1. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, having promised to take his presidential campaign all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., comes to Buffalo today to attend a fundraiser and appear at a rally staged for him by former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the atrium of Ellicott Square, 295 Main St. As the maverick Paladino puts it, "The attempt to shove Mitt Romney's candidacy down the throats of the people is abhorrent."
2. Fifteen years after it was destroyed in a fire, the Roycroft Power House has returned. The first significant addition to the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora since the restoration of the Roycroft Inn in 1995, the $4 million reconstruction looks just like Elbert Hubbard envisioned it on the outside. The interior, while still industrial, is up-to-date. It officially opens with a Power House Party at 7 p.m., with live music, a cash bar and tours. There also will be an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
3. Also newly restored is the former Buffalo Police and Fire departments' horse barn at 22 Summer St. Schuele Paint, next door at 12 Summer, has turned it into an Ace Express hardware store, which will pack more than 20,000 items into 3,000 square feet of floor space. A restoration preview celebration will be held at 11:30 a.m. today, with remarks from Mayor Byron W. Brown and Paul Leahey, president of Schuele Ace Hardware and Schuele Paint. The store officially opens to the public May 26, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
4. The sixth annual Buffalo Enviro-Fair isn't going to wait for Earth Day on Sunday. Sponsored by Re-Tree WNY, It takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in Niagara Square. Along with booths, information and product demonstrations from environmental-minded companies and groups, free tree seedlings will be given out in reusable coffee mugs by Natale Builders, which is constructing Rivera Greens, an all-green development in Clarence.
5. Buffalo jazz legend Elvin Shepherd would have been among the famous faces in the iconic 1958 photo "A Great Day in Harlem," which gathered together many of the leading players of the day, but he was called home on a personal matter. Fifty-four years later, to help raise funds to restore Shepherd's home here as a museum, the city's jazz notables stood for the camera for "A Great Day in Buffalo." The photo will be unveiled at a cocktail reception from 7 to 10 p.m. in Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave. Tickets are $15 for the cocktail hour, $45 for the entire evening, which will include performances by Gruvology and the Sabu Quartet, which will re-create Sabu Adeyola's 1981 performance in a jazz festival in Cannes, France.
6. The News Books for Kids campaign, which is running through April 30, will hold a special collection day from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Wegmans location on Sheridan Drive near Evans Street in Amherst. The daylong event will be broadcast live on WGRZ-TV, Channel 2. The public is encouraged to make a book or monetary donation and meet Channel 2 celebrities. Anyone who donates five new children's books or $25 will receive a copy of "Headlines & History," a compilation of historic front pages of The Buffalo News.
7. Robert Duerr is a man of many accomplishments, musical and otherwise. He's an award-winning organist. He's also a conductor who has stood on the podium at the Metropolitan Opera. And he's an Anglican priest. A North Tonawanda native, he's been back for a while, aiding his parents and serving as assisting priest at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in North Tonawanda. He returns to music tonight as he conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in their 11th annual Choral Spectacular at 8 in Kleinhans Music Hall. The program includes Faure's "Requiem" and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem." Tickets are $30 and $40.
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