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

1. Tonight marks the official finale of the winter holiday light displays in Niagara Falls. It's the last illumination for the CAA Winter Festival of Lights on the Canadian side and for the Holiday Lights of Niagara Trail along Robbins Drive through Hyde Park on the American side.

2. Jan. 31 is one of those deadline dates. It's the final day to sign a team up for the lottery that will fill the open slot in Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament Feb. 11 to 13 in Erie Basin Marina. Visit to apply. It's the deadline for restaurants to apply for a spot in this summer's A Taste of Buffalo. For applications, visit And it's now or never for Western New York girls 13 to 17 who want to be part of the 2011 Young Miss Buffalo Pageant. Visit

3. A two-week artist residency program titled "Fibers and Content: Papermaking and Printmaking as Social Engagement" starts today in the lobby of the Arts and Media Building on the Sanborn campus of Niagara County Community College. During the first week, the Combat Paper Project, an arts organization, will use military uniforms once worn in service and transform them into handmade paper. Paper made during the first week will be used during the second week for printmaking by local artists Hyeyoung Shin and Anne Muntges.

4. The Sabres weren't represented in Sunday's NHL All-Star Game, but a future Sabre will be on the ice tonight in the American Hockey League All-Star Game in Hershey, Pa. (7, Time Warner SportsNet). Representing the Portland Pirates farm team will be forward Luke Adam. Pirates defenseman Drew Schiestel also was supposed to play but was sidelined by an injury in a game last week.

5. The rebuilding process starts today at the Cockaigne Ski Area in Chautauqua County, which lost its chalet in a disastrous fire last week. The New York State Army National Guard is supposed to deliver a large tent this morning that will be heated and filled with picnic tables borrowed from Midway State Park on Chautauqua Lake. A second tent will hold rental ski and snowboard equipment. Since the lodge's restaurant also went up in flames, the resort will sell food out of a trailer and hopes to sell food and alcohol from a building across the street that once housed a restaurant. Reopening is tentatively set for Wednesday.

6. The 2011 David Blitzer Lecture Series, presented by the University at Buffalo Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, opens today with a pair of talks by Hasia Diner, professor of American Jewish history at New York University. At 3 p.m., she'll address "No Generation of Silence: Postwar American Jews and the Memory of the Holocaust" in 120 Clemens Hall on the UB North Campus in Amherst. At 7, she'll speak on "Jewish Peddlers and the Discovery of New Worlds" in Temple Beth Tzedek, 621 Getzville Road, Amherst. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

7. The Canisius College men's basketball team, fresh from the emotional high of its win over Niagara on Friday night, travels to Connecticut tonight to take on Fairfield, the MAAC Conference leaders, in a nationally televised game (7:30, MSG). The Griffs gave Fairfield a run for its money before losing, 67-60, in the Koessler Athletic Center 10 days ago.


Don't miss on

Chat today on with News reporters covering two hot topics. At 11:30 a.m., James Heaney takes questions about Sabres prospective owner Terry Pegula. At 12:30 p.m., Sandra Tan talks about the Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan trial.

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