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Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory

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#51 magic612

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:52 AM

Two days ago, a couple things happened:

1) I sent a follow up email to our village administrator. At this point, I am assuming he sent the follow up to the electric company person that he forgot to send the last time, so I'll cut him some slack until next week. These things are going to take time, I realize.

2) My neighbor's light burned out. Now, the LAST time it went out, I apparently was stupid enough to go over there and offer a better light. Of course, NO light is ideal, so at the moment, I am keeping my mouth shut and enjoying the "no light streaming into my house" from their burned out light in their post lamp. Though, I confess, I find it a bit ironic that they were adamant about having all that extra light, yet this is twice now when they haven't noticed that the light burned out. Odd, isn't it? ;)


I JUST received a response from our Village Administrator (after sending him a "bump" email on Wednesday, since I hadn't heard from him last week either). He basically said sorry, haven't head back from electric company, and he'll contact them again next week.

Ayiyiyi. This is trying my patience, but I will keep working on this and continue to update. At this rate, the leaves will be off the trees by the time something gets done, and I'll have to point out that another streetlight at the intersection to my southeast is now shining into our bedroom as well. Well, maybe kill two birds with one stone then, right?

Also, my neighbor's light is still out, a week and a half later. Ironic, that they were so adamant about using the overly-bright, spray-light every-which-way bulb instead of the "direct light downward" silver-crown bulb I had supplied to them, and now that it's out, they don't replace the darn thing because they don't even notice?

#52 csrlice12

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:58 AM

What with the artifical suns the city just installed, my back yard is out for anything but lunar viewing. And our dark site is closed due to rattlesnake infestation. Luckily, the weather is cooling so the skeeters will be gone soon (West Nile is present in CO)and I can do the 5-minute drive to the state park (still white zone, but better then my well lit tree lined yard). And hopefully they'll catch those snakes soon (waiting for weather/flooding to clear up). AND IT'S CLEAR THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!

#53 richard7

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:14 PM

I imagine that flooding didn't help the snake problem one bit either.
Keep looking up.

#54 richard7

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:16 PM

Dave.
I'm glad to hear you're hanging in there and still trying. Maybe it'll turn out good.

#55 orion61

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:01 PM

Perhaps a letter from your Attorney to BOTH the electric company and Village Admin will help.
Seems people can call, write, email, and visit personally,
nothing gets done but a simple Attorney letter will get things rolling quickly. Make sure both know of the letters
to the other party. They will realize you are serious and are ready (even if you aren't) to take it to the next escalated level.

#56 frolinmod

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 08:58 PM

I believe the best answer is to buy some property at a dark sky site and put up a permanent observatory.

That's lovely if you can afford it. Raw land can be a pita. Remember you'll need toilet facilities which probably means you'll need water and sewer and power. If you don't have water service that means a well which will need power. If you don't have sewer service you'll need a septic tank and leach field. Plus permits, approvals and many fees. It adds up quick. Already developed land may be a better deal.

#57 guangtou

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:31 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.

#58 obin robinson

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:35 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.


True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin ;)

#59 Kfrank

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.


True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin ;)


Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.

Humans have traditionally sought light as a refuge from the dark, and continue to do so today. Our language is full of metaphors that celebrate light as good and revile darkness as bad.

Whether we like it or not, humanity harbors a cultural preference for light over darkness and convincing them to change is an uphill battle.

I don't condone, nor do I like it when a neighbor's light intrudes on my yard or illuminates my bedroom window. I also know that telling them they're idiots or foolish for lighting their yards is totally counterproductive. It is possible to force people to adapt to your point of view by legislating, and in some cases that is a reasonable and necessary step. A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...

#60 csa/montana

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:14 PM

Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.



Ken, agreed. Just because the neighbors don't share our interest in the night sky, does not make them fall into this catagory:

They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before.



We probably would not be the least interested in their hobbies, nor support adjusting our yards, lives, to suit their needs.

#61 obin robinson

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.


People who put garish lights all over their property and leave them on all night long are simply afraid of the dark. Plain and simple. They are afraid that when the lights go out something might happen that won't happen if the lights are on. They will come up with all sorts of excuses and irrational reasons whey they need more than adequate light and why they need light when they are fast asleep or nobody is home. They are simply afraid of the dark. Just like being afraid of spiders, snakes, ghosts, or heights it's going to take experience and education to shake them from their fear. I have asked people why they have those big bright lights up and it's ridiculous the reasons they come up with all the while ignoring the fact that nobody else in the neighborhood has those lights. They just don't want to admit that a grown adult is afraid of the dark. It's still funny to hear their excuses. That's all.

obin :grin:

#62 magic612

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...


Something I have tried, three times now to no avail, with this present neighbor next door to me to the north. At some point, it requires more then asking nicely. I've even offered to pay half of a new light fixture for them. Not be too crass about it, but they really don't give a ______ about us. They want their "shine everywhere" light, and if it goes on our property and in my daughter's second floor window, they really don't care. "Buy curtains" they said. At some point, by only being "nice," I'm being the doormat, and they keep wiping their shoes on me. There's no mutual respect, much less a desire to be fair and accommodating to me, and I think I've been more than accommodating and fair - I didn't ask them to turn the light off, after all. Just keep it on their property.

So I am going the political route, which is taking an extremely long period of time to even get substantive responses. But I'll keep working at it.

Incidentally, these same neighbors finally realized - after 2.5 weeks of it being burned out - that their "necessary to have on because they like it" post lamp needed the bulb replaced.

Small consolation: The bulb doesn't appear to be quite as bright as the last one. But I was still able to make shadow puppets on the moving truck of my new neighbor's to the south, which is over 90 feet away from the light. :(

#63 guangtou

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.


True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin ;)


Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.

Humans have traditionally sought light as a refuge from the dark, and continue to do so today. Our language is full of metaphors that celebrate light as good and revile darkness as bad.

Whether we like it or not, humanity harbors a cultural preference for light over darkness and convincing them to change is an uphill battle.

I don't condone, nor do I like it when a neighbor's light intrudes on my yard or illuminates my bedroom window. I also know that telling them they're idiots or foolish for lighting their yards is totally counterproductive. It is possible to force people to adapt to your point of view by legislating, and in some cases that is a reasonable and necessary step. A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...


You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.

#64 Kfrank

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:08 PM

"You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.

I respect your right to act as you chose. But, let me ask:

How's it workin' for ya?

#65 guangtou

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:23 PM

"You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.

I respect your right to act as you chose. But, let me ask:

How's it workin' for ya?


While I sound a bit ornery online, I don't go around knocking on doors telling people I'll sue them if they don't turn off their porch light.

However, here's one example of a neighbor's light trespass I didn't let go.

Attached Files



#66 Kfrank

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:38 PM

Nor, IMO, should you.

#67 ion

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:47 PM

Remember you'll need toilet facilities which probably means you'll need water and sewer and power.


http://en.wikipedia....mposting_toilet

#68 magic612

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:19 AM

In the last few weeks, I have contacted my Village representative a couple of times. He finally responded to me, and I think perhaps he has given up trying to get a response from the electric company, as he gave me the email address of the electric company's municipal representative. So here is the email I sent to that person today:

"Hello Mr. ELECTRIC COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE,

My name is David Fuller, and I live at XZY Street in ABCDEFG. There is a streetlight at the corner of HIJKLM and NOPQRS streets that shines directly into the window of my daughter's room (see attached photo, light is in upper-left of picture - neighbor's light is a separate issue being addressed). This makes it impossible for her to sleep with the window open when weather allows for this, as her curtain must be closed to block the light (which otherwise leaves her room too bright to sleep).

I have contacted the Village of ABCDEFG about this problem (see messages below). Initially I was told this was an issue for ELECTRIC COMPANY. I have contacted ELECTRIC COMPANY several times about this light in the past, and in every case, I asked for the ELECTRIC COMPANY person to please contact me BEFORE coming out, so I could be there to explain the situation. Each time, I was NOT contacted ahead of time that a ELECTRIC COMPANY representative came out. Instead, the ELECTRIC COMPANY person came with no prior contact, and subsequently spoke to my children instead of me. I don't understand why that occurs. This last time, they said to my children that this was a Village issue to be resolved. Yet the Village tells me it is ELECTRIC COMPANY's issue.

This has left me more than a little frustrated. Our Village Administrator, Mr. NAME REDACTED, gave me your contact information, as he said that he has tried to contact ELECTRIC COMPANY several times now regarding this issue and not received a response.

All I know is that a ELECTRIC COMPANY streetlight is shining into my daughter's window, that keeps her from sleeping well. I would like to get this issue resolved. We have put up curtain - full, light-block material curtains, and light STILL gets through from these streetlights, and this also makes sleeping with windows open on comfortable-temperature nights impossible. Please advise as to what action can be taken to keep this light from shining into our 2nd floor window. I do not mind if a fully shielded light is installed and lights up the pavement beneath the light. I am not sure why so much light is being wasted shining into my daughter's bedroom. Please note that after the leaves fall off the trees in a month, the light at the corner of HIJKLM and TUVWXY streets will be shining into my other daughter's bedroom as well.

On ELECTRIC COMPANY's site, it even states, "Lower utility bills. Reduced electricity use. Environmental responsibility." See this page: myelectriccompany'swebsitelinkhere I am having trouble understanding how a streetlight that intended to light up an intersection that is shining light into my daughter's room ~100 feet away is reducing electricity use or environmentally responsible.

Please advise how we can resolve these streetlight issues is quickly as possible, in conjunction with the Village of ABCDEFG, if necessary. The villages of 12345 and 67890 have both put up very attractive, downward-shielded streetlights that do not contribute to light trespass or light pollution. Is it possible to do the same in ABCDEFG? Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

David Fuller"



#69 magic612

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:47 PM

In what was a complete surprise to me, I not only got an email back within a couple of hours, I also received TWO phone calls - one from the electric company representative, who indicated his apologies for the light being the way that it is, and also a call from his foreman who will be out tomorrow to come look at the lights.

I couldn't take either call because they called during work hours, but I called the foreman back after work and we did speak. I talked to him about the light and my frustration with the pointing of fingers as to who owns it and is responsible for it. He said he will come out tomorrow and check to be sure who's it is. I also asked him to check the other intersection as well, and he said he would and let me know for sure whether they are owned by them, or the Village. I thanked him for his prompt and helpful response, and said I looked forward to his feedback tomorrow.

Small steps, but I'm finally getting somewhere with those lights. I say this as an encouragement to others; DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep at it. If at first (and second, third, fourth and fifth!!) you don't succeed, ask to speak to someone else!! You just might find your way to the right person. Just keep being polite, but persistent. :)

#70 magic612

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

WOW... some (very cautiously optimistic) good news!

The foreman came out today, looked at the light poles, determined that they are the electric company's and he left a door hangar note on my front door. I won't repeat it verbatim to avoid TOS violations here, but the summary is that they will order new light heads for the two streetlamps and it will take around a week or so to get them.

WOOT! HOLY COW! :jump:

Now, I am still, as I said at the beginning of this post, cautiously optimistic. If they put up a fixture that is still spraying light all over, that won't do any good. So I did call the foreman again to get his thoughts on the style of head they plan to put in as a replacement, but I did not reach him and had to leave a message. So we'll see what actually gets put in - but, I am, for the first time since this saga began, HOPEFUL.

And I wrote all of this out for others, so they can use my words and techniques, and THEY can work to do this, and be hopeful about their outcomes as well.

Of course, this is really only the beginning for me, as there are MANY more streetlights to get changed in town. There are many more bad postlamps and poor bulbs that need addressing. But this is a start, and I will be able to SHOW the difference to others, and how it has improved our quality of life should the new light heads be a downward-directed style.

HAVE HOPE! THIS CAN WORK FOR YOU TOO! :grin:

#71 magic612

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:35 PM

I got up this morning and was getting ready, when I noticed out the bathroom window an electric company truck at the intersection down the street.

Mind you, it is SUNDAY.

I thought, "Wow... they can't be... they surely aren't... no, can't be. What's probably happening is that that light used to flicker on and off, and they're probably replacing the electronics, and in a few days, they'll replace the light head."

NOPE!

I went outside, and not only was there one crew working, there were TWO crews working to swap out the light fixtures - one on each intersection!

SAY WHAT?!?!?

I was BEYOND giddy. And tonight, I took a picture - same place, same exposure, of at least one of the lights (the other one doesn't shine into a window until the leaves have fallen).

So YES... I got it done! Now... on to that pesky lamp post of the neighbor's, and a few other "down the alley / shine everywhere" lights....

Posted Image

#72 De Lorme

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:08 AM

Great victory! De Lorme

#73 barasits

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:04 PM

:yay:

#74 magic612

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

Another update: The village administrator contacted me again, said he has driven by my house, and wants to set up a time to meet with me to discuss the neighbor's light. I have a very busy evening schedule for the next few weeks, so I said I'd let him know a time in mid-November to do so.

The good thing about this is that I can show him two or three other lights that are problematic as well.

#75 tbuzzi1

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 02:06 PM

Dave,
Where did you get the poster depicted in this string "It's a bright idea"?
You live in Chicago? Good luck with the pollution. I live in a tiny town in South Texas which is awash in lights. Yuck!






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