Sedona AZ (February 7 2010) – Opinions and Gripes by Hollywood Jim.
Hello Folks! They call me Hollywood Jim a.k.a The Gripe Guy.
You’ll see why after several columns – but for the moment - everyone’s current gripe seems to be the issue concerning the proposed street lights along the 89A. So I took that gripe to the streets to get a feeling and firsthand account of what the people and business owners in West Sedona feel about the issue.
First off, myself being a fairly new resident to West Sedona, my venture into the darkness called nighttime in Sedona is just that…dark. My first thought was that if I was a tourist I would find it difficult to venture out at night in pursuit of a nice dinner because looking for a street sign while I’m dodging the shadows that dart into the street may be too much of a headache.
On the other hand, I can appreciate the beauty of a pristine night sky and the stars that beckon me to a world far away. Dreams aside, let’s take this bad boy to the street and see what you the people have to say.
The guy in the Sedona Sweet Shop was too busy to comment and I also take that as a “I don’t care kinda” thing. By the way, my diet aside I was drooling at that wedding cake! So, I’ll vote for him…later. Jennifer at Allstate Insurance feels that streetlights in certain key areas are a great idea. While talking with her, she mentioned a friend who’s daughter was killed on the 89A due to a lack of sufficient lighting. It should never have happened. The guy at Safe and Key had no opinion as an employee (I got your back), but personally feels that a dark Sedona and therefore dark sky is the way to go. Andrew at “Art Mart” feels that it is a safety issue when it comes to driving.
I’m still not done yet people. My survey continues in lovely West Sedona and my driver is waiting.
The guys working at, and the customers in, New York Bagels and Deli all feel it’s a safety issue and all welcome a more progressive city that let’s people know we’ve moved into the 21st century. Mickey and Chris at Ravenheart coffee also echo the same thoughts, but add that they also feel a better lighting solution to ensure their customers safety and to give the tourist a better sense of the city is a great idea. Mike at Mexidona thinks streetlights are a great idea and that it shouldn’t really be a big deal anyway. And lastly, Wendy at Crystal Magic wants her night sky un-obscured by the proposed lights.
Should I pick a side or remain neutral like Switzerland? I’m a Gemini people so I can go both ways. I want the lights so I (at the ripe old age of 46) can see the road and the businesses I choose to patronize in the evening instead of staying home because I’m too afraid to venture out at night. Okay, I’m afraid to venture out at night because I’m a a wimp but I might be more inclined to get out if I had better lighting to drive by.
Now, I’m not some guy from the big city. I grew up in very rural upstate New York where the nearest light was someone’s bright porch or the red eyes of some wild animal stalking me as it’s next meal, so I can appreciate that dark sky.
I’ve also lived in some big cities where having blackout drapes was the best I could do to make “bedtime” for Jim. I also didn’t like it that looking up to the sky was pointless since the city lights blurred out the starry vision. Well, that and I had to keep looking ahead to see who might be eyeing me for a mugging.
I can see with or without streetlights both sides of the issue.
My new friend Ron said it best. “When you expect company you turn on the lights. It’s friendly and welcoming.” Personally, I’m not a fan of the drop-in-on-Jim-and-see-what-he’s-doing crowd but when I want those people to see me and where I’m at, well, then the lights come on baby. Besides, they may have food.
I live in the year 2010 and love every bit of technology we have out there today. I think we can do the lights and still maintain our beautiful night sky. Besides, they ain’t putting them on your side streets,people, and do you know how many lights it would take to obscure that night sky? Not only that, if I’m driving along that 89A at night, my eyes need to be on the road and not looking for the Milky Way while I’m driving my car!
Off the subject and just a side note. Is the new wear a red pin to support Women’s Heart Disease a marketing campaign thought up by corporate America or “real” like the pink ribbons supporting breast cancer? What happened to men? Didn’t we have heart attacks first? Where’s my aspirin? Ha ha.
What’s your gripe? Have an opinion or comment to share? Love me, hate me? Tell me, Hollywood Jim a.k.a The Gripe Guy.
And remember, I’m ”The Gripe Guy” and not a licensed doctor so get your entertainment on.