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The Webfooted Astronomer - January 2001


First Annual Dark Skies Northwest Regional Meeting a Huge Success!

by Bruce Weertman

The December 2nd Meeting of Dark Skies Northwest was a great success! Thanks to all of the speakers and exhibitors.

We had 10 talks—all were great and well received. Dr. David Avery's talk, "The Effects of Light on Circadian Rhythms, Sleep and Mood," was especially exciting. The "ringer" was a patient with untreatable bipolar disorder who was finally successfully treated by a strict dark night cycle of at least 10 hours of solid dark every night.

The talk left with no doubt in my mind that our destruction of the night time environment is destroying our own personal mental and physical well being!

It was especially fun hearing from David Smith (aka "Snidely Whiplash") from Seattle City Light. I think I can safely say that Seattle City Light will now know who we are, and at the same time, we are going to have a meaningful contact with them. After David left we collected $30 from the audience to pay for a gift membership to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) for him.

About 45 people attended. Thanks to all for coming. I heard from many people that we must do it again next year. Also, we raised over $600 dollars (including donations from no-shows). Thanks everybody! We have been until now, paying for most of our mailings out of pocket so this is really going to help out.

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