Tag Archives: Dark Skies

Dark Skies Redux: A Lighter Side of Darkness Proposed ?

by George Gramlich,
Commentary
Clint Smith, Vice President of the local Dark Skies organization, was gracious in visiting with the Sentinel last week with regards to a new, revised Dark Skies amendment that his organization is now proposing.  You will recall that their original one, now before Custer County’s Planning and Zoning Commission (on their February 5th meeting agenda), was quite oppressive and it also had criminal and monetary penalties for violations. (Although Commissioner Printz denied, in public, multiple times, that the proposal contained those penalties. He has never retracted those comments.) This proposal was widely panned in multiple BOCC and general public meetings as being a massive infringement on our property rights without any compelling state interest. Continue reading Dark Skies Redux: A Lighter Side of Darkness Proposed ?

Dark Skies VP Clint Smith Softens Approach

Letter to the Editor;
On Monday, February 5, at 1:30 p.m. the Custer County Planning Commission will be conducting another public meeting to solicit further comment on the issue of amending the Custer County Zoning Resolution with respect to light pollution. This issue has been characterized over the past several months as an attempt by our non-profit group—Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley—to impose a “Dark Skies ordinance” and to force onerous and restrictive outdoor lighting regulations on the residents of the county. Continue reading Dark Skies VP Clint Smith Softens Approach

A Call from Bradburn on Dark Skies: Lumens and Ranchers

Dear Editor,
I received a very cordial phone call from Jim Bradburn, the president of the Astronomy Club, in which he explained some Dark-Sky guidelines concerning a dark sky reserve which shed more light on the subject than my poor old brain previously picked up.
My main concern was the effect the proposed addition to the zoning resolutions would have on our ranchers. The effect would be nothing because of Resolution 98-14 Establishing a right to ranch and farm policy of Custer County which protects our ranchers and farmers from all complaints having to do with their ranching and farming. Continue reading A Call from Bradburn on Dark Skies: Lumens and Ranchers

Dark Skies Brown-out

Dear Editor,
After attending a planning meeting on Dark Skies, on December 11 th, I have decided the whole issue is not about dark skies. The issue is about personal rights. Those who believe that they have unlimited rights to shine unlimited amounts of light in unlimited directions feel they are just exercising their property rights. This light may destroy the dark skies above or it may be directly sent in the way and direction of others. Those who believe in their unlimited rights do not recognize the rights of many others as being equal to theirs. They must believe that their rights somehow exceed those of many. They must believe that those who might exercise their property rights to enjoy the wonders of the sky above with their naked eyes or telescopes have rights that can be run over roughshod and disrespected. Continue reading Dark Skies Brown-out

William Brown’s Rights vs A Free Society’s Rights

Editor;
I t is always interesting to read the words of those who think that America is about absolute equality. Nothing on this earth is equal, not a plant, or a tree or an animal.
I wonder where Mr. Brown deduced the idea the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law guarantee this “principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities?” (quote from Oxford Dictionary). The Constitution guarantees equal opportunity. It does not offer everyone the same social status, economic position or fairness. It offers justice which is not the same as total equality.
Egalitarian rights are impossible and he knows it. We live in a world filled with corruption, scandal, deceit, greed and avarice and that’s just in Washington, D.C. and Denver. There is no ability to achieve the equality Mr. Brown thinks is so possible. Continue reading William Brown’s Rights vs A Free Society’s Rights

Many Object to Proposed Dark Skies Zoning Resolution with Its Criminal Penalties

NASA image acquired April 18 – October 23, 2012
This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” His research group has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province.
Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, NPP flies over any given point on Earth’s surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. The polar-orbiting satellite flies 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface, sending its data once per orbit to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users distributed around the world. Suomi NPP is managed by NASA with operational support from NOAA and its Joint Polar Satellite System, which manages the satellite’s ground system.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center).

WESTCLIFFE, CO
—December 11, 2017
by Jackie Bubis
On Monday, the Custer County Planning Commission met to further explore two things: First, whether or not the County needs further regulation of “light pollution” and second, what sort of language would be appropriate.
The three County commissioners were in attendance but did not speak. About a dozen citizens showed up and Chairman Vic Barnes made sure everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Mr. Barnes began by reading three letters he’d received, from Sentinel editor George Gramlich, from Larry and Monica Luikart, and from Arthur von Boennighausen. All three stated sentiments in opposition to further regulation for Dark Skies. Continue reading Many Object to Proposed Dark Skies Zoning Resolution with Its Criminal Penalties