Public Safety Workshop at the Washington National Cathedral : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is a continuation from two threads:

Summary of my Meeting Our Y2K Challenges Together at the Washington National Cathedral

Local, then Global. Now Very Local.

Thursday, March 11th, I attended a briefing for congregations, non-profits and community groups at the Washington National Cathedral. Still carrying the learning experience of complex systems failures from Meg Wheatley's week at Cape Cod Institute last summer, my first desire was to see what she had learned since that time. Too, I thought it would be interesting to see her energy juxtaposed with the energy of John Koskinen. If he could observe, he would change. (I believed this last week, I believe it now.)

But, the real drawing card for me, the compelling reason to have made this trip, was the offering of a Public Safety workshop. Locally in Wilmington, North Carolina, I felt the best inroads to public awareness to plan for Y2K contingencies might come from our public safety folks. Having heard several local key people speak on the possible impact of Y2K at a seminar last week, I felt that a Public Safety workshop conducted in my nation's capital could provide me with valuable knowledge that I could bring back to our local emergency managers. (I believed this last week. Presently, I believe something very different.

The workshop was held in the Bethlehem Chapel.

(Note to myself: "Critt, you're 49 years old. No one is going to grade you on style. Ok? Simply write what you witnessed...")

I arrived early, before the panel had set up. I sat close, but to the side. This turned out to be a good decision. It allowed me to closely observe the panel members, yet easily see audience participation.

The workshop started with a Power Point presentation, supposedly an introductory overview of Y2K. "That's acceptable", I thought to myself. But, very quickly I became discouraged. This man was not facilitating, he was presenting. I did not feel like I was in a workshop. As I started to raise my hand, another gentleman interupted the presentation voicing this feeling (I believe his name was Fred - NOVAy2k). After a brief assurance that this was indeed a workshop, the Power Point demo continued. But...

("Well, hello again, Mr. Anger. Will you please let me finish? Inquiring minds want to know...")

I could talk about how DC is operating on a very aggressive schedule. Or how their plans call for the completion of contingency planning and testing by September. Or how inter-agency contingency planning discussion panels that are meeting monthly will be open to public participation in November. (That little gem came from the DCY2K Staffer who also said words to the effect, "Because of our time zone, we'll get a 17 hour advance notice which will allow us some advance preparation.")

Again, my head was set to spinning.

This from Dr. Ira Cotton: IBM, coming in late, is working without a contract. He did say with a grimacing smile that IBM did expect to get paid for their work. I think he also said that this relationship was unprecedented.

Cutting to the chase... The DCY2K Project is about business processes. Yada, yada, yada, Nada, nada, nada. The capital is unsafe. It's PMT - Paul Milne Toast.

The "workshop" was useless to me as far as providing ideas and suggestions for public safety in my home community, but it was rich for experiencing "process". Oh, did I tell you that shelters for pets - dogs - is being considered?

("I know what upset me earlier. This meeting was held in the Bethlehem Chapel. When I first entered, I felt "yes, this may be the place to create a new wineskin for public safety." But, I left with the feeling, "There's no room in the inn."

-want peace?


-- Critt Jarvis (, March 15, 1999


%@#%!! All better now.

-- Critt Jarvis (, March 15, 1999.

GRAMMAR POLICE ALERT!!! GRAMMAR POLICE ALERT!!!! You may skip to the next post if you wish=====>


"Presently" denotes a time in the future.

"At Present" would have fit MUCH better!

G, D, & R!!!!!



-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 16, 1999.

Yeah, but I still bet you got the message.... :-)


-- Critt Jarvis (, March 16, 1999.

Critt, Exactly what kind of details did you find out about DC? How bad is bad? Libby, from DC

-- Libby Alexander (, March 16, 1999.


FYI. The Washington Post has a Y2K Community Preparedness meeting planned for April 7, 1999, at 6 pm. The meetings are held at The Washington Post Building, 1150 15th St., NW. (at 15th and L Sts. NW).

At the upcoming meeting they hope to have representatives from utilities, etc.

Bob McLane (202) 334 5221 is the contact at the Washington Post for these meetings. If you call him and give him your e-mail address he will let you know about any upcoming meetings.

-- Someone (, March 16, 1999.


It wasn't details about the the status of DC public safety business processes that disturbed me. It was the exclusion (lack of representation, diversity?) of other-than-government organizations from the DCY2K project. It also sounded like both the DCY2K staff and NOVAY2K shared the similar experience of PEPCO not being very helpful with representation at the planning table.

One detail does stick out. Drive down Rhode Island Ave. Go places the tour buses avoid. I did. It made me real curious about the logistics of community warming huts, "depots" they're being called.

-got Mood Mender?


-- Critt Jarvis (, March 17, 1999.

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