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Previous News Page

Ms. Remson Memorial Concert - December 2013

    This year, the Grand Island School District annual “Kaleidoscope String” concert will be a memorial concert in honor of Debra Remson who passed away in early November. Ms. Remson was the string teacher in Grand Island for many years and touched the lives of many students. The concert is on Thursday, February 13th at 7:00 at the Grand Island Senior High school.Carnations will be sold before the concert and proceeds donated to "Music is Art" in honor of Ms. Remson.
    In addition, all alumni are invited back who would like to come and perform the last piece of the concert. There are parts for all ability levels. If you feel you would like to play but haven’t picked up your instrument in a while – it’s no problem! If you or someone you know are interested in playing in our grand finale to honor Ms. Remson, please e-mail Eve Roushey at EveRoushey@k12.ginet.org and a copy of the music will be sent to you. There will be a special rehearsal for the concert on Tuesday, February 11th at 6:30. If you are unable to play, but want to participate or would like to help out in any capacity, please contact Eve Roushey (EveRoushey@K12.ginet.org) for more information.

Grand Island Inaugural Ceremony - December 2013

    On Wednesday, January 1, 2014, Grand Island’s inaugural ceremony for all newly elected town officials will take place. Officials to be inaugurated are: Town Councilmen Chrisopher K. Aronica and Raymond A. Billica, Town Justice Mark K. Frentzel and Highway Superintendent James B Tomkins. New York State Supreme Court Justice Hon. Russell P. Buscaglia will preside along with Master of Ceremonies Councilman Richard W. Crawford Jr. The presentation of colors and pledge of allegiance will be led by Boy Scout Troop 630 followed by Rev. Kevin M. Backus who will give the invocation. Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel will present the Certificates of Election.
   The Ceremony will take place at: Elldens Grill at River Oaks Golf Club, 201 Whitehaven Road at 12 o’clock noon. The public is welcome to attend and are invited to stay after the ceremony for light refreshments.

Grand Island HEAP Outreach- December 2013

    Legislator Kevin Hardwick will host a HEAP Outreach on Wednesday, Jan. 15th at Grand Island Golden Age 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 the federally funded program to assist income eligible Erie County residents with the costs of home heating, electricity, and energy conservation. 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. The county has been notified by the Department of Social Services that New York State is tentatively closing Regular HEAP on Jan. 31, 2014. Residents applying for Emergency HEAP can continue to do so after Jan. 31.

National Fuel Offers Flooding Precautions - December 2013

   (Dec. 20, 2013) WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.
    National Fuel offers customers the following information should they experience flooding in their basements:
   If flooding has affected customers' natural gas appliances (furnaces, hot water tanks, etc.), they should not attempt to re-light the pilot lights on that equipment. If furnace or hot water tank controls were submerged, the floodwater may have caused damage that could affect the safe operation of the equipment. A qualified contractor should be called to inspect the appliances.
    While the basement is flooded, customers should NOT attempt to adjust any gas equipment or their gas meters.
   Customers should not turn on any gas valve that has been turned off by National Fuel or emergency personnel when flooding has occurred. Once the water has subsided, contact National Fuel at 1-800-365-3234, and the company will test and restore the service at no charge to its customers. Appliances affected by floodwater will remain turned off and the customer will be required to contact a heating contractor or plumber to verify that the equipment will operate safely.
   As always, if a gas odor is present, the customer should open a window for ventilation, leave the premises and call National Fuel at 1-800-444-3130 immediately. Do not use any appliances or operate any electrical switches if a gas odor is present. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation is the Utility segment of National Fuel Gas Company, a diversified energy company that is engaged in a number of natural gas-related activities. The Utility provides natural gas service to approximately 730,000 customers in Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.

2nd Annual Island Lights Spectacular - December 2013

   The residents of 544 Baseline Road, near Bush Road, have done it again. For the second year they have spent countless hours getting their light show ready for the holiday season. It took six weeks and 18,000 lights and 4500 feet of extension cord and 88 channels to complete. The show lasts 29 minutes and the music can be heard on radio channel 100.3 with no repeated songs from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily. Nice work! Facebook link.

Town Advisory Board Openings - December 2013

    The Town of Grand Island is seeking interested individuals to volunteer for several Advisory Board openings: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION for a term expiring 12/31/15, PLANNING BOARD for a term expiring 12/31/15, Cable/Communications for a term expiring 12/31/14, and CONSERVATION COMMISSION for a term expiring 12/31/17. Any member of the community who is interested in serving should submit a letter of interest, including relevant experience, education or training to Town Supervisor Mary S. Cooke, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, New York 14072 or by email to townboard@grand-island.ny.us. Letters received by 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 will be considered. For additional information contact any member of the Town Board.

Niagara River Greenway Commission Winter Newsletter - December 2013

    Niagara River Greenway Commission Winter Newsletter. Next general meeting is Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 3:00 P.M. Meetings are open to the public and are held at the Beaver Island State Park Clubhouse, Grand Island.

McCarthy School of Irish Dance Holiday Show - December 2013

   The McCarthy School of Irish Dance is presenting “A Celtic Christmas” on Friday, December 20th at the Niagara Falls High School Performing Arts Center at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door. There will be a basket raffle and reception following. See flyer.

GISD December Artist of the Month - December 2013

Yifan Shen, Huth Road Elementary

   Congratulations to Yifan Shen! She has been chosen as the K-12 Artist of the Month for Grand Island School District. Yifan is a 5th grader at Huth Road Elementary who exemplifies determination. In 2010, Yifan moved from China to Grand Island, speaking no English. Not only is she now fluent in English, she also has shown that she is a very talented artist. Yifan is very creative and pays attention to detail and craftsmanship. She has been interested in art since she was about 4 years old. She gives her mother and grandfather credit for her talent and inspiration and says she has a lot of encouragement at home. Yifan is also a member of the Huth Road Art Club. Her logo design was chosen to be printed on this year’s Art Club t-shirts. Yifan says that “Art is important because you get to be creative on anything you are working on.” Keep up the great work Yifan!

GISD November Artist of the Month - December 2013

Juliana Faso, Kaegebein Elementary

   The Art Department of the Grand Island School System is pleased to announce that Juliana Faso is the recipient of the K-12 Artist of the Month Award. Juliana is a 4th grade student at Kaegebein Elementary School. She enjoys art because she gets to use her imagination, and to learn about other cultures and periods in time. Her favorite artist is Claude Monet; her favorite materials are paint and clay. Juliana feels, “art takes her places”. The Art Department wishes Juliana continued success in all her artistic endeavors.

GISD October Artist of the Month - December 2013

Madeleine HusVar, Connor Middle School

    The Art Department of the Grand Island Schools is proud to announce that Madeleine HusVar has been named the first “Artist of the Month” for the 2013-2014 school year. Madeleine is a 13 year old accelerated art student enrolled in the eighth grade at Connor Middle School. Madeleine’s art teacher describes her as a meticulous student with an eye for detail; always seeking to improve her ability and produce work that reflects her high skill level and artistic voice. Maddy is an enthusiastic, eager and creative young lady. Multitalented, she counts visual arts, music and theatre among her many artistic pursuits. Madeleine favors drawing, painting and other two-dimensional media.
   Madeleine has been interested in art and involved artistically from a very young age. She counts her mom as her biggest inspiration saying, “my mom is just amazing”! She particularly notes the way she works with her, always offering encouragement and advice. Madeleine keeps various sketchbooks, has taken classes outside of school and is always ready to try new things. She is a creative and hard-working young lady whose abilities and artistic potential mark her as extraordinary. The art department is proud to recognize Madeleine as their first “Artist of the Month” for the 2013-2014 school year.

First Snow Storm - November 2013

Mary Stewart Photos

    Our favorite photographer Mary Stewart sent in these photos from her LaSalle neighborhood of the first snow storm of the 2013 season. On November 26 & 27, four to five inches fell overnite. No big deal, just a little slick.

Gala of Trees Benefits Neighbors Foundation - November 2013

   This 2013 holiday season, Grand Island High School Student Council is teaming up with Byblos Niagara Resort & Spa to begin the inaugural "Gala of Trees", on Saturday, December 7th, 3:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. This grand event will bring beauty and celebration to the holiday season. During the holiday season it can be more difficult for those in need to enjoy this season and in light of that, the Student Council will be donating 100% of proceeds from auctioned artificial Christmas trees to the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation.
   This family friendly event will feature many activities including a visit with Santa Claus, Christmas cookie baking and decorating, ornament decorating, holiday movies, story telling and Christmas caroling. Save the date and help your neighbors. Gala Poster.

EPA Toxic Release Inventory Database Meeting - November 2013

    On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, The Clean Air Coalition will help residents learn how to use the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory database to find out about the potential health impacts of industry surrounding the island. The meeting will take place at Veronica E. Conner Middle School, 1100 Ransom Rd. from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    In the early 80’s several industrial accidents across the world accelerated a movement to establish more transparency between industry and the general public. The Environmental Protection Agency created the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)with the intention for citizens to have access to information in their community. The online database contains information on releases on over 650 chemicals from more than 20,000 US industrial facilities. This database is more important than ever after the New York State Department of Health released their Tonawanda Area Health Outcome’s Review two weeks ago. NYS DOH found that lung cancer, bladder cancer, and total cancers were elevated among both males and females; esophageal cancer was elevated among males and uterine cancer was elevated among females.
   Due to the concern that the elevations could be connected to neighboring industry in Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, residents requested this training to find out more about how their environment may be linked to their health. Last year the United Nations recognized The Clean Air Coalition as a global leader in educating communities in TRI. Our training that was developed in locally in Western New York has been shared with nonprofits from Peru, Honduras, Chile, the Ukraine, and featured last summer during a UN delegate meeting in Geneva Switzerland. This training is supported in collaboration with Jessica Castner from the University of Buffalo, Pastor Dean Hunneshagen at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and Grand Island Town Supervisor Mary Cooke. Flyer

Veterans Day Service Recap - November 2013

By Joe Synakowski
   The weather was brisk at the Veterans Memorial Wall but it did not deter the Veterans Day Memorial Ceremonies on Monday, November 11th. Approximately 200 brave citizens came to The Veterans Memorial Wall in Veterans Park to Salute our many Veterans who so bravely served our Country when needed. Some served in the various Combat Actions (Wars), and some were Peacetime and Cold War Veterans. They all served with Honor and Bravery. The many family members of those who served during the Cold War, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and presently serving in the Afghanistan, Freedom from Terror Campaign, were honored with a memento of gratitude from the Town of Grand Island.
   The program started with members of the Union Volunteer Fife and Drum Corps playing Civil War melodies while the Boy Scouts of Troops 510 and 630 presented the Service Flags of the United States Armed Forces. The local Girl Scouts distributed the programs and aided some of our elderly Veterans to be seated. Commander Fred Wornick of American Legion Grand Island Post 1346, MC’d the event and introduced Kester Bleich, Chaplain of the Charles N. Deglopper Memorial Post 9249, Veterans of Foreign Wars who gave the Invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by Christian Eshelman, Vice Commander of VFW Post 9249. Town Supervisor Mary Cooke gave a warm welcome to the Veterans and attendees and offered a quotation in honor of our veterans, Freedom Is Not Free. Lt Col. Paul Dansereau read the roster of those who served in the Cold War, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. The Fife and Drum Corps played music in honor of the Civil War Soldiers, while a wreath was placed at the Wall of Honor, by Christian Eshelman of the VFW and Rick Schmitz of the American Legion.
    A Rifle Salute was presented by the Honor Guard of the Charles N. DeGlopper Post 9249 VFW, and the American flag and Post flag were presented by the Grand Island Post 1346 American Legion. Taps to Our Fallen Veterans was played by Max VeRost and Marcus Cook, Grand Island High School Trumpeters. The program concluded with a Benediction by Joseph Mesmer, Chaplain of Grand Island Post 1346 American Legion. The service was followed by an Open House at the Charles N. DeGlopper Post 9249.

Home Energy Assistance Program - November 2013

   The Home Energy Assistance Program will open on November 18th. If you need help with your heating bill, or if you know someone who does, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can help. HEAP is a federally funded program that provides assistance to eligible customers to pay their home heating bills. National Fuel customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for assistance, as funds are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, starting Nov. 18. Grants are available up to $450 to help reduce the amount of your heating bill, and, new this year, customers may apply online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov. Grant amounts vary and will be provided only while HEAP funding remains available. Additional assistance may be available for those with heating emergencies. The maximum "regular" HEAP grant for customers who use natural gas to heat their homes is $450. HEAP grants are immediately posted to customer accounts when they are received from New York state.

Veterans Day Honors Cold War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War Vets - November 2013

   The Town of Grand Island will be honoring Veterans of past military campaigns during the annual Veterans Day program. This year we will honor our Veterans of the Cold War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War. Veterans, family members, and friends are cordially invited to attend the program on Monday, November 11, at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Park located at 1717 Bedell Road. Each Veteran will receive a memento.
   Grand Island Veterans are asked to contact the Recreation Department and let us know if you will be attending the program on November 11th, or if you will be represented by a family member. Please respond by calling the Recreation Department at 773-9680, or by email to recreation@grand-island.ny.us. Please contact us by November 6th. The Town of Grand Island extends a very gracious Thank You in advance for your time and participation. We hope to hear from you as soon as possible. Veteran's Day Program

Election Results - November 2013


Highway Superintendent

James Tomkins - Republican 1970, Conservative 644, Total 2614
Bill Stanley - Democratic 1693, Working Families 195, Independence 427, Total 2315

Town Council

Chris Aronica - Republican 2167, Conservative 829, Independence 371, Total 3367
Ray Billica - Republican 2075, Conservative 742, Total 2817
Beverly Kinney - Democratic 1975, Independence 429, Total 2404
Dolly D'Orazio - Democratic 1587

Town Justice

Mark Frentzel was re-elected without opposition after winning four party lines in the primaries in September.

Participants Needed For Gala of Trees - November 2013

    In 2011, Grand Island High School began a tradition of giving back to the Neighbors Foundation through ‘Share the Holiday Magic’. All clubs and organizations of Grand Island High School took part in purchasing and decorating trees to be auctioned for proceeds to benefit the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation.
   This 2013 holiday season, Grand Island High School Student Council is teaming up with Byblos Niagara Resort & Spa to begin the inaugural "Gala of Trees", on Saturday, December 7th at 3:00 p.m. This grand event will bring beauty and celebration to the holiday season. During the holiday season it can be more difficult for those in need to enjoy this season and in light of that, the Student Council will be donating 100% of proceeds from auctioned artificial Christmas trees to the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation.
   Each participating person or business will be required to donate an artificial tree to be auctioned at the event. Participants are encouraged to decorate their own tree but are not required to do so. Your business will be recognized at the event for your tree that will be auctioned to help support the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation. There are no additional costs to participate. See Gala Application, and Gala Poster.
   This family friendly event will feature many activities including a visit with Santa Claus, Christmas cookie baking and decorating, ornament decorating, holiday movies, story telling and Christmas caroling. Save the date and help your neighbors.

Voters Guide by League of Women Voters - October 2013

   This Voter Guide will help you to evaluate the 6 ballot proposals that will be on the November 2013 ballot. The proposals are amendments to the New York State Constitution.

Greenway Commission Tours Corridor By Bike - October 2013

Supervisor Mary Cooke meets with riders during tour.

    The Niagara River Greenway Commission recently hosted a bicycle tour to identify critical gaps along the Greenway corridor which runs from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario along the Niagara River. Greenway members, stakeholders and New York State agency staff began their October 25, 2013 tour at Gallagher Beach in Buffalo, riding along the Shoreline Trail and stopping along to way to meet with municipal leaders who host the Greenway. Grand Island Supervisor Mary Cooke met the tour under the South Grand Island Bridge and presented the plans for the West River Trail which will complete an eight mile gap in the corridor. Island resident Paul Leuchner rode with the group. The tour ended nearly 25 miles later in the City of Niagara Falls. Initial findings from the tour found that while there are approximately 25 miles of marked trail, there are about 25 more miles of trail that need to be better marked and made more accessible to bikers and other users.
   "This bike tour was a real visual way to assess the needs we have along the Greenway in terms of creating a more seamless spine for people to enjoy the River. This tour will help us establish our next steps which will focus on signage and connecting our trails," said Greg Stevens, chairman of the Niagara River Greenway. Stevens added that once the Niagara River Greenway Trail is truly connected, it will form a critical linkage to regional trail networks including the Erie Canal Trail which extends from Canalside in Buffalo to Troy, NY and the Hudson River Greenway, the Canadian trail systems and the Via Bike Train which will connect in summer 2015 over the Whirlpool bridge to Toronto as well as the Seaway Trail and the Niagara Wine Trail. Additionally, the Shore Line Trail will link to the Pennsylvania border which will connect to a regional trail system being developed from Washington D.C. to Chicago.
   The Niagara River Greenway Commission was adopted in 2007 and is charged with creating a continuous, linear park and multi-use trail along the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario while restoring the ecological health of the riparian zone of the Niagara River, promoting public access to the waterfront while creating and enhancing public amenities which will encourage sustainable activities that enhance awareness and appreciation of the Niagara River.

Election Proposition Info. - October 2013

   There are six propositions that you will be asked to vote on at the November 5th general election. If you would like to review the propositions, click explanations of the proposals provided by the Erie County Board Of Elections.

Veterans News - October 2013

   Veterans enrolled with a VA ID Card are eligible for free flu shots at VA Western NY Healthcare System and Buffalo Medical Center during primary care hours and on Saturday, October 26th from 9am-1pm at the Drive thru Clinic and Saturday, November 28th 8am-11:30am at Desk 4, 1st Floor.
   A "Welcome Home Veteran's Day Parade" is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th at 11:00 a.m. The parade will start at Delaware Avenue and Edwards Street and end at City Hall. If you would like to march in the parade, call 862-8753 for more information or email kasmer03@aol.com, use "veterans" in subject line.

Erie County Traffic Safety Board, Public Safety Announcement - October 2013

    It is that time of year when it is important to watch for deer, while driving. Deer breeding and hunting season is upon us and deer are very active. With a statewide deer population of approximately 900,000, there are an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 deer-vehicle collisions that occur throughout New York State each year. To avoid a collision with a deer, drivers should reduce speed and watch for their presence on or near the highway. Here are more specific precautions to help prevent such accidents:
  • Use caution when driving at dawn or dusk and scan roads and roadsides ahead
  • Reduce your speed at night and use high beams when possible
  • Be sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats
  • Slow down when approaching deer or moose standing near the roadside, as they may suddenly bolt into the road
  • Deer often travel in pairs or groups, so if deer are spotted crossing the road, slow down and be alert that others may follow
  • Briefly use flashers or a headlight signal to warn approaching drivers when deer are spotted in or near the highway
  • Be especially alert and use caution when traveling through frequent deer crossing areas, which are usually marked with “leaping stag”
  • Do not rely on devices, such as deer whistles, extra lights or reflectors, to deter deer. Research has shown that your best defense is your own responsible behavior
  • Motorcyclists should be especially alert for deer as motorcycle-deer collisions have a higher fatality rate
  • If a deer does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to strike a pedestrian or potentially deadly fixed object, such as a tree or utility pole.

    Grand Island Candidates Night - October 2013

       A Grand Island Candidates Night will be held Thursday, October 24th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 1780 Love Road. Sponsored by the committee chairmen of the four active political parties on GI – Conservative, Republican, Democratic and Independence – the event will feature candidates for supreme court, surrogate judge, family court judge and town justice, as well as Erie County Legislature, Town Council and highway superintendent. Luke Moretti from Channel 4 will be the moderator. Questions from the floor will be accepted.
       Islanders will be able to meet their candidates, find out more about them and be more familiar with their qualifications and experience. “The political parties on Grand Island have been working together for many years, which is rather unique in Western New York. This reflects the character of our community,” said Dr. Kevin Backus, chairman of the Grand Island Conservative Committee. “Grand Island is a unique community. It’s like a village, as we all continue to work together for the betterment of the Island,” added Jim Sharpe, chairman of the Grand Island Democratic Committee. Neil Hoffman, vice chairman of the Grand Island Republican Committee, said, “This is a great opportunity for Grand Islanders to get to know all the great candidates. Our community will be well represented by whoever wins.”

    Respect the GICSD Dress Code - October 2013

        Now that school is back in session and Grand Island students are busy hitting the books, school administrators would like to remind everyone to abide by the Grand Island Central School District dress code. Recently, each student received a brochure that provides a common sense overview of what to wear to school. The guide features current Grand Island students modeling appropriate school attire. Included are examples of what is expected and what will not be tolerated in the school environment. “Apparel worn to school or school events should be safe, appropriate, not to disrupt or interfere with the education process, and reflect the Viking Value – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, ” says Dr. Teresa Lawrence, superintendent of schools. “This is an institution of learning and we ask that everyone be mindful of safety and learning when selecting an outfit.”
       Items that are not acceptable include, but are not limited to, pajama pants, hats in the classroom, vulgar or obscene clothing, and extremely brief garments such as spaghetti straps, muscle shirts, crop tops and short shorts. Safe footwear, appropriate shirts and longer lengths should be considered when dressing for school. Students who violate the dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replace it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so or who repeatedly fails to comply shall be subject to discipline. The complete code of conduct and the Common Sense Dress Code Overview Guide can be found on the District’s website at www.k12.ginet.org – key word, ‘Code of Conduct’.

    Tonawanda Area Health Outcomes Review - October 2013

       Updated 10/23/13 - Mr. James Bowers of the NYS Dept. of Health will be at the St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church of Grand Island, NY (1453 Staley Road) on the evening of Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM to discuss the Tonawanda Area Health Outcomes Review. The area covered by the Tonawanda Area Health Outcomes Review includes a large portion of Grand Island as well as Tonawanda, both of which were affected by the discharge of toxic emissions. The meeting will include a formal presentation, a question and answer session, public input regarding the DOH’s proposed bio-monitoring project and discussion about next steps in the Grand Island sub-area. Pastor Dean Hunneshagen will be the moderator. The organizers also include Dr. Jessica Castner and Town Supervisor Mary Cooke. For further information call the church office at 773-4400 or the Supervisor’s office at 773-9600 ext. 616. A summary of the Outcomes Review is available at the above offices. A complete copy may be accessed at w.w.w.health.ny.gov/environmental/investigations/tonawanda/final.htm

    Attention Veterans of the Cold War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War - October 2013

       The Town of Grand Island will be honoring Veterans of past military campaigns during our annual Veterans Day program. This year we will honor our Veterans of the Cold War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War. Veterans, family members, and friends are cordially invited to attend the program on Monday, November 11, at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Park located at 1717 Bedell Road. Each Veteran will receive a memento.
       Grand Island Veterans are asked to contact the Recreation Department and let us know if you will be attending the program on November 11th, or if you will be represented by a family member. Please respond by calling the Recreation Department at 773-9680, or by email to recreation@grand-island.ny.us. Please contact us by November 6th. The Town of Grand Island extends a very gracious Thank You in advance for your time and participation. We hope to hear from you as soon as possible.

    State Parks Announce Waterfowl Blind Drawings - October 2013

       Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry and Motor Islands lottery scheduled.    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that lottery drawings for the first half of Waterfowl Hunting Season have been scheduled at Beaver Island State Park. Draws will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning Friday, October 25th. The doors will open at 6:00pm and the draws start at 6:30pm SHARP! The draws will continue to take place in the basement of the Beaver Island Clubhouse. Please enter in the back door closest to Parking Lot next to the Clubhouse.
       Duck season will run from October 26 through December 8 and the Canada Goose season will run from October 26 through December 18. For the extended goose season December 9 – 18, there will be call-ins ONLY. Blinds can be reserved by calling 773-2010 from 9am – 12 noon on: Thursday 12/5, for Mon. – Tues. 12/9 - 12/10 - Tuesday 12/10, for Weds. – Fri. 12/11 - 12/13 and Thursday 12/12, for Sat. – Weds. 12/14 - 12/18.
       Permits must be picked up at the park office no later than 4:15pm weekdays prior to the day of the hunt. To participate in the lottery drawings, hunters must be present and show a valid NYS Small Game hunting license with a signed duck stamp, proof of completion of a Waterfowl ID course and proof of registration in the Harvest Information Program (HIP).
        Again this season, State Parks will also be including a DEC Universal Access Blind located on East River Road at Spicer Creek Wildlife Management Area (north of the cemetery). Waterfowl hunting is restricted to the wooden Universal Blind structure only. You may contact the Park Office at (716)773-3271 on weekdays between 8:15am and 4:15pm for more information.

    Care Package Items Needed - October 2013

        In addition to list below: treats and toys for the K9 units would be appreciated.
    Mary (Mason) Judkins is a member of the Blue Star Mothers and her son Brian is being deployed in January. She is asking for support to send care packages to deployed troops. The wish list includes: Beef Jerky / Slim Jims, Coffee (Ground or whole; instant or drip), Instant Drink Mixes (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light), Pumpkin Seeds / Sunflower Seeds , Tuna in foil pouches (no cans), Protein Powders / Protein Bars / Cliff Bars, Hot Chocolate packets, Herbal teas, Powdered Energy Mixes, Hard Pretzels / Cheetos / Fritos / Chex Mix / Wheat Thins, Gum / Hard Candy (must be individually wrapped in large bags), Granola Bars / Power Bars / Cereal Bars, Small Packs of Fig Newtons, Oreos, Cheese & Crackers, Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Granola, Fruit Roll-Ups / Fruit By The Foot / Fruit Gummies, Dry soup: (Ramen Noodles / Cup-O-Soup: just add water, Nuts: Peanuts, Mixed Nuts (salted preferred, Microwave Food (Popcorn, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Mac and Cheese), Cookies / Girl Scout Cookies (with chocolate: Oct. and Feb. only!), Rice Krispie Treats (Store-bought only).
       This is a great project for organizations, schools, businesses and churches. Contact Mary at MJudk@aol.com. Monetary donations to help support the rising cost of shipping are also welcome. Please make checks payable to: Blue Star Mothers NY#7 and mail to: Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., Buffalo-Niagara NY #7, PO Box 2074, Buffalo, NY 14231-2074.

    Water Bill Reminder - October 2013

        The Town of Grand Island Water Billing Department would like to remind residents that any past due amounts not paid by 10/31/13 will be added to the 2014 Town/County tax bill.

    Fundraiser to Elect Dick Dobson for Erie County Sheriff - October 2013

       Retired Sheriff Dick Dobson had 32 years of service with the Erie County Sheriff's Department at his retirement. A fundraiser is planned for Friday, October 25th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club, 1083 Whitehaven Rd., $20 per person, $100 sponsor, $150 event sponsor, includes Food - Beer - Pop. Checks payable to Friends of Dick Dobson. Contact: Mike 716-435-1070.

    Taste of Grand Island 2013 - October 2013

    Kevin Cobello, K & D Action Photo - Click for larger view

    Slideshow Photos by Mary Stewart & Jodi Robinson
       Another smashing success for the Taste of Grand Island. Perfect weather sure helped. Nice job Corey!

    Grand Island 911 Dispatch Upgrade - October 2013

        (Erie County, NY) – Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick announces the Legislature approved a resolution to accept a New York State grant to complete upgrades to the county’s 911 system, including Grand Island’s dispatch center. The Public Safety Answering Point Consolidation, Improvement and Enhancement Grant totals $967,981 and will pay for the third and final phase to enhance dispatch centers to the Next Gen 911 system.
        “Utilizing grant funds, Erie County has upgraded the majority of the local dispatch centers’ systems, equipping them with improved capabilities. With the acceptance of this grant, the remaining nine dispatch centers will be upgraded and the entire county will finally be operating on the Next Gen 911 system, providing callers with the best service possible,” said Legislator Hardwick. “These funds allow Erie County to implement a technologically advanced system that provides an improved mapping component, in addition to other features to best serve 911 callers.”
       The funding is paid fully by NYS Department of Homeland Security. The first two phases were completed in recent years, upgrading the high volume dispatch centers to the Next Gen 911 system first. The third phase will upgrade the remaining nine centers and complete the project.

    Senator Grisanti Satellite Office - October 2013

       State Senator Mark Grisanti has scheduled monthly "Town Hall visits, bringing government to you". A member of the senator’s staff will be present to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have about state-related issues. Various forms, informational brochures and contact information will also be available. Scheduled dates are Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on October 9th, November 13th and December 11th.

    2013 CROP Walk for Hunger - October 2013

       The 2013 CROP Walk for hunger will be on Sunday afternoon, October 13th at 1:00 p.m. in the Beaver Island State Park. It will begin down by the marina. Coordinator of the Grand Island CROP Walk for Hunger, Paul Robinson, is hoping that this year's Walk will once again eclipse the 100 walkers mark. This annual Island-wide event has raised between $4000 and $5000 every year since the late 1980s. The Walk has been "run" in a variety of venues, the latest one being Beaver Island Park. This event, which takes place annually in communities across the US, is the major fund raiser to raise money for poverty for its parent organization, Church World Service, an amalgamation of over 35 denominations. The word "CROP" has stood for a variety of phrases over the years, but has always had to do with meeting the local, national and world-wide critical need for food and clean water, the lack of which is the major cause of poverty and disease.
       To participate in the CROP Walk, all a person needs to do is get an envelope provided by the local CROP Walk coordinating and planning committee. These envelopes can be secured at a number of businesses and churches on the Island including the following: Serene Gardens, Say Cheese, Niagara Frontier Publications, Rockwood Collision, Chamber of Commerce, Designet, Trinity United Methodist Church and St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church and the Riverside Salem UCC. Once you have the envelope, a walker gathers pledges from family and friends, and brings the envelope with them to the Walk. This year's walk begins at 1:00 pm, this Sunday, October 13, at the Beaver Island Park Marina. There are three walks of various lengths. Bikes are not permitted in the walk. At the conclusion of the Walk, walkers are treated to grilled hotdogs donated by Dick and Jenny's. The Honorary Chair of this year's walk is the pastor of St. Martin's, the Rev. Earle King. The Town Board presented a Proclamation to Father King and members of the CROP Walk committee at this past week's meeting. One quarter of all funds raised is returned to Grand Island. For more information contact the coordinator, the Rev. Paul Robinson at 773-3550 or by text at 912-6743 or by email, revper@gmail.com.

    Car Hits Building Causing Damage - September 2013

       There were no injuries in a one car accident that caused structural damage to a building located at 1871 Whitehaven Rd. on Friday, September 20th. The car crashed into the outside wall buckling the front and side walls of the space occupied by Hairitage Hair Salon. The business will be closed until repairs can be made.

    The Gold Pass - All Access Pass for Residents 60+ - September 2013

        The Grand Island Central School District would like to invite all residents 60 years of age or older to apply for a Gold Pass. A Gold Pass allows the bearer free admission to all Grand Island School activities and athletic events held on school property. If interested in applying, please download and complete the form then return it to: Grand Island Central School District District Office 1100 Ransom Road Grand Island, NY 14072 For questions concerning eligibility or Gold Pass access, please contact 773-8801.

    Greenway panel backs 8-mile trail on Grand Island - September 2013

       Some residents voice strong opposition By Thomas Prohaska | Buffalo News Niagara Reporter
    A planned eight-mile trail connecting Beaver Island State Park and Buckhorn State Park is consistant with the goals of the Niagara River Greenway plan and got the okay at a meeting on Tuesday, September 17th. See story.

    South Bridge Closing Information - September 2013

       A weekend closure of the southbound South Grand Island Bridge (I-190) has been scheduled for Friday, September 13th at 11 p.m. and will last through 9 a.m. Sunday, September 15th for construction work, the New York State Thruway Authority announced. Motorists traveling southbound on I-190 will be diverted to a single lane on the northbound South Grand Island Bridge while contractors complete a polyester concrete overlay on the bridge deck. In accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Driver’s First Initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are as minimal as possible, this weekend closure allows the contractor to fill bridge joints in one continuous process. This method limits the number of additional lane closures needed, as well as providing a smoother riding surface for motorists once work is complete. All work is weather dependent. The Thruway Authority thanks motorists for their patience and understanding during this special event.

    Vice Principal Saves Life - September 2013

       GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB Story) - The Assistant Principal at Grand Island Middle School saved the life of a 10-year-old girl on Monday. Fire officials say the student had left school earlier that day with an unspecified illness, but returned shortly before 4 p.m. to retrieve items from her locker. While walking down the hallway, the little girl collapsed. Assistant Principal Eleanor Payne was still in the main office and rushed to the scene. Payne found the student had no pulse, and immediately began CPR, which got the girl breathing again. First responders arrived and took over care of the student, who was taken to Women and Children's Hospital. Fire officials agree that Payne's actions helped save the girl. The Assistant Principal has had CPR training "for over 20 years" and recently renewed her certification less than two weeks ago. Grand Island Fire Chief Kevin Koch says this shows how valuable it is to have CPR training, because you never know when it will be needed.

    36th Annual Niagara Frontier Antique Boat Show - September 2013

    Mary Stewart photos

       Cloudy skies and some rain didn't put too much of a damper on the 36th annual boat show sponsored by the Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Association at the Buffalo Launch Club on Saturday, September 7th. Several antique cars were also on display for the car enthusiasts. Race boat drivers were able to get a few laps in before the rain came.

    Seniors Stuff School Tax Bills - September 2013

    From left: Gloria Diringer, Caroline Ungaro, Dorothy Lew, Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel, Betty Marinell. Bernie Callahan and Jean Schlegel.
    Seated: Chris Bihler, Martha Mueller, Nonnie Carroll Click for larger view.

        A group of seniors from the Golden Age Center gathered at Town Hall on Friday, September 6th to help with the school tax bills. Every year, in January and September, the volunteers work many hours folding and stuffing envelopes and affixing labels to help Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel and her staff.

    VFW Memorial Service - Terrorist Attack - September 2013

       The Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Post 9249 Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct a memorial service honoring the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. The Memorial Service will take place at the Post Flag, 2121 Grand Island Blvd. at 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 11, 2013. Please attend this Memorial in honor of the Victims and first Responders.

    Primary Results - September 2013

    From left: Geri Stalica, Ralph Hoover and Mac McCabe

    Christopher K. Aronica, 81 votes, and Beverly A. Kinney, 77 votes, defeated Raymond A. Billica, 54 votes, in the Independence primary for two Town Board seats.
    Mark J. Frentzel, 350 votes, defeated Joy M. Carrier Lamarca, 175 votes, in the Democratic primary for town justice. He also won the Republican, Conservative, Working Families and Independence lines.
    William M. Stanley beat James Tomkins, 76 to 66, in the Independence vote for highway superintendent.

    2013-2014 School Tax Notice - September 2013

       Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announced that the 2013/2014 School Tax Bills have been mailed. If you have changed banks, have paid off your mortgage or do not have an escrow account and did not receive a tax bill, please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 773-9600 ext. 620. The regular office hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm. The office will be open Saturday, October 12, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The office will be closed Monday, October 14. Checks should be made payable to Town Clerk. The last day to pay without penalty is October 15. Envelopes must show a legible postmark of October 15 to be accepted on time. Taxpayers should call the office for correct amounts for payments made October 16 and later. Payments can be made until December 2, 2013. After this date, payments must be sent to the County. See notice.

    GI Community Garden Update - September 2013

       The Grand Island Community Garden reports that the growing season is winding down and stakes and tomato cages must be removed from the plots by the 2nd week of October due to Town law. Equipment will be stored over the winter and the hope is to have the field tilled for an earlier start in 2014. If you would like to have your plot tilled, a $5 donation will get it done. John & Brigitte would like to thank everyone who has participated and are hoping for a bigger and better year in 2014. A booth will be at the "Taste of Grand Island" on Saturday, September 28th where donations will be accepted to help with operating costs.

    Premoistened Wipes Bad For Pipes/Pumps - September 2013

       Town Engineer John Whitney has asked that a recent article published in the Buffalo News be posted due to the importance of the subject. Premoistened wipes that are supposedly "flushable" are clogging pipes and jamming pumps, causing an increase in tax dollars spent on fixing the problems. Take a look at the article by Katherine Shaver of the Washington Post. Since 2009 Grand Island has been posting notices on the water bills asking residents to dispose of disposable wipes in the garbage, not the toilet.

    The Niagara River Greenway Commission Newsletter - September 2013

       Take a look at the Niagara River Greenway Commission's Fall newsletter. It includes a recap of Paddles Up Niagara 2013, the opening of the Niagara Park Pavilion in Niawanda Park, overlooking the east shore of Grand Island, and upcoming projects and September meeting dates. See newsletter.

    South Bridge Closing Information - September 2013

       A weekend closure of the southbound South Grand Island Bridge (I-190) has been scheduled for Friday, September 6 at 11p.m. and will last through 9 a.m. Sunday, September 8 for construction work, the New York State Thruway Authority announced. Motorists traveling southbound on I-190 will be diverted to a single lane on the northbound South Grand Island Bridge while contractors complete a polyester concrete overlay on the bridge deck. In accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Driver’s First Initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are as minimal as possible, this weekend closure allows the contractor to fill bridge joints in one continuous process. This method limits the number of additional lane closures needed, as well as providing a smoother riding surface for motorists once work is complete. All work is weather dependent. The Thruway Authority thanks motorists for their patience and understanding during this special event.

    36th Annual Niagara Frontier Antique & Classic Boat Show - August 2013

       The 36th Annual Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show is scheduled for Saturday, September 7th at the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island. The show begins at 10:00 a.m. at 503 East River Road. There will be vintage boat races, boat-ride options, a Chris-Craft seminar and exhibits until 4:30 p.m. There will be an awards dinner at 6:00 p.m. See flyer or for details go to oldboatsbuffalo.org.

    Whitehaven Road Closure Planned - August 2013

        Whitehaven Road (CR75) in the Town of Grand Island will be closed between Grand Island Boulevard (SH) and Stony Point Road (CR 308) beginning Tuesday, September 3 (6:00 a.m.), 2013, until complete for the purpose of emergency sanitary sewer repair/installation. Open cutting of Whitehaven Road will take place, and the Town of Grand Island Highway department will be the contractor. The closure is expected to last two to three days.

    2nd Annual Taste of Grand Island - August 2013

       Press Release...Last fall island resident Corey McGowan embarked on not one but two major projects for Grand Island. The Grand Island Mural Project shined with flying colors (no pun intended) and the first ever Taste of Grand Island served as the perfect way to showcase the mural and Grand Island's many businesses. With last years highly praised success the Taste of Grand Island is back on Saturday September 28, 2013. Event director Corey McGowan promises for an even better event which this year, will be located on a portion of Grand Island Boulevard that will be closed as well as the Town Commons. Over 20 island restaurants and 20 additional vendors will fill the boulevard and commons for a wonderful celebration of all that Grand Island has to offer. You can sample food from your favorite or uncharted island restaurants or shop from an independently owned boutique. This event is family friendly so be sure to bring your kids, bring your friends and have a great time! A large beer tent for those 21 and over will also be conveniently located in the front parking lot of TC's Tavern. Live entertainment, your favorite fall brews and wine will be available for the entire day. We will see you September 28th at the Taste of Grand Island!

    Purple Martin Field Trip - August 2013

       On Saturday September 7th at 5:45 p.m. the Buffalo Ornithological Society and the New York State Purple Martin Project are leading a Purple Martin Fall Roost Site field trip. The event is at Buckhorn Island State Park on Grand Island, NY. Meet at the small parking lot on East-West Park Rd. at 5:45 p.m. (The small parking lot is next to the eastern most entrance to the park.) A non-strenuous short walk on a well traveled path is required. Sunset is at 7:42 p.m. The martins typically congregate in large numbers at this site just before going to roost in the reed bed in the Niagara River. Join us for the exciting experience of seeing thousands of Purple Martins having their last drink of the evening from the mighty Niagara River before "falling" into the reed bed.

    Water Issues Plague Island - August 2013

    Baseline Road break.

       A water main break occured just after 6:00 a.m. in the 3000 block of Baseline Road on Friday, August 23rd. This caused low pressure island wide as the Whitehaven Road water tank was depleted. Soon after pressure was restored, the area of Bedell Road and Grand Island Blvd. had a water main break.

    CROP Walk Training Guest - August 2013

    Region CROP Walk leader Amy Bobbette & friends.

       For many years Grand Island residents have participated in the annual fall CROP Walk. This years CROP Walk will be on October 13, 2013 at Beaver Island State Park. A one hour information and training meeting will take place on Wednesday, August 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Board Room. Leading the event will be Amy Bobbette from Syracuse, the new leader of this region's CROP Walks. This is an important meeting for new and veteran walkers to be informed by an experienced trainer from Church World Service, CROP. For more information, contact the CROP Walk coordinator, Paul Robinson at 773-3550.

    Community Education Fall 2013 - August 2013

       The Grand Island School District's Community Education class list for Fall 2013 has been announced. See class list and registration.

    Election Inspectors Training Course - August 2013

    Kathy Galla reviewing instruction manual.

       The Erie County Election Inspectors are required to take a yearly training course provided by the Erie County Board of Elections. This year's Grand Island class was held on Thursday, August 22nd at the Town Hall Court room. The inspectors are given a 60 page handbook that has information about proper procedures. The inspectors are paid $25.00 to attend the class and receive $160.00 on election days. Some interesting facts; the inspectors are scheduled to begin work at 5:30 a.m. on Primary and Election days as all polls in Erie County must be open and operational by 6:00 a.m. A chairperson is elected by the inspectors and is in charge of supervising all the Election Day activities. There must be a bipartisan team at all times in the voting area. A 'greeter" is mandatory this year and their job is to make sure votes count. Business attire is required. The inspectors must never touch a ballot after it is given to the voter, without permission from the voter. If a problem does occur, a bipartisan team must be present to assist the voter. Only the major parties are considered, Democrats and Republicans. It may look easy to be an election inspector, but there is a lot more involved than you think.

    Hoffspice Hospice Fundraiser - August 2013

       The 8th Annual Hoffspice Hoffman's Hospice Fundraiser is planned for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 14th at the VFW, 2121 Grand Island Blvd. The event includes live music, beer, food, games, 50/50 raffle and Chinese Auction. Tickets are $20.00 presale and $25.00 at the door. For tickets and information contact Justin Hoffman at 716-818-6836. All proceeds go to Hospice of Buffalo. www.HOFFSPICE.com.

    Sewer Collapse on Whitehaven Road - UPDATE - August 2013

        The sewer pipe that collapsed on Tuesday, August 13th at 1600 Whitehaven Road has been a much bigger problem than anticipated. Originally Town Engineer John Whitney thought it would take two days to get the pipe replaced. Mud got sucked into the pipe and as it was being removed more pipe collapsed. The pipe is now being replaced manhole to manhole. In a news release from Town Supervisor Mary Cooke, the work zone will be in place for the next two weeks and at some point, early in the week of August 26th, the road will be completely closed for a time.

    Hunting Licenses On Sale - August 2013

       Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel announces that the electronically issued DECALS hunting licenses are on sale in the Town Clerk’s Office. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. All hunters must bring a current New York State driver’s license. Deer Management Permits will be issued at the point of sale, by random selection, until October 1. In November, any remaining permits will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any questions call the Town Clerk’s Office at 773-9600, Ext. 622.

    Roundabout & Splitter Island Clean-up - August 2013


    From Left: Highway Superintendent JT Tomkins, Highway Department employee Kevin Hagen, Supervisor Mary Cooke and NYS-DOT Landscape Architect Mike Christner
    Right: JT Tomkins prunes the Dogwood tree.
    Click photos for larger view.

       Supervisor Mary Cooke, Highway Superintendent JT Tomkins, NYS-DOT Landscape Architect Mike Christner and Town Parks and Highway employees gathered at the roundabout on Tuesday, August 13th to discuss the landscaping. The plantings are being removed from the splitter islands for better visability and that area will now be hardscaped with stamped concrete. An effort is being made to save the plantings for use on Town property. The curb on the Burger King side of the area will have a transition curb installed to allow truck traffic to drive more easily west on Staley. Landscape Architect Mike Christner said on first glance at the center of the roundabout, that the area looked "awesome"! The "plantings are supposed to look that way, it's not unkempt, it's natural." The area has numerous dogwood trees, Black-Eyed Susans, roses and lilies. The outer edge is lined with Sumac plants that are apparently very healthy and will be trimmed back to the edge of the garden. While the group was discussing their plan of action they were also weeding and trimming the Dogwood trees. As part of the Adopt a Highway program the Grand Island Little League Board of Directors cleans up the space numerous times each year.
       In a note from Highway Superintendent Tomkins: "As we have all heard, these center islands are designed to inhibit the sight lines across the roundabout. This being so the drivers are focused on the cars directly to their left. The purpose is to give the drivers less cues to look at then a T-intersection, which in turn should make for a safer intersection. Once it is mature, this design should look great and be easy to maintain."

    Sewer Collapse on Whitehaven Road - August 2013


    Left: Bypass Pumping Equipment
    Right: Town Engineer John Whitney at job site.
    Click photos for larger view.

       The collapse of a 30" section of sewer pipe near the power lines on Whitehaven Road made for a busy and sleepless night for the Engineering Department at Town Hall. The section was discovered on Tuesday, August 13th at 10:30 a.m. by the formation of a sinkhole. Town Engineer John Whitney put a plan together in less than 24 hours that required filing a permit, renting bypass pumping pipes and equipment and signs. A smaller excavator is working on the project and a larger excavator is being brought in from Syracuse to speed up the process. There was no stoppage of service to any residents and the project should be complete by Wednesday evening. Nice job Engineering Department!

    Business Opportunities at Beaver Island - August 2013

       The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has extended the deadline for two business opportunities at Beaver Island State Park until 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 23rd. The two opportunities are 1)Food, Beverage and Catering Concession at Beaver Island State Park and 2)Golf Course and Food and Beverage Concession at Beaver Island State Park Golf Course. The requests for proposals can be seen at the website.

    "Thunder on the Niagara" This Weekend - August 2013

        The "Thunder on the Niagara" races are coming back to Gratwick-Riverside Park in North Tonawanda on Saturday and Sunday, August 17th & 18th. The park will open at 8:00 a.m. and racing scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. each day. There is no entrance fee and parking is $5.00 which benefits the not-for-profit Twin City Community Outreach. Almost 90 boats are registered to race over the course of the event. That is twice as many as last year.
        Many Island residents are involved in boat racing and may be seen at the races. The Krebs and Less families are into 5.0 liter stock hydroplanes. The Allen Bush family has a 2.5 liter stock hydroplane and the Ken Brodie family has a Grand Prix boat. Bill DeGlopper and family have a vintage hydroplane and 2 Jersey Skiffs, Greg Barker owns a SE class hydroplane and Bob Catipovic has a K Racing Runabout. Others can be found volunteering as crew.
        Take a look at the 2013 Race Program. It has many interesting articles such as the "anatomy of a hydroplane", signal flag meaning, an overview of the race course, listing of boats and classes, and a page of "how to watch" information. Vendors will be available for food, drinks and memorabilia.

    National Night Out at Town Commons - August 2013

    Mary Stewart photos

        The Town of Grand Island hosted "National Night Out" on Tuesday, August 6th at the Town Commons at 6:30 p.m. Families enjoyed the music of the Skidoo-Dixie Band while viewing various law enforcement vehicles from the U.S. Coast Guard, Erie County Sheriff's Department, GI Fire Company trucks and a Grand Island School bus. A magician entertained the younger set and everyone enjoyed the bbq chicken dinner hosted by the GIFC Ladies Auxiliary.

    Taste of Grand Island News - August 2013

       The Taste of Grand Island is scheduled for Saturday, September 28th from 12 noon - 9:00 p.m. The location has changed from the back of the plaza to the Grand Island Town Commons and Grand Island Blvd. between Whitehaven Road and Baseline Road. Event organizer, Corey McGowan has just announced that the M.O.G. (Medically Oriented Gym), located on Grand Island Blvd., will be the Premier sponsor of the event. Check back over the upcoming weeks for updates.

    Town Employee Appreciation Day - August 2013

    Supervisor Mary Cooke with a homemade "Thank You Town Employees" cake.

       The Town of Grand Island hosted an employee appreciation day picnic on Thursday, August 1st at the Town Commons. All of the current and retired employees were invited to lunch as the elected officials were taking care of business; cooking hotdogs, pouring beverages and making sure everyone got enough to eat.

    First Fun Fest - August 2013

       Mary Stewart Slideshow.
       The first of hopefully many "Grand Island Fun Fests" took place on July 19-21, 2013 at the Say Cheese Pizza Plaza on Love Road. There were rides, games, food, a flea market and music. The Miracle League and the Kaegebein Playground committee were on hand to promote their agendas. A comic book show was held on Sunday, July 21st. It's always great to add a new event to the Grand Island calendar.

    Drug Collection Unit and Needle Disposal Box at Town Hall - August 2013

    From Left: Sheriff Timothy Howard, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Town Justice Mark Frentzel and Town Councilman Gary Roesch
    Click photo for larger view.

       The lower level entrance to Town Hall is the new home of the Drug Collection Unit and Needle Disposal Box. Non-liquid drugs of any kind that are no longer needed and any type of sharps can be left in the designated containers anytime Town Hall is open. If you arrive with materials to deposit and doors are locked, simply call 858-2903 (this number is posted and able to be read from the outside) and the Erie County Sheriff Deputy on duty will meet you and take the material. The Town of Grand Island is pleased to be a designated location for these boxes to make proper disposal easy and convenient and thanks Erie County and the Sheriff’s Department for their help in locating these boxes on Grand Island. DO NOT flush drugs or needles down the toilet or place them in the garbage can! They can easily get into the wrong hands, pollute the water or injure someone.

    West River Connector Trail Project - August 2013

        The Niagara River Greenway Commission announced that the public comment period has opened for the thirty-fifth round of projects. One of the projects is a joint effort between the NYS Parks and the Town of Grand Island and is titled the West River Connector Trail. The $2.27 million project would create an eight-mile multipurpose trail on state-owned land connecting Beaver Island and Buckhorn Island state parks, alongside West River Parkway. See project application. The Town of Grand Island will assist the State of New York in seeking funding from a variety of sources to cover the cost of the project. These include, but are not limited to, the NYS Parks Standing Committee Greenway Fund; the NYS Environmental Protection Fund; the NYS Quality Communities Grant Program; the Federal Highway Trust Fund; and the Erie County Standing Committee Greenway Fund.
       The public comment period will close end of the day on August 31, 2013. Comments may be submitted either at the website or by hard copy to the Commission at 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island, NY 14072. Once the comment period has ended, the Niagara River Greenway Commission will review the project and on September 17, 2013 vote on the consistency of the project in relation to the Niagara River Greenway Plan.

    National Night Out - August 2013

       The Town of Grand Island is hosting "National Night Out" on Tuesday, August 6th at the Town Commons at 6:30 p.m. There will be many free activities for the family including the G. I. Fire Company, various Law Enforcement vehicles, displays, band concert featuring the "Skidoo", dixieland band, crafts, contests & FUN!
    National Night Out is designed to:
    • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
    • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs
    • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
    • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back
        The Ladies Auxiliary of the Grand Island Fire Company will host a Chiavetta's chicken dinner from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. See flyer.

    Grand Island Blvd. Paving - July 2013

        The NYS Dept. of Transportation will be repaving Grand Island Blvd from Staley Road to Long Road starting Monday, July 29th. The project will run until Wednesday, July 31st, depending on the weather . Motorists can expect delays between 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. as portions of the roadway will be one lane in the work zone.

    E-ZPass On-the-Go at Town Hall - July 2013

    Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel

       E-ZPass tags are now available at Grand Island Town Hall in the Town Clerk's office. Proof of residency is necessary to receive the GI Resident Plan at $0.09 per trip. There is a commuter plan available that is $0.28 per trip. Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel and her staff have all the information you need. No payments will be accepted for the E-ZPass account, only the purchase of a tag.

    Baseline & Fix Road Repair - July 2013

        The Erie County Highway Department is doing a x-over repair on July 23, 2013 and will need to close Baseline Rd. at Fix Rd. going north bound for 2 working days. No additional information is available.

    Legislator Hardwick Community Outreach - July 2013

       Legislator Kevin Hardwick is hosting a community outreach on Wednesday, July 31st from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Grand Island Golden Age Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island. Information about the County’s Social Services, Senior Services, Veterans Services, Clerk’s Office and more will be available. Free notary service also available. For information, please contact Legislator Hardwick at 858-8672 or email kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

    Byblos Niagara Resort & Spa - July 2013

       The Holiday Inn Resort & Conference Center is now named Byblos Niagara Resort & Spa. In January, Byblos Hospitality Group of Dubai, Buffalo developer Roger Trettel and Buffalo General surgeon Dr. Fadi Dagher purchased the property for $4,000,000.
    Buffalo News Business Reporter Jonathan Epstein story.

    Do Not Donate! - July 2013

       It has come to the attention of GI Relay for Life co-chair Lynn Dingey that a teenage girl is going door to door collecting donations in the Relay for Life name. Do not donate; this is not an authorized endeavor. If you are approached contact Erie County Sheriff Dispatch at 858-2903.

    "Grand Island Fun Fest" Coming To Town - July 2013

        The "Grand Island Fun Fest" will take place at 1771 Love Road on Friday - Sunday, July 19, 20 & 21st. There will be kids rides, food, vendors, a beer tent, live music and special shows. All weekend there will be custom cars and bikes displayed by Fucillo, SCAP and Fast by Gast. Live music will be featured Friday evening with "Black Star" at 7pm. Saturday music begins at 3pm - 9:30pm with music by "Over Time" and "Strangers in the Alps". Bike Night is Saturday starting at 5pm. Sunday is family day and a comic book show will featured from 10am-4pm. This event will donate funds to Kaegebein School and the Variety Club.
    Vendors wanted, call Joe “D” (716) 695-3415 or Larry (716) 695-5346 for more information.
    See flyer.

    2013 July 4th Parade and Dick Bessel Race - July 2013

       Mary Stewart Slideshow.
       Jodi Robinson Slideshow.

    The Dick Bessel Race Results:
    1st – Chris Carter, Grand Island 10:49, 2nd – Nick Masiello, Grand Island 10:57
    See complete list.

    Island Woman Arrested For Heroin - July 2013

       Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the arrest of a Grand Island woman for heroin and hypodermic needle possession following a traffic stop on Stony Point Rd. in the Town of Grand Island. Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Okal stopped a vehicle on Stony Point Rd. in the Town of Grand Island for a traffic infraction. The vehicle was driven by 29 y/o Kristyn M. Dowd of Baseline Rd. in the Town of Grand Island. During the traffic stop, it was discovered that Dowd had an outstanding arrest warrant out of the City of Buffalo. Dowd was taken into custody and her vehicle was towed from the scene. While inventorying the vehicle before the tow, 10 small bags of heroin and a handful of hypodermic needles was discovered in the vehicle. Dowd was subsequently charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Criminal Possession of Hypodermic Instrument. Dowd was transported to the Erie County Holding Center and held pending her arraignment at Grand Island Town Court. Dowd will also be held there to answer for her City of Buffalo warrant.

    Muralist Terry Klaaren To Visit - June 2013

       Headed this way in July is Terry Klaaren, the artist from the Grand Island Class of 1969 who led the group of volunteers to create the mural he designed on the plaza's backside in 2012. He will be in town to visit family and friends and take on mural projects. "I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and checking out how the mural weathered this past winter," he said.
        Terry has arranged to spend time in July on the Island as a working artist - scheduling appointments for painting his colorful, affordable murals inside or outside local homes and business establishments for "whoever wants me," he said. "To be able to paint quality murals for people here on the Island while visiting family is a real joy. Big or small, any projects I have while here, enjoying the Island, the more time my wife can spend with her Mom." He added, "And that's what coming home is all about."     In addition to murals, Terry paints fine art live, on site ("Plein air") at weddings and events. His gazebo concert painting was auctioned to raise funds for last year's Grand Island's plaza mural project. This year he will be creating a painting at the "Concert for a Cure" on July 28th. Corey McGowan is organizing the fundraising event with Sam Aceti and Roswell Park Cancer Institute at Canalside in Buffalo, NY which will feature 8 local bands and the retro music group The Guess Who. Terry's painting will be auctioned to raise funds at this event.
       A class in "Plein air" is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24th from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at a Grand Island location to be determined depending on the weather. Terry will provide brushes and paint, class members should bring a small canvas as a finished picture is the goal. The cost is $30 per person, call Mrs. Lyn Laman at 775-5735 to register. Terry shows his fun, varied artworks on FaceBook and his website (www.KlaarenArt.com). To set up a July appointment, send an e-mail to: info@KlaarenArt.com. or call him at home in Tampa: (813)-985-9200.
       Grand Island event organizer Corey McGowan is currently seeking out a wall and sponsorship for the next community mural project. "Anyone interested in continuing mural projects on the Island can step up anytime," McGowan said. "The donation account is open and volunteers are ready to start once we get a wall commitment and sponsorship." Call Corey at (716)-341-1040.

    Free Dog Nail Trim Day Fundraiser- June 2013

        The 2nd annual fundraiser for "International Ethipian Adoption" is Saturday, June 29th from 9am-2pm at 997 Stony Point Road. All trimmings are done by Licensed Veterinary Technicians. Get your dog's nails trimmed and make a donation.

    Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Day - June 2013

       The City of Buffalo is sponsoring a Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Day on Saturday, June 22nd between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. It will be located at Honeywell Specialty Materials, 20 Peabody Street, Buffalo, NY (off Elk Street near Smith — Exit off I 190). There is a list of items which can be brought to the site for free, proper disposal and unacceptable items. See flyer for details.

    Sandy Beach Park Club Chicken BBQ - June 2013

       The Sandy Beach Park Club will be having a Chicken BBQ Fundraiser, Thursday June 27th after 5:00pm at the park. The cost is $7 and includes 1/4 chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad and a roll w/butter. Everyone welcome, 190 dinners available, first come, first served! See flyer.

    Tonawanda Coke Fines Could Fund Community Projects - June 2013

       Press Release...On June 20th, The Clean Air Coalition will host a community wide vote that will offer residents a choice on how to spend Tonawanda Coke Corporation's potential criminal fines. The Tonawanda Coke Corporation was found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This landmark verdict is only the second time in US history that a company has been indicted under the Clean Air Act - and has set precedent for future environmental cases. Tonawanda Coke is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15th. The company could face up to $200 million in fines. Coalition members have worked to keep a portion of the potential fines to be used for community controlled projects in the most impacted neighborhoods, in the Tonawandas, Grand Island and Riverside.
       Over the last month Clean Air has engaged hundreds of residents to identify community projects they would like to see funded by these fines. Residents brainstormed many project ideas at a large community assembly on May 23rd then fine-tuned these ideas into detailed projects that could reduce the risks of toxics and improve health in their neighborhoods. "A group of us worked very hard under a short amount of time," said budget delegate Jackie Erckert, "We feel that the projects that are on the ballot are for the betterment of the community as a whole. This is our chance to be heard. People need to get out and vote. It is extremely important." This community based process is built off of the concept of Participatory Budgeting. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB was first developed in Brazil in the 1980s as part of a larger effort to establish democracy and citizen participation after decades of political patronage and corruption. PB is now used throughout Latin America, a growing number of European Countries, New York City and Chicago. The top projects will be submitted to the US Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency.
       Voting will be available at many different locations throughout the Tonawandas and Grand Island from June 15th-20th.
    See below:
    Saturday, June 15th from 10:30am-12:30pm Brighton Place Library 999 Brighton Place Rd. Tonawanda
    Sunday, June 16th from 9am-noon St. Timothy’s Church, 1453 Staley Rd. Grand Island
    Monday, June 17th from 9am-6:30pm St. Timothy’s Church, 1453 Staley Rd. Grand Island – pick up and drop off ballot to church secretary
    Monday, June 17th from 5pm-9pm City Hall Community Room 200 Niagara St. City of Tonawanda
    Tuesday, June 18th from 9am-2pm Town of Tonwawnda (second floor conference room) 2919 Delaware Ave. Kenmore
    Wednesday, June 19th from 12:30-1:30pm Tonawanda Senior Center 291 Ensminger Rd. Tonawanda
    Wednesday. June 19th from 3:30pm-7pm Phatman Skate Shop 2889 Sheridan Dr. Tonawanda
    Thursday, June 20th from 7:30am-1pm North Tonawanda Farmers Market Payne Ave & Robinson St.
        The final day to vote will be Thursday, June 20th at 6pm at the Boys and Girls Club (54 Riverdale Rd. Tonawanda). Voting will be available during the first hour, followed by a vote tally and an announcement of the winning projects. -

    Business First Top 100 School Rankings - June 2013

    Business First recently released its school rankings, Grand Island fared as follows:
    GI High School #29
    St. Stephen Middle #36
    Connor Middle School #37
    St. Stephen Elementary #30
    Kaegebein Elementary #76
    Huth Rd. Elementary #94

    Community Education Summer Sports Camp - June 2013

       The GICSD is sponsoring a "Summer Sports Camp" for students from 2nd - 7th grades. The weekly camp will start June 24th and run through July 26th. Registration is necessary, see flyer for details.

    State Independence Party Endorsements - June 2013

    From left: Mark Frentzel, Chris Aronica, JT Tomkins and Ray Billica

       Grand Island, NY, June 7, 2013.... The New York State Independence Party announced their endorsements for the 2013 elections for Grand Island. They are Mark Frentzel for Town Justice, Ray Billica and Chris Aronica for Town Council and JT Tomkins for Highway Superintendent. "The incumbent officials in Grand Island have a proven record of strong independent leadership that is not beholden to special interests. They have served the people of Grand Island with distinction and we at the Independence Party are proud to endorse their candidacies for re-election," said New York State Independence Party Chairman Frank McKay.
       "Ray Billica and Chris Aronica have worked together to hold the line on taxes and provide responsible government as councilmen. We strongly endorse both Ray and Chris for another term on the Town Board," added MacKay. The NYS Independence Party also endorsed Highway Superintendent JT Tomkins for another term of office. "JT Tomkins has provided honest and efficient services to the people of Grand Isalnd in his tenure as Highway Superintendent. He is a very independent minded person and that is a quality that we look for when endorsing candidates across the board," stated McKay. "For Town Justice, we feel Mark Frentzel is an excellent choice and we are proud to endorse his candidacy for reelection. Experience matters and that is exactly what makes Mark Frentzel a great judge," added MacKay.

    8th Annual "Paddles Up Niagara" - June 2013

       Grand Island, NY, June 7, 2013.... …The Niagara River Greenway Commission (NRGC) announces the Eighth Annual “Paddles Up Niagara” along the south eastern shores of Grand Island on July 27, 2013. Beaver Island State Park along with the Town of Grand Island, Anchor Marine and WEKANU will host the day’s activities with the centerpiece being the non-competitive paddle from the Little Beaver Launch site around to East River Marsh Site returning back to Little Beaver all within the Beaver Island State Park, a 4.8 mile journey.
       The day begins with a Poker Run at 7:00 a.m. launching at East River Marsh around Strawberry Island followed by the Paddle Fair commencing at 8:30 a.m. During the Paddle Fair portion of the event businesses from the Town of Grand Island will be on hand to give the public an opportunity to “Discover Grand Island” along with paddlesports retailers to give the public and participants an opportunity to try out canoes and kayaks. Beginners and enthusiasts alike will also have the opportunity to learn more about paddlesports safety and the natural, recreational and cultural attributes of the Niagara River corridor. A freestyle and rescue demonstration will be presented by Jeff & Laura Liebel. “Paddles Up Niagara 2013” will begin after a traditional Native American Departure Ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
       The phrase “paddles up” is derived from a longstanding Native American custom. When approaching camp canoe paddles were pointed skyward signifying that the traveler comes in peace and is seeking permission to land for food and rest. In some cultures the upward pointed paddle also symbolizes the start of a long journey. The first 100 paddle powered boaters to register will receive a free “Paddles Up Niagara 2013” tee-shirt. All on water participants will be required to register and complete the necessary waiver forms. Boat crews must wear a US Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device and the condition of each participating canoe and kayak will be checked to insure that it can safely transit the Paddles Up Niagara Water Trail.
       All of the day’s activities are free including registration for Paddles Up Niagara, the exception is a Lunch Fund Raiser & Tour of the Historic River Lea Site, a prepaid donation of $14 is required, while enjoying the entertainment of “23 Skidoo” swinging the oldies “Bourbon Street” style. Normal State Park entrance fees will apply. Upon entering Beaver Island State Park, participants should take the first right toward the Sledding Hill or Little Beaver for parking and launching.
        To receive or download registration forms for Paddles Up Niagara or for more information regarding the Niagara River Greenway Commission visit the website www.niagaragreenway.org or call the NRGC office at (716) 773-5361.

    Erratic Driving Leads To Drug Charge - June 2013

       A Grand Island man driving erratically on Forest Avenue in the City of Buffalo was arrested on Saturday, June 8th. After 25-year old Somer O. Abdellatif struck a parked car, police found two envelopes of heroin in plain view in the vehicle. Abdellatif faces drug charges and driving while ability impaired.

    Additional Work Time Needed - June 2013

        As a result of far more extensive repairs than anticipated on a section of the southbound South Grand Island bridge, the NYS Thruway Authority is allowing Union Concrete some additional work time. Starting on Sunday, June 9th through Thursday June 13th the contractor will close the southbound bridge and divert traffic to the NB bridge (one lane in each direction) starting at 8:00 PM instead of 9:00 PM. The end time of each shift will still be up to 6:00 AM maximum. In addition, on the next 3 Fridays June 14, 21 & 28, the contractor will be allowed to do the same procedure starting at 11:00 PM and reopen by no later than 8:00 AM. This time frame will have minimal impact on traffic. Beyond June 15th until Labor Day, the Sunday - Thurs schedule will revert back to a 9:00 PM start time.

    Grand Island Film Series - June 2013

       The Grand Island Film Series begins Saturday, June 29th at the Town Commons. Friends and family will come together to enjoy a family fun film underneath the stars. This is a FREE event that will take place eight consecutive Saturdays at 9:00 p.m. throughout the summer. Movie goers are encouraged to bring their own blanket or chair. Concessions will be sold to benefit various Grand Island Organizations.
       In addition to each weekly film, there will also be a featured restaurant of the night. Movie goers will have the opportunity to take part in the Grand Island Summer Film Series "Dinner and a Movie" promotion that will take place on site at the movie or at the home base of the featured restaurant. Anyone under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. This is a friends and family fun event that you won't want to miss! For more information and a list of showings please visit www.gifilmseries.com.

    Town Hall Flooding - May 2013

    Paul Minton, Kevin Hagen, Jim Linenfelser, Mary Cooke, Pattie Frentzel, JT Tomkins

       The approximately 2.5" of rain we had dumped on us Saturday night and Sunday morning caused some flooding issues on the Island Sunday. Not the least being the Town Hall's 1st floor becoming severely flooded. Caretaker Jim Linenfelser led a crew of highway workers, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel and Highway Superintendant JT Tomkins. An outside service was also called in to help. As of Monday evening, rugs were ripped up and fans were still drying the area. Non-essential business was asked to be held off until later in the week.

    Maintenance Supervisor Injured at Beaver Island - June 2013

       The Grand Island Fire Company was called to Beaver Island State Park on Monday morning, June 3rd after Maintenance Supervisor Edward Krecisz was accidently struck by the bucket of a high-lift. Mr. Krecisz, a 12-year member of the GIFC, was treated at the scene by fire company medics and taken to ECMC for further treatment. He has been released and is recuperating at home.

    GI Town Hall Flood Clean-up - June 2013

       The Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, is cleaning up from a weekend flood. Urgent matters only please for first floor offices. Court is on the second floor and open as usual; for Court matters. Please park in the lot north of Town Hall on Baseline Road between Town Hall and the Fire Hall and enter Town Hall on the upper level. Waiting with non-urgent matters until later this week is very much appreciated. The Town Board meeting will be held as scheduled on Monday evening, June 3, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Court Room on the upper level of Town Hall.

    Environmental Health Threat Open Forum - May 2013

       St. Timothy Lutheran Church is hosting an open forum and public information session to discuss the environmental health threat to Grand Island from the Tonawanda Coke plant. The meeting will take place on Monday, June 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the church, corner of Stony Point and Staley Roads. Research scientists Dr. Bill Scheider of the UB School of Public Heath and Dr. Jessica Castner of the UB School of Nursing will be presenting. Paster Dean M. Hunneshagen will be the Open Forum Facilitator. For more information call 773-4400.

    Memorial Day Service - May 2013


    Guest Speaker Lieutenant Colonel Paul T. Dansereau, Supervisor Mary Cooke
    Right: Gold Star mothers Mary Ann Crowe and Shirley Luther
    Story and photos by Mary Stewart

       Memorial Day is a special day set aside to honor our veterans who lost their lives serving our country. A large crowd gathered at the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park this past Monday to remember these men and women, who fought for our freedom. The service was opened by Supervisor Mary Cooke followed by the invocation by American Legion Post Chaplin Joe Mesmer. The program also included the roll call of names in honor of those who gave their lives during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The presentation of the wreath, rifle salute, playing taps and the raising of the flag. The Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble provided musical selections. Special guest speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Paul T. Dansereau who has been awarded three bronze medals.

    Independence Party of Erie County Endorsements - May 2013

    From Left: Tom Clabeaux/IP Erie County, Town of Grand Island Chairman Jerry Ast, IP Committee Member William (Bill) Stanley, Bev Kinney, Joy (Carrier) La Marca, Sarah Tollner, Jean Clabeaux/IP Erie County Grand Island Secretary

       Press Release...The Independence Party of Erie County comes roaring back for the people! On Friday evening, May 24, 2013, the Independence Party of Erie County heartily endorsed three members of its own party for the upcoming Grand Island election. For Town Council, Beverly A. Kinney, an Independence Party member and Sarah E. Tollner, a local attorney and Independence Party member. For Highway Superintendent William Stanley, an Independence Party member was endorsed. The IP also endorsed Joy (Carrier) Lamarca, a prominent attorney, for Town Justice. This marks the first time in the party history that three Independence Party members were chosen for endorsement on Grand Island. Our party is proud to once again stand for local rule and choice.

    Tonawanda Coke Impact Statements Needed - May 2013

        Tonawanda Coke Corporation was recently found guilty of 14 felony counts in the operation of their coke ovens just across the East River. They are now facing up to $220 million in fines and the Manager of Environmental Control, Mark Kamholz faces up to 75 years in jail. The United States Attorney's Office and Tonawanda Community Fund are asking anyone in the Tonawandas, Grand Island and Riverside, that feel they have been harmed by the defendant's conduct, submit an Impact Statement to be used for sentencing. The statement needs to be provided by July 1, 2013 and follow some general guidelines:
    Keep the statement as succinct and to the point as possible.
    List any impact the crime and/or the defendants' conduct has had on you and/or your family.
    Address any thoughts about what type of sentance you feel the defendants should receive.
       See Tonawanda Community Fund Impact Statement Project (Form) .
       See Buffalo News Story.

    2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games - May 2013

        More than 700 Veterans from across the country will participate in the nation's largest sporting event for senior military Veterans. The 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) is set for Buffalo, NY, May 30 – June 4. Hosted by VA Western New York Healthcare System, Veterans will compete in 15 events, including swimming, cycling, horseshoes, bowling, croquet and air rifles.
       See schedule.

    Veteran's Hiring Fair - May 2013

        The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others are sponsoring "Hiring Our Hero's, Veteran's Hiring Fair" on Wednesday, June 5th from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Connecticut Street Armory. An Employment Workship will be held at noon.
       See flyer for more information.

    Island Car Thief Arrested - May 2013

        Michael A. Dlugokinski was being held Tuesday night in the Erie County Holding Center on two counts of third-degree grand larceny, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest, unlawful fleeing a police officer and various traffic violations.    See Buffalo News Story.

    Community Garden Ready - May 25, 2013

    Tomorrow marks the start of our venture. We will be on site from 9:00AM on. Although the weather has turned rather chilly, from tomorrow on promises to be much nicer. Our intention is to clean up the area, with the help of the Cub and Boy scouts, set the plots, distribute the dirt, and start planting or transplanting. We will also be out there from 10:00AM on Sunday.
    WE NEED ............................ wheelbarrows, shovels ( hand or regular ), and enthusiasm. :)
    Please remember, this is the START of the garden, things are not yet perfect, but we will get there. Please dress accordingly, if you have bug spray, you may want to bring it. With the rains we had, the field will probably be a little muddy, it is still uneven, but MUCH better than in the past. It has been tilled, there will be a lot of roots that need to be removed from your plots, but these have been broken up by the tiller. If you wish to make purchases in the food mart, the owner, and our benefactor, request that you remove you muddy boots before entering the store. Thank you so much for being part of this community project. This is just more proof that Grand Island is a FANTASTIC community. Being a holiday weekend, if you don't make it, the garden is open during daylight hours 7 days a week.
    See you all soon.
    John & Brigitte Drehs

    'Ready, Set, Wear It!' Event Promotes Life Jacket Safety - May 2013

        News Release....May 18, 2013, Grand Island, NY
        The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, US Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Town of Grand Island jointly announced today their sponsorship of the worldwide “Ready, Set, Wear It Life Jacket Campaign”. The participants will join others around the globe spreading the word about the importance of selecting and properly wearing a life jacket while out on the water.
       The annual event, hosted by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), serves as the kick-off to National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24, the official launch of the 2013 North American Safe Boating Campaign. Educating the boating public about the safety and comfort of inherently buoyant life jackets as well as the new generation inflatable life jackets is the goal of the North American Safe Boating Campaign.
       The local event will take place at noon on May 18th on the beachfront adjacent to the Club House at Beaver Island State Park Club on Grand Island. Members of the boating public including anglers, hunters, paddlers, water skiers and others who use boats are encouraged to attend. Participants should bring along their favorite buoyant or inflatable life jacket. More information about the event and safe boating is available at http://www.readysetwearit.com/
        In conjunction with the “Ready, Set, Wear It” event, a New York State Safe Boating Course will also be offered at Beaver State Park beginning at 8 am and ending at 4 pm. Students must bring a life jacket to class and will be required to participate in the noon “Ready, Set, Wear It” event. The course will be held in the lower level classroom facility of the Clubhouse at Beaver Island State Park. Anyone interested in attending must register by calling (716) 773-3271. Lunch will be available on site for a small fee courtesy of US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 35. “Finding yourself in the water can happen quickly and without warning. We are asking all boaters and paddlers to be prepared by always wearing their life jackets” said Brian Kempf, Director of the Marine Services Bureau at New York State Parks.
       Last year, 3,993 people gathered at more than 145 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 70% of recreational boating fatalities in 2011, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is a uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by Act of Congress in1939. The Auxiliary, America's Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of its missions and activities. Information about the work of the Auxiliary and membership opportunities can be found at http://join.cgaux.org/index.php.

    Caregiver and Cancer Surviver To Be Honored - May 2013

       Buffalo News story by Samantha Maziarz Christmann
       See story.

    Grand Island Community Garden Planting Scheduled - May 2013

       Press Release....Greeting Gardeners! Here is a Grand Island Community Gardens Update. Spring is here and the garden is getting ready for the growing to begin. The soil is still very wet and there are a few things that need to happen before we begin planting. First, we have arranged for the inside of the fenced in area to be plowed / disc to soften up the ground. On May 25th & 26th we will be laying out the lots from 10:00 a.m. until we are tired, you are welcome to begin planting. This is a large project and it will be a very busy day. We are looking for volunteers to help pass out maps, move supplies to gardeners (wood, top soil, etc.) and general help. Anyone who can bring wagons and/or wheelbarrows, it would be appreciated. All beginning gardeners, if you would like assistance please email and we will be happy to help.

    Love Road Clean Up Success - May 2013

       To celebrate Earth Day, Zach Schaab organized a clean up of Love Road from Baseline Road to the gas station on Sunday, April 21st. A group of 15 volunteers collected 53 bags of refuse, of which 28 bags were recyclable materials and 25 trash. Zach estimates that several hundred pounds of garbage was removed and he looks forward to future clean up events.

    Three Grand Island Residents Arrested - April 2013

       Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is announcing the arrest of three Grand Island residents on various drug charges after a traffic stop on Bedell Road, Grand Island by Deputies Michael Okal and Angela Kopacz on April 27, 2013 @ about 10:30 A.M. A quantity of unknown white powder; pills; a scale; and marijuana were found in their car.
       Korey DiMatteo, 21, of Continental Lane, was charged with two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia- misdemeanors); one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance- misdemeanor); and two violations including unlawful possession of marijuana; and having a controlled substance not in its original container. Edward A Bolton, 22, of Bedell Road was charged with a violation for unlawful possession of marijuana.
       Within hours of the above mentioned arrests, Sr. Detective Alan Rozansky and Detective Tim Carney developed information and were able to track down and ultimately witness Justin M. Kopenski, 22, of Colonial Drive, try to hide two garbage bags full of marijuana plants in a dumpster in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Grand Island Boulevard. Kopenski was charged with a felony for trying to conceal/destroy physical evidence; and two misdemeanors including unlawfully growing cannabis and criminal possession of marijuana.

    ReTree Spring Planting - April 2013

    Jim Tomkins, left and Diane Evans, wearing the vest

       Nine new trees were planted on April 13, 2013 at Ed Ball Park on the corner of Love and Stony Point Roads as part of WNY ReTree's spring planting. Veteran volunteers worked with students earning their volunteer hours. In addition, three trees were planted at Tower Park on Carl Road.

    Fisherman’s Landing Project Receives Award - April 2013

    From Left: GI Town Engineer John Whitney, Assistant Civil Engineer Lynn Dingey, Supervisor Mary Cooke and Senior Engineering Assistant Brian Clarkson.

       The Fisherman’s Landing project, located below the South Grand Island Bridge has received the NYS American Public Works Association 2012 Structures Award for projects less than $5 million at their annual conference last week in Geneva, NY. On hand to accept the award were GI Town Engineer John Whitney, Assistant Civil Engineer Lynn Dingey, Supervisor Mary Cooke and Senior Engineering Assistant Brian Clarkson.

    Drug Take Back and Drop Boxes Announced - April 2013

    From Left: Sheriff Tim Howard, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

       Members of the Erie County Sheriff's office, Drug Enforcement Agency and Town and County officials were on hand at a press conference on Wednesday, April 24th at Grand Island Town Hall to announce this Saturday, April 27th as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Residents of Grand Island will be able to bring their old/unused medicines to Town Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for disposal.
       At the conference, Sheriff Tim Howard announced that his office has begun a 24/7 pill box drop off in which stationary boxes will be strategically placed outside participating town halls and local colleges. These will allow more access for people to drop off their medications at any time. You are advised to remove your name and personal information from the containers, or place the medication in a plastic bag before disposal. Grand Island will have a drop box located outside the lower level of Town Hall in the near future. All medications collected will be incinerated. Last year alone over 20,000 lbs. of drugs were collected in Erie County.

    Buffalo News Kids Day Volunteers Needed - April 2013

       This year "Kids Day" is Tuesday, April 30th. On that day thousands of volunteers will help sell a special Kids Day edition of The Buffalo News. The proceeds from the sale of this special edition are presented to Variety, the Children’s Charity, to benefit Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the Robert Warner MD Center for Children with Special Needs and Children’s Charities of Western New York. In the past ten year the proceeds from Grand Island sales has been over $29, 000.
       This year the campaign needs additional volunteers to sell newspapers between 6:00 and 8:00 AM. If you, your church group, social club, parent group, work group, or a group of friends would like to volunteer call the Buffalo News Kid Day Desk at 849-4526 or Joe Diebold (Grand Island Coordinator) at 773-1196 or 432-2951. All volunteers will meet at 1841 Whitehaven Road, at 5:45 AM to pick up their papers and important safety instructions.

    Graffiti Vandal Gets 1000 Hours Community Service - April 2013

       Buffalo News story by Patrick Lakamp
       See story.
    Note: There is no evidence of Richard Whitefield defacing any property on Grand Island.

    Official Start: Grand Island Community Garden - April 2013

       The Grand Island Community Garden will be open on Saturday, April 27th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. This is the time to set your plots, see where your plot is, meet and greet your fellow gardeners and buy a raffle chance for items donated by area businesses. The drawing to be held at 12:00 p.m. The group is in need of anyone with hand held roto-tillers to break the bed grounds and top soil. Seed packets from Burpee will be available and volunteers are still needed to set up the wooden beds. If you have not returned your registration form and fees, please mail to: Grand Island Community Garden, 2101 Bedell Rd, Grand Island, NY 14072. Rain date will be May 4, 2013.

    Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - April 2013

       Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick reminds residents that the annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is on Saturday, April 27 and several sites across Erie County will accept medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and several local agencies, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day collects thousands of pounds of drugs and disposes of them properly. In 2012, a total of 488,395 pounds of medications were collected across the country. “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is the perfect opportunity to remove unwanted or expired drugs from your home. By dropping off items at one of the several collection sites, you ensure they are properly disposed of and don’t fall into the wrong hands, which can lead to abuse or accidental poisoning,” said Legislator Hardwick. The Grand Island Police Department will be collecting at Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road and the Tonawanda Police Department will be collecting at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.

    Buffalo Sector Border Patrol has Busy Weekend - April 2013

       Buffalo Sector Border Patrol agents made nineteen arrests over the past weekend.
       See Press Release.

    2nd Annual Hoffspice for Hospice Golf Tournament - April 2013

       The 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament "Hoffspice for Hospice" is scheduled for Monday, June 17th at River Oaks Golf Course. Tournament Director Justin Hoffman is seeking donations and sponsors for the event. See flyer for complete details.

    Beaver Island Golf Course Opens - April 2013

        The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that the golf course at Beaver Island State Park will open for the first round of golf on Thursday, April 18 at 7 a.m. Golfers who play between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. can take advantage of the spring special of $12 for 18 holes and $7 for 9 holes. Carts are $18 for 18 holes and will be used weather permitting. Changes in weather may impact operating schedules and anticipated opening dates. Golfers are advised to call ahead if there is a question about course conditions. For information call 773-4668.

    Life Technologies Sold For $13.6 Billion - April 2013

       Buffalo News story by Tim Murphy / Associated Press / April 15, 2013
       See story.

    Niagara Business Network Group Event - April 2013

       The Niagara Business Network (NBN) Group is having a happy hour on Wednesday, April 24th at Say Cheese Pizza, 1771 Love Road from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Join NBN members and guests to network and explore whether the group is a good fit for your business. See flyer for complete details.

    Maple Grove Cemetery Meeting - April 2013

       The Annual Maplegrove Cemetery Meeting will take place on Monday, May 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road.

    Ladies Of Charity Book Bag Program - April 2013

    Barbara LaDuca at St. Stephens with donations

       Every year the Diocese of Buffalo "Ladies of Charity" distribute school supplies to children, ages 5-17, by referral from Catholic Charities case workers in several WNY counties. Families of all faiths are eligible because of low income, victims of house fires, domestic abuse, and new immigrants. About 13 years ago, the program started with 50 requests. Last year over 700 children were equipped for a new school year and as needed during the school year.
    New School Supplies Needed:
    Book bags, erasers, ballpoint pens, highlighters, primary & regular crayons, magic markers, loose leaf paper, comp. & spiral notebooks, folders, glue sticks, scissors, rulers, #2 pencils, colored pencils, 3 ring binders and small tissue packages.
       This is a spring project for families, school children, discussion & prayer groups or anyone wishing to assist the Ladies of Charity. Donations may be placed in specially marked boxes in the St. Stephen's narthex fro April 7 - May 8th. Monetary donations are also accepted. For more information contact Angelo & Barbara LaDuca at 773-2888. Supplies may also be dropped off at 139 Parkview Dr., Grand Island. High school students in need of volunteer hours are needed during the school year to sort and count supplies. In July & August book bags are packed and ready for distribution.

    Love Road Garbage Cleanup - April 2013

       A cleanup along Love Road is planned for Sunday, April 21st at noon. Meet at Dick & Jenny's, at the corner of Love and Baseline Roads. You are asked to wear work clothes and bring cleaning tools and a good attitude. You can contact Zach Schaab at 445-4078 or zschaab62@gmail.com if you have any questions or just to let him know you will be participating.

    Free Boater Safety Class at Beaver Island State Park - April 2013

       Beaver Island State Park will be offering a Safe Boating Course from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on May 18th in the lower level of the Beaver Island Clubhouse. This course is for ages 10 and up and is recommended for recreational boaters and paddlers. This class is required for Personal Watercraft Operators. There is no cost to attend the course and students must attend all 8 hours of classroom instruction to receive credit. Seating is limited to 60 people and it suggested that participants bring a lunch as there will not be time allotted for leaving the premises for a lunch break. Each student must also bring a lifejacket or PFD with to the course. Please call the park office at (716) 773-3271 to pre-register.

    State Parks Seeking Partners at Beaver Island State Park - April 2013

       The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has released two separate requests for proposals (RFP) for food, beverage and catering operations as well as operation of the golf course and food and beverage at the course. The RFPs, which are open until June 28, 2013, seeks partners to run the catering and food and beverage operations at the iconic Beaver Island Club House as well as the snack bar at the beach and other possible options. The second RFP calls for an operator to run all aspects of the 18-hole golf course, pro shop and course restaurant. Interested parties may request copies of the RFPs by contacting Harold Hageman -(518) 486-2932.

    Just For Kids Summer Club - April 2013

       The "Summer Quest 2013" program is available for students entering kindergarten through 8th grade at Huth Road Elementary this summer. There are ten summer sessions from June 24th - August 30th, from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Go to www.justforkidsonline.org for more information and registration forms.

    Drive to Revive Arbor Day - April 2013

       Arbor Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 26th this year and more than 250 Fourth Graders on Grand Island will roll up their sleeves and plant a tree. The kids will become members of "Fourth Grade Foresters". The project’s goal is to help revitalize a remarkable idea—observation of Arbor Day in America’s schools. Fourth graders at Kaegebein Elementary, Huth Road Elementary and St. Stephen’s School will receive trees to take home and plant. Fourth Grade Foresters USA was created to provide a simple and inexpensive way for any individual, business or organization to send the 4th Grade students at an elementary school home with a tree of their own to plant and care for. Each fourth grader receives an individually packaged 12” to 18” evergreen tree seedling packaged by workers with disabilities.
       Program sponsor Bob Piatek of State Farm, has provided the trees, and said “I believe that there is no better way than the "Fourth Grade Foresters Project" to involve kids at this age in a worthwhile community program. It fosters environmental consciousness as well as a feeling of community. As the trees grow over the years, memories will be made, allowing the kids to look back and know that they made a lasting contribution. They are bound to tell their own children about it. A more verdant Grand Island will also be the end result of this cooperative effort.”
       “This project is made possible because community business people like Bob Piatek covered the cost of the individually packaged evergreen trees, so that there is no cost to the students, the teachers, the school or the taxpayer,” Debra Ersch, Cofounder of the Fourth Grade Foresters Project stated. “It’s a wonderful way to show support for the community, education and the environment.” Now tree planting is even more important than ever. Trees take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and clean the air we breathe. Planting trees is a simple, inexpensive and easy way to improve the community.

    Congressman Brian Higgins "Congress on Your Corner" - April 2013

       A "Congress on Your Corner" is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. - noon on Wednesday, April 17th in the upper lobby of the Town Hall. During "Congress on Your Corner", constituents of Congressman Brian Higgins have the opportunity to talk directly with someone from the Congressmans' office about issues related to Social Security, the Veteran’s Administration, passport issues, or any other federal matters they may need assistance with.

    Beautify Grand Island Projects - April 2013

       The first project is a ReTree WNY Tree Planting at Ed Ball Town Park (Stony Point & Love), on Saturday, April 13th from 9 a.m. - noon. You can just show up, with a shovel if you have one, or call 774-0074 for more information. The second project is on Saturday, April 20th at Buckhorn Island State Park and is a Spring Cleanup. The event is sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers and is from 9:00 a.m. - noon, meet at the canoe launch parking lot. For more information call 774-0074.

    Board of Assessment Review Information - April 2013

       The Board of Assessment Review Grievance Day is Tuesday, May 28th. If you do not believe that the value accurately reflects the market value of your property, you can participate in the review. Starting May 1st, call the Assessor's office (773-9600 ext. 648) to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available in the afternoon and evening. Before making your appointment, look at the BAR Review Information and forms.

    "Grand Island Billboard Is Sign Of The Economic Times" - April 2013

       By Samantha Maziarz Christmann / News Staff Reporter
       See story.

    EDAB Announces New Campaign - April 2013

       On Monday April 1, 2013, the Grand Island Economic Development Advisory Board launched its awareness campaign in a big way. Next time you travel the 290 look up. You will see Grand Island in lights on the billboard near Colvin. Tom Knight the Advisory Board Co- Chairman said, “We want everyone to know we are business friendly and we want the residents of the community to understand we are focused on controlled growth in our designated business zones”. Jeff Halpin the other Co-Chairman noted, “Adding new businesses not only provides our residents with additional products, services and jobs but also provides tax dollars to the community” The billboard campaign will run through April on the 290 then moves to the 33 going into Buffalo in May. The tag line for the campaign is “surrounded by possibilities” announcing to all that Grand Island is an important location and a wonderful place to do business. The Grand Island Economic Development Advisory Board is working to make our community a great location for businesses and residents alike said Mr. Halpin. For more information please contact us at development@grand-island.ny.us or 716- 773-9600 x-611 or visit our website http://www.grandislanddevelopment.com.

    Be On The Lookout For IDIOTS - April 2013

       Over the holiday weekend idiots were on the loose and decided to vandalize the award winning Fisherman's Landing Park at the foot of the South Grand Island Bridge. The lift station across the road from the landing was also defaced. Parents, pay attention to what your kids are doing. Is there paint in your garage that is unfamiliar? Paint on clothes that shouldn't be there? Wait until the idiots are caught and you get the bill! There is a Graffiti Task Force in Western New York and eventually the idiots will be caught and prosecuted.

    Middle School & High School Parents Wanted - April 2013

        A "Conversation With The Community", hosted by the Grand Island One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug-Free Coalition, will address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and the rise in marijuana use. You are invited to join the conversation and coffee and dessert at the Grand Island Fire Company, 2275 Baseline Road at 7:00pm on Tuesday, April 16th. An expert panel will be on hand to discuss how to spot drug & alcohol use and what to do if you do see the signs. See details.

    South Bridge Lane Closure April 3rd, 11am - Noon

       The South Bridge Southbound right lane will be closed Wednesday, April 3rd, from 11:00 a.m. - Noon due to a loose, temporary plate.

    2013-2014 Universal Pre-Kindergarten Lottery - April 2013

       The Grand Island Central School District will be holding a lottery to determine enrollment for the 2013-2014 Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. An open meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 4th at 2:00 p.m. in the Grand Island Senior High School Auditorium (located at 1100 Ransom Road, Grand Island, New York) to announce the results of the UPK lottery. All interested parents are welcome to attend. Notification letters and phone calls will be made to parents in the weeks following the lottery to confirm the specific location and session assignments for the incoming UPK students. To be eligible for the program a child must be 4 years old on or before December 1, 2013 and a Grand Island resident. Half day sessions, five days per week are offered at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School (morning and afternoon) and also at Care-A-Lot Child Care Center (morning only). UPK applications are available online at www.k12.ginet.org or call Sue Carter at 773-8818 for an application. Appointments must be made in advance to register your child. Please call 773-8800 to schedule an appointment. The application deadline is Thursday, May 23, 2013. The last appointment to register on this date will be 2:30 p.m.

    Grand Island Independence Day Parade Info. - April 2013

        The Grand Island Independence Day Parade is scheduled for Thursday, July 4, 2013. An entry form is required and must be received by Friday, June 14th. See form and parade rules and information.

    "Are You As Smart As A Fourth Grader?" - April 2013

  • Where is there an old smokehouse on Grand Island?
  • Why do Grand Islanders think of Grover Cleveland as “our” president?
  • Why did DeWitt Clinton send the militia to drive people out of their homes on Grand Island? What happened to their houses? Where did the people go?
  • Where is the sunken steamboat, The Corona, in the Niagara River?
  • Hundreds of the white oak trees of Grand Island were cut down in the 1800s. Why did people want them?
       Answers to these questions are available on Saturday, April 27th at the Grand Island Library Community Room. The Grand Island Historic Preservation Advisory Board members will be at the Grand Island Library on that day between 1 and 4 p.m. to scan photos and documents that portray the history of Grand Island. As part of your "Spring Cleaning", we invite you to bring your old pictures of your family, your home, your clubs, churches and other buildings on Grand Island, or documents that pertain to the history of the Island to the library to be scanned. We are particularly interested in any materials you have that date from before 1970. You will be asked to sign a waiver that allows the Board to reproduce your material for displays and publications about Grand Island, but the scanning will be done at the library and you can take your pictures and/or documents back home with you on the same day. Please help us save the history of our Island. Change is great… but let’s not forget who we are and where we came from …and the people to whom we owe a great debt. Make sure YOUR family is represented in the archives of Grand Island. See you on the 27th!

    Easter Egg Hunt Huge Success - March 2013

       The Grand Island Parks & Recreation Department had their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, March 29th. Hundreds of children turned out on a sunny, yet cold morning to visit with the Easter Bunny and to gather eggs. Linda Tufillaro as usual did a fabulous job in the planning and execution of a well attended event.
    See slideshow.

    South Bridge Closing Information - March 2013

       Due to the holiday weekend there is no work on Sunday night, March 31st. Closure on Monday, April 1st is 10 PM, instead of 8 PM.

    "STAR Tax Exemption Confusion" - March 2013

       By: Al Vaughters / WIVB, see story.

    Press Release - A "Conversation With The Community" - March 2013

        A "Conversation With The Community", hosted by the Grand Island One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug-Free Coalition, will address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. You are invited to join the conversation and coffee and dessert at the Grand Island Fire Company, 2275 Baseline Road at 7:00pm on Tuesday, April 16th. See details.

    South Bridge Closing Information - March 2013

       Due to the poor weather conditions the South Bridge construction project will be suspended until Sunday March 24th. The construction will then begin at 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. and continue on Sundays through Thursdays until the fall.

    Grand Island Couple Arrested For Drug Possession, Growing Marijuana - March 2013

        By: Maki Becker / News Staff Reporter March 14, 2013, see story.

    South Bridge Closing Information - March 2013

       The South Bridge will be closed each evening starting on Sunday, March 17th from 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. and continuing until Friday, March 22nd for deck repairs. See details.

    Highway Supintendent Visits Albany - March 2013

    From Left: John Ceretto - Assembly District 145, JT Tomkins - GI Highway Superintendent, Ray Walter - Assembly District 146, Bob Anderson - Amherst Highway Superintendent, Mike Bassanello - Newstead Highway Superintendent, Jane Corwin - Assembly District 142

       Grand Island Highway Superintendent JT Tomkins went to Albany on March 6th and joined highway superintendents from throughout the state for their “2013 Grassroots Advocacy Campaign for Local Roads & Bridges”. The campaigns focus is to urge lawmakers to increase the amount of funding the state provides for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The CHIPS program provides the bulk of state aid to counties and towns for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges. Unfortunately, this funding has remained stagnant since 2008.

    Three Arrested In Narcotics Raid On Grand Island - March 2013

        Buffalo News, March 8, 2013, see story.

    South Bridge Lane Restrictions - March 2013

       The northbound right lane of the South Bridge will be closed on Sunday, March 10th from 9:00 a.m. - noon for striping. See details.

    Car Drives Into GI Credit Union - March 2013

    Jodi Robinson photo - click for larger view.


    Ray Pauley Photos - click for larger view.

       A 911 call was received at 9:03 a.m., Thursday, March 7th by the Grand Island Fire Company. The caller stated a car had driven through the front doors of the Grand Island Community Federal Credit Union, 2014 Grand Island Blvd. Four people were taken by amblulance to local hospitals with what were reported as non-life threatening injuries. Credit Union manager Casey Coram update: The Credit Union will re-open on Monday, March 11th. All files and ATM/Debit Cards have been updated through Friday, March 8th. The online banking system is also back up. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

    Coming Soon...Grand Island Community Garden - February 2013

       The Grand Island Community Gardens are scheduled to debut on March 30, 2013. The gardens are the vision of John and Brigette Drehs, islanders that traveled across the country and saw the value of these type gardens in many of their stops along the way. The gardens will be located on land donated by Chuck Rizzo, owner of the Food Mart at the corner of Ransom Rd. and Stony Point. There will be 25 plots available at a cost of $20 each. The garden is a not for profit community project open to all Island residents. Fencing has been donated to keep the animals away from the gardens, but the posts needed and thought to be donated, fell through. The group is looking for donations to get the fencing in place and also for soil and hoses. If you are interested in gardening a plot, helping with donations or volunteering your time, see the website for more details. Many people and businesses have kindly donated to the garden. Their participation is greatly appreciated.

    Ceretto Urges Repeal Of S.A.F.E. Act - February 2013

        Press Release....February 21, 2013

    Fresenius Kabi On Site Job Fair - February 2013

       Fresenius Kabi, 3159 Staley Road will be having an on site job fair on Saturday, March 2nd from 9:00 a.m - noon. They are holding open interviews for operators and filling operators. See flyer for more details.

    "Birding on the River" - February 2013

       The New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will host a "Birding on the River" program on Saturday, February 23rd. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Beaver Island and Buckhorn State Parks and run until 1:00 p.m. Participants will be looking for migratory waterfowl and wintering birds along the shores of the Niagara River. This is a free event and registration is encouraged as space is limited. Call 282-5154.

    GI Rod & Gun Club Join "March On Albany" - February 2013

        The Grand Island Rod & Gun Club will be participating in the "Gun Owners March On Albany" on Thursday, February 28, 2013. A bus will leave from the club located at 1083 Whitehaven Road at 4:30 a.m. and is expected to return at 7:30 p.m. Space is limited and a donation of $25.00 is appreciated. If you are interested, stop by the club for more details.

    Islander Arrested As Serial Graffiti Vandal - February 2013

        By: Patrick Lakamp / Buffalo News, February 19, 2013, see story.

    Grand Island Summer Film Series - February 2013

        Corey McGowan is at it again! The young island resident who planned the first and hugely successful "Fall Festival & Taste of Grand Island" last October, is planning a weekly summer event. On June 29th an outdoor summer film series will begin with the animated film "Wreck-It". The "Grand Island Summer Film Series" is FREE and will take place 8 consecutive Saturdays at a location to be announced. Movie goers are encouraged to bring their own blanket or chair. Concessions will be sold to benefit future Grand Island Community Events.
       In addition to each weekly film, there will also be a featured restaurant of the week. Movie goers will have the opportunity to take part in the Grand Island Summer Film Series "Dinner and a Movie" promotion that will take place on site at the movie or at the home base of the featured restaurant. This is a friends and family fun event that you won't want to miss! Check the website and Isledegrande for the latest news. Corey is actively seeking sponsorships and donations from area businesses and residents to help fund the event. Contact Corey McGowan at 716-341-1040.

    Elevated Cancer Levels On/Near Grand Island- February 2013

        By: Janice Habuda / Buffalo News, February 13, 2013, see story.

    "Thank A Vet" Outreach Program - February 2013

       The "Thank A Vet" program is coming to the Golden Age Center at the Nike Base on Tuesday, February 19th from 9:30 a.m. - Noon. This complementary program is a way to recognize the veterans in our community for their service and sacrifice. Available to any Erie County veteran who files their ORIGINAL Military discharge/separation forms/certificates (this includes DD-214, DD-256, NGB-22 etc.) with the County Clerk's Office. Each veteran will be given a discount card good at many hundreds of merchants. For more information, see details.

    Leon D. Carr Fundraiser - February 2013

       The Leon D. Carr Memorial Foundation would like to invite you to share a night of "Soup, Drinks, Raffles & Fun!" It is the "4th Annual Redbone Classic Soup Competition". The event will take place at the Grand Island Moose Lodge, Friday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and you can enjoy all the soups entered into the competition, beer, & other delicious snacks. For those that enter a soup into the competition, you will receive free admission. Contact Sarah Gurbacki by email, sgurbacki@leondcarr.com or on our Facebook page to enter. You can also let any member of LDCMF know if you are definitely entering a soup. The deadline for being in the Soup Competition is February 11th, 2013. Every entrant must be able to provide a crock pot or other device to keep their soup warm. There will also be raffle prizes & 50/50 drawings. Proceeds from the event go to the Annual Leon D. Carr Erie Community College Scholarships.

    Crime Stoppers Target Nike Base Vandalism - January 2013


       The most recent acts of vandalism to hit the Nike Base occurred on Dec. 30, Jan. 19, Jan. 20 and Jan. 27th. Police and Town officials believe that what seemed to be random acts of vandalism at the Nike Base in summer and late fall are now related to this. Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of this vandalism. In addition to the Crime Stoppers number, people with information may also contact Erie County Sheriff Detective Brian O’Hara at 858-2903.

    HEAP Outreach At Golden Age Center - January 2013

       Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick announced that a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Outreach will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5th at the Grand Island Golden Age Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072. 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 income eligible Erie County residents with the costs of home heating, electricity, and energy conservation. 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. See HEAP information for complete details.

    Tundra Swans Winter At Beaver Island - January 2013

    Reg Schopp Photo

       The Arctic Tundra Swans like to spend the winter at Beaver Island State Park. See a WGRZ story & video that aired over the weekend.

    50+ Homes Without Water Early Thursday - January 2013

        A water main break occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23rd in the Baseline – Jenell area, affecting over 50 homes. Employees of the Grand Island Water Department started digging around midnight after notifying “Dig Safely NY”, who contacted all the necessary utilities. Seven men braved the 4 degree cold over nine hours. Service was restored mid-morning on Thursday.

    Free Rabies Clinic - January 2013

        The Eric County Department of Health will be having a free Rabies Clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets . The clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30th, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the North Buffalo Community Center. The center is located at 203 Sanders Road, Buffalo, NY 14216 (off Colvin Blvd., south of Kenmore Avenue).

    Grand Island Life Sciences/Chemical Companies Featured - January 2013

        By: Stephen Watson / Buffalo News, see story.

    Smoke Detectors Alert Family - January 2013

        Smoke detectors alerted four members of a north Grand Island Blvd. family early Thursday, January 17, 2013. The fire started in a laundry basket in the basement and may have been caused by smoking material. Damage was estimated to be $10,000.

    Volunteers Wanted For CERT Training - January 2013

       A CERT Training Course is scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 24th at the Grand Island Fire Company headquarters, 2275 Baseline Road. CERT Training is a FREE Citizen Preparedness course that includes academic and hands-on instruction, as well as a disaster training exercise. It is designed to prepare you to help yourself, family, and neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
       The course will run eight consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 pm and culminate in a course review and disaster simulation on Saturday, March 9th. See flyer for complete details.

    Niagara River Greenway Commission Announces Projects - January 2013

       The Niagara River Greenway Commission has announced the vote on project consistency as determined by the Commission for the thirty-first round of projects submitted to the Commission. There are no projects mentioned from Grand Island. See list of project sponsors and projects.

    Tree and Shrub Seedling Program - January 2013

       The 2013 Erie County Conservation Tree and Shrub Seedling Program is an annual sale of evergreen and deciduous seedlings and transplants for the conservation of natural resources and for the enhancement of forestry, wildlife habitat and economic development in Erie County. View the order form to see all of the choices available. Orders must be placed by March 15th and distribution day is April 13th.