Letter: Contamination Lights Out for Stars

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Letter to the Editor

I was happy to read that The Malibu Times addressed the important issue of light pollution and preserving our dark skies. That said, the suggestion that 70-foot stadium lights blasting 72,000 watts is somehow necessary for our kids and community is not credible. 

There was a community compromise announced by Councilmember Rosenthal in 2009 calling for temporary 53-foot lights for 16 nights, which was a compromise everyone could live with. Of course, the minute it became expedient to do so, the compromise was ignored. But that was so yesterday, right? 

The suggestion that the preservation of dark skies is something that only old people care about is very cynical and certainly inaccurate. Living in a place where one can still see stars is inspiration for young and old alike. How can we ask our children to be inspired to reach for the stars when they can no longer see them? 

As for the “demographic shift” in Malibu where all those young families are going to buy all those multi-million homes, I suggest a look at the study prepared for SMMUSD by DecisionInsite predicting that MMHS enrollment in grades six to eight would likely decrease by up to 24 percent throughout the next 10 years, and that grades 9-12 would decrease by up to 43 percent within the same time frame. 

Limiting the use to 16 nights of temporary light clearly mitigates significant environmental impacts and certainly allows for enough nights for our community to congregate. The plain fact is that lit parking lots and stadium lights threaten to destroy what is truly special about this magical place we all call home. 

Cynthia Kesselman