July 19, 2012

Otak architect Don Larry has been recognized as an Arizona CultureKeeper for his 25 years of research and documentation of early brass bands and their music during Arizona’s territorial period (1863-1912) both as a historian and brass musician. He is one of the 100 CultureKeepers honored in Arizona for the state’s 2012 Centennial celebration. A euphonium player since the age of 8, Don is the founder of the Territorial Brass, Arizona’s Official Historical Brass Band, which has produced two CD recordings. Don was invited by the Historic Brass Society to speak at their international symposium earlier this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Part of the talk included a section about former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and his boyhood days in 1890s Arizona Territory as the son of an Army bandmaster. Word got out about this portion of the talk, and Fiorello’s granddaughter, Dr. Katherine LaGuardia, contacted Don and asked to watch the presentation. Dr. LaGuardia and her husband attended the symposium as special guests, and Don had the honor of introducing them before an audience of over 150 historians and music academicians gathered from North and South America, Europe and Australia. Don’ presentation was well received, and we are proud to have an Arizona CultureKeeper working in our Tempe office!

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   July 16, 2012

On June 27th, Otak joined officials from the Snohomish School District and the City of Snohomish in celebrating the groundbreaking of the new Snohomish Aquatic Center. The new 53,000 SF Aquatic Center will be built at the District’s Maple Avenue Campus.

The Aquatic Center will include a ten-lane competition pool along with a separate recreational pool that features a lazy river, slides, spa facilities, and a flow rider. The project also will provide extensive site improvements that include new plaza space, 200 parking stalls, an integrated rain garden, and new infrastructure. When complete, the Aquatic Center will be one of the premier aquatic facilities in the Puget Sound.

The project team includes DOWA (prime architect), Otak (civil and landscape), Interface (mechanical and electrical), Water Technology Inc. (pool designer), and KPFF (structural). The groundbreaking was attended by Otak’s Nico Vanderhorst (project manager) and Kevin Kraxberger (project engineer). Lead Otak landscape architect, Mark Shelby, was on vacation at the time riding a flow rider somewhere on the east coast.




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   July 16, 2012

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   July 10, 2012

The Group Health Commute Challenge is a friendly competition to see who can get more people biking to work during the month of May.

 Our team from the Kirkland office – Panic Otak - logged 47 trips for a respectable 672 miles reducing our CO2 emissions by approx. 658 lbs and burning up thousands of calories while having a blast cycling in the gorgeous and scenic Pacific Northwest - Is that why those burgers tasted soooooo good? The Group Health Commute Challenge was a huge success. According to the event's website:

Together, we reduced our region's CO2 emissions by nearly 1.5 million pounds. We also burned a whopping 74,311,558 calories (that's 150,000 cheeseburgers!) and logged 106,408 pedal-powered trips -- about the number of cars that travel on I-5 in one direction during a 24-hour period. Imagine all those empty freeway lanes!

 A huge thank you to the following participants - Keith Bates, Steve Wilson, Josh Christofferson, Danielle Urbany, Bill Lawrence, Stephanie Smith, Ryan Hawkins, Brennan Elder, and Brenda Elder.

Keep on Rolling!


- Submitted by Brenda Elder


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   July 5, 2012

We are pleased to announce that two new employees have joined Otak's Kirkland office!

Darcey Miller has joined Otak as a senior wetland scientist. She brings 13 years of multidisciplinary science experience and has worked on several projects in Washington, California, Montana, and Louisiana. Prior to joining Otak, Darcey worked as a shoreline biologist responding to the BP-oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and for a small planning firm based in Everett, Washington. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and English from Mary Washington College in Virginia.


Jenny Ngo has joined Otak as a planner. Prior to joining Otak, Jenny worked as a Sustainability Policy and Planning intern at the City of Mercer Island, a Commuter Profiles Designer with UW Commuter Services and a Publications and Graphics Designer. Jenny earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego and her Master of Urban Planning and Urban Design Certificate from the University of Washington.


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   July 3, 2012

The Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge project recently won two prestigious awards! The first is a National Steel Bridge Alliance Prize Bridge Award in the Special Purpose category. The National Steel Bridge Alliance has honored outstanding and innovative steel bridges in the US since 1928, and the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge was one of six bridges to receive a Prize Bridge Award this year. The second award is a Project of the Year Award given by the Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association. The project received the award in the category of Structures $5 to $25 million. We are honored to be part of the TYLin team that received both of these awards and thank these organizations for recognizing this project.


To learn more about the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge and Otak’s involvement, please click here.


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