Noise News for Week of April 5, 1998

Britain Fights EU's Tough Anti-Noise Proposals

PUBLICATION: The Independent (London, England)
DATE: April 11, 1998
SECTION: News; Page 6
BYLINE: Anthony Bevins
DATELINE: London, England

The Independent reports that Britain is preparing to fight new anti- noise laws proposed by the European Commission.

According to the article, it is the Department of Trade and Industry, rather than the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions - which "has an interest in the environmental aspects of noise" -that is taking the lead in the fight. Therefore, business concerns of the new directive dominate the response. John Battle, the minister for science, energy and industry, said in a memorandum to Parliament: "The UK supports the main aims of the directive which are the removal of technical barriers to trade, the simplification of old noise directives and the improvement of the environment." But he protests the complications and particular expense for small and medium-size companies if the measures are approved. "The UK believes the amount of environmental benefit to be gained from the measures is not proportionate to the burdens and costs that will be placed on industry."

The article reports that Battle's strongest objection is to the methods the Commission is proposing to use to measure the noise: the International Organization for Standardization noise test for machinery and equipment, known as ISO 4871. "The UK is strongly opposed to the use of ISO 4871," Battle says. The test takes the manufacturers' guaranteed noise level and then builds in an automatic noise cushion of an additional 3 decibels - for "measurement uncertainty." According to Battle , the ISO 4871 system is so complex that it reads like instructions for the assembly of a wood-shredder, poorly translated from Chinese. The minister says the entire process will cost UK industry something in the region of pounds 278m over the eight-year life of the directive. The DTI estimates that there are 250 companies affected.

According to the article, the EU's directive will cover 55 types of equipment, including chain-saws, concrete-mixers, gas-fueled grass-trimmers, hedge-trimmers, leaf- blowers, road-sweepers, refuse collection vehicles, wood-shredders and chippers. Lawnmowers are already covered, but curbs are also proposed for nine additional items of equipment, including mobile cranes, dumper trucks, electric lawn-trimmers, and motorized garden hoes.

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Colden Lake Neighbors Wary of Noise from Motorcycle Races

PUBLICATION: The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. 5C
BYLINE: Mary Pasciak
DATELINE: Colden, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Arthur Salman, resident; Brian Bancroft, resident

The Buffalo News reports the Colden , New York, Town Board Thursday night approved a special-use permit for an "off-road grand prix" to be held at the Colden Lakes Resort despite the objections of a few residents.

According to the article, the event, featuring motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be held on the 60-acre campground at 9504 Heath Road. Heath Road resident Arthur Salman fears the six-hour event will provide residents with hours of engines roaring and a public address system blasting. "You know as well as I it's impossible to control the noise with motorcycle racing and ATV racing," he said. "It seems to me it's up to the board to maintain the character of Heath. Motorcycle races on Heath? It just doesn't make sense."

The article reports Colden Lakes owner Judith Brown says her request is reasonable. "It's not like it's every day," Ms. Brown replied. "Over a seven-month span, we're asking for two events." Board members pointed out that the campground has been the site of a number of motorcycle races in the last 30 years. "If you came in and built afterward, you're kind of the latecomer and not the races," Councilman Richard H. Sheldon told Salman.

The article reported that another Heath Road resident, Brian Bancroft, objected to past practice at Colden Lakes, saying the public address system was louder than the snowmobile engines when the campground held ice races. "I live quite a distance away, and I knew who was rounding what turns," he said. Organizers of the event said the public address system has been modified, with the volume control turned down and the speakers angled toward the back of the property.

According to the article, Ms. Calhoun suggested the board approve the permit as a compromise, to see if the event met the expectations of residents. "If she's unable to meet the needs of the special use permit, come back here again," Councilman Martin A. McMahon told the residents. "We're asking for one day. It's a controlled event and it'll bring money into the town," said Mike Marinaccio, a Colden resident and a representative of Eyser Show Productions, which is hosting the competition. The board unanimously approved the permit with a number of conditions, including the noise be contained to the campground and the vehicles all have standard mufflers. The board will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. May 14 on a special-use permit for a music festival July 11 and 12 at Colden Lakes.

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Detractors of Maryland Race Track Cite Noise and Traffic Concerns

PUBLICATION: The Capital (Annapolis, MD)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Arundel; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Bob Mosier and Todd Rhoads
DATELINE: Pasadena, Maryland
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Don Pfautz, resident; Sam Gladwin, resident;

The Capital reports developers of a 54,800-seat race track in Pasadena met with the public again last night, hoping to amass support for the proposal.

According to the article, more than 500 people attended the first of two planned public meetings. Officials from the Middle River Racing Association spent nearly five hours answering questions. Many opponents left the hearing feeling more strongly than ever against the speedway. "There's hundreds of thousands of open acres in the state of Maryland where it doesn't offend anyone to have a racetrack," said Don Pfautz, who lives in Chestnut Hill Cove. "Why do they have to stick it in our back yards?" But Glen Burnie resident Tom Gummer said, "This track is going to do a lot of good for this community. People have to look at the jobs. They can't just look at the bad things about NASCAR from what they've heard." Greg Lombard, president of the pro-track group RACEFANS, presented petitions signed by 736 people in favor of the track last night. "We got 150 signatures in the parking lot prior to the meeting," he said.

The article reports the track site, owned by the Maryland Port Authority is zoned W-3, heavy industrial. County Councilman Thomas W. Redmond Sr., D-Pasadena, has proposed legislation adding the track as a conditional use to W-3 zoning. The track would host 43 racing dates per year, three of which would fill the race track to capacity, said Joe Mattioli III, the association's chief operating officer. Seven others would attract about 25,000 people. The facility would generate an estimated $170 million annually in extra spending in the region, according to officials from the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. The three big races would generate $4.9 million in additional county and state tax revenues. But opponents of the track highlighted the noise and traffic the facility would bring, saying Fort Smallwood and its surrounding roads are already overburdened. Area residents also said that the proposal is moving ahead too quickly. "What's the rush for? Why are you trying to sneak it in?" one resident yelled. All questions last night had to be submitted in writing. Dozens of residents complained that their questions were ignored. "I think it's a cover-up," said Sam Gladwin, who lives in Mount Pleasant Beach. "I think (the meeting) is a good idea, but this is just to placate us." The next public meeting will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Riviera Beach Fire Hall.

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Noise Expert Says Wall Won't Block Noise from Ohio Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, OH)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: News , Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Ray Crumbley
DATELINE: Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch reports Westerville, Ohio's noise consultant said yesterday the higher wall planned for the Polaris Amphitheater this summer won't solve the noise problem in the neighborhood. Instead, he advocates for stricter enforcement of existing noise standards and stronger penalties for violators.

According to the article, consultant John C. Freytag said the excessive noise could be controlled if Polaris officials require performers to comply with noise standards in the amphitheater's operations manual. Patrick Leahy, general manager of the amphitheater, said, "I don't want to be disregarded before we build the wall and spend $70,000 to $80,000 as we continue to try to solve this." Leahy said Polaris complies with Columbus noise standards and has never been cited for a noise violation. He said the operations manual is a guideline for mitigating sound levels, and Polaris will continue to work with performers to seek compliance.

The article reports that representatives from Columbus, Westerville, and Delaware County began meeting in August to discuss complaints about excessive noise and profanity heard in neighborhoods surrounding Polaris during concerts. Freytag said, "The committee talked about a lot of things but little was done. A wall isn't going to do it." Leahy told the committee in March that a 16-foot-high, 400-foot-long wooden sound wall will be built along the southeast edge of the amphitheater lawn. It will be temporary, but will be replaced by a permanent structure if it works, he said. "We don't know if it will work, but we are continuing to seek solutions," Leahy said.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Freytag's report will be reviewed by Westerville City Council members before further steps are taken. Freytag's report said the 100-decibel maximum noise level in the Polaris manual was exceeded in each of the 22 concerts in 1997, and 10 concerts went past the 11 p.m. curfew. But Leahy said Freytag's measurements fail to consider things such as crowd noise and other factors. Freytag suggested imposing penalties if the manual's standards are not enforced, adding that they are his own ideas and would be a matter for legal experts to decide. He said substantial fines for exceeding the standard, loss of Polaris' operating permit for a minimum of 30 days, and criminal penalties for operators who intentionally exceed the standards are the only way to ensure compliance. Leahy said as many restrictions as feasible are placed on performers, and Polaris threatens fines for exceeding noise limits. He added that too many controls result in some highly popular performers refusing to appear here. "City officials are very, very sensitive to the feelings of officials and residents in Westerville, Orange Township and Delaware County," said Dan Drake of the Columbus city attorney's office who served on the study committee. "We want to work with them to reach a solution," Drake said. But, more-strict noise controls by Columbus appear unlikely. Columbus city officials have backed off stronger noise regulations and enforcement. They fear stronger noise regulations could hamper other city events such as Fourth of July celebrations.

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Study to Assess Impact of Sea-Tac Noise on Washington Schools

PUBLICATION: News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Local/State; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Debbie Cafazzo
DATELINE: Tacoma, Washington

The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, reports that the Highline School District has hired sound experts to measure acoustic conditions in classrooms affected by the noise from nearby Sea-Tac Airport.

According to the article, the project is the first phase of a $330,000 study of airport noise impacts in Highline schools. Highline Superintendent Joe McGeehan said the study is designed to end years of speculation on how airport noise affects students. "We'll finally have quantitative information to understand the full impact of these distractions in our classrooms," he said. Altogether, the school district has selected 15 schools to participate in the noise study. The 15 schools were chosen based on information from community members and on recommendations from Sanford Fidell, who has been hired by the district to conduct the study. Fidell is a consultant on aircraft noise effects on people.

The article reports the study will focus on jet noise and its effects on teaching and learning. The study will also recommend solutions to the problem. The school district plans to ask for bids from architectural and engineering consultants to gain detailed estimates on how much it will cost to insulate schools against airport noise, provide adequate ventilation in schools that are soundproofed and meet mandated building code upgrades. Half the cost of the $330,000 study is being paid for by the school district and the other half by the state. The school district and the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, continue a running debate about airport noise problems. Port officials say they are willing to fund a study of noise impacts. And they say they are willing to look at whether schools sealed up tight against noise need air conditioning or improved ventilation systems added.

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Will Trees Protect High School from Mass. Highway Noise?

PUBLICATION: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Local News; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Gerard F. Russell
DATELINE: Auburn, Massachusetts
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Patricia E. Martin, school superintendent

The Telegram & Gazette reports the Massachusetts Highway Department has agreed to plant fast-growing trees along the road near Auburn High School in an effort to muffle the noise from heavy traffic.

According to the article, the noise of heavy traffic on Interstate 290 interferes with teachers and students hearing each other while windows are open. After urging by the town and state Rep. Paul Frost, R-Auburn, to solve this problem, the Massachusetts Highway Department has agreed to plant trees along the road near the school. But town officials had asked for the construction of concrete or wooden sound barriers used along other state roads.

The article reports that Jonathan Carlisle of the state Highway Department said the sound problem near the school is not severe enough to qualify for man-made barriers. Two state surveys, including a recent one, determined the location did not meet state criteria for sound barrier construction, Carlisle said. The minimum average level to make the state's priority list for a concrete sound barrier is 79 decibels, Carlisle said. The Auburn site recently tested at 64 decibels. That was measured on the state's right-of-way, the grassy area 25 feet off the road, Carlisle said. The school is more than 100 feet from the road. There are areas along Route 128 with higher noise levels where the state is planning to install sound barriers, Carlisle said. "Once we have taken care of those, we might do another study and re-address this site. But, we want to see how the trees work first." About that decision, Rep. Frost said, "Maybe the trees can help a little bit. It is not going to be a solution, but it will help."

According to the article, School Superintendent Patricia E. Martin is skeptical about whether the plantings will reduce noise. "Aesthetically, it will be a lot nicer. But, I don't know how much good it will do," Martin said. After a 1987 accreditation report on the Auburn High School which cited traffic noise as a problem, the school department requested a sound barrier. Recently, the school was evaluated again by an accreditation committee. Road noise was again listed as a problem. A citizens' petition is being circulated asking the state to install a sound barrier on the highway. Selectmen had asked the state for sound barriers more than a year ago, said Executive Secretary Christopher Raths.

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NJ Resident Calls Attention to Noise on Ground

PUBLICATION: The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: Opinion; Pg. L14; Your Views
DATELINE: Bergen County, New Jersey

The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, published the following letter about noise from a Washington Township resident:

I just finished reading "Funds sought to cut plane noise" (April 3), and I can't stop shaking my head. Instead of Rep. Steve Rothman, D.-Fair Lawn, trying to stop plane noise, why doesn't he look at the noise coming from the ground of each town in Bergen County. As a resident of Washington Township, I am amazed that there are people there who fret over the sound of jet engines when their own Fire Department creates most of the noise pollution. The township firefighters all have equipment that alerts them to the fires in town. But for some reason they insist on blowing their archaic fire whistle at all hours of the day. Even at noon we are treated to a noisy blast ostensibly to remind us to eat our lunch! Tell Rep. Rothman to concentrate on quieting what is on the ground and forget about the planes. I can't remember ever being awakened by a plane at 3 in the morning.

Charles Matasker Washington Township, April 3

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Menlo Park Gardeners Try to Avoid Ban with Quieter Leaf Blowers

PUBLICATION: The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA)
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A15
BYLINE: Carolyne Zinko
DATELINE: Menlo Park, California

The San Francisco Chronicle reports local gardeners yesterday at Menlo Park City Hall traded in their leaf blowers for new, quieter models, hoping to prevent a ban on the machines.

According to the article, residents of Menlo Park have been complaining about the noisy leaf blowers to the City Council. The council plans to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Gardeners have offered compromises, such as operating the machines at half-speed or only during restricted hours. The council's refusal to budge has led to several protests by the gardeners and their supporters. "We want to change the way we operate," said Juan Carlos Prado, a board member of the Bay Area Gardeners Association. "We hope the council will see the extraordinary measures we're taking." Mayor Chuck Kinney described the matter as more than one of noise, but also one of potential pollution and health risks. "In many people's minds, (the leaf blower) is an infringement on their choice of living in quietude," Kinney said. He declined to say whether less noisy blowers would lead him to reconsider the ban.

According to the article, yesterday, nearly 100 leaf blowers were traded in. Close to 150 gardeners were handed new, state-of-the-art blowers. The model is the Echo PB-46LN, the LN standing for "low noise, " said Dave Randall, distributor for Golden Eagle, the company that handles Echo products. The new models weren't free, but the manufacturer gave gardeners a break in the price, selling them for $325 instead of the usual $450. The old leaf blowers average about 85 decibels, as loud as a food processor. Seventy to 75 decibels is equal to the noise at MacArthur Park restaurant in Palo Alto. The new leaf blowers measure 65 decibels -- quieter than a lawn mower, Randall said. At a previous council meeting, gardeners fired up a new model outside the meeting room -- surprising council members and people in the audience, who did not know the leaf blower was running until they were told. Armando Molina, a gardener who lives in Menlo Park, traded in two leaf blowers for new equipment, even though only four of his customers live in Menlo Park. "It's very hard, but we are willing to cooperate," Molina said.

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Illinois Funds Two Studies of Highway Noise Barriers

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO)
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: Illinois Post, Pg. 5
BYLINE: Paul A. Harris
DATELINE: Edwardsville, Illinois

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Illinois Transportation Research Center (ITRC) is funding two traffic noise -related studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville's School of Engineering in response to residents' concerns.

The article reports that civil engineer Steve Hanna says Illinois residents have become increasingly aware of environmental acoustics and the impact they have on property values and the quality of life. They also see the main culprit in the acoustic environment is traffic noise. "As we've evolved the highway transportation system, we have become more concerned about the environment," Hanna said. "Since the 1970s, much of the road construction has taken place in urban areas with higher population densities. The result, of course, is higher traffic volumes and higher noise levels."

According to the article, the two SIUE studies will examine the construction, maintenance and effectiveness of noise barriers. Commonly made of concrete, wood, earth or other materials, these walls are built along specified sections of highways - particularly interstate highways - to decrease the traffic noise transmitted to homes, schools and businesses. According to IDOT environmental engineer Mike Bruns, Illinois began building noise barrier walls in 1978. Between that year and 1995, 341,000-square meters of noise barrier wall went up along Illinois highways at a cost of $61.5 million.

The article reports one of the current ITRC-funded studies is called "Acoustics of Sound Transmission over Noise Barrier Walls." According to that study's principal researcher, mechanical engineer Richard Romick-Allen, a great deal of confusion exists among the public regarding traffic noise and the effectiveness of noise barrier walls in reducing it. Part of his goal in this study is to clear up some of that confusion. Romick-Allen said that a noise barrier wall that is 10 feet high and one-quarter of a mile in length costs about $1.5 million to build. Its greatest impact in reducing traffic noise is what engineers refer to as its "shadow zone" - the area immediately behind the wall. The taller the wall, the greater the area included in the shadow zone. However, practical limits - aesthetic and otherwise - exist, limiting the height of a noise barrier wall. People who reside 1,000-feet or more from a highway don't usually derive many of the wall's noise -reduction benefits. "At some sites, noise reduction walls could potentially increase the noise intensity," Romick-Allen said. "Given the cost, when people request a wall for their area, you have to ask, 'Is this a good use of state money?"' Romick-Allen and his team will use computer-modeling combined with field research to examine a variety of noise barrier design elements - seeking, among other things, to maximize noise -reduction without increasing the height of noise barrier walls. The maintenance and longevity of noise barrier wall materials are being evaluated in the other ITRC-funded study, "Evaluation of Service Life of Noise Barrier Walls." The principal investigator of that study is Dianne Kay, a faculty member in the university's department of construction.

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NJ Town Seeks to Include Music from Ice Cream Trucks in Ordinance, Preferring Regulation over a Ban

PUBLICATION: Asbury Park Press (Neptune, NJ)
DATE: April 8, 1998
BYLINE: Scott Goldstein
DATELINE: Manahawkin, New Jersey

The Asbury Park Press reports Mayor Carl Block and the Stafford Township attorney will meet tomorrow with a representative of the state Department of Environmental Protection to determine if there is a way to regulate ice cream truck music without banning it.

According to the article, the township's noise ordinance, which limits volume, is separate from the ordinance that bans vendors from playing music. The noise ordinance, based on the DEP model, does not address music from ice cream trucks, Block said. The DEP won't approve a noise ordinance that limits the volume of ice cream truck music, the mayor said. "I'm hoping the DEP will allow some flexibility to allow us to include ice cream vendor music in our noise ordinance," Block said. "Right now, our options are to ban it or do nothing," he said. If ice cream trucks were included in the DEP-approved noise ordinance, enforcement officials may be permitted to ticket an ice cream truck driver if his music can be heard from a specific distance. The township's ban, which was approved by the Township Council last month, has not been enforced while alternative solutions are being considered.

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S.C. Residents Object to Noise from Aviation Club

DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. B8
BYLINE: Todd Bauer
DATELINE: Aiken, South Carolina
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Dannie and Andria Miller, residents; Greg Derrick, resident

The Augusta reports members of The Southern Model Aviation Club and nearby residents who don't like the noise coming from their airport reached no compromise at Tuesday's Aiken County Council meeting.

According to the article, The Southern Model Aviation Club opened an airport about a year and a half ago at the corner of Pine Log and Storm Branch roads. Since then, a group of neighbors, led by Storm Branch Road residents Dannie and Andria Miller, have worked to quiet the planes, or at least restrict flight times. In March, the club and the neighbors agreed to attempt a compromise before taking the matter to county council.

The article reports conflicting viewpoints about the noise from the airport continue. Greg Derrick said the planes make sleeping difficult for people who work night shifts. "I've lived on Storm Branch for four years," he said. "It's a rare occasion that you can go outside on a pretty day and not hear it." On the other hand, Mark Randolph, a neighbor who got a dozen others in the community to sign a letter supporting the airport, said it's impossible to hear the planes inside a house. "It's difficult for me to understand how people that far away (from the planes) can be at the level of stress that they claim," he said.

The article states that previously, the neighbors proposed a set of terms that would limit flights to 10 a.m. to dusk Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Only airplanes no louder than 65 decibels at 10 meters would be allowed. SMAC would be given 10 days to correct the first offense, after which the airport could be shut down without notice. The terms came from handbooks from the American Model Aviators and the state's aircraft laws, Mr. Miller said. "They didn't just come out of the blue," he said. Yet, Chris Reike, club president, told the council that keeping the planes at 65 decibels - the volume of a conversation - is impossible for most model airplane clubs. The lay of the land and the prevailing wind direction all influence volume, he said.

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Massport asked by Resident to Quiet Skies Surrounding Logan

PUBLICATION: The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 06
BYLINE: John H. Boit
DATELINE: Boston, Massachusetts
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: William Desmond, resident; Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth

The Patriot Ledger reports residents are seeking relief from noise made by aircraft traffic noise near Logan.

According to the article, William Desmond of Weymouth says there are nights when planes pass over his home every 3 1/2 minutes. The disruptions can last an hour as cargo planes stack up in the flight pattern waiting to land in the early morning hours at Logan Airport, he said. "There are some nights when it keeps you up," said Desmond "People are entitled to peace and quiet." Desmond's neighbors on Randolph Street have expressed similar sentiments. "We've noticed the noise has quadrupled in the last year," Desmond said. In East Weymouth, more than 250 residents signed a petition last fall asking Massport to "provide relief from the incessant disturbance and noise pollution created by aircraft traveling in a constant stream over Weymouth."

The article reports complaints about noise from Logan resulted in a meeting yesterday between Desmond and Massport officials, the state organization that oversees the airport.. The meeting was held in the State House office of Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth. "All these people can't be hypochondriacs," Hedlund said after the meeting, waving the petition from East Weymouth in the air. "Probably a few, but not all of them." Airport officials declined to open the meeting to the press. But Massport spokesman Jeremy Crockford later said planes often line up over Weymouth at an altitude of about 6,000 feet as they approach the airport. Crockford said airport officials would contact the Federal Aviation Administration within a week to see if landing pathways have been changed or are handling an unusually high amount of traffic.

According to the article, about 1,300 planes land at and take off from Logan in a 24-hour period. More than 80 percent of those planes are "stage three" aircraft: those with the quietest jet engines. Logan has the highest average of stage three aircraft of any airport in the country, Crockford said. That percentage gives Logan the highest average of stage three aircraft of any airport in the country, Crockford said. About 170 planes, or 13 percent of the total, take off and land between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Cargo and mail planes typically fly at this time. Planes landing at Logan usually have a choice of using two of the four major runways, depending on wind direction. A proposed fifth runway, which is opposed by some East Boston residents, would help bring traffic in over the water instead of over land south of the city, Crockford said. "If we decide to go with a new runway it would do a lot to alleviate noise on the South Shore," he said.

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Residents of Future Florida Community Notified about Noise from Bartow Airport

PUBLICATION: The Ledger (Lakeland, FL)
DATE: April 7, 1998
SECTION: Winter Haven/Bartow/Ridge; Pg. F1
DATELINE: Bartow, Florida

The Ledger reports officials representing Florida's Bartow Municipal Airport and those from the nearby Old Florida Plantation said they've reached an agreement on informing residents at the prospective community about noise from overflying aircraft.

According to the article, on Friday, airport Executive Director Cindy Barrow sent to development general partner Lou Roeder a copy of the airport's current noise disclosure statement. Barrow said she hopes the statement will be "very close" to agreements future Old Florida residents will sign. That document informs residents of the "potential objectionable noise and/or air traffic overflight," Barrow said. The airport is planning runway expansion in the next several years while the first phase of the development is projected to be completed in 2002.

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Removed Trees along Turnpike Increase Noise for Florida Residents

PUBLICATION: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
DATE: April 5, 1998
SECTION: Community Close-Up, Pg. 3
BYLINE: Christine Walker
DATELINE: Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Florence Ford, resident; Frank Ford, resident; Debra stern, resident

The Sun-Sentinel reports it's unclear who removed the trees along Northwest 52nd Avenue which runs parallel to Florida's Turnpike, but the result is a plague of noise and dust for residents.

According to the article, the city blames officials of the Turnpike, which in turn blame Lauderdale Lakes for the missing shrubbery. "We're still not clear as to what happened," said Commissioner Hazelle Rogers, who chairs the Public Works Committee. Without a noise barrier, residents fear property values will sink as enjoying patios and screened porches are out of the question these days. Those who live along Northwest Avenue were accustomed to the low hum of traffic, resident Florence Ford said. But now it's like a roar, and there's no getting used to it. Her husband, Frank, said, "The noise is overbearing. The dust is terrible." Residents have been forced to replace their mesh screens with glass to buffer the noise and dirt. "I was able to, on a nice day, open the window and hear the TV," Debra Stern said. Now she can't. "And I've got good hearing." More than 100 people have signed a petition to the state Department of Transportation requesting a sound barrier.

The article reports the city says the Department of Transportation went overboard in removing the trees after heavy winds caused some damage. But Turnpike officials say the city removed "nuisance vegetation." Although the removal allegedly wasn't commissioned by the Turnpike, officials there agreed to provide new trees and shrubs to screen the roadway from view. So far, the Turnpike has planted some trees, said district landscape manager Bruce Mantell. The greenery, now about four feet tall, will grow to 10 feet. The DOT says it has no plans to erect a concrete sound barrier. "We're going to be dead before we get the benefits of a sound barrier," said Florence Ford.

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Routing Jets North Out of a Proposed El Toro Airport in Southern California Would Reduce Noise Over Some Neighborhoods, Noise Expert Says

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B01
BYLINE: Mary Ann Milbourn
DATELINE: Irvine, California area

The Orange County Register reports that officials in Orange County have proposed routing more flights north on takeoff if the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine, California is converted into a commercial airport. According to the county's noise expert, routing more planes north could reduce the number of takeoffs and jet noise over communities to the east.

The article says that if jets were routed north out of the airport, fewer people would be impacted because there is relatively little development to the north. But, the article reports, planes would have to get over the 1,300-foot-high Loma Ridge for northerly takeoffs.

The article explains that the original plan for a commercial airport, which was evaluated in the county's 1996 environmental impact report, showed 70% of takeoffs to the east and 30% to the north. Northerly takeoffs were expected to turn west at 2.3 miles out, which placed planes close to Orange Park Acres, Cowan Heights, and North Tustin, communities that already experience jet noise from John Wayne Airport. But under the county's new proposal, planes would fly straight north instead of turning left. The article notes that a final noise report from Vince Mestre, the county's noise expert, is expected in late summer.

The article also printed an interview with Vince Mestre on the topic. Mestre made the following comments.

The county's 1996 environmental impact report and master plan studied an airport that would serve up to 38.3 million passengers a year. But when the County Board of Supervisors approved the report, they asked staff members to study an airport that would handle no more than 25 million passengers a year, Mestre said.

The exact pattern for the proposed northerly takeoffs hasn't yet been determined, according to Mestre. But studies are underway on a route that would go toward Irvine Lake, staying over unpopulated areas east of the planned Eastern Toll Road, and perhaps go as far north as Yorba Linda. Previously, the Federal Aviation Administration said that a pattern such as this would be problematic because of nearby mountains and regional airspace conflicts. An Air Force transport crashed into those mountains in 1965, killing all 84 aboard, and the Marines do not fly due north.

Mestre went on to say that if jet noise had less impact to the north, more jets would be re-assigned from an easterly takeoff to a northerly takeoff. Some airlines probably still would want an easterly takeoff because there would be quicker access and less taxi time to that runway from the proposed terminal. Mestre noted that the country's two major pilots unions say easterly takeoffs are unsafe because the runway is uphill and heads into nearby hills with a tailwind.

Mestre also said that virtually all jets would land coming in from the south over Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Leisure World.

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Maine Senate Enacts Watercraft-use Legislation that Bans Use of Personalwatercraft and Boat Moters on Specific Water Surfaces and Sets Decibel Noise Restrictions Where Watercraft Use is Permitted.

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: April 8, 1998
BYLINE: Jeff Strout
DATELINE: Augusta, Maine

The Bangdor Daily News reports that legislation enacted by Maine's Senate bans the use of personal watercraft (including Jet Skis) on 243 gem ponds and on specific lakes in Maine's Rangeley region.

The legislation, called the Great Ponds bill, also bans motors on boats from lakes and ponds in the Mount Desert Island region and limits boats to 10-horsepower motors on two other ponds in the same region.

According to the article, where personal watercraft use is not banned, noise limits will be enforced: a craft manufactured after Jan. 1, 1998 must emit no more than 78 decibles (measured at 50 feet) and crafts manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 1998 must emit no more than 82 decibels. The new law also reportedly makes it illegal to tamper with motors' exhaust systems to increase the noise the machine makes. A minimum age of 16 was set for operating personal watercraft.

Gem ponds are located with lands under Land Use Regulation Commission jurisdiction and not accessible within a quarter mile by two-wheel-drive vehicles.

The legislation also reportedly permits the commissioner of Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to propose rules governing the surface use of other lakes and ponds at the request of any state or federal agency that has jurisdiction over the body of water. A municipality could, under this legislation, propose restrictions on water surface use if a majority of citizens favored those restrictions. The commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would, in that instance, prepare a list of the municipality's proposed restrictions for the Legislature to review.

The legislation also, according to the article, establishes restrictions for businesses renting motorboats and personal watercraft. Rental businesses will be required to provide written instructions on operation of the craft, must be registered with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and pay a $25 fee for a leasing agent certificate. Sporting camps, campgrounds licensed by the Department of Human Services and property owners who include use of a boat to renters are exempt from the laws' provisions.

The article reports the bill awaits Gov. King's signature.

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City Councilors of Pittsfield, Maine Consider Public-Conduct Ordinance Aimed at City's Youth to Prohibit Excessive Nightime Noise

PUBLICATION: Central Maine Morning Sentinel
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Local; Pg. 10
BYLINE: Larry Grard
DATELINE: Waterville, Maine

The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports a public conduct ordinance was proposed to the Pittsfield, Maine city council by the ordinance committee to prohibit excessive late-night noise from the city's youth.

According to the article, Police Chief Stephen Emery said young adults had been causing in-town rowdiness including yelling and screaming usually between 9 p.m. and midnight in the spring and summer for many years. Problems with the obstruction of public ways were also noted.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit excessive noise after 9 p.m. and would stipulate a police officer may act as the complainant so that a complaint from a resident would not be needed. A minimum fine of $50 and a maximum of $100 would apply to guilty parties together with a cost - up to $250 - to pay the town attorney for prosecution. The ordinance was scheduled for discussion on the Town Council agenda April 21, 1998.

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Open-plan Office Space Makes for Noisy Work Environments that Can Create Stress

PUBLICATION: Times Newspapers Limited
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Features
BYLINE: Susan Macdonald
DATELINE: Great Britain

Great Britain's Times Newspapers Limited reports open-plan office designs generates noise which can create employee stress.

The article points out that open-plan office design generally means noise. Noise from the group across the way, noise from constantly ringing telephones, footsteps, traffic outside and the tap, tap, tap of hundreds of keyboards - all create stress. According to the article, one secretary got so fed up that she went round to the different desks turning all the telephones down to minimum ring - and no one complained.

The article notes Great Britain's Department of the Environment as reporting that discotheques rate the highest for noise levels (120 decibels), a pneumatic drill (100), a heavy truck (90), city traffic (80) and a vacuum cleaner (70). Safe noise levels in a community, according to World Health Organization figures, are those between 45 and 55 decibels.

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Federal Aviation Administration Letter Supports Airport Expansion in Burbank, California

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Rick Orlov
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sent a letter March 28 to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Woodland Hills, saying neither the FAA nor the city can force flight curfews upon the Burbank Airport.

According to the article, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey claims a 1990 federal law supercedes any attempt by local actors to put additional restrictions on flights at airports.

The FAA letter was received in the context of proposed airport expansion, which the city of Burbank opposes. According to the article, the airport is seeking to acquire 130 acres for its expansion, which would include a new terminal and five gates to the 14 now in place. Between 4.7 million and 4.9 million passengers now use the facility. With the new terminal, the airport could handle a total of 5.4 million passengers a year.

The paper quoted the Garvey letter as saying, "The FAA's concern is that the insistence on linking the construction of the (new) terminal to a mandatory airport noise restriction may obstruct what we all agree is a needed safety improvement." Garvey was further quoted as saying, "The replacement terminal building will not increase noise at the airport."

Burbank Mayor, Bob Kramer, says he believes the Garvey letter shows the FAA's position for allowing the proposed planned airport expansion:''It means she could care less about helping the people of Burbank,'' Kramer said. ''She has turned her back and shown she is unwilling to become involved. I'm sure the airport authority is very pleased with her letter."

The paper reported that airport authorities were glad Garvey sent the letter and stated that the authority has a voluntary 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on all takeoffs and an average of five arrivals between those hours.

According to the article, the proposed expansion at the facility has prompted a number of legal actions by Burbank and Los Angeles. The most recent actions, involving environmental reviews, were unsuccessful.

The article also reports that U.S. Rep. Sherman and U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Mission Hill met with Garvey last month to discuss Burbank Airport. The Daily News of Los Angeles reported Sherman as saying that he was more optimistic than Mayor Kramer was. "You have to go by what a person says in a face-to-face meeting," Sherman said. "And, she said to us, as she wrote in the letter, that she was committed to working with the airport and the community to obtain reasonable noise mitigation. I believe she will do that. I think we can move toward some consensus."

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Community Development Committee in Overland Park, Kansas Approves Ordinance That Would Limit Hours for Home-based Auto Repairs

PUBLICATION: Kansas City Star
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Zone/Blue Valley-Leawood; Pg. 15
BYLINE: Dawn Bormann
DATELINE: Overland Park, Kansas

The Kansas City Star reports that Overland Park's Community Development Committee has approved an ordinance to restrict outdoor auto work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in an effort to curb neighborhood noise and frustrations.

According to the article, the ordinance, if approved by City Council, would restrict home-based auto repairs made outside of structures from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The committee also authorized a public hearing to discuss a shifting of the burden of proof to a homeowner who appears to be illegally compensated for auto work on a friend or relative's car in their driveway. The occupant would have to prove they were not compensated for vehicles not registered to their address.

The committee reportedly approved both the ordinance and the public hearing authorization with a 3-2 vote. The Planning Commission's public hearing was scheduled to include discussion of the burden shift May 11, 1998. Both the ordinance and the public hearing authorization awaited final approval by the City Council.

According to the article, City Planner, John Rod, told committee members that the ordinances (NPC editor note: presumably existing ordinances) were typically enforced only after complaints were received from neighbors. Rod said the approval was essential to permit police and city prosecutors to be efficient and timely when responding to neighborhood complaints. In the past, lengthy investigations were needed to build a reasonable case for prosecution.

Rod was also cited in the article explaining that the ordinance would not necessarily prohibit someone from changing a flat tire before starting a night shift or helping a family member with an oil change but it would allow city staff to prosecute repeat offenders.

The news article gave specific information on the votes and rationale of the Councilmen (NPC editor's note: presumably members of the Community Development Committee). The article notes Councilman Neil Sader favored shifting the burden of proof but didn't think the proposed ordinance should restrict auto repair hours, noting that the ordinance as proposed would restrict even a 3-acre property owner whose neighbors would be undisturbed by the noise and light. Councilman Jack Halligan who voted for the restrictions, was quoted saying, "My guess is that we're talking about houses that are 20 to 30 feet away where neighbors are constantly being assaulted by the light, the noise and probably the fumes." Councilman Greg Musil believed the ordinances proposed logical ways to end neighborhood frustrations and allow city staff to prosecute violators.

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California Senator Attempts to Blow Away Los Angeles' Ban on Noisy Leaf Blowers with State Legislation

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 6; Editorial Writers Desk
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Times ran the following letter to the editor concerning state regulation of noisy leaf blowers in California.

If you can't beat the regulators on the local level, there's always one final fallback position: Get the Legislature to do it for you. That is the course being pursued by Sen. Richard G. Polanco (D-Los Angeles) in behalf of gardener groups that rely heavily on noisy leaf blowers to clean lawns and such.

Sponsors, including the Assn. of Latin American Gardeners of Los Angeles, say the idea behind Polanco's SB 1651 is to pressure industry to develop quieter blowers. Landscape architects and the state Chamber of Commerce are also expected to support the measure Monday at the first hearing on the legislation. Beginning in 2000, commercial gardeners could use blowers only if they met strict new noise standards.

All well and good. But that's not all. In the interim, the proposed legislation would nullify most municipal leaf blower ordinances now on the books, including that of Los Angeles.

It's not unusual for the state to preempt local laws in order to adopt a single statewide standard. The state usually steps in when the problem is common to all of California, such as controlling the sale of guns or establishing automobile emission levels.

The state has a proper role in setting reasonable statewide noise standards on leaf blower manufacturers--just as it has set standards for auto emissions. That way the industry would not be confronted with differing standards in various and disparate communities. But if ever there was a local issue, the proper use of leaf blowers by gardeners themselves would seem to be it.

Let city councils and local gardener groups work out their own compromises that more or less suit local tastes and local law enforcement capabilities. Such compromises don't come easily, and the state really shouldn't preempt local decisions in this matter.

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El Toro Airport Neighbors in Los Angeles, California Speak Out Against Anticipated International Airport Noise

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Lorenza Munoz
DATELINE: El Toro, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Neil Harkleroad, resident; Sherry Meddick, a Silverado Canyon resident; Crystal Kochendorfer, president of the Capistrano Unified board (composed of Saddleback, Irvine and Capistrano Unified school districts); Sam Surace of Leisure World

The Los Angeles Times interviews several residents that say aircraft noise from the proposed El Toro Airport will be unacceptable.

The article notes that the airport may service up to 38-million passengers each year. One residents said "I will be getting out of here. It will be terrible."

The article goes on to say that Orange County cites a noise consultant who said that noise levels from the airport would be well under county limits. These levels were calculated by the Community Noise Equivalency Level (CNEL) which is generally accepted as most indicative of the impact on a community. CNELs consider the average daily noise level, while other methods consider maximum noise from particular events. No new homes can be built where CNELs will exceed 65 decibels. Existing homes that experience that level of noise will be able to receive free soundproofing in exchange from promises not to sue over noise.

The article goes on to say that county officials claim only small areas of the county will be impacted by the noise. They also say that noise will be less than what currently comes from the military base. Residents counter that while military jets are loud, they never fly on weekends or at night. One residents said "This isn't about how much [noise] people can tolerate. It's about how much change this will bring."

The article notes that seventy percent of flights will go east over south county neighborhoods, while the rest would go north over central county neighborhoods. Flight paths over central county may be changed to follow the Loma Ridge mountains instead of flying over population centers; the feasibility of those changes will be available on May 5th.

The article notes that in Alisa Viejo, students at one elementary school would have to deal with 60 decibels of noise over the whole day, with spikes of 77 decibels and flights as often as every three minutes. One official in Capistrano, a community that would be similarly affected, said "It's irresponsible of the county to dismiss the ever-increasing body of evidence that shows aircraft noise impairs children's learning and can adversely affect children's health."

The article says that county officials may reduce passenger capacity to as little as 10 to 25 million annually, reducing noise problems. A final noise report will be available in the fall.

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Noise from Youth Gatherings Frustrates Neighbors in Bartlett Park, St. Petersburg, Florida.

PUBLICATION: St. Petersburg Times
DATE: April 8, 1998
SECTION: Neighborhood Times, Pg. 1
BYLINE: Waveney Ann Moore
DATELINE: St. Petersburg, Florida
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Charles Payne, president of Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that the noise from thousands of youth gathered each Sunday at Bartlett Park in St. Petersburg, Florida is frustrating neighborhood residents.

According to the article, thousands of youth spill into the neighborhood surrounding the Bartlett Park each Sunday. Their cars, with loud thumping stereos, clog the streets and frustrate residents living near the park. City officials meet weekly with both organizers of the Sunday party and representatives of Bartlett Park Association but the talks have done little to appease residents.

The St. Petersburg Police Department estimated 5,000 people were at the park on the first day of Daylight Savings Time, with no signs of breaking up as the sun began to set. The St. Petersburg Police Department referenced approximately ten complaints about noise, a hit-and-run accident in the backed-up traffic, the discovery of narcotics, and citations for three minor infractions -all occurring that one day at Bartlett Park. But the three Sunday gatherings that followed were considered "pretty smooth" according to a police officer quoted in the article.

According to the article, the city is attempting to make the most of the situation. Major Cedric Gordon is quoted in the article saying, "We saw this as an opportunity to build a relationship with the youth, to enhance trust between the police and youth and our community." "We also have been talking with the youth. At one point there was a level of discomfort not only for the youth but for the police, too." "We are able to go in there and enforce the law without any confrontation and without any problems. I think that is a remarkable feat in itself."

The article reports that there are usually about 12 officers on patrol in the park. Police set up their mobile resource center to solicit applications for its communications center at a recent gathering and, according to Major Gordon, police planned to promote the city's Challenge 2000 program at the Sunday gatherings as well.

The article clarifies, however, that the city is not sponsoring or promoting the gatherings and has, according to the city's Director of Community Affairs, insisted its organizers, Jamaican Funk, stop advertising the event on the radio. The Director of Community Affairs is quoted in the article emphasizing "The city has tried to work with the organizers of the events . . . so as to minimize the impact on the bordering neighborhood in terms of noise control and also in trying to relieve the parking congestion."

Meanwhile Payne and his neighbors reportedly remain unimpressed. According to the report, Payne believes "The city has its back against the wall. . .the only remedy for the situation is realizing that the young people have to have something to do, but they should at least spare the neighborhood by having a rotation of two or three parks rather than put the burden on one."

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Emergency Water Aid to Marshall Islands Delayed by Hawaii's Noise Regulations

DATE: April 7, 1998
SECTION: Nationwide General News; Overseas News
DATELINE: Majuro, Marshall Islands

The AAP Newsfeed reports that Hawaii has refused to allow a Russian-made aircraft - an Antonov 124 cargo plane - to land in Hawaii because it breeches Hawaiian noise standards. The aircraft was on an El Nino emergency aid mission in the Marshall Islands and was scheduled to arrive Tuesday, April 7, 1998. The prohibition against its landing forced it to extend the flight and refuel in Alaska, thus delaying emergency aid. Other aircraft were also due to begin arriving Tuesday, April 7, 1998 in the capital city of Majuro as a part of the first wave of the $US 6.5 million El Nino drought aid program.

The article said the planes were carrying emergency water making units - each capable of producing more than 646,000 liters of fresh water daily. A total of ten reverse osmosis water purifying units were scheduled to arrive the week of April 7 and be operational by April 16, according to Marshall Islands public assistance officer Andrew Bilimon. Additional emergency drought aid equipment including dozens of water tanks, water delivery trucks, water trailers, and pumps were enough to fill an Antonov 124 cargo plane and several Hercules transport planes.

John W Heard, a project manager for the disaster relief in the Marshall Islands, said the drought aid equipment was brought in on the Antonov, the largest aircraft in the sky, because it would not fit into a 747. John Heard is a project manager with Brown and Root Services Corporation, a Texas-based company that provides logistical support to US military operations around the world. Brown and Root Services Corporation is carrying out the contract for the aid project with the Marshall Islands and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The article reports that according to Heard, Hawaii officials refused to give a one-time noise waiver to the Antonov for refuelling the plane in Honolulu. Senator Daniel K Inouye and FEMA personnel attempted to intervene, but the Hawaii officials refused to grant the requested exemption from noise rules so the aircraft could fly the most direct route through Hawaii.

The rerouting of the plane to Alaska for refueling was expected to delay arrival in Majuro until Thursday, April 9, 1998 where city water was being restricted to one day every two weeks. The article reports that the Marshall Islands had only trace rainfall from the beginning of December through April 7, 1998.

AFP is

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The City of Sante Fe Seeks to Put a Stop to NightClub Noise.

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: April 7, 1998
BYLINE: Elvia Diaz
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal reports that city officials of Sante Fe, New Mexico have been attempting for over a year to put a stop to the noise from a local nightclub.

The nightclub, called El Farol Restaurant & Lounge, was ordered by city code enforcement officers to cease operating as a nightclub in mid-1996, based in part on neighbors' complaints about loud noise from the business. The city's Board of Adjustment upheld that order.

In that ruling the city staff argued that amplifying live music and serving liquor after the restaurant stops serving food is illegal because the area is zoned as an arts-and-crafts district.

They city further argued that El Farol violated a 1993 agreement with the city in which owner, David Salazar, promised to provide only solo and duet music performances. That agreement was, according to city documents, a condition for city approval of a liquor license transfer to El Farol. The issue of the liquor license agreement was reported as a non-issue for both El Farol's and the city.

Since late 1996, city staffers and the restaurant owner have tried to come to an agreement, according to the city attorney, Silva, who is cited in the article. "We never wanted to shut them down completely," Silva is quoted saying, "All we want is for them to comply with the city ordinance."

Paul Mannick, the attorney representing El Farol, said his client has tried to work out a deal with the city since the Board of Adjustment decision. Part of the negotiating included reducing the noise level. He is further quoted saying his client had "done a great deal of work addressing noise" issues mentioning extensive insulation work done to the restaurant. The attorney said Salazar planned to expand the facility by building a porch but wasn't allowed to do so.

Santa Fe city councilors were scheduled to conduct a public hearing April 8, 1998 on an appeal from the Board's ruling that the popular night spot on Canyon Road is violating zoning ordinances.

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An Increase of Noisy Jets at the Van Nuys Airport in California Fuels the Push to Ban the Noisy "Stage 2" Jets

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: April 7, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N4
BYLINE: Patrick Mcgreevy and Eric Moses
DATELINE: Van Nuys, California

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the number of noisy Stage 2 jets based at Van Nuys Airport has increased 62 percent in the past four years.

The Los Angeles Airports Department found that the number of Stage 2 jets at the airfield has increased from 29 in 1993 to 47 today, while the number of quieter Stage 3 aircraft has increased at half that rate. The increase was cited in a report released Monday by Van Nuys operations manager Harry D. Woody.

The cited increase bolsters the position of the Stop the Noise Coalition which contends that a government mandated phase-out of the older, noisier aircraft is necessary. The finding is considered a challenge to airport tenants who claimed that the Stage 2 aircraft were being phased out.

The article quotes Gerald Silver of the Stop the Noise Coalition saying "The San Fernando Valley has become a dumping ground for this kind of aircraft." "It's a real noise nuisance situation." Aircraft operators, on the other hand, claim the increase of the State 2 jet is only temporary. They claim the noisier Stage 2 jets are gradually being phased out and replaced by the newer, quieter State 3 jets. Harold Lee, who runs Million Air and heads a tenants group called the Van Nuys Airport Association, is quoted as a spokesperson of this position, saying "They [Stage 2 jets] are going to deteriorate. In the next few years, they are going to go down."

Airport tenants are fighting against a proposal by the city to phase out the older, noisier aircraft with a proposed ordinance called the nonaddition rule. The nonaddition rule would ban the replacement of Stage 2 aircraft with the same type of jet.

According to the article, Gerald Silver from the Stop the Noise Coalition says the increase in Stage 2 jets stems in part from the fact that some corporations are pooling resources to buy larger jets. The purchase of the larger jets results in the increased sales of smaller Stage 2 aircraft to Van Nuys, where there is no nonaddition rule. The article quotes Silver saying, "It's a very distressing trend - the increase in Stage 2 aircraft - and it proves without a doubt that there will not be any attrition in Stage 2 aircraft unless a strict ordinance is put into place."

Lee on the other hand said many of the Stage 2 jets are not being used very often so there has been a decrease in the area around the airport experiencing significant noise problems.

The article reports that the Airport Commission is expected to take up the nonaddition rule after its task force completes its review of the ordinance. If the commission approves the rule, it would go to the City Council for final approval.

According to the article, Clay Lacy, who runs an aircraft business at Van Nuys believes "The economic impact [of the proposed nonaddition rule] is huge. Not only for us but the whole community." According to Lacy every Stage 2 plane based at Van Nuys accounts for 10 jobs and $1 million in revenue. If the nonaddition rule should be approved Lacy predicts fuel sales would drop and hangars would be 40 percent vacant.

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Two Noise Barriers to be Built in Orange County, California

DATE: April 7, 1998

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 2; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Phil Davis
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Times reports that the south side of the San Diego Freeway will see the building of two noise walls by August. The walls will go near two interchanges: for Garden Grove, and San Diego.

The article notes that the two noise walls will serve as extensions to an existing wall. One wall is 14 feet high, and one wall is 16 feet high. The walls should protect residents from highway noise generated by about 327,000 vehicles every day.

According to the article, the walls are going up as part of a mitigation program that has been put off for three years because of budget problems. The project as a whole will cost $759,000. California's Transportation Department plans to landscape around the walls to make them more esthetically pleasing.

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Sound Barriers Could Be Built Along Lake Parkway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin if Neighbors Want Them

PUBLICATION: Journal Sentinel
DATE: April 7, 1998
SECTION: News Pg. 3
BYLINE: Mike Nichols
DATELINE: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that city officials will consider whether noise barriers should be built east of the Lake Parkway in Bay View section of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A total of three noise barriers could be built -if city officials determine a majority of the residents want them.

According to the article, residents in the Bay View area are entitled to sound barriers because of the expected amount of traffic on the parkway. [NPC editors' note: the article does not state under what law or ordinance the residents are entitled to sound barriers.] But the barriers will be built only if residents want them.

According to the Department of Transportation the Parkway is not scheduled for completion until 1999. Once completed it will run between Bay View residential areas and now existing Milwaukee Drop Forge plant. If built, the barriers would abate motorist noise from the Parkway and the now existing Milwaukee Drop Forge plant.

The article describes Bay View residents living near the already existing Milwaukee Drop Forge plant as being noncomittal about sound barriers.

Grace Zirzow is a resident described in the article who has lived on Bay View's E. Bennett Ave., not far from the din of Milwaukee Drop Forge, for more than 70 years. The writer of the article describes how you have to inch a little closer on Zirzow's front porch to hear her speak, "that's just part of the neighborhood's ambience". But Ms. Zirzow is quoted saying the clamor of the Milwaukee Drop Forge plant "doesn't bother me at all." "I've been here my entire life."

Twenty-year-old resident Dan Kovatovich Jr., of S. Linebarger Terrace, is quoted saying "My family has been here for 17 years and we are used to it (referring to the noise from the existing plant). The article says Kovatovich is concerned about the potential for graffiti, but not in opposition to the noise barriers.

Holly Demos is a mother of five children and resides at Bennett Ave close to Drop Forge and will, according to the article, be residing right next to the parkway. The news article reports that she would like to see a barrier for safety reasons but has her doubts the noise barriers will be built.

Whether the the 15-foot to 20-foot-high barriers will be built depends in large part by what happens at state Department of Transportation meetings which were scheduled to take place during April the article said.

The meetings were scheduled to take place on April 21 and April 23 at South Shore Park Pavilion, and were to provide information about three potential barriers along the east side of the parkway. The first meeting was to focus on a barrier that would run from just south of the St. Francis border to approximately Malvern Place. The April 23 meeting was to provide information about two other barriers that would separate the parkway from residential neighborhoods between E. Fernwood Ave. and S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Formal presentations regarding DOT's plans were to take place on both dates at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. and DOT personnel were to be available between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. to talk one-on-one.

The article said neither meeting was intended as public hearing but was intended to afford residents the opportunity to put their comments in writing referring to the statements by Department of Transportation manager, Karl Pierce.

The written comments gathered from the neighbors at the meetings would, according to the article, be passed on verbatim to Milwaukee city officials. The city officials will then determine if neighborhood residents wanted barriers.

If the city officials determine the barriers are wanted construction could begin by fall at a cost of $300,000 to $500,000.

The article states that the parkway itself should be open to traffic by the end of 1999. Construction on the parkway itself began, according to Pierce, about 1994 and the road should be open to traffic by the end of 1999.

The maximum speed has not been determined, but the article states that Pierce emphasized that it will be a "parkway" rather than a freeway.

Alderperson Sue Breier, who represents the area and is quoted in the article said speed limits should be no higher than 35 or 40 mph.

The news article states some landscaping for the parkway is expected but that it may not, according to Pierce be substantial.

A map of the Bay View area affected by the potential noise barriers was included in the paper with the article.

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Chinese Villagers Are Prosecuted After Blocking A Runway in Aircraft Noise Protest

PUBLICATION: British Broadcasting Corporation
DATE: April 6, 1998
SECTION: Part 3 Asia-Pacific; Hong Kong; Fe/D3194/G
DATELINE: Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: He Yuebao, former head of Zhuanghu Village, Jiangsu Province

The British Broadcasting Corporation printed exerpts of an article published by 'Xinhua Ribao" in Nanjing China on March 20, 1998. The 'Zinhua Ribao' article reported that 26 residents from Zhuanghu Village in Jiangsu Province gathered and blocked the runway of Nanjing Lukou International Airport on February 24, 1998 to protest the adverse affect of the airplanes on their life and demanded compensation.

According to the article the villagers disregarded warnings and entered the airport at 0950 in the morning of February 24th by climbing over a fence. Many planes were unable to take off or land on the runway and all flights were delayed for more than one hour because of the blockage of the runway. The action was reported to have caused a large amount of economic loss to the state and also seriously endangered people's lives.

The'Xinhua Ribao' article also stated it learned through the Provincial Public Security Department that the case was handled by Nanjing City's public security organization. "In order to protect the dignity of law and guarantee order and security of civil aviation, the public security organization seriously handled the 26 law offenders, who bear responsibility to varying degrees in the case according to the law and facts."

The former head of Zhuanghu Village, He Yuebao, was principally responsible for the incident, the article said. He was arrested in accordance with the law with the approval of the local procuratorate for violating related stipulations of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China. "The 25 other law offenders were punished respectively by public security organizations according to related stipulations of the 'Regulations on Punishments for Violating Public Security Administration of the People's Republic of China.'"

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The Town of Eagle, Wisconsin Fights Against Clay Pigeon Shooting Business and State Department of Natural Resources

PUBLICATION: Journal Sentinel
DATE: April 6, 1998
SECTION: Aukesha Pg. 2
BYLINE: Sam Martino
DATELINE: Eagle, Wisconsin

Journal Sentinel reports the town of Eagle, Wisconsin is fighting against Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources and the Wern Valley Inc., a business which operates shooting ranges, in its effort to ban clay shooting. The Town of Eagle initially banned the sport in response to noise complaints but the town's order was reversed when the Waukesha County Circuit Court ruled that the town did not act properly in refusing a conditional use permit for the range last August.

The article said the court ruled that, before taking action, the town should have notified DNR officials of its intent to hold a hearing on the matter. The court also said the town failed to produce a noise level reading to demonstrate a violation of the town's 60-decibel limit. [NPC editor's note: the article states the DNR won the lawsuit but does not state whether there were any other parties in the suit.]

Both the DNR and owner of Wern Valley Inc. are seeking an accommodation from the town.

The article reports that clay pigeon shooting is one of its main revenue producers at the McMiller Sports Center, but that it is no longer offered. (The sport, in which a shooter fires at clay pigeons at stations in a wooded area, is different from the fixed-target range at which pistol and rifle practice is held.)

According to the article, the DNR's land manager for southeastern Wisconsin, Don Tills said the DNR is renegotiating its contract with Wern Valley Inc., which operates the shooting ranges at the McMiller Sports Center. Tills is quoted saying "We are talking about the change of circumstances and how we are going to deal with it." The owner of the Wern Valley Inc., Steve Williams, said a reduction in the approximately $10,000 he pays to lease the center from the DNR has been discussed.

Town Chairman Don Wilton has reportedly warned he is ready to start a new battle against the DNR over the noise issue: "As soon as I hear that shooting clays will start up, I will hire a professional to take sound-abatement tests. Once it exceeds 60 decibels, I will hold a public hearing and dispose of it again." Twice last year, the town declined to grant the DNR a renewal of a conditional use permit for continued sporting clay shooting.

"They (the DNR) already admitted they can't solve the noise problem unless they come up with new technology," the article stated quoting Wilton.

DNR manager Don Tills is reported saying "We are not going to start sporting clays without meeting with the town. We are going to check with the advisory committee and get their advice. We got a wide range of advice, from starting shooting clays to don't shoot."

Tills is also reported in the article saying Wern Valley has a five-year lease to operate Wern Valley until 1999. He said he was awaiting completion of a citizen task force report on the future of McMiller before making a decision on whether sporting clay shooting would resume.

James Fendry, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement, is also mentioned in the article. Fendry reportedly said his organization and the National Rifle Association were ready to challenge the DNR and town if sporting clay shooting was denied. The article quotes Fendry saying "The DNR should resume shooting clays and try to reduce the noise. If the Town of Eagle wants to make trouble, let the town sue the DNR."

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The City Council in Mississauga, Canada Votes to Build Homes Below Existing Flight Paths; Greater Toronto Airports Authority Appeals their Decision to the Ontario Municipal Board in Canada

PUBLICATION: The Toronto Star
DATE: April 6, 1998
BYLINE: Mike Funston
DATELINE: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto Star reports that the City Council for Mississauga, Canada has voted to rezone an industrial site below a Pearson airport flight path to clear the way for home development. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority opposed the decision and appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, who will make the final decision on whether the project can go ahead.

The Mississauga Council approved the necessary Official Plan amendment for the project with a 6-4 vote prompting city staff to process the rezoning application by developers (Fieldgate Development and Construction Ltd., Fitzwood Investments Ltd. and Cantay Holdings Inc.).

Mayor Hazel McCallion led the opposing faction, which doesn't want homes built in areas where noise from planes is high. The Mayor also doesn't want the city's inventory of industrial land depleted.

David Culham, the councillor for the area, pushed for a rezoning because current residents in the area don't want industrial lands abutting their neighborhood. The article quotes Culham saying, "It was a big win for the community." "These lands were designated industrial almost 20 years ago. Any prudent analysis would indicate they can't be developed successfully that way now. It would have put truck traffic at an entrance to a residential community."

Culhmam also reportedly said the issue of aircraft noise is a red herring. "Statistics show people in my ward who live under aircraft do not complain in large numbers . . . there are more complaints from people in Ward 2 (southwest Mississauga) than there are from my area (Ward 6)," the article said quoting Culhman.

The airport authority has opposed several Mississauga housing projects proposed in areas affected by aircraft noise. The authority worries that residents, after moving in and having to live with the noise, will exert pressure to limit flight operations the article said.

The authority's lawyer, Stanley Stein, faxed a letter to the council opposing the development and announced the intention to take the case to the OMB. The article quotes Stein saying "Residents would experience significant disturbance" due to noise. "These lands have historically been designated for industrial purposes and previous (city) staff reports have recommended they not be approved for residential uses."

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California State Legislature to Consider Bill Preventing Cities in California from Banning or Regulating Leaf Blowers

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: April 5, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N4
BYLINE: Jon Matthews Scripps-Mcclatchy
DATELINE: Sacramento, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Julie Kelts, Citizens for a Quieter Sacramento

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports the long-running controversy over the noise-versus-utility of leaf blowers is now sweeping into California's state legislature, where a bill before the state Senate would prevent cities from banning or independently regulating the machines.

According to the article, critics say leaf blowers are far too loud and pollute the air. They are banding together to fight the prohibition against regulation. Julie Kelts, an organizer for Citizens for a Quieter Sacramento, is noted in the article as one who would like to see the bill fail. She would like the city of Sacramento to ban leaf blowers. "Depriving citizens of local control over whether to trade away their peace, quiet and clean air for the efficiency of one industry and the unnecessary cleanliness of spotless lawns and parking lots is extremely unfair," the article said, quoting Kelts.

But supporters of the bill argue the bill would promote the use of newer, quieter machines. As introduced, the bill would permit gasoline-powered leaf blowers until 2000, after which commercial gardeners could use them only if they meet a maximum noise standard of 65 decibels at 50 feet away, the article reported.

Supports also argue, the article says, that the bill allows tens of thousands of gardeners to earn a decent living, a livelihood, which many of them say can't come from just a broom and rake. "We have never denied that leaf blowers contribute to noise problems. But we feel the correct way to handle this is to pressure the industry to come up with acceptable technology and, in the meantime, gardeners should be given amnesty to continue to work," the article says quoting Adrian Alvarez of the Association of Latin-American Gardeners of Los Angeles.

The bill was reportedly introduced in an attempt to create statewide application and overturn Los Angeles' ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers. While the bill, as introduced, applies only to gasoline-powered leaf blowers, it may be amended to include electric models, as well, the article says.

The bill is authored by Sen. Richard Planco, D-Los Angeles, and is backed by many gardeners, professional landscapers and the California Chamber of Commerce. The legislation was scheduled to be heard April 13 before the Senate Business and Professions Committee, which Polanco chairs.

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Public Opinion Poll Favoring Renovation of Amphitheater in Jacksonville, Florida Considered Biased

PUBLICATION: The Florida Times-Union
DATE: April 5, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B-1; The Roman Report
BYLINE: Dave Roman
DATELINE: Jacksonville, Florida

The Florida Times-Union printed a column by Dave Roman on April 5, 1998 concerning a public opinion poll that found voters supported, by a 2 to 1 margin, the renovation of the Amphitheater at Metropolitan Park in Jackson, Florida.

According to the columnist many amphitheater opponents faxed and emailed the Times-Union suggesting the pollsters skewed the results by asking misleading questions. The columnist said opponents reasoned that "[s]ince the poll was paid for by the Duval County Republican Party, the pollsters must have worded the questions in a way to make the amphitheater and the man who wants to build it, Republican Mayor John Delaney, look good."

The poll of 602 registered voters was one of four quarterly attitude surveys that American Public Dialogue conducts for the GOP each year, the article said.

Bruce Barcelo, chairman of the American Public Dialogue, and creator of the poll is quoted extensively in Roman's column. "The clumsiest use of a poll would be to try to convince voters of how they already feel," the article says quoting Barcelo. "The real use of a poll is to diagnose those feelings and to report to the people who are responsible for communication. It's nice to know whether the audience is applauding or not. The public generally has an agenda. It changes daily. It's fluid. If you don't pay attention to that agenda, the public will leave you behind."

According to the article Barcelo claimed pollsters are surprised just about every time they go to the field. To demonstrate the point, the article explains how the poll in question discovered that 62.5 percent of voters support efforts to name the St. Johns River as one of 10 American Heritage Rivers. What is interesting about that, the columnist said, was that Republicans are leading the opposition to a program which, according to the poll, the public supports.

"Frankly, if there's an El Nino out there we want to know it," Barcelo is quoted saying. "We're not going to know it because we thought it up. We're going to know it because people told us."

The columnist said the poll asked 35 questions, seven of them, located in the middle of the poll, dealt with the amphitheater. The questions included:

QUESTION: 'Do you trust Mayor Delaney to make the right decision on Metro Park?'

RESPONSE: Yes 67.4 percent; No 30.9 percent; Refused to answer 10.1 percent.

QUESTION: 'Some people oppose the renovation of the amphitheater because of the noise that the concerts may create for homeowners across the river. Do you believe that the noise problem is serious enough to cancel the plans for renovation of the amphitheater?'

RESPONSE: Yes 27.4 percent; No 57.1 percent; Depends 12.5 percent; Unsure 3 percent.

QUESTION: 'Are you concerned about a renovated amphitheater bringing objectionable acts to Metropolitan Park?'

RESPONSE: Yes 38.2 percent; No 54.5 percent; Refused to answer 7.3 percent.

QUESTION: 'Do you think the renovations at Metro Park threaten public ownership and public access to the park?'

RESPONSE: Yes 28.2 percent; No 63.6 percent; Refused 8.1 percent.

QUESTION: 'Metropolitan Park currently holds about 17,000 people for open-air concerts and events such as the Jazz Festival. The city is considering plans to renovate an amphitheater, which would provide seating for 14,000 people with around 4,000 seats under cover. The purpose is to attract more and better concerts to the park throughout the year. Do you support this plan to renovate the amphitheater at Metro Park?'

RESPONSE: Yes 64.3 percent; No 30.1 percent; Refused to answer 5.6 percent.

QUESTION: 'Should the city manage and promote events at Metro Park or should the renovated amphitheater be operated by an outside promoter who could produce greater revenues and profits for the city but might try to schedule objectionable acts?'

RESPONSE: The city 52.3 percent; Outside promoter 39.7 percent; Unsure 8 percent.

QUESTION: Recently Mayor Delaney tried to discuss a compromise with the group called 'Citizens for Amphitheater Awareness.' After a week of negotiations the 'Citizens for Amphitheater Awareness' said they are opposed to any compromise. Does their opposition make you more likely or less likely to support plans for the renovation of the amphitheater at Metro Park?'

RESPONSE: More likely 27.9 percent; Less likely 29.1 percent; Doesn't matter 37.9 percent; Unsure 5.1 percent.

The article said the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, meaning they could be off by that amount in either direction. But without asking 500 or 600 people, a pollster's best guess is no better than somebody walking down the street according to Barcelo.

"Judge for yourself" the columnist says "whether the questions are straightforward or biased."

The author's column runs Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He can be reached on the phone at 359-4103 or by fax at 359-4478.

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The U.S. Air Force Argues that an 11,269 Acres Expansion Necessary for Improved Training at the Mountain Home Airforce Base in Idaho

PUBLICATION: The Idaho Statesman
DATE: April 5, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. 19a
DATELINE: Mountain Home Airforce Base, Idaho

The Idaho Statesman's published in their editorial section an article, in question/answer format, from the United States Air Force concerning their proposed expansion of the training range at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

According to the article noise levels would increase over Little Jacks Creek in the northern section of the range and in the restricted airspace associated with the training range. But noise levels over the Bruneau-Jarbidge River area and over the Owyhee canyonlands would generally decrease. The overall result from greater dispersion of aircraft operations would be a reduction in noise levels the article says. Mention is made concerning the effect of the expansion on big horn sheep and sage grouse.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in Boise was expected to release its findings and recommendations concerning the proposal in mid-April. The findings would then be sent to the BLM director in Washington, D.C., and then on to the Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt who must prepare legislation for Congress to consider.

The editorial reads in full as follows:

Q. What is Enhanced Training in Idaho?

A. It is a proposal by the U.S. Air Force to improve training for aircrews of the 366th Wing at the Mountain Home Air Force Base. It would be in addition to the existing 109,000-acre training range at Saylor Creek. The Juniper Butte expansion would require about 11,269 acres, consisting of a 10, 600-acre training range with a 300-acre non-explosive training ordnance impact site, a 640-acre no-drop target area, four five-acre no-drop target areas, nine one-acre emitter sites, 18 one-quarter-acre emitter sites and modified military airspace to allow for greater dispersal of aircraft.

Q. Why is it needed?

A. It would provide a modern, local range that would maximize training hours and limit travel time. It would provide the 366th Wing with consistency, quality and realism in training and would allow for variety and complexity in maneuvering and airspace use. These enhancements would ensure that aircrews receive efficient and effective high-quality training from their limited training hours.

Q. Who owns the land where the range would be located?

A. The range and all its parts would be located on federal lands and State of Idaho school endowment lands. The federal lands would be turned over to the military under the Engle Act and through rights of way from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. State land would be leased.

Q. Will the range increase noise levels?

A. That depends on where you are. Noise over Little Jacks Creek in the north would increase as would noise in the restricted airspace associated with the training range. Noise levels over the Bruneau-Jarbidge River area and over the Owyhee canyonlands would generally decrease. The overall reduction in noise levels would result from greater dispersion of aircraft operations.

Q. Will the range affect my ability to use the land?

A. Recreation would be excluded from the 12,000-acre withdrawal site. Grazing would be permitted in all but the 300-acre primary ordnance impact area, the five-acre no-drop targets and the one-acre emitter sites. The expanded training range was sited to avoid special land use areas such as Wilderness Study Areas, canyonlands and other sensitive areas.

Q. Will the range cause an increase in range fires?

A. The use of cold spot training ordinance, a fire management plan and a crew trained for firefighting on the selected range would result in low fire risk.

Q. How will bighorn sheep be protected?

A. The Air Force will consult with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management annually to determine critical California bighorn sheep lambing areas, lambing periods and avoidance criteria in the Owyhee canyonlands. The 366th Wing is prepared to avoid lambing areas in specific locations throughout the training airspace during critical lambing periods, absent compelling national security circumstances, military contingencies or hostilities.

Q. What about sage grouse, a species whose habitat is declining?

A. The Air Force will train emitter site crew members to identify sage grouse and raptors. The individuals will be instructed to inspect emitter sites for the presence of the birds before use. A biologist will inspect the sites at critical times of the year and recommend when certain sites will be available for use.

Q. How will boating and camping be protected?

A. During the first floating season the Air Force will institute a two-week flight restriction during the optimum floating period over the main Bruneau Canyon north of the confluence of the Jarbidge River to the northern edge of the airspace. Low-altitude sorties below 5,000 feet will only cross perpendicular to the canyon with no parallel flights within one mile of the canyon. In subsequent years, restrictions will be determined through consultation with the BLM.

Q. Will the project require more roads?

A. The Juniper Butte alternative would have 62 miles of gravel road improvements and 20 miles of new gravel roads.

What's next?

The Air Force proposal is awaiting action by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The BLM office in Boise expects to release its findings and recommendations next week. That document will be sent to the BLM director in Washington, D.C., then on to the Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

Babbitt must prepare legislation for Congress, which has the final say. Proponents hope Congress will act before the end of the year.

To comment on Enhanced Training in Idaho, write members of Congress. 7 Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Senate, 304 Russell Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone 202-224-6142, fax 202-224-5893. In Boise: 304 N. 8th St., Room 338, Boise, ID 83702. Phone 208-334-1776, fax 208-334-9044.

E-mail: dirk kempthorne@kempthorne. 7 Sen. Larry Craig, U.S. Senate, 313 Hart Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone 202-224-2752, fax 202-228-1067. In Boise: 304 N. 8th St., Room 149, Boise, ID 83702. Phone 208-342-7985, fax 208-343-2458.

E-mail: larry 7 Rep. Helen Chenoweth, U.S. House of Representatives, 1722 Longworth Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone 202-225-6611, fax 202-225-3029. In Boise: 304 N. 8th St., Room 454, Boise ID 83702. Phone 208-336-9831, fax 208-336-9891.

E-mail: 7 Rep. Mike Crapo, U.S. House of Representatives, 437 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone 202-225-5531, fax 202-225-8216. In Boise: 304 N. 8th St., Room 325, Boise, ID 83702. Phone 208-334-1953, fax 208-334-9533.



"If the cost of pilot training means impacting a few wild sheep and disturbing people as they raft down the river, to me, that is an acceptable cost. In short, freedom isn't free and I'm willing to pay the price."

Jeff Schrade, Eagle

"I find it interesting that social services, recreation funding and environmental spending all suffer during budget cutback time while at the same time this expansion is proposed."

Kathleen E. Rivers, Ketchum

"I feel confident that the Air Force has done all they can to work toward some choices which would work well for the environment and our country."

Debbie Swearingen, Mountain Home

"Being a native Idahoan and a veteran of World War II, to me the sound of aircraft overhead is the sound of freedom."

Art Smith, Mountain Home

"I oppose the ETI because it is not necessary for national security or the well-being of Mountain Home Air Force Base or the economic well-being of Mountain Home."

Karl Ruprecht, Twin Falls

"I feel very strongly that if we are to send young men and women into combat that we have a moral obligation to provide them with the best possible training available."

Ben Jepson, Meridian

"I'm still wondering what part of 'no' you people don't understand."

Mike Holton, Boise

"With the military facing more cuts it is no longer cost effective for our Air Force personnel to have to fly to Vegas or Hill Air Force Base for their training, nor is it as safe."

Nola Newton, Hammett

"I feel the Air Force's training program is excellent as is."

Jean Boyles, Boise

"I believe that the Air Force has already proven itself to be a good steward of Idaho land and that they will continue to utilize any Idaho range with responsibility and respect."

Mari Young, Mountain Home

"The training range proposal is in conflict with the value of the Owyhees as a recreation resource for Idaho's growing population."

David Poor, Boise

"I am totally convinced our flight crews should have all the best training facilities, weapons and aircraft tactics possible for surely to believe there will not be another Saddam Hussein in the future is pure ignorance."

William S. Hill Jr., Boise

"I urge the Air Force to explore all other alternatives to the proposed Enhanced Training in Idaho range and not to interfere with one of Idaho's last remaining wild areas."

Diana Stilwell, Boise

"I believe that Air Force activities in the Owyhee County desert area would not have any significant impact on the environment, either its flora or its fauna, and is highly appropriate for the activities considered."

Marlene Osborn, Mountain Home

"Why can't the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force work more closely and be more efficient with the facilities they already have?"

Frank R. Florence, Twin Falls

"I strongly support the no-action alternative which will spare this ecologically and recreationally important area in Idaho from further indignities that would be inflicted by training range expansion."

Robert S. Luntey,


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Loudspeaker Announcers for Competitive Swim Races Accused of Violating Noise Ordinance in Sarasota, Florida

PUBLICATION: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
DATE: April 5, 1998
SECTION: Perspectives, Pg. 2F
DATELINE: Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota Herald-Tribune published the following article in their Perspectives column after two loudspeaker announcers were cited for violating a noise ordinance in Arlington Park, Sarasota, Florida. The announcers were accused of violating an ordinance designed to let city residents sleep a little later on weekends by using a loudspeaker before 10 a.m. to start competitive swim races.

According to the article the head coach of the swim team - one of the persons cited - claims he doesn't know of any quieter alternatives for starting the races, and worries that the episode will mean the end of high-level competition at the park.

The author(s) note that others besides the YMCA team also use the park and generate noise at their swim meets. For that reason, the author adds "it is also why it behooves local governments (the county manages the park) to contribute to a long-term solution."

The author(s) argue that the situation is far from hopeless. Compromise and some genuine noise-abatement efforts would, they believe, assure the swim team's future at the park. The column closes with the statement: "Compared with the downtown noise problem, Arlington [park]'s is far more containable; there is no need for a divisive battle over this - just willpower. That's something the Sharks' young athletes demonstrate daily as they plow, mile after mile, through Arlington's aqua depths. Surely a noise solution can't be as hard as that."

The article in full reads as follows:

When the announcer told swimmers to "take your mark" for races last weekend at Arlington Park, he probably didn't expect that such a big splash would follow the starting signal.

Within minutes of the "beep," Sarasota police arrived at the pool last Saturday morning, ticketing the announcer - and another the next morning - for violating a city noise ordinance.

When news of that spread, community complaints followed. Sarasota's new noise law must be stodgy, indeed, if teens can't even swim without violating it, so the grousing went.

The trouble with that view: It leaves out much of the story.

For one thing, it was a loudspeaker - not the swimmers - that drew the noise complaint.

For another, the citations by police have nothing to do with the controversial decibel restrictions placed on downtown music spots. Instead, the tickets stem from a longstanding "unreasonable noise' ' ordinance designed to let city residents sleep a little later on weekends. Specifically, the two people ticketed are accused of violating Ordinance 20-5(c) by using a loudspeaker before 10 a.m.

There's also this factor: In obtaining a permit to host the event, the Sarasota YMCA Sharks signed a form that specifically required them to meet noise standards "at all times."

City police feel the team didn't live up to that agreement. Also dissatisfied are members of a nearby neighborhood association, who want the swim meets to continue but feel the Sharks have not put forth a strong effort to find a mutually agreeable solution to noise and other problems engendered by the meets.

The controversy is a public relations problem for city officials, but for Sherwood Watts, it's a lot more personal. He's the Sharks' head coach, and is one of the two men cited by police. He faces a court appearance this month and, if found guilty, faces $185 or more in fines and court costs. Clearly discouraged by the incident, Watts says he doesn't know of any quieter alternatives for starting the races, and worries that the episode will mean the end of high-level competition at Arlington Park - the only Olympic-caliber public pool in Sarasota County.

It sounds as though Watts needs the kind of pep talk he gives his swimmers when they think they can't do another lap. As he well knows, the Sharks didn't get to the top - with several Olympic swimmers to their credit - by giving up easily.

The situation is far from hopeless: The neighbors don't want to bar future swim meets, and neither do county or city officials. Compromise and some genuine noise -abatement efforts could assure the Sharks' future at Arlington Park, a taxpayer-funded facility to which the club contributes more than $2,000 a month.

Watts says he's tried turning down the speaker volume. A team official also said the only speakers in use were muffled with towels.

Apparently, it will take more than towels to solve this problem, and the Sharks could gain some good-will points by leading the effort. At the least, they should ask other clubs around the nation for advice. Options such as redirecting speakers or erecting temporary sound baffles should be investigated. City and county officials should be ready to help financially, because the public has a stake in this.

Noise is not the only side effect of the swim meets. Because they draw hundreds of people, they have a healthy economic impact on hotels and restaurants. But the meets also draw hundreds of cars to the quiet residential area; parking on sidewalks and right of way has become an annoyance. Alternative parking sites have been set up nearby, but use is patchy. Perhaps some volunteer valets, to help enforce the parking rules, could go a long way toward making friends among the park's neighbors.

It should be noted that the Sharks are getting an unfair share of blame for noise and parking problems; they are not the only ones to host swim competitions at Arlington. Local schools and the Boys Camp; Girls Club Inc. also do so, holding about half of the eight meets scheduled in the past year. The number has grown over time, meaning that the daylong squawking of loudspeakers, piercing beeps of the starter and congested streets are no longer rare irritations for the neighbors.

That's a recipe for conflict, and it is why the city tightened the reins. It is also why it behooves local governments (the county manages the park) to contribute to a long-term solution.

Compared with the downtown noise problem, Arlington [park]'s is far more containable; there is no need for a divisive battle over this - just willpower. That's something the Sharks' young athletes demonstrate daily as they plow, mile after mile, through Arlington's aqua depths. Surely a noise solution can't be as hard as that.

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Road Noise from New Bypass Drives Family From Home; Residents Ask for Road Resurfacing

PUBLICATION: Gloucestershire Echo (England)
DATE: April 11, 1998
SECTION: Environment: Pollution, Pg.13
BYLINE: Paul Bull
DATELINE: Cirencester, Gloucestershire County, England

The Gloucestershire Echo of England reports a resident says excessive road noise is forcing him out of his home near the new Cirencester bypass.

According to the article, Robert Towill is selling the dream house he built because he and his family cannot stand the noise from the new Cirencester bypass. The Towills moved from Cirencester 11 years ago into the five-bedroom property. Now Mr. Towill says his dream has been ruined and he is planning to sell up and move on. "We've lived here for a long time and have been very happy," he said. "We didn't object to the road because they assured us it wouldn't be noisy. The reality is that it's so noisy we can no longer have barbecues in the garden."

The article reports Towill says it could be a long wait before he finds a buyer for the property in Perrott's Brook, near Cirencester. Towill says a real estate agent has told him that it could be difficult to sell because of the noise. He says he does not know how much the house is worth. The Towills plan to submit a claim for compensation to the Highways Agency. Towill joined about 80 protesters at Cerney Wick on Thursday. Residents and councilors carried banners and marched backward and forwards across the bypass, holding up traffic for an hour. Protesters want the concrete road resurfaced in asphalt to reduce the noise. A spokesman for the Highways Agency said it would not be resurfacing the road, which would cost GBP 3 million. He said the noise is within the levels determined at a public inquiry before the bypass was built.

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Gloucestershire Protesters Block Road for Peace and Quiet

PUBLICATION: Gloucestershire Echo (England)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Environment: Pollution, Pg.15
BYLINE: Paul Bull
DATELINE: Cirencester, Gloucestershire County, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Ashley Seymour, resident; Sue Herdman, Cotswold District Council chairman; Julian Caunce, resident and march organizer

The Gloucestershire Echo of England reports protesters brought traffic to a halt as they staged a march against noise pollution from the new Cirencester bypass.

According to the article, approximately 80 local residents and councilors waving banners marched backwards and forwards across the bypass near Cerney Wick, for an hour yesterday afternoon. March organizer Julian Caunce said: "I was pleased with the turnout and I hope it gets the point across." The protesters are hoping their action will convince the Highways Agency to resurface the concrete sections of the road with quieter tarmac. "They said at the start that the concrete would just be a bit noisier than tarmac. Now it's like a rumble strip. It needs resurfacing," said Caunce. Ashley Seymour, who lives 100 yards from the road at Fosse Farm Bungalows, Cerney Wick, said: "The noise is absolutely abysmal."

The article reported Cotswold District Council chairman Coun Sue Herdman, who joined the march, added: "We've already written a very strong letter to the Highways Agency and will continue to battle with them." But the agency says the cost of resurfacing the road could be as much as GBP 3 million. Design manager David Mills said: "We can't just go out there and do something that isn't justified."

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Staffordshire Relaxes Steel Company's Restrictions, Ignores Residents' Noise Concerns

PUBLICATION: The Sentinel (Stoke, England)
DATE: April 10, 1998
SECTION: Business: Companies, Pg.5
DATELINE: Staffordshire County, England

The Sentinel of Stoke, England, reports a Staffordshire steel company has been given approval to store stock closer to its boundary despite residents' fears of noise and late night working.

According to the article, James and Tatton Steel Limited, of Tunstall Road, Knypersley, was restricted to limiting its storage area to no closer than 160 feet of homes in Coronation Avenue and 50 feet of its Tunstall Road boundary. Now Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's development control committee has approved an application to relax the condition to a five meter restriction. The decision came despite objections from a number of residents and a petition carrying 31 signatures against the change. Council members said a high fence should be erected to help cut noise.

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Wales' Residents Voice Noise Concerns Over Pub's Request for Music License

PUBLICATION: South Wales Evening Post (United Kingdom)
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: Politics: Swansea Council, Pg.31
BYLINE: Shaun Greaney
DATELINE: Swansea, Wales

The South Wales Evening Post reports a Swansea community council is fighting a pub's application for a music license, citing noise concerns.

According to the article, The Farmers Arms has requested the music license for up to 120 people from Monday to Saturday between seven and 11pm and Sunday between seven and 10.30pm. Councilors fear residents living near the pub will be disturbed if the license is approved. A Community Council spokesman said: "We are most concerned at the probable noise nuisance that will be caused should the above license application be approved. "When music has been played at the premises in the past residents have been disturbed by the level of noise, " added the spokesman. "It would appear that the management has failed on previous occasions to exercise any form of control over the level of noise and the council is fearful that the same will occur again should a license be granted."

The article goes on to report Swansea councilors are due to make a decision today. Environmental health officers say the license should be granted provided the following conditions are met: all pub music must be inaudible at the boundary of neighboring homes; windows and doors must be kept closed during events; and events must be held on a specific night, like Saturday from seven until 10.30pm. They recommend a temporary license for three months.

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Noise District Plan for Charlotte/Douglas Airport Discussed

PUBLICATION: Business Journal-Charlotte (North Carolina)
DATE: April 6, 1998
SECTION: Vol 12; No 53; Pg. 7
BYLINE: Jennifer Boyd
DATELINE: Charlotte; North Carolina

The Business Journal-Charlotte of North Carolina reports Charlotte/Douglas International Airport officials are asking city planners to create an airport noise district in their effort to manage the impact of noise on nearby neighborhoods.

According to the article, creation of the district that would cover about 1,700 homes would require any prospective homebuyer be notified of runway and overhead jet noise. Airport officials have fielded complaints from people who say they did not know their home was near the airport at the time they purchased it. "This is something we've been struggling with for a long, long time," says City Aviation Director Jerry Orr. The requested district is 14,000 acres, including 6,000 acres owned by Charlotte/Douglas. The noise disclosure notice would accompany new and existing subdivision plots within the district, and property owners, real estate brokers and salespeople would be alerted that the home's location in a noise district must be disclosed to buyers. "I think this is a very ethical thing to do. I think this provides better protection of everyone and it helps foster the right kind of growth in those areas," says Frances Harkey, who chairs the Airport Area Council and is a member of the Airport Advisory Committee.

The article goes on to report city council and county commissioners will vote on the plan in July. "From my perspective, it's certainly a good thing to be able to have implemented," says Patrick Cannon, city council member representing the west side's District 3. "This hopefully will alleviate some of the 'he said, she said' ... people coming back to me as an official saying they never knew it was in their proximity." Director Orr summed up, "It's a way of dealing with the environmental consequences of noise and the impacts of airports."

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Another California City Joins Lawsuit Against El Toro Airport

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: Community; Pg. 08
BYLINE: George Stewart
DATELINE: Tustin, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jim Potts, Tustin City Councilor; Project '99; Niles Koines, president, Foothills Community Association; Toni Callaway, subcommittee chair, Foothills Community Association; Tom Saltarelli, Tustin Mayor Pro Tem

The Orange County Register reports that the city of Tustin, California recently joined with Irvine and other South Orange County cities in a lawsuit to hold the county accountable for correcting noise, traffic, and air pollution problems in environmental reports on the impact of a proposed commercial airport at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

According to the article, the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed airport shows that jets taking off from the northerly runway would make a 340-degree turn and roar over Tustin and North Tustin. Some officials and residents in the communities have been warning people about this fact for a long time, the article says, but some believe most residents are unaware of the potential problem. Jim Potts, a Tustin City Councilor, distributed a letter to Tustin citizens six months ago, warning that current jet noise from John Wayne Airport would double with added flights from an El Toro airport. Meanwhile, Niles Koines, president of the Foothills Community Association in unincorporated North Tustin, said Potts is underestimating the problem. Koines said El Toro flights will more than double the noise. He added, "It will be worst in Cowan Heights, Panorama Heights, around Hewes School and Dall Lane, and the Guin Foss and Loma Vista school areas. And they will be the heaviest planes used -- the 757 -- the largest and noisiest." Toni Callaway, chair of an airport subcommittee for the community association, said the Environmental Impact Report calls for 15 to 30 percent of take-offs to go over Tustin and North Tustin. Callaway said, "The great majority of people in Tustin and North Tustin are unaware of what's going to happen. North Tustin will experience the largest noise increase of any South County community, according to the EIR. It's pretty scary."

Meanwhile, Tom Saltarelli, the Tustin Mayor Pro Tem, said he has been meeting with county officials about an alternate plan. He said he believes the flights could go over Irvine Lake instead of Tustin. The article notes that airline pilots oppose that route because the Loma Ridge is in the way, but Saltarelli said there has only been one crash from the Marine base there, which was due to an overloaded plane. Saltarelli also said that flights from El Toro are expected to would fly 4,000 feet over Tustin. And, he added, if an airport at El Toro isn't built, there would have to be additional flights from John Wayne Airport, whose planes fly between 1,000 to 1,500 feet overhead. Saltarelli said, "No one knows, ultimately, where it will wind up going. But whatever happens at El Toro is going to impact John Wayne Airport. And whatever impacts John Wayne impacts Tustin."

The article also notes that Saltarelli's brother, Don Saltarelli, is the former Tustin mayor and Third District supervisor, who now works for Newport Beach in supporting the El Toro airport.

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Albany, New York Considers Zoning Change to Allow Controversial Go-cart Track

PUBLICATION: The Times Union (Albany, NY)
DATE: April 9, 1998
SECTION: Capital Region, Pg. F4
BYLINE: Jane Gottlieb
DATELINE: Albany, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Kevin Tollisen, town council member

The Times Union reports the town board will hold a public hearing later this month to consider a zoning change that would allow a controversial go-cart track at a local driving range.

According to the article, the hearing promises to be an emotional one. "This is probably one of the most difficult ones we've handled," said Halfmoon Supervisor Lawrence DeVoe, of the proposal by Clifton Park Golf Driving Range. "I honestly don't know which way we'll go on this." The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 28, at the town hall. The applicant, Ostoja Vucetic, owner of Clifton Park Golf Driving Range, is asking for a change of use from residential to commercial to allow the go-cart track. Vucetic has worked extensively on the proposal, scaling it down so that the planning board recently gave its recommendation for approval. He hired sound engineers who say they can demonstrate that the motorized carts will not be loud enough to have any impact on nearby residents. But neighbors at the Turf Community Park north of the proposed track fear noise nonetheless. To assure that residents would experience no adverse impact, Vucetic plans to install a stockade fence, trees, and an earthen berm to muffle the sound.

According to the article, complaints from neighbors have influenced at least one of five board members to vote against the project. Kevin Tollisen said the letters and documentation he has received about the project convinced him the noise, dirt, and the smell of gasoline were likely to infringe upon the residential life. "I feel I'd be inclined to vote against this right now," he said.

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New York City Shuts Down Four East Side Bars in a Noise Crackdown

DATE: April 7, 1998
SECTION: Section B; Page 3; Column 1; Metropolitan Desk
BYLINE: by David Rohde
DATELINE: New York, New York

The New York Times reports that neighbors' complaints about noise prompted the city to shut four Upper East Side bars over the weekend. City officials say the crackdown on rowdy Manhattan bars and clubs will last through the summer.

According to the article, Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, the chairman of the city's Social Club Task Force, said April 6 that after focusing on bars and clubs in Queens and Brooklyn for the last two summers, the task force would step up inspections in Manhattan this summer. Washington said the task force shut 50 to 60 legal and illegal establishments since it was created in August 1996. He is quoted saying, "Now it's going to start cranking up and we'll be out every weekend," referring to Manhattan establishments that face a backlog of complaints. "In the summer, you've got windows open and the loud music can be heard and the crowds are moving around."

Community groups and residents praised the city for shutting down rowdy bars that draw noise, and sometimes drugs and violence, to their neighborhoods. Critics, however, accused the task force of trying to limit the city's night life.

Mayor Washington said the Social Club Task Force raids a bar or nightclub only after numerous complaints are received. City officials also check whether the local police precinct has received repeated calls to a bar. Washington reportedly said the goal of the task force is to make partying in New York safe, not nonexistent.

According to the article, the four bars shut by the task force Saturday night were all within a few dozen blocks of one another on the Upper East Side, and were closed for various health and fire code violations. The article quotes Robert S. Bookman, a lawyer for dozens of bars and restaurants in the city, who says the raids are more an example of city officials trying to look responsive to community complaints than of their closing serious threats to public safety or health. The article quotes Bookman saying "A lot of these raids are pure 'Let's get these people any way we can.' Some of these violations are minor. It makes for a great press release and that's it."

According to the article the Mad River Bar (1442 Third Avenue) shut down by the Fire Department for failing to have a functioning sprinkler system. Ski Bar (1825 Second Avenue) and the Bar New York (1819 Second Avenue) shut for failing to have restaurant permits according to Sandy Mullin, a City Health Department spokeswoman. Mullin said the Reminisce Lounge (334 East 73d Street) had a restaurant permit that had expired. Health Departments say the bars will be allowed to reopen when they have obtained the required permits.

The article reports that Reminisce had been fighting a long-running battle with nearby residents over noise from the bar. City Council member Gifford Miller is quoted in the article saying the closings did not surprise him. His office is a few doors away from Reminisce. Within the last year his office had received more than 20 complaints about the bar.

Rhonda Santamour, a resident living across the street from Reminisce, is noted in the article saying that the bar had not created noise problems in the neighborhood since steeper noise violation fines were enacted by the City Council in October. But according to Santamour, neighbors would probably be happier if the bar was closed. She reported that the bar does "a big Thursday night party and they do a big reggae party that residents complained about."

Ms. Mullin of the Health Department said that the task force visited all three bars shut by the department in January and February and issued warnings about the lack of permits. None had complied as of Saturday, she said.

The article stated that no one answered the phones at Ski Bar and Bar New York at the time the article was written. An answering machine at Reminisce reported said the bar would be closed for several days for renovations.

New management of the Mad River Cafe complain bitterly about being unfairly singled out by the task force, the article said. Managers Tim Hurley and Mike Mastellone said the Fire Department padlocked the restaurant Saturday and issued summonses for lack of a proper sprinkler system or smoke alarm. Mr. Hurley was quoted saying the only complaints were stemming from the second floor massage parlor above their restaurant had angered. City officials reportedly shut the massage parlor two weeks ago, but Mr. Hurley said the pressure on his establishment continued. He said that he had no professional or personal ties to the massage parlor.

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Beijing Takes Measures to Reduce Noise Pollution from Car Alarms

DATE: April 9, 1998
DATELINE: Beijing, China

The China Daily reports Beijing yesterday announced new regulations designed to curb noise pollution from car alarms.

According to the China Daily, statistics show about 300,000 automobiles in Beijing are equipped with anti-theft devices which mistakenly sound high-pitched noise more than 1 million times a day. These vehicles are parked mainly in residential areas, and the noise emitted by the car alarms disturb nearby residents day and night, according to officials with the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau. Citizens have been complaining about this new source of noise pollution in the city, while many delegates to the municipal people's congress urged the local government to make concerted efforts to control this problem. Shen Mengpei, a delegate to the municipal people's congress, said the citizens would appreciate the government's efforts to resolve the problem. He said he hoped that strict law enforcement would help improve people's living surroundings.

The article reports that departments in charge of environmental protection, public security, industrial and commercial administration, and technological supervision joined in formulating the new regulations to control this source of noise pollution. The interim regulations state that the automobile warning devices should not be allowed to be set off inadvertently by rain, barking dogs, blowing wind, or by people touching the vehicle. Yu Xiaoxuan, deputy director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, said investigations have found that some anti-theft sirens currently installed in automobiles had defects, causing them to be set off by vibrations resulting from natural causes like rain, wind or human touch. The regulations require companies and individuals producing, selling, installing and using automobile anti-theft devices to take corresponding measures to prevent the devices from disturbing nearby residents. The public may report such incidents to the local public security and environmental protection bureaus. The new regulations require work units and individuals to inspect automobile alarm devices themselves and to have them adjusted or changed if necessary. The owner of the vehicle which causes noise pollution when there are no attempts to steal the vehicle will be fined. New types of automobile anti-theft alarms have come on the market which use high-tech techniques, including radar, computer and logic analysis.

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