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Got this eMail from Michael Dowd, will post it here.
Looks like it was written by Larry Shook.
Y'all will see it here first; this will be carried nationally as it is part of Portland's Y2K efforts -- so far the boldest city strategies in the world.


Dear Folks:

The lead front page story in this morning's USA TODAY 2/25/99 echoes the grave warnings of Y2K's dangers recently sounded by Senators Robert Bennett and Christopher Dodd. The story summarizes significant international challenges and ends this way:

"A separate, special Senate committee on the Y2K problem is finishing a draft report that says the United States is likely to experience some disruptions in health care, electric power and food distribution."

While every aspect of Y2K's challenge is serious, food is unique and deserves special attention because of the long production time involved. Again, I urge us to think of Y2K's food uncertainties as though we were floating a river and heard an ominous roar up ahead. Do rapids or a great waterfall await us? We don't want to wait until we're past the takeout point to find out. In this case, the takeout point is fast approachingit's this spring.

This nation MUST, IMMEDIATELY, mobilize a national Y2K food emergency plan.

This plan should:

1. Inventory America's entire food store, plan emergency food distribution as a cushion against Y2K food disruptions, and announce this initiative to the public without delay in order to curb panic. It's time for America's leaders to stop scolding the public for worrying and instead take decisive, responsible steps that make worry unnecessary.

2. Launch a massive "Restoration Agriculture" effort that will enable America's cities and towns to once again feed themselves with food grown locally by a revitalized small farm sector. Presently, America's ability to feed itself is dependent on the vagaries of the global economy, a fragile technological system that makes Rube Goldberg contraptions look robust by comparison, and a handful of agribusiness giants. This represents an untenable compromise of America's national security, surely a departure from the self reliance envisioned by the nation's founders.
Steve Moore, director of The Center for Sustainable Living at Pennsylvania's Wilson College, says the food security of American cities could be restored in three years with a concerted effort. (He notes Havana, Cuba just accomplished this in about two years.) Mr. Moore pledges his organization to assist in this effort. He may be reached at (717) 264-4141, ext. 3247, smoore@wilson.edu. Andy Fisher, coordinator of the National Food Security Coalition, agrees with Mr. Moore and similarly pledges the help of his organization. Mr. Fisher may be reached at (310) 822-5410, asfisher@aol.com.

3. Launch a massive Y2K Victory Garden effort in America's backyards and public spaces similar to the Victory Gardens of World War Two. We should aim for a historic home garden planting this spring, followed by a historic harvest of foods and seeds next fall. (If we see lawns being turned under we'll know we're succeeding; be sure they haven't had poisonous chemicals put on them, however.)

These efforts will be outlined in the forthcoming "All Together Now!" Y2K national community preparedness workbook scheduled to be piloted by Portland, Oregon in April. However, April is too long to wait to take these important steps. By acting now we will accomplish three things.

1. We can help indemnify our families, communities and nation against Y2K's threat.

2. We will help calm nervous citizens by taking prudent, responsible proactive steps.

3. We will honor the legacy of this great nationa gift purchased with the blood and sacrifice of our ancestorsby restoring the resilience that we surely never meant to lose.

If this approach makes sense to you, forward this message to others, including the media, ask your elected officials to support it, act on it personally by planting a few seeds yourself this spring and buying from local food growers as much as you can. If you can, grow and buy a little extra food to help neighbors who might need assistance; work with your local food banks, churches and other organizations to coordinate this effort.

This should be America's finest hour. Let's see that it is ALL TOGETHER NOW!.

Godspeed, Larry Shook

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999


I was just getting the hang of sprouting. Looks like a HUGE Victory Garden is order. Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!

-- Suburb (an@metroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

"City Y2K officials hope to distribute a first wave of information before summer, with a second wave by early fall.
The plan would have tapped into existing community groups, such as neighborhood associations and the Portland Fire Bureau's Neighborhood Emergency Teams, to try to deliver preparedness advice to every resident in the city. The plan also called for distributing information about services that are not provided by the city, such as electricity and health care.
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Bureau of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, backed the idea of making City Hall a one-stop center for Y2K guidance for residents.

"Like it or not, we're going to be the first place people are going to contact," he said. "I don't want to overly concern people, but we are an appropriate forum" for distributing information. "
Thought certain phrases might interest you, Diane ;-)

This was from an Oregonian article showing the typical instant backlash from the city official turf dogs yapping about appropriations, need, etc. They'll all have to gnash it out and everyone will have to pee on it marking their in/output territory before it comes back together again.

We're leading the Y2K committee meeting tomorrow morning for FEMA/CERT -- should be interesting. Think all the recent news will have them stirring? Nah, but the little earthquake we just had may elicit some mooos. Diane, you gonna come take the reins from us so we can go back into our turtle shell? Trying to shove this elephant along is tiring. It's lumbered into the international spotlight only to get stage fright and retreat, gallumphing away from its trumpeting.

Time for fresh energy to train the elephants ...

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999.

Suburb, Hi Hoe, Hi Hoe, it's off to work we go ;-D

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999.

You nailed it right -- Hi Hoe! Hi Hoe! it's off to work we go.

And I thought I was just going to get by with my magic little seeds in my kitchen crop sprouter. Sure doesn't look like it now.

At this stage I'll trade my ceramic moo cow for some magic beans and grow myself a beanstalk to climb my way out of here.

-- Suburb (an@metroarea.com), February 26, 1999.

Any time that I start feeling sanguine (it's my nature) about YKK, I remember what I've heard from an insider at Canada's 2nd largest food wholesaler - "We're toast, burnt toast", and I revise my scale upwards.

Alberta is an exporter of oil, natural gas, agricultural products, wood products (and icy weather :-) ). My husband feels that even if Ykk is bad elsewhere, we'll likely squeak through alright. When I start to think he might be right, I remind myself of the position of the food industry re: remediation and I go buy more beans, rice and canned goods.

Got spades?

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), February 26, 1999.

Just put in a large order with Gardener's Supply in Vermont (equipment, not seeds):


One of the high notes of Y2K for me has been assembling all those neat gardening items that always seemed so optional before.

I wish my selectmen *were* peeing on my town's community planning efforts, it would at least show that they cared about *something*.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 26, 1999.

Dear xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx,

Dare Micheal Dowd and Larry Shook?

We want to cofirm if we need to strengthen our and triceps and abs now:

" Ma taught me that girls were different from me. But I already knew that. However I learned one of Ma's secrets. She had no belly button to collect fuzz in. In Simonswolde she had it replaced with a nice fifteen-centimeter horizontal scar, pouched out at the ends. She did this because of the hernia she had acquired spading and manuring our survival garden. A doctor had opened her up to put her innards back into their proper places. Choked off, twisted guts are very painful and she already had more pain than she could handle. Little Brother and I didnt know this at that time. Courageous Ma did not tell us that she was in pain, that she had been cut open and the doctor had rummaged around inside her. She just left and came back some time later. Thats all we knew, that she went somewhere and would be back soon. I thank you Ma for saving us your agony. "

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 26, 1999.

I fouled up the cut and paste. I meant to write: Who are Dowd and Shook?

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 26, 1999.

Hi A & L,

I take Larry Shook hasn't really looked at the national political scene lately? For instance:

"Inventory America's entire food store, plan emergency food distribution as a cushion against Y2K food disruptions, and announce this initiative to the public without delay in order to curb panic."

is not only impossible, but unconstitutional. His other suggestions are equally unlikely, even given that there was political motivation for them to occur (which there is not!).

Somebody might want to point out to him that this sort of press release will have NO credibility with the folks here inside the beltway - it'll go on the same 'ignore until mulched' pile as the stuff they get from peta, greenpeace, and the like.

ah well, we have two years worth of seeds, just in case we have a crop failure, at least it's nice to see we didn't overestimate...


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), February 26, 1999.

Hi Arlin. We've seen Larry Shook's name but have never met him. Did eMail him this URL and invite him to comment. Will opine more later, but now we gotta get ready & run to get hosed this morning with turf-war peepee at a city's Y2K committee meeting. Blech! And we're not even pushing any agenda except BE HONEST, PREPARE THE PEOPLE, offer more training classes.

The dumkoffs (doomscoffs) have their heads deep deep deep down in no-see land. Sigh.

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999.

OK. This one get my own personal CLUELESS award! Total exhibition of complete lack of knowledge of the purpose of the Dept. of Agriculture from the get go. You want to know where the food is stored? Just ASK for GOD's sake! Or look in the new WORLD BOOK ALMANAC - they have a list of major grain storage areas. Inventory - we do that already! How do you think the estimates of the next harvest are acquired?

Victory Gardens were a good idea in WWI and WWII. I grow a garden myself whenever I live where I can. BUT - the country is no longer a rural country for the most part! You cannot grow food on concrete! Trying to restore the small farm is equally silly - THERE WAS A REASON WE WENT TO THE BIG FARMS. IT IS CALLED ECONOMY OF SCALE.

Fragile technology - if it is so damn fragile why does it not keep crashing us back to the stone age? There have been many chances for technological collapse since WWII - the 60's hippies/Luddites - the 70's recession - Nixon cutting funding for R&D - several famous hurricanes that destroyed huge numbers of phone and power lines and routing stations - why did the system not go down as a result of those problems? It is not that fragile!

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), February 26, 1999.

Oh, who cares if it's unconstitutional? Who cares if it's inefficient? Who cares if it's just a plain stupid idea?

It will HELP FEED THE CHILDREN! It is a matter of national security!

Of course we all know we can trust the government to do the right thing.

-- Declan McCullagh (declan@y2kculture.com), February 26, 1999.

I disagree with the notion that it is no longer possible to do Victory Gardens. There are tons of books out there about urban and suburban gardening,....a little F times D (work), and you have food,...whole neighborhoods of this and you have viability, co-ops. Motivating people is the only wildcard, as I see it.

I won't get myself going on the folly of developers buying up farm land for the purpose of building all those ticky-tacky $300,000 homes on the hillside. (house parking lots, we call them out here in S. California, which they are trying their level best to turn into friggin'Tokyo) It is possible to change individual habits. And, it is one of the most wonderful things in the whole universe to grow food that you harvest and eat.

Apartment dwellers...get some window boxes and/or clay pots, and some good soil, and plant a few seeds. Miraculous things happen.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 26, 1999.

Got that Leska!

 A first wave of information before summer, with a second wave by early fall.

 Tap into existing community groups, such as neighborhood associations and the Portland Fire Bureau's Neighborhood Emergency Teams (i.e. FEMA).

 Distribute information about services that are not provided by the city, such as electricity and health care.

 City Hall a one-stop center for Y2K guidance for residents.


(BTW Paul, you CAN grow co-op city gardens in parks AND in patio containers ... on concrete!)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 26, 1999.

Yepsy, plus on other threads ;-) Diane, it's all just tilling the soil for RR to plant and harvest (maybe). Has the opportunity bitten you yet? We want to pass the baton, please. Hurry on up!

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 26, 1999.

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