Noise News for Week of July 12, 1998


New Hong Kong Airport Generates Noise and Protests

PUBLICATION: The British Broadcasting Corporation
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Rthk Radio 3, Hong Kong, 14 July 98, Part 3, Asia-Pacific, Macao
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Albert Chan, noise activist, Democratic Party

The British Broadcasting Corporation reports that, according to a Radio TV Hong Kong audio web-site report on July 14th, about 30 residents demonstrated outside Central district government offices over jet noise from the new Hong Kong area airport. Meanwhile, Christine Loh, the new chair of the Environmental Panel, said jet noise at the airport will be the top priority for the panel.

According to the report, residents from Shatin, Tsuen Wan, and Tsing Yi participated in the demonstration, saying that noise is disrupting children studying at school and at home. Albert Chan, one of the organizers of the protest and a member of the Democratic Party, said the flight paths at the airport should be changed. Chan said, "We believe there are better choices in terms of aviation routes. According to a study back in 1991, the consultant put forward a number of proposals on routes adopted by the Chek Lap Kok airport. The Aviation Department chose the route which is most noisy, and that disturbs more than one million people." Chan added that if department officials chose an alternate route, planes would not have to fly over Tsuen Wan and Shatin.

The report also says that according to Christine Loh, the Environmental Panel will discuss the jet noise problem with the officials responsible for monitoring noise pollution. Loh also indicated that the panel would consider information from any groups organized to protest the jet noise.

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D.C. Residents Try to Shut Down Noisy and Dangerous Nightclub

PUBLICATION: The Washington Post
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Weekly - Dc; Pg. J01
BYLINE: Jennifer Lee
DATELINE: Washington, D.C.
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Deborah Perkins, resident

The Washington Post reports that residents in Washington, D.C. are trying to shut down the Palace nightclub, in the 300 block of Kennedy Street NW. Residents living near the club say the club is noisy, creates traffic problems, and most of all, is dangerous to the surrounding community. A shoot-out outside the club occurred Sunday, and a stabbing occurred in April. On Tuesday, about 24 local residents demonstrated outside the club, calling for its closure. The article explains that a recently passed law, the Suspension of Liquor Licenses Amendment Act, may help residents in their fight, because it allows the alcohol licenses of establishments to be suspended when violence in or near the club endangers the community or the police.

According to the article, residents say the nightclub's clientele, mostly teenagers and young adults, bring noise, traffic problems, vandalism, and violence to their neighborhood. Resident Gregory Green said, "Ever since this club has opened, we've had nothing but problems," adding that his neighbors' windows had been shattered by gunfire from incidents near the bar. Another resident, Louise Strothers, said she awakened to rapid gunfire on Sunday at 4:30 a.m. She said she dropped to her knees and crawled along the floor to another room to escape any stray gunshots. Police say the shoot-out involved between 5 and 12 people, including one off-duty police officer. No one was killed, and there have been no arrests so far.

The article goes on to say that on Tuesday afternoon, residents staged a demonstration in from of the nightclub. Charlene Drew Jarvis, a D.C. Council member, said at the rally, "Should we wait until a life has been taken, or should we ask the police chief to use his powers to close the club down now?"

The article notes that two other clubs, D'Cachet and the Ibex, were closed last year after two shootings resulted in several injuries and two deaths, including the death of a police officer. But neighbors say they don't want to wait till someone is killed, and now they may have a new weapon to close down the bar. In May, the D.C. Council passed the Suspension of Liquor Licenses Amendment Act, which allows either the police chief or the Alcoholic Beverages Commission to suspend the alcohol licenses of establishments when violence takes place in or near a club that endangers the community or the police. Reverend Graylon Hagler of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, who worked to close down the other two bars, said he and others proposed the law so that "community groups could have more leverage in these types of situations."

The article says that noise also has been a problem for residents. Joseph Johnson, the Palace manager, said he has installed a soundproof wall in the back of the club, and residents no longer hear any music. But Deborah Perkins, who lives behind the club, said, "I hear all the music with the windows closed and the television on." Vannie Taylor III, chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B, said, "We've had numerous meetings with Mr. Johnson since 1994 which have produced agreements, none of which has he kept. The community now is totally frustrated. His words mean nothing."

Johnson also insisted he is not responsible for what happens outside the nightclub's doors. He added that shutting down his nightclub would not necessarily solve problems in the neighborhood. He said, "It might stop us from selling liquor, but it's not going to stop anything from going out on the streets. If they close me, then who are they going to blame everything on?" Palace representatives meanwhile have applied for permission to expand into a former church next door.

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Residents in New Mexico Complain About Noisy Training Flights

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: New Mexico & Metro; Pg. C1
BYLINE: Bill Papich
DATELINE: Farmington, New Mexico
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Alia DiRe, Jo Ashback, Rosie Wilson, Rebecca Atencio, residents

The Albuquerque Journal reports that residents living near the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico are angry about noise from the training flights initiated by the Mesa Air Group. According to the article, residents had hoped that after Mesa Air Group officials announced recently they would be moving their operation, that the noisy training flights would leave the area. But Mesa officials said their subsidiary, the pilot training company Mesa Pilot Development, would remain at the airport and would be increasing flights. Residents are expected to air their complaints at a meeting today of the Farmington Airport Advisory Commission. The commission plans to make a recommendation to the City Council on how to resolve the problem.

The article reports that the Mesa Pilot Development planes, with loud variable pitch propellers, start their flights as early as 6:30 a.m. And, the article says, often planes take off after 9 p.m., circle parts of the city, then touch down at the airport for a few seconds before taking off again. These "touch and go" maneuvers are repeated again and again.

The article goes on to say that residents insist the problem is significant. Alia DiRe, who lives east of the airport, said on a Sunday between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m., she counted 13 training flights over her house either taking off or landing. Another resident, Jo Ashback, said, "The commercial planes come in and fly off. But this touch and go, touch and go, touch and go is a whole different bag." Rosie Wilson, who also lives east of the airport, said the planes are affecting public health. She said, "This is a working community, blue-collar community. A lot of shift work goes on in this town -- oil field workers, mine workers, policemen. You can't even sit in your easy chair with a book." Resident Rebecca Atencio said she counts a training plane over her house every two minutes on some days. She added, "Let them go somewhere else to get their training. There's not a quarter going into my pocket every time one of those things buzzes my house."

The article reports that according to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were 7,287 landings and takeoffs at the airport in the "local general aviation" category during June. Planes in this category take off, fly around briefly, and land again, the article notes. According to city officials, most flights in this category are the "touch and go" flights made by Mesa. In May, the number of local general aviation landings and takeoffs was 5,537.

City officials, meanwhile, said the city has no noise ordinance that applies to planes and would have to get approval from the FAA to regulate flights because of noise problems.

The article also says that students of Mesa Pilot Development pay $40,000 for 18 months of training through San Juan College's aviation program. The college provides classrooms and instructors, while Mesa provides the flight training. But the college only receives $900 per student, according to college officials, while Mesa receives $39,100. In 1989, when the program started, there were 12 students. Today, there are 120. Sarah Pitcher, a spokesperson for Mesa Air Group, said she's not aware of any "formal" complaints about Mesa Pilot Development noise. Jim Henderson, the president of San Juan College, said he's aware of the noise complaints, but believes they can be resolved through a compromise.

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Indiana County Approves New Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Indianapolis Star
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Metro West; Pg. W03
BYLINE: Tim Evans
DATELINE: Danville, Indiana

The Indianapolis Star reports that County Commissioners in Hendricks County, Indiana approved a new ordinance Monday designed to regulate excessive noise and disorderly conduct. The ordinance allows officers to issue citations for violations, and to issue warnings on the first offense.

According to the article, a first offense of the new ordinance carries a $50 fine, and subsequent offenses within any one-year period carry fines of up to $200. The article says that the ordinance bans "unreasonable noise on public property or private property, which is clearly audible beyond the bounds of the private property." In addition, refusing to stop the noise-producing activity is cause for a citation.

Some activity is exempt from the ordinance, the article reports, including all activities related to farming and agriculture. In addition, activities related to construction, home improvement, lawn care, repair and maintenance of personal property, lawful public assemblies, or properly zoned commercial enterprises are exempt from the ordinance except between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.

The article notes that the ordinance was drafted by Commissioner David Underhill, who worked with Steven Stoddard, chief deputy of the Hendricks County Sheriff's Department. Officials had considered a similar, but more detailed ordinance last year, but it was voted down after farmers and builders protested.

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Rhode Island Zoning Board Postpones Public Hearing on Gun Club Permit

PUBLICATION: The Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 2C
BYLINE: Jillian Safer
DATELINE: West Greenwich, Rhode Island
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: David Berry, Carol Healy, Planning Board members

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the Zoning Board of Review in West Greenwich, Rhode Island postponed a public hearing last night on a special-use permit sought by the Wincheck Gun Club, because the club's two expert witnesses were unable to attend and because board members requested site plans for the proposed club. More than 50 residents concerned about noise attended the meeting and waited two-and-a-half hours without getting a chance to speak. The Zoning Board moved the public hearing to its August 25 meeting.

According to the article, the gun club is requesting permission to relocate from Exeter to a New London Turnpike site with 43 acres. Residents living near the proposed site are worried about noise, decreasing property values, and increasing traffic, and have protested the application during the last three months in hearings before the Planning Board.

The article notes that last week, the Planning Board voted 3 to 2 to recommend the special-use permit. Board members who voted for the project said that studies showed the club will not violate town noise regulations, and will create little adverse traffic impact. David Berry and Carol Healy, the board members who voted against the application, said the noise tests may not have been properly conducted. In addition, Healy questioned the findings of the club's traffic engineer who said that the narrow dirt road leading to the club was suitable.

According to the article, the Zoning Board allows applicants to finish presenting their proposals before opponents can comment. At last night's meeting, the board first voted to push the gun-club issue to the end of the meeting, and then couldn't complete the issue that night, despite the fact that more than 50 people had waited for the chance to comment. Board members wanted more details about the gun club's building plans, in order to ensure that the firing ranges are far enough away from neighbors and have a proper buffer zone. John Kupa, a lawyer for the gun club, said club representatives have waited to do a land survey and site the firing ranges until the permit is secured. But, Kupa said he would provide topographical maps of the area and sketch out a rough overlay of the proposed site at the board's next meeting. Kupa said that the gun club's two experts, the acoustical and traffic engineers who performed the studies, missed this meeting but would attend the next one.

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Hong Kong Residents Propose Alternative Flight Path to Cut Noise, But Government Says There's Little Hope for Change

PUBLICATION: South China Morning Post
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 6
BYLINE: Anne Stewart
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Albert Chan Wai-yip, organizer, Aircraft Noise Concern Committee, and member, Democratic Party

The South China Morning Post reports that an activist group in Hong Kong, China is protesting against jet noise at the Hong Kong area airport, saying that an alternative flight path would solve the problem. But meanwhile, officials with the government's Civil Aviation Department say there is "little scope" for change.

According to the article, the Aircraft Noise Concern Committee has petitioned Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to order the Civil Aviation Department to change the flight paths. According to Albert Chan Wai-yip, an organizer of the aircraft committee and a Democratic Party member, the government should compensate residents affected by noise if the flight paths aren't changed. Chan said an environmental impact report in 1991 showed there were alternate flight paths that would not affect the one million residents now affected by jet noise. He said, "We urge the administration to instruct the Civil Aviation Department to use this proposal. The noise level in certain areas is clearly higher than predicted -- up to 80 decibels in Ma Wan, Sha Tin, Tsing Yi, and Kwai Chung." The committee also wants the government to relocate the residents living in the Lantau "noise contour."

But, the article reports, Simon Li Tin-chui, chief planning manager at the Civil Aviation Department, said there was little chance the flight paths would be changed. He said, "We can't say we won't look at all the alternatives, but the path is bound by mountains on one side." He added that changing flight paths would shift noise to Ma On Shan.

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Florida Airport Officials Ask Condominium Developer for Noise Liability Waivers, But Developers Refuse

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Neighborhood Times; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Linnie Bennett
DATELINE: St. Petersburg, Florida

The St. Petersburg Times reports officials at the Albert Whitted Municipal Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida are worried about the location of Vinoy Place, a proposed condominium development below the final approach path for one of the airport's runways. The article says airport officials asked the developers to require buyers to sign liability waivers, protecting the airport from noise lawsuits. But developers, on the advice of the city's legal department, have refused; however, they say they will provide full disclosure to buyers about the airport's proximity.

According to the article, the condominium development would cost $60-million and would be located at Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, next to the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, in downtown St. Petersburg. Plans include four 13-story towers, surrounded by townhomes; units would start at $450,000. The article explains that the Albert Whitted Airport is located to the south of the site. There were 85,000 take-offs and landings last year, according to M.O. Burgess Jr., the airport director. About 165 airplanes and helicopters are based there, most of them single-engine prop planes. Jack Tunstill, a local flying instructor, said many factors determine the descent and approach of a landing, but "most planes flying on an instrument landing would fly over those buildings."

The article reports that airport officials are afraid that residents in the towers will be disturbed enough by the noise and lights of the jets that they will bring lawsuits against the airport and try to shut down the runway. Director Burgess said, "Our concern is the potential nuisance and noise complaints." Burgess and other airport officials want residents to sign a legal document called an "avigation easement," in which property owners agree not to sue the airport over jet noise. The article notes that in Pinellas County, property owners in Feather Sound are required to sign such an avigation easement because of their proximity to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

But Steve Wolochowicz, director of the St. Petersburg Development Services Department, said the city's legal department advised the developer not to agree to such an easement. He said, "It's our attorney's opinion that it's not the way to go. Besides, there's no guarantee, easement or no."

The article goes on to explain that the height of the condominium's towers, at 150 feet, also is being questioned by some. Glenn Lenhoff, air traffic manager at the airport, said, "Aircraft will be flying over the buildings by only 18 to 25 feet." But David Brett, president of Southeast Companies, the condo developers, said, "That 18 to 25 feet is an awfully theatrical comment. If there's an airplane at 30 feet over the buildings, he's probably not going to make it to the airport." Deborah Windham, a local pilot who flies into Albert Whitted frequently, said she's usually at an altitude of at least 600 feet at that point in her approach. The Environmental Development Commission ruled that the condo development didn't need a height variance, and subsequently Lenhoff, the air traffic manager, wrote a letter to St. Petersburg City Council Chair Bea Griswold questioning the city's decision not to require a height variance and not to seek an avigation easement. Wolochowicz of the city said that city staff probably would present information on the project at Thursday's council meeting, but there would likely be no discussion then.

John Bryan, the former chair of the Environmental Development Commission, approved the plans for Vinoy Place, and said he agreed with Brett about the jets' altitude. He said, "I'm a pilot and I love the airport. I didn't see any conflict. Typically, most people line up for landings over the water. If you stray over the Vinoy and you come in at that altitude, you'd be terribly low. By the time you got to The Pier, you'd be wondering if you could make it over the street lights."

Meanwhile, Krista Boling, a spokesperson for Renaissance Vinoy Resort, located next to the proposed condos, said she hasn't heard of complaints from guests about jet noise while they're in their rooms. She added, "Occasionally, outside, it's a challenge. We've had some funny situations during outdoor meetings with a plane flying overhead or a band warming up before a parade and drowning out someone's punch line. It's more the exception than the rule."

The article reports that officials for Southeast Companies said they see no reason to require buyers to sign an agreement. Ian Irwin, chief executive officer of Southeast Companies, said, "This is an urban setting, and we're building within guidelines. The city gave us the rules and we're following the rules. We intend to put full, complete disclosure in the condominium documents that aircraft do fly by and over." Brett, the president, said, "We value the airport. They want to be part of the discussion and they should be ... But I believe that even if there's an easement you would still be able to complain."

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Louisiana State Officials Will Make Final Decision on Placement of Noise Walls in August

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Natalie Pompilio
DATELINE: Metairie and Kenner, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports that noise walls will be built along Interstate 10 in Metairie and Kenner, Louisiana to mitigate traffic noise for residents. The noise wall construction project is part of a plan to widen I-10, the article notes. State officials will make a final decision on the placement and composition of the walls in August, after compiling data gathered from public meetings.

The article reports that Interstate 10 is being widened between the Interstate 610 split in New Orleans near the Metairie line and Williams Boulevard in Kenner. The noise walls are expected to cost $24 million. They will be between 10 and 24 feet high, and will be built along the 11-mile corridor between the St. Charles Parish-Kenner line and the Airline Drive-Tulane Avenue exit in New Orleans. The article says that in most places, the noise walls will be built where fences are currently. But, the article reports, there will be open sections in the line of noise barriers, because engineers decided that in some areas, there aren't enough people living to justify the expense.

The article explains that more than 180,000 cars use the Interstate on an average day, which makes I-10 in Metairie near the I-610 split the busiest stretch of highway in Louisiana. In some nearby homes, highway noise reaches as high as 75 decibels, the sound level of someone screaming from three feet away, or of a vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal at close range. After the road is widened, the noise will be even louder, the article says. After the walls are built, the traffic noise should be as loud as a normal speaking voice heard from three feet away, experts said.

According to the article, Paul Waidhas, who is directing the noise wall project for the firm Burk-Kleinpeter Inc., said many residents attended the two days of public hearings on the noise walls in May. Waidhas said more 30 people gave comments at the hearings, and about 150 more provided written statements. Waidhas said most residents were happy the noise walls were going to be built. The major complaint, he said, came from residents who want noise walls, but whose neighborhoods are not scheduled to get them. People also commented on landscaping and aesthetic treatments for the walls, the article notes.

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U.S. Senate Committee Approves 100 More Daily Flights at Chicago's Airport

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 1; Zone: N
BYLINE: Jon Hilkevitch, with contributions by Rogers Worthington and Ethan Wallison
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Carol Moseley-Braun, U.S. Senator (D-Illinois); Ron Weitecha, Park Ridge Mayor

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Senate Commerce Committee voted 11-9 Tuesday to approve legislation that could add 100 commercial flights per day at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the world's busiest airport. Senators voted on the legislation after listening to a last-minute, unannounced appeal against the bill from U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Illinois), who is not a member of the committee. The article notes that the legislation is part of a national aviation bill, and it now advances to the full Senate, where a fight is expected between senators who want to increase flights around the country and those who represent constituents battling airport noise and traffic.

According to the article, Senator Moseley-Braun appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to ask that they remove the O'Hare expansion from the bill until "unanswered questions" on environmental and safety issues can be studied. She said, "If you care about local control and local input at all, here is a situation where no one close to this airport wants this to happen in this way." The article notes that although Moseley-Braun arrived unexpectedly and late, she received permission to speak from committee chair Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the leader of the effort to expand air service at O'Hare, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Kennedy and LaGuardia International Airports in New York. McCain has said he wants to increase air service to smaller cities and reduce airfares by promoting competition.

But, the article notes, the provision over flights at O'Hare is an especially contentious one. The article says that in a gesture intended to lessen resistance, McCain included language in the bill that requires the U.S. Transportation Department to review air traffic, noise, and pollution concerns before awarding the 100 former military "slots" for takeoffs and landings at O'Hare to commercial airlines.

Meanwhile, residents and officials living near O'Hare who are opposed to its expansion said they weren't surprised by the Commerce Committee's vote. But, they said they remained hopeful that the flights would be eliminated or reduced in the full Senate or in a Senate-House conference. Ron Weitecha, the mayor of Park Ridge, said, "The process stinks. What we have here is a senator from Arizona making decisions without asking for input from the people affected."

The article explains that because of the close vote in the Commerce Committee, congressional observers predict a fight on the Senate floor when the bill comes up for discussion in a few weeks. Moseley-Braun reportedly was working to develop an alliance with Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-New York), whose constituents also are struggling with airport capacity and noise issues. Meanwhile, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is trying to forge a compromise with other Midwestern senators to bring improved air service to smaller cities while holding down flight activity at O'Hare. The article says that Durbin wants language in any final law stipulating that airlines serving profitable routes in large markets can't go to court to escape responsibilities to serve smaller communities.

The article goes on to explain that the larger issue at O'Hare is airport capacity. Suburban residents are demanding not only a freeze on more flights, but a rollback of flight activity, while Chicago officials are working to accommodate additional flights. Mary Rose Loney, the city's aviation commissioner, said O'Hare has "underutilized capacity." The article reports that the Federal Aviation Administration limits jet operations at O'Hare to 155 slots per hour during "high density" periods of the day, but according to officials, that cap is often exceeded. Don Zochert, an FAA spokesperson, said, "It's more of a regulatory limit than an operational ceiling." In addition, since 1994, Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation have awarded 132 special slot exemptions to airlines that provide what is deemed "essential air service," based on data provided by the Chicago Department of Aviation. The result of all this, the article says, has been a significant increase in the number of flights in and out of O'Hare. Currently, there are about 2,400 flights per day, and last year, a record 70.4 million passengers passed through the airport on 883,761 landings and takeoffs. FAA officials say a variety of factors determine an airport's capacity, and because those factors aren't constant, the agency sets no limits on the number of aircraft an airport can handle annually. Instead, the article says, the FAA has imposed an hourly maximum between 6:45 a.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, officials at the Illinois Department of Transportation contend that O'Hare already is exceeding its capacity to operate safely. The department is leading Governor Jim Edgar's effort to build a third regional airport near south suburban Peotone, the article notes. Christine Cochrane, the state's manager for the Peotone project, said the FAA approved an O'Hare master plan that said the airport's capacity was 868,000 takeoffs and landings. There were 15,000 more flights last year at the airport, and the FAA now projects that flights will increase to 1,081,424 flights by 2010. Cochrane said, "When you figure in these new slots that are being talked about, I don't know where O'Hare has the capacity to meet the demand safely, and without major, major delays becoming the norm. It's more than pushing the envelope. They really are outside the envelope."

But, the article explains, officials at the city's Aviation Department say that finishing the $1 billion construction plan for the airport in five to seven years and installing technological advancements in air-traffic control will allow the airport to handle more flights. Dennis Culloton, a spokesperson for the Aviation Department, said, "We've never said what the capacity at O'Hare is. We've looked at the demand forecasts and analyzed what we need to do to meet that demand."

The article reports that 37 new daily slots were awarded to airlines at O'Hare in April, and 53 daily slots were awarded to low-fare carriers and new carriers serving small- and medium-sized markets. In addition, 100 new weekly departures from O'Hare are serving foreign destinations this summer, though airline officials say these summer-only flights are replacing other flights and therefore don't represent an increase in flights. There also is pending legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would add another 29 daily flights.

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Hong Kong Residents Complain About Jet Noise

PUBLICATION: Emerging Markets Datafile (Hong Kong Standard)
DATE: July 14, 1998
BYLINE: Martin Wong
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China

The Emerging Markets Datafile (Hong Kong Standard) reports that residents in Hong Kong, China are complaining about jet noise from the Hong Kong International Airport. The article says that at a public forum held near Tai Wai on Monday, residents living in the area expressed anger at the Civil Aviation Department for bringing the jets over their neighborhoods. Meanwhile, airport officials said the flight path would be difficult or impossible to change.

According to the article, Lo Chung-kwang, a resident of Granville Garden in Tai Wai Village in Sha Tin, said at the public forum, "I did not know I would be living under the flight path when I bought my flat a few years ago. Sometimes I can feel my bed vibrating when a plane passes over my unit." He added that some of his friends who lived in Kowloon City and Choi Hung Estate moved to the Tai Wai / Sha Tin area to escape aircraft noise from Kai Tak airport, and now they are besieged with noise from another airport.

In response to residents' complaints, Au Kang-yuen, the air traffic general manager at the Civil Aviation Department, said the current flight path was decided in 1982 and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to change it. He said, "We had flight safety in mind when we decided the path. And the flight path is already very high, 4,500-6,000 feet, when we compare it with the one used for Kai Tak airport." Chan Hung, the assistant director of the Environmental Protection Department, said that people are complaining about the jet noise because they aren't used to it yet. He added, "The noise level is only between 65 and 70 decibels. It is more quiet than a moving double-deck bus."

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Residents in Washington State Object to Airport Expansion, But Officials Pass Expansion Plan

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: July 14, 1998
SECTION: Local News; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Kery Murakami
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Daniel Labial, Fred Rappaport, residents

The Seattle Times reports that residents in the old Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington already experience significant jet noise from Boeing Field. Despite their objections, however, the Metropolitan King County Council yesterday unanimously approved a proposal to bring more cargo flights to the airport and move the runway closer Georgetown's homes. The proposal now moves to county environmental reviews. But, the article says, given yesterday's unanimous vote, the plan is likely to get final approval from the council sometime next year.

According to the article, the approved plan calls for allowing more cargo flights over the next 20 years, and re-constructing the runway 800 feet to the north. The article notes that the runway must be moved because there's not enough open land at the south end of the airport to meet federal aviation standards.

In addition to approving the plan, the council approved $6 million for mitigating the jet noise. Most of that money, about $5.5 million, will be used to build a "hush house," where jets will go to rev their engines during tests. The balance of the money will go for studies to determine other ways to mitigate noise for residents. County Councilor Dwight Pelz, who represents the South Seattle communities around the airport, said, "The package represents the most comprehensive noise mitigations ever taken by the county." Pelz added that appropriating the money was the best he could do, given the airport's economic importance to the county. Currently, cargo jets at the airport fly in Boeing's supplies, UPS packages, and overnight mail. Boeing, the business community, and labor leaders lobbied heavily for the airport expansion, the article says.

Meanwhile, residents in the airport's flight path were not happy with the $6 million mitigation proposal. They said they wanted air traffic reduced, not increased. Daniel Labial, a Magnolia resident, said the county council placed Boeing and other political interests ahead of residents' interests. Labial said, "You're leaving the 100,000 people you're really supposed to represent in the cold." Another resident, Fred Rappaport of Georgetown, said, "If I were to ring your doorbell at 4 a.m. night after night, you'd probably have me arrested. Why should air cargo be exempted?"

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Hong Kong Residents Complain About Jet Noise, But Officials Refuse Compensation for Residents Outside Noise Contour

PUBLICATION: South China Morning Post
DATE: July 14, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 6
BYLINE: Anne Stewart
DATELINE: Hong Kong, China
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Albert Chan Wai-yip, leader, Joint Committee on Aviation Noise

The South China Morning Post reports that China's Civil Aviation Department has received about 300 complaints from residents since the Hong Kong airport opened. While residents continue to protest, government officials say that compensating residents who live outside the "noise contour" is out of the question. Meanwhile, decibel levels on the ground below the flight path range from 60 to 70 decibels.

According to the article, tests by the Civil Aviation Department show that the flight path above Tsing Yi and Sha Tin registered 70 decibels. In Tsuen Wan, the decibel reading was between 65 and 70, and in Sai Kung, just off the flight path, it was between 60 and 65. The article notes that planes are not subject to governmental noise limits, but noise at the street level is not supposed to exceed 70 decibels. In addition, the article points out, the "noise contour" system is based on noise levels on the ground, failing to consider the increased noise experienced by residents who live in upper stories. Simon Li Tin-chui, chief planning officer for the Civil Aviation Department, said that was irrelevant. He said, "Of course I understand their concerns, but the difference is of one or two decibels; a few hundred feet." He added that compensation for those living outside the noise contour was "out of the question."

The article reports that most of the 300 complaints received so far are from residents in Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, and Sha Tin, according to a spokesperson. A new coalition has been formed to fight aircraft noise, and includes building owners and managers, district board members, and residents. The group will demand today that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa order a flight path review, the article says. Albert Chan Wai-yip, the leader of the Joint Committee on Aviation Noise and a member of the Democratic Party, said the planes should use other routes that wouldn't affect as many people.

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California City Considers New Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Ventura County Star
DATE: July 14, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. B01
BYLINE: Steve Silkin
DATELINE: Moorpark, California

The Ventura County Star reports that the City Council in Moorpark, California will consider approving a new noise ordinance on Wednesday. The ordinance would replace a current section in the municipal code with more specific language about which noises are prohibited and when they are prohibited. The article notes that the proposed ordinance was approved by the Planning Commission earlier this year.

According to the article, the proposed ordinance allows the Community Development department to enforce the ordinance after receiving complaints. In addition, the article says, the ordinance bans specific noises between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., other types of noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., and still other noises all the time. Nelson Miller, director of Community Development, said, "This is much more specific in setting defined criteria for a variety of noise sources. It gives a more objective, standardized set of criteria."

The article reports that one resident said the ordinance didn't address any of her noise problems. Yolanda Simen, a resident of the Virginia Colony area, said, "We have the train right behind us. Which is something we've learned to live with. And we have the additional noise of the freeway bridge, but that's it. Otherwise, it's quiet."

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Maryland Developers Seek to Develop Land Near Highways, While County Officials Struggle to Protect Future Homeowners From Traffic Noise

PUBLICATION: The Baltimore Sun
DATE: July 13, 1998
SECTION: Local (News), Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Liz Atwood
DATELINE: Baltimore, Maryland area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Ron Bowers, president, Longford North Improvement Association

The Baltimore Sun reports that the counties around Baltimore, Maryland are increasingly facing a problem as developers try to build on land parcels close to major highways, and residents demand noise walls. But the State Highway Administration will not build noise barriers to protect any neighborhood that was built after the roads were constructed. State officials instead are recommending that county officials develop local policies to protect future homeowners from highway noise. As a result, counties are requiring developers to build further away from highways, build their own noise walls, or take other steps to mitigate noise.

According to the article, the problem is the result of a scarcity of land that can be developed. Arnold "Pat" Keller, the Baltimore County Planning Director, said, "We have all these leftover pieces of land. It was not envisioned that they would be developed. They appear to be little wooded areas. All of a sudden it's a valuable piece." Cindy Hamilton, chief of the Howard Department of Planning and Zoning's land development division, said, "They are developing parcels that might have been bypassed the first time through." The article says that with the state's Smart Growth Initiative that aims to curb sprawl, more developments are likely to grow up around highways, according to developer Morris Wolf.

The article reports that officials in Baltimore County are considering rules that would require a developer to build noise buffers if highway noise on the developed property exceeds federal standards of 65 decibels. If the noise is greater than 75 decibels, the project couldn't be built. Officials in Anne Arundel County recently adopted an ordinance requiring building setbacks ranging from 190 feet to 640 feet along major roadways, unless the developer can prove the sound on the property is less than 66 decibels. And in Howard County, the article says, developers are required to conduct noise studies to prove that their developments won't be in areas where highway noise exceeds federal guidelines. The article notes that while these regulations rarely cause an outright denial of a project, they make it difficult for some projects to proceed.

The article explains that in December 1996, the State Highway Administration passed new rules about the conditions communities must meet to qualify for noise walls. Under the new policy, the state will not build noise barriers along existing roads unless the local jurisdiction pays 20 percent of the cost and the locality has regulations to control future construction along the highways.

In a Baltimore County case, the developers of Putty Hill Woods near White Marsh are reviewing what to do about a May ruling by a Baltimore County zoning commissioner requiring them to build noise barriers to shield their proposed housing development. The proposed development consists of 12 duplexes and five single-family homes on four acres surrounded by Putty Hill Avenue, the Baltimore Beltway, and Route 43. But, the article notes, noise studies have shown that traffic noise is between 65 and 75 decibels, a level county officials believe requires mitigation. Developers are worried that the cost of noise barriers will be too expensive. Kirwan Dewan, one of the developers, said, "It would be a tremendous financial loss."

In another Baltimore County case, the developer of Greenspring Overlook was allowed to build his townhouse development off Interstate 795 in Owings Mills, but several home sites had to be reconfigured, the article says. Developer Morris Wolf said the property is valuable because it is close to Owings Mills and the road system. In approving the permit, Zoning Commissioner Lawrence Schmidt wrote, "Any potential resident will be hard-pressed to validly complain of noise when that condition clearly existed prior to their home purchase."

In yet another Baltimore County case, Ron Bowers, the president of Longford North Improvement Association, along with his neighbors, hope to fight the state's decision not to build noise walls in their community. Residents in Longford argue that Interstate 83 near Lutherville has changed extensively since their homes were built 30 years ago, and that their community is as qualified as others that have received sound barriers. State officials said that the road was widened after the homes were built, but the work was done before federal law required states to retrofit roads with noise barriers.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County officials have encouraged developers to mitigate highway noise for 20 years. Stephen Federline, an official with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, said developers often realize that by mitigating the noise, they are satisfying county requirements and also their prospective homebuyers.

In Anne Arundel County, the article says, two housing developments have been required to meet new setback requirements, but county officials estimated as many as 1,000 building lots could be affected by the new law. For example, developer Jerry Janofsky wants to build 40 houses on an 18-acre parcel off Route 100, but under the county law no lot can be closer than 410 feet from the highway. He said he doesn't know yet whether he'll be able to proceed with the development.

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Maine's Acadia National Park is First National Park to Ban Jet Skis

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: July 13, 1998
DATELINE: Acadia National Park, Maine
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Kent Olson, president, Friends of Acadia

The Bangor Daily News reports that Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor, Maine, has become the first national park in the country to ban personal watercraft in its lakes and ponds. The article explains that the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission and the National Park System currently are working on rules that would restrict personal watercraft on many water bodies throughout the country. According to the article, Acadia used the state's Great Ponds law to achieve its ban. Meanwhile, the National Park Service is considering banning Jet Skis at nine other national parks, including Mount Ranier in Washington and Voyageurs in Minnesota.

The article reports that Kent Olson, president of the Friends of Acadia, said the organization now is trying to get Jet Skis banned on water bodies that border the park. He said, "Jet Skis do not belong in or near Acadia, which is a national park, not an amusement park." The article notes that last year, legislation that would have protected Long Pond, which borders the park, passed in the Senate but failed by a few votes in the House. The bill is expected to resurface next year.

The article says that there are several good reasons to ban personal watercraft on lakes. The noise of one Jet Ski can ruin the tranquillity for dozens of people on the lake shores, the article notes. In addition, Jet Skis are dangerous -- they are involved in 35 percent of boating accidents, even though they account for only 11 percent of all registered watercraft in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the accident rate for personal watercraft is eight times higher than other power craft. The article explains that manufacturers of personal watercraft have tried to improve the safety practice of its customers with its "Ride Smart, Save the Sport" program. But, the article says, personal watercraft were created to let riders go fast, make noise, and whoop it up in a small area. The very design of the sport is what causes many people to object.

The article also reports that Maine residents can learn more about Jet Ski regulations and how to use the new state law to control Jet Skis on local ponds by attending a workshop called "Jet skis and surface use of Maine's lakes," scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 18, at the Augusta Civic Center.

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Editorial Says Jet Ski Ban in Some Washington Lakes Makes Sense

PUBLICATION: The Columbian (Vancouver, WA)
DATE: July 13, 1998
SECTION: Opinion; Pg. B10
BYLINE: Michael Zuzel, for The Columbian editorial board
DATELINE: Vancouver, Washington area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mark Erikson, resident

The Columbian printed an editorial that argues Jet Ski bans make sense in some Washington lakes. In national parks and other important natural areas, Jet Skis are not appropriate, the editorial says. But on other lakes, such as the Lacamas Lake near Vancouver, Washington, seaplanes and motorboats already have shattered the silence and residential developments have eliminated much of the former natural setting. On such lakes, the editorial argues, Jet Skis should be banned only if they can be shown to be environmentally harmful.

The editorial notes that in the past week, the National Park Service proposed to ban personal watercraft from all national parks, and the state Supreme Court upheld a two-year ban on Jet Skis around the San Juan islands. Jet Skis, the editorial explains, have impacts that extend far beyond their wakes. Jet Skis have become the "cigarette of water sports," and many people are tired to being subjected to the noise, environmental problems, and safety problems associated with the personal watercraft.

The editorial explains that Mark Erikson, a homeowner on Lacamas Lake, is trying to overturn plans for a second public boat launch on the lake, saying it would attract more Jet Skis. Erikson and park service officials have cited the environmental problems of the personal watercraft, such as spilled fuel that kills aquatic organisms, and noise and spray that drives birds from their nests. However, the editorial reports, there is not much scientific evidence to back up such claims. Even the Audubon Society has said that most of the evidence about the negative impact on wildlife is anecdotal. The editorial concludes that if it can be proven that Jet Skis are environmentally harmful, they should be banned from Lacamas Lake; otherwise, residents probably should learn to accept them.

The editorial also argues, however, that the noise generated by personal watercraft is disruptive to the tranquillity of our natural surroundings. Tranquillity is integral to preserving and appreciating our national parks and the San Juans.

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California Airport Completes Soundproofing Demonstration Program, and Offers Soundproofing to More Residents

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: July 13, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Eric Wahlgren
DATELINE: Burbank, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Fred Koerner, resident

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that nine families living near the Burbank Airport in Burbank, California were the first to have soundproofing against jet noise installed in their homes in an airport-sponsored program. Now, the airport plans to spend $110 million to soundproof 2,300 more homes in Burbank, Sun Valley, and North Hollywood over the next 10 to 15 years. The article says that airport officials are hoping their success at soundproofing the first nine "demonstration" homes will encourage more families to sign up for the program, will help meet government sound-reduction mandates, and will generate goodwill in the community over their controversial plan to build a larger air terminal. But the city of Burbank, which is opposing the airport expansion, has not backed the soundproofing program, saying it is a stopgap measure and not a cure for jet noise. In addition, the city has objected to the agreement residents must sign with the airport pledging to never sue the airport over noise, smoke, or vibration in exchange for the free soundproofing.

According to the article, the airport recently received a federal grant of $2 million, which will allow the airport to soundproof 75 homes, at a cost of as much as $37,000 each, in the next 14 months. In addition to the nine homes that already have been soundproofed, four schools have received soundproofing. Debbie Fleiner, Assistant Principal at Luther Burbank Middle School where the airport spent $3.9 million in soundproofing, said, "You had to stop your teaching whenever the planes went over. You just kept getting interrupted during your teaching day. Now you just can't hear them at all."

The article goes on to explain that Steve Eisinger and his family, who live about one-third mile from the airport on North Evergreen Street, were one of the nine families in the demonstration soundproofing project. He said before the soundproofing, jets would regularly wake sleeping family members in the early morning and force them to pause their home videos till planes passed over in the evening. But now, he said, "When we're inside, we no longer have to pause videotapes when the planes go over. It is so much quieter." The article reports that construction crews installed new double-paned windows and solid wood doors on Eisinger's house. In addition, a new roof was installed, with extra room for better insulation. In addition, the Eisingers got new heating and air conditioning systems, with special sound baffles that prevent noise from leaking into the home through ducts. Finally, the airport spent more than $5,000 on a new electrical system in order to bring the house up to code. Eisinger said the one down side to the project was that it took more than six months instead of the intended two to three weeks, partly because of problems with the airport's contractor. And, Eisinger said, the soundproofing doesn't make a bit of difference as soon as a family member opens a window or steps outside. He said, "No matter what we do, whenever we are outside, we will always have the sound."

Meanwhile, the article explains, the city of Burbank has not supported the soundproofing program and is in a legal battle with the airport to block its proposed terminal expansion. But on Friday, U.S. Representatives Howard Berman (D-Mission Hills) and Brad Sherman (D-Woodland Hills) said they intend to intercede and try to settle the fight. Berman said Jane Garvey, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, will come to town next month and act as a broker between all the parties in an attempt to settle the disagreement.

The article notes that Burbank city officials complain that the airport's soundproofing program is only a mitigating measure and not a cure for the jet noise. Peter Kirsch, special counsel to the city on airport matters, said, "The sound insulation doesn't solve the overall issue of making the airport more compatible with residential areas. It is very much a secondary solution." At least one resident has said he turned down the airport's proposal to soundproof his home about a mile from the runways because he didn't want to become a "prisoner" in his own home. Fred Koerner, a retired machinist, said, "On a nice day, you cannot open your windows. You cannot open your doors. You cannot get any fresh air. What the airport really needs to do is cut back on flights."

City officials also object to the agreement residents must sign before they can get the airport's free soundproofing. The agreement stipulates that residents will never sue the airport over noise, smoke, or vibration caused by normal airplane operations. Airport officials, however, argue that the agreement is fair, given the fact that the soundproofing adds value to the homes. Sean McCarthy, an airport spokesperson, said that although airport officials admit that the jet noise likely will increase in the future, the agreement doesn't relieve the airport of its duty to make itself as quiet as possible. McCarthy said, "We believe there is a sentiment being put out by the city that this is some kind of trap. That is absolutely not the case. The airport is taking every effective step to reduce noise impacts around the community." The airport has encouraged airlines to fly only the quietest jets out of the airport, according to McCarthy.

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Washington State Supreme Court Rules That Jet Skis Can Be Banned

PUBLICATION: NBC News Transcripts
DATE: July 13, 1998
BYLINE: Linda Vester, anchor; Dan Lothian, reporter
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Randy Gaylord, San Juan County Prosecutor

NBC News Transcripts reports that the Washington state Supreme Court has upheld a county ordinance that bans Jet Skis as noise pollution in the San Juan islands, north of Seattle, Washington.

According to the broadcast, San Juan County stretches for 375 square miles, and half of those miles are water. The pristine area has been the site of conflict for some time between Jet Skiers and residents who want a quiet life. The broadcast explained that about two years ago, the county passed an ordinance that banned personal watercraft in the county, except for certain limited purposes. But, the broadcast said, Jet Ski owners sued to overturn the ban, and a county judge ruled in their favor. Now, the Washington Supreme Court has upheld the ban, calling it a reasonable ordinance. Randy Gaylord, San Juan County Prosecutor, said, "It's a great day for the people in San Juan county. It confirms their ability to limit and restrict annoying and irksome activities." The broadcast noted that the court's ruling applies to a Jet Ski ban that is now expired, but county officials plan to pass a new one in a few months.

Meanwhile, the broadcast reported, personal watercraft owners are mad. An unidentified man said, "I think it's worthless, because I like to ride Jet Skis." Another man said, "It takes away something for the younger kids to do." Pete Delaunay, a spokesperson for the personal watercraft industry, said, "Well, we don't think it's fair, that an all-out ban would apply to all 20,000 owners in the state."

The broadcast also noted that other communities are keeping a watch on how the San Juan situation eventually plays out. An unidentified woman who lives on Lake Crescent, about 20 miles away, said Jet Skis are dangerous and should be restricted. She said, "They've toppled over canoes with old people. They run through the no-wake zone without a care."

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Editorial Applauds Proposal by National Park Service to Ban Personal Watercraft

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: July 16, 1998
BYLINE: (Editorial)
DATELINE: St. Petersburg, Florida

The St. Petersburg Times printed an editorial that argues the proposal by the National Park Service to ban Jet Skis at national parks would improve health and safety conditions at our parks. The editorial goes on to say that state and local governments should impose similar restrictions on Jet Skis near coastal and lake shores. The issue is especially important for Florida, the editorial says.

According to the editorial, the Park Service's proposal still would allow Jet Skis in a dozen federal recreation areas. Given the noise, pollution, and number of accidents caused by the personal watercraft, the park service should ban the Jet Skis at all federally protected areas.

The editorial goes on to say that in Florida, the Jet Ski problem is particularly bad. Personal watercraft are involved in 36 percent of all boat-related accidents and 12 percent of boat-related fatalities, although they account for only 9 percent of all registered boats. The editorial notes that Jet Ski drivers don't need a license or training, and they often are drunk, reckless, unfamiliar with navigating or water safety, and come from out of town. Jet Skis turn Florida's water bodies into obstacle courses, pollute waterways, and erode shorelines. Jet Ski drivers violate noise ordinances and zoom through no-wake zones. The editorial says residents and beach-goers have been frustrated for years by Jet Skis because local governments didn't have enough authority or employees to restrict the activity.

The editorial argues that the Park Service ban is a step in the right direction. It reaffirms that cruising around on water bodies is not a right, but a privilege. The editorial says that local governments should complement the federal rules by banning personal watercraft in small lakes, environmentally endangered habitats, and the inland waters of beaches. Fines also should be increased for drunk boaters and for adults who allow children under 14 to operate watercraft.

The editorial concludes by saying that voluntary efforts in the past to improve the problem in Florida have gone nowhere, and the tourist industry has been resistant to get tough with drunk and reckless boaters. But, the editorial argues, the public has waited long enough. The Florida Legislature must impose licensing standards for personal watercraft that recognize the power of the machines.

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Congressional Plan to Add Flights at Chicago Airport Draws Sharp Outcry from Residents

PUBLICATION: Chicago Sun-Times
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: Sunday News; Analysis; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Gilbert Jimenez
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Sun-Times reports residents living near the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois last week sharply protested a proposal by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) to add 129 commercial flights per day at the airport.

According to the article, McCain wants to convert what he says are 100 unused military "slots" at O'Hare for use by commercial air carriers. (Each take-off and landing requires a slot.) But, the article says, the "100 unused military slots" are mostly fictitious. The military can have as many slots as it needs, but it has only about 10 flights a day in and out of O'Hare. In addition, McCain wants to add another 29 flights a day at O'Hare. Legislation that would do just that already has passed in the House, the article notes. Both proposals are intended to increase flights between O'Hare and smaller cities that are "under-served." The 29 flights, if added, would be restricted to "Stage 3" aircraft, the newer and quieter airplanes.

The article goes on to explain that the proposals would add five more take-offs or landings per hour on top of the 101 average right now. That changes the take-off or landing count from 1.68 per minute to 1.76 per minute, a change that airport officials say wouldn't add much to noise levels. And, they said, because flights in 1997 were down 26,000 compared to the year before, there would only be a yearly increase of 17,400 from 1996, under the proposal.

The article also notes that the Federal Aviation Administration's "high density rule" limits the number of flights per hour between 6:15 a.m. and 9:45 p.m. at O'Hare. Between those hours, the airport can handle an average of 155 flights an hour. But according to O'Hare officials, there are an average of 140 operations per hour between those times. Thus, the airport can add up to 15 flights an hour without seeking special permission or exemption slots. McCain's proposal for 129 additional flights would create only an extra five flights per hour. The article notes that in order for the number of permitted slots to be increased at O'Hare, an exemption must be granted by the U.S. transportation secretary, and the increase must not substantially increase delays or congestion or harm the environment.

But, the article says, the thought of adding even one more flight per hour makes many residents who have fought for years against the noise, pollution, and highway congestion from the airport, very angry. Residents say McCain's proposals are an attempt to expand the airport and add new runways. In addition, they say that allowing commercial flights to replace military flights is a bad idea for their communities, because commercial flights carry hundreds of passengers per trip, which creates hundreds more cars, cabs, and buses on the roads to bring them to the airport. Although airport officials have said that the commercial planes would be cleaner and quieter than the military jets, residents insist that getting rid of 10 military planes for 129 jumbo jets isn't a good deal.

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More Than 40 Noise Walls Needed Near Freeways in Southern California, But State Has No Timetable to Build Them

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Eric Moses
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Reverend Don Shockley, resident; Toluca Lake Homeowners Association; Assembly member Scott Wildman (D-Glendale)

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports California state officials identified more than a dozen locations in the Los Angeles area in 1989 that needed noise walls to protect residents from traffic noise. But, the article says, those noise barriers haven't even been funded, let alone built. Since then, state officials have identified 27 others that are needed in the San Fernando Valley, but there is no timetable to build them. Now, legislation that would build the noise walls by 2008 is being held up in the Legislature because Northern and Southern California lawmakers are fighting about who should get more money for the noise barriers.

According to the article, voters approved an increase in the gas tax in 1990, which was supposed to have provided $150 million to pay for 219 noise walls statewide. But, the article says, when the 1994 Northridge Earthquake hit, the funds remaining from the gas tax were used for a massive statewide freeway seismic retrofit project.

Meanwhile, the article reports, Assembly member Scott Wildman (D-Glendale), who proposed the noise wall legislation, said Los Angeles has been "neglected in terms of transportation funds." He said most freeways near San Francisco already have noise walls, because Northern Californians for years held key posts in the Legislature, including Assembly speaker and seats on the Senate and Assembly transportation committees. He said, "That goes clearly back to the directing of resources to Northern California instead of L.A., where they are needed."

The article explains that the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee is Quentin Kopp (I-Daly City), whose constituency is near San Francisco. Kopp opposes Wildman's bill, which passed the Assembly but currently is stalled in his committee in lieu of a compromise. Kopp said, "It's L.A. County's effort to get a freebie from the rest of the state. If L.A. wants to spend money on sound walls it has the right to do so out of its allocation of regional money. L.A. used this money for other purposes, which means to me they considered other purposes a higher priority. Now having done that, they have asked the rest of the state to pitch in for what they have failed to do."

And, the article reports, although Caltrans (a California transportation authority) identified the need for many of the noise walls, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority now is responsible for building them. But noise walls are not a priority for that agency, the article says. David Yale, director of capital programming, said, "They are not mandated. It will be one of a host of needs that the MTA will evaluate to determine what gets funded and what doesn't." The article notes that only highways built after 1974 and those will newly built car-pool lanes must have noise walls which limit noise in neighborhoods to below 65 decibels.

Along the San Diego Freeway, the lack of a noise wall has been a problem for Reverend Don Shockley for more than 20 years. Shockley's front door is about 20 yards from the freeway, which is one of the nation's busiest commuting and trucking routes. He said, "It's devastating, especially in the summertime when you have to open up your house to get some air in. It's real loud." Shockley said he started asking for a noise wall in 1977. He added that he can't afford to move or install central air conditioning. Just last week, the article says, a spokesperson for Caltrans said the noise wall construction will begin across from Shockley's home in spring 2000. But Shockley said he will believe it when he no longer hears the traffic noise. He said, "I don't trust that it will be 2000; it may be many years past that. I don't believe anything they tell me as far staking my life on it. It could change tomorrow."

In another case, the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association has been trying to get noise barriers built since Caltrans officials promised to do so in the 1960s. Jack Sammons, a Sherman Oaks Realtor, said property values in Toluca Lake are hurt by the absence of noise walls. Construction of the noise walls there may depend on Wildman's bill, the article notes.

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Florida County Government and Two Federal Agencies Target Personal Watercraft With Restrictions and Research

PUBLICATION: The Houston Chronicle
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: Sports 2; Pg. 18
BYLINE: Shannon Tompkins
DATELINE: Houston, Texas

The Houston Chronicle reports that a wide range of groups has started to criticize personal watercraft, saying that the machines are too noisy and unsafe. Among the critics are law enforcement officers, anglers and recreational boaters, waterside homeowners, and safety officials. The most recent critics include officials in Florida's Monroe County, the National Park Service, and the National Transportation Safety Board. The article goes on to outline the actions of each of the three agencies, and lists many safety statistics related to Jet Skis.

According to the article, the Monroe County Commission in Florida approved an ordinance in the past month to prohibit Jet Ski use at any speed faster than idle within 1,200 feet of 14 beaches and resorts along the length of the Florida Keys. Commissioners said they approved the ordinance to protect human life and quality of life. The article says Monroe County is the latest in a series of local governments trying to restrict the use of personal watercraft. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association, which represents Jet Ski manufacturers, said it plans to challenge Monroe County's new regulation.

But, the article reports, there are likely to be more and more restrictions on personal watercraft around the country. For example, the National Park Service recently announced that it will propose banning personal watercraft from all national parks. In addition, the proposal would allow superintendents at 13 Park Service-run sites (including Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, Lake Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area near Amarillo) to ban Jet Skis in their areas. Park Service officials say park visitors have complained about the noise and unsafe operation of the personal watercraft, and officials believe the Jet Skis "have a significant potential to conflict with other users' enjoyment of park values and purposes."

Meanwhile, the article says, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has compiled substantial statistics on the safety problems created by personal watercraft drivers. The article reports that personal watercraft now account for about one-third of all new boats sold each year in the U.S. About 1.2 million of the machines have been sold already, and another 200,000 are bought each year. Personal watercraft account for only about 11 percent of the registered boats in the nation, but they are involved in about 35 percent of the boating accidents. In 1993, the article explains, there were only 26 accidents involving a fatality involving personal watercraft. But when that number had more than tripled by 1997, at a time when overall boating fatalities were falling, the NTSB decided to look further into the situation.

The NTSB analyzed hundreds of accidents involving personal watercraft between 1996 and the first half of 1997, and their findings confirmed what many already suspected -- that a very high percentage of Jet Ski accidents involved young, inexperienced drivers. The NTSB released its findings during May's National Safe Boating Week. They found, for example, that personal watercraft are the only recreational vessel for which the leading cause of death is not drowning. Instead, most people die from blunt force trauma because they are in an exposed position on top of the machine, instead of enclosed within the watercraft. This places Jet Ski drivers in a much more vulnerable position in any collision, which is the most common type of accident with the machines. The article notes that one-third of the injuries in personal watercraft injuries are broken bones in the legs and lower body, and one-fourth are injuries to the head, neck, or face.

The NTSB didn't investigate how common injuries are in personal watercraft accidents, but the agency's report did reveal that the 817 accidents it reviewed from the first half of 1997 resulted in 27 fatalities and 835 injuries. The major factors in the accidents were youth, inexperience with operating the watercraft, and using a rental watercraft. More than one-fourth of the accidents involved rented watercraft, and 68 percent of the renters were under 25 years old. About 73 percent of the accidents occurred during the first hour of operation, and 27 percent of the accidents involved an operator who had never ridden a personal watercraft before, or had ridden one only once. Most people involved in accidents (84 percent) had no boating safety training of any kind.

The NTSB found that inattention, excessive speed, and inexperience were the causes of most accidents, but also noted that "off-the-throttle steering" is another significant safety concern. The article explains that personal watercraft are steered by changing the direction and velocity of the water being pumped into the machine by steering the handlebars. But, the watercraft is nearly impossible to turn unless it's pumping water. Thus, when a driver is moving at top speed, and then backs off the throttle completely, the boat will continue in the direction it's pointed despite the driver turning the handlebars. This can come as a surprise to drivers who have no experience with personal watercraft, and is one of the most important pieces of information that drivers should know, the article says.

The article also says that the NTSB recommends that the personal watercraft industry educate buyers and renters about the handling characteristics of the watercraft, redesign the steering, and develop a way for rental businesses to assess the skill level of renters before renting them a machine.

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Town's on New York's Long Island Struggle With How and Whether to Ban Leaf-Blowers

PUBLICATION: The New York Times
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: Section 14Li; Page 6; Column 4; Long Island Weekly Desk
BYLINE: Linda Burghardt
DATELINE: Long Island, New York area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Liye Sidon, Great Neck resident; Nancy Nadler, director, Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing; Dr. Harvey Gardner, audiologist; Larry Nadel, mayor, Great Neck Estates

The New York Times reports that towns and villages across Long Island in New York are struggling with how and whether to ban gas-powered leaf-blowers. The article says that some municipalities have passed an outright ban on the blowers during the summer, while others recently have passed rules that define acceptable decibel levels for the blowers. Still others are considering bans, and one city which banned blowers four years ago is considering rescinding the ordinance.

According to the article, some see the problem as a fight between residents who want peace and quiet, and gardeners who want to run their businesses efficiently. Liye Sidon, a Great Neck resident, said, "I'm home during the day, and I get jangled nerves from the terrible noise, especially when two or three leaf blowers are used at once." Meanwhile, Val Santelli, an owner of the garden center Santelli and Son, said leaf-blower laws cut into his profits. He said, "It takes about 5 minutes to clean up a driveway with a backpack blower and at least 15 minutes to do the same job with a broom. Ten minutes may not sound like a big deal, but if you multiply that by 12 places a day, that's two hours of extra work. At $18 to $30 an hour, with several crews operating at once, that's a big chunk of money out of our pocket." Pat Voges, a director of the Nassau-Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association, said it is not fair to place restrictions on leaf-blowers but not other loud power equipment.

The article explains that most leaf-blowers emit about 80 to 90 decibels, the noise level on a busy midtown Manhattan street corner, according to Nancy Nadler, director of the Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing. The leaf-blower industry currently is working on new models that emit 70 decibels. Dr. Harvey Gardner, an audiologist, said the noise isn't simply loud, it's annoying. And "annoyance isn't very measurable," he said. In addition, Gardner said, leaf-blowers can be harmful to gardeners' hearing. He said, "It amazed me to find out that the decibel level is measured at a distance of 50 feet from the blower itself, not at the site of the operator. This protects the resident, but not the landscaper. The machines are certainly bad for their hearing."

The article goes on to say that Gardner recently helped Huntington town officials formulate an ordinance that requires all leaf-blower noise to be reduced to 70 decibels by 2000. Bruce Richard, director of public safety for the Town of Huntington, said, "For the past two years we've had a law that limits the hours of operation of any motorized leaf blower device, but we realized we needed something more. Residents, lawmakers, and landscape gardeners joined forces to create the new regulation. We've also set up a committee to study the feasibility of reducing the noise level to 65 decibels by the year 2003."

The article notes that some municipalities, like the Village of Great Neck Estates, have banned blowers during the summer. Larry Nadel, Mayor of Great Neck Estates, said, "We don't need leaf blowers in June, July and August when there are no leaves." The village introduced a summertime ban on the machines last year as a trial and made the ruling permanent this spring. Nadel said, "Our village looks as pristine as ever, and the quiet is absolutely wonderful." Nadel added, "At first the gardeners worried the law would reduce their business, but we've found they have been very creative. They simply resurrected maintenance programs they used 20 years ago."

Another town, North Hempstead, also is considering banning leaf blowers between May 15 and October 15. At a recent public hearing on the matter, an overflow crowd attended and the hearing had to be continued to a new date. May Newburger, supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, said, "The issues surrounding the use of leaf blowers are very complex. They cover a whole range of concerns that touch on quality-of-life issues, economics, and the environment." Meanwhile, officials in Rockville Centre are considering banning leaf-blowers all year round.

On the other hand, officials in the City of Long Beach are considering rescinding their ban on leaf-blowers. City Manager Edwin Eaton said, "We feel the law is hypocritical. We've banned leaf blowers, but we allow gas-powered mowers and weed whackers. Why is this O.K.?"

The article also notes that in addition to the noise they emit, leaf-blower critics also are concerned about the air pollution they emit. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lawn and garden equipment produces about 6.8 million tons of ozone and carbon monoxide each year, accounting for about half of all summertime emissions from non-road sources.

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Environmental Impact Statement Process Begins on FedEx Hub in North Carolina; Meanwhile, Residents Angry at Airport for Not Considering an Alternate Expansion Plan

PUBLICATION: News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: General News, Pg. A1
BYLINE: John Nagy
DATELINE: Greensboro, North Carolina
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gil Happel, resident and US Airways pilot; Joe Libreri, chair, Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition

The News & Record reports that a consulting firm is expected to be hired in the next three weeks to begin compiling an environmental impact statement for a plan to build a FedEx package-handling hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The airport's plans include constructing a third runway parallel to the existing main runway. Meanwhile, residents who oppose the FedEx hub offered airport officials a compromise map which they believed would have reduced the impact of the hub, but officials rejected it, angering residents.

According to the article, FedEx announced in April it would build a $300 million hub at the airport to handle East Coast packages. The hub is expected to open in 2003, and to eventually employ 1,500. At first, FedEx will run 20 flights per night from the airport, but that number is expected to increase. Meanwhile, the airport has offered to build a third runway parallel to the existing main runway to accommodate the extra flights. But residents who live near the airport, especially the north end where the hub would be located, have opposed the facility, raising concerns about noise, safety, and the cost of the project.

The article explains that the environmental impact statement (EIS), mandated by the federal government, is expected to take two years and cost $1 million. The EIS is will evaluate the project's effect on the surrounding community, including its noise impacts, compatibility with surrounding land, air and water quality impacts, lighting impacts, and the effects of construction. But, the article says, the fact that the EIS is already in process means there are no obvious problems that would prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from allowing the FedEx hub and runway. Steve Brill, manager of the Airports Division for the southern United States, said, "If we knew of any significant impacts, we wouldn't go through this study process." The article notes that the public will have a chance to recommend areas for the EIS consultant to study, and will be able to comment after a preliminary draft of the EIS is completed. The EIS process will be the best chance for residents who oppose the hub to make their case, according to the article.

The article says that last week, residents tried to argue their case with the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, when they offered a compromise map which extended the airport's east-west runway, eliminated the third parallel runway, and moved the FedEx hub to the more industrialized south end of the airport. Officials with the airport authority almost immediately rejected the plan because it eliminated the construction of a third runway. But, they went on to develop their own version of the residents' plan, which put the third runway back on the map, and relocated the FedEx hub to a different tract of land on the south end of the airport. Airport authority officials then asked a transportation consultant to analyze their plan; that consultant found that it would require an extensive relocation of West Market Street, the Norfolk-Southern Railroad, and the purchase of more than 100 properties. The airport then rejected the plan, saying it would cost more than $264 million.

But residents who met with airport officials last Tuesday were enraged at what they saw as a distortion of their proposal. Gil Happel, a US Airways pilot who lives north of the airport and drafted the residents' alternative, said, "It was nothing but autonomous arrogance. It doesn't even come close to being an alternative plan. It's not our plan. Ours didn't cost nearly that much." Joe Libreri, chair of the Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition, an group formed after the FedEx hub was announced in April, said, "We made a reasonable proposal to a group of people we thought were reasonable. I guess we were mistaken."

But Ted Johnson, executive director of the airport authority, said the authority came up with a different proposal after evaluating the residents' plan. He said, "They wanted to encompass land included off the end of the parallel runway, which would have negated the parallel runway. It was never my understanding that we ever agreed we'd do away with a parallel runway. We tried to work out a compromise." F. Hudnall Christopher, chair of the airport authority's board of directors, said airport officials still would insist on setting aside land for the third runway even if FedEx didn't need it, because a third runway had been in the airport's master plan for 30 years.

Meanwhile, the article says that according to FAA officials, no airport projects have been rejected because of objections from people living near an airport. Brill of the FAA said, "We've changed operations and flight tracks, but not to the point where we've said, 'We're not building anything here.'" Instead of denying a plan, the FAA typically attaches conditions to a project before approving it, such as buying properties or sound-proofing nearby homes.

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Residents on New York's Long Island Want Noise Walls, But State Won't Build Them

PUBLICATION: Newsday (New York, NY)
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: News; Page A27
BYLINE: Marty Minchin
DATELINE: Long Island, New York area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mike and Aline Geist, residents

Newsday reports that residents in many communities on Long Island, outside New York City, are complaining about traffic noise near their homes. While many residents have asked that noise walls be built in their neighborhoods, the state Department of Transportation will only consider building walls in neighborhoods next to major highway construction projects. Only one community on Long Island, Plainview, has succeeded in getting money for a noise wall without a major road construction project underway, the article says.

The article explains that some residents, such as Mike and Aline Geist, moved into their homes before traffic noise was a problem. The Geists moved into their home on Stephan Marc Lane in East Meadow in 1953. But when the Meadowbrook Parkway was built in 1956, traffic and noisy trucks started to increase, and now, the Geist's home often sounds like sitting in a front row seat at the Indianapolis 500. Mike Geist said, "We cannot sit outside and talk. It's beautiful to look out the window as long as you keep the window shut."

The article explains that the state Department of Transportation only builds noise walls in areas where road construction projects are going on because of limited funding. Mark Bocamazo, a DOT design supervisor, said, "It's very expensive and we don't have the money to go back and build the noise barriers that everyone would want." According to the article, to qualify for a noise wall, road widening or rerouting must result in traffic noise of at least 67 decibels, or an increase of about six decibels in nearby homes. To determine future noise levels, state officials test randomly selected houses by measuring the noise level outside each first floor, and use a computer model to predict noise increases.

According to the article, residents in Plainview who live along the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway between the Northern State Parkway and Old Country Road have gone through went through a long and difficult process before getting their noise wall. The article explains that about five years ago, the residents complained to Nassau Legislator David Sidikman (D-Old Bethpage) that their dishes were rattling from the truck noise and that living was becoming an "impossible situation." Sidikman, through "great difficulty," got $2.5 million allocated from the state for noise walls in the area. Residents started working with state officials, but then, Sidikman said, they saw the walls going up along the Expressway as the High-Occupancy-Vehicle lanes were added. He said, "A lot of people were saying, 'They're ugly and we'll have graffiti and we didn't realize how big they are.'"

Resident Guido Zannone, who's lived near the expressway for 27 years, said the state built the noise walls too close to homes. In fact, residents were so angry about the proximity of the walls that more than 100 of them signed a petition asking that the wall be built closer to the expressway, Zannone said. But, he said, state officials said moving the wall closer to the highway would be too costly because it would require the wall to be taller. Currently, state officials have sent out a survey asking residents near the expressway for their opinions on the wall, and is planning another hearing on the noise wall. But without a consensus in the community, the noise wall won't be built.

The article explains that noise walls cost about $30 per square foot and are usually made our of concrete, according to Bocamazo of the DOT. A 12,292-foot noise wall constructed this year cost $5.5 million. When new walls are built, more people become aware of them and ask for them in their neighborhoods, according to Darrel Kost, DOT regional environmental coordinator. Meanwhile, Nassau Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury), whose constituents have long complained about traffic noise, said that the walls are helpful, but they usually bring a whole new set of problems. She said when one side of a freeway gets noise walls, but the other side doesn't, "The people who don't have the walls are of course very upset and feel very left out of the picture. She added that other people don't realize how obtrusive a 20-foot high wall can be.

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"Dear Abby" Column Says Communities Have Banned Ice Cream Truck Noise, But Insists Trucks are Still a Great Old Tradition

PUBLICATION: Charleston Daily Mail
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: Life; Pg. P5a
BYLINE: Abigail Van Buren
DATELINE: U.S.

The Charleston Daily Mail printed a "Dear Abby" column in which a reader wrote in describing the offensive nature of the music coming from new ice-cream trucks. Abby responded that many communities have banded together to restrict noise from ice-cream trucks, but she also printed letters from other readers who said ice-cream trucks bring back great memories.

The first reader writes that in response to an earlier letter from "Ice-Cream Truck Hater," who complained that ice-cream trucks make too much noise, Abby overlooked an important point. Although ice-cream trucks are an old tradition, the noisy, tinny, constantly recycled electronic music they play nowadays is not. Today, the reader says, you can hear ice-cream trucks a mile away. The reader goes on to say that noise pollution is bound to get worse, and that people having problems with ice-cream truck noise should pressure their city officials to pass an ordinance to keep the noise to a minimum, as occurred in the reader's community.

Abby responds that she was surprised at the amount of emotion stirred up by the ice-cream truck issue. She said many readers wrote that the newer ice-cream trucks are unpleasant and intrusive, and that communities have banded together to limit the excessive noise. But, Abby says, she also received letters from readers who said ice-cream trucks brought back great memories.

The next reader writes that ice-cream trucks are a beautiful reminder of the days when she baby-sat her grandchildren and fooled them into thinking the "music trucks" didn't sell ice cream. Another reader writes that after her children were older, she would buy an ice cream cone from the truck for herself and her dog, and she treasures the memory of her dog eating the cone.

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Indiana Resident Asks How to Get Relief From Noisy Dog

PUBLICATION: The Indianapolis Star
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: City/State; Pg. B03; You Ask
BYLINE: Karen McClurg
DATELINE: Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indianapolis Star reports printed a column in which a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana asked whether there is a county ordinance that protects residents from neighbors' dogs that bark incessantly. The columnist responded by outlining the law enforcement process that the resident could undertake.

According to the column, the resident who submitted the question has neighbors with three dogs who bark continuously. The resident has spoken to his neighbors about the problem, and they have tried some solutions, but the problem continues.

The column goes on to say that according to Indianapolis police Sergeant Jerry Bippus of the Animal Control Division, talking to the dog owner is the best first step. Sometimes, he said, there is a stimulus making the dog bark that can be removed.

But, the column says, if that fails, people should call the Animal Control Division at (317) 327-1380. Animal Control officers enforce a city-county ordinance that says it is unlawful to have a dog "which by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking or otherwise shall cause serious annoyance or disturbance to persons in the vicinity." Officers who can impound dogs also have a duty "to impound such [howling, yelping, barking] dogs," under the ordinance.

When officers first respond to a complaint, the column says, they will make sure that all animals have current rabies shots and registration. The officer will talk to the dog owner and to the person who is complaining to try to resolve the problem. A warning is usually issued, and the dog owner usually is given between 7 and 30 days to take action to solve the problem.

If the person complaining about the dog calls back with a subsequent complaint, Animal Control officers investigate further. The information they gather is passed to the city prosecutor's office, which decides whether it is a viable court case. Jeff Cox, spokesperson for the city's Office of Corporation Council and prosecutor's office, said the office's policy is not to initiate court cases unless the problem is confirmed by more than one neighbor.

If a case is brought against the dog owner, it is heard by the county Environmental Court as a noise pollution violation. The neighbor who has complained and any other witnesses will need to testify. If the complaining neighbor wins the case, the dog owner usually gets a fine and must pay court costs, but the dog is not removed from its home. Cox said neighbors should do two things to help establish their cases: find other neighbors to back them up, and keep a record of when and for how long the dog barks.

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Editorial Advocates Regulations on Jet Skis in Florida

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel Tribune
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. A18
DATELINE: Orlando, Florida

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune printed an editorial that argues that Florida communities should place restrictions on Jet Skis, or personal watercraft, and enforce the regulations. Otherwise, the editorial says, a ban could lie ahead.

The editorial says that personal watercraft are noisy and obnoxious for people who want to enjoy a peaceful day on one of Florida's waterways. Jet Skis belch smoke, sound horrible, drive off wildlife, and scare swimmers and other boaters, the editorial says. But, it goes on to say, personal watercraft are a lot of fun for the drivers. More than one million Americans now own personal watercraft, and another 200,000 are sold each year. Sales and repairs of personal watercraft in Florida were $110 million last year, and Bambardier, which makes personal watercraft, employs more than 100 people in Florida.

The editorial explains that many communities find themselves trying to accommodate the needs of both Jet Skiers and those who want to enjoy a peaceful time by the water. The editorial argues that communities should pass tough regulations and should enforce them. If Jet Skis aren't regulated, they could be banned, the editorial says. Some want to ban the machines right now.

According to the editorial, personal watercraft equipped with required mufflers don't make much more noise than other motorboats, said industry officials. But owners sometimes modify the mufflers, which makes the machines louder, the editorial says. Personal watercraft also tend to operate at higher and more erratic speeds than motorboats. And, according to state marine officials, they usually pass the shoreline in groups and for longer periods of time, so they create a greater impact than most motorboats.

The editorial concludes that regulating Jet Skis is a wise move. Seminole County recently passed speed limits for all boats, including personal watercraft, on parts of the Econlockhatchee River, where the waterway narrows, becomes shallow, and has many turns. Volusia County has set aside certain areas of its coastline for personal watercraft, and has made other areas off limits. In Orlando, there are buoys and posted speed limits on Lake Ivanhoe to prevent motorboats and water scooters from tearing up shoreline vegetation. The editorial says that these sorts of regulations make sense without eliminating people's ability to enjoy the waters.

Some places have actually banned personal watercraft, the editorial says, including Everglades National Park and parts of the shoreline in Monroe County in the Florida Keys. The National Park Service also is considering a ban on personal watercraft in some national parks. The Washington State Supreme Court recently upheld a personal watercraft ban, saying that the government needs to maintain the environmental integrity of a water source when weighing recreational opportunities.

The editorial also says that in most cases, enforcing regulations is the most important strategy. According to state law, counties can limit the noise levels of watercraft to below 90 decibels. All local governments should implement this limit, the editorial says. Personal watercraft that exceed the noise level, violate speed limits, and disregard no-wake zones and shoreline buffers should have to pay a stiff fine. And, personal watercraft should be excluded from small lakes, shallow waterways, and areas used heavily by anglers, canoers, and swimmers. The editorial concludes that with 1,300 miles of coastline, 51,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 7,000 lakes and ponds, Florida should be able to meet the recreational needs of everyone.

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Louisiana Noise Activist's Property is Firebombed for the Third Time

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Coleman Warner
DATELINE: New Orleans, Louisiana
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Stuart Smith, activist and lawyer

The Times-Picayune reports that a servant's quarters building behind the home of Stuart Smith, an activist who has demanded a crackdown on noisy bars in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, was set fire to on Friday about 5 a.m. Smith said this is the third firebombing of his property in what he believes is a campaign of intimidation for his activism.

The article reports that according to New Orleans Fire Department officers, the department responded to a fire at Smith's home at 5:17 a.m. and brought it under control in less than 20 minutes. A spokesperson for the fire department said an arson investigation is under way. Smith said he was not home at the time of the fire, but his mother was in the home, and "she is completely terrified." Smith said it also appeared that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown into the carriage-way of his home, but it did not cause a fire.

According to the article, in September, a flaming Molotov cocktail was thrown on Smith's balcony and his car was destroyed by fire. The article says that city officials have investigated the incidents, but have not reported their findings. Months ago, activists in the French Quarter asked U.S. Attorney Eddie Jordan to look into the fires.

The article explains that Smith has criticized restaurants and bars in the French Quarter that play loud music, saying it ruins the quality-of-life for neighbors. Smith has filed two lawsuits against restaurants near his home, and is considering a third lawsuit against a bar. Smith moved to his home last summer, and says he believes the firebombings are a response to his campaign for stronger enforcement of city noise regulations. He said, "Somebody doesn't want me living down here. The city needs to take affirmative action to stop whoever's doing this from trying to run the residents out of the French Quarter." Smith added that he won't move, but he will take new security measures.

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New Mexico County Passes Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: New Mexico; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Journal Staff and Wire
DATELINE: Silver City, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Grant County Commissioners in Silver City, New Mexico approved a noise ordinance Tuesday that took effect immediately.

According to the article, commissioners Manuel Serna and Carl Scholl said that almost everyone agreed summertime noise was a significant problem. The noise ordinance stipulates that any unreasonably loud, disturbing, or unnecessary noise, or any noise that disturbs the health or safety of others is a noise nuisance. Officers can cite violators for a petty misdemeanor, and issue fines up to $300 or up to 90 days in jail. The article notes that yelling, shouting, and excessive noise from loudspeakers or amplifiers and construction projects is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. But, the article says, loudspeakers, burglar alarms, and construction noise are exempted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. under the ordinance.

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Maine Residents Try to Build Consensus for Noise Wall Near Interstate

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: July 17, 1998
BYLINE: Dawn Gagnon
DATELINE: Bangor, Maine

The Bangor Daily News reports that residents living near the Interstate 95 Broadway exit in Bangor, Maine continued their work Wednesday on getting a noise wall installed along the highway. The article notes that the Maine Department of Transportation has set aside $200,000 to build a wall, but state officials say they won't build the wall unless they get consensus from the residents on the issue. Some residents, the article says, have opposed the wall, saying it would be too intrusive in their neighborhood.

The article explains that residents met with state transportation officials last fall and told them the noise from the interstate has forced them to keep their windows closed, prevented them from enjoying their yards, porches and decks, affected their health, and caused their property values to drop. State officials conducted noise tests last summer, and found the noise level in the neighborhood exceeds 67 decibels, the threshold used by the federal government when deciding whether to build noise walls on road construction projects.

The article says that state transportation officials have told residents that the noise wall won't be built unless the neighborhood reaches consensus over whether the fence is desired, and if so, what it should look like. The wall would be about 1,200 feet long, would be installed between I-95 and Fowler Avenue, from Nowell Road to the Broadway exit, and probably would be built from wood rather than concrete because of cost considerations. If residents decide they want the noise wall, they must agree on what type of wall, how tall it should be, what color it should be, and possibly what the landscaping would be like.

Most of the residents who attended a recent preliminary meeting about the noise wall felt it was needed, but a few people disagreed. Colleen Detour, a Princeton Street resident, said a 20-foot wall would make her feel "claustrophobic." She added that she wasn't bothered by noise from the interstate, and she brought a petition with 16 signatures and several letters from similarly minded people. But, the article says, later in the meeting Detour said she might be open to a shorter wall, especially if there was trees or other landscaping in front of it.

Michael Burns, the Department of Transportation highway engineer who has been working with a small group of residents for more than a year, said the department will expand its computer modeling to see what effect a wall of varied heights would have on mitigating the noise. The residents must reach a consensus by the middle of next month if a noise wall is to be built this fall, the article notes. Another meeting will be held on or before August 26, according to Burns.

The article also printed a correction. It said that a story in Friday's paper about a meeting on the proposed noise wall should have said that Colleen Detour brought to the meeting a 16-signature petition and letters in opposition to the wall.

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U.S. Senate Strikes a Deal for 30 More Flights at Chicago Airport Instead of 100

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 8
BYLINE: Robert Herguth
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jack Saporito, leader, Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a U.S. Senate committee brokered an agreement Thursday that calls for 30 more daily commercial takeoffs and landings at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport instead of the 100 flights proposed last week. The article notes that the revised bill still must be approved by the full Senate and then reconciled with a House bill that calls for 29 new daily commercial flights.

According to the article, the compromise would dedicate 18 of the new daily flights to under-served markets, and at least six of those 18 would be dedicated to commuter operations. The remaining 12 "slots" could be used for any market. In addition, all planes using the new slots must be the quieter, Stage 3 jets. An "environmental review" by the secretary of transportation also must find there will be no adverse impact on safety or pollution before the slots are allocated. And, the transportation secretary must find that there will be no "significant" increase of noise, and must consult with local officials before awarding the flights. After three years, the secretary must report on what the impacts of the additional flights have been and make a recommendation to Congress about whether more flights are warranted.

The article explains that Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) opposed the initial 100-slot plan, and called the compromise "a reasonable balance." He said, "This was a tough political job ... because there were clearly different agendas." Communities in downstate Illinois wanted more service to O'Hare, Chicago officials wanted more service, and suburban residents opposed anything that would bring more noise, the article notes. Pat Souders, an aide to Durbin who was involved in negotiations, said, "We have come to a good faith agreement, ... we're pleased with the outcome. O'Hare's still not at capacity, and we think 30 is a pretty fair number."

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who proposed the initial 100-slot plan, said in a written statement, "I'm very pleased we were able to reach common ground on reducing the anti-competitive federal restrictions on additional flights at Chicago O'Hare that will benefit local commerce and enhance service options in Illinois and around the country."

But, the article reports, suburban residents fighting noise at O'Hare aren't happy with the outcome. Jack Saporito, head of the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, said the compromise is a "bad deal for the citizens. ... It's just too many because of the amounts of pollution that just one aircraft brings. One aircraft brings noise."

Dennis Culloton, a Chicago aviation department spokesperson, said the deal gives more air service options to smaller communities and adds the ability to expand some other service at O'Hare. Jacquelyn Heard, a spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, said Daley hasn't taken a position on the slot issue, but he agrees new commercial flights should use quieter aircraft.

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Calfornia State Assembly Member

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. N17
BYLINE: George Runner, Assembly member (R-Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita)

The Daily News of Los Angeles printed an editorial by George Runner, a California Assembly member (R-Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita), arguing that the Los Angeles City Council passed an arbitrary and unfair ordinance when it banned gas-powered leaf-blowers. The writer notes that the Assembly's Local Government Committee narrowly approved a bill that would overturn that ban. The editorial says that Republicans in the Assembly advocate an approach that allows local governments to establish noise standards as technologies develop without seriously damaging the gardening industry.

According to the editorial, banning leaf blowers just because they are noisy "is a ridiculous restraint on an individual's freedom to earn a living." The editorial says that under the newly amended legislation, cities and counties would be able to establish noise standards on gas-powered blowers as new technologies are being developed, and would be able to determine when leaf-blowers can be used and where debris can be blown. This legislation strikes the right balance, the editorial argues, between protecting gardeners from a "capricious ordinance" and allowing residents to live in peace. Under the legislation, leaf-blowers will have to be tested and certified by an independent testing facility by 2000. The editorial asserts that this is a common-sense approach to phasing in sensible reforms, and gives the leaf-blower industry time to plan for upgrading equipment.

The editorial goes on to say that leaf-blowers save thousands of gallons of water because gardeners no longer use high-powered hoses to get rid of leaves and debris. The writer says that Los Angeles's ordinance would force gardeners to go back to wasting water, because it would be silly to expect gardeners to return to using rakes and brooms. Gardeners don't want to take such a "great leap backward" with respect to productivity and effectiveness, the editorial says.

The editorial also says there has been some concern about whether the leaf-blower debate is an issue of statewide significance. The writer believes that any law that stifles a profession in the way that the Los Angeles ban does is of statewide importance. The ban in Los Angeles would force many gardeners out of business by requiring costly new blowers, the writer says, and this is not the direction we should go as a state. The editorial argues that many things make noise, including recycling trucks, school buses, morning traffic, and children, and no one would take it seriously if we tried to ban these things. The writer asks why should "the whim of a vocal minority" trump an entire profession? Finally, the writer points out, the cost of monthly gardening could increase by 400 percent and take five times longer if leaf-blowers are outlawed.

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Colorado City Bans Jake Brakes on Large Trucks

PUBLICATION: The Denver Post
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: A Section; Pg. A-25
BYLINE: Keith Coffman
DATELINE: Northglenn, Colorado
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: James Dawson, City Councilor

The Denver Post reports that the City Council in Northglenn, Colorado voted last week to ban the use of "jake brakes" on large trucks, which emit a series of loud popping noises, within the city limits. The article notes that residents have complained about the noise from the jake brakes from semis on Interstate 25 between 120th and 104th Avenues.

According to the article, City Manager James Landeck said that truckers traveling southbound on the interstate typically slow their trucks around 120th Avenue, where the speed limit drops from 75 mph to 55 mph. Landeck said when the truckers slow down using their jake brakes, the noise echoes through the neighborhoods on both sides of the freeway, prompting residents to complain. "They rattle everyone's windows on a hot summer night," he said.

According to Landeck, Colorado Springs has a ordinance that bans jake brakes, but Northglenn is the first community in the Denver metro area that has imposed a ban. City officials currently are asking officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation for permission to allow Northglenn police to enforce the law on the interstate. After the state approves, the law would go into effect in about 30 days, after signs about the ban are posted.

The article reports that James Dawson, the City Councilor who sponsored the ordinance, said the city installed a noise monitor at his house four blocks west of the highway to see how bad the noise was. He said the trucks were extremely loud. He added that he was surprised no truckers turned out to oppose the ban.

The article explains that truckers use jake brakes to avoid overheating their regular wheel brakes. Jake brakes, developed by Jacobs Engineering in the 1930s, work by holding an engine's intake valve open, cutting off the fuel flow. Jim Smith, owner of the rig-repair business Arvada Diesel, said jake brakes are standard equipment on most trucks, and were designed as a safety feature to avoid brake failure on mountain roads. He said, "If you come off Loveland Pass and have to hit the brakes three or four times, you're in trouble."

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Jet Skis Targeted as Polluters of Michigan's Great Lakes

PUBLICATION: The Detroit News
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: Front; Pg. Pg. A1
BYLINE: Jeremy Pearce
DATELINE: Troy, Michigan

The Detroit News reports that scientists and others this summer are targeting personal watercraft with significantly polluting Michigan's Great Lakes. Millions of gallons of unburned fuel are being poured into the lakes from the inefficient two-stroke engines on Jet Skis and other personal watercraft, experts say. The article notes that state bills on Jet Ski restrictions have passed the House and Senate and are bound for Governor Engler's signature. The bills address issues of safety, training, and law enforcement related to personal watercraft, but don't address water pollution.

The article says that scientists estimate that 20 to 25 percent of the fuel used in personal watercraft and other watercraft with two-stroke engines fails to combust and is flushed out as raw fuel vapor in emissions. John Giesy, a Michigan State University toxicologist studying petroleum pollution in the Detroit River and other water bodies, said, "It's a huge volume of fuel. We think the gas escaping is probably even higher than 25 percent." This weekend, the article says, Michigan's 82,000 registered watercraft have the capacity to leak more than 200,000 gallons of fuel, if each rider expends a full 10-gallon tank. James Oris, an aquatic toxicologist at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, said, "If a watercraft carries four gallons of gas, it means one gallon is going directly into the water. These are chemicals and solvents that shouldn't be in the water." The article explains that the emissions make tiny water organisms absorb chemicals and become sensitive to light, known as phototoxicity. Daylight then kills the organisms, which causes a collapse up the food chain as food sources are eliminated. Peter Landrum, toxicologist with the federal Great Lakes Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, said, "We know these chemicals are as toxic as narcotics in the water, but we've really only scratched the surface in research."

But, the article says, Jet Skiers are wondering why their machines are being singled out when many boats use two-stroke engines. Dieter Featherman, a Troy resident who Jet Skis on Oakland County's Pontiac Lake, said, "What about the big offshore racing boats you see whizzing around Lake St. Clair? What about fishing boats? Every boat pollutes. We shouldn't just single out Jet Skis -- let's look at all pieces in the pollution puzzle." The article notes that personal watercraft riders and manufacturers have started to fight back on the issue. John Donaldson, director of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, said, "This isn't about pollution. This is about another attempt to force personal watercraft off America's waterways." The article says that the industry group represents Arctic, Bombardier, Kawasaki, Polaris, and Yamaha, which are the nation's biggest personal watercraft manufacturers.

The article explains that Jet Skis also have been attacked for safety issues; opponents say many Jet Skiers are not adequately trained in operating the machine, and that there are an increasing number of accidents involving personal watercraft. Michigan, Maine, California, and Washington state all have recently passed statewide regulations that restrict personal watercraft. Residents along shorelines and other boaters are especially critical of personal watercraft. Jim Reid, a resident of St. Clair Shores who is angry about Jet Skis in Lake St. Clair, source of water for local communities, said, "That fuel is going right into Detroit's drinking water. Do we need a better reason to ban them?"

The article reports that personal watercraft manufacturers like two-stroke engines because they produce a high level of power in relation to their compact size. With two-stroke engines, the article notes, oil must be mixed with fuel in order to keep engine parts moving, and some of the oil escapes with emissions. Four-stroke engines, on the other hand, burn only fuel, and emissions are therefore cleaner. Four-stroke engines haven't been used in personal watercraft because they make the machine less reliable in rough water. But according to engineers, four-stroke engines may one day replace two-stroke engines as technology improves. Next year, the article reports, personal watercraft maker Bombardier will install fuel-injection devices and noise baffling on all of their new watercraft. According to Bombardier officials, the emissions will decrease by 25 percent. Two years ago, the article notes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed an agreement with watercraft makers to cut two-stroke engine pollution, and the new rules take effect next season.

The article also says that the state bills regarding personal watercraft passed by the House and Senate require Jet Skiers to stay 200 feet away from shorelines, establish a safety program to train riders, and prohibit youths from riding without a safety certificate. In addition, riders must stay out of areas with water less than two feet deep, and must ride "in a reasonable and prudent manner." Senator Jon Cisky (R-Saginaw), the Senate bill's chief sponsor, said, "Getting these bills through was a hell of a lot more difficult than we ever thought it would be," adding that it took nearly two years to get agreement on the bills. He said in the compromise process, provisions restricting noise were dropped and other provisions were weakened. Cisky said wearily, "We didn't even discuss pollution controls. This is only first base. That day is coming."

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Montreal Police Monitor Neighborhood by Helicopter, Angering Residents

PUBLICATION: The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec)
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A5
BYLINE: Amanda Jelowicki
DATELINE: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Josee Blanchet, Drew Duncan, Jennifer Morrison, residents

The Gazette reports that police in Montreal, Quebec have been regularly patrolling the Mile End district of the city by helicopter for the past several weeks to secure the area from crime. But residents are complaining about the helicopter's noise, saying it keeps them from sleeping and the searchlights make them feel like they're in a war zone.

According to the article, the police have sent the helicopter to the neighborhood on weekends since St. Jean Baptiste Day, when rioting and looting took place near the district. Richard Carlisle, chief inspector of the Montreal Urban Community police's specialized-patrol division, said that since June 24, events such as Canada Day, the jazz festival, and the World Cup soccer final, have required extra police because of the additional people in the area. In addition, Carlisle said, there have been reports of youths lighting bonfires in Mount Royal Park, and the best way to pinpoint fires is by using the helicopter. He said, "It's true it's been there more often. But the helicopter is like an eye in the sky. We'd rather be more cautious than wait for something to happen. When five or six fires are set up, it's not a safe thing." Carlisle added that the helicopter is a 1972 model, and is noisier than newer, more expensive models. "We are aware of the noise of the helicopter," he said. "But we do try and make a detour to try and avoid residential areas. But, yes, there is a downside."

Resident Josee Blanchet said the noisy, low-flying helicopter makes her feel like she's living in a war zone. She said, "It sounds like a flying lawnmower. It's unpleasant. I don't see the need for the helicopter at all. It makes me feel watched, like I'm waiting for an imminent catastrophe. No one likes having the helicopter around, especially at all times of the night." Drew Duncan, another resident, agreed that the helicopter is a nuisance. "I don't really see the purpose of it," he said. "To me, it's disturbing. The thing's loud, and it becomes the focus of everyone's attention." Resident Jennifer Morrison said, "I don't see what a helicopter overhead is doing for my security." The article notes that Blanchet has circulated a petition complaining about the noise, and has gathered 25 signatures that she intends to take to the media and her councilor.

Meanwhile, the article says, Helen Fotopulos, a Mile End city councilor, said she believes police should establish a code of procedure for the helicopter. She said, "They have to re-evaluate the purpose and the use of these operations. It mustn't upset the quality of life of residents. What we don't want in Montreal is the LAPD. We already have good neighborhood policing."

Carlisle of the police department pointed out that when the festivals end, the helicopter probably will return to its regular route, scanning the entire city rather than focusing on a specific area.

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Judge Lifts Some Noise Restrictions at California Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B01
BYLINE: Brady Rhoades
DATELINE: Costa Mesa, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Heather Parsons, resident

The Orange County Register reports that a Superior Court judge in Costa Mesa, California ruled Thursday that some noise restrictions must be lifted at the 18,500-seat Pacific Amphitheatre at the Orange County Fairgrounds. But, the article notes, the judge ruled that a restriction limiting decibel levels at the edge of the amphitheater can remain in place.

According to the article, fairground officials brought the lawsuit against Nederlander Organization, which sold the amphitheater to the fair in 1993. Fairground officials allege that when Nederlander sold the amphitheater to the fair, noise restrictions were in place that made it impossible to operate the concert site, thereby benefiting Irvine Meadows, a venue where Nederlander hosts concerts. On June 8, Nederlander agreed to pay $16 million rather than face a jury on charges of fraud and breach of contract.

The article says that Nederlander gave residents who live near the fairgrounds the right to control noise limits at the amphitheater, but that agreement is invalid because it breaches the terms of the 1993 sale, the judge ruled. Instead, the county and the courts are the enforcing bodies for noise restrictions.

According to the article, fairgrounds spokesperson Jill Lloyd said, that concerts won't be held for at least a year while officials consider their options. Mark Kemple, an attorney for the fairgrounds, said, "You're not going to see Van Halen, you're not going to see the Scorpions, you're not going to see acid rock."

The article explains that the amphitheater has been a source of controversy since it opened in 1983. For years, residents complained about the music and comedy acts that blasted into their homes. The amphitheater has been dormant since 1995, because of its noise restrictions. Resident Heather Parsons said, "There are a lot of elderly people in this neighborhood. They yell and scream if a dog is off its leash. If it gets out of hand, people are going to raise hell."

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Residents Near California Amphitheater Worry About Judge's Ruling Eliminating Some Noise Restrictions

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B02
BYLINE: Brady Rhoades
DATELINE: Costa Mesa, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Richard Spix, attorney for residents; Ada Kersch, Heather Parsons, residents

The Orange County Register reports that residents living near the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California are afraid that a Superior Court judge's ruling Thursday that lifted some noise restrictions at the concert venue will result in unbearable noise. The article notes that the judge's ruling eliminated residents' control over the site's sound covenant.

The article reports that residents worry that noisy concerts will blast through their neighborhoods as they did in the 1980s and early 1990s. Resident Ada Kersch said, "The noise was insufferable" when concerts were held at the site. "When one of my granddaughters was born, I had her in a crib and she couldn't sleep. We couldn't bear the noise." Richard Spix, an attorney representing two residents near the amphitheater, said the judge's ruling is a travesty and the fair can now book acts "just this side of Oingo Boingo." Residents are powerless to enforce noise limits as a result of the ruling, Spix said. Resident Heather Parsons, who moved into her home this summer, wants the neighborhood to stay quiet. She said, "These are old town homes. The windows are extremely thin. The walls are thin. You can hear people's TVs through the walls. "

But, the article reports, fairgrounds officials said the judge left a remaining restriction on noise levels that ensures concerts won't violate the Orange County noise ordinance. That ordinance bans noise over 70 decibels in adjacent neighborhoods.

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Resident Says Washington State Airport Officials Didn't Follow Federal Guidelines in Noise Mitigation Program

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: July 17, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. B5; Letters To The Editor
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Minnie Brasher, resident

The Seattle Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor form Minnie Brasher, a Burien, Washington resident, regarding noise from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport:

Since 1982, the people living under the thunderous jet noise surrounding Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have lived without representative government input on the Port of Seattle's Noise Compatibility Program. The Port is in violation of federal-grant policy that assures the people have local representative government. The grant requires that the representative governments of the people (public agencies with land-use control, i.e., counties, cities, school districts) surrounding Sea-Tac airport have a vote (written assurance) on the Port's noise -remedy program. The Port never asked for nor received written assurance from any public agency to comply with the federal-grant program. The Port applied for and received more than $100 million federal-grant dollars for its noise program. The public agencies with land-use planning control were required to be in consultation with the Port about how those federal funds were distributed.

The consequences of the Port's noncompliance of the grant program are enormous to the people and to the non-compatibility of the land around Sea-Tac airport. There are more than 3,000 homes from the second runway that are still not insulated. Of the homes the Port has insulated, at least 1,141 are in the process of being re-insulated because of safety and condensation problems. This is a direct result of the Port not obtaining work permits or working with our public-planning agencies.

Sea-Tac airport is a very valuable asset to the county, region and the state. The airport expanded into our neighborhood. Not one person living around the airport moved here to be abused. The Port has taken away our quality of life, health and home values, along with the rights of our children to a good education. We at least deserve the protection of the law that the federal-grant assurance requires.

The Port has wasted millions that could have gone to school insulation for the children of this area. The Port is not above the law and must be held accountable. The people and the children deserve better.

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California Judge Strikes Down Strict Noise Restrictions at Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: City News Service
DATE: July 16, 1998
BYLINE: Cathy Franklin
DATELINE: Costa Mesa, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Richard Spix, attorney for residents

The City News Service reports that Orange County Superior Court judge Robert Thomas today struck down strict noise restrictions at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California. The article explains that the parties in the lawsuit were the Orange County Fair and Exposition Center, which owns the amphitheater, the Nederlander Organization, which sold the amphitheater to the fair, and homeowners living nearby. The article notes that the judge set a subsequent hearing for August 21 to determine the exact language of the final document which will accompany the ruling.

According to the article, the fair's lawsuit against Nederlander was filed in 1995. Since then, the amphitheater has not been used. Fairgrounds officials claimed that Nederlander had secretly inserted noise restrictions into the sale agreement, so that the amphitheater couldn't be used and wouldn't pose competition for Nederlander, which now books its acts at the Arrowhead Pond. The fair's lawsuit sought to rescind its agreement to buy the amphitheater from Nederlander for $12.5 million. But on June 8, Nederlander settled its portion of the lawsuit by agreeing to pay the fair $16 million. Nederlander denied it had improperly included strict noise restrictions. After Nederlander settled with the fair, attorneys for the homeowners and the fairgrounds argued over the remaining noise issues, the article explains.

The article goes on to say that fair officials opposed the noise restriction calling for a maximum of 92 decibels, the noise level of a diesel truck in motion, as measured at the theater's mixing board. The judge ruled that the 92-decibel level is illegal and unenforceable. But the judge ruled that a noise restriction calling for no more than 86 decibels at the back of the amphitheater was valid. According to fairgrounds officials, the 86-decibel level is in compliance with the most restrictive interpretation of the Orange County Noise Ordinance.

But according to Richard Spix, attorney for the 5,000 homeowners represented in the lawsuit, the 92-decibel restriction resulted in noise levels of around 83 decibels in the neighborhoods, which was a noise level agreed to between fair officials and residents in 1980. Spix said under the prior rules, the community had the power to enforce the noise regulations, but now the question of enforcement is unclear. Spix added that the fairgrounds are owned by the state and are exempt from county noise restrictions. Spix also said that residents did not know if they would appeal the judge's ruling, the article says.

Thomas Malcolm, an attorney for the fair, said the judge's decision allows the fair to use the amphitheater. He said, "We are now able to book middle-of-the-road acts." But fair officials will conduct a year-long feasibility study to evaluate what to do with the facility, Malcolm said. Becky Bailey-Findley, general manager of the fairgrounds, said it could take up to two years to review the options about what to do with the facility. She said fair officials will consider the cost and feasibility of capital improvements and compliance with a 1996 settlement agreement between the city of Costa Mesa and the fairgrounds regarding traffic, parking, and long-range financial planning. She added, "There's also the possibility the Pacific Amphitheatre will not be used as a concert facility. All options will be thoroughly explored."

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California Planning Commission Votes to Skip Environmental Study in Converting Residentially Zoned Land to Commercially Zoned Land

PUBLICATION: The Fresno Bee
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. B1
BYLINE: Jim Wasserman
DATELINE: Fresno, California

The Fresno Bee reports that the Planning Commission in Fresno, California voted unanimously Wednesday to consider the question of re-zoning 26 acres of land from residential to commercial uses without conducting an environmental impact report. As a result, the article says, the city will decide in August whether to re-zone the land. Staff members at the city planning department and some residents opposed re-zoning the site without an environmental report to assess the impacts of re-zoning on traffic, noise, and aesthetics.

According to the article, the land in question is the last big open space along Friant Road, and is located at the intersection of Friant and Fort Washington roads. Planning commissioners said they believed the proposed commercial project would not cause significant environmental impacts if approved. Commissioner William Civiello said, "I think we have every justification to take the position." Other commissioners said they were satisfied with the measures that developer DeWayne Zinkin offered in order to reduce the proposed project's impacts. The article notes that Zinkin has offered to widen parts of Friant and Fort Washington roads and contribute to nearby traffic signals.

The article explains that staff members in the city's planning department said the proposed re-zoning from housing to a combined shopping center and office complex was a "significant breach" of the Woodward Park Community Plan. That plan has set aside the land parcel for about 300 homes and apartments since 1989. Developer Zinkin wants to build a neighborhood shopping center with one-story medical, legal, and real estate offices, and donate land for a possible 20,000-square-foot branch of the Fresno County Free Library. Zinkin said the shopping center would have a "boutique" style similar to Pavilion West at Bullard and West avenues.

The article notes that some residents approved of the proposed project, while others opposed it. Selma Layne, head of the Woodward Park Homeowners Association, said, "We believe it's a well-designed, first-class project. And we think it's the best use of this property in 1998." Two neighbors who live near the site, however, said they were afraid of ruined views, and excessive light and noise if gambling buses stop in the area.

Meanwhile, the city planning department has opposed re-zoning the site without an environmental report almost from the beginning. City staff estimated a commercial and office project will generate 8,850 vehicle trips every day, compared to an estimated 2,600 daily trips with residential use. But developer Zinkin and his consultant, Bruce O'Neal, told the commission a neighborhood center of stores and offices would create fewer traffic problems than housing units because commercial traffic would be spread throughout the day, while residential traffic would be concentrated into two daily rush hours. The article notes that an environmental impact report can cost more than $100,000 and take up to one year to complete.

The article also says that the Planning Commission will vote to approve or deny the re-zoning on August 19, and the Fresno City Council will vote on the issue on August 26.

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National Park Service's Proposal to Ban Jet Skis Intensifies Debate on Issue

PUBLICATION: Greenwire
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Natural Resources
DATELINE: U.S.

Greenwire reports that according to USA Today, the National Park Service's proposal to ban personal watercraft in several national parks and recreation areas is "intensifying [the] aquatic culture clash between Jet Skiers, traditional boaters, and shoreside spectators" (Greenwire, 7/8). The article lists several areas around the country that have recently restricted Jet Skis, and gives several editorial quotes from U.S. newspapers on the topic of Jet Ski restrictions.

According to the article, the Washington state Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on personal watercraft in the San Juan Islands. This action "could be the big opener for more local bans," according to Jeff Hoedt of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (Greenwire, 7/10) (Laura Bly, USA Today, 7/16). In Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency intends to discard its proposed ban on two-cycle engines (Greenwire, 9/4/97) and replace it instead with strict regulations designed to limit emissions (Greenwire, 7/6) (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 7/12).

Meanwhile, the article says, manufacturers of personal watercraft are developing and unveiling quieter, less polluting models.

The article also lists the following editorial quotes on the topic:

The Duluth News-Tribune: "When most people go to national parks, they do so for a relaxing experience.... Zooming around is incompatible with that experience" (7/8).

USA Today: "With more than one million personal watercraft in use, a ban is not practical. To some extent, therefore, others will just have to learn to share" (7/16).

The Vancouver (WA) Columbian: "If personal watercraft were exclusively personal, they wouldn't pose such a problem. ... The personal watercraft has become the cigarette of aquatic sports, and a lot of people are tired of being subjected to the secondhand smoke, noise, environmental problems and, sometimes, reckless behavior" (7/13).

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North Carolina Residents Want to Know How Airport's Growth From FedEx Hub Will Affect the City

PUBLICATION: News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Triad/State, Pg. B1
BYLINE: John Nagy
DATELINE: Greensboro, North Carolina
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Andrea Walls, Joe Moore, Diane Warren, residents

The News & Record reports that residents in Greensboro, North Carolina concerned about a proposed FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport called on the Airport Authority Wednesday to lay out how the hub and the airport's growth will affect the city. Residents are worried that the proposed growth to accommodate FedEx will result in unacceptable levels of noise, traffic congestion, and air pollution. Meanwhile, the state House gave final approval Wednesday to a series of economic incentives for FedEx, including $115 million in tax breaks over 20 years.

According to the article, Federal Express officials announced in April that they would open a $300 million hub at the airport to handle packages on the East Coast. The cargo company would have 20 flights per night at first, but that number would eventually increase, the article says. Airport officials, meanwhile, have offered to build a third runway parallel to the existing main runway to accommodate the extra flights. But residents who live near the airport, especially those to the north where the hub is proposed, said they're worried about the safety, noise, cost, and other impacts of a new hub and runway.

The article reports that about 30 residents met Wednesday to discuss the project. Andrea Walls, one of the residents, said, "The people of Guilford County need to know the whole story. A picture needs to be painted of what Greensboro will look like five or 10 years from now." Joe Moore, a resident who lives northwest of the airport, said, "It's not too much to ask an organization to answer as to what they're planning to do with a third runway." Among other things, residents are worried that airport officials will recruit more cargo business after a third runway is built. Resident Diane Warren said, "The airport authority has already told us they don't plant to stop with FedEx. If you've got more capacity than LaGuardia Airport, what are you going to do with that?"

The article says that Ted Johnson, the executive director of the airport authority, was unavailable for comment on the residents' demands. But F. Hudnall Christopher, chair of the authority's board of directors, said as the community grows, there will gradually be more demand for the airport's services. He added, "We'll encourage any usage of the airport. That's our mission. But I see the next thrust to be getting more passenger service." Johnson said last week that while cargo business at the airport is growing, officials aren't talking to any other companies about a cargo hub at the airport. He said, "I don't know that business would be big enough to subsidize two carriers going head-to-head like that." Peter Reichard, president of the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce, said business leaders believe growth may occur on U.S. 421 and state highway 68 near the airport if the project goes forward. But, he added, it would be a good idea to look now at how the hub will effect the city. He said, "Where are the areas of development? A lot of opportunities are going to come our way. Let's make sure we're selective in what we try to bring down."

The article explains that the airport authority aggressively pursued the FedEx hub, and has agreed to sell $300 million in bonds for the hub and to build the third runway. The bond would be repaid by FedEx, and most of the money for the new runway would come from the federal government.

Meanwhile, residents have asked airport and FedEx officials to consider relocating the hub to the airport's south end and eliminating the third runway. But, last week, the airport and FedEx rejected those requests, saying they wouldn't meet their needs.

Residents said they will be involved in the environmental impact statement that will be done as part of federal requirements for the hub and the third runway. That review is expected to take two years, and must address residents' concerns about noise, safety, cost, and several other issues. The review is expected to begin in the next few weeks, the article says.

In a related matter, the state House gave final approval Wednesday for economic incentives for FedEx, including $115 million in tax breaks over 20 years. The state Senate has already approved the bill, but must sign off on some minor changes made by the House. Governor Jim Hunt is expected to approve the bill, the article notes.

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New York Town Police Train More Police to Use Decibel Meters, Increasing Enforcement of Noise Law

PUBLICATION: Newsday
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: News; Page A31
BYLINE: Matt Matros
DATELINE: Long Beach, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Eric Zwerling, director, Rutgers University Noise Technical Assistance Center

Newsday reports that the city of Long Beach, New York has doubled the number of police officers qualified to use decibel meters in order to enforce the city's noise ordinance. City officials said the noise ordinance and the decibel meter training has resulted in a less noisy community.

According to the article, police must know how to use a decibel meter in order to enforce the noise ordinance, said Sergeant Eugene Brown, public information officer for the Long Beach police. Corey Klein, the Long Beach Assistant Corporation Counsel, said the city wanted to ensure that enough officers were trained in the use of decibel meters that someone would always be available to handle noise complaints. Klein said before the most recent round of training, it was less likely that an officer who knew how to use the meter would be available. Currently, about 20 people are certified to use the meters, including two building inspectors and Klein himself, who decided that as the city prosecutor he should take the course. The article says that during the two-day training course, participants learn how to take accurate readings with the meter, how to confirm the source of noise violations, and other things.

The article explains that Eric Zwerling, director of the Rutgers University Noise Technical Assistance Center, conducted an initial decibel meter training course in 1996, and another course in May. Zwerling also was active in helping to write the city's ordinance in 1996.

The article says that according to city council President Michael Zapson, "the bars are quieter and there are no longer ... people preaching on the boardwalk" since the noise ordinance went into effect. The ordinance has been applied to bars, parties, noisy ceiling fans, and one preacher, the article says. In addition, decibel meters have been used to test noise from motorcycles and boats, whose noise levels are regulated by the state's vehicle and traffic laws.

The article also notes that both state and federal courts have upheld Long Beach's noise ordinance against challenges by Jack Toback, a preacher who was found to violate the law.

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Proposal for Police Shooting Range in England Draws Concern

PUBLICATION: The Northern Echo
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Pg. 6
BYLINE: Mel Mason
DATELINE: Durham, England

The Northern Echo reports that the police force in County Durham, England has proposed using the site of an old quarry at Running Waters, three miles southeast of Durham City, for an outdoor shooting range. But, the article says, some residents and councilors are objecting to the plan.

According to the article, police officials have proposed using the 100-foot quarry as a training center for the force's 142 authorized firearms officers. Currently, Durham police have no outdoor practice range of their own, and officers travel to ranges in Catterick or North Northumberland to practice. Under the proposal, police would use rifles and pistols on three outdoor ranges, mostly during working hours on Monday to Friday.

The article reports that James Turnbull, a Durham city councilor, said during noise tests, noise levels were unacceptable at one out of four noise test sites -- the green in Shadforth village. Turnbull added that he also still was not satisfied about the potential impact on wildlife in the area. He said, "If it is not possible to overcome the concerns I have, then I will be opposing the plan. I've been told by the police that any animals in the area will get used to the sound of gunfire, but I find that hard to believe. The sound of the gunfire on the green at Shadforth is more distinctive because there is very little background noise. I think it would lead to complaints." Turnbull added that he now is waiting to see the official noise test results and the final details of the shooting range plan.

The article notes that the plan has been supported by the owners of the two closest properties -- Jim Grainger, of the Running Waters Filling Station, and Gary Davis, of the Three Horse Shoes pub. They said that any noise would be minor compared to the noise levels when the quarry was operating.

Meanwhile, Inspector Ian Coates, head of firearms training for Durham police, said, "We are very aware noise levels will be one of the factors that need to be considered when the application is decided upon by the council. We are trying to be as open as possible and answer all the concerns local representatives may have, and it is our aim to ensure the planned firing range will have no ill-effects for local people or wildlife."

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Entertainment Center Approved in California, Despite Some Residents' Objections

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B04
BYLINE: Tiffany Horan
DATELINE: Garden Grove, California

The Orange County Register reports that the Planning Commission in Garden Grove, California on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal to build Riverwalk, a $400 million entertainment center along Harbor Boulevard, despite some residents' concerns about noise, traffic, and parking. The article notes that the development includes a half-mile circular stream surrounding jazz clubs, restaurants and shops, a 16-to-24-screen movie-theater complex, a 500-room hotel, an entertainment center with a bowling alley, an ice-skating rink, and a virtual-reality arcade. The project now must gain approval from the City Council. Meanwhile, residents can comment on the draft environmental impact report for the project until August 14.

According to the article, about 200 residents attended the Planning Commission's meeting Wednesday, and several raised parking, traffic, and noise concerns about the proposed development.

But commissioners approved the project anyway. Planning Commissioner Ernest Wilkins said, "I've been a resident of Garden Grove for 33 years. I saw the strawberry fields go, I saw the cows move -- change is inevitable. Change is painful for those who are closest to it." Wilkins added that this development gives the city a chance to eliminate their negative nickname: "Garbage Grove."

The article explains that the entertainment center is expected to draw 7 to 10 million people a year and could be open by 2002. Developers tried to mitigate the impacts of the project by designing 12-foot-tall landscaped berms, sound walls, and neighborhood parking-permit programs.

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Debate in California Anti-Airport Suburb on El Toro Airport Doesn't Sway Audience

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Community; Pg. 03
BYLINE: The Irvine Citizen
DATELINE: Irvine, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Larry Agran, chair of Project 99 and former Irvine Mayor

The Orange County Register reports that a debate was held Thursday in Irvine, California on the proposed commercial airport at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station between Norman Ewers, a retired Marine Corps pilot and airport supporter, and Larry Agran, the chair of Project 99 and the former Irvine mayor. The article notes that most residents in Irvine oppose the airport; thus, Ewers got little sympathy, while Agran preached to the choir. After the debate, the 65 residents who attended remained undaunted in their opposition to the airport, the article says.

According to the article, Ewers, a retired Orange County airport planner and environmental specialist, said that the county "deserves an airport" and there is no other location available. He said, "An airport at El Toro is a billion dollar gift to Orange County and it won't cost citizens a dime." Ewers also said noise would not cause an impact, even as helicopters roared overhead.

Meanwhile, Agran, chair of a group that is lobbying for redeveloping the air station into a commercial center, said, "America's largest and most successful planned community is at risk and will be devastated by an airport as a neighbor. This is the largest bait-and-switch operation on record. Public works projects cost at least three times what authorities say. Consider the Denver airport -- the original proposal's cost was $1.7 billion and expanded to $12 billion. The LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] expansion alone may cost as much as $12 billion. Do you think they can build a 40-gate international airport for $1.7 billion as proposed at El Toro?" The article notes that Agran has said he may consider running for a seat on the Irvine City Council.

Ewers and Agran agreed that the runway plan suggested by the Air Line Pilots Association, which would allow takeoffs directly over Northwood, is unacceptable. Ewers said the plan was "nonsense" and accused the pilots organization of having its own interest in mind. Agran said that the new plan is further demonstration that no runway configuration will work, the article says.

Most of the residents attending the meeting were concerned with keeping their quality-of-life at its current level. Some residents had lived near airports in other cities and were skeptical of Ewers' maps and statistics on noise levels. Ruth Setmire, 30-year University Park resident, said, "When LAX was small they tore down only a few houses and then it just grew and grew. It is a crime that they could build an international airport in the middle of a planned community like Irvine."

Although Ewers is committed to seeing a new airport built, he said that the only way opponents will succeed in fighting progress at El Toro is to change the make-up of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. He said, "You need a new supervisor in district two -- Jim Silva has to be replaced." The article notes that three of the five supervisors currently are El Toro supporters. Agran agreed with Ewers evaluation. He said the most important step was replacing Silva in November with an anti-airport proponent such as Dave Sullivan, an opposing candidate. Agran added, "Other ways include the initiative process that would repeal Measure A, court action, or the realization that the whole proposal is financially unworkable."

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Virginia Citizens Group Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Navy Over Plan to Bring Military Jets to Town

PUBLICATION: The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. B1
BYLINE: Louis Hansen
DATELINE: Norfolk, Virginia area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jack Ferrebee, lawyer and spokesperson, Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise

The Virginian-Pilot reports that a citizens group filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the U.S. Navy on Wednesday, seeking to postpone the transfer of 10 military jet squadrons to Oceana Naval Air Station near Norfolk, Virginia until a study is done on the impacts of the jets on the region.

According to the article, Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise filed the suit in Federal District Court in Norfolk. The suit argues that the Navy's two environmental impact statements and the Record of Decision were arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with Navy regulations or federal environmental laws. According to Jack Ferrebee, lawyer and spokesperson for the citizens, the group wants to "require the Navy to publish an [impact statement] that accurately measures all of the environmental impacts." The article says the suit also alleges that the Navy failed to document certain costs of the plan, including the cost of noise mitigation in homes, schools and churches; infrastructure improvements by localities; traffic congestion; and decreased property values. In addition, the suit charges that the Navy underestimated the number of people in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake who would be exposed to high noise levels. About 120,000 people would be in high-noise zones, according to the Navy.

Meanwhile, Captain Craig Quigley, a spokesperson for Navy Secretary John Dalton, said the Navy stands by its decision. He said, "We're confident we arrived at the right decision for the right reasons."

The article explains that the Navy had planned to move 156 aircraft and several thousand Navy and civilian personnel from Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida to Oceana, starting in December. The Navy announced in May that it would transfer 10 squadrons of F/A-18 fighter squadrons to Oceana and two squadrons to a Marine Corps Air Base in Beaufort, South Carolina. The plans call for nine fleet squadrons of 12 planes each and a 48-jet training squadron to move to Oceana. The article notes that if the court rules against the Navy, the move would be delayed and perhaps changed.

According to the article, the 300-member citizens group was formed in January, shortly after the Navy said it wanted to move some jets to Oceana. The group is led by several retired military officers and professionals, and has met several times with officials at Oceana and city leaders. According to Ferrebee, the group's lawyer, they "would far rather have worked this out instead of filing a lawsuit." Ferrebee added that the group did not necessarily want to stop the planes from coming to Oceana. Instead, he said, they want the Navy to better study the potential noise and accident problems.

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Washington, DC Residents Fear Increasing Noise if Senate Bill Increases Airport's Flights

PUBLICATION: The Washington Times
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Part C; Metropolitan Times; Cover Story; Pg. C5
BYLINE: Bill Reiter and Heidi Sherman
DATELINE: Washington, DC
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Suzanne Kalvaitis, Louis Bransford, Roger Stechschulte, residents

The Washington Times reports that residents living near the Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC aren't happy about a proposal to add 24 more daily flights at the airport. The article explains that the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would add the flights. But residents say they already experience too much jet noise. The bill must still be passed by the full Senate and then reconciled with a similar bill passed by the House.

According to the article, residents said the airport noise already is a hindrance in their daily life. Resident Suzanne Kalvaitis and her husband learned too late that their new luxury home in Alexandria was too close to the airport. Kalvaitis said, "If you're on the deck, we all have to shout. We are against more planes. The noise will get worse. My husband is more sensitive to the noise than I am. It keeps him up at night. He can probably tell you when the last plane at 1 or so in the morning flies over." A resident of Ford's Landing, an upscale development on the Potomac River, who asked that her name not be used, said, "The flights come in very, very low." Alexandria resident Louis Bransford said more flights will only add to the noise problems in his neighborhood. He said, "It's disturbing and distracting. We watch from our front door and they take a chance every time they come in. There's a lot of maneuvering they have to do. It's just frustrating." A resident of Old Town, Roger Stechschulte, said, "I think it's a dumb move. It's too many flights, and I don't think the airport can handle it. But I doubt anyone's going to try anything [to stop it]. They'll just say it's another example of the government doing whatever it wants."

Meanwhile, officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which runs both Reagan National and Washington-Dulles International Airports, also are opposed to any flight expansion at Reagan National. Tara Hamilton, a spokesperson for the agency, said Dulles was built partly to mitigate noise to residents living near Reagan National. The article notes that Reagan National is limited to 60 flights per hour, and is one of four airports in the country with similar limits.

The article explains that the Senate bill is sponsored by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. McCain believes the bill would spawn more competition and lower airfare prices across the nation. McCain's bill would lift the perimeter rule at Reagan National that bans flights from more than 1,250 miles away, and would add 12 daily flights from smaller airports within the 1,250-mile perimeter, as well as 12 more for new long-haul service. The bill also would require that only the newer, quieter jets use the 24 new daily slots.

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Residents in Chicago Suburb Voice Frustration Over Noisy Jets and Misleading Noise Measurements

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: July 16, 1998
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 2; Zone: Nw; Overnight News
BYLINE: Linda Abu-Shalback
DATELINE: Park Ridge, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Park Ridge Citizens O'Hare Airport Council; Ruth D'Ambrosio, resident; Diane Styczen, City Councilor

The Chicago Tribune reports that Park Ridge Citizens O'Hare Airport Council in Park Ridge, Illinois met Wednesday to discuss residents' frustration over jet noise from O'Hare International Airport. Residents complained about misleading noise measurements done by the airport, and suggested that fines be charged to airlines that fly too close to the town or limits be placed on when planes can fly overhead.

According to the article, residents said four noise monitors in Park Ridge don't measure the real impact of jet noise because they average the noise over 24 hours instead of pinpointing the noisiest times. Resident Ruth D'Ambrosio said, "It's worse on Sundays. One time an airplane flew so close, I thought the pilot was going to jump in our bedroom." Diane Styczen, a City Councilor, said planes fly overhead as early as 5 a.m. and later than 11 p.m., and sometimes fly over within one minute of each other.

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Maryland Councilor Calls for Police Enforcement of Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Capital (Annapolis, MD)
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Arundel; Pg. D1
BYLINE: Jeff Nelson
DATELINE: Annapolis, Maryland
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Louise Hammond, Alder Board member

The Capital reports that Alder Board member Louise Hammond of Annapolis, Maryland this week called for police to enforce the noise ordinance against traffic noise in the downtown.

According to the article, Hammond said police are not enforcing the noise ordinance against cars and trucks downtown. Residents have complained about particularly loud trucks and motorcycles, she said, and a newspaper review of a play at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater on Compromise Street mentioned disruptive street noise.

Hammond also called on police to enforce other laws in the downtown, and said that weekend crossing guards in the area should get to work or be fired, the article says.

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Proposed Noise Controls on Aircraft Testing at New Zealand Airport May Be Relaxed

PUBLICATION: The Evening Standard (Palmerston North)
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: News; Local; Pg. 3
BYLINE: Barton Dionne
DATELINE: Palmerston North, New Zealand

The Evening Standard reports that the city council resource management and regulatory committee in Palmerston North, New Zealand voted Monday to proceed with the public notification of a variation to the proposed district plan that would allow noise from the testing of aircraft engines at Palmerston North Airport to be louder than the district plan proposes.

According to the article, the proposed district plan stipulates that the noise levels from engine-testing cannot exceed 45 decibels from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., except for one testing that cannot exceed 75 decibels. But Fieldair Engineering, the company that tests engines at the airport, told city councilors 18 months ago that it couldn't meet those regulations. Since then, company officials and councilors have negotiated a variation to the district plan that would allow noise levels of up to 65 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. for up to one hour. Once a month, the noise level could rise to 70 decibels to allow full-throttle testing, and one nightly testing could be up to 80 decibels.

The article explains that if the variation is approved, Fieldair Engineering will have until January 1, 2001 to reduce nighttime noise to 55 decibels. One way of achieving this noise level, the article says, is to build an enclosure for testing the aircraft. This would reduce the noise level in the airport zone by one-half, the article notes.

Meanwhile, the article says, Tim Bartleet of Fieldair Engineering, said the company already was meeting the noise levels in the variation, and testing was being done at the part of the airport most removed from residents in Milson. He said, "We're operating under difficult circumstances, so we're reasonably happy with what we're able to achieve."

But, the article says Councilor Heather Tanguay said she has hoped the testing enclosure could be built sooner. She said the testing noise was disruptive and deprived people of sleep. She added that residents have given up complaining, "because they know it won't do them any good." Councilor Marilyn Brown, however, said 2001 wasn't that far off and that residents should be able to put up with thirty more monthly testings.

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Activist Decries Lack of Public Process for Proposed Air Cargo Airport in Nevada

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV)
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: B; Pg. 11B
BYLINE: Randy Harkness, chair, Southern Nevada chapter of the Sierra Club
DATELINE: Jean, Nevada
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Randy Harkness, chair, Southern Nevada chapter of the Sierra Club

The Las Vegas Review-Journal printed an editorial by Randy Harkness, chair of the Southern Nevada chapter of the Sierra Club, regarding a proposed air cargo airport near Jean, Nevada. The writer criticizes an earlier editorial in the paper on the subject, and goes on to say that the proposed airport could create many noise and environmental problems. The project should not be undertaken without a complete public process, which is not now happening, the writer says. The Sierra Club is opposing a provision regarding the airport in an appropriations bill because it would further prevent public input, the editorial says.

According to the editorial, the Review-Journal printed an editorial on July 6 on the proposed cargo airport, titled "BLM wants a bigger profit." The writer proceeds to criticize the editorial point by point. He begins by saying that the editorial didn't tell readers that the proposed airport would be placed in a lake. He asks where the dirt would come from to fill it, and where the flood control plan is to control the waters that almost yearly flow into the retention basin. He suggests that there would be dust problems, and says that the public doesn't know how the water would be pumped out of the area, where it would be pumped to, and who would pay for everything.

The editorial goes on to say that the earlier newspaper editorial didn't tell readers that an auxiliary airport and an international consortium want to develop the proposed airport into a worldwide cargo hub. The writer asks, "Who are these people? What do they pay? How does this affect our traffic?" The editorial points out that the area is in a smog corridor that feeds into Las Vegas, and already is in non-attainment for air quality.

The earlier editorial referred to the "Green Extreme," the writer says. But, he argues, the "Green Extreme" are volunteers who fight to protect everyone's quality of life by networking with community, corporate, and government agencies and coming to consensus almost all of the time on how to move forward. He says, "I guess that's the new extremist way."

The writer also refers to the phrase "profitable human use" used in the earlier editorial. He asks if the writers meant moving public lands to the private sector for their profit, or allowing the public to continue using public lands with some common-sense rules about their use? The writer also suggests that noise from the airport could easily affect our national parks as well.

The editorial also takes issue with the previous editorial's position on the Bureau of Land Management. The writer says the BLM is a government agency which protects, manages, and occasionally disposes of lands for the good of the public. The writer asks if the BLM wants to sell land, why should anyone dispute the policy of getting the best price for the American public? The editorial points out that when Nevada became a state, officials asked the federal government to manage certain lands for the state, and that issue was decided long ago.

The writer asserts that his objection to the project is that the public is being denied a chance to participate in the planning and review process. The current process is not allowing public input, as indicated by an article by Keith Rogers in the Review-Journal of June 24: "Environmentalists oppose airport plans for Ivanpah Valley." The editorial says that if the cargo airport has merit and is good for the community, it should go through the full public process, with a thorough environmental impact study. All local government agencies should be involved, as well as all the people who view, live in, and visit the area.

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Florida Resident Says Newspaper Shouldn't Print Comments About Jet Noise From People Living Far From Airport

PUBLICATION: The Palm Beach Post
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Opinion, Pg. 11A
DATELINE: Palm Beach, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Marilyn Jordan, resident

The Palm Beach Post printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Marilyn Jordan, a West Palm Beach resident, regarding noise from the Palm Beach International Airport:

It infuriates me that The Post would even print comments from people in Boynton, Jupiter or other outlying cities regarding noise from Palm Beach International Airport, such as the June 30 letter "PBIA flight path was a known quantity." They don't have a clue what people living in the flight path contend with, and to simply say that the airport has been there since World War II and closes at 11 p.m. just confirms how little they know.

Another insult is that they complain about how "their" tax money is being wasted. Do they think that we don't pay taxes? Those planes are flying over the homes of people who pay some of the highest taxes in Palm Beach County. The "benefits" of our tax dollars are unbearable noise until 2:30 a.m., cracked walls and black soot covering our property, with an added bonus of county commissioners and airport officials whose only concern is the bottom line.

And people think their tax money is being wasted! Give me a break. The biggest waste was the expansion of the airport and now the Interstate 95 direct-connection interchange.

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Washington Resident Applauds State Supreme Court and National Park Service for Banning Jet Skis

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. B5; Letters To The Editor
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Christina Wilsdon, resident

The Seattle Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Christina Wilsdon, a Seattle resident, regarding noise from personal watercraft:

I am not rich, nor do I own a waterfront home. This knocks out two of the stereotypes that the owners of personal watercraft use to discredit those who object to the noise. The fact is, jet-propelled water skis roaring back and forth and in circles on lakes and near beaches destroy the experience of a day at the beach for everybody regardless of income.

One person shatters the serenity of a lake or the joy and beauty of a day at the beach for dozens of people. Yet, many Jet-Ski riders cry out that their rights are being impinged upon without acknowledging that beach and lake visitors also have a right to enjoy an escape from the incessant whine of motors. To make a land-based comparison -- motorcycle riders can use the roadways to get anywhere they want to go. But they would not be permitted to spend their time revving their engines and riding in mindless circles in front of a person's house or in the local park's parking lot.. I wouldn't mind these craft so much if their riders were simply passing by en route from point A to point B. But they're not. They're just zooming around and raising a racket.

I once hiked a 3-mile trail to a lookout station on the Olympic Peninsula and from that vantage point, I could still hear the scream of jet-propelled water ski engines on the lake below.

And that's why I say bravo to the state Supreme Court and to the national park system for banning these vehicles from various waterways. We're surrounded by the din of human-manufactured noise in our daily lives. There should be peaceful oases left for people to savor the sounds of nature, conversation and the gentle lap of waves.

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Louisiana Officials to Make Final Decision on Building Noise Wall Along Interstate

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: July 15, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B3
DATELINE: Jefferson, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana state officials are set to make a final decision about building noise walls along Interstate 10 in Jefferson. The article notes that officials will make a final decision about the placement and composition of the noise walls in August.

According to the article, Interstate 10 is being widened to improve traffic between the Interstate 610 split in New Orleans near the Metairie line and Williams Boulevard in Kenner. The noise walls would be built along the 11-mile corridor between the St. Charles Parish-Kenner line and the Airline Drive-Tulane Avenue exit in New Orleans. The article notes that the walls would be 10 to 24 feet tall. Paul Waidhas, who is leading the project for Burk-Kleinpeter Inc., said the public input gathered from two days of meetings in Metairie is still being compiled. The firm will meet with officials from the state Department of Transportation and Development this month to discuss the project, the article says.

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Residents Oppose Pennsylvania Shopping Center, Saying it Will Bring Traffic and Noise

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DATE: July 12, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. Nw-1
BYLINE: Rhonda Miller
DATELINE: Cranberry, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that residents in Cranberry, Pennsylvania are opposing a proposed 550,000-square-foot regional shopping center because they believe it will bring additional truck traffic and noise to their neighborhood. At a township planning commission meeting on Wednesday, residents voiced their concerns. At the end of the meeting, planning commissioners asked for another meeting with developers to address questions raised by residents and staff members at the township.

According to the article, the Cranberry Commons shopping center is proposed for a site on Route 228, directly in front of the Spring Meadows and Grandshire neighborhoods. A consortium of developers, including Cranberry Commons, Mine Safety Appliances, Creative Real Estate Development Co., Gary Sipple, Bud McElroy, and the KOA Campground, has proposed the development. The developers collectively own about 600 acres along Route 228. The shopping center would add to the commercial growth along Route 228 that already includes business parks, restaurants, and shopping centers, the article notes.

Developers also have said they will mostly finance a $5 million road widening plan. The consortium would fund the construction of two lanes, one eastbound and one westbound, to the current two-lane Route 228 between the Seven Fields-Cranberry border to Route 19. In addition, several turning lanes at busy intersections and two turn signals would be added. Developers argued at Wednesday's meeting that traffic flow would be better managed with the road projects, and nearby residents will benefit. The state transportation agency has said it will widen the existing Route 228 bridge over Interstate 79 to seven lanes in a project expected to be completed by November 1999. Both the shopping center project and road widening project is proposed to be started this fall and be completed in a year.

The article explains that residents at Wednesday's meeting raised several concerns about the project. Some residents near the proposed shopping center said they are worried about large tractor-trailer trucks using narrow Old Mars Road, which fronts their communities. The article says that according to residents, children play in the neighborhood, and students are let off from school buses on Old Mars Road. Some residents said they didn't want any shopping center traffic routed onto Old Mars Road.

Other residents said that because their homes are built on higher ground than the proposed shopping center, the buffer areas around the development wouldn't protect them from noise and negative visual impacts. Other residents said they are worried that a discount department store and garden center, suggested as one of the anchor tenants, would operate 24 hours a day. They said such a store would add continual noise and traffic to the residential neighborhoods.

The article notes that members of the township's development staff also had questions for the developers. They wanted more details on the proposed development of six other commercial buildings at the front of the site, on a suggested access road from Franklin Road to alleviate some of the Route 228 congestion, and on a review of the flow of traffic within the shopping center to avoid contact with pedestrians. The article explains that developers will come before the planning commission again to address these issues.

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Electronic Monitoring System Used in Grimsby, England, to Combat Noise Nuisances

PUBLICATION: Grimsby Evening Telegraph
DATE: July 14, 1998
SECTION: Pollution: Noise, Pg.9
BYLINE: Sarah Thompson
DATELINE: Grimsby, England

The Grimsby Evening Telegraph reports an English town of Grimsby is using an electronic monitoring system to combat noise pollution.

According to the article, an electronic "sound spy" has been deemed a major success in beating noise nuisances in the Grimsby area. The monitoring system was bought by North East Lincolnshire Council to deal with the growing problem of noisy neighbors. Andy Emerson, divisional manager in environmental control, told North East Lincolnshire Council's Environment Committee: "The equipment has been used on 24 occasions for between four days and a week at a time, and has proved immensely successful." Because sound levels are recorded digitally by the equipment, they can be calibrated, making it possible to prove the level of noise at the time of playback remains equal to when it was recorded. This means it can be used as evidence in court, although its role in legal proceedings has not yet fully been put into practice. "Up to date we have been able to use the equipment to give a formal caution to a member of the public although it hasn't yet got to the court stage. "We have now reached a point where we are able to widen its use," said Mr. Emerson.

The article reports one of the benefits offered by the equipment was reported to be its "user friendly" nature. Of the 24 occasions on which it was used, few members of the public had any difficulties. Although the equipment is designed to be left unattended in people's homes at night and at weekends to help with "the most difficult and time consuming investigations," it can also be used to monitor sound from commercial premises.

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Money from Englandís Birmingham International Airport Intended to Mitigate Noise for School Children

PUBLICATION: Birmingham Evening Mail
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: Pg. 1
BYLINE: Tony Collins
DATELINE: Birmingham, England

The Birmingham Evening Mail reports that the Birmingham International Airport is spending 400,000 pounds to mitigate the effect of noisy planes flying over local schools.

The article states that two schools - Gossey Lane Junior and Infant School in Kitts Green and Sir Wilfred Martineau Secondary School in Tile Cross - will receive 100,000 a year over the next four years. (This amount is in addition to the pounds 250,000 made available by the airport each year for sound insulation in domestic properties.)

An airport spokesperson is quoted saying, "We see this project as part of a long-term partnership with the local education authority aimed at improving the environment for children in schools under the flight path."

According to the article, the two schools lie beneath the airport's main flight path. At times the noise is so bad that classes must come to a stop while planes pass overhead.

The article notes that the schools presently have only temporary classrooms. The money will be spent on building permanent accommodations, which will to a better job at insulating against noise.

The headteacher of Gossey Lane Junior and Infant School, Brian Parkinson, is quoted saying, "The new sound-proofed buildings will certainly create a better environment for the children to learn in. At the moment, we have to stop classes temporarily while planes flyover head. Anything that stops that has got to be good news for us."

The news article commented further on the prospects that additional cash may be found at another time to help around 13 other schools, which are also located under flight paths. The other schools, which are in the Kitts Green, Garretts Green and Shard End areas, already have permanent buildings. If they received money it might be spent on creating "quiet zones".

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