Grand Island Town/School News Web Page

Brooklyn Families Receive GI's $3,312 Donation

The crew from FDNY Engine 280 and Ladder 132 pose with Supervisor McMahon.

By Teddy Linenfelser
   Grand Island residents came through with donations so far totaling $3,312 for the families of a NYC fire department that lost seven firefighters September 11. Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, who spearheaded Grand Island's "adoption" of Engine 280 and Ladder 132 of Brooklyn, two of the busiest firefighting companies in New York City, personally delivered the donation Tuesday, December 17, 2001. He spent time visiting at the fire station in the afternoon and evening and was joined on Wednesday by Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra and Gov. George Pataki at Ground Zero.
   The funds, raised over a two-week period, will make the holidays brighter for the 12 children whose fathers died in the line of duty.
   Donations (checks made payable to E280 L132 Disaster Fund Inc.) are still being accepted at the town hall or may be mailed to Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, N.Y. 14072-1799. For more information contact the Supervisor at 773-9600, Ext. 616.

Island "Judges Wall" Unveiled

From left are Justices Francis "Bud" Pritchard, Eric Reimann, Sybil Kennedy and Randy White.

Court Clerk Maria Burns speaks before the unveiling of her pet project.
Barbi Lare photos

   The unveiling of a plaque and several framed photos of Town of Grand Island judges dating back to 1853 took place Monday morning (Dec. 17, 2001) in the upper foyer in town hall. The official unveiling of the Grand Island Judges Wall, in honor of past and present town justices, was handled by Justice Sybil Kennedy, Justice Elect Randy White, Justice Eric Reimann, and former Justice Francis "Bud" Pritchard. According to Court Clerk Maria Burns who began researching the project about two years ago, it was suggested by Judge Pritchard at the time of his retirement. The event was well attended and very well received. Among family members of those now recognized on the town hall wall were Donna Hawley Rodrigues and Jerry Hawley and their families, Marilyn Couch, and Shirley Luther.

New Buckhorn Park-Eagle Overlook Completed

   A Ribbon cutting December 14, 2001, officially opening the new $50,000 Buckhorn Park-Eagle Overlook improvements project, was attended by numerous town, county and state officials including Ed Rutkowski, Sam Hoyt, Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, and Councilman Mary Cooke. The site at the north end of the West River Parkway includes a newly paved public parking lot and a canoe/kayak launch providing public access to the Niagara River. The overlook provides an excellent view of Navy Island and easy access to the wetland habitats on the west side of Buckhorn Park.

Outdoor Lighting Photography Tips
By Freelance Photographers Frederick Claus and Barbi Lare
The season is upon us, and Isle residents will be driving around town to see the beautiful Christmas lights. Many will bring their cameras along to capture these great displays on film. For those wishing to photograph Christmas lights this year, here are some suggestions to help make your pictures more memorable.
   Turn off your camera's built-in flash. In some cases theflash will overpower the effect of the lights. Whether you are trying to photograph the lights on your indoor Christmas tree, the candle lights on your menorah, or the beautiful display of lights on a house, the flash will have the same effect on the lights, and in most cases it will cause the lights to be washed out or even non-existent.
   Of course, when turning off the flash on your camera, you then will not have enough light to get a properly exposed picture. If you are using anautomatic camera, the shutter speed on the camera will automatically be slowed down in order to compensate for the lack of available light. Inthese instances, the slightest movement of either the camera, photographer, or the lights, will cause the picture to be blurred.
   To help reduce the blurred effect, two things are suggested. Using a faster speed film such as 800 or1600 will allow you to photograph in lower light levels. You will have to check with your camera's owner's manual to see if your camera willaccept that speed film. In addition to the faster film speed, it would also be wise to steady the camera, the best way being to use a tripod when shooting. If you don't have one available, resting the camera on a hard level surface, or leaning it against something supportive would also help. If you must hand hold the camera, you can also try to hold the camera with both hands, resting your elbows against your body, and if possible leaning your body against a wall or fence for further support.
   Keep in mind, however, these tips will not work in all cases, but if donecorrectly, they will help to reduce the amount of blur you will get inyour photos and may make your holiday pictures more memorable.
   If you plan on going for a drive to look at the wonderful lights aroundtown, remember the rules of the road. If you need to drive slower than the speed limit, turn your hazard lights on. If you feel the need tostop to look at a house, make sure you have pulled the car over to the side of the road and away from traffic.
   Happy holidays and happy shooting.

Holiday Lights

Marilyn at Schwegler Dr. where the lights in the
backyard equal the spectacular front yard display.

Love Road in Grandyle Village

Photos and Story by Fred Claus
With the unseasonably warm weather we have been having, it has been hard toget into the holiday spirit. To help put us in the mood, my family and Itook a drive around the Island to look at all the pretty holiday lights. Ifyou have not had time to do this yourself, I would highly recommend it. The creative residents here on Grand Island have done awonderful job this year decorating their homes in both festive lights as well as showing their patriotic spirit with red, white and blue displays.

First Snowfall

Fred Claus photo
Mikayla Ann Claus, 2, was all bundled
up for herfirst trip out in the snow this
winter. Snow fell fast and furiously
Friday evening (Dec. 14, 2001).
Mikayla was caught on film by her
daddy, photographer Fred Claus
of Marilyn Dr.

Supervisor Organizes NYC Christmas Campaign

Barbi Lare photo
   Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, with assistance from his wife, Mary, and former island resident Kathy Keenan, has organized a Christmas campaign to specifically benefit the eight families from New York City's Engine 280 and Ladder 132 whose loved ones were killed September 11th.
   Ms. Keenan's brother, Michael McGovern is trustee of the Stackpole Foundation, organized by a firefighter, Timothy Stackpole, who suffered severe burns while on duty and was not expected to live. He did recover and survived his injuries, only to lose his life on September 11th. The Foundation, dedicated to firefighters and their families in emergency need, have received numerous requests for aid. When McGovern asked his sister, Kathy, for help in locating WNYers to adopt a fire station, she, in turn, brought the plight of these particular families to the attention of the supervisor.
   The goal is to collect monetary donations, to be sent to or dropped off at the town hall by December 14, 2001, and to be used by the families as pre-Christmas financial aid. The Grand Island donations will be directed to the survivors of Battalion Chief Matthew Ryan, Captain Thomas Haskell, Firefighters John Vigiano Jr., Firefighter Andrew Jordan, Firefighter Thomas Mingione, Firefighter Sergio Villaneuva, and Firefighter Michael Kiefer. Only the bodies of the Captain and the Battalion Chief have been found. For more information on those who lost their lives in the WTC disaster, go to on the internet.
   Though billions of dollars have been donated to various agencies since September 11th, bureaucratic paper work has left these particular families of the lower socio-economic area looking at a very bleak holiday. Thirteen children survive the men and another child will be born on January 2, 2002. "Let's adopt this fire station for Grand Island residents to come together and make Christmas brighter for these kid," Supervisor McMahon said today.
   First to donate was the Grand Island Fire Company whose individual members contributed nearly $1000 with a promise of more to come in. Island residents are asked to write checks to E280 L132 Disaster Fund Inc. and to mail or drop them off at the town hall (2255 Baseline Road) by December 14. To have checks picked up at your home, call 773-9600 (ext. 616), 773-9352, or call Ms. Keenan at 837-0091 who will also pick up your donation.

55 Alive Set For January
    AARP is offering a 55 Alive/Mature Driving Class for those over 50 and their spouse if under 50. The safe driving course helps to sharpen your skills and attendees may earn a 10% discount for three years on auto insurance for liability, collision, and personal injury protection.
    The course is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2002 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road. Fee is $10 payable by check or money order to AARP. For registration or information, call 773-9781.

Recordbreaking Results From UNICEF
    The following is a report from local UNICEF Chairman Lee Tetkowski:
    "The special visits from Sandee Borgman, "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" Regional Program Manager, to three of our Grand Island schools was inspirational. Two new UNICEF leaders, Sarah Bifaro at the Connor Middle School and Lani Black at Sidway brought new excitement to the project. Kathy Fik at Kaegebein and Debbie Beis at Huth, as always, did a fantastic job of organizing their schools. Understanding that this year's Halloween collecion will all go to help the children of Afghanistan brought out more generosity from our communty.
    "Now the HSBC Bank has finished the count of 17 heavy bags of coins, sorted by Boy Scout Troop 254. Our Grand Island grand total is $4,079.12."
     Chairman Tetkowski thanks everyone who helped make this the best ever.
    UNICEF holiday cards and gift items will be displayed for sale on the next three Fridays, December 7, 14 and 21, 2001 at the M&T Bank from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mrs. Tetkowski also has a supply at her home, 773-3266.

Bridge Painting to Resume March 15

Blue paint is barely visible at the far left of this August 29, 2000 photo
of the South Grand Island Bridges. Click for larger view.

   Painting of the rusty South Grand Island Bridges will resume on March 15, 2002 according to Gregory S. Zafirakis, owner of Erie Interstate Contractors, the third contractor to take on the task. The paint job is four years behind schedule due to problems with the first two contractors, and more than $6 million over the original estimates. Erie Interstate Contractors, facing a January 2004 deadline to finish painting the two 3,400-foot-long bridges, will set up containment apparatus to protect the public and the environment.
   According to Thruway Authority spokesman Terry O'Brien, the delays have not affected the south bridges' structural integrity dispite the fact that they have not been painted since 1990. "The area's severe winters, however, necessitate closer attention to bridges," said Darrell Kaminski, regional structures engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

E-ZPass Lowers Minimum Balance
   The Thruway Authority, having heard numerous complaints from Grand Island residents and officials, will lower the minimum balance Island residents must carry in their E-ZPass accounts. According to the Thruway Authority and local official, a computer error raised the minimum account balance to $15 for Island residents, an amount they (residents) said was unreasonably high.
   "Island residents will now be able to carry a cash balance of only $5 in their E-ZPass accounts," said authority spokesman TerryO'Brien.
   Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo said the $5 minimum balance should go into effect "very soon."
   "It was the most frequent reason that people from Grand Island have been contacting us," said Hoyt's chief of staff, John Maggiore.
   Grand Island residents are the only E-ZPass users who are exempted from the statewide balance minimums of $15 or $25, which depend on when an account was opened, O'Brien said.
   Islanders rely on the E-ZPass as much as any drivers in the state because they must pay a toll at the north or south Grand Island bridges whenever they return to the Island.
   A computer error that occurred over the summer eliminated the exemption Grand Island residents receive from the statewide $15 minimum balance.Island residents who complained directly to the authority had the problem fixed, according to Supervisor Peter A. McMahon. But it took the intervention of McMahon, Hoyt and State Sen. Byron Brown, D-Buffalo, to prompt the authority to fix the error for every resident.
   Supervisor McMahon said that the authority has agreed to hold a public meeting on the Island between E-ZPass officials and residents sometime before Christmas.

Tops Employee Arrested
    A Tops Market employee was arrested November 13, 2001 and charged with grand larceny in the third degree. The 16-year-old female, arrested for stealing more than $3,500 from Tops Markets over the past three months, worked as a cashier at the Grand Island Blvd. store for the past year. She was arraigned in Grand Island court and released to her guardians.
    Detective Fred Vincent was assisted in the investigation by Deputy Joseph Belden and the Loss Prevention Department from Tops. The investigation is continuing and more arrests may be forthcoming.

    The little orange boxes were heavy after Halloween on Grand Island. The results ae not here yet, but as soon as possible the total will be published.
    The generous folks and all the youngsters who went from neighbor to neighbor collecting this year for the children of Afghanistan are greatly appreciated. "Thanks to the Grand Island School administration which supports this important annual project, and to all the teachers who helped the children at all levels understand the need. Our banks and many businesss also participated."
    During the past few weeks, UNICEF has delivered enough supplies to serve the needs of 1.25 million children and women via donkey caravans, truck convoys and cargo planes.
    Grand Island UNICEF Chair Lee Tetkowski is still collecting loose coins, late boxes or donations in any amount to be added to the Halloween collection total. Call her at 773-3266 for more information.
    UNICEF cards and gift items will be offered for sale on four consecutive Fridays at the M&T Bank starting on November 30, 2001 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kids Voting Brings Out First Time Voter

Barbi Lare photo
Michael Malaney, 7, is shown casting his ballet for the first time during the Kids Voting on Election Day Tuesday, November 6, 2001. Kids Voting volunteers at Michael's polling place were Paula King and Martha Switzer.

Post Office Lobby Hours
The Grand Island Post Office on Baseline Road will no longer keep the lobby open 24 hours per day. The lobby will now be open to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Veterans Day Ceremonies Sunday
   Reminding Islanders that Veterans Day ceremonies are always held on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 o’clock, Councilwoman Mary Cooke announced Monday that Veterans Day ceremonies will be held Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 11 a.m. in Veteran's Park on Bedell Road. The legal observance of the holiday extends to Monday as schools along with local, state and federal public offices will be closed. THe Veteran's Day observance will be immediately followed by a brunch and music by Diamond Sound 2-6 p.m. at the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post #9249, 2121 Grand Island Blvd.

Halloween Fun

Fred Claus photo
This group of cousins, (left) SarahLew (Diva Star), Mathew Dougherty (Dinosaur), Alex Gormady (Dorothy from theWizard of Oz), Lena Gormady (Josie and the Pussy Cats), and Mikayla Claus (Orange M&M), took time out for a quick photo before resuming their Tricks-or-Treating in the Marilyn Drive area of the Island.

Election Night Parties
The Republicans will meet for election returns at the Niagara Sailing Club, 3619 East River Road, after the polls close. The Democrats will post election returns at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Winter Parking Restrictions In Force
   November 1, 2001 is the official start of the highway department’s winter season. Observance of “no parking” restrictions on all public highways between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. are required now through March 1, 2002. This parking ban allows for the effective snow plowing in all areas of town.

Oakfield Boogeyman

The folks on West Oakfield Road have created "The Boogeyman," straight out of the movies. The photo was taken by David Gormady.

On Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 a.m., we set our clocks back one hour and return to standard time. The practice of changing the time began during World War I, so Americans could use as much natural lighting as possible and conserve energy needed for war production. Despite the Uniform Time Act, which Congress passed in 1966 to standardize the time change, several localities within the United States do not observe Daylight Saving Time. They are Arizona, Hawaii, parts of Indiana, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. But for citizens living outside of those areas, Sunday affords the opportunity for an extra hour of sleep or weekend fun. And remember -- now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detector.

Crop Walkers Endure Rain and Wind

Barbi Lare photo
   A true believer in CROP WALK, Rev. Paul Robinson of Trinity United Methodist Church encouraged the walkers to make the trek because many folks walked the rainy walk every day in their lives to get food. The hardy walkers, 75+ strong set out to complete the walk to Kaegebein School and back (or the few who made the Golden Mile their goal to the Beaver Island Park gate and back).
   At Kaegebein, the walkers were treated to water and apples provided by the Aid Association for Lutherans. The AAL also match pledged funds by the members of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Other groups registered to walk included St. Stephen's RC, St. Martin Episcopal, Riverside Salem, Island United Presbyterian and Trinity United Methodist.
   As of Tuesday, October 16, 2001, pledges were reported at $2300, with much more expected in on the final count, according to Chairman Dick Seibert who said the Crop Walk is in its 15th year on Grand Island.

Orange Trick-or-Treat Cartons

From left front are Ashley Rutland (Cleopatra), Anthony Russell (hockey player), Elisabeth Asbach (Dorothy) and Zachary Hughes (Houdini). Standing are Lee Tetkowski and UNICEF CEO and speaker Sandy Borgman

Barbi Lare photo
   2000 orange Trick-or-Treat cartons have been delivered to Grand Island for this year's important Halloween collection. For the first time in its long history, UNICEF will give all funds received this year to the children of Afghanistan. Millions of those innocent children will face a brutal winter with extreme life-threatening conditions.
   "Our many years of supporting UNICEF here on Grand Island through three generations of kids have attracted the attention of Sandee Borgman, Regional Program Manager of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF from New York City. Miss Borgman and Lee Tetkowski Grand Island UNICEF Chair, visited three Island elementary schools on Tuesday. Informative assemblies were held at Huth Road School and at Kaegebein. Encourage your children to participate, and whether you have kids or not, please be generous when the costumed little ones ring your bell."   Mr. Charles J. Lyons, president of our U.S. Fund for UNICEF writes:"At this time of great anguish, many young people have turned to the U. S. Fund for UNICEF seeking answers and comfort. For 51 years UNICEF has worked to establish a children-to-children network to save the lives of young people in need. Through the "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program, millions of Americans have helped UNICEF provide emergency services, relief and counseling to children afflicted by violence and tragedy."   For Grand Islanders who do not attend Island public schools, UNICEF cartons are available at the M&T Bank and at the HSBC Bank as well as by phoning Lee Tetkowski at 773-3266. Everyone is urged to help.

Kids Voting

   More volunteers are needed on Grand Island on November 6, 2001 to staff all polling places at the "KIDS VOTING" tables. "Can you take a 3-hour shift? Everyone who has done this has enjoyed the experience," said KIDS VOTING Representative Lee Tetkowski. Phone Mrs. Tetkowski, 773-3266 or Joan Droit, 773-7105 to help.
   KIDS VOTING is a non-partisan, nonprofit, grassroots-driven voter education program.
   The goals of KIDS VOTING are to establish a voter tradition, create lifetime voters and to remind adults of their civic responsibility. Students from kindergarten through high school will be learning about the election.

Pledge Across America

Mandy Malaney Photo
   Students in all Grand Island schools joined students across the country in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag at 2 p.m. on October 12, 2001. Shown are Mr. Randles' 9th period class in the Veronica E. Connor Middle School.
   U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige contacted more than 100,000 public and private elementary and secondary school principals around the country to encourage them to have America's almost 52 million students participate in the synchronized Pledge Across America.

Autumn On The Island

A scene in Beaver Island State Park taken by photographer Barbi Lare of Images-Words-Pictures.

CROP WALK for Hunger Relief

   The annual CROP WALK for Hunger Relief is being held in Beaver Island State Park at 1 p.m. Sunday, October 14, 2001. Proceeds will go to Church World Service for national and global assistance and to local food pantries.

Traffic Alert

   NYS Dept. of Transportation crews will be closing one lane of I-190 from 8 a.m. Saturday, October 13, 2001 through 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 17. They will be replacing sections of the decking on the bridge over the LaSalle Expressway.
   The work site is approximately 1/2 mile north of the North Grand Island Bridge. Significant delays may be expected during rush hour or periods of heavy traffic. At times, northbound traffic may backup across the North Bridge onto the NYS Thruway on Grand Island. Drivers should remain alert for stopped traffic expecially on the North Bridge.

Town Anniversary News

   An informal meeting was held at the town hall, Tuesday, October 2, 2001 regarding the Golden Age Club Beautification Project for Grand Island Blvd. As has been reported, there are 4000 daffodil bulbs, and an undetermined amount of tulip bulbs (donated by Legislator Chuck Swanick) to be planted along Grand Island Blvd. The senior citizens, to guarantee cooperation from the NYS Dept. of Transportation, met with DOT official Skip Hagen, to determine possibilities for planting areas along the Boulevard.
   It has come to the attention of the Grand Island Golden Age Club that the Boulevard has been granted its long overdue bike path/shoulder improvements. "Although this may alter the original plans for the flowers, it is quite a surprise and has both the Golden Agers and the Sesquicentennial Committee excited," a spokesman for the Sesquicentennial said this week. The first planting will begin on Saturday, October 13, 2001. The top-soil for the raised beds and mulch is being donated by Sam Long and the City of Lockport.
   The project will come under the heading of the "Adopt-A-Highway" program, and should not interfere with any future plans of boulevard maintenance. Those who have donated money to this project may rest assured that the bulbs are here and they will be notified of the details.
   "The Sesquicentennial Committee is committed to leaving a legacy to future generations," a sesqui supporter said." We are only here to provide an avenue for all interested parties to express their interest in the history and preservation of persons, places and things," she said.

Adelphia Power Link Rates To Increase

   An increase of 7.5 percent, to $42.95 per month will be charged to Power Link customers of Adelphia Cable who also have basic or digital cable service. The rate hike is limited to Power Link only and represents a total increase of 10 percent or $54.95 per month for users of that Internet service.

Univera, Formerly Health Care Plan On Blvd. Closes
   Univera Healthcare has closed the Grand Island Blvd. medical facility, effective Friday, September 28, 2001, and consolidated the staff of nine at its Amherst facility. Patients who have used the medical center and want to continue to see the same physicians, will be required to receive care in Amherst. They may also choose different doctors located elsewhere in the Univera network. The medical center, according to officials, was closed because fewer patients were using it. "It was a small operation for us, and the volume of patients was decreasing," said Timothy Finan, executive vice president. Formerly Health Care Plan, the center, which saw about 1,300 members and many other fee-for-service patients, was built and opened about 10 years ago.

Racial-attack Victim Spares Teens Prison
For complete story click

Blackmon Road Man Jailed
   Michael Wentland, 26, of Blackmon Road was charged Tuesday, September 25, 2001 with assaulting his wife during an argument, according to Erie County sheriff's deputies. Deputies responded upon receiving a report that a woman may have been injured in a domestic altercation. The couple's two small children witnessed the Monday morning argument, deputies said. Wetland, who was also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, was taken to the county holding center, where he is being held in lieu of $500 bail. Deputies did not disclose whether his wife required medical treatment.

Island Brothers Arrested, Charged With Second-Degree Robbery
   Ayman T. Abdellatif, 21 and his brother, Mohammed T., 19, both of Fareway Lane, Grand Island, have been charged with second-degree robbery after being questioned Thursday, September 27, 2001 in Niagara Falls Police Headquarters, according to Detective John Olander.
   The men are accused of an attack on Steven Kowalcyk, 21, outside his Girard Avenue home in Niagara Falls, NY on Sunday, September 23, 2001 when he was struck several times with a wooden weapon before $1,800 in cash was taken. Kowalcyk suffered minor injuries to the head legs and arms, Orlander said.

Blood Drive
The American Red Cross Blood Drive has scheduled drives from 1-6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9 and Tuesday, December 4, 2001 in the K of C Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Walk-in donors are most welcome and there should be a minimum of waiting.

Primary Day 2001 Election Results



Michael E. Heftka: 49
Mary S. Cooke: 48
Anthony D'Orazio Jr.: 37
John R. Thompson: 22

Mary S. Cooke: 52
John R. Thompson: 52

Working Families
Michael E. Heftka: 8
Eileen M. Torrance: 5

Town Justice


Timothy J. Mordaunt: 40
Randall D. White: 38

Randall D. White: 43
Timothy J. Mordaunt: 42

Town Superintendent of Highways


Raymond F. Dlugokinski: 54
Joseph H. Lukasiewicz Sr.: 17

Burglary Suspect Attempts Escape By Jumping In River
   Erie County Sheriff's Deputies in a City of Tonawanda police boat, captured a burglary suspect Monday morning as he attempted to escape by swimming to Tonawanda.
   According to Erie County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan, upon returning to her home on Riverwoods Drive, a 48-year-old resident noticed a man walking out of the back gate, wearing a leather backpack. The woman yelled to the man, began chasing him, and was able to grab the backpack, estimated to weigh 55 pounds. Her home had been burglarized of more than $2000 including a collection of coins. The chase continued until the suspect jumped into the East River and began to swim across.
   Detective Fred Vincent and Deputy Michael Hilliker plucked the suspect, Richard J. Little, 43, of Military Road, Buffalo from the river about 9:15 a.m. Little was charged with burglary and grand larceny.

BPO, American Legion Present "Let Freedom Ring"
Concert To Benefit Victims Of Tragedy
   The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the award winning American Legion Band of the Tonawandas – Post 264 have teamed up to provide a free concert aimed at raising money to help those affected by the tragedies which occurred at the World Trade Center and U.S. Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The Town of Grand Island is one of the sponsors of the event.
   The concert will take place 6:30 p.m. Sunday, September 30 at Mount Saint Mary’s Academy, 3756 Delaware Avenue, Tonawanda. Donations will be collected by the United Way to benefit the September 11th Fund. Representatives from the American Red Cross will also be present to explain how the public can help through blood donations. Contributions will be accepted at tables set up in the lobby of the school auditorium. All proceeds from the sale of refreshments will also go to the disaster memorial fund.
   “We are delighted to work in collaboration with the BPO, American Legion and Erie County Legislature as well as the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in the spirit of helping our neighbors and friends in New York City and Washington D.C. through this tragedy,” said Arlene Kaukus, President of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.
   “The events of September 11th in New York City and Washington, D.C. were tragic, not only for those who lost their lives and the families who now remain, but for every American citizen,” stated Lawrence A. Ribits, president and chief executive officer of the Buffalo Philharmonic. “As music is a healing agent, the BPO will present this concert as an offering of comfort, consolation and an inner sense of renewed hope for our country.”

Civil Service Exams
   The office of Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick in cooperation with the Erie County Office of Personnel has announced the following civil service exams:
1. Senior Medical Secretary - #68-559
2. Assistant Solid Waste Recycling Specialist - #65-524
3. Asst. Coordinator-Fire Safety - #65-213
4. Civil Engineer - #66-386
5. Computer Operator - #66-810
6. Municipal Administrative Assistant - Legal - #63-509
7. Paralegal - #66-812
8. Paralegal-Spanish Speaking - #66-813
9. Principal Engineer-Energy Utility & Grant Management - #66-807
10. Senior Civil Engineer - #66-487
11. Paralegal-Collections - #65-376
12. Senior Highway Maintenance Engineer - #66-104
   Applications and job descriptions are available at both Legislator Swanick's district offices, 1770 Grand Island Blvd. (773-1441) or 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Room #100 (877-3986). Due to the high cost of postage applications cannot be mailed out. All applications for the above exams must be postmarked by October 10, 2001.

The Closing of Emmanuel
By Barbara Gatti
   September 8, 1957 was a special day in the life of Grand Island when a new church was opened on Baseline Road and known as Grand Island Emmanuel of the Evangelical United Brethren. Last Sunday, September 9, 2001, exactly 44 years after the first service, the final service of this beautiful church now known as Emmanuel United Methodist Church took place. There were many people on hand to pay tribute to the congregation and to meet some of the pastors who served Emmanuel over the years. In attendance was Emmanuel's first pastor, Eldon Snyder, who served from 1957-1962, Rev. Marianne Wickett, Rev Bob Leach and current pastor Rev. Ray Noel. Each had fond words and memories of Emmanuel and all were glad to see some of their parishioners whom were there from the very beginning.
   The current congregation will join the Ontario Street United Methodist Church in Riverside where Ray Noel also serves as pastor. For many people, this closing is one of much sadness, especially those parishioners of long standing. The future of the building is unclear, but it is possible that a group in search of a church may be able to continue to use the building for those very important events in life, marriage, baptism, funerals and a sense of peace during times of need, so desperately needed right now.

Sendlbeck Responds
   Local Independence Party chairman Michael Sendlbeck, also connected to the Erie County organization headed by Tony Orsini, recently announced that a deceitful letter had been sent to Grand Island Independence Party members and gave the impression that the letter was sent by Sendlbeck and John Lexo. Lexo is heading another faction of the town Grand Island Independence Party connected to Charlie Flynn, a rival of Orsini.
   Lexo's group has endorsed the candidates listed on the flier. Sendlbeck's Independence group, however, endorsed a different slate of candidates. Sendlbeck said he was not involved in preparing the flier and had no knowledge of it until one arrived in his mailbox Sept. 10, 2001, a day before the election was to take place. Sendlbeck's Independence Party is backing Kevin Hardwick for county legislator, Mike Heftka and Mary Cooke for Grand Island Town Council, Tim Mordaunt for Town Justice and Joe Lukesiewicz for highway superintendent. The candidates listed on the flier and endorsed by Lexo's group are Tony D'Orazio for Town Board, Richard Pawarski for Family Court and Charles M. Swanick for county legislator.
   The two sides faced off in the primary Tuesday, September 11, 2001, cut short by the World Trade Center disaster. Sendlbeck condemned the tactic of sending out misleading campaign literature to arrive a day before an election. Ordinarily, Sendlbeck said, he would not have had a chance to respond in time for the primary. But with the election delayed because of the terrorist attacks in New York City, he was able to respond.

1000+ Attend Isle Candlelight Vigil

Mary Kate Sidoti is assisted by Supervisor McMahon
in the lighting of the ceremonial torch.

Choir members from St. Stephen's and Trinity UM churches
Marion J. Woods photos

   Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, in a press release this week, announced estimates of between 1000 and 2000 people in attendance at the Community Candlelight Vigil at the Town Commons Gazebo Sunday evening September 16th. "I don't know how accurate those figures are but I'm certain that there were at least 1,000 people in the crowd. At whatever the actual number, the Community Candlelight Remembrance was a success."
   Those who died in the Tuesday, September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were honored, and recovery effort workers were prayed for. The supervisor assisted St. Stephen School 6th grader Mary Kate Sidoti in lighting a ceremonial torch.
   "The community gathered and each person in his or her own way reflected on the events of the past 5 1/2 days," McMahon said. "Many shared their impressions with others. As a community we began the healing process," he said.
   Many of those in attendance, when asked their impression of the evening, mentioned the emotional element of coming together with so many friends and neighbors, pride of country by the huge turnout, and how each "would not have wanted to miss the evening of patriotism, love of country and being together."

Light A Candle
The following is being circulated through Internet e-mail: Friday night (Sept. 14, 2001) at 7:00 p.m. step out your door, stop your car, or step out of your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the United States quickly.The message: WE STAND UNITED - WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM.We need press to cover this. We need the world to see.

Candlelight Vigil at Town Hall
Come join us for a Community Candlelight Vigil at the Town Commons Gazebo Sunday Evening starting at 8:45 P.M. September 16th. For more information call Supervisor Peter McMahon at 773-9352 or Rev. Paul Robinson 773-3550. All are welcome.

Island Responds To Terrorism with Prayer
Many Island churches responded to Tuesday's horrorwith special services and prayer vigils. St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trinity United Methodist and St. Stephen's Catholic Church were open for prayer and healing services Wednesday. St Timothy's Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road at Stony Point, will conduct healingservices at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2001. All services have been opened to anyone, regardless of theirreligious orientation. Publication of the church services is through the auspices of the Connections Program.

Fetzer Pleads Guilty to Racial Crime
   Michael Fetzer, 17, of Carter Drive pleaded guilty Monday, September 10, 2001 to racially motivated third-degree assault in State Supreme Court. He, along with Joseph L. Rafe, 16, of Monica Road were indicted in November 2000 in a racial attack that took place October 31, 2001. Fetzer will be sentenced next month and could face a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to four years in prison. This is the first conviction under the new hate-crime laws passed last year.

Community Education Registration
   Registration for Grand Island Central School District's Community Education fall 2001 classes will be held September 24, 26 and 27 from 6-7 p.m. at Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road. Residents are urged to use the mail-in procedure. No mail-in registrations will be accepted after September 24, 2001.
   The classes are open to anyone 16 years and older. High School students are encouraged to register for any class except High School Equivalency and other courses that are usually a part of the regular high school curriculum. Non-Grand Island residents are invited to participate.
   A brochure of course offerings that includes academics, sports and hobbies, was mailed to each Grand Island household. Jim Mazza is coordinator and board members are Marion Fabiano, Ruth Stahl, Ted Korkuc, Joan Bodkin, Mary Ellen Kippley, Pete Bellanca, Kathleen Baker Hoppel and Mary Ann Kruk.
   Inquiries for information will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 773-8864 or 773-8825.

Gearing Up For the School Year

Sidway school students visited their teachers and classroom Thursday.

Kaegebein School teachers

Photos by Lee Cohen
Schools open Tuesday, September 4, 2001 and sports teams began practice at the high school long before the first day. Sidway School students were able to visit their new teachers in the class room last week. Kaegebein School teachers are also shown getting ready for the first week of school. Teams pictured are the cross country teams, the girls soccer team, and modified football.

Tony D'Orazio Accepts Endorsement

   Tony D'Orazio has accepted the endorsement of the Grand Island and Erie County Independence Party for the position of town councilman. According to a press release this week, "Tony is the only Independence Party affiliated candidate you will find on the ballet in the September 11th (2001) primary for councilman race. He believes strongly in the Independence Party ideals."
   "Now days candidates don't want to take a stand unless it's 'Politically Correct.' When there are no standards or integrity, it is always the citizens who suffer. I feel the people of Grand Island are ready for a change. They are tired of the same old 'Politics as Usual.' I believe the people deserve a choice," D'Orazio stated.
   "The Seneca Nation Lawsuit still plagues us. Recently Grand Islanders were told that the homeowners and property owners of Grand Island will never pay a dime regardless of the dollars every year in title insurance and loss of equity in our homes."
   Tony is also concerned with taxes increasing as the economy deteriorates. "The small business community is shrinking along with our tax base. The small businesses need more co-operation from the town officials." Other points of interest he addresses are an affordable recreation center for children, and affordable senior housing.   D'Orazio is retired from Union Carbide after 23 years and is currently employed at Tops Markets as the Butcher Block Manager. He has also been Union representative for Tops employees for the last eight years. Tony and his wife, Dolly are parents of seven grown children.

Free Rabies Clinics
   Vaccinations for rabies will be given free of charge from 2 p.m-4 p.m. Tuesday, August 28 at the Erie County S.P.C.A., 205 Ensminger Road in the Town of Tonawanda, and from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 11, in the Buffalo Zoo parking lot.
   Domestic cats and dogs, and other animals, such as raccoons, bats, foxes, and skunks have tested positive for rabies in northern Erie County, including Grand Island, during the past two years according to the Erie County Health Department.
   People can catch rabies from animals, and if not treated at a very early stage, the disease is almost always fatal.
   For more information about the inoculation service, contact Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick's office at 877-3986.

Attention History Buffs
   A public forum on the State's American Revolutionary War Heritage Trail initiative will take place at the Niagara Reservation Visitor Center in Niagara Falls NY, Thursday, August 30, at 7p.m. Douglas DeCroix, Director of Interpretation of Fort Niagara will be the History Presenter for the event.
   The purpose of this forum "is to seek participation and input from local elected officials, citizens, historians, and site owners" regarding the Heritage New York Program according to program Director Richard White Smith.
   The forum will include a briefing on the American Revolutionary War Trail initiative, proposed grants, and the region's role in the Revolutionary War.

Marigold Housing for the Elderly

   Construction for the Marigold Housing for the Elderly Project is set to begin in September. The project, a three story, 38 rental-unit facility located on 3026 Grand Island Boulevard near Bedell, will provide low-income seniors with affordable housing on Grand Island.
    Each 540 square-foot apartment will contain a kitchen, bathroom, and a living/dining area. The building will also contain a community room for recreation and social activities, a caretaker apartment, managers office, and laundry facilities.
    The Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Sponsored by People Incorporated of WNY.
    It will likely be completed in July 2002 according to Wende S. Burgio of People Incorporated. To be eligible for the project applicants must be 62 years old, and have an income of no more than $16,950 for a single applicant or $19,350 for two persons. HUD requires that at least 30 percent of project go to the lowest income applicants according to Burgio. She added that aside from the 30 percent requirement, all qualified applicants will have an equal opportunity for the housing.
    Applications for the project will not be available until the spring of 2002, but interested parties should contact: People incorporated, 1219 North Forest Road, Williamsville, NY 14221, (716) 634-8132, for more information and to receive a Preliminary Interest Form.

National Airborne Day
August 16th is National Airborne Day commemorating the first jump by an Airborne troops. The 82nd Airborne Division was born soon after and Grand Island resident Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper, a member of the 82nd, received a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award, during World War II. Joe Synakowski and Mary Cooke were instrumental in getting a proclamation from the Town of Grand Island celebrating National Airborne Day. This is done in part to make the residents, especially children, remember Charles N. DeGlopper and all veterans for their service. As part of the recognition Airborne Flags were flown at the VFW Post, Town Hall, and the DeGlopper Park.

United Way Day of Caring
United Way representative Al PriestIsland resident Laurie Golding -Isledegrande Photos

Barbi Lare Photo
   Grand Island residents, on Wednesday, August 15, 2001, participated in the United Way Day of Caring by sprucing up the Town Commons and the Nike Base, part of the day's agenda. The objectives of the day of caring is to encourage long-term volunteerism among Day of Caring participants; to give people in the community the chance to see how their dollars are put to work; to provide a day of volunteer manpower to the agencies and their clients and to draw public attention to the United Way and the needs of the community.

Antique Car Show at Fantasy Island

Barbi Lare Photos
    The 7th Annual Martin's Fantasy Island Old Fashion Car Show, held Sunday, August 12, 2001, drew nearly 300 cars which were on display all over the grounds of the amusement park. Martin DiPietro, owner of the park, presented the Best of Show Award and Oldies 104 was on hand to provide music and commentary.

Swanick Announces GI's Small Business Forum
Public Discussions to Focus on Strengthening Neighborhood Commercial Districts

   Erie County Legislators are asking people to come together for a public dialogue focusing on boosting economic development for businesses closest to home. The legislators are announcing the schedule for the first round of public information meetings to discuss ways to strengthen neighborhood commercial districts.
   “We have made significant progress promoting regional economic development on a grand scale by attracting and retaining General Motors, Adelphia and Quebecor,” said Legislature Chairman Charles M. Swanick (D-Kenmore/Grand Island). “Now we want to reach out to the neighborhoods and hear how we can work to strengthen smaller, local businesses.”
   The month-long schedule for small business community forums is as follows:
- Thursday, August 9, 6:30p.m. at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway – Auditorium
- Tuesday, August 14, 6:30p.m., United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, 742 Delaware Avenue
- Monday, August 20, 6:30p.m., Philip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Tonawanda
- Wednesday, August 22, 6:30p.m., Delavan Moselle Center, 877 E. Delavan Avenue
- Thursday, August 23, 6:30p.m., Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road
- Wednesday, August 29, 6:30p.m., Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd. – Auditorium - Amherst
- Thursday, August 30, 7:00p.m., Lackawanna Senior High School, 550 Martin Street – Cafeteria

Attention Hunters
   Hunting licenses go on sale Monday, August 13, 2001. Extra hours for the purpose of obtaining licenses at the Town Clerk's Office at Town Hall will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 25, 2001. Applicants must present a drivers license. Party permit applications must be postmarked by September 7, 2001.

Computer Recycling Day
   The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning will hold a Computer Recycling Drop-off Day Saturday, August 18, 2001 at the University at Buffalo in Amherst.
   The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All county residents are encouraged to participate by bringing in their old computers including CPUs monitors, keyboards, mice and printers. For more information contact the Erie County Hazardous Waste Hotline at 858-6800.

Legend and Lore of Wildflowers Walk
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation will sponsor "The Legend and Lore of Wildflowers Walk" from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sunday, August 12, 2001 in Beaver Island State Park. The State Park's Public Program Schedule Summer 2001 gives a glimpse of what will take place by offering the following: "How did Queen Anne's Lace get its name? What is Butter and Eggs? Learn to identify and use a variety of wildflowers through stories and walking to find them!" Attendees are asked to meet at the Nature Center.

Blood Drive Rescheduled
The American Red Cross Blood Drive, originally scheduled for August 14 in the Knights of Columbus Hall has been rescheduled for Tuesday, August 28, 2001 from 1-6 p.m. The Red Cross has also scheduled drives from 1-6 p.m. on October 9 and December 4, 2001 in the K of C Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Walk-in donors are most welcome and there should be a minimum of waiting.

Ferry Village Cleanup

This old derelict houseboat (left) is being dismantled, thanks to Dan Stedman of Blue Water Marina where the boat has been abandoned for several years. The view of the Niagara River at Blue Water will be improved 100%. Also being removed from the Village is a large boat (right) that has been sitting behind San-Dee's Pub at Ferry and Elmwood roads. Barbi Lare photos

American Red Cross Blood Drive
   An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2001 in St. Stephen's Church (Old Church Basement), 2100 Baseline Road.

Civil Service Exams
   March 22, 2001...The office of Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick in cooperation with the Erie County Office of Personnel announces the following civil service exams:
1. Legal Data Systems Coordinator #65-469
2. Hospital Account Collector #65-230
3. Caseworker #65-938
4. Data Processing Control Clerk #70-077A
5. Investigative Aide #66-103
   Applications and job descriptions are available at Legislator Swanick's district offices, 1770 Grand Island Blvd. (773-1441) or 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Room #115 (877-3986). Due to the high cost of postage, applications cannot be mailed out. All applications must be postmarked by March 28, 2001.

National Night Out 2001
   The Town of Grand Island recently received a letter from the National Association of Town Watch inviting organizations to participate in National Night Out 2001. The event will take place August 7, 2001.
   The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police and community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
   The event has yet to be observed on Grand Island. It is celebrated in many communities in all 50 states and Canada.
   NNO is celebrated by turning on outdoor lights, block parades, cookouts, parades, and visits from local police and fire companies.
   For more information contact NATW, 1 Wynnwood Rd., Suite 102, P.O. Box 303, Wynnewood, PA 19096, 610-649-7055

Sesquicentennial Meeting Set For March 20
   A Sesquicentennial planning meeting, open to all interested residents, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 in the meeting room of the Grand Island Memorial Library on Bedell Road. It is hoped that all organizations, churches, businesses, schools etc. will get involved in the planning for the celebration of the town's 150th birthday in July 2002. Everyone is invited to attend the meeting.

Civil Service Exams
   The office of Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick in cooperation with the Erie County Office of Personnel announces the following civil service exams:
1. Corrections Officer, Deputy Sheriff - Officer #62-470
2. Geographic information Systems Analyst #62-368
3. In-service education coordinator #65-369
   Applications and job descriptions are available at Legislator Swanick's district offices, 1770 Grand Island Blvd. (773-1441) or 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Room #115 (877-3986). Due to the high cost of postage, applications cannot be mailed out. All applications must be postmarked by March 21, 2001.

H.E.A.P. (Home Energy Assistance Program)
   Home Energy Assistance Program (H.E.A.P.) Outreach sites are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 at the Grand Island Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 21 at St. Andrews R.C. Church, 1525 Sheridan Drive, Kenmore; and Wednesday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Brighton Community Church, 1225 Brighton Road, Town of Tonawanda.
   H.E.A.P. income eligibility guidelines for 2001: Household size 1, maximum monthly income $1,486; Household size 2, maximum monthly income $1,943; Household size 3, maximum monthly income $2,400; Household size 4, $2,857; Household size 5, $3,314; Household size 6, $3,771; Household size 7, $3,857; Household size 8, $3,943. Each additional person +$84.00.
Documentation requirements

   Residence: Copy of lease with address; water, sewage or tax bill; homeowner's insurance policy; mortgage payment receipt; deed; rent receipt with address; utility bill.
   Income: pay stubs - last four weeks; business records (self employed); check(s) (SSA, VA, RR pensions, etc.); unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) book; bank books/dividend or interest statements.
   Household Composition: drivers licenses, birth certificates/baptismal certificate; schools records; collateral contacts (e.g. landlord) social security cards; marriage certificates.
   Vendor relationship: a current utility/fuel bill; contact with utility/fuel company; heat or utility bill must be in the tenant of record's name.
   Applicants will be taken on a first-come first serve basis. For further information contact Erie County Legislators Charles Swanick at 877-3986 or Lynn Marinelli, 873-1650.

Grand Island Youth Court
By Anna Czapla
Grand Island High School senior

   Youth Court is Grand Island's own student-run organization that deals with youth crime here on the Island. Youth Court is an actual court of law where youthful offenders are sent as an alternative to Family Court.It is run almost entirely by students, and it has been said many times that the offenders' fellow students deal out much harsher punishments than would be given for the same charge in Family Court. Although most cases are sent to Youth Court from the Grand Island schools, a percentage of cases comes through the law enforcement efforts on the Island. Some of the more common offenses Youth Court deals with are smoking violations, trespassing, minor theft, harassment, and, new this year, truancy.
   Youth Court is a student-initiated project that began several years ago at the high school with the help of Youth Court coordinator Dennis Albert. To join the court, a student must go through an intensive training program that highlights important aspects of the law as it pertains to children and youth, and each member must learn about trial procedures. The incoming student then shadows a current Youth Court member for a few sessions until the process is fully understood. Court members take on the many roles that the judicial process involves, including clerk, bailiff, prosecution, defense, and even judge. The knowledge a student gains about the judicial system through Youth Court is truly invaluable.
   This school year has been one of the most exciting years ever for the Grand Island Youth Court. The court is optimistic that its stiff punishment of truancy will bring the rate at the high school down significantly. Youth Court has, for the first time, been working with GIFTS under the discretion of the individual presiding judge.Youth Court will continue its work of making Grand Island a better place to live as it continues to grow in its service to the youth of Grand Island.
   This year's student members include James S. Blocho II, Anna Czapla, Laura Fik, Jacob D. Lange III, Dylan McLean, Scott McMichael, StevenPfestch, and Brittany Rogers. Youth Court has even broken down language barrers this year with its first international student: Bettina Schlosser.

Sesquicentennial Update
By Teddy Linenfelser
   About 20 Isle residents met with Supervisor Peter A. McMahon Tuesday evening, February 13 in town hall to discuss ways and means of developing a top notch celebration of the town's 150th birthday in July 2002. So far plans call for a mammoth Independence Day Parade and a fireworks display of major proportions. An historic pageant, a costume ball, a beard growing contest and a T-shirt design contest received favorable comment. Terry Swain and Supervisor McMahon offered monetary donations to be used for prizes for the design artists.
   Mike Schneider of Harvey Road spoke on the historical importance of the International Grand Prix Race held on the Island during the Centennial of 1952 and offered to check out the possibility of bringing the vintage race cars back for an exhibition race or car show during the festivities.
   Dr. Paul Fields gave school district support to the Sesquicentennial celebration and offered to help in any way he could.
   VFW Post Commander Ralph Lommer and member Joe Synakowski assured those in attendance of not only their annual July 4th community picnic in 2002, but also assistance in other areas if necessary.
   A Sidway School Reunion of Classes 1937-1963 has been purposely planned for Saturday, July 6, 2002 to coincide with the Sesquicentennial and it is hoped that this will draw not only classmates from across the nation but entire families who still call Grand Island home. A contingent of Sidway School Reunion committee members attended the meeting.
   The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 20 in the town hall and individuals as well as representation from all churches, organizations, schools etc. are urged to attend.

LaFalce visits GI
By William O'Connor
   Last Saturday, Feb. 10, 2001, at 9 a.m. about 40 people met with US CongressmanJohn LaFalce during a town meeting in the Knights of Columbus Hall. In his openingstatement, he explained that during Congressional breaks he likes to hold meetings to stayin touch with the people he serves. Subjects of discussion varied from US foreign policyto the Seneca Land claim.
   The first question came from Barbara Pries of Tonawanda. She asked LaFalce tocomment about what's happening in Russia. LaFalce recalled crying "tears of joy" when inNovember 1989, he saw the Berlin Wall being dismantled on television. He said that hetraveled to Berlin and chipped off pieces of the wall which he still has today.
   The transition from a "planned economy" to a "market based economy" didn't gowell in places like the former Soviet Union and other countries because of poor leadershipand the wrong approach to the transition according to LaFalce. The collapse of the SovietUnion was due in part to an emphasis on an "immediate transition" of large state-runinstitutions with loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).The result - no benefit to the people of the Soviet Union and most of the loans going to "asmall number of leaders, rampant with corruption," according to LaFalce who favored a"small business" approach. Former Russian President Boris Yelsin also contributed to thecollapse; LaFalce described him as a "drunk" and a "bafoon." He also expressedmisgivings about Russian President Vladimir Putin because of his involvement in the KGB(Secret Police).
   LaFalce applauded President George Bush's decision to go to Mexico and meetwith recently elected President Vincente Fox. LaFalce claimed he supported several keymembers of the Fox administration when they were defending human rights in the Chiapasregion (before Fox was elected).
   Mike Torrance of Meadow Lane asked about the outlook for Niagara Falls.LaFalce said he worked with former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit to bring federalmoney to revitalize the region; and he spoke with Larry Small, President of theSmithsonian Institution, about re-opening the abandoned Turtle museum. He alsoapplauded Governor George Pataki's "Times Square" model development program for theFalls.
   The Niagara Falls Airport is a "different story," the 99-year lease is "basically asale...with no performance standards" according to LaFalce.
   LaFalce fielded several comments and questions about energy prices. One person commented his bill "put him in sticker shock," another commented that it isn't fair to paysuch high bills when the gas company's top two executives each make more than $1million a year, and another asked why his bill is so complicated (the price for a cubic foot iscarried out to six decimals). Today's prices are an "outrageous situation" that may be dueto "supply and demand," said LaFalce who plans to study the problem more deeply.
   Pediatric Nurse Eileen Torrance asked what could be done to keep Children'sHospital on Bryant Street in Buffalo. "I'm sympathetic," said LaFalce whose children wereborn at Children's. He said the move would "do harm" to a "great neighborhood" andsuggested, to prevent the move, physicians should "become more political."
   Grand Island Supervisor Peter McMahon asked if there is anything LaFalce coulddo to pressure the US Department of Justice to "get landowners out of the trial." Hereplied that he thought the DOJ already removed the landowners, and it's just a matter oftime before they file their motions to do so. Never before has a landowner "lost a penny"in an Indian land case. The Senecas have "a reasonable case...but they're is mystrong hope" Judge Arcara will "rule for the defendant," said LaFalce.
   He added that he and his staff prefer to work behind the scenes on this casebecause "the more I talk about it, the worse it looks." There are "a thousand residents onCayuga Island" in Niagara County who are "in the same boat," but because they haven'thad the publicity, their property values are in better shape according to LaFalce.

Canal Planning Commission NeedsIsland Input
   An organized effort is underway for a development and tourism plan for the Erie Canal. An 18-member commission created by state law and given the task to develop a long-range plan covering canal areas in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wayne counties is seeking public opinion from all area communities including Grand Island, NY. Task forces have been set up with commissioners and citizens assigned to membership. Others interested in joining are asked to call the commission at 546-7032, Ext. 32.

Vandals arrested
   Two Grand Island men were arrested and charged with 14 counts ofcriminal mischief last weekend, for vandalism on Baseline between Fix and Bush Roads according to the Erie County Sheriff's Department.
   Eric A Salvalzo 21,of East Oakfield and Michael Wilbert,17, ofParkview Drive allegedly vandalized mailboxes and lampposts early Friday, January 26.   They were sent to the Erie County holding center pending arraignment.

DWI's Bring Maximum Sentence
   Seven DWI arrests and convictions added up to amaximum sentence of two-and-one-third to seven years in prison for Kenneth T. Carpenter, 32,of Carl Road. Four of Carpenter's arrests happened in the last seven months according toan article in the Buffalo News.
   Carpenter plead guilty November 24, 2000 to four felony DWIcharges. He was sentenced Wednesday, January 24, 2001. State Supreme Court Justice Mario J. Rossetti said that Carpenter's record gave him "no choice" but to impose the maximum sentence according to the News.

OSHA Keeps Eye On Bridge Paint Job

Progress of the blue paint job is visible at the far left of this August 29, 2000 photo
of the South Grand Island Bridges. Click for larger view.

Painting of the north spans was completed last year. Click for larger view of the Sept. 9, 2000 photo.
Diane Hassan photos

   Grand Island south bridge paint job contractors and workers will be watched closely by Federal OSHA agents who are also monitoring other bridge renovation work due to several accidents here and in Rochester, NY.
   In a 10-month period between 1998 and 1999 a north bridge worker assembling scaffolding fell 60 feet to a steel deck below, another man at the north bridge project fell 70 feet on to a scaffolding and a third worker died due to injuries in a fall while assigned to the painting project of the south spans of the Grand Island bridges.
   Hazards facing bridge painters, according to OSHA, are falls and exposure to airborne lead and silica.
   Day-long workshops focusing on the dangers bridge workers face and the penalties that could be imposed on contractors who fail to meet health and safety standards were set up this week in Jamestown, Amherst and Rochester by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
   Keystone Construction Corp. of the Bronx has set a target date of June 30, 2001 for completion of the south Grand Island bridges paint job. Painting of the north spans of the Island bridges has been completed.
   For more information on-line, use the search engine,, and type in "osha+bridge+grand island."

Lee Tetkowski Leads UNICEF Efforts

Lee Tetkowski

Susan Power, director of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF," in a recent Letter to the Editor in another Island weekly, named the Grand Island Central Schools as a 2000 "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" Ambassador. Grand Island school students collected and donated $3,601.24 to UNICEF this year.
Our kids on Grand Island did and always have done a bang-up job of collecting for the world's children. This year's Halloween Trick-or-Treat-for UNICEF broke the previous Grand Island record. We just want to set the record straight and give credit where credit is due. Though no mention was made in the Letter to the Editor, it is Whitehaven Road resident Lee Tetkowski who has spearheaded the drive on Grand Island for over 40 years.

Seneca land claim continues
By William O'Connor
   Oral argument for the Seneca Nation of Indians v. New York State Lawsuit is setto continue on January 30, 2001, 9:00 a.m. at the US Courthouse building in downtownBuffalo, according to Grand Island Special Council Attorney Michael B. Powers from thefirm Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine, & Huber.
   The suit clams that all of the islands in the Niagara River (including Grand Island)were illegally taken from the Seneca after the Revolutionary War. The Seneca's claim isbased on the fact the US Congress never ratified the treaty that granted the Island to theState. New York claims that the islands were English territory before the Revolution andsovereignty went directly from England to New York, and therefore the Senecas haveno claim to the islands.
   The purely historical evidence in the case has convinced Federal Court Judge Richard J. Arcara to decide the case by summary judgment. "Judge Arcara will decide the case on the law before him, without the need for a trial," according to Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick. Sometime after arguments are completed, the judge will rule on the case.
   Grand Island E-News will have a reporter at the trial. E-News readers will getimmediate updates on this important case faster than any other source.

Community Education Begins January 22
   Winter 2001 session of Community Education, provided by the Grand Island Central School District, begins Monday, January 22. A booklet containing a complete list of winter courses, open to anyone sixteen years or older, has been printed and mailed to Island residents.
   Courses range from line dancing, computers, and self-improvement classes to cooking, boating, finances and art courses.
   At least 17 new classes have been added this year including Basic/advanced Sign Language, Broadway Dance & Exercise, German III, Introduction To 35mm Photography, Investigate Your Family's Origins, Quark Xpress 4.0, Your Authentic Self and 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe, 3, 4, Reading, Writing and More.
   The director of Community Education is Jim Mazza and members of its advisory board are Peter Bellanca, Joan Bodkin, Maryann Kruk, Marion Fabiano, Mary Ellen Kippley, Theodore Korkuc and Ruth Stahl. For more information call 773-8864 or 773-8825 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Concerned Citizens Discuss Regulations
By William O'Connor
   A large number of taxpayer complaints regarding alledged building and zoning irregularities brought more than 35 homeowners, business owners and taxpayers to River Oaks Club House Tuesday, December 19, 2000 following the advertisement of an invitational flier that asked participants to "Be part of the solution".
   Contractor Rus Thompson of Love Road acted as moderator for the meeting and asked that no one single out any individual, that comments should not be of a personalnature. He invited people to air their concerns at the meeting, speak at town board meetings, write letters to the editor, and contact him with their concerns. He criticized zoning in general, saying property restrictions are a "violation of the 9th and 14th amendments" to the Constitution. He distributed a flier entitled "Twenty Reasons to StayZoning Free," by Carol La Grasse. His specific concerns were restrictive setback regulations especially in his Love Rd. neighborhood and "selective enforcement" of existing laws.
   The town was represented at the meeting by Grand Island Supervisor Peter McMahon, Council Members Dick Crawford, Mike Heftka, Kevin Rustowicz and other town workers. They came to listen.
   The regulations depend on "who you are and who you know" according to Contractor David Bruno of East River Rd. He claims that he had used highly expensive steel-reinforced concrete pipe to complete a drainage project on his property. When his neighbor did a similar project, he was allowed to use less expensive corrugated pipe.Thompson added that the corrugated pipe was used by the town for Veterans Park.
   Christian Butler expressed his frustration with the town's requirements for starting a coffee shop business on Grand Island Boulevard across from Burger King. He claims the expense for upgrades, turning his business from its former status of a take-out pizza shopto a "place of assemblage" coffee shop, may prevent him from ever starting it.
   Andy Chambers said he moved his business from Grand Island Boulevard to South Buffalo in 1998 due to frequent "zoning problems." He asked that the audience "listen, respond, and deliver solutions".
   Chambers started another business in partnership with auto mechanic Terry Friermuth at his Grand Island Blvd. location last year. In January 2000, he got his first letter from the town (in two years) about junk vehicles on his property. Six months laterhe received another letter and on December 4th, yet another letter claiming "numerous violations." Chambers feels the town is "headed in a bad direction again."
   The town is "driving business out," Friermuth said. He claimed it cost him $2,500 for a sight plan, then he was given a "punch list" of requirements to satisfy the town's B-2 zoning regulations. After completing the list, he claims he was given another list. "Yes, some of these cars are junk," he admitted, "but not all are. Because a car doesn't have plates, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, or that it can't be repaired," Friermuth said. "Some are classic cars stored for the winter. Every business has inventory, 90% is kept outside," he said. "Cars are moved out as soon as the paperwork is finished," he continued. "A junked vehicle brings me $100 a whack... The laws have to be changed," said Friermuth.
   Liz Leitner of East River Road an Joe Lukasiewicz of Revere Road both felt that the town was overbearing and restrictive; and that town requirements make home improvements unnecessarily expensive. Leitner described town's actions as being "rather dictatorial... (with) no communication or discussion."
   Greenhouse owner Leo Hopkins felt that the town is working to teach him a "lesson" because he supported the construction of a natural gas pipeline through Grand Island when Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick and (then) Town Supervisor Jim Paxwere against it. Hopkins claims the town is being unfair to his business. They require his greenhouse to have a Certificate of Occupancy, while similar structures on the island are considered "temporary" and C of O's are not required for them. They "keep after you until they put you out of business," said Hopkins, referring to the town.
   Crawford was the only town representative to speak at the meeting. He expressed his appreciation for the meeting, noting that the town has been working diligently for the past year to revise the town codes, and to do so properly "input is very needed." If peopleare having problems with the town they should "write a letter and let us know," said Crawford.
   One person asked who they should contact if they have a complaint about an officer of the town, concerning building or zoning regulations. Supervisor McMahon replied that they should not hesitate to contact any of the council members or him with their concerns. Thompson agreed, saying the town has an open door policy.

Youngsters at St. Martin's tell Christmas Story

(Barbi Lare photo)

   Nearly all of the youngsters of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church participated in the Christmas pageant, "The Little Shepherd" on Sunday, December 17, 2000. The pageant was preceded by a concert by the young musicians of the parish and pianist Andy Boron provided the music throughout the program.
   There were all the necessary actors, plus a raft of "lambs and other small animals." Two legged animals became four-legged animals, as long as their knees held out.
The production was coordinated by Amy Fischer and Pam Holley with Beth Boron handling the music. They were assisted by an able crew of supporters. A pot luck dinner was held prior to the pageant and everyone went home delighted and happy.
   The cast of The Little Shepherd included Chris Miller, Allison Boron, Ariel Reed, Courtney Weiser, Rachael Wardour, Ian Smythe, Nathan Morey, Lindsey Miller, Caroline Boron, Kaitlyn Powers, Matthew Killian, Nicholas Holley, Patrick Chopra, Gabrielle Reed, Nikki Zimmerman, Rebecca Zimmerman, Olivia Chopra, Chris King, Marc Gerfin, Brad Weiser, Alexandra Weiser, Chris Mornelli, Bob Smythe, Donald Niemeyer, Tara Walker, Zachary Valvo, Tara Walker, Kayla Mornelli, Kaitlyn Wardour, Kayla Newell, Amanda Sutter, Melissa Smythe, Clarissa Holley, Jazzlyn Igiel, Leah Killian, Marah Killian, Mia Niemeyer, Christopher Powers, Brad Stone, Jessie Sutter, Sarah Valvo, Abigail Holley, Maggie Weiser, Kelsey Percival and DJ Gerfin.

Former Life Tech Cuts 35 Jobs
Invitrogen Corp., formerly Life Technologies until the company at 3175 Staley Road was sold in September, reduced its 155-person Grand Island work force by 35 jobs last week as a means of cost cutting. The job cuts should eliminate duplication and consolidate functions by the company's total 2,800-person work force, according to a spokesman for Invitrogen. The company, which is based in San Diego, is in the process of reorganizing its operations into two divisions, one focusing on molecular biology and the other on cell culture.

Connections Grants Awarded

(Barbi Lare photo)

Winners of the Grand Island Connections Grants were announced at the December5th (2000) Crime Prevention Meeting (see last week's crime prevention story). Five thousanddollars in grant money for the Connections Program was applied for by ConnectionsAdministrator Tom Deloughry. It was provided earlier this year from the Erie CountyLegislature.
The funds are being disbursed in a $100-$300 mini-grant program fororganizations that make collaborative efforts with each other to benefit Grand Island'syouth. Connections Programs give youth a "positive outlet" for their energy and keepthem out of trouble according to Connections Member Lee Tetkowski.
Awards were presented as follows:
Youth Helping Seniors
Love Road Friends 4H group: Nancy Fusco
Troop #630 Boy Scouts of St. Stephen's Church: John Fusco
Objectives: to enhance social competencies to make positive choices and build relationships; and a positive identify through a strong sense of their own power Conduct two programs at the Riverview Nursing Home: holiday cookies and an activities quilt for Alzheimers’ patients
$300 (Check payable to John and Nancy Fusco for materials for cookies and quilt materials)
Passive Nature Park
Riverside Salem UCC: Roger Cook
St. Stephens Youth Group: Mike Heftka
Youth Court: Dennis Alpert
Objective: To conduct a "hands on community service project to develop 3.7 acres of Town Property adjacent to the Riverside Salem United Church of Christ property on West River Road into a "passive" nature park. Plan and construct a park with trails, benches, plantings, signage, birdhouses, etc that is compatible with maintaining the ecosystem. $300 toward materials such as wood to edge the trails and construct benches and purchase plants
Puppetry Workshop: High School PTSA: President Barbara Sobol; Grand Island Art Society: President Marcia Phfohl. Objectives: to enrich the creative potential of interested high school students by providing quality experience in the art of puppetry from a professional art specialist. Two workshops to be held in January for 15 high school students
$300 (Check payable to High School PTSA for materials and fee of Pamela Moran, workshop leader)
Snowmobile Safety and Activities: Grand Island Snowmobile Association: John Ventry. Ways and Means Committee Chair.
GIFTS Program: Health Maras; Grand Island Youth Court: Dennis Alpert; St. Stephen's Youth Group: Joanne Stiller. Objectives: Teach youth boundaries, knowing what is expected of them and encouraging positive values to guide choices. Will conduct a snomobile saftey course, impove trail system and conduct a winter family weekend with a bonfire picnic. $300 toward advertising for safety course, materials for bridges and signs; and refreshments for family winter weekend
Town Commons Beautification
Trinity Youth Group: Jim Linenfelser; East Park Garden Club; Town of Grand Island. East Park Garden Club will donate two tree with a value of $200. Legislator Swanick has donated 1,000 flower bulbs with a value of $200. Town of Grand Island will provide 28 evergreens with a value of $20. Receives $500
Butterfly Gardens
Quality Quest: Nancy Barnes; St. Stephen's Youth Group: Mike Hefka; Quality Quest Coalition: Nancy Barnes. Objective: Involve people from each of these organizations in planning and developing a Butterfly Garden within the Passive Nature Park, being planned for 3.7 acres of town property and a small portion of adjacent Riverside-Salem UCC property.
Nancy Barnes, a trained workshop leader, will provide instruction to the youth participants on butterfly habitats, identification and their importance to the ecosystem. They youth will plan and plant the garden. Concepts such as "stewardship" taught in religion classes will take on deeper meaning through this project. Receives $300 will be used to purchase topsoil and plants to attract butterflies (Check payable to Quality Quest)
Youth Volunteer
GIVE: Grand Island Volunteers: Kali Mordant; Grand Island Schools: Dr. Paul Fields. Objectives: Plan and conduct three volunteer events focusing on building youth assets through volunteerism. Receives $300 to be kept in trust by the Grand Island Foundation and released as needed to fund the projects.

Community Crime Meeting
The second meeting in response to a rash of crime on Grand Island was held at the highschool auditorium Tuesday, November 2, 2000. The first meeting, Oct. 25, 2000 at the library, (seeCrime victims story in the Oct. 28 edition ) focused on enforcement. Since the Octobermeeting, four Grand Island teenagers were arrested for race-related assault, Halloweennight, on an African-American man in front of his Blackmon Rd. home (several articleshave appeared in GI-E News regarding the incident).
The second meeting was a "Consolidated Community Plan," which featured bothenforcement and prevention. An estimated 200 people attended. It brought together manyresources from the community including: Erie County Sheriff Pat Galavan (and severalother members of the Sheriffs Department), County Legislator Chuck Swanick, CountyDistrict Attorney Frank Clark, Grand Island Supervisor Pete McMahon, SchoolSuperintendent Dr. Paul Fields, the GI Town Board, GI Human Rights Commission,representatives from the FBI, GI Youth Court, GIFTS (GI Families Town and Schools),and Connections Program.
The October meeting was a listening session that featured audience participation. TheDecember meeting was a response meeting that showed people what the government andcommunity are doing to address the problems. Interested parties were invited to speakwith the many presenters at the end of the meeting. Questions and comments were nottaken directly from the audience. The format may have left the audience feelingdisenfranchised. The Buffalo News reported many negative comments from theaudience.
Legislator Swanick presented the speakers at the event. He was dismayed by the racistassault. He and most of the other presenters felt that it was an unusual, isolated incident."I've been a Legislator for 20 years...and in 20 years, I've never seen this" Swanicksaid.
Sheriff Galavan briefed the audience on the his department's efforts. He credited the firstcommunity meeting for "stepped up patrols" which made it possible for Detective FredVincent's arrest of the attackers during their race related assault. "Instead of just makingthe arrest after a crime the community has to work on prevention" said Galavan. To thatend he is extending the Explorer Program to Grand Island. The program is for 14 to 20year-olds interested in law enforcement. It offers insights into police work, goodcitizenship, college credit for ECC, and/or remedial reading. Anyone interested in theprogram should contact the Explorers at or call 743-8575.
DA Frank Clark said he would offer "no plea bargain whatsoever" to those arrested inthe Halloween incident. He estimated that there are perhaps "five bad kids" involved incrime on Grand Island, that the vast majority of youth are not involved. The peopleinvolved in criminal activity is a "number amazingly small." Clark said his office has a "hitlist" of teens who, if arrested "no matter how minor the offense, they will have to pleaguilty or go to trial."
"We do need your help. You as a community are responsible. We can't take your place ascommunity members or parents... a curfew is not the answer" said Clark. He told thecommunity to have patience and cooperate.
Lesser offenses, perpetrated by youth on Grand Island, can be dealt with by the GIYouth Court which deals with issues like truancy and smoking. Teens "are judged by theirpeers" and, if found guilty they are sentenced to community service. Teens are more likelyto pay attention to their peers according to Youth Court advisor Dennis Albert.
Prevention and intervention are offered by the GIFTS program according to ActingAdministrator Sue Novits. Prevention programs include support from more than 35separate agencies including EPIC, parenting classes, diversity training, social skills classesfor elementary school children, after school programs in the middle school, and RealityCafe in the Rec. Center for teens.
GIFTS intervention programs include family counseling for "every situation" includingfamily violence drug and/or alcohol abuse and others according to Novits.
The incident on Halloween, vandalism and racist graffiti are an "attack on all of usaccording to Human Rights Commission Chair Christine Sanborn, who went on to say shedid not believe Grand Island is a racist community. "Ninety-nine-point-nine percent ofGrand Island kids are great" she said.
The Connections program, led by Dr. Tom DeLoughry, is a means of directing youthaway from potentially harmful negative activity by coordinating the efforts of variousorganizations. Connections has supported youth on the island through a series of mini-grants (up to $300). The successful applicants for some of those grants were presentedduring Tuesday's meeting.
Supervisor McMahon advised the audience to familiarize themselves with theirneighborhood and report anything that doesn't seem right. He praised the speakers and thepeople of Grand Island saying "there's more good news than what you read in thenewspapers."
For more information about any of the Grand Island organizations listed above contactthe town at 773-9600.

Sesquicentennial Meeting
A Sesquicentennial meeting has been scheduled in the town hall conference room 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 20, 2000. All residents with an interest in planning the sesquicentennial celebration for the year 2002 are cordially invited to attend.

Youth Volunteers Plant at Town Hall

National Honor Society members (left) Nicole Kalisz and Janelle Sturtz, Trinity UM Youth Group Leaders Charlene Carson and Laury Linenfelser.

(Left) Jennifer Bullock, Jacob Lang and Rebecca Chamberlain are members of the Trinity Youth Group and the National Honor Society.
Trinity UM Church Youth Group and Grand Island High School National Honor Society members banded together Sunday afternoon to volunteer their time for the planting of two memorial gardens. Spearheaded by James Linenfelser, this was the first project to be funded by County Legislator Charles M. Swanick and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt through a grant to the Connections program.
A number of grants are being awarded for projects that involved partnerships of youth and other groups. Donations to the project were made by Legislator Swanick, the Town of Grand Island, Gene Ryshkus of the Grand Island Nursery and Dan Robillard of Total Landscape Care. The East Park Garden Club provided flowering crab apple trees in memory of Laurie Ellsworth and Alan Smudski.
"This is much more representative of what the youth of Grand Island are really like, more so than the media we have been getting lately," said Supervisor Peter A. McMahon Monday morning.

Coloring Contest Winners
Jillian Sheehan (above) of Love Rd. stopped by Grand Island E-News to collect her firstplace Coloring Contest prizes. Jillian, just four years old, won the 4-6 year old coloringcontest category for this rendering of a blue turkey. Seven year old Nathaniel Benoit andeleven year old Jordan Benoit of Schutt Ct.(below) were the talented winners of the 7-9and 10-12 year old divisions.
Nathaniel and Jordan both enjoy soccer. Jordan helps prepare meals for the needy in his spare time.
All three contestants, who won in a very close and difficult vote on November 22, 2000 picked up their contest forms at the E-News booth at the October Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. Prizes were awarded Friday, December 1, 2000. A few close runner-ups downloaded their contest forms from the E-News website.
This newspaper would like to thank all the contestants and parents for their participation.

Day Care Center Hosts Pancake Breakfast

(Barbi Lare photo)
It was pancakes for breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus Saturday at St. Timothy Lutheran Child Care Center. An elf auction was held in the hallways with a variety of baskets for raffling. Chairman for the tenth annual Breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Claus was Jacki Zukic who said that more than 400 breakfasts would be served that day.
Melissa Fryer chaired the auction and St. Timothy Lutheran Youth Organization members served the breakfasts. Parants and friends of the Day Care students manned the kitchen.The list of donors and assistance givers included U. S. Foods, J. Mills, Wavelengths Hair Design, Cannon Design, Tim Horton's, wegman's, Tops Markets, Rich Products, Burger King, McDonalds, The Beach House, Village Inn, Pepper Mill Restaurant, Pizza Hut, John's Pizza, Sam's Club, Denny's, Bob Evans, Manhatten Bagel, Black Rock Roofing, and Aid Assoc. for Lutherans.
Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elves are shown with mom Debby O'Leary and her children Kevin and Meaghan

Welcome Santa
Santa Claus will be at the town hall from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, December 9, 2000 through the courtesy of the Grand Island Parks & Recreation Department. Toddlers through children 12-years-old are welcome to come and visit with him.

Town Common Takes On Holiday Spirit

Town Recreation crew members recently set up plywood cut-outs to welcome in the upcoming holiday. The characters are the result of many hours of wood cutting, sanding and painting by town holiday helpers, Hank Carroll, John Roberts, John Gonda and Ed Kij who contributed many hours on the project this summer.Much appreciated are the volunteer painters from Girl Scout Troop #510 under the leadership of Barb Johnson and Recreation Department helpers Kristi Saj, Nicole Saj, Julie Caruana and Rebecca Fenner for their artistic and technical help.
2002 GI Screen Saver
Last minute gift seekers may want to consider buying a "Class of 2000 GrandIsland Screen Saver" for their family and friends. The CD-ROM screen saver has morethan 30 beautiful images of Grand Island's landmarks.
Money raised by the sale will benefit the Grand Island High School Class of 2002's various class activities including the junior prom, senior prom and senior class luncheon according to Class President Jack Burns.
The class sold more than 50 screen savers so far. They are available at the High School Bookstore, GI E-News headquarters (, 1871 Whitehaven Rd., GrandIsland, or by calling Burns at 773-3966.

Kid Voters #1
"Congratulations on the completion of another successful Kids Voting election day," said Kids Voting co-chair Lee Tetkowski this week. Of the 78,000 students in 39 school districts in Erie and Niagara counties, Grand Island came out #1 again! Kaegebein School leads with 81.96% voter turnout followed by Sidway with 73.23%, Huth Road School with 72.96%, Connor Middle School with 60% and the high school, 51.88%. Throughout Grand Island, about 400 additional kids voted this year than last year. Co-chairs Mrs. Tetkowski and Joan Droit thank the over 100 volunteers who staffed all voting sites at special tables on Election Day. Special thanks to captains Liz Wilbert, Barbara Nutting, Janet Goodsole, Shannon Ratka, Elaine Johnson, Sheila Lazeration, Liz Wakefield, and Sharon Osgood. Of major importance, according to Mrs. Tetkowski, was the dedication of all the teachers "who instructed and inspired our youngsters to show up on Election Day and take part in this significant event.Grand Island Kids Voting results follow: President - 1116 Bush/Chaney, 784 Gore/Liberman, 97 Nader/LaDuke, 7 Buchanan/Foster; US Senate - 1128 Lazio, 881 Clinton; NYS Assembly 144 District - 865 Hoyt, 426 Guercio; NYS Senate 57th District - 585 Coppola, 349 Brown, 292 Woolworth, 109 Murty; US Congress 29th District -909 LaFalce, 417 Sommer.Grand Island Kids Voting on their own propositions follow: Proposition #1 Should students be in school year round - NO 1708, Yes 281; Proposition #2 Should local government be allowed to establish a curfew for those under 18 - No 1150, Yes 827; Proposition #3 Should schools be allowed to test students for drugs - Yes 1324, No 646.

Successful Isle UNICEF Drive
This year's Halloween Trick-or-Treat-for UNICEF broke the previous Grand Island record! The Boy Scouts thought the bags of sorted coins were super-heavy! The first part of the count was easy: the many paper bills crumpled into those little cartons plus some Canadian currency came to a total of $624.62. The HSBC Bankin Buffalocounted the sorted coins which totalled $2,549.62. Kaegebein School teachers had a dress-down day for UNICEF and added $175. Huth Rd. teachers had a dress-down day and added $237. Additional checks found in the cartons added $15, reaching the marvelous grand total of $3,601.24! (And yet to come are a few late boxes!)
As had been the ongoing tradition Boy Scouts from Troop 254 carried through on this peoject on November 12, 2000. It was they who opened hundreds of boxes and laboriously sorted piles of mixed coins.
All parts of the Island helped with this volunteer project to improve lives of children all over the world. There was full support from our Town Supervisor, Peter McMahon, the Grand Island Schools under the ableleadership of Mrs. Kathy Fik from Kaegebein, Mrs. Debbie Beis from Huth, Mrs. Beth Boron from Sidway and Mr. Wayne Tahara from the Connor Middle School. Larger orange collection boxes were placed at pizza places and other business locations around the community.
But without the generous support of hundreds of families and residents, the boxes could not have been returned so heavy! Chair, Lee Tetkowski, warmly thanks everyone who helped, including those very necessarygremlins...the wonderful children of Grand Island.
Trick-or-treat for UNICEF is a 50 year-old tradition! UNICEF, theUnited Nations Children's Fund, works in more than 160 countries andterritories to help meet children's basc needs in health, nutrition,education and sanitation. An estimated seven million children are savedeach year owing to efforts by UNICEF and its partners.
Grand Island's second project annually to support UNICEF begins now withthe sale of holiday cards and calendars and other gift items. They willbe available at the Grand Island M&T Bank at the Plaza on the firstthree Fridays in December from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m, and also calling LeeTetkowski at 773-3266.

Isledegrande Computer Winner!
The Chamber of Commerce Expo Oct. 28, was a lucky day for Village Inn CookTeresa Fahrer of West Park Rd. Fahrer had been working that day for the Inn at the Expo.The booth next to her was occupied by Grand Island E-News.
During a break, Fahrer managed to fill out a lucky contest form for a 500 at the GI E-News booth. Two and a half weeks later her form was pulled fromhundreds of other entries, and she was awarded first prize.
Today, she and her three daughters Christine (17), Lena (9), and Alex (5) use thecomputer for homework, games, and recipes for work. Mother gets to use the computerfirst.
At work, Fahrer makes lunches for people all over Grand Island. She faxes out themenus and customers fax back their orders. Her daughters'favorite foods are spagetti, salad and pizza. Fahrer's "favorite thing is for people to cook for me".
When asked about life on Grand Island Fahrer said "I love it." She has lived on theIsland since she was five years old.

$1,500,000 for Casino
By William O'Connor
Governor George Pataki announced Thursday, November 16, 2000, that New York State will allocate $1.5 million to build a year-round catering and banquet facility to replace the Beaver Island Casino in Beaver Island State Park. The State money is to be combined with at least $1.5 million in private funds from prospective bidders who would gain the right to a 20-year operations agreement. Bidders will help design the new facility.
One million of the total would come out of the Environmental Protection Fund to pay for infrastructure improvements at the site, including repairs to water and sewer lines and replacement of underground cables. The balance, $500,000, from the Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act will be used to help design and construct the new building.
NYS Assembly Member Sam Hoyt stated in the Buffalo News that the project is "identical to what I proposed. It's just not as much money".
Hoyt added in an interview with Grand Island E-News, that the infrastructure improvements can "commence immediately." The rest of the work will begin as soon as a private developer is identified. He felt that the proposed funds are "not nearly enough to do the job right; but at least there's finally acommitment from the government." He is working to "identify additional resources" for the project. Hoyt urges residents to write letters to the Governor in support of the project and demand that the building be restored to its original condition.
"One point five million sounds like a step in the right direction," according to NYS Senator Elect Byron Brown, but the building "should be comparable to the one that was lost; with the same access and uses that the people of Grand Island and Western New Yorkers enjoyed in the past." Brown also felt that a"time table and day" should be established for construction of the facility.
The original Casino was built in 1938, and destroyed by fire in 1992. Today the basement of the building is still being used for changing rooms, rest rooms, first aid, lifeguard stations, and NYS Park Police offices.
Immediately after the fire, it was estimated the casino could be rebuilt for $3 million. Recent estimates to rebuild the casino in its original splendor were as high as $6 million.
The structure was self insured according to NYS parks officials and there have been several proposals to rebuild. The most recent, a deal with INNVest Lodging, Services of Buffalo fell through late this summer. That deal would have rebuilt the Casino with $2.5 million from the developer and $2.5 coming from the state. It would have included an 80 room hotel in the Casino building. The developer would have maintained control of the transient marina (near the beach), East River Marina (in Ferry Village), the Park Administrator House (for an 8-room bed & breakfast), and concession rights to the golf course. That deal drew criticism from environmentalists, and boat, and private marina owners on Grand Island, but most people, especially politicians, seemed in favor of it.
State officials promised in August, to have another proposal ready in six weeks time and to rebuild the Casino even if no developers come foreword.
A drawing of 80-room hotel/casino proposal that fell through this summer stands in front of the charred remains of the original casino.

Two Island Teens Arraigned
Two Island teens Michael Fetzer, age 17 of Carter Drive, and Joseph Rafe, age 16of Monica Road, were arraigned Monday, November 27, 2000 in NYS Supreme Court by Justice Mario Rossetti, for "Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime and AggravatedHarassment in the Second Degree," according to a press release from the office of ErieCounty District Attorney Frank Clark.
The defendants and two other younger teens (who will face charges in FamilyCourt due to their age) were allegedly caught October 31 by Sheriff Detective Fred Vincent while in the act of attacking and taunting a man with racially motivated slurs in front of his home on Blackmon Road.
The indictment of the two older teens represents the first use of New York's HateCrimes Act of 2000 by the Erie County DA's Office. "Prosecution as a hate crime raisesthe potential maximum sentence from one year in the County Correctional Facility to one-and-one-third to four years in a State Correctional Facility" according to Clark.
Grand Island residents met with Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, Erie CountyLegislator Charles M. Swanick, Detective Vincent and Special Sergeant Vincent Delgato onOctober 25, to demand action regarding crime in the area. The meeting resulted in morepatrols in the area and may have contributed to the teens being caught in the act.

Traffic Safety Meeting
By William O'Connor
The Traffic Safety Advisory Board and NYS Police OfficersRonald Warner and Christopher Pyc met with the public Wednesday evening, November 15, 2000 at the Grand Island Memorial Library to hear concerns and improve the safety of roads on Grand Island. Ten people gave their input at the meeting.
The low turnout may indicate that the public is relatively satisfied with the roads on Grand Island, police efforts, and the fortunate lack of a recent fatal accident. Some of the good fortune may be due to the fact that the board has been active in the community. Traffic Safety Chair Dorothy Bitner said the board had a table at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce "Island Treasures" event; initiated the "Be Alert" program, and worked with the Erie County Sheriff's Dept. and NYS Police on "Operation Safe Stop" to educate the public and prevent car-school bus accidents. Board advisor Grand Island Council Member Mike Heftka succeeded in bringing increased patrols in the Bedell-Ransom-Stony Point area. Increased traffic due to the high school opening, and detours on Baseline and West River Roads made that area very busy and the sight of several accidents earlier this year. Increased patrols have reduced the number of speeders and the detours have been lifted, but speeding high school students are still a problem.
"Every three minutes in New York someone is killed or injured in a traffic accident." People are far more likely to be injured in an accident than by any other criminal activity, but when people get pulled over for speeding, they wonder why, Heftka said.
NYS Police Sergeant Warner urged the board and audience to make a concerted effort to get high school seniors to go to the Niagara Region Traffic Safety Fair at the Niagara Falls Airport next spring. At the fair, the consequences of unsafe driving, not wearing a seat belt, and drinking and driving are graphically demonstrated through a series of presentations and seminars. "Full sized cars with life-like ballast dummies crash right before the students' eyes" showing the effect of a thirty mph accident. Last year due to a scheduling conflict according to Warner, Grand Island was the only high school in Erie County not to attend the seminar.
Several residents spoke out to improve the safety of Grand Island roads. Paul Leuchner of East River Rd. suggested improvements to Stony Point Rd. and the bicycle path near the Grand Island Bridge. Leuchner also noted that between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. on Sunday, bar patrons from Niagara Falls make their way to the clubs on Grand Island causing frequent accidents. Leuchner asked for morevigorous enforcement in the North Colony-East River Road area during that time period.
Pat Walck of West River Road reported that many people are speeding on West River between Staley and Whitehaven and asked Warner if the State Police and Parks Police could increase patrols in that area. Heftka said he would contact the parks department and ask for increased patrols.
Other trouble spots mentioned by the audience include the intersections of Whitehaven and the NYS Thruway, and Stony Point Road and Grand Island Blvd.
The Traffic Safety Advisory Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:30p.m. in the town hall first floor conference room. Meetings are open to the public.

Youth Board created for Grand Island

Council Member Kevin Rustowicz intoduced a bill Monday, November 6, 2000, to establish an Advisory Youth Board. Rustowicz, a school teacher and the father of five children, has been in contact with the State and other communities doing research and working to set up this project since March.
The committe will consist of fifteen members - ten adults (21 and older) and five youth (14 to 20). There are ten objectives of the committe. The first is to" help enrich and soundly develop the lives of youth and children". The board will also "sponsor programs designed to prevent individual and social maladjustment"... and "sponsor programs aimed at treatment of those individuals and groups which represent social pathology." The board will also search for grants and other funds aimed at helping youth in our community.
"Your on the right path. We have to go in this direction." said Council Member Dick Crawford at the Workshop meeting.
The Youth Board was established with a vote of 5-0. Rustowicz will serve as the board's advisor. Applications for a place on the committee will be accepted until December 1, 2000.

Republicans take top two races

Republican candidates took the two most important positions in the vote on Grand Island. Republican Presidential Candidate George W. Bush took 4514 votes on Grand Island compared to 4277 for Democrat Al Gore and 369 for Green Party Candidate Ralph Nader. Bush appears to be ahead today (Nov. 8) in a vote that is extremely close. In the United States Senate, Republican Rick Lazio took Grand Island with 4867 votes. Hillary Rodam Clinton lost Grand Island with 4241, but won the state with 56% of the vote. Right to Life Candidate John O. Adefope took 44 votes on the Island. Democratic Incumbent US Congressman John J. LaFalce won his district with a large majority, defeating Republican Candidate Brett Sommer throughout the district. LaFalce took Grand Island 4656 to 3501. Republican Bob Woolworth won the New York Senate race on Grand Island in a tight three-way race. Woolworth picked up 2656 votes compared with 2588 for Democrat Byron Brown, and 2512 for incumbent Al Cappola who ran on the Conservative, Green and Working Families lines. Brown won the contest in this district. Democrat incumbent Sam Hoyt won the State Assembly seat for this district. He also won on Grand Island by a vote of 5050 compared with 2589 for his Republican opponent Antoinette Guerico. The Transportation bond act failed statewide by a narrow margin, on Grand Island it was soundly defeated 4910 to 1446. The proposition to consolidate the Erie County Holding Center with the Alden Correctional Institution passed in the County. On Grand Island it passed 4012 to 2027.

Christian school opens

The Grand Island Christian Academy on Grand Island Blvd. has opened to 24 students in grades 1-12. The establishment of the Academy was approved by the Grand Island School Board at its September 25th meeting. The board previously tabled approval until the school conformed to fire code regulations.

Sesquicentennial Committee To Be Appointed

Isle residents with an interest in serving on a Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee for the 2002 event, are asked to submit a letter before November 1, 2000 to Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072

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