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Ralph Vartabedian

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NATIONAL
November 13, 2009 | Ralph Vartabedian
A sea of ancient water tainted by the Cold War is creeping deep under the volcanic peaks, dry lake beds and pinyon pine forests covering a vast tract of Nevada. Over 41 years, the federal government detonated 921 nuclear warheads underground at the Nevada Test Site, 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Each explosion deposited a toxic load of radioactivity into the ground and, in some cases, directly into aquifers. When testing ended in 1992, the Energy Department estimated that more than 300 million curies of radiation had been left behind, making the site one of the most radioactively contaminated places in the nation.
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NATIONAL
March 22, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe. The $12-billion project is one of the largest single industrial investments in the nation, part of a massive transformation of the energy sector that has led to a boom in drilling, transportation and refining from coast to coast. Five years ago, the idea of exporting U.S. gas and oil was not only unheard of, but, in the case of most U.S. crude oil, illegal.
BUSINESS
January 2, 1991
Editor: Linda Darnell Williams News Editor: Steven Seiler Artist: Michael Hall Reporters: Jane Applegate Bob Baker James Bates Michael Cieply Alan Citron Bob Dallos Tom Furlong James S. Granelli Amy Harmon Bruce Horovitz Kathy M. Kristof Marie L. La Ganga Carla Lazzareschi Patrick Lee Robert Rosenblatt Stuart Silverstein Ralph Vartabedian George White
AUTOS
May 17, 2006 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
When it comes to auto safety, the most basic and seemingly simple issues are sometimes the least understood. The auto industry invests billions of dollars each year in technology to make cars safer. Laws are passed by legislators every year with the intent to make roads safer. And experts debate endlessly about whether teens or older people should be denied some or all driving privileges. But all this ignores some rudimentary matters, such as which foot you brake with.
NEWS
August 26, 1999 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If you ever hear an automotive battery explode, you will gain a newfound respect for the raw power packed into these heavy lead-acid devices under your hood. It's nearly as loud as a gunshot, as the plastic case blows apart--followed by the sound of toxic, highly concentrated sulfuric acid bubbling to the ground. The risk of explosion is labeled on every automotive battery, though few motorists bother to read such warnings, let alone take them seriously.
NEWS
November 29, 2000 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Conventional wisdom about broken glass and other kinds of hazards encountered on the road abounds. The sight of smashed glass on the highway prompts most motorists to swerve to avoid damaging their tires. Potholes are generally viewed as obstacles, sort of a test of one's driving skills. Rubbing a tire against the curb is considered unfortunately clumsy, but nothing to worry about. Such thinking is correct in some cases and entirely wrong in others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The Proud Bird, the historic LAX restaurant that has been a hangout for some of the nation's biggest aviation pioneers, will remain open for at least another year after the owner was able to secure a temporary new lease from the Los Angeles World Airports. John Tallichet had announced last month that the restaurant would close, after an unsuccessful two-year effort to negotiate a new long-term lease. He said he remained hopeful a last-minute deal could save the restaurant that his father, a bomber pilot during World War II, had opened.
NEWS
November 1, 2000 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Is the fuel-injection cleaning sold by many independent garages and dealerships a sound investment in your vehicle, or a marginally beneficial service pushed on consumers to fatten profits? Fuel-injection service is part of a bigger trend in automotive maintenance that includes such procedures as flushes for crankcases, power-steering pumps and cooling systems, as well as for differentials and other lubricated parts.
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