Quick Takes | VailDaily.com

Quick Takes

Don Rogers

The reaction to those novel blue lights on the bridge in Edwards brings up another ripple effect of growth in the valley: budding light pollution.

As we grow, our lights blot out that fabulous Rocky Mountain night sky that can make believers out of ardent atheists.

Below Palomar Mountain, in Southern California, light pollution is a real problem. In addition to the 2-3 million folks in nearby communities who sacrifice the night sky for civilization, one of the premier telescopes in the world is threatened. Hard to scan the heavens when metropolitan glare interferes.

So the surrounding towns do what they can to keep the sky dark for the Hale Telescope, which is in use about 300 nights a year. Light ordinances encourage minimum lighting, preventing upward illumination and a decided tilt to low-pressure sodium lights to keep that glare as little as possible.

The definitive color of the street lights in this region is a soft yellow, and as a result there is yet a star or two that can be seen despite those millions of neighbors.

The mid-valley, Eagle County’s brightest light, might consider taking similar steps to address light pollution. The bridge’s blue might have a fine complement in soft yellow street and parking lights. And residents who moved to the mountains for our fine quality of life might still be able to catch a fuller view of those awesome stars.

Good move

Good for the Vail Valley Foundation committing proceeds from the American Ski Classic’s charity gala to locally based foundations.

A Tipsline caller had made that suggestion, and this news soon followed.


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