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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to inventor and educator George Washington Carver, born on or about this date in 1864, "When I was young, I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' And God answered, 'That knowledge is for me alone.' So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well, George, that's more nearly your size.' "

January

January is the month I hate,

It's the month to lose

That added weight.

The month to find solutions

For paying bills

And keeping resolutions.

For putting away

All those bulbs we lit

And exchanging gifts

That didn't fit.

For chopping and shoveling

Ice and snow

For moods that hit

An all-time low.

But at least I'm allowed

This hateful month to live

I REALLY dislike the alternative.

-- Diana Notaro

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GOOD DEEDS -- Many of us have thought Anneliese Gryta was pretty special. After all, she's the daughter of coloratura soprano Adrienne Tworek-Gryta and News Staff Reporter Matt Gryta. But that didn't keep us from being surprised when her photo showed up online last week under the headline "Today's HuffPost Greatest Person: Anneliese Gryta, A Lawyer Helping Low-Income Entrepreneurs Start Businesses."

Gryta, who has set up the Microenterprise Legal Assistance Project with Advocates for Basic Equality in Toledo, Ohio, originally intended to be a music teacher but decided to become an attorney when she worked in an inner-city school.

"I could never surmount those obstacles with a violin alone," she told HuffPost. "I became so angry that I couldn't provide more help to the kids and families I was working with if I didn't acquire some sharper tools to help fight poverty."

***

PAST PERFECT -- In the movie business, these are the January doldrums, the time when Hollywood releases all its clunkers. Fortunately, two screens are lighting up this week to salvage our cinematic senses with masterpieces from the legendary German director Fritz Lang.

First up is Lang's brilliantly chilling 1934 "M," in which Peter Lorre portrays a crazed child molester tracked down by street people. It shows at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum at 25 Nottingham Court. Tickets are $8, $5 for members.

Next is "The Complete 'Metropolis,' " which opens at 7 p.m. Friday in the Hamburg Palace Theatre, 31 Buffalo St., and will be shown at that time nightly for a week. Released in 1927, it's the most expensive silent film ever made.

This version includes 25 minutes of lost footage that was trimmed from the original version because American theaters didn't want to show anything longer than 90 minutes. Tickets are $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors and children.

***

MILITARY NOTES -- Six Western New Yorkers recently completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. They are:

*Airman Jessica J. Brown, daughter of Mark Brown of Orchard Park. She is a 2005 graduate of Hamburg High School.

*Airman Jacob C. Bush, son of George and Jennifer Pitchford of Randolph. He is a June graduate of Randolph High School.

*Reserve Airman Michael C. Odierno, son of Vinny Odierno of West Seneca. He is a 2002 graduate of Orchard Park High School and a 2006 graduate of Hilbert College.

*Airman Liesl M. Peterson, daughter of Keith Peterson of Fredonia. She is a 2005 graduate of Fredonia High School and a 2009 graduate of Fredonia State College.

*National Guard Airman First Class Laura A. Sawyer, daughter of Lawrence Sawyer of Orchard Park. She is a 2007 graduate of Orchard Park High School.

*Airman Zachary B. Walters, son of Brian and Ann Walters of West Seneca. He is a June graduate of West Seneca West High School.

***

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Marilyn Hochfield, Henrik Tallinder, Megan Starzynski, Sharon Palisano, Frank Weinstock, Bob Carlson, Mildred Gray, Cindy Puma, Michele Gill, William Kennedy and Justin Becker.

e-mail: olaffub@buffnews.com

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