Noise News for Week of January 9, 2000


Streetsweeper Too Noisy in English Town

PUBLICATION: Gloucestershire Echo
DATE: January 15, 2000
SECTION: Environment: Pollution, Pg.8
DATELINE: Cheltenham, England

The Gloucestershire Echo printed a letter that appeared in the environmental section of the newspaper concerning noise from a local mechanical streetsweeper. The letter appears in its entirety.

Madam - The mechanical sweepers we now have in Cheltenham surpass any noise levels we had from the Noddy Train.

These boneshakers are deafening, the noise vibrating through the body.

At mid-morning the other day the Promenade was clear of rubbish, yet one of these machines continued to go round in circles for another 15 minutes.

Shoppers do not need even more noise, adding to the high noise pollution already in the town.

These expensive monstrosities could be used at times other than when people are shopping.

The council should be thinking along the lines of less noise in the town, not more.

Name and address supplied.

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Los Angeles City Council OKS $100,000 to Soundproof Firing Range

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 15, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Patrick Mcgreevy
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: John Moranville, president of the 500-member Knollwood Property Owners Association

The Los Angeles Times reports that complaints about a police firing range prompted the City Council to approve $100,000 to improve existing soundproofing for the facility. Residents complain that gunfire can be heard two miles away.

The article says that range officials will install sound-reducing panels at the three partially enclosed firing ranges.

The article goes on to say that while the vote to approve the funds was unanimous, council members were concerned because the project's original cost was $22 million and is now at $28.9 million.

"I am really dismayed that we are finding there were important things that were overlooked," Councilwoman Laura Chick said. "To have forgotten about the issues of neighbors and noise is absolutely something we have to correct."

Residents are pleased that the council has taken action. "I am thrilled they have approved this project, and I really hope it solves the problem," said John Moranville, president of the 500-member Knollwood Property Owners Assn.

The article goes on to say that neighbors of the Elysian Park Police Academy have lodged similar complaints, but the Los Angeles Police Department has not taken them seriously.

According to the article, LAPD officials argue that the Elysian Park range is much more difficult to soundproof, and have refused to comply with requests from the Elysian Park city council to reduce shooting practice by an hour a day and shift some of the training to Granada Hills.

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Singapore Enforces Noise Rules in Neighborhoods

PUBLICATION: The Straits Times (Singapore)
DATE: January 15, 2000
SECTION: Forum; Pg. 95
DATELINE: Singapore

The Straits Times (Singapore) printed a response from Mike Chan, the head of the Housing Maintenance Section Housing Administration regarding a complaint about housing renovations.

According to the article, Chan says that work such as demolition of walls, hacking of floors or wall finishes, and cutting of tiles, require a renovation permit from the Housing Development Board (HDB), and owners of existing apartments have one month to complete the renovations.

The article says that renovations are prohibited before 9 am and after 5 pm on weekdays, and not allowed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

The HDB investigates excessive noise, and according to the article, licensed contractors who violate rules can be fined up to $4,000, and have their renovation license revoked.

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Wealthy Florida Developer Finally Complies With Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Sun-Sentinel
DATE: January 15, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. 1A
BYLINE: Jodie Needle
DATELINE: Pembroke Pines, Florida

According to the Sun-Sentinel, a local developer violated six city noise ordinances by continuing to run heavy equipment at a construction site well past the 10 p.m. deadline without being penalized.

The article said that while city officials warned developer Ron Bergeron to stop, he continued for two months.

The article went on to say that recently, about 40 residents attended the city's code enforcement board meeting to complain, prompting the board to immediately issue its most severe penalty, a cease and desist order against Bergeron Land Development. That penalty carries a $250 fine each time Bergeron illegally excavates the property.

The article said that city officials claim they treated the multi-millionaire developer with strong connections the same as any other violator.

Bergeron claims that the construction site was part of a voluntary annexation agreement that exempted him from the city's time restrictions, but for "public relations" reasons he will not appeal the council's decision.

Bergeron is quoted as saying that the complaints will only delay the construction and drive up the cost. Jim Cardaman, Bergeron's project manager, claims that work crews were unaware of the restrictions in Pembroke Pines.

The article explained that Pembrook Pines allows excavation, which is the removal of fill after blasting, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The article said that some residents became frustrated with police response because they often waited an hour for officers to respond. In addition, the article said that city records show police or code enforcers have issued about 10 citations in the last two months for excavating past allowed times.

"We're very sympathetic to the needs of the community," Cardeman said, adding that the company installed special mufflers on machine engines to reduce noise and has also dug lakes more shallow than allowed.

Of critical concern was blasting, which residents say caused damage ranging from $65 to $17,000.

The article said that the City Commission banned blasting within city limits four years ago, but Bergeron's permit was partly in the city and partly in unincorporated Broward County, and could last another month. The article said the construction could last up to a year.

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Airport Officials Rethink Decision: California Man's Jet Can Stay

PUBLICATION: Ventura County Star
DATE: January 15, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. B01
BYLINE: Zerline A. Hughes
DATELINE: Ventura County, California

According to the Ventura County Star, a Ventura County man can store his Czechoslovakian military jet at the Camarillo Airport because it passed the required noise test. This recent decision rescinds an earlier one requiring him to remove the jet.

the article said that originally, Andrew Gemellaro stored the jet at the Camarillo Airport, but in the same month was told to remove it.

This month, a little over a year after he was told to remove the plane, airport officials have decided to rescind their decision and allow Gemellaro's jet to remain.

The report quoted Gemellaro assaying he was pleased with the decision because rules were in conflict and airport officials were able to come to an agreement.

According to the article, airport officials were concerned that the twin-engine training jet was not certified under the Federal Aviation Administration's noise program, and could possibly be too loud. The article added that neighbors lodged complaints about jet noise from a military aircraft.

Because Gemellaro's plane was being restored and not in working condition, officials allowed the aircraft to remain until the plane was able to fly. At that time, the plane could remain at the airport if it passed several noise -level tests.

The article explained that the Department of Airports would rescind its prior decision after the test.

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US Representative Approves Building of Noise Barriers

PUBLICATION: Congressional Press Releases
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Press Release
BYLINE: Mac Collins, House of Representatives
DATELINE: Washington, D.C.

The following is a press release from the Congressional Press Releases regarding the construction of noise barriers along I-75 in Georgia. It is printed in its entirety.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Representative Mac Collins today applauded the actions of the Georgia Department Of Transportation in moving forward with construction of noise barriers along I-75 between Old Dixie Highway and Mt. Zion Road. Collins was responsible for the federal legislation which authorized and provided funding for the noise barriers. The Georgia Department of Transportation held a public meeting at Mt. Zion School last evening to receive citizen input on the project. It expects a June letting of the contract, with construction taking 12 to 18 months. Collins stated, "I am extremely pleased that the citizens of Clayton County who have pleaded for these noise barriers for years will now have relief. I began hearing from Clayton citizens several years ago, telling me that their lives had been seriously disrupted by the increasing highway noise along I-75. That's when I turned my efforts to amending federal law to help alleviate the noise." Although most decisions about how federal dollars are spent on highway construction are given to the states, federal law prohibits constructing barriers except in conjunction with ongoing highway construction. Collins was successful in having noise barriers included in the specific authorization and funds for the I-75 six-year highway reauthorization bill, enacted in 1998. Last year, after the Federal Highway Administration balked at allowing a slight expansion of the plans proposed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Co11ins once again was successful in including a provision in the annual Department of Transportation funding bill to allow for is noise relief. Collins concluded, "I commend the Georgia Department of Transportation's efforts, particularly the fact that they are moving with great speed to respond to the citizens of Clayton county, and I am very pleased to have been able to assist the residents of Clayton county on this issue."

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Kentucky Group Upset Over Vague Airport Noise Reduction Recommendations

PUBLICATION: Courier-Journal
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: News Pg.01b
BYLINE: Andrew Wolfson
DATELINE: Louisville, Kentucky

The Courier-Journal reports that an airport consultant recommended existing and new technology be used to keep aircraft on track over less populated areas near Louisville International Airport. The article said the consultant upset and even angered some people at the public meeting because he rejected many of their recommendations.

Lee-Fisher Associates consultant Bill Wilkie claimed that some of the restrictions on pilots and airlines the study group recommended would be inordinately expensive or even illegal.

According to the article, Wilke recommended that consideration be given shifting more flights to take off and land from the south, because fewer people are affected. (Editor's note: shifting flight paths often divides communities because someone will still hear more noise than before the shift.)

The article said Wilkie suggested that operators be asked to voluntarily reduce the number of noisier aircraft in their fleets and find ways to make landings and takeoffs quieter.

But residents didn't buy it, according to the article. George Hudson lives the airport accused Wilke of sugarcoating" his presentation.

"I see 'voluntary' in here so many times it is pathetic," he said. "It just gives operators free rein."

The article said Wilkie was firm in his recommendations, saying that federal cost-benefit requirements "would doom such proposals as an airport curfew to reduce operations at night or higher landing fees for noisier aircraft."

The article said Wilkie informed the group that pilots couldn't be required to reduce the use of noisy thrust reversers to slow aircraft on landings because of safety reasons.

The article went on to say that Wilkie reviewed the suggestions for noise reduction provided by the study group, which included airport neighbors, industry representatives and air-traffic-control officials.

The article said that the group must now consider the recommendations of the consulting team before submitting a final report in July to the Regional Airport Authority, which then will vote on the proposal and submit it for approval to the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to the article, the consulting team will meet with the group in April to make recommendations on how reducing jet noise in neighborhoods around the airport, such as soundproofing homes or building berms or walls near runways.

Included in the recommendations could be constructing "hush houses," three-sided or enclosed structures in which noisy engine maintenance could be done.

The article briefly mentioned other Wilkie recommendations for further studies. They include: creating a permanent noise compatibility staff at the airport to enforce noise abatement rules; installing permanent noise monitoring equipment to discourage pilots from avoiding noise reduction flight tracks; requiring the use of on-board global positioning systems and ground-based signals to keep aircraft on less populated approaches; restricting the use of visual approaches to discourage shortcuts over densely populated areas; and requiring standard instrument departures to keep aircraft on desired tracks.

The article mentioned two tactics that pilots could take to help reduce noise: voluntarily delay of lowering landing gear and flaps because both require additional engine thrust and contribute to noise closer to the airport; and a voluntary reduction in thrust shortly after takeoff.

The article said that United Parcel Service accounts for 32 percent of the operations at the airport and 35 percent of the loudest noise measured.

The article said that 31 noise complaints were registered from September through December.

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Connecticut Residents Increased Complaints Until Airport Officials Reduced Noise

PUBLICATION: Hartford Courant
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Main; Pg. A3
BYLINE: Paul Marks
DATELINE: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Nancy Krentzlin, a resident of Suffield's historic district; Ginnie Chamberlain of East Granby;

The Hartford Courant reports that in 1999, complaints against jet noise from Bradley International Airport quadrupled, adding airport traffic dramatically increased as well. But that's only part of the problem.

The article said that another reason for the increase in complaints was that outbound flights increased over the town of Enfield, and residents who had registered only seven complaints in 1998 lodged 632 in 1999. The article added that the 4,878 total was driven by some individual efforts.

The article said that Nancy Krentzlin, a resident of Suffield's historic district, posted 1,328 complaints, reporting any plane that flies over her property or shakes her house.

According to the article, two other residents from East Granby registered 726 complaints. Ginnie Chamberlain, a 12-year resident, said the peace and tranquility of her neighborhood ended last summer.

"We're willing to take our fair share of the burden, but this week on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday we were on takeoff. We were up at 6 a.m. with planes going over the house," she said

The other resident, William Janssen, lodged 346 complaints about the noise.

In three years' time, tensions over airport noise have escalated.

The article went on to say that over half of the complaints in 1999 (2,699) came from Suffield, which lies on the takeoff path of Bradley's busiest runway, and forty-two percent of the calls came from Krentzlin, Chamberlain and Janssen.

The article said that the state Department of Transportation is currently conducting a comprehensive noise-reduction study, and some residents are clearly determined to exert significant influence over the study.

According to the article, Chamberlain called frequently because she was told that it would increase influence. Krentzlin used to lodge as many as a dozen complaints a day, but now phones in batches to make it easier on the airport staff.

Apparently, their technique worked because Neil O'Connor, a planning supervisor in the state DOT's bureau of aviation and ports reported to East Granby residents that preliminary conclusions reached last fall resulted in shifting takeoffs away from Longview Drive and Heather Lane.

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Nevada Airport Authority's New Noise Study Seeks Public Input

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: B; Pg. 7B
DATELINE: Reno, Nevada

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Washoe County Airport Authority board approved a new study reduce to noise around the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. In addition, the authority said it would aggressively seek public input.

The article said that the study, to be conducted by Coffman Associates, will cost $533,050 and will update the 1993 noise abatement plan, adding that $202,000 will be directed toward gathering public comment and making the process more open than the 1993 study.

The article said the improvement of the Part 150 Airport Noise Compatibility Study is required in order to obtain Federal Aviation Authority grants for land acquisition and noise abatement.

According to the article, airport spokesman Adam Mayberry said that the study is necessary because of complaints about noise from increased operations.

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Florida Power Plant's New Location Promises Less Noise

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Osceola Sentinel; Pg. 1
BYLINE: by Tyler Gray
DATELINE: Osceola County, Florida

The Orlando Sentinel reported that when Reliant Energy came to Holopaw residents for the second time and told residents that its proposed 460-megawatt power plant would hum no louder than their refrigerators, residents told company officials it would still be too noisy.

The article said that county planning commissioners recommended giving the Houston company the permit it would need to operate, but denied a variance that would have allowed the plant to exceed county noise limits. Since one permit was no good without the other, the company withdrew its application.

The article said that Reliant officials chose a new site, a mile away from the original proposed and promised the new $100 million plant will not disturb the residents' tranquil way of life. "They won't even hear it," said Michael Sparks, a spokesman for the company.

The article said that the Reliant plant is a peak plant, becoming active when major utilities need extra power and will serve the wholesale power market rather than retail customers. Residents living within a mile from the Reliant plant will continue to get utility bills from their local company, Florida Power Corp.

According to the article, Reliant has already signed a five-year contract with a regional electricity distributor to provide power from the Holopaw plant, but some Holopaw residents remain unconvinced that the noise and pollution issues have been addressed.

"We are a community out here that likes to be quiet," said Martha Swogger, one of more than 30 residents who signed a petition against the power plant during the most recent round of meetings. They don't need to put it here at all. We're going to fight them all the way, tooth and nail."

The article said that County Commissioner Chuck Dunnick, whose district includes Holopaw, wants Reliant officials to address noise and environmental issues before he'll support the plant.

The article said that Reliant officials have met individually with some commissioners about the plant and appear before the Planning in early February. The Planning Commission has recommended approval for everything except noise, which is expected to dominate upcoming meetings.

The article added that at least two other power companies hope to tap into parts of rural Osceola.

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Noise Levels in US Homes Increasing

PUBLICATION: PR Newswire
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Financial News
DATELINE: Dallas, Texas

An article from the PR Newswire reported that modern technology and decreasing lot sizes mean more noise for American homeowners, and that means more stress and less sleep.

The article explained that The Tarrance Group conducted a survey of 800 homeowners and renters on behalf of Owens Corning, revealing that about 20 percent of homeowners and renters say noise has an adverse impact on their lives. The study noted further that women are more sensitive to the noise than men, and it bothers renters significantly more than homeowners.

According to the article, almost 30 percent of those surveyed say sirens and street noise are the most stressful, while 17 percent say barking dogs are the most annoying.

The article went on to say that entertainment systems and HVAC systems are the top source of noise inside homes.

The article said that about 30 percent of respondents plan to invest in products to make their home quieter, with 16 percent spending $499 or less and one in 10 spending more than $500 to reduce the noise permanently. Over 20 percent of renters would purchase a noise solution under $500, which signals the need for greater noise control in multi-family housing.

Paul Estridge of The Estridge Companies said that noise control products and designs are on the rise. "As a builder, we are designing more noise control products in our homes, installing acoustic batts in interior walls, using quieter ductwork and caulking around outlets. There is truly a performance difference, he said."

The article said that Owens Corning, the leading supplier of building materials and systems, recently announced the arrival of QuietZone(tm), a noise control system to help builders create quieter homes and homeowners turn down the volume in their houses. The article went on to say that The System Thinking Home (r) incorporated QuietZone (tm) into building specifications.

The article went on to say that Owens Corning will introduce its new noise control products at the 2000 International Builder Show, including QuietZone (tm), Acoustic Wall Framing, which reduces noise transmission between interior walls; QuietZone (tm), Acoustic Floor Mat, which isolates noise from large entertainment systems and appliances; and QuietZone(tm) Acoustic Caulk, which provides an acoustic seal for gaps between wall stud plates and the subfloor; around electrical outlets and boxes, air ducts, and miscellaneous wall penetrations; and around doors and windows. Other products on display will include: QuietZone(r) PINK fiberglass acoustic batts for interior walls, under floors and above ceilings; and EnDuraCoat(r) Premium Duct Board, which reduces noise transmission through the HVAC system. For more information about noise control solutions and the QuietZone(r) Noise Control System, call 1-800-GET-PINK or visit http://www.owenscorning.com/around/sound/acoustic.html or Owens Corning's Web site at http://www.owenscorning.com.

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Americans Urged To Increase Awareness of Hearing Hazards, Especially for Children

PUBLICATION: PR Newswire
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Financial News
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

An article from PR Newswire reported health information from The House Ear Institute, saying that if adults and children are in an environment where they must raise their voices to be heard, they are in potentially hazardous-hearing area and hearing protection is recommended.

The article gave examples of such environments as car shows, races, drags, concerts, special events, and tradeshows, which are often family events. The article quotes Andy Vermiglio, a researcher and audiologist at the House Ear Institute: "When sounds are louder than 90dB there may be a potential hearing hazard and the damage may be even more susceptible for children whose inner ears are not fully developed."

The article reviewed some facts about how we hear sound:

Sound levels are measured in decibels referred to as dB. Fire crackers range from 80. Automobile drag races, known as dB drags, are a multi-million dollar business. The winner in last November's Louisville, Kentucky dB Drags recorded a dB level of 171.

At a recent auto show in Los Angeles, Exhibitor Jim Dolan called attention to a little child in a stroller within very close range of the loud music booming from the custom stereo, capped at 120 dB for safety reasons. "If that were my kid, I would make her stay home ... that little person should not even be here," Dolan said.

The article said that researchers at the House Ear Institute recommend hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs whenever people know they will be exposed to excessive noise.

The article went on to say that The House Ear Institute is a private, non-profit organization committed to improving life for those who suffer from hearing related disorders through research and education. For more information on hearing, hearing loss, coping with hearing loss, ear disease or a balance disorder, contact the House Ear Institute at (213) 483-4431 or visit our website at www.hei.org.

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US Snowmobile Manufacturer Announces Quieter Machines For Testing in Yellowstone

PUBLICATION: PR Newswire
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Domestic News
DATELINE: West Yellowstone, Montana

An article from the PR Presswire reported that Arctic Cat announced that it would loan two prototypes for a quieter snowmobile to the National Park Service for use in Yellowstone National Park.

The article said that the company is the first major snowmobile manufacturer to design a working four-stroke snowmobile and provide it to the National Park Service, which is seeking to reduce emissions in the park.

Chris Twomey, chief executive officer for Arctic Cat is quoted as saying that the two prototypes have over than 5,000 miles of actual use and use a second-generation engine developed by its Suzuki Motor Corp, adding that there is a significant reduction in engine noise.

The article said that the prototype snowmobiles are an important step in the development of a four-stroke alternative to the traditional two-stroke snowmobile engine. The article went on to explain that Arctic Cat has no plans to introduce the product to consumers yet since it must still conduct additional testing and refinement.

According to Twomey, "The performance characteristics of this particular engine will not meet the needs of most snowmobiling customers, but these models do utilize one of several technologies currently being developed to address emission and noise concerns traditionally attributed to two-cycle engines," said Twomey.

For more information, Larry Splett of Padilla Speer Beardsley Public Relations, 612-872-3770, After Business Hours 651-274-7297, for Arctic Cat, Inc.

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New Jersey Lawmakers Design Strategy to Reduce Jet Noise at Teterboro

PUBLICATION: The Record
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. A3
BYLINE: Doug Most, Staff Writer
DATELINE: South Hackensack, New Jersey
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn; Sen. Byron M. Baer, D-Englewood, Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, D-Fort Lee, and Charles "Ken" Zisa, D-Hackensack

The Bergen County Record reported that lawmakers recently met to design a strategy for reducing noise for North Jersey towns near Teterboro Airport, the nation's busiest non-commercial airport.

The article said that Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, asked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to ban all flight into and out of Teterboro Airport between midnight and 6.a.m. except for medical emergencies. According to the article, courts have rejected night curfews, saying they interfere with interstate commerce.

The article went on to say that Rothman will also introduce legislation mandating that small corporate jets switch to quieter engines, like the Federal Aviation Administration's mandate for commercial jets. The article said that corporate jets comprise the majority of air traffic at Teterboro, and even though most of them have switched to quieter engines, 20 percent of the planes make 90 percent of the noise.

The article said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have finally agreed to soundproof Memorial School, after years of fighting for it, adding that it is the first school to get soundproofing because of Teterboro.

The article said that according to Rothman about 12 flights go into Teterboro between midnight and 6 a.m., including one from the Federal Reserve carrying money for banks, and occasionally a medical emergency flight. An FAA spokesman said that between 60 and 70 flights land or take off during that time, and are small turbo propeller planes and small corporate jets. He added that around 20 plans arrive at Newark International Airport and must pass over Teterboro.

Also, he said, about 20 planes arrive at Newark International Airport around midnight and must pass over Teterboro at an altitude of 3,000 feet.

The article said that local officials wrote William DeCota, director of aviation for the port authority, stating that suspension of late-night flights would "be a significant step toward improving the safety and quality of life for residents in communities surrounding Teterboro." Rothman, Sen. Byron M. Baer, D-Englewood, Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, D-Fort Lee, and Charles "Ken" Zisa, D-Hackensack signed the letter.

The article explained that Rothman has had little success in persuading associations of small aircraft owners to switch to quieter engines because of the expense, and so he is advocating for a bill for an immediate transfer.

The article quoted Drew Steketee of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as saying that because Teterboro is the top commercial region, top media hub and top transportation, noise is inevitable in such a densely populated area.

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Missouri School for the Deaf Has New Technology to Reduce Background Noise

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Metro, Pg. C1
BYLINE: Matthew Franck

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis can better prepare their hearing impaired students for integration into public school because of new technology that reduces exterior noise.

Heavy construction equipment and traffic from an eight lane major highway do not penetrate the school's building.

According to Victoria Kozak, principal at the school, said the $8 million building, called the "quiet school," is the result of an innovative construction project that has already attracted national attention. The article said that the building is able to keep practically all outside noise out of the classroom.

The article explained that the reason that silence is important for hearing-impaired students is that students who use hearing aids or who have cochlear implants have difficulty sorting voices from background noise.

The article said that the building's architects claim that traditional schools can benefit from the school's construction technology, and while they might not have to go to the same lengths as the school, they could change the placement of heating and cooling systems.

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Tax Break for Chicago Homeowners Near O'Hare Not on Town Ballots

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: January 14, 2000
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 1; Zone: Nw
BYLINE: by Rogers Worthington
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Tribune reports that former state treasurer Pat Quinn's attempt to give property tax breaks to homeowners who live near O'Hare Airport failed to get support from local townships and municipalities. Only Stickney Township will put the question on the town's ballot.

According to the article, while the results of his attempts would only be advisory, Quinn said it was a way to get legislators' attention if it passed. "It's a chance for people to render their opinion," Quinn said.

The article said that those officials from municipalities and townships that were asked to put the question on the decided against it because they had not given the issue enough consideration before the state deadline.

The article went on to say that low support left Quinn and his supporters wondering why when so many residents complained about airport noise.

The article said that several officials from the northwest suburbs rejected the issue for several reasons: not knowing where the money would come from; pitting community against community by lowering taxes in one part of town and not in another; and concern over a potentially negative affect on property values.

One official, Park Ridge Mayor Ron Wietecha, criticized Quinn for talking first to suburban political leaders. "He did it the same way the City of Chicago does things. Why don't they talk to us and we can work together?" he said.

Quinn worked with a local ally on the issue, Jack Saporito, who heads the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare. Quinn concedes that perhaps they were a little late in sending out proposals for the ballot question to township and municipal governing bodies.

Saporito also admits the effort had a rocky beginning. A meeting called in November to gauge grass-roots support for the issue drew a poor turnout because, he said, that the date coincided with a popular television game show.

Quinn says he is not discouraged, however. He plans to turn his attentions to a petition campaign to get the question on the November ballot.

"There are those in elected office who have an attitude that they don't need any help from the voters," he said. "But perhaps their idea of representative democracy needs some improvement."

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Australian Airport Bans Airlines Because of Noise and Safety Concerns

PUBLICATION: AAP Newswire
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Nationwide General News; Finance Wire
DATELINE: Victoria, Australia

According to an AAP Newswire bulletin, the Victorian government banned Virgin Airlines from establishing its headquarter and barred it from temporarily using the city's Essendon Airport for an 18 month-interim until a new airport is built in Tullamarine. Governmental officials said the airline's 737 jets would create noise and safety risks in the suburban residential area.

The article said that the federal government owns the airport and acknowledged the state government's concerns about Essendon.

The article said that the ban quashed Melbourne's chances to host the airlines, but improved chances for Brisbane and Sydney who are also negotiating to host the airlines. The article said a decision is expected within weeks.

The article went on to say that when airport officials proposed that the airlines use temporary terminal at Tullamarine, the company refused because passengers would be forced to walk across the tarmac to board aircraft.

Supporting the Victorian government's decision, acting Premier John Thwaites said using Essendon for commercial flights would create similar noise problems to Sydney's airport noise. He went on to say that granting access to Essendon would require the same rights to the other airlines: Qantas, Ansett and Impulse would have to be given the same rights.

The article added that the new terminal will be finished by July of 2000 and will accommodate 550 passengers and six aircraft simultaneously.

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Belgian Express Mail Company Seeks Solution to Ban on Night Flights at Brussels Airport

PUBLICATION: AFX European Focus
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Government; Company News
DATELINE: Brussels, Belgium

According to an article in AFX European Focus, the CEO of a Belgian express mail company pledged to find a solution to the Belgian government's proposed ban on night flights to Brussels National Airport.

The article said that Robert Kuijpers of DHL International Ltd. said his plan would respect the local economies and concerns of residents living near Brussels National Airport.

The article went on to say that Kuijpers "acknowledges the withdrawal of the ministerial decree, which proposes a night flight ban."

The article said that the Belgian government lifted the decree, although Transport minister Isabelle Durant said today she still favours a night ban.

The article reported that Kuijpers pledged his commitment to significantly reducing airport noise problems, and will spend 50 billion Belgian francs for new fleet of Boeing 757s to replace Boeing 727s from June 2001, with the last of the 727s in 2003. He added that the result will be an overall reduction in ground noise by 40 percent.

The article said that Kuijpers will seek other strategies such as new flight procedures for 727s (almost 28 percent noise reduction of the noise contour); development of satellite sorting centers; and transfer of traffic from air to road.

Kuijpers suggested taking protective steps such as insulating the most affected buildings and implementing a land planning strategy.

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Maine Town Council Reforms

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: January 13, 2000
BYLINE: Judy Harrison

The Bangor Daily News reported that Orno Town Council members warned a local nightclub owner to reduce the noise level or risk losing his entertainment license.

The article said that police chief Robert Mulhern submitted a petition to the council signed by more than a dozen residents who complained about the loud music coming from the club.

According to the article, residents less than a mile away complained they could feel the bass pounding inside their homes.

The article said that owner Alexander Gray claimed to have measured the noise levels, which did not exceed the levels in the town's noise ordinance.

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Chicago Train Horn Noise Battle Returns

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 7
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reported that Edison Park residents must renew their battle with train noise on the Wisconsin Central line at all hours of the night unless they pay for costly improvements at rail crossings, or so says the Federal Railroad Association.

Local officials argued that the 24-hour whistle blowing is in direct conflict with current the mass transit development trend to cluster new homes near rail stations.

The article went on to say that officials in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling and Des Plaines officials will investigate other options to help reduce the train noise at their crossings.

Buffalo Grove Village officials projected a partial funding of the cost and dedicated $120,000 over the next several years toward the cost of upgrades at its four crossings.

The article said a state official told the Northwest Municipal Conference's transportation committee federal money might be available for crossings on federal and state roads.

One town official says that better warning signals and not more horn blowing is the answer because the horns will negatively impact property values.

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Texas City Councils Say Noise Regulation Difficult to Enforce

PUBLICATION: Fort Worth Star Telegram
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Mike Lee; Star-Telegram Staff Writer
DATELINE: Southlake, Texas

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Southlake residents have had enough of the blower from a nearby car wash, and have lodged complaints to local officials just the city was reviewing its noise ordinance. The article explained some of the difficulties of writing an "enforceable noise ordinance," according to the city's head of code enforcement.

Other Northeast Tarrant County code enforcement officers agreed, saying that noise regulation is not exact, so most municipal governments rely on companies' good will to keep the peace.

"A lot of it is taking the right approach and having people with the right attitudes," said Eddie Edwards, a code enforcement officer in the nearby town of Hurst.

The article went on to explain that communities regulate noise two ways: setting a measurable, scientific standard such as a decibel level, or waiting until people complain, each with its own positive and negative impact.

One code enforcement officer said that his town's noise ordinance set the maximum level as 75 decibels (about as loud as a vacuum cleaner), but he's never had to use it and he doesn't know where it is. Compliance has always been voluntary.

The article printed the Hurst noise ordinance banning "any unreasonably loud disturbance [that would cause] material discomfort to a person of ordinary sensibilities."

The article said that Southlake's current noise ordinance allows residents to file a complaint in Municipal Court if they hear a noise "of such intensity as to annoy or disturb a person of ordinary sensibilities."

According to the article, the A section of the Southlake zoning code restricts noise from businesses to 56 decibels during the day and 49 decibels at night, with the caveat that if "traffic or multiple sources already exceed the standard, [businesses] may not increase the noise level."

The article said the owner of the carwash uses just that argument by claiming that the carwash produced about as much noise, 70 decibels, as a passing truck.

The article said that while city officials are reviewing the ordinance, representatives of the gas station promised to meet with residents to try to work out a solution, which could include sound walls or planting shrubs to damper the noise.

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UK Go Kart Track Subject of Noise Complaints and Controversy

PUBLICATION: The Journal
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Regional News, Pg. 17
BYLINE: by Peter Mccusker
DATELINE: Sunderland, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Warden Law Action Group

According to The Journal, Sunderland residents are so angry about the noise from the expansion of a nearby go-kart track that they've organized to challenge not only the noise but also the procedure for the track's getting a permit to open. Representatives from the Warden Law Action Group say the process was not democratic.

The article said that as a result, the ombudsman would investigate alleged "mal-administration" by Sunderland City Council.

The article went on to report that in September 1998 representatives from the Warden Law Motorsports Centre withdrew their appeal against a noise abatement order served by Sunderland City Council, just before it was due to be heard by Houghton-le-Spring magistrates. According to the article, track owners agreed to cut the number of racing days, the number of karts, ban motocross bikes and monitor noise.

The article said that rather than address the noise issue, the city council's response was that "...noise emanating from the site is monitored by the council" and "the management agreement for this is currently under review."

The article said that many residents believe that track officials were given "given the go-ahead" before it was approved, and asked the ombudsman to investigate this and other aspects of the development.

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Noise from California Night Club Creates Neighborhood Tension

PUBLICATION: Sacramento Bee
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B4
BYLINE: Art Campos Bee
DATELINE: Roseville, California

The Sacramento Bee reported that Roseville residents can't enjoy their back yards, rest, read or sleep because of a neighborhood billiard business that plays live music, but the city council says the club doesn't violate the local noise ordinance.

The article said that the complaints to the city were so numerous that the club owner fears he may have to reduce the number of customers.

"I've done everything possible to work with the neighbors," said owner Michael Ragusa." The article added that city officials registered 250 complaints in one and one-half years.

The article said that Ragusa opened the business in 1991, and never received noise complaints until he began featuring live music.

According to the article, a decision from the city is imminent, and expects to reduce the number of people to 236 based on the maximum number of parking spaces. Regusa said he would appeal if the number is lower than 300.

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Florida County to Measure Music Levels at Bars

PUBLICATION: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: B Section, Pg. 1B
DATELINE: Sarasota County, Florida

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota County commissioners gave their approval to sheriff's deputies to use sound-level meters to determine noise violations when residents complain about loud music at bars.

The article said deputies claim that the decision makes it clear when they determine whether the music is too loud without a meter, and residents sometimes disagree with their conclusions.

The article said that County Commissioners want to improve the enforcement of noise laws because of residents' complaints.

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Florida Developer To Commercialize Tranquil Residential Area: Noise is Major Concern

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: January 13, 2000
SECTION: Largo TIMES; Pg. 3
BYLINE: Edie Gross
DATELINE: Ozona, Florida

The St. Petersburg Times reported on commercial developers' buying up the remaining land around this once tranquil town.

The article quoted residents whose property soon became surrounding by the developers' bars, restaurants and office buildings.

As a result, says resident Ron Petit, "...we have an accumulation of drunks, boom boxes, loud motorcycles, delivery trucks. We have more beer joints per capita than any city or town in this county".

The article mentioned one developer who owned most of the commercial and residential property along a major corridor in town.

The article said the town is divided over the issue. Some residents said the developer was a good businessman but lacked the sensitivity to maintain the small town integrity. Other residents complained about the noise.

Local businesses, the article said, were supportive of development to a degree. "Anything that goes in that's quiet is fine with us - a little knickknack shop or an ice cream parlor," said Banana Street resident Maureen Bracy. "The biggest concern for us is the noise level."

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Pennsylvania Township Delayed Expansion of Store Because of Noise Concerns

PUBLICATION: Intelligencer Journal
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B-5B
BYLINE: Dean Lee Evans, Correspondent
DATELINE: Turkey Hill, Pennsylvania

The Intelligencer Journal reported that town's zoning board delayed a decision on granting a permit for expansion of a local convenience store after the first two zoning hearings included almost eight hours of testimony from residents opposing the expansion. The article said they feared the expansion would create light and noise problems and excessive traffic.

They reiterated their opposition at the board's third hearing, prompting the delay in decision.

According to the article, the store's expansion requires an increase in the number of compressors for heating, cooling and refrigeration.

The article quoted Bud Rudisill, a local resident, who claimed the expansion would increase the number of compressor units from two to nine.

The article said that an industrial audiologist who said nine compressor units would add 25 to 30 decibels of noise.

The result, the article said, would be 85 to 87 decibels in the daytime standing twenty five feet away from the store."

According to the article, when zoning board chairman Morey Young asked Lusaitis to equate the noise of the nine compressors to an everyday object, Lusaitis replied that a muffled lawnmower would create about 85 decibels.

After more than two hours of public comment, the hearing was closed.

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UK Nightclub Gets Permit For Live Jazz on Sunday

PUBLICATION: Bath Chronicle
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg.15
BYLINE: Anna Burdett
DATELINE: Bath, England

According to the Bath Chronicle, a local bar has been given a license for live music and dancing on Sundays despite opposition from local residents.

The bar does not have carte blanche, however, as Bath and North East Somerset's Licensing sub-committee granted the license from noon to 3pm only.

The article said that the chair of the committee, Counselor Roger Symonds, said the club must operate successfully before getting an extension on closing time.

The article said that the parish council also lodged strong objections from because the club is creating intolerable conditions for the local community.

The chair of the parish council, John Manson, said that the church building is old, and doesn't filter out noise, and the only ventilation is the window.

"I am very concerned that this will mean even more noise disturbance every Sunday," said Manson.

The article said the pub hosts special hen and stag weekends for groups of more than 40 people, where customers can legally drink all night and listen to live music.

The article said that councilors granted the license, but included eight special conditions, among which was the installation of a ventilation system before any live music can be played.

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Local Residents in UK Divided Over Train Whistle

PUBLICATION: Calgary Herald
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: City; B1 / Front
BYLINE: John Gradon
DATELINE: Shepard

According to the Calgary Herald, about 20 residents signed a petition against whistles from trains owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

The article said that residents in one town asked their local officials to draft a resolution concerning the proposed whistle ban, adding that both CPR and Canada Safety inspectors must approve the plan, and that and the town must share the costs of extra insurance necessary.

The article said that railroad officials voice their consideration of the wishes of residents in local towns, they blow the whistle only because of safety.

Not everyone in the community is concerned about the noise, and some identify with the article refers to as the "visitor's philosophy."

The tone of the article seems to have a "Buyer's Beware" and prior use argument: "Anyone buying a house near an airport should expect jet noise, anyone buying a house near a fire station should expect to hear sirens, anyone buying a house near a hog farm should expect an occasional whiff of something unpleasant, anyone buying a house on a golf course should expect an incoming ball or two etc. Hereabouts, the railway came first."

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UK Airport Fights Residential Developments: Local Officials Angry

PUBLICATION: Canberra Times
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Part A; Page 3
BYLINE: Lincoln Wright
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Canberra, England

The Canberra Times reported on the opposition to residential housing by the owner of the Canberra International Airport. The article said that the airport owners want a cross-border agreement among local governments ensure that no houses are built under the airport's flight path

The article said that one local official, Queanbeyan Mayor Frank Pangallo will challenge airport officials to stop residential development, saying it was ridiculous.

The article said that airport noise tensions have troubled operations of Sydney's airport for years, pointing out that now the issue is a political argument in Canberra and Queanbeyan over what can and cannot be built underneath Canberra's flight path.

According to the article, the Canberra Airport Group seeks to maintain an exclusion zone for residences in specific but currently undeveloped. The article said that much of the land is already zoned "rural," and cannot therefore be used for residential purposes.

The article said the owners want a cross-border agreement between the governments to ensure the land remains zoned for non-residential uses.

The article said owners fear that in 20 years, airport levels will have increased dramatically and existing noise levels will become unacceptable, leading eventually to disputes between communities and the airport's operations.

The article said that from 1998-99 the increase in passenger traffic was 6.11 percent (more than 1.8 million passengers went through the airport), according to figures supplied by the Canberra Airport Group, and that by 2020, the number of passengers is expected to rise to 4.1 million a year on 164 flights.

The article explained the response from one local official, Queanbeyan mayor Frank Pangallo, who said that if the airport owners got their way, Queanbeyan developers would be denied an opportunity to fill the strong local demand for housing. The article quoted Pangallo as saying that the noise studies done by the airport were inadequate. He added that an environmental impact statement on the airport prior to any major decisions would be made.

The article went on to say that airport executives had been lobbying local planning ministers to oppose any residential developments.

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New York Environmental Group Links Helicopter Noise to Health Problems

PUBLICATION: Daily News
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 3
BYLINE: by Chrisena Coleman

According to the Daily News, the Natural Resources Defense Council released findings from a recent study saying that helicopter noise can lead to health problems.

In its 57-page report, the Natural Resources Defense Council said the type of noise caused by helicopters is linked to serious health problems in New Yorkers, including cardiovascular and sleep disorders, anxiety and impaired learning ability in children.

According to the study, titled "Needless Noise: The Negative Impacts of Helicopter Traffic in New York City and the Tri-State Region," there are not enough regulations in place to monitor helicopter noise, and it is putting the health of New Yorkers at risk.

"We found out that helicopters are very underregulated," said council spokeswoman Carolyn Cunningham, who wrote the report. "New York City has the highest helicopter traffic in the country, and the residents are severely impacted."

The report says there are no emission standards for helicopter engines and that their emissions go unabated and uncontrolled.

Council officials said the city should work toward decreasing the city's sightseeing helicopter flights and eventually ban them, because they are not necessary and are bad for the environment.

"New York City is the most heavily helicopter-trafficked area in the country, with more than 140,000 flights yearly during the 1990s," said Richard Kassel of the resources defense group. "Clearly, now is the time for the city and the individual heliports to decrease noise and protect the public."

The mayor's office today is expected to set up a helicopter task force to look into the matter. But the environmental group said the city's helicopter use master plan, released in the fall, understates the effects of increased numbers of helicopter overflights on the environment and public health. The group urged city officials to decrease the helicopter noise in an effort to protect the public.

Cunningham said the Council had done two studies about airport pollution in the area but did not look at helicopters. However, there were noise complaints on record from residents who did not like helicopters in their neighborhood, which prompted the latest study.

She said helicopters are not being forced to comply with noise and pollution regulations. The council said there is no provision in the Clean Air Act regulating pollution from aircraft.

"There is an urgent need for noise relief," said Cunningham. "Helicopter noise is annoying because of blade slap and low-frequency noise that results in building vibration."

She said residents also should be concerned about potentially harmful toxins released into the air by helicopters.

City Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea) said she has received all sorts of complaints from constituents about helicopter noise.

"Helicopter noise is an enormous problem in my district," said Quinn. "It is one of the chief complaints that I have heard since I took office. The noise is keeping their children up at night and causing their buildings to vibrate."

She said the industry has not been regulated but that she hopes the situation will be rectified.

"This report is enormously helpful to me," she said. "It further proves what people have been telling me all along."

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Helicopter Noise Declared a Public Health Hazard in New York

PUBLICATION: Daily News
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 3
BYLINE: by Chrisena Coleman

The New York Daily News reported on a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council concluding that helicopter noise is linked to serious health such as sleep and cardiovascular disorders, anxiety and impaired learning ability in children. The study focused on helicopter noise in New York.

According to the article the study, "Needless Noise: The Negative Impacts of Helicopter Traffic in New York City and the Tri-State Region" says more regulations are needed to monitor helicopter noise, emphasizing that the health of New Yorkers is at risk.

Carolyn Cunningham, author of the study was surprised at the paucity of regulations. "We found out that helicopters are very under regulated," she said. "New York City has the highest helicopter traffic in the country, and the residents are severely impacted."

The article said that New York has the highest number of helicopter flights in the country, logging more than 140,000 flights yearly during the 1990s, prompting council officials to call for fewer flights. The council added that the city's helicopter use master plan understates the effects of increased flights.

According to the article, the mayor's office will establish a helicopter task force.

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Florida Noise Amendment Rejected by County Commissioners and State's Attorney

PUBLICATION: The Ledger
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B1
DATELINE: Bartow, Florida

According to the Ledger, county commissioners in Barstow, Florida rejected an amendment that imposed criminal penalties for businesses that make excessive noise.

The article said the decision was unanimous after county lawyers met with both the Sheriff's office and the State's Attorney's office, which opposed the current form of the amendment.

The article did say that commissioners would take up the issue again in the future, putting in the context of code enforcement or zoning.

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UK Kennel Owner to Pay Town for Noise Violations

PUBLICATION: Leicester Mercury
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg.4
DATELINE: Barwell, England

According to the Leicester Mercury, the owner of a dog kennel was fined 100 and must pay 75 in costs because he failed to comply with a noise abatement order on his barking dogs.

The article said that the owner pled guilty to violating the order twice, when the environmental health officer visited his home and recorded loud barking from 12 dogs. The article said only six dogs are in kennels now.

The article said the owner has since installed a kennel roof and planted 100 conifers around his property to help muffle the noise.

According to the article, the kennel owner received no complaints until he received the letter from the council informing him of the violations.

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North Carolina FedEx Supporters Spout Propaganda and Mislead the Public

PUBLICATION: News & Record
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A11
BYLINE: by Gil Happel
DATELINE: Greensboro, North Carolina

The News & Record printed a scathing editorial that criticized pro-FedEx supporters for propagandizing about growth, noise and runways if FedEx comes to town. The editorial said that many of the supporters never been awakened a 3:00 am by a FedEx airplane, or never visited a visited a FedEx hub, of if they have, were given a VIP tour.

According to the editorial, while businesses and politicians may welcome FedEx now if it comes to town, they'll soon change their feelings because result will be "a disease that will slowly consume areas surrounding the airport so that it will be uninhabitable and unrecognizable in 10 years."

The editorial was also critical of letters that residents sent to the newspaper regarding the airport and FedEx because some were not only misleading but also untrue. The editorial refers specifically to Stage 2 and Stage 3 engines, adding that just because an aircraft has a Stage 3 engine, it doesn't mean it's a quiet plane.

The editorial acknowledged that some letter writers just didn't know enough about the issues to comment accurately, but criticized Stanley Frank, who was part of the airport's plans in the 70s. According to the editorial, Frank wrote a guest column that this editorial called absurd and accused airport officials of building a runway whether or not it is needed.

The editorial criticized Walt Cockerham for stating that noise was not a problem with 165 flights a day during Continental's hub operation. However, according to the editorial, noise won't be a problem if FedEx operates on the same schedule and runway as Continental (editor's note: the editorial says that FedEx aircraft are heavier and louder than Continental's).

The editorial clearly calling the Airport Authority to task, calling them arrogant and ridiculing their claim that they are "sensitive to the community." It further blasted the authority because they neither conducted a Part 150 noise mitigation study, as did Raleigh, nor implemented noise abatement procedures for any runway.

The editorial further criticized the authority, saying Greensboro's future would "always be tied to its airport, but a third runway has nothing to do with attracting commercial traffic." The editorial stated that the authority wants to build for FedEx rather than the airport actually needs another. It went on to accuse FedEx (a $16 billion company) of using the authority for a shield while remaining exempt from any liabilities or future guarantees.

The editorial called any compromise impossible, and said that FedEx would ruin the western region of Guilford County.

The editorial ended accusing pro-FedEx supporters of a cavalier attitude about cost, noise and the impact on homes and families.

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North Carolinians Fight FedEx Hub at Airport

PUBLICATION: Greensboro, North Carolina
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Triad/State, Pg. B1
BYLINE: by Paul Muschick
DATELINE: High Point, North Carolina
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Resident Steve Worgan

An article in the Greensboro reported that residents near Piedmont Triad International Airport are poised to launch a campaign to stop FedEx from building a cargo hub.

According to the article, the agenda includes a discussion on the impact of the project and a door-to-door campaign to recruit more neighbors in the fight.

The article said that the group's goal is to get at least 200 people to sign petitions, speak at public hearings or regularly voice their concern to their neighbors and elected leaders.

Resident Steve Worgan said he and his neighbors fear jet noise from the proposed FedEx cargo center would keep them awake at night and lower their property values. According to the article, planes would arrive and depart in the middle of the night, nearly all of them flying over north High Point.

In 1998, FedEx chose Greensboro over five other cities as the preferred location for a $300 million air cargo hub.

The new hub could open in five years and eventually employ 1,500 people, about two-thirds of them part-time workers earning an estimated $10 an hour.

Politicians and business developers promise FedEx will create much-needed jobs, both at the airport and from companies moving to the region to be close to the shipper. Proponents say jet noise should not affect many people.

But not everyone believes those arguments.

The article said that the economy in Indianapolis, a current FedEx hub, has benefited since the company's arrival, but perhaps not as much as anticipated. That's not all. The article goes on to say that residents experienced jet noise far more than officials projected, and as a result, sold their homes to airport officials. What once were neighborhoods, the article said, is now a ghost town.

According to the article, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, not city officials, will make the final decision on whether FedEx can build at the airport. Local governments appoint authority board members.

Nothing can proceed until the release of the environmental impact study, which is due in early February. The study, under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration, will project how far jet noise could reach, as well as potential impacts on air and water pollution if FedEx gets the go ahead. A public hearing will follow release of the study.

The article said Worgan plans to heat up the campaign against FedEx.

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New Jersey Wine Plant Remains Open Despite Noise Complaints

PUBLICATION: The Record
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: News; One Star B, Also In, Four Star B; Pg. L1
BYLINE: Evonne Coutros
DATELINE: Glen Rock, New Jersey

The Bergen County Record reported on the decision by a Superior Court judge that gave permission to owners of a noisy wine distribution plant to stay open while they worked with Glen Rock borough officials to design an addition that "would quiet the complaints."

According to the Record, Judge Marguerite Simon decided in favor of the owners after borough officials tried to close the Opici Wine Group plant last month because of numerous noise complaints. The article says borough emphasized that the complaints haven't been adequately addressed the plant opened a few years ago.

The article reported that according to Simon, closing the plant could put Opici out of business, and went on to explain Simon's suggestion to look at a planned $2 million addition to the plant as a potential solution. She asked that officials from both Opici and the borough cooperate at an April zoning board meeting where the plans will be reviewed. The article said she asked for a status report from Opici and the borough by April 5.

The article said that Borough Administrator Bert Kendall criticized the judge's decision, saying he was concerned about the "life, safety and welfare of residents."

"I'm disappointed that a judge would allow continuing noise violations that keep our residents awake all night," he said. "The warehouse could have been closed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. to allow neighboring residents a good night's sleep. Opici has not kept promises in the past, so how do we know an addition will be built to solve the noise problem?"

The article said that the company's addition would shift truck bay areas away from homeowners who have complained about the noise generated by the loading of goods into the trucks.

Opici provided borough officials with a list of temporary measures the company will take to reduce noise which include: relocating trucks to another side of the building and away from back yards, and installing internal meters to monitor the daily noise within the structure.

According to the article, company officials have claimed for months that they have attempted to reduce noise by installing sound-absorbing padding vehicle floors and switching to low-pitch backup beepers on its trucks.

Residents tell a different story, though. Mark Meneghin's home is within earshot of the plant, criticized the judge's decision as "a poor assessment of the health effects of the documented illegal noise levels" and said she ignored local and state regulations in favor of Opici's business.

"There should have at least been a compromise of some limitation of working hours," he said.

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Louisiana Leaf Blowers Worse Than Rockets and Drag Races

PUBLICATION: Times-Picayune
DATE: January 12, 2000
SECTION: Living; Pg. E1
BYLINE: Angus Lind
DATELINE: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune printed a tongue-in-cheek but none-the-less serious editorial that condemned leaf blowers, worse than car alarms, boom cars or garbage trucks at 5:00 am.

The writer said leaf blowers were also worse jet noise, rocket boosters and rocket launches because duration of exposure to them is much longer.

The writer went back in forth in his argument against leaf blowers--from how careless the operators were to how much noise they made.

In a satirical tone, the writer named places for appropriate loud noise: the Superdome, Sugar Bowl, jazz festivals and Jimmy Buffett concerts.

The writer went on to say he had no complaint about noise where it is expected: a tractor pull, drag car race and other situations where individuals have control over the noise--anywhere we don't have to be if we don't want to.

In addition to criticizing leaf blowers because of the noise, the writer ridiculed "leaf blower guys" for carelessly blowing leaves into the street rather than picking them up and bagging them. He made impertinent remarks about leaf blowers blew the leaves on other people's cars, homes and porches as well as the occasional passer by.

The article was flippant in tone, tending to exaggeration, but purposeful in pointing out the hazardous and maddening experience of living next to someone who cranks up the leaf blower rather than picks up the rake.

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Coast Guard Plans for Bridge Poses Noise and Traffic Concerns for Skeptical Louisiana Residents

PUBLICATION: The Advocate
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 5-B;1-B
BYLINE: Angela Simoneaux
DATELINE: Lafayette, Louisiana
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: new City-Parish council member Rob Stevenson

According to the Advocate, over 150 people attended a public meeting concerning a proposed major thoroughfare through a Lafayette neighborhood.

The article said new City-Parish council member Rob Stevenson organized the meeting and informed residents of the deadline for their input to the U.S. Coast Guard's on the City-Parish plans to build a bridge across the river. The project means that traffic will have to be rerouted during construction. The article said that typical concerns about the project were voiced at the meeting: noise, traffic, trees and flooding.

In an effort to reduce noise, Public Works director John Raines informed the group that the city hired Fenstermaker and Associates to reduce noise. Plans include landscaping property left over after the purchase and demolishing of more than 50 houses along the boulevard route.

But not all residents bought Raines' suggestion. Resident Amy Luciano challenged Raines' landscaping solution.

"Landscaping is not going to do it," she said. "We need a wall." The article said neighbors whose yards back up that property don't want the public to have access to their property.

But Raines quickly rejected the suggestion of a sound wall, calling it a "scar" and the landscaping a "beauty mark."

When asked whether plans were completed, Raines informed the group that the Coast Guard must first issue the bridge permit, which has conditions that the plans must meet.

Raines was backed into a corner when asked several times whether he had written the Coast Guard, assuring them he had addressed all concerns about the project. Finally, Raines admitted he only asked four people and agreed they were did not represent all of the residents and their concerns.

The article discussed other issues such as bridge construction and the noise. According to Raines, the steel bridge will be faced with concrete to deaden noise. A resident in the concrete business refuted Raines' and engineers' claims that concrete will deaden noise, and said it wouldn't work because the bridge will still vibrate.

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New Mexico City Officials Call for Quieter Airport

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: Pg. 1
BYLINE: Miguel Navrot
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal reported that city officials approved an airport noise abatement ordinance, calling for changes at Santa Fe Municipal Airport.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the resolution only calls for voluntary measures to reduce aircraft noise over the city's south side. The suggestions are passive.

Sponsored by Councilor Patti Bushee, the airplane measure calls for changes at Santa Fe Municipal Airport. They include placing " noise awareness signs" at the end of each taxiway; starting a telephone hot line for noise complaints; encouraging the airport to accommodate quieter planes; and creating a committee to report on progress.

The resolution says the city wants the airport and nearby residents to "live in harmony as much as possible." She went on to say that voluntary measures would not clash with Federal Aviation Administration rules.

Residents are not ambivalent about the airport noise. One resident said he "receives an earful of airplanes daily."

According to the article, the airport manager claims the loudest private craft at the airport is a World War II-era single-propeller, two-seater airplane, three of which are housed at the airport.

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Maine Residents Challenge Stone Company Over Noise and Work Hours

PUBLICATION: Bath Chronicle
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg.3
DATELINE: Bath, Maine

The Bath Chronicle reported on a noise dispute between a local stone company and its neighbors over the company's planned expansion.

The article said that Hanson Bath and Portland Stone asked city officials from Bath and North East Somerset for a permanent variation of its working hours so that they can work continually between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm.

The company has had a temporary variation since prior to 1998, but now wants to change the status to permanent.

The article reported that local residents, who unsuccessfully oppose the applications every time they are made, are poised yet again to object.

According to the article, residents first complained about noise before the company was taken over by Hanson Bath and Portland Stone, resulting in noise reduction measures. The article said that those measures included replacing blades to reduce the noise, using new reverse beepers on trucks that adjust to the amount of background noise, landscaping the area and moving out of one building that was too close to residents. Company officials claim they were unaware that noise was still a problem.

Gary Sellick, masonry manager, stated the company had spent about 250,000 on noise reduction measures and that he was unaware of residents' continuing opposition. "I did not realize there was continued residents' opposition. If they have a problem they should come to see me," he said.

The article did explain that residents and company officials are attempting to work together.

Resident Ann Bryant, who is the spokesperson for residents through her connection with the Avon and Meadow Park Residents Association, commented that the situation has improved, but some residents still fear that when a permanent order is made the improvements will stop.

The article concluded with an interesting quote by Sellick: "We have already got the permissions...this is a rubber stamp."

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Kentucky Town Discusses Airport Noise Reduction Strategies

PUBLICATION: Courier-Journal
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News Pg.02b
DATELINE: Louisville, Kentucky

The Courier-Journal printed a notice about the Regional Airport Authority's next Noise Compatibility Study Group meeting.

According to the notice, Leigh Fisher Associates will address noise abatement strategies and mitigation measures as requested by the group.

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Canadian Residents Challenge Shooting Range in Neighborhood

PUBLICATION: Edmonton Sun
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg. 8
DATELINE: Edmundton, Alberta, Canada

According to the Edmonton Sun, about 200 Edmundton residents signed a petition opposing a shooting range at a local park because of safety and noise concerns. The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club proposed the park.

"One stray bullet, one dead child," Ronda Lisowski told Edmundton city officials.

The article said that residents are accustomed to a million people who use the park, and noise isn't an issue. Lisowski pointed out that the proposal could present noise problems. "We bring in 65 users making noise between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. that interferes with everyone else's enjoyment," she said.

Club officials claim they've done extensive public consultation and will apply for a development permit.

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Idahoans Blame Cement Company for Noise Distrubances

PUBLICATION: Idaho Statesman
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: Local ; Pg. 8b
DATELINE: Inkom, Idaho

According to the Idaho Statesman, neighbors of the Ash Grove Cement Co. say low hum or vibration from the plant bothers them during the day and keeps them awake at night.

The article said that a recent study aimed at finding the source of the noise contradicts their claim and blames traffic on Interstate 15.

Resident Tom Simko, a 25-year resident, says the area's tranquility ceased three years ago when the cement company five miles below his home installed new operating equipment. Since that time, said Simko, there's no peace, and there's no where to go to get away from the plant's noise.

When he complained to the company's management, officials promised to conduct a study to determine the source of the hum.

The article said the plant sent an acoustical expert in to hear the noise. When company officials shut down the plant entirely, the noise persisted. The company claims it has proven the plant is not the source of the noise.

Simko and nearby neighbor Tim McMinn disagree, but no action has been taken.

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Maine Town Rejects Noise Abatement Amendment for Businesses With Liquor Licenses

PUBLICATION: Kennebec Journal
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. A2
BYLINE: Mechele Cooper

The Kennebec Journal reported on the city council's rejection of a proposed amendment to a local ordinance that, if passed, would have required businesses with liquor licenses to conform to the same noise standards that city residents must observe.

According to the article, such an ordinance would have provided the city with ability of the police to act on noise complaints. The article said the amendment would be included in other city ordinances regulating noise, health and safety.

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Luxurious California Hotel in Dispute With Trendy Restaurant Over Noise

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: Business; Part C; Page 1; Financial Desk
BYLINE: Greg Hernandez
DATELINE: Newport Beach, California

The Los Angeles Times reported on the permanent closing of Twin Palms restaurant, which has been involved in a noise dispute with a local hotel.

The article said that the restaurant, which featured live music, would shut down permanently at the end of the month. Guests at the Four Seasons hotel, near the restaurant, lodged numerous complaints.

The article said that Twin Palms was an open-air Newport Beach restaurant, live music, but despite continued efforts to reduce the noise, people continued to complain. The article said that the owners decided to close when the restaurant's permit review came up.

The article said that the restaurant opened on Newport Beach in 1995, and the noise conflict with the Four Seasons hotel began almost immediately, initiating a legal battle.

The article said that hotel guests were upset over the noise and requested to be moved. Hotel spokesperson Carrie Olson said "If we were sold out, there was no place to move those people."

The hotel filed a lawsuit against the restaurant, claiming the live music was at "high and invasive levels" and interfered with guests' sleeping. The hotel wanted the restaurant to unplug the speakers from 10 p.m. until the 2 a.m. closing time.

Twin Palms denied that sound tests showed the restaurant's music violated city noise standards, and further claimed that a ban on late-night music would have an adverse effect on business.

When the restaurant installed two 500-pound lead curtains and repositioned the speakers, the hotel dropped its suit. According to the article, restaurant owners then decided that further sound reduction measures were not within their scope and budget.

The hotel will lease the restaurant and convert the space into a ballroom for banquets, weddings and corporate parties.

Olson said there would be live music at some of the events--but not after 10 p.m.

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Nebraska Ice Cream Truck Cannot Make Music

PUBLICATION: Omaha World-Herald
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: ;News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jeremy Olson
DATELINE: Bellevue, Nebraska

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the ice cream man cannot ring the bells on his truck when he's in Bellevue because it is illegal.

The article said that in Bellevue, it is technically illegal for an ice cream vendor to ring bells, flash lights or use any other device " that has the effect of attracting persons so as to announce the presence of the vehicle in the area for the purpose of sales." The restriction is from a 30-year-old city ordinance.

The article said that ice cream vendor and branch manager of Frosty Treats, Bill Garbez, appealed to the city council to change the ordinance. Garbez claims that officials of his company didn't know of any similar noise restrictions in other Omaha-area community or in any of the nine major markets in which they sell ice cream. He went on to say that the bell is key to the company's success. "The bell sells," Garbez said. "A truck rolling down the street without a bell is an invisible truck."

Arguments from the city council included a brief history of the ordinance. The noise ordinance was passed in 1968 when most homes didn't have air conditioning. When windows were open in the summer, noises from the ice cream trucks were more irritating.

A few council members did not intend to change the ordinance, and one council member wanted more safety information before he would vote.

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Rhode Island Club Loses Renewal of Permit

PUBLICATION: The Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Richard C. Dujardin
DATELINE: Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reported on the city council's rejection of a permit renewal for the Club Confetti because of noise, traffic and unruly customers. The vote was four to one.

The article said that opponents of the club were jubilant, but Joseph Aloisio, who has been involved with the club for nearly 10 years, was surprised. His lawyer distributed copies of the appeal letter to Jeffrey J. Greer, the state's liquor control hearing officer, requesting an immediate stay.

According to the article, neighbors of the club have complained to police for years about late night noise, littering and misbehavior by club patrons, all to no avail until yesterday.

The article said that neighbors want the club located away from a residential neighborhood because it has the potential to attract hundreds of people on a weekend night.

The article reported that city council members and community activists have witnessed drinking, loud people and late night noise.

The article said that Club Confetti admits people who are both above and below the legal drinking age of 21, provided they are at least 18, and has the technology and staff supervision to prevent underage drinking.

Four city council members responded to the numerous complaints, and voted to deny the permit's renewal

One board member, voting in the minority, was concerned that when a business has been in operation a long time, it should be the responsibility of the opponents of its license renewal to have stronger and more compelling reasons why the license should be withheld. He called the complaints hearsay.

Councilwoman Carol A. Romano, who has been pressing to get Club Confetti closed for the last three years, said she was "just so happy" with the board's decision.

"It's long overdue, and I'm very happy for the neighborhood," she said.

John F. DeLuca, director the Da Vinci Center, said that the club's closing should improve neighborhood stability, because people will no longer want to move to escape an "unbearable situation."

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Minnesota Airport Noise Consultants Disagree On Noise Impact Area

PUBLICATION: Star Tribune
DATE: January 11, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 3B
BYLINE: Dan Wascoe Jr.
DATELINE: Richfield, Minnesota

According to the Star Tribune, a dispute between noise consultants resulted in a failure to define noise zones affected by jets using a new runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The article said that the consultants have been asked to return in February with a consensus on their study. The article said that area where houses might be acquired and torn down due to severe noise and vibration might be smaller than the originally proposed 50-block redevelopment.

Richfield claims that the area in question about 2,900 residents, 650 single-family houses, 403 duplexes and apartments, and 43 businesses.

According to the article, one consultant said the impact zone would be four blocks wide at the southern end, near Interstate Hwy. 494, and one or two blocks at the northern end, near Hwy. 62.

But another consultant said the southern end of the zone wouldn't be more than three blocks wide. Still another consultant, declined to comment publicly.

The consultants were told to further refine the impact zone. The article said the differences among the consultants emerged after a lengthy discussion with representatives of Richfield and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC).

According to the article, consultants recommended further study and analysis on the impact of reverse thrusters by jets landing from the south on the new runway, which is under construction and scheduled to open in three years. The article explained that while Richfield isn't under the flight path, city officials expect rumbling, low frequency vibrations from jets.

The article said that Richfield would hold hearings in January to discuss replacing existing buildings with offices, stores and multifamily housing in part to shield remaining neighborhoods from jet noise and expand its tax base. According to the article, Richfield has lost two neighborhoods and a municipal golf course because of airport expansion.

The article said the Federal Aviation Administration turned down a funding request for Richfield's replacement project pending further studies.

The article reported that the MAC is plans to fund a costly noise-reduction program for communities near the airport. The program includes such measures as paying to install new windows, doors, air-conditioning units, vents and fans to reduce the average noise level by 5 decibels, and to make noise from overhead jets less troublesome to people in their homes.

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Los Angeles Times Editorial Says Safety Should Override Both Sides of Debate Over Burbank Airport's New Terminal; Noise Should Not Be Introduced to New Neighborhoods Simply to "Share the Noise," and Ban on Eastward Flights Should Not Have Higher Priority than Safety Concerns

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 9, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 16; Zones Desk
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Times prints an editorial which says noise considerations should not be used to determine runway use at Burbank Airport, no matter what side of the debate you are on.

The article prints an editorial which says noise considerations should not be used to determine runway use at Burbank Airport, no matter what side of the debate you are on. They say safety issues, such as wind direction, should be the top priority in determining directions in which flights depart.

The article notes that some say that eastward takeoffs should be reinstated to "Share the Noise," although that type of program hasn't worked well elsewhere in the country. Other say that the ban should be maintained to avoid introducing noise to a new community, even though pre-ban eastward takeoffs only comprised 5 percent of all takeoffs.

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Community Advisory Board Near Columbus Circle, New York City Is Pushing for Audible Pedestrian Signals for the Blind; Some Residents and Businesses Worry About Potential Noise

PUBLICATION: The New York Times
DATE: January 9, 2000
SECTION: Section 14; Page 8; Column 1; The City Weekly Desk
BYLINE: Denny Lee
DATELINE: New York City

The New York Times reports that Community Board 4, near Columbus Circle in New York City, is pushing for audible pedestrian-crossing signals for the circle. Residents and business owners worried about noise from excessively loud or shrill crosswalks. The community board said that the crosswalks constantly adjust their volume too be audible above city noise without being excessive or shrill.

The article reports that Community Board 4, near Columbus Circle in New York City, is pushing for audible pedestrian-crossing signals for the circle. Originally, the signals -- which cost $500 each -- were to be part of a total reworking of the circle, but with that project more than a year away advocates are pushing for earlier installation of the signals.

The article notes that while the visually impaired can sense traffic surges at conventional intersections, intersections like Columbus Circle -- with its five feeder lanes -- are less predictable. Residents and business owners worried about noise from excessively loud or shrill crosswalks. One businessman said he may have to change his outdoor terrace arrangement if there is too much noise, but also said "what will benefit the blind is O.K. by me".

The article notes that the community board's transportation committee said that the crosswalks they want constantly adjust their volume too be audible above city noise without being excessive. In addition, the sound isn't shrill but is more like a clicking or buzzing that is only audible at about twenty feet.

The article concluded, noting that some say the systems "have [not] been sufficiently tested in a dense area like New York." Officials at the Federal Access Board -- which advises other departments on access for the disabled -- said that the devices are used in many other cities in this country and abroad.

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Motocross Track Near Ethel, Louisiana Generates Noise 7 Days a Week; Some Residents Complain, While Others Say It Brings Families and Community Together

PUBLICATION: Sunday Advocate
DATE: January 9, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 3-B
BYLINE: Marilyn M. Goff
DATELINE: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Sunday Advocate reports that a motocross track near Ethel, Louisiana has drawn noise complaints from several residents who claim their homes are being devalued from noise, loss of wildlife, dust and exhaust fumes. Many in the area counter that the track allows families to bond while having "good, clean fun," and encourages young and old cyclists to be together. The lawyer for the track said that it was really an issue of land use that should be addressed.

The article reports that a motocross track near Ethel, Louisiana has drawn noise complaints from several residents who claim their "dream homes" are being devalued from noise, loss of wildlife, dust and exhaust fumes. The track operates seven days a week, and routinely draws from 5 cycles during the week to about 100 on Sundays.

The article notes that many in the area say that the track allows families to bond while having "good, clean fun," and encourages young and old cyclists to be together.

The article notes that the Parish Police Jury had proposed a nuisance ordinance to use against the noise, although an attorney for the track said the ordinance is vague and would require decibel measurements and "real, physical discomfort" from ordinary people before any violation can be determined. The lawyer said that it was really an issue of land use that should be addressed.

The article notes that a lawyer for the homeowners countered that "when ordinary people make allegations of normal discomfort, this constitutes a nuisance."

The article goes on to say that only fifteen cycles are ever on the course at a time, and they all must have mufflers.

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Mayor of Arlington Heights, Near Chicago O'Hare Airport, Says Hushkitted Stage II Jets -- Which Are Still Louder than New Stage III Jets -- Will Need to Be Phased Out Before Real Noise Improvements Are Made

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: January 10, 2000
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 1; Zone: Nw
BYLINE: Rogers Worthington

The Chicago Tribune reports that despite new requirements that all Stage II jets have hushkits, noise is not expected to decrease much over the next year because hushkitted Stage II aircraft still make three times the noise that a new Stage III plane does. O'Hare Airport is urging the FAA to require a hushkit phase out.

The article reports that despite federal guidelines that took effect on the first of the year that required all Stage II commercial jets over 75,000 pounds to have hushkits, noise is not expected to decrease much over the next year. This is due to several factors: continuing air-traffic congestion, non-compliance with the voluntary "fly-quiet" corridors, and Stage II jets with hushkits.

The article notes that Stage II jets with hushkits still produce three times the noise that a new, unmodified Stage III produces. Arlene Mulder, the mayor of nearby Arlington Heights and member of the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, says it is time to "phase out the hushkits," and hopes to see them gone in two or three years. The noise commission is part of an "international effort to get the FAA to set a phase-out schedule for muffled and modified engines."

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Classroom Acoustics Study in Ohio Suggests Many Ohio Classrooms Are Noisier than They Should Be For Optimal Learning

PUBLICATION: The Columbus Dispatch
DATE: January 9, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg. 1A
BYLINE: Ruth E. Sternberg
DATELINE: Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio schools' noise levels are too high for optimal learning. Reverberation times and noise levels exceeded standards in 94 percent of classrooms studied.

The article reports that a noise study, recently performed on classroom acoustics by Ohio State University researchers, of Ohio schools suggests that noise levels are too high for optimal learning. Due to factors such as high ceilings, reflective concrete walls and tiled floors, reverberation time of sound can worsen background noise and muddle conversations.

The article notes that reverberation times can reach "a good half-second or nine-tenths of a second." That is more than the recommended four-tenths of a second maximum set by the American Speech and Hearing Association. Organizations like the Acoustical Society of America are working to develop sound standards for schools.

The article goes on to say that some solutions to the problem include improvements such as adding carpeting (although these may trap dust or pollen and aggravate allergies) or double-paned windows. Some schools are even providing cordless microphones and speaker systems to help teachers be heard without having to raise their voice.

The article says that the study consisted of measuring the dissipation of different noise types in randomly selected classrooms across the state. 94 percent of surveyed classrooms exceeded the aforementioned standard for reverberation time.

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Numerous Letters to the Editor on Orange County, California's Proposed El Toro Airport Argue For and Against Airport, Criticize Commissioners for Secretive Activity, and Discuss Measure that Would Require Citizen Approval of Infrastructure Like Airports and Jails

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 9, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 14; Metro Desk
DATELINE: Orange County, California

The Los Angeles Times prints several letters to the editor which argue for and against the validity of a noise report on the proposed El Toro Airport in Orange County, California, argue for and against Measure F that would require citizen approval of public infrastructure like airports and jails, and criticize airport commissioners for secretive activity.

"All the scientific sleight of hand, half-truths and understatements of impact contained in the county's environmental impact report on El Toro cannot change the facts (Dec. 24).

With the exception of the occasional training flights or special military operations, there have been no flights into and out of El Toro between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. for well over a decade. None.

And when an airliner taking off from or landing at El Toro wakes me up every hour or more with its 90 decibels or 100 decibels of noise, all the averaging of those 100 decibels over a 24-hour period to achieve the coveted 65-decibel average won't mitigate the noise impact to those of us in South County.

Those are real impacts based on fact. And I bet the courts will see it the same way."

DOUGLAS K. BLAUL

Portola Hills

"The report is reminiscent of that other manifesto, the Communist one. As I recall, that manifesto also contained groundless, utopian promises."

CRAIG H. BROWN

Laguna Beach

"And David Medvold, Irvine, fears that a civil airport at El Toro will bring intolerable ' noise, safety risks, pollution and traffic congestion' to his neighborhood. 65 CNEL has been the criterion for airport community noise computability for over 30 years, prepared by a commission that included persons living near California airports and other interested parties.

California's 65 CNEL criterion is consistent with Federal Aviation Administration and international airport community noise criteria. 65 CNEL, as a criterion value, also appears in the noise elements of both county and city general plans. Cook would now throw it out because it doesn't comport with his personal criterion? I don't think so.

I wonder if Cook, Medvold and other like-minded South County residents would be willing to give up flying to meet their travel needs in order to preserve the South County lifestyle they seek to protect. I think not.

This tells me that they don't mind being part of the county's air transportation problem, they just don't want to be part of its solution.

They are perfectly willing to dump the 'noise, safety risks, pollution and traffic congestion' of their air travels on people living nearer John Wayne and other regional airports, than they ever will El Toro.

This isn't fair.

I think it's high time South County politicos stopped wasting millions of taxpayer dollars fighting the county over El Toro, and started working with the county to develop at El Toro the civil airport we all need, in a way that will not place an unreasonable burden on anyone.

It can be done, you know."

NORM EWERS

Irvine

"It is completely disgusting the way the pro-airport majority on the Board of Supervisors has manipulated and circumvented the democratic system.

By waiving the monthly reports that P&D Consultants of Orange is legally required to make, the majority has reduced accountability and paved the way for funding public advocacy.

But we shouldn't be really surprised. This is only the latest in a series of atrocious actions by the supervisors. From spending $3 million to determine that airplanes are loud to spending $40 million to fund pro-airport propaganda, they have been totally out of step with the majority of Orange County residents.

When will someone be able to stop them?"

JOSEPH HANZICH

Trabuco Canyon

"They also exhibited their lack of understanding of the public trust they hold as elected representatives of all the people of the county.

It has been postulated that the reason behind this most recently discovered scurrilous action is to preclude a paper trail of the county's actions that might be uncovered by anti-airport supervisors.

Or it might be uncovered by Orange County citizens who oppose not only the airport but also the repeated unethical and possibly illegal secret actions of this group of three.

Those who favor an airport at El Toro have every right to pursue their case to any legitimate and ethical end.

However, for the county supervisors to hide their actions in any matter, not only from the citizens of the county but also from duly elected members of the board who may disagree with them, is neither legitimate nor ethical.

Good government can be possible only when the actions of those doing the governing are open and aboveboard.

If this group of three can hide their actions from the people in this matter, what is to stop them from dishonest, illegal and duplicitous actions on other matters in the future? Such future unsavory conduct may very well affect those honest citizens who are pro-airport today.

Good luck in the future if you support duplicity today."

JACK WEBER

Irvine

"Outrageous! How are we to believe that? Are we just supposed to take the county's proven unreliable word for it and trust them?

Without any documentation like that required of most contractual professionals, an independent audit could never verify the appropriate expenditures.

Even though most of the contract may have been for deliverable products, The Times article says $1.1 million was not.

The county apparently has no response to attorney Kenneth Morrison, who pointed out that there is no way to know whether illegal expenses--like public advocacy--were hidden under vague billing categories like 'other conditions.'"

SHEILA SENTER

Tustin

"'Not In My Back Yard' anti-airport activists need to get a grip and realize that the proposed airport is an important asset for the future of all citizens in Orange County.

Their Measure F, the Safe and Healthy Communities Initiative, is just one more attempt to stop the airport and if passed would ultimately prove to be a detriment to our county."

BRENDA BLAIR

Costa Mesa

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