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Retrofit

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 1994
"Swift Freeway Retrofits Urged" (Feb. 2) and "Public Safety Must Never Take a Back Seat" (editorial, Feb. 6) suggested that the court dispute between Caltrans and the union representing its engineers is to blame for the delay in retrofitting freeway structures. We are saddened that top Caltrans officials would choose a time like this to try to blame their workers for delays in retrofitting freeway structures while Caltrans engineers are working feverishly in overseeing the clearing away of debris as well as preparing plans and contracts for repair of the damaged freeways.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia, Doug Smith
Mayor Eric Garcetti wants buildings across Los Angeles to be graded for their seismic safety as part of an ambitious plan to help residents understand the earthquake risks of their office buildings and apartments. Garcetti announced what would be the nation's first seismic safety grading system for buildings during his State of the City address Thursday, when he also for the first time said he supports some type of mandatory retrofitting of older buildings that have a risk of collapse in a major earthquake.
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HOME & GARDEN
January 2, 2010 | By Paul Young
State and federal financial incentives may be encouraging homeowners to go green in 2010, but Don Foster and Erin Quigley decided not to wait. The couple live in a circa-1920 L.A. home designed by Theodore Eisen, one of the architects behind the Doheny Mansion downtown and the Lummis Home in Highland Park. This Eisen house is actually twin residences that Foster and Quigley merged into one large, cozy place where they can entertain friends and family and still have their respective work spaces.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Tesla Motors Inc. has announced plans to reinforce the undercarriage of about 16,000 cars with high-strength shields to reduce the risk of damage from a crash starting a fire. Elon Musk, the electric car company's chief executive, outlined the retrofit Friday morning, at the same time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it has signed off on the changes and was closing a probe into two fires that occurred in Tesla Model S sports sedans. The NHTSA said it has not identified a safety defect trend that would justify asking Tesla to issue a recall for the Model S. It said "consumers should have their vehicles serviced promptly once they receive notification from Tesla Motors.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2009
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2009 | Associated Press
Transit officials said Monday that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge -- which was shut down over the holiday weekend for a seismic retrofit -- will not reopen in time for today's morning commute. The announcement left thousands of drivers to find alternate ways to get into San Francisco, setting the stage for possible gridlock on other Bay Area bridges and roads. Workers are repairing a crack in the span, which they discovered during a seismic retrofit project that involved cutting out a section of the eastern span and replacing it with a new double-deck section.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2000
Re "Another Defect in Interchange Bridges Found," Jan. 14: Could it be a coincidence that Caltrans has spent $4 billion over the last four years to retrofit bridges for earthquakes but hired "just one overworked inspector [to] sift over hundreds of thousands of X-rays of critical welded joints"? Given the number of defective rebar welds discovered in California's bridges, it is obvious that the job of Caltrans to supervise the construction companies that profit enormously from freeway seismic retrofit has not been done.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
About 67,000 child car seats manufactured by Combi USA Inc. are being recalled because federal tests showed that they might separate from their bases in front-end collisions, the company said. Combi USA said it would offer free retrofit kits to consumers who contacted the company. "In the meantime, Combi recommends that consumers use the Combi Centre and Shuttle without the base until the retrofit kit is installed," the recall notice said. The recall involves Centre, Centre ARB and Shuttle seats (model Nos. 8065, 8074, 8086, 8087 and 8520)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 1999
I believe that a very workable option was left out of your Nov. 14 article, "Pressure Builds on Navy to Open Its Last All-Male Domain: Submarines." Give the women a submarine of their own. This would eliminate mixed crews and the fear of pregnancy. Millions of dollars would not be needed to retrofit the submarines and some of the most talented officers coming out of the Naval Academy would get a chance to show their mettle. JEFF ORR Diamond Bar
OPINION
October 16, 2005
Re "How Risky Are Older Concrete Buildings?" Oct. 11 The article implies that retrofits would require constructing shear walls and wrapping the columns in "stronger, more resilient material than the old concrete." Column wrapping does not necessarily mean major reconstruction of buildings. Caltrans has used steel, carbon and glass-fiber sheets to wrap columns to increase ductility in freeway overpasses. The Navy has used similar techniques on pilings under piers. This is a proven technology that the article should have mentioned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
Little-used housing rules may already allow apartment owners to pass on all seismic retrofit costs to tenants in Los Angeles, according to city officials. The rules may allow owners to impose higher rent hikes than normally allowed under the city's rent control law. Such rent increases could encourage owners to strengthen apartment buildings at risk of collapse in a major earthquake. The laws were uncovered following questions by Councilman Bernard C. Parks to the city's housing department, as city officials debate whether to require retrofits of quake-vulnerable buildings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
A Los Angeles City Council member wants to allow owners who seismically retrofit apartment buildings to pass on the costs to tenants. Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore exempting these apartment owners from the city's rent-control law as part of a larger effort by city officials to strengthen thousands of buildings vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake. Under existing laws, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants, Parks said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
A Los Angeles City Council member wants to allow owners who seismically retrofit apartment buildings to pass on the costs of earthquake strengthening to tenants. Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore giving these apartment owners an exemption from the city's rent control law to "incentivize retrofitting. " Right now, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants. Parks wants city staff to evaluate passing through all of the costs to tenants but do it “over a reasonable period of time.” Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers of older concrete and wooden "soft-story" buildings for years, but  concerns about costs killed earlier efforts  in L.A. to require retrofits of privately-owned buildings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug Smith
Santa Monica will become the first city in California to inspect concrete, steel and wood-frame buildings and require seismic retrofitting for those deemed vulnerable during a major earthquake. The city will spend more than $100,000 over the next year identifying potentially dangerous buildings, then property owners must show they are safe or fix them. City officials said they will determine over the next few months how much time the owners have to complete the retrofitting. The survey is expected to cover hundreds of buildings, including steel office towers, older concrete buildings and wood multistory apartment houses that dot the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Doug Smith and Rosanna Xia
Santa Monica will become the first city in California to inspect concrete, steel and wood-frame buildings and require seismic retrofitting for those deemed vulnerable during a major earthquake. The city will spend more than $100,000 over the next year identifying potentially dangerous buildings, then property owners must show they are safe or fix them. City officials said they would determine over the next few months how much time the owners have to complete the retrofitting. The survey is expected to cover hundreds of buildings, including steel office towers, older concrete buildings and wood multistory apartment houses that dot the city.
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | By Ted Rall
Angelenos try not to think about the shifting plates beneath their feet and their wheels, but everyone knows the Big One is coming -- and a Bad Enough One is coming sooner than that. Short of moving somewhere where tectonics aren't quite as disconcerting (i.e., where it snows), there isn't much we can do about earthquakes. But we can prepare for the worst by mitigating the damage. Toward that end, Los Angeles city building officials are creating a list of "soft-story" wood-frame buildings that were built before 1978.
NEWS
November 20, 1988
Thank you for Connie Koenenn's superb article on Julia Russell's Eco-Home ("Starting at Home," Oct. 31). The response has been so very heartening. Hundreds of people have been calling from all over Southern California. They are people who have been doing or planning similar ecological retrofitting of their homes, apartments and their consciousness: people with solar pool heaters, apartment composting, parents who want their children to know a more ecological way of being in our city and on the planet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1996
The March 11 editorial, "Yes on Two Bond Measures," is disappointing. Recent attacks on the MTA for a number of construction blunders, while well-deserved, come after decades of ignoring more serious, catastrophic engineering design errors in Caltrans projects. Background and history regarding the fragility of 8,000 California highway bridges have been gracefully ignored. The recent drainage problem on the Century Freeway was relegated to B1 (March 6). The failure of bridges on the Santa Monica Freeway two years ago was treated as a Caltrans tour de force, instead of an egregious cover-up of a foul-up.
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.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
After a series of fiery crashes involving trains hauling crude oil, the railroad industry called on the federal government Thursday to significantly strengthen safety standards for new tank cars and require retrofitting of the nation's huge fleet of existing tankers. Tank car safety has taken on greater urgency as the oil industry turns to rail to ship the massive increases in oil production that are occurring in shale fields not served by major pipelines, including North Dakota, Colorado and south Texas.
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