Friday, December 14, 2018

FMC helps food pantry

Employees from FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Solutions Plant in Middleport, working with Local 1180 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and plant management, helped to collect and donate more than 600 pounds of food to the Middleport Area Community Food Pantry to assist the local community during the holiday season. Participating in the effort are (from left to right) FMC employees Bonnie Difino, Joe Burkett, and Taylor Kunzelman, and pantry volunteers Rosie Gaughn, Melanie Shuttleworth, and John Shuttleworth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Roy-Hart recipient of school violence grant

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office has been awarded a $215,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The grant will assist area schools and the Sheriff's Office in their efforts to prevent school violence.

The grants were offered to assist communities in combating school violence and were geared toward technology upgrades to assist in school security, as well as civilian staff, to assist in this project. The award for Niagara County will include a full time non-sworn staff member to act as the School Violence Prevention Coordinator. The grant was written to build on the partnership the Sheriff's Office has with local schools and will provide technology for the following school districts: Orleans/Niagara BOCES, Barker, Newfane, Royalton-Hartland and Starpoint. In addition, technology will be provided to assist Niagara Charter School with school safety and security.

The School Violence Prevention Coordinator will work with each of these schools to update and implement school safety plans, update site surveys at each of the school buildings and implement the technology acquired through the grant. The Coordinator will also be an active member at each of the schools required safety committees and will provide training to each district as needed in the area of school safety. They will also be a resource for the students in each of these schools and would also act as a liaison between the schools and the Sheriff's Office, as well as other local police departments.

The grant covers a two year period and requires a local match of $72,000, which has been committed by the schools and Niagara County. It will assist Niagara County in ensuring the safety of students throughout the county and the Sheriff's Office hopes to utilize the School Violence Prevention Coordinator in all of the schools in Niagara County if requested. "The program being awarded in Niagara County is a great achievement for local law enforcement and our citizens," commented James R. Voutour, Niagara County Sheriff. "There were only two awards from this grant in New York State and Niagara County received the highest amount. This position and technology will assist in our mission to protect the citizens of Niagara County, especially those in an educational environment".

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Gasport's Grammy nominee

It's not often that Gasport can claim to be home to a Grammy nominee. Victor Wainright and the Train are one of five nominees for Best Contemporary Blues Album. The Train's guitarist is none other than Pat Harrington. Congrats, Pat!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ohol selected for All-State

Royalton-Hartland High School junior Madison Ohol was selected to the All-State Symphonic Band. She participated in a concert held at the acclaimed Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY during the annual Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) held from November 29 – December 2, 2018. Those chosen to participate in an ensemble at this conference represent the best high school musicians from all of New York State as determined by previous NYSSMA solo festival scores and teacher recommendation.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Adopt a Senior

Local resident Jess Keeton contacted Absolut Care in Gasport to see if they had an "Adopt a Senior" program for Christmas. Basically this would entail buying a gift for a senior for Christmas. They got back to her immediately and loved the idea and are welcoming anyone that is interested to join in to make their day more special. The resident Christmas Party is on December 13th. Anyone who would like to join in and "Adopt a Senior" or purchase a gift is more than welcome to. Gifts can be dropped off with a tag that says "to a special someone, friend, etc" and from "your family name" or you can make it anonymous. Jess created a Facebook event so questions can be answered. Kudos to Jess on starting this endeavor!


Doty wins Trench Trophy

Congrats to Gasport's Tyler Doty, a St. Joe's senior who has committed to play football at UB, on winning the Trench Trophy, which is awarded to the top two-way lineman in Western New York.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Christmas in Gasport

The Gasport Beautification Committee's annual children's Christmas and tree lighting is this coming Sunday, December 9, at Gasport Fire company at 4 PM. Every kid gets to see Santa and take home a toy. There will also be horse and wagon rides around town, a basket raffle, cookies, pizza, crafts, Santa's elves, and singing around the tree at the lighting.

Hartland Fire officers

On Sunday, the Hartland Volunteer Fire Company had their annual election of officers for 2019:

President - Mike Carnes
Vice President - Paul Baughman
Secretary - Kim Wilson
Treasurer - Carolyn Myers
Chief - Bryan Ames
1st Assistant Chief - Paul Baughman
2nd Assistant Chief - John Cirillo
3rd Assistant Chief - Joe Mahar
Fire Police Captain - Mike Carnes
2nd Year Trustee - Bob Heschke
3rd Year Trustee - John Cirillo
Steward - Carleen Baughman
Sergeant at Arms - Bob Heschke
Bingo Chairperson - Carleen Baughman
Chaplin - John Cirillo

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mr. Fisgus is moving on

From the Superintendent of Schools...

Dear School Community Members,

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that our long time Principal, Mr. John Fisgus has accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in the Oakfield-Alabama School District effective January 2, 2019. Mr. Fisgus has served the District as Middle School Principal since 2008. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Fisgus is credited with leading our District’s School Safety efforts, the implementation of “Rachel’s Challenge” kindness and compassion model and developing a positive school culture with his staff and students. Mr. Fisgus will be missed.

It is the intention of the District to employ an interim Middle School Principal beginning in January through the appointment of the next Principal. A series of focus groups will take place to gather information on what the various stakeholders are looking for in their Principal and the position will be posted mid-December. Interviews will begin in January and involve the school community as part of its process. It is our hope to have the new Principal on board prior to April 1st. If you are interested in serving as part of a focus group scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11th or on the interview team, please contact the District Office at 735-2000 ext. 2318.

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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Standish-Jones Christmas Party

Standish-Jones is holding their first ever neighborhood Christmas Party this Saturday, December 1st, from 11 till 2.

- Visit with Santa Claus
- Christmas Cookie Cook-Off: try delicious seasonal cookies baked on the Big Green Egg and the Traeger & vote for your favorite!
- Coloring Contest and free coloring book for first 100 kids
- 5th Annual Holiday Basket Raffle to benefit Oishei Children's Hospital
- Fun for everyone!

Here's the Facebook event page:

Monday, November 26, 2018

Breakfast with Santa

Have fun with the kids this Sunday and at the same time support our community's Independence Day celebration...

Friday, November 23, 2018

12th annual Mitten Tree

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

The Mitten Tree will be going up just before noon on November 27th and you have two weeks to donate.

This is the twelfth year for this awesome program that is run by the Gasport Lions Club.

Here’s how it works…

The tree is located out front of the Gasport post office at the corner of Main Street and Route 31. (There is also a tree at the Middleport post office).

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

Attach the mitten to the unwrapped gift and drop it off at Absolut Care or Drum Oil (they have drop boxes) or at the Elementary School (under the tree in the lobby). The Lions Club will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays.

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

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Buy local, buy Gasport this Christmas

When out Christmas shopping on Black Friday and beyond don't forget to "buy local." Help keep money in Gasport, drive our economy and support your neighbors by buying wine at Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards, candy/jelly/honey at Schwab Farm Market, cheeses at Teacup Farm, meats at Hartland Abattoir Corp., Christmas items at Always Christmas, everything under the sun at Standish-Jones Building Supply, gifts at The Flower Barn & 1864 Boutique, gift certificates to dining establishments like Cup & Saucer Family Eatery and anything else you can think of at any number of local businesses.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Niagara Kraze is coming to Gasport

Here's some really big news about Gasport...

Niagara Kraze is pleased to announce that Niagara County's largest indoor inflatable park & entertainment facility is coming soon! Currently under construction on Rochester Rd. in Gasport (just east of Dollar General), our approximately 10,000 sq ft facility will offer the best value in family entertainment. With giant inflatables, arcade, "Lazer Kraze" / laser tag, interactive games, concessions, special events, shopping, and more, we're going to be the perfect destination for birthday parties, school, & corporate events! Be sure to give our Niagara Kraze Facebook page a "Like" and follow along with our construction process! Come see what all the "Kraze" is about & EXPERIENCE THE RUSH! COMING SOON - 2019


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Breakfast cart at Roy-Hart

Kudos to Roy-Hart on great utilization of a $3,000 grant from the Cornell Cooperative Extension office (and a big "thank you" to Niagara CCE). This farm-to-school breakfast cart is a great addition to the high school:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gasport house fire

On 11/17/2018 at about 2233 hrs, the Niagara County Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call from the homeowner of 8152 Telegraph Rd reporting a fire in the wall behind the wood burning stove at that residence. The Adult female caller and her husband were able to evacuate the single family residence and take their two dogs and cat to safety as well. Fire companies on location were able to extinguish the fire which did appear to originate at the wood stove chimney within the wall. No injuries were reported. No estimate of damage at this time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Food pantry: November 17th

If you are or know of a family in need, the Gasport Food Pantry's monthly distribution is this Saturday November 17th and it features a special Thanksgiving meal package

Monday, November 12, 2018

GBC needs help with Christmas

The Gasport Beautification Committee's annual children's Christmas and tree lighting is December 9, at Gasport Fire company at 4 PM. They are in need of donations to help with this community-wide, family-friendly event. Toys, basket raffle items, cookies, cash donations, and volunteers at the event are needed. Santa sees close to 100 children and they each take home a toy. There will also be horse and wagon rides around town, basket raffle, cookies, pizza, crafts, Santa's elves, and singing around the tree at the lighting. Please contact Margie Granzow or any member to donate or volunteer. Margie's email address is

Friday, November 9, 2018

107 year old Ruthie Ripple passes away in Gasport

There aren't many centenarians on this Earth and we lost one last week as 107 year old Ruthie Ripple, formerly of Johnstown, PA, passed away while under care in Gasport. 107, think about that...she was born before the first World War!

MUMC Thanksgiving service

The Middleport Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service will be at the Middleport United Methodist Church (MUMC) on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2 pm. Participating in the Service will be member churches from the Middleport Area Clergy and Church Association including the MUMC, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the Fundamental Baptist Church, and Holy Trinity Parish – St. Stephen’s Church. Also participating will be the MUMC Bell Choir and the Middleport Community Choir. There will be a free will offering and collection taken of personal care items which will be distributed in the community. A simple reception will be held in the rear of the Sanctuary immediately following the Service. All are welcome to attend.

FMC's safety record

FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Solutions plant in Middleport recently celebrated three consecutive years as an accident and injury-free workplace without an OSHA recordable incident.

State Sen. Robert G. Ortt and the New York State Senate issued a proclamation recognizing this significant safety milestone and extending their sincere appreciation to FMC for its history of serving the community.

“As a core value of our operations, FMC is committed to safety in the workplace and this core value affects everything we do as a company,” said Dr. Roberta Kloda, FMC Middleport plant manager.

She said this safety achievement is the result of a work culture based on teamwork, strong management support and the commitment by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that all fellow employees go home safe.

“Our safety record is something we can all be proud of,” Kloda said.

With operations dating back more than a century, the FMC Middleport plant formulates and packages a number of key product lines to protect over 100 crops in more than 75 countries around the globe.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Roy-Hart remediation continues

The final phase (Phase 5) of the soil remediation at the Royalton-Hartland (Roy-Hart) School property in Middleport is scheduled to begin in November 2018. The remediation will be conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) at no cost to the Roy-Hart School District. Download the fact sheet here:

Standish-Jones raffle

Standish-Jones Building Supply
's 5th Annual Holiday Basket Raffle is officially on! Tickets are $5 a sheet to benefit Oishei Children’s Hospital. Winners will be drawn Saturday, December 1st. Need not be present to win.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bluegrass concert November 10th

Terry's Corners meat raffle

Roy-Hart: Early release this Friday

Roy-Hart superintendent Hank Stopinski's message about this Friday's early release...

As you may know, our schools have been working with 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 safety plans.

We have increased our safety and security at the entrances to the school and as you have experienced, you must sign in and register at our buildings. We are near completion of a secure entrance at the Elementary School that is modeled after the entrance at the Middle School. We thank you for your patience.

As part of our annual safety plan and required evacuation drills, we will be conducting an early release drill on Friday, November 9th. The Middle and High Schools will be released at 1:50 p.m. and Elementary School released at 2:45 p.m. I ask that families plan for the arrival of your students approximately 30 minutes early on Friday afternoon. We will also be testing our communication systems for students, families and staff.

Our school’s safety team, administration and staff continually look for 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.

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Meat raffle at TC fire hall: November 10

There's nothing but good times to be had at a meat raffle...and it supports an important service: Terry's Corners Fire Company. This Saturday at 6:30 PM

Fisgus is finalist in Oakfield-Alabama search

The Oakfield-Alabama Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE), has named three finalists in the search for the district’s next Superintendent.

Matt Lamb, president of the Oakfield- Alabama Central School District’s BOE, said he is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and is enthused about the potential the three finalists have to offer.

“Choosing the best superintendent for our district is the board’s main priority,” Lamb said. “The field of candidates was diverse, which made narrowing the field very difficult. We are confident that one of these individuals will be the best candidate for our school district and community.”

The three finalists are John C. Fisgus, Frank Bai-Rossi and Kathleen E. Affigne, Ph.D.

Fisgus is currently the principal of Royalton-Hartland Middle School, in the Royalton-Hartland Central School District (RHCSD), where he has served since 2008. His responsibilities as principal include supervising and hiring all instructional and support staff, developing and managing a building budget as well as assisting with the district budget development process. Fisgus created honor courses in all four academic core subjects within the middle school and is the facilitator of the district’s Professional Learning Community Team. Prior to that, he served as the assistant principal at Lake Shore Middle School. Fisgus began his career in education in 1998 as an eighth-grade math teacher at Depew Middle School in the Depew Union Free School District. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Fisgus earned a Master of Science in School Administration from Canisius College and holds a New York State School Administrator/Supervisor and School Administrator Certificate.

Final rounds of interviews with the three candidates are set for Nov. 14, 15 and 16 at the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District. Candidate meet and greet forums will be held from 4-4:30 p.m. in the Oakfield-Alabama High School Auditorium on the following dates:
  • Kathleen Affigne, Nov. 14
  • John C. Fisgus, Nov. 15
  • Frank Bai-Rossi, Nov. 16
The anticipated start date for the new superintendent is January.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Send us your news

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. In many cases, my daily Google search of "Gasport" is where I discover info about events and activities.

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 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

Election day chicken & biscuits

There will be an Election Day Chicken and Biscuit Dinner on Tuesday, November 6th from 4:30 to 7:00 pm or until sold out at Hartland United Methodist Church, 8017 Ridge Rd, Gasport. The dinner is prepared by Donna Eick. The meal includes chicken & biscuits, mashed potatoes, squash, applesauce, pie, and beverage for those dining in. Take out is available. Cost: $12, 12 and under: $7, under 3: Free. Presale recommended. Call 716-772-2376 leave a message and your call will be returned or see a member for tickets.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Always Christmas open house

Saturday is a busy day in Gasport

This Saturday, November 3rd, will be a busy day in Gasport. There are two big events taking place:

Covenant United Church of Christ on Main Street will be holding their annual bazaar and donation turkey dinner. The bazaar runs from 10:00 till 5:30. The turkey dinner runs from 3:30 until sold out (which is usually around 7:00). The Facebook event page is here:

The Always Christmas open house at Standish & Jones goes from 11:00 till 4:00. It features a visit from Santa, kids' crafts, cookies and cider, games and giveaways, and 20% off store-wide. The Facebook event page is:

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Speeding ticket rates in New York

According to the Rosenblum Law Firm, New York consistently ranks as one of the worst states to get a speeding ticket. They say there may be a way to avoid getting a speeding ticket in the first place. By parsing newly released 2017 data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Rosenblum Law Firm has analyzed the places one is most and least likely to get a speeding ticket in New York, which they released on Wednesday.

Where do our towns stand as compared to others across the state?

Royalton ranks 311th of 998 places in New York with 434 speeding tickets. Hartland is even lower with 193, good for 478th place.

You can see an interactive map and retrieve the source data at Rosenblum's website:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

7th annual Michelle's Memorial

The goal of Michelle's Memorial is to provide a scholarship at Royalton Hartland for graduating Seniors, encourage sports in our community as well as the remembrance of Michelle Bewley (Schuler) who, in 2006, passed away at the age of 29 in a car accident.

Although the exact requirements of the scholarship change year to year based on participation, the goal is still the same; reward a student that took part in music and sports, excelled academically and portrayed a whole lot of heart both on and off the field, just as Michelle did.

The 7th annual Michelle's Memorial 5k will take place on Saturday, November 17th at 9:00 AM at the fire hall in Middleport. Registration begins at 8:00 AM.

You can register here for $20:

You can also register the day of the event for $25.

For more information, the Michelle's Memorial Facebook page can be liked here:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Davey Todd's monster bucks

Here's a great article about Gasport hunter and Roy-Hart junior Davey Todd who, by age 16, has harvested two monster bucks the size of which most hunters wouldn't see over decades of hunting. The young man is an expert outdoorsman!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Trick or treating in Royalton

Royalton's Halloween trick or treat hours on October 31st are from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Video of Larry Sharpe's Gasport visit

New York State gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe and his running mate Andrew Hollister made a stop in Gasport today. Here's the video of their presentation and the subsequent Q&A:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Nerds Gone Wild

Tickets are on sale this Friday and Saturday at Durf's. Get them early. They WILL sell-out.

Tree closes Route 31

Yesterday, Route 31 near the Sunrise Cafe was blocked for quite a while as a tree fell across the street. Thank you to William Perry for the aerial view!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Chicken BBQ

Keyes secures NCCC scholarship

Five new Distinguished Student Scholarship recipients will be showcased at the annual NCCC Foundation Scholarship Gala on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

This award is the most prestigious scholarship offered by the NCCC Foundation to incoming freshman. It provides two years of tuition-free education to deserving students. The individuals were selected based on their academic excellence, service to the community, and loyalty to Niagara County.

Among the recipients is Roy-Hart's Madeline Keyes.

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