Monday, June 27, 2016


It was an awesome evening at the Roy-Hart commencement on Saturday! "Congrats" to all the graduates. What an impressive class! And "thank you" to the graduates and their families for giving me the chance to talk about the super powers given to us from an education at Roy-Hart and an upbringing in Gasport and Middleport. It was truly an honor to address my alma mater.

The transcript of the speech can be read here:

You can watch the speech here:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016


The next meeting of the Royalton Hartland Book Club is the perfect time for anyone interested in becoming a member to come and learn more about the group. On Monday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. Book Club members will be watching the movie “This is Where I Leave You”, the movie based on the bestselling book of the same title by Jonathan Tropper.

Last month, the Book Club read and discussed Tropper’s book, which is about four grown siblings who return to their childhood home after the death of their father. Amid the recollections of their past personal histories and failures, they reconnect in both funny and emotional ways. The 2014 movie of this comedy-drama story that features Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda will be shown in the upstairs meeting room at the library.

Anyone interested is invited to join the Book Club at their upcoming June 27 meeting to watch the movie and enjoy popcorn and other movie snacks.

At the group’s regular monthly meetings, members choose the book that they will discuss at the following meeting and a wide variety of genres are always considered.

For more information about the Royalton Hartland Library Book Club 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 .


FMC Corporation this week informed a group of property owners in Middleport that it has been requested by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), along with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (collectively, the “Agencies”) to perform additional investigative activities in a portion of the study area known as “Tributary One and Flood Plain South of Pearson/Stone Roads,” also referred to as “Operable Unit 6 or “OU6.” FMC agreed to perform property surveys, inspections, data collection, soil sampling and analysis in an OU6 Reach T1 Interim Corrective Measures Pre-design Work Plan, approved by NYSDEC on June 2, 2016.

The study area includes approximately 26 residential, commercial and public properties along the upstream portion of Tributary One and its flood plain between Francis St. on the south and the Erie Canal on the north. This investigation is part of FMC’s continuing effort to evaluate constituents relative to its plant in Middleport under the 1991 Administrative Order on Consent among FMC and the Agencies.

The activities to be conducted during the summer of 2016 may include:

• Inspecting properties to identify, survey, and mark sampling locations and property features;
• Collecting stream and/or wetland samples to characterize stream and bank conditions;
• Collecting surface and subsurface soil samples on selected properties;
• Inspecting the integrity of related structures (e.g., embankments, road/bridge foundations, storm sewer pipes).

The data and information that will be obtained will be used to better delineate the areas and depths of elevated arsenic on properties, and/or to evaluate the scope of any remediation that may be needed. FMC and/or its environmental consultants will be contacting individual property owners to discuss property-specific activities and to request permission to access the property.

Property owners with any concerns, comments or questions can contact the FMC Community Office at 735-9769 or in-person at 8 S. Vernon Street in Middleport. Walk-in hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Other times are available by appointment. Property owners are also invited to speak with a representative of the Agencies.

FMC is committed to operating safely in Middleport, NY to protect its employees, neighbors, and the environment in compliance with all applicable Federal and State regulations. It is also committed to protecting human health and the environment and has worked diligently with the community over the years to ensure the Village is safe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Royalton-Hartland's graduation ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday outside the high school. Yours truly will be the keynote speaker. Instead of focusing on the future as many commencement speakers do, I will look at the past and present and discuss how Roy-Hart and small town living have given the 113 graduates incredible academic and life skills and a better understanding of the human condition that could not be achieved in larger schools and communities. My challenge to the graduates will be "never forget who you are or where you came from."

Monday, June 20, 2016


Motor Vehicle Accicent with Injuries - Town of Royalton

Issued June 20 2016 1:40 PM by Niagara County Sheriff's Office

ROYALTON, NY - On the above date and time, patrol responded to a 911 call reporting a motor vehicle accident on Rochester Road, Town of Royalton, involving two small children as passengers. Initial investigation reveals that a 2003 Volkswagen Passat was travelling westbound on Rochester Rd. (Rte.31), when it veered off the north side of the roadway striking a culvert. The vehicle appears to have then overturned an undetermined number of times before coming to rest in the front yard of 8453 Rochester Rd.

The operator of the vehicle, 27 year old Amanda L. Kamae, stated that she briefly fell asleep causing the vehicle to travel off of the roadway just prior to striking the culvert. The driver was taken to Medina Memorial Hospital for injuries to her chest and abdominal region.

Both passengers were children of the driver. A 6 year old boy and a 1 year old girl were both transported to Children's Hospital by Mercy Flight. The 6 year old boy sustained injuries to his neck, chest, and lower abdomen, while the 1 year old received a contusion to the head region. The seriousness of the injuries sustained to all parties involved are unknown at this time.

Charges on the operator of the vehicle are pending completion of the investigation.


For years, Jeff Brown was an integral part of the Forth of July celebration in Gasport. Here's his heartfelt letter about the past, present and future of the event...

On Veteran’s Day, we thank all those who have served or are serving now.  On Memorial Day, we remember all those servicewoman and men who gave all.  On the 4th of July, Independence Day, we want to remember what our independence means. We get to be wherever we chose to enjoy the day with our family and friends.  Some people choose to spend that day joining in the festivities of the Royalton 4th of July Celebration. 

The History of the Royalton 4th of July Celebration

On September 11, 2001 all of our lives were changed.   After that day, Heather Torerrie, from the Talk of the Town, wanted to do something to remember all those who lost their lives that day, and to remember all those who were there to help in the midst of the tragedy or in the aftermath.  On July 4, 2002, she decided to have a parade in Gasport. There were a few residents who joined in her very first July 4th parade.  The next year there were more.

In 2003, the Great Royalton 4th of July Celebration was born at the Royalton Ravine, headed up by Tom Brigham Sr. and family.  Sons, daughters, sisters, brothers-in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews all assisted Tom in putting the festivities together. There was music, games for the kids, pie judging, pie eating contests, a strong man contest, and a lot of other family things to do.

In 2004, Tom and a few friends, myself included, went to take a pyrotechnic course so we could shoot fireworks at the Royalton Ravine on the Fourth of July.  To this day, none of us have been paid a nickel to light the fireworks.  In addition, we light the fireworks in Olcott every 3rd of July, donating any money we earn toward the Royalton 4th of July hoping to put on a bigger and better show each year.  Aside from that money, money from the chicken barbeque, held at the park each year, was put towards the fireworks and the remaining amount was paid for by Tom and his family. 

In 2008, Tom and family decided to step back and let a team of about twenty take over. I was late for the meeting that day, so guess who got nominated to take over?   Since that time, the whole crew has been amazing in putting this day together.  The volunteers over the years have been a great help. Linda Flagler and her group put the kid’s craft area together for the younger kids. Sue & Ed Soos took care of the games for the older kids.  The sponsors like Mike Drum, Deb Genet, Dominick Ciliberto, and their families, who not only make a monetary donation, would spend a lot of time helping wherever we needed help.  Then they would be at the Ravine, on the 3rd of July, to set up, all day on the 4th, and then return, yet again, on the 5th to clean up.   

Although this was not a town event, the Town of Royalton always paid for the insurance cost to cover the day, in addition to giving us a sizeable donation.   Local sponsors helped pay for the day and their names would be listed on a board that was displayed in the park.  After the 4th we always put a full page ad in the paper thanking all our sponsors.

July 4, 2015, was the 8th year our small team of volunteers, that gets smaller every year, put on quite a celebration for everyone to enjoy.  I had been searching for three years to find someone to take over. 

The Future of the Royalton 4th of July Celebration

Last year, Matt Snell said he would take it over.  Matt is excited to take over the celebration.

He wants to bring back the kids’ games and family fun that we have not been able to do the last few years due to a dwindling crew of volunteers.  While casting his vision to bring back the kids’ programs and other fun adult activities, it was decided that the Royalton 4th of July Celebration was outgrowing the Royalton Ravine.  It was decided that the celebration would need to be moved to Hartland Town Park.  I’m as excited as Matt that this 4th of July Celebration will continue. 

The Parade

As for the parade, I can say I dropped the ball.  Beth Tiefel, has run it for as long as I can remember. She has also has been asking for someone to take the reins.  I forgot to get someone to do the parade. If there is someone out there who would like to do it, there is still time.

I’m sure Matt will be looking for volunteers to help him as well.Matt's email is:

Special Thanks

To all the people who have helped over the years, I want the thank you all very much.

To all the Fire Departments, Gasport Chemical Hose, Terry’s Corners Fire Dept., Middleport Fire Dept., Wolcottsville Fire Dept., Hartland Fire Dept. thank you very much.

Niagara County Sheriff’s Dept. and Middleport Police, thank you.

To the Niagara County Parks Department, thank you.

To the Niagara County Work Release Program, thank you.

To my wife, Angie, who never saw me the month of June, I love you.

To all the new volunteers, thank you in helping Matt put together a new era in celebrating The 4th of July!

Jeff Brown

Friday, June 17, 2016


Gasport and Middleport glean a lot of summer tourism from boaters on the Erie Canal. Well, you can put the kibosh on a great deal of that for a while. The state will be draining the Canal from Middleport to Brockport for several weeks as they repair a culvert in Hulberton. No one saw that this culvert needed repair earlier??

The report from Orleans Hub:

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Pack 18 of Gasport built bat houses and bird houses as part of their World Conservation Award. They will be donating them to Camp Dittmer and Camp Sam Wood. It's a great project that will attract mosquito-eating creatures to the camps and, at the same time, help bat populations that have been decimated by white nose syndrome.


Today's Lockport Union Sun and Journal looks at Royalton Hartland class of 2016 valedictorian Benjamin Bacon and salutatorian Avery Green:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Niagara County’s newly appointed Highways czar spent several hours late last week briefing county leaders about the county’s $1.6 million 2016 road repair plan, before releasing the document to the public.

The plan, termed “comprehensive” by Deputy Commissioner of Public Works for Highways Dean Lapp, includes more than 31 miles of resurfacing on 15 county roads and more than 40 miles of crack repairs on 14 highways, as well as shoulder repair work set for eight county roads.

What county roads are impacted in Royalton and Hartland?

Crack filling:

·   Stone Road, from Middleport Erie Canal bridge to Route 104, Hartland
·   Griswold Street, from Graham Road to Route 77, Royalton
·   Royalton Center Road, from Griswold Street to Haseley Road, Royalton

Shoulder resurfacing:
·   Gasport Road, from Route 77 to Bunker Hill Road, Royalton

Road resurfacing:
·   Stone Road, from Middleport village line to Route 104, Royalton
·   Orangeport Road, from the 4200s to Route 104, Royalton
·   Griswold Street, from Route 77 to Graham Road, Royalton


If you've ever wanted to put your young son in the Cub Scout program, now's your chance to give it a try!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


In this week's opinion column for the Greater Niagara Newspapers, I correct those who believe that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to run for President. I focus on the woman who was OFFICIALLY the first -- Royalton's own Belva Lockwood. Some historians will argue that Victoria Woodhull was the first, but she didn't appear on official ballots and she didn't meet the age required for the Presidency among other things...and, hey, we gotta stick up for Gasport people!

Here it is:


The Niagara County Sheriff's Department’s criminal investigation bureau is investigating an apparent arson that occurred at an Orangeport Road address early Saturday morning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


The Fourth of July celebration will take place on Monday, July 4th, 2016 at Hartland Town Park. Many people have wondered about the reasons for the change in venue. The photo above is an excerpt from the 4th of July Committee's letter regarding the event. Please continue to support the event with donations and attendance -- it is still a Gasport event and it will still be a great time.

If your business would like to make a donation to the event, make checks payable to "Royalton 4th of July" and mail to Matt Snell, 4th of July Committee, 8511 East Ave., Gasport, NY 14067.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I received a lot of inquiries regarding the Royalton Fourth of July in recent days. There is a change in venue -- the 4th of July celebration is going to be in Hartland this year. I will secure details from event organizers this week and I will post the information here.

Friday, June 3, 2016


FMC Corporation, which operates the Agricultural Solutions plant in Middleport, is hosting an Ice Cream Social Mix and Mingle on Wednesday, June 22 for Middleport area residents, their families and children of all ages.

The free event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the FMC Community Office at 8 S. Vernon St., Middleport.

Residents are encouraged to attend and at the same time have the opportunity to learn more about FMC’s community partnership, environmental and Home Value Assurance programs.


Drum Oil is having an open house to celebrate their 70th Anniversary! It will be held Wed., July 13 and Thurs., July 14 from 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM each day. They will have food, games, prizes, and giveaways! More details to follow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Zion Lutheran Church got a new Facebook page at The original page was set-up as standard person profile and Facebook purged all such profile used by non-profits and businesses recently. Now, it's an official page. Be sure to "like" Zion's page to learn more about their worship, activities and missions.