Feb 12, 2010 1:01 AM by John Romero
As night falls Howard Laney's neighborhood begins to get dark. In fact it's a lot darker than in years past. All but one street light have been turned off. "They left us in the dark. Another 20 or 30 minutes out here and you can't see your hand in front of your face. It's scary, we don't like it." he says.
He and his neighbors want to know why so many of their street lights have been turned off. John Leavitt with the city says in a harsh economy, every light counts. "We're deactivating about 8,000 street lights across the city in an attempt to save about a million dollars a year in budget money."
Laney understands the cities situation but he thinks the neighborhoods lack of visibility may be a little too much. "Everyone needs to tighten their belts." he says, "But leaving us in the dark isn't an option."
Laney and his neighbors say the area is no stranger to crime. When police used a helicopter the saw it over their neighborhood regularly. Laney's neighbor had go-carts stolen from his home and a fence cut down. "We've had a lot of automobiles broken in to. We've had some fleeing individuals cut through here." says Laney.
Luckily the neighborhood and the city have been working closely together and there is a chance another light or two can be turned back on. "We admit that we sometimes make mistakes, absolutely." explains Leavitt, "We are willing to take a look at those things and in fact we are going to take a look." Howard just hopes that look comes soon. "I think we have the right to feel somewhat safe in our own communities." he says.