So this morning I noticed the mural on the side of Natural Grocers. Is that temporary art or expected to be here in 500 years? I’m more disturbed that an AutoZone is going in where Tiny’s and Susan’s Liquors have operated, the gateway to our Historic District and Plaza. Where’s the outrage?
Light the way
The streetlight project steering committee was created after dark-sky advocates strongly objected to the color levels proposed for the city of Santa Fe’s proposed streetlight conversion (“Members of Santa Fe streetlight steering committee to be identified after complaints,” April 21). One part of the process was a light demonstration. However, the demonstration of light options does not include the kelvin level proposed by the International Dark Sky Association of 2,200 kelvins. Rather, the demonstration has different levels desired by the contractor scattered around town and unlabeled, so one cannot study and reflect on the different colors of light. The demonstration lights are supposed to be up for two weeks, with the public being able to weigh in by May 10.
The committee process and the demonstration are being run by the company proposing to do the work. To me, this seems an overwhelming conflict of interest. I feel as though the committee is being used to confirm the company’s desired result, not stand in for the citizens.
As a member of the committee, I had expected a straightforward process. Become educated on the issues of streetlights and dark skies. Look at and compare the various lights where they are labeled and near each other and form an opinion to be discussed and passed on as our committee’s advice to the City Council. Instead, I have had to find information about dark skies and have no opportunity to compare all the options.
Richard D. Ellenberg
Just another burg
I read with sad agreement when a reader recently lamented the declining air quality in Santa Fe. I feel air quality is just one of the issues attending growth in our city and surrounding area. When I moved here from Atlanta in 1983, Santa Fe was touted to have the second-best air quality in the United States behind Fargo, N.D.; now, not so much. The issues of water resources, affordable housing, traffic congestion, loss of viewshed from new apartment complexes, gentrification, and air quality are all of a piece in my opinion.
Further, although I realize jet travel at our local airport is an enjoyable convenience for some and sometimes a necessity for others, it also is a pollutant in itself that will degrade our air quality as more connecting flights are added. We need to come up with truly creative solutions to preserve the serenity and unique qualities that we all love so much about Santa Fe; otherwise, we risk becoming just another homogenous American burg.
It is time for Los Alamos National Laboratory to demonstrate its high level of knowledge and creativity by demonstrating how it has learned to use solar and wind power to create the electricity it needs. It is time for the lab to stop depending on high-voltage power lines that will run through national forest land, creating havoc among the various forms of wildlife and humans who treasure the experience of being in the forest without the intrusions of high-voltage power lines. I challenge scientists at LANL to show how they are doing their part to heal the effects of climate change rather than adding to the damage. We will all benefit from this significant energy development.