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January 20, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Japan's Panasonic is introducing a double-A household battery that will keep gadgets running 20% longer than rival alkaline batteries do. The new Evolta -- whose name is derived from "evolution" and "voltage" -- has proved its mettle against products from Duracell and Energizer, as well as Panasonic's own Oxyride batteries, according to Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which makes Panasonic brand products. Evolta's 10-year shelf life -- as much as 60% longer than rivals' -- results from more material being packed inside it, the new materials it's made with and a sturdier seal than predecessors had, Matsushita said.
April 8, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler may not resume lead smelting until its furnaces can operate in compliance with tough new air district rules on arsenic emissions. The South Coast Air Quality Management District's hearing board ruled Tuesday that Exide Technologies, which is accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people across southeast Los Angeles County, must maintain "negative pressure" in its furnaces. That means particles from the smelting process must be sucked into air pollution control devices that can keep toxic compounds from wafting over neighborhoods.
March 14, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
U.S. engineers have found a way to make lithium batteries that are smaller, lighter, longer-lasting and capable of recharging in seconds -- potentially opening up new applications, including better batteries for electric cars. The new batteries, which have an altered base material that allows lithium ions to move more quickly, could be available for sale in two to three years, a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
April 6, 2014 | By Gale Holland
It was billed as a guided tour for downtown residents, church and business groups and elected officials to see skid row for themselves. As the group headed out on foot from L.A.'s Midnight Mission, it was confronted by demonstrators whistling, drumming and chanting: "You're not welcome here!" and "You're the problem!" That was in June 2011. A year later, Deborah Burton, a community organizer who was once homeless, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery on two tour leaders.
November 25, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
For General Motors Co., the Chevrolet Volt may be generating the wrong kind of spark. Federal officials on Friday launched a formal safety defect investigation into GM's plug-in hybrid vehicle after crash tests on several Volts and their batteries resulted in fires. In one case, a fire that started in one of the test vehicles consumed three others parked nearby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was "concerned" that damage to the Volt's batteries sustained in tests designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios resulted in the vehicles' catching fire.
April 22, 2012 | Patt Morrison
Tenderly, the lover caressed his beloved. So pale, so smooth. He tilted his head forward, the better to inhale that scent - rich and enticing. Fingertip to spine, feeling every contour, he pressed his face closer - and turned a page. I don't know what you were thinking about, but I was talking about a book. A real book. The Kindle and its ilk are just gizmos with pixilated screens. Hit the off button and its borrowed character vanishes. A genuine book has a soul of its own. It is tactile, beautiful, accessible.
July 13, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
Investigators have no found evidence that the internal fire that sent smoke billowing through a parked and empty Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner in London on Friday was linked to problematic aircraft batteries, Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said on Saturday. In a statement, the agency said that "it is clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship.
September 13, 1992
A word of warning: Smoke detectors in motel rooms may not have batteries. My daughter and I discovered this after escaping from a 4 a.m. fire in British Columbia. We heard no alarm--someone knocked at our door and saved many lives. At our next stop the motel manager said the motel had detectors. Unfortunately, there were no batteries in them. PATRICIA MELNIKER Los Angeles
October 31, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Computer makers are recalling 100,000 laptop battery packs made by Sony Corp. after 40 reports of overheating, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall applies to Sony 2.15Ah lithium-ion cell batteries made in Japan and sold in laptops made by Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Toshiba Corp. Some incidents involved smoke or flames, according to Sony. Details, including laptop model numbers, are posted on the commission's website at
March 26, 2008 | From Reuters
Dell Inc. said Tuesday that the computer industry was experiencing a shortage of batteries for laptop models in part because of a recent fire at a major supplier. The computer maker said it was working with other suppliers to limit any price increases. Dell, the world's second-largest PC maker after Hewlett-Packard Co.
March 28, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler under fire for contaminating nearby homes with lead and threatening the health of more than 100,000 people with its arsenic emissions is in trouble once again for emitting more than the permitted level of lead, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. As a result, the agency will order Exide to curtail its operations by 15%. On March 22 and 23, an air monitor on the northeast side of the Exide Technologies plant, near the Los Angeles River, picked up lead levels that were high enough to cause the outdoor air concentration to exceed 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 30-day average - a violation of rules designed to protect public health.
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Tests of 39 homes and one preschool within two miles of the plant revealed that all had levels of lead in the soil that should trigger health evaluations. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause children to develop learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
March 19, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Furious residents confronted state officials at a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the high levels of lead found in the backyards of homes near a Vernon battery recycling plant. "We've been hearing the same junk over and over and over," said Robert Cabrales, an organizer with the environmental justice group Communities for a Better Environment. "When are we going to see cleanup in our communities?" The meeting came one week after state officials announced that soil testing had revealed elevated levels of lead in the soil at homes and a park north and south of the Exide Technologies plant.
March 19, 2014 | By Dominic Gates
SEATTLE - A review of crucial systems on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner ordered immediately after two serious 787 battery failures in January 2013 has concluded that the jetliner is safe, meets design standards and is about as reliable as other Boeing aircraft were after being introduced, according to a final report published Wednesday. The review, conducted by Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Co. technical experts, also validates the oversight role played by the regulatory agency, concluding that "the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues.
March 17, 2014 | By Kate Mather
Kanye West received two years' probation and was ordered to take anger management classes Monday after pleading no contest to misdemeanor battery on a paparazzo last summer at Los Angeles International Airport. The 36-year-old rapper was not in court Monday but entered his plea via attorney Blair Berk. West had pleaded not guilty in November to the misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and attempted grand theft in connection with the July 19 scuffle. The grand theft charge was dropped in exchange for the plea. Each of the counts carried a penalty of up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
March 17, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Kanye West entered a no-contest plea Monday to a charge of battery stemming from his tangle with a paparazzo last September at Los Angeles International Airport. As part of the deal, the "Yeezus" rapper faces no jail time, instead getting sentenced to two years' probation, 24 anger-management sessions and 250 hours of community service, L.A. Now reported. He must also stay 100 yards away from the victim, videographer Danny Ramos. West was charged originally with misdemeanor counts of battery and attempted grand theft, allegedly having tried to take Ramos' equipment, but the latter charge was dropped in the plea deal.
January 31, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Despite numerous incidents and high-profile fires involving lithium-ion batteries on its new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, aerospace giant Boeing Co. defended installing the technology on the plane and vowed to quickly determine what went wrong. The 787 has been grounded since Jan. 16 by the Federal Aviation Administration because of problems with onboard lithium-ion batteries. Investigators around the world are looking into the matter. In a conference call announcing Boeing's fourth-quarter earnings, Chief Executive James McNerney said the company is working with customers and the regulatory agencies to get the matter resolved but is not permitted to comment directly on the ongoing investigations.
June 20, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Gateway Inc. is recalling 14,000 lithium ion battery packs because they pose a fire hazard. The battery packs in question were sold from May 2003 to August 2003, the Irvine firm said.
March 13, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The first Zoila Meeks heard about pollution from a Vernon battery recycler was when workers showed up at her Boyle Heights home last month and asked to dig up her yard to test for lead. They found it, and now Meeks and dozens of other residents in this quiet neighborhood of tree-lined streets tucked near the Los Angeles River are left wondering whether their health has been threatened, and what is going to happen to their homes. "It's very scary," said Meeks, who has a 7-month-old daughter.
March 11, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison and Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants - the first being the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon. The team of public health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others will look for ways to close the plant, which has been accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people with lead and arsenic emissions. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the South Coast Air Quality Management District regulate the plant, but Supervisor Gloria Molina said she has grown frustrated with what she views as a lack of swift action to protect public health.
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