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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bright Lights Big Village

I was at a party last night in High Falls and upon returning to New Paltz around midnight I was shocked at the panoply of lights emanating from the village. It hit me when we were on Springtown Road, I think. Now, it has been a while since I have taken a late night ride into town from the mountainside. When I moved to New Paltz twenty years ago I lived on Libertyville Road, so I know I must have two decade old memories of what New Paltz looked like at midnight entering from that side of town. I guess I have not driven into town, that late, in a long time because I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw all the lights. When did this happen? (Am I old?)

After I expressed my shock and disbelief to my fabulous friend and driver, she just had to chime in and say, "Wait till you see it when Woodland Pond opens up -- for height across the landscape, faculty tower will pale in comparison. And these lights, well, they will have a lot of new friends..."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not "hippie B.S.", but perhaps somewhat overly nostalgic. I am not sure I agree with your friend's prediction about Woodland Pond, but I could be wrong. It is a careful balance between property rights and regulation, but there's quite a bit to be said for protecting the viewshed with lighting regs. While we're at it, anyone for a wetland/watercourse ordinance in the Town AND Village?

Happy New Year K.T.

Regards,

Jon Sennett

kt said...

I did not mean to sound overly nostalgic... just was truly surprised by the difference. And since I am pro-sustainable development and smart growth, it is not like I was saying it was necessarily bad - I want to live in a place that is vibrant and people want to move to (just like I did) - it was just that I was so truly struck by my emotional reaction to the visual image... and it did evoke in me a wonder how well our village and town are handling this growth.

Wetlands protection is a perfect example... "A 1% loss of wetlands within a watershed can increase total flooding by almost 7%." (Quote from: Transition to Green publication, Nov 08. - Obama administration recommendations by environmental groups.
http://gristmill.grist.org/images/user/6337/transition_to_green_full_report.pdf)

Of course in this same time period we have seen an increase in flooding, correct? Yet, you accurately note that neither the town nor village has wetlands protection law in place. Let us make that one of our community New Year's resolutions!