||The mystic cords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart... should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion.
– Abraham Lincoln
by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor
Congress Continues Playing 'Kick the Can' for Financing Highway Trust Fund
As I write this, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives approved just a two-month extension for funding transportation projects, again 'punting' on what is one of America's most critical agenda items. After years of stopgap measures, this sets up what could be a defining fight this summer over money for improvements to highways and other infrastructure.
This fiasco has gone on long enough. Congress needs to come up with an agreement on a long-term solution for fixing our transportation infrastructure. It's critical to our economy that House leaders do not punt on this issue again come July 31. The Highway Trust Fund currently supports nearly 6,000 construction projects and 660,000 jobs. For many of these projects, certainty and stability is essential to ensuring the taxpayers receive the best return on their investment.
Incredibly, the last plan expired in 2009 and ever since then the U.S. Congress has been grappling with how to pay for critically needed maintenance and upgrades to roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The situation is that the tax base of fuel taxes is no longer robust enough to cover the many needed projects in America's rapidly failing highway infrastructure. Roadway disrepair has become even more widespread after this past winter's heavy snowfall in the eastern portion of the U.S.
This issue is one that affects the power sweeping industry in a variety of ways: For one, the construction and repair projects would provide a boost to the industry as sweepers are used for support in the roadway rebuilding process. Lesser considered is the increase in sweeper pickup ability and productivity that is gained when roadways aren't uneven, cracked and/or filled with potholes. This latter also speaks to the ability of sweepers to provide effective removal of the small-micron debris that tends to carry the pollutants targeted for elimination from the storm water runoff stream by the EPA.
Tell your legislators that we've been held hostage by stop-gap measures for far too long. Encourage them to work with the 'other side of the aisle' to craft sensible legislation that will end America's slide toward having a third world infrastructure. If you don't know how to contact your Congressional Members – just click here.
On this Memorial Day be sure to honor and thank those who have served your country, wherever you may be. In the U.S. Memorial Day is also the 4th worst day of the year for traffic fatalities. The danger will be made even worse this year because of the even poorer condition of the roadways. Keep a larger-than-usual following distance and don't drive distracted!
As always, if you have any news of potential interest to the power sweeping community, please let us know. Between this publication, the WorldSweeper.com website, and the World Sweeping Association, we'll be sure to get the information passed along to interested readers.
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association
PS If you haven't 'liked' our WorldSweeper Facebook page, what are you waiting for? That's where we offer industry previews and updates on an ongoing basis.
May Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links.)
- Memphis City Workers Caught Using Illegal Dump Site
- Town of Canmore Offers Sweeper Location Notification via GPS
- Celebrating APWA's National Public Works Week; Top Officials for 2015
- Featured Contractor: Allstate Sweeping
- WorldSweeper's Tip Clipboard Gets Two New Additions
- Boston Street Sweeper Operator Caught Drunk on the Job
- Kalamazoo, MI Freight Train Strikes Street Sweeper, May 1907
- Photo Montage of 1968 Geesink/DAF Broom Sweeper + Toy Photos
- Not Exactly Sweeping: ASCE Presents Four-Part Webinar Series "Pathogens in Urban Stormwater Systems"
Memphis City Workers Caught Using Illegal Dump Site
As a result of a local Memphis television station's findings, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is now investigating the City of Memphis illegal dumping, while the city has started an internal investigation of its own.
However, the situation was a major embarrassment to the Memphis Public Works Department, where Memphis Public Works Director, Dwan Gilliam, was quoted as saying, when confronted by the allegations, "This is a very embarrassing situation and it is inexcusable... I can assure you, now that you guys [television reporters] are making us aware of it, we have moved very swiftly to keep it from ever happening again." Within days of the investigation, the illegal dump site was cleaned up and a monitoring camera installed to monitor activity at the site.
Read all about it.
Town of Canmore Offers Sweeper Location Notification via GPS
Those tasked with reducing storm water runoff pollution are in widespread agreement that moving parked vehicles on sweeping days is critical to obtaining the best results. However, political considerations that stem from citizens are still a major deterrent to forced vehicle moving in many locales.
The following story about the Town of Canmore, Alberta, Canada, offers information about how GPS may be utilized to assist outreach to citizens on the topic of sweeper-caused parking restrictions. Includes 13.5-minute audio podcast interview with Canmore's sweeping manager.
Read the article/Listen to the podcast
Celebrating APWA's National Public Works Week; Top Officials for 2015
The American Public Works Association (APWA) kicked off National Public Works Week, May 17 – 23, with the "Low and Slow Across America's Infrastructure Tour" Launch at the Washington D.C. Public Works Fleet Campus.
The Tour, sponsored by APWA and the Engineering News Record (ENR), features best-selling author, Dan McNichol, PhD., who is driving a 1949 Hudson Commodore 8 as a metaphor of the aged condition of U.S. infrastructure. As he drives his from Washington D.C to Los Angeles to assess the condition of infrastructure projects, McNichol will visit with public works departments and, hopefully, find some solutions along the way.
In addition, as it does historically during Public Works Week, APWA announced its selection of the 2015 Top Ten Public Works Leaders. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the Top Ten Public Works Leader award, which is one of the most coveted and prestigious awards presented by APWA. The Top Ten Leaders award program inspires excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals from both the public and private sectors in North America.
Read about it.
Featured Contractor: Allstate Sweeping – Heavy Duty Sweeping With a Women's Touch
Beth Krueger had 18 years of experience in working with the sweeping operation of Browning Ferris, Inc. (BFI). However, knowing that BFI was downsizing, she chose to quit her job there and move to a small, privately held sweeping company called Interstate Sweeping.
Krueger says she performed many of the same types of job functions with that company over the next 7 years and, during the process, learned a lot. Perhaps the most important area of knowledge was how to run a business so as to avoid the major financial problems that Interstate Sweeping had gotten itself into by the early 2000s.
Since founding Allstate Sweeping, LLC in 2002, Krueger and her partner, Beth Hollis, have garnered a fleet of 15 Elgin broom sweepers and a customer list that would be the envy of most any sweeping company, and includes CDOT and RTD. You'll definitely want to read how these two powerhouse women are changing the face of power sweeping in the Greater Denver market area.
WorldSweeper's Tip Clipboard Gets Two New Additions
Do you know the WorldSweeper website has a collection of 100+ tips designed to help sweeper owners and operators? These are a 'must read' for any management team in charge of power sweeping equipment.
We have two new additions recently, one covering an easy and quick way to remove most graffiti. The second discusses the importance of making equipment like backpack blowers visible at night. For these – and 118 other tips and techniques – check out the link. (And be sure to let us know if you have a sweeping tip that you don't see on the list!)
Read them all.
Boston Street Sweeper Operator Caught Drunk on the Job
This past May 24th, a Boston street sweeper operator was allegedly driving drunk – and it was all caught on tape. The incident happened in broad daylight at about 9:30 a.m. in a neighborhood full of families. The street sweeper operator, Steve Schallmo, is facing charges – including driving under the influence – after he knocked a fire hydrant over, which left parts of his sweeper on the street as debris, and somehow left tire marks on the ground from the sweeper.
A Boston news channel, FOX25, obtained the video that caught the entire wild ride on camera. It turns out the sweeper was being operated under contract to the City of Boston by a local-area contractor, American Sweeping. Our story includes a series of comments on this situation by WorldSweeper.com's Editor, Ranger Kidwell-Ross.
Check out the story and the commentary.
Kalamazoo, MI Freight Train Strikes Street Sweeper, May 1907
"By the wreck of a Lake Shore freight at 1:30 one man was killed and one injured, probably fatally. The dead is Abner Wenger, fireman and the probably fatally injured is John N. Brownell, who was in the [illegible] of the city street sweeper. The wreck had peculiar features. The street sweeper was going up Portage street when it was struck by the freight running double-headed.
"When the second engine hit the switch it was derailed, piling up nineteen cars in a picturesque heap. Fireman Wenger was instantly killed. The impact was so great that residents in the vicinity thought an earthquake had occurred. The tracks will be blocked all day, deranging the city street car service and the interurban traffic, as the principle lines run up Portage street. The dead and injured were rushed to hospitals."
So read the dispatch to the Elkhart, Indiana, Daily Review, on May 6, 1907. To read this article, as well as others from our sweeping history archives, use the link below.
Read the article.
Photo Montage of 1968 Geesink/DAF Broom Sweeper + Toy Photos
Many thanks to long-time sweeper aficionado, Frederick Bernard, of Belgium, who provided WorldSweeper with the photos you see here of both the Geesink sweeper on a DAF chassis and those of the toy model that was produced of the machine.
This vintage DAF mechanical broom sweeper – and the toy model that was made of it – offer a snapshot of how the European-built Geesink sweepers on DAF chassis looked circa 1968. Bernard has provided us with more snapshots of sweeper models that will be unfamiliar to most of our U.S.-based readers, just as some number of the U.S. models we regularly feature are unfamiliar to our foreign-based readership. We will include these in future editions of the WorldSweeper newsletter.
Take a look.
ASCE Presents Four-Part Webinar Series "Pathogens in Urban Stormwater Systems"
The single most frequent cause of water quality impairment in the U.S. is elevated fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). FIB-related impairments can have significant and costly implications for local governments, businesses, and watershed stakeholders due to beach closures and total maximum daily load (TMDL) compliance and implementation requirements to address these impairments, in addition to the potential public health impacts associated with elevated FIB.
TMDLs and associated municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) NPDES permit requirements for FIB load reductions pose unique challenges relative to TMDLs for chemical constituents. This four-part webinar series is based on the recent ASCE report, Pathogens in Urban Stormwater Systems. Pay a single site registration fee and an unlimited number of people in your organization can attend at that site. The organizers suggest that you register early since space is limited.
More info and to register. Questions? Call 1-800-548-2723