BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Monday, December 28, 2009

It has been over 2 years!

that this BLOG has been created.

It was intended for anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA.

My co-authors tried their best to serve as impartially as we could and at the same time follow some basic rules.

I have seen more anger in this BLOG than anywhere else.

I would like to encourage contributors to steer away from repeated negative comments
regarding LLNS/NNSA/DOE and whoever else. I feel we have seen enough anger and insult.

The more negative we remain, the faster we sink!

Someone in upper management is reading this BLOG and cannot take us seriously if all we do is insult them (They know they screwed up, still do and dont want to hear it every day).

We stand a better chance of being heard by expressing our point of view as calm, collected and intelligent colleagues. not as angry people

They will listen to us.

It is time to shift gears upwards, it is now stuck in reverse.

While it was understandable to be angry during the transition, there is no excuse for not trying to make things better. We can still speak up and fight and call for action
if we are able to factually point things out and leave the past behind!


Opinions are welcome!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Where will this end up?

Anonymously contributed:

Where will this end up?

USA: layoffs
Russia:
"Russia to work on new nuclear missiles: Medvedev"


http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BN10O20091224

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Layoffs

Anonymously contributed:

RHWM laid off 9 employees today; ftes and flex terms; More to go after the first of the year to cover a 3 million dollar screw up by rechtel.

MERRY X-MAS FROM THE RECHTEL BOYS

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LLNL is Outstanding!

On Dec. 8, the NNSA Livermore Site Office (LSO) released the Performance Evaluation Report presenting its assessment of our Laboratory’s performance for fiscal year 2009. The specific objectives, measures and targets we are judged upon are set out in the Performance Evaluation Plan (PEP) for each fiscal year.
I am very pleased to report that we earned ratings of “outstanding” in mission and “good” in both operations and institutional management. In addition, Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) was awarded a one-year extension of the contract to manage the Laboratory. The contract between NNSA and LLNS was for seven years, extendable for up to 20 years in one-year increments based on performance.
The “outstanding” rating for mission reflects our many achievements in applying science and technology to meet critical national security needs. Among the accomplishments cited by the LSO in support of this top rating were the completion and dedication of the National Ignition Facility and its excellent initial experimental results, the delivery of the Dawn supercomputer and its initial results, the enhanced rigor applied to the warhead assessment peer-review process, the ahead-of-schedule progress on reducing LLNL’s inventory of special nuclear material, our leadership of a multi-lab assessment of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on-site inspection regime, and the receipt of eight R&D 100 awards and three Federal Laboratory Consortium awards for excellence in technology transfer.
The rating of “good” for operations (up from last year’s “satisfactory”) recognizes the success of efforts to strengthen our operational and infrastructure functions, which include security and environment, safety and health. Accomplishments cited in support of this rating included the positive results received from the latest security inspection by DOE’s Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), the successful completion of Phase I of our Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) reverification, and implementation of the new institution-wide work control process.
The “good” rating for institutional management reflects our performance in business operations and laboratory management. In support of this rating, LSO cited the annual property inventory in which more than 99.9 percent of all accountable items were successfully located, our progress in implementing a comprehensive integrated Contractor Assurance System, and the full implementation of project-based accounting, which in turn will make it possible to apply earned value management tools for improved project management.
All but one of 15 multi-site targets (which focused on stockpile stewardship, complex transformation and stockpile science) were successfully completed. Likewise, all but one of the five “stretch” incentive targets also were met.
The assessment process provides valuable feedback from our principal sponsor, highlights our many successes and achievements and identifies issues and concerns going forward. In the coming year, we will continue to make improvements aimed at achieving simultaneous excellence in mission science and technology, operations and business and management.
This year’s performance ratings are clear recognition of our Laboratory’s success in fulfilling our mission responsibilities and contract deliverables — all of which is due to the commitment, dedication and hard work of employees across the Laboratory. I am very proud of the Laboratory and all of you. Please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for a job well done.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Russo's farewell

A Gift I’ll Cherish

Over the past three and a half years I have had the privilege to get to know and
work with some of the finest men and women that I have ever met. Starting with George Miller and emulating out to all of you, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is truly the best and the brightest. That I had the opportunity to come here and participate in the Lab’s endeavors is a gift that I will always cherish.
I am disappointed that I am leaving before we have completed the work we have collaboratively started when you welcomed me into the Lab family in October 2007. The
nature of our work often requires that the nation’s needs subsume personal desires. The Department of Energy has determined that I am needed somewhere else. However, my
departure should not be reason to slow down on the many good things that are currently under way. Baseline budgeting, improving service delivery methods and ISMS are just a few of the things that will continue to improve operating efficiency and keep the Lab in its premier position for years to come.
Thank you for making me feel welcome at the Lab. The O&B PAD is a special team of people, and it is your efforts and hard work that have made us a partner with the programs and other directorates.
The good memories of working with all of you will be with me always.
Frank
O&B

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frank Russo leaving LLNL

Anonymously contributed:
Frank Russo is leaving LLNL.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Director's response to Contra Costa Times Story

Anonymously contributed:

Subject: DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE TO LAB EMPLOYEES

E-LINE: A Message to Laboratory Employees From The Director

Several local newspapers carried a story this morning with the
headline: Laboratory Hides the Cost of the Colossal NIF Laser. The
claim in the story is that the overhead charges for the NIF project
and the National Ignition Campaign have been inappropriately low.

This is incorrect. I'd like to tell you the facts.

As is the common practice for many Department of Energy construction
projects, NIF uses a construction overhead charge that ensures that
the project pays for the Laboratory-wide services that it uses and
requires. There are two reasons for this:

-- It is important to ensure that the overall finances of the host
institution are not distorted as the project initially grows and then
declines. This ensures that the true cost of the project is properly
reported. This is why the NIF and the NIC pay directly for services
that are otherwise paid for indirectly on other Laboratory programs.

-- The use of "construction rates" was explicitly approved by the
Department of Energy, with concurrence in writing by the Chief
Financial Officer of the Department. The existing and approved rate
structure forms the basis for the DOE budget for the completion of
the National Ignition Campaign.

Each year, the Laboratory discloses to the Department of Energy its
overhead structure and charges. This "disclosure statement" includes
the nature and the basis for the construction rates, and is annually
approved by the Department. LLNL accounting practices for NIF have
been consistently reviewed and approved by DOE and applied by the
Laboratory since the inception of the project. Additionally, we have
had numerous external groups review our practices, and they have
concurred that our approach is fully compliant with DOE rules and
regulations, with our disclosed and approved practices, and with
accepted interpretations of the Cost Accounting Standards. A recent
DOE-sponsored audit came to a conclusion consistent with this
approach -- that NIF must be treated as a "construction
work-in-progress"activity through completion of the National Ignition
Campaign in late 2012.

As you may have read, an accounting review by the NNSA Service Center
in Albuquerque, NM, reached a different conclusion -- a conclusion
that is not consistent with more than 10 years of prior DOE approvals
and practices.

The Laboratory stands by the DOE-approved accounting practices that
have been used throughout the construction and commissioning of the
NIF and the NIC program.

Progress in using NIF has been spectacular. We are looking forward to
achieving fusion in the laboratory. It will truly be a game changer.

George Miller
Laboratory Director

Report: Livermore National Lab hid $80 million of new nuclear fusion lab's cost

Anonymously contributed:


As reported by this article in the Contra Costa Times

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Anonymous said...

There is an email circulating to APS members asking the APS to reconsider its statement on climate change in light of the "Climategate" release of internal correspondence of members of IPCC. The lab is in a central position because of its long standing program to compare in an objective way the various models of climate. I wonder whether the lab is just reacting or seriously looking into whether any of its work might have been influenced by possible "filtering the data". See this link:

Open Letter on Global Warming

December 4, 2009 2:57 PM
Anonymous said...

Man loses suit vs online pharmacy

Maybe those online prescription drug sales aren't so nifty after all.

December 3, 2009 5:17 PM

Latest rumors about LLNL/LLNS...

Anonymous said...

Latest rumors about LLNL/LLNS...

December 5, 2009 7:18 AM

Highlights from the Parney Presentation

Anonymous said...

Highlights from the Parney presentation today:
1) He looks a lot like George M.
2) He can't be bothered to reorganize GS even though PMC rates are through the roof due to excessive managers
3) He doesn't think we should care about criticism that we are too expensive
4) He claims LLNL is excellent in all technical areas across the board, instead of pledging to stem the growing mediocrity and attrition of excellent technical staff
5) Rather that talk about accomplishments he is proud of in his career, he made disparaging remarks about his former employers DHS and DARPA
6) He gets lost a lot at LLNL (mentioned this about 4 times)

December 3, 2009 8:59 PM

Who's Doing Who's

Anonymous said...


Okay children, listen up. How's 1.5% to distribute, retroactive to Jan 1st, 2010 _NOT_ Oct 1st, 2009, and NO raise cards to be distributed. However on Feb 18th you'll be able to log onto LAPIS and see how much you're worth. LLNS not only made millions of dollars by delaying your raises by three months but they "did you", with one big stroke of the pen. Assuming I got the max of 1.5% it still was not enough to cover my increased cost for medical and state tax. This has been three years in a row so no wonder my disposable income at the end of the month has been diminishing. Do you think LLNS is telling us all a story here?

Still want to give LLNS 100%? -- I DFTS.

December 3, 2009 5:25 PM

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Does an average of 1% raise motivate you?

Anonymous wants to know if an average of 1% raise motivate you to excel.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What budget shortfalls?

Anonymously contributed (title added by BLOG moderator):

Check out this Wall St Journal article
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125910876247663245.html

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is salary management worth the effort?

Anonymously contributed:

Why does LLNL senior management bother with the appraisal and salary management charade when the management process costs much more than the managed funds dispensed?

How much effort will a 200 really put in for the wonderful 1% average reward, when medical and tax increases take most? Why try indeed.

Consider that the full LLNS fee annually exceeds by four times the amount of the whole professional annual salary increase package. Nice, huh?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Lab isn't the only one in Livermore facing hard times...

Anonymous said...


Big cuts in store for Livermore
By Jeanine Benca
Contra Costa Times
11/20/2009

LIVERMORE — Street signs will be repainted less often, police response to non-emergencies will be slower and library hours will be fewer under a staggering proposal to scale back city services.

Across-the-board reductions are needed to fill an unanticipated $3.2 million deficit caused by statewide sales tax dips and other factors, Livermore officials said. The city council will discuss the city manager's financial update and recommended cuts Monday.

"We've been able to weather the storm for quite some time without layoffs or service reductions," said assistant city manager Troy Brown. "Unfortunately, we're to the point now where we're having to have difficult discussions."

The recession has already taken a toll on city coffers.

Since 2008, Livermore has lost some $8.7 million in sales tax, property tax and other revenues. Until now, creative accounting measures, employee salary and benefit concessions, voluntary buyouts and slashes to "non-essentials" have been sufficient to stave off deeper cuts, Brown said.

But recent, statewide developments are forcing city leaders to consider reductions that would affect city workers and community members.

California sales and use tax receipts for the 2009/10 fiscal year are expected to be about 6 percent lower than in 2008/09, resulting in a $795,000 loss to the city. Also, the state plans to "recapture" about $2.4 million in overestimated, 2008-09 sales tax reimbursements, according to staff reports.

Livermore isn't the only city affected — it is estimated state payments this year will be nearly 28 percent lower than originally anticipated for all California cities.

To cope with the budgetary blow, Livermore is proposing to cut 11.5 full-time positions from its 482-employee staff. If approved, nearly every department will be affected, including public works, maintenance, community development, traffic and public safety.

A big blow could be in store for non-emergency police services. While the response time to "first priority" police calls won't change, the time to respond to document requests, animal control and other second- and third-priority calls are likely. Changes could result in fewer property crimes being investigated, reductions to the gang unit and increased processing times, according to staff reports.

Another cut would cut Rincon and Springtown library branch hours from 53 to 23 hours, leaving them open just three days a week. Main library hours would remain the same.

That potential change drew criticism from Springtown resident Linda Avila.

"I don't know what it will take to make their budget, but I think there's other ways," she said. "We need our libraries. The libraries keep these kids off the street, give them a place to go to use the computer —and it's a safe place."

Other recommendations include reducing street sign, street light and landscape maintenance, consolidating staff in human resources, city manager and city clerk offices, and scaling back community development and engineering services.

The council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.

November 20, 2009 8:18 PM

Friday, November 20, 2009

LANL people seem happy

According to employee survey.... or are they?
Post from LANL Blog

Why is the US disarming and dismantling?

Anonymous said...


Russia continues to modernize its nuclear triad

November 19, 2009 2:57 AM

Big news from LLNL

Anonymous said...

IBM uses Blue Gene supercomputer to model neural behavior of a cat brain.

Of all the things DOE could do with that class of computer, you would think that someone would come up with a better project than that.

November 18, 2009 7:16 PM

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Positive Comment Challenge

Anonymously contributed:

This blog is overwhelmed by negative comments. While any of us could certainly join in on everything from our indefensible overhead rates to stifling computer security craziness, it gets old after months and months and months! So if you need to rant, go do it in some other post. Here I challenge actual LLNL employees to say something positive about the place we all work.

I'll start: I actually enjoy my work at LLNL. Yes, you heard correctly, I get to work a great group of scientists, recognized in our field, perform cutting-edge research, publish papers, attend professional society meetings, and have access to some great equipment.

Especially compared with what some of my colleagues are going through at the Universities (cuts and furloughs) the lab remains a great place to do science.

How Desperate is LLNS?

The word on the street is the LLNS is desperate to build morale. I don't think this is just a rumor either. Many departments have created "blogs" to find out what employees are thinking and now, there is the employee blog. Sorry, no need to provide a link, because you have to be on-site to get to it! No sense posting to it, because my guess is it's overly censored (you do have to sign in with your OUN to reply to any of the posts). I do see that the administrator of the LLNS blog is actually a poster on this blog - see, management is indeed reading this blog!

I heard that several departments had some type of a morale committee, but that they were disbanded when the committee members had no morale themselves. I do like the posting here where someone said that working at LLNL gave them a sense of pride. Our current management has deflated almost all of the pride any of us ever had. Me, I'm just plain emotionally drained. The article in the news where it says that the local labs are hiring 500 New Employees is just too funny. note that most are at LBL and the rest are Post Docs. Post Docs are among the hardest working and make about half of what their peers make doing the same job.I'm not quite to the point that I say they win, but I'm close.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gross miscalculation?

Bruzer said:

Did Anyone else read in the "Daily Clips" Monday, that between Sandia & LLNL they will be hiring 500 employees due to the expected number of employees that will be naturally retiring?
I think what really is going on is they just now figured out they laid off too many outstanding employees and won't have the correct talent available come 2012!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

what is wrong with Hewitt?

Anonymously contributed:

I'm a retiree- took the buyout, such as it was, because I figured that even tho LANS people got twice as much, that was the best we could expect, and I didn't want to "go down with the ship" that used to be called LLNL.

I received a letter dated 11/6/09 from LLNS signed by Art Wong that states the letter sent by Hewitt "incorrectly stated that .. enrollment ends on Nov 6, 2009." He states it is open until 11/20/09.

Q. The letter does not give costs, does anyone know how to get those?

There was an article in the local paper that said the same thing, and the reporter asked Hewitt about the error.
Hewitt's response sounded like: Well, it was correct for other programs we handle, and NO they were not going to correct their error.

Maybe LLNS should contract with someone to manage our health care who cares about doing a good job? Or restore the good in-house HR dept. that once did this?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Is LLNL positioned for success?

This post is a comment under the post "How long will he last?". I am moving it here in the hopes that ULM (or their intelligence) see it and are reminded of the problem.

I thought it sums up the fundamental problem of LLNL

--- scooby --


You have raised a very significant question regarding the success of outside managers.

In my 30 years at the Lab, many of which were spent in WFO programs, I am not sure that I have seen any. On the other hand, I have seen numerous failures.

The underlying problem is that LLNL is not structured for WFO success. Part of the problem is internal, part is due to the DOE bureaucracy. The Lab is basically a weapons design lab. It is the best in the world in that mission, but that mission is dying.

If the Lab is ever to be successful in the WFO arena, we need to overhaul DOE or move the Lab out of that management. We cannot devote hundreds of millions of dollars to nonsense bureaucracy--IWSs, AB, etc. When we had a real enemy, political pressures keep the DOE bureaucrats at bay. Barring a true national emergency, we will never again be able to gain our previous status.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where is the money going?

Anonymously contributed:

Here is what Miller and Liedle make

Liedle: $867356.00

Miller $441891.00

go to the RECOVERY.gov to see for your self.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Where is the satellite?

Anonymously contributed:

The lab is showing no favoritism at all.

The broadcast of Michelle Obama's visit to the Department of Energy headquarters today (Nov. 5) will not be aired on Lab TV. DOE could not locate an accessible satellite to carry the broadcast.

WFC?

How long will he last?

Anonymously contributed:

I wonder how long he will last....


Penrose Albright, former Homeland Security Secretary, named Global Security leader at Lawrence Livermore
By Physics Today on November 5, 2009

LIVERMORE, Ca — Penrose. C. "Parney" Albright, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, has been named the Principal Associate Director of Global Security at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Albright will join the Lab on Nov. 30, Director George Miller announced.

The Global Security Principal Directorate applies multi-disciplinary science and technology to anticipate, innovate and deliver responsive solutions to complex global security needs, from energy and environmental security to domestic security and nonproliferation.

"Parney is extremely well qualified to assume responsibility for Global Security, an area of critical importance to our Laboratory as well as the country," Miller said. "He is internationally recognized for his homeland and national security acumen."

Albright has more than 20 years of experience in national security, holding positions in the federal government, federally funded research and development centers and the private sector. His responsibilities have ranged from research and development to conducting studies and analyses and senior leadership. He has worked in programs to counter terrorism, protect against weapons of mass destruction, protect U.S. borders, and perform systems analysis of space systems and ballistic and cruise missile defense systems.

Prior to joining the Lab Albright was at Civitas Group, a homeland security consulting group in Washington, DC. He served as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security; Assistant Director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Senior Director in the Office of Homeland Security in the White House, and Program Manager with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Throughout his career he has served in a number of capacities, from a scientist designing and executing an experiment carried out by the crew of the space shuttle to developer and manager of programs associated with special operations, intelligence collection, molecular biology, and maritime operations; and as the leader of the team that created the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, developing its enabling legislation, organizational construct, multi-year strategic planning guidance, and ultimately overseeing budget execution.

Albright has extensive experience with interagency and congressional interactions, and was a frequent spokesperson for both the White House and DHS to the press on issues associated with science, technology, and weapons of mass destruction.

Albright has a bachelor's degree in physics and applied mathematics from George Washington University, and a master's and PhD in physics from the University of Maryland.

"With his educational background and broad experience, Parney has demonstrated wide-ranging managerial and scientific capabilities and knowledge that will be essential in effectively managing the wide range of functional areas in Global Security," Miller said. "I have confidence that he will enable the Global Security organization to continue to apply multi-disciplinary science and technology to anticipate, innovate and deliver responsive solutions to complex global security needs."

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The facts about swine flu vaccine.

Anonymously contributed:
Check the facts about the flu vaccine at:

factcheck.org

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stay informed!

Anonymously contributed:

A while back, I posted about the swine flu, and asked people to do some research on the subject. Blogmaster, thanks for posting it. I hope someone paid attention. Most didn't.
For those of you who saw the movie 'V', it is now time for us to sit down and have a little chat. Since I last posted, your bill of rights has been taken away, the Emergency declaration and level 6 has trumped it. Meanwhile, 500,000 are under mandatory vaccine attack in NY, and many people are leaving the state as the court battles go on. In Mass, impeachment for the governor is underway, for treason.

The story is much bigger than just s seasonal shot.

Just stay informed, don't go quietly into the night!

links:
youtube:
"Finland's Health Minister Blasts Swine Flu BS"

-Ukraine under bio attack.

-swine vaccine hidden in seasonal flu shot.

tons more, just get away from the mainstream media and poke around!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another open letter to Dr Chu

Another anonymous letter to Dr Chu:

Dear DR.Chu,

Ask George about the glove box explosion at 695.

Ask him about th 60 lbs of explosive that where dropped at site 300

Aske him about the gas leak at 241 wich would have resulted of the building blowing up

Ask him about the Be contamination at 298 and 321:which resulted in personell who are now dying of chronic Be disease

Ask him how LLNS spent 10 million on trees and grass after Bechtel ran the place into the ground.

But most of all ask George what bechtel is doing to keep the lab safe and secure for the 70million a year they are getting in pay.

An open letter to Dr. Chu

Anonymously contributed:

Dear Dr. Chu,

Welcome to LLNL. Look closely. Too bad it isn't what you expected.

Ask George why he thinks costs are going up only 4%,when his pricing tools show 10%.

Ask him if Russo and Liedle serve him as well as Kuckuck and Mara served Anastasio.

Ask his why he degraded engineering from two strong independent departments to a single weak job-shop.

Ask him why his people are so demoralized.

Ask him why he put a 150% tax on travel costs.

Ask him what DoE get from Bechtel for $40M per year? Where is the new accounting system, where is the promised project management system?

Ask him why he lies to his employees so regularly.

Ask him why the Bechtel business operations folks make declarations without bothering to leave their offices to see how things work.

Ask him how he can retroactively bill sponsors for rate increases for work that was contracted for at a lower rate?

Ask him why he hasn't aplogized publically for the "substantially equivalent in the aggregate" lie.

Ask him why employees who know him think that he is a self-absorbed blow hard.

Ask him to resign.

Thank you,

Technical staff

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dr Chu's Visit

I expected B123 to be overflowing! I expected dozens of questions!
I expected the contributors of the "open letter to Dr Chu"s to be there to ask the
questions, didn't you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What happened to callbacks?

I was laid off due to the ISP. Unable to find work I have taken another job at LLNL at half my old pay. To my shock my old departments org chart is as big as it was before the ISP. LLNS has filled all the laid off workers positions with matrixed engineering people. I have the proof! How can they do that? What happened to callbacks? Is anyone looking into this? Does DOE provide any oversight for LLNS and if so who can be contacted?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eroding benefits!

Anonymously contributed:

Hey, how about those new medical plan premiums? I'm a UC retiree forced to have my medical benefits provided by LLNS, and my premium is going up almost 50% next year (and benefits are being reduced). Add to this the fact that UC retirees from "other campuses" continue to enjoy the same benefits that they always received from UC (way, way better than ours), while we Lab types bite the big one again. I know some retirees are organizing and perhaps planning to sue, but I'm afraid that won't pan out, or at least it won't be resolved any time soon. It's a travesty, I tell you. We, who put in all those years in support of the Lab, the University, and the COUNTRY, we who were instrumental in the country's defense and helped win the Cold War, are being sold down the river by DOE, NNSA, UC, and the Bechtelians. Legal or not, it just isn't right, and it smacks of discrimination to me. George (and the rest of you ULM Bechtelian suck-ups who used to be our colleagues), you ought to be ashamed of yourself (I would expect this kind of treatment from the Bechtelians carpet-baggers, but not from you). Don't you have any shred of self respect anymore? Or do you just continue to rationalize that you are "doing the best you can," or that you "are just making the best of a bad situation", or "well, somebody has to do it and I'm going to make sure that I make out OK." As a long-time Lab employee who gave the best years of my life to the place, I'm embarrassed for you and for the institution of which I was once proud to be a part.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Firings in NIF

Anonymously contributed:

No pun intended! There were some people fired at NIF for mismanagement. Finally,
someone had the courage to clean house. If this is done on a larger scale, in other directorates, some managers will have an incentive to rise above mediocrity!
The good old boys culture (scratch my back and I will scratch yours) is beginning to crumble!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About George's talk today

Anonymous contribution (edited):

Two things came out of G.M.'s all hands today that were pretty significant. One is that UC will be asking LLNL employees to contribute to the UC retirement fund to help cover lab retiree annuities. The other is that DOE/NNSA is thinking about raiding the LLNS defined benefit fund to help solve underfunded defined benefit plans of other national labs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Budget shortfall

Anonymously contributed:

Last week GM revealed that the Lab's operating budget for FY10 is expected to be $100M or so less than FY09. Not only is this bad for the real programs, but it means the indirect (overhead) budget will be less also, since there is less money to tax.

Since GM has promised to avoid a layoff this year, does this mean (1) IAP and flex term employees need to update their resumes, (2) buyouts look possible, (3) NIF will have to pull its own weight, or (4) CFO can follow the Obama example and spend more than it collects?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hi, My Name is Ben Dover

I'm a typical LLNL employee. I came to the lab about a decade ago as I was convinced by a friend (maybe not such a friend) to come work here. I went through the interview process, then the "seemed to take forever" hiring process. Nine months after I was hired, I finally received my security clearance - It seemed like a long time to take considering I had a DoD TS at my old company. I was quite happy with the benefits provided by UC even though they did not provide "stock options" as did my old company. I did the math and figured that I could retire a 60 quite comfortably without having to stick about 8% of my pay in the old 401K. Not having to contribute to the 401K meant I had more spending money - something my family really needed for the move to California.

I found over the next few years that LLNL had way too many rules and doing any kind of work was VERY expensive and took way to long to get anything done. I worked on one project that the paperwork just to get started took all the money allocated for the entire project. Needless to say, the sponsor was less than happy and took their business elsewhere.

Flash forward 7 years. There is talk that UC is no longer going to run LLNL. The DoD company I used to work for got things done for a whole lot less money; in a shorter time; and just as safe. I'm thinking that as long as the benefits are the same, that this is a good thing. We are finally going to be competitive! Then the bad news hit. Bechtel won the contract, not Lockheed Martin. From that moment forward, I knew we were screwed. I know that Lockheed, even though they are "for profit" understands that people are important. Bechtel, on the other hand builds houses (ok, a little more than houses, but this is my story). Having family that worked in the construction business, I saw how they were treated. For every job, there were several people standing in line. So, if the foreman did not like you or you made a mistake, you were fired and the next guy in line took your place. If the cost of the house went up (change order), that cost was simply passed on to the customer. There were huge bonuses for ULM for coming in under cost of the bid price of the contract. And those bonuses were always received . . . no matter what the cost was to those doing the work.

The date is now October 2009. LLNS has be running LLNL into the ground for the past 2-years at a pace I never thought possible. Go to the DOE web site and read the RFP. Two of the REQUIREMENTS are to close Superblock and Site 300. The quicker it's done, the more LLNS makes. But, don't believe me, go read the RFP yourself. One of the other requirements, is to reduce the LLNL foot print. If you go to the LLNS web page, you can view the LLNS Annual Report . They actually brag about how well they are meeting their goal and the number of people they've "reduced" in the "workforce restructuring" portion. Face it, Bechtel was brought in to close us down.

So, read the facts and listen to the rumors and decide for yourself.

See you in the unemployment line.
Ben

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How is Business Ops doing?

Contributed anonymously and moved here, as its own post from the "look in your mail box" post:

What is it about Business Operations that makes it the enemy of those of us trying to get work done?

1. Higher medical costs,and higher deductibles and copays so they can give more fee to LLNS?
2. Cheating employees out of benefits, such as dumping medicare age retirees?
3. Being unforgiving of mistakes?
4. Retroactively raising mnapower burden rates after long after contracts with sponsors have been signed because they can't do arithmetic. Then forcing that engineering employees families to pay the bill as the employees have to work harder, with less support and much longer OT hours and longer to get contracted work done: again so that Business Operations metrics are made so Frank and senior management can make their bonus?
5. Increasing the burden rates on personnel by 15% in one year.
6. The fact that none of the Business Operations Division Leaders and above have even worked at the the lab, and they don't care what impact that they are having on people or programs as long as they make their bonus.
6. The fact that they make bonus whether or not LLNL functions.

LLNL Business Operations (aka the useless gunslinger Russo and his band of Becthel aliens) are failing to support Programs adequately.

They were to bring in a ready made project management system. They failed.

They were to keep manpower burden rates to FY07 levels, they failed.

LLNL technical personnel are stressed,harried and failing to meet technical and performance milestones as they continue to compensate the results for the Business Operations shortfalls of planning and execution.

Business Operations is plotting to minimize employee salary increases and cap salaries through the new 200 compensation category scheme that Frank needed to roll out on 1 Oct to make his bonus.

Management is only in place to help programs get work done, yet they failed to keep support adequate and we are failing together.

Senior management of Business Operations sits isolated in their offices, with no knowledge or contact with those implementing programs and tasks, and they don't care that they fail to support the successful operations of the Lab.

Those of us who still want the lab to succeed should carefully examine whether cooperating with any of the Business Operations robbers efforts will actually undermine laboratory success, if so perhaps helping them fail to meet their bonuses will insure laboratory success.

It will be better for all if we make sure Frank hits the road real soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Look in your mailbox.

Anonymously contributed:

Everyone look in your mailboxes because coming soon, in a big white envelope, is more good news pertaining to our benefits. Once everyone has some time to do the math I suggest we open up a new post pertaining to the subject. I gave it a once over after a couple glasses of my favorate beverage and decided perhaps a better frame of mind was needed before getting serious about the increases, after all is said and looking at my glass as half full, the only good thing that comes to mind is we still have some choices. We may not like them but they are choices!
FEELIN bruzed again all over!!

Test site renamed.

Please read the article and don't forget the anonymous contributor's comments below it:

Las Vegas Review Journal

October 7, 2009

Test site will get name change
Revision to reflect its 'expanded mission'
Keith Rogers

Congress set out to modernize the mission of the Nevada Test Site and eventually
change the name it's had for the past 57 years with Senate passage Tuesday of
the defense authorization bill.
The 93-7 vote sent the measure to President Barack Obama with an amendment by
Nevada's senators that charges the head of the Department of Energy's National
Nuclear Security Administration with "renaming the site to reflect the expanded
mission."
That "expanded mission," according to the amendment by Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.,
and John Ensign, R-Nev., will focus on developing methods to verify treaties and
reduce nuclear security threats "while continuing to support the nation's
nuclear weapons program and other national security programs."
The act provides $89 million for defense-related projects in Nevada but doesn't
specify what the new name should be for the place that was first called the
Nevada Proving Grounds in 1951 and changed about a year later to the Nevada Test
Site. Last month, managers of the test site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas,
said they envision it becoming home to a new National Center for Nuclear
Security where experts on treaty verification, counterterrorism and
nonproliferation will huddle to chart the nation's course for achieving national
goals.
Among the objectives is to support threat reduction programs "of the entire
national security community" including those under the NNSA, the Defense Threat
Reduction Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, "and other agencies as
appropriate," the amendment states. Last month, Stephen M. Younger, president
of the test site's prime contractor, National Security Technologies, touted a
nuclear security center as "the biggest thing at the site in many decades."
According to Younger and NNSA Nevada Site Office Manager Stephen Mellington the
test site's modernized mission will include more work with U.S. intelligence
agencies and authorities on international nuclear security. Tasks will range
from developing countermeasures for would-be nuclear terrorists to helping the
Pentagon's effort to detect roadside bombs, and some other classified projects.
The test site's broadened scope will augment its long-standing mission to check
and certify that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is safe and reliable

My Comments:

Let's have a contest for the renaming of the test site:
NWDTAS - Nevada We Don't Test Anymore Site
NWUTS - Nevada We Use to Test Site
NSBFPS - Nevada Senators Bucking For Pork Site

So Senators Reid And Ensign need to rename the site to possibly justify 89
million bucks being spent in Nevada. They envision a "National Center for
Nuclear Security" were experts can huddle to talk shop. To be built 65 miles
from Las Vegas? Do you really need to go to the former NTS to have a secure
spot to have a yak fest?

I bet the two senators would not be so supportive of the site if we resumed
underground testing. The Las Vegas sprawl pushing closer to the site would
cause a hue and cry and you could be assured that Senator Reid would be the
first to call NIMBY, as proven by Yucca Mountain.

I'm waiting for E.O. Lawrence to climb out of the grave and ask for his name to
yanked off the Livermore Lab's name plate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A shot at de-deprivatization!

Hopefully, this will be a trend:
Short article from: http://dirtdiggersdigest.org
http://dirtdiggersdigest.org/archives/815

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sep 30th was Dave Leary's last day

Anonymously suggested:
Dave Leary, one of the last true UC folks!

LLNL de-inventory project moves ahead

Anonymously contributed:

NNSA Press Release

LLNL de-inventory project moves ahead

Oct. 1, 2009

The National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday announced that the Laboratory has removed about two thirds of its special nuclear material requiring the highest level of security protection.

LLNL has completed shipments to five different receiver sites, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Nevada Test Site, the Savannah River Site, Y-12 Security Complex, and the Idaho National Laboratory, since the de-inventory project was initiated in October 2006. These shipments were completed in full compliance with existing safety and environmental laws and procedures. All federal and receiver site requirements were met for these shipments.

“The removal of two thirds of LLNL’s nuclear material demonstrates real progress and is the result of some very hard work,” NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said. “NNSA continues to make tremendous strides in transforming a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century Nuclear Security Enterprise that is smaller, safer, more efficient. Staying on schedule in meeting our commitment to remove all special nuclear material from Livermore is a major part of that effort.”

The move is part of NNSA’s efforts to consolidate special nuclear material at five sites by 2012, with significantly reduced square footage at those sites by 2017. This will further improve security and reduce security costs and is part of NNSA's overall effort to transform the Cold War era nuclear weapons enterprise into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise.

The original date to remove all high-security material from LLNL, based on equipment capability and capacity, was 2014. NNSA has developed a timeline to remove this material as early as possible, accelerating the target completion date to 2012.

=====

So any guesses on what happens to LLNL after 2012?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

swine flu vaccine?

Anonymous asked:

Does anyone know if the DOE is planning mandatory swine flu vaccinations? On the drudge report it states that all DOD military and important DOD civilians will be mandated (forced) to take it. NY is mandating it for 500,000 people. MA is working on forcing it for all citizens.

If you go past the media reporting, the story actually gets interesting. Do your own research.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Changes to TCP1?

I've heard this from a few people (who may have heard from the same source) that LLNS is making changes to TCP1. The rumored change is that your retirement salary will no longer be based on your highest 3 years of salary, but will instead be based on your last 3 years of salary. Has anyone else heard this and is there anything written as proof?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A view on safety

Anonymously contributed:

I viewed the safety video discussing the fatal accident earlier this year. A few things to note:

Russo makes the statement that "they" are looking at maybe having less pickup trucks and maybe having "Smart Cars". No explanation was forthcoming on why the accident may have been due in any part to the vehicle being a pickup truck. And I am curious, what is a smart car? Is it something along the lines of the car not being able to be started without the seatbelt being buckled? If I recall properly, Detroit tried that and it failed.

But if the lab wants to lay off a few hundred people to provide the funds to retrofit seat belt disconnects in the fleet of cars I'm sure LLNS will jump at it if it enhances the chance of a bonus.

The majority of the video was centered on the use of the seat belt. I have absolutely NO argument about that. We should all be using seat belts. Perhaps with the issuance of tickets to enforce the law requiring the use of them, people will get the idea.

Russo talked about the mix of campus and industrial traffic and suggested deferring deliveries to off hours to prevent the mixing of those big hazardous trucks with people on bikes.

How about getting people off of the cell phones? Especially those that aren't using seat belts.

If you are on a bicycle, be aware that the smallest compact car can take you out.

Or maybe just lower the speed limit to 5 miles an hour and encase us all in 1 foot of foam rubber. With safety glasses, Steel toed shoes and athletic cups for the guys.

If you throw enough regulations out there, you won't need common sense.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is you career mvonf forwards? poll

Thanks to the 74 people who participated!

11 people said yes
42 people said no
28 people said don't care, it is just a paycheck

We want to hear from the first two categories as to why?

SPSE news!


SPSE newsletter for sep 09

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonuses in lieu of pay raises.

Anonymously contributed:
I'm hearing bonus checks in lieu of pay raises to compensate for salary decreases that'll occur during ranking and job comparison to your counterpart outside LLNL. Some will be saved and others will take pay cuts. All this came out on the LLNL blog during the transition and no one believed it. Compound this reduction in pay with increased taxes and Obamacare and you'll be feeling the pain.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Best and brightest

Anonymous wants to know:

I was wondering if people would recommend starting a career as a scientist at llnl right now. Is there any benefit left over going to private industry?

Why bother?

Well, I was asked to give my supervisor an update of my PA input to reflect my doings for the past couple of months. I did so, but I kept wondering "why bother?". We all know that the folks at UC actually took a pay cut (OK, LBL was excluded - but our "substantially equivalent in the aggregate" is for UC - NOT LBL). My thinking is we'll be lucky if we don't take a cut, much less get a raise at all. However, where you rank may be more important than you think. Most companies (for profit or not) choose the "poor performers" or those in the lower 10%-20% of the performance appraisals. So, maybe ranking is important. Who knows?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dead man walking!

Anonymously contributed:

I'm now officially a "dead man walking" thanks to LLNS.

I'm retired and have serious health issues. Recently I got a call from my pharmacy. My prescription refills were rejected by my health insurance. The reason was a new contract recently signed by LLNS with the insurer requiring all long-term prescriptions be filled by mail.

There are significant doubts about these mail-order pharmacy's ability to safeguard medical history, whether they will try to distribute substandard medicines, or even if the medicine will arrive in a timely fashion thanks to often inept Postal Service.

Some may think mail-delivery pharmacies are fine. But the choice of whether to use them or not is gone now.

When the other prescriptions run out I WILL NOT switch to mail-order. That will kill me eventually and the blood will be on George Miller's hands. See you in hell you blank!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Layoffs?

This post has been anonymously sent and is not intended to start a rumor:

I have heard through inside information that possible layoffs of FTEs is coming this January does anyone have any info about this?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Count your blessings!

The following is an excerpt of an anonymous comment made elsewhere in this BLOG. It is being made a post for higher visibility.
Warning: Whiners who are still employed by LLNS: this may be too much for you to handle and the hope is that it will make you more thankful:

Folks, I sadly hear so much anger and bitterness, such whining and crying here EVERY time I visit...and the majority of blogger's ARE still 'gainfully' employed!!

Whether or not you like your 'new boss's, you ARE still able to pay their mortgage, you CAN pay your bills, the luxury of even being able to go out for breakfast, lunch or even dinner, get a haircut, buy groceries...go to a movie, pay for you son or daughters college!

YOU have the 'privilege' of going to work everyday.
YES, transition IS hard, change is painful, UNEMPLOYEMNT IS WORSE!!!

Count your blessings you STILL have a job, some form of retirement still accruing, able to have medical, dental and vision plans....15 months later I am STILL looking....to date I have lost my home, lost my retirement, I have NO medical, dental or vision, my good credit gone.

On unemployment, at the 'max' pay, I have to have a 'room mate' just to pay rent for a 'room' to lay my head at night just to worry about what tomorrow will bring.

I don't qualify for State programs for food or medical because as a single person my 'income' is too high, yet I don't have a dime to spare to buy a healthcare plan.

The current job market is sad. I am single and almost 50.....

You are so narrow minded...whining and crying 'poor me'...try walking in someone else's shoes for a while....you should be darn glad to have what you still do!!!

I would encourage you to re-think your attitude and remember YOU ARE still the backbone of LLNS....not the new managers!

P.S. I WOULD trade your life for mine any day and be darn GLAD!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NNSA planning recruitement drive.

Contributed by XXXXXX (real name pending approval)
Read:

http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20090828_5013.php

I love the part:

"Not only are we working every day to improve our aging infrastructure, but as a
large percentage of our work force is approaching retirement NNSA needs to be
nimble and creative to make sure we're getting America's brightest to join our
ranks as new employees."

I never thought of NNSA and Nimble being used in the same paragraph, let alone
the same sentence. Now NNSA and nincompoop, those are two words I can associate
in the same sentence.

All I can say is god bless you Mr. D'Agostino. You're going to need some help
from above to attract America's brightest. Average benefits, inane rules that
add no real benefit, urine testing, polygraphing and an administration that is
not really supportive of the mission. Yup, I see the best and brightest beating
a path to the DOE weapons complex.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where are the women?

Anonymously contributed:
Am I the only one to notice the number of women in management at the Lab is shrinking under LLNS. The southern good old boys brought in to run LLNL do not take kindly to women in key leadership roles. I feel like we're heading back into the stone age. I expect a sex discrimination lawsuit anytime now - and as a guy who has been at the Lab almost 30 years and seen this all before, I think it would be justified.

Labs' study nixed.

From the LANL BLOG:

By John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer

The Obama administration has abandoned a controversial study that could have led to Pentagon control over U.S. nuclear weapons design and manufacturing.

In February, the administration's Office of Management and Budget called for a study of the possibility of moving nuclear weapons work run by the National Nuclear Security Administration, including Los Alamos and Sandia labs, out of the civilian Department of Energy and into the Department of Defense.

But after missing a key study milestone, an Office of Management and Budget spokesman acknowledged Monday that the study will not be done.

The decision to abandon the study, first reported Monday by Global Security Newswire, does not mean the idea of Pentagon control is dead, according to the statement from OMB communications director Ken Baer. But rather than a fast track study, the issue will instead be considered as part of broader discussions of the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

"The administration is looking at the most effective positioning for the NNSA," Baer's statement said, "and it very well may be that the best place for the NNSA is exactly where it is now."

In response, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., issued a statement reiterating his belief that putting the labs under military control is a bad idea.

"I do not believe the proposal to move the NNSA to the Department of Defense ever made sense. But I do believe that it's important to examine what steps we can take to ensure NNSA is strengthened and improved," Bingaman said.

The study, called for in an internal Office of Management and Budget memorandum, would have looked at the costs and benefits of taking control of the National Nuclear Security Administration away from the Department of Energy, where it now resides.

In New Mexico, it could have led to the end of six decades of civilian management of Sandia and Los Alamos national labs, which design and maintain nuclear weapons.

Administration officials never commented publicly on their reasons for launching the study, citing the internal nature of the deliberations. But others, including former Sandia National Laboratories Director C. Paul Robinson, said a change would solve management problems with the current system. The agency has faced major projects running over budget and behind schedule, along with a string of embarrassing security incidents.

The first phase of the study was to have been done in early August, with the hope that necessary decisions could be made in time to begin any resulting management changes by 2011. News of the study, first reported by the Journal in February based on an internal Obama administration document, drew intense criticism.

In March, Bingaman and a bipartisan group of senators representing key committees with jurisdiction over the labs, wrote to the administration to express "our firm opposition to the transfer of the NNSA to the Department of Defense."

It was signed by Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as Bingaman's Republican counterpart on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the leaders of two other key Senate committees with jurisdiction over the nuclear weapons program.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Original sin - echoes of Goebbels

Anonymously contributed:


Since Tyler the Liar uttered publicly his profane "...substantially equivalent in the aggregate..." and it echoed, un-denounced by those who knew better, the brazen public lie is emerging as an acceptable business practice at LLNL.

Do you now think is an acceptable business practice to deceive to achieve your ends?

Do you think that LLNL leaders deliberately deceive to achieve its ends?

If the people being deceived know they are being deceived, is it acceptable?

Do you believe either the proposed bonus program or the new 200-series classification step structure will be implemented without a direct reduction in compensation --- and --- that compensation and senior management know this and are lying about it?

Do you trust reformed LLNL management?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Global security newswire

Anonymously contributed:

The link: http://llnlthetruth.blogspot.com/

Has a link to this article:

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090824_8927.php

The main thrust of the article is the study of whether the nuclear weapons
complex should be removed from NNSA. But there are two interesting quotes in
the article:

"It is a testament to our weapon designs in the 1970s and '80s that the weapons
are NNSA-proof," said Jeffrey Lewis, who directs the New America Foundation's
Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative. "Given the failures that run
from the management [of] NNSA down to the labs, it's remarkable that our bombs
work at all."

And

Lewis said he does not expect the Nuclear Posture Review to significantly
improve on what he sees as the commission's "anodyne" recommendation. Rather, he
anticipates the nuclear agency and national laboratories would likely remain in
"a death spiral of sorts," hampered by "incompetent" management and "shrinking
budgets."

Another loss of benefit for TCP2

ANonymously contributed:

For those of you who chose TCP2, are you aware of a change in policy for 2009 in which 401k contributions under the over-50 "catch up" provision are no longer matched up to 6% of your income by LLNS? Depending on you income, this will cost you as much as $5500.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Return Lump Sum cashout option to TCP-1!

Anonymously contributed:

It is time for Glenn Mara, now head of LLNS/LANS to begin cleaning house.

An open letter to Glenn.

Dear Glenn,
During the transition, one of the silliest reprisals that jealous Congressional staff took at LANL and LLNL was to remove the option of Lump-sum cashout from TCP-1.

There is no reason to continue this and we request that you get this changed.

Having a lump-sum cash-out option is a no-cost benefit to TCP-1 members. It costs NNSA/LLNS nothing, since it is actuarially equivalent to an annuity payout. ERISAs assumptions are very consevative, so no losses would occur. The faster TCP-1 benefits are paid off, the faster the porcine Congress can waste the left-overs stoking their unsatiable egos.

Why lump-sum? Because I would like complete separation from LLNS. While I trust Mara, I trust no one else running LLNS. I want my money outta there before some Bush-era MBA bu*********r figures out how to screw me, through adjusting factors, misinterpretting law or "Madoffing" us with glee.

Please write me a check before you retire and the incompetence resumes.

Are TCP-1 folks being cheated?

Anonymously contributed:

Has anyone else compared their current retirement estimate under LLNS with the retirement benefit calculator at the UC benefits website for exactly the same conditions?

It seems the closer I get to retirement the more these two figures change, with the LLNS going down (for 50% spousal continuance).

Can LLNS change this with time, for instance as ERISA factors change?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Inside Obama Administration, a Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads

Anonymosuly contributed:

"Inside Obama Administration, a Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads," Tuesday, August 18, 2009, at http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090818_1478.php

Compensation versus bonus

Anonymous wants to know:

So what do you think about bonuses instead of compensation?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NIF Success

Anonymously contributed:

All 192 beams were fired successfully yesterday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NNSA recognition

Recognition is alive and well at the highest levels.

http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/ourpeople.htm

but how about recognition at the division and group levels? Does it exist where you are?

Covert work?

Anonymously asked:

Given that the new task based work process with attendant documentation has slowed work to a crawl, has anybody else resorted to guerilla maintenance (working things in on Mondays and Fridays sans documentation when "safety" coverage is low) in order to get minor things done?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the LANL Blog


Good stuff is pouring in this weekend. Greg's comments have proven to be a lightning rod. This one is a Nut Rocker.

--Doug

Greg, this transition may be perfectly rational and beneficial to employees. The reactions here are symptomatic of the complete erosion of trust that's been accomplished by LANL management over the last several years. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Our management can't even seem to get the basics of modern human existince right anymore - e.g. safe drinking water and a non-porous roof over our heads. Our access to the basic tools to do our jobs is being eroded daily, and we are increasingly treated as babies in the safety and security arenas.


Mike berated a room full of managers last week (at the Leadership Summit on Alignment, of all places) for holding different views and experiences of the Lab than his own. Why can't Alignment go bottom-up as well as top-down? It was supremely ironic that Alan Bishop presented a video about the Shackleton Endurance expedition and pointed out that Shackleton built alignment by rolling his sleeves up and doing all the same jobs his team was doing (e.g. scrubbing the floors). Can anyone here imagine Mike writing an IWD and hand carrying it to all the FOD signoffs? Entering his own receipts into Concur? Working in an office with a leaky roof and shit-filled drinking water? Waiting an hour for a KSL taxi to take him to White Rock for Rad II testout?

I don't think so.

Bicycle Helmets are Coming.

I heard from one of our safety people that in the very near future, LLNS will be purchasing a bicycle helmet for anyone who wants to ride a lab owned bicycle on site. It looks like you'll have to take a class, then get fitted for a helmet. The bicycles will all be posted that helmets are required and the special lab law (CA DOT does not require anyone over 18 to wear a bicycle helmet) will be strictly enforced . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

This website sure makes it look like the Lab is hiring deliberatly!

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Lawrence+Livermore+National+Laboratory&l=

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Talent, pay, performance and management.

Anonymouslty contributed as a comment on the Science key to nuclear labs future says Chu post and moved here because it is so interesting:

To conduct business the labs need a cadre of talented and experienced technical staff including material scientists, chemists, weapons phyicists, engineers, technicians and intel types to keep our capability current. Since the timeframe to learn this arcane technology is a long one, incentives are needed for these folks to stick around.

Since the cold war ended, weapons science alone can't attract enough adequate talent; so one needs attractive scientific thrusts (NIF, Fusion, lasers, ACI, HEAF) to interest them.

So on examination it appears that the country needs some above average technical people paid at an above average rate to aid retention.

Now the over-paid managers argument that you raise seemed to have merit. Until I realized that I only noticed management here - in 30 years - when it was bad. And there is plenty that was not so good, including my own.

It actually takes a long time to become an effective technical manager, one that has seen enough both success and mistakes to know what a team must do to accomplish work. Mistakes occur along the way, big and small, benign and significant. A very experienced manager is somewhat invisible to the team and avoids most mistakes. He may add 15% to a top down cost estimate because it was not adequately scoped, or take 15% off of a bottoms-up because scope is double counted. He may even structure a team to work well together in the way the team organizes; reports and works together. He may occasionally see mistakes before they happen. And with long experince he begins to grow and reward his own talent over time, rather than just raiding others (something Moses must still learn).

A good example of recent questionable judgement, possibly due to low salaries attracting middling talent, is when the core UC team managing the labs agreed to bid on the NNSA contract to a manage LANL and LLNL at the transition. We, the country, the Congress, and the Lab may have been better served if the core team had said "NO" when asked to bid on the new contract... rather declining with... "as you have this structured this new contract, it will not work well and we refuse to participate in dismembering the functional entity in which UC invested so much."

Gutsy move, an all of nothing gamble. But the perhaps the only choice with a chance of keeping the Dingell-lead retaliation against Los Alamos mistakes from ruining the Design labs. But I believe the the beginning of the deterioration of LLNL will be marked by historians as the last day of Contract 48.

No $50k kid out of school is going to stand in peril for what's right. He doesn't know what's right and has no investment in the success of the institution, nor the financial independance to be courageous.

GM's founding genius knew this. When Durant consolidated the disparate elements into the operating divisions when GM was founded, he made sure the leaders were very well paid. So well paid they could use independant judgement, to make sure the Division got the best management. LLNL needs this.

Currently LLNL can't get the $300k-per-year folks to do what's right. What we need are managers with talent, experience, independance and iron balls. How much would a Johnny Foster (TRW), a George Schultz (Bechtel) or a Sam Teng (MIT/CERN)take to work here?

This argues instead for above average compensation to retain above average talent in the core scientific staff, with a few geniuses very highly paid to be the bullwark against the undiscovered threat.

And we need some multi-million dollar per year management folks, 'cause what we are paying now ain't attracting talent adequate to surmount the challenges that NNSA places in their path.

Or Chu could drop D'Agostino, whose performance is an argument against low pay for senior management.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Science key to nuclear labs future says Chu

Science key to nuclear labs future says Chu
By Physics Today
August 7, 2009

In the first public meeting of the President’s Council of Advisers in Science and Technology (PCAST), US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the loss of basic science and technology funding at the nuclear-weapons labs Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore have had an inverse effect in the labs ability to attract "the best and the brightest."

During the 1990s the labs basic research funding was on an “10-year-glide-path” to be cut in half he said, which was only stopped in 1998. "To be blunt," said Chu, "the best and the brightest didn’t want to be weapons designers...they wanted to do good science."

Chu pointed out that this model—of using basic science as the carrot which would eventually lead to an interest in more applied work—has been common at all the major innovation incubators such as the Bell Laboratories or in the weapons labs early history.

How to attract high caliber staff to the weapons labs in the current climate “is an unsolved problem” said Chu, who asked for PCAST to assess ways to attract the best staff to DOE. In the meeting Chu implied that there is currently a review underway of the nuclear weapons management structure.

Chu also expanded on the principles behind his request to Congress to fund centers of excellence in energy research in which DOE would act more like a venture capitalist fund and invest in people, not in individual projects. "In World War II you just picked out outstanding people and gave them a problem and told them to solve it," he said. "They treated problems as triage. You would tackle the hard problem first and move onto the next if it didn't work." A similar attitude needs to exist in energy research he said.

"The key would be the management team and whether they are willing to take on this task," he said. "There are a couple of experiments I want to do in this regard."

Paul Guinnessy

http://blogs.physicstoday.org/politics/2009/08/science-key-to-nuclear-labs-fu.html

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Livermore Valley Open Campus

Anonymous wants to know what you think:

NNSA Press Release
August 5, 2009

NNSA approves Livermore Valley Open Campus concept
Scientific collaboration key goal of more interactive approach

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced the first step toward the creation of the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), a joint venture between Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that will promote greater collaboration between the world-class scientists at the nuclear security labs and their partners in industry and academia.

The LVOC, which would create a shared space between the two adjacent labs, is in keeping with NNSA’s vision for increased scientific interaction and collaboration across the nuclear security enterprise. The proposal signed by NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino and the Undersecretary for Science Steve Koonin, endorses the LVOC concept and moving forward on the conceptual development of design alternatives required to reconfigure the existing laboratories into a more open layout.

"A Livermore Valley Open Campus will maximize the return on our nation's investment in nuclear security," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "By leveraging the groundbreaking research of our nuclear security labs through private sector collaborations, we will bring breakthroughs to the market faster and find new solutions to the energy problem."

Open access to the LVOC by the international science community would directly support the advancement of Sandia’s Hub for Innovation in the Transportation Energy Community (HITEC), promote key LLNL programs such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and its High Density Energy research, increase the profile of NNSA in the region, expand the high-tech “footprint” of the Bay Area and establish the Livermore Valley as the high-tech anchor in the East Bay.

NNSA will now begin to gather information from the laboratories, work on a conceptual design for the layout of the proposed campus, and study any environmental, security and cost implications surrounding the concept.

http://nnsa.energy.gov/news/2476.htm

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The National almost IF

The National almost IF

An Engineer’s account of working on the NIF
Livermore California, 2002-2003
https://lasers.llnl.gov/programs/nif/about.php

Dear Reader,

If you pursue a career in physics, chemistry or engineering and you are considering a professional position with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with the anticipation of career development, you should read this article. Do so before you accept an offer to work for this facility.

Hiring
From 2002-2003 I was employed as a flex-term employee at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore California. I was hired as a software engineer to develop algorithms for the Integrated Computer Control System (ICCS), a critical and integral part of the controversial National Ignition Facility (NIF).

Termination
I supported the NIF program for one year when I was aggressively fired and expelled from LLNL for asking too many embarrassing questions from NIF management about defining engineering requirements for my assigned task.

Legal remedy
I sought a resolution for the Lab’s draconian reprisal and a legal remedy for my dismissal but found no relief nor remedy through this approach.
Today I am labeled a Whistleblower as a consequence of the publicity and legal proceedings surrounding this case. (Labeling as a whistleblower is a death sentence for your career in our country, READ "The Whistleblowers, exposing corruption in government and industry" by Myron and Penina Glazer).
Despite reviews in two Appellate Courts and the California Supreme Court my case was dismissed because there are no whistleblower protections offered for employees of the University of California. I have exhausted the legal means to expose the Lab’s conduct in my case, so I now resort to Blog this story since without doing so this story would never be told.

How WB protection worked
In popular documented cases of whistleblowing, the employee reveals some questionable behavior or impropriety discovered in the workplace to an authority outside the workplace while still employed. In my case I never approached authorities outside the Laboratory to report wrongdoing while employed there.
My legal complaint was treated as a case of whistleblowing where California whistleblowing protection statutes (§8547) apply for public institutions. The account of my unlawful termination has been reported as a case of "retaliation for whistleblowing" in both the San Francisco Chronicle and by my council at Gwilliam Ivary et. al. .

UC has WB Immunity
In Miklosy vs. University of California the California Supreme Court sided with the UC in a literal interpretation of the whistleblower protection statutes. In its present form §8547 has no teeth and the Laboratory (UC) is both unaccountable and held immune from any complaint brought by employer retaliation. Whistleblower protections intended by these statutes are illusory and the statutes must be corrected.

The WB statutes for UC
The statutes called Whistleblower Protection are intended to provide UC employees protection from employer retaliation in the workplace. The UC has effectively excluded themselves from the California statutes through a loop-hole in the law. The statutes contain the loop-hole since 1991 but today the California Legislature is taking steps to correct the whistleblower statute for UC employees. Naturally the new legislation is not in the interest of UC and the UC will oppose. At this writing the new legislation is not yet adopted having been delayed many months in the Legislature. We shall see if the corrections ever make it into law.

The LLNL Culture understood
Without whistleblower protections the draconian management on NIF at LLNL is allowed to run amok. As more and more employees accept the "Livermore Culture" and remain silent, corruption will proliferate the work organization.
One NIF engineer told me his work ethic amounted to “keeping my head down and asking no questions”. Performing engineering duties held to industrial norms will expose any engineer to the same retaliation I experienced by this draconian management. For my participation in engineering process and a legal remedy I am now labeled a Whistleblower by the media.

NIF management style
While working at the Laboratory on the NIF project I witnessed management style unlike anything I experienced in my 25 year engineering career, and yet this style is typical in whistleblower cases where the dictatorial hierarchy kills the messenger. On the NIF program I witnessed a blatant disregard for engineering process, fuzzy time record keeping, sequestering the messenger, fabrications and harassment by management, confiscation of work and property, collusion with the DOE, and abrupt termination and physical removal from the Laboratory by a band of management thugs.

Organizations that retaliate
NIF management will no doubt dismiss all I have to reveal about them since they have already discredited me publicly and on their website. The reason given for my termination was “Unacceptable Performance” as written on both the LLNL website and in a separation letter. In typical dictatorial fashion common of institutions in cases of whistleblower retaliation, they discredit the whistleblower as an underachiever while deflecting any attention brought to themselves.

What Livermore stands to loose
Since NIF management operates under the administration (UC in 2002) and cover-up afforded by a large public institution with special exclusions written into statutory law to protect them, they have much to loose by revealing the truth. During my expulsion they confiscated all my work materials, files and computer records and will not release these materials requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For a program controversial as NIF, management certainly took extreme measures to fire a single employee, so what else could they be hiding that justifies taking such measures?

Intro to NIF the National Ignition Facility
The NIF is a sophisticated high powered laser designed to explore the fusion of Hydrogen as a potential source of clean “carbon-free” energy. That is the mantra of the marketing campaign to sell the NIF to politicians, secure next round funding and to attract fresh Post-Doctoral employees to work on next-generation nuclear weapons. The NIF is also a tool to confirm the US stockpile of nuclear weapons without resorting to a detonation test.

Sustaining NIF without documentation results
The stated purpose of NIF changes in order to posture the program optimistically for the next round of taxpayer funding. Most recently the program is sold to the general public and to the Congress as the promise for carbon-free energy independence and a source of unlimited energy from Inertial Confinement Fusion. The NIF Directorate would have the general public believe the world energy crisis can be solved by a few drops of ocean water. Be sure to watch their laughable marketing video presentation by Dr. E. Moses to high school sophomores on YouTube.

Where’s the criteria for success?
Since the program requirements change as the marketing hype changes, there is no specified written criteria for success of the NIF. To attract the next installment of DOE funding with DOE in collusion, some colored light is adequate for the purpose. Since there is so little documentation on the computer software control system, there will be no paper trail for follow-up by a congressional investigation committee. The software control system will become critical and untenable long after the concrete on the ramparts has dried. Even with success criteria missing, program management is bold enough to boast that fusion Ignition is imminent in the first “Shot” attempt.

Les G. Miklosy
(former Computer Scientist LLNL)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another sign!

Anonymously contributed:

Another sign that NNSA's national labs are fading away while DOE's national labs grow....

Bay Area national labs get new Recovery Act funding
By Suzanne Bohan
Contra Costa Times
08/04/2009

A $327 million initiative to bolster research and infrastructure programs at national laboratories is funneling more than $61 million to Bay Area facilities, the Department of Energy announced on Tuesday.

Under the initiative, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory will get $37.8 million in federal Recovery Act funding, with $11 million designated for fusion energy research, $13.1 million for new equipment at the Joint Genome Institute, and $4 million for new instrumentation at the Berkeley lab's Joint BioEnergy Institute. Another $8.8 million will go toward improvements at the lab's Advanced Light Source facility, which generates intense light for scientific research, and $875,000 will support development of "smart grid" technology, which uses computing and communications technologies to improve the efficiency of the electricity grid.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park also gets an infusion of $21.8 million from the initiative, with $20 million designated for construction of a new station at a facility that studies high energy density plasmas.

In support of fusion energy research, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory gets $810,000 and Sandia/California National Laboratories receives $75,000.

The Bay Area facilities are part of a network of 17 national laboratories, which are managed by the Energy Department and engage in research for advancing energy technologies and national security.

"The projects provide vital funding and new tools for research aimed at strengthening America's energy security and tackling some of science's toughest challenges," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Friday, July 31, 2009

D'Agostino's speech on 7/29

Contributed by John:

-------------
July 29, 2009

Presented at U.S. Strategic Command’s Strategic Deterrence Symposium - "The Nuclear Security Enterprise and Our Strategic Deterrent"
Presented by Thomas D'Agostino, Administrator, NNSA

Good afternoon.
Let me begin by echoing so many other speakers and thanking STRATCOM for organizing this symposium, and all of you for being here.
In his Prague speech, President Obama charted a new course for the United States. Like President Reagan before him, he spoke of a long-term glide slope to zero nuclear weapons. But he also made clear that, “[a]s long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies . . .”
In pursuit of this agenda, there are two efforts currently underway – both of which will have major implications for the U.S. nuclear deterrent and for the infrastructure we employ to support that deterrent.
First, as was discussed this morning, the Nuclear Posture Review will provide the necessary requirements that NNSA will use to shape our nuclear security infrastructure. Second, of course, is the START Follow-On effort to reduce the size of U.S. nuclear forces in parallel with Russian reductions.
Negotiating a START Follow-On Agreement is an important demonstration of our commitment to fulfilling our obligations under Article VI of the NPT. However, as our stockpile gets smaller, it becomes increasingly important that remaining forces are safe, secure and effective, and, to mitigate future technical and geopolitical risks, that our nuclear infrastructure is responsive.
Over the coming months, President Obama will be advancing his program to bolster U.S. leadership in reducing global nuclear dangers and achieving strengthened nonproliferation. Because of our core capabilities, NNSA and the Department of Energy will play a critical role in this effort.
Throughout the history of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, the scientists and engineers at our labs and plants have developed and sustained a very unique set of skills and capabilities that service a broad array of nuclear security needs.
However, while maintaining and modernizing our nuclear stockpile forms the core of their work, it is these people and the skills and capabilities they provide that form the foundation for a broader agenda. Specifically:

* They provide support to international efforts to control warheads and fissile material;
* They provide support to the intelligence community on foreign nuclear weapons programs;
* They allow us to work effectively with our international partners on the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism;
* They enable us to assess potential terrorist nuclear designs to inform our capabilities and to render those warheads safe through disarmament;
* They support the development of nuclear forensics capabilities to identify the origin of terrorist devices and thereby provide means to deter state transfers to terrorists of warheads and materials;
* They provide nuclear incident response and consequence management;
* And, of course they provide R&D to:
* Detect nuclear warheads/materials being smuggled;
* Detect proliferant activities; and,
* Strengthen capabilities for treaty monitoring and warhead transparency.

In a sense, our job is much more than Stockpile Stewardship; it is the stewardship of a science and technology base that can respond to a wide array of national security concerns.
Maintaining our nuclear stockpile forms the core of our work, but that core also provides the foundation for ongoing nonproliferation and threat reduction programs, and this cannot be overlooked.
It is essential that we retain these core capabilities and broaden and deepen their application to a wider range of security issues beyond nuclear weapons.
Moving forward, the nuclear security infrastructure has to reflect that reality.
In so doing, the common linkages connecting U.S. nuclear force posture, nuclear threat reduction activities, nonproliferation, nuclear counterterrorism, and arms control and disarmament will be strengthened, global security will be advanced, and our nation will be stronger and safer.
Let me comment for a moment about our physical infrastructure. Our plutonium and uranium facilities need to be replaced. World class scientists and engineers deserve state of the art facilities.
General Chilton asked this morning, how should the practice of deterrence change in the future? That is a great question. In keeping with our Yogi Berra theme, he once said: “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.”
However, I will say with confidence that the “practice” element of any problem in the future will likely involve the application of advanced technologies. This is best described in a story.
When we created the ASCI program 15 years ago, it was about the challenge of maintaining our stockpile without testing. It still is. But we would never have imagined at that time that we would use this capability to help address our satellite problem – and, for that matter, many other pressing national challenges.
My main concern with respect to infrastructure and deterrence – the topic of this panel – is that we must continue to modernize, advance and exercise our technical capabilities. We must replace old, expensive, large Manhattan Project-era facilities. And, finally, we must recruit and retain the best scientists and engineers in the world.
In other words -- to borrow another Yogi quote -- 15 years from now, I want the NNSA Administrator to be able to say “We have deep depth.”

http://nnsa.energy.gov/news/2466.htm

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Any news on hearings?

Anonymously asked:

Anyone have any information on developments, comments,status on the ongoing NLRB hearing that started on the 27th Jul in Oakland for the illegally laid-off skilled crafts workers? Sounds as if UPTE is actually doing something and standing up for workers rights.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BLOG changes

In the last 3 months, I relied heavily on a co-blogger who helped me tremendously.
I am very thankful for that.
When he left, I received very nasty emails and comments calling me all kinds of names. So, I decided to comb the Blog to see why people were so outraged.
Here it was, a side bar link for political views that was filled with hate and bigotry.
This one slipped through. I will not apologize on behalf of someone else BUT I went ahead and removed it. No more political views!

Cost control a la Bechtel!

This is who runs the Lab! Scroll down to middle of page
http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2006/012006/lines.html

Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Benefits The UC, LLNS, LANS Mashup

From the LANL BLOG:

Consider the current political situation. NNSA is in the fourth year of its plan to reconfigure the nuclear weapons complex. The plan is oriented toward retrenching and down sizing probably requiring closing one weapons lab. Since some of the weapons work is being consolidated at LANL but none at LLNL, it is clear which lab they will chose to close. The move of Anastasio to LANL and putting Miller in charge at LLNL was another indicator. Miller was the also ran in every selection of a new director during my time at LLNL. He is a prime choice to preside over the dismemberment of LLNL.

The NNSA reconfiguration plan was predicated on Congress approving the Reliable Replacement Warhead and scheduling 5-year upgrade cycles. Not only is that not going to happen, Obama has promised to quit paying for the unused weapons of the Cold War. Guess what weapons are on the top of the list. That leaves NNSA with no weapons programs to fund the weapons labs. The way the government works, it takes time to wind down large unneeded organizations. The NNSA reconfiguration plan is a good start at it. Without viable nuclear weapons programs, is not a question of if but when LANL will follow LLNL into oblivion.

We at LLNL are fighting to have responsibility for our retiree medical benefits moved back to the University of California. LLNS and NNSA never intended to assume responsibility for our medical benefits. Last August, I complained to UC’s top lawyer, Jeffery Blair, that UC was in breach of my employment contract. Soon thereafter, NNSA modified the LLNS contract to allow retroactive modification of the TCP1 medical insurance requirements. Then I got an email from an LLNS lawyer saying that she was replying for Jeffery Blair and that LLNS was doing a great job providing our medical benefits. That made me mad enough to do something about the situation.

I formed the University of California Livermore Retirees Group to put public, political and legal pressure on UC to resume their obligation for our benefits. Neither UC nor we are parties to the NNSA-LLNS contract so it doesn’t change our legal relationship. We are at the point of soliciting funds and hiring legal council to initiate a suit against UC.

Earlier this year I tried to contract LANL employees and convince them to join us. At that time nobody showed any interest. I believe it is time to ask LANL retirees again if they are interested in joining their LLNL counterparts. If so, now is the time to act. We have collected enough funds to get our legal situation analyzed. We are negotiating with a top national law firm, having the expertise and resources to handle UC. LANL retirees are in nearly the same position as we. They haven’t been severely impacted yet, but it looks like it will not be for long. Remember that LLNS and LANS are LLCs so when they disappear, so do all their liabilities, including retiree medical benefits.

It would be a shame if we have the facts to prevail but lack the funds to pursue our case. We need more recruits to help us. If you would like to find out more about us, type llnlretiree.com into the navigation bar of your web browser or email llnlretiree@comcast.net.

- Joe Requa

We used to do R&D, now we watch the landscape!

Anonymously contributed:

When I came to this place 30 plus years ago there was hardly any landscaping. Didn't bother me. Didn't bother anyone else I worked with (unless they were just keeping mum).I don't think anyone really cared. We were there to do R&D, not admire the landscape. Today, it is a different story.I have no idea how much this beautification project cost or how much it will cost to maintain but I agree it is a serious waste of taxpayer money.

waste!

Anonymously contributed:
The 5% tax is being used to cover the cost of NIF Dedication and Family Day. A ridiculous amount of money was spent on these activities. Trees, roads, bark, paint, shrubs, more bark, a water conservation project (complete with amphitheater), grass, irrigation, signs, pavement, and oh, was there a spot that didn't get bark? Hopefully someone will shine the light of truth on the games that are being played with our tax dollars. How do you think all of this work was paid for?? What Science? We have become an arboretum. It does look nice, no?

Audit of Dependent Eligibility for Health and Welfare Enrollment

Anonymously contributed:

I was just wondering how many folks actually got this Audit of Dependent Eligibility letter?

It says that if I do not prove that I am married to my husband of 40 years that he and I will BOTH be de-enrolled from insurance coverage for a period of 12 months. I had to go to my bank safe deposit box and get a copy of my marriage license and give that to benefits.

If a person has other dependents such as children, birth certificates of all dependents would have to be provided.

I don't understand why this is necessary since my husband and I have BOTH gone through the Lab Q Clearance process since 1991 and many re-investigations and have never been asked to provide a copy of our marriage license.

Never in my 40 years of marriage and many loans and even a passport have I been asked to prove that I was married.

What about all of the retirees? I know my mother-in-law didn't have to prove she was married to her husband to collect his retirement after he passed away.

Also, what would happen to someone who was sent the letter but it never arrived at their home? Would their benefits be out off?

I suggest anyone who did get this letter, have Benefits provide them with proof that you actually gave it to them.

This just doesn't make sense.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Adherence to BLOG rules

I admit that this year, moderation of this BLOG has been a little relaxed, in the interest of freedom of speech. It was hard to publish some views and not publish opposing views.

It is time to go back to the purpose of the LOG.

From here on, I will not publish anything not related to:

1) Impact of privatization of the Lab on employees, past and present and friends and families.
2) Opinions on LLNS operation of the Lab
3) reports of waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA.

or criticism without suggested solutions

and remember:
The BLOG author(s) do not have to agree or disagree with any post or comments before publishing them. They serve as impartial moderators.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This blog is a joke?

Anonymously contributed:

This blog is a joke. Either nobody reads it, nobody cares to comment on it, or the moderator doesn't care/is lazy/whatever. There are few relevant posts and even fewer relevant comments. Sad. The blog HAD noble goals out the outset.......you should read the LANL blog instead....at least it's active, at least it's relevant. And the info often applies to LLNL/LLNS as well as LANL/LANS. Unless somebody breathes some life into this one, it ought to be terminated. Sorry for the harsh opinion, but it's just a waste of time to come here.

A company I never worked for provides my medical benefits?

Anonymously contributed in the LANL Blog:

I never signed any contract to work for DOE or the Federal government. I signed up as a UC employee. No different than if I worked as a researcher at UC working on a CONTRACT for NASA, NIH, etc. I was a UC employee. Payed into and was promised the UC retirement system. Retired under UC BEFORE LANS was even a thought in someone's mind. Remain retired under UCRP. But now my medical benefits are provided by some company I never worked for, while other UC retirees from other institutions are treated differently and better. How can DOE allow one entity (UC) to get off the hook and assign their obligations to their retirees to a new company that can downgrade and eliminate those obligations at will? Crap, it's one think to be traded when you are still playing....it's quite another to be promised one thing, devote your entire working career to it, and then have it yanked out from under you. Legal or not, it's not fair. Mark my words, this will end up in court and DOE, UC, and LANS will be held accountable.

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