New York Times – Nov 30, 2013 The Troubles of Building Where Faults Collide by Adam Nagouney, N.Y. Times Nov 30, 2013
A critical NYT article appeared today focusing on the impact the Stopthemillenniumhollywood campaign has had.
“The city’s new mayor, Eric Garcetti, has found himself balancing two long-conflicting constituencies: business owners worried about the cost of reinforcing old buildings, and geologists who warn of large-scale and preventable casualties.”
Garcetti’s Council District 13 replacement, Mitch O’Farrell:
“The hard question is: Do we halt all development in Hollywood? Do we wait for that 11,000-year earthquake? We are going to go down a very slippery slope if we halt all construction for an earthquake fault that hasn’t been defined.”
US Geological Survey seismologist’s: Lucile Jones:
“When you have a big earthquake, you get a lot done — but after that, it’s hard to get traction,” Dr. Jones said. “It’s really great that we are doing this without having to kill people first.” [emphasis added]
Adam covers the issue of building owners’ responsibility to make sure their structures are safe:
Thomas H. Heaton, director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology
“From the cynical point of view, in our business it seems like it’s hard to get anything done unless people die,” Mr. Heaton said. “But we’d like to believe that a study providing information will motivate people to make changes without having the deaths.” [emphasis added]
The article could have been titled: Balancing Money with Safety
If this is truly a balancing act between the need for developers to build skyscrapers on or near earthquake faults vs the safety of those in and around those buildings, who do you think is winning? Also, as many unsafe structures are being discovered, will the City listen to the cries of the building owners that they can’t afford to provide a safe environment for their tenants and give them a pass? Most likely, the City will find a way to pass the private property owner’s burden on to the tax payers in the form of “assistance” to get their buildings retrofitted. Balancing ACT is what City politicians do. Die is what people do in buildings poorly constructed near and on top of earthquake faults.
The taxpayers are still gathering funds to apply pressure on the developer of the Millennium Project and on State and local government to ensure that NO buildings are constructed on top of or within 50 feet of any earthquake fault. Please make your year end donation now to help us win this war. (See donate button on the right column of this website)