Washington Gov. Gary Locke designated this week as Washington State Year 2000

Awareness Week to help the state's agencies and residents make preparations for the transition to the millenium.

The state's Year 2000 Office (www.wa.gov/2000) released the second in a series of four Year 2000 readiness videos this week, "Electricity and the Year 2000 Challenge," which featured a panel of experts discussing the Year 2000 challenge. The state distributed the video to all of Washington's local cable access channels, and more than 800 different organizations, including the state's 300 public libraries, said spokesman Dave Workman.

Numerous state agencies, local governments and private vendors conducted exercises the past two days, running through different scenarios that might occur if Year 2000 glitches brings down critical systems, Workman said. "We're getting ready for the rollover period, so we can give the public the information they're going to need," he said.

The week also featured a Year 2000 Town Meeting Wednesday in Seattle, which along with King County co-sponsored the awareness week with the Year 2000 office. Citizens posed questions to numerous public and private-sector representatives at the meeting, inquiring about everything from electricity and telecommunications to public safety and health care.

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