Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The last week of March (leading up to Earth Hour) The End of Night author and JMU professor Paul Bogard and JMU planetarium director Shanil Virani inaugurated Starry Nights Harrisonburg, a series of events to raise awareness of light pollution's wide ranging impacts and spur action to reverse the trend on campus, in Harrisonburg, and throughout the Shenandoah Valley. IDA executive director Bob Parks was Wednesday's featured guest speaker and the following evening Virginia IDA chapter co-leader (and JMU alum) Laura Greenleaf delivered a presentation prior to a panel discussion on lighting and campus safety that included Wake Forest Police Chief Regina Larson and several JMU student advocates. Chief Larson confirmed what research and experience continue to tell us: lighting is not a stand alone crime deterrent, lighting can backfire and aid criminal activity, and overly bright, glaring, and poorly designed lighting is the enemy of good visibility. You can read coverage of the event in JMU's The Breeze here.