MIAMI (AP) -- After months of watching their profit margins
slashed by rising fuel and energy costs, some in the flower business
are gearing up for brisk Mother's Day sales. But they warn it won't
be coming up roses for consumers who may see higher prices.
"Flowers from Ecuador and Colombia are flown up here, and we're
seeing increases in the cost of that," said Peter J. Moran,
executive vice president and chief executive of the Society of
American Florists. "Once they hit Miami they're either flown or
trucked, and those fuel costs have definitely impacted the
Last year, 365 million pounds of fresh cut flowers came into the
United States, with 85 percent of them coming through Miami, said
Bunny Schreiber, a Miami International Airport spokeswoman.
The sense now among some in the industry is that consumers, if
they haven't already, may soon see those higher transportation costs
passed on to them in the form of higher prices. "We're sharing the
increase of fuel costs with our customers and they know it," said
Morey Moss, owner of Berkeley Florist Supply Co. in Miami. He said
that in the past it cost him about 6 cents for each rose he
imported, but now that's doubled. He said it costs about $1.30 per
2.5 pounds of flowers to ship them out of Quito, Ecuador. Several
months ago he was paying 80 cents for the same flowers. "It's a
nightmare," Moss said.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The boys of summer are finally slugging,
catching and pitching again. The hoopsters and hockey players are
gunning for their championships. But as the jocks take center stage
on the small screen, it's a very different kind of sport -- chess --
that's about to get a jolt from Hollywood.
The Luzhin Defence puts chess front and center in a major motion
picture for the first time since Searching for Bobby Fisher sparked
a renewed interest in kings, queens and pawns. "Chess has this
reputation, when it comes to film, which it doesn't deserve," says
Marleen Gorris, the movie's director. "It works just as well as any
other sport in a film."
The movie comes at an opportune time. Sometimes considered the
domain of college brainiacs and the high school pocket-protector
crowd, chess seems to be enjoying a more widespread revival of late.
The United States Chess Federation, a not-for-profit membership
organization, reached an all-time high of 90,367 members in March --
an increase of more than 1,500 from the previous high of 88,834 in
March 2000. Much of that is due to a rise in interest from young
people, like the more than 4,000 elementary, junior high and high
school students from 46 states who competed in last weekend's Super-
Nationals II in Kansas City.
"It seems to be a challenge that young people are taking on,"
says Steven Schwartz, general manager of the New York-based Your
Move Chess & Games, which bills itself as the nation's largest chess
The chess federation also counts celebrities among its ranks,
including Nicolas Cage, Ringo Starr, Chevy Chase, Rosie O'Donnell
and Will Smith. Even jocks are playing chess -- members of the New
York Yankees and Mets have showed their interest, as have New York
Knicks Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston and Kurt
And that's the way it was
NEW YORK (AP) -- Today is the 123rd day of 2001. There are 242
days left in the year. Here are some business and legal highlights
from this date in history:
On May 3, 1802, Washington D.C. was incorporated as a city.
In 1921, West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax.
In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel,
Gone With the Wind.
In 1944, U.S. wartime rationing of most grades of meats ended.
In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the
sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were
legally unenforceable. …