APWA News Summer 2010 / Vol. 46 No. 2

In This Issue


From the President

Peggy KepplerDo 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 interaction.

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 members!

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 sign 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 collection



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!

Peggy Keppler


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.
Rick Petrie (left) and Herbert Bridges, both Washington County employees, show off "Chpper the Public Works Dog"
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. Ron Kroop, ODOT District 2A manager, asks a traffic safety question on the Wheel of SafetyThe 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.


APWA Awards


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 in Portland.
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 test-writing committee.

The national competition was held on May 7-8 in Orlando, Florida. The Oregon team finished 12th place with team member Lawrence Sun placing 19th.

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

Committee News

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.









Spec Industries

New Members

Vito Bartolotta, President, SaniStar, 888- 611-9283, dpnw@aol.com

Barbara Blair, Executive Assistant, Evergreen Engineering LLC, babsblair@clearwire.net

Richard Boyle, Project Manager, WRG Design Inc., 503-419-2500, richard.boyle@cardnowrg.com

Kelli Candella, Sr Administrative Secretary, Deschutes County,
541-322-7104, kellic@co.deschutes.or.us

Dorothy Hicks, Development Services Manager, City of Medford,
541-774-2100, dorothy.hicks@cityofmedford.org

Greg Palmer, Principal, NW Engineers, LLC, 503-601-4401,

Lorraine Peterson, Business Manager, City of Medford, 541-774-2100, lorraine.peterson@cityofmedford.org

Joseph Richards, President, Richards Engineering, LLC, 971-563-1448, joe@richardsengineering.com

Robert Tintle, Admin. Division Manager, City of Eugene, 541- 682-8476, robert.d.tintle@ci.eugene.or.us

Craig Walter, Public Works Foreman, City of Warrenton, 503-861-0912, cwalter@ci.warrenton.or.us

Donald Wilcox, City Engineer, City Of Klamath Falls, 541-883-5363

Steve Richards, Superintendent, City of Fairview, 503-674-9320, richardss@ci.fairview.or.us

Brandon Wilson, Engineer, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services,
503-823-7786, brandon.wilson@portlandoregon.gov

Richard Harmon, Engineering Tech 3, Clackamas County, 503-742-4683, rickh@co.clackamas.or.us

James Reese, Associate, Clackamas County 503-742-4707, jamesree@co.clackamas.or.us

Thomas   Beggs, Street Paving Division Mgr, City of Portland,
503-823-4340, thomas.beggs@portlandoregon.gov


Gizmo Goes Federal!

Russ Thomas congratulates Les Miller on being the recipient of the "Golden Knuckle" award
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 conference.
Late-Breaking News

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 application!

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


Page last updated February 25, 2014