A Message from the SEAOC President: Kelly Cobeen

The SEAOC Board held a web meeting on April 2. A few items of interest from this meeting include:

  • The Draft SEAOC 2016-2018 Long-Range Plan was discussed, including review and approval of the plan and next steps in implementation. In particular the objective of Stewardship (responsible use of financial and volunteer resources) was identified as a priority for further development. Representatives of each member organization (MO) will discuss the plan locally and bring input to the next SEAOC board meeting for further action.
  • SEAOC Legislative Committee Chair Carl Josephson and Executive Director Don Schinske provided a report on a number of bills going through the California Legislature that our SEAOC committee is tracking and potentially providing positions and testimony on. These are summarized in a separate article in this newsletter.
  • Development of the 2015 IBC Edition of the SEAOC Structural/Seismic Design Manual (SSDM) is nearing completion, with a target publication date in July. These will correspond to the 2016 California Building Code, which will be mandatory in California as of January 1, 2017. Look for upcoming information on the manuals and webinar presentations. Thank you to the managers and problem authors, as well as the Seismology Committee members who provided review.
  • The updated charges of the SEAOC Ad Hoc Earthquake Performance Rating System (EPRS) Committee were approved by the board. Under the leadership of Chair David Pomerleau, the committee will be working first on a white paper identifying areas of agreement and disagreement. Thank you to the members serving on this committee for your continued contributions.
  • Continued activity of the Ad Hoc Committee on Elevated Exterior Elements (EEEs) was approved by the board. Initiated following a balcony collapse in Berkeley in June 2015, this committee was started as a joint SEAONC/SEAOC committee, responsive to both assisting the City of Berkeley and state-wide interests. As the City of Berkeley has now completed their advisory committee activities, the committee will go forward as a SEAOC  ad hoc committee, and proposes to prepare:
    • Guidelines for condition assessment of existing EEEs,
    • Guidelines for design of EEEs in new buildings, and
    • Model ordinances for jurisdictions interested in enacting EEE requirements.

Thank you to the CEEE committee members for your contributions and continued enthusiasm.

  • A board ad hoc committee on SEAOC’s relationship with the USRC has been formed and held an initial meeting. Stay tuned for more information on this topic.

This is just a sampling of board topics. The next SEAOC Board meeting will be June 18 in Oakland. If you have something that you would like to bring to the attention of the board for their consideration, please contact Executive Director Don Schinske or me.

In related SEAOC Board news, I hope everyone is aware that Chris Kamp (SEAOSD) is our current SEAOC President-Elect, and will be taking over as SEAOC President in October, 2016. It was just announced that Janah Risha (SEAOSC) will be following Chris, taking over as SEAOC President-Elect in October. Congratulations and thank you to Janah!

In other news, over the last month I was able to have discussions with Ray Lui, Chair of the SEAOC Disaster Emergency Services (DES) Committee, and Jeffrey Hunt, Chair of the SEAOC Post-Disaster Performance Observation Committee (PDPOC, a subcommittee to the SEAOC Existing Buildings Committee). A primary function of the DES Committee is coordinating post-earthquake SAP volunteer training, registration, and activation between the four MOs and with California OES. Look for an upcoming article from Ray discussing committee activities and reminders to all of us to be prepared. The primary function of the PDPOC committee is to deploy trained members following earthquake events to systematically collect data on earthquake performance, both good and bad. Look for an upcoming article by Jeffery regarding committee activities.

With the 2015 IBC edition of the SSDM wrapping up, thinking towards the 2018 IBC edition will begin shortly. This edition will address very significant changes incorporated into ASCE 7-16 and the material standards. The SEAOC Publications Committee is looking for persons with interest in marketing to provide fresh ideas and energy towards marketing the SSDM and webinars. All interested persons are encouraged to contact the SEAOC office. All are welcome, and interested persons can be involved as little or as much as they want to be.


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 about Hawaii. Hotel reservations are currently open and convention registration is anticipated to be open in early May. For those planning to attend, we encourage you to make plane reservations as soon as you are able, as the cost of tickets to Hawaii can be very sensitive to booking date. If you have trouble with hotel room availability, please contact Don Schinske at the SEAOC office and we will work with the hotel to get room blocks adjusted.


Aumakua - Family guardian spirit or god

Honu - Sea turtle (see convention logo)

Mano - Shark

Pueo - Owl

Legends: Being people of the water, sea creatures played a significant role in the Hawaiian lifestyle, culture, and legends. One prominent sea creature was the mano (shark), who provided food and provided teeth used in tools, weapons and decoration. The mano was also a common and beloved aumakua (family guardian spirit). Other guardians adopted by families include the honu (sea turtle) and pueo (owl). Families and their aumakua were understood to be in a relationship of mutual care and protection, with the families often feeding their Aumakua in gratitude for protection they provided.

One legend tells of a man tossed out of his canoe during a storm, blinded by the wind and waves, and unable to get back to his drifting canoe. Just as he thought he would not survive, he was able to grab something large and firm that he took to be a rock. He soon found that he instead had grabbed the fin of a large mano, who took him to shallow water where he could crawl ashore. Shortly after, his brother found him on the shore collapsed and exhausted; he asked his brother to quickly bring food for the mano, who was fed until satisfied. The story goes on to tell of the canoer and his brother feeding the mano for many years to follow, and the mano on occasion helping to heard fish into the nets of the brothers. (From a tale told by Mary Kawena Puki in Tales of the Menehune). There are a number of other tales of rescue at sea by mano aumakua.

Activities: There are 40 species of sharks know to live in the Hawaiian Islands. The most frequently encountered sharks are reef sharks including the white tipped reef shark, the scalloped hammerhead shark, and the tiger shark. For those interested in sharks, there are a number of web sites the provide information on sharks in Hawaiian life and the shark species found in Hawaii. A few web sites of interest are:




For those who venture to Honolulu, the Bishop Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Included are tools and implements of war, many of them prominently featuring shark teeth:  http://www.bishopmuseum.org/.

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