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"Between the Bridges"
2011
by Teddy Linenfelser
Grand Island, N.Y.
Previous Columns


Photo courtesy of Rich Call
Class of '85

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Good morning Stan Hill on Grand Island and good morning Amanda Dilliot in Tonawanda.

Happy birthday Roger Kaiser III and Jim Sharpe (today), to Paul Facklam III (6 tomorrow), Christopher Podlucky (21 tomorrow), Susan Hahn (cheers tomorrow), Elsie Fleischmann (a grand 96 on Saturday), Carolyn McKibbon and Jeanette Ray (Saturday), Edward Bookhagen (52 on Saturday), Vince Ramsperger (Sunday), Ramona Blackmore (her 91st birthday on Monday), Justin Long (30 on Wednesday), and Lynn Vaine and Hollis Busch (best wishes on Wednesday).

Happy anniversary to Todd and Karin Roesch who are celebrating their third wedding anniversary today.

A happy new year to Chuck and Carol Dunworth. Please pray for Chuck who remains very sick. ••••Carol's sister, Gail Click has had recent and successful back surgery and we wish her a complete and quick recovery.••••Please keep my brother-in-law Jim Stewart Sr. in your prayers. This week's reports on his illness were not as good as hoped.

Islander Earl B. Clements, a retired school bus driver who volunteers as a driver for the American Red Cross, was among 16 exceptional older volunteers recently recognized by the Erie County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Earl was recognized for his 4430 volunteer hours and received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Among the presenters was County Executive Chris Collins.

Looking Back 60 years - Among new students boarding the Sidway School bus at Love Road and Stony Point the first week in January 1952 were Maury McFee (Davidson) (Mrs. Radius' 3rd grade), Kathy Zavodny (Brehm) (Mrs. Miles' first grade), Ronald Mueller (Miss Long's 4th grade), Wendy Holden (Gaydica) (Mrs. Kennelly's 5th grade), Harry Roberts (Miss Ehde's 3rd grade), Carol Roberts (Fischer) (Miss Cady's 5th grade). Their families and many more had just moved into their new homes in the Coldbrook Estates on Stony Point Road over the Christmas holidays. ••••Announced in the bi-weekly "Island Dispatch" was the fact that the Bedell House was to be under the new management of Louis P. Meyer on January 1, 1952, Mesmer's Tavern was closing for the winter, and that the fire hall bar with the only horseshoe court would stay open.

Looking Back 50 years - "Skip" Helbock was the proprietress of the Golden Thimble in the Grand Island Plaza. ••••Grand Island was equipped to receive water from the Niagara County Water District and was to be billed for a minimum of 200,000 gallons a day as of January 1, 1962.

Looking Back 30 years - A new law that provided parking for the handicapped went into effect on January 1, 1982.

Our sympathy to the family of Steven M. Majewicz who recently passed away. Catholic priest Rev. Mark A. Illig who served as associate pastor at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in the 1980s died Wednesday, December 21st at age 55. •••• See Deaths for complete information.

Hard to believe the Buffalo Bills outscored the Denver Broncos Saturday with a score of 40-14 to end a seven-game losing streak. According to the Buffalo News, attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium was 45,112, the smallest in a decade.

Chuck Berlinger reported on Facebook at midday on December 24th, a "Critter Alert for the Sandy Beach Neighborhood!!! Three large coyotes were spotted on Wallace Dr. about 3:30 a.m. today! Walking down the middle of the road from East River towards North Park! Keep an eye on your pets after dark!" •••• Chuck, by the way, played nine holes of golf in Buffalo Christmas Day.


Meet our kitten, six-month-old Mischief, who has truly lived up to her name this season. Nothing we did persuaded her to stop jumping into the Christmas tree and climbing to the top, leaving the limbs bent and huge holes in our artificial tree. All ornaments were of no sentimental value this year and it's a good thing. Just makes us realize how small our problems are.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Metro Town Center - 1980 Whitehaven Road - Betty Harris - President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
Grand Island Teachers Association - Thank you teachers for your support!
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski - Just for kids
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Grand Island School Music Boosters' "Night at the Races"takes place Saturday evening at the Grand Island Moose Lodge. Everyone welcome. ••••The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced a hike at Beaver Island State Park on January 1st. See State Parks Hike for complete information.

"Email me" your news for this column, including new babies, engagements and weddings as well as your cares, concerns, successes, birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy new year. Have a great weekend!

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, December 22, 2011


Good morning Cindy Mason Shields in Davenport, FL and good morning Russell Hill on Grand Island, NY.

Be sure to take a ride around our beautiful Island and view the awesome displays of Christmas lights. A recent drive through many of the streets reminded me of just how outstanding our homes look at this time of year. Season's greetings and Merry Christmas to all of my Between the Bridges fans. Keep your notes coming in 2012.

LCpl Thomas Shanor, GIHS Class of 2009, has successfully completed all of his training to become a Flight Mechanic/Air Crew. He is currently stationed in Miramar, California. Tom is attached to squadron HMH-361 - The Flying Tigers. Congratulation Tommy!!

Yesterday, December 21st was the official first day of winter and the temperature on Grand Island, NY reached 56 degrees with rain most of the day.

Cheers to Dick Robinson and Carol (Roberts) Fischer who are celebrating the same birthdays today. Happy birthday to Nancy Samrany (cheers tomorrow), Ryan Vertino (21 on Saturday), Bud Yensan (Christmas Day), Allison Hill and Jack Buzby (9th birthdays on Monday), Tyler Nogle (10 on Tuesday), William Garrison (31 on Tuesday), Bob McMoil (Tuesday), Maggie Gushue (Wednesday), Molly Hyland (21 on Wednesday), James Soto (7 on Wednesday) and Cayleigh Fitzsimmons (8 this week).

A very happy 45th anniversary goes out to Larry and Dawn (Merrill) Hillock. The Hillocks, born and raised on the Island, were married on December 27, 1966. Happy days, folks.

Please pray for a speedy recovery for Gerri Wornick and for Jim Stewart Sr. who are going through Chemo-therapy.•••• A speedy recovery also to Terry Burns Millette who is recovering from surgery.••••Bert Payne has been suffering with a rare blood disorder. Cards may be sent to Bert's home, 1054 Sheree Drive.••••Norm (Mike) Meyer, Larry Zelonis, and Bill Riggs, would also appreciate hearing from friends and neighbors.

Looking Back 60 years - Charlie Benzing was "receiving verbal orchids" from Grandyle Village neighbors during those snow-bound December 1951 days. Charlie cleared numerous driveways with his snowplow jeep.••••Phone booths were installed in Coldbrook Estates by the New York Telephone Company in response to the requests of area residents unable to obtain phone service for quite some time.

Looking Back 25 years - Members of the band “Full Fury,” Dave Satterlee, Randy Wuest, Mike Mathews, Bob Jackson and Rick Lechner, were going strong in 1986. The group played at the Music Mart’s annual Christmas party at the Riviera Theater 25 years ago. •••• Students Patricia Perkovich, Anil Nathan, Eric O’Laughlin, Ashley Leimkuehler and Sam Folson took part in the Grand Island Christian School’s 19th annual Christmas program, “Christmas 2001: A Space Adventure.” The school was located on Love Road and was part of the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Looking Back 10 years - The closing of all Odds' N' Ends stores, including the Grand Island Blvd. plaza store, was announced in December 2001.••••The Island got two feet of snow on Christmas Eve 2001 and by Thursday, December 27th, a full-blown, lake-effect storm left an estimated three feet or more.

Dorothy Rowswell sent along a very appreciative note this week. She and Al have been traveling extensively and Dorothy noted that they have kept current with "Home Town News" all along the way. Her heartwarming note included the following: "I love it that the internet provides an everyday connection to home, through Isledegrande, and the first thing I read each week is your "Bridges." Thanks so much, Dorothy.

Our sympathy to the families of Thomas A. "Red" Baillie, Eleanor Aylor, Linda A. Garlock and former residents Conrad M. Tubin and Pamela (nee Stock) Murray who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road
Mark S. Nemeth, Attorney at Law - insurance defense litigation with an emphasis on asbestos and nursing home litigation
JJ Fashion Trends - featuring Freshwater Cultured Pearls, Stainless Steel Jewelry, Sterling Silver for both Men and Women and much more.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

An American Red Cross Blood Drive is being held Tuesday in the Grand Island Fire Hall. See Blood Drive for complete information.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

This holiday season we thank the Lord for bringing our troops home from Iraq and ask his protection of our servicemen and his help in bringing our combat troops home from all areas of conflict.


Thursday, December 15, 2011


Good morning Suzanne (Schultz) MacKay in Hagaman, NY and good morning Bonnie (Kessner) Buirge in Jacksonville, FL

A belated happy 95th birthday to Agnes Morgan who celebrated last Saturday.••••A belated happy 30th birthday to Emily Dinsmore who also celebrated on Saturday. •••• Happy birthday to Matthew Foote (18 today), Joey Guenther (18 tomorrow), Alma Senn and Nancy Hayes (tomorrow), Heather Goris (21 on Saturday), Lisa McLeod (cheers on Saturday), Cassidy Kendrick (two years old on Saturday), twins Gianni and Hannah Polizzi (6 on Saturday), Jaylee Maddalena (5 on Sunday), George Daniel Wenner (6 on Monday), Susan Bulinski and Gloria Brown (hats and horns on Tuesday), Jerilyn Karb (Tuesday is her big day), Allyson Wolgast and Christopher Priest (5 on Tuesday), and a big happy birthday to Lori Clinton celebrating next Wednesday.

Hello to Dorothy Lovelee who is residing in Elderwood Health Care facility. Cards and notes may be sent to Dorothy at Elderwood Health Care, Room 234, 2850 Grand Island Blvd.

We have posted a lost dog on our classifieds page. The folks who found the pup on the Island on December 1st have written that she/he is missing an owner very much! The contact number is 716-374-4207. Here's hoping the pooch is already back home with its family.

Looking Back 75 years - From the pages of the Grand Island News: Mrs. Clarence Fix entertained at a party in honor of her granddaughter, Patsy Maud Staffen’s first birthday. Patsy’s guests included Billy Good, Bobby DeGlopper, Jackie Staffen, Earl Long, George Fitzpatrick Jr., Maud and Georgie Newman and Wesley Link III. The young hostess couldn’t be induced to blow out the candle on her cake so Billy helped her out. Sandwiches and ice cream and cake were served and each kiddie was presented with a toy. •••• Grand Island Transit Corporation announced a Bus Hearing at 10 a.m. on December 22, 1936 in the State Building. Everyone interested in the establishment of a bus route on Grand Island was to make it a point to be at this meeting. •••• The combined choirs of the Grand Island Evangelical and the Buffalo Lebanon Presbyterian churches were preparing the Christ Oratorio, “The Coming of the King,” to be sung at Buffalo Sunday evening December 20, 1936 and Grand Island on Sunday evening, December 27. The Grand Island performance was to be given in the auditorium of the new school (Sidway) "according to present plans." The chorus was directed by Rev. Harvey P. Schooping of Grand Island. Mrs. Heber Ashley played the accompaniment. ••••The December 18, 1936 issue of the Grand Island News appears to be its last.

Looking Back 40 years - The Grand Island High School Spanish Club held a New Year's raffle with the following prizes published in the local weekly paper: $5 cash from Mesmer's Dairy, $5 gift certificates from the Pattie Mae and Cameo Children's shops, pizza from Reidy's, and a set of drink tankards from Wayside Furniture. •••• A flu epidemic caused the closing of the Island's schools.

Our sympathy to the families of William W. Click, Jay R. Martin, Sally (nee Tripi) Richard and former residents Suzanne (Gangloff) Lipp and Joan A. Webb who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
State Farm - Bob Piatek - Insurance & Mutual Funds - save up to 40%
Mark J. Frentzel - Attorney At Law - Experience in all courts and all areas of law - 1763 Baseline Road
Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard
Sweet & Harding - Estate Sales and Liquidations serving all of WNY
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening on the Island this week.
An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held on Sunday.••••The Grand Island Central School District Capital Project Vote will take place on Tuesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for details.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Good morning Cindy Stamler and good morning Rod Reisdorf right here on the Island.

A very happy anniversary goes out to Dan and Janie Hiam who are celebrating 10 years of marriage today. ••••Best wishes to Wayne Baumler and his wife, Judy, who are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary on December 10th. The actual celebration will be in April 2012 when they will be on a Caribbean Cruise with their children and grandchildren.

Happy birthday Dan Linenfelser and Robin Shipman (today), Sydney Khreis (a teenager tomorrow), Grace Stewart (two tomorrow), Lisa Szpakowski (Saturday), Jake Scott (two on Sunday), Reba Conway (20 on Sunday), Mark Savoy (cheers on Monday), Kori Loder (20 on Tuesday), Lauren Whitney (21 on Tuesday), Nancy Bolles (cake and candles on Tuesday), Daniel Donovan (7 on Tuesday), Emma Santorio (6 on Tuesday), Mike Boerschig (Wednesday), Jeff Bykowicz (the big 5-0 on Wednesday), Katie Rustowicz (19 on Wednesday), Katie Nordvik (21 on Wednesday), Carleen Conway (Sweet 16 on Wednesday), and Jim Brown (Wednesday). •••• A belated happy birthday to Carol Ganster whose natal day is December 2nd.

Looking Back 100 years - The wooden passenger and excursion steamer, the Idle Hour (or Ideal Hour), built in 1893, burned December 8, 1901 while in winter lay-up off Grand Island.

Looking Back 75 years - From the pages of the Grand Island News in December 1936: "Our local Postmistress Miss Charlotte Tucker, has been notified by the Post Office Department that she is to cooperate with the Social Security Board in assisting in obtaining information from employers and the assigning of Social Security account numbers to employees covered by Title II of the Social Security Act. Application blanks and further information may be secured by calling at the local post office, to which completed forms should be returned not later than December 5, 1936."

Looking Back 60 years - St. Stephen's Altar Society Christmas Party was held on December 10, 1951. Entertainment was provided by the Altar Society Symphonettes Kitchen Band and a comedy skit by Mae Klocke, Betty Dunbar, Mildred Schnitter and June Pinzel. •••• John Grycel and Ray Kaiser were the Christmas clowns in the Sidway School Christmas play directed by 4th grade teacher, Catherine DiVizio in December 1951. Classmates, including myself, also took the parts of pixies, Christmas spirits and toy soldiers. •••• The Grand Island Drum Corps' singing quartet, made up of Connie Rexford (Lewis), Pat Rexford (Anderson), Irene Perkovich (Smith) and Geraldine Mrkall (Serba) won a $25 award for their performance in a talent show on television. •••• A building permit was issued listing the cost for the new town garage on Whitehaven Road as $25,000.

Looking Back 15 years - The Grand Island Middle School was re-named the Veronica E. Connor Middle School on December 9, 1996 in honor of the Island's first principal, who served the district from 1936-1973.

Our sympathy to the families of Walter T. Lazik, Richard N. "Acorns" Halas, Renee Melissa Luzi, Franklin B. Pinzel and former resident Jeffrey J. Lewis who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's longtime, #1 real estate agent
Grand Island Auto Tech - owners Ron and Mike Cook - they do it all - 2509 Grand Island Blvd.
The Beach House Restaurant - Delicious food and cozy atmosphere on East River Road
X-Press One Hour Dry Cleaners - Chuck and Carol Dunworth, 2275 Grand Island Blvd. - There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. •••• The Historical Society presents a candlelight tour on Saturday evening. •••• St. Stephen's Youth Ministry presents Kids' Night Out on Saturday. •••• A Historical Society Open House, including a country Christmas store, will be held Sunday.••••TeaNewYork.com presentation (Island resident property owners) on Monday. ••••A Holiday Magic event at GIHS will be held on Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, December 1, 2011


Good morning Greg Boerschig in Soddy Daisy, TN and good morning Deborah Brown in Wilmington, NC.

Happy birthday Donna Pollock Johnson and Scott Thompson (today), Pat McNulty (her 88 birthday tomorrow), Marcy Malecki (tomorrow), Barb Stouter (cheers tomorrow), Ashley Brzyski (20 tomorrow), Riley Crosby (7 on tomorrow), Jeff Rogan and Brad Shoemaker (milestone birthdays on Saturday), Lois Kaiser Schoenfeld (Saturday), our grandson Evan Linenfelser (9 on Saturday), Aidan MacNeil and Natalie Carter (8 on Saturday), Claire Card (Sunday), Robert Augugliaro (16 on Sunday), Kristen Atkinson (a teenager on Sunday), Emma Schultz (a teenager on Monday), Luke Gworek (4 on Monday), Miranda Proctor (11 on Tuesday), David Conboy Sr. (Wednesday), Julia Capage (7 on Wednesday), Madison Verost (a teenager on Wednesday), Korey Bennett (18 on Wednesday), Fr. George Richard Aswad (turning 85 on Wednesday) and Jamie Raepple 21 this week. A belated happy birthday to Amélia Isabelle Haag who turned two years old on November 28th.

Looking Back 75 years - Our local Postmistress, Miss Charlotte Tucker, was notified by the Post Office Department that she was to co-operate with the Social Security Board in assisting in obtaining information from employers and the assigning of Social Security account numbers to employees covered by Title II of the Social Security Act. Application blanks and further information could be secured by calling at the local post office, to which completed forms were to be returned not later than December 5, 1936.

Looking Back 65 years -
 
It was in 1946 that a company called NOMA began selling their Christmas Bubble Lites as shown above. See "Bubble Lites" for a complete history.

Looking Back 60 years - - A Chamber of Commerce dinner party was held December 1, 1951 at the Buffalo Launch Club where two new heaters had been installed on the porch of the clubhouse "to add to the comfort of the patrons in case of a very chilly night." ••••The following were elected to the Grand Island Fire Company Rescue Squad: Captain Jack Nuttall, Co. Captain Mel Kohlhagen, Treasurer Gert Smith, and Secretary Marion Klingel. ••••The Grand Island Drum Corps, formed in the fall of 1950, celebrated its first anniversary in the fire hall with entertainment including a short comedy skit by Irene and Joan Perkovich and Geraldine Mrkall, a singing quartet by Connie Rexford, Irene Perkovich and Geraldine Mrkall, and vocal solos by Alonzo Simms and Mike McNulty.

Looking Back 40 years - It was in December 1971 that the Gables By the River, a restaurant, opened in what was formerly Reg Long's delicatessen on West River Road at Staley Road.

Looking Back 30 years - Among the restaurants in business on the Island 30 years ago were Shelby's Cafe on the north end of Grand Island Blvd., Joncaire Restaurant on West River at Staley (formerly Gables by the River), and River Port Inn near the south bridge who was advertising ten cent wings. •••• Marj Bessel took several top honors for cross-country including being named an All-League Star, "Runner of the Year," Female High School Athlete of the Year by the Kenmore Knights of Columbus Athletic Association and "Most Valuable" at the Grand Island High School Cross-Country Awards Banquet.

Looking Back 10 years - The Occidental Chemical/Hooker Chemical building on Long Road was sold to Islechem Lic. for $375,000.

Please remember the Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island this year. See Donate Now for details.

Our sympathy to the families of Henrietta M. Hunt, Betty P. Bull, Bernice Accardi and Maria (Turri) Saskowski who recently passed away. Michelle Leclaire passed away on Monday, November 21st. She was a member of the GIHS Class of 2001. Death notice will be posted if it becomes available. Ruby A. (Sentman) (nee Griffith) Thompson, a former Charlotte Sidway School teacher, passed away on November 26th. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Flower A Day Florist - Flowers for all occasions - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island Community Federal Credit Union - Offering members first mortgages and much more
deSignet International - Custom Jewelry and more - come in and see for yourself - on Whitehaven just off the Boulevard
Family Medicine Center - Wholehearted Care
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week.
Hardwick Roundtable Discussion (Budget) by reservation on Saturday.•••• “Stop Holiday Stress!” workshop by reservation on Saturday.•••• Historical Society open house with candlelight tours Sunday evening.•••• The Grand Island Community Chorus Christmas Concert on Sunday.•••• TeaNewYork.com hosts a presentation Monday regarding Voter Education on School District Vote. ••••Pearl Harbor Day observance noon Wednesday.••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Good morning Mary (Mason) Judkins here on Grand Island and good morning Jill (Gonda) Bach in Palm Bay, FL.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We should all give thanks for the benefits we have of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness along with the warmth of family and friends near and dear to us.

Today's edition of Isledegrande.com is posted one day early, Wednesday, November 23, 2011.

A special happy birthday to Lois Morgan turning 89 on Friday and to Alma McTigue celebrating her 92nd birthday on Monday. Friends, be sure to send them a card.

Topping the anniversary list this week are Carl and Jackie LaMancuso who mark their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day). Also celebrating a milestone anniversary are Dave and Carol Hamlin who will be married 40 years on Saturday. Very best wishes to the LaMancusos and the Hamlins and also to Jamie and Jon Dalbo (7 years tomorrow), to Nicole and Greg Butcher (11 years on Friday) and to Sue and Pete Marston (their fifth anniversary on Saturday).

Happy birthday to Laura Lewis-Mason (today), Alexander Tollner (16 tomorrow), Charlotte Joshlin, Diane Wagner and Gordy Vanthoff (Sunday), Dorothy Noth Miller (75 on (Sunday), Joan Droit (cheers on Sunday), PJ Marston (4 on Monday), Jordyn Giambra (a teenager on Tuesday), and Michael Hillock (21 on Wednesday).

I spoke with Shirley Luther this morning and she is doing fine since her fall. So glad to hear your staples are out and you're just as good as new, Shirley!

Be sure to take a look at advertiser Pete Marston's Marston Power Equipment website at Isledegrande.com. Pete carries everything you need for every season - leaf blowers and Husqvarna snow blowers as well as 0il, chains, belts, blades, trimmer, string and much more. Stop by at 1970 Grand Island Blvd., corner of Webb Road.

Please pray for Marilyn Radder Sprague, Barbara Macaluso, and Chuck Dunworth.

The Neighbors Foundation is continuing the tradition of helping families in need at this 2011 Holiday Season with food and gift baskets, but earnestly asks the Grand Island community for extra support in our Holiday ‘Share Your Happiness' fund drive through donations to P. O. Box 155, Grand Island, NY 14072. See the Neighbors Foundation headline on our front page for more information.

Looking Back 75 years - Ossian Williams brought football glory to his alma mater, Seneca Vocational High School and pride to his home town, when he secured one of the coveted berths on the All-Star Harvard Cup Football Team. As tackle for the “Green Indians,” Ossian was rated by Nichols coach Don Waterman, as “One of the League’s outstanding linemen.” ••••Ground was broken Monday morning, November 30, 1936 for the $190,000 sewer and water system on Grand Island, construction of which would be followed by the first large-scale residential development in the Island township. Developers said that 250 low-cost houses would be built at an estimated cost of $1,250,000. The new Grandyle Village would be situated just south and west of the South Grand Island Bridge, about half an hour by car, from downtown Buffalo. Supervisor John L. Mesmer Jr. presided at the ground breaking. Also present were Town Board members George Alt Jr., George Neilan and Herbert Henry, and George G. Davidson Jr., and Frank Smith of the State Park Commission. •••• The children of #9 school visited the new Charlotte Sidway School, still under construction on Tuesday, December 1, 1936. Among those 3rd and 4th graders who walked from their school house on Baseline Road where today's town hall stands were Tom Benton, Ed Mesmer, Bob Kingston, Shirley Tucker Runckel, Dorothy Lyden Lovelee, Joanne Daigler Hasselbeck, Betty Welfare Phillips, Earl DeGlopper, Ray Mesmer and Dorothy Waltman Dillemuth.

Looking Back 50 years - Ken Maurer and Mel Kohlhagen were elected president and vice president respectively of the new Grand Island Sportsmen's Club. Other members were Ray Jones, Al Raepple, Ed Kruse, Roy McKinnon, Salvatore G. Capizzi, William Wood, Don Horner, Paul McTigue, Neil Huff, Thomas Walker, Earl Eastman and Arthur L. Mitchell.

Our sympathy to the families of Betty Jane Harding, and former resident Colleen Kilpatrick Parks who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.


Click for larger view.
Jim Nogle (shown above) writes: "I couldn't believe it when I saw this deer pictured at Isledegrande.com but two days after these pictures of the "Trophy Buck" were taken, I harvested this beauty." Jim got the deer on Sunday, November 13th.•••• Other successful hunters are Joe Guenther on opening day on Whitehaven Road, Michael Dlugokinski, his first deer of the season on Sunday and George Gross.

Jim Olmstead’s mom, Jean Olmstead, his sister Eloise and her husband, Steve Mayberry, are coming from Raleigh, NC for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Jean’s 90th birthday on November 27th. Jim's wife, Betty, writes: "They will be returning home on her actual birthday, so we’ll celebrate on Saturday with our daughter and son in law, Sheila and Jerry Daminski and our two grandchildren, Josh and Kate Smith." Happy 90th birthday to Jean and happy Thanksgiving to the Olmsteads.

Tony Wagner and Denise Hufnagel would like to announce their engagement to be wed. Tony, a former resident, served as the Director of Facilities for the Grand Island Central School District. Denise Hufnagel is a Director of Nursing and currently resides in Lockport.

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Linda Kutzbach, RE/MAX North - Looking to buy or sell a home? See Linda's front page ad and give her a call.
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McCarthy School of Irish Dance - Beth McCarthy shares her knowledge of Irish culture through dance - activities abound
Five-Star Landscaping - a locally owned and family operated company that prides itself on providing a "five-star" level of customer service
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. ••••A Community Thanksgiving Dinner is being offered at 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day by the parishioners of Island Presbyterian Church, •••• The Miracle League invites everyone to come to the 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day Game to give thanks for the Miracle of Miracle Field.••••Pledge to Shop Small will take place on Saturday.••••The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will present a Messiah Sing-Along in St. Stephen’s Church Monday evening.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Good morning Lisa Dinsmore Szpakowski in Lockport, NY and good morning Tracey Hill Mages in Alden, NY.


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A well earned 90th birthday party was held for Mary Carminati on November 5th at her son David’s house. All her children and grandchildren attended from all parts of the country: AZ, VA. FL and a dear friend from Washington, DC plus many friends from Grand Island. "Mary looked as beautiful as she always does and her family is blessed to have her with us all these years."

Best wishes to Fran and Don Burrows celebrating their 45th anniversary on Sunday. "Forty-five years ago on November 20th, I married Fran, the joy of my life," Donny said this week.

For information on what sounds like a fabulous holiday concert coming to St. Stephen's Church on Monday, November 28 and featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, see Messiah Sing-Along.

Chuck Dunworth remains in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester as he has for several months. Please pray for Chuck and his wife, Carol, owners of the Island's One-Hour -Dry Cleaners in the Grand Island Blvd. Plaza, as Chuck continues his fight to beat this serious illness.

Please pray today for Charlotte Mrkall and keep the prayers coming.

All of us who know Floydette Gannon and how much she looked forward to a trip back to the Island are saddened that due to her illness, it has become impossible to make the trip. Flo, we're we are all rooting for you and praying for you.

Prayers are also asked for Lois Morgan. Hoping you are having brighter days, Lois. By the way, folks, Lois will turn 89 years old on Friday, November 25th. Take the time to pick up a birthday card and see if we can fill her mailbox with greetings. I'm sure she would enjoy that.

Happy 25th birthday to Jon McGinn celebrating today, to Sara McMoil turning 20 today, and to Dr. Tom Sheehan marking a milestone today. Happy birthday to Sonja Miller, Joe Lovetro and twins, Dayton and Donald Fancher (today), to baby Sierra Yanes (her first birthday today), Janet Webb and Gayle Quint (tomorrow), Bill Weis (Sunday), Patrick Sexton (21 on Sunday), Beverly Benton (Monday), Ben Kose (20 on Monday), Carol Ullrich and Norma Fred (Tuesday) and Laura Lewis-Mason (Wednesday). A belated happy birthday to Ashley McRae who celebrated on Sunday.


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Mark and Diane Hassan will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Happy days to the Hassans and may you celebrate many more.

Looking Back 100 years - The Pan-American Exposition that opened in Buffalo in May 1901, ended at midnight, November 2, 1901. It was a financial failure, but a grand and good thing for Buffalo, the nation and the hemisphere. This was taken from a promotional piece which includes many photographs by Niagara Frontier Historian Roy W. Nagle.

Looking Back 75 years - The following was printed in a November 1936 issue of the Grand Island News: It’s Town Hall Tonight (Friday) for G.L.F. Patrons and Friends. A special invitation is extended to the ladies. Prizes will be awarded and dividend checks will be presented to patrons entitled to same. Speakers, special features and refreshments! Come and learn more of this great farm organization and how it can make more money for you. Movies of mill operations will be shown.••••Dora Kaegebein, Home Management Leader of the Ladies Home Bureau, read a pamphlet on “How to Prevent Fatigue on Wash Day” at the November 1936 meeting. Fatigue is one of the greatest enemies of happy family relations. It is caused through exercise by the breaking down of cell tissues into poisons which are produced more rapidly than they can be burned up or changed into harmless chemical products. Mrs. Kaegebein placed before the women the following figures to emphasize the importance of frequent change of apparel. There are 398,000 germs per square inch on an undershirt after it has been worn one day and at the end of a week this number has multiplied to the extent of 9,000,000 per square inch.

Looking Back 60 years - The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce met on November 10, 1951 and appointed a committee to begin planning for the Island's centennial celebration being held in 1952.

Looking Back 40 years - The Chamber of Commerce sponsored an Industrial Appreciation Night in the Buffalo Launch Club on November 18, 1971.••••Miss Janice Guzzetta's 4th grade at Huth Road School was spending some of the school day listening to tapes prepared by Miss Gazetta and played on her tape recorder. A picture of the kids in headsets appeared in the local, weekly paper.

Our sympathy to the families of Richard "Shorty" Vanthoff, Francis X. Englert III, Marion The Barber Mancuso and former resident Casey S. Krzes, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.


Endres family in Australia - Click for larger view.
Heard from Terry and Mike Endres, down under in Bondi (Sydney) Australia where they are visiting their oldest daughter, Jill. Jill is currently living in Bondi and working for AMP Bank in Palametto. Terry and Mike are spending a week (plus another three days traveling) with Jill, seeing her for the first time since she was home in May for her sister and brother, Katie's and Al's graduations. Jill lives three blocks from world famous Bondi Beach. "What not to like about it here. Sun and fun in a big city. We are glad for the chance to see Jill," her mom writes.

Just heard that active Moose Lodge member, Rick Halas is in critical condition in Buffalo General Hospital. Please put him on your prayer list.

Check out the Miracle League Thanksgiving Game information and come out next week and cheer on the players. The Miracle League Baseball Program is a specially designed program for children with disabilities, allowing them to play America's favorite pasttime.

The Grand Island Alumni Association has announced the date for its 5th Annual Comedy Show. The event is being held at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, January 28th. Tickets will be on sale shortly.

As a favor to our troops who will not be home for the holidays, won't you please provide our readers with current mailing addresses? I'm sure many Isledegrande visitors would like to send these men and women cards and notes over the holiday season. Email those addresses to teddy@giecom.net.

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Niagara's Choice FCU - Your Credit Union is a great place to begin adult financial responsibilities.
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Marston Power Equipment - Snow, Lawn & Safety Equipment/Supplies and much more - Grand Island Blvd.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. ••••Starting off the weekend will be the Grand Island High School production of "Don't Drink The Water"•••• The Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale takes place tomorrow and Saturday.•••• The VFW Ladies will host a Hot Turkey Sandwich dinner at the post on Saturday.••••The annual Grand Island Ministerium's Thanksgiving Service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday.••••The Rotary Club's Undie Sunday is this Sunday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

According to Hank Kammerer of the Neighbors Foundation, times are tougher on the Island than they have been. Consider an early donation. See Neighbors Foundation for information.

We truly enjoyed seeing Village Inn chef Art Harper on Channel 5 last week and look forward to watching Chef Sara Smith at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 1st on Channel 5 and again at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, December 4th on Channel 8. Mark your calendar.

Next week's "Between the Bridges" column will be posted on Wednesday, November 23 along with the new front page. Deadline for news and notes is 9 a.m. Tuesday, November 22nd.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Good morning Carol Ganster in Tonawanda and good morning Jan Tyson in Kenmore.

Congratulations to Mary Cooke on her election to the position of Grand Island's town supervisor and thank you to Peter McMahon for leading our town so many excellent years .

Please pray for the following: Tom Rall, Jim Stewart Sr., Charlotte Mrkall, Shorty Vanthoff and Floydette Gannon. Floydette, of Pinellas Park, FL, continues to deal with health problems but will soon be visiting family here on the Island.

Happy birthday to Floyd Doring and Alyssa Kolak (today), Christopher Swagler (16 today), Lee Becker (21 today), Helen McMahon (10 tomorrow), Lucia Roesch (three years old tomorrow), Elaine Stedman (Saturday), Kelly Williams (20 on Saturday), Maria Burns (If you see Maria on Saturday, wish her a happy birthday), Joseph Sheehan, Elaine Fields and Pam Barton (Sunday), Brooke VeRost (10 on Sunday), Samantha Kuszczak (18 on Monday), Mary Burngasser (cheers on Monday), Sarah Brand (7 on Monday), Sierra Maras (11 on Wednesday), Scott Kalman (Wednesday), and Annabelle Linenfelser (4 on Wednesday).

Nice to see Penny Ball while she was visiting the Island and having dinner at the Village Inn with her sister, Pam Fries and family. Penny, who grew up on the Island, resides in Desoto, TX.

Looking Back 60 years - The Erie County Sheriff's office reported six automobile accidents on the Express Highway or the bridges between November 3rd and 11th, 1951.••••Ray Staley was given a building permit to erect a $6,900 dwelling at 333 Elmwood Rd.

Looking Back 25 years - M&T Bank's newest addition in the Grand Island Blvd. Plaza was a Drive Thru Quick Bank with a grand opening on November 10, 1986.•••• Grand Island’s oldest retail store, Grand Island Wayside Furniture, was in the process of going out of business after 41 years of dedicated service to the community. The store at 2488 Grand Island Blvd. was originally opened and continued to be run by Daniel Linenfelser Sr. and his family. ••••The Edgewater Area Preservation Association was formed in 1986 by Edgewater area neighbors and friends in opposition of the possibility of a 116-boat marina being built by Bob Weaver at the old Edgewater site. Pro-tem offices elected were President Walt Neuhaus, Vice President Tom Johnson, Treasurer Bob Schooping, and Secretary Marilyn Johnson.

Looking Back 10 years - Our Grand Island High School Girls Soccer Team, previously undefeated and ranked #4 in the state and #1 large school in The Buffalo News poll, lost to the Section V powerhouse Mercy, 2-0 in the Class A state quarterfinals in November 2001. The girls did a great job all season, and were possibly the first GI soccer team to go to the State competition.

Our sympathy to the families of Sonia F. Steckelberg, Joseph M. "Joe" Samrany and former resident Kevin James Prosser who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Mr. Best Wrench - Got a Classic or Exotic car that needs repair? "We repair everything foreign or domestic."
John's Pizza & Subs - delicious pizza - full menu - on the Boulevard.
Miss Cathy's Dance Academy - Call Miss Cathy for class times
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening in our town this week. •••• Veterans Day Services will be held in Vets Park on Bedell Road tomorrow at 11 a.m.••••The One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Become Drug Free group will meet 4 p.m. Tuesday in the High School.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, November 3, 2011


Good morning Jill Stamler right here on Grand Island, NY and good morning Fred Schutt in Billings, MT.


This is our sweet grand nephew, four-month-old Oliver Stuardi III, son of Oliver and Annie Linenfelser Stuardi. Isn't he the cutest little tiger you've ever seen? Baby Oliver is the precious grandson of Penny and Mike Linenfelser and nephew of Lisa Linenfelser.


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Gregg Roesch posed with his little ones, Luci and Jack, all dressed up for Halloween while Mommy Nicole took the picture. Local grandparents of Little Red Riding Hood and the Baker Man are East River Road residents Carol and Gary Roesch and Ilene and Bobby Dee.

A cheery hello to Mary Becker who brings the sunshine wherever she goes.

Please keep Harold (Sarge) Hess in your prayers as he faces a long recovery period following recent surgery.

Be sure to see the front page feature on Village Inn Restaurant chefs, Artie Harper and Sarah Smith. Said it before and gotta say again, we love the Village Inn.

Parents take note. The Grand Island High School and Connor Middle School will be in session on Tuesday, November 8th. Only elementary schools will be off for Parent/Teacher conferences.

A very happy birthday to Mary Carminati celebrating her 90th today and also to Dale Brown and Marian Burns (today), to Anthony Weis (7 today), John Pedlow, Diane Baker and Vicky Chew (tomorrow), Jared Billica (21 tomorrow), Alli DeMartin (a teenager tomorrow), Casey Carminati (21 on Saturday), Alyson Czerwonka (8 on Saturday), Ryan Proctor (18 on Sunday), Bryan Barton (16 on Sunday), Ashley Braddell (21 on Sunday), Charlotte Baumgart (Sunday), Robert Arch (9 on Sunday), Helen Radder (her 94th birthday on Sunday), Mary McMahon (Monday), Michael Schopp (cheers on Monday), Pat Smith (Tuesday), Kevin McNamee (hats and horns on Tuesday), Grace Kulikowski (Sweet 16 on Tuesday), Pricilla Nicolaus (Wednesday is the big day), and Thomas Rayhill (25 on Wednesday).

Best wishes to Kevin and Kristine Koch, celebrating their 15th anniversary tomorrow and to Dave and Sally Goris marking their 35th wedding anniversary Saturday.

Looking Back 75 years - According to the Grand Island News, published every second Friday in 1936, Mrs. Charles Trautman emerged victorious in the corn husking contest at the Husking Bee held at Philip Killian's farm on the Transit Road. The Island folks carried off the honors it appears since Mrs. Horatio Killian took the first prize in cards. A number of Islanders were present including Mr. and Mrs. Howard Killian, Mr. and Mrs. George Webb, Mr. and Mrs. George Dinsmore and Mr. and Mrs. Horatio Killian. ••••The great rank and file of the American people marched to the polls in November 1936 and overwhelmingly declared their confidence in President Franklin D. Roosevelt, thus culminating one of the most bitterly fought political battles in our history. ••••Also in the Grand Island News was the following. The annual Halloween activities of the youngsters at the upper end of the Island were unusually pleasant this year due to an invitation extended by Isabel Offermann in behalf of her children to come in and have cider and doughnuts. Those in the group included June, Buddy, Norma and Jack Senn, Doris, Shirley and Edward Tucker, Emery Ashley, Alex and Irene Santo, Robert and Rita Glavy and Harold Bortz.

Looking Back 60 years - The Erie County Sheriff's office reported six automobile accidents on the Express Highway or the bridges between November 3rd and November 11, 1951.

Looking Back 50 years - It was in the fall of 1961 that I advertised my first baton twirling classes, the result being 21 junior high girls signing up and attending lessons in the fire hall on Saturday mornings. Remember?

Looking Back 40 years - The Island's Cub Pack 452 added Den 8 on Friday, November 5, 1971 with Den Mother Alice Carlson in charge. Cubs were Ian Harnden, Joseph Gadawski, Richard Green, Roy Kemsley, Todd Davis, Jeff Gorrell and Chris Wendel.

Looking Back 25 years - Roxanne's Restaurant, 2995 Grand Island Blvd., was advertising a prime rib dinner for two at $12.95 or $6.95 per person. Charlie's Place gave away a free litre of coke with all deliveries. Doolies Restaurant, Krispee Kreme Baker, 2261 Grand Island Blvd., offered a dozen donuts at $2.25. The Isle Cove at 1736 Grand Island Blvd. advertised 10 cent wings. The Whippy Dip's (2131 Grand Island Blvd.) special 25 years ago was an eight-ounce sirloin steak dinner at $3.95.

Our sympathy to the family of Myrna P. Boerschig and Sonia F. Steckelberg who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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St. Stephen School - Roman Catholic Elementary School located on Grand Island
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For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. •••• Forest Lawn Cemetery is the subject of the Historical Society meeting program tonight. •••• International Night is being held tomorrow evening at Connor Middle School.•••• Flu & Pneumonia vaccinations will be given on Saturday.•••• St. Stephen School's Shopping Extravaganza will be held Sunday. ••••See our Calendar of Events for details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Good morning Rosanne Oliverio in Fort Lauderdale, FL and good morning Jeff Pike in Pompano Beach, FL.

A belated happy birthday to Whitey Duglosz and to Debbie Robinson who celebrated last Thursday and Sunday respectively. ••••Happy birthday to Paul Soto and Luis Ezquerro (today), Dominic Cannata (20 today), Jimmie Stewart III (19 tomorrow), Nikki Zimmerman (18 tomorrow), Rick Stack (cake and candles on Saturday), Brittany Barton (21 on Sunday), Julie Dee (Sunday), Tommy Krause (21 on Monday), John Fontana (cheers on Monday), Morgan Proctor (8 on Monday), Emily Fred (11 on Tuesday), Sarah Kustich (13 on Tuesday), Sue McMahon and her twin sister, JoAnn Lozo (Wednesday), and Christine Stange (best wishes this week).

Please keep them in your prayers: Kylelynn Hogrewe Fubelli, Jim Stewart Sr., Harold (Sarge) Hess, and Doug Rothenburg.

Belated best wishes to Rick and Cindy Rhodes who celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Monday.

Looking Back 60 years - A school band at Charlotte Sidway got underway for the first time in the fall of 1951 with William Pinkow as instructor/director. ••••A huge pile of crating lumber, compliments of East Park Road resident Art Stuck, was unloaded at the north west corner of Love and Stony Point for the Grandyle Village Property Owners' bon fire on Halloween night 1951. Almost as much fun were the days before when we set up the crates to make what seemed like miles of mazes. Remember?••••The Democratic Party listed the following candidates in the Grand Island PennySaver in October 1951: Dan McNamee for supervisor; Bob Campbell and Dan Linenfelser, peace justice; Gertrude Gay, town clerk; Joe Mesmer and Agnes Stack, assessor; John Spivey, highway Supt.; and Clarke Forsythe, tax collector. The Republicans listed all of the winning candidates - Supervisor Ed Oberkircher, Justices Don Hawley and Matt Hall, Town Clerk Elsie Stamler, Highway Supt. Harold Yensan, Tax Collector Bob Kaiser, Assessors Frank Winter and Ed Ball; School Director Bill Kaegebein. Newly elected Supervisor Oberkircher's untimely death weeks after the election was very sad indeed. ••••Godfrey's Store advertised an apple dunking contest for grade school pupils in 1951.

Looking Back 40 years - The Grand Island Art Society's first holiday corner was held in the "Harris Ballroom" at the corner of Whitehaven and Grand Island Blvd. Chairman Richard Brzyski assisted by Co-Chair Shirley Schultz. The building just changed hands from True Value Hardware to Gui's Lumber.

Looking Back 20 years - The headline of the October 15, 1991 edition of the Island Dispatch was "NFP Offices Destroyed By Fire." At the time, the PennySaver/Island Dispatch offices were located on Grand Island Blvd. near Whitehaven, where McDonald's is today.

Looking Back 10 years - Serving as homecoming King and Queen at Grand Island High School in October 2001 were Ryan Homa and Michelle Cammarano.

Our sympathy to the family of Walter J. Orton III who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to bowlers Ken Carter with a 300-770 and Jeff Conover who rolled a 298-724 with the A-Best Roofing league.

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Grand Island Chiropractic - Why leave the Island for the help you need?
NFE Sales - Niagara Frontier Equipment Sales - Test drive Kioti's new UTV
Aceti's Wine & Spirits - Now in a new and larger location next to Tops Market
Allstate Mastantuono Agency - get an online quote in minutes - the best choice for insurance is an informed choice
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. •••• A "Cycle-paths" Halloween ride is planned for Saturday. ••••A pumpkin Carving Contest sponsored by the Recreation Dept. will be held on Saturday•••• A National RX Drug Drop Off is scheduled for Saturday. •••• The Town's official Tricks-or-Treat Hours are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. ••••A Relay For Life reunion will take place on Tuesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Good morning Lori Rovison in (Sheldon) Varysburg, NY and good morning Philip Williams in Arcade, NY.

It is with pleasure that I wish Jim and Betty Olmstead a very happy 50th wedding anniversary. The Olmsteads, married on October 7, 1961, celebrated in Ireland, "thanks to our wonderful daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Jerry Daminski."

Our Historical Society open house on Sunday turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon with members of the Stamler family, whose ancesters date back to the 1800s on Grand Island. Visitors Cindy and Mike Stamler and Jill Stamler were invited to preview a future display of memorabilia of their family, most of which was saved by the late Elsie E. Stamler, grandmother to our visitors.

Congratulations to the members of the Grand Island Varsity Vikings Football who won Saturday's Conference game against the McKinley Macks by a score of 14-12.

Happy birthday to Ryan Pinzel (8 today), Danielle McGuire (20 today), Laury Linenfelser (tomorrow) , Chase Harding (7 on Sunday), Zakary Massaro (2 on Sunday), Kevin "Skee" Zoldowski (cheers on Monday), Karen Lascelle (Tuesday), John Bidell Jr. (22 on Tuesday), Joshua McMahon (7 on Tuesday), and Kelly Coram and Maxx and Calleigh Anderson (all turning 2 on Wednesday).

Walter and Elsie Killian will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary next Wednesday. Best wishes Wally and Elsie.

The Riverstone Grill on East River at North Colony was proclaimed the first place winner in the 2011 Buffalo Chili Fest on Sunday. Credit goes to Robert J. Kerr and Donald Wood.

Looking Back 75 years - Fire of unknown origin swept through a boat house and dock on the Gerhardt Lang estate on a Monday morning in October 1936 reducing them to ashes within 20 minutes. Strong winds off the West River made it impossible for the bucket brigade to get the fire under control. A speed boat in the boathouse owned by Carl Clement, son-in-law to Gerhardt Lang, burned, and sank. ••••A Grand Island News headline on the progress of the new Charlotte Sidway School follows: Work Progressing on School Grounds - "Things are humming on the school grounds these days. The tennis courts are completed. A unit of three ovens, protected from the weather, is all ready for use. The artificial lake boasts about one and a half foot of water and high grade shady lawn grass has been sown in the grove and a road is being started to give access to the tennis courts, the grove and the parking space, which it is estimated will be able to accommodate from fifty to one hundred cars." •••• The young people of Trinity Church reorganized their Christian Endeavor Society and were meeting each Sunday night at the Church at 7 o'clock. Elected officers were President Dorothy Killian (Loder), Vice President Mildred Webb (Christman), Secretary Walter Killian, and Treasurer Harold Long. Members of the Society held a Wednesday evening Harvest Social at Town Hall in October 1936 with an admission of 20 cents. Sixty people attended and enjoyed many interesting games and contests as well as pie and coffee and ice cream. The Town Hall was appropriately decorated with cornstalks and pumpkins etc.

Looking Back 50 years - The Island Dispatch reported the following in October 1961: The new high school plans in 1961 called for a fallout shelter of adequate thickness for fallout protection. It was to be built in an area to be excavated under the gymnasium. Pumps, air conditioning and food supplies were not contemplated at that time. However, school officials hoped state or federal aid would be forthcoming for this phase so it would not have to be financed through the bond issue. The fallout protection area was to be large enough to house the school enrollment but not of sufficient size to care for the town's entire school population.

Looking Back 40 years - Contributing to the football victory when the Varsity Vikings took the Division V championship in October 1971 were Bill Ward, Chuck Bagdy, Paul Wiedemer, Mike Rodriguez, Mike Dowd and John Podlucky. Also recognized as team leaders were Mike Cap, Daryl Smith, John Martini, Terry McDonald, Mike Costello and Ron Sepanski.

Looking Back 20 years - Harbor Towne Centre on Baseline at Alvin Road opened on October 24, 1991.

Our sympathy to the families of Jack "Bear" Dempsey, Delphine Garrison, Jane A. Soares, Lisa L. Turck, and Tim Richard Jordan who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.••••Former resident Curt Grimm passed away October 7, 2011 after a long, hard battle with lung cancer. No death notice is available at this time.

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Sherry McDonald/RealtyUSA - A local real estate agent who knows the Island
Island Ship Center Inc. - Convenient FedEx agency on Whitehaven Road
Blue Water Marina - storage, docking, and boating and fishing supplies - East River Road in historic Ferry Village
Michelle's Home Cleaning - Island owned and operated
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. ••••A Candidates Night will be held 7 p.m. tonight at the Family Life Center, 1780 Love Road.•••• The Grand Island Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary's annual chowder and baked goods sale will be held Saturday at fire headquarters.••••Island Girl Scouts and Trinity Methodist Church present a "Trunk-or-Treat" and Haunted Hallway Walk on Saturday.••••The Golden Age Club's Holiday Happenings is set for Sunday, October 23. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Good morning Donna Pollock Johnson in Pasco, WA and good morning Pat (Williams) Meyer in Elyria, OH.

A speedy recovery to Marge Craddock, home recuperating from recent surgery. Jim Stewart Sr. is facing serious illness as is Michele Beauchamp. Keep them in your prayers.

Happy birthday to Dylan Castiglia (4 years old today), Jon Dalbo (today), Ashley Battaglia (7 tomorrow), Shirley Luther (Saturday), Mark Argy (20 on Saturday), Tamara Proctor and Tammy Geblein (cheers on Sunday), Clare Conboy (3 on Sunday), Marissa Booker (20 on Monday), Jack Hammond and Dom Florio (Monday), Jenna Giambra (9 on Monday), Julius Schopp (2 on Monday), Alexandra Imperi (20 on Tuesday), Aidan Daly (4 on Tuesday), Heidi Sue McCormick (Wednesday), and Luke Hooper (8 on Wednesday).

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the beautiful wedding of Jason and Maureen Weis. Happy days to the Maureen and Jason. ••••Happy anniversary to Bob and Flo Gannon who celebrate their 29th anniversary on Saturday.

This year's Tricks-or-Treat Hours are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 31st.

Parks and Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro is asking the community to come forward with information on Korean War survivors from Grand Island, NY. This is being done for a special tribute to those GIs who will be recognized at the Town's Veterans Day program Friday, November 11th. Veterans' names along with rank, branch of service, dates, and where stationed, must be turned in by October 21st. (recreation@grand-island.ny.us). Also for those willing, any short story, incident or remembrance would be appreciated.

Looking Back 75 years - President Roosevelt Stops Here Enroute to Buffalo was the headline on the front page of the Grand Island News: The story follows: "Despite gray skies and a dreary looking day, excitement reigned at the "lower end" of the Island as the time approached for the President's arrival here. Approximately thirty cars of admirers and supporters of Roosevelt had come to Buckhorn from Buffalo and vicinity. . . Islanders in the main watched the procession from other parts of the Island but some of them were on the spot including our Supervisor John Mesmer, Tom Fleming, Mrs. Henry Hardy, Mabel French and family, and Joe Stack and Mary Stack. The lineup of C.C.C. men completed the picture and lent an impressive air to the scene."••••A Grand Opening in October 1936 was held by Mary Cummings in her new Watt-Knott Shoppe on Express Highway (Grand Island Blvd.) in the Service Center Building, where Contract Interiors is now located. The little store carried such things as notions, drugs, sundries, and infants' and children's wear. ••••A Harvest Dance at Charlie Davern's Tavern in October of 1936 featured a floor show of hometown talent including acrobatic dancing by Pete Neilan, and a buck and win dance by Andrew Bishop. Davern's was right on the river at the ferry landing in Ferry Village, and is now the home of the Niagara River Station Fishing Club.

Looking Back 60 years - The very popular television show, "I Love Lucy," premiered on WBEN-TV on October 15, 1951.

Looking Back 55 years - The NYS Thruway across Grand Island opened on October 15, 1956

Looking Back 30 years - Dedication of Portraits of Island Supervisors took place Sunday afternoon, October 18, 1981 in the Town Hall. An Invocation was given by Rev. John Weatherwax of Trinity UM Church, the welcome was given by Supervisor Laverne C. Luther, Councilman George Sullivan served as MC, and Father Peter Judge of St. Stephen's Church gave the Benediction. Credit for the huge project goes to Shirley Luther.

Looking Back 5 years - A surprise Friday the 13th storm took place in 2006. Remember? See 2006 Storm for photos and details.

Our sympathy to the families of Patricia A. Gelz, and former residents Linda Lee Sherman, and William S. Blok who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Longtime friend JoAnn Vanderheite was a big winner at the annual Ohio Gourd show in Greenville, Ohio. See our front page of Isledegrande.com for the photos and story.

A feature of tomorrow evening's Fire Prevention Open House will be hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks and beverages. Parents, take advantage of the Ladies Auxiliary's tent and save making dinner before taking the kids to this major Fire Company event. The Ladies will also have a basket raffle going on from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Budwey's Supermarket - brand names at low prices - and three locations
Riviera Theater - Family Film Series - Winnie the Pooh 11 a.m. ($2) - Historic Riviera just across the river
Dr. Thomas C. Lepenven, DMD - Island Dental PC - 2095 Baseline Road
Magic Towel Holder - Craftsman Don "Bones" Fancher - clever gift creations
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Congratulations to Grand Island High School Volleyball Standout Alex Brown who was recently featured in the Niagara Gazette. Click her name for the story.

Congratulations to Mike Ferrio who had a perfect 300 (733) with the Labatts Men league and to Andy Wheeler on his 299-780 game bowling with the A-Best Roofing League at Mallwitz's Island Lanes this week.

Here's what's happening on the Island this week. •••• Fire Prevention Open House is being held tomorrow evening. ••••Hot Dogs, Hamburgers etc. by the Fire Co. Ladies tomorrow 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.•••• The Moose Lodge will host a Miracle League fundraiser on Saturday. •••• St Timothy Child Care Center's Fall Festival is set for Saturday. •••• Grand Island Republican Committee "GOP Pig Roast & Tailgate Party" will be held on Sunday. ••••The Grand Island Historical Society will host an open house at River Lea on Sunday.•••• The School District and Community's unique fundraiser, "GI Sings For Hope," will be held Monday. •••• A Childhood Obesity Health Seminar will be held Wednesday at the K of C Hall.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Good morning Jen Breier in Buffalo, NY and good morning Patrick Fuhr in Cuba, NY.

Thanks to Vicki Harnden for the following.
Please watch our Pink Glove Dance and go on Facebook to vote. We are up for a $10,000 cash prize for our local Breast Cancer Charities. The video will be shown at our October 17th Island Sings for Hope Concert. What's cool about this video, is that it includes ALL of the schools on Grand Island as well as several businesses. Please invite your Facebook friends to do the same!
See Pink Glove Dance
See also GI Sings for Hope at Isledegrande.com.

Happy birthday to Margaret Webb (drum roll today), Floydette Gannon (today), Bev Mikulski, Terry Endres and Linda Richardson (tomorrow), Michael Christensen (7 tomorrow), Morgan Capage (2 tomorrow), Bob Robinson (cheers on Saturday), Taylor Duscher (5 on Sunday), A.J. Guenther (21 on Sunday), Betty Pazamickas (special greetings on Sunday), Marion Assenza (Sunday), Dr. Dick McCowan and Tom Lajos (milestone birthdays on Monday), Councilman Ray Billica (Monday's the big day), Michael Wasson (hats and horns on Tuesday), Marissa Mrkall (5 on Wednesday), and Gary Larsen (Wednesday).

Bridget Kennedy, a member of the GIHS Girls Soccer Team, scored the second goal that tied up the game against Niagara Wheatfield last week. Her name was inadvertently left out of our "Sports Briefs."

Looking Back 75 years - The following was printed in the October 9, 1936 Grand Island News and refers to the Buckhorn Park C.C.C. camp: "C.C.C. News - Twenty men from the Buffalo District are expected to enroll this week. On Wednesday of this week (Oct. 7) all the officers of this district met at the Grand Island camp. Plans for the day included a tour of inspection, a meeting and dinner. A Halloween dance is being planned for October 30. Refreshments will be served and everyone is invited. Further details in regard to this dance will appear in the next issue of this paper. The new furniture that will be installed in the Recreation Hall this week will add to the comfort of the camp's guests and men stationed there." ••••Also from The Grand Island News: "Creation of a water and sewer district in Grandyle Village, the model town site now being laid out immediately west and south of the south Grand Island bridge, was accomplished Monday night, October 6, 1936 by the Town Board of Grand Island. By unanimous vote the board decided to accept a Public Works Administration grant of $80,000 cash towards the construction of the water and sewer district, the total cost of which will be $190,000."

Looking Back 60 years - Sidway School students, from the kindergartners to the ninth graders, were delighted and very excited over seeing the new Grand Stride, the swings and the jungle gym on the school playground. I have to assume the Grand Stride was the horizontal ring we held on to while the bigger kids would get it turning until our feet were off the ground and we were in an almost horizontal position. I liked this until my hands would begin to hurt but it was too dangerous to let go and fly off at that speed!

Looking Back 40 years - The Grand Island Fire Company held its first annual inspection and open house on Sunday, October 10, 1971. Inspection officers were Chief Norman Mrkall. Supervisor Ray Griffin, and Fire Company Board Chairman Dennis Ahern. "The Fire Company is now adding, through its new uniforms, a look of professionalism which, in fact, it has earned through the years by giving a professional service to the town of Grand Island," the fire chief said at the time. ••••Howard Killian, a native Grand Island farmer, produced about 3,400 bales of hay on his Whitehaven Road farm in 1971. He also raised oats and wheat which were sold to local horse owners, estimated by some to exceed over 100 horses.

Looking Back 10 years - Our Varsity Vikings Football Team beat Williamsville South with a 20-0 shutout on Saturday, October 6, 2001 when Chris Sica had two touchdowns in the 2nd quarter. Other standouts on the Grand Island team were Mike Blocho (ran 15 times for 134 yards, caught a 20-yd. TD pass from Mick Gallagher), Mick Gallagher, Jim Blocho (carried 16 times for 88 yards), and linebacker, Terry Benton, (10 tackles). Grand Island was then 4-0.

Our sympathy to the family of former resident Christopher H. Farley who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department a huge number of car larcenies have occurred in a two-week period. Lock your vehicles.

Get well wishes and a speedy recovery to Skip Mazenauer.

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Metro Town Center - 1980 Whitehaven Road - Betty Harris - President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker
Island Prescription Center - Consumer wellness tips - Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
Grand Island Teachers Association - Thank you teachers for your support!
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening on the Island this week. ••••The Historical Society's program meeting is being held tonight in River Lea in Beaver Island State Park. ••••Supervisor Peter McMahon's Steak Roast fundraiser takes place tomorrow evening. ••••The VFW 9249's Annual Chili Cook-Off will take place on Saturday.••••A Relay For Life Awards Ceremony will be held Tuesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Good morning Nancy (Gardner) Landroche in Lockport, NY and good morning Theresa (Varney) Kennedy in Waco, TX.

We've been blessed with some really nice weather lately and our fall has been beautiful so far. Last weekend's extremely warm weekend brought about wins for the GIHS Varsity Vikings (20-10 over Williamsville East) and a fabulous win for our Buffalo Bills on Sunday - 34-31 over the New England Patriots!

Happy birthday to Joshua Kahn (20 today), Scott Steimle Jr. (a teenager today), Jimmy Wright (25 today), Faith Caldwell (7 tomorrow), Ariel Brucato and Allison Mae Walker (both turning 20 on Saturday), Jaidan Hiam (11 on Sunday), Shorty Vanthoff (Sunday), Lindsey Boyle (21 on Sunday), Jennifer Wenner (cheers on Tuesday), Linda Gorman (a milestone on Tuesday), Fred Claus (the big 4-0 on Tuesday), Dylan Russo (10 on Wednesday), and Rebekah Thompson (7 on Wednesday).

Happy anniversary to Sue and Jeff Long who will celebrate their 45th anniversary on Saturday and to Karen and Barry Smith who will be married 30 years on Monday.

A speedy recovery to Hazel Rowe who is out of the hospital and home recuperating.

Looking Back 75 years - Davern's Tavern at the Ferry Landing in Ferry Village advertised a harvest dance on Saturday, October 3, 1936. The tavern is now the Niagara River Fishing Station Club.•••• The Home Bureau Library was moved from Ehde's Store (Baseline near Whitehaven) to the home of Margaret and Frank DeGlopper, corner of Baseline and Fix roads. The Grand Island News reported that "A sign will soon be in place for all to see. Several new books have been added to the large collection."

Looking Back 60 years - Miss Adamine Kennelly's 5th grade class put on a talent show in September 1951. Among those participating were Martin O'Dea, and Don and Dayton Fancher who put on a puppet show; Betty Jane Gardner (Penque), Rosemary Loth (Fischer and Judy Kuehling (Semler) twirling their batons; and Dick Titterington and Bill Vampotic who told jokes. •••• The Trinity EUB Church Choir presented the musical production, "Belle Of The West," to raise funds for carpet in the church chancel. A chorus of ranchers, miners and girls of Roarin' Creek included Carol Kaegebein (Gates), Marilyn Dinsmore (Serfass), Mrs. Norman Hause, Marion Pinkow, Ralph Westerman, Len Staub, Roger Dohn and Eric Parish. Wallace Sims was director and Marion Pinkow, chorus director.

Looking Back 50 years - Marion Klingel was appointed editor of the Island Dispatch and at the same time replaced James Roche on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. ••••A large sign, "Grand Island Town Hall," was painted by Vince Staley and erected on town hall grounds facing Grand Island Blvd. in the fall of 1961. ••••Roadside mailboxes were removed by Grandyle Village residents in September 1961 when the Post Office and Postmaster Heber Ashley Jr. inaugurated door to door service.

Looking Back 40 years - A tragic auto accident on October 6, 1971 took the lives of young Love Road residents, Robert "Bobby" Carter and Timothy Conn.

Looking Back 10 years - The Grand Island High School Varsity Vikings Football Team was receiving congratulations on a fantastic win over Lewiston-Porter with a final score of 44-7. Breaking our high school field goal record was sophomore Mike Feathers who kicked a 45-yarder. Among other standouts for the 2001 season were Mick Gallagher, Mike Blocho, Chris Sica, Jeff Bull, Pat McCarthy, Brett Kern, Josh Bernardoni, Paul Scappechio and Jeremy Roberts.

Our sympathy to the families of Orphia C. (nee Pinkoski) Casper, George "Steve" Spratford, and former resident Dennis P. Moran who recently passed away. Susan D. Kupiec, a former Kaegebein Elementary School teacher, passed away on September 23rd. Click Deaths for complete information.


Jodi and Brad Robinson can cross one entry off their bucket list. The pair did tandem skydiving out of Frontier Skydivers in Wilson, NY on September 1st, jumping from 11,000 feet.


Click for larger view.
Don and Julie Dee spent a delightful parents weekend with daughter, Amy Bidell, at Norwich University in Vermont where Amy is on a full ROTC scholarship majoring in nursing and a member of the Women's Rugby Team. The photo was taken during the Rugby game on Saturday and Amy's Norwich team won with an 81-0 victory over the rival UNH Wildcats.

"Grand Island Then and Now," a photo display presented by the town's Historic Preservation Advisory Board, is available for viewing in the Grand Island Memorial Library on Bedell Road. The old and new photos include the orginal little Kelly's Country Store and the current building, the Grand Island Playhouse, Motor Island, Mesmer's Dairy, the Clown House and more.

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Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski - Just for kids
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road
State Farm - Bob Piatek - Insurance & Mutual Funds - save up to 40%
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. •••• A Public Information Meeting (Sex Offender Notifications & Laws) is being held this evening in the town hall. •••• St. Stephen R.C. Church is holding its annual Fall Festival on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. •••• A Green Buildings open house takes place Saturday. ••••The Knights of Columbus Council 4752 Pig Roast will be held Saturday. •••• A Pet Blessing will be held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church on Saturday. ••••The annual Fall Festival at Trinity Church will be held on Saturday. ••••The St. Stephen Golf Challenge is scheduled for Monday.••••Legislator Hardwick will hold outreach meetings on Tuesday on the Island.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

I am asking our young people on Grand Island to be strong and disagree loudly with those who taunt and ridicule others and to take the time to befriend the victims when ever possible.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Good morning Diane (Depew) Price in Buena Vista, VA and good morning Gary Green in Langhorne, PA.

Lots of rumors flying around including a Tim Horton's being built in place of the Mobil station and in tandem with a Cold Stone Creamery. Town Board members haven't heard about this and have assured me that they will let us know if they receive anything official.

A speedy recovery to my brother-in-law, Jim Stewart who is dealing with health concerns. ••••Dorothy Lovelee is recuperating from a fall. Cards of cheer would be appreciated.••••Friends will want to keep in touch with Cindy Austin Zurek who is recuperating from major neck surgery. Cindy cheerfully reports, "I've gotten through worse (I think)." ••••JoAnn Linenfelser will probably not be out and about for awhile due to her recent knee surgery. Hoping this one heals remarkably fast, Jo!


That's Danny Mancuso and he's celebrating a milestone birthday on Wednesday. Happy birthday, Dan.

A belated happy birthday to DeVonte' Johnson who celebrated his fifth birthday on Sunday. ••••Happy birthday to Jessica Osvath (18 today), Jim Gorton (tomorrow), Ron Monti (cheers tomorrow), Rick Pelham (Sunday), Forrest Carr (10 on Sunday), Samuel Carpenter (8 on Sunday), Joyce Clark (best wishes on Monday), Sean Christian Rustowicz (10 on Monday), Kevin Rogoza (8 on Monday), Nicholas Csendom (21 on Monday), Sara Dzielski (18 on Monday), Cameron Kolat (9 on Monday), Jacob Cali (7 on Tuesday), Alice Gerard (Tuesday), and Ron Webb and Claire Cinelli (Wednesday). A belated happy birthday to Tom Duncan who turned 68 on Monday, September 19th.

Best wishes to Arlene and Bill Rosman celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday, and to Ginnie and Noah Thies who will mark their first anniversary on Sunday.

Looking Back 75 years - A Harvest Card Party in the Big Barn at St. Stephen's Church grounds was held Saturday, September. 26, 1936 for the benefit of St. Stephen's and Mary Star of the Sea churches.

Looking Back 65 years - A device known as the automatic exploder was demonstrated to a group of Grand Island farmers on Sunday, September 22, 1946 by the Erie Co. Farm Bureau. This device was regarded as an experimental measure to control Starlings that had been destroying as high as 50 percent of the Erie County corn crops. The "exploder" operated automatically by igniting carbide gas from a small cylinder, emitting an explosion approximately every three minutes for a period of 12 hours. Firing just above the corn, the blast chased the birds away.

Looking Back 60 years - Miss Evelyn Jordan's kindergarten class visited the Henry Schutt farm on Stony Point and Bedell roads sixty years ago. Among the students taking the short school bus ride from Sidway School to the farm were Christine Pinkow (Sipson), Johnny Joe Esack, Michael Gast, Gary Long, Dawn Merrill (Hillock), Elaine Stedman, Peter Mazenauer and Tommy Boehm.

Looking Back 40 years - Scoutmaster Tom Ott and Assistant Scoutmaster Roger Dudley were in charge of Boy Scout Troop 254's Court of Honor which was accented by three campfires in Beaver Island Park on September 23, 1971.

Looking Back 30 years - Dominick Affuso of Baseline Road tuned into the first Cable TV reception on Grand Island on September 23, 1981. Michael Gast was president of Island Cable Inc. on Baseline Road when it became a reality through the operations of a 120-foot tower with an 8-foot microwave dish antenna.

Looking Back 25 years - Roxanne's Restaurant on Grand Island Blvd. north of Bedell Road was advertising a Sunday special - a prime rib dinner for two at $12.95.••••Viking gymnasts defeated Ken-West due to outstanding performances by Renee Taefi (Baughman), Jean Willer (Pecoraro) and Dawn Nowak.

Looking Back 10 years - Emmanuel United Methodist Church at 1136 Baseline Road was founded as a mission in a one-room school house on Bush Road on Grand Island in 1910. The Emmanuel Chapel on Ferry Road, dedicated in 1913, was demolished years ago. A dedication service was held in the new Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Baseline Road in September 1957. The church held its last service in September 2001.

Our sympathy to the families of Lillian (nee Cutonilli) Pagliei, Lewis "Vince" Phillips and former residents Petra E. (Burns) Avery-Brown and Orphia C. Casper. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's longtime, #1 real estate agent
Grand Island Auto Tech - owners Ron and Mike Cook - they do it all - 2509 Grand Island Blvd.
Mark J. Frentzel - Attorney At Law - Experience in all courts and all areas of law - 1763 Baseline Road
Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week. •••• A Grand opening of "The Lodge," a community gathering place, takes place on Saturday.••••The Island CROP Walk will be held Sunday. ••••Public Information Meeting (Sex Offender Notification) will be held Thursday at the Town Hall. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Email me" your news, your cares, concerns, successes, and your birthdays and milestone anniversaries.

Pray for peace.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


Good morning Diane (Taylor) Fletcher in Modesto, CA and good morning Tom Long in Bethlehem, GA.

A sure sign of the end of summer is the fact that Adrian's Custard & Beef is closing Saturday, September 17th at 9 p.m.


Special birthday greetings to (left) Dale Heimlich, Mary Ellen Hau Nemo, Bob Buzby and Supervisor Peter McMahon. Mary Ellen and Dale celebrate today and Bob and Pete were born on September 19th. Happy birthday, everyone.

Happy birthday to Ryan Norton and Michael Ruland (teenagers today), Jeff Long and Luke Chambers (today), Ava Staub (8 today), Ray Griffin (cheers on Saturday), Kelsey Patterson (21 on Saturday), Carmela Bartolomeo (9 on Saturday), Lauren Bermel (2 on Sunday), Jessica Webb (10 on Monday), Linda Markle (Monday), Jared Clark (21 on Monday), Butch Meyer and John Braddell Sr. (Tuesday), Paul Baer (30 on Tuesday), Patrick Foote (the big 5-0 on Tuesday), and Madison Nowak (10 on Wednesday. ••••Oh yes! Happy 68th birthday to my husband, Jim!

Best wishes newly weds! Our nephew, Dan Linenfelser and his bride, Jenine, are featured on today's front page of Isledegrande.com. Danny and Jenine were married on August 12th.

Looking Back 75 years - The following is an editorial printed in the Grand Island News in September 1936: "We regretted exceedingly that it was necessary for us to suspend publication of the GI News during the past six weeks. Change in management and the settlement of various matters made it impossible for us to go to print. ••••It was 75 years ago today that Harrison Corky "Ugly" Carter celebrated his first birthday with a party attended by Mary Ann Kruse (Arsenault), Billy Fleming, Dave Mesmer and Georgie Fitzpatrick, among others. The birthday boy took a nap and had to be aroused to blow out his candle! "Happy birthday, Corky!"

Looking Back 60 years - MaryEllen Klingel (Stewart), Wendy Holden (Gaydica), Luanne Bucknam (Farrell), Betty Jane Gardner (Penque) and Judy Daggett were among members of Girl Scout Troop 437 who spent a weekend camping at Sky High Girl Scout Camp in Orchard Park. Miss Lucy French and Mrs. Janet McCann were their leaders.

Looking Back 40 years - The Trinity Church family picnic September 18, 1971 drew a crowd of over 300. Stan Ellson led the group in an exciting afternoon of events for all ages. The Bidells and Hasselbecks provided pony rides and Jean Wholahan, Gert Cotter, Vivian Smudski, John McClellan and Leslie and Sylvia Todd presented a medley of music on recorders.

It is Hawaiian week at Say Cheese Pizza with tropical food and drink all week. A Huge Hawaiian Party is planned at 8 p.m. on Saturday with prizes for the best Hawaiian outfits. Grab your grass skirt and coconut bra and head on over.

Our sympathy to the family of Richard G. Dunworth Sr. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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The Beach House Restaurant. - Delicious food and cozy atmosphere on East River Road
X-Press One Hour Dry Cleaners - Chuck and Carol Dunworth, 2275 Grand Island Blvd. - There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.
Mark S. Nemeth, Attorney at Law - insurance defense litigation with an emphasis on asbestos and nursing home litigation
Sweet & Harding - Estate Sales and Liquidations serving all of WNY
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What a nice surprise to all of us who know her but especially for her parents, Carol and Gary Roesch was a visit to the Island by their daughter, Tracy (Roesch) Williams. Tracy recently flew in from Anchorage, Alaska.

Here's what's happening this week. ••••A new Grand Island CERT Class will be held this evening. ••••Casino Night is being held at the VFW tomorrow evening. ••••Legislator Kevin Hardwick will host a District Outreach Meeting tomorrow in the Grand Island Memorial Library. ••••The Grand Island Historical Society will host an open house at River Lea on Sunday. ••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

Fly your flag and support our troops.


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Good morning Mary (Wilkin) Morgan in Derby, KS and good morning Gary Goodman in St. George, UT.

Heading up the birthdays this week is Rita Class who celebrated her September 7th birthday on a dream cruise to Alaska! Happy birthday Rita.•••• Happy birthday Bill McKibben (today), Dylan DeGlopper (11 today), Morgan Goris (a teenager today), Elizabeth Carpenter (6 tomorrow), Rich Lozo (Saturday), Michael Englert Jr. (a teenager on Saturday), Leona Stevens, Don Allen and Elizabeth Andrews (Sunday), Chris Aronica (cheers on Monday), Christopher Sadkowski (5 on Monday), Callie Harding (4 on Monday), Walter Killian (90 on Tuesday), Jill Miller (Tuesday), Rachel Olszewski (21 on Tuesday), Makenna Scalise (9 on Tuesday), Bethany Kulikowski (7 on Tuesday), Ryan Dolly (21 on Wednesday) and special greetings to Gert Reimann celebrating her 102nd birthday on Wednesday.


Click for larger view.
Paul Roeder’s webcam in the woods caught pictures featuring a 4-pointer who doesn’t like to share his pool with the girls in the neighborhood. Every time a doe would attempt to join him, she was chased away.

Looking Back 75 years - "BLC: Yachts Visit" was the headline in a September 1936 issue of the Grand Island News. The Buffalo Launch Club story follows: Commodore J. L. Eicus of the Columbia Yacht Club of New York will arrive on board his 97-foot yacht. He will have as his guest Mr. Henry Content of the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club of Rotterdam, Holland. Commander James Morrow of the Stanford Yacht Club of Connecticut and Mrs. Morrow will also be in the party. Mrs. Morrow is an expert sailor and has captured the trophy twice from England in the race from Callais to Dover. Commodore and Mrs. William A. Kinnie of the famous New Britain, Connecticut Yacht Club and their son Burton will be aboard their 120-foot steel yacht known all over for being the most beautiful boat of its kind in America. ••••According to the Grand Island News in September 1936, "Carlton Alt has the contract for furnishing slag for the Westwood Dr. in the Westwood Subdivision of Mr. Herbert Henry. This drive will give access to all lots in the subdivision. The unusually large size of these lots has been a determining factor in securing people of a fine caliber in this section and people who plan to build permanent homes here."

Looking Back 70 years - It was on September 8, 1941 when nearly 1000 people attended WBEN's party on Grand Island. It was the 11th anniversary of WBEN, when formal dedication of the station's new 5000 watt transmitting plant and directional antenna system on Beaver Island Parkway and Bush Road took place. According to the Buffalo Evening News, "The sounds of merrymaking at the party held in the Beaver Island Casino were heard coast to coast." Among the guests listed were tiny Donna Staley (Mesmer), Mrs. Henry Ackerman and her granddaughter Alice Benton and little great granddaughter Joan Benton (Templeton).

Our sympathy to the families of former residents Irene H. Lewien and Jon A. Cooke, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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JJ Fashion Trends - featuring Freshwater Cultured Pearls, Stainless Steel Jewelry, Sterling Silver for both Men and Women and much more.
Flower A Day Florist - Flowers for all occasions - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island Community Federal Credit Union - Offering members first mortgages and much more
Pepper Mill Restaurant - good food, great menu on the Boulevard
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Looking for work? See our Grand Island Job Opportunities.

Here's what's happening this week. ••••The annual Antique & Classic Boat Show and Race Boat Reunion is being held Saturday at the BLC. •••• Paws in the Park takes place in Beaver Island State Park on Saturday. ••••The Strides for Stewart Race will be held Sunday in Vet's Park.••••The Miracle League opening day is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m., after the Strides for Stewart Race. •••• Community Chorus rehearsals begin on Sunday at New Apostolic Church.•••• A One Island, One Team, One Dream to be Drug Free meeting will be held in the high school on Tuesday. •••• A fundraiser for town council candidate Gary Roesch will be held in the Buffalo Launch Club on Tuesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

On December 18, 2001, a joint resolution of Congress amended Title 36, Chapter 1, Sec.144 of the US Code to permit the President to declare Sept. 11 of each year as Patriot Day, in commemoration of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The resolution requires that all state and local governments observe this day "with appropriate programs and activities," that the flag be flown at half-staff from sunrise till sundown and that a moment of silence be observed in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks. Do your part!

God Bless the U.S.A.



Thursday, September 1, 2011


Good morning Howie Benns in North Fort Myers, FL and good morning George Lamonte in Tehachapi, CA.

A tip of the hat to our Grand Island Fire Company who traveled to Schoharie, NY to assist with the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. As one of our volunteers said, "I have never been to such devastation! It is awe inspiring, hard to fathom and heartbreaking all at the same time!" See Ray Pauley Story

Please pray for Cindy (Austin) Zurek who has been recuperating from her May 18th neck surgery, only to be rear-ended causing the need for more extensive surgery.••••Good news! Michele Beauchamp is back on Grand Island with her parents where she continues to recuperate from this past month's surgery. Let's keep her in our prayers.••••Barb DiMaria has also had recent surgery. Praying for your quick recovery, Barb.••••Prayers are also requested for former Grand Island High School Principal Jim Walline.

This is from a weekend Buffalo News article: "As more agencies join Coast Guard and sheriff's deputies in policing local waters, they face a rising tide of criticism from bothered boaters." We watched almost every boat in the East River, within our view, being stopped on Saturday and heard from several people that they thought this was an unnecessary check-up, especially those who were stopped by more than one agency. See Buffalo News Story by Dan Herbeck

Happy birthday to Chance Luthringer and Daniel Senn (7th birthdays today), Dave Hamlin (today), Michael Butcher (30 tomorrow), Max Russell (a teenager tomorrow), Debbi Robinson (tomorrow), Sam Linenfelser (a teenager on Saturday), Jesse Rosser (9 on Saturday), Ilona Lang (her 88th birthday on Sunday), Zachary Scheuing (21 on Sunday), Dale Gruber (the big 5-0 on Sunday), Justin Schmadel (9 on Sunday), Kiersten Winstel (7 on Sunday), Grace Carpenter (4 on Sunday), Peggy Hooper and Sarah Lange (Monday), Jack Hugill and Judy Schmidt (Tuesday), Jerrett Fancher (40 on Wednesday), Brianna Catanzaro (18 on Wednesday), Collin DeMartin (10 on Wednesday), Anna Hammond (7 on Wednesday), and Gretchen Moss (Wednesday).

The Island bicycle club, "Cycle-paths," will hold its annual Labor Day pub crawl on Sunday, September 4th, at noon. Starting point is The Island Deli and Meat Market, 2488 Grand Island Blvd. near Martin's Fantasy Island. Everyone is welcome.

Nancy and Joe Samrany are marking their 55th wedding anniversary today, 55 years of wedded bliss, I'm sure. Happy day folks. ••••Celebrating 40 years on Sunday and wished the best are Jay and Karen Raepple.••••Happy first anniversary to Sascha and Karen Stopa-Chavez and to Deanna and Jason Raepple. Both couples were married on September 4, 2010.

Looking Back 75 years - The Grand Island News in 1936 published the following: School Days - back to school September 3, 1936 and all school children were transported by busses. . . One hundred and ten children were registered, shattering all registrations for the past seven years. "It is our guess that never in the annals of Grand Island school history will children work so hard and so diligently as they will this year in token of their great appreciation to their parents and the civic-minded citizens who made this new school possible. The story was in anticipation of the school's opening in September 1936, however the building was not ready to open until February 1937. Island students returned to their one- and two-room schools until the new central school, Charlotte Sidway, opened the following year. Veronica E. Connor, hired to head the school district, a post she remained in until 1973, began her job teaching in School #5 at Bush and Baseline roads, and overseeing the other two school houses.

Looking Back 65 years - My sister, Mary Ellen (Stewart) and I, ages 5 and 4 respectively, were at the opening of the Grand Island Memorial Library in the basement of the town hall on Wednesday afternoon, September 4, 1946. Pat White, Dorothy Waltman and Lois Roesch were at the Library to greet the guests and explain the library system of borrowing books, and as I remember we sat on the floor to hear a story. The library was located in the basement of the town hall, former school house #9 on the same property as today's town hall.

Looking Back 60 years - Seven-hundred-twenty-three students were registered for Charlotte Sidway School, the Island's only school in September 1951. The four bus drivers who drove us to and from school were Tom Benton II, John Wagner, Fred Miller and John Suchocki.•••• Service Center Appliance was celebrating a 5th anniversary on September 2, 1951 by its owners Harold and Julia Long. Island Pets & Feed, Rocky's Pizza and Contract Interiors are now located in the building where the Longs ran their appliance business.••••Robert and Eva Smith, and their children, Bobby and Charlotte were among the first residents to move into the Coldbrook homes on Stony Point Road in 1951.

Looking Back 50 years - Roadside mailboxes were removed by Grandyle Village residents in September 1961 when the Post Office and Postmaster Heber Ashley Jr. inaugurated door to door service.

Our sympathy to the families of Valerie (nee Buckley) Swain, Darin M. Hughes, and former resident June L. (Senn) Abernethy, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

The annual Niagara Sailing Club Tube Float gang was out in force in the East River on Saturday (50 people and about 20-25 floats) and we recognized at least one of them by the name of Dave Wilkinson. I did not recognize the gals trailing somewhat behind, however, I heard my name, just couldn't see that far. Found out later it was none other than the "Anderson sisters," Pattie Frentzel, Carol Riley and Kathie Shaw, along with Mickey Kujawa. What a beautiful summer it's been - and the water is still quite warm.

Remarkable kitty? Jim and Gloria Brown have a cat named Grason that flushes the toilet. I saw the pictures! Grason was originally named Gracie however a discovery was made and thus "Grason" it is.


Kester Bleich coached another championship Town Recreation women's softball team. He is shown with Aceti's teammates Jessie Balling and Melanie Anderson. Kester has been coaching ball teams on the Island for 50+ years. See Aceti’s Monday Women for the "big picture."

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Here's what's happening this week. •••• The Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 garage sale takes place at the post on Sunday. •••• The annual Labor Day pub crawl of the Island bicycle club "Cycle-paths" will take place on Sunday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

Thanks to the men and women serving our country. God bless America.


Thursday, August 25, 2011


Good morning Gene Strehle in Universal City, TX and good morning Lisa (Snyder) Elliott in Hamburg, NY.

A cheery hello to Shirley Luther who has been slowed down in recent weeks. Praying you'll be back up to speed by the time you read this, Shirley! ••••Former resident Jon Cooke has entered Hospice. Please pray for Jon and for his family.

Lynda Smith, GIHS Class of 1973 and now living in Tampa, FL, writes the following: "To those of you who went to Kaegebein from about 1960 to late 1990s, do you remember 1st grade teacher Mrs. (Bonnie) Montgomery? Well, she lives in South Dakota now, just turned 80!!! and I know she would love to hear birthday wishes or thoughts from any former students. I have set up a special email to forward any comments to her: montgomery14072@gmail.com. Thanks. This will make her day." What a nice idea, Lynda.

Happy birthday to Arlene Wunsch (20 today), Christina Anderson (21) tomorrow), Timothy Rurkowski and Desire' Link (21 on Saturday), Sue Kohlhagen Long (Saturday), Luke Staub (6 on Saturday), Alexander Wright (8 on Saturday), Luanne Farrell and Sharon Nichols (Monday), Bob DeGlopper (a milestone on Monday), Taylor Cool and Joseph Kobza III (21 on Tuesday), Becky Waite (48 on Wednesday) and Adrianna Marinucci (3 on Wednesday).


If you see Sally Dinino this week, wish her a happy birthday. Enjoy your day, Sally.

Good wishes go out to Joe and Patty Mash who will be celebrating their wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

Looking Back 75 years - The town's annual Harvest Picnic was held August 26, 1936 at Edgewater Park and featured games and races, and dancing, both old and new fashioned in the evening. Albert Morgan was chairman. Others on the committee were Elsie E. Stamler, Charles Stoddard, John L. Mesmer Jr., George Bartram, Joseph Roe and William Voetsch, son of William E. Voetsch "who purchased this attractive piece of farm land in 1886 and developed what was known as Edgewater Park, a popular picnic and recreational grounds."

Looking Back 50 years - Members of the Rotary Club along with the Recreation Commission's adult dramatics class cleaned up the Grand Island Playhouse and grounds in August 1961. The Playhouse was the site of the Rotary's 3rd annual auction that year, and plans were to revive amateur theater on the old stage in September 1961. The Playhouse was located on the south east corner of Baseline and Bedell roads.

Mary Dunbar-Daluisio will be on anchor Tim Wenger's "Roswellness" show on WBEN radio at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Sunday's subject will be rare cancer and she will be speaking with her surgeon and her doctor. Let's get up early and listen to Mary.

Island resident Joe Curalolo is chairman of the "Thunder in the Sticks" ATV Dirt Drag Race taking place this Saturday, August 27 at the Alexander Steam Show grounds, Rt. 20. For complete information, see "Thunder in the Sticks."

Our sympathy to the families of Joseph H. "Luke" Lukasiewicz Sr., Ruth Hays Baker, John Beck and former resident Casey S. Krzes who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Glad to report that "Bugs," belonging to the Morash family and one of a long list of lost cats, has been found.

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A fundraiser for supervisor candidate Mary Cooke will be held Tuesday at the Niagara Sailing Club.•••• See our Calendar of Events for future Island happenings.

God Bless America. Pray for our troops.


Thursday, August 18, 2011


Good morning Gary Howard in Bonita Springs, FL and good morning Patti (Rogan) Burridge in Myrtle Beach, SC.


Be sure to click the photo for full view.
Gregg Roesch is wished a very happy 40th birthday on Wednesday. Gregg and his wife, Nikki, and two children live in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and visit family here as often as they can. The photo was taken in 1977 at York Beach. The other two boys are Gregg's brother, Todd Roesch, and our son Jimmy.

Michele Beauchamp is in Cleveland Clinic recovering from recent surgery. Let's keep the prayers coming during her stressful time.

The Sandy Beach Park Club held its annual Family Picnic Saturday. The neighborhood adults resurrected the Kid's Costume Parade after a five-year absence and a fair amount of children participated! The picnickers played games, won prizes and enjoyed lots of delicious food. In recognition for over 40 years of volunteer service to the Sandy Beach Park Club, Milt Sutter had the honor of having the park shelter dedicated to him. "The Sutter Shelter", bearing Milt's and his late wife, Grace's, picture, was unveiled during the family picnic.
See Milt Sutter photo
See Milt admiring the shelter
See Kids' Games

The number of cats reported missing all across the Island for the past two weeks is most unusual. Are there any answers to this dilemma? See Classifieds.


Happy 65th birthday to Tim Gross celebrating on Monday. That's what friends are for, right Tim? Tim's photo is from a 1959 Trinity Church Junior Choir photo.

Twenty-first birthdays are being celebrated this week by the following: Alexandra Davis (today), Josh Kaplan (tomorrow), Christie DeMaria (Sunday), and Sara Orsolits (Tuesday). Happy birthday everyone. ••••Happy birthday to Thomas Cauley (a teenager tomorrow), Jason Hollinger (25 tomorrow), Darren DelSignore (20 tomorrow), Madelyn Forbes (3 on Saturday), Joseph Martin (his 6th birthday on Saturday), John Dennis Klingel (my cousin, turning 70 on Sunday), Ryan Colosi (30 on Monday), Sarah Ali (20 on Monday), Cassie Lynn Shickluna (a teenager on Monday), Justin Podgorny (9 on Monday), Brooke Chamberlain (her 18th birthday on Tuesday), Colin Pinzel (two on Tuesday), Andrew Boron (25 on Wednesday), Melaina Ranger and Ava Lyn Brandon (both turning six on Wednesday), and a special greeting to AnnMarie Stewart (Wednesday).

Looking Back 60 years - According to the Grandyle Village column in an August edition of the Island Dispatch, "Little Mike Gast fell off his bike and broke his nose last Monday (August 20, 1951)."

Looking Back 50 years - Mrs. Robert A. Graham of Whitney Lane won the "Name The Business" contest with her "Bridgeview Produce" entry in August 1961. The fruit and vegetable market opened where the converted streetcars (tourist cottages) stood at Grand Island Blvd. and Staley Road.

Looking Back 40 years - The Grand Island Retired Teachers Association was formed in August 1971 when 24 retired teachers including Rose Abate, Mabel Leibinger, Christine McMahon, Lillian Tranter, Mildred Ortolano and Edwina Meredith met with Richard Meredith who offered his assistance in organizing the group.

Looking Back 10 years - Attendance at Beaver Island State Park during one Thursday in August 2001 was three times what it usually is on a typical August Thursday (usually 300-350 cars). The increase in attendance was due to Gov. George Pataki waiving the $6 parking fee due to the heat wave.

A very happy wedding anniversary to Louis and Linda Tufillaro celebrating their 20th tomorrow, to Paula and Jeff Miller, marking their 25th on Tuesday, to Tom and Carol Volk married 15 years on Wednesday, and to Fred and Kelly Claus, also celebrating their 15th anniversary on Wednesday.

Our sympathy to the families of Donald J. Kline, Estelle Barbalato and former residents Edward A. McCaffery Sr., and Richard Yensan Sr., who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.


My former neighbor and longtime childhood friend, John Grycel, recently signed our guestbook with a note regarding his membership in the Prop Spinners. John wrote: "I wonder how many charter members of the Grand Island Prop Spinners are still with us? My brother Bob was also a charter member. For those not in the know, Prop Spinners was the name of an after school (Charlotte Sidway School) model airplane builder/flyer's club."

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Lunch last week at Dick & Jenny's Bake & Brew was a delightful event. Ora Glor, who just celebrated her 99th birthday, attended with daughters Elizabeth Allen and Barbara Martin. Our group included Sidway classmates, Nancy Mote Sayre, Mary Ellen Klingel Stewart, Kathy Boettcher Stisser, Peggy Boettcher Fuller, Diane Mistretta Goupil, JoAnn Radius Vanderheite, Sandra Macoomb O'Hara and myself. See photo•••• Speaking of former classmates, Marianne Tranter is doing very well since having a hip replacement. Glad to hear it, Marianne.

The Grand Island High School Cheerleaders will hold a Car Wash this Saturday from 10 a.m. at 3 p.m. at Adrian's Custard and Beef. Support the cheerleaders by purchasing a $4 presale ticket from any of the girls. "GO VIKINGS!

Thunder on the Niagara hydroplane racing returns to the east Niagara River this Saturday and Sunday.
See our Calendar of Events for Island happenings.

God Bless the U.S.A.



Thursday, August 11, 2011


Good morning Jeff Gorrell in Hamburg, NY, and good morning Darlene (Runions) Sprague in Niagara Falls, NY.

If you sent in a garage sale notice for September 1, would you please send it again? Due to a computer malfunction, there is a chance a sale submission was lost.


Recognize him? He's Steve Morgan and he is celebrating his big 5-0 on Saturday. Happy 50th Steve.

Happy birthday to Brett Simon (40 today), Eileen Krause (6 today), Dave Benko (21 today), Jane Boyle (today), Mathew Aronica (9 tomorrow), David Michaud (3 tomorrow), William Click (9 on Saturday), Betty Pachter and Scott Hennigar (milestones on Sunday), Genna Nucherno (20 on Sunday), Sean Higgins (3 on Sunday), Lola Wahl (2 on Sunday), Carson Suffoletta (a teenager on Monday), Amy Stewart (25 on Monday), Michael Scott (30 on Monday), Robert Arsenault (18 on Monday), Bella Duscher (3 on Monday), Christopher Sexton (18 on Tuesday), Katie Grace Prell (six on Tuesday), Jackson Stewart (5 on Tuesday), Maisie Mrkall (8 on Wednesday), and George Bishop and Letti Dahlquist (cheers on Wednesday).


Be sure to click the photos for a larger view.
John Lattimer from the SPCA is shown releasing the horned owl rescued from the soccer net near Sidway School. The bird was released Monday night in fine condition behind the bus garage. A happy ending. Thanks to Tom Burke for the photos. See also Previous Story/Photo


Click the photo for a larger view
On July 14th the Fay and Murray children, along with the neighbors, held a carnival to raise money for Make A Wish. The carnival, "Crazy Craze," was attended by friends and family. The children created games in the backyard, such as Bear Hunt, Cup Crazy, and many other hand crafted games. They also offered a craft tent, hot dogs, drinks, and a bounce house. With their efforts, they raised $425.00 which was sent to the Buffalo Chapter of Make A Wish. Congratulations to Sean Murray (9), Dylan Murray (6), Abigail Fay (11), Allison Fay (9), and Caitlyn Fay (6) for their generous efforts.

Grand Island track and field great Stacey Schroeder-Watt, GIHS class of 1992, was inducted into the NYS Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Lake Placid. She was a three-time state champion, two in shot put and one in discus and nine Section VI titles, five shot put and four discus. Stacey holds the state record in the discus (172 feet) and went on to become an all-American at the University of Florida.

A very happy anniversary goes out to to Andy and Kim Tranter, married 15 years on August 17th.

Looking Back 50 years - One hundred and fifty teens attended the Islettes summer record hop in the firehall. The dance featured Doug Hawkes, Tom Boehm, Lowell Anderson and Bob Finley in a band called "The Profiles."

Looking Back 40 years - The Schutt Barn erected by John Schutt in 1878 at Stony Pt. near Bedell collapsed in August 1981. ••••Howard Killian, a native Grand Island farmer, and operator of one of the last working farms on Grand Island, produced about 3,400 bales of hay on his Whitehaven Road farm in 1971. He also raised oats and wheat for feed. The entire crop would be sold to local horse owners, estimated by some to exceed over 100 horses.

Looking Back 30 years - Karen Vanthoff and Debbi Robinson headed up the committee for the August 22, 1981 reunion of the Sidway School 9th Grade Graduating Class of 1961. The place? The Bedell House, of course!

Grand Island High School students, Keelan Erhard, Natalie Baldassarre and Ben Smith, are part of the cast of the Niagara Fine Arts musical production of "Hairspray" which opens tonight. For schedule of performances etc. see Hairspray".

Our sympathy to the families of former resident Kenneth C. Hilburger who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Did you or someone you know lose a watch? A Bulova watch found along Grand Island Blvd. between Town Hall and Baseline Rd., possibly from the 4th of July parade, has been turned in to Town Hall. The watch has an inscription on the back and may be claimed in Town Supervisor Pete McMahon's office.

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Here's what's happening this week. ••••A Village Inn Open golf tournament takes place today at the Beaver Island Golf Course.••••The East Park Garden Club will hold a Garage and Plant Sale on Saturday.•••• The town sponsored band concert features Bob Lee Trio - Classic Rock '60's, 70's, 80's, and begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God Bless the U.S.A and all the men and women who keep us safe!!



Thursday, August 4, 2011


Good morning Sandy Hawley in Wrightsville, PA, and good morning David Dietrich in Charlotte, NC.

Very interesting story in the Buffalo News on longtime resident Noel Blair who brought his 1924 Wurlitzer 146A band organ to a recent gathering of the Carousel Organ Organization of America in Olcott, NY. See Buffalo News story by Jane Kwiatkowski. Be sure to scroll down to read about Noel's hobby.

Happy birthday to Mathew Riley (21 today), Harry Carter (today), Jack Bridenbaker (his 7th birthday today), Mads Goc (Sweet 16 today), Alexis Ouchakov (6 tomorrow), Donna Lavallee and Connie Rexford Lewis (milestone birthdays on Saturday), Katrina Linenfelser and John Fletcher II (9 on Saturday), Richard Smith (cheers on Sunday), Charlotte Tower (3 on Sunday), Madison Suzanne Klos (first birthday on Sunday), Ben Hoover (30 on Monday), Brandon Robinson (20 on Monday), Millie Weiser (Tuesday), Shannon Becker, Mary Pietrzak and Wesley Link (18th birthdays on Tuesday), Doug Harding (celebrating a big one on Wednesday), Joe Zarbo (20 on Wednesday), and Mitchell Wendling (18 on Wednesday),

Celebrating their 10th wedding anniversaries today are Paul and Jamie Michaud and Sarah and Rod MacNeil. Pete and Bev Kuszczyk will mark their 40th anniversary on Saturday. Best wishes to the Michauds, the MacNeils, and the Kuszczyks.

Looking Back 125 years - Jochim H. Long came to America in 1886. He settled in Tonawanda before moving to the Island (area of the current Holiday Inn) and was engaged by John Nice to haul wood, timber, etc. for six years. He was influential in the Republican party and was Grand Island's town supervisor for three terms. His wife was Katherine Spohr and their 13 children were Henry W., Bertha, George, Sarah, William, Mary, John, Katherine, Charles, Edward, Samuel, Harry and Laura.

Looking Back 60 years - As usual, Bill Kaegebein and Clarence Schutt were in charge of the chowder for the firemen's field day with assistance from Len Staub. •••• The very first meeting of the Grand Island Republican Club was held August 9, 1951 with 54 interested persons in attendance. Harold Beck of East River Road served as its first president. •••• About 400 attended the annual closing campfire and show at Camp Tirnanog, a day camp on the former Oakfield Club property on Oakfield Road.

Looking Back 50 years - The Grand Island Fire Company hosted its last firemen's field day on August 5, 1961, complete with parade, chowder, games, rides and beer tent. The new Islettes majorettes marched and twirled in their white military uniforms with gold trim and white military hats with red feathers. Remember?

Looking Back 30 years - Mike Endres drove "Orange Crush" to his first 7-litre national championship. •••• Familiar names in the results of the annual Downriver Swim on August 8, 1981 included Doug Ford who finished in 54 minutes, 49 seconds in the swim from the Buffalo Launch Club to the Holiday Inn. Fastest female in 61 minutes, 51 seconds was Kelly Valone Maurer.

Looking Back 25 years - The Wheelman, an international group devoted to antique cycling, held the Niagara Frontier National Meet 1986, their 19th annual event and the biggest yet with 210 people attending. The site was the Holiday Inn where displays of the oldies (from the Niagara Falls Wax Museum) were set up in the lobby and on the lower level, showing samples of many of the antique vehicles. About 60 of these riders attempted to ride 100 miles in one day to achieve a special rank in the membership (five times around the Island).

Our sympathy to the families of Anneliese Sasso, John P. McGowan, and Thomas L. Schuh Sr. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.••••Christopher J. Cevaer, former Niagara Falls resident, died after being struck by a car. He was a longtime cleaner for the Grand Island Central School District.

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Here's what's happening this week. ••••A Cruise Night will be held Monday evening at Adrian's Custard and Beef.••••The Town sponsored band concert featuring Simple Faith - Blues begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Klingel Town Commons. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God Bless America.



Thursday, July 28, 2011


Good morning Michael Delaney in Buffalo, NY and good morning Fran (Zerilli) Wilczek in Venice, FL.

Happy birthday to Sandra Fleming Bowers (a milestone today), Sam Clark (21 today), Jenna Hutzler (20 on Sunday), Bruce Gentz (Sunday), Hannah Linenfelser (14 on Monday), Marissa Lange (21 on Monday), Tom Kalman (18 on Monday), Suzanne Grafinger (cheers on Tuesday), Tyler Wunsch (18 on Tuesday), Samantha Gieselman (20 on Tuesday), Tommy Schmidt (the big 4-0 on Wednesday), Alisa Ungaro (Wednesday) and Gabrielle Martell (9 on Wednesday).

Nan and Del Haller are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow. Best wishes to the Hallers.


Be sure to click the photo for full view. Shown far left are unidentified, Matt Sander, George Sander, Jay Englert and Gail Sander.
The Oakfield Club of Grand Island took first place in the 2011 TP International Regatta last weekend in Turkey Point, Ontario. Members of the Oakfield Club include the Island families of the Englerts, Conways and Bushes. Controversy surrounded the competition but the Oakfield Club was able to overcome the West Virginia’s team (Team Beehive) and take the win. The event was described by a family member as a family/neighboring cottage affair! Congratulations, Oakfield Clubbers.

Looking Back 75 years - A Water Power and Control Commission hearing was held Tuesday, July 28, 1936 in regard to Grand Island's Water District No. 2, a project that was to cost $137,000 and would cost the property owners of the second water district 55% and the government an outright gift of 45%. Inasmuch as Beaver Island State Park is in the second water district, Town Engineer Newell Nussbaumer pointed out that there would be a considerable sale of water to the state for swimming pools, recreational facilities and general domestic users. ••••Dr. A. G. Baitz of Buffalo, a dyed-in-the-wool Island weekender, was thinking seriously of hanging out his shingle at the end of Charlie Davern’s dock (Davern's Tavern, East River near Ferry roads) on Saturdays and Sundays for pursuing the dental profession there. According to the Grand Island News of July 1936, "Dr. Baitz had docked his boat at Davern’s recently and was hailed enthusiastically by a sufferer of a toothache. He produced his kit of instruments which he carries with him at all times and set to work on the dock to relieve his patient’s suffering. Before weekend was over he worked on two more patients." Davern's Tavern is now the Niagara River Station Fishing Club.•••• The cornerstone of the new Charlotte Sidway elementary school was laid on Thursday, July 30, 1936. In absence of Fred Grehlinger, president of the school board, William Kaegebein, secretary of the board, presided. The copper box which customarily was placed within a cornerstone had already been filled with material of definite interest to the school and the community. (minutes of the meeting at which the school was voted and the resolution which was sent to Washington, the resolution approving the bonds, names of all the town board and school board members, a copy of the July 24th issue of the "Grand Island News," two Evangelical Church bulletins, and a number of 1936 coins.

Looking Back 60 years - The Island Dispatch announced that Mary and Reginald Long opened their delicatessen on West River at Staley Road. The local paper reported that a luncheonette was to open soon and "the bowling alley should be ready for use by November 1951." The new building was a replacement for the Longs' original store that burned along with their house in the early 1940s.

Looking Back 50 years - One hundred and fifty teens attended the Islettes summer record hop in the fire hall. The dance, hosted by the majorettes, featured Doug Hawkes, Tom Boehm, Lowell Anderson and Bob Finley in a band called "The Profiles."

Our sympathy to the family of Margaret "Peggy" MacNeil who recently passed away. Edward A. Rowe Jr., a former owner of Grand Island-based chemical company IsleChem, died Saturday, July 16th. Click Deaths for complete information.

Former Island resident Frank Zahm of Conyers, Georgia, partnered with James Compton, won the 2011 National Senior Games - Shuffleboard Doubles. The men won gold medals in the Houston, Texas competition. See "Rockdale News" for more information.

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Welcome home to our niece, Annie Linenfelser Stuardi and baby Oliver III. Let the summer begin!

A speedy recovery to our star reporter, Joelle Logue, who recently broke her ankle.

Here's what's happening in our town this week. ••••Reality Cafe will host a Summer Dance for middle schoolers tonight. ••••The GIHS Class of 1991 holds its 20-year reunion this weekend.••••The Town Historical Preservation Advisory Board's "Then and Now" photo display opens Saturday at River Lea.•••• Paddles Up Niagara is being held on Saturday along with a picnic lunch hosted by the Historical Society.••••River Oaks Clubhouse offers a rib fest on Saturday. •••• A Cookout and "Old Fashioned" Ice Cream Social is being held at the Island Presbyterian Church on Huth Road on Sunday, after the 10 a.m. service.•••• The town sponsored band concert and National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there."



Thursday, July 21, 2011


Good morning Sean Meyers in Georgia, and good morning Francie (Fodero) Hace in Buffalo, NY.

A speedy recovery to Marianne Tranter who is recuperating from hip replacement surgery. Thinking of you, Marianne.

Heard from my former neighbor and classmate, Elizabeth Glor Allen, this week. Her mother, Ora Glor-Newton, who turned 99 in June, will be on the Island with Elizabeth and Barbara Glor Martin for a visit next month. Her family had hopes of Ora receiving 99 birthday cards, something I included in Between the Bridges. It turns out that she received well over 100 cards from all across the nation and has them all neatly added to her scrapbook. "Ora, I'm looking forward to seeing you at lunch next month!"

Frank Cannata, Executive Director at Riviera Theatre and Organ Preservation Society, Inc., reminds us to stop at the air conditioned Riviera Theatre from 1-7 p.m. during Canalfest this week for some samplings of local wines, cheeses, chocolates and other delicious goodies.

Very best wishes go out to Tom and Ellie Zarbo on their 55th wedding anniversary today and to David and Karen Conboy, celebrating a 20th anniversary on Tuesday.••••A belated happy 60th anniversary to Roy and Roslyn Gerard who celebrated on June 23rd.

Happy birthday to Buck Long (16 today), Dan Linenfelser and Chuck Berlinger (today), Bristol Khreis (2 today), Betty Raepple (tomorrow), Rob Wakefield (30 on Saturday), Michelle Botwin (20 on Saturday), Maya Pecoraro (8 on Saturday), Matt Sundeen (18 on Saturday), Michele Breier and Bill Stratton (Saturday), Kady Liesenfeld (a teenager on Sunday), Mary Grace Egloff (20 on Sunday), Kaia Lynn Petrie (two on Sunday), Pat Yensan and Ray Kaiser (Sunday), Emily Mae Klein (10 years old on Sunday), Faith Gworek (10 on Tuesday), and Diane Muscoreil, Bob Schmidt and Barb Spaulding (all celebrating on Wednesday).

Looking Back 75 years - Parishioners of St. Stephen's and Mary Star of the Sea churches held the annual lawn fete and dinner at the St. Stephen's grounds on Saturday, July 25, 1936. Music was provided by the Boy's Band of the German Roman Catholic Orphanage with musicians ranging in age from 9 to 14 years. Eugene Bucher was picnic chairman.

Looking Back 50 years - Traffic jams were due to the record crowd of 30,000+ at Beaver Island State Park. The previous record, 25,000, was set in 1958. ••••Members of the Lions Club staged their third annual handicapped picnic July 26, 1961 at the Buffalo Launch Club. Roy Hawkes and Fred Angelo chaired the event attended by 65 blind and visually handicapped children.

Looking Back 30 years - George Smith purchased the River Oaks Golf Course and club house and was restoring them to their former status as part of one of the most outstanding recreation complexes in the area. •••• Grand Island's Jimmy Arias, 16, won the $125,000 Mutual Open at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club in 1981, beating Ilie Nastase 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a two-hour match. "This is, by far, the greatest win of my life," he said.

Looking Back 25 years - More than 200 Wheelmen and their 100-year-old bicycles converged on Grand Island at the Holiday Inn for their 19th annual national meet July 24-27, 1986.

Our sympathy to the families of former residents Anthony Felich, and Richard Yensan Sr., who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Buffalo Launch Club members from on and off the Island were saddened to hear of the death of Commodore Tom Grady who died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. Our condolences to his family.

So sorry for Gary and Emily Dahlstrom who lost a couple boats and a boathouse during Saturday morning's fire. Emily's photo is on our front page.

To keep up with GI native Matt Mondoux's 'walk' to Yankee Stadium to spread awareness and collect funds for research for ALS (Lou Gehrigs' Disease), see walking4lou.com.

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Sherry McDonald/RealtyUSA - A local real estate agent who knows the Island
Aceti's Wine & Spirits - huge selection, conveniently next to Tops Market
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For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's what's happening this week.
The VFW #9249 Men's Auxiliary will present its Annual Acoustic Night Open Mic tomorrow evening (Fri.). ••••This Tuesday's town sponsored band concert features Stone Row - Irish Upbeat Folk Music. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God Bless America.



Thursday, July 14, 2011


Good morning Chris Savoy in Corning, NY, and good morning Libby Lee-Falk in Las Vegas, NV.


Be sure to click the photo for a larger view.
It is my pleasure to wish Paul and Sue Bauer a very happy 50th wedding anniversary. The Bauers were married in St. Stephen's Church on July 15, 1961. Sue and Paul, who moved to the Island in 1942 and 1952 respectively, raised their three girls, Terri, Mary and Sherrie, here and all are Grand Island residents today.

A speedy recovery to Ken Lewis who is recuperating from recent surgery.

Rick Seeley asks that I send out a big hello from him to all the Islanders from Camp Dwyer, S. Afghanistan. See Islanders In the News.

Welcome to Grand Island, Rev. Baird. Rev. Larry L. Baird, new senior pastor at Trinity UM Church, and his wife, Brenda, were warmly welcomed by the congregation at a reception this past Sunday.

Capt. Chris Cinelli, of Cinelli's Niagara Fishing Guides, had a great day fishing in the BassEye Celebrity Challenge last Friday. See Buffalo News for the story.

Happy birthday to Fred Jarzab and Larry Braddell (celebrating milestones today), to Matisse Haag (4 today), Kelly Yarnes (tomorrow), Russell Pecoraro (cheers on Saturday), Betty Clement and Carolyn Doebert (Saturday), Danielle Gworek (happy 40th on Sunday), Nathaniel Cohen (6 on Monday), Andrew Sander (16 on Tuesday), and Dean Wadon-McGloin (Wednesday).

Mike and Susan Hogue Canty of Tucson, AZ are traveling back to this area for Mike's 50th Riverside High School class reunion and are hoping to meet up with friends from the Island. They will be at the Village Inn at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21st. The Cantys, who may be reached at auntycanty1@comcast.net, haven't been back in 25+ years and are looking forward to seeing the Island again, and as many friends as possible.

Looking Back 75 years - The Board of Education announced that the Grand Island grade school under construction would be known as the Charlotte Sidway School. This was in appreciation of a donation of $1,600 for the installation of complete kitchen equipment by Mrs. Charlotte Sidway's estate. ••••The Catholic Daughters of America sponsored a card party and supper on Saturday afternoon, July 11, 1936 in St. Stephen's Church Barn. ••••Pyrotechnics (fire works) were displayed from Strawberry Island by the Riverside Businessmen's Association on July 4, 1936. •••• Edgewater Park was advertising the Merry-Mix-up, its newest ride, in July 1936.

Looking Back 65 years - Edward Kinkel applied to the town board in 1946 for "permission to construct a timber pile bent dock and two cluster piles in the east branch of the Niagara River on the easterly shore of Motor Boat Island."

Looking Back 50 years - First service at the new Bible Presbyterian Church on Love Road was held July 16, 1961. The congregation was founded in 1955.

Our sympathy to the family of Mary M. Schnabel who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Magic Towel Holder - Craftsman Don "Bones" Fancher - clever gift creations
Grand Island Teachers Association - Thank you teachers for your support!
Giecom.net - Web Hosting, Web Site Design, Custom Graphics - right here on the Island
Dr. Thomas C. Lepenven, DMD - Island Dental PC - 2095 Baseline Road
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Congratulations to the members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce on their recently unveiled Grand Island, NY Tourism Guide. See Tourism Guide Video.

I had a very interesting conversation with Frank Offermann Jr. this week. Frank's father moved into what we refer to as the Offermann estate on East River in Ferry Village in 1914. The house was torn down however the stone fence that surrounded the property is still standing there. Frank attended early grade school at Mt. St. Mary's in Kenmore before the bridges were built. When the ice kept the ferry boat from taking him to school across the river, he went to the one-room School #5 at Baseline and Bush roads along with his neighborhood friends. Frank's father was the owner of Offermann Stadium, a baseball stadium in Buffalo, and provided a yearly trip to a ball game for all Island children.

The town sponsored band concert 7 p.m. this Tuesday evening in Marion Klingel Town Commons will featuring the Dixieland music of the Bar Room Buzzards and the members of the Historical Society will offer root beer floats as a fund raiser. A rain date has been set for July 21st (Thursday).

God Bless the U.S.A.



Thursday, July 7, 2011


Good morning Tracey McCarthy in West End, NC, and good morning Yvonne (Pergrim) Ryniec in Lockport, NY.


Click photo for larger view
Best wishes to Barb and John Grycel who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday. John, who grew up on Love Road in the 40s and 50s, wrote that the photo was taken on the ship they were married on, the Princess Louise.

Celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary on Wednesday and wished the very best are Marla and Councilman Dick Crawford.


A very happy birthday goes out to Doug Kutzbach, celebrating a milestone today. Doug is shown in his Sidway School graduation picture.

Happy birthday Anthony Gugino (20 today), Earl DeGlopper Sr. and Susan Willard (today), Autumn Kaiser (21 today), Jordan Tripi (20 tomorrow), Lois Martene (95 on Saturday), Joan Group (cheers on Saturday), Bernice Dinsmore (92 on Saturday), Theodore Slipko III (21 on Saturday), baby Tyler Liam Dawson (first birthday on Saturday), Sarah Webb (18 on Monday), Paul Eberhard (25 on Monday), Ryan Shea (30 on Monday), Kerry Erling (best wishes on Tuesday), Gail Howe (a milestone on Wednesday), Sarah Chamberlain (Sweet 16 on Wednesday) and Christian Kessler (7 on Wednesday).

What a great Independence Day weekend here on the Island. Lots of picnics, reunions and great weather throughout. The runners of all ages who led things off at parade time are to be congratulated for their fitness and stamina. Our parade, a tradition since 1970, drew what could be a record crowd and the same could be said of the VFW picnic afterwords. Among those taking part in the low-key political campaigns along the route were Luci and Jack Roesch, tiny tots of Nikki and Gregg Roesch, who helped their grandfather, Councilman Gary Roesch, distribute pencils to the crowd.

Looking Back 60 years - Thirty-two Boy Scouts from Troop 75, including Ben Clark Jr., Mike Costin, Roger Dohn, Jackie Hawley, Billy Linton, Bob Buzby, Jimmy Pearson, George Mayer, Ernest Marin, Buddy Link, Allen Howland, Stewart Ellis, Robert Kindred, Glenn Marin and William Kirk, camped at Ti-Wa-Ya-Ee on Route 16, Holland, NY in July 1951.

Looking Back 50 years - In the second race of the July 1961 International regatta at the Buffalo Launch Club, a Canadian boat cut across the bow of the 48-cu.-inch hydro driven by Gary Roesch who was thrown from his 10 1/2 foot racer, "Lost Week End."

Looking Back 40 years - The Fleischmann home at 2547 Staley Road burned on July 9, 1971. The 130-year-old farm house was built around 1840 by Lawrence and Joseph Fleischmann's grandfather, John Fleischmann who came to the Island from Germany. The Fleischmann farm was once known for its dairy industry.

Our sympathy to the families of Thaddeus "Ted" Weselak, Robert C. MacKellar III, Gordon E. Frasier and former residents Peggy Prentice, and Betty Webb Benton, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Miss Taco Bean, a four-pound Chorkie, pictured on the front page of Isledegrande.com yesterday, is home, safe and sound. Owner Sandi Cunningham was kind enough to write us today: "What an incredible community and support network - the puppy hunting posse brought our girl home!"

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Island Prescription Center - Consumer wellness tips - Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
Chateau Motor Lodge - "Out-of-town company? We Offer Cheap Deals Daily"
Adrian's Custard & Beef - Best beef on the planet, soft ice cream, too - GI Blvd. Plaza
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chicken Barbeque, Silent Auction and Basket Raffle will take place on Saturday.••••Adrian's Custard and Beef is sponsoring a Cruise Night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for other Island happenings.

God Bless America.



Thursday, June 30, 2011


Good morning Marjorie Stuart in Corvallis, OR. Good morning to William Micon in Niagara Falls, NY and an especially "great" morning to Nancy Sandford here on the Island.

It's the 4th of July weekend! Welcome home out-of-towners. Reunion, parade and fire works information is posted on the front page of Isledegrande.com. Have a great weekend.

Glad to spread the word that 14-year-old Casey Bolles of Grand Island will be performing acoustic music 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 6th at The Orchard Park Cafe in Orchard Park NY.

Nice to see Nancy Buckley Valone in the Village Inn last Friday - looking the same as she did when she graduated from GIHS in '66. We also saw Paul and Marcy Malecki and I know Paul would want me to mention that!! Also having dinner with her traveling friends was dear friend Judy Schneider. Oh, by the way, our granddaughter, Amy Bidell ordered the Portobello salad that looked delicious and from the looks of her empty plate, it was. Gotta love the Village Inn.

Congratulations to our niece, Annie Stuardi, and her husband, Oliver, on the birth of Oliver Stuardi III on Thursday, June 23, 2011. And what a beautiful baby boy he is. Hoping to have his picture here real soon. Baby Oliver is the grandson of Mike and Penny Linenfelser of East River Road.

Happy anniversary to our nephew, Bill Stewart and his bride, Heather, who are celebrating their 4th anniversary today.••••Marking their 35th anniversary on Sunday are Barbara and Michael Wienke. Congratulations to the Wienkes.••••Best wishes to to Mike and Lisa Gallagher who will celebrate their 25th anniversary on Tuesday.

For a cute family story about Dick and Jenny Benz of the Bake and Brew and their rooster, click Niagara Gazette Story.

Happy birthday to Jacqueline Kehoe (14 today), Joey Cali (9 tomorrow), Bob Kopf, Margaret Giles and Councilman Gary Roesch, (tomorrow), Jason Davis and Joe Khreis (20th birthdays on Saturday), Chelsea Robillard (a teenager on Saturday), Megan Pinzel (6 on Saturday), Nancy Steckelberg and Mike Gallagher (milestone birthdays on Sunday), Alivia Manzo (7 on Monday), Ella Marie MacNeil (2 on Monday), Anthony Verdi (18 on Tuesday), Mark Ehde (cheers on Tuesday), Karen Dilliot (Wednesday), and Jacob Zimmerman (16 on Wednesday).

Don't be shy! Send me your birthdays and anniversaries, your weddings and new babies etc. etc. Email me at teddy@giecom.net.

Looking Back 100 years - Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ferry Village (corner of Orchard and Ferry roads) was dedicated on July 4, 1911. The church was built to accommodate the Island's increased summer population. And 35 years ago on the 4th of July, the bells at Mary Star of the Sea were rung during the National Bell Ringing of our country - 1776-1976. The church is now a private home.

Looking Back 60 years - The Kiwanis Club Bike Rodeo was held at Sidway School on June 30, 1951. Winners in the girls' division were Carleen Alt, Gail Burgstahler (Rothenberg), Judy Daggett and Diane Harding (Swick). Winners in the boys' competition were Carlton Schutt, Noel Dilliot, Loyd Glasgow and John Grycel.

Looking Back 50 years - The Grand Island Boating Association's second annual summer regatta was held at Riverhaven Lodge. Local winners in the B Stock Outboards were Al Colley, 1st; Mike Sceusa, 2nd; and Mike Olrogge, 3rd. The Holiday Inn is now on the site of the 1961 boat races.

Looking Back 5 years - Reg Schopp, owner of deSignet International right here on Whitehaven Road, was featured in the June 23, 2006 issue of Business First in regard to his custom jewelry creations. Stop by deSignet International and talk to Reg about designing jewelry for you or for your special someone. Reg is also the reason we are so fortunate to have Grand Island's only online newspaper here at Isledegrande.com.

Our sympathy to the family of Edward P. Arida who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski - Just for kids
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road
State Farm - Bob Piatek - Insurance & Mutual Funds
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The 4th Annual Leon Carr Memorial Fundraiser & Redbone Classic Disc Golf & Golf tournament will take place on Sunday in Beaver Island State Park.•••• Click for All July 4th information.

God bless and thanks to our troops all over the world. Wishing them happy days over this Independence Day weekend.



Thursday, June 23, 2011


Good morning Mike Endres right here on East River Road, and good morning Shelley (Bookhagen) Sheehan in Ransomville, NY.

Happy birthday to Keelan Erhard (his 16th birthday today), Sara Fletcher (6 today), Andrew Yarne (16 tomorrow), Conor Bryan (20 tomorrow), Peggy Will and Bob Fraser (Saturday), Megan Zahradnik and Morgan Blum (4th birthdays on Saturday), Lily Panepinto (6 on Monday), Sue Mallon, Marjorie Ehde Anderson and Janice Becker (Wednesday), and Justine Vanthoff and Kaitlin Avida (both turning 20 on Wednesday).

Celebrating 40 happy years together are Bob and Mary Kopf who will mark their wedding anniversary on Saturday. Best wishes to the Kopfs. •••• Dianne and Rick Victor are wished the very best on their 30th anniversary on Sunday. •••• Also celebrating this week are Marijane and Tim Smith looking forward to their 14th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

Looking Back 60 years - The Smith Estate, formerly the Oakfield Club on Oakfield Road, was the site of the Tirnanog Day Camp 60 years ago. Camp directors were Mr. and Mrs. Rob Sexton and the camp was operated by Canisius College. About 400 attended the camp's annual closing campfire and show.••••Jim and Joe Kerr, Dave Kean, Ray DeGlopper and Gary Bartlett graduated into Boy Scouts during their last Cub Pack meeting on June 27, 1951 in Beaver Island Park.

Looking Back 50 years - Henry Alt's Grandyle Mart sponsored a fishing contest in the summer of 1961. Charles "Chip" Schopp won the junior division Black Bass competition with a two pound, two ounces black bass and Paul Dingey won the senior division with a three pound, two ounce black bass. ••••Happy 50th birthday to Fantasy Island. Between 7000 and 8000 paid admissions to Fantasy Island were reported after the grand opening of the new park on Saturday morning, June 24, 1961.


Dan Stedman at Blue Water Marina in Ferry Village has added to his line of boating and fishing supplies including the very popular kayaks. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Our sympathy to the families of Robert M. Jankowiak, Jeanne M. Smith-Fallon, Cecelia Rose Armenia and former resident Berneice Loretta Huff, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

For an interesting article on Taylor Firth, a championship ice skater from Grand Island, see "Toy Story 3."

Attention GIHS Class of 2001 graduates! Here are your 10-year reunion details: click Class of 2001. Links to information for all GIHS reunions are listed on the front page of Isledegrande.com.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's longtime, #1 real estate agent
Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard
Mark J. Frentzel - Attorney At Law - Experience in all courts and all areas of law - 1763 Baseline Road
Grand Island Auto Tech - owners Ron and Mike Cook - they do it all - 2509 Grand Island Blvd.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The annual Chamber of Commerce Island Happenings/Kid Biz/Business Expo will be held on Saturday outside of Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See our Calendar of Events for other Island happenings.

God Bless the U.S.A and all the men and women who keep us safe!!



Thursday, June 16, 2011


Good morning Mary Lee (Wunsch) Widdicombe in Coral Springs, FL, and good morning Alicia (Lang) Breen in San Francisco, CA.

Dick Fancher has written to let friends know that he has put together a party in memory of his wife, Beth (Ashley) Fancher who passed away in February. Friends are invited to Oppenheim Park off Niagara Falls Blvd. on Saturday (June 18th). The party is potluck and starts at 11:30 a.m. and will end around 3 p.m. A shelter has been reserved at the Park.

Happy birthday to Claire Neuhaus (2 today), Morgan Santorio (7 tomorrow), Ardys Hamm (tomorrow), Samantha Dinsmore (21 on Saturday), Nathaniel Cohen (6 on Saturday), Roslyn Gerard (her 90th birthday on Sunday), our son, Jim Linenfelser (Monday), Jacob Rowles (20 on Monday), John Frentzel (18 on Monday), Jason Linton (cheers on Monday), Frank Brusino (his 80th on Tuesday), Dennis McMichael and Alice Lance (Tuesday), Alexandra Whitford (20 on Tuesday), Patty Hamilton and Stephanie McGinn (Wednesday), and Matthew Carlson (21 on Wednesday).

Very best wishes to Rachel and Mark Marinucci celebrating their fifth anniversary tomorrow, and to Todd and Jennifer Bryzski and Charlie and Tanya Schutt marking their 20th anniversaries on Wednesday.

Congratulations to Matt Killian and Derek Geiger on their wins at the NFL Sectional Track and Field championships at Lew-Port last weekend. See Track Sectional Results for Grand Island's numerous wins.

Friends of Floydette Gannon, and there are many of them, keep praying for Flo's comfort. She's dealing with a lot of pain at this point.

Garage Salers take note. A reader has asked me to post this message. "To whomever took the Coat/Clothing Rack from 3350 Baseline Road after the Garage Sale on Saturday night, please return it." Nuff' said!

Really nice to see Patty Kaiser, GIHS Class of 1976, and her husband on Monday at Bob's BBQ Shack in Ferry Village. Patty grew up on Orchard Road in the Village, right across from Jim and I and our young children. She and her husband reside in Dunkirk where she owns and runs a dog grooming business.

Looking Back 75 years - The Grand Island News announced that there would be a meeting at the baseball diamond at Killian’s Garage on the Whitehaven Road for all persons interested in a Grand Island baseball team. ••••W.P.A. (Work Projects Administration) and CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) workers in Beaver Island State Park were afforded a few minutes of excitement on a Monday morning in the spring of 1936 when Frank Fix’s newly purchased horse team got beyond the control of Paul Williams, their driver, and ran “berserk.” ••••The Evangelical Church (Trinity) was providing musical instruction for adults every Monday evening at the Island's original Town Hall.

Looking Back 65 years - In recognition of his opening Godfrey’s Market, Ernie Godfrey held a first birthday sale in June 1946. In appreciation to the people of Grand Island he had on sale many scarce items such as soap flakes, tuna fish, Jello and salad dressing.

Looking Back 60 years - The Grand Island Drum Corps under the direction of Bill Pinkow took top honors in its very first appearance, Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Company's parade, on June 17, 1951. ••••The singing voices of Janice Lamb (Bennett) and Sally Staley (Dworak) were heard over Islander Martha Clark's radio program on Saturday afternoons in 1951.

Looking Back 50 years - Graduation exercises for the 9th grade Sidway Junior High School students, Class of 1961 were held June 22, 1961 in the Sidway School gym. Due to space, the graduation was limited to mothers and fathers only. •••• Jim Shear of Sunset Drive was a consistent winner in the sanctioned drag races held in 1961 in Dunkirk, NY; Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He won awards and trophies driving a 1960 economy model V-8 Chevrolet, a stock model which was purchased, tuned up and set up by Alt Chevrolet.

Looking Back 25 years - Ending their 1986 dual meet season with a 6-0 record, the GI Girls Track Team remained Niagara Division Champions of the Niagara Frontier League for the fifth consecutive year. Individuals undefeated in their event for the 1986 season included Ann Walker (100 meter hurdles), Jackie Ekiss (1500 M, 3000 M); Angela Scott (200 M, 400 M); and Candy Coffey (800 M). All three relay teams were undefeated making a complete sweep of all first places in every running event of the season except 400 meter hurdles. •••• The Wall of Fame in the lobby of GIHS was dedicated after much planning and hard work by Principal James Walline, the Student Advisory Council of Dean Santorio, Paige Joslyn, Rachael Hazelet, Paul Bauman and Donna Lewis, their advisor and a committee of actual workers who researched and prepared the wall.

It is with heavy heart that I extend my deepest sympathy and that of the entire Island to the family of little Cameron J. Syracuse.•••• A memorial service celebrating Barbara “Babs” Davis' life will be held at the Island Presbyterian Church (Across Huth Road from the Huth Road School) at 11:00 AM, on Saturday, June 25th. A luncheon in the church Fellowship Hall will follow the service. All are welcome. See Barbara Davis Obituary. •••• Our sympathy also to the families of Harris W. Ennis, Barbara (nee Bailey) Davis and former resident James John Skindell, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Dorothy Bitner submitted a poem, A Day In May, that she wrote, putting her patriotic thoughts into rhythm. Thanks, Dorothy.

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The Beach House Restaurant. - Delicious food and cozy atmosphere on East River Road
X-Press One Hour Dry Cleaners - Charles and Carol Dunworth, 2275 Grand Island Blvd. - There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.
Metro Town Center - 1980 Whitehaven Road - Betty Harris - President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker
Mark S. Nemeth, Attorney at Law - insurance defense litigation with an emphasis on asbestos and nursing home litigation
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The 3rd Annual Senior Celebration/Post Prom Party takes place in GIHS Friday night. ••••The Grand Island Lawnmower Race and Father's Day Car Show will be held Sunday. ••••Town Clerk Candidate Pattie Frentzel will host a “Meet and Greet” on Tuesday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God Bless the U.S.A.



Thursday, June 9, 2011


Good morning Pat Buell in Kenmore, NY and good morning Richard Gibbons in Ocala, FL.

To Kenny Lewis, I'm sending days full of sunshine and blue skies.

Happy anniversary to Tom and Debbie Dzielski who will celebrate their 20th anniversary on Wednesday.

Happy birthday to JT Tomkins (today), Christopher Golde (his 30th tomorrow), Ora Glor Newton (99 tomorrow), Michael Avery (18 on Saturday), Nick Vallina and Patrick Ryan (21st birthdays on Saturday), Richard (Skip) Noth (75 on Sunday), Justin Brzyski (16 on Monday), Ryan Harnden (21 on Monday), Kayla Staub (11 on Monday), Jeffrey Wansart III (6 on Monday), David Conboy (17 on Tuesday), Raven Khreis (5 on Tuesday), Stacey Scott (Wednesday) and Tommy Dzielski (18 on Wednesday).

Dave Colbert submitted photos of the Memorial Day Cycle-Paths, an Island club that started with nine original members and a ride on Memorial Day 2010. According to Dave, anyone can ride and there's no official membership. News of the rides has been spread by word of mouth. The 2010 Labor Day ride had 25 riders and this Memorial Day had 41.
See "Photo 1"
See "Photo 2"

Congratulations to Chris Soluri and Danielle D'Abate who were married Saturday, June 4, 2011.

Best wishes to Missy and Bob Mesmer who celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary last Friday, June 3rd. See "I love you Missy" for Bob's expression of love to his wife.

Looking Back 75 years - The sale of two school houses, not in use at the time, were advertised by the school board in the Grand Island News in June of 1936. The sale took place in the town hall when Mrs. Herbert Webb paid $325 for School #3 and Mr. Charles L. Schaeffer was high bidder ($225) for School #4.••••A town building permit was given to Joseph Martene for a side veranda on his East River Road tavern, now Turners Port of Call and also for a boathouse on the property.

Looking Back 60 years - The Fire Company and its doctor, “our own Dr. Norm Stessing,” saved the life of a worker trapped by a sewer cave-in. It took the inhalator squad 3 1/2 minutes to answer the call, a record on Grand Island. A life was saved, but it could have been lost if a "party liner" had failed to show courtesy. "Please cooperate - when a fire call is received, there is no time to argue," Island Dispatch editor, George Pagan reported.

Looking Back 50 years - Sixth grader Carol Kohlhagen (Hamlin) won a library award at the Kaegebein School Awards Assembly in June 1961. She has been working as a Senior Library Clerk in that same library for 23-1/2 years.•••• "The Fairytale Dramatic Club," made up of all sixth grade girls, produced its first play Saturday, June 10, 1961, at 33 Crescent Road. Linda Schnitzer wrote and directed the production, and Joyce Wolanske was in charge of scenery, costumes and props. Other club members were Pam Lansberry, Diane Schnitzer, Diane and Marcia Zimmerman, and Joyce and Trude Wolanske.


Click photo for larger view
Lynn Polizzi was the lucky winner of the Zonta Club's split club held at Relay for Life Friday evening with all proceeds donated to the Island's Relay for Life.

Cathy "Parisi" Thomas, director of Miss Cathy's Dance Academy, is celebrating her 41st anniversary of dance instruction on Grand Island with a two-day dance recital in the high school auditorium. The show starts at 7 p.m. tomorrow night and Saturday. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Our sympathy to the families of Leona McGaffin, Edward Walgate, Bryan Johnson, and former residents James John Skindell and Herbert W. Sullivan, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information. A Memorial Service For Dorothy Bascomb will be held at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, June 9 in the Kaiser Funeral Home.

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JJ Fashion Trends - featuring Freshwater Cultured Pearls, Stainless Steel Jewelry, Sterling Silver for both Men and Women and much more.
Flower A Day Florist - Flowers for all occasions - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island Central Federal Credit Union - Offering members first mortgages and much more
Pepper Mill Restaurant - good food, great menu on the Boulevard
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Village Inn is offering throw-back prices today to celebrate its 23rd anniversary in business on Ferry Road in Ferry Village. See Let's Celebrate! for details.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The 9th Annual GI Rotary Club Lobsterfest will be held on Friday.•••• Miss Cathy's Dance Academy presents its annual recital in the high school auditorium tomorrow evening and Saturday night. •••• The Trinity UMC Music Ministry’s dinner and Spring Concert will be held Saturday.•••• One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free meets Tuesday afternoon.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God Bless America.



Thursday, June 2, 2011


Good morning Brian Griffin in Elfers, FL, and good morning Larry Holcombe in Williamsburg, VA.

I received a very sad letter from Shawna Joslyn regarding a pair of large dogs killing a small cat on Fix Road between Alt Blvd. and West River Road. The dogs were seen again in the same area when a three-year-old was nipped by one of them. I sincerely hope all dog owners will take the time to read Shawna's Letter To the Editor. Residents, please keep your dogs leashed.

Former Love Road resident, Ora Glor Newton will celebrate her 99th birthday on June 10th and all of her six children will be there. The family would love for friends to help fill her mailbox with 99 birthday cards. Her address is #B107, Friendship Village, 5800 Forest Hills Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43231-2999. "Happy 99th birthday, Ora."

Happy birthday to Diane Gerard (today), William Bermel (3 today), Anne Timmerman (tomorrow), Joe Podlucky (25 tomorrow), Jordan Dixon (20 tomorrow), Jason Hill (6 tomorrow), Brendan Sheehan (a teenager on Saturday), Alexandra DeMita, Catherine DiVizio and Karen Vanthoff (Saturday), Ehde Beth Parrish (Sunday), Cheryl Klocke and David DiTullio (cheers on Sunday), Kelcie Hanaka (21 on Sunday), Franklin Mesmer (3 on Sunday), Victoria Aronica (12 on Monday), George B. Pollock (his 90th birthday on Monday), Roseanne Krause (Monday), Lorraine Dale, Lou Ann Cane and Bob Catipovic (Tuesday), Brandon Loder (8 on Tuesday), and David G. Smith (cake and candles on Wednesday).

A belated happy anniversary to Bob and Heather McDonnell who celebrated their 16th anniversary last Friday.••••Happy 20th anniversary to Patty and Tom Turner who celebrated in style yesterday. •••• Happy 5th anniversary to Peter and Angela Hanel, celebrating tomorrow; to Linda and Peter Coppola marking their 40th on Sunday, and to Jim and Laury Linenfelser, married 14 years on Tuesday.

St. Stephen's Parish Players youth cast will present Grease at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda on Sunday at 3 p.m. Click "Grease" for details and cast.

Looking Back 75 years - Two acres of land were plowed and harrowed in readiness for the vegetable garden that the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) men of Buckhorn Island were about to work on during the coming weeks. There were four sections, one for each barracks for the planting of radishes, beans and tomatoes. Prizes were offered for the best vegetables at end of season. ••••The creation of a local fire department or some other adequate means of fire protection was discussed and considered by the Town Board at a meeting in May 1936. ••••By virtue of fine cooperation and good weather, the men of the Evangelical Church (Trinity UM) put in 60 acres of oats. This was a church project and “was a splendid sight to see six tractors working in this field and the several teams that assisted with the drilling and ditching.” The proceeds of this project were to go toward the reduction of the indebtedness on the church property. ••••In anticipation of more “wining and dining,” Johnny Mayer was adding a side porch to his eatery, now the Village Inn in Ferry Village.

Looking Back 40 years - Grand Island won the Erie County Intra-divisional Track & Field Meet with 88 points. Among the winners were
Sally Oberkircher (Foks), first in 95 hurdles and 2nd in the 100 dash;
Donna Lovetro, 3rd in 440 relay, second in 95 hurdles, 4th in 50 yd. dash and 3rd in 440 relay;
Linda Deeter (Tufillaro), 2nd in softball throw and first in shot put;
and Shelley Lutz, 3rd in softball throw, 2nd in shot put and first in discuss throw.

Looking Back 30 years - Judy Schmidt took top honors in the Women's Division, Pistol and Rifle Events of the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club's Pentathlon in May 1981.

Our sympathy to the family of former resident Stanley A. Ziomek who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Bill Stewart and his wife, Heather and children, Elizabeth and Grace, traveled from their residence in Demerost, Georgia to spend time with Bill’s parents, Mary and Jim Stewart of LaSalle Avenue and his brothers, Jim and Ted, and their families.

St. Stephen's Parish Players youth cast will present "Grease" at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda at 3 p.m. Sunday. See Grease for details and cast.

Heard good news about Floydette Gannon regarding her lengthy illness. Recent tests are showing improvement and family and friends are thrilled.

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Family Medicine Center - Wholehearted Care
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Mallwitz's Island Lanes - Family oriented - at center of the Island
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Our Grand Island Relay For Life Celebration starts at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow evening on the high school field.••••A Safe Boating Class is being offered on Saturday. ••••The Historical Society's Annual Yard Sale will be held Saturday.••••Golden Age Club's Gram's Garage Sale etc. is Saturday. ••••The Grand Island Republican Committee Annual Golf Tournament will hopefully be held on Monday. See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

God bless the U.S.A. and all of the men and women who keep us safe.



Thursday, May 26, 2011


Memorial Day, Monday, is about remembering and honoring our U.S. veterans who have served in the past, or are serving today.

Good morning Paul Dannels in Ann Arbor, MI, and good morning Marlene (Grob) Alvarez in Tucson, AZ.

Lovely weather! Perfect weather! Beautiful weather! Yes, Grand Island is having beautiful summer weather that came into town last week! That's how I started the Between the Bridges column five years ago. Sorry folks! Surely we are in for the same real soon.

Happy birthday to Joshua Stoddard (today), Molly Mason (10 tomorrow), Diane Darmofalski (cheers on Saturday), Ian Cameron (7 on Saturday), Mitchell Samplinski (6 on Saturday), Sophia Elizabeth Myers (her first birthday on Saturday), Liam Dodd (18 on Sunday), Victor Beach (cake and candles on Sunday), Jim Watz (Monday), Michael Dinsmore (21 on Monday), Nikki Roesch (Tuesday) and Greg Barker (Wednesday).

A Pin Oak Circle resident recently looked out her kitchen window and saw a deer being chased by a coyote. Yes, there are coyotes on the Island.

Looking back 75 years - Wesley Link, publisher and Editor John McWilliams produced the Grand Island News every Friday in 1936.••••Harry Tucker had inaugurated a delivery service of groceries from his store on Ferry Road. All orders received at the store by noon would be delivered that day.

Looking back 60 years - An interesting editorial by Island Dispatch Publisher George Pagan, regarding party lines and the Fire Company, was published in the paper in June 1951. See "Features" Page.•••• Sidway School’s first annual intramural field day was held on June 1, 1951 with grades 5-9 participating. The 6th grade won the field day with highest points for selling booster tags, making class hats, singing class songs, plus points for games and races. •••• Mr. Henry Fessard was the director when Adult Education began at Sidway School in 1951.••••A Cub Scout Circus was held at St. Stephen's Barn on June 2, 1951 where all Island Cubs dressed in costumes and performed. Bill Sterner was general chairman and Marge McMahon was in charge of hotdogs, pop, popcorn and peanuts.

Looking back 50 years - The Grand Island Boating Association's Second Annual Regatta at Riverhaven Lodge, now the location of the Holiday Inn, was held Tuesday afternoon, May 30, 1961. Local winners in the B Stock Outboards were Al Colley (1st), Mike Sceusa (2nd) and Mike Olrogge (3rd)
Looking back 25 years - The Grand Island Foreign Trade Zone project that received Federal approval in 1985, was being well publicized in the form of a sign erected at Long Road and Grand Island Blvd. in the spring of 1986.

Looking back 10 years - The Town Board held a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2001 in the Grand Island High School auditorium in regard to the proposed Wilson Farms project at Stony Point and Ransom roads.


Six-year-old James Soto, son of MaryJo and Paul Soto, is living with Cystic Fibrosis. The James' Buddies 4th Annual Golf Tournament (Great Strides for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) will take place on Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Chestnut Hill Country Club. For information on how you can help with the fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, click James' Buddies

The Grand Island Historical Society's Annual Yard Sale is being held "next" Saturday, June 4 at 1570 Cox Road in Ferry Village and it's going to be "HUGE."

A self-portrait of the late Dorothy Bascomb appears on our deaths page along with information on a Memorial Service for Dorothy.•••• Our sympathy to the families of Kathleen M. Cich and former resident Michael Lovetro who recently passed away.••••Well known police officer Robert S. "Hondo" Hondzinski died on May 21st. Hondo patrolled on the day shift on Grand Island for most of his career with the Erie County Sheriff's Department followed by serving as an officer on the Grand Island Police Department.•••• Click Deaths for complete information.

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McCarthy School of Irish Dance - Beth McCarthy shares her knowledge of Irish culture through dance - activities abound
Dog Crate Central - high quality wood dog crates, pet crates and portable dog crates - and she's local
Five-Star Landscaping - a locally owned and family operated company that prides itself on providing a "five-star" level of customer service
Niagara's Choice FCU - Your Credit Union is a great place to begin adult financial responsibilities.
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Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
A Village Inn Golf Open is being held today at Beaver Island. ••••A chicken BBQ to benefit Miracle League is being hosted by Fuccillo Chevrolet on Saturday.•••• Memorial Day services will be held in PFC Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park at 10 a.m. Monday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 19, 2011


Good morning Peggy Martin in Scottsdale, AZ, and good morning Martha (Hanlon) Roberts in Frederick, MD.

A belated happy 17th birthday to Stephanie Senn who celebrated on Tuesday.•••• Happy birthday to Esther Lozo, celebrating her 97th birthday today.•••• Happy birthday to Lydia Long (today), Peyton Golde (4 today), Stephanie Rink (tomorrow), Christopher O'Connor and Sydney Dworak (both turning 10 tomorrow), David Karb, Ellie Pritchard, Don Beyer, John Loncher and Diane Dinsmore (cheers on Saturday), Jordan Ricigliano (21 on Saturday), baby Madalyn Lange (first birthday on Sunday), Vickie Lynn Soluri (her 30th on Sunday), Nathan DeMartin (7 on Sunday), Molly Powers (Tuesday), Catherine Long and Ray Nesbitt (Tuesday), and Cole Smith (16 on Wednesday).

A happy anniversary goes out to Barb and Bill Wilson who will celebrate on Sunday.

A most worthwhile event for our GIHS graduating seniors needs our help. The Senior Celebration is a drug and alcohol free after prom party for our senior class. Donations are requested by May 27th. See Senior Celebration and donate if you possibly can.

Do any of you remember a rainier spring here on the Island? According to the National Weather Service, this has been the wettest spring in history and there's still time to go until summer arrives on June 21st.

Looking Back 60 years - "C of C Declares War On Mosquitoes" was the headline in the Island Dispatch when Chamber of Commerce members were seeking funds for "Insects-Grand Island." Approximately $3,000 was necessary to complete the job in 1951.••••School winners in the town's Clean Up, Paint Up, Fix Up Contest were Larry Bell, Trudy Reimann O'Connor, Margaret Close, Roger Killian and Albert Glose.••••Isle volunteer firemen under Assistant Fire Chief John Dilliot were in the process of building a platform for installation of a modern civil defense warning siren.

Looking Back 55 years - Could it be 55 years that Kester Bleich has been coaching ball teams on the Island? Kester, whose teams have won numerous championships, is managing a women’s team (Aceti's Wine & Spirits) on Monday evenings, as he has done for a long, long time.

Looking Back 40 years - Taking part in a Sidway School fifth grade play about the history of Grand Island were Deborah Kowzan, Jane Rankin, Denise Norman, Darla Carter and Laura Strachan. The girls were in the 1912 Eagle Park Disaster scene.••••Parking rates in Beaver Island State Park rose from the original fee of 50 cents to a dollar.

Looking Back 20 years - Bids for the asbestos abatement and demolition contracts for the Bells Market building on the north west corner of Whitehaven Road and Grand Island Blvd. were being advertised by the Town of Grand Island.

Our sympathy to the families of Albert Jircitano, Emily Mroziak and former resident Mildred Blumoff who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Professor Don Burns will be playing his ragtime piano music tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Dick and Jenny's, formerly Del & Herb's on Baseline at Love. Please mention that you saw this at Isledegrande.com!

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Bergen & Schiffmacher, LLP - Read their record - they get it done
Tim Phillips Garage - full-service automotive repair - preventive maintenance center - and on the Island
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Realty USA/Liz Wilbert - Local, experienced realtor - Buying? Selling? Give her a call.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 12, 2011


Good morning Leslie (Manley) Lange in Arcade, NY and good morning Peggy (Minton) Whitmire in Medina, NY.

Happy birthday to Matthew Osinski (a milestone today), Sam Monaco (his 99th birthday today), Winnie Zarbo (90 tomorrow), Bruce Wojick and Kathy Sennott (tomorrow), Carol Volk (Saturday), Gabriel Wansart ( 7 on Sunday), Brian Minton (11 on Monday), Ginger DeMita (Monday), Nikolas Massaro (5 on Tuesday), Renee Tasevski (2 on Tuesday), Marion Pinkow (97 on Wednesday), and Chase Luthringer (9 on Wednesday).

Happy anniversary to Jennifer and Jeremy Pullano on their 10th wedding anniversary today, to Josh and Sarah Lange, celebrating six years on Sunday and to Paul and MaryJo Soto on their 10th anniversary on Wednesday.

Looking back 60 years - Boy Scouting's highest award, the Eagle Certificate of Honor, was presented to Terry Turnbull, Chris Blaydon and Ben Clark Jr. on May 15, 1951 in Amherst Central High School. •••• Margaret Mary Kerr and Danny McMahon, members of St. Stephen's First Communion class, placed the crown of white garden flowers on the Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the May Crowning in the Church.

Looking Back 40 years - Horace J. French, 84, the first Grand Island water superintendent, died May 14, 1971. He moved to the Island in 1917 to become manager of the Pierce Farm on West River which then occupied several hundred acres. Horace served 38 years on the town planning board, and was a charter member of the Fire Company.

Looking back 25 years - Rob Beach Jr. of West River Road was instrumental in rescuing two area men who survived a plane crash in the West River Wednesday morning, May 14, 1986. Deputy Michael Hilliker accompanied Rob in his canoe to the two survivors who were clinging to a life jacket in the 40-degree water. FBI agent Harry Roberts of Williamsville and Niagara Falls pilot, Albert Ransom, were testing the seaplane for a water landing when it crashed. ••••St. Stephen’s CYO won the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Division 6 Co-ed Volleyball Championship. Players were Laura Rogers, Kathy Cummings, Jen Kogut, John Cannata, Tina Furgele, Jennifer Sheridan (Wenner), Chris Polizzi, John Brighton, Scott Boyko and Rusty Boyko and were coached by Jim Maul.•••• The GIHS 3200 relay team of Dan Laughlin, Brent Fred, Jim Dunlop and John Furgele placed first in the May 1986 Kenmore Relays. Among other Viking runners placing at the meet were Damon Wright, Bryan Fred, Brendan Spaller, Pat Birt and Jeff Birt.

Our sympathy to the families of Donald H. Perry, Monica T. Kasprzak and former residents Barbara Householder Russo, Anne M. Brophy, Gilbert R. Smith Jr., and Susan (Bobro) Overs. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to Shawn Vaine who rolled a 300 game in a 667 series in the Tonawandas USBC 69th City Championships at Manor Lanes II.

A Grand Island High School reunion for friends and graduates of the 1960s and 1970 is planned for 6 p.m. Sunday, July 3rd at Mallwitz's Island Lanes and will feature the popular band, ROUTE 66. There will be no cover charge. Donations to offset the event may be sent to Carol Hamlin, 1536 Love Road, Grand Island (14072). Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

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The Village Inn - Located in Ferry Village and truly a favorite Grand Island restaurant featuring well-known chef Artie Harper
Robert M. Ratajczak, Jr., Attorney - Striving to make legal services simpler and cost effective.
Mr. Best Wrench - Got a Classic or Exotic car that needs repair? "We repair everything foreign or domestic."
John's Pizza & Subs - delicious pizza, full menu on the Boulevard.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Just a reminder! The Grand Island High School Class of 2014 will be selling their Viking bracelets at $2 each during the school district election and budget vote from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17th.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The K of C Nicarigua Drive starts today. ••••A Chicken BBQ at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club Saturday will benefit Relay For life.••••The VFW Ladies Auxiliary's Grand Garage Sale for Relay For Life is being held on Sunday.••••A Trinity UMC Music Ministry Spring Concert will take place Sunday at the church. •••• The Grand Island Republican Golf Tournament has been postponed and rescheduled for Monday. •••• The School Board election and budget vote will be held on Tuesday. ••••The GIHS Class of 2013 will host a Chicken Dinner at the school on Tuesday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 5, 2011


Good morning Glenn Combes in Rochester, NY, and good morning Marcia (Glover) Flores in San Pablo, CA.

Star reporter for the Grand Island Fire Company, Ray Pauley, has been recuperating from surgery and looking forward to the okay allowing him to get back to business. Ray's coverage of GIFC news over the years has been exceptional.

Paul Gast is turn 62 tomorrow and trying to keep it quiet. What are friend for, Paul? Happy day.•••• Happy birthday to Gary Garrison (today), Jodi Robinson, Richard Freer and Georgia Cole (Saturday), Justin Geisenhoff (20 on Saturday), Hazel Ann Murphy (Sunday), Kari Lynn Klos (her 30th on Sunday), Dawn Gruska (a teenager on Sunday), Diane McDonough (cheers on Monday), Greg DeMike (Tuesday), Shirley Rengel (Wednesday), Nikki Fadel and Charlie Lavallee (20th birthdays on Wednesday), and Ava Ackerman (10 on Wednesday).

A belated happy 45th wedding anniversary to Barbara and Fred Jarzab who celebrated last Saturday.

Thanks to Fred Schutt who has brought to my attention that former Island resident, Jan Baker, is the lead for the band, "Jan & the Studebakers." Oldsters will especially enjoy hearing the music of this successfull group that includes "Walkin’ After Midnight, Wake Up Little Suzy, Travelin’ Man, Easier Said than Done" and "Bye Bye Love." See Jan & the Studebakers. By the way, Jan Baker and his brother, Peter Baker grew up on Grand Island and Jan is a member of the Grand Island High School's first graduating class of 1966.


Click photo for larger view
Thirteen-year-old Emma Smith raised over $700 for the Roswell Cancer Alliance at Connor Middle School, thanks to some generous family and friends!! She was inspired by her dad, Tim, who finished chemo at Roswell last year, and her cousin, Chloe, who was 9 years old when she passed due to a neuroblastoma last year in Chicago. “Without a cure...Cancer, unfortunately will be in our lives forever,” Emma’s mom, Marijane, said. “So research at Roswell plays an important part in our lives,” she said. As a participant in the school's Bald for Bucks fundraiser, Emma donated 10 inches of hair (one of 3 girls in school). Her dad opted to go bald as he was one of the few fortunate ones who never lost his hair during treatment. Seven-year-old brother, Evan, also went bald and is sporting a fancy Mohawk shave.

Looking back 75 years - A big barn dance given by parishioners of St. Stephen Church on May 9, 1936 drew one of the largest crowds to assemble on Grand Island. Cards were played in the church followed by dancing to the music of the Jerry Tepas Orchestra on the newly polished floor of St. Stephen's barn.•••• Among those on the 1936 grade school spring honor roll (one- and two-room schools) were Betty Forsythe (Killian), Geraldine Schutt, Gordon Stoddard, Edward Tucker, Lester Yensan and Betty Jane Ziehm of the 7th grade; Irene Kaiser, Catherine Killian, Fred Killian, Carola Long, Harvey Long, Wilma Salton, Edna Schutt, Harriet Webb and Alida VanSon of the 8th grade; 3rd graders Earl DeGlopper, Carol French, Philip Killian, and Billy Stack; and 4th graders Dorothy Herold, Lois Kingston, Robert Schutt and Alma Ziehm.••••The allocation of $289,496 of Federal WPA funds awaiting approval of Washington officials included the following projects: 1) The construction of an entrance road from Spaulding Road through Beaver Island Park to the proposed bathhouse; 2) Erection of comfort stations and the installation of a sanitary sewer; 3) Construction of a roadway from the proposed bathhouse to the proposed boat harbor.••••According to the Grand Island News, "Better than 3500 cars crossed the Grand Island bridges on Monday, May 8, 1936.

Looking back 60 years - May Thomas, Sidway PTA Spiritual Values chairman, opened the May 8, 1951 Sidway School PTA meeting with a "Mother's Home Prayer." ••••Nine-year-old Johnny Meyers was finally home with his family after a two-year illness. ••••Ray Zahm, stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, received an 18-foot letter from Island friends. The letter originated at Larson's Diner/Delicatessen, located almost across from St. Stephen Church on Baseline Road.

Looking back 50 years - Frank Zimmerman was party chairman for a Grand Island Rod & Gun Club charcoal steak dinner and dance attended by 92 members. John Gast's orchestra provided the music. Club President Gil Mangrum presented Past President Chris Kruse with a tackle box and cooler in recognition of a job well done.••••Isle Flower Restaurant opened Friday, May 5, 1961 at 2529 Grand Island Blvd. by Gerti and Robert Kleeman.

Looking Back 25 years - An S.R.O. (Standing Room Only) concert Saturday, May 3, 1986 was performed by the middle school Notables and sixth grade choir and featured solos by Jason Caffarella, Michele Cerrillo, Kerrie Fergen, Laury Fred (Linenfelser), Mike Peters, Heather Roberts, Stacy Sanduski, Jason Smith and Mike Watz and the trio of Jennifer Goggins, Taffy Gaskin and Crystie Walker.

River Oaks Clubhouse will be open for a Mother's Day Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click the link for a gorgeous menu and call 773-3337 ext 17 for reservations.••••Adrian's Custard & Beef offers a free cone to mothers accompanied by a child on Mother's Day. Wonder if it's okay to take a 41-year-old child.••••The Village Inn, always a good choice, will be serving dinners from noon to 8 p.m. on Mother's day. Check our front page ads for details.

Our sympathy to the families of Arthur J. Caggiano, Rev. Edwin L.”Ted” Pfohl Jr. and former residents Major “Bill” F. Jacobs, Dorothy Bascomb and Timothy E. Sheehan who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Judy and Bob Schmidt were on their way home from Florida last week with a stop in Knoxville to visit their son, Tom. Judy wrote that the weather in Tennessee was so bad that they decided to stop for the night. "Unfortunately, we chose a small town near the TN border, Ringgold, GA," Judy writes. "Our motel was in the path of the Ringgold tornado. The destruction around us was unbelievable. We were very lucky. After about two hours, we were bussed to a nearby high school where the Red Cross had set up a shelter. Thank goodness we had Tom close enough to come get us the next day or we would still be at the shelter. I must say though, all the volunteers, local business and emergency services were so helpful and generous during our stay there. Right now, we are at Tom's house in Knoxville waiting for the okay to return to Ringgold to recover our car and hopefully our belongings from the motel room. I left the room with only my cell phone but no charger. Yesterday we bought some clothes and necessities....and a charger. Needless to say, we are thankful to have survived this and looking forward to getting back to the Island." Bob and Judy are now safely home. And we complain about the rain!

Several people sent this very interesting article to me. Click Buffalo Evening News for the story on how the newspaper in 1945 applied for FCC permission to build a television station. The article is full of old memories, and though it is a long one, I enjoyed it right to the end. Hope you do, too.

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Grand Island Chiropractic - Why leave the Island for the help you need?
Rose Liquor Store - Full line of wines and liquors - great discounts
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For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Historical Society meets tonight at River Lea.•••• The Grand Island Post #1346 American Legion will hold its Annual Mothers Day Plant Sale on Friday and Saturday. ••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, Marion Klingel, who left us just 10 years ago.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 28, 2011


Good morning James Witschard in Bailey, NC, and good morning Michael Irwin in Shreveport, LA.


Butch Glasgow, now living in Bradenton, Florida, celebrates a milestone birthday on Monday. Happy birthday to Butch, shown in his 1951 Charlotte Sidway School yearbook picture.

Floydette Gannon is home at 5103 Rose Place N., Pinellas Park, Florida 33782 and would surely appreciate some cheerful cards from her friends.••••Cards for Bernie Huff may be addressed in care of her daughter, Janet Sommers, 13203 Downey Woodpecker Rd., Brooksville, FL 34614.••••Wishing better days to Pat McNulty who has had an extremely hard winter. Thinking of all of you, gals.

Grand Island has had extremely high wind all day (Thursday) with bright sunshine at times. Supervisor Peter McMahon reports that there is a tree down on Sunset Drive which reportedly crushed a boat. No further damage has been reported. After watching the news last night, we should be thankful.

Happy birthday to Rita Hagerman (today), to Britny Matthews (20 today), Elijah Linenfelser and Jaimen Wright (5th birthdays today), Taylor Firth, Joe Aladeen and Jessica Bykowicz ( all turning 20 on Saturday), Ava DeFranks ( 8 on Saturday), Tim McNamee (Saturday), Anna Pullano (7 on Saturday), Dave Pierce (cheers on Saturday), Nicky DeMita , Mary Becker and Karen Conboy (Sunday), Joan Fred (Tuesday), Stephen M. Stouter (11 on Tuesday), Kathryn Hillock (20 on Tuesday), Vince Martello (his big day is Tuesday), MaryElisabeth Rustowicz (12 on Wednesday), Sandie Rall Smith (Wednesday), and Emily Harnden (Sweet 16 on Wednesday).

Bridge work Postponed!! The work on the northbound south Grand Island Bridge, scheduled for April 25 through 29th, has been suspended for the remainder of this week due to inclement weather.

Looking back 60 years - The Grand Stand at Love Road and Stony Point, a fantastic little refreshment stand, was once again opened for the season by Love Road resident Ida Stanley. Also minding the store most of the time were the late Helen Ball and Bernie Geary. Lucky preteens Penny Ball and Sissy (Dorothy) Noth (Miller) occasionally took a turn at working behind the counter.

Looking back 50 years - President Carmen Gligora and the Grand Island Community Council on April 20, 1961, pledged to cooperate with any organization willing to publish a new, local telephone directory and to continue to support the Chamber of Commerce in its fight for reduced bridge tolls. •••• "Skip" Helbock opened her "Golden Thimble" fabric shop on Monday, May 1, 1961 in the Grand Island Plaza.••••The Grandyle Marina at East River Road and Broadway advertised a lunch menu featuring fresh lobster salad at $1.50 and luncheon cocktails at $.50. •••• Boy Scout Troop 575 under the leadership of Scoutmaster Carlton Mayer held a scrap drive. ••••Members of Boy Scout Troop 254, sponsored by Trinity Church, planted 2000 trees on the Whitehaven Road church property.

Looking back 40 years - The GI team of Mike LaJoie, Mike Schoenle, Rodger Jordan and Dennis Gonzalis entered the 2nd annual NYS Jr. Bowling Association Team Championship Tournament and took 2nd in boys "C" division. •••• Cub Pack 425 held a log-sawing contest with two-man saws at Huth Road School in April 1971. In first place were Bob Schindelbeck and John Posch (9 seconds). Jonathan Gligora and Paul Stoddard took 2nd (10 seconds); and in 3rd were Dennis Lunney and Robert Wendling.•••• Cub Pack 423 of St. Timothy Lutheran Church under leadership of Cub Master Don Ridge, presented a "Friday Night Review" in April 1971 with Dave Doebert and Greg Lewis serving as masters of ceremonies, and Jimmy Costanzo and Teddy McCaffrey presented a skit demonstrating the problems of dressing a storeroom dummy.

Looking back 20 years - River Oaks Marina opened on May 1, 1991.

Our sympathy to the families of Anthony LaChiusa, Bret M. Lynch, Georgena E. Shores, Eleanor Zernickel and former residents Alice E. (Roy) Symonds and Robert E. Kindred, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

If you're wondering why Mary Dunbar-Daluisio is all smiles, more so than usual, it's because she received some very good news this past week. And that makes us all happy, Mary!

I forgot to mention Ray Kaiser's visit to our Historical Society's headquarters, River Lea in Beaver Island Park a week ago Sunday. Ray, whose family dates back a lot further than mine, and I were in the same classes from kindergarten in Sidway School through high school at Riverside High. Reminiscing our own "histories" at the Society's open house was top-notch, especially Ray's memories of teachers and shenanigans at Sidway School. Ray resides in East Amherst.

Our niece, Annie Stuardi was home this past week to spend time with her family and to attend her baby shower. Looking good, Annie!

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers. Check out their websites
St. Stephen School - Roman Catholic Elementary School located on Grand Island
Miss Cathy's Dance Academy - annual recital June 10-11 at Grand Island High School
DeGeorge Ceilings - check our their website - it says it all
Niagara Frontier Equipment Sales - one-stop source for ALL of your Construction, Agriculture or Consumer Equipment Needs
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Awards dinner is tonight (reservations only).•••• A Paint the Town Purple Celebration at Club Hope is being held at the Moose Lodge on Saturday. •••• The Island Deli and Meat Market has joined forces with Grand Island's Relay for Life in sponsoring a can drive on Saturday. ••••An Autism Awareness Walk is scheduled for Saturday. ••••The Grand Island Community Chorus Spring concert, "Let's Fall In Love," will be presented on Sunday.••••A Meet the School Board Candidates Night and Budget Hearing are being held Tuesday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 21, 2011


Good morning Cindy (Coons) Shepard in San Diego, CA, and good morning George Hobe Cullen in Lancaster, CA.

I am including this "Easter Memories" story posted on our "Features Page" in 2003 and thought it worth repeating. See Easter Feature. Have a blessed Easter Day.

Happy birthday to Kim Staub and Cindy Bleich, two of my favorite baton twirlers in my Teddy's Islettes days and celebrating birthdays today. Happy birthday also to Shirley Reitebach (today), Connor Trieskey (a teenager tomorrow), Samantha Banas and Erin Tower (tomorrow), Genna Baldassarre (12 tomorrow), Mark Ramsperger (8 tomorrow), Linda Kutzbach (Saturday), Sydney Neuhaus (3 on Saturday), Kimberley Banas (21 on Sunday), Brad Robinson and John Williams (Sunday), Lucas Soto (2 on Sunday), Nicholas Bull (30 on Monday), twins Travis and Craig Perno (20th birthdays on Tuesday), Brooke Christensen (4 on Tuesday), Tessa DeMartin (5 on Tuesday), Mike Heftka (21 on Wednesday), and Nancy Wonacott (best wishes on Wednesday).

Kim and Mike Ludwig will soon open their "Island Pet Lodge" on previously owned garden center property on Alvin Road.••••Rumor is that a Dunkin Donuts may locate on John Simon’s property where Super Gas was located.••••I have no more details but did hear a restaurant named Theodore's could quite possibly be locating on Grand Island.

Sorry to report that Cathy Knight, owner of Serenitea Cottage and Gift Shoppe on Grand Island Blvd., has announced the closing of her business on Friday, April 29.

Golf anyone? Not this week! The opening of the Beaver Island Golf Course, scheduled for today, has been postponed due to unseasonable weather. Opening date is now Friday, April 29.

Best wishes to Gail and Billy Click who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a family brunch this past Sunday, and also to Mike and Liz Englert who will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

Liz Barker and Tom Burke took pictures of the recent ice coming down the East and West River after the removal of the ice boom on April 12th. Click "Ice Boom" for the 4/12/11 Buffalo News Story. For the photos, click Burke Photo 1, Burke Photo 2 and Barker Photo

Looking back 75 years - A Father & Sons Banquet, chaired by Robert Schutt, was held April 29, 1936 at the original town hall and sponsored by the Evangelical Church (Trinity). Uncle Ben of the Buffalo Radio broadcasts provided fun and entertainment, William M. Kaegebein was the toastmaster, and Carl Kaegebein led the songs such as “A Grandfather and Grandsons” and “When Father Was A Boy.” •••• The Wandering Reporter for the Grand Island News in 1936 wrote noted that the Orleans had recently been raised from the bottom of the East Niagara River. •••• It was announced that the Fix family signed over the necessary land to the town for the continuation of Ferry Road through to a junction with the new Sidway Road (?). "We wouldn’t be surprised to see CCC labor used on this road," a GI News reporter said. •••• On the evening of April 16, 1936 Bucher’s Bowlers met Mesmer’s Messers in a crucial match at Floss’ Alleys in Buffalo. Both teams were members of the Holy Name Society League and at the top of the heap. Team members were Joe Martene, Johnny Mayer, Harry Tucker, Tony Guenther, Lee Elsesser, Joe Burns, Tom Fleming and Charlie Davern. •••• The Town Board in April 1936 adopted a resolution to create Water Districts numbers 3 and 4 and Sewer District #2. The new Water Districts were to service the J. C. Janes development, “Sandy Beach,” and the Herbert Henry development, “Woodlawn” on the West River respectively. Sewer District #2 was to service the latter subdivision. •••• Another resolution adopted at that meeting was one authorizing the supervisor, John L. Mesmer Jr., to petition the Niagara Frontier Bridge Commission and other authorities to abolish or reduce the toll on the Grand Island bridges for all local residents.

Looking back 60 years - Danny Linenfelser was seriously injured on April 26, 1951 when struck by a car in front of his house on East River Road. He and his brother, Jimmy, had been playing cowboys with their neighbors, David Butcher and Peter Fahrer. •••• Glen Smith, organizer of a fire company first aid class, announced that the Grand Island Rescue Squad "is now being formed." According to Glen the class was the largest in the history of Grand Island and had 104 persons enrolled who were expected to graduate. Over 90% of the Fire Company at that time had completed first aid training.

Looking back 40 years - Winners in a neighborhood Easter egg hunt at the Long Road home of Nancy and Jim Schiffauer were Susie Posch, David Schiffauer and Brian Sullivan in the 1-4-year-old group and Christine Utz, Cindy Coppolina and Christopher Pye in the 5-9-year-old group

Looking back 30 years - It was on April 21, 1981 that the traffic signal at Whitehaven and Stony Point roads was activated for the first time at 3 p.m.

Our sympathy to the families of Rosalyn “Roz” Butler and former residents Geraldine A. Schutt and Alice L. Harper, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Allstate Mastantuono Agency - get an online quote in minutes - the best choice for insurance is an informed choice
Island Ship Center Inc. - Convenient FedEx agency on Whitehaven Road
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Michelle's Home Cleaning - Island owned and operated
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Friends of the GI Memorial Library will meet tonight and invite friends to join.••••A Good Friday Fish Fry will be held at Trinity UM Church tomorrow.•••• The Town Recreation Dept. will host an egg hunt and the Easter bunny at Town hall grounds and gazebo tomorrow. •••• •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 14, 2011


Good morning Gail Rothenberg in Marlboro, MA, and good morning Nick Juhacz in Pensacola, FL.

Happy birthday to Lynn Nohe, and Jim Stewart Jr. (today), Nicholas Aronica (7 today), Tyler Ranger (4 today), Amanda Ranger (tomorrow), Jameson Hiam (6 on Saturday), Jane Duffy (cheers on Tuesday), Andrew Stange and David Domagala (20th birthdays on Monday), Alexis Soluri (6 on Monday), Jim Stewart Sr. (the big 7-0 on Tuesday), Joan Howe (best wishes on Wednesday), Jessica Martina (20 on Wednesday), and Christian Nestark (21 on Wednesday).

Best wishes to the Leiners on their 45th wedding anniversary. Jean and Paul were married on April 15, 1966.

Looking back 110 years - Church services were cancelled on April 21, 1901 due to a snow storm.

Looking back 70 years - The Grand Island Rod & Gun Club, originally known as the Brush & Brook Club, was incorporated on April 3, 1941. Meetings were held in the Grand Island Fire Hall until 1945 when the present clubhouse on the Grehlinger farm was rented and eventually purchased.

Looking back 60 years - The town board approved the purchase of 12 rattan brooms to be used by the Fire Company for grass fires. •••• Island resident and artist James Montanari, who resided at River Lea for many years, wrote "A Hymn To The Niagara" which was played at a concert in Trinity Church in April 1951. ••••The Grand Island Fire Company’s 23rd anniversary dance was open to the public, to honor its charter members.

Looking back 50 years - Members of the Sandy Beach Park Club planted 2000 scotch pines on Club owned property off Warner Dr., as a future fundraiser for community programs.

Looking back 40 years - Lou Macro opened his Grand Island Optical in 1971. •••• Kathleen Meosky chaired the Grand Island Honor Society's very first spaghetti dinner April 22, 1971 in the high school cafeteria.

Our sympathy to the families of Janice M. Ennis and Edward G. Weiser Jr. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Thanks to Mark Abate, GIHS Class of 1992, for his nice note he posted on our guestbook. Have you signed our guestbook lately?

America’s Funniest Home Videos? Could have been! Chuck Berlinger's contribution to Facebook on Saturday follows. Crazy Nature happening in the hood today. 3 deer run down the road, 1 runs into fire hydrant, then jumps 7 or 8 feet in the air and collides with other deer in mid air! Hydrant deer all screwed up, stumbles, gets back up and slams right back into hydrant full speed! Collects itself after 2 minutes and slowly runs into woods! Lots of neighbors and mailman watched..CRAZY!!!!

Tickets for the Citizen of the Year dinner being held Thursday, April 28 are available by calling the Chamber office at 773-3651.

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Aceti's Wine & Spirits - Now in a new and larger location next to Tops Market
Budwey's Supermarket - brand names at low prices - and three locations
Riviera Theater - Theater and atmosphere - Historic Riviera just across the river
Dr. Thomas C. Lepenven, DMD - Island Dental PC - 2095 Baseline Road
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Historical Society will hold Open House at River Lea on Sunday. ••••This year's last Lenten Luncheon, sponsored by the Grand Island Ministerium, will be held Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 7, 2011


Good morning Lynn (Janowsky) Nohe in Durham, NC, and good morning Jan (Hawley) Kirkpatrick in Port Orange, FL.

Best wishes and happy 15th anniversaries to Paul and Mary Minton and to Drs. Michelle and Thaddeus Szarzanowicz. Both couples were married on April 13, 1996.

 
Mike Linenfelser, just as good looking as ever, celebrates a birthday on Sunday. And two days later Mike's niece and our dear granddaughter, Amy Margaret Bidell, turns 20. Mike is shown in a grade school photo and Amy's picture was taken at her graduation from GI Cooperative Nursery School. Happy birthday, Mike and Amy.

Happy birthday to Joe Beauchamp (today), James Rustowicz (16 tomorrow), Vincent Ricotta (8 tomorrow), Rhett Robinson (10 on Saturday), Dorothy Dillemuth (Sunday), Dustin Coryn (20 on Sunday), Evan Ackerman (8 on Sunday), Andrew Cerrillo (20 on Monday), Harry Roberts (Monday), Gwendolyn Slachciak (10 on Monday), Jordan Toth (21 on Tuesday), Marsha Hammond (Tuesday), Chelsea Fairbairn (18 on Wednesday), Craig Wood (cheers on Wednesday), Aaron Wood (21 on Wednesday), and Betty Killian (Wednesday).


Best wishes to Sherrie Wendling, lifelong resident celebrating her birthday on Tuesday. Sherrie is shown in her 5th grade yearbook picture when she and her classmates were taught by Mrs. Beatrice Cady at Sidway School.

Cindy (Austin) Zurek, who grew up in Ferry Village with her family, has just signed on our Isledegrande.com guestbook. I encourage friends of Cindy's to contact her as she and her family have been and are going through difficult times. "I'm praying for you, Cindy."

The Grand Island Fire Company 2011 Shuffleboard Tournament was held last Saturday and the championship went to Chuck Berlinger and Reed Wright - for the second year in a row! Congratulations, guys.

Looking back 60 years - Dick Hogue Sr. of East Park served as president of the Chamber of Commerce. •••• Basements of the new Duplex houses at the Parkway and Love Road were flooding on a regular basis in the spring of 1951.••••The first meeting of the Island's Air Raid Wardens was held Thursday, March 29, 1951 in the town hall.••••Fred Miller was the driver of the newest School Bus #7 on the road for the first time on April 6, 1951. •••• St. Martin-in-the-Fields Sunday church services began to be held in the Legion Hall at Ferry and Orchard roads. •••• Penny Ball, a young contestant in a television show, was the winner of a pedigreed cocker spaniel that she named "Cinders." •••• Al and Betty Raepple purchased their new house on Stony Point Extension at Love Road in the spring of 1951. •••• Work began on a second lane for the Beaver Island Parkway, a 24' wide pavement on the east side of the present road at an estimated cost of $373,817.75.

Looking back 50 years - The Islettes majorettes held their first record hop in the fire hall April 7, 1961 to raise money for uniforms. ••••The Grand Island Community Chorus production of a Gay Nineties show included Mark Langdon, Mabel French, Dick Utts, Chris Cotter, Marge Gilbert and Jim Cannard. The event took place April 14-15, 1961 under the direction of Elizabeth Beach.

Looking back 30 years - The Grand Island Officials Association kicked off its third season Sunday, April 5, 1981 in the Nike Base Community Center with the following members elected for a third term: President Paul Kaegebein, Vice President Ed (Zeus) Disnmore, Secretary/Treasurer Bill Rohring Jr. , Assigning Agent Ray Billica and Rules Interpreter Joe Osinski.

Our sympathy to the families of Dolly Dilliot, Katherina Dudley Feyerabend and former residents Tom McCauley, Virginia J. Hanley and Edna P. Hardison, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Did you graduate from Bishop Duffy, Madonna or Stella Niagara high schools in 1961? A 50th reunion is planned for August 5-7. Contact Jim Allen at 754-8897 (jmnpallen@verison.net), or Rich D'Ambrosio at 695-8243 for information.

Congratulations to John Leszczak on his 300-781 game at Island Lanes bowling with the A-Best Roofing league this week.

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Magic Towel Holder - Craftsman Don "Bones" Fancher - clever gift creations
Grand Island Teachers Association - Thank you teachers for your support!
Giecom.net - Web Hosting, Web Site Design, Custom Graphics - right here on the Island
Adrian's Custard & Beef - Best beef on the planet, soft ice cream, too - GI Blvd. Plaza
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Tonight's Historical Society will feature the history of Buffalo breweries.•••• A used book sale takes place tomorrow and Saturday in the Library's Community Room. ••••A Moose Lodge #180 fundraising pig roast dinner and benefit will be held Saturday.•••• The Lions Club Spaghetti Dinner will be held Monday at the Holiday Inn. •••• A meeting of the One Island, One Team, One Dream to be Drug Free will take place Tuesday.••••A Lenten Luncheon, sponsored by the Grand Island Ministerium, will be held Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 31, 2011


Good morning William Kreitz Sr. in Texas, and good morning Cathryn (Goodman) Kellogg in Schenectady, NY.

It was 65 years ago, a Sunday in March 1946 that approximately 350 men and women of Grand Island who had known him all his life, met in the sun-lit chapel of Trinity Evangelical Church to honor the memory of Charles N. DeGlopper. The article in the Island Dispatch lists the following as his activity on his last day: Over rough and treacherous terrain DeGlopper drew fatal German machine gun fire upon himself until his platoon escaped all enemy flanking movement near LaFiere, France June 9, 1944. Charles’ father, Charles L. DeGlopper, received posthumously, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force, during this service. For more information, see http://homemadedefense.blogspot.com

Audio-Visual Technician/Viking Vision TV Club Advisor Mark Gorton reports that the 2011 Grand Island Corporate Bowl will air on Time Warner Cable Channel 22 on the following days and times during the month of April.
Every Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Every Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.
Every Saturday at 1 p.m.
Thanks, Mark.

 
Happy birthday, Wendy Gaydica and Jerry Livingston, pictured in their 9th grade Sidway School yearbook photos. Wendy celebrates on Sunday, and Jerry on Wednesday. Happy birthday, folks.•••• A belated happy birthday to Christopher Oursler who celebrated a milestone on March 25th and also to Sarah McMahon who celebrated her 28th birthday on Tuesday. ••••Happy birthday to Kelly McKinney (tomorrow), Madison Green (a teenager on Saturday), Dawn Hillock (Sunday), Rob DeMita (20 on Sunday), Zoe Dodd (Sweet 16 on Monday), Natalie Baldassare (15 on Monday), and Kristine Koch (best wishes on Tuesday).

Best wishes to Rosemary and Bruce Wojick who are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.

Tennis players, take note. Island resident Roger W. Ohnsorg, an author who competed and did well in many local senior tennis tournaments, has written a fascinating and extremely detailed biography on Robert Lindley Murray whose local greatness rivaled our own tennis champ, Jimmy Arias.

Congratulations to John Lesczcak on his 300-781 game, bowling with the Men's A-Best Roofing league this week.

Looking back 60 years - Merton McElroy chaired the Island’s annual Chamber of Commerce Clean Up - Paint Up - Fix Up Campaign. Emphasis was on improving conditions of rural mail boxes. •••• The new Senior Girl Scout Troop #37 was under the direction of Mrs. R. M. Miller and Eleanor Dinsmore. Members Barb Soch, Sandra Fleming and Marilyn Dinsmore received their First Class badges at the Girl Scout Birthday Party in Sidway gym. •••• The Kiwanis Club purchased equipment and announced plans to sponsor youth baseball for boys 10-19 years old.

Looking back 50 years - Voters cast 1543 for and 841 "against" the building of a $3,787,000 junior/senior high school on the Island.

Looking back 40 years - A Community Drug Council was formed on the Island in the spring of 1971. ••••Though it never materialized, plans were announced for the building of the Island's first motion picture theater in Grand Island Plaza. ••••Webelos Den #71 beat Den #81 and #51 in Cub Scout Pack 452's swim night in the high school pool 40 years ago. Winner of the coaches' race was Marty O'Dea of #51. ••••Chamber President Gerald K. Youngs asked the town board to set aside $2500 and to set up an Economic Development Committee to help "Sell Grand Island" and attract new businesses.

Looking back 20 years - The NYS Thruway authority agreed to lower tolls for trucks and vans on April 1, 1991. ••••It was just 20 years ago that the first Sidway School reunion committee gave a sizable financial donation to the Grand Island Historical Society along with file cabinets etc. and had all Island Dispatches, church histories, etc. put on microfilm with copies for the Library, town hall and the Historical Society. In addition, the committee also purchased a microfiche machine for the Historical Society and the Library.

Our sympathy to the families of Adam P. Hans, Betty Martin, Kevin P. Dobson Sr.,and Thelma G. Wischman who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information. Nancy L. Julian, a former guidance counselor in the Grand Island School District, died suddenly, March 25, 2011


Click photo for larger view
Thanks to Nancy Duysters for sharing this "Islanders" photo. From left are Kara and Nancy Duysters, Lyn Laman, Sybil Kennedy, Jack and Jayne Molnar, and Liz and Eric Reimann enjoying a nice lunch and a lot of talking and catching up at Black Beard's in New Symrna Beach, Florida on St Patrick's Day.

Island Prescription Center - Consumer wellness tips - Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
Chateau Motor Lodge - "Out-of-town company? We Offer Cheap Deals Daily"
Park Place Subdivision - Most picturesque executive residential building lots in WNY!
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Boy Scout Troop 630, sponsored by St Stephen’s Parish, will hold a Spaghetti Dinner and basket raffle on Sunday•••• •••• •••• ••••A Lenten Luncheon, sponsored by the Grand Island Ministerium, will be held Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 24, 2011


Good morning Darrell Smith in Tampa, FL, good morning Cindy (Jacobson) Schrader in Forks, WA and good morning to Tiffany (Luescher) Morgan in Columbia, Maryland.

Bob and Mary Kopf are taking an active part in Great Strides, Taking Steps To Cure Cystic Fibrosis with good reason. See www.cff.org


Happy birthday to my grade school classmate, Martin O'Dea, shown above and celebrating a milestone tomorrow. •••• Happy birthday to Jack Burns (the big 6-0 today), Kim Bidell (today), Michael Brown (14 tomorrow), Jimmy Mysliwiec and Nicholas Masiello (18th birthdays on Saturday), baby Kendall Paige Duscher (first birthday on Saturday), Bailey DeGlopper (her 21st birthday on Sunday), Brooklyn Landroche (two on Sunday), Paul Swain and Marianne Christensen (cheers on Monday), Olivia Williams (9 on Monday), Kenna MacNeil (3 on Monday), Jacob Stewart (2 years old on Monday), Jan Brady (celebrating her 80th on Tuesday), Rachel Marinucci and Monica Sikora (Tuesday), Matthew Violanti (21 on Tuesday), Chloe Fitzsimmons (4 on Tuesday), and Cheryl Webb (Wednesday).

Best wishes to the Rimes. Brooks and Brenda Rimes will mark their 30th wedding anniversary on Monday.

Heard from Chris Savoy, GIHS Class of 1978, this week. Chris coaches his son Matthew’s Elmira Jackals Squirt hockey team that just competed in Lake Placid, New York and won the Bronze Medal. Their season record was an outstanding 35-7-1 for the year. Chris’s son, Matt, is a better hockey player than his Dad ever was (according to "Dad") and finishes as the team's leading goal scorer with 117 points! See Team Photo

Congratulations to Ron Sutton on his 300 game in a 763 series bowling with the Friday Night Businessmen.

Looking back 60 years - The Shrine Circus Daddy's Club, for the first of many times, treated 180 youngsters from the 4th, 5th and 6th grades at Sidway School to a trip to the Shrine Circus in Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium on March 28, 1951. The event was held over Easter vacation and the school board furnished the buses. ••••The first meeting of Grand Island's Air Raid Wardens was held Thursday, March 29, 1951 in the town hall.

Looking back 50 years - Thomas Calderone, a 6th grader in Mr. Joseph Oliva's class, won the Kaegebein School's Buffalo News National Spelling Bee on March 24, 1961. Runner-up was Penny O'Connor, a 5th grader in Mrs. Martin's class. And in the same contest at Huth Road School the winner was Marion Guz, a 6th grader in Mrs. Mary Fontana's class. Runner-up was James Burns, a student of Gertrude Reimann's 6th grade.

Looking back 40 years - It was announced in March 1971 that parking rates in Beaver Island State Park were raised from 50 cents to a dollar effective "the beginning of this year."

Looking back 30 years - St. Stephen School's Eagles Basketball Team, which included Mark Dzielski, Jamie Corrao, Tim Cummings, Dale Franklin, Billy Conboy and Kevin Fisher, had an excellent 1981 season.

Looking back 20 years - The Grand Island Teachers' Association announced a huge list of Pride of the Island recipients that included Erin Badame, Kara Duysters, Brian Kopf, Jackie Mangus, Ashley Marien, Christian Nestark, Daniel Rees, Katie Swain, Nicholas Thompson, Michelle Vacanti, and Rachel Wilkinson.

Our sympathy to the families of William J. Morrisey Sr., Thomas P. Collins, Stuart Z. Becker and former resident Karl P. Offermann who recently passed away. A Memorial Service for Donald W. (Digital Don) Wilkinson will be held at The Buffalo Launch Club, Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski - Just for kids
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road
State Farm - Bob Piatek - Insurance & Mutual Funds
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
An Insurance and Point Reduction Course will be offered at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Saturday.•••• ••••A Lenten Luncheon, sponsored by the Grand Island Ministerium, will be held in the Trinity UM Church Family Room Wednesday. •••• The Connor Middle School production of Beauty and the Beast takes place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

Floydette Gannon is home from the hospital. Cards and notes of cheer may be sent to her home at 5103 Rose Place N., Pinellas Park, Florida 33782.•••• Scroll down to last week's "Between the Bridges" for Bernie Huff's address. Let's keep her good spirits up and send her a card.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 17, 2011


Good morning and happy St. Patrick's Day to you and to Mike Waterson in Alma, IL, and good morning Linda (Allen) Miller in Bullard, TX.

 
Very best wishes to Margaret (Linton) Ciccarelli celebrating her birthday on Sunday and to Peggy Bauman marking another birthday on Monday.


Thirty-five year Island resident, Joe Fischer turns the big 5-0 on Monday. Be sure to click the picture for a look at Joe's business attire.

Long time resident Bernie Huff, who is being helped through illness by Hospice, is in great spirits and would love to hear from friends on the Island. Cards and notes to Bernie may be sent in care of her daughter, Janet Sommers, 13203 Downey Woodpecker Rd., Brooksville, FL 34614.

Happy birthday to Scott Kaniecki, Bob Tranter, Nonnie Carroll and Carol Murphy (today), to Ryan O’Neil (a teenager today), Ernie Underwood (tomorrow), Audrey Mason (4 tomorrow), Brandon Lyden (25 on Saturday), Bob Kindred, Sarah Smith and Dee DiTullio (Saturday), Sarah Berlinger (10 on Sunday), Ashley Green (21 on Sunday), Heidi Hayward (cheers on Monday), Cheryl Stott (Tuesday), Evan “Sparky” Shaw (18 on Tuesday), and George Christensen (85 on Wednesday).

A very happy 27th anniversary to Marcy and Paul Malecki who are celebrating today.

Looking back 75 years - Friends and neighbors of Reverend Edward and Cora Braunschweig were happy to be able to communicate with them by telephone since one was installed in their home in March 1936.

Looking back 50 years - Newly elected officers of the Rotary Club in 1961 were President Salvatore G. Capizzi, Vice President Thomas Tierney and Treasurer Harry Baker.

Looking back 40 years - Buffalo Launch Club Commodore Bill Bagdy and his wife, Barbara were honored at the Commodore's Ball on Saturday, March 20, 1971. •••• Island gymnasts taking part in the Buffalo Turners 43rd annual circus, "It's A Small World," in March 1971 were Kim Custodi, Tammy Custodi, Nicky Custodi, Bobby Beauregard, Jimmy Beauregard, Daneen Certo (Gallagher), Russell Certo, Jeffrey Certo and Siobhan Wright. •••• Army Sergeant Philip C. Taylor, 21, received the Air Medal for meritorious service near Di An, Vietnam and Sgt. Mark M. Stewart, an air traffic controller, received the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service in Vietnam. Sadly, Philip Tayor lost his life fighting in the Vietnam War.•••• The "Romper Room" series, first live program from WUTV Channel 29 on Whitehaven Road, began on March 22, 1971 with Elaine Murphy of Grand Island as Miss Elaine. Featured on the first show was 4-year-old Elizabeth Wozniak, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wozniak of East River Road.

Looking back 25 years - GIHS students presented “Wednesday Night Live,” a variety show March 12, 1986 in the school auditorium when Sarah Morrisey was the star vocalist performing her song about things to do on Grand Island. Produced by the Class of 1987, the show also featured fiddler Lori Schriver, the bands "No Apparent Reason, The Difference and the Joe Chimes Trio. •••• Two Canadian men and a resident of Niagara Falls, N.Y. were arrested by U. S. Border Patrol agents shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, 1986 following discovery of a drug-smuggling operation on the Niagara River near Navy Island. Recovered by agents at the scene were 79 ½ pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $39,500.

A cheery hello to Floydette Gannon, who has recently been hospitalized. Floydette's son and daughter, Fred Claus and Karen Geng, have set up a site, "Mountain of Prayers, at Facebook" for friends and family to express their good wishes to Flo. Cards of cheer may be sent to Floydette Gannon, c/o Northside Hospital, 6000 49th St. North, Room 102, St. Petersburg, FL 33709.

It must be spring. Adrian's Custard & Beef is open.

Our sympathy to the families of Bobby Floyd Dannels, Nancy M. Sandford, and former residents, Michael T. Safee and David John "Peepa" Wozniak, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's longtime, #1 real estate agent
Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard
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Grand Island Auto Tech - owners Ron and Mike Cook - they do it all - 2509 Grand Island Blvd.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
A Lenten Luncheon, sponsored by the Grand Island Ministerium, will be held in the Trinity UM Church Family Room Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 10, 2011


Good morning John MacGaffick in Rome, NY, and good morning Sheila Bilson in Lockport, NY.

Happy birthday to Stacy VeRost (today), Tiffany Turner (20 tomorrow), Mike Skotnicki, Barbara Anderson and Wayne Bidell (tomorrow), our niece Anne Linenfelser Stuardi (her 30th tomorrow), Michele Beauchamp (Saturday), Madison MacNeil (9 on Saturday), Karen Smith and Pete Xanthos (cheers on Sunday), Pat Kendzierski (Sunday), Chloe Timmerman (two on Wednesday) and Cameron Willer (3 on Wednesday). A belated happy birthday to Jennifer Charlwood who celebrated on Tuesday.

A speedy recovery to Michael Brown who we hear is feeling better everyday.••••To Diane Hassan, I'm sending days full of sunshine and blue skies.


Amy Bidell Photo - Click for complete view
The St. Stephen’s Parish Players youth production of “Grease” over the past weekend was extremely enjoyable. Granddaughter Amy Bidell and I had front row seats, thanks to the show's clever dance choreographer and good friend, Cathy Thomas. All of the kids from Taylor Kozlowski and Mike Giambra to tiny Anna Pullano (shown above) were fantastic. My favorite cast member was the comical Eugene, a high school nerd, played by James Rustowicz who had the crowd cheering long and loud at one point. A tip of the hat to Director Maura Rustowicz who obviously put her all into the production.

Looking back 60 years - It was 60 years ago that the Sidway Junior High students put on an operetta, "Molly Be Jolly," in the gym/auditorium. Marilyn Dinsmore (Serfass) played "Molly," Jim Fuller called the square dancing, Joan Anderson (Dekdebrun) and Vera Jo Mote (Mann) were inside the make-shift horse and Marilyn Ekiss (Fries) was the snake charmer. Carole Godfrey (Wiesinger) and her twin sister, Connie Godfrey (Millikan), twirled their batons and Roberta Miller led the band. Danny Heimbach played the piano and Stanley Ziomek played his accordion between acts. Remember? ••••Civil Defense meetings for Air Raid Wardens and Civil Defense Police were announced in the by-weekly Island Dispatch by CD Director Franklin Klocke. The Friday evening police classes in town hall were scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. so they would not interfere with watching the "fights" on television "as many expressed the desire to do."

Looking back 50 years - Plans for proposed double sessions in seventh grade (Sidway School) in September 1961 were discussed at a tea sponsored by the Kaegebein PTA in March of that year.

Looking back 40 years - Dog Warden Calvin Milkas picked up an Irish Setter in Beaver Island State Park after Ron Webb rescued the dog from the river 40 years ago.••••The following members of Coach Bill Russo's Class A, Section VI Championship Swim Team were recognized at the high school Winter Athletic Awards Assembly in March 1971: Mike Endres, Fred Rumsey, Mike Breier and Chuck Bagdy. This was the GIHS swim team's fifth championship in a row for the swim team.

Looking back 10 years - A contingent of Grand Island residents cajoled and criticized the town board in March 2001 in their latest effort to kill a Wilson Farms convenience store and gas station proposed for their Ransom/Stony Point neighborhood.

Our sympathy to the families of Mary M. (Daigler) Henshaw, Kandace L. Carter, Rev. Reba J. Edwards, Elisabeth Ochs and former resident Richard C Owens, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
The Beach House Restaurant. - Delicious food and cozy atmosphere on East River Road
X-Press One Hour Dry Cleaners - Charles and Carol Dunworth, 2275 Grand Island Blvd. - There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.
Metro Town Center - 1980 Whitehaven Road - Betty Harris - President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker
Island Ship Center Inc. - Convenient FedEx agency on Whitehaven Road
MARK S. NEMETH, Attorney at Law - insurance defense litigation with an emphasis on asbestos and nursing home litigation
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School will host its annual Family Fun Celebration/Basket Raffle on Saturday.••••The VFW Ladies will host a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner on Saturday.••••The Grand Island Lions Club will sponsor a Miracle League of Grand Island and WNY banquet on Saturday evening. ••••The High School Corporate Bowl begins on Tuesday evening in the high school auditorium. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 3, 2011


Good morning Richard Lawson in San Diego, CA, and good morning Brian Castillo in Cheektowaga, NY.


What a cutie and she’s celebrating her special day tomorrow. Happy birthday, Cindy Austin Zurek and may you celebrate many more.•••• And a very happy birthday to Bud Link who will celebrate a milestone on Tuesday. Bud was a mere 9th grader at Sidway School when this photo was taken.

Congratulations to Ensign Brendan Conway Jr. who was recently commissioned as a US Naval officer. See Brendan's story. ••••Kali Mordaunt is also featured in this week's Isledegrande.com. See Kali's story.

Happy birthday to Roy Gerard (today), Don Less and Sally Hoffman (tomorrow), Jim Bartolotta (a milestone tomorrow), Kathleen Ford, Charles Burngasser and Marty Kennell (cheers on Saturday), Hayden Backlund (10 on Sunday), Kara Duysters (a mini milestone on Sunday), Ginny Thies (her 25th birthday on Monday), Emelie-jo Scheffler (a teenager on Tuesday), Grace Wenner (8 on Wednesday), and Chandler Cole (entering his teens on Wednesday).

Congratulations to the Grand Island High School Girls Basketball Team on winning the Section VI Class A-1 final last night. Good luck to the girls, undefeated at 21-0, who play Pioneer at the Burt Flickinger Center (ECC) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Doug and Gail Rothenberg are celebrating 53 years of marriage on March 7th. Best wishes to the Rothenbergs.

Looking back 60 years - Charlotte Guenther (Roesch) and Jeannie Flynn won six straight games of horseshoes 60 years ago this week at the Bedell House.

Looking back 50 years - Lee Tetkowski was presented a Huth Road School PTA life membership for her many contributions to home, school and community.

Looking back 40 years - GIHS students presented The Music Man over the March 4-6, 1971 weekend. Taking the lead was Dan Carr as Professor Hill. Art Buckley, Brian Siegel, and Della Stachelczyk were also part of the cast. Herb Nasgowitz was musical director; Manuel Alvarez directed the orchestra; and Belinda Board was the choreographer. ••••Betty Hollinger and Bobby Daniels chaired "As You Like It," a fashion show to benefit the Grand Island High School PTA on March 1, 1971. ••••The Kaegebein School library was dedicated to Beatrice Cady, retiring principal who held the position ever since the school opened in 1953. Norma Sutter became the new principal on March 8, 1971. ••••It was reported that the Island was having “extreme flooding conditions” with town employees working on the problem. High winds added to the situation, forcing drainage ways such as Woods Creek to flow up stream.

Our sympathy to the families of Imelda M. "Melly" McDonnell and former resident Mary K. Downs who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Dr. Kevin Augustine Chiropractic - Fast pain relief center
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Flower A Day Florist - Flowers for all occasions - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.
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See our front page ad for how you can get free tickets for a Martini Gras being held at Shea's on Tuesday, March 8th.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Historical Society will host War Re-enactors at its general meeting, open to the public, tonight in Historic Trinity Church.•••• St. Stephen's Parish Players' children's production of "Grease" will be presented on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.••••Our World Day of Prayer will be held Friday morning. ••••Women of the Moose will host a Monte Carlo Night on Saturday evening.••••A Tastefully Simple Open House to benefit Relay for Life will be held Monday evening. ••••A One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free meeting will take place on Tuesday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, February 24, 2011


Good morning Jeanine (Quagliana) Knox in Ormond Beach, FL, and good morning Dianne (Neffke) Rohny in Capistrano Beach, CA.


(left) Dale Kutzbach, Dr. Ron Gasbarro and Danna Kirsch Moles
These three members from the GIHS Class of '69 are celebrating birthdays this week. Dale Kutzbach turns a year older tomorrow, Dr. Ron Gasbarro celebrates his birthday on Saturday, and Danna Kirsch Moles marks the same milestone on Wednesday. Happy birthday Dale, Ron and Danna.

Happy birthday to Lauren Braun (21 today), Dottie Carter (today), Pete Mazenauer (Saturday), William Madigan (16 on Saturday), Kevin Koch Jr. (9 on Sunday), Rebecca Sobol and Mike Cali (Sunday), Kevin Sander (11 on Monday), Don Loder (Monday), Karie Stedman (9 on Monday), Jane Cooke (Sweet 16 on Tuesday), and Nathan Lange (Wednesday).••••A belated happy 50th birthday to Charles Carter who celebrated last Friday.

Former residents Carol Burridge, her daughter, Stacey Burridge Ford and son Jason Burridge made the news this week in The Village Daily Sun. The headline, Villager, daughter's love for dogs, passion for showing unique breedresult in award at Westminster, tells it all. Check out http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com for their most interesting story.

Diane and Clark Nesbitt are wished a wonderful anniversary. They mark their 45th anniversary on Saturday.

Looking back 75 years - Wesley Link, publisher and John McWilliams, editor, produced the Grand Island News every Friday in 1936 . The newspaper was first published on Friday, February 14, 1936 and had its last issue printed on December 18 of that year.••••Weekly religious school was held on Thursday afternoons at 3 o'clock at Trinity Evangelical Church, made possible by the cooperation of the School Board in arranging for the dismissal of the children one-half hour earlier than usual and having them transported from the Island's three one- and two-room schools to the church by bus. Mrs. Jeannette Cady taught the 4th grade group, Miss Beatrice Pettit, the 5th and 6th grade groups, and Mrs. Julia Long, the 7th and 8th grade groups. Devotionals were presided over by Reverend Harvey P. Schooping and Mrs. Edith Stoddard was the pianist and musical director. St. Stephen's parish also thanked the school board at that time for the use of the school bus for transporting the children to and from the church for religious instructions on Thursdays. ••••The C.C.C. Camp’s work on the Beaver Island State Park at the south end of the Island included removal of three old buildings: Mrs. Hazel Koerner's former estate, the original Spaulding house; John Townsend's residence; and the Sidway ice house. Work was also underway on the dismantling of one of the cow barns in Beaver Island Park in February 1936.••••The town board announced that the proposed surfacing and repairing of Spaulding and Oakfield roads would be a WPA project costing the town about $3500 against the government's $28,000 in 1936.

Looking back 25 years - Knights of Columbus Free Throw contest winners received trophies in February 1986 at the Knights' Hall. Overall winners were Deanna DeFeo, Patty Van de Ven, Murray White, Rick Jerabeck and Tom Fleckenstein.••••Little folks attending Jack and Jill Cooperative Preschool in 1986 included Katie Krause, Mackenzie Hassan, twins Scott and Matthew Wallace, Kerry Mesmer, Jennie Banas and Chris Barker.

Our sympathy to the families of Dolores C. Albertsson, Jane E. Cook, Rosalyn Butler, Thomas E. Hirsche, Donald W. Wilkinson, Thomas Edward A. Radecki and William R. Morrish who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information. •••• Sincere sympathy also to Tom Ramming whose wife, Kate, died this past week. Tom served as superintendent of schools here on the Island from 2002 through 2006.

Kara Dudley, a student at The College at Brockport, performed in two ten-minute plays, one of which was "Stuck" about two people stuck in a revolving door! She is mentioned at http://www.brockport.edu/newsbureau/1563.html along with her photo.

For details on a major class reunion for the 60s and 70s GIHS classes, see http://www.isledegrande.com/reunions/reunions.php. The date of the event is Sunday, July 3rd.

Just a reminder. The deadline for letters of nomination for the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year is March 7, 2011. The Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 28th in the Holiday Inn. See Chamber of Commerce News Page.

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Grand Island Central Federal Credit Union - Offering members first mortgages and much more
Pepper Mill Restaurant - good food, great menu on the Boulevard
Family Medicine Center - Wholehearted Care
Dr. Kevin Augustine Chiropractic - Fast pain relief center
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The VFW Ladies Auxiliary will host a Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, February 17, 2011


Good morning Jim Lindsey on Grand Island, NY, and good morning Sherry Shaw Watkins also on Grand Island.

   
A big happy birthday to Henry Fessard (left) celebrating his 90th birthday today, and to Jan Gburek Weckerly and Richard Morgan, of the GIHS Class of ’69, turning 60 on Saturday.

Happy birthday to Peggy Tyran (special greetings today), baby Charles Martin Dalbo (first birthday today), Bob Dworak (best wishes on your 80th tomorrow), Patrick Stouter (9 tomorrow), Anita DeGlopper (tomorrow), Dorothy Rowswell (a milestone on Saturday), Katie Brady (18 on Sunday), Jean Jerge (85 on Monday), John Braddell Jr. (Monday), Janet Saltzman (Tuesday), Christina Kolkmann (a teenager on Wednesday), and Sophia Black (7 on Wednesday). A belated happy birthday to Amanda Lynn Kaiser who celebrated on the 11th.

A speedy recovery to Rick Pelham who had recent surgery.

Looking back 60 years - Adult Education began at Sidway School in 1951. Henry Fessard, a very popular industrial arts teacher at Sidway, served as its director.

Looking back 50 years - A public rally was announced as a means to launch the Grand Island Citizens Committee's campaign for a junior/senior high school. The meeting, held in the Kaegebein School, was opened by citizens committee chair Lee Tetkowski.

Looking back 40 years - Kay Long, the founder of the new Grand Island Art Society, was elected president. Other first officers were First Vice President Ronald Davis, Second Vice President Renee Colbert, Secretary Jean McDonald and Treasurer Marian D’Addieco. Directors Ruth Holden, Janet Danielson and Dorothy Mesmer were also elected.

Looking back 30 years - The school board, in a 4-3 vote, decided to hold all kindergarten classes in the morning and to expand them from 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours beginning in September 1981.

Looking back 10 years - The student cast of the St. Stephen’s Parish Players' first children's performance, Alice In Wonderland, were rehearsing their parts 10 years ago this week. The children were under the direction of Linda Burkhart and Karen Conboy, and Laurie DeRosa was in charge of ticket sales.

Our sympathy to the families of Edward Richard L. Rebmann Sr., Sandra A. Kujawa, Yvonne (Ashley) Martin, Ruth F. Noble and former resident Elizabeth (Ashley) Fancher who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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McCarthy School of Irish Dance - Beth McCarthy shares her knowledge of Irish culture through dance - activities abound
Linda Kutzbach, RE/MAX North - Looking to buy or sell a home? See Linda's front page ad and give her a call.
deSignet International - Custom Jewelry and more - come in and see for yourself - Whitehaven just off the Boulevard
Mallwitz's Island Lanes - Family oriented - at center of the Island
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

For those of you who have asked about the accident in front of the high school Saturday evening after the Winter Ball, three cars were involved, eight students were evaluated and three were transported to area hospitals for minor injuries.

Thanks to Hank Kammerer and Gretchen Beyer for identifying Leo and Carol Allen in the Charity Ball photo in our Old Photo Album on February 3rd.

Congratulations to Mike Johnson who rolled a 299-770 with the A-Best Roofing league at Mallwitz's Island Lanes this week.

AM Buffalo was over at Mallwitz's Island Lanes yesterday. For a live interview with Art Mallwitz and a roam around the building, click Island Lanes/AM Buffalo.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
A Parish Players production, Fools, takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.•••• ••••A fundraiser for Ernie R. Underwood, GIHS Class of 1975, will be held Sunday afternoon at Mallwitz's Island Lanes ••••A special event, “Monkey Business,” will be held at the Grand Island Memorial Library on Wednesday. ••••The Knights of Columbus is holding an All You Can East Soup Knight next Wednesday, February 23. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, February 10, 2011


Good morning Dr. Ron Gasbarro in New Milford, PA, and good morning JoAnn (Nesbitt) Hall on Grand Island, NY.

 
Wishing Barbara Glor Martin and Charles Swalm a very happy birthday. Barb and Chuck were both born on February 11th and grew up in the Grandyle Village neighborhood. The photos show them as students of Mrs. Marilyn Whiting's and Mr. Matthew Cyran's 7th grade classes at Sidway School.

Happy birthday Joseph M. Webb (cheers today), Mike Endres (today), Kaylee Montana (6 today), Torgeir G. Fadum (a big one tomorrow), Jagger Click (11 tomorrow), Dorothy Lovelee (85 on Saturday), Carol Roesch and Penny Linenfelser (Saturday), Steve Meyer (30 on Saturday), Jayce Claus (10 years old on Saturday), Kellie Lynn Kehoe (20 on Monday), Shirley Martin (best wishes on Monday), Kassie Bennett (Sweet 16 on Monday), Maisie Dommell (a milestone on Wednesday), and Grace Olszewski (Sweet 16 on Wednesday).

Virgil and Arthura Haller VanHeerde will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Best wishes to the VanHeerdes.

Congratulations to Fred Bahr, bowling a 233-645 with the Heatwave H&C this past week. Mike Johnson also had a great game - 299-693, bowling with the A-Best Roofing league.

Check out the Grand Island High School "Viking Vision" if you haven't already. The link is the 100th newscast of this new venture providing daily school news by student newscasters.

Looking back 60 years - Plans were underway for an extensive remodeling program at the Grand Island Fire Hall in 1951. Under the leadership of Edward Kruse, chairman of the House Committee, the fire company was spending its time and money in making the old hall last until the new building was erected. This building, the first Town Hall, was donated to the Fire Company when it was formed in 1938. ••••The New York Telephone Company advertised that they had fewer parties on rural lines (94% of customers on lines having eight parties or less, users hearing no more than half the rings, over 60% hearing only one other ring besides their own.) It was the new dial phones that replaced the "turn-of-the-crank" phones that helped improve phone service on the Island.

Looking back 50 years - Dorothy Bascomb was appointed director of the Grand Island Golden Age Club, replacing Eileen Coulter who moved from the Island. ••••Colony Discount, a clothing store in the Grand Island Blvd. plaza, was holding a going-out-of-business sale. ••••A World Day of Prayer was celebrated February 17, 1961 in St. Timothy Church. ••••Newcomers to the Island 50 years ago were the Jim Rogan and Daniel Hassan families.

Looking back 40 years - New uniforms were worn for the very first time by the 100-member Grand Island High School Symphonic Band when the musicians played at a February 1971 concert in the school auditorium. •••• With Bob Zuchowski at the helm, participation in the Town Recreation Commission's activities rose 35% for his first year. ••••Larger stop signs were erected at Whitehaven and Baseline roads in an effort to reduce accidents at that time.

Looking back 20 years - Father Cabarini’s Pizza Mission at 1711 Grand Island Blvd. advertised a Monday/Tuesday $1.00 special – Order a large cheese and pepperoni pizza and 1 ingredient pizza and receive a single order of regular wings for $1. •••• Work began on a tunnel under the New York State Thruway at Staley Road to allow utility companies to provide service on the west side of the Island.

Our sympathy to the families of Harold F. Mills, Daniel J. "Muscles" Moran and former residents Edwin M. Webb and Edward R. "Bob" Hardison who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

The Fire Company received numerous calls when a New York State snowplow overturned on Long Road near West River Parkway around 5:30 p.m. last Saturday. What I heard is that the plow driver ditched the plow to avoid an oncoming car in his lane. Thanks to him, there were no injuries.

I was hoping someone out there could identify two people shown in the 1977 Charity Ball photo featured in last week's "Old Photo Album." Take a look at Old Photo Album and let me know the names.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and a special greeting to former Island firemen, Jeff Loder, Jason Weis and Gail Lazenby and their families. The men have been serving The Villages Fire Dept. in Florida for several years.

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Dog Crate Central - high quality wood dog crates, pet crates and portable dog crates - and she's local
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Niagara's Choice FCU - Your Credit Union is a great place to begin adult financial responsibilities.
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Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Rotary Club hosts Evening of Jazz, Tango, & Wine tomorrow evening.••••The Relay For Life team "Racing For A Cure" hosts a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday. ••••The Snowmobile Club will meet on Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, February 3, 2011


Good morning Toni Colley in Laguna Woods, CA, and good morning Phil Stoddard in Williamsville, NY.

A big happy 80th birthday to Tom Zarbo celebrating today. •••• Happy birthday to Lee Richard who turned 25 yesterday, to Madison Brown and Andrew Carlson (teenagers today), Ryan Timmerman (today), Rita DeGlopper (today), Chris Ward (cheers tomorrow), Sophie Mae Riddle Cane (4 tomorrow), Rich Shaw (Saturday), Brent Minet (30 on Sunday), Noelle Linenfelser (7 on Sunday), Cody Okelberry (6 on Sunday), Olivia Wenner (4 on Sunday), Athena Xanthos (best wishes on Monday), Jadon Garman (9 on Tuesday), Sheila Strott and Carleigh Jane Rodriguez (7 on Tuesday), and baby Jackson Robert Tower (first birthday on Tuesday).

A very happy anniversary to Ed and Cindy "Austin" Zurek who are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on Monday, February 7th.

Good news! Pat McNulty, hospitalized last week, is home and doing better. More good news. Michele Beauchamp is also feeling much better.

Looking back 50 years - Toni Colley was chairman of a Beatnik Hop given by her Girl Scout Troop 221 on February 3, 1961 in the Sidway gym. The "Hop" was for the Scouts' trip to the Girl Scout Cabana in Mexico. Music was provided by the fabulous Continentals led by Doug Hawkes.••••Niagara Falls agreed to educate 50 of the Island's Sidway Junior High School graduating class for a year, but based on study and projected enrollments in the Cataract City, the Board of Education could not promise that the students would be able to stay for a three-year period. These Island students became graduates of LaSalle High School, Class of 1964.

Looking back 40 years - A popular band in 1971 was “ShoGunn,” made up of six Grand Island High School students. Can someone tell me who they were?? •••• Two model homes were erected in the planned 120-house subdivision off Bush Road to be known as Fernwood Gardens. Homes were to be listed in the mid $40,000 range.

Looking back 30 years - Marj Bessel received the highest honor of her running career when she was named to the All-American Girls' High School Cross Country Team. Only 50 girls from across entire nation were selected.

Looking back 25 years - Gloria Brown, a Kaegebein Elementary School first grade teacher at the time, was named a Runner of the Year by Running Times Magazine. Gloria set an American record for runners age 53 in the 24k (1:58.24) in 1985. This was the second year in a row she was so recognized. •••• Grand Island Fire Company records list 5:39 a.m. Saturday, January 26, 1986 as the time when the first alarm sounded for the fire in the Grand Island Plaza on the Blvd. Minutes later, volunteer firemen were at the scene of the smoky blaze, which appeared to have started in Western New York Auction Sales. Fire Chief Peter McMahon estimated damage to the plaza at $22,000. ••••The Grand Island Parks and Recreation Department sponsored a Winter Weekend February 1-2, 1986 in Beaver Island State Park. Among a long list of events were the snow sculptures. In first place was the “Golden Goldfish” by Chrissy Goupil and Christine Goodard. Second place winner was a life-size alligator by Tim Sander, 10. Third place went to Wendy and Allen Dannels for their Challenger memorial.

Our sympathy to the families of Jane E. Cutting and former resident Carol K. Harris who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations are in order for three employees of the Grand Island Waste Water Dept. After more than thirty years of dedicated service each, Frank Ziemba retired in January, and Frank Potenza and Raymond Gress Jr. retire in February of 2011. All three have worked as Operators, overseeing operations of the waste water treatment plant here on Baseline Road. Happy Retirement to all three!

Congratulations to Island bowlers Ron Sutton (300-739), Michael Bailey (279-612), Mike Johnson (299-693).

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Tim Phillips Garage - full-service automotive repair - preventive maintenance center - and on the Island
Marston Power Equipment - Snow, Lawn & Safety Equipment/Supplies and much more - Grand Island Blvd.
Robert M. Ratajczak, Jr., Attorney - Striving to make legal services simpler and cost effective.
Realty USA/Liz Wilbert - Local, experienced realtor - Buying? Selling? Give her a call.
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Fabulous twirlers! The GIHS Vikingettes competed in the WNY Winter Twirling Competition on Sunday at West Seneca East High School and won first place in the high school category.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Senior High School musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying!" takes place tonight, tomorrow and Saturday.••••The One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free group will meet on Tuesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, January 27, 2011


Please keep former resident Michele Beauchamp in your prayers. Her illness has taken a turn for the worse and she is currently in the Cleveland Clinic. Michele is a member of the GIHS Class of 1982 and resides in Lubbock, TX.

Good morning David Rexford in Tonawanda, NY, and good morning Bob Innes in San Antonio, TX.


My sister, Mary Stewart, is marking her 70th birthday today. That’s her first grade photo and she’s just as sweet today as she was way back when. Happy birthday, sister!


Happy 70th birthday to former resident, Don Bruce who will celebrate on February 1st. Don was a 9th grader at Sidway School when this photo was taken and was on the "The Islander" yearbook staff that year. Don is currently living in Farmington, NM.

Best wishes to Arlene Soluri, celebrating a milestone today. Arlene’s family and friends recently surprised her with a birthday party – and she was very surprised! •••• Happy birthday to Sabrina Butcher (5 today), Kelly Greene and Joanne Hughes (tomorrow), Julie Schopp (her 18th on Saturday), Eric Sharpe (20 on Saturday), Hailee Clayton (14 on Monday), Amy Kammerer (cheers on Monday), Sydney Mazur (10 on Tuesday), Clyde Hickok (Drum roll – it’s Tuesday), Marion Mancuso (Tuesday), Ryan Pecoraro (9 on Tuesday), Richie Vanthoff, US Air Force (21 on Tuesday), Julie Swain (Wednesday’s the big day), Maria Ramsperger (a teenager on Wednesday), Samantha Ruotsi (Sweet 16 on Wednesday), Dominic Pullano ( 5 on Wednesday), and Natalie Kopf (4 on Wednesday).

Attention parents in the Sandy Beach area and for that matter, all parents! Unlocked vehicles are being entered in that neighborhood on a regular basis and have been for quite awhile. The burglars are most likely young people who are stealing anything they find. If your children are coming home with electronic equipment and other things you don’t recognize as theirs, they may be stealing from your neighbors. I have also been told that night vision trail cams are being strategically placed to take pictures of the young thieves if they decide to continue the crimes.

Mike and Terry Endres were in California last week and had the opportunity to have lunch with Ellen (Hopkins) Faber and her husband, Hans. Mike writes that, "The Endres' and Hopkins' go way back starting with Ellen's dad, George, working for my grandfather in the 40s. The Hopkins moved across the street from us on East River in the 50s and lived there until Ellen (and Mike) graduated from GIHS in 1971 when they moved to southern California. It was nice to see Ellen and Hans and catch up. Ellen still refers to GI as home." Thanks, Mike. We all like to hear about our former Islanders, especially those who still call the Island home.

Happy 50th wedding anniversary to former resident, Roger L. Killian and his wife, Brenda. The Killians were married on January 18, 1961.

Looking back 70 years - The first PTA was organized by Beatrice Ashley at the Island's only school, Charlotte Sidway, on January 28, 1941.

Looking back 60 years - This interesting death notice was published in the January 1951 Island Dispatch: "John H. W. Staley died January 22, 1951. Born in April 1867 in a log cabin on the present site of Buckhorn State Park, second youngest of 11 children and last of the family to die. In 1892 he moved to his home on West River. The house was taken for the new West River Pkwy. Known as "June," a pile driver, he built many of the docks along both shores of the Island. In 1926 when June was putting in post holes with dynamite for the electric company on West River between Love and Fix roads, the jar of a passing truck caused an explosion and June was blown 15 feet in the air. He was unable to work for at least a year. Survived by two sons, two daughters, Mrs. Wm. Altshaft, Mrs. Lovina Ackerman, and John and William Staley."••••The East River Taxpayers Association dinner dance was held Saturday, January 27, 1951 at the Buffalo Launch Club. The club was led by President Herbert Laidman, along with officers Harold Beck, Douglas Kutzbach, Frank Pinzel and Jerome Luippold. Entertainment was provided by the "rhythmic strains of Johnny Gast's orchestra."

Looking back 50 years - Winners of the senior and junior Model Car Contest were: Best Car, James Hill and Russell Hill; Best Custom Car, B. Martin and Peter Glor; Best Hot Rod, Gary Larson and Dick Bunnel; Best Interior and Paint, Fred Schutt and Gary Glessner; Best Engine, J. Burrows and James Kaiser; and Most Radical Car, Ken Seymour and Jarman Benns.•••• Harry Waltman of Alt Blvd. was flooding the Beaver Island State Park ice rink on a daily basis and the rink was drawing 150 skaters a day. ••••The Grand Island Boating Association installed Commodore Rollie Radder at the Buffalo Motor Boat Club January 28, 1961. ••••Among Kaegebein School band members selected for the Erie County Music Festival were Mike McNulty and Terry Von Craig. Included with those chosen from the Huth Road School band were Reg Schopp and Jeff Lesinski. •••• Announced by the town board in January 1961 was the following: "Town offices in the Grand Island Plaza hereafter are to be referred to as the Plaza Town Offices (town engineer, building inspector, assessors offices, and sewer and water departments)” The new, and much larger town hall was not built until 1968.

Looking back 40 years - Islanders taking first place in their class at the Speed & Sport Show in Toronto were Bud Link and his 1934 Ford Roadster and Ron Webb with his 1923 Model T Ford.

Looking back 30 years - Bob Bonsack was elected president of Chamber of Commerce and Harry Simpson was named the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. •••• Mary McDonough was setting swim records at Buffalo State College in the winter of 1981.

Looking back 10 years - The GIHS Vikings Basketball Team was being congratulated on its 74-67 victory over Niagara Wheatfield. Mark Hajnos, a senior, led the scoring with 29 points.

Our sympathy to the families of Lawrence H. Gill, George B. Walk and former residents Connie Ford Gibbons, Carol Keenan, Richard W. Meyer and Robert L. Jensen, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to Mike Mallwitz on his 300-783 game bowling with the Friday Night Businessmen at Island Lanes. Thanks to a town employee who sent me the following note: "A new Island resident called looking for information; in conversation I suggested she keep an eye on Isledegrande. She said “that’s my favorite website!”

This year's musical production being performed by GIHS students is the popular How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The show will take place next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Some of the students in the cast are Alex Howard, Noah Rothberg, Keelan Erhard, Shannon McNaughton, and Jenna Cardone. We are really looking forward to seeing our publisher, Reg Schopp's granddaughter, Natalie Baldassarre, on stage next weekend.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Mr. Best Wrench - Got a Classic or Exotic car that needs repair? "We repair everything foreign or domestic."
John's Pizza & Subs - delicious pizza, full menu on the Boulevard.
Grand Island Chiropractic - Why leave the Island for the help you need?.
Rose Liquor Store - Full line of wines and liquors - great discounts
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Conservative Party hosts an evening with New York State Senator Mark Grisanti tonight.••••The Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249 will hold a soup night on Saturday.•••• ••••The GI Alumni Association is presenting its 4th Annual Comedy Night on Saturday evening.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, January 20, 2011


Good morning John C. Hageny in Hoboken, NJ, and good morning Jim Palamuso in Lawrenceville, GA.


Classmates at Charlotte Sidway School when these photos were taken are (left) John Hall, Kathy MacDonald McKenzie and Sister Marian Judy Baumler. John celebrates his birthday on Saturday, Kathy’s big day is on Sunday, and Judy will be a year sweeter on Wednesday. Happy birthday, everyone.

A very happy birthday to Josh Lange as he celebrates his 30th birthday today. ••••Happy birthday to Kaylee Ann Connell (six today), Frank Kovacs (cheers today), Vinny Pascucci (his third birthday on Saturday), Christian Bermel (5 years old on Saturday), Jonathan Minton (7 on Sunday), Allison Boron (her 20th on Sunday), Ashley Carminati (Sunday), Dave Arch (Monday), Sarah Ramsperger (17 on Monday), Benjamin DeFranks (9 on Monday), Jessica Melgar (Sweet 16 on Monday), Hunter Schmidt (4 on Monday), Tyler Robert Meyer (2 years old on Monday), Jason MacClelland (9 on Tuesday), Michael Giambra and Sam Clarke (16th birthdays on Wednesday), and Tommy Geblein (Wednesday).

The Niagara Gazette posted a very impressive article on Grand Island's new Mighty Taco that opened the first of the month in the Grand Island Blvd. plaza. It is written by Michele DeLuca and mentions Isledegrande.com and our publisher, Reg Schopp. Check it out at 1/16/11 Niagara Gazette Story.

Congratulations to Ross Aydelotte on a great game (298 695) with the A-Best Roofing league at Mallwitz's Island Lanes, to Dan Pilon rolling a close one (299 730) with the Generic Bowlers and to Mike Mallwitz (290 763) with the Labatts Men.


Looking back 60 years - This photo was taken on the very first bank day at Sidway School in January 1951. Shown with Principal Miss Veronica Connor (left) and kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ethel Yuhas are (left) Ann Wallace, Phoebe Stark, Mia Fontana, Sharon Clayton, Russ Kaegebein, Ruth Moody, Franklin Pinzel, Trey Elgar, Colin Lewis, Bryan Bennett, Timothy Beck and Thomas Pedlow. Room mother Mrs. Claire Hall is shown at the desk.•••• Wayne Kinney, 3, emptied his piggy bank into the miniature iron lung at Batsfords in Sandy Beach (now the Beach House Restauranat) in January 1951. Now that was a generous little boy.. •••• Frank B. Lattner requested permission to construct a dock on East River Road, just south of Edgewater Drive. ••••The Dixieland Minstrels featuring an all Grand Island cast, sponsored by Charlotte Sidway PTA and presented at the school January 25-26, 1951. Rehearsals for the show, written by Jinny Barnes and assisted by Chris Cotter, were held in old fire hall. Charles Bridge had the lead as Old Interlocutor. Among the end-men and end-ladies were Chris Cotter, Al Barnes, Bill Wallace, John Knapp, Gert Radius and Ethel Yuhas. The show was said to be the first of its kind in 23 years. According to the 1951 Sidway Log yearbook, "Our own Miss Veronica Connor provided a laugh filled ten minutes as Amber, the proud possessor of 18 children." •••• Helen and Ed Ball of 1514 Love Road in Grandyle Village were among the first Island residents to become Iroquois Gas Company customers when gas service was supplied to their home in January 1951.

Looking back 50 years - The American Legion Post 1346 named land at Baseline and the Blvd. the Charles DeGlopper Memorial Park and renamed its post for our World War II hero.

Looking back 40 years - It was in January 1971 that the Chamber of Commerce postponed its annual Citizens of the Year awards, started in 1965, in order to keep the awards meaningful and in respect for past recipients. The Chamber Board indicated it would prefer to make the awards on a two-year basis.

The American Field Service picture in our Old Photo Album last week drew some email from my readers. Thanks to Linda Phillips (GIHS Class of '72) and Diane Hassan (Class of '70) for help with the names and thanks also to Barbara (Brown) Feige (Class of 1972) who supplied further information. See Old Photo Album

Our sympathy to the families of Eric J. Roloff, Barbara H. VanTassell, Ronald C. Meyer, Jean L. Hoover, George E. Bowman III, Patricia Less, and former residents Eva M. Ognibene and Robert L. Jensen who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

A tip of the hat to our all volunteer Grand Island firefighters who responded to 1383 calls in 2010. That’s an average of 26+ calls per week.

Heard recently that Don Burns is recovering from triple bypass surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Don.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
St. Stephen School - a upscale private school right here on the Island.
Blue Water Marina - storage, docking, and boating and fishing supplies - East River Road in historic Ferry Village
Miss Cathy's Dance Academy - Talented Faculty - Classes for All Ages including Adult Tap Class
Michelle's Home Cleaning -Island owned and operated
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The third annual Grand Island High School Hockey Alumni event will take place Saturday evening at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion in Niagara Falls.•••• Legislator Hardwick will meet with residents at an Outreach Meeting on Saturday.•••• A Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Outreach will be held on Monday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, January 13, 2011


Good morning Michele Remmes in Holiday, FL and good morning Pat Fellenz in Ransomville, NY.


Wouldn't want to miss a chance to wish Bob "Ox" Stamler a very happy birthday. Tomorrow's the day.

Happy birthday to Michael Rustowicz (20 tomorrow), Linda Uonites (tomorrow), Carolina Luciani (20 tomorrow), Sheila Donovan (special greetings on Saturday), Kristin Berver (Saturday), Sam Russo (Sunday), Jennifer Ciechoski (21 on Monday), Henry Kammerer (best wishes on Monday), Jared Barlow (a big one on Monday), Travis Mikulski and Charles Panepinto (teenagers on Wednesday), Kristyn Brown (10 years old on Wednesday), and Marijane Smith and Mackenzie Hassan (Wednesday). ••••A belated happy 14th birthday to Maggie Rustowicz who celebrated on Saturday.

Staff Sergeant Nicholas A. Tim, who is assigned to the 107th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard, is teamed with the 914th in Niagara Falls. A GIHS Class of 2005 graduate, he is among Grand Island residents who were deployed to the Middle East on Saturday. See Buffalo News Story. Thank you Nicholas and thanks to all of our men and women serving our country here and abroad.

Looking back 60 years - William MacDonald of Cox Road was appointed dog warden for 1951, with compensation not to exceed $250.

Looking back 50 years - Stony Point Road resident Earl Rankin, a former professional hockey player, was supervising youth hockey at the Kaegebein School rink on Saturday mornings. ••••The Grand Island Fire Company installed Paul McTigue as fire chief and Nicholas Hy as assistant chief in the fire hall January 21, 1961 when local singer Elaine Carlson entertained the firemen and their wives. ••••The state’s purchase of 209 acres to build a golf course in Beaver Island State Park was announced. ••••The Town Board on Monday, January 16, 1961 approved a 10-cent per hour raise "across the board" for all town highway employees.

Looking back 40 years - "A New Year! A New Hope! A New Venture! It is with these thoughts in mind that welcome Grand Island Art society's first meeting January 20, 1971 at Janet Danielson's home on West River." This was written by Kay Long in a Letter to the Editor" in the Island Dispatch 40 years ago this month.

Looking back 10 years - Firematic officers for the year 2001 were Chief Norman J. "Skip" Mrkall II, Deputy Chief Peter A. McMahon, 1st Assistant Chief Gregory J. Butcher, and 2nd Assistant Chief Kevin Koch.

Former resident Wayne Baumler writes, "I used to think Grand Island was cold and snowy but Omaha has 10-12 inches today (Monday) and 9 below predicted for tonight. BRRRRRRRRR! Been snowing for 2 days." Good to hear from you, Wayne.

Our sympathy to the families of Charles Lopresti, Isabel S. Allen and former resident Honor McCrone who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Sherry McDonald/RealtyUSA - A local real estate agent who knows the Island
Inside & Out Home Improvements - Locally owned and operated - FREE estimates
Allstate Mastantuono Agency - Not sure if you have the insurance coverage you need? Contact the Mastantuono Agency.
Island Ship Center Inc. - Convenient FedEx agency on Whitehaven Road
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Senator Mark Grisanti invites you to a "Listening Session" tonight at the Knights of Columbus••••A first ever Meat Raffle will be held at St. Stephen School tomorrow evening.•••• The GI Relay For Life Kickoff, "Curtains Up For A Cure", will be held on Tuesday evening in the Connor Middle School Little Theater. ••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, January 6, 2011


Good morning Tom Duncan in Novi, MI and good morning Stacey (Bastian) Pilinko in St Johns, FL.


The photos above are of Jim Hawley (left) and Skip Uonites when they were youngsters growing up on the Island. They both have family living here and probably wish they could be here to celebrate special birthdays on Sunday, and Tuesday respectively. Happy birthday Jim and Skip.•••Happy birthday also to Leo Shonitski (cheers today) to Ed Krecisz, the dad (today), Norm Mrkall (tomorrow), Kyle Podgorny (11 on Saturday), Alexandria Anderson (9 on Saturday), Richard Sawdey and Becky DeMike (Saturday), Bonnie Ford, Richard Brzyski and Karen Raepple (Sunday), Glenda O'Connor (Tuesday), baby Jack Greggory Roesch (his first birthday on Tuesday), and Kim McMahon (hats, horns, and cake and ice cream on Wednesday). •••• And if you see Jean Pecoraro in the Village Inn on Monday, be sure to wish her a very happy birthday! ••••A belated happy birthday to Hanna Panzica who celebrated her 13th birthday on Tuesday.

No grass growing under her feet! Shirley Luther now has a computer and an email address. Times have sure changed since Shirley was attending grade school in a 1- and 2-room school house here.

Warm wishes and a speedy recovery to Joan Fred who is dealing with a back problem. ••••Harry Carter was given a warm welcome Monday morning when he came back to work here after a lengthy and serious problem following knee surgery. Welcome back, Harry.

Congratulations to GIHS football standout, Steve Vitello, who has been named to the Buffalo News 2010 Section VI All-Western New York Scholar-Athlete fall sports team.

Looking back 60 years - The following was published in the local weekly paper's "With Dottie on the Partyline" column 60 years ago: "Mixed doubles horse-shoe matches being held at the Bedell House are getting better and better. Dorothy Merrill (Lovelee) took the honors last Friday, Jan. 12, 1951 when she walked her erstwhile partner a game and beat him!" ••••By a vote of 188 to 32, the voters of Grand Island approved the construction of a new school on Love Road (Wm. Kaegebein Elementary).

Looking back 40 years - The town board created two new, full time, salaried positions at its reorganizational meeting in January 1971. Albert Sargent was appointed zoning officer and Lee L. Randolph, assistant engineer.

Looking back 10 years - Eight bus-loads of Grand Island students and chaperones were traveling to Holiday Valley for a day of skiing in January 2001. The GIHS's 400-member ski club, Holiday Valley's largest in 2001, was skiing from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Saturday. How much nicer for the parents who were picking them up a lot earlier than the midnight+ runs we remember. •••• Members and families of Cub Scout Pack #254 got together Friday evening, January 12, 2001 in the high school cafeteria for the Pack's annual pinewood derby. First grader Matthew Foote took top honors and the first place trophy. Fifth graders Jeremy Chopra and Ryan Wolfslayer placed second and third respectively and also received trophies.••••Four outstanding Island athletes were named to All-Western Academic teams and honored at the January 8, 2001 school board meeting. Nick Bergman and Pete Sabatowski were named to the All-WNY Academic football team, Gary Asbach was named to the All-Western New York Boys Soccer Team, and Katie Remus was named to the All-Western New York Girls Soccer Team.

Our sympathy to the families of Samuel Raymondo, Robert F. Edwards, Shirley A. Brick and former residents Bertha (Brockel) Kaegebein and Daneen L. Hollfelder who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to new Fire Chief Kevin Koch who will be installed on Saturday, and a sincere thank you to Greg Butcher, stepping down after being at the helm of the GIFC for the past eight years. Great job, Greg!

Mighty Taco opened Monday morning and business is booming. See "business page" for story and photos.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Aceti's Wine & Spirits - Now in a new and larger location next to Tops Market
Budwey's Supermarket - brand names at low prices - and three locations
Riviera Theater - Theater and atmosphere - Historic Riviera just across the river
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
A Grand Island Patriots Meeting will be held Monday in the Library. See "Patriots" for more information.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.