Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

For 53 Years I’ve put up with it now, I must stop Christmas from coming, but how?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

By Mary Ellen Eagan

Several years ago, I invited my husband, David, to opine on the deeper meaning of Rudolph. This was during a time when he’d been spending a LOT of time with our then 7-year old, watching nearly nightly. The post was well received, and I’ve been asking him since to write another. And since he is the Grinch in our family, it seems only fitting that he should respond with this.

 

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Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) as 53 when he wrote “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and he had a car with the personalized license plate: GRINCH. It’s not a stretch to think Ted Geisel saw a bit of himself in the Grinch. So if you occasionally get annoyed at Christmas, you’re in good company. If you don’t occasionally get annoyed at the shallowness, materialism, and consumerism of Christmas, you probably live on a mountain even farther from the rest of us than Mt. Crumpit is from Whoville.

Being an occasional Grinch does not mean you are an evil person; you aren’t even a bad person. Up there on your mountain of superior aloofness, staring down, hating all the Whos, you’re more of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch Zarathustra than Dicken’s greedy Scrooge. The Grinch, after all, has no interest in wrecking the Whos’ Christmas for personal gain; he takes all their goodies just to teach them a lesson. He’s the definition of a killjoy, with his heart two sizes too small. He’s a brother to Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and self-righteous atheist prigs who don’t want to let anyone have any fun or joy that they either can’t or won’t let themselves enjoy. Sam and Richard want to teach us a lesson, too, with no personal gain that I can see (unless, of course, you buy their books).

But sometimes the teacher is the one who gets schooled. The Grinch isn’t completely lost in his own superiority; when he finally does stop to listen to the Whos, he can actually still hear them. It takes him a while – ‘til his puzzler was sore – to work out Who is right and who is wrong (not bad, not evil, just wrong), but he’s not so lost that he can’t change his path. And he’s not so foolish that he doesn’t recognize that he needs to change, even though 53 years of hating Christmas may have left him set in some of his ways. Don’t expect to see the Grinch hanging around Cindy Lou Who’s house like the reformed Scrooge haunting the Cratchit’s. But I think you’ll see him and Max out on the sled a bit more.

The Grinch was right all along about our Christmas. Our Christmas is shallow, consumerist, and materialist. But he was wrong about the Whos’. Their Christmas is none of that; their Christmas means a little bit more. On this, my 53rd Christmas, I wish you the blessings of family, friends, and the Christmas of the Whos.

 

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Figure 1: Why, Santy Claus? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? (Greta at 2)

 

 

ACC 30+ Year Membership

Monday, December 7th, 2015

by Mary Ellen Eagan

 

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This year, ACC undertook an initiative to recognize the many companies that have been long-term supporters of the organization. HMMH is pleased to be one of 15 firms in our industry who have been with ACC for more than 30 years. I believe ACC is unique among the professional organizations in our industry in that it not only provides outstanding technical programs, but is the only association that focuses exclusively on the business interests of firms with airport-related technical expertise. ACC provides strategic insight into the market and legislative affairs, extraordinary opportunities for networking, and a go-to resource for any challenge facing our industry. I am honored to have been elected incoming Secretary/Treasurer for 2016, and look forward to working even more closely with the ACC staff and members.

Pre-Publication Release of ACRP Report 151 – Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

acrp151_report-cover_280HMMH is pleased to announce the pre-publication release of ACRP Report 151 – Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The report, authored by Stephen Barrett, Director of Climate and Energy, and Philip DeVita, Director of Air Quality, focuses on identifying and communicating the inherent benefits of renewable energy as part of the business case analysis. To reinforce its practical application, the Guidebook presents direct experience in renewable energy business case development to show both how those attributes are valued differently by different organizations with different missions, and how this broader renewable energy business experience translates to the airport business. The guidebook reviews the criteria used to evaluate a renewable energy project and presents a system for weighting evaluation factors, including long-term self-sustainability and environmental/social considerations, based on the airport’s particular objectives. It walks through a model business case and evaluates the key factors fundamental in the renewable energy business case. The Guidebook also provides examples of similar renewable energy business cases from both an airport’s perspective as well as other organizations, including an airline, a university, and a hospital, and the lessons learned for airports.

This report was the first ever released by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) in a “pre-publication” format as part of its interest in accelerating the presentation of its research products to the industry, and demonstrates the high-level of confidence in the draft product. The pre-publication version was released in November 2015 and a final edited Guidebook is expected in the second quarter of 2016.

 

 

FRA Releases NEC FUTURE Tier 1 DEIS

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

by Dave Towers, P.E.

HMMH is proud to be a part of the team that prepared the NEC FUTURE Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was released by the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) earlier this week.  NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive plan for improvements to the Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail line from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts and the objective of the Tier 1 EIS is to evaluate the broad environmental impacts of several NEC alternatives. HMMH was responsible for evaluating the potential noise and vibration impacts of these alternatives to residential and other sensitive land uses along the existing NEC and potential new routes.  The noise and vibration analysis was conducted based on the methodology outlined in guidance documents for noise and vibration impact assessment prepared by HMMH for both the FRA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Estimates of noise and vibration levels accounted for passenger and freight rail operations as well as roadway and aircraft traffic in areas along the routes and the results provided estimates of residential populations and sensitive resources within impact zones for each of the alternatives.  After the Tier 1 process is completed, a Tier 2 EIS will be undertaken to evaluate impacts for a preferred alternative in site-specific detail.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Sponsored Internship

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

By Paul Barbaro

Coming into the “real world” from being a college student can be a daunting task. The persistent fear of never being able to find a job that pertains to one’s interests and passions is always looming overhead. However, with countless internship positions available in the workforce it is possible to pursue the career path you would find to be the most suitable. Through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s internship program I was able to connect my passion of the environment and clean energy technologies to a real time position at HMMH.

The process of getting involved with the MassCEC’s internship program was very easy. I appreciated the simplicity which included; submitting your resume and credentials, where you lived and were willing to work, and the particular clean energy interests you had. I released all this information to the MassCEC who then paired me with HMMH because of their firm’s location relative to my home and their work in environmental services.

My time spent as HMMH was very beneficial to my development into a young professional in the environmental and clean energy services field. It has been my first experience having a desk job that requires a lot more of me than a typical part time position. I worked as an intern under the Climate and Energy group at the firm. Some of my responsibilities included researching and attending conferences on various different forms of renewable and/or clean sources of energy. In fact, my main project for the summer was to compose a database of all the large-scaled solar installations (above 1 MW) in Massachusetts. I was also tasked with using my knowledge of G.I.S technologies to compose solar feasibility maps for several different airports in the nation looking to foster clean, solar energy. For a project involving several airports in Rhode Island wanting to incorporate solar power, I was able to take a helicopter ride and view the airports from above with my supervisor. Another task asked of me conducting field work for noise insulation studies at T.F Green airport in Rhode Island. Lastly, I worked with my supervisor to release a memo to Nashville International Airport to help guide them to select a cleaner source of fuel to run their airport shuttle bus fleet off of.

At HMMH, I was able to truly sink my teeth into the clean energy realm. They gave me the tools and opportunities to follow my interests and gain valuable work experience. I cannot thank them and the MassCEC enough for this opportunity. I met amazing people through my time as a MassCEC sponsored intern and feel so much more confident making strides into the clean energy and environmental workforce.

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