Chronological Index for May 1997

1990: Sep
1994: Jul Sep
1996: Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
1999: Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000: Jan Feb Mar Apr

May 1997

Noise Pollution Will Damage Hearing Sooner in Lifetime if Noise Exposure is High. The publication Medical Update reports that hearing loss is the third highest health complaint from older adults, arthritis and high blood pressure. The article says that we all succumb to presbycusis (literally "old hearing") sooner or later, and it will be sooner if we allow ourselves to be exposed to excessive noise. Every day about 20 million people are unnecessarily exposed to excessive sound levels that can damage our hearing, the article says.

May 1, 1997

English Resident Insists Noise from Heathrow Airport is Growing. The Daily Telegraph printed the following letter-to-the-editor from A.H. Catto regarding increasing noise from the Heathrow Airport in London:

Japanese Rail Firms Agree to Take Steps to Cut Noise. The Daily Yomiuri reports that the operators of two railway lines connecting downtown Osaka, Japan and the Kansai International Airport have agreed to introduce noise-reduction measures this year, in response to complaints about increased noise.

Sacramento and Amphitheater Reach Tentative Compromise on Noise Reduction. The Sacramento Bee reports that the city of Sacramento (California) and the amphitheater Cal Expo have reached a tentative settlement in their dispute over concert noise problems at the amphitheater. Under the settlement, the city has agreed to drop its lawsuit against Cal Expo and allow later nighttime curfews than it set for concerts last year, while Cal Expo has agreed to accept curfews that are earlier than it would prefer and monetary penalties when the curfews are violated.

May 2, 1997

"Hush House" Is the Latest Noise Mitigation Measure at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The Chicago Tribune reports that in order to mitigate noise from nighttime aircraft engine maintenance tests at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a "hush house," or a Ground Run-Up Enclosure, has been built to muffle the noise at the north end of the airport. The enclosure is the first one built at a commercial airport in the U.S.

May 3, 1997

Noise Impact Study Delays Massive Highway Project in Louisiana. The Times-Picayune reports that a project to widen Interstate 10 around New Orleans and East Jefferson, Louisiana would require concrete walls as high as 30 feet to muffle traffic noise, according to a recent study. This news has sent state highway officials scrambling to revise their plans and has delayed the work on the project, the article says.

May 4, 1997

National Parks Try to Preserve Natural Quiet. The Telegraph Herald reports that Walt Dabney, superintendent of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Natural Bridges National Monument, is worried that noise could compromise the natural quiet people seek in national parks and preserves. The article explores how things have changed in Utah since Edward Abbey wrote about the area in the late 1950s, and about how the noise from airflights are a controversial issue in many national parks.

Jet Skiers Banned from Great Yarmouth in England. The Sunday Mirror reports that jet skiers have been banned from using an area in Great Yarmouth, England on noise and safety grounds. Jet skiers have also recently been banned from Gorleston and a Norfolk seaside resort on the same grounds.

Florida Town Toughens its Noise Ordinance. The Sun-Sentinel reports the city commissioners in Sunrise, Florida last week tentatively approved an ordinance that tightens the city's noise regulations. The proposed ordinance would prohibit loud noises at any time of the day, and police would have the power to determine if a noise is loud enough to be prohibited. The article says that the proposal must be voted on a second time to become law.

Controversy Surrounds Air Tour Flight Restrictions in National Parks. The New York Times reports that national parks recently have been at the center of controversy over efforts to preserve or restore the parks to "natural quiet" by restricting air tour flights. Legal and legislative fights have resulted over restrictions in the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Parks.

More People Back Newspaper's Campaign Against Jet Skis in Britain. The Sunday Times reports that its own Campaign for Safe Waters in Great Britain has produced letters from many residents who want to restrict jet skis (also called "wet bikes") as well as the support of David Bellamy, environmentalist and president of Coral Cay Conservation, and John Fowles, author and Dorset coast resident.

Army Wants Residential Development Restricted Around Fort Knox Due to Potential Noise Complaints. The Courier-Journal reports that army officials are worried that the Fort Knox army base could be threatened due to increases in noise complaints if landowners are allowed to build homes near the base in Radcliff, Kentucky. Army officials want a noise buffer zone to surround the base. Meanwhile, in a lawsuit to be heard May 12 at the Hardin fiscal court, homeowner Dale Irwin is expected to win permission from the court to build a home near the base.

May 5, 1997

Illinois City Amends Noise Ordinance. The Chicago Tribune reports that Palos Hills, Illinois has amended its noise ordinance so that it now includes decibel threshold readings. In addition, a decibel meter will now be used by police to make it easier to enforce the regulations.

"Rogue Planes" Increase at Connecticut Airport and Officials Worry that Expansion Plan May Increase Noise. The Hartford Courant reports that residents in Suffield, Connecticut have been complaining about noise from "rogue planes" from the Bradley International Airport. As state Department of Transportation studies whether to build a new terminal at the airport, residents and some officials are worried that the plans could mean even more noise for the community.

May 6, 1997

Researchers Study Beluga Whales' Responses to Shipping Noise in Canadian Rivers. Newsday reports that a University of Connecticut researcher is studying whether shipping noise in the St. Lawrence and Saugenay Rivers in Quebec could damage the hearing and capacity for survival of beluga whales in the area.

Residents in South Carolina Town Complain About Noise from Gun Range and Water Treatment Plant. The Herald reports that two residents of York, South Carolina brought noise problems to the County Council Monday. Charles Plyler complains about noisy gunfire at a nearby police shooting range, and Bud Rushin can't sleep because of unmuffled pumping at a water treatment plant near his home. The council agreed to investigate both complaints.

Michigan City Wins Fight for Noise Barrier Along Interstate. The Detroit News reports that after a 10-year fight, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will extend a sound barrier wall on the north side of I-696 from Franklin Road to just short of Inkster Road in Southfield, Michigan. The decision comes after about 250 residents fought to have the noise barrier in their neighborhoods.

North Carolina City Considers Raising the Fines for Violators of Noise Ordinance. The News & Record reports that the Greensboro (North Carolina) City Council tonight will consider a proposal that would increase penalties for violating the city's noise ordinance, and would make landlords of noisy tenants liable for penalties as well. The proposal is being considered to deal with the partying students in off-campus housing.

May 7, 1997

California City Attorney Says Limit on Aiplane Size at Van Nuys Airport is not Law. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that a city attorney said Tuesday that the Van Nuys (California) Airport does not have to follow a resolution passed by the Airport Commission in 1984 prohibiting certain types of heavy aircraft at the airport. Many such aircraft already operate at the airport.

Parties Concerned with Florida Airport Growth Should Gather to Discuss Issues. The Sun-Sentinel printed an editorial in which residents, pilots, and the Airport Authority of the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport are encouraged to sit down together and work out reasonable procedures to deal with aircraft noise that can be reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Planes at Tampa Airport Rerouted Due to Runway Repair Project, Residents Unhappy with New Noise. The Tampa Tribune reports that neighborhoods south of the Tampa (Florida) International Airport will experience aircraft noise due to a six-month project that will repair the airport's main runway.

It's Not Always Quieter in the Country. The Daily Telegraph printed an editorial in which the writer outlines why it is often noisier in the country in Great Britain than in the city, town, or suburbs.

May 8, 1997

Vending Trucks in California City Must Cut the Noise Under New Rules. The Los Angeles Times reports that on May 5, Costa Mesa (California) officials passed an ordinance that bans the use of horns -- and other attention-getting devices -- from being used by truck vendors for non-driving purposes. The city wants to quiet neighborhoods where residents have complained about noise from truck vendors selling ice cream, produce, and other products. City officials say that some trucks drive by the same area every ten minutes.

Resident Proposes Local Oversight Committee for Noise at Connecticut Airport. The Hartford Courant reports that Suffield, Connecticut resident Robert Frasco proposed creating a local oversight committee to help keep the volume in check at the Bradley International Airport at the board of selectment meeting Wednesday. In addition, Frasco asked to see a moratorium on business agreements with the airport until the noise impacts can be gauged. First Selectman Roland Dowd responded by asking the audience to call him personally with noise complaints so that he can create a log of the problem.

Limits on Snowmobiles in Yellowstone Are Unavoidable. The Idaho Falls Post Register printed an editorial that explores the issue of how many snowmobiles should be allowed in Yellowstone National Park and its six adjacent national forests in order to avoid conflicts with wildlife and other recreational users and damage to natural resources. The editorial writer says that the scientific answer to the question is fairly straightforward, but a political solution acceptable to everyone is not so easy.

Aircraft Take-Offs in Florida City Get Noisier. The Sun-Sentinel printed the following letter-to-the-editor from John Hogan, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida area resident, regarding noise from jet takeoffs:

Missouri City Strengthens Noise Ordinance. The Kansas City Star reports that the City Council in Lee's Summit, Missouri unanimously approved changes to its noise ordinance Tuesday. The changes include adding strict definitions of noise nuisances and giving police officers the ability to generate complaints.

Loud Noise Can Delay Language Skills in Children, Research Finds. The Atlanta Journal reports that a new study in the Journal of Environment and Behavior by Cornell University researchers has found that loud noise can delay reading skills and language acquisition skills in children. Children cope with the loud noise by "tuning out" many sounds, including human speech, the study found.

Britain's Noise Pollution Officers Experience Violence and Aggression. The Evening Standard reports that Great Britain's "environment police," who deal with issues involving noise, food hygiene, bonfire smoke, litter, and dumping are increasingly experiencing violent and aggressive responses from the people they deal with.

Process for Filing Noise Complaints Made Easier in North Carolina City. The News & Record reports that police in Greensboro, North Carolina have made it easier for residents to file noise complaints by permitting them to phone with their name and address rather than show up at the magistrate's office. Noise from fraternity parties is an issue in Greensboro, and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro have promised to keep closer tabs on fraternities to deal with noise problems.

May 9, 1997

New Video Illustrates Effectiveness of Highway Noise Barriers. PR Newswire reports that a new video available from the National Audiovisual Center illustrates different types of highway noise barriers, their effectiveness, and other details.

New York Town Residents Say Airport Violates Late-Night Flight Agreement. Newsday reports that residents who live near the Long Island-MacArthur (New York) Airport are angry that airplanes have begun to fly into the airport after 11 p.m. and are claiming that airport officials and Islip town officials misled them into believing there was a late-night curfew on flights.

Noisy Dogs See a Therapist and Legal Battle Ends. Times Newspapers Limited reports that a legal fight to quiet four barking dogs in Great Britain ended after the dogs were quieted through sessions with a pet therapist.

May 10, 1997

FAA to Place Inspectors on News Helicopters Leaving California's Van Nuys Airport. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Federal Aviation Administration will have inspectors on some news helicopters that fly over the San Fernando Valley, to address residents' concerns about noise from helicopters Van Nuys Airport.

Researchers Find That Children in Noisy Areas Are Poor Readers Because They Tune Out Human Speech. The Ottawa Citizen reports that researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York are suggesting that children who live in noisy areas have poorer reading skills because they tune out human speech and thus have a harder time recognizing and understanding human speech.

Residents Near Vancouver Airport Have No Grounds for Lawsuit, According to Airport. The Vancouver Sun reports that a lawsuit filed a month ago by residents of Richmond, British Columbia against the Vancouver International Airport Authority and the federal government claims that residents are entitled to compensation for noise and nuisance from aircraft using the new, third runway of the airport. In response, the airport authority and federal government filed documents this week in the British Columbia Supreme Court saying residents should have been aware of the airport plans for a new runway and there are no grounds for a court to allow a class-action lawsuit on the matter.

Florida Beachside Residents Are Unhappy with Jet Ski Zones. The Orlando Sentinel reports that many residents in the New Smyrna Beach, Florida area are unhappy with the "personal watercraft zones" established by Volusia County, because jet skis in the zones are noisy and prevent others from swimming in the area. In response to the complaints, county officials are planning public meetings to talk about creating some new personal watercraft zones that would be rotated with the current zones.

May 11, 1997

Leaf-Blowers on Long Island Should be Restricted. The New York Times printed an editorial in which the writer describes the noise problems with the use of leaf-blowers and advocates restrictions on them, giving examples of other municipalities that have banned or restricted them.

London Airport Apologizes for Demolition Explosion that Frightened Residents. The Sunday Telegraph Limited reports that the British Airports Authority has apologized for a loud demolition explosion that occurred at London's Heathrow Airport. The 2 a.m. blast frightened thousands of residents, many of whom believed they were caught in a terrorist attack, the article reports.

May 12, 1997

Florida Town Struggles to Reconcile Noise Issue Between Residents and Restaurant Owners. The Tampa Tribune reports that due to a boom in business along Port Richey, Florida's waterfront, four restaurants are now offering live music, outdoor seating, and drinks in the evenings. But homeowners along the Pithlachascotee River and Miller's Bayou, who live directly across from the restaurants, say noise from the restaurants echoes across the water and disrupts their peace. City officials are struggling to solve the problem.

New York County Police Officers Set Up Traps to Capture All-Terrain Vehicle Riders. Newsday reports that Suffolk County (New York) police officers this weekend impounded five all-terrain vehicles and issued summonses to their drivers near Brookhaven, New York. The police operation, in conjunction with officials from Brookhaven Town, the Suffolk Parks Department, and the state Department of Conservation, set up traps Saturday to capture the all-terrain vehicle riders and charged them with having open alcoholic beverages and operating an all-terrain vehicle without the property owners' permission. Police officials' action came after serious complaints from property owners about the noise and dust from the vehicles, which are now banned on public land.

May 13, 1997

15,000 Florida Residents Join Alliance to Curb Jet Traffic. The Sun-Sentinel reports that members of the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport Action Group, a new alliance of 14 homeowners' associations representing an estimated 15,000 residents, appeared before the City Council Monday and demanded that jet traffic at Boca Raton Airport be curbed and that the airport be brought back under city control.

Airlines Challenge San Francisco Benefits Law, Saying They Are Subject Only to Federal Laws. Business Wire reports in an industry press release that the Air Transport Association (ATA) today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco which challenges a local ordinance that would force U.S. airlines to offer employment benefits to the "domestic partners" of employees. ATA claims that airlines can only be governed by federal laws, not local laws. (Ed: This issue is relevant to airport noise issues because the airline industry uses the same arguments with respect to local noise ordinances as with San Francisco's domestic partner ordinance.)

Hearing Loss Is Growing as the World Gets Noisier. NBC News reports that twenty-eight million Americans suffer from hearing loss, and that noise levels are growing in the U.S.

Residents Concerned About Safety and Noise Problems From Former Military Jets Taking Off From California Airport. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that about a dozen former military jets take off from the Van Nuys (California) airport on a regular basis. The planes are owned by the wealthy and are considered the ultimate aircraft to own among some pilots. Meanwhile, Valley residents concerned about safety and noise at the airport say that every unnecessary flight out of the airport increases the danger factor from aircraft.

Richmond Police Say Noise Ordinance is Being Enforced, Citing Six Convictions Since June. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that yesterday Charlene Hinton of the Richmond (Virginia) Police Department told the City Council that since last June there have been six convictions for violating the city's noise ordinance. The comments came after the police department had been criticized for not enforcing the noise ordinance.

May 14, 1997

Minnesota Airport Activist Group Gives Federal Officials a List of Requests. The Star Tribune reports that the South Metro Airport Action Council, an airport noise activist group of Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota, gave a list of requests to the the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise Tuesday at a public hearing on airport noise.

May 15, 1997

Albany Airport Authority Plans To Buy More Homes. The Times Union reports the Albany (New York) County Airport plans to buy 9 more homes north of the airport, according to airport Chief Executive Officer John Egan. More than 30 houses have already been bought in the past by either the airport authority or Albany County, which used to own and operate the airport. The 9 homes on Kelly Road, if purchased, are planned to be demolished or converted into commercial buildings, garages, or warehouses.

Arizona Senator Pushes To Reduce Airplane Noise Over Grand Canyon. The Los Angeles Times reports that finally, after ten years of pressure by Congress and most recently by President Clinton, noise regulations have gone into effect to reduce noise from aircraft over the Grand Canyon. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service had been dragging their feet for years, as the 95,000 air tours which fly 800,000 people over the park continued to increase: in some areas causing noise disturbance every two minutes.

Citizens Group Seeks Patch of Public Land in Lawsuit Against Toronto Airport. The Toronto Star reports that the Council of Concerned Residents, a citizens group that filed a court action against the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the federal government over airport noise and a runway expansion at Pearson Airport, has asked the Mississauga Council to give the group one square inch of public land in a move to strengthen their case.

Connecticut Town Approves Noise Ordinance. The Hartford Courant reports that the Board of Selectmen in Cromwell, Connecticut Wednesday night approved a revised noise ordinance that forbids noise in excess of 45 decibels.

Costa Mesa Bans Truck Vendors From Using Noise Devices To Attract Customers. The Los Angeles Times reports that on May 5, Costa Mesa (California) officials passed an ordinance that bans the use of horns -- and other attention-getting devices -- from being used by truck vendors for non-driving purposes. The city wants to quiet neighborhoods where residents have complained about noise from truck vendors selling ice cream, produce, and other products. City officials say that some trucks drive by the same area every ten minutes.

Floridian Waterfront Community Fights Excessive Music From Restaurants. The Tampa Tribune reports the growing commerical restaurant business along the Pithlachascotee River in Port Richey, Florida has residents complaining about the loud live music. The city already has a noise ordinance, which councilman Ron Barnett supported a stricter enforcement of after the city council met with restaurant owners and riverfront residents.

Illinois Town Considers Expanding Noise Restrictions. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Downers Grove, Illinois Village Council is considering expanding its noise regulations to restrict the use of outdoor home tools and loud stereos from vehicles. In addition, the council is considering giving police more power in handling noise complaints.

Northern New Jersey Sound Barrier To Be Built Next To Major Highway. The Record reports a one-mile sound barrier will be built along Route 80 in Paterson, New Jersey to make life quieter for residents adjacent to the major highway. According to John Dourgarian from the state Department of Transportation, the sound barrier will consist of three walls, 14 to 24 feet high, and will cost the state $4.2 million. The barrier should be complete by June 1998.

Residents and Task Force in Vancouver Make Recommendations About Noise Regulations. The Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun reports that Vancouver's Urban Noise Task Force, a 10-member committee formed by the city council in March 1996 to recommend solutions to urban noise problems, has come up with a report of 165 recommendations to reduce noise. In addition, Tuesday night members of the public were invited to comment on the city's noise problems. Citizens spoke out about problems ranging from motorcycles to street buskers, ambulance sirens to leaf blowers.

Richmond Police Force Responds To Lack Of Noise Regulation Enforcement. The Richmond Times Dispatch prints the following letter to the editor written by Sergeant Dale C. Mullen from the Richmond (Virginia) Police Department:

Richmond Police Officers Lack Noise Ordinance Enforcement. The Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch printed an editorial in response to Sergeant Dale Mullen's letter to the editor defending the police department's actions with respect to the noise ordinance. This editorial claims that there have been only six convictions for violating Richmond's noise ordinance since June 1996, and that this proves the Richmond police have not been actively enforcing the ordinance.

Seattle Schools Demand Noise Research And Fight New Airport Runway. The Seattle Times reports that the noise from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has caused ongoing dispute between the Highline School District and the Port of Seattle. Highline Schools asked the Port yesterday to conduct and pay for a study of the effects of noise on schools near the airport. The schools also asked the Port to pay for noise abatement and renovations to two schools. The Port is excited that the schools are wanting to talk, but is not in agreement with everything in the proposal, including the supposedly high budget of $20 million. The Port will respond to the proposal, according to director of aviation professional and technical services Mike Feldman.

South Carolina Land-Use Plan Designed To Prevent Noise Pollution. The Post and Courier reports the Hanahan (South Carolina) City Council adopted a land-use plan that would permit only 120 acres of the 746-acre Brown Tract to be used for businesses, with the rest used for single-family homes. City Administrator Dan Davis states the 120 acres will be rezoned by the city planning commission for "limited industry," meaning businesses that are environmentally friendly and compatible with residential areas. The commission's aim is to prevent noise and traffic pollution. A land architect had originally proposed 238 acres be used for industry.

May 16, 1997

Lawyer for Chicago Anti-Noise Airport Group Plays Hardball. The Chicago Tribune reports that Joe Karaganis has been the lead lawyer for 13 years for the Suburban O'Hare Commission, a group of 11 suburbs northwest of Chicago fighting noise and runway expansion at O'Hare Airport. The article profiles Karaganis, and contrasts the ways in which he has earned the animosity of some city and airline officials and the devotion of his clients.

London Airport Pushes its Case for a Fifth Terminal. Origin Universal News Services Limited reports that the British Airports Authority (BAA), the operator of London's Heathrow Airport, said today it would not oppose a recommendation that there should be no increase in the quota of night flights permitted at the airport. The recommendation came from the Inspector of the inquiry regarding the construction of a fifth terminal at the airport. In addition, BAA circulated a newsletter to 500,000 homeowners surrounding the airport outlining the companies' position and discussing the results of a recent Gallup poll that showed most local residents support the fifth terminal.

Missouri Residents Oppose Reactivation of Railroad Tracks in Their Neighborhood. The Kansas City Star reports that the Union Pacific Railroad announced that it is planning to sell train tracks that run through Lee's Summit, Missouri to General Railway Corp., which plans to run trains from St. Louis to Kansas City. Residents in the eight subdivisions near the train tracks are frightened that the trains will bring noise and safety problems and drops in property values.

May 17, 1997

Florida Airport Expansion Plan Faces More Study. The Palm Beach Post reports that expansion plans for the St. Lucie County International Airport in Stuart, Florida will receive more study by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. The council agreed Friday to hold a workshop session before the project comes to them for approval as a development of regional impact (DRI). Before the council workshop is held, the council's staff will study the airport's impact on roads, noise levels, air quality, water quality, and other issues. The workshop is expected to be held later this summer.

Two British Airports Face Fierce Protests Over Noise. The Guardian reports that London's Heathrow Airport and Manchester's airport both face serious opposition in their expansion plans. The organized campaigners against the airports' expansions argue the expansions will bring too much noise and that Britain needs a national aviation strategy.

May 19, 1997

Aircraft Association Appeals to New Mexico City Mayor to Reopen Runway. The Weekly of Business Aviation reports that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has asked Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Martin Chavez to reopen Runway 17/35 at Albuquerque International Airport, saying that during times of strong wind, the runway is the only safe one available. AOPA believes the mayor may have closed the runway because of noise concerns.

British Quarry Extension Proves Controversial; Resident Predicts Personal Ruin. The Northern Echo of England reports that a family who lives in Bishop Middleham, England, fears their lives will be ruined if a quarry is allowed to expand near their home. They say they will be tormented by relentless noise and dust.

Local Survey in Alaska Shows Noise Exceeds Safe Limits in Many Environments. The Anchorage Daily News reports that a survey undertaken by the Quota International of Anchorage (Alaska) service club to determine how loud noises are around Anchorage found that 14 out of 23 locations tested register above 80 decibels, the level at which permanent damage to ears can occur after prolonged exposure, according to club members. The club undertook the survey in order to educate people about noise threats and about the subtlety and irreversibility of hearing damage.

May 20, 1997

Airplane Noise Interferes With Children's Learning, Study Finds. The Washington Post reports that two environmental psychologists at Cornell University (New York) have completed a study which finds that children who attend schools that experience frequent airport noise do not learn to read as well as children who attend quiet schools, because they tune out speech along with airplane noise. As a result, these children have trouble learning to recognize and differentiate between speech sounds, a prerequisite to learning to read, the article reports.

California Airport Interviews Residents for Opinions About Airport Noise as Part of Study. The City News Service of Los Angeles reports that consultants for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena (California) Airport Authority have started to interview community leaders and residents to gather their opinions about airport noise. The interviews are part of the fact finding process in a larger study on noise issues at the Burbank Airport. Noise has been a controversial issue in the fight between the city of Burbank and the Airport Authority over expansion of the airport.

California City Considers Banning Leaf Blowers. The Los Angeles Times reports that a Laguna Niguel (California) City Council meeting tonight will address a proposal to ban leaf blowers. Nearby Laguna Beach has already banned the blowers, and is the only community in the county so far to do so. Gardeners and residents who oppose the ordinance promise to attend the meeting in droves.

Florida County Considers Changes to Noise Ordinance. The Tampa Tribune reports that Pasco County (Florida) Commissioners today will consider changes to the county's existing noise ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to violate the ordinance, would prescribe decibel level limits for all hours of the day, and would give officers the ability to cite violators without a noise meter.

Ft. Lauderdale and County May Strike a Deal on Airport Expansion. The Sun-Sentinel reports that a long-running feud between the city of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County over the proposed expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport may be coming to an end. A proposed deal between the two parties would give the city a list of perks and would allow the county to make a number of expansions to the airport. The agreement would avoid a battle between the two parties that could be decided by Gov. Lawton Chiles and the Cabinet on an appeal, the article says. Meanwhile, the city of Hollywood, also involved in the feud, has not been approached with a similar proposal by the county.

Noise Pollution Can Permanently Damage Hearing. CNBC News Transcripts reports that springtime brings fresh air, but also the sounds of leaf blowers, mowers, boom boxes, and loud mufflers. The report says noise has become a byproduct of living in our crowded, mechanized world, and can make you not only irritable and stressed out, but can cause serious harm to your hearing.

Schools Near Airports May Debilitate Learning. The Washington Post reports that two environmental psychologists at Cornell University, Gary W. Evans and Lorraine Maxwell, have discovered that schoolchildren who are exposed to frequent airport noise do not learn to read well as schoolchildren who study in a quieter environment. Children exposed to excessive and repeated noise learn how to tune out noise, including speech. Impaired speech perception in turn hampers their ability to learn how to read.

May 21, 1997

Airport Officials in Florida City Say Noise Study Shows No Curfew Needed. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport Authority today will unveil a study expected to show no major increase in aircraft noise over the past few years. The study comes at a critical time, when plans for an airport expansion are being met by opposition from organized residents and the city council. The article says that the study results are not expected to dissuade opponents from continuing to call for a flight curfew at the airport.

Albany Airport Gets $7 Million for Construction and Home Purchases. The Times Union reports that federal officials announced Tuesday a $7 million appropriation to the Albany Airport construction projects and the purchase of nearby homes for noise abatement.

California City Rejects Proposed Leaf-Blower Ban Due to Low Turn-Out at Hearing. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Laguna Niguel (California) City Council had considered restricting or banning leaf blowers, but rejected the proposal Tuesday night after few residents came to support the proposal.

Fierce Fight Over Wood-Chipping Mill in Pennsylvania Town Raises Noise Pollution Issues. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that residents angered at noise from the Keystone Chipping Mill in Kane, Pennsylvania have organized to fight the wood-chip operation, but so far the protest seems to be going nowhere. The article explains the controversy over the mill and explores why noise pollution issues get little attention nowadays.

Florida County Considers Strengthening Noise Ordinance. The Tampa Tribune reports that Pasco County (Florida) Commissioners are considering strengthening the county's noise ordinance. A public hearing will be held before the commissioners vote on whether to adopt the changes to the ordinance.

New York City Borough Creates Part-Time Position for Noise Control Officer. The Asbury Park Press reports that the Eatontown (New York) Borough Council voted last week to hire a part-time noise control officer to serve as a liaison between businesses and residents. The officer's work will stress the importance of being a good neighbor to businesses and residents.

Racetrack Proposal in New Hampshire Town Prompts Vote on a Zoning Ordinance. The Union Leader reports that voters in Effingham, New Hampshire, a town of about 900, will vote Thursday on whether to adopt a temporary zoning ordinance in the town in response to a developer's plan to build a racetrack on his land. The town is emotionally divided over whether to adopt the ordinance, the article says.

May 22, 1997

Florida Airport Responds To Residential Concerns. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the Airport Authority, the City Council, and federal and state aviation officials will be meeting to discuss future airport expansion at the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport. Expansion includes construction of a control tower and the push for a mandetory flight curfew at the airport. Mayor Carol Hanson made motions last month for a mandatory curfew. According to the article, because of a recent change in federal regulation, mandatory regulations are difficult to pass. The Federal Aviation Administration has not approved a mandatory curfew since 1990. The article says that local activist groups are joining forces to voice their say about the airport's expansion.

Housing Under Flight-Path in Vancouver Worries Airport Officials. The Vancouver Sun reports that the city of Richmond, British Columbia intends to develop a 14-hectare property it owns into a residential neighborhood, but officials at the Vancouver International Airport want to make sure the prospective buyers will be warned in advance that their homes are under a major flight path. They have proposed that an "air easement" be registered on the property's land title, which would prevent future owners from seeking damages because of aircraft noise.

New Jersey Airport Affects Schoolchildren. The Record reports in a commentary by Emma Perez that air traffic over Rutherford is affecting schoolchildren. She paints the scene of a child trying to give an oral presentation over the roar of jets flying overhead. He is asked to speak up but cries when he is unsuccessful in competing with the overhead noise. Perez warns that corporations using Teterboro Airport should be wary of and comply with noise abatement guidelines, or a residential boycott of that corporation's product may result.

Noise Opponents of Florida Airport Told Local Restrictions Are Against Federal Law. The Palm Beach Post reports that at a meeting Wednesday, residents called on the Boca Raton (Florida) Municipal Airport to find ways to cut that noise. The Boca Raton Airport Authority responded that FAA rules limit them from doing much, but said that much noise would lessen if pilots would follow voluntary noise rules the airport has established.

Urban Noise Task Force In Vancouver Suggests Ways To Quiet Noise. The Vancouver Sun reports in an editorial that the Vancouver (British Columbia) Urban Noise Task Force recently produced a list of 165 recommendations on ways to quiet the noise of urban life. The list ranged from motorcyclists who rev their engines, to leaf-blowers, to barking dogs, to the beeping of trucks backing up, to the fall of garbage can lids by careless workers. The list suggests controlling the hours one may mow the lawn, turning all parks into quiet parks, and eliminating the West Coast Expressway's whistle. Councillors will be reviewing the list next Tuesday.

Vancouver Task Force Presents Recommendations on Urban Noise. The Vancouver Sun reports that the Vancouver (British Columbia) Urban Noise Task Force, a residents' committee, recently presented the city with a list of 165 recommendations to lessen urban noise. The article prints excerpts from the report, which includes recommendations with respect to harbor air traffic, transportation noise, and watercraft noise.

Vans in Chicago Suburbs Ready to Log O'Hare Airport Noise. The Chicago Tribune reports that Wednesday, six new noise monitoring vans were officially placed in service by the Suburban O'Hare Commission, a group of 11 suburbs that opposes expansion of the O'Hare International Airport.

May 23, 1997

Florida City Struggles to Accept That It Can't Enforce Local Noise Restrictions. The Palm Beach Post reports that at a joint meeting Thursday between between the Boca Raton (Florida) City Council and the airport authority to discuss noise issues from the Boca Raton Municipal Airport, members were frustrated to learn that the airport has no power to enforce noise-reduction measures. At a meeting Wednesday, pilots and residents also addressed the issue at the airport authority's monthly meeting.

Orchard Owner in New Zealand Must Reduce Noise Level of Wind Machine that Fights Frost. The Southland Times reports that an orchard owner in Arrowtown, New Zealand has been asked by a panel to significantly reduce noise levels from a frost-fighting wind machine, or remove it. The panel's decision came in response to neighbors angry about the noise and intrusion into the landscape of the machine.

Pilot in Great Britain Wins Case Over "Buzzing" a Village in a Military Jet. The Press Association Newsfile reports that a Royal Air Force pilot in Great Britain who was court-martialled for "buzzing" his parents' home village of Staple in his Hawk jet, was cleared by the Court of Appeal today.

May 24, 1997

Florida City Mayor Ready to Fight FAA on Local Control Over Airport Noise Issues. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Boca Raton, Florida Mayor Carol Hanson on Friday called on the area's congressional delegation to either ease a federal law restricting flight curfews or give airports the power to fine or ban pilots who ignore noise reduction measures.

How to Quiet Your Barking Dog. The Sacramento Bee printed an article about ways to quiet your barking dog. The writer makes recommendations about working with your dog on behavior modification and trying an anti-bark collar when all else fails.

May 26, 1997

Connecticut Town Studies the Need for a Noise Ordinance. The Hartford Courant reports that the Plainville (Connecticut) Town Council is considering adopting a noise ordinance after hearing resident complaints about noise from tractor trailers.

New Zealand Airplane Noise Fight in Court Will Begin in August. The Evening Post reports that New Zealand's Environment Court has set aside the month of August to hear appeals against Wellington City Council's noise rules, contained in the proposed district plan, that would regulate airport noise. Appeals will be brought both by residents groups and by airline groups.

North Carolina School Board Should Reconsider Being a Good Neighbor. The Morning Star printed an editorial that says the New Hanover County Board of Education, which voted to ignore neighbors' requests to quiet an air handling system and relocate a garbage container at the newly constructed Holly Tree Elementary School in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, should reconsider its decision and be a friendly neighbor.

May 27, 1997

Angry Neighbors in Connecticut Take Farmer to Court Over Noise From "Corn Cannons". The Hartford Courant reports that residents from the Bell Court subdivision of Portland, Connecticut have taken their farmer neighbor to court over noise from propane corn cannons that scare off blackbirds from his sweet corn crop. Judge Richard Stanley is considering the case in the Middlesex Superior Court.

Night on the Town in New York Assaults the Ears. The New York Times printed an editorial that outlined the noise assaults the writer experienced in one evening in New York.

May 28, 1997

Citizen Panel in Virginia Makes Airport Noise Recommendations. The Washington Post reports that a citizen panel created to address concerns about expansion of the Manassas (Virginia) Regional Airport will recommend a series of actions aimed at reducing airplane noise and requiring disclosure to potential buyers of nearby homes. However, the article reports, the panel is divided on the issue of how to compensate current residents, who fear that the new disclosure rules will make it difficult to sell their homes. The 16-member committee is scheduled to complete its work Wednesday, and will present its findings and recommendations to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on June 10.

Proposed New Runway at Baltimore - Washington Airport Debated in Court Proceedings to Eliminate Mobile Home Park. The Baltimore Sun reports that prospects for a new runway at Baltimore-Washington International Airport were debated yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court at a hearing on a lawsuit filed by the Maryland Aviation Administration to take temporary control of a nearby mobile home park and move its residents.

TV of Scottish Man Confiscated Over Noise. The Herald reports that Michael McGinn of Kilmarnock, Scotland has had his television and radio confiscated because he played them too loudly. McGinn also has been fined 450 pounds by the Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

U.S. Congress Members Prepare Legislation to Stop Military Helicopters from Being Moved to California Air Base. Copley News Service reports that U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-San Diego) announced Wednesday that they are preparing legislation to stop the Marine Corps from moving its helicopters to Miramar, a former naval air station in San Diego. Residents near Miramar have opposed the move and have urged that the helicopters be moved instead to March Air Force Base, in San Bernardino County, which has extra room due to the transfer of active Air Force units.

Vancouver City Council Passes Noise Ordinance. The Vancouver Sun reports that the Vancouver City Council Tuesday adopted a noise ordinance that will crack down on everything from motorcycles to weed-eaters in an effort to make big-city life more civilized. In a somewhat related move, the council also voted to put a halt to further major road construction in Vancouver and provide funding for more buses, trains, bicycles, and pedestrians, an action with benefits to traffic noise levels.

May 29, 1997

Judge to Decide Fate of Mobile Home Park Near Baltimore-Washington Airport. The Capital reports that the the 72-acre Ridgewood Mobile Home Park, home to 126 families in Hanover, Maryland, is now in the hands of Circuit Court Judge Eugene Lerner after two days of technical testimony. Last year, Maryland Aviation Administration officials began condemnation proceedings against the property after trying to purchase it for 10 years. The property is less than a mile from the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and is subject to noise levels that concern airport officials and upset many of the residents. But mobile home park owners Symcha and Joan Shpak have fought to keep the property operating as a mobile home park, saying the state has not offered them enough money and they won't be able to re-sell the land.

North Carolina Town Sets Up Committee to Recommend Changes to the Noise Ordinance. The Chapel Hill Herald reports that the Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Town Council voted Tuesday to set up a committee to recommend changes to the town's noise ordinance. The action came in response to Westside resident complaints about the air handling system on the University of North Carolina's Thurston Bowles building. (Ed. note: Chapel Hill residents have also been complaining recently about noise from the University's Horace Williams Airport.) The Town Council said it will invite the university, business owners, and the public to participate on the noise committee, and will ask for neighborhood delegates from Westside, Northside, Chapel Hill's two historic districts, and the Horace Williams Airport vicinity.

Ohio County Auditor Seeks Results of Airport Noise Monitoring. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Hamilton County (Ohio) Auditor Dusty Rhodes, concerned about loud airplane noise over western Hamilton County on Memorial Day weekend from the Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport, has informally asked Delhi Township Administrator Joseph Morency for the results of independent aircraft noise monitoring. Morency said he is working to compare the data from the independent system with data from the airport's monitoring system to make sure the former is accurate, and he hopes to provide the data to Rhodes within a few weeks.

May 30, 1997

Missouri Residents Group Against Airport Expansion Pushes County Council to Work Toward Noise Abatement Agreement. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that members of the St. Charles County Citizens Against Airport Noise (CAAN), a group opposed to westward expansion of Lambert Airfield near St. Louis, Missouri, has asked the St. Charles County Council to follow through on a resolution it passed in December to work toward a noise-abatement agreement with St. Louis, which owns the airport. At Tuesday's meeting of the County Council, CAAN members also told the council that although the group was formed to oppose the westward expansion of the airport, it was shifting its emphasis to focus on getting a noise-abatement agreement with Lambert officials.

New York Isn't the Place to Live if You're Searching for Peace and Quiet. The New York Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Louis Kibler, a New York resident, about how noisy it is to live in New York:

Researchers to Set Underwater Sonic Blasts in Puget Sound; Biologists Worry About Noise Impacts on Marine Mammals. The News Tribune reports that scientists plan to set off a succession of underwater blasts in Puget Sound (Washington) next spring to study the geologic faults beneath the region and learn more about which areas are most earthquake-prone. But biologists are worried that the underwater noise could disturb or even harm whales, porpoises, seals, and sea lions in the area.

Residents Near Smaller Airports Around Chicago Oppose Airports' Expansion and Raise Noise Issues. The Chicago Tribune reports that an increasing number of small airports in the Chicago suburbs are becoming the focal points of fights that involve residents who are opposed to airport expansions and worried about noise issues. The article explores the situation of the controversies revolving around the Schaumburg Airport, Lake in the Hills Airport in McHenry County, Palwaukee Airport in Wheeling, and Waukegan Airport in Lake County.

May 31, 1997

New Cleveland Freeway to Get Noise Barriers. The Plain Dealer reports that the Jennings Freeway, which is being built in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, will be accompanied by noise barriers to protect residential neighborhoods from traffic noise. The 2.7-mile, six-land freeway will link Interstates 71 and 480. Some residents are happy about the noise barriers, while other worry that the barriers will be ugly and that grafitti artists will make them uglier. The Ohio Department of Transportation gathered public input about the type of noise barriers residents want Thursday, and will forward the comments to the Cleveland City Council, which has the final decision on the type of noise barriers the city gets.

Other Indexes

Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
Home Equipment and Appliances
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Civil Liberty Issues
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Geographical Index

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