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Meyer: It is economically worth it to preserve the dark sky


Thank you for the great article in the Independent, April edition, “County promoting half-hour Dark Skies Lights Out event.”

It is really disheartening and annoying to see several new homes in my neighborhood with unshielded carriage lighting from multiple fixtures glaring into the night. Are builders being educated in any way about the standards for lighting design to adhere to the dark-sky program?

My husband does astrophotography from our Gold Canyon back yard and we also travel to places for comets, eclipses and planetariums. And... spend... money in those places. Between astro-tourism and the research money at local universities, it is economically worth it to continue striving to preserve the dark sky.

I was made very aware of the resistance to this effort about 18 years back, when I was teaching science in downtown Phoenix. My junior high students measured light pollution across the Valley for a citizen’s science project and geo-located their positions on a map to look for patterns in their collective data.

One of the students took her social studies lessons to heart and wrote to her state representative, Jack Harper (R), asking him to support Dark Sky legislation, citing her own findings on the light pollution she was measuring around the neighborhood. He wrote back a very rude letter, claiming that her teacher was brainwashing her and that government has no right to restrict freedoms.

I would love to see some beautiful promotional materials around Apache Junction/Gold Canyon, like bumper stickers, T-shirts and posters for shop windows that would remind people to enjoy and preserve this resource. With huge new subdivisions planned for the land south of U.S. Highway 60, this is the time to bring light pollution ... to light!

opinion, letter