Letters To The Editor must include a name and contact (phone/email) and may be Emailed to
Editor or addressed to: Letters to the Editor, 1871 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072

Click for Letters To The Editor 2006

Lady Vikings Say Thank You - Nov. 2005

   The girls' varsity soccer team would like to say thank you to Dr. Ramming, Dr. Dempsey, Jon Roth and the Athletic Department, all of the parents, and most of all the community members who have contributed to their trip to the NYSPHSAA Final Four Tournament. The girls’ recent trip to the NYSPHSAA Championship Tournament held in Binghamton was fully funded largely in part by the contributions of the local businesses on Grand Island and community members who contributed to the cause. The girls made every effort to make the contributors proud, and represented Grand Island remarkably in Binghamton. The coaches and members of the soccer program would also like to say thank you for your support as a community and would like to assure the contributors that any remaining money that was not utilized in the most recent trip to Binghamton will be used to fund and build the soccer program at Grand Island Senior High. The Grand Island community is a great place to live, play, teach, and coach, and we are proud to calls ourselves Vikings.
Posted November 29, 2005

Resident Responds To Dempsey Letter - 2005

Mr. Dempsey,
   In reference to your Educational Priorities from Isledegrande.com, you have stated the perfect rhetorical argument: Where are our educational priorities?
   Clearly, the opening budget vote should have been a wake up call: Taxpayers want the school budgets published in more detail and in common business terms. The taxpayers need to know what they are getting. Do we? “Administrative salaries and supplies” is one line item published once a year for the district.
   Grand Island schools do not deliver the cost / performance ratios that other communities deliver according to Business First. Programs like the Connor Middle math programs have not shown improvement in years. My kids will tell you that, and many other parents told me as well as we waited to vote the 06 school budget, round one.
   Clearly too, Dr. Ramming kindly informed the voting public that we would not now nor ever get cuts in administrative salaries or positions. We heard that Dr. Ramming teaches at the University and uses G.I. taxpayer resources to that end – that alone tells you that there is probably waste in the system. How much is only for the insiders and that is wrong.
   We all need good paying jobs but leaders set the example from the top down and the message was clear: The guys calling the shots took care of number one: The cuts won’t affect the administrators, only the teachers and students.
   Shame on us if we let this continue
Charles Johnson
Huth Road
Grand Island, NY
Posted November 23, 2005

Schools Superintendent Addresses TV News Reporter - 2005

Dear Mr. Igoe:
   I met you in the hallway of District Office yesterday, but you never asked me any questions about the Girls' Soccer Team.
   The School District and entire community are very proud of the team's accomplishments. We are also very proud of the support this team has received from parents, staff, and the community.
   However, your insinuation that the trip to the State Championship was in jeopardy because of a failed budget or lack of school funding is not true.
   I sincerely wish you would report the facts.
Thomas Ramming
GISCD Superintendent
Posted November 18, 2005
Editor's note: Click
"Reporter Igoe" for letter referring to Mr. Igoe.

“What Are Your Educational Priorities?” - 2005

Dear Grand Island Community Member:
   During the past year we had a budget situation that resulted in larger class sizes, fewer elective courses, too many study halls for some students and other things that are not conducive to helping students prepare for the future. In keeping with state educational mandates, increased prices, energy costs increased student population and contractual obligations, it has become more expensive to meet our educational needs. Therefore, it will become increasingly difficult to provide a variety of courses and lower class sizes.
   The following courses were dropped this year from the Grand Island High School schedule: College Spanish, Mass Media, Career in Small Business, Computer Aided Design, a Global Studies Collaborative section, and three sections of Introduction to Psychology, affecting 185 students. On any given day 30% of our students have 3 or more study halls daily in their schedule. Class size in many of the 9th grade classes is at 29 while electives are in the low 20’s and teens.
   Our goal is to offer a full compliment of academic, elective, vocational and advanced placement courses that include the arts, physical education, academic intervention services and all extra curricular activities. However, in the future, fiscal conditions may not allow us to do such.
   I need your help in answering this question “What are your educational priorities?” For example, should we focus more on offering Advanced Placement courses at the expense of class electives such as social studies and English electives, business courses, home economics, etc.? Should we continue to offer seniors a full complement of electives or release students after their required courses for graduation are completed? Should we continue to have 28 or 29 students in ninth grade English and math classes at the expense of lower enrollment in elective classes or should the electives be abandoned? I ask for your input as we begin to organize our planning guide that lists the courses to be offered. I do not ask this in a challenging manner; rather, I seek your input as to how we can best prepare to meet your student’s academic needs for the future.
   I ask you to please give me your honest input and your candid thoughts as we prepare for the 2006-2007 school year. We would like to do so with the priorities of the community in mind. I ask that you contact me via writing, e-mail ( jamesdempsey@k12.ginet.org), telephone (773-8820), appointment or any other means by November 29, 2005. Another forum for your thoughts may be the PTSA or the Board of Education.
   I look forward to hearing from you.
James R. Dempsey, Ed. D.
Posted November 17, 2005

Resident Blames Poor Fiscal Management For Lack Of Finances For Lady Vikings Soccer Team - 2005

Letter to the Editor
    I cannot adequately express the disgust and embarrassment I felt as both a resident of Grand Island and the father of a former Lady Viking soccer team player while watching the Channel 2 news Wednesday night, November 16. I’m referring to the feature with Mike Igoe regarding the situation the Lady Vikings Soccer team was facing with regard to the lack of funding to pay for their trip to the State Championship Tournament in Binghamton. There was a reference to the cause being associated with the school budget problems of last fall. Which, sorry for my ignorance but I thought were resolved with the second passing vote that was held. Regardless of whether the budget was actually the issue or not, I cannot believe that $4000.00 could not have been found somewhere within the school coffers that could have been made available to meet this need. I’m sure most people would agree we pay enough school taxes and should be able support and reward the girls' effort. The timing of this revelation that the funds were not available just two days before the team was scheduled to leave was also inexcusable. Even if the team wanted to do some fund raising at this point it’s too late. My experience on Grand Island with regard to both private and local business support for these types of events has always been tremendous, provided they are given the opportunity. I believe a parent has already offered to advance the cost of the trip by placing it on a personal credit card and I’m sure that through donations and/or parent contributions they will be reimbursed. I’m just frustrated that it had to come to this in the first place. It just makes me feel it is yet another example of poor fiscal management and a lack of accountability that seems to run rampant within the local, county and state public sectors. And we wonder why so many people are moving out of this area! Go Vikings.
Craig Walker
Posted November 17, 2005

Dr. Ramming Congratulates Lady Vikings Soccer Team - 2005

Dear Mr. Bowman and the Vikings Girls’ Soccer Team,
   On behalf of the Board of Education and myself, I would like to congratulate you on your hard fought victory over Section V Aquinas and wish you well on your journey toward the State Class A Championship.
   Your indomitable spirit, talent, camaraderie, and sportsmanship, when added together, help you achieve more as a team than any of us can achieve as individuals.
   We are very proud to have you represent our school district and community as student athletes of the highest caliber.
   Good luck against Rockville Centre South Side on Friday and against whomever you face on Saturday. Win or lose, you make us proud!
Thomas M. Ramming
Superintendent of Schools
Posted November 16, 2005

Highway Superintendent Says Thanks - 2005

   I wish to thank all voters, family members, friends, committee members, financial supporters and those who allowed placement of signs on their properties. I appreciate the confidence shown me with this election victory and will continue to serve the residents of our fine Grand Island community to the best of my ability.
   Myself, staff and crew will continue to provide the best road maintenance program possible and will be responsive to all citizens' needs.
Thank you,
Ray Dlugokinski,
Superintendent of Highways.
Posted November 14, 2005

Rossi Thanks Voters - 2005

   Thank you to all the voters who took the time to show their support for me on Election Day. Although we came up short in the vote total, the Rossi Family will forever consider ourselves winners by virtue of the friends we have made and supporters we have met over the past six months.
   A special thank you to my wife, Mena, and our four children, Anthony, Nicholas, Kara, and Michele, for their tireless effort and commitment over the past six months. Without all of you, this run would not have been possible.
   I congratulate Mr. Frentzel on his victory and wish him well in his new role as Town Justice.
Michael Anthony Rossi
Posted November 10, 2005

A Message from Sue Argy, Grand Island Town Board - 2005

    I wish to thank the residents of Grand Island who came out to vote on Election Day. I am thrilled to be elected as the newest face on the Grand Island Town Board. These past months, I have truly enjoyed meeting and speaking with our residents. The support I received was inspiring, a driving force throughout this experience. I look forward to working with the Board to serve the needs of our community. Many thanks to friends and family who have taken time and effort to support my campaign. To my husband Mark and my children, Glenn, Mark, Brian, and Jennifer, I thank you for your patience and endless support. Many thanks,
Sue Argy
Posted November 11, 2005

Frentzel Appreciates Voter Support - 2005

    I truly wish to thank all the people who supported me in my campaign for Town Justice. This 7-month journey would not have been successful without your invaluable energy and assistance, help was everywhere from signs to postcards, from telephone calls to word of mouth. Most importantly, I wish thank my family Pattie, Lee, John and Justin. And the greatest thanks of all goes out to all the voters who, regardless of who they voted for, went out and voted.
   In closing, I look forward to proudly serving you as our next Grand Island Town Justice.
Mark J. Frentzel
Posted November 11, 2005

THANK YOU Grand Island Voters! - 2005

   I appreciate your support and will continue to work hard on your behalf. Please contact me with any concerns or questions.
Councilwoman Mary Cooke
Posted November 10, 2005

Robillard Thanks Community - 2005

   I would just like to say a heartfelt “Thank you” to the residents of Grand Island for the opportunity to serve as Town Councilman for the past four years.
   It has been a memorable experience serving with board members whom are truly committed to serving the community. I wish Mrs. Argy the best of luck in her new role.
Thank you
Dan Robillard
Posted November 10, 2005

Post #9249 Commander Thanks BPO of Elks Lodge - 2005

    The BPO Elks Lodge #346, Niagara Falls hosted a Veterans Appreciation Day to honor all Veterans. Letters and notices were sent to all area Veterans' organizations. The Elks' tributes to Veterans began in 1918 when the Elks were formed. Veterans and their guest from the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, the Grand Island American Legion Post #1346 and the Grand Island DAV Chapter #169 were on hand for the appreciation day. The Colors were presented by the Honor Guard from the VFW Post 9249. Gold Star Mothers were honored during the ceremonies which were attended by more than 200 veterans and guests. Another Veterans' project the Elks are active in is the "Hides for Gloves" program. The Elks receive hides from hunters and make leather gloves for our veterans confined to wheel chairs. The Niagara Falls area Boy Scout Troops presented the history of the American Flag and the meaning of each fold for storing or preserving the Flag. The Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, American Legion Post 1346 and the DAV Chapter 169 would like to say thank you to the BPO of Elks Lodge 346 in Niagara Falls.
Thank you,
Dan McMahon
Commander, VFW Post 9249
Posted November 10, 2005

U.S. Marine Corps 230th Birthday Today - 2005

    Some 230 years ago today, November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress commissioned the first official Marines. Two Battalions of Continental Marines were formed on that day. While the first formal commemoration of the birth of the U.S. Marines wasn't until November 10, 1921, this tradition continues annually today. Speaking on behalf of the Men and women of the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, I would like to wish the Marines of the U.S. Maine Corps a Happy Birthday. Your efforts and accomplishments as Marines is written chapter by chapter in the history of the United States of America. We Salute and Thank you not only today but everyday for helping to preserve the freedom of the United States.
Thank you,
Dan McMahon
Commander, VFW Post 9249
Posted November 10, 2005

Chamber of Commerce Does Not Endorse Candidates For Nov. 8th Election - 2005

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce’s policy for endorsing candidates is as follows:
   As a Not-For-Profit organization, with a diverse membership from all political parties, we choose not to endorse any candidates from any party. We feel it is essential that we remain neutral. We pride ourselves with the ability to work with all our elected officials regardless of their political affiliations.
   A political postcard sent to Islanders over the weekend for a candidate who is running in this year’s election, contains a picture of the Chamber’s recent Grand Opening ribbon cutting ceremony. The picture should not be considered an endorsement of this candidate or any other candidate who may be in the picture.
   We wish this year’s candidates well, and look forward to working with both re-elected and newly elected officials in the coming year.
Beverly A. Kinney
Chamber President
Posted November 7, 2005

Councilwoman Responds To Pickard Letter - 2005

Dear Editor,
   This is in response to Scott W. Pickard’s election season letter regarding the over 150 year-old home in our neighborhood.
   The Town of Grand Island must enforce the New York State Building Code. Complaints are taken seriously and addressed by the Town’s Code Enforcement Officers. In this particular case, New York State Code Enforcement Officials have also been involved. Several repairs and improvements to this house and property have been made in compliance with the requirements of the State Code.
   Since I have been in office, the Town Board has invested heavily in updating Grand Island’s Comprehensive Master Plan and adopting an updated Zoning Code to put the plan into practice. Currently the Long-Range Planning Committee is conducting a 10-year review of the Comprehensive Master Plan. The Town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan is in its final stages. These are just some of the many initiatives I support to help maintain the high quality of life in our town.
   I will continue to work diligently should I be reelected Councilwoman on November 8.
Thank you.
Mary Cooke
Councilwoman, Town of Grand Island
Posted 10/27/05

Councilman's Response To Long-term Neighborhood Issues Criticized - 2005

1048 East River Road
Grand Island, NY 14072

October 25, 2005

Dear Editor:
   The article on Buffalo dilapidated housing in October 11th’s Buffalo News made me think of two long-term issues in our neighborhood in Grand Island – Councilwoman Mary Cooke and an absentee landlord. There were some differences, however. The landlord lives in Grand Island and is politically connected (a Republican Committee Member) to Councilwoman Cooke.
   I invite readers to take a look at what the benchmark for Grand Island housing standards has become with Councilwomen’s Cooke’s intervention and “leadership.” The irony of this case, of course, is that the landlord has enjoyed overall immunity from the customarily rigorous standards that the Code Enforcement Officer applies to other Grand Island properties. This is despite the fact that there are several outstanding violations at this rental property according to another State-certified municipal Building Inspector.
   Since 1998, I have been attempting to compel the Town to simply require the landlord to bring this derelict property up to State code, in the interest of the neighboring property owners and occupants. Apparently in my case, acceptable housing, pride in one’s home, quality of life, and preservation of property values is asking far too much from Grand Island government. The standard would undoubtedly be raised if Ms. Cooke was forced to endure such a perennial eyesore in her neighborhood. From day-to-day, she does not have to stomach the site of ramshackle front porches, a crumbling foundation and chimneys, flapping storm doors, unkempt lawn, dangling gutters, rodents and mattresses that are often stored on the property. In addition to these eyesores, the Town outright refuses to conduct an internal inspection of the over 150 year-old property, including a review of fire code and other violations that could endanger human health and safety.
   According to her Candidacy Announcement, Ms. Cooke “is known for doing her homework and getting the facts before making a decision,” basing “her votes on facts and not emotion,” and that she “answers questions.” Not in our neighborhood. . .unless doing one’s homework is using your influence in Town government to protect one of your own. In this case, she was made well aware of the facts, but allowed her association with the property owner, and emotion, overrule the facts. Since 1999, she has never responded to any of our inquiries or formal complaints. To add insult to injury, she was involved in revising two provisions to the Town zoning code in 2004 that will actually serve to extend this eyesore in our single family residential-zoned neighborhood.
   We look to our community leaders to make objective decisions that are for the good of the people. In this case, and after seven long years, the unprejudiced decision would be to officially cite the landlord with code violations, with an ultimate consequence of housing court. This is the recommendation of the State, but Ms. Cooke is evidently incapable of supporting such a course of action. She should be ashamed of her role in the Town’s disregard of its legal, moral and ethical responsibility to remedy this situation.
   Will Ms. Cooke be re-elected this term? Maybe, through name recognition and cronyism. If so, would that accurately reflect the views of well-informed voters? I don’t think so. In our neighborhood, Ms. Cooke has demonstrated that she is simply unable to put her personal contacts aside at the expense of the neighboring property owners’ life-long investments. My advice to Grand Island residents is to think twice before casting your vote for Ms. Cooke.
Scott W. Pickard
Day phone: 879-4404
Evening phone: 773-1933

Parent Commends Music Students, Criticizes Audience Distractions - 2005

   I am writing to congratulate the wonderful students and Mrs. Lokken and Mrs. Robertson on another phenomenal concert Wednesday night. Every year we have gone to see our kids move up through Middle and High school and have enjoyed the concerts immensely. But I am saddened when audience members cannot sit still and enjoy the concert. One little boy a couple of rows a head of where we were sitting was very distracting, banging a toy on the seats, standing up on his seat. I know that many times there are younger siblings coming to the concerts. And I know that sometimes they run late. But if a child is not behaving and is a distraction to other audience members then it is the parents responsibility to remove him or her from the auditorium. You can easily stand in the back, still hear the concert and be close to the doors to make a quick exit if the child is too rowdy. We all have the right to be able to sit and enjoy our children's hard work. And it is disappointing when a wonderful concert is ruined by a few inconsiderate individuals. Keep up the great work, Mrs. Lokken and crew! We look forward to the next concert.
Tracey Pici
Warner Drive, Grand Island, NY

Adam Rivers, Team Africa, Thanks Contributors- 2005

(left) Aimee Anderson and Adam Rivers

   I would like to thank the businesses who donated baskets for the recent fundraiser, recently held at the Grand Island Moose Lodge, to benefit my educational trip to Africa.
   It would not have been a success without the generosity of the following individuals and businesses: Laura Anderson of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Sue Matlock of Hizair Design, Sue Berger of Flower a Day Florist, Pam from Executive Carpet Cleaning, Brick Oven Pizzeria, A.C. Moore, Councilman Bob Anderson from Niagara Falls, Lynn of the Town Cafe', Suzan of Avon, Sarah Ehret, Sarah and Sean Gruszka, Kathi Applegate, Sandy and Steve Mayes, Jean Hoover, Nancy, Aimee, and David Anderson, and my friends and family who came out and supported this event. Thank you all very much! Adam Rivers
Team Africa
Posted 10/20/05

Former Highway Superintendent Endorses Dlugokinski - 2005

Dear Island Residents,
   For over 25 years I worked to build, operate, and maintain a highly efficient highway department, earning an A+ rating from Western New York's media as well as being profiled in a state-wide publication. This was accomplished at the lowest possible cost and always within budget.
   This kind of success requires much teamwork and I had the BEST! My deputy and "right-hand man," Ray Dlugokinski, worked by my side most of those years and deserves much of the credit.
   Upon my retirement, to the credit of the Town Board, they unanimously appointed Ray to serve as Highway Superintendent, an office for which he was eminently qualified. Ray chose to seek election to that position and has been successfully elected twice.
   While serving as your highway superintendent I kept politics out of the job. Ray operates in the same manner. I therefore urge you to re-elect Ray Dlugokinski, who continues to operate and maintain a very efficient and cost-effective highway department. He certainly has the credentials and experience which are the keys to success.
   I will always be grateful for your many years of support and ask that you continue your support of Ray Dlugokinski, our Highway Superintendent.
Sincerely yours,
Norman J. Mrkall
Posted 10/20/05

Councilwoman Cooke Thanks Octoberfest Supporters - - 2005

By Mary Cooke
   Thank you to all who helped make the MARY COOKE for COUNCILWOMAN Octoberfest Fundraiser a great success. Hats off to chefs Anita DeGlopper and Tom Rusert for the delicious sauerkraut and potato salad, and to all who brought the wonderful homemade desserts. Special thanks to all who donated baskets and helped keep the evening running smoothly.
   A successful fundraiser requires a great team. I am blessed to have a supportive family and many friends willing to help. Thank you all!
Posted 10/13/05

10th District County Legislature Candidate Losing Patience - - 2005

By Rus Thompson -
    Here it is a month after the primary and I still have no results from the conservative line.
   We ran a write in campaign and have received no numbers. We have contacted the board of elections to no avail. I am getting very impatient as I do not know if I will have that line or if I have to pursue the "Write in" for the general election. Why are they not reporting my numbers. Did they ignore the paper in the back of the machines?
   I am sending this out to all the media, this wreaks of cover-up and corruption. 2 people were denied the Right to write in my name here on Grand Island and they have filled out affidavits, how many others may have been denied.
Posted 10/13/05

Island Play Group Suggested
For Children With Special Needs - - 2005

By John Kneer -
   I am writing with the hopes of having a play group formed on Grand Island where my 11-year-old autistic son could take part in activities with other children with disabilities. I would like to hear from others who would appreciate something organized for these children with special needs. It also would be helpful to meet from time to time with other parents as a means of communicating to one another the trials and tribulations that go along with children with disabilities.
   I would also be interested to know if the Special Olympics program is still available.
Posted 10/6/05

Rossi Responds To Marsha Hammond Letter - 2005

By Michael Anthony Rossi, Esq.

1. I am a member of River Oaks;
2. I have an invitation to park my motorhome at River Oaks at any time from the owner, Frank Grebenc;
3. Mr. Grebenc has authorized me to place my signs on River Oaks property;
4. I was at the fundraiser and contributed to its cause. My RV was my means of transportation to the event.
Again we have to deal with petty politics!
Posted 9/29/05

Resident Criticizes Parking Of Political RV- 2005

By Marsha Hammond

   Really Mr. Rossi, parking your “Rossi RV” at River Oaks parking lot during The Olivia’s Journey benefit was, with or without permission, very tacky.
Posted 9/29/05

A Personal High Five For Isledegrande.com - 2005

By Joelle Logue

   Having been involved in Grand Island news for some 20 years, (first with the Dispatch, then the original broadsheet Grand Island Record, and now Isledegrande, I’d like to personally applaud the efforts of Reg Schopp and staff on the occasion of the web site’s 5th anniversary. Not only have they provided an exclusive Grand Island news source to Islanders, but they keep informed those former residents who have crossed the bridges to forge new lives in other places.
   Engrained with a true sense of community, Reg Schopp has demonstrated his love for Grand Island in a number of ways and willingly gives of his time to serve the town in a variety of ways. His dream to offer free news of Grand Island to Islanders all over the planet resulted in a successful online newspaper that celebrates its five-year anniversary this October.
   I came to know and love this town through the eyes of Marion Klingel, longtime town historian and first Grand Island correspondent to the Buffalo News. She epitomized Grand Island to me, and her daughter, Teddy Linenfelser, carries on in her footsteps as editor of Isledegrande.com.
   Fiercely restrictive to news and happenings only on Grand Island, Teddy focuses on the people, the history and happenings of the town to give Islanders a wealth of information. Her commitment to detail and passion to get it right plus the ability to archive the news results in a rich and accurate resource and wealth of historical information available at your fingertips.
   I am proud to be a part of a tradition, beginning with the original Grand Island Record, that is devoted to Grand Island news only - free and available to all. Congratulations Isledegrande.com!
Posted 9/20/05

To All Grand Islanders - September 2005

   I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all the voters on Grand Island who were kind enough to support me in my Primary Election this past Tuesday. As of this date, your invaluable support has allowed me to win the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Working Families lines for this year’s November election.
   This tremendous victory would not have been possible without the numerous supporters, friends and family, who carried petitions, put up signs, sent post cards and most importantly, offered moral support throughout this process.
   It is with great anticipation that I look forward to being elected your next Grand Island Town Justice.
   Thank you all once again.
Posted 9/15/05

Time And Service To Island National Night Out Appreciated - June 2005

    The Town of Grand Island's Enrichment and Referral Department wishes to thank all those who were generous enough to contribute their time and services in making the Third Annual National Night Out a "HUGE" success. A special thanks to Linda Tufillaro, Boy Scouts from Troop 254, the Sheriff's Explorer Scouts, Youth Court, State Troopers, the Grand Island Fire Company, the CERT Team and American Document Destruction Services. Again, we express our sincere appreciation to all who helped make 2005's NNO the best ever! We hope to see everyone again next year.
Terry Wall, chairman
Posted 8/10/05

Children Express Appreciation For Support Of Their Alex's Lemonade Stand - June 2005

By Diana and Maggie Nobumoto
And the Girls KARMA Bookclub

Dear Teddy, Dan and Jodi,
   On behalf of Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer, we want to thank you and Isledegrande for your kindness and support in all the publicity and advice you provided. The girls and I are very grateful.
   Through the efforts of Alexandra "Alex" Scott, Alex's Lemonade Stand was founded on the premise that "all kids want to get better." Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive type of childhood cancer, shortly before her first birthday and she started raising money for childhood cancer by selling lemonade when she was four. After fighting her cancer for 7 years, Alex died peacefully at home in August of 2004. Incredibly, she had raised over $1 million for pediatric cancer research and was just 8 years old.
   With your generous support we raised $1466.00 for Alex's Lemonade Stand Fund at our event on June 11th and July 3rd. This money will be used to help fund research into new cures and treatments for childhood cancer. Your support is invaluable toward helping children who fight cancer everyday. We thank you for helping. We are forever grateful to you for helping us perpetuate Alex's legacy.
   For more information about Alex's Lemonade Stand, go to
Diana and Maggie Nobumoto
And the Girls KARMA Bookclub
Posted 8/10/05

Relay For Life Chair Extends Thanks - June 2005

By Mary A. Dunbar-Daluisio
   I know the American Cancer Society Relay for Life was way back on June 10th but it is never too late to thank someone.
   Dr. Ramming's continued support to our communities cause is three years running. Dr. Dempsey as well, who allowed meetings, gatherings, awards ceremony etc. and gave us a foundation to build from.
   Just three short years ago the American Cancer Society asked our Island to host this Relay. The committee, small but strong, had two months to prepare. Such a generous outcome raised our committee and community grew and with help from ACS staff, year two brought growth and again we exploded with community involvement.
   The Grand Island committee is the best bunch of friends: Gary Roesch, co-chair; Peter McMahon, advisor; Arlene Larry and Sandy Cook, luminaria; Liz Wilbert, registration; Scott Bastian, bank; Sue Berger, survivor tent; Jodi Robinson, advertising; Donna Tompkins, corporate fundraiser; Dennis Donovan, food chair; Beth Dun/Rachael Heckey, program coordinators; Rosemary Hajnos, SSR raffle coordinator; Kat Kulak, entertainment; Maria Redenbach, kids' entertainment; Kim Schopp, basket raffle, Daneen Gallagher, logistics; Cheryl Chamberlin/Mandy Becker, high school liaisons, Laura Kose, honorary survivor. A most sincere thank you to all of them for their months of volunteering to the success of the relay.
   My mother's family (Stack) came to Grand Island in 1836 and we call this our little heaven on earth. It is proven time and again to me through the Relay for Life. It seems no matter whom I ask for what, it gets done. We have such a rich community in the gifts of Love and Charity. I am very proud to be part of this community and thank each and everyone. I want every person who becomes involved to know that the monies raised for the American Cancer Society goes to research, so Roswell benefits, patient advocacy ie-ride for therapy, education, and service. Dedicated to eliminating cancer and finding a sure. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your sacrifices.
Mary A Dunbar-Daluosio
Chairman, Relay for Life, Grand Island

Crowe Family Expresses Gratitude To Residents - June 2005

By the Crowe Family
Dear Editor,
   We would like to thank everyone for their tremendous support upon the recent death of our son, brother and father, Lt. Col. Terrence Crowe, in Iraq.
   The United States Army, from top to bottom, has been first rate. Col. Lawrence Kelly, who Terry served under in Iraq, and who has known Terry for 25 years, volunteered to serve as the Casualty Assistance Officer. He has been a true friend and straight and stalwart all the way. Terry would truly be both honored and touched by the presence of so many fellow soldiers, of all ranks and branches, some he knew and some he did not, at his services.
   We also recognize and appreciate the presence of so many law enforcement officers and firefighters, as well as the Grand Island Fire Company’s flag display. The Town of Grand Island itself, as well as other government officials, sincerely offered their assistance and were most cooperative in coordinating events.
   We also thank those who were responsible for the tree planting memorial in Veterans Park. Only in Grand Island could so many groups and people come together so quickly and do something so special for others. We wish to thank the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, Grand Island Disabled American Chapter 168, and Grand Island American Legion Post 1346.
   We also recognize that many friends and neighbors joined together under names such as Huth Road School, Grand Island Court, Grand Island Town Hall Employees, Fieldstone Neighbors, Relay for Life and Friends of the White Family. We believe that the Veterans Park tree memorial is a particularly fitting reminder of Terry. As a military family, we have always liked that the children who come to the park see at least some reminder of the veterans who went before them. Some of Terry’s most enjoyable hours were spent at Veterans Park watching his children, and his nieces and nephews who continue to play there.
   A number of Island businesses quietly stepped forward, without being asked, provided their services without any fanfare, refused any payment, and quietly stepped back. McMahon’s Family Restaurant actually closed their restaurant, donated all the food for the large post-funeral lunch, and served it in a first class manner. Without a word to the family, Flower A Day florists donated the centerpieces for the lunch. BCO Industries (Doug and Janet Saltzman) refused any payment for the funeral mass programs. We only recently heard, by word of mouth from a third-party, that the Grand Island Garden Center (Gene and Christine Ryshkus) donated its labor in planting the ten trees at the Veterans Park.
   If we have overlooked, or are not aware of, anyone else, we apologize. We certainly have not forgotten the many individuals who dropped off food, stopped by to visit, or shared their remembrances of Terry and words of support in cards, e-mails and flowers.
   A final and special thank you to Father Paul Nogaro and St. Stephen’s Parish for their extra effort at the Veterans Park ceremony and in accommodating the special needs of a military funeral.
   For many years we have attended Grand Island’s Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances. Each year, without fail, we have remarked upon how well Grand Island remembers its veterans, both present and past. We would like to think that Terry brought honor to this country’s military tradition. We know that Grand Island has once again kept its tradition of honoring its veterans.
Gratefully yours,
George, Mary Ann, Dan, Kate, Peggy, Molly, Jeremiah and Clara Crowe

Grand Crafts Committee Extends Appreciation - June 2005

    The Grand Crafts on the Island Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the show and hopes you had as much fun as we did. We also want to thank the participating exhibitors and service organizations, the Art Club, Peter McMahon, Linda Tufillaro, Jim Linenfelser, and our volunteers, Maureen Glor and Nancy Samrany.
   Due to other commitments, the 4th Annual Grand Crafts on the Island will be our last.
Robin Swedish
Kathy Smith
Barb Wilson
Sue Berger
Toni Shaffer

Thompson Speaks Out On Endorsement Process - June 2005

By Rus Thompson
   There are a few points I would like to make about the endorsement process leading up to Bruce Kaiser to being republican endorsed candidate.
   I have been the announced Republican candidate for the legislature since February 12, 2005. I am the co-founder of Primary Challenge with Leonard Roberto. In February I sent a request to the Republican, Conservative and Independent parties requesting an interview for their endorsement to run against Chuck Swanick.
   The Republican leadership of the 10th district ignored all my requests by letter, email and telephone calls. I sent letters to Planavsky (Grand Island), Pilozzi (City of Tonawanda), Sedita (Tonawanda), and Carl Calabrese ECGOP. I did not even receive a courtesy call from the local leadership. Isn't it the reasonable responsibility of the local leadership to respond? I thought so.
   On June 2 at 6:45 an endorsement meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Amherst. I was only informed of this secret meeting by fellow Republicans Kevin Hardwick and Dick Crawford. I attended the meeting, my name entered into nomination. A vote was taken and Bill Naab was endorsed. We (Bill and I) agreed to work together no matter which one of us won the primary. Three days later Mr. Naab dropped out of the race leaving me as the sole Republican seeking the endorsement. I then called Carl Calabrese, had a two hour meeting with him and we left shaking hands and looking forward to working with each other in this crisis we are facing in Erie County and western NY.
   The local leadership of the GOP in their quest to find a candidate to run against me, sought out Mr. Kaiser. This past Wednesday the local leadership called yet another secret endorsement meeting, this time on Grand Island. I was not invited but attended anyway. All that was needed was to have a member of the committee put my name into nomination, it didn't happen and Mr. Kaiser was endorsed.
   The Conservative party at least responded and interviewed me although they waited to find out who the Republicans endorsed, they chose to endorse the Democrat from Kenmore. I never received a reply from the Independent party and they chose to endorse her also.
   This proves our point with Primary Challenge that the political process is broken, the political class dismissed and once again the people have no choice, we will be stuck with the status quo, politics as usual and the politics of destruction. But, we now have a choice in the Primary. I refuse to be intimidated and bullied out of the race and my quest to restructure county government:
No new taxes -- EVER
Reduce the size and scope of government
Cut waste, fraud and abuse
Reduce Legislature to 9 seats
Eliminate excessive regulations
Consolidate and privatize services
Assess legality of union contracts
Term limits: two 4-year terms
Make Albany responsive to WNY
   A small group of us started the tax revolt that has been gaining steam since December of 2004. This small group consists of Primary Challenge, Speakupwny.com, FreeBuffalo.org, Dr. Barry Weinstein. None of us were working together at the time but we are now. I have been working hand and hand with all and I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved. This will be a tough battle but we are determined to succeed and save Erie County from total fiscal destruction.
   Remember to vote September 13th in the Primary, support the reform movement that is desperately needed in Erie County.
Thank you
Rus Thompson
Rus for 10th legislative district
Posted 6/29/05

Lifelong Resident In Desperate Need Of Kidney Transplant - June 2005

By Patti (Klein) Merritt
Dear Residents,
   I'm writing about my sister, Nora Klein. She is a lifelong island resident, art teacher at Connor Middle School, and member of St. Stephen's parish. She's the daughter of Francis (deceased) who sang in the St. Stephen's choir for many years, and Ann Klein who retired from driving Grand Island school buses just a few years back. What most people don't know is that she works daily to keep herself alive by performing dialysis on herself. She is struggling to keep herself healthy. She has kidney failure. She has been on the waiting list for a kidney for over a year and can be expected to wait up to five more years. Friends, relatives, and coworkers have come forward to help. They have offered to donate one of their kidneys to save her. Thus far none of these wonderful people has been able to do so due to blood type and other health issues they have. I am reaching out to this wonderful community to ask people to consider organ donation. Most of us can only do so after our death, but many thousands of people are living donors. I know several people who have done this. They are true heroes. Their selflessness and generosity saves lives. My life was saved and changed forever by one. My sister-in-law Lynn (Merritt) Mitchell is my hero.
   If you would like more information about how to become a living donor, please contact me at
rmerritt@kcc.com or call me at 773-4328. If being a living donor is not for you, please check out Upstate New York Transplant Services site, http://www.unyts.org, to learn about organ and tissue donation. You can make a difference--you can save a life.
Posted 6/16/05

VFW Post 9249 Appreciates Buddy Poppy Support - May 2005

By Dan McMahon, VFW Quartermaster
    The Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249 would like to thank you, the citizens Grand Island, our friends and relatives, for your donations during this year’s Buddy Poppy drive held last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This year’s successful drive will help the Post and the VFW to continue providing for Veterans and their families throughout the coming year. See also
"Buddy Poppy Committee"

Support Sought For Saving Air Base From Closing - May 2005

By Sean McMahon
   As I am sure most of you know, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission has put Niagara Falls Air Base on the closing list. The Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC) has started a letter writing and email campaign to show community support for the base. They are attempting to get at least 20,000 letters of support to forward to the commission. There are some great sample letters and emails on their website
www.nimac.org - all you have to do is put your name on the letters, sign and mail or email them. The men and women of the both the 914th and the 107th and their families will greatly appreciate your support. Please forward to anyone who would be interested in helping to keep our base open.

Resident Addresses Threat of Air Base Closing,
Invites Others To Assist In Retaining Efforts - May 2005

By Patricia Akinbami
   It was a great relief when the Air Force base got its first reprieve from being closed ten years ago. I have always felt pride and pleasure in seeing the service planes flying over our area, and found the air shows magnificent. It was also satisfying to know that that its many good jobs brought a healthy infusion of financial support to our part of Western New York, as well as the wonderful people whose careers made them part of our community.
   It is shocking that the threat looms again, especially with the current threat of terrorism. This base, and the National Guard contingent we have here, are crucial to our security in the light of our proximity to the northern border and the power facilities that even New York City depends on. The proposed move to Arkansas and or Maine, despite their weather drawbacks, and the danger of an over dependence on perhaps a single facility, does not seem to be in the best interest of the nation. "Our" base also boasts a stellar recruitment record.
   Local citizens have been invited to assist in the efforts to retain the 914th Air Wing and National Guard by writing to the Base Realigment and Closure Commission. Letters are being collected at this address: NIMAC, P.O. Box 231, Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0231. The base closure commission meets in Buffalo on June 27. Community support does matter.

Thank You Grand Island - May 2005

By Committee To Re-elect Dan Robillard Councilman
   We want to thank the many supporters who made the Community Cookout hosted by the committee to Re-elect Dan Robillard Councilman the huge success it was.
   We are thankful to the community of Grand Island for their overwhelming support that we received. We could not have asked for a better turnout.
   The committee would also like to send a special thank you to McMahon's Family Restaurant for their exceptional catering and the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post for providing the perfect venue.

Seeking Support From Past Graduates Regarding Advanced Placement Physics - May 2005

By Tim Williamson
Grand Island Science Program Coordinator
   I am a physics teacher at the high school and I am looking for support from past graduates regarding Advanced Placement Physics. Due to budget considerations, the district is considering cutting AP Physics because fewer than 15 students have registered for the course. I would like to be able to contact former students who have taken the course and ask them to write to the school board in an effort to save the course.
Posted 5/12/05

American Legion Appreciates Flower Sale Support - May 2005

By Robert J. Soluri Sr., Commander
   The Grand Island American Legion Post 1346 and its members wish to thank everyone who supported our 3rd annual Mother's Day flower sale, making a "first ever' sell out.
   I also give thanks to the Legion members who gave up their weekend, to Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 for again letting us use their facilities, Dan McBride for his "live" radio broadcast, Ms. Linda Kutzbach for her generous support hosting the talk show, and to all the people who purchased flowers from us. Look for us again next Mother's Day.
   We regret that we did not have enough flowers to finish the day and hope this was not an inconvenience to anyone.
   The Grand Island American Legion on Grand Island is growing and we value your support. Anyone interested in becoming a member may contact Richard 'Shorty' Vanthoff at 773-7915.
Posted 5/12/05

A Lot To Be Proud Of In GI Music Program - May 2005

By Sherry Schimley
   On Wednesday, April 27th I was lucky enough to spend most of the day with our Grand Island High School students. We have some amazing students on Grand Island.
   I started my day by chaperoning the High School Concert Band and Wind Ensemble to the NYSSMA Festival where they are judged by out of town adjudicators. We were able to listen to the Grand Island Middle School Concert Band perform. They were wonderful. The judge, Mr. Jack Lamb, who has a reputation of being a very tough judge, stated if he had his eyes closed he would not know it was 7th and 8th graders playing. He remarked on their maturity of entering the hall and their concentration.
   Next the Wind Ensemble and then the Concert Band played. Fantastic! Again, Mr. Lamb was most pleased. He said they take the high school performance to another level and are professionals. He also noted their demeanor entering the hall as well and that of the Concert Band while watching the other groups. The students were very polite and well behaved throughout the event.
   We have a lot to be proud of in the Grand Island Music Program. Our directors know how to bring out the best in our performers. They set the standards high and the students rise to the occasion. And by the way, all three Grand Island groups received the highest award possible…Gold with Distinction. Excellent!
   My day did not end there, however. That evening I attended the PTSA “Celebration of Inspiration” ceremony. The seniors are given the chance to honor one of their teachers from K-12 who has inspired them. This is all voluntary. They each give a speech as to why they made their selection and present their chosen teacher with a plaque.
   This is a wonderful evening. Last night there were 30 teachers recognized by 36 students. It is a most touching ceremony and one that has obvious special meaning. These students spoke in front of their classmates, parents and teachers and did a wonderful job explaining how the teacher had inspired them, helped them and made a difference in their life.
   A special thanks to the PTSA, Kim Schopp and Terry Endres who made this evening possible.
   It is enlightening to see students spend their time and effort to honor a teacher who has made a difference in their life. We do have many gems on Grand Island…teachers and students alike.
   The District Spring Kaleidoscope Concert is May 16, May 17 is the Middle School Spring Instrumental Concert and June 1 is the High School Band Spring Concert. Come see for yourself…what a great program we have here on Grand Island.

School District Leadership Questioned - April 2005

By Cherie C. Miller, West River Road
   I recently learned that the salary of our Supt. of Schools, Dr. Thomas Ramming, was $151,005.36 for the 2004/05 school year. The salary of our Asst. Supt. for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Karen Karmazin, was $109,416.66 and the salary for our Asst. Supt. for Business and Support Services, Loraine Ingrasci, was $108,200. That totals $368,622.02 that we, the taxpayers of Grand Island, paid our top three administrators, not including their benefits which I'm guessing would add about an additional 30% to their total compensation package. Did any of this money go back into our community? I'm guessing not since all three administrators live in the Amherst area.
   I find it interesting that this superintendent chose not to move to Grand Island like every other superintendent before him. The school board always required the superintendent of schools to live in our community before the hiring of Dr. Ramming. Can these administrators really know the needs of our students by test scores alone? I find it hard to believe that one can truly know the pulse of a community without truly being a part of that community. By my definition that means living here among the people you serve.
   How many Grand Island residents recognize these administrators when they see them? Do they make you feel comfortable enough to say hello and discuss any concerns or questions enough to warrant their salaries? Has student achievement improved because of or in spite of the decisions made from District office?
   Current class size guidelines were recommended by Dr. Ramming and Dr. Karmazin to the Board of Education. They are recommending even larger class sizes for next year. I have learned from some teachers that curricular leadership has been farmed out of District to BOCES, other consultants, and a teacher on special assignment at a cost to the taxpayers. Has money been wasted on grievances and other legal issues not related to student achievement because of a lack of trust between the employees of the District and our Superintendent of Schools? Is there effective communication when decisions, particularly difficult decisions have to be made and shared?
   I hope the current and new board members are asking these same questions, and will consider the answers to these questions when deciding the fate of our district office administrators, and their compensation for next year, should they be allowed to stay in their current positions.
Posted 4/28/05

Thank You From Friends of GI Memorial Library - Annual Used Book Sale - April 2005

By Barbara Jarzab, Corresponding Secretary
   Thank you to all the patrons and neighbors who came to our recent book sale. Although Saturday was a beautiful day weather-wise, many of you came and spent some time browsing at our library and found some great bargains to read in the coming months.
   With all the financial problems in the county, your support of our book sales helps tremendously. The books are all donated and the money raised goes directly back to our library for children’s programs, replacing and adding to the book collections, and for technological additions and supplies.
   Your continuing support of our book sales is greatly appreciated. There is a great deal of work involved in planning and setting up a book sale, so it’s terrific to see the interest and excitement each one generates. It’s so rewarding to see young children excited about getting a bag of books of their own to read. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our next sale in the late fall.
   When you’ve finished reading and sharing your books, why don’t you bring them to the library for a future sale? We can always use more donations. For those of you who hold garage or house sales over the next months, please keep us in mind as a possible place to donate leftover books in good condition, rather than taking them back into your home.
   A sincere thank you to Isledegrande for always keeping the public well informed about our sales, special meetings, and other programs at the Library.
Barbara Jarzab, Corresponding Secretary

“Kids Escaping Drugs” Family Night Committee Thanks Community - April 2005

By The “Kids Escaping Drugs” Family Night Committee
   The “Kids Escaping Drugs” Family Night Committee from Connor Middle School would like to thank the Grand Island community for its overwhelming support in our first family-oriented drug awareness program and fundraiser. Our goal was to enlighten the parents and students about drug addiction by having young adults from the Renaissance Campus tell their riveting stories, and then answer questions from the audience. We also had a basket raffle and food/bake sale to raise funds for “Kids Escaping Drugs.”
   In particular, we’d like to thank Mr. Bruce Benson, Mr. Carl Guidotti, The Grand Island Youth Board, Girl Scout Troop #1312, and the Connor teachers, staff, and parents for assisting the committee. A HUGE thank you goes to Fuccillo Chevrolet for generously donating the door prize, a 19” Color T.V. with D.V.D./V.C.R. Twin-Lo Beverages also graciously donated all the beverages for the evening. John’s Pizza and Subs is thanked for substantially discounting the price of the pizzas. In addition, we would like to thank everyone who donated a basket for the raffle. They were beautiful! Thank you to all the people who baked, as well. The desserts were delicious! In conclusion, we are very happy to say that we raised $1,145.00 for “Kids Escaping Drugs,” which was presented at their telethon on April 10.
    Let’s continue to keep the lines of communication open, so that more people become educated about the horrible effects of drug abuse. If we keep just one student from experimenting with drugs, it will have truly been a successful event!
The “Kids Escaping Drugs” Family Night Committee

Former Citizen Of Year Recipient Offers Idea To Chamber Of Commerce - March 2005

By Bob Ryan, former resident
Hi Teddy,
   It is an "expatriate" checking in from Florida.
   Some months ago, I sent an e-mail to the GI C of C that was never answered (possibly never received). I would like to bring the same message to you and if you feel it has merit, get it in the hands of a responsible Chamber officer for consideration.
   The upcoming Citizen of the Year event is #39 according to their website. With #40 occurring next year, it might be the perfect time for this idea.
   Attempt to locate as many living former honorees and invite them (at their expenses) to the 40th. It would be a homecoming for many (like me) and a marvelous way to capture publicity for Grand Island. With the WWW, locating many of them would be relatively easy. They could be recognized as a group at the dinner and possibly one or two could be chosen to make a few remarks.
   I just like the idea that someone would introduce me as a former Outstanding YOUNG Man. At my age, the word "young" seldom comes into play.
   What do you think?
Bob Ryan

Editor's Note: This is an excellent idea and a perfect way to once again recognize those who have gone above and beyond for their community over the past 39 years and would certainly increase the attendance at the 40th anniversary Citizen of the Year dinner.
Teddy Linenfelser

MaryLou Lunsford Family Gives Thanks, And Reflects - Feb. 2005

   It’s been just over two weeks since the passing of our mother, MaryLou Lunsford. And while hours have turned into days, in many ways time stood still on January 26th. Suddenly, every word uttered, each smile shared, each silly moment experienced becomes ever so clear and significant.
   Amidst the tears and the longing to turn back time, there have, however, been forces so comforting and so uplifting. The first comfort comes from the firm foundation of faith that our mother left as her enduring gift to each of us, her children and her friends. The second measure of comfort comes from the familial bonds that our mother tenderly nurtured and were wholly evidenced by the love so openly displayed these past few weeks by her adoring family and friends. The third, binds the first two together in a caring embrace that is but a mere reflection of our mother. That comfort comes from the exceptional and extraordinary circle of friends that were touched by the life of our mom, MaryLou Lunsford.
   As a family, we are so deeply humbled and thankful for the heartfelt display of love and affection that so many friends expressed. We are awed by the number of lives our mother affected. One friend called her “our real-life ‘Touched by an Angel’”.
   In the loss of our mom, we too have been touched by many, many angels. We thank each one of you and know with great certainty that our mom - who always saw the good in everyone she met – will continue to pray and hold dear each of us who mourn her passing. The greatest tribute we can offer her now is to do as she has done and that is to love and serve the Lord!
With sincere gratitude,
Mark, Jacquie, Tim, Lisa, Karen and Janice Lunsford

Other Grand Island Pages to Visit:
Churches | Email Directory | Government | Groups
GIHS Grad List | Guestbook | Please sign in! | Local Artists | Photo Album | Town History | Useful Links
| Website Design | Wildlife | Isledegrande's Home Page | GIECOM.NET'S Home Page  
Please Email News Releases to Teddy Linenfelser, Thank You.

IsledeGrande.com is sponsored by
GIECOM.NET 1869 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, New York, 14072-1803 USA
Copyright © 1995-2005 All rights reserved.

eXTReMe Tracker