Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox and Peter J. Mladineo were published in
U.S. 1 Newspaper on August 26, 1998. All rights reserved.
Year 2K & Utilities
"I think it’s important for people to make their own risk analysis,"
says Rick Cowles, author of "Electric Utilities and
Y2K." "I have compiled data so you can research
on your own and make your own decision about the level of personal
vulnerability that you have for yourself and your business. I believe
everybody has a personal stake."
As part of the ongoing Year 2000 series sponsored by Technology New
Jersey, Cowles, director of Industry Y2K Solutions, will speak on
Thursday, August 27, at 8 a.m. at 212 Carnegie Center, Suite 110.
His subject: "Watt’s the Problem? Year 2000 and the Electric
Industry." Cowles is a founding member of the Computer
for Social Responsibility’s Y2K working group and has been featured
on National Public Radio.
Also on deck for this session for telecommunications, utilities, and
water industries are Eugene Gorzelnik, director of
for the North American Electric Reliability Council
(http://www.nerc.com), on "What
Electric Utilities Are Doing about Year 2000," and Henry J.
Knitter, account manager for Tava Technologies, on "Y2K Impact
on the Telecom Industry and Associated Manufacturing Issues."
Cost: $30. Call 609-419-4444 (http://www.technologynj.org.
After a stint on a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, Cowles worked for
Public Service Electric & Gas for 15 years and then went into
"There are so many layers to this problem," he says.
in general and government agencies and regulated companies haven’t
grasped some of the concepts of interconnectedness of the utilities
and inside the utilities. PSE&G has multiple worldwide power
installations, and just being able to address the internal
is really a daunting task. Very few people really seem to grasp the
Cowles’ book is selling extremely well, he says, primarily on the
Internet through Amazon.com "It starts out with a layman’s
and rapidly motors into more technical detail."
"I can tell you there will be some significant problems with
problems on a regional basis," he says. But compared to other
states New Jersey will be better off than other regions, in part due
to the "very strong programs" that PSE&G and Jersey Power
and Light have in place. Also New Jersey has just a couple of major
players compared to states like Minnesota, which has 173 different
The Year2K fixes and deregulation are coming down the road at the
same time, and this is unfortunate, he says. "My personal opinion
is that any talk of deregulation needs to be put on the back
says Cowles, "but there is too much momentum behind deregulation.
It is similar to the implementation of the Euro."
He has a major discourse on deregulation on his website at
where he talks about how power in California went from four cents
to $5,000 per kilowatt hour in an emergency when a couple of plants
tripped off line. The power companies wanted deregulation, he says,
so they could get out and compete in the marketplace. "But it
will be hard for any company to be competitive if they have Y2K
Too much manpower and money and resources are directed toward
efforts because of the current time table."
"I don’t think anybody knows what will happen," says Cowles.
"I live with this thing `24 x 7,’ and even as close as I am to
this issue, I believe all the experts are working with Ouiji boards
trying to foresee the future."
A free kit of worksheets and templates can help
work through their Year 2000 vulnerabilities. You need to do this,
says Irene Dec, vice president of corporate information
for Prudential (E-mail: email@example.com). It’s not enough to
merely look at your hardware and
software: "The year 2000 is a business problem, not just a
challenge. It impacts all governments and businesses globally,
from the federal government to local municipalities."
"At Prudential we have moved aggressively on the Year2K fix so
that it will be a non-event to our customers. Also a year ago we put
together a Year 2000 kit for small businesses that cannot afford to
hire a consultant," says Dec.
Available free on Prudential’s home page
the kit explains what the Year 2000 problem is, helps you answer the
question `What do I have to do?’, and offers a 15-page plan to help
you solve your Year 2000 problem.
Dec will distribute free copies of the kit on Friday, August 28, at
8 a.m., as part of a series of Year 2000 seminars sponsored by
New Jersey at 212 Carnegie Center. Platinum Technologies sponsors
this session on municipalities and schools, which also includes
Davis, the senior executive of Montgomery County in Maryland;
Tucker, vice president of Platinum Technology; Ed Lambert,
director of data processing for the City of Newark; Morris
a councilman for North Brunswick Township; and Bernard
vice president of Year 2000 education for Caliper Learning Network.
For $30 reservations, call 609-419-4444.
Dec also participated in a full-day audio conference was held on the
Internet to mark the 500th day before the millennium. The audio
is available at http://www.yardeni.com.
The three phases of Year 2000 solutions are, says Dec, awareness,
assessment, and action. Her kit provides worksheets and templates
similar to those you would use for a "do-it-yourself" will.
One of the worksheets, for instance, is an inventory, and it tells
you what you need to look for, how to document it, and where to get
information. For instance, you must write down the manufacturer’s
name, model number, year of manufacture, and serial number for each
of your computers. Then you go to that manufacturer’s website and
look up whether that particular model is Year 2K compliant.
webpages can also yield compliance information on cellular phones
The worksheet helps you figure out what you are using a particular
computer or piece of equipment for. Is it supporting a core business?
Or are you only doing word processing on it? And what system is it
running on? The core business worksheet requires you to estimate the
risk factors for hardware and software for each function: accounts
payable, accounts receivable, advertising and marketing, invoicing,
payroll, and tax reporting.
"Prudential put this together a year ago, not to sell it, but
to help our small business customers," says Dec. "We have
taken it to the schools and sent it to the federal government. We
wrote it internally, based on the experience we had from a large
perspective, and we simplified it."
A business owner can track through the worksheets and realize, "It
is not a big deal for us, all I need to do is replace one PC,"
or "It is a big deal, but it will not bring us to a halt."
The most slippery piece for any entrepreneur is in the area of
"If I am not going to be able to get my supplies, I may want extra
supplies in the fourth quarter, or I may want to think about who I
would go to if my current supplier is not capable," says Dec.
She says the kit differs from software products that run on the PC
(such as those profiled in last week’s issue of U.S. 1) because the
software doesn’t usually "give your start to end plan."
"The key is, it’s important to get started. It is a business risk.
You need to take action," says Dec.
Also in the Technology New Jersey seminars: Financial institutions
and banks take center stage on Wednesday, September 2, when the
Technology-sponsored seminar features a talk by Kathy Tucker,
a vice president, on "Risk Based Testing for the Year 2000 and
Present Case Studies." Also Tri MaGia, with the Office for
Thrift Supervision, and James Kinder, vice president of
technology for ADP, will discuss "Critical Success Factors for
Meeting the Year 2000 Challenge." Robert Wahl, a PC support
specialist for Trenton Savings Bank, will address "Think Big:
The Banking Y2K Problem."
On Thursday, September 3, the healthcare and insurance industry
will hear from Tucker, Dan Grant of Parallel Technologies
on accelerated Y2K testing, and Marjorie F. Chertok, an attorney
with Greenbaum Rowe, who discusses "Current Year 2000 Developments
in Health Care and Insurance Law." Also there will be a case study
by Raymond Roy of AITE.
The series concludes with a session for manufacturers on Tuesday,
September 8. Call 609-419-4444.
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) chapter
631 hosts five small business workshops beginning in October. The
cost is $50 for all five sessions or $20 per individual session. The
seminars run from 6:45 to 9 p.m. and take place at the Summit Bank
Training Center, at 2 Centre Drive in Jamesburg. Call the Princeton
Chamber at 609-520-1776 for more information
Several aspects of entrepreneurism, from business insurance to
plans will be covered during this series. The first seminar, "Are
You Right for Your Own New or Existing Business?" is on Tuesday,
October, 6, and will be conducted by Jack Walfish, professor
and retired chairman of the manufacturing management department at
the Fashion Institute of Technology and chairman of SCORE chapter
631. Also Gerald J. Bose of G. Bose & Associates discusses
to Prepare a Business Plan: Your Road Map to Success."
On Thursday, October 8, it’s "How to Finance Your Business: What
the Bank Looks For," by Aavo Reinfeldt, a senior region
leader at Summit Bank, and "Legal & Risk Management," by
Stark, an attorney at Stark & Stark. Discussions of business
by Michael Leibowitz of Abacus Insurance Agency, and
Your Business for Profit," by Martin Lapinsky, a St. Peter’s
College professor, are given on Tuesday, October 13.
On Thursday, October 15, Gerald Abbattista a CPA with Amper,
Politziner & Mattia discusses business accounting, and Morris
of SCORE discusses "Buying a Business or Franchise." The
wraps up with a hands-on workshop by Walfish on Tuesday, October 20.
Virtual classes are convenient, but some people like
the discipline — and the interaction — of actually sitting
in a classroom. And though community education courses are the
way to pick up an extra skill, "regular" credit courses may
actually be more cost effective.
An in-county resident pays $71 per credit hour ($213 for a three
course) for any of the courses at Mercer County College, and some
of these courses are offered in the more traditional night school
locations — the local high school. This year off-campus courses
are available from Mercer County College at Ewing and Hightstown high
schools. The 14-week courses start the week of September 8, and the
registration deadline is Tuesday, September 1.
At Ewing the college offers Business Letter and Report Writing on
Tuesdays, Beginning Spanish on Tuesdays and Thursdays, English
on Wednesdays, and Introductory Psychology on Thursdays.
At Hightstown both Business Organization and Management and History
of Western Civilization to 1648 are on Tuesdays, Developmental
Across the Life Span is Wednesdays, and Beginning Spanish is
For information call 609-586-0505 or E-mail:
Nominations are due October 1 for the New Jersey
Hall of Fame, which recognizes the inventing heritage of a state that
produced Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. At a February banquet
outstanding inventors will be inducted into the Hall of Fame,
in 1987. Also some New Jersey inventors who hold current patents will
receive "Inventor of the Year" citations. Last year Quentin
T. Kelly of Worldwater Corporation in Hopewell was honored for
his solar-powered pumping stations.
Nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame should have made
contributions to the advancement of knowledge and human welfare in
social, technical, or economic fields. The "Inventors of the
will be judged on one or more inventions covered by current United
States patents. One corporation will also receive an award for
an outstanding commitment to innovation, fostering the development
of inventions among their employees."
For information call the headquarters at New Jersey Institute of
at 973-596-5625 or E-mail: Milllerand@admin.njit.edu.
Get shot at work and save your boss money. Nurses from
the Visiting Nurse Association can administer flu shots to employees
at your work location. Flu coordinator (how’s that for a job title?)
Evelyn Eggert R.N. cites a New England Journal of Medicine Study
that showed those who had flu shots had 43 percent fewer days of sick
leave due to upper respiratory illness than their un-vaccinated
The study estimated that each vaccination saved $46.85 per person.
Use the following formula to calculate flu costs: Multiply the cost
of a lost work day by the average of lost work days due to flu
five) and then multiply that figure by the average number of employees
who will get the flu (10 to 20 percent of the total workforce).
If the thought of arranging a flu clinic gives you a headache,
these more serious symptoms of the influenza that you might get if
you don’t. "Symptoms start as chills and fever," says Eggert.
"These signs are often accompanied by headache, backache, and
an overall sense of weakness. Sore throat, runny nose, inflamed or
watery eyes, and flushed skin commonly occur."
Workers with these symptoms aren’t going to be getting much work done.
Mostly they are going to be spreading germs to other people,
in close work areas and poorly ventilated environments. These germs
are distributed by person to person contact through coughing,
touching, and even breathing.
"The more employees who attend your vaccination clinic, the more
cost effective your clinic becomes," says Eggert. Call her at
609-395-3461 extension 1148 to discuss scheduling a clinic from
1 to December 1.
Eggert claims that a two-day case of sore arm is the most common side
effect, but that other side effects, less common, are fever and
Malaise? Sounds like a great reason to take a sick day.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.