Sunday, May 31, 2009


The Gasport Beautification Committee is sponsoring their annual Adopt a Barrel contest. If interested in participating, you will be assigned one of the 20 wooden barrels placed on Main Street and along the Erie Canal. As the "owner" of that barrel you'll be required to purchase your own flowers and dirt and you'll have to maintain the barrel through Labor Day.

There will be two stages of judging for the contest. The winner during the July 4th week will get $25 and the winner of Labor Day's judging will get $25.

If interested, please call Debbie Bush at 772.2665.

This is a great contest: not only is it competitive, but it makes Gasport much more beautiful in the process.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Here is a list of special events taking place in Gasport and at Roy-Hart during the month of June, 2009. If you'd like to add your organization's event please send an e-mail with complete information to

Wednesday, June 3rd; High School Concert:
7:00 PM at the Roy-Hart high school auditorium

Saturday, June 6th; Hartland Sharpshooter Competition: 10:00 AM at the Hartland Conservation Club on Orangeport Road, 10:00 till finished. Any rifle, any sights. Grand prize (1/2 proceeds go to winner). $10 entry fee. Call 783.1013 for more information.

Saturday, June 6th: Car wash and lunch: At D&B Auto, Route 31. Hosted by Boy Scout Troop 23. 10:00 AM till 3:00 PM. Lunch menu includes italian sausage and hot dogs. Proceeds benefit Troop 23.

Sunday, June 7th; Car Wash: The Gasport youth group will be having a carwash along with a yard sale and hotdogs. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life and Meghan's Fund. 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Location: ??

Sunday, June 7th; Kids Day at Becker Farms: Come out to the country and enjoy the luxuries of farm living. Pick your own strawberries (weather permitting) and feed the animals. Enjoy pony rides and hay rides from 11am-4pm. Bakery, homemade fudge, ice cream, gift shop, and much, much more. Free balloons for kids under 12. Free Entertainment for kids by "Evergreen." Hot dogs and hamburgers served at "The Dog House." Vizcarra Vineyards will also be open with over 15 fruit and grape wines! No cover charge.

Wednesday, June 10th; Middle School Concert: 7:00 PM at the Roy-Hart high school auditorium. Featuring the students in grades 7 and 8

Friday, June 12th; Rummage and bake sale: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Hartland United Methodist Church

Friday, June 12th; 100-Mile Radius Meal: The first in a series of farm meals presented by Becker Farms and based on agricultural products grown on the farms in the immediate area. Seating is by reservation only. Visit or call 772-2211 for more information.

Sunday, June 14th; Community Church Service:
To be held at Becker Farms' Pavilion and conducted by the Gasport Ministerium at 10am.

Sunday, June 14th; Strawberry Extravaganza at Becker Farms: Celebrate the strawberry harvest down on the farm! Enjoy the chicken BBQ, pony rides and hayrides and walk around the farm. Pet the animals at the petting zoo. Play at the playground and listen to live music and Pick-your-own and already-picked strawberries available.

Wednesday, June 17th; Middle School Concert: 7:00 PM at the Roy-Hart high school auditorium. Featuring students from grades 5 and 6

Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st; Niagara Wine Trail Event: Visit Vizcarra Vineyards and the rest of the wineries on the Niagara wine trail for a totally delicious experience. It's National Dairy Month, so let's Celebrate Wine & Cheese! $20/person & receive a commemorative wine glass at your first stop (you choose) and sample wine & cheese pairing at each winery along the way. Visit for details.

Sunday, June 21st; Father's Day Bar-B-Que: Chicken and ribs prepared by the Gasport Lions Club. On sale from 11:00 AM till ?? at Becker Farms. Meal includes potatoes, roll, and strawberry shortcake. Cost is $8 for chicken, $9 for chicken & ribs, and $11 for ribs.

Saturday, June 27th; Royalton-Hartland Graduation: 7:00 PM at the High School

Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th; NY Free Fishing Days: For two days the NY Department of Environmental Conservation suspends the fishing license requirment so people can sample New York's great fishing. Give the Erie Canal or Red Creek a try!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards will present 100-Mile Radius Meals, a series of farm meals based on agricultural products grown on the farms in the immediate area. Dates are June 12, July 16, July 26, Aug. 16, Aug. 29, Sept. 11 and Sept. 12. Seating is by reservation only.

Visit or call 772-2211 for more information.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Last Wednesday night the Cuba-Rushford school board met and selected their next superintendent of schools.

It's Kevin Shanley, Roy-Hart's high school principal.

Kevin beat out two candidates -- one from the Cayuga School District and the other from Newmarket (NH) -- for the gig. He begins his new role in Allegany County on July 1st upon the retirement of C-R's current superintendent Anne Brungard.

Kevin has worked for the Royalton-Hartland district for 23 years as a teacher and administrator.


Back in 2007 I predicted on this website that we would have bears in Gasport by the end of 2008, based on recent northward movements into locales that they previously did not inhabit (such as populated Monroe County). Well, I was a half-year off. WGRZ TV reports on a black bear that was in Hartland over the weekend...

A black bear that has been spotted throughout Western New York gave residents in the Town of Hartland quite a scare Saturday morning.

The Niagara County residents spotted the bear, estimated to be about a year old, wandering in a field across the street from their homes.

Many were unnerved by the sighting because they had never seen a bear in the area and were concerned about the safety of their animals and children. One resident, Scott Wolfe, called the Department of Environmental Conservation in hopes they would tranquilize and move the bear; but the DEC officers arrived and said the animal had a right to live whereever it chose.

The DEC said it has been tracking the bear and that it has moved from the Lancaster and Clarence areas to Lockport and now Hartland in about a week's time. They said the bear's mother most likely kicked it out of the den so that she could make way for new cubs.

They asked that residents not try to approach the bear, which they said is basically looking for a new place to call home. They said it may stay in northern Niagara County or possibly move on to Orleans or Monroe Counties.

In the meantime, they suggested that residents bring their animals and birdfeeders in at night, and they asked that no one leave food out for the bear.

Watch the video:

Monday, May 25, 2009


The Lockport US&J reports...

A Lockport man was thrown from his motorcycle Saturday afternoon and taken to the Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight with multiple injuries. Jeffrey S. Tschetter, 42, was traveling south on Quaker Road when he failed to negotiate a stop sign and turn at Slayton Settlement Road about 5 p.m., according to the Niagara County sheriff’s report. Tschetter hit a guardrail on Slayton Settlement and was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered head, neck and leg injuries. Tri-Town Ambulance and the Gasport Fire Co. responded.


The Niagara Gazette ran an article this weekend about the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. It said...

Concerns about the inner-workings of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission were set aside this week as Niagara County lawmakers once again engaged in the long-standing practice of distributing commission dollars to community groups in need.

It went on to say...

Enhancement funds were distributed to 22 business groups this year with the ceremonial checks being distributed by county lawmakers to association representatives during a meeting Tuesday in Lockport.

All of the participating business groups will match the commission’s grant awards dollar-for-dollar.

Among the recipients...

Gasport Beautification Committee: $625 for welcome to Gasport banners for Main and State streets along the Erie Canal.

To read the article and see the entire list of recipients, go here:

Friday, May 22, 2009


The Royalton-Hartland class of 1999 is planning its 10-year reunion.

The event will begin at 8 PM June 5th with happy hour at Taboo on Main Street in Lockport. On June 6th, the group will meet at Willowbrook Golf Course Restaurant in Wright's Corners.

The classes of 1998 and 2000 are welcome to join in.

RSVP to:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Royalton-Hartland School District residents approved the creation of a capital reserve fund of $1 million with a 232-158 vote. The district’s $23,424,631 budget was also passed by 372-71 count. The budget is a 0.05 percent increase in spending and has no increase in the tax levy. Incumbent board member Patricia Riegle and resident Susan Hughes were elected to the district’s two open board seats with 341 votes and 338 votes, respectively. Both are three-year terms.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A recent visitor to this site commented that it would be nice to see teachers' salaries. Your request comes at a perfect time.

Last Thursday, May 14th, the Empire Center For New York State Policy -- a civic think tank -- added a database to their website that lists the salaries for teachers across the state.

To see Roy-Hart's wages, go to:

Click the "Payrolls" tab

On the next page, click the "schools" tab

On the final page, find Royalton-Hartland on the chart and select the year 2007-2008 (don't select 2008).


The town of Royalton has posted the minutes to the town council meeting held on May 13th. You can read them here:;/content/Minutes/View/103

Among the items of note:

The establishment of a 5-member board of assessment review

The o.k. to contract with Middleport Police for police work in Royalton

The scheduling of a hearing for the comprehensive plan

Saturday, May 16, 2009


In case you missed it in the comment section of a recent post, a visitor to this site let us know that Father Joe Badding, who oversaw the new defunct St. Mary's Catholic Church in Gasport, has a new church: Immaculate Conception Church on Route 429 in Ransomville.


There will be plenty taking place at the high school on Tuesday, the day of the vote for the school budget, etc.

Among some of the events at the facility...

A chicken BBQ prepared by the Gasport Lions from 3:30 to 7:00. Cost is $9 and you'll get 1/2 of a chicken, potato salad, dessert and more.

A brief informational meeting at 6:00 for parents who will be sending their kids to kindergarten in the upcoming school year.

The Middle School Talent Show at 6:30 in the HS auditorium. Cost for this event is $2/person and $5/family with proceeds going to the Middle School PTA.


The Lockport US&J ran this story earlier this week...

MIDDLEPORT — Royalton-Hartland district residents will decide on a budget Tuesday that calls for the tax levy to remain the same.

District Business Administrator Kelly Griffith unveiled Roy-Hart’s proposed budget for 2009-10 school year Monday at a public hearing. The $23,424,631 spending plan is a slight 0.05 percent increase from the current budget. The proposed budget is about $10,631 higher than the current one. The tax levy will stay flat at $8,249,936.

As for the rest of the revenue side, Roy-Hart will see a $334,729 increase in state aid. The district will receive $13,655,695 in state aid, a few months after the state announced it was cutting about $761,000 from Roy-Hart’s allotment. Then last month, after congressional passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the district found out it would receive the aid.

Some of the biggest cuts in the budget came from the occupational education line. The district is cutting $108,209 from the proposed budget because 18 fewer students will be in the program. Roy-Hart is also trimming $71,118 from computer instruction.

One of the larger expenditure increases involves general education teachers’ salaries. There is a contractual increase of about $446,166, about 6.99 percent higher than the current budget.

Superintendent Paul Bona said $50,000 would be cut from this year’s budget line for the district’s athletic program. However, the details of what will be cut will be figured out after the district meets with administrators.

“We need to take that out, but we don’t know what it’ll be yet,” Bona said.

Residents will vote from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the high school gym on the proposed budget, the creation of a capital reserve fund and election of school board members. Roy-Hart has two open seats on the Board of Education. Incumbent President Patricia Riegle and former member Susan Hughes will run unopposed. Current member Joseph Czach will not run for re-election.



The Royalton-Hartland carwash and cookout originally scheduled for today at the Elementary School has been postponed due to weather. The new date is yet to be determined.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Very soon I will be making a lengthy blog post complete with maps, photos and more which will detail what a family could do on a nice Summer day in Gasport. It will directed at out-of-towners and would be a "travel guide" of sorts for visitors. Among some of the activities, etc. I plan to address include:

Canoeing/kayaking on the Canal
Biking/hiking the towpath
Fishing the Canal
Hiking/picnicking at Royalton Ravine Park
Becker Farms
Vizcarra Vineyards
Beef on weck at the Canalside
Historical sites

What else should I include to address the whole Gasport experience? Submit your comments please!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We received the following message from Sue Case and the Zion Lutheran Church...

A Yard Sale to benefit World Hunger is being held this Thursday and Friday, May 15th and 16th from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the home of Gary & Karen Gardner, 4199 Hartland Road, Gasport (corner of Hartland & Slayton Settlement Roads). Every dime raised during this yard sale will go to World Hunger.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


This Buffalo News briefly reported the following yesterday...

Saturday, May 9, 2009


The Roy-Hart school board, which typically meets on Thursdays, will be meeting instead this Monday, May 11th at the high school aud. They have a very busy agenda. You can download it here:


If you are one of the five people who voted on the new poll earlier today, please vote again. I had to start from scratch because I had an error in the survey. I must have been living in the past because I called "Talk of the Town" the "Gasport Cafe."


If you'd like more information about Gasport's newest congregation, visit their website at:


The Buffalo News reports on the most recent English test results from across the state...

(State Education Commissioner Richard P.) Mills...announced that 77 percent of the state’s public school pupils in grades 3 through 8 earned scores of proficiency or above on the English assessment test given in January. That’s an increase of 9 percentage points over 2008, when 68 percent of the pupils showed proficiency.

In Buffalo, the passing rate — just 30.1 percent in 2006 — jumped to 54.4 percent, which reflects an increase of 24.3 percentage points in three years.

But Buffalo was hardly alone.

Double-digit gains were also registered on the eighth-grade test in six of 10 Niagara County districts: Newfane, Niagara Falls, Niagara Wheatfield, Royalton-Hartland, Starpoint and Wilson.

The article went on to discuss Roy-Hart's success:

Royalton-Hartland Superintendent Paul J. Bona Jr. said his district has devoted time and money to training teachers, which helps them develop better strategies for recognizing and strengthening a pupil’s weaknesses.

“Once the needs are identified, we can focus the instruction to provide them an opportunity to be successful,” Bona said.

The number of Royalton-Hartland eighth-graders with passing grades jumped by 20 percent from last year, while there was an increase of 16 percent in fourth grade.

To read the entire article, go here:


April's poll is said and done. It focused on a hot-button issue...just how should athletics be treated in the school budget?

77 people participated in the survey and here are the results...

Nobody said sports should be removed from academia entirely

24% of the respondents said that the teams with the lowest turnout should be removed

36% of the folks said that the current method of budgeting for sports is just fine

39% of those taking the survey said we should demand that sports be funded by the athletes (through fundraisers) and their parents

May's poll is up and it asks what's your favorite place to grab a bite to eat in Gasport.


The Lockport US&J reported a few weeks ago about this Sunday's launch of the Hartland Bible Church at Gasport....

NEW HOME: Parishioners excited about new home at former Catholic church

The Journey of Faith and Grace of the Diocese of Buffalo is allowing a Town of Hartland Church to make the trip to the Village of Gasport.

The Hartland Bible Church, which is located in a 175-year-old building on Johnson Creek Road, is planning its first service at St. Mary’s of Gasport on Mother’s Day, May 10.The independent church purchased the property on West Avenue in Gasport from the Diocese of Buffalo for $500,000, according to Pastor Lowell Gypson. St. Mary’s of Gasport was merged into St. John the Baptist of Lockport in 2008.

“The vast majority of parishioners are very excited,” said Gypson, who has been at the Hartland church for 32 years. “A few people are sentimental. We talked about a new building and this opportunity came up. This is tremendous. We’re saving a lot of funds.”

The original building in the town of Middleport was built in 1833. It was the First Baptist Church and Hartland Baptist Church before becoming independent about 10 years ago. For the time being, the new site — which is 4.5 miles away — will be called Hartland Bible Church at Gasport.

About $200,000 was raised from parishioners. The money from the sale will go to St. John the Baptist, according to Kevin Keenan of the diocese office of communications.

The cost of a new bible church would have been prohibitive for the parish of 200 people. “It’s amazing it came down at this time,” Gypsom said. “We’ve had positive comments (from St. Mary’s). They are glad a church is there. The diocese was hoping a church would buy it.”

Most items were removed from St. Mary’s, but the pews, which hold 475 people, more than doubles the old church. The confessionals remain and the bible church was also left with tables, chairs and a Bingo machine. “That’s fine with us,” the pastor said. “We look at it as tremendous potential.”

The rectory will be adapted for Sunday school. A platform has been raised up and projectors added.

“The sale turned out very well,” said Dick Cain, St. John’s parish council president. “We were happy to find them interested in property. I’m happy they are able to take over ... Whenever you have a situation like that it’s difficult.”Some St. Mary’s statues have been moved to St. John’s while other items are storage. “We’re looking for a home for them,” Cain said.

Jerry Williams, of Epic Ministries, will sing and speak at the 9:45 a.m. service on May 10 and a praise band will perform. A celebration reception is planned for 11:15 a.m.



The US&J reports on this week's activities at the nursing home in Gasport...

ELDER CARE: Generations joining in Mother’s Day tea

GASPORT — Intergenerational involvement is an underlying theme of National Nursing Home Week events at Absolut Care. A week-long celebration kicks off Sunday with a Mother’s Day afternoon tea, featuring a performance by the Royalton-Hartland Middle School String Quartet, real flower corsages for all women in attendance and real china tea service.

Helen Feron, community liaison, said the tone of the annual tea is consciously classy, to give residents and their families a memorable shared experience. It’s one of several Nursing Home Week events at Absolut that underscores this year’s theme, “nurturing a love that lasts.”“We are seeking to foster intergenerational support,” Feron said. “It’s good for our residents; it’s good for everyone.”

The tea’s unique touches this year are made possible by donations from the community. Feron acquired a supply of tea pots and cups at a garage sale, the price well discounted when she explained to the seller why she wanted them. Liz Bateman, a Middleport village trustee and Absolut volunteer, is loaning a china pot and cups for the day, as are several others. Crafts & Creations of Lockport offered ribbon for the corsages at a discount, and a staff member is making 60 bows free of charge. Moms and grandmas who work at Absolut are coming in Sunday voluntarily to assist with the tea.

“People are going the extra mile for this. That just makes it extra special,” Feron said.

Other intergenerational activities during the week will include:

• Royalton-Hartland Elementary students are planting 10 white pine saplings on the facility grounds Monday morning. The school received the trees as a donation from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

• Daniel’s Photography is coming into the facility Saturday to shoot family portraits for residents. This is another first-time offering to residents, out of consideration for the fact some families face difficulty transporting an elder to a photography studio, Feron said. Families are welcome to include as many members in a portrait as they deem appropriate.

The remainder of the week is turned over to spirit events: 1950s Day with ’50s music, an antique car show and root beer floats; Western Day with western movies, a Chuck Wagon-style meal, country line dancers and western-style dress encouraged; a birthday bash/crazy sock day; and Derby Day, with crazy hats, traditional board games and a derby race.


Friday, May 8, 2009


May 9th and 10th: Niagara Wine Trail event at Vizcarra Vineyards. Celebrate spring with Mom on the Niagara Wine Trail. Your $20 ticket includes a wine tasting at each winery, a commemorative wine glass and a different special potted herb plant at each winery on the trail. For more info, visit

May 10th: Mothers Day Chicken Barbecue at Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Department, 11:00 AM until sold out. $8 will buy you half a chicken, cole slaw, baked beans, salt potatoes, and dinner roll. Eat in or take out
Also, be on the lookout for 80 boy scouts and adults biking the towpath for a bike-a-thon that takes them from Lockport to Brockport!