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Light Pollution

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NEWS
February 4, 1990 | By John Corcoran, Special to The Inquirer
Joseph Mina is hoping that local politicians will see the light. No, he isn't trying to save their souls, and he's not talking about the light at the end of the tunnel. Mina, an accountant and amateur astronomer from Upper Providence, is waging a one-man crusade to enlighten local officials about the problems of light pollution and encourage them to take corrective steps. "It's my own belief that nothing should inhibit the view of the cosmos," he said in a recent interview.
NEWS
February 8, 2002 | By Lee Drutman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Drive out to French Creek State Park on the border of Chester and Berks Counties and, on a clear night, you really can see forever. But drive the 50 miles southeast back toward the city, and the stars and galaxies slowly begin to disappear behind the perpetual glow of factories and shopping centers, of office buildings and apartment complexes: a man-made haze that keeps even the darkest of nights merely navy blue. It may look like the inevitable byproduct of development and progress, but as an increasing number of state and local governments are learning, it doesn't have to be. In recent years, seven states have adopted legislation designed to curb "light pollution" by calling for dimmer bulbs and light that is deflected downward.
NEWS
October 15, 2012 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
The searchlights over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have gone dark. The three-week Open Air show by Montreal artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is packing up. But the issue of light pollution that simmered throughout is still with us. It is of concern not only to astronomers, but to others who feel the bejeweled dark sky is an important part of living on Earth and being human. The lofty realm has inspired us to write poetry, compose music, ponder the existence of God, and fall in love.
NEWS
September 1, 2003 | By Amy Worden INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Back home in Clinton, N.J., Chris Hannemann has no trouble picking out the constellations, because only a handful of stars are visible in the sky. Out here atop a mountain in Pennsylvania's remote Northern Tier, he has trouble picking out Sagittarius for the blizzard of stars. The thrill of a truly dark sky is what drew Hannemann and 500 or so other stargazers from all over the region to Cherry Springs State Park for the annual two-night "Black Forest Star Party. " Some even flew to the park in private airplanes weighed down with mammoth telescopes.
NEWS
April 13, 2005 | By Robert Petro
A recent commentary by Bob Lovell addressed light pollution and the preservation of the night sky ("Focused light saves more than night sky"). While I would not consider myself an active environmentalist, I do believe that we should be good stewards of our environment. While preserving the night sky is a worthy aim, I believe that some of Mr. Lovell's suggested solutions would be counterproductive. One challenge is that only a small amount of research to identify the cause and determine methods to reduce light pollution has been completed.
NEWS
April 15, 2005
An illuminating response on light pollution One of the benefits of a commentary page is that it can create interest and evoke others to express their views or provide helpful information. Robert Petro's response article Wednesday("Light-pollution debate not so black-and-white") to mine on light pollution ("Focused light saves more than night sky," Feb. 15) raised some interesting questions, especially regarding my suggested solutions to light-pollution problems. We certainly agree on two key points: that municipal outdoor-lighting ordinances (where they exist)
NEWS
August 4, 2003 | By Froma Harrop
Mars comes as close to Earth this month as it ever gets. Nothing to worry about. Just enjoy the view - if you can. The if is a big one for people who live in areas where humankind has mucked up the night sky with light pollution. That means most of us. It should surprise no one that artificial light floods the night skies over New York City. Less expected is that "light blight" has invaded the big skies of Wyoming. People in Laramie now complain that they can no longer see the Milky Way. "Sky glow" is the lyrical name for light pollution.
NEWS
February 15, 2005 | By Bob Lovell
What do $1.5 billion, six million tons of coal, and nighttime safety, security, visibility and comfort have in common? Among other things, the spectacular satellite view of the United States' Lower 48 at night. According to the International Dark-Sky Association, based on a 1996 study, an estimated 30 percent of outdoor lighting in the United States is sent uselessly into space, producing such night views. Like heat leaking from a poorly insulated house, it is a waste of energy, at an annual cost of about $1.5 billion, according to the association.
NEWS
August 14, 1997
Bragging that the welfare rolls are down by 1.45 million this year, President Clinton has declared: "The debate is over. We now know that welfare reform works. " Come again? If the only measurement for success is the size of the welfare rolls, the entire question could be solved - overnight - by throwing everyone off. (Memo to conservatives: This is hyperbole, not a recommendation.) The fact is that no one - including critics of welfare reform - knows why the welfare rolls have dropped: It could be that due to the best economy in decades, millions of former welfare recipients now are happy, productive members of the working class.
NEWS
October 22, 2007 | By Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Not long after the new Schuylkill Elementary School opened last fall, residents gave it a disparaging nickname: the Schuylkill Airport. It was the lights. The playground was aglow at midnight. Light from the school near Phoenixville shone onto neighboring properties, through bedroom windows. Light pollution - the glare of civilization that makes it hard to see the full blanket of stars at night - has long been an environmental issue, but mostly among stargazers, who contend the dark sky is one of the world's fastest-disappearing natural resources.
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NEWS
October 15, 2012 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
The searchlights over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have gone dark. The three-week Open Air show by Montreal artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is packing up. But the issue of light pollution that simmered throughout is still with us. It is of concern not only to astronomers, but to others who feel the bejeweled dark sky is an important part of living on Earth and being human. The lofty realm has inspired us to write poetry, compose music, ponder the existence of God, and fall in love.
NEWS
September 21, 2012 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
Having made his peace with the region's birders, the artist who will debut a huge light show Thursday night over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is still facing opposition from the astronomy community. Astronomers and dark-sky advocates, who contend that light pollution is not only obscuring the majesty of the starry sky, but also harming humans and wildlife by disrupting natural rhythms, have objected to the show. Running from 8 to 11 nightly through Oct. 14, the show, titled "Open Air," is to feature 24 spotlights along the parkway that will move and change intensity in response to verbal messages people record through an app developed for the exhibition.
NEWS
July 5, 2011 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHERRY SPRINGS STATE PARK, Pa. - This is one of the darkest places in the Eastern United States, an oasis of blackness so deep it must be what our ancestors saw at night. A little after 9, as twilight turned itself down, Dwight Dulsky, an art teacher and amateur astronomer from Bucks County, saw the first light snap on. It was the bright star Vega, the master of ceremonies, opening the show on a rare, perfect night, with a clear sky and no moon over the endless, big woods of northern Pennsylvania.
NEWS
January 1, 2009 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For the first time in 80 years, the historic Barnegat Lighthouse will provide a beacon for mariners off New Jersey's coast when a new $15,000 Fresnel lens is lit tonight. Thousands of people are expected for the New Year's Day event, which will begin with the lighting at 5 p.m. and proceed in a rather low-key manner with a few speeches and a chorus of bagpipes. Local officials had hoped to provide fireworks but couldn't get state approval. "The new light will really be the star of the show," said Angelo Rinaldi, president of the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse, which raised about $35,000 for the new lens and replacement of 48 windows, which had become scratched and discolored over the 50 years since the panes were last replaced.
NEWS
November 25, 2007 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Be they garish or tasteful, outdoor holiday-lighting displays are usually the product of one property owner's imagination. Kibitzers can go worry about their own place. Not so with the Center City District. Trying a new programmable technology, district officials are asking people to go to South Broad Street, sample the smorgasbord of lighting, and tell them what they like - or don't. Four landmark buildings will be highlighted through early December in pastels projected on architectural elements, the process used to spectacular effect two years ago on City Hall.
NEWS
October 22, 2007 | By Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Not long after the new Schuylkill Elementary School opened last fall, residents gave it a disparaging nickname: the Schuylkill Airport. It was the lights. The playground was aglow at midnight. Light from the school near Phoenixville shone onto neighboring properties, through bedroom windows. Light pollution - the glare of civilization that makes it hard to see the full blanket of stars at night - has long been an environmental issue, but mostly among stargazers, who contend the dark sky is one of the world's fastest-disappearing natural resources.
NEWS
October 22, 2007 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
Not long after the new Schuylkill Elementary School opened last fall, residents gave it a disparaging nickname: the Schuylkill Airport. It was the lights. The playground was aglow at midnight. Light from the school near Phoenixville shone onto neighboring properties, through bedroom windows. Light pollution - the glare of civilization that makes it hard to see the full blanket of stars at night - has long been an environmental issue, but mostly among stargazers, who contend the dark sky is one of the world's fastest-disappearing natural resources.
NEWS
July 24, 2006 | By Nancy Viau
Summer is in full swing, and the stars are out at the Jersey Shore. Or are they? I'm not talking about Oprah, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, who have vacationed here; I'm referring to those sparkly spots of light in the night sky. The stars take me back to cool evenings many years ago when I sat with my dad on a splintered Adirondack chair - a comfy chair large enough for two with armrests wide enough to support late-night snacks. We gazed at the blanket of stars overhead and were held captive by their beauty.
NEWS
August 17, 2005 | By Dan Hardy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After more than 15 years of on-and-off campaigning, Great Valley High School could soon join dozens of other area schools that have permanent lights on their athletic fields. The East Whiteland Township Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider tonight an ordinance that would allow secondary schools and colleges to put up lights as tall as 90 feet. All but a handful of school districts in the Pennsylvania suburbs have lights for sports events. Some were installed after years of contentious exchanges with neighbors, some with little opposition.
NEWS
April 15, 2005
An illuminating response on light pollution One of the benefits of a commentary page is that it can create interest and evoke others to express their views or provide helpful information. Robert Petro's response article Wednesday("Light-pollution debate not so black-and-white") to mine on light pollution ("Focused light saves more than night sky," Feb. 15) raised some interesting questions, especially regarding my suggested solutions to light-pollution problems. We certainly agree on two key points: that municipal outdoor-lighting ordinances (where they exist)
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