From Barbara Wilson in Houston to all Astronomy Organizations in Texas!
I am attempting to contact all amateur astronomy organizations in Texas.
I need your help in getting the light pollution bill passed. Can you put this information out to your members?
House Bill 164 sponsored by Dora Olivio has been passed by the Texas House and is now in the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee. 
Please contact these folks now to voice your support .
Many of these Senators have sites which allow you to make web based comments.
This bill will allow counties within 5 miles of the George, Stephen Austin Observatories and (within 57 miles of McDonald Observatory) to regulate outdoor lighting within any unincorporated area of the county. If passed, we will ask county commissioners to enact ordinances to effect energy efficient full cutoff outdoor lighting. It will help us save the observatory from becoming light polluted.
I feel that we need all friends of the George Observatory, volunteers, Texas astronomy lovers, and club members and all people interested in conserving energy and lighting to contact members of this Senate in support of the bill.  We have come so far, we can't drop the ball now.
 You can click below and go to the Senators directly:
      Frank L. Madla
      Jon Lindsay
      David Cain
      Florence Shapiro
      Todd Staples
      Royce West
      John Whitmire
Here is a link to the Senate committee:
 When you call or write remember to tell the committee members that the lighting practices you seek to promote with surrounding counties with HB 164 is good lighting for the community, not just George.  Win-win!

 If  we can get this bill into law, think of the millions of dollars in energy that we could save by using the new types of full cutoff, high quality outdoor lighting fixtures that redirect light downward, allowing the use of  lower wattage bulbs which place the same amount of lumens on the ground where the light is needed. 
The success McDonald has had with surrounding communities comes from the fact that they have said little about dark skies and telescopes but, rather, have emphasized the benefits for the communities.".  Reduced power demand will conserve energy, reduce pollutants, improve business efficiency.  With better quality lighting they will also protect the nighttime environment.  This is a truly win win situation.

By voting in favor of HB 164, you'll reduce the cost of electricity to Texans, increase funds available, reduce the amount of light and other pollutants, increase efficiency and increase the energy reserves for present and future Texans.   


Barbara Wilson
George Observatory
21901 FM 762
Needville, Texas  77461
phone: 281-242-3055 fax: 979-553-3331
lat: 29 deg 22' 30"
Long: 95 deg west 35' 37"