Thursday, May 26, 2016


Everyone needs friends, and that includes the Friends of the Library group at the Royalton Hartland Community Library in Middleport.

The group would like to invite anyone interested in supporting the Royalton Hartland Community Library to their upcoming meeting that will be Thursday, June 9 at 4 p.m. at the library, 9 S. Vernon Street in Middleport.

The Friends of the Library is an active group of people who gather together to support the Royalton Hartland Community Library. They volunteer, fundraise and help spread the word about what is happening at the library throughout the community.

This year, the Friends group is excitedly looking ahead to everything happening this year at the library, and it promises to be a very busy year with many programs and activities for all ages and interests.

All current members, new members and those interested in becoming members are encouraged to attend the June 9 meeting as the group will be discussing how the group can assist with the summer and fall programs, book sales, and other ideas planned for the library.

For more information about the Friends of the Library or the Royalton Hartland Community Library and its many programs, please visit the library’s website at or you can call the library at 735-3281.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Gasport hikers and outdoorspeople: Exercise sound practices when it comes to keeping yourself tick-free or removing ticks if you get one in your skin. The County has discovered that Gasport is a hotbed for ticks carrying Lyme Disease. And, please, DO NOT let this news deter you from enjoying the outdoors.

The report from the Buffalo News...


Tuesday, May 17, 2016



A few years back, Chris Kelley started an endeavor to restore and recreate tractors, engines and sprayers that were manufactured by Friend Mfg. Co., which once was a very large manufacturer in Gasport.

In celebration of Friend and other antique farm equipment, Chris and Becker Farms are hosting the fourth annual Friend Fest on June 19th.

Monday, May 16, 2016


In the Roy-Hart Report that was mailed to all residents of the school district last week, they made the official announcement that I will be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation. It's a great honor and I am looking forward to talking to the graduates and their families. Rather than a typical commencement address that looks to the future, mine instead will focus on the past and present, highlighting the stellar foundation and awesome skills that our students have received from attending a small school like Roy-Hart and residing in wonderful communities like Gasport and Middleport. They are prepared for the big world ahead of them...and more so than most.


Tickets are now available at Standish Jones for the chicken barbecue dinner that will be held during their June celebration. Your donation of $10 per meal will benefit Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and the Leos Club, who will be serving the dinner on Saturday, June 18th.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Roy-Hart's class of 1996 20th Reunion is taking place in July. They are are having a 2-day event.

Event 1 is casual on Saturday, July 23rd 4pm -? at the Davison Road Inn (DRI) in Lockport. A private area on the patio has been reserved. Food and beverages can be purchased as desired.

Event 2 is more formal (but dress to comfort) on Sunday, July 24th 12p-3p at Spring Lake Winery in Lockport. There will be a lunch buffet by the lake, coffee bar, 1 hour of open bar, and 1 hour of cash bar. Tickets are $47 a person and must be purchased no later than July 10th by calling Spring Lake winery at (716) 439-5253.

Details for the event are on Spring Lake Winery Facebook page as well as at check under events.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


The annual spring card party hosted by the Gasport Chemical Hose Ladies Auxiliary will take place on Monday, May 16th at 6:00 PM at the fire hall. Admission is $5. There will be basket raffles, door prizes, 50/50 and food. There will also be a raffle for a 40" flat screen TV.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


If you or someone you live with has a chronic illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain, arthritis or anxiety, you are invited to attend the six-week learning and support sessions at the Royalton Hartland Community Library beginning Wednesday, May 18 from 12 to 3 p.m.

These workshops, entitled “Chronic Health Issues Learning & Support” are conducted by the Niagara County Department of Health, and take place over a period of six weeks. They are offered at no cost to participants.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide simple steps to help people manage signs and symptoms of their diseases, to promote active and fulfilling lifestyles, and to feel better. Caregivers are also encouraged to attend to be able to learn, share, and support each other.

The Niagara County Department of Health is offering these sessions to provide learning and a support group for those who live with chronic health issues and to partners and caregivers of people who live with chronic health issues.

Attendees will learn how to manage health and support well-being in a caring environment, and will be able to connect to local services. Light refreshments will also be available.

For more information about the Royalton Hartland Library and the library’s other programs please call the library at (716) 735-3281. Additional details can be found online at the library’s website at


Today's Buffalo News has a nice write-up about Roy-Hart softball coach Larry Lash:


In case you missed it, Sunday's Lockport paper had a nice article about the Flower Barn:

Friday, May 6, 2016


Here is a statement from Bill Arnold, chairman of the Middleport Community Input Group, regarding yesterday's press release by the NYSDEC...

The term "required" in the DEC news release is a bit of an overstatement. The school and residents in the M and K blocks, or for that matter any of the 182 properties under DEC consideration, are NOT required to remediate and the owners have the right to refuse. There is justification to refuse. As stated by the DEC in their response summary to public comments published in May, 2013, there is no peer reviewed studies that support arsenic in soil is hazardous to human health.

The DEC base their belief that soil containing arsenic above 20 PPM should be remediated on studies performed mostly in third world countries where arsenic was in drinking water or in water used to irrigate rice patties. These conditions do not exist in Middleport or on the school grounds.

I was assured by a DEC managing engineer that "arm twisting" of residents would not be used but to say remediation is required under that Final Statement of Basis is pushing it.

FMC has not agreed to the cleanup goal of all soil above 20 PPM be remediated but would have begun remediation three years ago if the goal of an average 20 PPM with a maximum of 40 PPM was used. FMC believes this goal would be just as protective and it fell within EPA guidelines when the Final Statement of Basis was issued. As for the school, they don't have much of a choice to refuse. It was suggested by the State Education Department if the school board did not agree to the DEC plans, their state funding might be in jeopardy. That seems to exceed arm twisting.


Royalton-Hartland is throwing out its academic eligibility policy and will instead use what officials call a "more proactive approach" to addressing all students who are struggling academically.


The Buffalo News is running a candidate profile series for local school board elections. Today's installment looks at Jason Wilhelm who's running for the Roy-Hart board:

Thursday, May 5, 2016


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Phase two of the soil remediation effort will begin on June 27 on the grounds of the Royalton-Hartland (Roy-Hart) High School and on May 3 at residences located on the K and M Blocks in the Village of Middleport, Niagara County. This remediation is part of the overall 14.4-acre remediation effort required under the Final Statement of Basis (FSB) issued by DEC in May 2013 regarding the cleanup of the FMC Corporation Middleport facility site.

The 2013 FSB requires the removal of arsenic contamination exceeding the 20 part per million soil cleanup objective from the Roy-Hart High School property. To date, approximately 8,000 cubic yards of material has been excavated from the school property by DEC due to FMC's refusal to implement the remedy. During phase two, DEC will excavate and remove approximately 900 cubic yards of arsenic-contaminated soil from the Roy-Hart High School inner courtyards and grass areas adjacent to the southwestern side of the high school during the summer of 2016.

DEC is currently working with the Royalton-Hartland Board of Education and school district officials to develop a construction schedule for all remaining soil remediation activities at the school.
Remedial work will also restart this month to complete the excavation and removal of arsenic-contaminated soil from three residential properties within the K and M Block areas as well as the remaining 28 residential properties within the K and M Block areas that have signed on to the project.
DEC and partnering contractors have worked closely with the Village Mayor and public works staff to coordinate this work on the K and M blocks. The DEC project team has also engaged in extensive outreach with residential property owners in this area and will continue these activities until the project is complete.

The FSB identifies a total of 182 properties in the Village of Middleport for cleanup and DEC will continue its cleanup activities until all impacted properties have been addressed, as required by the FSB. Any property owners within the K and M Blocks who have not already responded to DEC to schedule remediation of their properties are encouraged to contact Dave Chiusano at 518-402-9813 or

Additional information regarding the cleanup of the FMC Middleport Facility and a map of the K and M Blocks can be found at DEC's website.


The DEC has sent along another press release about remediation of the soils on the Roy-Hart property and neighboring areas:

Monday, May 2, 2016



Here is a photo from Amy Drum -- it's a bald eagle eating carrion off of Root Road in Gasport. I saw the same bird by the canal in the hamlet on Sunday morning. Let's hope it hangs around!