School News Web Page
2010 JANUARY - JUNE
Previous News Pages
All photos by Mary Stewart and Jodi Robinson
"7/6/10 Tonawanda News" story.
"7/5/10 Buffalo News" story.
Shown from left are Edie Harsh, Sybil Kennedy, and Mr. Pritchard's wife and daughter, Ellie Pritchard and Cheryl Organ; (center) Maria Burns with camera, and Mr. Pritchard's granddaughter and son-in-law Julie Organ and Roger Organ; (right) Eric Reimann. In attendance but not shown were Jackie Pritchard and Victoria Mordaunt, Bud and Ellie Pritchard's daughter and granddaughter.
A sturdy oak tree was chosen for planting on the town hall property in remembrance of Francis "Bud" Pritchard, a longtime Grand Island town justice and a highly regarded attorney. Opening the ceremony was former Town Justice Eric Reimann who served the town for many years with Judge Pritchard. Mr. Reimann gave the Island history of the very abundant white oak trees as well as an overview of Bud's professional life and wonderful personality, as did family friend JP Kennedy.
Click photos for larger view
The planting took place on June 30, 2010, exactly one year after Bud's death. Court Clerk Maria Burns who spearheaded the arrangements, chose the spot due to the view from Judge Pritchard's law office window across Whitehaven Road where he practiced law for so many years. The tree is also in view from the town court chambers and is steps from the gazebo where the judge performed numerous weddings.
SeeFrank Pritchard/Buffalo News Obituary.
"6/27/10 Buffalo News" story.
"6/25/10 Buffalo News" story.
See "7/1/10 Buffalo News" update by Niki Cervantes.
"6/28/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Glynn.
All photos by Dawn & Kevin Cobello
1). Review of current local, state and national news events
2). American history education
3). Voter education regarding all parties and their candidates (what is their platform, voting history...etc.)
4). Audience participation from all points of view during Q&A/Discussion Sessions (group is intended to represent all political views)
No parking along Grand Island Boulevard between Whitehaven Road and KOA campground (2570 GI Blvd.);
No parking along Whitehaven between Trinity Church (2100 Whitehaven) and West Island Trucking (2449 Whitehaven);
No parking along the entirety of Alvin Road, from Baseline Rd. to Whitehaven;
Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and towed.
Thruway Ramp Closure
The on-ramp from Whitehaven to the I-190 northbound will be closed from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks display.
New segment of Spaulding Trail
Paul Leuchner photo - Click photo for larger view
Shown is a segment of the new Spaulding Trail in Beaver Island State Park. The trail has an environmentally friendly design employing compacted rock dust for the trail surface rather than asphalt. It is designed for pedestrian and bicycle use as well as cross country skiing during the winter months.
"6/11/10 Buffalo News story" by Dan Herbeck.
"6/14/10 Buffalo News story" by Brian Meyer.
The public is invited to attend the breakfast, where experts in Education, Telecommunications and Homeland Security will be on hand to share the latest developments in these areas and answer any questions.
Senator Thompson says, “Our goal is to have people walk away from this event feeling empowered and informed about community services in their areas and opportunities available to them.”
The Community Leaders & Stakeholders Breakfast is free and open to the public.
Contact: Ken Houston email@example.com 716.854.8705
See Paddles Up for complete information.
It was announced at 7:51 p.m. that the road would remain closed for six to eight hours. The GIFC returned in service at 8:30 p.m.
Supervisor Peter McMahon shakes the hand of good samaritan Gary Burkhart
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photo for larger view
Residents of the Island have been expressing their concerns about the high grass along the South State Parkway and the West River Parkway to anyone who would listen. Safety is their major concern. One homeowner stated that the grass is so high at the corner of Broadway and the Parkway that it is unsafe to pull out on to the roadway. Budget problems have made it necessary for the State Parks Department to curtail lawn maintenance along State parkways.
Fix Road resident Gary Burkhart, who heard neighbors talking about the height of the grass and the safety issues surrounding the situation, took it upon himself to do something about it. He began mowing at Broadway on Tuesday afternoon, June 1 and continued mowing until 7 p.m. He also mowed along the Beaver Island bike path area from Broadway to the State Park. Thus far he’s cut alongside the parkway for a few feet and the entire intersection at Fix Road. Gary was working on Bush and Ferry on Wednesday and planned to continue on Thursday, June 3, weather permitting.
Supervisor Peter McMahon who stopped by to say thanks on behalf of the people who use the parkway and the bike path, stated that Gary's efforts have made a dramatic improvement in safety for everyone who uses the parkway. "Things are the same on the West River Parkway. The State DOT mowers have been conspicuous by their absence," the Supervisor said.
"The situation on both the Beaver Island Parkway and the West River Parkway is disgraceful. I understand that there is a budget problem but this is a safety and a liability issue. A significant number of West River Road residents have also been out doing the State’s mowing," Supervisor McMahon said. "Everyone who has taken it upon themselves to help out in this situation deserves our thanks," he said.
Semi retired, Gary Burkhart has been an Island resident since 1969 and owns five acres on Fix Road, hence the large mower/tractor he is using on the Parkway. He is worried about safety issues especially since a grandson was involved in an accident at the intersection of Fix and Baseline roads last year.
Guest speaker Timothy McCoy
Mary Stewart Photos - Click for larger view.
(left) American Legion color guard - Rifle salute by the VFW color guard - Gold Star Mothers, Shirley Luther and Mary Ann Crowe.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st was celebrated across the country for the 143rd year. Grand Island residents and honored guests including Gold Star Mothers, Shirley Luther and Mary Ann Crowe and their families, gathered at DeGlopper Park at 10 a.m. for the annual remembrance of those Islanders who gave their life for their country and to honor those who served and are serving to insure our freedom.
Vice Commander DAV/American Legion Joe Synakowski called the roll of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom (see "Roll Call.")
Guest speaker was Col. Timothy J. McCoy, Air Force Reserve. Music was provided by the Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Marty Allen. Members of the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 gave the rifle salute and high school musicians played Taps. To close the program the GIHS wind ensemble played a special arrangement which honored each of the branches of the armed services. As attending veterans heard their "anthem" for their branch of service, they were asked to stand, a very moving closing. The VFW Post held an open house for all immediately following the service.
In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day. He declared it to be "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land." For further Memorial Day history, see www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/recon/jb_recon_memorial_1.html.
Angela Berti, NYS Parks photos
(left) Former Commissioner Paul G. Leuchner addressing the group at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - (middle) Paul Linenfelser testing out the new launch system - (right) Ribbon Cutting Team (from left to right front row: Rob Daley, New York Power Authority, Joe McMahon representing Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, Paul Leuchner, Commissioner Emeritus, Niagara River Greenway Commission, Mark Thomas, Western District Director, New York State Parks; left to right back row representatives from Senator Antoine Thompson's office. The Niagara River for everyone including those with physical handicaps and specials needs is one of the primary goals of the Niagara River Greenway Plan established in 2007. It was this goal that brought officials together on May 27, 2010 in Beaver Island State Park to officially open a kayak launch ramp that can be used by the handicapped.
Former Niagara River Greenway Commissioner Paul Leuchner has chaired the annual Paddles Up Niagara event since 2005. He observed that paddlers with disabilities were having a great deal of difficulty launching and retrieving their kayaks and canoes and set about finding a more efficient way for them to gain access the Niagara River. After many hours of research and countless interviews with parks and recreation officials across the country, a prototype launch system was developed with the aid of the EZ Dock Company in 2009. The proposal was endorsed by the Niagara River Greenway Commission and soon after Greenway funds from the re-licensing of the Niagara Power Project were made available for construction.
The new launch system allows people with physical disabilities to reconnect with their environment. There is ample evidence that paddling a kayak or canoe provides opportunities for socialization and personal fulfillment while the physical activity involved improves equilibrium and endurance leading to improved general health and wellness.
Completing this project was a team effort involving the New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Niagara River Greenway Commission and Anchor Marine the local franchisee for the EZ Dock Company.
"5/28/10 Buffalo News story".
See also "5/28/10 WINK News" and scroll down.
See also "5/29/10 Recovered Body".
"5/26/10 Buffalo News".
Sam Akinbami Photos - taken May 26, 2010 -Click photos for larger view
Jodi Robinson Photos - taken in April 2010 -Click photos for larger view
These photos were taken May 26, 2010. (left) An antique stove was saved from the wreckage
Photos/story by Teddy Linenfelser - Click photos for larger view
The building above, located on West River Road at Staley Road and in extremely poor condition, was torn down on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. The 65-year-old building was originally owned by Reg Long and was a replacement for his original store that burned along with his house in the early 1940s. Bowling enthusiasts on the Island were looking forward to the time when Reg would open his new Alley that was under construction in his store in 1948. He ran the store into the 1960s.
The building eventually became Gables Restaurant and then in 1975 it was opened as the Joncaire Restaurant. It was also known as the West River Restaurant and the Sideout. The property is owned and has been owned for many years by Ilona Lang.
Reggie Long died on December 7, 1970 at the age of 80. He held two terms as town supervisor, was also elected town clerk and ran his Long's Store from 1920 to the time of his death
For some of Reg's memories of local history, see "X Marks the Spot . . . If You're Lucky, a feature story at Isledegrande.com and written by Dick Burke for the Buffalo Magazine in 1967.
“I recently heard some shocking statics related to blood donations, such as, odds are one in three that someone will need blood during their lifetime, but the odds are only one in 33 that someone is regular donor,” said Legislator Hardwick, who plans to donate during the June 14 drive. “Donating blood can be an easy task that could truly save a life. One donor has the potential to save up to three lives.”
While the number of donations usually decreases in the summer, the number of accidents and need for blood transfusions tends to increase. If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event, Legislator Hardwick said.
Blood drives have been planned on the following days:
Noon to 5 p.m. Monday, June 14, at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road
2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at the Kenmore-Tonawanda Library, 160 Delaware Ave.
To register to donate at one of these events, call UNYTS at 512-7940.
UNYTS ensures that local donations go to patients in need at local hospitals. Community blood banks concentrate on fulfilling the blood needs of a single region. Often as a result of this locally-driven operation, donation rates rise among the area population and costs decrease on the part of area purchasers. For additional information, visit www.unyts.org.
Legislator Hardwick can be reached at 873-3438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"5/22/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Spina.
To locate the Launch, follow the Beaver Island Parkway to Ferry Road. Make a left on Ferry and follow around to the end. See http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
"5/12/10 Buffalo News".
"5/12/10 Buffalo News".
Click photos for larger view - Paula Sciuk photos
Click photos for larger view - Paul Leuchner photos
Almost 50 hearty volunteers came out by 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, May 8, 2010 to help in Grand Island’s sixth ReTree effort. The weather was windy and everyone got wet and muddy but 35 trees were planted by 11:30 AM. Twenty trees were placed at Ed Ball Park on the corner of Love and Stony Point roads which are shown in the photos. Fifteen trees were planted at Tower Park on Carl Road. Planting took extra effort because many of the holes had to have water removed from the heavy rains on Friday night and the mud took extra energy to handle.
Testing, which is required for anyone wishing to work as a lifeguard at any New York State Park, will take place at Niagara University, Lewiston, NY 14109 on the following days:
Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
Candidates may register for testing by calling the Niagara Region Administrative Headquarters at (716) 531-0497. For specific information regarding the test, please visit www.nysparks.com and once in the site, click on the “Inside Our Agency” button.
Prior to employment, successful candidates must be at least 16 years of age and must furnish proof of completion of CPR for the Professional and completion of the American Red Cross 1994 Revised Lifeguard Training, which includes First-Aid, with a certificate for the Waterfront Module or equivalent courses. Successful candidates will also need a physician's certification of adequate physical fitness including a minimum of 20/40 uncorrected vision after receiving a conditional job offer.
Lifeguard positions in the Niagara Region will be available at Beaver Island, Evangola, Fort Niagara and Wilson-Tuscarora State Parks.
For further information and to register for the test, call (716) 531-0497 weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m..
"5/6/10 Buffalo News".
See Paddles Up for complete information.
See Paddles Up Registration Information.
The photos (left) looking south from Staley, (right) looking north from Staley, were taken at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday from the Staley Road overpass.
Jodi Robinson photos - click for larger view
Wednesday, April 28, 2010. . . A Wednesday morning traffic jam on the 190 southbound caused a severe backup for travelers on or off the Island via the Grand Island Bridge. The cause of the tie-up was the south bridge (north) deck replacement. It was stated at a NYS Thruway Authority informational meeting on Friday, March 5th at Grand Island Town Hall that the construction company will be fined $1,000 per minute if the bridge is not open at 6 a.m. each day.
According to Councilman Dick Crawford who drove over the north Grand Island Bridge Wednesday morning and took the LaSalle Expressway to Williams Road and then to River Road, traffic was just as congested on that route, as many drivers attempted to avoid the original traffic jam.
See "4/28/10 Buffalo News" story by Denise Jewell Gee.
See also "4/28/10 Niagara Gazette" story by Eric Duvall.
Click photo for larger view
Councilman Dick Crawford took this picture on Friday, April 23 as wires were being passed by the utility company for the new round-about, in its early stages of construction at Grand Island Blvd. and Staley Road. "I was returning to the Island and stopped at the traffic light as the two employees were tossing a line from one bucket truck to another," Crawford said. Work on the round-about began earlier this month with the untility installation first on the list. "Actual construction is expected to follow almost immediately," Supervisor Peter McMahon reports. "There will be a truck detour which directs trucks to use the Whitehaven Road exit from the I-190 to avoid the construction zone. Once the construction is complete, trucks will have no problem negotiating the roundabout," the Supervisor said.
"4/23/10 Niagara Gazette" story by Rick Pfeiffer.
"4/24/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Glynn.
The victim has been identified as 60-year-old Miriam Notaro.
The Grand Island Fire Company responded to smoke in an apartment building at 2145 Bedell Road, Apt. 12 at 10:15 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2010. Upon arrival, the GIFC deemed the call a working fire and Sheridan Park Vol. Fire Company's FAST Team was requested to the scene. The fire was knocked down at 10:42 p.m. at which time a victim who was trapped in an apartment and died in the fire, was located and extricated. The fire was out at 11:10 p.m. followed by extensive overhaul and the Erie County Fire Investigator was requested.
See "4/23/10 WIVB.com".
See also "4/23/10 Buffalo News Story."
Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Koch was in charge of the call. Further details will be posted as they become available.
Click photo for larger viewThe Beaver Island State Park Golf Course opens Thursday, April 22. See "Golf Course Information".
"4/18/10 Buffalo News" story.
"4/9/10 Buffalo News" story by Matthew Spina.
HEAP for complete information.
"3/31/10 Buffalo News" story by Jonathan D. Epstein.
www.nittec.org and click "MY NITTEC" to receive up-to-the-minute personalized regional traffic and border crossing information on your Mobile Device or computer.
See "Further Information."
See "3/20/10 Buffalo News".
See "ARREST - 3/21/10 Buffalo News story" by Jay Rey.
Two construction projects at major highway interchanges in Erie and Niagara counties will cause delays and headaches for motorists and require many drivers to use local streets for detours — until the construction season ends in November. See Details
ABC News for 3/17/10 story.
After many years at the Grand Island Plaza, Blockbuster video will be closing April 19, 2010. At this time the store is selling all of its inventory. Rentals are no longer available. Blockbuster stores on Young Street in Tonawanda and Niagara Falls Blvd. in the Falls are now the closest for Islanders.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that seasonal slips at Big Six Mile Creek Marina located at 3219 Whitehaven Road in Grand Island, NY are still available. The price of the slip is based on the registered boat length and includes electric and water hook ups. The marina also has a boat launch ramp, sewage pump out, and gas, oil and ice for sale. There are currently nineteen (20) – 19 foot and thirty five (36) – 30 foot slips available. For more information, please contact the Beaver Island State Park office at (716) 773-3271.
Click photo for larger viewThe Grand Island Fire Company responded to a motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles and a US Mail Truck in front of 783 West River Road at 1:41 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 2010. The GIFC, under the command of Fire Chief Greg Butcher, requested the status of Mercy Flight, however, it was deemed not necessary. Two patients were evaluated with one sign off and one transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Twin City Ambulance. The GIFC remained on location until 2:55 p.m., standing by while vehicles were removed from against a house. More information will be added as it becomes available.
http://assembly.state.ny.us for complete information.
Daylight Saving Time
Left: NYSTA Division Director Tom Pericak and Traffic Supervisor George White
The NYS Thruway Authority held an informational meeting on Friday, March 5th at Grand Island Town Hall to discuss the upcoming South Bridge (North)
deck replacement. Division Director Tom Pericak and Traffic Supervisor George White outlined the construction and answered questions from the audience.
The project start-up date depends on the air temperature, as a grout being used will not set-up in lower temperatures with mid April being mentioned.
Information is available from the most recent flyer.
The intent is to notify commuters two weeks before the construction begins through the stationary sign boards on I-190 and I-290 and movable
sign boards in the region. When construction is in full swing, the bridge will be closed Sunday - Thursday nights from 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.
construction company will be fined $1,000 per minute if the bridge is not open at 6:00 a.m. each day. The town of Grand Island
is hoping that if a problem occurs and the bridges are not open at the appointed time, movable information boards can be utilized to inform commuters
before they attempt to enter at the Grand Island Blvd. and Beaver Island Parkway entrances. You may register to receive email alerts
from the TRANSalert system at the Thruway Authority website.
Jodi Robinson photo - Click photo for larger view.
See also "Thunder On Niagara Flyer"
"3/1/10 Buffalo News".
"Buffalo News" story by Matt Gryta
State Parks To Hold Lifeguard Tests.
The blind assignment for the Extended Canada Goose Season (3/1-3/10/10) will be done by call-in ONLY. Calls will be taken at 773-2010 between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm on the following dates: Thursday 2/25/10 for Monday and Tuesday, 3/1 & 3/2; Tuesday 3/2/10 for Wednesday-Friday 3/3–3/5 and Thursday 3/4/10 for Saturday-Wednesday 3/6-3/10. All call-in permits must be picked up at the Park Office by 4pm prior to the day of the hunt.
A boat is required to be on site, “at the ready”, for use in retrieving or rescue, as necessary.
To participate in the lottery drawings or call-ins, hunters must present a valid NYS Small Game Hunting license with a signed duck stamp, proof of registration in the Harvest Information Program (HIP), and proof of completion of a Waterfowl ID course. You may contact the Beaver Island State Park Office at (716)773-3271 on weekdays between 8:00am and 4:15pm for more information.
February 25, 2010 . . .Island residents Paul Leuchner and Rob Belue, representing the Niagara River Greenway Commission, kick off Paddles Up Niagara 2010 at the Marine Trades Association Boat Show held this past weekend at the Ralph Wilson Stadium Fieldhouse.
Though there is ice in the Niagara River and snow on the ground, the public gave Paddles Up Niagara 2010 a warm reception at the Marine Trades Association Boat Show this past weekend (Feb. 19-21). Additional activities are planned as part of the fifth anniversary of Paddles Up Niagara that will take place at Beaver Island State Park on July 24, 2010. There will be an early morning Kayak Poker Run and a Paddlesports Sprint Competition in addition to the traditional early afternoon paddle on the Niagara River. Throughout the morning the public will have an opportunity to try out canoes and kayaks and visit the various exhibits and displays. As in the past, the Grand Island Historic Society will be offering participants the opportunity to enjoy lunch at historic River Lea (advance reservations and payment are required). Since Paddles Up Niagara began in 2005, more than 750 people have paddled the waters of the Niagara River in their kayaks and canoes and thousands of others have circulated through the event demonstration and exhibit areas. For more information about Paddles Up Niagara 2010 check out the Niagara River Greenway Commission website at www.niagaragreenway.org.
Click photo for larger view.
Applications are available at the Beaver Island State Park Office, 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island, NY 14072, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. or by calling (716) 773-3271.
Completed applications, a copy of the current boat registration and a $5.00 non-refundable fee are required to be eligible for the lottery drawing. Applications will be accepted by mail or in person at the Beaver Island State Park Office until Monday, March 1, 2010. Applications delivered or postmarked after March 1 will not be accepted.
The public is invited to attend the lottery drawing which will be held at the Beaver Island State Park Office on Thursday, March 3rd at 10:00 a.m.
For more information, contact the park office at (716) 773-3271.
"2/20/10 Buffalo News Story".
"2/11/10 Buffalo News Story".
"Buffalo News" story.
"Buffalo News" story.
"Buffalo News" story.
Left to Right Seated: Gary Roesch, Peter McMahon, Mary Dunbar-Daluisio, Mark Leffler, Bob DeGlopper, Phil Buchanan and Floyd Doring.
The lawnmower race committee met on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 to begin the planning of the once annual event, now resurrected as the 2nd annual.
The race is planned for Father's Day, Sunday, June 20th, located at the north end of West River Road. Relay For Life teams are being encouraged to sell
food and novelty items at the race. This year's chairman is Floyd Doring, assisted by co-chairs, Gary Roesch and Mary Dunbar-Daluisio. The next
meeting is planned for Tuesday, March 16th at the Town Cafe.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.
Flooding due to overnight rain that continued into the morning of Mon., Jan. 25 caused major flooding in areas throughout the Island. The photo was taken from Klingel Town Commons looking across Whitehaven Road.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.
Left to Right Seated: Chris Bihler, Martha Muller, Hank Carroll, Nonnie Carroll
Eight members of the Grand Island Golden Age Center helped out Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel on Monday, January 11th by taking over the
job of sending out the Erie County tax bills. These super seniors enjoy a nice lunch and visiting with friends in early January and
again in the fall when the school taxes are sent out.
Left to Right Standing: Dorothy Lew, Gloria Diringer,Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel, Betty Marinell and Bernie Callahan
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.
Stephanie M. Ali, 22, of Grand Island, NY, and her daughter, Grace Ingalsbee, 5 months were fatally injured in a two-car, head-on accident in front of 2695 Grand Island Blvd. at 6:23 p.m. Tuesday, January 5, 2010. The Grand Island Fire Company medics under the direction of Incident Command, 1st Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Osinski, extricated and treated the mother and her baby. Mercy Flight was not available. Grand Island Blvd. remained closed to traffic between Baseline and Bedell roads and the GIFC remained on the scene assisting the accident investigation until 10:24 p.m. The City of Tonawanda responded to the GIFC Headquarters as backup for Grand Island. Further details to follow as they become available.