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Reporters' notebook: Bits & pieces of news ...

OLAF FUB SEZ: Advice for the imminent arrival of winter from composer and guitarist Frank Zappa, born on this date in 1940, "Don't eat the yellow snow."

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Christmas List

A gift which one can give

Through bleak or sunny days

Costs nothing but a thought --

The pleasant gift of praise.

Or care for someone's feelings,

Be humble all year long.

Have courage enough to say,

I'm sorry, I was wrong.

A thank you is a simple thing

And please is never rude.

The world is hungry for

A taste of gratitude.

Or give your quiet attention

And listen with your eyes.

Give someone else a chance

To feel as though he's wise.

Or plant a seed of courage

In a fearful person's heart.

The gift of inspiration is

A generous head start.

Be there for those you love.

Pick them up if they should fall.

The gift of dependability is

The greatest gift of all.

-- Diana Notaro

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STRINGS ATTACHED -- Puppets do the acting in Theatre Figuren's production of "Star Mother's Youngest Child," the classic Christmas story by Louise Moeri, which will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Crane Branch Library, 633 Elmwood Ave., at Highland Avenue. Admission is free. The performance includes samll-scale puppetry and Scandinavian music on a magical "toy" set.

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LAST-MINUTE GIFTS -- Many of the things in the Museum Store at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main St., Eggertsville, are unique. The scarves, wreaths, stained-glass items and other objects have been handcrafted by people from the Day Habilitation program of People Inc., and no two items are alike.

The Museum Store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Items also can be ordered online by going to

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Paul Kurtz, Steve Montador, Thomas Burton, Nicole Safe, Joe Graham, Karl Kopf, Dennis Kless, Pete Quezada, Irene Glinski, Bill Veronica, Doug Mueller, Krystie Voelker, Emily Hocutt, Lauren Rzeszutek, Zachary Ziskowski, Savannah Cornelius, Bill Gallagher and Brian Nagy.

AND THURSDAY -- Aria Miceli, Becky Avino, Amy Kuminski, Betty Bronstein, Crystal Peoples, Irwin Pate, Joy Testa-Cinquino, Analiel Perrelli, Matthew Adams, Carol Pieczonka Hewes, Bill Yeates Sr., Emmy Lou Hess, Donna Recktenwalt, Heidi Urban, Pam Bugenhagen, Carol Miller, Frank Gizzo, Mary Ann McElroy, Tommy Burns, Mariclaire Lafferty, Carol Wannemacher, Tom Sicignano, Carol Sholley and Jon Blankenship.