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Seven By Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. The latest major thoroughfare to be barricaded for maintenance work is the Oak Street ramp to the northbound Niagara Thruway in downtown Buffalo. The ramp, which curls around the outfield of Coca-Cola Field, is scheduled to be shut down from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, weather permitting. Crews are going to do some repair work on a light pole. If you try to use the ramp during these hours, you'll be shunted over to the Hamburg Street entrance. If you think about it soon enough, you probably can save time by crossing downtown on North Division and Church streets and catching the northbound Niagara Thruway over by Adam's Mark Hotel.

2. Buffalo's biggest waterfront park, LaSalle Park, is going to get some more upgrades, if the Common Council does what's expected today. Members have indicated in recent weeks that they'll approve more than $1.6 million in grants for a smorgasbord of improvements, which should start showing up later this summer. New curbs and street lights will be installed, and DAR Drive will be reconstructed. New benches and barbecue grills will be installed, an architecturally significant shelter will be built, and more attractive landscaping will be planted, officials say. One improvement has been completed already. LaSalle's Centennial Pool, closed for seven years, will open next month.

3. Tonight's commencement exercises at Mount St. Joseph Academy will have a particularly poignant note. It's the private Catholic school's last class of graduating eighth-graders, and school officials are promising to make it special. The school has been battling declining enrollments for years, and the recent departure of its headmaster turned out to be the final straw.

4. No sooner have we finished one hockey season then we start revving up for another. Today's the day that the 2010-11 schedule for the Sabres' 40th anniversary season will be released, and it's early. Usually they wait until mid-July, around the time of baseball's All-Star Game break. Of special interest to fans will be how the league schedules around the World Junior Championships, which open Dec. 26 in HSBC Arena. The Sabres are expected to play at least one home game while the juniors are in town.

5. Texas blues comes to Artpark in Lewiston for the free Tuesday in the Park series, courtesy of guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, older brother of the late great Stevie Ray. No, he's not with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, but rather an aggregation of seasoned Austin veterans called the Tilt-A-Whirl Band. In the lineup is roadhouse blues singer Lou Ann Barton, who performed with the Vaughans way back in the '70s. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Opening is Dr. Z and the Blues Remedy.

6. Another choice on the music scene is Interpol, selected by News rock critic Jeff Miers as one of the best concerts of the summer, which will be at the Town Ballroom on Main Street. Miers says the New York City indie rockers might be described as post-punk, "but really, it's just rock 'n' roll wearing expensive sunglasses and skinny jeans."

7. Sharon Lerner, author of "The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation," which examines the challenges facing American mothers, will lead a discussion on her research at 7 p.m. in Talking Leaves Bookstore at 3158 Main St. For more about her and her work, see the article on Page C1.


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