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Know the West

Quake's shakes move masses

  At least one business sees a silver lining in the recent Los Angeles earthquake. The Nevada-based Greener Pastures Institute, which helps "urban opt-outs' find their footing in the unfamiliar terrain of the rural West, is getting a lot more phone calls. The Institute's newsletter circulates to about 2,000 people, two-thirds of whom live in Southern California. People want to move to the West and Northwest, says company director Bill Seavey, not only to escape earthquakes but also to flee lost jobs and pollution. As for the impact of immigrants on their new-found "personal Edens," Seavey encourages new arrivals to shed their city expectations of symphonies and other amenities, and assimilate. Communities that want to limit growth should consider zoning and open space aquistions, he says. But if local residents don't like the changes overtaking their communities, "They can sell and move anyplace they want."