Letters to the Editor, May 30, 2012

-A A +A

What about other lights?


An article (“Businesses receive OK for expansions,” April 20) stated that in seeking its approval from the Triple S Planning Commission to expand, Katayama asked to use older lights on is building that are the same as what it currently has but do not meet the county’s new lighting standards.

Ryan Libke, Triple S executive director, stated that Triple S has gotten stricter with lighting, requiring a shield that directs light toward the ground because county ordinance says that no light will bleed off the owner's property. He states that Katayama's lot lines are far enough away from neighboring properties that no light would bleed.

Although we will not be affected by Katayama's lights where we live, we are wondering what distance would be considered far enough to keep light from a neighboring property from shining on other properties. On a property next to us, which is about one eighth of a mile away, a light shines on our bedroom walls at night, and lights from another property about one quarter of a mile away are so bright we could read our newspaper at night.

One of the aims of having restricted lighting is to preserve the night sky. When light bleeds out it makes the night sky less dark, thus the light from the stars is less visible. In Arizona, which has several astronomical observatories, there are strict laws that restrict light bleed. Intended outcomes of the Pima County (Ariz.) Lighting Code include "support of astronomical activity and also minimizing wasted energy, while not compromising safety, security and well being of persons engaged outdoor night time activities."

It is wonderful to be able to view the sky at night there. A person would not believe how much one can see in the night sky unless they have been fortunate to partake of that pleasure.

Wouldn't you like to be able to share the wonder of the stars with your children and grandchildren? The Milky Way was so much more visible here in Shelby County before the Mixing Center's lighting seriously diminished our ability to view it. If the citizens of Shelby County are not interested in viewing the nighttime sky, at least we would do well to emulate Pima County's desire to minimize wasted energy.

We are fortunate that we have a lighting ordinance, but it would be really great if we could tighten it up a bit.

Here are two Web sites that have some information on outdoor lighting, from Pima County and from a town near Chicago that received recognition as the world's fourth International Dark Sky Community in November 2011:



Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be the fifth?

Jerry and Judy Arnold




Shelby Energy election


For the first time ever in its entire history, Shelby Energy Coop has a candidate for the board of directors nominated by the coop members. Shelby Energy serves Trimble, Henry, and Shelby counties.

Sonia McElroy is a great candidate. She is a long-time coop member, active in the community and on a number of other community boards. She has some excellent ideas about opening up the governance of the Energy Coop to be more democratic and helping the members reduce their energy cost with efficiency programs.

One of the issues is that the present board will not let coop members – legally the coop owners – attend meetings of the board of directors unless the member asks permission five working days in advance. What are they trying to hide, we wonder?

The present board, all appointed, are asking the members to mail back a proxy form that the Coop management will vote. We think that is a poor way to run an election and that it is not in the interest of the coop members to give away their vote with the proxy forms.

If anyone reading this is a member of Shelby Energy Coop, do not send in the proxy form. Attend the annual meeting in person and cast your own vote.

Wallace McMullen



Congrats to Hornback, Montell


Congratulations to Sen. Paul Hornback and Rep. Brad Montell for  being awarded the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions  Liberty  Award. Sen. Hornback and Rep. Montell were among 10 members of  the General Assembly, both Democrat and Republican, who were recognized for  specific actions during the 2012 Legislative session that promoted the  Institute’s core principles of free markets, free peoples and transparent  government in our commonwealth. I am proud of Paul Hornback and Brad  Montell for being willing to take courageous stands on limited government and  education reform. We need more legislators to follow the example of Senator  Hornback and Representative Montell.

Janet Cuthrell



Babb benefit team says thanks


On behalf of the Babb Family Benefit Team, I wish to express our appreciation to First Christian Church for allowing us to host the Babb Family Benefit on April 22 at First Christian Church.  In addition, I want to express our appreciation to Dave Charlton and his band ExitUp for providing the music for the benefit.

The generous Shelbyville merchant support through the donation of auction items was  was amazing.  The response of the community  through financial contributions was truly heart warming.  The wonderful article in The Sentinel-Newswas greatly appreciated.  And the excellent art work donated for auction by the artists at the Shelby Artists On Main Gallery was superb. The outstanding effort put forth by the GWRRA (Goldwing Road Riders Association) and the members of Salem Baptist Church (Tim Babb's congregation) combined with the community support made it possible for our Team to raise more than $8600 for Tim and his son, Alex. 

Thanks again for your support.

J. Howard Griffith