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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.


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

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  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:

    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.


  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.

  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:


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

  17. steve segner says:

    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?

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