While it is nice to have an additional day off over the weekend, let us not forget the real meaning behind this holiday. To remember the brave service people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of others. Let us not forget them and take a moment on Monday to remember loved ones, neighbors, and relatives to honor their memory and their selfless act of service.
We here at D.L. Howell would like to say thank you to all active, retired, and fallen military personnel who have served in the United States Armed Forces to protect our freedom and make this country great!
In the world of Civil Engineering, every project is new and unique. That’s the reason why so many of us love what we do. Every day is interesting because each new project brings new challenges. This is especially true lately as we have been faced with challenges that require unique solutions in these unprecedented times.
This past week the first-ever virtual Zoom Planning Commission meeting was held for Uwchlan Township. We were not sure when our project, which includes a three-lot subdivision, would continue after the Coronavirus struck, however, with unique challenges come unique solutions. The Planning Commission members, presenters, and the audience were all present at a safe distance in the comfort of their own home. Utilizing Zoom, a video chat application, our project was able to receive approval and move on to the next phase. Townships are also adapting by allowing electronic submissions so that projects can move forward in the review phase. I know the tree huggers are loving this one! The D.L. Howell office has also adapted by opening our doors to employees and taking all necessary precautions to be safe and keep the projects rolling!
Will these times change how we conduct business even after things clear up? We can’t be sure, but we do know that no matter what challenges come our way, we will always come up with a solution because the show must go on!
This week and next, we all have something to celebrate. What is it? It’s National Nurses Week! National Nurses Week started on May 6 with National Nurses Day. Since 1998, May 8 has been designated as National Student Nurses Day and is celebrated each year. May 8 is also National School Nurse Day, and to top everything off, May 12 is International Nurses Day.
International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12, as Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born on May 12, 1820. Her work helped shape the world of nursing as we know it today. You can learn more about Florence Nightingale here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale
Now that you know about International Nurses Day, you have a few days to prepare to thank a nurse. Send them a text message and let them know how awesome they are or give them a call and thank them for being a nurse and taking care of people in need.
Our current situation is pushing healthcare professionals like nurses to the limits. Now more than ever, it’s important that we show appreciation for all of the nurses out there. Chances are that you have a friend that is a nurse or an acquaintance in the nursing field, so now is your opportunity to give them a little friendly boost and some words of encouragement.
Put the dates on your calendar and remember to thank a nurse for all that they do!
Sound! Add it to the list of deplorables!!!! No, not THAT list of deplorables, the list of deplorables every municipality and neighbor has tucked deep away that they only bring up once I come into town and propose ANYTHING! In case you are not aware of that list, let me bring you up to speed. In no particular order, the list is stormwater, traffic and kids! Stormwater is awful, everything floods out everywhere EVERY and I mean EVERY time it rains. Oh how I enjoy the absolutes. Wish I had a nickel for each time I heard “I don’t care if you are an engineer or not, every time it rains I have a river in my yard!!! Are you going to fix that?“ Try now to picture my inability to hide the, you are a moron, look on my face while I smile and say NO! My second favorite is traffic. Unfortunately, I only get to be a spectator to this sport. But I do love watching my traffic engineer colleagues return volley after volley about how EVERY house in the new community will have ten family members that will all be of driving age, all have cars and all LEAVE and RETURN at the exact same time while the entire community hosts Super Bowl parties and other homes in the community catch on fire and need ambulances. And if not houses, ANY building of any kind will have tractor-trailer drivers coming and going 24 hours a day with back up beepers, pull forward beepers, door opening beepers, etc. Truly, I wish I was making even one part of this up. And lastly, my favorite deplorable…. KIDS! I am amazed at the pure disdain approach taken when someone calculates that EACH house will have ten school-age children that will crush the school system and require the construction of new elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, driving school taxes through the roof and thereby destroying the community.
Fortunately, in a time when we have had the phrase “we need to listen to and follow the science” drilled into our heads, we as engineers have the luxury of following OUR science. Things like stormwater management calculations and traffic studies, as well as fiscal impact studies, have made very easy work of dismissing the above ridiculous arguments that I hear over and over and over again. But now… a new deplorable has emerged onto the scene… SOUND! Most every municipality in the area has had sound ordinances in place for a long time, but it seems recently “sound” is taking a front and center seat to defeat things like bed and breakfasts, gathering venues, etc. Most civilian’s interpretation of sound ordinances is that they have the right to enjoy complete and utter silence while being outside, and ANYTHING you propose will violate their delicate quiet time and thus is not permitted. Of course, their mowing, weed whacking, chain saws, pool equipment, kids running around playing and AC units make no sound whatsoever. Well, as I said above, I have learned over the last seven weeks that we “must follow and listen to the science.” So…. DL HOWELL has now invested in a Sound Level Meter that can measure everything from the slightest whisper to a heavy metal concert. This meter can be constantly calibrated and used to measure sound up close or at a distance. So… for your next project that needs sound measured… keep DL HOWELL in mind. We would love to take measurements of sound at different places along your project boundary and see just how loud or quiet things really are and if the neighbor who HAS an issue may actually BE the issue. Can you hear me now?
Ah! Spring is in the air! Birds are chirping, deer are frolicking, dolphins are in Italy again, and people are… well, hidden and working in their houses for the most part. So I guess you could say cyber love is in the…internet…air, or whatever the new norm is for now? Well, with fewer people on the street, at least less crime must be going on. WRONG! Cyber crime has gone up more than 400% in the past months. Old scam emails used to be as easy to identify as your “boss” asking for your company credit card info, or a Persian prince wanting to send you his vast riches. The truth is that internet scammers have got a lot smarter in recent years, and the current pandemic has only increased the number of cyber attacks.
Internet scammers and hackers are hitting harder now than ever because they know you’re not behind the firewall your company has specifically built for such attacks. Don’t worry, I won’t get into any tech jargon on you, but the gist of it is if any website, hyperlink, or email seems odd, DON’T CLICK ON IT! Think of it like stranger danger, but for your internet access. Hackers are currently making it look like they’re just your local bank, boss, or fellow coworker emailing you, but in all reality THEY’RE NOT! It’s like the internet version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or one of my favorites, “They Live!” When in doubt, reach out to your helpful IT team! As one of the two IT experts (me, less of an expert) here at DL Howell, we have been working tirelessly to make sure our ship is running as efficiently as possible for our engineers and surveyors so that they can meet our clients’ expectations!