Take a walk with me. Let's start at Central and 20th headed towards 4th. On the right the first business we come to that principally sells product is Bella Costa Flowers. Next to them is CB Fox. Across the street is Bennet's Jewelers. If we were to turn aside briefly an walk down the main drive way into the Central Park Square parking lot we would find one business that is product oriented, Pet Pangea. Oh well. Continuing down Central on the right we find Metzger's and Cookin in Style. As we cross 15th Otowi Station is on our left. Nothing else. Continuing on down on our right at Knecht and Central is Fidel's. After that we have to go all the way to MariMac where we find Smith's, Auto Zone, Beall's, Brownell's and Casa Mesita Thrift Shop -- oh and there is a small clothier. 16 blocks east-west, 4 blocks north-south and the total number of product based businesses is 14. In the area from 20th to 4th, Nectar to the north side of Trinity, there are 7 eateries, 5 banks, 1 hotel, 1 gas station, 2 bars, several engineering/tech firms, and a variety of service oriented businesses. But only 14 product oriented businesses. Think that through. And think this through as well -- how does a Big Box solve this? It would be store number 15. Only like as not Beall's or Fox would close as well as the little clothier, so we're no better off than before and possibly worse off.
In the very early war years all the Lab needed was a px, a commissary, and a motor pool. Well that's really all they need today. Lunch counters (commissary), a grocery (px), and auto repair/supply/gas (motor pool). Didn't we just describe the heathiest businesses of our rather moribund Consumer Goods and Services sector?
Reality Check: The Lab doesn't need Los Alamos. Without the security gates, it certainly doesn't need a resident labor pool -- as attested to by the fact of the commuters including the Lab Director. Nor is there anything Los Alamos can do to support the Lab that the Lab cannot provide for itself -- including Fire, Security, and Utils. Heck, all of Los Alamos could be flattened and the Plateau turned into one big Research Park. As far ast the Lab is concerned Los Alamos is irrelevent to the Lab.
Its about time Los Alamos take care of Los Alamos and find a reason to exist that has nothing to do with The Lab.