CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2013 |
A recent study commissioned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission estimates that damage from the Rim fire to the natural environment and to property values could total about $250 million to $1.8 billion. The preliminary assessment released last month places dollar amounts on losses in "environmental benefits," carbon storage and the asset value of property near where the fire burned. Researchers from Earth Economics found losses in environmental benefits of $100 million to $736 million, in carbon storage of $102 million to $797 million, and in private property values of $49.7 million to $265 million.
December 27, 2013 |
Utilities in several states and Canada on Friday continued to work on repairs, hoping to bring tens of thousands of customers back on line after an ice storm last weekend shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people. Michigan and Maine, the states hit the hardest, reported progress but utilities acknowledged that some outages, caused by power lines downed by crusted ice, continued. In Michigan where nearly 600,000 homes and businesses lost power, about 64,000 customers remained in the dark, according to the Associated Press.
December 26, 2013 |
Utility companies worked to restore electricity after fierce ice storms felled power lines in Michigan, parts of upstate New York, New England and Canada during Christmas week, leaving tens of thousands in the dark. Parts of the nation enjoyed a white Christmas, according to the National Weather Service. But with the snow came frigid temperatures that slowed repair efforts and allowed the ice that has weighed down and snapped power lines to persist. “A quarter of an inch of ice is the equivalent of 500 pounds of weight on a span of power line,” Michigan utility company DTE said in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.
December 20, 2013 |
The bottom-of-the-line Benz always faces a tough question: Is it a real Mercedes? That's a compliment to the venerable German brand's standard-setting build quality. But the question also speaks to the oxymoron inherent in a budget Benz, and the challenge of delivering a bonafide Mercedes for the price of a Ford or a Honda. Such are the hurdles facing the CLA, a compact sport sedan seeking to set a new standard for affordable luxury and tap into a broad customer base of up-and-comers.
December 17, 2013 |
Dee Gordon was once regarded as the Dodgers' shortstop of the future. Now 25, he is uncertain of how he figures into the team's plans as he prepares for spring training. "I'm going to go in and play my game," Gordon said. "I feel if I can be me and play my game, I'll be fine. " Gordon spoke by phone Tuesday from his home state of Florida, where he is working out under the watch of with his father, former major league pitcher Tom Gordon, and Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin.
December 16, 2013 |
ATLANTA - Chris Kaman is not angry. He says he makes too much money for that to be the case. He's not happy, though. The reserve center continues to find himself at the end of the bench during Lakers games. No playing time, no stat line, nothing. It's not what he envisioned when he signed a one-year, $3.2-million free-agent deal with the Lakers in July. "I'm just going to take the high road and do the right thing, but it's definitely not what I was told coming in here," he told The Times on Monday.
December 13, 2013 |
Honda Motor Co. will recall 19,197 Acura MDX sport-utility vehicles equipped with all-wheel-drive to tighten bolts in the drive system. All of the vehicles were recently built and from the 2014 model year. Honda said it wants owners to bring the cars back to dealers so that mechanics can inspect the upscale SUVs to see if they need to tighten or replace bolts used to secure the propeller shaft, a component of the AWD system. During assembly, it is possible that one or more of the four bolts that attach a propeller shaft to a universal joint were not tightened properly.
November 29, 2013 |
It sometimes seems like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power specializes in frustration. In September, the utility flipped the switch on a new $162-million customer information system that had been in the works for three years. The system includes meter reading, billing and customer service, and it replaces a 40-year-old model that was outdated 20 years ago. It's designed to be more efficient and more accurate, let customers resolve inquiries with one call and eventually enable the DWP to switch from bimonthly to monthly bills.
November 25, 2013 |
The Beastie Boys today clarified their stance in their dispute with Bay Area toy-maker GoldieBlox, a company that's used the act's 1986 party-goof "Girls" in an advertisement for its engineering-minded toys. The surviving members of the Beastie Boys are all for female empowerment, a statement from the group says, but have no interest in selling a product, regardless of how creative it might be. GoldieBlox last week scored a viral hit with its parody commercial that featured a new take on the Beastie Boys' "Girls," replacing the gender stereotyping lyrics of the original with new lyrics that call for girls to build apps and spaceships.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 |
A new Department of Water and Power billing system that has been riddled with problems cost ratepayers more than twice the $59 million cited by the utility's spokesman in recent days. The total cost of staff time, contractors and software for the troubled system, which has brought an avalanche of public complaints, is $162 million, DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo said Friday. About $63 million of that was labor costs for DWP employees who were diverted from regular duties to help roll out the program, Ramallo said.