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:

Monday, April 23, 2018

New B&B in Gasport

The owners of Graestone Manor on Root Road announced on Twitter last week that they are transforming the home into a bed and breakfast with soft opening that will occur in the next few weeks with the official grand opening to take place July 1st. In the meantime, they feature ghost hunts, paranormal expeditions, seances and tarot card readings:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Scheduled Drinking Water Transmission Main Shutdown/Maintenance

This Notice applies to the Towns of Royalton, Ridgeway, Somerset, Hartland, Lockport, Newfane, Shelby and the Villages of Barker, Middleport, and Medina.
What is Being Planned?
On Tuesday morning April 17, 2018, a section of the water system will be temporarily shut down due to the planned installation of a new valve on the transmission main. This maintenance may affect water pressure in the above municipalities. In addition, once water pressure is restored, the water may appear cloudy or milky due to air entrapment.

What do I Need to do?
The water main maintenance will be completed as quickly as possible.  Once water pressure has been fully restored, and if your water appears milky, we request you flush all of your water taps within your residence, for a minimum of five minutes or until the water runs clear.  It is recommended that you run your bathtub faucet initially, since it draws a large amount of water and is typically not screened.  Start at the upstairs bathroom if available and work your way down to the lowest faucet in your home.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?
Rest assured the water is safe to drink. Cloudy or milky water is caused by air bubbles in the water. It is completely harmless.  Pour the water in a glass and after a few minutes it will clear up. Like any bubble, the air rises to the top of the water and goes into the air above, clearing up the water.

The Niagara County Water District and your local Municipality have been in close contact with the Niagara County Department of Health to ensure your water supply is safe and meets all water quality standards.

This notice is being sent to you by the Niagara County Department of Health and Niagara County Water District. State Water System ID#: NY3100567

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding your water supply, please call Ronald Gwozdek. P.E. Principal Engineer at (716) 439-7452.

Narcan training at TC

The opiate epidemic is a national health crisis. We all likely know someone who has battled this demon or, worse yet, someone who has succumbed to it. The misuse of pain killers and heroin knows no barriers and it affects people from all walks of life and all communities.

Even here in Mayberry-like Gasport it’s everywhere. Take late-November as an example: In what was only a 2 week period a young lady died from an overdose, 3 people overdosed in Johnson’s Creek, and one of the workers at a local business ODed during business hours.

To help combat this and save lives, Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Company is offering free Narcan training at the fire hall this Wednesday, April 18th from 6:00 to 7:00.

Upon completion of that training you will get a free Narcan kit so you can save someone’s life. You never know where you will need it or when or with whom.
This course does not require prior first aid training.

Advance registration is NOT can just show up.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Church closings due to ice storm

Due to the inclement weather, Sunday services and activities are cancelled for today, April 15th, at Zion Lutheran Church and Hartland United Methodist Church.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Troop 18 fundraiser

A new season of clean-up in Middleport

This link opens a fact sheet that announces a new season of residential cleanup near the FMC Middleport Facility Site #932014 in Middleport within New York’s State Superfund Program:

Friday, March 30, 2018

MVA fatality in Hartland

On March 28, 2018 at 12:45 p.m., Troopers responded to State Route 104 and Carmen Road in the town of Hartland for a two-vehicle collision.  Further investigation revealed that a 2010 Nissan was traveling westbound on State Route 104 when a 2009 Toyota operated by Thomas M. Busch, 40 of Lockport, NY was traveling northbound on Carmen road failed to stop at the stop sign and entered the path of the Nissan.  The operator and passenger of the Nissan had multiple fractures and where transported to area hospitals.  The passenger of the Nissan, Barbara A. Linker, 77 of Barker, NY succumbed to her injuries at Media Memorial Hospital.  Busch was issued citations for failure to stop at a stop sign and Unreasonable speed, both returnable to the town of Hartland Court.

Easter at Zion

The Easter worship schedule at Zion Lutheran Church...

Easter Sunrise Service: 7:00 AM
Pancake Breakfast: 8:00 AM
Sunday School Hour (with egg hunt): 9:00 AM
Easter Resurrection Worship: 10:30 AM

Also, there is a Good Friday service at 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Gasport Lions Easter Egg Hunt

The good people at the Gasport Lions Club will be holding their beloved annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 31st at 11:00 AM at Veteran's Park in Gasport. All children 12 and under are welcome to participate in this fun event. Here is their Facebook event page:

Yates helps bring Disney to NU

Niagara University celebrates the hard work of Gasport's Lindsay Yates who spearheaded the Disney institutes' training seminar at NU:

Monday, March 19, 2018

John Swick celebrates 40 years

The Roy-Hart community has been blessed to have John Swick as a member of the Middleport Police Department for 40 years. He's a high-character gentlemen who has been a perfect peace officer and protector of the village of Middleport and our schools.

Here's the US&J report:

Egg hunt and basket raffle

This coming Sunday, March 25th, 2018, the Hartland Conservationists Club will be holding an Easter egg hunt at their facility at 3606 Orangeport Road. It starts at 3:00. Of interest to the parents of the egg hunters, a basket raffle will also be taking place.

Here's their Facebook event page:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Protecting our roads forum

A special message for Gasport farmers: The Niagara County Highway Superintendent's Association is holding a forum on Tuesday to discuss maintaining road quality and finding a balance between towns and agriculture. Lunch provided.

Details here:

Little league sign-up

The final sign-ups for this spring's/summer's Roy-Hart youth baseball and softball are Saturday, March 17th from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Middleport fire hall.

Mrs. Hale has passed away

The Roy-Hart community is mourning the passing of Mrs. Hale who taught Home & Careers ("Home Ec") at the district for 20 years. She was an understanding, caring and patient teacher. Ours hearts go out to her family.

Here is her obituary:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cinderella at Roy-Hart

Royalton Hartland will present the musical "Cinderella" this weekend at the high school auditorium. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Here's the report from the US&J...

Roy-Hart's approach to walkout

Roy-Hart's focus wasn't a walkout on March 14th for the so-called national walkout for school safety. Instead, a ceremony was held indoors where students were challenged to deliver 17 acts of kindness. Here's the US&J's report:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Maple Weekend in Middleport

Support the Middleport Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts this weekend by stuffing your face with delicious pancakes soaked in REAL maple syrup

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Becca's Closet on WGRZ

If you missed WGRZ's Daybreak this morning, they ran a story on the chapter of Becca's Closet run by Paula Travis and other volunteers from Zion Lutheran Church in Gasport. The program gives prom dresses to girls in need. They will be holding a dress distribution this Saturday, March 10th at Zion from 10:00 to 2:00.

Future dates can be found on their website here:

Here's the WGRZ report:

Friday, March 2, 2018

CAP holds annual dinner

Current and past members of the FMC Middleport Community Advisory Panel (CAP) gather for the annual seasonal dinner recently at the Middleport Fire Hall. The CAP provides an opportunity for local residents to meet face-to-face with the FMC Middleport plant manager and other company officials to discuss community issues, environmental concerns and FMC activities through regularly scheduled monthly meetings.

School closed

Due to the winter storm, Roy-Hart is closed Friday, March 2nd.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cinderella tickets available

Tickets are now available for Roy-Hart's musical - Cinderella.

Reserved Seats $8.00
General Admission $6.00
No senior discouts

To reserve specific seats, click on the seat maps at the Roy-Hart home page ( to find out what seats are available....or to purchase general admission tickets in advance, email your seat requests to or call Paula Koch at 716-735-3064. Ticket payments can be mailed to 4550 Freeman Road, Middleport NY 14105.

Ticket pickups prior to the day of the show can be arranged or tickets can be left at "will call" for pickup the night of the performance Advance sale tickets will only be available until 12:00 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

General admission tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to each performance if seats are still available

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Pre-k applications available

Pre-K applications are now available for the 2018-2019 school year. Children must be 4 on or before December 1, 2018. Stop by the school for your application or download one here:

Luckman is a delegate for the pork industry

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced the appointment of 157 producers and six importers to the 2018 National Pork Board Delegate Body, just ahead of the National Pork Industry Forum, Feb. 23-March 2 in Kansas City, Mo. Of the members appointed to serve a one-year terms is Gasport's own Jim Luckman, one of only 2 representatives from the Empire State.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Change in school schedule

Change to the school schedule: A Superintendent's Conference Day has been scheduled for March 9. There is NO SCHOOL for students on that day.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Becca's Closet dates for the 2018 prom season

If you know of a young lady in the area who might find it difficult to attend the prom or a ball because of costs, please share this with her and her family….

The Women Helping Others organization at Zion Lutheran Church of Gasport runs a chapter of Becca’s Closet at Zion and they have hundreds of slightly used or new prom dresses — and accessories — to distribute at NO COST to girls in need in the area who would otherwise find it difficult or impossible to attend their prom.

This year’s dates at Zion Lutheran Church are as follows:

Wednesday, February 21st: 10am – 2pm
Saturday, March 10th: 10am – 2pm
Friday, March 23rd: 5pm – 8pm

If you would like to set-up an appointment or want more information about this chapter of Becca’s Closet, please contact Paula Travis at or 716.471.6446.

Please take advantage of this wonderful offer and the charity of Paula, her team, and their donors — it’s there for the girls, to make sure every one of them can enjoy that special day!