APWA News Summer 2010 / Vol. 46 No. 2
In This Issue
From the President
you see the glass as half full or half empty? As I sit here enjoying the
sunshine coming through the window, I am amazed how quickly we can
forget the recent record-breaking rainfalls. The choice is ours. We can
enjoy the warmth and sunshine or we can dismiss it as we wait for the
next round of rain. Life is like that too, we can focus on the trials or
we can count our blessings.
Without a doubt many of us are experiencing various trials right now due
to the recent economic … shall we say… challenges. The Oregon Chapter is
no different. For the past two years, the chapter’s board has been
attentively managing chapter business, albeit cautiously, with
enthusiasm and confidence that we will regain a sense of normalcy soon.
While we can’t predict what that “normalcy” will look like, we do know
that the Oregon Chapter is committed to advancing the practices related
to the theory and practice of design, construction, administration,
operation, and maintenance of public works facilities and services;
through service, education, professional development, and social
Our goal this summer is to update our strategic plan, which includes
defining the service, education, professional development, and social
interaction roles and responsibilities that defines who we are as a
chapter. If you have suggestions and ideas, please feel free to share
them with a board or committee member. We welcome input from our
Those of you fortunate enough to attend the spring conference in
Canyonville know that the City of Roseburg hosted an outstanding event
at the Seven Feathers Convention Center. The technical sessions were
exceptional and the networking opportunities were very enjoyable. Thank
you, Nikki Messenger; you and your staff did an extraordinary job and
the conference was a clear success.
Our chapter was also successful this year in having Governor Kulongoski
a proclamation encouraging all Oregonians to join in the
observance of Public Works Week. Many member agencies recently
celebrated Public Works Week, May 16–22, and you will read about one of
these events in this edition. The proclamation recognizes how public
works infrastructure, facilities and services are an integral part our
in the everyday lives of Oregonians. The Governor also recognized the
support of an understanding and informed citizenry being vital to the
efficient operation of public works systems and programs such as water,
sewers, streets and highways, public buildings, and solid waste
and that the health, safety, and comfort of communities depends on public works facilities and services. It also recognizes that the efficiency of qualified and dedicated personnel who staff public works departments. I would also like to remind you that it’s not too late to register for National Congress in Boston, August 15–18. This is a month earlier than usual. I also invite you to join us for the Joint Oregon/Washington Chapter Dinner Tuesday, August 17th, at the Boston Cafeteria.
Click here for full details and registration.
Life is like that
too, we can focus on the trials or we can count our blessings
In line with our goal to promote public works and recognize the contributions and achievements of our colleagues and agencies, I encourage you to take time now to nominate a project or someone for recognition at the fall conference in Pendleton. The Chapter presents its awards during the Thursday evening banquet of the fall conferences. Typical awards include the Julian Awards for Sustainability; the Young Leader Award, the Special Service Award, and Project(s) of the Year Award.
Visit the chapter website for more details. Appreciating the value of our industry is difficult for many of us, let alone applying for an award just for doing our jobs. But, despite the reluctance to blow our own horns, acknowledging the work we do and the people who make it happen, is too important an opportunity
to let it slip past.
The City of Pendleton is busy preparing the fall conference program October 13-15. It promises to be another exciting “Git ‘er done” event. In addition to excellent technical sessions, the City of Pendleton is looking forward to sharing many of its current major projects work and will have tour events happening Tuesday and Wednesday before the official start of the conference. The PWNW Leadership Institute’s Public Works Leadership class will also be held in Pendleton the same week.
As always, please feel free to contact me or another board member if you have any questions or comments about chapter activities. Have a safe summer!
While You're On the Web ...
Weekend Event Answers Question: What is Public Works?
By Victoria Saager, Washington County
P.W. Paws and Chipper the public works dog helped answer the question "What is Public Works?" at this year's Public Works Fair the weekend of May 15-16 at Washington Square.
This year's theme of National Public Works Week – “Above, Below & All Around You” - highlighted and celebrated the men and women who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services vital to our communities.
The transportation system in Washington County is built and maintained by the state, the county and the cities. ODOT employees Brad Wurfel, Dave Taylor, Justin Brandon, KC Humphrey, Lili Boicourt, Ron Kroop, Ron Larson, and Shelli Romero; and county employees Anne Madden, Bonita Oswald, Dan Vice, Deanna Henkel, Herbert Bridges, Kerry Harn, Kim Knudeson, Ludean Siemon, Mike Dahlstrom, Nancy Schmidt, Paul Shelley, Pedro Orozco, Rick Petrie, and Victoria Saager staffed these displays.
Maps of road construction and maintenance projects were on display. A functioning cross walk display complete with full-size traffic and ped signals gave parents a learning moment to demonstrate cross walk safety to their children. Thousands of prizes were awarded to those who spun the "Wheel of Traffic Safety". A new video demonstrated how to navigate through intersections with flashing yellow arrows. Hundreds of P.W. Paws coloring books and comic books, Chipper activity books, and "A-B-C's of Green Engineering" coloring books were given away.
PGE's street lighting display included a life-sized street light fixture. PGE employees Aroun Xaybanha, Gail Fenton, Jeff Wiese, Lauri Ellis, Lisa Guarnero, and Lori Schwartz explained how pink ribbons are used to identify street light outtages.
No matter where you live, building codes protect your home and your family. The "Think Permit" good wall/bad wall display was staffed by county Building Services employees Belinda Arnold, Brian Dorland, Carol Scott, Charles Reynolds, Don DeYoe, Jennifer Fouhy, Mary Stevens, Matt Spradlin, Rose Delplanche, and Terry Kristensen. They answered home remodeling questions, provided expert advice, and gave away a thousand yellow and hot pink toy construction hats.
Washington County's Cooperative Recycling Program is a partnership of several cities and the county, working together to create a sustainable community.
The recycling display was staffed by Michelle Pimentel and Master Recyler volunteers Carol Kate McManus, Kersten Broms, and Bev Ardruser. They provided helpful reduce, reuse and recycle information to grownups and Kids Stuff activity books encouraging care for the environment.
Clean water is essential to modern life. The Joint Water Commission is the primary drinking water supplier in Washington County. A display of different types of water pipes used throughout the years, including a piece of old wooden pipe, caught the attention of grownups, while kids colored their own Tualatin Basin water magnets, reminding them about the source of their drinking water. The water display was staffed by Amy Geerling, Deborah Martisak, Jessica Vogt, Julius Polisbo, Matt Oglesby, Paul Visser, Tacy Steele, and Tonya Bilderbeck.
In the Tualatin River Watershed, Clean Water Services provides wastewater and stormwater services, crucial to the region's public health, environmental protection, and economic vitality. Ely Teragli and Jeanna Hall relayed the importance of keeping our watershed healthy and handed out tools and information to residents for them to use at home. They encouraged residents to "Freeze the Grease and Save the Drain" with free kits, to pick up after pets by taking the "Canines for Clean Water" pledge, and to "Go Native" with native plants. Kids who aced a short quiz about the Tualatin River watershed earned a "River Ranger" passport.
Washington County's Public Works Fair is supported by its partners and by the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Oregon MATHCOUNTS Grows with APWA Support
by Roger Kuhlman, Oregon MATHCOUNTS Coordinator
The 2009-2010 Oregon MATHCOUNTS competition was another huge success,
and a $2,000 sponsorship from Oregon APWA made a big difference.
This year, 435 students from 65 schools registered for competition, a
12% increase from last year.
In February, competition was held in the nine regions within the
state. From the regional competition, 11 teams and 19 individuals
advanced to the state competition which was held at Oregon State
University on March 13. The winning students from the state competition
that represented Oregon at national competition were: Lawrence Sun an
eighth grader from Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton; Erdong Hu
and Elaine Fang who are eighth graders from Roosevelt Middle School in
Eugene; and Vincent Zhuang an eighth grader from Whitford Middle School
The team representing Roosevelt Middle School from Eugene took the top
team award. The coach from that team, Marna Knoer, became the coach of
the Oregon team. The next four teams were from the following schools:
Meadow Park Middle School from Beaverton coached by Toni West; Oregon
Episcopal School from Portland coached by Elizabeth Reinders; and
Highland Park Middle School from Beaverton coached by Angela Norse.
The Pacific Northwest intramural competition was sponsored by the
Professional Engineers of Washington and held on the University of
Washington campus in Seattle. This is an opportunity for the Oregon team
to work together in a competition against teams from Washington, and
British Columbia. Thanks to Kris Warloe for coordinating the
The national competition was held on May 7-8 in Orlando, Florida. The
Oregon team finished 12th place with team member Lawrence Sun placing
Oregon Mathcounts would not be successful without the many volunteers
and sponsors who support the program. Thanks to the regional
coordinators: Allen Pierce and John Zimmerman of Portland, David
Krumbein of Pendleton, Tony Schacher of Salem, Brian Condon of Bend,
Steve Alexanderson of Newport, Ron Hoffine of Coos Bay, Ron Buckingham
of Medford, and Jim Fischer of Klamath Falls. A special thanks to Oregon
State University, Jim Lundy and Renie Ashbaugh for all their work in
coordinating the use of facilities. A group of student ambassadors
coordinated by Ashtyn Moehlenhoff assisted in the scoring room.
Without the financial support of our sponsors, we would not be able
to offer the quality program we now enjoy. The national sponsors who
contributed $1,000 or more included: American Public Works Association,
Oregon State University School of Engineering, Portland General
Electric, and Portland State University Foundation. Salem Electric is
recognized as a state sponsor with a $500 contribution. Team sponsors
contributing $200 to $500 include: Blackoak Engineering, BMGP
Engineering, Professional Engineers of Oregon, UA Local 290, and in
Memory of Wanda VanDuser.
Test yourself with the
problem of the week
Transportation Committee Report
Ken Stoneman, P.E.
The Transportation Committee of the Oregon Chapter did a great job of coordinating and making some of the presentations at the spring conference in April in Canyonville. The committee was responsible for selecting and coordinating all eight presentations in the transportation track, and they all were great presentations. Thanks to all who contributed! We’re not planning on a separate transportation track for the fall conference in Pendleton, but we will still be helping the conference committee “round up” some of the presentations.
The Committee has also been busy enhancing the Transportation Committee web page. Be sure to check it out! There is a link on the Oregon Chapter home page, or you can go directly to
www.oregonapwa.org/Transportation. The intent of this page is to provide useful, interesting and timely transportation-related information on an ongoing basis. This includes links to current news articles, upcoming events, reviews and lessons learned from recent transportation projects, as well as click-on links to agencies, associations and other useful contacts. The workhorse for this effort has been Jenifer Willer (City of Eugene), who is very proud of now becoming a “webmaster.”
Our committee has continued to grow over the past year, and we are making an effort for all members to make some positive contribution to the advancement of transportation in Oregon public works. Transportation is a key area of most public agencies and public works departments around the state, so our goal is for each of our committee members to devote some extra time and effort for the advancement of public works transportation in Oregon during the upcoming months.
Vito Bartolotta, President, SaniStar, 888- 611-9283,
Barbara Blair, Executive Assistant, Evergreen Engineering LLC,
Richard Boyle, Project Manager, WRG Design Inc., 503-419-2500,
Kelli Candella, Sr Administrative Secretary, Deschutes County,
Dorothy Hicks, Development Services Manager, City of Medford,
Greg Palmer, Principal, NW Engineers, LLC, 503-601-4401,
Lorraine Peterson, Business Manager, City of Medford, 541-774-2100,
Joseph Richards, President, Richards Engineering, LLC, 971-563-1448,
Robert Tintle, Admin. Division Manager, City of Eugene, 541- 682-8476,
Craig Walter, Public Works Foreman, City of Warrenton, 503-861-0912,
Donald Wilcox, City Engineer, City Of Klamath Falls, 541-883-5363
Steve Richards, Superintendent, City of Fairview, 503-674-9320,
Brandon Wilson, Engineer, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services,
Richard Harmon, Engineering Tech 3, Clackamas County, 503-742-4683,
James Reese, Associate, Clackamas County 503-742-4707,
Thomas Beggs, Street Paving Division Mgr, City of Portland,
Gizmo Goes Federal!
Les Miller took home the gold ...
make that the cast iron ... as the "winner" of the Gizmo in Canyonville.
Les, flood preparedness program manager with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, reports that security guards at his federal office building
thought it was strange he was "taking what looked to be recycling or garbage
to the eighth floor."
The Gizmo helped raise more than $3,000 for scholarships at the spring
Oregon APWA Chapter President has received notice that the Oregon Chapter is
a recipient of the National APWA President's Award for Chapter Excellence
(PACE). Special thanks to Stephanie Reid , who put together the award
The PACE award will be presented at the National Congress on Monday, August
16, at 5 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Look at Spring Conference
For more conference photos