RE: “This is Diligence”

To the Editor;
Re: “This is Diligence” July 14, 2017
I believe I am for more personal liberty than TL Davis claims. I have chosen to live in this community, which TL Davis does not, because of the freedoms it affords. He does not seem to understand there are two domains in exercising freedoms. If he or I do not infringe upon his or my domain, then freedom lives on.
I am a physics professor, the manager of the CSUP Observatory, the technical consult to enact the dark sky ordinances in Pueblo County and a life-long amateur astronomer. I believe in the aesthetic and financial value in preserving the night sky. This domain belongs to all of us. Is it not an infringement if others obscure the beauty and wonder of all that is above and about us? If uncontrolled light is allowed to squander our nightly heritage, is this not an intrusion on my and other’s freedoms? If someone perpetrates some noxious activity on his property or domain, with such things as excessive noise or odor or excessive light, that intrudes upon my domain, should I not have the right to seek relief? A night sky ordinance is our only possible way to preserve freedom in our domain.
The problem we and the county commissioners now face is a result of their lack of seeking out others who might provide a tiny bit [of ] technical expertise. To preserve the night sky or to prevent light pollution, which TL Davis so scathingly refers to, the commissioners should know that regulating the wattage of light bulbs on private property is entirely the wrong way to go. It is truly absurd it to think of passing laws or ordinances that would do so. To do this is to infringe on the privacy and freedoms of individuals, which we all want to avoid.
The simple win-win solution is to limit the direction of the light produced on private properties. The Pueblo ordinances grandfathered in all existing lighting fixtures. The only limitation sought was to require lighting and fixtures to prevent light from shinning in directions above the horizontal. Light directed upwards is scattered by several mechanisms in all directions. With this restriction on direction, private citizens are allowed to exercise all other freedoms in their own private domains. As a result the rest of us then are free to appreciate and to study the universe above unhindered by the noxious intrusion of stray light.
William Brown, Ph.D.
Pueblo and Rural Custer County