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The new NewsLog: This is it!
What more can we say? Welcome to the new NewsLog. You'll notice that much is the same, yet much is different, too. Please tell us what you think. How can we improve? What could we have more of? Less of? What don't we have at all that you'd like to see? What could we jettison? Send your comments to the editor, John Bachner: email@example.com.
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Confronting practice risks in Boston, Oct. 10-12: Registration open
“Confronting Risk” is the theme of the upcoming Fall Conference of ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association, Oct. 10-12 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel in Boston. Topics include, among others:
• Geoprofessional Risk: What Is Acceptable?
• Think Globally, Act Locally: Enterprise Risk Management
• Climate Change: Assess, Design, Act
• Business Basics, Reinvented for the Fast Future
• Communicating Project Risk: Proving Your Value by Consulting in Practice
• Getting to the C Level
• The Continuously Improving Safety Program
• Only Losers Sue White Knights
• Great Minds Sharing Great Ideas: Business Practices Round Tables
The meeting will also afford a variety of networking opportunities. Registration is now open for both in-person and online webcast attendees.
From the Bench: Bad news
By Richard G. Erickson
In Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corp., No. CV-12-0419-PR, Arizona’s highest court took on a lingering question about the scope of economic loss doctrine since its landmark decision of Flagstaff Affordable Hous. Ltd. P’ship v. Design Alliance Inc., 223 Ariz. 320, 321, 223 P.3d 664 (2010). Flagstaff held that the economic loss doctrine limits contracting parties to their contractual claims and remedies and bars tort claims like negligence seeking the same remedies. Sullivan was short and simple: non-contracting parties may bring negligence claims for construction defects because such claims are not barred by the economic loss doctrine. The Supreme Court said this outcome was consistent with its reasoning in Flagstaff.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
Geo/Environmental Associates' Barry Thacker ends war
Knoxville News Sentinel
The hostilities, at long last, are over. A peace treaty formally ending the infamous Coal Creek War of 1892 was signed on tree-shrouded Militia Hill, a knoll of remote Vowell Mountain overlooking Lake City. The ceremony also recognized the site as the location of Fort Anderson, where Tennessee National Guardsmen fought a pitched battle with striking coal miners upset that the state had brought in convicts to work in their mines. The effort was led Barry K. Thacker, P.E., CEO of Geo/Environmental Associates and president of Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, a nonprofit organization Thacker started to improve the environment, living conditions and the education of residents of the isolated mountainous area, pockmarked by abandoned coal mines.
10 tips for reducing the risk of employment-related litigation
By D. Albert Brannen
This article offers tips for minimizing or avoiding employment-related liability. These tips apply even to employers who may not have enough employees to be covered by the major federal employment laws such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The editor-in-chief - John Bachner - uses his editorial platform to fire a verbal salvo at all those clichés that he believes people use far too often in their writing. He makes his point by saying nothing bad about clichés; he just sentences them to sentences.
Mississippi River Bridge construction an impressive environmental feat
Wisconsin State Journal
More than a decade ago, Wisconsin's Cass Street bridge was refurbished and a second bridge was installed. Together, the two have become a symbol of La Cross, Wis. First and foremost, a project of this magnitude requires a great deal of forethought, assessment and planning.
Great mall of China
The world’s largest building — depending on how you measure — has opened in Chendgu, a city of more than 14 million people in southwest China's Sichuan province. Called the New Century Global Center, the mammoth structure — a shopping mall — is 1,312 feet wide, 328 feet high and 1,640 feet long.
Earthquakes abroad trigger US quakes as fracking pressures faults
A recent study finds that big earthquakes around the world have triggered separate quakes in the U.S., where wastewater resulting from natural-gas production is injected underground. The paper published in the journal Science has implications beyond fracking, the process that injects pressurized chemical-laced water to break up subterranean-rock formations that contain oil and natural gas.
Tunnel geeks everywhere will be watching
Douglas B. MacDonald writes, "I've had personal acquaintance with half a dozen or more tunnel-boring machines, including a 25-foot-diameter cutterhead TBM I lived with — or suffered with, more accurately — for nine long, cold, wet, hard-rock miles below the floor of Massachusetts Bay. In its time, the 1990s, that machine was one of the largest TBMs the world had yet seen."
NewsLog Topical Index: Your key to finding what you need to know
Forty-five years of NewsLog — all indexed by topic! Get A-Z information and guidance on issues across the spectrum of professional practice. Look up what you need to know today.
Terra Insurance unveils new website
Terra Insurance Company
Terra Insurance Company has unveiled its new website. According to Terra CEO David L. Coduto, "The former website gave us good service, but it was time for an update." Terra’s new website is far more contemporary in appearance and functionality, and places its content into more-manageable groups for easier access. The new website is complemented by project photos submitted by Terra’s owner/insureds, underscoring their closeness with their professional liability insurance company, which — in fact — they own.
Give all your employees access to GBA's resources
Did you know that every single employee of your firm is considered a member of GBA? Why not encourage them to visit GBA's website and sign up for a password to unlock the full value of your firm's membership in GBA? Send them here to get started.
Did you see this oldie but goody?
A CD ROM of 76 case histories of "project management lessons learned the hard way." The case histories can be searched by more than 35 factors such as project size, type of project, type of client, trigger or vulnerability. Users can also search by keyword, and can either insert their own or choose from a drop-down list of more than 200. Each case history identifies the client, project and role of the GBA member firm, and provides detailed background information and a description of the problems and outcomes. Each case also discusses the specific lessons learned and, in most cases, steps that could have been taken to have prevented the problem from happening.
You've Just Got To Be Kidding
You may be aware of the fact that "God Bless America" is not only not the national anthem (i.e., it's OK to sit while it's being played), it's still copyrighted property in the land that we love, requiring users to pay a royalty each time it's used. Shocked? Not nearly as much as you will be when you learn which even-more-popular song is copyrighted.
Building commissioning services: $4.4 billion/year by 2020
If your firm already provides CoMET services, you might want to look at the growing building-commissioning market. Building-commissioning services help ensure that a commercial building's equipment and control systems are performing as designed and that there are procedures in place to maintain high performance over time; they’ve been offered for decades.
"I love Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, but the prices of the good stuff: Who can afford them?" John Bachner writes. "Such a common lament, but so wrong. First of all, you can get some great 'cabs' from places other than Napa Valley, like Argentina and Sonoma. There's even a highly rated Napa Valley cab that sells for less than $20."
Past events on demand and on DVD
GBA has begun recording content of our meetings and making those recordings available to members at low or no charge. We now offer content from our last three meetings in Orlando, Denver and Charleston. Some will even allow you to earn PDHs. Bring the best of ASFE/GBA meetings into your office!
Free member webcast: Financial survey - Importance and value to you and others
Learn the who, what, where, when, how and why — not to mention the value — of participating in GBA's annual Financial Performance Survey in this webcast originally presented by Lee James, CPA, CMC, CBI, Owner, Lee James & Associates Inc. on April 27 at the Spring Meeting in Charleston, S.C. This webcast is free to all members.
2013-2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kurt R. Fraese, L.G.
(GeoEngineers, Inc., Seattle, WA)
Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE
(Birdsall Services Group, Cranford, NJ)
Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.
(Schnabel Engineering, Inc., Glen Allen, VA)
Joel G. Carson
(Kleinfelder Group, Omaha, NE)
Stewart G. Osgood, P.E.
(DOWL HKM, Anchorage, AK)
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(TTL, Inc., Nashville, TN)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc., Houston, TX)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063