Noise News for Week of August 30, 1998

Neighbors of Pittsfield, Maine, Airport Object to Additional Hanger, Citing Noise, Traffic and Safety Concerns

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)
DATE: September 5, 1998
BYLINE: Sharon Mack
DATELINE: Pittsfield, Maine

The Bangor Daily News reports Maine's Pittsfield planning board will meet Wednesday, Sept. 16, to review a conditional use application for a new hangar at the municipal airport. Neighbors are concerned about increased noise and traffic that the new structure may bring.

According to the article, the project's developer, Alton "Chuck" Cianchette, the new hangar will serve as housing for antique planes and meeting space for youth organizations. But neighbors recently expressed concerns to the council that the hangar's construction would devalue their property due to increased traffic, elevated noise levels and more safety concerns. At last Tuesday night's council meeting, more than half a dozen residents objected to the hangar but left before the council voted on the issue. The project was unanimously approved after Cianchette explained that the alternative site for the hangar, for which he does not need approval, would actually be closer to the neighboring homes.

The article reports Cianchette told councilors last week that he planned to house four small antique planes and one new plane at the facility and that planes would be entering the hangar only from the airport side. It would be the same height as an existing hangar. At the council meeting, several residents spoke in favor of the hangar, saying Cianchette was converting vacant brushland into a quality structure.

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Airport Activist Calls New O'Hare Flight Path Plans 'Two-Lane Highways'

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: September 5, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 7
BYLINE: Robert C. Herguth
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jack Saporito, head of Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare

The Chicago Daily Herald reports new flight path plans favored by the Federal Aviation Administration at O'Hare International Airport are causing alarm in airport activists who fear more flights, along with increased noise and pollution.

According to the article, proposed changes in the routes planes take into and out of Chicago's airspace would improve safety, cut delays and give more flexibility to air traffic controllers handling the flights, a Federal Aviation Administration official said Friday. But, area activists opposed to expansion and noise at O'Hare International Airport believe the plan would create more noise and capacity. "This is a prelude to more expansion, it pushes in more flights which means they'll be closer together, and they'll be coming together like a two-lane highway," said Jack Saporito, head of Arlington Heights-based Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare. "And obviously with more aircraft we have more noise and more pollution."

The article reports currently, planes that enter the region pass through one of four "corner posts." Through each corner post is one stream that planes follow. The FAA proposal would create two streams approaching three of those corner posts, which the agency claims would help "smooth out the flow of traffic." It would also enhance safety by reducing additional maneuvers by pilots, the FAA says. In addition, air traffic controllers would start taking control of air traffic up to 60 miles out, instead of the current 40. The FAA says that would give controllers more time to line up aircraft, and more flexibility in guiding them. "It doesn't add airplanes, it manages the flow of airplanes we have right now," said FAA spokesman Don Zochert, adding a study is under way on the potential effects of the proposed changes. "We're going to do an environmental impact study to see what are the impacts...on noise patterns, atmospheric pollution, the full range of impacts from the proposed changes," Zochert said. The study will take no longer than two years. While the FAA will have the final decision on the matter, community groups and citizens can provide comments by writing letters or testifying at future public hearings, Zochert said.

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English Resident Breaks Noise Laws; Town Destroys Stereo to Deter Future Violators

PUBLICATION: The Daily Telegraph (London, England)
DATE: September 5, 1998
BYLINE: David Graves
DATELINE: Grantham, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gay Baggaley, chairman of the South Kesteven environment committee; Harry Thomas, district council spokesman

The Daily Telegraph reports a residents' music system was demolished in public in Grantham, England, as a warning to those who persistently defy noise laws.

According to the article, Gay Baggaley, chairman of the environment committee on South Kesteven district council, smashed the stereo and speakers outside the authority's offices in Grantham, Lincs. When James Meadows, who had outraged his neighbors by playing loud music, ignored a noise abatement notice served on him by environmental health officers, police seized the system from his home in Grantham in July. With a fine for Meadows came the town magistrates' destruction order. Harry Thomas, a council spokesman, said: "Smashing up the stereo system will hopefully act as a deterrent to those people who disregard the rights of their neighbors. "The vast majority of complaints about noise are resolved informally."

The article reported Meadows said: "There was no need to smash up my stereo. I like music. The police should be out catching criminals, not music lovers. The moral of the story is - don't stay in and play your music, go out and cause trouble."

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Texas Town Rejects Amphitheater, Noise and Preservation of Park Land Drive Decision

PUBLICATION: The Dallas Morning News
DATE: September 5, 1998
SECTION: Northeast Tarrant County; Pg. 1N
BYLINE: Vikas Bajaj
DATELINE: Bedford Park, Texas
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Phil Freedman, board member; Steve Winkle, council member

The Dallas Morning News reports Bedford, Texas, City Council members say a Park Board recommendation may prevent the chance for an amphitheater on city park land.

According to the article, the board voted unanimously against the project Thursday night. It cited concerns about surrendering green space to an amphitheater that would feature as many as 1,000 concrete seats and increased noise levels. Some city council members said they understood and respected Park Board members' opinions and didn't foresee overruling them on the issue. "I knew there was opposition on the council," said council member Lisa Daly. "I would be very surprised if this council now would overturn . . . [the board]. I personally have no interest [in revisiting the amphitheater proposal]."

The article reports the city has been studying the feasibility of building an amphitheater on one of two sites at the Bedford Boys Ranch. The city would fund the 1,500- to 2,000-seat facility with a $1 million bed tax fund that must be used for tourism promotion. Neighbors and council members had raised concerns about the noise and traffic that an amphitheater would bring to the neighborhoods surrounding the park. "As it stands there will be 2,000 to 1,500 people there," said board member Phil Freedman. "What about all the neighbors next door?" Others complained that the project would threaten the city's scarce parkland. As many as two practice fields, numerous trees and grassy areas would have to be bulldozed for the construction of the venue and parking spaces.

The article states the city most likely will continue discussion of the amphitheater at a council meeting this month, but many council members say a better discussion should focus on other uses of the hotel tax funds. Some board members said the city could consider installing a stage with grass seating for as many as 1,000 people in the Boys Ranch. Council member Steve Winkle said that such an idea could be a good compromise but that noise may still be an issue. "We are just going to have to go back to the drawing board and see what our alternatives are," Winkle said. "We may need to look at alternatives to an amphitheater."

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Homeowner in Washington State Sues Developers, Charges They Destroyed Natural Noise Buffer and Devalued His Property

PUBLICATION: The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
DATE: September 5, 1998
SECTION: Local/State; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Jim Szymanski
DATELINE: Tacoma, Washington

The News Tribune reports Tacoma, Washington, resident Earl Petit plans to picket the Pierce County Street of Dreams custom home show on its final weekend. Petit claims the developers removed a natural noise buffer between his home and a scrap metal yard, destroying his right to peace and quiet and devaluing his property.

According to the article, the show's promoters sued Petit and he has sued back over how much the luxury development has affected Petit's house. "For the past year and a half, I've been exposed to noise from a scrap metal yard," said Petit, whose house sits on a bluff above the 180-lot Pointe Woodworth development. "We've tried to sleep with earplugs, but that hasn't allowed us to get a decent night's sleep, either." In a lawsuit filed by his lawyer Friday, Petit claims noise from the Port of Tacoma and surrounding Tideflats, where the scrap yard is located, wasn't nearly as bad before developers regraded the former gravel pit to develop the lots. In his Superior Court complaint, Petit seeks unspecified damages on numerous grounds. Petit claims he smells odors and hears noises from the industries below more than he did before the land buffer behind his home was removed. That removal, Petit contends, and the resulting noise and smell, have decreased his home's value.

The article reports Tom Kidwell, Pointe Woodworth's project manager, said that noise studies done four years ago measured some levels in excess of residential standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Most of the noise came from passing trucks, Kidwell said. In a follow-up study last year, after the site was regraded and filled, excessive noise was measured only on a small portion of the development site, Kidwell said. The developers addressed the problem by erecting an acoustical fence to block truck noise. Jeff Woodworth, president of Woodworth & Co., the home show's main developer, is a defendant in Petit's lawsuit. "I have no idea in the world why Mr. Petit's home's value wouldn't increase," Woodworth said. "We've turned a gravel pit into a beautiful community, and he (Petit) has a great view he never had before." Dennis Pulsipher, the county's chief appraiser, said he doubts Petit's claim of diminished property value. Pulsipher said the county established the assessed value of Petit's house at $127,900 two years ago. Petit is advertising his home for sale at $203,000. "The buffer is now gone and he's gone from having a restricted view to a pretty good territorial view," Pulsipher said. "One might speculate that a re-evaluation of his home is not going to go below $127,000. It's probably going to go closer to $200,000." The new nearby homes, ranging from $300,000 to $ 600,000, also might increase his property's value, Pulsipher said

The article goes on to report Petit is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Allenbuilt Homes, one of the show's developers. Days before the show began last month, Petit put up two signs on his roof saying "smelly" and "noisy," positioned so that showgoers might see them. Petit took down the signs after he was sued. City inspectors also said the signs were too big, a violation of the city's sign code. Petit, meanwhile, isn't sure what the outcome of his suit will be. "I'm probably hurting my chances of selling big-time," he admitted. "I'm probably going to wind up moving and renting my house out."

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Citizen Defends Noise Abatement Demands at Warwick's T.F. Green Airport

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: September 5, 1998
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. 13A
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin published the following letter to the editor from Warwick resident Peg Magill defending noise abatement procedures suggested by citizens for Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport. Magill wrote:

Based on the editorial board's comments in the Aug. 17 editorial "Underside of Green's success," I think the board demonstrated its lack of knowledge on the issue. Describing some of our demands as "absurd" certainly caught the hard-working citizen representatives by surprise. Our suggestions for possible noise-abatement procedures were based on research of what other airports are doing, outcomes of discussions at a task-force meeting using noise consultants as technical specialists, and just basic common sense. The citizen representatives would also be willing to meet with you to help you gain an understanding of the issues at hand.

I hope you do understand that neighborhoods in Warwick are not the only communities affected by the increase in activity at Green. The impact has also been felt in Cranston, West Warwick and East Greenwich.

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Who Should Enforce Noise Rules at a Florida Condominium Complex?

PUBLICATION: The Tampa Tribune
DATE: September 5, 1998
SECTION: Baylife At Home, Pg. 2
BYLINE: Jack Holeman;
DATELINE: Tampa, Florida

The Tampa Tribune published the following question from F.P., a resident of Seminole, Florida, who wonders who should enforce noise rules at a condominium complex. F.P. wrote:

Q. I read your answer in regard to "noisy neighbors" and the way you suggest curbing the noise is a matter for authorities rather than the association directors. Our condo has a rule that says, "Make no noise that bothers your neighbor." That should be enforced as a part and parcel of condominium living. - F.P., Seminole

A. The major hurdle here is that one man's noise might be another man's music. Just suppose I like rock music and it can be heard next door. If the residents are young people they may not consider it noise at all. But if the resident is a retiree, it well might be considered unacceptable noise.

Suppose two people argue and fight loudly. Is it all right as long as the resident next door is hard of hearing and isn't bothered, but not all right if the neighbor does have good hearing and is bothered?

It is good to have, and to enforce, certain rules limiting noise, music and excessive activity when it affects the community, but don't look to your association directors to police problems of this type between two residents.

Usually they can't win, no matter whose side they take, and it just ends up where they started, but with more enemies to blame.

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Albuquerque Considers Ordinance Restricting Heliports after Residents Complain of Noise from TV News Helicopters

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Tribune
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: Local News; Pg. A4
BYLINE: John Hill
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gregory Hicks, member of the Huning Castle Neighborhood Association; Marsha Lee, resident

The Albuquerque Tribune reports the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Environmental Planning Commission is considering an ordinance restricting heliports after residents complained of noise from news helicopters that take off and land near their homes.

According to the article, residents of the Huning Castle neighborhood west of downtown urged the city to place new restrictions or even outlaw television news helicopters from taking off and landing amongst their homes. But all three local television stations told the Environmental Planning Commission on Thursday that the choppers are essential to getting the news. After hearing 31/2 hours of testimony from both sides Thursday, the planning commission voted to postpone action for 60 days so that city staff can come up with new criteria for heliports. The planning commission is considering an ordinance that would make a heliport a "special use," requiring city approval of plans that would have to meet new criteria. Currently, heliports are allowed in commercial zones without a special review. "I think an ordinance is going to be enacted," said planning commission Chairman Joe Chavez.

The article reports lawyers for the television stations told the planning commission that the helicopter takeoffs are short and infrequent and are essential to gathering the news. "This has become a tool of any modern newsroom," said Geoff Rieder, attorney for KOB-Channel 4. Channel 4 is at 4 Broadcast Plaza, in the Huning Castle neighborhood, not far from the Rio Grande Zoo. KRQE-Channel 13 is in the same plaza, while KOAT-Channel 7 is in the Northeast Heights. KOB-Channel 4 started using its heliport several months ago. It's the closest to houses and has been the source of complaints. Rieder said that in 180 days, the Channel 4 helicopter flew 105 times. The takeoffs and landings take only a few minutes each, he said.

The article states residents of Huning Castle and the Barelas neighborhood, just south of Downtown, said that even those short bursts of noise are enough to make their lives miserable. "We feel like we're being sacrificed so each of the stations can say they're first to the scene," said Gregory Hicks of the Huning Castle Neighborhood Association. "The roar of a jet copter, no matter how brief, wakes our neighbors up. It doesn't matter how brief it is. You're not going back to sleep." Marsha Lee, who lives a few doors from the Channel 4 heliport, described fleeing inside and slamming the windows shut when she heard the helicopter start up. She said she can smell fumes from the chopper and that the noise disrupts conversations. Testing by the city's Environmental Health Department has shown that all three heliports exceed limits allowed in the city's noise ordinance.

According to the article, the city was reluctant to take the stations to court, said Sarah Kotchian, director of the Environmental Health Department. There are questions about whether aircraft may be exempt from the noise ordinance. In addition, the short duration of the noise may make it allowable under the ordinance. Kotchian said the Channel 4 heliport is so close to houses that she's uncertain whether it could ever operate below limits included in the noise ordinance. If the city does pass a new ordinance, the television stations would have six months to comply.

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Neighborhood Group Succeeds in Effort to Get First Noise Barrier Built in Maine

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: September 4, 1998
BYLINE: Dawn Gagnon
DATELINE: Bangor, Maine

The Bangor Daily News reports residents in one of Bangor, Maine's, noisiest neighborhoods won a battle Thursday to get a noise barrier erected against increasing noise from Interstate 95. Residents worry that prolonged exposure to the noise could result in hearing loss or other health problems.

According to the article, an East Side neighborhood group has been intensely lobbying for a noise wall, but officials from the state Department of Transportation said that no fence would be built unless residents of the streets closest to I-95's Broadway exit agreed that they wanted one. On Thursday, DOT officials were satisfied that consensus has been achieved. Construction could begin as soon as November.

The article reports the only thing now separating the neighborhood from the four-lane highway is a 4-foot-high wire-mesh fence. The noise barrier will run about 1,200 feet long between I-95 and Fowler Avenue, from Nowell Road to the Broadway exit. To keep the cost down, it will be made of wood as opposed to more expensive concrete. The state has allocated $200,000 for the project.

The article states residents have told DOT officials that noise from I-95 has forced them to keep their windows closed, prevented them from enjoying their yards, porches and decks, affected their health, and caused their property values to drop. According to testing the DOT performed last summer, noise levels in some parts of the neighborhood exceed the federal safety threshold of 67 decibels. Traffic and noise levels also are expected to increase in the future. The DOT's computer noise modeling indicates that the noise reduction benefits of a barrier will vary depending on elevation, and that benefits will be negligible for many of the more than 40 property owners who live in the target area defined by the DOT. For the homes closest to I-95, however, the benefits will be more noticeable, bringing decibel levels down to within nationally acceptable standards.

Accordong to the article, the noise barrier request has required the DOT to explore new territory. The noise fence will be a first for the state. The consensus-building process used to elicit residents' support also was new for a DOT construction project. Highway Engineer Mike Burns and John Devin, project manager, have met with the Bangor group so often over the past year that they are on a first-name basis with many of the residents. Though some in the audience expressed frustration, Burns went to great lengths to accommodate the wishes of Colleen Detour, a Princeton Street resident who operates a day care program at her home. Detour, perhaps the wall's most vocal opponent, will be living closest to it. She said the noise does not bother her. While the rest of the homeowners in the area are separated from I-95 by one of the two U-shaped streets adjacent to the interstate, Detour's home sits between the streets. The noise fence will be built between I-95 and the wire-mesh fence that now separates her home from the interstate. While most of the wall will be constructed to heights of 20 feet, the section behind Detour's home will be kept at 14 feet. Additionally, Burns promised that the DOT will work closely on landscaping.

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Finger Pointing and Blaming When Residents and Local Officials Discuss Noise from Warwick's Expanded T. F. Green Airport

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin (Providence, RI)
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 3C
BYLINE: Tony De Paul
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gene Kelly, Warwick councilman; George Zainyeh, Democratic candidate for mayor

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports Warwick, Rhode Island, Councilman Gene Kelly held a meeting on airport noise last night. The incumbent mayor, a mayoral candidate, and a state airport official turned out to respond to residents' concerns about noise and expansion at Warwick's T. F. Green Airport.

According to the article, about 50 people attended the meeting last night to make noise complaints: families routinely awakened at 3 a.m. by jets that violate the voluntary curfew on flights between midnight and 6 a.m.; windows shaking and pictures falling off walls as jets use reverse-thrust to slow down after landing. Answers were delivered last night by Republican Mayor Lincoln D. Chafee and Wayne Schuster, the state Airport Corporation's director of planning and development. Chafee and Schuster said the noise problem will decrease when the noisiest Stage 2 jets are outlawed at the end of next year; when the Airport Corporation adopts new flight paths and rules for pilots; and as more homes are soundproofed. Schuster said the corporation will spend $11.5 million this year to soundproof houses. And it will hire a full-time employee to answer noise complaints and deal with airlines that violate the curfew. One woman bitterly demanded that government buy her house, which she said had declined in value by $35,000 because of the increase in noise since the new air terminal opened. "I acknowledge the noise problem," Schuster said. "I promise you, the corporation is doing everything it can, within the laws, to make it quieter." Councilman Kelly didn't agree. "We're going to have more flights and more noise. Your property value is going to go down," he told the audience.

The article reports George Zainyeh, the Democratic candidate for mayor, agreed with Kelly. He asked the Airport Corporation to begin measuring noise in single events rather than by the formula approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, which minimizes noise by measuring it over an average 24-hour period. Zainyeh also said the corporation should fight airport noise and growth by conducting a noise study known as a "Part 161." In theory, such a study would allow the airport to enforce a mandatory curfew and limit the number of flights allowed into Green. But no airport has ever completed such a study because of the risk of losing federal aid. Schuster said the Airport Corporation will not agree to a Part 161 study because "it's a process designed to fail." It would cost $1 million, would end federal support for the soundproofing program, and would ultimately be rejected by the FAA, he predicted.

According to the article, Chafee said people's anger at City Hall because of the growth at a state-run airport is misdirected. "You're whipping the wrong horse here," he said. Tension was apparent when Chafee pointed out his Democratic opponent had been a state legislator when the airport expansion was launched. Zainyeh, in a loud voice, said he had tried to stop the project by taking then-Gov. Bruce Sundlun to court. Zainyeh called Chafee "an ambassador for the airport" and characterized himself as the candidate who will protect neighborhoods. Chafee said enacting Station District zoning between the air terminal and the Amtrak right-of-way would help neighborhoods by avoiding uncontrolled growth allowed under previous mayors.

The article reports people seemed annoyed at many of Chafee's answers to their questions. While they kept demanding immediate personal relief from the noise they hear in their homes, Chafee kept talking about larger issues. He talked about the airport expanding the economy, bringing in new tax revenues, making better schools possible and stabilizing the property tax rate. Chafee was asked three times whether the city was doing anything to ensure that development on the west side of the airport does not worsen traffic tie-ups on the east side, in Hoxsie. He predicted that the opening of an Amtrak station, still years away, will take cars off Post Road and Airport Road and encourage people to travel by rail instead of air.

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San Francisco Airport Gets Three Year Variance to Comply with California's Noise Standards; Local and State Leaders Oppose Extension

PUBLICATION: The San Francisco Chronicle
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A19
BYLINE: Benjamin Pimentel
DATELINE: San Francisco, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Quentin Kopp, California senator; Eileen Larsen, Foster City councilwoman

The San Francisco Chronicle reports California's San Francisco International Airport received a variance for another three years to comply with state noise standards and become a quieter neighbor.

According to the article, the variance approved by the California Department of Transportation gives the airport until 2001 to reduce noise to acceptable levels. The airport has been operating with an earlier three-year variance extended from one that originally expired in 1997. The new variance was reviewed Wednesday night by the Airport Community Roundtable, the advisory group that negotiates with the airport on noise issues and helped it devise noise mitigation measures. State law requires SFO and other airports to keep noise in surrounding communities to 65 decibels averaged over 24 hours, with heavier weight given to noise in the evening and late at night. Airports that do not comply with this standard are required to apply for a variance and agree to a set of conditions intended to mitigate the noise they create.

The article reports conditions for SFO include spending $120 million for home noise insulation and informing the public of any changes in flight routes. "We still have 3,000 homes that are impacted by noise of 65 decibels or greater," said airport spokesman Ron Wilson. "We should be zero impact." He said this could be achieved through the airport's program for insulating homes and the FAA's plan to require all airlines to use a new generation of quieter aircraft by the year 2000. Pat Kelly, chairman of the roundtable, said the airport is constrained by federal restrictions. "There are other things we'd like to do, but the airport or anybody else doesn't have any authority to do them," he said.

According to the article, local and state leaders have opposed renewing the airport's variance, including state Senator Quentin Kopp, who has criticized the airport for failing to minimize the effect of noise on communities. Eileen Larsen, a Foster City councilwoman, remains frustrated by the situation. "Nothing has improved," she said, adding that the best way for SFO to reduce noise is to require planes to fly over San Francisco Bay instead of over communities.

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New Orleans Enacts Noise Buffer Zone for Cathedral during Services

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Frank Donze and Kristen Delguzzi
DATELINE: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports the New Orleans City Council on Thursday placed limits on noise levels around a city cathedral during religious services after a lengthy dispute between the church and street musicians.

According to the article, the limits on noise levels during religious services are yet another effort to settle a long-standing dispute between St. Louis Cathedral and street musicians who perform near the church. The plan is a product of months of negotiations and was approved unanimously. Councilman Troy Carter, who represents the Quarter, said creation of the noise buffer zone around the cathedral is an attempt to protect worshippers from unwanted intrusions while addressing concerns raised by musicians about the city's previous efforts to impose noise regulations on them. This is a common-sense measure, Carter said. It's something that's long overdue. We're merely asking people to respect this holy and historic place. Carter said he thinks much of the problem has been caused by transient performers, not local musicians, who he said have shown a willingness to work with the city and the church. Mayor Marc Morial is expected to sign the ordinance soon, allowing enforcement to begin this month, Carter said.

The article states under the new restrictions approved Thursday, the cathedral will be required to post signs whenever religious services are in progress. During those times, it will be illegal to create any noise in the buffer zone that registers more than 78 decibels at 50 feet from the source. Police officers will be required to issue a warning to performers before they are given a citation, which Carter said will carry a maximum fine of $500.

The article reports Thursday's action deals with only a small aspect of the difficult issue of noise in the Quarter, much of which comes from bars and nightclubs. For years, bar owners and street musicians have clashed with Quarter residents over whether their music makes the historic district more appealing to tourists or less livable for residents. Street musicians went to court to challenge the city's efforts to limit the volume of their music, and a federal judge ordered the city not to enforce the regulations.

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O'Hare Air Traffic Noise on the Rise in Chicago Neighborhoods; Frustrated Noise Panel Wants FAA Help

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 1; Zone: NW
BYLINE: Rogers Worthington
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Arlene Mulder, Arlington Heights mayor; Donald Namyst, member of O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission

The Chicago Tribune reports despite the efforts of the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, the noise problem at O'Hare appears to be worsening. Commission members are requesting from the Federal Aviation Administration stronger support of a plan to steer aircraft away from residential areas.

According to the article, the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission is disappointed with results of a program to cut noise from jets at O'Hare International Airport. Despite the efforts of the commission, noise-monitoring equipment that Chicago installed in some suburbs surrounding the airport has registered notable increases. In June, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Mt. Prospect and Chicago's Norwood Park neighborhood all experienced significant noise increases, compared with measurements taken in January. Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder, chairman of the Noise Compatibility Commission, blames the airlines for failing to follow flight paths suggested by the commission. The paths, part of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's "Fly Quiet" program, are designed to take departing planes over industrial parks and forest preserves instead of homes. "If you can't get a reaction with a carrot, perhaps we should get a stick," Mulder said.

The article reports the commission's power to force airlines to follow the voluntary Fly Quiet guidelines is unclear. Efforts by the commission to get help from FAA's Chicago regional office have not been successful. Already, the FAA has rejected at least one commission idea: outfitting the radar scopes of O'Hare's air-traffic controllers with overlays indicating the preferred Fly Quiet flight paths. "We need their support (FAA regional officials) and assistance because they have so much control over the air space. They alone can make some changes," Mulder said. Commission members want a meeting with FAA officials to clear up the confusion over who really determines an airplane's flight path. At past commission meetings, pilots and air-traffic controllers have pointed the finger at each other. "It goes round and round in a circle. Who do you blame?" said Donald Namyst, a commission member and a Norridge Village Board member. Until the answer is clear, the commission decided to postpone a plan to issue a report card showing which airlines are abiding by the Fly Quiet flight paths.

The article states the commission is waiting for the city's release of a new " noise contour" map showing which suburbs around O'Hare have the worst noise problems. The current map is based on 1993 data. The new map will be drawn using radar tracks and, for the first time, data from noise -monitoring equipment that the city began installing in January 1997. The new map will determine which homes and schools near O'Hare are eligible for soundproofing grants. But the commission has exhausted its budget for those grants. "We're kind of in limbo right now until we find out if the city determines there will be more money," said Raymond Kuper, vice chairman of the commission and chairman of its school noise insulation committee, which has overseen the insulation of 28 schools. The committee has identified 13 schools it considers eligible for soundproofing, and Kuper has a waiting list of 70 others asking to be tested for eligibility. The commission's residential soundproofing committee finds itself in the same limbo. Namyst, its chairman, thinks the new noise contour map will show that a larger area is affected by noise levels that meet the city's soundproofing guidelines. "Everybody is waiting for this report," Namyst said, "and everybody is nervous."

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New Flight-Control Plan at O'Hare Raises Concerns from Activists and Traffic Controllers

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: Metro Du Page; Pg. 1; Zone: D
BYLINE: Gary Washburn and Jon Hilkevitch
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Tribune reports the Federal Aviation Administration's plan to reconfigure flight paths for the Chicago area's airspace has launched a debate over whether the plan is a part of a strategy to increase flights at O'Hare International Airport. Meanwhile, air traffic controllers voice their safety concerns about the new flight plan.

According to the article, the federal government said Thursday it is planning to intensify the already heavy stream of airplanes approaching and departing the Chicago area's airspace. The goal is to "enhance safety, improve efficiency and reduce delays," according to a statement issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said the plan does not mean more flights or runways. But critics, including local members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, blasted the FAA's proposed remake of the region's airspace. They said the changes would compromise safety by requiring planes to fly closer together and leave no margin for error on runways as jets land only seconds apart. Among other things, supporters say the changes would reduce the complexity of arrival procedures as planes approach four high-altitude gateways called "cornerposts"--over McHenry County, Lake Michigan, Gary and Plainfield--at the outer edges of the region's airspace.

The article reports at three of the four locations, traffic would be delivered by air-traffic controllers in double streams to runways at O'Hare and Midway Airports instead of the single lines of airplanes used currently. The FAA says it can be done using existing runways. The modifications would reduce the need for turning maneuvers and speed reductions that slow operations now, increasing congestion, wasting fuel and exacerbating controller workload, according to the FAA. "The changes are designed to deal with existing levels of traffic, not to create capacity for future growth," said FAA spokesman Don Zochert. However, Illinois Transportation Secretary Kirk Brown responded: "We believe the FAA ought to be looking at this issue and we are cooperating in doing the study. But our concern is what to do when we get (the planes) past the cornerposts. How do we get them on the ground? We have all (the flights) we can get into O'Hare now and will be getting all we can at Midway in three or six years" when that airport reaches capacity. IDOT continues to push for construction of a new regional airport near Peotone to handle growth state officials contend cannot be accommodated by O'Hare and Midway.

The article goes on to say Joseph Karaganis, attorney for the Suburban O'Hare Commission, compared the proposed change to building a four-lane highway that leads into a two-lane road "and saying that we will ignore the pressure. But you are going to exacerbate it. You are going to move it downstream. The next logical step is to say if we have this congestion, one of the ways to deal with it is throw two more runways at O'Hare," Karaganis said. "The game is to put demand pressure on O'Hare instead of building another airport." The commission adamantly opposes any expansion at the world's busiest airport, citing noise and safety concerns. U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), a Suburban O'Hare Commission ally and foe of any expansion at the airport that would lead to more flights, took a different view. "Everything could be a Trojan horse because they are bound and determined to increase flights," he said. "But I take at face value that this is simply a study to improve the flow of air traffic and add to safety. You hardly can object to that." Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for the city's Aviation Department, supports the proposed airspace reconfiguration. The city opposes a new airport. "This is like adding an extra tollbooth (on a highway) to reduce congestion so they can get to the ground more efficiently," Culloton said. "It is not an effort to do anything other than reduce delays and improve efficiency."

According to the article, Zochert said the FAA's study also will examine alternative ways to mitigate the impact of airplane noise on O'Hare's neighbors. He said affected municipalities, state and local agencies and public-interest groups will be given a chance to voice their concerns before a final decision is made later this year.

Corrections and clarifications:

"An article Friday about changes proposed by the FAA in airspace-control procedures for the Chicago area stated correctly that commercial aircraft would approach the region in two lanes of traffic to boost efficiency, as opposed to one stream currently. The article should have added that once planes bound for O'Hare International and Midway Airports are 40 miles away, the aircraft would be directed to runways in a single stream, as they are today. The Tribune regrets the error."

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Knoxville, Tennessee City Council Finds it Difficult to Please Everyone with Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Knoxville News-Sentinel
DATE: September 4, 1998
SECTION: A Section; Pg. A3
BYLINE: Jim Balloch
DATELINE: Knoxville, Tennessee

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports Tennessee's Knoxville City Council is working hard to establish enforceable noise regulations that will please business owners and residents.

According to the article, council members with sound-level meters measured noise at a local bar and grill Thursday afternoon as part of their second workshop on the pending noise ordinance. When councilors returned to the City County Building, they heard concerns from business operators who feel the proposed noise measure is too burdensome while residents in attendance feel it is more than fair. "I am no more ready to vote for this now than I was a year go," an exasperated Councilman Nick Pavlis said after hearing suggestions for a compromise as well as a warning by council attorney Charles Swanson that one such suggestion may be difficult to enforce. The proposed noise ordinance is scheduled for a final reading Tuesday. "I'm hoping that some agreement can be reached," Councilman Larry Cox said. He admitted, however, that "it is possible" more study may be needed.

The article reports the ordinance was written with input from a committee appointed by Mayor Victor Ashe. The committee, which included representatives from businesses and neighborhoods, studied similar ordinances in 16 cities. The ordinance sets a number of regulations that have produced little or no controversy. The problem that remains is the regulation of noise that emanates from patio bars, such as Charlie Peppers, which council members visited Thursday. The measure sets noise -level limits, in decibel readings measured from property lines, for various times of day and situations. Ambrose Harrison, representing Old City merchants, said some of the decibel level limits "may not be appropriate for entertainment businesses. It can be difficult to come up with one sound level that fits all circumstances," he said. "I'm for a noise ordinance," said Charles Ericson, representing Charlie Peppers. " I'm not trying to kill this. My only problem is where the measurements are to be taken."

The article states James Mason, who lives on Terrace Avenue and is frequently disturbed at night by loud music, described questions being raised about sound measurement as a "red herring." Mason said, "The real issue is whether or not people can enjoy their property." According to Mason, on many evenings, with his windows closed and his air-conditioning unit on, he can hear music and pick up bass "from five blocks away."

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