Southern Arizona Chapter of IDA (SA-IDA)

"Light Pollution" - The Only Pollution that Costs More to Perpetuate than to Eliminate!






Help Needed!


Outdoor Lighting Codes






International Dark-Sky Association
Southern Arizona Section (SA-IDA)
3225 N. First Avenue; Tucson, AZ 85719-2103
(520) 293-3198  FAX (520) 293-3192


Date:   August 5, 2003
Contacts:    John W. Polacheck, M.D., SA-IDA; (520)622-4599 day; (520)743-1362 eve
               Lisa McClellan, U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector; (520)670-6871 day


The U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson and Naco Sectors  received an “Excellence in Outdoor Lighting” award from the International Dark-Sky Association, Southern Arizona Section (SA-IDA) on Tuesday, August 5 at 9:00 a.m.  The award presentation was held in Tucson, Arizona at the Border Patrol Tucson Sector offices.

John Polacheck, Vice President of Southern Arizona Section of the International Dark-Sky Association (SA-IDA) along with representatives from all the major telescope sites in Southern Arizona presented the award to Tucson based US Border Patrol officials.  Community members who attended and gave words of appreciation to the Border Patrol agents were from the University of Arizona Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak Observatory , Whipple Observatory,  The Vatican Observatory, Palominas Star Haven Observatory, The International Dark-Sky Association, (IDA) and the Southern Arizona IDA Section.

In response to community concerns, the U.S. Border Patrol recently retrofit a section of its new border lights near Naco, thereby shielding these fixtures. This action significantly reduced light spill-over into the night time sky and glare for the residential neighbors.   Doug Snyder, a retired engineer who operates the Palominas Star Haven Observatory twelve miles northwest of the Naco port of entry, comments: “Once again, I am able to open the observatory dome and see the stars in the southern sky.”

The SA-IDA “Excellence in Outdoor Lighting” award honors local businesses, organizations and individuals who promote safe, effective and non-polluting night lighting on their property.  “Light pollution, in addition to affecting astronomical observations and bird migrations, results in the destruction of the beauty of night skies, energy waste, plus unnecessary glare and light trespass onto neighboring properties,” explains John W. Polacheck, SA-IDA acting president.  “Light pollution is caused by excessive and inefficient lighting.”  Past award recipients are: Budget Car and Truck Sales, Safeway Store #2611, Starizona Adventures in Astronomy and Nature, and St. Francis in the Foothills Church.

The International Dark-Sky Association, a non-profit, educational organization headquartered in Tucson, Arizona with over 10,000 members from 50 states and 70 countries, actively encourages public inquiry.  Extensive information, including material for teachers and potential new members of the Southern Arizona Section, is available at,, and the Association office at (520)293-3198.

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