Featured letter: Shedding light on dark sky laws

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To the Editor:

Shelter Island dark skies — lemmings heading for the cliff (see “New light on dark skies,” March 21).

Just what we need, more government up our butts. More idiot laws to harass the citizenry. More government employees on the taxpayer dole to enforce them. Don’t fool yourselves, tax paying cows — it will come to “We need a light inspector” to enforce and apprehend these dangerous felons. Can you imagine this world if everyone had lights?

Oops, we do. Oh well, we can change this. I think the first time you’re caught with more than one 40-watt bulb burning, your electric should be cut off for a year. The second time, public flogging. The third time, 30 days in the public stocks.

The stocks could be built by hiring government carpenters who could collect inflated salaries, get big government pensions and have full medical. This would aid the unemployment problem.

Not to make “light” of this serious problem, what with the sun shining a good half a day blanking out ‘Dark Skies,” what are we humans to do?

I for one would ban campfires. Not only are they bright, but they also pollute. I have a great idea, Ms. Lewis, how about we draft a draft to no more foolish laws. I think the Town Board could spend its time being more constructive and deal with issues that matter. Just because other towns have instituted these moronic and non-productive laws does not mean we have to inhale their ignorance and drink the Kool-Aid too.

A town of slightly more than 2,000 plus residents with, in essence, no business district to speak of, doesn’t have to have a disgusting amount of “feel good” laws. Let’s ban 32-ounce drinks, no salt, to trans fat and now no light. There, I feel better already.

By the way, Mr. Matz, if you want to keep the Island the way it is, then stop looking to make unnecessary laws of harassment to appease a few malcontents who came from somewhere else and want to bring with them that which they left. If it’s so damn bright here, turn off your headlights so you don’t frighten the deer we feed to the tune of $70,000 a year. As to a potential growing light problem, in the last 50+ years I’ve observed those precious dark skies being polluted by all that damn starlight that is polluting my backyard all night. Who do I call?

Now as to the other towns have dark skies laws, let’s look at the Town of Southold. You can see Greenport from both Connecticut and Sag Harbor on any clear evening. So much for dark skies legislation and who needs it? I think it was God who said “let there be light”; let’s comply. I could continue on but I’ll save the next load of ammunition if the miscreants decide to pursue this issue further. It appears the only one on the Town Board who has his head on right is Councilman Shepherd. His sensible approach to unnecessary and foolish legislation is what we need in our leadership.

One last comment. The flag in Volunteer Park is left up all night. By protocol, it must be lit dust to dawn. To accomplish this, a light would have to be aimed almost straight up, no shielding. Thus the town would be in violation of a town law.

Who goes to the stocks?

JACK KIFFER
Shelter Island