President's Message - Kelly Cobeen, S.E.

The holidays are upon us, as are projects that clients would like to have finished by year end. While life this time of the year can be very hectic, the holiday season gives us a good reason to break away a bit from everyday work, enjoy the spirit of the season, comradery, and the beautiful outdoors that surrounds us here in California. I hope each of you get a chance to enjoy and rejuvenate for the New Year.

Congratulations to Applied Technology Council and the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE for the just completed Second ATC-SEI Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures. I was among a good number of SEAOC members participating in this conference and hearing calls for consideration of future needs and directions for both our existing built environment and new structures and infrastructure systems being created in our communities. The conference included input from disciplines beyond structural engineering; their outlook, needs, and desires provide food for thought when considering SEAOC’s future leadership roles.

Congratulations to the 2015 Champions of Earthquake Resilience Award winners, and to all who contributed to the recognized projects:

  • City of Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Resilience by Design Program,
  • City of San Francisco for the San Francisco Earthquake Safety Implementation Program,
  • The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, University of British Columbia’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, and the British Columbia Ministry of Education for Development of Performance-based Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for Schools,
  • Transbay Joint Powers Authority and the Design and Construction Team for the Transbay Transit Center, San Francisco,
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for the San Francisco Water System Improvement Program,
  • Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center and the Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council for Development of Guidance and Procedures for the Seismic Design of Tall Buildings, and
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Development of FEMA P-58 Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings Methodology and Companion Performance Assessment Calculation Tool (PACT).

Thank you to those at SEAOSC who helped prepare the City of Los Angeles nomination.


Warming up Your Aloha for 2016 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).

Vocabulary: Some basic vocabulary, good to know because it is often used in signage:

Kane - Man

Wahine - Women  

Keiki - Child

Activities: The Hawaiian Islands are small enough that you can drive around each in a day, often leading immigrants from the mainland to get island fever, and sometimes leading them to move back to the mainland. One of the farthest drives you can take from Ka’anapali, Maui, is to the town of Hana; getting there and back, with stops along the way, is a full day’s adventure. While the peaceful town of Hana and its harbor are at the end of this drive, equally important are the lush valleys and waterfalls dotting the narrow winding road that gets you to Hana. There are many must-stop locations along the drive. Hana is a quiet town that reflects a simpler time of past decades. It has several small hotels and the Hasegawa General Store, operating in Hana since 1910. It also has lava tubes and botanical gardens that can be toured, hang gliding, and other activities. For aviation fans, further down the road past Hana you can see the final resting place of Charles Lindbergh; while a New Yorker, he rests in the town of Kipahulu where he had a vacation home.  

Legends: In Hawaiian legend, the volcano goddess Pele is both revered and feared. She is said to have a hot temper and frequently use her lava to take revenge on those that go against her will. There are many stories of her appearing as a beautiful young woman to lure young men; there are many lava rock outcroppings on the islands said to be the young men that displeased her. She is also purported to have turned her sister’s best friend into lava when her sister did not complete a task quickly enough. In one legend, Pele is said to have found a young couple traveling. She decided that she would lure away the man and keep him for herself. When the husband, completely in love with his wife, refused, Pele turned both into lava. Pele’s brothers, seeing this, forced her to make amends. Pele responded by turning the husband into the Ohia tree, and his wife into the Lehua flower that blooms on the Ohia tree. In this way the couple is kept together for eternity. Many Ohia trees grow in the tropical forest areas surrounding Kilauea Volcano, displaying their bright red lava-like Lehua blossoms.    

Finally, Mele Kalikimaka - Merry Christmas and a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou - Happy New Year to all!

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