Lane County, Oregon - How to get involved locally : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

April, 1999

Greetings, and Welcome to the Millennium Salons, and the Cascadian Collaborative Forums!

This page answers requests for more information on working community preparedness for Y2k in your (or our) local community. It describes what I'm supporting here in Lane County, Oregon, especially within the June 1998 document Lane County Year 2000 Preparedness Proposal. It also gives my suggestions about what you can do, now, to be the most effective in both community, business and personal prep.

If you're interested in what's trying to emerge in our area, you can read my letter to our Lane County Commissioners courtesy of the Oregon Coast Signal News Service. Another essay I've written, "Contingency Planning in the Face of the Unknown" lets you know some of what we're up against as businesses in general.

I encourage you to learn to use these on-line Salons, the Millennium Salons and the Lane County Collaborative Forum, because this is the on-line place that ends the e-mail deluge and lets us post and archive imporant information here, where others can access it automatically from any internet connection in the world.

We need your help building the forums so that there is a dynamic and informative place to send friends and family to over the next 12-18 months as the issues of Y2k, both preparation, recovery and reorganization, unfold.

Most of you have asked me about Y2k awareness activities in the Oregon area. Some of you I responded to - some of you I haven't, yet. Others of you didn't ask for this from me - I simply decided this might be of interest to you, and am sharing it now. (and, perhaps, again - your indulgence, please!)

Some of you have visited my grocer's website

...or you found my address at the Cassandra site

...or found me through the Millennium Salons

...or read the book "Awakening, the Upside of Y2k" Available through

...or perhaps you are a subscriber to one of Oregon Public Networking's Y2k listserves that we've started for Y2k, or you had a friend forward you a message from one of them.

...or we met at the classes, or at a forum, or in the store, or on the street. Y2k is like that.

In any case, all of you have expressed interest in networking (many in the Northwest). In fact, a good long read through these links below, questions, forums, etc. will take you quite a ways down the preparedness road. You can either budget the 10-15+ hours for reading specifically and thoroughly - modest, and very useful - or you can spend ten times that travelling around, worrying, and doing random surfs for the same (or less) information.

One thing I have found: get a notebook and hold hard copies of information. Print out immediately the documents you think are important, and save them to other folders or mailboxes as well - you'll want to use them later. Write down important URLs. Keep some type of log. The information can be overwhelming. Some of it you will want, and need, to share.

An important option, since you're a net user, is to use the currently free on-line Bulletin Boards services and links in the MILLENNIUM SALONS,, and the Lane County Collaborative Forum to read and post information. These are interactive web-pages that you can contribute to, and then send others to, later.

It will take a little practice, so start in the first "room" of the Salons, and wander a bit. What you'll often find in the Salons are links to webpages of interest, not the least of which is the page of the author itself, usually right under the author's name. These can be some of the best places to visit.

The MILLENNIUM SALONS (where you are now) has a main salon that people from lots of different places around the world read. My local Lane County has its own fledgling collaborative system - a page of first-level links, a Forum, etc.

This is not officially sponsored by Lane County - it's a citizen repsonse to the need some of us see in our area that has been unfilled to date, and "Lane County" is simply the name we're using to designate the region we're covering with local Y2k prep. The threads are just getting started, and we don't have a web-manager yet so if you're interested and can afford a couple of hours a week (at most), please let me know.

For starters, take a little while and check out the old and new URLs within the threads of the Salon and the Lane County Collaborative Forum. You'll get caught up on much of what we've discussed over the past year or two. Of special interest are the links collected in the Salons "Tools" section - specifically Capers Jones' ideas on community organization are of practical interest at a formal community coordination level.

Then read through some of the y2k-specific information on community organizing from the Co-Intelligence Institute:
and many of the links on

As you go through these places, be sure to write down the URLs of the ones you like, and why. You will want these notes when you communicate with others who aren't on the Net. This helps you to organize your bookmarks better.

If you like e-mail and dialogue, you may want to join the e-mail listservs sponsored by Oregon Public Networking. I do not cc: people for long on information to avoid spam. I put all local y2k announcements I run across on the Alert 2000 list, and I post some news on the Y2kForum (along with the same announcements).

All subscription and command Messages for the e-mail listserv go to:

The three lists are:
1. Y2k Forum - Unmoderated list on Community Preparedness for y2k
Good medium traffic place to see posts that subscribers find relevant for tracking Y2k.

For the Y2k Forum,, you may introduce yourself into the list, via the Introductions thread, in order to say hello, and help others learn about who you are. Please confine your writing to community preparedness issues.

To subscribe, message body for Y2k FORUM - "" should read:

subscribe y2kforum [your name no brackets here]

2. Alert 2000 - Moderated *very* light-traffic list
Announcements for Y2k meetings, Classes, etc. only. I find that Alert 2000 is ideal for folks who need to stay in the meeting loop but don't want to be overloaded with info. All Alert2000 messages also go to the Y2k forum, so you don't need to be on both lists.

To subscribe, message body for MODERATED FORUM - "" should read:

subscribe alert2000 [your name no brackets here]

3. Year 2000 - Unmoderated list - Anything on y2k Community Prep (comes) and Goes (and has)!

To subscribe, message body for UNMODERATED FORUM - "" should read:

subscribe year2000 [your name no brackets here]

For more information about these listservs, you can check out Cascadia Forums instructions here.

The reason listserv use is important is that there are not enough people to handle general requests for information, and folks must accept the responsibility to research options and connections on their own. We can set up pages that further direct you, but that is all we can do. You need to get involved NOW! There just aren't enough people to coordinate the meetings you probably want to go to (that's YOUR job!), much less come up with tasks, etc. - we're writing articles, gathering information, and fixing our own ships as quickly as possible, a task we have to do or we can't know how to help others.

Participating via the Net is the equivalent of licking postage stamps, making flyers, organizing meetings, and running to the copy shop in your other community service work. Whenever you describe what you DO, and you can get it out there via a couple of vehicles designed to constantly make the info available to anyone, you magnify your efforts immensely.

Oregon Public Networking is involved, too, and you can contact them if you have finances or programming time to donate. They have a very basic y2k web page, few funds, and need people to help develop it and maintain the lists.

Tom Atlee of The Co-Intelligence Institute writes:

"We are early on the curve here; we're all on the leading edge. We are all researching the "manual" for how to do what we're doing, what we need to do. No instructions exists. They are being written piece by piece, as we go along. "We build the road we travel." You need to join in the road building, as well as the traveling. Try some things, make some mistakes, learn something -- and then tell the rest of us. Ian's idea of a "best practices" log is great; it will make a tremendous difference. But we can't wait. We need to move ahead. We will never know enough to succeed. We will always know enough to learn, share, and feel our way together."

I wish I could respond to you more personally at this moment, but I am as busy as everyone else must soon be, dealing with the challenges this issue brings, and this is what I have to offer.

If you are in the Lane County area or can will-call, my store can help you get bulk organic food and high quality storage containers - Red Barn has done food since 1982 and will continue to do so, as long as we can find the farmers and distributors.

We are setting up a basic y2k information center at Red Barn in the coming weeks. We have rented a warehouse, purchased dry-pack canning equipment, and are providing easier access to the bulk foods and storage tools we already provide to people. Depending on how this issue unfolds, there may be plenty of opportunity to meet, network, and do other things to plan with and help yourselves and your neighbors.

If you're in the Lane County Area, and on the Web, please use the Lane County Forum. If we don't develop this, then we're missing an opportunity to use an incredibly powerful tool for communication and we may regret it later on.

I highly recommend the class at Lane Community College. Please consider contacting your neighborhood organization, if you're in the city, and your Neighborhood Watch if you're in the rural area, as soon as you are able. Ask them if they have a Y2k program yet, and ask to be placed on a list to be contacted as soon as they get one a program together. Call your county commissioner, your state representative, and your city councillor. It's time...

For those of you who've asked for or need something in particular from me, I'll try to get to it soon. If it can't wait, please let me know. If I forget, please remind me. Thank you so much for your indulgence!

One thing to remember: when asking for help, consider that your open-ended questions ("how bad is it going to be?") can rarely be answered to your satisfaction by a stranger over the internet, since you'll only have more questions for them ("how do you know?", "who are you?", "prove it?" etc.) and they won't be able to do more than send you to sites and FAQs anyway.

Consequently, it's difficult to have questions like "how do I prepare?" or "how do I get my community's attention?" answered seriously and usefully by people who actually know (since they're incredibly busy preparing and getting folks' attention). In fact, it's almost better to see this Web as a resource that you can ask anything of using search engines and your own intelligence - and then what I bet you'll find is that it's YOU that becomes the information source for your friends and family.

Start working the small personal picture first, while always keeping the big one in mind. Do the things for yourself that need to be done, the ones that no one else can, or should, do for you. This is where you will learn the most, and this is what will help the most. If you have self-reliance and personal safety and security as your goals, you'll need less from others and have more to freely offer should the need arise.

At least, this is what I've learned so far...we'll see! I hope to see you in the Salons, and hear your Wise Voice in our Forums.

And thanks for paying attention. It's a great investment for all of us.

In community,

Cynthia Beal Red Barn Natural Grocery in Eugene
Planeterra Nursery
Small House Foods
Lane County, Oregon, USA

-- Cynthia Beal (, December 23, 1998


I have a small suggestion that may work for many people. We all live in neighborhoods, usually made up of at least several blocks. It seems to me that it would be useful to set up neighborhood meetings/groups to plan for mutual and individual support. These groups could then send representatives to network with larger regional groups. I think that the neighborhood idea is a good one and can best see to the needs of all members in our individual communities.

-- Samantha Kaswell (, December 23, 1998.

Good thought, Samantha. Our local Neighborhood Association Contacts for Eugene can be found at This is our Neighborhood Program Internet Site. On it are listed the Neighborhoods, the Chairpersons, their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and the regular meeting times and places for the neighborhood organizations.

The City of Eugene's neighborhoods are chartered into law. They exist formally. They have structure, and voting processes, and a number of very useful citizenship tools that allow people to have a strong say in what happens in their community.

The time to build these organizational groups is now, before there's a crisis that will force community leaders to take action that may be too fast to get strong public mandate or agreement upon without violating peoples' rights and destroying the current relative equanimity of our city and region.


-- cynthia (, December 23, 1998.

This is the link to the Lane County Regional Collaborative Forum. If you live in or work with Lane County, or are interested in collaborating with us in any way, and have specific inquiries or information to share, please visit here.

--Cynthia Beal

-- Cynthia Beal (, January 09, 1999.

The City of Eugene's Y2k Web Page is up earlier than planned, thanks to the work of Councilor David Kelly and citizens from the area who wanted more information.

There are good links to various other web pages on Y2k in the city's scope of interest. All in all, the city is moving forward with both remediation and some proactive measures to address problems that both citizens and businesses may encounter in the next 18-24 months.

-- Cynthia Beal (, February 10, 1999.

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