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WORLD
February 11, 2011 | By a Times Staff Writer
They stand like ghosts from a bygone era, struggling to maintain a shabby dignity in the face of creeping foliage and years of neglect, all the while fueling a debate: Should they be protected as rare treasures or leveled as worthless junk? Preservationists fear that Yangon's several hundred colonial-era buildings, a legacy of the British Empire at its height, will succumb to voracious Chinese property developers with a history of building tacky shopping malls for a quick buck. Several low- and mid-market malls have sprouted up in recent years, most a few miles from the run-down, old downtown area where the vintage buildings are concentrated, raising concern that Yangon will become just another noisy, ugly Asian city of mini-malls and sprawl.
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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.
HOME & GARDEN
December 26, 2009 | By Sam Watters
Brinks must be stuffing its armored delivery trucks with Goldman Sachs' annual bonuses. The company's compensation and benefit pool for 2009 is expected to top $20 billion, an average of more than $600,000 for each of the 31,700 company employees whose jobs were saved a year ago by a taxpayer bailout. Among the questions raised by this bonanza: What will bankers do with the money? How to Spend It magazine, published by London's Financial Times, recommends traveling across India by private jet, powder skiing in wintery Japan and collecting priceless art. Donations to boutique charities are OK, but investing billions to benefit the public now in need is not on the list of 2010 spending tips.
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.
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.
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
March 13, 2013 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Two rundown 1920s-era buildings in Long Beach will be converted to a medical office complex as the city's historic downtown notches another addition to its budding revival along North Pine Avenue. The $60-million development will provide offices for Molina Healthcare Inc., a Long Beach medical services provider expected to grow in the next few years by serving more clients through the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Anchoring the development that will cover a city block is the former headquarters of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
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
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia
Los Angeles city building officials have concluded that inspectors would most likely have to visit all of the city's 29,000 older apartment buildings to determine which ones have a certain type of wood frame that is particularly vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake. City staffers are developing a plan to winnow out these so-called “soft” story wood-frame buildings among the 29,000 apartment buildings across the city that were built before 1978, Ifa Kashefi, chief of the engineering bureau at the building and safety department, told a group of structural engineers and stakeholders at the annual Buildings at Risk conference.
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