Friday, October 28, 2011


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal features a lengthy front page story about taxes and the budget in Hartland. It begins as follows:

While its tax rate will remain the same, the town is joining the ranks of municipalities that are busting New York State’s 2-percent “tax cap” with their 2012 budgets.

The town board will vote Nov. 10 on a local law authorizing it to override the cap. The same night, it’ll hold a public hearing on the proposed 2012 town budget, which shows the tax levy rising by 7 percent.

The state tax cap law compels municipalities to publicize times when the annual tax levy — the amount of money raised from property taxes — is set to increase more than 2 percent. Municipalities can disregard the cap by enacting a local law, which has to go to a public hearing first.

In Hartland’s tentative $3.3 million budget, according to Acting Supervisor Ross Annable, the only way to get the levy increase under 2 percent is by cutting $58,000 in necessities — or niceties tied to town development.

Read the well-done article here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The hours for trick-or-treating in Gasport and Royalton are 5:00 to 7:00 on October 31st.


The Lake Plains Players present the Depression-era musical "Annie" at Royalton-Hartland High School on the 28th (7:30), 29th (7:30), and 30th (2:00). Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10/adults and $5 for students.

Monday, October 24, 2011


This year's Always Christmas Open House will be held on November 5th between 11am and 4pm at Standish-Jones. There will be games and refreshments. They will be giving away prizes and discounts (20% off on all Christmas items!).

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Leadership Niagara is a year-long leadership development program for adults. They meet once a month for an entire day learning about the nuances of a specific sector of Niagara County. This past week saw them tour the rural parts of Niagara for their Agriculture Day, which is always a real eye-opener to the attendees (nearly all Americans are unfamiliar with farming, the complete opposite of just 50 years ago).

In the weekly email to alumni and friends of Leadership Niagara, one of this year's class offered her recap of the day and made mention of some Gasport farms which did well in representing our community and farming....

We traveled on to Gasport View Dairy Farm. Some of us were witness to the birth of a calf and all of us were witness to the dedication, hard work, intelligence and flat out love this third generation dairy farm produces on a daily basis. The farm was purchased in 1945 and has grown in both size and technology to over 1200 acres and over 700 cows being milked.

Next was Becker Farms which most the class were familiar with. What we didn't know was they are also a third generation farm which the current owners transformed into an entertainment center with something for everyone. What is fascinating to me about Becker farms is their passion for growth. They continue to look to the future to improve, expand, and grow yet they remain true to themselves and their community. Lunch was excellent.

Back on the bus and we are off to Harris Farms which although they are comparatively new to farming they are generationally dedicated to the land itself. We learned so much about harvesting vegetables, garlic production, and the passion this family has for their farm. The hot apple crisp for dessert was amazing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


No. 8 Honeoye Falls-Lima beat No. 1 Barker/Roy-hart 62 - 26 Friday night at Bruno Pacini Field, putting an end to a magical season for the combined squad.

Junior Ryan Quackenbush rushed for 236 yards and four TDs on 16 carries for HF-L. Quarterback Dylan Swetman threw for 270 yards and one TD on 9-of-10 passing and also rushed for one TD and junior Nick Weston caught five passes for 130 yards for the Cougars (6-2). Alex Obenhofer added 124 yards receiving and one TD on three receptions for HF-L.

Austin Blackley rushed for 170 yards and two TDs on 21 carries for B/R-H (7-1) while Josh Haight had a record-setting performance with 241 receiving yards on just 6 catches.

There MAY be a consolation game next week. More to follow.

HF-L 29 20 13 0 — 62
B/R-H 6 6 14 0 — 26

H— Keenan O'Brien 2 run (Alex Obenhofer kick)
B— Josh Haight 66 pass from Connor Baker (run failed)
H— Obenhofer 71 pass from Dylan Swetman (Obenhofer kick)
H— Safety
H— Ryan Quackenbush 10 run (kick failed)
H— Swetman 19 run (Obenhofer kick)
H— O'Brien 5 run (Obenhofer kick)
H— Quackenbush 37 run (kick failed)
B— Haight 46 pass from Baker (pass failed)
H— Quackenbush 12 run (Obenhofer kick)
H— Quackenbush 22 run (kick failed)
H— Tim Segrue 1 run (Obenhofer kick)
B— Austin Blackley 17 run (Judd Jamieson pass from Baker)
B— Blackley 52 run (pass failed)

Friday, October 21, 2011


Police have resumed a search for a woman who jumped off the Lockport Railroad bridge into the Erie Canal Thursday morning in an apparent suicide. Construction workers witnessed the jump and described the woman as being in her 30s, about 5 foot 7.

Lockport and Niagara County dive teams searched Thursday for the body, but had to call off the search due to rough weather conditions.

Keep an eye open for her body in the Canal. When last someone committed suicide in the Canal in Lockport his body ended up in Gasport.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


For the past few years I've been requesting absentee ballots because I never know when an emergency may arise at work that would prevent me from voting. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to my civic duty.

I received my ballot last night and it was pretty boring. Royalton residents will be faced with 9 races....and only 1 of them is contested (county clerk).

That begs the question...where are the other parties and other candidates?

Click on the image above to see the ballot.


Al Bruce writes a humor column for the Hornell Evening Tribune. In yesterday's paper, his column found humor in Gasport's name, and he let it rip....

Gasport Flatus Festival time: Tis the time of year when an earthy fragrance whelms Gasport residents and overwhelms those with less olfactory experience inhaling the namesake bouquet. This year’s theme: Celebrate Holidays with the Musical Fruit, says Toots Voluminous, executive director of the festival and Navy Bean Museum. Festival guests can sample bean ice cream, spaghetti with bean sauce, navy bean cake, navy bean coffee, baked bean pie and bean milkshakes. This year’s mid-week highlight: Mardi Gas or Fart Tuesday

Full column here:



A few people have inquired about how Hartland can beat the state's new tax cap. Well, the tax cap has a flaw when it comes to municipalities: Voters could override the cap with a 60 percent vote on the budget for school boards....but, when it comes to towns, villages and the like, 60 percent of a local government’s legislative body can override the cap.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011




PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Public Hearing will be held by the Town Board of the Town of Hartland on the 26th day of October, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., at the Town Hall, 8942 Ridge Road, Gasport, New York, on the adoption of a proposed local law entitled, A Local Law to Override the Tax Levy Limit Established by General Municipal Law §3-c, an abstract of which is as follows:

Said Local Law will allow the Town of Hartland to adopt a budget for the fiscal year commencing January 1, 2012, that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the limit specified in General Municipal Law §3-c.

The complete text of said law is on file at the Office of the Town Clerk, and is available for review by any interested person during business hours. At such public hearing, all persons interested, who wish to be heard will be heard.


Mike Bailey is a sports reporter and columnist from the Irondequoit Post. For today's paper he penned an excellent column about our school's football team and its standing in the league...

It's a bird, it's a plane, It's Barker/Roy-Hart.

When I noticed that Aquinas had lost their regular season football finale to Cathedral Prep of Pennsylvania, I figured that would give Eastridge or Brockport the top seed in the Section 5 Class A sectionals. After all those were the two unbeaten teams left in the class for our section.

Or so I thought.

I have to admit I was part confused, part embarrassed and a little more confused to see it was neither of those teams that have the top spot, rather Barker/Roy-Hart, a combined team from Western New York that has the honors and a 7-0 record.

And the team did not swoop in and steal the seed, apparently they have been around all year.

This 'mystery' team comes with quite a story. This is their first year as a combined team. The two schools were a combined 3-11 in 2010 as separate programs - Barker in Class DD Section 5 and Roy-Hart in Section 6. Budget issues forced the two schools to think about a merge and Royalton-Hartland High School and Barker High School became Barker/Roy-Hart for football purposes.

They played games at both team's high schools and even had two homecoming games. One school's coach took over the head coaching job while the other was names assistant.

They were placed into Section 5 for competition and incredibly ran the table in the Genesee Region.
But their wins aren't going to blow any onlookers away. They defeated Elba, Pembroke, Alexander, Oakfield-Alabama, Holley, Attica and Notre Dame in order this year to take the league title.

None of their wins are against a Class A school and as far as strength of schedule goes, all teams in the bracket have a harder one then the top seed.

With all due respect to the team, the No. 8 seed Cougars of Honeoye Falls-LIma has to be thrilled to get this draw. In year's past a bottom seed meant playing Aquinas and an automatic bounce from the postseason.

Without ever seeing Barker/Roy-Hart play, I'd have to say it's a game that HF-L feels they can win, based solely on schedule strength. This is a team that beat Irondequoit and only lost twice against schools their size.

Eastridge has the No. 2 seed in the bracket with Brockport taking three and Aquinas four.

I am really looking forward to seeing the results from the game on Friday night. A win from the hosts would be a huge accomplishment and they would really solidify themselves as a team to be reckoned with in this class.

There would be no sneaking up on anyone with a sectional semifinals appearance.



The Buffalo News has on their website tonight a lengthy article about what happened today at the bus garage and the resultant delay to the start of school at Roy-Hart.

The article says the following about the "why"....

Gary Woodcock, vice president and general manager of Ridge Road Transportation, said vandals had gone inside the garage and stolen keys to buses. They also smashed windows and windshields in five buses, damaged the steering mechanism and threw papers around. He estimated that damages will be in the thousands of dollars.

It also notes a lesson learned from this experience....

Superintendent Kevin MacDonald said that in addition to finding the damage at 6:15 a.m., a large part of the problem was notifying families of approximately 1,550 students that there would be a delay.

"When there is weather forecast that there will be a foot of snow, people will be watching TV," MacDonald said. "They are looking for schools to be closed and we are ready at 5 a.m. But in the morning when you are getting the call at 6:15 and are trying to get the word out, that's a little more difficult."

He said the district has no automatic calling system for such an emergency but one will now be put in place in order to avoid something like this in the future.

Read the article here:


Take a drive out by the Royalton Town Hall and you will see some windmills in operation. These new additions to town property were spearheaded by town supervisor Dick Lang. For the October interview we sit down with Mr. Lang to discuss the nuances of this project -- the first of its kind in Western New York government -- and what it means for our community....

What (or who) inspired this project?

In February of 2010 Mr. Thomas Fleckenstein of Niagara Falls, came into my office and informed me of the possibility that Royalton would eligible for a Renewable Energy Improvement Project and the funding would be from Municipalities American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

What was the cost of the project and where did the money come from?

$299,928 was the total cost of the four windmills. Two were approved for the town highway garage and two for the town hall. It was $149,964.00 for a set of two.

This was money from President Obama’s stimulus package.
It was suggested that we join the Climate Registry, out of Los Angeles, California. This was our only expense, that amount being $450.00, giving the town 5 extra points in its bid process.

This is the only money the town has invested.

After the town's application was excepted, it was given to NYSERDA to administer. The process was completed on October 7th 2011 with the 4th tower completed.

How much power do they provide?

The intent of this project is to install 20KW of renewable wind energy to offset the cost of electrical service currently being supplied by the grid.
The installation would reduce our Green House Gas emissions by 301 tons of CO2 over the 25 year life span of the project.

What are the estimated savings?

Savings are estimated to be 86% of our electric bills for the town hall and town garage. Our total bill for the year 2010 was $7695.46. Our savings would be $6,617.46.

What sort of maintenance and upkeep will be involved with the system?

There is a 10 year factory warranty, and a 5 year limited warranty on the inverter. The Bergey Turbine and tower should be inspected 30 days after installation, and then again 180 days after installation. Following these two inspections, the installation should be inspected every two years and after any particularly severe weather.

Are there any plans for other green energy projects for the town's various operations?

At this time we have no plans for more green energy projects. But there has been a new law signed by Governor Cuomo called remote net metering, where we can generate the power at this location and have it deducted off our utility bill at the sewer/water building on Bolton Road.


A break in at the bus garage in Gasport has forced the delay in pick-up of Roy-Hart students by 2 hours. Subsequently, high school starts at 9:30, the elementary school starts at 11:00.

Monday, October 17, 2011


•1. Open Meeting

•2. Pledge of Allegiance

•3. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented

•4. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only

•5. Communications/Petitions

•6. Regular Meeting Agenda

•7. New Business

Ø Resolution to establish the hours for Trick or Treating in the Town of Royalton

Monday, October 31, 2011 between 5:00PM - 7:00PM.

Ø Resolution to adopt the Local Law No. 2 of the Year 2011 entitled A Local Law Entitled Amendment to Local Law No. 1 of the Year 2002, entitled "a Local Law to Control Private Cemeteries in the Town of Royalton."

Ø Resolution to adopt the Local Law No. 3 of the Year 2011 entitled "a Local Law to Regulate Protests at Funeral Processions in the Town of Royalton."

Ø Resolution to authorize Lorretta Criswell, Accounting Clerk to do a line item transfer from the Bridge Reconstruction Reserve Fund to the DA5120.4 Bridge Fund Contractual Line in the amount of $8636.43. To pay remaining balance Due for reconstruction of the Hollenbeck Road Bridge.

Ø Resolution to pay bills.

•8. Unfinished Business

•9. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community

•10. Adjournment - Motion to adjourn


This Friday at 7:00, the Barker/Roy-Hart football team will host a sectional game at Bruno Pacini Field at Roy-Hart. The opponent will be Honeoye Falls/Lima.


In Friday's blog post I made mention of tonight's public hearing about the town of Royalton's plan to regulate private burial.

I will be unable to attend the hearing, but have submitted my comment to the town. Here it is...

There’s little more sacred to any man than family and home. There exists a special love - an eternal love – for them.

In life, that love is shared.

In death, the love lives on and there is nothing becomes more sacred to his family than his body.

The family wants a proper burial and a forever resting place that meets that man’s wishes and makes him accessible to their ongoing expression of love. Some men so much love family and home that they want to be laid to rest near the loved ones, and on their beloved home grounds.

Why should he be prevented from freely expressing that love for all eternity by being denied the natural right to be buried on his own property?

That is obviously the point of Royaltons’ attempt to manage – even prevent - private burials. Why over-regulate something that occurs so rarely in our town, while penalizing the interested parties with an unconscionable $10,000 trust fund?

What family can afford that? And why should they have to?

When that farm or land is passed on to the next generation it is their solemn duty to maintain the land accordingly…they don’t need some overbearing public entity telling them how, or forcing the finance of their efforts beyond reason.

Will the law affect anyone? Very few.

But, there are people in our community – me among them – who seriously consider their burial in their beautiful family farms that are long held by the generations before them and the generations that will follow. That may be old-fashioned, but it’s a timeless in its nature and intent.

That love for home, family and community should be honored accordingly with the liberty to choose one’s burial site. Consider this: Free markets – NOT government – have caused people to choose burial in public cemeteries for decades. So, we should continue to keep government out of people’s personal business…let them decide.

I strongly ask that the town of Royalton NOT pass the proposed local law and allow people to be buried on their hallowed home grounds, free of onerous laws, huge trust funds, and, worst of all, the evil exhumation of anyone who dare chooses home over cemetery.

Please, do not destroy the sanctity of love that comes with home burial. We live a brief life on this Earth, let us choose to honor that gift with burial at a private site that brought such joy to us.


Gasport's Boy Scout Troop 18 will be having their annual chowder sale this Saturday, October 22, at the Covenant United Church of Christ at 4449 Main St.

The sales starts at 9:30 am. Get there early...this popular chowder has been know to sell out in an hour.

The cost is...

$6 per quart

$15 per gallon if you have your own containers or
$16 per gallon if you don't

Home made baked goods will be available also.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


According to published reports, Scott Wood, 45, of Middleport pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court on Thursday to having oral sex with a 16-year-old girl at the Niagara County Camping Resort on May 30. He could face up to 4 years in prison when he returns for sentencing on December 14.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


In its first year of play the Barker/Roy-Hart football team won the Genesee Region League title, clinching with a 44-15 win over Notre Dame in Middleport last night. The 7-0 team will likely earn a No. 3 seed in the upcoming Section V football playoffs. They are guaranteed a home playoff game, tentatively scheduled for Friday night in Middleport.

Read the full story here:

Friday, October 14, 2011


To start off the town council meeting this coming Monday the town of Royalton will hold two public hearings starting at 7:00.

The first one will focus on laws for the regulation and enforcement of private cemeteries in the town.

People are rarely buried in family cemeteries anymore but it is something that has crossed my mind often. The thought of being buried on the family farm, although somewhat old-fashioned, might be comforting in my later years. It's home, and a beloved one at that.

This law, were it to pass, will turn me off to it: it would require that those who pursue private burial maintain in perpetuity a $10,000 trust fund for the continued maintenance of the grounds and that is after acquiring the right to burial from the town. Offenders will be forced to exhume the body.

The second public comment session will focus on death again, this time regarding the sanctity of funeral proceedings.

I'm sure most everyone is familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church, the so-called Christians who sickeningly protest the funerals of soldiers and others to make their claims about the ills of humanity.

The new local law would protect families from degenerates like these with a 1,000 ft. buffer zone for the 2 hour periods before and after a funeral ceremony.

It will also protect grieving families with a 1,000 ft. buffer around their homes for a 30 day period following the loved one's death.

Read the laws in detail here:;/content/CalendarEntries/View/1344


If a policeman comes up to your parked car on a deserted country road in Hartland and he asks you why you're covered in mud, you'd better have a better story than "We were canoeing in Oak Orchard Creek," especially when it's 4:00 in the morning, Oak Orchard creek is miles away, and there's no canoe on your vehicle or boating accessories within it.

That's exactly what happened to these guys when they were busted for harvesting marijuana Thursday morning....

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The Gasport Lions are hosting a childrens Halloween party on Sunday, October 30th from 1:00 till 3:00 at the Gasport fire hall. Kids should wear their costumes and there will be a contest for ages 3 to 10. Doughnuts and cider will be served around 2:00. There will be games and stations where kids can work on arts and crafts. The event is free, but the Lions are always looking for donations that will be put towards next year's party.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The Rome Sentinel reports on the passing of a horse in Westmoreland that had Gasport lineage:

A race horse might have at least a 10-1 shot at winning the Kentucky Derby.

But Westmoreland Fire Chief Tom Wilcox said it’s about a "million to one shot" for firefighters to find a horse known to suffer seizures pinned underneath a parked farm tractor.

That was the scenario Friday when he and about a dozen other firefighters responded to 6120 Bartlett Road at about 8:30 a.m.

"I’ve been involved in the fire department for 28 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it," Wilcox said. "You just never know what’s going to happen."

The chief said firefighters don’t go through special training to learn how to rescue animals. It just took the collaboration of some equine-friendly folks and muscle power from a few helpful neighbors.

Upon arrival, responding firefighters found Schatzie, who the owners said is the daughter of a world gold medal champion jumper, pinned underneath a John Deere tractor after suffering a seizure overnight. Afraid Schatzie may be frightened from the ordeal and kick or resist her rescuers, Wilcox said firefighters had to wait for a veterinarian to administer a tranquilizer to help relax the animal.

"We got there and I had the idea to call and get a wrecker from Clinton Collision," Wilcox said. "A neighbor," who also raises horses, "came to give the horse some medicine before the veterinarian got there to administer the tranquilizer."

The wrecker lifted the front of the tractor while firefighters and neighbors pulled at ropes tied around Schatzie.

"She tried getting up, but eventually we were able to pull her out," the chief said. The entire operation took just more than 45 minutes. No one seems to know how the animal became lodged beneath the tractor.

Unfortunately, while the rescue came to a successful conclusion, Schatzie’s owner, Bennett Chittum, said they had to put the horse down over the weekend because of the stress she had endured in the ordeal. Schatzie was the daughter of Abdullah, a stallion from Gasport, near Buffalo, who is known as the most successful showjumper in the history of Trakehner breeding, according to the website: Under his rider Conrad Homfeld, he won inter alia, team gold and individual silver medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He was the 1985 World Cup Winner in Berlin, best horse of the 1986 World Championships in Aix-La-Chapelle and multiple Prize of Nations winner in the American team.

Schatzie was one of about 500 of Abdullah’s offspring found around the world. She lived to be 29-30 years old, Chittum said, which is like a centenarian in horse years. Her seizures began about a month ago, the owner said.

"With the trauma from everything she went through, she injured her back end, and we had to put her down," Chittum said sadly. "She was with us for a long time."



On October 22nd and 23rd there will be Halloween-themed events at Chestnut Ridge Equestrian center. There will be a jumper show 10/23 and a dressage show with costume classes 10/24. For more information, contact Sue Williams at (716) 772-2707/2957 or For prize list/entry forms, go to

Sunday, October 9, 2011


The Orleans Career and Technical Education Center recently held an induction ceremony for eleven students into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS).

Among them were a half-dozen Roy-Hart students: Beau Babcock in the Welding Program, Jessica Bulmer in Allied Health Program, Eric Dodge in the Auto Mechanics Program, Mary Frazier in the Allied Health Program, Mira Morse in the Allied Health Program, and Zachary Yates in the Allied Health Program.

The National Technical Honor Society is the highest award that can be given for excellence in career and technical education. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 and have completed a certain amount of credit hours. The requirements also include excellent attendance and an excellent disciplinary record.


Mary Cedeno has added a poll to her website in which she asks, "should there be a new vote on the Library Tax in Royalton-Hartland School District?"

Make your voice heard here:

Friday, October 7, 2011


Enjoy the summer-like weather this weekend because summer is officially coming to an end: This is the last weekend to get ice cream at Harris Farm market on Route 104!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sue Case, a Thrivent Lead Congregational Advocate of Zion Lutheran Church sent along this message...

Join us at Zion Lutheran Church, 4447 Central Ave., Gasport, on Wednesday, October 19th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a free workshop "Estate Strategy Essentials". You may think the word "estate" doesn't apply to you. But if you own a home, have a retirement account or even a savings account, you have an estate. And the fact is, the decisions you make now can affect your ability to protect your property and assets, your loved ones and your wishes for the in the future. In just 45 minutes, we can help you understand the three essential elements of any good estate strategy; Wills, Durable/Financial Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive. This is not a sales pitch! RSVP requested to Paula at 716-471-6446 by October 15th. Open to anyone. Refreshments served.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The Town of Royalton Historical Society will hold their meeting on Saturday, October 8th. The time will be 1:00pm at the Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Rd, Middleport. They will be discussing the future of the Society and will be visited by re-enactor Edna Stubbs portraying Royalton native Belva Lockwood. Belva was the first female attorney to be allowed to practice before the Supreme Court and also the first woman to ever run for President of the United States. This is a great local history event. Everyone is welcome! Please come join! Refreshments will be provided. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Society President, Jennifer Bieber at 716-735-7335.

For a brief history of Belva Lockwood, read this column I wrote earlier this year:


The first annual Fall Sportsmen’s Show will take place Saturday and Sunday October 8th and 9th at the Hartland Conservationists Club on Orangeport Road. The show starts at 9:00 both days. Tables are $25 for exhibitors. For more info call Bill Buncy at 716.684.2279.