Personnel News: January 2008 Archives

HSPD-12 Update

Was the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit too liberal in stopping NASA background checks? You decide, ComputerWorld

JPL scientists resist NASA's bargain-basement inquisition, LA Times via SJ Mercury News

"For the last four years, two robot rovers operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been moving across the surface of Mars, taking photographs and collecting information. It's an epic event in the history of exploration, one of many for which JPL's 7,000 civilian scientists and engineers are responsible - when they're not fending off the U.S. government's attempts to conduct an intimidating and probably illegal inquisition into the intimate details of their lives."

Werner Dahm Has Died

Huntsville has lost another one of the original team of German rocket scientists, Huntsville Times

"Werner K. Dahm, an internationally recognized rocket pioneer whose work in Germany and the United States made important contributions to the nation's ballistic missile programs and its manned and unmanned rocket programs, died late Thursday afternoon in Huntsville at an assisted living center. He was 90 years old."

Chancellor Sean O'Keefe Announces Resignation, LSU

"The university system leadership clearly has the authority and deserves the prerogative to empower those who can take the university to the next level and I wish them every success in that quest. It is evident to me that LSU needs a campus leader who enjoys the full confidence of the board and the president. I have no doubt they will be successful in that endeavor."

Editor's note: No folks, contrary to idle speculation, he most certainly was not fired.

HSPD-12 Update

Inquisition at JPL, opinion, LA Times

"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, however, is one of the Bush administration's true believers, and his first reflex always is a crisp salute. He directed Caltech, which has a contract to run JPL for NASA, to make sure all of the lab's employees complied. The university initially resisted, then caved when NASA threatened to withdraw its contract. Worse, the government demanded that the scientists, in order to get the badges, fill out questionnaires on their personal lives and waive the privacy of their financial, medical and psychiatric records. The government also wanted permission to gather information about them by interviewing third parties."

Federal court of appeals rules in favor of JPL employees in suit against Caltech and NASA over intrusive background investigations,

"Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in favor of the JPL employees who sued Caltech and NASA over intrusive background investigations. A lower court had dismissed the employee's claims and the employees won a temporary injunction from the ninth circuit court of appeals. Yesterday' the same lower court dismissed Caltech as a defendant in the case. Today's action by the court of appeals overules the lower court."

S.F. appeals court bars government's probes of NASA scientists, SF Chronicle

"After a hearing later Friday at which a federal judge in Los Angeles formally issued the injunction, Stormer said NASA had announced it would refrain from conducting the investigations of similar employees at any of its installations nationwide. NASA representatives were unavailable for comment."

Court Allows Scientists to Work at NASA Until Trial Over Background Checks, NY Times

"Michael Cabbage, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said, "NASA will, of course, comply with any rulings from the court of appeals."

HSPD-12 Update

District Court Hearing on Injunction Restricting Background Investigations of JPL Employees

"Background: The case evolves from a hearing last year in which employees of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory sought injunctive relief against their employer Caltech and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in order to prevent intrusive personal background investigations. Caltech and NASA argued that these intrusions were required under Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12, an executive order signed by President George W. Bush. The JPL employees do no classified work."

"The Box" Casting Call For NASA LaRC Employees

"Casting representatives are now accepting submissions from NASA Langley employees to appear as background actors for Richard Kelly's upcoming feature film, "The Box" starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden."

Editor's note: Last month I submitted a series of questions to NASA ESMD PAO (see ESMD'S Revolving Door). After a delay of several weeks, I finally got a response which was some what lacking in detail. I was directed to approach NASA LaRC PAO since "NESC is an independent NASA entity and ESMD does not keep track of the duties of NESC employees."

I heard back from LaRC PAO today only a few days after asking my initial question.

A J Roy has died

"A.J." Roy Jr., longtime NASA employee, dies at 78, Houston Chronicle

"Arda Joseph "A.J." Roy Jr., who left North Dakota for the skies above Texas, devoting most of his career to NASA, died on Friday. He was 78. Born in Minot, N.D., Roy joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after graduating from St. John High School in St. John, N.D. He earned his pilot's wings in 1953 and left the Air Force three years later."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from January 2008.

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