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The Bellingham Herald from Bellingham, Washington • 11

Bellingham, Washington
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The Bellingham Herald Sunday July 5 B3 Hypercolor fad and Generra fade had been projected at $20 million but were more than five times that amount The biggest debts both in longterm financing are about $44 to Household Commercial Fi- FAMILY TIES: Financial writer Merryle Stanley Rukeyser (left) talks with his son Louis Rukeyser shortly before an appearance on Wall Street Week in 1984 BANKRUPTCY: Seattle sportswear maker goes from hot-rag riches to rags THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEATTLE Last year Generra Sportswear exclusive heat-sensitive Hypercolor wear was the hottest fad in casual clothes But the fad faded financing shrank and the company has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code Generra formed in 1980 by some former Brittannia Sportswear executives listed total debts of $824 million including nearly $124 million in unsecured debts to hundreds of creditors and assets of $761 million in the petition filed Thursday A proposed reorganization plan will be presented to Judge Samuel Steiner next Thursday company chairman Steven Miska said on Friday The company has about 200 employees following layoff of about a thud of the work force earlier this year he said In early 1991 the Hypercolor line T-shirts tank tops jeans and shorts that changed color with the touch of a hand or other heat sources made Generra one of the hottest youth-oriented sportwear companies Using a heat-sensitive dye obtained under an exclusive contract from Japan the company added Hyper-Grafix T-shirts and sweatshirts with changing multicolored images Hypercolor sales for the first year nance of Chicago and $5 million to Farah Miska said Both are secured creditors as is Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp which is owed more than $4 million in refinancing he said It was the the increasing restrictions on lines of credit and payments to suppliers manufacturers and other creditors that resulted in the bankruptcy court filing Miska said Generra relies on Glorious Sun Group Advance Tex and Gennon manfacturers based in Hong Kong to produce the dothing it designs and sells to retailers Glorious Sun chairman Charles Yeung is a director of Generra total sales in the year ending Oct 31 were $150 million but are projected at $90 million for the current fiscal year because of the slowdown in Miska said also just the general slowdown in the economy Business is off in our whole he said The company was purchased for $35 million in 1984 by Farah Inc of El Paso Texas which in turn created a $30 million debt within Gen-erra Miska said As Farah encountered its own problems Miska and the rest of his management team bought the company bade for $20 million in a leveraged deal in 1989 order to keep Generra Bicycle delivery service No gas wars evident on Battle Mountain Excellence would seem to be making comeback In spite of a populist passion for paranoid mediocrity the private economy is struggling in the right direction My late father the financial journalist Merryle Stanley Rukeyser first appeared on my television program at the age of 84 but quickly became the all-time favorite guest His combination of long experience and pithy insight drew unprecedented fan mail The one line people most remember and quote back to me now even four years after his death came when I asked him how America could regain its competitive edge and world economic leadership a return to he replied It was a simple answer but those five words touched a profound chord in an enormous number of viewers many of whom might have had considerable difficulty in agreeing with one another on virtually anything else This would have been a particularly distasteful elect km year for the old man For excellence of one sort or another is under fire from all sides amid wildly demagogic attempts to stir a passion for paranoid mediocrity More happily the private American economy appears to be making belated progress toward that elusive return to excellence As it has become inescapably clear that the US failed in recent decades to produce goods the world wanted at a price the world was willing to pay a new emphasis on higher quality products finally has emerged and American exports have surged impressively to record levels On the political scene however improvement is harder to discern Paranoia is the universal neurosis and conscienceless politicians exploit it wherever they find it It is far easier to blame personal failures on somebody else than to make the internal efforts necessary to achieve individual excellence Wherever one looks the 1992 candidates seem less concerned with encouraging excellence than with stirring the crowd against those who may have displayed it This effort shows up in different ways at different points on the political spectrum but the net effect is to build suspicion of high achievement The most obvious war on success comes in the search for ever more punitive taxation of higher earners Such talk feeds suspicions that excellence is somehow unsavory if it places one economically above the average that there must have been something dirty in the accumulation of such an income and that at minimum one can be confident that higher earners have not up to now been paying their of taxes Reality has nothing to do with such crowd-rousing rhetoric Indeed the Tax Foundation reports that in 1989 the year before the latest upper-bracket tax increases the top one percent of income-gatherers ($185040 or more) already paid nearly a quarter of all federal income taxes (244 percent) and the top 10 percent ($61780 and up) paid well over half (545 percent) But sometimes even those who have deplored such economically suicidal attacks on excellence have contributed to its denigration Dan Quayle for example seeks applause by besmirching what he calls cultural not let us note even a particular ideological persuasion but simply the a group that in actuality to the extent it exists certainly includes such Quayle allies as William Buckley Jr George Bush and many of own relatives and supporters America would be poorer without its true who are responsible for much that enriches life in most American communities but more important a demagogic attack on the is simply another assault on excellence in all areas of American life It was the Nebraska senator Roman Hruska who gained fleeting fame during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing two decades ago by proclaiming that mediocre deserve representation Might one suggest that such representation is now more than adequate? Louis Rukeyser is host of National Public Television's Wall Street Week and a columnist for Tribune Media Services CONSUMER: When the needle hits travelers are willing to pay quite a bit THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BATTLE MOUNTAIN Ore Larry Skellenger is celebrating his 30th year selling gas atop Battle Mountain But expect a price break or anniversary sale: a gallon of unleaded costs $1489 a little high compared to said Skellenger making no excuse for the gas price The 73-year-old attendant adds that he pumps it at no extra charge Eastern station is 25 miles from the gas stations in Pilot Rock and an equal distance from Dale gas business is pretty much what the travelers will he said And when the needle hits at the top of Battle Mountain travelers can bear quite a bit Quite a few of customers reached Battle Mountain by taking a wrong turn somewhere else Skellenger says more than once someone has come the 35 miles from Pendleton Eastern largest town and asked how far it is to Spokane several hundred miles north in Washington Skellenger said drivers with nearly dry tanks quickly notice the price difference a and ask for just enough gas to get to a nearby town Gas has always cost more on Battle Mountain Skellenger recalls his customers complaining 30 years ago about what they believed was the exorbitant price of 32 cents Pendleton stations were pumping for 18 or 20 cents per gallon he said Lost tourists help keep Skellenger in business little joints out in the country have to make a profit on each he said But most of money comes during the rush hours on the mountain when loggers and Forest Service workers ride through Anywhere from 20 to 60 people step into the old filling station-grocery store in a day above-ground tank only holds 1000 gallons so he must trek to Pendleton for gas about every three weeks But Skellenger foresees a time when he will serve up has last drop of petrol He said the red stakes dotting the edge of parts of Highway 395 are testimony to the road plans to it out and shorten the If lucky Skellenger said he can find a place across the road and add a diesel pump out front He said the truckers might not flock there to fill up but be able to buy the five or ten gallons they need to get on down the road AP PHOTO CAREFUL NOW: Oregon State University student James Reck performs a balancing act on his bicycle as he carries bags of groceries to a customer in Corvallis Reck works for a company that offers a bicycle delivery service for everything from food to messages India opens oil fields to foreigners State-owned companies from other countries have helped find and refine oil in India But never before had private foreign companies been allowed to bid for oil fields Vladimirians go wide-eyed over American-style house THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI India The government will for the first time allow private foreign companies to drill oil and refine it in India officials said Saturday The move is one of many reforms being adopted by the government to open India to foreign investment At least 28 oil fields discovered by India will be offered to private firms said AN Saksena a government financial adviser The fields contain 1132 million tons of crude and 175 billion cubic feet of gas he said India hopes later to open more fields to foreign companies and attract investments of between $13 billion and $19 billion MARKET WATCH ATTENTION COSMETOLOGISTS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE SUNSET BEAUTY SUPPLY NEXT TO THE FAIR OPEN SUNDAYS NOON 4 PM 733-0359 DOW JONES 30 INDUSTRIALS CLOSING Tuesday 1004 727 Wednesday 1217 548 Thursday 932 840 Friday Holiday HOME: Illinois professor builds $120000 bungalow in Russian city THE ASSOCIATED PRESS VLADIMIR Russia Alexei eyes grew wide Saturday at the sight of the brand-new American bungalow standing next to a traditional wooden peasant cottage never seen anything like it before except on TV the university student said with a sigh gazing at the imported slice of suburban America I want to live here too luxurious for The $120000 home in Vladimir near Moscow is one of hundreds of American-style dwellings cropping up in and around Moscow Builders have put them up for different reasons but one thing is certain For now they are only the stuff of dreams in a country where the average worker earns less than $240 a year Ron Pope a political science professor at Illinois State University who built the house in Vladimir acknowledged that few Russians could afford to flee their drab concrete apartment blocks and drafty wooden cottages for Western-style digs But their children and grandchildren can and will live in such homes Pope said STANDARD 500 STOCKS You're not still paying 10 interest rate on your home loan are you? 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