California Today: Making Earthquake Safety More Intelligible

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This week, as they do each 4 years, a whole lot of earthquake consultants huddled in Los Angeles in dimly lit rooms the place difficult mathematical formulation representing things like seismic vitality and constructing power have been projected onto massive screens.

To outsiders these discussions could be all however incomprehensible. And some consultants who gathered on the convention right here this week say that’s symptomatic of a bigger downside: speaking with the general public.

But large questions stay: How resilient are buildings in earthquake-prone areas? Should we construct stronger ones?

Plenty of audio system and members on the convention urged engineers to be higher at addressing the disconnect between what the general public usually thinks the constructing code protects them from — and what it really does.

“The problem is that the public in general and building owners in particular really think that when they get a building to code they are going to get a building that is going to perform fine in an earthquake,” mentioned Mary Comerio, a professor on the University of California, Berkeley and a proponent for stronger earthquake protections.

“The message to the public is that existing buildings are going to be damaged. That’s built into the calculations,” Professor Comerio mentioned. “They are designed to help you get out of the building but you may not be able to go back in.”

A debate over the longstanding “life safety” philosophy of the constructing code — which means that it’s designed to guard your life however not rather more — was central to discussions on the convention. A invoice in Sacramento that might probably strengthen the code to a “functional recovery” commonplace is transferring by way of committees within the State Legislature.

But proponents of extra resilient buildings and infrastructure like water, gasoline strains, the ability grid and cellphone techniques say extra could be executed even inside the present code.

Maryann Phipps, a structural engineer who gave the keynote tackle to convention members on Thursday, urged engineers to clarify to their purchasers that by spending a further one or two p.c a constructing is extra prone to be usable after an earthquake.

“My takeaway is communication is important,” she mentioned. “We need to keep it simple and clear.”

California Online

(Please word: We recurrently spotlight articles on information websites which have restricted entry for nonsubscribers.)

• California handed a sweeping on-line privateness regulation that offers shoppers the appropriate to know what data corporations are accumulating about them, why they’re accumulating that knowledge and with whom they’re sharing it. It provides shoppers the appropriate to inform corporations to delete their data in addition to to not promote or share their knowledge. [The New York Times]

• The variety of homeless in San Francisco has fallen to 7,499 in 2017 from eight,640 in 2004. So why is homelessness so usually named by residents as town’s No. 1 downside and considered being worse than ever? [San Francisco Chronicle]

• The Supreme Court might have lastly overturned Korematsu. But for a lot of of those that spent months or years within the Japanese internment camps, the ruling felt like a hole victory. [The New York Times]

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who introduced his retirement from the Supreme Court this week, loves his hometown however associates doubt he’ll transfer again to Sacramento. [Sacramento Bee]

• A person who couldn’t swim jumped right into a raging river at Sequoia National Park to save a 5-year-old boy from drowning. He rescued the boy, however died within the course of. [CNN]

• Daily newspapers and metro sections have thinned. So in California, residence to an enormous three-tiered public college system, skilled reporters are leaning on pupil journalists for assist. [Columbia Journalism Review]

James Schwab give up as a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security in March, saying he couldn’t lie on behalf of the Trump administration. On Wednesday his first tv interview discussing his departure was interrupted by males in darkish fits. [The New York Times]

Norman Pearlstine, the brand new editor of The Los Angeles Times, sits down for an interview. Among the questions he says he should grapple with: “What do we do just to get the current operation running better?” and “What are the new things that you want to do where we have a lot of catch up?” [Columbia Journalism Review]

• A listing of the 10 ZIP codes in America with the costliest houses (no shock that half the locations are in California). [The New York Times]

• At the age of 80, the sculptor Wendell Dayton is having his first main present, on the Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe. [The New York Times]

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the Tony-winning play, is heading to San Francisco within the fall of 2019. [The New York Times]

And Finally …

A quick tribute to our colleagues at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., who misplaced 5 workers members within the shooting on Thursday however who in some way gathered the resolve to place out a Friday version.

“Our newspaper is one of the oldest newspapers in the U.S.,” mentioned Joshua McKerrow, a photographer at The Capital Gazette who was out of the workplace, choosing his daughter up for her birthday on the time of the taking pictures. “It’s a real newspaper and like every newspaper, it is a family.”

“We will be here tomorrow,” Mr. McKerrow mentioned by way of tears. “We are not going anywhere.”

California Today goes reside at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you wish to see: [email protected].

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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