Noise News for Week of June 22, 1997

Neighborhood Group and Local Illinois City Police Work Together to Enforce Anti-Noise Law

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: June 24, 1997
SECTION: Metro Du Page; Pg. 1; Zone: D
BYLINE: Hal Dardick
DATELINE: Aurora, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Scott Pettit, member, Near West Side Neighborhood Association; Shireen Long, Community Policing Officer

The Chicago Tribune reports that an effort in Aurora, Illinois to enforce a noise ordinance directed at blaring stereos from vehicles has combined the forces of the Near West Side Neighborhood Association with community police officers. Under "Operation Boombox," as the effort is called, residents in the neighborhood group use two-way radios to notify nearby squad cars if they hear a blaring vehicle stereo, allowing police officers to arrive quickly at the scene and determine whether a violation has occurred. If so, officers can impound the vehicle, the article says.

The article reports that Scott Pettit, a member of the neighborhood group, moved into his large Victorian house five years ago. He soon learned that his neighborhood had a gang presence, which included many cars driving past his home with blaring, souped-up radios. Pettit said, "Where I live happens to be part of the crime loop. My neighbors moved. One of the reasons they moved was they had a small kid and couldn't live with the noise anymore."

The vehicle boombox problem was so bad, the article reports, that the city of Aurora passed a then-unique noise ordinance in March 1996, that has since been copied by other communities, including Cicero. Under the ordinance, police can impound a vehicle if amplified noise from it can be heard at least 75 feet away. In order to get the vehicle back, the driver has to pay a $75 fine, and the owner has to pay a $250 impoundment fee, a $75 towing fee, and $20-a-day storage charges, the article says. While the ordinance was good in theory, Pettit and other members of the Near West Side Neighborhood Association said it was not being enforced enough to have an impact on their neighborhood. Neighborhood group members aired their complaint at a mayoral campaign forum in March, which also was attended by police officers. One of those officers, community policing Officer Shireen Long, said she realized that if the police got the residents involved in the enforcement process, the problem would be solved. So, starting in late May, the Near West Side Neighborhood Association and the community policing division headed by Sgt. Paul Barrett launched Operation Boombox. Members of the neighborhood group simply use their two-way radios to notify nearby squad cars when they hear a boombox from a vehicle two or more residential lots away, which amounts to about 100 feet. Police arrive at the scene quickly and make an arrest if necessary. According to Police Chief Larry Langston, the operation is part of an effort to crack down on lesser crimes in the hope of preventing more serious offenses.

The article says on May 23, the day the operation started, five people were cited and all of their vehicles were impounded. On Friday, when police conducted their second Operation Boombox effort, two people were received citations. Police Sgt. Barrett said impounding cars gets the attention of the teen-age violators' parents, the article reports.

In response to the operation, Pettit said one or two nights of the effort wouldn't stop the problem, but he added that he hopes the message will get out with continued enforcement. He said noise violations don't constitute a major crime problem, but pointed out that New York City's enforcement of petty ordinances has helped reduce overall crime. "The petty things all lead to a decline of a neighborhood," he said.

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California City to Consider Limits to Leaf-Blowers in Response to a Pastor's Campaign Against Them

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: June 28, 1997
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Chris Chi
DATELINE: Oxnard, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Pastor Jim Bain, leaf-blower activist

The Los Angeles Times reports that church pastor Jim Bain of Oxnard, California has launched a campaign against leaf-blowers, saying the machines plague asthmatics and emit ear-splitting noise. Bain has collected about 65 signatures on an anti-leaf-blower petition, and in response to the issue, the Oxnard City Council will discuss restricting leaf-blowers at a meeting Tuesday.

The article reports that Pastor Bain, of First Presbyterian Church, argues that leaf-blowers should be banned altogether. "It's almost like a chain saw. It's an obnoxious noise, " Bain said. "And the dust and bacteria being blown into the air seems unneighborly. I thought Oxnard should join this movement toward a better quality of life, just like banning second-hand smoke." Bain added that he was motivated in his campaign by the health problems that an elderly neighbor suffered because of leaf blowers. The neighbor's asthmatic coughing fits were made worse by landscapers, he said. Bain argues that gardeners could do their jobs with electric- or battery-powered leaf blowers, the article reports. He believes the goggles and ear plugs worn by gardeners are proof that gas-powered leaf blowers are no good.

The article goes on to say that the debate in Oxnard over leaf-blowers comes as cities throughout California are restricting the machines. Los Angeles' controversial new leaf-blower law, which bans gas-powered leaf-blowers within 500 feet of a residence, will take effect Tuesday. Violators of that ordinance can be fined up to $1,000 and serve six months of jail time. In Camarillo, officials passed a law in 1986 banning weed and debris blowers between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Ventura code department officials use public nuisance ordinances to deal with leaf-blower noise. In Thousand Oaks, officials passed an ordinance in 1990 that bans the use of power equipment that makes "a loud, raucous or impulsive sound" between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. More than 40 cities in California are addressing the leaf-blower issue in some way, the article reports.

According to the article, Oxnard could address the leaf-blower problem in a number of ways: by banning leaf-blowers altogether, restricting their use to certain hours of the day, or more rigorously enforcing the existing sound ordinance. The existing ordinance has no controls specifically for leaf-blowers, and to prove a violation of the ordinance, a police officer must take lengthy steps to test for noise levels, the article says.

The artcle reports that leaf-blowers indisputably cause problems. The average gas-powered leaf-blower emits about 71 decibels. And according to a University of Michigan study, leaf-blowers, lawn mowers, and weed whips cause about 5% of all air pollution.

However, the article says, gardeners and some Oxnard city councillors are concerned about the financial impact of banning or restricting leaf-blowers. City Councillor Dean Maulhardt said he hoped to hear from landscapers at next week's meeting. "I hate to over-regulate," he said, noting that he closes the windows when gardeners work outside his office. "I would hope we could do this in a volunteer way." Councillor John Zaragoza said taxpayers would be affected by a leaf-blower ban, and the city parks department would have increased labor costs. Gardeners say a ban on leaf-blowers could force them to go back to using rakes and brooms, which would be more time-consuming and cause a rise in prices. Landscaper Dan Manzer said, "It's a tool of the trade, just like a computer for an office worker. What they're trying to do is take our tools away from us. We're really getting blasted on this." Manzer added that battery-powered blowers aren't as powerful, and electric ones cut down on workers' mobility, the article says. Manzer said of Pastor Bain, "I think he should be as concerned with the livelihood of his parishioners. His neighbor has trouble breathing? Well, his neighbor should just go inside. The guy running the leaf blower isn't chasing him around with it and blowing it in his face."

In response to landscapers' worries, Bain replied: "Steel mills, cigarette makers have all had to clean up their act. Now gardeners will have to go along with a few more restrictions."

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Town in New York Undertakes Effort to Find Money to Mitigate Airport Noise

PUBLICATION: The Buffalo News
DATE: June 23, 1997
SECTION: Local, Pg. 1B
DATELINE: Cheektowaga, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gary Kernen, Valerie Meyers, Joy Boye, Jill Woody, residents

The Buffalo News reports that officials in Cheektowaga, New York have renewed interest in finding grant money to help soundproof homes and buildings severely affected by jet noise from the Greater Buffalo International Airport. As the airport prepares to complete a new airport terminal, which raises the possibility of more air traffic, officials say this is an appropriate time to seek solutions to the problem.

According to the article, Supervisor Dennis Gabryszak said he has spoken to Rep. Jack Quinn (R-Hamburg) about the possibility of getting funds from the Federal Aviation Administration to help residents install airtight windows or insulate their homes. Before applying for federal funds, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) must conduct a study to determine if noise mitigation measures are warranted, and so far, town officials have not approached NFTA. The article says that in 1990, the Town Board asked the NFTA to conduct a noise study, but no study was done and no federal money materialized. Gabryszak said he hopes circumstances have changed since then, as a new federal airport bill and new provisions on aircraft noise are anticipated. Gabryszak added that the airport noise problem is a quality-of-life issue for the people of the town, and he wants to pursue a solution to it.

Meanwhile, some residents near the airport say that the aircraft noise is annoying, but they have gotten used to it. Gary Kernen, who has lived on Broad Street for 25 years, said the air traffic is not as bad as it was four or five years ago. But he added, that in the summer, with the windows open, "you can't even turn the TV up loud enough." Another Broad Street resident, Valerie Meyers, said if she's on the phone at a peak air traffic time, she has to stop talking till the plane passes. Resident Joy Boye, who has lived at Cayuga Road and Rogers Drive across from the airport for nearly a dozen years, said she doesn't pay much attention to the noise except sometimes in the summer when the doors and windows are open. Jill Woody of Rogers Drive said she and her family also have learned to ignore the noise overhead. But, she added, if they had to buy a house again, it would be in a quieter neighborhood. Because her family is planning on staying in their home, she said she would welcome anything that cuts down on the noise.

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Chicago's New "Fly Quiet" Program Designed to Get Pilots to Comply With Noise Abatement Procedures

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: June 27, 1997
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. 20; Zone: N
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois area

The Chicago Tribune reports in an editorial that although Chicago has had noise abatement procedures in place for years for flights at O'Hare International and Midway Airports, some airline pilots and air-traffic controllers have not been following the procedures, having other priorities on their minds. The editorial says that now, due to the intervention of Mayor Richard Daley and his new commissioner of aviation and their "Fly Quiet" program, the airlines may actually come around and follow the procedures.

The editorial says for years, the city has provided pilots and air-traffic controllers with instructions on how to achieve the least obtrusive flight paths, rollouts, throttle settings, etc., but getting delayed flights back on schedule has often been a higher priority that noise abatement. The city's aviation commissioner, Mary Rose Loney, has discovered since taking over last fall that the city's anti-noise efforts have suffered from a lack of compliance. As a result, she and the mayor recently announced a new "Fly Quiet" program to remind the airlines and the federal controllers that the city procedures exist and are meant to be obeyed. The editorial says that as part of the program, updated manuals will be distributed that, according to the city, "contain information on preferred runways and flight tracks that route aircraft over the least populated areas, such as forest preserves, highways, as well as commercial and industrial areas." In response to the new program, top executives from United and American Airlines, O'Hare's two anchor tenants, attended the press conference about the program and vowed cooperation. The head of the air-traffic controllers union also attended, noting that this was "the first time air-traffic controllers have been asked to participate" in noise abatement, the editorial says.

The editorial goes on to say that it's possible Commissioner Loney has set out to turn the noise situation around, and that "Fly Quiet" is code for "Get Serious." If that is the commissioner's intent, the editorial writers approve. The editorial says that the Chicago area has too much at stake to let the jet noise problem get worse and polarize the suburbs further. If the pilots and air-traffic controllers don't consider excessive jet noise to be their problem, the editorial argues, it's time the city made it their problem.

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Florida City Buys Land Parcel to Buffer Homeowners from Traffic Noise

DATE: June 22, 1997
SECTION: Community Close-Up, Pg. 14
BYLINE: Bridgette Rallo
DATELINE: Deerfield Beach, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the City Commission in Deerfield Beach, Florida has agreed to puchase a two-acre parcel of land for $250,000 to buffer homeowners from noise and traffic along Southwest 10th Street. The agreement came after years of complaints about traffic noise from residents in the Waterford Homes subdivision, and lobbying by City Commissioner Kathy Shaddow. The new parcel borders the Waterford City Park and will be added to the park, the article says.

According to the article, the owner of the land, Jack Abdo, said if the city had not agreed to buy the land, it would have been sold for commercial development. The land currently separates homeowners from traffic and a commercial zone on Southwest 10th Street.

The City Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the deal, the article says, although Commissioner Peggy Noland argued that the price was too high. Noland said the parcel of land is too small to add a ballfield or swimming pool, and therefore won't add enough usable acreage to the adjoining park. In addition, Noland said County Appraiser Bob Markham's office appraised the two-acre parcel and a 65-foot road right-of-way at $128,000, while an appraiser hired by Abdo put the value at more than $300,000. County appraisals must reflect 80% of a property's real value by law, the article reports. Mayor Al Capellini questioned the value of Abdo's appraisal, and said an appraiser for the city set the land's value at $263,000. As part of the land deal, Abdo agreed to pay a back tax bill of $3,118. A down payment for the purchase will come out of the city's Parks and Recreation fund, officials said, and a payment arrangement will be worked out between the city and Abdo, the article reports.

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Roosters Turn up in Upscale Neighborhood and Annoy Residents

DATE: June 22, 1997
SECTION: News; Pg. N04
BYLINE: Seamus McGraw
DATELINE: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

The Record reports that roosters have been returning to a neighborhood in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey for the past couple of years after swallows return to Capistrano. Some residents of the upscale neighborhood want the roosters out of their area, while others don't mind the noisy birds.

The article says that roosters aren't normally known as migratory birds, but they have been returning to the wooded area near Irving Avenue and Summit Street, adjacent to a development of homes worth several hundred thousand dollars each, for a couple of years. There are apparently two birds in the neighborhood, which greet the dawn with a loud calls. Police have been dispatched to the area, but so far have not caught the roosters. Police Capt. William Reilly said, "I think we may need to get some younger officers out there."

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Noise Pollution is a Growing Problem in Great Britain

PUBLICATION: The Independent
DATE: June 22, 1997
SECTION: The Human Condition; Page 4
BYLINE: Ellie Hughes
DATELINE: Great Britain
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Val Gibson, founder, Noise Network; Dr. Laurence McKenna, consultant psychologist in audiological medicine

The Independent reports that neighborhood noise has become a serious problem in Great Britain. Noise is the now most common reason for complaints received by environmental health officers, the article says. A two-part program on Radio Five Live called "Noises Off," starting tonight, will draw attention to noise issues.

The article reports that noise causes fights and other problems between neighbors. That lesson was made clear to Val Gibson, the founder of the Noise Network. She and her husband were forced to move six years ago after they could not escape their neighbor's booming stereo. Gibson said they got no help from the local authority, and were made to feel that they were the problem. She added that environmental health officers are not trained to understand the psychological effects of noise, and therefore do not always take enough action to solve noise problems. Gibson went on to found the Noise Network, which campaigns against noise, the article reports. The group estimates that about five people per year are killed as a result of noise, including people who are murdered, people who commit suicide, and people who finally flip and kill the noise perpetrators.

The article goes on to say that according to Dr. Laurence McKenna, a consultant psychologist in audiological medicine, noise has a profound impact on our well-being. He said, "Noise has the same psychological effect as being punched on the nose -- it's a threat that invokes the primitive fight or flight response." McKenna added that people can be miserable when they hear bothersome noise, and can be equally miserable waiting and wondering when the bothersome noise will begin again. He said, "Why should noise victims be turned into quasi-psychiatric patients? If someone was punched on the nose, we wouldn't tell them to get used to it. We wouldn't advise victims of air pollution to get some psychology. It needs to be addressed properly."

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Maryland Residents and Boaters Fight at Hearing on State Boat Noise Restrictions

DATE: June 26, 1997
SECTION: Front; Pg. A1
BYLINE: Christopher Munsey
DATELINE: Annapolis, Maryland
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: R.E. Barton, Edgewater resident; Courtenay Ellis, Annapolis resident; Tony Olmert, resident near Wild Rose Shores

The Capital reports that at a hearing on state boat noise regulations last night held by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Annapolis, about 60 riverside residents and power-boaters split two sides of the room and began arguing with each other rather than commenting on noise limits and inspections scheduled to become permanent in August.

The article says that after a law passed the General Assembly last year, emergency regulations governing boat noise took effect in June 1996. The temporary regulations set a 90-decibel noise limit for all state waters, and require a muffler system on all power-boats manufactured after January 1990. The Natural Resources Police test a boat's engine noise at idle from a few feet away, with a vessel's muffler system turned off, the article reports. Now, the Department of Natural Resources is moving to adopt the regulations permanently, with the public comment period extending through July 8.

Last night's hearing was held in response to a petition submitted by a group of area residents earlier in the year that objected to a provision in the regulations allowing power-boaters belonging to certain boat associations to test their engines after notifying the department in advance, according to Capt. David Street, boating regulation coordinator. Under those regulations, the boaters can test the engines without complyingn with the noise limit four times a week for a half-hour, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends.

According to resident Courtenay Ellis of Annapolis, residents don't want to hear the noise from unmuffled engines. He said, "I don't like the idea of anyone being able to test these devices near my house." Other residents seconded Ellis's complaint. Tony Olmert, who lives near Wild Rose Shores, said the power-boats bombard their communities with noise. "We're talking NASCAR. ... I'm talking about the vehicles that go up and down the river and make your house shake," he said. Some residents got into verbal fights with boaters at the hearing, the article says. Edgewater resident R.E. Barton said, "I address myself to the powerboaters. Police yourself and you wouldn't have this problem." But power-boater David Robinson said he had the right to ride fast in his boat. "Do I have the right to build a drag strip in your back yard?" Mr. Barton shot back.

Meanwhile, power-boaters continued to echo the theme at the hearing that they have a right to enjoy the water like everyone else. Boater Ray Rosenberg, who owns a boat capable of topping 100 mph, said a "live and let live" attitude is needed. "I don't like that fact that I bought a boat, and all of a sudden I'm an outlaw boater," he said. "That's why I bought it. I want to go fast." Several power-boaters at the hearing said it didn't make sense to require a muffler system, if it has to be turned off during a test, the article reports.

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FAA Says New Runway at New Orleans Airport Could be Built at an Angle to Reduce Noise Pollution; Residents Remain Unconvinced

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: June 25, 1997
SECTION: National; Pg. A1
BYLINE: Vicki Hyman
DATELINE: Kenner, Louisiana
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Sandy Denapolis, Robert Schott, residents; Phil Capitano, City Councillor

The Times-Picayune reports that a new study by the Federal Aviation Administration shows that New Orleans International Airport could angle its proposed north-south runway away from neighborhoods in Kenner to reduce the noise impact, yet still handle enough traffic to make the project feasible. The FAA is using the New Orleans study to develop national standards for near-parallel runway alignment, which could help planners throughout the U.S. deal with problems to airport expansions, such as land availability and noise issues. Meanwhile, residents living in Kenner seemed unimpressed with the FAA's new idea, and said they still oppose a new runway.

According to the article, the new runway, which is still in the discussion stage, could be built about 8 degrees out of parallel with the existing north-south runway, the study found. Such an alignment currently is prohibited under federal standards. A new runway has been part of the airport's master plan since the early 1970s, the article reports. The master plan called for a runway parallel to the existing north-south runway, which would result in simultaneous takoffs and landings by commercial jets and would increase air traffic over northwest Kenner. But, acting on a request from the city of New Orleans, the FAA last year started studying the possibility of angling the new runway about 8 degrees to the west. At first, aviation officials believed such a runway couldn't handle as much traffic, and therefore wouldn't be cost-effective. But the new study shows that with minor adjustments to the instrument landing system controls, the angled runway could handle the same number of planes, the article reports.

Meanwhile, residents and Kenner officials weren't excited by the FAA's study. Sandy Denapolis, a resident of the Seton Parc subdivision, said, "Any runway is going to increase the air traffic over our area. We would rather not have a runway at all." Robert Schott, a resident of the Grandlake Estates subdivision, said, "Eight degrees is not going to put . . . planes out over the marsh. I can't fathom how that wouldn't put them directly over my street." Kenner officials first recommended the runway realignment several years ago, the article says, but while officials say they are glad the FAA found the suggestion viable, they are still not ready to support a new runway. City Councillor Phil Capitano said, "The airport would have to go to great lengths to convince me and my constituents that the flight path, under any circumstances, won't be over neighborhoods." The article says Kenner residents constantly complain about noise from jets using the north-south runway, and some residents complain that jets using the east-west runway turn north over their neighborhoods as soon as they're airborne. The proposed runway also could face opposition from environmentalists, the article reports, who oppose further depletion of the LaBranche Wetlands, where the strip would be built.

No matter what the decision is, the article goes on to say, public input on the plan is still several years away. Before that can happen, the airport first must finish an environmental assessment of the proposed conversion of its east-west taxiway into a runway for private aircraft. According to Brad Kutchins, southeast program manager for the FAA, that report will be completed this summer and then submitted to the public for comment.

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New Waterfall Along Waterfront in Washington City Designed to Muffle Traffic Noise

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: June 25, 1997
SECTION: East; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Peyton Whitely
DATELINE: Kirkland, Washington

The Seattle Times reports that an 11- foot-high, man-made waterfall and stream will be added to the waterfront area in Kirkland, Washington as part of a condominium development. The waterfall project will form a new park, and has been designed to muffle traffic noise.

According to the article, the waterfall and stream will be on Lake Street South, south of downtown Kirkland. The park area will be part of an eight-building condominium project on about 5 acres at 528 Lake St. S. The Kirkland City Council has recently imposed a temporary moratorium on large condo projects, but this project received its permits before that ban. The waterfall and stream design was worked out between the developer and city officials, partly to provide a public benefit in exchange for certain variances. According to Bob Baldwin, vice president of Shumway, the corporation building the waterfall and stream, "The water feature was a lot nicer than just putting up a fence. It's also a sound inhibitor." The effect of the project will be that pedestrians will be able to pause by the waterfall, sit on benches, and look at views of Lake Washington across the street, the article reports.

The article also says that the waterfall and stream is expected to be finished Friday and will be tested near the end of the week, after which it will be turned off until residents move into the condos around September.

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Ford Tests its New Cars for Squeaks and Rattles

PUBLICATION: The Plain Dealer
DATE: June 22, 1997
SECTION: Driving; Pg. 1G
BYLINE: Mary Walton

The Plain Dealer reports that in its most recent pre-production review of the 1996 Taurus, Ford tested every car that came off the line for squeaks, rattles, and other noises. Ford's "squeak-and-rattle team" was made up of two engineers, two Ford College Graduate Program trainees, and two assembly plant workers, and their goal was to make every car completely silent.

The article reports that the team's goal was to find the cause of the noises, not to fix a particular car. Noises are important to the company, the article says, because one small noise on a test drive could eventually be repeated many times and could add up to millions of dollars in warranty costs. Some aspects of the testing were aided by a $3.5 million mobile test station called the Transportable Environmental Four Poster (TEFP), housed in a tractor-trailer. The test station involves placing cars on a trailer that simulates driving over rough terrain. The test station can also create temperatures from minus 20 up to 140 to test vehicles in different climates. However, the article reports, for routine testing, the noise team worked out of a garage on the test floor. Workers tested the doors and windows there, and searched for related noise problems. They also tested the car on rollers built into the floor that simulate 40-mile-per-hour ride on a rutted dirt road. Workers attempted to describe the sounds they hear -- besides squeaks and rattles, they called noises ticks, clicks, hums, whines, snaps, slaps, chirps, creaks, buzzes, bangs, rattles, flutters, or sometimes, for lack of a better word, "contacts." Workers also drove cars around an improvised test route that included railroad tracks and a section of gravel.

The article reports that usually, the squeak-and-rattle team could locate the source of a noise within minutes, sometimes using a stethoscope with a long needle for out-of-the-way locations.

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Residents Along Florida Interstate Get Three Miles of Noise Barriers; Landscaping Options Around Barriers are Explored

PUBLICATION: The Florida Times-Union
DATE: June 28, 1997
SECTION: Digs; Pg. D-1
BYLINE: Roger Bull
DATELINE: Jacksonville, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Pauline Lenderman, Rick Proctor, Vicky Dossabhoy, residents

The Florida Times-Union reports that about three miles of noise barriers are being erected in Jacksonville, Florida along sections of Interstate 95 as part of a project to widen the interstate by one lane on each side. The article goes on to outline how the areas surrounding the noise barriers will be or could be landscaped to mitigate their ugliness, and to report that many residents are already pleased with the outcome of the reduced traffic noise.

The article reports that about 15,000 feet of noise barriers are being built along sections of I-95 from north of Emerson Street to south of University Boulevard. Along these sections, the state Department of Transportation will plant at least 3,000 new trees inside the interstate walls, including cypress, oak, magnolia, red maple, pine, palm, and crepe myrtle. In addition, the department will landscape the residential side of the walls along Rosemont, Haven, and Ruckner roads. In other locations, however, the barriers were built only five feet from private property lines in order to give construction workers enough space. Mike Goldman, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, said the state is essentially giving that 5-foot strip to the homeowners who can do anything they want to it. Homeowners also can ask the transportation department to maintain the strip, but then workers will have to ask residents' permission to go into their back yards, Goldman said. When noise barriers were built along I-95 in West Palm Beach two years ago, the article says, the transportation department put sod on the residential side of the barriers if the residents wanted it, and offered to mow the strip. But Al Ewing, construction engineer for the project, said no one took them up on the offer. Instead, he said, residents took over the land, some installing bushes or rock gardens.

Meanwhile, many residents near I-95 who have already had their noise barriers installed report satisfaction with the outcome. Pauline Lenderman, a Shasta Drive resident, said the 20-foot-high concrete wall near her home isn't pretty, and caused her to feel closed in at first, but that now, "I'm used to it. The main thing is that I don't have the headlights on my house anymore." Ormewood Avenue resident Rick Proctor has had part of the barriers erected around his home, and he said they have already made a big difference in the traffic noise. He added that recent storms have made him wonder whether the walls will stand in bad weather. Another resident, Vicky Dossabhoy of Belair Road East, said, "I'm glad they're putting it up, just for the dust and the noise. It's real hard to hear someone knock on the door. When my relatives come to town, they can't stay here because they can't get to sleep at night." Dossabhoy added that her son Tyler, who's almost 2, will be disappointed by the noise barriers because "he likes to stand in the yard and yell 'beep, beep' at the trucks."

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Queens Residents in an Uproar Over Proposal to Add 30 Daily Flights to LaGuardia Airport

DATE: June 22, 1997
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Blanca Quintanilla
DATELINE: New York, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Claire Shulman, Queens Borough President; Dan Andrews, an aide to Shulman; Peter Vallone, City Council Speaker; Rose Marie Poveromo, Jackson Heights resident, civic leader, and member of the borough president's Aviation Advisory Council

The Daily News reports that residents and public officials in New York City's Queens borough are alarmed and angry at requests by three low-fare airlines to add 30 daily flights in and out of the busy LaGuardia Airport. Opponents of the proposal have been writing letters to U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, asking him to reject the requests from ValuJet, AirTran, and Frontier Airlines.

According to the article, Rose Marie Poveromo, a western Queens civic leader and resident of Jackson Heights, said local residents who have been writing letters are basing their opposition on the FAA's 1969 High Density Rule, which capped flights at the nation's busiest airports. The rule limits the number of "flight slots" at New York's JFK and LaGuardia, Chicago's O'Hare, and Washington's National Airports. Airlines can purchase or lease flight slots from other airlines, and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can grant exceptions for new airlines if they can demonstrate the additional flights are in the public interest, or can cite "exceptional circumstances." Poveromo, who is also a member of the borough president's Aviation Advisory Council, said the airlines have failed to meet the criteria. "LaGuardia Airport's growth must be capped," Poveromo said. "I am outraged that the FAA's . . . rule can be manipulated to serve commercial interests at the expense of Queens residents, who are even now struggling for survival."

Queens borough officials seconded Poveromo's indignation. The article says that Borough President Claire Shulman recently wrote in a letter to Transportation Secretary Slater, "If any of these applications is granted . . . it would eliminate the only protection that the local community has against unsafe airspace, excessive noise, increased pollution, and unreasonable delays." City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, in his own letter to Slater, warned that added flights could jeopardize safety over New York City skies.

The article reports that in April, borough officials first learned that ValuJet Airlines had asked the government for permission to schedule 12 daily flights to and from Atlanta, where it is based. Only a few days after learning of ValuJet's proposal, borough officials learned that two other small airlines, Orlando-based AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines of Denver, also had applied for permission to operate out of LaGuardia. The article says that if the federal government grants the requests, ValuJet would add flights to Atlanta, AirTran would fly to Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee, and Frontier would schedule additional flights to Denver, for a total of 30 new daily flights in and out of the airport. LaGuardia, as well as JFK Airport, both currently handle an average of 1,000 flights a day.

Meanwhile, Ed Faberman, heads of the Air Carrier Association of America in Washington, D.C., said he believes the federal government should grant the request by the three airlines. He said that small carriers are often unfairly blocked from operating out of desirable locations such as LaGuardia because they can't buy or lease expensive slots from the larger carriers who got them for free. Faberman said the government has a responsibility to promote competition, and "new entrant" airlines often offer competitive fares to desirable destinations. He added that if the government grants an exception to the high-density rule, it doesn't necessarily translate into more flights because the government can also take slots from larger airlines and give them to smaller, emerging carriers.

However, the article reports, borough officials remain skeptical. Dan Andrews, an aide to Borough President Shulman, said, "We are not trying to turn business away. But do we really need additional flights to Denver, when there's already 40 daily flights out of the three area airports?"

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Outdoor Enthusiast Champions Victory for Failed Helicopter Tour Scheme on a British Isle

PUBLICATION: The Daily Telegraph
DATE: June 28, 1997
BYLINE: Stephen Venables
DATELINE: Skye Island, Scotland

The Daily Telegraph printed an editorial in which the writer celebrates the victory over a proposal to run sightseeing flights over Skye, an island in the Hebrides off Scotland's northwest coast. The writer says the noise from the tour flights would have destroyed "one of the last wild sanctuaries of silence" in Britain.

The editorial maintains that silence is Skye's greatest asset, and if it's destroyed, the thing that makes the Hebridean island so special will be lost. He goes on to praise those who worked to defeat the sightseeing flights proposal.

The editorial reports that Man Friday Helicopters (MFH) wanted to run the sightseeing flights, saying that Skye's tourist industry would be boosted. But two previous applications to build a helipad had already been withdrawn, and this month, the company's third plan, to use an existing airstrip at Ashaig, was rejected by the local area committee of the Highland Council, which owns the land. The editorial says that councillors were influenced by local citizens' objections to increased noise, and also by climbers, hillwalkers, and naturalists from throughout Britain who campaigned against the proposal to run flights close to the unique cirque of jagged peaks at the heart of Skye, called the Cuillin.

The writer goes on to explain how he discovered the "magic of the Cuillin" on a June evening 15 years ago. He says he was sailing past Skye, when the skipper decided on a whim to take the boat into the heart of the Cuillin horseshoe. The writer says he went ashore and climbed up 2,000 ft. of giant, sculpted rock slabs, and reached the crest of the main ridge at 1a.m. The writer says that there was a faint glimmer of light to negotiate the famous landmarks in the dark, such as the great chasm of the Thearlaich Dubh Gap, King's Chimney, and the gothic Inaccessible Pinnacle. The ridge swept up and down over 17 jagged summits. Dawn brought a muted lilac haze, and early morning brought a feeling of "ethereal calm," the writer says. On his trek back down in the morning, the only sound was a shriek from a greenshank dive-bombing him, the only human intruder. After passing the bird's nest, the writer stopped for a quick swim and a sunbathe, "treasuring a few last moments of total peace." He remarks that other than a faint hum from insects, the silence was palpable -- "almost a sound in its own right, ringing around the Cuillin."

The editorial says that it was on just such quiet summer days that Man Friday Helicopters wanted to run its sightseeing flights. The helicopter company has done aerial bracken-spraying on Skye, and last year, one of their local employers suggested there might be a market for tourist flights. Edward Wood, the company's finance director, agreed and said there would be good potential for local jobs. Wood added, "The trouble with all you environmental types is that you seem to think that making money is a terrible, wicked thing to do." But, the editorial writer says, the indirect economic benefit from hillwalkers and climbers visiting remote areas year-round has now been well-documented, and is much more valuable to Scotland than making the hills more accessible to seasonal visitors. The writer says if the flights had gained approval, there would have inevitably been some background noise in the Cuillin -- "only an irritant, perhaps, but still a mechanical intrusion into one of the last wild sanctuaries of silence." If people want to see the Cuillin, the writer says, let them see it silently, on foot, treasuring the solitude and silence.

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Idaho County to Decide on Exemption to Noise Law Involving Sporting Events and Fairs

PUBLICATION: The Idaho Statesman
DATE: June 26, 1997
SECTION: Local ; Pg. 1b
BYLINE: Candice Chung
DATELINE: Boise, Idaho

The Idaho Statesman reports that Ada County (Idaho) Commissioners will hold a special meeting today to vote on an amendment to the county's noise ordinance that would allow regularly scheduled sporting events and fairs to be exempt from the regulations. The noise ordinance was passed in early June, and prohibits noise that is plainly audible from 100 feet of the source between 10 p.m and 7 a.m. Already exempted from the ordinance are emergency sirens, trains, planes, and authorized fireworks displays. If approved, the new exemption would allow the Boise Hawks Stadium to continue to use their PA system after 10 p.m.

According to the article, the Boise Hawks management has said they are concerned that without a specific exemption, they could potentially be cited with violations. The Ada County Sheriff's Department has not received any complaints about the Hawks games, but the Hawks management has been turning off the public address system at 10 p.m. each night, which has annoyed fans, the article reports.

The article says that County Commissioner Frank Walker said the exemption would take care of the Hawks' complaints and also address the high schools that may have a football game that lasts past 10 p.m. Walker added that efforts will be made to mitigate noise from the Western Idaho Fair's midway rides.

Meanwhile, the article reports, a Santana concert recently went on till 10:30 p.m., and concert promoters were cited and fined. Bravo Entertainment, which owns Santana, plans to attend the meeting to ask that the time restriction be pushed back or an exemption be granted for future concerts. Bravo's attorney Bret Shoufler said Bravo supports a noise ordinance, that "this goes too far." County commissioners, however, have said that the time restriction is not negotiable.

The article also says that Salt Lake County in Utah adopted a similar noise policy in August 1991, in which noise that is plainly audible at a resident's property line or 50 feet from the source on public land is a violation. Sgt. Rod Norton of the Salt Lake County Sheriffs Department, said of the ordinance, "It's always a challenge to enforce because it's subjective. Is plainly audible when you can hear the words? What if there are no words?" In Salt Lake County, concerts are required to get a special permit to play beyond the 10 p.m. time limit.

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Noise Pollution Increasing as a Health Issue; Noise Problems Continue to Surface in California

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: June 23, 1997
SECTION: L.A. Life, Pg. L3
BYLINE: Heesun Wee
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Nancy Nadler, director of the Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing; John Deming, Encino resident; Dr. Michael Persky, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Encino; Majid Ali, acupuncturist and herbalist in Reseda

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that noise pollution is increasingly seen as a health issue by physicians and experts. The article also reports that around California's San Fernando Valley, noise issues continue to surface, and residents continue to complain about noise problems. Finally, the article presents a list of various decibel levels, and common noises associated with each level.

The article says that several noise-related issues have come up in the San Fernando Valley recently. In Los Angeles, a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers was approved last December that prohibits the blowers within 500 feet of a residential area. In addition, electric blowers and lawn vacuums that emit more than 45 decibels are illegal. In Van Nuys, residents near the Van Nuys Airport are angry about a plan to fly 737 jets into the area. And a small Encino neighborhood that was buffered from the nearby Ventura Freeway (101) by eucalyptus trees owned by the Los Angeles Zoo was angered recently when zoo officials cut the 80-foot trees so the stumps can grow into dense bushes of suckers that koalas like to eat. John Deming, a resident of the neighborhood, said the freeway noise became much louder after the trees were gone. He added, "During certain times of the day, you can't go out in the back yard because the noise is so loud. It's not enjoyable. And when they removed the trees, we were able to see the freeway, which psychologically increases the noise. "

The article goes on to say that health experts say noise pollution not only affects hearing, it can lead to other mental and physiological problems. Nancy Nadler, director of the Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing in New York City, said, "Years ago, if someone complained about noise, no one took it seriously. But we do have to take these complaints seriously. It's not trivial. It's a serious health hazard." An Encino ear, nose, and throat specialist, Dr. Michael Persky, said he gets about three or four patients a day who've experienced hearing loss. Persky said, "Along with hearing loss caused by aging, noise-induced hearing loss is the most common disorder of the ear we typically see." Warning signs of hearing loss can include ringing or buzzing in the ears immediately after exposure to noise, a slight muffling of sounds after noise exposure, and difficulty understanding speech, the article reports. Too much noise can affect more than your hearing as well, the article says. Majid Ali, an acupuncturist and herbalist in Reseda, said he has seen several patients who had health problems that were exacerbated by exposure to loud noise. Ali said that too much noise can cause hyper-irritation that supresses appetite, and can lead to tension headaches, neck and shoulder pain, mental stress, and sleep disorders.

A recent study has shown that noise can affect even more than your health, the article reports. Cornell University researchers earlier this year found that children in schools that experienced frequent noise from aircraft overhead didn't learn to read as well as children in quiet schools. The researchers found that the kids learn to tune out human speech during the noise, which is an important aid in learning to read.

And Nancy Nadler of the League for the Hard of Hearing added that noise is not just an urban problem. She said she receives mail from people who live near noisy farm equipment.

Dr. Persky went on to say that "noise-induced hearing loss [is] a man-made disease that affects all members of society." Both Persky and Ali recommended visiting a family physician and/or audiologist when hearing-loss symptoms are suspected, as well as eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly, the article reports. They explained that a healthy person is more likely to not let excessive noise lead to mental stress and other ailments.

The article points out that the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set noise standards for the workplace that require safety measures when the work environment exceeds 90 decibels. Severe damage to hearing can take place at noise levels of 140 decibels, which is the threshold for noise-induced pain, the article says. In addition, the article printed the following list of other decibel levels:

Sitting in the woods: 20 decibels

Sitting in a living room with the TV off: 40 decibels

Average business office with typewriters: 60 to 70 decibels

A personal stereo with headsets with 50 percent of the volume on: 81 decibels

Average street traffic: 80 to 85 decibels

A personal stereo with headsets with 100 percent of volume on: 96 decibels

Jackhammer: 100 decibels

Band music: 110 decibels.

The noise level inside a video arcade: as high as 110 decibels

Jet taking off: 130 decibels

Power lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, and other power tools: as loud as 130 decibels

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Illinois City Considers Extending Nighttime Noise Ordinance to Businesses

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: June 26, 1997
SECTION: Metro Du Page; Pg. 3; Zone: D
BYLINE: Hal Dardick
DATELINE: Aurora, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Ken Hinterlong, chair, City Council Government Operations Committee

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Aurora (Illinois) City Council Government Operations Committee is considering extending a nighttime noise prohibition that now applies to homes, to cover businesses adjacent to residential areas.

According to the article, the chair of the committee, Ken Hinterlong, proposed the new ordinance in response to complaints from residents who live near businesses. The committee has asked the city's legal department to draft an ordinance for consideration at a later meeting.

The article reports that in April 1996, the City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits most types of noise from emanating more than 75 feet from a home between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Hinterlong wants those same restrictions extended to businesses, the article says.

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Regulating Noise in Florida County is as Hard as Banning Strip Bars

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: June 23, 1997
SECTION: Citrus Times; Off / Beat; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jan Glidewell
DATELINE: Pasco County, Florida

The St. Petersburg Times reports in a humorous editorial that the attempt by Pasco County (Florida) to come up with a way to regulate noise has turned out to be nearly impossible. The writer compares the attempt to define and enforce a noise ordinance with earlier attempts to close down strip bars.

According to the editorial, noise ordinances are complicated both by First Amendment considerations and by technical problems with enforcement. First Amendment considerations can be illustrated by the case of a Tampa street preacher, who harangues people on the Franklin Mall, the editorial says. Merchants complain the preacher drives away their business, while the preacher says he's spreading the word of the Lord. The editorial asks, "At what point can the law tell anybody he or she is making too much noise for the wrong reasons?" The writer speculates on whether the law can outlaw other noises that are mildly irritating (Sinead O'Connor), really irritating (Newt Gingrich), or ear-bleeding (teen-agers driving cars with boom-box speakers). The writer concludes that most of the above noise violations should be misdemeanors, except for the boom-box speakers, which along with loud mufflers and infomercials should qualify offenders for the death penalty. The problem of enforcement of a noise ordinance involves deciding where to measure the noise, the editorial says. Noise levels are affected by how far the measurer is from the source, how far the person being disturbed is from the source, wind direction, atmospheric pressure, and other variables.

The editorial writer goes on to compare the impossibility of passing a working noise ordinance with past and present attempts in Pasco County to pass a working nude bar ordinance, and concludes that it's lucky the county doesn't have any real crimes to worry about.

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Florida County's Comprehensive Plan Sets Noise Contours Which Could be Federally Pre-Empted

PUBLICATION: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
DATE: June 27, 1997
SECTION: Local/State, Pg. 3B
BYLINE: Dale White
DATELINE: Manatee County, Florida

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the Manatee County (Florida) government is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan, and it intends to include noise restrictions for the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport that are based on current technology and economic conditions. However, the article reports that the airport's attorney said if those conditions change, the airport and county could find themselves in a legal entanglement about who has jurisdiction over aircraft noise.

The article explains that the county's Planning Commission reviewed the comprehensive plan Thursday morning, and the county plans to adopt an update of the plan by late fall. The comprehensive plan is required by the state, and is a collection of binding policies pertaining to all of the county's operations, including buses, sewer systems, and aviation issues. In the aviation section, the county intends to include "noise contour maps" created by the airport, which show the Manatee neighborhoods affected by noise from approaching or departing aircraft. The comprehensive plan would set a policy stipulating that the decibel levels and geographic parameters of those noise contours could not change.

However, the article reports, Dan Bailey, an attorney for the airport, told the planning commission that any "local controls" over aircraft noise contours "may be federally pre-empted." He said that noise contour maps must be accepted by the Federal Aviation Authority, and this point should be recognized in the comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan is intended to last well into the next century, and airport officials are concerned about what the county will do if the noise contour maps need to be changed.

The article says that Bailey added that the airport's " noise contours" have shrunk in recent years, due partly to the fact that about 81 percent of aircraft flying out of Sarasota-Bradenton are built to newer FAA standards and generate less noise. In addition, Bailey said the airport has experienced reduced operations in recent years.

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Idaho County Should Revise Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Idaho Statesman
DATE: June 24, 1997
SECTION: Editorial ; Pg. 6a
DATELINE: Boise, Idaho area

The Idaho Statesman reports in an editorial that Ada County's new noise ordinance should be revised to be more flexible, but fair and strict at the same time. The shortcomings of the ordinance were obvious, the editorial says, during a recent outdoor concert and baseball game.

According to the editorial, a Santana concert Friday at Hawks stadium didn't end till 10:30 p.m., a half-hour past the 10 p.m. deadline for noise, as defined in the new ordinance. Concert promoters got a $300 fine for the violation, even though they had scheduled the band before the ordinance was adopted. The editorial says this incident illustrates the first problem with the noise ordinance: the fine is too low to stop most organizers from violating the curfew.

The editorial goes on to say that on Sunday the Boise Hawks opened the baseball season at the stadium with a game that lasted past 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., the Hawks management turned off the PA system, to the annoyance of the fans. This illustrates the ordinance's second problem, the editorial says: many games last beyond 10 p.m., and the ordinance should allow the games to be completed with the normal announcing and cheering the fans expect.

The editorial says there's also a third problem with the ordinance: enforcement. Enforcement is tricky, according to police, because it's based on the number of complaints from residents. The editorial says many people complained about the Santana concert, so the promoters got a fine. But the editorial writers question whether the county would be so quick to fine the baseball team.

In conclusion, the editorial says the county commissioners are on the right track with the noise ordinance, but they don't have it quite right yet. The editorial says the residents deserve quiet, but the stadium is going to be noisy sometimes, and the ordinance should reflect that.

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U.S. House Subcommittee Approves Continuing Ban on Building Sixth Runway at Denver Airport

PUBLICATION: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
DATE: June 26, 1997
SECTION: News/National/International; Ed. F; Pg. 5A
BYLINE: John Brinkley and Kevin Flynn
DATELINE: Washington, DC

The Rocky Mountain News reports that the transportation subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved a renewed ban on the federal funding for the proposed sixth runway at Denver International Airport. If approved by the full Congress, the ban would remain in place through September 1998, the article says. The vote was a victory for noise critics, who have maintained that the runway should not be built until the airport can control the noise pollution it already emits.

According to the article, funding for the sixth runway was first nixed in September 1994 because of a political fight over a proposal to move the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum to Denver. But after Denver International opened two years ago, residents impacted by jet noise took up the issue as a way to force the city to lower noise levels.

The ban has been supported by U.S. Representative Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), who argues that the airport shouldn't be allowed to build another runway until residents are satisfied with current levels of jet noise. Hefley agreed that noise levels have improved somewhat in the past year, but it isn't enough. He said, "The FAA has done some rerouting [of flight paths] to try to address some of the noise concerns. But we still get quite a number of noise complaints."

The article goes on to explain that the measure approved by the subcommittee orders the Federal Aviation Administration to study whether the sixth runway would make the airport noisier. Lee Marable, Denver's assistant city attorney for the airport, said the funding ban previously was interpreted as preventing the FAA from studying the issue. Marable said the measure will give the FAA more flexibility because officials will be able to study the impact of the sixth runway.

The proposed sixth runway would be a north-south strip just west of the airport's current western-most runway, the article reports. Officials want the runway to be 16,000 feet long, compared with the airport's other runways which are 12,000 feet. Most officials say the new runway would lower noise levels by accomodating longer takeoff rollouts for the heavier international flights. But some critics insist that Denver's elevation would not allow such takoffs on the hottest days of summer, the article says.

The article points out that the city of Denver had fought unsuccessfully to lift the ban for several years. U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said she hopes to convince lawmakers to lift the ban later in the legislative process. She said, "I think Denver needs a sixth runway" for international flights, particularly "after we've just finished telling the world at the G-8 Summit that we want to be a center of international business."

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California Valley Residents Debate Jet Flight Proposal

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: June 27, 1997
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. N21
DATELINE: Van Nuys, California area

The Daily News of Los Angeles printed the following letters-to-the-editor from residents in Van Nuys and Encino, California regarding jet noise from the Van Nuys Airport:

To the editor:

With regard to "Refurbishing jets," Public Forum, June 23: An ever-increasing number of residents in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica Mountains are being impacted negatively because of the ever-increasing noise emanating from the constant jet traffic. The prospect of Boeing 737 aircraft flying over our homes, in addition to the noise problem as it exists, is outrageous. I simply do not care if we are in fact speaking of 24 total departures per year. What is needed is a decline, not an increase, in departures.

The airport and local economy may need this business from Boeing's customers; however, we need some hint of cooperation from the Van Nuys Airport relative to its intent to respect the wishes of the homeowners for a change and not another slap in the face by way of yet more expansion. I can only see the decrease in my property value with each jet departure, and that stress, coupled with the pain and anguish suffered as a result of constant noise made by these monster airplanes, is quite overwhelming. Enough is enough.

Jan Neveu-Beaghan, Encino

To the editor:

This outrage over a program that would have no real effect on noise is a typical knee-jerk reaction by people who apparently are opposed to the airport and wish it would go away.

The proposed program would involve landing a Boeing 737, which would spend one or more weeks on the ground doing the modifications, and then taking off and flying it away. It is in no way comparable with regular flights of helicopters and jets, which certainly can be legitimate concerns. Deeper in the Daily News' June 20 article ("Van Nuys firm aims to land 737 work; residents don't want jet's noise at airport) is information that Boeing 737s will generate noise levels of 85 to 95 decibels, compared with the Lear jet, with a target noise level on takeoff of 103.6 decibels, which is much higher. The Lear jets are flown during normal flight operations, which means they are likely to take off early or fly in late, which has been the substance of many of the complaints about airport noise. There is no corresponding problem with the proposed Boeing 737 refurbishment.

I admit to being a retired aerospace engineer with a continuing strong interest in aviation matters, but have no financial interest in the airport.

Michael Walsh, Van Nuys

To the editor:

Yet again, the irresponsible homeowners of Encino are looking to improve their property values and their pocketbooks at the expense of working-class folks. At the first hint of work that would create 100 new jobs right here in the Valley, so people don't have to commute, they are up in arms, doing their best to stamp out the project.

Isn't it strange how these homeowners are so quick to call for us to sacrifice, but they won't give up the tiniest bit?

Steven Levin, Van Nuys

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