Johnnie St. Vrain: Why the late-night lights at Niwot High?

Mar. 5—Dear Johnnie: I'm very confused on why the Niwot High School football/track lights are on in the middle of the night in the middle of a snowstorm — for weeks now. It doesn't make any sense to me.

I recently drove by the field and saw the lights on, snow on the field and no people and no footprints.

I mean, since Boulder County is so all about light pollution, what in the world are they doing? I'd love to see those things turned off. That's ridiculous. — Gaynor Lake

Dear Gaynor Lake: You didn't send your question directly to Johnnie, but it found its way to me.

I sensed a little hyperbole in your question — "middle of the night," "for weeks." Please forgive me, but Mrs. Kravitz came to mind as I pondered your question.

Still, I trusted that as you looked out your window at night, you were in fact seeing the glowing of lights at Niwot High, so I asked the school district. I heard back from spokeswoman Kerri McDermid.

"If the community member is seeing lights on in the evenings before 10 p.m., that would be expected, as we have spring sports and student athletic events and practices," McDermid said in an email. "It is possible that during the previous snowstorm, the lights had been previously programmed to be on for practices, but those may have been moved indoors due to weather."

McDermid said the lights should never be on during the "middle of the night," as they are programmed to automatically shut off at 10 p.m., "if they haven't already been turned off."

Gaynor Lake, if you do see the athletic field lights on at, say, midnight or 2 in the morning, I recommend that you alert the district the next morning.