1. He may have been 19th century Buffalo's First Citizen, but according to distinguished professor Paul Finkelman of Albany Law School, Millard Fillmore was totally unfit to be president. In his book on Fillmore, Finkelman likens our 13th president to modern-day Tea Party advocates and declares, "Fillmore was always on the wrong side of the great moral and political issues of the age: immigration, religious toleration, equality and, most of all, slavery." Invited here by an institution that Fillmore helped to found, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, he gives a free talk from 5 to 7 p.m. in the society's museum at 25 Nottingham Court.
2. Niagara Falls has its own civic celebration this weekend, an outgrowth of the one in Buffalo. Sponsored by a group called Niagara Rises, it debuts this evening with a LaSalle Family Picnic and continues Friday with a business awards luncheon and career fair from noon to 4:30 p.m. in Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.; a sunset tour of the Falls; and the opening of "Beyond the Barrel," which features an exhibit of art, artists working in their studios and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, the former Niagara Falls High School, 1201 Pine Ave.
3. Closed for about a month, ElderWood at Heathwood, the skilled nursing facility on Hopkins Road in Amherst, reopens today with a new format. It has become an assisted-living facility with beds for about 90 residents now, with enough room eventually for 112. It was converted with funding help from Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law New York, or HEAL NY, with the understanding that it would help the state save money under Medicaid because assisted living costs less than skilled nursing.
4. The Thursday at the Square series holds its last concert of the year in Lafayette Square this evening. Starting next week, the rest of the free summertime shows will be down on the waterfront. It should be a rip-roaring farewell to the center of the city, thanks to a pair of soulful singers -- Noelle Scaggs, who shares the vocal duties in Fitz and the Tantrums with founder Michael Fitzgerald; and Grace Potter, who channels the spirit of Janis Joplin in front of her band, the Nocturnals. Music starts around 5.
5. Friday was supposed to be the last day of classes for students in Buffalo schools, but it's not. School is out for the summer when the last bell rings today. Superintendent James A. Williams decided to cancel the final Friday of school because the district already has completed more days of classes than the state requires. Nevertheless, all high school graduations Friday will be held as scheduled. And faculty and staff have to report as usual.
6. Citybration, the sixth annual celebration of Buffalo's best features, kicks off in grand style tonight in the Theater District before moving down to the waterfront for the weekend. Shea's Performing Arts Center will be the setting for Buffalo Spree magazine's sixth annual Best of WNY Party, at which the winners of its Best of WNY Awards will be revealed. The party, from 5:30 to 8:30, will feature food and beverages from 20 of the area's leading restaurants, a wine-tasting, music, a photo booth and a silent auction. Tickets are $40. Proceeds benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times. For tickets, call 783-9119, Ext. 2202.
7. Americans may have hung up their hockey skates for the summer, but not the folks in Canada. They gather at 7:30 p.m. in Gale Center Arena, 4171 Fourth Ave., Niagara Falls, Ont., for the HP4K Classic. On the ice will be the likes of Darroll Powe of the Philadelphia Flyers, Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators, Bryan Little of the Atlanta Thrashers and Mike Moore, who played this year with the San Jose Sharks, plus upcoming local players. There also will be auctions of jerseys and memorabilia. Tickets are just $5 at the door. Kids under 12 get in free. Proceeds benefit programs of the YMCA of Niagara and Niagara youth hockey organizations.