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        We are safe and well.  I feel very guilty about not having asked
you how you survived your disastrous recent fires!

        We live a few miles south of the epicenter, and because the fault
sloped to the north, the worst damage occured 7-8 miles north of us.  We
were violently shaken, and our many hundreds of books and all our lamps,
etc. ended up on the floor.  We were without electricity for about 18
hours, but otherwise all our utilities remained.  Some of our relatives
and friends are not nearly so lucky; they have slept either here with us
or have left town for a few days; others have cme by to take a shower.
It's the lack of water in the north and west San Fernando Valley that is
causing the greatest hardship for those who can still enter and use their
dwellings.  Many thousands more are camping in their cars and tents and
sleeping bags in the public parks.  We all have been fortunate that the
weather has been mild; daytime temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s,
but the weather is changing and they're forcasting rain this weekend.
With luck, temporary housing can be found by then.

        Of course, it's the low-income people who have been principally
dispossessed because they were living in crowded apartment buildings.
The buildings, I'm sure, were built to "code" at the time, but many
pre-date the 1971 earthquake, and I don't believe that any building code
provides for protection from the violent earth movement where the fault
comes to the surface.  When there is an instantaneous vertical movement
of several feet, water and gas pipes are certain to break as are entire
buildings, no matter how well-built.

        All 250,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will
be out of school for the remainder of this week, and plans must still be
formulated for all the Valley schools that were heavily damaged or destroyed.
Cal State University, Northridge, was also very severely damaged.  (That's
my usual Internet connection).  As for public schools, the problem is
vastly complicated because many thousands of students have been coming to
schools in the Valley by bus because of the terrible overcrowding in the
city.  No one has the slightest idea where or how to conduct classes for
not only those students who have been coming to the Valley but also for
all of the Valley students who must now find someplace else to go.  And
with our third year of severe financial woes in L.A., the prospect of a
$700 million (at least) cleanup/repair/reconstruction is daunting, indeed.

        Gladys and I are grateful for the concern expressed by our friends
on the Internet, some of whom have even telephoned us from various parts
of the U.S. and others who relayed messages to us.  As far as we know, all
Valley residents who are on CORE, ECOL-L, LANET, and LM-NET are safe and
well, in particular Lois Feldman,Edy Jacobson, and Zita Evensen.  But it
will be quite a while before we re-establish regular telecommunications.

        Gladys and I also want to thank Yapha Nussbaum, a graduate student
at UCLA, who telephoned Information for our number,then called us last
evening on behalf of LM-NET users who were concerned about us.

Gladys and I both have fidonet email addresses, thanks to Los Angeles
Valley College, a community college in Van Nuys.


        It's an expensive toll-call for us to connect to CORE, so please
excuse delays when we reply to messages to our usual Internet addresses.

        This experience has certainly demonstrated to us  that our
Internet relationships are every bit as intimate and meaningful as our
"face-to-face" friendships.

                                        Sincerely and gratefully,
                                                Gladys and Mel

Mel Roseman
Internet: mrosema@ctp.org

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