Personnel News: June 2009 Archives

Hansen of NASA Arrested in Coal Country, NY Times

"James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who has become an outspoken campaigner against coal burning, was among 29 protesters arrested as they intentionally crossed onto the property of Massey Energy, the biggest company conducting mountaintop mining in West Virginia."

Daryl Hannah, scientist arrested at W.Va. protest, AP

"Actress Daryl Hannah, NASA scientist James Hansen and more than two dozen other mountaintop removal mining opponents have been arrested during a protest in southern West Virginia. State Police said about 30 people were charged Tuesday afternoon after they blocked State Route 3 near a Massey Energy subsidiary's coal processing plant in Raleigh County."

Schiff Requests Attorney General to Develop New Security Standards for JPL Employees, American Chronicle

"Rep. Adam Schiff wrote a letter to United States Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that he decline the opportunity to appeal a June 4, 2009 decision by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In 2007, employees working at JPL sued NASA over background checks ordered pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), which required these employees to provided unnecessary personal information regarding workers health records, mental state, and sexual histories. In the letter, Rep. Schiff requested that the Attorney General develop new national security standards that protect our national security without trampling on the privacy of scientists and engineers."

Frank Low

Frank J. Low, Who Helped Drive Field of Infrared Astronomy, Dies at 75, NY Times

"Frank J. Low, who helped astronomers extend their vision beyond visible light into a vast realm of previously invisible colors, revolutionizing the study of the birth of planets, stars and galaxies, died on June 11 in Tucson. He was 75."

Jack Eddy

Note from Madhulika Guhathakurta (Lika) Guhathakurta, PhD:

Dear Team, It is with great sadness I bring the news that our team member Jack Eddy passed away on June 10th after his three year long battle with cancer. He served on the TR&T SC for as long as I can remember and I have learnt so much from him both professionally and personally. He has been an advisor to LWS program for the last 6 years and I will miss his wisdom as we move forward. Below I have attached information on his memorial service.

A Memorial Service will be held in Tucson on Saturday, June 27th at 11:00 am, with a reception following. The service will be at:

St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church
North Campbell at River Road
(4440 N. Campbell Avenue)

Jim Walker

Walker, physicist, trainer at NASA, Houston Chronicle

"James L. "Jim" Walker, who trained astronauts and worked in the Mission Control Center for NASA's Gemini missions and for the Skylab Program, died at home in Houston on May 31 after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Walker was born in the rural farming community of Somerset, Pa., on Sept. 22, 1939. His wife, Julie Noble-Walker, described him as a "brilliant physicist and the kindest soul you could ever meet."

Give JPL workers their space, opinion, LA Times

"Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. now has 60 days to decide whether to appeal the 9th Circuit's ruling to the Supreme Court. As Dan Stormer, one of the lawyers representing the JPL scientists, put it: "This really is a gut check for the Obama administration on privacy issues. No other administration ever has gone as far in invading the privacy of U.S. citizens, and it would be shocking if Holder proceeds with this." Holder already has shown a willingness to disengage from the Bush-Cheney regime's reckless overreaching, as in the case of the trumped-up espionage prosecution of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The attorney general needs to do the right thing again and let the men and women of JPL get back to the serious business of exploring the universe."

JPL Employees Win Appeal on HSPD-12, earlier post

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of JPL Employees Regarding Intrusive Background Investigations

"Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the federal government and in favor of employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the matter of Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (Nelson et al. vs NASA). Today's ruling denied a motion from the Department of Justice for an en banc hearing (a hearing before a large panel of the Ninth Circuit) on the question of overturning an injunction issued last year against NASA and the California Institute of Technology by a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. The earlier ruling was unanimous in favor of the JPL employees. Today's vote of all the judges of the Ninth Circuit, in denying this appeal, was described as "not close"."

Keith's note: Reminder: Eilene Galloway Public Memorial Service, June 6, 10:00-12:00, Cosmos Club, Washington DC - info at Marcia Smith's new website (please visit).



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