1. Medaille College graduates will hear words of wisdom from two freshman civic leaders in a pair of commencement exercises today in Kleinhans Music Hall. At 1 p.m., more than 500 graduate degree recipients will be addressed by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who took the top office this year after six years as county comptroller. In the 7 p.m. program, Amber M. Dixon, interim Buffalo school superintendent since last September, will speak to 400 students receiving their undergraduate degrees. She's a Medaille graduate.
2. Take a last look at those red and white logos on 195 HSBC Bank branches in Buffalo and across upstate New York. Today is the final day that HSBC will be running them. As of Monday, First Niagara will take them over, although it won't keep them all -- 64 will be sold to KeyCorp, Community Bank System and Five Star Bank over the next few months, and 35 more will just be closed. Rival local banks, meanwhile, have geared up special offers to attract HSBC customers during the transition.
3. The spirit of Frank Sinatra and his contemporaries will be invoked tonight in two of the Seneca casinos. In the Seneca Event Center at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, pianist and singer Michael Feinstein, the master of the Great American Songbook, performs songs from his "Sinatra Project" album at 8. Tickets start at $40. Meanwhile, in the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, Sandy Hackett's "The Rat Pack Is Back," the award-winning Las Vegas tribute show, brings Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr. back to life at 7 in a run that continues with two shows daily Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $20.
4. The 170th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek Treaty between the Seneca Nation and U.S. government, signed May 20, 1842, will be commemorated at 11 a.m. at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road, West Seneca, on the former Buffalo Creek Territory. The treaty, which acknowledged the sovereignty of tribal lands, has provided the basis for all subsequent arrangements between the Senecas and state and federal authorities. The program coincides with a new Native American art exhibit, "They Are Creative -- Art of the Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse." A Native Artists Vendor Day will be held at the center from noon to 6 p.m.
5. Noted for his performances in breathtaking historical settings, Yanni, the Greek New Age composer and keyboardist, brings his orchestra to the city's most ornate concert hall, Shea's Performing Arts Center, for an 8 p.m. show. Reviewers on his current tour, in addition to remarking on the intensity and spirituality of Yanni's instrumental work, have marveled at his generosity in allowing his sidemen to take lengthy solos. Tickets are $44.50 to $125.
6. Twenty-three wineries along the Lake Erie shore from Silver Creek to North East, Pa., will open their doors today for the start of Lake Erie Wine Country's Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend. For $35, visitors will be able to try special local wines paired with artisan cheeses or food samples, plus take home a wine glass, recipe booklet and $5 voucher toward a purchase. They'll also receive a bottle-shaped bamboo cutting board. Tickets may be purchased online only at www.lakeeriewinecountry.org and picked up at a winery you designate. Wineries will be open from noon today and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday until 5 p.m. each day. Designated-driver tickets are $20 and include non-alcoholic beverages instead of wine.
7. This weekend's new summer blockbuster is the sci-fi naval war film "Battleship," adapted from a board game and starring Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna. But two notable small comedies also are arriving. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," the tale of retirees adjusting to life in India, stars Judi Dench and Maggie Smith among others. Then there's "Borat" star Sasha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator," a "mockumentary" about a military strongman that includes Ben Kingsley and Anna Faris.
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