BUSINESS
Your Thanksgiving dinner is cheaper this year. Here's why

Ralph Vartabedian

Writer

Ralph Vartabedian, a national correspondent at the Los Angeles Times, joined the newspaper in 1981. In his many reporting assignments, he has written on Toyota vehicle defects, presidential candidates, the New Orleans levee failures, the defense industry, the Columbia space shuttle accident investigation, nuclear weapons, tax collection abuses, and the California bullet train, among much else. He won the 2015 Gerald Ford Presidential Foundation award for defense writing, as well as Loeb awards in 1987 and 2010. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 2010, among many other career recognitions. In 1989, the Delta Mu Delta honorary society at California Polytechnic University school of business gave Vartabedian a special award for integrity. He covered aerospace and defense issues for 10 years at The Times, covering the military buildup that preceded the end of the Cold War and its decline afterward. He spent five years as a Washington, D.C., reporter for the paper and then four years as the deputy business editor. He previously worked at the Minneapolis Star and the Kalamazoo Gazette. Vartabedian is married to Jeanne Wright, a freelance writer. Born in Detroit, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Recent Articles

  • How Houston's newest homes survived Hurricane Harvey

    How Houston's newest homes survived Hurricane Harvey

    As Hurricane Harvey approached Houston, Kevin Kelly hunkered down in his brick house, which was built in 2009 in a federally designated flood zone. He set his alarm to ring every two hours throughout the night so he could monitor water creeping closer from a creek overflowing a quarter mile away....

  • Can Trump be trusted with the nuclear launch codes? Can any president?

    Can Trump be trusted with the nuclear launch codes? Can any president?

    Ever since Harry Truman ordered the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II, the president of the United States has controlled the most lethal arsenal in history — a major reason the position is considered the most powerful on Earth. In recent months, remarks by President Trump threatening...

  • Some tough choices — and pushback — along the proposed bullet train route

    Some tough choices — and pushback — along the proposed bullet train route

    Urban neighborhoods, protected wetlands, olive orchards, a federal reservoir and a few sleepy towns will go by the passenger windows of the first California bullet train when it pulls out of San Jose on its way to the Central Valley. But before that inaugural journey planned for 2025, state officials...

  • A 13.5-mile tunnel will make or break California's bullet train

    A 13.5-mile tunnel will make or break California's bullet train

    When the first California bullet train pulls out of San Jose one day, a crucial part of the journey will be a 13.5-mile tunnel beneath the winding peaks and valleys of Pacheco Pass. Trains will run at top speed along a straight and level route beneath the Diablo Range, shooting through the nation’s...

  • Racing to repair the Oroville Dam spillway — before the rains come

    Racing to repair the Oroville Dam spillway — before the rains come

    In one of the fastest-paced civic construction jobs in recent U.S. history, hundreds of carpenters, operating engineers and iron workers are rushing to complete repairs to the damaged Oroville Dam spillway. The crews are trying to beat a Nov. 1 deadline and the Northern California rainy season,...

  • Another key California bullet train executive is leaving

    Another key California bullet train executive is leaving

    Another key executive at the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced his exit in recent days, the third such departure in less than a year for the troubled project. Jon Tapping, the agency’s director of risk management since 2012, has been charged with analyzing technical, schedule and cost...

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