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It only took a split second, a turn to one side instead of the other.In that one moment in June 2010, Austin Lee went from active adolescent to hospital patient.Austin – he was 12 years old then – had gone from his Cheektowaga home to play a pickup baseball game nearby with some friends. He was pitching, and the batter hit a line drive toward him. Austin turned and tri…

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Liat Ben-Shay is a different kind of Holocaust “survivor.”Without the Holocaust, she never would have been born.That fact still fuels her passion, to teach and create lasting art images that will tell the world about both the horrors of the Holocaust and the courage found in the Jews’ resistance to the Nazi war machine.Ben-Shay, who shares her birth year with her nat…

Lifestyles

Author, editor and feminist activist Gloria Steinem will appear at a sold-out dinner Wednesday celebrating the 80th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of Western New York, followed by a talk in the UB Center for the Arts.The local Planned Parenthood affiliate holds an annual celebration, but “this year is our 80th anniversary, so it’s an extra-special event,” said Kar…

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When Erin Thompson was pregnant with her daughter Lillian, the North Tonawanda mom got everything she needed – and then some – by entering online contests. She won a stroller, a bassinet, a swing, a high chair, a very expensive breast pump, two toddler walkers and a hospital bag filled with supplies.She has also won three Kindle e-readers, hundreds of dollars in gift c…

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She’s been anointed a princess by the contemporary literary establishment – tattered though it is, like penurious but titled Britons who live off admission fees accrued by their historic homes.And then, she’s been set onto literary celebrity’s red carpet – in the United States admittedly a stardom on the low-end of the scale in terms of brightness, behind that of…

Lifestyles

The Buffalo that Lauren Belfer will visit when she speaks at Larkinville on May 6 is far different from the one she couldn’t wait to leave as a young woman in the 1970s.That Buffalo, the one she recalls, was filled with people unaware of the region’s luminous past as a proud starting point and a guide to a bright future. In those days, Belfer recalls, “So many people…

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It’s like gazing into a mirror.And a crystal ball.And, in some ways, a history book – all at the same time.The human brain offers an intriguingly triplicate view of ourselves, to those willing to spend the time looking.In the right light – which would be, in Buffalo’s case, under the strong flourescent lights of a modest museum tucked into a nondescript building on…

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By Scott Scanlon // refresh EditorTechnology can start to drive a wedge between a child and parent as early as infancy. ¶ This is what researchers have discovered at the University at Buffalo Early Childhood Research Center. ¶ Something else they have concluded: It doesn’t have to be that way. ¶ “Parents expect technology to entertain their child,” said Corr…

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A life-size horse painted with flowers and a cupcake. Wire hangers reshaped into wall sculpture. Gutters repurposed as children’s book shelves.Creativity flows from room to room at the 2013 Decorators’ Show House. Maybe it’s all that fresh air. This year’s Show House – the Knox Summer Estate at Knox Farm State Park – is located in a pastoral setting just outsid…

It wasn’t just the vintage wood reindeer in the breakfast room at this year’s Decorators’ Show House that caught my eye. It was the single white rose the deer was holding in its teeth – as if the animal were about to break into the tango.This is just one of the many touches that remind me how important details are to decorators. Earlier this week, I watched the pro…

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In Buffalo, Indian cuisine is no longer the exotic, mysterious experience it was a generation ago. It’s become a routine part of many diners’ monthly menus, leading to a proliferation of area Indian restaurants. ¶ I walked into Jewel of India glad that regular customers of the Hertel Avenue restaurant strip had finally gotten an Indian choice. It’s run by the same…

Lifestyles

It’s that time of year again when girls frantically search for the perfect dress and boys attempt to look dapper in rented tuxedos and limousines are packed full of excited teenagers who just finished taking the most awkward photos of their lives. That’s right, it’s prom season.What most promgoers don’t know is that prom, short for promenade, or “the formal, intr…

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The snow melting is one unmistakable sign, but for David Grabowski, it’s not really spring until he pulls his boots on and heads into the woods looking for dinner.He’s looking for vibrant green clumps of ramps, a leek that grows wild across the woodlands of Western New York. After five years of ramp-stalking, Grabowski, a physical education teacher at Clarence’s Ledg…

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You could call Anthony Bourdain a hypocrite if you wanted to. The celebrated writer, chef and TV personality is famous for criticizing the superficiality of celebrity chefs, yet he rose to prominence in part because of his own carefully crafted image ­– a gastronomic bad boy antihero who tells it like it is, his cigarette dangling precariously, the ashes falling on a fa…

Lifestyles

A cat rescued from the Cairo streets during the chaos of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 has not only become one of the best-known felines in the region, she was also the catalyst for a deep friendship between her owners and a group of nuns in Williamsville.“Shu Shu has brought so much activity into our lives; we have met so many new people because of her,” said Tim Cr…