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Author Halpern to speak at luncheon July 25

Author and Buffalo native Jake Halpern will discuss his book "Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction" during the third Buffalo City Forum luncheon at 12:15 p.m. July 25 in the WNED-TV studios, 140 Lower Terrace.

The work examines the nation's obsession with fame and the famous. After speaking, Halpern, who has written for the New York Times and the New Republic, among other publications, and is a National Public Radio commentator, will take audience questions.

Tickets are $15. Reservations must be made by Wednesday through Leadership Buffalo, 849-2626, Ext. 17.


Antiques show planned next Monday and Tuesday

WESTFIELD -- The Westfield Antiques Show will take place next Monday and Tuesday in Eason Hall, 23 Elm St.

The show, which is the oldest in Chautauqua County, will feature art, textiles, furniture, toys and books from America, Europe and Asia. Twenty-four dealers from around the country will participate. Admission is $5. For more information, call the Chautauqua County Historical Society at 326-2977.


Maple producers plan Cooperstown trip

ITHACA -- The New York State Maple Producers Association and the Otsego County Maple Producers Association are taking registrations through Sept. 1 for the 2007 New York State Maple Tour to be held Sept. 23-25 at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown.

Registration forms are available at or by calling (607) 547-2536.


State grants help pay for several city projects

BATAVIA -- In the past year, financially strapped Batavia has called on Albany for help in offsetting capital equipment purchases, repairs and improvements. The result is $190,000, with another $500,000 on the way.

City Hall released the figures with the arrival last week of the ninth grant, most of them member items secured by State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville.

A $20,000 grant from the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services will go toward the purchase of portable radios for the Police Department. In recent months, the department received $85,000 for other equipment, including a new cruiser.

The list of benefits includes $60,000 for improvements to the city's water system and $25,000 for a sewer repair vehicle for the Department of Public Works.

On the way, following City Council approval last week, is $500,000 from the Department of Transportation for the Ellicott Streetscape. This includes aesthetic improvements along Route 63, a major thoroughfare.

The city's money problems surfaced in recent months when it was revealed that operating losses in the past three years amounted to $3 million.

In March, the city adopted a $23.6 million budget that called for a 20 percent property tax increase. Earlier, water and sewer rates were hiked by more than one-third.

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