Noise News for Week of August 24, 1997

Arkansas Airport Gets Federal Noise Grant to Purchase Land

PUBLICATION: The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
DATE: August 30, 1997
SECTION: Metro, Pg. B2
BYLINE: The Associated Press
DATELINE: Little Rock, Arkansas

The Commercial Appeal reports that U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater announced Thursday the City of Little Rock, Arkansas will receive a $1 million grant to acquire land near Adams Field to reduce the impact of noise from the airport as it continues to grow. The grant is part of the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program, the article says.

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FAA Approves Increased Airport Noise Regulations at Van Nuys, California Airport

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: August 30, 1997
SECTION: News, Pg. N4
BYLINE: Rick Orlov
DATELINE: Van Nuys, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Joel Wachs, City Councillor; Bret Lobner, senior assistant city attorney; Richard Riordan, Mayor; Gerald Silver, spokesperson, Homeowners of Encino

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes at the Van Nuys (California) Airport to extend the nighttime curfew and to restrict the presence of noisier aircraft at the airport. The FAA's ruling is a reversal of its decision a year ago not to allow extending the curfew and limiting the jets, the article says.

According to the article, the FAA's ruling will allow the city to change its 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on noisier planes to start at 10 p.m., and to ban the noisier Stage 2 jets from being permanently based at the airport. Adding an extra hour to the curfew will affect six to eight flights a night, said Airports General Manager John Driscoll, and only those flights in which the engines exceed 74 decibels.

City officials were pleased at the FAA's decision, the article says. City Councillor Joel Wachs said, "Finally, we've got some action from the FAA to help us," and added that he would ask the Airports Commission to take immediate action on the two proposals. Bret Lobner, senior assistant city attorney, said, "This is a bright day for the city. This is something we've been fighting for a long time."

The article points out that the Airports Commission has previously favored the changes approved by the FAA on two separate occasions. Mayor Richard Riordan entered the controversy this year by asking the Airports Commission to appeal the FAA's earlier decision in order to address residents' noise concerns.

Meanwhile, the article reports, Gerald Silver of Homeowners of Encino said the FAA's ruling will provide some relief but that more is needed. "On the whole it is good, but in some sense, it's too little, too late," Silver said. "The curfew will help some, but we really need something to ban all the noisy jets and deal with the helicopters." Silver pointed out that the curfew only addresses planes that emit 74 decibels, and that there are still planes flying under 74 decibels at all hours of the day.

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Construction Noise Irritates Residents in Florida City

PUBLICATION: The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)
DATE: August 30, 1997
SECTION: Community News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Monica Richardson
DATELINE: Jacksonville, Florida

The Florida Times-Union reports that residents in the San Pablo Creek subdivision in Jacksonville, Florida are complaining about noise from the construction of an 800-unit apartment complex near their homes. Residents voiced their complaints at a town meeting Tuesday with Mayor John Delaney at Alimacani Elementary School.

According to the article, resident Robert Mazak says he has been awakened at 5:30 a.m. for the past seven months by the construction project. "They put up an 8-foot fence, but that isn't doing anything," Mazak said. "I can't even open my sliding door. We're not only dealing with sound, but the employees have sexually harassed my wife." Mazak and other residents also said that the developer for the apartment complex, Mariner Club Limited, isn't meeting the development requirements of not starting work before 7 a.m. and erecting a buffer between the work site and abutting single-family homes.

In response to residents' complaints, Mayor Delaney said he would send a letter to Mariner Club Limited regarding the conduct of on-site employees. Dan Haskell, chief of the city's regulatory and environmental division, said he will investigate residents' other concerns, the article reports.

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Noise Ordinance in Florida City is Delayed Because of Rewriting

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: August 29, 1997
SECTION: Metro & State; Pg. 4B
BYLINE: Richard Danielson
DATELINE: Tampa, Florida

The St. Petersburg Times reports that city lawyers in Tampa, Florida said they need more time to rewrite a proposed noise ordinance so that it can be applied across the city. City officials have postponed the next public hearing on the noise ordinance to December.

According to the article, city officials said the ordinance originally was drafted such that that residents could lodge noise complaints against neighbors who were mowing the lawn, using leaf-blowers, or even letting their kids play in the back yard. The article says that three weeks ago, city councillors gave initial approval to an ordinance that would set the maximum noise limit for bars in the Ybor City district at 85 decibels, which is louder than the average rock band or subway platform. The city proposed to measure the noise at the source instead of at the site where it is heard, unlike the regulations set by the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. That creates an inconsistency that the city must solve, according to civic leaders. Warren Bourgeois, president of Tampa Homeowners, said, "The way this thing is currently written, it creates as many problems as it solves."

In a related matter, city councillors have asked city officials to begin enforcing noise violations from bars that got their alcohol-sales zonings after March 1995, when new rules went into effect that required clubs to take steps to dampen noise.

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Personal Watercraft in Florida Waters Cause Safety and Noise Problems

PUBLICATION: The Tampa Tribune
DATE: August 29, 1997
SECTION: Baylife, Pg. 1
BYLINE: Janis Froelich
DATELINE: St. Petersburg Beach, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Frank Kulisky, Islamorada resident and leader of a citizens group to ban personal watercraft in the Florida Keys

The Tampa Tribune printed an article outlining the controversy over personal watercraft, known as Jet Skis, in St. Petersburg Beach and other areas in Florida. The article contains an in-depth look at the safety problems with the watercraft, but also outlines some of the noise issues surrounding the watercraft. According to the article, Labor Day weekend is likely to bring more attention to the battle between personal watercraft users and everyone else in the water trying to have a good time.

The article reports that Florida's number of boating deaths and accidents has been the worst in the nation for the past 10 years, and unfortunately, personal watercraft are playing an increasing role in the statistics. Personal watercraft are the fastest-growing segment of marine-related sales, with about 800,000 on the water nationwide during the 1996 boating season, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Last year in Florida, about 37% of all boating accidents involved personal watercraft, even though the watercraft account for only 8% of registered boats, according to the marine patrol. This year, six people already have died in Florida in accidents involving personal watercraft, including three in the Tampa Bay area.

According to St. Petersburg Beach marine officer Scott Vaughan, much of the safety problem with personal watercraft stems from boaters who are dangerously ignorant. Vaughan said he stopped a personal watercraft user for speeding, and the boater asked him, "How you supposed to see the signs when you're going 60 mph?" Martin Redmond, a Florida Marine Patrol accident investigator, said, "It's fun to hot dog out in the Gulf. But when you bring a personal watercraft near the shoreline or on the Intracoastal, it's like taking a BMX bike out of the woods onto the interstate. It makes for a very dangerous situation."

The article goes on to explore the attempts by Florida legislators and citizens to require training for Jet Skiers. The Florida Legislature passed new watercraft safety rules that went into effect last October which require all persons born after Sept. 30, 1980 to pass water safety test to earn a certification. In addition, the rules stipulate that personal watercraft users must be at least 16.

But many say that personal watercraft users of all ages need training, according to the article. Jopie Helsen, a St. Petersburg boat captain, marina owner, and sailing instructor, said he has had near misses with Jet Skiers. "I know a lot about boating," said Helsen. "But here I am, facing someone on a personal watercraft who has probably never been boating before. I'm nervous because I know what all could go wrong." He added that his most worrisome moments come when personal watercraft users zoom up behind his boat to jump his wake. Officer Terry Noll, a marine patrol spokesperson, agreed that personal watercraft users too often don't know what they're doing on vehicles that can reach speeds of 65 mph. Noll said, "People will own a Jet Ski for one or two years and then decide they want a new, faster one. So they go buy one and pass on taking a new instructional video because they think they already know everything. They receive no new updates. And then when they sell their old Jet Ski to someone else, they don't pass along the video or much in the way of instruction. So you have a whole group of people who don't know anything." Noll went on to say that personal watercraft likely will continue to be popular because of their low cost (starting at $5,700) and convenience, and likely will not be outlawed, like some three-wheel, all-terrain vehicles were after a series of accidents that killed or seriously injured riders. "They're not a fad. People have found that they can have fun on the water on these relatively inexpensive scooters. They're also easy to trailer on a small car -- unlike a boat." Lisa Cassidy of Tierra Verde Boat Rentals said that Jet Skis are more complicated to operate than people think. She and her husband go over a 14-step safety checklist with every Jet Ski renter, and require renters to sign a statement saying that they have understood the checklist.

However, the article reports, not everyone believes that training will work. Rusty Ercius, who owns a historical pier and rents personal watercraft, said the instruction is okay, but he doesn't believe the accident rate will go down with boating safety courses and licensing. "How do you know you're not dealing with a haphazard driver?" he said. "Think about all the people who shouldn't be driving cars." Barry Flower, a marine patrol accident investigator, agrees that there will be reckless drivers behind the wheel of any watercraft, the article says. He also pointed out that personal watercraft require a quick response if something goes wrong. Inexperienced boaters often cut the throttle when something goes wrong, he said, but that causes them to lose their ability to steer and the vehicle continues in a straight line until it stops. Flower added, "People are coming down here on vacation, they want the keys and then they want to leave. The instructions on how to operate a Jet Ski go right over their head."

The article goes on to say that leaders in Florida and other states who are concerned about both the noise and safety of personal watercraft have made moves to restrict or ban their use. For instance, San Juan County in the northwest corner of Washington state banned personal watercraft in the waters surrounding 172 islands in 1996. The waters are home to whales, porpoises and seals. Tamara Brower, a spokesperson for the San Juan County Board of Commissioners, said the ban was overturned by a county judge in October 1996, who ruled that the county could regulate, but not outlaw, personal watercraft. The county has appealed the ruling, the article says, and expects to hear the results in mid-September.

In Florida, Frank Kulisky is leading a fight for a ban on personal watercraft in the Florida Keys. Kulisky, an Islamorada resident and leader of a citizens group, said the Keys have unique features such as nesting birds, sea grass, and flats fishing that should not be disturbed by Jet Skis. Currently, a proposal is before the Monroe County marine and port advisory committee, that would limit personal watercraft to restricted areas, ban them near shorelines, docks, and divers, and cap their speeds at 35 mph. The article notes that the watercraft already are banned from most of the Lower Keys back country and in Everglades National Park. But, Kulisky said, "They're invading the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The riders tend to run in packs, roaring across the flats." He added that education will not solve the nuisance of the watercraft. The Jet Ski industry will try to promote the concept that education will solve the problem, he said, "but these are drunken cowboys down here or tourists in a hurry. They don't want education." Kulisky said the industry's idea of education is putting up a billboard showing a couple on a Jet Ski, with the caption "Ride responsibly." "They call this education?" he said. "It shows a couple having fun. It makes it look like the whole Keys are open to personal watercraft."

The article also printed the following safety tips for using personal watercraft:

1. Wear your life vest at all times.

2. Keep a whistle around your neck in case you have to summon help.

3. Steering is jet-propelled, so allow additional turning and stopping room.

4. Check to make sure a fire extinguisher is under your seat. You may need it to put out a fire on your vessel or another.

5. Obey no-wake signs. Speeds on the waterway are "normal," "slow" and "idle" - know the difference.

6. Stay in a minimum of waist-deep water.

7. Stay at least 50 to 100 feet away from other personal watercraft or boats.

8. Beware of tunnel vision. Make sure you know what's going on behind or beside you. Also, because other boats may not realize how easy you can maneuver, always look over your shoulder before you turn.

9. Keep out of swim zones, and stay away from parasail boats - especially the tow ropes they use - water skiers and windsurfers.

10. Don't ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Florida City Sends Noise Ordinance Back to the Drawing Board

PUBLICATION: The Tampa Tribune
DATE: August 29, 1997
SECTION: Northwest, Pg. 3
BYLINE: Ivan Hathaway
DATELINE: Tampa, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Warren Bourgeois, president, Tampa Homeowners -- an Association of Neighborhoods

The Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa (Florida) City Council decided Thursday to ask city attorneys to rewrite the proposed noise ordinance after hearing protests from both residents and business owners. The ordinance is not scheduled for review again until December 4.

The article reports that the proposed ordinance was scheduled for a second, final vote on Thursday, and could have been law in less than two weeks if approved. But city councillors became convinced after listening to citizens that the ordinance could prohibit activities such as lawn mowing and leaf blowing, which was not its intention. In addition, the ordinance received opposition from people on both sides of the issue -- residents who want lower sound level limits, and business owners who want higher limits.

According to the article, the ordinance originally was drawn up to address the loud party scene in the Ybor City entertainment district. Later, city attorneys decided the proposed ordinance would have a better chance of standing up to court challenges if it applied to the whole city. The proposed ordinance would have prohibited noise levels above 85 decibels, as measured from the property lines where the sounds were emitted. (The article notes that a normal conversation between two people ranges from 50 to 60 decibels.)

Three weeks ago, when the the council approved the ordinance in a preliminary vote, lawyers said the ordinance would not interfere with a county ordinance that requires noise levels to not exceed 65 decibels in residential areas during the daytime and 55 decibels at night, because the county law requires noise to be measured from where it is heard, not from where it is being emitted. But although the city's ordinance laid out exceptions that did not have to meet the noise limit (such as outdoor school and sporting events, parades, and noise around airports and bus stations), many noise-makers, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and construction noise, were not addressed.

The article goes on to say that Warren Bourgeois, president of Tampa Homeowners, an Association of Neighborhoods, said homeowners were concerned when they learned the proposed ordinance would be citywide because of potential problems with neighbors over such activities as lawn work, and because they weren't certain how the city and county regulations would mesh. Bourgeois said if a sound measured at a business was 84 decibels, but across the adjoining property line the sound had dropped to 70 decibels, the noise would be a violation under the county ordinance, but not under the city ordinance. He added, "We certainly support a noise ordinance, but we've got to get these two parties (the city and county) together and have the same rules."

Meanwhile, bar owners in the Ybor City district think the 85-decibel limit of the proposed ordinance is too low. Frank Ferreri, owner of Frankie's Patio in Ybor, said bands playing at his outdoor patio couldn't meet the 85-decibel standard. He said the level should be 90 or 95, or it should be measured from where it reaches residential areas, not on the sidewalk outside his bar.

The article says that according to Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Hernandez, county officials have already expressed a desire to work with the city to resolve conflicts between the two ordinances. But she added that there is little likelihood that the sound level will be raised. According to federal guidelines, exposure to noise levels of 90 decibels or more can damage a person's hearing, Hernandez said.

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The Netherlands Government Approves Measures to Reduce Noise at Amsterdam Airport

PUBLICATION: ANP English News Bulletin
DATE: August 28, 1997
DATELINE: The Hague, Netherlands

ANP English News Bulletin reports that a large majority of Members of Parlaiment in the Netherlands approved the cabinet's measures for reducing noise from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Tuesday. Only the opposition parties of the Green Left and the Socialist Party believed the measures to be inadequate, the article reports.

According to the article, Transport Minister Annemarie Jorritsma announced last week that the cabinet planned to ban night flights by noisy, wide-bodied planes, ban some smaller, less noisy planes from taking off between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and prohibit new flights from being added to the current night schedule at the airport. Jorritsma pointed out that the measures go farther than those announced by Schiphol officials earlier this summer.

The article explains that airport officials announced their measures this summer because noise levels at the airport indicated that legal noise limits would be exceeded soon if drastic steps were not taken. However, a Haarlem court overturned the airport's measures on the grounds that only the government could take steps to ban certain flights.

The article also says that according to Jorritsma, the airport can grow no more until the planned fifth runway is operational, which is set for 2003. She added that the cabinet's noise measures for Schiphol will apply in 1997 and 1998, and that she is studying a "reward system" to encourage the use of less noisy aircraft. Jorritsma also said she would act quickly to develop legally-binding measures so that Schiphol officials are clear about their responsibilities, the article concludes.

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Atlanta Airport's Master Plan Will Include New Noise Projections and Contour Lines

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal
DATE: August 28, 1997
SECTION: Extra; Pg. 11I
BYLINE: Gary Hendricks
DATELINE: Atlanta, Georgia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Tarlee Brown, East Point resident; Sandra Hardy, Fulton resident

The Atlanta Journal reports that the new master plan for Hartsfield International Airport, expected to be completed next spring, will include updated noise projections and new noise contour lines that show the concentrations of noise around the airport. The plan also will project what the contour lines will look like five years into the future, according to Deputy General Manager Andy Bell. Airport officials held three-day workshops last week in Jonesboro, College Park, and south Fulton County to update residents on the master planning process and gather public input, the article notes.

In spite of the focus on future operations at the airport, the topic most on the minds of the 300 residents who attended the workshops was the current level of airport noise, the article reports. The most popular information booth at the workshops was the one which showed maps of the noise levels around the airport. East Point resident Tarlee Brown's main complaint with the airport was that planes turning over East Point turn long before they reach the markers where they are supposed to turn, the article says. Brown said, "We're not opposed to a master plan for the airport. We're only saying think of the community as you go along." Brown added that the airport noise will eventually erode the tax base in East Point, because the residents who can afford to move will do so. Andy Bell of the airport told Brown and other residents who complained about noise that the airport now has the capability to track flight routes through radar. He added that airport officials would track which planes are causing problems and work to rectify the situation.

Another popular topic for the workshops was expansions going on right now at the airport, the article says. Currently, the airport is building 400,000 square feet of new air cargo handling space, and CSX Railroad is developing a huge truck-train yard in Fairburn. Sandra Hardy, a Fulton resident, asked airport officials if they had considered the impact on the road system when trucks move from the airport's cargo operations area to the CSX yard. Bell responded that planners will consider the volume of increased traffic projected from the air cargo operation seven miles out, but added that most of the truck traffic will probably enter the nearby interstate system.

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Maryland County Board Approves Private Airstrip Over Neighbors' Objections

PUBLICATION: The Baltimore Sun
DATE: August 28, 1997
SECTION: Local (News), Pg. 7B
BYLINE: Mary Gail Hare
DATELINE: Woodbine, Maryland

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Carroll County (Maryland) Board of Zoning Appeals yesterday approved an application for a private airstrip on a 208-acre property in Woodbine. The board approved construction of a 50-foot by 1,785-foot landing strip, but stipulated that the strip can only be used by the owner's two single-engine planes for 40 trips per year.

According to the article, applicant Edward Primoff's property is located on Route 97, about two miles north of the Howard County line. The airstrip will be located about 300 feet east of Route 97 and will run parallel to the highway, with most takeoffs and landings occurring to the north. The board also required Primoff to submit a detailed site plan drawn to scale that shows he can reach an altitude of 1,000 feet before he clears his property. Primoff said he had no problem with the board's stipulations, and he expects to complete grading and construction of the airstrip by next spring.

The article goes on to report that about two years ago, Primoff founded the Carroll County Landowners Association, a group that strongly supports property rights. Several members of that association testified in support of the airstrip, while three neighbors opposed it. Flo Breitenother of Hoods Mill Road said she prefers an airstrip at the location over another housing development. She added that an airstrip adds to the country atmosphere, and gives her peace of mind to know that it is there in case of emergency. But some of Primoff's neighbors had other opinions. Jeff Remmel, one of Primoff's closest neighbors, said, "Cows and cornfields are country atmosphere, not airstrips." Remmel added that it is fine when wealthy people have toys, but they should not enjoy them at the expense of others. Jim Talley, another neighbor of Primoff's, said planes would distract motorists at a dangerous spot on the highway with several curves. Talley said, "Unless this is absolutely necessary to the welfare of the area, the board has to protect longtime residents." In addition, Talley complained about the potential noise level, and questioned the impact of the construction on nearby streams, the article says.

But the board didn't buy the residents objections to the project, the article reports. James Schumacher, chair of the appeals board, said the board heard "no evidence that would allow us to turn this project down." Primoff responded to the noise concerns by saying that noise from the planes would not be any louder than trucks on the road and would be of shorter duration. Bruce Mundie, director of general assistance for the Maryland Aviation Administration, had given the project preliminary approval in June, and said that the airstrip is obscured enough from motorists on Route 97 to not cause a distraction. Mundie said, "The administration considers the airstrip adequate, if constructed as planned and provided the Federal Aviation Administration gives it airspace approval and there is zoning approval from Carroll County. The approaches are well-cleared; the area is obscured from Route 97 and, with proper grading, the terrain will be excellent." Mundie added that because there are other airports nearby, including Clearview which is only three miles away, there probably will not be emergency landings at the airstrip.

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Argument Over Noise Leads to Arson and Assault

PUBLICATION: Hong Kong Standard
DATE: August 28, 1997
BYLINE: Angel Lau

The Hong Kong Standard reports that a resident in Hong Kong set a building on fire and bit the ear of a fellow tenant after an argument about noise. The Court of First Instance heard the case on Wednesday, and sentencing was adjourned until September 9 pending a psychiatric report.

According to the article, Li Lai-fat and Fong Kwok-wing were two of five tenants in a sixth floor flat on Gage Street in Central. On the day of the incident, Fong returned to the flat and was confronted by Li who accused him of making too much noise as he opened and closed the door. The two had a fierce argument, the article says, after which Fong went to sleep. Fong awoke in the early hours of October 31 to discover his bed had been set on fire with lighted newspapers. He tried but failed to put out the fire as Li struggled with him and bit his right ear. Their struggle aroused the other tenants who managed to put out the fire, the article says.

At the hearing, Li pleaded guilty to arson but denied a charge of wounding with intent. Li's lawyer said he was having psychiatric problems at the time of the incident. Li was sent to a psychiatric center in 1988 after being convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, the article notes.

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Connecticut Town Approves $10,000 Purchase of Noise Meter to Enforce Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Hartford Courant
DATE: August 28, 1997
SECTION: Greater Middletown; Pg. B6
BYLINE: Peter Marteka
DATELINE: Cromwell, Connecticut
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: David Murphy, Richard Newton, Select Board members

The Hartford Courant reports that the Select Board in Cromwell, Connecticut voted unanimously Wednesday to spend $10,000 for a noise meter and training for the officers who would use it. The equipment will be used to enforce an ordinance passed last spring that prohibits noise over 45 decibels.

According to the article, Select Board member David Murphy said, "We made an ordinance. The question now is, do we enforce it? We need to have the equipment to do that. We can't say now that it is too expensive to buy this piece of machinery." Anthony Amenta, another Select Board member, asked whether the town could rent equipment or have a noise expert on call, but Police Chief Anthony Salvatore said he was not aware of any such consultants or rental agencies. Select Board member Richard Newton said, "Yes, this is not a cheap piece of equipment. You can't enforce an ordinance without the equipment. You'll spend more money on expert testimony if a case goes to court. I'd rather have the officers testify. That doesn't cost anything." A member of the board of finance, Robert Jahn, disagreed with the decision to purchase the machine. He said the purchasing the machine was a waste of money because the noise-maker will have turned down the noise by the time the equipment is ready for a reading. The article concludes that First Select Board member Ryk Nelson said the equipment and training likely will cost less than $10,000. "We'll get quotes and bids to get it down," Nelson said. "This is a cutting-edge ordinance and it needs cutting-edge technology."

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Regional Illinois Airport Expands, While Other Nearby Airports Face Opposition Over Noise

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: August 28, 1997
SECTION: News; Pg. 1; Zone: L
BYLINE: Carri Karuhn
DATELINE: Schaumburg, Illinois

The Chicago Tribune reports that many of the smaller, regional airports near Chicago have faced opposition due to noise pollution, including opposition to a proposed runway expansion at Lake in the Hills Airport in McHenry County, and an effort by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to turn Meigs Field into a park. However, the village of Schaumburg has recently taken the opposite track by saving the Schaumburg Regional Airport from demolition, spending another $8 million on development, and allowing commercial aircraft to use the airport. The article goes on to expand upon the economic benefits of reginal airports.

The article reports that small, general aviation airports are disappearing. In the Chicago area, there currently are 24 such airports, which is 54% fewer than five decades ago. Experts expect that trend to continue, with only a dozen remaining by 2000. The suburbanization of the landscape has led to the disappearance of the airports, the article says. As land values rise in areas surrounding Chicago, airport land is sold for development. That was the fate of Elgin Airport, which became a shopping center, and of Chicagoland Airport, which was turned into a business park. Opposition from residents has played a part in limiting expansions of other airfields, the article says. Residents in Lake in the Hills recently opposed a proposed runway expansion at their airport, saying their quality of life would be jeopardized. And the Wheeling Village Board unanimously rejected a plan in January to extend a runway at Palwaukee Municipal Airport.

In addition, the article reports, residents initially opposed expansion plans for the Schaumburg Airport in 1994 when the municipality bought the airport. Most of the opposition centered around worries about increased noise and accidents, the article says. However, representatives from several surrounding communities were given a seat on the Schaumburg Airport Commission, and the atmosphere changed. Now, village officials are spending $8 million on extending the runway, building a new, two-story terminal, and other development, mostly with federal money. The new terminal is expected to open in October, and more plane storage space will be added within five years, the article reports. The number of takeoffs is expected to gradually increase from 55,000 a year currently to 90,000 a year. The article points out that there are still some complaints about noise, but officials have taken steps to help solve the problem, including requiring pilots to reach an altitude of 600 feet before turning. Schaumburg Trustee Tom Dailly, former chair of the airport commission, said, "Certainly, you're going to have some noise. The fact of the matter is, this airport isn't going away."

The article also discusses the ways in which regional airports benefit local economies. Illinois public airports, excluding those owned by Chicago, generate about $2 billion per year for local economies in wages, spending, and tax revenues, the article reports. According to an Illinois Department of Transportation study, the Schaumburg Regional Airport brings in $8.9 million per year to the region.

Al Larson, Mayor of Schaumburg, supports the town's regional airport for its economic benefits. Larson said, "We are in the business of not just providing street plowing and public safety. We also are in the business of economic development. We have to do that to provide a tax base to mitigate the impact of taxes on our residents." Larson added that a local airport will have long-term economic benefits to Schaumburg and surrounding communities. James Bildilli, bureau chief of aviation education and safety with the Illinois Department of Transportation, said an airport is "a doorway to the community, just the way the interstate highway runs through an area." He added that to many business owners, an airport is as important as a computer or Xerox machine.

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Unexpected Takeoffs of Fighter Jets Wake Maine Residents in Early Morning

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: August 27, 1997
BYLINE: Nancy Garland
DATELINE: Bangor, Maine

The Bangor Daily News reports that residents in Bangor, Maine were awakened at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning by the roar of five F-16 fighter jets taking off from the Bangor International Airport. Four more jets were scheduled to take off today at 4 a.m., the article adds. The flights Tuesday prompted many residents to call the police to complain about the loud noise. Meanwhile, the take-offs are expected to continue to occur occasionally.

According to the article, several residents who called the police said that it sounded like the fighter jets were "buzzing" the city. Others said it sounded like the jets broke the sound barrier. Still other residents said the noise scared their kids and nearly broke their windows.

The jets that took off Tuesday were flying to the Aviano air base in Italy, where they are part of a fighter squadron connected to the U.S. Air Force in Europe, the article reports. Lt. Col. Ron Reynolds, Operations Group Commander at the 101st Air Refueling Wing of the Maine Air National Guard, said the sound barrier was not broken by the takeoffs. He said that can happen only when jets travel at about 800 mph, and the fighter jets cruise at speeds around 400 mph. Reynolds also said that the city was not "buzzed," which occurs when pilots fly too low over residential areas. The planes simply took off from the airport, he said, and the calm atmospheric conditions Tuesday didn't muffle the jets' engine noise. The engines propel the planes up 200 mph on takeoff and quickly accelerate to about 400 mph cruising speed, he explained. Reynolds added that F-16s have taken off from the airport in the past, and likely will take off in the future. The airport is in an ideal location as a jumping-off point for European destinations, Reynolds said.

The jets that took off on Tuesday had been on a training mission in Nevada, and landed in Bangor on Sunday, the article reports. The earliest the pilots could take off again was Tuesday morning, Reynolds said, due to Air Force rules that require flight crews to rest after they fly through several time zones. In addition, Air Force jets are required to land only in daylight hours in Europe, which means they must take off very early in America.

Reynolds agreed that the jets were very loud when the took off Tuesday, the article says. He said the fighter jets have louder engines than in the past, but said the Air National Guard base can't do a lot to control the aircraft since they operate under the supervision of the Air Force. However, he added, Air National Guard officials are working with the U.S. Air Force to find a solution in which the jets don't have to take off "quite so early."

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Voters in Colorado Community to Decide Development Fate of Land in Airport Noise Zone

PUBLICATION: The Denver Post
DATE: August 27, 1997
SECTION: Denver & The West; Pg. B-02
BYLINE: Angela Cortez
DATELINE: Greenwood Village, Colorado
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Polly Page, Arapahoe County Commissioner

The Denver Post reports that the City Council in Greenwood Village, Colorado has decided to ask voters whether the city should annex a piece of land from Arapahoe County for a new housing development. The housing development recently was turned down by the Arapahoe County Commission because the land is inside a high noise zone of the Centennial Airport.

According to the article, the land parcel consists of about 85 acres southwest of the intersection of Peoria Street and Orchard Road. Developer Mike Cooper wants to build as many as 500 homes on the land, which he would be allowed to do if the land is annexed. City officials say that annexing the land is a way to prevent even more housing units from being built, because the area is zoned for as many as 1,000 apartments or some commercial uses. In addition, the article says, annexing the land would give the city more control over Peoria Street and Orchard Road. City officials have long wanted to close Peoria Street where it enters Cherry Creek State Park, in order to reduce the traffic through neighborhoods.

However, Polly Page, an Arapahoe County Commissioner, said developer Cooper came to the Commission only six weeks ago with the same project and failed to win approval because planes from the airport go right over the property. She added that the county also rejected the project because of the lack of open space in the proposal. Page said that any residential building on that site may not be in the best interest of residents, the article reports.

The article goes on to explain that a noise and land-use study commissioned by the county shows that the land parcel is in an area that exceeds noise standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration for residential areas. However, the FAA standard is only a guide for communities, not a level at which communties cannot build residential projects. David Phifer, Greenwood Village Mayor, said he questioned the validity of the noise study, and added, "We do not have proof that this is or is not in (the high-noise) area." City Manager Steve Crowell said city staff will study the area and determine whether it is truly suitable for residential use, the article says.

Residents who already live in Greenwood Village have been some of the most vocal critics of noise from Centennial Airport, the article points out. Many residents complain that aircraft noise disturbs their peace and quiet and lowers their property values.

A public hearing on the annexation vote is scheduled for October 6 at 7 p.m. at Greenwood Village City Hall, the article concludes.

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Florida City Officials and Residents Question the Effectiveness of Airport Noise Committee

PUBLICATION: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
DATE: August 27, 1997
SECTION: Local, Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Karla Schuster
DATELINE: Boca Raton, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Carol Hanson, Mayor; Bill Glass, City Councillor

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the City Council in Boca Raton, Florida has asked to meet with the Airport Authority for the second time in three months over allegations that the recently formed Noise Compatibility Advisory Committee is ineffective. The article says one member of the noise committee resigned last week, and other members complained at a City Council workshop on Monday that the committee is ineffective.

According to the article, the noise committee was formed in May by the Airport Authority to allow residents to work on noise mitigation problems with airport officials. The authority proposed the formation of the committee after the City Council demanded a meeting with the authority over noise complaints. City Councillor Bill Glass said, "The reason that committee was formed was to bring about consensus and cooperation, and it's disappointing to hear that's not happening." The committee has met three times, and is made up of pilots, representatives of homeowners' associations near the airport, and other city and business officials, the article reports.

One member of the committee, Shirley Schnuer, resigned last week, the article says. "The noise advisory committee, I feel, is just a bunch of conversation," said Schnuer, who is president of the Boca Teeca Unit Owners' Association. She added, "There's no discussion of what we, as homeowners, want to talk about, like the airport expansion plans. The City Council has to get involved."

The article says that some members of the committee said they are not satisfied with airport officials' responses to their questions about the need for airport expansion. The Airport Authority already has approved plans for expansion on the last 20 acres of land at the site, the article notes. Mayor Carol Hanson said, "The time has come again when the council has to sit down with the Airport Authority and find out the answers to all these questions. It's clear people still feel like they're in the dark."

The article says that the noise committee's initial decision was to gather basic information about federal and state aviation law and existing noise reduction procedures before making any recommendations. Airport officials claim that the slowness of this fact-finding mission have made some members of the committee impatient. Airport Manager Nelson Rhodes, who is not a committee member, said, "Some people may want instantaneous results, but when you're dealing with complicated issues like federal law, you have to make sure you know what's going on first." Bob Hagerty, the city's representative on the noise committee, said "I believe after having only three meetings, we're still in the beginning stages. It's far too soon to judge."

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New York Town Disregards its Own Leaf Blower Ban

PUBLICATION: Newsday (New York, NY)
DATE: August 26, 1997
SECTION: News; Page A07
BYLINE: Sid Cassese
DATELINE: Long Beach, New York

Newsday reports that the City of Long Beach, New York considers itself exempt from its own leaf blower ban passed in 1994. The city's position came to light after a resident complained about city employees using leaf blowers near her home, only to be told the city considers itself exempt from the law.

The article reports that earlier this month, resident Irene Ficke called City Hall to complain about leaf blowers being used by city employees near her West Hudson Street home. Ficke said, "I got on the phone to City Hall, reminding them of its law banning leaf blowers in Long Beach, only to be told that the city could and did exempt itself from its own law. I was floored."

The article goes on to say that Eugene Cammarato, assistant to the city manager, confirmed Ficke's conversation, but referred questions to attorney Joel Asarch, who could not be reached. But Edmund Buscemi, who was City Council president when the ordinance passed, said the law was intended to get rid of a community nuisance, and should be obeyed by everyone unless it's an emergency. Bill Sharp, principal attorney at the Department of State in Albany, said in order to justify an exemption, the city would have to use a "balancing of public interest" explanation. Andrew Hanlon, a landscaper and member of the board of the Nassau-Suffolk Landscapers and Gardeners Association, said, "Seems like they're saying, 'This is a time-saver for us, but the local businessman can't have it.' If it's the law, everybody should have to obey it."

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Jurors Tour Louisiana Neighborhood in Lawsuit Over Noise and Odors From Shell Plant

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: August 26, 1997
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Rhonda Bell
DATELINE: Norco, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports that a Louisiana jury from toured a neighborhood in Norco Monday in connection with a lawsuit brought by residents against Shell Oil Company. The approximately 250 residents in the suit say the plant is an unbearable nuisance due to its odors, noise, and flare problems, and are seeking enough money to move.

The article reports that the tour was the jury's first task in the trial's second week, and had been requested by the plaintiffs. The 12-member jury, along with two alternates and State District Judge Robert Chaisson toured the neighborhood for about an hour Monday, looking at a playground, the Bonnet Carre Spillway, Washington Street and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad tracks, Cathey Street, and East Street.

After the trip, Don Almerico, an attorney for the residents, said the trip would help their case, the article reports. Almerico said, "At least they got to see the distance from the residences to the plant, how that area is encased by levees. Whatever Shell spills doesn't leave Diamond [the neighborhood]. Also, there was only one "For Sale" sign out there. There's no way they can sell their homes."

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Ontario Airport Makes Forbidden Night Flights to Test Noise Levels, Angering Residents and Officials

PUBLICATION: The Toronto Star
DATE: August 26, 1997
SECTION: News; Pg. A6
BYLINE: Mike Funston
DATELINE: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Maja Prentice, Mississauga Councillor; Lawrence Mitoff, spokesperson, Council of Concerned Residents

The Toronto Star reports that officials at the Pearson International Airport near Toronto, Ontario permitted secret flights during restricted night hours in order to test whether such flights would be tolerated by nearby residents on a regular basis. The flights have angered residents and local officials. Louis Turpen, president of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said the flights had to be kept secret to ensure valid results.

The article reports that the information was made public by Mississauga Councillor Maja Prentice, who expressed anger that city officials weren't notified of the flights. Prentice said she was "shocked" to learn of the flights in view of the authority's stated goal of fostering better relations with the community, the article says. Turpen recently told the airport noise committee, of which Prentice is a member, about the tests, which began six months ago. The results are expected to be released to the committee members on September 24.

According to the article, Lawrence Mitoff, a spokesperson for the Council of Concerned Residents which is opposing the airport's new north-south runway, also was angry. Mitoff said he believes the tests are part of an overall strategy of airport officials to expand the airport. "They (authority officials) are going to turn large areas around the airport into slums and noise ghettos," Mitoff said.

The article explains that currently, there are limits on night flights between midnight and 7 a.m., with the older, noisier jets getting the most stringent restrictions.

Meanwhile, Turpen asserted that it was necessary to perform the flights as "blind tests" for objective results. He said, "We are committed to maximizing the economic opportunities from this asset and we want to do it in an environmentally responsible way. We evaluated certain operations and noise abatement procedures using electronic means, monitoring the flight paths of the aircraft and the complaints we might have received to any of the trials that were conducted." Turpen added that the tests have been a success, but would not say how many flights there were or how many complaints were received. He said, "We expect that a noise management agreement for airlines to fly in the non-traditional hours will come out of this. We're are going to see some economic opportunities spool up from this and I'm excited about it. We believe 500 to 1,000 jobs can be created over the next two years if all our procedures work."

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Canadian Police Say Noisy Motorcycles Are Hard to Measure

PUBLICATION: The Vancouver Sun
DATE: August 26, 1997
SECTION: News; Traffic Jam; Pg. B2
DATELINE: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Sun printed a question-and-answer column in which the question of why motorcycles are allowed to be so noisy is addressed. According to Staff Sergeant Garnet Salmond of the Vancouver (British Columbia) police traffic section, motorcycle noise is difficult to measure.

The column reports that Salmond went on to say that it is difficult to determine what constitutes an adequate muffler on a motorcycle. He said some mufflers have a minimum number of chambers and baffles to meet the requirements of being a muffler, but are still very noisy. He added that if police don't have a portable noise testing device that produces readings that will stand up in court, police would have to take motorcycles to a testing facility to find out whether their mufflers are adequate.

The column says that according to Salmond, police have had more success against boom cars with loud stereos, because the courts believe a driver can easily reduce the stereos' volume, while drivers don't have the same measure of control over the noise emitted from an internal combustion engine.

Finally, the column concludes, Errol Hannigan, executive director of the B.C. Coalition of Motorcycles, said that many motorcycle accidents occur because other drivers don't see motorcycles, leading some motorcyclists to want noisier vehicles.

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Virtual Pets Become More Popular with Some

PUBLICATION: Wisconsin State Journal
DATE: August 26, 1997
SECTION: Daybreak, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: George Hesselberg
DATELINE: Wisconsin

The Wisconsin State Journal printed a column discussing the popularity of virtual pets, the new computer toys that allow kids to raise an electronic pet or child. The toys beep when the pet/child has a need that must be satisfied. The article explores the opinions of some parents who like and who don't like the toys.

According to the column, another recent column featured a parent who didn't like the "discipline" feature of a virtual pet owned by her daughter. The toy, called "Dinkie Dino," required the owner to slap it across the face when it needed discipline.

In response to that column, grandparent John Fosdal wrote in about buying the same virtual pet for his granddaughter before they set out on a car trip, the article says. He wrote, "It proved to be a great investment, as she was really entertained by it as we traveled together on a vacation trip to Canada. We shared taking care of 'Dinkie' as we drove down the highway. "Every time the chime would sound, it was an opportunity to talk about 'what he wants now.' Sometimes the conversation became quite serious, delving into the responsibilities of taking care of a baby. (Our granddaughter) decided that she wasn't! Too much work! It really helped wile away those monotonous hours on the road between destinations. Either we are naive (very possible) or we had a different version of the pet. At no time did our granddaughter ever discipline, or slap her pet. When Dinkie got a sad or angry face, she petted him. The result was a happy face and hearts -- showing that he liked it and was happy. Amy thought that was really neat."

The column goes on to point out that other stories have focused on the distraction virtual pets are to students in classes. The columnist also says that more virtual pets will be on the market soon, and it will be possible to electronically "connect" one pet with another, leading to "pet fights."

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Hearing Problems Are Increasing From Noise Pollution

DATE: August 25, 1997
SECTION: Focus on Your Health; Pg. 75
BYLINE: Claudia Kalb
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Kathy Peck, musician and founder of Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (HEAR); William Clark, senior scientist, Central Institute for the Deaf; Laurie Hanin, director of audiology, League for the Hard of Hearing; Les Blomberg, coordinator, Noise Pollution Clearinghouse; Dr. Barry Freeman, audiologist; Dr. Aaron Thornton, director of audiology, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary

Newsweek reports that research has shown that excessive exposure to noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss and ear damage, contrary to the popular belief that hearing loss is a natural process of aging. The article goes on to discuss the risks to hearing of noise pollution, the ways in which noise damages the ear, the levels at which noise is dangerous, and practical steps people can take to protect their ears.

The article reports that according to William Clark, a senior scientist at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, "About 75% of hearing loss in the typical American is caused not by the aging process alone, but by what you've done to your ears throughout your lifetime." The article gives examples of two people who have permanent damage to their hearing due to their lifestyle choices: a musician and a pilot. Musician Kathy Peck, a bass player and singer/songwriter in a punk band, subjected her ears to loud music almost every day for five years before realizing her hearing was permanently damaged. Frank Goral, a Marine Corps naval flight officer, exposed his ears to the roar of jet engines five days a week for a decade and a half, and when he moved to an office job, he discovered he couldn't hear his co-workers.

While most of us will not regularly subject our ears to these levels of noise, everyone is in danger of permanently damaging their hearing without realizing it, the article says. More than 20 million Americans are regularly exposed to dangerous noise levels, and hearing loss is increasing. Laurie Hanin, director of audiology at the League for the Hard of Hearing in New York City said, "We're seeing evidence of an increase in hearing loss at younger ages. We believe it's due to an increase in noise in the environment."

The article goes on to explain that noise damages ears in two ways: instantaneously, or slowly over time. Acoustic trauma occurs when a loud instantaneous noise, such as a blast from a high-powered hunter's rifle, rips apart the ear's inner tissues and leaves scars that permanently dampen hearing. Noise can also damage hearing slowly over a period of decades, in a type of damage called noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL. With NIHL, excessive noise levels damage some of the inner ear's 16,000 hair cells, which transport vibrations to our brain, where they're decoded. These hair cells are incapable of regeneration, the article says, and by the time we experience ringing in the ears or a muffling of sounds, some of the cells probably have died. According to Clark, "Your ear doesn't bleed after a rock concert or a shot of fireworks. That's why noise is a bigger hazard than it seems."

The article describes which decibel levels are safe and dangerous for hearing. Sound levels below about 85 decibels (dB) are safe for unlimited exposure. Both washing machines and vacuum cleaners, for example, emit noise levels lower than 85 dB, and are not likely to cause harm. But as sound levels increase to 85 dB and beyond, hearing is placed at risk, especially with longer exposure. For instance, an ear can safely handle two hours with a power drill (100 dB), but not more than 30 minutes in a noisy video arcade (110 dB). Because a 10-decibel increase represents 10 times more noise, sounds that don't register much higher than others on the sound scale are much louder. For example, the article says, a screaming child (90 dB) is much louder than a typical alarm clock (80 dB), and a subway platform (100 dB) is considerably noisier than a busy city sidewalk (80 dB).

Noise has long been a problem for urban dwellers, the article reports. New Yorkers ranked noise as the number one problem at the turn of the century, and still do today. But even those who live outside big cities are experiencing increased noise, the article says, from sources such as leafblowers and "boom cars" with large stereos. According to Les Blomberg, coordinator of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse in Montpelier, Vermont, "People are finding they're no longer able to run away from it." Even the small town of Montpelier has a noise battle to fight, according to Blomberg -- the 100 dB street sweeper that rumbles through town at 4 a.m.

There is a simple practical step people can take to protect themselves from noise, the article says -- earplugs. Drugstore earplugs reduce noise levels from between 20 dB to 30 dB, and come in many styles, including foam, silicone, and wax. Simply wear the earplugs whenever you're in a noisy environment, the article advises. When you're not sure whether you need the earplugs, perform a simple test: if you're three feet away from someone and have to raise your voice to be heard, it's time to use earplugs. It's also wise to give your ears a rest after they've been subject to loud noises, the article says. For example, don't go to a rock club directly after attending a boisterous ballgame at the stadium. And don't forget noise impacts on your kids either, the article advises. Some toy rattles can emit 110 dB, and children's electric guitars register even higher levels.

The article points out that there's no way to repair hearing damage once it happens, but treatment options are improving. Conventional hearing aids have never been very popular, the article reports, with only about 20% of Americans with hearing loss wearing them. But now there's a new generation of fully digital hearing aids, which use computer chips to filter sound and match it against a patient's personal hearing-loss profile. These newer hearing aids cost about $3,000, the article notes. Dr. Barry Freeman, an audiologist in Clarksville, Tennessee, said patients using digital aids report 85% to 90% satisfaction, compared to only about 60% satisfaction for users of conventional aids. Some doctors, however, aren't as enthusiastic about the new hearing aids. Dr. Aaron Thornton, director of audiology at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, said the new circuitry not only adds new noise, it's expensive and most insurers won't cover the cost. For some patients, however, the new aids have been a perfect solution. Paul Malkin, a 15-year veteran of hearing aids, said, "The relief is like someone lifted a stone off my head."

The article concludes that efforts to prevent hearing loss from noise pollution are springing up across the country. Kathy Peck, the musician with hearing loss, started educating others about the dangers of loud music. She formed a group called Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (HEAR) in San Francisco, which is recording a CD called "Wear Your Damn Ear Plugs." Hearing specialists also routinely hand out earplugs. Dr. Freeman said, "I keep boxes and boxes of them. We hand them out like they're candy."

The article also printed a list of the decibel levels of the some common sounds, and the length of time humans can be safely exposed to each sound without ear protection:

Gunshot, 140 dB, no safe length of time Jackhammer, 130 dB, 3.8 minutes Rock concert, 120 dB, 7.5 minutes Power drill, 100 dB, 2 hours Lawn mower, 90 dB, 8 hours Vacuum cleaner, 80 dB, no time limit

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Environmental Groups Set to File Lawsuits Over Legal Noise Limits at Amsterdam Airport

PUBLICATION: ANP English News Bulletin
DATE: August 29, 1997
DATELINE: Amsterdam, Netherlands
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Loes Visser of Milieu Defensie; Nature and Environment Foundation

The ANP English News Bulletin reports that Dutch environmental groups said Thursday they planned to take Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, a number of airlines, and the Transport Minister to court to demand compliance with legal noise restrictions.

According to the article, the group Milieu Defensie has joined forces with the Nature and Environment Foundation and other smaller groups to file the lawsuits. According to Loes Visser of Milieu Defensie, his group represents 1,500 private individuals. The groups have said the airlines KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, its partially owned subsidiaries Transavia and Martinair, Air Holland, and Israeli state carrier El Al will be the subject of a lawsuit. Visser said, "The organizations demand that the companies take all necessary measures to stay within the legal noise limits." Visser added that Milieu Defensie expects to begin a court action early next week.

In addition, the article says, the environmental groups plan to take Transport Minister Annemarie Jorritsma to court, after measures she approved last week limiting nighttime flights at the airport have been finalized. The environmental groups believe the measures instituted by Jorritsma will not be sufficient to keep the airport noise within legal limits.

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Chicago Suburb Votes Not to Join Mayor's Anti-Noise Panel

PUBLICATION: Chicago Sun-Times
DATE: August 27, 1997
SECTION: News; Pg. 11
BYLINE: Heather Ryndak
DATELINE: Elk Grove, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Craig Johnson, Elk Grove Village President; John Geils, chair, Suburban O'Hare Commission

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Village Board in Elk Grove, Illinois voted unanimously Tuesday to reject an invitation to join Chicago Mayor Daley's O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, a suburban advisory group on jet noise from O'Hare Airport. Elk Grove officials instead agreed to remain a charter member of the Suburban O'Hare Commission, the adversary of the Mayor's group.

The article reports that Elk Grove Village President Craig Johnson said, "We've had the opportunity to hear all sides of this issue. Now we've made a firm stance on how we're going to go into the next century addressing noise issues. And we think we now have a dialogue with the city . . . to work on those issues." Meanwhile, before Elk Grove's decision, Dennis Culloton, Chicago Aviation Department spokesperson, said that Chicago and Elk Grove officials have agreed to work together no matter what the vote is.

John Geils, chair of the Suburban O'Hare Commission and mayor of Bensenville, said Elk Grove would have jeopardized its membership with his group, and would have set back his group's fight against noise and pollution from the airport, if it had joined the mayor's group. Geils said, "The village can't be a member of both groups. Both groups have completely different, competing philosophies. (Chicago) is pro-expansion (of O'Hare), and SOC is against expansion."

The article explains that the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission is made up of representatives from 13 communities and eight school districts, while the Suburban O'Hare Commission is made up of officials from 10 suburbs and DuPage County. The two groups have been fighting each other recently over Chicago's soundproofing and "fly quiet" programs.

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Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
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