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San Bernardino Retrofit Project

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To whom it may concern:

I have been following the federally funded retrofit project at Cal
State San Bernardino since the beginning of the year.  A full
description of the project?s history is detailed in an article I wrote
for the LA Weekly, located at this site on the web:
I think the recent dialogue within the engineering community
concerning this project is of great interest and value.  With the
project?s ambiguous origins in mind, I?d like to raise the following
issues for discussion.

1. Why is this retrofit project being done at all?  Is there a feeling
that widespread retrofitting of steel moment frames will be needed in
the future?

2. Was SAC in any way involved in the proposal for this retrofit
program?  If not, why not?  I ask because it seems that SAC?s
involvement would have been natural and appropriate, given their
extensive research on the subject.

3. Lincoln Electric spent over $1-million on a lobbying campaign to
obtain the federal funding for this project.  Why would Lincoln do
that?  It seems that this project was a mystery to the entire
engineering community up until a month ago.  Why?  Now that the
project has been funded with taxpayers money, should a private,
profit-making organization have any control over the expenditures?  

4. I note that Leon Panetta (at Lincoln?s behest) testified before a
congressional committee about the safety of steel frame buildings. 
Has Mr. Panetta contacted any of you?  Were any of you invited to give
input on Mr. Panetta?s congressional testimony?  If so, I would be
very interested in seeing the material you suggested.  Was anyone else
in the engineering community invited to be a part of Lincoln?s Seismic
Safety Coalition?

5. According to interviews I conducted in March, the engineering firm
Myers, Nelson and Houghton has been involved with the Cal State San
Bernardino retrofit project from the beginning.  In fact, the firm was
instrumental in deciding which building to use for the demonstration. 
Is their patented MNH connection the best way to retrofit a steel
moment frame? 

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