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

1. The U.S. Navy Band is one of the foremost large orchestras in the land, so large that there is actually more than one of them. There's the Ceremonial Band, which plays for inaugurations and other state occasions. There's the Sea Chanters, which is the official chorus. There are the Commodores jazz group; the Country Current country-bluegrass band; the Cruisers, a contemporary music ensemble; and no fewer than eight chamber ensembles. Which one is playing a free concert in Shea's Performing Arts Center tonight? The Navy Band's original ensemble and its premier wind ensemble -- the Concert Band. Doors open at 6:30. Music starts at 7:30. Sponsors are BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and The Buffalo News.

2. It's opening day of Western New York Local Restaurant Week, in which upwards of 150 dining establishments from Wilson to Ellicottville and Lewiston to Le Roy offer lunch and dinner specials for $21.11. All of the restaurants and their specials are listed at Get an early start with a $21.11 breakfast for two in the Lake Effect Diner, 3165 Main St., with a choice of either the Blizzard Breakfast or the 3.3.3 Special. Meanwhile, if it's free that you want, all McDonald's restaurants in the area are serving small coffees free from 5 a.m. to midnight every day through April 10. No purchase necessary. For each one, they also give a penny to Ronald McDonald House.

3. Keynote speaker in the Practical Homicide Investigations seminar hosted by the Amherst Police Foundation today through Wednesday is a man nicknamed, appropriately, "Mr. Murder." His real name is Vernon J. Geberth. A veteran of more than 40 years of police work in New York City, he's former commanding officer of the Homicide Task Force in the Bronx, which handles more than 400 murder investigations every year. The seminar takes place in the Ramada Inn Conference Center, 2402 N. Forest Road, Getzville.

4. There have been more meetings and seminars recently about "fracking" and aid for local cultural organizations than any other subjects, it seems, but a pair of gatherings today may shed some new light on the topics. "Hydrofracking: Exploring the Legal Issues in the Context of Politics, Science and the Economy" is the focus of a two-day conference opening today in 509 O'Brian Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus. Meanwhile, North Common Council Member Michael J. LoCurto and Randall Kramer from the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance will lead a discussion of how to find support for the culturals at 5 p.m. in the Theatre of Youth, 203 Allen St.

5. The Siena Research Institute will release a new Siena College Poll this morning, and now that there's a state budget agreement, it's already out of date. Pollsters asked New Yorkers their views on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and many of the outstanding budget issues leading up to the budget deadline date. The poll also asked voters their thoughts an on-time budget and who's to blame and what should happen if it were to be late. Fortunately, they included a couple of questions about things that still have relevance -- the timing of ethics reform legislation and the building of new nuclear power plants.

6. These days he's the nation's drug czar -- officially director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy -- but Buffalonians know R. Gil Kerlikowske best from back in the days when he was the city's police commissioner under Mayor Anthony Masiello. He begins a two-day visit today with a stop at Erie Community College's Education to Recovery Program on Oak Street to meet with staff, students and clients. The program works with people with mental health and substance abuse problems -- many of them referred by the Drug Court -- and provides them intensive case management, including job skill training.

7. It won't be long before all the health care services in Millard Fillmore Hospital on Gates Circle are moved to other places in Kaleida Health, but then what happens to the empty shell of the building? That's the topic of a public forum from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Embassy Suites at the Avant Building, 200 Delaware Ave. Kaleida has brought in the Urban Land Institute to offer recommendations, and the forum is billed as an opportunity for the public to share ideas with the organization.


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