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Let's talk about opinions. We are, after all, drowning in them these days. Please don't tell me the problem with all the most conspicuous journalists -- especially on TV news -- after Robert Mueller's anti-climactic appearance before two congressional committees last week was that they suddenly and awkwardly turned into "drama critics." No they didn't. Not unless the…

Food and Drink

We admit, we are big chickens. Especially when it comes to sharks. We rarely dip our toes in anything other than a swimming pool, including Lake Erie. (We understand a lake doesn't have sharks, but you really never know.) It’s ironic that we look forward to the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (July 28 to Aug. 4). Like a striking Great White, Shark Week joyfully rip…

Lifestyles

Wednesday is the deadline for tickets to the annual Unit 116 picnic and game Aug. 4 in Main-Transit Fire Hall, 6777 Main St., Amherst. A chicken barbecue at noon will be followed by a game at 1 p.m. Tickets are available from unit board members. For more info, call 876-2630 or 348-4132 or visit unit116.com. • • • Bridge lessons by club manager Bill Finkelstein continue a…

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Name: Yolanda Fields, 43. Who she is: Chairwoman of Garden Walk Buffalo, with which she has been involved for 12 years – including seven as a headquarters manager. The Buffalo native, vice president in the commercial lending department at a local bank, graduated from Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and attended Spelman College in Atlanta. She volunteers a…

YOUNG ADULT Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly; Scholastic, 342 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Award-winning author Jennifer Donnelly offers a fresh and feminist take on the Brothers Grimm version of the Cinderella story in this intriguing novel told from the perspective of Isabelle, the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes, at her mother's command, so she could …

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Lots of people dream about downsizing to make their lives simpler. Thom Knab did it. Ten years ago, he moved into a one-bedroom home in Buffalo’s Cottage District. It measures less than 1,000 square feet and now has a mature garden with no grass in the backyard. It also has no driveway or garage, but Knab does not consider that a huge disadvantage. One adjusts. An…

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This weekend marks the 25th year for Garden Walk Buffalo – an annual event that has blossomed from 29 gardens in 1995 to more than 430 this year. It's the largest residential garden tour in North America, and an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 visitors are expected to visit from across the country, Canada and possibly beyond. This year, Garden Walk has expanded to include ab…

TV

The ABC “Nightline” program that will feature the award-winning coverage by Channel 7 investigative reporter Charlie Specht on the sexual abuse allegations in the Buffalo Diocese finally has a tentative air date. WKBW-TV General Manager Michael Nurse said he was told by ABC this week that barring a last-minute change it is scheduled to be carried on Channel 7 at 12:30 a…

Forget Mies van der Rohe. Sometimes you have to listen to Cecil B. DeMille. In other words, less isn't always more; sometimes only more is more. If HBO was going to force a whole new season out of the Emmy-winning "Big Little Lies" -- as the premium cable grandees did with original novelist Liane Moriarty and all the principals in front of and behind the camera -- they …

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Robert J. Kochanski, a retired Buffalo English teacher and guidance counselor, lives in a condo at 800 West Ferry that was once part of Darwin R. Martin’s two-floor penthouse. Darwin R. Martin, the son of Darwin D. Martin, grew up in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway. (You can view a timeline of the Jewett Parkway property and its restoration on the …

Lifestyles

The Airport Bridge Club will award extra points, half red, at all of its games during the coming week at no extra charge. All games at the club are starting at noon through Aug. 14. • • • After an eight-year hiatus, Airport Bridge Club manager Bill Finkelstein will begin offering classes on bidding, play of the hand and defense next week. Classes will be held from 10 to …

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Name: Jimmy Stelianou, 30. Who he is: DJ who works primarily through CJ Sound and plays music at school dances, proms, corporate parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and other events including the  Starry Night in the Garden, an annual outdoor concert and fundraiser at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The Kenmore native moved to East Amherst with his family in 1999. …

YOUNG ADULT The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair; Katherine Tegen Books, 480 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Cheerleader-turned-gladiator Vesper Montgomery takes her place with Katniss Everdeen, Beatrice Prior and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the pantheon of kick-butt teenage heroines in debut novelist Katharyn Blair's thrilling new fantasy, a spellbindin…

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The Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy is presenting the Lovejoy Iron Island Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to noon July 20. The tour features about 40 gardens including previous winners of Lovejoy's Iron Island in Bloom contest. Maps will be available at the Iron Island Museum, 998 Lovejoy St. Donations accepted. The 16th annual Village of Williamsville Garden Walk …

Twenty homes built by seven local home builders will be on display during the Buffalo Niagara Builders’ Association's 2019 Horizons Tour of Homes, which begins this weekend. Visitors can tour the suburban homes on consecutive long weekends: Thursday through Sunday and July 25 to 28. Hours for tours on Thursdays and Fridays are 3 to 8 p.m.; hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.…