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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Source Institution:
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: December 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 December 2010 2 Tower Times 3 A look back at 2010 Col. Shawn McGinley, District Commander 5 13 stories above the Des Moines River A new High Trestle Trail spans the Des Moines River 6 Safety Corner Holiday Safety Information 7 Lending a helping hand District assists the U.S. Coast Guard 8 Restoring critical habitat for waterfowl Fox Island Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Project under way 9 RESPECT ing others Equal Employment Opportunity 9 Wheres This? 10 Around the District 11 Spotlight on the District Karen Clauson 12 Adding a touch of class


D ecember is here which means we usher out 2010 and get ready for 2011. The end of the year is a good time for able to accomplish over the past year. One thing is for certain 2010 was a banner year for the Dis trict. From completing the Civil Works Review Board for Cedar Rapids; to ramping down our support to New Orleans; to execut ing contract awards from American Recovery and Reinvest ment Act (ARRA) funds; to the year-in, year-out infrastructure maintenance on one of the countrys greatest waterways; the men and women of our District continued a tradition of outstanding performance. We had many successes and many challenges throughout the year. I was proud of the collaboration and the communication you all exhibited with our partners and stakeholders. That effort was key to successfully carrying out our missions. From a Divisionwide stand point, Regionalization continued to become more and more the way we are doing business and that is testimony to the Your accomplishments and accolades are too many to list but I will highlight some of the work that was done this year, District-wide. As a primarily civil works District, executing a budget in a Our Fiscal Year 2010 budget amounted to more than $126 million in funding, not including what we received in recovery funding or supplemental money. Contracting Division was busy award ing contracts with more than 1,500 contract actions obligating more than $145 million. Additionally, Contracting solicited and awarded Architectural/Engineering task orders and construction contracts for Rock Islands New Orleans support and was able to complete all ARRA reporting requirements before the deadline. efforts when we presented the Draft Feasibility Report for the Cedar Rapids Flood Risk Management project. After impres sively completing the study in just 18 months, we presented the draft for approval to the Civil Works Review Board and garnered their unanimous approval. Barring any issues, the report should make its way to the Chief of Engineers by January 2011 and then to Congress. If Congress authorizes and approves funds for the project, our timeline has the construction completed by 2015. It has been quite an accomplishment which can be shared by many people throughout the District and our partners at the City of Cedar Rapids and other key agencies. Our Operations and Maintenance Teams were busy on the more than 580 miles of navigable waterways of which this low water allowed the Structures Maintenance Crew to spend three full months rehabbing Peoria Lock's wicket dam with help from the District's dive team. The Maintenance crews continued their increased usage of the Facility and Equipment Maintenance pro gram, completing and closing out 317 work orders encompassing in an effort to replace aging equipment on the Illinois River, two new cranes were received. It was a busy year for the crews and the vessels just as it was for their counterparts on the Mississippi. with high water forcing lock and recreation closures in July and October. Despite these conditions, more than 4,250 operating hours were put on Mississippi River Project vessels and more than 4,100 hours logged on the cranes conducting critical mainte nance work on the Districts aging infrastructure. There was one point this fall, in between gate changes, when all of the origi nal miter gates were at the locks. By the end of the year nearly 50,000 lockages will have taken place since March 1. In addition to maintaining infrastructure on our waterways, we provided crucial support to the goal of providing the Hurricane December 2010 Tower Times 3 A message from.... Colonel Shawn McGinley, District Commander A look back at 2010


and Storm Risk Reduction System for Greater New Orleans by June 2011. In October, RINOS held a ceremony to celebrate their successes. Mississippi Rivers. More than 50 District employees responded with the valuable technical assistance the communities needed. While supporting these events, our District also deployed re sources from the Regional Flood Fight Center to support events impacting our teammates in the Omaha and Kansas City Districts. Our overall support saw nearly 1.5 million sandbags distributed, nearly 180 Poly rolls and almost 75 various pumps deployed. Outside the District and our watershed, teammates were making impacts relating to our role in emergency management. The Emergency Management Team responded to seven disas ters providing the immediate and effective hazard response and recovery assistance. Also, District employees continued to show deployed as many as 55 people to locations across the globe over the past year. Back inside our District boundaries, our Regulatory Division was busily taking care of the countless requests for permits and executed a program that exceeded national performance metrics. The Regulatory Division processed 1,922 permit actions, issued 73 Public Notices and made 1,733 jurisdictional determinations in FY10. In addition, our Regulatory staff served as the Midwest lead Corps District to revise the National List of Wetland Plant Our Construction Branch met many challenges in 2010. They administered more than 100 contracts totaling more than $300 million and completed more than $95 million worth of regular, workforce at the height of the season to accomplish all of this work. We continued our commitment to the environment in 2010 and that commitment could be seen in a variety of projects. Among those projects was the Ventura Marsh Restoration Project. When that this District has brought to construction. Couple that accom plishment with a ground breaking at Waubonsie Creek as well as many other ecosystem restoration projects in planning and it is easy to perceive the importance our people place on the environ ment. Our Real Estate Division had a very busy year overseeing the 78,000 square miles of the Rock Island District. Part of their duties is administering the cabin lease program to 506 cottage leases. District staff worked closely with St. Paul and St. Louis Districts creating a regional SOP for the program. They also acquired land for the Waubonsie Creek Restoration Project and went outside District boundaries providing land acquisition and construction contractor support along the Canadian Border in North Dakota and Minnesota. Closer to home, the real estate team wrote an SOP for the Domestic Leasing Program and will add an additional 27 houses into the program for the Army Sus tainment Command and 1st Army Commands as they relocate to Arsenal Island. As many of you may have heard from me before, safety is a top priority. I will always hammer home the importance of doing the job with risk reduction at the forefront of everyones thoughts. All the accomplishments mean nothing if we lose a teammate to injury or, even worse, death. Thankfully, the District, in general, was safe throughout the year. Overall, I was glad to see we had fewer injuries this year than last. Although a lot of what our folks do is inherently dangerous, our goal should be, and always will be, zero safety incidents. Please continue your safety awareness. As a District dedicated to serving the American public, some of our more visible and tangible products are our recreation sites. It was a busy year across the District from a recreation stand our recreation facilities. With 65 sites encompassing nearly 2,000 centers; it could easily be predicted that more than 15 million vis The workload and the general workforce turnover meant that the CPAC staff had the extraordinary task of transitioning a large portion of our staff from NSPS system to the General Schedule pay scale. It was a monumental task as they transitioned 394 employees but it was accomplished seamlessly. The District workforce stays strong employing 906 people. We brought on 70 new hires over the past year. All-in-all, the District workforce is healthy and in good position for the future. As I wrote earlier in this article, all of your accomplishments are too numerous to list. I have captured just a brief snapshot of what the District has been achieving over the past year. I am sure 2011 will mean more challenges and opportunities. Luckily, we to meet anything, head-on. You should all be proud of your ef forts in 2010. I know there is room for improvement but that is amazed by your efforts. Lets continue those efforts as we take on a new year. Please enjoy the Holiday Season and accept my warmest wishes for a joyous time, from my family to yours. As you are enjoying time with family and friends, please remember to stay safe. Do not drink and drive and make your travel plans with safety in mind. I want to see everyone back at work ready to take on 2011 and ready to continue BUILDING STRONG December 2010 4 Tower Times


December 2010 Tower Times 5 By Hilary Markin, Editor U sually the District becomes involved in activities hap pening on government property but this project was a bit different, going over government lands. The area was originally purchased in 1881 to establish the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Company route through Iowa. However during the construction of Saylorville Lake in the 1960s, the rail road bridge spanning the Des Moines River near Madrid was not high enough to withstand the lake elevations. The Corps of Engi neers relocated the bridge nearby elevating the railroad nearly 13 stories above the river bed. The railroad abandoned the line in 2003 and dismantled the bridge leaving behind the pillars towering above the Des Moines River Valley and rail corridor. A 25-mile piece of the discontin ued corridor was sold to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 2005. The Foundation then transferred the corridor to the nine different public partners comprised of the cities of Ankeny, Shel dahl, Slater, Madrid and Woodward; and the counties of Polk, Boone, Dallas and Story. Since then the group has worked to pave the majority of the Above, pillars left by the railroad in 2003 dot the landscape of the Des Moines River Valley follow bridge sits atop the pillars to complete a 25-mile grand entrance to the High Trestle Trail bridge that Photos by Tyler Hill. trail formerly known as the Ankeny to Woodward Trail and is working on constructing one of the largest trail bridges in the na tion. The trail was also renamed the High Trestle Trail in honor of the original trestle bridge that spanned the Des Moines River. The District became involved as partners were interested in using existing infrastructure to cross the river. Real Estate worked with the various agencies and through the easements, granted permission for construction equipment to go on the riverbed. rial to be moved and removed during construction to create stable working conditions in the riverbed. Saylorville Lake has also been involved with this project working with the various partners and participating in work groups to advertise central Iowa as an important tourist destination. A major celebration is in the works for April 30, 2011, to cel discover a new view, a tagline developed to excite people about the trail and scenery visitors will experience on the half mile bridge 13 stories above the Des Moines River Valley. 13 stories above the Des Moines River


Indoors or out, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory and use only lights that have fused plugs. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs. Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into older homes. Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks. Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Never pull or tug on lights they could unravel and inadvertently wrap around power lines. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. When decoration your household follow these safety tips. of plastic or non-leaded metals. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. they will not be knocked down. Take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable if small children are present. Keep decorations with small removable parts out of the reach of children and avoid decorations that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to put them in their mouth. Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass angel hair. Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation December 2010 6 Tower Times A s you decorate for the holidays and remove the decora tions after them be sure to keep safety in mind. Both year as we transform our homes to winter wonderlands. Stay safe while you're hanging your outdoor holiday lights with these ladder safety tips. Roughly 5,800 people per year are treated at hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. Carry a cell phone, especially if you're working alone. If you have an accident and need help, you can call someone. Climb slowly and surely, always facing the ladder. Leave plenty of time for the job so you aren't tempted to hurry. Avoid the temptation to lean off to the side of the ladder and reach. Instead, always reposition the ladder so it has four points of contact with the ground and the pressure on each leg is equal. Never prop a ladder on top of another object. Make sure neither the ground nor the surface the ladder is leaning against is slippery. Always maintain three points of contact with the ladder two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot. Don't carry heavy or bulky items as you climb. Instead, pull them on a tow line or have someone hand them up to you. hazard. One of every 18 reported tips when selecting your tree. the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles. and radiators. Heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, so be Each by holiday lights. Electrical problems were factors in 67 percent percent of them. Safety Corner Information from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association. Holiday Safety Information


December 2010 Tower Times 7 W orking hand in hand with the U.S. Coast Guard has always been something the District strives to do but that took on a new meaning in early No vember. The M/V Scioto was performing buoy maintenance downstream of Locks and Dam 14 when it became disabled. The vessel was able to moor at the auxiliary lock for the weekend until District personnel could assist them. The Districts dive team was called in to inspect the vessel and found that both steering rudders were in need of replace Section personnel worked closely with the Coast Guard and assisted with crane operations and machining work necessary to replace the rudders. Working together the two agencies made the necessary repairs and the M/V Scioto returned to operation on Nov. 9. Lending a helping hand By Hilary Markin, Editor Mississippi River Project Maintenance Section em A member of the District dive team, Mike Back, slowly der after inspecting were called to the Mississippi River the Scioto became disabled while maintenance below Locks and Dam 14 Assisting Back is Tony Tabita both are from the Mis sissippi River Photos by John Beh rens.


forest fragmentation and increase bottomland hardwood diversity by allowing 640 acres to reforest naturally and planting 275 acres of mast (fruit of forest trees) trees in existing forested areas, farm enhance 78 acres of wetlands by providing wells for water supply This project ensures habitat availability to a wide range of able, said Darron Niles, program manager. A contract was awarded to Kolb Grading LLC, St. Charles, Mo., for nearly $3 million to complete the project. The notice to proceed was given on Oct. 29 with most of the construction taking place next year, the bulk of which will be complete next fall. This project supports the overall goals and objectives of the Upper Mississippi River System-Environmental Management Program, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Partners in Flight Program all working to restore habitat in the Upper Mississippi River basin. unique Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) will be constructed at Fox Island just downstream of Alexandria in the southeast corner of Clark County, Mo. The project is between the Mississippi River and Fox River and is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as part of the of Great River National Wildlife Refuge. This area encompasses 2,033 acres of land and water within and the remaining 988 acres are a combination of farmland and The native grasslands and many of the forested areas were also converted to farmland prior to the USFWS management. The goal of the HREP is to rehabilitate and enhance aquatic By Hilary Markin, Editor Photo provided by Darron Niles. December 2010 Tower Times A


December 2010 Tower Times 9 Can you name where this photo was taken? If so, send your answer to Trail bridge Winner: Jeff Rose, W e are entering a season of the year, from late fall through midwinter, when most religions both of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions and those of other traditions celebrate holidays. Many of these holidays are about renewal and hope for the future. However, these celebrations actions between belief systems, as well as disrespect for those who take a secular approach towards the season. In a secular realm, we are living in a period of history when the world over has seen a great deal of intolerance of people who have immi grated and people perceived to be minorities within the dominant culture in which they live. Our Constitution blesses us with the gift of freedom to make personal choices on matters of faith without interference or coercion or promotions from any government entity or our civil service employment. Religions differ in terms of rituals; holidays observed; customs and practices; obligations and requirements of believers; as well as promised rewards for the faithful. However the Scriptures of all religions essentially agree on basic moral and ethical codes of conduct: the requirement for charity, respect for and within the family unit; respect and obedience of parents and elders; respectful treatment of neighbors and kindness to all. As individuals, we can treat with respect our colleagues, friends, neighbors, indeed everyone in our communities including those who do not share our practices and traditions. We do not need to change our own beliefs to learn to respect and understand these other traditions. To the contrary, we can build better relationships with others, as well as possible future colleagues through mutual some of our previous negative assumptions disappear. The Rock Island District area population is far more diverse than many of us realize. We learned a bit about this diversity at our 2009 Diversity Week celebration. In addition to many religious groups, we learned that our popula tion includes people whose ancestry is from all over Europe; immigrants from all over Africa; all parts of Asia as well as the North and South American continents. We are especially fortunate here in our area, that as Americans and residents of the Midwest we have not ex perienced the treatment of immigrants with the degree of violence and hostility that is found in many other countries. Almost all of our ancestors were at one time immigrants: American Indian tribes that moved from one part of the continent to another; for eign immigrants; and newly freed or runaway slaves. Many of us generation. The cultural diversity of our area has made it a won derful place to live with everything from a variety of restaurants and ethnic grocery stores or sections of supermarkets; entertain ment and festivals; cultural activities such as lectures, programs, and speakers; as well as the opportunity to meet people whose backgrounds are very different from our own. Our CEMVR EE/ SEPC calendar in Outlook can provide you with many such op portunities as well as historic tidbits. By making a goal to learn more about other people and other groups we can develop more cultural nimbleness for ourselves RESPECT ing others By Liz Robinson, Equal Employment Opportunity


Richard Feaster, Jr., lock and dam operator, Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River Project half months to the federal government. 14 Tower Times December 2010 Retirements ... Around the District Sympathy ... Richard Dick Jan nings, 75, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away Nov. 14, at his home. Jannings was the assistant lockmaster at Locks and Dam 15, retir ing in 1990 after a 30-year career with the Corps of Engineers. Lorraine Kohl, 89, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away Nov. 14, at the Good Samaritan Nursing Center in Davenport. Kohl was a civil engineering technician in Construction Division, retiring in 1986 after 26 years of federal service. Good to Great Communication and Collaboration are Essential What makes star teams? 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. Information from Team Development Tool Kit, 2002 Leadership Development Program Staff the team. Select team members for 1. technical competence and the ability to work as a team player. Volunteers are better than draftees. Theyre motivated and interested. Consider the roles members are likely to play. Recruit: a. Visioner sees the big picture and grand scheme. b. Organiser sets agendas and deadlines, coordinates activities, and pushes for closure and completion. c. Social leader with skills to keep everyone involved. d. Spanner who seeks and main tains contacts outside team boundar ies, gathers information, resources and other help. Manage the start. 2. Like babies, new teams are fragile and develop in stages: forming, storming, norming and performing. Managers can help by making the start an important event, sharing a vision of success, presenting, discussing and developing the charter, and providing training in team dynamics and any new skills needed. Charter the team. 3. reporting relationships, settle authority questions and links to clients. Maximize team participation. Stay tuned for more helpful hints on building a successful team. You can also see more in the Tower Times online edition. Upcoming Events ... Nov. 8 through Dec. 13 to ensure you have the right health, dental, or vision insurance coverage for you and your family. For more information visit Holiday Party! The Rock Island Districts Holiday Party sponsored by the Rock Island District Welfare Association is Dec. 16 beginning at 9:30 a.m. with carolers traveling the building. The main event begins in the Clock Tower Cafeteria at 11 a.m.


Spotlight on the District Karen Clauson Student Conservation Association Intern Tower Times 11 December 2010 By Hilary Markin, Editor aining experience is what internships are all about a bonus is getting paid. That is what Karen Clauson found when she applied to be a Student Conservation Association (SCA) Intern at Coralville Lake. This program allows her to work with resource manage ment professionals and gain tangible skills and experience protecting and restoring natural areas. She started with the Corps in August working with natural resource specialists learning about natural resource management on Corps lands. This fall she has been busy conducting a hazard tree assessment in the campgrounds to identify trees and limbs that need to be removed to prevent injuries. Clauson is also working with the invasive species found at Coralville Lake, mapping their existence and put ting together a plan of action to control and remove them. I am learning to identify invasive species very well. It can be sort of depressing work but also very rewarding see ing the improvements to the forests, said Clauson. Her passion for the outdoors really blossomed in college while attending Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. interest as classes that sounded like fun. My classes really opened my eyes to things we see every day in the outdoors. Now its just explaining whats happening and making sense of it, said Clauson. She used this enthusiasm to complete her degree with a double major in geography and psychology. But that wasnt enough, she went on to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ill., and completed her masters degree in geography focusing on water resource manage ment. During college she assisted professors with research on the Mississippi River looking at the impact that manmade structures have had on resources. Little did she know she would one day be working for the agency that created those structures. Following college she served a year with AmeriCorps working at Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois. There she worked with biologists on various wetlands projects including conducting experi native habitat. She also conducted numerous environmen tal education programs educating the public about natural resources. Clauson continues to look for opportunities to excel and learn more about natural resources. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, biking, hik ing and doing crafts. She is currently into crocheting and jewelry making and hopes to get into making crafts from nature. When asked about advice she shared one of her favorite quotes by Chuang Tzu, If you want to nourish a bird, you should let it live any way it chooses. Photo by Hilary Markin. G