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Passport Day - April 2021Passport Day at Grand Island Town Hall is Saturday, May 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. Passport photos will be $7.00. For more information contact Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel at 773-9600 ext. 600.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - April 2021Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 4/17/2021. See Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGrKdjqxttI]
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - April 2021Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 4/10/2021. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQQwR5n-4vE] .
Internet Satisfaction Survey - April 2021The Technology Advisory Board of the Town of Grand Island is collecting anonymous information from residents in order to better understand current issues in regards to internet service provider with Grand Island. Take survey HERE.
Multi Sports Complex Ribbon Cutting - April 2021
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the GI Central School Districts new Multi-sports complex on Monday, April 12th. It is located behind the high school and middle shool. The students as well as our community youth sports programs (baseball, softball, LAX, football and soccer) will have the best facilities to utilize for many years to come. The district is grateful to the entire community for the exceptional support with this capital improvement project!
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine On Pause - April 2021ERIE COUNTY, NY -The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) will pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine following a joint recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
A statement issued by the CDC and FDA today, April 13, recommended pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. This followed reports of six cases of a “rare and severe” adverse events involving blood clots. Anyone who received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and develops symptoms of severe headache, stomach or abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of their vaccination should contact their health care provider. The CDC and FDA statement noted that symptoms in those cases occurred between 6 and 13 days after vaccination. ECDOH does not have any PODs (points of distribution) scheduled with Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. ECDOH PODs planned for this week will administer Moderna vaccine, which is a two-dose series.
ECDOH has received a very limited quantity of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which is a one-dose course. This supply was primarily used for vaccinating homebound and home-limited Erie County residents and individuals in congregate living settings. Any additional Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administration to any Erie County resident has been placed on pause until further guidance is available. The CDC and FDA are reviewing available data as part of their ongoing assessment for the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. ECDOH is closely monitoring the situation and will provide more information as it is available.
Covid Concerns Continue - April 2021By Kevin R. Hardwick, 4th District County Legislator
Like most people, I had hoped that we would be done with the pandemic by now. Sadly, we are not. People are still dying and recently the Erie County Department of Health reported that new Covid cases are now at their highest level since mid-January. I was shocked, therefore, to see that another elected official was encouraging people to attend a mask-burning fundraising event in a crowded parking lot. As sworn officials, public health is ALL of our responsibility - and the most pressing public health threat of our lifetimes thus far is COVID-19. For anyone in public office to ignore science and facts is a travesty.
This is not to say that there are not legitimate questions that can be raised about the responses of governments at all levels. Some of the state’s regulations, for instance, leave me scratching my head. Wearing masks in public places, though, is not one of these. Masking up is an inconvenience, but it remains a necessary one.
The Republican caucus in the County Legislature recently raised another legitimate Covid related issue. Since the pandemic hit home a year ago, many changes have occurred in the way Erie County does business. One of these changes was made when the Legislature adopted the 2021 Erie County Budget. At that time, we gave the County Executive authority to enter into contracts up to $250,000 for Covid related items without prior legislative approval. The rationale for this temporary change was that the administration needed the flexibility to move swiftly to combat the spread of the virus. Since the Legislature normally only meets twice a month and actionable items need to be introduced days ahead, this seemed like a prudent move. I certainly believed it was, which is why I supported it.
Now, however, the Republicans are arguing that this measure should be repealed, since we have a better handle on what is needed to battle the pandemic. They make a decent case and their point is definitely worthy of consideration. I am still concerned that we are not out of the woods yet and the County Executive needs the ability to move swiftly as conditions change. Even though the Legislature can hold a special meeting upon 48 hours’ notice, I still prefer to err on the side of caution for the time being. I can, however, envision a time in the near future when we in the Legislature may want take back some of our fiscal authority. In fact, I hope that this is the case, as it would signal that our long, costly nightmare with the pandemic is coming to an end.
Until we get to this point we all need to do everything we can to defeat the virus. More and more of us are getting vaccinated every day, although appointments can be difficult to schedule. For anyone still searching, I would recommend a web site developed by a group of UB students. It can be accessed at vaccinehound.org and it searches other web sites for availabilities. The students should be commended for designing the site. It serves as further proof that by working together, we can accomplish great things.
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.
Maple Grove Cemetary Meeting - April 2021The 2021 Maple Grove Cemetary Meeting will take place on Monday, May 3rd at the Grand Island Memorial Libary at 5:30 p.m. Due to Covid-19, refreshments cannot be served. Cold beverages will be provided.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - April 2021Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 4/3/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy58WStxIMA] . Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 4/3/2021.
Arbor Day Celebration 2021 on Grand Island - April 2021Arbor Day, which was started in 1872, is traditionally on the last Friday in April. It is a day set aside for planting trees. On Grand Island we will be celebrating on Saturday, April 24th. 300 Tree seedlings will be given away. Trees will be given away in bundles of three (12 – 16” high) including one White Oak and two Blue Spruces. Handouts are available with planting instructions, some information on the tree species, and activities that can be done at home for Arbor Day/Earth Day. Pick up time is 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in Veterans Park. Proceed to parking lot 7 at north end of park where there is a picnic shelter. Volunteers, wearing masks, will bring a bundle directly to your car. This is first come, first served until trees are gone.
One larger species of tree will be planted in Vets Park by the Parks Department. The planting of this tree will be videotaped and available on the Town’s you tube channel. The proper way to plant a sizeable tree will be demonstrated by Parks staff. Thanks to sponsors Grand Island Farms, Inc., and the Town of Grand Island. See flyer
GICSD Music in Our Schools Month - April 2021The GICSD Elementary Music Department is proud to present a celebration of Music in Our Schools Month for the 2020-2021 School Year! This collection of videos features performances from general music class and instrumental lessons at Charlotte Sidway. William Kaegebein, and Huth Road Elementary Schools. See video HERE.
National Fuel Donations - April 2021(March 30, 2021) WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - The Board of Directors for the National Fuel Gas Company Foundation (Foundation), the charitable giving arm of National Fuel Gas Company (National Fuel or the Company), held its annual meeting on Friday, March 26, 2021. Foundation directors, led by David P. Bauer, Foundation President, and President and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel, reviewed the more than $1.3 million in Company gifts from fiscal 2020, including $250,000 in emergency grants that addressed critical needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic across the Company’s New York and Pennsylvania service territories.
COVID-relief grants were provided to the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, FeedMore WNY, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania, Erie Community Foundation, and Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County. “Last year, the Foundation was pleased to help the communities where we live and work meet the challenges presented by the pandemic,” Bauer said. “The Foundation will continue to support local nonprofits as we enter new recovery phases.” The Board of Directors also discussed the preliminary enrollment results for the 2021 Employee Charitable Giving Program, a matching gift program through which the Foundation will match employee donations dollar for dollar up to $750 per employee per year to employees’ chosen nonprofits. This year, nearly half of employees have elected to participate in the program, pledging more than $500,000 to nonprofits across the U.S. with the majority located in the Company’s New York and Pennsylvania service territories. With the Foundation match, the program will donate nearly $1 million.
This year’s top 10 nonprofits are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Brethren in Christ, SPCA Serving Erie County, Families of FANA, Hospice Foundation of WNY, Make-A-Wish Western New York, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Salem Lutheran Church, and Buffalo City Mission. “This matching program aligns a large portion of National Fuel’s charitable support with the wishes and generosity of our employees,” Bauer said. “Since its inception in 2005, the Company, Foundation, and our employees have given more than $21 million to more than 800 charitable organizations.” Going forward, the Foundation remains committed to initiatives that advance strong and vibrant communities and to its focus areas: the underserved/economically disadvantaged, education, community vitality/economic impact, and veteran services. The National Fuel Gas Company Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation funded entirely by Company shareholders and is one element of National Fuel’s commitment and support to its local communities.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - March 2021Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 3/27/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp91wQgNhOk . This data set includes estimates by ZIP code of Erie County residents who have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 3/27/2021.
Large Scale Effort to Clean Up Grand Island Planned - March 2021On Saturday, April 24th, from 9am until 12pm, The Town of Grand Island and The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce are partnering with civic groups, local agencies, and environmentally-minded residents to participate in the 2nd Annual Clean UP Grand Island. See flyer.
“Putting litter in its proper place during both last year’s Clean UP and everyday helps build community pride and shows respect for our Island environment, which we describe as the "Heart of the Niagara", shared citizen committee member, Debbie Whalen. It was Mrs. Whalen’s concern with the litter throughout the Island last year, when shared with Councilwoman Jennifer Baney and Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford, that served as a catalyst for the creation of this event, now in its second year.
“Regardless of where in the world you live, chances are, litter is a problem”, stated Superintendent Crawford. “It is estimated that 9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year. Litter that ends up outside of the landfill pollutes our natural ecosystem and wildlife. Everyone is encouraged to protect our environment and dispose of trash properly.”
Eric Fiebelkorn expressed a greater interest in engaging the Chamber of Commerce this year. He will be reaching out to local chamber members and encouraging them, as a business or as a group of business owners, to participate in the chance to beautify the community. During this time, residents are encouraged to clean their homes and yards and dispose of excess trash, passenger car tires, and any items that could hold water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Volunteers will be needed for some additional clean-up areas that have been identified and are listed below, as well as on the Town of Grand Island Website and Facebook page.
Underage volunteers must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are encouraged to wear proper attire (gloves, work boots), sunscreen, insect repellent and stay hydrated. Wear a mask if social distancing cannot be accomplished. Due to the wet spring and tall grass areas, we encourage all to be very mindful of ticks. Additionally, groups wishing to work along heavily trafficked roads should speak with Highway Superintendent Crawford to be aware of regulations and safety practices required.
If you have any questions, please contact Dick Crawford, Highway Superintendent, at 716-773-9632, Jennifer Baney, Town Councilwoman, at 716-622-9006 or Eric Fiebelkorn at 319-7292. Send in your photos of your family clean-up to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are okay with your pictures being shared on social media and are interested in winning prizes. Businesses, groups, and families will all be eligible to win, and we look forward to showcasing what is sure to be a wonderful community event.
2021 Rain Barrel & Compost Bin Sale - March 2021  Erie County, in partnership with the Western New York Stormwater Coalition, the City of Bufffalo, and the Town of Wheatfield, is selling rain barrels, compost bins and accessories at wholesale prices. See details. Orders must be placed by May 8, 2021.
Plaza Mural Tagged - March 2021
Some time between March 21st and March 22nd, the mural located at the Grand Island Plaza was “tagged” in multiple spots. In an effort to clean up the mural and re-paint the damaged imagery, a GoFundMe page was created to offset the costs of purchasing paint and associated materials. Any excess funds that are raised will go towards wireless solar lights to be attached to each mural archway. This will allow for the mural to be showcased at night and hopefully deter any future graffiti. In the event any monies collected exceed the cost of paint and lights, it will be donated to the Deglopper Memorial Fund. For more information or to be added to a volunteer list for a ‘painting day’ to be determined, please contact GoFundMe page directly.
The property manager at the Grand Island Plaza has been contacted and he has given permission for painting and light installation to occur. Nancy Wonacott, retired art teacher and avid community supporter, will be supervising and instructing volunteers who sign up to assist in the restoration of the mural. The tentative plan is to schedule a date near the end of April to start and complete the restoration work over the course of one to two days.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - March 2021Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 3/20/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjTr6i5bTFA. This data set includes estimates by ZIP code of Erie County residents who have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 3/20/2021.
Preparing for Normal - March 2021By Kevin R. Hardwick, 4th District County Legislator
A year ago we had no idea what was in store for us. One day we were getting ready for spring and summer. The next day our world was changed forever. Since then, we have lost so much. People have lost jobs, kids have lost entire sports seasons, high school seniors have graduated in parking lots and missed their proms, families have missed vacations and, saddest of all, we have lost too many of our neighbors to Covid-19.
Now, however, more and more of us are getting vaccinated as additional vaccines get approval and manufacturers ramp up production. Our response to the pandemic has been far from perfect. But we all owe a great deal of gratitude to all those whose job it was to keep us safe. There’s was not an easy task and too often they were subjected to unwarranted criticism. But they persevered and here we are – on the verge of something approximating normality. Thanks to them we can begin to prepare for normal.
When the pandemic hit last spring and created a huge hole in the Erie County budget due to loss of sales tax revenue, our attention was naturally diverted from everything else. Since becoming a county legislator, I have scheduled several meetings between the county’s highway division and the towns in my district to coordinate our efforts at repairing county roads. Those meetings did not happen last year. This year they must and they will. The cooperation we have received over the years from the Towns of Grand Island and Tonawanda have given us the best roads in the entire county system and I will do all I can to see that the progress resumes in 2021.
I have been effusive with my praise of the job the Erie County Department of Health has done this past year under the most difficult of circumstances. As we get back to normal, I hope to heap more of that praise on the work of the Department of Mental Health. I have been in several meetings with Commissioner Mark O’Brien, and I am excited about the direction he is taking the county. Mental health is not something most of us think about every day. But people who suffer mental illness and their families cope with a host of issues every day. I have long believed that we should be doing more in this area, and I think this may finally be the year. It is a good thing, as the pandemic has impacted everyone’s mental well-being and served to further exacerbate problems of those already afflicted with some form of mental illness. So this increased emphasis could not happen at a better time.
All of our hopes for a better, more productive 2021, of course, are contingent on controlling the spread of Covid. As more get vaccinated every day, we are getting there. But given the emergence of new, more contagious strains of the virus, we cannot afford to get complacent. So please continue to follow social distancing and masking guidelines. We have come so far and the stakes are too high to let up now. 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.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - March 2021Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 3/13/2020. Data.
Assemblyman Morinello Red Cross Blood Drive - March 2021Assemblyman Angelo Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) and the Red Cross will be hosting a Community Blood Drive Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, Grand Island. The community event will honor the lives lost and the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. “Our healthcare workers are in constant and ongoing need of blood and platelet donations,” said Morinello. “The pandemic is not over and the importance of blood donors cannot be understated. I encourage everyone who is able and willing to donate to join me for this event to meet the needs of patient care. Thank you.”
Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org to schedule an appointment. T-shirts will be provided to those who donate. Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. Please see the registration link and information regarding COVID-19 procedures and safety guidelines here: Donors Presenting: Must wear a mask or face covering; Will have their temperature taken; Must be 14 days symptom free if recovered from COVID-19; May not donate if they’ve had a positive diagnostic test or experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days; May not donate if they are currently under self-quarantine restrictions. LINK TO REGISTRATION: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - March 2021Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 3/6/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-8Mo9MoOxs]. This data set includes estimates by ZIP code of Erie County residents who have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 3/6/2021.
Grand Island UPK Lottery Draw Registration Now Open - March 2021GRAND ISLAND - Registration is now open for the Grand Island Central School District’s provider-choice lottery for its Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. The lottery will be held on May 17 at 1:00 p.m., and interested families must reserve their spot in the lottery by May 14.
The UPK program runs two sites. In addition to the Charlotte Sidway Elementary School location, which runs a morning and afternoon session, the district is currently working with Kiddo's Korner Preschool. Kiddo's Korner Preschool, 2728 Stony Point Road, provides an afternoon session as the district’s community-based provider.
To register your eligible child for the UPK program and lottery draw, please go online to www.grandislandschools.org/upk. Once there, you will see a link to the UPK lottery application. Upon completion of the UPK lottery draw in May, if your child secures placement, student registration must be completed in order to be fully enrolled. The enrollment packet can be found on the district website under the Student Registration section. To be eligible for the UPK program, a child must be four years of age on or before Dec. 1, 2021. The child must also be considered a Grand Island resident.
Notification letters and phone calls will be made to parents in the weeks following the lottery to confirm the specific location and session assignments for incoming UPK students. Results of the lottery will also be posted on the district website after the drawing. Additional information regarding the UPK program is available on the Grand Island Schools website under the Student Registration section. Please stay tuned to the website to be able to watch the lottery draw livestream. If you have any questions, please contact the Curriculum Department at (716) 773-8818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - March 2021Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 2/27/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrS_X3-5fPc]. This data set includes estimates by ZIP code of Erie County residents who have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 3/1/2021.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - February 2021Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 2/20/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxI7aWjDy-0]. These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 2/23/2021.
Town of Grand Island 2021 Reassessment - February 2021GI 2021 Reassessment.. Notices will be mailed out end of February beginning of March. Do you have questions about our 2021 Reassessment Project? The video below, created with the assistance of our Town Assessor, Ms. Judy Tafelski, and Mr. Joe Emminger, of ENPM, Inc., takes a careful look at the process and timeline involved in this town-wide project. Towards the end of the video, contact information is provided to answer questions that remain. Please view and share this video to help other Grand Island residents become increasingly informed about this project. See Video.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - February 2021Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 2/13/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLNXMh5wsFI] These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 2/16/2021.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - February 2021Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 2/6/2020. Data. A portion of this was included in today's live video update [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JAc9UGD7bM]. These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 2/9/2021
Island Veterans KIA Information Sought - February 2021The DeGlopper Memorial Expansion Committee is seeking help from the community to obtain contact information leading to family or friends of the following Grand Island Veterans Killed in Action since World War I: Edward P. Pierce, WWI; Francis K. Goodchild, WWII; Howard W. Salton, WWII; Charles A. Smith, WWII; George E. Smith, WWII; Albert J. Keppler, Korea; George H. Kinney, Korea; Joseph A. L'Huillier, Vietnam. We hope to have representatives of each hero present at the formal Dedication Ceremony of the expanded Memorial site on June 5, 2021.Please contact Mary Cooke with any information. Call or text 716-255-5838, e-mail email@example.com, or snail mail 775 North Colony Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Free COVID-19 Tests Available - February 2021February 9, 2021 - ERIE COUNTY, NY - Nursing home data show 86% of eligible residents have received at least a first dose; 8% of Erie County’s population has received a first dose.
The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is expanding eligibility for accessing a free diagnostic COVID-19 test at county-run test sites. New eligibility criteria include all Erie County residents. Appointments are still required, and can be scheduled by calling the Erie County COVID-19 Information Line at (716) 858-2929.
Erie County residents who should strongly consider getting a diagnostic COVID-19 test include:
Individuals of any age with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) – this includes people who received one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 5-7 days after last known exposure - this includes people who received one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Other populations that may schedule a diagnostic COVID-19 test through ECDOH include:
Individuals who require a test for travel – departing from or returning to Erie County
Individuals whose employer requires a negative test to return to work or school following a positive test and completion of isolation period
Individuals seeking a test to qualify for a visit to a nursing home or other care facility
Individuals whose physician requires a negative test prior to surgery
Individuals at high-risk of exposure based on the nature of their job.
“The addition of new state-of-the-art equipment in our Public Health Lab has increased our daily capacity to perform PCR (molecular) diagnostic testing,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Between our Public Health Lab and point-of-care (rapid) tests on-site, we want to make sure that we are providing diagnostic tests to people who need them and who want to know their status.” She continued, “We want to reinforce that testing does not prevent COVID-19. Testing identifies new COVID-19 cases. Public health measures of wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, avoiding in-person indoor gatherings, staying home when ill, and getting vaccinated when you are eligible are the primary ways we can reduce community transmission of this virus.”
Previously, only Erie County residents with COVID-19-like symptoms or who were under quarantine due to a close contact with a confirmed case were eligible for diagnostic testing through Erie County. This change does not affect eligibility at other private or state-run diagnostic testing sites.
Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), COVID-19: http://www.erie.gov/covid19
ECDOH, COVID-19 Information Line: (716) 858-2929 – foreign language interpretation available
COVID-19 Testing Sites in Erie County: www.erie.gov/covidtestsites
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
GI Distinguished Alumni Program Seeks Nominations - February 2021The Grand Island Distinguished Alumni committee is seeking your input for nominations. We are looking for exemplary candidates who have graduated at least ten years ago and have made significant contributions to their field of expertise. Worthy candidates must also demonstrate a sincere concern for humanity through their charitable actions. We will be reviewing all of the nominations and selecting the best candidate(s) who exemplify the distinguished Grand Island alumni tradition. Recipients or a representative, if given posthumously, will be invited to speak to our high school students at a date and time to be determined. Complete this form to the best of your knowledge and submit your nomination. Thank you for your input! All nominations should be in by February 24, 2021.
We Need to Continue to Take Covid Seriously - February 2021By Kevin R. Hardwick, 4th District County Legislator
Even in the “City of Good Neighbors,” great neighbors are hard to find. In the last few months I’ve unfortunately lost two of them to Covid-19. Don, an elderly gentleman a couple doors down, succumbed to the virus a couple months ago. More recently, Derek, my 45 year old next door neighbor was also infected and eventually passed away. Both men’s deaths were heart breaking losses for their families. But they also impacted everyone around them. Again, good neighbors are a blessing.
We are now a year into this pandemic. Although there are encouraging signs as more and more people get vaccinated every day, we still have a long way to go. Reports of Covid variants from South Africa and Brazil that might be more resistant to the vaccine should concern us all. These two mutations, as well as the one from the United Kingdom, appear to be much more contagious than the original virus that has already claimed nearly half a million American lives.
So there is a race to get everyone vaccinated before more people become infected by one of the versions of the virus. For some, of course, it is too late. Three of the eleven members of the county legislature have already been infected. Fortunately, they all are okay. But this just highlights the importance of getting vaccinated, as we will all get the virus eventually unless we acquire the immunity provided by the vaccine.
Unfortunately, the distribution of the vaccine has run into a number of problems. Although my wife, a Buffalo school teacher, was able to get vaccinated last week at a state clinic and I hope to get mine soon, many others have had their appointments canceled due to supply issues. It is extremely frustrating for the folks at the Erie County Department of Health to spend many hours planning clinics to administer the vaccinations, only to have to cancel them due to a lack of vaccine to administer. Appointments are being rescheduled, but one cannot help but think that this should have gone more smoothly. In a few years books will be written about our nation’s less than perfect response to the pandemic. There certainly will be plenty of time later to point the finger of blame. For now, though, we need to do all we can to live to see that day.
Given the slower than expected distribution of the vaccine and the fact that the virus is not taking any time off, it is up to us to do all we can to stop the spread via more conventional means. By now it sounds like a broken record, but we have to continue to wear our mask, wash our hands, sanitize everything and practice social distancing. This is not easy, because everyone is tired of it. But it is the only way that we will beat this thing and we will never return to that normal for which we all long unless we first win the war against Covid-19. As difficult as it may be, we all need to continue to be strong for a few more months. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.
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.
Environmental Grant Program Available - February 2021The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is accepting applications for the Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefits Program (Tonawanda Community EBP). This is an environmental grant program developed from a $1 million settlement established as part of a consent decree between the NYSD Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Office of the Attorney General (collectively referred to as the State) and the Tonawanda Coke Corp. regarding various enviironmental violations at TCC's former facility in Tonawanda.
The primary goal is to fund environmental projects that will improve the environment or public health. A portion of Grand Island is included in the area. See flyer for details as type of funding, who can apply, and key dates. More information can be found here.
GICSD Sports News - February 2021GIHS Athletic Director Jon Roth recently announced the following GICSD sports news.
Wrestling postponed until Spring season, May 10th - June 30th.
Competitive or Sideline Cheerleading moved to Fall 2 Season.
Girls Swimming March 22 - May 15th
Currently, NO WINTER MODIFIED which included Girls & Boys Basketball & Wrestling.
Fall 2020 9/14-11/13 Soccer, Cross country, Golf,Girls Tennis
Winter 2021 2/1 - 3/27 Boys Swim Bowling Basketball Hockey
Fall 2 2021 3/22 - 5/15 Football Volleyball Girls swim Competitive/Sideline Cheer
Spring 2021 5/10 - 6/30 wrestling Softball Baseball Lacrosse Track Boys Tennis
Unified Bowling - 2/22-3/26(all virtual) and Unified Basketball - 5/10 - TBA.
Winter Season NO SPECTATORS and hopefully we can stream some winter contests.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - February 2021Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 1/30/2021. Data. - A portion of this was included in today's live video update (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLP7n84RoHk) These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 2/2/2021.
COVID Vaccine Update - February 2021ERIE COUNTY, NY – Nursing home data show 86% of eligible residents have received at least a first dose; 8% of Erie County’s population has received a first dose.
The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing an update on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered to Erie County residents, including residents at nursing home facilities in Erie County, based on information provided by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The NYSDOH Vaccine Tracker data through January 27 reports that the Western New York region administered 86% of received vaccine doses through county, state, nursing home, pharmacy, and community sites. This is the second highest percentage among all NYS regions.
As of January 28, at ECDOH Points of Distribution Clinics (PODs) 17,628 first doses and 715 second doses were administered. All remaining first doses will be administered at today’s clinics, with second dose clinics continuing next week. Individuals with appointments at ECDOH PODs that were cancelled due to lack of supply will be rescheduled in February as supply becomes available, with the first potential PODs being rescheduled for as soon as the end of next week.
As of January 27, 34 of 35 nursing homes in Erie County completed first dose clinics. One facility, Brothers of Mercy Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Clarence, has residents that received a first vaccine dose but the first dose clinic has not yet completed vaccinating. In total, 1,879 nursing home residents received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Also as of January 27, 20 nursing facilities in Erie County completed second dose clinics. As a result, 1,344 nursing home residents received both their first and second doses. 513 residents declined receiving the vaccine. Accordingly, 86% (3,223) of 3,736 eligible nursing home residents received at least the first dose of vaccine and 36% (1,344) of all eligible nursing homes residents received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Also from data provided to the Erie County Executive’s Office by NYS, as of January 28, 72,633 first doses have been administered to Phase 1A and 1B eligible Erie County residents, not including the doses administered by the long-term care nursing facility program. This total is equal to 8.0% of Erie County’s estimated 2019 population of 918,702, and is higher than the current NYS average of 6.5% of the population receiving at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Combining Phase 1A, Phase 1B, and nursing home residents, at least 8.3% (75,856) of Erie County’s residents have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Sports Leagues Allowed - January 2021ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing the following information for schools, coaching staff, athletes, parents of student-athletes and youth and adult amateur sports leagues in Erie County.
ECDOH and its Office of Epidemiology reviewed the New York State (NYS) Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation revisions announced by Governor Cuomo on Friday, January 22, 2021. These revisions allow local health departments to determine if non-professional and non-collegiate sports, such as wrestling, ice hockey, basketball, contact lacrosse, and volleyball, can proceed with individual and group training, and competitions and tournaments. Updates were also made to low- and moderate-risk sports and recreation activities.
After extended internal discussions and consultation with the New York State Association of County Health Officials, ECDOH has determined that it will allow higher-risk and moderate risk sports to proceed, with the following conditions and recommendations:
For moderate- and higher-risk sports, if an athlete or coach has a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, all in-person team or group activities (e.g., practices, scrimmages, games, meetings) will be cancelled for a 10-day period.
As with all positive COVID-19 cases in Erie County, contact tracing will be conducted for players and coaching staff, and coaches and teammates identified as close contacts will be placed in quarantine.
Travel for games and competitions outside the Western New York (WNY) and Finger Lakes regions is strongly discouraged. All current NYS Travel Advisory guidance for quarantine will apply to athletes, coaches and family members who choose to travel to non-contiguous states.
ECDOH gives its permission for sports and recreation activities in Erie County’s orange “microcluster” zones to travel for games and activities within the WNY region (Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties), and to the Finger Lakes region (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties). This permission will be periodically reviewed to consider regional and county-level rates of transmission and other epidemiological data. In addition, teams from other counties with the WNY and Finger Lakes region may travel into Erie County to participate in games and other activities.
Athletes are required to wear an appropriate cloth face covering/mask when not playing or practicing. For children under the age of 18, at a parent’s direction a child may wear a mask when playing or practicing.
The use of locker rooms is strongly discouraged. If locker rooms are used, they must be cleaned/disinfected as per NYSDOH guidance.
Each team is responsible for screening all athletes and coaches for COVID-19 symptoms for every team event, including practice, scrimmage, or tournaments. Individuals who were exposed to a COVID-19 case or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 10 days are not allowed to participate in the sport or join spectators.
Spectators are limited to two per player. In addition, indoor sports facilities are limited to allow 50% of capacity into their facility.
Vaccination status does not alter regulation requirements.
All other requirements outlined in the January 2021 update to the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation must be followed by sports teams, recreation activities, and facilities where games and practices are held. League staff, school athletic directors, sports facility directors, coaches and parents are strongly encouraged to review this guidance and take steps to make sure current team and league operations align with this updated guidance.
Coaching staff and recreation officials with questions about this announcement may contact the ECDOH Division of Environmental Health at (716) 961-6800.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - January 2021Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 1/23/2021. Data. - A portion of this was included in today's live video update (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrJJ9Hu7hEQ) These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 1/26/2021.
Vaccine Appt. Cancelled - January 2021January 26, 2021 - ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is cancelling COVID vaccine appointments scheduled for ECC South on Friday, January 29 and ECC North and ECC South on Saturday, January 30 due to lack of vaccine supply.
ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is announcing the cancellation of scheduled ECDOH COVID-19 vaccination Points of Distribution (PODs) for Saturday, January 23, Monday, January 25, Tuesday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 27. This includes locations at Erie Community College South and Erie Community College North. Appointments on Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22 are not affected by this announcement.
These cancellations are based on lack of vaccine supply and NYSDOH instruction about vaccine availability. ECDOH has had its vaccine allocation dramatically reduced from the amount it requested. ECDOH is dependent on New York State (NYS) for its vaccine supply, and is not able to order COVID vaccine directly from vaccine manufacturers or the federal government.
These cancellations will affect 4,315 individuals who have scheduled appointments at ECDOH PODs. Emails and an automated phone call will be sent to notify individuals of their cancelled appointments. Those affected will be rescheduled at a future POD site once a vaccine supply is secured. ECDOH’s allotment from NYS this week is 1,700 doses. Combined with remaining supply of 540 doses, ECDOH has enough vaccine to vaccinate the individuals scheduled for PODs on Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22.
All future appointments at ECDOH PODs should be considered tentative, and are subject to vaccine availability. Upcoming first-dose appointments will be cancelled if ECDOH does not receive additional doses from NYS. Individuals who have scheduled second-dose appointments at ECDOH PODs are not affected by these cancellations.
This announcement does not affect scheduled appointments at non-ECDOH sites, including pharmacies, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), hospitals and NYS sites. Those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to keep those appointments, and schedule at other locations if there are openings.
Since opening up its first POD on January 4, ECDOH has distributed 14,176 first doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine to eligible persons. ECDOH is currently capable of distributing more than 2,000 doses daily at community PODs, with delivery being solely dependent on receiving sufficient vaccine doses to meet its capability.
GI Bills Parade - January 2021
Mary Stewart Photos.The Viking Diner was the gathering spot for a "Let's Go Buffalo" parade on Saturday, January 16th. The forty plus vehicles headed north to Long Road, over Huth Road, south on Stony Point, west on Whitehaven, south on Grand Island Blvd. into Grandyle Village. A second parade will take place on Sunday, January 24th. Line-up: St. Stephen’s back parking lot no earlier than noon to be respectful of mass.
NYS Parks to Provide Briefing on West River Landscape Plan - January 2021The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that they will be hosting a virtual public meeting to review the West River Shoreline Trail landscape plan. The landscape plan is a guiding document to be used over the next few years that will prescribe how the agency plans to maintain and restore the West River Shoreline Trail greenspace and shoreline.
The meeting will take place via Zoom on January 26 at 5:30 p.m. and pre-registration is required. Interested parties may email Angela.Berti@parks.ny.gov no later than January 25 and it is advised that participants use a computer to fully participate and view the graphics but a phone-in link will also be provided if you wish to just listen in. The plan will be also be posted at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/beaverisland/details.aspx or available in the park office during business hours.
2021 Town/County Tax Bills Mailed - January 2021Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel announced that the 2021 Town/County Tax Bills have been mailed. If you have changed banks, have paid off your mortgage or do not have an escrow account and did not receive a tax bill, please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 773-9600 ext. 620 or 600. The office will be open extras hours:
Friday, February 12 – 8:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday, February 13 – 9:00am – 12:00pm
Tuesday, February 16 – 8:30am – 6:00pm
The office is closed Monday, February 15
Checks should be made payable to Town Clerk. The last day to pay without penalty is February 16. Envelopes must show a legible postmark of February 16 to be accepted on time. Taxpayers should call the office for correct amounts for payments made February 17 and later. Payments can be made until June 30, 2021. After this date, payments must be sent to the County. Online tax receipts and payments can made at www.grandislandny.us. Service fees apply. Debit and credit cards are accepted at the counter, service fees apply.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - January 2021Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 1/16/2021. Data. - A portion of this was included in today's live video update (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3HCjUpk8do) These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 1/19/2021.
NYS Microcluster Guidance Enforcement- January 2021January 14, 2021 - ERIE COUNTY, NY - The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing the following statement related to enforcement of NYS Microcluster Guidance.
After consultation with our legal counsel, and based solely on the preliminary injunction issued by NYS Supreme Court Justice Henry J. Nowak on January 13, 2021, ECDOH public health sanitarians will apply “yellow zone” criteria to all permitted food service facilities that are currently located in “orange zones.” Practically, this means all restaurants in Erie County will be able to offer indoor dining at 50% capacity, as long as yellow zone measures including a maximum of four people per table and six feet of distance between tables are maintained.
This action is only effective as long as Judge Nowak's preliminary injunction is in place. If an appellate court of law should rule differently, ECDOH will follow such new judicial order. Also, restaurants and bars must end on-premise food and beverage consumption at 10 p.m. pursuant to current New York State regulations. All permitted food facilities should be aware this action only applies to ECDOH’s enforcement of cluster zone regulations. It does not apply to enforcement that may be taken against any entity permitted by the New York State Liquor Authority. ECDOH public health sanitarians are continuing educational outreach to permitted facilities along with complaint investigations and inspections as appropriate.
New Year Offers New Opportunities - January 2021By Kevin R. Hardwick, 4th District County Legislator
The year that just ended saw deep divisions within both our community and our nation. A contentious presidential election, the pandemic and its economic impact were just a few of the reasons for this. Perhaps the only thing upon which everyone could agree is that we were happy to see 2020 end. Given the events of the last couple weeks with the discovery of a new, more contagious strain of Covid in the United States and the horrific violence at our nation’s Capitol, let’s hope this is not a case of “be careful for what you wish.”
Despite these early problems, there is every reason to believe that 2021 will be a much better year. To make it so, however, we will all need to do our part. This begins with continuing to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus. Even though the vaccines are becoming available, it will be months before we reach the “herd immunity” we all crave. In the meantime we need to continue to wear our masks and limit our contact with others. This is not easy, but it is something we must do for a bit longer.
As a county legislator, I have resolved to do all I can to make sure Erie County Government regains the momentum we had before the pandemic hit. The loss of revenue forced us to make painful cuts to the county budget. Some projects such as the push for a new convention center have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. Others, like repairs to our county road system had to be scaled back. But we cannot afford to neglect infrastructure for too long, as doing so will only cost us more down the road. So I will do everything I can to see that we make the most of the resources we have to keep the roads in good shape.
Interestingly, the pandemic actually demonstrated the necessity of some other projects. This was the case for County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s proposal to build Erie Net, the backbone of a countywide public internet system. If the last year proved anything, it was that we all need access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
Another situation I am monitoring closely is the search for a new president for our community college. The pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult enrollment situation at the college and will almost certainly lead to major changes. This makes getting the choice of a new president all the more important. The college’s Board of Trustees needs to get it right, as ECC is an important asset in our community.
The federal government, of course, can do a lot to help us make 2021 a better year. Last year they failed to adequately provide much needed assistance to state and local governments. A new president and congress offers hope that this will soon change. Regardless, we all need to work together to make this a better year than the last. I am confident we can meet this challenge and make 2021 a year to remember for different reasons than we remember 2020.
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.
Backyard Bird Count - January 2021
The Conservation Advisory Board would like to invite you to participate in 24th Annual Cornell's Great Backyard Bird Count. It will take place February 12 -15, 2021. Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Choose the easiest way for you to share your birds: Identify birds with Merlin Bird ID app and add sightings to your list; Use the eBird Mobile app; Enter your bird list on the eBird website (Desktop/laptop).
All you need is a free Cornell Lab account to participate. This account is shared with Merlin, eBird, Project FeederWatch and other projects at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If you already have an account please use the same username and password for submitting your bird list for the Great Backyard Bird Count. We recommend observing birds for at least fifteen minutes. Website.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - January 2021Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 1/9/2021. A portion of this was included in today's live video update. Data. A portion of our data was included in our live video update today: YouTube Video. These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - January 2021Monday, January 5, 2021 - Erie County Department of Health released a data set of Erie County ZIP codes, COVID cases reported for the week ending 1/2/2021, and a calculation of new cases per 100K population. See here.
Please see the data set from the Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology for the week ending 1/9/2021. A portion of this was included in today's live video update. https://www2.erie.gov/health/sites/www2.erie.gov.health/files/uploads/pdfs/ECDOH-data-vis-01-11-2021.pdf A portion of our data was included in our live video update today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS9boFxS5VM These data are preliminary and subject to change. Source: Erie County Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology. 1/12/2021
Town/County Tax Bills Mailed - January 2021
Sitting from L to R: Suzanne Mueller, Martha Mueller, Jeri Benzing.
Despite COVID – 19, the Town and County tax bills are in the mail!!
Our volunteer seniors, socially distanced and wearing masks, prepared the tax bills and were treated to lunch.
Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel reported that the last day to pay without penalty is February 16, 2021.
Standing L to R: Linda Clark, Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel, Patty Phillips, Kathy Lechner and Jean Schlegal
COVID-19 Vaccine Information - January 2021January 11, 2021...Erie County, NY - The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing the following statement regarding the availability of COVID-19 vaccine at our PODs - points of dispensing.
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday, January 11, the NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline will open for scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible New Yorkers: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
All vaccinations are by appointment only. ECDOH has a limited amount of vaccine and appointments through Tuesday, January 12 for Phase 1A individuals. Future POD schedules will depend on the amount of COVID-19 vaccine provided by New York State. Sign up to be notified of future Erie County PODs at https://www3.erie.gov/form/covid-19-vaccine-notification-fo.
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Vaccine Eligibility Form incorrectly lists the ECDOH main phone number, (716) 858-7690, and Sexual Health Clinic, as a local provider for vaccine. This is incorrect information and ECDOH is working to have NYSDOH fix this as soon as possible.
Our department is not making vaccination appointments over the phone at this time. Please do not call our COVID-19 Information Line or main office for vaccine scheduling. As of Monday morning, these calls are interfering with the ability to schedule Erie County residents for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and other general questions. “We realize that there is intense interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Right now, we need to temper that interest with patience. Our supply of vaccine is extremely limited. As Governor Cuomo has stated, it will take months to work through the Phase 1A and 1B populations.”
Other information from NYS:
Health care workers who are part of Phase 1a will continue to be vaccinated at hospitals and other clinical settings.
People age 75 and over will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network.” Use the online tool to find a location.
Public employees (for example, police departments, public school teachers and MTA employees) will primarily be vaccinated through their groups’ relevant health programs or as organized by their unions. NYSDOH Vaccine Eligibility Prescreen Form: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/Public/prescreener
Town Wants Public Comment Re: Local Waterfront Program - January 2021Public Comment Needed! The development of the Town’s waterfront plan (LWRP) is continuing to move along! Just as a quick reminder, the LWRP is a community-driven document that provides guidance on future policies, projects, and actions specifically related to the waterfront. The Program will be used to seek grants and other funding to carry out identified projects, keying in on the waterfront and building on the broader guidance outlined in the recently updated Comprehensive Plan. Funding for the LWRP was provided by a grant from the New York State Department of State under the Environmental Protection Fund.
We’ve done a lot of analysis, gotten good preliminary community feedback, and come up with some key projects to consider after the LWRP is adopted. Now we want to get your feedback on what we’ve come up with! Normally we would have a public meeting for this, but since health and safety is of the utmost importance, we’re going virtual with an interactive site below. There are a few different options for you to give us your feedback here including a map, survey, and discussion forum, so take it for a spin and let us know your thoughts! This is your opportunity to review these projects and help us refine them as needed to continue to develop the rest of the document – your input is valuable to the process!
The site will be available until the end of January to ensure we get a good amount of feedback. It also includes a little background on the project and a timeline of future events. See website.
The Town began this project in January 2019 with a deep analysis of the waterfront and its assets. Following that assessment, a kickoff and brainstorming meeting with the community was held in August 2019 where important issues and potential projects were provided. Using this information, the committee and consultants (CPL and WWS Planning) developed a set of projects that, when combined with policy and programming guidance, can be worked on over time to improve access to and use of the waterfront by residents and visitors alike.
Erie County DOH Releases COVID Data - January 2021Monday, January 5, 2021 - Erie County Department of Health released a data set of Erie County ZIP codes, COVID cases reported for the week ending 1/2/2021, and a calculation of new cases per 100K population. See here.
DEC Announces Grant for Grand Island - January 2021New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced grant awards totaling $1.4 million for urban forestry projects across the state to help communities’ inventory, plant, and maintain public trees. The grants are part of DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which works to increase public awareness of the importance of trees and helps communities develop and implement comprehensive tree management plans to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents.
“Healthy community forests provide a host of environmental, economic, and social benefits, including wildlife habitat, watershed protection, flood reduction, increased property values, and improved public health,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Governor Andrew Cuomo is investing in the health of New York’s communities through the State's Environmental Protection Fund, providing crucial assistance for our state’s vital forests to thrive.”
The 38 projects to receive funding were selected from a total of 154 applications, ranked by cost effectiveness, lasting benefits, use of partnerships, inclusion of outreach and education, and support from local stakeholders. The urban forestry grants complement DEC's ongoing initiatives to address invasive species, climate change, environmental degradation, environmental justice, and urban sprawl. Over the last nine years, New York State has funded more than $11.4 million in grants to support projects with a total value of more than $18.3 million. Erie County: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Inc. - $75,000; Tree Maintenance, Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County - $22,342; Education, Village of Depew - $25,617; Tree Inventory and Management Plan, Town of Grand Island - $50,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan.
Town Supervisor John Whitney, Co-chairs Diane Evans (Conservation Advisory Board) and Dick Crawford (Highway Superintendent) issued the following joint statement, “We are thrilled with the DEC announcement that the Town of Grand Island is the recipient of a $50,000.00 Urban Forestry Grant. This forestry grant will assist the town to develop a tree inventory, increase public awareness of the importance of trees in our community and assist in the removal of dead trees on town properties. Many hours of volunteer work through the towns Conversation Board were used to generate the documentation with the assistance of Grant writers Bernie Rotella and Nathan Taylor for submittal.