LA Monitor Editorial
Monday, July 2, 2007
There was good news this week out of the Senate as the Appropriations Committee put most of the LANL money the House had taken out back in. That is good news to be sure.
But anyone who thinks that this is more than a reprieve is fooling themselves. Gone are the days of ever-expanding funding for the lab. And even with the Senate action, there will surely be some kind of funding cut here at the end of the day.
So what now?
That is a multi-part answer.
The lab needs to make more of an effort to be involved with the community, to engage the people here more. As evidenced by the articles we ran, there is a lot of fear and anxiety about what is happening. To keep this hidden or buried does no one any good.
It needs to be discussed in the open. And the people at LANS need to understand that it is their responsibility to talk to us, to be engaged with us. Nothing good ever comes from burying your head in the sand.
Then the lab needs to continue to move in the direction of diversification of its mission. There are lots of good people doing lots of good things. That needs to be expanded upon.
And we - and the world - need to be told about it. LANL can be a real place of change and it not only needs to take the lead in this effort, it needs to let everyone know it.
Finally, we as a community need to do something - we need to get off our rear-ends and start working together to move this community forward.
No matter what the outcome of the funding battle at the lab, one thing is certain, the funding will be less and less each year.
The lab will survive; it will thrive and it will be smaller and smaller. So if we are to survive as a strong and viable community, we must move to diversify.
This does not just mean Boyer and more retail, which is fine. This means working to strengthen our base industry.
Many say this cannot be done. But we say it must be done. We must take advantage of what we have here: clean air, good water and fine weather to attract people and organizations to our community.
There is much to offer here, much for us to build upon and around. We do not have to be slaves to the lab, but can - and must - work to be more of a partner in the future of this community.
We simply must.