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Letters To IsledeGrande 2024
Previous Letters

Letters To IsledeGrande.com must include Your Name and Address with Phone and Email
Emailed to our Publisher mailed to: Letters to IsledeGrande, 1871 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072
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Let's Make Grand Island a Great Place to Live!

The Return of Smoke-Filled Rooms - May 2024

    In April, I wrote a letter to the editor, here at Isledegrande. The last paragraph was: 'Every election we send the same people back for another term. This is another example of Einstein’s definition of insanity. We live in the most livable part of the country. Why we let people we wouldn’t hire under any circumstances dictate to us escapes me. I had a professor in grad school whose voting philosophy was, "if they are in, vote them out!" The years have convinced me he was right. We need to clean house.' I was referring to our County, State, and Federal officials, not our local ones. Clearly, I should have included them.
    I am not a registered Republican. I am an Independent. Yes, I registered as a Republican last year to vote in the primary. After the shenanigans during the general election by the Republican committee I decided this wasn’t the place for me. The Republican Committee can do whatever it wants behind closed doors but when it spills out into the open, it does concern all of us Islanders. (As an aside, those who are registered Republicans better get more involved. The committee is a self-perpetuating group that is self-serving. I would suggest you attend one of their committee meetings but you have to be invited/OKed by Ms. Ochs, the chair, to attend!) Recent events at Town Hall cast an unflattering light on their machinations.
    Purportedly, all members of Town Board are Republicans. When John Whitney resigned almost a year ago, a replacement should have been voted in. If not immediately, then, at the latest, right after the November election. To date, the seat is vacant. Jose Garcia, a Republican, was nominated at the most recent meeting by councilman Dan Kilmer. The other three passed on it. I can assure everyone that the Democrats would have filled the seat, post haste. One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that the claque running the Republican committee doesn’t want Garcia because he is a real Republican: small government, low taxes, rule of law, freedom of the individual. They want a toady. This is their prerogative but it is depriving Grand islanders of representation.
    This was bad enough but the May 6th Town Board meeting was a doozie. It was anticipated by everyone who has followed the course of events that the Board would, finally, vote to amend our zoning law so as to preclude large warehouses which the vast majority of Islanders are opposed to. Many attended the meeting only to get sucker-punched by the Board. Neither Marston, Digati, or Bahleda wouldn’t even second Kilmer’s motion to address the issue. It just died, thus saving those three from having to speak on the record about their positions. Clearly, not profiles in courage.
    This issue has been discussed and examined for, at least, eight months, not including the time spent in the past when discussing Amazon’s attempt to build a mega-warehouse here. We taxpayers have spent considerable sums to Hodgson & Russ in legal fees to evaluate the pros and cons. We now have a six-month moratorium on approvals. OK, but last Fall, prior to the election, moratoria were considered the wrong way to go. Why is it the right thing to do now?
    One doesn’t have to be a cynic to see that something is seriously wrong. The U-turn the three Board members took from their previous (pre-election) stance is very hard to justify or even explain. Something else seems to be afoot. When we had Nate McMurray as supervisor, we learned that NY State does not allow for the recall of public officials. We now have a second example of why that should be permitted. We shouldn’t be condemned to two or four years of individuals whose positions are clearly at odds with the taxpayers, especially since we were lead to believe otherwise.
Jim Mulcahy

Building a Better Mouse Trap – M1 Zoning Law - May 2024

    At the May 6th Regular Town Board meeting the courtroom was full of people up until the 1:44 time point when most residents in attendance stood up, turned their backs on the town board while chanting shame, shame and then left even though the meeting was in progress at the time. This was a first for the Town where residents, in protest, took such action. Just prior a shocked and upset resident was escorted out of the meeting by a town Police Officer after Councilman Bahleda requested his removal.
    Here is what happened: Councilman Kilmer had on the agenda, as is required so the public can provide feedback prior to a vote, a long overdue motion to approve the M1 Zoning Law Amendment that the Town Board had worked on for the prior 8 months and had agreed on at the most recent workshop, no further changes were proposed at the workshop and the law was finally ready for a vote up or down. Kilmer’s motion to approve the amended M1 law required a second in order for the town board to deliberate and vote on it. Marston, Bahleda and Digati sat in silence and refused to second Councilman Kilmer’s motion. They did not permit, as a result, any deliberation. The Public was denied hearing Marston, Diagti’s and Bahleda’s reasons for killing the long promised and way overdue approval of the amended M1 law. A truly cowardly move by them.
    Supervisor Marston, after killing the approval of the M1 Law amendment, next sprung on the public a motion to initiate putting into effect a moratorium that is the same as the one I proposed over eight months earlier on August 28, 2023. This may sound familiar, it is what happened on August 28th, 2023, the only difference is this time it was Marston not Bahleda who sprung the motion on the public without notice and Bahleda’s motion was the exact opposite – it rejected a moratorium and approved amending the M1 law.
    Last August they rejected the moratorium concept claiming legal risk was too high and that directly amending the law was a faster path to approval and was in the best interests of the residents. Digati, prior to the November election, multiple times emphasized the need for fast action and Marston agreed. Digati has not emphasized this need since the election. What changed?
   I say sprung on the public because in both cases Marston, Bahleda and Digati worked together and withheld from the public these high resident impact motions until they read them at the meeting. By not placing these motions on the agenda the public was denied the opportunity for public input either by contacting and giving feedback to the Board or by preparing for and speaking at the Regular Board meeting prior to their vote. Last August Supervisor Marston characterized his, Digati’s and Bahleda’s actions as “building a better mouse trap”. Our town government has an honesty and transparency problem, and the residents is their mouse.
Mike Madigan

Willfully Ignore the Law - May 2024

   Town Board Majority and Hired Gun Attorneys Willfully Ignore the Law. The majority of elected Town Board councilmembers and the Supervisor, the Triumvirate, have adopted a strategy to do "what is best for the Town" in their decision making. I discovered the details and effects of this subjective legislative approach during my investigation and Request for Judicial Invention (Article 78 proceeding) of the faulty approval of SolarPark 4 near the Alvin Road/Whitehaven Road intersection four years ago. The strategy has been proven to require the Town Board majority and hired gun Hodgson Russ attorneys to willfully ignore sections of the NYS General Municipal Law, their own resolutions, the Town Code, the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, SEQR, State Environmental Law and Federal Environmental Law for the friends of the Board. The Town Engineer, the Town Board majority, and Hodgson Russ attorneys do not apply this looking the other way strategy to taxpaying Town residents and there is insufficient space here to recount all the examples I have of that behavior.
    The looking the other way approach on SolarPark 4 resulted in the unmitigated destruction of somewhere between two to three acres of jurisdictional federal wetlands that were known to exist at the Site by the Corps of Engineers, the developer, the applicant, the Town Engineer, and the Town Board before it happened. Based on my request last November, the Corps of Engineers is now investigating this federal Clean Waters Act violation.
    Now, the Board has kept applicable documents from inquiring residents, and they are sanctioning illegal habitat loss and environmental degradation by willfully ignoring at least two sections of the Town Code, New Yorks Mined Land Reclamation Law, and New Yorks Protection of Waters Act by re-approving the Granger Clay Mine on Staley Road. I attempted, with little confidence of success, to convince the Board on May 6 that the facts I presented regarding the incomplete, inaccurate, and deceptive application are not what the Board calls a difference of opinion between engineers, and requested they rescind their approval. I am very doubtful they will properly investigate and do the right thing, so I have asked the NYSDEC Regional Permit Administrator and the NYSDEC Regional Divisions of Mineral Resources and Water Quality to look into this matter.
   I am happy to share the details of the SolarPark 4 debacle, the differential treatment of friends of the board and Town residents, as well as the findings of the Corps of Engineers and the NYSDEC investigations of select Town Board approvals, with anyone who contacts me (jim@jadenvegr.com) about them.
Jim Daigler

Town Board Dynamic - May 2024

    Some concerning conclusions can be drawn about the town board dynamic after its May 6 meeting. What was flagging for attention pre-election still needs reform, while a majority of the board runs counter to the will of its constituents and the comprehensive plan.
    First, a monopoly of power shared between Supervisor Marston and councilmen Digati and Bahleda continues, and the dial was turned up to 'autocratic' a few times during this meeting. Supervisor Marston framed the public comments period: "so, if somebody says what you said, please don't reiterate again and again and again, we get your point." While the directive was aimed at respecting the time of all in attendance, it was inappropriate. Efficiency does not trump the right of whomever to use their 3 minutes to comment as they wish. The town board should not use its authority to limit legitimate public involvement. What was that saying about 'absolute power'?
    Further in to the meeting, Councilman Digati erupted into a full-blown, unchecked harangue during 'discussion' on the proposal to appoint Jose Garcia to the town board. Clearly, a nerve was acutely hit; but, because nothing in Mr. Digati’s objections justified rage, one’s left wondering what he’s not owning up to. When it’s wholly reasonable and practical to appoint a Republican Committee-endorsed candidate to a position left vacant by a Republican, any discussion between Republicans should be agreeable. Nope. Outrage. I’d challenge anyone to put a clear sentence together when faced with the verbal shelling Digati resorts to when defied. In this way, true, intelligent exchanges on consequential items are being suppressed.
    We could use answers to the following: Is the vacancy-filling appointment strategy only favored when it effectively secures a supervisor’s seat for Mr. Marston, but otherwise it’s heinously intolerable? Why? Are 3 of 4 board members leaving the runway wide open for the democratic candidate to be handily elected in November? Intentionally? Is this about securing the obvious power monopoly? None of this has anything whatsoever to do with the wishes of those who are invested enough in this community to show up and speak at the meetings, and it has nothing to do with the comprehensive plan. That invested public is watching, and what we’re seeing is appalling.
   Not to be outdone in 'oppressive', Councilman Bahleda threatened to call the court officer 2 seconds after unhappy constituents’ 'outbursts' began. One man was quickly police-escorted out of the room. Councilmen get to shout and violate meeting decorum left and right, but the rabble shall not? Looks like it’s 'rules for thee, but not for me.' There needs to be a renewed adherence to Roberts Rules, if for no other reason than to check this group.
   The 'outbursts' were born of frustration over the crucial M1 motion failing to even get a second. This, after 8 months of deliberation and taxpayer-funded attorney fees and counsel. This, after pausing the process 2 months more than Mike Madigan sought - and was denied - in August by way of moratorium. At the time, Mr. Digati objected that a 6-month moratorium was too long. So, a 14- month delay is just right? For what exactly? The M1 revision is ready to go. What is the justification for withholding approval? Elected officials cannot expect impunity while force-feeding us bad governance. And doesn’t the moratorium proposal coming now illustrate that its rejection in August was, at best, ill-advised, and, at worst, empty showboating?
    The main takeaway from May 6: Whether you’re an elected councilman, or an unhappy constituent, dissent will be quickly put down by this club. That is not representative government. The only thing worse than cranky and bossy is cranky, bossy and wrong. The best hope of righting this is to appoint Garcia to the board - and yesterday.
Liz Zilbauer

For the people, By the People, and Of the People - April 2024

    These were Abraham Lincoln’s words when discussing how our system of government is supposed to work. Thomas Jefferson believed government should be as local as possible; typically, he saw most decisions being made at the ward level. Those who would benefit from decisions should bear the costs of those decisions as well as those who make the decisions should bear some consequences for their decisions.
   Anyone who has been paying attention on Grand Island recently knows that things aren’t working that way. Last month we read in the Dispatch that Erie County didn’t like our proposed changes to our zoning for warehouses. Quite bluntly it isn’t any of their business. If we decide that we are willing to forgo property tax revenue to maintain our ambience, that is our business not theirs. All the county folks care about is more tax revenue coming into their coffers so they can buy more votes. They don’t care in the least about any livability issues as we see them. If they could prohibit our change, they wouldn’t bear any of the consequences of their bullying us. We would.
    The Town Board is seeking permission from the DEC – Kafka couldn’t make this up – to clear the drain ditches so rain water flows freely. Currently, we have flooding in many areas. People’s properties are being affected. The folks at the DEC, though, aren’t impacted by this so we are in negotiations to do what any rational person would expect to be done or have been done. I can assure you that if we could sue the decision-makers at DEC for any and all property damage and any medical bill resulting from mosquito borne diseases we would have received approval forthwith.
    Every election we send the same people back for another term. This is another example of Einstein’s definition of insanity. We live in the most livable part of the country. Why we let people we wouldn’t hire under any circumstances dictate to us escapes me. I had a professor in grad school whose voting philosophy was, “if they are in, vote them out!” The years have convinced me he was right. We need to clean house.
Jim Mulcahy

Paid Fire Company Personnel - April 2024

    The Grand Island Fire Co. has a long proud history of serving islanders. They are also called for mutual aid in the Tonawandas and Kenmore when requested. Unfortunately for some time now the department has trouble responding to calls due to lack of available manpower. Perhaps this is the time the fire company consider going to a paid driver setup. This would require one paid driver on duty for 24/7. He would have to be an EMT and able to drive any of the equipment out first. He or she could respond immediately allowing the volunteers to go right to the scene. If another call comes at the same time, volunteers can go to the hall to get additional equipment. Hopefully before they try to change to a fire district, they can accomplish this to help serve islanders.
Dave Dombrowski

Neighbor Foundation Thank You - April 2024

    The Neighbors Foundation was the recipient of a very generous $30,000 donation from the Ron Stanke foundation. Ron was a longtime Island resident who passed away in 2022. During his life, Ron was a generous contributor to many worthy causes, including the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation. The Neighbors Foundation would like to thank the Ron Stanke Foundation for continuing Ron’s charitable work in a way that will help us provide confidential food assistance to our Island Neighbors in need. For more information on the Neighbors Foundation, provide a donation, or request assistance, please visit our website at http://www.gineighbors.org, or call us at 716-775-7998.
   David Conboy - President, Grand Island Neighbors Foundation

Open Letter to Supervisor Marston - April 2024

Lack of Transparency Regarding Golfside Development

    On January 26, 2024, I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the town seeking all documents related to the rezoning request for GolfSide Development LLC (Property across from the old Radisson Hotel) and associated with the illegal dumping of road millings on that same property by the town.
    I did receive some documents but was notified that an unspecified number of documents were withheld and that if I wanted to appeal this decision, I must submit appeals to Supervisor Marston who manages such requests. I submitted an appeal on March 7th, 2024. I could not fathom any justification for why the Town would withhold information on these subjects – what are they seeking to keep from the public?
   The catalyst for this information request was a resident complaint I received on October 13, 2023, regarding the dumping of many truckloads of town road millings on the Golfside LLC Property. I requested code enforcement to investigate. This Code Enforcement investigation resulted in a notice of violation being sent on October 17, 2023, to the property owner that required resolution within 30 days.
   On October 31, 2023, I was informed by e-mail that Code Enforcement was instructed to stand down and not enforce the code related to the violation observed. That e-mail includes the following statements: “As it turns out the property owner has actually done a favor for the town by allowing the Highway contractors to dump this material on this site. This resulted in a very significant savings I’m being told”. Apparently, if the town benefits, Town Code violations can be ignored. The town can pick and choose when enforcement is applied setting a dangerous precedent to resident’s rights.
   This deal has placed the Town in a conflicted position of accepting a significant cost saving “favor” from a property owner who is seeking a highly unpopular rezoning – what is expected in return from the town? The resulting selective code enforcement makes a bad situation even worse – I know of several property owners that are currently having the same violation enforced.
   I met with the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) who said he was told to stand down and not enforce compliance with town codes by Highway Superintendent Crawford and Supervisor Marston. The CEO said he was fully aware of the conflict of interest associated with this situation and was concerned about inconsistent code enforcement. The officer was extremely uncomfortable with the situation and felt his “hands were dirty” as a result, but that he really had no choice but to stand down as instructed.
   How was such a highly inappropriate deal struck without Town Board approval and full public transparency first, those involved were fully aware of the rezoning controversy. Crawford and Marston were in a closed non-public meeting with the property owner soon after the enforcement letter was received, I was informed of this when I met with the above noted code enforcement officer.
   At the December 22, 2023, regular town board meeting, I put forth a motion that was seconded by Councilman Christian Bahleda instructing the Code Enforcement Office to “Enforce Town Codes fairly and consistently without exception including Golfside Development”. This motion passed unanimously. The public is owed full transparency through release of the withheld documents (except personal contact information). Supervisor Marston, you own this decision, please reconsider full release.
Mike Madigan

Residential Reassessment Project Boondoggle - April 2024

    The Town Board is apparently prepared to authorize another residential property reassessment project for 2024. This would be the third since 2015 with the last one completed three years ago. Note that councilmembers Dan Kilmer and Tom Digati both pledged last year during their election campaigns to propose a modified schedule for these costly island wide property reassessments and determine a more appropriate frequency.
   I just watched a February 2021 residential reassessment project video that is still available on the Town website. The sales pitch was given by Joseph Emminger, president of the town’s reassessment contractor and the Town of Tonawanda Supervisor since 2015.
   Emminger says reassessments done more frequently will avoid inequities and is the way a Town can ensure the tax burden will be distributed equally and fairly among all taxpayers. Emminger points out that some Grand Island property owners are subsidizing other property owners, and the tax rolls get "out of wack" without annual reassessment projects.
   Emminger gives attractive examples as to how your tax bill would decrease as your assessment increases, and how your tax bill would stay the same even when the tax levy increases. Emminger provides a third highly improbable example showing how your tax bill will increase when: the tax levy increases, your assessment decreases and the total value of the town decreases. Apparently, this happens when your property and the Town is falling into disrepair. Emminger goes on to present a hypothetical where the assessment on a residential property went up $15,000 and the taxes went down over $240.
   I understand Emmingers’ contract with the Town of Grand Island for the reassessment would be on the order of $125,000. The Town’s total cost also includes the cost of managing the reassessment project, the cost of defending against challenges of the new assessments, and others.
   Note that of the 28 towns in Erie County, only four others have an equal aged or younger reassessment than Grand Island. Ignoring the benefits touted by Emminger, Tonawanda has not completed a reassessment project in 38 years, none during his tenure. According to Emminger then, Grand Island residents are now and have been paying an unfair/greater amount of county tax, inequitably benefiting his Town and most others in Erie County based on their infrequent reassessments.
   We should all be asking our elected officials how we even got to the point some are prepared to authorize this costly reassessment project when two of the four voting members pledged to determine a more appropriate frequency.
Jim Daigler

Our South Grand Island Bridges Are In Need Of Critical Repairs NOW! - March 2024

    In last week’s Town Board meeting, I spoke about a report published by the NY State Thruway Authority to obtain approval on a grant for the rehabilitation of the South Grand Island Bridges (https://www.thruway.ny.gov/oursystem/bridge-investment-grants/sgib-grant-application.pdf). This report states that the last time a "comprehensive and intensively detailed state-of-repair examination" of both bridge structures was conducted was November of 2020. During this inspection, they identified:
   5,653 linear feet of “Poor” and 31 linear feet of “Severe” condition-rated steel elements
   195 fracture-critical steel gusset plates rated in “Poor” condition
   25 fracture-critical pin and hanger assemblies rated in “Poor” condition
   31 bearings rated in “Poor” condition
   14,838 square feet of sidewalk rated in “Poor” condition
   They went on to say that "Failure of one component of a fracture-critical primary support system can result in bridge closure or a catastrophic collapse. Some of the members on these structures are similar in design to the I-35 Mississippi River Bridge that collapsed in Minnesota in August 2007. Other critical condition issues could lead to lane or load restrictions, which would severely impact mobility and freight along I-190."
    This morning’s tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore should remind us all of what a critical role our Grand Island bridges play in providing a lifeline to the mainland. We depend on these bridges for our safety and livelihoods and this report states that our bridges "are at risk of falling into poor condition within the next 3 years." And that was over 3 years ago!
   For the same reason that the Beaver Island Overpass was deemed a critical issue, our bridges should be repaired NOW. I am urging all Grand Island residents to send an email/letter to our elected representatives in order to bring awareness and pressure for these long overdue repairs.
Cathy Rayhill

Town Board’s High Cube Fullfillment Center Warehouse Update

   Six months ago on August 28, 2023 Town Councilmember Mike Madigan proposed a six month moratorium on Applications, Approvals, and/or Construction of Warehouses and Distribution Centers to gather all the stakeholders, including most importantly disenfranchised Town residents, to sort out the concerns regarding the very unpopular High Cube Fulfillment Center Warehouse (HCFCW) ,and develop a protective zoning code. Before the August 28 meeting, Mr. Bahleda, in collaboration with Mr. Marston and Mr. Digati, but not Mr. Madigan, developed what he called a “no more delay, let’s act” plan to appease concerned residents. The triumvirate proposed, and gave the impression of strongly supporting, a local law to amend the code to remove warehouse and distribution centers, but not mini storage facilities, as of right in M-1. The triumvirate proposed to allow them by special use permit, but “…only if they are limited in size to 300,000 square feet….”.
   At the September 18, 2023 Pubic Hearing many residents that were against the HCFCW on Long Road spoke up in favor of limiting the size of these facilities by amending the Zoning Code for the M-1 district. Some speakers even praised the board for what they thought was a change that would disallow the HCFCW.
   I publicly questioned then whether the building area limits would apply to Aquest’s proposed HCFCW. It seemed illogical the proposal to limit warehouses and distribution centers to 300,000 square feet or less would be presented at the same meeting where the Town Board improperly deemed the DEIS for the 1,000,000 plus square foot HCFCW complete.
   At the September 18, 2023 public hearing on the proposed zoning law change, Mr. Marston stated that “..we are going in a good direction..”…let’s “..put a more stringent limit and make it island wide and make it stick.” Mr. Marston took the position that even 100,000 square feet was too big, suggesting that a 65,000 square foot limit be proposed for the entire Island, not just M-1.
   Of course, all that talk was before the November 7 election in a Town where the warehouse was a huge issue for the voters.
   Fast forward to present day. The August 28, 2023 “no more delay, let’s act” plan was rejected by the Planning Board, the Town Board has yet to make a motion for its approval, and the HCFCW PROJECT IS MOVING FORWARD?. At the February 13, 2024 Planning Board meeting (link below) Mr. Marston, now the elected Supervisor, stated simply that the 1,000,000 plus square foot HCFCW can be approved under incentive zoning, or what the Planning Board chairman calls “Pay to Play”.
   What happened to the more stringent Island wide limit proposed before the election?
   Does anyone besides me feel like they have been played, again, by our elected officials??
Jim Daigler

Planning Board Video from February 13, 2024 note 57-105 minutes

This is a critical time in the potential approval process . . .

   Your responses are Welcome. Email to Publisher
   Or Mailed to: Letters to IsledeGrande, 1871 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072

Town Board Email Addresses

Western New York crime victims have the Sheriff's office on their side - February 2024

    On April 23, 1982, President Ronald Reagan established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime. Later that year, members concluded that "innocent victims of crime have been overlooked." As we sit here 44 years later, I can’t help but think little has changed. Problems with bail reform policy have not helped the situation. To the victims, including those impacted by property crimes: I hear you. I empathize with you. And I stand with you.
    For too long, I have had concerns about the increase in car thefts across our county. In the town of Grand Island, my deputies have responded to six reports of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) since Jan. 1. That number represents six individuals who felt, and still feel, violated. It represents six individuals who no longer feel safe. This also puts us on pace for about 50 UUMV calls in Grand Island this year. There were 18 in 2022 and 16 in 2023.
    Clarence, the most populous town we patrol, is on pace to have about 40 UUMV calls this year, exceeding 28 in 2023. I am increasingly concerned that each one of these cases could lead to a serious injury or death.
    My deputies are on alert. We will continue to patrol your neighborhoods. But you should also know that when we make arrests, we often have no choice but to release these suspects back into the community. It’s equally important to know that there are simple actions you can take to protect yourself. Lock your vehicles and keep your keys with you.
    I believe that we can work together to achieve common sense legislation to combat this. In Monroe County, Sheriff Todd Baxter has spearheaded the Consortium for Safe Communities. The group – which includes members of law enforcement, clergy, the legal community, government and the business community – successfully advocated for removal of the "Least Restrictive Means" standard for bail in 2023. Now, the group’s members are calling for additional steps, including the addition of a "Risk of Public Safety" standard and a "Repeat Offender" standard.
    I wholeheartedly endorse the efforts of the Consortium for Safe Communities and look forward to expanding upon the group’s efforts here in Erie County. Many of the measures associated with bail reform were called for. But it is time to address the remainder of its deficiencies.
Sheriff Garcia

To the Grand People of Grand Island - January 2024

    The Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island was happy to have brightened the holiday season for 152 Families, totaling 241 adults and 153 children on the Island.
    Whether it was an envelope of gift cards, bagged canned goods, peanut butter & jelly jars, we did NOT do it ourselves! Generous Island Neighbors contributed food, turkeys and financial gifts, so the Foundation could provide donated food, Tops gift cards, Target gift cards for children and teens, and other help such as donated pizzas from Say Cheese. Churches, organizations, and local companies helped with major support, and individuals came through with donations, both small and large. Whatever the amount, we greatly appreciate your financial contributions, as well as food and other donated supplies to replenish our pantry. And special thanks to the administrators, staff, parents, teachers and students at the Grand Island Schools and others who helped us with very generous donations - and assistance in organizing, sorting and packing food bags for our clients.
    To acknowledge the help we received, the Neighbors Foundation will be placing a listing of all our donors and workers on http://www.Isledegrande.com and the local Island Dispatch website, www.wnypapers.com. Thank you to all the donors and helpers listed in that summary – you made the 2023 Holiday Season happier for your Island Neighbors.
    On behalf of the Neighbors Foundation, we wish all a happy and healthy 2024. With your generosity, we look forward to continuing to assist our valued Neighbors. To donate and support the Neighbors Foundation, please visit our website at GINeighbors.org. For confidential food assistance, call (716) 775-7998.
    Neighbors Helping Neighbors!!
    David Conboy, President
   Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island, Inc.