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: