Thursday, May 13, 2004
Feds Want Citizens’ Input on Los Padres Forest Plan
The US Forest Service has released the draft plan to guide strategic management of public lands in the Los Padres National Forest through 2025. Citizens are invited to open houses next week to review and comment on the draft plan, at the Salinas Community Center on N. Main at 6pm on May 17, and at the Big Sur Lodge, Highway 1, at 6pm on May 18.
Four federal forests in southern California—including the northern part of the Los Padres, which includes the Monterey District—are undergoing review. A 90-day public comment period on the draft plan ends on Aug. 11. A final plan is expected in summer 2005.
The draft plan can be seen at www.fs.fed.us/r5/scfpr. The Web site is set up to receive public comments on the plan.
Specifics have not been delineated yet, but the draft plan divides the Forest in zones for various uses, including Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic River designations that restrict use.
For more information contact the Monterey District office in King City at (831) 385-5434. [AS]
Laird to Host Confab on New Medicare Drug Law
It’s been criticized by the left and the right; now find out how the new Medicare drug law will affect you and your pocketbook.
State Assemblyman John Laird and Bob Petty, the director of the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), will explain the new legislations, which add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The event takes place at 1pm, Friday, May 14, at the Sally Griffin Senior Center, 700 Jewel Ave., Pacific Grove.
The two speakers will also discuss choices for seniors, and criticisms of the law that come from various groups, including medical providers.
Since President Bush signed the bill into law last year, it has been surrounded in controversy, including bribery allegations and the fact that the program will cost one third more than the original projected $400 billion. That’s a total cost of around $533 billion.
The value of the new Medicare-approved drug discount cards has likewise been debated. Critics say the cards are confusing and offer little savings for seniors.
Friday’s forum, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Monterey Peninsula and Meals and Wheels, is free. [JL]