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Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE is new GBA president
Steven D. "Steve" Thorne, P.E., D.GE (Terracon) is the new president of ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). Accepting office during ceremonies at GBA's annual meeting in Kohala, Hawaii, Steve is the 44th individual to serve as GBA's president and chair the group's board of directors. Other directors who will serve during GBA's May 1, 2014-April 30, 2015 fiscal year are:
President-Elect Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G. (Schnabel Engineering, Glen Allen, VA);
Secretary/Treasurer Joel G. Carson (Kleinfelder, Omaha, NE);
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc.);
Stewart G. Osgood, P.E. (DOWL HKM, Anchorage, AK);
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E. (TTL, Inc., Nashville, TN);
Alex Sy, Ph.D., P.Eng. (Klohn Crippen Berger, Ltd.); and
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE (Paradigm Consultants, Inc., Houston, TX).
A Terracon principal and manager of the firm's New Jersey office, Steve is a senior geotechnical engineer specializing in deep foundations, ground improvement, and seismic evaluations. He also has extensive experience with the environmental sector of the geoprofessions.
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Kurt Fraese delivers his annual report
ASFE/GBA President Kurt R. Fraese, L.G. (GeoEngineers, Inc.) finished the year in style, delivering an outstanding annual report to members assembled at the Spring (Annual) Conference in Hawaii. The organization has truly made outstanding progress this year, and is poised to begin another fast-paced year of change. Topics Kurt covered include the new brand (new name, new graphics), a new website, new and updated materials, an overhaul of the entire committee-management structure, the conversion of technical committees to business councils, establishment of the new Safety Committee, planning for the first GBA chapter, the new NewsLog, and preparation for change at the top of the staff, with John Bachner still playing a role by continuing to provide his creative and educational services.
ASFE/GBA's Environmental Business Council taking aim at new EPA rule that could create litigation woes
In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as CERCLA and Superfund, to clarify CERCLA's innocent-landowner defense and limit the liability of bona fide prospective purchasers and contiguous property owners. Then, in 2005, EPA established the all-appropriate inquiry (AAI) rule to specify the standard practices that qualified for the new
protections. At the time, EPA referenced ASTM E1527-05 — Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process — and authorized its application for compliance with AAI.
Last chance! Call for abstracts: Fall Conference in San Francisco
Have a creative idea for a presentation at the ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) Fall Conference in San Francisco, October 23-25, 2014? Here is your chance to share it with us. Download and send us the submission form by Monday, April 21. The submissions will be reviewed by the ASFE/GBA Conference Committee. The theme of the conference is "Confronting Risk: Leading in an Era of Rapid Change."
Lunch & Learn: Electronic delivery of documents
Electronic documents are not all that new, but so many people who deal with them just don't get it! This hard-hitting Lunch & Learn seminar focuses on a variety of baseline electronic-deliverable issues your personnel need to understand, appreciate, and manage.
Bring home the best of GBA conferences with content on demand — online and on DVD.
BUSINESS 101: Deducting what you eat
Take the staff to a restaurant for a party and the expense is 50% tax-deductible. Set up the office for the same party and have it catered and — voila! — the cost is 100% tax-deductible. Properly allocating the cost of meals can be confusing, and that may be one of the reasons why CPA Mark Kohler believes that "Using dining expenses as tax write-offs is one of the most commonly underutilized deductions by small-business owners." He adds, "Business dining is critical for networking, money-making and plain 'doing business.' The trick is making sure to get a write-off for the expenses and that these write-offs can stand up under audit."
Are the feds harassing your small business? There's an ombudsman for that!
The Wall Street Journal
The latest available data from the U.S. Small Business Administration show that, in 2010, a business with fewer than 20 employees paid about $10,600 per employee to comply with regulations, roughly 36% more per employee than the sum paid by businesses with more than 500 employees. It's not surprising, then, that in response to a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup survey of 603 small-business owners, more than one in ten — 11% — said government regulation is a top concern.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT: Sexual-harassment claims. Are you prepared?
Construction Executive Risk Management
Employers must provide a workplace free from unlawful harassment. Although the number of sexual-harassment claims has declined (7,256 new charges filed in FY2013), the awards granted continue to climb. Employers that fail to confront the risk of sexual-harassment may find themselves writing some very large checks.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
Two dead from "go fever" at Big Dig
Interested in construction-safety issues? You should be, certainly, and the new book by
Neil Swidey — Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles into the Darkness — is a riveting narrative describing the final stages of the 1999 clean-up of Boston Harbor and how it became a disaster that killed two divers. The cause? "Go fever," the tendency to rush a project to completion without adequately considering its dangers.
Find case histories — free to members
GBA has 100 case histories full of lessons learned from projects gone bad, and they're all available absolutely free to members. Don't repeat history — look here first to find a cautionary tale of how to do things better than someone else did!
EDITORIAL: Preserve and Protect
Preserve and protect public health, safety, and welfare. That's the engineer's credo. Of course, not all geoprofessionals are engineers, and many of them — such as environmental scientists — are not licensed and have no reason to be. Nonetheless, given the significance of what geoprofessionals do, all have at least a moral obligation to preserve and protect public health, safety, and welfare. But what about the geoprofessionals whom the public relies on to care for its essential infrastructure needs?
New, Earth-friendly concrete swaps recycled materials for Portland cement
Wagners — an Australian construction-materials and mining-services company — has introduced Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC), a material made without Portland cement. That lack makes EFC particularly well suited for areas with corrosive soils, such as those found in the Middle East. There, soils high in sulphate and chlorides attack the calcium in Portland cement's limestone clanker. EFC has been used for precast tunnel segments in Malaysia and Qatar, and for aprons and taxiway pavements at a Brisbane airport. Instead of Portland cement, EFC uses recycled fly ash and slag combined with chemical activators to create a geopolymer binder.
GRAPE PRESS: Spring Conference wine tasting focuses on value-priced reds and whites
- 2011 Bodegas Volver Tarima Hill
Monastrell (Mourvedre) Dry Red Table wine from Alicante, Spain
- 2012 Bodegas Breca Garnacha de Fuego
A Grenache Dry Red Table wine from Calatayud, Aragon, Spain
- 2011 Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos (Garnacha)
A Grenache Dry Red Table wine from Campo De Borja, Aragon, Spain
- 2012 Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah
A Syrah Dry Red Table wine from Wahluke Slope, Washington
- 2010 Tait The Ball Buster Proprietary Red
A Proprietary Blend Dry Red Table wine from Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
- 2012 K Vintners Riesling Kung Fu Girl
A Riesling Dry White Table wine from Washington, USA
- 2011 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc Dry White Table wine from Marlborough, New Zealand
- 2012 Bodegas Ordonez Zerran Garnatxa Blanca
A Garnatxa Blanca Dry White Table wine from Montsant, Spain
- 2012 Robert Talbott Logan Chardonnay
A Chardonnay Dry White Table wine from Monterey, Central Coast, California, USA
- 2010 Stolpman Vineyards L'Avion
A Roussanne Dry White Table wine from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California, USA
Get linked in with ASFE/GBA
Have you joined one of ASFE/GBA's LinkedIn groups yet? If not, you're missing out on easy access to hundreds of colleagues who could help you solve your latest business problem. Check out our main LinkedIn group and our environmental group! We've even got a group for FOPP survivors!
• Main group
• Environmental group
• FOPP alumni group
YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE KIDDING: What do abandoned grain silos and shipping containers have in common?
Building Design + Construction
How about a shout-out to Citiq Property Services, Ltd., the South African management/development company that in less than one year turned pre-existing concrete grain silos and used shipping containers into the 15-story, 370-unit Mill Junction student-housing building. Citiq retrofitted the 50-year-old Johannesburg-area silos, which sat empty for years, with floors, dorm rooms, and windows. The development is also wheelchair accessible. According to Citiq CEO Paul Lapham, "The demand for quality student accommodation is enormous. We plan to become a meaningful provider of student accommodation." You've got to see this housing to believe it.
2014-2015 ASFE/GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE
(Terracon. / Somerset, NJ)
Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.
(Schnabel Engineering, Inc. / Glen Allen, VA)
Joel G. Carson
(Kleinfelder / Omaha, NE)
Stewart G. Osgood, P.E.
(DOWL HKM, Anchorage, AK)
Kimberley F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(TTL, Inc. / Nashville, TN)
Alex Sy, Ph.D., P. Eng.
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Vancouver, BC)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063