Everybody’s business

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty

13 lucky kitties
Every year, at least two well-meaning friends or relatives give my husband and/or me a cat calendar. They think that just because we love our cat, we would love a calendar featuring a bunch of cats we don’t know.

The exception, however, would be the new Chico Cat Coalition fund-raiser, a 13-month calendar featuring a lucky assortment of rescued felines and notations of special events in Chico history. It costs $15, and you can find it at www.ChicoCatCoalition.org, Johnson’s Shoes, Honey Run Quilters, PawPrints Thrift Store and in Paradise at HeavenScent Candles and Colyer’s Veterinary Hospital.

Consign of the times
Last week, I stopped by Uptown Consignments, the new new-to-you shop at 932 W. Eighth Ave., Suite D, around the corner from St. Vincent de Paul.

Owner Janis Rose, whose prior career was in advertising, opened the store a couple of months ago. “There isn’t a town anywhere near this size that doesn’t have at least two of these (upscale resale shops),” she said. “I knew we needed one.”

Prices are much, much less than the clothes originally cost: Think $20 and up for designer suits by Jones New York and Liz Claiborne, $10 and up for slacks by DKNY and Banana Republic and $10 and up for Ann Taylor dress shirts.

Rose, who started with ample stock she had collected for the store, has been expanding her offerings as customers bring in clothes for consignment (It’s a 50-50 split).

There’s a small men’s section (the section is small, not the men), plus maternity wear and vintage clothing.

The store is open Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Care packages
Families of military men and women stationed overseas: Chico’s UPS Store locations are offering free shipping to these loved ones. The letters and parcels can weigh up to 5 pounds and be sent to any Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO), by Dec. 24.

The Chico stores are owned by City Councilman Larry Wahl, a veteran, and his wife, Mary. They began offering the service at the start of the Iraq War, and then during the holidays in 2003 and 2004.

Hot air
The heating and air-conditioning industry is scrambling to unload a/c units, because new minimum SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) standards kick in Jan. 1, 2006 and once the backstock is gone, that’s it for 12-SEERs. So far, I’ve gotten a letter from Gallagher’s and heard a radio commercial from Artic Air, the latter of which includes a derisive and–I believe—insensitive reference to the “same government that gives out free cheese.”

“If your Air Conditioner is over 8 years old and needs replacing, you may soon be very angry with Uncle Sam!” warns the Gallagher letter. The letter goes on to talk about how little a homeowner will save with a new 13-SEER (4 cents per operating hour) and how much more it will cost than the just-fine but soon-to-be illegal 12-SEER (up to $2,414 more, the letter says, but the Department of Energy’s estimate is $335).

The advocacy group Alliance to Save Energy reports that the new standard, which is 30 percent more efficient, will save $1.1 billion on energy bills by 2020 and avoid the need to construct additional power plants.