Showing posts from January, 2014

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CFMA Valley of the Sun Chapter Names Ken Nessler 2014 Arizona Construction Pioneer Award Winner

Each year, VOS CFMA honors an individual that has made significant contributions to the construction industry and the community. As vice president of Sun Valley Masonry, Nessler was selected for the Pioneer Award for his dedication to the masonry industry.
"This award represents individuals who have contributed greatly over a long career in Arizona construction, construction causes, industry education, and giving back to the community," said Jennifer Ayers, chairperson for CFMA's Construction Executive of the Year Committee. "We are pleased to announce Ken Nessler as the recipient."

Nessler's vast experience and knowledge of the masonry industry has facilitated Sun Valley Masonry in securing some of the largest landmark projects in the Southwest. Beginning his career in 1965 as an apprentice bricklayer, Nessler gained invaluable working knowledge as a foreman, superintendent, and field operations manager. Nessler moved his family to Phoenix in 1977 and co…

Ryan: House Will Take up Immigration in Pieces

SAN ANTONIO January 23, 2014 (AP) By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday told Texas business leaders eager for changes to immigration laws that House Republicans will tackle reform in pieces and ruled out negotiations with the Senate on its comprehensive measure. The Wisconsin Republican didn't offer a timetable ahead of next week's GOP House caucus annual retreat, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said immigration will top the agenda. Supporters of an immigration overhaul are renewing hopes that 2014 could bring the first sweeping changes in decades. Ryan expressed optimism at a luncheon hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce but reiterated an insistence among GOP lawmakers that reforms happen piecemeal. "Let's just say it's eight bills — I don't know. These will represent a smart approach," Ryan said. "We don't want to get into a situation where we end up with some big 1,000-page bill…

Legal Pot Now a High Priority Among Contractors

Contractor employees in Colorado and Washington hoping to follow the old adage "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em" and fire up a now-legal joint should know that puts their jobs at risk, even if they do it away from work and on their own time.

Voters in both states legalized private marijuana use in November 2012, and Colorado began retail sales of pot on Jan. 1.

Washington will soon follow suit, with at least five other states—Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona, Kentucky and Florida—reportedly considering legalization. Alaska's OK could come in August.

Still, the message to employees from contractor-employers in Colorado, Washington and other states is "Just say no."

Even the limited personal use of pot, legal or not, runs afoul of the industry's stringent safety and drug-use policies and will likely result in termination—despite the fact that two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of firing employees for off-the-job pot use, according to a Nov. 13 Huff…

Be there or be square!


Fiscal 2014 Spending Bill Has a Mix of Construction Hikes and Cuts

A $1-trillion compromise spending package to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30 provides welcome increases over enacted 2013 levels for some construction programs but cuts others.

The next steps for the bill, which the appropriations committees' chairs—Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.)—released late on Jan. 13, are House and Senate floor votes. Quick passage is expected.

In the key transportation sector, the new bill boosts the federal-aid highway obligation limit by $557 million, to $40.3 billion, tracking the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act level.

The measure provides $600 million for Transportation Dept. TIGER grants, up $101 million from 2013, and freezes Airport Improvement Program construction grants at $3.35 billion. Cathy Connor, Parsons Brinckerhoff senior vice president, says, "Clearly, the TIGER program is a big winner and continues to be an extremely popular program in Congress."

Also scoring an increase is the…

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Economists React: Optimism ‘Shot Down by Disappointing Data’

December’s weak jobs report elicited a mixed reaction from economists. Some blamed weather for the big slowdown in payroll growth, while others say they see evidence that the economy is once again decelerating.
Every stretch of economic optimism eventually gets shot down by disappointing data… December’s numbers are a very real reminder that acceleration in economic growth remains elusive. –Janney Capital Markets Managing Director Fixed Income Strategy Guy LeBas
The weather likely played a role in December’s weakness and, at 6.7%, the unemployment rate is closing in on the 6.5% threshold that was originally intended to signal that the Fed would at least begin to consider raising the fed funds rate. –Capital Economics Chief U.S. Economist Paul Ashworth
Labor market health showed some evidence of faltering momentum…And notwithstanding the improvement in the bottom-line unemployment number, indication on unemployment duration remained elevated —TD Securities Deputy Head of U.S. Research &am…

Finally! A holiday for me & my peeps!

Happy Peculiar People Day!
Date When Celebrated : Always January 10th Peculiar People Day is in honor of uniquely different people. Un-ordinary, extraordinary, unusual, strange, odd, uncommon, intriguing, different, abnormal, and quirky.... These are all things that we think of to describe the word "peculiar". Most of these characteristics can be viewed as good, or not so good. Today is a day to look for the good in your peculiar acquaintances. Peculiar People Day Traditions:
If you are peculiar, this is your day to be honored and appreciated. Chances are, you will find something peculiar about yourself, if you look hard enough. If you can't find anything peculiar about yourself, then give some recognition and appreciation to your quirky friends and family. Origin of Peculiar People Day:
Our research did not discover the origin or the creator of Peculiar People Day. We uncovered some reference defining this day. But, we did not find the originator or the d…

2014 Construction Machinery Forecast

by Frank Manfredi On Jan 6, 2014

The current construction machinery industry is good, not great, and is layered with exceptions. Construction Equipment Distribution, the magazine published by the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), had a cover story entitled “The Do-It-Yourself Recovery.” The point of the article was that everyone has given up looking for the U.S. government to bail them out and stimulate the economy. There has been a lot of rhetoric in Washington, but no action.

Companies involved in the construction segment of the economy have right-sized their businesses — usually by shrinking them — in order to survive. Balance sheets are now in good shape. Equipment fleets have been culled. Key employees were retained in anticipation of the recovery.

There are now stories in the financial and trade press of trade labor shortages slowing down projects. Construction employment is beginning to approach 6 million workers. Employment is an important measure of construction acti…

As you are filling out your 2014 calendar, do not forget......


Bertha’s nemesis: 119-foot steel pipe

By Mike Lindblom Seattle Times transportation reporter State officials revealed Friday that the mystery object blocking tunnel machine Bertha is a long steel pipe, left buried in 2002 by one of the Highway 99 project’s own research crews.

The tunnel drill has been stranded for a month near Pioneer Square, with no clear strategy yet to extract the pipe.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) could not estimate how much time and money it will take to get the world’s largest drill moving again.

Bertha’s cutting teeth struck the pipe Dec. 3, yet the DOT and its contractors avoided mentioning the steel as a possible culprit for four weeks, despite an incident in which the machine knocked a 55-foot pipe fragment to the surface.

What the ongoing delay means for taxpayers is unclear, but it’s certainly not good.

The costs will be determined later through negotiations between the state and Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), maybe even a legal dispute.

Read More:…

The First Constructor magazine issue of the new year is here!

The January/February issue of Constructor magazine is now available online and in print. You can find the digital edition, plus lots of web exclusives, at The latest issue of Constructor is packed with content -- the feature story focuses on safety and reversing the rate of construction fatalities across the country and other articles focus on industry trends in technology and delivery methods to drive growth. The first issue of the New Year also includes the 2014 Service and Supply Buyer's Guide, which is a must-read. Check out the digital edition today.

Economist Caution: Prepare For 'Massive Wealth Destruction'

Take immediate steps to protect your wealth . . . NOW!

That’s exactly what many well-respected economists, billionaires, and noted authors are telling you to do — experts such as Marc Faber, Peter Schiff, Donald Trump, and Robert Wiedemer. According to them, we are on the verge of another recession, and this one will be far worse than what we experienced during the last financial crisis.

Marc Faber, the noted Swiss economist and investor, has voiced his concerns for the U.S. economy numerous times during recent media appearances, stating, “I think somewhere down the line we will have a massive wealth destruction. I would say that well-to-do people may lose up to 50 percent of their total wealth.”

When he was asked what sort of odds he put on a global recession happening, the economist famous for his ominous predictions quickly answered . . . “100 percent.”

Faber points out that this bleak outlook stems directly from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policy decisions, and…