Friday, August 28, 2009
* Where did I park my car? Parking lot painting starting Sept. 2-4
General parking lot areas to be painted Sept. 2-4. Lots will be closed during painting and vehicles must be moved.
When you paint a room, you move the furniture out of the way.
The same concept will apply Sept. 2-4 at Shoreline Community College when contractors will repaint the lines on the campus parking lots.
“They’ll be painting all the lots over the three days, one large section each day,” Director of Safety and Security Robin Heslop said. Each day, the section designated for painting will be closed to parking and all vehicles that may already be parked in that area must be moved for the day.
“We realize there will be some short-term inconvenience, but doing it this way allows the job to be done more efficiently and get it finished before the students come back for fall quarter,” Heslop said.
The sequence and general areas to be painted are:
Sept. 2 – The west side lots, including the parent-child center turnaround.
Sept. 3 – The south side lots, including staff parking near the visitors lot, the lot south of the PUB and the music building staff lot.
Sept. 4 – The northeast and north side lots, including automotive area.
Heslop said there will be a few tricky parts.
“We can’t close off the main entrance and loop road used by Metro Transit,” Heslop said. “On Thursday, Sept. 3, they’ll paint one side of the loop road, let it dry and then paint the other side. “It means there will be just one lane available that day.”
The Friday, Sept. 4, project includes the automotive area, where a number of cars used in that program are parked. “Don Schultz (SCC Automotive Training Center Director) has been great and is arranging to move those cars temporarily to west side lots,” Heslop said. The construction staging area near the automotive expansion project will just have to wait, she added.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
* Orca card to replace Metro Transit FlexPass
Yes, employees will pay more, but they also get access to a lot more. And the really good news is: There’s no change in the process to get it.
What is it? An Orca card.
What had been a King County Metro Transit FlexPass will now be the new regional Orca card. Starting August 27, qualifying Shoreline Community College employees will be able to purchase the annual Orca card at the discounted rate of $76.83. That’s for 12 months of riding on Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, Metro Transit, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit. And what about seafaring employees? Access to the Washington State Ferries system can be added and paid for by the individual employee once the card is issued by the college.
Due to the increased cost of the ORCA Card, there will be a one-time annual non-refundable deduction of $76.83 from the employee’s next paycheck following receipt of the card. The $76.83 is a pre-tax deduction.
“Metro is joining the other transit agencies in moving to the regional Orca system,” said Stephen P. Smith, SCC Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs. “We wanted to continue to offer transit passes and this is the option that is available. It is more expensive to the employee, but the Orca program also offers much more value.”
Smith said the real work in setting up the program with Metro Transit was done by Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell and his adminsitrative assistant, Sharon Wines. "Without them, this wouldn''t have happened," Smith said.
Employees who want one of the new Orca passes will do just what they’ve done in the past: Notify Debbie Sherman in the Human Resources Department by e-mail or phone (206-546-5880) that you’d like a pass and make arrangements to pick it in HR.
Associate faculty with annual contracts, pro-rata, or affiliate assignments and permanent employees may pick-up their passes beginning August 27, 2009. Part-time faculty teaching 50% or greater may pick-up their ORCA Card when their teaching assignment has been officially confirmed after October 6, 2009.
Payment for the card must be done in a one-time payroll deduction.
The details of the Orca pass for SCC employees are outlined in the 2009-10 use agreement. Some of those details include use of the card by only the employee and a $5 charge to replace a lost card. Another feature of the new Orca program, because it is a magnetic strip “swipe” card, is that the services can be added, or withdrawn, via computer interface.
For example, while ferry service isn’t included on the card under the college plan, individual users can go online to add and pay for that feature. Also, if a card is lost or a holder is using a card in violation of policies, that card can be rendered inactive.
One of the interesting features of the program is the “Home Free Guarantee.” The idea is that more people will use public transit if they know that, in a pinch, they’ll be able to get home when they need to. The Home Free Guarantee, with some restrictions, pays the cost of a taxi from the place of employment to home. The feature is part of the Orca card being made available to SCC employees.
“We’re excited about the potential of this new program as benefit to Shoreline Community College employees,” Smith said. “As with any new program, there may be bugs to work out, but the idea of a Puget Sound regional transit pass is a good one and we’re pleased to be able to participate.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
* Golf Tournaments Help College Connect
Dustin Caldwell, Helen Fuiten, Tony Costa and Kim Chandler at the Viva Hispanic Foundation NW Golf Tournament.
It may sound like fun and games, but the connections made and relationships forged and reinforced during summer charity golf tournaments are an important part of the overall efforts to connect Shoreline Community College with the partners that provide much needed support.
OK, there might have been a little fun and games, too, at two recent tournaments.
On Aug. 3, the college was well-represented in the Shoreline Breakfast Rotary Golf Tournament at the Echo Falls Country Club. On the course, the team of SCC employees Tony Costa and Jim Hills, student Dustin Caldwell and college supporter Margo Georgian held up their end by winning the mixed-team division with a score of 59, 11 under par.
The Shoreline Breakfast Rotary is an energetic group, dedicated to serving the community. More than $25,000 was raised at the tournament. The money will be used for a variety of Rotary-funded projects, including a number of college scholarships for graduating high school seniors, Polio Plus, Food Lifeline, History Day and the international exchange student program.
Just paying for the SCC team entry fee was an example of community relationships and partnering. Mark Anderson – an Edward Jones representative with an office in Richmond Beach, a former member of the SCC Foundation board and of Rotary – worked with Rotary to donate a tournament sponsorship to the Foundation. The SCC Foundation paid for the SCC team’s greens fees at the sponsorship’s discounted rate.
In addition, Anderson was what is known as a “hole sponsor” and spent the day raising money for the Rotary Foundation.
At another hole, SCC Trustee Shoubee Liaw and SCC Athletic Director Doug Palmer “worked the lemonade stand,” Palmer said. “We were there just to make sure the golfers had some refreshments. It was a hot day,” said Palmer, who made a sizable personal donation. He said Trustee Liaw also donated and purchased granola bars that the pair gave to hungry golfers.
“Without our community partners and supporters, the SCC Foundation’s job of supporting students and the college would be impossible,” Manchester said.
Then, on Aug. 12, another team from SCC participated in the Viva Hispanic Foundation NW Scholarship Golf Tournament, also at Echo Falls.
This time, Costa, who is the SCC golf instructor and Tutoring Services manager, was joined by Caldwelll, Kim Chandler from Technical Support Services and SCC supporter Helen Fuiten. The team won the championship with a score of 57, 13 under par, with Chandler winning the longest drive for women event. Costa won both the closest to the pin for men event and the overall putting competition.
“ …Our annual Viva Golf Tournament, which is a successful fundraiser for our organization, … promotes camaraderie and networking opportunities by bringing together a variety of professional groups and community organizations,” Abraham Gonzalez, Viva President, wrote on the group’s Web site.
Viva was formed to provide educational support and opportunities, and to promote the public good by conducting programs aimed at empowering the members of the Hispanic and other minority communities of the State of Washington. Viva has contributed $1,000 annually to the Shoreline Community College Scholarship Fund for several years.
“We will continue to strengthen our organization by provide leadership training programs for our Directors and Associates, and by forming appropriate partnerships that will result in benefiting the people of Washington State,” Gonzalez wrote.
Friday, August 14, 2009
* SCC looks at huge solar energy expansion
Shoreline Community College is proposing to install the largest roof-top solar energy system in the state.
And, at no cost to the taxpayers.
“This project will take advantage of the new law the Legislature approved this past session that encourages private investors to fund renewable energy projects on public buildings,” said Mike Nelson, Director of SCC’s Clean Energy Technology Program and Executive Director of Washington State University’s NW Solar Center.
In a letter of intent sent Aug. 12 to Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, college officials say that at build-out, the system will create 100 kilowatts of solar-generated power. “That’s easily larger than any other roof-mounted system,” Nelson said. “The only thing bigger is Puget Sound Energy’s 500 kW system at Wildhorse in Kittitas County.”
Shoreline Community College already has the largest solar-energy installation feeding the grid through City Light’s system, an 18 kW system on top of the school’s science building. A smaller system is on what is known as the “Zero Energy House,” a demonstration project built by WSU students which now sits on the SCC campus and serves as Nelson’s offices.
The letter of intent outlines the college’s plan to use the provisions Senate Bill 6170, signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire on May 12, 2009. Officially known as Washington State Department of Revenue’s Renewable Energy Production Incentive Program, it is commonly referred to as the community solar law.
The law allows private investors to finance projects generating renewable energy, like solar, on public buildings. The key to the law attracting such investors are the reimbursement rates for the power generated and federal tax breaks.
According to the letter, the college will be looking for 20 investors to each “buy” a 5kW solar-power generation installation, estimated to cost about $40,000 each. Under SB 6170, City Light is obligated to pay the investors for power produced. Shoreline’s project will use all Washington-made components, including recently approved solar modules from Silicon Energy, LLC, in Arlington, Wash. The made-in-Washington stamp boosts the reimbursement rate from a base of $0.30 per kilowatt/hour to $1.08 per kWh, according to the letter. That reimbursement would continue until 2020, when the program is set to end.
“With average performance of the systems, each investor should receive about $5,000 a year on the power generated,” Nelson said. “That means $50,000 over the life of the investment, a 20 percent return.”
But, wait there’s more, Nelson said.
“Plus, each investor should qualify for the 30 percent federal tax credit/rebate on the original $40,000 investment.”
While the investors would get paid for the generated power and be eligible for the tax break, the college would use the power, offsetting its utility costs, the letter says. The power from the project would be used directly by the college, but rarely, if ever, exceed the total power needs of the campus. From the City Light system perspective, the project would look like power conservation by the college.
Once the program ends in 2020, ownership of the system would pass to the college, which would continue to operate the project.
The installation and the labor would be unique, the letter says.
The 5 kW installations would be spread across a number of the more than 20 buildings on the SCC campus. The actual work would be done in a partnership between the Puget Sound International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Joint Apprentice Training Program, interns from the Shoreline Community College Clean Energy Program and the WSU Northwest Solar Center.
The next steps for the Shoreline Community College project will be to work out legal and contractual details. “This is an exciting time for renewable energy and solar in particular,” Nelson said. “The political, technological and market stars are aligned.”
Thursday, August 06, 2009
* Artwork whole again and centered
Adam Fah, conservation technician for the Washington State Arts Commission, works on remounting a piece of Deborah Mersky's "Out of Nature" on a wall near the PUB at Shoreline Community College.
When Deborah Mersky’s 85-foot-long bronze sculpture “Out of Nature” was installed at Shoreline Community College in 2003, its concrete wall backdrop seemed pretty permanent.
Well, most of it was.
Just a few years later, as part of the Pagoda Union Building replacement project, about 30 feet of the wall was removed and with it, several sections of Mersky’s work. While the majority of the multi-sectioned piece remained during construction, some sections received minor damage and the remaining sections were off-center on the wall, giving an unbalanced appearance.
Now, all of the work’s sections have been reunited and remounted, centered in what remains of the wall.
“There were three sections that were in storage,” said Adam Fah, conservation technician for the Washington State Arts Commission, who did the work Aug. 5-6, 2009. “I’ve added those and repositioned the entire work so it is centered.”
“Out of Nature,” was cut by laser from digitized drawings, and will have a natural looking patina surface that gives the impression of being old, and which is intended to darken with time. Parts of it will have an overlay of etched bronze or copper letters, according to a 2003 article in the SCC student newspaper, The Ebbtide.
“Conceptually, it is an open musing on nature and our place in it,” Mersky told The Ebbtide. “The physical location of the school, adjacent to a beautiful forested area, and just above the Puget Sound, have contributed greatly to the formation of this idea.”
While Mersky has a number of public-art pieces up and down the West Coast, including one just south of the International Fountain at the Seattle Center, that doesn’t mean she’s comfortable with the “public” aspect.
“My explanation for my own pursuit of public art is simply that I like to be scared,” Deborah Mersky wrote in an on-line artist’s statement. “…seeing my imagination sprawled about a publicly-used building is perhaps 51 percent intoxicating and 49 percent percent horrifying.”