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Reporters' notebook / Bits & pieces of news ...

OLAF FUB SEZ: Advice from writer, philosopher and Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard, born on this date in 1856, "Never explain: Your friends don't require it and your enemies won't believe you anyway."

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CROSS THE ROAD -- Get your motor running for a drive-through Chiavetta's chicken barbecue from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday sponsored by St. James United Methodist Church, 4661 Porter Road, Niagara Falls. Dinners, which include potato, homemade salad and dessert, are $10 curbside, $9 advance by calling 297-6421.

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BERRY SEASON -- New Hope United Methodist Church, 2846 Seneca St., West Seneca, holds its annual Strawberry Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Hot dogs, burgers and beverages also are available. The West Seneca Town Band will play at 6.

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BRAIN POWER -- If you're the brightest blossom in your garden, then you should really flower on the American Mensa Admission Test, Mensa being the nonpolitical international organization for people who score at or above the 98th percentile on this IQ test.

Next test is at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Community Meeting Room at Southgate Plaza, 950 Union Road, West Seneca. Fee is $40. Photo ID is required. Anyone 14 and older is welcome, but those under 18 need parental permission. Walk-ins are OK, but it's better if you call Jaclyn McKewan at 472-1422. For general info, visit www.us.mensa.org.

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TASTE BUDS -- The 14th annual Taste of Alden will bring appetites to Alden Town Park, West Main Street, just off Broadway, from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday to sample menu items from 15 local restaurants and caterers.

The Taste, which kicks off the Alden Heritage and Reunion Carnival this weekend, will offer everything from tacos, pizza and pulled pork to pie and cheesecake. Books of 20 food tickets are $10. Topping it off will be live music. Call 937-6177 or visit www.aldenny.org.

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COFFEE THAT CARES -- Dunkin' Donuts has donated $4,040 to Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo that was raised during the doughnut shop chain's Iced Coffee Day on May 23. During the one-day drive, Dunkin' Donuts donated $1 to the hospital for every cup of iced coffee sold at participating shops.

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PINT-SIZED PICASSOS -- A variety of art classes for children will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday during July and August at Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery, 1168 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca. For info, call 675-0204 or visit www.etjgallery.com.

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LOOKING BACK -- Descendants of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry from the Civil War will have some special guests at their 27th annual reunion at 2 p.m. June 30 at Norton-Chambers Post, American Legion, Route 16, Hinsdale.

The regiment was raised in the summer of 1862 and took part in many of the great campaigns and battles of the war, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Sherman's March to the Sea. Anyone descended from a member of the 154th is invited to attend. The public also is invited.

Rhode Island-based historian Mark H. Dunkelman, author of five books and numerous articles on the regiment, will make a presentation on his new book, "Marching with Sherman: Through Georgia and the Carolinas with the 154th New York." It will be for sale at a discount at the reunion. For information, call Dunkelman at (401) 369-0637, email nyvi154th@aol.com or visit his website at www.hardtackregiment.com.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Mary Pasciak, Sid Panfil, James Parker, Denise Merrell, Bert LaBell, Stephanie Klajbor, Chris Eckert, John Morrisey, Tom Buczkowski, Wayne Smith, Bob Thompson, Marcus Beacham, Clarence Hoch, Justin Dittiger, Don Bauer, Ruth Quagliana, Patty Rizzo, Stephanie Cook, Evan Phillips, Janet Wallace, Jillian Warnes, Debra Pfeil, Paris Jackson Jr., Amy Marrale, Gary Gorski and Matthew Louis Drago.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com