May 2017 Print

President's Report

 I am pleased to announce that on May 23, 2017, President-Elect of ASCE National, Kristina Swallow, will be visiting Sacramento to meet with our general membership. I encourage you to join us for dinner at Kupros in downtown Sacramento (21st & L Street) and listen to President-Elect Swallow talk about the future of ASCE.  Here is a link to the announcement

Speaking of President-Elect, it is once again time to vote.  The polls opened May 1, 2017 and will stay open through June 1, 2017. You should have received an email from ASCE with login details and how to cast your vote. You can do so by going to

In other news, on April 11, I had the honor of giving the welcome address at the ASCE 2016 Project Awards. It was amazing to see so many projects that exemplify great civil engineering ranging from small scale, vital community improvements to massive infrastructure and construction projects. Visit our event summary page through this link to learn more about these amazing projects. 

At times during my career, I have had the opportunity to work in different areas of California and other states as well.One benefit I experience from being an ASCE member is a network of professionals can be found everywhere I travel. Within a week of starting a project in Utah, I found myself at an ASCE hockey event, followed by several barbecues, and even more opportunities to expand my network. Networking can also be accomplished at a regional level by volunteer opportunities such as, MidPAC, Girl Scouts of America, STEM activities, Institute chapter meetings, and more. On April 20, I was a judge for one of the competitions at MidPAC. I met many ASCE members from all over the world, including as far as Tongji University in China. I continue to be amazed at the quality of engineering professionals that ASCE is training throughout the world and encourage each of you to volunteer next year for MidPAC 2018 in Sacramento, which is co-hosted between Sacramento State and the University of the Pacific.

This month, the Region 9 Transportation Committee published an amazing article on the successful and “razor close” margin of victory for the passing of SB 1, a measure that would provide nearly $60 billion in transportation funding over the next decade.  Click this link to view the summary of ASCE’s involvement, as well as to see pictures from the Fix Our Roads Rally at the Capital. 

This month, ASCE’s 2017 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress will be coming to Sacramento May 21 - 25, 2017. This will be the first time in history that it is hosted in Sacramento. Visit to learn more.  

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

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Calendar of Events

EWB UC Davis Wine into Water Silent Auction

Purchase Tickets Online
International House Davis
10 College Park
Davis, CA

ASCE Region 9 Legislative Day

No Fee Registration RSVP by 5/10
Department of Water Resources
1416 9th Street
Sacramento, CA

EWB Chapter Meeting

All Welcome
Ch2M Hill
2485 Natomas Park Dr. Suite 600
Sacramento, CA

Central Valley Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Tournament

For discount, register by 5/1/17
Lockeford Springs Golf Course
16360 North Highway 88
Lodi, CA

YMF May Mixer with ASCE President-Elect

Bring a co-worker!
Kupros Craft House
1217 21st St.
Sacramento, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Dinner

Topic: Structural Demolition Engineering
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

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Project Awards Dinner

ASCE Sacramento Section hosted the 2016 Project Awards Dinner on April 11, 2017 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Twenty projects where awarded recognition covering a wide range of civil engineering disciplines. Recipients of the awards spoke briefly about their projects, including the scope, challenges encountered and of course successes. A full gallery of photos can be found by clicking here.


Project of the Year

Golden 1 Center
Owners: City of Sacramento & The Sacramento Kings
Engineers: Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineering, Inc. and Thornton Tomasetti 

Architectural Project of the Year

Golden 1 Center
Owner: City of Sacramento & The Sacramento Kings
Engineers: Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineering, Inc. and Thornton Tomasetti

Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year

Auburn-Folsom Road Class 2 Bike Lane Improvement
Owner: Placer County, Engineer: Psomas

Community Improvement Project of the Year

I-5 Riverfront Reconnection
Owner: City of Sacramento, Engineer: WSP| Parsons Brinckerhoff 

Construction Project of the Year

Tyler Island Emergency Levee Repair
Owner: Reclamation District 563, Engineer: Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.

Energy Project of the Year

Well N39 Rutland Pumping Plant
Owner: Sacramento Suburban Water District, Engineers: Wood Rodgers, Inc. & Affinity Engineering

Environmental Project of the Year

Sulphur Creek Mining District Waste Removal
Owner: Homestake Mining Company Engineer: The Mines Group Inc.

Flood Management Project of the Year

Feather River West Levee B&D
Owner: Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, Engineers: HDR, Inc. & Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Geotechnical Project of the Year

Lindo Channel Bridge at Esplanade - Emergency Wing Wall Repair
Owner: City of Chico Public Works – Engineering, Engineer: Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers & Geologists

Parks & Recreation Project of the Year

Corning Community Park
Owner: City of Corning, Engineer: J.E. Anderson

Public Safety Project of the Year

Mid & Upper Sacramento River - Regional Flood Emergency Response
Owner: Reclamation District 108, Engineer: Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.

Roadway & Highway Project of the Year

Raise 80
Owner/Engineer: CA Dept. of Transportation, Contractor: RGW Construction Inc.

Small Project of the Year

Pit 1 Fall River Weir and Gate Structures Replacement
Owner: PG&E, Engineer: Black & Veatch

Structural Project of the Year

Wildwood Road Bridge Over Hayfork Creek
Owner: Trinity County – D.O.T., Engineer: T.Y. Lin International

Sustainable Engineering Project of the Year

Florin Creek Park Multi-Use Basin
Owners: Southgate Recreation and Park District & Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Engineer: Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Transportation Project of the Year

Green Valley Road at Weber Creek – Bridge Replacement
Owner: El Dorado County, Engineers: HDR, Inc. & El Dorado County

Urban & Land Development Project of the Year

McKinley Village Way Underpass
Owners: Encore McKinley Village & City of Sacramento, Engineer: Parsons Corporation

Water Resources Project of the Year

Folsom Dam and Reservoir Water Control Manual
Owners: USACE Sacramento District and USBR Mid-Pacific Region, Engineer: David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year

Rio Alto Water District WWTP & Constructed Wetlands
Owner: Rio Alto Water District, Engineer: PACE Engineering

Water Project of the Year

Davis Woodland Water Supply
Owner: Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency, Engineer: CH2M   

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Golze Scholarship Winners

On April 11, 2017 at the ASCE Sacramento Section Projects Award Dinner, a record twenty-two students were presented Golze Scholarship Awards. We are proud to announce the Sacramento Section is the leading ASCE Scholarship Fund in the nation. This could not be done without the generous donations from our members and industry leaders. Our goal is to increase member donation pariticipation in effort to reach more students participating at the ASCE student chapter level who are gaining pracitcal skills for entry into the workforce. Please help us help them by donating to the ASCE Sacramento Section Golze Scholarship Fund. Make your tax-deductible donation at or mail a check payable to: ASCE Sacramento Section, PO Box 2402, Granite Bay, CA 95746 

California State University, Chico

Zack Cavender -Member of Steel Bridge Team ’16 · Nominated ASCE student chapter Community Service Officer · Works for California Pavement Preservation Center (CP2C) · Enjoys hiking, swimming, biking, and rock climbing · Third year student interested in transportation or water resources engineering 

Brianna Murphy -Member of the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Mid-Pac Teams ·Junior at CSU Chico with plans to pursue an MA in structural engineering after graduation ·Interested in structural and transportation engineering 

Lauren Pitcher -Member of the Concrete Canoe Team · Competed in three Mid-Pac Conferences · Conference Chair for Mid-Pac ‘17 · Recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Student Leadership Award for the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management · Fourth year student interested in working in the private industry in a design-build setting 

Grant Rose -Joined ASCE student chapter in ’14, became Secretary in ’15 and President in ’16 · Through his leadership, student chapter membership increased by 75% · Steel Bridge Captain ’17 · Intern at Magnus Pacific ’15 · Graduating this spring, interested in construction to gain practical experience to enhance his career in design engineering 

Carole Wigno -ASCE Secretary and Geotechnical Wall Design Team Captain ·Winning team for RFP Competition at the CTF Transportation Education Symposium·2017 Mid-Pac Professional Papers Coordinator ·Fourth year student interested in transportation engineering  

California State University, Sacramento

Mohammad Basharat -Awarded Outstanding Quality Assurance Representative US Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan Engineer District · Awarded Best Quality Control Engineer Ministry of Energy and Water in South Zone of Afghanistan · A graduate student interested in transportation engineering, construction management, quality control and quality assurance systems

Cesiah Diaz -ASCE student chapter Steel Bridge Fabrication and Build Team ·  Student chapter member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Engineers Without Borders · Graduating in ’18 · Interested in construction management, materials and structural mechanics, and structural design

Khaled Kanaan -Passionate about geotechnical engineering and the world of construction · President of ASCE student chapter · Played a part in two ASCE student competitions teams making it to nationals · Member and then officer of Tau Beta Pi - Engineering Honor Society

Taylor Myers -Elected the ASI Engineering and Computer Science Director · Participated in the National Geotechnical Wall Design Team Competition · Serves as the Sacramento State ASCE student chapter President-Elect · Intern at DWR Levee Repair Division · Interested in soils design and construction management

Ram Sah -Member of ASCE student chapter ·Grew up in a small village in Nepal with no paved roads and minimal electricity ·Recently transferred to CSUS from community college ·Currently on Dean's Honors List with the College of  Engineering and Computer Science  · Interested in hydraulic engineering with the goal of clean water for society and farming

Jasraj Singh -Candidate for Tau Beta Pi - Engineering Honor Society · Team Representative for Mid-Pac Water Treatment Team ·Officer for the student chapters of Earthquake Research Institute (EERI) and American Water Resources Association (AWRA) ·Graduates this spring, interested in water resources, flood management and dam safety  

University of California, Davis

Dolores Aguirre -Transfer student with two AA degrees in math, science and teacher preparation · ASCE student chapter VP of Sponsorship ·Concrete canoe and construction management team member · First in her family to attend university · Graduates this spring, interested in water resources and environmental engineering focusing on water quality

Aliya Karimi -ASCE student chapter VP of Membership for ASCE student chapter · Student researcher at the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory at UC Davis · Interested in geotechnical engineering and water resources

Alexandra San Pablo -Conducted research at the Center for Bio-Mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics · Started a lending library at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center ·Student Assistant to the Chancellor at UC Davis  2016-17 · Won a poster presentation award for engineering at ’17 UC LEADSConference ·Interested in geotechnical engineering 

University of Pacific

Victor Calderon -Active member of Mid-Pac ‘14 team placing 2nd overall · Participated on the Geotechnical Wall Design Team ‘16 · Completed a co-op at the Department of Public works for the County of Marin ·Involved with Beta Theta Pi and the Newman Catholic Community Club · Fourth year student interested in structural engineering with a private firm

Joseph Cliscagne -Active in ASCE student chapter since freshmen year currently co-captain Geotechnical Wall Design Team·Volunteer Conductor and Motorman at the Western Railway Museum· Graduates in ‘18 with BS and MA in Civil Engineering · Interested in a career in transportation engineering 

Gena Farley -Sophomore engineering student maintaining above 3.0 GPA · Current ASCE student chapter Treasurer ·After graduating, plans on treating water in the Philippines at the Send the Light Orphanage

David Garcia -Helped create the Route 4 Extension Viaduct in Stockton during internship with Caltrans · Worked with CH2M on bridge and transportation projects throughout California during Co-Op · Graduates in ‘18 with blended MA and BA degree · Interested in structural, transportation, and infrastructure engineering

Regina Manneh -Intern at Turner Construction for the past 2 years · ASCE Mid-Pac Water Treatment Captain ‘16 · ASCE Vice President ‘16 · Fourth year student interested in obtaining a MA in water resources 

Joseph McElhany -ASCE Student Chapter President ‘16-‘17 ·ASCE Mid-Pac Geotechnical Wall Design Team Captain ‘16 ·Employed at a local geotechnical firm since ‘08 specializing in geohazard mitigation · Graduates this spring, interested in geotechnical engineering 

Jose Ruvalcaba -Currently, ASCE student chapter Secretary · Member of Geotechnical Wall Design Team at Mid Pac ’16 · Interested in applying his work experience in construction/land development to pursue a career in geotechnical engineering · Married and motivated to set a good example for his two little boys


Diamond Level ($5,000 & above)
Great Lakes E & I · ASCE Capital Branch · Nordic Industries, Inc.

Platinum Level ($2,000 - $4,999)
Sam E. Johnson ·HDR, Inc. · MBK Engineers · The Dutra Group 

Gold Level ($1,000 - $1,999)
RFE Engineering · Gayleen Darting · North Star Construction & Engineering
Construction Testing Service (CTS)

Silver Level ($500 - $999)
Sean Maloney · Eric Polson · Curtis Spencer ·Deedee Antypas ·Sage Engineers, Inc.
ADKO Engineering · John Bassett · Raymond Williams ·Camilla Saviz

Bronze Level ($100 - $499)
Donald H. Babbitt · Daryl Greenway · Amie McAllister · Florentino Maestas 
ASCE Feather River Branch · Tino Maestas · Thor Larsen · West Yost Associates  
Elias Karam · Darren Mack · Joan Al-Kazily · William & Anna Rita Neuman · William Davis
Melvin Shore ·Greg Zeiss ·Nathan Hershey · Thomas Blackburn ·Eric Nagy · Kenneth Gebhart  Steven Dalrymple ·
Elizabeth Avelar · Roger L. Stoughton · Daniel Rodriguez ·Howard Payne  
Ed Anderson · Wagner & Bonsignore · Larry Wing · Alvin Brown ·Gary Litton

Copper Level ($99 & below)
Jafar Faghih · William Kane · Leanne Provost · Rich Juricich · Jon Ericson · Stein Buer  
Weatherby-Reynolds · Donald & Shirley Hale · Charles Mifkovic · Carroll Hamon 
Robert Churchill · Joseph Hannon · Thomas Rut

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Capital Branch Activities


Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J St
Sacramento, CA 95811
6:30 PM Networking 7:00 PM Dinner and Presentation

Topic: Structural Demolition Engineering
Speaker: David Hodder, Associate Principal, Linchpin Structural Engineering

Registration Link:

As many projects today require the partial demolition of existing structures, this may present an interesting challenge to the contractor that could need input from a professional engineer.  This presentation will cover special considerations needed when demolishing or partially demolishing an existing building.  These may include demolition sequencing in order to provide a controlled demolition, preserving existing elements that are to remain undamaged during demolition, and shoring of existing structural members.

About the speaker:
David Hodder is a licensed Structural Engineer and is an Associate Principal at Linchpin Structural Engineering based out of Truckee, California.  He has 17 years of experience in structural consulting including work with new structures, remodel of existing buildings, demolition consulting, and construction shoring.  He was the consulting engineer for the demolition of the Downtown Sacramento Mall to make room for the new Golden 1 Center.


The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Civil Engineering Firms, Contractors and Vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly Luncheons. The sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format. This opportunity will provide the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community. For further information, please contact Jai Singh at (916) 580-9725.

Past Meeting Sponsor:

Thank you to Greve, Clifford, Wengel and Paras, LLP" ( for sponsoring the ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch April Luncheon Meeting.

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

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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


This month we had Pacific's ASCE Student Chapter give a presentation on their performance at Mid-Pac at CSU Chico. Pacific participated in four different events: Water Treatment Competition, Geowall Competition, Water Resources Research Paper, and the Mead Paper. Pacific received first place in the Mead Paper which discussed whether or not it was ethical for professors to teach without professional licenses. The Water Treatment Competition involved developing a water treatment system out of household items. For Water Treatment, Pacific came in third and hit all of their water quality performance targets. Pacific received third place in the Water Resources Research Paper which covered salt intrusion in groundwater. Lastly, for the GeoWall Competition, students compacted sand and tested the strength of the GeoWall they designed. Results for the GeoWall Competition are still to be determined. Additionally, students participated in mini games including concrete bowling, tug of war, and volleyball. The Central Valley Branch had donated some money for students to attend the competition this year and members were pleased with Pacific's performance.









Friday, May 19, 2017
Lockeford Springs Golf Course, Lodi
Contact Jeff Mueller to donate raffle prizes
For more information, click here click here to download flyer

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Feather River Branch Activities

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

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at

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Younger Members Forum (YMF)


Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Kupros Craft House
1217 21st St
Sacramento, CA 95816

Join us as we welcome ASCE President-Elect: Kristina Swallow, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE as she visits our Sacramento community. She will give a short talk on the future of ASCE and her upcoming presidency. After her talk, stick around for casual conversations, socializing, and food. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided and there is a no host bar. Bring a friend or co-worker!

About Speaker:
Ms. Swallow is a civil engineering leader with more than twenty-years of professional practice in water resources, transportation, and land development. Ms. Swallow is currently a program manager for the City of Las Vegas. She leads a team of engineers responsible for delivering public works projects and planning the sanitary sewer collection system. Kristina also advises on bicycle and pedestrian-related infrastructure, representing the city as needed, working with the Nevada Legislature, participating in public meetings, and guiding public outreach policy. Kristina has been active in ASCE for more than two decades and was recently elected to serve as ASCE President-Elect in 2017 by the voting members of the Society.

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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.


Program – View the Technical Program:

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.”

For more information about the 2017 Congress and program, check out the website at: It’s great opportunity for students to volunteer in 2017 EWRI Congress and meet the potential employer so if any students are interested then please contact to ASCE Chapter Coordinator and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch, Om Prakash (


Sacramento Chapter EWRI held our spring networking event on Wednesday April 26th at the Claim Jumper Restaurant in Sacramento.  We had a hearty meal and heard a talk by Jim Watson, General Manager of the Sites Project Authority, who talked about the proposed Sites Reservoir Offstream Storage Project.  Over 30 professionals and students attended the event. 

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Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute (COPRI)

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI), Alternative Financing for Waterways Infrastructure Subcommittee, hosted an Alternative Financing for Waterways and Water Resources Infrastructure Workshop on Thursday, April 6th, 2017. The event had strong participation of over 100 members representing a wide range of federal, state, local agencies, industries, contractors, consultants and investing community. Success of the workshop was primarily due to active participation by the panel members, attendees and open discussions during the breakout sessions.


We have collected the presentation materials from the speakers and panel members. The presentation material from each session is available through the links listed in this downloadable agenda. Summary notes from discussion will be provided at a later time.

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesdsay, May 17, 2017, 6 pm
2485 Natomas Park Drive #600
Sacramento, CA 95833
All Welcome

We are looking for a fundraising chair for our fundraising committee. Each year EWB SVPC throws a silent auction fundraiser with either dinner or drinks and appetizers. We are looking for an individual to run our fundraising committee.


Fundraising Event

May 13th5-7 PM. "Wine into Water" Tickets are $30 and we will be having a silent auction including a large variety of donated wine. For more information:

Indonesia Project

We are looking for international development lead and more technical mentors. The Indonesia project is planning an assessment trip for a water supply project this upcoming summer. Feel free to reach Anindito Wibowoputro at

Peru Project 

Peru's traveling mentor got very ill, and they are looking for some mentor help. The Peru team is planning an implementation trip for spring boxes this upcoming summer as well as assessing the feasibility of a water storage tank.

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ASCE America’s Infrastructure Report Card


Let’s Encourage Investment in our 
Region’s Infrastructure

David M. Schwegel, PE, ASCE Region 9 Transportation Committee Chair


The warping of tracks, the derailment of trains, and the disruption of schedules at New York City’s Penn Station is a reminder of what happens when decision makers neglect infrastructure. Check out the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure at It gave Mass Transit (including Passenger Rail) a D-. Had decision makers actually acted on report card findings, then catastrophes like the above-mentioned one at Penn Station could have been avoided.

Closer to home, we saw how the failure of a spillway at Oroville Dam during the 2017 floods led to the mass evacuation of well over 100,000 residents. Had decision makers actually acted aggressively on the findings from the 2012 Report Card for California’s Infrastructure, then the Oroville Dam catastrophe could have been avoided.

The California construction boom so far has largely bypassed our Section as evidenced by the lack of construction cranes (0 in Sacramento versus over 40 in Los Angeles), the lack of progress on the Railyards development (0 construction cranes 8 years after the New York Times deemed it “America’s Largest Urban Infill Project”), and the low representation of projects from our Section in the most recent Region 9 Awards Banquet. According to the Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento is the second most overlooked region in the nation. Therefore, it is imperative that we take ownership of this situation by drawing decision makers’ attention to Report Card findings and performing a comprehensive evaluation of the infrastructure within the geographic boundaries of our Section. Our Section is vast, essentially covering Northeastern California from Modesto to the Oregon State Line and from Davis to the Nevada State Line.

While half-cent sales tax measures were turned down by voters in both Sacramento (66 percent) and Placer (64 percent) Counties (67 percent needed for passage), there is a “silver lining” in Stanislaus County where voters passed their half-cent sales tax measure (despite considerable poverty) and $400 million of the Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) (funds $52 billion in transportation projects over the next decade) proceeds were allocated to Senator Anthony Cannella’s District (a Republican and a Civil Engineer). Specifically these proceeds would go toward the extension of the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) Commuter Train giving Modesto residents improved access to abundant and high-paying employment opportunities in the Silicon Valley. 

At the most recent Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) ( Board of Directors Meeting, it was pointed out that the Sacramento Region exports approximately 80,000 residents to employment opportunities in the Bay Area every day. At that same Board of Directors Meeting, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg requested presentations on what the passage of SB 1 means for the Sacramento Region. This is a great opportunity for Capital Branch Members to educate decision makers (namely mayors and county supervisors within the 6-county SACOG Region – Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Yuba, and Sutter) on how the upcoming Sacramento Infrastructure Report Card can be used as a tool to make the case for investing in the SACOG Region. Central Valley Brach Members could make related presentations to the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) ( and Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) ( Feather River Branch Members could present to Butte County Associated Governments (BCAG) ( To participate in the public comment portion of these meetings, go to the appropriate Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) website, find out when their next Board of Directors Meeting takes place, show up early, fill out a request to speak form, and then give them your best in 200 words or less.

The Sacramento Section also has an immediate need for Subject Matter Experts to step forward and participate in the actual evaluation of the infrastructure within the geographic boundaries of the Section. The Infrastructure Report Card (IRC) Committee has already formulated categories and identified source documents. This IRC Committee is in the process of identifying key decision makers who could serve on an Expert Advisory Panel to independently assess the grades that are determined by the Subject Matter Experts. Specifically, the Subject Matter Experts from the Sacramento Section would be reviewing the source documents, filling out evaluation forms, and assigning grades consistent with criteria provided by the Society. If you are interested in serving as a Subject Matter Expert, then please email Infrastructure Report Card Chair Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.E., QSD, M.ASCE at

Benefits of Report Card involvement include establishing yourself as a Subject Matter Expert within your area of expertise while encouraging decision makers to use the Report Card as a tool for stimulating investment in our highly overlooked region. Critical investment decisions are being made now that could tie our region much more closely into the statewide construction boom currently underway. Region 9 is in the early planning stages for the production and release of the next California Infrastructure Report Card, which will be largely dependent on our efforts at the Section level. We hope to have the Sacramento Report Card wrapped up by late summer. The time to act is now! 

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Continuing Education



ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!
To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to


Pumping Systems Design for Civil Engineers
August 18, 2017, Sacramento, CA
Click here for more information


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: 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: Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

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Region 9


James (Jim) Frost, P.E., M.ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Governor
Chair, Region 9 Grand Challenge Task Committee


There has been a lot mentioned in the news lately about our Nation’s infrastructure.  This issue was a key element in the elections last fall, and remains a key stated objective of the current administration which has pledged to provide support for infrastructure programs to the tune of $1 trillion in funding over the next ten years.  Most recently in the news, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on March 9 released the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card (, and gave the nation’s infrastructure a D-plus grade, the same cumulative grade seen in the 2013 Report Card.  The estimated investment needed by 2025 is $4.59 trillion!  Many would agree that this deficit is unacceptable – our infrastructure is in trouble, and swift action must be taken.

Determining the best way to fix our crumbling roads, bridges, pipelines, and waterways is a challenging issue.  Some say if you have enough money, you can achieve almost anything!  Also, we sent men to the moon with less equivalent computing power than a standard smart phone, and therefore shouldn’t we be able to solve this problem?  However, we also know that in the real world, funding is limited, and sometimes even non-existent.  So, does a solution really exist?

The quick answer is yes!  I am a firm believer in the resilience of humankind.  While we are very capable of sometimes making a mess of our world, we are also very adept at finding solutions.  The ASCE Grand Challenge ( is all about finding such solutions to our infrastructure funding challenges. 

The nation’s infrastructure funding needs keep increasing due to higher demands on existing infrastructure, and our aging facilities.  At the same time, the available funding is not keeping pace.  The gap between this demand and supply is referred to by ASCE as the “Grand Challenge.”  The figure below depicts this situation graphically: 

The Grand Challenge represents a sustained approach to improving America’s infrastructure based on the principals of economic potential, global competitiveness, increased resiliency and long-term economic benefits of investment.  It is an opportunity to rethink what is possible and foster the optimization of infrastructure investment in our society.  To help get there, a group known as the ASCE Industry Leaders Council ( has challenged the industry to develop projects that reduce the life cycle cost for infrastructure by 50 percent by 2025 and foster the optimization of infrastructure investments for society.

How Can You Help Achieve the Grand Challenge?  The ASCE Grand Challenge asks all civil engineers to join in the solution to:

  • Significantly enhance the performance and value of infrastructure projects over their life cycles by 2025, and
  • Foster the optimization of infrastructure investments for society.

Recognizing that Civil Engineers are global leaders responsible for building a better quality of life, you can also seek to take the following actions:

  • Take the pledge and register as an involved Civil Engineer
  • Lead and contribute to ASCE committee work related to life cycle cost analysis, performance based design,           sustainability, innovation and resilience
  • Author or present papers on topics that advance the ASCE Grand Challenge
  • Attend or lead courses and training to accelerate the ASCE Grand Challenge
  • Recognize successes with awards and recognition
  • Promote innovative business models within your company, agency or with clients
  • Share your success story at

To help advance the initiative in California, ASCE Region 9 Board of Governors has initiated a subcommittee focused on the Grand Challenge.  For more information please contact Jim Frost, Chair, ASCE Region 9 Task Committee on the Grand Challenge, at

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2017 CA Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner


 Yazdan T. Emrani, P.E., M.ASCE
Past President, ASCE Los Angeles Section
Chair, ASCE Region 9 Infrastructure Policy Committee

On Friday, March 31st, ASCE’s Region 9 and the Los Angeles Section co-hosted this year’s California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Banquet at the California Science Center in the City of Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, with almost 270 people in attendance.  The theme for this year's symposium was "Dream Big - Ideas and Innovations for Sustainable Infrastructure", and our program certainly accomplished that!

One of the morning’s keynote speakers was Phil Washington, CEO of LA Metro, who provided his perspective of Metro's vision and accomplishments for Los Angeles.  The other keynote speaker was Norma Jean Mattei, 2017 ASCE President, who provided a compelling overview of the just-released 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card.  This year we were fortunate in having three current and former mayors address our symposium.  During the lunch hour, Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. of the City of Inglewood presented the unique and historic position of the City of Inglewood as the host of not one but two NFL teams in the Rams and the Chargers.  Mayor Butts also spoke about the potential to bring an NBA team to Inglewood in the near future.


James T. Butts, Jr.
Mayor city of Inglewood

Former City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also spoke during lunch, and brought his perspective on the need for infrastructure investments throughout California.  

From left to right:  Jay Higgins ASCE Region 9 Director; Antonio Villaraigosa, former LA Mayor; Norma Jean Mattei, 2017 ASCE President; James T. Butts, Jr., City of Inglewood Mayor; and Yaz Emrani, 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium Chair.

Our first afternoon keynote speaker was the current mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. Mayor Garcetti also spoke of the continued needs for infrastructure investments, including partnering with the current administration on addressing LA's infrastructure needs.  Our final keynote speaker was Shaun MacGillivray, Producer of the ASCE/Bechtel movie, Dream Big.  The symposium was followed by a screening of the movie Dream Big at the California Science Center's IMAX theatre.  This is a great production, and I highly recommend viewing it in IMAX 3D. 

From left to right:  Yaz Emrani, 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium Chair; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor; Norma Jean Mattei, 2017 ASCE President; and Jay Higgins, ASCE Region 9 Director.

The 2017 symposium included two full-day tracks on water and transportation.  Both tracks featured discussions by a broad array of panelists from State and local governments as well as private sector engineering firms.  The Water Track covered four topics on Strengthening Local Drought Resilience, Indirect and Direct Potable Reuse, Safe and Reliable Water Supply (for Disadvantaged Communities), and Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Water Supply Infrastructure in the 22nd Century.  The Transportation Track also covered four topics which consisted of Rail and Transit, Sustainable Port Development, Transportation Funding, and Hot Topics in Transportation. 

ASCE thanks all these speakers for taking the time to present to our diverse audience of civil engineers and other community members who ranged from college students, to retirees in the civil engineering field.

Later that evening, 240 people attended the annual Region 9 Awards Banquet in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion under the majestic Space Shuttle Endeavor.  Norma Jean Mattei, 2017 ASCE President, provided the keynote speech followed by a presentation of the 2016 Region 9 statewide awards for individuals and projects, which was hosted by the Chair of the ASCE Region 9 Awards Committee, and Region 9 Governor, Matt Kennedy.  The presentations included a total of 22 project award winners and 15 individual award winners.

Project of the Year was awarded to the San Diego- Tijuana Airport Cross Border Facility. The Engineers of the Record were Latitude 33 and Kleinfelder, Inc. and the Owner is Otay-Tijuana Venture, LLC. The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) Terminal Building and Pedestrian Skybridge is an unprecedented binational project that provides direct, secure, and convenient access   between a new terminal building in San Diego and the Tijuana International Airport (TIJ). It enables ticketed passengers flying into or out of TIJ to avoid unpredictable border wait times and often lengthy delays at congested land ports of entry at San Ysidro or Otay Mesa. After eight years of planning and preparation, CBX opened for public use in December 2015. In the U.S., CBX’s 2-level terminal facility features more than 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor patio waiting areas for passengers and guests, along with retail, Duty Free, food and beverage venues, and fully bilingual customer service. The facility is open 24/7, with convenient short- and long-term parking on-site, as well as a variety of ground transportation options including rental car, taxi, Uber and shuttle access. The complex, multi-faceted 390-foot-long pedestrian bridge connecting the new terminal to TIJ blends engineering and construction excellence with binational collaboration; requiring bilingual coordination between the design team and contractors on both sides of the border. The project was privately financed and operated by Otay-Tijuana Venture, LLC (OTV), a private investment group with U.S. and Mexican shareholders. OTV placed considerable emphasis on creating a cost-effective facility that cohesively combines aesthetics and functionality. 

For a complete listing of the award winners, please visit Region 9's infrastructure symposium website at

The sponsors for the symposium included 35 public agencies, companies, and ASCE San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento Sections plus the ASCE Orange County Branch. These organizations are dedicated to supporting ASCE and our State’s infrastructure. The Symposium Platinum Sponsor was HDR and the Transportation and Water Track sponsors were David Evans and Associates and ECA, respectively. Not only did they provide financial support for the events, but they also facilitated the track presentations throughout the day. Our other Gold Sponsors included: AECOM, LA Metro, and Kleinfelder. Our Silver sponsors included:  Carollo Engineers, Inc., Inc., Mott MacDonald, Michael Baker International, Parsons, Oldcastle Precast, RMC/Woodward & Curran, California Baptist University, LADWP, and the Port of Long Beach. Our Bonze Sponsors were: Amec Foster Wheeler, Anderson-Penna Partners, Caltrop Corporation, City of LA Bureau of Engineering, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Geoscience, HR Green, Mark Thomas Company, Pacific Advocacy Group, Rick Engineering, SA Associates, Santa Ana Watershed Authority Project, TKE Engineering, Vali Cooper, Western Municipal Water District, APWA, Southern California Chapter, ASCE Sacramento, ASCE San Diego, ASCE San Francisco, and my ASCE Branch, the ASCE Orange County Branch. 

Our Awards Dinner Platinum Sponsors were: Stantec, Earth Systems, CWE, Belgard, Leighton and Associates, Psomas, Granite Construction, and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. Our Gold sponsors were: David Evans and Associates, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Minagar & Associates, Inc. NMG Geotechnical, Inc., LPA, and SA Associates, Our Silver Sponsors included: Labelle Marvin, Huitt-Zollars, and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

As the respective Chairs for the events, Matt Kennedy and I would like to thank all our volunteer staff for the planning and execution of both events.  These volunteers helped make the event the great success that it was, along with our speakers and of course the fabulous audience!  We look forward to San Francisco in 2018!

For more information please contact Yaz Emrani, Chair, ASCE Region 9 Infrastructure Policy Committee,

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Transportation Update



 David M. Schwegel, PE
ASCE Region 9 Transportation Committee Chair

Our Transportation Committee tracks legislation, prepares the Transportation Program for the Annual Statewide Infrastructure Symposium, and identifies transportation topics of interest to the statewide engineering community. Last year, we had the pleasure of booking 19 top-notch transportation speakers for the Symposium in Sacramento and engage in an aggressive marketing campaign to encourage participation in this event. Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, Former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council CEO Barry Broome were among the speakers.

This year’s Symposium took place on March 31st at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The Transportation Funding session featured Robert Kilpatrick (David Evans & Associates), Roger Dickinson (Transportation California), Therese McMillian (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority), and Kenneth Rosenfield (City of Laguna Hills). This session reminded participants that this topic is the “lifeblood of our profession” and encouraged increased engagement in the ASCE Society Key Alert program.

Fix Our Roads Rally, April 5, 2017

This engagement was put to the test the following week as the Legislature deliberated over Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) – a measure that would provide nearly $60 billion in transportation funding over the next decade. The ASCE Society Government Relations Department issued a Key Alert early that week. Despite a technical glitch, nearly 60 letters and numerous phone calls went out to Legislators. On Wednesday, April 5, a Fix Our Roads Rally took place on the West Steps of the Capitol featuring Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Transportation Chair Jim Frazier, Senate Transportation Chair Jim Beall, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon, and Governor Jerry Brown, among others. After hours of deliberation, the Legislature passed SB 1 on the evening of Thursday, April 6 by a “razor close” margin (67% in both the Assembly and Senate, 67% minimum needed for passage). On Friday, April 7, ASCE Society recognized the Region 9 Transportation Committee in their eNewsletter “This Week in Washington” for its engagement in the SB 1 effort.

On Tuesday, April 18th, the Transportation Committee met with Assemblymember Frazier to congratulate him on the successful passage of SB 1, and to further clarify ASCE’s role moving forward. During the closing remarks for ASCE Region 9, Assemblymember Frazier said, “Keep up the great work. You’re the quarterback. I’m the fullback.”

The Region 9 Legislative Day takes place on Wednesday, May 17th. Educational sessions from Legislators, ASCE Staff, and Region 9 Legislative Advocate Richard Markuson will take place in the morning at the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Videos of the Fix Our Roads Rally, the Interview with Assemblymember Frazier, and a Caltrans Vehicle Assist and Automation (VAA) project for Lane Transit District (LTD) (Eugene, Oregon) will be shown. Visits with Legislators will take place in the afternoon at the Capitol. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to identify your local Legislators, and then email Region 9 Administrator Anne Ettley at to sign up for the event. There is no fee to participate in this event.

In June, the Region 9 Transportation Committee will be holding its own Legislative Day to discuss issues specific to transportation. Last year, we met with Will Kempton of Transportation California, Scott Jarvis of the High Speed Rail Authority, Jessica Peters of the Legislative Analysts’ Office and Assemblymember Frazier’s Consultant Janet Dawson. The date for this year’s event is being finalized. We could use some more participation from the Sacramento Section. If you are interested in participating in the Transportation Committee in general and/or the Legislative Day, then please email me at There is no fee to participate in this event

While it is nearly a year off, plans are underway for the 2018 Statewide Infrastructure Symposium in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Transportation Committee will be discussing with the Symposium Committee a strategy for getting over 500 attendees at this event. While the Transportation Committee will continue to reach out to speakers and show informational videos, there will be more emphasis on engaging the attendees in interactive discussions with the speakers. 

In a discussion with the new Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) ( CEO James Corless at the SACOG Board of Directors Meeting on April 20, Mr. Corless was intrigued by the possibilities of showcasing the Sacramento Region in connection with the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad in 2019. Region 9 has already agreed to hold the Statewide Infrastructure Symposium in Sacramento that year, so please start thinking of ideas for the 2019 Symposium for showcasing Sacramento’s rich railroading history. At the same SACOG Board of Directors Meeting, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg requested that presentations be made at the Thursday, May 18, 2017 Board of Directors Meeting on what the passage of SB1 means for the Sacramento Region. Therefore, Sacramento Section Members are encouraged to thoroughly research this topic and provide two-minute testimonies during the public comment period starting at 9:30 AM. I am sure that Mayor Steinberg would really appreciate ASCE Sacramento Section Members showing up early, filling out the request to speak cards, and providing meaningful insight on what SB1’s passage means for the often highly overlooked Sacramento Region. 

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The Democratic leaders of the Legislature and Governor Brown reached an agreement on a comprehensive transportation funding agreement and incorporated it in Senator Jim Beall’s Senate Bill 1. As this is being published, the race is on to see if any Republicans will vote for the measure and its’ tax and fee increases or if they will be able to secure the 2/3 vote needed with just Democrats.

The legislation, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, invests $52.4 billion over the next decade - split equally between state and local projects:

Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):

  • $15 billion in "Fix-It-First" local road repairs, including fixing potholes
  • $7.5 billion to improve local public transportation
  • $2 billion to support local "self-help" communities that are making their own investments in transportation improvements
  • $1 billion to improve infrastructure that promotes walking and bicycling
  • $825 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program local contribution
  • $250 million in local transportation planning grants.

Fix State Highways and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):

  • $15 billion in "Fix-it-First" highway repairs, including smoother pavement
  • $4 billion in bridge and culvert repairs
  • $3 billion to improve trade corridors
  • $2.5 billion to reduce congestion on major commute corridors
  • $1.4 billion in other transportation investments, including $275 million for highway and intercity-transit improvements,

Ensure Taxpayer Dollars Are Spent Properly with Strong Accountability Measures:

  • Constitutional amendment to prohibit spending the funds on anything but transportation
  • Inspector General to ensure Caltrans and any entities receiving state transportation funds spend taxpayer dollars efficiently, effectively and in compliance with state and federal requirements
  • Provision that empowers the California Transportation Commission to hold state and local government accountable for making the transportation improvements they commit to delivering
  • Authorization for the California Transportation Commission to review and allocate Caltrans funding and staffing for highway maintenance to ensure those levels are reasonable and responsible
  • Authorization for Caltrans to complete earlier mitigation of environmental impacts from construction, a policy that will reduce costs and delays while protecting natural resources.

The transportation investment package is funded by everyone who uses California roads and highways:

  •       $7.3 billion by increasing diesel excise tax 20 cents 
  •       $3.5 billion by increasing diesel sales tax to 5.75 percent
  •       $24.4 billion by increasing gasoline excise tax 12 cents
  •       $16.3 billion from an annual transportation improvement fee based on a vehicle's value (from $25 to $175)
  •       $200 million from an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee commencing in 2020.
  •       $706 million in General Fund loan repayments.

Leadership in both the Senate and the Assembly expect the measure to be voted on by Thursday, April 6, 2017.

In the Senate, Senator Steve Glazer, Brown’s own former political adviser, may withhold support of the bill “because he wants a provision banning BART transit strikes.” Brown said he hoped to instead persuade Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, to back the deal. “Cannella is more open than Glazer is” to supporting the bill, Brown said in an interview Thursday afternoon. It’s unclear whether Cannella is willing to deal. Cannella’s spokesman said the senator had taken no position and is “open to continuing discussions.”

Brown called Glazer’s no-strike idea a “perfectly reasonable” one, but “a non-starter” in this case. “That would kill the bill,” he said.

SB 1 has a laundry list of other grants and allocations:

  • $5,000,000 each year to assist local agencies to implement policies to promote preapprenticeship training programs
  • $25,000,000 annually for expenditure on the freeway service patrol
  • $25,000,000 annually for local planning grants
  • $5,000,000 and $2,000,000 annually to the University of California and the California State University, respectively, for conducting transportation research and transportation-related workforce education, training, and development.
  • Any leftovers are split 50%/50% between the State and Locals.

Governor Brown signed ASCE supported AB 28 (Frazier D-Oakley) – an urgency measure – that reinstates California’s participation in the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Pilot Program (later called the NEPA Assignment). The sunset means the authority will last only two years.

Governor’s Appointments

To the High-Speed Rail Authority: Ernest Camacho, Sierra Madre, president and CEO of Pacifica Services, Inc. Term ends December 31, 2018. 

To State Water Resources Board: Tam Doduc (reappointed), Sacramento, board member since 2005; Joaquin Esquivel, La Quinta, assistant secretary for federal water policy at the CA Natural Resources Agency since 2015. 

Recent Reports

Pacific Research Institute has released its issue brief on the state’s “housing crisis” and its causes, finds “housing in California is excessively expensive – four of the most expensive housing markets in the United States are found in California,” also finds “government policies that have dis-incentivized home building” have resulted in a “severe shortage,” and “perhaps the single-biggest hurdle to home building in California are burdensome regulations from the California Environmental Quality Act.” 

Restore the Delta has released its report, “California’s Sustainable Water Plan,” highlights “projects in communities statewide that are far smarter investments than Jerry Brown’s controversial and expensive Delta Tunnels proposal,” includes the Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s proposal to build a water purification plant “that would make the district entirely self-reliant on local water.”  

State Water Resources Control Board has released its report on water conservation by urban districts during the month of January, finds Californians’ monthly water usage was 20.5 percent lower compared to January 2013. 

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth released “Seismic Constraints on the Architecture of the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon Fault: Implications for the Length and Magnitude of Future Earthquake Ruptures.” [pdf link] “[T]wo earthquake faults … are actually a single system that could produce devastating temblors affecting Tijuana to the Los Angeles region…. If offshore segments … ruptured, they could generate a magnitude 7.3 quake capable of damaging much of the Southern California coastline.… An earthquake on a land-based portion of the system could reach magnitude 7.4 and create similarly widespread harm…. ‘This system is mostly offshore but never more than four miles from the San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles County coast. Even if you have a high 5- or low 6-magnitude earthquake, it can still have a major impact on those regions.’” 

Legislative Analyst’s Officereleased Ten Years Later: Progress Towards Expending the 2006 Bond Funds. [web link] The $42 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2006 was “the biggest single approval of bonds in state history.” The money—allocated for transportation, housing, K-12 and higher education, flood control and natural resources—was mostly meant to be spent within a decade. By November 2016, about $36 billion (84%) of the authorized money had been expended, with differences among the bonds in spending pace (96% of Prop. 1D education bonds have been spent, but only 57% of Prop. 1E flood prevention bonds). Reasons for expenditure lag include challenges in coordinating with other entities, project size and complexity, and multiple funding allocations.

Journal of Hydrology released Resistivity Imaging Reveals Complex Pattern of Saltwater Intrusion Along Monterey Coast.” [web link] “Researchers … have transformed pulses of electrical current sent 1,000 feet underground into a picture of where seawater has infiltrated freshwater aquifers along the Monterey Bay coastline. The findings … help explain factors controlling this phenomenon, called saltwater intrusion, and could help improve the groundwater models that local water managers use to make decisions about pumping groundwater to meet drinking or farming needs…. [R]emoving too much of that groundwater can change the fluid pressure of underground aquifers, drawing seawater into coastal aquifers and corrupting water supplies. Saltwater intrusion is often irreversible.”

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

California law provides that no person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor may bring or maintain any action in a California court to recover compensation for the performance of any act or contract for which a contractor's license is required without alleging and proving that it was licensed at all times during the performance of the act or contract. The purpose of the law is to protect the public from incompetence and dishonesty in those who provide building and construction services. The licensing requirements provide minimal assurance that all persons offering such services in California have the requisite skill and character, understand applicable local laws and codes and know the basics of operating a contracting business.

Later modifications of the law added further changes making the penalties for contracting without a license even more painful. The amended law provided that a person who uses the services of an unlicensed contractor may bring an action in court to recover all of the compensation paid to the unlicensed contractor for performance of any act or contract.

A contractor sued a homeowner in a dispute concerning an incomplete home remodeling job. The contractor claimed he was owed $11,000.00. The homeowner cross-complained against the contractor contending that the contractor was not licensed and thus was not entitled to sue for any unpaid work. The homeowner also sued for fraud and other related causes of action and asked for reimbursement of all money that had been paid to the contractor.

The court awarded the contractor nothing in the lawsuit. The homeowner was awarded approximately $27,000 in reimbursement plus $10,000 in punitive damages, $90,000 in contractual attorney fees and approximately $7,000 in costs.

At the trial it was shown that although the contractor was had worker’s compensation insurance, he intentionally under reported the amount of payroll paid. For example, during one period he reported a payroll of $312 while his actual payroll was $135,000. In addition, it was shown that the contract between contractor and homeowner provided that homeowners would pay labor and material costs, plus a 12 percent markup of those costs for overhead, plus an 8 percent markup of the cost-plus-overhead amount for profit. The amount for labor costs that the contractor reported to the owners, which the owners paid, was twice the amount that the contractor had actually incurred.

The trial court found that the contractor was not licensed because his license had been automatically suspended due to his failure to obtain and maintain workers' compensation insurance. Although the contractor had workers compensation insurance, the court held that his intentional under reporting of the amount of payroll resulted in his not “obtaining” workers compensation insurance aa of the time that he under reported. The law states, in substance, that the failure of a licensee to obtain or maintain workers' compensation insurance coverage, if required, shall result in the automatic suspension of the license by operation of law. As a result, the contractor was deemed to be unlicensed during the time that he performed the work for the homeowner and subjected himself to all the grief that that that followed from his lawsuit against the owner to recover what he was owed.

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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 209-481-6857
President Elect   Adam Killinger 951-265-5289
Senior Director  Kyle Dushane 916-677-4782
Junior Director Tony Quintrall 916-993-7616
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih 916-679-8864
Past President Louay Owaidat  916-462-6420
Executive Director Marie Silveira   916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Guy Hopes 707-685-3015
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Megan LeRoy 707-291-5629
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Dr. Om Prakash  916-802-6140
Central Valley Branch Rhett Kilgore 209-943-2021
Feather River Branch  Jim Richards 530-762-9464
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst. Ahilan Selladurai 916-349-4266
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily  530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Scholarship Eric Polson  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Vince Anicich  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose  


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