SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
Underground After Sundown
People Today: No Mountain High Enough
New Manager and Webpage for SLAC Gym
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - December 12, 2007

Underground After Sundown

The Affholder Inc. second shift tunneling crew working on the LCLS.

While most of SLAC sleeps, a select group remains hard at work, driving ahead construction progress on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Since last spring, tunnel contractor Affholder Inc. has used double shifts to speed ahead tunneling progress, with the second shift on the clock from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

The leaders of these two teams, Jose Franco and Jose Rios, each have decades of experience digging tunnels and have worked all over the United States. Each says that what stands out the most on Department of Energy projects is the emphasis on safety.

"It's nice because I feel like they take care of us," says Franco, a resident of Los Angeles who also helped dig Fermilab's Tevatron tunnel in 2000. "It's very safe... everybody takes precaution."

In all, about 15 miners and a handful of electricians and engineers make up the second-shift tunneling crews. When completed this spring, the tunneling portion of the LCLS construction will have lasted 20 months. Franco and Rios agree that the worst part of the job is time spent away from home. Rios, who usually lives in South Carolina, says California is beautiful, but expensive. However, both Franco and Rios concede they do save money on sunscreen.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

No Mountain
High Enough

(Photo - Milo Lewis)
Milo Lewis

Last weekend, Milo Lewis, the materials coordinator for Stanford's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, ran a marathon. He also ran a marathon the weekend before that, and the weekend before that—for him, 26.2 miles is just another day of training. Since 1984, 54-year old Lewis has been competing in "ultra-marathons," racing distances as long as 100 miles.

Lewis started running marathons with the US Marine Corps race team in 1976. In 1984, a friend convinced him to compete in the 50-mile American River run. "I couldn't believe they even had races that long," Lewis recalled. "But I did it, and I didn't want to stop. So in 1986 I did my first 100 and fell in love."

Lewis has now successfully completed ten 100-mile races, and countless 50-milers and marathons. "These ultra-marathons, it's not all about conditioning. It's about mental toughness as well," Lewis explained. "They take between 24 and 30 hours, so you're out there all day and all night. You've got to navigate through a lot of adversity."


New Manager and Webpage for SLAC Gym

(Photo - SLAC gym)
The SLAC gym.
(Image courtesy of Brad Plummer.)

Kelley Ramsey used to use the SLAC gym. Now, weeks before January 1st and New Year's resolutions, he has returned to the on-site gym, both as an exerciser and as the new co-manager for the facility. Luis Juarez is his co-manager.

Brother and sister team Diane Jenkins and Rich Atkinson handed over the management reins at the end of November. Ramsey is eager to see more people join the gym, and he has built a website with photos of the equipment and a map to find it.

Tucked away in Building 34, the facility offers an inclined tread mill, elliptical cross trainer, leg press, Paramount FTX universal circuit machine, body craft bench press, sit up bench, free weights and ceiling mounted pull-up bar.

There are also showers, day-use lockers, chilled water and 24-hour access via a combination lock. Membership is $25 a year.

Conservation Tip
of the Week

There are many ways to present your holiday gifts more creatively and with less waste. For wrapping paper, use last year's calendar pages, the comics section, outdated maps or old magazines. Have children decorate with brown grocery bags or butcher paper. Use a simple bow or sprig of evergreens for larger gifts, or hide the item with clues about where to find it. If wrapping paper is a must, choose a "green seal" paper that has been recycled or manufactured with non-toxic dye processes.

Events (see all | submit)

Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all | submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at