Today's Consumer: News you can use

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Oct. 2, 2002 at 1:30 AM
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, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- WINE AND FOOD ... WHAT A COMBINATION

You would think the pairing of wine and food would be passé by now. Been there; done that. But don't tell that to the folks in California's Russian River Valley. The vintners association there says there are infinite possibilities when it comes to mixing wine with food, at least figuratively.

In its latest mail-out to media, the association -- recently host to its annual Grape-to-Glass fall festival -- says California chefs are always coming up with interesting ideas involving wines and foods.

For example, Chef Jessica Goren of the J Wine Co. says if you're tired of mashed potatoes, try Roasted Garlic and Sage Custard. Couple that with a glass of Russian River pinot noir.

With Thanksgiving only weeks away, the vintners suggest you brush up on ways to prepare fruit preserves. They suggest mixing up a batch of Pear-Ginger Preserves and serving it, instead of cranberries, at the annual fall feast.

For Russian River suggested recipes send an e-mail to foodnotebook@earthlink.net and put RECIPES in the subject line.


AGING ROAD SYSTEM CONTINUES TO CRUMBLE

This country's Interstate Highway system, envisioned and designed in the late 1950s and built during a three-decade period, is becoming increasingly obsolete and continues to deteriorate. In many cases highways are carrying more than three times the number of vehicles for which they were designed.

Couple this with the growing population, an exponential increase in the number of cars and trucks on the roads and urban sprawl and you have a real problem in some cities.

Take Louisville for example. That city is separated from its northern suburbs in Indiana by the Ohio River. Currently only a few overtaxed bridges carry traffic back and forth. Now, with the help of the feds, city fathers are trying to get funding for two major additional crossings.

Meanwhile discussions continue into the possible construction of two major Interstate-grade bridges, one in central city, the other farther northeast. To that end the head of the Federal Highway Administration, Mary Peters, visited the Louisville area late last week to look at preliminary plans.

One crossing would be a new major bridge to cross just next to the John F. Kennedy Bridge that currently carries Interstate 65 traffic. That span was nearly obsolete before it was finished.

A second would be slightly upstream, carrying traffic from the Snyder Freeway on the Kentucky side to an extension of Indiana 265.

Peters tells the Louisville Courier-Journal the two spans could cost up to $1.5 billion, a total that is within budget if it's spread out over a 10- or 15-year period.

For drivers the problem is not only the need for expanded roadways, but a growing concern over the condition of existing roads and bridges, vis-a-vis safety.

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