1. Remember Arbor Day? Celebrated every year on the last Friday in April, it's a civic holiday in Nebraska, where it originated as a tree-planting day in 1872. A group called Fourth Grade Foresters, which is determined to revive Arbor Day in schools, will induct 140 new members when fourth-graders at Orchard Park's Ellicott Elementary School are sworn in today. Each of them will be given a small evergreen tree to take home and plant. Says John Mouw, of State Farm Insurance, who provided the trees, "It is our responsibility to protect and restore our environment. What a great opportunity for us to allow the children to take this into their own hands."
2. Female authors are spotlighted at the Buffalo Fantasy League's three-day EerieCon 14 international convention, which opens today in Days Inn Niagara at the Falls, Main Street and Rainbow Boulevard, Niagara Falls. Guests of honor are Catherine Asaro and Lois H. Gresh. Gresh, author of last year's vampire story "Blood and Ice," has had six New York Times best-sellers. Asaro, a Nebula Award winner, is best known for "Diamond Star," a sci-fi tale of an idol talent search. She will perform some of the songs she wrote for it. Admission is $40 for the weekend. There also are single-day and children's rates. For info, visit www.eeriecon.org.
3. A rare autographed lithograph from Bob Dylan, original Beatles cartoon paintings from the animator of "Yellow Submarine," a newly discovered panoramic photo of the early Allman Brothers Band, photos of Bruce Springsteen from back when he was playing the Jersey clubs -- all of these and more will be on exhibit and for sale in the ninth annual 97 Rock Classical Rock Art Show & Sale, which opens today on the first level of Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga near Lord & Taylor. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. today and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
4. More than 500 chefs from Maine to Washington, D.C., come to Conference Center Niagara Falls today for the American Culinary Federation's Northeast Regional Conference, which continues through Monday. On tap are tours of restaurants and food service operations in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, specialty food workshops and winery tours. High point will be the American Academy of Chefs Academy Dinner on Sunday in the Buffalo Club. Restaurants to be featured include Tempo, Sea Bar, Hutch's and the Anchor Bar. About 40 chefs from Western New York will take part, and some are competing for awards. James Roberts, executive chef at Park Country Club of Buffalo, is a candidate for Chef of the Year.
5. In the wake the shocking death of a 10-year-old Buffalo boy at the hands of his stepfather, the group Western New York Ending Child Abuse & Neglect is gathering more than 100 students and human-service professionals for a march to prevent child abuse and neglect today in downtown Buffalo. The group, formerly Citizens Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, will proceed from Lafayette Square to the steps of City Hall at 11:45 a.m. At City Hall, speakers will talk about the need for constant efforts to keep children safe, and winners of a Buffalo News essay contest on "Rights of Children" will read their entries.
6. The Japanese consul-general in New York, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, will come to the Japanese Garden at Mirror Lake in Delaware Park at 10 a.m. to dedicate 20 new cherry blossom trees. The trees are a gift to the City of Buffalo from the Japanese government on the centennial of the gift of cherry blossom trees from Japan to the U.S. in 1912. Also speaking at the ceremony will be Mayor Byron W. Brown and Thomas Herrera-Mishler, president and chief executive officer of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
7. Ever since it opened, travelers arriving at Buffalo Niagara International Airport have had to make their way to the baggage claim area before they found a place where they could ask for directions, brochures and advice about what to see. Now, Visit Buffalo Niagara has plans for a second Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, this one in the secure area of the airport, closer to the arrival and departure gates. Details will be announced during a news conference at the airport at 2 p.m.
Don't miss on buffalonews.com:
Go to buffalonews.com/videos to view the opening statements in the Dr. James Corasanti trial.