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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2010 | From a Times staff writer
Voters overwhelmingly gave themselves permission to make earthquake safety upgrades without triggering a property tax reassessment when they passed Proposition 13 on Tuesday. Approved by 84.5% of voters, it was the least controversial of the five measures on the ballot. Put before voters by the Legislature and governor, it had no organized opposition. Previously, buildings made of unreinforced brick and concrete blocks — among the most likely to fail in an earthquake — were subject to reassessment 15 years after seismic upgrades were completed.
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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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
March 13, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
An earthquake fault line should not be drawn underneath Blvd6200, one of Hollywood's largest residential and commercial projects, a lawyer for the developer said Thursday. The lawyer, John M. Bowman, told the state Mining and Geology Board that the fault line drawn by the California Geological Survey "is not clearly detectable … and therefore is not sufficiently well-defined to be included on the map. " A geologist for the developer, Reinard Knur, said he wants to do more studies to support their request the state either delete that section of the fault or move it farther north on its new proposed zoning map. The developer performed some studies this week and plans to submit additional information.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2008 | Bob Pool
A $1.9-million grant to complete the restoration of the Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park has been authorized by state officials, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti announced Monday. The California Cultural and Historical Endowment authorized the allocation for repairs and upgrades, which will include seismic retrofitting and creation of "a museum-quality gallery and design space," he said. The house, at 4800 Hollywood Blvd., was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1921.
OPINION
March 4, 2001
Re "Seismic Engineers Deem Their New Building Unsafe," Feb. 22: The true issue is "how earthquake-safe the buildings occupied by state workers have to be." What the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development engineers really contend is that none of the buildings located in the downtown historic core should be occupied by state workers. In 1993 the state adopted a policy mandating the use of four buildings near the Reagan building, as a program for the revitalization of downtown.
MAGAZINE
March 27, 1994
Regarding "Rubble-Rousing" (Three on the Town, by Jonathan Gold, Feb. 27), I too was out of town when the earthquake hit. And I'm not upset that a bunch of freeways and buildings collapsed. What I can't stand is that everywhere I go, people can't stop talking about their stupid little earthquake experiences. Fine. The first one or two times I heard these stories, they were interesting. Now they're just boring. I'm sorry that people lost their homes and their lives, but I wish the rest of you would just stop yammering about your petty seismic run-ins and get on with your lives.
NEWS
December 2, 1990
Attempts to resuscitate the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena (Times, Nov. 25) should be scrapped in the interest of fiscal sanity. There is no question that the $6 million Pasadena has pledged will double--at a time when we are confronting a crisis in public funding. I simply cannot fathom this bizarre focus on a web of rotting concrete, which is going to collapse anyway in a major seismic displacement. If we must insist on sustaining this sentimental journey of freezing ancient structures in place forever, we cannot have Peter Pan at the helm.
SCIENCE
February 16, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
British and U.S. scientists said Friday that they were exploring plans for a joint lunar mission that would fire missile-like penetrators into the moon's surface. The Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment, or MoonLITE, would put a satellite into orbit around the moon. Three or four projectiles packed with scientific instruments would then be fired and embed just below the lunar surface, the British National Space Center and NASA said. MoonLITE could deliver important information about the moon's structure, such as the size of the lunar core and the source of lunar seismic activity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 1995
With the images of the Kobe disaster fresh in our minds, HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros' urging to quake-prone regions, like Los Angeles, to implement preventive measures that go beyond construction standards in place before the Northridge earthquake is compelling. The problems with the remedies suggested by The Times in its Jan. 19 editorial, "Prepare Now or Be Sorry Later," are twofold. First, The Times argues that every home, every school, every office building should be retrofitted to meet the toughest possible standard regardless of cost, and the state should do more to shoulder the cost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Sunday's magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred close to the Mendocino Triple Junction, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Cape Mendocino, said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist David Oppenhiemer.   The site of many earthquakes, it  is the northern terminus of the San Andreas fault and the southern end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, capable of producing a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that can hit Japan. Sunday's earthquake occurred west of the triple junction on the Gorda plate, which is being hit by the northern advance of the Pacific plate as it moves toward Alaska.
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
January 15, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
In the 20 years since the Northridge earthquake, the state's freeway bridges have been strengthened. A new generation of hospitals, schools and university buildings designed to better withstand a massive quake has risen. But for all those strides, changes in society and technology have left California vulnerable in other ways. The 1994 Northridge disaster occurred in an era before Wi-Fi computer access and at a time when cellphones were still something of a rarity. Seismic safety experts say that if a huge quake strikes the state now, both services would be interrupted - possibly for days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug Smith
California is about to run out of money for mapping earthquake faults, leaving many communities across the state with limited information about the seismic risks of new development. The California Geological Survey has about 300 more fault maps left to complete, including some covering highly populated areas like the Westside of Los Angeles, the San Diego Bay area, and the San Gabriel Valley. But officials say the budget for mapping will run out once the state completes work on the Hollywood fault early next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
Two Los Angeles City Council members are calling for their colleagues to back a statewide ballot measure that provides funding to cities for "earthquake safety improvements," including helping property owners strengthen potentially dangerous buildings that could collapse in a major temblor. The resolution, proposed Friday by Tom LaBonge and seconded by Mitch Englander, asks the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to support or sponsor state legislation that would help fund local seismic safety efforts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan, Rosanna Xia and Ari Bloomekatz
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday he was considering a new "chief resilience officer" to oversee preparations for a major earthquake and ensure Los Angeles can minimize the disaster's damage. Garcetti's suggestion for a top coordinator of earthquake issues came as he prepares to announce what he called "some very concrete steps" to enhance seismic safety in a city with a long history of deadly temblors. "The problem is there are lots of different pieces of this, but there's nobody at City Hall who ultimately is kind of the earthquake expert, so I'm looking at that," Garcetti said.
OPINION
April 19, 2010
The June 8 ballot includes five statewide measures, most of which raise familiar issues. For example, voters must decide whether the two ballot measures that propose to reform elections really can take politics out of, well, politics, and if so, whether that's a good idea. Then they have to figure out if the two initiatives sponsored by private companies protect consumers and taxpayers, as the backers claim, or if they just help out the businesses. With these thorny questions down the ballot, voters can feel some sense of relief that the first measure they'll be confronted with is straightforward and easy to support.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 1995
Although much of Los Angeles has recovered and learned from the Northridge earthquake, it would seem that one of the city's premier institutions of higher learning, UCLA (which lies practically on top of the Newport-Inglewood fault), has yet to assimilate fully all the lessons that Northridge had to offer. At the time of the quake there were a number of UCLA buildings whose seismic safety rating was listed as "poor" or "very poor." One year later the majority of these buildings remain in this unsafe condition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant and Rosanna Xia
Council members Tom LaBonge and Bernard Parks submitted separate motions Tuesday calling on the city to review and make reports on the earthquake safety of the city's older concrete buildings. The motions follow a Times report on concrete buildings that were built before 1976. By the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of the more than 1,000 old concrete buildings in the city would collapse in a major earthquake, exposing thousands to injury or death. INTERACTIVE: L.A.'s hidden dangers LaBonge's motion asks for the city's Department of Building and Safety to take the "first step" and report on possible ways to conduct "a comprehensive survey of non-ductile concrete buildings (built prior to 1976)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2013 | By Doug Smith, Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
When investor Izek Shomof and his family bought the faded Hayward Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, it was home to hundreds of low-income residents, many living alone in single-room units. He decided to keep the building as a residential hotel, so the city didn't require him to perform seismic retrofitting to make it better able to withstand a major earthquake. The story was different for an office building the Shomofs bought down the block on Spring Street, which they converted into upscale lofts for artists and professionals.
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