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Vol. 45 No. 11

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Bachner, Gamblin Working on New AIA Model Agreement
GBA Executive Vice President John Bachner and Lisa Dyson Gamblin, Esq., Terra Insurance Company's vice president for claim administration and risk management, have been tapped to work with The American Institute of Architects on a new standard-form agreement between a project owner and geotechnical-engineering consultant. Because the development process is confidential, we can tell you no more than that at this time. We will reveal what we can as soon as we can.
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What's on Your Copier's Hard Drive?
CBS News
Today's copiers are a far cry from those we used to see, in part because — like just about everything else — they take advantage of digital technology; i.e., they're essentially computers that make copies, scan and send documents, receive and send facsimiles, and store copies of everything on their hard drives. Imagine selling one of those machines or returning it to the lessor without first scrubbing the hard drive, only to have the unit sold to a company that specializes in used copiers that it sells to customers in other countries, like, say, Russia, China, or Nigeria. Imagine what could happen were you to inadvertently give someone felonious ready access to everything that has gone through your former machine for three or four years. Bank records. Health records. Copies of credit cards. Photos. And so on. True, you need certain forensic equipment to access the hard drive and turn digits into something far more. But there’s an app for that, available for free download.
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A Risk-Confrontation Parable
Civil + Structural Engineer
"A civil/infrastructure engineer, a civil/structural engineer, and a civil/geotechnical engineer are sitting at a table in a bar when in walks a representative of the local public-works department and, right after him, the CEO of a local construction outfit. The three civil engineers wave at the public-works guy — they know him from local ASCE-section meetings — and then at the constructor, whom they’ve also seen at those meetings. 'Join us,' the engineers say, and the other two oblige. They get to talking about transportation issues and decide their town really needs to evaluate a local fracture-critical bridge, learn what needs to happen to extend the zombie span's already-expired life, and then let a contract to construct the repairs and improvements." So begins an intriguing column in the online edition of Civil + Structural Engineer, written by John Bachner on behalf of GBA, to help educate those who need the guidance and to make more people aware of just how good GBA really is!
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Potholes Beware!
Fast Company
Road-repair costs decline by as much as 80% when problems are caught early. Unfortunately, early detection is difficult at best and, when a problem's not visible, almost impossible. Now, a Northeastern University research team believes it may have found a way to achieve early detection of one of the most pervasive and pernicious problems of all: potholes. They call their creation Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors (VOTERS). It uses sensors, microphones, and radar to detect potholes before they form or, at worst, during their incipient stage. Installed in a customized van, VOTERS can scan 80 miles of road per day.
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  Past Conferences on Demand

Bring home the best of GBA conferences with content on demand — online and on DVD.

New Nylon Pipe Offers Strength, Flexibility
INVISTA has introduced Raptor nylon pipe, capable of withstanding temperatures up to 200F and pressures up to 500 PSI. Rugged and fast to install, and designed principally for the oil industry, it's also suitable for applications ranging from multiphase flow lines to low-pressure natural gas gathering and water transportation. The pipe comes coiled in up to 2,000-foot ditch-ready sections in various diameters.
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Are You Ready To Serve? USA Needs Much More Pipeline Capacity
SNL Financial, LC
Are you ready for the "Clean Power Plan," the EPA's proposed carbon-dioxide rule? It could have a big impact on your firm’s activities, because — when enacted — it will spur construction of ever more natural-gas-pipeline projects. If you're already working on pipeline projects, congratulations! And if not, this is a development you may want to study. The proposed rule calls for generating more electricity from renewables, energy efficiency, and gas-fired production, and less from coal-burning generation. States and utilities will probably respond to the rule by increasing reliance on natural gas and, to do that, the U.S. will need more pipeline capacity. According to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services analyst Nora Pickens, "In our view, meaningful pipeline capacity is needed in response to this rule. The Clean Power Plan could accelerate a lot of projects companies were thinking about, but weren't sure they could do from a financial perspective, and push them across the finish line."
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Call for Abstracts: Spring Conference in Miami
Have a creative idea for a presentation at the GBA Spring (Annual) Conference in Miami, FL, April 16-18, 2015? Here's your chance to share it with us: Just download the submission form, complete it, and send it in. The GBA Conference Committee will review all submissions. The theme of the conference is "Optimizing Performance for Our Firms and Our Clients: Innovation in Practice."
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Date Event Location
Oct. 23-25, 2014 GBA Fall Conference The Westin San Francisco Market Street
San Francisco, California
Jan. 23-25, 2015 GBA Winter Leadership Conference Hyatt Dulles
Herndon, Virginia
April 16-18, 2015 GBA Spring (Annual) Conference J. W. Marriott Marquis
Miami, Florida
Oct. 8-10, 2015 GBA Fall Conference St. Regis Monarch Beach
Dana Point, California

  For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

Download the GBA App for Full Conference Details
Download the GBA app now, for your iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet, especially if you'll be attending the upcoming October 23-25 Fall Conference in San Francisco. The app gives you access to all the hand-outs, speaker bios, and all else conferencewise, updated to the last possible moment. And there’s so much more to find via the GBA app, including the latest NewsLog and access to all our publications. Put GBA in the palm of your hand.
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Ride-Sharing for the 2014 Fall Conference in San Francisco
Want to share a ride to this event? Sign up on the ride board.
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Download Fall Conference Presentations
Presentations for the October 23-25, 2014 GBA Fall Conference in San Francisco are now available online for download as PDF files. Get all the GBA 2014 Fall Conference presentations now!
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BUSINESS 101: Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim...
"Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration," Thomas Edison famously remarked. And much the same applies to achieving the objectives of a strategic plan: Putting the plan together is one thing; executing the strategy effectively is far more challenging, just as the rewards are far more robust. Companies that achieve what they set out to achieve, despite continuous change, earn the trust and respect of their own personnel and the personnel of client and customer organizations. What's the best way to achieve success? Unfortunately, no one approach is just right for everyone, given variances in business models, organizational culture, markets, and so on. Nonetheless, leaders can apply this list of standard questions to help learn how to execute (and include that in the plan) and how to make that execution successful.
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HR DEPT.: Employers Gird for Health-Care-Plan Cost Increases
Business Insurance
A July 2014 survey of 379 midsize and large employers reveals that they expect a 5.2% increase in their group health-care-plan costs next year; 4% after they install cost-control changes. A change that one of every four respondents is considering: excluding coverage for employees' spouses or adding spousal premium surcharges if coverage is available elsewhere, as through the spouse's employer. For 2016 and 2017, three of every ten respondents said they're considering a defined-contribution approach through which they set a fixed amount they would pay for coverage, giving employees a financial incentive to choose lower-cost plans.
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GBA Members Connect With Their Communities
"The employee-owners of American Engineering Testing have always believed it is better to give and help those with needs; especially if they have no apparent way to change their situation. The founders of the company firmly held that belief but recognized it is also a learned experience and took the time to set up a 'pay it forward' situation for our future leaders and staff." So wrote American Engineering Testing (AET) CEO Terrance E. "Terry" Swor, P.G. And it's all true! Among other things, AET partners with eight other Minnesota-based firms — including Braun Intertec — to create a friendly, annual competition to help those in need during the Christmas season. Last year, the group raised a combined total of $90,000 plus 10 tons of food plus innumerable personal-care items. Says Terry, "When we all give, everyone wins." What are YOU doing to connect with your community? Let us know!
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GRAPE PRESS: You Need This App
If you’re "into" wine, you've just got to have this new app. Called Vivino, it has so many features — all free — that it's almost mind-boggling, especially if you open it during a tasting! Example: You can use your smartphone to take a picture of a label before you buy a wine. About 15 seconds later, up will come reviews of the wine and ratings. Plus that, you can share comments with friends on line, write reviews, and otherwise just have a blast. Like so many other neat apps, it's free.
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Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE
(Terracon / Somerset, NJ)

Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.
(Schnabel Engineering, Inc. / Glen Allen, VA)

Joel G. Carson
(Kleinfelder / Omaha, NE)

Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates / Concord, NH)

Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)

Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(TTL, Inc. / Nashville, TN)

Alex Sy, Ph.D., P. Eng.
(Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. / Vancouver, BC)

Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)


Phone: 301/565-2733

Executive Vice President
John P. Bachner
Ext. 223 /

Operations Director
Sarah P. Lanning, PMP
Ext. 231 /

Program Director
Barbara A. Nappy
Ext. 222 /

Program Manager
Sara Menase
Ext. 232 /

Associate Program Manager
Melody A. Patrick
Ext. 225 /

Membership Manager
Susan A. Ford
Ext. 227 /

Phillip D. Pettway
Ext. 233 /


John P. Bachner, NewsLog Editor-in-Chief, 301.565.2733 ext. 223   
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Caitlin Harrison, Content Editor, 469.420.2657   
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