Constructive Candor

Sharing the Advantages of Hydropower [Infographic]

As humans and residents of the Northwest we've come to rely heavily on power generated by hydroelectric facilities. As energy consultants employing experts who assist in upgrading and maintaining hydro facilities, we are passionate about the benefits they offer. I'd like to share some thoughts I've compiled of the advantages of this industry.

Below are five tips I've summarized to keep in your back pocket if/when you may be confronted by critics.

I've also shared an infographic with some statistics and facts related to hydroelectricity.


Practical Solutions for Saving Lives and Money

Infrastructure demands on our local and state transportation divisions continue to exceed our nation’s financial resources.  Departments of Transportation around the country face the challenges of deteriorating infrastructure, increasing maintenance costs and decreasing budgets.  What’s more, most states have adopted Toward Zero Deaths initiatives, such as Washington State’s Target Zero.  Funds are extremely limited and goals are admirably high.  In this environment it is vital that we maximize our limited transportation dollars and choose projects and design elements that make the most significant difference in keeping our friends and neighbors safe. 

Maximizing safety and performance while minimizing costs is at the heart of our MacKay Sposito Practical Solutions commitment.  Roundabouts are one of the most effective ways of improving both safety and performance, while keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure the intersection design results in cost-effective solutions.


Stop! Read This Before Replacing or Updating Your Hydro Turbines (Part 3)

Updated June 14, 2016

In prior posts, I committed to an ongoing discussion about issues you should consider before replacing or upgrading an existing hydropower turbine. These are challenging projects which will tax even the most savvy operator. I’ve previously tackled the issues of risk management and remote geography. Other topics in this ongoing series will include:


Wear Tennis Shoes (Tip #5 in PI Toolbox)

Successful political campaigns depend on mobilizing people to vote.  According to the US Census Bureau, leaders running for political office shouldn't generally expect more than 60% of the constituents to vote.  So, aspiring politicians with the need to build name recognition among voters must resort to "door belling" -- a  concept I hadn't been introduced to until a couple of years ago when a friend asked me to door bell for a local community leader with political aspirations.  I believed in this leader's message and wanted to help share who he is, what he stands for, and why our neighbors should vote for him.  I door belled for 4 hours and I was exhausted.  I have to confess I can't imagine door belling every day for two to eight hours!  This is the truest form of grassroots politicking and commitment to a cause. 

While I knocked on doors, I met all kinds of people:  those interested in politics, those disgusted by politics, and those who didn't want to talk.  Ringing door bells allowed me to interact directly with my community.  You never knew who would open their door and what story they may be interested in telling if I took the time to listen.  My tennis shoes became an essential tool in completing my task.

In Tip #5 of our Public Involvement Toolbox, I'm going to emphasize the value of door to door stakeholder outreach to gather valuable public input.


The Value of Master Planning

Are you contemplating expansion or new development of your institution or facility?   This can be a complicated effort and I’d like to share with you a few benefits of undertaking a master planning process as an invaluable step in making your growth a reality and less of a headache.

A master plan is more than just a pretty picture.  It is like a roadmap, or GPS, charting the course from the current status of your facility, and routing your aspirations and needs so that you arrive at your final location successfully.  The following are 4 tips that are just a few planning tools I suggest to help guide you through the journey.  

Tip #1: Confirm your FInal Destination - Setting Yourself Up for Success