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|July 19, 2017 ||
Vol. 48 No. 6
GBA FALL CONFERENCE 2017
Join geoprofessionals from across North America October 19-21, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona at GBA's Fall Conference for two amazing days of education, experience sharing, networking, and fun! The Conference Theme: Confronting Risk for Our Firms and Our Clients: Navigating Successfully in a Dynamic Business Climate will be supported by keynotes from celebrated authors and brilliant speakers, concurrent sessions that focus on your interests, and business roundtables on a variety of timely topics. In addition to the presentations you will be welcomed at GBA's fun-filled networking sessions where old friendships are renewed and new friendships are seamlessly developed.
Please join us at the GBA 2017 Fall Conference.
GBA Fall Conference — More Information
2017 GBA Fall Conference Registration
This GBA sponsored workshop will take place immediately prior to the 2017 Fall Conference to help you "jump-start" your business. This 10-hour course includes instruction and group exercises geared toward propelling your business to the next level.
Valuable workshop for:
The course will start on Wednesday, October 18th at 12:00 Noon with a kick-off lunch and will conclude by 1:00PM on Thursday, October 19th allowing workshop participants to attend the regularly scheduled GBA meetings.
- Successful managers looking for a business performance refresher,
- Future managers looking for tips and techniques to improve your team, and
- Owners of GBA member-firms ready to propel their firms to the next level.
Course content will include:
Consider investing in your business by attending this workshop before the 2017 Fall Conference.
- Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) and driving profit and shareholder value through incremental improvement (this is a follow-up to the well-received presentation last conference of "The Power of 1%"). This will include an interactive session geared towards giving attendees specific ideas for implementation.
- Jumpstarting "Good Growth" with effective sales and marketing.
- Employee recruitment, reviews and retention- how to win in the war for talent!
- Leadership and ownership transition. How to make sure your successors are in place, how to position your firm for long term stability, and an introduction to buying a firm, or selling your own.
- The changing world of risk, and what you need to do to protect your firm.
On-line travel agencies like Expedia and Kayak abound, but they have their pros and cons. The biggest pro is low price. The biggest con is that the low price might come without the benefits and amenities you prefer, like reward points, early check-in or late check-out, minibar credits, and so on. One way around this is to become a member of a hotel chain's rewards program. In an effort to attract customers directly, many chains are offering new amenities in addition to new, low prices. Some even claim that the prices they offer to members are the lowest available from all sources. However, when that's not the case, you might be well-served by this trick (it works for us): Identify the lowest on-line price and call the hotel, asking it to match the price. In our experience, most will, or will come very close, but you will still get the reward points and amenities that you likely will not get with the online agents.
U.S. Department of Labor
When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it — right on your mobile phone.
The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple "click," you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
When the Rockford (MN) City Council approved construction of Marsh Run, a townhouse development, it confirmed that "the design of all public and private streets" and "all grading, drainage, utilities and easements" would be subject to the "review and approval of the City Engineer." The city retained a private firm — Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik and Associates — to serve as city engineer. The agreement between the firm and the city required the firm to "maintain a professional liability insurance policy, insuring payment of damage for legal liability arising out of the performance of professional services for the City." After Marsh Run construction was complete, the storm-water-drainage system seemed to fail, allegedly causing Nathan and Sanna Kariniemi’s town house to flood during significant rainfall in 2011 and, again, in 2013. The Kariniemis sought relief from the city, but the city refused to provide it. The City said the flooding was caused by faulty maintenance — weed overgrowth — not faulty design. The Kariniemis then sued the city; the city responded by noting it enjoyed sovereign immunity, and that the same applied to Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik and Associates, as agents of the city. A trial court agreed in part and disagreed in part. Then came the appeal.
U.S. News & World Report
Many people entering today's workplace have precious little understanding of what's permissible and what is not. They rely on hearsay. Your goal: Determine which of the following statements are true and which are false…and why.
- When resigning a position, it's better to tell your boss face-to-face than to submit a letter of resignation.
- Hostile workplace laws prevent you from having to deal with hostile behavior in the workplace.
- Human-resources offices nationwide are required to keep your comments confidential, unless you permit otherwise, in writing.
- Eighty percent of job openings are never advertised.
- Companies that give bad references are often sued because of doing so.
- Employers that require employees to do things not in their job descriptions violate federal law when they do so.
- Employers have a right to prohibit you from discussing your salary with your co-workers.
|DR. ENGLISH: Initialisms and Acronyms
NCAA is not an acronym for National Collegiate Athletic Association; it is an initialism for the organization. Likewise, NASCAR is not an initialism for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing; it's an acronym. The difference? An initialism is pronounced as a series of letters, while an acronym is pronounced as a word created by the initials. When deciding whether an article preceding either should be "a" or "an," should one refer to what the initialism or acronym represents or how the word is spoken? For example, considering that the N of NCAA represents National, should it be "a NCAA-sanctioned event" or "an NCAA-sanctioned event"? The answer, insofar as "American English" is concerned, is "an," because — when spoken — the first letter of NCAA is "e," is in "En See A A." Similarly, we could go to "a NASCAR event." Another tidbit that may prove useful: Initialisms and acronyms, when written, use all- or most-all capital letters, so they can be quickly differentiated from "normal" words. That does not mean that the words represented should be capitalized. Therefore, the thing that ESA stands for is not an Environmental Site Assessment, but an environmental site assessment. It is a generic service. If you happen to capitalize the three words' first letter, then — logically — the ESA you're referring to is not generic, because Environmental Site Assessment — with "initial caps" — is a proper-noun phrase or a title or part of a title, like the title ASTM E1527, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. Especially if you want to avoid accusations that you promised to perform an ASTM ESA, but didn't, make sure you spell ESA generically; i.e., environmental site assessment.
Mark your calendar for these outstanding GBA get-togethers, and be on the lookout for announcements about others being finalized.
Future GBA Conferences
October 19-21, 2017
GBA Fall Conference
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
January 26-28, 2018
GBA Winter Leadership Conference
April 5-7, 2018
GBA Spring (Annual) Conference
Westin Chicago River North Hotel
Future Events Supported by GBA
AEG 2017 Annual Meeting — September 10-16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO
Future Training for GBA Member-Firms
Business "Jump Start” for Geoprofessional Managers" — October 18-19, 2017
Creating a Profitable Culture Through Accountable Learning — September 13, 2017
Developing Superstar Project Managers — December 13, 2017
GBA EVENTS CALENDAR
Many of us have been tracking the Washington State Department of Transportation tunnel-boring machine, Bertha, since hearing about her during GBA's 2016 Fall Conference in Seattle. Exciting news: Bertha has completed her assignment.
The Mercury News
Aerial drone footage from the state Department of Water Resources reveals progress on the Oroville Dam. Shot July 11, the video shows concrete being pumped between the stay-in-place forms. It is part of a new foundation and drainage system for the Lake Oroville control spillway. The clips also highlight demolition and rock cleaning on the emergency spillway.
The Huffington Post
Stop waiting for happiness and success — you can start achieving them in the present by giving up these toxic things. When we aim to become happy and have a successful outlook, we often focus on getting to the next station in life. Happiness is seemingly always "someday" in the near-distant future — like once we finally land that promotion or find the right partner.
On June 21, the Superior Court of Québec ruled against Ressources Strateco inc. in a decision that addresses the issue of social acceptability in the context of project approvals in Northern Quebec. The court rejected Strateco's claim for approximately $200 million in damages.
The Associated Press via ABC News
Cleanup efforts at the site of a sinkhole that swallowed two Florida homes and jeopardized a third house began earnest on July 19 as county officials, geologists and insurance adjusters begin the process of figuring out what to do with the properties, local officials said. Heavy equipment will be brought in to the neighborhood in Pasco County, north of Tampa, to clean up debris left over from the damage caused by the sinkhole.
Universal Information Systems
The answer isn't as clear cut as some might think. PR professionals, particularly from the B2B side of PR, have written about this topic extensively, but there is no consensus if the press release/media release/media alert is truly dead. Many who try to tackle this subject often forget the true function of a press release in modern day public relations and end up just dismissing the press release as an archaic tool because they don't know how to use it.
President Trump's decision not to sign a Group of 20 declaration on climate change last weekend further isolated the United States on the issue. Trump's action — making the U.S. the only G-20 country not to support the Paris climate agreement or its underlying goals — further solidifies the White House's embrace of the president's "America First" campaign pledge.
Associated Builders and Contractors
Construction input prices rose 0.2 percent in June, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released tby Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This represents the sixth increase in construction input prices over the past seven months, but the overall rate of increase has been quite slow. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices are up 2.6 percent.
The Morning Call
An appeals court has rejected a challenge to a multimillion-dollar contract to repair Northampton County's aging bridges, upholding a project that county officials call the first of its kind. Kriger Construction was chosen for the roughly $38-million deal to replace 28 bridges and rehab five others, under an innovative private-public partnership.
You might think that tasking a stretch of sidewalk with generating electricity would be enough of a feat, but this kinetic pavement on London's Bird Street is apparently supposed to save retail, too. The 107-square-foot section of Pavegen pavers harvests energy from the steps of passersby — using essentially the same technique as those experimental vibration-harvesting roads.
It's a fact — the taller the building, the more attention it garners, and why not? Seeing a supertall building — defined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as 984 feet tall or higher — through to fruition is not just a matter of taking a blueprint for a standard high-rise and then multiplying. These structures represent incredible engineering skill and design that inspires others to dream even bigger — and higher.
Companies using devices called "monorail hoists" to lift materials such as natural gas canisters and septic tanks won't have to comply with OSHA's construction crane rule if they adhere to other agency regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the temporary enforcement policy July 3 after a guidance memo was signed June 30.
Anyone in the construction business can attest to the fact that it's an industry that defines the phrase "stuff happens." And most of the time, there is someone to blame. Inconsistencies between versions of the plans and specifications; late ordering of long-lead-time specialty items; failure on the part of a subcontractor to adequately allocate resources; mathematical mistakes in the original estimate — all of these can lead to delays in the schedule and higher costs.
Structural geologist Michele Cooke calls it the "million-dollar question" that underlies all work in her laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst: what goes on deep in the earth as strike-slip faults form in the crust? This is the fault type that occurs when two tectonic plates slide past one another, generating the waves of energy we sometimes feel as earthquakes.
For Construction Pros
As temperatures rise in summer, your brain and body play out an elaborate battle plan to keep cool. A region of your brain known as the hypothalamus — often called the "body's thermostat" — detects changes in core body temperature and signals your body's first responders. When your body gets overheated, it begins to sweat. When the sweat evaporates it produces a cooling effect.
The New York Times
Building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and fixing the existing one could cost nearly $13 billion — a steep increase over an earlier estimate of $7.7 billion, according to a new report. Transit officials are proceeding with planning for the project, which would improve a critical link between New York and New Jersey.
Farmers in the Great Plains of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandle of Texas produce about one-sixth of the world's grain, and water for these crops comes from the High Plains Aquifer — the single greatest source of groundwater in North America. Researchers have discovered that more than half a century of groundwater pumping from the aquifer has led to long segments of rivers drying up and the collapse of large-stream fishes.
The world's first hybrid hydroelectric and solar power installation is now operational in Portugal. The station uses floating photovoltaic cells to collect sunlight during the day and makes use of hydroelectric power at night and during peak hours.
| || 2017-2018 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E.
(PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. / Portland, OR)
Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE
(Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA)
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
(Gannett Fleming, Inc. / Harrisburg, PA)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E.
(ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063