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Friday, April 29, 2011

UC Official: Overlapping Lab Director Searches A ‘Positive’

Contributed by John:

Weapons Complex Monitor
April 28, 2011

UC Official: Overlapping Lab Director Searches A ‘Positive’

Bruce Darling, the University of California’s Vice President for Lab Management, provided few details about the searches for the next laboratory directors at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories yesterday, but he dismissed the notion that the overlapping searches could complicate the hunt for new directors at the laboratories. Mike Anastasio will retire from Los Alamos National Laboratory June 1, while George Miller will leave Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Oct. 1. “Neither search is going to be hurt or slowed down by the other going on at the same time,” Darling said on the sidelines of a National Academy of Sciences meeting at Lawrence Livermore yesterday, adding: “We view the fact that these are happening in sequence to be very positive. We’ve already been looking around the country for candidates for one lab director, and we have a large number. We’ll come to Livermore, we’ll talk with the staff and others
about what criteria they are seeking. We see it as a very positive thing.”

As part of the team that manages both laboratories, the University of California has the responsibility for choosing the laboratory directors at the institutions. Norm Pattiz, who chairs the Board of Governors for both labs, is heading up the searches, and while officials with knowledge of the effort have said that the Los Alamos search committee is not close to naming a new director and is still examining a relatively large pool of candidates, Darling said that the search committee for the Livermore search has not been formed. But he dismissed the notion that the searches were behind schedule. “We’re right on the schedule we laid out at the beginning of the process and we informed NNSA about,” Darling said. The candidate pool for both positions is likely to include LANL weapons program chief Charles McMillan, Livermore weapons chief Bruce Goodwin and Nevada National Security Site director Stephen Younger.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Contributed by thief:

In one of the George Miller threads somebody mentioned a potential RIF. Anybody hear anything?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keep after them!

Anonymously contributed:
LLNL Retirees Health payments Vs. Hewitt

Keep after them. Make sure they handle it.

Clear as mud?
For those retirees whose UC medical coverage has been yanked, LLNS doesn't do it themselves. They have hired Hewitt (now Aon Hewitt) who are supposed to send money to B of A, who LLNS has hired to run your HRA (Health Retirement Account.) This is a reduced amount, instead of LLNS or UC paying for health care. Max $2400/year. The amount is reduced based on years of service (rounded down to full years only). For the first year it is also reduced by being prorated by the months remaining in the calendar year once you reach 65.

I am in the midst of trying to get this to actually work, and get B of A to pay LLNS toward my Group Kaiser Senior Advantage and Delta Dental.

This has required so many long waits on the phones with every one of the cast of characters it is hard to believe. Hours on the phone.
But I am posting this to inform all that YOU need to keep at it:
I asked Hewitt and B of A to set this up starting last October of last year. I turned 65 in March.
Apparently Hewitt did nothing, and would continue to do nothing unless you call and complain. It appears that if you just wait, nothing at all will happen. Hewitt and B of A all say they have no way of knowing (or caring?) that nothing is happening.
For reasons unknown Hewitt failed to open my B of A account. Took over 2 months of calls, and being told they had already processed it, and to wait "10 Business Days", and while they do "Research," to finally get it open in mid April.
It looks like "Research" is a Hewitt code for "Goodbye". 4 of 5 times they never called back. You never get the same person twice. And they will not give you their phone number, or their e-mail.

Then Hewitt failed to fund the HRA. I still can not find out why they didn't put in the money- they said it is a glitch. Here again, if you don't ask, nobody tells you anything is wrong.

Anyway B of A has finally gotten my funds (too late to pay for April), so now they send it back to LLNS, and I have to get them to disburse it toward the health care.

Q. How many others have had similar experiences,
or does anyone know how to get this to work?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bye Bye George!

Anonymously contributed:

From: LLNL Public Affairs Office
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:13 PM
To: E-line

Members of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory community:

I am writing to let you know that George Miller has informed the Board of Governors that he will be stepping down as Laboratory director in October 2011. It is with mixed emotions that the LLNS board has accepted George's decision. While we deeply regret his decision, we respect and appreciate him for his contributions to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and to the nation and we wish him the best as he transitions to the next phase in his personal and professional life.

George has served as the Laboratory director since 2006, both under the longtime management of the University of California and as the first president of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. Under his leadership, the Laboratory has delivered exceptional science and engineering in support of its program missions and has significantly improved its business and operations functions that support mission execution, all while transitioning to a new management environment. George has been fearless in tackling a variety of management and scientific challenges in the interest of national security and continuous improvement. He will leave a legacy of strong personal commitment to safety for employees that extends to both work and home experiences.

Replacing George is a daunting challenge. His long and dedicated leadership contributions to LLNL and national security will be difficult to replicate. Under the leadership of the University of California, we will conduct the search for a new director.

Please join me in expressing our appreciation and gratitude to George for his dedicated service to the country and to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. While I know a change in leadership can be difficult, we can best express our appreciation to George and our commitment to LLNL by staying focused on the Laboratory's critical missions and supporting George as Laboratory director through the remainder of his term.


Norman J. Pattiz
LLNS Board of Governors

April 12, 2011 9:31 PM

Bye Bye LLNL!

Anonymously contributed:

From: LLNL Public Affairs Office
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:00 PM
To: E-line

Dear LLNL employees,

I would like to tell you that I have submitted a letter to the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) Board of Governors informing them of my decision to step down as Laboratory director in October 2011. This has been a difficult decision for me, but I believe this is the best time for me personally and for the Laboratory to make this change. It has been my great pleasure and honor to be an employee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve the University of California and our nation for almost 39 years. More than 20 of those years were as an associate director and the last five as Laboratory director and president of Lawrence Livermore National Security. It is now time for me to move on to another stage in my life.

Throughout my career, I have been privileged to participate in many of the critically important Laboratory programs that support our country's national, energy, environmental, and economic security. I have seen first hand the incredible scientific, technical, engineering, and operational talent at the Laboratory take on seemingly impossible tasks - and succeed time after time. I am amazed, inspired, and humbled by your dedication and capability. Our country is facing major challenges and I am firmly convinced that the Laboratory's capabilities and your talents are ideally positioned to help solve some of the most significant ones.

I am more convinced than ever that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is something extraordinarily special - even among the "crown jewels" of the Department of Energy system of national laboratories. The Laboratory's unique culture blends the personalities of its founders Ernest Lawrence, Edward Teller, and the University of California into an organization that can truly make dreams and challenges into realities.

I have been honored to meet so many of you personally. I will miss serving as your director. I will particularly miss seeing first hand, and describing to others, your remarkable accomplishments.

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead this extraordinary institution, to help nurture and expand its capabilities, and to help chart a course for the future. I now look forward to having time to relax, to spend time with and enjoy my growing family, and engage in projects that I have long looked forward to pursuing. Again, thank you for the relationships and opportunities you have given me. Thank you for your passion, your creativity, your dedication, your debates, and your humor. Thank you for making this Laboratory an outstanding institution.

With warmest regards,

George H. Miller

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interesting video

Anonymously contributed:

So oh wise one who holds all the answers to LLNS, LANS, our 401k, and UC 403b's what happens to our money with this event takes place which shouldn't be all that long from now and surely will be before most of you turn 59.5 years old and are able to take withdrawns without penalty

If you have 5 minutes, this is well worth the watch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shutdown or not?

From: LLNL Public Affairs Office
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 02:25 PM
To: E-line

E-LINE: Message from the director on the federal budget

As you have probably heard, the latest Continuing Resolution (CR) will expire Friday, April 8, at midnight. Unless a budget or new CR is passed by Congress and signed by the President, there will be a temporary lapse in government funding (aka "shutdown").

I would like to let you know what this would mean for us on Monday, April 11. As a government contractor, we are able to use existing funding in our contract to continue operations. This is sufficient to last a few weeks, which may be long enough for this issue to be resolved. So regardless of what you hear on the news over the weekend, please come to work on Monday. If there is a lapse in funding, I will provide you with additional information next week, based on guidance I receive from NNSA.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Government shutdown and LLNL

Anonymously contributed:

So, if the government shuts down, what are the plans for LLNL? Please no wise-crack comments, just trying to hear what the plan is for after April 8. Do all but the security forces stay home (if the government shuts down)?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More $ for salary adjustements and promotions at LLNL!

Anonymously contributed:

From: LLNL Public Affairs Office
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 03:17 PM
To: E-line

E-LINE: Update from the director on salary adjustment increase

Today, we were notified that the Secretary of Energy has decided to allow the Laboratory to increase available funds to be used for salary adjustments and promotions from the previously authorized level of 0.5 percent up to a total limit of 2.0 percent.

DOE also has authorized the Laboratory to apply these increased promotion and salary adjustment funds retroactively to the beginning of the CY2011 pay cycle. This decision was approved to help achieve parity with the salary adjustments received by federal employees. Per the guidance received, these funds are not intended to be used as merit increases; they are for adjustments to address equity and retention issues.

Our plan is to review current salaries with respect to the approved use of promotion and adjustment funds and communicate any resulting salary increases as soon as possible.

We thank the secretary for taking this action to help mitigate the impacts of the salary freeze announced in December 2010. Guidelines on how the funds will be distributed will be available in future communications.

George Miller

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sandia get a raise!

Anonymously contributed:

Memo to SNL Non-Represented Employees re Salary Freeze

Colleagues –

On March 9, 2011, I communicated to you that certain aspects of the salary freeze previously announced by the Secretary of Energy were under review by DOE. I am very pleased to announce that the Secretary has decided to authorize a 1.5 percent base salary special adjustment fund for calendar year 2011. This fund was approved to help achieve parity with the salary adjustments received by Federal employees through legislated “STEP” increases. This 1.5 percent authorization is in addition to the previously authorized base salary funds for promotions and special adjustments, as long as the total amount does not exceed our previously approved CY11 compensation increase plan amount. Salary increases from this authorization will be retroactive to December 31, 2010, the original effective date of the previously planned salary increases.

This authorization will allow us to provide the base salary increases that had been approved and communicated last December. Per the DOE guidance, the base salary adjustments will be retroactive to December 31, 2010, for active, non-represented employees. Our plan is to have managers re-communicate the salary adjustments during the period from April 5th through April 13th. The new base salaries will be reflected in the April 14th pay statements and the retroactive payments in the April 28th pay statements.

I commend the Secretary and the DOE for taking this action. This action certainly helps to address the unintended impacts of the salary freeze. While supporting the Secretary’s prior decision, we have continued to communicate to the NNSA leadership our concerns about the impact of the salary freeze on the Laboratories’ workforce. I acknowledge the Secretary’s willingness to review these issues and take the appropriate steps to address the concerns that had been communicated to the DOE leadership.

I want to thank you for your continued support and patience on this issue. We will provide additional implementation details to managers over the next few days.


Friday, April 1, 2011

China 'to overtake US on science' in two years

Anonymously contributed:

China 'to overtake US on science' in two years
David Shukman
Science and environment correspondent, BBC News

China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 - far earlier than expected.

That is the conclusion of a major new study by the Royal Society, the UK's national science academy.

The country that invented the compass, gunpowder, paper and printing is set for a globally important comeback.

An analysis of published research - one of the key measures of scientific effort - reveals an "especially striking" rise by Chinese science.

The study, Knowledge, Networks and Nations, charts the challenge to the traditional dominance of the United States, Europe and Japan.

The figures are based on the papers published in recognised international journals listed by the Scopus service of the publishers Elsevier.

In 1996, the first year of the analysis, the US published 292,513 papers - more than 10 times China's 25,474.

By 2008, the US total had increased very slightly to 316,317 while China's had surged more than seven-fold to 184,080.

Previous estimates for the rate of expansion of Chinese science had suggested that China might overtake the US sometime after 2020.

But this study shows that China, after displacing the UK as the world's second leading producer of research, could go on to overtake America in as little as two years' time.

"Projections vary, but a simple linear interpretation of Elsevier's publishing data suggests that this could take place as early as 2013," it says.

Story continued.....

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