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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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lab Make Over

Anonymous said...

What is with all of the tree trimming, road repaving, tree planting, shrub pruning and mountains of tan bark? Does anyone know how much this costing the programs?

May 14, 2009 6:54 AM

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are getting things tidy for "Family Day", as a co-worker pointed out, they do not want our family to see what a hell hole we work at

Anonymous said...

I believe that all the landscaping and outside maintenance is for the NIF dedication. Several million dollars worth I hear. With all that new grass around NIF they had to find some water; so, they buried tanks under the new parking lot north of the central cafeteria to collect rain water for watering the landscaping.
I wonder why during this federal mandate to reduce water and energy use we are planting so much grass. Grass takes a tremendous amount of water to keep it looking nice and pumping water out of the tank will take quite a bit of energy; not to mention powering lawn mowers to cut the grass. Seems to me that they could have gone with a more natural, lower maintenance, and drought tolerable planting scheme.
Well I suspect with the technical problems and cost for NIF they have to sell it to someone. Kind of reminds me of the old saying, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.” I guess the brilliance of NIF is not quite as bright as it should be, so we have to dazzle them with landscaping. Just doesn’t seem right…

Anonymous said...

It is a waste of resource. Did you count painting neighboring buildings green?

Anonymous said...

There are rumors that the Office of the Inspector General has an interest in the activities and expenses charged to the government for the NIF "celebration." Also, rumors that numerous calls from concerned employees to the Inspector General hotline have increased that interest.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem strange that for the last year the Lab has looked like a dump, but just before the NIF dedication we can spend millions of dollars?

The IG should do a comprehensive investigation into the funding of NIF. The shell game that has been played should be sufficient for cetain people to spend time in the Big House.

Anonymous said...

A pretty lab is a happy lab.

Anonymous said...

when I first starting working at the lab there was almost no landscaping and it didn't bother me nor anyone else that there was none. This place has the most extravagant landscape I have ever seen. I fail to see how this helps the lab succeed in its mission.

Can anyone tell us how this was funded? As a line item it had to have been cloaked in some obtuse scientific sounding mumbo-jumbo to get past congress and the NNSA.

Anonymous said...

Why the make over?

Two thoughts.
First the timing with a Family Day open house says that "we" want to show the folks at home what a nice looking place we have to work in.

The second and more important thought is to provide a good first impression to the visitors that have influence in writing the checks.

Take a look at the two areas that they usually push the tours thru - NIF and Terascale. The glossy tile in the entrance of B453 may be a fall hazard in the wet weather but it LOOKS NEAT. A pretty staircase and an observation space to look into the computer floor. NIF - Big, Clean, Impressive. And that eye candy is what gets the foot into the door. Drag a congressman through a dingy building to display a breakthrough in science, he'll probably remember the dingy. Guide him through a chrome palace and show him a Powerpoint presentation on something, he remembers the glitz and promise some money. Be sure to take them to Wente's afterward.

So when someone asks how all of the pretty helps the mission of the lab, it's to impress the check writers. And I was here in the heyday of this place where the product spoke for itself, no longer. I also worked at this place when there was a sense of mission. Alas, that also is no longer something that is in vogue.

Finally, just remember Billy Crystal in Saturday Night Live:

You Look Maahvelous!!!!

Anonymous said...

NIF had Wente cater the employee celebration or whatever they called it. I'd be luck to get Little Caesar's pizza, if we ever had a celebration, but in the FR pad we have nothing to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

May 19, 2009 9:21 PM I agree with you to a point. I think the "eye candy" approach was once the right way to charm the congress but I am not so sure that will be effective in light of the huge budget mess facing this country. I think all of the lush landscape will blow up in the face of ULM.

Anonymous said...

I heard it is costing 12.5 million
to put lipstick on the pig.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that the trees that are being planted in the round-abouts are being planted IN THE WOODEN BOXES they were deliver in? I've heard that after the NIF Dedication all those trees will be removed and planted elsewhere around the Lab. How much do you think that will cost the tax payers?

Anonymous said...

I heard that some of the trees are rented (the ones that don't have water lines)and they will be pulled back out of the ground once family day is done. The budget was 7 million to do all of the tanbark and the NIF stuff at the central cafe but it grew to 11 million.

Anonymous said...

the reason for the make over was because LLNS was slaped with a letter of failure of complience for maintaining the lab to DOE standards. the totaal bill is about 17 million for the painting and land scape. and LLNS did hire a retired disney land scape architec to over see the project.

Anonymous said...

May 24, 2009 7:18 PM

Sorry. No such letter from DOE. Additionally there are no DOE standards for landscaping to violate. Most DOE sites are going natural, implementing xeriscape, etc., with DOE blessings. Very different from the LLNL approach.

Family days was an afterthought tacked onto the NIF dedication in an attempt to deflect some of the criticism for all of the “dressing up” going on. The cost for family days is considerably less than for the NIF dedication.

When swine flu was seen as possibly affecting/preventing the NIF celebration, EM provided some interesting guidance that could have come out of a B grade thriller (hint: something to do with the celebration being more important than the possible spread of flu). Glad we weren’t forced to test that guidance.
.

Anonymous said...

One intriguing rumor I heard was that EM paid a goose wrangler to gather up the walking poop machines and transplant them somewhere else so they wouldn't have a chance to "mess" up the NIF ceremony.

If the rumor is true, I'll tip my had to Ed and say thanks.

I would advise the red legged frogs in Lake Hausmann to keep a low profile and not anger EM.

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