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Library Fire

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NEWS
March 1, 1987 | CAROL McGRAW and BORIS YARO, Times Staff Writers
Arson investigators said Saturday that they are "convinced" that the man they have been interrogating since Friday is responsible for last year's fire at the Los Angeles Central Library. But friends and relatives of the suspect, 28-year-old Harry Peak, said that the part-time actor must have inadvertently lied his way into jail. They portrayed him as a gregarious person who often lost friends and jobs by telling tall tales to gain attention.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 1997 | NICK GREEN
A Santa Paula library employee who filed a sexual harassment claim against its top administrator has been fired by the library's governing board. The panel unanimously decided Thursday to fire Cynthia Chamberlain, administrative assistant to director Dan Robles. Robles also is chairman of the local elementary school board. The action was not unexpected. Robles informed Chamberlain last month that she would be fired.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 1996 | SCOTT STEEPLETON
An arson blaze in an after-hours drop box over the weekend destroyed some books and left librarians at Ventura's E.P. Foster Library cleaning up the smoke and water damage Monday. Firefighters said someone stuffed burning papers inside the book return slot of the downtown library early Sunday, causing about $2,000 damage. Library operations were not affected by the fire, which was reported about 4 a.m. and quickly put out by the Ventura Fire Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 1997 | JOSH MEYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two very different political campaigns are quietly unfolding across the vast reaches of Los Angeles County, where voters are being asked to go to the polls June 3 to pay for $62 million worth of important services threatened by the passage of tax-cutting Proposition 218. Unlike other recent elections, there are no slick TV ads or even radio spots for either of the two ballot initiatives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1986
The fire at the Los Angeles Central Library brought back vivid memories of its early days in this city of my birth. Well do I remember the family trek (in our family Studebaker) to the downtown Main Library, situated on two floors of the Metropolitan building (gone now, I think)--religiously, every Friday. Adult literature was on one floor--children's on the other. Our family parted in the elevator, Mama and Papa to their favorite stacks. At that time, fairy tales and idealistic stories about dogs and girls like "The Little Colonel Series" by Annie Fellows Johnston, were my favorites.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1988
The lastest fire to hit the Los Angeles Central Library was caused by accident and not by an arsonist, Fire Department officials said Wednesday. City arson investigators determined that a pile of debris was set on fire by pieces of lighting fixtures that were cut with torches during construction on the fourth floor and dropped through a shaft to the basement, Fire Inspector Ed Reed said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 1986 | BOB BAKER, Times Staff Writer
The process of defrosting, cleaning and reshelving more than 1 million books damaged by water or smoke in the Central Library fire will be more massive, complicated and expensive than the salvage operation that saved them, according to restoration experts who are preparing to bid on the job.
NEWS
May 5, 1986 | GARRY ABRAMS, Times Staff Writer
The volunteer effort that brought an estimated 1,500 book lovers to the Los Angeles Central Library over the weekend began with a hurried conference under the library's rotunda, where the lingering smell of smoke was a bitter reminder of destruction.
NEWS
April 27, 1988 | KATHERINE M. GRIFFIN, Times Staff Writer
Sally Buchanan can tell librarians exactly how to salvage millions of scorched and soggy books. But her advice varies depending on whether the books are in Los Angeles or Leningrad. Buchanan, an expert in library disaster management, recently returned from facing her biggest professional challenge. She and two colleagues were invited to advise Soviet officials after the largest and most destructive library fire in history raced through the Soviet Academy of Sciences Library in Leningrad.
NEWS
April 28, 1987 | PATT MORRISON and CATHLEEN DECKER, Times Staff Writers
It may have taken only one book, and only one match. But by 11 a.m. on a warm Tuesday morning, April 29, 1986, when the alarms started clanging through the venerable, rattletrap Los Angeles Central Library, that book--or whatever it had been--was already cinders. And the person who had put flame to paper was already gone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 1996 | SCOTT STEEPLETON
An arson blaze in an after-hours drop box over the weekend destroyed some books and left librarians at Ventura's E.P. Foster Library cleaning up the smoke and water damage Monday. Firefighters said someone stuffed burning papers inside the book return slot of the downtown library early Sunday, causing about $2,000 damage. Library operations were not affected by the fire, which was reported about 4 a.m. and quickly put out by the Ventura Fire Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1993 | KEVIN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A new accounting of the county budget crisis released Thursday calls for all libraries to close on Fridays--and some to close three days a week--the elimination of two fire stations and the loss of up to 450 county jobs. "This has to be the worst budget I've ever participated in," said county Budget Director Ronald S. Rubino. "I've never seen anything like this." The report says that $80 million in cuts would be split almost evenly between general fund and special districts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 1991
Harry Peak, once the prime suspect in the 1986 Central Library fire, has agreed to a tentative settlement of his $15-million false imprisonment lawsuit against the city, attorneys for both sides said Wednesday. Under the agreement, which must be approved by the Los Angeles City Council, Peak would receive $35,000 and the city would dismiss a $23.6-million countersuit it filed against him, according to Senior Assistant City Atty. Thomas Hokinson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1991 | PATT MORRISON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Harry Peak is dying. The man who was jailed briefly as the chief suspect in the 1986 arson fire that ravaged the city's Central Library has at best about six months to live, according to court documents. Peak's terminal illness has prompted an agreement between his attorney and the city to speed up the trial of Peak's multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleging false imprisonment and the city's cross-complaint against him.
NEWS
December 22, 1988
The City Council has voted to place on the April 11 ballot a bond issue that would provide $8 million to replace a fire station and make library improvements. City officials say the county library facility is substandard and cannot meet the needs of West Hollywood residents. The library expansion would provide space for a community meeting room and special library programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1988
The lastest fire to hit the Los Angeles Central Library was caused by accident and not by an arsonist, Fire Department officials said Wednesday. City arson investigators determined that a pile of debris was set on fire by pieces of lighting fixtures that were cut with torches during construction on the fourth floor and dropped through a shaft to the basement, Fire Inspector Ed Reed said.
OPINION
May 11, 1986
To the brave firemen who risked their lives in the library fire, thank you for saving the memories of this city's past and present for the people of tomorrow. DONN DUFFORD Pasadena
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 1987
When UK/LA--a celebration of British arts--comes to Los Angeles next year, one of the beneficiaries will be the Los Angeles Central Library's "Save-the-Books" campaign. At a City Hall news conference Tuesday, Mayor Tom Bradley, along with American and British officials backing the festival, announced a dinner to raise cash for books damaged in the April, 1986, library fire. The Feb.
NEWS
September 15, 1988
A fire official says arson was the cause of a weekend fire that gutted the library at Pius X High School in Downey, causing $1.5 million in damage and the loss of 10,000 books. Pages from books or papers from files were probably used to start the fire that raged for a little more than an hour in the second-floor library at the Catholic school, Downey fire Inspector Dennis Lockard said this week.
NEWS
April 27, 1988 | KATHERINE M. GRIFFIN, Times Staff Writer
Sally Buchanan can tell librarians exactly how to salvage millions of scorched and soggy books. But her advice varies depending on whether the books are in Los Angeles or Leningrad. Buchanan, an expert in library disaster management, recently returned from facing her biggest professional challenge. She and two colleagues were invited to advise Soviet officials after the largest and most destructive library fire in history raced through the Soviet Academy of Sciences Library in Leningrad.
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