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The county doesn't look a day over 59

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By Katy Korkos

Los Alamos is still a youthful town, compared to our neighbor Santa Fe, which will celebrate its 400th birthday in 2010.  Born on June 10, 1949, Los Alamos will turn 60 next year. To mark the milestone in the town’s history and to and create a cohesive set of events, a committee has formed to oversee the planning of a whole series of events, from lectures to picnics. The committee is chaired by former county councilors Chris Chandler and Lawry Mann.“We should use this occasion to build on community spirit,” Chandler said. “It really should be an inclusive process.”Fifteen people were invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the anniversary committee Thursday at Fuller Lodge, bringing with them expertise in finance and budget, history, tourism, county government, laboratory community relations, the arts, the health-care sector, youth, science and small business. Los Alamos County Council has approved seed money in the amount of $5,000 to get the project off the ground, and the Los Alamos Historical Society has also already agreed to sponsor the project, as it did with the 50th anniversary celebration in 1999.A theme and a logo for the celebration will be among the first things decided on as the committee picks up speed in the coming months, with the goal of creating a program that commemorates Los Alamos County’s unique history, illuminates Los Alamos’ bright future and that inspires a sense of community. Forming ties to existing community structures, such as the Chamber of Commerce and linking the anniversary celebration in to already established events, such as the library’s Authors Speak series and the County Fair and Rodeo, were the first ideas suggested by the committee members. Many of the preliminary subcommittees suggested by Chandler have volunteers to lead them, with Michael Wismer agreeing to lead the county history subcommittee, Mann looking at the county’s history in regards to the rest of northern New Mexico and the Pueblos, Denise Lane working on publicity and Glenn Lockhart chairing a finance subcommittee.The committee is asking local residents to participate in the project. Anyone who is interested in contributing to the efforts of the committee is encouraged to e-mail Chandler at cchandler@cybermesa.com or call Mann at 662-4590. For the time being, meetings are scheduled at 5:15 p.m. the first Thursday of the month, with the location yet to be determined.“I do want people to feel that anyone who wants to be involved should be able to participate,” Chandler said.