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Church of the Perpetually Lit Parking Lot

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#1 bumm

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:03 PM

This is my own private rant... Maybe just a chance to blow off steam. I live in a very small town, (pop. 1400) in rural Iowa. I'm in the last house on a dead end street on the edge of town. Years ago, I had no trouble observing fairly dim DSO's from my yard. In recent years though, the church about a block west of me, has exercised it's right to keep it's parking lot lit all night, every night, with multiple unshielded sodium vapor lights, wiping out the view of maybe two thirds of God's universe. I call the rectangular floodlight mounted right in the middle of the building "Hell's Blowtorch."
I've casually talked with some active members of the church, but I don't want to be a jerk. As I get older though, I'm beginning to feel more cantankerous...
Just venting...
Marty

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#2 StarStuff1

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:17 PM

Surely you can talk to them about saving energy by using shielded lower wattage lights, motion detectors, etc. The IDA should have plenty of info.

Oops, it looks like they left one bright star or planet visible in the pic. :tonofbricks:

#3 derangedhermit

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:17 PM

if its not against town codes, they have to be willing to accept the change. Your only option is to try to persuade them. Until then, HPS filters out pretty well, LPS very well.

#4 Escher

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:28 AM

As the Former Head Deacon of my church - let me just say..

Most likley - they dont have a policy and dont even think about it.

Drop by when someone is there and ask for the Pastor and / or Head Elder / Head Deacon.

Just explain things and ask if there is anything that can be done. Most churches are very accommodating if you play nicely.

Heck - if you offer to help out mowing the lawn or some other simple thing they may even give you a key and let you turn them off as needed.

Churches are in the business of making nice with their neighbors - at least mine is. :)

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:39 AM

I've casually talked with some active members of the church, but I don't want to be a jerk.



Talking with the person in charge of the church is the only way to see if anything can be accomplished. They are no doubt completely unaware that the lighting is so disturbing to a resident. Go backed up with literature of how much they can save by turning them off at night, or if they won't do this, have some pictures & pricing of light shields. There's all kinds of useful information in this forum for members to use.

If you don't want to go this route, then I'd suggest building LP screens for observing. :shrug:

#6 amicus sidera

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:19 AM

Warning: I am about to Offer A Strong Opinion... those of weak constitutions, as well as those who tend to faint easily, should stop reading at this point. :grin:

This is my own private rant... Maybe just a chance to blow off steam. I live in a very small town, (pop. 1400) in rural Iowa. I'm in the last house on a dead end street on the edge of town. Years ago, I had no trouble observing fairly dim DSO's from my yard. In recent years though, the church about a block west of me, has exercised it's right to keep it's parking lot lit all night, every night, with multiple unshielded sodium vapor lights...


Beg pardon? "Exercised its right"?? They have no right to maintain a nuisance on their property; get your mind right on that point, regardless of the "go along to get along" mindset that seems to pervade the LP discussion.

I've casually talked with some active members of the church, but I don't want to be a jerk. As I get older though, I'm beginning to feel more cantankerous...


Of course you don't want to be a jerk, because you aren't one. However, in case you haven't noticed, jerks rule the world... the trick is to act like one when necessary, without becoming one. If the church is reasonable, fine, be the complete gentleman... but if not, all the supplication and kow-towing in the world won't be as effective as being a real... well, you know.

Yeah, I know it's a small town, and you have to live there, etc., etc.... but there does come a point where lines have to be drawn at what one will tolerate. "Faint heart never won fair lady", and all that...

Fred

#7 guangtou

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:06 AM

It is a bit ironic if one considers the verse, the heavens declare the glory of God, since in this case a church is muting that glory. However, never correct a cop or preach to a preacher. My experience has been that people are as sensitive about their lights and presumed right to trespass with them as they are about their own sweet mothers. You could offer an observing session to the youth group of the stars, constellations and planets mentioned in the Bible. You could also offer to pay for and install light shields. Whatever diplomatic approach you pursue, also prepare for your next move should you fail to persuade them. Good luck.

#8 Eric63

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:29 AM

I agree with Fred here. There are ways of being firm without becoming a Jerk. Simply not trying out of fear of offending others just feeds the bully mentality. Now, I’m not saying that the church is being a bully and I’m sure that a respectful discussion can be had; but just in case one must be ready to be firm. Too many times I have seen the one who yells the loudest win!!

Eric

#9 galaxyman

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:19 PM

Do a star party for them.




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#10 StarStuff1

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:31 PM

IMHO ESCHER made some very valid points here altho, of course, others have too.

#11 hfjacinto

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:48 PM

Had a neighbor that started leaving her back light on. The light shined onto my yard. I went several times but she was never there.

I ended up writing her a letter with pictures showing her lighting up my bedroom. The light has been off for a few days. Hopefully she understood. I mentioned nothing about astronomy. Telling someone the light bothers your sleep is much better than telling them it bothers your hobby.

Just my 2 cents.

#12 Eric63

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

That's a good point. A new neighbour moved in across the street last week and she uses 100W bright white bulbs in her outdoor lights. I think I will tell her that it shines in my son's room. Now, if she's smart she will argue that the street light on her property is worse :grin:.

Eric

#13 kfiscus

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 04:44 PM

Amen! I'd be very surprised if they intend to bother or offend anyone. The idea of offering to do a stargazing session is a winner. You can show them the problem, show that you're a reasonable person, and also let them know that you are around, serving as a volunteer security system/good neighbor that they probably didn't know about. My church just put up a 2nd on-all-the-time light because of one member's security worry. The power company loves to almost give you the light to sell electricity.

#14 bumm

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:25 AM

Yeah, I didn't mention I sleep with a blanket over the bedroom window...

#15 csa/montana

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:13 AM

Yeah, I didn't mention I sleep with a blanket over the bedroom window...


Well, until your situation is brought to the church's attention; you will see no change. :shrug:

I would at least make an effort to discuss the LP with them, as they have no clue without it being brought to their attention. As I said in a previous post, there is ample information on this forum you could print out for them to read to help them understand the situation.

#16 Mxplx2

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:01 PM

Just showing them the picture you posted might be enough. Perhaps the Lord then will sayeth to them "Let there NOT be light."

#17 csrlice12

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:33 PM

In the beginning, there was darkness....

#18 amicus sidera

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

As I said in a previous post, there is ample information on this forum you could print out for them to read to help them understand the situation.


Excellent suggestion! I think that this is key... The general public is mostly unaware of light pollution and it's effects, and the more pertinent data that you can bring to bear on the issue (within reason - one shouldn't inundate them!), the better.

Fred

#19 star drop

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 09:51 AM

Yeah, I didn't mention I sleep with a blanket over the bedroom window...


Well, until your situation is brought to the church's attention; you will see no change. :shrug:

I would at least make an effort to discuss the LP with them, as they have no clue without it being brought to their attention. As I said in a previous post, there is ample information on this forum you could print out for them to read to help them understand the situation.

Agreed.

#20 Phil Cowell

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 11:12 AM

Send the picture to the local paper as part of letter on light pollution. Use a catchy subject line like the heavens share gods glory and local church is lit up at night more like a prison camp to blot it out. A little shaming can be helpful.

#21 johnthomas

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 12:20 PM

The general public is mostly unaware of light pollution and it's effects,



I laughed. I offered to bring my scope to a family gathering at my elderly father's home. (Where we have all such gatherings). My father was one of the most excited about looking thru the scope. His idea of a good place to set up the telescope was along the side of a somewhat busy street next to house... to which I replied.. "isn't that right under a street light?"

His response: "Yeah, but it's not very bright." :foreheadslap:

I think that really sums up most peoples postion & understanding on the subject.

#22 Kfrank

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:33 PM

t. A little shaming can be helpful.


Not if the OP wants a positive outcome here.

#23 bumm

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:11 PM

Send the picture to the local paper as part of letter on light pollution. Use a catchy subject line like the heavens share gods glory and local church is lit up at night more like a prison camp to blot it out. A little shaming can be helpful.


Well, I'll probably go with a little diplomacy first... :)

#24 desertstars

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:36 PM

Agree with the previous pair of posts. These guys aren't trying to create a problem. They think they're solving or preventing one. Patience, persistence, and education, all offered in as polite a manner as possible. If that doesn't work, you can try more insistent tactic, but if you start out by being confrontational, you've slammed the door on ever getting them to understand that there's a better way to light their property.

#25 csa/montana

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

Agree with the previous pair of posts. These guys aren't trying to create a problem. They think they're solving or preventing one. Patience, persistence, and education, all offered in as polite a manner as possible. If that doesn't work, you can try more insistent tactic, but if you start out by being confrontational, you've slammed the door on ever getting them to understand that there's a better way to light their property.


+1 :bow:

Let's remember, the OP has not even addressed this LP to the people in charge of the church yet.






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