Wow! We Received A Bunch of Outstanding Photos of Animals at LV
Jean Douglas of Antioch took the photo at the very top of the Ferruginous hawk. Dave Harper sent the rest of the photos of the rock wren, black-tailed deer, osprey and a coyote.
The weekend's e-mail brought with it a number of outstanding photos by local photographers walking the trails at Los Vaqueros.
Jean Douglas' photo at the top was taken this past week, while Dave Harper's were shot over the past few years.
We feel lucky that they send them to us and we can share them with you.
Yikes! Giant Spiders at Los Vaqueros!
Oh, the Humanity! Giant spiders have invaded Los Vaqueros!!!!!
While the picture is real, and the tarantula is real, the CCWD truck is just Matchbox toy the Canal Patrol gives out to kids.
Clayton Funk said he's been waiting years to take this shot, keeping the Matchbox CCWD truck nearby while working at LV.
He's seen plenty of tarantulas at LV, but none were cooperative until yesterday. Trust us, no Photoshop was used in taking this photo, and no animals, spiders or employees were harmed either.
Please Send Us Your 2014 CCWD Photos!!!!
Photos from the year are always a fun part of the CCWD Holiday Luncheon.
They start conversations, occasionally provide a good laugh, help you remember events from the past year (anyone remember the Belize Water Service employees from January? Fortunately, we do).
We would like to include as many photos as we can this year -- computer memory willing -- so please send your digital or paper photos to CCWD Public Information Specialist Jim Freschi at firstname.lastname@example.org
He'll take good care of them, and get the paper ones back to you.
He'll even take some video. Get them to Jim as soon as you can.
New Employees Tour The District
New employees embark on their tour. Pictured from left to right, starting in the top row: Jeff Schudi, Kalle Vaananen, Colton Rogers, Jamee Longacre, Brian Brekelmans, Jake Elsberry, Matthew Holt and Kari Holterman. In the front (l to r), Jennifer Reyes, Elaine Simmons, Matt Underwood, Nick Overstreet, Vince Bellingham and Ronnie McCoy.
New employees -- and a few not-so-new employees who missed earlier trips -- toured the District today as part of their orientation tour.
After a brief talk by GM Jerry Brown -- his top priority is safety -- and an overview of the District and its fascinating history, they boarded a bus and hit the road.
Stops include both the Randall-Bold and Bollman water treatement plants, Old River Pump Station, the transfer station and Los Vaqueros watershed.
Board Will Consider Revenue Increase of Up To 3.5 % For Treated Water
The CCWD Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing, where treated and untreated water revenue increases will be considered, will be held on Jan. 7.
The Board will consider an up to 3.5% revenue increase for treated water customers, and a up to 3.75% revenue increase for untreated water customers.
If a 3.5% revenue increase is approved, the increase to a single family residential customer in the District using 320 gallons per day (average customer) would be approximately $2.16 per month
If approved, the new rates would become effective starting February 1, 2015.
Look here for more information.
Safety Committee Sees Success in 'Observations'
Safety observations were such a success during a trial run, the District Safety Committee plans to recommend continuing the practice on a permanent basis.
In the pilot program’s short run, employees would take turns visiting different job sites to observe safety practices, learn new techniques and suggest improvements.
Safety Committee members who participated in the pilot said observations help identify new methods of getting a job done, usually in a safer way.
“It’s a great experience,” said Member Vic Smith. “Observers can help crews find something to improve on and usually also learn something they didn’t know.”
Safety Officer Spiro Zapantis said observations are not to find blame or incident, but are another tool to continually improve the way we work and create a safer environment. The committee is evaluating the pilot to determine how frequently observations should occur and who should participate. Committee Chair Ryan Freeborn suggested including Design Engineers so the engineering team would have a better understanding of work in the field.
A new monthly newsletter is being created to inform employees concerns, suggestions and near-misses. The newsletter provides an easy to digest rundown of safety events throughout the past month and how each is being followed up. The intent of the newsletter is to spread awareness about safety issues across departments and workgroups.
Field employees who have a Rat Pack Tool Box now have several optional modifications available to decrease the risk of pinching a finger. Earlier this year, an employee severely injured a thumb while closing the box drawer, which can weigh up to 700 pounds. Safety committee member Vic Smith has been working with staff to develop a panel that prevents placing fingers in harm’s way. He stressed that when properly used, the box should not present any danger.
Safety slogans that adorn most District provided T-shirts and sweaters are in for a change. The Safety Committee plans to host a contest to solicit new slogans. Contest details and prizes are being determined. Employees will be notified when the contest is open.
Ed Mena and James Maniatis were recognized with Star Awards for their response to a citizen’s vehicle that caught fire. Ed and James immediately turned on the leak truck’s strobe lights to direct traffic away from the fire and attempted to extinguish the fire until the fire department arrived. Nobody was injured in the incident.
10 Years and 379 Editions Later, LV Newsletter Still Going Strong
The anniversary almost slipped by us unnoticed, but the Los Vaqueros Newsletter is now more than 10-years-old.
The newsletter -- which always includes a fishing report, a photo from the watershed, and at least one story about LV -- was first published on Oct. 11, 2004 and has been going strong ever since with 379 issues published. Yes, an average of nearly 38 issues a year.
The first e-mail newsletter published by the District, and its most prolific, the LV Newsletter now has 1,718 subscribers and has covered countless topics ranging from expansion of the reservoir to trying to solve the mysteries of a piece of an old wood pipe found in a creek bank.
The newsletter has been redesigned three times, currently with a two-column format that allows more photos than in the past.
The latest edition of the newsletter, which came out today, includes a photo and story about Lewis's Woodpeckers returning to LV, new videos shot by anglers, and night fishing at the reservoir.
Coat Drive Ends, Toy & Food Drive Begins
Coats and sweaters donated by employees are stacked up to prepare for delivery to STAND! for Families Free from Violence in Concord.
The annual District coat drive ended last week, but the Holiday Food & Toy Drive has begun this week with collection barrels located throughout the District.
The toy portion of the new drive is for "Toys for Tots" which is asking for new unwrapped toys for children. There are barrels located throughout the District.
The food portion is for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. The most requested food items are: tuna, peanut butter, iron rich cereal, 100% fruit juice, canned fruit (in juice), dry beans, canned vegetables, enriched rice and enriched pasta.
All donations are due by Dec. 12.
With the coat drive, CCWD employees donated 73 coats. There were 23 for women, 33 for men
and 17 for children.
CCWD Customers Can't Stop Saving Water
Saved 25 percent compared to historical average since April
From April through October, CCWD customers used 25 percent less water than their historical average.
This remains well above the 15 percent target the District asked its customers to aim for, and is one percent higher than a month ago. Water use is compared to the District's historic average from 2005-2007.
In October, temperatures did not climb excessively high, and we also had some rain during the month that curbed demand for water in yards.
Of course, our customers are continuing to do their part. We've seen a number of people within the District begin the process of converting their lawns to gardens. Even shopping centers, look for the signs. We have a very complete guide to doing this job and earning a rebate.
Read all about it in our newsletter.
District Now Publishes Results of 'Safety Concerns';
Newsletter Highlights Hand & Power Tool Safety
The District began publishing a new "Safety Concerns" attachment to its monthly Safety Newsletter describing safety issues that have been identified by employees.
You can see what employees have suggested, and how those ideas have been acted on. Suggestions range from removing tool boxes from fleet pickups to problems with duck droppings along the canal.
The objective of this additional communication is to increase safety awareness and lower the District’s injury rate over time.
While there may be safety concerns that require follow-up (training, procedures, equipment), the primary objective is to ensure these items are discussed in safety and staff meetings.
If you have any thoughts, concerns or recommendations regarding this new safety communication initiative, please contact your safety committee representative or the Safety Officer.
But the November edition of the Safety Newsletter is also filled with all kinds of interesting info. Did you know that Vic Smith and John Joseph have created a neat way to ensure fingers don't get caught in Pack Rat tool drawers, or that the District has lost 322 workdays in 1014, compared to 225 a year ago? Though that number is up, the number of avoidable vehicle accidents are down with only five, compared to eight the previous year.
There's also news on safety training this year, and how to stay safe around power tools.