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By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com | March 21, 2012
Two very different narratives are emerging from the trial in which former Jet Propulsion Laboratory worker David Coppedge claims he faced discrimination because he discussed the theory of intelligent design with co-workers. Early this week, Coppedge testified that co-workers posted cartoons on their doors mocking the theory of intelligent design, which holds that God or an intelligent agent guided the creation and evolution of the universe. Coppedge, who encouraged co-workers to watch DVDs on the subject, claims managers barred him from discussing religion or politics while co-workers were allowed to do so. His attorney, William Becker, said Coppedge worked with an unblemished record as a systems administrator on NASA's Cassini project to Saturn until 2009, when a co-worker complained about Coppedge and the intelligent-design DVDs.
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NEWS
By Daniel Siegal and Jason Wells | March 14, 2012
Former Jet Propulsion Laboratory worker David Coppedge testified Wednesday that questions about the origin of life ran deep in his family long before he worked for JPL or sued the La Cañada Flintridge lab for allegedly discriminating against him because of his belief in the theory of intelligent design. A former systems administrator on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn, Coppedge claims he was improperly demoted and eventually fired for sharing DVDs about intelligent design - the idea that the universe is a creation of an intelligent agent, such as God - with co-workers.
NEWS
By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com | February 23, 2012
A year after “snowmageddon” struck across the country, the owners of the Mt. Waterman are stuck praying for snow. Rick Metcalf, who co-owns the small resort located just an hour up Angeles Crest Highway from La Cañada Flintridge, said that while he hopes to be able to open the slopes this year, so far it's not looking good, with only inches on the mountain so far. Metcalf said this is the first winter since he and his three partners acquired...
NEWS
By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com | February 22, 2012
With proposed federal budget cuts threatening to eliminate hundreds of jobs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA head Charles Bolden pledged Wednesday at JPL's Mars mission control room that the agency would try to keep those scientists and engineers working. Bolden, a former astronaut and Marine Corps major general, visited with members of JPL's Mars Science Laboratory team during practice drills for the Aug. 5 landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. Next year's proposed NASA budget would reduce planetary science funding by $300 million, scrapping two future Mars robotic exploration missions that would have employed JPL Mars team members whose duties will end when Curiosity touches down if the proposed budget is approved.
NEWS
By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com | January 4, 2012
Friends said their goodbyes when Sue Savona left her Glendale home just before Christmas to drive across the country for the holidays. They were shocked last week to learn that the La Cañada High School graduate and former Jet Propulsion Laboratory worker will not return. Savona, a mother of nine, experienced severe stomach pains while traveling with her husband Gary and nine children to visit family in Green Bay, Wisc. Gary Savona took her to a hospital in Tulsa, Okla., and continued on to Green Bay to drop off the children.
NEWS
By Sara Cardine | December 14, 2011
Some people mark their birthdays with dinner out or a slice of cake. La Cañada Flintridge native Randy Bartos, though, has slightly different plans for his Jan. 2 birthday - lying inside a float, surrounded by hydraulic levers and animation switches while traveling down the Rose Parade route. It's a pretty good way to spend a birthday, he said. “I love being squeezed into a tight, confined space where I cannot turn around, that is very cold when the parade starts and very hot when the parade ends,” he joked.
NEWS
By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com | November 30, 2011
Scientists and engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working around the clock this week to monitor Curiosity, the largest-ever Mars rover, which was launched Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “This is the most capable and complex science mission we ever sent to Mars,” Michael Watkins, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission manager, said at JPL on Tuesday. “It's really an amazing machine.” The mission is expected to last one Mars year, or two Earth years, once it lands at about 5 p.m. Aug. 5. More than 200 scientists around the world are involved in the project, with 250 engineers at JPL working on keeping the rover healthy and ensuring that it lands at its desired location in the Red Planet's Gale Crater.
NEWS
By Carol Cormaci | September 7, 2011
Appropriately, across our country this week the spotlight has been aimed on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. In La Cañada, the Young Republican Club is sponsoring a memorial service on Sunday, as it has for the past few years, to reflect on the events of 9/11. The service is set for 2 p.m. in the courtyard of La Canada Presbyterian Church. It will be a solemn cap to the city's 9.10.11 weekend, which you can read about elsewhere in the Valley Sun today. All the talk about the anniversary led me to look back on our reporting of the 9/11 events.
NEWS
By Sara Cardine, Special to the Valley Sun | August 10, 2011
At JPL, there is no shortage of doctorates and intellectual pedigrees among the facility's 5,000 employees. But what is rare, anyone there can tell you, is a truly good manager. Enter David Gallagher, a La Cañada resident recently appointed by JPL to head the directorate of Astronomy, Physics and Space Technology, one of five operational divisions. Gallagher is modest about his high-ranking position, indicating with a chuckle that he's come all this way on “just” a bachelor's degree in engineering from Purdue University and his ability to organize diverse groups of people.
NEWS
By Joe Piasecki | July 27, 2011
A former NASA investigator who had worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge has pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent federal tax return that failed to report nearly $300,000 he stole from a Lancaster church. Alvin Danielle Allen, 42, was a special agent with NASA's Office of Inspector General, which conducts audits of agency operations and investigates allegations of fraud, waste and misconduct. NASA Office of Inspector General spokeswoman Renee Juhans said Allen worked out of an Inspector General satellite office at JPL for nearly 10 years.
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