Thursday, September 30, 2004
Homeland Security Pays for Boat
Millions of dollars in federal grant money from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was spread out last week among fire departments around the country.
Although the DHS was organized in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to address domestic preparedness, Congressionally appropriated funding does not have to be used to prepare for terrorist attacks or weapons of mass destruction, according to the department.
Late last week, the DHS announced grant awards to several local fire departments, including $126,050 to the Carmel Valley Fire Protection District and $123,975 to the North County Fire Protection District in Castroville.
The Monterey Fire Department (MFD) recently was granted $158,400 for a new firefighting boat.
Division chief Mike Ventimiglia says the MFD got some domestic terrorism training in March 1999, when the department participated in Operation Urban Warrior, a joint military exercise held in Monterey to simulate a terror attack on local military facilities.
Besides that exercise, Ventimiglia says, the department trains in weapons of mass destruction response through state-mandated hazardous materials training.
“I haven’t seen any grant criteria come out of Department of Homeland Security for weapons of mass destruction,” he says. “Obviously if one came out we’d probably apply for it.” [AS]
Solar Power Open House
The Earth’s most abundant energy source will be the center of attention on a tour of eight solar-powered Monterey County buildings on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The properties range from beach bungalows to large estates, and use the sun’s energy to provide heating, cooling and illumination. The tour begins at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Carmel, which has the largest solar installation on the Peninsula.
One striking example is the Feldman home in the Santa Lucia Preserve, which has skylights with solar electric cells that let in diffused light and produce power.
“The house really blends spectacular architecture with the natural surroundings of the Santa Lucia preserve,” says Greg Wolfson, owner of Solar Alternatives and tour organizer. Tours begin at 10am and end at 4pm. $10/group for self-guided tours, or $10/for guided van tours with wine included. For more information call 333-1597. [JT]