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By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County LegislatorI 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dog Park Fundraiser- July 2018The 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 2018There 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 email@example.com no later than Wednesday, July 11.
SHED THE MEDS Event - July 2018Saturday, 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!
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.
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 @firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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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 2018In 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 2018UPDATE: 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 2018The 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: 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.
Kayaking with Tina and Kelly at Beaver Island - 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
Mallwitz's 8th Annual Grand Reunion - July 2018
Town Hall Birthday Bash - June 2018
Old Town Hall demolition.
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.
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 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 2018BlueRock 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 2018People 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.
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.
From left: Middle School Principal Mr. John Fitzpatrick, Schroeder-Watt, Kern & School Superintendent Brian Graham
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 2018This 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 2018Tomorrow, 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 2018Wednesday, 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 2018Roswell 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 2018Join 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 2018The 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 2018The 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.
Mary Stewart Photos
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.
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 2018A 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 2018Saturday, 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 2018E-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 email@example.com.
Nike Base Rehab Unlikely - May 2018A 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 2018The 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 2018New 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 2018Erie 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 2018The 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 2018The 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 2018The 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 2018From 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 2018West River Road will be temporarily closed from Oakfield east to the Beaver Island Park roundabout beginning Friday, May 11th.
Video Production Services Wanted - May 2018The 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 2018Senator 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.
2018 Comprehensive Master Plan - May 2018The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
West River Path Progress - May 2018
Gravel path at Whitehaven Overlook.
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.
North end of West River Parkway.
Thank A Vet Program - May 2018The 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 2018UPDATE: 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 2018Unique 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 2018On 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 2018The 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 email@example.com.
New Food and Beverage Options this Summer at Beaver Island State Park - April 2018The 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 2018All 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 2018A 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 2018Wednesday, 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 2018Tuesday, 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.
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.
Found in Buckhorn. - Correction- Photo by Joe Mash.
13th Annual Paddles Up Niagara - April 2018The 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 2018The 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 2018Grand 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 2018A 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 2018A 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. DeGlopperJoe 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.
By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County LegislatorFollowing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morinello Mobile Office Hours - April 2018The 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 2018Maple 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 2018An 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 2018National 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 2018The 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 2018A 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 2018A 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 2018There 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 2018NYS 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 2018A 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 2018The 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 2018The 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 2018Want 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 2018A 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.
By Kevin R. Hardwick - 4th District County LegislatorLike 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 email@example.com.
Holiday Inn Express Hopes to Open Memorial Day Weekend - March 2018A 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 2018The 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 2018A 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 2018Erie 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Fresenius Kabi Job Fair - February 2018Fresenius 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 2018To 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 2018BlueRock 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 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 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 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.