March 28, 2014 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - As you roll into this urbane beach city you can easily understand why most soccer fans will choose to be based here, if possible, during the FIFA World Cup, the sport's premiere international competition that begins June 12. Brazil's former capital and a resurgent cosmopolitan city, Rio has most of the urban offerings you would expect in a major destination, such as museums, restaurants and night life. But it's really the city's natural beauty and bright blue skies that make the trip worthwhile and make visitors more likely to forgive the high prices, lackluster service and spontaneous logistical breakdowns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 |
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday it expects federal officials to bring criminal charges against the company in connection with a 2010 gas pipeline blast that devastated a San Bruno neighborhood and killed eight people. PG&E said it was negotiating with the U.S. attorney's office for some type of resolution but provided few details. A spokesperson for the office in San Francisco declined to comment on the investigation or say what if any charges were being considered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 |
Crews worked Tuesday to fix a fingertip-sized hole in an underground pipe that allowed about 1,200 gallons of crude oil to seep onto a quiet residential street in Wilmington. Phillips 66, which earlier in the day said it was almost positive that it was not to blame for the leak, later took responsibility and put the blame on one of its out-of-service pipes. Don Ellis, a hazardous-materials specialist with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said that when an underground oil pipeline is withdrawn from use, it is supposed to be capped and the material inside vacuumed out. Janet Grothe, a spokeswoman for Phillips 66, said the company would investigate why oil remained in the pipe, which she said was taken out of service before Phillips 66 acquired it. Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, who was touring the area, said the pipe had been withdrawn from service in 1998.
March 16, 2014 |
City government is not necessarily known for its willingness to try new things or move quickly, or its flexibility in issuing permits. Activists and businesses often complain that attempts to beautify their communities get tied up in red tape. But a program from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation offers hope of a new ethos emerging in City Hall, one that empowers neighborhoods and city agencies to experiment with urban design. The program, called "People St," invites community groups to apply for the right to convert a piece of city street into a plaza, a parklet or bike parking for one year.
March 12, 2014 |
Newport Beach, one of Southern California's most affluent cities, is about to transform an industrial area near John Wayne Airport into a distinctly urban community of homes and shops. Uptown Newport Village will replace a pair of aging industrial buildings on 25 acres near the airport with a walkable neighborhood of shops, restaurants, parks and upscale homes and apartments, according to Shopoff Group, an Irvine developer. Mayor Rush N. Hill, who is an architect, said he is excited about the project and pleased that it will be a dense neighborhood by local standards.
March 12, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Terrorism. An earthquake. A jet crash. Neighbors thought the worst when a deafening blast shook a busy Manhattan street Wednesday, leveling two buildings, killing at least three people and hurling bricks, concrete and other debris onto nearby rooftops. Officials said the explosion was caused by a gas leak, which was reported minutes before the blast on 116th Street in East Harlem, a vibrant neighborhood of corner bodegas, churches, shops and apartment buildings. 2:40 a.m. update: The Associated Press reports that a sixth person has been confirmed killed by the explosion that flattened two New York City apartment buildings.