Here we are in the transition from a great summer to a wonderful fall. I am reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.
Looking back, I had a delightful summer basking in the warm weather, taking long hikes, and spending a relaxing week enjoying the pleasures of Central Oregon. As a bonus, I attended my first National PWX (Public Works Expo) Conference. With over 6,000 attendees and so many options of educational sessions, exhibits, open forums, innovation stations, exhibitor solution sessions and tours, it was almost overwhelming. Fortunately PWX offers a First-Timers program and an Expo app to help attendees get the most out of this huge event. The four days I spent at the Expo provided me with inspiration, fresh ideas, network contacts, and lots of brochures about exciting products or services that I shared with my staff and co-workers.
Looking ahead, this fall the Chapter is offering some great professional development opportunities. There is the Street Maintenance & Collections training in October. The Public Works Leadership and Public Works Essentials programs will be in December.
In addition, the Fall Conference in Bend is just around the corner. The theme of the fall conference is PRIDE (Providing Reliable Infrastructure with Dedication and Excellence). A tour of Bend’s Water Treatment Plant and Whitewater Park will be offered along with numerous educational technical sessions and informational exhibitor booths. (Alright, now I can get more ideas about products and services and share those brochures with my staff).
Our community service event at the conference is outreach to Grace Changes Everything! I encourage you to bring eco-friendly and biodegradable donations to the conference to help the homeless men, women, children and pets in Central Oregon survive the chilling winter months.
Also coming up next month is the presentation of Project of Year awards, the Bowes award and other awards. I am anxiously waiting to find out who will win which award.
Though future events mentioned above are positive and joyful, there will be one sad event occurring this fall when the coveted Gizmo award leaves me and goes home with a new friend. Gizmo and I have bonded over the last six months and it will be difficult to say good-bye. However, I know in order for Gizmo to grow to his full potential, he needs to move on. He will be missed.
Delora Kerber, 2016 Chapter President
By Tim Blackwood, Chair of Sustainability Committee
The Oregon APWA Sustainability Committee hosted its first sustainability field trip - a trip to the new Elephant Lands exhibit at the Portland Zoo.
Attendance was limited to 20 people, and it was a fun and informative event for those who participated. We were hosted by Metro staff that included Jim Mitchel, Metro’s Elephant Lands project manager, and Heidi Rahn, zoo bond coordinator. They gave us the insider tour where the general public generally isn’t allowed and filled us in on some of the sustainable and environmentally friendly components of the new facility, like special glass that keeps the birds from running into the main building’s windows and an extensive stormwater re-use system. We even had an impromptu conversation with one of the elephant keepers on what it’s like to take care of 5-ton animals.
In addition to the information from Metro, we had some insider information from two of the design engineers on the project. Paul Dedyo from KPFF Consulting Engineers, and Allison Pyrch from Hart Crowser were involved in the civil and geotechnical work, respectively, on the project. Paul gave us an overview of some of the sustainable elements of the Elephant Lands exhibit, including a ground loop heat exchange system that will carry much of the load for cooling and heating water used in the new facility as well as a future facility planned for the polar bears. Allison gave us some insight on some of the geotechnical components of the project, including horizontal drains that were installed at the site due to its location on a large landslide.
The tour was followed by a hosted happy hour at the Goose Hollow Inn. Thanks to Hart Crowser for hosting the happy hour. The committee would like to give special thanks to Melissa Robinson with the City of Eugene for coordinating the field trip, and of course to Metro for being a gracious host. We hope to see you on the next sustainability field trip!
The Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation has awarded more than $15,000 in university and college scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year.
Alessandra Hossley of North Bend received a $1,000 Polvi Civil Engineering scholarship at Oregon State University.
Aquila Reed of Klamath Falls received a $3,000 geomatics scholarship at Oregon Institute of Technology.
Jesus Magdaleno of Medford received a $1,000 Past Presidents scholarship at Oregon State University.
Wyatt Dean of Eugene received a $3,000 civil engineering/geomatics scholarship at Oregon State University.
Christine Hawatmeh of Salem receivewd a $500 Don and Cathy Schut scholarship at Oregon State University.
Thomas Torkelson of Portland received a $3,000 civil engineering/geomatics/geotechnical scholarship at Portland State University.
Raina Smith-Roller of Portland received a $2,000 Michael Lindberg scholarship at Portland State University.
Michael Hoie of Roseburg received a $500 scholarship at Umpqua Community College.
Siro Diaz of Milton-Freewater received a $750 a Les Lyle Memorial scholarship at Walla Walla Community College.
Brandon Hill of Rainier received a $1,500 Allen A. Alsing civil engineering scholarship at Oregon State University.
Additional announcements of scholarships are expected to be made this fall. More than 190 Oregon Chapter scholarships totaling $276,000 have been awarded since 1981. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by Oregon Chapter members. If you'd like to learn more about opportunities to get involved in the Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation, contact Foundation president Gregg Weston.
Alessandra Hossley, Oregon State University, Ron Polvi Scholarship
"I am entering my final year of undergraduate education in the Civil/Forest Engineering program at Oregon State University. I moved to the Southern Oregon Coast in 2005, and have grown to love the beautiful Oregon forests and all of the outdoor activities they have to offer.
"Over the past few summers I have completed different engineering internships with the Coos Watershed Association, Campbell Global, LLC (two seasons), The Dyer Partnership Engineers and Planners, and am currently with KPFF Consulting Engineers.
"I hold a number of different leadership positions during the academic year. Through my involvement with Phi Kappa Phi, I serve as the OSU chapter’s Student Vice President as well as a representative and delegate at the society’s biennial national convention. I will also chair the Professional Development position for OSU’s ASCE chapter during the 2016-2017 academic year. These leadership positions allow me to help civil engineering students connect with industry professionals and learn more about the field – a task I have taken great pride and pleasure in over the last few years. My other extra-curricular activities include undergraduate student research and teaching. I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Aerial Information Systems (AIS) laboratory in the College of Forestry and a research assistant in the Transforming Undergraduate Education project in the College of Engineering.
"My future goals include earning a master's degree in geotechnical engineering, and eventually opening an engineering consulting firm with my siblings. Thank you for your support and assistance with my education to allow me to reach my career goals!"
As of Sept. 1, the Oregon Chapter has welcomed 57 new members in 2016. Here's a list of the nine new members who have joined the chapter since June. Please welcome them when you get an opportunity and look for ways to get them involved in the Chapter.
International Affairs Panel Portal to Public Works Pros
By Todd Watkins APWA Nordic Subcommittee Member
The American Public Works Association serves more people than just those from the United States of America. Most notable is the relationship with the Canadian Public Works Association in that members of CPWA are automatically members of APWA.
However, beyond the borders of North America, APWA also has a robust international affairs program with a variety of agreements and relationships with professional organizations in Latin America, Australia, and Europe. In particular, the International Affairs Committee promotes the “exchange of ideas, information and technology” to enhance the delivery of services utilizing professionals from a variety of regions throughout the world.
The IAC’s mission is accomplished by a number of active programs including the Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program and the PWX Ambassador Program. These efforts help to build relationships between American public works professionals and their counterparts in other countries.
The work of the IAC is supported by four sub-committees which include: 1) New Zealand and Australia, 2) Mexico and Latin America, 3) Czech and Slovak Republics) and the 4) Nordic Region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). These sub-committees communicate on a regular basis and exchange ideas about emerging trends, innovations, and challenges that are common to everyone in the public works industry.
As an avid traveler and someone who values different perspectives, I have enjoyed serving on the Nordic Subcommittee for the past year. It has been interesting and enlightening to work with people from across the country as well as Scandinavia. Membership on the Nordic subcommittee includes people from Washington, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ontario (Canada), Finland, and Sweden
IAC’s flagship program is the Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program. This program provides participants the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and experience by traveling to a partner country, of their choosing, to exchange information and ideas about a particular topic. This is a competitive program with only one or two participants selected in any given year. For 2016, the Oregon Chapter’s very own Matt Rodrigues (City of Eugene) was selected to travel to Sweden to learn more about their “Vision Zero Initiative” and to Denmark to learn about their Road Safety Action Plan. Plan to attend Matt’s presentation about his trip during one of the technical sessions at the upcoming Fall Conference in Bend.
Additionally, the IAC promotes its “Ambassador” program at PWX as a way to connect American delegates with foreign delegates. Similar to the Oregon Chapter’s First Timer’s Program, the Ambassadors are assigned a participant from another country as a way to welcome international attendees and enhance their experience at the event.
The IAC continues to evolve and there are opportunities for local members to be involved. In particular, the IAC is creating a network of “Chapter Liaisons” who will help promote and advocate the mission of the committee. As our world becomes smaller with the advent of increased accessibility to data, information, and news, it is important, more so now than ever, that we stay engaged and up-to-date with the evolution of the public works profession beyond our domestic borders. If you are interested in learning more about the “Chapter Liaison” opportunity, contact Todd Watkins at 503-846-7650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
APWA Education Offers Year-Round Learning
The summer is just about over, kids are getting back to school and once again, APWA education is in full swing!
Our first event will be the Fall Street Maintenance & Collection Systems School at Riverhouse in Bend October 4-6. Even though we are nearly a month away, we have over 100 Students signed up. If you, or someone you supervise needs 1.5 wastewater CEUs - this is the class for you!
A week after this class we will have the Fall Oregon Chapter Conference October 11-14, also at the Riverhouse in Bend. We have a terrific lineup of presentations and exhibit space is almost sold out. We are partnering with the City of Bend and they have some worthwhile tours and programs for everyone. Don't miss signing up for the Bend Whitewater Park Tour which will give you an insider's look at this Oregon treasure. If you haven't seen the park, you will be amazed at what Bend now has to offer locals and tourists alike. A tour of the Bend Water Treatment Plant is also scheduled (limited to the first 42 to sign up!) which has been reported as a state-of-the-art facility.
Also this fall, we will have two of the three Northwest Public Works Institute (NWPWI) classes: Public Works Leadership in Cannon Beach (November 1-4) and Public Works Essentials in Wilsonville (November 29-December 2). Again, if you or anyone you supervise is furthering their career in Public Works and needs some first-class education, check out these classes. Additionally, the third leg of NWPWI, the Developing Leader, will be in Bend March 7-10, 2017. Registration is open for all these events by going to the training web page.
We are excited to announce that we will have electronic evaluations at the fall conference and the NWPWI classes! You will want to bring your smart phones and tablets so that you can fill out the evaluations when they arrive in your inbox. For more information visit us at www.oregon.apwa.net or call 541-994-3201.
Did you know that on June 7-10th this spring, there was a region-wide exercise for the “Big One”? You know, a 9.0 magnitude full-rip earthquake along the 700-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) fault with subsequent tsunamis. That’s right, that earthquake just off the Pacific Northwest Coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California. Yea, the one that Oregon State University scientists have recently identified to have the greatest potential for damage along the Oregon Coast west of the Cascade Mountains.
Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) throughout the region activated and coordinated operations at an unprecedented level for Cascadia Rising. More than 20,000 players participated, including 53 counties, 18 tribes, 3 state EOCs, multiple federal coordination centers, and numerous private sector and non-governmental entities.
Were you one of them? Did you or your jurisdiction, department, agency or organization activate and rehearse your critical sections of your plans to survive, respond and support the urgency of this mind numbing event? As Public Works associated professionals (leaders, managers, supervisors, crew, suppliers; public and private) we constantly attempt to practice responsibility for our personal and family actions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region X, Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise After-Action Report (AAR) strongly emphasizes we be even more responsible for assuring our best possible immediate expedited temporary repair effort of all things Public Works. Anything less will increasingly cause Oregon greater loss of life and devastating economic losses. Although FEMA’s AAR doesn’t pin this responsibility upon us, every finding, analysis, strength and area of improvement discussion in the AAR subtly or not so subtly identifies their reliance upon public works infrastructure (transportation, water, waste water and sanitary landfill systems) for effective response and recovery.
Wonder what’s in the AAR? It’s definitely of interest to you. Below are the response core capabilities, essential to effective emergency operations. How many roles and responsibilities can you see yourself being needed for following the “Big One”?
Public health and medical services
Mass case services
Environmental response/health and safety
Fatality management services
Mass search and rescue operations
On-scene security and protection
Public and private services and resources
Public information and warning
Logistics and supply chain management
So what is Cascadia Rising? It is a scenario to help us see how smartly we need to work together to further develop and sustain our most effective “Big One” ready culture. Your Emergency Management Committee recommends we “all” utilize the groundbreaking work FEMA put into Cascadia Rising and the 2016 After-Action Report. The AAR is scheduled to be released near the end of this September. For more information contact the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Public Information Office at email@example.com.