A bill that would direct the Washington State Department of Ecology to recommend ways to reduce light pollution in the state is scheduled to receive a hearing tomorrow before the House Environment Committee. The measure, HB 2057, directs the department to complete a study of the environmental, economic, and public health effects of light pollution, and to submit the study and policy recommendations for reducing light pollution to the Legislature by next January. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 12 in House Hearing Room B in the John L. O’Brien building on the state capitol campus in Olympia.
Read More: http://www.seattleastronomy.com
GOSP - Goldendale Observatory State Park, Goldendale Washington
SHINING A LIGHT ON DARKNESS: Representatives from and supporters of the Goldendale Observatory showed up last Tuesday at the Klickitat County Commissioners meeting to press for compliance with dark sky policies. A slide from a presentation by Bob Yoesle shows the dramatic difference in night visibility between light spillage on the left and safe, dark-sky friendly lighting on the right. Concerns about safety and costs of dark-sky lighting were raised and addressed, with the group asserting safety could actually be enhanced and costs could be lessened with environmentally sound lighting.
OCEC Completes Conversion to Dark Sky Fixtures
Okanogan County Electric Cooperative (OCEC) has completed the conversion of its street lighting system to a new system using LED, Dark Sky compliant lighting fixtures. The project involved changing out the 86 OCEC owned fixtures on power poles throughout the upper valley. Lighting owned by the town or other electric utilities is not part of this program.
Read more here
Light pollution is an ever-growing problem that is blocking out the night sky in major cities, obscuring all but the moon and a few bright stars and planets. Bob Parks, executive director of the International Dark Sky Association joins "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to discuss what can be done to combat this growing problem.
Things are not looking up for dark-sky watchers
The sad truth is that the current bunch of us will be the first in the history of the planet to go most or all the way through life failing to grasp our place in the universe. Because we simply have never seen it.
By Ron Judd
Read the full article at:
David Ingram, chapter leader of the Northwest section of the International Dark-Sky Association (Darkskies Northwest), spent seven weeks in Glacier National Park volunteering his time to show visitors a night sky they may not be able to see at home.
Beginning 5 July 2012 the Public Broadcasting Service will start airing The City Dark, a documentary that explores the problems of light pollution and the disappearance of stars from the night sky.
For nearly two and a half decades the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has been working to sound the alarm concerning many of the issues brought up in the film while advocating for greater controls of nighttime lighting. IDA Executive Director Bob Parks says, "We are delighted to see Ian Cheney's film get a national stage and hope that, before too much longer, many of the issues raised in the film will be behind us. The good news is that with awareness, light pollution is an easy problem to solve."
Astronomy, ecology, human health, crime and economics are some of the topics explored in the film which follows filmmaker Ian Cheney's personal exploration of the impact of light at night as he asks "Do we need the dark?" The film covers various aspects of light at night and features noted experts in their respective fields including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, writer Timothy Ferris, cancer researcher David Blask, and many more.
Director Ian Cheney says, "We are thrilled to present The City Dark on PBS' amazing series POV, and what better week to air than the week of July 4th; perhaps the fireworks can serve as a reminder of all that glitters in an unpolluted starry sky, and encourage us all to do what we can to protect the night. We are indebted to our partners like the International Dark Sky Association for taking the lead in combating wasteful night pollution, and grateful for our viewers for tuning in and enjoying the film!"
The Port of Olympia is under a directive from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard to improve its security lighting and emergency preparedness in and around the marine terminals and cargo yards.
The lighting upgrades provide the port with an opportunity to use more energy-efficient lighting and reduce light pollution from port operations.
Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/04/06/2059454/port-takes-on-light-pollution.html#storylink=cpy
Park ranger Mark Wagner, will Present "The City Dark" in the Community Building,
Glacier National Park at Noon, Wed Feb. 29th.
Read more at IMDb
The first-ever IDA MLO training of lighting professionals, concerned energy managers, and dark-sky enthusiasts took place in Seattle (WA) on Wednesday, October 26th. Nancy Clanton presented the MLO training package to lighting designers, members of city councils, city planners and code enforcers, civic activists and amateur astronomers. She introduced the MLO including its history and the range of intended, potential uses of the MLO.
The presentation continued with indepth explanations each of five Lighting Zones and a dissection and description of the BUG rating system. Nancy's presentaion of the training culminated by "walking-through" several simple and complex sample lighting plans that demonstrated the clarity and precision possible when utilizating an MLO based lighting ordinance. Nancy turned the meeting over to Scott Kardel who moderated a period of questions and answers and offered concluding remarks. Closing comments with regard to the MLO were all positive with a number of suggestions made by the group to reach a wider audience.
For more information please visit:
Participants in the first ever Model Lighting Ordinance Training workshop. Presented by Nancy Clanton [pink jacket center - Clanton & Associates, Boulder Co], Scott Kardel [left behind Nancy - IDA, Tuscson Az] and David Ingram [far left - DarkskiesNorthwest.org].
Tacoma’s City Council voted Tuesday [8/9/11] night to ban digital billboards in the city!
This is encouraging. Electronic billboards are a new and growing source of light pollution.
Lights out for electronic billboards in Tacoma
KING5.com - Chris Daniels - Aug 9, 2011
The company had agreed to take down dozens of traditional billboards, in exchange for the right to put up to 10 electronic billboards across the city. The Council agreed to the terms of the deal earlier this year. But it was immediately met with ...
Tacoma bans electronic billboards
MyNorthwest.com - Jeff Pohjola - Aug 10, 2011
The city council voted to outlaw them even after agreeing to ten of the billboards with Clear Channel Outdoor. "I think it's a matter of trying to find a way to do what's going to be best for the city," Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland ...
No Child Left Behind, And Tacoma Billboards
KUOW NPR - Ross Reynolds - Aug 10, 2011
Tacoma: No More Digital Billboards Tacoma's City Council has picked a fight with media giant Clear Channel by banning big digital billboards. Earlier the City Council had agreed to let Clear Channel put up some digital billboards if the company removed ...
Tacoma votes to quickly remove 190 billboards; legal war likely awaits
(sorry, no link)
TheNewsTribune.com - Aug 9, 2011
By keeping digital billboards out of Tacoma, the council backs out of a legal settlement with Clear Channel that it had approved unanimously last year. The deal would have allowed digital billboards in exchange for removal of traditional signs. ...
IDA and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) proudly announce public release of the Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) as a valuable guide for environmentally responsible outdoor lighting in North America.
Developed jointly by the IDA and the IES over a period of seven years, the IDA/IES partnership will encourage broad adoption of comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinances without devoting extensive staff time and resources to their development.
For more information, please visit:
The city of Tumwater, Wash. has recently enacted an ordinance aimed at reducing light pollution. The story was reported in The Olympian on Nov. 23.According to the article by John Dodge the ordinance, which takes effect Jan. 15, "requires most newly installed or replaced outdoor lighting to be fully shielded and directed downward so it doesn’t shoot into the sky... (Greg Scheiderer, Spokane Examiner, Read Article)
Tumwater Website: http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/outdoorlighting.html
Since May 2010, The International Dark-Sky Association loaned Dark Skies Northwest an exhibition quality IDA display.
IDA/DSNW presentations by Dave Ingram at the display to the Ellensburg Renewable Energy Fair in May, to the Table Mountain Star Party in July and to the Museum of Flight, Space Day in October. Bruce Weertman plans to use the display CWU "Nature of Night Exhibition" at the Ellensburg on November 20 and in a presentation to the Spokane Astronomical Society in March 2011. Dark Skies Northwest personnel would be happy to schedule a presentation on quality outdoor lighting and the campaign against light pollution to your club or civic organization anywhere in the Dark Skies Northwest region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
One of the highlights of the IDA's 22nd Annual General Meeting and the European Symposium is the announcement of new members to the International Dark-Sky Places program. This year was no different. On Saturday evening, at the IDA Board of Directors' meeting, the Dark Sky Park review committee recommended and the Board unanimously approved and granted provisional Dark Sky Park status to Goldendale Observatory State Park (GOSP) in Washington State. The application process has been an year in the making and GOSP is looking forward to completing some required changes and then being granted full status as a Dark Sky Park.
"The local chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association has recognized three people for the key roles they played in getting a night-sky-friendly outdoor lighting ordinance enacted in the City of Tumwater, Washington."
Click Here to read full article written by Greg Scheiderer
On March 8th, 2010 the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously approved Ordinance 2010-0001. The legislation aims to save energy and reduce light pollution from lighting on King County government property.
Proposed Ordinance 2010-0001 requires County lighting purchases to meet or exceed the energy efficiency standards established in federal regulation to the maximum extent feasible. It also establishes lighting requirements for outdoor lighting on County facilities that are intended to reduce the unwanted effects of improperly directed outdoor lighting. The ordinance also requires the Executive to develop a lighting plan to reduce King County’s use of inefficient lighting and the occurrence of evening light pollution.
Special thanks to representative Larry Philips who sponsored the bill and his fellow co-sponsors Jane Hague and Larry Gossett. Although this only applies to government property, it is a big step in the right direction!
by Jon Duval, Idaho Mountain Express - Blaine County, ID, USA, 24 February 2010
"The concept of dark sky lighting has been on the county's list of priorities for 10 years," Commission Chair Larry Schoen said in an interview. "We either have to finally get it off or change the name of the list."...
Read More: http://www.mtexpress.com
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo http://www.zoo.org is closing it's Nocturnal House on March 1st, 2010.
Read an article in the Ballard News Tribune HERE
In 2008 the zoo refurbished the information area of the exhibit and included a nice display on Light Pollution. On a typical day, several hundred people passed by the display. Special thanks to Mette Hanson for doing the artwork on the display.
The main reason the zoo is closing the nocturnal house is that it requires too much energy to keep its main large displays heated. It is possible that the display will be reopened in the future after being rebuilt with a more efficient heating system. It is not being closed due to lack of popularity.
In an article titled Preserving Battle Point Park’s Dark Sky (PDF File, Winter 2009/10 Issue 88)
Battle Point Astronomical Association president Harry Colvin discusses efforts to preserve the dark sky.
...I don’t feel the BPAA should ever agree to trade away “dark sky nights” or agree to lights of any kind at Battle Point Park. We should stand on principle to protect the environment from light pollution for astronomers, for the neighbors who live near the park, for anyone who wants to enjoy the night sky, and for future generations...
The Battle Point Astronomical Association http://www.bpastro.org operates the Battle Point Observatory on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Presentation given to the Ellensburg WA City Council, Wednesday, August 20th 2008. Thanks to Michael Pearson for making this available
"We live day and night bathed in artificial light. Now scientists say night light harms wild habitats and human health, and stargazers lament losing the timeless wonder of the night sky."
Click Here to read article
By Eric Scigliano Seattle Metropolitan Magizine, June 2008
Special thanks to Eric for his long term interest in light pollution and his excellent writing!