1. The radioactive fuel is long gone from the former nuclear research reactor on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus on Main Street, and it has been shut down since 1994. Demolition work on the building, which will turn the site into a lawn, is supposed to begin this month and finish in 2014. UB officials and representatives from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission will explain the $20 million project and answer questions in a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Allen Hall on the South Campus. Radiation risks, they say, will be minimal.
2. When the team from the Buffalo office of Turner Construction Co. triumphed in the company’s national softball tournament, it won not only a trophy, but also a large donation it could give to a nonprofit agency. The team chose the Amanda Hansen Foundation, named for a West Seneca teen who died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which gives free CO detectors to people who otherwise could not afford them. They will give out more than 250 of them at 10 a.m. to folks registered through St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy at mission headquarters, 325 Walden Ave. Distributed along with the detectors will be bags of food.
3. With Carl Paladino’s six-story hotel taking shape on the former Stereo Advantage property on Main Street in Amherst, Iskalo Development wants to build a six-story Hyatt Place hotel behind the Lord Amherst Hotel on Main Street near the Youngmann Highway. Homeowners on neighboring Livingston Parkway appeared at a recent Amherst Town Board meeting and asked that a nature area on the site be zoned residential. The net result would be to move the hotel 40 feet farther away. Homeowners will hold a community meeting to discuss the status of the project at 7 p.m. in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road.
4. Kids Escaping Drugs will benefit when five members of the Buffalo Bills visit the New Era Flagship Store, 160 Delaware Ave., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for an autograph-signing session. For a $25 donation, fans will receive a limited-edition Bills poster signed by Chris Kelsay, Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, George Wilson and Marcell Dareus. Presale tickets will go on sale at 3 p.m. at the store.
5. In addition to knowing a lot about local ghosts, author and lecturer Mason Winfield is an expert on the War of 1812. In fact, he has written a history of the war on the Niagara Frontier titled “Ghosts of 1812.” He’ll talk about the 200-year-old conflict at a dinner and lecture at 6 p.m. in the Eagle House, 5578 Main St., Williamsville. Tickets are $35. Reservations are required. Call 655-6663.
6. Almost everybody has visited zoos, but few people understand what goes into operating them. University at Buffalo associate professor Irus Braverman does. She interviewed numerous zookeepers, administrators and animal activists for her new book, “Zooland: The Institution of Captivity,” and discovered how zoo theories and operations have changed during the past 40 years. She talks about the book and signs copies at 5 p.m. in Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St.
7. When rock guitarist Bill Kirchen and his band, Too Much Fun, turn their attention to Christmas music, it’s far from “Silent Night.” Their Honky Tonk Holiday Show, which visits the Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St., at 7 p.m., features songs like “Run, Rudolph, Run,” “Truckin’ Trees for Christmas” and “Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas.” Tickets are $20.