Portland's Y2K public education plan delayed

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I thought Portland, Oregon's plan to educate the public about Y2K and organize neighborhoods was a good idea. That's why the article below is so sad...



by Steve Woodward of The Oregonian staff

A big dose of skepticism has temporarily grounded the nation's biggest Y2K trial balloon.

Mayor Vera Katz and other Portland city officials are scrambling to keep alive an ambitious proposal to organize the city's 200,000 households in preparation for the Year 2000 computer problem.

"We should ask ourselves why the city of Portland is doing this while 200 other cities in this state aren't," Commissioner Charlie Hales said Tuesday during an informal City Council work session on Y2K preparedness.

Hales and Commissioner Erik Sten, unlike Katz, said their constituents weren't bombarding them with anxious questions about the impending arrival of 2000. They both questioned whether the city needed to pour resources -- initially estimated at as much as $150,000 -- into preparing for a disaster that many, including the mayor, say they believe won't occur.

"There's going to be a serious food shortage," Hales joked, "of potato chips and champagne."


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 26, 1999


Indeed it truly does seem sad. BIG BIG SIGHHHH!!!!

-- Suburb (an@dcmetroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

They are right to kill this. Not that y2k won't be bad, but why do we need government involved ? Everybody should get prepped and take care of themselves.

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), February 26, 1999.

Another thought. It must be truly difficult for the GI's at that level to deal with the DGI's. I know how frustrating it is for myself. I can't imagine what it must be like at that level. For those incredibly rare public officials that strive conscientiously to act on behalf and for the welfare of their citizens it must be very frustrating and extremely dissappointing to come up against this type of thing.

-- Suburb (an@dcmetroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

Yes, it's sad, because this was the mother of all community prep efforts.

Blue said, "They are right to kill this. Not that y2k won't be bad, but why do we need government involved ? Everybody should get prepped and take care of themselves."

Right ----- but wrong. As I read the plan, Portland wasn't going to care for the people, but were going to use the money to promote preparation at the individual family and block level. A great big push......the incentive that we all need now and then, especially if we DGI.

-- De (dealton@concentric.net), February 26, 1999.

Blue Himalayan,

We already have government involved in this whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

All these particular officials want to do is get the message out so that people can prep for themselves. It seems like they have the same concerns that some of us here do that not enough people are being told the right message from the government. If people don't get the appropriate information then they won't prep.

I personally feel that it is a good idea to have a central source of information for their citizens to draw upon.

I think the real reason for squashing this initiative is the bug-a- boo of not wanting to create panic.

-- Suburb (an@dcmetroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

Don't worry, it's not over yet. Turf 'n smurf flyin regurg. We just got back (well, actually we're in another city canning away ;-) from a Y2K committee meeting; the tide *is* turning. The Fire Dept folks are going to MD for, you guessed it, terrorism training, next week. Think in two weeks the pendulum will swing its wrecking ball into the denial bluff; we'all see. Gotta expect squawking and frenzied hind- leg lifting 'n kicking over any new proposal. Let 'em nip 'n dip, scratch 'n patch, fight 'n bite, growl 'n howl; then we'll be back, poised and refreshed with more breaking news to combat the mewls :-)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999.

Sorry Blue Himalayan,

Made a blunder there. Meant to say at the beginning.....

I think that the government is involved in this whether you or I and anyone else likes it or not.

Apologies for how the original posting sounded. Didn't mean to offend.

-- Suburb (an@dcmetroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

I generally think I can spend my money in better ways than government bureaucrats can.

-- Declan McCullagh (declan@y2kculture.com), February 26, 1999.

I wholeheartedly agree with you Declan.

Nevertheless, for right now they are taking our money and spending it how they see fit. Would you rather them spend it on PR Firm's to possibly lull many into doing minimal if any prep. Then the outcome of then spending millions to take care of those that weren't prepped if the SHTF. Or would it be more prudent to spend some as in the case of the initiative above to help communities be at least more prepared than it looks like they're going to be right now.

I personally would welcome governmental initiative in helping my community get prepped to deal with this more on it's own than relying on the alternative of having the heavy-handed and heavy-booted troops moving in after the fact to deal with an even bigger mess.

I think the trouble is that for right now we have educated a society of people that sadly do not think for themselves. They are heavily reliant upon the government to lead the way. At present the government is selling them a bed of roses -- everything is okay, well in hand, and have no fear -- and they are buying it.

-- Suburb (an@dcmetroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

This is sad news,

But as Leska implies "It ain't over yet!"

There is that FEMA twit that we met at the downtown Portland's Fire Station NET training. She's about as DWGI as they come. Bet she's raising a BIG stink, Leska!!

They'll have to shuffle and snuffle a bit more, and the community groups will have to become way more proactive. What do you want to bet someone from Koskinen's office gave "da Mayor" a little call?

My bet's on the Y2K activists ... and Leska, et. al. knows several "strategically" placed high-level ones, too.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 26, 1999.

The good news is that Steve Woodward has passed along an idea I gave him to the editor (who likes it) to produce a special insert with particulars about preparing.

This should not only be a great educational tool but a push to get fence sitters moving AND ratchet up local supplies.

If you're in the metro area e-mail technw@news.oregonian.com with the suggestion. I also suggest you let them know what you have or plan to spend on what items.

Many business buyers are still DGI but if we can demonstrate the market they'll want to get it if for no other reason than profit. Perhaps a similar campaign will work for others across the country.


-- EC (JHnck1776@aol.com), February 26, 1999.

This reaction does not suprise me. The "powers that be" up in Portland tend to be out of touch with reality sometimes. The idea that a nice mass mailing, yeah that's the ticket, is sufficient is representative of the brain power of Portland leaders. Even if it all turns out to be a bump in the road, these so-called leaders should at least encourage people to be prepared, not make stupid jokes. There are power outages around here, mudslides, flooding, etc. Be able to cope with these is a big plus.

Trust me, folks in Portland seem to live in a different reality sometimes. I work up there on occasion and just shake my head at what some folks do, say and act. But hey it can be cheap entertainment over lunch! :)

-- freelancer (mercenary2000@yahoo.com), February 26, 1999.

"Hales and Commissioner Erik Sten, unlike Katz, said their constituents weren't bombarding them with anxious questions about the impending arrival of 2000. "

This is SIMPLE. Time to get every GI you know on the phone with anxious questions. It really shouldn't take too many calls. It CAN be done. They're practically begging you to. Jam the phone lines.

Got telemarketers?

-- Deborah, who has learned a few things as an Evangelical Christian (call@call.call), February 27, 1999.

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