Monday, January 31, 2011


New release from the New York State Canal Corporation...

Snowmobiling Approved for Canalway Trail

Regulation Change Increases Winter Recreational Opportunities

In an example of grassroots government, new state regulations clear the way for snowmobilers to use the Canalway Trail. The activity previously had been prohibited along the 280-mile trail that parallels most of the New York State Canal System in Upstate New York.

With the consent of local communities, snowmobile organizations now can receive permits to operate on the Canalway Trail under new regulations of the New York State Canal Corporation. Private snowmobile operators also can use trails that have been authorized by the Canal Corporation.

Snowmobile clubs must obtain a resolution of support from the municipality where the Canalway Trail is located before applying for a permit from the Canal Corporation. A municipality has the option to continue the prohibition along its stretch of the trail. The regulations apply to lands under the jurisdiction of the Canal Corporation.

Canal Corporation Director Carmella R. Mantello said, “We have heard loud and clear from snowmobile clubs and communities throughout the corridor that the existing policy was curtailing recreational opportunities and limiting the potential economic impact that snowmobiling brings to upstate New York communities during the winter months. We are pleased to have pursued and successfully implemented this common-sense change for New York’s snowmobile enthusiasts and the communities they visit.”

Dave Perkins, trails coordinator for the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA), said, “The New York State Snowmobile Association is pleased with this rules change. The snowmobile community has worked hard to support changing this rule. Snowmobile clubs in Washington, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, and Orleans counties have demonstrated they can responsibly and safely establish canal-based trails to the benefit of trail users and businesses adjacent to these trails.”

Stephen Lewis, director of snowmobiling for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, “OPRHP is pleased to have worked with the Canal Corporation to allow snowmobiling on Canal system lands. Working in partnership with local governments and snowmobile clubs who maintain the trail sections, the Canalway will offer countless miles of groomed trails in some of our state's most beautiful winter recreation areas. Both snowmobile enthusiasts and the communities surrounding the Canalway are certain to benefit from this good news.”

The Canal Corporation Board approved the change in 2009. The benefits and impacts of the new regulations were successfully tested during pilot projects on some segments of the Canalway Trail. Comments favoring the proposed regulations were received from a number of snowmobile organizations.

A snowmobile club will be required to show proof of the liability insurance that all NYSSA clubs are required to obtain through a blanket insurance policy administered by the New York State Snowmobile Association and funded by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

The snowmobile club that is issued a permit agrees to assume stewardship responsibilities for that section of the trail. This can include maintaining and improving the trail at no cost to the Canal Corporation.

“We have found through our pilot project that the snowmobile clubs take great pride in helping maintain the trails they use, and are great partners in ensuring these trails are well groomed for the year-round activities they support,” Mantello said. “We are confident that this change will help even more New York residents and visitors enjoy the New York State Canal System as a four-season destination, maximizing the benefits of this historic asset to communities all across the state.”


Last week's Wall Street Journal ran a story about the closing of post offices across the United States:

The U.S. Postal Service plays two roles in America: an agency that keeps rural areas linked to the rest of the nation, and one that loses a lot of money.

Now, with the red ink showing no sign of stopping, the postal service is hoping to ramp up a cost-cutting program that is already eliciting yelps of pain around the country. Beginning in March, the agency will start the process of closing as many as 2,000 post offices, on top of the 491 it said it would close starting at the end of last year. In addition, it is reviewing another 16,000—half of the nation's existing post offices—that are operating at a deficit, and lobbying Congress to allow it to change the law so it can close the most unprofitable among them. The law currently allows the postal service to close post offices only for maintenance problems, lease expirations or other reasons that don't include profitability.

The news is crushing in many remote communities where the post office is often the heart of the town and the closest link to the rest of the country. Shuttering them, critics say, also puts an enormous burden on people, particularly on the elderly, who find it difficult to travel out of town.

The postal service argues that its network of some 32,000 brick-and-mortar post offices, many built in the horse-and-buggy days, is outmoded in an era when people are more mobile, often pay bills online and text or email rather than put pen to paper. It also wants post offices to be profitable to help it overcome record $8.5 billion in losses in fiscal year 2010.

The entire article can be read here:

The Gasport post office wasn't on the closings list, but the talk of the town is that it will be consolidated into either Middleport or Lockport. It's guaranteed to be one of them, which one yet is unknown.

I contacted someone in the know who told me the PO boxes will remain at the Gasport branch and the office will still be open for business. The carriers will have larger routes and longer travel time from their base of operations, therefore, your accustomed time of delivery will change accordingly. I will post more here as details become available.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will be meet this Saturday, February 5th at 1:30. The meeting will be held at the Royalton Town Hall at 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport. The guest speaker will be Middleport Chief John Swick. He will discuss public safety and the history of the local Police department. All are welcome! Please feel free to contact President Jennifer Bieber if you have any questions. Her number is 716-735-7335.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


As a part of this year's Winterfest, there will be a snow sculpture contest. Check out details here:


A local man was sentenced on Friday of charges related to child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 39-year-old Jason David Willis of Gasport was convicted of transportation of child porn. After a search warrant was executed for his computer, agents discovered numerous images and files that Willis traded over the internet. Willis was sentenced to 11 years behind bars.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Here is a message from Margie Granzow and the Gasport Beautification Committee...





Here is a message of great news from Rick DeWaters, head of the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters...

On behalf of the Roy-Hart Sports Booster Club, I am so very happy and proud to announce that our donation intended to reinstate Spring Modified Sports for district students in Grades 7-9 was graciously accepted with thanks by the Board of Education at last night's meeting.

Thus, our goal of raising funds to reinstate all R-H sports programs deleted from the district's 2010-11 Athletic Budget has been accomplished! Our kids were able to continue enjoying the benefits gained through participation in Varsity Football and Modified Sports (soccer, volleyball, cross country running, swimming, wrestling, basketball, and track). It has been only with the dedication and diligence of concerned parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and community members that this has happened.

You should know that our efforts will not stop here. We need to continue to step up participation in events that help provide our kids sports opportunities during their school days. Everyone who agrees that our kids deserve the right to participate in school sports needs to get involved in the effort to keep all sports alive. We will soon learn what is in store for next school year; and I can assure you, the projected financial situation as it relates to school sports programs and the athletic budget will not be pleasing.

As loyal and responsible members of the Roy-Hart community (parents, teachers, coaches, community businesses, alumni, and friends), if we want our kids to continue to be able to learn life's lessons taught through school sports and experience opportunities that will help make them better citizens, we need to recognize that these are difficult and different times; and everyone who cares will need to make sacrifices for the benefit of our kids. We need to do everything we can to ensure the continuation of school sports programs in our school budget.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Thursday, February 10 @ 7PM -- RH High School Auditorium

A forecast of the district's 2011-'12 School Budget will be presented. All concerned members of the R-H community are urged to attend. A so-called "state of the district" will be presented and awareness of what might be expected in 2011-'12 will be made available. If you have ideas that could be considered when the school budget is formulated, BE THERE! If you would like to know what might happen and why -- BE THERE!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Local photographer Jennifer Allis (, who specializes in wedding and portrait photography, has just received a prestigious industry award. Here's the press release from WeddingWire...

Gasport, NY – January 25, 2011 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce Jennifer Allis Photography has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for Photography!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Jennifer Allis Photography stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Jennifer Allis Photography for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Jennifer Allis Photography is among the very best photographers within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.


My column for this week's local newspapers offers a diversion from the usual economic/government analysis and discusses something many Gasport residents are familiar with....

By Bob Confer

The Erie Canal towpath was once the interstate for itinerant workers — hoboes, if you will — who traveled from town to town in search of their next farming or handyman gig. While doing so, they frequently stopped over on my family’s farm, which butts up to the canal. It was an attractive spot to set up camp because of the fresh water they could drink from a brook that runs through our woods, the same brook from which they ignited gas for cooking (there is a reason it’s called “Gasport”).

While there, they often killed time by carving their names and other things in the bark of the beech trees that are common in the woods. The smooth gray bark, so easy to cut with a pocketknife, has always been quite inviting to amateur artisans, not to mention young lovers who wanted their names forever inscribed in Mother Nature for all the world to see. The hoboes, the lovers, and anyone else interested in making a statement left their calling cards on the beeches — old-fashioned graffiti that remains to this day.

Those trees tell stories. On the trees that were cut when they were mature and thus slower to grow, I can still make out dates from the early 1950s. Some of the handiwork, less legible as the tree grew, obviously came from much earlier times. There are names; some of them belonged to the hoboes, while others I recognize as locals who probably carved the tree when they were in their teens and 20s. Now, they are in their senior years and their arboreal artwork has aged less dramatically than they.

Two beeches show the efforts of my family. One has neatly cut into its bark two words: “Ray Confer.” My grandfather probably did that when he purchased the farm in 1955 when he was three years younger than I am now. He has since passed, so that tree has always offered a comforting portal to a time gone by. The other tree in question displays my dad’s boast of having hunted his first squirrel. He likely carved that when he was just 12 years old. That tree is like a trophy, one as impressive as the deer heads on his wall.

Sadly, all of these trees will, quite soon, no longer be able to tell their stories. Beech bark disease has reared its ugly head on the Niagara Frontier, bringing with it its deadly one-two punch. First, an insect attacks the bark. Then, the wounds left by the insects are infiltrated by a fungus. It doesn’t take long for the once-beautiful bark to crack then fracture completely, falling off the tree. The malnourished beech topples over within a couple of years of its first symptoms.

It won’t take long for the disease to take its toll on local forests, wiping out one of our most abundant trees and our best storytellers. It’s disheartening to think that the trees that should have outlived me won’t, taking with them the interesting connection I have to my family and the dozens of hardworking men who made their way across the region in hopes of overcoming the economic realities of their time.

Not one to let memories — better yet, history — die so pitifully, this winter I’ve taken photographs of the various trees and their carvings that remain. If you have a stand of beeches, especially one along the towpath or the rail line, you should take the time to do so, too, to familiarize yourself with the people who once called our fair community “home,” be it for years or just one night. By capturing the images on film we can maintain the carvings for the ages, just as their artists had intended.


Local media outlets have reported that the fire that took place on Sunday on Royalton Center Road was confined to the garage where it damaged one vehicle and a farm tractor.

It was repair work on that tractor that caused the fire: Homeowner William Brown said he was using a stick welder in the garage to attach a plate to the 1975 Farmall tractor.

Fire investigators said they think the welder ignited a small amount of gasoline in the garage that spread through the structure.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


There is a house fire at the corner of Telegraph and Royalton Center Roads. As news becomes available, details will be posted on this blog.

It was overhead on the scanner that the homeowner and his son (the only people in the house at the time) are out and safe.

It was overheard on the scanner that the fire is now under control and contained within the garage.

The house address has changed since the initial call-out on the scanner. Dispatch now IDs it as 4206 Royalton Center Road which is the Brown residence.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Applebee's Flapjack Breakfast!

January 30,2011; 8:00-10:00am at Applebee's, 5822 South Transit Rd, Lockport

Tickets cost $5.00 per person. $4.00 of every ticket comes back to your Royalton-Hartland Elementary School PTA.

Space is limited and tickets will be on a first come first serve basis. There are only 300 available. Last day of ticket sale will be January 28th, 2011

Any questions you may call Sandra Hoerner at 716-280-1252


The New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing Change of Command Ceremony is Saturday, January 22 at 3:00 p.m. at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, New York.

The New York State Adjutant General, Major General Patrick Murphy will preside over a ceremony in which Col. Jim S. McCready will take command of the 107th Airlift Wing.

Existing Commander Col. Patrick Ginavan will at the same ceremony relinquish his command of the 107th Airlift Wing.

Ginavan, who began his service as an aircraft mechanic in 1976, has served as the commander of the 107th since 2005. He and his wife Jill live in Gasport. His sons Sam and Charlie are members of the 107th as is his daughter-in-law, Stasha.

A pilot with more than 3,300 hours of flying time, Ginavan was first assigned to the 107th as an instructor pilot in 1986 when the wing flew F-4 fighters. He then transitioned to F-16s and then the KC-135R tanker as the wing's aircraft changed. He was commissioned in 1983 after seven years of enlisted service.

"I wish the best of luck to the 107th," he said. "I am very proud to have served this unit since 1986 and been a part of it and all the things we have been through."

Ginavan's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Air Medal ,Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon .


The National Weather Service has issued a lake effect snow warning for our area. Depending on where you live in Hartland and Royalton, you will see 6" to more than a foot of snow between this afternoon and noon Saturday.


Meghan Redenbach, who became an inspiration to the Niagara University men’s hockey team, will be honored on Friday before the Purple Eagles’ game with Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. at the Dwyer Arena.

Redenbach, a student at Royalton-Hartland, was an honorary captain of Niagara University team the past two seasons and has a stall in the men’s dressing room with her name on it. Her No. 6 jersey has been retired and the Purple Eagles have adopted her “MAN UP” slogan.

Meghan, a gifted and avid athlete at Roy-Hart, died Christmas Eve, 2010, when she lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She was 15.

Read the full story at the Lockport Union Sun and Journal's website:

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Antoinette “Ann” M. Payne (nee Di Carlo), loving wife and mother, passed away January 10, 2011, in Houston, TX, where she and her husband, Sheldon of 68 years, resided for the last several years.

Born in Lockport, NY, in 1924, the beloved daughter of Vincenzo and Maria Di Carlo; sister to brothers, Joseph, James, Thomas, Charles and sisters, Florence, Pauline and Josephine, who all predeceased her. Wife of Sheldon and mother of Karen (Glenn) Walker, Wilson, NY, Mary Paula (Durand) Dodge, Webster, TX, Elizabeth (Skip) Garringer, Pasadena, TX, and Joyce (Jerry) Bailey, Friendswood, TX. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Son, Michael (Carol) Payne, Henrietta, NY, preceded her in death.

Ann and her husband owned and operated a cherry farm on 104 in Gasport, NY, where they had a thriving business for 40 years. They also owned Payne's Charcoal House for 10 years. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family.

A summer memorial service is being planned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The Covenant Church of Christ's youth group is hosting a turkey & biscuit dinner this Saturday starting at 4:00 at the Covenant Church. Adults are $7, kids under 10 are $5. Take-out is available.


As a result of the Great Recession and years of excesses in the way of doing things in the public sector, all levels of governments (including schools) are facing hard times ahead...even much harder time than they've faced the past 2 years.

Roy-Hart has been one of the more proactive local districts in preparing for the nightmare. Last year, they made the necessary decision to cut funding for a wide variety of sports. Next up, personnel and programs may be on the chopping block.

The Lockport Union Sun and Journal reported the following...

Thursday, the district said an enrollment study would be done by Thomas Ramming of Western New York Educational Services Council and will begin immediately. The study will look at the number of students in each grade, then determine proper staffing across the district. At the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, Roy-Hart had about 1,541 students enrolled.

“All boards of education are facing a very difficult time and will be forced to make difficult decisions,” Ramming said.

The study report will also make a projection in enrollment over the next five years in Roy-Hart, Ramming said. For the study, Ramming told the board he would look at other related items, such as class sizes, schedules, facility use and course offerings.

What is the cost for the study? For that and other budget issues, read the rest of the article here:

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Don't forget...Niagara Metals Customer/Community Appreciation Day is tomorrow, Monday, January 17th, from 11:30 to 1:30 at their Gasport location. There will be a free Chiavetta's chicken BBQ for the first 150 attendees.


This was reported by the Lockport Union Sun last week...

Kids can be pretty active, but for those at schools like Royalton-Hartland Elementary, they’re being active for healthy reasons.

The school is one of dozens in Western New York participating in Independent Health’s annual Fitness for Kids Challenge. The health initiative, now in its third year, aims to bend the increasing trend of Type 2 diabetes and rising obesity in youth by encouraging them to engage in fitness activities and make healthy food choices, Independent Health said.

But for some kids, participating meant just being their usual active selves. Roy-Hart fourth grader Jake Cassick said he did a lot of walking around in the neighborhood. He also plays hockey and soccer in the fall.

“On Halloween we walked about three miles,” Cassick, 9, said. “I also go outside to play with my brother. And I have some apples and every morning I have either orange juice or milk.”

Like Cassick, second grader Dominic Peracciny, 7, is usually active. Both students were among the 10 Roy-Hart winners awarded Monday for their activities in October and November.

“I like basketball,” Peracciny said. “And I really enjoy apples.”

For the challenge, kids had to complete a healthy activity log each month that chronicled either some kind of physical activity they did or their choice to eat something healthy. The activities could be as simple as walking the dog to as strenuous as playing a sport.

This year, five monthly winners are chosen from each school and receive a red Fitness for Kids insulated lunch bag. Physical education teacher Jan Cilip said Roy-Hart received theirs Monday for their 10 winners from the months of October and November.

During the challenge, kids in grades two through four keep to the “5-2-1-0” concept created last year. That means kids should have five fruits and vegetables a day, no more than two hours of computer or television time a day, one hour of daily exercise and zero sugary drinks.

Read the rest of the article -- which describes the system in greater detail and notes the participation of other schools -- online here:


Tony Winans, 25, of Buffalo will serve six months in jail to start a five-year probation for his role in an Aug. 21, 2009, break-in at a home on Route 77 in Royalton. Winans was caught through a DNA test on a discarded cigarette at the scene. He was ordered to pay $1,247 in restitution.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Dairy farming is a HUGE part of Gasport's economy. I'd go so far as to say it's our #1 business. That's why it's good to see that our Congressional representative Chris Lee was selected once again as a co-chair of the Dairy Farmers Caucus.

Here's the news release from his office...

WASHINGTON Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) was chosen to serve as a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus for the 112th Congress. Lee served as vice-chair during the 111th Congress until its adjournment last year. Lee will lead the caucus with fellow co-chairs Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Peter Welch (D-VT), Timothy Walz (D-MN), Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Thomas Petri (R-WI).

The bipartisan caucus works to aid dairy farmers across the United States, and last Congress worked closely with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on important issues affecting Western New York's dairy farmers.

"Western New York has some of the finest family farms in the country, and since coming to Congress in 2009 I've been focused on ensuring our region's agricultural producers have the resources they need to survive," said Rep. Lee. "Dairy farmers in particular have been hard-hit during the tough economic times, but they are a resilient group of families closely tied to the land they farm and the industry they love. I look forward to working with the other co-chairs and members of the Caucus who share my commitment to strengthening family farms for this and future generations."

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Lee's congressional district is the 22nd highest dairy producing district in the nation, with a market value nearing $500 million. New York State as a whole produces about 12.5 billion pounds of milk each year.

For more information on Congressman Lee's commitment to Western New York's dairy farmers, visit


Mr. Beiber has provided this picture showing the Canary later in its life. More people may remember it by this look...


The Royalton-Hartland Winterfest 2011 will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Royalton-Hartland Elementary School and Hartland Bible Church. After the overwhelming success of the first Royalton-Hartland Winterfest Celebration in 2010, this family-friendly event has been expanded. Activities will be offered for children, seniors and families both inside the school and church and outside (weather permitting) on the school grounds.

Proceeds from the event will benefit future Roy-Hart Winterfest Celebrations, as well as Honor Flight Buffalo and The Gasport Beautification Committee Soldier Garden. The mission of Honor Flight Buffalo and the Honor Flight Network is to fly America’s veterans at no charge to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices.

11-11:45 Irish Dancing Exposition R-H Elementary
(McMahon School of Irish Dance)
12:30-1:15 Musician, Glenn Colton R-H Elementary
1:15-1:30 Glenn Colton, Autographs R-H Elementary
1:30-2:15 Musician, Glenn Colton R-H Elementary
2:15-2:45 Magician, Dr. Robert Geckler Hartland Bible Church
3:00 Basket Auction Hartland Bible Church

Snowshoeing R-H Elementary
Food & Refreshments R-H Elementary & Hartland Bible Church
Sleigh Rides R-H Elementary & Hartland Bible Church
Snowball Throw, Sponsored by Chop’s Shop R-H Elementary
Snow Sculpture Contest Around the Community
Facepainting, by Serenity Hairdesign R-H Elementary
Child ID Kits, by the NCSD and the Gasport Masonic Lodge R-H Elementary
Crafts for Kids, by Gasport Girl Scouts R-H Elementary
KidzPlay Bounce House R-H Elementary
Basket Auction Hartland Bible Church
Children’s Games R-H Elementary
Craft & Vendor Fair R-H Elementary

In addition, this year the event includes a “Decorate Your Community Snow Sculpture Contest”, with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. We are asking residents within the Royalton-Hartland School District to build snow sculptures at their home or place of business. Once the creation is complete, submit the entry form and a photograph. Sculptures must be visible from the roadside. They will be judged on Friday, February 4th. Entry form, rules and guidelines are available at Click on the tab labeled “Contest”. Winners will be announced prior to the Basket Auction at the Hartland Bible Church at 3 p.m.

Admission to Winterfest, 2011 is $3.00 for anyone 11 years of age and over (price includes 25 Basket Auction tickets) and includes all activities. Children 10 years old and younger are free, but we are collection donations of non-perishable food items to be delivered to local food pantries.

Parking will be available in the school lots and at Hartland Bible Church (shuttle service from the church lot will be provided).

Any business or individual wishing to donate a basket/gift certificate for the Chinese Auction should contact Heather MacDonald @ Serenity Hair Design, 735-7700 or

This event is sponsored by Sigma Motors, Absolut Care of Gasport, The Royalton-Hartland Business and Professional Association and the Lockport-Union Sun and Journal.

Please visit for more information.



While in hospital, a 95-year-old Ridge Road man was robbed of his Christmas presents, according to Niagara County sheriff’s deputies. Deputies said he had been in the hospital since Dec. 30. On Tuesday, a relative checking on the home found footprints in the snow around the house.


Dorothy Silsby's obituary mentioned the Canary Snack Bar. This photo, courtesy of town historian Jesse Bieber, shows the Canary Snack Bar in the early 1960s. It was located on the south side of Route 31 between Kayner Rd. and what is now the Jamesport Tap.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'll be speaking to the Royalton Historical Society on the evening of April 7th. The topic will be the high cost of doing business and living in New York State.


With dwindling numbers of World War II veterans, Chautauqua region Island X-71 New York SEABEE Veterans of America welcomed four new life members into membership. Among them was Kenneth Belfield of Gasport who received his Life Member Patch from Island X-11 officers. Chaplain H. Blair Logan, Master-at-Arms Burr Allen, Second Vice Commander Joseph Kasaback and Commander Roland A. Swanson participated in the welcome service.

Membership is open to anyone whose service record indicates an assignment with any U.S. Navy Construction Force at any time, with honorable discharge or present service with honorable service record. Island X-11 was charted with 35 members in October 1996. Today its membership spans throughout the United States with SEABEEs from World War II up to present day individuals, including Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.


The 2011 season of Scholastic Bowl kicks off tonight. Tune in to WLVL 1340 at 5:30 PM as Roy-Hart's best and brightest take on Williamsville North and Akron.


On Tuesday WLVL had been reporting that the 90-year old woman who ventured out into the cold (see the previous blog post) was Dorothy Silsby. I am sad to report she had passed away following the incident.

Here is here obituary....

Dorothy E. Silsby, age 90, entered into rest on Monday, January 10, 2011 at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. Born September 1, 1920 in Circle, Montana, she was the daughter of the late Sidney and Viola (Smith) Pulver.

Dorothy married Jay Silsby April 19, 1941 in Lyons, NY. Mr. Silsby died June 22, 1994. She had worked as a bookkeeper for Silsby Settlement Farms in Gasport, NY. Dorothy was a member of the Covenant United Church of Christ and Order of the Eastern Star #153 of Gasport. She was a former 4-H leader and former owner/operator of the restaurant, “The Canary”. Dorothy and her husband Jay opened their home to foreign exchange students, Bekir Kaya and Margrete Leite Flesja. She was very close to them and remained in contact with them. She was an avid golfer and bowler.

She is survived by her children: Evelyn (Philip) Brown of Kihei, Hawaii and Sidney (Evelyn) Silsby of Gasport. She was predeceased by daughters Linda Sue Silsby and Elaine Lee Kohler. Grandmother of: Jeremy (Brandy) Silsby, Jessica Silsby, Jacob (Kate) Silsby and Jillian Silsby. Step grandmother of: Lexie and Luca Quagliano. Great Grandmother of: Josephine Elaine Silsby. Sister of Murray “Ray” (Mabel) Pulver of Phoenix, AZ.

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation at the Sherrie-Bream Funeral Home, 4521 Main Street, Gasport, on Friday, January 14, 2011 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm.

Funeral Services will be held at the Covenant United Church of Christ, 4449 Gasport Road, Gasport, NY on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 11:00 am with the Reverend Jackie Thompson officiating. Interment will be in Orangeport Union Cemetery, Gasport, NY.

Memorials appreciated to Covenant United Church of Christ.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The Buffalo News is reporting this today, as did WLVL yesterday....

....a 90-year-old woman in pajamas was discovered lying in the snow at about 7 a. m. Monday in the 7600 block of Slayton Settlement Road, Niagara County sheriff’s deputies said. A neighbor on his way to work said he was backing out of his driveway when he saw the woman.

Gasport firefighters said the woman, who lives about a quarter-mile away with a son, suffers from dementia and was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, for treatment.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Yesterday's Lockport Union Sun and Journal featured an interview with a Gasport resident who dabbles in an interesting method of skull preservation...

Armond Armenia, 39, has a bare bones business. With the help of scavenger beetles, the GM employee operates Bone Heads out of his home on Humphrey Road.

The slogan for his European Mount Skulls practice is “Bare Your Skull” and sportsmen from miles around bring their animal heads to be cleaned up for mounting.

Armenia, a native of Sanborn, has a wife, Kristen, and two sons, Nicholas, 5, and Garrett, 3.

“My wife came from a hunting background so it doesn’t bother her,” Armond said. “It’s not gross to her and my kids think it’s a normal thing in every house. They want to help so bad, but they’re too young. Show-and-tell for them in a few years is going to be interesting.”

Armond graduated from Starpoint Central and attended Niagara County Community College. He is a HVAC operator at the former Delphi plant.

Area hunters bring him common little critters like rabbit, squirrel, mink and muskrat. Then come opossum, skunk and raccoon. Mid-priced animals are beaver, fox, coyote and bobcat.

Buck and doe are common. The average fee for deer is $100 and Armenia is processing 76 deer now.

Armenia, and thousands of beetle helpers, bare the bones of bear, boar and turtles. He is working on his own 37-inch diamond head rattle snake and a moose head.

The Buffalo Zoo has provided animals for use in education courses and a deal is in the works with the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Read the great interview here:


Yesterday's Lockport Journal featured a story about the potential Verzion complex for Somerset, making note that the Babcock House Museum will remain intact. The reporter also stated that a Gasport farmer who rents land at the proposed site might not be so lucky...

...Sidney Silsby of Gasport is concerned he could lose 130 acres of good farm land. Silsby, who farms about 3,000 acres on about 30 area farms, has leased the AES property for more than 10 years.

Silsby, who has grown corn, soybeans and wheat for over 10 years on the site, said, “Right now we don’t know how it will affect us. It’s good farm land and it’s a shame to lose it ... It’s real good, right there on the lake. Weather-wise it’s a good location.”

Read the entire article here:

Saturday, January 8, 2011


An Albion man who was convicted in November of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to four years in state prison and 10 years probation earlier this week in Niagara County Court.

Joshua P. Reid, 42, was charged last February with third-degree sexual abuse, third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. The crimes reportedly happened at his residence while living on Royalton Center Road in Gasport, after which he said the teen was “asking for it.”

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said Reid confessed to deputies of the crimes and then again during a tape-recorded phone call with the victim.

Friday, January 7, 2011


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will be meeting on Saturday, January 8th at 1:30 at the Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport. Rev. Erwin Brese will be talking about "Beer Making." This is a great presentation and a lot of fun.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Niagara Metals will launch its first-ever Customer and Community Appreciation Days in January as a way to thank its customers for their business and the community for its support.

Kicking off January 3 and lasting through May 31, the five-month promotion is headlined by weekly and monthly prize drawings for customers that will culminate in early June with a grand prize drawing for a 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup truck.

The company’s charitable donations will begin on Monday, January 17 at noon, when a check for $5,000 will be publicly presented to Mercy Flight at the Niagara Metals-Royalton facility, located at 8729 Rochester Rd. (Rte. 31) in Gasport.

The check presentation ceremony will be followed by a free Chiavetta’s Chicken BBQ lunch for the first 150 attendees.

“This is our way of giving back to our customers, and helping those who help others, especially the less fortunate in our own backyard. Western New York has given our family so many opportunities, and been our home for four generations – so we’re excited to return the favor,” commented Niagara Metals president, Todd Levin.

Customers qualify for the prize drawings by selling scrap metal to the company at published scale prices. Each time an individual sells, they will receive one entry form, with no limit on how many entries they can submit. If an entry is not drawn as a winner in a particular week or month, it will remain eligible to win for the duration of the promotion. More than 90 prizes total will be awarded.

Every Monday starting January 10, two names will be drawn at each Niagara Metals location to win company-branded apparel, including hats, jackets, and sweatshirts. On the last Monday of each month, one name will be drawn at each location to win a 32” (diagonal) flat screen TV.

In early June, all non-winning entries will be eligible for the grand prize drawing, to be held at the Niagara Falls location. A single lucky customer will win a 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 truck, purchased by Niagara Metals for the drawing from Heinrich Chevrolet.

“We really appreciate our customers and hope they enjoy our promotion,” said Levin. “We believe in our customers, large and small, and want them to know how important we think they are.”

Now in its fourth generation, Niagara Metals is a fully integrated company with ferrous, non-ferrous, trading and transportation divisions. For contest rules and additional information, visit

For more information, contact Mitch Flynn at or (716) 881-2697, x100.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year! I hope you had a great 2010 and your 2011 is even better.

2010 was a good year for the Gasport website. It had 34,400 visitors in 2010, a 25% increase over 2009. To put that growth in perspective, there were only 7,700 visitors for all of 2008.

New Yorkers accounted for 26,400 of the visits. The Gasport expartiots who most frequented the site hailed from California, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Florida.

The most viewed stories were the plug for Royalton's 4th July and the posts about the passing of Stephanie Verratti and Meghan Redenbach (which for both is a testament to how beloved they are).

The most visitors on one day were 960 on December 3rd.

A big "thank you" to everyone who frequents this site. You keep me going and push me to always improve coverage. The ongoing growth in visits proves to me that my efforts in reporting the news and events in Gasport (the good, the bad and the sad) are valuable to local residents and former residents alike.

Gasport is a great place -- my hometown forever -- and I enjoy spreading the word about it.