Thursday, November 10, 2005

We are close enough to the deadline

I was invited to show up at the Los Alamos Alliance's opening of the Espanola storefront today. While there, it struck me again how the LAA approach to the LANL bid process differs radically from the LANS LLC's participation in the bidding process. The LAA wants to engage the local communities. They are actively soliciting input from representatives of those communities from which LANL draws its employees.

The LANS LLC representative sits behind a locked door in an office that is hidden from the public.

I guess we are close enough to the deadline for the announcement of the the bid winner that I can now come out and openly declare which LLC I favor to win the contract: the Los Alamos Aliance. I think they will do a better job of running LANL than the LANS LLC would.

This opinion was reinforced today after I had a chat with Paul Robinson at the Espanola office. He strikes me as honest, open, and well intentioned. After what LANL has endured this past year, I would have been happy to settle for just two of those traits, but Paul stikes me as someone whom LANL staff could learn to trust.

Did I mention honest? I told him that I had been impressed a few months ago when he told Roger Snodgrass of the Los Alamos Monitor that, had he been director, he would not have shut LANL down last year as our predecessor chose to do. Recall, a few months ago all of UC, NNSA, DOE were still refusing to admit that the shutdown had been a huge mistake, but Robinson said what he really believed. I respect that.


I, too, think LAA is a done deal - especially after the latest revelation of the cover-up of the HCl inhalation incident under Nanos. But don't burn any bridges yet - UC management still has many months of power left, and has a well-deserved reputation for being nasty and vindictive. The time to celebrate is AFTER you get your first LAA paycheck.
I will withold judgement regarding the LM/UT alliance being able to do a better job of running lanl. The first clue will be is how they treat transitioning employees. Especially the ones in non-management positions. If they hose that part up then they are doomed right out of the gate.
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