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After the Quake, People Needed News

February 12, 1994

I have a complaint! I could write a dozen terrific letters and you wouldn't print even one of them (I know, I've tried)--but the letter from Shelley D. James of Irvine, that you print!? ("TV's Coverage on the Day the Earth Shook," Saturday Letters, Feb. 5.)

So, Shelley, you thought the continuous TV coverage after the earthquake was "ridiculous" and a "tragedy" past the first three hours? Well, excuse all of us up here in quake-ravaged L.A. County, but many, like me, had no power (i.e., TV) in the first three hours after the quake!

When the power came on, the first thing I did was turn on the TV. Like anyone else, I wanted to know all that had occurred; wanted to see it. I wanted news of my many friends who reside in the Valley. Most important, I could watch the newsroom's seismo-cam and have some warning or confirmation of an aftershock.

So, Shelley, you have to understand what a mess things were (are) up here. My apartment looked like a bomb hit it! You didn't get the damage we did. If you had, you could never have written a letter like that.

KATHRYN PALMER, Santa Monica

*

Reference the letter from John J. Pernin of Pacific Palisades: No, John, you are not the only one upset by KABC-TV's irresponsible remark about our drinking water on that Jan. 21 news promo. I was livid. I could have handled a promo for any "news" story, but don't jeopardize my health. If my water is not fit to drink, I need to know now, not at 11 p.m.

I immediately called KABC, and the operator connected me with the newsroom. Nobody answered. I immediately called back and asked for the newsroom. She put the call through but nobody answered. I called again and told her. She put me through but apparently stayed on the line. When the newsroom did not answer, the operator said, "They must be on a coffee break." I said, "You are kidding me, right?" She said, "No." I hung up.

I have cooled down since then and maybe I only care enough to write this letter. It is unfortunate that a Los Angeles TV station cannot have a real news format similar to the format used by CNN.

EDWARD J. CRIPE, Thousand Oaks

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