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

1. What puts quirky, perky New York pop songstress Cyndi Lauper together with funky New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John? It's Lauper getting in touch with her blues roots, as heard in her most recent CD, "Memphis Blues." When she comes to Kleinhans Music Hall at 8 p.m. on a double bill with Dr. John, she'll bring along blues harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite and the fabled Hi Rhythm Section from Memphis for a set that includes blues standards along with blues-powered versions of her hits from the '80s.

2. The Buffalo area is a great place to eat, and we're not just talking pizza, chicken wings and beef on weck. The best in local cuisine and the people who cook it up are celebrated in the new book and DVD "Nickel City Chef: Buffalo's Finest Chefs and Ingredients," which will be launched with a gala celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. in the place where the Nickel City Chef competition takes place -- Artisan Kitchens & Baths, 200 Amherst St. Samples of all the chefs' specialties will be served. It's free and open to the public, but bring along a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Western New York.

3. Preservation fever lives on at 12:10 p.m. in the Ring of Knowledge at the Central Library in Lafayette Square. Speaker in this week's edition of the series sponsored by the Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature is developer Rocco Termini, who has turned several downtown industrial buildings into trendy living spaces. He'll talk, then lead listeners across the street to tour his grandest restoration project -- the Lafayette Hotel.

4. The local regional development council set up by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the summer has held public hearings and mulled the options for boosting Western New York's economy. Now it has the first draft of a strategic plan, which will be unveiled at a forum at 6 p.m. in the Drama Theater at the Center for the Arts on the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst. The session will be webcast to sites in Jamestown, Olean, Sanborn and Alfred to allow people there to express their thoughts. It also will be streamed live through the regional development council website at

5. The public will get to have its say today on the rules and regulations that ought to be applied to Buffalo's small but growing fleet of food trucks. The committee that's drawing up a food truck ordinance will hold a public hearing at 2 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall. The committee has until early November to submit its recommendations.

6. It seems only fair. Since the Tampa Bay Lightning shut out the Sabres down in Florida on Saturday, our team should return the favor when it takes the ice against Tampa Bay this evening in First Niagara Center. Meanwhile, if you're watching on TV, don't look for the action in the usual place on the MSG Channel. This is one of the eight games this season that will be telecast on the Versus Channel. To accommodate Versus, the starting time has been moved back to 7:30.

7. With Christmas exactly two months away, the arrival of major CD releases is quickening. Scheduled to show up in the music racks today are new albums from Coldplay ("Mylo Xyloto"), Kelly Clarkson ("Stronger"), Vince Gill ("Guitar Slinger"), Tom Waits ("Bad As Me") and a holiday effort from She & Him ("A Very She & Him Christmas").


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