Education/Athletics PrioritiesOr perhaps, community values?  Explanation here as to "lighted fields" and their significance. 

Regarding what and if the Legislature may do about rewording HB6998 to alter it - don't forget an Implementer possibility, either...
First meeting included light and sound tests;  Second reviewed sports seasons (winter & spring), plans for a special prior to school in Fall;

With permission, Musco and Committee members ventured onto private property using flashlights, by the light of the Moon.  Sunset over second quarterly meeting.



ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS:  E.P.A. Study ongoing...on "turf" not lighting.  But we have found that these two are related.
So how much time, effort and your tax money was spent on this bill so far?  Had to go to two Committees, have a public hearing, required staff comment from two agencies (OLR & OFA).

Committee on Children brings forward crumb rubber ban bill - not intended to apply to athletic fields -  check here for more.
If it stays in this JF language, which the proponent intends to try to change and obviously (to me) it will die because of the fiscal note - it should not be a problem...

Legislative Committee Debates Safety of Crumb Rubber
by Jack Kramer | Feb 17, 2016 5:30am

Where the rubber meets the road...and what about artificial tennis courts, Mr. Jack Kramer?


LIGHTS COMMITTEE SUMMARY - There will be a report given to the Board of Selectmen at its June 30th meeting on next steps.  Which appear to be to find the screening funding and expertise to design the best additional protection for the neighbors.  But unless there are specific requests and identification of needs, it will be, my choice of words here, like working in the dark.  Special Meeting of Lights Committee at the end of August or early September to move forward with planting in the proper season (and not lose a year because of bureaucratic delay - my words again).  It is pointed out to Lights Committee members representing the Selectmen and the Board of Education that the planting designed to screen the dumpsters is awesome and works, but the berm, designed to have plantings atop, was not as successful.

In the beginning there was a football field and a dirt track, the "beginning" being as of November 15, 2001.  That is the date the Weston Schools and Fields Bond Issue passed.

In order to get the numbers down from $124 million - which would not have passed - the town leadership pared the project down to only $79 million.  Left out were several items that became public-private partnerships.

"Let there be lights and there were lights"
The whole community enjoys the use of schools and fields, WHS is the emergency shelter, for tennis and to keep in shape on the beautiful all weather track - which is now lit for night use!



Present:  Chair. (Selectman), Board of Ed member, staff from Parks&Rec, staff from Board of Ed, Musco rep, neighbors.

Test of new sound system and the lights on neighboring properties done.
Now that they have "worn in" it was time to see if the lights were doing what the Selectmen had wanted ("zero" intrusion).

Had you noticed these houses in September?  How far away is the home that has its outside light on? 

Does any of this relate to the issue of the loudspeaker system - or "less-loud" loudspeaker system? 

Weston High School ball field puts lights to the test
Story in FORUM here:

...“When we were walking behind the field, we couldn’t hear Sal talking,” Mr. Muller said. “We could hear the music, though.”

He said decibel readings were about 61 to 62 decibels at the property line. “We’re now trying to get an idea of what does that mean.”

For one of the neighbors, Sandy Block of Parade Ground Court, it likely means it’s too loud.

Mr. Block, whose property does not abut the playing field but is nearby, said he would like the decibel level capped at about 50. That’s the level that was agreed upon in a court case that involved Fairfield University and its neighbors as the maximum sound level at the property line. “We could use that as a benchmark,” Mr. Block said...
Please read the article in full - it appears that the "Lights Committee" process is working.

Bright lights! 
Here you have a good view of what can be seen by Parade Ground Court, perhaps not the exact angle.

Field closed and padlocked.  In the pitch black (off the field) intrepid participants marched into the woods...
Paved paths, where there were any, were used, and then in the dark of night, across the grass and into the trees for those properly shod or really adventurous...

Orange points of light are outdoor illumination on neighboring properties, we think.
We were surprised that anything came out on this photos (remember, no flash).  The densely treed property was illuminated - but was it the field lighting - see above?

First meeting of Lights Committee (5 members)
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, 7:30pm in Town Hall Meeting Room

 Present:  David Muller, Chair. (Selectman);  Elise Major, Board of Education; neighbors (2);  Dr. Keating and Joe Olenik.

At first meeting of Lights Committee - what happened:

·         Only Stadium Field at high school is under their control (there had been some questions raised by neighbors of the lighted soccer field that it would be nice to use this Committee as clearing house for their questions, too).  The Committee is, however, not empowered to look further than the Stadium Field.
·         (See picture above of crane) I asked Dr. Keating and Joe Olenik at this first Lights Committee meeting tonight, prior to its beginning, and they said they were putting up the air handlers on the high school roof (since we ended up with the money to do so because the windows&doors project this past summer same in way under budget) for air conditioning the E-Wing new rooms.
·         This is a very good Committee – David Muller is the Chair. – they see themselves as the first stop for people with complaints and those who have suggestions about the football field “Stadium” lights to go.  They intend to help solve the problems by referring folks to the right place for answers.
·         Although they will be meeting quarterly (this was the first meeting), they intend to have other meetings as necessary.  Besides filing their minutes in a timely fashion, I get the feeling that they want to be seen as at the front line of problems – for example, they are going to find out how things have gone so far in terms of following the M.O.U.
·         Special Meeting:  For example:  Nov. 19 at sunset/when it is dark, they intend to meet to check out spillage as well as sound.  Up until now, they have not gone on private property to measure light seepage; but if neighbors want them to see something on their own properties, Nov. 19 would be the time to give permission for measurement devices to be used on these private properties.

Next meeting in January 2015.  However, Special Meetings will be called in between.

Lights, camera...
24 hour test review September 4, 2014 - all hands on deck!

We entered as if we were going to the tennis courts...I wonder if there is a parking plan for football games?

The problem, as had been anticipated at the Board of Selectmen...
What happens when the leaves are down?  Please note the "bounce" effect on the visitor side.

After parking, we took our first photo facing east, toward Weston High School (in the back of this picture)

We kept on walking east, and took this picture (we were using a flash).

The mellifluous voice of WHS announcer (is that really you, Sal?)
does a voice test - to tell if the new sound system measurements in reality are what they were supposed to be!

This is just the beginning of the story of how it came to be that Weston, CT high school sports programs made it possible for more students and adults to keep in shape!

Mother Nature upstaged.

Doesn't the moon look sad?  Has "Company" ever performed Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera?  We saw it in "...Marc Blitzstein's version which ran during the 1950's for six years and featured the incomparable Lotte Lenya..." as this Youtube description reminds me (how long ago that was).  Boy, did it make an impression on me!

The actual wording of the opening line to this song is "See the moon over dock street?"

What's next?  First came the soccer field (behind the press box)...

In 2014 Weston, it was a big "yes" by governmental agencies involved.  Did the taxpayers under write these projects?  Not entirely and the upkeep of replacing turf is supposed to come from users - which means the sports clubs - but we are pretty sure the town pays for it in part through the education budget.  And then there is the electricity bill for the lights...

8-24 review of Town of Weston application for permanent lights for football field - to be used for many events five nights a week and weekends.

Lower left in a tie, neighbors' attorney, attempting to claim that the Town is no longer exempt from zoning - was cut off.
Neighbors and others who opposed stadium lights had their time before the Selectmen, having submitted extensive reports of their own.


Who will speak for those who don't think the Board of Selectmen should be making decisions about 80 foot lights for night football?  Or for the "parade of the horribles" of what the lights proposed will lead to...

Who else but Wild Things founder and pitcher Lisa Brodlie, whose letter was read into the record by the gentleman on the lower left.  The cell tower at Town Hall is 195 feet high, serving as communication center vital link and with all carriers on the same pole, to minimize impact on others, is also not directly abutting a residential area

Is "Friday Night Football" in the same class as emergency communications?  Is that high school football, grand American southern and mid-western tradition, really what Westonites want to override their dark night skies? 

Appropriate phrasing...PUNT:  Put it to a "yes" or "no" vote in November, perhaps?  Or...

If the Board of Selectmen moves ahead and votes or takes an action (see section 3.6 of the Town Charter, below - which is online)  in favor of "Stadium" lights, which are being pitched as a method to "bring us together" and improve community spirit, there is an action to combat this - If those opposed can muster 318 signatures* of eligible town meeting voters, try a "Petition for Overrule of Action of Board of Selectmen" (see below from Weston Town Charter).  This might not be a good solution because individuals might find themselves targets of those who are in favor of the proposal.

And there is a third thing to consider.  Is it worth fighting and winning a legal battle, spending money, destroying the comity of the town?  Who wins in the end?  Remember this Special Town Meeting?

= Since 127 was the 2% number for ATBM, divided that by 2 and multiply by 5 and you have the number of signatures needed - but check with the Town Clerk.

School board prepares for legal fight over Greenwich High lights
Greenwich TIME
By Emilie Munson
Updated 11:01 pm, Friday, October 20, 2017

This article recounts earlier P&Z decision that went to court and new request:

Friday, January 28, 2005 Stamford ADVOCATE:
Plan to light Little League field rejected
By Donna Porstner

STAMFORD -- The Parks and Recreation Commission last night turned down a request to light the Federal Little League field at West Beach.

Members Jo-Anne Hand, Thomas Lombardo and Vincent Martino voted against the project during the commission's monthly meeting, saying they are sympathetic to neighbors who oppose the project. The commission's fourth member, Julian Sayer, was absent.

"People said the lights would shine in their bedroom windows, their children wouldn't be able to sleep -- they'd lose their privacy," Hand said in an interview after the meeting at Government Center...

Lighted Fields Divide Towns;  Neighbors Fight Plans For Night Games

August 15, 2004
By MARYELLEN FILLO, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

Judy Emmick and Ron Rodd joke that they could sell hot dogs from the comfortable deck of their home to fans sitting in the Wethersfield High School bleachers just 30 feet away.

"If I want to know the score of the game I just look out the window," Emmick said, as she and her husband look beyond the bleachers to the massive renovation underway at the school's Cottone Field in Wethersfield.

But as lifestyles changed, and the number, types and participation in interscholastic sports increased, schools began seeking ways to extend the use of their fields, raise money and attendance and accommodate the growing number of working parents who can't get to daytime games.

Lighting has been the answer.

And the preference for turf fields seems related...replacement to turf funded in part by user groups.

NOT Great Captain's, but we painted it 20 years ago, but we knew it wasn't a "real" lighthouse then...

Historic Greenwich lighthouse shines again
Greenwich TIME
David Hennessey
Published 11:29 p.m., Friday, February 3, 2012

After going dark more than four decades ago, the Great Captains Island lighthouse is shining once more.

Situated on the eastern point of the island 1 1/2 miles off the Greenwich coast, the 51-foot granite and cast iron tower now features a 4-second flashing green light, according to Superintendent of Building and Construction Alan Monelli.