Proposed outdoor lighting bill would make Maui darker

Contrary to Lee Altenberg (Letters, Oct. 23), I didnŐt cringe at the headline in The Maui News. But I do become upset when a member of a subcommittee charged with formulating legislation misrepresents the facts.

Mr. Altenberg, who has been responsible for much of the content of the proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance, consistently has insisted that all street and parking-lot lights be low-pressure sodium, the wattage of all streetlights be reduced by as much as 40 percent, the pole height of all street and parking-lot lights be reduced (increasing the number of lights needed to meet minimum safety standards), and that street lights be only at intersections.

The proposed ordinance will require any light over 260 lumens (a 20-watt incandescent light) within 324 feet of the ocean shall be fully shielded from view from the shoreline. That would require substantial changes to light fixtures along Front Street and South Kihei Road, and in the resorts at Wailea, Kaanapali, Honokowai and Kapalua in addition to every residence, condominium and building along the shoreline. The ordinance would also require all propane and tiki torches be extinguished by 11 p.m. and that no up-lights above 1,000 lumens (60-watt incandescent) be allowed, effectively eliminating all tree, building and landscape accent lighting.

This ordinance will clearly make Maui dimmer. While I agree with and support many of the ideas to reduce light pollution, I take exception to Mr. AltenbergŐs letter, his tenure on the subcommittee and the draft ordinance in its present form.

Phil Johnson