CalGeo E Newsletter

May 24, 2010

CalGeo Launches New Website

CalGeo now has a new home on the web! Our new website is designed to better communicate who we are and what we can do for the geotechnical professional.

One of my favorite features of the site is the Member Highlight area. A new member picture with their bio cycles in each time any page is clicked on. If you are a member and would like to be in our Member Highlight area on the new website, we’ll need a head shot (in color, prefer jpg) and a bio under 150 words, email them to

There are many new features on our website and we are very proud of it. Check us out online today at, and see all we can do for you. Your comments are very welcome.

Marsha Myers, Executive Director


CalGeo Launches New Website »

Call for Member News: Share Your Success! »

Member News »

Legislative Update »

CalGeo's June Regional Meeting and Webcast »

Salary Survey For 2010 »

Outstanding Project Awards »

Safety First »



Call for Member News: Share Your Success!

Are you or your firm doing something worth noting? Did you win an award, get a promotion or finish a recognizable project? If you're making news, we want to hear about it. Send us your stories to and we'll post them in this space in upcoming editions. Items should be 140 characters in length or less.




Member News

Welcome new members!

Matthew Rogers (Individual Member), San Diego
Nersi Hemati Consulting Soil Engineers (Active Member), Sausalito
Mid Pacific Engineering (Active Member), Cottonwood
Kehoe Testing & Engineering (Affiliate), Huntington Beach

Advanced Geosolutions Inc (AGI) is seeking a motivated and energetic Senior Design Engineer candidate based in their Los Angeles area office. Download the complete job information here.

CalGeo Treasurer Rex Upp (Upp Geotechnology, Inc.)
CalGeo Treasurer Rex Upp (Upp Geotechnology, Inc.) looks up from the bottom of a 41-feet deep hand-dug exploration pit as he studies a landslide in Saratoga.




Legislative Update

Indemnification Reform Bill SB 972

Currently the most important bill concerning CalGeo members is SB 972. This is still in Committee, and once it hits the floor for debate it needs our strong support. Basically, this bill is in response to two court rulings (UDC-Universal Development v. CH2M Hill and Crawford v. Weather Shield) that have dramatically expanded the contractual duty to provide a legal defense to another party (typically the design professionals client).  Efforts to appeal this ruling in the court system have been exhausted, and ACEC-California is heading up the effort with Senator Wolk's (Davis) help to protect our profession from unfairly having to indemnify a client even when there are no allegations or proof that the design professional was negligent.

Please go to the following link for the latest list of bills that are being monitored by CalGeo:

If you know of any bills that you would like CalGeo to monitor, or would like to express support or opposition to a piece of legislation, please contact CalGeo's office, or Mike Laney at

Vote Yes on Proposition 13

Proposition 13 provides that construction done to seismically retrofit buildings will not trigger reassessment of the building's property tax value. CalGeo supports a YES vote on Proposition 13. CalGeo also supports the design and timely construction of seismic upgrades to structures that need them.




CalGeo's June Regional Meeting and Webcast

Impacts Of The New ASCE 7-10 Procedures

CalGeo will be doing something a little different for our June regional meeting. Instead of holding separate southern and northern California meetings, we will be hosting one meeting on June 17 at The Doubletree Irvine Spectrum Hotel and webcasting the event live to member firm offices throughout the state. The idea of the webcast is to bring the meeting to members at more locations, rather than having our members travel to the meeting in fewer locations. Several webcast locations have been selected and more may be announced in the coming weeks. Current locations are: Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Eureka, West Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, and San Ramon (see flyer for exact locations). The offices hosting the event will provide a casual dinner and access to the live event for a nominal cost. Participants at the webcast locations will be able to view the meeting and interact with questions and comments in real time.

Our presenter will be Pat Jenks, Senior Engineering Geologist with Wallace-Kuhl & Associates in West Sacramento, CA. Pat will discuss the recently-published ASCE/SEI Standard No. 7-10 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. ASCE 7-10 includes new and revised procedures for determining Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA). Pat's evaluation of several metropolitan locations in California indicates that increased design PGA resulting from the new procedures may have significant design implications for projects throughout California. Issues associated with liquefaction susceptibility, post-liquefaction settlements, lateral spreading and requirements for classification of more sites as Site Class F may significantly affect the scope and cost of subsurface investigation, analysis and design and increase the number of sites that require ground improvement and special foundation considerations.

We request that you register by June 11 for either the live event or a webcast site. Payment will be collected at the door at all sites. Contact Marsha Myers at (530) 344-0644 or by email at to register. For complete information download the flyer here.

We hope you will join us at the live event or one of the webcast locations to learn about controversial and potentially wide ranging implications of the new ASCE Standard.




Salary Survey For 2010

Survey Is In Your E-mail Box

By now you should have received the Salary Survey questionnaire vie e-mail, so if you have not received it and wish to participate, please contact Marsha Myers at As you know we use this tool to give our membership vital information regarding salaries for both technical and non-technical employees across the state. This allows us to stay current in this regard, and in these economic times (I skipped the word “bleak” in order to maintain a positive outlook), it is important to do all we can to provide a good work environment (i.e. good salaries and benefits) and still maintain a sufficient level of profitability. Please fill in the questionnaire carefully and follow the instructions. We would like the responses back by June 18, 2010 so we can compile the information and get the results back out in a timely fashion. We appreciate the input and involvement of our membership in this survey. If you know other Geotechnical firms who may not be members of CalGeo at this time but would be interested in this information, please have them contact Marsha also, as we are trying to expand the database and can provide the information to all firms that participate, whether or not they are members. If you participate and get your survey back to us by June 18, your firm will receive a copy of the published survey FREE!




Outstanding Project Awards

CalGeo Awards 6 Member Firms

This year's winners were honored at a luncheon during our Annual Conference in La Jolla May 1st, and we are proud to announce the 2009-10 Outstanding Project Award winners:

BSK Associates - Large Category Award - Minarets High School in O'Neals, CA.
ENGEO Inc - Medium Category Award - Trestle Glen at Colma, CA
Condor Earth Technologies, Inc. – Honorable Mention – South Main Canal Improvement Project, Oakdale, CA
American Geotechnical, Inc. – Honorable Mention – Seaview Landslide Repair, San Clemente, CA
Leighton Consulting, Inc. – Honorable Mention – Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension, Los Angeles, CA
Stoney-Miller Consultants, Inc. – Honorable Mention – Portola Hills II, Area A Landslide Remediation, Lake Forest, CA

Amer Hussain of BSK Associates accepts award from CalGeo Past President, Greg Silver
Large Category Winner Amer Hussain of BSK Associates accepts award from CalGeo Past President, Greg Silver.




Safety First

Upcoming Safety Seminars

"Courtesy of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund"

If you or your organization is a member of our "Safety First" group through the State Compensation Insurance Fund, you are entitled to attend any of their Employer Education Series seminars. These seminars are offered for free to safety group members.

Please go to: and you will discover the wide variety of safety seminars provided by State Fund. For your convenience, you can sort the seminars by Topic, Location or Date. Register online early as seating limited. Should you have any questions, State Fund's customer service number is (877) 405-4545.

Here is a sampling of seminars to be presented during the months of May and June 2010:
- Cal/OSHA Just Showed Up, What Now?
- Heat Illness Prevention for Outdoor Work
- Surprise Inspections – Are You Prepared?

CalGeo invites you to join our Safety First! program and take advantage of its many benefits.  For safety questions or basic loss-control information, please contact CalGeo's Safety Administrator, Jean Yurkovic, at or call (530) 344-0644.




CalGeo  |  Phone: 530 344-0644