1. The Junior League of Buffalo holds a round-table discussion on "Food Access in Western New York" from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 100 of Allen Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus. Panelists include Diane Picard, executive director of the Massachusetts Avenue Project; Jessie Goucl, project coordinator for Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities of Buffalo; and Susannah Barton, executive director of Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo. Topics will include the importance of community empowerment policies and how to end the cycle of poverty among households headed by single women. It's free and open to the public.
2. Leaping, slithering and crawling creatures are in the Leap Day spotlight today at the Buffalo Zoo, which is joining with more than 55 other institutions around the world in "Leaping Ahead of Extinction," a program calling attention to the plight of amphibians (frogs, toads, newts and salamanders), which are even more endangered than birds and mammals. From 10;30 a.m. to noon, the zoo will offer keeper talks and other activities providing information on how to protect them. For info, call 995-6133 or visit www.leapfrog2012.org.
3. Rosa Parks wasn't the first African-American to refuse to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. A 15-year-old girl named Claudette Coleman did it while she was riding home from school several months earlier and was arrested. Author Phillip Hoose, who told her story in his award-winning 2009 book, "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice," talks about her contributions to the civil rights movement in a free hourlong program at 10 a.m. in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in Jamestown under the auspices of the Robert H. Jackson Center.
4. Jerry Olejniczak, owner and proprietor of Penrod's Bait & Tackle, will close up the South Buffalo shop today. The store at 1560 South Park Ave. has been supplying anglers with live bait and tackle items since 1978. Olejniczak, a Vietnam vet who bought the place from Rich Penrod in 1990, has decided to retire and spend more time on the water.
5. Aryn Kyle based her 2007 best-selling debut novel, "The God of Animals," on her experiences growing up in the 1980s in Grand Junction, Colo. She comes to read from that book and her 2010 short story collection, "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," in Canisius College's Contemporary Writers Series at 7:30 p.m. in the Grupp Fireside Lounge.
6. The Barkyard, the off-leash area for dogs in Buffalo's LaSalle Park, needed a name for the dog in its logo, so last month there was a naming contest, generating more than 1,000 suggestions, ranging from Barkley to Sir Lickalot. The Buffalo Off-Leash Area Inc., the not-for-profit group that operates the dog park, will announce the winning entry at 7:30 p.m. during a Leap Day party from 5:30 to 9 in Our Bar, 861 Military Road, Kenmore. Tickets are $29 at the door or at thebarkyard.org. Finger food and drinks are included. The evening also will include basket raffles, an auction, a 5 0/5 0 drawing and live music.
7. It's Leap Day, the bonus day in February that happens once every four years to adjust for the fact that a year is a fraction more than 365 days long. We can thank Julius Caesar for it. He came home after conquering Egypt in 46 B.C. determined to fix the Roman calendar, which was seriously out of sync. The result was a revision of the old Roman months, using concepts borrowed from the Greeks and the Egyptians. How come February got the extra date? For one thing, it had been left out when dates were added to the other months.