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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

IHOP to offer short stack of pancakes for free Tuesday

A free short stack of pancakes is on the menu at IHOP restaurants Tuesday as IHOP celebrates National Pancake Day.

In return for their free hotcakes, patrons are invited to make a donation to Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

The pancakes will be offered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday.

IHOP served 1.5 million free pancakes last year and its customers donated more than $875,000 to children's charities. This year's goal is $1 million.

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Gillibrand assigned to Environment Committee

WASHINGTON Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has been assigned to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.

The newly appointed senator follows in the footsteps of former Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Daniel Patrick Moynihan in serving on this committee. She will also serve on three subcommittees: Superfund; Toxics and Environmental Health Oversight; and Green Jobs and the New Economy.

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Open house will discuss brownfield redevelopment

Efforts to redevelop former industrial properties in South Buffalo will be discussed at an open house Wednesday.

Residents are encouraged to attend a presentation and public discussion in the Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road. City officials will present the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area Draft Master Plan.

The development area is bounded by the Buffalo River, Hopkins Street, South Park Avenue, the Buffalo-Lackawanna border and Route 5.

Wednesday's meeting will begin with an informal open house at 5:30 p.m. The Master Plan will be presented at 6:30, followed by an hourlong public discussion at 7:30. For more information, call Buffalo's Office of Strategic Planning at 851-5035 or send an e-mail to: southbuffaloboa@city-buffalo.com.

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DEC offering free seedlings for planting at schools

The state Department of Environmental Conservation School Seedling Program provides free tree seedlings or shrubs to public and private schools for planting on school grounds or in a community location.

Teachers can prepare students for a planting project by discussing the value of trees in the environment and setting objectives such as erosion control, wildlife enhancement, windbreak and other conservation practices.

The DEC will supply 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to participating schools. Planting 50 seedlings will require approximately 1,800 square feet, while the shrub planting will require about half that much space.

To participate, contact Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 587-1120 or ask the nearest DEC regional forestry office for a school seedling brochure for instructions on placing an order by March 31. For more information on the school seedling program, visit the DEC Web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html.

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