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Fire Safe Council for Monterey County launches awareness, fundraising campaign

In light of wildfires plaguing other parts of the state, the Fire Safe Council for Monterey County wants to get the word out about their programs.

Monterey County is especially vulnerable to wildfires because of its abundance of forested lands and hot, dry weather in its inland areas.

The Fire Safe Council is a nonprofit agency based in Monterey that works to educate residents and businesses about fire safety, manage and reduce vegetation that fuels fires, and partner with various fire agencies.

The Monterey County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, signed in 2010, enables communities at-risk to apply for fuel-reduction project grants from the federal government.

The Fire Safe Council helps residents and businesses apply for these grants.

In addition to fuel-reduction projects and chipping programs, the council hopes to sponsor grants for smoke detector and carbon monoxide installations, evacuation routes, education programs, and more.

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First Night Monterey to host it's "Just the Ticket" gala celebration

First Night Monterey will host its "Just the Ticket" a gala celebration with food, music and art on Saturday, September 27.  A salute to Paulette Lynch, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Monterey County and Ken Peterson, Communications Director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. "JUST THE TICKET" to longtime local arts advocates in Monterey.

Eat like a chef for the American Red Cross

A Farm to Table Dinner will be held at Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley on Friday, October 3. Planners said people will eat like a chef and enjoy the fresh bounty of the Monterey Bay Area farms and wineries while supporting the local work of the American Red Cross.

The evening will start off music by the Mario Flores Latin Jazz Band and an hour-long wine and beer tasting reception. During dinner, Chef Todd Fisher of Tarpy’s Restaurant and Chef Tim Wood of Carmel Valley Ranch will serve up a multi-course menu featuring the best offerings from area farms and different local wines. During dessert, a video will play showing volunteers from Monterey and San Benito County.

Man to push large fake testicle across country

Here's a headline that's hard to miss: "A giant inflatable testicle will roll across Monterey County."

But behind the mock human body part, that will certainly create lots of puns along the way, is a cancer survivor trying to raise awareness.

Thomas Cantley, 31, survived testicular cancer. He is pushing the six-foot testicle across the country to generate awareness and support for young men's health issues. Cantley, who won't detach the inflated testicle from his waist during the entire trip, will begin his trek in Santa Monica on September 4 and end in New York City in early October.

Cantley is encouraging people to come and find the giant testicle as it rolls through Monterey, Salinas, and Carmel through September 9 and tell him how they have been BALLSY (there's your first pun).

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Bicyclists ride down scenic Highway 1 for a cause

The 11th annual Best Buddies Challenge bicycle ride begins Saturday on Highway 1 beginning in Carmel and ending in San Simeon in San Luis Obispo County.

Traffic control for this ride will begin at 6 a.m. and consists of rolling closures by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). This bike ride will begin at 7 a.m. at Carmel Valley Road. All riders will be off the road by 4 p.m. on San Simeon Road near Hearst Castle.

Electronic Message Boards will be posted alerting motorists to 'Share the Road' with cyclists. Motorists can expect delays not to exceed 15 minutes.

'CIG Insurance Community Safety Saturday'

A special day of free activities and events to help you keep your family safe. This Saturday is "CIG Insurance Community Safety Saturday". A free, family and community event that offers information and education about how to improve the safety and security of children, teens, families, and communities.

Some of the activities include; a free child car seat safety inspection, info on the CHP's Start Smart teen drivers education and an opportunity to regiester for class, free document shredding, and facepainting.

The event takes place this Saturday, September 6, from 10a.m. to 2p.m. at the Capital Insurance Group, 2300 Garden Road, Monterey, CA.

$8.7 million in grants awarded by TAMC; infrastructure improvements planned

$8.7 million in grants awarded by TAMC; infrastructure improvements planned

SALINAS, Calif. Several infrastructure projects in Monterey County will move forward with the awarding of $8.7 million. Included in this funding are downtown Salinas’ street improvements and the new roundabout on the Holman Highway at Highway 1.

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board of Directors recently approved the competitive grant funding to transportation improvement projects throughout Monterey County.

Each project submitted by local cities and the County of Monterey is designed to improve safety, reduce congestion & provide access and direct links to communities & business; and in some cases, enhance alternative modes of transportation or stimulate redevelopment.

Some the projects included in this grant funding include the Seaside West Broadway urban village infrastructure improvements project and the King City First Street bicycle and pedestrian improvements south of First Street bridge.