This letter is in response to the article “Resident wants action on light pollution” (Interior News, Nov. 27, 2019).
Len Vanderstar wrote a letter to town council asking them to phase out the bright lights of Canadian Tire and Toyota and others to harmonize with the Smithers street lights. If he would take the time to notice, both Canadian Tire and Glacier Toyota have their outside lights set to timers so during closed hours a good portion of their outside lights are not on, only enough to protect property and light enough for security cameras.
Does Mr Vanderstar have any idea of the costs to running a retail business? With increasing taxes (which help pay for the upgrade of street lights for the town), high utility bills, insurance costs and online shopping, it is all the retailers can do to make a go of it. It’s easy to say they should just change the bright lights to amber or yellow but there is a cost to that not everyone can afford.
I’m sure they would all like to turn off their outside lights to reduce their hydro bill. One of the best ways to hinder vandalism is with security cameras and dim lights don’t work too well for that. Just think how much more liability insurance would increase if building and car break-ins occurred more often.
Mr. Vanderstar stated when he moved here in 1989 there was very minimal light pollution in town. In 1989, the retail sector was much smaller, so of course there would be a lot less lights. Larger more competitive stores have moved into town to try to keep shopping local. There have been a lot of changes in the past 30 years; it’s called progress.
It doesn’t seem right that because one person, who wants to look at the stars, feels that a lot of the businesses in town should make changes for his convenience. He doesn’t want to have to go further up the mountain; he wants to be able to stay in his backyard. What’s next Len, are you going to try to get less satellites revolving in our solar system, or maybe we need a large fan to blow the clouds away?