Posted by Tom McClellan on Mar 17, 2018
Water, juice, and trains! Oh my!
Meeting Notes of the March 14, 2018
Of the Rotary Club of Clover Park
 
Recorded by David Cotant
Edited by Tom McClellan
 
Call to Order: President Brian Christensen.  Invocation was offered by Riley Wyatt.  The Flag Salute was led ably by Teresa Nye.
 
Guests: Clark Mather, Chris McMeen (sp), and Bill Berry, all from Tacoma Utilities.  Plus! Ingrid Willis and Dan Lashem.
 
Future Programs: 
March 21 – Lakewood Industrial Park,
March 28 – Club Assembly: Pres. Elect Training Assembly report, and get ready for next year.
April 4 – Rep. Denny Heck
 
Announcements:
Heidi Wachter – Rose Sales: About 50 doz. reported sold.  Sign up to visit other Rotary Clubs; If visiting a Tuesday / Wednesday Club, offer to have roses delivered to the club meeting.   Forms are available on the website: www.CloverParkRotary.org.  
 
Rose Trivia Question: David Cotant answering regarding Axel Rose: For what infraction has Axel Rose most commonly been cited by the Police?  Correct Answer:  Drunkenness and Assault.  David got ½ of the answer with lots of help from the club.  Starbucks Coffee Card award.
 
 
President Bryan read a couple of letters.  One was from Sue Potter of Nourish Pierce County (formerly Fish Food Bank), thanking our club for its donation.  The other was from last week’s speaker, Georgia Lomax of the Pierce County Library System.  Georgia had been a Rotarian while living in Montana, and her visit to our club filled her so much with the Rotary spirit that she sent a donation to our club in the amount of $100.00 .
 
Fun and Fines with Gen Ed and Riley:
Joyce Loveday: early leaver $5.00
 
Judy Maier: Birthday
 
Karen Fengler-Nichols: Anniversary #6 ½ (married on Leap Day 26 years ago.) Trip to Florida Keys for 6 days.  $50.00
 
Wachters: Joy Taylor - deferred again, Dave Hall $10.00 + $50.00, Marie Barth $100.00
 
David Cotant: Vitamin D restoration trip to Puerto Vallarta for 14 days. $50.00
 
Teresa Nye: Ran the Lake Sammamish ½ Marathon, then quick trip home to prepare for son’s Lacrosse game and win 10 to 7.  $25.00  [ed. note: Half Marathon races are all the fun, and half the pain of a full one.]
 
 
Bob Lawrence: More Vitamin D restoration; Mazatlán for 2 weeks.  $100.00
 
 
 
This Week's Program:  Tacoma Public Utilities – Power, Water and Rail
 
Speakers: Clark Mather, Chris McMeen and Bill Berry
 
 
Tacoma Public Utilities is 125 years old, and a Public Agency with the 5 member board appointed by the Mayor of Tacoma, and approved by the City Council.  It is supported by the Rate Payers, and not by tax dollars.  Community Value First is the motto. 
 
Electrical Power is provided from Hydroelectric Dams of which TPU has 7 in the area.  50% of the power is from the Bonneville Power Grid, but TPU sells to the grid much of the time and generates income to offset rate payer costs.  TPU has over $1 billion in assets (dams, transmission lines, pipes and etc.), and a $400 million annual budget.  Conservation efforts for all resources are a major effort of TPU.
 
Recreational sites such as camp grounds along the many lakes / reservoirs are maintained by TPU as an offset to the environmental impact of their dams and other facilities.
 
Click Cable and Telecommunications provides Internet for many users in the greater Pierce County area, and helps to keep electrical rates low.  However, a recent law suit ruling said that Tacoma Power rate payers were subsidizing Click Cable, and that had to stop.  Click will be determining how will change Click rates.
 
TPU provides fresh water to Tacoma and much of western Pierce County with 1/3 of customers outside of Tacoma, about 100,000 people.  The Green River is the primary source of water, and a new $186,000.00 Filtration Plant is providing good clean, reliable water.  Groundwater wells along South Tacoma Way are another source, and can be depended upon in case of earthquake and damage to major transit pipes from the river.  Water demand is greatest in the summers, and that is when the river systems are most stressed.  Groundwater becomes a greater resource during these times.  TPU is actively working to control and conserve water, and customers are the main ally in conserving water.  During the summers a great amount of water is used for lawn and landscape watering, and finding ways to limit this necessary use is important.   TPU water is integrated with the surrounding water systems such as Lakewood Water, and cooperation and sharing of resources and information is important to both systems, as reported by Randy Black, Lakewood Water director.
 
Tacoma Short Line Rail has 140 miles of track, serves 68 commercial customers, and has spur lines out to several areas of the county.  Most activity of TPU Short Rail is in the tide-flat area with intermodal transport: moving freight from ships to trucks or other rail, and the reverse.
TPU Rail is working to conserve fuel and limit pollution by several means, including “Idle Reduction” technology for the locomotives, and a System / Locomotive Simulator that reduces the amount of actual locomotive use during training and certification needs. 
 
Challenges:   Declining Wholesale Markets.  Keeping Tacoma a vibrant commercial city.  Climate Change.  Water resources for both Water and Power.   Cybersecurity:  Protecting the systems from hacking and interruption or shutdown. 
 
TPU has a website:  MyTPU.org.  Information re. rates, outages, system updates and etc. are available on the site.
 
Questions: 
Does TPU have a lot of State and Federal regulations of which to adhere?  Not directly, the City of Tacoma imposes all regulations.
 
Did the recent Amtrak derailment have a major impact of Tacoma Rail?  Safety is always a concern for Rail, and that incident simply increased the concern and focus.  TPU is always working with Sound Transit.  Positive Train Control is a big effort and technology, electronics being installed now, and there is a Federal deadline.
 
Have there been Cybersecurity threats or attempts?  Short Answer – Yes.  TPU is always working to comply with Federal rules and developing protection.
 
The Cascadia Subduction Zone is always a concern.  Is TPU working to be ready?  TPU participated in a recent Seismic Activity Workshop, and a lot of work and study is ongoing. 
 
A Mt. Rainier Lahar could be a major disruption.  What is TPU doing to prepare for such an event?  A secondary water pipeline has been built around the Green River source to protect distribution if the Orting Valley pipeline system was wiped out.  Are we working on these expected events? Yes.  Are we ready? NO.
 
Randy Black reported that Chris McMeen and TPU were very open in sharing the information and corrections regarding the recent Lead Contamination of the water supply in Tacoma area schools and how they were dealing with it, so that other agencies didn’t have to reinvent correction efforts.
 
Weekly Raffle:  Dave Hall drew the 4 of Hearts. $5.00
 
 
Adjournment: 1:30 pm
 
 
And Finally…
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day.