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NEIGHBORS : Dewey's Point : Find a good book in a library lately? Chances are you have the inventor of the decimal system to thank.

December 06, 1990|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If you're looking for something to do Monday, why not go to a library and look for a book. You don't have to check it out, just look for it.

Why? Because Dec. 10 would have been the 139th birthday of Melville Dewey, who developed the Dewey Decimal System for filing books in public libraries.

We checked with local librarians to see if any celebrations are being planned. Unfortunately, no one we spoke with knew Dewey's birthday was just around the corner, but they did express their immense gratitude toward the man.

Said Roylene Cunningham, a librarian at the E. P. Foster Library in Ventura: "If it weren't for him we wouldn't be able to find anything. I don't know about the patrons, but we wouldn't be able to find anything ."

The man seems to engender strong feelings in librarians. Legend has it that several years ago a librarian in San Diego named his stray cat Melville Dewey.

Here's proof that the hardest things to see are sometimes right under your nose: Page 73 of the current Ventura County Directory of Social Services has a box containing the question, "Something Missing? If you know of any resources that are not in this directory, please give us a call . . . "

Turn the page and, oops--page 74 is missing.

Wondering where to go for the holidays? Why not stay here in Ventura County. A total seasonal itinerary includes Holiday Hardware, Holiday Magic Cosmetics, Holiday Party Rental and Holiday Donuts.

Speaking of holiday donuts, there is plenty of noshing going on this time of year, so diet advice is in great demand. To help make the season enjoyable for everyone, we asked a few folks in the know for advice on how to keep from overindulging.

Let's begin with Colleen Kohnen, co-owner of Bill Baker's Bakery in Ojai. What keeps her from overdoing it? Well, actually, owning a bakery keeps her from overdoing it.

"When my husband and I go out to dinner, they always show us a dessert tray afterward, and it's just not appealing to us," she said. "We're into it to the max, 10 to 12 hours a day."

If purchasing a business seems a little excessive, maybe you should take the advice of Barbie Kurisu, owner of Barbie's Bakery and Espresso Bar in Channel Islands. She encourages people to just give in. "My motto is 'go ahead and pig out,' " she said. "Selling sugar, that's what keeps me in business."

Some practical advice comes from Joann Cohn, owner of Dr. Conkey's Candy and Coffee Company in Simi Valley: "Eat what you want to eat. If you get sick, you get sick."

On a more serious note, it's also diet-watching time for pets. Local veterinarian Karen Martin said pets tend to be overfed and to be fed the wrong things.

"People feed them table scraps because they don't want the food to go to waste or they couldn't refuse those big brown eyes," she said. "You don't get into too much trouble with chicken or turkey, unless you give them fat or skin. But don't feed them ham, period. There's too much fat."

Q-105 disc jockey Mike Reynolds is happy to be home.

In case you missed it, Reynolds spent two weeks living in a 6-by-8-foot box on a scaffolding above the Poinsettia Plaza parking lot in Ventura. He was positioned there, through last Friday, trying to entice people to drop off canned goods for the Ventura County Food Share Program.

As it turned out, his makeshift dwelling possessed few of the comforts of home: "You're a victim to the elements," he said. "The second day I was up there it rained. I had covered the box with plywood and it got absolutely soaked and leaked everywhere."

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