Friday, November 30, 2012


The Christmas open house at Schwab Farm Market will take place this weekend from 9:00 to 5:00 on Saturday and Sunday. There will be refreshments, special deals, prizes and more!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Reporting for 1st Responder Broadcast News, Stephen Wallace covered an accident in Royalton where a car went off the road and nearly ended up in a creek.

He notes....

The creek however made it so the rescue all took part from the drivers side. The steep angle made it difficult to move in and out of the car, however T.C. had Durff on scene a veteran rescue and fire scene overseer. Durff used his skills to carefully maneuver manpower in and out of the scene and to make sure the best care was being utilized in the safest manner.

Read his report and see a collection of 8 on-scene photos here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


On Monday, December 3, the members of the Book Club at the Royalton Hartland Community Library will be getting into the Christmas season as they discuss holiday-themed fiction at 7 p.m. in the upstairs Community Room.

All adults are welcome to attend and to share their seasonal favorites.

“The library has a collection of holiday-themed fiction to choose from, and interested participants are invited to stop by for a copy if they need a book or an idea for our Book Club discussion on December 3,” says Rose Bernard, Library Director.

“It’s great when new folks join us and expand our horizons with their interests and insights,” she adds. “Our Book Club is a group of local people who just love to read, and want to share their good reads with other people,” says Rose Bernard, Library Director.

Anyone interested in the Roylaton Hartland Community Library Book Club or the group’s December 3 meeting can call 735-3281 or visit the library at 9 Vernon Street in Middleport. Program updates are also posted online at

Sunday, November 25, 2012


When you’re out and about shopping for Christmas, please extend your giving beyond your family. Please buy a gift for a needy child in Gasport.

The Mitten Tree is back this year.

This is the sixth year for this awesome program that is run by Absolut Care, the Gasport Lions Club and the Roy-Hart Schools.

Here’s how it works…

The tree will be located out front of the Gasport post office at the corner of Main Street and Route 31 and it will be dedicated this Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

Take a mitten from it and give a gift that is appropriate to the age/gender of the child noted on the mitten.

Attach the mitten to the unwrapped gift and drop it off by Wednesday, December 12th at Absolut Care, the Elementary School or Drum Oil. The Lions Club will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays.

It’s extremely important that the community supports the Mitten Tree. The economy is still a mess, unemployment is still high, and we need everyone in the community to be heroes to those who can't afford to brighten their kids' Christmas.

Please participate and make Christmas a little better for a child – maybe even your neighbor – who is in need. That’s what the holiday is all about.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Here is a news release from the Niagara County Sheriffs Office regarding a home fire in Gasport. Bad news any time of the year, more so at the holidays. Sad:

On 11/24/12 at approximately 05:23 hours, NCSO responded to 4729 Cottage Road for a structure fire. Upon arrival, patrol units observed the house fully engulfed and the three occupants of the house safely out.

Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Company responded along with South Lockport and Gasport Volunteer Fire Companies.

The homeowners, THOMAS and BARBARA VENDETTA were taken to Lockport hospital for evaluation of possible smoke inhalation.

Fire Command requested that National Grid respond to turn off the power. RED CROSS was notified for 3 adults.

Once the fire was extinguished, the scene was turned over to Niagara County Fire Investigation Unit. The house was estimated to be a total loss.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The 7th annual co-ed Alumni Basketball game takes place tonight at the Roy-Hart high school gym. The festivities start at 7PM and all proceeds benefit all Roy-Hart sports and student-athletes. Post game party at Pony's. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Board Meeting Agenda

Mon, Nov 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

1. Open Meeting 2. Pledge to the Flag 3. Public Hearings - Special Benefit Assessment Roll & 2013 Budget 4. Additions or corrections of the minutes as presented 5. Public Comment - Agenda Items Only 6. Communications / Petitions
New Business

« Resolution to accept the Supervisor's Report for the month of October 2012.

« Resolution to accept the Special Benefit Assessment Roll for the Town of Royalton as follows:

Water District With Improvements .................................. $250.00 / Unit
Water District Without Improvements .............................. $ 50.00 / Unit
Unimproved District with Water .................................. $ 10.00 / Unit
Unimproved District Without Water ................................. $ 1.00 / Unit

ROYALTON REFUSE DISTRICT: ................................. $181.75 / Unit

Resolution to adopt the 2013 Town of Royalton Budget as presented. The amounts to be raised by taxation are as follows:

DRAINAGE FUND $128,452.00

Pursuant to Section 108 of the New York State Town Law, the proposed salaries of the Town Officers are hereby specified:

Supervisor (1) $16,000.00
Town Board Members (4) $24,000.00 ($ 6,000.00 each)
Town Justice (2) $35,496.00 ($17,748.00 each)
Town Clerk (1) $45,241.00
Superintendent of Highways (1) $58,298.00
Tax Collector (1) $ 6,600.00

FURTHER NOTICE is given that pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 495, the Exemption report that shows total assessed value on the final assessment roll that was used in the budgetary process that is exempt from taxation is on file with the Preliminary 2013 Budget.

Resolution to re-appoint Mr. John Villella to the Board of Assessment Review for a five (5) year term. Term of office to run from 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2017.

Resolution to accept Jack Baker as a Junior Member of the Wolcottsville Volunteer Fire Company.

Resolution to authorize Mr. Richard O'Grady to mow the Royalton Mountain Ridge Cemetery and prepare it for winter due to the recent rain storms from Hurricane Sandy.

Resolution to award the bid for the 64-Gallon Curbside Recycle Carts to Cascade Engineering, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $112,250.00 for the purchase of 2,500 carts. Bids received for this contract are as follows:

Cascade Engineering, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI $112,250.00
Rehrig Pacific Company, Erie, PA $120,935 or $120,800.00 (Depending on In Mold Label)

Resolution to acknowledge that the Town Board of the Town of Royalton has examined and audited the Town Justice Courts records for fiscal year ending in 2012.

Resolution to authorize Highway Superintendent Terry Nieman to purchase a new Utility Trailer from Bobcat of Buffalo at a cost not to exceed $5,694.00. Bids received for this piece of equipment are as follows:

Bobcat of Buffalo, Lockport NY $5,694.00 STS Trailer & Truck Equipment, Bowmansville, NY $5,850.00
Monroe Tractor, Buffalo, NY $6,898.00

Resolution to authorize Highway Superintendent Terry Nieman to purchase a Double Drum Vibrating Roller from Five Star Equipment, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $28,696.00. Bids received for this piece of equipment are as follows:

Five Star Equipment, Inc., Orchard Park, NY $28,696.00 (New)
Admar Supply Co., Inc., Tonawanda, NY $32,900.00 (New)
Milton Cat, Syracuse, NY $33,396.00 (Used-2011)
Monroe Tractor, Buffalo, NY $34,450.00 (New)
Vantage Equipment, Batavia, NY $36,518.00 (New)

Resolution for authorization to pay the bills.

Any additional items that need to come before the board at this time.

7. Public Comment - Good and Welfare of the Community
8. Adjournment - Motion to Adjourn


Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest party/bar nights of the year...many people return to their hometowns for family get-togethers and the Wednesday before the big dinner represents a great time to catch up with old friends.

There's a perfect venue for such celebration in Gasport.

Becker Brewing Company at Becker Farms will be hosting a Thanksgiving Eve party on Wednesday the 21st from 8:00 PM to midnight. There will be beer, wine, and food along with live music by Dave Stockton and Pocket Change.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Former Royalton town supervisor, former Roy-Hart wrestling coach and retired DEC officer Dick Lang just released a book entitled "Behind The Badge: My Life as a Game Warden".

The 368-page tome is available at for $12.76 before shipping and taxes. The description on the website reads:

Whoever thought conservation work could be so exciting! After 34 years as a New York State Environmental Conservation Officer, Dick Lang has more stories than could fit into any one volume. Join him as he watches a fellow officer give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a deer, runs high-speed chases after dark, moves a cougar in the patrol car, finds a skeleton in the trunk of a car, and many more fun stories. Told in Dick’s comfortable, easy-to-read style and embellished with photos and illustrations, this is a book that will appeal to all ages and is a tribute to the dedication of our Environmental Conservation Officers, regardless of which state they patrol.

I've ordered my copy and look forward to reading of Dick's adventures. The Amazon link is:

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The Middleport Community Choirs presents...

Selections from Messiah

Friday, December 14, 2012 7:00 PM

United Methodist Church Middleport, NY

This free performance will join the Middleport Community Choir and the United Methodist Choir, singing selected choruses from "The Messiah".

The featured organist will be Danielle Mileham.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I received a message from Kelly Murphy who's trying to get the community behind a great cause through Clorox and it's "Power a Bright Future" program. Let's give her --- and our community -- the support!

Here's the lowdown on the endeavor.

There will be a total of 7 grants given away by Clorox this year — 4 based on votes, and 3 based on judge’s pick. The nomination with the most votes overall will receive a $50,000 grant. The nominations with the most votes in each category will each receive a $25,000 grant. Clorox will then review all nominations and pick one from each category based on merit to award a $25,000 grant in each category.

If Roy-Hart were to win the Clorox contest the corporation would give the District money to build a new playground at Gasport Elementary. The description on the Clorox website reads as follows:

Roy-Hart Elementary School is seeking this grant to grow its existing playground with newer, safer, and more adaptive equipment to serve children of all abilities and ages in its district. The old, weathered playground that existed before the expansion is now half its original size to accommodate the new building, and has no adaptive play equipment for children with special needs to learn and develop to the best of their abilities. In addition, it would benefit the rural community as a whole because it would be a gathering place for families to allow their children a safe place to play and grow.

There are 35 days left to vote. You can vote on the website and by text EVERY DAY. 

The text code is 681pbf (text to 95248).

The Roy-Hart page on the Clorox website is: Add it to your "favorites" and vote everyday.

This is just like how Lockport Hospital got their MRI machine.So, vote often...share this on your Facebook pages to get more people involved.

Let's add to our little gem of a community with a victory!


Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES has identified three finalists for the District’s next top administrator. Among them is the superintendent of  Royalton-Hartland, Kevin MacDonald.

The three finalists are scheduled for day-long school visits which will include a community forum which allows staff and the community to meet the applicants and ask questions. MacDonald is there today.

Here is the bio that BOCES has provided the press...

Kevin MacDonald has worked his way up through the ranks from teacher, teacher on Special Assignment/assistant principal in the Lewiston-Porter CSD, High School principal at Royalton-Hartland CSD, director of Alternative Education at Erie 1 BOCES, assistant superintendent at Orleans/Niagara BOCES, and for the last three and half years, superintendent of Schools in Royalton-Hartland CSD. 

As a teacher, MacDonald traveled to Moscow, Russia to work with Russian teachers on how to teach democracy. He set up a sister school in Minsk, Belarus that would allow for exchange of students with the students of Lewiston-Porter CSD in Western New York. Additionally, he was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Committee for Identifying and Developing Educational Leaders (CIDEL) to participate in the Superintendents Development program sponsored by SUNY Oswego.

He has been asked to conduct a number of presentations on a variety of topics including "Managing School District Finances in Turbulent Times” to the group Leadership Niagara that earned a "Top Speaker" award for the 2012 cohort of Leadership Niagara. Other presentations included "Integrated Academics in CTE," "The Changing Face of Education in our Community," “Impact of Carl D. Perkins Grant," and "The Future of Education in Niagara County."

MacDonald has been active in a number of community groups and has served on a number of Boards including Leadership Niagara, Niagara County Workforce Investment Board, Niagara Frontier Industry and Education Council, Niagara County Comprehensive Economic Development Committee, and Wheatfield Blades Youth Hockey. Most recently he has been appointed as a Board member for the Rural Schools Association of New York State, and represents the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

He has been a member of many professional organizations including NYSCOSS, Phi Delta Kappa, Association of Career and Technical Education, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and American Association of School Administrators

MacDonald and his wife Kim have been married for 17 years, and have four children together. In addition to coaching youth ice hockey, he enjoys playing golf and getting away once a year on a family vacation that allows them a rare opportunity to spend time with each other with no other interruptions or distractions.

Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Fredonia
Master of Science from Buffalo State College
School District Administrator Certification from Niagara University

See how he fares against the other candidates by reading the Wayne Post article here:


The NY-Alert system sent out this message yesterday...

NY Alert is sending this notice because you registered to receive notification when an offender moves into or out of your requested area. We are notifying you of a move into/out of the area you specified.

HENRY W SMITH has moved from 7578 ROCHESTER RD, GASPORT, NY 14067 to 73 ELMWOOD AVE APT 1, LOCKPORT, NY 14094

Please access the Sex Offender Sub-directory from the Division of Criminal Justice Services website by clicking on the following link for additional details for this move. Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2012


The Royalton Hartland Community Library is looking for someone with a great collection to fill their showcase with a holiday exhibit for December and a winter exhibit for January.

These featured collections are a big hit at the library and can feature almost anything from collectibles, antiques, memorabilia, kvetch items, historical pieces and more.

Your items are safely inside a glass case for people to see for the month. When the month is over, they return them to you with their thanks for sharing them.

Please call the library at 716-735-3281 and let them know if you are interested in having lots of people "ooh" and "ahh" over your collection.


Last week we linked to a Lockport Union Sun & Journal story about an arraignment that occurred in the Hartland town hall parking lot because the individual who was arrested (19 year old Zach Dunn) was so belligerent and unruly they couldn't get him out of the police car. So, they brought the court to him. 

The editor -- Mr. John Hopkins -- featured this event in his weekly Sunday column which you can read here:

Among his comments in his column....

On Facebook, a reader challenged some of the story. We asked for proof and the reader responded with a link to a shaky video of the incident on You Tube. The footage lasts less than two minutes. Most of the comments on You Tube are too explicit to repeat here, but it’s obvious that some at the party felt the deputies went too far.

After viewing the video, I disagree.

Although most of the video is dark, it seems fairly obvious that the man is acting belligerent toward the deputies. They ask him if he wants to go to jail and he responds by asking the deputy, “do you want to take your badge off?” The rest is difficult to make out.

However, it’s fairly clear that the man pushes a deputy. That’s when several deputies tried to arrest him.

Had he simply complied with a simple request, he’d probably have been released on an appearance ticket. Instead, he’s facing a felony charge for assaulting a police officer.

Here is the YouTube video that Hopkins mentioned. As he alludes to above, the content and the comments aren't very family friendly...

From my perspective watching this grainy video, the police did nothing out of the ordinary...and nothing wrong. The kid was obviously belligerent and it certainly appears that he takes the first swing at the officer.

I agree with Hopkins' assessment of the event.

Seems to me that those who might find the arrest controversial are those who count themselves as friends of the arrested individual.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Do women more love their community than men do?

That's the question I pose after looking at the age and sex demographics for the fans of the Gasport Facebook page. According to Facebook analytics, females comprise a great majority of those who "like" Gasport.

60.3% of the page's 1,349 fans are women while 38.4%  are men.

Don't ask me who makes up the remaining 1.3%.


In their celebration of Veterans Day, WIVB (TV 4) is recognizing local soldiers.

Among them is Gasport's Jacob Torriere.

Here is their profile of the patriotic young man...


The Niagara County Sheriff's Department has announced that Melvin Nichols was the victim of the tree-cutting accident that occurred in Gasport on Wednesday evening.

Melvin was a veteran of WWII and a local contractor. Here is his obituary....

Melvin James Nichols, age 88, of Gasport, entered into rest on Thursday, November 8, 2012. Born December 7, 1923 in Lockport, he was the son of the late Edward and Elsie (Watling) Nichols.

Melvin enlisted in the US Navy in 1941 and was honorably discharged in 1946. While serving his country, he served on several ships and was a plank owner or "original crew member" on the USS Yorktown. In 1944, Melvin married Dorothy Grice in Norfolk, VA. Mrs. Nichols passed away in 1993. Melvin was an honorary graduate of Lockport High School. He was a master craftsman and worked as a self employed contractor. He built many homes in the area including his own. He enjoyed woodworking, farming, working on his tractors and logging the woods near his home. Melvin was a member of the Gasport American Legion Post #1253 and the Hartland Historical Society. He was a lifetime resident of the Gasport area.

He is survived by his children: James (Pam) Nichols of Indiana, Donna (Thomas) Eckman of Argentina, Steve Nichols of Hamburg, Jan (Mark) Harris of Rochester and Joyce (Lee) Wright of Gasport. 15 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive him. Brother of the late: Herbert Nichols, Dora Cave, Irene Roberts, Richard Nichols, June Carr and Myrtle Bisher.

Family and friends are invited to attend visitation at the Sherrie-Bream Funeral Home, 4521 Main Street, Gasport, on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:00 am at Ridgewood Bible Church, 7073 Ridge Road, Lockport, NY. Interment will be in Orangeport Union Cemetery, Gasport, NY.

Memorials appreciated to Ridgewood Bible Church or Niagara Hospice.

You can leave condolences online here:



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Royalton will hold separate public hearings on the matters referenced to herein at the Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Road, Middleport, New York, on the 19th day of November, 2012 beginning at 7:00 PM (local time); said public hearings shall be as follows:


Water District With Improvements $250.00 / Unit
Water District Without Improvements $ 50.00 / Unit
Unimproved District with Water $ 10.00 / Unit
Unimproved District Without Water $ 1.00 / Unit




Amounts to be raised by taxation are as follows:

DRAINAGE FUND $ 128,452.00

Pursuant to Section 108 of the New York State Town Law, the proposed salaries of the Town Officers are hereby specified:

Supervisor (1) $16,000.00
Town Board Members (4) $24,000.00 ($ 6,000.00 each)
Town Justice (2) $35,496.00 ($17,748.00 each)
Town Clerk (1) $45,241.00
Superintendent of Highways (1) $58,298.00
Tax Collector (1) $ 6,600.00

FURTHER NOTICE is given that pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 495, the Exemption report that shows total assessed value on the final assessment roll that was used in the budgetary process that is exempt from taxation is on file with the Preliminary 2013 Budget.

The Town Board of the Town of Royalton will hear any person in favor of or against the preliminary budget as filed with the Town Clerk. All parties in interest and citizens will be heard at the public hearings to be held as aforesaid.

Friday, November 9, 2012


An 88-year-old man died just after 6:00 PM last night when the tree he was working on behind 7685 Wheeler Rd. in Gasport fell upon him. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the Sheriff's Department has yet to release his name.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The Hartland town hall was the site of a very unusual judicial experience earlier this week as a 19-year-old man was arraigned in the parking lot after deputies reported they couldn’t remove him from a patrol car due to his “uncontrollable state.”

Read the entire report at the Lockport US&J's website:


The Roy-Hart school board meets tonight at 7:00 the High School media center. Download the agenda and board member packet here:


The Hartland Town Board is proposing a 6 cent tax rate hike when it presents its preliminary $3 million budget for 2013 during a public hearing planned for 7:30 p.m. today.

The hearing is set for Town Hall, 8942 Ridge Road, and will be followed by a regular meeting.

The 6 cent increase in the rate per $1,000 assessed value would raise the tax rate from $2.41 to $2.47, according to Town Supervisor William R. Annable.

Read about the details of the budget in this Buffalo News report....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The Lockport Union Sun and Journal is saying -- unofficially -- that Laura Wagner is Royalton's new town justice, having what appears to be a 362 vote lead over Jim Budde.

Read the article here:

Monday, November 5, 2012


The New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship is for New York high school seniors who have some involvement with agriculture in one of its many forms. Applications are due November 18th and final judging will take place in March. It is open to any youth who live, work or are involved with a farm and are pursuing further education in agriculture. District winners receive $100 plus a gift and compete for the state-wide scholarships, offered in $1,500, $1,200 and $1,000 denominations.

For details and an application, go here and scroll to the bottom of the page:


In 2010, Lockport's Pete Robinson -- a community organizer and a court officer for Niagara County -- founded the Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive to satisfy a need of food pantries to provide the nourishing and tasty food to local kids.

The Drive, now in its third year, is underway in Niagara County. Collection will continue till December 6th, after which they'll begin to distribute the goods to local food pantries.

They need your help!

Donate what you can. But know they do not accept money...only peanut butter, jelly or fluff.

Collection sites in Gasport and Middleport are:

The Chop Shop
Middleport Village Hall
Royalton Town Hall
Royalton-Hartland High School

Saturday, November 3, 2012


The DEC has leftover deer management permits ("doe permits") for 13 units across the state, including 9A which includes a good portion of Gasport:

Those parts of Erie and Niagara Counties lying within a continuous line beginning at the confluence of the East Branch of the Niagara River and Tonawanda Creek (Niagara-Erie county boundary) near Tonawanda; thence easterly along the Niagara-Erie county boundary (Tonawanda Creek) to Route 78; thence northerly along Route 78 to Route 31 in Lockport; thence northeasterly along Route 31 to Route 31E at Middleport; thence northerly along Route 31E to Niagara County Route 271 (Stone Road); thence northerly along Niagara County Route 271 to Route 104; thence easterly along Route 104 to Route 269 (County Line Road) at Jeddo; thence northerly along Route 269 and its northern extension to the south shore of Lake Ontario at the eastern boundary of Golden Hill State Park; thence westerly along the south shore of Lake Ontario to the New York-Canadian boundary; thence southerly along the New York-Canadian boundary to the Grand Island-Tonawanda town line; thence northeasterly along the Grand Island-Tonawanda town line to the Niagara-Erie county boundary; thence easterly along the Niagara-Erie county boundary to the point of beginning.

Applications for leftover DMPs will be accepted at license issuing outlets only. Applications will not be accepted by phone, mail or on-line for leftover DMPs.
  • Hunters may apply for and receive up to two additional DMPs in these WMUs.
  • Applicants with licenses that are exempt from paying a DMP application fee or hunters who have previously applied for DMPs this license year will not be charged any additional fees during the extended application period. Otherwise, there is a non-refundable $10 application fee for leftover DMPs.
  • Leftover DMPs are issued on a first-come / first-serve basis. DEC will continue to issue permits in these WMUs until sufficient numbers of DMPs are issued to achieve optimum management in each unit. When a unit is opened, it will remain open at least until close of business that day. At the end of the business day, any units that have reached the desired number of permits will be closed.
  • Applications for leftover DMPs will not affect any preference points held by the applicant.
Note: DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU for which they are issued.

Friday, November 2, 2012


After being closed due to Hurricane Sandy, the Niagara section of the Erie Canal is open for navigation again.


If you're looking for dinner after you've hit the polls on Tuesday night (and haven't yet lost your appetite from all of the politics in recent weeks), stop by Hartland United Methodist Church where Donna Eick's crew will be serving chicken & biscuits from 4:30 to 6:30. The Church is located at 8017 Ridge Road, just to the west of Hartland Corners (Route 104 & Hartland Road).