What’s Up With That Bright New Light Atop Bernal Hill?

What Up Bernal?
The neighbors have been talking. Not our neighbors here in Bernalwood; rather, our neighbors in surrounding neighborhoods have been talking — about us! They say we look different these days. Specifically, they say there’s a new light shining from atop Bernal Hill, and that it is very bright.

For example, Bob Horowitz, the photographer who took the photo above on January 29, asks:

Is it my imagination or has the beacon atop Bernal Heights gotten brighter recently?

From the looks of Bob’s photo, it seems the bright light may be a new floodlight installed to provide security for our stylish and beloved microwave tower.

Now,  I’m just speculating here, but the new light may tie in with an effort to prevent the defacement of the tower facility with graffiti… which may in turn tie in with an effort to address the (overblown) concerns of Supervisor David Campos, who recently blocked the installation of new cellphone antennas atop the tower because he said the site was marred by graffiti. So the new light may be part of an effort to keep the tower site cleaner to secure permission to install those antennas eventually.

But like I said, that’s just one theory. I also have another theory, and it goes something like this:

Photo: Top, Bob Horowitz

16 thoughts on “What’s Up With That Bright New Light Atop Bernal Hill?

  1. There was a cherry-picker or some kind of machinery like that up there for a while, too. It was parked near the rock labyrinth–hey, maybe aliens made that! Construction on the tower? Or maybe it was being used to clean something.

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  3. I absolutely hate that light. I walk my dog up there most nights and I hate, hate, hate it. Makes me want to take my slingshot up there and….

    I suspect your’re right about the tie in with the tower permit fiasco. The timing it right. But this is not the first time there has been a light at that location. The previous light was installed, a while back – maybe a year or two ago? – it was annoying as well, but not soooooo bright. Someone took it out. Hope they take care of this one too.

    Did I mention how much I absolutely detest that f—ing source of light pollution? Maybe the idiot NIMBYs who objected to the antenna radiation will raise hell about this unnatural light disturbing the peace?

  4. I also just noticed this light when walking my dog on the hill tonight. It is hideous, but I think that it makes the case that I originally made… that building new fancy shit on the hill will result in other negative impacts such as more security (or lights). Scrap the new antenna and the light.

  5. I’ve been following up with American Tower Corporation and with city staff. So far, no news. I was surprised that the top of the hill is actually owned (not leased) by a private entity and not part of the park. Perhaps American Tower Corporation owns it. They have the sign on the fence, and call the top of Bernal “Site Number 89291”. Don’t try calling it anything different, they won’t know what you’re talking about :-). City staff promised to get back to me — apparently they are working with the owner on “clearing up their violations” — of what, I don’t know….and American Tower said they’d have someone look at it, but no news yet. Light “is not regulated by the city” but it still seems being a good neighbor is a good idea. There could be shielding to focus the light on their site; there could be motion detectors; there could be LED lighting or yellow sulphur lighting like streetlights….and btw I would not object to towers, just random cruel light leaking into the night sky, with no soundtrack or aliens to justify it…

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