We are one community

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By Ralph Damiani

The theme of Friday’s event commemorating the 60th anniversary of Los Alamos was one of community.

This is a theme we can agree with.

But to be honest, we are not sure why the 60th anniversary celebration is so important. Usually a big anniversary would be the 50th or the 75th and so on.

And there was a very big splash made in 1999 – the 50th anniversary. That makes more sense to us.

So why this day and year are being played up we are not sure.

And as a point of interest, many of the players today were involved in the 50th anniversary event.

Then, as now, Rep. Jeannette Wallace was a keynote speaker and Chris Chandler was a main speaker in 1999 as a county councilor and Friday as co-chair.

All that said, what is worth noting is the theme of one community.

Too often we seem divided between county and laboratory. And that is not helpful to anyone in any way.

And while we are one community, we are not. The laws and rules that govern the county and the schools are not the same that govern the lab.

We can make open records requests of the county, we can require that meetings be open and officials be accessible to the public.

None of that applies to the lab.

One thing that was a bit disapointing was that neither of the lab’s top two big brass atttended the event.

That would have been a nice gesture.

But at the end of the day, we are one community. The laboratory needs a strong and vibrant county to attract and keep good people.

The county needs a strong laboratory that has good, well-paid employees to keep a positive tax base and keep jobs here.

The chamber – and the business community – needs a strong county and lab for jobs, good services and stability.

All need to be working together for the same goal. We don’t think we see that cooperation very much and that is sad.

Too often it is each group going and doing their thing with little consult or concern with any of the other groups. That must end.

Today’s world is nothing like it was in 1999. Nothing. And in many cases it is nothing like it was in 2004.

If the lab continues to just do its thing and the county spends all its time trying to figure out ways to respond to its ever-changing ways and the business community gets left in the dust, our future does not look very bright.

But if we can take the theme of being one community that speakers espoused Friday then maybe we can make the progress we all need.

Let’s hope so.


The Associated Press reported that commercial air service is returning to Santa Fe.

Gov. Richardson and other officials were at the Santa Fe airport on Thursday to announce that American Eagle is offering daily, direct flights between the capital city and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The airline also will start offering daily flights to Los Angeles in November. The governor’s office said that is something many in the film industry had been asking for.

Richardson said commercial air service is key to the economic development of the area and to growing New Mexico’s tourism and film industries.

This is not new. Santa Fe has been without commercial air service since January 2008 and without larger commercial jet service for decades.

This is not because it had not been offered, it was because no one used the service.

But with federal officials clearing the airport for use by regional jets earlier this year maybe this will be different.

It could be a good thing. Only time will tell.