March 1, 2008
For daily news updates and Web-exclusive news items, visit the “Industry Breaking News” section on our Web site at www.aggman.com
by Tina Grady Barbaccia, Senior Editor
Vulcan Aids in Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser
Vulcan Materials Co.’s Midsouth Division, along with industry participants and supporters Stowers/Caterpillar, Power Equipment/Komatsu, Renfro Construction, Blalock Companies, Tema Isenmann, and Industrial Fabrication and Repair participated in this past year’s Fifth Annual Vulcan Materials and Cure Finders Foundation “Make A Break Thru for CF (cystic fibrosis)” Sporting Clays Tournament, one of the largest benefit sporting clays tournament in Tennessee, the second largest in the Southeast, and now in the top 10 in the United States, according to Cure Finders. The organization was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to raising awareness and research funding to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
This year’s “Make A Break Thru for CF” tournament will take place April 25-26 at Chilhowee Sportmen’s Club in Maryville, Tenn. The tournament will once again have shooters with Olympic, International, Team USA, Senior and Super Veteran, Tennessee and Kentucky State Champion credentials. First-timers and part-timers also are expected to participate, and the tournament is structured in a way that enables every participant a chance to win by competing against only others with similar skills.
For more information about participating or being a sponsor of the tournament, or to find out more about Cure Finders’ fight against cystic fibrosis, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or go to www.curefinders.org.
Granite Construction Cleans Up After California Wildfires
The city of San Diego hired Granite Construction Co. to clear ash and debris from private properties destroyed in the wildfires late last year in San Diego. The effort was under the City of San Diego Fire Cleanup Program and was part of its rapid-fire recovery effort.
Granite Construction and A.J. Diani from Santa Maria worked in the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego through the end of the 2007. Granite Construction worked to remove debris from destroyed homes on the west side of I-15, while A.J. Diani worked on the east side of I-15.
“Removing debris is a critical process,” according to a Granite Construction press release. Hazard assessments to understand what harmful materials may exist, photo documentation of the sites, and separating ash from concrete and metals were all critical parts of this process, according to the Granite press release. Dust control also was being carefully monitored, and there were plans to put a program in place to recycle concrete and metals. Granite also worked with an arborist to determine what trees could be salvaged from the fire.
Callanan Recognized for Environmental Stewardship
Employees at Callanan Industries, Inc.’s Cordell Road Facility were internationally recognized for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 19th Annual Symposium, “The Value of Green.”
“Callanan Industries demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and increasing native biodiversity by achieving Wildlife at Work certification at the Cordell Road Facility,” according to WHC.
This certification is in place for a two- to three-year period, and projects are ongoing year-round. WHC also points out that application criteria are stringent. Callanan is part of Oldcastle Materials Group.
High School Students Compete in Construction Challenge
Liebherr Mining and Construction Equipment, Inc. sponsored two teams of high school students from New Horizons Regional Education Center (NHREC) to compete in Destination Imagination, Inc., an international construction challenge bringing together high school students from across the U.S. to learn more about construction careers, infrastructure, construction equipment, creative problem solving, and teamwork.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) also partnered with Destination Imagination to develop and implement an international construction challenge to strengthen the future construction workforce.
Two teams from New Horizon’s Governor School for Science and Technology and the Career and Technical Education Center qualified on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, during the regional rally in Glassboro, N.J.
The students competed in three timed challenges consisting of infrastructure dialogue, a technical engineering and design challenge, and a “road warrior” product development exercise. The Newport News and Hampton students will advance to the final Construction Challenge tournament at ConExpo-Con/Agg this month in Las Vegas.
Texas Operation Starts ‘Adopt-a-School’ Program
After county and city authorities expressed curiosity about Bastrop, Texas-based Texas Aggregate LLC, the operation opened its doors to them to show what it was all about. “We showed them our operation, and they were impressed with it,” says Barry Dobbs, equipment manager for Texas Aggregate LP.
But that also made Dobbs and others at the aggregate producer realize that many others aren’t familiar with the operation, what it does, or even the role it plays in everyday life.
This sparked the idea of “adopting” a school and educating students about what aggregates are and why they are important so Texas Aggregate decided to start an “Adopt-a-School” program for Lost Pines Elementary, also located in Bastrop, Texas, where Dobbs’ children, ages 6 and 8, attend school.
“We’ve tossed around the idea of having people come out to do a tour, and I thought it would be a good idea to educate the community and even the schools about what we do,” Dobbs says. “I’m part of the local volunteer fire department, and every year we do a fire prevention month. I thought we could do the same with what we do.”
At Aggregates Manager press time, Texas Aggregate was planning to hold the program Feb. 18-20 for third- and fourth-graders. Aggregates Manager’s “Cubee the Aggregate” coloring book will be used for the third-graders, and its “You’re on Rock” workbook will be used for the fourth-graders, who will also go on a tour of the operation.
“The curriculum promotes junior engineers, mining, and scientists,” Dobbs says. “As a company, we want community awareness of what we are about, what we do, and how it affects everyday life. We want the students to be aware that the roads they are driving on, the concrete buildings they use, and many other things come from materials made from aggregates.”
Dobbs says there will be a major focus on safety during the program. The children will be given real hard hats and safety glasses. “We want to implement the safety aspect out on the jobsite,” he says.
In the future, Dobbs says Texas Aggregate hopes to open up its program to schools countywide. As the program grows, it will adopt additional schools. “We’re hoping that people will understand the process and all the safety and regulations — that we are not just out here digging up the land, but we are providing a service to the community.”
MSHA Asking for $19 Million Budget Increase
The proposed fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget for Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is $332 million with 2,361 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, an increase of $19 million, or 6 percent, above the FY 2008 request, Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, announced on Feb. 5. The budget proposal provides the agency with 2,361 FTE employees, including funding for 55 additional metal and non-metal enforcement personnel, some of whom will be hired during FY 2008, according to MSHA. The government agency says the new level of FTE, along with other budgetary increases in MSHA programs, “ensures that [it] can maintain the 100 Percent Plan announced in October 2007, with the goal of completing all annual mandatory safety and health inspections for the first time in the 39-year history of the agency.”
Under the FY 2009 budget proposal, 71 percent, or $236 million, would go toward the agency’s efforts to enforce federal mine safety laws, and $36 million would be focused on training efforts. An additional $29 million of the agency’s funding is focused on finding technological solutions to improve mine safety. The remaining $30 million will cover MSHA’s administrative and informational technology costs.
Shelly Employees Build Habitat for Humanity House
Ohio-based Shelly Co. employees became involved with Habitat for Humanity in the fall of last year after the company’s president Dan Montgomery suggested that Shelly get involved in the organization as a way for it to contribute back to the Columbus, Ohio, market, in which it has several asphalt and aggregates operations.
The company not only made an undisclosed substantial financial contribution, but its employees helped to build a house in Columbus for a family of five. Plant workers, company executives, and supervisors worked together to do the framing, roofing, siding, and hanging of drywall on the two-story house.
Pioneer Concrete Donates Trees for Beautification Effort
Dover, Del.-based Pioneer Concrete, partnered with the city’s Park and Recreation Department to plant trees at the local Silver Lake Park. The ready-mix concrete supplier donated the trees and its help as part of the company’s beautification efforts to give back to the local community, according to a written statement from Pioneer.
When the trees are fully grown, they will provide shade to a nearby playground. This isn’t the first of Pioneer’s efforts to reach out to the local community. The company has been working with representatives from several cities, including Dover, to find ways to participate in downtown development and beautification projects.
“This park beautification project was an opportunity for us to be involved in community development and provide a better play area for local children and their families,” says Michael Petrillo, general manager of Pioneer Concrete, in a press release from the company.
ATF Issues New Ruling for Explosives Inventory Records
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued ruling 2001-1 granting approval “in specified cases” to the use of computerized records to meet the requirements of 27 CFR 555, Subpart G, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association reports.
This section of the regulation permitted only records in paper form prior to this ruling. The new ruling allows the use of computerized records, but it does so with conditions that are designed to ensure that the record is permanent and can not be revised or changed at a later date, according to the report.