Kauai, Hawaii: An update from the Garden Island

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On Kauai, things could not be better. Along with the office of the Mayor, I have initiated a monthly meeting that has become The Mayors Y2K task force. Yesterdays was attended by military, police, fire, hospital, major utilities, banking, chamber of commerce, rotary club, etc., etc. They even brought in a trained facilitator. The meeting took on a life of it's own yesterday. It was like watching a birth I guess, and I felt that i had completed something because the meetings would certainly continue with or without me.

Very powerful.

The County's task force will now meet twice monthly. We have elected a chairman, and set a very aggressive agenda. We have enacted a confidentiality agreement, and moved to procure the services of a PR professional. We expect to have a plan set up by 12/31/98, with full county wide implementation no later then 6/1/99. While the plan will deal with technological realities, it will focus on what I call "Community or Social Compliancy". This will be contingency planning that will be in place regardless of what is going on technologically. It will look at the "Social assets" of a community. We are going to map those assets, and create an almost 3 dimensional database of our island, it's strengths, weaknesses etc. I have been approached by national TV in regards to doing a documentary on the Kauai story, and have some real concerns. It seems my poorly written but honestly felt articles have reached thousands of people over the amazing web. I have received many hundreds of personal reply's to the articles regarding my work on Kauai. My concerns, which may have validity for Maui, as well as any community that gets a good plan in place are these...

If we are successful in implementing a good plan here on Kauai, and the world is watching, and it gets late in the game and other people off the island and out of the state realize that their county or community has done little or no preparation, will they come flocking to Kauai overwhelming the preparation strategy we have put in place? I could easily see the islands population doubling as a result in the next year. On the other hand, If we stop publicizing the very productive results of the Community Self Reliance Cooperative, then are we taking away the possibility that we may be able to inspire or motivate other individuals so that they may get their own community on line with the project.

It took me two months from the start of my personal planning strategy to get on public radio, cable TV, and then in the Mayors office. It took me another month to organize the Task force which the Mayors office has taken over . This was much faster then planned. I did it almost entirely by myself for the most part. As steam built up, my good friends in the CSRC jumped in and added to the push when needed. My family allowed me the opportunity to work 10 hours+ a day. I put up all the money for the web site myself, as well as shelling out hundreds for the books (which I had intended to sell to make the money I had put out, but ended up giving the books to everyone who might make a difference here)

It was a great tool and I feel it contributed extensively to the success of my work. (Anyone who is approaching community leaders should give them this book, and inside, write down their ten best y2k web sites.) Sometimes there is not time to get a word in if you run into a political mover or shaker (what is the difference) but you can hand them the book and in a calm voice ask them to read a few of your favorite essays. Being calm when you do this is crucial! When I think of the whole thing, and imagine the possibilities if a large group or community were behind the push. Wow! We have a few hundred hard cores here and our numbers are growing daily. We will also be having a weekly talk show on Y2K on the public radio station KKCR (Kauai Public Radio) which the world can get via the net with real audio player. (more on that later). I am working with local TV to do a video project as well. I am planning to do these non profit so I can offer them to the widest audience. I feel like my team is finally coming up to bat , and I can put some juice back into my family before we implement phase two aggressively. Exciting times. Let me know your thoughts.



P.S. If you can't find the Book "Awakenings.. the Upside of Y2K" check out Amazon. If you want to support the little guy, send me a check for 11.00 dollars. ($10.00 plus $1.00 shipping anywhere in the USA) I buy the books in bulk, and use the $4.00 profit to pay for my printing and educational materials, as well as free books to the people who should be buying them for the whole town... Politicians, Bankers etc. It has worked. If you can afford to buy 11 books at a time yourself, my ultimate suggestion would be to go direct to the publishers. They work well with us little guys. You can get the book at wholesale and give it away to important people in your life as a great Christmas / Hanukkah gift, or give it to your community leaders.

For some reason, community leaders are shocked when you give them something for free. I think on some level they are amazed that an individual would take the initiative and spend their own money. Inside, write a brief BRIEF note expressing your concerns and perhaps your personal email or telephone #

I promise you it works.

I have some interesting questions to answer, such as "when is right for a community to hide it's resources from other communities? Is it ever? If we do down play the success it appears we are having on Kauai, is it not just the same thing as filling my garage with food, buying guns and ammo, and not telling my neighbors?

Or... is it right to acknowledge that a life boat can only carry so many passengers. Will we destroy the very contingency plan our island is creating... I do not know, and I look sincerely and humbly to my community organizing peers all over the country to respond to this question.

The main thing is to get off our fanny's and don't worry about being embarrassed. So what. Think of the agony and humiliation we will feel if Y2K does come to pass as some have predicted, and we did NOT act. Be persistent, by CALM and respect the milieu you are attempting to create inroads with. For me it meant many things, but as an example, I had to cut off a long pony tail because it caused my information to be questioned. I know that is ridiculous, but it was effective. Even people who knew me with long hair would ask me if this was so serious that I had to cut off my hair. Then a conversation about commitment to the message and the community would ensue, and then I would have another member on the team. Yes it is not always that simple, but just keep flowing like water into your community power bases and eventually you will find a way in. I have television people waiting for an answer on the community exposure aspect. I believe it is worthy of widespread discussion. Please forward this to any and all who may have insight or wisdom in this matter. Aloha again from the island of Kauai.


Karlos deTreaux

Community Self Reliance Cooperative


phone # 1-808-826-4211

Community Self Reliance Cooperative
C/O K. deTreaux
Box 33
Hanalei, HI. 96714

hoping to hear from you.

-- Karlos (y2kbug@gte.net), November 13, 1998


Karlos- Please share, and encourage everyone else to share which will not only give courage and "show the way," but will put others (hopefully MANY others) center stage. We run the same risk here in the Rogue Valley of Oregon, but we are sharing fully and completely...it is the higher path.

All should succintly share: PRACTICAL lessons learned What works, what doesn't Identify time wasters and pitfalls Surprises - good and bad Concrete preparation plans Community building strategies

The main thing is TO SHARE (and keep it PRACTICAL)

Please keep me in your loop! (Say Hi to Eden Hurlston and Vicky Carfrey...both into Permaculture and headed home to Kauai from Ashland, Oregon. They are both up on Y2K happenings in the Rogue Valley and ready to be of assistance to you there.)

-Wayne Schumacher Ashland, Oregon Schumacher@sou.edu

-- Wayne Schumacher (Schumacher@sou.edu), November 13, 1998.

Hi Karlos, I hope you will share as much as you feel comfortable doing. I believe that in the y2k scenario exists the opportunity for learning new ways of dealing with situations. I too live in an area where we are doing much and receiving much attention. My way of counteracting this attention is to keep my intent pure and trusting that the people who are meant to be here will come. Trusting in our ability to "hold" the vision is where I am placing my energy rather than concerning myself with exactly who will or will not be here. In peace, Lin

-- Lin McGuigan (chrisandlin@webtv.net), November 13, 1998.

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