The Intercom

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The Intercom
United States -- Army. -- Corps of Engineers. -- Walla Walla District ( issuing body )
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Vol. 39 No. 2 April May 2012 US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District50 years of service Ice Harbor


ContentsWhere does leadership sit? F r o m W h e r e I S i t From Where I Sit I NTERCOM This was the question posed recently to me as a mentor to one of this year’s Leadership Development Program participants. We were deep in conversation trying to move forward with challenges facing the completion of an LDP project. Seemed like an innocent enough question. Just pull out the organization chart, slide your nger along the path, and there’s your answer. Just wish it were that straightforward. As we discussed the question, we highlighted that leadership doesn’t have a simple answer. We talked about those challenges that we could place in a box and check “yes” or “no.” Then came the dynamics of all the organizational relationships and individual personalities involved to complete the mission. Now things were getting interesting. And nally, we discussed the strategic challenges in trying to change culture. Things were now just plain sticky. Welcome to Leadership. To answer the question I need to add some background for my response. I don’t know what happened, but I blinked, and nearly 27 years of federal service with the Walla Walla District has come and gone. Let me rephrase that. My time has come and gone, but what we have accomplished is still here, and will be, for many years to come. This organization and in particular my peers have accomplished some very signi cant things during the course of my career. Things such as our sh passage structures and concepts and our concrete construction techniques have gained worldwide attention. Our locally developed Cost Center, regional technical experts, and in-house software applications have the Corps headquarters and beyond looking to Walla Walla for direction. Our recent success in working with other agencies and the Tribes in resolving longstanding cultural issues has opened doors for future interaction. One does not have to look far to see the District’s impact on our local society and nation as a whole. How did this come about? If you peel back the onion, you will nd that all of these signi cant things started with one individual asking “what if?” These folks weren’t satis ed with the answer at hand, and then took the initiative to affect change. Relying on their own expertise, and then leveraging the District’s leaders, they addressed the cultural and strategic issues to bring about great things. We face numerous technical and process challenges working for this organization, and I hope that this next generation of employees recognizes the opportunities and seizes the chance to ask “what if?” We need to continue to do what we do well, but not be satis ed with the status quo. By challenging ourselves and our processes, we grow not only individually, but grow and develop this organization as well. Along the way, be sure to get to know your leaders, and gain from their perspective and training. But when you ask, “where does leadership sit?” hopefully, you don’t have to look too far beyond your own chair.Ice Harbor Lock and Dam celebrates 50 years of service to the Nation. I I I I I I I I N N N N T T T E E E R R R R C C C C O O O O M M M M N N N N T T T T E E E E R R R R C C C C O O O O M M M M I Ic e H Ha b rb or IceHarbor 4 Milestone ReachedDistrict repairs concrete spalling at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam 6 Commander Bids Farewell Lt. Col. Caldwell re ects on twoyear tenure at Walla Walla District 10 Engineer Week District celebrates annual E-week with area-school bridge competitions 12 Infrastructure is Bliss Rural Idaho community bene ts from ARRA program 14 Ice Harbor Marks 50 Years Learn about Ice Harbor Lock and Dam’s 50 years of service to the Nation 19 Artillery Of cer to Scientist Check out how Russ Heaton continues serving his country 20 AbilityOne ChampionContracting Chief Ruthann Haider leads in promoting program that nds employment for disabled 24 I’m With the Corps Lead Fish Biologist Ann Setter shares her mission with the Corps 25 The Man Behind the Building Kevin Crum helped design the District headquarters and much more is an unof cial publication authorized by the provi sions of Army Regulation 360-1. It is published bimonthly by the Public Affairs Of ce, Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It has a distribu tion of 1,500 copies. Contents of the INTERCOM are not necessarily the of cial views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Commander Lt. Col. David A. Caldwell PA Chief Joe Saxon Editor PA Specialist Terri A. Rorke Stephen Doherty PA Specialist PA Specialist Gina Baltrusch Bruce HenricksonOn the coverphoto by David G. RiggFor more information, contact: Public Affairs Of ce U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 201 N. Third Avenue Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: 509-527-7020 E-mail: website: Cary Rahn, District P2 Coordinator INTERCOM 2


Construction is underway on a new of ce building for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District Mill Creek Project near Walla Walla., Wash. In contrast to the old of ce—a 900-squarefoot con guration of older building additions made to accommodate staff operations during the decades since original construction in the 1930s—the new of ce will meet both the needs of staff and visitors. The new 3,756-square-foot building will include a visitor display area with a public restroom, receptionist area, operations manager of ce, lunch/conference room, ranger of ce area, maintenance of ce area, maintenance equipment room, a men’s and women’s employee restrooms with lockers and showers, and a janitor closet. Site work includes a new septic drain eld, access road, expanded parking, a new pedestrian bridge and realignment of electrical lines. The new of ce building, to be located on an undeveloped piece of Corps-managed property near the existing of ce, will include ADA-compliant features, and is designed using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles. “This is our district’s rst building project using LEED-silver criteria,” said Corps Project Manager Simeon Francis. “Our District design team really came through with some great ‘green’ ideas for improving the sustainability aspects of this facility.” LEED, a voluntary program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) primarily for the commercial construction industry, encourages the design and construction of sustainable facilities that reduce energy consumption and waste, both during construction and future use of the building. LEED certi cations range from basic certi cation to Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings. LEED certi cation provides independent, third-party veri cation that a building, home or community was designed and built with the goal of achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy ef ciency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. “The energy-saving features are designed to achieve a 30-percent reduction in energy consumption and signi cantly reducing of ce operating costs,” Francis added. “Through thoughtful design, all of the regularly occupied of ce spaces within the building have access to views and daylighting.” The Corps awarded the approximately $2.2-million contract to Randolph Construction Services Inc. from Pasco, Wash., to construct the new of ce, which will replace the 60-plus-yearold existing of ce. Construction on the project, which began in winter 2011, brings work to many nearby businesses, according to Sunnie Scott, LEED-AP and project quality manager for Randolph. “We make every attempt to utilize local subcontractors and vendors,” said Scott. “We have almost 20 subcontractors from the Walla Walla Valley and Tri-Cities areas already on board.”Corps breaks ground on new Mill Creek Dam o ce • ground loop heat exchanger, which uses natural, underground heat as a source to help heat and cool the new building • building position orientation, skylights and solar tubes to allow maximum access to direct sunlight • gray-water reuse system, which treats used water from restroom faucets, showers and water fountain and uses it for ushing the toilets • many building materials will be composed of or contain recycled material • low ow faucets and toilets • solar collection panels projected to provide AC energy up to 10,034 kilowatt hours per year • building waste material, both during construction and when occupied, will be separated for disposal and/or recycling, diverting waste from land lls • low-consumption lighting control, which automatically adjusts interior electrical lighting output based on the amount of sunlight entering a room and occupancy sensors that turn lights off when detecting a vacant room • selection and placement of landscaping trees, shrubs and rocks minimize water consumption—no permanent irrigation will be installed because native drought-tolerant planting will be utilizedstory and photo by Gina BaltruschDistrict Project Manager Simeon Francis goes over construction plans for the new Mill Creek Dam of ce with the Walla Walla Mayor Jim Barrow and District Commander Lt. Col. David Caldwell.LEED-silver standards sustainable elements included into the project:April May 2012 3


Milestone reached District repairs concrete spalling at Lower Monumental Lock and DamINTERCOM 4


d The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District successfully repaired a concrete wall on the Lower Monumental Lock and Dam during its annual winter navigation lock outage. The concrete wall work marks the completion of a three-year phased project to repair cracking and spalling, which occurred along monolith 15 inside the lock. Monolith 15 has a history of cracking and spalling which created unsafe conditions for vessels due to falling concrete. Old concrete from the entire monolith surface—an area approximately 130 feet high by 60 feet wide by 4 feet deep—needed to be replaced to prevent further cracking, spalling and water intrusion to the interior of the monolith. “The phased construction approach helped minimize impacts to the navigation industry while maximizing repairs within the work-windows and funding constraints,” noted Steve Thompson, Walla Walla District project manager for the wall repair. Each phase of work had unique technical issues, risks, funding, and scheduling challenges. From project planning through construction, the Project Delivery Teams (PDTs) had to be innovative and coordinate with numerous other routine and non-routine project teams at Lower Monumental to ensure products were delivered on time. Coordination of the lock closures with the navigation community and Portland District began several years in advance of the work scheduled, creating the least impact on river commerce. The concrete wall repairs enhance safety, reliability and structural integrity. The repairs addressed spalling and cracking that’s been occurring since the 1990s and has become more signi cant in the 2000s plus the impact of an estimated 50,000 navigation lock cycles during more than 43 years of service. Phase 1, conducted in 2010, removed old concrete from about 100-by60 feet of the surface. Phase 2, conducted during the 2011 extended lock outage, removed the remaining 30-by-60 feet of surface and replaced it with new concrete up to 40 feet from the bottom of the lock using cast-inplace concrete. According to Thompson, “Last year’s work was signi cant for the overall success of the concrete-repair project, which also reduced safety risk.” The Corps awarded a $969,716 construction contract to Mowat Construction Company of Woodinville, Wash., to conduct Phase 3 repairs which involved anchoring pre-cast concrete blocks into the repair area. Additional work associated with the multi-year project included installing waterstops, grouting cracks and repairing culvert cavitation. “This is about maintaining safe and reliable passage through the Columbia-Snake river navigation system,” said Thompson. “The completed repair project will improve safety conditions for vessels using the lock and help protect the monolith from potentially damaging water intrusion.” The project’s importance echoes the Corps’ mission to maintain safe and reliable passage through the Columbia-Snake river navigation system. Each year, the Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla and Portland districts suspend navigation service at dams on the lower Columbia and lower Snake rivers to conduct annual inspections, repairs and maintenance on the navigation locks at the eight dams between Portland, Ore., and Lewiston, Idaho. The 2012 lock maintenance outage began on March 6. Navigation locks at Corps dams on the Columbia River reopened their navigation locks on March 20 after completing routine annual inspection and maintenance activities. Dams on the Snake River returned their locks to service on March 27. The Columbia-Snake river navigation system is vital to the economic health of the Paci c Northwest. The system accommodated the transportation of an average of 10 million short tons of cargo annually from 1999 to 2008, according to the Corps’ Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center. Ten million tons equals about 2,700 barges, 100,000 railcars or 350,000 semi-trucks. story by Gina Baltrusch U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photos April May 2012 5


Commander r Lt. Col. David CaldwellTeam, It’s amazing how time ies when you’re having fun, and I sure have been! It’s been an amazing couple of years since I had the privilege and honor of assuming command of the District and joining our great workforce that embodies day-to-day dedication and mission accomplishment. In fact, every day I wake up thinking, “Look at what I get to do…I love my job!” And, I assure you that’s no exaggeration. So, I thought I’d take a little time to let you in on my thoughts as to why that is in the words that follow. We have an awesome mission in this District. It’s diverse and encompasses the full spectrum of civil works–therefore we’re always busy and making a difference that can be seen in the everyday life of our community, nation, and world. Just look at our deployees. Although I talk about this from time to time because of its importance, I’ve never once tried or had to twist arms to get people to go and ful ll the desired participation. In fact, last year we put out the call to meet the needs of the Afghanistan Engineer districts, and for ve months our volunteers INTERCOM 6


r reflects upon tenure at District (Far left) Lower Monumental Lock and Dam’s new downstream navigational gate. (Top, left) Lt. Col. Caldwell and Oregon Congressman Greg Walden view the refurbished Milton-Freewater levee drop structure (above, right). (Above) Little Goose Maintenance Wor k Leader Ron Ashley instructs workers in Afghanistan. (Lower far left) Walla Walla’s 2011 Veterans Day parade. (Bottom left) The commander leads a public meeting on the Mill Creek project’s dam safety issues. almost doubled the percentage of all other districts, even exceeding 5 percent of our full-time-equivalent (FTE) workforce for two months. Meanwhile, everyone else gured out how to keep things running within NWW. Families were cared for, and I’ll always remember the preand post-deployment interviews I was able to have with folks; simply an amazing group of individuals with wonderful insights. I truly enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing so many come home safe and sound. But that only scratches the surface about how we accomplish what’s asked of us; that is, what YOU accomplish what’s asked of each of you. Hydropower, navigation, recreation, environmental stewardship, ood risk management, regulatory, water resource planning, environmental compliance, internal review, public affairs, safety, real estate, logistics, personnel support, design, modeling, operations maintenance, construction, contracting, emergency management, programs, security, cultural resources, sh passage research and development, IT support, EEO, Small Business, project management, cost engineering, and the list goes on. Look how capable our work force is! And, that leads to the next thing I love about the District. I get to work with true professionals. You really know your jobs. I never lost sleep about whether or not the mission would be accomplished. The best days in the District were the ones where I had the opportunity to visit people at the operating projects, on the construction site, in the of ce at your desks, out on the levee during last year’s ood ght, in training or wherever else you were getting the job done. You gave me the energy to do my job and inspired me to do it as well as I could. It’s been an honor to represent the District because of who I was representing. Remember the diagram from the book Good to Great with the ywheel? We have great momentum going, and I personally think we’re at the “great” level. Those who are great continue to seek out the things that make them so, and therefore the journey never really stops. That’s why we have the OPLAN, and that’s why we continue to look for better ways of accomplishing our business. So, let me list off just a sample of things that demonstrate this and which I’ll surely never forget because they are what continue to shape and de ne the Walla Walla District (and me): • My rst interview with the media, just before taking command. All I can really remember is not wanting to screw up and portray NWW in a poor light–talk about nerves! But, our Public Affairs of ce prepared me well, and it went just ne (whew!). • The long-term navigation outage successes, of which there were many, to include: the LoMo gate and equipment replacement, Phase II NavLock monolith concrete repair, in-house upstream gate work, and emergency waterstop and spalling work; the rush to square away the McNary stoplogs so they would be safe for the NavLock inspection and work; the Ice Harbor gate work and discovery of the failed concrete during the inspection and pursuant emergency contract; the Lower Granite upstream gate in-house repairs, and inhouse repairs at Little Goose. And of course, this year’s outage and maintenance on the navigation system, as well as the yearly sh infrastructure maintenance. • The McNary Shoreline Management Plan–which was somewhat of the gift that kept on giving over the previous six years– and the exibility of the staff to try a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photos April May 2012 7


approach which got us to a point where we have an approved shoreline plan that we’re currently implementing. • The OPLAN development and implementation as we struggled with how to get at the hard things that needed to be tackled, and then trying to gure out how to make strides toward that while still executing the daily mission very well. • Safety improvements made at all the operating projects through bottom-up input. • The Port of Lewiston Dock Expansion Permit that involved E&C, Real Estate, PPPMD’s Environmental Compliance, Of ce of Counsel and, of course, Regulatory Division pulling together as a team. All of whom continued to arm me with information to conduct a public hearing, consultation with a tribe and ultimately make a solid decision. • Launching into social media to continue to get the word out about the great things going on in near-real time. • The McNary Stator Winding Replacement Project that got off to a rocky start and involved so many people to help it along–it was leaps and bounds better the second year, and quality was never compromised. • How we were able to pursue and receive money for eight of our 10 top priorities when all were originally below the cut-line. Tenacity, persistence and some really smart folks who understand how the Corps works allowed us to buy down signi cant risk. • The social activities like the Easter Egg Hunt, Corps Day, Thanksgiving Lunch, Holiday Toast and Party, the great District balls, as well as the chili feeds, supervisorcooked breakfasts, tubing on the Boise River in 55-degree water and others makes being with my fellow co-workers fun. Let’s not forget golf tournaments or the bowling league. Go Dam Bowlers! (That’s my bowling team) I really enjoyed being welcome in all those things and more. • Suiting up in the dry suit and going down the Ice Harbor sh ladder looking for stranded sh and inspecting the structure… it’s a good workout, as well. For what it’s worth, I could barely pronounce “anadromous” when I arrived–now I’m some sort of pseudo sh expert (stress the “pseudo” part). • Having the best Small Contracting Of ce in USACE, the highest percentage of public affairs awards in the Corps, as well as many other recognitions. Those weren’t achieved by my doing–at most I may have provided some guidance or asked for something to be pursued–you got the job done and did it well. • Being able to witness successful environmental restoration projects both as Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) and Regulatory projects/sites. • Sitting at home writing birthday cards (and wondering why I can’t remember names as well as I want to…I still haven’t gured that out). • Getting into the depths of the projects: the LoMo NavLock drain valve; Lower Granite, Ice Harbor and McNary unit scroll casings, including the con ned-space rescue exercise where the Lower Granite crew strapped me to a backboard down below; the LoMo NavLock drain valve; down in the Little Goose unwatered NavLock and ll valve; the steps, steps and more steps at Dworshak, including the ones with water owing over them; inside the Corps largest power-producing turbine; the outlet tower at Lucky Peak; the power and other upgrades at Mill Creek; on the levees at Jackson Hole to look at the damage and repairs; and even being able to lend a hand during some of the work I was able to see while visiting. I still don’t think I even came close to seeing everything, but we have some really impressive projects! • The annual Turkey Bowl ag football games, and being given the game ball.


• The town halls at the projects and District headquarters, and the fact that I nally learned how to shorten the length. • The Corps’ most comprehensive and complete project management processes, including the tools to allow getting the job done. Similarly, the Corps’ most comprehensive maintenance management approach and vision, as well as some really great budget development tools that are helping us lead the way in risk-based budgeting and prioritization. • And, let’s not forget the routine work. It may seem odd, but something I really enjoy is seeing the routine work in the District. That’s because you can see the excellence in the way people routinely do the routine things. That ranges from seeing our park rangers on patrol interacting with the public with the utmost professionalism one minute and picking up trash the next, to seeing the care taken in conducting preventive maintenance at the powerplants, to the quality of the paperwork that comes across my desk. The list goes on… These things are but a few, and I could go on for pages and pages about the things that will forever impress me about this wonderful District. In fact, I was recently at a conference with some of my fellow district commanders, and it was so much fun to brag about what NWW does. The District has a great reputation across the Corps. The same holds true when I am able to talk to congressional members and their staffs. You are very impressive and worth bragging about! Why else do I love my job? Let’s be honest, I’ve made mistakes along the way, and I’m as quirky as the next person. However, the professionalism, wise counsel, patience and understanding all of you extended allowed me to grow and try to ful ll my duties as commander better each day. I’ve tried my hardest to live and demonstrate the Army values, as well as my personal beliefs and faith and, therefore, keep to the priorities I set out with: People, Projects (mission execution, including operations; nonroutine projects and the Regulatory Program) and Process. I hope and pray that the District is better than when I arrived, although I recognize I was only a small piece of any successes we’ve had. I think it’s rather tting that this issue of the Intercom is highlighting the Ice Harbor 50th Anniversary that we’ll celebrate on 16 June (the Corps’ Birthday is the same day, as well). It’s a project that was designed and constructed by NWW over half a century ago, followed by many great years of service. Many of the components are well past their original life-expectancy because of quality maintenance and engineering in the District. When problems have come up, solutions were developed, designed and put in place. Things work and last because we have the best of the best keeping them working – collectively we accomplish the mission. This District consistently gets the job done and does it well. So, let me end with some words from my heart. Thanks to every one of you for allowing me to be your commander, and for welcoming Valerie and me into the District and your lives. I will never forget you or the experiences I’ve been able to share with you. It’s been a phenomenal two years that I will cherish forever. I’ve truly been blessed.Serving our Community, our Nation, the World! Essayo ns! Building Strong!Lt. Col. Dave Caldwell (Above) Dworshak Dam near Ahsahka, Idaho is home to the Corps’ largest power-producing turbine. (Lower left page) McNary Stator Winding Replacement Project. (Bottom right page) McNary Shoreline meeting, June 2011. (Below, right) Town hall, December 2010.April May 2012 9


The school bell rings signaling the next period at DeSales High School in Walla Walla, Wash. Students gather in the gym to test the strength of their self-made balsawood bridges during National Engineers Week (E-Week). All eyes watch to see whose bridge will break rst. Every year Walla Walla River Valley students help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District celebrate E-Week in February. The District held seven bridge competitions from February 19-25 at area schools. Students were allowed to use only one sheet of one-sixteenth-inch thick balsa wood and liquid-based glue for bridge construction. Each bridge was tested and scored using a test apparatus that measures structural ef ciency, which is calculated by dividing the maximum supported load by the weight of the bridge. Overall for the school competitions, Collin Flegel from Walla Walla Valley Academy won with a score of 3,556. The District also held an employee bridge competition using balsa wood. Structural Engineer Jon Lomeland won the contest for his bridge that held more than 160 pounds with an overall bridge score of 5,017. More than 350 bridges were tested in the District and school competitions combined. Lincoln High School Teacher Erik Gordon in Walla Walla, Wash., said that balsa wood was his most preferred material yet. He noted that the raw material could be broken down in any way the contestant desired, which allowed more freedom and creativity than previous E-Week competitions he participated in. According to Electrical Engineer Jeff Lyon, who coordinates the District’s EWeek, “I think the results show that if a contestant used their insight and creativity they could do amazing things. That’s engineering!” Every year, the Nation’s engineers take a week to highlight the practice and accomplishments of engineers to show what can be done with a little science and imagination. For more information about National Engineers Week go online to Lara watches as District Civil Engineer Michael Franssen tests his balsa-wood bridge at DeSales High School Walla Walla, Wash. Feb. 23.story and photos by Terri A. RorkeINTERCOM 10


(Top, left) District Civil Engineer Michael Franssen tests a bridge at DeSales High School in Walla Walla, Wash. Feb. 23. (Bott om, left) Brigit Lyons, Allison Wujek, Ashlyn Lyons, Bobbie Prior, Logan Hoeft watch as District Limnologist Philip Fishella tests Elizab eth RuthvenÂ’s bridge. (Middle, right) Arturo Martinez, Ryan Baumgart, Reilly Roach, Spencer Cordeiro watch as Franssen tests a brid ge at DeSales High School.April May 2012 11


Infrastruc t (Above, left) Bliss, Idaho Business Owner Steve Goolsby cuts a ribbon at a ceremony April 12 to celebrate the completion of a wastewater system that eliminated septic system use and unlined lagoons within the community. (Below, left) Bliss Mayor Chris P ruett holds up a certi cate of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development with a Bliss School District student. (Above) Goolsby signs a pipe that was signed by partners in the wastewater lagoon system project in Bliss, Idaho. The pipe was later Rural Idaho community b What does it take to build a community? Partnerships, coordination and sometimes 22 years of dedication. It was more than two decades ago when a major chemical company came to Bliss, Idaho ready to establish roots and provide 45 jobs. The company saw the town as an ideal spot for transportation, while sitting at the crossroads of the mainline Union Paci c Railroad, Interstate 84, and U.S. Route 30. The town of 300 people was soon asked about its municipal infrastructure. Bliss city of cials told the company, “We have good water, but no sewer system. You will have to put in septic.” The company replied, “Thanks. But, no thanks.” W hat does it take to build a community? Partnerships, c oordination and sometimes 22 years of dedication I t was more than two decades ago when a major chemic al company came to Bliss, Idaho ready to establish roots and provide 45 jobs. The company saw the town as an ideal s pot for transportation, while sitting at the crossroads of t he mainline Union Paci c Railroad Interstate 84 and U.S. Route 30. The town of 300 people was soon asked about its m unicipal infrastructure. Bliss city of cials told the company, “We have good water, but no sewer system. You will h ave to put in septic.” The company replied, “Thanks. But, no t hank s. ” story and photos by Terri A. Rorke


c ture is Bliss presented to the city in recognition of the completed wastewater lagoon system project in Bliss, Idaho. (Above, right) Carleen Herring, vice president of community and economic development for Region IV Development stands in front of the newly nished wastewater lagoon system in Bliss, Idaho. Herring worked nearly 22 years to see the project come to fruition. p r es en ted to t he cit y in reco g ni ti on n o o f f h th e comp l le te d d wastewater i i i i d d t t f f it it didltfR While seeing how lacking a sewer system created a lost opportunity that fateful day, the town realized that infrastructure may be a blissful solution to the community’s long-term survival. Since the early 1990s, Carleen Herring, vice president of community and economic development for Region IV Development, has been working with city of cials to get that lost opportunity back. A master plan was created for a municipal wastewater system, but as prices rose, it was a long-term struggle to nd funding partners. Finally, after some 20 years of effort, “the stars aligned” in Bliss when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 went into effect, Herring said. The ARRA was designed as an economic stimulus package to revamp the U.S. economy and create or save millions of jobs. The act mandated to assist communities with shovel-ready infrastructure projects they would not otherwise be able to afford. One week after the legislation was signed into law, the Bliss City Council scheduled a bond election on the rst date legally possible—April 28, 2009. Eighty percent of the registered voters passed the revenue bond with a 94 percent approval rate for the $7 million wastewater system project that would provide sewer access for the entire community. The city received necessary funding from the following agencies: A $2.7 million loan from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality—forgiving all but $100,000 of the debt, a $2.1 million grant by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized by Section 595 of the Water Resources and Development Act, and a $1 million grant and $700,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The project also received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Idaho Department of Commerce. Construction of the wastewater pond system began in spring 2010. By August 2011, all of Bliss’s residents were hooked up to the new system, which eliminated septic tanks, drain elds, leaking unlined lagoons that dumped sewage into porous lava rock beneath Bliss’ homes, business, and school. While the residents had to adjust to a sewer bill of about $40 a month, they also gained more than updated infrastructure. The simple monthly bill means unprecedented growth opportunities for the town. “It was the best thing that ever happened to this town,” said Steve Goolsby, a Bliss business owner and long-time resident. It’s something I’ve been promoting ever since high school. I said, ‘We need a sewer system. The town can never grow without one.’ But now we have it and hopefully the economy will turn around and people will see Bliss as a unique location. It’s an opportunity now that some things can begin to happen and we can see some growth in our community and maybe some jobs that can keep some of our kids at home and they don’t have to leave,” he said. In the past, residents needed two lots of land to hold both their house and a septic system. Now, they have the option to develop the extra space. “It’s really freed people up for utilizing their land,” said Bliss Mayor Chris Pruett. “You literally had to have a half acre of land to put a three-bedroom house on.” Currently, the town has few businesses consisting of a gas station, a few restaurants, bars and two motels. “In towns like Bliss, you got to look forward or you just completely die,” said past mayor and longest resident of Bliss, Joe Pruett. Because of Bliss’s location, the town was one of the original boomtowns of Idaho in the 1960s, according to Joe Pruett. The town served as a main transportation hub for railway, cattle and other goods. At its peak, the town had two railway depots, a bank, barber shop, post of ce, seven gas stations, ve cafes, but all of that changed when Interstate 84 opened in the 1970s and the population dipped. But Joe Pruett is optimistic about town’s future. “Bliss is set up for growth. It is a natural distribution point with all the intersecting roads and two exits for the town,” he said. So far, Bliss City Mayor Chris Pruett said he hasn’t heard of any businesses inquiring about locating in Bliss adding “I can’t guarantee we are going to have growth with the new wastewater treatment system, but I can guarantee we’d have zero growth without it.” benefits from ARRA program p p April May 2012 13


First in a two-part series -continued on p. 16 I D H arbor ce am celeb r photo by Chris KochFor 50 years Ice Harbor Lock and Dam has served the Nation, providing low-cost electricity to residents of the West, safe passage for river traf c, recreational opportunities and environmental sustainability. Fish passage research and development resulted in improvements like the spillway weir pictured here (right). Recognizing the interdependence of life and the physical environment, the Corps seeks a balance and synergy among human development activities and natural systems by designing economic and environmental solutions that support and reinforce one another. This spillway weir was attached to the dam in 2005, enabling juvenile sh to more safely pass through the dam with less stress while enroute to the ocean. When adult sh migrate back to their spawning grounds, after spending two to ve years in the ocean, they use the damÂ’s sh ladders to swim up and around the dam. The powerhouse (center photo) consists of six hydro-electric generators. The original three came on line in December 1961 and each one produces 90,000 kilowatts of power. The second three were in operation by January 1976 and each one produces 111,000 kilowatts of power. Meanwhile, navigation and barge (bottom right) traf c enable millions of tons of goods to transit to markets.story by Joe Saxon INTERCOM 14


b rates 50 years of service photo by David H. Lewisphoto by David G. Rigg photo by David G. Rigg photo by David H. LewisApril May 2012 15


e Ice Harbor story There is no ice in Ice Harbor Bay. Ice Harbor Lock and Dam took its name from a small bay just upriver of the project, so named because the bay did not freeze during the winter months. During the 1860s and 1870s, sternwheeler riverboats would winter at Ice Harbor until upstream ice jams broke up, allowing river commerce to continue. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on May 9, 1962. Today, Ice Harbor serves the Nation with hydropower, navigation, environmental and recreational facilities. “Ice Harbor is an important part of our regional and national infrastructure, and has been since construction was completed in 1962,” said Operations Manager Roger Golladay. “We’ve served the public every day for 50 years, and we’ve done it well.” Located on the Snake River near Burbank, Wash., about nine miles from the Columbia River con uence, the dam is 2,822 feet long with an effective height of 100 feet. Behind the dam lies Lake Sacajawea, which extends 32 miles to Lower Monumental Lock and Dam near Kahlotus, Wash. More than 80 employees work at Ice Harbor as electricians, mechanics, lock operators, welders, riggers, painters, utility workers, heavy equipment operators, park rangers, environmental resource specialist, biologists, administrative support staff, engineers and maintenance workers. Together, they manage the safe and continuous operation of the project. Ice Harbor Lock and Dam is one of ve large multipurpose dams operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District. The District was founded in 1948. Its civil works boundaries generally follow the Snake River Basin and include parts of six states within its 107,000 square miles. The Ice Harbor project was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945, and construction began in January 1956. The powerhouse consists of six hydroelectric generators. The original three came on line by December 1961, and each one produces up to 90,000 kilowatts of power. The second three were in operation by January 1976, and each one produces up to 111,000 kilowatts of power. The powerhouse has a capacity to produce 603 megawatts of power. The single-lift navigation lock is 86 feet wide and 675 feet long with a 103 foot vertical lift. It holds 43 million gallons of water when full, and millions of tons of cargo consisting of grains, petroleum products, fertilizer and wood products pass through Ice Harbor Lock and Dam each year. Two sh ladders provide adult sh upstream passage over the dam. In 2005, the District’s second spillway weir was installed at Ice Harbor to improve sh passage conditions for juvenile salmon migrating downstream to the Paci c Ocean. “As Ice Harbor facilities and equipment reach the end of their expected lifetime, we’re up to the task of maintaining or replacing whatever is needed to keep it running smoothly and safely,” Golladay said. “If we take good care of Ice Harbor, it will continue providing power, navigation and recreation bene ts to the region for years to come. We look forward to many more decades of service,” he added.-continued from p. 15Filmstrip, left, depicts Ice Harbor Lock and Dam under various stages of construction. Vice President Lyndon Johnson dedicated Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on May 9, 1962. (Lower right page, from left) In 2010 workers made modi cations to assist lamprey returns. The Walla Walla District continously seeks ways and means to assess and mitigate cumulative impacts to the environment and bring systems approaches to the full life cycle of our processes and work. Juvenile sh transit downstream assisted by surface passage systems like spillway weirs. After spending two to ve years in the ocean they are aided by sh ladders during their return to their spawning grounds as adults. At far right, Matt Millbauer teaches his daughter, Leilla, how to sh at the 2011 Ice Harbor shing derby.INTERCOM 16


photo by David G. Rigg U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo Photo courtesy of Department of Energy Providing navigation and hydropower were two of the original purposes for Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. The single lift navigation lock is 86 feet wide and 675 feet long with a 103 foot vertical lift. Navigation was the Corps of Engineers earliest Civil Works mission, dating to Federal laws in 1824 authorizing and funding the Corps to improve safety on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and several ports. The Corps provides safe, reliable, ef cient, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems (channels, harbors, and waterways) for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation.April May 2012 17


LDP: Learning how to lead The Leadership Development Program class checks out the view at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake near Boise, Idaho in March. From left to right: Contract Division Chief Ruthann Haider, Park Ranger Dakota Lynch, Lucky Peak Operations Manager Joyce Dunning (seated ), Real Estate Division Chief Rodney Huffman, Attorney Theresa Hampson, Electrical Engineer Jeffrey Lyon, PPPMD Administrative Of cer Katie Goodwin, Structural Engineer Marvin Parks, Power Plant Electrical Planner Dee Dee Lingo, Power Plant Mechanic Jake Da vis, Environmental Resource Specialist James Joyner, Environmental Scientist Alex Colter, Civil Engineer Kurt Friederich, and Natura l Resource Specialist Michael Carilli. Lucky Peak Operations Manager Joyce Dunning (left) speaks to the 2011-2012 Leadership Development Class at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake near Boise, Idaho in March. The program helps Corps employees develop leadership skills through their natural strengths. photos by Keith Hyde


Russ Heaton continues nding new ways to serve his country. The Yakima, Wash., native enlisted into the infantry at age 18, served his initial enlistment and later joined Eastern Washington University’s Reserve Of cers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program where he was the distinguished military graduate. After commissioning, he rejoined the Army, served three combat tours in Iraq and received a Bronze Star for leading his platoon through a mine eld. “I did the Gulf War, Desert Storm and Desert Shield,” the former artillery of cer said. “I even saw one of our Gulf War battles on the History Channel.” After completing his active duty military service and getting his master’s degree in biology, he was recruited by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1994. “I came to the Corps because I was attracted to the water quality work, and they were looking to hire veterans,” he said. While a Corps employee, he did not completely sever his national defense ties. As a National Guardsman, he deployed and provided security in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and served two combat tours in Africa before retiring as an intelligence of cer with 27 years combined active and military service. Now he is a limnologist with Hydrology and Hydraulics Branch on the District’s Water Quality Team where he serves with team lead Dr. Steve Juul and Limnologist Phil Fishella. “Russ is a valuable asset to the water/sediment quality group. He is always willing to accept tasks ranging from the mundane to new challenges that are more complex and see them through to successful completion,” said Dr. Steve Juul. “Initially, I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist, but I found there are a lot more jobs in fresh water,” Heaton said. “The District has a myriad of water resources such as reservoirs, streams channels. I don’t get to play with the dolphins, but I do other interesting stuff,” he added. That includes monitoring water quality that transgresses through the District’s various systems, and he serves as the resident expert on contaminants and dredged material. “When I’m not collecting data, I’m writing about it,” he said. “I also assist Operations, Planning, the projects and the region, and I help project managers with water quality studies or those with contaminant issues,” he said. His sedimentation expertise affords him a seat on the Regional Sediment Evaluation Team, “which establishes guidance for how dredged material is managed from a contaminant perspective.” That involves working with agencies from EPA to National Marine Fisheries. Heaton also helped build a geographic information systems-based sediment quality database for the District. When he’s not working sediment issues he’s immersed in dissolved gas issues in the river. “The hazard to the sh is when they go from a highly saturated media and move through high pressure to low pressure,” he said. “The physical trauma a sh experiences is similar to a diver experiencing the bends.” He and his team also can look at dissolved gases in near real time. “We give that information to the chief of water management and they make appropriate changes to project operations,” he said. “It could mean spilling water at a different rate or changing spill patterns by using the spill gates and/or powerhouse. In addition, we have a numerical model that we use to regulate ows from Dworshak to cool the system,” he said. He and the water quality team have a small water quality lab at the District to maintain their equipment and test unknowns in water quality and have the capability to run some tests. “I’ve been here for 20 years and would like to stay for another 20,” he said. “I’m not in this for the money, but I’m one of the people who gets to use all my training on the job. I get real satisfaction when people tell me I’ve solved their problems and saved the District some money,” he beamed. From artillery officer to freshwater scientist, Russ Heaton continues servicestory and photo by Joe SaxonApril May 2012 19


Ruthann Haider Ability One Champion; helps expand program in the NorthwestSince rst learning about the AbilityOne Program in 2000, Ruthann Haider has become a strong proponent of the program, which helps people with disabilities nd employment by providing products and services for the federal government and the Department of Defense. Whether it’s overseeing existing contracts or looking for new projects to add to the procurement list, Haider does whatever she can to facilitate the program’s success. As director of the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District Contracting Division, Haider manages all contracting activities for the District and serves as the district’s business advisor on all contractual matters. When she rst began working here two years ago, she supervised two existing AbilityOne contracts. Both provided custodial services for the District and Clarkston, Wash. buildings. Since then she’s been instrumental in adding three more projects: custodial and grounds for Mill Creek near Walla Walla, Wash.; grounds maintenance services for the Corps; and custodial services for McNary Lock and Dam near Umatilla, Ore. Occasionally, Haider has to address customers who are concerned about implementing an AbilityOne Program. Her 14 years of contracting experience and her history with “NISH,” a government agency that creates employment opportunities for people with signi cant disabilities, and the AbilityOne Program, have provided her with valuable insight. “When customers aren’t sure AbilityOne contractors will perform for them, I explain the program. I reassure customers that no one is hired to perform the work who is not capable of doing the work and also that there are program managers overseeing the work,” Haider said. “The longevity of AbilityOne’s contracting also really makes it unique and bene cial to our customers. Establishing a relationship with AbilityOne allows us to put a longterm contract in place that keeps our customers’ costs down and the disruption of changing contractors to a minimum.” Haider also works closely with NISH’s Northwest Contract Management team to help improve contract administration and the success of current projects. In addition, she’s hosted a NISH training session and educated her staff about the program. “Her support of the program is seen in her staff’s contract administration of current and future projects, and their teamwork has been exceptional. In addition, Haider has reached out to learn about newer lines of business in hopes of growing their current AbilityOne procurement portfolio,” said Michelle Rondenet, Business Development, NISH northwest region. “Also, in the interest of growing the program, Haider has referred several projects to the NISH Northwest region. Not all these projects came to fruition due to their remote location, but Haider shared her acquisition plan openly in hopes of nding suitable matches for the program.” Haider supports AbilityOne not only because it’s a win-win for her customers but also because she personally believes in it. “We are employing local people in our community. They have a worthwhile job and have pride in their ability to perform much needed and meaningful work and make a decent wage,” she said. “I am committed to helping anyone with a disability feel as much a part of their community as possible and I am especially committed to any program that puts a wounded warrior to work. I am a veteran and I believe it is my duty as a soldier to help my fellow soldiers whenever I can.” It’s that dedication and desire to help others, especially those with signi cant disabilities, that makes Haider stand out. “Haider is a champion of the AbilityOne Program through her support of existing contracts as well as her referral of additional AbilityOne projects,” said Rick Van Hoose, executive director of the NISH Northwest region. “She has expanded the presence of AbilityOne in her local area, thus increasing work opportunities for people with disabilities through the support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” story by Heather Loveridge, Northwestern Division INTERCOM 20


Walla Walla District staff won 10 awards at the 2011 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Herbert A. Kassner Public Affairs competition. Also, for the second year in a row, Public Affairs Specialist Stephen Doherty received second place recognition in the Army-level Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition, this time in the Television Newsbreak Category. For the fth time in seven years, the District won or tied for the most Kassner awards in USACE. In addition, the District won 57 Kassner awards—most in USACE—during the past nine years. The team won rst place awards for photojournalism, story series, picture page, television newsbreak and stringer photojournalism in 2011. Intercom Editor Terri Rorke won four individual awards while Doherty won three, including repeating last year’s rst place nish in photojournalism, a category the District won three years in a row and nished with nine awards in the past nine years. Stringers Keith Hyde and Penny Bray nished rst and second in the stringer photojournalism category. Doherty’s second place win in the Army-level Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition was for his video production on the Lower Monumental navigation gate replacement. “We’re proud of all our award winners and the effort they devoted to telling the Walla Walla story to our various constituents and audiences throughout the years,” said District Public Affairs Chief Joe Saxon. “They’ve established quite a legacy for excellence.” District team wins 10 awards in USACE-level public affairs competition; one Army-level2011Intercom 3rd Magazine Terri Rorke 1st Story Series Terri Rorke 1st Picture Page Stephen Doherty 1st Photojournalism Stephen Doherty 1st TV Newsbreak Keith Hyde 1st Stringer Photojournalism Stephen Doherty 2nd Picture Page Penny Bray 2nd Stringer Photojournalism Terri Rorke 3rd Photojournalism Terri Rorke 3rd Sports 2010Terri Rorke 1st Sports Stephen Doherty 1st Photojournalism Amber Larsen 1st TV Newsbreak Terri Rorke 2nd Photojournalism Terri Rorke 2nd Civilian Journalist of Yr Amber Larsen 3rd TV Feature Report Bruce Henrickson HM Photograph Terri Rorke HM Feature 2009Terri Rorke 1st Photojournalism Mike Deccio 1st Stringer Photo James Gale 2nd Stringer Photo Mark Graves 3rd Stringer Photo 2008Carl Knaak HM Stringer Writer 2007Intercom HM Newsletter Rick Haverinen 1st Single Photo Rick Haverinen 1st Photojournalism Meghan Carlson 1st Art & Graphics Tony Sijohn 1st Stringer Photos Gina Baltrusch 2nd Photojournalism Jerry Ross 2nd Stringer Writer Doug Helman 2nd Stringer Photo Joe Saxon 3rd Commentary Gina Baltrusch 3rd Single Photo Greg Watson 3rd Stringer Photo USACE Herbert A. Kassner Journalism Competition2006Intercom 2nd Magazine Gina Baltrusch 2nd Sports Article Rick Haverinen 2nd Single Photo Gina Baltrusch 3rd Single Photo Tony Sijohn 2nd Stringer Photo Rick Haverinen 3rd Photojournalism Rick Grubb 3rd Stringer Photos 2005Intercom 2nd Magazine Joe Saxon 1st Feature Article Deb Norton 1st Stringer Article Tony Sijohn 1st Stringer Photo Craig Rockwell 2nd Stringer Article Frank Scopa 3rd Stringer Article 2004Intercom 1st Newsletter Nola Conway 1st Commentary Gina Baltrusch 1st Photojournalism Gina Baltrusch 1st Sports Article Toni Fisher 1st Stringer Article Mike Reser 2nd Stringer Article 2003Intercom 1st Newsletters Gina Baltrusch 1st Feature Dutch Meier 1st Sports Article Gina Baltrusch 2nd Photojournalism Gina Baltrusch 2nd Single Photo After 35 years of dedicated service to country, Northwestern Division Commander, Brigadier General John R. McMahon will retire from the Army in mid-June. He assumed command of the Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on November 20, 2009. In this position, he oversees an annual program of more than $3.7 billion in civil works, environmental restoration, and military construction in more than a dozen states, primarily within the Columbia and Missouri river basins. BG McMahon directs Corps of Engineers’ efforts with those of other federal, state and local agencies, the Army and Air Force, the Administration and the Congress to ensure that the Corps delivers superior performance for the Nation. As Division Commander, he is responsible for providing guidance and direction to ve operating district commands located in Portland, OR, Seattle and Walla Walla, WA, Kansas City, MO, and Omaha, NE, with a combined professional workforce of nearly 5,000 DA civilians. Key missions include support to military installations and civilian communities throughout the region, managing the nation’s water resources infrastructure for economic growth and environmental sustainability, and strengthening national security. Prior to this assignment, BG McMahon served as Director of Engineering, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Jan Oct 2009. Earlier assignments include: Division Commander, U.S. Army Engineer Division, South Paci c, San Francisco, CA, Aug 2006 Jan 2009; Chief of Staff at Corps Headquarters in Washington D.C., Jul 2004 Jul 2006; and Commander and District Engineer, Japan Engineer District, Camp Zama, Japan, Jul 2001 Jun 2004. His numerous stateside and overseas assignments also include serving as Chief of the U.S. European Command Customer Operations Division, and Plans Of cer, U.S. Paci c Command, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, 1998-2001; Commander, 70th Combat Engineer Battalion, Ft. Riley, KS, 1995-1997; and Professor of Military Science, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, 1993-1995. From 1990-1993, he served consecutively as the Director of Engineering and Housing for the Aschaffenburg Military Community; Brigade Engineer, 3rd US Infantry Division (3ID), Kuwaiti Theater of Operations; Assistant Division Engineer for 3ID in Wuerzburg; and Battalion Executive Of cer, 10th Combat Engineer Battalion, in Schweinfurt, Germany. Brigadier General McMahon to retire in June April May 2012 21


Dworshak wildlife photo courtesy of Billie Drewery District Retiree Billie Drewery displays a turkey he hunted at Dworshak Reservoir.INTERCOM 22


photo by Billie Dreweryphoto courtesy of Billie Drewery U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo Dworshak Dam and Reservoir hosts a variety of creatures, including elk, wild turkeys, sh, deer and cougars on its land near Ahsahka, Idaho. The facility’s natural resources team aims to maintain a harmonic relationship between wildlife and recreation for visitors. One of the Corps’ missions is to enhance Rocky Mountain Elk habitat—a program that the team has been managing since the creation of Dworshak Reservoir. Historically the lower portions of the North Fork drainage provided excellent winter range for elk. Annually thousands of elk migrate from the high country down the North Fork drainage to winter. As a result of the creation of Dworshak Reservoir, appro ximately 15 thousand acres of prime big game winter range was lost. To mitigate for the lost winter range, the Army Corps of Engineers worked with various agencies including Idaho Fish and G ame and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to create an implementation plan. The “Plan for the Development of Rocky Mountain Elk Habitat” (Design Memorandum No. 15) was completed in 1977. Since the inception of this memorandum, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has worked to enhance elk habitat within the Grandad Elk Management Area. The initial efforts to enhance habitat for wintering Rocky Mountain Elk focused on creating foraging areas. Three thousand acres were clear-cut and burned in the 1970s and 1980s to produce elk browse. Today the Dworshak Project Natural Resource Management Team continues to assess elk habitat conditions in the Grandad Management Area and prescribes treatments to enhance forage and cover. These treatments include prescribed burning, vegetation slashing and reseeding. Minimizing disturbance also is an important aspect in enhancing elk habitat conditions. Therefore the plan prohibits moto r vehicles use off primary roads. As a result, the Corps installs gates and barricades within the area to prevent off-road motor v ehicle use.April May 2012 23


CORPS A n n S e t t e r Ann Setter Name: Ann SetterPosition: Lead Fish Biologist, Operations, Walla Walla District Headquarters, Walla Walla, Wash.Describe your job. I work closely with project staff and regional fish managers on operations at projects to maximize fish survival. I’m also the business line manager for environmental stewardship.What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your current position? My biggest challenge is identifying methods to rehabilitate our various fish facilities. Because of the Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead that are either raised or pass these fish facilities, we need to maintain the aging elements of fish ladders, juvenile fish facilities, and rearing facilities of Dworshak hatchery. All of our fish facilities and the fish hatchery were originally built in the late 1960s to early 1970s and are in need of rehabilitation. My goal is to return our various fish facilities back to full functionality and maintain quality fish mitigation and passage through the hydrosystem.What are some of the obstacles you face on a daily basis? Our operations are dynamic. Because aging infrastructure is affecting fish, we need to facilitate securing resources to reduce the uncertainty of facility and equipment failure we face every day. My prior position in Planning Branch was more research-focused. My current position is more challenging because of the uncertainty we face day-to-day. If something breaks, we have to consider how that will influence fish passage survival and act quickly. I’m responsible for leading operations by following court-ordered mandates written in annual fish operations plan as well as a fish passage plan. We have to check references to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the mission and comply and fulfill obligations with the FPP (Fish Passage Plan) and FOP (Fish Operations Plan). One of my other challenges is securing the funds to repair aging infrastructure at facilities. It’s hard because, in an engineering organization, a lot of the District is built around hydropower. As an environmental steward manager, I need to help keep natural and cultural resources at the forefront because these resources are affected by our operations. It’s about mitigation. I request input from the field to try to include environmental mission needs a few years in advance. We have more needs than means right now. What is the most rewarding part about your job? Working with our experienced fish biologists here in Operations compliments my ability to successfully interact with regional parties and help them to better understand daily issues related to facility operations that arise. For example, whenever we have a change of plans with the transportation program, we work as a team using the joint capability of all facilities to make the best adjustment for fish survival. The biologists at our projects come up with useful, out-of-the-box answers. Experience helps people get things done in a timely and efficient manner. p hoto b y Terri A. Rork e I  m w i t h t h e Im with the INTERCOM 24


Kevin Crum: builder and pioneer story by Joe Saxon Kevin Crum is a builder with a pioneering spirit. From helping design the Walla Walla District headquarters building to bringing the rst spillway weirs on line to designing the Lower Monumental Lock and Dam sh facility and developing the Project Manager Plan builder process, he’s impacted the District as few have. An architect by trade, he joined the District in 1985 and as a young intern he volunteered to assist with the design efforts on the new District headquarters building project. Jim Moyer was the project manager and Kevin “helped organize the building’s interior space plans” while working with a designated Portland rm, but after spending a year on that project he said “the Corps’ headquarters decided to go in a different direction” and scrapped the original design in the late 1980s. “About that time, Walla Walla city of cials approached the Corps indicating they were interested in locating the new headquarters building downtown as part of a revitalization effort. Two of us went to the chief of engineering and pitched the idea that we should design it ourselves. District leadership approved and asked our architectural staff to come up with individual designs, which three of us submitted, and following Corporate Board evaluation they selected mine,” Crum said. After preparing a concept report “our whole staff worked on space requirements and further developed the design,” he added. “Headquarters mandated that it be no larger than 93,600 square feet. Army standards for size forced us into an open concept for of ces, so we did the best we could with that concept. They told us to design it for 332 people. We nished designing it in 1991, awarded a contract in early 1992 and following a protracted construction period, we moved in 1995.” While focused primarily on the building project he also played a part in designing several sh hatcheries and all the sh facilities on the Snake River and was lead architectural designer on the sh facility at Lower Monumental. After completing the headquarters building design and assignments on the on-site construction, Crum asked to be involved with the sh program because he “felt like it was an opportunity to be part of the solution” for sh passage. “In 1995 and 1996, the dams were at risk of being removed, so it seemed to me that there had to be ways to make improvements at the dams to increase survival.” Around that time, District biologists, engineers and scientists were working on the rst big prototype—the Surface Bypass Collector (SBC). “The SBC was an attempt to guide sh away from the powerhouse and turbines and pass them safely over spillways. It was a huge steel box that sat parallel to the powerhouse and “it created a small river within the big river with the concept that sh would follow that ow and avoid the turbine intakes,” he said. Other sh research included various concepts, but the one that went forward was the 1,110-feet-long by 80-feet-deep Behavior Guidance Structure. “Numerous people including Lynn Reese, Mark Lindgren, Tim Wik, and John McKern were on a steering committee to lead the development of several prototype designs for sh passage. We conducted successful tests designed to block sh pathways to the powerhouse in the late 1990s and in early 2000. It guided about 80 percent of the sh away, but it did not catch on with the sh agencies,” he said. That research, however, was not done in vain and was put to good use when he became the spillway weir project manager. “The surface bypass collector research led to the removable spillway weirs and temporary spillway weirs. It was kind of a breakthrough,” he said, “because we were struggling with how to put in a passage device that passed enough water to attract a high percentage of sh to go over a spillway, but without permanently blocking the spillway.” “The team came up with the idea of making it removable, and in late 1999 we initiated hydraulic modeling at the Engineering Research and Development Center, quickly moved to design in 2000 and constructed and installed the rst full scale spillway weir prototype in 2001. Timelines were tight to meet the Biological Opinion dates, but looking back, we went from an idea to an installed prototype at Lower Granite in roughly 18 months.” This innovative project won the top engineering prize awarded by the American Council of Engineering Companies in 2003. Today, spillway weirs populate all the District’s Snake and Columbia river dams. Furthermore, District biologists and engineers are using sh facilities and spillway weirs Crum helped bring online “to pioneer some of the most advanced sh research and passage systems in the world.” Following his sh work he served the past ve years as the District value engineer/quality manager. “In 2007, our Quality Management Board was concerned because analysis of existing plans showed they were at all levels of quality and different formats,” he said. “So I raised the idea of using a database to assemble information--for example, build a Project Management Plan (PMP). I worked with Scott Burnett, the ACE-IT database software programmer and created a system that is our current process to create and approve project management plans.” Summarizing, he said, “I’ve been given several great opportunities. Some may be an outcome of me asking to be involved that has led to a chance to interface with the some unique and interesting projects. It was exciting, and I was happy to be involved with it.” I  m w i t h t h e April May 2012 25


Operations Manager Dave Coleman briefs Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh at McNary Lock and Dam near Umatilla, Ore. in April. round the istrict (Left) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District Commander David Caldwell presents Project Manager Margie McGill with an Honor Award in March for her team’s effort on the Paradise Creek Restoration Design-Build project completed November 2010 in Moscow, Idaho. The $3.6 million project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 while the Corps’ cost-share sponsor, the University of Idaho, supplied 35 percent of the cost. The contractor, McMillen, LLC, of Boise, Idaho, submitted the project for the award. (Right) District Project Manager Alice Roberts receives the Allen Pomraning Project Manager of the Year Award. Roberts’ peers nominated her for the award in recognition of her proactive role as a project manager and archaeologist for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act projects and collaboration with the Federal Columbia River Power System Payos Kuus Cuukwe Group.Award winners Welcome DPM ip Maj. Gen. Walsh Deborah Foley joined the Walla Walla District in March as the temporary deputy district engineer for project management and chief of Planning, Programs and Project Management Branch. She came to the District from Albuquerque District where she serves as the chief of the Civil Project Management Branch. Even after serving more than 25 years with the Corps throughout the United States, Foley said she is impressed by Walla Walla District’s unique and diverse mission with hydropower, sh and recreation. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn Corps missions that I haven’t previously engaged in,” Foley said. “I am also impressed with the people here. They are very highly professional individuals who are enthusiastic about what they do.” While starting her career with the Corps as a hydraulic engineer for Wilmington District, Foley also served in leadership positions in project management, programs, engineering and information technology at several Corps districts, including the Albuquerque, St. Louis and St. Paul districts. She also served with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a commissioned of cer. She held leadership positions with the Society of American Military Engineers and with national committees of the American Society of Engineers. She received numerous awards and recognition, including the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Corps’ rst Project Manager of the Year, and the Society of American Military Engineers’ Tudor Medal. The Salem, Mass. native, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire and earned a Master of Science degree in management of technology from Vanderbilt University. INTERCOM 26


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District Commander David Caldwell, center, briefs Congressional staffers and members of the Paci c Northwest Waterways Association at Little Goose Lock and Dam near Starbuck, Wash. in March. The group had a chance to tour the navigation lock annual maintenance activities to include a view of the un-watered navigation lock, the Juvenile Fish Facility, the spillway weir, and the powerhouse. Representatives from the following organizations attended the tour: Paci c Northwest Waterways Association, Port of Portland, Franklin County Public Utility District, the Clearwater Tribune out of Oro no, Idaho, Millenium Bulk Terminals and Normandeau Associates. Veterans Representative Dawn Funk, right, passes a computer tower to Robin German for donation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District donated 55 computer systems to the Spokane Veterans Medical Center in March. ongressional s taffers and PNWA visit Computer donation h untA child greets the Easter bunny at the DistrictÂ’s Easter egg hunt in Walla Walla, Wash. in April. Dozens of CorpsÂ’ children searched for eggs during the DistrictÂ’s annual Easter Egg hunt. aster April May 2012 27


(Center) A Soldier pauses during a memorial service at Kandahar Air eld, Afghanistan. (Above) Soldiers stand in formation at Bagram Air eld, by Terri A. Rorke