To Our Readers


Sunday, September 23, 2001

Struggling to
return to normal in
extraordinary times

Remember 9-11-01

ROSIE O'DONNELL says the patriotic thing to do today is to fly to New York and see a Broadway show. Five productions have closed and the rest are facing hard times, she says.

As bizarre as it seems, if you'd planned to do this before Sept. 11 but changed your mind, it's not a bad idea. Business as usual is good.

Unfortunately, when the planes stopped flying, business as usual stopped in Hawaii. Although air traffic resumed, people aren't ready to get back in the air after watching the video of United Flight 175 hitting the World Trade Center over and over and over. Now the headlines have announced 100,000 airline industry layoffs.

Governor Cayetano this week ticked off measures he proposes to take up the slack here. He's asking for millions in tax cuts, unemployment benefits, new construction, new tourism marketing and tuition waivers at University of Hawaii for the unemployed and their families.

He has earmarked $40 million from the rainy-day fund and $190 million from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund to balance the budget. He will convene a special session of the Legislature to get it done.

Mayor Harris jumped on board proposing to accelerate construction of $204 million in city projects and extend tax-break deadlines for commercial construction -- maybe even making residential building eligible for these incentives.

Hawaii hotels asked that airport landing fees be waived to promote traffic and help lift pressure on air carriers. The governor didn't hesitate.

He and ex-governors Waihee and Ariyoshi plan to fly to Japan to promote Hawaii as a safe place to come to relax or do business. Reader Gino Lancette suggests we offer free vacations here to heroic New York City firemen and police officers. Great idea.

What will you do? Contribute to the Sept. 11 Fund or the Red Cross. Buy some stock -- we may never see a better opportunity. Go back to work. Travel. Get on with life.

As President Franklin Roosevelt said in 1933, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

According to President Bush, "We have found our mission and our moment."

We might be stunned but we aren't scared.

John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 529-4748, fax to 529-4750, send
e-mail to or write to
500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

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