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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to novelist Dean Koontz, born on this date in 1945, “Nothing gives us courage more readily than the desire to avoid looking like a damn fool.”


TIME OF NEED – Diagnosed with esophageal cancer last year, Brian K. Ray has been away from his job at the Buffalo Sewer Authority since January and still has a long road to recovery.

To help with his living expenses and medical costs not covered by insurance, his friends are throwing a benefit from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in Indulge, 49 W. Chippewa St. Donation is $20 and includes food and an open bar.

For info or to make a donation, call Dave Brautlacht at 316-2509 or Thomas LoTempio at 308-5430.


PASS THE POPCORN – The Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda, kicks off its 2014 Summer Film Series – “Movie Musicals, Act II” – at 7 p.m. Thursday with the 2002 musical “Chicago,” starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. Tickets are $3.

The series, which continues through Sept. 4, also includes “42nd Street” on July 17, “Sweeney Todd” on July 24, “Les Miserables” on Aug. 7 and “Wizard of Oz” on Aug. 21. For info, call 692-2413 or visit


PASTA TIME – It’s time for another spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in Sikora Post 1322, American Legion, 950 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda. For $7, you get spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread and butter, and a beverage; for an extra $1.50, a choice of homemade desserts.


HELP WANTED – Habitat for Humanity will hold an information session on volunteer opportunities at 9:30 p.m. Saturday in Habitat’s ReStore South, 1675 South Park Ave.

There are openings for volunteers in rehab and new construction, clerical office work, retail positions at the ReStores North and South, committee service, fundraising, promotion and site selection. For info, call 204-0740, Ext. 105, or visit


COUNTRY COMMERCE – Head out Route 354 (Clinton Street) on Sunday, and when you roll down the hill into the hamlet of Cowlesville, it will seem like the whole community is for sale. The occasion? The 30th annual Cowlesville Flea Market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to antiques, collectibles and items in between, the Bennington Historical Society will hold its annual Strawberry Social; the Boy Scouts will offer hot dogs and hamburgers; and Kadd’s Market will have pizza, ice cream and soft-drink specials.

This year, the flea market also will host Open Arms of WNY and Pet Connection, which will offer pet adoptions from stations along Clinton Street. The two pet rescue agencies also will benefit from the sale of pulled pork sandwiches, kabobs and Italian sausage sandwiches. For info, email


BUMPER CROP – More than 60 private and public gardens in Buffalo’s University Heights neighborhood, Eggertsville and Amherst will be on display for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the 14th annual Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk.

Maps are available at the University at Buffalo Anderson Art Gallery, 1 Martha Jackson Place, off Englewood Avenue. UB also is providing a free shuttle to help visitors see more gardens. For info, visit

It’s part of a cornucopia of garden tours this weekend. The others include the Town of Amherst Garden Walk on Saturday, the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View on Sunday, the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk & Fair on Saturday and Sunday, and Lockport in Bloom on Saturday and Sunday, with a twilight tour from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday. For details, visit


DOG DAY – In operation since January 2013, Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue has decided it’s time to hold a summer picnic for its adoptive families and other owners of friendly, leash-trained dogs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Oppenheim Park, 2713 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield.

Activities begin with a Pooch Parade and dog walk at 11 a.m., followed by a $12 barbecue lunch by Taste of the Niagara Region winner Formal BBQ and Catering.

Other attractions include music by the Tropical Explosion Steel Drum Band, lawn games, dog contests, portraits by Wild Eye Mobile Pet Photography and a dog grooming area. For tickets, donations and sponsorships, call Linda van Harssel at 622-1213.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Adam Zyglis, Christa Foschio-Bebak, Capt. Kevin Caffery, Andy Peterson, James Hummel, Dick Starzynski, Judy Buczkowski, Leila Kuhns, Brandi Huller, Joe Muhlbauer, Larry Kowalski, Jesse Hageman, Elaine Pulera, Jennifer Giolando, Toddy Hibbard, Len Amato, Ron Marsowicz, Marilyn B. Yeates, Kathleen Greenman, Nancy Hellerer, Julie Fabian, Dakota Penkalski, Angel Degener, Molly Lempko, Katie Perry and Michele Warner.

AND THURSDAY – Jack Gilbert, Judy Alessi, Tracy Simonick, Robert Hargro, Bill Rushmore, Jeff Miers, Gail Johnstone, Jeremiah Hassett, MaryAnn Hassett, Katelyn Hemingway, Dorothy Zmuda, Mark Fitzpatrick, Joe Cukierski, Timothy Morrisette, Mary Ann Gentile, Cali Schneider, Kylie Essman, Adriel Meyer, Sarah Worix, Brandon Toepfer, Sara Telesco, David Krug, Tim Curtin, Jackie Fanning, John Docherty, Steve Bartus, Brenda Basher, Darlene Leonard, Michael Williams, Mildred Lenney and Regina Pochepan.


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