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REPORTERS NOTEBOOK

John Ruskin declared, "If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1777, France recognized American independence . . . In 1903, the Wright Brothers -- Orville and Wilbur -- made the first successful powered airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, N.C. . . . In 1969, the Air Force closed its Project "Blue Book," concluding the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of sightings of unidentified flying objects. . . .

GOOD PRESCRIPTION -- About 50 disadvantaged inner-city youngsters sampled holiday good will Sunday at a party in the Park Lane Restaurant. It was courtesy of Prescription for Happiness Foundation, a non-profit volunteer organization of local health-care professionals, the Millard Employees Charitable Contribution Association and Glaxo Pharmaceutical. The kids received dinner, gifts and entertainment that included appearances by members of the Buffalo Sabres. . . .

WILLARD HARDY wrote Olaf that he wants to contact persons who knew and graduated with Norman Cappeller at East High School in 1942. His address is 2050 North French Road, Getzville, N.Y. 14068. . . .

A SMARTIE -- Kenmore West graduate Mitch Gerber will appear on "Jeopardy" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on Channel 7. Gerber is an associate editor of The Washingtonian, a magazine in Washington, D.C. . . .

BIG BUCKS -- A $50,000 check from the Kittinger Furniture Co. has been presented to officials of the Regional Intensive Care Nursery at Children's Hospital, which cares for more than 1,000 critically ill newborns each year. A group headed by Michael P. Carlow, president of Kittinger, made the presentation. Funds for the donation were raised during a Kittinger Furniture sale last October at the company factory, 1893 Elmwood Ave. . . .

PUBLISHED -- A book on the development of Russian education by Dr. Phillip Santa Maria, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Buffalo State College, is now in print. The book, a historical account of Russian education in the early years of this century, details the foundation of the present system. He's the son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Santa Maria of Dearborn Street in Buffalo. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- The Rev. Louis Kline, Carl Mohikiber, Samantha Waddell, Linda Merrill, Lora Holderman, Estelle Fern, Craig Zlotek, Anthony Badowski, Alfred Pach, Kevin Driscoll, Mary Beth Hauser, Nicholas Piechowicz, Roy Payne, Jonathan Amoia, Louis Zaretsky, Jeff Buczkowski, Marie Rohm, Kate Smering, Lori Lukomski, Rose Burczynski, Ashley Thompson, Joan Tighe, Brian Kroll, Ronnie Breidenstein, Tom Milka, Arietta Macor, Mabel Sauer, Veronica Ziminski, Mary Jagodzinski, Carole Wheeler and Pat Apa.

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