NewsCastle - September 2012

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Tujunga Wash now open to public, LA District preparing for construction on Luke AFB where the Corps is BUILDING STRONG and Taking Care of People!

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NewsCastle - September 2012

  1. 1. NewsCastle Los Angeles DistrictVol. 42 No. 9 A monthly publication of the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers September 2012 ENVIRONMENTAL CHIEF OF ENGINEERS AWARD OF EXCELLENCETres Rios Environmental RestorationProject, Phase II Flow Regulating andOverbank Wetlands – Salt River, ArizonaDesign District: Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The Tres Rios EnvironmentalRestoration Project evolved from anearly proposal for advanced nitrogenremoval of effluent discharged fromthe 91st Avenue Wastewater TreatmentPlant (WWTP) in Phoenix, Arizona,into a large scale habitat restoration,environmental education, floodcontrol, and public recreation project.Flow Regulating Wetlands (FRW) andOverbank Wetlands (OBW) form thebackbone of the project. The FRW buffersdiurnal flow rate fluctuations fromthe WWTP, regulates, and dischargestreated effluent into the OBW throughautomatic control gates, spillways,and channels. Requiring extensivecoordination between USACE, City ofPhoenix Water Services Department,Archer Western Contractors (AWC), District of Maricopa County, and the before being discharged into the Saltthe design/construction engineers, Environmental Protection Agency. River. The OBW are designed to bringJacobs Engineering (formerly Damon Treated effluent from the 91st Avenue the public closer to the restored riparianS. Williams and Associates), and Wass WWTP is pumped over a mile to the environment. As funds allow, trails andGerke and Associates, the project intake structure at the FRW, which amenities will be added.comprised moving over three million provides a platform for a variety of In the two years since the projectcubic yards of material around the 580 emergent plants. Normal supply of was planted and the wetland basinsacre site to create a wetland system effluent entering the system is between filled with water, bobcats, bald eagles,providing over 450 acres of diverse 15 and 120 million gallons per day (mgd), beavers, turtles, and snakes have allaquatic and riparian habitat. and the wetlands can support up to 450 visited the area. More than 147 species Planning began in the early 1990’s and mgd during storm events. A second tier of birds have been identified in thethe project originated as a collaborative of water polishing removes total residual vicinity. Diversity and abundance ofeffort involving multiple stakeholders chlorine, ammonia, and whole effluent wildlife species are expected to increaseincluding USACE, City of Phoenix, U.S. toxicity for flows up to approximately as the project matures. In addition, thisBureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and 45 mgd. This natural method costs project has been used in several RiparianWildlife Service, Arizona Department of about one tenth the cost of traditional Prospect Courses sharing the innovativeGame & Fish, City of Avondale, Gila River wastewater treatment. Polished water technology of the project with USACEIndian Community, the Flood Control passes through the wetland system staff throughout the country.
  2. 2. DESIGN HONOR AWARD: CONCEPTUAL DESIGN Weed Army Community Hospital Fort Irwin, CaliforniaDesign District: Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The Weed Army Community Hospital replacement project was conceived to improve the medical care provided to soldiers, military families, and retirees in the Fort Irwin community. This mission-critical project includes the design of a replacement hospital, clinic alterations, utility plant building, ambulance shelter, and helipad. Combining state- of-the-art facility design with innovative energy conservation and generation, this is the nation’s first carbon-neutral hospital, and it sets a precedent for future military facilities. Client/design teams relationships were streamlined for faster completion. Real-time quality controls were coupled with an “out-of-the-box” approach to scheduling. Army and government representatives worked with the design team on a daily basis to expedite the feedback process. Combined with the use of building information modeling (BIM) software platforms, this approach allowed the design team to receive and incorporate real-time feedback without waiting for validation, thus enabling the team to complete design, from schematics through construction documents, on an accelerated timeline of less than 18 months, about 40 percent “B y aiming for net-zero energy use, a of the time a project of this nature typically takes. During the course of the design process, the team noteworthy, if not remarkable, achievement on any analyzed alternatives and strategies related to sustainability. project - let alone a hospital – this project seeks The most notable strategy implemented, the photovoltaic to break the past stereotypes in medical design of (PV) array, is eligible for refund incentives from the local reliance on energy and natural resources.” utility provider, Southern California Edison. Based on — Jury Comment the PV’s energy production, these incentives will amount to approximately $1.5 million over five years. The design also incorporates state-of-the-art technology for clinical care within military hospitals. integrated operating rooms feature robotic and information systems for careful, efficient management of patient data. These expanded rooms accommodate the newest equipment including digitized radiological equipment. Recovery rooms feature patient lifts and family areas. The project also includes installation of an intrusion detection system and provides connection to the energy monitoring and control system. By incorporating the best practices of premier health facilities throughout the country, implementing targeted sustainability measures to reach significant milestones for health care design, and working collaboratively among military health care professionals in a tight, streamlined approach, the design of the Weed Army Community Hospital stands as a substantial accomplishment for military health care. Under the US Green Building Council’s LEED- BD+C rating system, the design should achieve 87 credits, seven more than required for Platinum status.2 NewsCastle
  3. 3. COMMANDER’S MESSAGEDear District Teammates, remain committed to the vision and the strategic course that I I set us on when I took command over two years ago. We’ve know many of you took time during the summer accomplished so much with our PEOPLE initiatives and I months to enjoy some travel and fun. Now that am extremely proud of the District leadership that has made you’ve returned, I’d like to welcome you back to the PEOPLE the foundation for everything we do. district where we find ourselves in the final month of In September, we continue our emphasis on PEOPLE bythe fiscal year. Nothing like going from “rest celebrating Hispanic Heritage month. Whenand relaxation” to the stress of a year-end I think of the gifted and talented Hispaniccloseout! Americans working in our District, it is However, I know that all of you are up not surprising that we have accomplishedto the challenge. For me it is only my 3rd so much through the years. Incredibleyear-end close out; but for the majority leaders such as Danny Carrasco, Bettyof our teammates, you’ve done this many Melendrez, and Ventura Gomez are just atimes before and it’s “business as usual.” few of the Hispanic Americans who makeRegardless of the positive or negative effects our District GREAT! To all our employeesof year-end on you personally, the bottom of Hispanic heritage, THANK YOU for allline is that we are all in for a lot work. your contributions to the U.S. Army Corps of In preparation for the successful close out Engineers.of all of our programs, David Van Dorpe and Finally, the end of summer also means theI have been traveling around the Los Angeles start of the college football season. As myDistrict area of responsibility meeting with wife will attest, I become “missing in action”partners, stakeholders, and sponsors. In on Saturdays as my favorite football teamour civil works business line, we’ve met plays its weekend game. I won’t mentionwith cities and counties to discuss current projects and the any team names here, but those of you who know me wellproactive ways we can work together to ensure future funding know that I am devoted fan. For those of you who share myin the out years. In our military business line, we’ve met with enthusiasm for college football, I wish your team success forArmy and Air Force leadership as well as base civil engineers the season. But at the end of the day, the team that reallyand garrisons to do line item reviews of current work and matters most is the Los Angeles District Team. In my book,posture ourselves for the receipt and execution of any year- all of you are First Team All-Americans!end funding. Additionally, with Congressional membersin recess, we’ve taken the opportunity to meet with keyCongressional representatives in their local district offices. Warm Regards, Throughout my travels, I am constantly amazed by all ofthe outstanding work that employees are contributing to COL Toythe success of the District. Your motivation is high and yourpassion for your job and moving the work forward keeps theCorps BUILDING STRONG! Yet through it all, I’m happyto see that the second part of our motto, “Taking Careof People” continues to resonate across the work force. I 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. Staff: Jennie Ayala, Daniel J. Calderón, Views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Greg Fuderer, Brooks O. Hubbard IV, District or of the Department of Defense. Kim Matthews and Dave Palmer Address mail to the Los Angeles District Public Affairs Office, ATTN: Administrative Assistant: Beverly Patterson NewsCastle Editor P.O. Box 532711, Los Angeles, CA 90017-2325 Tel: (213) 452-3922 or Fax: (213) 452-4209. E-mail the Public Affairs staff at: publicaffairs.SPL@usace.army.mil September 2012 3
  4. 4. Tujunga Wash now open to publicBy Jay Field LOS ANGELES — Officials fromthe U.S. Army Corps of EngineersLos Angeles District and Los AngelesCounty cut the ribbon opening theTujunga Wash Ecosystem RestorationProject in Valley Glen, Calif., to thepublic Aug. 15. The $7 million project was designedto restore degraded habitat alongthe sides of a 3/4-mile stretch ofconcrete channel carrying runoff fromHansen Dam to the Los Angeles River.Construction included a meanderingstream with native riparian vegetationand pedestrian pathways along banksof the channel between Vanowen Streetand Sherman Way in the San FernandoValley. The project connects to thecounty’s Greenway project to the south,creating a riparian habitat corridornearly 2.5 miles long. LA County Supervisor Zev Residents stroll along the newly opened Tujunga Wash Greenway Aug. 15 inYaroslavsky hosted the event and told Valley Glen, Calif. The project features 3.2 miles of public pathways, alongthe 50 people in attendance, including with 18 acres of open space adjacent to the concrete channel that carriesproject partners and local residents, runoff from Hansen Dam to the Los Angeles River. (USACE photo by Jay Field)that open recreation space enhancesquality of life but, more importantly, it concrete-lined channel for the sole Partnership and America’s Greatimproves the environment. purpose of flood risk management. Outdoors Initiative. Both programs “It’s greening the environment. It’s According to Director Gail Farber, the share the goals of reconnecting peopletaking an asset that’s been not only department welcomed the opportunity across the nation to their waterwaysunderutilized, but un-utilized, from to collaborate with the Corps to bring and promoting water conservation.an environmental point of view, and environmental, recreational and He said the Tujunga Wash restorationturning it into a real community asset educational benefits to this dense urban project, although relatively small, showsthat’s fully utilized,” said Yaroslavsky. “I area. what is possible along the LA River andknow that the neighborhood’s going to “We’re extremely proud of our complements the river’s revitalizationlove this and appreciate this.” collaboration with the Army Corps plan. Yaroslavsky said one of the key of Engineers and the common vision “This particular project here atfeatures of the project is its water we share with the urban waterways, Tujunga Wash has garnered a lotconservation component, where the like the LA River and its tributaries; of interest from higher levels inmeandering stream aids groundwater to transform them into sustainable Washington, D.C.,” said Toy. “Theyrecharge. ecosystems that provide not only flood [Principal Deputy to the Assistant “One way to reduce the reliance on protection for our communities, but Secretary of the Army for Civil Worksimported water is by increasing the also habitats for plants, wildlife, open “Rock” Salt and Chief of Engineers Lt.amount of rainwater that we capture space and recreation for our residents,” Gen. Thomas Bostick] had heard what’sand return to the groundwater table said Farber. “So this project and the two been going on in Los Angeles and whatright here in the San Fernando Valley,” habitat restoration projects downstream ecosystem restoration looked like andhe said. “We need to continue to brings us even closer to our vision of they wanted to see it for themselves.develop these kinds of innovative and sustainable communities.” All told, the Tujunga Wash Greenwaycost effective environmentally sensitive Los Angeles District Commander created a total of 11.5 acres of native,projects to increase our local water Col. Mark Toy talked about the growing drought-tolerant habitat, with 18 acressupplies.” momentum in the movement to restore of open space and 3.2 miles of public LA County Department of Public portions of the LA River watershed with pathways in a park-poor area of the SanWorks operated and maintained the programs like the Urban Waters Federal Fernando Valley.4 NewsCastle
  5. 5. LA District preparing for construction on Luke AFBThe Air Force officially announced the base as the site of the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II pilot training centerAug. 1. This artist’s rendering shows what the proposed Aircraft Maintenance Unit building for the incoming F-35squadrons at Luke AFB may look like when it is complete. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District isscheduled to begin construction in October. (USACE Artist’s Rendering)By Daniel J. Calderón a total of three fighter squadrons. squadrons. “This is very significant for us,” said “It’s great knowing the work we LUKE AFB, Ariz. — The U.S. Troy Olson, resident engineer for the do will provide support for this vitalArmy Corps of Engineers Los Angeles Roadrunner office. “We’ll have 20 of our mission,” Olson said. “The F-35 is theDistrict Arizona/Nevada Area Office’s people out at Luke for the duration of the next generation of aircraft and beingRoadrunner Resident Office is preparing projects there.” able to ensure our Air Force personnelfor a busy season at the base. Olson said his office is working have the most up-to-date facilities to The office is preparing to award to award more than $20 million in work and train in is important to me andbetween $90 and $110 million in work operations and maintenance work at to the people I work with.”following the U.S. Air Force Secretary the base associated with the F-35. He Olson said he is expecting the projectMichael Donley’s Aug. 1 Record of said there is also more than $70 million to provide a significant economicDecision announcement that the base in military construction work currently impact on the area. He and his team arehad officially been selected as the location on tap to be awarded by the end of the preparing to help process more thanof the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II month. The largest construction project 3,000 passes for civilians who will bepilot training center. According to the is the Academic Training Center. Others working on the project. Construction onannouncement, the base will receive 72 include aircraft maintenance units the new facilities is scheduled to beginaircraft and accompanying personnel for and operations buildings for the new in October.These artist’s renderings shows what the proposed Aircraft Maintenance Unit facility for the incoming F-35squadrons at Luke AFB may look like when it is complete. (USACE Artist’s Rendering) September 2012 5
  6. 6. SECURITYAntiterrorism month ends, awareness continuesBy Jeff Koontz, Security and Law Enforcement chief LOS ANGELES — Vigilance is the key to detectingpotential threats. During the month of August, we postedsigns and videos and conducted a lot of AT training. Manypeople wonder why? One recent incident happeningwithin our Area of Operation--where our teammates work--could have been much worse if someone had not beenobservant and reported the suspicious activity. A service member on an installation reportedhe observed an individual loading a magazine withammunition while sitting in his vehicle in front of the unit.Law enforcement responded and took the individual intocustody without incident. Upon search of the individual’svehicle, law enforcement personnel found a .22 semi-automatic pistol, a .44 caliber revolver, an upper receiver toan AK-47, two homemade silencers, a body armor vest anda map of the installation. Stay aware and be vigilant to prevent and protectour employees and our community from potential actsof terrorism. Threats can exist at any level and lawenforcement needs us to be able to recognize and reportsuspicious activity. Often, people think of terrorism as the horrible eventsof Sept. 11, 2001. Recent trends show it’s not only bigattacks, but a single person with a gun. Many incidentshave been interdicted, simply because someone sawsomething that didn’t look right and reported it. “Seesomething, say something!” To report suspicious activity, call 911, the regional FBIoffice, or the police or sheriff’s departments. The Army’s Every August, the Army promotes its antiterrorismiWATCH and iSALUTE programs also allow anonymous awareness program, iWATCH.potential terrorist activity tips. It pays to be vigilant. Suspicious activity can be reported iWATCH is designed to encourage Soldiers, Familyto the following contacts: members and civilians throughout the community • Security and Law Enforcement Office to become be familiar with and report suspicious 213-452-3969 activity or behavior to Military Police or local law • iSALUTE program enforcement. https://www.inscom.army.mil/isalute/ • iWATCH program See something. Say something. http://www.myarmyonesource.com/iwatch6 NewsCastle
  7. 7. Army Reserve Center nears completionBuilding green feature lets the sun shine in for energy conservationThe 12,500-square-foot organizational maintenance shop will provide work bays and offices for several units. Solartubes light the maintenance, office and common areas making use of electric lighting unnecessary in the daytime.Insert is a closeup view of a solar tube in action. (USACE photos by Dave Palmer)By Dave Palmer Council rates a project for its design and the adjacent retention basin raise and achievement in categories like capacity of the existing base drainage LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — The sustainability, water efficiency, energy system by allowing more water toCalifornia National Guard’s Joint Forces conservation and design innovation. percolate back into the ground.”Training Base here will soon be home “The project made great use of The 15-acre tract where the projectto the 79th Sustainment Support recycled materials, waterless urinals for is taking shape is the traditionalCommand’s new Army Reserve Center. water conservation and solar tubes that maintenance zone of the base, complete The JFTB supports various military light office, maintenance and common with an outer sound wall and a green-units, as well as other national, state areas in the day time,” added Oster. zone area of trees giving about a 50-footand local organizations, with facilities Providing state-of-the-art buffer before the outer wall.and resources needed for training and facilities like the 12,500 square-foot “An environmental assessment wasreal-world emergencies. Maj. Phillip Organizational Maintenance Shop will done several years ago that called forOster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provide work bays and offices for units 16, five-gallon trees to be planted inLos Angeles District’s Santa Ana to not only maintain their equipment, that area,” said Oster. “Along with baseResident Office deputy spends much but train and utilize their skill which security and leadership, we’ve workedof his time ensuring projects like this enhances retention, according to Oster. out a plan for 15-gallon trees, much$25 million center meet or exceed those Secure parking and storage for larger, that will provide sound and lightrequirements. vehicles is being addressed with dampening and are arranged to not “The project was designed at more than 28,000 square-feet in infringe on base security.”the Leadership in Energy and organizational parking. Along with overseeing construction,Environmental Design level for Silver,” “The vehicle storage area was covered the District performs quality control onsaid Oster. in recycled material that cut costs and the project. Oster said he expects the LEED is how the U.S. Green Building allows for drainage,” Oster said. “That project to be completed in October. September 2012 7
  8. 8. BUILDING WELLNESSExtremeDieting...By Cecy Ordonez LOS ANGELES — A popular dietfrom the 1970’s is making its grandreturn as one of the latest fad diets – theHCG diet or “the pregnancy diet”. Infact, I first heard about this diet onlya few weeks ago when my half sisterposted on Facebook that she has beenlosing a lot of weight and revealedher secret - HCG. She stimulated my “Ycuriosity and I set out to find moreinformation. In the early 1950’s a renowned our best bet is to stick to a reliable weight loss plan - chooseendocrinologist, Dr. A. T. W. Simeons, healthy foods, limit portion sizes and begin exercising. Joining thediscovered the effects of Human Fit to Win program can be your first easy step to a healthier you!”Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG, a ~ Cecy (NIH graphic)naturally occurring hormone thatis released during pregnancy. In new weight by eating whatever they monitored by a physician who ispregnancy, HCG ensures that the want with the exception of no sugar prescribing the diet as part of afetus gets the necessary nutrients by or starches and by increasing calorie medical treatment.increasing blood flow to the uterus. intake to 800-1000 per day. • Multiple studies using a doubleThe synthetic version of this hormone Maintenance Phase – the dieter blind strategy, where neither theis normally used to treat infertility in returns to a normal diet with no food physician nor the patient knowfemales and to increase testosterone restrictions, increases activity with a if they are receiving the HCG or alevels in males. The latest function goal of staying healthy. After 21 days placebo, found that both groupsfor this synthetic hormone claims on the maintenance cycle, dieters can lost a significant amount ofthat HCG simultaneously suppresses begin the regimen all over, if there is weight which was attributed toappetite while burning abnormal body more weight to lose. the very low calorie restriction.fat. In fact, most people on the diet end One to three pounds per day of In other words, the HCG did notup losing one to three pounds per day! weight loss sounds like a miracle. As show any significant advantageHowever, that does not come without you begin to hear more about HCG, it of losing weight or losing moresacrifice. Here is the general protocol of is no surprise that you will be hearing fat than the placebo group.the diet: how successful, easy and dramatic the • Since HCG is becoming more The Loading Phase – dieters spend weight loss is. What people are not and more popular, there aretwo days eating as many high calorie talking about and what you should many companies trying to profitand fatty foods as possible (e.g. fried know is: from the hype. The Food andchicken, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, • Living on a 500 calories per Drug Administration is advisingpies, macaroni, etc). This is done to day diet is dangerous and has consumers to stay clear of anyprep the body for receiving HCG. side effects, such as gallstone “homeopathic” HCG products The VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) formation, imbalance of sold over the counter or online,Phase - dieters follow a 500 calorie electrolytes (which supports since they are not monitored forintake along with a regular dose of muscular and nerve function), quality, effectiveness, content orHCG for 21 to 38 days. The 500 calories irregular heartbeat or even safety.are limited to specific foods with no death. It’s impossible to meet The synthetic version of HCGsugar, no caffeine, organic starch free your nutritional needs for continues to be studied and will remainvegetables and lean meats. After this carbohydrates, protein, fats, and extremely controversial with thosecycle, the dieter stops taking HCG for 3 fiber with 500 calories per day who believe it works and those whodays until its out of the system. which would lead to vitamin worry about its safety and long term Stabilization Phase – the dieter and mineral deficiencies. A effectiveness.takes 21 days to learn to maintain their restrictive calorie diet should be8 NewsCastle
  9. 9. Corps replenishment of Redondo BeachBy Greg Fuderer REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Finalpreparations took place Aug. 21 for theplacement of about 75,000 cubic yardsof beach-compatible sand in an effort toreplenish and protect an active shorelineaffected by ten years of tidal action sinceits last replenishment. Dutra Dredging, the contractor hiredby the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers toperform the work, finished assemblingnearly 1,500 feet of 12-inch diameterrubberized pipe and connected it tothe dredge Paula Lee sitting offshore.Andrew Hunt, Dutra’s project managerfor the work, said that barringunforeseen circumstances he expectsPaula Lee to begin pumping clean sandonto Redondo Beach by Aug. 22. Heexpects Paula Lee to place about 2,000cubic yards of sand per day during theproject that is scheduled to last about 40days. The material placed at RedondoBeach is part of a Corps project to Jeff Cole, US Army Corps of Engineers manager for the Marina del Rey,remove about one million cubic yards Calif., entrance channel navigation dredging project, speaks with a reporterof material from the Marina del Rey at Redondo Beach, Calif., about the project’s placement of nearly 75,000entrance channel in order to deepen cubic yards of sand there. The Redondo phase of the project is part of athe channel to its federally-authorized Corps navigational dredging project to remove about one million cubic yardsdepth and improve safety for mariners of sediment at Marina del Rey to restore navigational safety for marinersand first responders who use the marina. and first responders. (USACE photo by Greg Fuderer)A pusher boat hauls nearly 1,500 feet of 12-inch rubberized pipe to the dredge Paula Lee just offshore fromRedondo Beach, Calif., in preparation for the transfer of nearly 75,000 cubic yards of sand from a dredging projectat the Marina del Rey entrance channel. This work is a phase of a project designed to remove about one millioncubic yards from the channel and restore safe navigation for mariners and first responders who use the marina.The Redondo portion is scheduled to take abut 40 days. (USACE photo by Greg Fuderer) September 2012 9
  10. 10. SAFETYSuicide isn’t painless Army-wide stand downBy Steve McCombs Aunt Betty would need, left her a note The stand down is meant and then shot himself in the head. He to familiarize all members LOS ANGELES — As many of you didn’t die for several hours. Aunt Betty of the Army family withmay already know, the Vice Chief of waited and prayed and went through all the health promotion, riskStaff of the Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin the agonizing thoughts and emotions reduction, suicide prevention,III ordered an Army-wide suicide “stand one has in this situation. My mother and comprehensive Soldierdown.” This includes U.S. Army Corps read his eulogy at the funeral, and I and family fitness resourcesof Engineers, by direction of Lt. Gen. remember how difficult it was for her to available in the Army.Thomas P. Bostick. You will get more get through it.information on this soon via your chain Roll ahead to about 5 years ago. The stand down will alsoof command, but in the meantime I am Cousin Jerry had just retired for a local focus on how to improve thegoing to share with you a very personal school district. He was always a bit health and discipline of thestory. No history lessons or jokes. I am off center from the norm, for which force and reducing the stigmagoing to be very frank with you about he took medication, but always a very associated with seeking caresuicide – because I know it too well. likable and friendly fellow. When he for behavioral health issues.Share this with your co-workers. Think retired he decided to do three veryabout it a bit and you may find the awful things. First, he went off his meds The stand down was issuedupcoming training a bit more relevant. without his doctor’s advice. Secondly, after Vice Chief of Staff of the I come from a big family, with lots of he drove up to his mother’s home and Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin IIIAunts and Uncles and Cousins. I was just kinda moved in. Then, for the final, visited installations around theparticularly fond of my Uncle Dale, devastating choice, he took his pistol Army and listened to Soldierhis wife Betty (my mother’s sister) and shot himself in the head. Aunt feedback and suggestions,and their only child, Jerry. Uncle Dale Betty found him when she came home said Walter O. Morales, chiefand Aunt Betty were high-school from the store. of the Army Suicide Preventionsweethearts and were married during The agony that a suicide causes Program.World War II. My uncle was rather well- the ones left behind is not difficult toto-do and they lived in an upscale home describe. Just think of every terrible The last Army-wide suicidein Riverside and generally enjoyed life emotion you can, put them all together prevention stand down tookto the fullest. Uncle Dale’s passion was at the same time, and there you go. The place in 2009. During that event,always boats. He owned several over TV show, “M.A.S.H.,” had the theme Morales said, the Army used thethe years and the family spent many song, “Suicide Is Painless.” I can assure “chain teach” approach to pusha weekend down in Newport Harbor, you with great personal knowledge that information down to Soldiers.sailing in and around the local waters. it is not. I am still profoundly sad just Over the years, Uncle Dale writing this article. I just hope that it This time, Morales said, thedeveloped a heart condition and his stops even one person from committing stand down will be different.doctors told him to get more exercise. this terribly selfish act. Suicide is aSo, being the eccentric fellow he was, permanent solution to a temporary “Activities and training willhe got his exercise by emptying his problem. If you can ever stop anyone be less prescriptive,” he said.swimming pool with a bucket. This from a suicide – DO IT! “Commanders now have theactually helped his heart, but didn’t do Aunt Betty still lives in the house flexibility to assess the needsmuch for his skin. With all that beach where both Dale and Jerry took their of their units and customize thetime over the years, he developed a case own lives. It’s a testament to her training and activities.”of Melanoma – a very deadly form of strength and courage that she doesskin cancer - which greatly affected his so. She’s almost 90 years old now and Morales said some commandershealth. Having always been a vigorous has to live with this terrible memory might opt for a “fun walk” orand active man, it apparently became forever. I hope all of you never have to run to get Soldiers, civilianstoo much for him to bear. go through this. and their families involved. One morning, about 20 years ago, And, as always, drive safe, drive sober They might follow that with anDale laid out all the paperwork my and buckle up! ~ Steve afternoon town hall meeting. Others may conduct risk assessments to better inform Los Angeles District Confidential 24-Hour their training requirements for Stand Down Army Employee Assistance the training and sustainment portion of the stand down. October 3 Hotline @ 1-800-937-777010 NewsCastle
  11. 11. Visiting IWR economist departing DistrictBy Daniel J. Calderón LOS ANGELES — Dr. Wen-Huei Chang, a water resourceseconomist from the Institute of Water Services, left the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Aug. 22 afterworking with three of the District’s divisions on temporaryassignment for nearly five months. “In addition to valuable hands-on experiences he receivedin the District, his IWR work will facilitate [District]personnel participation in two-to-four-month careerdevelopment assignments for enhancing the intellectualexchange between the field and Washington DC,” said CarvelBass, a District ecologist with the Civil Works Branch. “Thoseof us who have worked with Wen, both before and during hisstay here, have benefitted and will continue to benefit fromhis expertise.” Chang came to the District April 1 from his office in Ft.Belvoir, Va. for a developmental assignment. After somedebate with his supervisor at IWR – Chang was requestingtwo months for the assignment and his boss was trying to tell Col. Mark Toy, the Los Angeles District commander,him he needed six to make the assignment worthwhile – he presented Dr. Wen Chang with a command coincame to the Los Angeles District office. and a certificate which read in part, the District’s “I’ve been working on a lot of national high-profile appreciation for Chang’s “outstanding leadership,projects; but, I had never worked in the field,” Chang said. “I dedication and technical expertise for the Assetalways felt like there was a need to get some real-life hands- Management, the Programs and Project Management,on experience that happens in the field. If you ask me why I and the Planning Divisions and in the development ofpicked LA, I wanted to go to a district that had enough of a the FY14 Watershed-Based Budget Pilot Proposal fordiversified program so I could observe as much information the Santa Ana River Watershed. Dr. Chang currentlyas I could.” provides technical and budgeting support within the Chang said he was impressed by the assortment of Natural Resources Management Program. His nationalresponsibilities the members of the LA District team faced perspective in all of these areas has been an invaluableon a regular basis. In looking for which District to work with, asset to the District.” (USACE photo by Richard Rivera)he wanted to make sure he found an area with coastal anddeep-draft navigation missions and he wanted to work with and benefits. The District team sent the study forward tofloodrisk management programs. He said those programs USACE headquarters as a package from the South Pacificmade up nearly 2/3 of the Corps’ civil works budget. Division. During his time in the District, Chang worked with Asset “I worked with Eileen Takata and brought in a team fromManagement, Planning and PPMD divisions. The majority IWR to help the district use the tools we developed at IWR,”of his time was spent on continuing IWR-related projects Chang said. “We were able to group [the budgets] together toin the District. Bass said Chang also worked in operations look at them from a watershed perspective among projects,and maintenance in Navigation and assisted with flood risk business lines and watershed projects. It shows us themanagement, environmental stewardship and recreation interdependency of our projects and the projects of the localmanagement projects. sponsor. Using that information, we’re trying to achieve what “He was critical to the development of [Environmental works best for our projects and provides benefit for the localStewardship Budget Evaluation SysTem] and [Recreation sponsor.”Budget Evaluation SysTem] budgeting and is an expert in He said he will be taking that insight back with him tothese two programs,” Bass said. “So having him here during headquarters. He plans to work to bridge the “disconnect”the Fiscal Year 2014 budget formulation cycle was a great between the agencies responsible for the budgeting and theopportunity.” agencies who are out doing the work to benefit communities Bass said Chang was instrumental in completing the across the country. Chang said he enjoyed working on theWatershed-Based Budgeting pilot study. The pilot study relationship between “the field and DC” and wished he hadtook into account Chang’s notion that federal agencies, more time to work here. Although he misses his family, helike IWR and the Corps of Engineers, can work better with understands the value in field assignments.local sponsors if information affecting local sponsors wasconsidered when looking at a project’s overall consequences — See ECONOMIST, Page 18 — September 2012 11
  12. 12. Corps responds to Dana Point Emergency Preparedness ExpoBy Greg Fuderer DANA POINT, Calif. — The Cityof Dana Point hosted its annualEmergency Preparedness Expo hereAug. 25 to educate the public about howto prepare for a disaster and to exhibitthe assets provided by governmentagencies, public utilities and privateorganizations in the event one occurs.For the last several years, the LosAngeles District has been among theagencies taking advantage of thatopportunity to interact with the publicon an informal basis and explain wherethe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fitsin. Anne Hutton, chief of the District’sEmergency Management Office, andAlex Watt, a rehired annuitant licensedto drive the District’s new EmergencyCommand and Control Vehicle, hosted Alex Watt, a first responder licensed to drive the District’s new Emergencyvisitors throughout the day, describing Command and Control Vehicle, describes equipment in the vehicle and howthe ECCV’s equipment and operating the Corps responds to natural disasters during the Dana Point Emergencycapabilities and explaining the Corps’ Preparedness Expo held Aug. 25. (USACE photo by Greg Fuderer)FEMA-assigned responsibilities in theevent of an emergency response. natural disaster and what steps to departments and medical and first Among the participating agencies take in the event one occurs. The expo responders, most of which providedwere electric, power and water supply included agencies like U.S. Customs static displays of fire engines, tacticalagencies that provided information and Border Protection, California response vehicles, watercraft andabout how to prepare a home for a Highway Patrol, local sheriff and police helicopters, all open for public tours. Computer Chit Chat By Mario Zepeda great!photo.gif) FYI: Do you ever notice the characters %20 in a URL? Naming Conventions This happens when the browser or server converts a space Deciding what to name your Web files and folders in a URL into a code that is more universally understood can be an important part of creating a cohesive Web by computers. site or Document. The Web is not as flexible as most So to avoid confusion, avoid spaces in file and folder desktop computer systems when it comes to file naming. names. Improperly named files can, at best, be unwieldy and Do folder and file names affect my rank in search difficult for users to decipher, and at worst, make it engines? impossible for people to visit your pages. It is wise to presume that they can. Files should Here are some things to avoid when naming files or generally be named for the content of that file–whether folders for Web use: the file is an HTML, PDF, or a graphic. This goes double Spaces (http://www.wsu.edu/my file.html) for folders. But don’t use your file names for keyword Periods (dots) that do not immediately precede a file packing. Brevity is as important as relevance. “Apples. extension (http://www.wsu.edu/my.folder/my.file.html) html” is a much better file name than “Apples_apples_ Any character that is not a letter, a number, a dash, or growing_apples_in_Washington_State.html.” an underscore (http://www.wsu.edu/my*site’s#graphics/12 NewsCastle
  13. 13. Colorado Lagoon takes second step toward restoration By Greg Fuderer LONG BEACH, Calif. — Officials from the City of Long Beach, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a number of other agencies and support groups announced the completion of the second phase of the restoration of Colorado Lagoon at a news conference held Aug. 23 along the shore of the historic body of water. The restoration of the lagoon includes three phases. The first, elimination of the flow of contaminated material and trash into the lagoon, was completed in 2010 when the city installed mechanical gates and other structures to capture and divert stormwater runoff. The third and final phase, anticipated to occur in the next five years, will construct an open water conveyance between the lagoon andFrom left to right: Frank Colonna, Chair of Rivers and Mountains Conservancy; the adjacent Marine Stadium Park, andDoug Drummond, Port of Long Beach Commissioner; Frances Spivy-Weber, the Pacific Ocean, to reestablish a moreState Water Resources Control Board; Dave Pirazzi, President of Friends of natural tidal flow.Colorado Lagoon; Councilmember Gary DeLong, 3rd District; Mayor Foster, The just-completed phase removedCongressman Dana Rohrabacher and Col. Mark Toy, U.S. Army Corps of contaminated sediment from theEngineers Los Angeles District commander. (Photo courtsey of Andy lagoon and re-contoured the banks toWitherspoon) assist with tidal flow. The Colorado Lagoon Ecosystem Restoration team held its community celebration Aug. 25. District Outreach Coordinator Jennie Ayala spoke during the opening ceremonies and staffed an environmental focus booth during the event. (USACE photo by Dave Palmer) September 2012 13
  14. 14. Vandenberg breaks ground for educationCol. Jed Davis, 30th Mission Support Group commander, Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing commander, BarbaraBennie, Force Development Flight chief, and Col. Mark Toy, Los Angeles District commander turn over shovels of dirtas part of the official groundbreaking for the Vandenberg Air Force Base education center Aug. 15. The $14.2 millionbuilding will replace a 60-year-old facility that is used by more than 3,000 Airmen and their families. (USACE photoby Jay Field)By Jay Field education goals of base Airmen. water use reduction. “Team Vandenberg is thirsting for Col. Mark Toy, Los Angeles District VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, knowledge and this new, state-of-the- commander, said the Corps is proudCalif — Officials from the U.S. Army art facility is just what we need,” said to be part of the team at Vandenberg.Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Armagno. “This building will be more His District has managed majorand 30th Space Wing broke ground than bricks and mortar and glass that construction at the base for more thanAug. 15 for a new education center here. shall hold it together; it represents the fifty years, completing such projectsThe $14.2 million building will replace a Air Force’s commitment to providing as dormitories, a satellite operations60-year-old facility that is used by more the best services and facilities to the facility and the recently opened LEEDthan 3,000 Airmen and their families. best Airmen the world has ever seen.” Gold child development center. Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space The 38,000 square foot center is a “We hope we can continue to buildWing commander, said the center will design-build project awarded by the wonderful facilities for all of you,” saidhave room for five college programs, Corps to Teehee-Straub, a joint-venture Toy. “This is a perfect example of a25 classrooms, a training and WAPS team from Oceanside, Calif. Their 21st great partnership between the Army(Weighted Airman Promotion System) century design includes sustainable and the Air Force. So, in the spirit oftesting area, two computer labs and development and energy efficiencies, that, I will say, ‘Go Army,’ ‘Go Air Force,’a 75-seat auditorium to meet the such as light pollution reduction and ‘Beat Navy!’”14 NewsCastle
  15. 15. Pinnacle station opens in PasadenaBy Dave Palmer PASADENA, Calif — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers LosAngeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy joined Soldiers,Sailors, Airmen and Marines to celebrate the grand openingof a military career center here Aug. 22. “It’s an example of ‘Building Strong and Taking Careof People,’ which is actually the motto we have in theLos Angeles District,” said Toy. “I chose it because I wanteveryone to remember that everything we do in the Corpsof Engineers, everything we build for our Soldiers, has at itsheart the idea that we are taking care of people.” Since 2009, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command has usedthe term Pinnacle to describe these state-of-the-art facilitiesand their team approach to recruiting. USAREC sees thisre-organization as a way to improve the quality of life for itsrecruiters. These larger stations consolidate the operationsof several offices. This location accommodates the localcompany command team as well. One of the new tenants, Air Force enlisted accessionrecruiter Staff Sgt. Kenneth D. Stubbs said, “the newfacility is nice and I like the fact that everything is new andfunctional so it provides for a better work atmosphere.” According to Corps realty specialist Dustin Ku, this centercomes in at 8,500 square feet with the Army accountingfor just over 4,086 square feet of floor and office space toaccommodate its Pinnacle design. The Navy has 2036 sq. ft.,also co-locating their area supervisor, the Marines at 1700 sq.ft. and the Air Force at 678 sq. ft. Los Angeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy addresses “The District is really proud of our recruiting facilities community leaders and military officials before they cutprogram,” said Toy. “We administer 269 leases that are worth the ribbon officially opening the new career center ina total of $31 million. In my mind, it’s money well spent.” Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 22. (USACE photo by Dave Palmer)Future Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines joined the ceremony for the grand opening of an 8,500 square footmilitary career center in Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 22. (USACE photo by Dave Palmer) September 2012 15
  16. 16. HAIL AND FAREWELL District Commander Col. Mark Toy (left) took time before an Aug. 18 meeting to recognize these employees for attaining their Professional Engineer certification. From left to right they are: Reuben Sasaki, Anabel Ronquillo and Michael Leongson. Acting Deputy Commander Col. Daryll Fust (above right) presents Lester Burwell the commander’s coin and his Length of Service certificate for 45-years of honorable service on Aug. 20. David Van Dorpe (left) and Col. Mark Toy present Chief, Structural Engineering Bob Conley his Certificate of Retirement. Conley’s effective date of retirement is Aug. 31. (USACE photos by Rich Rivera)Employees recognized as District award winners LOS ANGELES — Congratulations to the following Program Manager of the Yearindividuals. They are the Los Angeles District winners of • Betty Melendrezthese Corps-level competitions. Don Lawyer Regulator of the Year Hard Hat of the Year • Debra Leighton • Ray Salas USACE Engineer of the Year • Thad Fukushige16 NewsCastle
  17. 17. Off-road fans are a force multiplier for FUDS programHeather Rogers (right) of Bristol Environmental Remediation Services conducts a short survey with race fans. Thetablet based program helps capture what types of off-road activities they participate in on public lands and wherethey might have seen ordnance. The area is part of the former California-Arizona Maneuver Area, where Gen.George S. Patton, Jr., trained a million troops for desert warfare. (USACE photo by Dave Palmer)By Dave Palmer fans.” and I’m amazed at how many people Participants are asked to take a brief report seeing munitions,” added Sahgal. SAN BERNARDINO — San tablet-computer based survey that “And I’m really pleased they take theBernardino County is home to six provides information on what types time to notify us; they also seem to beoff-highway vehicle recreation sites of outdoor activities they use public aware about the potential for harmregulated by the Bureau of Land lands for and where they may have seen from WWII munitions.”Management. That fact alone made ordnance or evidence of military use. There are as many as 10,000 potentialthe Glen Helen Raceway prime real- Many of these motorsports events FUDS sites across the Nation and itsestate to discuss the 3Rs of Explosives are held on or near FUDS sites. This territories. The program consists of sitesSafety at Formerly Used Defense Sites location is part of the former California- used by the military prior to Octoberduring a Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Arizona Maneuver Area, where Gen. 1986. According to the USACE FUDSSeries event Aug. 4-5. George S. Patton, Jr. used approximately website, the program has spent or “We’re here to talk to the public 12 million acres of southeastern obligated $5.8 billion through fiscalabout the FUDS initiative, and certainly California, southwestern Arizona, and year 2012 and expects to spend anotherto spread our safety message,” said a small portion of southern Nevada $8 billion (based on 2012 dollars) toSuneeta Sahgal, Los Angeles District to prepare a million troops for desert complete the project.FUDS project manager. “But, we also warfare.gather valuable information from these “This is the second event I’ve worked September 2012 17
  18. 18. Toastmasters achieve the President’s Distinguished Club statusEssayons Club #988 Chapter President Christina Chavez (left) and Ed Louie, past chapter president, receivedthe coveted Toastmasters International - President’s Distinguished Club streamer on Aug. 23. Red Runyon, AreaGovernor for Toastmasters International made the presentation and will also make the chapter his club of choice,as the “Area Governor’s Home Club.” (USACE photo by Dave Palmer)ECONOMIST from Page 11 the development of the FY14 Watershed-Based Budget Pilot Proposal for the Santa Ana River Watershed. Dr. Chang “When I was discussing my assignment to the district with currently provides technical and budgeting support withinmy director, I said I could go for two months,” Chang recalled. the Natural Resources Management Program. His national“He said no, two months is not enough. You have to go for perspective in all of these areas has been an invaluable assetsix months. We finally came up with four months for the to the District.”assignment. A month into the assignment, I realized Bob was Chang said he will be taking two district personnelright. You really need to have a six-month timeframe to really with him back to IWR to work the same projects at theget involved in a meaningful way. Based on my experience, headquarters level that they currently work at the field level.I really encourage anyone to pursue career-development “The idea is that we can really pick their brains and gainassignments and to make sure they are at least six months.” valuable knowledge form the District by bringing them At a farewell gathering, Col. Mark Toy, the LA District to the IWR,” he explained. “We will gain the valuable fieldcommander, presented Chang with a command coin and a experience that is sort of lacking in DC. We would likecertificate which read in part, the District’s appreciation for to continue the relationship by continuing the study andChang’s “outstanding leadership, dedication and technical sharing people back and forth. It was a wonderful experienceexpertise for the Asset Management, the Programs and for me and I’m sure it will be a wonderful experience forProject Management, and the Planning Divisions and in people going to IWR.”18 NewsCastle
  19. 19. FINAL WORDRandom thoughts can make some tough knots in the skein of perceptionBy Daniel J. Calderón a regular basis. We did have skinny ties, though. Those were pretty inexpensive. Of course, that has nothing to do with I’m not even sure what that headline means; but it skinny jeans.sounded good in my head so I went with it. As the days go by Moving on from the little bit of fashion I have an opinionand I find myself looking back to a youth that is farther and on, let’s take a short look at recreation, in general. I’m kindfather in the rearview mirror, I sometimes wonder if I’m too of a TV watcher myself. I do like to go to the movies; but,out of date, too out of touch with things. I wonder if I’m the I prefer staying home. For one, it’s a lot less expensive.only one who sees some of the strange things I see when I Have you ever tried to take a family of five to the movies atlook around. anything other than a matinee showing? It’s pricey, to say the I’m no fashion plate; but, there are some trends I’ve least. So, we stay home and watch TV. I’ve stayed away fromnoticed that confuse me. I’m not even going to get into the one channel, though – AMC. As far as I could find, the fullwhole pants halfway down the butt thing. name is American Movie Classics. The wordThat’s just too dumb to really get into here. Classic is defined on Dictionary.com as, “ofI’m wondering more about other stuff. the first or highest quality, class, or rank.” For one, I wonder why there are so So, I would think movies shown on AMCmany people who wear sunglasses inside are among the best.buildings. I understand I live in Arizona However, whoever runs AMC has decidedand I understand the sun is blisteringly hot the movies need to be chopped into pieces.and blindingly bright during the day. But, I It’s just as bad as watching them on networkdon’t get how people walk around the mall television. How many of you rememberor into any other place and keep wearing staying up late to watch “The Bluestheir sunglasses. The shades are not just Brothers” on network TV and then howlingup on their heads out of the way. They are with laughter because of the poorly-editedover their eyes to provide protection from dialogue keeping the cuss words out? I dothe light. I figure the only thing they can and I’m smiling right now just thinkingreally be protecting themselves from is about how funny it sounds when Johnwhatever sunlight does come in through Belushi’s voice changes in mid-line and thenthe windows. It’s even more disconcerting comes back to his regular voice.to see the same phenomenon at night. Since I doubt (based The same is true of any scenes with whatever is deemedon the young faces) that they’re Corey Hart fans, the only excessive violence or any sort of nudity. I think we’rething I can imagine they are trying to protect their delicate culturally more accepting of the former than the latter; but,eyes from is the harsh fluorescent lighting. I guess the folks who run the network figure we need to be I’m also a bit baffled by the skinny jeans phenomenon. protected from both. I’ve heard the reasons the FCC feels weIf I’m not wearing skinny jeans, does that mean I have fat need to be protected on the network channels; but, I thinkjeans on? When I was growing up (yeah, I know, I don’t it’s just sad that there seems to be a need to “fix” or “edit”like that particular phrase either; but, there aren’t a lot of movies on a cable channel supposedly playing classic movies.options when you’re having to watch your word count), the I don’t know, maybe I’m only a short mental distance awayonly options were boot-cut jeans and straight-leg ones. We from being that guy on my chair on my porch yelling, “Heybought them at Sears because they were less expensive there you! Get off my lawn!” That would be a really strange thingand we almost always bought the ones with reinforced knees. since we don’t really have a porch and the summers here areMy brother and I were apparently murder on the knees of trending to nearly 120 degrees for weeks at a time. It’s whyour jeans. As I grew into my teen years, I had pretty much having pebbly rocks as a yard is so popular.the same kind of jeans; although, I had stopped with the But there are things that perplex me. There are a lot ofreinforced knees. I guess I gained a lot more coordination. things I wonder about. The jeans, sunglasses and silly rulesOr, I might have just stopped being so rough and tumble. on TV are just a few of them. There are a lot of things I see I do remember the tight Jordache and Calvin Klein jeans; when I look around. I know there is a middle ground, abut, those were for girls. Guys who were fashionable (that’s compromise path through the maze of reality we all mustone word, I suppose) and had some extra cash to spend on navigate; but, I wonder, sometimes, whether I am trying tofancy pants (it did take a while, but I did finally find a place navigate that path alone. I wonder how many followers therewhere that particular two-word phrase works), would get are, how many leaders and how many people who are neither.leather pants. Of course, that fad never really took off where I wonder sometimes why anyone needs to be just one thingI lived since no one really had the time or the money to buy or another. I wonder how many people decide not to decidethings like that. Of course, trying to wear leather pants in and let their world be built around them with no input onthe San Antonio summer would have been difficult at best. their part. I wonder how surprised they are going to be whenSo, there were no skinny jeans in my neighborhood and very they realize they are bit players in their own movies. Just alittle in the way of leather pants in the social circles I saw on thought… September 2012 19

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