Turn down those annoying lights

Looks like it's time - time to talk about light pollution again. More and more lights are popping up all over our little mile-high valley and many residents are grumbling and say they want to do something about it. Several of our neighbors have asked me to write about this growing problem in the "Fish Springs Flier." I am happy to do that as the creeping light pollution affects our family too.

I particularly like to sit outside in the hot tub and watch the nighttime stars and slow moving satellites. I saw Haley's comet with just my bare eyes. I don't know if I could do that tonight though, as some residents are leaving their lights on all night long. Why light up our wonderful darkness?

I understand the concern expressed in a recent "Letter to the Editor" from a lady whose neighbor's house was burglarized when the residents were out of town. That would scare the heck out of me too. A burglar would be taking a serious chance breaking into someone's house out here in Fish Springs as he might end up looking down the barrel of a shotgun. Our neighbors keep an eye on what's going on out here in the back country and I don't think that burglary happened in Fish Springs.

I also hear in the "Letter to the Editor" that you felt your "anonymous neighbor" was acting in an unfriendly way and should have talked to you directly. I hope in time things settle down in your neighborhood and you feel safe and happy again.

Douglas County's lighting code says, "Exterior lighting shall be shielded or recessed so that direct glare and reflections are contained within the boundaries of the parcel, and shall be directed downward and away from adjoining properties and public rights-of-way. No lighting shall blink, flash, or be of unusually high intensity or brightness."

New residents to Douglas County may not be aware of the lighting code and it seems appropriate to discuss any problems with your neighbor. Perhaps the situation can easily be corrected simply by directing the lights down.

One other solution might be to use motion-detection lights that only go on when someone approaches or leaves your yard. We put one in as our front porch light and it works great. The sensor shoots out 40 feet. So, as we motor up the driveway, the porch light goes on and illuminates our way. Then our light stays on for either four minutes or 14 minutes, whichever we set it to.

The star-filled dark skies are one of the big reasons people move out here. Whatever it takes, we need to keep the Milky Way visible here in Douglas County.

Spin-out on the "S" turns: Watch out when you're driving through the "S" turns on Fish Springs Road. Last weekend someone apparently spun-out and hit a power pole on the south side of the road. That caused an overhead TV cable to hang down to about 8 feet from the center of the road. Fish Springs volunteer firefighters secured the area until Sierra Pacific and Charter Communications arrived on the scene and took care of the problem. Please slow down neighbors - the life you save may be your own.

n Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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