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Publisher’s Notebook—It was an interesting 2000, to say the least

This is my last column of the year. Where has the year gone?

It seemed like only yesterday we were counting down to the day the Y2K bomb was going to explode. Now we end the year with the presidential election being more prominent than Christmas.

We are all used to hearing only 10, 9, 8 or whatever number of shopping days until Christmas. But this year it has been, “Welcome to Day 35 of America held hostage by the state of Florida.” This has really been a strange year.

Think about the following: The leading rap recording artist in the nation is white, the leading golfer on the PGA tour is black and Bill Clinton finally went to Vietnam. So why not end with a hostage crisis in Florida with chads and dimples being the focus of everyone in the free world?

Anyway, as we enter the holiday season (let’s all refocus) we all have much to be thankful for as 2000 has been a very good year. Thank goodness many San Diegans are opening their hearts and wallets to help the less fortunate.

Our company has adopted a single mom with 10 children and is playing Santa Claus for them. I have read with regularity the Union-Tribune column by Ozzie Roberts, titled “Brighten a Life.” In the Dec. 12 column he was describing a 63-year-old woman’s dilemma.

The woman named Jean is in failing health and is in danger of losing her only friend, her cat, Missi. The seniors complex she lives in created a $300 pet fee and if Jean didn’t pay it, she would have to get rid of Missi, her companion of 15 years. As Ozzie wrote, “Her greatest and only wish is for a miracle that would allow her to keep her companion.”

Well, I am happy to report that when I contacted the Nelesen Aging and Independent Services Center I got a recording. It turns out so many people responded to Jean’s plight that the recording was made to cut down the number of phone calls.

Jean has the $300, and she and Missi will celebrate their 16th Christmas together. In addition, because so many people called to offer money, the center is establishing an endowment fund that will be able to help other seniors if a situation like this happens again.

It makes me feel really good to see stories like Jean’s come to a winning end. I believe there is a little bit of outreach in all of us.

I am also thankful our new San Diego City Council seems to have high goals. The house they are in really needs to be remodeled and cleaned thoroughly.

Mayor Dick Murphy appears to be the right guy at the right time for San Diego. He will have his hands full for sometime with the myriad of issues on his plate.

Everyday, you read about a recession looming offshore, waiting to trounce us in 2001. But I want to remind you that this is the way the ’90s started, and look how it ended. Our area’s growth has gone from a GRP of $63 billion in l990 to $110 billion at the end of 2000. A $50 billion increase in a decade ruled as the worst in our lifetime, is not a bad decade overall.

In lieu of a list of debits and credits I want to encourage all of us to be kind, gentle and giving during the holiday season. Remember the shortest distance between two people is a smile.


Happy Holidays!

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