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The Webfooted Astronomer - August 2000

 

Randy's Ramblings:Stars Up! Lights Down!

By Randy Johnson, SAS President

THERE are folks here that care, and they are starting to make a difference—one street light, one dawn-to-dusk light, one neighbor's porch light at a time.

An awareness of lighting issues is taking hold in our area. Having an International Dark Sky Association (IDA) section in the local area is making people think about outdoor lighting practices in a way that we have not witnessed before in the Seattle area.

Karl Schroeder, the original founder, and his successor Bruce Weertman, who took over when Karl stepped down, have catalyzed the movement. They have people talking, thinking, and acting here in ways that are showing.

There is also a synergy developing between the International Dark Sky Association and the recently formed local group, Dark Skies Northwest (DSNW.) IDA has been wonderful in helping the Seattle group to focus and get started. Much of their leadership has pitched in to help get things underway. Next winter, on December 2, Dark Skies Northwest along with IDA will host the first Northwest regional meeting of the IDA in Seattle.

The real strength of DSNW has been the development of an effective communication infrastructure. They have a great Web site and an e-mail mailing list to keep in touch with members and to get valuable input from friends around the world.

At press time TMSP is yet to happen but it is hoped that the presentation from DSNW there will spur others to action and involvement in the IDA and DSNW. You, too, can help. Consider joining IDA and DSNW. Congratulations to all of the members of DSNW on their shining start!

The Dark Skies Northwest Web site is at http://www.scn.org/darksky/.

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