles of trail awaiting our sneakers, hiking shoes, baby strollers, bicycles, and skis. The Erie Canalway Trail is a great place to be.

In the coming months and years this column will periodically look at stretches of the trail, giving you insight into the local history and natural history. The towpath is an asset – it should be used as such.

We will begin the series by looking at the trail as it heads from the Orangeport Road bridge in Gasport to the Canal Road bridge in the town of Lockport.

This is my favorite part of the Canal trail for various reasons – it’s very close to home, I can see our farm from the trail, and it’s quiet.

I routinely take my 1 year-old son on stroller rides on this stretch. It’s a good hike, too – round-trip from the Orangeport parking lot it’s a good 4 miles. Moving at a fair pace, a hiker can accomplish the hike in an hour and 15 minutes. It will take much longer if you stop to rest, fish, or watch the wildlife. All such opportunities abound on this stretch.

Getting there is easy. Most people reading this column will make their way to Gasport on Route 31. Just to the west of the hamlet is Orangeport Road, which is across the street from Gasport Auto Sales. With a few hundred feet of getting onto Orangeport Road, you will cross over the Erie Canal. Once you do, keep your eyes open, quickly approaching on your right will be Berner Parkway. Take Berner all the way to its end. The turnaround there is the parking lot for the trail. That lot is spacious and can hold about 10 cars. For most of my hikes, there will be just 1 or 2 other cars there.

This lot actually used to be where the old Orangeport Road bridge once stood (Berner Parkway was originally Orangeport Road) prior to its reconstruction in 1993. It’s called Orangeport because back in the 1800s there once stood an inn that was frequented by canal boatmen – it was painted a bright orange as a means to attract attention and imbed the hotel in your memory. 

Upon walking out of the lot, walk towards the bridge and continue heading in that direction.

This portion of the trail is impeccable. It is perfectly groomed by the Canal Corporation, and is made of stone dust. There are no potholes and no large stones that will twist an ankle. You can walk, run, bike, or push a stroller with ease. It’s truly friendly to all types of use.

For the next two miles, you will be graced with nothing but pastoral scenes to the north. The closest road is Slayton Settlement Road, which is a full mile away, so you won’t encounter any houses on the trail side of the Canal until you get to the Canal Road bridge. That means you’re exposed to apple orchards, small forests, and literally thousands of acres of corn, alfalfa, and wheat. It’s scenic, especially when the wheat is golden or the crops are full or the leaves have changed color for the fall.

The lack of civilization also means that the trail puts you close to wildlife.

It’s not uncommon after sunrise and before sunset to see dozens of deer or turkeys coming out of the woodlots to graze. 

In the spring, the trees lining the trail are absolutely chock-full of warblers, the so called “butterflies of the bird world.”

During the late-summer and fall, avian fish mongers love this stretch. Kingfishers scoop the water for minnows, green herons creep along the rocky shore, cormorants dive for rock bass, and ospreys plunge into the depths for carp and bass.

The ospreys are certainly the most spectacular of the bunch. This once endangered bird of prey is making a sort of comeback and a welcome one at that. It’s pretty neat to watch one hover 50 to 100 feet over the Canal and dive in from that height to secure dinner.

You should also enjoy the wildflowers along the path, especially in late-summer and fall. Many people derisively look at late-season flowers as weeds. They are not. The whole palette of colors is there, as you can see hawkweed, touch-me-nots, morning glories, chicory, and butter and eggs to name a few.

Along the trail you will see 3 different streams that get their water from PVC pipes that run from the Canal. The whirlpool action is so drastic in the Canal at times that you can hear these pipes from a great distance. The purpose of this water collection is to keep the streams flowing so farmers can use the water to irrigate their crops.

The fourth creek, labeled “118” on the sign in front of it, doesn’t get Canal water, flows under the Canal, and has a wooden fence high above its culvert. This creek is one of the more interesting in the region. Far into the woods (which is private property) the creek bubbles with natural gas, which is the reason why Jamesport was renamed Gaport in 1826. For good reason, it caught the attention of engineers and scientists during the Canal’s construction -- and it still does to this day as scientists from around the world take samples of the gas.

Across from that creek, houses begin to show up on the south side of the Erie Canal. The first one might look familiar to many people. Prior to the late-1990s it used to be Camp Margaret Castle, a camp that was owned and used by the local Girl Scouts who also rented it out to Boy Scouts for their spring and fall camporees. A lot of memories were made there for a lot of campers.

Approximately 400 feet past creek 118 you will come to a wonderful picnic spot. McCollum Farms allows the Canal Corporation to use the canal frontage of their land as a rest stop and as a 500-ft. long stretch of green space that is mowed by the Corporation. At the start of that grassy area are some boulders and an iron bench. This is where you want to stop and enjoy a drink or a picnic lunch (just carry out everything you carry in).

Further down the trail you will come upon the Canal Road bridge. This single-lane steel bridge was built in 1900 and is still in great shape today. This is where many hikers (yours truly included) turn around and head back to Orangeport.

Not only is this section of the Canal great for exercisers and nature lovers, but fishermen will enjoy it, too. Don’t overlook the Erie Canal as being fishy water. Wait till July once the fish populations get back to normal after the spring filling. Then, you have until November to cast spinners, crankbaits, and Mr. Twister’s for bass, walleye, and pike. Fishing is best in the early and late hours.

This portion of the trail is accessible all year, so don’t think that your explorations end when the flakes fly. If you are into cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, you will like that the Berner Parkway lot is kept open as town snowplows use it as their turnaround.

Make it a point to hike the Erie Canal’s towpath this fall. You might find yourself appreciating this underappreciated trail system, especially along this quiet, rural stretch.

Hope to see you on the trail!

From the 06 September 2018 All WNY News

Assemblyman Norris celebrates Madeline Keyes

Hartland Little Free Library

If you haven't yet, be sure to use the Little Free Library at Hartland Town Park. It's a wonderful volunteer service. Kudos to whoever set it up and provided the reading materials!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Saddle Up For Roswell

On September 8th, 2018, Chestnut Ridge Equestrian Center will be hosting their 13th annual Saddle Up for Roswell event from 8:00 to 4:00.

This is a wonderful horse show where the riders raise money for Roswell. The day benefits cancer research and patient care in Western New York at Roswell park Cancer Institute. More than 110 riders participate in this event and the community is encouraged to come view this great show which will feature dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping events.

The Chestnut Ridge Equestrian community is passionate about cancer, a cause that has touched so many in one way or another. They are proud to partner with Roswell Park to assist those who face this disease. Over the history of this event they've raised more than $168,000!

In order to continue this special event, they are seeking both in-kind and monetary donations. They also sponsor a basket raffle at the event. Donors would receive exposure on many levels from hundreds of participants, ads in the newspapers, TV spots, links with USEA (United States Eventing Association) and USDF (United States Dressage Foundation).

For more information please contact Megan Gamin, Co-Chair of Saddle Up for Roswell, at (716) 772-7703 or

To donate to Roswell Park Cancer Institute on behalf of this event, make checks payable to Roswell Park Cancer Institute and send to: Chestnut Ridge Equestrian Center, Saddle Up for Roswell, 7913 Chestnut Ridge Road, P.O. Box 372, Gasport, NY, 14067

Information for participants and donors can be found on the Equestrian Center's website:
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, founded in 1898, is the nation’s first cancer research, treatment and education center. The Institute was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. RPCI is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or e-mail

Friday, August 31, 2018

Roy-Hart creates Dean of Students

Roy-Hart has created a new position, "Dean of Students". Athletic Director John Gryzmala was appointed as dean. Here's the US&J report:

Roy-Hart library receives grant

Yesterday, Senator Rob Ortt presented New York State education funds to five local libraries. This specific funding is designated for schools, museums, and libraries and can be used toward the addition or continuation of certain educational programs. Some of the programs that will be funded with this aid include the hiring of additional mental health counselors, the purchasing of a mobile library to deliver books around the community, and the creation of a STEM program. Among the recipients was our beloved Royalton-Hartland Community Library which received $5,000 in funding.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Gasport View Dairy on WSYR AM

Yesterday, talk show host Bob Lonsberry, who has shows on Rochester's WHAM and Syracuse's WSYR, was at the New York State Fair doing live remotes for WSYR. He went through the dairy barn where he came across Emory Seefeldt and his mom Amy who hail from Gasport View Dairy. Bob conducted an awesome interview with them.

You can listen to the 11-minute interview on WSYR's podcast. It begins at the 18:00 mark on the "Lonsberry at the Fair: Day 7" podcast for the 4:00 PM hour. Amy and Emory (and Bob Lonsberry for that matter) are great spokespersons for dairy. Emory also had a great quote about farming and the life lessons it gives. 

The link is here. To listen, you will need an I Heart Radio account, or you can log-in via Facebook.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Citrus sale to benefit Fourth of July events

The good people behind the Hartland Independence Day Celebration are conducting a citrus fruit sale that runs till September 10th. Proceeds benefit the July 4 event. Order now and receive your fruit in December, just in time for Christmas. Brochures and order forms are available by selecting the appropriate image below. Information regarding checks, charge cards, etc. are on the order form, as well as delivery dates. Get your order in quick, as the sale ends September 10. Call or text 716-417-1711 for more info.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Flint Veterinary Care Center grand opening

Gasport's newest business -- Flint Veterinary Care Center -- will have its grand opening this Saturday, August 18th from 10 am to 2pm.

At 12:30 there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony with local officials including Assemblyman Mike Norris.

The facility is located on Main Street, between the Canalside Inn and the tracks. This is the building that has been home to a tutor, chiropractor, and restaurant through the years.

Dr. Flint and team will be doing a meet-and-greet, giving clinic tours, scheduling appointments, and starting new client paperwork.

Some of their vendors have donated "goodies" to enter your pets into raffles. Refreshments will be available for both humans and furkids.

Appointments will be available beginning Monday the 20th.

You can like Flint on Facebook at:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

School nurse needed

There is an anticipated vacancy for School Nurse at the Royalton-Hartland Elementary School. NYS RN License required. Effective September 2018. $29.31/hour. To apply, please submit resume and civil service application by August 3, 2018 to: Dr. Hank Stopinski, Superintendnet of Schools, 54 State Street, Middleport NY 14105

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chipsealing in Royalton

On Thursday, July 26, 2018 and Monday, July 30, 2018 from 7:00am to 5:00pm the following roads in Royalton will have traffic delays/possible lane closures due to chipsealing work.

Mountain Rd- from Griswold St to Freeman Rd
Freeman Rd- from Mountain Rd to Letts Rd
South County Line- from Chestnut Ridge Rd to Johnson Rd
Foote Rd- from Wolcottsville Rd to Ditch Rd
Arnold Rd- from Ernest Rd to Royalton Center Rd
Dewhirst Rd (1/2)- from Grove Rd to Akron Rd(rt 93)
Singer Rd- from Bulmore Rd to Akron Rd(rt 93)
Bulmore Rd- from Singer to Akron Rd
Dale Rd(1/2)- from Richardson Rd to Royalton Center Rd
Please be aware of construction signs, and road crews.

Klatt gets gig with LaBella

Congrats to retired Roy-Hart superintendent Roger Klatt on securing a new career at Rochester architecture and engineering firm LaBella Associates:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Family Movie Night 2018

On Friday, July 27th, the Gasport Beautification Committee will be hosting their annual free family movie night at Veterans Park in the hamlet. This year's film -- Inside Out -- will begin at dark. The gates open at 6:00.

They will be selling candy, chips, pop, pizza, water and coffee while offering a family deal of 12 food items for $10. Proceeds from concessions will go towards this and other activities undertaken by the Committee.

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs.

It is strongly encouraged that all children be accompanied by adults.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Arrest made in school threat

The US&J is reporting an arrest has been made in a terrorist threat against Roy-Hart that occurred on June 18th:

Grant's Toy Farm open house

If you want to check out something neat with the kids, visit Grant's Toy Farm at 3252 Hosmer Road in Gasport for their open house on Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd from 1 to 5 both days. You'll get to see not only the toys, but also displays of large farming equipment, antique cars, historical farm equipment and more.

Cliff's website is at:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Drills at Roy-Hart Wednesday

A message from Roy-Hart Superintendent Hank Stopinski...

As part of our ongoing partnership with local law enforcement, we will be partnering with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office to allow their officers to conduct three trainings at our schools. There will be a great deal of activity on our campuses, none of which will have a direct impact on our students or staff. A few details are as follows:

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office (NCSO), consisting of multiple teams, will begin utilizing the Elementary Building around 8:00 a.m. July 18. We anticipate eight to ten officer vehicles (marked and unmarked), 'Bearcat' armoured vehicles, and about twenty officers to be on-site. They will conduct some room clearings/searches and basic tactical drills at the building for about two to three hours throughout the building. Custodians will rope off any areas of the buildings that are not accessible or have events/practices going on.

The NCSO will then come to the Middle/High School Campus around 11:00 a.m, where they will be conducting some 'Active Shooter' drills/trainings at the Middle School. They will utilize soft "soap" rounds in these trainings throughout the building. They will then proceed over to the High School to practice these same sort of drills. They are expected to be in the District all day, finishing up on the High School campus by approximately 2:00 p.m.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

As always, I hope that you will make an effort to reach out and visit when you see me around the schools and town

Friday, July 13, 2018

Another Gasport gas study is out

Another study regarding naturally-occurring gas seeps is out. This is related to samples a scientist from Indiana University took at Gasport and other places last summer.

The abstract can be read here (the full report requires a paid subscription):

The supporting documents can be read here:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stop whining about July 3rd fireworks

Some people across social media have angrily criticized the organizers of the Independence Day festivities for choosing July 3rd to run the event.

Just stop.

Those folks are running an event out of the kindness of the hearts. This is not a government-run celebration as you would see in the local cities. The folks running the Hartland event are volunteers who are making it work -- and work well -- with their time, energy and monetary donations and the donations of others.

They are doing it for YOU and your kids. They aren't doing it for glory. Appreciate that someone is giving up hours, days and dollars to celebrate America and make Hartland and Royalton a little special for the holiday.

It's pretty awesome that someone would do that.

Look around...other fireworks displays were on the 3rd...Olcott and Lockport are prime examples.

And, remember, those volunteers are working people who had to go back to work on the 5th. Business schedules are a little off this week with the fourth falling at mid-week. It would be tough going back to work after a long day running around, setting things up for a community-wide the oppressive heat no less.

So, I extend a hearty THANK YOU to those volunteers and donors. THANK YOU for continuing to show why Gasport is an AWESOME place to live.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Bad Ash BBQ closing Gasport restaurant

This was posted on Bad Ash's Facebook page...

I've been trying to figure out a way to say this there is no easy way bad ash BBQ will be closed due to relocating to Olcott Beach Gasport was one hell of a ride I gave it my all But as time goes on I have to do what I feel in my gut and whats best for my family I'm sorry for the locals that came in all the time I made a lot of great friends but with that being said I'm not closing bad ash BBQ for good I'm just relocating 2 Olcott to where I have many different opportunities for me and my family Thanks for Everything Gasport and the New Journey will begin we will be opening the bad ash bbq restaurant and bar in Olcott July 3rd hope to see all my old and new bad ash family again soon!!!! Plus ill have the bad ash bbq trailer in gasport port again soon so u can get your fix please share to get the word out

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Erie Canal Derby begins Wednesday

The 28th annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby begins Wednesday. It's the first without its founder, the lovable Steve Harrington who passed away last November. His family is keeping the dream alive.Take part in this family-friendly event that highlights a awesome public resource:

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A study about the microbes in Gasport's gas has been released

If you have a keen interest in science, one of the studies that focused on the microbes found in the gas seep in Gasport and at other places in WNY (like the Eternal Flame) was just published and can be found here:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Town of Royalton yard sale

JUNE 29, JUNE 30, and JULY 1, 2018

6856 Wolcottsville Road June 29, June 30, July 1
6590 Wolcottsville Road June 30
8160 Akron Road June 29, June 30, July 1
6208 Royalton Center Road June 29
6212 Royalton Center Road June 29, June 30, July 1
6182 Royalton Center Road June 29, June 30

8784 Chestnut Ridge Road June 29
8427 Dale Road (Off Gasport Road) June 29, June 30
8611 Dale Road June 29, June 30, July 1
8684 Ernest Road June 29, June 30
8440 Mountain Road June 29, June 30, July 1
8885 Haseley Road June 29, June 30, July 1
7750 Rochester Road June 29, June 30, July 1
4669 Gasport Road June 29, June 30
5715 Royalton Center Road June 29, June 30, July 1
4870 Gasport Road June 29, June 30, July 1
8414 Dale Road June 30, July 1
4487 Royalton Center Road June 29
8860 Haseley Road June 29, June 30

7709 Chestnut Ridge Road June 30
7614 Chestnut Ridge Road June 29, June 30

5315 Royalton Center Road June 29, June 30
102 Telegraph Road ( Rt 31) June 29, June 30 & July 1
5787 Lewiston Road June 29, June 30
8958 Chestnut Ridge Road June 29, June 30 & July 1
9738 Rochester Road June 30

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Road closure

Griswold Street between Chestnut Ridge Road and NYS Route 31 will be closed from 6-26-18 until approximately 8-31-18 for culvert replacement.

Independence Day in Gasport

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Roy-Hart's graduation ceremony available online

If you missed Roy-Hart's commencement last night either in person or online, fear not. The entire ceremony is now available on YouTube:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Scientists visit Gasport

Gasport continues to be a hotbed of scientific study. Today, I took a team of scientists from Canada and France -- led by a University of Toronto professor -- to the bubbling gas that gave Gasport its name. They are trying to determine the origin of the random gas seeps in the region and will be investigating the Eternal Flame and Amherst gas seep in Erie County today, too. Last year, we were visited by professors from Indiana and the UK. It's pretty cool to have a geological oddity that interests scientists from all over the world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Roy-Hart's ranking among WNY schools

Buffalo Business First's annual rankings of WNY school districts arrived in today's mail.

Royalton-Hartland comes in ranked 58 of 104 public school districts and private schools, up 7 places from 65th last year.

Roy-Hart outperformed 31% of WNY school districts in English, 44% in math, 30% in science, and 24% in social studies.

The school's achievement index (which measures students' outcomes as a result of or versus socioeconomic issues) was 92nd in the region, painting Roy-Hart as an underachieving district.

Cost effectiveness (posting strong academic results despite low spending) had the district as 10th best in WNY.

Administrative efficiency (ranking schools with tight budgets and lean staffs) had Roy-Hart as 14th best in WNY.

The socioeconomic climate placed 28th best.

Teacher experience came in at 44th out of 102.

Roy-Hart's overall ranking of 58 might make some people cringe, but we went up 7 places in one year and we were as low as 79th place in recent years. So, the trend is in the right direction.

Plus, never believe that Roy-Hart isn't an excellent district for your family. The quality of life is good, the administrators are accessible, and the teachers care and can teach.

Two years ago, I gave the commencement speech at Roy-Hart's graduation and focused on the super powers our students gain by being educated in a small school and being raised in a small town. Those words still ring true....

Roy-Hart's Flag Day

The Lockport Union Sun & Journal reports on the always awesome Flag day events at Roy-Hart Elementary:

Roy-Hart seniors secure scholarships

Congrats to Madeline Keyes and Delaney Draper on securing scholarships from the FFA and Ford:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Road closure

Starting June 14, 2018 Ertman Rd in the Town of Royalton will be closed to traffic until further notice due to creek bank erosion between addresses 8545 & 8552. Only residents will be allowed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A busy afternoon in Royalton

There was a lot happening in Royalton yesterday afternoon: an accident at Hartland and Slayton Settlement; a 10-wheeler rollover in the hamlet; and this -- a men who led police on a chase and was disposing of bogus bills in the process...

Monday, June 4, 2018

Roy-Hart 2018-2019 calendar

The Roy-Hart 2018-2019 calendar is now available online.

Some things of note:

The school year begins on Wednesday, September 5th

The week of February 17th is mid-winter recess

Easter break runs from Friday, April 19th through Monday April 29th

Memorial Day weekend will be four days next year with the addition of Friday as a day off

Friday, May 25, 2018

FMC Military Appreciation

FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Solutions Plant in Middleport hosts a special luncheon to observe National Military Appreciation Month by honoring FMC employees, contractors and community first responders who served or have family members who served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Among those representing service in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines (first row, left to right) are: Bonnie Difino, Lori Porter, Juan Carmona, and Ed Dunn; second row: Kevin Little, Dwight Wadsworth, Roland Johnson of the Middleport Police Department, FMC Plant Manager Roberta Kloda, and Mark Wolcott.

Salt & Light Festival 2018

Roy-Hart baseball wins!

Congrats to Roy-Hart baseball on winning the B2 championship! The Orleans Hub reports:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

New community garden in Gasport

Today, Hartland Bible Church announced that they have officially have forged a great community partnership with Gasport Elementary PTA and others. Across the road from the church, their vacant lot is being transformed into a community garden. HBC is very excited about this opportunity to not just create partnerships but to invest into our community. This afternoon, students from Gasport Elementary came over to the HBC's property to plant some of the plants they have been growing in their classrooms. Big thank you goes out to Principal VanSlyke, Dr. Stopinski and Casey Eldridge.

Superintendent letter about secrurity and preparedness

Dear Resident,

Over the past several months, our schools have been working with our local law enforcement and emergency services agencies in a comprehensive review of our school safety plan and procedures. Our students have routinely completed mandated fire drills, lockdown, lockout, shelter in place and evacuation drills as outlined in our school’s plans. Throughout my time at the school, I have been impressed at the level of attention that our safety team and staff pay to these drills. The Royalton-Hartland Central School District has the most comprehensive plan and implementation of school safety of any school I have seen in my 30 years in education.

This past week, we instituted our next phase of school security and have installed a school registration system for all guests in our school. The system will require all visitors to share their license which will be scanned into our system prior to entering the school. The system will allow our Principals another level of security knowing that the visitor is appropriate for the school, and when needed, a child is released to a person who has the appropriate permissions in our student management system. The change in process may create some brief delays at our front desk and I ask that you please be patient as we roll out the system.

Our school’s safety team, administration and staff continually look to ways to improve our systems and ultimately the safety of our students and staff. I am grateful for all those within our community who continue to support our efforts and encourage everyone to continue their efforts.

As always, I hope that you will make an effort to reach out and visit when you see me around the schools and town.

Dr. Hank Stopinski
Superintendent of Schools

Gasport Lions comedy night

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Roy-Hart color run

The Roy-Hart color run is a high energy, fun-packed family friendly 5K event. It will be held on Saturday, June 9th at Royalton Ravine Park. Color packet and t-shirt (t-shirt guarantee only when registered by 5/18) included in registration. Registration day of event starts at 8:15 and ends at 8:50. You may register at now.

The PTSA will be holding in person registration for the color run in the middle school this Monday the 21st during lunch time 10:30-1 for anyone who would like to sign up. Cash,credit and check are all accepted. Any questions the student have can also be answered. Any questions parents can contact Casey Pearl @ 716-446-3633 or

The Facebook event page for the color run is:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spaghetti dinner Tuesday May 22

The next All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the 2018 Salt & Light Festival is Tuesday, May 22nd, from 4 - 7 pm at Solid Rock Church, 8590 Rochester Road, Gasport. All You Can Eat for Donation! Take-out Available too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Buffalo News highlights Canalside Inn tweet to Geraldo

I like that my suggestion to Geraldo Rivera to try a Canalside Inn beef on weck in Gasport while touring the Erie Canal made it into the Buffalo News' report on his trek across the state

Roy-Hart budget vote

Proposition 1 (2018-2019 Budget) Passed
Yes 218
No 64

Proposition 2 (Establish Capital Reserve Fund) Passed
Yes 216
No 64

Proposition 3 (Increase funding for the Royalton Hartland Community Library) Passed
Yes 210
No 73

Board Members
Chad Owen 236 votes
Carrie Choate 228 votes

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Geraldo is touring the Canal

Keep your eyes open for Geraldo Rivera in the coming days. He and his brother Craig are taking a tour of the Canal and then heading on through Lake Erie to Cleveland. They just passed through Schenectady today. I sent him a tweet that said he should dock here in Gasport and grab a beef on weck at the Canalside Inn. It's great to see a wonderful recreational asset like the Erie Canal gets some national publicity.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Destination Imagination

The US&J looks at the adventures -- and fundraising efforts -- of Missing Marbles, the local Destination Imagination team who are heading to the global competition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Roy-Hart 2028

Kudos to the school district for launching the Roy-Hart 2028 initiative. It's nice to see long-term planning for addressing the needs of students, families, and the economy:

Monday, May 7, 2018

Troop 18 clears out towpath

A big thanks to Troop 18 for cleaning up the Erie Canal towpath in Gasport!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Capital reserve item up for vote

Proposition 2 on next week's school budget vote: Shall the following resolution be adopted? RESOLVED, that the Board of Education (the "Board") of the Royalton-Hartland Central School District, Niagara, Genesee and Orleans Counties, New York (the "District") is hereby authorized to establish a capital improvements reserve fund pursuant to Section 3651 of the Education Law of the State of New York (the "Fund"); that the Fund shall be known as the "Capital Improvements Reserve Fund, 2018" of the District; that the Fund shall be established for the purpose of financing, in whole or in part, the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, renovation, alteration and improvement of buildings, facilities, sites and real property by the District, or the District's share of the cost of any capital improvements project undertaken by a Board of Cooperative Educational Services ("BOCES") of which the District is or may be a component district, including, in all cases, the acquisition of necessary furnishings, equipment, machinery and apparatus; that the ultimate amount of such Fund shall be not greater than $6,000,000 (plus interest earned thereon); that the probable term of such Fund shall be not longer than ten (10) years; and that the permissible sources from which the Board is authorized to appropriate monies to such Fund from time to time shall be (a) unappropriated fund balance of the District, (b) State aid received as reimbursement for expenditures by the District in connection with District capital improvements (whether or not such improvements were financed in whole or in part from the Fund), (c) the proceeds from the sale of unneeded District real or personal property, and (d) such other sources as the Board or the voters of the District may direct from time to time.

Library item up for vote next week

Proposition 3 during next week's school budget vote asks: Shall the funding for the Royalton-Hartland Community Library which is raised by annual levy of a tax upon the taxable real property within the Royalton-Hartland Central School District be increased from $103,000 to $105,000?

Next week's school budget vote

In a letter to residents posted on the School District website, Superintendent Hank Stopinski writes the following about next week's budget vote:

The school board is presenting an expenditure budget of $25,593,606 which represents a 5% increase in spending compared to 2017-2018. The budget proposes a 2.2% increase in the tax levy. This is the third consecutive year in which the proposed increase is below the allowable levy increase (under the New York tax cap).

The proposed budget includes the inclusion of a full-time Superintendent of Schools, the increase of a .5 FTE music teacher to a 1.0 FTE and the inclusion of a 1.0 FTE Agricultural Education Teacher. In addition, we are proposing to fund several improvements to our athletic program, curriculum and general facilities needs.

As part of our 2018-2019 budget, the District is planning a small Capital Outlay project of $100,000 as permitted by New York State. The process is simplified and is included in the proposed general fund budget. The current proposal is to improve the facilities and grounds at the elementary school.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Gasport man drives 2 hours to work every day

People fall in love with Gasport so much, they'll do anything to stay here -- even commute two hours to work. Erie, Pennsylvania's newspaper looks at the travels of Tim Harvey, a man who does just that:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Erie Canal Derby lives on

Lynn Harrington stopped by my office today. I'm so glad she's keeping the beloved Erie Canal Fishing Derby alive in memory of her husband Steve who passed away last fall. She has even rebranded the derby as the Stephen C. Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby. Be sure to support this event as a sponsor or angler -- it's a wonderful family-friendly activity that is now in its 28th year. It's made so many memories for so many families through the years.

Here's the US&J's report on how the Harrington family is keeping it going: