Four Seasons Park to Host Eclipse Party Aug. 21

Parker Bruns, son of Angie & Rich Bruns practices with his newly acquired shades from Stallo Library for looking at the solar eclipse.
Staff Writer

 Getting ready for an event not seen around these parts in many a year takes a little prudent planning with a literal eye for safety.  That’s what anyone here and all over the country in the path of the August 21 solar eclipse with a mind to view it needs to be aware of. Precautionary planning to protect the retinas of the eyes is the order of the day.

At the Stallo Library they have been offering free Eclipse Shades which, of course, are necessary for safe viewing of the event. They meet ISO requirement 12312-2:2015 and are deemed safe for direct solar viewing and according to their warning label should be used any time one looks directly at the sun or its reflection to protect the eyes from solar radiation, “Use your Eclipse Shades whenever ANY PART of the Sun, no matter how small is visible.” It further warns against use with other “optical appliances such as cameras. telescopes or binoculars.” It admonishes for child use only with adult supervision.

All that said, Stallo Library is holding an Eclipse Party at Four Seasons Park Monday afternoon and one of the reasons they’ve been handing out the safe viewing shades to anyone for the asking.

This Monday’s event will be the first total solar eclipse to take place in the continental United States since 1979. There is a 70-mile-wide swath of the country that runs from Oregon and sweeps down through eleven other states including South Carolina where the eclipse can be viewed in its totality. The closest that direct path reaches to Ohio is in Western Kentucky.

Dr. Gene Knapke, O.D.  of New Bremen Eyecare says to “use only approved solar eclipse viewers, anything else is not going to be as safe. Make sure they’re not scratched, you want to have complete protection. ... People should resist the urge to take them off and take a peek because there’s enough solar energy coming through to damage the eyes.”

Caveats have also been posted about buying  phony viewing glasses, which may even have the ISO label imprinted on them. “Don’t just search for eclipse glasses on the Internet and buy whatever comes up,” warned Rick Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society. Retailers including Kroger, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Lowe’s and Best Buy are selling ISO-compliant safe eclipse glasses or handheld viewers.

The American Astronomical Society also has an online list of reputable vendors on its website