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OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news

Pump down the jam

Bass-booming car stereos have long drawn the ire of Common Council President David A. Franczyk.

So Franczyk and his colleagues this week voted to task the city's law department with drafting a measure to allow the city to seize the stereo equipment when the roving noise violations -- "house parties on wheels," Franczyk calls them -- are found.

While the idea gained full support from lawmakers, a few of Franczyk's colleagues might be looking for a loophole that exempts some music from enforcement. For Lovejoy Council Member Richard A. Fontana, it would be Van Halen. Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto suggested Frank Sinatra. Ellicott Council Member Darius G. Pridgen mentioned Rick James.

Franczyk's response was music to their ears. Franczyk, who has yet to reveal the music he blares on his car stereo, said he thought they were all "good exemptions."

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Gonna win that couch?

As if rooting for the Sabres is not stressful enough, a local furniture retailer is running a promotion sure to raise fan obsession beyond fanatical levels.

FWS Home Furnishings is offering to rebate the cost of purchases above $500 made before Oct. 6 -- if the Sabres win the Stanley Cup this season.

Now, instead of just wishing for the Sabres to get the 41-year monkey off their backs, you'll be praying to get your money back for the couch you are jumping up and down on.

Vegas Insider has the chances of the Sabres winning the cup at 30-to-1, the same odds it gives New Jersey and Phoenix. As enticing as the rebate offer may be, it would be even more appealing to customers in Vancouver. Their odds to win are 6-to-1.

But it's in Sunrise, Fla., home of the Panthers, where retailers are more likely to offer a similar promotion: The bookies give them a 125-to-1 shot.

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The Great Nice North Canada has a new fan.

And it's only partly because the Canadian Coast Guard rescued Joe Adornetto and Corey Willis from the 68-degree waters of Lake Ontario 12 hours after their boat sank.

"When I saw those guys from Canada were the ones saving us, I just said to them 'Boy, when we get out of here, I'm coming back to Canada. I'm spending all of my money here,' " Adornetto said.

That was just the start of good relations.

The men were treated for hypothermia at St. Catharines General Hospital.

A nurse warned Adornetto that he "wasn't going to like the bill," since it would be at least $1,000 just for the ambulance ride and hospital admission.

Adornetto shrugged it off, happy to be alive. But a nurse felt so bad for him she offered to get him a coffee. He expected hospital coffee.

"A couple minutes later she walked in with an extra large Tim Hortons coffee and a breakfast wrap," Adornetto said. "She said. 'Don't tell anybody, but I walked across the street and got it for you.'

"After that, I told her, 'Hey, any other paperwork you bring me, just include naturalization papers along with it, because I'm staying here.' "

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Kinder, gentler Gunner

Anyone who's been in the company of Aurora Highway Chief David M. Gunner -- or attends town meetings -- knows he's not bashful and is prone to speaking his mind on just about any topic.

So when a reporter spoke with him this week about the harassment allegation filed against him by Republican operative Harry V. Wahl, Gunner's description of himself as "soft-spoken" was enough to make us chuckle.

Gunner is accused of pulling up to Wahl on Sept. 2 in his town truck, yelling an obscenity at him and making a gesture before clenching his fists and coming at Wahl. The police report indicates he suggested Wahl leave the property so he could take care of Wahl "like a real man."

All this played out in front of Supervisor Jolene Jeffe and Councilwoman Susan Friess.

"I'm a pretty soft-spoken person, so this isn't very pleasant," Gunner told The News. "He has a right to make an allegation. Hey, I have a right to defend myself. It kind of turns my stomach, but whatever."

Written by Patrick Lakamp with contributions from Aaron Besecker, Grove Potter, Kevin Bargnes, and Karen Robinson.

e-mail: offmain@buffnews.com

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