CalGeo E Newsletter

September 22, 2010

CalGeo Celebrates 40th Anniversary

John Hoobs - CalGeo Past PresidentCalGeo was formed in 1970 by a group of geotechnical engineers to represent the unique needs of California's geotechnical consulting industry. The organization was then called SAFEA (Soil and Foundation Engineers Association) and its purpose was to improve the stature of geotechnical engineering. The founders felt that as a group of companies they could accomplish their goals more efficiently than any individual company could attain. The organization was initiated to promote the advancement of geotechnical engineering in private practice.


CalGeo Celebrates
40th Anniversary

Member News »

CalGeo Events »

CalGeo Salary Survey »

Legislative Update »

Safety First »


This goal still remains the key focus of our organization today. The current board of directors focuses its efforts on educating and promoting the profession through committee action, special projects, technical studies, and implementation of the original goals of the founding fathers. This year the board of directors will focus on getting this message out to all of the state's geotechnical firms whether they are a member or not to show the value of being part of CalGeo. The board of directors will be calling and/or visiting each of our active members to thank them for their continued support. In addition, each board member will be calling and/or visiting former member firms and those that have never been members to educate them on the value of joining the only organization that is solely focused on the issues of geotechnical engineering in California. So we ask for your support in accepting our invitation when we visit, or just picking up the phone so we can discuss what we can do to help your company be more successful. Thanks.

John Hoobs
CalGeo Past President


Member News

DBM Expansion of Services

Donald B. Murphy Contractors, Inc. (DBM) an industry leader in heavy civil and specialty geotechnical construction, has recently created an international trading and consulting division, DBM Global Services, to support its efforts to expand its core construction activities overseas.

Given its extensive network of strategic partners, DBM Global Services is in the unique position to assist U.S. organizations in entering and expanding in overseas markets. The new division is comprised of seven business units with design/construction being the priority industry. Other services include security/military, aviation/aerospace, high technology, development, PR/communications and special projects.

For more information about how DBM Global Services can assist your company or organization in entering domestic U.S. and international markets, please access the division’s new website address as or contact a DBM Global Services Business Development Manager at (253) 405-4032 or


Welcome to Our New Members!

Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
Welcome to our new Active member Shannon & Wilson, Inc. Michael Watari is the firm's primary representative and can be contacted at its main office:

Michael Watari
1722 3rd Street, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 438-2300

James W. Foley
Welcome to James W. Foley a new Individual member and former BPELS President. For those of you that attended our 2010 Annual Conference, James was one of our speakers. If you'd like to contact James, below is his contact information:

PO Box 2153
Saratoga, CA 95070-0153
(408) 777-9917




CalGeo Events

Regional Meeting Update

Our next Regional Meeting will be Tuesday, November 9 at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana. Our speaker will be Dr. Marshall Lew of MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. He is a specialist in geotechnical and earthquake engineering and will be presenting on "Seismic Earth Pressures on Deep Building Basements."

We will be webcasting this meeting to various host sites throughout California that night. If your firm would like to be a host site, please contact Marsha Myers at (530) 344-0644 or Look for complete information about the sites, presentation and how to register in the very near future. We will send out another e-mail notice when more details become available.


Annual Conference 2011: "Engineering the Future"

Mark your calendars for April 14-16, 2011 when CalGeo's annual conference will be held at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley.  We negotiated a great rate at the hotel of $189, inclusive of resort fees, and with free parking!  The Claremont Hotel is an AAA four-diamond award winning hotel and mixes a rich history with modern amenities, award-winning cuisine, and stately accommodations.  Nestled in the Berkeley Hills, the Claremont lets you get away from it all without being too far away from anything.  And the views from the hotel of the San Francisco Bay are unforgettable! We think it's the perfect place for our next conference and know that you'll feel right at home there too.

We've also scaled down the days of the conference from three to two to accommodate our members' work schedules.  Full schedules and conference information should be available on our website in early January.  Brochures will be sent out to firms after the first of the year and will include all the information you need to register.




CalGeo Salary Survey

Salary Survey Mailed

For those of you who participated in this year's Salary Survey, your free copy was mailed out at the end of August. This mailing was addressed to the person who completed the survey and was marked "confidential." If you did not receive your copy of the survey, please let us know by contacting Marsha Myers at or (530) 344-0644.

f you did not participate in the salary survey this year and would like to purchase a copy of the survey, you can do so by clicking here




Legislative Update

SB 972 Letter of Support

CalGeo has supported SB 972 and it is now on the Governor's desk for signature.  It is imperative to act NOW and send your letter of support to the Governor.  Please see ASFE's information and link below on how to get your voice heard.  It is easy, won't take much time and THIS REALLY NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!!!!!

Act Now To Right Two Wrongs!
No: You are most definitely not California dreamin' (or nightmarin'): Thanks to Golden State court rulings, you could be forced to pay an indemnitee's attorney's fees even though you were not negligent or did not breach your contract. (In one case, the court ruled an engineering firm had to defend the indemnitee even though the plaintiff did not even allege the engineering firm was negligent.) ACEC/California has gotten legislation passed to correct this wrong, but the governor needs to sign it. Let the guv know you are concerned! Go to the following link for instructions on how to make your voice heard:

ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association


2010 Legislative Session

The California state legislature has ended the 2010 legislative session, and at this time no budget has passed.  Also, it appears that the Governor will not be calling our elected leaders back for a special session to finalize the state budget.  Governor Schwarzenegger has promised to veto any bills that reach his desk before there is an approved state budget.  So at this time all bills are being held in "enrollment" to avoid a veto.  They will need to be sent to the Governor for signature by the September 30 deadline or they will die there.  We are hopeful that a deal can be worked out between our legislature and the Governor to allow these bills to be considered for veto or signature before this deadline.

Regardless it is important to start sending letters to the Governor's office now supporting the following bills that are in enrollment, which CalGeo has been supporting during this session.

SB 972 (Wolk)- Indemnification Reform for Design Professionals

SB 1008 (Padilla)- Limited Liability Partnerships for Design Professionals

In closing, letters opposing SC 694 (Correa) - Public Contracts of Public Works Competitive Bidding Procedures, which also passed and is in enrollment, would be appreciated.  As always the details related to these and other bills we have been watching are in the latest Legislative Update posting on the CalGeo website.




Safety First

Hand Safety

"Courtesy of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund"

During the day, your hands grip and release, twist and bend, push and pull. They'll go anyplace they’re sent and act as wisely as the person to whom they belong. So, what's the best thing you can do to keep your hands safe? Pay attention! Think about what your hands are about to do then do what's necessary to keep them safe.

Here are some common types of hand injuries and what you can do to prevent them:

Repetitive Motion Injuries. If you make the same moves the same way for long periods of time, your muscles get tense and tired and are at greater risk of injury. You can prevent hand fatigue and muscle injury by rotating tasks, changing the motion or position of your hand or varying your grip.

Contact Injuries. Prevent a contact exposure to solvents, acids, cleaning solutions, flammable liquids, or other substances that can cause burns or damage tissue by reading the product labels, using the right glove or barrier cream, and washing your hands frequently.

Traumatic injuries can occur when hands are caught, pinches, crushed, punctured, torn or cut. Safety precautions include watching where you put your hands; using shields, guards, or gloves; handling knives and tools with care; and keeping hands, jewelry, and clothing away from moving parts. Follow all lockout/blockout procedures for machinery and equipment. And, when carrying loads in or out of tight spaces, take extra care to protect your hands from being pinched, scraped or crushed against walls or doorways.

Good housekeeping is another way to protect your hands from injuries. Wear gloves or use a dustpan and broom to clean up broken glass, metal shavings or nails - never use your bare hands.

Keep tools and sharps in their proper place. Stay alert to jagged edges, slivers, metal banding or protruding nails. Use care when handling tools that cut, drill or grate.

If you injure your hand, report it and get proper first aid or other medical attention. Ignoring even a slight cut, bruise or burn can sometimes turn into a more serious injury. Protect your hands. They're important to your work and your quality of life.


Free State Fund Seminar - "Know Your Rights"

State Fund is offering a free seminar to State Compensation Insurance Fund policy holders. This seminar will be held on October 19, 2010 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Doubletree Hotel Anaheim, located at 100 The City Drive in Orange. Registration and complimentary continental breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m.

For more information and online registration, click here. Scroll down the page and click on the seminar titled "Know Your Rights." From that page, you will be able to register for the seminar.




CalGeo  |  Phone: 530 344-0644