Hello members of Oregon Chapter of APWA. I am thankful for the opportunity to be president of the chapter for 2019.
Although I am president, it is really the folks who came before me and the folks all around me who make this the organization that it is. I want to thank all the many people who help the OR chapter. Certainly this includes all the officers and board members, all the folks who step up and work on the committees as chairs or members, all the folks who teach classes at the educational events, and all the folks who are behind the scenes making the events and conferences run smoothly, and all the people who step up to help each other out. It takes all of these people and more to keep this organization moving and fulfilling our goals.
I was thinking the other day about why I decided to go into civil engineering in the first place back in college. Even though I didn't really know what civil engineering or public works was or know the challenges that lay ahead of me, I felt that water and wastewater were extremely important to society - a foundation of society that would only get more important as time went on. What would we do without potable water or good sanitation? If I was working with that, then at the end of the day I would feel good about what I have done. I understand now that public works is so much more than my narrow view as a college student, and yet the sentiment is still the same.
I salute all of you no matter what part of public works you participate in. Whether what you are doing is the smallest of things or headline news, you are making a positive difference. Even if you are not recognized, even if it sometimes doesn't seem like it, you are doing good work and you are doing important work. And I believe you will rise to the challenges that come. You are doing something that you can be proud of now, and in the future when your labors are over.
Here are some thoughts from legendary basketball coach John Wooden about success:
Fear no opponent, respect every opponent
It's the smallest details that make big things happen
Hustle makes up for many mistakes
Be more interested in character than reputation
Be quick, but don’t hurry
With that, have a wonderful year and see you at the conferences and events. Feel free to contact me, any of the officers or board member if you have ideas or thoughts for APWA.
Gordon Munro, 2019 Chapter President
Thomas Nominated for Top 10 Honor
Russ Thomas, Public Works Superintendent for the City of Newberg, has been nominated as a candidate for National APWA's 2019 Top 10 Public Works Leader Award.
The Oregon Chapter board selected Thomas for the nomination based on his passion for public works and his commitment to help others, particularly those who work in the operations and maintenance areas of the profession.
"Russ is truly a leader within the industry and the community," wrote Chapter President Gordon Munro in his letter of recommendation to the award panel. "His efforts help to elevate the industry and are of great benefit to the community."
Thomas served in the U.S. Navy for four years, then literally "worked his way up," starting as a laborer with the City of Newberg in 1979 and advancing over the years as a crew chief, wastewater treatment plant manager, operations supervisor, and ultimately Newberg's maintenance superintendent. Similarly, he rose through the ranks of Oregon APWA, becoming a member in 1996 and serving on the chapter's Education, Fleet, and Underground Utilities/Locating committees before joining the chapter board in 2010. He served as president of Oregon APWA in 2017. He has been a mainstay on the Wastewater Collections and Street Maintenance School steering committee for more than 20 years, and was also an avid supporter of the Gizmo competitions that raise money for scholarships. Thomas received the chapter's Bowes Award for distinguished service in 2014.
In addition to his professional service, Thomas has been an active member of his community, chairing Newberg's annual Old Fashioned Festival committee and serving as president of the Newberg High School Booster Club, the St. Paul Parochial School Parents Club, Newberg Little League, and Newberg Babe Ruth.
The full application listing Russ Thomas' many successes is available under Awards on the chapter's web site.
Extended School, Bend Conference on Education Ticket
Heavy equipment will be rolling into Eugene for the Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Spring "Extended School." Much like the “Short School,” the Extended School offers a core curriculum of training on street maintenance and collection systems, plus one additional day of education, 2.0 CEUs, a Job Fair and the Oregon Chapter-sponsored Equipment ROADeo. The Spring Extended School is being offered for the first time at the Valley River Inn. We are looking forward to having students from all over Oregon attend this newly Extended School March 19-22nd. More information.
The Developing Leader class returns to Mt. Bachelor Village April 9-12 with maximum registration. This highly sought-after class fills up quickly, so if you didn’t get into this one watch for the 2020 class to open registration in early summer.
Mark your calendar for April 16-19. Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend is the place to be. The annual Oregon Chapter Spring Conference is gearing up to offer local fun in Central Oregon. In addition to a local tour to OSU Cascade Campus, we will offer a Pub Crawl in the evening to local downtown nightclubs and pubs. Partnering with CASA in Canyonville was only the beginning; we are partnering with their Central Oregon Chapter for the spring conference. More information.
For more information on upcoming education visit us at www.oregon.apwa.net (click on Events and then Training) or call 541-994-3201.
By Tim Blackwood Traveling to the spring conference in Bend? Check out the ride share app rolled out by the chapter's Sustainability Committee. Why is it important to look at travel options such as ride sharing? According to a recent Popular Science article, a trip from Chicago to LA (1700 miles) would produce the following CO2 emissions for differing modes of travel:
Electric Car charged by wind power – 0 lbs
Coach Bus – 289 lbs
Electric Car charged by hydrocarbon-sourced fuel – 549 lbs
Train – 629 lbs (does not include additional fuel burned if stopped by a tree and/or snow near Oakridge)
Plane economy class - 643 lbs
Plane first class – 1,286 lbs
Gasoline powered passenger car – 1,836 lbs
Gasoline powered SUV – 2,363 lbs
Since few of us will be commuting from Chicago, we won't be producing near as much CO2 as this, but we will be producing a significant amount. And every pound we save helps. For conferences and trainings, the Sustainability Committee is asking you to plan ahead and reduce your CO2 footprint. That's why we’ve rolled out the ride-share app you can use to car pool to conferences. We won’t be able to help if you are flying first class or taking the train, but we can help if you are driving. For every ride we share, we reduce our CO2 production by up to 300 pounds (for someone who would have otherwise driven alone in an SUV); and with a couple of hundred attendees, that could add up. So check out for the ride share app. It’s coming to a conference that may not be near you.
2019 Oregon Roadeo Tests Equipment Skills
By Lloyd (Fuji) Ngariki, Short School Committee Chair – Collections APWA-OR Chapter will hold its second annual equipment Roadeo event during the 2019 Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Spring Extended School at the Valley River Inn, Eugene. The Spring Extended School is being held March 19-22, with the Roadeo event planned for Wednesday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The Roadeo competition is a chance for participants across the state to test their skills by maneuvering machinery through specific obstacle courses. The first and second place winners will be sponsored by the chapter board to represent the Oregon Chapter at the 2019 National APWA PWX Conference Roadeo event in Seattle.
In 2018, several members of our committee attended the first APWA-OR sponsored Roadeo at Oregon City and also the national competition at PWX in Kansas City to get ideas for planning and managing the Roadeo. In Eugene competition will feature skills on back-hoe, mini excavator and skid steer.
APWA school committee members from city of Eugene Public Works Maintenance Division took the lead on planning the Roadeo event. They have reached out and partnered with Lane County Public Works and Springfield Public Works to form the planning committee. With this collaboration, the committee was able to recruit local equipment sponsors and will set up the Roadeo course and staff the three events with judges and timers.
APWA members are invited to view the competition, which will be held in the parking lot at Valley River Inn.
Green Transportation Summit Coming in May
By Russ Thomas
The Oregon Chapter is once again a proud community partner for the ninth annual Green Transportation Summit & Expo, to be held May 21-23 in Tacoma, Washington.
The Green Transportation Summit & Expo (GTSE) is the region's premier fleet modernization and alternative fuels event. GTSE events offer information-packed sessions, prominent national and regional speakers, and the latest technologies from industry leaders. Fleet managers and clean-fleet stakeholders have relied on GTSE events to give them the best value for their time and budget, and this year's event promises to continue that trend.
As a community partner for the Green Transportation Summit & Expo, Oregon Chapter members, or members of their agency can attend the GTSE19, with a 30% saving on the registration cost by using discount code: APWA on the registration web page at https://bit.ly/2COKliR.
The GTSE will put you directly in front of influencers and decision makers in the fleet industry, with ample time for networking with peers and colleagues. Learn more and register today on the Green Transportation Summit & Expo website.
Last year, I was looking for ways to participate in APWA at the national level and found the Water Resources Management (WRM) Knowledge Team. Knowledge teams are subcommittees of the technical committees, generally established to further expand national-level volunteer opportunities to APWA members. Team members provide a sounding board for the official committee, help to promote the goal of the committee and can take on a specific project.
Both Doug Singer, PE, CSM, and I are part of the WRM Knowledge Team. For nearly a year, Doug, myself, and a team of stormwater professionals from all over the United States have been helping to update the Stormwater Management Workshop Learner Guide, which provides public works officials a guide to developing and implementing stormwater management policies. This collaborative smart team meets monthly to revise and update the guide. We discuss and research stormwater topics and incorporate changing science and regulations into a simpler format.
I have found the WRM Knowledge Team a rewarding experience. I love hearing about what’s important to other municipalities and how they have evolved their programs. The best part: I get to contribute to future programs and get to know other stormwater professionals. So, if you’re looking to get more involved at the national level, but may not be ready for the obligation of a national committee, consider knowledge teams. I hope you find them as rewarding as I do.
Shoulder or centerline rumble strips (RS) generate noise and vibration to alert drivers when they are departing the lane of travel. Although inexpensive to install, easy to maintain, and very long-lasting, RS are not installed on many roadway segments primarily due to noise concerns of nearby property owners.
Oregon State University in collaboration with Portland State University recently conducted a study to evaluate the feasibility of using sinusoidal RS as a substitute for the traditional rounded, milled RS on roads in Oregon with lane-departure crash problems. The study included exterior and interior sound levels, as well as interior vibrations generated by rounded and sinusoidal RS strikes.
The study executed a total of 114 vehicle strikes from three different vehicle classes – a passenger car, a van and a dump truck. Rumble strip strikes by the car and van generated less exterior noise with the sinusoidal than with the rounded design. Interior noise generated by striking the sinusoidal design generated a clearly noticeable alert, suggesting that the sinusoidal rumble strip is still an effective countermeasure.
Results for the heaviest vehicle were complicated due to bridging of the narrower, rounded rumble strip by the tires. The wider cut of the sinusoidal RS generated a clearly detectable increase in exterior roadside noise for the heavy vehicles. Likewise, the sinusoidal design created a noticeable interior alert, but the rounded design did not.
I graduated from Tigard high school in 2013 and started my college career in 2013 with the goal of designing bridges in Oregon. This goal led me down the path of getting a Masters degree, and in June of 2019 I will graduate with a BS and MS in Civil Engineering.
During the last two summers I had the opportunity to work with Kiewit Engineering group designing the temporary structures for super projects across the US. These internships opened my eyes to construction engineering services and the importance of working with the job to get the best product out. After graduation I will be going back to Kiewit Engineering to continue supporting both small and large construction, and making sure they get the highest quality design for their temporary structures.
Thank you. I’m honored to have received this scholarship.
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles about Oregon APWA's committees. View Committee Central for the full list of chapter committees, and decide which ones you'd like to become active in.
Chapter Communications Committee (CommComm)
This committee plans and shares information about public works services and serves as a resource for issues and training related to public information and involvement; provides Chapter publicity, including newsletter and web site; promotes access to APWA National and Chapter information services and opportunities for involvement via the internet.
Adrienne Lindsey, Marketing and Business Development for GeoEngineers, Inc., and 2019 chair of the Communications Committee: "Being on the committee allows me use both my professional marketing experience and education in public administration to have fun supporting public agencies."
Eric Jones, retired, consultant for Public Relations for Public Works: "Serving on CommComm keeps me plugged in to the profession, lets me make good use of my technical skills, and helps me stay active."
Brian Richardson, Public Affairs Manager for Eugene Public Works: "It’s a great opportunity to share and highlight the excellence of public works around the state, all while having fun and getting to meet new people. Oh, there’s getting to work with the Bulldog, too."