LOOK FOR THE NEW YORK LABEL
The New York garment industry wants you to look for the "Proudly Made in New York" label that will soon be attached to all clothes made in the city.
As part of a push to help the NYC garment industry -- which was battling economic problems even before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- a coalition of manufacturers, unions, designers and retailers have joined forces to increase sales of NYC clothes by letting shoppers know where much of their clothing comes from.
At a Friday kickoff, New York U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with garment union head Bruce Raynor, fashion designers Nicole Miller and Elie Tahari, Brooks Brothers CEO Joe Gromek, and NYC mayoral candidate Mark Green officially launched the "Made in New York" label campaign.
The red, white and blue "hang tags" -- which feature the words "UNITE! Proudly Made in New York" on a field of stars and stripes -- will be distributed to local garment shops during the next several weeks and should start turning up in stores soon. In addition, as part of the promotional effort, retailers are being asked to develop in-store displays of "Proudly Made in New York" products.
The UNITE on the tag is not only a patriotic moniker but also the acronym for the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, a union with more than a century of history. Collectively, the apparel union boasts more than 200,000 members nationally. It is headquartered in New York City
Hundreds of garment factories in Lower Manhattan were closed for a week following the Sept. 11 attacks that demolished the World Trade Center twin towers. The closures -- necessary for emergency reasons -- were compounded by retailers around the country cutting orders because of the marked drop in consumer spending following the attacks.
"Made in New York has always been a mark of pride," Raynor said. "Right now made in New York is a mark of pride for all of America."
TUITION BREAKS FOR IMMIGRANTS
A long-sought college tuition break for California students whose residency in the state might not be entirely legal has been signed into law.
Last week, Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that allows graduates of California high schools who don't have legal residency status to attend a community college or one of the California State University system schools for the same price as legal residents.
"Kids who grew up and graduated from high school here should not be priced out of a future," said Davis.
The measure was written by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, who represents the heavily Latino East Los Angeles area. It grants in-state tuition to students who spent three years in a California high school and have applied for legal residency.
Immigration rights advocates had urged California to end the requirement that students whose residency status is not legal pay the higher out-of-state tuition rate even if they have lived in California much of their lives and attended school in the state.
Access to higher education has been seen as a key to getting immigrant families out of the minimum wage and blue-collars sector and into higher-paying professions. Mexico's President Vicente Fox this summer publicly called on California to change its tuition policy.
Tuition at CSU schools is $1,839 per year for residents and $7,380 for non-residents; community college cost residents $11 per credit hour but $130 for non-residents.
The measure does not apply to the prestigious University of California system, which already has a policy in place granting in-state tuition to all qualified students.
The USDA Food Pyramid is wrong. Not merely wrong, but wildly wrong.
That's according to nutrition expert Dr. Walter C. Willett, who offers a new food pyramid derived from decades of research by Harvard Medical School and Harvard's School of Public Health in his new book "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating" (Simon & Schuster, $25).
In his book, Willett says eggs are not the poison the public has been taught and explains why some margarines are a lot worse than you thought. He also tells why the oil in a potato chip can be better for you than the potato.
Willett's book also includes simple menu plans and more than 50 recipes utilizing his new food pyramid.
TRICK OR TREAT
Despite the tragic events of Sept. 11, people say they still plan to enjoy the fantasy and festivities surrounding the Halloween holiday.
That's according to a NRF survey, which finds consumers plan to spend an average of $45 per household this year on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations.
The poll of 1,000 respondents, conducted for NRF by Market Facts, Inc., shows that both kids and adults are still sweet on celebrating Halloween this year. Home decor for Halloween continues to gain in popularity, with 55 percent of people planning to do some type of Halloween decorating this year. 67 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 plan to decorate their homes for parties or just to celebrate the season.
"We find it encouraging that many consumers are so enthusiastic about celebrating the Halloween season," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "This is perhaps the first tangible sign that the shock of Sept. 11 is beginning to subside and consumers are eager to get on with their lives."
Pop culture is once again expected to have a strong influence on costume ideas for youngsters. Fictional heroes such as Harry Potter, Batman, Power Rangers and the X-Men will trick or treat alongside real-life heroes -- as more kids plan to dress up as police officers or firefighters this year.
(Web sites: nrf.com, unitymarketingonline.com, ecandy.com, costumers.org)