Opinions:  everybody has one

To the editor:

The letters printed thus far regarding the lights at Crotched Mountain reveal the obvious. Those who ski are fine with the lights; non-skiers, not so much.

The issue before the Francestown Zoning Board of Adjustment, however, should not become a referendum of opinions, for or against. When Crotched presents its request for the variance, the issue should become clear. Skiing is a dangerous sport and the safety and liability for those skiing at night rest solely with the ski area. All truly concerned should be aware of the following: Francestown’s lighting ordinance is not applicable to this type of usage; 2) All of Crotched Mountain’s lighting meets NSAA standards for night skiing; 3) All lights currently in violation are the same size and specifications as every light on the hill sine 2003; 4) Shields would benefit neither skiers nor satisfy those who pine for a dark winter horizon. The addition of shields is not a viable solution because it will create more lumens from the highly reflective snow surface, and may create shadows, diminishing skier visibility.

Crotched is neither thumbing its nose at the Francestown authorities, as portrayed by one select board member, nor are they too successful financially to cry poverty as suggested by William Rainer of Nelson in the June 20 edition of this publication.

Somewhere in this process, non-expert opinion concluded shields were the solution and have for so long now that it is believed to be fact. Let the variance request be judged based on the evidence provided by a lighting expert’s testimony and from those who insure such activities, not opinion for or against.

John Young


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