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Northampton streetlight shields sought

  • James Lowenthal, concerned about the glare emitted by new LED streetlights, appeals to councilors during public comment on Thursday. —Amanda Drane



@amandadrane
Friday, July 15, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Residents concerned about glare emitted by new LED streetlights dominated the public comment session Thursday during the City Council meeting.

Five residents spoke on the issue, including James Lowenthal, who in May started a petition asking the city to consider steps to reduce the glare.

“I urge the city to install (a glare shield) in every single one of those lights,” Lowenthal told councilors Thursday, referring to research on the adverse effects of light at night.

The mayor’s office announced last week that it is seeking more reaction on the cost-saving fixtures. Residents can access an online map of the lights and provide feedback through the city’s website at http://ma-northampton.civicplus.com/1706/LED-Streetlights.

Appointments

Also during the meeting Thursday, councilors referred a number of appointments to the Committee on City Services. Those included three to the Human Rights Commission, which has had three members resign this month amid questions about its role.

The three new members recommended by Mayor David Narkewicz are Brian Barnes, of 269 Main St. #2A, Tara Ganguly, of 55A Chestnut St. in Florence, and Christine Young of 1443 Westhampton Road in Florence.

Public Works Commission

Councilors also approved an administrative order to dissolve the Public Works Commission.

It was created in November 2014 as an advisory only replacement for the former Board of Public Works, whose powers shifted to the Department of Public Works, mayor and City Council under the new city charter. 

Narkewicz and commissioners agreed last month the dissolution was appropriate given a “diminished” need for the stand-alone advisory board. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@gazettenet.com.