Home » From The Readers, Letters to the Editor » Laser Lights Up Sedona Dark Skies

Laser Lights Up Sedona Dark Skies

Sedona AZ (October 20, 2018) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

From: Eddie Maddock
Date: 10/17/2018 9:30:11 AM
To: Michael Yarbrough

Subject: Re: Holiday Light Program

Sedona dramatic red rock vistas will feature laser light shows for a 2018 holiday program much to the chagrin of outspoken residents who support dark skies designations for the city of Sedona and Village of Oak Creek.

Good Morning, Mr. Yarbrough:

Thank you for taking time to respond to my concerns although the position KSB is taking on projecting light displays into Sedona wilderness is extremely disappointing. With full understanding we live in a constantly changing world, during the years I’ve lived in Sedona, Keep Sedona Beautiful as far as I knew, remained a steady source of balance in order to maintain the mission for which it came into existence: to keep Sedona beautiful by encouraging tasteful commercial and man-made contributions which wouldn’t detract from Sedona’s main attraction, our beautiful red rock formations. In my opinion this garish display is disrespectful and comparable to graffiti left by unthinking intruders on hiking trails and elsewhere. What’s the difference? So it’s claimed the light show is just for a mere 15 minutes for a few nights annually. Doesn’t that translate into being “just a little bit intoxicated” or “just a little bit pregnant?”

Reflecting back to when I was Secretary for Keep Sedona Beautiful, a mission during that time was what could they do besides “keep Sedona clean” making reference to the many, many KSB Litter Lifters that were constantly present in and around Sedona with their litter bags: Keeping Sedona Clean. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed they would endorse a garish lighting display, contributing to what may well be considered another step in turning Sedona into a third-rate Disney Land! It’s sad to think that is the way we are headed with, in my opinion, the cheesy laser-lights, if not shooing away wild life it just simply must be terrifying to them as well as roosting birds.

Back in the day when Tlaquepaque had their annual authentic Las Noches de Las Luminarias it was a fabulous, high profile yet low-key event that attracted probably more interest from visitors from the Valley and elsewhere than this tacky artificial non-spectacle ever will. It’s unfortunate the current owner of Abe Miller’s beautiful Tlaqepaque isn’t as tuned in with the purpose of that tasteful complex as his original intention. It was the good fortune for me and my husband to have Abe Miller and his wife, Lynn, as our neighbors when we first moved to Sedona.

Earth lights as seen from space.

Even when Los Abrigados had their “Festival of Lights” years later, it was tasteful and attracted Holiday visitors from near and far. Then the display, subsequently held up at the Posse Grounds, was likewise tasteful although understandably not in the best location. In spite of reports from those sponsoring this latest somewhat low-class laser light show, other comments indicate the alleged success of this questionable Sedona intrusion is quite the opposite. It’s difficult to imagine high-end destination tourists (which is on record as being the type of clientele targeted by the City of Sedona and the Chamber of Commerce) is, in reality, the audience to which the laser-light show is playing.

So be it. Keep Sedona Beautiful, for years relied on by member support to practice what it preaches, appears to have changed values. But of course, and I’ll reiterate, that’s my opinion. Understanding beauty is in the eyes of the beholders, my eyes definitely aren’t in sync with the current administration of KSB. Therefore kindly withdraw my membership and remove my name from future mailings.

Sadly,

Eddie Maddock

——-Original Message——-

From: Michael Yarbrough
Date: 10/16/2018 10:20:24 AM
Subject: Holiday Light Program

Dear Eddie (et al),

Thanks so much for your interest in this. We looked carefully at this event and have determined not to oppose it at this time. We satisfied ourselves that the lighting was limited specifically to the rocks and would not leak into the atmosphere. We would prefer not to have this event and we are in no way endorsing it. We simply decided not to overtly oppose it at this time. If the nature or frequency of the event changes then, of course, we may step in to voice concerns. We have already advised the Chamber that we would oppose events that occur during the year outside of the holiday program. We will continue to monitor this activity and work to protect the Dark Skies.

Again, I appreciate your interest and if you have questions I would be happy to answer them.

Mike Yarbrough
President, Keep Sedona Beautiful

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

141 Comments

  1. @jh message says:

    More non related information.. plus it’s put out by a government entity… And we don’t trust government ..More misinformation yawn..

  2. Very Funny - NOT! says:

    @@jh … “And we don’t trust government.”

    Look at the the majority seated on city council, elected by the Sedona Silk Stocking Club (Chamber/Lodging Council).

    Must agree THEY cannot be trusted. Thank you for the verification and enjoy the birds flying aimlessly as they are disturbed by blinding lights.

  3. steve segner says:

    More non related information.. plus it’s put out by a government entity ? Keep Sedona Beautiful, is not a goverment entity…

  4. JeanJ says:

    AUDUBON
    A new study, based at New York City’s 9/11 tribute, shows that artificial lights lure birds from their migratory routes and they may end up dead. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and NYC Audubon used radar to detect high densities of birds.
    SCIENCE – “Artificial light at night is a novel stimulus in the evolutionary history of nocturnal animals. Light pollution can significantly alter these organisms’ behaviors, from migration to foraging to vocal communication. Nocturnally migrating birds are particularly susceptible to artificial light because of adaptations and requirements for navigating and orienting in darkness.”

    F.Y.I. Fall migration of birds ends in early December. Some may refuel in the Sedona area for a spell depending upon food availability and weather. Elizabeth Colbert wrote “THE SIXTH EXTINCTION, An Unnatural History” about species annihilation.

    (Published in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

  5. Gayle Cooper says:

    @@jh message

    Vice Mayor John Martinez is part of Sedona government and he poopooh’s the light theory as being nonharmful to birds and wildlife. Where’s his degree and supporting research? Support it with more than a lobbyist mouthpiece please Martinez.

    According to your advice @jh we should NOT believe Martinez either.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander as self serving panderers like Martinez, KSB and @jh enjoy pointing out. Oh yeah and add the world wise Segner to the list of know-it-nothing’s.

  6. Speaking of Lights says:

    Wah happin to Jen, Chamber, and City Parks & Wreck??? No decorations at Schnebly roundabout – lights across bridge – wreaths along rails. The drab wreaths on the rail beyond Coldwell Banker – b.o.r.i.n.g.! No lights there, by golly.

    Where’s Jen and Rachel this year? Oh scuse me. Jen’s probably winging it to some far-away isle for her Holiday Get Away so she can post pics of herself in a bathing suit on FaceBook! (can hardly wait) After all, the one year she claimed to have assisted in decorating uptown she probably hasn’t yet recovered. Her real forte is soliciting money from City Council & City Hall. How ’bout them apples, Vice Mayor?

    Fly happily, Little Birds, and do it in daylight hours and DO NOT be fooled by artificial lights invading your territory after the sun sets – which is very early this time of year. HORRIBLE, BAD, SHAMEFUL.

  7. THE SWEET SPOT says:

    Well,you did it,
    you found the sweet spot.
    The lighting of the Luminaria at TLLAQ had no traffic jams after3 days of warnings and the Northern lights was bare tonight, no traffic, no full hotels, TTLAQ traffic guards hanging at the front gate letting people cross themselves tonight but probably getting paid very well.
    Sweet indeed.
    Happy Holidays neighbors.
    Phoenix says no thanks, we don’t want to sit in the traffic so we not go no more.
    LOL

  8. steve segner says:

    THE SWEET SPOT says:
    December 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Sorry, Sweet spot hotels booking up over last year for this weekend, great show last night. try to remember this show was for Sedona AND visitors we are 100 booked next 3 nights.
    Really Sweet Spot you can not us a real name to make a comment ….. in Christmas lights…. wow “get a pair”…

  9. Jen Decker. Dry creek road says:

    @the sweet spot
    @speaking of lights

    Wow you two(there the same person) must be real fun to be around. You have “sedona on the brain”. I’d hate to be in your scary head for sure..

    This girl Jen you always speak of must be a wonderful person for you to be so envious of and spend so much time thinking about. LOL

    Well happy holidays all… the light show last night was awesome

  10. Paul C., Sedona says:

    Heard about a voluntary have other plans by KSB and Sierra Club membership to avoid light show association. Any truth to it? They didn’t want to be seen by friends supporting bad ecology idea. About time weak knees found way to stand up.

  11. F.Y.I. says:

    “Wesselhoff said she sees it [Northern Lights show] becoming much more than simply a nine-minute show every hour. She would like to see carollers, reindeer, carriage rides, children’s arts and crafts, refreshment stands and shopping all in an attempt to bring the community together.”
    (Light show to return to Camelhead Rock, Nov.23, 2018 RRN)

    WTF? Over $2 Million per year in City taxpayer funds gifted to the regional Sedona Chamber of Commerce has split the community apart.

  12. What a great show!!! says:

    What an amazing show last night. This is such a unique way to celebrate the holiday season. What I liked most this year over last, the storyline was all about SEDONA and the sound quality was so much better than last year.

  13. @paul C says:

    The light show was spectacular last night..Excited about tonight. My children were amazed .. Thnk you Sedona

  14. @Jen Decker, Dry Creek Road says:

    As a “Jen” yourself, no wonder your admiration for “Jen the Cash Hog of the Chamber of Horrors.” You both deserve sir-names of Obnoxious IMO.

    @Paul C. Sedona Surely do hope the voluntary plans by KSB & Sierra Club have merit and they will “see the light” (pun intended) and rally to have it eliminated in Sedona come next Holiday Season. Way to go if it’s true, KSB & Sierra Club. Will be anxious to read more about a positive turn of events here in incorporated Sedona.

  15. @fyi says:

    There YOU(and all your names) go again.

    Thanks for proving my point (deleted by editor) .
    So predicable. LOL

    Whatever portion of MY tax dollars went to the light show it was well worth it. Thank you Sedona

  16. @what s great show says:

    Agreed…

    My family and myself thought it was fantastic as well..
    Sedona you rock..Merry Xmas to all involved.

  17. steve segner says:

    fyi
    WTF? Over $2 Million per year in City taxpayer funds {gifted} to the regional Sedona Chamber of Commerce has split the community apart.
    WTF, just an up date it is not Gifted to the city, the city spend the money… as it see fit. and remember it is the bed tax and can only be used on visitor projects not the general fund. hope that helps

  18. Hey Sedona Eye says:

    (deleted by editor)

    (SedonaEye.com Editor comment: You are mistaken.)

  19. TJ @steve segner says:

    It’s common knowledge the $2 plus million given to the C of C was NOT required to go to THEM. Aside from competitive bids for projects instead of hooking up with the Chamber, advertising non-and-un-professionals, It could have been used for a multitude of visitor (tourist) benefits included but not limited to traffic and road improvements presently quoted at around $3.5 mil just for the Forest Road bypass.

    And now City Council spends time in executive meetings attempting to figure out how to dupe residents into subsidizing their frivolous use of municipal funds.

    Thank goodness the voters supported the ballot proposition to prohibit cities from simply adding taxes on a whim. And property taxes, presently assessed for and by the counties, has nothing to do with the tax and spend Sedona city government.

    Sorry, Vice Mayor Martinez, but your bright idea and scheming with Segner as was pompously headland in the RRN at the time it occurred hasn’t been worth crap as far as truly making Sedona a better place for ALL CONCERNED – that means visitors AND residents!

    What goes around really does come around and a higher power works in mysterious way. Don’t ever forget that, Steve Segner and your toady Vice Mayor. You, like everyone else, won’t last forever.

  20. Forest Road Extension says:

    Hmmm very interesting if, by chance, the property west of the Post Office belongs to the USFS. Wonder if the brilliant citizen engagement committee has bothered to check into that particular detail?? Or does Steve Segner now also dictate to the Federal government and the use of the land they control?

  21. F.Y.I. says:

    Another Wesselhoff lie set down in yesterday’s RRN: “And, remember, because of tourism, the city of Sedona doesn’t levy a property tax at all.”

    The City of Sedona cannot levy a property tax. The electorate has to vote a City property tax into effect, something voters do not do.

    “Send an email to let us know what you think of the light show — my address is jwess@sedonachamber.com.” From yesterday’s RRN article by Jen: Well-managed city merits public thanks.

  22. Betty and Tom from Chicago says:

    Just wanted to comment that Betty and myself went to the light show yesterday.
    We had a nice time …Thank you Sedona for a nice visit. We will be back.

  23. Mary and Bob From LA says:

    If we wanted to go to Disneyland, we would have just driven there. We came to Sedona as we heard it was beautiful and spiritual. It’s an overpriced tourist trap with a light show, never again.

  24. NORTHERN LIGHTS FAIL says:

    Another night and it is deadsville in uptown and Tllaq.
    No crossing guards tonight cause there are no people to cross. LOL
    Even the players are out of town that could have been counted in the overinflated numbers that will be put out.
    Everyone can see that you have failed and I am happy about that.
    Happy holidays.
    PS the decorations in front of Caldwell Banker looks like a mish mosh of Yard sale decorations that don’t match.
    The SOLD sign of Santas sleigh brought to mind what the City has done to Sedona’s spirit.
    SOLD

  25. Eddie Maddock says:

    About Sedona City property tax.

    To the best of my recollection, at the time Sedona incorporated NO CITY PROPERTY TAX was a condition upon which voters approved the measure, after the first attempt to incorporate failed. Quite possibly Mayor Moriarty could verify that extremely important issue which was very much a part of why incorporation was eventually approved by voters.

    In fact, I vividly recall Patty Henry, wife of Ron, a local artist and a Sedona resident who at some point in time held Jennifer Wesselhoff’s position and was thrilled to earn $14,000/yr., was at our house, standing in our living room by the front door, attempting to convince us that “for one penny on the dollar we can have our own city and benefit from local police department, this service, that advantage – blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc.” For one penny (tax) on the dollar mind you! And what are we presently paying??

    No way, no how was or is the C of C a deterrent to City Property Taxes.

    No property tax to this day has NOTHING to do with the Chamber of Commerce and to indicate otherwise simply is not true. And the few times it’s been discussed at administrative level (city council/staff) it’s been made abundantly clear it can only be approved by registered Sedona city residents and, apparently, that has been a deterrent for having it appear on a ballot because most people are already fed up with high property taxes assessed and paid to Arizona counties.

    Judging from the number of homes in my own subdivision certainly doesn’t attest to happy residents who are pleased with Sedona’s quality of life attributed largely to leadership under the direction of the over-rated Chamber of Commerce. A far cry from when my late husband, together with the late Attorney Fred Esser, revived Chamber Mixers and, in fact, a business Viking America, owned and operated by my late husband and his partner, Kent Haven, went belly-up, thus attesting no one knows better than we did (I still do) how difficult it is to survive by making a living here. (maybe now with computer enterprises it’s become easier).
    Also, I’m pretty certain Sandy M. can recall the hard times we experienced.

    Incidentally, as I also recall the very first major Chamber brochure, possibly Experience Sedona, was a product of Viking America. That also is the truth and in the event the C of C maintains any sort of archives proof would surface therein.

    Stop spreading such preposterous nonsense when you haven’t a clue what it is you are even talking about.

    BTW – Patty & Ron Henry moved to the Village of Oak Creek after Sedona incorporated. Sadly I heard of her passing quite a few years ago and I don’t know what happened to Ron. Many, many avid proponents of incorporation took the same route – out of Sedona. That, folks, is also the honest to God truth.

  26. @Northern lights fail says:

    (deleted by editor) From what I saw (just got back) a lot of happy kids and family’s enjoying the show..
    A lot of smiles… Thnks Srdona you hit a home run. (deleted by editor)

  27. Jilly Paola says:

    (deleted by editor) lights with usfs and law firm. no difference (deleted by editor) said than hunting lights in migratory season. butter hummingbird fly by issues can result. recorded for Dark Skies Intl, checked hotel and motels and vacancies all over

  28. Liars in Sedona says:

    The Sedona Chamber lies about being member supported.

    In my opinion The Sedona Chamber and Red Rock Fake News Soy Boy’s lie about Sedona City property tax. The Soy Boy’s of the Red Rock Fake News and Jenn of the Chamber have no honor, IMO lying makes you less of a person. Karma will take care of you.

    Then we have lying trolls that say how great the light show is, I doubt they came into town from their residences outside of the city limits to see it.

    We can do something, we should shun Jenn and the Soy Boy’s. We should shun all members of the Sedona city council that allow this travesty to happen.

  29. Sedona in action says:

    “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” – HL Mencken

    Proof

  30. Betsy Blue says:

    And just where is “Srdona” @@Northern lights fail? LMAO

  31. West Sedona Dave says:

    Eddie. your paying 3 1/2 cents now and nothing out of YOUR pocket for the chamber.

    Our state takes the largest chunk of the taxes.

  32. @@Northern lights fail says:

    I went and it was a crack pot stupid dumb event. $100,000 is a complete waste and shows how cowpig Sedona is.

  33. @@@northern lights fail says:

    (deleted by editor) Didn’t the smiles on those little kids bring you even a sprinkle of joy…

  34. N. Malmberg says:

    @West Sedona Dave You don’t think that 3.5% sales tax is significant? Then add to it the bed tax within Sedona city limits. Plus sales tax gets applied to restaurant meals which are no bargain within Sedona incorporated. Social media tells tourists there’re better deals outside city limits. When the new hotel in the Village opens there’s another economic punch at your tax gut. (Even the Grand Canyon closes its Konterra hotel in winter season Sedona!! They know fiscal responsibility.)

    BTW Dave that 1% on the dollar (!! and Havasu got the bridge not Sedona !!) to those buying in to the promise of incorporation – by your own admission – is LONG gone. Let me ask why the VOC would buy the same promise today when we see your problems every day? We LIKE our tax compared to yours. Your council won’t be able to use the previous privilege of just increasing tax – because they FEEL like it. For once AZ voters did the right thing by putting a stop to that tax and spend method. Your Killbirds Light Show was more arrogance of power over the red rocks and the local forest service failed all the taxpayers.

    Let’s bet USFS loves trail maintenance money (or whatever its use is) but it reeks every time you turn around because trail volunteers do it better. But Sedona never saw a job that it didn’t want to over pay for —- like corporations do with CEOs and minions.

  35. @West Sedona Dave says:

    Say what? Didn’t you overlook Mrs. Maddock’s point? That being it isn’t Jennifer W. and her Chamber of Commerce preventing incorporated Sedona from having a city property tax. C’mon WSD, why try to maintain the City/Chamber tactic by averting an issue and attempting to deal from the bottom of the deck. Not an admirable characteristic IMO>

  36. F.Y.I. says:

    Steve Segner is lying again when he claims City of Sedona taxpayer funds are not being Gifted to the Chamber (December 14, 2018 at 1:5 pm). Another lie is that the bed tax must be used for visitor projects, not the General Fund. In fact, only the 1/2 percent bed tax increase passed by the City Council on January 1, 2014 must be used for tourism and not the General Fund.

    By the way, Stevie, the Attorney General is specifically examining “City Ordinance No. 2013-07, relating to its express terms affording city partnership or co-ownership of the public funds [bed tax revenues] with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, in relation to a possible violation of the specific gift clause provisions prohibiting a municipality from becoming a ‘joint owner,’ with a private entity of assets which would include flows therefrom.”

    Arizona State Constitution, Article 9, Section 7, Gift Clause: “Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, municipality, or other subdivision of the state shall ever give or loan its credit in the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation, or become a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or become a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation.”

  37. @F.Y.I. says:

    Wonder how the money the Chamber of Commerce gives to the USFS @N. Malmberg might factor into laws of governmental power (State & Federal). After all it’s through the generosity of the City of Sedona and their elaborate give-away to the Chamber of Commerce the Chamber then uses some of those funds to give back to the USFS for their trail maintenance fund.

    All in the family? One BIG happy family? All except the residents of Sedona who were foolish to put this idiotic routine in motion by voting to approve incorporation in the first place.

    Their current campaign, Sedona in Motion (SIM), pales in comparison to the spider webs being spun on probably a daily basis with City, Chamber, and Lodging and maybe even the Forest Service.

    Fly away little birds, far, far away if you know what’s in YOUR best interest. My opinion, of course, – at least until hopefully KSB and the USFS finally see the light. That’s where it’s really need – desperately. City Council & Staff = HOPELESS!

  38. F.Y.I. says:

    CORRECTION: Pursuant to Ordinance NO. 2013-07, on October 11, 2013, the City Council elected to increase the bed tax rate from 3% to 3.5% and adopted a policy that a minimum 55% of all revenue generated from the new bed tax rate be allocated to a destination marketing organization after July 2, 2014. The other 45% of the bed tax supports the General Fund.

  39. Midwest Phoenix Snow Birds says:

    We are staying at a resort on SR179. At the risk of being blasted by those who disagree with us, the reflection of the sunset on what we were told is “the rim” Munds Mountain(?) was magnificent. It was to the east as we looked at the natural spot light of the sun going down that didn’t last long – beginning shortly after 5:00 PM.

    The performance we took in not long after (7:00 PM) of the publicized Northern Light Show in the town area paled in comparison. In our opinions those who attempt to compete with Mother Nature are fools. And anyone paying money to do so is even more foolish (except those who are profiting financially).

    We’re pleased to have visited Sedona but will not be back. Your lack of acknowledging the reason people really visit here is sorely lacking. We really are legitimate Phoenix Snow Birds who will not recommend a visit to Sedona to our friends.

  40. @midwest Phoenix snowbirds says:

    Appreciate you putting in your 2 cents.. Now go back home..
    See ya!! Another fake post by the usual fake poster here.

  41. Schifflins of Indianapolis Indiana says:

    Howyadoi @Midwest Phoenix Snow Birds ! The Schifflins here ! Sharing your sentiments precisely. Overrated second class Disney Land and not worth the price of gasoline getting there. Best part of experience was the rural scenic drive on SR179 from what we believe was the Oakcreek Village to the Sedona highway by Bell Rock. We are now back to Cave Creek after our Sedona visit. Come on down! The weather’s great !

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·