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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
 Worried about a certain type of wood-framed building particularly vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake, a Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday ordered building officials to come up with a plan to identify these structures. Los Angeles officials have long known about the risk of so-called soft-story buildings, particularly after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when about 200 of these structures were seriously damaged or destroyed. The Northridge Meadows apartment complex was one of them, and 16 people died, many crushed to death in their beds.
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OPINION
December 3, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety will propose a plan for identifying which of the approximately 29,000 apartment buildings constructed in the city before 1978 might be potentially deadly wood frame "soft-story" structures. These buildings, supported by inadequate perimeter walls around open spaces on the ground level - such as carports - run the risk of collapsing during a serious earthquake, causing injury and death. In the 1994 Northridge earthquake, about 200 soft-story buildings were severely damaged or destroyed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Some of the most extensive damage and loss of life from recent earthquakes in California have occurred in apartment houses where dwellings sit on top of a ground-level parking garage or a storefront. The shaking undermines the bottom floor, causing the buildings to collapse and in some cases to pancake. After years of study and debate, San Francisco on Thursday formally adopted a new law requiring owners to retrofit thousands of these so-called wood-frame soft-story buildings, marking the most sweeping seismic regulations in California in years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Jean Merl
More than 100 buildings are threatened and more than 1,200 acres have burned in a Santa Barbara County wildfire that could be pushed deeper into the brush Tuesday by dangerously strong winds. The so-called White fire appears to have started near a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest at about 2:30 p.m. Monday. The blaze was only 10% contained Tuesday morning and the U.S. Forest Service predicted firefighters wouldn't gain full control over it until next week. About 1,000 campers and 4,000 mountain residents were evacuated Monday.
WORLD
February 22, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
A devastating magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, killing at least 65 people and collapsing buildings onto victims, some of whom used their cellphones to frantically call for help, officials said. Photos: 6.3 earthquake hits New Zealand Rescuers dug through the rubble overnight amid reports that many people were still trapped and that the death toll could rise much higher. A statement posted on the website of the Christchurch Police Department said the fatalities included "two buses crushed by falling buildings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2011 | By Michael Miller, Los Angeles Times
The old church building looks forlorn at Warner Avenue and Nichols Street in Huntington Beach, its windows boarded up and the sign that juts over the sidewalk mostly smashed. From a distance, the structure doesn't give many indications of the role it once played in Orange County. Near the front door, though, a small cornerstone bears the words "Japanese Presbyterian Church A.D. 1934. " And that's the history that some in Orange County hope to save. The former Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Church — located on a 3.7-acre property along with a historic house, mission and minister's quarters — has belonged to Rainbow Disposal since 2004.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2010 | By Michelle Hofmann
Finding someone to replace windows just got a little more challenging because of tough new lead-safety requirements for contractors working on older homes. The Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which kicked in last month, requires additional safeguards by contractors working on homes, schools and childcare facilities built before U.S. regulators banned lead paint in 1978. The intention is to reduce the harm from lead for contractors and their workers as well as for the people who live, work or attend school in older structures.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2010 | By Roger Vincent
Two dozen state office buildings across California officially go on sale Friday as the cash-strapped state seeks to raise more than $2 billion to pay off some of its long-term debt. The state plans to sell the buildings, which include the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles, and then lease back the office space for state use for at least 20 years. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature approved the sale last June. Under the proposal, for example, the twin-towered Reagan state office building at 3rd and Spring streets would be purchased by an investor who would in turn lease it to the state.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Forty years ago, an enormous, decrepit, crime-ridden St. Louis public housing project was destroyed with dynamite. Television and still pictures of the imploding buildings went viral, so to speak, though that wasn't a term yet. The death of the complex known as Pruitt-Igoe was seized on by any number of groups as validation of their viewpoints. Enemies of modern architecture said the soullessness of the design caused the problem. (Minoru Yamasaki, who went on to design the World Trade Center towers in New York, was the architect.)
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