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Santa Under Attack in Loudoun County, Va.

July 9, 2002

FORCES OF DARKNESS INVADE LOUDOUN COUNTY

Loudoun County (Virginia) Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (Republican-Sterling) is opposing proposals to regulate outdoor lighting -- he calls them the Scrooge Empowerment Act or the Kidnappers Helper Bill. Delgaudio has demanded the regulations be posted on a Loudoun County website since they were introduced but the county has not posted them for public review as of today.

In an e-mail message to constituents Delgaudio says (in part) the following:

"Dear Sterling Americans,

NEW LIGHTING ORDINANCES to be voted on Monday, July 15, BRING IN FORCES OF DARKNESS

Yes, I really have to tell you something that is very upsetting to me. The Board of Supervisors is being asked by Peidmont Environmental Council leader and spouse of Voters to Stop Sprawl founder Joe, Peggy Maio, and other environmentalists, from the forces of darkness, to regulate lighting in Loudoun County on Monday.

The leftists are writing and proposing to protect the DARK SKY. This is not a joke. I consider this a threat to the health and safety of anyone wishing to keep their properties and streets in their neighborhoods well lighted with private lights. And it is a threat to celebrating a tradtional Christmas.

Further, Sugarland District Supervisor Bill Bogard and his Planning Commissioner Appointee Jane Kirshner are seeking to have these regulations brought forward during the current ordinance review. Proposed lighting ordinances were distributed and Board members are being asked by members of the Dark Sky Association to support the regulations on Monday, July 15.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ARE NOT ALLOWED

The regulations as proposed by Supervisor Bogard and his Planning Commissioner (and that he formally introduced on Monday, July 1st) plainly regulate Christmas Decorations which dominate Sterling and Eastern Loudoun during the Christmas season. The regs refer to "typical low wattage .....lamps". Well in Sterling, we have ATYPICAL and HIGH WATTAGE lights during the Christmas season. The nativity scenes have spotlamps from every direction.

THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT A "NUCLEAR SANTA FREE" ZONE

The longtime local editor of the Loudoun Easterner newspaper, John Geddie, writes every year since 1995, for 7 years, about "the nuclear Santa" which is an old Santa Claus plastic display figure with a very bright light bulb inside of it. The Color is gone from the Santa so it shines "bright as day". This "nuclear Santa" would be illegal as would hundreds of other lighting decorations that are old. The government may make our Sterling area a "nuclear Santa-free zone".

THIS MEANS WAR

In this weeks editorial Mr. Geddie writes "This means war. ............You will take my Santa when you pry it from our cold, dead paws." For the full text of the editorial under "In This Corner" please visit http://www.easterner.com/

I WILL OPPOSE THIS ATTACK ON CHRISTMAS IN JULY

As Sterling Supervisor, I do not support regulations that even hint at regulating Christmas Lights. I will introduce a motion to strike the words restricting Christmas lights in Loudoun County. I will move to say "There will be no regulations of Christmas lights or other seasonal lights on residential property from Thanksgiving through January 15."

EXEMPT ALL EXISTING RESIDENTIAL HOUSES

At the July 1st, meeting, I proposed exempting all existing residential homes from these absurd lighting regulations.

The Board tabled the proposed Anti-Christmas Lights Ordinances until Monday, July 15, our next Business meeting.

SUPERVISOR ASKS FOR PROPOSED ORDINANCES TO BE POSTED.

After one week of asking for the proposed regulations I checked the county website and they have not posted them as of yet. This is the normal url for documents from the business meetings. The proposed lighting ordinances are not posted as of today.

To see hundreds of other routine documents, visit http://www.loudoun.gov/bos/docs/businessmeeting_/2002_/index.htm

This is the url for all the other many worksessions, public hearings and committee documents of the County Board http://www.loudoun.gov/bos/docs/businessmeeting_/2002_/index.htm (but there are no proposed lighting regulations posted.)

Here we have darkness being proposed and a black out on how they will cover Loudoun County with darkness.

DIRECT QUOTE FROM PAGE TWO OF ORDINANCES:

"Notes to Table 4.1

Flood or spot lamps must be aimed no higher than 45 degress...........exception: seasonal decrorations using typical unshielded low-wattage incandescent lamps shall be permitted in all lighting zones Thanksgiving thru 15 January."

Since Santa Claus is depicted on dozens of roofs, and nativity scenes are illuminated from several angles and many other seasonal decorations are not typical or low wattage, this will destroy Christmas in Loudoun County.

WILL SANTA CLAUS BE AT THE NEXT MEETING.

I have been hearing from the public on this topic. One 74 year old widower said "My lights protect my life and I will defend my lights as I would defend my life". I have been told that a man dressed as Santa Claus will testify in the public comment time Monday morning. No one in my district wants lighting to be regulated on private homes.

(END OF MESSAGE FROM EUGENE DELGAUDIO TO CONSTITUENTS)

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