Dec 12 2007
12:51 pm

"People still seem to think that the Lighting Improvement resolution is about a small group of astronomers not being able to see the Milky Way, instead of making Roane County a better place to live and saving a lot of money."

In continuing to try to start some separate discussions on the topics WC so handily gathered together for us in his reminder, I though this one expressed the situation very well.

IMHO the more people realize the simplicity of this statement, the more support it should gain. It's about more than seeing stars with or without the aid of a telescope in an observatory. It provides an aggregation of benefits that should please people ranging from the most dedicated tree huggers to the most fervent capitalists, from homeowners to those needing to see roads at night.


Bad Lighting

I have been thinking about the simple message and the more I learn, the easier and cheaper I find solving this problem to be. It's money in the bank for everyone involved.

Bad lighting is like the dog next door that barks all night. It annoys the neigbors, eats too much, and does a lousy job as a watch dog.

Agreeing wholeheartedly


You bring up a great point. While it is great to see the Milky Way, SRSS is trying, in addition, to make Roane County a better place to live. The American Assoc. for Cancer Research has done studies which show that excessive artifical light at night can lead to breast cancer in women ((link...)). It is estimated that once you have been subjected to glare, your vision is affected for up to one hour after the exposure.
One concern some have with the lighting ordinance is they will have to change their existing fixtures. This ordinance is only for new development. In addition, as is the case with most ordinances, you can ask for a "pardon". Please review our website and the abundance of information available.

More light for less money

Who opposes Lighting Improvement? Two groups come to mind, but there may be others.

From a money standpoint, Electric Utilities may see this as a conservation issue that reduces the power they can sell. Since TVA has asked for strong conservation measures to be taken to slow the growth of power usage, there's no substance to that one. Since Municipalities pay the electric bill for street lights, responsible elected officials in other areas have jumped on lighting Improvement as a way to save money.

The other opposition is from people who say, "Nobody's going to tell me what to do, and it's all about me, anyway!" Perhaps this was the driver behind the false information presented to the Industrial Deveopment Board. Rarely has a public decision been made on such porously false pretenses. They were had and if I were them, I would be angry about it.

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To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.