I am curious about the long-term effects of the magnesium chloride that is
used before snowstorms to reduce slippery road conditions. Does this
chemical adversely affect trees and shrubs along the roadsides? Can you
tell me what kinds of studies have been done, what the outcomes were, and
which cities or counties in the area are using magnesium chloride? Has it
significantly reduced the number of accidents? What is the cost as opposed
to sand? And what are the pollution effects, if any?
[Based on something I heard, I was wondering if] Human Resources knows how
much employees have in their retirement accounts, as it would have the
potential to be a consideration for lots of things, like reduction in
staffing or whatever.
Anyway, this seems like only the individual's business or between them,
their accountant, and the IRS. On the other hand, maybe HR does not have
access to this information and this whole thing is a moot point.
My question concerns the use of sick leave vs. "making up the time" for
job-related repetitive stress injury under workers' compensation.
[Safety and Site Services] evaluated my situation and determined that I
needed to go for x-rays. I was then sent to physical therapy for several
weeks, with sessions each lasting one hour plus about a half hour for
travel between the office and the session. To lessen the amount of time
away from work, I tried to schedule the therapy sessions at noon, the
I have spoken with quite a few people who are concerned about the potential
demise of the EAC. If I've heard right, there are only four members of the
EAC at present.
The EAC has brought us many benefits, aside from the social events it has
organized, cell phone offers, Internet deals, health club access,
discounted tickets, etc. Is there a way to bring the services of the EAC to
the attention of the rest of the UCAR/NCAR community; is there a way that
we can get more staff involved, by breaking their arms, threatening their
We wish to bring up an issue that has been bothering us here at Foothills
Lab for some while. That is the issue of people smoking outside of the
buildings, but in close proximity to the doors. The east entrance to FL3
and the west entrance to FL1 both have little alcove spaces recessed into
the building, presumably to protect the entrances from weather. Cigarette
ash receptacles--and in the case of the east entrance to FL3, a bench--are
placed right in these alcoves.
In its 21 April e-mail to all employees, the Employee Activities Committee
(EAC) announced an arrangement with a private firm for Internet access at a
very reasonable cost to interested staff. In a conversation recently
overheard in the cafeteria, I learned of another Internet service provider
with a far more reasonable monthly rate. The individual who was speaking,
apparently a programmer, was commenting to others that he has unlimited
free access to the Internet from his home computer through a modem
In an article in the December 15 issue of Newsweek, health maintenance
organization (HMO) plans nationwide are listed and evaluated. I was
distressed to learn that out of 88 plans ranked, PacifiCare of Colorado
(formerly FHP) came in at number 59. Its overall HMO ranking was only a C,
and to my greater distress, I found that "kids' care" earned straight D's!
Since this is my health care provider (and provider to many others at UCAR
also), I wonder what, if anything, UCAR will do about this. Isn't it
I'm disappointed that UCAR no longer offers a "catastrophic" health care
coverage option (formerly UCARflex option 3). This sort of coverage is fine
for single individuals or healthy couples. It has a nice balance between
providing protection and having low paperwork overhead for both the insured
and the insurer. Basically, one provides for one's own ordinary needs,
retaining a safety net to protect against major calamity. It is insurance,
not a health plan.
When initially offered, this option had the lowest cost of all the plans.
I would like to ask Human Resources if they have looked into adding an
alternative medicine program to the list of our existing health plans. Also
I would like to see an alternative medical rider offered to our existing
plans to cover chiropractic, acupuncture, and naturopathic services.
My bicycle was stolen from one of the bike lockers provided by UCAR in the
parking lot of FL4 (UCAR North) in mid-July. I dutifully called NCAR/UCAR
security and the Boulder Police to report the theft. The locker was locked
as it should be.
I realize that security makes frequent trips to my building throughout the
night, but the lockers are so flimsy that one can break in by simply
pulling hard on the handle of a locker regardless of whether it is locked
or not. This means that it takes no more than one or two seconds to open a