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Byline: - Compiled by Barbara De Witt

It's time to spring FORWARD.

While you're adjusting your clocks an hour ahead tonight for the official beginning of Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, forget that Marilyn Monroe once said, ``I've been on a calendar but never on time.''

Time is of the essence, and that extra hour of daylight couldn't come at a more timely moment.

Not only will it give us time to walk the dog or play with the kids before dark, but according to a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation it means fewer freeway accidents. It was estimated that as many as 50 lives were saved during March and April because commuters didn't have to drive home in the dark.

Daylight Saving Time also helps the war effort by saving fuel.

Most folks know the idea of changing clocks to save an hour of daylight in the summer months was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin, but the time change was uniformly used during World War I when England (followed by the United States) realized we could conserve resources for military maneuvers. Daylight Saving Time again proved to be a life and energy saver during World War II and was kept on the clocks until 1945.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan moved Daylight Saving Time to the first Sunday in April - instead of the last. This change is estimated to save nationwide about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

Not everybody is keen about that extra hour of daylight that stays in effect until the end of October, when we return to the Standard Time schedule. Hawaii, Arizona and parts of Indiana don't use it, nor do Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Farmers complain that chickens and cows get off schedule and some parents complain their children are walking to school in the dark until summer vacation.

At the very least, Daylight Saving Time is a chance to change clock batteries and check out new time keepers. The latest looks include retro diner styles, mantle clocks and novelty styles. For a more personalized clock, contact New York-based New Wave Designs at (800) 541-9315 or They'll make a clock based on photos, an illustration or just a whim and a smile. And a check for $39.

GARDEN GATHERINGS: Get a head start on Halloween jack o' lanterns by attending the 8 a.m. pumpkin workshop today at all Armstrong Garden Centers. You'll learn the secrets to growing them big, and also get free seeds. At 9:30 a.m. today you can learn more about native flora on a nature hike led by Thousand Oaks landscape architect Thomas Kaye at Soka University, 26800 W. Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. One of the highlights is a look at a trapdoor spider den, but the tips on how to identify and avoid poison oak may be more helpful. For information, call (818) 878-3763. Rain cancels. If you couldn't get up in time for today's events, make plans for the tour of the Botanical Research Center and Nursery and the Juliana Gensley Native Plant Demonstration Garden at 10 a.m. Thursday at Soka University. It will be repeated on May 8. Admission for all events is free.

FOR THE BIRDS: Learn all about hummingbirds and how to get them to like your garden better than your neighbor's at the ``Hooked on Hummingbirds'' program at noon April 12 at Wild Birds Unlimited, 22110 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. There's a film by Thomas Kaminski, who will be available to answer questions. For more information, call Jennie Ayers at (818) 704-7333.


2 photos


(1) The classic cuckoo gets tweaked by Tweety and Sylvester, with more than 35 comments as the clock strikes on the hour, $49.95.

(2) A timely tribute to firefighters is this desktop fire engine clock by Fossil, $34 at Robinsons-May and Macy's stores.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 5, 2003

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