The Wheel September 13, 2018

by Sep 13, 2018The Wheel0 comments

The Wheel

Duane Matters, 9/11 First Responder

Duane Matters is a Nevada Certified Environmental Manager and the Manager of the Environmental Department of the Las Vegas office of a national geotechnical and environmental consulting firm. Before moving to Las Vegas, he was a project manager at AMEC Earth & Environmental (AMEC) where he worked on large-scale environmental projects such as remediation and assessment of artillery and rocket ranges at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod Massachusetts and various CSX Transportation facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Prior to his work at AMEC, he worked for several national and regional environmental firms as a project manager.

Mr. Matters has a Bachelors degree in Geological Science from Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts. He is a Nevada Certified Environmental Manager, Nevada and Utah-licensed Asbestos Consultant and EPA Lead-based Pain Project Designer and Risk Assessor.

While onsite at the WTC from September 2001 through March 2002, Mr. Matters responsibilities included incident command coordination as an EHS and contractor representative at the nightly pre-shift briefing and logistics meetings, ensuring compliance with WTC Site Safety Plan, coordination with subcontractors and incident commanders during recovery operations, updating equipment/material management database, limited oversight of slurry wall drilling operations, Winter Garden stabilization and overseeing a staff of health & safety professionals. Duties also entailed coordinating findings of inspections/observations by OSHA, the New York City Department of Design and Construction, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Liberty Mutual, and other government and contracted agencies and communicating amended work practices to subcontractors. As an “Authorized Photographer” during his months at the WTC, he documented the work progress and the worker’s efforts with thousands of photos. Mr. Matters also salvaged project and miscellaneous paperwork to document the unique aspects of this project required to conduct the rescue efforts, as well as excavation, demolition, and removal of building debris. Some of these photos and artifacts have been shown at the Atomic Testing Museum, to officials of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, and a “pop-up” museum at the Plaza Hotel & Casino during the 10-year “911 Remembrance” activities in Las Vegas.

A special effort has been made in this presentation to not include graphic photographs of victims of the tragedy; however, some people may be sensitive to this disaster.

Message From The President

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I failed to turn on the news. After getting ready for work, I loaded my infant son into the back of the car to drop him off at daycare. I was surprised when my sports radio talk show was a news feed. At first, they were reporting that a plane had accidentally flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings. When the second plane hit my surprise quickly turned to a mix of shock, sorrow, and outrage as I realized that this was not an accident, but a terrorist attack on New York City. I also distinctly remember being thankful that my son was too young to comprehend what was happening.

When I got to work we gathered in a conference room and watched the news. We also surfed news stories on the internet to try and learn as much as we could about the attacks. As we watched the day unfold and the towers fall, we became more and more silent, contemplating the fate of the thousands of innocent people who had been murdered. I didn’t know who we were at war with, but I knew that a state of war existed.

In the weeks and months that followed, I watched as Americans adorned their neighborhoods, towns, and businesses with American flags. I was impressed by how quickly we transformed from a confederation of loosely overlapping interests into a country mobilized for war and
singularly focused on defeating our enemy. During that time I came to understand the impact of Pearl Harbor on our country and what it must have been like in December of 1941. Although almost two decades have passed, my memories of that day and time remain vivid.

We must never forget what happened.
James A. Kohl

Member Highlights

Scribe – September 6, 2018

Las Vegas Rotary Club Meeting: September 6, 2018

  • President Jim Kohl called the meeting to order. Arlene Sirois gave the invocation. Dan Adamson led the club in singing God Bless America, followed by President Jim leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Sergeant at Arms was Michael Williams.
  • There were (0) International Rotarians, (4) visiting Rotarians and (6) Guests of Rotarians introduced.
  • President Jim continues to encourage members to open up their Facebook page and share the LVRC live streaming and web page to spread the word about our club and Rotary
  • President Jim and Jennifer Carlton, a partner with Howard & Howard, presented a check in the sum of $5,000 to Kim Gradisher of the Tyler Robinson Foundation, a pediatric cancer foundation focusing on the unseen costs of pediatric cancer patients and their families, on behalf of Howard & Howard and the LVRF
  • PDG Tom Novotny invited members to attend the 9/11 meeting of the Canyon Gate Rotary Club at the Las Vegas Country Club where the new CCSD Superintendent will be the program speaker; Marie Walsh reminded members the first Breakfast With Books is 9/11 at Becker ES; Kirk Alexander reminded members Bracken ES is looking for volunteers for Nevada Reading Week during the week of Sept 10-14; Deb Granda reminded members about the sale of raffle tickets for the LVRF fundraiser, with $14,000 in sales to date, and the upcoming Shakespeare Festival scheduled for 9/7-9/8, and the Friday night dinner and Saturday cocktail party; President Jim announced the highway clean up and ‘after party’ at the home of Jerry Sennes is scheduled for 9/22; PP Randy Donald reminded members the Cigar Social will take place on 10/5 at Tom Krob’s home, $10/PP; 25 Club President Luci Parodi reminded members of the Annual Canned Food Drive is coming and shared that the small can table décor for ‘extra pocket change’ is always welcome and $551 has already been collected
  • The weekly drawing began at $2,472 plus this week’s donations. The Ticket Winner was Sidra Kain, who received a prize of $10, and the Lawry’s Bucks Winner was Annee Nounna. An added bonus of a copy of the book ‘The Cristo Rey Story”, donated by our speaker, Dan Schwarz, was won by Dan Adamson
  • President Jim introduced our program speaker, Dan Schwarz, who provided the background of the Cristo Rey School, a college prep school, with 35 progressive, amazing schools currently around the USA, changing education for children in low-income neighborhoods, and the statistic that every senior graduated from 34 schools in 2017. Mr. Schwarz announced that the Clerics of St Viator are back teaching in So. Nevada and a Cristo Rey School is being built in North Las Vegas, expected to open August 2019, explaining the 4 day classroom/5th day work program (with the goal of teaching students basic office skills), the school’s dependence on corporate sponsors, and how the work-study program helps pay the costs for the education of each student
  • President Jim presented our speaker with a “Share What You Can” award to benefit a veteran in need and then adjourned the meeting.

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