California legislators announce scholarships to raise awareness of Armenian Genocide

As excerpted from The Los Angeles Times:

"For the sixth time, the California Armenian Legislative Caucus is awarding scholarships commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

All California high school students are eligible to apply for one of two scholarships: an essay or visual arts contest. Each contest offers $1,000 to the first-place winner, $750 for the second prize and a $500 third prize. The deadline to apply is April 6, and the Armenian Caucus plans to honor the six winners in the state Capitol during the annual Armenian Advocacy Day on April 27.

California needs new laws to boost earthquake safety, assemblyman says

A Los Angeles lawmaker says California needs new statewide laws that boost earthquake safety, and wants to toughen rules on how strong new buildings should be and require cities to identify buildings at risk of collapse.

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) said the bills are important for keeping California functioning after a major earthquake.

What happens to Los Angeles when we survive the Big One but our buildings don't?

In an effort to prevent catastrophic property damage, California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) has introduced a bill directing the California Building Standards Commission to strengthen the building codes governing the construction of larger apartment and office buildings and some commercial buildings. Instead of being designed just to preserve the lives of their occupants, AB 1857 would require all new "engineered" buildings to be sturdy enough to function — perhaps with some minor repair — and be reoccupied quickly after a major earthquake.

New Push for Oversight of Hollywood 'Open Air' Tour Vans

A Los Angeles assemblyman on Monday introduced new legislation in Sacramento that would create new, stricter oversight of the Hollywood celebrity tour van industry.

The proposal by Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) comes after an NBC4 undercover investigation raised serious questions about the safety of the popular "open top" vans that carry thousands of tourists into the star-studded neighborhoods of the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills every week.

Hollywood Tour Operators Ignoring Government Warning

Nearly three weeks after the federal government urged more than two dozen Hollywood celebrity home tour companies to stop using open-air vans due to serious safety concerns, the I-Team has found these businesses are continuing to operate as before.

NBC4 went undercover to expose how many tour guides drive recklessly and provide inaccurate information about the location of celebrities' homes. Automotive industry experts also warned that the modified convertible vans may pose dangers because the way the tops are removed may be undermining the integrity of the vehicle structure.

New Safety Questions About 'Topless' Hollywood Tour Vans

They appear to be unique to Southern California: convertible passenger vans that carry thousands of tourists every week to see the notable landmarks and celebrity homes of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Now tour industry insiders, automotive experts and state officials are raising concerns that riding in those vehicles could be putting riders' safety in jeopardy.

'They Shouldn't Be Transporting Passengers': Federal Government Warns Hollywood 'Topless' Tour Van Operators

The federal government is now investigating one of the most famous tours in the world because of an NBC4 investigation. The I-Team series documented potential safety hazards of Hollywood tour buses, including showing how some seatbelts have been modified or removed altogether. The series also looked at how the buses have been customized so that they are "topless," leading experts and officials to question their ability to protect passengers in the event of an accident.

This Means War: Bedbugs Are Infesting California

The greater Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, came in 16th place last year. (Chicago, by the way, is a two-time national champion. Congrats).

California has a bedbug problem. And state Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian of the San Fernando Valley is on it.

1,000 California homeowners to get funds to protect homes from earthquakes

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- In 2016, 1,000 homeowners across California will receive up to $3,000 to seismically retrofit and protect their homes from earthquake damage thanks to a new program brought by state officials and the California Earthquake Authority.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program is expanding to include more than 150 ZIP codes in vulnerable areas across the state.