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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v. : ill. ; 28 cm.


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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: September 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 September 2010 2 Tower Times 3 New Fiscal Year Looks Promising, Productive Col. Shawn McGinley, District Commander 4 Stage III, Rehabilitating the Canal Wall Stage III at Lockport Lock is well underway 6 Hispanic Heritage Month 7 District Commanders Awards Three employees recognized at awards ceremony 8 Safety Corner Garage Home Safety Tips 9 Violence at Work 10 Around the District 10 Tower Times Survey Your chance to provide feedback on the Tower Times 11 Spotlight on the District Paul Whitmer 12 September is National Preparedness Month


September 2010 Tower Times 3 A message from.... Colonel Shawn McGinley, District Commander New Fiscal Year Looks Promising, Productive S eptember marks an end to Fiscal Year 2010 and as the District works hard to close out the budget, we are also With a budget exceeding $143 million, not including American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Supple mental Funds, FY10 was a robust year for the District. And, the allocations were similar throughout the Mississippi Valley Division. The new Fiscal Year looks to be similar. FY11 allocations are expected to be a little more than $145 million. But, the difference in our operating budget could be the absence of funding from ARRA and supplemental funds. The ab The Districts support to New Orleans mission is drawing down. The RINOS teams role in the huge Hurricane and but the mission coming to an end is not indicative of any curb to our operations tempo. Even with the West Closure Complex complete, there will be plenty of work for the talented people who have carried out the RINOS mission. What I want everyone in the District to understand is that jobs and work are not an issue as we head into FY11. It is true that a large portion of our FY09 and FY10 programs came from appropriations that were provided by Congress recovery supplemental funds contributed a large portion of our FY09 and FY10 programs. Whether we see those types of additional income in FY11 is unknown at this time but our regular appropriations are expected to be very near last always be the way to conduct our business and I hope everyone is keeping that in mind as you go about executing your mission. The economy is what it is and the Corps is no different from the rest of the United States. We need to tighten our belts and ensure we are spending wisely. I believe that is how we operate and I know we will continue to do so out all the Districts. The regionalization of Planning and Real Estate functions from District Centric to a Regional is the future and we need to be ready for it. prepared and ready to meet the challenges we face in FY11. We are prepared because of the vast talent throughout the District. I appreciate everything you do on a daily basis. I think everyone should know that FY11 looks to be another CONTINUE BUILDING STRONG


September 2010 4 Tower Times By Hilary Markin, Editor Stage III, Rehabilitating the Canal Wall T he largest project in the Districts history is well on its way to completion. The advanced stage of deterioration of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal embankments along the three-mile upper pool approach area to Lockport Lock has lead to the $110 million multi-year repair program in coordination with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This also includes the rehabilitation of the Lockport Controlling Works in Stage Two which was awarded in July with completion scheduled for 2012. 2009 with the rehabilitation of the right descending Lockport Approach Dike. Stage Three is currently underway, rehabilitating the left descending Lockport Canal Wall that was in the advanced stages of deterioration. Walsh Construction Company, Chicago, was awarded the $64 million contract in September 2009 and began working on the project in November 2009. Prior to awarding the contract, Rock Island District was hard solutions that will last. The canal wall was built in the late 1890s-early 1900s of con crete made with lime cement. This material has deteriorated over the last hundred years at an accelerated rate compared to modern day Portland cement. Two different design concepts were considered. The biggest hurdle was creating a design that didnt disrupt navigation but further damage. The design team included multiple geotechni cal, structural, civil and electrical engineers working together to solve the problems the Lockport canal wall presented, said Amy Moore, design engineer. The chosen design concept constructs an anchor wall along the Contractors from Walsh Construction work to unhook the concrete panel from the crane after placing it into the trench underwater. The panel is then secured to the anchor wall. The crane maneuvers a nearly 71,000 pound pre cast panel into place along the Lockport left de scending canal wall.


is approximately 8 feet wide, 16 inches thick and 36-40 feet tall depending on channel depth that weigh up to 71,000 pounds. The new design concept has posed challenges turned into opportunities to deliver a higher quality product. The team has worked through utility issues, including a redesign around an AT&T phone line as well as logistical issues stemming from a single access road to the site. Work was also halted for nearly four weeks during a strike by the International Union of Operat ing Engineers, Local 150 and the Laborers District Council of Chicago and Vicinity. Funding for Stage Three construction is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to improve and strengthen the areas water resources. The remaining ARRA funds will be used to complete Stage Two. within the Rock Island District to make it all happen as well as coordination with the Chicago District of the Corps of Engineers. Chicago District provided the technical review of the construc tion project in 2009. The two Districts share a unique relationship with the Rock Island District maintaining the locks and dams on the Illinois Waterway within the Chicago District. September 2010 Tower Times 5 Stage III, Rehabilitating the Canal Wall Contractors work to airlift rock spoils from the recently excavat ed trench below the Lockport Ca nal Wall. Precast concrete panels will be placed into the trench and tied to the anchor wall. entire length of the existing wall, approximately two miles. The contractor then drills and excavates a trench for precast concrete panels to sit in. The panels are then connected to the anchor wall nal step is to place a concrete cap on top of the precast panel and This has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. As I watch the concept transform from paper drawings to steel and concrete I am amazed by the planning and design processes that were used in creating such a unique project. Our engineer ing and design group has really done a great job now its on the construction side to see that the work is done properly, said Paul Whitmer, construction control representative. Although the District has used precast panels before during lock rehabilitations, they have not used them in this way. The precast panels allow for more quality control of the concrete since it is cured at the factory and trucked to the site. Each panel The biggest hurdle was creating a design that further damage. Photos by Paul Whitmer, Rock Island District.


H ispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15.This years theme is Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America. This year marks the 22nd annual celebration since President Lyndon B. Johnson obtained authorization from Congress to proclaim a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1988, President Ronald Regan expanded the observance ending on October 15. During this month, we celebrate the rich ethnic culture, beautiful tradi tions, and festive music of U.S. residents who can trace their roots back to Spain, Mexico and other Spanish speaking nations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The term Hispanic refers to Spanish speaking people of any race. More than 35 million people identify them selves as Hispanic or Latino. There will be several Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations held throughout the communities of the Rock Island District. The Viva Quad Cities Fiesta will be held Saturday, September 11, from Noon-11 p.m. at Bass Street Landing, 17th street and River Drive, Moline, Ill. For more information on the Viva Quad Cities events please visit www.vivaquadcities. com. Vive La Hispanidad will be held Friday, October 8, from 6-11 p.m. at Galleria Marchetti, 825 West Erie Street Chicago, Ill. For more information please visit Fiesta en el RioPeoria Riverfront Peoria, Ill., will be Saturday, October 9, from 5-11 p.m. Fiesta en el Rio will feature authentic Latin American food and drink, a childrens area, local musicians and much more. For more information visit 2010 is the year of the Bi-centennial Celebrations in Mexico commemo rating 200 years of Independence from Spanish rule and 100 years since independence from Spanish rule. Other Latin American countries that share this celebration are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. LULAC (League of Latin American Citizens) will commemorate the Bi-centennial of Mexicos Independence with the Mexican Independence Fiesta, Saturday, September 18, at the LUCLAC Club, 4224 Ricker Hill Road, Davenport, Iowa, from 6 p.m.-midnight. For more information please visit 6 Tower By Victoria Terronez and Felix Castro-Canderon, Hispanic Employment Program Co-managers Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 October 15 Can you name where this photo was taken? If so, send your answer to August Answer: 2010 Visitor Assistance Training


G ene Vandusseldorp hydrologic technician, Water Control Section, Hydrology and Hydraulics Branch, Engineering and Construction Division, was presented the May District Commanders Award by Col. Shawn McGinley. Vandusseldorp has gone out of his way and preformed beyond expectations assisting ACE-IT and the District as a whole. He shared his vast knowledge of the buildings existing wiring with current personnel since he did much of the original wiring himself. He has also readily provided expert opinions on types of hardware and recommended vendors when needed. Vandusseldorp is a great example of someone will ing to share his expertise and talents for the greater good of the District even though it is outside his current job duties. September 2010 Tower Times 7 R ebecca Costello purchasing agent, Contracting Division, was presented the March District Commanders Award by Col. Shawn McGinley. Costello has been a steadfast leader in Contracting Division regarding the American Recovery and tricacies and requirements of ARRA which are extremely complex. One the biggest challenges has been getting all of the Districts contractors receiving ARRA funds to report the number and nature of jobs created due to their ARRA funded contract award(s) each quarter. Under the direction and organization of Costello, the Rock Island District was the only district last quarter to have 100 percent of their ARRA receiving contractors reporting to the necessary websites. J im Ross archeologist, Environmental and Economic Branch, Regional Planning and Environmental Division, North, was presented the April District Commanders Award by Col. Shawn McGinley. Ross became involved with the Neal Smith Trail rehabilitation project following the retirement of a fellow employ ee. He hit the ground running and was instrumental when unex pected resistance and disagreement from the State of Iowa arose in regards to the past and present cultural coordination. Ross went above and beyond in pulling together all of the Districts documen tation of cultural coordination on the Neal Smith Trail. This high an urgency to resolve the issues. Rosss extra effort in correspond ing will all partners, organizing documents and resolving the issue resulted in only a minor delay to the trail construction contractor. Good things are happening all over the District please take a moment to recognize fellow employees who are making a difference and going the extra mile to Build Strong. All employees are eligible to nominate fellow employees. If you have questions regarding the criteria or format to submit nominations, please contact Anne Marie Roarty at 309-794-5436.


Safety Corner F or many, the garage has become an extension of the home. Most families use the garage for storage or projects that are too big or too messy for indoors. Unfortunately, the garage can be a magnet for junk, which also makes it a place where falls, extension of your home, follow the steps below to make it safer. Storing Chemicals and Poisons Read the label of products you buy and keep in your garage. If you see the words Caution, Warning, Danger, Poison, or Keep Out of Reach of Children, be very careful to store them out of reach of children and away from heat. Store poisons in a place where children cannot see or touch them. Use child safety locks to secure cabinets. Examples anti-freeze, paint thinner, pesticides and turpentine. Keep products in the container they came in, do not put them in a different bottle or jar for storage. Do not mix products together; the contents could mix with dangerous results. the manufacturers directions when storing pool chemicals. Keep pool chemicals dry, tightly covered, in the container they came in and away from other chemical products. Never pour chemicals down a sewer drain to discard, con tact your local city or county for disposal locations. Gasoline Gasoline is very dangerous inside a home or garage. Gasoline va pors can explode with only a tiny spark. It is best not to keep gasoline at home. If you must keep some, gasoline and approved by an accredited laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never run a barbe cue grill, car or generator in the garage or any other room of your home. Garage Home Safety Tips Garage Organization Avoid tip-overs, make sure garage shelves are not overloaded and anchor them to the wall. Always store heavier items close to the ground. Organize all items in designated, easy-to-reach places. Store ladders horizontally tripping. Secure ladders with hooks and brackets that are secured to the wall. Store shovels, rakes, lawn chairs, bikes and other sharp and Organize and store sharp or electrical tools in a locked cabi net or up high where children cannot reach. Organize and store safety accessories close to the tools they should be used with (safety glasses with the weed trimmer). Safely dispose of oil or gas-soaked rags after use, do not place them in the garbage. If you do not have a special container for these items place them outside away from the house and combustible materials. Prevent Injuries in the Garage Organize and store sports gear, toys and recreational items to to prevent tripping. To prevent falls, keep the clear of clutter. Clean up grease and other spills when they happen. Keep saw dust and other dirt swept up to prevent slick surfaces. Make sure your garage is well lit, use bright lights at the top and bottom of stairs. When purchasing or remodeling a home with a garage, make sure the door has an auto-reverse feature, test by plac ing a paper towel roll under the garage door as it closes to test the safety device. The door should open quickly mean ing it wont trap people or pets. September 2010 8 Tower Times


Dial 911 to contact law enforcement (9-911 if you are on the Island). Identify your workplace and exact location. Remain calm and answer the operator's questions. They are trained to obtain the necessary and required information for a proper emergency response. Stay on the phone only if it is safe. If not, keep the phone on, so it can be monitored by the dispatcher. Instruct employees to shelter in place, drop to the ground feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it. many objects of cover may conceal you from sight, but may not be bulletproof. Try to get inside or behind a building and stay down. When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down and do not move. Do not peek or raise your head in an effort to see what may be happening. If confronted by the shooter, barricade the area, throw objects at the shooter, rush the shooter as a group or attack the best you can. Wait and listen for directions from responding law en forcement. If you are in another area of the building or an adjacent build ing of the incident and it is not safe to leave, everyone in the objects or into side rooms. Make required emergency telephone calls to law enforcement from this position. It is crucial that tele phone calls be limited to emergency calls only. Phone calls, other than for emergency purposes, should be made only after law enforcement has cleared a phone line for that purpose. A phone call to friends or family will bring onlookers, bystanders or concerned loved ones to the area, interfering with the operation of emergency personnel and unnecessarily placing more people in danger. It is not safe for them to come to the loca tion of a shooting. For more information regarding this topic please contact the September 2010 Tower Times 9 D uring September the Rock Island Arsenal is conducting an Active Shooter training exer cise. Do you know what actions to take to enhance your survival? Do you know what informa situation? Do you know what to do if confronted by a shooter? The potential for a shooting in the workplace exists in every city throughout the United States. federal/military buildings is rare, the availability of tate the need for a response plan, in case a shooting or other violent attack occurs. All District employees must be continually vigilant to the risk of violence at work. Every employee is urged to be aware of: If you become aware of a possible situation notify the there is no answer, and you feel there is an immediate threat, contact local law enforcement. If a shooting occurs, take immediate action. When the shoot ing begins or you are advised that a shooting has taken place, you should do the following: Get to a safe place and get everyone to lie down, away Violence at Work Remember When... September 1978 District employees and friends gathered at the Arsenal cafeteria on Friday night, 11 August, to bid farewell to our outgoing District Engineer Colonel Lycan, and welcome the Districts new DE Colonel Frederick W. Mueller, Jr. September 1982 Corinne A. Paaske, a Real Estate Specialist Women of the Year of 1982 by the Rock Island District Federal Womens Program (FWP). Highlights from previous Tower Times editions September 1989 The Rock Island District will be assisting the state of Iowa in providing water to residents of Packwood Iowa. September 1990 Ken Barr, PD-E, received the Rock Island District and the North Central Division Planner of the Year award for Planning Excellence in 1989 for his outstanding per sonal contribution to the planning process, technical expertise and leadership. Unusually aggressive, odd, or scary behavior of coworkers Threats of violence or retribution, either seri ous or said jokingly Co-workers who are distraught or suicidal Overheard comments or rumors of some kind of planned or intended violence Presence of gangs or cults that have a history or suggestive behavior of violence Fights or other acts of violence in the work place Presence of guns, other weapons, suspicious objects


other time outside of the meeting. If you want to discuss a document or proposal, issue it in advance so people have time to digest it and compose their views. With any of these areas, think about your audience and what they want or need to know, rather than what you want to tell them. Itll make it much more interesting and youll have more chance of getting your message over. Finish each meeting by agreeing how and to whom you will communicate any actions, outcomes, decisions or discus sions from the meeting. 14 Tower Times September 2010 Around the District Tower Times Survey Good to Great Communication and Collaboration are Essential Meeting Management Rock Island District BUILDING STRONG ONE DISCIPLINED TEAM in thought, word, and action meeting our commit ments, with and through our partners, by SAYING WHAT WE WILL DO, AND DOING WHAT WE SAY. The Tower Times continues to evolve and meet the needs of District employees. This survey provides an opportunity for the reader ship of the Tower Times to provide feedback and ensure all needs are being met. Please fol low the link below to participate in the survey. If you would like a hardcopy of the survey please email mil or call 309-794-5730. Congrats... Col. Shawn McGinley promoted Capt. Phillip Valenti to Major on Aug. 2 during a ceremony near the Mississippi River Visi tor Center. Maj. Valenti is currently serving the Rock Island District as an environmental engineer in Engineering and Construction Division. Valenti has served four times overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. His previous assign ment was as the Company Commander of 57th Snapper Company, Fort Bragg, N.C. Upcoming Events... The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Drive is hosting a Blood Drive, October 12 in the ABC Conference Room at the Clock Tower. The 14th Annual Combined Federal Cam paign (CFC) Chili Cook-off will be Thursday, Oct. 7. Please watch for more information about the annul fund-raising drive conducted by federal, postal and military employees At the start of every meeting, regard less of how informal it is, the convener should always state the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting, as he/ she sees it. This allows people to orient their thinking, or even opt out. If you cant attend a meeting, make sure you agree with the chair/your supervisor who should attend for you rather than having no representative. To try and keep a meeting on topic and on time, dont be afraid to ask people to park conversations or ideas if they go off tangent and ask them to discuss at an


Tower Times 11 September 2010 Spotlight on the District Paul Whitmer Construction Branch, Engineering and Construction Division T here is an old saying: go out and explore the world but then come back home. That is exactly what Paul Whitmer has done. After growing up in Bloomington, Ill., he joined the Army at 17 where he was stationed across the country and throughout the world. He served in the Army for 14 years becoming a Captain commanding two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units (recently featured in the movie The Hurt Locker). He spent much of his time at Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Campbell, Ky. He also had tours in Korea, Egypt, Kuwait and Panama. Following active duty, Whitmer began looking for jobs in the federal government to continue federal service. He applied for and was hired by the Mobile District as a park ranger at Lake Lanier in 2001. Part of his position included serving as a Quality Assurance Construction Representative for projects during the non-recreation season. He also served on the Mobile Districts Planning and Response Team as the Quality Assurance Supervi sor for debris. As the doors opened, Whitmer jumped at different opportu nities presented to him including three tours in Iraq and one in Force Restore Iraqi Electricity. His experience in the military with unexploded ordnance proved to be extremely valuable. Whitmer was assigned to a team that took care of unexploded ordnance found around transmission towers throughout the desert of Iraq. We went along with the contractor and blew stuff up every day, said Whitmer. This served to create a safe work site for the contractor as well as deny insurgents the materials to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs). His most recent tour was to Afghanistan in 2007-2008 as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. This was a non-conven tional deployment assignment. His prior experience with small infantry units and the equipment that they use made him a perfect candidate. He was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Combat Team, an airborne infantry brigade combat team of the United States based in Italy. I was dropped by helicopter or inserted by humvee with a backpack and a platoon of infantry along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The area is all mountains and very provided support for small projects like irrigation, micro-hydro plants, schools, road improvements, etc., said Whitmer. This occurred in the provinces of Nuristan and Konar, one of the most contested in all of Afghanistan. During his deployment a job opportunity became available in Peoria, Ill., as a chance to move closer to home. He applied and accepted the position as a Construction Control Representative at the Eastern Area oversee the Lockport Construction project. I remember doing the phone interview at 2 a.m. Afghan time, crouched in a base. There were no lights allowed after sundown so here I was in the pitch black surrounded by sandbags trying to land a job, said Whitmer. Thats pretty unique. struction process for Lockport and planning his move back home. Since starting with the Rock Island District in 2008, Whitmer has hit the ground running as the eyes and ears for the District at Lockport. I have nothing but good things to say about everyone in the The people that I work with are all doing lots of different things and its great to watch it all come together. Being able to reach back for advice and support has been the key to my success. He followed this up with every person counts, no one person can do it alone, referring to the amazing teamwork that goes in to completing the Corps missions. Whitmer is married to Karen who works at the local school in Lexington. They live on a 30-acre farm where there is always something to do. Michael Walsh, who he developed a relationship with after serv ing together overseas and during Hurricane Katrina. He also enjoys the outdoors and hunting. He and his wife have three dogs that they train for hunting upland game. Together they also enjoy gardening and canning during the summer. Moving back home has also allowed them to spend more time with fam ily. When asked about advice, Whitmer shared this, if given a choice between an easy job with success assured or a hard job where success may be questionable always take the hard job challenge yourself at all times you may not always succeed but at least you had the courage to try.


DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, ROCK ISLAND CLOCK TOWER BLDG. P.O. BOX 2004 ROCK ISLAND, IL 61204-2004 September is National Preparedness Month I t's important that you know the potential emergencies that can tions about the area where you live, contact your state or local and other events in the area. Include a battery operated radio, such as a NOAA radio with tone alert, to stay apprised of developments during emergencies. It is always important to listen to and follow the advice of local State of Illinois information is at this linkhttp://www. State of Iowa information is at this linkhttp://www.ready. gov/america/local/ia.html All of us as members of our communities, organizations, and families need to be informed and take concrete steps to proac tively prepare for emergencies and disasters. Local, state, and national authorities are going to help, but they may not be able to hours before help arrives. Your kids need to be informed too. It's important to explain to your children that families can prepare for emergencies before they take place and that they can help, too. By doing so, you can alleviate anxiety if an emergency does occur and help to nurture a more prepared society for generations to come. Visit www.ready. gov/kids today and get Ready! Ready Kids is a family-friendly, children-oriented tool to help parents and teachers educate children, ages 8-12, about emergen cies and how they can help families better prepare. The Ready Kids Web site at features fun activities such as a Scavenger Hunt, Pack It Up Matching game, crossword puzzles and coloring pages, as well as age-appropriate, step-bystep instructions on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. Don't forget to review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes-renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet. By Jeremiah Cowgill, EM/CBRNE Operations Specialist, Rock Island Arsenal