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.
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.
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.
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.