Y2K Expert: St. Paul A Model City - oh oh Dennis - now what?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


MINNEAPOLIS, Posted 10:15 a.m. July 22, 1999 -- The president's Y2K expert says Minnesota's capital city is not only ready for the year 2000, but it has set the standard for preparedness.

Dennis - that's pretty close to you and I...

Coming to you from 90 degree Bloomington, MN (yes that was me that just shot a rubber-band over your cube wall - so you better be nice!)

Yours in COBOL... Dino!

-- (COBOL_Dinosaur@yahoo.com), July 22, 1999


Don'cha just love Minnesota? It hit 91 here today in Winnebago with a dew point of 79 and a heat index of 105! ACK!!! :-/

-- Jim Morris (prism@bevcomm.net), July 22, 1999.

Here's my answer as to how far along this state is re Y2K remediation:

Minnesota: Over Half of the Electric Utilities Haven't Begun (8/1998) Link: (GN) http://www.dpsv.state.mn.us/docs/y2k/utility/survey.htm Comment: Here is by far the most informative state y2k Web page I have seen. Also, the most frightening.

Minnesota's Department of Public Services sent a survey to 323 public utilities. It asked this question:

"Has your organization established a Year 2000 project team to examine and solve the computer problems associated with the year 2000?"

183 responded. 130 refused.

Of the electric utilities that responded, 49 said yes, 47 said no, and 9 did not answer. Gas companies: 8 yes, 8 no, 2 did not respond.

Read it again.

73 electric companies refused to respond to the survey. 12 gas companies refused. You know that the minimal good news submitted by half of those firms that responded will not be matched by half of those who refused. It is safe to conclude that 60% to 70% of Minnesota's power companies have yet to begin a y2k project.

Minnesota is powerless to do anything about this. It will be powerless in more important ways in 2000.

The difference between conditions in your state and Minnesota is that Minnesota's government sent out a survey and published the results.

Meanwhile, we are told that panic is not called for, that it's best to stay in the cities, that those who run to the hills are cowards.

When it comes to the failure of the power grid, paint a yellow streak down my back.

Yet there are those who will read this and say, "This proves nothing. I'm safe." They will say this until the power has been off for two weeks.

Link: http://www.dpsv.state.mn.us/docs/y2k/utility/survey.htm

As of last week, over 1/10 were still (!) in the assessment & inventory phase, 7% of the way to done when this is finished. Buy a woodburning stove if you live in Minnesota, as I do.


-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafeminnesota@hotmail.com), July 22, 1999.

Hmmmm... One wonders if that "model city" line isn't part of Mr. Koskinen's standard patter at these "Community Conversations"? Kind of like being complimentary to one's host at a party - simple politeness.

Not that I think that the Twin Cities aren't (a) great places to live and (b) truly Y2K-ready. I have relatives in that neck of the woods and I sincerely hope that both (a) and (b) are true. I just wonder if too much is being made of Mr. K's remark about St. Paul being a model of municipal Y2K preparation.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), July 22, 1999.

I attended the Y2K community meeting in St.Paul last night that Kosky was special guest at, and asked a question. Here's how it went:

I got to ask a question on live NPR Radio. It was (approximately): "I'm Mr. Smith. By way of introduction, I run Y2K-Safe Minnesota, a service helping people prepare for Y2K. I also run the Y2K information website, www.y2ksafeminnesota.com. My question is: Social Security started Y2K work 10 years ago. They have the initial code fix* done, but are still doing systems testing, which takes at least a calendar year. They're still not done. Last August, a Minnesota state agency did a survey** of all 330-odd utilities in the state - gas, water, electricity, oil - and found that between half and three- fourths had not yet fixed a line of code. SS has been on this for 10 years, and they're not done... How can you conclude that we're possibly facing anything less than another Great Depression?" The answer I got was vague and long; basically, Kosky repeated that he was optimistic, and that a lot of work has been done recently. ROTFLMAO! (Between 1/10 & 1/5 of them are still in the assessment and inventory phase, which is 7% of the way thru the project when finished). He and (especially) Norm Coleman (mayor of St.Paul) looked a bit pained when they heard the last half of my question. However, neither said I was wrong about the results of the study!

By the way, when they asked Roleigh Martin about how he supposedly had a year's worth of water stored, he waffled & tried to say he had only about 3 week's worth. It almost sounded to me like perhaps he has "turned" (coat) the way Jaeger has. No wonder he has never responded to my E-mails. Charitably, perhaps he simply wanted to downplay his preps.

Lastly, there were ~230 people there (my estimate), and I have seen 2 articles in today's Pioneer Press (St. Paul Paper) in the Metro/Local and Business sections. Both mainly quoted Kosky and his vague feel- gooditis, and largely skipped the question aspect. Neither touched my question at all. A quick look thru the Star Tribune (Minneapolis Paper) saw no article on the event. I understand that this (videotaped) event has already been shown on TV, and may be again.

My site did not get a whole lot more hits overnight than usual. If after my question (& nonanswer) didn't wake up anyone, well, IMHO it is starting to look like the equivalent of 99% of the Jews in Germany in 1932 thinking that the stuff with this Hitler fellow and his pals who wore black and brown a lot was no big deal and certain to blow over...

* Not exactly; they've done the 30 million lines of code at their HQ, but are way behind on the 33 million lines of code at their regional/local offices, to say nothing about the division of the Treasury Dept. that writes the checks, the banks (~zero independently verified as compliant barely 5 months before 1-1-2000), etc., etc.

** www.garynorth.com, Power Grid

-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafeminnesota@hotmail.com), July 22, 1999.

Dino! You in RFC? Call me, x6698...

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), July 22, 1999.

Oh, I forgot to mention:

Right before Koskin'em left, I said to him, "But all the folks who've done nothing to prepare are going to panic at the last minute. There's gonna be bank runs, and runs on stores..."

His response: "Yeah, I know....."

Oh baby.....

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), July 22, 1999.


Did Kosky really say that? Honest? Anyway, I used to live in Edina and was impressed with the basic ability of Norwegians and Swedes to handle those sub-sub-zero winters. Held snow mobile races on the frozen lakes at 30 below. Dodged all the ice fishing shacks where the locals continue to hook the big ones and enjoy the winter weather. That sort of thing. So maybe Kosky knew they could handle it, even if it turns out nasty. Ya think?

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), July 22, 1999.

Well, according to Sunday's Star Tribune the Minn/St. Paul airport will not be completely ready for 1/1/2000. I just can't wait to find out what "mission critical" really means. Tee Hee!

-- Gia (laureltree7@hotmail.com), July 22, 1999.

Yes Kosky said those exact words. My wife was standing next to me when he said it.... Yup. More food, more ammo....

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), July 22, 1999.

Grew up in St. Paul myself. Took the long cold winters for granted -- never knew anything different. In the early Thirties our house had a coal furnace which heated a plenum which ducted the heat to gratings in the ground floor. The heat rose by convection. The colder air sank. The separate cold air return ductwork fed the plenum. If a room got too cold you just put on a sweater. Bank the fire at night, stoke it up again in the morning. Worked just fine. 30 below was normal at some point in any winter. 40 below was considered really cold.

What are people going to do there now, if the power or the gas is out?

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), July 23, 1999.

Gooooooooood Mornin' Y2K board!!!


I was there to, It was quite a lame answer Mr. Koskinin gave you about the Social Security admin. I mean, c'mon! Yeah, OK! The SSA took 9 years, but other company's can do it in 1.5 or so, because the're working harder?!?!

Well, if that TRULY is the case, which I doubt, someone need's to can the entire SSA for lack of competance.

-- CygnusXI (noburnt@toast.net), July 23, 1999.

Doesn't matter how Minnesota government does, if there's no coal coming to NSP. Get wood, seal the window gaps, store food, get ready. My mom, brother and sister live in St Paul, and I won't necessarily see them all on the other side. I grew up there, and you wouldn't get me back there now for anything.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), July 23, 1999.

I find Dennis' report of Koskinen's comment the scariest thing I've heard in a long time.

-- Vic (Rdrunner@internetwork.net), July 23, 1999.

Vic wrote:

I find Dennis' report of Koskinen's comment the scariest thing I've heard in a long time.

Yeah, me too, Vic.

I thought I was to a point where I was comfortable with my level of preparation but now I'm not so sure... :-/

-- Jim Morris (prism@bevcomm.net), July 23, 1999.

"Gooooooooood Mornin' Y2K board!!!"

Good morning! (see my real e-mail address!) <:)))=

PS - I'm going to steal it!

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), July 23, 1999.

Right before Koskin'em left, I said to him, "But all the folks who've done nothing to prepare are going to panic at the last minute. There's gonna be bank runs, and runs on stores..."

His response: "Yeah, I know....."

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), July 22, 1999.

That deserves a BOLD repeat, Dennis! (Thanks for the head's up).

Boy am I glad to be living in California where it's somewhat warmer and our Governor will declare a state of emergency BEFORE anything happens.

*Big Sigh*


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), July 23, 1999.

Diane, bw, you are forgetting some things re being in warm vs. cold locales. 1) Sub-zero temps are the GI's best defense against looters. Who wants to travel on foot cross-country or wait in ambush outside then? Also, DWGIs die off faster (before they get to your house) - sad but true. 2) Cold in winter in Y2K can be fixed with a woodstove; hot in summer (much worse in US South - I have years of summers there, so know whence I speak) has no realistic answer for any but those with propane ACs & lots of fuel, or $50K worth of solar. 3) More diseases in the South; won't get yellow fever or malaria up here, but in the South...?


-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafeminnesota@hotmail.com), July 24, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ