"The Battle Against Wildfires in our Area"
Asst. Chief Michael Meddles
Cal Fire Western Division
Chief Meddles will discuss Cal Fire operations in our area, and particularly how it fights wildfires. He will talk about several major fires, the 1987 fire in Pebble Beach forest, the Soberanes fire in 2016, the Carmel River fire in Salinas Valley, and others. The chief will show videos and photos of these wildfires and reveal how they were battled, the strategies, break throughs, setbacks, and challenges. Cal Fire attacks fires with a multitude of assets—firetrucks, water lines, tools, helicopters, tanker aircraft, bulldozers, and hand crews that sometimes comprise the National Guard and even prisoners. Often the effort involves trenching and starting counter fires. And there’s substantial action behind the scenes, logistics of all sorts, food, kitchens, hotels, and GPS specialists. The details on all this Cal Fire activity are fascinating.
Michael Meddles oversees Cal Fire operations, prevention, personnel, training and fire fighting. He has 27 years of experience in several areas—woodland and structural firefighting, fire prevention and law enforcement, air operations, dispatch and training. He’s held positions as a Firefighter, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, and Battalion Chief, and served 6 1/2 years in the U.S. Army as a Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief.
Spanish Bay Ballroom
"Economic Growth: Crucial but Uncertain"
Our speaker is adept at spelling out economic influences in clear, straightforward, and logical terms. His observations and views make eminent sense, yet are not readily accepted by our government leaders. Economic growth is vital, yet the outlook is in question. This presentation will deal with its causes, barriers, and other factors that underpin it. The implications of slower growth will be discussed along with some elements that could boost it if they were undertaken, such as higher legal immigration. Government subsidies, tax policy, and various other aspects also play important roles and will be addressed. This talk should be intriguing, insightful and engaging based on my discussions with David Henderson in preparation for the luncheon meeting.
David Henderson obtained his Ph.D.in economics from UCLA. He is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the NPS, a Research Fellow with the Hoover Institute, and Senior Fellow with Canada’s Fraser Institute. He was previously a senior economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors. David is the author or editor of five books on economics, including Making Great Decisions in Business and Life, and has written hundreds of articles for publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Barron’s, and Fortune. He has testified before several House and Senate committees such as the House Ways and Means Committee, and has appeared widely on television, including the Jim Lehrer Newshour and the O’Reilly Factor. Henderson also posts blogs 20 or 25 times a month on topics such as inflation, energy, taxation, immigration and international trade.
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“Monterey Regional Airport: Current Operations, Challenges and Future"
MIchael La Pier, A.A.E., Executive Director
The Monterey Regional Airport is a vital transportation entity in our area. We all use it but have little insight as to what takes place there behind the scenes. Michael La Pier will detail its history, current operations, thebusiness elements, and other aspects such as COIVID recovery, policing, fire, security, fog, solar energy, the control tower, FAA involvement, the governing structure, and various challenges and issues. He will also discuss future directions, the land acquisition, the new Master Plan which will culminate in construction of a new terminal building, and future new air service and destinations. There will be video and PowerPoint graphics along with the presentation. This revealing inside view of our airport should prove informative and fascinating.
Michael La Pier is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) and has served in his current capacity for 8 years. Under his direction the airport has reached $17 million in annual revenue, acquired property on Monterey Salinas Highway, constructed a solar farm to provide electricity for the airport, and expanded air service to several new markets. He has over 35 years of experience in airport management, including the Central Illinois Regional Airport ($40 mil. new terminal) and the Myrtle Beach Int’l Airport ($120 mil. new passenger terminal). Michael serves on the U.S. Government Affairs Committee for Airports and is a board member of the Monterey County Hospitality Assn. and the Convention & Visitor Bureau.
Laguna Seca Raceway was established in 1957 and is a world class road racing track for automobiles and motorcycles. Several changes have recently been completed in a $22 million construction project including a new pedestrian bridge and track resurfacing. In July, there will be a major shift in the county ownership structure. The track is the number one revenue creating venue for Monterey County, generating tourism, retail spending, etc. Our speaker will discuss not only all these new developments but also current operations and behind the scenes color. Accompanying our featured speaker will be two other members of the car racing community, Bruce Canepa and Ross Merrill.
John Narigi assumed his current position in late 2019 after 26 years as President and GM of the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. He has served on numerous boards, such as the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Monterey Peninsula Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Monterey Hospitality Association Executive Committee. John has received various awards including “Hospitality Professional of the Year” and “Outstanding General Manager of the Year.” He is from the Northwest, graduated from Gonzaga, and lives in Corral de Tierra.
Bruce Canepa has businesses dealing from design and development to historical/collector car sales, restoration and racing. He has raced Super Modified and Sprint Cars, and various other racing cars, and was Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Driver in three different categories. His team was 3rd in the 24 Hours of Daytona and in his first Pikes Peak International Hill Climb he placed 2nd. Bruce has the course record that still stands there for the tandem axle big rig event. And he still races in historic events.
Ross Merrill is CEO of Merrill Farms in Salinas Valley, 8,000 acres of produce crops. He is heavily involved in car racing, restores Porsches, and is President of the Laguna Seca Raceway Foundation. He still races.
This presentation will cover renewed competition in space: China and Russia’s development of weapons to attack U.S. satellites and security threats in space, the U.S. advantage of its commercial space sector and military space alliances, and how the U.S. is developing some critical comparative advantages.
Clay Moltz is a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs and in the Space Systems Academic Group at the Naval Post Graduate School. He has served as dean there in the International and Defense Studies school, and chairman of the Department of National Security Affairs. Before his stint at NPS he worked in the U.S. Senate, at UC San Diego, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Moltz has also served as an advisor to NASA-Ames Research Center. His Ph.D. is from UC Berkeley. His books include The Politics of Space Security, Crowded Orbits, and Asia’s Space Race, and he is co-author of Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation, Preventing Nuclear Meltdown, and The North Korean Nuclear Program. Moltz' honors include an award for Significant Research and Sustained Contributions to the Navy and DoD, and for Interdisciplinary Achievement.
"Aerobatic Aviation Stunt Flying"
Sean D. Tucker, World Champion Aerobatic Aviator
Sean Tucker is one of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s 25 “Living Legends of Flight.” He is in the National Aviation Hall of Fame which tags him as the “Ambassador of Aerobatics.” Sean has the Charles E. Yeager International Aeronautical Achievement Award and is president and co-founder of the Bob Hoover Academy for underserved teens to get them engaged in aviation and scientific, tech, engineering and math education. He established the Academy of Aviation Safety in 1997.
Tucker has flown more than 1,600 performances at over 575 air shows. He practices his air show routine as many as 3 times a day during the season, and follows a rigorous physical training schedule working out more than 340 days a year. And he has summited 4 of the world’s legendary Seven Summits, including Mt. Kilimanjaro. You may be familiar with his Oracle Challenger aerobatic airplane that he flies in airshows and is destined for the Smithsonian Museum. Its top speed is 300 mph and it is disassembled, inspected and rebuilt before each airshow.
"Men's Health: A Primary Care Perspective"
JP Meckel is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the Montage Medical Group. He focuses on office procedures, addiction medicine, and preventative care. Dr. Meckel has a Mechanical Engineering degree and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Cal Poly. He attended medical school at Midwestern Univ. in Arizona and did Family Medicine residency at Ventura County Medical Center. Jon-Peter comes to us highly recommended from the Montage Group board to speak on a topic of considerable interest to our members, health matters that males confront, and how to practice preventative measures.
His presentation will focus on common male health challenges and how to prevent or minimize them. There will be ample time for Q and A.
"China, Xi Jinping and Security Threats in Asia"
Michael Glosny is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Post Graduate School. He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, and previously was China Security Affairs Fellow, at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. His expertise centers around Chinese foreign policy and East Asian security.
Michael received his Ph.D. from MIT and has been a Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Science and Technology and its Institute for Strategic Studies. He focuses on Chinese foreign and security policy and U.S. alliances in East Asia.
Currently, he is working on a book dealing with the effect of China’s grand strategy on the response by the other major powers. Michael has spent more than 3 years in China and Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin.
Here is a link to presentation slides.
"Putin's Russia and the Ukraine War"
Aleksandar Matovski, Ph.D, Department of Graduate Affairs, Naval Post Graduate School, will bring us an informative presentation with visual aid PowerPoint slides. Alek is a recognized expert on the subject. He is stationed at NPS but is also an Associate at the Harvard University Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. His focus is on strategic behavior of authoritarian regimes with emphasis on the former Soviet Union. In addition to his PhD from Cornell University, he holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College in London, and a law degree. Alek is from Eastern Europe and was a National Security Advisor there with the Macedonian government. He speaks Russian fluently and has been in Russia some 30 times. Do not miss this timely talk.
Here is a link to the presentation slides.
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