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LAX hotels lodge protest

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first_imgThe latest proposal would require hotels near city-owned Los Angeles International Airport to pay wages of $9.39 an hour with health benefits or $10.64 an hour without benefits by July 1. In return, the city promised to make $1 million in streetscape improvements, spend $50,000 on marketing, and study other ways to improve the area, such as building a conference center. The hotels and business community have been upset with the proposal, which extends the concept of a living wage beyond firms that contract directly with the city. However, officials have argued that the hotels benefit by their proximity to LAX and the city’s investments in the area. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! He also noted that the law prohibits adoption of a law with only minor changes – which he contends is the case with the latest proposal. “It may be natural to believe that simply by adding features, one can change the essence of an ordinance, but not in the referendum process,” Kieffer said. But Richard McCracken, an attorney working with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy in support of the proposal, disputed Kieffer’s assertions. “Los Angeles is a charter city and the provisions he is discussing do not apply,” McCracken said. “Los Angeles is able to make its own regulations on issues like this.” Garcetti said he had no comment on the letter, which will be referred to the City Attorney’s Office for review. An attorney representing LAX-area hotels said Friday that a newly crafted “living-wage” ordinance impacting hotel workers was simply a ruse by the City Council to avert a costly election on the original plan. Attorney George Kieffer, whose firm represents several of the dozen hotels along the Century Boulevard corridor, released a four-page letter he wrote to council President Eric Garcetti objecting to the proposed ordinance. The compromise was released Thursday and will be considered by the council next week. “The law is clear that, where a qualified referendum petition has been submitted to the City Council and the City Council have voted to repeal the ordinance, the City Council may not simply once again adopt the original ordinance,” Kieffer’s letter said. last_img read more

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Cancer claims area lawman

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first_imgPASADENA – Sgt. Randy Rousseau, a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died May 2 after what family and friends called a courageous three-year battle with leukemia. He was 44. “It’s very hard to lose someone you grew up with,” said Deputy Keith Gibbons, 43, Rousseau’s longtime friend and partner. “We went through everything together from the time we were rookie cops up through the ranks.” Rousseau went in and out of remission three times before the disease, acute lymphocytic leukemia, which is most often found in children, claimed his life May 2, Gibbons said. He left active duty a second time after being transferred from his post at the Pitchess Detention Center to Crescenta Valley Station to treat the cancer about a year ago, Lt. Mike Bornman said. “You could see that he was hurting at times,” said Bornman, referring to the disease’s effect on Rousseau, “but he never complained. He fought like hell to live. It was tragic.” Most recently, he appeared to be recovering successfully from a bone marrow transplant undertaken at the City of Hope on Dec. 13, Gibbons said. “The headaches came back and became more acute for about a week before he slipped into a coma,” Gibbons said. “He never woke up.” Rousseau, who lived in unincorporated southeast Pasadena on Blanche Street, worked the graveyard shift with Gibbons at the sheriff’s Altadena Station from 1990 through 1993, among other assignments, Gibbons said. “He was an outstanding officer,” Gibbons said, noting his partner’s work on a mid-1990s case solved largely by Rousseau in which a father had murdered, then buried, two young sons. “The man’s 9-year-old son trusted Randy enough that he led him to a grave,” he said. About 300 sworn officers and civilian colleagues from around the region attended Rousseau’s service, according to Bornman. The sergeant leaves his wife Rebecca, 38, and three sons, Rory, 14, Jacob, 10, Joseph, 6. Gibbons said due to the great outpouring of financial support from the community since he was diagnosed,the Rousseau family asked that in lieu of flowers,donations be made to the Sheriff’s Relief Foundation, Survivors and Dependents Fund. mary.gurton@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300 Ext. 4461160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Southampton snap up Inter Milan midfielder on loan

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first_imgSouthampton have continued their rebuilding process by signing Inter Milan creative midfielder Saphir Taïder.The Algerian international, 22, has joined on a season-long loan, while Saints flop Dani Osvaldo has moved in the opposite direction on the same basis.Both transfers have independent options which allow either club to make the moves permanent next summer.French-born Taïder played in two of Algeria’s games at the World Cup, including their narrow last-16 defeat to eventual champions Germany.Southampton boss Ronald Koeman said: “It’s part of our philosophy for the club to bring in talented young players who like to learn and develop themselves, and that’s true of Saphir.“First of all, he is a talented football player. He’s 22 and has already played for Algeria at the World Cup. I’ve spoken to him about the positions he can play in, and it was a good meeting because he showed me real ambition.“He can play as a controlled midfielder, but he can also move up around the box and up front, which is a good thing for a coach or manager because it brings more possibilities to the players in the team. He brings competition to the squad.“He can still learn some things, so we will train him and develop him this season. Over the course of the year, we will then make a decision about the future of the player.“He’s ten days into his pre-season, so he needs to be in better physical shape but we’ll give him training and he will be ready for the kick-off.“He will start training tomorrow morning and, depending on how he does over the next few days, we will see whether he will take part in the friendly on Saturday. I will make that decision on Friday.” 1 New Southampton midfielder last_img read more

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Man United target reveals Red Devils have been in touch, but says he wants to stay

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first_img 2 “But I’m even happier that Inter decided to reject it and that they believe so much in me.”Skriniar joined the Serie A side in 2017, signing a five-year deal after a €20 million move from Sampdoria.Last season, he averaged a 91.2% pass success rate – the seventh highest in the Italian league. The news came after months of speculation linking the Slovakian with both United and their noisy neighbours Manchester City.But Inter insist the 23-year-old, who only arrived from Sampdoria a year ago, is not for sale following his impressive form last term.Now Skriniar has admitted that he was flattered by United’s enquiry – but insists he is happy with how things have turned out.He told the Slovakian football federation’s official website: “Manchester United? I heard from them and it made me proud. 2 The Slovenian international got to grips with Harry Kane at Wembley last year Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has revealed he has had contact from Manchester United, amid rumours of a mega-money offer.As talkSPORT told you last week, it was reported that the Old Trafford club had a bid of £57 million for Skriniar snubbed by Inter. Skriniar has developed a reputation as a strong, ball-playing centre-half last_img read more

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YOUNG DRIVER IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER OVERNIGHT CRASH

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first_imgA man in his 20s is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after a crash in Buncrana last night.The man is believed to be the driver of a car involved in an incident in the Lisfannon area before 11pm.The crash took place close to a local petrol station. It is understood that two cars were involved in the incident.There are reports locally that the drivers may have known eachother and may have been speeding.It is understood a Honda and BMW car were involved in the incident.However Gardai have only managed to interview one of the drivers as the second failed to remain at the scene. A number of Gardai were on the scene within minutes and carried out a full investigation into the incident.An ambulance took the injured man to Letterkenny General Hospital where his condition was described as being serious but stable.Gardai combed the area of the crash using torches as their investigation into the cause of the crash continued.A number of of unmarked Garda cars also attended the scene of the incident and the road was closed.A full investigation into the incident is ongoing. YOUNG DRIVER IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER OVERNIGHT CRASH was last modified: November 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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San Jose Sharks earn first win in Patrick Marleau’s return

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first_imgCHICAGO — That familiar old fist pump from No. 12 was back.But the best gestures from the Sharks’ perspective Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks came after the game.Hugs, fist bumps and handshakes.Patrick Marleau scored twice in a dramatic return to the NHL and Barclay Goodrow scored the go-ahead go at the 4:47 mark of the third period as the Sharks ended their season-long four-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center. “Just …last_img

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Scientists: Who Can You Believe?

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first_imgScientists form a kind of knowledge priesthood in our modern world, but when long-taught principles get overturned, it raises questions on what scientists really know.Windy geology:  Wind is a more powerful force for eroding mountains than previously thought.  University of Arizona quoted Paul Kapp, an associate professor of geosciences at U of A saying, “No one had ever thought that wind could be this effective.  You won’t read in a textbook that wind is a major process in terms of breaking down rock material.”    According to the press release, “Bedrock in Central Asia that would have formed mountains instead was sand-blasted into dust” called loess that forms large sedimentary deposits.  Looking at the extent of the Loess Plateau south of the Gobi Desert, the largest deposit of wind-blown sediment known, Kapp calculated that wind can be just as effective as rivers and glaciers in wearing down mountains.Sabertooth vegan unicorn:  A fossil of a very strange beast called Tiarajudens has been found in Brazil with 5-inch-long, dagger like teeth, resembling those of a sabertooth cat.  This dog-size animal, though, was apparently vegetarian.  PhysOrg said archaeologists found it, but they probably meant paleontologists; National Geographic News showed an artist reconstruction of it baring its teeth in a fierce pose.    One of the discoverers remarked that it “looks like a combination of different animals, and it takes some time to believe it when you see this animal in front of you.”  Usually, dagger-like canines are marks of carnivores.  Did these animals use them to hunt plants?  Or did they intimidate rivals or scare off predators?  No one knows.  National Geographic speculated, “The answer may lie in evolutionary experimentation,” a statement that implicitly personifies evolution.    Jorg Frobish, commenting on the fossil in Science,1 said that synapsids like Tiarajudens have been “historically but erroneously known as ‘mammal-like reptiles’” – another reversal from what many textbooks and TV documentaries have called them.    In this specimen, “the degree of heterodonty (tooth differentiation) in Tiarajudens is remarkable.”  Saber teeth are “exceedingly uncommon in herbivorous forms,” he added, saying the teeth in Tiarajudens are “extraordinary”.  What does this mean for our understanding of fossil teeth?These findings raise a question: When is a saber tooth a saber tooth, and when is it a tusk or simply an enlarged canine?  The existing literature is quite imprecise, but saber teeth tend to be laterally compressed, whereas tusks tend to be rather round in cross section and continuously growing, such as in modern elephants, wild boars, and walruses.  Finally, the distinction of saber teeth and tusks from ordinary large canines appears to be vague and primarily based on length.  Tiarajudens seems to further blur this distinction, since anomodonts evolved both approaches (saber teeth and tusks) to enlarge their canines, even though they might have had similar functions, such as deterring predators and intraspecific display or combat.Frobish and the authors of the paper in Science2 mentioned evolution often, but only in respect to their belief that these animals evolved.  For instance, Cisneros et al said, “This discovery provides new insight into the evolution of heterogeneous dentition in therapsids and broadens our understanding of ecological interactions at the end of the Paleozoic.”  That, however, does not explain how or why saberteeth evolved in this particular animal.  They admitted that “The function of the saber teeth is unknown, but probable uses include deterring attack from predators and intraspecific display or combat.”    Evolutionists would have expected such derived features to evolve much later, not 260 million years ago.  Will they ever know without being able to watch the animals in action?  Whatever evolutionists have to say about it now, they clearly did not predict finding saber teeth so early.  Cisneros told Live Science it was “like finding a unicorn,” it was so bizarre.  “You see it, but you don’t believe it.”Early Americans:  The Clovis culture was supposed to represent the oldest human presence in North America, but now stone-tool evidence of “paleo-Indians” has been found in Texas at a level said to be 2,500 years older.  PhysOrg said this discovery is “rewriting what anthropologists know about when the first inhabitants arrived in North America.”  Michael Walters [Texas A&M] said, “This discovery challenges us to re-think the early colonization of the Americas.”A search on PhysOrg for the phrase “previously believed” turned up 2,640 results; “once thought” produced 3,860 results.1.  Jorg Frobisch, “Paleontology: On Dental Occlusion and Saber Teeth,” Science, 25 March 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6024 pp. 1525-1528, DOI: 10.1126/science.1204206.2.  Cisneros, Abdala, Rubridge, Dentzien-Dias and Bueno, “Dental Occlusion in a 260-Million-Year-Old Therapsid with Saber Canines from the Permian of Brazil,” Science, 25 March 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6024 pp. 1603-1605, DOI: 10.1126/science.1200305.Oh, but they KNOW evolution is a FACT.  Considering stories like these, on what grounds are we supposed to give the priesthood of scientists such epistemic priority that their opinions matter by default more than those of any other honest scholar in any other field of knowledge?    After all, scientists are not the only ones interested in finding the truth about nature.  When aspects of that truth are inaccessible to empirical observation, such as the history of the world, and when their stories keep changing so drastically and so often, it would seem other honest truth seekers should have a place in the discussion.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Innovation Prize for Africa recognises Lakheni

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first_imgA South African initiative that uses group buying power to lower food prices for needy communities, using a mobile app, has been nominated for the continental prize.Lakheni founders Nokwethu Khojane and Lauren Drake. (Image: Lakheni)Sulaiman PhilipNokwethu Khojane and her business partner, Lauren Drake, saw a need and found a solution: their social enterprise, Lakheni, uses the buying power of whole communities to lower the price of staple food. It also provides a means for day care centres to generate income.A poverty tax is imposed on people who live a long way from grocery stores. The added cost of travel eats into money that poor families should spend on groceries. In response, Khojane and Drake founded Lakheni, a group buying club that combines orders from a community, and uses the buying power of the group to get better prices.“At the bottom of the pyramid, distribution is very inefficient because of the small amounts that individuals buy. But there’s value when you start aggregating that demand, because the numbers are there — they’re just fragmented,” Khojane told Fast Company magazine.How it worksLakheni takes bulk orders for staples such as maize, sugar and oil every month through local day care centres. Customers deposit their payments into a bank account that Lakheni uses to order in bulk from suppliers.The Lakheni model allows creches like Mzamo Educare to make extra money by administering group buying in their area. (Image: Lakheni)Orders are delivered to the day care centres, which earn a fee for processing the communities’ orders, or to spaza shops, which also benefit from Lakheni’s bulk ordering. Using the system saves customers about 30%, including the savings on transport.When they began, Khojane, Drake and the centres they signed up took orders using a pencil and notepad. Now they have developed a mobile app that can be used to take orders and handle payments.Innovation Prize for AfricaNokwethu’s innovation — using a mobile app to increase the buying power of families in poorer communities — earned her a nomination for the Innovation Prize for Africa. While Lakheni has concentrated on groceries, the prize money would help it to develop the app further. The partners are looking at ways to include financial services as well.For the past five years, the Africa Innovation Foundation (AIF) has supported African innovators through the Innovation Prize for Africa. This year, Khojane and the Lakheni app have been nominated alongside nine other African innovators.They were whittled down from 2,530 innovators in 48 African countries. Nominees include innovators from Zimbabwe, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Kenya. The nominated innovations show that Africa can drive its own growth and prosperity.Walter Fust, chairman of the AIF board, said: “Given the instrumental role African women play in transforming Africa, it is thrilling to see more women among the 10 nominees with game-changing innovations. By providing platforms to recognise innovation excellence in Africa and mobilising for African innovators, we continue to live up to our credo of engaging, inspiring and transforming.”Over the five years of its existence, the Innovation Prize for Africa has generated $22-million in investment to previous winners and nominees. Pauline Mujawarmariya, the competition director, said: “[The Innovation Prize for Africa] has been growing stronger each year and not only the number of applicants continues to increase, but the quality of applications too.”This was “a strong indication of the creative potential that exists in Africa”.Other shortlisted nomineesPeris Bosire, Kenya: FarmDriveThe Kenyan financial technology company developed a mobile app that collects data and provides an alternative risk assessment model for small farmers.Omolabake Adenle, Nigeria: Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African LanguagesAdenle’s software understands and digitises spoken African languages, presenting them as a text. It allows Africans to interact more easily with hardware and call centres, using their local languages.Nzola Swasisa, Democratic Republic of Congo: LokoleLokole creates a shareable local network that makes it up to 1,000 times cheaper to access emails and social media by sharing the costs.Badr Idriss, Morocco: Atlan SpaceAtlan Space software is used to manage drones that are, for now, used to monitor illegal fishing and deep sea dumping off the coast of Africa.Aly El-Shafei, Egypt: Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated BearingThe patented Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing, or SEMAJIB, is an oil filled bearing that allows it to change characteristics as it operates. The SEMAJIB enables one bearing to be used across multiple systems.Dougbeh-Chris Nyan, Liberia: New Technology for Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using Only One TestNyan developed one simple test to detect seven different infections from one sample within 40 minutes. The diagnostic tool is simple to use and inexpensive to produce.Olanisun Olufemi Adewole, Nigeria: Sweat TB TestThe Sweat TB Test is a non-invasive rapid diagnostic skin test to detect tuberculosis. It is simple enough to use in rural areas where the largest number of new infections occur. It tests for specific markers in saliva and produces results within 10 minutes.Gift Gana, Zimbabwe: Dr. CADxDesigned for use in areas with poor internet connectivity and intermittent power, the Dr CADx is a software solution that helps doctors and healthcare workers read medical images more accurately.Philippa Ngaju Makobore, Uganda: Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion SetThe Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set, or ECGF, is a medical device designed to accurately administer intravenous fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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As Technorati Falters, PostRank Launches New Blog Ranking Tools

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first_imgDisclosure: PostRank is a sponsor of the forthcoming ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit. It’s also one of our favorite services on the web. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#news#web Blogsearch data has been a consistent problem for PostRank, both Technorati and Google Blogsearch data has been inconsistent for the company. PostRank says it will be launching its own trackback discovery service shortly.While some meme-tracking services struggle with niches where blogs don’t heavily link to eachother, PostRank says that by tracking multiple forms of user interaction it has captured data that closely resembles what can be found from services tracking absolute web traffic to individual sites.Last month PostRank released a new analytics tool that displays social media engagement on top of Google Analytics data. The new APIs will allow 1000 requests a day for free for noncommercial use, commercial licenses are available as well. Social media analytics firm PostRank has released two Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that will alow developers to track reader engagement in any group of blogs or around any single link with just 15 seconds of latency. Technorati’s announcement last week that it is scaling back and changing its blog ranking activities, and putting new emphasis on in its blog advertising network, prompted PostRank to launch their APIs now.The same API used for ranking by the AdAge 150 and the Atlantic Monthly’s new political blogger leaderboard is thus now generally available. Determining the most-closely watched bloggers on niche topics is something a lot of people want to do for a wide variety of reasons – when that determination can be made programatically you can jump into the center of a conversation quickly.PostRank looks at any RSS feed it’s given and scores all the items in those feeds for number of comments left, inbound links, times bookmarked in Delicious, being shared on Twitter and several related metrics. The company says it has agreements with many services to have data pushed to them and queries the Delicious endpoint themselves every 1 second, for example.Some good sample lists are Postrank CTO Ilya Grigorik’s favorite a href=”http://www.postrank.com/user/igrigorik/topic/cloud”>cloud computing blogs or the general list of top design blogs. The new APIs will make it easy to build lists around any topic or group and display that data on other sites.center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

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California Needs to Rethink Urban Fire Risk

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first_imgWhat is missing from these maps, however, is extreme weather patterns. The Santa Ana winds of Southern California are a notable example. Strong, hot, and dry wind episodes are associated with nearly all of our largest and most destructive wildfires, including the 1964 Hanley fire in Northern California that burned an almost identical footprint to the Tubbs fire, yet relatively little is currently known about how often they occur across a landscape.New methods are becoming available for mapping and modeling winds, and future versions of the Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps will therefore include such weather conditions. Similar maps are also needed for fire-prone areas outside California.Despite technical advances, a key problem with most mapped approaches to fire danger is that the focus is almost exclusively on characterizing the hazard — flame lengths, rates of spread or fire intensities of an oncoming wildfire — and much less on the vulnerabilities of what is actually exposed. The “wildland-urban interface,” where developed lands are exposed to natural, flammable areas, is thus often mapped and assumed to be where the exposure ends.Clearly this is not always the case. Analogous to when a levee fails, after a wildfire manages to ignite homes along the wildland-urban interface, many homes farther inside the neighborhood can quickly become exposed.Depending on the building codes in place during their construction, these newly exposed structures may or may not be very fire-resistant. Their vulnerability to ignition can also be especially high if they are spaced closely together and the winds are strong, because that is when fire spread transitions to a structure-to-structure domino effect.Better fire risk mapping means we should be able refine our notion and approach to assessing vulnerability.Reducing human exposureThere are numerous reports of how difficult and deadly it was to evacuate during the Tubbs fire. Apparently many people had almost no warning at all. This highlights the importance of both evacuation planning and evacuation communication systems, as getting out in time is what Americans tend to rely on in wildfire situations.Although evacuation preparedness is nearly always mentioned in Community Wildfire Protection Plans and standard guidance for homeowners, the overriding message is typically to “leave early” whenever possible.While absolutely correct, this advice minimizes the importance of pre-fire evacuation planning and the short time there may be to get out. It takes quite a bit of thought and effort to anticipate being in such a crisis situation!What should one take, and where might one actually go?On short notice, how does one account for pets, children, or the elderly?Is there a place one should retreat to, if evacuation orders are received too late or not at all?This last question may be the one that gets the least attention, and the many fatalities in the Tubbs fire suggest that it requires much deeper consideration. Firefighters are often given specific training about what to do with limited evacuation options. For homeowners, however, guidance can be sparse.When it is too late and too dangerous to evacuate safely, fallback options must be considered and communicated ahead of time. In an urban conflagration situation, local details dictate whether “safety zones” actually exist as places to take refuge. Given the real potential for such disasters, many communities should consider identifying (or building) key “hardened” structures to act as local-scale refuges.Reducing human exposure involves more attention to what people must do during a wildfire, or even the rare urban conflagration. Safe evacuation deserves as much emphasis as reduction of fuels, such as creating defensible space around homes or larger scale fuel breaks by thinning vegetation around communities.A safer built environmentFrom the scale of individual home construction up to the location and arrangement of development on a landscape, our communities should be better able to survive the natural hazards that occur there. This requires both short- and long-term strategies for achieving a safer built environment.As a starting point, we must acknowledge that we currently have tens of thousands — possibly even hundreds of thousands — of homes constructed according to building codes that leave these structures vulnerable to ignition. Amazingly, however, there are very few examples of grant programs to mitigate such vulnerabilities through retrofit programs to, for instance, replace wood shake shingle roofs or to upgrade attic and crawlspace vents to block embers from entering homes.In contrast, there are millions of dollars in public funds spent annually on community-scale fuel reduction projects. These are common activities pursued by Fire Safe Councils in California and similar organizations in other states.The recent Tubbs fire in northern California was the most catastrophic in the state’s history and underscores the need to update policy and planning to minimize risk in the future.The same level of support should be available for mitigation of fire-related structure vulnerabilities as there is for hazards.Over the long term, land use planning is probably the most effective tool available for creating safer communities. We must be more deliberate about how we develop on fire-prone landscapes, taking advantage of emerging hazard-mapping techniques.The goal here is not necessarily to build fewer homes, but to design and site developments that avoid the highest hazard regions and concentrate development in the lowest hazard areas. This logic applies, to varying degrees, to constraining development with respect to other natural hazards.Despite an aversion by some to land use planning, this strategy is simply common sense. It will also save lives and massive amounts of public resources over the long term.Where we do choose to develop and inhabit hazard-prone environments, it may be necessary to design communities with “passive survivability” in mind, or the ability to withstand the event and have water and power for a few days. This provides both the built environment and the people within some basic protection for a limited time.Strategies exist to lower the risk of fire in the current housing stock and to more carefully design and site future development where wildfires are possible. With increasing extremes expected as climate continues to change, officially recognizing this link and creating a safer built environment will only become more urgent.Max Mortiz is a Cooperative Extension specialist in wildfire at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. By MAX MORITZWe recently witnessed the wind-driven Tubbs fire blast its way through densely urbanized neighborhoods in northern California, causing dozens of fatalities and thousands of home losses. This tragic event easily ranks as the most catastrophic fire in modern California history. Stories of how fast the fire spread and how little time people had to evacuate are stunning.Despite how unusual the devastation appears, we need to recognize that these structure-to-structure “urban conflagrations” have happened in the past and will happen again. Yet these fires revealed that we have key gaps in our policy and planning related to assessing risk in fire-prone environments.What is increasingly clear to fire researchers like me is that losses on the human side are often driven by where and how we build our communities. This means we must learn to coexist with fire, if we are going to inhabit fire-prone landscapes, just as we adapt to other natural hazards. An essential step is to shift our perspective from a focus on hazard to one that more comprehensively includes human vulnerabilities.Mapping riskCalifornia is leading the way in mapping the danger that wildfires pose to human communities and, in particular, linking building codes to fire severities that may be expected in given location. The state’s Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps are an essential step in recognizing fire as an inevitable process that must be accommodated, similar to how we plan for floods, landslides, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Q&A: Fire-Resistant Rainscreen SystemResilient Communities Designing Homes and Communities That Can Survive a DisasterResilient Design: Dramatically Better Building Envelopes Designing Houses and Communities To Be Smarter and More ResilientResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsMaking the Case for Resilient DesignBuilding Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with DisasterGreen Building Priority #9 – Create Resilient Housescenter_img RELATED ARTICLESlast_img read more

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