Sep 11, 2007

A palpable pall

At a reader's suggestion, we are presenting this post from a neighboring blog:

You could feel it in Bomb Town's sole grocery store Thursday night—the withering realization that the community of Los Alamos is about to be downsized.





Anonymous said...

I've been following the last few weeks of "As the LANL Turns" from afar and my heart goes out to you all.

At least the market for people with science and technology backgrounds is still good elsewhere, at least in industry. Funding in academia is terrible -- every time the gov't says it's going to increase areas of the NSF/DOE budgets they get cut instead. The bad news is that you're going to wind up in a big expensive city where the quality of life for families is abysmal compared to Los Almos.

I'm surprised at the seeing so many comments on the idea that "all the good people have fled leaving the deadwood." There are plenty of great people at LANL that have kids in school, spouses, mortgages, etc. It's easy enough to pack up your old Subaru and boogy as an untethered postdoc or tech, but once you're tied to a location through family and finance, things get very difficult. You'll see plenty of people leaving to work in another state and commuting back to their families.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I can't muster a whole lot of sympathy for the realtors as they've long been soaking up the gravy from turning over the same finite set of properties repeatedly. Were it not for the fact that we will probably be impacted firsthand, it would probably be funny.

Anonymous said...

What's one less millionaire, more or less?

Anonymous said...

Hunkering down Pete:

See also:

Domenici's "Access" Radio Show--Questions & Answers with New Mexico Radio Journalists
from the Office of Senator Pete V. Domenici
Monday, September 10, 2007
Click here for an Audio Clip

(Audio also available at 1-800-545-1267 ext. 309.)

U.S. Senator Pete Domenici recorded his “ACCESS” radio news conference Monday, September 10, 2007.


• Gillian Sutton, KRSN Los Alamos

• Larry Moehlenbrink – KKOB Albuquerque

• Steve Isaacs – KNMX Los Alamos

• Kevin Robbins – KSMX Portales


• Senate Consideration of Department of Energy Labs’ Funding Bill

• Differences in House and Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bills

• Message to Lab Workers; USDA Disaster Aid for Union County

• Cannon Air Force Base and FY2008 Military Construction Funds

• Continuing Resolution Funding Outlook for New Mexico Labs

• 2007 Farm Bill Progress


00:00 - Domenici says he and Senator Byron Dorgan, chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, are pushing to have the FY2008 Energy and Water Bill considered by the Senate as soon as possible. He says the dramatic funding differences between the House and Senate bills are the most divergent he has ever experienced.

02:51 - Domenici says the preliminary layoff projections at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories should be taken seriously since it will be difficult to close the funding chasm between the House and Senate bills to fund the labs in FY2008.

04:10 - Domenici says it is important that Senate and House negotiators get to meet as soon as possible to try to begin resolving the DOE and lab funding discrepancies.

06:24 - Domenici relays to lab employees that he will “hunker down,” do his best and fight to resolve the funding cuts facing the nuclear weapons complex under the House bill.

11:58 - Domenici discusses the probable need for DOE and its laboratories to be funding through a continuing resolution (CR) after the Oct. 1 start of the federal fiscal year. He says the CR could require funding be maintained at FY2008 levels, but says this situation “won’t be great any way we look at it.”

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"What's one less millionaire, more or less?"

If you recall, the infamous "LA millionaires" story included the value of the UC pension plans, which are not accessible to displaced LANL workers until they are eligible to retire. It also included the value of homes which in many cases are significantly mortgaged and soon will be worth less than what is borrowed against them.

So there will perhaps be a strange new class of millionaires-on-paper filing for bankruptcy, mostly in their late 40's, emerging from this RIF.

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy as a highly trained scientist or engineer who can get another job? Little tougher these days I hear. If you have debts out the ass maybe.

If your house is the only thing you can't pay for, the bank forecloses. Part of their accepted, or transferred, risk. Hardly singular when an estimated 1.5M houses will go down in foreclosure (out of 80M) as the housing bust plays out.

Anonymous said...

Declaring bankruptcy in our "buy now, pay later" consumer society isn't that rare any longer. It's considered the patriotic thing to do.

First, you go on a huge spending binge living well beyond your means and then, if you can't get the US government to bail you out, you declare bankruptcy.

In the future, I suspect almost all US families will declare bankruptcy at some point in their lives. Los Alamos citizens who get laid off have the opportunity to be part of the the vanguard of this growing US trend. Just relax, because everyone is doing it these days. In fact, you don't have any real credibility as a serious US consumer unless you have declared bankruptcy at least at once in your life.