Lights are last straw


In a final attempt to find something to say that might halt further anthropogenic spoiling of what’s left of Malibu’s country charm and rural setting, I decided to look down from Google Earth to view the site where the athletic lights are being proposed off Morning View Drive. Not to my surprise, wedged between a football field, sports track, two additional ball fields, an equestrian center, plowed hillsides, and multiple parking lots, I found a tiny fragment of native habitat that could be home and hunting ground to bobcat, gray fox, great horned owl, barn owl, screech owl, badger, horned lizard, whip tail, gopher snake, tree frog, California toad, coyote, skunk, kite, weasel, quail, hawk, golden eagle, band-tailed pigeon, and gray tree squirrel, just to mention a few. It may be home or hunting ground, and it could be even so much more, a sanctuary for these wondrous creatures if people would be willing to respect the needs of its inhabitants. But, sadly, that’s not going to happen.

How do I know? Because there are already signs of disregard for the well being of the people who live close by. Neighbors who sit out on their patios to enjoy supper, who recline with a book at day’s end do not want blazing artificial lights and noise from nighttime sports events. If their rights are not going to be respected, then the needs of the local wildlife will have no chance.

I cried while driving home last night listening to a song by Iris DeMent about a woman’s hometown and what it meant to her. Malibu was my town, and my husband’s, for over 30 years. We were blessed with growing up in Malibu the way it used to be. We recently left Malibu because of what it has become.

My word on these lights is, go ahead, bring it on. Add another patch of artificial light to the evening skies, strike the stars from sight, drown the sounds of owls, cricket and frog. It is clear that a greater number of folks out there believe it’s more valuable for a child to engage in sports activities at night than for them to happen upon a toad one warm summer eve under a star filled sky or for a them to be shown a satellite crossing slowly over the Milky Way. Come on, do it! The slow death of Malibu is too sad to watch.

Rebecca Dmytryk