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E-M:/ Light pollution

Enviro-Mich message from "doug welker" <dwelker@up.net>

A few years ago our area became the site of a new maximum security prison. 
So far, the prison has brought some money into the local community and
there have been no escapes.  My only gripe is that the sky is now lit by an
eerie orange glow that can sometimes be seen 15 to 20 miles away.  Prior to
this there was little to mar the view of the dark sky other than lights
from a casino.  The prison lights seem to have more than doubled the amount
of light shining onto the bases of clouds.

I understand the need to have bright lighting at a prison, since it is
critical to minimize the chances of an escape.  However, unless there is a
great threat of an escape by helicoptor which is operating without lights,
I see no reason why the prison lights can't be aimed toward the ground and
shields put up above the lights to reduce the amount of light that shines
into the sky.

Has anyone dealt with this issue before?  Light pollution may seem like a
minor issue since it doesn't cause cancer and no threatened and endangered
species are involved, but it does represent a threat to the enjoyment of
the night sky in rural areas in particular.

					-doug welker- 

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