Fort Ord

Erika Mahoney

 


 

The global commercial drone market is valued at $1.6 billion and growing quickly. Communities around the world, including the Monterey Bay area, are trying to get a piece of that economic growth.

Krista Almanzan

It’s been nearly 25 years since Fort Ord closed and the removal of all the blighted buildings may soon be within sight. Another swath of old Army buildings is starting to come down in Seaside.

Krista Almanzan

On the central coast, there are more homeless veterans than housing to serve them.  The Veterans Transition Center wants to change that.

Krista Almanzan

Since the day Fort Ord closed there’s been talk of opening a museum to commemorate the near 80 years it served as a training ground for Army soldiers.  That effort has always had more enthusiasm than money and that’s still the case, but now the clock is ticking. 

Erika Mahoney

The smoke plume over the Monterey Bay Thursday came from two controlled burns on the former Fort Ord. The burns are part of the ongoing cleanup of the old Army base.

Erika Mahoney

A new health clinic opening on the former Fort Ord will serve both active duty military and veterans. It’s an early effort by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to work together on health care.

Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs

The Pentagon is pushing Congress to shut down more military bases. The objective is to save money, just as it was 20 years ago when Fort Ord closed. 

Many lawmakers don’t like the idea because it means cutting jobs in their communities. So Congress has fought base closure for more than a decade.

Military communities like Monterey, have used that time to get ready.

Erika Mahoney

A new campground is coming to a former Fort Ord firing range.  The California Coastal Commission approved a permit for California State Parks to build the campground in Fort Ord Dunes State Park. 

Doug McKnight

Since the day it opened last year, the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery has been a cemetery that lacked in-ground burials.  Right now, it only has space for cremated remains.  But that will change with a new infusion of funds. 

Doug McKnight

The new veteran’s cemetery on the former Fort Ord just opened Tuesday and has already added additional staff to handle a flood of burial inquiries. With nearly 2000 applications approved, the Central Coast Veteran’s Cemetery is performing five services a day.

Doug McKnight

 

Land where soldiers once trained for war is now a final resting place for those who served. The Central Coast Veterans Cemetery on the former Fort Ord opened Tuesday with a dedication ceremony.   

Krista Almanzan

Any day now the Army hopes to resume prescribed burns on the former Fort Ord.  It’s part of the clean-up process, which began when the Army base closed more than 20 years ago.

To find out what happens after the smoke clears, I took a rare trip into the burn area with Lyle Shurtleff.  He’s Munitions Response Manager for the Fort Ord Environmental Cleanup.  

Krista Almanzan

Judith Quinones lays out pictures of her late husband Abel on an ottoman in the living room of her assisted living community.

“This is my favorite one of Abel.  He looks nice.   I just love it,” says Quinones holding a photo of a younger Abel.  It was taken before he rose to the rank of Master Chief in the Navy where he served around the world including in Vietnam. 

Krista Almanzan

The military is in Wilma Hall-McKenzie’s blood.   “I’ve been an Army brat all my life.  My dad was in the Army for 30 years, and my husbands were both in the Army,” says Hall-McKenzie.

She first moved to the Central Coast in 1953 when her father was stationed at Fort Ord.  Life as a military daughter, and later a military wife has taken her all over the world, but always brought her back here.

So when her mom died in 2000, then her dad in 2009 and her second husband in 2012, there was really no question as to what to do with their ashes. 

Krista Almanzan

Portland, Oregon is well known as a bike friendly city, but it wasn’t always that way.  The woman who helped change the city from being car centric to the place with hundreds of miles of bike lanes, trails and walkways is Mia Birk.  

She’s the former bicycle coordinator for Portland, and now President of Alta Planning and Design – a company that works with communities across the country to create infrastructure so people can bike and walk as part of their daily lives. 

Krista Almanzan

Fort Ord closed on September 30, 1994.  It was one of the largest U.S. military bases ever shutdown.  The closure left behind an area of land the size of San Francisco.  

Today the base is home to a university, National Monument and construction is underway on a new joint Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense heath care center.   But after 20 years, a lot of work still remains. 

Fort Ord Blight Removal Picks Up

Apr 3, 2014
Doug McKnight

In the twenty years since the Army shut down Fort Ord there’s been progress on repurposing the land – a new University, a National Monument, new housing and shopping.  But even with all the change more than one thousand abandoned buildings still remain standing -- making parts of the former base look like a ghost town.   Now efforts to clean up the remaining blight may finally be picking up.

 

This week the Monterey County Board of Supervisors pulled its support for a planned transit center on Fort Ord.  It’s a victory for a group that aims to preserve recreation on the former Fort.  

 

On a recent visit to the Monterey Bay Area, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar voiced his support for making Fort Ord lands a National Monument.   KAZU’s Krista Almanzan reports on what monument status would mean and what’s next. 

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