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Subject:  Word from Italy Date:  11/16/2012  8:41 PM
Author:  OrmontUS Number:  408740 of 454728

As some of us are aware, Sandy did a real number on NYC (and to my neighborhood in particular). I received a nice email from a friend in Italy asking how we were doing. We had met her last summer in Venice and spent the day with her and her family trasping around the place. She is originally American, but married an Italian and teaches in the international school in Trieste. Anyhow, when Venice was hit with massive floods last week, I sent her this link:

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/11/venice-under-wate...

(While there have been a couple of emails back and forth since, I just received the following note today:

Jeff,

Hi there, Thanks for giving me all the news from over there! It seems to me that what is happening in NY is quite similar to what is happening over here.
We were not hit by a storm but it rained for days and the flooding in central Italy has been terrible. The main problem is that for decades they have been constructing roads into the sides and often through the middle of mountains and hills. Towns are built and are scattered all along the base of these hill and the heavy rains are the proverbial "last straw". The mudslides have destroyed thousands of homes. It wasn't so much the rain,but the mud that is making everything so difficult.
I hope Mayor Bloomberg is successful in his campaign to protect New York city. Over here they are battling with people who built their homes against all odds... on the sides of mountains etc. Now they are trying to get govern't money! Not quite as bad as your neighbor ( Was she friends with Joy??) but still, I don't think it's quite fair that people build their homes where they're not supposed to, then try and get the govern't to pay for the damage.
So far, we have been very fortunate. We live just a few hundred meters from the Isonzo. The water got really close but Thank G-d we were spared!
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