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5th Annual Pasta Sauce-Off - February 2018The 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 2018A 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 2018The 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 2018State 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 2018Start honoring your loved one with a simple donatiom...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 716-773-7686 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 2018An 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 2018Comprehensive 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 2018The 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 2018Hit-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 2018A 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 2018March 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 2018The 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 2018Four 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 2018GI 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 2018The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 2018Buffalo 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 2018A 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.
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.
flyer for details.
Poll Workers Needed - January 2018Erie County Board of Elections is looking to hire poll workers. This is a paid position. See details.
Buffalo News story by Andrew Z. Galarneau.
Buffalo News story by Melinda Miller.
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.
FREE Wellness Expo - January 2018A 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 email@example.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 2018ERIE 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.