Front Page
Events Calendar
Letters To Editor
In the Service


View our Archives

Between Archives

Town News
School Board
Town Board
Lost Pets
Fire News
Fire Report

Sign In
Old Guestbooks

ReUnion Central

Advertise With Us
Yellow Pages
Business News

New Photos
Old Photo Album
Town History

Alumni Association
American Legion
Autism Support
Bible Fellowship Center
Bible Presbyterian Church
Boy Scout Troop #510
Boy Scout Troop #630
Bridgeview Garden Club
Buffalo Launch Club
Bus Garage
Chamber of Commerce
Cinderella Isle
  Garden Club

Community Chorus
Connor Middle School
Conservative Committee
Coop Nursery School
Cornerstone Church
Cub Pack #425
Cub Pack #630
Democratic Comm.
East Park Garden Club
Fire Company
Friends of the Library
Girl Scouts
Golden Age Center
Grand Island Farms
GI Foundation
GI High School
GI Little League
GI Soccer Club
GI Teachers Assoc.
Historic Trinity
Historical Society
Holy Name Society
(St. Stephen's)

Huth Road
Elementary School

Presbyterian Church

Jack and Jill Preschool
Jr. Viking Football
Kaegebein School
Kiwanis Club
Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
Good Samaritan

League of Women Voters
Lions Club
Miracle League
Moose Lodge #180
Neighbors Foundation
Parent Teachers Assoc.
Recreation Department
Relay For Life
Republican Women's Club
Republican Committee
River Lea Quilters
Rotary Club
Sandy Beach Yacht Club
Sidway Reunion
Sidway School
Snowmobile Club
St. Martin-in-the-Fields
St. Stephen Church
St. Stephen
Parish Players

St. Stephen School
St. Timothy
Lutheran Church

Save The Michael's
Teddy's Islettes
Trinity UM Church
VFW 9249
West River Homeowners
Women's Club of GI
Young Life
Zonta Club

Currency Exchange
Temperament Sorter
Language Translator
Online Recipes
NYS Government
Postal Services

Yellow Page Listings
Click Above to View


Mallwitz's Island Lanes

GI Auto Tech

Blue Water Marina

Riverview Chiropractic

Miss Cathy's Dance

Havens-Jenkins Dentistry

Flower A Day

Kaiser Funeral Home

Magic Towel Holder

State Farm - Bob Piatek

deSignet International

Sam Long's Landscaping

Mark J. Frentzel
Mark S. Nemeth

Aceti's Wine & Spirits
Rose Liquor

Grand Island Optical

West River Homeowners

Marston Power Equipment

Century 21/Gerrie Andolina
Town Center/Betty Harris
RE/MAX-Linda Kutzbach
HUNT-Sherry McDonald
Howard Hanna
Joan Dlugokinski

Howard Hanna
Bonnie FitzGerald


John's Pizza & Subs
The Village Inn

Buffalo Roofing

GI Waste Management

Elderwood at Grand Island

Otto Zimmerman and Son

Grand Island Town &
School News Web Page

Previous News Page

Holiday Heroes Blood Drive - December 2018

    The Town of Grand Island is hosting a Unyts "Holiday Heroes Blood Drive" on Wednesday, January 9th from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Highway Department, 1820 Whitehaven Road. See flyer for complete details.

Poloncarz Statement Regarding Hardwick Joining Democratic Caucus - December 2018

   Tuesday, December 18, 2018, ERIE COUNTY, NY -Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement regarding the decision of Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick (4th District) to join the legislature’s Democratic caucus:
   Poloncarz said, "I have known Professor Kevin Hardwick for many years and, while we have not always agreed on matters of policy, I have always known him to be a man of principle, an honest negotiator and a hardworking legislator focused on meeting the needs of his constituents. Professor Hardwick was elected to the Legislature in 2009 and throughout that time he has been a respectful and articulate man of his word, not given to the bullying, threats, and posturing that seem to dominate the minority caucus today.
   While he and I did not discuss his decision to leave the minority caucus prior to his announcing it, I am certain that as a lifelong Republican it was not an easy decision for him to make. Professor Hardwick was elected to the legislature in 2009, a legislator in the Jack Kemp-Jack Quinn model who, like other moderate consensus-building republicans, has realized that his party has left him behind. In those nearly 10 years as a Legislator he has acted with thoughtfulness, character, and integrity, traits that apparently no longer have a place in the minority caucus.
    When faced with a caucus that was determined to create a budgetary hole that would harm county finances for years to come, Professor Hardwick understood that responsible adult decisions needed to be made and he joined in a bi-partisan manner with his legislative colleagues to craft a budget that delivers the largest property tax rate decrease seen in Erie County in over a decade along with increased funding for roads. No secret political "deals" were made, no nefarious “quid pro quos” took place, just a small group of individuals who were willing to work weekends and evenings together to hash out a fiscally prudent budget. While others refused to work across the aisle, Legislator Hardwick put the people ahead of leaders in the republican and minor parties and went to work, whatever it took.
    Now the Minority Leader and the Comptroller are rabidly attacking Professor Hardwick, claiming that he “struck a deal” and “sold out” his caucus by working to actually do the people’s business. On the contrary, Legislator Hardwick is an example of a public servant who knows the right thing to do and does it. As a professor of political science Professor Hardwick knows compromise and bi-partisanship are not bad things but rather are essential to creating a responsible, balanced budget. I welcomed Professor Hardwick’s input during the budget process and look forward to working with him in the future."

Beaver Island Blizzard Bash! - December 2018

    The Niagara Region Park Interpretive Program office invites you to "Zing" in New Year's Eve on a snowshoe hike along the majestic Niagara River! It will be on Monday, December 31st from 10:00 a.m. - noon. A great chance to try the lightweight "Atlas" snowshoes or take a scenic power walk if there is no snow. Call (716) 549-1050 to register for program.

Footprint Festival Snowpitch Softball Tournament - December 2018

    The Footprint Festival is coming to Beaver Island State Park on Saturday, January 26th. There will be a co-ed snowpitch softball tournament starting at 12:00 p.m. Registration deadline is January 21, 2019 and the cost is $25 per team. Teams will play at least six innings in a round robin format (each team will field and bat an equal number of times). Points are scored for every run and every out in an inning. For more information call the Recreation office at 773-9680.

JDRF Pickleball Fundraiser - December 2018

   Pickleball Island is hosting a fundraiser for JDRF, an American nonprofit 501 organization that funds type 1 diabetes research and advocates for regulation favorable to medical research. It will be on Saturday, December 29th from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at 401 Lang Blvd. There is a $20 entrance fee at the door that includes equipment, lessons, open play, skills competition with prizes, give awazys and refreshments. See flyer for details.

Holiday Photos by Mary Stewart - December 2018

   Mary Stewart traveled around town on Saturday evening, December 15th, to capture some holiday spirit.

New Traffic Pattern at Middle/High Schools - December 2018

   The letter below was recently sent to parents by Connor Middle School Principal John M. Fitzpatrick.
   Beginning on Monday December 17, 2018, we will be implementing a new drop off pattern for the Grand Island Middle and High School Complex. This year, we have experienced greater congestion and concern for student safety during drop off and pick up times. We remind you that bus transportation to and from school is provided for most students. We encourage you to use this service as it remains the safest option for all students.
    The new pattern will include two separate drop off loops, one for the middle school and one for the high school. Each school will have designated drop off areas. These will be marked with “Student Drop Off” signs. Please refer to the above map for specific routing directions.
    Veronica E. Connor Middle School Drop Off Loop
   Parents dropping off middle school students should enter at Driveway 1 and proceed around the loop, drop students off along the sidewalk, and then proceed out of the loop to exit at Driveway 2. Driveway 2 will now become an “Exit only” area. When students are dropped off they should walk toward the crosswalk and proceed across the bus loop to the building entrance.
   Grand Island Senior High School Drop Off Loop
    Parents dropping off high school students should enter and exit at Driveway 3. Parents will proceed around the loop as shown, and drop students off in the designated area beyond the crosswalk. Please pull up as far as possible in the drop off area to allow for other vehicles to pull in behind you. Parents of high school students may also elect to drop students off in the rear of the building. Students may enter through door 21.
   As a reminder, middle school students may enter the building beginning at 7:00 a.m. through Door 51. Students are kept in the front hallway area until approximately 7:23 a.m., when they are allowed to enter the other academic areas of the building.
    *At no time should any vehicle use the Bus Loop for drop off or pick up. This lane is to be used exclusively for school buses.
    Please do not drop off students off in other areas of the parking lot, as it creates an additional safety risk for our students and faculty who are walking through the lots and into the building. Dropping students off in restricted areas also blocks parking for those needing to get into the building. Finally, at this time, the pick up procedures at dismissal will not change. We will be working with our administration, school resource officers, and other law enforcement personnel to monitor the situation in the coming weeks. We appreciate your assistance with this very important matter.

Suits For Vets Drive - December 2018

From Left: Dick Crawford, Tom Rusert, Anne Fahning, Paul Bassette, Shelia Ferrentino and Stuart LaValle.

From Left: Stuart LaValle, Paul Bassette, Shelia Ferrentino, Tom Rusert, Anne Fahning, Kelly McGarvey and Dick Crawford, loading donations.

    The GI VFW Auxiliary, assisted by the GI Lions Club, collected business attire in a "Suits for Vets" drive, throughout the month of November. The groups made it their mission to give men and women veterans the resources they need to interview and succeed in the workforce with professional business clothing.
    On Wednesday, December 12th, Lions Club members loaded up their vehicles with items to be delivered to the Response to Love Center, where they will be available, with help from Amvets Post #24. Items donated included: 12 skirts, 15 pant suits, 10 dresses, a dozen blouses, 9 coats, 10 purses & 10 pairs of shoes. For men: 17 suits, 2 sport coats, 21 dress shirts, 21 ties, and pullovers, shoes and suspenders.
    Thanks to the Grand Island community for their generous donations and to Howard Hanna Realty, which was used as a collection site.

Deciding to Fix the Roads - December 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    Last month in this space I wrote of my priorities concerning the 2019 Erie County Budget. I complimented the county executive on his proposed budget which provided funds for the services county residents expect and deserve, while at the same time delivering a modest decrease in the county property tax rate. I said, though, that we in the county legislature needed to put our own stamp on the budget. I stated my priorities as further tax reduction, greater funding for SUNY-Erie (formally known as ECC) and more money to repair county roads. This month, I am glad to report that all three of these priorities have been addressed in the budget adopted by legislature on December 6.
    As I have often stated, SUNY-Erie is a gem. It provides a quality education to those in our community who might not otherwise be able to obtain it. It is also a major resource in the county’s workforce development efforts. The 2019 spending plan as amended provides our community college with an additional $250,000 above and beyond what the county executive proposed in his executive budget. This will help insure that county residents can continue to count on SUNY-Erie for their higher education needs.
    We were able to further reduce taxes by making several cuts to the executive’s original proposal. We also agreed to absorb an additional $800,000 of community college chargebacks that have been such a burden to Grand Island and the Tonawandas. As I have written in the past, we are charged thousands of dollars by other New York State counties when our students attend their community colleges. These costs are then passed on to the property taxpayers in the municipalities in which the students live. Since we are so close to Niagara County, many of our students choose to attend Niagara County Community College and we pay the price. Absorbing more of these charges into the county budget, therefore, actually benefits those of us in such border communities.
    Everyone knows the county road system is not what it should be. A big reason is that is has never fully recovered from the 2005 Red and Green Budget fiasco. In my district we have made major improvements to county roads the last several years. In the Town of Tonawanda we have seen significant work on Brighton, Colvin, Eggert, Highland, Kenmore and others. On Grand Island we’ve fixed large segments of East River, Whitehaven and others. But there is still much to do in my legislative district and others. For that reason, millions of dollars were added to the county budget to address our highway needs. As a result, many roads will be getting attention in 2019 that otherwise would have continued to decay.
    Additions made to the county budget also provide funds for many worthwhile community organizations. These include Brighton Place, Ken-Ton Closet, Ken-Ton Meals on Wheels, the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns, VFW Post 9249, The American Legion Band and senior centers in Grand Island and the Tonawandas. At the end of the day, the 2019 Erie County Budget provides the means to make Erie County a better place to live, work and raise a family. If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

East River Lane Closure - December 2018

    East River Road between Ransom Road and Whitehaven Road will be restricted to one lane for culvert work beginning Friday, December 7th and last until December 21st or until complete. See County Notice.

Stranger Danger Reported - December 2018

    A message from Brian Graham, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools.
    Grand Island Parents and Community: A Kaegebein student reported that an older woman, driving a gray car, with a child in the back seat, stopped to ask the student if he would like a ride. The student was walking home from school on Tuesday, December 4th around 4:00 PM at the time of this interaction. After declining the offer for a ride, the woman asked if he wanted to play with her phone. The child declined. The woman proceeded to drive away. The car drove away on East Park Road and turned on to Redway Road. We do not have any other information, but wanted to let you know, so that you could have a conversation with your child about strangers who may ask children to get in their car. Additionally, if you have information that may help us further understand the event described above, please contact The Erie County Sheriff's Office at 716-858-2903. Thank you for taking the time to review this alert and communicate with your children regarding stranger danger.

Island Family Needs Your Help - December 2018

   There was a residential fire at the south end of Grand Island on Sunday, December 2nd and the family lost everything, according to Amanda Heftka. Amanda is a volunteer leader with Young Life, a Christian youth organization, here on GI, attended by a member of the family. If you can help, go to the Go Fund Me Page.

Pinto Sanitation Ribbon Cutting - November 2018

    The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is excited to see Pinto Trucking is ready to take on the garbage contract. We celebrated at Town Hall with a ribbon cutting in front of one of their brand new garbage trucks on Monday, November 5th The entire community is looking forward to having a local business servicing our trash removal needs!
    Pinto Sanitation will begin garbage and recycling removal services on Grand Island on January 2nd, 2019. Leading up to that time there are a series of planned communications that they have created to help aid in a smooth transition. Here are some things you can expect from them in the days to come;
***December 1st - Pinto Sanitation will launch their new web site and Facebook page. They will be using these sites to post important information regarding what to expect, when to expect it, garbage, recycling & bulk items FAQ’s and who to contact if you have questions.
   Being aware that not all of our local citizens are active on the web, Pinto has planned the following aditional methods of communication as well;
***The week of 12/3 - A direct mail piece to each Island resident will be sent which will include general information regarding the transition.
***The weeks of 12/10 & 12/17 - New recycling totes will be distributed. Each tote will be delivered with a post card attached that has information regarding the transition and what is happening. Continue to use your current blue recycling tote until January 2nd.
***December 26th - 27th - Additional mailer will be sent to each resident with a reminder of the transition and further instructions to remind/help Island citizens.
   Lastly, in efforts to make this transition as seamless as possible, it’s good to know that everyone’s weekly collection days will stay the same as they currently are. The team at Pinto Sanitation is happy to answer any additional questions people may have. You can call them at 716-775-0123.

Morinello Staff to Hold December Mobile Office Hours - December 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Island Named Clean Energy Community - November 2018

   Earns Clean Energy Community Designation for its Commitment to Cut Costs and Reduce Energy Consumption.
   November 29, 2018...The Town of Grand Island today announced it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
    Announced by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard mandate of having half of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
    The Town of Grand Island received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Grand Island an opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
    Supervisor Nathan McMurray stated, 'Solar power is a cost-efficient way to preserve our environment and power our community. I’m proud to be part of a community that takes this form of energy seriously. Grand Island was one of the first communities in our area to pass a solar law. This summer we had a successful Solarize Grand Island Campaign that educated the public about the benefits of renewable energy and resulted in 24 new residential solar installations. I’d like to thank the team leader, Councilwoman Beverly Kinney, co-leaders, Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe & Jennifer Baney and the Solarize Committee and for all their hard work, and for helping Grand Island become a Clean Energy Community.'
   To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, The Town of Grand Island completed the following high-impact clean energy actions: Benchmarking, Unified Solar Permit, Solarize Grand Island Campaign, Code Enforcement training. Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 with no local cost share and the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects.
   At least two of the four actions must have been completed after August 1, 2016. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through September 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Once all funding is exhausted for large or small/medium categories in a region, local governments designated a Clean Energy Community are eligible to apply for a $5,000 grant, on a first-come, first-serve basis until such funds are exhausted.
    Clean Energy Community Coordinators are also available at no charge to help communities to develop and prioritize clean energy goals, access easy-to-use resources such as guidance documents and case studies, and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities. For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec. Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance navigating the program. Contact: Beverly Kinney, bkinney@grand-island.ny.us.

TIES Special Needs Program - November 2018

    The TIES (Together Including Every Student) program is looking for students with special needs to sign up, and volunteer students to help. TIES provides special needs students, ages 8-21, the opportunity to join activities of their choice, with the support of trained student volunteers. Volunteer students in grades 8 - 12 will receive training and an individual support plan for their student. See flyer for details. TIES program director is Lisa Valle, TIESgrandisland@gmail.com. TIES website.

Southbound North Grand Island Bridge to Close - November 2018

   Thursday, November 29, 2018 - The New York State Thruway Authority today announced the southbound North Grand Island Bridge on the Niagara Thruway (I-190) will close beginning at 5:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 through 6:00 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3rd.
   During this scheduled work period, contractors will be using specialized equipment to grind the road surface on the bridge that will enhance safety for motorists during inclement weather. During the closure, all southbound traffic on I-190 will be shifted into a single lane configuration on the northbound North Grand Island Bridge. Overhead lane designation signals will be used to safely direct traffic over the bridge during this construction period.
    The weekend closure will reduce disruptions to the public by limiting the number of nightly closures and lane shifts on the North Grand Island Bridge. Once completed, the southbound North Grand Island Bridge will receive a more uniform deck profile and a higher quality, smoother riding surface for motorists. Work on the North Grand Island Bridge is scheduled to begin Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. with alternating lane closures. All work is weather dependent.
   Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to consider alternate routes during the scheduled closure. Variable Message Signs (VMS) are illuminated to advise motorists of stoppages. Motorists are urged to be alert and follow the posted work zone speed limits. The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails, which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. The Authority appreciates motorists’ patience and understanding while this important improvement project takes place.

Jacobs Hosts Senior Scam Prevention Seminars - November 2018

   (Buffalo, NY) - New York State Senator Chris Jacobs announced that he will be sponsoring two Senior Scam Prevention Seminars in the 60th Senate District in the month of December.
   The first seminar will take place at the Town of Tonawanda Senior Center, 291 Ensminger Road, Tonawanda on Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. The second will be held the following week on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Town of Orchard Park Senior Center, 70 Linwood Avenue, Orchard Park.
   "Our senior citizens deserve to be able to enjoy their retirement years free from the fear and abuse of those who would take advantage of them and threaten their financial security," said Senator Jacobs. "This Scam Prevention Seminar provided those in attendance with important tips on how to protect their identity, while educating them on what to do should they fall victim to a scam."
   According to the National Council on Aging, financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they are now considered "the crime of the 21st century." A contributing factor to the rise in these scams is that they are considered low-risk because they so often go unreported, or can be difficult to prosecute. Older adults are frequently targeted because scammers believe they have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts, and the instances of scams seem to increase during the holiday season when people, particularly seniors, are in a more giving mood.
    Along with Senator Jacobs, the seminars are being sponsored by The Better Business Bureau and AT&T. Participation is free and open to the public, and seniors wishing to attend can register by calling Senator Jacobs’ office at 854-8705 or emailing jacobs@nysenate.gov.

Niagara River Habitat Restoration - November 2018

   New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has a Habitat Restoration project planned for Grand Island and the Niagara River. Four different areas to be restored over the next two years are; East River Marsh (construction started Fall 2018, end Summer 2019), Burnt Ship Creek (construction start Fall 2019, end Summer 2020), Grass Island (construction start Fall 2019, end Summer 2020), Buckhorn Island shoreline (construction start Fall 2020, end Summer 2021). Your can see a detailed project description here.

Scenic Woods Under Construction - November 2018

    Scenic Woods Phase I-IA (off of Ransom at Sturbridge) completion date has been extended to May 31, 2019, as vernal pools, trails and plantings would best be done in the spring. Vernal Pools are a type of wetland that is usually associated with forest settings. Vernal Pools are ephemeral wetlands that are seasonally flooded and generally isolated from stream systems. These pools become dry annually, or at regular intervals and are generally absent of fish. Grand Island contractor LDC Construction has the contract. Everyone is advised to stay clear of the site until the project is complete.

Chris Collins Declared Winner - November 2018

   A story in the Buffalo News by Robert J. McCarthy reports Erie County Election officials declared Chris Collins the winner, over Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray, in the 27th Cogressional District. Outstanding absentee ballots were counted on Tuesday, November 20th and Collins won by 1,384 votes. See story.

HEAP Outreach Scheduled - November 2018

   Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick announces two upcoming Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Outreaches to assist residents in need this year. 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.
   Legislator Hardwick will be hosting HEAP Outreaches on the following dates: Wednesday, December 5th from 9am-4pm at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY and Tuesday, January 22nd from 9am-4pm at 35 Main Street in the City of Tonawanda.
   Applicants should come prepared with the following (see the HEAP web page for specific documentation requirements based on household situation):
   * Proof of income received within last 30 days for all household members (pay stubs, SS or pension award letters, proof of child support, rental income, unemployment benefits, worker's comp, etc.)
   * At least one form of ID for all household members, unless a driver’s license is provided
   * Current utility bills, shut off or disconnect notices, if applicable
   * Proof of all household resources including: current checking and savings account bank statements, proof of other resources (stocks, bonds, CDs, IRAs, 401k, etc.)
   * If applicant is missing information, we allow the customer ten (10) business days to provide the information needed to fulfill application requirements. Monthly Income Guidelines. For questions or additional information, please call the HEAP Hotline at (716) 858-7644 or HEAP Application Request Line at (716) 858-1969. Also, Erie County residents can apply online by visiting www.mybenefits.ny.gov.

Tonawanda Coke Questions - November 2018

   An article in the Buffalo News by Qina Liu and T.J. Pignataro answers readers questions regarding what happens next with the closed Tonawanda Coke plant. There is also an interesting overhead view of the site. See article here.

Eyesore No More! - November 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

   The old Gulf Station at Grand Island Blvd and Whitehaven Road was torn down this week, leaving a one acre parcel, bare of any structures. Before closing, this was the last full service station on the Island. The property was sold the week ending February 23, 2018, to a entity called Gramax by Leemilts Petroleum for $205,478. Much speculation abounds as to what it will become.

GI Middle/High School Parent Teacher Conferences - November 2018

   Veronica E. Connor Middle School and Grand Island High School will hold parent-teacher conferences on Monday, Nov. 26. No appointment is necessary; teachers are available from noon to 3 p.m. and from 4-7 p.m.

2nd Annual Niagara Sailing Club Gobbler Gallop - November 2018

    2nd Annual Niagara Sailing Club Gobbler Gallop will take place on Thanksgiving morning from 10:00 a.m. - noon. It is a 1K-5K Walk/Run and is not a race. The fee is $10 per person and includes breakfast appetizers and a free gift. Cash bar with Bloody Mary's, Mimosa's and Irish Coffee available afterwards. See flyer. RSVP by Monday, November 19th.

South - South Bridge Closure - November 2018

    The southbound South Grand Island Bridge will be closed from 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 17th, until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, November 19th for road surface work. All traffic will be reduced to a single lane, each way, over the north South Grand Island Bridge. Work is weather dependent. Expect delays and consider alternate routes.

Veterans Parade Photos - November 2018

From Left: Nick Karnath, Jacob Corrao and Gianna Karnath with great grandfather John Corrao III.

From Left: VFW Commander Dan McMahon and American Legion Commander Ray DeGlopper

   Over 30 Grand Island veterans were the featured guests at a parade and breakfast that took place at the Grand Island High School/Middle School complex on Friday, November 9th. The second annual parade, was the brainchild of Connor Middle School Principal John Fitzpatrick.
   As students, terachers and support staff lined the halls, waving flags, the veterans wove their way through the middle school and high school for 30 minutes, amidst clapping and cheers. Special guest was 88 year-old John Corrao III, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. He was escorted by his great grandchildren, high school senior Jacob Corrao, freshman Nick Karnath and seventh grader Gianna Karnath. After the parade, the veterans were treated to a choral concert of patriotic songs, and breakfast in the cafeteria. See video here. Video filmed by Mark Gorton GICSD Audio-Visual Technician.

County’s 2019 Budget Will Cut Property Taxes Again - November 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    It is that time of year again. In fact, for the Erie County Legislature it is the most important time of the year. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz delivered his 2019 Executive Budget to us last month and we now have until early December to make any changes to it that we deem necessary. If we fail to pass a budget by the deadline, the county executive's becomes the default budget. If we should make changes, the county charter gives him the power to veto any additions. The legislature can then override these line item vetoes by a two-thirds majority. Before any of this happens, however, there will be hours of budget hearings, including a public one on November 19th.
    As I tell my political science students at Canisius College, the budget is a policy document. By allocating money to various purposes we are setting our priorities. It is one thing to say that something is important. It is another thing entirely to devote taxpayer dollars to it. So when we budget, we are literally putting our money where our mouths are.
    The county executive's proposed budget cuts the county property tax rate by 9 cents per $1,000 of equalized assessed value. Cutting taxes is a priority upon which I am sure the legislature and executive will agree. Estimated sales tax revenue in the executive budget is significantly higher than last year. This is a result of the strong local economy. This helps to provide the resources required to give our citizens the government they deserve.
    The executive's proposed expenditures in the $1.5 billion general fund budget provide funding for the services expected by county residents such as roads, sheriff protection and county parks. The executive has slated the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system for an almost a half million dollar increase. I was pleased to see this, as the libraries in Grand Island and the Tonawandas are important to the fabric of our community and heavily utilized by people of all ages. All in all, the executive's budget represents a good start. I am hopeful, though, that we in the county legislature can put our own stamp on it and make it an even better budget.
    In so doing, I will pursue several of my priorities. In addition to realizing a cut in property taxes, I want to make sure there is adequate funding for our roads. The county highway system is still recovering from the devastating impacts of the infamous Red and Green Budget of more than a decade ago. To be sure, we certainly have made progress in recent years. But there are plenty of county roads that still need attention. I also want to insure that SUNY-Erie (formally known as Erie Community College) has the funding necessary to provide a solid education to those who seek to better themselves. These are just a few of my priorities. If you would like to make yours known to county lawmakers, consider speaking at the public hearing on Monday, November 19 at 6 pm in the legislative chambers on the 4th floor of Old County Hall, 92 Franklin Street in Buffalo.
    If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick.

Grand Island Woman Indicted in Death of Child - November 2018

   A story in the Buffalo News by Aaron Besecker on November 7, 2018 announced that Grand Island resident Brianna Valenti, 26 has been indicted by an Erie County grand jury in the death of her boyfriend's two-year-old daughter. See story.

Grand Island Veterans Day Service - November 2018

   The Town of Grand Island Veterans Day Service is on Sunday, November 11th at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Park, Bedell Road. Everyone is welcome.
    Some nearby restaurants are offering their appreciation to Veterans at this time. Anderson's Custard offers a free ice cream or custard on November 11th. Cracker Barrel restauranty is offering a free piece of chocolate cake. Applebee's is offering a free entree. Bob Evans offers a free meal. LongHorn Steakhouse offers a free appetizer or dessert and 10 percent off your bill. Olive Garden will serve a free meal and Red Robin offers a free Double Burger. Texas Roadhouse is offering a free lunch. These are all on Sunday, November 11th. TGI Fridays offer is for November 11 & 12 and is for a free entree up to $12. On November 12, Denny's is offering a free Grand Slam and IHOP is offering free Red, White and Blue Pancakes.

Halloween Photos - November 2018


Mary Stewart photos.

   Our favorite photographer reports that the number of trick or treaters were down this year in her neighborhood. Could be the rainy weather or maybe the numerous trunk or treat events in the past few weeks had something to do with it.

NYS Parks to Host Public Meeting on Niagara River Restoration - November 2018

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced today that there will be a public meeting to outline upcoming projects related to the habitat restoration of the Niagara River.
   The public is welcome to attend an open house and presentation on Thursday, November 15 at the William Kaegebin Elementary School auditorium, 1690 Love Rd, Grand Island, 14072. Projects will be on display from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a 30 minute presentation to begin at 7 p.m..
    The projects being presented are at the East River Marsh at Beaver Island, Burnt Ship Creek, Grass Island and the Niagara River shoreline at Buckhorn Island State Park. Funded by over $11 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the projects will help create stronger shorelines which in turn assist fish and wildlife habitat restoration which will be a step toward the delisting the Niagara River as an EPA “Area of Concern”. Work is beginning this fall and will continue through 2020. See map. For more information on these projects please visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/174.

Veterans Featured Guests at Indoor Parade - November 2018

   U.S. Veterans to be Featured Guests at Indoor Parade at GI High and Middle Schools.
    An indoor parade on Friday, November 9th through the halls of Grand Island Middle and High Schools will honor U.S. Veterans from the Grand Island community. Veterans from the Grand Island American Legion Post 1346 and Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 have been invited to walk in the parade. Last year 40 veterans participated in the event. Students from both buildings will line the halls holding mini-U.S. flags, cheering, clapping and thanking veterans.
   "We are very proud of our U.S. Veterans and the service they gave to our country. We wanted to honor them in a very personal way by inviting them to our buildings," said Dr. Brian Graham, superintendent of Grand Island Central School District. The parade route will begin in front of the Veronica E. Connor Middle School Library, go through middle school classroom hallways, continue to the high school classroom hallways and conclude in the high school cafeteria with a breakfast prepared by district food service staff and patriotic songs performed by the high school chorus ensemble. Grand Island Veterans are asked to register for the event by calling 773-8837 or 773-8844.
   Parade Schedule:
    Veronica E. Connor Middle School/Grand Island High School complex is located at 1100 Ransom Road, Grand Island. Parking available in front lot.
   7:45 a.m. U.S. Veterans, Color Guards (Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249), bagpiper and drummer assemble in the Middle School Library.
    8:15 - 9:00 a.m. Parade begins at Middle School Library and makes a route through the middle school and high school ending in the high school cafeteria. Students at both buildings will be lining the hallways.
    9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Parade ends at the high school cafeteria for a breakfast, brief remarks and a patriotic choral performance by the high school chorus ensemble.

Grand Island General Election Ballot - October 2018

   General Election, Tuesday, November 6th, Sample Ballot. Polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.

Trunk or Treat - October 2018

   New York State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello is hosting a Trunk or Treat at the Grand Island Fire Company headquarters, 2275 Baseline Road, on Monday, October 29th from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. See flyer.

West River Shoreline Trail Opens - October 2018

From Left: Nate McMurray, Brian Higgins, Mark Mistretta, Angelo Morinello and Louis Paonessa.

   New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Western District Director Mark Mistretta was joined by Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray, Congressman Brian Higgins, State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello and Louis Paonessa of the New York Power Authority to officially open the West River Shoreline Trail on Tuesday, October 23rd. The event was also attended by 75+ bikers, walkers, and residents. The $2.5 million project turned the eight mile West River Parkway into a biking and walking trail. Parking areas are located at the Whitehaven Road area and at the Fix Road overlook.

Sandy Beach Repaving - October 2018

   Please be advised, we will be repaving the entire Sandy Beach neighborhood. This project started Monday, October 22nd. "No Parking" signs will be in place. The road will remain open but expect minor delays when driving in your neighborhood. Please obey the flagmen and drive carefully. Your patience during this process is appreciated.
   The following roads will be part of this year’s project: Greenway, Sandy Beach, Wallace, Warner, South Park, Middle, North Park, Garden Parkway, Fieldstone Drive and Redway. This project is a hot mix asphalt overlay. This project will be done in 3 phases. Milling of the existing road bed and will be completed in 2 days. The binder layer of asphalt will then be put down followed by final asphalt top driving surface. Weather delays can occur so this paving schedule could be altered a bit. Please call the Highway Department with any questions or concerns.

Highway Department Notices - October 2018

Winter Policy:    Thursday, November 1, 2018 is the official start of our 2018-2019 Winter Season. Please observe our "No Parking" restrictions on all public highways between the hours of 2:00 a.m. thru 7:00 a.m. from November 1, 2018 thru March 31, 2019. This allows us to give you effective snow plowing in all areas of the town. Our Town of Grand Island Police Department and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department enforce this ordinance.
Obstacles in Right-of-Way:     The Town of Grand Island Highway Department would like to issue this friendly reminder to citizens of our community. Obstacles in the Town's right-of-way can be dangerous to people and to motor vehicles alike. We ask you to please remove any obstacles that you may have within 10 feet of the edge of the paved roadway. Any obstacle within this area is a potential liability to you the homeowner. This includes rocks, wooden posts, metal posts, etc. Please consider this notice as the Town's written warning.
    It is imperative that these obstacles are removed no later than November 16th as not to hinder our snow removal operations. Any objects remaining in the Town's right-of-way after this date will have to be removed by the Town of Grand Island Highway Department for safety and snow plowing purposes. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Town Highway Department at 773-9632. The employees of the Town of Grand Island Highway Department would like to thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. Town Highway Law 214 – V & T 1220.
Mailboxes:    A mailbox is an allowed infringement on the right-of way. When such a box is to low or to far out on the right-of way, they are a hazard to traffic and may be hit by snowplows. Municipalities are not responsible for any damage done to such mailboxes. [Highway Law 319]
Snow on the right-of-way:   It is against the vehicle and traffic law to push or drop any foreign material on such a right-of way. Anyone doing so is subject to fines and or penalties. If such material causes an accident, the person responsible is liable for damages. [Highway Law 1219]

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 2018

   The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. The Erie County Sheriff's Office will be at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road on Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Renew NYS Auto Registration Locally - October 2018

From left: Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns and Legislator Kevin Harwick.

   Legislator Kevin Hardwick was joined by Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns Thursday afternoon as he renewed his auto registration in the local DMV office. By renewing locally, tax dollars are kept in Erie County instead of being sent to Albany. "When you send your registration to Albany, Erie County taxpayers get nothing back," said Legislator Hardwick. "By renewing locally, 12.5 percent of the renewal fee is kept here. Thanks to the online reservation system, I was able to avoid long lines and complete this process quickly during lunch hour. I’d like to thank Clerk Kearns for joining me and for all his office has done in partnership with the Legislature to expand DMV services."
   "Legislator Hardwick’s experience at the Auto Bureau is why I have implemented the "Ready, Reserve, Renew Program," said Clerk Kearns. "If a county resident is ready with their paperwork before they come to the Auto Bureau they can be processed in as little as ten minutes. Renewing local needs to be emphasized because when we do this it means greater revenue for Erie County projects and improvements. Renewing local means everyone in Erie County wins." The Legislature also recently approved additional DMV staff positions in order to reduce wait times and offer extended hours. The Northtowns branch, located at 2309 Eggert Road, is now open Saturdays from 7am to 1pm. If you’d like to make an online reservation before heading to the DMV, visit the link here.

West River Shoreline Trail Opening - October 2018

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will officially open the West River Shoreline Trail on Tuesday, October 23rd at 10:30 a.m., at the overlook area just south of Whitehaven Road. Please RSVP by Monday, October 22nd to Angela.Berti@parks.ny.gov. You are invited to bring a bicycle for an inaugural ride. See flyer.

Tonawanda Coke Closes - October 2018

    A Buffalo News article dated October 14, 2018 announced Tonawanda Coke shutting down two days early. The previously announced date was Tuesday, October 16th. The Department of Environmental Conservation is on-site and is overseeing the shutdown procedures. See article by Aaron Besecker.

National Fuel Forecasts "Slight Uptick" in Cost - October 2018

   October 11, 2018 - National Fuel's 2018-19 winter heating season forecast: slight uptick compared to last year if a "normal" winter pattern rerturns. See press release.
From the press release:
   The federally-funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides payment-challenged families and individuals with financial assistance on a first-come, first-served basis, based on income guidelines. HEAP will open across New York state in mid-November. Visit www.HEAPhelps.com or contact 1-877-443-2743 to check eligibility.
    A quick call to customer service can provide information on the following programs: Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is open year round and helps qualified customers, aged 55 years or older, or have a certified medical condition, or are disabled, or are currently receiving unemployment benefits or are a veteran, to prevent an energy emergency; a Deferred Payment Agreement allows the potential to negotiate a repayment plan in the event of a problem or special circumstance; Special Protections is applicable for households where all residents are aged 62 years or older, 18 years or younger, blind or disabled. Customer assistance is available each weekday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. by contacting 1-800-365-3234.

Baseline Road Closure - October 2018

   A road closure on Baseline Road, south of Fix Road, between Fairway Lane and Bush Road, will begin on Monday, October 15, 2018. It is scheduled to re-open by Monday, November 19th. There will be no through traffic, local traffic only. A culvert over Turtle Creek will be replaced.

Howard Hanna FUNDrive - October 2018

   Howard Hanna Real Estate is having a "FUNDrive" at which they will be collecting gently used clothes, shoes, bedding, towels, accessories and stuffed toys. This will be through the month of October and you can drop off items at the Grand Island office, 2139 Grand Island Blvd. Please place items in plastic bags, no boxes.

Reflecting on Decisions: Past, Present and Future - October 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

   "It’s all about choices." How often have we heard this? As a father of four and grandfather of three, I hear myself saying this quite often. It’s just as true about government decisions as it is in our personal lives. I thought about this as I pondered a recent court decision.
    Last month I wrote a column about the Tonawanda Coke hearing in federal district court. Shortly after my article was published, Judge Skretny ruled that the company had violated the terms of its probation. Instead of shutting them down, however, he faulted the government for not proving that the plant’s emissions were toxic and ordered more air quality tests. I thought it strange that the people would have to prove that the emissions were deadly as opposed to the corporation having to prove they were not. My hope is that the decision does not adversely impact the health of the residents of Grand Island and the Tonawandas. I also pray that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation who already cited Tonawanda Coke for numerous air quality violations will, in the not too distant future, revoke the company’s permit and do what the federal court failed to do.
   While on the topic of decisions, allow me to mention a couple more future choices facing Erie County government. Both of these pending decisions are haunted by the results of past decisions. The first involves the proposal for a new convention center. There is little argument that the current facility is too small. A consultant’s report suggests if Erie County is to remain in the convention business that we either expand the existing center’s footprint or construct a new one closer to the waterfront.
    Either way we are looking at a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars. My inclination is that we should remain in the business, but we will need a massive amount of help from the state to do so. I know that we are all state taxpayers, also. But there is a difference between using county money collected from our property taxes and using state money derived primarily from state income tax. This is because the lion’s share of state money is collected downstate. That’s where Wall Street is and that’s where the money is. Regardless, the devil is in the details and we have time to weigh our options. Toward this end, the county executive has asked for public comment on the issue. You can read the consultant’s study and comment on it at erie.gov.
    The other choice we will need to make is what to do with the stadium for the Bills when the current lease expires in a few years. Some would argue that we should combine a new stadium with the convention center. I am not certain this is necessary. Regardless, the stadium and convention center decisions will be linked, as there will be only so much money to go around. If we play our cards right, though, we can make some major upgrades that will benefit our community for decades to come. It all depends on our choices.
    If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

Morinello Staff to Hold October Mobile Office Hours - October 2018

   The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, October 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Erie County Electronic Waste Collection - October 2018

    ERIE COUNTY, NY - The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning, in cooperation with the Northwest and Northeast Southtowns Solid Waste Management Boards, is holding a collection event for electronic waste on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at SUNY Erie South, 4041 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park . Registration is required to participate in this collection and participation is limited to the first 400 residents to sign up. To register, please go to www.erie.gov/recycling or call (716) 998-8073.
    The following items will be accepted: computers (desktop & laptop); monitors (flat screen & CRT); computer accessories (mice, keyboards, webcams, speakers, microphones); cables & all IT accessories; storage devices (external hard drives, solid state drives, SD cards, memory cards, card readers, etc.); computer power supplies; printers (ink, toner, & cartridges); gaming devices; network devices; computer peripherals; and circuit boards. Only two TVs per household.
   The following items will NOT be accepted: smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors; devices containing liquid mercury (thermostats, switches, medical devices, thermometers); gas powered equipment; CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and cassette tapes; household hazardous waste; materials containing liquids; Freon-containing devices/materials (refrigerators, air conditioners, de-humidifiers); radioactive materials; PCB-containing materials; large appliances (stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers); batteries (alkaline, wet cell, dry cell); broken/bare CRTs; propane tanks; and wooden speakers.
   New York State law requires electronic devices, including cell phones, tablet computers, scanners, and televisions to be recycled. E-waste at this event is being collected and recycled by Sunnking, Inc., a local company headquartered in Brockport.

Tonawanda Coke Community Meeting - October 2018

   Citizen Science Community Resources is having a Grand Island Community Meeting and Presentation on Monday, October 8th, from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Burger King, 1700 Grand Island Blvd. Grand Island resident Dr. Jessica Castner will be presenting information on chemicals that are coming from Tonawanda Coke and how that may impact our health. Her background includes researching environmental and occupational exposures to optimize human health and well-being. A short Q & A will follow.
   Also to be discussed; the latest events surrounding the pollution coming from the facility, what the current air monitors are telling us, and what we can do as a community to move forward. For more information contact jackie@csresources.org.

West River Trail Update - October 2018

    A member of the West River Homeowners Association contacted the NYS Parks department on Monday, October 1, 2018 and received the following, regarding the West River Trail Update.
   Paving of the trail is almost finished; one more non-rainy day and the contractor expects to be finished.
   Signage will be erected by the end of the week, but, PLEASE NOTE, there was no electricity run as part of this project so THERE WILL NOT BE ANY ILLUMINATED SIGNS ALONG THE TRAIL.
    Bench pads are being formed this week and the installation of benches will continue into November and early December.
    Striping of the trail will begin this week.
   The landscaping is ongoing and should be finished this week if the weather cooperates.

Island Waterfowl Blind Drawings - October 2018

    Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry & Motor Islands     The first half draws will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning Friday, October 26 at the Beaver Island State Park Clubhouse. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the draws start at 6:30 p.m. sharp. The draws will continue to take place through Wednesday, December 5th. Please enter in the back door closest to parking lot next to the Clubhouse.
    Beaver Island will also be participating in Waterfowl Youth Days October 13 - 14. The lottery drawing will be on Friday, October 12 at 6:30pm in the basement of the Beaver Island Clubhouse. Please see www.dec.ny.gov for more information about the youth hunt.
    Canada Goose season runs from December 9 - 25 and lottery will be call-ins only on Mondays (for hunting Tuesday and Wednesdays), Wednesdays (for hunting Thursday and Friday) and Fridays (for hunting Saturday through Tuesday) beginning Friday, December 7 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.. Please call 773-3271 to register.
    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). Blinds #27 & #34 will not be available during the 1st half and Blinds #28 & #33 will only be available on weekends due to DEC construction project. State Parks will be including three (3) ADA blinds which are handicap accessible. Blind #31 is located within Beaver Island State Park and Blinds #41 & #42 are 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. For further information, you may contact the Park Office at (716)773-3271 between 8:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Monday- Friday.

Taste of Grand Island Photos - September 2018


Left: Yes, that is a real puppy! Right: Dr. Stacey Schroeder Watt and daughter.
Left: June Justice Crawford signs her Grand Island history book at the Historical Society tent.
Right: Thompson & Sons Farm products.

Curt Nestark with Mary Cooke at the Historical Society display.
Baumen Farms offered home grown fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs.
Lynn Dingey in the Relay For Life tent.
Mary Stewart Photos

    The day started out on the chilly side for the annual Taste of Grand Island, held Saturday, September 22nd. The temperature warmed up making it a perfect day for the event. There was something for everyone and plenty of food to be enjoyed. Great time when people meet old friends and catch up on their happenings.

McMurray Accused of Facebook Page Mismanagement - September 2018

   A Buffalo News article dated September 25, 2018, by Stephen T. Watson, details a Town of Grand Island Facebook page controversy. After complaints that ranged from blocking people, removing unwanted comments and "boosting McMurray's run for Congress", "Office of the Supervisor" was added to the page.See story here.

Soup-A-Thon & Basket Raffle - October 2018

    The DeGlopper Memorial Park Expansion Committee is hosting a Soup-A-Thon & Basket Raffle to benefit the park on Saturday, October 6th from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., at the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post #9249, 2121 Grand Island Blvd. Cost is $8.00, all you can eat. Take-out is available at 6:00 p.m. Public is welcome.

144-acre Nature Preserve Plan in Place - September 2018

    The Western New York Land Conservancy has purchased a 144-acre parcel of land that is located south of the Assumption Cemetery on Whitehaven Road. The plan is to make this a nature preserve with trails within the next two years. The Grand Island Conservation Advisory Board has been working on this project for over 10 years. See Buffalo News article by Stephen T. Watson.

Town of Grand Island Remembrance Program - September 2018

In Loving Memory of John J. Larry.
Click photo for larger view.

   A memorial tree was recently planted at Veterans Park by Arlene Larry and family, in loving memory of John J. Larry.
   Start honoring your loved one with a simple donation...The Town of Grand Island now offers a Remembrance Program which allows you to choose a Bench, Tree or Boulder that will be placed in a chosen location within one of our beautiful parks or playgrounds. Please see our website www.ginyparks.com or call our office at 716-773-9686 for more details. See program flyer.

Advisory Board Openings - September 2018

    The Town of Grand Island is seeking interested individuals for openings on the following advisory boards: Economic Development, Parks & Recreation, and Technology. Any member of the community interested in serving should submit a letter of interest, including relevant experience, education and training to:
Town Supervisor Nathan D. McMurray
2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072
or nmcmurray@grand-island.ny.us.
   Letters recieved by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 12, 2018 will be considered. For additional information about each advisory can be found at: www.grandislandny.us.

Judge Allows Tonawanda Coke to Stay Open - September 2018

   A Buffalo News article by Phil Fairbanks announced that U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny will allow Tonawanda Coke to stay open and smokestack emissions tested for pollutants. This is the first testing to take place in eight years. See article.

Distinguished Alumni Nominations Wanted - September 2018

   The Grand Island Distinguished Alumni committee is seeking your input for nominations. We are looking for exemplary candidates who have graduated at least ten years ago and have made significant contributions to their field of expertise. Worthy candidates must also demonstrate a sincere concern for humanity through their charitable actions.
   We will be reviewing all of the nominations and selecting the best candidate(s) who exemplify the distinguished Grand Island alumni tradition. Recipients or a representative, if given posthumously, will be invited to speak to our high school students at a Distinguished Alumni ceremony on Friday, March 28, 2019. Complete this form to the best of your knowledge and submit your nomination. All nominations should be in by November 15, 2018.
   Past Recipients:
   Neil Tetkowski - Artist - Class of 1973
   James Desemone - MD FACE - Class of 1975
    Lee Zeplowitz - CPS CFP - Class of 1976
    William Whitford - Sr. Mgr. for Research & Product Dev. - Class of 1972
    Karl Kruetz - Research Scientist - Class of 1987
    Kathryn Hug Anton - FBI Special Agent - Class of 1987
    David Conboy - Engineer/Soldier - Class of 1980
    JP Kennedy - Asst. US Attorney Criminal Chief - 1981
    Andrew Harbison - Doctor of Osteopathy - Class of 1985
    Kevin Erker - Major US Marine Corp - Class of 1992
    Dale Brown - Author - Class of 1974
    Rossano Galante - Musician - Class of 1985
    James Klock - US Secret Service - Class of 1979
    Russell Cerlo - Physical Therapist OCS - Class of 1978
    Suzanne Tomkins - Clinical Professor of Law - Class of 1973
    Elizabeth Robinson Judson PhD - Ceramic Engineer - Class of 1977
    Brett Kern - NFL Punter - Class of 2004
    Dr. Stacey Schroeder-Watt - Pediatric Anesthesiologist at John R. Oishei Children's Hospital - Class of 1992
    Dipak Srinivasan - Space Mission Developer and Implementer at John Hopkins University Applied Physics - Class of 1995

CannonDesign & Town Hall Appraisals- September 2018

    A Buffalo News story by Stephen T. Watson, dated September 19, 2018, describes the possible purchase of CannonDesign's headquarters located at Whitehaven Road and the I-190. The first step is getting appraisals for the current Town Hall and the Cannon property. Town department heads are also going to be asked for their opinion on short and long-term space requirements. See story.

Fall Father's Day Spectacular Photos - September 2018

Floyd & Che Doring.

Deanna and Breanna Wiks and Lynn Dingey

Kids Race.

From left: American Legion Commander Ray DeGlopper and winner VFW Chaplain Herminio Cruz

Modified Race winner Gary Roesch.

Platinum Sponsor Mike Manuszewski of Island Prescription Center and Race Chair Gary Roesch.

    Lots of fun had by Lawnmower Race attendees on Saturday, September 15th at Veterans Park. The Relay For Life team "Racing For A Cure", raised over $4000 at the event for the 2018 Grand Island Relay. Winners were Celebrity race between the VFW and American Legion was won by Herminio Cruz of the VFW. Vintage: Mike Yensan, Modified: Gary Roesch and Pro Stock: Pete Marston.
    The Lawn Mower Race committee thanks the Town of Grand Island for the use of Veterans Park. They will be asking permission from New York State Parks to use the West River Bike Path next year for the Saturday before Father's Day.

Public Letters Sought for Tonawanda Coke Input - September 2018

    A post on the Facebook, Town of Grand Island, NY - Office of the Supervisor page, dated Monday, September 17th.
    Today in Federal Court at about 3pm the Honorable Judge SKRETNY found Tonawanda Coke GUILTY of violating their probation on opacity levels above 20% according to the Clean Air Act! Sentencing will be this Friday at 9am.
    Why? To show public involvement and concern!!!! The pure outrage towards TCC! To beg the Judge to shut down the plant, fine them and / or to clean up their mess. Tonawanda Coke and its representatives still take the stand that they are not endangering the public or the environment. Please send your letter to the town supervisor's office... Emily at ewynne@grand-island.ny.us by 3PM this Wednesday, Sept 19th. (letter will be hand delivered Wednesday by 5pm downtown to 2 Niagara Square).
    This is so important! It can be something short or as detailed as you choose. We need the judge to hear our plea and to show we have had enough of their disregaurd for our health and environment.

2018/2019 School Tax Bills Mailed - September 2018

    Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announced that the 2018/2019 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 13, 2018, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Checks should be made payable to Town Clerk. The last day to pay without penalty is October 15. The office will be open until 6:00pm on Monday, October 15, 2018. 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 November 30, 2018. After this date, payments must be sent to the County.

Town Fall Photo Contest - September 2018

    The Town of Grand Island, NY Facebook page is looking for its next cover photo. Do you have any fall-themed photos of Grand Island? Your work could be featured!
Rules: Photo must be taken on/of Grand Island. Photo must be yours. Photo must be submitted by Sept. 22nd.
Details: Email your photo to ewynne@grand-island.ny.us, or send a Facebook message. Multiple submissions encouraged. Please include your name and contact information. The deadline for this contest is September 22, 2018.
Winner:The winning photo will be featured as the cover photo for the Facebook page during the fall months. Honorable mentions will be featured in the pinned post. Credit will be attributed to the photographer. If you have a photography website or Facebook page, we can tag you (free advertising!). If you do not want us to keep your photo for future use, please note it on your entry.

Fall Father's Day Spectacular - September 2018

From left: Eric Berger, celebrity racer Herminio Cruz, Lynn Dingey, Peter Marston. Platinum Sponsor Michael Manuszewski of Island Prescription Center, Gary Roesch and celebrity racer Ray DeGlopper.

From left: Brian Runions, General Sales Manager at Northtown Volvo, Porsche & Land Rover Buffalo and his Uncle Floyd Doring of Lawnmower Race Committee.

    The re-scheduled Father's Day Lawn Mower Race will take place this Saturday, September 15th at Veterans Park on Bedell Road. Sponsor check presentations took place this week. Platinum Sponsor of $1000 is Michael Manuszewski of Island Prescription Center. A Gold Sponsor is Northtown Volvo, Porsche & Land Rover. A complete list of sponsors is below.
    There will be a 1K walk in honor of Kevin Doring, a car show and the Mary Dunbar-Daluisio Memorial Lawnmower Race. All registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and is $10.00. The walk will start at 10:15 a.m. A drivers meeting will be at 11:00 a.m., followed by testing from 11:00 - noon. The kid's lawnmower race begins at noon, followed by the first race at 12:30 p.m. This year's celebrity race has VFW Chaplain Herminio Cruz racing against American Legion Commander Ray DeGlopper. The car show runs from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Other activities include a Kid Zone, Food Trucks, music and a 50/50 raffle. A complete list of sponsors is below.
    Platinum Sponsor: Island Prescription Center.
    Gold Sponsor: Northtown Volvo, Porsche & Land Rover, Lipsitz & Ponterio, Fuccillo Chevy & Toyota, Berger Insurance, Grand Island Deli & Meat Market.
    Silver Sponsors: Marston Power Equipment, Bad Racing, Sam Long Landscaping, Mr. Best Wrench, Metro Town Center Realty, Pat & Maryjane Patterson, Cecconi Car Dealerships, Steel Crazy Art, Niagara Frontier Publications, GI Moose Lodge, Isledegrande.

Erie County Senior Services to Hold Public Hearings - September 2018

ERIE COUNTY, NY - The Erie County Department of Senior Services has announced a series of public hearings to be held in order to seek input on programs and services offered by the Department and solicit comments and ideas from the public on how to improve those services to better serve the county's senior population. Hearings will be held in late October and early November at five sites around Erie County.
   "The annual public hearings are a good way for residents to speak directly to department personnel, give feedback on what works and what doesn't in senior programs, and add their voice to the discussion about how those programs should work in the future," said Commissioner of Senior Services Timothy Hogues. "We are encouraging seniors, caregivers and family, program managers, and anyone with an interest in senior services to attend one of the meetings and join the conversation."
Erie County Department of Senior Services Annual Public Hearings:
***Monday, October 29 2018: 12:45 – 2:15 PM at Town of Amherst Senior Center, 370 John James Audubon Pkwy., Amherst NY 14228 (716) 636-3050
***Tuesday, October 30 2018: 12:30 – 2:00 PM at Schiller Park Senior Center, 2057 Genesee Street, Buffalo NY 14211 (716) 895-2727
***Wednesday, October 31 2018: 10:00 - 11:30 AM at West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont Street, Buffalo NY 14213 (716) 884-6616
***Thursday, November 1 2018: 5:00 – 6:30 PM at Frank E. Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo NY 14208 (716) 858-6864
***Thursday, November 8 2018: 12:30 – 2:00 PM at Town of Hamburg Senior Center, 4540 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg NY 14075 (716) 646-5145
   Walk-ins are welcome at each site. Attendees interested in speaking at any hearing or joining the group for lunch before the meeting are encouraged to register by calling the Senior Services department at (716) 858-8526 two days prior to the hearing they are attending. Individuals unable to attend can submit written remarks to: Senior Services, 95 Franklin Street Room 1341, Buffalo NY 14202 or online at seniorinfo@erie.gov .

Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show - September 2018

Mary Stewart Photos

    The gloomy skies didn't keep boat and car enthusiasts away from the Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show on Saturday, September 8th at the Buffalo Launch Club.

Tonawanda Coke Must Be Held Accountable - September 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    A few years ago I was knocking on the doors of residents in both the City and Town of Tonawanda who lived in neighborhoods downwind of the Tonawanda Coke plant. Inevitably, I would talk to people who would stand on their porches and point at their neighbors' homes. They would go down the street and say cancer, cancer, tumors, cancer, leukemia, cancer, died last year, etc. Their point was crystal clear. Air pollution from Tonawanda Coke and other industrial facilities was killing people.
    The company, of course, was convicted in Federal Court in 2013 of violating both the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. These criminal convictions landed one of the Tonawanda Coke's managers in prison and resulted in millions of dollars in fines for the company, itself. The court also placed the company on probation while it continued to operate. The Clean Air Coalition, a grassroots organization founded by Jackie James Creedon and others to fight polluters such as Tonawanda Coke, felt that its efforts had finally been rewarded.
    A couple of months ago the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) cited Tonawanda Coke for 176 new violations and issued a cease and desist order. The corporation appealed and a hearing has been scheduled for October 10th. In the meantime, the federal government accused Tonawanda Coke of violating its probation. I was present in Federal District Court recently when the government presented its case to Judge William Skretny. It was apparent from the outset of the hearing that Judge Skretny appreciated the gravity of the situation and that his primary concern was for the residents of Grand Island and the Tonawandas who were breathing the plant's harmful emissions every day. Still, in the interests of fairness, he was obliged to allow the company an opportunity to defend itself. In so doing, though, he made the parties adhere to a strict timeline. As of this writing, no decision has been reached in the case.
    Meanwhile, several individuals and groups called up Tonawanda Coke to be shut down. Working with Rebecca Newberry of the Clean Air Coalition and Erie County Legislature Chairman Peter Savage I sponsored a resolution that was passed by the county legislature at our September 6th meeting. Unlike resolutions passed by some municipalities, ours did not explicitly call for the closing of Tonawanda Coke. Instead, it anticipated that closure is probably going to happen at some point and looked to deal with an uncertain future. The resolution urged the court, the DEC and the EPA to require the corporation to develop an emergency shutdown plan. It also calls for any fines assessed to the corporation to help fund health monitoring of nearby residents, as well as plant employees. It also supports using fine money to retrain displaced workers. Finally, it suggests that fine money support a cleanup of the site, as the last thing we need is another brownfield. By holding Tonawanda Coke accountable in this manner, we can begin to address the problems it has created over too many years.
    If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

7th Annual Taste of Grand Island - September 2018

   More than 20 area restaurants will showcase their culinary expertise during the 7th Annual Taste of Grand Island, on the center streets and Town Commons of Grand Island. The day long family-friendly food festival is planned for Saturday, Sept. 22, from noon to 8:00 p.m., complete with great food from the area’s best restaurtants along with music, beer & wine until 11:00 p.m. Not only will there be food but over 50 other vendors will be on site to feature their signature products and services. The event is still accepting vendor applications. The Taste of Grand Island is organized by Corey McGowan Productions, LLC.
   "Grand Island has some of the most best restaurants and cuisine that Western New York has to offer and visitors may experience many of them at this one event," said Corey McGowan, festival organizer. He noted island favorites and newcomers such as 773 North, Say Cheese, Alz Rootz Café and Mallwitz's" "This event gets bigger and better every year and really gives Grand Island an opportunity to shine and not only showcase their best to local residents but allow off island traffic to come and discover something new and give local businesses the opportunity to create new revenue streams." said Corey McGowan, festival promoter. For more information or to obtain a sponsor or vendor application, contact Corey McGowan at corey.mcgowan89@icloud.com .

Pickleball Island Expands to Seven Courts - September 2018

   Pickleball Island recently increased their courts from three to seven, and will have a grand opening on Friday, September 14th from 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Ken Knight opened the venue last October at 401 Lang Blvd. and it really caught on over the winter. Knight now has two partners, Dave Miller is director of operations and Jason Santerre is technical director. See Buffalo News story by Scott Scanlon here.

Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show - September 2018

   Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show is Saturday, September 8th at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 East River Road, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. There will also be a car show. Entrance is free, $10 parking. Flyer.

Save the Trees at DeGlopper Memorial Park - September 2018

Outer trees focus of transplant effort.

    Former Town Councilman Ray Billica has volunteered to lead an effort in raising funds to transplant full grown trees from the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park at Grand Island Blvd. and Baseline Road. There are three trees that could be moved. A company who uses a "tree spade" to do the work, which allows the tree to be dug with a big root ball to increase the chance of survival, will come and do it for $435 per tree. Billica is looking for individuals or groups (which might include 2 or more individuals), to sponsor the cost for each tree. He will sponsor 1/2 the cost of one of the trees. If you are interested in helping with this effort, please contact Ray Billica at 864-9055.

Morinello Staff to Hold September Mobile Office Hours - September 2018

   The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, September 4th and Tuesday, September 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Grand Island Parks Department Landscapes - August 2018

   The Town of Grand Island Parks Department takes care of beautifying many areas of the Island. Below you can see just some of the locations they work their magic and who gets credit.

Fishermen's Landing: Island landscape: Dave Cole, Flowers: Linda Tuffilero, Bonnie Weiser, and Beverly Benton

The Grand Island Welcome Sign, coming off South Bridge. Island landscape: Dave Cole, Flowers: Bonnie Weiser and Beverly Benton.

Miracle League Entrance: Landscape and flowers by Dave Cole.

Miracle League Bollards: Flowers planted by: Beverly Benton.

Relay for Life Island: Landscape done by Dave Cole and Jared Billica. Flowers planted by: Beverly Benton and Bonnie Weiser.

Vets Park Back Entrance/Exit: Landscape by Dave Cole, Flowers planted by: Beverly Benton, Bonnie Weiser & Dave Cole.

Ed Ball Park Entrance: Flowers planted by: Bonnie Weiser.

Western New York Welcome Center Opens - August 2018

Entrance has a herd of rusty buffaloes grazing.

Electric Charging Station.

Playground area.


Part of a spacious sitting area.


View of store.

Western New York History Wall.

   The Western New York Welcome Center quietly opened Monday, August 27th. A Grand Opening is anticipated soon, possibly by the end of the week, depending on Governor Cuomo's schedule. There are interactive kiosks that give information on everything a tourist needs to know about Western New York and a small wall of historical items from the area.The small cafe serves hot/cold beverages and hot/cold sandwiches, wings and salads. The Taste of New York Store carries products from all over New York State. Grand Island is represented by products from Kelly's Country Store, Dick & Jenny's and Mama De's Mixing Bowl. Outside is a playground, dog park and an electric charging station.
   If you would like to have your product considered for sale in the store, click - Store Vendor Information.

Grand Island Boulevard Sidewalk Project Info. - August 2018

   A public information meeting was held for the Grand Island Boulevard Sidewalk Accessibility Project on Tuesday, August 21st at Town Hall. The area to be under construction will be Webb Road north to Fantasy Island. Information flyer. If you would like to comment on the project, you have until September 4th to do so. Comment Form.

Jacobs Asks for Toll Payers' Bill of Rights - August 2018

From left: Brianna Harrington, Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray, Mrs. Marcus Kelly, Senator Tim Kennedy, Senator Chris Jacobs, Marcus Kelly.

    Monday, August 20, 2018 (Buffalo, NY) - New York State Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD) today called on the leadership of the State Assembly to forward legislation that he co-sponsored enacting the Toll Payers' Bill of Rights to the Governor so he can immediately sign it into law.
   The legislation, which passed both houses in June, will improve the process for notifying drivers of tolls and fines incurred, ensure that fines are fair and reasonable, and prevent motor vehicle registrations from being suspended because of an outstanding bill for a cashless toll fee. Jacobs' call for immediate action was in response to growing complaints of exceptionally high fines being levied against Western New York motorists and arbitrary notification procedures.
   "The ridiculously high fees that are way beyond reason for a $1 toll violation, and arbitrary doubling of fines over and over again come across as just another unfair Albany money grab from already overburdened Western New York taxpayers," said Senator Jacobs. "We need to fix this once and for all, by putting an amnesty program in place and having the Governor sign the Toll Payers' Bill of Rights into law."
   The Senator was joined at a press conference by Buffalo residents Marcus Kelly and Brianna Harrington. Kelly was fined $153 for three trips over the bridges while Harrington was penalized $200 for four trips.
   Jacobs said he was disappointed that the Thruway Authority appears to be so tone deaf to the needs of Western New York motorists during the transition to cashless tolling. He maintained that drivers crossing the Grand Island bridges should be afforded an amnesty period just like the one used on the Tappan Zee Bridge, and any fines that ultimately get levied should be more reasonable and commensurate with the one dollar toll. He also said that the Thruway Authority's actions were another disturbing example of upstate New Yorker being treated differently than downstate.
   "I am a proponent of eliminating tolls at the Grand Island bridges, have sponsored legislation to do so, and I will continue to push for its passage" Jacobs said. "In the interim, cashless tolling was supposed to help fix the myriad of problems associated with the toll booths. Instead, the manner in which the Thruway Authority has conducted cashless tolling has caused as many headaches as it was supposed to eliminate," the Senator concluded.

Changes to Tax Exemption - August 2018

   Starting this upcoming year you must enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP) to receive the Enhanced STAR exemption—the property tax exemption for seniors. If you are 65+, this may apply to you. If you have loved ones in NYS who are 65+, please share this important information with them. More information can be found here.

Petition Cites Season Long Problems at Fantasy Island - August 2018

    A petition that is posted on www.change.org is asking that Fantasy Island Amusement Park reissue passes for the 2018 Season Pass holders for 2019. Problems cited include numerous ride closures throughout the season, wave pool was never opened, and a young, uneducated staff that did not know park rules and safety. As of today, Thursday, August 16th, over 4500 people have signed the petition. See petition.

Fall Father's Day Spectacular - August 2018

Race committee members meet at Veterans to plan event.
From left: Skip Mazenauer, Gary Roesch, Mary Ehde and Eric Berger.

    The annual Father's Day Lawnmower Race was cancelled in June due to the construction on the closed West River Parkway and the busy Little League schedule. The re-scheduled event will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Veterans Park as the "Fall Father's Day Spectacular". It will feature the Mary Dunbar - Daluisio Memorial Lawnmower Race, Kevin Doring Memorial Walk and a car show. There will also be a kid zone, food trucks, music and a 50/50 drawing. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit the Relay For Life of Grand Island. Flyer.
   Sponsors are always appreciated, if you would like to be a sponsor of the event, see flyer.

Solarize Grand Island - August 2018

   GRAND ISLAND, NY - Grand Island officials this summer have been all around town advocating for a limited time price offering to assist residents and business owners who are interested in converting to solar energy through the Solarize Grand Island program. The campaign was initiated through the efforts of the Grand Island Planning and Development Department with the support of numerous local businesses and organizations. Solarize Grand Island has awarded CIR Electrical Construction (Solar by CIR) as the local solar company that will install your solar equipment. Solar by CIR will be offering a base pricing at $2.60/watt. This price is significantly below traditional market rate pricing for solar systems in Grand Island and across the state.
    The next workshop detailing all of the information about the program will be held at 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30th, at Bogey’s at Beaver Island Golf Course, there will be refreshments and music after the solarize presentation. Please come and join us! Grand Island residents interested in taking part in the program will receive free solar evaluations, including a roof evaluation, preliminary site design, energy usage profile and financial analysis. The Solarize Grand Island campaign will not last forever, this promotion ends on September 4th, 2018. To learn more about this event or to sign up please visit, www.solarizegrandisland.org.
   Upon the successful completion of the Solarize initiative the Town of Grand Island will achieve NYSERDA's Clean Energy Community Designation. This designation recognizes communities that take action toward reducing energy consumption in their Town governments while helping the community at large benefit from access to renewable energy and reducing energy consumption in the municipality. To date Grand Island has successfully completed three of the required four High Impact Actions: Energy Benchmarking to track their current energy consumption, Energy Code Enforcement Training for the Town's Code Enforcement Officers, as well as adopting the Unified Solar Permit to streamline the permitting process for solar installations in the Town. Solarize will be their fourth completed High Impact Action and will help the town when applying for future support for sustainability initiatives. Once designated, Grand Island will receive $5,000 for their achievement.

Rabies Vaccine Air Drops - August 2018

   Rabies vaccine drops will begin on Wednesday, August 15th. The drops will be made by airplane, helicopter, and hand distribution. Air drops will take place August 15-18, helicopter drops will take place August 23-30, and hand distribution will be done throughout the month of August. Grand Island is scheduled for helicopter drops. The vaccine-filled baits look like small green packets, and should not be tampered with.

Scenic Woods Project Plans - August 2018

Parking lot area at Scenic Woods, located off of Sturbridge Lane.

    The Scenic Woods project is located on 260 acres of land located south of Ransom Road and west of East River Road. This land parcel was purchased by the Town of Grand Island in 1999. In 2010, the Town applied for Greenway funding and received a grant for $117,860. Due to lack of action, the Town had to apply again for the grant, which was approved last year. An additional $197,634 in funds was received from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which provides construction, financing, and allied services which serve the public good of New York State. The Town is also providing funds for the project and hope to have Phase 1 completed by the end of 2018. See Scenic Woods Project Overview and maps.

GI Blvd. Sidewalk Accessibility Project - August 2018

   A Public Informational Meeting regarding the Grand Island Blvd. Sidewalk Accessibility project will take place on Tuesday, August 21st at Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, 5:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m. This will be an "Open House" forum with presentation boards, visual displays and pamphlets regarding design and construction. See flyer.

Call Before You Dig - August 2018

    In recognition of National 8/11 Day on Aug. 11th, National Fuel reminds homeowners and professional contractors to Call Before You Dig.
    Before starting any excavation projects this year, call 811, a toll-free national phone number, or visit www.call811.com. New York state law requires residents and contractors to call 811 at least two but no more than 10 business days in advance of the start of their projects in order to prevent accidental damage to underground utility lines.
    The national 811 phone number connects callers with local One Call Centers. Operators record the excavation locations and notify National Fuel of callers’ plans. National Fuel then dispatches professional locators to mark the approximate locations of its lines. It's a fast, easy way to protect yourself and those around you. When a locate request for utility lines precedes an excavation, damage is avoided 99 percent of the time.
    "All excavation projects - even small or shallow digging landscaping projects like planting trees and shrubs, or installing a fence or mailbox require a call," said Emily Ciraolo, spokesperson for National Fuel. "Many of the pipeline leaks and emergencies we respond to each year occur when homeowners and businesses dig on their properties without knowing the location of underground utility lines. These types of accidents can be easily avoided by calling 811, a free service for homeowners, before digging."
    The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a national association representing the utility industry and committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure, states that:
** There are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the U.S.
** Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
**When you make the call to 811, damage occurs less than 1 percent of the time.
   As always, if you smell gas, leave fast! If a rotten-egg natural gas odor is present, leave the premises immediately and call National Fuel's emergency line, 1-800-444-3130, from a different location. If you smell gas outdoors, call National Fuel's emergency number and provide the address nearest to the site of the odor. To learn more about natural gas safety, visit www.nationalfuelgas.com/forhome/gassafety.aspx.

Buffalo Launch Club Mates Concert Fundraiser - August 2018

   The Family Justice Center opened the doors to their fourth office on June 4, 2018. Located in Grand Island, the new satellite office is currently operating from a temporary space, generously provided by Sheridan Medical Group. Although the temporary space is beautiful and suits their current needs, the hope is to raise enough funds to build a brand new office so that they can continue to provide domestic violence services to victims and survivors in Grand Island. To help reach their goal, you are invited you to attend a Buffalo Launch Club Mates sponsored Music Festival on September 2nd!
    The fundraiser will feature Absolute Journey tribute band at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 East River Road on Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $25/presale and $30/door. There will be a silent auction, 50/50, basket raffle, cash bar and food available to purchase. Get your tickets here or call the Buffalo Launch Club at 773-7629. Facebook page. Flyer.
    The Family Justice Center provides free services for domestic violence victims and their children through an extensive collaboration with several partner agencies, all located at one secured, comfortable location, where victims can get all the services they need to safely escape abuse.

World's Frst Yacht Club Pinball Tournament Coming to Grand Island - August 2018

   BUFFALO, N.Y. - On the shore of the Niagara River, the Sandy Beach Yacht Club will provide a one-of-a-kind setting for the Buffalo Pinball Summer Open '18, one of the year's biggest pinball tournaments, featuring top competitors from across the U.S. and Canada. More than 100 local, national and international competitive pinball players, including: Adam Becker, former champion of Pinburgh, the largest pinball tournament in the world, and host of the 2018 IFPA World Pinball Championships; Jack Tadman, 2018 New York State IFPA Pinball Champion; Gretchen Kamke, Buffalo resident who took 4th place in the inaugural Women's International Pinball Tournament on July 29th; Nick Lane and Kevin Manne, co-founders of Buffalo Pinball; Representatives from PAPA, the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association.
   Players will compete for cash prizes, trophies, points toward the annual Stern Pro Circuit standings and World Pinball Player Ranking points in this International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA)-endorsed event. The tournaments are open to people of all skill levels. The event will consist of four tournaments: A single, main tournament (qualifying Friday and Saturday, finals Sunday), two classics tournaments (one Friday, one Saturday), and a women's tournament (Sunday - new this year).
   The tournament will be broadcast live on the Buffalo Pinball Twitch channel and the PAPA YouTube channel. Additional attractions will include a sunset cruise from Niagara River Cruises (6-8:30 p.m. Friday), a complimentary virtual reality gaming station by GameOn LAN (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday), Anderson's food truck (4-8 p.m. Saturday), lawn games and more. For more information, visit http://www.buffalopinball.com/summeropen.
    Buffalo Pinball celebrates all things pinball in the Greater Buffalo area. Established in 2013, the goal of Buffalo Pinball is to bring together all levels of pinball aficionados, from the casual player, to the collector, to those crazy enough to drive hours away to compete in tournaments. The Stern Pro Circuit, presented by the Replay Foundation and the IFPA, is a series of 20 high-level pinball tournaments held throughout each season, starting with the 2018 season. At the end of the season, the top 40 qualifiers from throughout the circuit will be invited to the Stern Pro Circuit Final in Chicago, IL.    The tournament will take place from 10 a.m. to midnight on Aug. 17; 9 a.m. to midnight Aug. 18; 10:30 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. Aug. 19th. In addition: A pre-tournament will take place on Aug. 16; 5 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m., featuring a contest for the players with the best yacht outfit. The Sandy Beach Yacht Club is located at 1851 Winter Rd., Grand Island, NY

Motor Island Shore Protection - August 2018

   The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently directing remedial work on Motor Island (also called Pirate's Island) in the Niagara River off the shore of Beaver Island.The project involves placing rocks along the shore of the island to protect against erosion. Motor Island is home to a heron rookery, egrets, and many shallow water fish. Erosion threatens these population, so the project is designed to ensure ongoing safety of both fish and fowl.
.   All of Motor Island, including the shoreline, is off-limits to the public. Intrusion into this wildlife sanctuary can cause so much stress to nesting birds that the parents will destroy their chicks. The DEC enforces the no-trespassing rule, and issues substantial fines to violators. Boaters can view many types of wildlife from a safe distance.

Free Family Yoga at Town Commons - August 2018

    August is Family Fun month, and Soma Cura Wellness Center offers free outdoor yoga classes at the Town Commons each Thursday at 6:00 p.m. There'' a regular class and a kids class, so bring the whole family for an evening of fun physical activity. Beginners are welcome - just bring a yoga mat or beach towel and an open mind.

National Night Out Photos - August 2018


Mary Stewart Photos.

    The Town of Grand Island is hosting National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7th at the Town Commons, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The event focuses on strengthening police and community relations. Sponsored by the Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board, many enjoyed the final concert of the season, games, displays and fun.

Bike Path Bridge Repair Complete - August 2018


After; Parks Department Staff from left: Sean Pufpaff, Dave Cole, Joe Killian and Ray Billica.

Highway Department employees Mike Henderson, Ryan Ross and Jim Daluisio.

    The Town of Grand Island Parks Department closed the bridge on the linear bike path between Bedell Road and Long Road on Tuesday, August 7th and completed the renovations in one day. Thanks to the Grand Island Highway Department for the finishing touch on the linear bike path.

Grand Island Man Arrested for Threatening Congressmen - August 2018

    A Grand Island man was arrested Wednesday, August 1st for making telephone threats to two congressmen, one from Louisiana and the other from Washington. The calls were traced back to 63 year-old Carlos Bayon's home on Grand Island. See Buffalo News story by Phil Fairbanks. Additional information from The Times-Picayune regarding threat suspect. See here.

Morinello Staff to Hold August Mobile Office Hours - August 2018

   The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

15th annual SMArt Walk for a Cure - August 2018

    The 15th annual SMArt Walk for a Cure, which benefits research into Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the leading genetic cause of death for infants, takes place Saturday, August 4th in Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island. Registration is $20 and begins at 8:30 a.m. The walk, for one or three miles, starts at 10:00 a.m.. Hot dogs, snacks and water will be provided afterward. To make a donation online, search for Western New York Chapter Walk-n-Roll.

Grand Island BBQ Battle and Festival - July 2018

    Grand Island BBQ is hosting an event September 8th 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Beaver Island State Park. Grand Island BBQ Battle and Festival along with a Turtle Derby is raising funds for GI Farms, Kiwanis of GI, GI Dog Park, and Unique Theater Company. All proceeds collected at the BBQ competition and Turtle Derby will be donated to these local not-for-profit organizations. The group is looking for (2) more 501 Grand Island Organizations to participate. Email: Jenn at Mjpus_2000@yahoo.com for details to participate. See flyer.
    You can support these organizations by buying a ticket for $10 online to be a judge in the Pulled Pork Peoples Choice Competition. Local BBQ Teams will be competing for awards in 4 categories. Peoples Choice, public, (8) 2 ounce portions of pulled pork. Blind Judging will be happening throughout the afternoon where 40 judges will be judging in a closed tent area for Ribs, Coleslaw, and the Pork Chop! An awards ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m.. Pit Master Neil Gallagher with Too Sauced to Pork, will be lead organizer and judge on competition day. If you are interested in joining the competition rules and sign-ups can be found on www.GrandIslandBBQ.com.     Another fun opportunity is to adopt a Turtle online or with participating organizations for a chance to win Cash! Beaver Q race will be held in the Beaver Island Lagoon at 2:30 p.m. Please buy your turtles early as they may not be available on race day at www.GrandIslandBBQ.com Turtles are $5 or 11 turtles for $50. You will adopt your turtle and receive a ticket / receipt with your winning turtle code. All turtles will be numbered or tagged with the codes given out one week before the race. You and only you will know your number as they are generated in a lotto type system program with a company called Game Fundraising. At 2:30 p.m. on race day, all the turtles will be dumped into the Beaver Island Lagoon to waddle down to a Turtle Trap to collect them. 1st is $300, 2nd is $150, 3rd is $75. More fun prizes will be announced on race day. You can decide which organization you want to support with a drop down box online or buying tickets with that particular organization. See flyer.
    During the Festival there will also be a Craft Show, Farmers Market, Vendors, Beer Tent, Food Vendors and Bands from 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Available are 40 craft vendor spots, 40 vendor spots, and 20 Grand Island Organization spots, FREE. If you are interested in one of these spots please email Jenn at Mjpus_2000@yahoo.com, they are filling quickly! Corey McGowan Productions is organizing the food vendors for the event. Corey is offering 20 FREE Food vendor spots. Please email Corey at corey.mcgowan89@gmail.com for sign-up! All of these spots are on a first come first serve basis. We really want Grand Island to showcase.....So if you are interested sign-up quick!
   We are looking for Sponsorships to help support the event. The more sponsorships we receive the more we can give back. Help us lower our overhead costs! Our promise to any business that sponsors our event we will full endorse, promote and thank you for your sponsorship. We understand that businesses are often asked to sponsor events and funds for this can often be limited. We will go above and beyond to give recognition to your organization in supporting not only this event but Grand Island as a community! Without sponsorships we would not be able to make this large festival a reality! Gold, Silver, and Meat Sponsorship Applications can be found at www.GrandIslandBBQ.com
    This event is being organized by Grand Island BBQ, Grand Ideas for Grand Island, and Corey McGowan Productions. This collaboration of organizers mission is to give back to the community and try to get all of Grand Island involved while raising funds and have fun doing it! All information on the festival can be found on www.GrandIslandBBQ.com. Parking is FREE on event day!

Bridge on Bike Path Closing for Repairs - August 2018

   The Town of Grand Island Parks Department recently announced the bridge on the linear bike path between Bedell Road and Long Road will be closing for repairs as of Tuesday, August 7th, weather permitting. They apologize for any inconvenience.

Thunder on the Niagara Returns to Gratwick Park - July 2018

Race Schedule
    The Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association and Hydroplane Racing League of Canada are pleased to announce this year's boat racing event. Thunder on the Niagara returns to Gratwick Park, North Tonawanda on August 4 & 5, 2018. The major sponsor for the sixth year is Snyder Industries Inc.
    This year, the race is called the Darryl Monette Memorial Regatta in honor of the former Commodore of NFBRA and past APBA National Champion. Hydroplanes in many classes will race on the Niagara River in this terrific 2-day event. Racing begins both days at 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Over 70 race teams will attend with hopes of capturing class top honors, points and awards as part of the HRL racing series. These high performance craft can reach speeds of 170 mph in the Grand Prix class.
    A number of race boats and teams have WNY connections. The reigning GP HRL champion is GP 777, Steeler. Sponsored by Snyder Industries, its crew includes Islanders Gary Roesch, current NFBRA Commodore Mike Endres and Mike Geblein. The GP-50 entry of Ken Brodie Jr. has the Don Less family as integral crewmembers, assisted by Hank Armstrong, Henry Ensminger & John Neblecky.
   The 2-day event includes 25 food and craft vendors, and a gigantic car show courtesy of the Buffalo Motorama group. Skydivers will perform on Sunday and there will be a kid zone on location to entertain children. Vintage hydroplanes and Jersey speed skiffs will also run flyby laps for the fans entertainment both days. The event attracts thousands of spectators and entrants from all over the US and Canada. Guests from New Zealand and Australia are also expected.

Welcome Center Job Posting - July 2018

    Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County has multiple openings for full-time and part-time Store Clerks for the Taste NY store at the WNY Welcome Center located on Grand Island.
    The Taste NY Clerks will work under the direction and supervision of the Taste NY Market Manager and Taste NY Assistant Market Manager. Primary responsibilities include assisting with management of inventory, operation of cash register, cash controls, transportation of inventory to the store, customer service, food service and record keeping. Clerks will discuss Erie County agriculture and local foods with customers to engage them in these areas and to share information about the food and farm products sold in the store. For additional information and application instructions click here.

Beginner Disc Golf Clinic at Beaver - July 2018

   July 25, 2018...Beaver Island State Park announced today that members of the WNY Disc Golf Club will offer a clinic for beginner and recreational disc golfers looking to improve their game at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 30th at the park. The clinic will cover such things as proper ways to drive and putt as well as disc selection and course etiquette.
    Disc golf is a growing sport and is similar to golf except rather than club's players throw specially designed discs to drive from a tee and finish each hole by landing their disc in what's called a disc golf basket. The clinic will be held by the first tee, which is next to the park office and is free and open to the public. For more information visit the club's website at wnydgc.com or through Facebook at facebook.com/wnydg or contact Sam Castiglione at (716) 628-4720.

Town of Grand Island Unyts Blood Drive - July 2018

    The Town of Grand Island Highway Department, 1820 Whitehaven, is hosting a Unyts Blood Drive on Wednesday, August 1st from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Schedule an appointment by website, unytsblooddonor.org, enter sponsor code 000252 or by phone 512-7940. Photo ID is required to donate, free t-shirt for all donors.

NT Man Caught with 30 Kilos Cocaine - July 2018

    GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) - If convicted of a drug charge, a North Tonawanda man could spend the rest of his life in prison. Officials say Joel Jimenez-Rodriguez, 38, was caught with 30 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a vehicle. On Thursday evening, law enforcement officials were near Whitehaven and Baseline roads in Grand Island. Shortly before 7:30, officials say they saw a car hauler with several new-looking Toyota vehicles pull into the back parking lot of a Toyota dealership on Alvin Rd. Along with the Toyotas, the car hauler was carrying a black Mercury SUV with a Florida registration, prosecutors say. This was suspicious to officers since Toyota does not make or sell Mercury vehicles. Also, there was no nearby Mercury dealer.
   Shortly after this, officers say Jimenez-Rodriguez drove a Honda vehicle to the Toyota dealership parking lot. Two men started to unload vehicles from the car hauler as Jimenez-Rodriguez watched, they say. After the Mercury vehicle was unloaded, prosecutors say Jimenez-Rodriguez got into it and left the parking lot. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Along with a potential maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted, Jimenez-Rodriguez could also be forced to pay a $10,000,000 fine.

DEC Takes Action Against Tonawanda Coke - July 2018

    Town of Grand Island The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner issued a cease and desist order to Tonawanda Coke Corporation due to ongoing environmental violations and resident concerns. If Tonawanda Coke does not comply with the order, the DEC will revoke their air permits. Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the NYS DEC, says this action is "to prevent potential harm to its workers, surrounding community, and the environment." The DEC plans to initiate air monitoring in nearby communities.

35th Annual National Night Out! - July 2018

UPDATE: National Night Out is nationally sponsored by NATW, Dietz and Watson, Ring, Associa, Package Guard and co-sponsored locally by The Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Together, we are making that happen. Neighbors throughout Grand Island and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on their front porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and law enforcement.
   Grand Island will host nearly a dozen emergency personnel groups, as well as local community groups and organizations focusing on promoting healthy interaction within our community. Tim Hortons will be providing complimentary coffee and donuts, and there will be additional food available for purchase. Interactive displays will focus on driver safety, and there will even be a Grand Island "celebrity" dunk tank, with all donations benefitting the Grand Island Neighbor's Foundation. Dunkees include: Skip Mrkall, Deputy Highway Superintendent and GI Firefighter, Dakota Bower, GI Firefighter, Laura Estenoz, GIHS Teacher and Interact Club Advisor, Chuck Grunzweig, owner of John’s Towing, Councilman Mike Madigan, Highway Superintiendent Richard Crawford, Dr. Brian Graham, Fahim Mojawalla, Matthew Pfeil, Neil Gallagher, Liz Goss
   National Night Out 2018 will be held from 6pm until 9pm in the Town Commons (Baseline and Whitehaven Roads). Please consider bringing a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy some music, fun, and activities that will focus on keeping our entire community healthy and safe.
   The Town of Grand Island is hosting National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7th at the Town Commons, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The event focuses on strengthening police and community relations. Join the Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board for a night of fun, food, music and more. Meet the many women and men who keep our community safe, while they also show of some of their equipment! More information to come! Want to be involved or find out more? Contact Councilwoman Baney @jbaney@grand-island.ny.us.

The Future of the Water Authority - July 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    I recently travelled to New York City. While waiting for a subway train, I glanced down at the tracks. There I saw the two rails upon which the train travels and the electrified third rail which supplies power for the train's motor. People are constantly warned to avoid touching the third rail, as they will be electrocuted. The metaphor of the third rail has often been applied to political issues. On the national level, social security is commonly referred to as the third rail of American politics, as our elected leaders are afraid to touch it. Everyone knows it needs fixing. But nobody wants to go anywhere near it.
    For many years, the reform of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) has been the third rail of county politics. Everyone knows there are problems. But nobody dares touch it for fear of reprisal from party leaders. Recently, however, a series of events has focused renewed attention on the authority's operations. As a result, there is much talk of reform. Before addressing the problems at the authority, allow me to make a few observations. First, the authority is not a county department. It is a public authority created by the state, similar to the Thruway Authority or the NFTA. It also does not service the entire county. In my legislative district, only residents in the City of Tonawanda get their water from the ECWA. Grand Island and the Town of Tonawanda have their own separate water departments. Even so, allegations of politics and patronage at the authority cast a shadow over the entire county.
    In terms of its product and its service, as a customer of the ECWA I have no complaints. The water quality is good and the service is exceptional. This past winter, I marveled at the work ethic of authority's maintenance people as they fixed a large leak on my street in frigid weather. Another positive is that the authority's rates are among the lowest in the area. So, then, what is the problem? To begin, there is no denying that the authority is political. Over the years, the politically well-connected have landed plum well-paid positions in the authority's administration. A big part of the problem is that the 1949 state legislation establishing the authority injected politics into its management. It requires that no more than two of the agency's three commissioners be of the same political party.
    So now people are talking of reform. The county executive has proposed increasing the number of commissioners from three to seven. This certainly merits consideration. But we must also be open to other options. One often discussed alternative is to dissolve the authority and create a county department to administer a water district for the communities that currently rely on it. As the county executive recently noted, this can be more difficult than it seems. Questions regarding paying off authority debt, union contracts and employees' civil service status require answers. This will take time. Still, we need to explore all options as we finally address this thorny issue.
    If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

Dog Park Fundraiser- July 2018

    The Grand Island Fun Center will host a fundraiser to benefit the Grand Island Dog Park on Sunday, July 15th from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.. Print the flyer and the Fun Center will donate 30% of your sale to the Dog Park. See flyer.

3rd Annual GI Garden Walk- July 2018

Mary Stewart photos.

   The 3rd Annual Grand Island Garden Walk was on Sunday, July 8th from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Attendees picked up maps at the Town Commons Gazebo and then visited 13 different homes. Members of the Bridgeview Garden Club, Cinderella Isle Garden Club and East Park Garden Club were participants.

Fun at Town Hall Birthday Party - July 2018

Supervisor Nathan McMurray and June Justice Crawford.

   The Town Hall Birthday Bash on Saturday, July 7th was attended by residents and retired Town employees. A display of photos of the building of the new town hall fifty years ago and demolishing of the old town hall and former #9 school house will be on display in the upper lobby for the month of July. The 100 year old cupola from the old town hall will also be on display in the parking lot. Thanks to Jim Linenfelser for supplying refreshments and cake for the event. Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray greeted the guests and Historic Preservation Advisory Board member June Justice Crawford read a Town proclamation.

WNY Welcome Center Sewer Connection - July 2018

   There will be an information session regarding the Western New York Welcome Center sewer connection on the morning of Saturday, July 14 at the Grand Island Town Hall. All questions must be submitted in advance to pfrentzel@grand-island.ny.us no later than Wednesday, July 11.

SHED THE MEDS Event - July 2018

   Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, New York State Senator Chris Jacobs will be hosting a free SHED THE MEDS event where residents can safely and securely dispose of unused and unnecessary prescription medications. The drop-off will take place at Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
   The heroin epidemic has reached our streets. It is in our schools and may very well be in some of our homes. We cannot afford to ignore this public health crisis. Nearly half of the young people who inject heroin report abusing prescription painkillers first. Help us stop the epidemic by getting rid of unused, no longer needed prescription drugs that might be in your home.

Independence Day Parade Photos - July 2018

Mary Stewart Photos.

From left: Emma Hartwick, Kendall Louise Bianco & Lilian Yensan. - Photo by Wendy Bianco.

    The Independence Day Parade was HOT!

Holiday Inn Express Opens - July 2018

   "The Grand Island Supervisor's Office is proud to announce that the Holiday Inn Express, located at 2761 Long Road is now open. This property, formerly the Hooker/Dunlop building, stood vacant for over 40 years. Western New York resident Jayesh Patel, CEO of Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels, spent the past five years renovating the building and making significant improvements to the property. The Holiday Inn Express, made possible through a one million dollar Restore New York grant, is now taking room reservations at 716-775-0007. There will be a grand opening event in August."

Successful E-Waste Collection - July 2018

Photo courtesy of Jenn Jablon Pusatier.

    Pete Marston recently announced that over 58,000 pounds of e-waste was collected at the free recycling event on June 9-10th at Town Hall. Thank you to Pinto Dumpsters and Marston Power Equipment for sponsoring this event and providing residents a safe and convenient way to dispose of old electronics.

. . .

New Life Skills Summer School in Session - July 2018

From left Dick Crawford (GIAA), Cheryl Cardone - Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Ashley Digati - Administrative Intern, Kim Kalman (GIAA), Science Teacher Jeff Green with kids Aidan, Hailey & Karissa.

   Recently the Grand Island Alumni Association presented a check for $1000 to the Grand Island School District to help with expenses for a new summer program for students with disabilities. The Life Skills Summer Program has been approved by both the superintendent and school board. Students that are typically sent to the Erie 1 BOCES Summer School Program are instead being serviced right here in their home schools, either Grand Island High School or Veronica E. Connor Middle School.
   Ashley Digati is a Administrative Intern for Cheryl Cardone, Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The team of Digati, Cardone and Pat Crowley, the life skills special education teacher at the high school, put together this program in order to support the students with disabilities for their extended school year programs. Teachers are Krystina Briggs at the high school and Renee Zapp at the middle school. There are two classroom aides, Mary Jo Lasut and Joe Mesmer, and one personal aide, Debbie Beyer, in the rooms with the students as well. The teachers plan to utilize the greenhouse located in the high school courtyard daily with the help of Mary Valle, a Grand Island graduate.
    There are 16 students enrolled, eight from the middle school and eight from the high school. The schedules of the classrooms will be roughly as follows; from July 3 - August 13, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.; Monday-Thursday: Morning warm up, Math/Reading, Snack, Greenhouse, Lunch, Outside/gym/pool time, Free time. Friday will include Morning warm up, Greenhouse duties and a Field trip.

Grand Island Library Cooling Station - June 2018

    In response to the predicted heat index this weekend, the Grand Island Library will be open this weekend to allow for a cooling location should the community need it. Open hours will be as follows: Saturday, June 30th, Noon - 4:00 pm & Sunday, July 1st, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. The library is located at 1715 Bedell Rd.

Garbage/Recycle Updates - July 2018

   UPDATE: 7/2/18 - Town Council member Jennifer Baney posted the following:    " A general update, as I still receive a fair amount of calls and questions about the garbage delays, as I am sure all council members do as well. Thankfully, Republic has two new trucks now available, creating a full fleet. It takes time to train workers, but some additional staff will have completed their training by the end of this week and also the end of next week.
    The mid-week holiday will be used as a pick up day for Republic if they are behind on either Monday or Tuesday pick ups. Wednesday pick ups will be delayed one day, as will the rest of the week, so they have proactively scheduled crews for next weekend in an attempt to be current on Monday, July 9th.
   One thing you can do to help our town employees handling many of these calls is share this information with friends and neighbors that may or may not use social media. Thank you for your patience, as we work through these challenges. As stated, none of the current garbage problems have a quick solution available, but we are trying to work collaboratively and keep as many residents as informed as possible."

UPDATE: 6/28/18, 6 pm: Bedell, Baseline + side streets from Bedell to Long, Sandy Beach + south side streets, Pin Oak / Havenwood area, Amy area, and Old Carriage House / Regency area will be picked up on Thursday.
    The Town of Grand Island has received many questions about garbage/recycling pickup and contracts, so we will attempt to clarify:    Republic Services, the Town's garbage contractor, has faced truck and staff challenges this summer, resulting in pickup delays. Republic keeps the Town notified, and the Town informs residents via http://www.grandislandny.us/. . Republic has assured the Town and residents that they are activelty working to correct these issues.
    The Town's garbage/recycling contract is a 5-year contract. The current contract ends within the next year. On 6/18/18 the Town Board authorized the Town Engineer to advertise for bids for the new contract. The Engineering Department advertises for and receives all waste contract bids. Engineering then selects the contractor with the lowest bid, works with the contractor to create the contract, and recommends the contract be approved by the Town Board. The current contract was negotiated under a previous Town Engineer and previous Supervisor and approved by a previous Town Board.
   Both the Engineering Department and the Supervisor's Office hope that the current issues with Republic Services will be rectified soon. They also hope that language in the new contract can be negotiated to prevent similar issues in the future.

Morinello Staff to Hold July Mobile Office Hours - July 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Kayaking with Tina and Kelly at Beaver Island - July 2018

    Kayaking with Tina and Kelly: Smartstart Paddling Orientation classes, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in July and August, beginner classes with Tina at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 7 and 14, Aug. 18 and Sept. 1, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island. Space is limited, so sign up early. Call 282-5154 to register.

Mallwitz's 8th Annual Grand Reunion - July 2018

    Mallwitz's Island Lanes is hosting their 8th Annual Grand Reunion on Tuesday, July 3rd, starting at 6:00 p.m.. There is no cover charge and there will be drink specials and music starting at 7:00 p.m. by "Wide Right". Everyone is welcome to attend (21 and over event). Flyer

Town Hall Birthday Bash - June 2018

Old Town Hall demolition.

Back row from left: Kevin Kelly, Sean Kelly, Supervisor Nathan McMurray, Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe, Councilmen Mike Madigan & Pete Marston. Highway Department employees Dave Amato, Mike Carlson & Jeff Korzen.
Front row: Maureen Knight (Kelly's Country Store), HPAB members Sharon Nichols, Shirley Luthor, Carolyn Doebert, Joe Macaluso, June Crawford, Councilwoman Jennifer Baney.
Click above photo for larger view.

    The Town of Grand Island will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "new" Town Hall this year. A birthday bash is planned for Saturday, July 7th at 1:00 p.m. in the upper lobby, with a display of photos, short program and cake! The cupola came from the "old" Town Hall, which was built in 1918 as a two-room school. With the opening of Charlotte Sidway School in 1937, it became the Grand Island Town Hall.
   The cupola is owned by Kelly's Country Store. Grandfather Walt Kelly saved it from the wrecking ball in 1968 and moved it to their property on Grand Island Blvd. Also at that location is the #5 one-room school house, believed to have been built in the 1870's.
    Thanks to Highway Department employees who moved the cupola in March from a berm at the back of the Kelly property, out to the parking lot. They then made a platform to place the structure on and brought it to Town Hall this week. On Wednesday, June 20th, members of the Kelly family, HPAB (Historic Preservation Advisory Board) and Town officials met to promote the upcoming event. Efforts will begin to restore both the cupola and schoolhouse in the coming months. Watch for the cupola in the July 4th parade! Publicity banners provided by Supervisor McMurray.

BlueRock Solar Information Sessions - June 2018

    BlueRock Solar will be holding two informational sessions on community solar energy and what it has to offer. BlueRock's latest community solar project in Grand Island (adjacent to Route I90 North) is going to be begin construction soon. The 18-acre solar array will be the second largest community solar installation project in New York and will power up roughly 300 homes and businesses. The project will consist of approximately 6,000 solar panels.
    During the meeting, BlueRock Solar representatives will be available to answer any questions about community solar. Refreshments will be provided at both meeting. On Monday, June 25th, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM - Crazy Jakes (26 Webster St, North Tonawanda, NY 14120). On Wednesday, June 27th, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Lackawanna Public Library (560 Ridge Rd, Lackawanna, NY 14218)
    BlueRock Solar is the solar division of BlueRock Energy, a total energy solutions provider of utility products and services, located in Syracuse, New York. BlueRock Energy is a privately held New York based energy solutions company with over 20,000 customers in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

3rd Annual Grand Island Garden Walk - June 2018

    The 3rd Annual Grand Island Garden Walk is Sunday, July 8th from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The event is free and maps are available at the Town Commons Gazebo, 2255 Baseline Road. Website: www.grandislandgardenwalk.com.

Welcome Center Information - June 2018

    Grand Island Town Hall recently released this informational flyer regarding the Welcome Center under construction at Alvin and Whitehaven Roads.

Debbie Bastian Studios Spring Piano Recital - June 2018

    Debbie Bastian Studios hosted their annual Spring Piano Recital on Monday, June 11th. The recital was at St. Timothy's Church on Staley Road and featured fifteen students selected music. See program here.
    "Thank you to St. Timothy Lutheran church for letting us use their beautiful sanctuary tonight. Most of Debbie's students are residence of Grand Island and enjoy coming for weekly lesson with Debbie through out the year. Debbie would also like to thank her assistant teacher, Vanessa VanNorman, for all her hard work."

Health and Wellness Open House - June 2018

    People Inc. Marigold Senior Living is hosting a "Health and Wellness Open House" on Friday, June 22nd, 2018. It is located at the People Inc. Marigold Senior Living Apartments at 3026 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island, NY 14072. The event is set to start at 9:00 a.m. and will be available to the public until 3:00 p.m.
    Numerous activities will be available at the free Health and Wellness Open House event. Mammography Screening will be provided by Windsong Radiology and appointments are encouraged. To make an appointment, call 716-929-9494.
    Compliments of Grand Island Chiropractic, the following will be provided: Chiropractic mini evaluations, five-minute chair massages and acupuncture information.
    Island Prescription Center will provide blood pressure and glucose screenings. Additionally, staff from People Inc. Senior Companion and Senior Outreach information will be available to share information and answer questions. The Andersons Food Truck will also be onsite (prices may vary). Attendees will have a chance to win a Wegmans $30 gift card.
    Seniors and their families are encouraged to attend the event as apartment tours will be provided. People Inc. Marigold Senior Living apartments are for independent older adults age 62 and over who are income eligible. Two benefits of People Inc. Marigold Senior Living are the affordability and safety features. Registration encouraged. To RSVP or for more information, call 716-773-0907.

Grand Island Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony - June 2018

Dr. Stacey Schroeder-Watt.

Brett Kern.

From left: Middle School Principal Mr. John Fitzpatrick, Schroeder-Watt, Kern & School Superintendent Brian Graham

    The Grand Island Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, June 1st at the Grand Viking Theater at Grand Island High School. Two programs were held, one for the middle school and the other for the high school. Inducted into the program were, 1992 graduate Dr. Stacey Schroeder-Watt, 2004 graduate Brett Kern and 1995 graduate Dipak Srinivasan.
   Dr. Schroeder-Watt was ranked number one in the United States in the discus event for high school, was two time All-American at University of Florida, and went on to get her medical degree from Syracuse. She is currently the chief of anesthesiology at Kaleida Health, Program Director of the UB Anesthesiology Residency Program, and Program Director of the Pediatric and Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship Training Program.
    Brett Kern played high school football as a punter, was named All-New York State as a senior and after graduation from University of Toledo, won the starting punter job for the Denver Broncos. He has been with the Tennessee Titans since 2009. Brett made the Pro Bowl this year and invited two of his Grand Island High School football coaches (Mike Stauffer & Steve Steck) to the game.
    The third inductee is Dipak Srinivasen, unable to attend due to work with Space Exploration at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dipak has worked on missions to Mercury and Pluto, among others. and is currently lead communications engineer for NASA's Europ Clipper mission. He sent in a video describing some of his projects and thanks to the Grand Island schools and community.
   See awards program for greater detail.

DeGlopper Memorial Park Expansion Fundraiser - June 2018

    This Saturday, June 9th, the DeGlopper Memorial Expansion Committee along with the VFW Post 9249, the American Legion and the Grand Island Moose Lodge will be holding a fundraiser and raffle at the VFW Post, 2121 Grand Island Blvd.
    Doors will open at 12PM, raffles will begin at 1:30 p.m. Raffle tickets can be purchased in advance at Certified AutoBrokers, next to Tim Hortons, 1693 Grand Island Blvd. There will be some raffle tickets available at the door. Raffle tickets are $30, Burgers, Beer and soda will be included all day with your $30 dollar donation.
    Ducks Unlimited has donated a wide variety of awesome items for the raffle! You don't want to miss this one!! See you there...

WWII Aircraft Flyover - June 2018

    Tomorrow, June 7th at 12:55 p.m., watch for the National Warplane Museum's World War II aircraft flyover.There will be four aircraft, a C-47, B-17, P-51 and a Corsair.

Garbage Update by Jen Baney - June 2018

    Wednesday, June 6th...Garbage should be caught up by Thursday evening.
    Monday, June 4th...Much of the scheduled Monday routes remain, leaving them behind one day in some areas. These areas include Staley Rd to Baseline and south to Love and Fix, and the southern part of West River. Additionally, northern West River from Long to Staley, 1st-6th streets, and that associated portion of Whitehaven, as well as Westwood and Sunset still need pick up.
    Most days they have two trucks on the Island. Tomorrow, they will start the day at 7am tackling what remains of the Monday route with three trucks, and add a fourth truck that will become available at 12pm. They are hopeful this will allow them to hopefully finish the Tuesday routes and catch up by midweek. If your street was not mentioned and concerns remain, you are welcome to contact their standard customer service number at 716-614-3333 or use their local dispatch number which is 716-614-3385. The entire Republic team passes along their apologies for this situation. Jen Baney - Town Council

Free Public Sunscreen Dispensers - June 2018

    Roswell Park along with IMPACT Melanoma, a non-profit aimed at providing education, prevention, and support for the most serious form of skin cancer, has provided 4 sunscreen dispensers to the Town of Grand Island for public use, as part of the nonprofit's Practice Safe Skin program.
    The dispensers have been installed at Veteran's Park and are now available for public use. The specially designed dispensers, which are being purchased and installed across the country, are part of Practice Safe Skin, a program that offers sunscreen as an effective preventive measure to help avoid sun over-exposure year-round. Each sunscreen dispenser is equipped with sunscreen that contains an all-natural blend of 6% zinc and 6% titanium SPF-30 sunscreen, safe for people aged 6-months and up. Ingredients are printed on the dispenser.
    The sunscreen dispensers were donated in memory of David Petit, a long-time resident of Grand Island who died in 2008 at the age 55 after a two-year battle with melanoma. At the time of his diagnosis, doctors at Rowell Park explained that this deadly form of skin cancer was likely caused by sun damage that occurred when he was a child. His family hopes that making sunscreen readily available will raise awareness about skin cancer, believing that if even one person is spared from a future diagnosis of melanoma, then their efforts were well worth it.
    A recent study from The University of Colorado cited this program as an influencing force behind the decrease in melanoma rates in the Northeast. Melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer with one person every 50 minutes dying from the disease. Studies show that with daily sunscreen protection, the risk of melanoma is preventable.
    In response to the Surgeon General's 2014 Call to Action to address skin cancer as a major public concern, IMPACT Melanoma and partner Bright Guard, launched a pilot program called Practice Safe Skin during the summer 2015 to donate free sunscreen throughout Boston parks and Massachusetts beaches at no cost to taxpayers. Following the success of the pilot program, the Practice Safe Skin initiative is expanding to offer cities and businesses across the country the ability to purchase and provide this public safety program.
    IMPACT is a national non-profit organization dedicated to working to reduce the incidence of melanoma. Committed to skin cancer prevention and early detection, we provide a variety of award-winning programs which aim to raise awareness and educate the public about skin cancer, as well as support services for those struggling with the disease.

Bird Walk at Buckhorn - June 2018

    Join us for a morning walk at Buckhorn Island State Park, on Grand Island, Saturday, June 9, 8:30 - 10:30 am. Meet at the Buckhorn parking lot on East River Road, across from the canoe/kayak launch. Jajean Rose-Burney, from the Western New York Land Conservancy, will be our guide. We are likely to see water birds, nesting song birds and raptors. Bring binoculars and dress appropriately. Paths could be muddy. Conservation Advisory Board is the sponsor. No charge. Families welcome. Questions call Diane Evans at 774-0074.

Morinello Staff to Hold June Mobile Office Hours - May 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Family Justice Center Opens GI Office - May 2018

   The Family Justice Center now has a new location on Grand Island. The temporary office will become the permanent location with a building addition. It is located in the MOG Building, 1801 Grand Island Blvd. Suite 3. Hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please help spread the word and watch for community announcements to help with the buildout.
   The Family Justice Center provides free services for domestic violence victims and their children through an extensive collaboration with several partner agencies, all located at one secured, comfortable location, where victims can get all the services they need to safely escape abuse. 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline for Erie County is 862-4357 and for shelter, 884-6000.

Memorial Day Photos - May 2018

Gold Star Mothers Mary Ann Crowe and Shirley Luther.

Kester Bleich family.

VFW Honor Guard.

From left: Supervisor Nathan McMurray and guest speaker Lt. Namon R. Dimitroff, U.S. Coast Guard

Presentation of Memorial Wreath, from left: Ray DeGlopper - American Legion, Mike Cutini - VFW.

Mary Stewart Photos
    The Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 28th was well attended, under sunny skies. Memorial Day is celebrated in honor of the men and women who have given their lives for our country. Seventeen Grand Island residents gave their lives in defense of our country since World War II.

DeGlopper Memorial Park Receives $100K Grant - May 2018

   A story published in the Buffalo News on May 29, 2018 by Nancy A. Fischer, reports the DeGlopper Memorial Park at Baseline and Grand Island Blvd. is receiving a state grant of $100,000, to be used towards construction of a sculpture of WWII hero Charles N. DeGlopper. State Sen. Chris Jacobs made the announcement on Monday, May 28th at the Grand Island Memorial Day Ceremony. See story.

Solarize Grand Island Launch - May 2018

    Saturday, May 12th the Town of Grand Island held a Solarize Grand Island launch at the Town Hall. There was a lot of interest in going solar with 62 people in attendance. The main focus of the campaign was NYSERDA's educational program for rooftop solar installations. Councilwoman Beverly Kinney, Team leader of 'Solarize Grand Island' started off the program by introducing the large diverse Solarize Team of community leaders. Bev spoke of why she thought so many people stepped up to help. "Sure they care about cheaper power, don’t we all? But, I don't believe that is the only reason why these volunteers are taking time away from their families & jobs and are dedicating a whole summer to this program. They Care! They want to leave Grand Island a better place for their children and grand children. They want to leave the air, water and the soil cleaner for the next generation."
    Councilwoman, Jennifer Baney said, "There is an understandable fear when it comes to roof-mounted solar panels and the installation. People hesitate because of their inability, due to time or resources to properly vet a company. That is the core of Solarize." The Solarize Team, learned about solar panels quite intensively and through a competitive RFP process, proposals were submitted, and they were able to take unbiased evaluations from NYSERDA and their own interviews of the companies to doubly vet the chosen installer. And when you throw in discounts due to state and federal grants, as well as incentives based on income and the campaign itself, it is a wonderfully safe and well-vetted path to use. Through the educational program of NYSERDA the plan is to educate the public to better understand solar so they can make the best possible choice for their needs.
    Bev and Jenn both agree that it has been rewarding to serve on the Solarize Grand Island campaign team. "At the core, it is a terrific example of one of the joys of serving as public officials... the chance to make a significant difference in the lives of our citizens, we think one of the additionally rewarding parts of the process thus far as been the collaborative efforts of our team. Our Meetings, which have been frequent, have been focused, civil, and effective. A local representative, Jason Kulaszewski, Clean Energy Coordinator, from the UB Regional Institute has commented on the effectiveness, as a short term campaign such as this requires all hands on deck, but also all of them pulling in the same direction. When you hear from those on the outside that your team stands out, it's reassuring. We are not surprised we were the first community to have a Solarize campaign begin this calendar year, while securing a promotional grant as well."
    If anyone is thinking about going solar, consider heading out to one of the events this summer, if you want to find out more. The website www.solarizegrandisland.org will have a calendar listing everywhere that an installer and committee representatives will be. The next event will be at the Town Cafe, a free event on Monday, June 11th at 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Solar by CIR, the designated solar company for the campaign, will be present for a short presentation and the options to sign up for a free evaluation. Light refreshments and pizza & wings will be served.

E-Waste (electronics) Disposal Collection Scheduled - May 2018

E-Waste Items Accepted
    BIG news! Grand Island Councilman Pete Marston and Pinto Dumpsters are teaming up to bring a free E-Waste (electronics) disposal collection weekend here on Grand Island. Collection will be June 9th and 10th in the parking lot at Town Hall. Residents, this is your chance for proper disposal at a nearby location. Official hours to come.They need volunteers who are able to lift 5-20lbs. If yourself, your family, or your organization is willing to help for an hour or two, please email ewynne@grand-island.ny.us.

Nike Base Rehab Unlikely - May 2018

    A Buffalo News story by Nancy A. Fischer reports findings from asbestos expert Bill Schaab may make rehabbing the community room at the Nike Base implausible. The $210,000 state dormitory grant already received would not be enough to cover even the most basic repairs. Story.

Garbage/Recycling Delays - May 2018

   The Town of Grand Island announced residents may encounter delays in their garbage and recycling pickups do to truck fire and driver medical emergency. Republic will attempt to catch up ASAP.

DEC Reminds Public of Turtle Movement - May 2018

    New York motorists encouraged to safely move turtles to side of road. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on Tuesday, May 22nd, reminded the public that the state's native turtles are on the move in May and June, seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. Drivers that see a turtle on the road should use caution - not swerve suddenly or leave their lane of travel - and take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving.
   In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles while migrating to nesting areas. New York's 11 native species of land turtles are in decline, and turtles can take more than 10 years to reach breeding age. The reptiles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local turtle population.
   This time of year, it is especially important to be on the lookout for turtles and to drive cautiously, particularly on roads near rivers and marshy areas. If a turtle is spotted on the road or near the shoulder, drivers should safely stop their vehicle and consider moving the turtle to the side of the road in the direction the reptile is facing. Drivers should only stop and move turtles when it safe to do so and should never put themselves, their passengers, or others at risk. Most turtles can be picked up by the side of their shells. Do not pick up a turtle by its tail. Picking the turtle up by its tail may frighten or injure the reptile.
    It's important to use extreme caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick the turtle up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands, or slide a car mat under the turtle to drag the turtle across the road. Do not take native turtles into personal possession. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be collected without a permit. Snakes can sometimes also be seen crossing or basking on the road. If safe to do so, please slow down and steer around them. For more information on protecting turtles and other reptiles, visit DEC's website.

Erie County Hazardous Waste Collection Day - May 2018

   Erie County Hazardous Waste Collection Day is Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 3978 Abbott Rd., across from New Era Field. Open from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., please allow one hour to be unloaded. Check the flyer to see which items are accepted and not accepted. This is a free event and only residential household waste are accepted.

Memorial Day Ceremony - May 2018

   The Town of Grand Island Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park on Monday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m. The park is located at the intersection of Baseline Road and Grand Island Blvd. The guest speaker will be Lt. Namon R. Dimitroff, U.S. Coast Guard. See flyer.

Grand Island Dog Park Meat Raffle - May 2018

    The Grand Island Dog Park will be hosting a Meat Raffle on Sunday, June 3rd at Ellden's at River Oaks. Doors open at 12:00 and first spin is at 1:00 p.m. Pre-sale tickets and table reservations are available by calling Pam at 716-773-9465. Tickets are $7.00 and include beer, wine, soda and one slice of pizza. Limited seating, get your tickets early. Flyer.

Thunder on the Niagara Returns to Gratwick Park - May 2018

    The Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association and Hydroplane Racing League of Canada are pleased to announce this year's boat racing event. Thunder on the Niagara returns to Gratwick Park, North Tonawanda on August 4 & 5, 2018. The major sponsor for the sixth year is Snyder Industries Inc.
    This year, the race is called the Darryl Monette Memorial Regatta in honor of the former Commodore of NFBRA and past APBA National Champion. Hydroplanes in many classes will race on the Niagara River in this terrific 2-day event. Racing begins both days at 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Over 70 race teams will attend with hopes of capturing class top honors, points and awards as part of the HRL racing series. These high performance craft can reach speeds of 170 mph in the Grand Prix class.
    A number of race boats and teams have WNY connections. The reigning GP HRL champion is GP 777, Steeler. Sponsored by Snyder Industries, its crew includes Islanders Gary Roesch, current NFBRA Commodore Mike Endres and Mike Geblein. The GP-50 entry of Ken Brodie Jr. has the Don Less family as integral crewmembers, assisted by Hank Armstrong, Henry Ensminger & John Neblecky.
   The 2-day event includes 25 food and craft vendors, and a gigantic car show courtesy of the Buffalo Motorama group. Skydivers will perform on Sunday and there will be a kid zone on location to entertain children. Vintage hydroplanes and Jersey speed skiffs will also run flyby laps for the fans entertainment both days. The event attracts thousands of spectators and entrants from all over the US and Canada. Guests from New Zealand and Australia are also expected.

New Solar Options on Grand Island - May 2018

   The Solarize Grand Island program is "designed to reduce the price of solar for Grand Island residents and businesses through group purchasing of solar installations between May 12 and September 3, 2018." See website. The informational seminar will be Monday, June 11th.
   Blue Rock Solar is offering solar electricity produced on Grand Island. The kilowatt hour credits purchased with your subscription "will be able to offset all kilowatt hour supply and delivery charges on your utility bill. The amount you will pay per kilowatt hour will be 5% less than the current delivery rates." Contracts are 1,2 or 3 years. You are not eligible if you already have a solar energy system on your property. website.

Open Burning Law - May 2018

   The Town of Grand Island recently posted the following:
    Campfires of clean wood or charcoal under three feet tall and four feet wide are permitted from May 15 to March 15. The burning of leaves or other waste (including yard waste such as trimmings and plant matter) is not permitted anywhere in New York State. More information can be found online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html. These regulations are created and enforced by the DEC, not by the Town of Grand Island. Please contact the DEC with questions or concerns.

West River Trail Update - May 2018

   From the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
   "As you know, work is underway to build the West River Connector Trail. While we fully appreciate that this is the time of year to enjoy all the recreational opportunities living on Grand Island provides, it is very important that you do not enter the Construction Zone Area which is defined by the entire eight miles of the previous West River Parkway and the adjacent greenspace.
    Motorized vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians are prohibited from entering the area. We currently anticipate a Fall completion but are told that if we can keep people from using the new trail, the contractor can complete the work sooner. Additionally, any mowing of this greenspace is prohibited which is along the parkway and river is part of the construction zone area. The NYS DOT will be out to mow for this summer and once the project is complete, State Parks will assume all maintenance duties along the West River Connector Trail."
Frequently Asked Questions.
   For more information visit https://parks.ny.gov/inside-our-agency/public-documents.aspx and scroll to the bottom of the page.

River Road On-Ramp Detour - May 2018

   The River Road on-ramp to the South Grand Island Bridge will be shut down on Tueday, May 15th for approximately four weeks. Check map above for detour.

Temporary Road Closing - May 2018

   West River Road will be temporarily closed from Oakfield east to the Beaver Island Park roundabout beginning Friday, May 11th.

Video Production Services Wanted - May 2018

    The Town of Grand Island is seeking statements of Qualificaton and Experience for Video Production Services, to develop economic development marketing videos about Grand Island. See details. Submission deadline is Friday, June 1, 2018.

Jacobs Letter asking for Traffic Impact Study - May 2018

    Senator Chris Jacobs recently sent a letter to Rose Harvey, Commissioner, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, asking for a traffic impact study to be conducted by the State DOT along West River Road. See letter.

Morinello May Mobile Office Hours - May 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, May 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

2018 Comprehensive Master Plan - May 2018

    The 2018 Comprehensive Plan update is almost complete. Hard copies are available for viewing at Grand Island Memorial Library, Golden Age Center, and Town Clerk's Office. To access the online version, visit here. A public hearing will be held at the Grand Island High School auditorium on Tuesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. All comments and feedback will be accepted at this time. Communications regarding the Comprehensive Plan can be sent to mp@grand-island.ny.us.

West River Path Progress - May 2018

Gravel path at Whitehaven Overlook.

North end of West River Parkway.

    As of Wednesday, May 2nd, work on the West River Path was progressing. The northern most end had a heavy equipment machine digging up the concrete parkway. At the north and south ends of the Whitehaven overlook, gravel paths were seen from the "old road" to the former parkway. There were also gravel paths at the southern end that led from Alt Road and Legion Drive to the former parkway. The grass is also cut, not sure when that happened.

Thank A Vet Program - May 2018

    The Erie County Clerk's office "Thank A Vet" program offers dicount cards with significant benefits from over 1,400 Erie County Businesses. Criteria is: you must be an Erie County resident; you must be an honorably discharged veteran from any branch of service in the United States Armed Forces, you must bring your official original discharge papers (no copies), An outreach event will take place at the VFW Post 9249, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. See Flyer.

2nd Annual Linda Basta Memorial Charity Walk - May 2018

    The 2nd Annual Linda Basta Memorial Charity Walk will take place on Saturday, June 2nd at Veterans Park at 9:00 a.m. Proceeds from this year's event will go to the outpatient care of local children suffering from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Christina Podlucky started the walk in honor of her mother who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1997, and died in 2014. Register here. If you would like to become a sponsor of the event, register by May 9th to get your name on the t-shirt. Sponsor Letter.     Charity Walk Flyer.

Grand Island Half Marathon & 10K - May 2018

UPDATE: Portions of South Parkway south of Fix Road into Beaver Island Park will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 5th, for the Greater Buffalo Track Club Half Marathon. Please avoid the area or drive with caution and heed police traffic direction.
    The Greater Buffalo Track Club's 24th Annual Grand Island Half Marathon and 10K will be held Saturday May 5th at Beaver Island from 9am until noon. If you are interested in running or volunteering, more details can be found at https://www.greaterbuffalotrackclub.com/gi-half-marathon-10k . Please note: This years event was re-routed due to the closure of the West River Parkway. The race will begin and end within Beaver Island State Park but runners will be using the bike path that runs along the east side of South Parkway. The section south of Fix Road into Beaver Island Park as well the right northbound lane of South Parkway will be closed from 8:30am until 11:15am. If you plan to be in this area at that time please heed police and volunteer traffic control and be mindful of pedestrian runners.

Disaster Preparedness with Rev. amos acree - April 2018

    Unique and Vital Role of Faith Communities in Disasters at Riverside Salem UCC/DC, 3449 West River Road, on Sunday, April 29th from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. (+ potluck). Understanding and recognizing sanctity of all life; advocate for equitable allocation of resources to those in need; as centers of community activity, natural to be centers of disaster response; acting out God's compassion for the dispossessed; unique role in Long-Term Recovery.
    Rev. amos acree, RN. Retired UCC/DC pastor; Member National Leadership Team, UCC Faith Community Nurse Network; former coordinator of NY Conference UCC Disaster Response Team; member - WNY VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Acting in Disasters). WNY resident most of adult life. Supporting member - Riverside Salem UCC/DC.

Establishing Habitats to Support Wildlife - April 2018

    On Sunday, May 6, 2018, Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment will host a 60-minute presentation on how to establish habitats that support wildlife (birds,pollinators, insects and amphibians). The event takes place at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Flyer.

Annual Village Inn Golf Tournament - April 2018

    The Annual Village Inn Golf Tournament will take place on Thursday, May 17th at Beaver Island Golf Course starting at noon. Reservations for first 7-foursomes, $2 reservation fee and $10 to Village Inn for refreshments, per person. Contact Gary Roesch c- 583-7969 or email groesch@gtsupplies.com.

New Food and Beverage Options this Summer at Beaver Island State Park - April 2018

    The Niagara Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that two temporary permits have been awarded for food and beverage operations at the Beaver Island Golf Course clubhouse and the beach snack stand this summer.
    Montana International, LLC, owned by Cyndy Montana, will operate Bogey's in the new clubhouse adjacent to the golf course. Bogey's will serve breakfast items, hot dogs, burgers, chicken sausage, wraps and wings as well as beer, wine and spirits throughout the golf season from 6:30 am until dark. The restaurant will open on April 26 when the course opens but will be holding a grand opening in May.
    The Original Fun-B-Que Inc., owned by Nadine Jones, will be providing beachgoers "beach food" such as fresh squeezed lemonade, smoothies, hotdogs, fries, pulled pork, Philly cheese steaks, nachos, ice cream and more throughout the summer when the beach is open. She will also carry various beach novelties and necessities.
    "We are excited to welcome Nadine and Cyndy to our Beaver Island State Park family and are pleased to offer our patrons unique dining options while enjoying all that Beaver Island has to offer," said Mark W. Thomas, Western District Director for State Parks. Both operators will operate through the 2018 season.

Weekend Lane Reduction on North Bridge - April 2018

    All Southbound Traffic Will Be Shifted to Northbound Span 10 p.m. Friday, April, 27, through 9 a.m. Sunday, April 29.
    The New York State Thruway Authority announced a weekend lane reduction on the North Grand Island Bridge on the Niagara Thruway (I-190) beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, April, 27, through 9 a.m. Sunday, April 29. The work is part of the toll barrier removal process following the successful transition to cashless tolling at the Grand Island toll plazas in March.
    During this time period, all southbound traffic will be shifted to the northbound span, creating a single lane of travel in each direction. Overhead lane designation signals will be used to safely direct traffic over the bridge. Traffic seeking to enter I-190 south at exit 21 (Niagara Scenic Parkway and Buffalo Avenue) will be detoured northbound to exit 23 (Porter Road - Packard Road) where signs will be posted for motorists to reenter I-190 south. Motorists should expect delays during peak travels times.
    Contractors will be performing pavement removal at the base of the North Grand Island Bridge approaching the southbound Grand Island toll plaza and installing full-depth asphalt pavement for the new mainline alignment. The weekend lane reduction will reduce the number of disruptions and lane shifts that would otherwise be necessary to safely remove and reconfigure the highway and result in a higher quality, longer lasting roadway.
    Drivers are strongly urged to use caution around the toll plazas during this time as it will be an active construction zone. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll plazas will be 20 MPH. The temporary traffic pattern for the North Grand Island Bridge can be found here. The temporary traffic pattern for the South Grand Island Bridge can be found here. All work is weather permitting. A rain date for the closure will be announced if necessary.

7th Consecutive Year for Music Honor - April 2018

   For the seventh consecutive year, the Grand Island Central School District Music Department has been selected by the National Association of Making Music Foundation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States for 2018.
    The Grand Island Music Department has long held a tradition of excellence in music education through the support of our administration, our Board of Education, and most importantly our community members. The excellence of the department is evidenced by the large number of students participating in the various musical ensembles at all grade levels, and the large number of students selected to participate in ECMEA All-County, NYSSMA Area All-State, NYSSMA Conference All-State, NAfME National Conferences, Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra (GBYO), and other honors ensembles.
   The Music Department actively participates in the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA), the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and the Buffalo Philharmonic Educational Concert Series.

Grand Island School Resource Officers Start Work - April 2018

    A Buffalo News article by Nancy A. Fischer introduces the new Grand Island School Resource Officers. Island residents, Frank McNamara and Michael Paternostro share a similar background; large families with children having attended Grand Island schools and both retired police officers. See article.

Solarize Grand Island Campaign Kick-off - May 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018...See Flyer.
   The Town of Grand Island will be taking part in a Solarize Grand Island Campaign, a program that makes investing in solar power easier and more affordable for local residents and businesses. The Solarize Grand Island campaign will launch Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon. Residents and business owners can attend events learn about the program, talk to local installers, and find out if solar is the right fit for them. After a thorough pre-qualification process, Solarize Grand Island will select a designated solar installer to work with residents throughout the campaign. Residents and businesses who sign up for solar installations by the fall deadline will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. Historically, Solarize campaigns can lower the cost of solar up to 20 percent.
   New York State's Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helps make the transition to solar easier and more affordable by supporting locally-organized community campaigns aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to invest in solar. NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
   The Town of Grand Island has been working to complete High Impact Actions associated with NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities initiative. The Solarize Grand Island campaign will help Grand Island achieve NYSERDA's Clean Energy Community designation while making solar energy more accessible to Grand Islanders. Solarize Grand Island will be supported by NYSERDA under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative. NY-Sun will invest up to $1 billion in solar power through 2023 to significantly expand solar installations across the State, ultimately allowing New York's solar industry to become self-sustaining.    The Solarize Grand Island Team is excited by the enthusiasm for the upcoming campaign and is grateful to have a dedicated committee of community leaders and residents who are committed to clean energy initiatives.    The campaign kick-off will be held in the courtroom at Town Hall on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Details will be posted on the Town website. The campaign is led by Councilwoman Bev Kinney. Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe and Councilwoman Jennifer Baney are vice leads. Committee members include Jennifer Peresie, Economic Development Advisory Board; Paul Leuchner, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Diane Evans and Jeff Green, Conservation Advisory Board; Roger Cook, community leader; Bryce Shipman, local farmer; Celia Spacone, retired Executive Director of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center; Cyndy Montana, former Assistant to the Supervisor; and Jennifer Jablon Pusatier, Chamber of Commerce. Technical support provided by Ron Milks and Bill Shaw, Code Enforcement Department; Lynn Dingey and Chris Dann, Engineering Department.

Free Tree Giveaway - April 2018

   Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 11am - 2pm
    Cornell Cooperative Extension in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the WNY Forest Pest Taskforce, is making 250 'two gallon' potted trees available free of charge to western New York residents. The yard trees include: Red Maple, River Birch, White Oak, Red Oak, Red Bud and Hackberry species. The tree distribution will take place in Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo (25 Cazenovia St., Buffalo, NY 14220), follow signs to the Casino building. Trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One tree per household.
   The Buffalo area Tree Recovery event, a partnership between the National Arbor Day Foundation and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, targeted the Buffalo area for the tree giveaway due to the loss of many mature Ash Trees, destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer. Additional project partners include Buffalo Olmsted Parks, the City of Buffalo, and the Buffalo Green Fund and their CommuniTree Steward Project. Corporate sponsors such as FedEx and Tru Green support the Arbor Day Foundation in these community events.

Dave Whitney Saves Three Endangered Loons - April 2018

Found on Baseline Road. - Photo by Dave Whitney.

Found in Buckhorn. - Correction- Photo by Joe Mash.

   UPDATE: Town of Grand Island Water Department employee Dave Whitney saved three loons on Thursday, April 19th, after they became disoriented. One was found injured on Baseline near Webb Road after being hit by a car. One was found on the side of the road in Buckhorn, and a third on Ransom Road. Once loons land on land, they cannot take off, as their legs are at the rear of their body. They need to be able to dive up to 20 feet underwater so they can launch out of the water and take off. The DEC picked up the birds. Tom Burke informed me that this is the peak of migration and 11 loons were seen in Ferry Village and six at Beaver Island yesterday.

13th Annual Paddles Up Niagara - April 2018

    The 13th Annual Paddles Up Niagara will take place on Saturday, July 28th at Beaver Island State Park. Group paddles are at 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Food trucks, beer tent, vendors. Register online or by mail starting Mary 11th. See flyer.

Shoreline Cleanup Planned - April 2018

   The Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper shoreline cleanup will take place on Grand Island, Saturday, April 21st at Spicer Creek, located just north of Whitehaven Road. Volunteers are welcome and should arrive at 9:45 a.m. to sign in, complete a waiver and get gloves and garbage bags. You can also pre-register at Buffalo Niagra Waterkeeper's website, bnwaterkeeper.org. The cleanup is from 10:00 a.m. - noon.

Alvin Road Closure - April 2018

   Grand Island Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford has announced the reconstruction of Alvin Road from Whitehaven Road to the Fuccillo Chevrolet main driveway is scheduled. The project will take several weeks to complete and will close Alvin from Whitehaven to Baseline Road from 9:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m., starting Monday, April 23rd.

McMurray Congressional Campaign Money - April 2018

    A story in the Buffalo News by Jerry Zremski on April 17, 2018, points out Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray has raised less campaign money since he entered the race on January 14th, then the four others that have dropped out. See story.

Signs Up to Close West River Parkway - April 2018

    A Buffalo News article by Nancy A. Fischer published April 10, 2018, announced that work has begun to close the West River Parkway as of Monday, April 16th. See article.

DeGlopper Named to All American Hall of Fame - April 2018

Charles N. DeGlopper

   Joe Synakowski pointed out a story from a Fayettville Observer article...
   Ft. Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division plans to honor the heroes of its past this year with a new All American Hall of Fame. An introductory class will be unveiled during the division's annual All American Week in May, according to spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino. The class will be announced April 17. Buccino said the first class will include 10 to 20 veterans. They will be enshrined at the division's Hall of Heroes on May 23, the same day of the 82nd Airborne Division Memorial.
    Officials have already announced some of the honorees, which will include two former division commanders - Lt. Gen. James 'Jumpin' Jim Gavin and Gen. Matthew Ridgway - and all seven of the division's Medal of Honor recipients. Grand Island Medal of Honor recipient Charles N. DeGlopper will be in the first class. DeGlopper received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. After engaging the Germans in a one-man firefight, allowing soldiers in his battalion to retreat, DeGlopper was killed Buccino said the goal is to honor legendary figures who have made an extraordinary impact inside and outside the division.
    WWII Hero Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper.
    Legacy of Charles Neilans DeGlopper.
   To Donate to the Deglopper Expansion - click here.

Newly Formed Grand Island Wellness Committee Meeting - April 2018

    The Town of Grand Island has recently formed a Wellness Committee. This committee will look at at bringing best practices to Grand Island to help with mental health and substance abuse issues, especially the opioid epidemic and suicide prevention. Dr. Celia Spacone is leading the newly-formed Grand Island Wellness Committee. The organizational meeting will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in the Town Hall conference room. All are welcome to attend.

Spring Cleaning 2018 - April 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    Following the winter that just refuses to quit, my spring cleaning will be postponed for a week or two. That will not stop me, though, from penning my annual spring cleaning column touching on a variety of subjects. The aforementioned brutal winter has left our roadways in various states of disrepair. As the area's asphalt plants begin to open we can begin to address the pothole population with something other than the cold patch which is nothing but a stopgap measure.
    Fortunately, the County DPW has an excellent working relationship with highway departments in the Towns of Grand Island and Tonawanda. On a recent Tuesday morning I organized meetings in both towns to coordinate our efforts. Grand Island Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford and Tonawanda Highway Superintendent Tom Jones have been great partners of county government. Both have excellent working relationships with the County DPW and routinely share services with the county. This has given us the ability to make the most of our limited highway dollars. Even so, we could always use more money to improve our county roads. That is why I joined four of my colleagues on the Legislature in sponsoring a resolution to transfer $5 million from the county fund balance to our DPW to fix more roads. If we can convince one more legislator and the county executive of the necessity of this move, we can continue the progress on the county road system which has never really fully recovered from the cuts resulting from the Red/Green Budget debacle more than a dozen years ago.
    While on the topic of progress, I am happy to report some good news from Erie Community College which is now calling itself SUNY-Erie. I'm sure I'll still call it ECC, just like I still refer to Rich Stadium and Pilot Field. Some habits are tough to break. Regardless of what we call it, the college's STEM Building (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is open and receiving rave reviews from students and faculty, alike. The college's new president, Dr. Daniel Hocoy, is settling in and beginning to make a difference. I am a big fan of Dr. Hocoy and cannot wait to see all of his plans come to fruition. We all have a stake in his success, as chargebacks from other counties for Erie County students who attend their community colleges have been killing us for years.
    Our ongoing effort to curb the opioid epidemic is another area in which we hope to see further progress in the coming months. Erie County has not been immune to this nationwide scourge and many of us know someone who has been affected. We continue to seek ways to address the situation. One of my colleagues, Ed Rath, recently hosted a successful event in Clarence aimed at educating the public about this continuing crisis. My office is now working with a group headed up by the City of Tonawanda Mayor's office, Judge Mark Saltarelli and the Tonawanda Schools to hold a similar event in May in Tonawanda. Stay tuned for further details. If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

Morinello Mobile Office Hours - April 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Maple Grove Cemetary Meeting - April 2018

    Maple Grove Cemetery, located on Stony Point Road, will be having their annual meeting on Monday, April 30th at 6:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road.

McMurray Only Democratic Challenger to Collins - April 2018

    An article by Buffalo News reporter Jerry Zremski on April 9th announces Nate McMurray as the only Democratic candidate to challenge Chris Collins in the congressional race for 27th district. Nick Stankevich of Mumford, NY has withdrawn from the race. See article.

Call Before You Dig - April 2018

   National Fuel reminds individuals and professionals to "Call Before You Dig" when planning your outdoor landscaping projects. New York State law requires residents to call 811 (free service) prior to digging in order to prevent accidental damage to underground utility lines. See press release.

World Day of Prayer - April 2018

    The World Day of Prayer, an ecumenical worship service, will take place on Friday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road. Diane Evans will be the speaker during the informal coffee hour service, and will speak about the South American country, Suriname. Women from St. Stephen R.C. Church, Island Presbyterian Church, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, St. Timothy Church and Trinity will be participating.

Mychajliw Delivers Sales Tax Share to Schools - April 2018

   (ERIE COUNTY, NY) - Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw recently updated school districts throughout Erie County on their share of collected sales tax from the first quarter of the year. Checks that support programs and services for children, teachers and administrators have been delivered to Erie County to School Superintendents. Grand Island School District’s share totals $837,310.65.
   "The partnership between Erie County and school districts has been extremely valuable for our communities. The sales tax revenue, generated in large part thanks to our Canadian neighbors who come here to shop, is used in countless ways to support students, teachers and districts. Compared to other counties throughout the state, Erie County shares a larger percentage of the sales tax with schools. I have the deepest respect for public education and I'm proud to be a strong partner with our schools," said Comptroller Mychajliw, himself a product of public schools through his attendance at Buffalo Public School #33 and the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts.
   This quarter, Erie County shared a total of $24,181,409.63 with school districts. The amount a school district receives in sales tax revenue from the County was set in agreement between the County, and the three Cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Tonawanda. The agreement, signed in 1977, forbids the three cities from enacting their own city-wide sales tax which they have the authority to do under state law, in exchange for the county sharing some of the revenue they collect with them, other towns and villages and school districts. In 2017, Erie County shared more than $ 94,892,770 with school districts. "I will fight to protect public schools, to make sure this critically important revenue stream isn’t threatened or taken away by the politicians. This money should stay right where it is: in the classroom to benefit kids, teachers and our communities across Erie County," concluded Comptroller Mychajliw.

Town Board Approves Ban on Truck Stops - April 2018

   A Buffalo News story by Nancy A. Fischer and Harold McNeil is headlined "Grand Island Town Board approves ban on travel plazas and truck stops". The story also details the new state Welcome Center plan to hook up to Grand Island sewers by boring under the I-190. This was never in any plan brought to the Town Board and other Advisory Boards. See story.

Community Solar Informational Session - April 2018

    A Community Solar Informational Session hosted by Bluerock Energy will take place at Town Hall on Thursday, April 12th from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. BlueRock Energy is inviting you to become a member of the Grand Island Community Solar Farm. The pitch is "You'll save money on electricity while supplying your home with clean energy produced right here in the town of Grand Island. Space is extremely limited, so we're giving Grand Island residents a priority access window until April 30, 2018 to sign up."

East Park Sewer Repairs - April 2018

    There will be sanitary sewer repairs on East Park between Love and Elsie, Lasalle, and Redway starting Monday, April 2nd. These repairs will take approximately 2.5 weeks to complete. Access to driveways may be limited at times, but the contractors will work with homeowners to minimize inconvenience.

Jacobs Announces Passage of State Budget - April 2018

   NYS Senator Chris Jacobs has announced the passage of the 2018-2019 NYS budget. In school funding, Grand Island will see a 1.9% increase, adding an additional $216,000. See press release for complete information.

Cashless Tolling: How it Works - March 2018

   A Buffalo News article by Aaron Besecker published March 28, 2018, answers some common questions about the cashless tolling system. See article.

Rain Barrel & Composter Sale - March 2018

   The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, the City of Buffalo and the Western New York Stormwater Coalition are excited to sponsor the 2018 Systern rain barrel and Earth Machine compost bin sale. Prices are 50% off retail. Quanitities are limited so order today. Order deadline is May 25, 2018, see website.

UNYTS Blood Drive at the Highway Department - March 2018

    The Town of Grand Island is hosting a UNYTS Blood Drive at the Highway Department, 1820 Whitehaven Road on Friday, April 6th from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. All donors receive a Tim Horton's gift card. Visit unytsblooddonor.org and register with code: 000252, or call UNYTS at 512-7940.

Senator Chris Jacobs Rep at Town Hall - March 2018

   "Senator on your Street", an effort to host office hours in each community, on a regular basis, throughout the 60th Senate District. On Wednesday, March 28th a representative from Sen. Chris Jacobs office will be on hand at Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island. Please feel free to visit between the hours of 9:30am - 11:30am with any questions, comments, ideas or assistance you may require on a state issue.

Join an Advisory Board - March 2018

   Want to participate in local government? Help make Grand Island an even better place to live? Get involved and make a difference by joining one of our many Town advisory boards. The following advisory boards are looking for new members: Conservation, Economic Development, Traffic Safety, Parks & Rec & Planning. For more information and to apply, visit: here.

Dana Papaj Fundraiser - March 2018

    A fundraiser is planned for Dana Papaj on Friday, March 23, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel, 100 Whitehaven Road, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. There will be a basket raffle and 50/50. Tickets are $20 per person. See flyer for details.

National Fuel Employees Carry Identification - March 2018

    (March 15, 2018) WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) reminds its customers that company representatives always carry photo identification. When visiting your home, if the representative's identification card is not visibly noticeable, you should ask to see it. If you are suspicious of the reason given for visiting your home or you have questions, please contact National Fuel at 1-800-365-3234 to verify the employee’s identity and the purpose of the visit. If you suspect a problem, please call your local police. In addition, customers are reminded that:
* National Fuel employees DO NOT conduct door-to-door sales of gas supply. Any door-to-door salesperson wearing a hard hat or another article of clothing or accessories commonly associated with utility employees is not likely a National Fuel employee.
* National Fuel employees DO NOT visit customers' homes to view their gas bills, to ask them to sign any sort of agreement or to discuss account matters unless they are related to collection activities.
* National Fuel employees DO visit customers' homes for operational purposes, including meter reading, construction work and gas emergencies. Employees will carry identification cards and will produce them without resistance if asked.

Father's Day Lawn Mower Race Plans - March 2018

From left: Pete Marston, Lynn Dingey, Floyd Doring, Eric Berger and Gary Roesch.

   Father's Day - Walk / Run / Lawnmower Race to benefit Grand Island Relay will take place on Father's Day, June 17, 2018. The big question is where? As the New York State Parks have not given a definitive timeline for closing and construction on the West River Parkway, the race committee is considering Veteran's Park as a back-up. The popular event will have a classic car show, the Lions Club garage sale, a food truck rodeo, pony rides and a basket raffle. Committee members met at Say Cheese Pizza on Wednesday, March 14th for a meeting.

Cashless Tolls Begin March 29th - March 2018

Click photo for larger view.

    The Buffalo News reported that the cashless tolls will begin late at night on Thursday, March 29th. Reporter Aaron Besecker was tweeting from the news conference, that took place on March 14th, and has photos of the temporary traffic patterns to take place at the north and south toll stations. See article. See more information at Gov. Cuomo's website.

Assemblyman Morinello Mobile Office Hours - March 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, March 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Property Taxes 101 - March 2018

By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County Legislator

    Like many homeowners in the City of Tonawanda, I recently received a letter from the city's assessor informing me of our new assessment. Even though it is $13,000 higher than the previous one, I did not panic. I figured there is plenty of time to panic later. I would first gather more information.
    The next day I went on Facebook to the Tonawanda Community page and saw many posts from some very angry taxpayers. As I scrolled through the comments I saw a number which raised legitimate concerns. I saw many more, however, that seemed to be grounded in confusion or misunderstanding. As time went on, the confusion seemed to only get worse.
    A big part of the problem is that most of us never were taught anything about property taxes in high school or college. I never had one class on it in high school. Nor did I learn about property taxes as a college undergraduate or even graduate student even though I was a political science major. The first time most folks learn about property taxes and assessments is when they get the bill in the mail after buying a home. By then, however, the bill is marked "paid," as their escrow has covered it. So they throw it in the pile and don't think much about it.
    I hope to help clear up some of the confusion surrounding taxes and assessments that exists in our community. I have a PowerPoint on all sorts of taxes, including property taxes. I use it in my state and local government class at Canisius College. I have tweaked it to focus primarily on property tax issues and have scheduled an educational session at the City of Tonawanda Public Library at 333 Main Street. It is set for Tuesday, March 27th from 7-9 pm in the library's conference room. I thought about reserving one of the school auditoriums, but I have seen PowerPoint presentations on their screens and it isn't pretty. The library, on the other hand, has a big television screen in the conference room and should work out well. The only problem is that the conference room can only accommodate 41 people. So it will require reservations with my office. These can be made by calling my aide Susan Gregg, who does all the work for which I take all the credit, at 858-8672.
    My hope is that this session will educate folks on something we were never taught in school that has a great impact on our lives. It should also serve to focus residents' attention on the real issues surrounding the reassessment and clear up the confusion on the other distractions resulting from misunderstandings. If there is enough demand I will schedule more sessions. If it goes really well, I will also consider taking my show on the road to the Town of Tonawanda and Grand Island. Here's hoping it goes well. If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.

Holiday Inn Express Hopes to Open Memorial Day Weekend - March 2018

   A Buffalo News article by Nancy Fischer dated March 7, 2018, mentions the need for sewer system work at the old Dunlop building as the last "hurdle" before opening, hopefully Memorial Day weekend. See article.

3rd Annual Tree Steward Training Course - March 2018

    The Town of Grand Island Conservation Advisory Board has passed along the following information.
    The CommuniTREE Steward Project (CTS) training will offer a five-part classroom and in-field training taught by experts in the field of arboriculture. The 2018 CTS Classes will be offered Wednesday evenings from 5:45 - 8:00 p.m., March 21st to April 18th. "CCE of Erie County is pleased to be working in coordination with The Buffalo Green Fund and other project partners including the City of Buffalo, Re-Tree and area arborists to continue the effort first launched in Buffalo two years ago," said CCE Erie Executive Director Diane Held. "Our goal is to train up to 25 volunteers this spring, and engage volunteers trained from the start of the program in community juvenile tree care projects as well as building volunteer efforts into the future." See complete details. Registration is now open. Find the registration link here.

Grand Island Schools Donate $1,000 to the new ECMC Trauma and Emergency Center - March 2018

From left: Michael Manka, ECMC chief of emergency medicine, AnnMarie Stewart, Dana Papaj, Superintendent Dr. Brian Graham, ECMC President Thomas Quatro.

   A personal connection with the Erie County Medical Center trauma unit propelled AnnMarie Stewart, a school nurse at Kaegebein Elementary School, to head a districtwide fundraiser to help build a new trauma unit at ECMC. On Wednesday, February 28th, the Grand Island School District donated $1,000 to the Erie County Medical Center Campaign to build a new Level 1 Trauma Center and Emergency Department. Funds were raised through dress down Friday fundraisers at Veronica E. Connor Middle and Kaegebein Elementary School. The request for donations was sent districtwide and many employees throughout the district participated with individual donations. Accepting the check from ECMC will be Tom Quatroche, President and CEO of ECMC, and Stacy Roeder from the ECMC Foundation.
   AnnMarie's daughter, Amy, was the victim of a pedestrian hit-and-run accident in March 2009 that left her with severe traumatic brain injury at ECMC. Amy is a 2004 graduate of Grand Island High School. She earned her master's degree in education and works as a special education teacher in Syracuse. "Through the efforts of the skilled doctors and nurses in the emergency department and trauma center at ECMC, Amy not only survived her trauma, but has made a remarkable recovery," said Mrs. Stewart.
   Mrs. Stewart and Amy are featured in advertisements for ECMC's promotional campaign to raise funds for the new unit. Another connection to the unit is Mrs. Stewart's work colleague Dana Papaj, who suffered traumatic injuries from a hit-and-run accident. Mrs. Papaj also received lifesaving emergency and trauma care at ECMC.
   Site work on the new ECMC Trauma Center and Emergency Department is well underway and a spring 2019 completion date is anticipated. The new Emergency Department will meet the growing needs of the community while giving the caregivers in the Level 1 Trauma Center the tools they need to continue to deliver world-class care. "Your continued support of ECMC is helping to ensure that all Western New Yorker's have access to the lifesaving care only a Level 1 Trauma Center can provide. Thank you again for your confidence and support of the work of ECMC and the ECMC Foundation," said Susan M. Gonzalez, ECMC Foundation. Donations can be made online through supportecmctrauma.org or ECMC.edu.

E-ZPass Tags Available at GI Toll Booths - March 2018

   (February 27, 2018)...The New York State Thruway Authority announced E-ZPass On-the-Go tags are available for purchase at all cash lanes at the Grand Island Toll Barriers. E-ZPass On-the-Go allows busy travelers to open an E-ZPass account without filling out an application or waiting in line. Drivers Can Also Purchase E-ZPass On-the-Go Tags at 26 Thruway Service Areas Across 570-Mile Superhighway and Nearly 800 Locations Across the State. Grand Island Resident and Commuter Discounts are available for E-ZPass Customers. The Town of Grand Island Clerk's office has ezpass tags too and information for commuter and resident rates!

Parkway Trail to Break Ground Despite Opposition - March 2018

   A Buffalo News article dated February 25, 2018 by Nancy A. Fischer, addresses the opposition to closing the West River Parkway. See article.

Election Inspectors Needed - March 2018

   Erie County needs Election Day Inspectors throughout the County.The only requirements are: 1). Be registered to vote; 2). Live in Erie County 3). Be a registered Republican or Democrat. There is one three-hour training class. You are paid $25 for the class and $170/day for each Primary or Election you work (5:30am to 9:30pm). Contact Ted Morton @ 858-4982 or ted.morton@erie.gov with questions.

Fresenius Kabi Job Fair - February 2018

   Fresenius Kabi is hosting an on site job fair on Saturday, March 3rd, 3159 Staley Road, Building 4 Main Entrance. They are looking for employees to work 2nd, 3rd and weekend shifts as Crew/Member Inspectors and Production Operators. See flyer for specifics, including apply online, bring resume, no phone calls.

Grand Island Roads Ownership - February 2018

   To provide residents with the phone number to call in pot holes for the town, county and state.
   Of the approximately 185 miles of roads on Grand Island, the Town of Grand Island owns 78. The remainder have ownership divided by Erie County DPW, NYS-DOT and the NYS Thruway. The following list is a breakdown of the roads not owned by the town. The respective agencies are responsible for all the maintenance of their roads. The exception being, during the winter months the Town of Grand Island Highway Department plows, under contract, all the County roads.
Erie County - 825-6996
Long Road, Huth Road, Whitehaven Road, Love Road, Bush Road, Baseline Road (East River Road to Bush Road), Stony Point Road (East River Road to the South Bridge), East River Road (Baseline Road to Bush Road)
New York State DOT - 438-2396
Grand Island Blvd (Route 324), South Parkway (Beaver Island), Buckhorn Park Road (East/West Road), West River Parkway (seasonal)
NYS Thruway - 877-7344 I-190 (Thruway) including both bridges
Grand Island - 773-9632 - All other roads not listed above.

Second Emergency HEAP Grants Now Available in New York- February 2018

    (Feb. 22, 2018) WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - Help for heating is still available. A second emergency benefit is now available for households who have exhausted both the regular and first emergency HEAP benefits. To apply: (1) You must have a shut-off notice. (2) Be prepared with your case number, social security number, utility account number, household income and resource amounts (bank account balance, etc.).
    HEAP provides income-eligible families and individuals with financial assistance on a first-come, first-served basis, based on income guidelines. Visit www.HEAPhelps.com or contact 1-877-443-2743 to check eligibility. HEAP payment assistance benefits are available until April 27, 2018, or until the funds allocated to these programs are exhausted, whichever occurs first. New York state also offers a screening tool at www.mybenefits.ny.gov, which may be used to determine if you qualify for other benefits.
   In addition to HEAP, numerous programs are available to help individuals who struggle to make their payments. National Fuel encourages its customers to contact a customer assistance representative to discuss their personal situation. A quick call can provide information on the following programs: Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is open year round and helps qualified customers, aged 55 years or older, or have a certified medical condition, or are disabled, or are currently receiving unemployment benefits or are a veteran, to prevent an energy emergency; a Deferred Payment Agreement allows the potential to negotiate a repayment plan in the event of a problem or special circumstance; Special Protections is applicable for households where all residents are aged 62 years or older, 18 years or younger, blind or disabled. Customer assistance is available each weekday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. by contacting 1-800-365-3234. For customers who want to have level, predictable month gas payments this winter, National Fuel suggests budget plan billing as a way to stabilize monthly heating bills. Information is available at www.nationalfuelgas.com.

Grand Island Community Solar Farm- February 2018

   BlueRock Energy is inviting you to become a member of the Grand Island Community Solar Farm. The pitch is "You'll save money on electricity while supplying your home with clean energy produced right here in the town of Grand Island. Space is extremely limited, so we're giving Grand Island residents a priority access window until April 16, 2018 to sign up." See the BlueRock Energy Webpage, and FAQ's,.

5th Annual Pasta Sauce-Off - February 2018

    The dynamic duo of Jessica Flash and Allyson Nemeth are again hosting their 5th Annual Pasta Sauce-Off on Saturday, March 10th at the LaSalle Yacht Club, 73 S. 68th St. in Niagara Falls. Over the last five years they have raised over $18,000 for Roswell Park and the Courage of Carly fund. They would like your help to do it again and are looking for: 1. Participants to make a pasta sauce. 2. Items to be donated for the basket raffle. 3. Volunteers to work the event. 4. Lots of folks to come out and attend the event! Call Kim Nemeth at 481-3746 to sign up. See flyer for details.

No Truck Stops - February 2018

   A Buffalo News article by Harold McNeil and Nancy A. Fischer reports that the Grand Island Town Board unanimously voted at a workshop on Friday, February 16th, to ban the building of truck stops, anywhere on the Island. See article.

GICSD to Hold Recruitment Fair - February 2018

   The Grand Island Central School District will hold a substitute recruitment job fair on Friday, March 9, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the District Office, 1100 Ransom Road. Plenty of parking is available. All applicants for substitute positions must complete the WNY Schools Standard Application online prior to March 2. There are no scheduled interview appointments; candidates can arrive to the fair anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
   Substitute applications will be accepted in all areas at the district office, high school, middle school and three elementary schools, as well as transportation, food service and building and grounds. Apply at http://www.grandislandschools.org/substitutes. A Quick Link is also on the district homepage.
   Candidates for the teaching and nurse substitutes will use the 'View Open Certified Positions' and search for the respective postings. Candidates for the school monitor, cafeteria monitor, food service helpers, bus attendant, teacher aides, cleaner, clerical and bus driver substitute positions will use the 'View Open Classified Positions' and search for the postings by job title.
   The mission of the Grand Island School District is to foster academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility. Substitutes are critical to the staffing of our buildings and may lead to permanent employment.

Town of Grand Island Easter Egg Hunt - February 2018

   The Grand Island Recreation Department will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Visit with the Island Easter Bunny on Friday, March 30th. The event will take place at Veteran's Park on Bedell Road and will have a handicap accessible egg hunt for the first time, thanks to Miracle League of Western New York. Indoor Easter activities will take place at the Grand Island Memorial Library after the hunt, starting at 11:00 a.m. See flyer.

Senator Chris Jacobs Addresses Parkway Concerns- February 2018

   State Senator Chris Jacobs sent a letter to NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Western District Director Mark W. Thomas on February 9, 2018. In it, Jacobs asked for "three specific assurances from your office before this project proceeds." See Letter.

Town of Grand Island Remembrance Program - February 2018

   Start honoring your loved one with a simple donation...The Town of Grand Island now offers a Remembrance Program which allows you to choose a Bench, Tree or Boulder that will be placed in a chosen location within one of our beautiful parks or playgrounds. Please see our website www.ginyparks.com or call our office at 716-773-9686 for more details. See program flyer.

Love's Travel Stop Information - February 2018

    The above photo shows the placement of the proposed Love's Truck Stop, located just west of Harper's Animal Hospital. The 21 acre site is not sitting well with most Grand Island residents. If you are interested in more information, the Town of Grand Island website has a page with details.

McMurray Emerges as Democrat Favorite - February 2018

    An article in the Buffalo News by Robert J. McCarthy said that leaders of the eight counties that make up Rep. Chris Collins 27th Congressional District are leaning towards Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray. See article.

Grand Island Master Plan Public Meeting - February 2018

   Comprehensive planning determines community development goals and objectives. The outcome is a Comprehensive Plan - also known as a Master Plan - that "dictates public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing," as stated at the kickoff meeting in March 2017. The Master Plan is crucial to the longevity and success of a community, because it defines the vision of the town.
   The previous Master Plan was created in 1995 and revised in 1998. Community demographics, economic and market dynamics, and other factors shift quickly, which makes it necessary to review and rewrite the community's goals every 10-15 years.
    The Long Range Planning Committee, along with planning consultants from Clark Patterson Lee, spent the past year researching for the new Master Plan. Their findings will be presented to the public on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Island High School. Citizens will have an opportunity to express their opinions. "It's time for the public to comment on our findings," said Jim Sharpe, Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee and Deputy Supervisor of Grand Island. "Tell us what you want to see in a Master Plan."

Large Crowd Opposes Love's Travel Stop - February 2018

    The Grand Island Town Planning Board meeting on Monday, February 12th drew a very large crowd of opponents to a Love's Travel Stop and Country Store, proposed to be located on Whitehaven Road, west of the Small Animal Hospital. It was reported that upwards of 200 people attended the meeting, but were not allowed to speak. See Buffalo News article by Nancy Fischer.

Hit-and-Run Driver Sentenced - February 2018

   Hit-and-run driver Edward J. Kuebler III was sentenced to one to three years in state prison on Monday, February 5th, for the June 2017 accident that seriously injured Island resident Dana Papaj. See Buffalo News article by Melinda Miller.

E-Z Pass Discount for New Customers - February 2018

   The NYS Thruway Authority recently announced a $10 E-Z Pass discount for new customers. The fines are outrageous if you don't pay within two weeks of the offense, and your vehicle registration could be suspended for non-payment. Link to discount info. Town Flyer.

Opioid Advisory Board - February 2018

   A new advisory board is being established by the Grand Island Town Board and the Grand Island School Board to address the opioid epidemic. An article dated February 5th in the Buffalo News by Nancy A. Fischer gives details.

Deadline Approaching for All Property Tax Exemptions - February 2018

    March 1, 2018 is the deadline for all Basic STAR, Enhanced/Senior STAR and Veterans property tax exemptions to be added to the assessment roll for School tax year 2018/2019 and Town/County tax year 2019. There will be no courtesy telephone calls made. If yo have not already done so, please bring your paperwork to the Assessors office at Town Hall on or before March 1.

Morinello Staff to Hold February Mobile Office Hours - February 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, February 6 and Tuesday, February 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

Solar Power on Grand Island - February 2018

   Four solar projects are in the works for open land on Grand Island and Town residents could be able to purchase electricity. See Buffalo News story by Nancy Fischer.

Nate McMurray Helps MVA Victim - February 2018

   GI Supervisor Nate McMurray was one of the good Samaritans that pulled Joe Rossi from his burning vehicle on Wednesday, January 31st, after a three-vehicle crash. See Buffalo News story by Maki Becker.

New York State Safe Boating Course - February 2018

   The Grand Island Recreation Department is offering a NYS Safe Boating Course at the Golden Age Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. All participants must be at least 10 years old on the day of the course. Motorboat operators must have this course if they were born on or after May 1, 1996. See flyer for details.

Grandchild in Need Scam Warning - February 2018

    (Buffalo, NY) - Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw and Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard are warning seniors across Erie County of the so called "Grandchild In Need" scam that is continually targeting local families. The grandparents of an employee of the Office of Erie County Comptroller were called by scam artists and almost victimized. Only until this individual's family called the Rath Building and confirmed the individual's presence at work, did they believe their loved one wasn't behind bars.    The scammers call a family member and pretend to be their grandchild or tell them their loved one, usually a grandchild, is in police custody and that to get them out of jail they have to send money immediately. The Comptroller and Sheriff can't stress enough that this is NOT how inmate processing works. Here are tips for taxpayers to educate themselves on Erie County's inmate procedure:
   1. The Sheriff's Office will NOT call someone to get money to prohibit someone from going into custody.
   2. The Sheriff's Office maintains an active offender list on its website of everyone who is in Sheriff's custody. That list can be found at www.erie.gov/sheriff under "Inmate Information" to see if someone you know is listed.
   3. Erie County also has an app with inmate information. It can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices. Search "Erie County NY Sheriff" in the app store.
   4. When in doubt, call the police.
   "These scams unfortunately can cost victims thousands of dollars. Quite often there is no restitution. As for the employee in my office, their grandparent had the sense to eventually call the Rath Building and personally check on their loved one. At first they were convinced he was in trouble. They were willing to do anything to help him, including sending money. Fortunately in this case, the grandparent called. Our employee knew how to stop their grandparent from believing the scammer before it was too late," added Comptroller Mychajliw. "We must educate our entire community to always double check the facts and to not give anyone money over the phone."    The news recently reported that in the City of Tonawanda, a senior citizen was scammed out of $4,000. According to police reports, the victim received a call that his granddaughter was in a car accident. The caller told the victim that the granddaughter had been on her cell phone when the accident occurred and that the vehicle she struck was uninsured and she needed $4,000 to be released from police custody. The victim was instructed to get four $1,000 gift cards from Sam’s Club and call back. The victim complied and called the number back, furnishing the numbers on the card and PIN.
   If you or a loved one has received a call from a scammer, please file a complaint with The Federal Trade Commission. Visit www.ftc.gov where you can fill out an online complaint form. You can also call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 to report a complaint. Anyone with a question can also contact the Comptroller's Office at 716.858.8404 or email comptroller@erie.gov. The Comptroller also offers "Senior Fraud Protection" seminars to senior groups, social clubs, churches, senior housing complexes, etc. To schedule a presentation, please contact the Comptroller's Office.

Supervisor Email Controversy- January 2018

   Buffalo News article reports "Grand Island Supervisor used town email account for political purposes". See article by Jerry Zremski, dated January 26, 2018.

Student-Created PSA Video Wins Second Place - January 2018

    A public service announcement video created by Grand Island Middle and High School students earned a second place award in the Kids Escaping Drugs Face 2 Face video contest. Grand Island competed against 15 area schools that submitted a one-minute video. The prize is a pizza party for the students.
   The "You Choose Your Destiny" PSA shows how poor choices lead to consequences like getting kicked off a sports team, failing classes and not earning the trust of parents. Students involved with the PSA creation were seventh-graders Michael Christensen and Lindsey Olendorf; eighth-graders Tyler Figliola and Bethany Kulikowski; freshmen Mara Ellsworth, Emily Cohen, and William Worrall; junior Faith Gworek. Advisers are Christina Kensy, Sheryl Kavanagh, Crystal Barnes and Susan Moretta.
   Last October, student leaders from the middle school and high school were selected to attend a full day Kids Escaping Drugs Summit. Students participated in various sessions where they heard from peers about the consequences of experimentation and drug use, and learned ways to work together to promote positive choices within the school community. They were also challenged with the task of creating a public service announcement. The group met a few times after school to brainstorm ideas and developed a plan that was put into action with the help Mark Gorton, the district's audio visual technician. The video can be seen on the district's School Tube channel.

Tree & Shrub Seedlings Available - January 2018

   ERIE COUNTY, NY - Order forms for the 2018 Conservation Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale are now available from Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District and are due by March 16, 2018.
   The District is offering many varieties of conservation trees and shrubs, wildflower seed mixes, and seedling packets which have combinations of trees and shrubs chosen to attract, feed and shelter birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Landowners can practice conservation by planting seedlings and wildflowers to provide wildlife food and habitat, shelter crops and landscape, reduce heating/cooling expenses, protect water quality, reduce air pollution, and stabilize erodible land. Seedlings are also an inexpensive alternative for replacing trees that have been damaged or lost.
   Thirty-eight species of trees and shrubs are available this year. The one-to-three-year-old bare root seedlings, which range in size from 6 to 24 inches, are available in lots of 10 to 500. The District is offering an expanded selection of four-year-old evergreen transplants which are more mature trees with thicker stems, more branching and more developed roots. New seedling introductions to the 2018 program are eastern redbud, quaking aspen, winterberry holly, swamp white oak, and black hills spruce transplants.
   The District also stocks marking flags, fertilizer tablets, and tree shelters to help promote the success of your plantings. Bluebird nest boxes can be ordered through the program or be purchased at the District office. Order forms may be obtained by: (1) stopping at the District office at 50 Commerce Way in East Aurora (behind Post Office), or (2) by calling (716) 652-8480 ext. 5, or (3) by printing the Order Form. District website - www.ecswcd.org . Orders are due by March 16, 2018 and pick-up will be on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg.

CrossRiver Tabernacle Prayer Conference - January 2018

   CrossRiver Tabernacle, 2920 Grand Island Blvd. is having a January Prayer Conference, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, January 19-21. Special guest speaker will be David Borg. See flyer for details.

Poll Workers Needed - January 2018

    Erie County Board of Elections is looking to hire poll workers. This is a paid position. See details.

Senator on your Street - January 2018

    On Wednesday, January 17th, State Senator Chris Jacobs representative will be at Town Hall from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. hosting "Senator on your Street". Feel free to visit with any questions, comments, ideas or assistance you may require on a state issue.

2018 Town/County Tax Bills Mailed - January 2018

   Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announced that the 2018 Town/County 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, February 10, 2018, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Checks should be made payable to Town Clerk. The last day to pay without penalty is February 15. Envelopes must show a legible postmark of February 15 to be accepted on time. Taxpayers should call the office for correct amounts for payments made February 16 and later. Payments can be made until July 2, 2018. After this date, payments must be sent to the County.

773 North to Open January 31st - January 2018

   An article in the Buffalo News Gusto was published Thursday, January 11th regarding the soon to be opened 773 North, located in the old Pepper Mill at Grand Island Blvd. and Bedell Road. See Buffalo News story by Andrew Z. Galarneau.

Abdellatif Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison - January 2018

   Island resident Sammy Abdellatif, 23 was sentenced Wednesday, January 10th to eight years in prison, after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted murder. Sheriff's Deputy Jason Clark was attacked after pulling over Abdellatif's car on East River Road in August 2016. See Buffalo News story by Melinda Miller.

Korean War Vet Thanks GICSD for Handmade Cards on Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight - January 2018

    Korean War Veteran Richard Pealer returned to Buffalo after a Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight to the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. with a special message from Grand Island students. Tucked into his luggage was a handmade note that thanked him for his service to his country. Deeply touched by the personal note from the children, Pealer, a Niagara Falls resident, decided to give back to the Grand Island School District to let them know just how special the message was. "I was so impressed by the children. It was absolutely beautiful how much more their contributions added to the trip," said Pealer.
   Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight, a hub of the National Honor Flight Network, recognizes American Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial at no cost. Pealer made the trip in September 2017. Before his group returned back home, handmade cards created by area school children were distributed to each Veteran.
   Kathy Brown, a GICSD special education teacher who has volunteered for the past year as secretary and chair of the Veteran mail for the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight, led the effort within the school district to have students create cards. She reached out to her teaching peers to ask for thank you cards and letters for the veterans going on each of the flights. Grand Island elementary, middle and high school students have created letters and cards for the last five honor flights. Taking the request even farther was Mary Jane Fonte, family and consumer science teacher at Veronica E. Connor Middle School. As part of class, her students baked muffins and packaged them with red, white and blue ribbons and messages.
   "I looked over many of these letters and cards and they were so endearing," said Mrs. Brown. "Many cited family members, including their own parents who were Veterans, and they all expressed sincere appreciation for all the service they gave to ensure our freedom! Some of these letters brought tears to my eyes because of the true hearts revealed in these letters."
   Pealer felt the same way. As a token of his appreciation for the student-created messages, Pealer joined with Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight officials to present an American flag to the Grand Island School District Board of Education on January 8, 2018 at the School Board meeting. The flag, which had previously flown over the U.S. Capital Building, was purchased by Pealer. BNHF President Tom Petrie and Vice President Roberta Schlehr attended the meeting. Some of the students that created the cards and letters led the Pledge of Allegiance at the BOE meeting.
   Pealer, who sailed around the world during the nine years he was in the U.S. Navy, purchased flags for Grand Island School District, Hillview Elementary in Lancaster and a Bradford, Pa. school. He said he did a little detective work to track down each school and mailed flags to Hillview Elementary and the Pennsylvania school. My father was a World War II Veteran who died before being able to see the WWII War Memorial," said Mrs. Brown. "This is my way of honoring my father's sacrifice for his country. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and wound up with frozen feet which plagued him all the rest of his life. My goal is to help the BNHF get as many WWII Veterans to Washington, D.C. to see this memorial and let them know how much their service to our country means to America."
   The next Honor Flight mission flying out of Buffalo will be held on April 14, 2018. A few Grand Island students have been at the airport for past send off and welcome back ceremonies but the 4:30 a.m. departures and 10:15 p.m. arrivals are a little too early and late for most students.

Assemblyman Morinello Mobile Office Hours - January 2018

    The staff of Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) will hold mobile office hours on Tuesday, January 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Grand Island Town Hall. Residents and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to stop by to address any ideas or concerns they may have.

FREE Wellness Expo - January 2018

   A Wellness Expo is being sponsored by the Small Business Networking Group on Saturday, January 27th, from noon - 5:00 p.m. at KeyBank, 2189 Grand Island Blvd. This is a FREE Wellness Fair and includes health info from area small business owners, raffles & appetizers! For more information on how to be a sponsor, contact Stephanie McNair at 716-404-6016 or stephanie_mcnair@keybank.com. Local wellness vendors include: Real Meals, Tastefully Simple, Adrian's Custard & Beef, Island Hair Studio, Flower-A-Day, State Farm, Soma Cura and more. See flyer.

Town Hall Handicap Accessible Elevator Block Grant- January 2018

   ERIE COUNTY, NY - On Tuesday, January 9th, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced the selection of thirteen municipal projects for inclusion in the Erie County Consortium 2018 Community Development Block Grant ("CDBG") application. The application, which will be submitted to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval, recommends a total Erie County expenditure of $1,424,434 for the projects, an investment which will leverage $3,331,053 in local funds and in-kind resources.
   "The Community Development Block Grant awards are meant to spur communities to invest in projects that improve the infrastructure and quality of life in our cities and towns. These funds, leveraged with other funding secured by the municipalities involved, provide the impetus for improvements all around Erie County," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. 's I noted in my 'Initiatives for a Smart Economy 2.0' economic development plan, CDBG funds serve a critical role in revitalizing our area and I look forward to the completion of the projects in the pipeline for 2018."
   The Erie County Consortium consists of 34 municipalities, generally located outside of the City of Buffalo and the first-ring suburbs. The selected projects are targeted toward a variety of building, and public infrastructure improvements which primarily benefit low- and moderate-income residents. The 2018 projects include:
   Town of Grand Island - Town Hall Handicap Accessible Elevator - $100,000
   Village of Alden - Smart Growth Improvements - Broadway -$325,000
   City of Lackawanna - Madison Avenue, Jackson Avenue and Elm Street Milling and Paving Project - $100,000
   City of Tonawanda - Wheeler Street Sanitary Sewer Lining - $100,000
   Town of North Collins - Lawtons Water Project - $100,000
   Town of Marilla - Town Hall Handicap Accessible Elevator Installation -$91,080
   Town of West Seneca - Road Milling and Resurfacing Project: Benson Avenue, Dirkson Avenue and Wichita Road - $100,00
   Town of Elma - Senior Center Roof and Building Rehabilitation - $62,670
   Town of Newstead - Kitchen Equipment for Newstead Senior Center - $25,684
   Village of Lancaster - Brady Avenue and Cambria Street Sanitary Sewer Reconstruction - $100,000
   Village of Alden - Elm Street Sidewalk Replacement - $100,000
   Various Communities - Commercial Center Improvement Program: $50,000
   Various Communities - Rural Transit Service: $270,000
    The projects were recommended for funding by a 14-member Selection Committee, including 11 Supervisors and Mayors from Consortium communities and three members of the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning. The Committee reviewed a total of 28 projects seeking $2,535,720 in federal assistance.

Local Small Business Wellness Expo - January 2018

   A Wellness Expo is being sponsored by the Small Business Networking Group on Saturday, January 27th, from noon - 5:00 p.m. at KeyBank, 2189 Grand Island Blvd. This is a FREE Wellness Fair and includes health info from area small business owners, raffles & appetizers! For more information on how to be a sponsor, contact Stephanie McNair at 716-404-6016 or stephanie_mcnair@keybank.com. Local wellness vendors include: Real Meals, Tastefully Simple, Adrian's Custard & Beef, Island Hair Studio, Flower-A-Day, Bob at State Farm, Soma Cura, Natural & Wellness Products by Seema Mojawalla, doTerra, Sheila Saph-beauty wellness and Pink Martini Gift Shop. See flyer.

McMurray Running for Congressional Seat - January 2018

    A Buffalo News article by Robert J. McCarthy dated January 10, 2018 reports that Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray will be making an official announcement at noon on Sunday, January 14th at Brickyard Brewing in Lewiston to run for Chris Collins 27th Congressional seat. McMurray will be meeting with national Democratic Party leaders in Washington on Tuesday, January 16th. See article.

2017- Year in Review - January 2018

   In 2017, the hot topic was still the closing of West River Parkway, with the addition of Cashless Tolls and a Welcome Center. See 2017 Review.

Senior Volunteers Stuff Town/County Tax Bills - January 2018

Sitting from left: Martha Muller, Nonnie Carroll and Jerrie Benzing.
Standing: Linda Clark, Dorothy Lew, Paul Leuchner, Bernie Callahan and Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel.

   This is the 14th year a group of seniors from the Golden Age Center have stuffed tax bills for Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel. The seniors spend the day stuffing envelopes for the Town/County taxes and get treated for lunch in return. They also come back in the fall to take care of the school tax bills. The Town Clerk reported that over 500 residents prepaid their 2018 County & Town Taxes to the tune of more than $1,500,000.

The Clubs & Resorts of Grand Island 1850 to 1920 - January 2018

McComb House, later the Island Club was located north of Beaver Island State Park.

   The Buffalo Launch Club Heritage Committee and the Grand Island Historical Society is hosting "The Clubs & Resorts of Grand Island 1850 to 1920", on Saturday, January 27, 2018. There will be five presenters; Curt Nestark, Grand Island Historical Society President, Mary Cooke, Grand Island Historical Society, Tom Frauenheim, BLC Historian, Traci Bedell Bissonette, descendent of the Bedell Family and Greg Ried, BLC Heritage Committee. Tickets are $39.00 and include dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required, see details. Everyone is welcome to attend.

2018 Inauguration of Elected Officials - January 2018

From Left: Town Justice Mark J. Frentzel, Town Councilman Peter J. Marston Jr., Hon. Russel P. Buscaglia, Town Councilwoman Jennifer L. Baney, Highway Superintendent Richard W. Crawford Jr.

   The Grand Island Inauguration of Elected Officials took place on Monday, January 1st at the Buffalo Launch Club. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Michael E.A. Rayhill and the Hon. Russell P. Buscaglia, NYS Supreme Court Justice was the installing officer. Other participants were the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post #9249 Honor Guard, Pastor Calvin VanderMey provided the invocation and benediction. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Thomas Digati and National Anthem by Natalie Baldassare. Installed officials were Town Justice Mark J. Frentzel, Town Councilman Peter J. Marston Jr., Town Councilwoman Jennifer L. Baney, and Highway Superintendent Richard W. Crawford Jr.