Light switch

There was a City roundtable discussion about budgetary matters on March 21. It’s hard to take these meetings seriously after many years, hard not to be sarcastic. The public attends, and speaks– roundfile. Budgets are about shepherding and allocating resources. The little money adds up to big money. Our city pats itself on the back for being “green,” including buying battery-operated cars. Hey, fellows, where is the light switch? 13.7 footcandles of light falling on that newspaper. The hot spots on the sidewalk are 47 footcandles– super size me! Elsewhere on Locust Avenue, north and south of the bridge, illumination levels are sensible, around 0.2 footcandles. A lighting designer could take the electricity used on this bridge to light a small village.
Commentator Bill Emory puts up a new photo nearly every day at

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And then you have all the ball fields illuminated with huge HID lights, more often than not when no games are ongoing and there's also the question of all that waste when silly games can be played in daylight. Electricity is an insidious form of energy waste because it all just comes at the flick of a switch, which allows for a disconnect as to where it comes from. Entire trainloads of coal disappear up the smokestacks of the big plants, everyday in most cases and nobody gives it a second thought. That's why Norfolk and Virginia beach will go underwater in a century or so...

First, let's throw the switch on Sheetz.

Yes, and huge shopping centers in the middle of the night too. There's a great article by John Mcphee in October 2005 editions of the New Yorker, where he rode a coal train from Wyoming to Georgia, a 7500 foot long train with 133 Gondola cars each loaded with 120 tons of coal. Arriving at Plant Scherer in Macon Georgia, they unload.The entire train load is burned in 8 hours, three such trains every day. Many similar plants all over the country and that's what keeps all those lights on...And then there's China and other countries..

Talk about an addiction.

I wonder how many tons of coal will need to be burned every day to pump water uphill to the planned Ragged Mountain Reservoir. Funny that Kay Slaughter and the SELC would be in support of locking us into a plan like that considering their work against the coal industry.

In one of their articles about the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining which they call "The Appalachian Apocalypse" the SELC states "Our work to stop construction of old-style coal plants around the region, and our advocacy for strong energy-efficiency policies and programs will help reduce the demand for coal mined by mountaintop removal." Putting water to work as it runs downhill is an age old way of harnessing renewable energy. Burning train after train of coal to move water uphill further ties our local water supply to an ongoing environmental disaster and is anything but efficient.

And how much energy will this take ? No tractor trailers to remove the 60,000 trees or access the site - who would approve such a plan ?

Water authority awards dam contract to Thalle Construction

"The RWSA, Schnabel and Thalle also began meeting with neighbors on Reservoir Road on Tuesday to prepare for construction. In the Camp Holiday Trails dining hall, about 10 neighbors learned the first work activity is expected to include improvements to the narrow and mostly gravel road to build turnout and marshaling areas.

Tractor-trailers will not be able to navigate the road, so materials being moved in and out will be shuttled on smaller trucks led by a pilot vehicle."

Change the bulbs for LED's. Instead of hundreds and thousands of watts they will draw about 10 watts to light the whole bridge. And they last 20,000 hours. That is longer than many of us old timers will last.

The grand daddy of them all, close to a gigawatt, the entire output of a typical nuke plant, all to water lawns in LA. The original LA aqueduct built 100 years ago required no external power inputs and in fact had a net power output, but that was the old paradigm for water projects. Now we do it with brute force.

I think the lights on the bridge are for pedestrian safety. A lot of people fly up those ramps and zip out onto Locust Avenue like there's a fire somewhere they're trying to get to.

And I've been trying for years to get the dark-skies-ordinance-violating lights at the City's Tonsler Park tennis court turned off unless someone is using the courts. But they remain on whatever weather or use. Case in point, it's now 8:32 pm on Saturday the 24th with rain falling and thunder rolling, but very, very bright they shine.

The Tonsler Park lights are left burning to curtail drive-by shootings. However, with the surge in gas prices, gangstas be running walk-by shootings hence the lights are no longer necessary.

Actually, the Tonsler Tennis Court lights are left on because a few individuals on whom entrenched City Democrats rely for endorsements and votes equate public lighting with respect from City Hall. And this pandering persists despite abundant evidence that light pollution is a factor in a spectrum of health problems -- from nearsightedness in children to breast cancer in women.

Thomas Jefferson University for the Health Sciences in Philadelphia is a leader in this field of research.

Uva is just as bad with the tennis court and basketball court lights on at Emmet St.

All night long, rain/snow, no courts in play, lights left on.

UVa probably even has an environmental person on staff and claims all kinds of green accolades but they just won't flip that 50,000 watt switch of common sense.

Charlottesville definitely has a token environmental person on staff. That position seems to be for nothing more than greenwashing purposes.

I pretty much agree with you..for the most part, but nearsightedness in children and breast cancer...
C'mon now. You wouldn't want the rest of us thinking your nome de plume is another one of John Walton Giuliano's AKAs would you?

I wrote to then mayor Cox about these lights when they were installed. I got no response. They are completely the wrong light for this application. Have you ever noticed when you are sitting in your car, they light not just downward but outward - directly into your eye line ? They should be downlights only, lighting the walkpath and thereby defining the bridge's edges - not trying to light the road way!

"erik" and anyone:

Just Google: "light pollution" health

And FYI: My "nome [sic; see Alaska] de plume" is also my nom de birth certificate.

One can find anything on the internet, but the trick is separating the wheat from the chaff. You start talking about light pollution from lights in a park causing breast cancer in'll be wanting to schedule that fitting session for the tinfoil hat...

Initially a great convenience, researching via the Internet is rapidly becoming a necessity as many publications including peer-reviewed journals elect to publish only online. Meanwhile, an old fashioned directive serves as well as ever in sorting the plethora of hits any search invariably yields. That is, as most mothers used to tell most children: Consider the source.

Come to think of it, that instruction works equally well in sorting blog posts.