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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to influential Judge Learned Hand, born Billings Learned Hand on this date in 1872, “A wise man once said, ‘Convention is like the shell to the chick, a protection till he is strong enough to break it through.’ ”


FURTHER OUT – Space missions to distant worlds will be the topic as Kevin Williams, an associate professor of earth sciences at SUNY Buffalo State, speaks at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of the Gateway Executive Office, 3556 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell.

Williams, who also is director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at Buffalo State, will talk on “Cassini’s Tour of Saturn, Dawn’s Approach to Ceres and New Horizon’s Long Trek to Pluto.” Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004.

The program, sponsored by the Hamburg Natural History Society, is open to the public and no preregistration is required. Admission is $5, free to society members. For info, call 627-4560 or visit


PASTA PLUS – The Alden Christian Theatre Society (ACTS) and the Alden Substance Abuse Coalition are co-hosting a “Frozen” Character Dinner from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in the theater at 1470 Church St., Alden.

Characters from the animated film will be visiting for the duration of ACTS’ annual Winterfest spaghetti dinner. Dinners are $8, which includes meatballs, beverage and dessert.

The Alden Substance Abuse Coalition will offer photos with the characters from “Frozen” with a special backdrop of the Castle Arendelle for $3 during the dinner. A combo ticket for dinner and a photo is $10. Advance tickets are on sale at Parkside Cupcakes, also at 1470 Church St., during business hours.


THE PLOT THICKENS – The East Aurora Middle School Parent Teacher Organization will present its second annual Murder Mystery Event, “Revenge at the Roycroft – A Reunion to Die For,” from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Roycroft Inn, 40 S. Grove St., East Aurora.

Tickets are $50 and include three hours of open bar, food stations from local restaurants, live music, murder mystery entertainment from the Aurora Players, prizes and raffles. For tickets, email


STARTING POINT – The first exhibition in the new 5 x 12 Series opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. It’s free and open to the public.

“Katherine Sehr: Small Obsessions” features large-scale meditative color field drawings by Sehr, a young Buffalo artist who earned her master of fine arts degree with a concentration in print media from the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

Sehr also will give a free artist’s talk and workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 28. Preregistration is required at The 5 x 12 Series is a New York State Council on the Arts-funded residency program that will feature five artists during the next 12 months.


CLEAR THE SHELVES – The North Tonawanda History Museum, 54 Webster St., is receiving books during regular museum hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, for its upcoming Winter Used Book Sale on Feb. 7. All donations are appreciated, but no encyclopedias, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books or magazines will be accepted.


FOND FAREWELL – Taking a well-earned retirement is Thomas T. Butterball, a longtime favorite in the petting zoo at Lakeview Animal Sanctuary in Pendleton. Tom just turned 14, four years past the average life expectancy for a domesticated turkey.

Tom was brought to the shelter in 2001 by founder Sandi Pfohl, who picked him up in response to a nuisance call. While strutting his stuff in the petting zoo, he was noted for his way of approaching visitors and befriending them.

He was so popular that he was put forward as a candidate for mayor of Niagara Falls and attracted 2,500 petition signatures. He was fortunate enough to survive the shelter’s disastrous barn fire in 2011.

In recent years, as he developed difficulty walking, he received laser treatments on his legs from Dr. Alexandra Adamcak of All Creatures Animal Hospital. Now, as other health problems are beginning to catch up with him, he’s being taken off public display.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Jill Boneberg, Juanita Tillmon, Hans Mobius, Nomiki Konst, Zachery Bohen, Jimmy Messana, Sarah Burdick, Maria Clare, Donna Jaworski, Robin Kosmowski, Marissa DiRienzo and Luke and Lilly Colpoys.