1. The biggest running event and corporate networking session of the year takes place this evening in Delaware Park, and it's bigger than ever. Organizers of the 32nd annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge expect 13,500 runners and walkers from 450 companies to take part. Traffic will be especially heavy in and around the park from 4 to 10 p.m., as well as around Buffalo State College, where participants are being advised to park and where free shuttle buses will be operating. Parts of Delaware Avenue and several side streets near the park will be closed for several hours before and during the 3.5-mile race, which begins at 6:45.
2. Thursday at the Square is now Thursday at the Harbor, having moved last year from Lafayette Square to the foot of Main Street at Erie Canal Harbor. It kicks off a new season loud and hard this evening with British alt-rockers the Cult, riding a highly acclaimed new CD, "Choice of Weapon." Openers are the edgy Against Me and Los Angeles grit-rockers the Icarus Line. Music starts at 5. Admission is free.
3. Upstate New York Transplant Services marks the move of its blood donation center in the Tonawandas, formerly at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda, with a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the new location, 96 Niagara St., City of Tonawanda. Dignitaries on hand will include State Sen. Mark Grisanti, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Tonawanda Mayor Ronald Pilozzi and Chris Lane, president of DeGraff and Millard Fillmore Suburban hospitals. The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every other Saturday.
4. Say Yes to Education -- the national group that is offering a free college education to all Buffalo Public Schools students who graduate -- thinks that students, parents and people in the community have a few things to say to the new Buffalo school superintendent. Its "Letters to the Superintendent" project will give people a chance to put their hopes, dreams and aspirations for education down in writing. To help write them, the group is holding the first of a series of two workshops at 6 p.m. in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.
5. Archie "The Messenger" Barlow, a graduate of the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts who's now living in Baltimore, has gone on to become a powerful poet and storyteller. Barlow, the 2006 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion, has put together "No Stage," a performance piece about racial injustice, with his collaborator, Jo'rell "Lyrical" Whitfield. They bring it to the Road Less Traveled Theatre, 639 Main St., for a two-week run, beginning at 8 p.m. today. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and $10 for seniors. For info, call 444-3016.
6. Students at Buffalo's City Honors School will turn into gardeners this morning as they join parent volunteers and staffers from National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in planting perennials, bushes and shrubs in the newly installed Pelion Community Garden on what used to be four vacant lots on the corner of Best Street and Masten Avenue, across from the school. The garden, which will be used for teaching, will be divided into four separate plant zones -- a Wellness Garden for healing herbs; a Habitat Garden, which will include a butterfly garden; a Food and Nutrition Garden, which will grow edibles; and an Indigenous Garden, which will include plants used by Native Americans.
7. The Erie County Legislature plans to vote during its 2 p.m. meeting to appropriate the rest of the money needed to build the polar bear exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo, which the county may borrow all by itself, a move that wouldn't have been possible in the days when strict fiscal controls were in place. Finances have straightened out so much that County Comptroller David J. Shenk has recommended that the county do its own long-term borrowing for the first time since 2006, rather than have the control board issue general obligation bonds. County Executive Mark Poloncarz thinks that doing its own borrowing will help the county build up a better credit rating.