Sunday, January 15, 2006

Message has been sent, loud and clear

Here is a message exchange that was sent to me for posting (with the permission of the authors). Personally, I am not a bit surprised by what is described below in the email exchange. In selecting the LANS LLC, the following message has been sent, loud and clear by DOE to UC:

"We like what you do and how you do it. This is why we awarded the contract to you and your industrial partners. Keep up the good work."

My suggestion is that, in the now famous words of Senator Dominici, you all "just get over it!" Assess whether or not the "new" UC presents an acceptable work environment for you, and choose your course of action accordingly.

Granted, what I think does not matter, so without further delay, here is the message exchange. First is an email that was sent to Brad Holian from a concerned staff member:

Brad -
I have been disappointed in the lack of good information on the "transition" website ( I submitted a question many weeks ago with no response. I contacted Bill Wadt, and he was nice enough to let me know that people were working on a response. But his message also indicated that Jim Fallin was involved in the process of posting answers to questions on the website. Well, no wonder answers have been slow in coming. We've been through this before with the Reader's Forum of the LANL Newsbulletin. (By the way, that problem has recently re-surfaced).

If you know Bill, I would urge you to contact him and suggest that Jim Fallin may not be the best person to be in charge of "Q&A" for the transition website. I don't know the extent of Fallin's involvement, but it's not a good sign.

In response, Brad sent this message to Bill Wadt:

Dear Bill:

Surely, this is some kind of bad joke! Can the transition team really be so blind as to put Fallin as the gatekeeper for comments on the transition? He has a very bad record of stonewalling during the shutdown, keeping any critical comments off of the Readers' Forum. And now this?

I looked myself for the questions that were posted on the Lab website, to see if they had indeed, as promised, been answered on the transition website. No such luck. The transition team is ill-served by a Haldeman-style gatekeeper, whoever s/he is--the staff needs to have answers to their questions posted in a timely fashion. Maybe you can see that something is done to break the logjam.

Thanks for your consideration of this important matter.


-Brad Lee Holian
Group X-7, Mail Stop B268
Applied Physics Division
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545
phone: 505-667-9237


I think it is just as clear that it is a different organization that will run the Lab on June 1. I don't think it is the message as stated in this post. How much change at the worker level there really will be remains to be seen, but the Lab will be run differently than before, of that I'm confident.

The transition web site isn't very useful or informative at this point. I'm hoping that this will change significantly after the protest period is over and details start to be revealed. If it doesn't change at that point, I agree you have a legitimate gripe.
"I think it is just as clear that it is a different organization that will run the Lab on June 1."

That is exactly what we want you lab people to think, Dr. Forslund. Please continue to help us with our propaga.., er, public affairs efforts.
Unidentified posters are propaganda folks in my opinion. I don't understand this continuous attack on the Laboratory. It's mission for the nation is critical and must continue. Changes are afoot and we need to deal with them, not simply rant about them. The Laboratory can only succeed if the staff works together despite DOE/NNSA. Constructive posts on dealing with the change are needed, not continuous attacks.
I agree that unidentified contributors to this blog do not carry much weight. However, on the whole I find myself agreeing with Mr. DOEGuy, as he supports my contention that DOE awarded the contract to UC and their partners because DOE likes how UC runs LANL. I therefore do not expect to see many substantive changes at LANL. Not in management, and certainly not in management style.

Sure, some of the ADs will change, but we will still have a UC person as director. If DOE had wanted change at LANL, they would not have selected the incumbent to continue running the place.


DeeDee McInroy is the lead on the FAQs for the transition web-site. She's working for David McCumber, who's the overall lead for transition communications. David reports to Micheline Devaurs, who's the lead for organizational transition. Micheline reports to Rich Marquez the overall lead for the LANL transition project.

Our goal is to make the transition web-site the best (accurate and timely) source of information on the transition, so we appreciate your feedback. I'll check into the backlog. In some cases I know questions were more appropriate for LANS or LASO to answer. We're working with them to transfer any of those type of questions.



Willard R. Wadt
Director, Prime Contract Office
MS M722
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Phone: 505-667-1101
FAX: 505-667-1115
Pager: 505-996-3343 (one-way, text messages through:
I don't believe they selected the "incumbent". Time will tell about the changes, but it isn't UC that will be managing the Lab. I think it would be good for people to wait for the facts to show up before pointless griping. What is needed, as I said, is for folks at the Lab to pull together, not tear down. The Lab will be what the staff makes of it.
Dear Bill:

Thanks for responding quickly to this query. I know Bernie will also appreciate your help, and I look forward to the breakup of the logjam.

All the best,

"DOE awarded the contract to UC and their partners because DOE likes how UC runs LANL."

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.*

*By K.C. and Sunshine Band
Okay Mr.Dave;

Lets see how you feel after your retirement is gone, because the corporation you back so diligently failed or mismanaged the retirement funds; and you get that note in the mail as many of the United Airlines people did that said, "your pension has effectively been reduced by 70%. Have a good day. I sure hope this blog is still alive when this occurs.

Once UCRP gets permission from DOE to do this they will not give a rat’s ass about any of us at either lab. UCRP at that time will have succeeded in getting you off of their retirement plan and therefore are resolved of all liability. How sweat can it be? For them !

For your information there is going to be a question and answer section at this site, but I have a feeling that if we wait for this to come true it will be to late to stop the mayhem.

It's time to get some correct interpretation of the 5c document and demand a lot of action to your benefit.

"pointless griping". There is nothing pointless about my future, bubba
Factual statements would help, Mr. B-Ohica rather than rants about things you don't know. I'm not crazy about the proposed URCP-LANL separation, but it doesn't say that LANS will run it. It will be managed in exactly the same way as the current UCRP plan by the same people. The LANS plan is what they refer to as the "Corporate Plan". The major reason for creating the UCRP-LANL plan, as I understand it, is to make the required transfer of funds to the LANS retirement plan easier. What happens to this "Corporate Plan" I have no idea, but it isn't the UCRP-LANL plan.
Griping doesn't have anything to do with your future. Working out rational solutions might.
Here is your rational solution. Taken from another post:

Holy cow! So our UCRP (and by association, also UCRP-LANL and probably
the LANL-LLC pension) are not covered by the PBGC? That's just great!
Once those DOE idiots begin monkeying with our pension and sink it into
oblivion, we won't even be able to get 25 cents to the dollar when our
pension investments crash and burn. I think I'll start looking for
some extra sturdy cardboard boxes to hoard. I might just need them to
live in during my "golden years".

BTW, I wonder what pension system the top level management at LANL will
be under. As top level UC executives, my guess is they might be allowed
to stay on with the UCRP. Is that possible?


This is all the more reason to fight for the right to remain under UCRP and let the rest of the corporation get their own retirement plan. I was right when I told all of you that you were going to be kicked of the UC pension plan then, and I am right about the final outcome with your retirement in the future. The problem lies in the fact that we have people like Dave and upper level management types telling you that "it will all be fine" just keep working for the cause and please don't make waves because that offend me and my mission.

If the corporations plan was so good and not risky then why didn't "all" UC employee nationally transfer to the new fund? I think you can figure that out yourself.
In the near future by being cut off from the mainstream UCRS plan, my retirement valuation on May 31, 2006 is only 1/3rd of what I planned to receive at my planned retirement date. This is a real screwing!

Next thing that will happen is that the new LANS retirement system will curtail or eliminate lump-sum payouts on and after June 1, 2006.

Not even being able to count on PBGC to bail out a failed LANS retirement plan is another screwing.

Hopefully the UC Regents won't get ahead of me later this week by prematurely cutting off my chances for cashing by May 31st.

The fat-cats really don't like us very much...and so it goes with national security.
I think I read somewhere on this blog that in a week or so there is to be a meeting that will stop all lump sum because we are to close to the take over. I'd say you have about 5 days to make that choice. If you happen to call HR and find out please let us all know a few days in advance.
"The fat-cats really don't like us very much...and so it goes with national security."

And yet we still have a few LANL ex-employees like Dave exhorting us to continue "do our duty in the name of national security."

I think not. Not for this computer scientist at least. I'm out of here.

And yet we still have a few LANL ex-employees like Dave exhorting us to continue "do our duty in the name of national security."
I think not. Not for this computer scientist at least. I'm out of here.
# posted by ComputerScience101 : 1/16/2006 01:24:32 PM

It is my hopes that I can get the mass majority to do their part and write. Maybe its not to late to get national news coverage. Any volunteers? I've sent my letter and documents to all of the people and many more. We need thousands more to get on the stick. Today would be a good day to get started. ( J. Gary Gwilliam Attorney at Law ) ( Fox News )
I have not said it "would be fine". I've said that we should have a rational discussion and action, not hyperbole and false statements. The other thread shows the type of action that is needed. Whining is a waste of time, in my opinion. I said I thought the UCRP-LANL split was not a good idea, but it doesn't imply some of the things in this thread. The corporation plan has nothing to do with the UC plan or with the UCRP-LANL plan. This is clearly stated in the diagrams of the relationships on the UC web site.
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