Rounded ‘em up

We want to express our deepest thanks to police officer Byrd, who was on duty Sunday, Feb. 17 at 10:15 p.m. Officer Byrd bravely rounded up our four escaped horses on U.S. Highway 101 and found us (the horses’ owners).

Thanks also to our neighbors Dave and Linda and friend Sandi and a nice gentleman from out of town who helped walking the horses safely back home.

We, and Bandon’s Chief of Police Bob Webb are grateful to have such a great police staff. Thanks again.

Dorris and Marshall Sparks


Support starry sky measure

David and I are Bandon residents and retired biologists who love living by the ocean.  We are writing to strongly support the upcoming outdoor lighting measure, Ballot Measure No. 6-148. As biologists, we support these regulations because the large population of coastal migratory and resident birds and  wildlife need celestial cues that can be obscured by artificial lights. Some seabirds also require dark skies to come to their burrow nests on the off-shore islands of Bandon. We often spend hours on area headlands for bird surveys and so know how many out-of-town tourists come to see the large diversity of marine birds, seals, sea lions and whales along Bandon’s coast. Money from these visiting folks is a vital financial lifeline of our motels, restaurants and other businesses in Bandon. So keeping Bandon’s wildlife healthy should be an important financial incentive!

We like dark skies to be able to sleep at night and unfortunately, we have night lights from neighbors that shine directly into our bedroom. These regulations also will help those who are interested in astrological observations as well.

We took Matt Winkel’s suggestion last fall to view the new city lights installed along Harlem Street and compare them with the old lights along 11th Street. We were very impressed with the new lights as the brighter, energy efficient and downward lights made the sidewalk much more visible to us. We support the city leading the way to improved night lighting and urge you to vote yes on Ballot Measure No. 6-148.

Diane and David Bilderback


No to lighting ordinance

The city of Bandon is considering amending its lighting ordinance to include erroneous exterior lighting regulations. While I understand the concern of intrusive glare from outdoor lighting, it’s a simple issue of courtesy and cooperation with one another.

The people behind this (Committee for Citizen Involvement) are backed by the Dark Sky Association. The CCI has gained an alliance with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to further promote their cause(s). The federal government should never be allowed to influence unconstitutional demands against individual property rights under the fictitious guise of protecting the night sky, wildlife and rocks. Yes, rocks. This is another avenue exploited by the USFWS to greatly expand their ulterior motive of turning the entire Coquille Valley into a massive mosquito bog unfit for human habitation. The Bandon Marsh project must also be stopped.

The unrealistic regulations pertaining to this ordinance will cost property owners time and expenses they cannot afford. The crime rate will increase, including, but not limited to, burglary, theft, prowlers, trespassing, assaults and worse. Police, fire and ambulance always promote good lighting for obvious reasons. If passed, Bandon will become a criminal’s paradise.

Requiring no more than a 40-watt bulb to illuminate your door and address will not provide enough light in emergencies. Nor does it allow enough light to see who’s at your door at night. Business owners are liable for the safety of their customers and employees by preventing accidents and crime with the proper use of lighting.

It’s the resident who decides what is good for the safety and health for their own families and property. It’s not the decision of a few people who want to see the stars and find excuses to get their way at the needless expense and inconvenience to others who will be forced to shoulder the burden, and be subjected to continual harassment in ensuring every detail is enforced.

Proponents see light as polluting the night sky. Are they concerned that it will blind aircraft pilots, astronauts or space aliens? Get real. This is a slippery slope that begs the question, “What’s next?”

Vote this proposal into the trash where it belongs! We have more important things to attend to like preserving our constitutional freedoms. Please go to to read the ordinance and sign the petition against it.

Tom McKirgan


Vote yes on lighting ordinance

We love Bandon and would like to ask you to vote YES on the upcoming city lighting ordinance. We live across from a large housing development that has used dark sky lighting throughout their development. It is very attractive, gives the area excellent security lighting, does not shine into our house and bedrooms and we are able to view the beautiful sky and stars.

I am a member of the Bandon Police Support Services and during my patrol, I noticed the new dark sky street lighting the city is testing (on Harlem, between 11th and the Harvard Street Apartments). The new fixtures are excellent. The area was well lighted, did not shine into the resident’s homes and I felt safety and visibility was much better than the previous glaring lights.

Help keep Bandon beautiful and safe by voting YES on the city lighting ordinance.

Craig and Linda Wilcox


Ordinance does no harm

At the end of February or the beginning of March, Bandon residents will receive a ballot to vote on outdoor lighting regulations in Bandon.

I urge voters to educate themselves about the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance and then  vote YES!

The ordinance is not “lights out in Bandon,” as some would have you believe. It is about directing outdoor lighting down to the ground, where it is intended to provide for safety after dark, and not into the night sky, where it serves no purpose.

It also does not affect lighting already in place but only outdoor lighting fixtures installed after the ordinance takes effect.

The Outdoor Lighting Ordinance on the ballot was adopted by the Bandon City Council in August 2012. It was adopted after much study of the issue and after many opportunities for the public to express their opinions. It was not a “back room deal” done behind the backs of Bandon residents.

A public forum on the ordinance, hosted by the Committee for Citizen Involvement was held on Sept. 26, 2011 at The Barn. It was well attended and many residents took advantage of the opportunity to give written and verbal opinions of the idea of an outdoor lighting ordinance.

The Bandon Planning Commission took up the issue of an outdoor lighting ordinance and held public hearings and accepted public input on March 22, 2012, April 26, 2012, and May 24, 2012. The Planning Commission recommended the ordinance to the City Council and after the usual public discussion and opportunities for citizen input, the ordinance was adopted by the council.

Anyone who wants to see what outdoor lighting under the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance looks like can see examples of it already around Bandon. A trip to the grocery store after dark will show how it looks. Both Ray’s and Price ‘n Pride light their parking lots with efficient and effective lighting fixtures which are already in compliance with the ordinance.

Please study the ordinance and make an informed decision. Copies of the ordinance are available at City Hall, Bandon Public Library and online at the city website at under “public notices.”

The Outdoor Lighting Ordinance does no harm and could be a benefit to star gazers and to birds who call Bandon home and to our visitors as well.

Linda Olsen


Relax and turn on your lights

We’re darkening Bandon skies to protect what? The Bandon Marsh has been singled out for special attention. Prior to the Bandon Marsh being “protected,” it was naturally home to a very large, diverse wildlife population, night lights and all. And it still is. So, the marsh isn’t in any danger.

Bandon has been around way over 100 years. In that time it has had both gas light and electric light, street lights, traffic lights, headlights, emergency vehicle lights (and sirens), flag spotlights, porch lights, shop lights, whatever. Still, Bandon today sports a wildlife population within its city limits that includes myriad birds (including night owls), rodents, possums, raccoons, deer and elk, none of which seems bothered by the light at night. The only local animals notably missing seem to be the lions, bears and bobcats, likely because Bandon is lit at night. This is bad?

In the lighting above, almost all of it — save for the flag-honor lights — had a basis in safety. The lighting evolved because it was needed and worked. The city of Bandon faces stiff liability fines should some of their pseudo-science be brought in front of real judicial courts over consequences that should have been foreseeable.

As for conserving energy, cut me some slack! Bandon is in the business of selling energy!

And about the rocks: Some years back in the San Francisco Bay Area, I heard of a rockologist who was apparently at that time confronted with some of  the same “Rock Sympathy” we’re witnessing here, and how the rocks should be protected. If I recall, he stated that the surface rocks are the sturdiest of all rocks, precisely because of their exposure to the elements which specifically included all of the light spectrum exposures. It was the rocks below, the ones protected from most of the maturing elements, that were the weakest.

So, Bandon, relax. Turn on your lights, enjoy your barbecues, honor your flags, light your paths and drives. Just be considerate.

Ronnie Herne


Processes are open to public

According to Rob Taylor, in his letter to the editor published in the Feb. 14 issue of the Bandon Western World, there is a rogue group made up of a minority of citizens backed up by city leaders who “have tyrannical desires to turn our hometown atmosphere into a strangely perverted Neighborhood Association, with little or no input from the disenfranchised.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Federal, state and municipal governments are required by law to follow planning processes which are open to the public. Planning documents, changes in regulations and other initiatives that affect individuals, groups, communities and regions have open public comment periods and public hearings. Bandon City Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings and committee meetings are open to the public. Public documents are posted on the city website, and are available at the city office.

As a former Bandon planning commissioner, I have a great deal of respect for the city staff and for those who serve on committees and commissions. I will be voting yes for Ballot Measure No. 6-148, as I feel the change to Bandon’s outdoor lighting regulations, which will mitigate light pollution, is in the best interest of the community.

Bill Binnewies