Bay Area Looks Ahead
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A recovering Bay area shows America its mettle tonight with the earthquake- delayed third game of baseball’s World Series, but the victims and the destruction will not be forgotten in the revelry.
″We can enjoy World Series baseball and still remember those who lost their lives or their property and those who are helping so much in the recovery effort,″ Mayor Art Agnos said.
By Thursday, nearly 21,400 people had registered for disaster aid with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Damages are estimated at $7.1 billion with nearly 14,000 people still out of their homes, according to state officials.
People can talk about the quake at a forum tonight held by the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, which coincidentally began a meeting in San Francisco this week. The 500 experts called off their disaster drill, but offered to help victims of the real thing.
″We believe in the value of talking, talking and sharing,″ said Yael Danieli, president of the society. Talking, ″you don’t have to feel lonely and scared. You can re-establish a sense of community.″
Relief also came in the form of a $3.45 billion aid package President Bush signed Thursday, most of it destined for Northern California. But people also sought lighter restoratives.
Light as air, in the case of the 59th session of the mock San Francisco Court of Historical Review. On its docket: Who invented the doughnut hole? The winner?
″Mankind, in its own wisdom, invented the hole in the doughnut,″ Municipal Court Judge George T. Choppelas ruled after an hour of hilarious legal outrage.
And San Francisco, which treats Halloween as its own special holiday, begins the celebration this weekend.
″It was rather somber for a while,″ said J.S. Gilbert, general manager of the 10th annual Exotic Erotic Halloween Ball, where 10,000 people are expected Saturday night. Some of the proceeds will go to quake relief.
″But the weekend is important in the sense that people are looking for a release, an opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves,′ he said Thursday. ″There was a lot of camaraderie, a lot of good things that came out of the quake.″
It was 10 days ago that millions of Americans, settling down in front of televisions to watch baseball’s World Series, instead saw the 7.1-magnitude earthquake jerk Candlestick Park and the Bay area.
Tonight, baseball returns after the longest break in World Series history, to Candlestick, and many say it will give San Francisco a chance to show off and lure jittery tourists back.
A moment of silence will be observed at 5:04 p.m., the minute the quake hit. Disaster officials will throw out the first ball, and the ushers will carry flashlights just in case.
Fans will be asked to sing ″San Francisco.″ The lyrics are on one side of a handout, and a message from the San Francisco Giants is on the other.
″Tonight we honor the resilience and indomitable spirit of our community to rise again,″ the statement says. ″Let us all join together, not only in prayers for the loved ones lost, but in tribute to the survivors and selfless volunteers whose lives are changed forever.″
Dave Stewart, starting pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, already ahead two games to none, said the players have had trouble preparing for the game.
″We’ve all been through a national tragedy. I’m sure I’m not alone, but the earthquake had a deep psychological effect on me,″ Stewart said.
Commissioner Fay Vincent said baseball will donate $1.4 million to the relief effort, including $100,000 from each Series team.
Rebuilding from such a quake also means tearing down. Crews were demolishing some of the ″red-tagged″ buildings - those determined unsafe - and demolition went on at a 1 1/4 -mile stretch of Interstate 880 in Oakland.
The crews also put up a chain-link fence around the collapsed structure to keep people out and with fewer police officers, said Highway Patrol Officer Ed Moriarty.
The quake closed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and parts of several highways, including a collapsed section of I-880. While officials have reported record use of mass transit, commuter roads have been clogged daily.
In Sacramento, Gov. George Deukmejian’s office announced the appointment of George Housner to head the state’s investigation into the freeway collapse.
Housner, engineering professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, ″is the elder statesman of earthquake engineering in this country,″ said Ian Buckle, who occupied Housner’s post until Monday when Deukmejian decided he had compromised his objectivity.
However slowly, the area is recovering, as are some of the victims.
Dockworker Buck Helm, rescued after four days in the rubble of I-880, remained in serious condition in Oakland’s Highland General Hospital. But his kidney function has returned to normal, and he is conscious most of the time, said spokeswoman Pat Pino.
Six-year-old Julio Berumen and his sister Cathy, 8, were in good condition and improving, said Children’s Hospital spokewoman Diane Lazzari. They lost their mother in the freeway collapse. About $48,000 has been donated to a fund for them.
But police said six people remained unaccounted for, and the death toll rose Friday to 64, including an 88-year-old San Mateo woman who was pronounced dead of a heart attack shortly after the quake but who had not previously been listed among the dead. Thirty-nine of those killed werein the collapse of double-decked I-880. The search for more bodies was delayed because the road was too shaky. On Friday,
The Bay area’s trauma has touched hearts and opened pocketbooks the world over.
More than $8 million has been pledged from outside the country, $7 million from Japan. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias sent 2,500 pounds of coffee Thursday.