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pevsfreedom

Advice to get police station to turn a light off?

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I just moved to a new place in Oregon (from Los Angeles) and my back yard is a great spot for observing, minus the gigantic light behind the police station. It is a town of 9000 people and it's blinding and you can see zero stars with it on in the yard. What's the best way to approach this - or do I even have a chance at all of maybe getting them to turn it off? I was thinking of walking in there with a flyer or something but I'm afraid I'll get laughed out of the place. The police station is literally right behind my house and there's only 2 houses as we're in kind of a super mini side street. 

Edited by pevsfreedom

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That sounds a tough one. The only advice I can think of is don't do anything illegal!

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1 minute ago, Peter Drew said:

That sounds a tough one. The only advice I can think of is don't do anything illegal!

Lol. That was my first thought too.

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Perhaps visit the police station and have a chat to them " face to face" rather than leaving a flyer which might get ignored ?

Police here are pretty concerned about their relationships with local communities.

 

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2 minutes ago, John said:

Perhaps visit the police station and have a chat to them " face to face" rather than leaving a flyer which might get ignored ?

Police here are pretty concerned about their relationships with local communities.

 

Oh I was gonna bring in the flyer as "back-up" :) not just leave it there. It's a 100% useless light [literally just shines into my yard] so I may have a chance, but I'm sure there's some kind of bureaucratic nightmare in making that kind of decision.  

Edited by pevsfreedom

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Inconsiderate light pollution in the UK is often classed as "light trespass" and is an offence. Might be an idea to invite them round for a first hand (eye?) look at your problem. Possibly just a bit of shielding could improve matters.   :icon_biggrin:

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Oddly I had about a 10x better view in the heart of Los Angeles based on the way my trees surrounded the house, with a population of about a million or so? Here with 10000 people I can't even use the scope! Thankfully I am moving again (buying a house) in a few months so if anything it's temporary but still I'd like to try out my new Baader Hyperion IV eyepiece =[. 

Edited by pevsfreedom

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Speak to your town-council about this. Explain it's not just for us Astronomy-Nuts, but for everything from children being adversely injured in their brains' development (from recent medical-findings), to wiping-out species that require true-darkness to develop and breed. The International Dark-Sky Association can help you here:

http://darksky.org/

And welcome to MY world of being a pro-active "political-activist" in diverse fields including medical & environmental fields!

All the best -

Dave

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Hah! Never would have thought. Is there anyone I should talk to at Darksky or just get some info and bring that in? Thanks Dave any other input you have would be awesome. 

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Hope you can get it sorted. It doesn't sound at all good!

If you can't get any joy from them, then it might be worth building a light shield. There's a simple and inexpensive one here

And something a bit more permanent here

Hope you can get it sorted

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Thanks Mognet. Was planning on going in tomorrow or next few days otherwise those might be my best bet. 

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2 hours ago, pevsfreedom said:

Hah! Never would have thought. Is there anyone I should talk to at Darksky or just get some info and bring that in? Thanks Dave any other input you have would be awesome. 

Only that to keep your senses open to gauge the council's reaction. By pulling in mental-images of young chidrens' growth and health being adversely affected by the lack of true darkness is, in and of itself, a very powerful incentive to correct the cause(s) of such. And realize that this tool crosses many levels such as property values and scholastic achievement.

Not to mention the electability of those opposed in the next election-cycle...<koff!>...:eek:  :p

Something for everyone!

Dave - with a hideous grin...

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Why not walk in there in person and ask to speak to the community support officers, explain your request and maybe offer a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'  approach.  "Assuming that the light might be turned off I reckon I could get some nice views of the night sky.  Maybe some of your night shift officers on their tea breaks might like to drop in and have a look at the views on a cloud free night?"

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Not sure how it would work in the US, but here in UK I got the council to paint out a section of a street lamp by explaining how the light shining through the windows of my house was disturbing sleep.  A digital image of the problem attached to an email got a response and action within 48 hours, which rather surprised me.

Worth a try possibly?   

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Demonstrate the merits of low light (IR) Video Astronomy cameras.
Lure "Crims" into a false sense of (dark) security... and "Nick 'em"!
Sounds like a win-win situation --  If "TV Policing" shows are right? :D

I quite like the idea of a personal chat / visit? My
only (favourable!) contacts with police have been
when I have persisted that I am "on their side". :)

Though I suspect a TRUE criminal doesn't hang
around Police Stations overmuch... Lit or Unlit? :p

Edited by Macavity

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Start easy and escalate if required.

Visit the station and introduce yourself to the resident Chief of Police and explain you are a neighbour. Describe your problem and ask for his help in remedying it.

If he blows you off- work your way up the food chain, gathering evidence as suggested above.

My experience of 26+ years as a UK cop suggests that a squeaky wheel gets oiled:wink:

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My advice is to go to the police station and ask politely.  Maybe they have a community liaison. If you can suggest a bonus for them (e.g. saving money on electricity), do so. Antagonizing the police is never a good idea, so be careful of appealing over their heads.

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It may be they need their yard lit for their activities so the discussion is about their light lighting your yard and home, particularly if it is lighting your bedrooms. It might be solved by their changing the angle of the light. Or shielding the light so it is not a direct glare in your direction.

Good luck.

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Friendly approach is the key. these days police rarely meet people who appreciate what they do; talk to the 'desk sergeant' and tell him their lamp is lighting up your yard like the fourth of July (I think that's the correct expression!) and can he help and if not who's the best person to speak to about it.

On the plus side, you are unlikely to get burgled...

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5 hours ago, almcl said:

Not sure how it would work in the US, but here in UK I got the council to paint out a section of a street lamp by explaining how the light shining through the windows of my house was disturbing sleep.  A digital image of the problem attached to an email got a response and action within 48 hours, which rather surprised me.

Worth a try possibly?   

You did well, i emailed some pics of the factory insecurity lights that are multiplying to local council a few months ago, once every 2 or 3 weeks i send a follow up email and just get a generic reply back, would not be so bad but lights are on photo electric switch and come on 7 nights a week, and i know i wont get any where with it

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36 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

 and i know i wont get any where with it

If you know that, you are right.

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1. Lights do not deter burglars. Over 90% of burglaries occur during daytime hours between 9:00am & 5:00pm - when people are likely not at home and at work.

2. Yes - start by politely asking them to turn the light off. The poster is in the US (Oregon). I wouldn't hold my breath for the police to shut-off the light. Police here have an 'us v. them' attitude than other nations.'

Please write-up the response and post them. I, for one, would love to see what works!

Good Luck!

Dave

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22 hours ago, pevsfreedom said:

Thankfully I am moving again (buying a house) in a few months

Choose wisely?

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I suppose it might be worth asking politely the once in case it brings a result, but personally since you are moving in a few months, I would not bother to go through the aggravation of trying to pursue it any further and just try to find a dark location for the time being that you can go to to try out your new eyepieces.  Hopefully you won't have the same problem in your next house.

Carole 

 

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