By Inez Ross
Los Alamos author
It wasn’t only the downturn of the economy, the ease of Internet buying, nor the rise of e-books that caused the demise of our bookstore.
Another straw was the high rents charged in this town for local businesses. We are a one-company town and at the mercy of building owners who can charge what LANL can pay for their own offices.
Rents here should not be as high as in larger towns like Denver and Boulder. The subsidy money did not go to owners of small businesses here.
Mother LANL can keep her children on the Hill by furnishing rent free buildings for start-ups, local restaurants, and a bookstore. I envision a cyber cafe with the corporate-slick appeal of Starbucks, the friendliness of Ruby K’s, and the check-out ease of Mesa Library.
Imagine a place where hard-cover, best- seller books line the walls, where tables and easy chairs invite computer users as well as browsing readers, where the fizz of the latte steamer combines with the rustle of newspapers, along with the friendly chat over our local authors’ book signings.
It’s time for LANL to step forward with a low-rent subsidy and be the angel in the wings as well as the elephant in the living room.