Jan 7, 2008

Anastasio all-employee meeting postponed

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio's all employee meeting has been postponed until Tuesday, weather permitting. More information about the rescheduled time will be forthcoming.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Word I'm hearing is that this is going to be a very important meeting to attend. Big news is coming, but I'm not sure that LANL staff is going to like what they hear.

Anonymous said...

I heard something like this as well. Lots of talk about getting the lab ready for the future.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to laid off workers who are holding a mortgage on a home in Los Alamos County. Unloading a home is going to be impossible in this environment.

I've recently seen some Los Alamos homes for sale that are putting up "For Rent" signs in desperation. How much longer until we start seeing "Bank Foreclosure" signs go up in front of some homes?

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that we are at an extremely critical point in the life of Los Alamos National Lab. From this point forward we will either find a way to survive with a thriving, competitive, and diversified scientific base or we will rapidly shrink into nothing more than a limited production facility that happens to have a small niche doing narrowly focus research on the side.

It could go either way at this point, but LANS seems to be giving a strong impression that they prefer the latter path of limited production and constrained science.

Eric said...

If LANS is under orders from NNSA to turn LANL into a pit production facility with limited actinide science, can Los Alamos become a two company town with the other company continuing all the other things that LANL has been proud of accomplishing over the years, e.g. genome work, nanophysics, sensitive spectroscopy, and computational fluid dynamics?

Anybody have a plan that could make Los Alamos a two company town? Anybody want to work on one?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, form an SAIC-like employee owned company. Problem is, you won't have access to any of DOE's lab space or toys or money. At best it would be a start up company with enough funding to support about 5 people.

Anonymous said...

2:32 PM "Word I'm hearing is that this is going to be a very important meeting to attend. Big news is coming, but I'm not sure that LANL staff is going to like what they hear."

Look you twit, why all the secretive speak? WHy not just spell it out for us?

Anonymous said...

The way to make a two company town is to have two "companies". One “company” is LANS (a.k.a. pit manufacturing) and other would be a full university. A full 4-year university with a graduate program, similar to New Mexico Tech, will save our community both financially and scientifically. First, a full university would strengthen the science at LANL and ensure that science is still done in Los Alamos County. Next, the university would strengthen our economy far more than LANL ever could. As we all know well, college towns are financially secure. Best of all, a full university in Los Alamos County would eliminate our financial dependence on Congress and corrupt NNSA. With Saint Pete leaving in November, our financial security is in serious jeopardy and we must eliminate our financial dependence on Congress and NNSA. Finally, I believe that Udall and Richardson would support a full university in Los Alamos County, especially since no major university is located in Northern New Mexico. Los Alamos needs to become a college/science town not solely a pit manufacturing town.

Anonymous said...

Two reasons are the likely explanation, 4:47:

1) he doesn't *really* know anything, but
2) he's probably right.

I myself expect to hear RIF numbers substantially larger than the 320 which would have been required to meet the 750 total announced before Christmas.

You continue to hear all this moaning and groaning that LANL is losing its core scientific expertise. Many staff have not accepted that this is exactly what NNSA has planned for LANL.

LANL will be a plutonium pit processing facility with a much-reduced staffing level in a few years, and not much else. The sooner everybody can get used to that idea, the sooner everybody can move on with their lives.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 5:09 #1. I could sit here and listen to theory all day. Please continue.

Anonymous said...

Since you asked 5:12, here are more details. One question commonly asked is where do we put the University? One solution is to stop the trinity project and use that land to build a University. The trinity site would make a beautiful, picturesque campus ideal for attracting the best and brightest students from around the world. Another option is to build a new high school on the county property next to the horse stables. This would allow the full university to be built across the street from UNMLA. It is worth noting that Los Alamos County must fix/rebuild our high school in the near future. It would be great to find an alternative way, something other than my property taxes, to pay for this major expenditure. I am confident that more options exist, especially if there is momentum to convert Los Alamos County into a college/science town. Hey, DOE might donate some land, after all, NNSA plans to down size the complex so why not make a land grant University.

Anonymous said...

Show me the money, Pendejo.

All business plans have a financing chapter. Yours has Nada. Hand waving not an option here.

Anonymous said...

LANS has a pretty good idea by now that future budgets are going to look very shaky. Therefore, they will be eager to build in a fudge factor in the layoffs calculations to create a small surplus.

The 430 SSP'ers help pay off part of the new LLC operating expenses in outlying years, but probably not all of it. LANS was able to hide the true costs of the LLC expenses during the first year by burning up all of LANL's Reserve Funds. This depletion leaves LANL with no budgetary slack for hard times.

I'm estimating that we'll need to have a layoff of about 1000 workers this year to fully cover for the LLC and build in some necessary budgetary slack. We'll see what Mike has to say about all this on Tuesday. Hopefully, he'll level with us on the complete state of our financial condition.

Anonymous said...

Anticipate more layoffs focusing on limited term employees and contractor employees.

Anonymous said...

When the government turned over the land on Kwage Mesa to the county oh so many years ago, it came with recreational use only strings attached. At least that's what I've heard.

Make sense, or the county surely would've at least considered doing something with it by now.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

If 5:38's "contribution" is representative of what the "best and the brightest" at LANL can do, I see a steep downward funding trend on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the situation is on the upcoming layoffs, I have only one suggestion for LANS...

Get 'er done this year!!!

We don't need this crap hanging over the heads of the remaining workers in FY09, FY10, FY11, ...

Anonymous said...

6:04 PM wrote, "Anticipate more layoffs focusing on limited term employees and contractor employees."

I don't think so. There are a few top dogs/doggettes who are protecting "their own" who just happen to be LT.

Anonymous said...

You know, 20 years ago in Richland there was doom and gloom, houses being foreclosed, people leaving in droves as DOE's predecessor shut off funding. But then some visionary people went to work and created something new that grew into a renewed PNNL, increased cleanup funding, and a broadening of the funding base for the city.

Who will be the visionary in Los Alamos?

Anonymous said...

Eric!

Be our visionary!

Anonymous said...

Yikes!

If it boils down to 5:38 or Eric for the salvation of LANL, we're screwed!

Totally screwed!

But I guess we knew that.

Anonymous said...

Universities don't pay nearly what LANL does. Even if it were possible, it would mean 50% pay cuts.

Anonymous said...

Pinky and Brain,

With layoffs eminent, it is important that we suggest ways to reduce our financial dependence on LANL. Currently we are faced with a question, polish pits or march to the gallows of bankruptcy. The hangman has arrived, and tomorrow we will know how many of us will have a noose around our necks. As a result, can you please make a new discussion category that focuses on ideas to diversify the economy in Los Alamos County? If so, can you please move the comments starting with Eric to that new discussion area?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, what ideas do the two skeptics above have? We should discuss the technical content of a proposition and not resort to ad hominem attacks. It is the ad hominem attacks above that will guarantee the demise of our community.

Anonymous said...

7:48 pm:

"Currently we are faced with a question, polish pits or march to the gallows of bankruptcy"

What is the question about polish pits? I wasn't even aware Poland had nuclear weapons! Yikes! What's next, plutonium pierogi?? gallium-alloy golabki?? I'll take the "gallows of bankruptcy" whatever they are..?

Anonymous said...

Realists are frequently cast as skeptics by optimists who simply cannot face reality.

Such seems to be the case here. The reality of our situation is that there is not enough collective horsepower in LA/Santa Fe counties to change the course of events that are presently transpiring at LANL.

That's reality.

Here's another dose: Eric is not going to save LANL, no matter how much his savior complex (in all of his anonymous manifestations) would wish him to be able to do so.

More reality: LANL, and all of its "really really really smart scientists" have been systematically outwitted and out maneuvered by a bunch of dim-witted DOE and NNSA bureaucrats at every turn.

Y'all are just going to have to learn to deal with it however you see fit. For the more intelligent of you who still remain at LANL, that means finding another job elsewhere.

For the rest of you, that means pit production work.

Anonymous said...

> Who will be the visionary in Los
> Alamos?


Top D'Ag has a vision, remember?

Anonymous said...

Mary Neu has a vision!

Anonymous said...

RIFS,

1000+,

There will be blood.

Anonymous said...

Furloughs. LANS can't balance the budget without furloughing staff. What's the best month to stay home without pay? Or will it be 3 days per month?

The LANS (mis)managers probably think LANL staff will come in to work without pay. Trouble is, it's illegal to work on Government contracts without being paid. It would be deemed as LANS illegally manipulating the forward-pricing rate in Federal contract law. But this wouldn't be the only law LANS has broken, would it?

Anonymous said...

"Universities don't pay nearly what LANL does."

Probably not in general, but some do pay more than LANL in specific instances. I got one. Maybe you can too.

Anonymous said...

Actually, some universities pay some faculty very VERY well. At universities, performance of the faculty is quite easy to quantify: how much grant money did you bring in this year.

Of course, there are some university positions that pay quite poorly. If you just want to teach undergraduate classes at a third-tied university (e.g., Highlands), you can work for $60K per year.

Anonymous said...

I can't see the State of NM investing in a campus in Los Alamos when they're already committed to expanding Northern into a full Univerity with graduate degrees.

But maybe you all can get jobs down there. The irony would be kind of delicious, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

1000s RIFed... Wow.

Braveheart vs. LANL. Robert the Bruce sold out his own people with a secret deal. There was corrupt English (DOE) king and a Wallace in there somewhere. 1000s of Scots, about to be sacrificed, stood in the field and honored him with a 'special' salute.

OK it was just a movie-

What if the pre-LANS employees wear kilts to this meeting? I think Mikee the Bruce deserves our 'honors'.

Anonymous said...

"If you just want to teach undergraduate classes at a third-tied university (e.g., Highlands), you can work for $60K per year."

On the topic of NM schools, it appears USNWR has Highlands as a fourth tier (Master's West) school. USNWR also has NMSU as fourth tier and UNM as third tier National Universities.

Not a BFD as far as I can tell. I am unconvinced where one went to school, and even the degree earned matters for many, maybe even most jobs at LANL. LANL figured this out awhile ago once they saw not much changed as they started hiring many with BS degrees as TSMs in the engineering divisions. A look at the highest degree composition of the TSM workforce (and other series as well) at LANL from say, 1990 to now, would be interesting. Look up Mara's, Mallory's and B. Knapp's educational backgrounds on their bios. While they might be unable to become profs at name schools, I doubt they're hurting financially and professionally.

Anonymous said...

10:43AM Anastasio just announced there will be no involuntary RIF.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Did he add, "...and no plans for an involuntary RIF"?

Anonymous said...

"Anastasio just announced there will be no involuntary RIF." 1/8/08 10:44 AM

Excellent! I can continue double dipping for at least another year, maybe even two, while receiving a very nice salary. I'm sure glad I wasn't suckered into taking the SSP.