Thanks for Returning the Night Sky



(The letter also went to council members.)


Thank you so much for the new lighting ordinance and printed guidelines. Already our neighborhood is more pleasant at night thanks to the neighbors who have turned off offending lights or modified their fixtures. It may be a coincidence but the night lighting at the community pool also appears to have changed back to the minimal lighting of a year or so ago, instead of the more recent bright (offending) lights.


The City Council has come a long way environmentally since the 1980s when the city Recreation Department conspired  with the high school “powers that were” to build stadium-quality lighting on the baseball field — without consulting the community.  Neighborhood groups were outraged by the light pollution and, prompted by a letter by Lee Raymer to the local newspaper editor, descended on the council demanding alteration/removal of the structures. Fortunately for the quality of life in the neighborhood, the people prevailed.  Unfortunately for the taxpayers, the city-high school consortium wasted tens of thousands of dollars.


Perhaps the City Council should now be considering further environmental pollution —sound.  The high school has a new stadium PA system, which when operated indiscriminately offends the neighborhood. In all fairness, when the athletic director is present and aware of the problem, he thoughtfully turns down the white noise (music playing during events) and the announcer’s amplification.


The community pool is another source of sound pollution. I’m not referring to the happy noises associated with school competition but the white noise music played during city recreation. Also, in fairness to the pool director, when asked, he turns down the amplification. But when pool personnel change, a new request to turn down music is necessitated. You must be aware that many cities have ordinances against all radios and amplified music at their pools. The geographic setting of the Laguna Beach Community Pool (in a bowl area where sound seems to travel upward very efficiently) makes it especially vulnerable to being a source of sound pollution and therefore a candidate for great environmental improvement by eliminating white noise.


Thank you for your environmentally positive actions.


Merton Hill, Laguna Beach

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