1. Gary Bradley, owner and operator of Diamond Concierge in the atrium of the Key Center at Fountain Plaza in downtown Buffalo, has a goal for the next two weeks. Between now and April 13, he wants to raise $5,000 for Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where he's being treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. For the next nine business days, Bradley will donate half of the proceeds from his shoeshine business to Roswell Park, plus all of what customers and others pass along in donations. "People will receive a first-class shoeshine," Bradley says, "and help a great cause."
2. The fishing pier at the base of the New York Power Authority's Niagara Power Project in Lewiston is closed to the public today and Wednesday so that work crews can remove a cable car that runs across the river there between the U.S. and Canada, along with its cable. The cable car, owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environment Canada, was installed in 1973 to monitor the flow of water. Now that there are other ways to measure it, the cable is no longer needed and is being removed as a safety measure. For those who absolutely have to fish there, the riverbank can still be accessed today and Wednesday via the stairway at the lower fisherman's parking lot at the power project.
3. It's getting down to a hope and a prayer for the Sabres' chances of making the playoffs. When the Toronto Maple Leafs come to play them in First Niagara Center (7, MSG, 550 AM), fans will be hoping and praying that the pattern the two teams have shown all year will still be in effect. The faltering Leafs have won all the games between the two teams in Toronto, as they managed to do again Saturday night, and the Sabres have won all the games here.
4. Today marks the opening of the new Tuscarora and Friends Gallery at 736 Center St., Lewiston, in what used to be the former Opera Hall's OH! Gallery, thanks to the efforts of the Lewiston Council on the Arts. The idea grew after last summer's Lewiston Art Festival, which featured special displays of Native American art and culture, legend and lore, as well as workshops in Native American art. The gallery will offer an eclectic mix of more than 30 local and regional artists, featuring artists from the Tuscarora Nation. After today's opening, the gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
5. Voters in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District are being asked to decide on two potentially difficult issues in a referendum today. One involves selling the Green Acres Building, a former school on Yorkshire Road, for "no less than" $850,000. The other involves increasing the minimum distances at which school bus service would be provided, from 1.2 miles to 1.5 miles for middle school students and 1.5 to 1.8 miles for high school students. As for elementary school students, all of whom currently ride a bus, those who live within half a mile of school would have to walk. The busing changes would mean a saving of about $300,000 a year for the financially stressed district.
6. The Slee Sinfonietta presents its final concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Hall at Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst. The excellent ensemble under the direction of Daniel Bassin, which specializes in early music and modern music, is going modern with a program that includes Nathan Heidelberger's "My Hands Are Empty," Jacob Gotlib's "untitled," J.T. Rinker's "frigate," David Hanner's "Monologue" and Sofia Gubaidulina's "Quaternion." Tickets are $20. For info, call 645-2921.
7. Jethro Tull mastermind Ian Anderson is marking the 40th anniversary of the group's signature album, "Thick as a Brick," with "Thick as a Brick 2," which is scheduled for release today. It arrives with other CDs from Dr. John ("Locked Down"), Nikki Minaj ("Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded"), Rascal Flatts ("Changed") and Wilson Phillips ("Dedicated"). Animals play major roles in recent feature films showing up on home video formats today -- Stephen Spielberg's World War I tale "War Horse" and director Cameron Crowe's comedy-drama "We Bought a Zoo," with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
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