In a periodic reminder that Los Angeles area residents live in an earthquake zone, the Los Angeles Times produced another shaker piece last week, this time focusing on “more than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake,” observed Grumpy Editor.
The triple-byline story, based on a Times analysis, pointed out many older concrete structures “are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don't have enough steel reinforcing bars to hold columns in place.”
Earthquake forecasts aimed at Californians seem to be an almost annual ritual to shake up readers and residents who don’t need to be reminded they are in earthquake territory, just as other parts of the country are susceptible to hurricanes, overflowing rivers, tornadoes and blizzards.
Prior “shake ‘em up” stories by the Associated Press warned:
+ California faces an almost certain risk of being rocked by a strong earthquake by 2037, citing a seismic forecast by scientists that pointed to a magnitude 6.7 quake (equal to the 1994 Northridge jolt) or larger.
+ A hypothetical model indicated a 7.8 magnitude earthquake would “see Los Angeles and its suburbs shake like a bowl of jelly” in less than two minutes and 50,000 people would be injured.
+ “Seismic jiggling” via a swarm of small earthquakes near the southern end of the San Andreas Fault has some people wondering if the “swarm is just a warm-up to a major quake,” causing serious damage to the greater Los Angeles region.
Separately, the Los Angeles Times said it will no longer print letters from “climate change deniers.”
The newspaper’s letters editor declared, “Saying there's no sign humans have caused climate change is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy.”
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Two contrasting items on Verizon Communications Inc. in Friday’s Wall Street Journal. In “the good news” portion of its “Stocks in the News” feature, the WSJ pointed out Verizon’s $1.65 gain in Thursday’s trading was attributed to “the phone carrier reported 40 percent growth in third quarter net income.” A few pages away, the headline on a long story read, “Verizon Reports Slowdown In Growth.” Nevertheless, Verizon’s stock added another $1.11 in Friday’s trading to close at $50.01.
Delayed by the partial U.S. government shutdown, the September employment report from the Labor Department will be released tomorrow while this month’s employment data will be pushed back a week to Nov. 8. Meanwhile, in a two-week delay, the consumer price index, measuring inflation, was set for Oct. 30 release.
Bloomberg Businessweek veered from focusing on business to slamming the tea party with the cover of its current issue showing Ted Cruz, R-Texas, dressed as the Mad Hatter with the line: The Tea Party Won. Ted Cruz and his band of dead enders took the U.S. through the looking glass. Now crazy is the new normal…Also indicating its political stance with the partial shutdown (neutrality used to be emphasized in journalism) was Thursday's NBC Nightly News, with anchor Brian Williams declaring: “Politically, it's widely agreed to have been a big loss and self-inflicted wound mostly for the Republican Party."
A key reason why young people do not read newspapers and magazines: CNSNews.com reported an international survey from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics found Americans’ adult skills in literacy were tied in 15th place (with Germany) among 23 advanced economies. Top three? Japan, Finland and The Netherlands. See the tally here…Latest Rasmussen Reports national survey found 78 percent of likely U.S. voters would vote to oust the entire Congress and start over again.
Bank your dollars. This is National Save for Retirement Week.
Now that the 16-day partial government shutdown is over, look for the recent days’ overused phrase --- kick the can down the road --- not popping up again until deep into the holiday season...prior to another crisis looming early next year.