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

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Is LA County's Inaction CRIMINAL?

Anonymous said...
Is LA County's Inaction CRIMINAL?
For more than a week the Los Alamos county leaders were informed about high risk for COVID-19 exposure of public servants in Shops (Smith, Pharmacy, Post-Office ..etc), and they will transmit the virus to the public and produce an avalanche of sick people.
The county were made aware that covering the mouth and nose with some paper towel, mask may reduce the probability of spreading the disease by more than 100 times.
This is necessary to be done by the entire community only when entering public spaces, not on street or inside own cars. Customers' and employees fever will be good to measure before being admitted in the shop.
By imposing these measures only, it might reduce transmission factor by 100 to 1000 times, and with "social distancing" the numbers may be much lower, most of the threat coming from outsiders in Santa Fe and Espanola.
A leaked LANL estimation predicted that about 5000 cases and >200 dead will be until September and I think taking these measures we may reduce the number well under 500 cases, with few or no death.
The difference is the cost of inaction or the reward for preemptive action.
I hope they will take the right decision, and not wait for instructions from a bunch of incompetent, inexperienced people.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pension Status



Ironically, every year in April since 2009, LANS/TRIAD has published a perfunctory status of the Defined Benefit Pension. Given the hit on the market I do no expect good news. As a reminder, last April 2018 TRIAD published a 104% funding attainment. Prior to 2018, there has a been a 5% per year decline in value from 134%, in spite of bull markets. When the attainment is 80% or below TRIAD will "punt" the pension to the federal government (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) and pay a portion or all benefits would we have received from the plan. It should be noted that this is huge difference between the UC pension and the private LANS/TRIAD pension. My understanding is that UC pension will stay with UC through "thick and thin". I will never forget Tyler conveying "substantially equivalent in the aggregate", we will soon see what "aggregate" means. Buckle up everyone; we've been living on borrowed time.

I should also mention that LANS/TRIAD is very secretive about how (and who) they manage this private pension. I've tried without success to determine the qualifications and credentials of the personnel that manage the pension, let alone specifically where the investments.

Racist Acts Surge Against Asian Americans

The FBI warned Friday it has seen a surge in alleged hate crimes and racist incidents targeting Asian Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to grow.

https://www.ibtimes.com/racist-acts-surge-against-asian-americans-during-coronavirus-pandemic-2948149

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Any cases of Covid-19 at the labs?

I know some of the DOE Labs are under minimum operations but no one had reported any covid  cases?
Are there any?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Not everyone has moved on

We may have pushed the "treat people like people" needle, but it is naive and misleading to say "we have moved on".

"Coronavirus impact: Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19"

https://abc7news.com/6010825/

Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Lessons Learned Organization?

A Lessons Learned Organization?
Thom Mason presented an-all hands meeting on Tuesday. No coronavirus known in New Mexico, he announced. By Wed, rumors were circulating through the local schools that some kids were being pulled from school because a parent or parents, who are Lab employees, had tested positive for coronavirus. By Thursday, multiple sources of information, including teenagers and adults, confirmed the assertion that ten presumptive COVID-19 cases at LANL were known. Thursday evening the Governor announced that all public schools would be closed for three weeks. By Friday, Thom Mason issued a message that no known confirmed cases of coronavirus at Los Alamos had been identified. Business as usual. Meanwhile, more independent corroboration poured in through the town grapevine about the ten presumptive LANL cases. People were actually observed fighting over bottled water and toilet paper at the local grocery store! Information from people close to the New Mexico Health Dept. revealed that presumptive COVID-19 cases should go to CDC for confirmation through them. No contact to date with LANL!
Apparently the lowest first year variable fee award percentage in NNSA contractor history and being called out as not being a “lessons learned” organization has not deterred TRIAD’s behavior. Why should it, when you can call a 66% variable fee award “Good” and pay all the managers a bonus? How can it be that common knowledge of multiple presumptive COVID-19 cases was known two days after an all-hands meeting where nothing was revealed? It stretches credulity to believe that TRIAD is acting in good faith.
Caring about employee well-being is just an empty platitude without actions to back it up. Transparency, even when it means revealing inconvenient facts, and promptly disclosing to State Health officials is something we all have a right to demand from Triad. From their mishandling of Harborview, many gaffes regarding proper contract management and improperly vetting proposed actions with NNSA to now this latest obfuscation, Triad is amply demonstrating they are not up to the task for the management and operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Kids of infected LANL personnel pulled out of school

A person within the LA school system just told me that there are some folks at LANL who have tested positive for COVID and their kids have been pulled from school.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Management has no communication with employees, headless chickens...



-------

E-LINE: PRESUMPTIVE BUT UNCONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 AT LLNL

The Laboratory is taking several precautions following the report of an employee with a presumptive but unconfirmed case of coronavirus – COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution the decision was made to close building 551W for cleaning. All employees in that building have been sent home with instructions to return to work on Monday. Disinfection of the building has been completed.

The Laboratory was made aware of the employee’s presumptive case late Wednesday. Health Services has been in contact with the affected employee and has identified 23 people who had close business contact. Per CDC guidelines, those employees have been sent home for self-monitoring over the next 14 days.

Any employee showing signs of respiratory illness, including fever, should stay home until they are symptom free. People who identify as part of a high-risk group should contact Health Services for further guidance, 2-7462. High risk groups include people 60 and older, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes and people who have weakened immune systems.

The Laboratory is suspending all business travel and visitors to the site through March 13. In addition, managers are encouraged to allow liberal use of telecommuting. Employees should discuss details with their supervisors. Large, in-person meetings are discouraged. Further guidance on the Laboratory’s response to this issue will be provided in upcoming communications.

All employees are encouraged to slow down and be deliberate in all actions; we realize this may be a distraction. For more information, including frequently asked questions and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, see the Health Services website.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

We are all to blame!

Is there some point to this all? We are suppose to ensure the stockpile which was relevant in the 60s and 70s. The cold war is over and we are all about to "die" ok maybe not but be shut down by Covid19. Has everything we have done been for nothing? I can understand some boomers saying " I protected freedom" but can anyone from that past 25 years say that...I think not. Maybe our talents should have been used elsewhere where it could have made a difference. We spent all this money on bombs to kill an enemy that no longer existed now in the end when we could have used that money to fight viruses we wasted it. We are all to blame.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

ORNL researcher indicted

ORNL researcher and UT faculty member Anming Hu indicted by the feds today. Looks like it could be another Thousand Talents case.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Diversity Managers

Are "Diversity Managers" at NNSA labs bought off to protect their NNSA contractor? Ever met an openly disgruntled race discrimination concerned diversity manager? Nope.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Coronavirus and LANL- LLNL

Coronavirus topic: If this gets going will part of the LLNL and LANL be devoted to fighting this, at least in terms of modeling and large scale simulations? Which place will be the big break out US city? The sure bets are LA, SF, Seattle but my guess it is going be something like Denver or Orlando first. This is actually starting to like possible pandemic.

Something strange is going on at TRIAD

Some strange things are going on at LANL as whole ares of the lab have been suddenly shut down to non-US citizens. Could be corona virus could be something else. Other rumors are things have not gone well for TRIAD the first year and the hammer is or will soon be coming down on LANL. Something very odd is going on.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Triad scores lower

Did anyone notice Triad got a worse at risk fee score for 2019 than LANS ever did except the WIPP year? What is going on?

Triad 2019: 66%

LANS 2018: 75%
LANS 2017: 70%
LANS 2016: 85%
LANS 2015: 74%
LANS 2014: 45% (WIPP accident)
LANS 2013: 82%
LANS 2012: 74%
LANS 2011: 83%
LANS 2010: 81%
LANS 2008: 81%
LANS 2007: 71%

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

LANL contract competition



The NNSA expects contract competition to manage LANL will yield $76.1 million in cost savings over the potential 10 year life of the contract

https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/704170.pdf

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Double-dipping

Is double-dipping becoming more common? I have a few former bosses/colleagues that have retired from one national lab, with full pensions, and gone on to start new jobs at other national lab. They are all over 65. Used to be guys left at 60-62. Was wondering if this is becoming a trend, particularly with baby boomers who want to keep working.

DJ Johnson of Honeywell

DJ Johnson of Honeywell is a textbook example of an Organizational Conflict of Interest. He is micromanaging and directing work at Sandia in order to raise the Kansas City performance evaluations. He is attending internal meetings which are far below his level and are not supposed to include people outside of the Sandia and Kansas City org structures. Sandia and Kansas City are legally distinct entities under different contracts. An FFRDC is not allowed to provide benefit to other organizations which may be related to their managing company.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ex-LANL scientist pleads guilty

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/ex-lanl-scientist-pleads-guilty-to-lying-to-government/article_85c1b06c-3ec6-11ea-b962-0bde11da0101.html
ALBUQUERQUE — A former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist accused of lying about his contact with a Chinese recruitment program pleaded guilty Friday to one count of making a false statement to the U.S. government.

Turab Lookman of Santa Fe accepted the plea as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that includes dismissal of two other charges.

Lookman will be sentenced at a later date, probably within 60 to 90 days, federal prosecutor George C. Kraehe said.

He could face up to five years in federal prison and be fined as much as $250,000.
Lookman, who was 67 when he was arrested, admitted to lying to a LANL investigator in 2018 about his contact with a program that prosecutors said had been “established by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Paul Briones told Lookman that the 10-month sentence the defendant had discussed with attorneys was “on the low end” and would not be binding to the U.S. district judge who will decide whether to accept the terms of the plea deal.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

UC/LLNL retirees settlement

UC/LLNL retirees have reached a settlement with the University of California to compensate the UC/LLNL retirees for health care benefit premium increases. What chance do LLNS employees have of acquiring similar retirement health care premium compensation from UC if they too were 100% vested UC/LLNL employees before the 2007 transition to LLNS?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Debate instead of denigrate!

Dear blog visitor,

Please keep your comments on topic. Make them informative and interesting and not a way to win an argument. You will never win an argument in an anonymous fashion.
Together,  let us improve our blog and make it a friendly place where educated people come to inform and debate, instead of regurgitate and denigrate.
I feel obligated and committed to  filter out any useless, bitter attacks.

Cordially,
Scooby, Doobydew, Julian

What would you revise?

If LLNS employees and UC/LLNL retirees had the opportunity to revise the current and future Prime Contract/Annual PER to manage LLNL, what would they want revised based on their post 2007 experience and impact to LLNL mission objectives?

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hilarious Glassdoor review of Sandia

Hilarious Glassdoor review on Sandia National Laboratories 

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Sandia-National-Laboratories-RVW30450680.htm

"Be Aware of Major Drawbacks"

Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

9/80 schedule, health benefits, the freedom to move around to other projects or groups within the labs and job security.

Cons

Where to start? The politics, back-stabbing and dog-eat-dog competition is extreme to the point of being counterproductive, stressful and exhausting. Funding changes constantly, making it very difficult to develop and maintain core competency. Lot's of pressure to fit square pegs into round holes for the sake of capitalizing on a prior technology investment. The Good Old Boys network and nepotism are alive and well. The best way to get ahead is to go to the right church and have a degree from UNM. Old fashioned, corporate "management is God" culture. Career advancement in the science/engineering ladder is extremely slow, even compared to other national labs. To advance, you have to go into management. Much more emphasis on bringing in grant/program dollars, no matter the quality, than doing good technical work. Performance reviews emphasize nebulous "leadership" and "behavior" metrics that serve only to make promotion dependent on things other than job performance (like nepotism, friendships or religious affiliation). Lot's of crusty old guys, retired in place, like to keep the new generation down and systematically trash ideas from any fresh faces, in order to squash the competition. Overhead rates on your time/salary are so high, especially as you get more senior, that you will eventually price yourself out of doing any work. This also makes it impractical to compete with more efficient R&D institutions. Loss of mission and focus since outside of the ~30% of nuclear weapons work, the lab doesn't have a compelling advantage over more efficient private companies (e.g. Lockheed, Raytheon, HRL, SAIC, etc.), and Sandia is far too expensive and bureaucratic to compete with universities. Nevertheless, they spend much of their effort trying to compete with both.


Advice to Management

There really is nothing to say. In the 70 year history of Sandia, management has gone from AT&T Bell Labs for $1/year, to Lockheed for millions/year and now to the Honeywell conglomerate, which is widely considered to be one of the worst large employers in the US. Folks in Sandia have a very high opinion of themselves, but it is not shared by the outside world or the DOE / NNSA. They are viewed as an engineering shop, like Honeywell or Bechtel, and the government apparently manages them as such.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Apples and oranges

Glassdoor Rating of LLNL (LLNS) a Federally Funded Contractor Compared to True Private Sector Companies is a Stretch at Best.

How can Glassdoor rate LLNL (LLNS) a federally funded contractor among other true private sector companies that don't have the luxury of DOE/NNSA bankrolling every dumb or unwarranted workforce or employee litigation related decision they make like the UC/LLNL retirees health care benefits being transferred to LLNS decision, Dee Kotla being fired, etc. At best, there should be a derating factor for federal contractors that can easily intimidate or do as they wish to employees and not face any materiel business or profit blowback. DOE/NNSA contractor employee survey candidness should be taken with a grain of salt compared with the real private sector that face material and prompt consequences for how they treat their workforce.

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