To Our Readers

By John Flanagan

Saturday, May 8, 1999

Looks like up to me

As the 20th century grinds down, it seems as though we've run out of good news: Senate fires crusading attorney general; economy wallows in doldrums; city haggles over either raising bus fares or charging for trash pick-up; spectator attacks Ernie and Cookie Monster at "Sesame Street Live" performance at Blaisdell.

"If a man is under 48 and a pessimist, he knows too much. If a man older than 48 is still an optimist, he knows too little," said Mark Twain. The tide is changing, however. Call me Pollyanna, but consider:

OK, if you've owned a house for more than five years, you've seen tens of thousands of dollars in equity evaporate. Still, the market has picked up. If you want to sell, at least people are buying again.

Sure, Margery Bronster is freshening up her resume but, as one reporter cracked when news of her ouster hit the newsroom, "Now Ben Cayetano can hire a real lawyer." Not that Bronster wasn't tough, but now that the enemies are known, the gov can look for a candidate with appropriate experience, training and weapons.

Yes, UH-Manoa is feeling unloved, under-funded and unappreciated, but President Ken Mortimer puts the best face on recent faculty desertions: If nobody is luring away your best people, it could mean you don't have anybody worth stealing.

What's more, the Leg came up with $10 million in "facility enhancements" to deal with the university's enormous deferred maintenance backlog; UH is going after private funding to bolster high-profile programs, such as Professor Ryuzo Yanagimachi's cloning research; and, of course, the June Jones era begins on the football field this fall.

Best of all, when new faces finally appear around the boardroom table at Bishop Estate, they can go to work with a fresh windfall of $621 million from the Goldman Sachs IPO to benefit Hawaiian children.

There. The new millennium doesn't look so bad, does it?

John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 525-8612, fax to 523-8509, send
e-mail to or write to
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.

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