Wayne Birkholz, St. Joseph
I’m requesting a city council review of this organization, www.earthhour.org/united-states and its goal of global involvement in shutting off non-essential lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29. My suggestion is to shut off the lights on the St. Joseph water tower. However, I suggest we keep them off permanently for the following reasons:
First, it’s simply an eyesore. To my knowledge, a water tower has never been the subject of design awards or artistic criticism. It’s a monolith by day and should be left in the dark at night.
Second, it’s an obvious source of cost savings. It’s not much money in the scheme of things, but its the cost/benefit analysis that’s important. It costs money to have it lighted, and there is absolutely no derived benefit. (The red light on top can stay lit.)
Third, it’s a source of light pollution. That’s my personal biggest objection. When I’m outside on a pleasant evening, I get great satisfaction from looking at the stars. Any light source that diminishes the view of the night sky is objectionable. In addition to that point, the city has ordinances against glare from lighted signs and more. The cumulative effect of the lighted buildings that have been built in the time I’ve been living in St. Joseph is such that I don’t need to turn on lights in my home at 2 a.m. The ambient light from outside is enough to navigate my “dark” house.
In addition to considering my request of shutting off the lights to the water tower, I ask the city council invite local businesses and institutions to shut off their lights as well.
Thank you for taking this matter into consideration.