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NHNE Y2K Report 17
Saturday, March 6, 1999


"News,
Inspiration,
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"

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NHNE Y2K Report 17
Saturday, March 6, 1999

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CONTENTS:

Y2K HEADLINES:

California Joins Red Cross, FEMA In Urging Public to Stock Supplies
Portland Commissioners Stall City's Y2K Plan
Healthcare Workers Not Prepared for Y2K Bug
GAO: Y2K Bug Could Crash Medicare & Medicaid Computers
Report Finds Many U.S. Airports Lagging In Y2K Work
ICAO to Limit New Year's Asia-Pacific Flights
"I Have A Good Feeling About Y2K In This Agency"
Nuclear Weapons Could Be Accidentally Launched In Some Situations
China Stock Market Aces Y2K Test
Canadian Public Service on Y2K Alert
Canadian Military Opens Year-2000 Command Centre
Y2K Threatens Oil & Water Supplies In Arab States
Y2K Seal of Approval

Y2K GLITCH WATCH:

A Taxing Situation
Seabrook Nuclear Plant Noncompliant
Nuclear Reactor Loses Monitoring System During Y2K Testing
The "Definitive" Glitch List

THE NHNE Y2K ACTION NETWORK:

Getting Organized In East Lansing
Here's to Preventative Medicine!

Y2K STORIES:

Senate Releases Comprehensive Y2K Report
First FEMA Regional Workshop Held In Atlanta
A Report of the Second Global Y2K Conference In Manila
CIA's Assessment of Global Y2K Preparedness
Y2K Could Torpedo Software Pirates
Doomsday Avoided

Y2K RESOURCES:

NHNE's Top Ten Y2K Articles/Resources

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:

Of Course the Power Grid Is Going to Work...

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GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS

"The Committee has found that the most frustrating aspect of addressing the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem is sorting fact from fiction. Reports from even the most reputable news sources fall prey to polarizing forces -- either over emphasizing a handful of Y2K survivalists, or downplaying the event as a hoax designed to sell information technology equipment.

"The Internet surges with rumors of massive Y2K test failures that turn out to be gross misstatements, while image-sensitive corporations downplay real Y2K problems. The good news is that talk of the death of civilization, to borrow from Mark Twain, has been greatly exaggerated. The bad news is that Committee research has concluded that the Y2K problem is very real and that Y2K risk management efforts must be increased to avert serious disruptions."

--- From the sixteen-part, 163 page report, "Investigating the Impact of the Year 2000 Problem," just issued by THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM, 2/24/1999

Link: http://www.senate.gov/~y2k/reportcontents.html

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Y2K HEADLINES:

CALIFORNIA JOINS RED CROSS, FEMA IN URGING PUBLIC TO STOCK SUPPLIES
(Sources: CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES Website; Y2KNEWSWIRE, 3/3/1999)

California's OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES (OES) has joined the RED CROSS and FEMA in urging the public to prepare for Y2K, using steps similar to those used for other emergencies such as earthquakes and severe winter weather. The report warned Californians to prepare for possible disruptions of electrical power, and suggested having the following items on hand:

- Three days to a week of water and nonperishable food
- Sleeping bags or blankets and warm clothing
- Plenty of wood for wood-burning stoves
- An extra supply of prescriptions and other medical supplies
- Extra cash (JG)

Link: http://www.oes.ca.gov/OESHomeP.nsf/Images/Y2KNewsletter/$file/Y2Kn'ltr.pdf

Link: http://www.y2knewswire.com/19990303.htm

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PORTLAND COMMISSIONERS STALL CITY'S Y2K PLAN
(Source: Steve Woodward, THE OREGONIAN, 2/24/1999 via Y2K NETWORK)

Portland Mayor Vera Katz is scrambling to keep alive her ambitious proposal to organize the city's 200,000 households (Y2K Report 16) after Commissioners Charlie Hales and Erik Sten questioned whether the city needed to pour resources -- initially estimated at $150,000 -- into preparing for a disaster that many say won't occur. "There's going to be a serious food shortage...of potato chips and champagne," Hales joked. Sten said that organizing the entire city by the end of the year was unrealistic, and favors a citywide mailing, partially sponsored by the utilities, that would educate residents about the city's Y2K efforts and offer guidance for those who want to prepare themselves. Katz argues that the plan is needed to reassure nervous citizens, as well as prepare citizens for a variety of emergencies beyond Y2K. The mayor is revising the proposal to answer Hales' and Sten's concerns. She told commissioners she would seek to use existing city resources and citizen participation, as well as borrow staff from the commissioners' own bureaus. City Y2K officials still hope to distribute the first wave of information before summer, with a second wave by early fall. (JG)

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com:80/news/99/02/st022407.html

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HEALTHCARE WORKERS NOT PREPARED FOR Y2K BUG
(Source: YAHOO DAILY NEWS/REUTERS, 2/24/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

Thirty percent of the U.S. healthcare industry has no formal Y2K plans, and 90 percent of physicians are still wondering what to do, according to Sharon R. Klein, a health and technology attorney with law firm DECHERT, PRICE & RHODES, at a recent meeting of the HEALTHCARE INFORMATION AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS SOCIETY. "Most industries are spending 5 - 8 percent of operating revenue on fixing Y2K problems. The healthcare industry is spending only 2 percent." Klein is particularly worried that hospitals will have to deal with casualties caused by Y2K failures -- just when the hospitals themselves might be having problems. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/hl/story.html?s=v/nm/19990224/hl/y11_1.html

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GAO: Y2K BUG COULD CRASH MEDICARE & MEDICAID COMPUTERS
(Source: Adam Entous, YAHOO DAILY NEWS/REUTERS, 2/26/1999 via Y2K NETWORK)

According to Joel Willemssen of the GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO), the HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION (HCFA), is nowhere near ready for the millennium problem. The resulting computer system crashes and errors next Jan. 1, could cause havoc for the nation's MEDICARE system and interrupt health benefits for 70 million old and sick Americans. "The consequences, then, of its systems' not being Year 2000 compliant could be enormous," Willemssen said. The GAO said MEDICAID -- a joint federal-state program supported by HCFA and administered by the states -- was also at risk because some states were falling behind in upgrading their computer systems. Medicaid provides about $160 billion in health coverage for 36 million low-income people, including over 17 million children. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ts/story.html?s=v/nm/19990226/ts/medicare_1.html

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REPORT FINDS MANY U.S. AIRPORTS LAGGING IN Y2K WORK
(Sources: CNN/REUTERS, 3/2/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS, VANITY FAIR, Jan. 1999, thanks to Tom McDowell)

The GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE has released a congressional report finding that many U.S. airports are behind in preparing for the Year 2000 computer problem. While U.S. airports were making progress in dealing with the problem, the congressional watchdog agency said many were still at risk of equipment malfunctions, and "because of the interdependence among airline flights and airport facilities, delays at one airport could cause delays at other airports and eventually affect the efficiency of the National Airspace System." Among the 334 primary commercial service airports that responded to a survey last December, about a third reported they would meet the June 30, 1999, date recommended by the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) to complete their preparations. Another third did not report they would meet that date but had begun contingency planning to help ensure continued operation if equipment malfunctioned. The final third, mostly small airports but including nine of the nation's 50 largest airports, did not meet either of those categories. "The airports that responded to our questionnaire have completed, on average, less than half of their repair work," the GAO report concluded. When asked to comment on the nature of FAA's contingency plans, Y2K analyst Ed Yardini quipped cryptically: "Binoculars." (JG)

Link: http://www.wild2k.com/database/vanityfair.html (JG)

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ICAO TO LIMIT NEW YEAR'S ASIA-PACIFIC FLIGHTS
(Source: NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN, 2/27/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

The INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION (ICAO) has decided to reduce the number of Asia-Pacific flights around New Year's Eve to head off possible problems resulting from the Year 2000 computer glitch. Under ICAO's crisis-management plan, flights on major Asia-Pacific routes will be limited to one-third the usual volume from the evening of Dec. 31 through Jan. 1, 2000. By doing so, the organization hopes to help airports maintain sufficient control over aviation in the event of computer or radar problems caused by the Y2K bug. A total of 64 airways on Northern Pacific, Central Pacific, Oceania and Russian routes will be affected. Within each airway, aircraft ordinarily fly at four different altitudes, with intervals of 10 minutes between flights sharing the same altitude, but on New Year's Eve, planes will fly at two different altitudes and with intervals of 15 minutes between them. Analysts say travelers could face significant delays or even cancellations of their flights, particularly on the heavily-congested northern Pacific routes. (JG)

Link: http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/AC/FEAT/y2k/y2k00044.html

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"I HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT Y2K IN THIS AGENCY"
(Source: Kevin Sanders, THE NATION, 3/15/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

With 1.5 million computers and 28,000 automated systems -- the largest interconnected computer network in the world -- the U.S. military faces a daunting Y2K challenge. The network utilizes more than 70 different computer languages, some of them so obscure, no one alive who can read them. Plus, there are probably more embedded chips in the U.S. military system than in any other system in the world, some programmed to shut down if they misread the date. Yet, the military continues to offer reassurances that the Y2K problem can be handled. Capt. Allan Toole, recently-appointed head of the Pentagon's Y2K SPECIAL WEAPONS AGENCY, says, "I have a good feeling about Y2K in this agency." A more reflective response came from Deputy Defense Secretary Hamre, who admitted last October, "Probably one out of five days I wake up in a cold sweat thinking [Y2K] is much bigger than we think, and then the other four days I think maybe we really are on top of it. Everything is so interconnected, it's very hard to know with any precision that we've got it fixed." In its most recent quarterly report of Y2K progress, the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE stated that 72 percent of its mission-critical systems were compliant. Three months ago, the self-reported figure stood at 81 percent. (JG)

Link: http://www.thenation.com/issue/990315/0315sanders.shtml

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NUCLEAR WEAPONS COULD BE ACCIDENTALLY LAUNCHED IN SOME SITUATIONS
(Source: Kevin Sanders, THE NATION, 3/15/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

A new report from the BRITISH AMERICAN SECURITY INFORMATION COUNCIL (BASIC) warns that while the possibility of accidental launch of nuclear weapons is highly improbable, such a launch still could conceivably take place if all military warning, tracking and interception systems were down, given the existing hairtrigger, launch-on-warning systems. Russia's nuclear command and control system, for example, is linked in what, until recently, was a top-secret program called "Perimeter." According to JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, if there was an "interruption of command links to key Soviet leadership," Perimeter would automatically trigger a low-frequency radio signal to all launch complexes with the codes that would launch thousands of Russia's nuclear weapons. The present status of Perimeter is unclear. The U.S. military is aware of the danger and is feverishly working to establish cooperative procedures with Russia, China and other nuclear powers to avert what Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre has called "the nightmare condition." (JG)

Link: http://www.thenation.com/issue/990315/0315sanders.shtml

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CHINA STOCK MARKET ACES Y2K TEST
(Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/2/1999 via THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

In late February, Chinese brokers and stock exchanges tested their computers for the "millennium bug," and early results show no problems. Computers were tested to see whether they might erase accounts or refuse to process transactions if they mistook 2000 for the year 1900, said a spokesperson for the SHANGHAI STOCK EXCHANGE. Brokers, banks, stock exchanges and some telecommunications companies rolled the clocks ahead and put in fake orders in the morning and settled in the afternoon. Everything worked fine. All of China's approximately 2,000 brokerage branch offices, 11 banks and some telecommunications companies took part in the tests. On March 7, 449 brokerage firms, banks, exchanges and other institutions representing 98 percent of the NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE's daily business will conduct a similar date rollover simulation coordinated by the SECURITIES INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION. (JG)

Link: http://www.joc.com/issues/990302/t1rade/e37547.htm

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CANADIAN PUBLIC SERVICE ON Y2K ALERT
(Source: THE GLOBE AND MAIL/CANADIAN PRESS, 2/26/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

The Canadian government has advised its departments that they should start making plans to schedule employees considered essential to the "safety and security of the Canadian public" to work on and around Jan. 1, 2000. Strikes would be considered illegal for those essential staffers, who could be called upon for a variety of tasks, including manually completing work that would normally be done by a computer. The announcement also means public servants who have scheduled leaves could see holidays canceled. (JG)

Link: http://www.globetechnology.com/gam/Y2K/19990226/UNATSM-2.html

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CANADIAN MILITARY OPENS YEAR-2000 COMMAND CENTRE
(Source: THE GLOBE AND MAIL/CANADIAN PRESS, 2/27/1999 via THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

The Canadian Forces has opened a Year-2000 command centre in Ottawa to oversee deployments of troops on, or around, Jan. 1, 2000, in response to the fallout from any major computer failures caused by Y2K. Some of the scenarios being considered include major air disasters, loss of power and telephone service in various communities, and evacuating areas in the event hazardous spills. Defense officials caution that these are just possibilities and also point out that their operation is not the first line of defence against major problems. "There are thousands of emergency-measures people, police services, firefighters and medical workers across the country, and they will react as they always have to emergencies in local municipalities," said Colonel Jim Calvin. "We are very much there to support them if they are overwhelmed for short periods of time." 500 troops have already begun a training exercise to make sure all their communications systems function properly when the time comes, and other training exercises for "Operation Abacus" will continue throughout the year. (JG)

Link: http://www.globetechnology.com/gam/Y2K/19990227/UMILLN.html

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Y2K THREATENS OIL & WATER SUPPLIES IN ARAB STATES
(Source: Miral Fahmy, REUTERS, 2/26/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

Most of the Middle East's Arab states are ill-prepared for the millennium bug, which could hit the region's oil industry and cut off fresh water supplies, according to Mohammed Mrayati, science and technology adviser for the U.N. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR WESTERN ASIA (ESCWA). "The Middle East is particularly at risk because normally, our governments do not come up with contingency plans," said Mrayati. "If things break down, then the action taken is usually spur-of-the moment, unorganized and takes time. But if this happens in certain fields, the results could be catastrophic." U.N. officials said airports, Egypt's Suez Canal and electricity networks could be hit and the highly-computerized oil refining and water desalination plants of the arid, oil-rich Gulf states were particularly at risk. "If they should stop, then millions of people would have no power and no water to drink. This is the biggest challenge facing our region," he added. Mrayati attributed the delay to ignorance on the part of governments, but was optimistic that, with some effort, the problem could be solved by the deadline because the systems in the Arab world are not as complicated or extensive as they are in Europe or the U.S. (JG)

Link: http://infoseek.go.com/Content?arn=a1468LBY212reulb-
19990226&qt=y2k&sv=IS&lk=noframes&col=NX&kt=A&ak=news1486

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Y2K SEAL OF APPROVAL
(Source: PCWEEK, 3/1/19999 via Y2000)

Just as everything domestic looks better with the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," READY PARTNERSHIPS INC. of Toronto, has come up with a "2000 Ready Symbol" to designate goods that are ready for the new millennium. Fear, uncertainty and doubt about how products will handle the millennium change all contribute to decreased consumer confidence and, potentially, reduced purchasing, according to Samuel Goldberg, Ready Partnerships' Vice President of Marketing. The symbol which looks like two interlocking hooks, represents the uninterrupted link between the two millennia and is aimed at easing consumers' fears with the simple meaning: 2000 is the challenge; and the challenge has been met. The logo will cost retailers $250 in licensing fees, and talks are in progress with several interested parties. (JG)

2000 Ready Symbol Website: www.year2000ready.net/

Link: http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,391547,00.html

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Y2K GLITCH WATCH:

A TAXING SITUATION
(Source: Robert Lefkowitz, 3/4/1999 via WESTERGAARD 2000 ONLINE)

As most U.S. readers know, it's time to think about income taxes. This year, Y2K analyst Robert Lefkowitz decided to prepare his personal taxes on his home PC using one of "the big two" tax programs (which he chooses not to name). As a tester of programs for Year 2000 problems in his professional life, he felt obliged to put on his Y2K hat and test his tax program. Quite early in the program's "interview process," he was asked to input his birthday, for which he typed 05/29/1967, and pressed "Enter." No problem, no message, no complaint from the program. He assumed that the application had handled the data correctly, but just to make sure, he clicked on the "Back" button and to his surprise, his birthday was now listed as 05/29/19 -- he was now 79 years old! He figures that if he had not caught the mistake, it would have delayed his submission and possibly even caused it to be rejected, given the fact that he wasn't withdrawing money from his retirement funds nor collecting social security. Lefkowitz offers this observation: "There are people who don't believe that the Year 2000 will affect their PC applications. They're wrong. This is a simple example of the types of issues that are still being built into modern applications in 1999." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/IT/RL/rl9909.htm

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SEABROOK NUCLEAR PLANT NONCOMPLIANT
(Source: Kevin Sanders, THE NATION, 3/15/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

With 432 nuclear reactors around the planet, a growing number of experts are concerned that at least some of them will fail in the Year 2000, causing a shutdown or, in the worst case, even a meltdown. When the giant three-reactor Oskarshamn utility in Sweden was tested last year, for example, it automatically shut down as soon as the clock reached 2000.

In an open letter to President Clinton and the NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC), Leon Kappelman, professor of computer science at the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS and co-chair of the SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION MANAGEMENT YEAR 2000 WORKING GROUP stated, "Although the NRC publicly acknowledges century-date-related computer-processing risks that are profoundly threatening to human lives and the environment, they refuse to take any action." When pressed on the issue, the NRC admitted, "In a worst case scenario...a plant trip could result in a loss of off-site power and subsequent complications in tracking post-shut-down plant status and recovery due to loss of emergency data collection and communications."

Of the more than 70 reactor sites under the authority of the NRC, only 12 Y2K audits have been planned. Nine audits have already been completed and preliminary findings do not look encouraging: the audit of the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire, for example, found that in this single power plant, 1,304 separate software items and embedded chips would be affected by the Y2K bug; 13 could cause the reactor to trip off; and another 12 were described as having "safety implications." Contingency planning has just begun. (JG)

Link: http://www.thenation.com/issue/990315/0315sanders.shtml

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NUCLEAR REACTOR LOSES MONITORING SYSTEM DURING Y2K TESTING
(Source: NRC WEEKLY INFORMATION REPORT, 21/12/1999 via THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

The NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION reported that on February 8, 1999, while performing a Y2K remediation modification, operators at the PEACH BOTTOM nuclear reactor near York, Pa. experienced a lock-up of both the primary and backup plant monitoring system (PMS) computers. As a result, operators also lost the following PMS-supported systems for about seven hours: safety parameter display system, emergency response data system, and thermal limit monitoring system. Engineers had taken the backup PMS computer off-line and had advanced the clock to the Year 2000. This led to a lockup of the backup PMS, and the system automatically transferred to the primary, on-line PMS computer. The engineers did not recognize that the system had transferred and, believing that the original command was not accepted, again advanced the system clock, causing the primary PMS to lock up as well, constituting a major loss of emergency assessment capability. Fortunately, before the testing began, operators had taken the precaution of lowering the unit's power to ensure power levels were not exceeded. PECO ENERGY plans to perform a full analysis of the event. (JG)

Link: http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/NEWS/WIR/week3.html#_1_10

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THE "DEFINITIVE" GLITCH LIST
(Source: Rob Michaels, 1/29/1999 via Y2K NETWORK)

With assistance from fellow "TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Q&A Forum" members, Rob Michaels has compiled the "definitive" list of Y2K failures to give to those who ask for "proof" that Y2K is a real problem. Here are a few edited selections from his seven-page list:

- In 1998, several hundred U.S. taxpayers received notices from the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE that they owed as much as $30 million each. John Yost, who heads the IRS's Year 2000 efforts, acknowledged the notices were an unintended side effect of the agency's effort to bring its system into Year 2000 compliance. (Source: CHICAGO TRIBUNE,1/31/1999 <http://chicagotribune.com/version1/article/0,1575,ART-22577,00.html>)

- COMMONWEALTH EDISON has apologized for the problems its customers have been experiencing in recent months due to bugs in its new customer information system. The state's largest utility took out large ads in major Northern Illinois newspapers expressing regret "for any inconvenience, concern and frustration the billing problems may have caused you." Since July, at least 200,000 customers have experienced headaches ranging from no bills to late payment charges for bills they never received and trouble getting through to customer service agents. Worried about Year 2000 compliance, new tax laws and last August's 15 percent discount for residential customers, utility officials rushed the installation last July of new billing and metering software, and then activated it before fully testing it. (Source: CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/26/1999 <http://www.chicagotribune.com/splash/article/0,1051,SAV-9902260226,00.html>)

- In April 1998, the computer network that schedules patient appointments at three hospitals and 75 clinics in Pennsylvania shut down -- all because one person accidentally punched in an appointment for January 2000. (Source: THE CASSANDRA PROJECT website <http://millennia-bcs.com/examples.htm>)

- On Jan. 1, 1997, the millennium bug hit a law enforcement computer in New Zealand. The system, which controls criminal records, driver's licenses, vehicle registration, and more, wouldn't let police set court dates two years hence. Files had to be processed manually. (Source: THE CASSANDRA PROJECT website <http://millennia-bcs.com/examples.htm>)

- When HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC in Honolulu ran tests on its system to see if it would be affected by the Y2K Bug, "it just stopped working," says systems analyst, Wendell Ito. If the problem had gone unaddressed, not only would some customers have lost power, but others could have got their juice at a higher frequency, in which case, "the clocks would go faster, and some things could blow up." (Source: THE CASSANDRA PROJECT website <http://millennia-bcs.com/examples.htm>)

- In January 1998, when air traffic controllers at an emergency meeting of the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AIRLINE CONTROLLERS simulated the Year 2000 date change, all their screens went blank. (Source: THE CASSANDRA PROJECT website <http://millennia-bcs.com/examples.htm>)

Full list: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000RSP

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THE NHNE Y2K ACTION NETWORK:

GETTING ORGANIZED IN EAST LANSING
By Elise Harvey

Thank you for your heartwarming (although sometimes scary) Y2K offerings. I just started with a laptop for Christmas, so I'm a novice. In early January I was "told" to get UTNE READER's "Citizen's Action Guide." I bought a whole box and I've been a Y2Kaholic ever since. I just spent a month in California going to Sheri Nakken's meetings. Meanwhile, I am coordinating the first neighborhood meeting of East Lansing and perhaps of all of Mid Michigan. I've been putting together a bibliography of websites and email addresses. What else do you recommend I hand out to those who choose to come?

Elise Harvey, East Lansing, Michigan

[I encourage you to visit our wild2k and Sedona Y2K Websites. They are full of information and tips. More to the point, we have created a list of articles to hand out in our local community, which have been very helpful. You can find them all listed and linked at:
<http://www.wild2k.com/sedona/productlist.html>. -DS]

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HERE'S TO PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE!
By Michael Pulsford

Here in Australia, Y2K awareness is still germinating. We're at slightly lower risk: Jan. 1 being midsummer; less and older powerplants; lower population density. That being said, we're still vulnerable at so many points, with an economy that relies heavily on imports and exports, and no domestic oilfields.

I just finished attending the first Australian Y2K COMMUNITY ACTION CONFERENCE in Sydney, and now I'm back in my hometown of Adelaide with lots of work to do. I'm in the position of having taken the lead in organizing my local area. There being no maps for this work, I was very happy to read about your experiences and insights ("Where the Rubber Meets the Road, " NHNE Special Report: Y2K Visions & Visionaries, Jan. 3, 1999), and feel clearer for having done so.

My main difficulty is how to discuss the issues with my neighbors, given the differences in class and attitude. I know this has to change, I'm just unsure how.

Michael Pulsford
Y2K ADELAIDE
Adelaide, Australia

[If anyone has any suggestions and words of encouragement for Michael, we would like to hear from you at "jpg@sedona.net". -JG]

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Y2K STORIES:

SENATE RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE Y2K REPORT
By David Sunfellow

On April 2, 1998, the U.S. SENATE formed a special committee to study the Year 2000 Computer Problem. Since then, the committee, chaired by Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah), has heard testimony from a host of government agencies, corporations, computer experts, and others involved in Y2K. On February 24, they published their first report, a sixteen-part, 163 page document that describes the status of nine key sectors: Utilities, Health Care, Telecommunications, Transportation, Financial Services, General Government, General Business, Litigation, International Preparedness. In NHNE Y2K Report 16, we described how compliancy efforts were progressing in each of these nine sectors.

Along with discussing the overall compliancy of the nine sectors mentioned above, the Senate report also discussed the committee's creation, mandate and legislative activities, what Y2K is, current remediation techniques, the committee's priorities for 1999, and a series of events that have taken place to deal with the problem. The report also includes a summary, which mentions:

- Y2K awareness is growing and both public and private institutions have doubled their efforts to find, evaluate, and address Y2K risk exposure.

- Many organizations critical to Americans' safety and well being are still not fully engaged in finding a solution.

- Self-reporting has yielded unreliable assessments for most industry sectors. With few exceptions, disclosure of Y2K compliance is poor.

- Although sharing Y2K data could save time in companies' remediation and contingency planning efforts, such cooperation has not been forthcoming.

- More legislation may be necessary to address Y2K litigation. Some liability cost projections are as high as $1 trillion. Serious doubts exist as to whether or not the present judicial system can handle a potentially monstrous wave of litigation.

- National emergency and security planning for Y2K-related systems failures is just beginning. FEMA contingency plans are in draft form, but there is no national, strategic plan to assure that critical infrastructures will continue to function. This is partially due to varying levels of state and local government preparedness. State and local governments represent the first line of defense in emergency situations, and emergency planning is difficult without their full involvement.

- Leadership at the highest levels is lacking. A misconception pervades corporate boardrooms that Y2K is strictly a technical problem that does not warrant executive attention. Some government sectors lack clear directives and policies on Y2K.

"The challenges posed by the Y2K problem," says the report, "are numerous and daunting. The Special Committee conducted extensive research and held numerous hearings in 1998, but still cannot conclusively determine how extensive the Y2K disruptions will be. The Committee has no data to suggest that the U.S. will experience nation-wide social or economic collapse, but the Committee believes that some disruptions will occur, and that in some cases Y2K disruptions may be significant. The international situation may be even more tumultuous. There are reasonable steps individuals may take to prepare for the Year 2000. Consumers are urged to keep copies of financial statements and ask local banks what efforts are being made toward Y2K compliance.

"Individuals should research companies' compliance levels before making investment decisions. The Y2K problem has been likened to a winter storm, with the implication that similar preparation is appropriate. Americans should prepare for Y2K, based on facts and reasonable predictions about the problem's effects on vital services."

Link: http://www.senate.gov/~y2k/reportcontents.html

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FIRST FEMA REGIONAL WORKSHOP HELD IN ATLANTA
(Source: Chuck Lanza, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 2/26/1999)

In February, the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) held the first of ten regional Y2K workshops for state and local government in Atlanta, the headquarters of FEMA Region IV (Southeast states). Named "Countdown to Y2K", the workshops are designed to develop a national strategy to deal with the consequences of Y2K and address four main areas of potential contention between federal and state governments:

1. Coordination of Y2K restoration
2. Use of the National Guard
3. Emergency Management Assistance Compact
4. Public Confidence

According to attendee Chuck Lanza, the two-day workshop, billed as the prototype for the next nine, was expertly facilitated and provided an opportunity for state, local, and federal officials to talk face-to-face with key decision-makers and express, with no holds barred, their frustration and concern over critical issues that needed state and federal attention.

Following an overview of federal government Y2K activities by members of key federal agencies and departments, participants split up into working groups -- emergency services, information and planning, human services, and infrastructure and operations support -- and were asked to clarify expectations and identify preparedness needs and vulnerabilities. Working independently, all four groups identified the same concerns:

1. Funding
2. The lack of a nationwide strategy for developing policy and information sharing
3. Public perception, confidence, and preparedness
4. The lack of time

Addressing these concerns and others identified during the next nine regional workshops will be the core planning objectives of Countdown to Y2K.

The document, "Contingency and Consequence Management Planning for Year 2000 Conversion: A Guide for State and Local Emergency Managers," was distributed to the workshop participants (also available on the Net at <http://www.fema.gov>), an excellent source of Y2K material for inclusion in local and state Emergency Operations Plans and assistance in Y2K contingency and consequence management planning.

John Copenhaver, Director of FEMA Region IV, closed the workshop with a baseball analogy: "A successful season does not start with the first pitch, but with the pre-season [which] consists of the activities we have been doing for some time....This season will culminate in the World Series, the last pitch of Game Seven being thrown [not in the traditional October, but] on January 1, 2000. [Through] hard work, dedication, and partnering, [we] will all be members of a winning team." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/GL/CL/gl9908.htm

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A REPORT OF THE SECOND GLOBAL Y2K CONFERENCE IN MANILA
(Sources: REUTERS, 3/2/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS; AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 3/2/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS; CNN/REUTERS, 3/3/1999 via THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

500 delegates representing 34 countries gathered for three days in Manila recently to participate in the SECOND GLOBAL Y2K CONFERENCE, an international cooperative venture seeking to determine the best practices to fight problems caused by the millennium bug.

In the keynote address, John Koskinen, Chairman of the U.S. PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, allayed fears of a global recession brought on by the millennium bug. However, Koskinen conceded that some economists' predictions of a recession may be based on the very real possibility of a supply shortage. It is worth noting that, in spite of the fact that its federal systems are now 70 to 79 percent prepared for 2000, the U.S. government has prepared a number of contingency plans, one of which includes setting aside two to three months' worth of petroleum reserves. Koskinen also said the U.S. was not planning to impose any trade sanctions on countries which may not be millennium compliant before January 1, 2000. "If the systems in the country do not work, those systems will in effect be cut off from international operations, and that," he said, "is the ultimate sanction."

According to Michael Fletcher, the Chief Executive Officer of Canada-based HIGHSPIN CORPORATION who also spoke at the conference, non-English-speaking nations generally have a poorer record in preparing for the millennium bug. "The vast majority of programming and software is initially written in the U.S. and is done in English. Everything else became a process of translation." For this reason, the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are generally ahead of other countries in acting on Y2K compliance; other countries that are catching up are Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

While a majority of transport firms have begun planning for the Year 2000, "there is not enough time" to completely counter the Y2K problem, according to Deborah Schaibly of the U.S.-based MADAMME MILLENNIUM CONSULTING INC., also speaking in Manila. The resulting disruptions in mass transport could severely affect world trade. While there was only a "very slim chance" that planes would fall from the skies and ships would be lost at sea, Schaibly said nothing should be left to chance, stressing that firms "need to make sure that their businesses are safe, their employees are safe." She urged companies to plan ahead and give priority to issues concerning the problem and ensure that contingency measures are in place during system breakdowns arising from Y2K problem. "The real danger is that this will result in production slowdowns and gridlocks, economic losses and legal liabilities in companies" that failed to put in place measures to combat the problem, she said.

In a 16-point declaration summing up the action of the Manila summit, 18 Asia-Pacific nations and economies appealed for funding from the WORLD BANK, ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK and other international financial institutions, to rid the region of the millennium bug. Most of the costs of the Y2K compliance efforts in the region have thus far been borne by the private sector, through multilateral development banks in terms of modest grants and loans. Delegates agreed that because of the interconnected nature of systems, regional cooperation and the participation of international sector organizations was essential to assure the continued functioning of critical sectors in the new millennium. They also vowed to increase information sharing across borders on Y2K readiness, practices, lessons, systems as well as failures. The declaration was signed by Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Fiji, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Palau, Philippines, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/tc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990302/tc/y2k_5.html

Link: http://infoseek.go.com/Content?arn=a0925LBY052reulb-
19990302&qt=y2k&sv=IS&lk=noframes&col=NX&kt=A&ak=news1486

Link: http://www.yahoo.com.sg/headlines/020399/world/920371560-90302104629.newsworld.html

Link: http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9903/03/millennium.statement.reut/index.html

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CIA'S ASSESSMENT OF GLOBAL Y2K PREPAREDNESS
(Source: MSNBC Website via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

MSNBC has created a map of the world where you can click on one of 17 different countries for a CIA assessment of their Y2K risks. Here are a few examples:

Russia: "Power loss, telephone loss will be widespread. Interruptions to imports/exports will be severe. Interruptions of government services will be widespread and severe. Air transportation interruptions likely. Chance of unrest or bank panics is moderate....Nuclear weapons claimed under control, except for tracking weapons in inventory. UNIFIED ENERGY SYSTEMS has no plans. Banks, finance, insurance firms slow to action. ASSOCIATION OF RUSSIAN BANKS bemoans 'every-man-for-himself approach.'"

Pakistan: "Power loss, telephone loss will be widespread. Interruptions to imports/exports will be severe. Interruptions of government services will be widespread and severe. Air transportation interruptions likely. Chance of unrest or bank panics is moderate."

China: "Power, phone loss will be widespread. Food, water, oil shortages will be isolated but severe. Interruption of government services will be both widespread and severe. Chance of unrest, bank panics is moderate....Modernizing missile forces, but Y2K implications not clear. Military vulnerable to likely mainframe problems. Business community slow to recognize problems."

Canada: "Interruptions to imports/exports and oil shortages will be isolated but severe." (JG)

Link: http://www.msnbc.com/modules/Y2KInternational/map_nestframe.asp

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Y2K COULD TORPEDO SOFTWARE PIRATES
(Source: Dennis Berman, BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE, 3/2/1999 via THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

Software theft is a worldwide problem, costing the software industry $11.4 billion a year in lost sales, according to a recent study by the BUSINESS SOFTWARE ALLIANCE. In China, for instance, 96 percent of software is thought to be pirated; worldwide, the number of illicit business applications is estimated to stand at 4 out of 10. Despite the magnitude of the issue, software makers are only just beginning to acknowledge the possibility of a second stage to the Y2K time bomb: companies and individuals with stolen software can't get compliant upgrades. "It's the concept of 'My goodness, not only do I have this problem but I can't call anyone to get help,'" observes Ellen Canaday, Vice-President of worldwide contracts for software giant ATTACHMATE. Yoav Etiel, Senior Marketing Vice-President at BENTLEY SYSTEMS, sums it up: "It's like someone who steals your car and calls you to come fix a flat tire."

If pirated, noncompliant software has permeated an organization, "those guys could be in real trouble," says Loren Hillberg, Vice-President at MACROMEDIA INC. "A company could be literally brought to its knees." The effect is serious enough that industry experts suggest that the piracy problem could prove an unexpected roadblock to beating Y2K, particularly in high-piracy sectors of the global economy.

Software makers are trying not to gloat, as Y2K turns out to be one of their most effective antipiracy tools. "If it takes the Y2K problem to get people's attention, maybe it has a silver lining," says Bob Kruger, enforcement Vice-President at BSA, who sees fears of the Y2K bug flushing out thousands of jittery users into full-price compliance. But requiring legitimate registration numbers and passwords before releasing upgrades doesn't mean that pirated, Y2K-compliant software and patches won't hit the market. "If you can get new releases in pirated form, you can get Y2K-compliant software in pirated form," concedes Kruger. He argues that dangers in the form of compatibility snafus and lack of full company support still lie ahead for companies which boot up pirated, Y2K-compliant software.

For many companies, their bottom line is at stake, as they grapple with the increased costs of outright software replacement, rather than lower-cost upgrades. For example, buying a fresh copy of customized accounting software may cost $1,000, but only $150 for those using previously-licensed versions. Those extra costs may take their toll on domestic outfits that live and die by cash flow. "Small business...often live payroll to payroll, and spending $10,000 or $20,000 to fix Y2K can be impossible." says Pat Riley, senior Vice-President at MILLENNIA III. And in Asia, where financial instability is already cutting into Y2K budgets, there's no telling what the effects could be. (JG)

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/cgi-bin/bwdaily_full?right=/bwdaily/dnflash/mar1999/nf90302g.htm

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DOOMSDAY AVOIDED
(Source: Peter de Jager, THE YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER, 3/1/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

For six months, noted Y2K analyst Peter de Jager has been making the statement: "We've finally broken the back of the Y2K problem." As can be imagined, many Y2K watchers have taken exception to his position. Here are some edited excerpts from his latest article, explaining how he came to his conclusion:

"What do I mean when I state confidently we've broken the back of Y2K? In short, I mean we've overcome the largest Y2K hurdle. The Y2K problem was never the actual act of fixing the code, it was the inaction and denial regarding a problem so easily demonstrated as real and pressing."

"Did everything we speculated about prove to cause problems? Nope. But until we checked, nobody could say it was an unnecessary activity. Until we started to fix our code and examine the embedded system problem, practically any doomsday scenario was a legitimate possibility. Today, most, not all, companies are working on this issue. They are fixing, or have fixed, their systems. They have examined, or are examining, their embedded systems problems. We are, for the most part, no longer ignoring Y2K."

"Throughout all of this, my primary concern was with the 'Iron Triangle' -- finance, telecommunications and power companies -- the three industries which must operate daily, or society begins to unravel very quickly at the seams."

"I stopped worrying about the finance industry in 1997. The level of activity was high, the regulators were beginning to wake up, and attention was finally being paid to the problem at all levels. None of this is meant to suggest that the finance industry is not going to have problems [but] anyone who is suggesting that we take all our money out of the banks is deliberately attempting to bring about a run on the bank, and can only be classified as an enemy of the people."

"My concern [with] the telecommunications industry began to diminish about a year ago. The word back from the industry is that there have been no surprises. They do have problems, mainly in the administrative functions of the network, [which] they can cope with by implementing workarounds. Bottom line: dial tone is secure, but don't expect your bills on time."

"I wish I was as confident [with] the power industry as I am with the other two points of the triangle. The statements, reports and press releases from this industry are wishy washy, confusing and misleading. On one hand, we have dozens of power stations already working in the Year 2000 by advancing their clocks. On the other hand, we have statements offering little assurance."

"I know of banks, payroll companies, government agencies, insurance companies, water companies, [power companies], etc., who have told me privately that they're done, complete, finished, but cannot announce this good news because of the lawyers. It is this private information, more than anything which is available in the public press, which compels me to state, 'We've broken the back of Y2K.'"

"Of course, the Iron Triangle does not make up the sum total of our computer dependence. There are other industries, global interdependencies, and market issues. I'd like to suggest we're a bit more resilient than some would have us believe. I'd like to suggest that production processes with a long lead time, like the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food, are little affected by isolated outages of a week or even a month, especially when we have ten months to go and are smart enough to increase production levels to take into account any production hiccups. In addition, I'd like to point out that there is nothing which is shipped from overseas, which could not be stockpiled for a month in anticipation of a one-month shipping delay."

"Have we 'solved' Y2K? Not entirely, but, we have avoided the doomsday scenarios. The next 12 months are going to be fascinating to watch. Contrary to the ravings found in the media reports and on the Internet, it will not, be the end of the world as we know it." (JG)

Link: http://www.year2000.com/archive/y2kdoomsday.html

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Y2K RESOURCES:

NHNE'S TOP TEN Y2K ARTICLES/RESOURCES
By David Sunfellow

Got a reporter, friend, or family member that needs to become Y2K literate in record-breaking time? Here's our short list of the ten most important Y2K articles/resources:

1. INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF THE YEAR 2000 PROBLEM
http://www.senate.gov/~y2k/reportcontents.html

The most thorough government study to date (February 24, 1999), this 163 page report, produced by THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM, examines all aspects of the Y2K problem. "The good news," says the report, "is that talk of the death of civilization... has been greatly exaggerated. The bad news is that Committee research has concluded that the Y2K problem is very real and that Y2K risk management efforts must be increased to avert serious disruptions."

2. SUMMARY OF OVERSIGHT FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
http://www.house.gov/reform/gmit/y2k/y2k_report/Isummary.htm

Published in October of 1998, this Congressional report deals with the Y2K crisis squarely, honestly, and decisively. Among other things, the report mentions Y2K failures that have already occurred, discusses potential disasters that could happen, sites predictions from credible sources, describes the dangerously slow progress of federal, state and local Y2K efforts, and outlines practical steps to deal with the developing Y2K crisis.

3. Y2K KIT FOR INDIVIDUALS & COMMUNITIES
http://www.noetic.org/Ions/community/y2k.asp

Written by David Goldberg and the staff of THE INSTITUTE OF NOETIC SCIENCES, this three-part special report provides a wonderful overview of Y2K and provides links to the planet's most important Y2K-related articles, organizations, and information. Rated "Four Mice" on the wild2k Website, this Y2K overview also contains information about NHNE and wild2k.

4. UTNE READER'S Y2K CITIZEN'S ACTION GUIDE
http://www.utne.com/y2k/intro.html

Produced by UTNE READER, this inspiring guide covers all aspects of Y2K and includes articles by the nation's leading Y2K experts and visionaries, including Margaret Wheatley, Myron Kellner-Rogers, Larry Shook, Charles Halpern, Paul Friedman, Tom Atlee, Gordon Davidson, Margo King, Paloma O'Riley, Jim Lord, Kathy Garcia, John Steiner, Corinne McLaughlin, Doc Childre, Bruce Cryer and Eric Utne. Among other things, this guide contains one of the best preparedness lists around (written Paloma O'Riley of the CASSANDRA PROJECT).

5. THE Y2K NIGHTMARE
http://www.wild2k.com/database/vanityfair.html

One of the best, most comprehensive articles written on Y2K, this article, which originally appeared in the January 1999 issue of VANITY FAIR, provides a clear historical overview, tracing how the problem was first created and then passed down to future generations through a series of shortsighted, self-interested decisions.

6. YEAR 2000 MELTDOWNS: THEY'RE HERE
http://www.wild2k.com/database/y2kproblems.html

An article by David Lohnes that appears in the September 1998 issue of PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS MAGAZINE. Lohnes describes a growing number of Y2K-related failures and disruptions.

7. A YEAR OF DISRUPTIONS, A DECADE OF DEPRESSION
http://www.yourdon.com/articles/y2koutlook.html

This article, by Edward Yourdon, is the clearest article we've seen concerning how Y2K may unfold.

8. ALOHA FROM THE ISLAND OF KAUAI
http://dispatch.mail-list.com/archives/nhnelist/msg00017.html

Karlos deTreaux traces his passage through denial, to becoming a gun-toting survivalist, to joining forcing with the mayor of the tiny Hawaiian island of Kauai and helping transform Kauai into one of our country's most active Y2K communities. A particularly good overview for people wrestling with individual survivalism versus community involvement.

9. TWELVE ANY TIME, ANY PLACE SURVIVAL TIPS
http://www.nhne.com/articles/sasurvivaltips.html

We all know what we need to do to be sure that we are prepared for potential food, water, power, and other real world disturbances. But what can we do to prepare ourselves spiritually? This article offers twelve helpful tips for dealing with whatever kind of upheaval we encounter on planet Earth (including, of course, Y2K).

10. NHNE'S SPECIAL REPORT: Y2K VISIONS & VISIONARIES
http://www.nhne.com/y2kreport/specialreports/srvisionaries.html

Why has Y2K appeared on our collective horizon at this particular time? What are the deeper meanings behind this extraordinary problem? This special report examines the personal growth/planetary transformation side of Y2K.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:

OF COURSE THE POWER GRID IS GOING TO WORK...
(Source: VANITY FAIR, Jan. 1999, thanks to Tom McDowell)

The following statement was made by Senator Robert Bennett, Chairman of the SPECIAL Y2K COMMITTEE, during a Y2K RISK ASSESSMENT TASK FORCE public forum:

"Of course the power grid is going to work....That's based on the assumption that the telephones will work. And that's based on the assumption that the power grid is up."

Link: http://www.wild2k.com/database/vanityfair.html

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Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth

Please feel free to share this report with as many people as you like. If you do share this report with others, we ask that you reproduce it in its entirety (including all credits, copyright notices and addresses), not alter its contents in any way, and pass it on to others free of charge.

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Founder & Publisher: David Sunfellow (DS)
Editor-in-Chief: James Gregory (JG)
Secretary/Treasurer: Diane (Di) Ayers
Director of Marketing: Linda Becker (LB)

NHNE Y2K Research Team: Sherry Stultz (SJS), Robert Sniadach (RS), David La Chapelle (DLC), Lance Botthof (LB), Kathleen Blake (KB)

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http://www.wild2k.com/sedona/

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http://www.nhne.com/globaltruth/

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