Forum, June 10: Hanover church project would ruin the night sky

Sunday, June 09, 2019
Hanover church project would ruin the night sky

The Valley News recently published a letter I wrote concerning the proposal by Christ Redeemer Church to build an enormous church on Greensboro Road just west of Velvet Rocks Drive (“Proposed church project threatens neighborhood,” May 24). It addressed the serious water runoff that would result from excavation. This letter addresses another negative impact to the neighborhood that would result from the building project: lighting.

One of the most compelling reasons why my husband and I chose the Velvet Rocks community five years ago when we were looking to downsize was its tranquility. Contributing greatly to that was the absence of streetlights. One can walk around the place at night without the glare of lights. The stars are clearly visible against the dark sky. It is magical. If the Christ Redeemer Church proposal is granted, there will be much bothersome light emanating after dark from the property. The majority of this light will come from the parking lot, which will cover an acre — large enough to accommodate 113 cars.

Although the fixtures will be the type that direct the light downward, there will be considerable light going outward in all directions. The glare will be an affront to those living in the neighborhood and to drivers and pedestrians passing by. The residents of Velvet Rocks will be harmed since their homes are extremely close to the parking lot, which will extend to the easterly border of the church property, within yards of Velvet Rocks Drive. At night, the view of the sea of lights will be equivalent to the sight of the lights of the malls on Route 12A, whether driving along that route or on Route 89, approaching the Connecticut River.

This scenario is in violent contrast to the “unlit” nature of the Greensboro Road neighborhood.



Remember this when making abortion criminal

Those who want to criminalize abortion should remember that no woman can get pregnant without the assistance of a man. For some reason, despite never having had a period, never having to wonder if sex was “safe” at the time, never having to experience a miscarriage, and never having to experience the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy, many men seem to believe they know what is best for women. Teach abstinence and prevention with equal fervor. Prevention includes contraception.

If you want to criminalize abortion, you should also be willing to criminalize men who coerce their partners into sex, refuse to wear condoms, take advantage of women under the influence of any substance, believe some women are “asking for it,” brag about sexual exploits, argue that women should subject themselves to the wishes of their husbands, refuse to financially support the children they do father, etc., etc.

If you want to criminalize abortion, you should never stigmatize young women who find themselves pregnant and unmarried but welcome them with open arms. Prosecute people and families who shun these women. Stop saying or thinking, “Oh, that poor family. She seemed like such a good girl.”

If you want to criminalize abortion, provide wages that allow families to raise a child or children with enough food, a home, clothing, and publicly funded child care and health care. If someone is struggling to make ends meet, the addition of another child can be catastrophic.

Should we criminalize those couples who refuse to adopt the children of unplanned pregnancies? Walk the talk or face the charges.

Many efforts to criminalize activity have resulted in unregulated and dangerous practices. If you really believe than criminalizing abortions will end abortions, you need a reality check.

If you are a woman, find yourself pregnant and oppose abortion, don’t get one. If you are a man and oppose abortion, then don’t do anything that can get a woman pregnant. Otherwise, the decision to have an abortion or not should be left up the woman. Period (pun intended).



Don’t miss album ‘Will You Leave the Light On’

I recently acquired the new Jennings and McComber album Will You Leave the Light On by local artists Andy and Kara Lake. This is the second album the couple has released and I can only imagine the energy, time and money it took to produce such a piece of art.

After spending some time listening and familiarizing myself with the album, I am falling in love with the music and lyrics that the couple has created. Their music is filled with love and hope and friendship. Their talent is evident in the multiple instrumentation, beautiful chords and artistic expression in each song.

I encourage listeners to soak up the harmonies, stories and vulnerability that the two have lovingly put together for us to enjoy. Better yet, go hear them play. And give thanks for their sharing.

We are lucky to have such a strong, loving and kind couple as part of our community.