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Response to Times' Response

CPSR's Response to the Response of the New York Times

The following letter was sent in response to Mr. Sulzberger's previous letter:

July 21, 1998

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman
The New York Times Company
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY. 10036

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

  Thank you for your reply of June 22 to the letter about the Y2k problem.

  Those of us who are working with Y2k issues welcome your recent increased coverage of the Y2k story in the articles by Jeri Clausing, Barnaby J. Feder, and John Broder. As you recognize in your letter, this problem affects us all. It will inevitably have a massive impact on American society and culture. There is a need to help Americans, and, indeed, people everywhere, see the extraordinary depth and breadth of these issues.

 The New York Times Company through its many newspapers can explain this impact with an authority and reach that cannot be duplicated by any other organization.

  President Clinton¹s address to the National Academy of Sciences, followed the next day by Senator Bennett¹s speech to the National Press Club, have together provided the nation with eloquent testimony to the importance of Y2k. Following their lead, it would be timely for you to give your editorial support to the need for this nation and countries around the world to give Y2k the highest priority during the seventeen remaining months. In editorials and articles, you can help people understand what will happen as the effects of Y2k ripple through our society. T

 Via the Internet, I have shared our correspondence with others who are deeply involved in addressing the problem. Attached is a list of individuals who agreed to cosign this letter. Representing a broad range of expertise on the Y2k issue, they are ready to help in any way that would be useful.


Norman D, Kurland, Moderator
CPSR-Y2k listserv



Joel Ackerman, Executive Director
Rx2000 Solutions Institute
Minneapolis, MN

Tom Atlee
The Co-Intelligence Institute
Oakland, CA

Cynthia Beal
Grocer and Moderator,
Year 2000 Regional Preparedness Forum
Pacific Northwest, USA

Richard G Bellew
Grange Systems
Surrey, UK

Paul Berger
Foundation For Balanced Living
Escondido, CA

William H. Black, CPA
LawRisk, Inc.
Atlanta, GA

Vickie Boesdorfer
Stay-at-home Mom,
Wife, Concerned Citizen
Jacksonville, FL

Douglass Carmichael
President Metasystems Design Group and
Founder Shakespeare and Tao Consulting
Washington, D.C

Dan Clark
Director Application Services
Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield
Richmond, Va.

Shirley E. Clement
Calgary, AB

Laura Corcoran
Sales Administrator
DG Systems
Chicago, IL

Pastor Daniel Cormier
Montreal Downtown Church
Y2K Water Discussion Moderator
Montreal, Qc, Canada

Kathlene Cowan
Tec Laboratories, Inc.
Albany, OR

Peter de Jager
de Jager & Company Limited
Brampton, ON, Canada

Bill Dale
Useful Information
Detroit Lakes, MN

L. A. Parks Daloz
Associate Director
Whidbey Institute
Clinton, WA

David Eddy
Software Sales Group, Inc.
Babson Park, MA

David Elliott
Publisher: First Wave, Inc.
Seattle, WA

Kenneth W. Engle
MVP Health Plan
Rotterdam, New York

Glenn Ericson
Phoenix Consulting
East Elmhurst NY

Jack Flaws
Redway, CA

Kris Gandillon
VP of Systems, Chief Information Officer
WorkNet Communications Inc.
St. Louis, MO

Sabrina M. Gartner
Director, Marketing Communications
Giga Information Group
Cambridge, MA 02139

Reynolds Griffith
Professor of Finance
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX

Pat Hall
Programmer Analyst
Certco Inc.
Madison, WI

Gary Allan Halonen
Y2K Policy Analyst
Toronto, ON, Canada

Bud Hamilton, Ph.D.
College of Business Administration
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

Siobhan Harper-Jones
President, ComputingSafe
Seattle, WA

Anne M. Hornsby, Ph.D.
Loyola University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

Jon R. Kibler
Systems Architect
Year 2000 Services Manager
Advanced Systems Engineering Technology
Mt. Pleasant, SC

David La Chapelle
Gateway Productions
Juneau, AL

Jim Lord
Managing Editor
J. Marion Publishing
Cedar City, UT

Roleigh Martin
Software Engineer Consultant
Edina, MN

Dick Mills
Technology Consultant
Digital Equipment Corporation
Albany, NY

Celia Murray
Real Property Analyst, NYS
Troy, NY

Phil Murphy
Senior Advisor - Year 2000 IT Practice
Giga Information Group
Norwell, MA

Sreeni R. Nair
Software Engineer
Parlin NJ

John Neal
President, Neal Labratories, Inc.
Seminole, FL

Karen Nyhus
IT Manager
San Francisco, CA

Harry C. Oswald
MIS-QA - New York Blood Center
New York, NY

Gayle Parrish
Data Coordinator/Y2K Coordinator
Oregon Workers' Compensation Division
Salem, OR

Victor Porlier
Executive Director
Center for Civic Renewal
New York, NY

Art & Judy and Joel Rosenblum
Aquarian Research Foundation
Philadelphia, PA

Alan H. Russell
Lead I.T. Specialist
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Allentown, PA

Todd M. Sahara
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Wayne R. Schumacher
Family Housing Director
Southern Oregon University
Ashland, OR

Harlan Smith, Y2k Author
Synergistic Mitigation & Contingency Preparation
 -- "Austere Infrastructure"
West Palm Beach, FL

Samuel Strasser, President
Pak-Wik Corporation
Albany, NY

Fred Strauss
Concerned citizen
Delmar, N.Y.

Masaud Subedar
Y2k project manager
Birmingham, UK

Don "Doc" Taylor
Hampton Roads 2000
Newport News, VA

Robert Theobald
Author, speaker and consultant in
transformational change.
Spokane, Wa

Michael H. Turgeon
Y2K Testing Resource Manager
Liberty Mutual Insurnace Co.
Portsmouth, NH

Stuart Umpleby
Institute for Advanced Studies
Vienna, Austria

Karl Vogel
System Administrator
C-17 Program Office ASC/YCOA
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

Gill E. Wagner
St. Louis, MO

Ian Wells
Belvidere Neighborhood Association Y2k Commitee
Lowell, MA

Marsha Woodbury, Ph.D.
Chair, CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility)
Urbana, IL

Robert A. Wrazen
Brooklyn, NY
Letter to Mr. Sulzberger


  Sabrina M. Gartner, Director, Marketing Communications, Giga Information Group, wrote in support of the letter and proposed that I include the following statement to show how a major organization involved in Y2k views the seriousness of the situation. Giga provides strategic technology and management decision support services focusing on the developments and trends in the computing, telecommunications and related industries.


Emergency management organizations exist at federal, state and local levels. The only way to maximize the limited resources within each of these agencies for Year 2000 is to have clear plans that coordinate the actions of all agencies, not if, but when an event occurs.

Federal and state programs may be adequately prepared to react to a disaster in any single area, but Year 2000 creates a scenario whereby all areas of the country may be affected at the same time. The federal and state emergency management plans must be expanded to include that scenario. The federal plans must be solidly linked with all 50 state governments and perhaps also with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. In turn, state government plans must coordinate with local (county, city, town) governments.

Without solid processes for a coordinated response to emergency situations, loss of life and wide spread suffering are very likely to occur. Put the considerable logistical capabilities of the national and state armed services, guards and militias to work planning solutions to problems. Coordinate the efforts of the Red Cross and other relief organizations towards preparedness. Link foodbanks and community food programs. Incent community preparedness and self sufficiency for shelter, food, health and bloodbank inventories. Educate the public about the plans that are in place to deal with the problems. Inspire Year 2000 awareness and confidence or deal with the chaos created by Year 2000 ignorance and panic.


The best case scenario is that the public will not need to take all the following precautions if appropriate corporate and government action is taken.

Prepare as you would for a natural phenomenon, such as a blizzard, ice storm, tornado, hurricane, flood, or power outage. Have extra non-perishable food on hand, some potable water, some water purification tablets or method. Refill prescription medicine early. Those in cold climates should plan on using a SAFE alternate heat source, have chimneys cleaned, and buy extra wood, coal or other source of heat. Buy fire-safe candle holders, and plan activities for children who have no TV.

Keep detailed financial records on paper for reconciliation after the New Year. Buy a cheap non-cordless phone, as cordless ones generally don't work in a power outage. If you plan to use a generator, make sure you can safely store enough fuel to keep it running, and calculate what you'll need BEFORE you buy a generator. DON'T withdraw all your money from the bank, as you could be a prime target for robbery. Take a LITTLE extra cash, and pay by check if credit cards aren't accepted. Above all, don't panic. Get involved in your community preparedness activities.

Giga Information Group, Cambridge, MA

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