NELPAG Circular No. 26

NELPAG Circular No. 26                                    2000 October 23

New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG)
Editor:     Daniel W. E. Green [M.S. 18; Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory;
               60 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA  02138]  (telephone 617-495-7440)
Secretary:  Eric Johansson     (telephone 978-392-3650)

     "Subscription" to this news/information Circular is available by sending
self-addressed, stamped (currently 33 cents in the U.S.A.) regular-sized
(9.5x4-inch) envelopes (SASE) to Dan Green at his postal address, or by
sending your e-mail address to NELPAG-REQUEST@HARVEE.BILLERICA.MA.US (Internet).
NELPAG Circulars are issued at irregular intervals, once every couple of months
on average, as news accumulutes.  Contributed information for this Circular
concerning outdoor lighting problems in New England (or pertinent info from
outside New England) are always welcome.  Please circulate this newsletter to
all interested parties.  Look at our World Wide Web site at URL


     Last spring, the leaders of the International Darksky Association
(IDA) informed me that they had decided to enlarge their annual Tucson
meetings to have two annual meetings --- one in Tucson in the spring and
one in other parts of the United States (changing each year) in the fall.
It was thought, given the high number of IDA members in the northeast
and the activity of light-pollution activists here, that we should be
asked to host this first-ever fall IDA national meeting.  We agreed to
look into the issue for November 2000, but it was soon realized (by late
June) that this was too early for planning purposes.  And given that IDA
wants to join the Astronomical League in Washington, DC, for a meeting
next summer, it seems that we may put the national Boston-area meeting off
until the fall of 2002.
     But we had initially planned to hold the national IDA fall meeting
on the weekend of November 10-11 (Friday, Saturday), and I booked Phillips
Auditorium here at Harvard College Observatory for that purpose.  We decided
to continue with plans to hold a 1-day regional NELPAG meeting on
Saturday, November 11, here at Harvard Observatory (60 Garden Street,
Cambridge, uppermost parking lot), starting at 10:30 a.m., going through
lunch at a nearby restaurant, and possibly into the afternoon.  We want to
discuss plans for hosting the national IDA meeting here in two years, and
talk about general issues that affect people locally in the northeast (as
well as some national issues).  I encourage all to attend, as we do not
get together all that often.  Please let me know (by e-mail, telephone,
or postal mail) if you have specific issues that you would like to talk
about at this meeting, and I'll arrange time in the schedule.
    -- Dan Green

      The Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston encouraged me to put
together a panel of people who deal with outdoor-lighting issues for a
panel discussion on light pollution at its monthly December meeting
last year.  We had a good turn-out (perhaps 50-70 people), and we had
called this a joint 'NELPAG meeting', to encourage more attendance.
The panelists included long-time NELPAGers Peter Talmage, Mario
Motta, and Dan Green.  Joining them were Massachusetts Rep. Jim
Marzilli, who has been the leading sponsor of state legislation in
Massachusetts, and Paul Lutkevich and Robert Wylie of the Boston area
as representatives of the professional lighting-engineer community.
Bob Crelin kindly drove up from Connecticut to fill out the panel.
     This was perhaps the best meeting NELPAG had ever put on, and I
think that panel discussions, involving the audience continuously (as
opposed to "lectures" or talks) are definitely to be preferred for
future meetings, when possible.
     This and other news items are available via the NELPAG website,
as usual.  The NELPAG e-mail discussion group has recently carried
such news items as the program to light up the city of Boston (like
the idea we condemned in Providence, RI, a couple of years ago).
    -- Dan Green


The NELPAG supports the International Dark-Sky Association and recommends
that all individuals/groups who are interested in the problems of light
pollution and obtrusive lighting should subscribe to the IDA Newsletter.
IDA membership costs $30.00 per year; send check to International Dark-Sky
Association, 3225 N. First Ave., Tucson, AZ  85719 (NOTE new address!).