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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

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


  1. Carol says:

    It’s about time that someone mentioned how the dark skies designation is adversely being impacted by city council growth decisions. Airport Mesa is a ruined mess, nobody mentions it any longer and at one time it was the center of falling in love with Sedona and her rocks. I can’t tell you how many stories friends and family and strangers told of mornings and sunsets up there and in the past year or more I haven’t heard one of those awe inspiring memories. No more airport vortex enlightenments. KSB is a caved in to power that let us all down, Eddie. Lack of strong leadership skilled KSB and the respect it earned. KSB should fold its tent or stop defining itself as a city and county stooge.

  2. Eddie Maddock says:

    Thanks, Carol. No doubt my head has been neatly placed on a chopping block for having gone public with my opinion on the current non-fantasy holiday light trend. Oh well what the heck? We all have to go down sooner or later:-).

  3. Howard, Sedona Lost Dark Skies says:


    Several residents are researching what constitutes a violation of the terms of Dark Skies as they should. KSB should have been in the forefront. City Council should never have approved it. Sedona doesn’t meet the standards. Too much development means too much light.

  4. Preserving The Blunder says:

    “We will continue to monitor this activity and work to protect the Dark Skies.”

    Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Also related is cognitive dissonance, in which contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one’s mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance—thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

    George Orwell created the word doublethink in his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949); doublethink is part of newspeak. In the novel, its origin within the typical citizen is unclear; while it could be partly a product of Big Brother’s formal brainwashing programs, the novel explicitly shows people learning doublethink and newspeak due to peer pressure and a desire to “fit in”, or gain status within the Party—to be seen as a loyal Party Member. In the novel, for someone to even recognize—let alone mention—any contradiction within the context of the Party line was akin to blasphemy, and could subject that person to disciplinary action and to the instant social disapproval of fellow Party Members.

  5. Tony Tonsich says:

    Sedona has been sold out to the trinket, t shirt and tomahawk group. The powers that be talk about high end tourists and sustainability. They advertise for day trippers that clog the roads. A laser show is about as far from high end eco tourism as is possible. Jennifer Wesselhoff, Chamber President has said “We have business that depend on day trippers !”

    I don’t know if their greed blinds them to the fact that once Sedona loses it’s reputation as a pleasant place to visit, you will no longer get repeat visitors that fall in love with Sedona, you will only get day trippers.

    They are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

  6. @Tony says:

    The goose is in the oven.
    The local businesses are all being sold or gobbled up rapidly.
    Big Money is here but from where? Don’t ask the city, they don’t know. They have lost control.

  7. @Tony Tonsich says:

    You never cease to amaze me, Tony I guess losing your big mayoral campaign didn’t teach you to learn the facts before spouting.

  8. Mike H says:

    An anonymous spouter criticizing someone else. That takes guts, is that what you spout. your guts? If Tony had won more than Justin Clifton would be worried about severance pay. Are you and Justin afraid of the residents waking up? Ya know, if you are doing a great job, you don’t have to worry about being eliminated. You have value, that certainly can’t be said about Sedona City leadership.

  9. William J. says:

    It’s really unfortunate Keep Sedona Beautiful wouldn’t consider pressuring the city to turn Brewer/Ranger property into the promised park. That would be an assignment worth while, making the dirt lot something beautiful instead of encouraging the chamber of commerce to continue with their obnoxious holiday light pollution! Some “holiday” gift to wildlife. Regardless of their lame defense, those lights have a greater effect on surrounding areas than just the focused mountain.

  10. @Mike H says:

    Oh. Using the moniker Mike H isn’t an anonymous post!? Lol
    If you such a stand up guy why not post you last name?

    Newsflash…..you are an anonymous poster moron

  11. Gretchen says:

    @ William J

    Cause if they did turn it into a park people here would still complain…maybe get on a citizen committee and do something constructive … beside complain

  12. Lonnie says:

    Speaking of complaining @Gretchen. Isn’t that exactly what YOU spend your time doing on SedonaEye? Maybe you should consider trying to heal yourself? Point your finger at your OWN image in the mirror?

  13. Mary L. Gooch says:

    I am opposed to any disruption of wildlife habitats. Where is the local Sierra Club to demand an end to this charade?

  14. Anonymous says:

    My experience being on a citizen committee is that being on a citizen committee is not any assurance something constructive will occur. Finding common ground around something that has broad benefit to residents of all kinds in the region and engaging in a civil discussion (good luck around here with that however) about how to further such a something, that has great potential to be constructive. Name slinging not so much.

  15. KL says:

    This is wrong. Stop this travesty.

  16. OC Visitor says:

    Editors, Wanted to let you know to watch out for your utility companies equipment. Cal Fire admitted responsibility for California fires in Santa Barbara LA Napa. There equipment caused it. MSN is reporting it now. The lawsuits were filed in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. The allegations include “negligence, inverse condemnation, trespass, private nuisance, and violations of the public utilities and health and safety codes.” The Thomas Fire is considered the second largest wildfire in California’s modern history. Its size was the equivalent of more than Dallas and Miami combined. The Mendocino complex fire became the largest wildfire in the state in July after burning 458,123 acres. My version of letter to editor.

  17. Lonnie says:

    @OC Visitor, very interesting comment. Wouldn’t be at all surprising if down the road it’s also discovered laser lighting can start fires. Some kind of inadvertent combustion? Trial and error sort of thing. And at what expense? Wildlife, national forest and, yes, even those of us who live here but then we don’t matter. Only the mighty $$$$ for those on the take.

  18. Phil, Sedona says:

    @OCViz You suggest APS not on our side? Their nuke plant one of unsafest in America and we love it. Smart meters starting house fires just a problem w/you Californias. Get off our backs. We love wildfires & lots of desert lights here. We love being owned by monopolies owned by Democrats! We love having WIFI fry our firefighters brains! Go home after you spend your money and cause gridlock. Come back but leave your ECO scarebrain home.

  19. @Gretchen says:

    @Gretchen. Getting on a citizen committee aka Work Group is a joke. My name was submitted by a City councilmember. Was I contacted? No way! Names included on Work Groups: Jennifer Wesselhoff, Kris Kazian, Linda Goldenstein, Al Spector,Tom Gilomen, Al Comello, Patrick Schweiss, Marty Losoff, Sandy Moriarty, Marc Sterling, and several City staffers and City Councilors, not to mention individuals who live outside the Sedona City limits.

    The Dells Land Use Work Group and the Revenue Forecasts Work Group both list Jennifer Wesselhoff as a participant.

  20. @@gretchen says:

    Oh so you gave up cause your name wasn’t picked after one try!!?

    Wow what an effort…. why not complain about it on SE!? Oh yes you did that already

  21. Ray says:

    All the time Mike Ward was on city council he worked for transparency. That’s probably the biggest reason he wasn’t elected when he stepped forward to do so during this recent election. THEY don’t want for people to know who’s working what behind the scenes. Secrets, secrets, secrets means No transparency. No names made public on the back room committees. Think that’s why they did away with the former policy of city commissions for various issues??????

  22. @Ray says:

    So Mike wasn’t elected because he wanted to be transparent …..
    Shut up Ray…. you sound ldelusional .

  23. Ray says:

    @Ray “So Mike wasn’t elected because he wanted to be transparent…..”

    Of course that wasn’t the only reason! My opinion is the main reason Mike Ward wasn’t elected is because he realized the foolishness of the great giveaway to the chamber and other nonsense spending by the city. You, however and obviously, have never heard of being financially responsible and are among those benefiting from Sedona’s liberal spenders. And I suppose you’re right. Expecting responsible members on the city council and staff no doubt is delusional in Sedona.

  24. @Ray says:

    You twist your own words around Ray…. you should not be trusted… You are a “mealy mouth” who when confronted right away you label someone benefiting from Sedona taxes… you are a joke and oh so predictable .

  25. Ray says:

    ” you are a joke and oh so predictable .” As are you, Gretchen, Rachel, Karen, Jessica. The jigs up. At least I use my own name. (not @@@@@@@)

  26. Wake Up Sedona, etal says:

    ATTENTION: USFS, Sedona City Council & Stafft, Keep Sedona Beautiful

    Please take time to read the following and change your policies accordingly:


    The effect of artificial lights on birds has been known for centuries. In the past, people used flame and lights to attract birds at night to capture them for food. Since their inception, there have been reports of seabirds attracted to the light beam of lighthouses. Artificial lights can “trap” migratory birds by bleaching their visual pigments, causing them to lose sight of the horizon and circle within the cone of light endlessly. They then can die from exhaustion or collision with the light source. It can extend the day for diurnal species of songbirds, making them more susceptible to predators as they sing out their location, or causing them to breed too early since they associate breeding with longer days. It can attract seabirds away from their normal feeding grounds, possibly because these birds feed on bioluminescent sea animals and are cued in to low levels of light.

    Further information about the effects of light pollution on migratory birds can be found can be found at the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) (http://www.flap.org/) web site.

  27. Maria Varney says:

    Thank you for the update on how birds DO reflect to artificial light. @Wake up Sedona. Wake up tourists. Many people are aware of the attraction except for those who turn their heads thinking they might make a buck or two by tormenting birds. Disgusting! Where’s the Audubon Society on this one??

  28. Thomas says:

    Can’t wait for the laser light show this year again… So enjoyed it last year…really excited..

    All this talk about birds blah blah blah is made up nonsense..

    (Deleted by Editor)

  29. Brandon says:

    What’s missing in Sedona? Besides Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Donald & Daisy Duck? (You already have Snoopy) Why oh why are you people ruining one of God’s treasures ….. translated…. without all the Disney Land BS? R U all NUTS??

    Laser lights on red rocks?! Really! Desperation, you have attained your ultimate goal.

  30. Children loved it.. says:

    The laser light thing was awesome last year…
    People really enjoyed themselves and the show… Not to mention the smiles on those kids faces…. Way to go Sedona…

    The town isn’t for just old folks….Thnks for thinking of the children.

  31. Pam says:

    Reason why I left Sedona? Weak men and weirdo children who thought laser light shows on ancient rocks were cool raised by parents who thought Pocahontas was a Massachusetts white 1%er.

    BTW Pocahontas was from Virginia but facts never get in the Sedona ruling class’s way.

  32. @Pam says:

    Nice calling children weirdos..
    Nice mentality
    Glad your gone!

  33. So False says:

    My kids complained ” Why are they putting old cartoons on the rocks so we can’t see the stars?” ” We did not come through the traffic jam to see cartoons did we?”

    The weirdo’s are those that think children are dumb.

  34. Steve Segner says:

    FYI Sedona voter turn out over 80% + highest in the state , the voters have spoken and the “T “party lost big…. Sedona is BLUE.

  35. Connect the dots says:

    Please people…….. Did you go to any of the viewing areas to see the laser light show? I did as I wanted to see for myself. Why would you believe those that receive taxpayer’s subsidies to pay for their business? You shouldn’t!

    Millions of dollars are being funneled to businesses through the taxes that should be used for infrastructure. They lie and you pay. This drives your TAXES up. The increased wear, tear and infrastructure cost is COSTING the REGION. Time to get a IMPACT FEES accessed as the chamber is taking more than they give. Goofy Nutso

    Phoenix has plenty of lights shows. This one is a money grab. We take the kids to phoenix. We stay there for a few days. Great professional events there. The Sedona Chamber is cornballs goofy. City council are to old to see.

  36. @wake up Sedona says:

    Nice little informational thing ….

    Only one problem….. It was created by a. Government organization and we don’t TRUST governmental entities…. Fake news Fake information..

  37. Speaking Of . . . says:

    Speaking of endangering wild life, how many remember when the trend of decorating pine trees along SR179 between Sedona and the VOC was becoming a Holiday trend? Actually it was really lovely seeing creative Christmas decorations on natural pine trees along both sides of the highway made the short trip even more pleasant. As more and more people participated in this FREE benefit for the public (participants prudently removed the decorations after the Holidays) it was suddenly announced by the United States Forest Service to cease and desist decorating the trees because IT WAS ENDANGERING WILDLIFE!!!!

    Yep true story. So where’s the USFS, KSB, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Audubon Society, and other conservation groups on this issue?

    Wise up you greedy bastards and stop turning Sedona into a third rate, low class Disney Land.

  38. De De says:

    @speaking of

    Nice Thanksgiving message…
    So glad you woke up in a “thankful mood”

    (deleted by editor)

  39. Speaking Of . . . says:

    TSK TSK Wazza matta @De De?

    Duz the truth hurt? Speaking of warm and fuzzy forecasts as Steve Segner continues to remind us growth (uncontrolled) WILL CONTINUE and according to the Sedona City Manager more and more traffic is the future of this one time Paradise on Earth. Guess those thoughts will give you something to enhance your own “thankful mood.” Which gives me cause to be thankful that I’m NOT like you!!!!!

  40. Joyce M. says:

    What kind of message are you sending to little children, teaching them it’s OK to torment wild birds and animals? Isn’t there enough hatred in this world already? Are you the same kind of people who enjoy pulling wings off butterflies? All for a moment’s pleasure? Sadistic and hardly the teachings of the man for whom Christmas is celebrated. Wonderful example from this disgusting Chamber of Commerce, City of Sedona, and those businesses who financially support torture. Shame, shame, shame!!!!!

  41. steve Segner says:

    Speaking Of . . . Says:,Steve Segner continues to remind us growth(uncontrolled) WILL CONTINUE.
    yes, Better to understand the future then ignore it, better to plan for growth.
    County and city zoning set years ago set the rules for growth. The speed will be determined by the growth over all of Arizona ,Sedona is just 100 miles from Phoenix, so it you want to bitch about growth why are you not talking about Arizona and phoenix ? the idea that somehow Sedona is special and belong to the locals is just selfish. Sedona is blue, liberal and growing,

  42. @joyce M says:

    I see your very busy this holiday morning (Deleted by Editor)
    Happy THANKSgiving..

  43. Dee Dee says:

    So you get momentary pleasure ripping wings off butterfly’s…!?
    Your nuts.

    You should slow down with your posting..pace yourself you need time to think up more FAKE names. Lol

  44. GNS says:

    To the extremely rude person (@joyce M) perhaps you might consider trying to choke down some Humble Pie on this day of giving thanks. Your cold arrogant attitude implies you are in need of counseling. Can just visualize the likes of you being abusive to animals. In a word – disgusting!!!

  45. @steve Segner says:

    You neglected to mention the City Council’s recent mission is to increase building density. And they complain about the proposed development out west of Sedona? Some nerve! Another case of “do as we say, not as we do.” Hypocrites. But one thing Segner did get correct is “Sedona is blue, liberal and growing.”

  46. The saddest thing says:

    ” the idea that somehow Sedona is special and belong to the locals is just selfish. Sedona is blue, liberal and growing,”

    To even imply that Sedona is not special is about the saddest, coldest thing I have heard in a long time. All some care about is growth and money, not the preservation of this natural treasure we were privileged to spend a little time in. The idea of developing Sedona with out a thought of preservation for the future is just plain evil.

    Blessings on this Thanksgiving day. We should give thanks for God’s gift to those that were able to spend a little time in this most beautiful place before it was sold to commercial interests.

  47. @gns says:

    Ok GNS
    Or whatever name you use for your next excessive negative post.

  48. steve Segner says:

    Red Rock new reports on Sedona Fire dist report.
    Sedona fire Dept. New study say visitors pay 50% of the cost of service and only use 25%. Of the service.
    Residents in neighboring districts pay 25% more!
    Kazian said of study “To me this clearly shows that tourism industry benefits us all”

    On another topic, Winter light show ,
    Red Rock Ranger Nicole Branton said dist biologist light show wouldnot harm any animals .

    Hope this helps

  49. Alarmed says:

    Concerning the report on the Sedona Fire District: The Red Rock Snooze’s article was not worth s***. The Report failed to take into account how much residents have paid to construct the six fire district fire stations.

  50. @steve Segner says:

    No, your comment doesn’t help anyone but Sedona money grabbers. And as for Nicole Branton apparently she didn’t catch the report made in a previous post.

    Please take time to read the following and change your policies accordingly:


    The same as KSB and other fools who bought into the downplay of the effect of the lights on birds and wildlife she was conned into believing because of the “short time” it didn’t do harm. Very disappointing our federal employees have become so lax in their research. She should be on the Sedona City Council or maybe get a city job. Reckless decisions which one day will be exposed where it might do some good.

    Dream on, Steve segner and others. One day your luck will run out.

    As for the Fire Chief moving on, he was already applying for other positions and has nothing good to say about Sedona anyhow. It’s been common knowledge his wife and kids moved to Phoenix years ago. Too bad he didn’t show a bit of class and take the high road out of here. Good riddance to him with that arrogant attitude. NO LOSS!

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