Tower times

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Tower times
United States -- Army. -- Corps of Engineers. -- Rock Island District
Place of Publication:
Rock Island, IL
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
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Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
River engineering -- Periodicals -- Illinois ( lcsh )
River engineering -- Periodicals -- Iowa ( lcsh )
River engineering ( fast )
Illinois ( fast )
Iowa ( fast )
Periodicals. ( fast )
serial ( sobekcm )
federal government publication ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
Periodicals ( fast )


General Note:
"Rock Island District's News Magazine"
Statement of Responsibility:
US Army Corps of Engineers, North Central Division, Rock Island District.

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
31949435 ( OCLC )
sn 95027137 ( LCCN )

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This publication is an authorized publication for members of the views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of De fense, Department of the Army, or the Rock Island District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rock Island District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Articles or photo graphic submissions are welcome and should be submitted by the 15th of each month preceding publication. Circulation 1,500. On the web at: June 2010 Tower Times Contents Tower Times Rock Island District, Clock Tower Building P.O. Box 2004 Rock Island, IL 61204-2004 Email: Phone: (309) 794-5729 Commander: Col. Shawn McGinley Deputy Commander: Lt. Col. Jared Ware Chief, Corporate Communications: Ron Fournier Editor: Hilary Markin June 2010 2 Tower Times 3 District Deployees Deserve Our Thanks Col. Shawn McGinley, District Commander 4 Snakes, Bats, Birds and Plants OH MY! LaSalle County EcoMeet 5 Ground Breaks on First Section 206 Project Ventura Marsh aquatic restoration project 6 Stone Continues to Deteriorate District headquarters complex undergo inspection 9 Juneteenth 19th of June 10 Postcards from Afghanistan 12 Safety Corner Staying Fit for Safety 13 Learning Safe Boating Skills 14 Around the District 15 Spotlight on the District Bobber the Water Safety Dog


June 2010 Tower Times 3 A message from.... Colonel Shawn McGinley, District Commander T hroughout the 78,000 square-miles that encompass the Rock Island District, our nearly 900 employees are working diligently, providing a wide-range of civil works-related professional service and expertise. ecosystem restoration, it becomes easy to forget that the Corps is very involved in supporting the Overseas Con tingency Operations (OCO). And, many of your teammates are fully engaged in that support. As a Soldier and someone who has deployed to Iraq and multiple times to Kosovo, it impresses me to see the numbers of Rock Island District employees who have volunteered to commit six months and up to a year de or will volunteer, you have my heart-felt appreciation. of 106 deployments, amassing 601 months spent overseas. These are months spent away from family. These are months spent working long, arduous hours supporting a worthy cause. What is also worth noting regarding the Districts deployment numbers is the fact that nearly 50 percent of those who deploy have deployed more than once. Thirty-four District employees have found the experience rewarding enough to volunteer again. This is commendable and deserves all of our appreciation. For those who have thought about deploying, I encourage you to seek out information and make an educated Architecture, Construction Quality Assurance, Contracting, Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Legal, Pro gram and Project Management, Real Estate and more. The reasons to deploy can be numerous. Whether you feel a desire to serve, a sense of adventure, or call to duty, the reason doesnt matter. Volunteering is an honorable decision no matter the reason. During my career, I have the privilege to serve with countless Soldiers who have been put in harms way in defense of our country. Those serving in uniform will always be owed a debt of gratitude. But, it shouldnt be forgotten that thousands of civilians deploy to those war zones to support our Soldiers. Men and women just like those within the Rock Island District. To all of you who have and will make the commitment, your volun teerism inspires me. And, I am sure it inspires your teammates throughout the District. Thanks for all that you do and continue BUILDING STRONG District Deployees Deserve Our Thanks


June 2010 4 Tower Times By Kevin Ewbanks, Illinois Waterway D uring the spring and early summer, many eyes at local schools are focused on sports competitions. Baseball, softball, golf and other sports seem to take top priority. On Thursday, May 7, Catlin Park of LaSalle County hosted a dif ferent type of inter-school completion the sixteenth annual La Salle County EcoMeet. Three high school teams and nine junior high teams faced off head-to-head to determine LaSalle Countys Eco Champions. The EcoMeet is a competitive event designed to educate stu dents about our natural environment. Each student is tested on two individual topics and one team topic. The individual competitions This year, the topics were snakes, bats, birds and their songs and poisonous plants. The Illinois State Museum and Illinois State University loaned specimens from their extensive collections for this years EcoMeet. A separate team event on Aquatic Macro Marseilles Elementary School, with their team of Aaron An derson, Ken Murphy, Brooklyn Terrando and Haley Stock earned their three events to lead the way. Shepherd Middle School was second with Sheridan Grade School earning third place. The team representing Mendota High School Madeline Piller, place. Awards were also given for the individual top scorers; Mad eline Piller from Mendota High earned the award for the High School Division. The Junior Division high score award went to Marseilles Brooklyn Terrando. While their tests were being graded, all students attended a presentation on Bats of Illinois: Insect Eating Machines. The program was presented by The Bat Doctor, Dr. Todd Austin. Dr. Austin has been a member of Bat Conservation International since 1990 and has helped educate more than 2,600 people in the last two decades. Park Rangers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started the EcoMeet more than thirty years ago. Since then, they have become an annual event throughout Illinois and the United States. Locally, environmental educators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Ser vice, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the LaSalle County Soil and Water Conservation District as well as dedicated volunteers have brought this program to LaSalle County. Several local sponsors helped with funding for this years EcoMeet expenses. Local contributors include The Edmund Thornton Foundation, LaSalle County Natural Area Guard ians, LaSalle County Pheasants Forever, PCS Phosphate, Sabic Innovative Plastics and U.S. Silica. These local sponsors made it possible for each student participating in the EcoMeet to take home several environmental reference materials. Snakes, Bats, Birds and Plants OH MY! Students participating in the LaSalle County EcoMeet tested their knowledge answering questions about bat spec imens. (Photo by Andy Polheber, volunteer, Illinois Waterway Visitor Center)


June 2010 Tower Times 5 Ground Breaks on First Section 206 Project T when ground was ceremonially broken during an event May 10, work to restore an ecosystem began. The Ventura Marsh Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project is a project authorized under Section 206 of the 1996 Water Resourc Island District has brought into construction. After many years of planning and design, the District awarded the $2.6 million con struction contract on March 30 to Anderson Excavating Company of Omaha, Neb. Col. Shawn McGinley, Rock Island District commander, hosted the ground breaking ceremony May 10 and construction on, the historic importance of today is not lost on anyone who has been involved, McGinley said. Many people know the Corps of Engineers and the Rock Island District for our tem restoration is one of our primary missions and this project is a prime example of executing that mission. Section 206 of WRDA 1996 allows for the development of aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that improve the environ ment, are in the publics interest and are cost effective. The Rock Island District has Section 206 ecosystem restoration projects in various phases of planning and preliminary design. The Ventura Corps in April 2003. At that time, the Iowa Department of Natu ral Resources expressed interest in sponsoring the project and plans began. In January, the Feasibility Report with the Integrated Environmental Assessment was approved followed shortly there after by the execution of the Project Partnership Agreement. It took a lot of planning and even more team work to success fully complete this important ecosystem restoration project, said Hank DeHaan, 206 program manager with Rock Island District. The Ventura Marsh project is a tremendous achievement, not only to the Corps, but to our partners at the Iowa DNR and the multitude of stakeholders involved in bringing this project to fruition. The project will impact Ventura Marsh and Clear Lake, both of which are located in North Central Iowa. Ventura Marsh is an 800-acre wetlands complex that connects to the 3,600-acre Clear Lake. The Marsh has changed dramatically during the past several decades leading to the need for restoration. Right now, the lack of aquatic vegetation diversity and cover age in the marsh greatly reduces its function, McGinley said. But by implementing this restoration plan here at the marsh, we In order to restore the marsh, the construction plan calls for a new controlled spillway and pump station. Also, the contractor features at the new pump station and controlled spillway. During the ground breaking ceremony for the project, the local mayors expressed the importance of the project to the local communities. And, those sentiments were echoed by the ceremo nys keynote speaker U.S. Representative Tom Latham, Iowa District 4. Clear Lake was the lake where I learned to water ski, dreams. Were going to now have a clear lake that is going to remain clear and that is so important. uled for completion this fall. The project should be complete by October 2011. The Rock Island District encompasses 78,000 square miles in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri. The District, states. By Allen Marshall, Public Affairs Specialist


June 2010 6 Tower Times STONE CONTINUE S TO DETERIORATE By Hilary Markin, Editor The building appears to be deteriorating the same amount as previous reports have indicated. T he Rock Island District has been keeping track of the exterior condi tion of the District headquarters buildings periodically since 1975. These surveys document the amount of distress and deterioration taking place on the stone and brick building materials. The Clock Tower Building was built from 1864-1867 of stone from a local quarry in LeClaire, Iowa. The stone is nearly pure dolomite which means it is more resistant to the chemical attacks from weather than ordinary limestone. However, the freeze-thaw cycles that are so common in the Midwest take a toll on stone and brick buildings every year and the Districts headquarters are no excep tion. The Annex building was constructed around 1941 with the south half of the building used as a motor shop and the north half functioning as an engineering depot. In 1981, construction on the motor and a second story was added to the south half of the building. The addition was complete in 1982 and became occupied by Engineering and Real Estate Divisions. The surveys are conducted by Corps employees from the Geotechnical Branch, Engineering and Construction Division, working with Logistics and a contractor with an 80-foot aerial lift or a crane with a man basket. The lift allows employees an up-close look at the stone detailing around the Clock Tower which is showing moder ate deterioration. There have been three formal inspec tion reports for the Clock Tower beginning in 1975 and a second report in 1988. In 2000, a visual inspection was conducted and some areas were sounded with a steel hammer. Geotech also took photos drummy, spalled areas, loose stone and other distressed areas. The third report was completed in 2007, participants conducting the visual inspection also used a pointed probe to determine the integrity of the mortar joints in addition to the other methods used in 2000. Geotech was able to compare the 2000 and compile a detailed report outlin ing the amount of deterioration occurring In May, employees from Geotech were once again up on an aerial lift examining the building for loose stones, deterioration and other distressed areas. I took off about the same amount of stone as last time, said Tom Dumoulin, geologist. The building appears to still be deteriorating the same amount as previ ous reports have indicated. An additional inspection is schedule to occur later this year with a higher lift to look at the stone work on the Tower. The architectural detail of the building is unique but also prone to weathering after nearly 150 years. Overall the reports have found the Clock Tower Building and Annex to be in good condition however there is a long list of preventative maintenance items to ensure the exterior is preserved as it was built. Top, is an up-close photo of the stone detailing that is prevalent around the entire Clock Tower Building. Behind, Tom Dumoulin (left) and the lift operator inspect the Clock Tower Building from the high lift.


June 2010 Tower Times 7 Can you name where this photo was taken? If so, send your answer to May Answer: Winner: See you June 17 at Corps Day!


June 2010 6 Tower Times


June 2010 Tower Times 9 J uneteenth Day originated on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. Union Soldiers arrived with the news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved persons were now free. This was two and one-half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. No one knows for sure why there was a delay in the receipt of this important information, although there are stories of messengers being intercepted, slave holders deliberately withholding the information or even Union troops waiting so that the last crops could be harvested. Major General Gordon Granger read the following order to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began: The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with the Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employ er and free laborer. While Juneteenth Day is observed nation-wide, it was origi nally celebrated in Texas with picnics, BBQs, special foods, sports and games. Around the early 1900s, as there were fewer former slaves left, the tradition of Juneteenth declined. However as a result of the Civil Rights Movement new interest developed among younger generations. Legislator, has continued to work to spread the observance of Juneteenth all over the country. Today, Juneteenth has spread all over the country with major celebrations in Milwaukee and Minneapolis as well as other com munities. The future of Juneteenth is bright with more and more cities and states forming local committees and organizations to plan and hold Juneteenth celebrations. Locally there will be three Juneteenth Day observances. Iowa Juneteenth Day in Des Moines takes place on Saturday, June 19. Information may be obtained on the website at www.iowajune or by phone at 515-707-4768. Near Chicago the African American Coalition of Elgin and Kane County holds a celebration on June 19 at 166 Symphony Way in Elgin, Ill. Additional information can be found at www. or by phone at 847-702-1664. The Quad Cities celebration is June 19 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa. It features activities and entertainment for all ages. For additional information visit http:// call 563-322-7363. Juneteenth day is regarded as freedom day for African Ameri cans around the nation. Intimately associated with this is the Underground Railroad. The routes on the Underground Railroad that passed through Iowa provided a route for those coming from Missouri, which was a slave state, trying to reach Canada. Southern Illinois was not a safe area for runaway slaves to travel. Although Illinois had been a free state, as a part of the Northwest Territories, there were many pro-slavery sympathizers who would gladly assist slave catchers and federal agents enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The risk for Underground Railroad conductors and station masters was heavy; penalties for assisting runaways included in the local community. Communities that had Underground Railroad Stations includ ed many places within the Rock Island District, especially Cedar County. Other communities were Tabor, Council Bluffs, Lewis, Des Moines, Grinnell, Iowa City, West Liberty, Tipton, DeWitt, Clinton, Springdale and Davenport, Iowa. The history of the Underground Railroad was almost lost from Iowas history until around 1970, when a few volunteers began efforts to save, restore and promote this piece of history. Additional information can be found at or Juneteenth 19th of June By Liz Robinson, Equal Employment Opportunity J unifer Kruse, natural resource specialist, Lake Red Rock, was presented the February District Commanders Award by John Holt, assistant operations manager, Lake Red Rock. Kruse is responsible for performing all park ranger functions, including the hiring, training and oversight of 20 on-site volunteers. Since the Reinvestment Act (ARRA) expenditures. She has also taken a lead role as the project point of contact working with Engineering and efforts in damaged recreation areas. Kruses ability to get things done fast and accurately is an asset to the project and the District in getting funding committed to recovery and ARRA projects.


June 2010 6 Tower Times June 14, 2010


June 2010 Tower Times 11 A sign made at Coralville Lake is now hanging in the Engineer ing and Construction Building of the Afghanistan Engineer District, North. Mark Hoague, chief, Engineering Branch (left), Afghanistan Engineer District, North (AEN), made arrange ments for the sign to be built. Pictured with him is Don Sny der, chief, Construction Branch, AEN.


Engineer Safety GramEngineering the Edge for Safety Excellence 10 16 21 May 2010 Staying Fit f or Safety There are many motivations for maintaining physical fitness. One of them is improving your ability to work safely. Physical fitness means having the strength, endurance and flexibility to deal with the things we encounter in our lives each day. It involves keeping our heart and lungs functioning well so they can supply us with the oxygen we need. Maintaining muscular strength can help us to prevent injuries. Maintaining fitness can increase energy and endurance to allow us to remain alert to possible dangers on the job. Even if you work at a physically demanding job, it is important to have a regular exercise program. Even a job involving tasks such as heavy lifting or walking will not provide all of the right kinds of exercises to maintain good fitness. Probably the last thing you want to do at the end of a day's work is to work some more -in the form of exercise. But in the long run it can help you to work better and even more safely. It can be a real trick to fit exercise into a schedule which is already too busy. But it can be done. The best way is to work exercise into your daily routine.A lot of people mana ge to exercise by getting up a little earlier in the morning and exercising first thing. But there are many other ways to fit it in. Here are some suggestions: Walk or bicycle to or from work. You could also walk or bike to the place where you catch you r bus, commuter train or carpool. Make a habit of taking the stairs as often as possible. Also get in the habit of walking instead of driving when you are running errands. Do stretching exercises and warm up exercises right at your work station before your shift and during short breaks. Many workplaces have exercise programs which encourage this type of activity. On your lunch break, maybe you can fit in a quick walk, run, swim, or other workout. Make exercise part of your social and family life by ha ving some active fun with friends and family members. Use breaks to stretch and flex your body, to avoid stiffness and repetitive strain injuries. When you are standing at the sink or talking on the phone, do some stretches to improve your flexibility. Sign up for sports or workouts on two or three weekday evenings. Ball, tennis, hockey, badminton, basketball and many other sports are played every evening in community recreation facilities. Get in the habit of being active. If you find yourself slumpe d on the couch exercising nothing but your remote control finger, get up and do something. You'll be surprised how good it feels! Some of the benefits of exercise include being stronger and more flexible. You'll probably have a more healthy appetite and sleep better. You might just generally feel better. Also, your better physical condition might give you an extra edge in avoiding accidents and injuries.


May 2010 Tower Times 13 Learning Safe Boating Skills Above, Rock Island District employees attending boat safety training at Cor alville Lake test their skills at the star course. Left, a participant practices trailering a boat while Dennis Mocken haupt, instructor, watches from the dock offering pointers to successfully trailer the boat. By Hilary Markin, Editor B oat operators gathered together in May for a Boat Op erators training course at Coralville Lake. The three-day class was for employees looking to obtain their boat operators license and a one-day refresher was held for current license holders. The course consisted of one day of classroom training that in cluded information on required safety & normal equipment, boat orientation, boat & trailer maintenance, navigation rules (Rules of the Road) and marlinspike seamanship (knot tying). Participants tion in the swimming pool on emergency operations. The bulk of the training was spent underway on the lake where students learned open-water and close-quarter maneuver ing skills. Boat launching and trailering was also performed by all the students. that included towing, docking and emergency operations. The class concluded with a written test and a critique that instructors use for improving future boat safety courses. The classes are held at various sites throughout the year including the three reservoirs, Lock & Dam 14 on the Mississippi River and EastPort Marina on the Illinois River. Operators of Corps vessels less than 26-feet in length need to successfully complete a 24-hour training course to obtain The eight hour course is a condensed version of the three day course.


14 Tower Times June 2010 Retirements ... Around the District Bernard Smith, 67, of Marseilles, Ill., died April 28. Smith worked for the Rock Island District at Marseilles Lock and Dam until he retired. He also served in the Marine Corps. Sympathy ... Gerald Bateman, lock and dam operator, Brandon Road Lock and Dam, Illinois Wa terway, Operations Division, retired May 30, after dedicating 20 years and four months to the federal government. James Clark, civil engineering techni cian, Operations Technical Support Branch, Operations Division, retired May 31, after dedicating 14 years and two months to the federal government. Ronald Wunderle, marine machinery me chanic, Structural Maintenance Unit, Main tenance Section, Mississippi River Project, Operations Division, retired May 31, after dedicating 34 years and seven months to the federal government. Glen Hotchkiss, geologist, Geotechni cal Branch, Engineering and Construction Division, retired May 31, after dedicating 40 years and nine months to the federal govern ment. Arthur Purdy, lock and dam equipment mechanic, Locks and Dam 15, Mississippi River Project, Operations Division, retired May 31, after dedicating 23 years and one month to the federal government. Bette Dierks, 87, of Silvis, Ill., died May 13, at Clarissa Cook Hos pice House, Bettendorf, Iowa. Dierks retired from the Rock Island District, working in the Clock Tower, after 30 years of service. Upcoming Event ... The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is hosting a Blood Drive July 6 in the ABC Conference Room, Clock Tower Building. The hours of the drive are: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you would like to sign up to do nate, you may do so by contacting the blood center at (563) 359-5401 or by contacting the district blood drive coordinator, JoAnn Wilgenbusch at (309) 794-5567. Please dis cuss donating with your supervisor and let them know your scheduled donation time. In less than one hour one donation can impact the lives of as many as three patients. Steven Englekins, lock and dam operator, Lock and Dam 12, Mississippi River Project, Operations Division, retired June 2, after dedicating 36 years and four months to the federal government. Michael Beneventi, general maintenance supervisor, Maintenance Branch, Illinois Waterway Project, Operations Division, retired June 3, after dedicating 36 years to the federal government. Steve Russell, supervisory civil engineer, assistant chief, Operations Division, retired June 3, after dedicating 31 years and one month to the federal government. Carl Johnson, civil engineer (structural), Structural Section, Design Branch, Engi neering and Construction Division, retired June 3, after dedicating 41 years and eleven months to the federal government.


Tower Times 15 June 2010 Spotlight on the District Bobber, the Water Safety Dog B obbers home is Waterbowl Lake where he lives with his friends Corkey and Sinker. Bob ber is a trained rescue dog who regu larly patrols Waterbowl Lake. My job is simple to keep people safe. I have rescued so many people from water related instances, said Bob ber. Over the years Bobber has been busy rescuing his friends and the public from drowning. He is well rehearsed in water safety and spends a lot of time educating others about what to do and not do when near the water. ing from the dock without his life jacket on and fell in. Luckily, I was near and threw a life ring and rescued him, said Bobber. Bobber also spends time camping, en joying picnics and running on the trails. I like the outdoors but dont like to see people leave their trash behind or carve into trees. The other thing I remind camp out before they leave, said Bobber. Water safety though is Bobbers passion and he had this advice to share, Always Wear Your Life Jacket! Bobber, the Water Safety Dog, is a nationwide program to help educate all ages about water safety in addition to Buddy the Beaver and Seamoor the Water Safety Serpent. Bobber even has his own website with fun games and activities at and is available to attend events and help spread water safety mes sages. For more information call Bobber at 309-794-5204. Above, Bobber poses with a visitor during water safety night at the Iowa Cubs Game in Des Moines, Iowa. Right, Bobber and Cubby Bear join together to greet kids and have some fun at the baseball game.


DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, ROCK ISLAND CLOCK TOWER BLDG. P.O. BOX 2004 ROCK ISLAND, IL 61204-2004 T here are a few things required prior to traveling cial business. All Department of Defense (DOD) civilians, active duty soldiers and certain contractors are This includes trips to Canada and Mexico. Foreign countries have unique risks; health, crime, political and destabilizing situations which are not typically known here in the United States. The brief ing provides a "quick" snap shot of what to look for including crime trends, political environment and steps to keep you safe. Thirty days prior to your scheduled departure, notify provide you with an email containing several web-sites to review and a form to complete. Below is portion of the communication you will receive from the Security Completed the Antiterrorism Training (Level I) within the last 12 months. My completion date:___________. If you are unsure of the date, please re-accomplish the training on the District Intranet. Reviewed the DOD Foreign Travel Guide and have coordinated those requirements with the Requirements Leave and Personal Entrance Re quirements, see Reviewed the State Departments publications for my travel locations: Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, Consular Information Sheets, Country Background Notes, Tips for Traveling See tw_1168.html. Read the State Departments publication titled A Safe Trip Abroad at tips/safety/safety_1747.html?css=print. Reviewed the health risks associated with this trip at the Centers for Disease Control website, http:// Registered my personal trip at https://travelregis Feel free to contact CEMVR-SL with any questions or concerns. Traveling Outside the United States S E C U R I T Y O F F I C E