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Scan In The Place . . .

Beginning this week, lucky commuters taking the Golden Gate Ferry from Larkspur will be treated to hand scans for the detection of explosives. The Secure Automated Inspection Lanes will use document-scanning equipment to make sure the workaday North Bay resident is not carrying anything more explosive than an über-cool idea to work. This pilot program will take place through September on the Marin County side--on off-peak trips at first--and will potentially move to the San Francisco terminal after that. All passengers will be scanned--with no delays expected. What happens when you get scanned for explosives attempting to take the ferry to work? According to the Homeland Security pamphlet recently handed to wary Bay Area commuters, "You will be given a document at the entrance, which can capture trace evidence of explosives from the touch of your hand. You will need to provide that document to a [Transportation Security Administration] screener at the checkpoint so it can be passed through the explosives screening device. If there is a positive reading, a secondary screening will occur. Documents without positive readings will be shredded." Riiiiiiight. For more information on this scan-in-the-place-where-you-live program, visit www.tsa.gov.

The Water's Fine

With the Marin Municipal Water District's construction of a $500,000 fence around its water supply, the North Bay takes another step toward increasing security in the face of potential terrorist attacks. The 3,400-foot-long, 9-foot-high fence means only Paul Bunyan-sized assailants can endanger Marin County's water facilities. The fencing replaces the somewhat shorter, vulnerable-to-attack six-foot fences. The funding was supplied through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Vetting Security

While war heroes at the Veterans Hospital in Yountville have been forced to fend for themselves, living in the clinic without much security, a new grant slated for the group from California through the Homeland Security Department aims to make them more . . . secure. The $65,000 safety grant will help give the veterans increased visitor tracking, protection for the group's water supply, extra lighting and cameras.

--Chip McAuley

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From the August 31-September 6, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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