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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: Some people are smarter than others, and others aren't. . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1512, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida . . . In 1625, Charles I ascended the English throne upon the death of James I . . . In 1794, President George Washington and Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Navy . . . In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio . . . In 1884, the first long-distance telephone call was made, between Boston and New York . . . In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens . . . In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to first secretary of the Communist Party . . . In 1964, Alaska was rocked by a powerful earthquake that killed 114 people . . .

Spring
We're slipping into spring

Oh -- so slowly!

I poked around my bulbs today,

Just had to see.

They looked so alive

That I'm content

To pick up the winter's litter --

And wait a bit.

-- Sara Harvey

FOUNTAIN MONEY -- Have you ever wondered what happens to the coins tossed into the Center Court fountain in the McKinley Mall? Betty B. Newell, mall marketing director, says the money is cleaned out monthly and given to charity. "We take as little as $300 to as much as $600 from the fountain each month," she said. "Quarterly, the fountain yields an average of $1,200."

In 1994, nearly $7,000 from the fountain was distributed to the American Lung Association, Parents Anonymous, Variety Club, the Hamburg Group of Youth Engaged in Service, the Bulimic Society and others. She said organizations wishing to be considered must have a non-profit number and their charitable efforts should serve a large number of people in the community. Organizations should send details to the McKinley Mall, Mall Office, Milestrip Road and McKinley Parkway, Blasdell, N.Y. 14219.

NOW WE KNOW -- Anyone trying to reach local environmental watchdog John Spagnoli won't get him at the regional headquarters of the state Department of Environmental Conservation -- he's in Albany, instead. "John is temporarily serving as an assistant commissioner in charge of regional affairs, helping our new commissioner, Michael Zagata, take over the agency," said acting regional head Peter Buechi. . . .

REMINDER -- For information about a reunion for the all-male Burgard High School Class of 1945, call Max Bennett at 634-2107 or L. Jackson at 833-8907. . . .

COLD TURKEY is the best way to quit smoking, according to some studies. The reason is that those who quit "cold turkey" crave cigarettes considerably less and have fewer physical and psychological symptoms than smokers who attempt to quit gradually. . . .

ENUFKIDS is the message on the vanity license plate spotted by one of Olaf's trusted agents in the Boulevard Mall area. What does it mean? . . .

LISTENING IN -- A University at Buffalo pundit was asked: "What's the difference between men and government bonds?" "Bonds mature," she answered. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Marcy Bryk, Kelly Smith Derthick, Denise J. Okoniewski, Ruth Schmelzinger, Cyndee Rizzuto, Molly Gibson, Jennifer Gibson, R. Joey Pope, Terrence Brown, Erika Rey, Jane Campbell, Rosemary McCrohan, Sonia Rae Duncan, Marlon Wright, Robin Aiken, Jane McDevitt, Miesha Jones, Maureen Wilson, Stanley Sanok, Rick Streck Jr., Heather Ann Hirnyj, Pat McCoy, Bob Ziskowski, Jim Rigby, Valencia Almond, Paul Snyder, Joe Black, Shelly Milka, Melvin Wagstagg.

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