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Grand Island Town &
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Previous News Pages

Image of 'Grinch' Raised in Arrest - Dec. 2011

A Buffalo man was arrested Wednesday, December 28 by the Erie County Sheriff's Dept. The Department is working with area police agencies to link more than $10,000 worth of goods seized when the man was arrested. See 12/29/11 Buffalo News Report.

Resident Charged - Dec. 2011

Daniel L. Gross, 34, 110 Dolphin Dr., Grand Island, was charged with petit larceny about 11 p.m. Tuesday, December 27, according to Niagara Falls police. Gross tried to walk out of a grocery store on the 7200 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard without paying for nasal strips and rash relief. He was stopped by store employees and held for police.

Finally a Parking Lot For Turner's Port Of Call - December 2011

Chuck Berlinger photo - click for larger view
   With the Town's approval of a site plan resolution, the land across the East River Road from Turner's Port Of Call is now a legal parking lot, nearing the last stage of construction.

State Parks Offers First Day Hikes - Dec. 2011

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced a hike at Beaver Island State Park. See State Parks Hike

Registration renewal by phone planned - Dec. 2011

Drivers in Erie County will soon have a new way to renew their vehicle registrations. The Erie County Clerk's office will begin accepting registration renewals by telephone starting Jan. 3. See 12/27/11 Buffalo News Report.

Island Residents Charged - Dec. 2011

   Buffalo News: Two 22-year-old Grand Island men have been apprehended for a violent robbery involving an ax attack earlier this week in Black Rock, according to Northwest District police. See 12/24/11 Buffalo News Report.

Baseline Lights, a Long Tradition - December 2011

Mary Stewart photos - click for larger view
   This outstanding light display at 2516 Baseline (right across from Sidway), is at the home of Frank & Mary Quinn. Mary has been adding to her display for all the years she's lived on the Island, first on Redway Road and now on Baseline. Surely her friends and neighbors driving by appreciate all of the hard work Mary puts into this holiday display each year.

Share the Holiday Magic - Dec. 2011


Click photos for larger views.

   Santa came to town on Wednesday night and went back to high school! The Grand Island Student Council, under the direction of Robert Simpson and Christina Podlucky, transformed the Viking Mall into a winter wonderland for children and the community, for a good cause. Share the Holiday Magic is a program that the club sponsors every year to raise food and money for the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation. This year the Grand Island Lions Club also benefited from the hard work of students and advisors of many of the high school clubs. In addition to welcoming Santa with the Grand Island Town Recreation Department, a holiday tree auction was the highlight of the evening. Twelve trees were decorated by clubs and organizations in the high school and silently auctioned off with proceeds to benefit the Lions Club. Six of the trees were donated by the Lions Club and displayed outside, while six artificial trees adorned the inside of the Viking Mall. Trees were also voted as favorites with the donation of a non perishable food item for the Neighbors Foundation. This exciting event also included themed showcases, face-painting, cookie decorating, ornament making and carolers from The Friends of Harmony. Simpson and Podlucky hope to continue this new tradition next year with even more activities.

Cheryl Chamberlain photos - Click photos for larger views.

Santa At Kelly's Country Store - Dec. 2011

   The line to see Santa at Kelly's Country Store was long as children waited anxiously to see that "jolly fellow" and tell him what they wanted to see under their tree Christmas morning. Not only did Santa arrive, but two of his reindeer were also at Kelly's. Santa's visiting hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
   The Christmas season is also a time when lights and other Christmas decorations are displayed. Several homes on Love Road were lit up from simple to more elaborate decorations. The Christmas season can be a busy time with all the Christmas preparations but all are reminded of the real reason for the celebration of this special day, the birth of Jesus Christ.
    Kelly's Slide Show by Mary Stewart.

Dunlop Building - New Resolution Passed by Town Board - Dec. 2011

    See 12/12/11 Buffalo News Report by Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

State Park Winter Activities - Dec. 2011

   For all State Park winter activities, see Winter Activities.    Grand Island activities are list here:
Sunday, January 1
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
First Day Hike
Beaver Island State Park
Start the New Year on a healthy note and connect to the great outdoors on a fun hike along the Niagara River! In winter the unfrozen waters of the mighty Niagara attract arctic waterfowl and other birds in great numbers including Tundra Swans, Canvasback, Long-tailed, Goldeneye and Bufflehead ducks. In the event of deep snow we will outfit everyone with snowshoes to look for animal tracks and wildlife along the wooded trails. For information and registration call (716) 549-1050.
Saturday, March 3
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Birding on the River
Island & Buckhorn Island State Parks
Join us as we search for migratory waterfowl and other wintering birds found along the shores of the Niagara River. We will visit the new lagoon overlook as well as a few of the many viewing areas you will find in our state parks on Grand Island. For information and registration call (716) 282-5154.

2011-2012 Winter Waterfowl Drawings for Island Parks Set - Dec. 2011

   The issuance of permits for the remaining Waterfowl Hunting Season (12/26/11–1/09/12) for Beaver Island, West River Parkway and Motor and Strawberry Islands will be done by lottery in the basement of the Beaver Island Clubhouse. Doors will open at 5am and draw will begin at 5:30 a.m. sharp each day of the hunt. There will be one exception: The draw for Sunday, 1/1/12 will be done on Saturday, 12/31/11.
   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, 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 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. for more information.

State Parks to Issue "Snowmobile Use Permits" - Dec. 2011

   Beaver Island State Park is currently issuing permits that will allow snowmobilers to use the more than 12 miles of designated and signed snowmobile trails on State park property, located on Grand Island. The trails will be open between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. beginning on December 15, 2011. Snowmobiling is not allowed within Beaver Island State Park.
   There is no fee for the "Snowmobile Use Permit," but applicants must present a valid registration and proof of current insurance. A decal will be issued with the permit along with a copy of the rules and regulations and map showing the location of the designated trails and parking areas.
   Major David Page of the NYS Park Police reminds all snowmobilers that the park lands are off limits until December 15th and that there must be at least 3 inches of snow before the trails will be open.
   Permits will be available at the Beaver Island State Park Office on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.
   For further information, contact the Beaver Island State Park office at 773-3271.

Supervisor McMahon Resigns Effective Dec. 30th - December 2011

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., December 5, 2011 . . .Peter McMahon announced that he intends to resign effective midnight on December 30, 2011, after 14 years as Town Supervisor. In his letter of resignation, Supervisor McMahon thanked the town board for their "help, coopertion and inspiration" during their years of service together. In related news, Liz Wilbert will be assistant to incoming Supervisor and Councilwoman Mary Cooke, and will have a period of job training in the month of December. Councilwoman Mary Cooke has been appointed Deputy Supervisor, a post Councilman Richard Crawford has held for the past 14 years.
   The public hearing for the creation of Grand Park Vue Phase VI Lighting District was approved after no comments for or against were heard. The district is located in the Havenwood Lane development.
   The town board approved the recommendations of the Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board for the following speed limits on local roads:
		   Sub-Divisions - 30 mph
		   W. River Rd. - 35 mph
		   Huth Rd. - 35 mph
		   Stony Point Rd. from Whitehaven to East River - 45 mph
		   Fix Rd. from Hidden Oak to W. River - 40 mph
   A contract for E-waste recycling with RCR&R was approved, the town will receive 8.6 cents per pound for all electronic waste. A collection site will be set up at the Highway Department which will be open during normal business hours. A new law will soon be in effect that prohibits putting electronics out with regular garbage service.
   By a vote of 4-1, with Councilwoman Cooke being the negative vote, the town board approved a resolution to support the upcoming GI School District Capital Project. The resolution stated the "Town Board supports efforts of the School Board to maintain and increase the educational atmosphere for Grand Island students." Councilwoman Cooke brought up the point of whether it was "proper" for the Town Board to support the project.
In other business, the Board:
•Set a public hearing date of Dec. 19th, 2011 to "consider said increase and improvement" of the town sewer facilities.
•Approved an Additional Work Authorization for the Water System Capital Improvement Project at the cost of $23,700.
•Award bid for the purchase of polymer for phosphorous removal at the Grand Island Wastewater Plant. The only bidder was Polydyne, Inc. at $ .90 / pound.
•Approved change order #3 for Fisherman's Landing in the amount of $3,220.05
•Approved change order #2 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the amount of $376.00.
•Approved the recommendation of Code Enforcement Officer Doug Learman regarding the Board of Plumbing Examiner's Election. Eric Ackerman will have a two year term, while Frank Graninetti and Michael Higgins will have one year terms that run from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012. Gerald Soto and Sean Towlson will then serve from January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013. •Approved a resolution that directs the town Code Enforcement Officers to inspect and enforce all relevant codes for the property located at 2761 Long Road. This property has been vacant for an extended period of time.

American Red Cross Blood Drives - Dec. 2011

       The following "American Red Cross" blood drives have been announced for December.
• 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, December 18 - St. Stephen's RC Church, Baseline Road
• 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 27th - Grand Island Fire Hall, 2275 Baseline Road
   All donors in December receive a coupon for 6 free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings and are entered to win an entertainment system from Best Buy!

GI Re-assessment Plan Presentation - Dec. 2011

   TeaNewYork.com is hosting a presentation and will facilitate a Q&A session with representatives of the town board and the town assessor (confirmed). The objective of this meeting is education on the plan for all Grand Island resident property owners.
When: Monday December 12th 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Where: Grand Island Library - Bedell Road
Topic: TeaNewyork.com GI Re-assessment Plan Presentation and Q&A with GI Town Board Reps and Assessor

Decomposed Body Pulled From West River - Dec. 2011

    See 12/6/11 Buffalo News Report.

Amy Stewart Donates $7000 To Miracle League - December 2011

Buffalo News Report
Updated: November 27, 2011, 9:14 AM
On Thanksgiving, the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York was presented with a check for $7,000 by Amy Stewart, one of two women injured in a hit-and-run accident on Main Street in 2009. The money was raised in the “Strides for Stewart” charitable 5k race on the Island in September. The race was originally coordinated to benefit Stewart herself, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was struck by the vehicle. But she has kept the race going to benefit other charities. Last year, the money raised went to Erie County Medical Center. This year Stewart chose the Miracle League, a baseball league for people with disabilities.

UNICEF Results- December 2011

Final UNICEF results are in: This year's TRICK-OR-TREAT-FOR UNICEF total is a bit short of our $2,000 goal. We collected $1,930.51. Lee Tetkowski reminds you that if 7 generous people would still send in $10 each, we could be there! For our Grand Island Central Schools to get credit, check to U. S. Fund for UNICEF should be mailed to Lee at 1530 Whitehaven Road soon.

Voter Education Before Dec. 20 Capital Project Vote - Nov. 2011

   TeaNewYork.com is hosting a presentation Monday, December 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Island Memorial Library and will facilitate a Q&A session with Superintendent Robert Christmann, Board President David Goris and Board Vice President Tak Nobumoto (all confirmed). The objective of this meeting is voter education prior to the scheduled 20-December Capital Project Vote. Sponsored by TEANewYork, a citizen and political action organization dedicated to restoring constitutionally limited governments, fiscal accountability and free markets.

Ring Discovered off Beaver Island Shore - Nov. 2011

    See Buffalo News Report by Nancy Fischer.

Town Revaluation Debated - Nov. 2011

    See Buffalo News Report by Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

Coming Soon....Dunkin' Donuts! - November 2011

Jodi Robinson Photo - click for larger view

   The S & G Express gas and convenience store, located at 2024 Grand Island Blvd., is under renovation to add a Dunkin' Donuts coffee shop. Dunkin' Donuts is the world's leading baked goods and coffee chain with 9,760 Dunkin' Donuts stores worldwide. There are 6,772 franchised restaurants in 35 United States and 2,988 international shops in 30 countries. The new store is scheduled to open in January. See Site elevations.

Messiah Sing-Along - November 2011

Messiah Sing-Along - Monday, November 28, 2011 - 7:30pm - Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus
Doreen Rao, conductor in St. Stephen's Church
Join the Chorus and soloists for the “not to be missed” opportunity to SING Handel’s Messiah. Fill St. Stephen's with the joyful sounds of "For Unto Us A Child is Born" and the "Hallelujah" chorus. A non-perishable food offering for the Grand Island Neighbors' Foundation will be accepted at the door. Free-will offering $10.

Town Property Assessment Meeting - November 2011

   Grand Island Property Re-Assessment Changes Education and Q&A meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 21 at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road. The meeting is being hosted by: Erie County Watch - Grand Island (formerly Grand Island Patriots). All Grand Island property owners are encouraged to attend.
Meeting agenda:
1). The town assessor, Judy Tafelski, will present details of the planned changes in the Grand Island assessment process followed by a Q&A session. The town board has been invited to attend. The objective of this meeting is to answer our questions regarding the plan and the objectives of the changes.
2). Initiate discussion regarding school capital budget which is scheduled to be voted on December 20. An education meeting on November 28 will focus on this topic at 6:30 p.m. at the GI Memorial Library.
   Additional meetings follow:
   School Capital Budget education and Q&A Meeting - what is its impact - 6:30 p.m., Monday, November 28, and 6:30 p.m. Monday December 5 in the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road - Hosted by: Erie County Watch - Grand Island - All Grand Island taxpayers are encouraged to attend
   School Capital Budget education and Q&A Meeting - what is its impact - Session 2, Monday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Island Memorial Library - 1715 Bedell Road Hosted by: Erie County Watch - Grand Island All Grand Island taxpayers are encouraged to attend.

On the Way to UNICEF Kids - November 2011

UNICEF coin sorters, 33rd year of Grand Island Boy Scouts Sorting for UNICEF.

    The Boy Scouts from Troop 510 were ready to unload the heavy cartons of little orange boxes on Wednesday, November 9. Once again Grand Island participated in its long uninterrupted history of sharing the fun of Halloween with Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.
   Under the chairmanship of Lee Tetkowski, the following teachers directed the UNICEF education and collection at each of these schools:
Sidway: Linda Samland
Kaegebein: Maria Siebert
Huth Road: Jennifer Kropidlowski
Connor Middle: Jayne Schaber
   The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School also participated.
   After the sorted bags of coins were delivered to the HSBC Bank on Grand Island, they were sent to their city branch for automatic counting. "We are waiting for the results," Mrs. Tetkowski said.
   By Hal Pierce's estimate (using a scale and math) "we have not reached our hoped for goal of $2,000. Last year Grand Island sent $2,285.51."
   Did you prepare for Trick-or-Treaters who didn¹t show up? Checks in any amount made out to U. S. Fund for UNICEF may still be mailed to Lee Tetkowski at 1530 Whitehaven Road. Many thanks to all of you who did give generously!
    If you need a refresher, UNICEF was founded about 65 years ago to help children after WWII when thousands of children faced hunger and disease. UNICEF has grown to help kids in desperate conditions all over the world. $25 can provide pencils and notebooks for 52 children.
See UNICEF helpers

Sample 2011 Ballot - November 2011

   See Sample 2011 Ballot.

Political Signs Burned - November 2011

Mary Stewart photo - click for larger view
   See WGRZ Story.

Island Man Guilty Of Drug Counts, Jailed for 46 Months - November 2011

    Ayman Abdellatif, 32, of Grand Island has been sentenced to a 46-month jail term. See Buffalo News Report.

Daylight Saving Time Ends November 6 - Nov. 2011

    Daylight Saving Time will end on the last possible day this year in the United States since November starts on a Monday. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 6, 2010. At 2 a.m. on Sunday we will "fall back" one hour to 1 a.m., proving an extra hour of sleep but also creating the illusion of waking up an hour earlier than usual.

Beaver Island Golf Course Closed - October 2011

   Effective immediately, the golf course at Beaver Island State Park is closed. The course will re-open, weather permitting, in the spring! The announcement is being made by Angela P. Berti, Western District Marketing and Public Affairs Coordinator, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Hardwick Donates To Miracle League - Oct. 2011


Mary Stewart Photos - Click for larger view
   Grand Island's Miracle League was presented with a donation by Legislature Kevin Hardwick at the league's "Halloween Game" on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Though the turnout may have been low, the kids still had a great afternoon of baseball. Among those participating in the presentation were Kim McMahon, Kevin Hardwick, Stephanie McMahon, Sue Frederick and Miracle League Presidnet Theresa Hooper. Children picture are Ellie Podsiadlo, Nicole Serio, and Ian Cameron

Fuccillo Chevrolet donates $1,000 to School District - October 2011

   Fuccillo Chevrolet recently made a $1,000 donation to the Grand Island School District. See Buffalo News Report.

Candidate Meet & Greet - Nov. 2011

   A Candidate Meet & Greet will be held on Tuesday, November 1st from 5 to 7pm, at River Oaks, 201 Whitehaven Road on Grand Island. Erie County Executive Chris Collins and County Legislator Kevin Hardwick of District 4 will be in attendance, in addition to other candidates running on the local and county level. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Sponsored by TEANewYork, a citizen and political action organization dedicated to restoring constitutionally limited governments, fiscal accountability and free markets. More information can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/TEA-New-York/events/38418682/

Public Hearing Set For Farmers' Rights Law - October 2011

    A public hearing is set for 8 p.m. November 7, 2011 at the town hall in regard to a Farmers' Rights Law. See Buffalo News Report by Charity Vogel.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF - Oct. 2011

Click above for complete view

Long time Island UNICEF Chair Lee Tetkowski, Alexandra Oldman, Leah Hurley Sully Korte, Anthony Soluri with Mrs. Samland and Supervisor McMahon starting to fill the UNICEF boxes

   It is almost Halloween! It is almost Trick or Treat for UNICEF time! Those little orange cartons have been distributed in the schools throughout the Island. Teachers have helped our youngsters understand how they can help other children around the world. Lives of thousands of vulnerable children in distant countries can be improved if you'll help fill those boxes with coins and bills when our kids in their costumes visit you.
   For over 60 years, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has continued to provide clean water, life-saving medicines, school supplies and educational information, where it has been needed. Our students should feel proud of the money they raise to help other kids around the world.
   Do you know that Grand Island is one of the communities that has continuously participated in this program from its beginning? Last year on Halloween our kids and community raised $2,285.51. Let's continue to make a difference in the lives of children around the world!
   Lee Tetkowski once again is chairing this important program. Checks made payable to the U. S. Fund for UNICEF may be safely put into the orange cartons or mailed to Lee at 1530 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island, NY 14072 to add to our school's total donation this year.

Candidates Night Report - October 2011

    A Candidates Night was held on Thursday, October 20th at 7:00 p.m., at the Family Life Center, 1780 Love Road. See Buffalo News Report by Samantha Maziarz-Christmann.

Daylight Saving Time Ends November 6, 2011 - Turn Clocks Back

On Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States. See Daylight Saving Time

Candidates Night - October 2011

    A Candidates Night will be held on Thursday, October 20th at 7:00 p.m., at the Family Life Center, 1780 Love Road. All of the candidates for town government and Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick will be on hand to take your questions. The League of Women Voters will be moderating the event, which is scheduled to last one and a half hours. Refreshments will be served. The community is asked to participate, as a better educated resident can make better decisions when it comes time to vote. This event is sponsored by the chairmen of the Democratic, Republican, Independence and Conservative parties.

Grand Island Chapter Heart Link Women's Network News- Oct. 2011

    The HeartLink Woman's Networking luncheon is being held Tuesday, October 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hosting the luncheon are the Grand Island co-chapter leaders, Lynn Schutt and Tracy Pufpaff in Tracy's home at 261 Marlin Drive. This month's honorees are breast cancer survivors and cancer councilors. All inquires are welcome by calling Lynn at 479-4887or Tracy at 909-9390.

Mobil Station Demolition -Oct. 2011

The first picture was taken in early September and the other, on Sunday, October 9, 2011 by Mary Stewart. Click Mary's photo for a larger view.
See Buffalo News Report.
The Mobil gas station, an eyesore for several years, was demolished and the property will be the site of a Tim Horton's Cafe and Bake Shop

State Parks Announces Waterfowl, Blind Drawings - Oct. 2011

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that lottery drawings for the first half of Waterfowl Hunting Season at Beaver Island State Park have been scheduled. See State Parks Drawings

Resident Admits Embezzlement - Oct. 2011

See Buffalo News Story

Carter Drive Resident Pleads Not Guilty - September 2011

See Buffalo News Story

Riverkeepers Cleanup - Sept. 2011

Three friends took time out of their busy lives on Saturday morning, September 24 to volunteer for the Riverkeepers Cleanup event that took place around Western New York. Sandy Syracuse, Jen Hinkle and Nancy Anderson volunteered their time at Buckhorn State Park and combed the river's edge in bushes and fields to clean up the park for a better environment. The big finds of the day were a tire and a Rubbermaid storage unit lid. How they got in the park, is, of course, a mystery. They volunteered their time in honor of Jen's daughter, Ashley Bleistein, who would normally volunteer for the cleanup, but is in Nicaragua serving in the Peace Corps. Thank you to Larry Brooks from Riverkeepers who was the leader of the cleanup at Buckhorn Park.

Hardwick Holds Outreach Meetings - September 2011

    Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick today announced that his office has scheduled four outreach meetings for October 4, 2011. These meetings are designed to give residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns and share information from the County Legislature.
   Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick today announced that his office has scheduled four outreach meetings for October 4, 2011. These meetings are designed to give residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns and share information from the County Legislature.
   “Outreach meetings are a tremendous resource for residents to find out about County government and to discuss their needs within the local community,” Legislator Hardwick said. “"I encourage residents to stop and learn more about the many programs available to them.”
   Information on County services, including Department of Senior Services, Social Services, Veteran Affairs and the County Clerk’s office will be available. Free notary services are also offered at Outreach Meetings. Copies of Legislator Hardwick’s Newsletter, Hot Spot Fishing Maps and Bicycle Route Guides will be on hand.
    The schedule for the day is as follows:
• 9:30 am to 10:30 am Grand Island Senior Center, 3278 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island
• 11am to 12:30pm, Grand Island Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island
• 1pm to 3pm, Tonawanda Senior Center, 33 Main Street, Tonawanda
• 3:30pm to 5pm, Tonawanda Public Library, 333 Main Street, Tonawanda
   Legislator Hardwick is also available to meet with residents by appointment. Please call his Legislative Office at 873-3438 or email Kevin.Hardwick@erie.gov to schedule a meeting.

Antique & Classic Boat Show - Sept. 2011

    See Slide Show

Mary Stewart photos

The 34th annual Antique& Classic Boat Show and Race Boat Reunion was held Saturday, September 10, 2011 at the Buffalo Launch Club, Grand Island. Featured were antique cars and restored mahogany boats, classic cars and vintage race boats, as well as hydroplane races. Great weather brought out a huge crowd throughout the day.

Verizon Offering Region ‘4G’ High Speed Network - Sept. 2011

    See Buffalo News Story

GIHS Helps Hunter's Hope - September 2011

(left photo) Taylor Sweet is on top, (left below her) Shannon Doctor, Brittany Banks and Taylor Moran - (right photo) Dominic Morell and Sydney Dudish - Click photos for larger views.

Grand Island High School Band
    Fantasy Island was the setting for the fourth annual "Every Step Walk" on Saturday, September 17th. Every Step is a national walk to educate our country on the inequality of Newborn Screening from state to state. The Hunter's Hope Foundation is behind this effort to bring awareness to the importance of this cause. Jim and Jill Kelly were on hand at the walk to congratulate and present scholarships to this year's student team of Sydney Dudish and Dominic Morell who were an intergral part of organizing the walk with the local credit unions of Western New York. The Grand Island Federal Credit Union members were out in force and enjoyed performances from student volunteers from The Grand Island High School Band and Cheerleading squad. Many additional high school volunteers were also present to assist with the many duties of the walk. Grand Island High School continues to be a proud supporter of this yearly event and looks forward to next year's fundraising activities.

Mobil Station Demolition -Sept. 2011

See Buffalo News Report.

Island CROP Walk - Sept. 2011

    The annual CROP Walk (Communities Response to Overcome Poverty) on Grand Island takes place on Sunday, September 25, 2011. Registration will be held at 1 p.m. and the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. in Beaver Island State Park Pavilion down by the docks. 25% of the walk is shared between Trinity UM Church Food Pantry and Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island. This is the 25th Anniversary of the Fulton CROP Hunger Walk. For further information contact Paul E. Robinson, prka2ymf@roadrunner.com, 716-773-3550 or 716-912-6743. See also http://www.crophelpsgi.info.

MVA on Whitehaven - September 2011

   Grand Island firefighters responded to a two-car motor vehicle accident at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, September 13. There were no injuries.

Grand Island Chapter Heart Link Women's Network News- Sept. 2011

    At the August meeting of the Grand Island Chapter of the Heart Link Women's Network, attendees were able to sponsor eight (8) care packages for www.MarineParents.com, a group that sends care packages to soldiers who don't get much mail, deployed in dangerous areas.
   The Heart Link Women's Network is an international women's networking group that supports and encourages woman entrepreneurs and business owners in an intimate and safe environment. They are industry exclusive and invitation only. The Grand Island area Co-Chapter leaders are Lynn Schutt (with Tracy Pufpaff) who hosts the monthly meetings in her home. Any woman who would like more information can go to www.theheartlinknetwork.com or for the Grand Island chapter, go to www.14072.theheartlinknetwork.com. Their next meeting is on Tuesday, September 20, from 11:30 am-1:30 pm at 261 Marlin Dr. All inquires are welcome.

Antique & Classic Boat Show - Sept. 2011

    See Buffalo News Story

Two Arrested for Stealing Televisions - Aug. 2011

    See Buffalo News Story

Legislator Hardwick Announces Outreach Meetings - Sept. 2011

   Tonawanda, NY – Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick will host a District Outreach Meeting in September designed to give residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns and share information from the County Legislature. “These outreach meetings are a perfect vehicle for residents to address their needs and find out more about what is happening in County government,” Legislator Hardwick said. “I look forward to meeting my constituents and letting them know that I will actively address their concerns and issues.”
· September 6 - Grand Island Senior Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, 9am to 11:30am
· September 16 - Grand Island Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island, 10am to 11:30am.
Information on County services, including Department of Senior Services, Social Services, Veteran Affairs and the County Clerk’s office will be available. Free notary services are also offered at Outreach Meetings. Copies of Legislator Hardwick’s Newsletter, Hot Spot Fishing Maps and Bicycle Route Guides will be on hand.
   Legislator Hardwick is also available to meet with residents by appointment. Please call his Legislative Office at 873-3438 or email Kevin.Hardwick@erie.gov to schedule a meeting.

Miracle League Receives CSEA Donation - Sept. 2011

    Miracle League of Grand Island & Western New York director Rob Ratajczak (left) graciously accepts a donation from CSEA Unit President Doug Learman. The donation was given on behalf of the 23 Town of Grand Island employees represented by CSEA to assist in the construction of Miracle Field.

Miracle League - Play Ball! - August 2011

The playing field at Veteran's Park, dedicated to the Miracle League of Grand Island & WNY is close to completion. A game between the Sabres and the Sabres Alumni will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30th. Opening day is scheduled for Sunday, September 11th at 2 p.m., after the Strides for Stewart Race. See Miracle League for more information.

Green Buildings Open House - 2011

    The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s annual Green Buildings Open House, the largest sustainable energy event in the Northeast, will be taking place on October 1, 2011 from 12 to 4 PM at the Riverside-Salem Straw-bale Shelter. Riverside-Salem is located at 3449 West River Road. On this day, homes, businesses and schools will invite the public inside to investigate the renewable technologies and green building features being employed on site. See NSEA information for details about this location and others across the country.

"The Lodge" Grand Opening - Sept. 2011

    All Grand Island residents (and surrounding areas), of all ages, are warmly invited to participate in the grand opening of “The Lodge”, a community gathering place for friends and neighbors located at 1578 Baseline Road. This spiritually based drop-in café and place for worship is the home of Live, Laugh, Love Ministries and its founders, Pastor Dan and Linda Stinson.
    The vision of this ministry is to provide a caring and conversational environment to anyone who seeks to meet new friends and fellowship. The ministry is non-denominational and non-judgmental. Its goal is to be available to residents who seek the best that life has to offer through a loving God.
    An open house is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, beginning at 10am. There will be special music, drinks and snacks, games, raffles and more. Check out the ministries web site for more details at www.livelaughloveministries.org and click on “Upcoming Events” for information about the opening day event.

Miracle League Field Nears Completion - August 2011

   The playing field at Veteran's Park, dedicated to the Miracle League of Grand Island & WNY is close to completion. Pictures taken on Wednesday, August 17th show the field being laid out and the facilities building complete but not as yet operational. A game between the Sabres and the Sabres Alumni will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30th. Opening day is scheduled for Sunday, September 11th at 2 p.m., after the Strides for Stewart Race.
   The Miracle League of Grand Island was started in June 2010, when some local residents chatting at McMahon's restaurant said, "we could do that." In July of 2010, the Grand Island/WNY group joined the national organization, and the Grand Island Town Board donated land at Veteran's Park and fundraising began. So many people have donated time, money and energy to the project, and amazingly, just over one year after discussions began, it will be a reality.
   The following information was gathered From the Miracle League website and describes who is eligible to participate:

The Miracle League of Grand Island & WNY is open to individuals with a physical or mental disability and those with a chronic illness who may not be able to play baseball on a grass/mud field. But it's more than playing a game. The Miracle League is about making new friends, building self-esteem and being treated just like other kids. To help the athletes, the Miracle League uses a "buddy" system - pairing each player with an able-bodied peer. The result is a bond that cannot be described.

The Miracle League serves children who suffer from any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded whether intentionally or not, from conventional youth baseball leagues. According to the 2000 Census Bureau there are 12.3 million children in our country, including Puerto Rico and Canada between the ages 5 and 19 who have disabilities and with young adults that number increases substantially.

The following are the goals for Miracle League Buddies:
To protect the Miracle League Player at all times.
When hard hitters are up to bat, buddies are to step in front of the Miracle League player for protection.
Always allow the Miracle League Player as much freedom as possible to play his/her own game.
Assist Miracle League Player according to their needs.
Be of good spirit with enthusiasm, love, good altitude and concern in motivating the players and their families.
Become their friend. Get to know the players and their families.
Arrive at the field 30 minutes prior to game time.
Be properly dressed and clean dressed in a Buddies shirt.
Demonstrate high morals and integrity on and off the field.
   For more information on how you can help with donations or volunteering, go to the website www.miracleleaguewny.org

Lawnmower Race Plaque Presented - August 2011

(left) Co-chairman Gary Roesch, Becky Stufkowski, Co-chairman Floyd Doring, Relay for Life Chair Mary Dunbar-Daluisio and Supervisor Peter McMahon (event logistics). Not pictured are Peter Marston and Becky Howell who coordinated the classes, rules and registration
Click photo for larger view
Mary Stewart Photo

   A plaque was presented to the town of Grand Island in recognition to the second Father’s Day lawnmower race event. The lawnmower race was reinstated in 2010 after a 22-year hiatus. The race was originally started in 1968 with Floyd Doring challenging his neighbors as to who had the fastest lawnmower in the neighborhood. Gene Roesch, father of Gary Roesch, got involved as the official starter. The checked flag that he used was originally used as the finish flag in the Buffalo Launch Club boat racing days. Gary Roesch still uses it as the start flag.
   Becky Stufkowski coordinated all the food and beverages arrangements.
   The event last year raised $3k and this year incorporating a classic car show netted over $46k for the GI relay of life.

Power Outage Aug 19-20 - 2011

    Fifty-eight Island customers may be inconvenienced by a planned power outage for approximately four hours between the times 10 p.m. Friday, August 19, 2011 until Saturday morning, August 20, 2011 at 2 a.m. The following addresses will be affected: 1765-1989 Grand Island Blvd., and 1796-1982 Webb Rd.
    "If we are not able to do our work at that time, it will be done the following Friday night, August 26, 2011 until Saturday, August 27, 2011 at the same time," a National Grid representative said.

National Night Out - August 2011

Slide Show

Mary Stewart photos

   National Night Out, sponsored by the Grand Island Parks & Recreation Department was held Tuesday evening, August 2 in Marion Klingel Town Common gazebo area. Designed to heighten crime and drug prevention, the event offered free entertainment by the Lost Souls Brass & Percussion group as well as displays by law enforcement and the Grand Island Fire Company.
   Children's activities included games and crafts and the NY State Police conducted a free "child car seat safety inspection." Beautiful weather contributed to an enjoyable evening.

Owl Rescued From Sidway Soccer Net - August 2011

From left: Jessica Coughlin, Greg Butcher and Cliff Smith.
Jodi Robinson photos - Click photos for larger view

UPDATE - The SPCA was called Friday morning and reported that the owl suffered bumps and bruises and dehydration. They expect the owl will be released back into the wild in a few days.
   Kids playing at Sidway discovered an owl trapped in a soccer net on the morning of Thursday, August 4th. They notified Park and Recreation employees Cliff Smith and Tom Dworak who were nearby. Town Supervisor Peter McMahon, Animal Control officer Greg Butcher and SPCA Wildlife Rescue driver all arrived to help free the Great Horned owl. While Butcher covered the owl's head, Coughlin secured the talons and Smith and Dworak carefully cut away the netting. The owl was expected to make a full recovery after being checked out at the SPCA.

Paddles Up Niagara Huge Success - July 2011

The photos were taken from the Grand Island Fire Company’s elevating platform.
Angela Berti, NYS OPRHP photos
Click photos for larger view

   The sixth annual Paddles Up Niagara, the largest ever for the six-year event, was held Saturday, July 30, 2011 with clear skies and hot and sunny weather. The day's activities were hosted by the Town of Grand Island, Anchor Marine and WEKANU. The non-competitive paddle, a 4.9-mile journey, started from the Little Beaver Launch site, moving around to East River Marsh Site and returning back to Little Beaver, all within the Beaver Island State Park. The Grand Island Historical Society opened its headquarters in the park and hosted a picnic lunch when the Kayak/canoe event finished. Paddles Up, drawing 210 boats and about 243 paddlers, benefitted the Niagara River Greenway Commission.

National Night Out Planned - July 2011

    National Night Out, Tuesday, August 2nd, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Trooper Dobson’s children awarded funds - July 2011

    See Buffalo News Story

Concert At Holiday Inn - 2011

    The Grand Island Holiday Inn Ballroom will be alive with music when the pan-Celtic band from Philadelphia (Barleyjuice) will be in concert on Friday, September 9th from 8:30-11:30 PM. The concert proceeds will benefit LEAP of WNY, a non-profit children's literacy organization in Tonawanda that serves children from all over. The band is lively and entertaining playing several Irish and Scottish folk songs along with some of their own.
   The concert is a 21+ event with tickets costing $15 in advance, $20 at the door and may be purchased online at leapofwny.org or by calling 873-0429.

Ride For Roswell Grand Island Sunday, August 21st - 2011

    Roswell Park will be having a ride on Grand Island on Sunday, August 21, 2011. The Ride Grand Island is a new riding and fundraising event supporting The Ride For Roswell. It is designed to encourage current and prospective riders to adopt a healthier lifestyle, by riding their bikes year round. It also gives cyclists the opportunity to fundraise in support of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and its core mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer. This event also serves to increase community awareness of and involvement in The Ride For Roswell while enjoying leisurely bike riding around one of the world's biggest inland island! As with any event of this nature, there is a great need for volunteers to make this event a success. If you are interested in volunteering, please see list of needed jobs and their descriptions. Shift times range from 5:30 am-9 am, 9 am-12:30 pm, or 5:30 am - 12:30 pm. Volunteer Form.
    Riders Information:
There are 4 different distances to choose from: 3-Mile Family Fun Ride - preliminary start time 9 am, 12-Mile - start time 8:30 am, 25-Mile (1 lap around G.I.) - start time 7:30 am, 50-Mile (2 laps around G.I.) - start time 7 am.
Rider registration link http://giving.roswellpark.org/page.aspx?pid=1306 is now available.
Cost: $10 registration fee for everyone, Extra Mile Club Members: $25 min. fundraising requirement, June 2011 Riders: $50 min. fundraising requirement, All NEW riders: $100 min. fundraising requirement. You can call the Ride line at (716) 843-7433 if you have any questions or need any additional information.

Strides For Stewart Race Sunday, September 11th - July 2011

   UPDATE: Race Entry Form & Information.
    The third annual Strides For Stewart Race will take place at Veteran's Park on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The proceeds of this year's race will go to the Miracle League of Grand Island and WNY facility being built in Veteran's Park. This will also be opening day for the field. Please donate to this wonderful event, see Donation Form & Information.

Independence Day Parade - July 2011

Slide Show

All photos by Mary Stewart

Carl Road Fight Ends In Stabbing - July 2011

    See Buffalo News Story
    See WIVB.com Story

Grand Island Blvd. Construction - 2011

Left: West side of GI Blvd., Right: East side of GI Blvd.
Click photos for larger view - Jodi Robinson photos

   NYS DOT will begin the project to replace the culvert under Grand Island Blvd. and in front of Town Hall. Major work will begin on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Grand Island Blvd. will be closed to traffic beginning July 11, 2011, between TC's and the Chamber of Commerce office. The construction is estimated to take 10 days, depending on the weather. A temporary detour will use Baseline Road and Whitehaven Road as alternate routes. The detour will be in effect until the culvert is replaced and the first course of paving is complete.
   Local traffic will be maintained. Grand Island Blvd. traffic for Town Hall and the Chamber offices should enter the Blvd. at Baseline Road. Grand Island Blvd. traffic for TC’s and McDonalds should enter the Blvd. from Whitehaven Road. For additional information, please contract the project field office at 283-2303.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check - June 2011

   Boat owners in Grand Island and surrounding townships are invited to bring their trailered boats to the River Oaks Marina parking lot on East River Road, Grand Island for a free Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check on Wednesday, July 6th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Owners of boats already in the water, personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks and canoes are also invited. All vessels successfully completing the safety check will receive a vessel safety decal.
   The vessel checks will be conducted by trained members of United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-5, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island.
    According to Ray Gress Jr., Flotilla Commander, the vessel safety check is not a law enforcement activity. “One of the many missions of the Coast Guard Auxiliary is to promote boating safety. Having a vessel safety check helps boaters ensure they comply with required and common sense procedures and equipment and that their vessel is ready for a safe and pleasurable boating season.”
    The safety check takes about 15-30 minutes to complete and includes inspection of life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares and other on-board safety equipment. Boat owners are reminded to bring their boat registration. “We know there are many boaters here in Western New York who are concerned about the well-being of their families while on the water. We look forward to meeting them at this important event,” said Ray Gress Jr., Flotilla Commander.
    Auxiliary flotilla members will also distribute boating safety literature, coloring books and a variety of other pertinent boating “goodies”. Information will also be available on boating safety classes, which are a prerequisite for receiving a State of New York boating safety certificate. If you have questions, please contact Ray Gress, Jr. at 716 - 913 - 1566.

APP Pharmaceuticals gets $2.9 million in tax breaks - June 2011

    See Buffalo News Story

War of 1812 Chronicled in New Book - 2011

   The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has published a booklet that summarizes the War of 1812 on the Northern border from Lake Michigan to Lake Champlain. The booklet was compiled by Ft. Niagara State Park Volunteer Donald Gibbons of Youngstown. Gibbons has been a long time volunteer at Ft. Niagara State Park and took this project on as a service to the Niagara Region of New York State Parks.
   Written in a chronological "event-to-event" format, it provides an easily understood summary of significant happenings during this important period in America's history. A brief Prelude of historical events from the Revolutionary War to 1812 establishes a setting for our second war with Great Britain. Summaries then follow, by date, for each event within the years 1812 though 1814 and are accompanied by four theater of operations maps. In addition, the bibliography of reference books used by Gibbons directs the reader to excellent sources for added information if they desire. Several American and Canadian historians reviewed this work and their comments and suggestions are incorporated in the narratives.
   The booklet may be used for fundraising purposes by civic, historical and educational organizations and they can be purchased for $1 each and resold for $2. There are 5000 copies available.
   For more information or to order books, please contact Angela P. Berti at 716-278-1764 at via email at angela.berti@oprhp.state.ny.us

From The Town Assessor's Office - June 2011

   In an effort to update and maintain current property records with accurate information for the residential properties of Grand Island, the Assessor’s office is mailing a copy of the property inventory to each property owner. The property owners are being asked to make any necessary corrections to the report and return the report to the Assessor’s office on or before July 1, 2011.

Paddles Up Niagara - June 2011

    See Paddles Up Information for the event being held Saturday, July 30, 2011 off Beaver Island State Park.

Island Tot Drowns in Family Pool - June 2011

    See Buffalo News Story by Maki Becker. See Cameron J. Syracuse death notice

APP Pharmaceuticals Seeks Incentives - June 2011

    See Buffalo News Story by Matt Glenn.

Legislator Hardwick's Outreach Meeting - 2011

   (Grand Island, NY) – Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-Grand Island, and his staff will meet with residents during a District Outreach Meeting planned from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 at the Grand Island Senior Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road.
    “This is an extremely busy time for the Legislature and I am sure many residents have questions and concerns about issues. Through these Outreach Meetings I am able to meet with residents directly and discuss these issues with them,” Legislator Hardwick said. Information about Senior Services, Social Services, Veteran Affairs, the County Clerk’s office and other departments will be available.
   Legislator Hardwick is also available to meet with residents by appointment. To schedule a meeting, please call (716) 873-3438 or email kevin.hardwick@erie.gov. For additional information, please visit www.erie.gov/legislature/district10.

Memorial Day Ceremony - 2011

    See Slideshow - Mary Stewart Photos
   The first Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union & Confederate soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. This year's Grand Island ceremony was held on May 30th as well, at Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park. Taking part in the program were Guest Speaker Fred Wornick, Gold Star Mothers Shirley Luther and Mary Ann Crowe and Supervisor Peter McMahon. Music was provided by the GIHS Wind Ensemble led by Director Marty Allen. The VFW, DAV and American Legion organizations were all represented.

Sheriff's Car Hit In DWI Accident - June 2011

    See 6/1/11 Buffalo News Story.

Unfinished River Oaks Neighborhood - June 2011

    See Buffalo News Story by Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

Miracle League Chicken BBQ - May 2011

   A chicken bbq is being hosted by Fuccillo Chevrolet Saturday, May 28, 2011, 2000 Alvin Road, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fuccillo has donated the chicken and the Grand Island Lion's Club will be cooking. Ticket's are $8 and all proceeds go to the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York.

Major MVA at Stony Pt./Whitehaven - May 2011

    Grand island firefighters responded to a two-car accident (rollover) at 10 a.m. Monday, May 23, 2011 at Stony Point and Whitehaven roads and immediately request three ambulances, upgrading that to four. Several patients required extrication from the vehicles.A complete story will be posted when available.

Arrests Made in Graffiti Vandalism - May 2011

   After Grand Island Schools Superintendent Robert Christmann announced a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for an outbreak of graffiti vandalism at Grand Island High School, two arrests were made. Charged were two 16-year-old students. The arresting officers report that more arrests are likely.

Postal Workers ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ - May 2011

   The May 2011 Postal Workers ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive was another great success for the Neighbors Foundation on Grand Island. Although the food collected was a bit less than the past few years, it was still more than 11,000 pounds, and more than filled the somewhat depleted Food Pantry. The Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island compliments the Postal Service workers for their hard work and thanks over 1000 householders that put food out. Because of the generous outpouring of these fellow Grand Islanders, the Foundation was able to share over 6000 pounds of food with the Network of Religious Communities in Buffalo, and with St. George’s Antiochian Church in Niagara Falls, where the needs are very great. The Neighbors Foundation has been serving Grand Island neighbors who have temporary need, for over 35 years. Even when you hear media reports of our difficult economy, sometimes you do not realize the difficulties that occur down the street or on the next block in pleasant suburbia. Your generosity allows the Foundation to help all our neighbors, and make Grand Island an even grander place to live. Thank you again both to the Postal Workers and all of Grand Island.

WWII Vets to be Recognized by Honor Flight Buffalo - May 2011

   5/12/11 . . .Honor Flight Buffalo will be recognizing 3 WW-II veterans from Grand Island on May 21st and June 4th. The Veterans will get a flight to Washington DC and a tour of the WW-II memorial which is being paid for by Honor Flight. They are:
Peter Xanthos - US Navy
Donovan Wassan - US Army
Joseph Muoio - US Marines
Click names for each town board proclamation
   For more information, see Honor Flight Buffalo.

Riverkeepers Stream Restoration Project - May 2011

Iris Savoy-Burke Photos - Click for larger view
   Shown are members of the Riverkeepers stream restoration project working on a rainy Tuesday, May 3, 2011 on the Harbison property along Wood's Creek near Baseline and Huth roads. As a bonus, the volunteers got to observe a nesting horned owl and her young in the treetops overhead. For more information about RestoreCorps, please visit: http://bnriverkeeper.org/get-involved/volunteer/restorecorps

Erie Patriots 912 Monthly Meeting - May 2011

   Erie Patriots 912 Monthly Meeting, open to public, is beind held at 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, May 2nd in the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island, New York 14072.
6:30 - 7:30 Detailed review of the Cuomo budget and failure to address out of control spending – open discussion
7:30 - 8:15 Buffalo Public School's dysfunction and chronic failure – why Williams must go. What can our community do to assist the parents who's children are trapped in the Buffalo Public School System - Open Discussion

Beaver Island State Park News - April 2011

Mary Stewart photos - click for larger view
   Beaver Island State Park is sporting some very attractive location signs that carry the history of the area at each picnic shelter throughout the park. Those shown here are the Lewis F. Allen shelter and the Franklin Sidway shelter. Allen was a prominent Buffalo business man and an innovated farmer and cattle breeder who purchased the entire southern tip of the Island where he farmed and built his farmhouse, River Lea, now the Grand Island Historical Society's headquarters. Sidway was a wealthy attorney who built, no doubt, the most beautiful home on the Island and located in what became Beaver Island State Park.

Little Beaver Island Habitat Improvement Project - April 2011

Mary Stewart photos - click for larger view
   Buffalo News 4/3/11 . . Construction for the "Little Beaver Island Habitat Improvement Project" has dramatically changed the landscape surrounding the lagoon in Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island, as crews continue the work. For more information, see 4/3/11 Buffalo News story

Miracle League Breaks Ground - April 2011

Miracle League Groundbreaking April 15, 2011

Mary Stewart photos

   A large crowd of supporters turned out on Friday afternoon, April 15, for the groundbreaking of the Miracle League baseball/softball diamond project at Veteran's Park. Town officials, former Buffalo Sabres and some of the handicapped children and young people who will use this new facility were on hand. Buffalo Sabre's mascot, Sabretooth, made a big hit with the children. Even a cool day and a brisk wind, which made it feel quite chilly, couldn't keep supporters of this special event away. The photos include former Buffalo Sabre, Angelina Ueblacker with Jim Lorentz and Rebecca Sander with Sabretooth.

Grand Island Democrats Elect New Leadership - April 2011

   The Grand Island Democrats are in a new regime. Jim Sharpe was recently elected chairman of the Grand Island Democratic Committee. Former Chairman Dan Quider decided not to seek the chairman post after nine years of holding the position. The Committee would like to thank Dan for his leadership of almost a decade!
   Jim will be joined on the executive board with Vice-Chairs Norm Moorhouse and Glenda O’Connor, Treasurer Elaine Marinucci, Secretary Maura Rustowicz, and Sergeant at Arms Jeff Stone. The Democrats are looking forward to giving the community a choice of leadership for the future of Grand Island.
   The Grand Island Democratic Party is interested in interviewing Democratic candidates for the November 2011 election. Grand Island offices in 2011 are Town Supervisor, Town Council (two seats), Town Justice, and Town Clerk. Letters for those seeking endorsement should be sent to the Grand Island Democratic Committee, 3138 E River Road, Grand Island, New York 14072, Attn: Chairman Jim Sharpe, by April 28, 2011.

Lawn Mower Race & Car Show - April 2011

Becky Howell, Richard Smith, Eric Berger, Tom Miller, Bob DeGlopper, Kevin Cobello, Tom Kanaley, Pete Marston, Floyd Doring, Pete McMahon, Mary Dunbar-Daluisio and Gary Roesch.
Click photo for larger view
   The committee planning the 3rd Annual Lawn Mower Race & Car Show recently met to thank Tom Kanaley of Fuccillo Auto Group for its donation of $1000. The race will be held on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at the north end of the West River Parkway, Grand Island, NY, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The day will also feature food, drinks, music, 50/50 and Dash plaques to first 100 cars. Awards will be given to the top 20. The lawmmower race begins at noon and is a great event for the whole family to enjoy.
Race $10.00 by June 1st - $13.00 day of show
Car Show $13.00 by June 1st - includes 8X10 color photo your car, $15.00 day of show- includes 8X10 color photo your car.
The race and car show will benefit "American Cancer Society Relay For Life" and is being sponsored by Fuccillo Chevrolet. For more information contact Floyd at 716-773-7132.

Niagara Power Squadron Boating Class - April 2011

Niagara Power Squadron will hold a public boating class on April 26 and April 28 and on May 3, and May 5 at Anchor Marine, Ferry Road, Grand Island. The class will run from 7-9pm each night. Walk-in registration accepted. Any questions, call 773-2140 after 5pm.
Karen Wallace Commander

Arrests Made In Island Burglaries - March 2011

Buffalo News (buffalonews.com) Updated: March 31, 2011, 7:02 AM
   Two Town of Tonawanda men are accused of Grand Island burglaries earlier this month to feed heroin addictions, Erie County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday. Kevin J. Blair, 23, and Timothy M. Braun, 27, were arrested late Tuesday by Sheriff’s Detectives Brian O’Hara and Alan Rozansky on charges including burglary, larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools. The two are accused of daytime break-ins at homes March 22 on East River Road and two Tuesday on Whitehaven Road. Items stolen included jewelry, an electronic device, cigarettes and a leather jacket, said authorities, who recovered some of the items.

Operation Safe Stop - March 2011

Grand Island Police Officer Keith Wood, Transportation Supervisor Jack Burns, Town Councilwomen Mary Cooke, Grand Island Town Supervisor Peter McMahon, New York State Police Trooper Chris Pyc, and Erie County Sheriff Officer Marc Bristow
Click photo for larger view
   Law enforcement officers from the Grand Island Town Police, New York State Police and Erie County Sheriff participated in Operation Safe Stop Education and Enforcement Day on March 30. The officers followed selected bus routes that have a history of illegal bus passing complaints. It has been estimated that 50,000 motorists pass stopped school buses everyday in New York State. Last year in the United States, seven students were killed when struck by passing motorists. Motorists must be vigilant at all times. Grand Island Central School District school buses stop approximately 725,000 times each year to pick up or discharge students. At this time of the year, don’t let the morning sun or frosted windows impede your view. When it is safe for the bus, Grand Island school bus drivers will pull over to allow traffic to proceed. When the yellow lights on a school bus are flashing, it means that the school bus is prepared to stop. Save a life. Stop when the red lights flash.

State Parks Events - March 2011

   Two events are scheduled at Buckhorn Island State Park. See State Parks Events Calendar

Buffalo News Story
Trooper killed while issuing summons on Youngmann

Updated: March 26, 2011, 7:41 PM
By Gene Warner
   A 14-year veteran of the New York State Police who was issuing a speeding ticket on the Youngmann Highway was struck and killed by a passing motorist in a pickup truck this morning, officials announced.
   Trooper Kevin P. Dobson died in Kenmore Mercy Hospital at 8:10 a.m., about 40 minutes after the accident that occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m., authorities said.
   The 43-year-old Dobson, working out of the Clarence barracks, was conducting a vehicle and traffic stop on the eastbound Youngmann, just east of Colvin Boulevard.
   State Police officials said they believe Dobson had just given a ticket to a motorist, for going 72 mph in a 55 mph zone, when he was struck by the pickup truck that had just entered the eastbound Youngmann from Colvin Boulevard.
   The pickup driver, identified only as a 71-year-old man, stopped after his vehicle struck Dobson and immediately returned to the scene.
   "I can tell you he's been cooperative," Deputy State Police Superintendent Thomas Fazio told an afternoon news conference in Clarence Town Hall. "He came back to the scene. I'm sure he's not feeling well about the situation. It's an unfortunate accident."
   State Police are painstakingly continuing to investigate every facet of the fatality, and they're asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call them at 759-6831.
   "There is no arrest," Fazio said. "Everything is under investigation at this point. No determination will be made [on possible charges] until all the facts are available."
   Once the investigation is completed, State Police plan to discuss any possible charges with Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
   Investigators plan to look at any possible cause, including cell-phone use, driver distraction, mechanical problems and even the early-morning sun.
   "All those factors will be considered," Fazio said during the Saturday news conference. "They're interviewing the driver now."
   State Police colleagues and friends of Dobson's had to control their emotions as they talked about the trooper, a native of Buffalo's Lovejoy area.
    "Kevin had a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his face," Capt. Steven A. Nigrelli said. "He had an innate inability to make you laugh."
    Part of it was the smile. Part of it was the stories he told. Part of it was the twinkle in his eye. And part of it was "Dobber's" habit of giving everyone else a nickname. Usually, a nickname created by adding an "o" to a buddy's name.vAs in Nigrelli's quick nickname of Steve-o.vNigrelli cited what he called the irony of fellow troopers' grief over the loss of the fun-loving Dobson.
   "Someone who brought so much cheer and laughter to us has made us cry so hard today," Nigrelli said.
   State Police officials also cited the tragic irony of Dobson's expected involvement in an upcoming summer traffic initiative designed to enforce the state's new "Move Over Act."vThe new law, which took effect Jan. 1, requires drivers to change lanes and slow down, whenever possible, when they see a police car or any emergency vehicle at the side of the road, often with a stopped vehicle.vThe Ambrose-Searles "Move Over Act" is named after State Trooper Robert W. Ambrose and Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputy Glenn M. Searles. Both were killed while their patrol vehicles were stopped on the side of the road.
   State Police in Western New York already have issued more than 70 tickets under the new law. And on Route 400 this past week, one trooper monitored the actions of passing drivers when other vehicles were pulled over by police.vOne trooper alone issued three summonses in 15 minutes to people who didn't move over, as required, Nigrelli said.
   "We now have a local face, Dobber's face, when we go to enforce this law," Nigrelli said.
    State Police Major Christopher L. Cummings also hopes the public uses the Dobson tragedy to heed the new law.
    "We ask the public to think of this the next time they see a car stopped [by police on the side of the road]," Cummings said.
    It is not clear, though, whether the pickup truck driver will be charged under the new law, as he was entering the highway from a single-lane entrance ramp.
    During Saturday's news conference, State Police officials were quick to praise the efforts of other police officers and members of the public who rushed to Dobson's side immediately after the accident. That included a Town of Tonawanda police officer who attempted to resuscitate Dobson at the scene.
    "We offer our gratitude to all those who rendered first aid to Trooper Dobson and attempted to save his life," Fazio said.
    Troopers and fellow law-enforcement officers rushed to Kenmore Mercy Hospital to comfort Dobson's family, including his father, Richard, retired from the Erie County Sheriff's Department. Other survivors include Dobson's girlfriend, three children and her child.
    The patch on the shoulder signifying an officer's own police department didn't matter on this day of shared grief.
    "It's a belief that we'll get through this together," Nigrelli said.
    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a statement this afternoon mourning the loss of the 14-year State Police veteran.
    "Trooper Kevin Dobson ... put his life at risk every day to protect the people of our state, and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues at the State Police," Cuomo stated.
    The governor also ordered flags on all state office buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of Trooper Dobson.
    The accident led to a massive backup of traffic on the eastbound Youngmann. Troopers later forced eastbound vehicles to exit at Colvin Boulevard, as they continued to investigate the fatal crash.
    Traffic was moving normally by early Saturday afternoon.
    News Staff Reporter Joseph Popiolkowski contributed to this report.

Drug Overdose Death - March 2011

   See: Buffalo News Story

House Fire On Hazelwood Ct. - March 2011

ECSD investigators Steve Meerboth, Shaun Hediger and Scott Kulmey
Click photo for larger view
Update 3/25/11 - Photo/story by Ray Pauley

   At 2:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, Grand Island firefighters responded to a 911 report of a "structure fire" on Hazelwood Ct. which was received from the occupant, Karen Samuel. Mrs. Samuel found her home filled with smoke upon arriving home.    When GIFC Engines #4 and #5 arrived on location moments later, fire suppression crews led by Capt. Shawn Kephart, discovered a first floor kitchen engulfed in flames. OIC Capt. Don Portik reported that an agressive interior attack brought the fire under control within seven minutes. A mutual aid contingent from Sheridan Park VFD assisted at the scene and another engine crew from the City of Tonawanda remained on standby at GI Fire Headquarters during the remaining operation.
   While the fire itself was confined to the area of origin, smoke and heat damage extended throughout the entire first floor. Damage was estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents. GIFC Fire Investigator Chuck Berlinger and his ECSD counterparts state that the exact cause has not yet been determined.

Grand Island Fire Company volunteers responded to a working house fire at 31 Hazelwood Court off River Oaks Drive at 2:21 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2011. The caller stated that she returned home and found her house full of smoke. Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire Company assisted the GIFC. Details will be posted as they become available.

Miracle League Dinner - March 2011

From left: Fran McMahon, Vice President of Miracle League, Jim Sharpe, Chamber Vice President, Cindy Sharpe, Dr. Sherry Bradford, Chamber Secretary, Back row: Eric Fiebelkorn, Chamber President, Mike Hilliker, retired Sheriff and Beverly Kinney, Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

   There was a great turnout for the kids on March 12th at the Buffalo Launch Club dinner for the Miracle League baseball diamond. The Miracle League is closer to its goal thanks to a lot of generous Western New Yorkers. For more information on the Miracle League call Fran McMahon at 773-9797 or e-mail her at Vicepresident@miracleleaguewny.com.

St. Mary's Donates To Miracle League - 2011

   Lion Gary Tucker, Chief Operating Officer of Saint Mary’s Hospital, presents a check from St. Mary’s in the amount of $1000 to Grand Island Lion Vice President Anne Fahning. Lion Mike Steinagel, Lions Club Liaison to Miracle League of Grand Island and WNY, looks on. Saint Mary’s Hospital was one of many businesses who participated to make the Miracle League Corporate Dinner a huge success. The Dinner was sponsored by the Grand Island Lions Club and was held at the Buffalo Launch Club on March 12th. Proceeds from the event are being used to build a modified baseball field on Grand Island to accommodate disabled children. It is hoped that funding will soon be completed in order for construction to begin this spring.

Miracle League Banquet - March 2011

The Grand Island Lions Club will sponsor a Miracle League of Grand Island and WNY banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 12 in the Buffalo Launch Club. Money raised will support the creation of an adaptive baseball diamond on the Island for mentally and physically disabled children and those with chronic illnesses. Tickets, at $50 per person, may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office, 2257 Grand Island Blvd. or at McMahon's Family Restaurant, 1849 Grand Island Blvd. Call 773-9600, ext 725 for more information.
See flyer for details.

One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug Free - 2011
National Coalition Academy Graduation

   On February 8th, 2011, hundreds of drug and alcohol coalitions from communities all across the nation were represented in Washington DC to celebrate their graduation from the National Coalition Academy. The federal government, with the help of CADCA, has focused much of its resources for drug prevention at the community level, training key members of these coalitions to be more strategic in identifying root causes, local conditions, and developing interventions that will directly affect those conditions. Generous funding is also available for those coalitions that develop comprehensive action plans as a result of the knowledge and tools gained from the training.
   Accepting the certificate of graduation on behalf of the Grand Island coalition, One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug Free, was Dan Stinson, chairman of the local coalition. Sharing the stage with Dan and the hundreds of other members from across the nation were presenters, (from left to right); Benjamin B. Tucker – Deputy Director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs Executive, Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy; MaryAnn DiChristopher – OASAS; Kareemah Abdullah – CADCA Vice President, Training and Youth Programs, Deputy Director, National Coalition Institute; Arthur T. Dean – Major General, U.S. Army, Retired, CADCA, Chairman and CEO; Colonel William S. Carle – Chief, J32 Counterdrug Division, National Guard Bureau; Jane Callahan – CADCA, Director, National Coalition Institute; Sarah Dakin – OASAS; Carlton Hall – CADCA, Associate Deputy Director, National Coalition Institute.
   Grand Island is fortunate indeed to have such a caring group of community members rallied around such an important and necessary cause such as this. Prevention of alcohol and drug abuse is a truly needed effort for the development of a healthy community.
   For more information or to become involved, call or email Dan at 716-983-6521 or danstinson@roadrunner.com.

Daylight Saving Time Begins March 13 - 2011 - Turn Clocks Ahead

On Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States. See Daylight Saving Time

Grand Island man accused of plans to sell heroin - March 2011

    See 3/4/11 Buffalo News Story

School District Science Results - March 2011

    See 3/1/11 Buffalo News Story

Schumer bill aims to protect Grand Island residents' toll discount - Feb. 2011

B U F F A L O N E W S buffalonews.com
Updated: February 24, 2011, 12:45 PM
    U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer was in Western New York today to announce he's reintroducing legislation to protect the discount program for Grand Island residents crossing the Grand Island bridges.
    The legislation Schumer introduced in 2009 came as a result of a court case challenging toll discounts in upstate New York, but recently more lawsuits challenging similar discount programs have emerged around the country, Schumer said.
   That has prompted Schumer to introduce the Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act of 2011, which provides further clarification that local governments are authorized to grant fare discount programs based on residential status.
   The Grand Island bridges were in the backdrop, as Schumer was at Collins Marine on River Road in Tonawanda this morning with Grand Island Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, along with Collins Marine Owner Robert Copelin and Collins Marine Sales manager John Zimdahl.
   "Grand Islanders leave the island and pay tolls on a daily basis for work and more, and without residential toll discounts, this would be a huge financial burden," Schumer said. "With no other way to drive off the island except via bridges and their tolls, Grand Islanders deserve a break, and through this legislation we can guarantee that these fair and essential residential discount programs will hold up in court."
   The four Grand Island bridges each collect a $1 toll for non-residents and 9 cents for Grand Island residents.

NYS PARKS ANNOUNCES 2011 Boat Slip Lottery - Feb. 2011
-Beaver Island State Park and Big Six Mile Creek Marina slips available-

   The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that applications for the lottery to establish a waiting list for 2011 seasonal slips at Big Six Mile Creek Marina and Beaver Island Marina are now available.
   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 4:30 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, February 28, 2011. Applications delivered or postmarked after February 28, 2011 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 2nd at 10:00 a.m.
    For more information, contact the park office at (716) 773-3271.

Grisanti Meets With Island Conservatives - Feb. 2011

photo by Sharon Backus - click for larger view
    Friends and supporters of the Grand Island Conservative Party met January 27 at the Buffalo Launch Club and welcomed freshman State Sen. Mark Grisanti. Grisanti thanked Island voters for their support in the November election and shared some of his goals for the future.

Powerful Propaganda Methods - Feb. 2011

The Buffalo News employs powerful propaganda methods to push politcal agenda
by Mike Madigan

Three Local School Districts Share in National Focus on Labor, Management - Feb. 2011

    See 2/22/11 Buffalo News Story

Rus Thompson - TEA New York - Feb. 2011

   Today the Republicans are again meeting at the South Beach restaurant in Batavia to interview candidates for the 26th congressional seat vacated by Chris Lee. It is my understanding that the republican leadership will then meet on Monday to announce their choice.
    We at TEA New York are respectfully asking the republican leadership to hold off on picking their candidate and stop acting so hastily. The governor has not called for a special election as of yet. So why the rush? Cuomo could possibly do the same as Paterson did in the Eric Massa seat. Gov Paterson did not call for a special election but waited until the November election leaving the seat vacant for months. Either way, once a special election is called, it will take 90 days from that point for the election to happen. There is no reason to be in such a hurry to push a candidate. From the very beginning and within hours the republicans circled the wagons around Jane Corwin. Why? It has been stated over and over again that she can fund her own campaign, but there are others that are in the same position.
    By acting so hastily the republicans are risking the possibility of a 3rd party candidate entering the race. The talk of a 3rd party line has been heard far and wide. We need to slow down before this turns into bidding war.
    We are respectfully asking the republicans to hold off on announcing their candidate until the people have an opportunity to hear from all the candidates that are out there. This seat is NOT for sale, but that has clearly been the perception with the people. A Monday endorsement is premature.
    We have tentatively set a date for a candidate forum where all the candidates can be heard and the general public will be invited. We are also working with TEA Party groups in the Rochester area that are planning on doing the same. TEA New Yorks candidate forum will be March 3rd 2011 at the Braunshidle Post in Kenmore, the same place we had the highly rated candidates forum last year.
    Candidates so far that we have heard of are:
Kathy Weppner
David Bellavia
Jane Corwin
Barry Weinstein
Jack Davis
Kathy Hochal
Mark Poloncarz
   All of the above are highly qualified to hold this position in Congress. There may be others. All of the above will be invited to speak to the people in the 2 forums.
   This race is getting the attention of the national media, the national, state and local TEA Parties, Veterans orginizations, the NRCC and many others. The national attention will be big, we have to make sure that Western New York is represented in the best light. In many ways we are the laughing stock of the country. It is time to end this perception and prove to this country that we are leaders and take the new atmosphere in politics seriously. We here in WNY have been ahead of the TEA Party movement across the country, we started the tax revolt almost 6 years ago in Erie County, we set the trend that is now sweeping the state and country. We will be Silent no more!
Rus Thompson - 716-563-9901

Insurance, Point Reduction Course - Feb. 2011

An Insurance and Point Reduction Course will be offered at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Rd. at 830am on Sat. March 26, 2011. This NYS approved course will reduce car and motorcycle insurance by up to 10% for 3 years, and reduce 4 Violation Points from your NYS Driver's License.To register, call (716) 636-4151.Cost is $25.

Lawn Mower Race & Car Show - June 2011

   The Grand Island Lawnmower Race is back for the third year and will also feature a Father's Day Car Show. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 19, 2011 at the north end of the West River Parkway, Grand Island, NY. The day will also feature food, drinks, music, 50/50 and Dash plaques to first 100 cars. Awards will be given to the top 20.
   The lawmmower race begins at noon and is a great event for the whole family to enjoy.
$10.00 by June 1st - $13.00 day of show
$13.00 by June 1st- includes 8X10 color photo your car
$15.00 day of show- includes 8X10 color photo your car
   The race and car show will benefit "American Cancer Society Relay For Life" and is being sponsored by Fuccillo Chevrolet. Contact Floyd at 716-773-7132.

North Bridge Accident - Feb. 2011

A motor vehicle accident on the north bound North Grand Island Bridge caused injuries to several involved in the crash. The Grand Island Fire Company received a report of the accident at 1:04 p.m. Tuesday, February 14, 2011 and the volunteers began extrication of one patient. Five people were evaluated by the GIFC including an infant. A more complete story will follow as it becomes available.

Urgent Safety Reminder - Feb. 2011

From: Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board
   Due to the combined schedules of the high school and middle school, there is an increased volume of traffic on Ransom Road with parents dropping off students and picking up students. Although the schools offer bus transportation many students choose to walk to and from their houses. This has created a potentially hazardous situation at start and end of the school day.
   As a result of the increased volume of traffic, some anxious drivers are passing buses and cars on the right and some using the shoulder of the road to do so. This is not only dangerous but illegal.
   The Grand Island Police, Sheriff's Deputies, and NYS Troopers have been notified and are aware of the problem. Patrols will be on the lookout for violators and summons will be given out.
   Drive within the posted speed limit slower, if necessary, and be prepared to stop. Students walking or running between traffic and buses are unpredictable. Students and drivers should leave home earlier and be alert at tall times.
New Law
Effective Monday, February 14, 2011, drivers caught testing or talking on cell phones while driving, will have extra two violation points appear on their license.

2nd Annual Leon D. Carr Memorial Soup Off - Feb. 2011

   The 2nd annual Leon D. Carr Memorial Soup Off will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at the Moose Lodge, 2524 Grand Island Blvd, from 6pm - midnight. All Proceeds benefit The Miracle League project to build a handicap accessible baseball diamond at Veteran's Park. There will be prize giveaways and raffles, tickets are $20 includes Food, Beer, and Lots of Soup. See flyer for details.

Arrest Made In Car Break-Ins - Feb. 2011

Man Accused Of Car Break-Ins On Grand Island Arrested
February 1, 2011 Updated Feb 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM EST    (release) Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is announcing the arrest last night of a 38 year old Grand Island man in connection with a series of vehicle “break ins” on the Island over the past several months.
Michael Paonessa turned himself in yesterday to authorities after a lengthy foot chase in the Riverside area of the City of Buffalo. He was charged with grand larceny in the third degree (D Felony) after detectives and road patrol deputies from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for his mother’s Wallace Drive home on Grand Island and found stolen property matching the description of items taken from several unlocked vehicles.

Legislator Hardwick announces Outreach Meeting - Feb. 2011

   (District 10, Erie County) – Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-District 10, and his staff will meet with residents during District Outreach Meetings scheduled in February. “I recently spoke with several residents at meetings and outreach events and was thankful to them for sharing many ideas and concerns. The more we can engage in these conversations the better I can serve Tonawanda, Kenmore and Grand Island as a County Legislator. I hope many of you can attend an Outreach Meeting,” said Legislator Hardwick.
    Information about Senior Services, Social Services, Veteran Affairs, the County Clerk’s office and other departments will be available. A Winter Activities Guide, with information about activities in the County’s Parks, will also be available.
   District Outreach Meetings will be held on the following days: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the Grand Island Senior Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Tonawanda Senior Center, 33 Main St., Tonawanda.
   Legislator Hardwick is also available to meet with residents by appointment. To schedule a meeting, please call (716) 873-3438 or e-mail kevin.hardwick@erie.gov. For additional information, please visit www.erie.gov/legislature/district10.

New York State Parks Announces 2011 Boat Slip Lottery - Feb. 2011

   -Beaver Island State Park and Big Six Mile Creek Marina slips available-
    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that applications for the lottery to establish a waiting list for 2011 seasonal slips at Big Six Mile Creek Marina and Beaver Island Marina are now available.
   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 4:30 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, February 28, 2011. Applications delivered or postmarked after February 28, 2011 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 Wednesday, March 2 at 10:00 a.m.
   For more information, contact the park office at (716) 773-3271.

School Board/Town Board Continues to Address Ransom Road Safety Questions - Jan. 2011

   January 27, 2011 . . .As part of the ongoing efforts to improve the levels of student safety, the Grand Island Board of Education passed a resolution at its January 24, 2011 meeting intended to address a number of concerns related to the middle school and high school complex. Effective Wednesday, January 26, 2011 all students living on Ransom Road or who must cross Ransom Road will be provided bus transportation by the District. Each parent who has a middle school and/or high school child affected by this Board decision has been contacted by the Transportation Department staff. It is anticipated that a higher level of student safety will result from the action of the Grand Island Board of Education.
   In addition to this Board of Education action, discussions have also continued to take place between the Town Board and School Board regarding the same issue of student safety. The school has requested that the Town Board consider the following proposals:
• Additional street lighting on Ransom Road within the section for which no lighting currently exists.
• Increased patrols on Ransom Road especially looking for drivers who pass on the right shoulder of the road.
• Creation of a new school zone speed limit from 15-30MPH on a section of Ransom Road before and after the school complex. The current flashing signs would show the school zone and the morning and afternoon times for which the vehicular speeds are limited.
• Permission to create a Ransom Road crosswalk at a yet to be determined location. There would be a sign placed on the road which states “Stop For Pedestrians Within Crosswalk” as required by NYS Law. The school district would accept the responsibility to take out and pick up the sign before and after the school day for students.
   The Grand Island Board of Education will continue to work closely with the Grand Island Town Board to ensure that our students will be as safe as is possible. "We welcome input from all residents and especially from parents, students and staff on any issue related to the education and well being of our youth," Schools Superintendent Robert Christmann said.

Morning MVA In Front of St. Stephen Church - Jan. 2011

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a two-car motor vehicle accident in front of St. Stephen Church at 10:48 a.m. Sunday, January 30, 2011. Two people were transported to an area hospital by ambulance. The GIFC returned in service at 11:17 a.m. Details will be posted as they become available.

Person of Interest: Sandy Beach Larcenies - Jan. 2011

Sheriff issues warning to Grand Island residents
Updated: January 30, 2011, 6:43 AM
Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is warning Grand Island residents in neighborhoods near Stony Point Road to lock their cars and keep valuables and cash out of view. The warning came after the Sheriff’s Office received several calls Wednesday night from people claiming someone went into their unlocked cars. In one case, someone reported seeing a man running away from an unlocked car on Stony Point. A total of $100 in cash was taken from the vehicle. “Prevention and common sense are your best deterrents when it comes to somebody wanting to break into your car,” Howard said.
Erie County Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to a $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the break-ins. If you have any information, you are asked to call 867-6161.

Crimestopper Alert
By WKBW News
January 28, 2011 Updated Jan 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM EST
Grand Island, NY (WKBW)
Crimestoppers is looking for your help in locating this man.
Michael Paonessa, a 38 year old white male, 5'5" tall 125 lbs. He is a person of interest regarding up to 25 car larcenies on Grand Island in the Sandy Beach area. He has committed numerous felonies during his crime spree. If you know of his whereabouts, contact Crimestoppers at 867-6161. All calls are confidential.

South Bridge Lane Closures - Jan. 2011

   Thurs., January 27, 2011 . . .Supervisor Peter McMahon advises that there will be some lane closures on the Northbound South Grand Island Bridge next week. They will occur from Monday through Thursday in the evening and early morning hours. The closures are to facilitate removal of some sidewalk equipment. The impact on traffic is expected to be minimal.

House Fire - Jan. 2011

   The Grand Island Fire Company received numerous reports of a working house fire at the corner of Sheree and Carter drives at 6:11 p.m. Monday, January 24, 2011. See Isle Home Heavily Damaged by Fire

HEAP Outreach at Grand Island Community Center - Jan. 2011

   Legislator Hardwick has announced that a HEAP Outreach will be held January 24 at Grand Island Community Center
    (GRAND ISLAND, NY) – Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-Grand Island, announces that a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Outreach will be held on Monday, Jan. 24 at Grand Island Community Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island.
    Interviews will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Doors open at 8:30am. All applicants will be interviewed.
   HEAP is a federally funded program to assist Erie County residents with their heating bills. The HEAP outreach will be administered by the Erie County Departments of Social Services and Senior Services and is open to all income eligible households.
   “Through these HEAP Outreach events residents can begin the process of applying for assistance,” Legislator Hardwick said. “All eligible residents should attend if they are not yet receiving assistance.”
   Applicants are requested to bring the following documentation to the outreach:
• one (1) form of identification for all household members (birth certificates, license, Social Security Card)
• Proof of income received within the last 30 days for all household members (pay stubs, SS or pension award letters, proof of child support, rental income, unemployment benefits, worker’s comp., etc)
• Current heat and electric bills
   If an applicant is missing information, they may be allowed to mail the information and complete the application process.
   Emergency HEAP applicants must also bring: current shut off or disconnect notices; proof of all household resources including: current checking and savings account bank statements, and proof of other resources (stocks, CDs, IRAs, 401k, etc). If the household already received a Regular HEAP benefit this season and does not have a shut off notice on heat or electric service, or a low supply of heating fuel, that household has exhausted benefits for the season. In order to access Emergency HEAP benefits, household must have a shut off notice, or low fuel supply.
   For additional information, please call the HEAP Hotline, (716) 858-7644.
    HEAP 2011 income guidelines are as follows:
Household Size Gross Monthly Income
1 	$ 0 - 2,129 
2 	$ 0 - 2,784 
3 	$ 0 - 3,439 
4 	$ 0 - 4,094 
5 	$ 0 - 4,749 
6 	$ 0 - 5,404 
7 	$ 0 - 5,527 
8 	$ 0 - 5,650 
9 	$ 0 - 5,773 
10 	$ 0 - 5,896 
11 	$ 0 - 6,029 
11 + 	+ $468 

Attempt To Steal Brass Sculpture - Jan. 2011

Photo    "1/19/10 Buffalo News story"
Attempt to swipe statue lands man in hot water
Published:January 19, 2011, 12:00 AM
Updated: January 19, 2011, 12:46 PM
     A Buffum Street man faces felony criminal mischief, attempted grand larceny and trespass charges after attempting to steal a brass sculpture on Grand Island, state police said.
     State police said they interrupted Michael Guzzetta trying to steal the sculpture near Long Road and the former Dunlop building at 2:10 a. m. Saturday. Troopers noted the sculpture had been removed from its base and spotted a pickup nearby, with a saw and brass shavings. The pickup was traced to Guzzetta, 40, police said.

Former Dunlop Building To Be Rehabed - Jan. 2011

Architect's rendering - click photo for larger view.

   The Grand Island Town Board approved an agreement with JSJ Holdings which will result in a $2.6 million rehab of the former Dunlop building located on Long Road. Part of the cost will be reimbursed by a $1 million Restore NY grant that was allocated in October of 2009. Owner of the building, Jim Metz, has spent the past year trying to make a deal with numerous individuals and companies to restore the property. Nothing panned out so he will be developing the site on his own. Town Supervisor Peter McMahon noted "most of the credit for this event goes to Councilman Gary Roesch and the Town's Economic Development Advisory Board. Gary has been working tirelessly on the hundreds and hundreds of details on this project for several years." The construction company selected for the project is Creative Structures Services. They have a very ambitious schedule to finish the project by the end of 2011. See Timeline. In related news, Isle Chem was recently (12/27/10) sold to brothers Daniel and Patrick Canavan. They will be working with Jim Metz regarding sewer structure as Isle Chem has a private sewage treatment plant.

John Killian's Killian Challenge - Jan. 2011

   John Killian, president of the GIHS Class of 66, now a resident of New Jersey, heard about the efforts to build a Miracle League Field on Grand Island. He was impressed with the project and more impressed when he learned that the Island League will encompass all of Western New York.
   John commented, "Grand Island has been and is a Grand place to live, this field is the best example of the fine, caring people who live there."
   He then said, "I think a great tribute to the Town would be for the alumni to build the field, in fact I am asking each member of the class to support the fund drive. I am challenging the classes that followed us to support the effort!"
   The hope of the League directors is to have the majority of the $225,000 by March 20, so contracts may be signed for the ground breaking as soon as the ground thaws. Their dream is to have the field installed and ready for Reunion Weekend in July. It would be a Grand Day to have Veteran's Park filled with grateful, supportive alumni.
   Donations may be sent to Miracle League Field, PO Box 833, Grand Island, NY 14072 - by March 20.
   Additional information about the Miracle League of Grand Island & WNY, see www.miracleleaguewny.com or call Teresa Hooper at 773-9398 or Fran McMahon at 773-9707.

Resident Charged With Larceny - Jan. 2011

   "1/17/10 Buffalo News story"
A Grand Island man was charged with grand larceny, burglary and possession of burglary tools in connection with an incident at an auto dealership on Grand Island Boulevard on New Year’s Eve, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard announced. Adam P. Riley, 41, of Schwegler Drive, turned himself in to deputies late last week. Riley is accused of throwing a cinder block through a window and stealing a laptop computer, several sets of keys and a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am valued at $6,500. Detectives located the keys and laptop and expect to recover the stolen car. Riley is being held in the Erie County Holding Center. See also Boulevard Burglary

Legislator Hardwick to hold District Outreach Meeting - Jan. 2011

   Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-District 10, and his staff will be available to meet with residents during a District Outreach Meeting planned from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island. “Through these District Outreach Meetings I am able to meet directly with residents and discuss their concerns and answer questions about County issues,” Legislator Hardwick said. “This is a great setting for open and real dialogue about what matters most to the residents I was elected to represent.” Information about Senior Services, Social Services, Veteran Affairs, the County Clerk’s office and other departments will be available. A Winter Activities Guide, with information about activities in the County’s Parks, will also be available. Legislator Hardwick is also available to meet with residents by appointment. To schedule a meeting, please call (716) 873-3438 or e-mail kevin.hardwick@erie.gov. For additional information, please visit www.erie.gov/legislature/district10.

Man Charged With Shooting - Jan. 2011

   The following was published in the Buffalo News:
North Tonawanda man surrenders in shooting
Updated: January 15, 2011, 6:31 AM
    A North Tonawanda man was charged Friday with felony reckless endangerment after using a shotgun to shoot out the tires on his girlfriend's vehicle. Erie County sheriff's deputies said.
   Bartholomew Mazzara, 36, of Remington Drive turned himself in to Erie County sheriff's detectives early Friday in connection with the alleged shooting late Thursday outside his girlfriend's Fix Road residence on Grand Island.
   Mazzara was additionally charged with menacing, endangering the welfare of a child (who was looking outside the window of a nearby home when the alleged shooting occurred), criminal possession of a weapon and felony criminal mischief.
   He was arraigned in Grand Island Town Court and transferred to the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Senator Grisanti "Listening Session" - Jan. 2011

   New York State Senator Mark Grisanti invites YOU to the first-ever "Listening Session" on Grand Island
WHO: Residents of Grand Island
WHAT: An opportunity for you to hear YOUR representative in Albany speak and ask him questions about YOUR state government
WHEN: Thursday, January 13th from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Grand Island Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road
   As part of an ongoing effort to communicate with his constituents, New York State Senator Mark Grisanti will host his first-ever "Listening Session" on Grand Island on Thursday, January 13th.
   Senator Grisanti will use the event as a way to interact with taxpayers and learn more about what issues are facing residents of Grand Island.
   There is no admission to attend the event, which is open to the public.
   For more information about the event, send an e-mail to: grandisland.grisanti@gmail.com or go online and visit www.senatormarkgrisanti.com

Senator Grisanti Satellite Office - Jan. 2011

   Senator Grisanti Satellite Office Information:
Grand Island Town Hall
Second Floor
2255 Baseline Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
Office Hours:
Mondays 10 am to 5 pm
Tuesdays 10 am to 5 pm
Wednesdays 10 am to 4 pm
E-mail: grandisland.grisanti@gmail.com
Phone: 773-9600, ext. 654
Fax: 773-9618

Residents Be Alert
On Island Roads - Jan. 2011

    It has been brought to the attention at Isledegrande.com that two Island residents have reported an unknown individual attempted to enter their cars while they were stopped at an intersection. The incidents were reported to be at Ferry Road and the Beaver Island Parkway on January 4th and Bedell Road and Baseline Road on January 5th. In both incidents the suspect was described as a black male. The local authorities have been notified.

Grand Island Patriots Meeting - Jan. 2011

Topic: Guest Speaker - Kevin Hardwick Erie County Legislator
Date: Monday January 10th
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Grand Island Library 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island New York 14072
6:30 - 6:45 Cathy Knight meeting agenda review
6:45 - 7:45 Kevin Hardwick - Erie County Legislator will speak on 2011 Budget issues and related Erie County Resident topics folllowed by an open Q&A
7:45 - 8:15 Mike Madigan - Will review 2011 calendar Elections/what offices will be open in 2011 and town and school budget schedule (how can we get involved)