SETI [ASTRO] Stellafane Skies Update

Larry Klaes (
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 10:47:44 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender to owner-astro using -f >From: "Penny Fischer" <> >To: "Astro Mailing List" <> >Subject: [ASTRO] Stellafane Skies Update >Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 22:23:27 -0400 >X-MSMail-Priority: Normal >X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 8.5, Build 4.71.2173.0 >Importance: Normal >X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3 >Sender: >Reply-To: "Penny Fischer" <> > >I don't know if anyone posted this yet, from the prez and sect'y of >Stellafane. Please visit their website and show your support for dark skies >over Stellafane if you haven't already. > >Thanks:) > >Penny Fischer >40.297N -74.359W >~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* >President, S*T*A*R Astronomy Society >Monmouth County, N.J. USA > > >*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ > >>From the STM President: >News UPDATE: >The Prison Crisis at Stellafane > >Tuesday night at the Town meeting in Springfield, Vermont several members >of the Springfield Telescope Makers spoke on behalf of the endangered >Stellafane Observatory, site of the world famous Porter Turret Observatory >and the Stellafane Conventions which have been held over the last 75 years. > >The townspeople listened with interest and sympathy to the concerns of the >Stellafane organizers, who maintain that the proposed prison would still do >severe harm to the night sky at a distance of just several miles. Holding >streams of e-mail sent by the astronomical community around the world, I >read various excerpts from the writings of Stellafane attendees who have >patronized the surrounding businesses in Springfield and the rest of >Vermont. The distant origins of some of the e-mail gave particular credence >to our case, as well as their notability as scientific institutions. In >particular, horror stories of other observatories being impaired by >distances of 20 or 30 miles pointed up the problem at hand of a prison in >the neighborhood of 4 miles from Breezy Hill. > >The State Engineer, Jim Richardson, was aghast at the e-mail he received >and admitted that he didn't know what Stellafane was, so he looked it up. >He seemed to be quite relieved that it was actually 4 miles instead of 3. >He also seemed to think that since Breezy Hill was higher in elevation, >that simple geometrical difference would make it all no problem. > >We maintain that this makes not enough difference at all. It is TOO CLOSE. >I was particularly amazed at how little is understood about the character >of diffuse light in the moisture rich air of Vermont. There are still no >plans of the facility or how the lights would be arranged. The Town is >expected to vote on the prison with that little information. > >The following day (June 23) two local papers (The Rutland Herald and The >Eagle Times) carried front page stories about our members perspectives of >how the prison would harm the Stellafane Convention, and the resultant loss >to the tourist economy by the decreased attendance. It is universally >agreed that the dark skies of Stellafane have and are essential to the >operation of the convention, which has been the proving ground for >astronomical instrumentation and amateur astronomy techniques since it was >started in 1926. Estimates of the tourist impact of the Stellafane >conventioneers and their familes were received with very little surprise. >The townspeople seemed well aware of how hard it is to get a hotel within >30 miles of Stellafane when it is near the time of the convention. > >The e-mail PETITION and letter writing campaigns at have >brought the concerns of Stellafane to the forefront with the most >incredible speed and intensity imaginable. My perception is that the Town >has thankfully become aware of the seriousness of our problem. As they >weigh the negative effect to us along with thier many other varied issues >and concerns, it is hoped that the Town of Springfield will choose its >heritage and future to be preserved by protecting Stellafane from the >unwitting damage that will be caused by those Vermont State agencies that >never noticed they had a revered National Historic Landmark and Observatory >right there in Vermont where they want to build this prison. > >Additional press coverage is expected in Friday's Springfield Reporter, >Sunday's Eagle Times and also National news coverage in the New York Times >in both the Saturday and Monday editions. NBC affiliate WNNE Channel 31 in >White River Junciton, VT did a video news spot on Stellafane's problem that >was aired on local news at 6 and 11pm on June 22nd. The associated press >and several radio stations throughout the region are giving air time to the >story as well. > >The petition to Governor Howard Dean of Vermont has been and is still the >key feature of this awareness raising exercise. The participation of >hundreds of people in the astronomical community in both writing and >disseminating the news story has given us a dearly held hope that the >people of Town of Springfield will decide to make the prison go away with >the power of their vote on Tuesday, June 29th. > >We, like the stars, await the verdict. > >Maryann Arrien >President >Springfield Telescope Makers >Stellafane > > > > >>From the Secretary: As of 9pm on Thursday the petition is up to 452 >"signatures". But, we still need more!!! Please visit > to add your name. Also, please forward >the petition info to EVERYONE you know!!! > >Thanks for all the support! > >Wayne "Waynbo" Zuhl >Secretary, Springfield Telescope Makers > > > > >eFax: 520-244-5338 > > >

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