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EDITORIAL

Depending on one’s perspective, midnight on Jan. 1 will either herald

a new era of peace and understanding, signal the beginning of the end or

simply culminate the most over-hyped New Year’s celebration since, well,

the year 1000. Whatever one’s point of view, it’s clear there’s been

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enough discussion of Y2K to last the average citizen of this globe

another 1,000 years or more.

We’ve all heard the doomsday scenarios -- reports of widespread

religious fanaticism and warnings of a massive technological meltdown

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triggered by the so-called “millennium bug.” We’ve also heard assurances

from officials from the White House on down to City Hall that there is

nothing to fear, that our society will indeed remain intact when the

clock chimes 12.

Oddly, with only days left to argue the point, disagreement continues

on such a basic question as whether the year 2000 represents the

beginning of a the new millennium or not. Scientists and others point out

that our calendar begins with 1 A.D., not 0. Therefore, the new

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millennium should begin in 2001. On the pro-millennium side are those who

argue simply that when the zeros roll the new century has begun.

Whichever side of the millennium fence one happens to fall in this

debate there is no denying that from Burbank to Bethlehem and Glendale to

New Guinea, few international events have aroused the excitement,

expectation and anxiety that Y2K has produced. If our fellow citizens of

the world are anything like us in Burbank -- and we like to imagine they

are -- they are eager to get the whole thing over with. Bring it on.

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We’re ready. Let’s do this deal.

Our sense is that, yes, Sunday morning will come around much like any

other. We’ll be here digging up the news while all around people will be

going about their business in the usual way. Good-natured joking at the

water cooler, the health club and supermarket will poke fun at the

catastrophes that never happened and the breakdowns that never were.

We’ll take a collective sigh of relief. In a month or so we will have

all-but forgotten what the big deal was about.

With that in mind, cancel those plans to stay home on New Year’s Eve

with the covers pulled over your head, a transistor radio at your ear and

both deadbolts latched on the front door. It’s not too late to make plans

to go out, to spend the evening with friends and loved ones, to live it

up a little. After all, it’s not every year the zeros turn.

editor’s note: If the Leader does not appear Saturday please disregard

the content of this column.


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