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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to our third president, Thomas Jefferson, born on this date in 1743, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

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TASTE OF ITALY – Thursday is the deadline to make reservations for the next luncheon meeting of the Western New York Pen Women, which will be held at noon Saturday in Cugino’s Restaurant, 6011 Main St., Williamsville.

Guest speaker will be Gaia Bistulfi Amman, a D’Youville College professor and author of two novels, who will talk about her Italian heritage and the challenges of writing for a young audience. Price is $19. All are welcome. For info and reservations, call Mary Ellen Shaughnessy at 885-3292 or Barbara Blackburn at 634-2909.

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DRUMSTICK BEAT – Newfane United Methodist Church, 2699 Main St., Newfane, will host a Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday. Dinners are $10, take-out only, and include potato salad, coleslaw, roll and butter and dessert.

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PIANO MAN – Political satirist Mark Russell will return to his hometown at the height of primary election fever and sit down at the keyboard for a performance at 6 p.m. Friday in the studios of WNED, 140 Lower Terrace. Tickets are $50. Proceeds benefit the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site’s Michael J. McDermid Exemplary Citizenship Fund. For tickets and info, call 884-0095 or visit trsite.org.

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GOURMAND GALA – Beer, wine and spirits from around the globe will be featured along with wines from the Niagara Region and food from leading local restaurants as the Niagara Food and Wine Expo returns this weekend to Scotiabank Convention Center, 6815 Stanley Ave., Niagara Falls, Ont.

A special Tasting Stage will offer 30-minute wine tasting seminars. The Chef Stage will feature cooking demonstrations by Darryl Fletcher, host of ChefD TV, and food and travel host Stacey Simon from Gusto TV, who will talk about exploring local food and culture daily and sign copies of her book, “Where the Streets Have a Cool Name.”

Hours are 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 online at niagarafoodandwineexpo.ca, and include a souvenir wine tasting glass. Sample tickets for sampling beer, wine and food are $1. Admission is limited to visitors 19 and older.

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PRICE IS RIGHT – New Hope United Methodist Church, 2846 Seneca St., West Seneca, will host a free community dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, featuring chicken stew and biscuits, fresh-baked desserts and beverages. Free-will offerings are welcome. For info, call 864-2989.

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DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS – Notre Dame Academy in South Buffalo will discuss financial aid when it holds a pair of information sessions for parents of grade school youngsters at the Valley Community Association Center, 93 Leddy St. off South Park Avenue.

Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and 4 to 6 p.m. Monday. Those who cannot attend are invited to call 824-0726, mention the Valley Community Association and set up a tour of the school.

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WINNERS WANTED – St. Bernard’s Church will hold a Gift Card Bonanza Raffle on Saturday evening in the Parish Hall, 1988 Clinton St. Doors open at 5 p.m. Admission is $5, which includes a roast beef sandwich, chips and beverage. Raffle tickets are $1. More than 40 cards worth $15 and up from various supermarkets and stores will be raffled. For more info, call 822-8856.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Dana Tillou, Paul Hokanson, Jack Quinn, Liz Kahn, Russ Salvatore, Patrick Kane, Dwane Hall, Walter Piontek, Kristi Wise, Ian Forsyth, Lauren Guy, Jendy Soule, Paul O’Brien, Tommy Amodeo, Jim Cummings, Allyson Siffringer, Kayleigh Tripi and Taylor Perry.

AND THURSDAY – Erica Hartmann, Jim Greer, Peter Flynn, Paula J. Zaczek, Ray Ward, Michelle Becker, Lillian Clare, Diane Westfall, Jule M. Chilcott, Pauline Maloney, John Hemphill, Darien Mazur, Jenna Park, Mary Margaret McGrath, Marcia Zientara and Diana Chutko.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com