Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports the following...

A year ago, Niagara Metals said it had no plans to accept junk cars to its proposed facility on Route 31 in Gasport. On Monday night, the Niagara Falls-based company went before the Zoning Board of Appeals to request a approval of its plan to take “end-of-life cars.”

Some residents protested and wondered if Niagara Metals could be trusted.

The board tabled the motion after 55 minutes of discussion. Acting ZBA Chairman Robert Mack Sr. wants another look at the operation at the 10-acre facility on 8729 Rochester Road.

Read the entire news report, along with comments from Niagara Metals and concerned citizens, here:


Sunday, March 27, 2011


The New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and investigators from the Lockport State Police Barracks executed a search warrant at 7366 Ridge Rd. in the Town of Hartland. The owner of the property William Pippard, age 52, and his son Robert V. Pippard were arrested after narcotics investigators seized a rifle, prescription medication, 1 pound of processed marijuana and over 90 marijuana plants. The plants were growing in a barn which had been converted for that purpose. During the ensuing investigation two other individuals were detained and turned over to officers of the Border Patrol, relative to their immigration status. Also assisting with the investigation were the following agencies: the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the DEA Task force. The Pippards were arraigned Friday in Federal Court and face prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office for the crimes of Intent to Manufacture Marijuana, Unlawful Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Maintaining a Premises with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Marijuana.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


With the passing of Geraldine Ferraro today, the press will do as it always has with her 1984 run as a vice-presidential candidate and say that she was the first woman to run for the White House.

They're wrong! Royalton's Belva Lockwood was -- 100 years earlier and then again in 1888 -- the first woman to appear on a presidential ticket when she ran for the US presidency via the National Equal Rights Party.

The press is only correct if it says Ferraro was the first female candidate on a presidential ticket from either of the 2 major parties. That distinction is still unfortunate, because it highlights the supposed importance of two-party politics...America is much more than that. So, give Belva Lockwood her due!


The Royalton-Hartland Elementary School PTA would like to announce the beginning their own PTA website:


With the start of this website, they are hoping to be in more contact with parents/teachers and to also have all the documents they send home available on-line. If you get a moment please check it out and let them know what you think. They are very excited about their new website and hope that parents/teachers will take advantage of all that it is going to offer.

For more information about the PTA, contact PTA President Kimberly Emmert at kae82678@yahoo.com


The Royalton-Hartland Elementary School PTA is planning its 2nd annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, scheduled for Saturday, April 9th, 2011. This event is being held in the Elementary School gymnasium, with food, drinks, crafts, games, and free pictures with the Easter Bunny (Provided by Edge Imaging).

They are asking for your support. They are looking for any business or individual wishing to donate a basket/gift certificate for this year’s raffle. All proceeds go to the Royalton-Hartland Elementary School PTA, which provides support for our students, staff and principal by means of enriching your students learning experiences. Some of which includes, assemblies, student enrichment programs, fun family activities, and much more!

Your generosity will help them continue to improve education opportunities for the children in our school. They thank you in advance for your support. Kimberly Emmert, PTA President, can be reached at 716-439-0008 or at kae82678@yahoo.com. Please respond by March 30th, 2011 to guarantee recognition. Baskets are due to the school by April 6th, 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Twenty-three students from the Orleans and Niagara Career and Technical Education Centers have come home victorious from the SkillsUSA Region 1 Leadership Conference and Skills Olympics held at SUNY Alfred. Students spent the day competing against other students in their areas of study from Alleghany, Steuben, Monroe, Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Cattaraugus and Ontario counties. All together 462 students were on hand to win a chance to go to the New York State competition April 13th to the 15th.

Winners from the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Orleans (OCTEC) and Niagara (NCTEC) Career and Technical Education Centers who hail from Roy-Hart are:

First Place:

Job Interview – Maron Brauer from Royalton Hartland in the Allied Health Program at Medina Memorial Hospital (OCTEC).

Health Knowledge Bowl Team – Zachary Yates, Mira Morse, Mary Frazier and Jessica Bulmer all from Royalton Hartland in the Allied Health Program at Medina Memorial Hospital (OCTEC).

Third Place:

Welding – Beau Babcock from Royalton Hartland in the Welding Program (OCTEC).

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The 2010 Census data for New York State was released today.

The population in Royalton was 7,660. During the last Census in 2000 it was 7,710. That's a drop of 50 people or 0.6% of the population.

The population in Hartland during 2010 was 4,117. The 2000 Census indicated 4,165. That's a drop of 48 or 1.2% of the population.

Those results are not too shabby given that Erie and Niagara Counties combined lost nearly 3% of their population. See, people love Gasport!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Cheryl L. Sadler, age 66, of Lockport, entered into eternal rest on March 18, 2011 at Niagara Hospice House in Lockport, after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. Born on December 21, 1944 in Niagara Falls, New York, Cheryl was the daughter of the late Charles and Dorothy (Burch) Chesterfield.

Cheryl grew up in Lewiston, was a 1962 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School and the 1967 Community Ambassador from Lewiston, traveling to and living in Ceylon for the summer. Cheryl graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with an AAS degree in early childhood education. She received a BS and MS degree in Business Education from State University College at Buffalo. She taught fourth grade at St. Peter's School in Niagara Falls, Kindergarten in Washington DC and retired from teaching in 2004 after having taught business classes at Royalton-Hartland High School for 19 years. Cheryl loved spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed traveling, music, cooking, crafts and was an accomplished decorative painter. Cheryl also loved and enjoyed the company of her cats and dogs over the years.

Cheryl is survived by her husband of more than 42 years, Ted Sadler; her son Michael C Sadler, daughter-in-law, Jessica (Stoll) Sadler; and granddaughter Mae Sadler; her two sisters, Charlene (Jim) McSweeny of Olcott and Judy (Mike) Heath of Lewiston; as well as nieces, nephews and cousins; also survived by her extended family, Betty Zucco, Richard Zucco, Robert Zucco, Robert's daughters Olivia and Lorena; and her best friend since eighth grade, Marsha Bundy of Florida.

Relatives and friends may call on Monday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport, where funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 12:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations to Roswell Park Cancer Institute and/or to Niagara Hospice would be greatly appreciated.

Please visit www.pruddenandkandt.com to send an online condolence to the family.


Saturday's Buffalo News reported the following in regard to the recent shooting in Royalton...

The 15-year-old Royalton boy who shot his twin brother in the hip Feb. 21 expressed regrets Friday.

“I’m extremely sorry for what happened,” the boy told Niagara County Family Court Judge John F. Batt. “It’s not like I intended for this to happen to my twin brother.”

The boy made the remarks while being arraigned before Batt on a charge of second-degree assault. His twin brother was struck by a blast of birdshot from a 12-gauge shotgun at close range in their Riddle Road home, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.

Defense attorney Sunil Bakshi said the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office has dropped the idea of prosecuting the 15-year-old as an adult and transferred the case to Family Court.

According to the report, it didn't seem to be malicious intent, just an "accident". The boy get along fine according to the paper...

the boys’ father, who told Batt, “They don’t have any issues at home. They haven’t had a fist fight in two years. This was an isolated incident.”

The boys have been living together at home since the victim’s release from the hospital. The shooter is attending school, but the victim is not, as he continues to recuperate.

Even then, it comes with limitations...

Batt allowed the boy to remain at home. He is under pretrial supervision by a probation officer, and the father agreed to have the school bus drop the shooter off at his business, an auto repair shop, so the boys won’t be alone together.

Read the entire article online:


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Lancaster Farming is a weekly agricultural newspaper serving the Northeast. It recently featured a story about Becker Farms.

The article begins as follows...

Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards uses diverse revenue streams to strengthen its bottom line. For the past 100 years, the family farm has focused on raising fruits and vegetables; however, the fifth generation has brought value-added agriculture and agritourism to the 340-acre operation.

“We listened to what our customers wanted and adapted to what they wanted,” said Melinda Vizcarra, whose great-grandfather and grandmother, Julius and Augusta Becker, founded the farm in 1894.

Eventually, the farm was handed down to Vizcarra’s parents, Joyce (Becker) and Donald Perry.

“They ran it part time and kept it going,” Vizcarra said.

Vizcarra met her husband, Oscar, while attending SUNY Delhi Ag and Tech.

“He was going for landscape architecture and I was there for agriculture,” Vizcarra said. “I never thought of coming back to my own farm because I didn’t think I would do it on my own. But we met and he was doing landscaping because he didn’t have a farm or land but enjoyed plants.”

She told him he shouldn’t waste his landscaping talents on others’ land; he told her she shouldn’t leave her family’s farm. The couple decided that farming together was a good idea. They went on to Cornell University to study ecology and small fruit growing.

“We were inspired we could make a living on a small farm selling directly to the public,” Vizcarra said.

The rest of the article talks about Becker Farms' evolution over the years. Read it here:



The Lockport Union Sun and Journal continues to do an excellent job covering Roy-Hart's budget process. Friday's paper featured an article highlighting the woes and stresses faced by the board and superintendent because no cut is an easy cut.

The reporter listed some of the cuts that were discussed at the last budget workshop:

* Eliminate 16 positions: $745,000
* Reduce maintenance/operations: $45,000
* Cut supplies: $45,000
* Eliminate pre-K transportation: $73,000


This weekend is the 16th annual Maple Weekend. This state-wide event highlights the early spring syrup bounty that New York offers. Once again, a pancake breakfast will be held in Gasport on Sunday, March 20. Food will also be served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hartland Volunteer Fire Company on Ridge Road.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The Lockport Union Sun and Journal is reporting today that Jennifer Bieber will be running for the position of town supervisor now that supervisor Dick Lang has announced he won't be pursuing a third term.

She may face off against one of her fellow board members, James Budde. He will make his decision within the next 2 weeks.

Read the article here:


Saturday, March 12, 2011


The Friday edition of the Lockport Union Sun and Journal featured a story about Roy-Hart's budget woes. It ended with this prose....

....the district received a report concerning staffing and enrollment. The study was done by the Western New York Educational Services Council and presented by Thomas Ramming and Gerald Glose.

According to the enrollment results of the study, Roy-Hart is projected to lose about 80 kids over the next five years. Compared to other school districts in New York that is not unusual, Glose said.

But with the staffing, which makes up about 80 percent of any school budget, there’s not much the study would recommend changing in Roy-Hart, Ramming said. Teachers and staff are already spread thin, Ramming said.

“Your staffing in this district is very tight, very efficient with few opportunities for reductions without it affecting programs,” he said.

Ramming said the class sizes for students in seventh grade through 12th was in the higher range of what he’d recommend. But that doesn’t mean Roy-Hart can’t go higher with class sizes, Ramming said.

At the elementary school there are very few places to cut, Ramming said. The areas of art and music would offer very little reduction, he said.

Roy-Hart could cut 3.2 positions at the middle school, if teachers pick up academic intervention services or enrichment as their sixth period. At the high school, the district did not have much room to cut.

Read the entire article -- which analyzes our dire straits -- online at:


Friday, March 11, 2011


Scott Wymyczak, chairman of Royalton's Republican Committee, contacted us to say that Royalton Town Supervisor Richard Lang is not going to run again.

Therefore, Scott and his committee are currently seeking Republicans in the town of Royalton interested in running for local offices. Current offices up for election in 2011 are: Town Supervisor, Highway Superintendent, and 2 Town Board Seats.

They are also looking to fill a vacancy on the committee and need alternate poll workers for the Town.

Please contact Scott Wymyczak at 716.417.5151. Interviews will begin March 28, 2011.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Stop by the Mobile-Safety Net Team's event on March 15 (4p-7) and 16 (11-2) when they will be at the Covenant United Church of Christ in Gasport. The event is free and will host a variety of different community agencies. Learn about any services you may be eligible for or just stop by and chat with the agencies.

In response to the growing needs of Western New York residents caused by the national economic downturn, The John R. Oishei Foundation has convened a group of Basic Human Needs providers to develop a strategy that will directly address the region’s issues. As a result of their efforts, the providers helped conceive the Mobile Safety-Net Team. This program consists of three traveling teams with expertise in human and social services. These teams traverse the various communities and neighborhoods throughout the counties of Erie and Niagara, to assist with the changes in lifestyle being experienced by residents. The objective of the program is to support and provide information in key areas of need, including food, financial and legal assistance, employment, health insurance, social services, and crisis services.

Visit their website here:



Adam A. Jones of Gasport entered into rest Sunday, March 6, 2011. He was born November 29, 1977 in Newfane, NY.

Adam worked in Labor Union Local 91 in Niagara Falls, NY. Adam loved spending time with his family and his beautiful daughter, Addison. He liked cars and loved animals. Adam had many great friends and loved them dearly.

Loving father of Addison Jones. Son of Jon Jones of Sarasota and Linda Jones of PA. Brother of Duke (Robyn) Jones of Lyndonville. Step-son of Marie Jones of Sarasota. Grandchild of Maria Foglia of PA, Nephew of Mike (Teri) Foglia and cousins Mossie, Maria and Anna of PA and Tom (Judy) Jones of Lockport. Uncle of Brandan, Rhett and Dale Jones. Cousin of Mike and Tim Jones of Lockport. Also survived by several other aunts, uncles and cousins.

Friends may call at RUTLAND-CORWIN FUNERAL HOME, INC., 2670 Main St., Newfane, NY 14108 THURSDAY 12-4 PM, where a Memorial service will be held at 5 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Spinal, Muscular Dystrophy.

Please visit www.rutland-corwin.com to send a condolence to the family.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an SUV that struck a utility pole early this morning around 6:30 at the intersection of 31 and Cottage Road. Police arrived to find the driver unresponsive. The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner. Police continue to investigate the crash. The name of the driver has not been released.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Today's Wall Street Journal features a really intiguing article about an outbreak of chronic fatigue from people who were exposed to a virus in Lyndoville back in 1985. Among those mentioned in the article is Gasport's Ginger Burg. It notes the following about her plight...

Ginger Burg was also 14 when she first fell ill in 1986. One summer afternoon, she recalls being a healthy teenager playing basketball and baseball. The next day, she couldn't get out of bed. Her parents rushed her to the hospital, where doctors told her she had hepatitis, strep throat and pneumonia.

When she finally went home, she seemed to get sick constantly. Every time she stood up for longer than a few minutes, she felt dizzy. A neurologist who tested her couldn't find anything wrong and suggested she was a hypochondriac, she says.

The article is an excellent read and can be found online at:



Please join the Roy-Hart Volleyball Players, friends, and family for a tribute and dedication of Number 3 to Meghan on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

The program will begin in the Royalton-Hartland High School Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.


The Lockport Union Sun and Journal featured a story about Roy-Hart's dire straits...

Thursday Board of Education members met to get a picture of the revenue for the 2011-12 school year budget. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. Roy-Hart is facing a $1.4 million deficit, comprised of a rise in costs and a $492,000 decrease in state aid, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget.

That means in order to keep the tax levy — the budget revenue covered by the taxpayer — low for residents some major cuts will probably have to be made. If the current school year’s $22.1 million spending plan wasn’t altered, it would feature a tax levy increase of over 16 percent thanks to expected increases in costs.

To help offset that the board may have to use reserves. Members already plan to use $378,571 from a reserve containing money accrued in interest during building projects in 1998 and 2000. The money has to be spent within the next three years, when the projects are paid off.

Read the rest of the article here:


Thursday, March 3, 2011


The Department of Defense announced today the alert of two units to deploy as part of upcoming rotations of forces operating in Afghanistan and Kuwait. The scheduled rotation for these replacement forces will begin in early 2012.

The announcement involves two Army National Guard brigade combat teams totaling approximately 7,520 personnel.

Specific units:

27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New York National Guard

55th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Pennsylvania National Guard

The 27th IBCT is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan to perform security force assistance, and the 55th HBCT is scheduled to deploy to Kuwait to provide force protection and convoy security.


We have heard that this includes the Lockport unit so many local Guards will be heading overseas.


Today is the birthdate of one of America's greatest war heroes, one who was born in Gasport. Here's the Wikipedia entry about Benjamin Vandervoort...

Benjamin Hayes "Vandy" Vandervoort (3 March 1917 in Gasport, New York – 22 November 1990 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina) was a Colonel in the United States Army, who fought in World War II. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Vandervoort attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where he was a member of the Washington Players drama club, the YMCA, the Mount Vernon Literary Society, and the football and track teams. He was also an officer of the Theta Kappa Nu fraternity. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1938, having enlisted in the army as a private on 23 July 1937. He was commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant on 16 March 1938.

World War II

Vandervoort transferred to the newly-established paratroops in the summer of 1940, and was promoted to first lieutenant on 10 October 1941. Promoted to captain on 3 August 1942, he served as a Company Commander in the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and was promoted to major on 28 April 1943, and served as Operations Officer (S-3) in the 504th Parachute Regimental Combat Team at the invasion of Sicily and in the landings at Salerno.

Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 June 1944, he was the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 505th PIR, during the airborne landings in Normandy. Vandervoort led his battalion in defending the town of Sainte-Mère-Église on 6 June in "Mission Boston", despite having broken his ankle on landing. During "Operation Market Garden" in September 1944, he led the assault on the Waal Bridge at Nijmegen while the 3rd Battalion, 504th PIR, made the assault crossing. General Matthew B. Ridgway described Vandervoort as "one of the bravest and toughest battle commanders I ever knew". At Goronne he was wounded by mortar fire, so was unable to take part in the divisions' advance into Germany.

Post war

He was promoted to colonel on 7 July 1946, and retired from the army on 31 August. After studying at Ohio State University he joined the Foreign Service in 1947. He served as an Executive Officer in the Department of the Army in 1950-54, acting as joint political adviser to the Commanding General United Nations Forces and UN Ambassador, Korea, in 1951-52, and was studied at the Armed Forces Staff College in 1953. He served as a military attaché at the US Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1955-58, and was assigned to the Department of State in 1958-60. He then served in the Executive Office of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), from 1960-66, also serving as a consultant on politico-military affairs to the US Army Staff in 1960, and as a plans and program officer on the Army Staff, Department of Defense, in 1964.

Benjamin Vandervoort died on the 22 November 1990 at the age of 73 years at a nursing home from the effects of a fall.

He had two children with his wife Nedra; a son and a daughter.

Awards and honours

* Distinguished Service Cross with oak leaf cluster
* Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters
* Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster
* Croix de Guerre with palms (France)
* Bronze Lion (The Netherlands)
* Fourragère (Belgium)

In the early 1990s the United States Army Center for Leadership at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, selected one or two colonels or lieutenant colonels from every American War from the Revolution through Vietnam. Colonel Vandervoort was selected as the outstanding ground battle commander for World War II. He is honored by a brief biography and several photographs in what is known as "Leadership Hallway" located on the second floor of Bell Hall.

Popular culture

Vandervoort was portrayed by actor John Wayne in the film version of Cornelius Ryan's history of D-Day, The Longest Day. The role was actively sought by Charlton Heston, but the last-minute decision of John Wayne to take a role in the film prevented Heston from participating. At the time of filming in 1962, Wayne, at 55 was 28 years older than Vandervoort had been on D-Day; Vandervoort being a decade younger than Wayne.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Audubon New York and Buffalo Audubon Society are looking for dedicated volunteers to help Audubon educators teach an For the Birds! program to second through fifth grade students throughout Niagara County. As a classroom assistant you will be expected to provide assistance during lessons, set up activities in both the classroom and outside, and to provide assistance to students during activities. All classroom assistants are required to commit to a weekly time slot at agreed up school.

Specifically we are looking for individuals to assist at Royalton-Hartland Elementary on Thurday and Friday afternoons, and Newfane Elementary on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.

The spring 2011 session runs from March 28 through June 17, with a new volunteer training scheduled for March 18.

* Training will be provided
* Enjoys kids and the outdoors
* Time commitment of one day per week for 8 weeks (time duration may vary from 1-5 hours depending on number of classes and school schedule)
* Must pass a criminal background check before working with the children served by this program

If interested, email: bartlett@buffaloaudubon.org

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will be meeting on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 1:30. The meeting will take place at Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport. This months topic will be presented by Kelsey Harvey from the Alzheimer's Association. She will be doing a presentation on "Warning Signs and Basics of Alzheimer's and Dementia."

If you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss or behavioral changes, it's time to learn the facts. This interactive workshop features video clips of people with Alzheimer's disease. The program is designed to provide you with the basic information that everyone needs to know about memory loss issues and what they mean for all of us. Kelsey will answer many frequently asked questions including: What is age-related memory loss? What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

As always, the meetings are open to the public. Please join us!! If you have any questions, call Society President, Jennifer Bieber at 716-735-7335.