February 2017 Print

President's Report

For the month of February, I want to focus on four main points:
1) Volunteer Opportunities 
2)  Dream Big IMAX Movie
3) Golze Scholarship Program
4) ASCE Conferences.

Volunteer Opportunities:

This month, Sacramento Section members can participate in numerous activities by helping with a Resume Workshop at Chico State,  welcoming K thru 12 students at the Dream Big showing (see below), becoming a competition judge at the annual 2017 MidPAC conference and/or joining the Infrastructure Reportcard team by helping grade the state of our regions infrastructure condition. 

Dream Big IMAX Movie:

During Engineer’s Week on February 23, the ASCE Sacramento Section will sponsor the debut of Dream Big, an IMAX movie created by ASCE. Before the showing, there will be fun activities, networking opportunities and information booths from 5:30 - 7 for K thru 12 students,. We need volunteers to help welcome the students. If you are interested, please contact Guy Hopes at guy.hopes@erm.com. Tickets to the showing must be purchased in advanced, please click here to purchase online

My words cannot do this film justice, so I’ll simply provide a link to watch the trailer and an excerpt from the Dream Big website: "All around the world, engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity and innovation in unexpected, imaginative, and amazing ways. Dream Big: Engineering Our World, a giant-screen film about engineering, will take viewers on a journey of discovery from the world’s tallest building to a bridge higher than the clouds. Along the way, the audience will witness how today’s engineers are shaping the world of tomorrow."

Golze Scholarship:

The impact of the Golze Scholarship program within the region is tremendous and made possible with the generous support from our members. The Golze committee’s goal is 100% participation from the Sacramento Section; any dollar amount will be greatly appreciated. I thank those that continue to, and those that will, support this noble effort. The deadline for students to apply for the Golze Scholarship has been extended to Saturday, February 11. We are hoping to break our record of 17 winners from last year. Please click here to make a donation online or send your donation to ASCE Sacramento Section, PO Box 2402, Granite Bay, CA 95746. 

ASCE Conferences:

ASCE provides leadership, training, and resources to help each chapter thrive.  Last January 13-15, over 30 engineers from the Sacramento Section attended the Multi Regional Leadership Conference in Los Angeles.  Representatives attended from all four Sacramento Section student chapters, the YMF, Capital Branch, Feather River Branch, Central Valley Branch, and Section Board.  A summary of the conference benefits and photos can be found here.


Elias Karam, P.E., M.ASCE
Sacramento Section President 2016-2017 

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Calendar of Events

GI & CalGeo Joint Meeting

Topic: Geotechnical Engineering at Kennedy Space Center
Blue Prynt Restaurant & Bar
815 11th Street
Sacramento, CA

CSU Chico Resume Workshop

University Outreach Opportunity
CSU Chico - Langdon Engineering Center
400 W. First St. Room #302
Chico, CA

CSUS Stormwater Lid Tour

February 08, 2017
RSVP Required
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA

EWB Chapter Meeting

All Welcome
Carollo Engineers
2880 Gateway Oaks Drive 300
Sacramento, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

Topic: California WaterFix
The Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

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Call For Nominations - Project Awards


It's that time of year again to nominate the most outstanding projects of the year. Projects that have completed construction within the Sacramento Section geographic area are eligible for consideration. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION IS FEBRUARY 24, 2017.


The categories of projects include: Airports & Ports, Bikeways & Trails, Community Involvement, Energy, Flood Management, Historical Renovation, Road & Highway, Structural, Transportation, Water, Architectural Engineering, Bridge, Construction, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical, Parks & Recreation, Small Project (under $5M), Sustainable Engineering, Urban/Land Development, and Wastewater Treatment.

The winners will be recognized at the Project Award Banquet on April 11, 2017.  If you have any questions, please contact Senior Director, Kyle Dushane at kdushane@sageengineers.com.

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Dream Big Film Screening

 ATTENTION: No tickets will be sold at door. Click anywhere on the below flyer to order your tickets online. 

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MRLC Conference Recap


ASCE provides leadership, training, and resources to help each chapter thrive. On January 13-15, 2017, over 30 engineers from the Sacramento Section attended the Multi Regional Leadership Conference in Los Angeles.  Representatives attended from all four Sacramento Section student chapters, the YMF, Capital Branch, Feather River Branch, Central Valley Branch, and Section Board.  After returning to Sacramento, I asked everyone to reflect on their experience and answer a few questions.  I received some great answers.  The questions and responses are as follow: 

Q. What was the biggest benefit of attending the conference and the Sacramento Section Dinner?

  • Networking with the extraordinary and motivated students and professionals.
  • Collaboration with other members (both inside and outside of your region/ section/ branch), which helped highlight my chapter’s strengths and pointed out areas for improvement.

Q. What new tools/resources within ASCE did you discover at conference?

  • Becoming a “Key Contact” to advocate for infrastructure at all levels of government.
  • ASCE has an online speaker’s bureau that has speakers available for talks.
  • The ASCE National Report Card will be released on March 9 and will have a webinar to explain the results.
  • ASCE Collaborate – This website is coming soon, and it will be like LinkedIn for ASCE members.
  • ASCE Foundation has funding for anniversaries and supports other fundraising efforts.
  • ASCE Foundation provides grants to local chapters.

Q. What was one thing you learned that you can immediately apply to your local chapter? 

  • Sponsorship for monthly luncheons
  • Contact Central Valley Branch for a practitioner advisor and funding for the 2018 MidPac (hosted by Sac State and Pacific)
  • Collaborating with other volunteer groups like “Habitat for Humanity” to build houses
  • How friendly and willing YMF members are to help student chapters
  • The advertisement of events like this. Knowing firsthand the benefits and knowledge this conference has given, letting passionate people know about these events would be beneficial in giving future ASCE members the resources to be the best they can be.



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Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J St
Sacramento, CA 95811
11:30 AM Networking
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and Presentation

Topic: California WaterFix
Speaker: Sergio Escobar, P.E., Department of Water Resources

Registration Link:  http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ndd6x9pab&oeidk=a07edrupvpl08afe1ba


The presentation provides a summary of the conceptual engineering completed for the California WaterFix (CWF) and an update on the current status of CWF.  The CWF will make physical improvements to the state’s 50-year old water delivery infrastructure.  The new system will improve, protect and maintain: ecosystem health; water quality; and water supplies so that the SWP and CVP are capable of reliably delivering water within a stable regulatory framework.  The current system is outdated and unreliable, and dependent on levees that put clean water supplies at risk from earthquakes and sea level rise.

About the speaker:

Mr. Escobar has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and over 26 years of experience in the design and construction of civil water infrastructure projects, including over 19 years at the supervisory and managerial levels.  

Sergio is currently the Conveyance Office Chief and leading the Department of Water Resources activities for the technical work associated with the improvement of water conveyance in the Delta.  Sergio provides oversight, technical guidance, and functional supervision of multi-disciplinary staff.  He is a member of the Design and Construction Enterprise which is charged with planning and implementing the efforts of the California WaterFix project facilities.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn. 

The Capital Branch has started a Group Page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area. To join the group page go to http://goo.gl/iG6aD6

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Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch, please contact Rhett Kilgore at rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com.


We had a speaker meeting in January and welcomed Hans Stadem of Cemex to discuss optiizing concrete pavement and overlay design for parking lots and local streets and roads.  The following is a summary of what was covered.  

Concrete is a durable, environmentally beneficial, and long-term cost effective solution for parking lots and roads, both new and old. But why is it not used as widely in California? CalTrans and AASHTO designs are typically used but over design non-highway pavements. This presentation covered the design of concrete pavements and overlays using the ACI 325/330 method and how to optimize a concrete pavement to meet project requirements and save your client money. This also covered the environmental benefits of concrete and how the use of concrete pavements can give you LEED points, lower CO2 emissions, and increase safety. We covered technical aspects, case studies and possible costs associated with these new design methods. 

Hans Stadem is a Paving Solutions Engineer working for Cemex, a worldwide provider of cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete. Agencies are having difficulty with the growing budget required to keep up with roadway maintenance and finding the funds to build new roadways. Mr. Stadem provides cost-effective, long-term, environmentally beneficial, and durable concrete pavement solutions to these problems. From cradle to grave, he provides optimized pavement designs, life-cycle cost analysis, and placement recommendations for concrete pavements for projects of all shapes and sizes. Mr. Stadem holds an MS in Civil Engineering with a geotechnical engineering emphasis from Virginia Tech and a BS in both Ocean Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rhode Island.

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Feather River Branch Activities

We proudly announce our new officers for 2017. 

President: Jim Richards jim.richards@prodigy.net
Vice President: Clay Slocum clay.slocum@cncement.org
Treasurer: Kirk Koestero Koester@northstareng.com
Secretary: Paul Pecko ppeck@northstareng.com

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Jim Richards at jim.richards@prodigy.net, or 530-762-9464.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at sgoodwin@vestra.com.

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Sustainability Committee

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Geo Institute (GI)


Wednesday, February 8
Blue Prynt Restaurant, 815 11st St., Sacramento, CA 
6:00 - 7:00 Social Hour
7:00 - 7:30 Dinner
7:30 - 8:30 Speaker & Questions
Register Here: http://aegsacto.org/meetings/events/signup/index.php


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Younger Members Forum (YMF)


WRYMC was an excellent experience for all the members of the Sacramento YMF. Multiple events and seminars put each of the members in the driver seat of the future of ASCE. Leadership was an ongoing theme with lectures from professionals like President Elect Kristina Swallow and President Norma Jean Mattei. There were many roundtable discussions and presentations on professionalism, networking, event planning and community outreach. Collaboration was also a central theme not only between other Younger Member Groups but within our own Section. We were fortunate enough to take part in the 2nd Annual Sacramento Section Dinner and meet with ASCE leaders of the local universities (CSU, Chico, CSU, Sacramento, UC Davis, and University of the Pacific), university faculty, the Capital Branch, the Sacramento Section, and Region 9. The event awarded PDHs for those who took part in the sessions and finished with a grand awards banquet where attendees dined next the famed Space Shuttle Endeavour. All members are encouraged to reach out to their local YMF and get involved - 2018 WRYMC in Las Vegas is just around the corner.


Spring 2017 8 HR, Survey, and Seismic Exam Classes
Sacramento State University
Signup here: http://sacymf.org/index.php/pe-review-course-overview
If you have any questions please email:  pereview@sacymf.org

8 HR Classes - January 25th thru March 15th
Survey Review Classes - Weekends of February 11th and 12th
Seismic Review Classes - Saturdays starting February 25th thru March 18th



California State University, Chico is hosting the 2017 Mid-Pacific Regional ASCE Student Conference on April 20th-22nd, 2017.  Chico State is currently seeking volunteers to be judges at the conference for these various competitions such as water treatment, water research, concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, MEAD Paper and Geo Wall. If you are interested in being a judge, please contact Lauren Pitcher at 916.955.7662 or midpac2017.chico@gmail.com. Chico State appreciates your consideration and support. 

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Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI)


Environment, water resources, and climate are frontline topics for ASCE’s 2017 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress coming to Sacramento May 21 - 25, 2017. Interest in the international event is running high. More than 300 technical sessions were proposed which was nearly twice the available capacity. The sessions, designed to highlight the Congress theme, Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment, are organized to cover broad areas of professional practice and development. There are topics of interest for every career stage from students, to new professionals, to history and heritage.  REGISTER HERE  

TECHNICAL TOURS showcasing solutions to California’s most significant and challenging water resources issues are planned (subject to change): 

• Folsom Dam

• EchoWater Project

• State-Federal Joint Operations Center

• Yolo Bypass Flood Structures

• Freeport Regional Water Project Intake Facilities 

A MAJOR NETWORKING EVENT is scheduled for the California State Railroad Museum. We’ll have this world-renowned museum to ourselves for an entire evening. You and your colleagues will enjoy refreshments while exploring railroading history and wandering through amazing displays of vintage railcars and “big iron.”

Preparation for the 2017 Congress is in high gear. The Steering Committee of local professionals, led by Congress Chair, David Curtis, WEST Consultants, is hard at work creating a stellar conference experience for attendees. Chris Dunn, USACE HEC, and Brian Van Weele (Ret.) are the Technical Program Co-Chairs. David Ford, David Ford Consulting Engineers, is leading the Sponsorship/Exhibitors effort. The Workshop Chair is Mike Anderson, CA DWR. Our Local Arrangements Chair is Rich Juricich, CA DWR. Om Prakash, WEST Consultants, is ASCE Chapter Coordinator, and University Coordination is led by Colleen Bronner of UC Davis.

For more information about the 2017 Congress and program, check out the website at: http://www.ewricongress.org/ or contact Congress Chair, David Curtis (dcurtis@westconsultants.com), ASCE Chapter Coordinator and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch, Om Prakash (oprakash@westconsultants.com). 

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesday, Feburary 15
6:00 pm
Carollo Engineers
2880 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833


The UC Davis EWB chapter is looking for technical mentors for two of their project teams. Please see the information below from the UC Davis chapter.

Indonesia Project 

The Indonesia Project is working on an alternative water distribution system to give the community of Dusun Sogra in Bali, Indonesia a reliable access to clean water during the dry seasons. It is a newly started project that may travel on an assessment trip as soon as the summer of 2017. Currently, our application for this new program is being reviewed by the nationals and the team is already planning ahead in preparation for the assessment trip next year. Feel free to reach Anindito Wibowoputro at awoputro@ucdavis.edu

Bolivia Project

The community we will be working with is named Choquecoa- Parque Colani, located in southeast Bolivia and approximately 150 km from the capital, La Paz.

We knew about this project via an NGO, Engineers In Action and our student chapter is very keen about pursuing this project. The community wants to have sanitary latrines accessible to every home in order to increase their access to basic sanitation. The type of latrines proposed by the community are ecological latrines. Ecological latrines use a minimum amount of water to prevent pollution by separating the urine and the feces, recycling untreated urine for agricultural purposes, and treating the feces underground for compost. They allow for the reuse of waste as resources for agriculture in the local community. Feel free to reach Manesha Thiyaga Rajan at mthiyaga@ucdavis.edu

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Call For Volunteers - Infrastructure Report Card Update


Call for Volunteers/Graders: 
Are you ready to GRADE Your Infrastructure?


The goal is to publish and release the ASCE Sacramento Section Infrastructure Report Card in 2017. Several passionate professionals have joined hands in the past to complete this gigantic task of grading. If you are one among those passionate professionals/leaders and ready to contribute for the overall societal benefit, then come join hands in this judgment. To volunteer, please email Dr. Om Prakash your preferable interest category, your expertise, and contact information as requested in the sample below.  

For additional information, please contact Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.E., QSD, M.ASCE, Chair of ASCE Sacramento Section Infrastructure Report Card and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch at oprakash@westconsultants.com. In addition, please help us get the word out by passing this information to your colleagues and inviting them to participate in this important effort.

For more information on ASCE America’s Infrastructure Report card: 

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Continuing Education


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal


Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2125/c/79 Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.


On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2135/c/79. Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

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2017 CA Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner


Matt Kennedy
Region 9 Governor and Awards Committee Chair

The 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner will be held at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Friday March 31, 2017. The event is a partnership between the Los Angeles Section and ASCE Region 9. The Symposium will be an all-day event that is typically attended by engineers, educators, elected officials, professionals and the general public. The Symposium will be primarily comprised of two infrastructure tracks with the following topics: 

Transportation Track

  • Rail and Transit – Bringing High Speed Rail to Southern California, Los Angeles Metro and Metrolink
  • Sustainable Ports – Overview of Southern California’s Ports and their Sustainable Development Programs
  • Transportation Funding – Sales Tax Measures and Perspectives from Caltrans, the CTC, the State Assembly and Senate
  • Hot Topics in Transportation – Self Driving Cars, Los Angeles Transportation Challenges, andTransportation and the NFL LA Rams Stadium

Water Track

  • Strengthening Local Drought Resilience – Urban Water Conservation, Statewide Water Use Efficiency Guidelines, and Los Angeles Water Challenges
  • Indirect and Direct Potable Water Use – Metropolitan Water District’s Long-Term Vision, Indirect and Direct reuse in San Diego and Large Scale Indirect Reuse in Orange County
  • Safe and Reliable Water Supply – Water Supplies for Disadvantaged Communities and Small Scale Assistance Programs
  • Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Water Supply Infrastructure in the 22nd Century

Speakers from many agencies across California will be involved, including the California High Speed Rail Authority, Metrolink, Port of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, State Regional Water Quality Control Board, Google, and the State Legislature.  I hope that many of you reading this will save the date and plan to attend this event.

The Symposium will be immediately followed by a networking reception and a very special IMAX theater showing of the new ASCE movie “Dream Big: Engineering Wonders of the World”. 

The Annual Region 9 Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion in Los Angeles, home of the space shuttle Endeavour!  Outstanding projects and individuals in Region 9 will be presented with awards in this amazing venue.  Several past Region 9 Project Award nominees have gone on to be considered for, and win, the ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award at the National level OPAL awards ceremony.  For the third year in a row, one of the five projects being considered at OCEA is from Region 9: The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project in San Diego.  Well done Region 9 and San Diego Section!  And good luck to all the nominees on March 16, 2017 when the 2017 OCEA Award winner will selected in Arlington, Virginia. 

Each year, the many members and individuals who form the foundation of the ASCE Sections, Branches, Institutes, Younger Member and Student chapter groups in Region 9, take the time to recognize the outstanding projects and the selfless efforts of their peers, who contribute to the growth and evolution of the civil engineering profession, and the improvement of the infrastructure we all depend upon.  Each group’s annual awards program nominates and recognizes praiseworthy individuals and projects within their geographic areas.  Each Section’s award winners (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles) are then nominated up to Region 9, in October each year.  Region 9 then recognizes about 21 outstanding projects and 15 exceptional individuals from across the State of California the following March, during the annual Awards Dinner Ceremony following the California Infrastructure Symposium. 

Last year, which was my first year as the Region 9 Awards Committee Chair, I described how very fortunate I have been to be involved in the recognition of so many outstanding individuals and projects at the many levels.  It is a heart-warming experience, and one the recipients never forget.  Now in my second year as the Awards Committee Chair, and first year as a Region 9 Governor, I am excited once more to continue the mission of raising awareness of our nation’s infrastructure issues, and recognizing individual member efforts through the Region 9 Awards Program.  An important milestone achieved in 2016 was the alignment of the Sections’ and Region’s awards programs, and for the first time in 2017 all award nominations will be made through a new online submission system established for each Section.  I am very proud of the tremendous progress the Sections and Region 9 have made in improving and modernizing the awards programs; they have become a shining example to the other ASCE sections and regions. This year, Region 9 received 115 noteworthy nominations for projects and individuals from civil engineering professionals, agencies and companies!  Your 2017 nominations are welcome and encouraged!  You will find a web link to access each Section’s online nomination form on their respective section websites as their awards programs roll out in 2017. 

For more information and to register for the 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony, please bookmark the California Infrastructure Symposium website at http://www.cais17.org, the Los Angeles Section website at www.ascelasection.org, or the NEW Region 9 web site at http://regions.asce.org/region9/.  We look forward to seeing all of you in Los Angeles on March 31st!

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The Legislature convened its 2017-2018 session on December 5, 2016. The special transportation session called by Brown two years ago expired at the end of November without any measure being approved.

Voters in November picked nine new State Senators and 22 new State Assembly members. Additionally, Democrats in both Houses reached the rare two-thirds super-majority representation with 55 Democratic members in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate.

Following the end of the 2015-16 Special Session on Transportation & Infrastructure that concluded without enacting a transportation funding and reform package, legislative leaders and the Governor committed to transportation stakeholders that they would make it a priority to address California’s chronic road and highway repair backlog early in the upcoming session. 

The chair persons of each House’s transportation policy committee – Senator Jim Beall and Assembly Member Jim Frazier – separately introduced transportation funding proposals (SB 1 and AB 1 respectively) designed to repair and maintain the state highways and local roads, improve trade corridors, and support public transit and active transportation.

Both $6 billion/year proposals, like the proposals that preceded them in the 2015-2016 Special Session, include a combination of new revenues, additional investments of Cap and Trade auction proceeds, accelerated loan repayments, Caltrans efficiencies and streamlined project delivery, accountability measures, and constitutional protections.

Other new Legislation

AB 28 (Frazier) would reinstate the states consent to the jurisdiction of the federal courts about the compliance, discharge, or enforcement of the responsibilities it assumed as a participant in the US DOT surface transportation project delivery pilot program.

AB 65 (Patterson) would exclude from payment to the Transportation Debt Service Fund the debt service for the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century (Proposition 1A of 2008).

AB 66 (Patterson) would require the business plan of the High-Speed Rail Authority to identify projected financing costs for each segment or combination of segments of the high-speed rail system, if financing is proposed by the authority. 

SB 3 (Beall) Would enact the Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018, which, if adopted, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $3,000,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law. Proceeds from the sale of these bonds would be used to finance various existing housing programs, as well as infill infrastructure financing and affordable housing matching grant programs.

SB 4 (Mendoza) Would, subject to voter approval at the June 5, 2018, statewide primary election, enact the Goods Movement and Clean Trucks Bond Act to authorize $600,000,000 of state general obligation bonds to be used for a variety of purposes. 

SB 5 (De Léon) Would enact the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in an amount of $3,000,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all program.

Governor’s Appointments

To the California Public Utilities Commission Martha Guzman Aceves, of Sacramento, who has been a deputy legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011, focusing on natural resources, environmental protection, energy and food and agriculture. 

To the California Water Commission Catherine Keig of Pasadena. Keig was interim exposition park manager at the California Science Center in 2014 and director of Southern California activities in the Office of the California State Senate President pro Tempore from 1992 to 2011. 

Brown made several Regional Water Quality Control Board appointments:

Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board Lars Seifert of Imperial. Seifert has been an environmental health services manager at the Imperial County Public Health Department since 2008, where he was an environmental health specialist from 2006 to 2008. Thomas Davis of Rancho Mirage, has been reappointed, he has served since 2007. Davis has served as chief planning and development officer for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians since 1997. He was a senior associate at David Evans and Associates Inc. from 1995 to 1997 and held several positions at Tierra Planning and Design from 1983 to 1995, including principal, co-owner and president.

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Raji Brar of Bakersfield. Brar has been owner and operator at Countryside Market and Restaurants since 2003. Daniel Marcum of Fall River Mills. Marcum has been a farm advisor emeritus at the University of California Cooperative Extension since 2013, where he was a farm advisor from 1976 to 2013.

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Monica Samaniego Hunter of Los Osos, (reappointed, she has served since 2005). Hunter has been director of research at PAST Foundation since 2007. She was central coast watersheds program manager at the Planning and Conservation League Foundation from 2004 to 2012, an instructor at the Napa Valley College Social Sciences Department in 2003 and a research assistant at the California Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program from 2000 to 2003.

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board Robert Keith Dyas of Rosamond, has been reappointed to the, where he has served since 2004. Dyas has been an engineer at Reserve Systems Inc. since 2013. 

Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board James Famiglietti of Sierra Madre. Famiglietti has been senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the California Institute of Technology since 2014. Famiglietti was a professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences from 2001 to 2016 and at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Geological Sciences from 1994 to 2001. Cynthia Guzmán of Los Angeles. Guzmán has been a senior associate at Estolano, LeSar, Perez Advisors since 2015, where she has held several positions since 2012, including associate and research analyst.

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Hector Bedolla of Healdsburg. Bedolla has been vineyard manager at North Pacific Vineyard Management since 2016. He was a crop advisor and agronomist at Crop Production Services from 2013 to 2016 and vineyard and ranch manager at Stuhlmuller Vineyards from 2011 to 2013. Geoffrey Hales of Eureka, has been reappointed, where he has served since 2006. Hales has been a geologist at McBain Associates since 2001. He was a geologist for Kleinfelder Inc. from 1999 to 2001, at Busch Geotechnical Consultants from 1995 to 1999 and at the U.S. Geological Survey in 1995. 

Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board Lana Ong Peterson of Orange. Peterson has been senior public affairs representative at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center since 2012, where she was senior communications specialist from 2010 to 2012. Daniel Selmi of Newport Beach. Selmi has been a professor of law at Loyola Law School since 1983. He served as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1976 to 1983 and as a law clerk for the Honorable Manuel L. Real at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1975 to 1976. William Von Blasingame of Irvine, has been reappointed, where he has served since 2013. Von Blasingame has been a member of the finance committee of the OneOC Board of Directors since 2011. He was senior vice president and general manager of Caribbean Operations at Mirant Energy Company from 2005 to 2007 and held several positions at Edison Mission Energy from 1986 to 2005, including vice president and chief financial officer of the Asia Pacific Region.

San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board Jayne Battey of Half Moon Bay. Battey has been facilitator for the Women in Business Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2013 and owner at Miramar Farms since 2012. She was director of land and environmental management at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 2009 to 2012, where she was a land planner from 1983 to 1988. 

Recent Reports 

The National Drought Resilience Partnership released Report to the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. “Since 2012, significant portions of the country have experienced extreme to exceptional drought conditions, challenging the viability of agricultural production, impacting drinking water supplies, jeopardizing the integrity of critical infrastructure, increasing energy costs, harming ecosystems, and causing extensive economic and health impacts. On March 21, 2016, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing Federal agencies to build national capabilities for long-term drought resilience. The President tasked the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) to work collaboratively to deliver on a Federal Action Plan including six goals and 27 associated actions to promote drought resilience nationwide…. This report highlights accomplishments against the President’s Action Plan and provides an overview of some of the Administration’s work on drought response since 2009.”

The U.S. Geological Survey released Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms and U.S. Geological Survey Science Capabilities. “Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) are increasingly a global concern. CyanoHABs can threaten human and aquatic ecosystem health; they can cause major economic damage. The toxins produced by some species of cyanobacteria (called cyanotoxins) cause acute and chronic illnesses in humans…. Economic damages related to cyanoHABs include the loss of recreational revenue, decreased property values, and increased drinking-water treatment costs. Nationwide, toxic cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in at least 43 states. In August 2016, at least 19 states had public health advisories because of cyanoHABs.” 

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

The specifications for a project involving below ground construction should include whatever information the owner has about subsurface conditions so that the bidding contractors all have the same access to knowledge of conditions that will affect the cost of the work and the bids. The specifications may also include some disclaimer provisions seeking to place the entire responsibility for determining the actual conditions on the contractor. Often the specifications will seek to tell the contractor that notwithstanding the information given in the plans and specifications about subsurface conditions, the contractor should not rely on what was shown and that he should be free to go to the site and perform as much pre-bid subsurface investigation as is necessary to determine the actual conditions that will be encountered. Finally, since the contractor could be made responsible for pre-knowledge of all subsurface conditions, the contract may state that no additional payment arising from subsurface conditions differing from the contractor's expectations will be allowed.

In a case where a contractor was required to constructed a series of drilled piers to stabilize a hillside, a public entity owner sought to avoid any responsibility for subsurface conditions that were different from that which was anticipated based upon information provided to the bidders by the owner. The contract provided that it was the sole responsibility of the contractor to evaluate the job site and make his own technical assessment of subsurface soil conditions for determining the proposed drilling process, equipment and make his own financial impact assessment prior to bidding. The contract further provided that the owner made no guarantees for the accuracy of the soil report, findings or recommendations and that the owner would make no additional compensation or payments, nor would it accept any claims if the subsurface soil conditions were different than that assumed by the Contractor.

The contract stated that it provided the soil boring information for the “purpose of determining what type of rock may be encountered" and so that the bidders may be supplied with the information for the purpose of assessing the costs of the project. The clear meaning of the contract language was that the very purpose of the information provided was to assist the contractor in making a bid.

Substantially harder rock was encountered that indicated in the information supplied by the owner. The contractor requested additional money and the owner refused, citing the disclaimer language of the contract A lawsuit resulted.

The owners position in the lawsuit was that because of the disclaimer language in the contract, the contractor was fully responsible for whatever conditions that were encountered. The Appellate Court disagreed and held that the contractor should be paid the added costs. In it's decision the Court noted that the Legislature in passing the Public Contract Code, used the word "indications" as referring to information "from which deductions might be drawn as to actual conditions" and that the law established as the public policy of California, that a contractor may draw reasonable deductions from the "indications" in a contract of the subsurface conditions that might be found at the site. The information provided to the bidders clearly qualified as sufficient “indications” under the California Public Contract Code and the contractor was compensated.

Special care must be taken if the soils information provided is not intended to be relied upon by bidders and and there is disclaimer language in contract.

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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Elias Karam elias.karam@jacobs.com 209-481-6857
President Elect   Adam Killinger adam.killinger@crawford-inc.com 951-265-5289
Senior Director  Kyle Dushane kdushane@sageengineers.com 916-677-4782
Junior Director Tony Quintrall anthony.quintrall@aecom.com 916-993-7616
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell fellb@csus.edu 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih treasurer@asce-sacto.org 916-679-8864
Past President Louay Owaidat louaywaidat@gleis.com  916-462-6420
Executive Director Marie Silveira marie.silveira@jacobs.com   916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Guy Hopes guy.hopes@erm.com 707-685-3015
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  jayhiggins896@gmail.com  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Megan LeRoy megan.leroy@kimley-horn.com 707-291-5629
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia marlenetobia@att.net 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss asce@asce-sacto.org 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Dr. Om Prakash oprakash@westconsultants.com  916-802-6140
Central Valley Branch Rhett Kilgore rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com 209-943-2021
Feather River Branch  Jim Richards jim.richards@prodigy.net 530-762-9464
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin sgoodwin@vestra.com 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir zzafir@kleinfelder.com 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon bquon@cts-1.com 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich rjuricich@pacbell.net 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  kartk.atyam@aecom.com 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst. Ahilan Selladurai  ahilan.selladurai@tylin.com 916-349-4266
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily  alkazily@sbcglobal.net  530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew john.andrew@water.ca.gov 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan ccopelan95694@yahoo.com 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Scholarship Eric Polson polsonengineering@earthlink.net  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan jbuchanan@watearth.com 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Vince Anicich csusascepresident@gmail.com  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany j_mcelhany@u.pacific.edu  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq ucd.asce.president@gmail.com  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose chicoasce@gmail.com  


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