A Message from the SEAOC President - Kelly Cobeen

By Kelly Cobeen, SE, SEAOC President

There has been much recent activity within SEAOC, including a SEAOC Board meeting on January 22, followed by a day of Long Range Planning on January 23. A few items of interest from the board meeting include:

  • The SEAOC board voted to support ACEC developed SB885 regarding duty to defend clauses in contracts. The board also approved use of the SEAOC logo for shared advocacy purposes. See the legislative update article for further news.
  • Publications continue to move forward, including the 2015 IBC SSDM, shepherded by Rafael Sabelli and the SEAOC Publications Committee. SEAOC collaboration on ATC-124 continues, with Russ Berkowitz coordinating SEAOC’s effort, in collaboration with Ryan Kersting and the Publications Committee.
  • Three nominees, one each from three Member Organizations (MOs), were put forward by SEAOC for consideration for the Hospital Building Safety Board. The nominees were Richard Franco of SEAOSC, Matt Melcher of SEAOCC, and Ann Roche of SEAONC.
  • Under the leadership of Professional Licensure and Certification Committee chair Carl Josephson, two California volunteers were able to participate in the first phase of the NCEES PAKS study to revise the SE exam.
  • Following the SEAOSC Strengthening Our Cities Summit, SEAOSC President Michelle Kam-Biron and President Elect Jeff Ellis have reached out to the CALBO Vice President to discuss areas where our organizations can partner. Michelle and Jeff will continue interfacing with CALBO on behalf of SEAOC and SEAOSC to identify areas of collaboration on both the state and local level.
  • The SEAOC Evaluation Reports and Existing Buildings Committees have each submitted code change proposals to be considered by ICC for the 2018 Editions of the IBC and IEBC respectively. Watch for upcoming newsletter articles providing more detail.
  • Planning for the 2016 SEAOC convention is well under way, under the leadership of Wayne Low and his convention committee. Look for additional information in this newsletter and on the convention web site. Also under way is planning for the 2017 convention, to be held in San Diego.
  • Guest Emily Guglielmo, a SEAONC member and NCSEA Board director, reported on a toolkit assembled by NCSEA to provide resources to member organizations. The tool kit addresses such topics as attracting members, developing leadership, maintaining active committees, etc. Contact your local board member if you are interested in more information.
  • The next SEAOC Board (web-based) meeting is scheduled for April 2, 2016.

The January 23 Long Range Planning activity, led by consultant Dan Goldes, was established to assist SEAOC in determining how best to focus its activities and resources over the next three years. The first part of the day included interactive activities that led the imagining of a magazine heralding the successes of SEAOC three to five years down the road, complete with a cover, headlines, sidebars, and quotes. Following this, groups started with objectives derived from the five primary areas of membership, education, advocacy, outreach and stewardship, as well as the input received from a great many SEAOC members. From each objective, strategies were developed, and specific activities identified to enact the strategies.

From this process we now have a wealth of strategies and activities, with the next steps being to prioritization, refinement, and implementation; progress on these next steps will continue over the next few months. A few major themes that I heard included: communication and advocacy outside of our organization, increased engagement of our members, and facilitating development and innovation in our committees. Stay tuned for more information in future newsletters.

Warming up Your Aloha for the 2016 SEAOC Convention

The Convention Committee continues its hard work planning the 2016 SEAOC Convention in Ka’anapali, Maui. Continuing from the last SEAOC Talk, here is a short snippet of information to help make sure that by next October you are ready to be a Kama’aina (local).


Kapa - Cloth used by the ancient Hawaiians, made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree, and decorated with wood block prints. Also commonly known by the Tahitian variant, tapa. There is significant similarity between the languages of Tahiti and Hawaii, with a notable difference being that Tahitian substitutes “t” for the “k” in Hawaiian. Kapa or tapa cloth was used by many groups across the pacific island chain.

Mo’o - Lizard  

Legends: Lizards (mo’o) of varying shapes, sizes and colors are ubiquitous in the Hawaiian Islands. As a result they play a role in the legends of Hawaii. Rather than being cute creatures in legend, however, they most commonly show up as monsters. One popular legend involves Hina, the mother of Maui (the god known for slowing down the sun), and a monster mo’o named Mo’o Kuna. One day while in the process of dyeing her kapa cloth outside her house on the Wailuku River on the Big Island, Mo’o Kuna, having been spurned by Hina, used a boulder to block the Wailuku River’s flow, starting a flood. Hina’s son Maui got word of the flood and paddled his canoe up the river to save his mother. Maui was able to split the rock, averting the flood. He then followed the mo’o upstream, and called upon goddess Pele to send lava down the stream to trap the mo’o. Pele responded with flowing lava, killing the mo’o and also trapping Maui’s canoe. A rock formation, just above Rainbow Falls on the Wailuku River, is said to be the outline of Maui’s canoe, trapped in the lava. A second rock formation at the bottom of the falls is said to be the body of the mo’o, which Maui threw down to let his mother know that the mo’o would not bother her again. Throughout the islands there are numerous other rock formations identified as being the remains of a monster mo’o, defeated in battle.

Activities: In past years, Maui was one of the centers of Hawaiian sugar cane growing and initial processing, with the sugar then shipped to California to complete refining. While little sugar growing and processing still remains in the Hawaiian Islands, the artifacts and history remain. For those interested and having a couple of hours to spare, very close to the main Kahalui Airport is the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, with exhibits covering the growing and processing of sugar, the history of the sugar industry, the heroic efforts needed to divert water to the cane fields, and much more. Also near to the airport is the Bailey House Museum and Maui Historical Society, featuring a collection of Hawaiian artifacts in a historic home.

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