Hats Off

Drainage issue quickly solved in District 5

Note: The following email was sent to District 5 on Dec. 16, 2021, from Telford Work, a professor of theology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. It concerns Aldo Estrada, Caltrans’ Santa Barbara Maintenance Superintendent.

This morning one of your employees, Aldo, knocked on my door (in Santa Barbara) to report a problem with drainage. It turned out to be a neighbor's, and in no time we worked out a plan to resolve the problem quickly, inexpensively, lastingly and to the satisfaction of all parties, including Caltrans. We have a short-term solution already in place and a long-term one coming in a few days, before the next storm barring unforeseen circumstances.

Aldo was friendly, courteous, helpful, constructive, efficient, and principled in making sure the problem was truly and safely solved. A few minutes of thinking together made a world of difference. His professional and kind conduct made my day. I want to make sure he gets a shout-out that others will hear. Thanks again, Aldo, and merry Christmas!

It's our turn to thank others for good deeds

Note: This Hats Off item as an unusual twist: Caltrans itself is the one doing the thanking! Check out the correspondence below sent on Jan. 26 to Victor Valley News Group by Jim A. Rogers, District 8’s deputy district director of maintenance.

“Caltrans District 8 became aware of an article published on January 20, 2022, in the Victor Valley News Group regarding stolen catalytic convertors, two of which were from the Caltrans Barstow Maintenance facility.

“The article was related to three suspects who were arrested for the theft of catalytic converters, which subsequently aided in the recovery of the department’s stolen converters dated back to a break in on January 18 at the Barstow Maintenance facility.

“One of the Caltrans Barstow mechanics and colleagues recognized the photos of the converters in your article and contacted the Barstow Police Department. Arrangements were made to bring the stolen property to our facility to see if there was a match to Caltrans stolen equipment.

“It was determined that two of the convertors were stolen from the Barstow Maintenance facility and the converters were returned to Caltrans. Your article resulted in the return of this equipment, which was a savings of $7,000 for replacement costs, not to mention the savings to taxpayers.

“Thank you for the great work you do to keep the public – and Caltrans - informed! The recovery would not have been possible without your article.”