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OLAF FUB SEZ: May your troubles last no longer than your resolutions. . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1862, the union Ironclad ship, the Monitor, sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm. . . . In 1865 English poet, novelist and short story writer as well as Nobel Prize laureate Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India. . . . In 1869, Stephen Leacock, Canadian economist and humorist, who wrote, "Lord Ronald flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions," was born. . . .

They picked up the pieces

with a shovel and rake;

he leaned on his horn

and not on his brake.

-- Dan Kublitz
IN FOCUS -- The world will be in sharper focus for many low-income, uninsured working Western New Yorkers and their families, thanks to free eye examinations offered by the New York State Optometric Association. Eleven area optometrists will be among the 200 from across the state who will provide the free exams to qualifying individuals.

"Unfortunately many low-income working people without health insurance simply cannot afford eye exams, and they don't qualify for government assistance," said Larry Jerge, O.D., of Lancaster, who is coordinating the Vision USA Program for the Western Optometric Society. "Without preventive care, small vision problems could escalate to more costly and potentially serious conditions later on in life."

To be eligible, one member of a family must be employed, eye exams must not be covered by government or private health care insurance, eye exams must not have been received in the past 24 months, and household income cannot exceed an established level based on household size. Workers who believe they may be eligible for benefits are encouraged to call toll-free, 1-800-766-4466, Monday through Friday, January 2 to 30, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Those qualifying for care will be notified by mail if a volunteer optometrist is available in their area. The exams will be scheduled in March. . . .

INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED expert in the area of liver research and disease James P. Nolan, M.D., of Snyder, distinguished service professor and former chair of the Department of Medicine in the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been selected by the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians to receive the 1998 Alfred Stengel Memorial Award for outstanding service to the society. The organization is the nation's largest medical specialty society, with a membership of more than 80,000 physicians.

Nolan is a member of numerous local, state and university organizations and the recipient of many awards. The Yale graduate came to U.B. in 1963. . . .

KEY NOTE SPEAKER at the recent Tangier American Legation Museum Society Conference that marked the 200 year anniversary of American diplomatic presence in Morocco was Bruno B. Freschi, dean of the U.B. School of Architecture and Planning.

The November celebration was based on an attempt to establish a future new city on the Moroccan end of the Gibraltar Strait. The address by Freschi, a resident of Buffalo's West Side, and an advocate of urbanization, was titled "Restoring the Great Cities: Lessons I Have Learned and How they Apply to Tangier." . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Ryan Christopher Powell, Sandy Miller, Janice Neunder, Bertha Groszkowski, Kathleen Cudeck, Charlie Safe, Margaret Stoklosa, Jerry Imiola, Cindy Mary Conser, Bob McComas, Gene Drebot, Joe Panek, Tom Czajka, Joanne Chittenden, Joe Jacobbi, Estelle W. Pyles, Carol Schaller, Jim Butters, Ruth Butters, Krissy Voight, Darlene Lauer, Jill E. Gavin, Jessica Gunning, Frenchie Marcoux, Christina Reis, Marissa Jane Rossi, DJ Frost, Yvonne Rebholz, Dennis M. Long, Jessica Haidon, Paul Hammond, Garrett O'Neill, Katie Krug, Michael M. Kowalski, Kim Hickok, Christopher Hickok, Jennifer Prilmeier, Paula Banas.

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