Joe Chille

Joe Chille Patrolling the Niagara River on Fourth of July

4th of July was usually spent at my parent’s house…picnic then off to see the fireworks at Hyde Park in Niagara Falls.

Most recently I have spent my July 3rd’s and 4th’s working for the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in their Marine Division. Depending upon the date I was either in Lake Ontario off of Wilson Harbor patrolling through anchored boats that were enjoying the evening spectacle. I could also be in the Upper Niagara River near the entrance to the Barge Canal, across from the Holiday Inn, Grand Island, escorting the Fireworks barge out into the river, and then closing the waterway, along with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, North Tonawanda Police, Tonawanda Police, US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Border Patrol, NYS State Police and the NYS Park Police, until the event was finished. We would then patrol the area to make sure anchor lines weren't tangled, alcohol consumption was not an issue, boats were able to get underway and head home, and just to answer questions of the “marine” public.

Enjoy the 4th of July holiday. If you are on the water; don’t go out alone, let someone know of your plans (or your route), go easy on the alcohol, make sure you have safety equipment, life jackets, flares, anchor, signaling device (such as a horn), marine radio (if possible), and a cell phone.

Be courteous to other boaters, and help those “in need”.

Cheryl Hagen

Hagen Kids

We're so looking forward to the long holiday weekend. We'll, of course, be celebrating our nation's independence as well as looking forward to some "free time." I use the word "free time" loosely, because I'm not really sure there will be such a thing this weekend. We will though, be free of work and nearly free of baseball. Two games this weekend, and then we are done by Saturday afternoon. We'll have two-and-a-half glorious days to spend doing whatever we want. We've got plans for a cook out and sometime by the pool with our friends, the DiMaria's. We'll also be enjoying family time with my parents and brother's family. (The photo here is of my kids, and my brother and sister's children too!) We'll also be watching fireworks with our neighbors to cap off a great long weekend!

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Chuck Stevens



I love to take my my own version of a " Joycation"! This holiday weekend I'm off to my favorite local campsite, Four Mile Creek in Youngsown , NY. This state park is gorgeous, on the shore of Lake Ontario, with large shaded camp sites that accommodate everything from the modest tent camper, to the largest of RV's. I'll be parking my modest 21 foot R-Vision trail lite among the rest of the sold out sites. Holiday weekends are always packed and bring out a lot of first time campers. They're fun to watch because they always make a lot of "rookie" mistakes.

My planned activities include a lot of sitting around! Sunday night I will take in the fireworks at Wilson, NY.