Saturday, October 2, 2004



Thursday September 02, 2004

A bargain hunter's natural habitat

By Steven Barrie-Anthony

Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization that builds homes for low-income families, relies heavily on donations of labor, building supplies and cash. In 2001, with the economy in a downturn, Habitat for Humanity South Bay/Long Beach was sorely lacking the third. At the same time, it had a surplus of building supplies: "We were getting up to 100 calls a week, people wanting to donate materials from renovations, etc., and we were turning people down," says President Erin Rank. "It occurred to me that we could utilize the donations by opening a retail home improvement store."

Rank began banking donations and found a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Gardena. Word spread among homeowners, construction firms and manufacturers, and when the Habitat for Humanity South Bay/Long Beach Home Improvement Store opens its doors Labor Day weekend, expect a broad selection, with prices at about half retail: new and used windows and doors, tile and brick, furniture, carpeting, appliances, paint, roofing materials, lumber, cabinets. And, with donations being tax deductible, inventory expands by the hour.

Grand opening: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Habitat for Humanity South Bay/Long Beach Home Improvement Store is at 17700 S. Figueroa St.; (310) 323-5665,

-- Steven Barrie-Anthony


Dashboard dining in decline

Americans are notoriously busy. We're so tethered to work that we resist vacationing -- more than 30% of us forfeit vacation days due us, and when we do take time off, 32% check office voicemail and e-mail, according to a recent study by Kids are equally busy, prepping for the SATs in grade school and slogging through college-level classes in high school.

But contrary to our workaholic reputation, "dashboard dining," or dining on the run, is on the decline: 75% of Americans eat dinner at home with their families at least five nights a week, according to a recent study by the American Furniture Manufacturers Assn.

Among other dining habit findings:

* 88% dine at the kitchen table

* 74% eat at the dining room table

* 72% occasionally dine on the sofa or couch

* 97% chat while dining

* 74% watch TV

* 30% read.

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