CalGeo E Newsletter

July 25, 2012


By Rex Upp
Outgoing President

Rex Upp, outgoing President.

Goals »

New CalGeo Board Member »

Liquidated Damages »

Legislative Update »

State Budget News »

Prevailing Wage Law »

ASFE Webinar »

Member News »

Seen & Heard »

Earthwork Removals Survey »

Job Board »

Safety First »

Striving for goals helps us achieve success in our professional and personal lives. One of the goals of a true professional is to help improve their profession. Since 2004, it has been my pleasure to serve on CalGeo's Board of Directors. During that time we have modified some goals, set new ones, and continue to make progress towards our shared objectives. Click here to read more about CalGeo's goals. As a result, CalGeo has grown stronger. We now better serve our members, the geotechnical profession, and the public. And it's thanks to the invaluable input of members who have stepped forward to serve as directors, on committees, or simply have made what input they could, that has made CalGeo as strong as it is today.

What are your goals? Soon you will be asked in a survey "Why are you member of CalGeo?" When you think of your answer, also consider if it is time for you to get involved. If you do, you won't regret it.



New CalGeo Board Member

Mike Moscrop – GMU Geotechnical, Inc.

Mike Moscrop

Mike Moscrop

Welcome to our newest Board member, Mike Moscrop, P.E., G.E., a Principal Engineer at GMU Geotechnical, Inc., based in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Mike has been an active supporter of CalGeo for many years. He strongly believes in CalGeo as the pre-eminent organization representing the geotechnical profession in California and is looking forward to serving on the Board to give back to an organization and profession that has given him so much.

We look forward to your active participation in CalGeo!


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Getting Soaked with Liquidated Damages

By David Miller
Pacific Employers

Until recently, California employees alleging a wage claim for payment of less than the minimum wage could file their claim in the California court system for recovery of liquidated damages.

That all changed last year when Governor Brown signed legislation amending the Labor Code Sections 98 and 1194.2. This action gave new power to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Labor Commissioner's Office as the amended statutes will allow the Labor Commissioner to award liquidated damages to a successful employee.

To read more on this, click here.


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Legislative Update

By Rick Keene
CalGeo Legislative Advocate

California State Capitol


With the state legislature adjourned for summer recess, we thought now would be a good time to let you know of several victories CalGeo has achieved this session on behalf of our members.

There are four bills CalGeo actively opposed that have now failed to move forward. This bunch includes proposals that would have weakened our exclusivity protections, imposed taxes on our services and forced unionization of co-managed employees.

There's plenty of work awaiting us when the session resumes in August. CalGeo is actively supporting SB 899 by Senator Wright, which aims to limit other state agencies from putting additional licensing demands on our members other than the Engineering Licensing Board. We're also keeping our eye on 10 other bills that pose some concern, and will take an active role in opposition if the need arises. Click here and here to read more about these bills, and let us know if you have any input.


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State Budget News

By Rick Keene
CalGeo Legislative Advocate

The legislature passed its annual budget on June 27, and its success rests on several assumptions that all must come true if the state hopes to close next year's $15.7 billion expected deficit.

Primarily, it relies on voters approving $8.5 billion in new taxes this November. It also assumes some rosy revenue projections will be realized. If those funds don't materialize, alternative additional budget cuts are in place. As always seems to be the case, this budget may well prove unrealistically optimistic about revenues and taxes, and underestimate likely budget expenditures.


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California Prevailing Wage Law

September 12 Breakfast Briefing

Are you up to speed on all of the recent changes to California’s prevailing wage law and how it might affect your business? Join us September 12 as labor law experts Van Goodwin and Wayne Hersh of Littler Mendelson facilitate an interactive discussion titled "Six Things You’d Better Understand Before Beginning (or Continuing) Public Works Construction in California."

Wednesday, September 12th
8:00am – 8:30am Registration and Breakfast
8:30am – 10:30am Program
Leighton Group Headquarters
17781 Cowan
Irvine, CA 92614

Click here for more details.

Special CalGeo Pricing on a GREAT Webinar

CalGeo is partnering with ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association so CalGeo members get special pricing on the August 8 installment of ASFE's geoprofessional-writing webinar series, which is a MAJOR hit with members and nonmembers alike. All are led by John Bachner, a Harvard English major whose off-the-wall delivery style (fortified with solid guidance and successful tips) makes a webinar a true experience. On August 8, his "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know about List Preparation (but Were Afraid To Ask)" will focus on list development and the need to develop a companywide style guide.

If your firm is a member of ASFE, use the usual ASFE sign-in. If you or your firm is not members of ASFE, use the special end-of-summer discount and save $155 off the nonmember price. Click here and enter promo code ASFENM. (There's no limit on the number of people who can participate at any given location.) If you have questions contact Colleen Harper at or (301) 565-2733. We look forward to your participation!


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Member News

Welcome to Our Newest Affiliate Member

California Nevada Cement Association
17532 Luther Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614
Contact: Jeff Wykoff
(949) 689-6961

Local Consulting Firm Elects New Leader

LACO Associates is pleased to announce Christopher Watt, CEG, CHG, as its new president, following the semi-retirement of Leonard Osborne, PE, who led the firm for 12 years. Mr. Osborne will continue with LACO in a part-time capacity as an advisor to the Board of Directors and consulting on projects with key clients.

Mr. Watt has significant accomplishments in environmental and geologic site investigations supporting municipalities, small- to mid-sized businesses, and national environmental consultants. He holds California licensure as a Professional Geologist, Certified Engineering Geologist, and Certified Hydrogeologist. Mr. Watt has led the growth of the firm by successfully managing new offices in Ukiah, and most recently Santa Rosa, as LACO's Geo-Environmental Services Director. His specialties include hydrogeologic and engineering geologic evaluations, air/water quality monitoring and environmental site assessments (ESAs). Throughout his career, he has built an impressive portfolio of site remediation projects accomplishments.

For more information, visit or call (800) 515-5054.

2012 Silent Auction Results From Maui

By Hannes Richter
Stoney-Miller Consultants, Inc.

CalGeo’s annual silent auction fundraiser benefitting our student outreach program was again successful this year, as we raised $2,260 at this yea's Annual Conference! This is our primary fundraiser for the student chapters, and it’s always a lot of fun for everyone. We had many good prizes donated, and want to thank the contributors on behalf of the students for your support and generosity.

Acacia CE
Diaz Yourman & Associates
Earth Systems
Earth Systems Pacific
Geotechnologies, Inc.
GMU Geotechnical
Gregg Drilling
Jean Yurkovic
Marsha Myers
Sheraton Maui Resort
Soil Engineering Construction
Stoney-Miller Consultants, Inc.
Taylor Group

Thank you all!


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Seen & Heard

Mike Laney of Earth Systems (l) with Senator Tony Strickland (r).

Mike Laney of Earth Systems (l) with
Senator Tony Strickland (r).

CalGeo Board member Mike Laney met last month with state Senator Tony Strickland to discuss issues affecting consulting geotechnical engineers. The meeting, held at Earth Systems’ Ventura office, was part of CalGeo's renewed effort to educate state and local elected officials about our organization and the value our members provide the community. Senator Strickland was able to see first-hand what we do and took an active interest in addressing the challenges facing our industry.

CalGeo is working to schedule similar meetings across the state to build these important relationships with decision-makers, so they’ll be better equipped to support our members as issues arise. If you’d like to participate in a briefing with your locally elected officials, please contact Rick Keene at or (916) 284-4822.


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Earthwork Removals Survey

Andre Ashour is a MSCE Student at Cal State Pomona working on his geotechnical engineering master's project on the removal of natural or unsatisfactory soils beneath proposed fills. Andre is conducting a survey as part of that coursework and would appreciate your input. Please click here to help Andre by participating in this survey. It only takes a minute.


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Job Board

Visit our website to check for frequently posted job openings.


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Safety First

Hand Protection – Handle With Care

Courtesy of State Compensation Insurance Fund of California

Next to our eyes, our hands are probably the most important part of our body when it comes to doing our work. They’re involved in almost every thing we do. Yet many of the things we do with our hands are done without any deliberate thought. Your hands have no fear. They’ll go anyplace they're sent and they only act as wisely as the person they belong to; so before you use your hands think of their safekeeping.

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

Traumatic injuries often occur from careless use of machinery or tools. Hands and fingers get caught, pinched or crushed in chains, wheels, rollers, or gears. They are punctured, torn or cut by spiked or jagged tools and edges that shear or chop. Safety precautions should include using shields, guards, gloves, or safety locks; handling knives or tools with care; and keeping hands, jewelry and clothing away from moving parts.

Contact injuries result from contact with solvents, acids, cleaning solutions, flammable liquids and other substances that can cause burns or injure tissue. To protect against these injuries, read the product labels, use the right glove or barrier cream, and wash hands frequently.

Repetitive motion injuries happen when tasks require repeated, rapid hand movements for long periods of time. Manufacturing, assembling, or computer work may lead to these injuries. Change your grip, hand position, or motion. If possible, rotate tasks to give your hands a rest.

You can protect yourself from hand injuries by remembering the following basic safety rules:

   • Recognize hazards.
   • Think through each job before you begin.
   • Follow safety rules.
   • Avoid shortcuts.
   • If an accident happens, seek prompt treatment.
   • Report injuries to your supervisor.

Healthy hands are built to last a lifetime. Injuries can last a lifetime, too. Be aware of your hand placement and take precautions to guard them.

State Compensation Fund of California Contact

CalGeo members interested in becoming a member in CalGeo’s "Safety First" group can contact Patty Amaya at (323) 327-5773 or at State Compensation Insurance Fund for more information and an application.


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D.J. Scheffler, Inc. - Foundation Drilling and Shoring

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