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

1. The University at Buffalo and the New York Power Authority probably didn't figure on a major snowstorm when they planned the ceremonial switch-on today for the UB Solar Strand, the 3,200-panel solar power generating installation on Flint Road on the North Campus in Amherst, just across from the Center for Tomorrow. Because of the weather, they'll go ahead and dedicate it at 11 a.m. today inside the Center for Tomorrow, and the strand will begin pulsing 750 kilowatts into the campus electrical grid, enough to light up hundreds of student apartments.

2. More than 3 million Canadians cross the international bridges every year to shop in the Buffalo Niagara region. To find out who they are, what they're looking for and what else we can offer them, the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. and Visit Buffalo have joined with Longwoods International, a Toronto-based marketing research firm, for a survey. The results and conclusions will be announced in a pair of sessions today -- at 9 a.m. in WNED Studios, 140 Lower Terrace, in downtown Buffalo, and at 2 p.m. in Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls. Admission is free.

3. This is National Crime Victims Rights Week, and Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard plans to kick it off with two leaders of victim support groups at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. at his downtown offices at 10 Delaware Ave. They are Mary Travers Murphy, director of the Family Justice Center of Erie County, which has 13 service agencies working together to help victims of domestic violence; and Elizabeth Obad, president of the Erie County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which offers help and advocacy for victims of intoxicated motorists. They'll be joined by Deputy Elizabeth Fildes, program director of the Human Trafficking Task Force & Alliance of the Western District of New York.

4. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's new statewide Small Business Outreach Initiative has plans to come to Buffalo today to hold a workshop where small business owners can come to ask questions and get advice. The session at 6:30 p.m. in Room 411 of the D'Youville College Academic Center, 320 Porter Ave., will include representatives from Empire State Development, the departments of State, Labor, Taxation and Finance, the State Liquor Authority and the Workers' Compensation Board.

5. State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, has proved to be such a friend to the environment with his work to improve water quality, parks and recycling efforts that he recently was presented the 2012 William B. Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award. Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, he will address environmental issues under consideration in Albany when he delivers the keynote address in an Earth Day program sponsored by the Buffalo Environmental Law Society at 6 p.m. in 106 O'Brian Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst.

6. Weather permitting, the campaign to raise funds to preserve the Mill Road Scenic Overlook in the Town of Aurora will begin with a kickoff ceremony, complete a wild animal release and remarks from Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo; Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, R-Clarence; and Aurora Supervisor Jolene Jeffe at 1 p.m. at the overlook site just north of 1301 Mill Road. The Friends of Mill Road, the group leading the effort, hopes to acquire 60 acres to frame the landscape and protect it with a conservation easement. To see the wonderful view and make a donation, visit

7. Former Deputy Erie County Executive Carl Calabrese, now a partner in a lobbying firm, brings his expertise to bear on Jack Abramoff's memoir, "Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist," in the monthly Bistro Bookers program sponsored by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library in Chef's Restaurant, 291 Seneca St. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., the program starts at 6:15. It's free and open to the public.


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