Thursday, December 31, 2009


I have gone ahead and created a fan page for Gasport on the ever-popular social networking site, Facebook. You can access it by scrolling to the bottom of the right hand tool bar on this website. On that page I will link to all the items that are posted here. You, too, can post your photos, videos, and stories/comments about our community on that page.


May you and your family have a very happy new year and a SAFE new year's eve.

For many people, the economy has made 2009 a very tough year. Here's to better times ahead in 2010 for those affected by the recession.


My goals for this website for 2009 went virtually unachieved. So, I will recycle them for 2010 and strive to achieve the following:

More interviews: I plan to have one interview a month regarding issues in the news, history, tourism, business, Roy-Hart and more

More photos: Most of the time it seems like this site is all text and no pictures. I plan to post more photos over the year so snowbirds and former residents have a little bit of their hometown to admire

More tourism articles: In hopes of attracting more visitors to our fair town, and to educate folks on what you can do here, I plan to have a series of "touristy" articles about Gasport. Stories along the lines of hiking Royalton Ravine Park, canoeing the Canal, hiking/skiing the towpath, restaurant/bar reviews, experiencing the haunted hayride at Beckers or sampling wines at Vizacarra Vineyards.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


What caused Gwendolyn Garcia to murder her boyfriend on Christmas morning is still unknown. But, as the Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports, it looks like a domestic dispute gone bad:

Monday, December 28, 2009


The Hartland Fire Company is hosting its annual New Years Eve party again this year from 6:00 until ?? at the Hartland Fire Hall. The party will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet, beer, mixers (bring your own hard liquor), and music by Tru Fate. The cost is $20/person or $30/couple. For tickets, call Tom at 870.9872.


With the year’s end coming up on us, it’s time to reflect and look back on what happened in Gasport in 2009. Here are some of the biggest stories of the year, in no particular order of importance or occurrence. To read the blog postings about these stories refer to the search function in the top left corner of this website.

Hartland Bible Church resurrects the old St. Mary’s facility

David Cain gets 55 years in jail

Royalton releases comprehensive plan

Becker Brewing Company opens

Legalized snowmobiling on the towpath rejected

The high number of break-ins and burglaries continue

Paul Bona leaves Royalton-Hartland

Kevin MacDonald selected as Roy-Hart’s new superintendent

Black bears come to town

EMT robs patient in Hartland

Long-time town clerk Carol Genet passes away

Lucille Britt passes away

New voting machines put to use

Plane makes emergency landing in field

Roy-Hart tackles sexting

Royalton highway superintendent raise is hotly contested

Construction begins on Gasport Elementary’s expansion project

Christmas morning murder in Hartland

Andy Drum saves Christmas

Meghan’s Fund is well-supported by the community

Rachel’s Challenge comes to Roy-Hart

Abdullah inducted into a horse hall of fame

Lou Roselli is inducted into Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame

Becker Farms introduces 100-Mile Radius meals

Sunday, December 27, 2009


For the past few years there has been a mitten tree located at the corner of Main and 31 in the hamlet. On this Christmas tree mittens are placed with the first name, age, and wish of a needy Gasport youth. Giving souls would take a mitten, find a gift for the kid and drop it off at Absolut Care or the Elementary School for delivery to the family.

This year, due to economic conditions associated with the recession, there were more mittens than in years past and many mittens that were left unaswered. With only four days remaining before the mid-December deadline, there were more than 100 mittens left on the tree!

Andrew Drum of Drum Oil, who you may also recognize from Zion Lutheran's choir and the Gasport volunteer fire department, saw this tragedy about to occur and did something about it. He gathered the mittens and rounded up some friends to help him shop for all of the gifts, courtesy of a donation from Drum Oil.

Mission accomplished: the gifts were purchased and delivered on time and now over 50 families who were looking at a stressful Christmas saw a little bit of happiness in their day, courtesy of Andy and Drum Oil.

If you see him about town, thank him for his efforts. It's guys like him -- and small family-owned businesses like Drum Oil -- who make you glad to live in Gasport...a place where people still care for one another and real heroes still exist.


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal features analysis and mug shots of the registered Level 1 and Level 2 sex offenders in Eastern Niagara County. If you'd rather not wait for the newspaper to publish names, you can always check out the online database that allows you to track the offenders living in our community.

Check it out here:

All you need to do is enter "14067" in the zip code query.


For those curious about the victim of the Christmas morning homicide, here's his obituary from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle...

Whitney, Randy R.

Gasport: Suddenly on Friday December 25, 2009, at age 38. Predeceased by his father George. Survived by his mother Linda; sisters, Linda (Craig) Battaglia, Lisa (Eric) Gustavson; brothers, Michael (Joanie) Whitney, Joshua Whitney and many nieces and nephews. Randy was a US Navy Veteran.

Family will receive friends Wednesday, December 30 from 6-8 PM at the New Comer Funeral Home, 2636 Ridgeway Ave., where a Memorial Service will be held at 8 PM. Private interment. Memorial contributions may be directed to the First Bible Baptist Church, (Celebrate Recovery Program), 990 Manitou Rd, Hilton, NY 14468.

To share a special memory please visit:

Saturday, December 26, 2009


A few weeks ago Gasport's Donna Eick was featured in a story in Business First, the Buffalo area's popular business weekly. The article discussed her history as a caterer and began as follows...

It all began with broccoli salad and a signature sauce.

That, along with roast turkey and dressing, was the appetizer that launched a business for Donna Eick 26 years ago and made her into what she calls a “creative foodie.”

Since then, her culinary magic with salads and homemade soups – none of which have written recipes, she claims – helped make her a catering legend in Niagara County where legions of fans agree: “I like Eick.”

“Neither my Italian grandmother or my mother ever wrote any recipes down. I go by taste. You can’t measure when you’re cooking in volume. You just have to know when it’s right,” Eick says.

She also can, she says, unlock the secrets of a recipe simply by tasting it. Like a musician who can listen to a song and play it perfectly without even knowing how to read music, Eick says she can sample a dish at a restaurant and then make it in her kitchen as good or better than the original.

You can read the rest of the article here, which features a look at her new restaurant in Lockport and offers an answer to the question, "will Donna ever write a cookbook?":


If you're not partied-out by now you have a chance to partake in even more partying tonight at the Becker Brewing Company at Becker Farms. From 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Joe Sears will be performing his original tunes while you sample the brewery's beers.

To sample some of Joe's music go to:


Friday, December 25, 2009


Despite our community exemplifying small town America, it is not free of the ills of society. The worst behaviors of society can and do appear in Gasport...even on the holidays.

It happened overnight, when a murder (a VERY rare occurrence in our community) occurred in the apartments at the site of the former Hartland Motel on Route 104 between Hartland and Quaker Roads. 38 year-old Randy Whitney was allegedly stabbed to death by his girlfriend, 31 year-old Gwendolyn Garcia.

She was arraigned in Hartland Town Court around 8:00 AM this morning (no bail was placed) after being arrested on one count of second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

More to follow as details become available.


The staff at Life & Times in Gasport, New York (well, it's just me) would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. Safe travels today and may Santa be good to you and your children. Amidst all the chaos and excitement of the day, make it a point to take some time to reflect on the reason for the season.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Today I added a handful of websites to the Gasport web directory. You can access the directory from the right hand tool bar of this website. Please let me know if I've missed anything.


Royalton Center Road was closed for quite a while last night following a one-car accident. A pick-up truck driven by 19-year-old Travis Walker of Barker hit a piece of ice, lost control and rolled over twice. Walker was ejected and flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC. The Buffalo News says he is in critical condition for severe head injuries.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Mercersburg Academy is an independent college-preparatory school in south-central Pennsylvania. One of its students is Gasport's own Bobby Burg who has made a name for himself there - and nationally - in wrestling circles. Here's the report from Mercersburg....

101 teams, 64 man brackets, seven of the top 10 ranked teams in the country. There is no hyperbole in the name 'Beast of the East,' because this is the toughest regular-season high-school wrestling tournament in the nation.

And for Mercersburg's Bobby Burg '11, it was an opportunity to prove that he belongs among the nation's best in the 152-pound weight class. Burg battled his way through the challenges of 'The Beast' to become the first Mercersburg wrestler to place in the prestigious tournament, defeating Kyle Dehaut of Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic, 13-4, to take seventh place. The consolation-round victory culminated two days of wrestling that encompassed seven matches for the uppermiddler from Gasport, New York.

Burg was one of three Mercersburg wreslers who qualified for the event, which involves applying to compete almost a year in advance.

Burg, who moved up two weight classes from the 2009 season, was the No. 9 seed at 152 pounds. He pinned Nick Papa of Penncrest in his first match, before falling 5-2 to eventual third-place finisher Ryan Krecker (Nazareth). Dropping to the consolation bracket, the Storm grappler recorded his second fall of the tournament, pinning Tadeo Gonzales (Henlopen), then downing Tyler Rill (Mount St. Joseph), 2-1, and Issah Meadow (Caesar Rodney), 7-2. A tough 2-0 loss to Kenny Boyles (Smyrna) put Burg in the seventh-place consolation final.

"Bobby's jumped up a couple of weights from last year and I think he's still making some adjustments," Mercersburg head coach Nate Jacklin says. "Placing at this tournament is a significant accomplishment that should give him momentum for the rest of the year."


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal looks at last night's zoning board of appeals hearing that was before a packed house at the town hall.

According to the article, Niagara Metals was met with significant resistance...

“To build on Main Street is ridiculous,” said Al Wroblewski of Royalton Road. “Don’t load (Route) 31 with junkyards. Put those operations out of sight.”

Don Perry of Red Creek asked, “What’s in it for the town?” and noted that the property is at the headwaters of Eighteenmile Creek. Perry feared contamination.

Robin Lake, who has a junkyard business in Albion, wanted to know where Niagara Metals would get the tons of scrap needed to make a profit. He said that the company would have to get into cars. “It’s going to be a junkyard before it’s done,” Lake said. “That’s my biggest fear.”

But, Niagara Metals did get some support such as...

Dominic Cileberto of Gasport defended the proposed project. “They’re thinking more outside the box. They’re more efficient, and competition has to be good.”

Jeff Brown is in favor of the proposal. “This area need business, more jobs,” he said. “I think it’s great that somebody wants to do something.”

There is plenty of vital information available in the news article, including what's next for the town and Niagara Metals. Check it out online at. It's a good read.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Tomorrow night the Zoning Board of Appeals will hear an application from Niagara Metals who would like to open a scrap metal yard at the old quarry office on Route 31 between the bus depot and Drum Oil.

This is fantastic news for the local business scene, an idea that I hope comes true. As you know, Gasport could always use jobs, tax revenues and economic development. I've done business before with Niagara Metals and have found them to be welll-run and attentive to their business partners and community. They would be a nice addition to our community.

Bill Wolcott wrote an article about the application in today's Lockport US&J. Check it out here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


If you're driving down Route 31 today and you wonder who's dumb enough to be playing football when it's below-freezing's just me and my friends.

Every December since 1992 I've hosted a football game that has become an over-hyped event to the participants. The guys always look forward to Mudbowl and getting to play football for what may be their only chance each year. They also value the bragging rights that come with victory and big plays.

In 2005 it became a flag football game because, quite frankly, we're getting too old for tackle. But, nonetheless, it remains exciting.

This year's Mudbowl -- the 18th installment -- takes place this Saturday, the 19th, at noon at the soccer field at the Gasport school.

For more information visit:


The Niagara County Health Department will be conducting a free H1N1 and seasonal flu immunization clinic for district residents. It will be held on Thursday, January 7, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

All district residents are eligible to receive the vaccine.

If you and/or members of your family would like to be immunized please call the school to schedule an appointment. Once you have scheduled an appointment, a packet including a consent form will be mailed to your home. The consent form must be completed and signed for each person wishing to receive the vaccine. The person must bring the completed form with them on January 7th.

To schedule an appointment, please call 735-2000 ext. 2013 on December 21, 22, 28 or 29 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. An appointment must be made no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29th.

For more information regarding the H1N1 and seasonal flu immunizations, please contact the Niagara County Health Department at 439-7430.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I saw this legal notice for National Grid that notes the main line heading through Royalton will be getting an upgrade in the future if everything is approved by the State...


Pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law of the State of New York, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid is providing public notice of its intent to file an Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the reconstruction of approximately 56 miles of a 115 kV single-circuit transmission line for circuit 111 (“Line 111”) that is located within an existing National Grid right-of-way from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport to the Mortimer Substation in the Town of Brighton along Niagara, Orleans, and Monroe Counties (the “Project”), as further described below. The Project is needed to replace facilities that have deteriorated and have reached the end of their service lives.


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT NIAGARA MOHAWK POWER CORPORATION, d/b/a NATIONAL GRID (“National Grid” or the “Applicant”), on or about December 30, 2009 will file an application in the above entitled matter with the Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law.

During the course of the proceedings, alternate routes not included in the application filing or affected by the proposed primary route may be offered without further notice by publication. In addition, the Public Service Commission may, without further notice by publication, approve a route for the line that traverses municipalities not presently affected by the proposed primary route. A copy of the application filed with the Public Service Commission will be served upon the chief executive officers of Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties; the Towns of Lockport, Royalton, Shelby, Barre, Clarendon, Sweden, Ogden, Gates, Chili, and Brighton; and the Cities of Lockport and Rochester (the municipalities traversed by the proposed primary route); as well as the chief executive officers of the County of Genesee; the Towns of Oakfield, Byron, Elba, Albion, Riga, Murray, Ridgeway, Pendleton, Bergen, Henrietta, and Alabama; and the Villages of Brockport, Holley, Spencerport, Middleport, Medina and Albion (the municipalities which are traversed by the proposed alternative routes discussed in Exhibit 3 of the Application and not by the proposed primary route) and will be available in the local public libraries in or closest to each community on or before the same date as the application is filed with the Public Service Commission.


National Grid is proposing a rebuild of the existing Lockport-Mortimer Line 111 in Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties. The Project is a rebuild of approximately 56 miles of single-circuit 115 kV transmission line from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport in the west to the Mortimer Substation in the Town of Brighton in the east. The Lockport-Mortimer Line 111 shares an electric transmission corridor with the double-circuit Lines 113/114 for the entire length. Lines 107, 108, and 112 also share the corridor beginning approximately 11 miles east of the Lockport Substation. The transmission right-of-way is generally 200 feet wide along most of the 56 miles with Line 111 typically centered within the right-of-way. The reconstruction will improve the electric system reliability and increase the efficiency of the electric power system in the state. National Grid holds all necessary property rights for the proposed transmission lines including fee interests, easements and licenses. The reconstruction is subject to the permitting requirements of Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, and National Grid must receive a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the Public Service Commission.


The Project will entail rebuilding Line 111 along the current centerline, entirely within the existing right-of-way. Replacement structures will be located in approximately the same locations as the existing structures, with some structures offset between 10 and 30 feet along the existing centerline. Line 111 is supported by 618 structures, 523 of which are the original 1906 three-legged “Aeromotor” or windmill style steel structures. 553 of the 618 existing structures will be replaced with either single wood pole structures with steel davit arms or steel pole (dead-end) structures. The remaining 65 existing wood and steel structures will be reused. Additionally, access roads will be improved, deteriorated culverts or other drainage devices will be replaced, and new erosion controls will be installed, where appropriate and as required along the right-of-way to support construction and continued maintenance of the facility. Several alternatives were analyzed resulting in the final proposal as described below. These alternatives are discussed in National Grid’s application.


The proposed route will be the same route that currently hosts Line 111. In general terms, the proposed route will exit northeast from the Lockport Substation in the City of Lockport and run in an easterly direction through the City of Lockport, the Towns of Lockport, Royalton, Shelby, Barre, Clarendon, Sweden, Ogden, Gates, and Chili, and the City of Rochester, for approximately 56 miles to the Mortimer substation in the Town of Brighton. The precise route is described in Exhibit 2 of the Applicant’s filing, which will be available for public inspection as described below.


National Grid expects to file an Article VII application with the Public Service Commission on or about December 30, 2009. Copies of the application will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618; the Byron-Bergen Public Library, 13 South Lake Avenue, P.O. Box 430, Bergen, NY 14416; the Chili Public Library, 3333 Chili Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624; the Community Free Library, 86 Public Square, Holley, NY 14470; the Corfu Free Library, 7 Maple Avenue, P.O. Box 419, Corfu, NY 14036; the Gates Public Library, 1605 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY 14624; the Gilliam-Grant Community Center, 6966 West Bergen Road, Bergen, NY 14416; the Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Greece, NY 14612; the Hamlin Public Library, 422 Hamlin-Clarkson T.L. Road, Hamlin, NY 14464; the Haxton Memorial Library, 3 North Pearly Street, Oakfield, NY 14125; the Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY 14623; the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, 620 West Avenue, Medina, NY 14103; the Lockport Public Library, 23 East Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094; the Mendon Public Library, 15 Monroe Street, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472; the Middleport Free Library, 9 Vernon Street, Middleport, NY 14105; the Newman Riga Library, 1 Village Park, Churchville, NY 14428; the Ogden Farmers Library, 267 Ogden Center Road, Spencerport, NY 14559; the Parma Public Library, 7 West Avenue, Hilton, NY 14468; the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia, NY 14020; the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604; the Rush Public Library, 5977 East Henrietta Road, Rush, NY 14543; the Scottsville Free Library, 29 Main Street, Scottsville, NY 14546; the Seymour Library, 161 East Avenue, Brockport, NY 14420; the Swan Library, 4 North Main Street, Albion, NY 14411; the Woodward Memorial Library, 7 Wolcott Street, LeRoy, NY 14482; and the Yates Community Library, 15 North Main Street, P.O. Box 485, Lyndonville, NY 14098. In addition, copies of the application will be available for public inspection at the Department of Public Service Offices in Albany (Office of Central Files, 14th Floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223).


For information or assistance concerning the application, interested persons may contact the following:

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling
State of New York Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350
Phone: 518-474-6530
Fax: 518-486-6081


Christopher K. Denny, P.E.
Project Manager
National Grid
300 Erie Boulevard West
Syracuse, New York 13202-4250

(800) 356-0050

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Tonawanda News features a report on Roy-Hart's AD, Brad Halgash, making a move to the Tonawanda school district.

Here are some snippets from that article...

The Tonawanda City School District has a new athletic coordinator for almost the same price as the one the dismissed earlier this month.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the school board abolished the director of health, physical education and athletics position currently occupied by Dawn Bak.

The district held off on replacing Bak immediately, shifting responsibilities to other administration staff while evaluating the future of the position. The athletic director job was one of many eyed by angry residents for the chopping block following the closing of Highland Elementary before the current school year. While the board did abolish the job Tuesday, it also created a new position for coordinator of athletics and physical education that Board President Lynn Casal said comes with nearly the same responsibilities.

While Casal wouldn’t discuss the specific circumstances of Bak’s resignation, she was confident that Bradly Halgash, the newly appointed athletic coordinator, was the right choice to “take the sports program in a new direction.”

Halgash is coming from the Royalton-Hartland Central School District, where he served as a teacher and full-time athletic director during his nine-year tenure. He will be making $58,250 in his first year with Tonawanda schools, approximately $6,750 less than Bak’s salary. Casal said the financial savings didn’t factor into the board’s decision.

Read the entire article here:


The Roy-Hart elementary school kids were the front page highlight of yesterday's Lockport US&J in a story that looked at their introduction to personal fitness:


The Buffalo News reports on the following situation in County government...

Niagara County has fired a Highway Department truck driver who was arrested last week on charges of stealing two snowplow blades and some bridge railings from the county Public Works garage and selling them for scrap.

Joel D. Allen, 35, of Johnson Creek Road, Hartland, was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony, and third-degree criminal trespass when he was arrested Thursday, sheriff’s Investigator Raymond Degan told The Buffalo News on Tuesday.

Read the whole story here:

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Monday night is Town Board night at the Royalton Town Hall.

The action begins at 7:15 with a public hearing on a local law for outdoor furnaces. These things have become very popular with the recession inducing frugality and oil/gas price volatility doing the same. If you plan to buy one in the next few years make it a point to attend.

Here's the law...;/content/CalendarEntries/View/1064

The town board meets immediately thereafter and the agenda can be found here:;/content/CalendarEntries/View/806

Thursday, December 10, 2009


WLVL reported the following (and very disturbing) news today...

A 25 year old Gasport man was charged yesterday with causing multiple injuries to a four month old child last month. David Stroup was arraigned in Town of Lockport court and is being held on $50,000 bail. Sheriff Jim Voutour says the injuries occurred while the child was left in Stroup's care. The arrest followed an investigation into a report of child abuse November 23 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where the chlld had beentaken for treatment. Stroup could get seven years in prison if he's found guilty.


This Saturday, December 12th, the Hartland United Methodist Church on Ridge Road will host "A Night in Bethlehem" from 4:00 to 6:00 where you can meet the people and experience the sights and sounds of the time of Jesus's birth.

Today's Lockport US&J features a story about the event...

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The Niagara section of today's Buffalo News features an interview with James Merrell of Merrell's Evergreen Acres.

It's a great conversation that begins with this introduction...

HARTLAND—Plenty of people are in the Christmas tree business these days, but veterans like James Merrell know there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Merrell’s Evergreen Acres on Wruck Road comprises 150 acres surrounding the family homestead, a cobblestone house dating from 1829 that merits its own roadside historical marker.

James, 50, took over the tree business from his father, Harry, who also was an ag teacher at Royalton-Hartland High School. But the competition has cut into the business so much that he has to augment farming with a 36- hour-a-week job as a machine mechanic at Perry’s Ice Cream in Akron to make ends meet.

Despite that, Merrell says it never crossed his mind to do anything else. “You don’t pick farming; farming picks you,” he laughed.

The farm also grows corn, but for Merrell, Christmas trees are a year-round project, with 8,000 trees in various stages of growth.

“There’s a lot of fatalities from the weather, a lot of deer busting them up. Before they’re tall enough to sell, you might have 50 percent that are good. A deer breaks one branch, you’ve got a hole in the tree, and it never grows back,” he explained.

And the evergreens are highly susceptible to drought—or overwetness. “I’ve had whole blocks of 1,000 trees die from the drought. It shocks them.”

To read the entertaining and informative interview go to the Buffalo News' website:

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The Roy-Hart Winter Concerts (formerly known as "Christmas Concerts") will take place on the following dates. All start times are 7:00 and all concerts will take place in the High School auditorium...

Monday the 14th: High School
Wednesday the 16th: Elementary School
Monday the 21st: Middle School grades 7 & 8
Tuesday the 22nd: Middle School grades 5 & 6


The Hartland Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring a used clothing drive. They are looking for clothing, shoes, sneakers, belts, purses, blankets, sheets, and drapes. You can drop them off at the shed at the fire hall on Ridge Road. Please keep donations clean and dry by placing them in plastic bags. These items will be delivered to needy families in the US and developing countries around the world.


For as long as one can remember, the speed limit in front of the Elementary School was 55 mph. That changed last year when it was dropped to 45 during school hours. There's a very good chance that it may change again as the Lockport Union Sun and Journal reported in November...

The Royalton-Hartland School District is asking the state transportation department to take a look at the school zone on Rochester Road in front of its elementary school.

Superintendent Kevin MacDonald said the district has sent a letter requesting the department to take a look at a portion of Route 31 in Gasport. In the letter are three areas of concern, including expanding the school zone, lowering the speed limit from the current 45 mph to 35 mph and adding a guardrail. The guardrail is requested to go along the north side, by the soccer fields, MacDonald said.

At previous meetings, Roy-Hart school board members have expressed concerns over the close proximity of the signs and a lack of guardrails, as well as talking about the need to reduce the speed limit. Currently, the zone has the posted speed limit on two signs, one facing in each direction.

To read the entire article visit the US&J's website at:


Yesterday's post featured a story from the University at Buffalo's newspaper about Ren LaForme taking control of the University's student magazine. He's well-equipped as a writer and editor to do so as evidenced by the very-well written articles and columns that can be found on his website:


Christmas at the Schoolhouse is this Sunday, December 6th, 11:00 – 3:00 at the schoolhouse at Carmen and Seaman Roads. Hosted by the Hartland Historical Society, dinner includes ham or beef, potatoes, carrots and apple crisp. Adults are $7, kids 10 and under are $4. There will be entertainment and raffles.


Niagara Wine Trail Event: Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th and again on Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th at Vizcarra Vineyards and the other wineries on the Trail. The most popular wine trail event of the year: $20 regular tasting tickets includes a wine tasting at each winery, a commemorative wine glass from your starting winery and a different collectable ornament at each winery. For more information visit

Friday, December 4, 2009


The following article from this week's Spectrum (UB's student newspaper) discusses the efforts of Gasport's Ren Laforme in relaunching the University's magazine...

Generation Magazine will be returning to its long-vacant and dust-filled shelves around campus next semester.

Ren LaForme, a second year senior psychology major and current senior managing editor for The Spectrum, was elected November 19 by Sub Board I, Inc. to fill the editor-in-chief position next semester.

LaForme, from Gasport, N.Y., has been with The Spectrum for two years and was inspired to run for the position so students would be more informed with campus news and issues.

“No one publication accurately advocated for students and distributing information for students,” LaForme said. “The Spectrum does a good job of distributing news for students and Visions does a good job talking about what SA is doing, but there is no publication pushing for students, students’ rights and things that are important to students. Generation is a good platform to do that from.”

LaForme said he plans to include detailed and in-depth features on issues that directly affect both graduate and undergraduate students.

“Our features stories will be about what matters to students and tackle things like textbook costs, UB2020, and big topics that I feel like we could really dive into,” LaForme said. “You’re [also] going to find that the layout is different and there is a lot more content in every issue.”

Reader favorites like the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” section will be returning as LaForme and another editor host student questions, giving one legitimate answer and one answer that doesn’t make sense, as the old magazine did.

However, LaForme said the personals will not be included and there is no immediate plan to feature the controversial and popular insults, love notes and call-outs.

“In the past, Generation has made some poor decisions in regards to the things they have published,” LaForme said. “The number one important thing to me is to make sure Generation is on the right path to the future as far as what’s ethical and what’s not.”

With the many new changes coming to Generation, LaForme is worried about student perceptions and recalled that the last time the magazine changed styles, readers did not take well to the transformation.

“Last time things switched around a little bit, people weren’t happy, but I’m not going to make the same mistakes,” LaForme said. “I’m going to make sure to give students what they want but in a way that doesn’t violate journalism ethics and standards.”

The first issue of the magazine will hit North and South Campuses, as well as locations yet to be determined around the city of Buffalo early next semester on January 12.

In addition to the bi-weekly publication, Generation will include multimedia content on a newly designed Web site.

Although LaForme has a distinct background in newspaper writing and editing, he says he is looking forward to new challenges and working for a magazine.

“I will miss The Spectrum. I’ll miss the hard work, long hours and people that are here. I really like this place; it has a great past and a great future,” LaForme said.

LaForme said his time at The Spectrum helped develop a distinctive set of leadership traits that will help bring Generation into the future, put a lasting impression on the magazine and jumpstart it for the future.

“I’ve learned enough at The Spectrum on how to lead groups of people and about ethics and good content to make sure that [Generation] is on the right path,” LaForme said.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Celebrate the lighting of the Gasport Lions Community Mitten Tree today at 10:00 at the corner of Route 31 and Main Street.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Last Wednesday an Orangeport Road resident reported that a deer slug pierced his swimming pool causing $2,800 of damage.


You can buy Christmas trees at the following locations in Gasport. As I encounter more in my travels I will post the information here.

Bucolo Greenhouse and Farm: Corner of Slayton Settlement and Orangeport Roads. Mon - Fri, Noon - 8:00. Weekends, 9 - 4

Merrell's Evergreen Acres: 3573 Wruck Road. Fri., Sat., Sun. 9 - 5

Rickard's Nursery: Checkered Tavern Road, between Wheeler and Elicott


The middle school is looking for presenters for its upcoming career fair, which will be held 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM on January 26th. All occupations are welcome to present. If interested, call Diana O'Rourke at 716.735.2000 (x 2083) by December 4th.


I recently got my hands on a brochure for an operation in Gasport that might interest local hunters.

The company calls itself "Bone Heads" and they prepare European mount skulls, whereby you have the prepared skull of a game animal fully cleaned, fur-and-flesh-free.

This fellow uses beetles to fully clean the skulls and then they are whitened and sprayed with preservatives.

For more information, call them at 716.471.0345.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Tom Britt, the Gasport resident who raises more than 1,200 turkeys for Thanksgiving was featured in Sunday's Buffalo News. After you are done dining on avian fare today, take the time to read his informative and entertaining interview on the Buffalo News' website at

Here are some snippets from the article...

These days are busy ones for turkey farmer Thomas Britt, whose 34-acre Gasport farm is home to 1,200 turkeys. Britt, 45, works hard to make a living for his family — both on his farm and as a machine repairman at General Motors in Lockport. Growing up on a cattle farm, Britt appreciates the outdoors and believes strongly in the American agrarian tradition he lives to preserve.

PeopleTalk: What's the average life span of a turkey?

Thomas Britt: On this farm, 20 weeks. A friend of mine has had one for five years. It's a pet. Turkeys aren't mean, but they're not overly friendly. They don't run away from you when you walk in the pen.

PT: Describe your turkeys.

TB: They're Nicholas broad-breasted white turkeys, and range 20 weeks of age, 16 weeks and 12 weeks. They're 100 percent grain-fed with no hormones or antibiotics.

PT: Is raising turkeys hard work?

TB: Every day, it's a couple hours. You have to bed them down, take care of them, walk through and make sure everybody's OK. When the poults are young, you have them under big gas brooders for three weeks. It needs to be 95 degrees. That's why a lot of your poultry is raised down south.


Michael D. Coe, 36, of Branch Street, Lockport, was sentenced Tuesday to one to four years in prison for burglarizing a house on East Avenue in Gasport on July 17, 2008.

Coe, who had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary, was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.


Wayne Forrest, the cubmaster of Pack 18, sends along this note to the community...

Troop and Pack 18 would like to thank the residents of Gasport for their generosity during Novembers Scouting for Food Drive. The Scouts spent one Saturday distributing Scouting for Food tags in the hamlet of Gasport and the next Saturday collecting the food donations. Not only was the event a fun service project for the boys but it turned out to be great exercise too. After collecting nearly 100 bags of food they delivered them to the community food pantry at Zion Lutheran Church. The boys stacked all the food on the alter so it could be blessed at an upcoming Church service. Reverend Klinzing was there to tell the boys about food pantry and the people it served.

Gasport Troop and Pack 18 is part of the Towpath District of the Iroquois Trail Council. They are both sponsored by Covenant United Church of Christ. The Pack (for boys in first grade to fifth) meets most Monday evenings at Covenant from 7-8 PM and the Troop (for boys 11-18) meets most Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Deer season has been open for a few weeks now with archery hunters out and about. But, they are a minority.

The day that most hunters consider the real Opening Day --- the first day of shotgun season for deer --- is this Saturday. So, the farm lanes and roadsides of Gasport will be filled with parked vehicles all weekend long as hunters are out in the fields and woods attempting to fill their freezers.

The shotgun season ends on December 13th.

For info about deer hunting in NY go here:

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The Gasport Lions club is hosting an all-you-can eat spaghetti dinner on Saturday the 21st from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Gasport Fire Hall. Cost is $7/adult, $5 for 6-to-11 year olds. Kids 5 and under can eat for free. The Lions use the proceeds to fund their various community projects.


The annual Christmas Cupboard will take place on Friday, November 20 from 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM and on Saturday, November 21 from 9:00 to 6:00. This craft show will be held at the Hartland Bible Church in the hamlet (the facility once known as St. Mary's). Cash or checks credit cards.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Two of Gasport's best citizens celebrate milestone birthdays today. Eunice Hernberger and Gerry Reynolds are key members of the Royalton Historical Society. Eunice turns 95 and Gerry turns 98! If you see these lovely ladies today, wish them a happy birthday!


The Roy-Hart school board meets tonight at 7:00 PM. Read the agenda here:


There will be coffee and conversation with middle school principal Mr. Fisgus today at 9:15 AM or 5:30 PM. Contact his office for more information.


The Roy-Hart class of 2010 is hosting a basketball game pitting Roy-Hart faculty against Sabres alumni. It will be held Tuesday, November 17th at 7:00 PM in the high school.

Tickets are $5 presale or $7 at the door. Proceeds benefit the class of 2010.


The University at Buffalo reports this news about a student from Gasport...

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Three University at Buffalo students were awarded Fulbright student scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year and are abroad studying and contributing to the health and education systems of other countries.

Meghana Gadgil, Katherine Cumberland and Catherine Dunning are among the more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will study, teach or research abroad as Fulbright scholars this academic year.

Cumberland, of Gasport, N.Y., is working as an English teaching assistant in the Kaohsiung public elementary schools and studying Mandarin in Taiwan. A 2009 graduate of UB with a degree in linguistics, she is working with low-income students in grades 3-6, teaching English and American culture alongside a Taiwanese co-teacher.

"I believe that great teachers are also eager learners," she said. "This experience is an incredible opportunity to engage the Taiwanese culture, as well as to hone my English-teaching skills. My chosen career is English teaching, so this year of experience will be invaluable."

For students thinking about research, shaping international relations and cultivating change or cultural exchange, a Fulbright grant allows them the opportunity to accomplish their goals.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program is the nation's flagship international education exchange program. In the past 63 years, the program has given opportunities to nearly 300,000 people to study, teach and research across the globe, and experience varying political, economic, educational and cultural institutions. The Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education. For more information about the program or the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit their Web site at


WGRZ TV 2 reports on yesterday's rollover in Gasport...

A Corfu man is hospitalized, after he was ejected from his vehicle on Wednesday morning.
Officials in Niagara County say they responded to a rollover accident in the hamlet of Gasport around 6:45 Wednesday morning.

According to the Niagara County Sheriff, 66-year-old Gary Gaiser of Corfu was driving west on Ridge Road when he drove off the shoulder, hitting two utility poles before striking a rock garden in the yard of a nearby residence.

Gaiser was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken to ECMC by Mercy Flight. His condition is unknown.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Terry's Corners Fire Department will be having a turkey party fundraiser this Sunday, November 15th from 12:00 to 5:00 at the hall on Route 77.

Admission is free (as are the snacks) and beer & soda will be available. They will be raffling turkeys, hams, prime ribs, and more.

The Buffalo Bills game and Nascar will be televised throughout the raffle!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


In yesterday's newspapers both the Buffalo News and the Lockport Union Sun & Journal reported that the school district has selected its contractors for the first phase of its (our) $8 million expansion.

The first phase -- at a cost of $4.3 million -- constitutes the addition of new classrooms to the Elementary School.

Construction will begin in 3 weeks and the bidders who were selected are:

General contracting: Javen Construction Co. of Penfield
Electrical: Frey Electric Construction Co. of Tonawanda
HVAC: Parise Mechanical of Tonawanda
Plumbing: L & D Plumbing & Heating of Buffalo

To read the US&J report go here:

To read the Buffalo News report go here:

Monday, November 9, 2009


The editorial board at the Lockport Union Sun and Journal gave kudos to the Roy-Hart district in this editorial that ran in Friday's paper...

This past week, we featured a front page story on sexting, which is when someone combines a cell phone text with a sexually explicit message or photo.It’s a trend that is making its way to local schools. In some cases it’s already there, whether parents realize it or not.

Realizing it’s happening in the schools, or with local youths in general, is one thing, dealing with it and proactively combating it is another. After our reporter called around to every school district we cover, we found just Royalton-Hartland was willing to speak out about how they are dealing with the issues. Kudos to Roy-Hart for being so forthcoming and proactive.

Suspensions can result if a student or students are found sexting, but really, the Roy-Hart school district, in cooperation with the sheriff’s department, wants to enlighten students on the right and wrong way to use any technology, including cell phones.

If other school districts are not addressing this, we have to ask why. If it’s just a matter of pretending it’s not there, those districts are in deep trouble.

As for parents, they should look to the district to help facilitate discussion on what’s right and wrong with cell phones, e-mail, Internet and more. But it doesn’t stop with the schools. Parents need to make a real choice on whether their children even need a cell phone and are mature enough to use a cell phone.

Look, we all know kids will be kids — heck, some adults still act like kids. But technology moves so fast and in a way and with methods that some parents couldn’t have even conceived when they were in school. But with technology comes good, helpful advancements and then you get the ugly reality of technology with things like sexting.

Embrace technology, but be mindful that not all technology will be used for good. Education is always the way to go with any advancements.



Royalton's town council meets tonight at 7:30 at the town hall. Here's the agenda:

1. Open Meeting
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented
4. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only
5. Communications / Petitions
6. New Business

􀂾 Resolution to authorize the unpaid water, sewer, refuse and town charges to be added to the 2010 Real Property Taxes in the following amounts:
Total Unpaid Water $71,152.50
Total Unpaid Sewer $ 5,671.67
Total Unpaid Refuse -0-
Total Town Charges -0-
Grand Total $76,824.17

􀂾 Resolution to make the following line item transfers from the Drainage Account:
-$6,000.00 FROM SD8540.1 - Drainage, Personal Services Line
+$1,710.49 TO SD8540.2 - Drainage, Equipment Line
+$4,289.51 TO SD8540.4 - Drainage, Contractual Line

􀂾 Resolution stating that the Town of Royalton Town Board members have performed an audit on the 2009 Third Quarter Court Records for the two (2) Town of Royalton Justice Courts.

􀂾 Resolution to set the date for the bid opening for the State Street Grinder Pump Station Project for November 20, 2009 at 11:00 AM.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize the advertisement for bids to replace the roof on the salt shed.

􀂾 Resolution to set the Public Hearing date for the Town of Royalton 2010 Budget on Monday, November 16, 2009 at
7:30 PM

􀂾 Resolution for Permission to pay the bills.

7. Unfinished Business

8. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community

9. Adjournment - Motion to adjourn

Friday, November 6, 2009


Yesterday's Lockport Union Sun and Journal offered a interesting story about the recount chaos following the close of the polls Tuesday night in Royalton.

Here's a snippet from that story:

It was a reversal of fortunes, Royalton-style.

Confusion reigned in the hotly-contested race for superintendent of highways after the polls closed Tuesday.

An error was made somewhere along the way, and it was reported that Carson Kelley beat incumbent Terry W. Nieman.Nieman actually won 901-705.

Poll watchers discovered the mistake was made in District 6, the Terry’s Corners Fire Hall, but not before radio stations reported Kelley won. It was inspector error, according to Scott Kiedrowski Niagara County Republican Commissioner.

Scott Wymczak, secretary of the town Republican Committee, pinpointed the mistake happened in District 6 after he served as a poll-watcher in Wolcottsville. Nieman and Kelley had poll watchers in each of the six districts.

“We were surprised when we heard news report that Terry lost,” Wymczak said.

“I was kookin’,” said Donna Nieman, the superintendent’s wife and chairman of the Republican Committee. “We thought we won, and didn’t win. Imagine when we saw that on the computer!... I don’t know how that happened. Inspectors call in numbers, and the little boxes are hard to read. There can be human error.”

GOP poll-watcher Jennifer Bieber and her daughter were at Terry’s Corners and correctly reported 139 votes for Nieman and 133 for Kelley. During a huddle at the Nieman home, Wymczak went on the computer and found that the original Board of Elections report gave Nieman only 18 votes.

“Where the snafu happened, I’m not sure,” Wymczak said.

Donna Nieman tried to called the Board of Elections and left messages, but by that time the office had closed. Kiedrowski learned of the mistake, went back to the office, opened suitcases and made the correction.

“You’ve got to commend Board of Elections for their fast results. It didn’t take five minutes to make the correction,” Wymczak said. “The computer read-off slip was right. It was a human error.”

The article is a good read the rest of the way, defining just what a "poll watcher" is and discussing the role of the electronic machines in this situation. Check it out at:


Roy-Hart was featured on the front page of the Lockport Union Sun and Journal earlier this week in an article that looked at how the school deals with sexting (when kids exchange provocative photos of themselves or pass dirty notes via cell phone). The school is teaming with the Sheriff's Department to launch a program called iSafe.

The article can be read here:


If your local community organization or cause is looking for a door or raffle prize to give away at a fundraising event, please feel free to contact me.

Every year Confer Plastics gives away many of our plastic patio sets (table & two stools) to such events. Online stores such as Home Depot retail them for $159.

If you have a need for one of these send an e-mail to me at


Gasport's most popular annual dinner takes places this Saturday, November 7th. The Covenant Church on Main Street is hosting its annual donation dinner. Pay as much as you'd like for turkey and all the's the church's way of funding its operations. The dinner runs from 3:30 to 7:00. Takeout is available. The meal will be prepared by churchfolk and served by Boy Scout Troop 18.

Prior to the dinner, there will be a bazaar upstairs in the church beginning at 10:00 AM.


There will be a ham and turkey party this Saturday, November 7th starting at 7:00 PM at the Hartland Fire Hall on Ridge Road in Gasport. There will be raffles and pull tabs as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I went to bed last night thinking Carson Kelley was the new highway supervisor for the town of Royalton. Just after 10:00 PM the elections coverage team at WLVL called the election in favor of Kelley by a margin of 46 votes.

Shades of "Dewey defeats Truman"!! I awoke to the confusing news that Terry Nieman really won!

The Lockport US&J reports on this confusion...

ROYALTON — Terry W. Nieman retained his position of superintendent of highways on Tuesday with an unofficial victory over Carson J. Kelley in a hotly contested race that initially reported the challenger as a winner.The final tab was Nieman with 901 votes and Kelley with 705, out of a total of 1,606 votes cast.

Nieman didn’t believe the early report that Kelley won the election for the two-year term. “I called the board of elections and told them and knew the results were not correct and asked them to look into it. They confirmed what we were telling them and it was corrected.”

According to Nieman, the mistake was made in District 6: Terry’s Corners reported the wrong numbers.

You can read the rest of the article here:

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Gasport residents will get to use the newfangled electronic voting systems (card readers) in this Tuesday's election. Royalton and Hartland were selected to be Niagara County's guinea pigs for this due to, one, our low population and, two, the relative tameness of our ballots this year.

How tame are the ballots?

Hartland features uncontested races for town board and town justice.

In Royalton, only one seat is contested of 8 possible, the battle between Caron Kelley and Terry Nieman for highway supervisor.

In regard to the county legislature, Mike Hill is running unopposed.

The biggest thing that we have to look forward to at the County level is voting "yea" or "nay" on a ballot item: The downsizing of County government by the elimination of 4 legislators beginning in 2012. Details about this initiative can be found on the front page of today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal and the Niagara Weekend section of the Buffalo News.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Boy Scout Troop 18's annual chowder sale will take place tomorrow, Saturday the 31st, from 9:00 AM until sold out at the Covenant Church on Main Street. Cost is $6/quart, $16/gallon.


As reported by the Lockport US&J last week...

In other district news, Roy-Hart will once again have a sports boosters club. The new club was introduced to the public Thursday night by member Rick DeWaters. The club will be made up of community members and parents who want to provide additional financial support for the district’s athletic program through fundraising. DeWaters said the club is looking for members, and information can be found on the district’s Web site at

The club is planning to have monthly meetings, but the group is in its formative stage, DeWaters said.

The new boosters club will be able to help all Roy-Hart sports programs continue, DeWaters said. Sports provide a number of benefits for students, he added.

“There’s so much to be gained by that participation, it’s so much more than making a basket or scoring a touchdown,” DeWaters said. “So many of life’s lessons can be learned there. Without that experience, I think we are doing a large disservice to kids.”


Unlike other municipalities, the towns of Hartland and Royalton do not have set Halloween hours.


The minutes from the town of Royalton's October council meeting are available online at:;/content/Minutes/View/112

Friday, October 23, 2009


There will be a craft show at the Gasport fire hall this Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.


There are so many political signs in Gasport you'd think it was a congressional/state election year. It looks like a political war zone. The weird thing is....all these signs are for one race, that of highway superintendent.

The Lockport US&J recently looked at the battle between Terry Nieman and Carson Kelley. Read the article at:


Governor Paterson's move to cut costs in our state - which is facing a financial crisis - has been well-documented in the press. One of his plans is to cut state aid to local schools.

What would that mean to Roy-Hart?

A loss of $451,135


I hate feeding the media/hysteria monster and its swine flue scare, but people want to know about it. So...

Today's Lockport US&J looks at local school districts and how they are handling H1N1. Here's what the article reported about Roy-Hart:

Royalton-Hartland Superintendent Kevin MacDonald said there haven’t been any confirmed H1N1 cases in Roy-Hart schools. But the seasonal flu has been leaving its mark with students, as there has been an increase in absenteeism.

“This is the first week we’ve seen it,” MacDonald said. “But we haven’t seen it in staff.”

To read about other schools, go here:


Janet Bittner from Marjim Manor sent me the following message about this weekend's wine trail event...

This weekend's Niagara Wine Trail event has Designated Driver tickets. They're only $15, and it gives those who aren't drinking a chance to enter in the drawing after they solve the murder mystery.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Becker Farms is busy this time of year. It will be even busier this weekend with a wine trail event taking place. Here's what the Niagara Wine Trail reports...

Celebrate Halloween with a murder mystery! Come as yourself or in costume! Our most popular event is back again - Collect the clues at each winery on the trail to solve the murder mystery. Submit your guess at your last winery. Correct guesses will be entered in a drawing to win great wine prizes. You need not visit each winery to submit your guess. Tickets are good for both days and will be available at the door but advance ticket purchase is recommended since this tends to be a VERY busy event. Each $20 regular tasting ticket includes a wine tasting at each winery, a commemorative wine glass from your starting winery and an information packet to get you started on solving the crime. . . . There is never a charge for those who do not wish to participate in the event and wine tasting, but if your designated driver would like to join in on the mystery we have special DD tickets that include everything as a regular ticket, except the wine tasting, on sale for $15. Murder Mystery story and list of characters now up! Each winery on the trail will be participating except for Victorianbourg Wine Estate and Black Willow Winery.


In recent months car burglaries have become commonplace in the village. Now, it's moved to the outskirts. Yesterday it was reported on WLVL that 2 vehicles were broken into in the residential area atop Cottage Road with GPS systems being stolen.

Lock your vehicles!


From yesterday's police reports in the US&J...

Paul Guzock of Hartland was charged with harassment on Sunday after reportedly threatening a Drum Road man. The victim told police he was picking up some farm equipment on Rose Road when Guzock began to be verbally abusive toward him saying, “I’m gonna come up to the street and shoot you.” A police report said the victim and the suspect have had an ongoing problem.



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Royalton, New York, will hold a public hearing on October 26, 2009, at 7:30pm at the Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Road, Middleport, NY 14105, on an application by: Alex Souter, 8400 Park Avenue, Gasport, NY 14067, for a Temporary Conditional Use Permit Application to operate a vehicle repair shop within existing detached garage; Joya S. Burgio, 4232 Freeman Road, Middleport, NY 14105, on a application for an Area Variance to construct a home on a lot having 207 feet of depth which is less than the 300 feet required by the Town of Royalton Zoning Ordinance.

The applications for this Temporary Conditional Use Permit and this Area Variance are open to inspection at the office of the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Royalton, New York. Persons wishing to appear at the hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representation.

PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that the environmental significance of the proposed Area Variance Application and Temporary Conditional Use Permit will be reviewed by said Board incident to said hearing.

Communications in writing in relation thereto may be filed with the Board, or at such hearing.

Richard Hake, Chairman,Royalton Zoning Board of Appeals

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The Hartland Conservation Club is having a chicken chowder and bake sale on Sunday, October 18th from 11:00 AM until "gone" at their headquarters on Orangeport Road. Chowder is $13/gallon and please bring your own container.


The Home & Garden Gift Shop at 8443 Slayton Settlement Road has an open house today (Sunday, October 11th) from 11:00 to 5:00. Doughnuts and cider will be served while you shop for candles, gifts, teas, decorations and more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


To see photos of the beech tree disease mentioned in the last post, check out this post from May of 2008...


My weekly column for the Greater Niagara Newspapers strays from government topics this week and discusses the ongoing and upcoming demise of some of the most important trees of our local forests...

By Bob Confer

Older readers of this column will remember the once abundant American chestnut. This magnificent tree dominated the Eastern landscape with quick-growing specimens that quickly and routinely exceeded reach 100 feet in height. Once World War II ended the chestnut became a thing of the past. By then, more than 3 billion of the trees (25 percent of the Appalachian forest) had succumbed to a blight inadvertently brought to North America from Asia. Now, the tree is extremely rare, only a select few with hardy genes can be found in areas off the beaten path. Those chestnuts almost never reach 50 feet in height and are always short-lived.

Similarly, baby boomers and some of their very oldest offspring will remember how the impressive American elm used to dot the countryside and line city streets. It was a long-lived tree (it could healthily exceed 150 years of age) with thick trunks and wide canopies. Following the demise of the chestnut it, too, had an invasive agent attack it. Dutch Elm Disease, a fungal infection spread by an Asian beetle, ravaged the elm population over the second half of the twentieth century. It didn’t fully wipe out the elms as it did with the chestnuts but it left behind a significantly-smaller population of elms that could reach only a fraction of the age and size that they once did. For all intents and purposes, the elm is basically dead as we knew it.

A lot of folks look back with fondness on chestnuts and elms. Whether someone was a man of the earth who farmed or hunted alongside these once-great trees or was a child who spent many a summer hour climbing or swinging from one of them, they gave us many great memories and also some great economic benefit: The chestnut was one of the best hardwoods for furniture and home construction and the wood of the elm had fantastic strength.

The devastation of our woodlots and forests at the hands of foreign invaders is almost never-ending. It seems that once one species of tree sees its demise another begins to face its greatest threat. Now is no different. Two types of trees which are very abundant on the Niagara Frontier – ashes and beeches – will disappear very soon.

As it stands now, the ash remains unmolested in our area except for the sudden appearance of some beetles in the southwest corner of our state earlier this year. But, that’s not the case in the upper-Midwest. There, 40 million trees have already died at the jaws of the emerald ash borer, another Asian pest that first appeared in the US in 2002. These beetles bore through inner bark of ashes, essentially girdling and ultimately killing the trees. Nearly 8 billion ash trees are at risk of being exterminated. Not only will this have a detrimental impact on our environment, but it will also harm our economy: $25 billion of ash is harvested annually in the United States. There is no known way to control the borer. Its eastward movement can only be slowed down by firewood and timber quarantines (as we’ve seen in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties). It’s pretty much guaranteed that the beetles will demolish our forests. It’s that unstoppable of a pest.

One pestilence that’s well under way is that faced by our beeches. Everyone is familiar with these trees, they of the smooth grey/silver bark (a perfect target for carvings of initials and love), the spiky nuts, and the dead leaves that stay on the tree all winter long. They have fallen victim to beech bark disease, a two-stage ailment where a small insect known as a scale infiltrates the bark and is then followed by a deadly fungus. The bark cracks and falls off and then the malnourished tree topples over. This disease has really put a stranglehold on the area since the turn of the century. Take a look at any woodlot or town park in Niagara or Orleans County. If they are anything like our family farm in Gasport every beech tree is dead or showing symptoms of infection. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago they were healthy and vibrant.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to save the ashes and beeches. They will go the way of the chestnuts and elms, whether it’s now or 5 years down the road. In the meantime, get out in the woods and appreciate their beauty while you can. Take some pictures or harvest the timber before it’s too late to do either. The trees are dying and they will become memories of the past, further changing the look, economic viability and natural balance of the Niagara Frontier.


The minutes from Royalton's September town board meeting are available online. Check them out at:;/content/Minutes/View/109

Monday, October 5, 2009


Middle School Principal Fisgus is hosting a get-together with any parent interested in information about activities/practices happening at the Middle School. The meeting will take place this Friday, October 9th at 9:15 AM. Light refreshments will be served and building tours will be given if interested. All are welcome!


This week is Homecoming Week at Roy-Hart. As was the case in the past, there are clothing themes for every day of this week. Monday is tie-dye day, Tuesday is class color day, Wednesday is college/twin day, Thursday is dress-up day, and Friday is purple & white day.

Friday is the big homecoming event with a parade at 4:00 and the game against Wilson at 7:30. There will also be a chicken BBQ from 3:30 to 7:00 at the high school cafeteria. $9 will get you 1/2 a chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, roll, salad and a dessert.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Many of you are familiar with Don Perry, he of Becker Farms' fame and a frequent caller to WLVL. He was the centerpiece of a Business First article in its most recent edition. The story focused on people who represent themselves in court...something Don has done. Here are some snippets from the story...

Donald Perry has been embroiled for more than seven years in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

That could make for some hefty legal bills – except Perry, an 82-year-old retired materials engineer, represents himself.

Perry is a “pro se” litigant – someone who serves as his own lawyer.

A Gasport resident, Perry’s daughter and son-in-law own Becker Farms. He shares a home with them at the same address as the fruit and vegetable farm. He was charged with retaliation stemming from his decision to report a group of migrant workers he contended were in the United States illegally on expired work visas. The workers had filed a complaint charging Becker Farms with violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

After appearing in court to answer the charges without an attorney, Perry was assigned a public defender, whom he promptly fired. Despite facing off against what he says were as many as nine different attorneys over the course of his civil suit, Perry remained determined to defend himself and forgo traditional counsel.

“I was innocent. I didn’t do anything wrong. Why should I pay for a lawyer to defend myself when I wasn’t guilty?” he said. “The other thing I knew was that this was a phony case – these kinds of cases never go to trial.”

As for Perry, the civil case against him has been resolved.

He received a letter from the court dated Sept. 8, he said, notifying him that while he was found guilty of retaliation against the plaintiffs, since the men did not wish to pursue monetary damages, there was no need for a trial, and the case was closed.

The rest of the article, which features more information about Don's adventures and others who have represented themselves in court, can be read in Business First.


Jennifer Allis, a local wedding and special events photographer, happened to see the sheriff's helicopter when it was out and about in Gasport recently for the department's annual marijuana hunt. She took this great picture which shows just how close to the ground the craft goes while on its search. For more of her work check out:

Friday, September 25, 2009


This Sunday, September 27th from 11:00 to 6:00 is Becker Brewing's 1st annual Oktoberfest celebration. This one day event includes live music by The Schnicklefritzers as well as delicious German cuisine and Becker Brewing Company's very own Franks Oktoberfest. 4 other brews will be available. For more information visit:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Some kids must have been scared by the drug-sniffing helicopters last night and thought their stash would be gone today. So, overnight, they decided to grab it.

Here's the story as reported by WLVL's newsguy John Raymond...

Two Middleport men will likely be facing drug charges after Sheriff's deputies caught them after they apparently harvested a crop of marijuana around 1am today in a field behind the Yellow Goose Market onRochester Road.

Twenty-one year old Andrew Scottof 5066 Graham Road....and 27 year old Nicholas Dellario of 4 State Street aroused the suspicions of deputies when they saw a car parked on the Southside of the store. A pair of scissors were allegedly found in Dellario's back jeans pocket and the pot in a large bag stuffed in the front of his hoodie. He was arrested for trespassing and aggravated unlicensed operation. Andrew was charged with trespassing.

Deputies also say they found a pen stem containing a white powdery substance in the car.

The two were taken to the Sheriff's department for questioning and then to the Jail where bail was set at $250 for Dellario and $100 for Andrew. Additional charges are expected to be filed after the suspected drugs aretested at the County Lab. The two are due in Royalton Town Court at 4:30 today.


Terry's Corners Fire Department will be having its annual gun raffle on November 8th. Tickets are $20 each and are on sale now. To buy one, see any Terry's Corners member.

Monday, September 21, 2009


On Monday evening Gasport residents on the north side of the canal got to see a Border Patrol helicopter repeatedly patrolling the area farms in search of marijuana.

They found some.

The helicopter zeroed in on a crop of weed on Slayton Settlement Road. Border Patrol ground forces were dispatched to the scene and they dug up and removed the plants.


TV Channel 2's report on the incident...

The Niagara County Sheriff's Department says the incident occurred around 3:30 Sunday afternoon when an "ultra light" aircraft known as an "air bike" made an emergency landing after taking off from Royalton Airport.

Shortly after takeoff the pilot, Steven Beleveau, 54, says he had difficulty gaining altitude and witnesses report that the engine apparently cut out.

Beleveau made a landing in a cornfield on the east side of Gasport Rd south of Mountain Rd.

He also quickly made contact with Niagara County authorities to let responders know that he was uninjured and that he was the only occupant of the plane.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


A small plane flying out of the Royalton Airport made an emergency landing in Gasport today, shortly after take-off during the 3:00 hour. After the motor conked out, the pilot landed the craft in an cornfield between Mountain and Dale Roads. Initial reports indicate he was uninjured.

More to follow.


The Buffalo News has in its Sunday edition a great, lengthy story profiling the long supervisory career of Hartland's Bill Annable. It's a good read. Check it out online at:


Today's Buffalo News reports on yesterday's crime...

Niagara County sheriff’s deputies investigated two car break-ins early Saturday.

A global positioning system and iPod charger valued at $300 were stolen from car parked in front of a Central Avenue home.

A laptop computer, printer, global positioning system and credit cards were stolen from the unlocked car of a Church Street resident. The loss was placed at $3,400.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The style of larceny is changing in the community. The home/garage break-ins in Gasport are finally petering out (after many months of misery), but that doesn't mean crime is down. The new way that criminals have been upsetting the peace of our community is via burglary from cars. Their have been numerous car "break-ins" over the past few months (most in the hamlet itself) and there was another one that I heard reported this morning on the police scanner. So, even though Gasport is mostly a peaceful area, please do yourself a favor and lock your car doors at night or when you leave home.

Friday, September 18, 2009


The names and salaries of more than 179,000 people who worked for New York's county, city, town and village governments in 2008-09 were posted today in a searchable database at SeeThroughNY, the transparency website sponsored by the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for New York State Policy:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I need your help in catching a thief.

If you know of someone who recently - and questionably - got their hands on a Moultrie wildlife/game camera that looks like this one, please let me know.

My camera was set up in the woods on our farm on Slayton Settlement Road, hoping to catch a photo of a bobcat, coyote, or bear. I just discovered tonight that someone had stolen it sometime in the past couple of weeks.


Becker Farms' annual pumpkin fiesta begins this weekend and runs through October. For detailed information about what they have to offer, visit:

This weekend is also the Concord Stomp. Check that out at:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The fourth annual Saddle Up for Roswell event will again bring equestrian riders of all experience levels to Chestnut Ridge Equestrian Center in Gasport, NY, on Saturday, September 19, 2009. This year’s event also will feature special guest Carol Kozlowski, a champion rider and trainer with 25 years of experience in advanced competition. As a nationally-ranked rider, candidate for the 1984 Olympic and 1985 Pan American games and accomplished coach, Kozlowski will lend her expertise and guidance to riders during the day’s competition.

Riders of all ages will compete in dressage, stadium jumping and cross country trials at the event as they raise funds in support of cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Participants have collected pledges from the community in support of the event, and many riders will carry the names of those they ride in honor or in memory of on their saddle pads.

The family- and spectator-friendly event will also feature a basket raffle, t-shirt sales and a refreshment stand.

“Saddle Up for Roswell has become a beloved tradition in the riding community and a great opportunity for people to get out and watch some exciting competitions for a good cause,” says event chairwoman Megan Gamin. “We encourage everyone—riders and spectators alike—to join us for this fun day in support of Roswell Park.”

Saddle Up for Roswell will take place at the Equestrian Center at 7913 Chestnut Ridge Road. For more information contact Sue Williams at (716) 772-2957. Additional details can be found at

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.

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


A caller to WLVL's Dialog today mentioned something of concern regarding last night's launch of the new voting machines in Royalton. She said she filled out the ballot and took it to the scanner which requires you to put the ballot in face-up. While feeding the form, there was an elections worker there to observe the process. So, the worker was able to see her form and who she voted for. The caller mentioned that this infringed on her right to privacy in the electoral process. She has a great point.

Did anyone else experience this or similar problems?

If so, please send me an e-mail:


Last night the primary election was held on two lines in the highway supervisors race in Royalton.

Incumbent supervisor Terry Nieman ran unopposed on the Independence line. Even so, 10 diehards still made it out to the polls to vote for him.

Nieman also ran on the Conservative line which he lost to Carson Kelley by a vote count of 24 to 15.

In the November race Nieman will hold the Republican and Independence lines while Kelley holds the Democrat and Conservative lines.

Monday, September 14, 2009


The Royalton board meets at 7:30 tonight at the town hall. The agenda is as follows:

Date: Mon, Sep 14, 2009


September 14, 2009
1. Open Meeting
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented
4. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only
5. Communications / Petitions
6. New Business

􀂾 Resolution to reappoint Michael Drum to the Board of Assessment Review for the Town of Royalton. The term of office will run from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2014.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to make a line item transfer from account SL5182.4-Lighting District, Contractual to account B5182.4-Street Lighting, Contractual in the amount of $2,873.45. This transfer is required to correct an overpayment made by the "B Fund" Street Lighting account for services rendered for the Lighting District.

􀂾 Resolution to accept the amendment to the Bingo License for Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Company to include the new members that were accepted in to membership at the August board meeting.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to issue a check in the amount of $30.00 to Mr. Scott Garbutt for his Small Claims Assessment Review decision, due to an excessive assessment suit.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize TVGA Engineers to prepare a Plan of Action for the Scour Critical bridge on East Avenue in Gasport.

􀂾 Resolution to reject the one (1) lone bid received from Milherst Construction for the Grinder Pump Station Project in the amount of $64,500.00. This project will be reviewed by TVGA to investigate other alternatives prior to re-bidding it.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize Highway Superintendent Terry Nieman, to post Fisk Road from Route 93 to Ditch Road as a 10-ton load limit maximum.

􀂾 Resolution to authorize Supervisor Richard J. Lang to issue a check in the amount of $25.00 for a quarter (1/4) page ad from the Royalton Town Board for the 75th Anniversary Installation of Officers Program for the Rapids Volunteer Fire Company. This amount will be paid out from the Central Printing line item (A1670.4).

􀂾 Resolution stating that the 2009 second quarter court records for the two (2) Town of Royalton Justice Courts have been examined by the Town of Royalton Town Board Members. The board members verification form will be submitted to the NYS Office of Court Administration for this audit.

􀂾 Resolution to accept Mr. Daniel Yotter in to membership of the Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Company.

􀂾 Resolution for Permission to pay the bills.

7. Unfinished Business

8. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community

9. Adjournment - Motion to adjourn