An article in today’s Daily Press newspaper follows up on an earlier report about concerns people in the Hampton Roads region have about the future of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “About 20 people” gathered at a luncheon organized by William Harvey, president of Hampton University, to brainstorm ways to preserve the center, which they fear could be threatened by potential future cuts.
The real danger, though, isn’t clear from the article. “The downward trend in NASA Langley Research Center’s budget almost looks like a going-out-of-business sale,” reads the lede of the article, saying that was the message delivered by Harvey. However, later in the article Langley director Lesa Roe says that while “next year’s fiscal budget is the toughest the institution will face, but that there’s no longer a downward trend.” So much for that going-out-of-business sale.
Exactly what options this group came up with aren’t revealed in the article. It does note that the Harvey asked Kevin Kelly to create a set of talking points to give to the transition team. While Kelly is identified as a member of the “NASA Aeronautics Support Team”, he is also a vice president at Van Scoyoc Associates, a lobbying firm retained by the team. The article adds that Harvey “may” fly to Chicago today to meet with an unnamed official on the Obama transition team. Why Harvey would meet with that person in Chicago, and not the NASA transition team in Washington, isn’t mentioned.