March 2019 Print

President's Message

How often are you asked the question, “So what do you do?” My guess is a lot, and your reply is probably something like this, “I’m a civil engineer…” and what follows is a litany of esoteric jargon and techno-babble that you’re on the verge of setting to music. Such an answer may serve you well in the engineering and technical circles, allowing you to pithily communicate years of experience to colleagues, but it might actually be a disservice to you individually and to the profession at large when you engage with John and Jane Q. Public.

Hear me out. We live in an age when the word “engineer” is used by an array of professions to define a scintillating variety of tasks that require advanced knowledge and training. As such, I think we can all agree that the term “engineer” connotates a technical expert. However, I would argue that not all professions engineer in quite the same way. I would further assert that civil engineering is unique in that public safety is the prime directive and motivation for everything we do. However, our friends, the Publics, aren’t always able to differentiate a civil engineer from a software, mechanical, or automotive engineer.

The next time you find yourself answering, “So what do you do?” Revise your well-rehearsed answer to include something relatable that directly impacts who you are talking to. And I don’t mean simply stating “I safeguard the public,” or “I develop sustainable solutions.” No, you’re going to have to tell a story, albeit an educational one. Talk about how your road design will result in fewer accidents, or state that your risk assessment will help decision makers allocate infrastructure funds efficiently, or describe how you saved the tax payers money by applying a new method. Whatever your tactic, relate how civil engineering impacts them, their family, and their community. In doing so, you’ll help to differentiate civil engineers in the public mindset, advance the profession as a whole, or at the very least be a better conversationalist.


Michael V. Konieczki, PE, D.WRE
ASCE Sacramento Section President

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Project Awards Call For Nominations


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. Projects must be completed in 2018 and located within the ASCE Sacramento section. 

The banquet will be on April 24, 2019 at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West. Registration will open soon. If you have any questions, please contact Senior Director, Megan LeRoy at [email protected].

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Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, March 26, 11:30 - 1
The Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J Street
Sacramento, CA  95814

Topic: Responding to Disaster – The first-hand story of the Camp Fire disaster response from a volunteer! In this casual talk Chuck Kull you’ll hear about the challenge of responding, what to expect if you get called, and how you can take what you learned in your career and help out uniquely!

Register online:


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.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn.

The Capital Branch has 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


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 Erik Almaas at [email protected]

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Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Clay Slocum at, or 530-864-1648.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at [email protected].

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Structural Engineering Institute (SEI)


April 24-27, 2019
Orlando, Florida
Information here

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Geo Institute (GI)

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Younger Members Forum (YMF)


There are 3 open officer positions within the Sacramento ASCE YMF that need to be filled. Self nominations are welcome. For more information and to make a nomination, click here.


Monday, July 29, 2019, 10 am - 5 pm
Granite Bay Golf Club
9600 Golf Club Drive
Granite Bay, CA
To register and for more information, click here


Stop stressing out about the PE! Sign up to the YMF PE Review course early and you will get:

  • Up to 78 hours of face to face classes at Sacramento State
  • Comprehensive review materials and notes designed to be used during the exam
  • Classes offered for the 8 hour, seismic and survey exam separate or bundled
  • All of this for a great competitive price (and an early bird special rate for signing up early)!

Sign up here or contact [email protected] if you have any questions.


ASCE UCD Student Chapter is looking for Civil Engineers to become professional student mentors. This program will better bridge the gap between student and professionals in the civil engineering field. As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide networking opportunities to future civil engineers
  • Provide advice on internships, jobs and help with resumes
  • Offer tips on how to succeed in the professional world

If you are interested or have any questions contact  Sanjana Srinivas – Membership Chair: [email protected] Program begins January 2019 and ends June 2019.

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Sustainability Committee

To register for this event, click here.

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History & Heritage Committee



The History & Heritage Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. Connecting the East and the West with fast and easy transportation for the first time, its completion is considered by many as the most significant civil engineering project of the 19th Century.

Registration will open in early 2019.


Building the Transcontinental Railroad:Trestles, Tunnels, & Tracks 
Raymond Paul Giroux, Dist. Member ASCE, 
Kiewit Corporation

The Central & Southern Pacific’s Historic Sacramento Shops 
Mary A. Helmich, co-author, A Legacy in Brick and Iron, Sacramento’s Central & Southern Pacific Railroad Shops 
California State Railroad Museum Foundation Board Member.

Theodore Judah and the Blazing of the First Transcontinental Railroad Across the Sierra Nevada 
J. David Rogers, PhD, P.E., F.ASCE 
Missouri University of Science & Technology

Lunch Keynote Speaker 
David Bain, Author, Empire Express,  
Middlebury College, VT

The Civil Engineers of the Union Pacific Railroad 
Mike O’Connor, P.E., M.ASCE, Chief Engineer, 
Frederick & Pennsylvanian Line Railroad, MD

Grenville Dodge, and the Engineering of the Union Pacific Railroad 
Tonja Koob, PhD, P.E., M.ASCE,  President, 
Gaea Consulting, LA

Photographers of the Transcontinental Railroad 
Chuck Spinks, P.E., M.ASCE, 
California State Railroad Museum Docent 


ASCE Staff Contact 
Jennifer Lawrence, Aff.M.ASCE

Symposium Chair 
Chuck Spinks, P.E., M.ASCE

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesday, March 20th, 2018 6pm
Jacobs (formerly CH2M Hill)
2485 Natomas Park Drive, Suite #600
Sacramento, CA 95833

(Doors lock automatically at 6pm. Please contact Laura Byrd at 530-401-3592 if you need assistance getting into the building)


Bridges to Prosperity

Bridges to Prosperity is a United States-based nonprofit organization that partners with local governments to connect their rural last mile via pedestrian bridges. They are currently planning an implementation trip to Bolivia in April 2019. They are seeking someone who can read plans and pay their own way to help construct a pedestrian bridge. Ideally the candidate would have some bridge construction experience and Department of Transportation experience, but it is not required. If you are interested please contact Rich Williams at [email protected].

For more information about Bridges to Prosperity see


Kenya - East Kanyamamba

The KEK project team had a very successful trip to Kenya from February 7th through February 22nd. The team built a new free flowing spring box at a newly identified spring source in the northwestern portion of the KEK community. For the most part, the previously-constructed water supply projects (built in 2015) were in good shape with only minor repairs needed. In addition, the project team was able to help the KEK community establish an operation and maintenance committee for one of the previous sites and establish a water usage fee. Members of the project team met with Migori County officials to discuss the process and possibility of well drilling for water supply and were even able to meet with members of the San Francisco Professional Chapter at a neighboring community to discuss future collaboration.
There will be a KEK project presentation this month at the March chapter meeting, for those that are interested in learning more and seeing pictures! The KEK Clean Water Program is located near Rongo, Kenya in the East Kanyamamba community (a community of 1600 people). For more information, please contact Laura Byrd at [email protected]

Panama - Tranquilla Norte

Panama is in the midst of campaigns for elections that occur every 5 years which also elects La Junta members.  Because of this, the Panama team is stepping away from trying to reach any agreements about the next implementation phase until elections are over and the new members are in place in July.  The team had a call with an EWB headquarters project engineer on advice for how to navigate this election and she agreed with this approach.  In the meantime the project is hoping to stay busy by looking into a different project in a small neighboring community that was brought to our attention by our partner NGO; it involves helping them out with their water supply. Our headquarters project engineer thought this could be a good opportunity and encouraged us to investigate it further as it would provide something to work on when things are slow or delayed with Tranquilla Norte (as often happens). The team is now discussing this with the NGO to determine if we want to pursue this and go through the EWB process of adding a project. If you have any questions or are interested in joining a team call, email Michelle Kolb at [email protected]

Belize - Sarteneja

The Belize team is in final preparations for their first Implementation Trip in April, in which efforts will be focused on flood-proofing structures in the most vulnerable areas of the Village. The travel team also hopes to meet with the Belize Ministry of Works to discuss the availability of large equipment and the original technical plan. Sarteneja, Belize is a community of about 3,000 people who suffer major loss from flooding each year. For more information, please contact Mandy Ott at [email protected].

Denizen/Wyck Housing Project - Santa Rosa

The Sacramento EWB chapter has partnered with the Denizen/Wyck Housing Group to support the structural design of tiny homes for those displaced by last year's fires in Santa Rosa. If you have a structural background and are interested in being involved with the project, please email Patrick Donovan at [email protected]


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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 to[email protected] 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 [email protected].


Water Hammer in Transmission and Distribution Systems 
March 14-15, 2019 | San Francisco Metro Area

Managing the Design Process: Keeping on Schedule, within Budget, and Selecting the Right Resources
March 28-29, 2019 | Sacramento Metro-Area


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.

Live P.E. and S.E. Exam Reviews  NEW!

  • Take the guesswork out of your study plan and build confidence for exam day
  • Learn from qualified experts in interactive courses 
  • Receive access to recorded webinars and reference material
  • Take advantage of group rates for 2 or more engineers preparing in the same location
  • Courses start February 1!


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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ASCE LinkedIn Group


ASCE National's LinkedIn group has become a vital community of professionals like you that share ideas and knowledge. Here you can join your fellow civil engineers to network, interact and exchange ideas. To join, click here. If you are already a member of the group, learn more about networking and the benefits of ASCE membership. 

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California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Banquet

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California Infrastructure Report Card

California Infrastructure Report Card Scheduled for Release in
May 2019

By Tony Akel, P.E., M. ASCE

Co-Chair, ASCE Region 9 California Infrastructure Report Card Task Committee

As many of you know, ASCE Region 9 assembled an incredible team of professionals and experts in leadership positions throughout our state, and who for the past year, have been diligently working on developing the California Infrastructure Report Card.  This article provides an update on the status, and the scheduled release event in Sacramento in May 2019.

What Infrastructure Categories are being Evaluated? This report card includes an assessment of 17 categories of our state’s critical infrastructure including: Aviation, Bridges, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Ports, Public Parks, Rail, Roads, Schools, Solid Waste, Stormwater, Transit, and Wastewater.  While these categories have been evaluated by ASCE at the National level, this effort focuses the assessment and evaluation on California.

How are we Evaluating the Infrastructure Categories?  A team of over 120 dedicated civil and environmental engineers, from around the state, have volunteered their time and expertise to review and analyze existing sources of data, and provide an assessment of the current condition, performance, and funding of our state’s infrastructure. It makes me so proud to see so many dedicated teams of civil engineering professionals and experts, volunteer their very valuable time, high skills, and exemplary leadership to promote infrastructure.  They are definitely making a big difference in our profession!

What is the Grade?  The letter grade, assigned to each category and to the overall report card is, by far, the most effective tool for communicating the general state of our California infrastructure to state and local legislators, as well as to the public.  The grade is based on a simple “A through F” school report card format: A” for Exceptional, “B” for Good, “C” for Mediocre, “D” for Poor, and “F” for Failing. 

As an example, the 2012 California Infrastructure Report Card included 8 categories, and an overall Grade of “C”, which means our state’s infrastructure was deemed in mediocre condition back in 2012. 

What grades should we expect in the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card?  Though the grades are currently being vetted and finalized by a national team of experts, and will not be disclosed until the release event, the professionals within our industry already know what to expect.  Our state’s infrastructure renewal and replacement programs have been significantly underfunded for a long time, and while several legislations were implemented over the past decade that successfully increased this funding, a large gap remains.

The 2018 California Surface Transportation Report Card. Many of you know that our Region 9 team expedited the release of 3 transportation categories (Bridges, Roads, and Transit) back in October 2018.  At the time, one of the November 2018 California ballot measures was seeking to reverse Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), also known as the Road Repair Accountability Act, and which allocated generating and funding $5.4 billion a year dedicated solely to transportation funding. 

The grades for these categories were released as follows: C- for Bridges, D for Roads, and C- for Transit.  The full California Surface Transportation Report Card can be downloaded from the following website:

Our thanks go to the champions who worked diligently on developing and publishing these chapters. A Flyer was also prepared for the transportation report card, and is included at the end of this article.   

When and Where will the Full Report Card be Released? We are working with ASCE national staff and the national experts in the respective categories to finalize the remaining 14 chapters.  The full report card is scheduled for release in early May 2019 in Sacramento.  We will be following up with more specific information and a flyer addressing the release date and venue in Sacramento, hoping some of you can join us at this event. In the meantime, we encourage you to join us at another annual event that promotes the California infrastructure: The California Infrastructure Symposium is scheduled for March 29, 2019 in San Diego, information on which can be found at

For more information about the activities of the Region 9 California Infrastructure Report Card Task Committee, please contact me at [email protected] 

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Disaster Preparedness



by Doug Taylor, P.E., M.ASCE

Chair, ASCE Region 9 Disaster Preparedness Committee


In November 2018, twenty-one volunteers from ASCE assisted the Building Official from the town of Paradise to perform rapid inspections of approximately 15,000 homes and commercial properties following the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.  Long before this fire started, these volunteers had attended a 6-hour training class to become certified as an Evaluator in the Safety Assessment Program (SAP).  What they saw and what they experienced is hard to put into words but every volunteer was glad they could help.

When the next big earthquake hits California, you’re going to want to help too… but you can’t; unless you first get certified as an Evaluator in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Safety, Cal OES, Safety Assessment Program (SAP).  It’s SO EASY to get certified.  The six-hour course is often FREE (or offered for a small charge to cover lunch and meeting room costs) and is provided periodically in areas around the State.  The Certificate is good for FIVE years and then you can renew online… what could be simpler?  To find a class in your area, check the training schedule at the website of the California Office of Emergency Services and click on their Training Calendar.  Look for an SAP Evaluator training class near you. If you don’t find a class in your area, send an email to me saying you’re interested and I’ll do my best to set one up near you if enough people are interested… [email protected]

For more information, the DSW program is further explaned on the “CalOES” website including Frequently Asked Questions. Be prepared for the next disaster and use your Civil Engineering background to help others in need.

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The State Legislature began their 2019-2020 session in earnest – introducing 383 Assembly bills and 232 Senate bills in January. Governor Gavin Newsom was busy in January as well – making a number of appointments to state boards and commissions as well as filling many of his administration positions.

As part of his initiative to increase housing supply, approved legal action against the City of Huntington Beach for willfully refusing to comply with state housing law, “even after attempts to offer partnership and support from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.” No word if the State will sue Cities in Marin County. He also signed an executive order to build affordable housing on excess state lands and proposed spending $1.75 billion to spur housing production.

He will also have some role in the PG&E bankruptcy as some analysts think the filing and reorganization will impact the State’s goal of GHG reductions.

New Bills of Interest

AB 234 (Nazarian - D) Income taxes: credit: seismic retrofits. This bill, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2025, would allow a tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the qualified costs paid or incurred by a qualified taxpayer for any seismic retrofit construction on a qualified building, as provided.

SB 128 (Beall - D) Enhanced infrastructure financing districts: bonds: issuance. This bill would instead authorize a public financing authority to issue bonds for infrastructure purposes without submitting a proposal to the voters.

AB 252 (Daly - D) Department of Transportation: environmental review process: federal program. Current federal law requires the United States Secretary of Transportation to carry out a surface transportation project delivery program, under which the participating states may assume certain responsibilities for environmental review and clearance of transportation projects that would otherwise be the responsibility of the federal government. Current law, until January 1, 2020, provides that the State of California consents to the jurisdiction of the federal courts with regard to the compliance, discharge, or enforcement of the responsibilities it assumed as a participant in the program. This bill would extend the operation of these provisions indefinitely.

SB 197 (Beall - D) Department of Transportation: retention proceeds. Current law prohibits the Department of Transportation, until January 1, 2020, from withholding retention proceeds when making progress payments for work performed by a contractor. This bill would delete the repeal of this provision, thereby making the prohibition operative indefinitely.

SB 137 (Dodd - D) Federal transportation funds: state exchange programs. This bill would authorize Caltrans to allow federal transportation funds that are allocated as local assistance to be exchanged for Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program funds appropriated to the department.

AB 336 (Mathis - R) Sustainable groundwater management. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to designate a basin as a probationary basin if the board makes a certain determination and authorizes the board to adopt an interim plan for a probationary basin, as specified. The act authorizes the board to order a person that extracts or uses water from a basin that is subject to a certain investigation or proceeding by the board to prepare and submit to the board any technical or monitoring program reports related to that person’s or entity’s extraction or use of water as the board may specify. This bill would make nonsubstantive changes in a definition used in the act.

AB 231 (Mathis - R) California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: recycled water. Would exempt from CEQA a project to construct or expand a recycled water pipeline for the purpose of mitigating drought conditions for which a state of emergency was proclaimed by the Governor if the project meets specified criteria. Because a lead agency would be required to determine if a project qualifies for this exemption, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also exempt from CEQA the development and approval of building standards by state agencies for recycled water systems.

AB 223 (Stone, Mark - R) California Safe Drinking Water Act: microplastics. The California Safe Drinking Water Act requires the State Water Resources Control Board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health. Current law requires the state board, on or before July 1, 2020, to adopt a definition of microplastics in drinking water and, on or before July 1, 2021, to adopt a standard methodology to be used in the testing of drinking water for microplastics and requirements for 4 years of testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of those results. This bill would require the state board, to the extent possible, and where feasible and cost effective, to work with the State Department of Public Health in complying with those requirements.

AB 217 (Garcia, Eduardo - D) Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the board to provide a stable source of funding to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.

SB 200 (Monning - D) Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the State Water Resources Control Board to provide a stable source of funding to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.

SB 134 (Hertzberg - D) Water conservation: water loss performance standards: enforcement. Current law authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to issue information orders, written notices, and conservation orders to an urban retail water supplier that does not meet its urban water use objective, and existing law authorizes the board to impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified. Current law requires the board, no earlier than January 1, 2019, and no later than July 1, 2020, to adopt rules requiring urban retail water suppliers to meet performance standards for the volume of water losses. This bill would prohibit the board from imposing liability for a violation of the performance standards for the volume of water losses except as part of the enforcement of an urban water use objective.

ACA 3 (Mathis - R) Water: minimum funding guarantee. Would additionally require, commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year, not less than 2% of specified state revenues to be set apart for the payment of principal and interest on bonds authorized pursuant to the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014; water supply, delivery, and quality projects administered by the department, and water quality projects administered by the state board, as provided.

New Reports of Interest

Public Policy Institute of California has released “California’s Future,” a series of briefings on “the state’s most pressing long-term policy challenges in several key areas,” briefing topics are: “climate change, corrections, economy, health care, higher education, housing, K-12 education, political landscape, population, social safety net and water.”

The LAO released “The 2019-20 Budget: Overview of the Governor’s Budget,” says “the budget’s position continues to be positive” and “with $20.6 billion in discretionary resources available, the Governor’s budget proposal reflects a budget situation that is even better than the one our office estimated in the November Fiscal Outlook,” adds: “The Governor’s ongoing spending proposal is roughly in line with our November estimate of the ongoing capacity of the budget under an economic growth scenario. This was just one scenario, however. Recent financial market volatility indicates revenues could be somewhat lower than either we or the administration estimated.” 

California Department of Water Resources released Water Year 2018: Hot and Dry Conditions Return. California’s new water year officially started October 1. “Water Year 2018” was released at the same time, which summarizes the precipitation conditions over the past year and reports on the current status of the state’s water resources and infrastructure. “Despite below-average precipitation in water year 2018, most California reservoirs are storing near- or above-average levels of water heading into the 2019 water year.” Unfortunately, groundwater levels did not see much recovery during the first half of the water year, and prolonged dry conditions in the Colorado Basin have left Lake Powell and Lake Mead depleted and in risk of triggering a shortage declaration based on Lake Mead elevations.


Governor Gavin Newsom made the following appointments:

Nathan Fletcher to the California Air Resources Board. Fletcher is a new member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. Since 2013, Fletcher has been a professor of practice in political science at the University of California, San Diego. Fletcher was senior director for global strategic initiatives at Qualcomm from 2013 to 2017. He served as a member of the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2012 as a Republican and was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1997 to 2007. He is a member of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and the San Diego Association of Governments’ Transportation Committee.

As Secretary, Environmental Protection Agency: Jared Blumenfeld, San Francisco, “clean tech” consultant, former regional administrator for US Environmental Protection Agency.

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

As everyone can appreciate, an engineer must seek to practice the profession in a non negligent manner and to stay out of litigation.  Failure to do so will subject the engineer to financial liability, not to mention damage to profession reputation.  Even when driven by purely monetary considerations, mistakes are not good.  Besides the cost of correcting the mistake and paying for the damages that the mistake caused, there will be the continuing financial consequence of increased insurance premiums, if insurance can be obtained, as well as the costs in terms of lost business arising out of the damage to reputation.  In addition, there will be lawyers to pay.  So, the engineer would do well to become aware of areas where risks of professional liability have occurred for others and to seek to conduct business in ways that avoid or at least minimize those risks.  Following in this article and in future articles are a few areas that come to mind. 

Always seek to conform to the professional standard of care.  Everyone knows this and has a pretty good concept of what it is.  It used to be defined in more local terms but with modern communications, the old “local” has become world wide.  It is therefore important to be aware of the latest developments in the profession and what is being currently defined as encompassed within the “standard of care.”  Just remember that “you get what you paid for” does not trump “standard of care.” This can be a difficult concept to work around where a client may not want to or be able to pay for the engineering of a project that will comply with the standard of care. Budgetary induced short cuts may see a project to a conclusion but the result may be a disaster waiting to happen.  Even if the project limitations and increased risks are fully explained to the client, that will probably still not prevent legal consequences from befalling the engineer whose only defense may be “...but I told you so...”  Hard decisions must be made and projects may have to be turned down if there is insufficient money to be sure that the engineer will be able to produce a project that does conform with the standard of case.  Not a good place to be in these times.

Seek to have good communications with clients.  Where a client’s expectations are not met, an atmosphere can develop that can lead to an unhappy client who will not enhance the engineer’s reputation or prospects for future work, not to mention, increase the likelihood of litigation.  Unmet expectations can easily be the result of bad communication.  Starting with the contract and even before the formal terms are set down, it must be clearly understood by both parties what is to be expected of the other.  For the engineer, this can present special challenges in dealing with an owner who does not have an accurate understanding of what an engineer does.  The engineer must seek to learn what the client knows and understands and tailor the communication accordingly.  Careful documentation along the process is also a good practice to be sure the client understands and maintains only realistic expectations. 

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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   Michael Konieczki [email protected] 916-840-5211
President Elect   Tino Maestas [email protected] 916-471-8210
Senior Director  Megan LeRoy [email protected] 916-993-4613
Junior Director Christina Rice [email protected] 530-559-4506
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell [email protected] 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih [email protected] 916-679-8864
Past President Adam Killinger [email protected] 951-265-5289
Executive Director Tony Quintrall [email protected] 916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Nelson Tejada  [email protected] 916-751-0849
Region 9 Chair Kwame Agyare [email protected]  
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Ashley Martin [email protected] 530-200-6309
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia [email protected] 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Escott Anderson [email protected] 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Bradley Waldrop [email protected] 916-788-2884
Central Valley Branch Erik Almaas [email protected] 209-946-0268
Feather River Branch  Clay Slocum [email protected] 530-864-1648
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin [email protected] 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir [email protected] 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon [email protected] 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich [email protected] 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  [email protected] 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst.

Niranjen Kanepathipillai

[email protected] 916-227-4463
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily    530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew [email protected] 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan [email protected] 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  [email protected]  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Elias Karam  [email protected] 209-481-6857
Scholarship Eric Polson [email protected]  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan [email protected] 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Harpreet Gill [email protected]  
University of the Pacific Nelson Tejada [email protected]  
University of California, Davis Darren Mack [email protected]  
California State University, Chico   [email protected]  


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