Narrowly averting what could have amounted to blood on the tracks,
New York's transportation workers agreed to a tentative contract
last week, thereby averting a crippling bus and subway strike.
By coming to terms on a three-year deal, the municipal workers
and the authority that employs them handed the city a Christmas
present that keeps on giving (at least until the next contract
crunch), sparing native New Yorkers and, not insignificantly, the
millions of visitors flocking to town to revel in millennium
activities that won't roll around again till you know when.
Of course, we do not take sides in municipal disputes such as
this one, but we do root for amicable, reasonable and expeditious
resolutions when tourist destinations -- and isn't the Big Apple
right up there with the best of them -- are threatened by social
disruption and/or violence.
But with the strike threat already an unpleasant memory and the
normal holiday gridlock about to give way to extraordinary
millennium madness, New York is primed for the holidays.
But a word of caution.
Unfortunately, not all is right with the world as far as
terrorism and tourism are concerned.
According to a public announcement by the U.S. Department of
State, the U.S. government has "credible information" that
terrorists could be targeting Americans anywhere large gatherings
are planned to celebrate Christmas, New Year's and Ramadan.
Specific notices alert travelers to potential threats in Sudan
and Jordan, the latter following the detainment in that country of
13 men linked to the infamous Osama bin Laden on terrorist
Maybe the next millennium will not be informed by warnings such
as these. Maybe in the next century or even the next decade we will
all figure out how to get along. At least, this is our hope for the