We call it 'news bites', little snippets of news editorial authority does not consider important enough for separate news stories but still worthy of bundling together as single paragraph items on Page 2. And, as with the small print in contracts you sign, these 'bites' are worth scanning just in case someone quietly slipped through an announcement that could have some embarrassing features. There was one such bite in Friday's issue of this newspaper. Its headline was Preferred tenants and it featured Innovation and Technology Commissioner Francis Ho Suen-wai saying he wanted environmentally friendly tenants at Science Park, an environmentally friendly showcase of mud on the road to Tai Po. This and Mr Ho's preference for tenants active in research and development are all very well, but then we get the interesting bit - '. . . professional companies providing value-added services in law, accounting, recruiting, venture fund management, training, design, marketing and consulting were also admissible'. Let us pick this apart, starting with the minor points. First, we shall assume that 'were admissible' means 'are admissible'. Copy scribblers of any sort have a habit of using the past tense too much. Next, we have the term 'professional companies'. If this refers to companies engaged in the professions, could we have someone in the Innovation Commission tell us how the professions are defined? If it is rather meant to distinguish them from amateur companies, could we please have some light shed on what makes up the curious group of amateur companies? Then we have the phrase 'providing value-added services'. Companies always seek to provide value-added services. We classify those that do not as bankrupt or e-commerce, either will do. It is, however, undoubtedly an important consideration for Mr Ho. It excludes the Innovation Commission from Science Park. Now to the major points. Was Science Park not billed to us as a key element of the campaign to propel Hong Kong into the Information Age by having Government lend a helping hand to struggling i-trepreneurs scorned by private financiers unable to see the future as clearly as Tung Chee-hwa? Your correspondent has always been critical of this initiative on the grounds that the SAR has never been a centre of high-technology research and the economy is ill-suited to it although superbly suited to making lucrative use in service industries of the products of high-tech research devised elsewhere. And, heaven be thanked, it seems the Government has come around to this way of thinking. Science Park is to be opened to these traditional service industries. Lawyers, accountants, head hunters, fund managers, salesmen and hot air merchants (consultants to you) are all to be allowed in. This makes absolute sense and is the way things should have been from the start. Let's concentrate on the things we do well. Good thinking, Mr Tung. But it may leave you asking a few other questions. First, it strongly implies Mr Ho and his crew really could not find enough tenants that met the original tight requirements, which would be no surprise of course, but then why are we still pumping schemes of this kind? And, if Mr Ho makes the standard government claim that demand for Science Park from the intended tenants is huge, why is he now inviting lawyers in? More important yet, Science Park's biggest draw is cheap government-subsidised rents. Why are we offering these to lawyers and accountants? This is no way to address the larger problem of high office rents throughout the SAR. What we have here, in short, is a quiet announcement that has made a mockery of an already dubious project and further distorts the office property market.