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Feb 2, 2012

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Elgin, IL

Abortion Debate - Elgin, IL

Healthcare is a personal matter that is nobody else's business, especially when it is nosy who merely want to limit your personal rights/freedoms with their religious beliefs. My neighbor's religious beliefs have no business dictating my personal healthcare choices.  (Feb 14, 2012 | post #1)

Elgin, IL

Who doesn't like stars at night?

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is still trying to decide what it is going to do with the old Rolling Knolls Golf Club. The FPDCC purchased the golf club back in January 2010 for $5.5 million. Ever since, it has sat unused becoming overgrown and unsightly. Among the many suggested future uses for this land, I would like to propose designated at least a portion of it as a starlight preserve. This would be an area of the park where families could go with their children to view the starry night sky. Any lighting near this area would be kept to a minimum and would adhere to strict dark sky-friendly policies. Amateur astronomers, night sky enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those just looking to unplug from their daily routines for a bit would find this starlight preserve to be a retreat from their usual hectic lives. All measures would be taken to preserve and enhance the view of our starry night skies. Level concrete pads could possible be installed where residents could set up their telescopes for an evening full of observing the glories in the heavens. I believe this would be a worthy and beneficial use of the land, along with any other recreational ideas the county may have.  (Feb 3, 2012 | post #3)

Elgin, IL

Super Bowl 2012 - Elgin, IL

Is there a button for "Couldn't care less?" Who cares about the actual game this year except for the NE coast? The commercials better be darn good, though, to make up for the lack of excitement about the game!  (Feb 2, 2012 | post #1)

Elgin, IL

Who doesn't like stars at night?  (Feb 2, 2012 | post #2)

Elgin, IL

Who doesn't like stars at night?

While many would argue against a lighting ordinance because none of us really WANTS more legislation telling us what we can and cannot do, why does it always seem to take legislation to make individuals do what is good for all? Take light pollution, for example. Most of us in the Chicago metro area would not deny that the ubiquitous orange sky glow at night is ugly and makes it hard to see anything but the brightest stars. Also, I have yet to meet anyone who does NOT think a starry night sky is a wonderful sight. Nor have I met anyone who would NOT want to see more stars at night from their backyard if it were a simple and easy goal to attain. The truth is it is a simple and easy goal to attain. Light pollution CAN be significantly reduced. We COULD see more stars at night by taking simple, easy steps. Yet, why are so many people opposed to doing something easy and simple to correct the problem? Why does it always require legislating the populous to make them do something for the common good? If you agree that a starry night sky is a glorious sight. If you agree that the ugly sky glow makes it almost impossible to see the stars at night. If light pollution is such an easy and simple problem to correct. If you, your children and your grandchildren would enjoy seeing more stars from your backyards. Why is this an issue that more people would not voluntarily take steps to correct rather than being forced to do so by law? Reducing light pollution is as simple as properly installing and aiming your outdoor light fixtures down where the light belongs and is actually needed. When it is time to replace your current outdoor lighting, install new dark sky-friendly (DSF) lights. These are light fixtures that are fully shielded so that the light shines down where it belongs and not up into the sky or sideways into your neighbors' windows. More and more DSF fixtures are becoming available as the issue of light pollution becomes more prevalent. DSF fixtures don't cost any more than contemporary fixtures, depending on your style and taste. DSF fixtures are just as aesthetically-plea sing as contemporary fixtures, even more so in many cases. DSF fixtures will save you money. The design of DSF fixtures focuses more (if not all) of the light onto the areas that are intended to be illuminated rather than straying up into the sky or sideways at your neighbors' homes. This allows you to use much lower wattage bulbs to provide the same level of illumination (even brighter illumination in many cases). Because DSF fixtures are fully shielded, they prevent harsh glare that makes it difficult to look at contemporary unshielded lights. This harsh glare makes it hard, if not impossible, to see possible dangers between you and the source of the unshielded light. Also, the harsh glare from unshielded lights creates very dark shadows where hidden dangers can lurk. Other ways to help reduce light pollution are to only install outdoor lighting where it is truly necessary for safety and security. Also, only use as much light as is really needed. This not only reduces wasted, unnecessary light, but it saves you money. Consider installing motion-activated lights in those areas where it is unnecessary to leave lights on all night long. If you insist on using architectural lighting in your landscaping, please use lights that illuminate and focus light from the top down onto the intended surface. Avoid lights that are installed below the intended surface and shine upwards. If you are not in the market for new outdoor lights anytime soon, consider installing shields on your current lights to prevent stray light from shining up to the sky or into your neighbors' windows. If we all willing take small, easy steps to reduce our photo-metric footprint, we could all enjoy a spectacular and awe-inspiring starry night sky! http://couriernews /10274507-418/astr onomer-cutting-lig ht-pollution-key-t o-seeing-stars.htm l  (Feb 2, 2012 | post #1)

Q & A with OneDarkSky


Preserve & Promote Night Skies


Elgin, IL


Cobblers Crossing

I Belong To: and Chicago Astronomers

Read My Forum Posts Because:

I can usually provide a unique and often slightly

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Whatever is playing, except co

Read This Book:

The Backyard Astronomer's Guide

Favorite Things:

My family, dark starry night skies, traveling, vacation, food, photography, saltwater aquariums

On My Mind:

Preserving and Promoting Our Dark Night Skies!

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Treating all people with dignity and respect regardless of religion, color, creed, socio-economic standing, sex/gender, political affiliation, or whether they prefer more PB or J on their PB&J sandwich!