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August 17, 2008 | Peter Y. Hong
The latest home value estimates from contain an interesting set of numbers on Los Angeles-area homes that are underwater -- that is, more is owed on the mortgages than the houses are worth. Only about 1% of L.A-area homes purchased in 2003 have negative equity, Zillow reports. But a bell curve emerges, with 24% of homes purchased in 2004 now underwater. The peak year for home purchases that are now in negative equity was 2006 -- 71% of homes purchased then are now upside-down.
April 14, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Investigators looking for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have put away their towed pinger locator and are about to call off searches for surface debris. Now, it's all up to a little yellow robotic submarine to find the missing Boeing 777 in an area bigger than the city of Los Angeles. Technicians aboard the Australian ship Ocean Shield on Monday afternoon deployed the Bluefin-21 underwater autonomous vehicle in the Indian Ocean, sending it almost three miles down to the seabed and using its side-scanning sonar arrays to look for wreckage from the plane.  “It is time to go underwater,” retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search from Perth, Australia, said in announcing the new phase of operations.  Unless the robot sub gets lucky, the process could take a while: The U.S. Navy, which lent the Bluefin-21 to the search team, said mapping the area where the plane most likely disappeared could take six weeks to two months.  The 16-foot, 1,650-pound sub moves at a walking pace and will be searching an area of about 600 square miles.
March 8, 2009 | Peter Y. Hong
One out of five U.S. mortgage holders is now underwater, according to First American CoreLogic's latest review of 45 million mortgages in its database. The study covers the fourth quarter of 2008, during which the percentage of mortgage holders owing more than their properties are worth climbed to 20%, two percentage points higher than the 18% rate the previous quarter. In the Los Angeles area, 307,153 -- or about 23% -- of mortgage holders were upside down. California's 30% rate of negative equity places it in a tie for fifth place with Florida.
April 13, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- An unmanned underwater vehicle will be deployed to look for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on the floor of the Indian Ocean, Australian authorities said Monday, and investigators have collected samples from an oil slick discovered in the search area. With six days having passed with no further detection of “pings” from what may have been the plane's black boxes, searchers on the Australian ship Ocean Shield will cease using the U.S. Navy's towed pinger locator and deploy the Bluefin-21 underwater search vessel, officials said.
March 31, 2010
Mortgage misery Re "White House takes new aim at mortgage mess," March 27, and "Underwater rescues," Editorial, March 27 I'm waiting for a Times article on the responsible homeowner who made his or her purchase with a traditional down payment and mortgage, did not take on additional leverage, continues to make payments despite owing more than the house is worth, and is now being squeezed by recession-level wages coupled with...
May 30, 2009 | Times Staff And Wire Reports
Scientists have discovered a massive underwater volcano off of Indonesia's western coast. The 15,000-foot-high mountain spans 30 miles, said government marine scientist Yusuf Surachman Djajadihardja. It is not clear whether the volcano is active, but he said that if it is and it erupts, it will be "very, very dangerous."
November 25, 2009 | By E. Scott Reckard
A major provider of mortgage data said Tuesday that the percentage of "underwater" homeowners -- people who owe more than their homes are worth -- is significantly lower than the firm had previously reported. First American CoreLogic said it changed its methodology to take into account two things that the firm's previous data hadn't reflected: how much of a loan's principal had been paid down, and how much of a home equity line of credit was actually being used. The result: The owners of 23% of all mortgaged residential properties had negative equity in their homes in the third quarter.
November 22, 2009 | By Lew Sichelman
That some underwater owners -- whose houses are worth less than what they owe -- are walking away from their homes even though they can still afford to make their mortgage payments has been well reported, if not well documented. But just how prevalent are these "strategic defaults"? And what are the social and moral ramifications of jumping ship? The answer to that first question is difficult to measure, if only because people who do make a conscious decision to ditch their mortgages, although they can still pay them, have every reason to disguise themselves as people who can no longer afford their loans.
June 9, 1985
Thank you, "Nova," for the documentary titled "Jaws: The True Story." Special thanks to the marine biologists and underwater cameramen who risked their lives to produce some of the finest underwater footage yet on the Great White Shark. Gerald Steven Tlapa, Los Angeles
June 26, 1989
A large underwater earthquake shook Hawaii Island, collapsing one house at Kalapana, causing landslides north of Hilo and generating a small tidal wave, according to authorities and residents. No injuries were reported from the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.5, was centered eight miles off the island's southeastern coast, near an underwater volcano named Loihi, said Bruce Turner, a geophysicist at the warning center in Honolulu.
March 26, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
The U.S. Navy is sending an advanced underwater drone outfitted with sonar equipment to the southern Indian Ocean as part of search efforts to find missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The 16-foot, 1,650-pound unmanned submarine is currently aboard the Seahorse Standard, a Royal Australian Navy ship headed toward a wide expanse of water in a remote and treacherous part of the ocean. Built by Bluefin Robotics Corp. of Quincy, Mass., the Bluefin-21 drone dives as deep as 14,763 feet.
March 26, 2014 | By Barbara Demick and W.J. Hennigan
BEIJING - Malaysian authorities said Wednesday that they were encouraged by new images from European satellites showing 122 floating objects off the Australian coast that could be debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. The discovery bolstered hope of finding wreckage from the Boeing 777, believed to have crashed March 8 in the choppy seas 1,500 miles southwest of Perth. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Thursday morning that 11 aircraft and five ships from the U.S., Australia, China and Japan had resumed the search, which will cover 30,000 square miles.
March 16, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - The economy may be growing at a frustratingly slow pace, but one piece of it is booming: American homeowners' equity holdings - the market value of their houses minus their mortgage debts - soared by nearly $2.1 trillion last year to $10 trillion. Big numbers, you say, and hard to grasp. But look at it this way: Thanks to rising prices and equity levels, about 4 million owners around the country last year were able to climb out of the financial tar pit of the housing bust - negative equity.
March 3, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Scientists have strapped cameras onto free-swimming sharks, capturing a shark's-eye view of their underwater world. The footage from 14 tiger sharks, six Galapagos sharks, five sandbar sharks, five bluntnose sixgill sharks and a prickly shark is the first to be taken of sharks, by sharks in their natural environment. One clip from a camera attached to a male sandbar shark show the pursuit of a female; another shows its wearer's point of view as it meets up with dozens of other sharks in a mixed group - including sandbars, oceanic blacktips and scalloped hammerheads - and swimming together for most of the day. The discoveries, presented last week at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, reveal the complex daily lives of these fierce, sharp-toothed swimmers in their natural environment.  “I was really amazed by all the images we got back,” said lead author Carl Meyer, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii.
February 3, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Some mysterious underwater circles spotted in the Baltic Sea have been explained, and poison is to blame. But let's back up and start from the beginning. In 2008, a tourist to the island of Mon in Denmark noticed strange patterns in the shallow waters beneath the island's striking white chalk cliffs. As you can see in the image above, the patterns looked like circles, and they were rather large. Some of them were as much as 50 feet in diameter. Speculations were far ranging: Were the circles remnants of bomb craters from World War II?
December 6, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
The Navy has launched a drone from a submerged submarine, a feat that could prove valuable in providing intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities for military special operations for decades to come. The small drone was fired from the Providence submarine's torpedo tube, where it unfolded its wings, took off and flew a “several hour” mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to the sub, the Navy said. The project, which took $15 million and about six years to accomplish, was carried out by the Naval Research Laboratory.
August 20, 1989
I wish to respond to your piece, "Scripps Sewage Tack Differs in Own Back Yard," (Aug. 11.) Reputable scientists have never stated that there is no influence of outfalls on the local flora and fauna. Most natural communities are very sensitive to increases or decreases in food production and the organic loading in sewage effluent represents a huge increase in food to the surrounding area with well-described local changes. The question is, is this important? In the context of the overall state of the ocean, the answer is no. In the context of recreational and commercial use of the coastal ocean near shore, the answer is again, no, if outfalls have been properly sited offshore at depth as the one at Point Loma is. In the context of trying to maintain an underwater reserve, the answer may well be, yes, which is why Scripps questioned the location of an outfall north of the underwater reserve, and north of Scripps pier where the intake for seawater used for research and aquarium purposes is withdrawn.
September 25, 2008
Navy Unmanned Surface Vehicles: An article in Friday's California section on the unveiling of the Navy's Unmanned Surface Vehicles put the cost of the first of the two vehicles and sonar gear at $197 million and said that in the future the price is scheduled to drop to $46 million per boat. The $197-million figure covers research and development for the first two anti-submarine warfare packages, and it should have said that each package includes two Unmanned Surface Vehicles, three underwater sensor systems, computer software and maintenance, and support equipment.
November 21, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
An exploding underwater volcano is causing a new island to form in the Pacific Ocean about 620 miles south of Tokyo, and you can watch a bit of its dramatic rise in the video above. The video, showing thick plumes of steam and ash shooting out of the new volcanic island, was captured this week by the Japan Coast Guard. The new island -- really more of an islet -- is just 600 feet in diameter, according to an Associated Press report . And it is unclear whether it is here to stay.
October 29, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
David Dayen spots  a new blow for underwater homeowners that thus far has flown under the radar: the coming expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, scheduled for Dec. 31. The act is a mouthful, but it's been a crucial factor in helping countless families get out from under bad mortgages. Simply put, the act relieves homeowners from having to pay taxes on any loan forgiveness they receive in a mortgage restructuring. (The maximum exemption is $2 million for a couple.)
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