April 30, 2006 |
My memories of growing up in Southern California in the 1930s are marked by three experiences: an exploding whale, a killer earthquake and a bitter business lesson. All three revolved around my father, the dominant figure in my childhood. Until I left home in my teens to join the Navy, I believed Dad knew almost everything worth knowing. He was only a couple of inches over 5 feet, skinny and coughed like a camel. But, as he bragged, he was "tough as an old boot and smart as a new whip."
September 6, 2005 |
Nine Germans, including six children, were killed when a helicopter dropped a concrete block on a gondola at a popular Austrian ski resort, officials said. Ten others were injured. The helicopter was carrying material to a mountaintop construction site when it dropped the block, knocking one gondola car off its wires and swinging others so violently that their passengers were thrown out.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2004 |
Arnold Stirewalt Gridley, 92, who converted his native city's fabled cable cars for use in movies, parades and commercials, died May 8 in San Francisco of kidney failure. After working in two family-owned businesses, a bar and a rice farm, the San Franciscan made his career in real estate. But in 1958 he bought some of the city's old California Street cable cars at an auction. His family looked askance, but Gridley quickly put them to good use.
February 20, 2004 |
An Austrian court acquitted 16 people of negligence in a ski cable car blaze that killed 155 tourists in November 2000, saying the disaster could not have been foreseen. Relatives of the dead shouted in protest or walked out as the judge cleared resort workers, cable car operators and safety inspectors. Only 12 people survived the accident at the Alpine resort of Kaprun when fire raced through the cable car inside a tunnel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2003 |
Riding San Francisco's cable cars will cost $1 more -- $3 -- under fare increases announced this week by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Muni's first fare increases in 10 years are effective Monday. They are part of a plan allowing Muni to balance a budget shortfall without service cuts. The adult fare for buses and streetcars will rise from $1 to $1.25. There is no increase in the senior, disabled and youth cash fares for buses and streetcars.
January 20, 2003 |
Three cable cars climbing to a hilltop temple in western India plunged to the ground after a support cable snapped, killing seven passengers and injuring 24, police said. Six cable cars were left dangling between two hills. Air force commandos roped down from helicopters to rescue 37 trapped people. Hundreds of devotees travel daily to the temple in Pavagadh -- 110 miles north of Ahmadabad in Gujarat state -- to pray to the Hindu goddess Durga.
June 19, 2002 |
VIENNA -- Sixteen people charged with negligence in Austria's deadliest peacetime disaster went on trial Tuesday, with a prosecutor saying that cable car operators, technicians and government officials created a "mosaic of mistakes" that led to the deaths of 155 people in a grisly ski resort fire. Eight of the victims in the Nov. 11, 2000, inferno in Kaprun, about 50 miles from Salzburg, were Americans. "The fire was preventable," said Salzburg's public prosecutor, Eva Danninger-Soriat.
August 1, 2001 |
Red-hot lava destroyed a cable car station and surged over man-made barriers Tuesday, drawing closer to a popular tourist complex halfway up Mt. Etna. A flow of lava nearly 500 feet wide overran two walls of earth and rock erected to protect the complex--a hostel and a cluster of restaurants and souvenir stands--and was about 165 feet away.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2001 |
His right hand moving in a blur of improvisation, gripman Stephen Dickson bangs the cable car bell with the syncopated clang of a street-cool jazz percussionist. "I call this riff my 'Get out of the way 'cuz I'm coming through the intersection--in B-flat,' " he says. "I'm playing my vintage 1873 bell, so I hope they're listening."
March 1, 2001 |
Despite their private engineers' warnings that track brakes were necessary on the Angels Flight cable cars, city redevelopment officials allowed the builders to alter the design in 1995 to eliminate those brakes and other safety features from the funicular system, city records show.