1. "I speak from the heart," Lackawanna native Ruben Santiago-Hudson, a Tony Award-winning actor and playwright, told an interviewer last week. "I don't come with boring documentation and flipping pages. Anything you want to achieve is possible. Any dream you have is attainable." That's the message he will bring to Buffalo Public Schools students when he speaks at 10 a.m. in the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, a talk that will be simulcast to three other schools. It's part of the "Success Looks Like Me" initiative, which sponsors programs to aid disadvantaged youth. He will help raise funds for it and talk more about his career at a reception at 7 p.m. in the WNED studios, 140 Lower Terrace. For tickets, call 852-2857.
2. Let's face it, if you're an animal at the Buffalo Zoo, the days might seem a little uneventful. But not today. Two dozen Canisius College juniors and seniors from the animal enrichment class taught by Sue Margulis, assistant professor in the departments of animal behavior, ecology and conservation, and biology, are showing up at 2:30 p.m. in a prearranged "flash mob" to bring some stimulation to the zoo creatures. Having studied enrichment techniques already used at the zoo, they will perform a routine they've practiced in class that incorporates music, bright costumes and other visual aids.
3. The All-America City Quilt, with squares representing more than 20 communities from the National Civil League's All-America City competition, makes the next stop in its nationwide tour in the lobby of Buffalo City Hall today. It will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Friday. Buffalo has applied for the 2012 All-America City competition, highlighting efforts to improve third-grade reading proficiency. Greater Buffalo -- the city and Erie County -- won the All-America City Award in 1996, and the Buffalo Niagara region won in 2002.
4. Town of Tonawanda residents, having endured a huge sewer line project on Parker Boulevard and Fries Road, are about to undergo a major plumbing job. A public hearing is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2919 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, on an estimated $2.5 million water line replacement project on the east side of Delaware Road. A 12-inch line would replace a 6-inch main between Sheridan Drive and Kenmore Avenue. The work would be done in the road and the right of way. If it isn't done by September, Kenmore West High School could be affected.
5. In addition to all of Buffalo's vacant-house demolitions, there's another program for razing big, empty, crumbling commercial buildings. "We've identified the worst of the worst large commercial demos that need to be done," Mayor Byron W. Brown said last week, standing in front of one where the bulldozers will start work today. It's a former brass foundry and machine shop at Sycamore and Lathrop streets, which is surrounded by a metal fence draped with red tape and signs warning of asbestos contamination. By the end of the year, 10 massive eyesores will be gone, at a cost of more than $3 million.
6. A piece of wreckage from the 9/1 1 terrorism attack on New York City -- a section of steel I-beam from the World Trade Center -- will be incorporated into a 9/1 1 memorial designed by art and architecture students from North Tonawanda High School. Potential designs for the memorial, submitted by 50 students, will be unveiled at 6:30 p.m. today in the Carnegie Art Center, 240 Goundry St. People who attend the unveiling ceremony can vote for the best design, which will be used to build the memorial later this year at North Tonawanda Fire Department headquarters on Sweeney Street.
7. The Buffalo Common Council, still seeking an appointee for the South District seat formerly occupied by newly elected Assemblyman Michael Kearns, will continue to receive a second round of resumes until 5 p.m. As of Friday, five more people had filed resumes -- James J. Creahan, Kevin M. Lafferty, Christopher P. Scanlon, Thomas J. Sullivan and Chris Taylor. Taylor, who lives in Washington, D.C., would be ineligible, though. Applicants must have lived in the South District for at least a year. Eleven people submitted resumes in the first round of the search and six were interviewed by the Council, but none could get the necessary five votes.
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