The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 29, Number 12, December, 1997
Table of Contents
Michigan House Bill 4254
This light pollution bill is currently pending in the Michigan Legislature. The official state copy of this document can be found at Michigan House Bill 4254
February 11, 1997, Introduced by Reps. Walberg, Richner, McBryde, Hammerstrom, Harder and Galloway and referred to the Committee on Conservation, Environment and Recreation.
A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled "Natural resources and environmental protection act," (MCL 324.101 to 324.90106) by adding part 752.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
PART 752 OUTDOOR LIGHTING STUDY
SEC. 75201. AS USED IN THIS PART, "BOARD" MEANS THE OUTDOOR LIGHTING STUDY BOARD CREATED IN SECTION 75203.
SEC. 75202. THE LEGISLATURE FINDS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
- (A) THAT EXCESSIVE AND MISDIRECTED OUTDOOR LIGHTING IS A CONSEQUENCE OF USING OUTDOOR LIGHTING WHERE AND WHEN IT IS NOT NEEDED, AND OF NOT USING THE TYPES OF OUTDOOR LIGHTING THAT ARE MOST EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE FOR THE TASK INTENDED.
- (B) THAT CONTROLLING OUTDOOR LIGHTING WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS DUE TO THE DECREASE IN ENERGY REQUIREMENTS.
- (C) THAT LIGHT FROM IMPROPERLY SHIELDED STREET LIGHTS AND SECURITY LIGHTS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARD TO MOTORISTS AND OTHERS.
- (D) THAT THE UNCHECKED GROWTH OF INEFFECTIVE AND INEFFICIENT OUTDOOR LIGHTING FIXTURES IN MODERN TIMES HAS UNNECESSARILY DEPRIVED MOST RESIDENTS OF THE BEAUTY OF THE STARRY NIGHT SKY AND OF NIGHTTIME CLOUD PATTERNS, WHILE ALSO POTENTIALLY HAVING SERIOUS ILL EFFECTS ON NOCTURNAL FAUNA AND FLORA.
- (E) THAT WHILE THE LIGHTING OF STREETS, BUSINESSES, AND RESIDENCES MAY BE DESIRABLE AND NECESSARY FOR SECURITY, IT IS NOT DESIRABLE OR NECESSARY TO HAVE LIGHTS SHINING DIRECTLY AND OFTEN DANGEROUSLY INTO THE EYES OF MOTORISTS, OR USELESSLY AND WASTEFULLY INTO THE SKY AND OFF INTO SPACE.
- (F) THAT IN SEVERAL OTHER STATES, AND IN CERTAIN LARGE CITIES, LEGISLATION HAS BEEN ADOPTED TO CONTROL OUTDOOR LIGHTING.
- (G) THAT THIS STATE HAS ADOPTED PART 751 TO CREATE A DARK SKY PRESERVE.
- (H) THAT SEVERAL MICHIGAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL UNITS HAVE ADOPTED VARIOUS LIGHT CONTROL MEASURES AND THAT SUCH MEASURES ARE SAVING THOSE JURISDICTIONS CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF MONEY IN ENERGY COSTS.
- (1) THE OUTDOOR LIGHTING STUDY BOARD IS CREATED WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT.
- (2) THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS, APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR:
- (A) THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE.
- (B) THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND INDUSTRY SERVICES OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE.
- (C) TWO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ELECTRIC POWER INDUSTRY.
- (D) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
- (E) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION.
- (F) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF AN AMATEUR ASTRONOMY ASSOCIATION.
- (G) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
- (H) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PLANNING.
- (I) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE.
- (J) ONE ARCHITECT OR LIGHTING DESIGN ENGINEER.
- (K) ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF ABRAMS PLANETARIUM, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY.
- (3) THE MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED TO THE BOARD SHALL BE APPOINTED WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS PART.
- (4) MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SERVE FOR TERMS OF 3 YEARS, OR UNTIL A SUCCESSOR IS APPOINTED, WHICHEVER IS LATER, EXCEPT THAT OF THE MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED, 4 SHALL SERVE FOR 1 YEAR, 4 SHALL SERVE FOR 2 YEARS, AND 4 SHALL SERVE FOR 3 YEARS.
- (5) IF A VACANCY OCCURS ON THE BOARD, THE GOVERNOR SHALL MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT.
- (6) THE GOVERNOR MAY REMOVE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD FOR INCOMPETENCY, DERELICTION OF DUTY, MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE, OR NONFEASANCE IN OFFICE, OR ANY OTHER GOOD CAUSE.
- (7) THE FIRST MEETING OF THE BOARD SHALL BE CALLED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ITS COMPLETE FORMATION. AT THE FIRST MEETING, THE BOARD SHALL ELECT FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS A CHAIRPERSON, WHO IS NOT A DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE, AND OTHER OFFICERS AS IT CONSIDERS NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE. THE BOARD MAY APPOINT A SECRETARY WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE BOARD AS THE BOARD DETERMINES APPROPRIATE. AFTER THE FIRST MEETING, THE BOARD SHALL MEET AT LEAST QUARTERLY, OR MORE FREQUENTLY AT THE CALL OF THE CHAIRPERSON OR IF REQUESTED BY 7 OR MORE MEMBERS.
- (8) A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD CONSTITUTES A QUORUM FOR THE TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS AT A MEETING OF THE BOARD.
- (9) MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION. HOWEVER, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AS MEMBERS OF THE BOARD TO THE EXTENT FUNDS ARE APPROPRIATED OR OTHERWISE LAWFULLY AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE.
- (10) THE BOARD SHALL DO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
- (A) STUDY THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OUTDOOR LIGHTING.
- (B) STUDY AVAILABLE STATUTORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OUTDOOR LIGHTING AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LEGISLATURE REGARDING THE DESIRABILITY OF ADOPTING THESE SOLUTIONS.
- (C) STUDY THE POTENTIAL FOR POSITIVE ECONOMIC IMPACTS THAT COULD RESULT IF MORE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE OUTDOOR LIGHTING ALTERNATIVES ARE SELECTED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS, ENHANCED TOURISM, IMPROVED PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY, AND ANY OTHER BENEFITS.
- (D) STUDY SOLUTIONS TAKEN BY OTHER JURISDICTIONS TO REGULATE OUTDOOR LIGHTING.
- (E) SUBMIT TO THE LEGISLATURE WITHIN 9 MONTHS OF THE BOARD'S FIRST ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING A REPORT DETAILING THE RESULT OF THE BOARD'S STUDY AS REQUIRED IN THIS PART.
- (F) FOLLOWING SUBMITTAL OF THE REPORT REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION, MEET AT LEAST ANNUALLY FOR THE 5 YEARS FOLLOWING SUBMITTAL OF THE ORIGINAL REPORT AND REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE REGARDING FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS RELATED TO THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITIES.
- (11) THE BOARD MAY DO EITHER OR BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING:
- (A) SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM ANY PERSON AS THE BOARD DETERMINES NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE TO FULFILL THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD UNDER THIS PART.
- (B) INCUR EXPENSES THAT ARE NECESSARY AND PROPER AND WITHIN THE LIMITS OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED OR OTHERWISE LAWFULLY AVAILABLE TO THE BOARD TO FULFILL THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD UNDER THIS PART.
by Larry Kalinowski
Microsoft may be going to court again. This time for the forced licensing of their web browser. Microsoft is making all manufacturers of computers, that use Windows95, pay another license fee for the use of their browser. The suit could cost Microsoft one million dollars a day. However, just when that period of fines begins, hasn't been determined yet.
Uranus now has two more moons, bringing that planets total to seventeen. Dubbed U1 and U2, they are about fifty and one hundred miles in diameter, respectively.
If you're planning to buy a computer for Christmas, the best advice I can give you is to buy it locally, NOT at a department store like Sears or ABC warehouse. It's even wise to avoid brand name packages at computer stores like CompUSA or Computer City. Production line packages like Packard Bell, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and even IBM, look like great deals until you want to change parts, then you find out the parts cost twice as much or aren't available anymore. You want your computer to be as generic a design as you can find. All generic parts for computers are available at all the computer shows I mention in my articles. Find a small computer store in your neighborhood and get a price from them. You'll be surprised at the time you can save if your computer does quit while in warranty, your neighborhood store can have it back to you the same day, in many cases. Another thing, don't be tempted into buying that pretty pink or green computer. The color you like will often make a future buyer puke. You might have the prettiest computer in the world but it's usually only for your eyes. Replacement cabinet parts are only available in light and dark brown. Special colors will cost you plenty.
David and Billie Chandler, the producers of The Comet Watch newsletter that I rely heavily on for comet information, will cease publishing that newsletter in the near future. Only three more issues will be published. Volume nine (with fifteen newsletters) will be the last volume. The Chandlers have suggested that subscribers switch to the CRAS newsletter (Comet Rapid Announcement Service) published by C. M. Smith, in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Smith doesn't charge for his comet service but does require that you provide a supply of number 10 (large) envelopes, with first class postage and proper address imprinted thereon. Smith's address is P.O. Box 110282, Cleveland, Ohio, 44111-0282, USA. Donations are requested occasionally, especially when the post office decides to increase first class rates and Smith gets stuck with a large supply of envelopes that have the old postage stamps on them.
The Detroit Astronomical Society (DAS) has changed their monthly meetings to the second Tuesday of each month, starting in November. They still meet at The Southfield Civic Center on Evergreen Rd., between Ten and Eleven Mile Roads.
I hope you've been following the PBS special called STEPHEN HAWKING'S UNIVERSE. It's on Mondays at 9:00 PM. By the time you read this, the six episode series will probably be over, but it's bound to be repeated in the near future. It's well worth watching.
The November computer meeting will be one day earlier, on Wednesday, the 26th, due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday. It will resume at my home. Call me at 810-776-9720, for further information.
Minutes of Meetings
by Glenn Wilkins
Macomb - Oct 16, 1997
Cranbrook Meeting - Nov 6, 1997
- Dave opened the meeting at 7:48 to 31 members and guests. The WAS will meet again with the Kensington Park authorities for further planning for the big inter-society star party scheduled for the first weekend in May. The Deep Sky Group promised to come up with a suitable comet.
- Elections were held for our 1998 officers who will take over on January 1st. The results were as follows:
- Dave D'Onofrio - President (uncontested)
- John Herrgott - 1st. Vice President (uncontested)
- Blaine McCullough - 2nd. VP (edged out Fred Judd)
- Bob Watt - Secretary (uncontested)
- Steve Green - Treasurer (uncontested)
- Anyone interested in trying their hand at publishing the WASP each month should contact one of the officers. Jeff Bondono has been doing a fine job now for a long time and could use a break!
- Ben Tolbert reported that our cash position has increased to $5,294.61 as of 10-16. We currently have 105 members.
- Glenn Wilkins reported that "beg" letters have been sent to 42 vendors for donations for the raffle at the Awards Banquet.
- Doug Bock indicated that he has hosted 6 inter-society star parties at his Fenton home, and 3 at his Cadillac property so far this year. Doug proposed arranging inter-society business meetings during the winter to investigate joint opportunities and improve communications. The WAS indicated it's willingness to support.
- There was a lively discussion on light pollution and our need to be pro-active on this growing problem. Norbert Vance's book was referenced which was delivered to Brighton city management and suggested cost-saving approaches to conventional city lighting. By clearly showing how low-pollution lighting can also save money for the city we greatly improve our chances for success while spreading the word to the right people. All members are encouraged to join the efforts of the International Dark Sky Organization. This subject will be a key part of the presentation to the public at the Kensington star party.
- The feature presentation for the evening was given by Larry Kalinowski. He used the college computer system to give a hands-on demonstration of some of the share-ware software which is available from him as a courtesy for only $1/disk to WAS members. A complete list of the available programs was available as a handout.
- The meeting closed at 10:02
Officer's Meeting - Oct 9, 1997
- Dave D'Onofrio opened the meeting at 7:40 with 40 members and guests in attendance. Lou Faix informed us that John Herrgott will be the feature speaker on 12-4. John will talk on The Cosmic Evolution of Life based on a recent book. There will be no meetings on 12-18 (banquet) or 1-1. Kim Dyer noted that Stargate is not being used much and that we should consider what we could do to stimulate usage.
- Doug Bock reported that the Deep Sky group encountered poor viewing conditions last Saturday; however, they did work on Northern Cross Observatory #2 and now have a 10" Schmidt-Cass in place. Responding to inquiries, Doug indicated that the Norton Sky Atlas is a good choice for beginner's charts. Uranometria 2000 shows more stars and is a good choice for intermediate/advanced amateurs at dark sites. Sky Publishing is a recommended source since WAS members get a 10% discount. Doug is compiling a list of those interested in ordering Messier catalogs to begin work on their certificates (telescope or binoculars) from the Astronomical League. Doug also brought in some 3-D pictures from the surface of Mars. Roger Tanner, a former WAS member now in Arizona, participated in development of the special camera that was used to create these remarkable scenes.
- Mort Sterling reported that a light pollution bill was introduced into the Michigan legislature on 2-11-97. Reviews were completed on 10-22 and it is now ready for House vote. The bill calls for establishment of a 12-member board with a good cross-section of representatives. They would investigate current lighting practices & requirements in Michigan and other states, and would then make recommendations to our legislature. For more information, contact the International Dark Sky Association and the Michigan Legislature web site. The WAS urges its members to actively support this initiative!
- At the break, everyone enjoyed Maryann Greuling's coffee and Angie Judd's treats.
- The feature presentation was a very interesting and comprehensive slide show on our sun by Marty Kunz of the Solar group. Due to the many questions, the meeting lasted until 10:25.
- All officers were present at Blaine's house. The list of potential awards candidates was reviewed and the decisions were made. The Levine family has offered to donate their telescope to the WAS. Dave, Lou and Blaine will meet with the family on 10-13 to look at the scope and make arrangements for the transfer.
- Dave agreed to contact John Herrgott to determine if any additional help is needed on the observatory proposal. All officers agreed that the outcome of this effort could be extremely important to the WAS. Any members with architectural background or experience in construction estimates are encouraged to contact John to offer their support. Glenn offered to host a meeting at his home, if a site is needed.
- Glenn picked up a sympathy card for the family of Frank Ales who died recently. The card will be circulated for signatures at the 10-16 meeting.
- "Beg" letters are expected to be sent by 10-19 for donations for the banquet raffle. The delay was forced by the loss of the 1996 addresses & sample letter when Blain's computer caught a virus and expired. Fortunately, Jeff Bondono had an older list & sample letter which served as a basis for our 1997 mailings. A total of 42 active suppliers have been identified so far, and a generic letter has been composed which will be personalized for each supplier. It was also been determined that Maryann Greuling has the table decorations for the banquet.
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