Back on the road
The RV industry’s recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed. Recreational Vehicle makers are churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers’ lots and, ultimately, campgrounds.
Overall shipments from manufacturers to dealers — a key measure of consumer demand — are expected to rise 10 percent in 2012 and could gain another 4.5 percent next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association says. Through September, shipments were up nearly 11 percent from the same period last year.
The higher-than-expected number had dealers, manufacturers and suppliers feeling more optimistic as they gathered last week for an annual industry trade show in Kentucky.
Meals aloft becoming healthier
On the nation’s airlines, the days of free lunch are long over. That also goes for breakfast, dinner and snacks. Once complimentary, most airline food now comes with a price tag.
But there is some good news about what you get to eat on commercial airlines: It is getting more healthful.
That’s the assessment of Charles Platkin, a professor of nutrition at the City University of New York’s Hunter College who has tested and ranked airline foods off and on since 2000. With few exceptions, Platkin said most airlines now offer at least one healthful meal alternative on their menu.
“It’s actually moving in a good direction,” he said. “It’s been an ebb and flow, but the overall trend is positive.”
Platkin gave the top ranking this year to Virgin America, noting that the airline offers low-calorie options such as roasted pear and arugula salad, a “protein plate” with hummus and whole wheat pita bread, plus oatmeal for breakfast. He gave the airline 4 1/4 stars out of a maximum of five stars.
Air Canada and Alaska Airlines came in second and third, respectively.
Last on the list was Allegiant Air. Platkin said Allegiant “made it clear that their foods were not healthy. It shows.” The airline’s snacks include M&Ms, Oreo Brownies and Pringles chips.
Platkin makes his rankings after reviewing lists of food items, including the ingredients and calorie numbers, from the airlines.
Statue of Liberty
to remain closed
The National Park Service says the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will not reopen to visitors this year. Both sites have been closed since Superstorm Sandy hit the region Oct. 29. Cleanup and repairs have been ongoing. The Statue of Liberty itself received little damage, and the pedestal and base, including the main floor and exhibits upstairs, are OK. But the docks, a brick promenade, railings and other facilities on Liberty Island were damaged.
At Ellis Island, the storm damaged doors, windows and exhibits in the ferry building among other sites.
Park Service spokeswoman Daphne Yun said no projected reopening date has been established.