NewsCastle - July 2012


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Corps participates in successful planning charrette, Los Angeles District keeps ‘Building Strong’ in Las Vegas area and Taking Care of People!

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NewsCastle - July 2012

  1. 1. NewsCastle Los Angeles DistrictVol. 42 No. 7 A monthly publication of the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers July 2012Engineer Day: Taking Care of People • Cecilia Ordonez • Heather Schlosser • Arnecia Williams 20-years • Margaret Banting • Carvel Bass • Gail Campos • Van Crisostomo • Eleanor Encinas • Hoang Huynh • Deborah Lamb • Carmen Lara • Kenneth Mueller • Phillip Serpa 25-years • Lynette Ulloa 30-years • Mohammed Chang • Maria Cisneros • Robert Conley • Jody Fischer • Susan Flores • Norma Hallisy • Stephanie Hall • Peter Kroese 35-years • Jesus Gonzalez • Boyd TysonCol. Mark Toy, Los Angeles District commander, performs push-ups for the35-year award recipients Boyd Tyson (left) and Jesus Gonzalez. (USACE photoby Dave Palmer)By Dave Palmer of service and accomplishments. This year, 78 District employees met the LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles criteria of 10-to 45-years of service. In all,District marked anniversary 237 of the 28 employees were available to receiveU.S. Army Corps of Engineers during their award at the event.their annual event June 29. Receiving their Length of Service Under the commander’s motto awards were:“Taking Care of People,” the District 10-yearsconverged on the Santa Fe Dam • Velsen Dejourney-TolesRecreation Area in Irwindale, Calif. • Corice Farrar Dawn Parker performs the National Engineer Day was the perfect venue to • Jeffrey Koontz Anthem to set the patriotic tone.recognize teammates for their decades • John Markham (USACE photo by Dave Palmer)
  2. 2. District participates in successful planning charretteNavajo County Public Works Director Homero Vela (right) addressing a question about the Winslow Levee. The studyarea includes the City of Winslow, the mainstem of the Little Colorado River from the confluence with Clear Creekdownstream to the northern end of the levee. (USACE photo by Richard Legere)By Daniel J. Calderón the Winslow Community. continued into the third day of the “It’s important to have an open meeting. At the end of the charrette, WINSLOW, Ariz. — Members of the discussion,” Legere said. “That way, the participants reconvened to presentU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles each organization can participate in the their efforts and to compare projectDistrict met with representatives from development of alternatives that will alternatives.Navajo County, the City of Winslow and be considered as we proceed with the “The results of the charrette willrepresentatives of the Hopi, Navajo, and study.” be integrated into the resetting andZuni tribes; along with staff members Legere said the District is considering rescoping milestone due later thisfrom State and Federal agencies and a all options regarding flood risk year,” Legere said. The alternativesproject engineer from the Burlington management in the area. On day one, developed during the charrette will beNorthern Santa Fe Railroad for a three participants reviewed the project history refined for the later steps of evaluation-day planning charrette. The purpose and discussed problems, opportunities and comparison, eventually resulting inof the charrette was to develop an initial and constraints. They also received selection of a recommended plan.array of alternatives for reducing the instruction on the Corps’ six-step The charrette was part of theflood risk to the Winslow Community. planning process and the role of the continuing Little Colorado River at “You guys did a great job putting charrette in this process. On the second Winslow Feasibility Study. Navajothis together,” said Steve Dibble, day, participants conducted a field visit County is the non-federal sponsor forarchaeologist with the Los Angeles to the study area, then returned to the the study. The study is designed toDistrict. “This was the most valuable and meeting site at the historic Hubbell investigate alternatives for reducing theproductive project planning meeting I Trading Post to begin a series of team flood risk to the Winslow Community.have ever been to.” break-out sessions and brainstorming The study area includes the City of The planning charrette brought exercises. Winslow and the mainstem of the Littletogether 45 individuals representing The intent of the sessions and Colorado River from the confluence with16 organizations. Rich Legere, with the exercises was to formulate flood risk Clear Creek downstream to the northernDistrict’s Arizona-Nevada Area Office, as management alternatives, including at end of the Winslow Levee. The studythe Lead Planner, organized the event to least one nonstructural alternative, and area includes approximately 49 squareallow for open discussion on possibilities to develop screening and evaluation miles of land area and 10 miles of thefor improving flood risk management in criteria. The team break-out sessions LCR mainstem.2 NewsCastle
  3. 3. COMMANDER’S MESSAGEDear District Teammates, District” certificates. Moreover, I was extremely proud to “knock-out” 35 push-ups for our two “35-year employees,” Boyd Our Annual Engineer Day Picnic on June 29 at Santa Fe Tyson and Jesus Gonzalez. Thank goodness we didn’t have aDam for our Southern California team was a HUGE success! teammate that had more time in the District than 35 years!I’m told that similar employee picnics were also held that day After our morning program, all of us enjoyed a GREATat our Edwards and Palmdale resident/area offices. Combined lunch. Whether it was BBQ, pot-luck, store-bought or catered,with our April picnic for our Phoenix Area there was plenty of good food to go around.Office and our May picnic for our Las Vegas Our afternoon program began with someResident Office, I’d say that all of us took time terrific music provided by a local DJ. Hitsthis year for Building Strong and Taking Care from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s filled the air. of People! What else could we do…but DANCE! My There is no question that our Engineer thanks to Liza Rosa, Danny Carrasco, EileenDays are my favorite times of the year. More Takata, Frances Jones and Sandra Oliver-Hallthan anything, I enjoy the camaraderie and for helping me with the Cupid Shuffle and thefellowship of our picnic days. I loved talking Cha-Cha Slide! It got everyone in the moodto everyone and seeing family members and to dance!friends. As May and I walked around from As we conducted our raffle, I thoroughlydivision to division, I did hear some “shop enjoyed announcing our winners andtalk”; however, I also heard people quickly requiring them to “dance” before receivingdiscipline themselves by agreeing NOT to talk their prizes. Watching Art Shak dance?...about work too much…GOOD JOB! PRICELESS! My thanks to all our winners Our official program was a wonderful who were great sports for playing along withtribute to our employees. After a rousing the fun!performance of our National Anthem by Dawn Parker and a Overall, our picnic at Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area was apoignant, thought-provoking invocation from retired Sgt. Maj. day to remember! Once again, my sincere thanks to everyoneJeff Koontz, we transitioned to recognizing our teammates for sharing this time together and making the day a resoundingfor the outstanding work that they have accomplished in success. Without a doubt, we certainly lived up to the day’sour District. The District employees named to represent the theme, TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE!region at HQ/USACE are too many to name here in this article.Suffice it to say, the talent on our team is truly incredible. Warm Regards, Of particular note, our second recipient of the “KevinInada Employee of the Quarter” Award was none other than COL ToyJames Moye. Receiving the award on behalf of James was ourConstruction Division Chief, John Keever. The next time I’min Arizona, I look forward to personally congratulating Jamesfor a job well-done. I thoroughly enjoyed handing out our longevity awardsfor our District employees. Ten, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 yearemployees received their signed “Years of Service to the L.A. District Commander: Col. R. Mark Toy The NewsCastle is published monthly under the provisions of AR 360- 1 for the employees and extended Engineer Family of the Los Angeles Public Affairs Officer: Jay Field District, USACE. Editor: Dave Palmer Views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the District or of the Department of Defense. Staff: Jennie Ayala, Daniel J. Calderón, Greg Fuderer, Brooks O. Hubbard IV and Address mail to the Los Angeles District Public Affairs Office, ATTN: Kim Matthews NewsCastle Editor P.O. Box 532711, Los Angeles, CA 90017-2325 Administrative Assistant: Beverly Patterson E-mail the Public Affairs staff at: Tel: (213) 452-3922 or Fax: (213) 452-4209. July 2012 3
  4. 4. Los Angeles District keeps ‘Building Strong’ in Las Vegas area “It feels good to be building something this important,” Jack said. “I’m a military brat. I understand the mission and what the end goal represents. This building will be used for future generations of military men and women.” Another project at Nellis is the F-35 Maintenance Hangar. Porterfield said construction is just getting underway. “We have to demolish some existing buildings and are continuing our abatement procedures,” he explained. “When the project is complete, there will be a six-bay hangar with entrances on both sides.”The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District’s Nellis Resident Porterfield said the $20 millionOffice is working on an addition and improvement for the F-35 422 Test project is due for completion in OctoberEvaluation Squadron Facility at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. The ren- 2013. Once the hangar is complete,ovations will add a 16,000 square foot building and improve 4,000 square he said another project, the hangar’sfeet inside the existing facility. (USACE photo by Daniel J. Calderon) Engine Shop, will begin. It will go alongside the hangar; but, constructionBy Daniel J. Calderón the area is level. Plumbing and utilities cannot begin until after the hangar is have to be tied into the new structure done. LAS VEGAS — It’s been said that and into the existing remodel without Creech constructionwhat happens in Las Vegas stays in Las interrupting ongoing operations.” At Creech AFB in Indian Springs,Vegas. However, the U.S. Army Corps The project is the second one for the Nev., the District is putting up a Missionof Engineers Los Angeles District is TeeHee-Straub team. The first was at Control Center in which personnelworking on military construction Vandenberg AFB in California. Jack said will be controlling unmanned aircraftprojects in and around the Las Vegas the project is going well at this point around the world. According to Rogerarea that will have effects across the and he is proud to be working on the Miller, a construction representativecountry and around the world. building at Nellis. at the Creech Resident Office, the One project at Nellis Air Force Base isthe addition and renovation at the 422Test Evaluation Squadron building. “The project will add a 16,000 squarefeet facility and there will be renovationof 4,000 square foot of the existingbuilding,” said Mark Porterfield, projectengineer at the District’s Nellis ResidentOffice. “Construction began in earlyJune and the project is due in March2013.” The $5.9 million project is a jointTeeHee-Straub venture that will housekey computer systems. Joshua Jack, theproject superintendant and site safetyofficer, said there are some uniquechallenges with the project. “The main challenge has been inmaking sure the existing buildingremains mission ready,” Jack said. “Tyinginto an existing building has brought Roger Miller (right), a construction representative at the U.S. Army Corpsunforeseen challenges. With the tie-in of Engineers Los Angeles District’s Creech Air Force Base Resident Office,points and the elevation, we have to observes as contractors perform a safety test on a hydrant at the Missionmake sure the connections match and Control Center facility at the base. (USACE photo by Daniel J. Calderon)4 NewsCastle
  5. 5. finished facility contains four buildings Reserve Center there. Construction on having Musgrave on the site represents– Administrative area and Control the $25M project began in February 2011 more involvement than they are usedcenter in one building; Hangar; Supply; and, because of modifications, is due for to having from a government agency.Support. There will also be a ramp and delivery Sept. 19. However, he and Jason Gibbard, theapron area. “There are several Reserve bases project superintendant, said they are “We have a great track record here being built across the country, so I highly appreciative of the open dialogueon base with the buildings we have think there is a renewed emphasis on between his team and Musgrave’sconstructed for them,” Miller said. Reserves in the Army,” Musgrave said. District team.“We’ve been involved with all the of the “We have a 60,000 square foot training “The best thing about this project ismajor block facilities here.” building, a 12,000 square foot storage how well Ron and I have gotten along,” The 76,000 square foot facility is facility with a vault, a small storage Gibbard said. “We’ve been able to workscheduled for completion in November, facility for miscellaneous equipment, through a lot by sitting and talking withbut Miller said there are changes a five-bay vehicle maintenance facility each other.”pending that could push the schedule with administrative offices and about Musgrave is a rehired annuitant forto February 2013. Both Miller and five acres of concrete parking area for the District. He retired from the CorpsYvonne Scofield, another construction military equipment.” of Engineers in 2006, but has come backrepresentative at the Creech office, said There have been some challenges since then to work on assorted projects.Soltek Pacific Construction, the prime on the project. Because of its location, He’s been on the Reserve Center sincecontractor, has an excellent track record there weren’t any utilities on the site. 2010.for its projects in California, but has Currently, negotiations are underway “It’s a whole new perspective, beinghad to work through a learning curve in regarding the electricity for the a rehired annuitant,” he said. “You canNevada. building. When the project began, there really enjoy the job. Overall, it’s just the “We’ve been schooling them on was no water available to the site. The feeling that I’m working because I enjoyour requirements. They haven’t done District and MW Builders, Inc., the the work, instead of because I have to bea USACE project before, so they didn’t prime contractor for the project, have here.”have a good understanding of the worked to overcome any obstacles. Musgrave is just one of the manylevel of management we use with our “We were trucking water out here rehired annuitants facilitating projectsprojects,” Scofield explained. “They’re for months until we could get the well across the District. The projects atused to, and they know a lot about, done,” said Greg Herriott, MW Builders’ Nellis, at Creech and in Sloan arebuilding in California but, they lacked operations manager. “Since that time, only a fragment of the jobs Districtknowledge of the environment out we helped acquire six water rights for personnel perform on a daily” the government.” With their commitment to ensuring Among issues Soltek has been In Nevada, each water right grants military customers receive the highestworking through are familiarity with usage for a certain amount of water. quality construction available, thethe soil content on the job site and The acquisition by MW Builders will projects represent how the Districtcuring rates of the concrete in the area ensure the project and the buildings team continues Building Strong andand how it differs from the jobs they’ve on the facility have enough water to Taking Care of People!performed in California. maintain operations. Herriott said “We’re a little behind; but, we’ve beencatching up quickly,” said Tom Licon,Soltek’s general foreman. “The project ismoving along so far so good.” Miller said the safety officer and asuperintendant on the Soltek team areoutstanding and is pleased with theprogress made on the project over thepast month. He and Scofield both feelthe project is important and are proudto be involved. “I’m glad I’m on this project,” hesaid. “It’s been a lot of stress, but it’s aninteresting and unique project.” Reserve Center construction The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District’s Nellis Resident In Sloan, Nev., almost 30 miles Office is working with MW Builders, Inc., to construct Phase I of a new Armysouth of Nellis, the District is working Reserve Center in Sloan, Nev. The facility, designed for nearly 1,000 Sol-on another project. Ron Musgrave, diers, will house several buildings, including a 60,000 square foot traininga project engineer for the District, is building and a five-bay vehicle maintenance facility with administrativeoverseeing work on the U.S. Army offices. (USACE photo by Daniel J. Calderon) July 2012 5
  6. 6. Prado Dam hosts potential future engineersBy Greg Fuderer CORONA, Calif. — The numberand types of engineers America’seducation system is preparing forthe nation’s future is often an activeand energetic discussion among theDepartment of Defense, educators andthe scientific community. It was also anactive discussion June 4 when the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers Los AngelesDistrict hosted nearly 30 students fromLos Angeles Roosevelt High School for aday at Prado Dam, giving them a close-up look at the dam and how it operates,and at part of the process involved inimplementing a project. “This was the best way to help makethe Science, Technology, Engineeringand Math connection for students,”said Jennie Ayala, the STEM program Michael Siu, the senior civil engineer at Prado Dam in Corona, Calif., wel-manager for the District. “We have comes math, science and technology students from Roosevelt High School,a responsibility to promote and to the dam June 4. (USACE photo by Greg Fuderer)encourage STEM awareness. We are,after all the world’s premier public lowest level. There, dam tender Jones said. “We walked them throughengineering organization, and what Lawrence Watkins described the potential factors that could influencebetter way to bring it home than to hydraulic lifts that raise and lower the the decision, including those associatedbring the classroom experience to life outlet gates, controlling the rate of with biological resources, wateron one of our project sites.” water released through the dam. resources, real estate and recreation, The students learned about the At the soils lab nearby, civil engineer to name a few. The kids weighedhistory of Prado Dam, why it’s located Paul Beaver demonstrated how these options and offered up somewhere it is and the consequences for engineers test soil for its suitability quality responses as to why certainresidents, businesses and infrastructure in the construction of dams, levees, configurations of staging areas soundeddownstream if the dam did not embankments and other flood damage reasonable. Some of the students reallyexist. Michael Siu, the supervisory reduction projects. put on their thinking caps and offeredcivil engineer at Prado, welcomed Throughout the day, Anabel up some additional areas that were notthe students with a short historical Ronquillo, an engineer in soils and presented, but sounded like they metpresentation. While some of what design section, and Ed Mitchell, an the criteria we had laid out. It was greatSiu said may have seemed dry to the engineering intern rotating through to see them thinking outside of the boxstudents, one particular word had an District offices, assisted with the and engaging in the activity.”immediate impact, “Disneyland.” program, describing their educational Jones was not the only person who Siu told the students that Prado experience and answering questions saw a benefit from the students’ visit.Dam, in conjunction with Seven Oaks about their involvement in civil works “This was an amazing opportunityDam and other water control structures projects. for students to experience sciencewithin the Santa Ana River Mainstem The day concluded with a “there- and engineering in a relevant andproject, releases flood waters in are-no-wrong-answers,” real-world meaningful way,” said Ricardomeasured amounts, coordinated with interactive discussion led by biologists Chavarria, the school coordinator fordownstream assets and the area’s water Hayley Lovan and Chris Jones. They Roosevelt High School. “They trulyresource agencies. Without it, much of walked the students through portions understood the importance of the workOrange County, including the world- of the planning process the Corps goes the Corps of Engineers is doing. I hopefamous amusement park, would suffer through on every project. we can grow this partnership in thesevere damage. “We used one of our current projects future.” Following the welcome, the students as an example and asked the kids to “The STEM UP program seems likevisited Prado’s embankment and help us out with one of the issues we a great opportunity to expose kids tocontrol tower, where they descended are facing on that project, which is potential career paths that might notseveral flights of stairs to the tower’s basically the siting of staging areas,” otherwise be so apparent,” Jones said.6 NewsCastle
  7. 7. District brings “green” power to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation AreaBy Daniel J. Calderón in their experience is really what made I haven’t noticed any interruption in the project.” power,” said Ryan Cochrane, a senior LAS VEGAS — The U.S. Army Nearly 60 firefighters live and firefighter. “The timers have beenCorps of Engineers Los Angeles work in the station during the busy working perfectly. It only takes steppingDistrict’s Nellis Resident Office recently season. The station grounds also host into the room a couple of steps, if thecompleted a solar power project for the a building for BLM rangers who patrol lights are off, for them to turn on.”Bureau of Land Management at the Red the National Conservation Area. The Cochrane said the completedRock Canyon National Conservation Area hosts between four and five project gives him an additional sense ofArea. million visitors annually. Wallin said satisfaction in his daily work. “The new photovoltaic system is there are about 10 to 20 fires in Red “It’s nice to know you’ve got cleancapable of producing an average of 40 Rock Canyon and about 150 to 170 in energy out here instead of having toKWAC of electricity,” said Viet Q. Tran, Southern Nevada each year that he and burn diesel fuel 24-7,” he said. “The gasproject engineer at the Nellis office. his colleagues have to fight. Knowing won’t last forever and we’ve all got to do“The calculated full load requirement they have reliable power for their living our part for the environment.”to support the fire station is 38.6 and working needs allows them to do Tran said he is satisfied with theKW; therefore, this solar system is their job with one less worry. work on a project critical to the Reddesigned to fully support the full load “Less maintenance is required on Rock Canyon National Conservationrequirement.” the solar system and it’s more reliable,” Area. The system absorbs energy from the he said. “With the diesel generator, we “I’m really proud to have been a partsun and provides power directly to the would lose power to the facility when of this important project,” Tran said.load. It also charges backup batteries we got to 110 or 115 degrees out here, “For some people, sustainable energyon site. The batteries power the load in because the generator would overheat.” is just a good idea. We’re helping turnthe evening. There are enough batteries The district installed timers in the those ideas into a great reality. Helpingto power the facility, if everything were buildings that would help regulate the the Bureau of Land Managementto be turned on, for up to two days. amount of energy being used. If the ensure its firefighters have the energyThe District also installed solar cells to system doesn’t sense any movement in necessary to run their facility andpower the nearby camp host facility. the area for a certain amount of time, doing it in an ecologically responsibleTran said the project represents one of the lights in the room are shut off. They manner is just another way our Districtthe largest off-grid solar projects in the turn on as soon as the sensors detect continues Building Strong and Takingcountry. motion. Care of People.” “There are 270 solar panels and “Since the system’s been installed,240 batteries for the fire station,” hesaid. “For the campground, the solarsystem consists of 36 panels capable ofproducing 8.6 KWDC and 48 batteriesfor power storage.” At both sites, the District installeda backup diesel-powered generator.Before the District installed the solarpanels, BLM used a diesel generator toprovide power for the fire station, sincethe facility is not connected to localutilities. In the buildings on the facility,there are computers, lights, energy-efficient refrigerators and energy-efficient ice machines and washers anddryers among the many items requiringelectrical energy. Geoff Wallin, a fireoperations specialist for BLM, said thefacility used nearly $60,000 worth of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District’s Nellis Resident Of-fuel per year to power the facility. fice added solar panels for the Camp Host and more than two dozen shade “The completed project helps us structures for campers at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Areasecure our infrastructure out here,” near Las Vegas. The additions were part of an improvement project for theWallin said. “We’re here to protect Bureau of Land Management’s fire station the District recently completed,the Mojave ecosystem and habitat for in which they installed a photovoltaic system capable of generating 40endangered species. The Corps bringing KWAC to provide power for the facility. (USACE photo by Daniel J. Calderon) July 2012 7
  8. 8. BUILDING WELLNESSFitness, low and high tech workBy Cecy Ordonez LOS ANGELES — Summer is hereand your excuses for not getting inshape are dwindling fast. Perhapssome of your new excuses are, “the kidsare home for summer and I don’t havetime” or “the weather is too nice to bestuck in a gym.” Whatever the excusemay be, I can tell you that you areprobably sleeping for 8 hours, wakingup to sit in an hour commute to get towork and sit at least 8.5 hours or longer,commute home for another hour, atwhich point you are exhausted fromthe whole day and so you sit and watchtelevision. Don’t be discouraged; hereare some fitness devices that will helpyou stay active and motivated. Nike+ iPod Sports Kit – is a devicethat can measure your pace of your walk Luis Perez, Cecy Ordonez and Lulu Khilfeh at Eaton Canyon in Pasadena.or run. It has a small transmitter that (Courtesy photo)attaches to any shoe or can be insertedin a Nike+ shoe. The transmitter then placed inside your pocket. It has an accurately measure how much you arecommunicates with either a Nike+ accelerometer to measure your steps moving, consider using one of thesesportsband or sportswatch, your iPod and altimeter to measure the amount devices to help you stay on track andnano (through a separately purchased of stairs you have taken. Your activity move closer to a healthier you.receiver) or directly to your iPod Touch level is measured to give you an If you’d like to know more contactor iPhone. If your iPhone or iPod touch accurate number of steps taken, calories me at accelerometer-and GPS-capable, burned and distance traveled. It also mil or (hint, hint) you could visit thethen you can bypass purchasing the measures your sleep patterns, which Wellness Center. Luis Perezsmall transmitter and instead purchase is an important factor in weight lossthe Nike+ GPS App. The Nike+ website and general health. It measures howhas a free membership where you candownload your information and track many times and how long you wake up throughout your sleep. Their free on- Update:your accomplishments, create a walk/ line tool allows you to download your Luis Perez has met his wellnessrun program or join challenges. information, which it then interprets goal! With 147 lbs lost and a BodyMedia Fit System – is a and creates a visual map of your total of 67.25 inches gone, hemonitor you place on your arm that progress, complete with charts, graphs is excited to move on to thetracks your activity level (from typing and with a comparison of people your next phase of his journey –at your desk to running a mile), calories age and fitness level. maintenance. In order to stayburned and sleep patterns. This Xbox 360 Kinect – is similar to motivated to exercise, Luismonitor measures your skin’s response the Wii but, instead of the console continues to do something that(sweat), your skin temperature, your interacting with a control you have in he loves – hiking.body heat fluctuation, and acts as an your hand, it interacts with your wholeaccelerometer to measure your motion body movement which ensures that He is also inviting you toand steps. This information is then you’re jumping off the floor when you participate in his newly createddownloaded into the BodyMedia’s need to. There are many games you can hiking group that will exploreonline Activity Manager where you can play that are fun for you and the whole many beautiful trails in theinput your food intake to see if you are family: bowling, hunting, dancing, Los Angeles area. Feel free toburning more calories than what you Star Wars, Kung Fu Panda, sports, self contact him or, as you can see,are taking in. defense and many more. I enjoy the hikes too and can let FitBit – is similar to the BodyMedia These are only a few of the fitness you in on the latest plan.device but, is lighter and smaller, it devices available. If you are in needcan be attached to a bra, belt or even of some motivation or would like to8 NewsCastle
  9. 9. LAKE VIEW TERRACE, Calif. —The American Heroes Air Show is afree, helicopter only, aviation eventdesigned to profile rotary-wing aircraft’scritical role in law enforcement andpublic safety. This year’s event was heldat the Hansen Dam Sports Complex inthe Lake View Terrace area of the SanFernando Valley on June 30. Los Angeles District’s Bobber theWater Safety Dog took this valuable Bobber the Water Safety Dog shares his message with air show patrons.opportunity to spread his message aboutwater safety and the life jacket campaign You are never too old or too young to learn. (USACE photos by Dave Palmer) Bobber asks: Are You Next?“Are You Next”. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosts 370 million visits annually at its more than 400 lake and river projects where visitors of all ages enjoy activities such as hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, camping, hunting and more. This year USACE launched “Are You Next” identifying the most at-risk visitor groups to be males between the ages of 18-35 not wearing a life jacket and who swim in non- designated areas. BY THE NUMBERS • 89.3 percent of water-related fatalities involve those not wearing a life jacket. • 39 percent of public recreation fatalities involved individuals of the ages 18-35. • Over 80 percent of swimming fatalities occurred in non-designated swimming areas. For more information about USACE’s water safety program, visit the USACE Water Safety Homepage or learn more about “Are You Next” at July 2012 9
  10. 10. SAFETYLet’s talk about drowning preventionBy Steve McCombs CDC Answers: What factors LOS ANGELES — It’s summertime and the beaches, lakes influence drowning risk?and swimming pools are full of swimmers, surfers, boatersand others enjoying a fun day on the water. When I was a kid,we had a pool and our house was up on a hill above the local • Lack of Swimming Ability: Many adults andpark where the fireworks were launched on Independence children report that they can’t swim. ResearchDay. The only bummer was when I was old enough to do the has shown that participation in formal swimmingpool cleaning…..oh well. But, almost every weekend we had lessons can reduce the risk of drowning amongcompany over for swimming, barbecues and summertimefun. Later on, when I was a sailor, water sports were a favorite children aged 1 to 4 years.pastime. A point of fact, it was at the Navy Base in Little Creek, • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as pool fencing,Va., where I encountered my first drowning victim. prevent young children from gaining access to Seems this fellow had fallen off a pleasure boat while the pool area without caregivers’ awareness. Aintoxicated and his intoxicated friends didn’t notice him four-sided isolation fence (separating the poolmissing until it was way too late. The Coast Guard recovered area from the house and yard) reduces a child’shis body and brought it ashore to our Navy Base so the family risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sidedcould identify the victim. It was not a pretty sight and I will property-line fencing.not gross you out with the details. I will say how graphically • Lack of Close Supervision: Drowning can happenI remember his family when they saw him. Their misery and quickly and quietly anywhere there is waterpain of loss was only increased by the condition of his remains. (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), Here’s some information to make you think about watersafety: and even in the presence of lifeguards. • Nearly 80% of people who drown are male. • Location: People of different ages drown in • Children ages 1 – 4 have the highest drowning rates, different locations. For example, most children most of them in home swimming pools. ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools. • Alcohol use dramatically increases the risk of The percentage of drownings in natural water drowning. settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans, • Use of life jackets would reduce the number of boating- increases with age. More than half of fatal and related drowning by 50%. nonfatal drownings among those 15 years and Here’s something else to be aware of. South Pacific older (57% and 57% respectively) occurred inDivision Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Wehr has tasked natural water settings.all his District Commanders with reducing the number of • Failure to Wear Life Jackets: In 2010, the U.S.drowning cases at USACE facilities. While this does not affectus much here because our recreation facilities are run by Coast Guard received reports for 4,604 boatinglocal municipalities, we can still be proactive about drowning incidents; 3,153 boaters were reported injured,prevention. and 672 died. Most (72%) boating deaths that Here’s a link to the Centers for Disease Control occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning,Drowning Prevention page with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries- • Alcohol Use: Among adolescents and adults,factsheet.html. Take a few minutes and give it a read. Then alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deathstake that information and put it to good use when you and associated with water recreation, almost ayour family and friends are in and around the water this quarter of ED visits for drowning, and aboutsummer. You could save a life – a pretty worthwhile endeavor one in five reported boating deaths. Alcohol– and it just might be someone you know and love. influences balance, coordination, and judgment, And, as always, this summer drive safe, drive sober andbuckle up. and its effects are heightened by sun exposure Happy Birthday USA!!! ~ Steve and heat. Always wear your life jacket! SafeBoatingCampaign.com10 NewsCastle
  11. 11. July 2012 11
  12. 12. EEONot just another closing ceremony beyond his small village. By teaching him to always help his own people first, she taught him to help everyone. In her wisdom, she understood that helping one person spreads the ability to help others far beyond anyone’s expectations. During his life, Tsu-Chi started the first school in China to teach science and English in order to allow students to qualify for American university scholarships. By helping his own people first, he gave them the ability to help others by becoming doctors, engineers and more. While in America acting as an ambassador and carrying the title of Premier, he fought to counteract unfair labor laws put into place to prevent Chinese laborers who had worked on the continental railroads from finding work after the rails were completed. As Chow stated, Tsu-Chi knew the “only way to fight the enemy is to use their own weapons – knowledge.” His work for these railroad workers changed labor laws for people in all trades. Tsu-Chi was called back to China during a period of unrest in 1922 to serve 11 days as president while Premier Liang Shih-yi went into hiding.Dr. Paul Chow speaking about his grand uncle, Chow Tsu-Chi, who was raised During his talk, Chow stressed theby his grandmother and taught to help his own people first, ultimately helping importance of having a vision andeveryone. (USACE photo by Richard Rivera) striving for excellence. Even though his grand uncle died a poor man, theBy Kim Matthews Just another historic film, that is, Chinese president commanded that until Chow started telling the story of Tsu-Chi was to be given the funeral of LOS ANGELES — Dr. Paul Chow his grand uncle. princely quality he deserved.opened the U.S. Army Corps of His grand uncle had been raised by “He was never a fighter, but wasEngineers Los Angeles District’s Asian his grandmother, in circumstances that always the negotiator… a doer, not aPacific American Heritage Program seemed like just another small Chinese politician,” Chow concluded.closing ceremony by running a silent village story. Just another person putting his ownfilm featuring a funeral procession for a Just another small village story, people first, until you understand thatChinese dignitary. While interesting, it that is, except that Chow Tsu-Chi’s it’s impossible to do that without raisingseemed like just another historic film to grandmother pushed him to become up everyone else at the same time.fill in time at the start of the program. something more, to see and move12 NewsCastle
  13. 13. Defense Department hosts first LGBT Pride Month EventBy Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. WASHINGTON — The DefenseDepartment held a panel discussiontoday in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexualand Transgender Pride Month, with thePentagon’s general counsel recallinghow difficult it would have been justseveral years ago to believe that in 2012,gays could serve openly in the military. Jeh C. Johnson, DOD’s GeneralCounsel, addressed a standingroom only audience and led a paneldiscussion at the LGBT pride event,which included a look into the processleading to the repeal of the “Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell” law in December 2010. “As recently as three years ago, itwould have been hard for many of us,including me, to believe that in the year2012 a gay man or woman in the armed An attendee holds the program for the Defense Department’s Lesbian, Gay,forces could be honest about their Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month event at the Pentagon, June 26,sexual orientation,” Johnson said. 2012. (DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley) Johnson, along with ArmyGen. Carter F. Ham, currently the issue. In effect, ‘Go have a conversation well known,” Johnson said. “Thecommander of U.S. Africa Command, with the entire U.S. military about bottom line conclusion was this --played a large role in researching the this issue and report back to me, the based on all we saw and heard, oureffects of repealing the “Don’t Ask, president, and the Congress what assessment is that when coupled withDon’t Tell” law, and its impact on they’ve told you.’” the prompt implementation of ourmilitary effectiveness. “The study we undertook was the recommendations, the risk of repeal Johnson said it was difficult to most comprehensive engagement ever of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to overallenvision “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ever of the military on any personnel-related military effectiveness was low.”being repealed, or that the repeal matter,” Johnson said. “Over the course Johnson noted that while this wasprocess would proceed so smoothly. of 10 months we surveyed 400,000 DOD’s first LGBT pride event, civilian “It’s a remarkable story, and it’s service members and received 115,000 society and other agencies in the federalremarkable because of the strength of responses. government have held such events inthe U.S. military and its leadership ... “[We also] surveyed 150,000 military June for years.We have the mightiest military in the spouses and received 44,266 responses,” “The CIA, for example, hosted a gayworld. Not just because of our planes, he continued. “[And] solicited and pride event 12 years ago,” he pointedguns, tanks and ships. But because of received 72,384 e-mails, conducted out. “This is the first time in historyour people, their ability to adapt to 95 information exchange forums at 51 such an event has occurred at thechange, and their respect for the rule of bases around the world, and talked Pentagon.”law, their commanders and their civilian face-to-face to over 24,000 service “So what should we honor today?”leaders.” members, many of them [personally].” Johnson asked his audience noting “for Johnson recalled how he and Ham Johnson said the working group those service members who are gay andhad received a mandate to conduct an also held 140 smaller focus groups with lesbian, we lifted a real and personalassessment of the impact on military service members and their families, burden from their shoulders. They noeffectiveness if the “Don’t Ask, Don’t visited the military academies, and longer have to live a lie in the military.”Tell” law was repealed, following Senate solicited the views of Congress, veterans “For all of us, we should honor thetestimony on the matter by then- groups, other countries as well as those professional and near-flawless mannerDefense Secretary Robert M. Gates, and for and against repeal. in which our entire U.S. militaryformer Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of The research concluded with an implemented and adapted to thisStaff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen. anonymous, confidential online change and welcomed their brothers Johnson said he and Ham “were to conversation with 2,691 self-identified and sisters to an unconditional place attake 10 months and we were told to gay active duty service members. the table,” he said.systematically engage the force on this “The results of the report are now July 2012 13
  14. 14. Recruiters open new stationby Jay Field “It’s been this love of Soldiers of mine and the SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The U.S. passion for my job that hasArmy Corps of Engineers Los Angeles kept me in,” Toy said. “AndDistrict joined the U.S. Army’s Los we want you to discoverAngeles Recruiting Battalion to that same passion.”celebrate the grand opening of its He then urged them tonewest recruiting station here June 20. find a mentor. Nearly two dozen future Soldiers stood “These great recruitersin formation as their families, friends, who are here, your family,local dignitaries and veterans looked on. your friends, who know It was as much about these future what right looks like,Soldiers as it was about the grand who have had the sameopening of the station where many like personal and professionalthem would be recruited. aspirations that you might “These young men and women have have; seek out that mentorjoined during time of war,” said Lt. Col. and seek out that personRobert Blankenship, commander of the to help you find yourself along the way.” Nearly two dozen future Soldiers stood inL.A. Recruiting Battalion, reflecting on Toy next told them to have formation during the grand opening of thehis own enlistment in 1983 when the continued learning, noting that the Recruiting Battalion’s newest recruitingcountry was not at war. “We’ve been Army, different from the private sector, station in Simi Valley, Calif., June persistent conflict now for over 10 prepares its Soldiers for jobs withyears; that’s beyond impressive.” increasing responsibility. 36 structures and facilities across the In his remarks, Col. Mark Toy, Lastly, he told the recruits that they same footprint, now down to the 19 thatcommander of the Los Angeles would be leaders some day and that we’re about to settle into.”District, said it has gotten a lot tougher their number one responsibility would The concept modernizes recruitingto complete projects like these, because be taking care of Soldiers. processes and features interactivemilitary organizations have less money “Take care of Soldiers and cultivate zones in the center to enhance ato work with. the relationships that you’re going to prospective recruit’s experience. It “Even in times of dwindling develop while you’re in the Army.” also introduces a new structure toresources, it doesn’t mean you stop The Army’s Simi Valley station is the Army recruiting processes designed forbringing in great people,” Toy said. “And 17th of 19 “Pinnacle” concept centers greater efficiency, better work hoursthat’s why it’s even more important to planned for the West Coast, according and a better quality of life for recruiters.have facilities like this, so that you can to Blankenship. The battalion has The 6,000 square foot career centerbring in the top people.” nearly completed the transition that includes facilities for all four services, Toy then addressed the recruits, started two years ago. with the Army getting the most spacesharing four thoughts on leadership “Army Recruiting Command decided to accommodate its Pinnacle design,as they prepared to embark on their that we would be much better served if according to Corps realty specialists.military service. First, he told them to we consolidated our resources a little Each service has its own storefront,have passion for what they do. bit,” said Blankenship. “We went from whereas in many locations they’re co- located with a single entrance. For cost savings, they share a common area behind. The Los Angeles District manages more than 250 recruiting station leases throughout Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, as part of the Department of Defense Recruiting Facilities Program. The leases are valued at more than $30 million and cover nearly 650,000 square feet of space, roughly three-fourths the size of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Col. Mark Toy, Lt. Col Robert Blankenship, Simi Valley mayor Bob Huber, J.D. Kennedy, office of Rep. Buck McKeon and Capt. Jeffrey Warstler, company commander, cut the ribbon opening the newest recruiting station in Simi Valley, Calif., June 20. (USACE photos by Jay Field)14 NewsCastle
  15. 15. Deputy to become Memphis TigerBy Jay Field During his time in the District, Sigloch led a number of working groups, LOS ANGELES—The U.S. Army Corps in particular those that developedof Engineers Los Angeles District bade lasting people, training and facilitiesfarewell to its deputy commander in a initiatives. His work helped upgradeluncheon at the District headquarters facilities at the District headquarters, ashere June 6. well as in the field offices, and revamped More than 50 teammates gathered to the District’s incentive awards program.honor Lt. Col. Steven Sigloch for his two Each was achieved while reducing theyears of service as the District’s deputy District’s overhead rates.and number two Soldier. Sigloch also served as the lead for the “I’m losing Steve—that’s going to Defense Information Systems Agencybe tough!” said Col. Mark Toy, Los Command Cyber Readiness Inspection,Angeles District commander, reflecting the first among Corps Districts. Heon the fact that Sigloch was about to oversaw an upgrade to the Reservoirdepart and Brian Moore, the District’s Operations Center servers and an updateformer deputy engineer, just retired. to the Continuity of Operations Plan, Lt. Col. Steven Sigloch addresses“I’m finding myself in some uncharted which contributed to DISA’s excellent the more than 50 teammatesterritory here. And that’s when, in that rating of the District’s program. gathered for a farewell luncheon inmoment, a little bit of panic set in!” He represented the District at numerous his honor at the Los Angeles District outreach events, communicating the headquarters June 6. Sigloch District’s strategic message to its partners, departs the District to become the stakeholders, sponsors and the general professor of military science at the public, fostering continued support for University of Memphis. projects. Toy told the attendees that the I’m extremely sad to be leaving the comments by teammates about Sigloch District.” are what the District’s motto, “Taking “By far, this has been my best assignment Care of People,” is all about. yet and most rewarding assignment. It’s “To hear the stories about how you all because of people like you. I’ve really appreciate somebody like Steve makes enjoyed working with all of you.” me feel so good right now to be a part of Toy presented Sigloch with the this organization,” Toy said. “This is the Meritorious Service Medal for his kind of feeling that you wish you could achievements during his service with the have all the time with all the people; this Los Angeles District. is what I love about the District, and that’s why the people are the foundation for everything we do.” Sigloch will become the professor of military science at the University of Memphis, where he will oversee the Army Los Angeles ROTC program consisting of hundreds District of cadets in the Tiger Battalion. teammates “In his group will probably be a future signed and battalion commander and, who knows, a presented future chief of staff of the Army,” said Toy. this hard hatLt. Col. Steven Sigloch, departing “If I’m one of the senior leaders now, I to departingdeputy commander, models one of would want somebody like Steve Sigloch Deputy Districtthe many gifts he received during a mentoring, coaching and teaching these Commander Lt. Col.farewell luncheon in his honor at the young people to be the great Americans Steven Sigloch during aLos Angeles District headquarters that they’re going to be, once they don farewell luncheon in his honor at theJune 6. Administrative professionals the Army green.” District headquarters June 6. Siglochwithin the District presented Sigloch “I have mixed emotions,” said Sigloch. departs the District to become thewith University of Memphis apparel, “I’m very excited about the move to professor of military science at thesince he will become the professor Memphis and being the professor of University of Memphis. (USACE photosof military science there. military science but, at the same time, by Richard Rivera) July 2012 15
  16. 16. Welcome Home: Four teammates return Los Angeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy (left) welcomes Tom Luzano, JR Pastrana, Rosie Rocha and Kelli Johnson home from deployed service. Since 2002, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District has deployed more than 100 employees to Afghanistan and Iraq, and 11 employees are currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (USACE photo by Richard Rivera) Why did you want to deploy? Kelli Johnson: My Tom Luzano: The Chief of primary reason for the Engineering (Kandahar) deployment was to needed a cost engineer experience an adventure so I said yes. I worked of being exposed to with him in Kabul the and learning about a two previous tours. different culture. JR Pastrana: Deploying Rosie Rocha: I wanted was a way for me to get the experience - I never some real experience. had the opportunity to I ended up learning be deployed while in how to do drafting for military. structural, civil, and electrical disciplines and also worked with GIS to include topography and imagery in some the conceptual site plans.16 NewsCastle
  17. 17. FINAL WORDTalk to someone – It’s the best way to make conversationBy Daniel J. Calderón began chatting. They had made it their mission to get everyone who came out talking with each other, and I have to say their You know, I’m sometimes amazed by how reticent people mission was quite the success. I didn’t even realize the passagecan be when there are people around them to talk with. It’s of time until I noticed my growling stomach indicating I hadalmost as if they’re afraid a simple conversation represents a been remiss in attending to my hunger. Reluctantly, I excusedlifelong commitment. It’s as if they believe there is no reason myself and went to get some simply turn their heads and begin with a simple, “Hello.” Those are just two examples; but, I can come up with manyIt’s baffling. more. I’ve met people all around the world as I’ve traveled. I On airplanes, I see it all the time. A potential conversation have heard their stories and told them mine. I’ve learned aboutstarter, “Excuse me, is anyone sitting here” is almost always how different we can be and just how alike we really are at thefollowed by either a simple negative or with a little quip. That heart of things. I’ve seen new ways of doing things in their talesopens the door to a good little conversation that can last as and I’ve laughed at their humorous experiences. Sometimes,little or as long as the parties involved would like. However, I’ve come away wishing I hadn’t engaged in conversation; but,what usually happens is the two people sit and just read the for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the talks I’ve had. I really nevermagazine the airline puts into the seat back pocket, or they get know who I am going to meet and just what I am going to hear.on some sort of approved electronic device and tune out the That’s what I wish for all of you. I wish for you to haverest of the world. those pleasant little surprises in the conversation of I don’t think this would be a big deal if it wasn’t others. I wish for you to hear and learn from peoplethe case in so many different places – in lines (really all around the world – from around your city, yourlong lines most of the time where it would make state and your country. No one, no matter how longthe time go much faster if “neighbors” just chatted lived, can see and do it all on their own. There isas they waited) at the car rental place, at airports, value in hearing about the life experiences of ourat almost any public venue. I understand the desire fellow human beings and value in opening up (bothfor privacy and for a sense of personal space; but, in listening and in speaking) to people you don’tI think the trend has gone too far and people are know. There is something to be said about seeinggetting too comfortable being unplugged from each the world through someone else’s eyes, even if thatother. They seem to go out of their way to avoid is only for a short time.eye contact so they don’t have to worry about the We are not meant to be isolated, insulatedpossibility of any conversation. creatures who just go to work, go home and exist in a vacuum I think people need to take time to get to know each other. of our own creation. We are supposed to enjoy the company ofI’m not talking about going out and making everyone your our fellow people. We are supposed to communicate, to learn,best friend or accosting every stranger you see in the street. to be a part of a larger community. Yes, there are times whenThere’s nothing wrong with saying “Hi” to people when you we want to be alone. I understand that. However, when wepass them as you’re walking; but, I’m talking about taking are gathered in places where we have to be “stuck” with eachopportunities when they present themselves. I’m talking other for an appreciable length of time (I leave it up to you toabout people actually starting conversations when they have determine that particular measure), then we should use thatthe chance and making the most of those prospects. as a chance to do a little meeting and greeting. For the most On a recent trip of mine, I was sitting next to a lady on a part, people will talk with you if you talk with them.plane. I was actually pretty tired from a long day of working Summer is a big travel season. We’ll all likely spend somesince I had done a lot of driving over the previous couple of time either in lines, on the beach, at the lake or at one ordays and I had been out in the sun when I wasn’t in the car. So, more airports. I can pretty much guarantee there will be otherI did nod off for a few minutes after she and I had exchanged people there you don’t know. Take the chance. Talk to some ofpleasantries. I opened my eyes after an unknown length of them. Tell some funny stories and listen to what they have totime and I asked her if the flight attendant had already passed. say. When we break down imagined barriers, I think you’ll findShe laughed a little and said I had, indeed, missed my chance we have a lot more in common than you ever thought ask for something to drink (since it was a fairly short flight), With understanding will likely come a little more acceptance.but that I was welcome to share her chardonnay when it came. Or, you can just keep your nose glued to your electronicsThat was a funny little opening so we spent the rest of the and ignore the people around you. After all, a digital movieflight talking. She told me about her kids, her grandkids and or a video game can easily be turned on or off at your whim.her great-grandchildren and I told her a little bit about myself There’s no sense getting involved with real people who mayand the time passed enjoyably. When we landed, we wished actually give you a reason to think when you can sit in youreach other well and went our separate ways. own personal void. The choice is yours. Stay safely ensconced At a hotel I recently stayed in, I went to the pool to relax for in your own little bubble or get involved with the people in thea bit and get a little sun. I was prepared to just read my book world around you and – just maybe – learn a little somethingfor whatever length of time I happened to be out; but, there that could make your world even more interesting. Just awas an extremely gregarious group of people there and so we thought… July 2012 17