The 83rd Texas Legislative Session is in full swing and will be wrapping up at the end of May. As our elected officials in Austin wade through a sea of thousands of bills that have been introduced, I encourage you to remind them of the critical need for long-term infrastructure investment and its vital role in the continued financial health and prosperity of our state. The Texas Tribune website provides a handy way to review bills by subject or legislator (www.texastribune.org/session/83R/bills), and additional information can be found on the Texas Legislature website (www.capitol.state.tx.us). One of my favorite ways of contacting my legislators is by using ASCE’s Click & Connect website (capwiz.com/asce/home). I hope that you will consider using these tools to assist our legislators in making decisions that will benefit all Texans.
On April 17, 2013, the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas exploded, killing 15, injuring nearly 200, and damaging or destroying more than 150 buildings. The explosion registered as a magnitude 2.1 on the Richter scale. ASCE Texas Section President Jack Furlong, PE, has directed that a monetary pledge of $1,500 will be made by the Section to the West Victim’s Relief Fund. The Houston Branch has pledged an additional $500 to the relief effort. If you would like to donate to the cause, please contact ASCE Texas Section Executive Director, Cres Guzman, PE, at email@example.com.
In my October 2012 message, I listed a number of goals that I had for this ASCE year. One of these goals was to reactivate the Service, Activities, and Goals Evaluation (SAGE) committee to provide a “sunset” review of Branch operations. I am happy to report that former Branch President, Rich Patrick, PE, has stepped up to the challenge of running this committee. Rich was the chair of the previous committee that provided a report in 2003. His chairmanship for this round will provide background and continuity to help us assess our success or failure to incorporate the recommendations of the 2003 report. I’d like to thank Rich for his leadership and I’m looking forward to hearing the committee’s report.
I hope you’ll be able to attend our May Branch meeting on the 21st. As usual, technical sessions will begin at 11 a.m. and this month our featured speaker will be Dr. Tim Lomax, PE, with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Dr. Lomax has been with the Institute since 1983 and has published numerous reports related to urban mobility. Please join me for what is sure to be an enlightening presentation.
Finally, I’d like to congratulate all of our university students who will be graduating this May. I want to invite all of you to continue your participation in ASCE to realize all that it has to offer young professionals in our industry. Please connect with our active Younger Member Forum to begin your ASCE life after graduation.
Congratulations graduating seniors!