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OLAF FUB SEZ: According to an Italian proverb, "He who knows nothing, doubts nothing." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I. . . . In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed when ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans. . . . In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. . . . In 1879, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J. . . . In 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946. . . .

GIFT ITEM -- A booklet called "Polish Kids Corner 1999" by local artist and author Basia Frackiewicz makes for an interesting holiday gift item for children and adults who want to know about Polish heritage subjects.

The booklet, printed by Buffalo Standard Printing Corp., contains 52 "Polish Kids Corner" columns published by the AmPol Eagle newspaper. Subjects range from how to make Christmas tree ornaments the Polish way to finding cities on a map. What's intriguing is that the column is handwritten and also includes line drawings. The booklet sells for $3.95. For more information, call 835-9454 and ask for Roger. . . .

The new millennium means

a change for everyone.

Every time we date a year,

we must use a "2," not a "1."

-- Walter E. Bell
RESPONSIBILITY -- Matthew Panek, who describes himself as "an adolescent going into the new millennium," believes in young people "staying with reality even when it gets tough."

The seventh-grader at St. Martin of Tours Elementary School on Abbott Road won Trocaire College's eighth annual essay contest last week.

"If we can get through our first years of adulthood without getting into trouble with the law, gangs or drugs, we can live a long and happy life by making all of our decisions with responsibility and accountability," Matthew wrote.

Buffalo Bills offensive guard Dusty Zeigler and Trocaire President Paul B. Hurley Jr. sponsored the contest, asking for essays titled "What the Words Responsibility and Accountability Mean to Me."

Runners-up to Matthew were seventh-graders Brianna Green of Westminster Community School 68, Patrick Hanley of St. Ambrose Elementary School, Katherine Meers of School 81 and Dung Nguyen of School 45.

Matthew and the four runners-up all received educational gifts and prizes plus two tickets to a 2000 Buffalo Bills exhibition game. Matthew also won $2,000 worth of tuition and fees, should he choose to attend Trocaire College. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Barbara Trietley, Carol Kelley Murphy, Maureen O'Neill Damude, Don Thompson, Steve Goodsell, Yvonne Rebholz, David Ludwig, David Tutko, Caitlin Grande, Stephanie Genco, Jack Lempke, Kelly Morth, Eric Galligan, Pearl Nalezynski, Andy N. Kielb, Alyson Diane Krzanak, Sarah Tedesco, Melissa Lopez, Robin Schneider, Dolly Dzienciol, Lorraine Zielinski, Suzanne Wishman, Sue Egloff, Amy Becker, Tommy Brady, Louise Murray, P.J. Odrobina, Jack Boltz Jr., David Ludwig, Steven J. Walters, Fred Frankhauser, W. Ruth Buckham, Lee Collier, Bernice Swiencicki, Joe Pasniak, Diane Gallerino, Aaron Aftyk.

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