• CAMP HAPPINESS: Niagara County’s Camp Happiness is a real team effort. The Lockport Family YMCA , Empower and Intandem and Lockport Elk Lodge No. 41, which provides funding and 40 or more members who volunteer their time, to make summer a little more memorable for residents of Niagara County with intellectual and other impairments. It’s held the last week of June each year at Camp Kenan in Barker and our hats are off to all that help make it possible.

• VETERANS MONUMENT: Despite a late change in plans that resulted in a new location within Academy Park for the Veterans’ Memorial Monument, work is well underway in the Village of Lewiston. Ground was broken on Friday by members of the Lewiston VFW Downriver Post 7487. There’s still an issue of fundraising too. “We’re not done yet, we have some more money to raise and we’re very confident that we can do it and it’s going to be beautiful for our veterans, the veterans of Lewiston,” William Justyk, commander of the Lewiston VFW said. “When it’s done, we want to invite all the people out there for November, Veterans Day.” We’ll see you there.

• CANAL FEST: It’s that time of year. Canal Fest of the Tonawandas is officially under way. The 37th annual event along the Erie Canal in the cities of North Tonawanda and Tonawanda runs through Sunday and features a ton of events. Highlights include the annual Charles Fleischman Canal Fest Parade at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Diaper Derby on Thursday and the Sika Challenge Cup boat races on Saturday night. In addition, each day of the festival will feature food from various vendors, live music from a number of local performers, face painting and other events. For the full Canal Fest 2019 schedule, go to www.canalfest.org.

• NEW INVADER: The bad news first: New York’s crops are at risk from a potential invasion of the spotted lanternfly, a winged insect with an appetite for fruits, trees and hops, warn agricultural experts and state officials. It’s a real threat to the craft beer industry in New York. But there is a bit of good news. “We’re anticipating they are coming to New York and we have a plan of action for when it does show up here,” said Carrie Brown-Lima, director of the New York Invasive Species Research Institute at Cornell University. “We’re hoping we can keep it at bay.” She suggests that anyone seeing an insect that could be a spotted lanternfly to try to photograph it and send it to state environmental officials. For more information, visit our website at www.niagara-gazette.com.

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