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

By Kelly Cobeen, S.E., SEAOC President

During the month of November I was able to join SEAONC for their November dinner meeting and SEAOSD for their November lunch meeting. The SEAONC meeting, besides having a wonderful technical presentation by Eric Long and Alan Krebs of SOM on the Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, had several other activities. The reception prior to the meeting featured the annual SEAONC Committee Outreach Night, where all members are invited to come meet committee leadership and learn more about committee activities. In addition, during the dinner meeting, the Engineers Alliance for the Arts spoke about their bridge competition in which SEAONC members participate, and presented both a Teacher of the Year Award and a Volunteer of the Year Award to very deserving participants. The SEAOSD meeting featured a fascinating presentation on Lean Project Delivery by engineer David Umstot, which highlighted the tremendous improvements that might be made to productivity in both design and construction. It was great to participate in both meetings, meet people, and hear about local activities, so that you to both sections for your hospitality!

Congratulations to SEAOSC for hosting the very successful SEAOSC Summit on November 4 & 5. It was a wonderful and well-attended event with opportunities for learning and for making connections with others interested in improving seismic performance.


Warming Up Your Aloha for the 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: Most of Hawaii’s geography involves the volcanos at the middle, and the sea at the edge. As a result, most major roads ring the perimeter of the volcanos. This is very much true of Maui, which is made up of the above-sea portions of the massive Haleakala shield volcano and Kahala Wai, a smaller appended volcano. For this reason, driving directions in Hawaii are very often a combination of the major town towards which you should drive, and mauka or makai, indicating that it is on the water side or mountain side. This makes getting around much simpler that it is in Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area. If driving on Maui you are cautioned to check the drivability of the roads in advance. Some portions of the major ring roads are only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles and use of some roads is prohibited by car rental companies.

  • Mauka - Toward the mountains
  • Makai - Toward the sea
  • Kai - Sea water, salt water
  • Wai - Fresh water

There are plenty of interesting places to drive to while on Maui. Very close to Ka’anapali where we will be meeting is the historic town of Lahaina. In about 1800 Lahaina was made the capitol of the Hawaiian Islands, by King Kamehameha I, the chief that united the islands. In the early 1800’s Lahaina was also a whaling center, where it is reported that as many as 400 whaling ships might be in port at one time. It was also a home to a group of protestant missionaries, who left behind homes and store houses, and other structures. A number of sites and structures related to this early history can still be seen on a walking tour that can be found on the Lahaina Town web site: Lahaina is also known to have a very lively night-life for those seeking after-hours activity.

Legends: In Hawaiian legend, the Hawaiian Islands were in large part created by the volcano goddess Pele. Raised among sibling gods and goddesses in Tahiti, Pele was given the power to create volcanoes by digging into the ground with her stick. She enjoyed creating volcanos and the rumbling and lava that came spewing out, but her sea goddess sister, Namaka, enjoyed equally her power to send waves to quiet Pele’s volcanoes. Seeking to escape her volcano-ruining sister, Pele ventured from Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands. There she successively used her powers to create volcanos on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, but each time her sister saw the smoke of the volcano and was able to send sea waves to extinguish the volcano. After leaving Haleakala on Maui, Pele moved next to Kilauea Volcano on the Island of Hawaii, were she still resides today. To date her sister Namaka has not yet been able to extinguish Kilauea volcano with her sea waves, and so on occasion the volcano will still rumble and send lava spewing. To be fair, in addition to her sister, plate tectonics may have contributed to Pele being forced from island to island.

Finally, with the holidays coming up, it is good to know

  • Mele Kalikimaka - Merry Christmas
  • Hau’oli Makahiki Hou - Happy New Year

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