More on pant stretchers

Wow! Did our readers ever respond to the item we ran in our column on pant stretchers. The man who wrote us asking where he could buy pant stretchers now has over 35 people to contact. After the column in which we reported that we were unable to find a store where they could be purchased, we were inundated with phone calls.

A good number of people, 35 to be exact, left their names and phone numbers. Five of them said pant stretchers can be purchased through the Harriet Carter catalog for $5.98 a pair. Harriet Carter is a mail-order company in North Wales, Pa. The charge-by-phone number is 1-215-361-5151. The item number is F8798.

One caller suggested Deseret Industries. A good idea, we thought, but it didn't pan out. We called every Deseret Industries store in the Salt Lake Valley and none had any pant stretchers on hand. Several said they get them from time to time.

One caller suggested Taylor's Gift Shop in Wayne, Pa.

The rest of the callers all had pant stretchers they were willing to give away or sell. (One caller was asking $5 per pair.)

"It's amazing. You see things hanging around for a long time and pretty soon you find out someone needs them," said one respondent.

We gave your phone number to several who were willing to donate their pant stretchers to the cause. They promised to give you a call.

We thank our readers for their overwhelming response. They reminded us we can count on our readers where other sources fail.

Tax relief for troops

According to a recent issue of U.S. News & World Report, tax relief for troops serving in operation Desert Storm includes:

- Military personnel on active duty as of last Aug. 2 have 180 days after they return from the Persian Gulf to file their federal tax returns.

- If they owe tax, no interest or penalty will be assessed because of the delay.

- Some civilians will also be eligible, including Red Cross workers and journalists who are covering the war.

- Military pay received by enlisted troops in the gulf after Jan. 17 is exempt from federal income tax. Commissioned officers get the first $500 a month exempted from tax. Only one spouse needs to be on active duty in the gulf for a married couple to qualify for the tax breaks.

If you have questions call the IRS's taxpayer-assistance line at 1-800-829-1040.