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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to Scottish poet Robert Burns, born on this date in 1759, "There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing."


RAISE A TOAST -- The newest member of the Niagara Wine Trail USA -- Black Willow Winery at 5565 W. Lake Road, Burt -- holds a grand-opening celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, with the ribbon-cutting at 12:30. There will be music by the Lakeside Jazz Trio, hors d'oeuvres and, of course, samples of Black Willow wines.

It's family-owned and -operated by Cindy West-Chamberlain and Michael D. Chamberlain, who offer not only grape wines, but also honey wines, or what they call "mead," made according to their own recipe and unique in Niagara County. R.S.V.P. at 439-1982 for the grand opening. For information, visit


HEAT WAVE -- Chili tasters, mark Sunday on your calendar. That's when the Clarence Lions Club plans to hold a chili and chowder cook-off as part of the Winterfest celebration from noon to 5 p.m. in Clarence Town Park, 10405 Main St. It is sponsored by the Clarence Youth Bureau and Clarence Chamber of Commerce.

Nearly 20 not-for-profit organizations will be cooking up their favorite recipes in the Best Chili and Best Chowder divisions. Tasters -- last year there were some 300 -- ante up a $5 donation to sample all of them and cast their ballots. Winning chefs take home a People's Choice Award.

Other Winterfest activities include ice skating, sledding, a bonfire, a petting zoo, hayrides, arts and crafts, a performances at 2:30 p.m. by Saxman Slim, and Star Wars performances at 12:30 and 3:30.


IRISH EYES -- The Valley Community Association will announce its choices for grand marshal and dedications for the 18th annual Old Neighborhood St. Patrick's Day Parade at an Old Neighborhood Fundraiser Party from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in the Valley Community Center, 93 Leddy St. near South Park Avenue and Elk Street.

Donation is $20 at the door and includes draft beer and pop. Wine and cans of beer will be available for sale. Providing the music will be the Irish band Poor Ould Goat. The parade is scheduled for March 19 and follows the historic route of Buffalo's St. Patrick's Day Parade through the Old First Ward. For info, call 823-4707 or visit


LET'S EAT -- A roast pork dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in Sikora Post 1322, American Legion, 950 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda. Dinners are $7 and include mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, apple sauce, bread and butter, and a beverage. Choice of a homemade dessert is $1.50 extra.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Stan Evans, Tim Wendel, Kim Merrihew, Sandra Beutler, Carol Mueller, Rachel Ratajczak, Melissa Held, Jon Huller, Shauna Mann, Dolores Fitzgerald, Sandra Morgan, Brianna Colello, Geno Letina, Jo Schleelien, Travis Blair, Jeanie Gerbereux, Jim Whalen, Lindsay Hollinsworth, Carlo DiRienzo, Judy Schaub, Jean Buchanan, James Braun, Jean Dabek and Cheryl Zima.


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