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Thursday, June 01, 2006

TERRO-PORK TO BE SPREAD AROUND LIKE B-2 BOMBER FUNDS

ERIC LIPTON, NY TIMES ­ After vowing to steer a greater share of antiterrorism money to the highest-risk communities, Department of Homeland Security officials on Wednesday announced 2006 grants that slashed money for New York and Washington 40 percent, while other cities including Omaha and Louisville, Ky., got a surge of new dollars. . . "When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York said. "They don't have a map of any of the other 46 or 45 places."
 
WASHINGTON POST 2003 - Two years after Congress approved a massive infusion of cash to help gird the Washington area against terrorism, much of the $324 million remains unspent or is funding projects with questionable connections to homeland security. . . The District funded a politically popular jobs program, outfitted police with leather jackets and assessed environmental problems on property prime for redevelopment. In Maryland, the money is buying Prince George's County prosecutors an office security system. In Virginia, a small volunteer fire department spent $350,000 on a custom-made fire boat. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments used some of the money for janitorial services. . . 
 
Across the region, state and local governments fulfilled long-standing wish lists and used the homeland security funds for projects that were only tangentially related to terrorism. Officials say they are putting these purchases to "dual use": helping with daily needs and at the same time protecting the region.
 
As Leslie Hotaling, director of the District's Department of Public Works, said: "If we can tie it to 9/11 and build capacity in our core functions, let's do it!" Her agency spent more than $55,000 on basic employee training courses such as "map reading" and "handling problem employees."
 
In October, D.C. Council members questioned the use of homeland security dollars to pay for sanitation supervisors to attend a "Dale Carnegie" management course with no disaster preparedness instruction. City officials later relabeled the course on their documents by removing the management guru's name. The routine training helps employees better handle an emergency, Hotaling said.
 
Her agency used an additional $300,000 to help pay for a computerized car towing system that the mayor had promised for three years to help combat fraud by private towing companies. . .
 
Another District agency directed $100,000 to the mayor's politically popular summer jobs program, documents show. Forty low-income young adults were trained in first aid and other emergency skills, then paid to rap and dance about emergency preparedness as part of outreach efforts. The program was nationally recognized and a "brilliant" use of money, said Deputy Mayor Margret Nedelkoff Kellems, who oversaw spending

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