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Ralph Vartabedian

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 the2015 Gerald Ford PresidentialFoundation award for defense writing, as well asLoeb awards in 1987 and 2010. Hewas 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.
California bullet train authority ordered part of a flawed bridge torn down

Tutor Perini, the lead contractor building a 32-mile section of railway near Fresno, had completed part of a tall highway bridge when the California High-Speed Rail Authority last year issued a “stop work” order. The firm was told to tear down the construction on the Avenue 8 bridge and start over.

As bullet train costs rise, only 31% of California voters want to keep paying for it

Californians still support the concept of a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but after months of troubling disclosures about the project’s cost and schedule, just 31% of voters across the state want to keep building it, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

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