Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Free Thought Project first reported on the story, explaining that "If citizens of the state wish to look up at the sky and view the stars at one of New York's public parks, they will first have to obtain a Stargazing permit.'" The site pointed out that pollution in the sky makes it more difficult for New Yorkers in "highly populated areas" to see the sky at night, so they travel to remote areas, many of which are located in state parks. The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky.

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Read this and immediately thought of Le Mis.
Look down, look down
Don't look 'em in the eye
Look down, look down,
You're here until you die ...

#1 | Posted by 6thPersona at 2020-01-29 12:30 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

The cited site tries real hard to frame NY State charging admission to its remote state parks in a bad light. And the nerve to charge more for out of state visitors.

Is redstate dot com really that hard up to deflect away from the Trump impeachment?


#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-01-29 12:30 PM | Reply

--Is redstate dot com really that hard up to deflect away from the Trump impeachment?

lol. Yeah, because only one topic can be discussed at a time. Maybe we should eliminate all the retort threads and have just one thread: impeachment.

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-01-29 12:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

"New York requires a permit to look at the stars"

"The cited site tries real hard to frame NY State charging admission to its remote state parks in a bad light."

I'm going to assume here that the pun was intended.

#4 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-01-29 12:52 PM | Reply

The outrage over at red state is hysterical.

www.floridastateparks.org

tpwd.texas.gov

parks.ohiodnr.gov

azstateparks.com

#5 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-29 12:58 PM | Reply

@#3 ... Yeah, because only one topic can be discussed at a time. ...

Then why did they make up such a topic? I mean... the horror of NY State charging people admission to state parks.

Or are you saying such filler is the usual fare for them?

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-01-29 01:22 PM | Reply

@#4 ... the pun was intended...

Not when I was writing it.

But when I was proof-reading it, I saw the pun and decided to leave it in.


#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-01-29 01:24 PM | Reply

the horror of NY State charging people admission to state parks.

No, they actually are charging a "Stargazing permit"

Permit allows after sunset parking for stargazing only, valid January 1 - December 31 at:
Hither Hills - Except July & August
Jones Beach - West End 2 and Field 6
Montauk Point " Upper Parking Lot
Robert Moses - Field 2
Gov. Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow - Field 1 & Field 3
Wildwood " Main Parking Lot

parks.ny.gov

My guess is you pay for DAY use, and then another FEE for stargazing......

#8 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-29 01:28 PM | Reply

Some moonbeamers in the Sacramento legislature just saw this story and said: hey, that's a great idea. More money to hand out to preferred groups.

#9 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-01-29 01:38 PM | Reply

So it's basically an after hours parking pass?

#10 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 01:43 PM | Reply

Sounds like the same thing we have here. Areas that are state ran are marked "This area closed at sunset" and you cannot be on the property after dark without prior written approval (which would essentially be a stargazing permit if that was the request...) I dont see any issue with this. It prevents people parking anywhere they want, sleeping in their vehicle, and urinating/defecating on state property along the rivers.

#11 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-01-29 02:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#8 ... My guess is you pay for DAY use, and then another FEE for stargazing...... ..

OK so NY State is charging a fee for people who want to use the State Parks after dark.

I still don't see what the problem is.

It is a State Park. NY State can charge a fee if they want to.

fwiw, according to the link you posted, they also charge a night sport fishing fee, and a bunch of other specialty fees. None of which seem to be newsworthy.

I still do not see why the redstate site thought this topic to be worthwhile?

#12 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-01-29 02:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

So it's basically an after hours parking pass?

#10 | POSTED BY REDIAL

That's how I read it.

They're also all parks on Long Island, not NY state as a whole (based on Mackris' link).

#13 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-29 04:57 PM | Reply

I still do not see why the redstate site thought this topic to be worthwhile?
#12 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

Because the last thing they want to do is report on the abysmal POTUS they support?

#14 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-29 04:58 PM | Reply

So it's basically an after hours parking pass?
#10 | POSTED BY REDIAL

No, it's Communism.
It's liberals, hating America, on their Long March Through The Institutions.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-01-29 05:03 PM | Reply

Parks need money to be staffed and maintained.

If people are coming to the park at night then it would make sense for the park to charge them if the park has determined that is the best way to meet its expenses.

Conservatives talk about government "paying its bills" and then post threads ridiculing government for coming up with a way to do so.

Conservatives are sick, dumb and pathetic.

#16 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-29 05:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

FTA:

"The other problem is that there does not seem to be any real rationale behind the policy. Stargazing isn't exactly known to be a dangerous pastime. Moreover, it does not cause any discernible inconvenience for anyone else. So why would they enact such a measure? The answer is simple: It is nothing more than a brazen money grab designed to separate New York residents from more of their hard-earned cash. "

Real rationale outlined:

"Parks need money to be staffed and maintained.

If people are coming to the park at night then it would make sense for the park to charge them if the park has determined that is the best way to meet its expenses."

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-29 05:27 PM | Reply

It says right on the permit it's for stargazing only, idiots. If they needed money for staffing and maintenance they could just say so, and they could have been doing this for years.

thefreethoughtproject.com

#18 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-01-29 05:32 PM | Reply

What stupid ---- pays to be a star gazer?
Surely there are free places they could go to look at stars, but the parks were probably convenient.

NY will squeeze a nickel out of you if they can.
I'll bet the cheap ----- don't even issue a "permit".

#19 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2020-01-29 05:37 PM | Reply

Cannot believe that some (R)tarded idiots still use red state as a source.

#20 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2020-01-29 05:45 PM | Reply

It says right on the permit it's for stargazing only, idiots.

So ------- what? Does every parks permit have to explicitly say "this fee will be used for staffing and maintenance?" What do you think they're doing with the money?

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-29 05:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Is it any wonder people are leaving these states?

Hint to New Yorkers: Join an astronomy club. Most charge $50/yr or less and have their own dark sky sites and even observatories. The one I belonged to has a 20" Newtonian scope. Also there will be a plethora of amateur astronomers who have their own impressive gear who mostly are excited as hell to let you view through their 'scopes and explain things to you. It's a lot better than just looking up naked eye, a cheaper too.

---- NY and their endless fees and taxes.

#22 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 05:49 PM | Reply

"Cannot believe that some (R)tarded idiots still use red state as a source.

#20 | POSTED BY ABORTED_MONSON"

I can't believe some ------- still attack the source and not the story.

#23 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 05:50 PM | Reply

They're aren't even enforcing turnstile jumping in NYC--because racism, of course, so they need more cash

#24 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-01-29 05:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"It says right on the permit it's for stargazing only, idiots. If they needed money for staffing and maintenance they could just say so, and they could have been doing this for years."

They need staffing and maintenance to support the people who are stargazing. Duh! The parks usually close at dusk, which means in order for stargazers to use the parks after normal business hours, the parks have to stay open longer. Longer operating hours means more staff (hours) to patrol the parks after dark:

Others are defending the permit in the thread, claiming that it allows people to enter the "closed parks" after hours.
thefreethoughtproject.com

I assume the increased maintenance has to do with staff needing to keep the roads clear of snow during the evening hours in winter and to check for litter after the stargazers leave, year round.

#25 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-29 08:45 PM | Reply

#25 Maintenance likely also involves cleaning up the restrooms before and after the stargazers leave.

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-29 08:51 PM | Reply

It says right on the permit it's for stargazing only, idiots.

No, it states it for parking at the state parks after closing so you can enter and go stargazing.

They're parking permits. Likely to avoid having your car towed since it's there after the parks are closed.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-29 09:07 PM | Reply

Hint to New Yorkers: Join an astronomy club. Most charge $50/yr or less and have their own dark sky sites and even observatories.

That's $15/year more than the parking permits in NY and most people who have grown up there have probably never even seen the night sky.

I can drive to some of the darkest skies on the planet in less than an hour, I'd imagine you can in 2 or 3.

But then we're lucky.

#28 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 09:27 PM | Reply

"That's $15/year more than the parking permits in NY and most people who have grown up there have probably never even seen the night sky."

If someone isn't willing to spend $15 more a year for access to telescopes and knowledgable people on the subject, they aren't very interested in the night sky. Just sayin'..

"I can drive to some of the darkest skies on the planet in less than an hour, I'd imagine you can in 2 or 3."

You must not live in the US. I can't, but I've been to them in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I've been 800 miles off the coast of Southern California and could see the light dome of LA. Pristine night skies do not exist in the US anymore. The atmosphere refracts man made light a lot more than people know.

The best one can do in the US for dark skies is to get into a mountain valley. But then, you do not get full 180 degree view of the sky. You get maybe half that. When I was in the Navy and in the middle of the ocean, on a clear and moon-free night, it is possible to see stars with apparent magnitude of 5 all the way to the horizon. It will take your breath away. The Milky Way ------- screams. I haven't seen skies like that since Navy days. Nowhere in the US can you see that.

upload.wikimedia.org

#29 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 09:46 PM | Reply

My initial reaction to this was negative - typical NY money-grab. Upon further thought, I think this is fine. The state and metro parks where I'm at have hours. Granted, some of them allow camping, but you have to pay extra for that. I see this as the same thing. If you don't want to pay to stargaze at a NY park - don't. Stargaze somewhere else.

#30 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-29 09:50 PM | Reply

#29 Goat makes a great point - it's exceedingly difficult to avoid light pollution in this country.

#31 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-29 09:51 PM | Reply

The best one can do in the US for dark skies is to get into a mountain valley.

I was at an awesome spot near Moab a few years ago. The sky looked like a Star Wars background.

That said, I'm kinda in the middle of nowhere. The light dome from Kalispell, Montana fades after about 50 miles.

#32 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 09:59 PM | Reply

The best spot I've personally witnessed was on Crooked Lake just outside of Lake City, Michigan. I was able to see why our galaxy is called the "Milky Way".

Of course, one can always cheat and just go to a planetarium.

#33 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-29 10:07 PM | Reply

" If you don't want to pay to stargaze at a NY park - don't. Stargaze somewhere else."

Serious stargazers will not go to the parks anyway. It takes a good 15 minutes for your pupils and retina to acclimate to the dark for optimum viewing. One light (headlight, whatever) and there goes your night vision. Gotta wait 15 more minutes. People in parks are not going to respect other people's viewing. That's another reason to join an astronomy club. Astronomers will never turn on a flashlight (except with a deep red filter) and never their car headlights or any other light. Once your eyes are acclimated for the night, they stay acclimated.

#34 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 10:10 PM | Reply

If someone isn't willing to spend $15 more a year for access to telescopes and knowledgable people on the subject, they aren't very interested in the night sky. Just sayin'..

Just being able to see it would be a start. I'd imagine clubs in New York would first organize trips far away from the lights to set up a show, and the $50 club fee would not cover expenses.

#35 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 10:10 PM | Reply

Astronomers will never turn on a flashlight...

Other than for them damn feral pigs roaming about. :-)

#36 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 10:14 PM | Reply

"Other than for them damn feral pigs roaming about. :-)

#36 | POSTED BY REDIAL"

LOL I didn't know I had told that story. That must've been years ago. Good memory.

#37 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 10:16 PM | Reply

Good memory.

I'm not an archiver like Hans but I forget very little.

#38 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 10:18 PM | Reply

"I'm not an archiver like Hans but I forget very little.

#38 | POSTED BY REDIAL "

I'm lucky those guys weren't armed. I probably would have been shot. It wasn't so much the night vision loss, but many of them were imaging, and a two hour exposure isn't unheard of.

#39 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-29 10:26 PM | Reply

...but many of them were imaging, and a two hour exposure isn't unheard of.

I used to do that. Good way to freeze to death on purpose. Tore off a few eyelashes tracking Halley inbound late '85.

I like the digital world now... take 30-40 15 second shots and stack them. Take out all the frames with plane and satellite streaks.

Not the same obviously, but get better images. Oh, and you get to just program it and go back inside. Big perk.

#40 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-01-29 10:37 PM | Reply

#29 in the ocean somewhere I walked out on the flight desk on an overcast night, we were running darken ship. It's lonely out there when you can't see anything at all. Thinking any direction I walked I could fall overboard.

#41 | Posted by Charliecharles at 2020-01-29 10:58 PM | Reply

I've never been far out at sea past the horizon to see the stars, but it's on my list.

#42 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-01-29 11:02 PM | Reply

"#29 in the ocean somewhere I walked out on the flight desk on an overcast night, we were running darken ship. It's lonely out there when you can't see anything at all. Thinking any direction I walked I could fall overboard.

#41 | POSTED BY CHARLIECHARLES "

I used to spend so much time on top of the helo hanger on my back watching the stars. Almost every night there wasn't a moon in the sky, in fact. I'll never forget the first time I saw the southern constellations creeping into view over the weeks as the ship headed south. The first time I saw Omega Centauri, I was blown away. Same with the Magellenic clouds. Wow.

I've seen Omega Centauri again since then. (it's visible at my latitude, but just barely in the spring) But I haven't seen the Magellenic clouds since I was in the Navy.

#43 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-30 12:02 AM | Reply

"It's lonely out there when you can't see anything at all. Thinking any direction I walked I could fall overboard.

#41 | POSTED BY CHARLIECHARLES "

In the little latitudes, it never gets completely dark. The photophosphorescent plankton in the warmer waters is very bright. The cavitation of the screw stirs it up and makes them glow brightly. You can see the wake of the ship for a long ways.

#44 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-30 12:10 AM | Reply

"I've never been far out at sea past the horizon to see the stars, but it's on my list.

#42 | POSTED BY SNOOFY "

To see truly absolute dark skies you have to go pretty far out. I was once watching the stars and I noticed a very dim glow on the eastern horizon. I thought the moon was about to rise. But it never got brighter. I went to the bridge and asked the quartermaster where we were. We were 800 miles from California and I was seeing the light dome from southern California (LA to San Diego) When in pristine skies and after your eyes adjust, it's incredible what you can see.

#45 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-30 12:17 AM | Reply

I saw great stars in the Tenn. Mountains about thirty years ago while camping with my father. I never forgot the impression that it made on me. The stars were so thick and Bright that you could almost read By them I kid you not.I wonder if it's still like that there now?

#46 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-01-30 12:59 AM | Reply

The funniest thing about this thread is rightwingers finally learning that it costs money to go to state parks. I wonder if they get this outraged when they go to a restaurant and the waiter has the audacity to bring them a bill.

#47 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-30 06:54 AM | Reply

Just being able to see it would be a start. I'd imagine clubs in New York would first organize trips far away from the lights to set up a show, and the $50 club fee would not cover expenses.

#35 | POSTED BY REDIAL

Mackris' linked pdf only listed parks on Long Island. My google search brought up the same page, so I don't know if this is state wide.

Having lived in multiple locations around upstate NY this isn't necessary in many places but I can see why it is on LI being so populated and right next to NYC.

And yes, they have a club for about the same price.

www.asliclub.org

#48 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-30 07:52 AM | Reply

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