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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

CLINTON SEEKS MEETINGS ON N-WORKER BENEFITS

WASHINGTON -- Now that Congress has finally approved expanded benefits for some former nuclear workers, the Labor Department should hold meetings in Western New York to explain the new law, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is urging.

Clinton asked for the briefings in a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

The law makes former workers who were exposed to radiation from nuclear arms production in the 1940s and 1950s at Bliss & Laughlin Steel, Buffalo; Linde Ceramics and Ashland Oil, Town of Tonawanda; and Simonds Saw and Steel, Lockport, eligible for payments up to $150,000.

Unfortunately, the legislation does not cover workers who may have been injured from nuclear radiation at Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna because a Labor Department agency ruled that there was no exposure after 1952. That decision is under review.

SPCA WARNS HALLOWEEN CAN BE HARMFUL TO PETS

Halloween is meant to be fun for children of all ages, but, according to the Erie County SPCA, pets often experience the dark side of Halloween fun.

To avoid problems with pets this Halloween season, SPCA officials are reminding pet owners to:

Keep treats away from where pets can reach them. Chocolate can be fatal to them, and sweets can cause diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

Keep pets inside on Halloween night. Since Halloween is known for pranks, pets often are stolen, teased or abused.

Keep nervous or territorial pets distracted in another room with the door closed. Constant door knocking and doorbell ringing may cause nervous pets to shake or tremble uncontrollably or have an accident in the house.

Ensure all pets are wearing proper identification in case they bolt out of open doors.

Keep pets away from costume-making areas, where sequins or buttons might be swallowed, and away from pumpkin-carving areas to avoid harm from scissors and knives.

BUDDHIST MONKS HERE FOR HEALING CEREMONY

Playing 12-foot-long trumpets, bells, drums and other traditional Tibetan instruments, monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will offer the Lama Chopa, a Buddhist Tantric healing ceremony, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Ave.

Often referred to as "Buddhism's High Mass," the ceremony involves chants, traditional musical instruments and various offerings of light, food and flowers.

Participants are encouraged to bring personal offerings of cakes, cookies, fruits and flowers for the ceremony to be shared after being blessed by the monks.

The Loseling Monks, under the billing of "The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing," are touring the United States and have performed in the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as venues in Chicago and San Francisco.

A donation of $12 is suggested, and advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets are available at Unity Church. For information, call 882-0391.

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