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Light pollution begins to decline in Czechia

> Dear Jan
> Here is the address of my colleague. If you have information (success or
> indifference) about the first night under new legislation, give them to him:
> fnodelanglois@lefigaro.... Not after 12 pm on next Sunday.
> Thank you very much for your help.
> Yves M

Dear Sir,

I am happy to announce some positive changes in our country since June 1. 

The Clean Air Act (effective from that date) is a huge law and not many
people are well acquainted with it. Especially, prevention of the light
pollution is something really new for almost everybody.

In spite there is not a possibility to enforce anything yet, explaining
people what they could (and should) avoid may help. 

From a couple of institutions we have contacted in the past days, two
responded already by stopping the pollution they have produced before. I'm
sure another will follow. The list of them will appear an be updated on
our lighting-education pages:

  Skybeamer off 

The first one has been a major entertainment centre in Brno, called Boby
Centrum (http://www.bobycentrum.cz), a hotel and congress centre as well.
Just three weeks ago they have installed a strong skybeamer at the roof,
being misinformed by the provider that the Clean Air Act won't become
effective before September and being asked by the disco operator to
attract customers this way.  When I noticed its operation Monday evening
(seeing how it illuminates the air over the whole Brno basin), phoned
there in Tuesday and informed them that such an activity is a prime
example of light pollution, which should be avoided by everybody, they
have decided to stop using the skybeamer forever after Friday, June 7, in
spite it has been paid for already three months ahead...

It is an excellent example of private business obeying the law without
being forced to. Brno night environment reclaimed its quiet character once
again, Brno citizens are not frightened by curious light changes behind
their windows, birds are not misled by strong beams of light and the
visitors of our observatory can enjoy the remnants of starry heavens the
standard Brno streetlights leave us to see. 

  Cemetery dark again

A second case I know is from Vsetin, a town at east border of Czechia. The
local lighting utility agreed that illuminating the local cemetery all the
night through, when it is closed, is not needed at all. So they switched
the lighting off for the whole summer (perhaps some illumination till 6
p.m. will be used in winter). It has been illuminated before on behalf of
a popular view that light will prevent thieves from going there. If
anything will, it's the darkness... A dark cemetery during the night will
help restoring wildlife there, as churchyards are its very important
refugia in urbanised areas. Just they have not to be lit like prison

with kind regards,
 Jenik Hollan, IDA Czech Republic

 the attachment is a view of a part of Brno from our Observatory with the
skybeamer at Boby Centrum still in operation on June 3/4

                                Jan Hollan
              N. Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno
Kraví hora 2, CZ - 616 00 Brno                        +420 (5) 41 32 12 87

Lipová 19, 602 00 Brno                                         43 23 90 96

                 member of the Society for Sustainable Living
             and volunteer of the Ecological counselling Veronica
Panská 9, 602 00 Brno, Czechia                  fax:  +420 (5) 42 21 05 61

e-mail: hollan@ped....cz             http://astro.sci.muni.cz/pub/hollan

Attachment: boby_bJun8.jpg
Description: a skybeamer which ceased to operate