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
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A Sincere Thank You From Lions Club - 2007

Special Kids enjoy a Special Day. Once again, because of the generosity of the Grand Island community, it was a special day for the children at the Buffalo Launch Club. Almost 1200 smiling faces enjoying a day, a day that they look forward to all year long, a day that is all about them. Watching them enjoying boat rides, face painting, clowns making them laugh, magicians making them think, horses making them happy, giving children joy in that one day that maybe they would never have. Thank you to the Grand Island community for supporting the Grand Island Lions Club. It is through the generosity of the Grand Island community supporting our White Cane Sale, Spaghetti Dinner at the Holiday Inn and various fund raisers that this day was possible. It is because of our community that there were almost 1200 smiling faces at the Special Kids Picnic. Grand Island is a Grand place to live.
Sincerely yours,
The Grand Island Lions Club

KidBiz Sponsors Appreciated -2007

    The Grand Island School & Business Alliance (GISBA) would like to express our appreciation to the sponsors of this year’s KidBiz; Fuccillo Auto Park, Niagara Frontier Publications, Grand Island Holiday Inn, River Oaks Golf Club, Keller Group, The Legend Group, The Grand Island Town Board (Peter McMahon, Mary Cooke, Gary Roesch, Dick Crawford, Sue Argy), Michele Iannello, Erie County Legislator, Town Supervisor Peter McMahon. We thank the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Town Board, Town Recreation Department, the Grand Island Town Police for making it all happen.
   A special thanks goes to Mike Heftka our KidBiz trainer and Cheryl Chamberlain with the High School DECA Students; Amanda Camizzi, Courtney Justus, Seth Kline, Brooke Chamberlain, Amanda Heftka, Sarah Chamberlain, Lauren Emmi and Ciera Morreale, the Grand Island School Principals Mary Haggerty (Elementary) and Brace Benson (Middle School) and Sandy Anzalone (High School) for their support. This year we had a special opportunity to add to the event, the Battle of Bands, sponsored by Jackson Music and Fuccillo, starring 7 of Grand Island’s finest teen bands. We thank Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Ambassador and GISBA student member, Cory McGowan, program director, for a job well done, and sound man Jon Radice for helping to making all the bands sound their best.
   As you can see, all this happens with the help of many people. It goes with out saying, we thank the parents and the public for their support.
Jim Sharpe
Co-Chairmen of GISBA
Past President, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Director
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2007

Island Happenings A Huge Success -2007

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce hosted Island Happenings in conjunction with Kid Biz on Saturday, June 30th in the Town Commons with over 50 business vendors and 50 Kid Biz participants. The weather was fabulous and the Rock band, “The Strangers” provided a great musical sound to create a festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
   Thank you to all who attended and to all that participated in this great annual community event that is growing in popularity every year. Of course, this would not be possible without the assistance of all our valued sponsors, Fuccillo Chevrolet, Niagara Frontier Publications (Island Dispatch/PennySaver), Bleich, Inc., Carol Ann’s Hair Fashions. Creative Leather Concepts, First Niagara Bank, First Investors Corporation, Grand Island Women of the Moose Lodge #180, North Point Embroidery, Senator Antoine Thompson, TCA Consultants (Technology Camp of America), and Sam’s Club.
   The participants this year showcased many creative products and services. Many vendors reported they received very good feedback from the attendees. Participating in this year’s event were; 10100, Inc., Arbonne International, Avon, Beth Newton, Bleich Inc.(Miracle Ear), Citizen Corp Council (CERT), Claudia Preve, Connie’s Creations, Cookie Lee Jewelry, Cowabunga Kettlecorn, Creative Leather Concepts, First Investors Corporation, Fuccillo Auto Park (WJYE), Fun Flops, GI Moose Lodge WOTM, Grand Island Dance Studio, Grand Island Traffic Safety, Grinders Skatepark, Home & Garden Party, Island Turf Care, Kathy Schifano, KR Communications, LLC, Lisa Justus, Market America, Mary Kay, Meagan McCormick, Niagara Frontier Publications, North Point Embroidery, Patricia Cancilla, Pure Soaps’n Stuff, Realty USA, Relay for Life, Rolling Meadow Studios, Sam’s Club, Scott & Spencer, Signature Homestyles, Soma Cura, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Stack’d Wood & More, Tastefully Simple, TCA Consultants, Inc., Mary Lenz, Shred-It, St. Stephen’s School, Tupperware - Marcia Kraden, US Coast Guard.
   For future events and information, please visit the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce website at: www.gichamber.org, or call our office at 716-773-3651.
Angelo Grande
Island Happenings Chairman
Chamber Director
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2007

Freedom From The Tolls - 2007

   July 3, 2007 . . .Freedom from the tolls was the object of my mission during the 4th of July Parade yesterday on Grand Island. Instead of putting anything in the parade like a float or a decorated van I chose to walk the route with petition in hand.
   I covered the petition sheets with a plastic cover and just walked the sides asking people if they wanted to sign the petition, at a couple points there were 10 to 12 people lined up waiting to sign. In the short route I was able to walk I got almost 100 more signatures to add to the total. We are well over 6000 now and I will have to total them up now to get an exact number.
    To put it in simple terms, people are fed up with the tolls that were supposed to be removed in the 50’s. They are tired of the traffic that has gotten worse and worse, the accidents and the pollution. The fire in their bellies was fueled even more when the tolls were removed in Buffalo but not on Grand Island. They are fed up with the false promises over the years from Albany politicians, instead of getting rid of the tolls we were given books of coupons and then the EZ Pass.
   Nothing they do or have done has ever taken care of the bottleneck traffic that we face every single day and with summer upon us it is even worse. Instead of joining in with the petition drive to eliminate the tolls our politicos are trying to figure out where to move the tolls. Don’t move them, remove them.
   I wish I had a dozen people carrying petitions yesterday, we probably could have 1000 more signatures. Maybe a float would have gotten more attention, I don’t know.
   We are not slowing down, we are speeding up. Have you signed the petition? Sign it now at
Rus Thompson
Posted Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thank You !!! Grand Island - 2007

   July 3, 2007 . . .Recently the Disabled American Veterans, Grand Island Chapter #168 held its “Forget Me Not" Fund Drive. This year's drive was especially important to the Veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #9249; The Grand Island American Legion, Post #1346; and the Disabled American Veterans, Grand Island Chapter #168; have joined together to purchase a much needed van for the DAV Transportation Network. Many Veterans have no means of transportation to their medical appointments. The vans manned by volunteer drivers provide service to and from the Veterans Medical Center, and the Veterans Clinics.
   The Vvan will be marked with the symbols and/or the logos of the Veterans Posts and recognition of Grand Island. We THANK the many great donors who made this drive a very successful endeavor, the Worker Volunteers and the members who spent many hours distributing the “ Forget Me Not “ flowers. The “Forget Me Not" reminds us to remember the men and women who served our country and now could use a helping hand. We owe them Much !!!! The people of Grand Island, NY have shown their appreciation by their support to our efforts to help the veterans in need.
   Again many thanks from the Veterans of Grand Island, NY.
Officers and Members of the DAV
Joe Synakowski

GMAC Lawsuit Regarding Drunk Driver - 2007

   Tuesday, June 26, 2007 . . . Can anybody tell me what GMAC did wrong to deserve being named in a lawsuit where a drunk driver, driving 100 miles per hour drove off Ransom Rd into the river? Could it be that they just happen to have assets, thus being a ripe target for a cash grab? What ever happened to responsibility?
John Robinson
former Island resident
Columbia, SC
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Friends Of Library Discard Book Sale - 2007

   Wednesday, June 20, 2007 . . .The Friends of Grand Island Memorial Library would like to acknowledge the success of its recent discard book sale. Sincere thanks go out to all our loyal customers. Hats off to the many volunteers who staffed the sale. Local boy scouts and Eagle Scouts were invaluable at the set up and clean up and deserve a round of applause. We look forward to seeing you all at our November used book sale.

Public Hearing on Big Trucks in Residential Neighborhoods - 2007

   Wednesday, June 13, 2007 . . .Grand Island’s Planning Committee has completed a draft modification to section 49-147 of the Town Zoning Code in order to format the change into a proposed law concerning the legality of parking commercial use vehicles in residentially zoned areas of the town.
   Mr. Dinsmore would be well advised to obtain a copy of the proposed law and read it; it would put his mind at ease over parking his semi on his property once and for all.
   He “doubts people will side with you” he suggests, concerning support for the proposed zoning change, as if in some way...it is I who is the interloper that has arrived on Grand Island and is trying to change its “rural character” on him. Anyone who owns property on the Island is a resident, Mr. Dinsmore...that includes folks who have been here for a week or forty-four years, and their opinions carry equal weight.
   The zoning change is being advanced by our Town Board, as it ought to be, in response to numerous complaints they have received concerning parking these vehicles in residential areas. As I pointed out in a previous article in Isledegrande, and which was also carried by The Grand Island Dispatch, Pete McMahon and Dick Crawford should be applauded for leading the charge. It is not I with who people would side, Mr. Dinsmore; rather, they would be “siding” with their own best interests and their children’s.
   The proposed zoning change will allow you to park your truck on your property, Jeff.....don’t worry; it just stipulates that it can only be “One Large Truck,” not a fleet of them, and that it must be “behind the building setback, and rear yard setback.” Additionally....it prohibits, prohibits...period... parking them on residential streets. Which is, after all, what the real nature of the problem is here. So you see....we’re closer to agreement on this issue than you thought.
   On your observation that a lot of vehicles might be considered commercial vehicles......the proposed law is quite specific. It stipulates that commercial vehicle would be defined as any tractor used for pulling a semi trailer which weighs in at a whopping 18,000 MGW. That’s nine tons! If I had my druthers....I would change that lower weight limit to include two and one half ton “stake trucks” also.....which many tradesman park in their driveways. But ......I’ll accept the prohibition of the tractor-trailer tractors...as good enough.
   The public hearing concerning this issue will be on the second of July. The Board will listen to anybody who wishes to speak on the matter at that meeting...and then vote on the change after consideration of those comments. It is important that property owners, who wish to maintain the value of their homes in residential areas, and protect the safety of residential homeowners and their children make their support of this zoning change known to the Board. If you cannot make the meeting, on the second....or if perhaps you are not comfortable with the thought of speaking in public.........you can send an e-mail to the Board indicating your support. Your e-mail will be just as effective. It’s important that you include your name at the close of your E-mail; your E-mail name is not sufficient. The E-Mail address of the Town Board is:
townboard@grand-island.ny.us . Kevin J. Rung
Dolphin Drive
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Open Letter of Thanks - 2007

   I would like to thank the Grand Island community for their wonderful and warm support. My spaghetti dinner was a "smashing success," because of Grand Island's generosity. Family, friends, and strangers alike attended, bought dinners, and sponsored my trip.
   I knew I could count on the people of Grand Island because of their support for causes such as Relay for Life, Megan Grotz, and other worthy fundraisers. I also knew my spaghetti dinner, while not nearly so weighty, would be taken seriously and supported with the same vigor. Not only did the citizens of Grand Island attend and support me, but Island Presbyterian Church was a key supporter by opening their doors so willingly to my request.
   As I graduate this month and prepare to dorm at SUNY Geneseo, I know the Town of Grand Island will remain my home, not only because of my upbringing and the memories I have, but because it is a generous community full of kindness. I've established a website at
www.SendAbe.Info for anyone who wishes to share in the memories and progress of my trip to Europe that so many kind people have made possible.
Abram Morgan
Posted June 13, 2007

Response To Restricting Parking - 2007

   In response to Mr. Rungs response: I have no problem restricting parking ON residential streets. I do have a problem with parking restrictions in my driveway. Large vehicles parked on the street DO present a potential risk, but parking in my own driveway, past the right of way, should not be any risk to you or anyone else driving. My driveway is 370 feet long and when I park my truck with 53-foot trailer attached, it is more than 250 feet from the road. If this is a safety concern to other drivers, they should not be driving! You say that commercial use vehicles should be banned from parking at a residence. Commercial use means any vehicle used during the course of business. This includes, but is not limited to, salesmen's cars, delivery vans (which look just like my conversion van, but without the windows) pickup trucks, utility trailers, possibly a boat, some motor homes and so on. I really doubt too many people will side with you when they find out they can't park any of those in their driveway! I have received 9 calls this week in support of the NO PARKING RESTRICTIONS. All came from long time Island residents, not from transplanted islanders. The people with the $400,000 and up homes, don't have many big trucks parking on their streets since most truck drivers can't afford one of those houses. If you ask most any "Islander" about this issue, I think you will get an overwhelming response of " move back to where you came from and quit trying to change our lifestyle." As for the "ugliness" of big trucks, I've seen much worse looking houses than big trucks. Just because you don't like your neighbor's truck, doesn't mean the rest of the residents here do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Any one who would like to comment, for or against is welcome to e-mail me at
BIG8E5FORD@aol.com. Also let your town board know how you feel.
Jeffrey Dinsmore
Stony Point Rd.
Posted June 12, 2007

Former Resident Remarks On Money-Raising Efforts On Isle - 2007

To the Editor,
   It is quite impressive to see the spirited efforts to raise money to treat young people and adults with life-threatening illnesses. It is also amazing how often folks are called upon to dig into their pockets and show their generosity. Not long ago, I found myself in a similar situation, asking relatives for help with extraordinary medical bills, at a time when I had no medical insurance. It is a very humbling experience. This type of situation leads me to wonder if our national priorities need to be changed.
   We spend billions of dollars, soon to be over a trillion, to fight a war overseas in Iraq, in a nation that probably few of us have had any personal experience. We send our young people there, and too often, they return in a casket. It makes me wonder if we have lost our vision of what is best for Americans, including our armed forces.
   Should it really be our goal to see that our friends and neighbors, and especially our young, are a top priority when they are stricken with a medical condition, that threatens their life? Few families are prepared to deal with such catastrophic illness, and its financial consequences, often too much even with insurance. Some form of national health insurance is desperately needed to fill the gap.
Eric Stefik
Las Vegas NV
(former Grand Island resident)
Posted June 6, 2007

More On the Big Trucks Parked In Residential Areas - 2007
By Kevin J. Rung

   Wednesday, June 6, 2007 . . . My Island neighbor, Mr. Dinsmore, has written a response to the Viewpoint article concerning the Parking of Commercial Use Vehicles in Residential Areas which I submitted on the 31st to Isledegrande.
   He seemed quite exercised over what he interprets as the attempt of an “across town resident” to tell him how he may use his home or parcel of land. On that issue I am in agreement with the Gentleman from Stony Point Road. Having been a resident of the Island myself for over twenty five years, I too feel we should not be told how to use our property.......within reason.
   Purchasing a home in an area which a township designates as Zoned Residential, for example, entitles us to make the reasonable assumption that Zoned Residential will preclude the sight, and danger to our children, of tractor trailer trucks parked out in front of our house. Parking these trucks in residential areas, constitutes the imposition of an unwanted requirement on we, who don’t wish to live with a truck yard in front of our homes, by the truck owners; the very situation that Mr. Dinsmore inveighs against, when he says he doesn’t want others telling him what to do with his property. Thus, the wishes of a very very few truck owners are suppose to be tolerated by the majority of homeowners.
   Consider the absurdity of an automotive repair shop, complete with old tires, and revving engines, suddenly springing up on....let us say, Colonial Drive, or River Oaks Drive. The property owners would be on firm ground to demand that it be removed to an area of town zoned for commercial use. It is equally absurd to assume it’s OK to park tractor trailer trucks in any area zoned residential; they too should be removed to areas zoned commercial. (The flip side of this, is that if you choose to purchase a home on a commercially zoned street, like Baseline – for example, then you should be prepared to suffer the sight of trucks which by zoning have a right to be there.)
   The argument advanced by Mr. Dinsmore, that the rigs in question cost one hundred thousand dollars and the cargo may add an additional three hundred thousand dollars for which he is personally responsible is spurious and of no consequence to the issue of what is safe and correct for a residential area of town. While we may understand, and indeed even sympathize with him over his liability burden, it is not the problem of any residential property owner and does not infer that he has the right to “keep an eye” on his rig, by parking it out in front of everybody else’s home. The same is true, incidentally, of the rig owner who has been parking his tractor on Marlin Drive.....using the same empty argument. Your discomfiture about the safety of your rig is not our problem, you are the one who chose to be a truck driver for a living ( ...which, by the way, Mr. Dinsmore, is a perfectly honorable and worthy occupation.......).
   Mr. Dinsmore goes on to suggest that we live in a rural community and wonders, “what could be more rural than a big rig parked in the driveway?” I guess he means to imply that tractor trailer trucks in rural driveways go together like hominy and grits and therefore....we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re parked in residential driveways on the Island. The fact is, that Grand Island is no longer a rural community; Mr. Dinsmore’s reactionary impulse not withstanding. Our Island is a rapidly growing community, boasting an ever more costly housing stock and growing property tax base. As such, it is incumbent upon our Town Board to pass this important revision to chapter 49 of the Town Zoning Code, in order to protect not only our littlest citizens from injury, but also, all property owners from the financial injury that will result from allowing the deterioration of the residential character of our neighborhoods.
   There will be a public hearing on this proposal in July. Every property owner and taxpayer who cares about his investment in his property ought to turn out and speak in favor of its passage. In the meanwhile, contact Pete McMahon and Dick Crawford in writing, by E-Mail and let them know that you are in favor of passage of the proposed amendment. Their E-Mail addresses are:
Crawford: rcrawford@grand-island.ny.us
Kevin J. Rung
Dolphin Drive
Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Parking Commercial Vehicles in Residential Areas Poses Threat To Public Safety - 2007
By Kevin J. Rung

   Wednesday, May 31, 2007 . . .the Town of Grand Island is one of the very few remaining municipalities in Western New York which has not yet revised its Town Zoning Code to make it illegal to park commericial use vehicles in residentially zoned areas of the town. Under the leadership of Peter McMahon, our Supervisor, and Councilman Dick Crawford, a change to Chapter 49 of the Town Zoning Code has been proposed that would make parking these vehicles illegal.
   McMahon and Crawford's leadership on this issue should be applauded by every property owner and taxpayer on the Island.
   Years ago, when the Island was little more than a rural summer home venue . . . the incidental parking of a truck here or there was of little consequence; however, now that Grand Island is a growing community with new homes in the high six-figure price range, property owners can no longer afford to ignore the elephant in the living room.
   As it now stands, there is no law making it illegal (let that sink in: there is no law making it illegal...) to park a commercial use vehicle on any residential street or in your neighbor's driveway on a residential street in the Town.
   A couple years ago, upon returning home after work, I saw that one of my neighbors on Dolphin Drive had parked an eighteen wheel semi, complete with an ocean freight container on board, on the grass, along side his garage, in full view of anybody driving south down Dolphin at Marlin Drive. I reported this incident to our Town Zoning Office the next day . . . only to learn that what the man had done was perfectly legal! There was no ordinance against it on the Island. At the present time, the property owners on Marlin Drive are treated to the spectacle of a semi tractor regularly parked on the street; a jarringly ugly monstrosity in an otherwise tranquil residential neighborhood.
   Parking huge commercial vehicles in residential areas constitutes a very real and imminent threat to the public safety. The trucks block the view of motorists as well as property owners attempting to back out of driveways, placing children who play in these residential streets, or who ride their bikes there, at risk of being struck and injured. The owners of the trucks run small auxiliary diesel engines to keep the batteries charged and in the process spew diesel fumes into the neighborhood for everyone's enjoyment. The auxiliary engines cycle on and off annoyingly all night long for us all to listen to. Certainly of equal concern is the negative impact that allowing commericial trucks in quiet residential areas has on property values. For most of us, the equity in our homes is a very real component of our personal worth; imagine what would be the effect of attempting to sell your home at the best price, as potential buyers considered that a commercial truck yard existed right out in front of the house. It's not happening in your neighborhood, you say . . .be assured that as it now stands, it could. All of you folks who own three hundred thousand dollar, plus . . . homes in the River Oaks section of the Island may wake up to find an ugly tractor trailer truck parked next door in Joe's driveway one Saturday morning, or worse . . . out in front of his house for you to enjoy, and there is nothing you can do about it.
   There will be a public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Town Zoning Code before this important change can be adopted by the Board for the good of us all. It's important, that as taxpayer and property owner, you take a moment to write to your Town Board and make them aware that you support this proposed change to Chapter 49. It's also important that you watch the newspapers and the Town web site so that you are aware when the Public Hearing will take place, in order to attend to support this important change to the Zoning Code that Pete McMahon and Dick Crawford have proposed for our benefit.
Kevin J. Rung
Dolphin Drive
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2007

Supporters of Buddy Poppy Drive Appreciated - 2007

    I would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the VFW’s Buddy Poppy drive held at various locations across the Island last weekend. The donations received will help The VFW to continue assisting our Veterans and their families during the coming year. Recently we, along with the Grand Island American Legion and the DAV Chapter #168, have contributed towards the purchase of a van, for the Buffalo VA Hospital, to transport our Veterans to and from needed medical appointments and treatment. My thank you also goes out to the members of our Post, the men’s and ladies Auxiliaries, who with out their dedication this drive would not have been possible.
Dan McMahon
Commander, Post 924
Posted June 5, 2007

Response To The Big Trucks! - 2007

    In response to the letter from Mr. Rung: I'm sorry you find a big truck ugly. Many people drive these rigs every day to haul you your belongings. Everything you own or use was shipped by these big ugly trucks. As a 44-year Island resident, I feel that if you own a home or parcel of land here, you should be able to use it as YOU see fit. Not as your neighbor, or accross town resident sees fit. When you start restricting what is parked in your driveway, you start infringing on peoples rights. First it's big trucks, then motor homes, next it will be boats, soon it might be green cars, or yellow ones (I personally don't like yellow cars). Where does it stop? Your neighbor pays his taxes, which are pretty steep over here, and has to hear from you how his job (which pays his taxes) is ugly. Not everyone who lives on this Island has a nice cushy office job. Some of us get dirty for a living and bring our work home with us. We are not at all embarrassed to show what we do for a living. How would you feel if you were told you can't park your $30,000 car at your house? Now turn that into a $150,000 rig (not including the load, which you are responsible for). Is your car safe being left at Burger King for the weekend? Are you sure? Now let's put a $300,000 cargo in your car. Still feel you can leave it there? I personally would not like to take the chance. My cargo gets stolen, I have to sell my house to pay for it. There are a lot of people out there with opinions about things they really know nothing about. You seem to be one of them. Parking restrictions is just one more way for the government to tell us what we can and can't do. Kinda like communism. We live in a rural community. What's more rural than a big rig parked in your driveway? If you want parking restrictions, move to Amherst. For those of us who like to live OUR way, let the Town Board know we don't want any more restrictions placed upon us.
Jeffrey Dinsmore
Stony Point Rd.
Posted June 5, 2007

Residents Update Neighbors On Cell Tower - 2007

To Teddy Linenfelser:
   The following letter is an update concerning the cell tower behind the Island Presbyterian Church. Our neighbor John Kackmann, who composed this letter, gave me permission to send this to you. My husband John and I passed out this enclosed update to over 150 neighbors who are against this tower. We want to notify other Island residents who may have concerns.
Verizon Cell Tower Update
Thank you
John and Betty Cook
63 Autumnwood Drive
Posted June 5, 2007

Pride Of The Island Award - 2007

Grandmother Louise Alessi, Mom Lynn Quarantello and Vincent.
   When I opened the envelope from the mailbox, tears flowed as I read how my seven-year-old son received the Pride of Grand Island award. For me, this was a very special moment. My son, Vincent, is a special needs child who is attending Sidway's kindergarten program. His teacher, Mrs. Marisa Valentine, was hired to teach a special needs program. She is a special education teacher with special needs experience. This program is new to the Grand Island district and needed to be led by experienced individuals with extensive background for children with special needs. My son is the reason this year's program became a reality. Marisa interviewed with Vincent as the student. He responded well to her which got her the position. Her five years experience working with special needs children is what the district and Vincent needed. Mrs. Diane Cooper was also hired as his speech instructor. She comes from BOCES with experience working with non-verbal children. When Mrs. Denise Dunbar was hired as principal, she gladly accepted the challenge of the new program. She has embraced this project with all the staff to having our children accepted and rewarded for their accomplishments. She knew there would be hard work and changes involved to get the program off to a solid start. No two children learn the same and special needs children take longer and need more patience from everyone involved in their education. They require more hand over hand assistance from aides, to tolerance in the cafeteria line because they are slower in their independence, to extra help on the bus ride. Vincent is very proud to be able to carry his tray from the cafeteria to his classroom. Mrs. Valentine says Vincent has surpassed his goals she set for him in September and said he won this award hands down.
   I'm hoping Grand Island school district will be able to attract more special needs instructors to follow Vincent throughout his school years. We hold monthly meetings to access his goals. I have seen up to seventeen different teachers come to discuss what they have tried to unlock this little boy. Vincent does not speak but we are all learning to try and understand his way of communication. These instructors have been instrumental in the development this year as they too have had to struggle yet another learning curve with Vincent.
   While I look forward to another year at Sidway, Mrs. Dunbar has already begun the huge task of staring Vincent's journey to Huth Road School when he starts second grade. Again, the program will need to be adjusted for his particular needs so more experienced staffing will be required and classroom sizing revised. Vincent participates in all aspects of schooling whether it is in his small group, to the auditorium for a production on stage. He is known and recognized by all his schoolmates.
   I'm very proud to be a part of the Grand Island community. The support we get with Vincent's acceptance has been great. Anyone with a special needs child can understand how important it is to have their children around other kids so they can model and learn from them. I didn't want Vincent to be stared at as different but to be acceptable for what he can do. Thank you for giving my son the same opportunity that other children in our community have. He'll always be my mild mannered Clark Kent. I hope he'll be yours, too.
Lynn Quarantello
Town Cafe
Posted May 31, 2007

Andersons Extend Thanks for Support of Hope For Jason Benefit - 2007

   We would like to thank the following businesses who generously donated to the Hope for Jason Benefit, which was held on May 20, 2007. Your contributions were very much appreciated and made our endeavor a success: Aceti’s Wines & Spirits, Baby Joe Mesi, Beach House, Brick Oven, Chamber of Commerce, Curves, Deno McGinn, Grand Island Auto Tech, Grand Island Rod and Gun Club, Island Deli, Hiz-Air Salon, Holiday Inn, Mallwitz’ Island Lanes, John’s Pizza, KOA Camping, Leather Concepts, Niagara Frontier Publications, Pam’s Card Shop, Sante Wines, Say Cheese Pizza, Sports Collectors Corner, Summit Fitness Center, TJ Nails, Tops, Town Café, USA Today, Village Inn, World Gym, WJYE and 97 Rock.
   Also THANK YOU to all the individuals who generously donated a basket and/or helped with the benefit or took the time to attend the benefit! Kudos to all of you!
Aimee Anderson and Nancy Anderson
Posted May 30, 2007

Islanders Thank McMahon's Family Restaurant - 2007

   Just a note to say thanks to the McMahons for fabulous, friendly service and a wonderful meal. Mike (Sexton) and I had a college graduation party for his daughter, Cori Sexton, who graduated Buffalo State on Sunday (May 20) at our home. At the last minute we decided to go with a catered meal, and were lucky enough to fit into the catering schedule with McMahon's Family Restaurant. Seeing as we own an Island business, we obviously like to keep our business on the Island. We were treated like royalty by the McMahons and their catering menu was extensive (and anything you didn't see, you could ask for). The food arrived hot, on time and absolutely delicious! We just wanted to say thank you to the McMahon family for helping to make a special day for our family!
Sandi Cunningham,
Mike Sexton
& Families
Posted May 23, 2007

Resident Says Town Infringes On Personal Lives On GI - 2007

   The Town of Grand Island is again trying to propose zoning ordinance changes for parking on Grand Island, by motorhomes, trailers, truck and boats. What they have in mind this time is unknown, and infringes on personal lives of Grand Island residents. They tried last year and the took it off the agenda when so many people showed up that they claim they had to make it clearer in the wording. Lately, it seems that they have been pushing things through with very, very little attention brought to it. Just like last week’s editorial regarding the cell phone site off Huth Road. I have already brought this to the attention of FMCA, The Good Sams Club, Colton RV and Meyers RV. This infringes on the rights of us owning personal vehicles on the island. I also plan on notifying other motorhome and trailer clubs. If you want to help out in fighting this, please submit your name and e-mail address to:
nifbob2003@yahoo.com or call me at 773-4817. I plan on setting up some meetings regarding this matter. Please keep watch at Isledegrande.com for any other information.
Robert J. Soluri
Posted May 23, 2007

American Legion Commander Thanks Community - 2007

   The Grand Island American Legion Post 1346 held its annual Mother's Day Flower sale fundraiser this past weekend.
   We would like to thank everyone who stopped by and helped our fundraiser to be a success again this year. Special thanks to Legion members for donating their weekend, the VFW for letting us again use their facilities and donating coffee, Ms. Linda M. Kutzbach for sponsoring radio talk time, Dan McBride for the live broadcast, Isledegrande.com, Island Dispatch, and to the Pennysaver for their coverage. WE hope everyone had a Happy Mother's Day and look forward to next year.
Robert J. Soluri
Post Commander
Posted May 14, 2007

American Legion Appreciates Community Support - 2007

   Members of the Grand Island American Legion post 1346 would like to thank the people of Grand Island for making this our best sale so far. The money from this sale will be put together with the VFW and the DAV to buy a new van for the Veterans Administration Hospital. This van picks up veterans all over Western N.Y. who can not get to their doctor appointments and returns them home.
Posted May 14, 2007

Heartfelt Thanks - 2007

   I would like to express my thanks to the community, family and friends for their support, thoughts, and prayers during my daughter's recent illness. Ashley is at home after a bone marrow transplant and five weeks in the hospital and doing very well. However, there is a long road ahead and some hurdles for sure but with all the support you have given her, the doctors are confident she'll have a complete recovery. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.
Dave Carminati
Posted April 19, 2007

Friends of Library Say Thanks - 2007

   The recent Friends of the Library spring book sale was a huge success. We realize this is because of support extended by the Grand Island community. Our thanks go out to the people who made generous book donations, to the people who offered their time and talents at the sale and last but not least to all our loyal customers. Your combined efforts made this successful sale possible. Thank you again.
Friends of the Grand Island Memorial Library
Posted April 19, 2007

Life Lessons Fair A Success - 2007

   The Life Lessons Fair, held March 31st at the High School, was a wonderful success. Students of all ages and their families enjoyed playing carnival games, winning prizes and listening to three local student bands. The highlight of the event was alumnus Megan Grotz, who shared a very touching story of her experience receiving a double lung transplant. Victoria Dent representing UNYTS, an organ and tissue donation facility in Buffalo, also shared a very uplifting story about her father's gift of life. Thank you to all the Life Lesson members for their hard work, enthusiasm and creativity in promoting organ and tissue donation, as well as family, faculty and staff who also helped in supporting our cause.
Rose Krauss
John Head
Life Lessons advisors
Posted April 4, 2007

American Cancer Society - Relay For Life - 2007
Team Polka Dot Chix Chapter III

    March 26, 2007 . . .Team Polka Dot Chix Chapter III has begun. This year a few new faces have joined in the fight against this terrible disease. We now have 16 members ranging in age from 10 – 18 and one adult teammate. We have a lot of great ideas for fundraising this year and we hope we can count on your support.
   “The Polka Dot Chix” name has a special meaning. To refresh your memory, we are trying to connect the dots and when all of the dots have been joined, the cure for cancer will have been achieved. The only way all of the dots can be connected is through research and of course that takes funds. Last year our team was able to raise over $4,000.00 bringing our combined total of two years to almost $9,000.00.
   So what do we have in store for this year? First, we are planning on selling 10,000 candy bars, one for each child that will be diagnosed this year with cancer. The American Cancer Society expects that the number of new cases of childhood cancer this year alone will reach over 10,000. It is so unfair that anyone has to suffer from such an awful disease let alone a child. On Grand Island, we have another little boy newly diagnosed. You can read all about him on Isledegrande.com and about all of the details of his benefit coming up. He’s a beautiful little boy with the most amazing smile. I have no doubt that he will win his battle just as I did. As you look at his face, ask yourself, why did this happen to him and what can I do to help? Answer; show your support by attending or donating something to his fundraiser or you can help in our efforts of supporting The American Cancer Society. We as a team realize that this is a lot to ask but as we’ve told you before, cancer strikes at any age. With your help, our team promises to donate every single penny we raise to The American Cancer Society. All money will be used in their efforts in research and development of new and better treatment plans and to continue the education of those in need. Because of this, children diagnosed and their families will continue to have hope. In 2007, 1,444,920 new cancer cases and 559,650 deaths, or about 1,500 deaths per day, from cancer are expected in the United States. What if one of these cases was you? Don’t you agree that these statistics are not acceptable? The time is now to pause this disease. The time is now to “stay the course” and strengthen our efforts in this fight.
   We are also sponsoring a Sunset Tent at the Relay on June 8th and June 9th. This tent will honor the lives of people we have lost. Their picture will be displayed with their name, form or cancer, their Sunrise (date of birth) and their Sunset (date they passed). The cost for each picture is $5.00 and will be made from an existing picture that you supply to us. We promise to get the picture back to you safely. Also, don’t forget to look for Grand Island’s Largest Piggy Bank. She will be making appearances all over with an empty tummy just waiting to be fed.
   If you would like, direct donations may be sent to me with all checks made out to the American Cancer Society. All donations are tax deductible. So as we close this letter, we leave you with this:
   “Great and miraculous things happen when people come together with an intention to create hope and possibilities"
   Thank you so much for your time and God Bless.

Alicia J. Sommer
11th Grade Student At Grand Island High School
Please send donations payable to “The American Cancer Society” to:
Alicia Sommer
98 Pellamwood Court
Grand Island, NY 14072
Team Members: Mariah Christie, Katie Hager, Julianne Lavallee, Cassie LoBrutto, Elizabeth LoBrutto, Jessie LoBrutto, Kelsey Mash, Jenna Paternostro, Sierra Seese, Spencer Seese, Sydney Seese, Alicia Sommer, Emily Sommer, Becky Sommer-Stufkosky, Sara Stenzel and Jenna Stufkosky
Posted April 4, 2007

The Faces May Change - School Board Budget Process - 2007

   I wrote a letter to the editor on March 8, referring to the Grand Island School budget process as March Madness. I was too subdued in my assessment of the goings on over there. Regardless who the participants are, nothing ever changes. They really should get the ventilation system checked.
   Every year the District wants more money. Every year they refuse to show us their books, but expect us to ante up. If we refuse, the sheriff comes and auctions off our homes. So much for the Land of the Free. Two years ago, the budget lost by the biggest margin in WNY. The other districts that had their budgets defeated, including one that only lost by a few percentage points, accepted the will of the people. Not Grand Island, they terrified the kiddies in the school about the dire consequences if the budget failed on the second try. Their Chicken Little tactics worked and the budget passed. Last year, they pulled out all of the stops for the first vote. They sent oversized yellow postcards to everyone (who paid for this?). Yellow was used because the year before Bob Weaver’s group (I am one of them) sent yellow postcards. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, to coin a phrase. The budget, nonetheless, still only passed by 66 votes out of 4,106 total votes, in one of the largest turnouts ever. Here we go again; the District acts as if the votes the past two years were landslides in their favor. They weren’t. This year, though, they have proposed a budget that continues to spend freely, including activities that are outside their purview.
   The District continues to be a sinkhole of spending and appalling decision-making. It is difficult to decide which decision is the worst. While one can agree with the goal of the Reading Recovery program, what are the children being taught in grades 1 & 2, if not reading? Adding 11.5 full time equivalents to make up for the lack of learning is the standard bureaucratic response: spend more money, especially someone else’s. Rather than add staff, maybe the correct thing to do is get rid of the current teachers and hire more competent ones. Also, give the children assignments and get their parents involved. If the parents don’t care, why should we?
   In my last letter I stated, “Let us start with the statement about the new approach to budgeting: “a version of zero-based budgeting.” This approach has nothing whatsoever to do with zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting wipes the slate clean and makes each and every expenditure justify itself anew. The School District’s approach, though, is one of arrogance and conceit, that is, that all of last year’s expenditures were spent wisely. In fact, they couldn’t have been spent more wisely. Such hubris.”
   We are told that the District is not looking at areas to trim! So much for zero-based budgeting: to be blunt, the zero-based budgeting statement was thrown out by the District to make it look like they were intensively evaluating all of the monies spent. Ha! It is business as usual over there. After all, it isn’t their money. It is ours.
   Don’t forget that two years ago, we were told that it was the State’s fault our taxes were going up. The State was demanding higher pension contributions than over the previous few years. The impact of the stock market decline in 2000-2002 had caught up with the funding obligations and required infusions from the Districts. The District, in all of its finger-pointing, never pointed out that in the prior years, required contributions were close to nil because of the stock market performance in the late 1990s. Contributions could have been made on a levelized basis each year so that the stock market swings wouldn’t cause taxes to rise abruptly due to weaker corporate earnings. This would have required the District, though, to have made choices or ask for even more money.
   The district should be made to tell us how much of this year’s budget is pension contributions and how much were last year’s. I am willing to bet that the required contribution is lower this year than in the last two years. If so, then there should be some decline in spending. If there isn’t, we can expect to see another abrupt hike in taxes the next time the stock market swoons.
   How about the energy expenditures? This is an account with which they have been about as deceitful as could be. In order to get the “no tax increase” budget through on its second try two years ago, the District budgeted $4,000 less in energy expenses even though prices had been rising month after month for over a year. This was clearly done to be able to say there was no tax increase associated with the budget. How about this year? If anything, prices are down somewhat on average from last year. What are they budgeting this year, compared with last year?
   And now, the piece de resistance: the pre-K program. This isn’t a mandated program. Why are we being expected to fund it? I’ll give the answer below. The district says, presumably with a straight face, that their program won’t be in competition with the Island’s other [sic] private programs. Huh? Who are they kidding? Of course, they are going into competition with them. If I were the private providers I would sue the District under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act for predatory pricing, demanding treble damages. Further, I would make the individuals who made this decision responsible for paying the fine. The paper said the district’s program was to give 18 children a”leg-up” on kindergarten. Which 18? If twenty show up you have to take them in if they are paying taxes for it. Since the program is ‘free’ to the individual, they will flock to it. This is basic economics. Obviously, the District will then say that there has been an overwhelming demand for this service so we must provide it for all. (If they started offering free coffee and bagels to commuters, I’m sure there would be line up for that, also. It doesn’t mean that the commuters would want it if they paid for it out of their own pockets, or that this is an activity the District should be engaged in.) To suggest that this program isn’t designed to drive the private providers out of business is dishonest in the extreme. But honesty has not been a hallmark of that operation over the years.
   What about the massively over-funded reserve account? What is being done with that? Has the District received all of the FREE MONEY we were told we were going to receive if we voted yes on the capital budget in December? We need forthright, complete answers to these questions.
   This past week the U.S. Census Bureau released its estimates for the populations of each of the 3000+ counties in the country. As usual, WNY had declines in all except Alleghany which squeaked out an increase of less than 1%. (One can dispute the precise size of the decline, but no one is disputing the fact of a decline.) The tax burden continues to tighten its grip on our economic well-being. The District tells us that they are doing it “for the children”. Baloney! They are doing it for themselves and in the process destroying opportunities for the children in this area. School taxes are over 60% of the total property tax. This can not continue. There needs to be fiscal discipline by the Board and the District officials. For anyone who thinks I am being apocalyptic, read the fine article by Niki Cervantes on the front page of the Sunday, March 25, edition of the Buffalo News. If that doesn’t worry you, read Tom Precious’ article on the 1st page of the City & Region section. At some point, we have to accept economic reality. Do we do it now when the costs of adjustment are relatively low, or do we wait until it requires draconian measures?
Jim Mulcahy
Posted March 26, 2007

Fire Company Medical Team Thanked - 2007

   Thank you to the Grand Island Fire Company. When I recently fell in my home and my daughter called the rescue squad, they were here in minutes and were wonderful. A special thank you to Rick! They took very good care of me and also were very supportive to my daugher, Stacey. They are the best. I ended up with multiple bruises and scrapes and a concussion, but am feeling much better. A big thank you to our neighbors and friends for their concern.
Carol Hamlin
Posted March 19, 2007

Appreciation For Fundraiser Success - March 2007
The Rastelli Family

Carol Rastelli is in red. (click name for story)
Hi Everyone,
   We just wanted to thank you very much for supporting our efforts to raise money for my mom's operation. The fundraiser was extremely successful due to the generosity of all of you! The amount of people who showed up to the fundraiser was a true testament to how much my mom means to so many people - she is truly a wonderful person. We apologize to anyone who had to wait in line to get in and for the parking situation, but we appreciated your patience and hope you had fun despite the crowd! The amount of people who showed up to the fundraiser was more than double than we had anticipated. If we had known, we would have had it at a much bigger place.
   Thank you again for all of your donations, baskets, and support through this hard time in our lives. Your friendships mean the world to us!
The Rastelli Family
(Nick, Carol, Anita, Tina, Nick, Tony, and Marty)
Posted March 8, 2007

It’s March Madness Time - 2007

   No, Silly, not the NCAA basketball tournament, I’m talking about the real March Madness: the Grand Island School District budget process.
   One has to wonder if the District officials: 1) forget what they have said in the past; 2) assume the public has forgotten; or 3) don’t care. The information contained in the March 2, 2007 edition of the Island Dispatch is chocked full of nuggets. I’m sure the District hopes that no one connects the dots.
   Let us start with the statement about the new approach to budgeting: “a version of zero-based budgeting.” This approach has nothing whatsoever to do with zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting wipes the slate clean and makes each and every expenditure justify itself anew. The School District’s approach, though, is one of arrogance and conceit, that is, that all of last year’s expenditures were spent wisely. In fact, they couldn’t have been spent more wisely. Such hubris.
   Mrs. Ingrasci is quoted regarding capital project savings of $500,000 and reserves of almost $3 million, which she ‘considers a start in the right direction.’ Stop the film! Let us rewind to last year, when Mr. Ramming was lauded for getting the reserves back to where the State recommended them to be: 2% of the budget or, approximately, $900,000. We are now $2.1 million above that. Does the District really think the reserve should be larger? Keep in mind that the school district borrows at under 5%, while the taxpayers pay from 6% - 21.6% on their various borrowings. The District taxpayers would be better off if they had these surplus reserves in their own pockets. Further, as Mr. Christmann pointed out ‘that traditionally the tax rate increases by 1 percent for every $250,000 of expenditures.’ Since the reserve is $2 million over the recommended level, we could have raised $2 million less last spring at budget time. By Mr. Christmann’s reasoning that would have lowered the tax rate increase by 8% (=$2,000,000/$250,000). This would have turned a 7.6% tax increase into a .4% decrease.
   Last December we were asked to approve a $4 million bond issue that was going to be totally reimbursed by the State. (It was FREE MONEY. Just remember that when you fill out your NYS income tax form or pay the 8.75% sales tax.) At one of the public information sessions promoting the bond issue, I asked why these projects haven’t been addressed already. Were we only doing them because we got FREE MONEY? My concern was that, given the pictures we were shown, these projects should have been done long before then.
   Let us go back to Mrs. Ingrasci’s comments about the capital surplus and the reserve. The purpose of the reserve, presumably, is to be there for unexpected immediate needs. The capital surplus reflects lower costs than were budgeted for on an existing project. Taking these two items together, we have $3.5 million: $500,000 in the earmarked capital account and the unallocated $3 million in the general reserve account. Why weren’t these funds used to fix the roof? If the State didn’t come through with FREE MONEY would these projects still be on hold? My guess is that the answer, unfortunately, is yes, otherwise the District would have utilized the funds they had already available for just such contingencies. This is the generous interpretation of their actions.
   I have criticized the fiscal management of the District in the past. I have been accused of being impolite or worse for doing so. Tough. The District is managing a $46 million enterprise. They should do so with competence. WNY is the only metropolitan area in the U.S. losing population. Given our tax rates and unfunded obligations to municipal employees, including school districts, things are going to get worse long before they get better. Unless and until the taxpayers demand prudent management of the various activities that the government entities engage in we will continue our downward spiral.
Posted by:
Jim Mulcahy
Posted March 8, 2007

Aydelotte Family Extends Appreciation - 2007

   Our family would like to thank everyone who donated theme baskets and all the other fantastic raffle items for Ba's benefit. We would also like to thank the community for coming out to provide their support. Your kindness and generosity made the evening a great success. We hope everyone had as much fun as BA did.
The Aydelotte Family
Posted March 8, 2007

Bridge Tolls
Be Careful What You Wish For! - Another Point Of View - 2007

By Robert Vogel
   There's been a lot of talk lately about removing the tolls on the GI Bridges...it's been said that this will fix every problem that has been plaguing Grand Island since the beginning of time. However, there might be another point of view worth considering. A view that this may not be a movement by some well intentioned fellow Islander concerned about the comfort and well being of the rest of us. I would like to offer that point of view on this most important matter. It's being said that just by removing the tolls life will improve in quantum leaps. Maybe people should hold off on their giddiness at having found the cure all to everything to think about this point of view, if even for just a brief moment.
   The idea being pushed down our throats is that the traffic problems at the bridges are caused by the toll booths. NOT SO FAST. It's most likely that backups are not caused by the tolls but by the bridges themselves. The bridges, as they are now, are a choke point for traffic. There are multiple lanes of traffic being squeezed into two lanes. Removing the tolls will not change that one bit. There will still be backups as long as there are only two lanes of traffic to access the Island. Case in point...the interchange from the 290 east to the 90 west at the blue water tower near Williamsville. There are no tolls there but everyday traffic backs up to Sheridan Drive simply because that is a choke point.
   The idea of squeezing I-190 Northbound, I-290 Westbound and River Road traffic into two lanes and not having some sort of traffic backup is ludicrous. You can't squeeze multiple lanes into just two lanes and expect everything to move along smoothly. It could be argued that the increased Island traffic that the promoters of toll removal are touting will most likely cause an increase in bridge traffic problems and accidents on the bridge. We've seen what happens when one lane is closed due to an accident or breakdown. Think for a second of the traffic mess if both lanes were blocked on the bridge---in the peak summer driving season. You could say that the toll booths, as they are now, actually help traffic flow because they force traffic to stop and proceed up the bridge in an orderly manner, thereby alleviating accidents. I for one would rather proceed slowly than not at all.
   Let's call this what it is... A disguised power play by greedy developers who are anxious to cover the Island with concrete and asphalt. The developers know that the tolls are an impediment to the kind of changes they'd like to see on Grand Island. If they get their way and you want to take a peak at what their vision of the Island is five or 10 years down the road, just look at Niagara Falls Blvd. from Robinson to Sheridan Dr. or Main St. in Williamsville any afternoon. The word that comes to mind is gridlock. Has everyone seen the story where Williamsville is now trying to narrow Main Street in an effort to force drivers to use alternate routes because of the horrendous traffic problems?
   After the tolls are removed, what's next? ...Widen Grand Island Blvd. then Baseline and Stony Point Roads to four lanes? Is there anyone who lives there that wants to see that happen? The first thing to consider is 'Why did I move to Grand Island'? There are a number of upscale communities in WNY. But what was it about the Island that made you want to move here? It's likely the reason is because of the rural, country like setting that exists here. Those qualities are what makes the Island a unique place. It can either stay that way or it can be turned into just another overcrowded, traffic congested suburb like so many others in WNY---with unchanged limited access. You can say goodbye to the Island as you know it if the developers have their way. And for all those promises of an increased tax base and its associated advantages...no ones life has improved one iota with all this increased tax base that we have been blessed with in recent years. If it's an improved quality of life you desire, petition the local and state governments to better spend the tax dollars they already take in.
   Do not mistake the intent of this article. It is not an endorsement of the bridge tolls. It is an indictment of the intent of pushy developers to forever change the Island. Not for your benefit---but for theirs. This is going to be a defining moment in the history of Grand Island. In this case, that old saying couldn't be more true. Be careful what you wish for...you just may get it.
Robert Vogel
Posted February 8, 2007

Waterford Park Developer Uncooperative - 2007

   I recently attended a meeting with the developer of the proposed Waterford Park subdivision off East River Road. Our intention was to see if the developer would integrate some green space into the plan to make it more attractive to all residents (future new builds alike) and less environmentally intrusive. Unfortunately, the developer was not open to any changes whatsoever and in the end indicated that resident concerns would not be given any consideration.
   The density of the proposed Waterford Park subdivision fails to meet the standards of what experts have come to call environmental sustainability. That is, establishing a balance between natural environmental features and economic development. Such balance should satisfy both developer and those who see value in maintaining green space.
   As a Grand Island resident since 1964, I am well aware of how this community has expressed pride in (and consciously touted) our rural character. To be consistent with the Town Master Plan, we would hope that the Town Board, in keeping with the concept of environmental sustainability, would respond favorably to citizen requests that the Waterford Park subdivision be altered in such a manner as to maintain green space while allowing for less dense, yet economically viable residential development.
Richard Seibert
Posted February 1, 2007

Bridge Tolls
Letter from the NY State Thruway Authority Concerning Tolls - 2007

By Rus Thompson
   I received this in the mail today as have others, I am curious, why? I have not sent any letter to the thruway authority. I only sent a few to the Governor's office, is this his response? I would certainly hope not.
   Talk about spewing the company line. I will wait for some kind of response from their office after we call them tomorrow.
   Click for
"Thruway Authority Letter."
Rus Thompson
Posted February 1, 2007

Thank you From Friends Of Library - 2007

By Barbara Jarzab
   The Friends of the Grand Island Memorial Library wish to thank all the patrons of our most recent used book sale, and everyone who has participated in the past. Without your patronage, our book sales would not be the successes that they are.
   Our latest book sale earned almost $2,000 which will help finance the reading and craft programs the library sponsors throughout the year, and it will also be spent on materials and supplies for the library. It is most rewarding to see the turnout at each sale and hear the comments from so many who are delighted with their purchases of books to enjoy and share.
   We look forward to seeing everyone at our next book sale which will be held at a future date in the upcoming months.
Yours truly,
Barbara Jarzab,
Vice President of the Friends of Grand Island Memorial Library
Posted January 11, 2007

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