Noise News for Week of August 9, 1998

City in East China Reduces Noise, Can Hear Birds Sing

PUBLICATION: China Daily (Beijing, China)
DATE: August 12, 1998
DATELINE: Yantai, China

China Daily reports noise control measures have been used to reduce noise in Yantai, a coastal city in East China's Shandong Province. Cars are forbidden to blow their horns in the urban districts and no sirens are allowed to sound. Broadcasting music and advertisements outdoors has also been forbidden in commercial areas since June 1.

According to the article, about 98 per cent of the hourly 3,000 vehicles on the main avenue abide by the ban, and traffic noise has been reduced. By the end of July, Yantai had stopped more than 100 noise -pollution sources. The average decibel level in the street has fallen by 10 points since June. Officials of the Yantai environmental protection bureau said that the birds and cicadas can be heard louder than ever in the city. Three years ago, the city also banned the use of firecrackers during holidays, weddings and funerals. Several other cities in the province, including Qingdao, Jinan and Weihai, have car horn bans.

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Commetary Says Stricter Rules Justified for Noise Reduction in Addis Ababa

DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: News, Documents & Commentary
BYLINE: Berhe W. Aregay
DATELINE: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Monitor published an editorial advocating the new strict noise regulations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The writer believes it's better to enforce controls now before the city becomes hopelessly polluted.

According to the article, car owners and drivers should be wary. If noise from their cars exceeds the decibel limit allowed, such as from careless honking of horns, they will be issued a ticket. Spewing smoke from a car's exhaust system will also cost drivers. The article cites the newly issued Road Traffic Safety Regulations of the Addis Ababa City Government of 1998. The rules cover those who honk the siren of a vehicle improperly or in an inappropriate place; those who improperly sound a siren; and those who drive a vehicle which emits excessive smoke. The quality of air in Addis is at risk if this kind of pollution goes unabated. These regulations existed in the past, but they come with stiffer penalties now.

The article reports although there isn't scientific data available to rate vehicular noise and smoke pollution in Addis, the situation can be assessed by the pollution residents are forced to hear and smell daily. Like there are trigger happy people, there seems to be honking- happy people whose mission is to demolish their target with sound waves. There are certainly other sources of noise pollution in Addis, like music shops, which in spite of existing city ordinances, crank their loud speakers louder each day. There are also the sounds from amplified prayers that come from churches and mosques.

The article states that admittedly, noise and smoke pollution from vehicles in Addis Ababa may not be as bad as what exists in some of the world's capitals. Some cities are so polluted that the study of noise and the treatment of victims from such pollution is a full time effort for specially established institutions. And when it comes to air pollution from car emissions, Addis is no match to Mexico City or Jakarta. The justification for stricter rules in this regard therefore is that Addis will have more and more vehicles as the years go by. Better to protect it now before things go out of hand and the city becomes hopelessly polluted. It is less expensive to take measures now than with much more cost and trouble, try to overhaul many things at a later stage.

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City and FAA Asked to Lower Decibel Level for Homes to Qualify for Insulation from LAX Noise

PUBLICATION: Copley News Service
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: State and Regional
BYLINE: Shante Morgan
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

Copley News Service reports the FAA has been asked by the Los Angles County Board of Supervisors to change noise standards so more homes will qualify for federally funded noise insulation from the Los Angeles International Airport.

According to the article, Supervisor Yvonne Burke led an effort by the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to ask the city and the Federal Aviation Administration to lower their noise standards to allow hundreds of residences near LAX to qualify for federal noise -insulation funds. The board unanimously approved a plan initiated by Burke to ask the city Department of Airports and the FAA to lower the existing noise -level requirements from 65 decibels to 60 decibels. Currently, the federal government will only pay for the insulation of homes impacted by 65 decibels or more. "I think we have a chance of getting it lowered," Burke said. "It's such a minor change." Tom Winfrey, a spokesman for LAX, said the city "... will review the motion by the Board of Supervisors and take it under advisement with the FAA." The county is one of several government agencies that have developed new or amended existing building codes aimed at mitigating the noise impact from the airport. The FAA and the city have a program that will soundproof some homes affected by jet noise.

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Rhode Island Airport Corporation Hears Residents' Proposals for Noise Reduction at T.F. Green Airport

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin (Providence, RI)
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 2C
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports Rhode Island's state Airport Corporation will sponsor a public meeting Thursday to focus noise and ways to reduce it from Warwick's T.F. Green Airport.

According to the article, airport noise it the city's perpetual hot-button issue, and it will be a main topic of a second public meeting Thursday. The focus of the session will be the new study commissioned by the Airport Corporation, which shows the "footprint" where landing and takeoff noise is expected to be highest in the future. Another focus will be roughly 30 noise -abatement ideas proposed by residents, such as new flight rules for pilots on how steeply they should climb on takeoff and when to reduce power, and mapping new "flight tracks" to route air traffic away from residential neighborhoods as much as possible. The corporation's engineering consultant, Chicago-based Landrum & Brown, will give its preliminary assessments of which proposals are feasible, and will outline its own recommendations, according to Wayne Schuster, director of planning and development at state airports. Representatives of the Airport Corporation, the consultant and the Federal Aviation Administration will be available to answer questions before the general session scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m.

The article reports nearly four square miles of neighborhoods are close enough to the airport to be eligible for taxpayer-supported soundproofing. The $500,000 study has concluded that the noise level in those neighborhoods has actually increased in the past year due to visits from more Stage 2 aircraft, which are required to be grounded by the end of next year. The problem has sparked proposals ranging from a ban on airline mechanics running engines overnight to buyouts of the Hillsgrove and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. T.F. Green is not expected to reach its capacity of 6 million passengers per year until 2003, according to the study by Landrum & Brown; 4 million travelers passed through the terminal last year. But the study also predicts that by 2003 the high- noise area will have shrunk by 30 percent, making it 15 percent smaller than it was in 1993, before the new terminal opened and flights increased dramatically.

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Warwick, RI, Mayor Suggests Ways for Airport to be a Good Neighbor

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin (Providence, RI)
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 2C
BYLINE: Lincoln D. Chafee
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin published the following editorial by Lincoln Chafee, mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island, about Warwick's T.F. Green Airport. Mayor Chafee outlines ways for the airport to be a good neighbor:

I have a 1943 picture of Hoxsie Four Corners, just east of T.F. Green Airport, (when it) was surrounded by farmland - with silos, barns and chicken coops dotting the landscape. Now it is one of the busiest intersections in the state, and what was a sleepy airport at Hillsgrove is now the fastest-growing airport in the country.

Fifty years later, people all over southeastern New England are raving about the quality of air service at T.F. Green Airport; however, the dramatic increase in flights has meant an increase in noise for the neighborhoods of Warwick. With $200 million invested in the new terminal, it is safe to say our state airport is going to be in Warwick for the foreseeable future. To meet the challenge of making this 1,000-acre airport as good a neighbor as possible, I am focusing on three areas. First, phasing out the high-decibel Stage 2 jets; second, recognizing the parameters that make T.F. Green so successful;, and third, aggressively but wisely revitalizing the appropriate areas around the airport to strengthen the city's tax base.

As you may imagine, Warwick is not the only host city to an airport in the United States unhappy with the popularity of air travel. In the 1980s, many of these host cities were enacting strict regulations at their airports, even so far as banning high-decibel jets. Naturally all this did was push more and more noisy Stage 2 jets into fewer and fewer airports. As a result, in 1990, the federal government passed a law which prohibited municipalities from restricting Stage 2 aircraft operations at their airports. The 1990 Noise and Capacity Act also mandated the elimination of all Stage 2 jets by December 1999. Every airline at T.F. Green is presently on schedule to meet this deadline. ...

I sometimes get asked, "How big is T.F. Green going to get?" Two factors dictate the extent of any expansion. The major reason this airport is so successful is the presence of Southwest Airlines, the national leader in high-quality discount air travel. The reason Southwest chose Green for its Northeast destination is its size. Southwest can offer astonishingly low fares because of its philosophy of keeping its aircraft airborne as often as possible - as active as a busy taxi. It cannot afford to have planes stacked up either at the terminal or on the runway and still offer the low fares. So simply put, if T.F. Green gets too busy, Southwest will relocate, fares will rise and the airport will no longer be popular. The second factor restraining growth is the length of Green's runways, which limit the size of aircraft which can get airborne with a full load of passengers and luggage. ... For both of these reasons, according to the R.I. Airport Corporation, the reasonable, well-balanced threshold is 6 million annual passengers, up from its present 4-1/2 million. Beyond that is the point of diminishing returns.

Lastly, the city must plan intelligently to make the most of some exciting improvements taking place here. In conjunction with the prosperity of T.F. Green, another equally dynamic initiative is taking place next door. Amtrak is electrifying and modernizing the Boston-New York line in order to provide three-hour service between those cities, and is on schedule for completion in the fall of 1999. This May, we received $15 million to construct a train station at T.F. Green and $10 million to connect the new station to the airport terminal, only 1,200 feet away - the closest Amtrak line to any airport in the country.

What does it mean to "plan intelligently"? It means to me that we capitalize on our unique situation - the crossroads of air, rail and highway travel, in order to bring in business tax revenue while at the same time preserving what we like most about our city. ...

In order to achieve this goal of realizing opportunities while protecting our City, I have introduced the Warwick Station Redevelopment District Master Plan. This plan focuses on the property immediately adjacent to the new terminal which is presently a mix of General Business, Office, Light Industrial and Residential zoning. And indeed existing there is Hillsgrove South neighborhood, the Radisson Hotel, the abandoned Baylis chemical plant and an assortment of profitable companies and not-so-profitable or abandoned pieces of property. It certainly is worth the drive through to see first hand the possibilities that present themselves. We cannot afford to just let progress happen under existing zoning conditions, which is the unfortunate mistake this city has made in the past. We want to plan intelligently by accomplishing two things; rezoning this immediate area to two new zoning destinations - Gateway and Intermodal - and forming a Warwick Redevelopment Agency to oversee every proposal for this area. Both of these initiatives will come before the City Council after review by the Planning Board.

Our goal is to encourage private investment of a tasteful conference center in the area between a train station and the terminal. The ideal scenario is for the moving sidewalk between the new train station and the airport to be part of the conference center/hotel. This central complex could be an extension of the terminal with the same decor, and arrival and departure monitors and baggage check-in facilities. I believe the aforementioned Redevelopment Authority should encourage, in any proposal of this hospitality center, the incorporation of an outdoor plaza. The atmosphere would be similar to Faneuil Hall in Boston or Inner Harbor in Baltimore where there in a premium on pleasant open spaces. ...

Times have changed from 1943 when Hoxsie Four Corners was surrounded by farmland. The airport is certainly a fixture here and our challenge is, as the saying goes, to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." We can do that by keeping the airlines to the law on phasing out noisy Stage 2 jets by December 1999, by capping the growth of T.F. Green at 6 million passengers and by maximizing the economic potential while protecting what we most like about Warwick.

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Salem, Virginia, Residents Want Noise Wall, Not Re-location When I 81 Expands

PUBLICATION: Roanoke Times & World News
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: Virginia, Pg. C4
BYLINE: Betty Hayden Snider
DATELINE: Salem, Virginia

The Roanoke Times & World News reports residents of Salem, Virginia's, Stonegate community prefer a noise wall to relocation when Interstate 81 is widened.

According to the article, at Monday night's City Council Stonegate residents and those in nearby subdivisions voiced their worry that a long-range proposal to widen I-81 to six lanes and add four parallel lanes for local traffic will either force them out of their homes or ruin their quality of life and property values. A preliminary study by the Virginia Department of Transportation shows the interstate project would either claim homes or spare them by constructing a noise barrier. "Back us," pleaded Stonegate resident Bob Craighead. "We want a wall up. We don't want any land taken." Craighead and other speakers, who were applauded by neighbors, asked council to support building a noise wall on the border between the interstate right-of-way and their property. "The noise level is already unbearable," Craighead said. Neighbors can't carry on conversations in their back yards, he said. The plan to spare Stonegate would force the expansion project onto the Roanoke County side of the interstate.

The article reports Rob Cary, a VDOT engineer, told council that noise walls are built if the department determines they are feasible. The state allows $30,000 per affected house, but if a noise wall were to cost more than that, the locality or a homeowners' association would have to pay the balance. Craighead said it seemed to be feasible to build a wall and spare Stonegate instead of spending more than $12 million to buy the 50 homes in the community, where houses average about $200,000. Cary reminded the group that the I-81 project is in the early planning stages. The engineering study will be sent to the Commonwealth Transportation Board in November. The board will comment on the plan in about 30 days, then surveying and design will begin. Once priority segments of three to five miles are chosen, detailed surveying and engineering will be done, and public hearings will be held, he said. Council plans to vote on a resolution regarding the interstate expansion at its meeting Aug. 24.

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Editorial Says Jet Skis Ruin Peace and Quite of Canadian Lakes

PUBLICATION: The Vancouver Sun
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. A11
BYLINE: Catherine Ford
DATELINE: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Sun published an editorial about personal watercraft ruining the peace and quiet of Canadian lakes.

According to the editorial, Tie Lake is hidden off a dirt road in the rolling hills half-way between Fernie and Cranbrook. It is one of thousands of small Canadian lakes offering summer relief and winter retreat. It is a simple place, offering deep, cool water, a shoreline of wild grass and short docks, cottages and boathouses and a beach here and there. And recently, the writer said, "I discovered what else Tie Lake has: jet skis. The buzz saws of boating. Hell's Angels on water. The $ 9,000 toy has become the curse of cottagers from Vancouver Island to PEI whose weekend getaways are punctuated by inherent danger and relentless noise."

The writer states it took just one jet ski to kill the birdsong, eliminate the morning sounds of the country, and make visitors rethink the possible delights of cottage ownership. At speeds reached by jet-skis, it's tough to see swimmers. Two children and their grandfather in a gray dinghy on a Quebec lake were struck by a jet ski operated by a woman who had no experience and didn't even have a driver's license. The children died. The investigating Quebec coroner said speedy and unstable watercraft, combined with few rules and inexperienced operators are accidents waiting to happen.

The editorial goes on to say objections raised by the growing popularity of personal watercraft are two-fold: intellectual and emotional. While some aren't averse to the jet-skis themselves, they have other objections like the time they are used -- like the neighbor mowing his lawn at 7 a.m. on a Sunday -- and the recklessness of thrill-seekers. They're concerned about the safety issues. Personal watercraft can reach speeds of 100 km/h and present a real danger to low-slung and slow-moving boats and swimmers. Because the rider sits above the water, swimmers are difficult to see in the churn. "Buzzing the shoreline, cutting across the bow of slower boats -- the same recklessness exhibited on the highways is made even more dangerous on water."

The article goes on to say that the emotional argument is a harder sell. "That's the one which says there's an expectation of peace and quiet in the countryside, a quiet that is destroyed by powerful engines spewing the stench of motor exhaust and the relentless whine and vrrroooom of high-powered craft." But some jurisdictions are restricting use. In Vancouver, jet skis have been banned from the inner harbor but permitted elsewhere with speed limitations of 10 km/h near swimmers or boats at anchor. In Washington State, one county has banned jet skis completely, as has Florida along 11 shorelines between Key Largo and Key West. Elsewhere, municipalities try to control the dangers close to shorelines, but are stymied by jurisdiction: Ottawa controls navigation along the country's waterways, so restricting the use and abuse of watercraft is outside the scope of those most affected. New federal rules, including restricting personal watercraft to drivers 16 and older will come into effect next April, part of a series of power-boat regulations to be phased in over the next 10 years. According to the editorial, "That's not nearly soon enough or tough enough for frustrated Canadians who head out today for another long summer weekend and who did not choose and do not want a super-highway inches from the cottage door."

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Madison Imposes Restrictions in Stadium Area After Residents Complain of Noise

PUBLICATION: Capital Times
DATE: August 10, 1998
SECTION: Front, Pg. 1A
BYLINE: Mike Ivey
DATELINE: Madison, Wisconsin

The Capital Times reports new, tougher rules in Madison, Wisconsin, will limit hours for outdoor beer gardens during this season's University of Wisconsin football games.

According to the article, the new rules require closing outdoor serving areas by 8 p.m. For games starting after 5 p.m., outdoor areas must close by 10 p.m. The rules also strictly limit amplified music. Tavern owners in the Camp Randall Stadium area are very upset. During football games, taverns along Regent and Monroe streets turn their parking lots into outdoor parties, offering food and beverages to Badger fans. "I don't want to overreact . . . but this is going to put people out of business," said Ron Neusen, owner of the Big 10 Pub. Neusen said he counts on the University of Wisconsin games and the occasional Green Bay Packer exhibition game for nearly a third of his annual revenue. "When you get 75,000 people turning out for every game you're talking about a lot of money," said Neusen. Of particular concern to tavern owners this season is the Homecoming game against Purdue on October 10. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. to accommodate national TV. Under the new rules, beer gardens must close by 10 p.m., meaning they would miss any post-game business.

The article reports city of Madison officials say the new rules are an effort to provide some uniformity for outdoor eating areas in the vicinity of Camp Randall Stadium. Taverns and other groups with outdoor serving areas are currently operating under agreements worked out with the city individually over the last 10 years. "What you've got now is a hodgepodge of rules nobody really understands," said Pete Laritson of the city zoning office. For example, the Stadium Bar on Monroe Street has a permit to operate its volleyball and outdoor area until midnight seven nights a week. But under the new rules, the Stadium Bar would have to close its outdoor area at 8 p.m. just on football Saturdays. Establishments that want a waiver from the new rules will be allowed to appeal to the city Planning Commission. Stadium Bar owner Mike Franklin, who purchased the Stadium Bar 19 months ago, has already filed an appeal to the city to remain open until midnight. "I don't want to get too upset until I see what happens," he said. "All I'm asking for is what I've already got."

The article states the new rules were prompted by a series of complaints from Camp Randall area residents, who have long endured the noise, rowdiness and partying before and after UW home games. "I think the complaints have more to do with noise than anything else," said Alderman Napoleon Smith, District 13, who represents much of the Vilas neighborhood. Tensions have increased as more taverns and civic groups have added outdoor eating areas and beer gardens in an effort to cash in on recent successes of the football team. Chuck Erickson, who lives two blocks from the stadium on Jefferson Street, said he and his neighbors are tired of football fans walking through yards, urinating in bushes, leaving empty beer cups on car tops. "All any of us are asking for is a little respect," he said. "Don't treat our homes like a parking lot." Erickson is not surprised that tavern owners are upset with the new rules. But he said something clearly needs to be done. "In one instance the music was so loud you could still hear it inside with all the doors and windows closed," he said. The new rules do not allow amplified music before 10 a.m. and music is only allowed at establishments with specific approval under the city's conditional use permit system. The city can also revoke conditional use permits for establishments that exceed the decibel level standards in a proposed noise ordinance. The noise ordinance, which is already meeting heavy opposition from some city manufacturing firms and business leaders, puts strict limits on noise in residential areas. Alderman Smith, who serves on the Planning Commission, said he is willing to listen to tavern owners' concerns. But he said the amplified music issue is pretty clear-cut. "This is something the (Vilas) Neighborhood Association has been very vigilant about," he said.

The article goes on to say Big 10 Pub owner Neusen said he hopes he doesn't lose his outdoor permit entirely. "I wish they would have gotten some input from the tavern owners before they just handed all this down," he said. "These are well-run beer gardens. They provide a lot of jobs, along with revenue to the city and state." Neusen said the new rules are going to make it even tougher for locally owned businesses to survive. "The city just keeps taking a little more and more away from us," he said. "It makes it tough." Vilas resident Erickson maintains he is supportive of local enterprise. At the same time, he said the taverns need to realize they are operating in a residential neighborhood. "When I bought a house I knew it was near the stadium," he said. "But there are limits to what anyone should have to put up with."

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FAA Exec. Will Try to Resolve Dispute between City of Burbank and Airport

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: August 10, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Lee Condon
DATELINE: Burbank, California

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports Jane Garvey, the chief executive of the Federal Aviation Administration, will arrive in Burbank, California, on Tuesday to try to secure an end to the 16-year war over the proposed expansion of Burbank Airport.

According to the article, what four formal mediation sessions, nine lawsuits and $8.2 million in legal fees have failed to achieve, Garvey will attempt. She will meet separately with city and airport officials. Garvey has promised to appoint a special assistant to help both sides resolve their dispute after she leaves. Airport officials want to build a new passenger terminal to accommodate growth expected to reach 10 million travelers a year. They want to relocate the terminal to meet FAA safety standards for separating terminals from runways. They think Garvey will see things their way, but said last week that they are willing to abide by whatever agreement she forges. Burbank officials oppose the plan unless it includes provisions for stricter flight curfews and operating rules to reduce noise for residents near the airport. Burbank officials are certain Garvey will force such rules on the airport.

The article reports, Rep. Howard Berman along with Rep. Brad Sherman persuaded Garvey to make the trip. "I think the FAA is the best hope of breaking the logjam," said Berman. "This has gotten crazy. The airport authority has wanted to build a new terminal for 16 years. They keep stonewalling the concerns of the community," said Berman. The two legislators told Garvey to expect lawsuits for 10 more years unless she intervenes constructively, Berman said. "One side will win a case. The other will appeal. One will lose an appeal and file a new case." Usually, Berman said, he would lack confidence in the FAA to help in such a dispute, because the agency used to side with operators of airports and airlines and almost never with communities coping with noise. "Jane Garvey is a different type of administrator," Berman said. Before becoming a transportation administrator, she was a high school teacher and worked as a campaign organizer for Michael Dukakis. She ran Logan Airport in Boston before she joined the FAA, said Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom. "She had a reputation of being neighborhood friendly," he said.

The article states until now, FAA officials have stayed out of the political fight. The silence has allowed airport officials to hide behind federal regulations in rejecting all of Burbank's requests for noise relief, Ovrom and others said. Airport officials maintain that federal law bars them from imposing noise restrictions. "The (local) Airport Authority (board) says Burbank is asking for things beyond their control. They always say they can't do anything," Ovrom said. Victor Gill, airport spokesman, denied Ovrom's claim that the airport tries to hide behind the FAA. But Berman and Sherman agreed with Ovrom that the airport officials have tried to use the FAA as an excuse. "I have a feeling she is not going to let the traditional positions keep her from moving forward," Berman said. "She has the ability to put on the table how the FAA would react to curfews and flight limitations." Sherman said he expects the FAA administrator will try to be responsive to Burbank's concerns. "I think it's important with regard to Burbank Airport's future to dispel this notion that nothing can be done, that the hands of the Airport Authority are tied," Sherman said. "One way or another, their hands have to be untied."

The article goes on to say while Burbank officials hope Garvey will side with them, airport spokesman Gill noted that Garvey agreed with many of the airport's basic positions in a March letter to Sherman. "The replacement terminal building will not increase noise at the airport. The FAA's concern is that the insistence on linking the construction of the terminal to a mandatory airport noise restriction may obstruct what we all agree is a needed safety improvement," Garvey wrote. "The FAA is committed to working with the Burbank Airport Authority and affected communities to obtain additional reasonable and realistic noise mitigation objectives."

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Enforce Noise Abatement Laws on Illinois' Waterways, Says Editorial

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: August 10, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. 12; Zone: N
DATELINE: Illinois

The Chicago Tribune published an editorial criticizing the lack of enforcement of quiet boating on Illinois' inland waterways.

According to the editorial, on a warm Sunday afternoon, on the banks of the Fox River, or almost any other inland waterway in Illinois, the noise of roaring engines will remind you more of an expressway or an airport runway than a recreational area. One would never know there is a law prohibiting this noise. In 1992, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law banning the sale or operation of motorboats without mufflers or underwater exhaust systems, so they wouldn't "create excessive or unusual noise. " But laws need to be enforced.

The editorial states, "At the Chain o' Lakes-Fox River recreational area, no one seems much interested in enforcing the noise -abatement statute." The Fox Waterway Agency refers noise inquiries to the sheriff's offices in Lake and McHenry Counties. In McHenry they'll refer you back to the Waterway Agency. At the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Unit, they'll tell you that they have one decibel meter for Lake Michigan and another for the Chain. Only two boaters have been ticketed so far this year. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources in Springfield hands out about six citations a year to noisy boat operators, statewide.

Most of the noise comes from the cigarette boats, which have one, two or even three engines. Properly muffled, though, they emit with only moderate noise. However, "What would be missing though, would be that testosterone rush induced by fumes and the kind of engine roar that stops conversation--and most intelligent life--for 100 feet on either side of your boat." According to the writer, "deafening noise has more to do with rudeness than boating. And enforcing the noise -abatement statute won't dampen the marine recreation business in Illinois. . . ." Officers patrolling the state waterways need to simply anchor their boats by the shore and listen. "If they can't tell which boats don't have working mufflers, then we have a far more serious problem--officers who are either hard of hearing, or simply unwilling to enforce the law."

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County Aviation Official Says New Nevada Airport Necessary

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV)
DATE: August 9, 1998
BYLINE: Randall H. Walker
DATELINE: Las Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following editorial by Randall H. Walker, director of Nevada's Clark County Department of Aviation. Walker advocates for the Ivanpah Airport project, deeming it a necessity to accommodate the Las Vegas Valley's future needs. Walker writes:

Much has been written recently about Clark County's efforts to secure 6,500 acres of Bureau of Land Management property in the Ivanpah Valley, between Jean and Primm, to be used for a future commercial service airport. The role of the airport in any community is to provide the infrastructure and facilities necessary to enable any and all air carriers to serve the community . Because the Las Vegas Valley is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the nation, keeping pace with airline passenger demand has been a significant challenge. At McCarran International Airport, passenger traffic since 1990 has grown 60 percent. The Ivanpah Airport project is part of our planning effort to meet Southern Nevada's future airport needs.

After reading the response from Randy Harness of the Sierra Club to the June 29 Review-Journal editorial which supported the Ivanpah project, I feel compelled to address some of the issues he raised. First, allow me to reiterate what is being proposed. Congress is being asked to provide the BLM the authority to sell a portion of the Ivanpah Valley to the county, at fair market value, for use as an airport. Without this congressional authority such a direct sale could not be transacted. Clark County is moving to do this now because we recognize that the available capacity at McCarran is limited. Unfortunately, our options for where to put a second airport are likewise limited by Nellis Air Force Base, the Nevada Test Site, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Spring Mountain Range. The Ivanpah Valley appears to be the last location capable of supporting a commercial air carrier airport. The Clark County Department of Aviation has gone to Congress only after doing our homework with respect to the feasibility and suitability of the Ivanpah site. An extensive planning study has been completed by the international airport planning consulting firm of Leigh Fisher Associates. They have analyzed the facility's requirements, runway layouts, potential airspace effects, as well as noise and environmental issues. In addition, the department has been working with the FAA and the Clark County Aviation Association to reserve the airspace necessary for a new airport.

If the county is successful in obtaining the authority to purchase this BLM land, the department, in cooperation with the FAA, will conduct a full environmental review of the project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. All technical and environmental issues and any appropriate mitigation measures will be addressed through an open and public process. Potentially adverse impacts associated with a new airport will be dealt with by the county commissioners in a public forum. The department's concern about the potential environmental impacts of an Ivanpah Valley airport is not new. Months ago we met with representatives of the Southern Nevada environmental community, including the Nature Conservancy and the Clark County Desert Tortoise Habitat Conservation Plan Committee . As a result of these meetings we have adjusted the boundary of the land we are attempting to acquire to exclude an important desert tortoise translocation area and to avoid other resource conflicts.

Let it be clearly understood: There has been and will be extensive public input before an airport will be built in the Ivanpah Valley site. On two separate occasions over the past 18 months, the department has presented information regarding the development of this new Ivanpah airport to the county commissioners at their regular public board meetings, the agendas of which are posted for the public well in advance and at which a public comment period is provided to any citizen who may wish to comment on any item.

The board authorized us to work with the FAA, the Nevada Department of Transportation, and the BLM to conduct planning and related studies, reserve the airspace, designate the landing area site, place the new airport in the FAA's national plan and obtain the land necessary for the airport. Subsequently, representatives of the Nevada Development Authority and others in the community met with the board and proposed an interlocal agreement between the department and a consortium of private-sector interests lead by the Hamilton Group. This agreement specified that Clark County would work with the Hamilton Group in the subsequent planning and development of a new cargo and passenger airport. Hamilton, in turn, would provide market and feasibility analyses, and the capital necessary for the initial development of the new airport infrastructure. Regardless of the sources of development funding, the county will own, plan and operate any new Ivanpah Valley Airport. If, after the master planning and environmental processes it is determined airport development can be accommodated, the private sector's investment will be welcomed, but only on the public's terms and conditions.

It is bewildering that one of the principal concerns raised by Mr. Harness has less to do with environmental issues in Southern Nevada (of which there are few) and more to do with potential aircraft overflights of the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Monument in California, which are, respectively, 15 miles to the south and 90 miles to the west of the site. In light of all the facts, an alternative air carrier airport outside the Las Vegas Valley would in fact improve the quality of life in Clark County. This facility could reduce the aircraft overflight and noise impacts on hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas Valley residents. A redistribution of daytime and nighttime charter and air cargo flights from McCarran would help improve the valley's air quality as well . Finally, the provision of hundreds of high tech, high paying, non-gaming jobs at the future airport could go a long way to improving the quality of life for Clark County residents as well.

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Long Island Towns Restrict Places to Ride Noisy ATVs

PUBLICATION: Newsday (New York, NY)
DATE: August 9, 1998
SECTION: LI Life; Page G17
BYLINE: Stephanie Mccrummen
DATELINE: Smithtown, New York

Newsday reports Smithtown, New York, officials say a recent crackdown on noisy all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes in neighboring Brookhaven has brought riders into their town in search of open spaces to ride. Citing noise and environmental and liability issues, Smithtown is enforcing its own restrictions.

According to the article, Smithtown is issuing citations to riders and impounding vehicles in response to noise complaints from neighbors. "We've noticed a bit of increase because Brookhaven is pushing them over here," Smithtown attorney John Zolo said. But riders of ATVs and dealers who sell them say that there is growing demand for public places to ride and that towns should designate such places. Dealers of ATVs say sales are up. The four-wheelers, called quads, and two-wheelers, called dirt bikes, can reach speeds of as much as 90 mph. Drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be registered and insured. Joe Pennisi, a sales manager with Long Island Cycle and Marine in West Islip says he has sold about 15 ATVs per month, a few more per month than this time last year. But he added that the season hasn't really hit yet. Riders say membership in recreational ATV clubs on the Island is climbing, too. But despite the proliferation of ATVs and riders, there remain few legal, public places to ride.

The article states in Smithtown, like most towns across Long Island, ATVs are illegal to drive except on private property with written permission. And the one legal place to ride, the Bridgehampton racetrack in Brookhaven, closed in December. "If the county or state doesn't do anything, people are going to do what they have to do," said Pennisi. "If it's just land sitting there, it's trail material." In Smithtown, that has meant places like the Carlson Pre-cast Inc. property in King's Park or Long Island Power Authority rights of way. Riders have been going to the Carlson property a few times a week, said John Wagner, Smithtown's deputy director of public safety. But the department is cracking down, spurred on by noise complaints from residents. About 20 cases of illegal riding in Smithtown have gone to court this year, said Zolo. If riders are caught on private property without permission, their ATV is impounded and they are served a court summons that carries a fine of as much as $250. The Town of Brookhaven recently increased the maximum fine for first offenders to $500.

State parks are not options for riders either, said Chip Gorman, a spokesman for the state parks department. Gorman said he was not aware of any proposal to set aside a legal place for ATV users to ride. "It's not fair," said Tammy Merrill, who along with her husband formed Island Motocross of New York, a club for ATV riders with about 500 Long Island members. "If you want to play baseball or football you can go to a local school or to the park, but if you want to take a bike out for a ride you have to go upstate." Merrill's club had leased the Bridgehampton racetrack until last December, when the owner did not ask them to renew. The club had taken out an insurance policy for the riders so that liability was not an issue. Merrill said riders feel harassed in Brookhaven and Smithtown. She added that securing a legal place to ride is difficult because of short term leases, property owners' fear of liability and neighborhood opposition to the sport. The answer, she says, is for the county or state to set aside public land for recreational ATV use. "People purchase these bikes on Long Island, pay taxes on Long Island and pay for the use of the county and state and town lands, but they are not allowed to use them for this," she said. "I should be able to ride on Long Island without being treated like a criminal."

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Californian Columnist Writes about the "Wacky World of Leaf Blowers"

PUBLICATION: Venture County Star
DATE: August 15, 1998
SECTION: Columns; Pg. B07
BYLINE: Chuck Thomas
DATELINE: Ventura County, California

The Ventura County Star published the following commentary from columnist, Chuck Thomas regarding California's proposed legislation that would prohibit cities from banning leaf blowers.

In answer to numerous (2) requests, it's time for an update on The Great Crusade Against Noisy Toys and Messy Tools. Today's chapter is subtitled, "What's happening in the wacky world of leaf blowers?"

What's happening is truly wacky: The California Legislature is being asked to prevent cities from banning leaf blowers -- which seems somewhat irrelevant, since that's a political land mine most city officials wouldn't touch with a 10-foot rake.

If you thought the state was going to butt out on this one and leave it to local government, you don't know how helpful the leaf-blower lobby wants to be. (Apparently, there's no broom lobby in Sacramento, which figures. There's no buggy-whip lobby, either.) A state bill pre-empting local ordinances died in May, but leaf blowers are a kind of legislative Dracula -- like a movie monster that refuses to die.

State Sen. Richard Polanco, the point man for the leaf-blower lobby, found a totally unrelated bill that was going nowhere and gave it the Dr. Frankenstein cure. Suddenly, a dead bill about jury service became a resurrected state ban on city regulation of leaf blowers. This came as something of a shock to the crusaders, who thought they had slain this same monster back in May.

Point man for the crusaders is actor Peter Graves, who's found this challenge a real-life "Mission: Impossible." By now, he must have given up hope that the leaf-blower lobby -- like the taped instructions on the TV show -- would self-destruct.

At last count, there were only 20 cities in California that had banned the kind of noisy, messy, gas-powered leaf blowers that have replaced brooms and rakes on most gardeners' trucks. But one of those is the 800-pound gorilla of California cities -- Los Angeles -- which, by no coincidence whatever, is in

Polanco's Senate district.

The other cities with leaf-blower bans tend to be environmentally cool places like Carmel and Santa Barbara, cities that have little else in common with L.A. With bans in Santa Barbara and L.A., Ventura County is sort of surrounded by the crusade -- without being part of it.

Most cities in this county have been asked to ban leaf blowers, and most city officials have tried to punt: They're relying on anti- noise ordinances. Since that's what Polanco's bill would mandate, it would have little effect here.

The monster is alive and well in Ventura County, because anti- noise ordinances have some loopholes big enough to drive a fleet of landscaping trucks through:

Whenever I update the crusade against leaf blowers, I get calls and letters from landscapers and gardeners calling me an elitist, among other things -- some of which I can't repeat in a family newspaper. Some of them offer to meet with me and convince me that the world is a better place because of leaf blowers.

When they do, I suggest meeting me on a Thursday and helping me clean up the mess -- the leaves, litter and dust -- that the gardeners have just blown under my garage door. So far, I haven't had any takers.

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Residents Distressed by Outdoor Dinner Parties Decide to Take Action

PUBLICATION: Calgary Herald
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: City; Pg. B8
BYLINE: Juliet Williams
DATELINE: Calgary, British Columbia

Calgary Herald reports that a group of residents are upset about the late-night noise emulating from the Cross House Garden Café in Calgary, British Columbia. They say the outdoor parties are ruining the quiet tranquility of the community and are circulating a petition that requests the city to withhold permission for the garden tents to go up each summer.

The article states that café operator George Diamant leases the historic home from the city and claims the lease encompasses use of the historic gardens for outdoor parties. He says the parties are summer celebrations approved by the city, endorsed by many in the community, and fall well within the law.

Both sides of the conflict complain that the city has not set out rules for a fair fight.

According to the article Diamant assumed possession of the historic cite in 1991, with the city council's approval. The article quotes Diamant saying, "When I moved into this neighborhood it was a hooker stroll. Perhaps my neighbors would like to revert back to that."

The experiences the neighbors are complaining about include the noise of live bands and DJs that continue beyond the 11 p.m. - past the bylaw noise limit. Neighbor Marjorie Raposo, is described in the article as living less than a block from the restaurant. She is quoted saying, "The music is deafening. You can walk two blocks away and still hear the bass. It's been like this every summer, almost every weekend." She adds that drunken partiers traipse through the neighborhood without concern for seniors and children who live nearby.

According to the article Diamant said he would plead not guilty to two charges of noise violations he received in July. He says the application for a permit for the tents is now in city hands.

The city's acting manager of corporate planning, Jack Saunders, who handles the application of the permit, says his department doesn't deal with noise infractions and is not in a position to impose noise limits. The article quotes Saunders saying, "We make our decisions based on bylaws and planning."

The article notes further that Saunder says his department is trying to iron out problems through mediation, but also added, "We don't take our lead from the community."

The article inferred that enforcement by the city police is limited to registering the complaints (- five since April). They must alert bylaw officers to issue tickets. Bylaw officer Jim Golbourn in turn indicates that bylaw officers don't have any say over future planning.

According to the article Diamant shuts down his bar at midnight to appease residents even though his permit allows him to serve drinks till 2 a.m. Diamant is quoted saying, "We try to behave in a manner we feel is fair to the community, but at the same time we're trying to run a business. Restaurants attract people, and people make noise. They knew that."

Raposo, on the other hand questions whether the city's delay in responding to the noise problems has anything to do with the fact that the city owns the site. The article closes with her words, "It's like [the city is saying] this house is everything and we've got to keep it going at all costs" [Editor's note].

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Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport Board Affirms the Idea of Including a Ohioan as a Voting Member of the Board

PUBLICATION: The Cincinnati Enquirer
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. C01
BYLINE: Gregory A. Hall
DATELINE: Covington, Kentucky

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that there is a possibility that an Ohioan could serve as a voting member on the Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport Board. According to the article the idea was resurrected Thursday and was given support from most of the elected officials attending a joint meeting of Ohio's Hamilton County commissioners and Kentucky's Kenton Fiscal Court commissioners.

The article reports that Hamilton Commissioners John Dowlin and Bob Bedinghaus stressed at the meeting the need to monitor how jet noise impacts residents on the west side of their county in Ohio.

Hearings are set for next week on construction of a new north-south runway and an extension to an existing runway.

Commissioner Dowlin is noted saying that residents have been monitoring jet noise, and will soon release results demonstrating how often the noise levels have exceeded acceptable levels. The problems, Dowlin said, are not severe.

Commissioner Bedinhhaus is quoted saying, "The airport's going to continue to grow, and I think you have to accept that. And it should grow and we should encourage it to grow."

On the issue of an Ohioan voting member, Kenton Judge-executive Rodney "Biz" Cain and Fiscal Court Commissioner Steve Arlinghaus both endorsed the idea. The Ohioan seat would be one of seven on the airport board. "There's plenty of seats there to share one," the article said quoting Mr. Arlinghaus. Both Cain and Arlinhaus said they would like to see Northern Kentuckians get a return favor, such as a seat on Cincinnati's convention center board.

Ohioans already serve as members of the airport's 10-member advisory board, the article said. And members attending board meetings can vote in committee meetings where many policy decisions are hammered out.

The composition of the board however, is set by Kentucky state law. Airport boards throughout Kentucky have six voting members, but the Kenton board has seven because the airport is located in another county so the seventh member must be from Boone County.

According to the article the law prescribes that the judge-executive appoints voting members. Advisory board members are recommended by the judge-executive and appointed by the governor.

If the judge-executive were to appoint an Ohioan as a voting member it would have to be preceded by a change in state law by the General Assembly, said airport attorney, David Schneider. Mr. Schneider is noted in the article saying he does not know whether the judge-executive could voluntarily appoint an Ohioan.

According to the article officials from the two counties also discussed (1) the need for a decision on where a light-rail mass transit system might cross the Ohio River and (2) possibilities of joint water service.

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Construction Noise for New Stadium Regulated by Noise Levels, Rather Than Curfews in Tacoma, Washington

PUBLICATION: The News Tribune
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: Local/State; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Leslie Brown
DATELINE: Tacoma, Washington

The Tacoma Washington News Tribune reports that the City of Seattle averted a major showdown with the company building the new Seattle Seahawks stadium. The conflict arose when the city placed construction-hour limitations of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the permit because the stadium is being built across the street from a 108-unit condominium. Seattle later retreated from its position and placed noise-specific rather than time-specific restrictions on the construction project.

The company, Paul Allen's First & Goal, Inc. wanted construction shifts working a total of 18 hours a day, from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

The article said that company officials anticipated that the city's mandate for shorter work days would cost them about $6 million more in construction costs. That jeopardized the $6 million that Allen promised to spend helping the neighborhoods around the stadium. Allen announced the lost money would have to come out of the same "mitigation budget" it had set aside for community improvements, angering advocates in the Pioneer Square and International District.

According to the article the city, district advocates and Allen's succeeded in reconciling their differences, though, when city planner, Scott Kemp, announced to the stadium board that the city could place noise-specific rather than time-specific restrictions on the permit. That would allow construction work that was no louder than Pioneer Square's "ambient noise" long into the evening, the article said referring to Kemp's comments. "The city is not here in an entrenched position. We're open to a solution. In fact, we believe we're very near one," the article said quoting Kemp.

The article mentions that First & Goal's vice president Jim Kelley, was encouraged by Kemp's comments. The article added that when Kelley was asked if he was confident a solution could be worked out, Kelley answered, "Very."

The city's decision to back down on the limited construction hours opened the way for the board to approve the $6 million in neighborhood and economic development programs provided by First & Goal. The money has also been designated for Pioneer Square area and revitalization efforts in Seattle's International District and the industrial Duwamish neighborhood south of Pioneer Square.

According to the article, the three neighborhoods have been drawing up a list of proposals for revitalizing their communities and increasing economic stability. Allen's set aside money was part of the state legislation that authorized a public vote on the construction project. The article discusses further background on the stadium and some of the neighborhoods' proposals.

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New Procedures at Vero Beach Airport Aims to Reduce Noise

PUBLICATION: Press Journal
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: A Section; Pg. A3
BYLINE: Christina Mitchell
DATELINE: Vero Beach, Florida

The Press Journal reports that the Vero Beach Airport Commission has approved a master plan that outlines development through 2020. Much of the projected development aims to reduce noise and includes specific procedures established by the airport director for meeting that goal.

The procedures outlined by Airport Director Eric Menger address in particular the problems of noisy pilot-training maneuvers and revved up engines.

New rules mentioned in the article include:

(1) Pilots must veer left or right of neighboring homes after the air traffic control tower closes in the evening.

(2)Touch-and-go exercises, in which novice pilots continually practice landing and taking off, are prohibited between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

(3)Maintenance checks, in which engines are revved up, are limited to 20 minutes.

Commission Chairman Sidney Greer is quoted in the article saying, "We're going to do our best to rectify the (noise) situation. As commissioners, we're not going to sit here and do nothing."

Persons living near the airport who attended the meeting were reportedly not convinced.

Robert Nitch, a Walker Glen resident is quoted saying, "I realized I was moving near an airport, but this is an aberration. I've lived near airports before, and it wasn't as bad as this ... Whatever has been done hasn't worked so far."

Another resident, Craig Fletcher, of Vero Beach is mentioned in the article suggesting that a fence or concrete structure be built for engine maintenance and to deflect the noise of revving engines off of the walls and towards the airport.

Fletcher reportedly saw such a structure in use at McDonnel Douglas and is quoted saying, "I think you'd be surprised at the sound reduction." The article noted that Airport Director Eric Menger found the idea intriguing and said he would consider its feasibility.

Long-term noise reduction projects are also incorporated into the master plan and include extension of two of the airport's three runways so pilots can take off farther from nearby neighborhoods and get higher before flying over them. The northernmost runway will be extended to the west almost 800 feet and the north-south runway will be extended by 370 feet.

Other changes in the master plan include the addition of an east-west taxiway (parallel to the main east-west runway); a 40 percent increase in hangars; and a new, taller air traffic control tower.

According to the article the projects will be implemented over a twenty-year period with partial funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The article also indicates that Menger believes the future of the airport needs to be addressed. According to Menger areas created for commercial airliners now goes unused. "Eventually we will have to decide whether we're going to get commercial service or say it's never going to happen and do something with the terminal. We don't see the commercial service coming," the article said quoting Menger said.

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Mayor Assigns Two Additional Police Officers to Buttress Enforcement of Noise Ordinance in Providence, Rhode Island

PUBLICATION: The Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Gregory Smith
DATELINE: Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. has decided to assign two additional police officers to downtown Providence to buttress enforcement of the city's noise ordinance.

The officers will be on duty from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and will be used as a part of the mayor's efforts to strictly enforce Providence's noise ordinance "so that we may better enhance the quality of life for all those enjoying the many activities that take place in downtown Providence."

The article notes that the Mayor's announcement comes after The Providence Journal published editorials of columnist David Brussat complaining about motorcycle noise. According to the article the mayor had a three-way telephone conversation with Brussat and Police Chief Urbano Prignano Jr. to discuss the issue. When asked if writing from the columnist had prompted the action, the article said the mayor remarked, "There's plenty of credit to go around."

According to the article the mayor indicated that police always enforce laws on noise and vehicle equipment and that 10 to 30 motorcyclists are charged with infractions each week.

Brussat, is noted in the article as an advocate of repopulating downtown by converting empty commercial buildings to residences. He has reportedly announced in his writing that he intends to move downtown himself as part of the new residential vanguard, but emphasized on Aug. 6 that if the noise persists, he would not do so.

The article quotes from Cianci's written statement which says, "As our Arts and Entertainment District continually expands its offerings and as more downtown buildings are converted to accommodate residents, we are becoming more vigilant in enforcing the noise ordinance downtown, as we do on a daily basis in our neighborhoods."

The mayor also stated that "Violations of the noise ordinance have an adverse effect on the ability of our residents and tourists to enjoy the many outdoor performances and concerts staged at Waterplace Park, the WaterFire lightings, and other activities.

According to the mayor the two new officers will themselves conduct their patrol on motorcycles and will focus on areas where motorcyclists typically gather. "I'm not against motorcyclists, but I'm against the noise, " the article said repeating the mayor's comments from an interview.

Noise violations are acute in the summer months the article said referring again to the mayor's comments. The mayor noted that loud booming music from open car windows, equipment violations on cars, and loud motorcycles are especially problematic. "While it's particularly offensive during the warmer weather, our efforts will continue year round," the article said quoting the mayor.

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Residents Angry that Their Ideas to Reduce Airport Noise at T.F. Green Airport Dismissed by the Experts

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: August 14, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 5B
BYLINE: Tony De Paul
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that noise experts for T.F. Green Airport shot down the mandatory controls demanded by airport neighbors yesterday, saying they would be too costly, would disrupt service, and would never be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to the article that message - from consultants Landrum & Brown of Chicago - provoked the ire of the neighbors who were angry that their ideas were apparently being dismissed. Warwick residents who sit on a committee overseeing the noise study insisted on a more in-depth look at their proposals.

The citizen members of the committee, representing a dozen Warwick neighborhoods, had asked the Airport Corporation to:

(1)Set flight limits capping the phenomenal growth rate at Green;

(2)Use a 55-decibel measure to determine when a neighborhood is experiencing too much jet noise over an average 24-hour period (not the FAA's 65-decibel standard);

(3)Enforce flight curfews that allow flights only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

According to the article, the neighbors became united in their demands for noise controls by the dramatic increase in airport traffic that has occurred since the new terminal opened in September 1996. The number of passengers traveling through Green is expected to hit 5 million by the end of the year, up from 2.5 million two years ago. [Editor's note: no source is indicated for this prediction.]

Green Airport has a voluntary curfew of midnight and 6:30 a.m. but it is often violated and applies no penalties for violators.

According to the article the study committee met yesterday for several hours and invited public comment at a second, informal meeting last night. The meeting was the second in the study process, expected to continue through the end of the year.

Many of the 125 persons who attended the evening meeting said they were frustrated with jet noise and questioned the wisdom of expanding air travel at Green Airport. One man is noted in the article saying that people living near the airport are paying the price for the lower airfares enjoyed by persons living out-of-state.

Executive director of the Airport Corporation, Elaine Roberts, is reported to have attended the meeting and urged participants to offer constructive suggestions that could be included in the study's final recommendation.

According to the article Landrum & Brown's representative John Woodward told those attending the afternoon session that the current noise study - known as a Part 150 study - could not, under legal measures, contemplate noise-control measures that impose penalties on airlines or otherwise restrict access to the airport. Those proposals, the article said could only be enacted through a federal process known as a Part 161 study.

No airport has ever completed such a study, which is why Woodward urged the committee to reject any noise-control idea that can't be adopted under the $500,000 study already begun. Moreover adding a Part 161 study would cost $1 million, would take up to three years, would put the home soundproofing project on hold for the duration, and, finally, would be rejected by the FAA, the article said, referring to Woodward's comments. Woodward is quoted directly saying, "From our experience, it doesn't have a chance of passing, or being adopted at the national level."

FAA representative John Silva, is noted in the article saying [presumably in reference to the curfews] that the FAA does not want pilots thinking about mandatory arrival deadlines when they're deciding whether a plane should be de-iced again before takeoff, or whether to fly around or through turbulent air.

But residents Paul Huling, also on the committee, is mentioned saying he counted six violations of the curfew on a single night this week. Huling is quoted asking, "Is anyone taking note of this?"

Neighborhood representative Peg Magill is quoted saying, "We're not going to sit here and accept as fact that nothing can be done and we just have to live with the curfew as it is."

Elaine Roberts urged neighbors to stay involved in the current study. Roberts was quoted stating, "I think it's premature to say nothing can be done (to reduce noise). Let's not give up yet. Let's see the outcome of the process."

The article states that, according to Roberts, the airport will have installed equipment capable of identifying flights that violate the voluntary curfew by June of 1999. The Airport Corporation will also have a full-time staff member by that time to require airline compliance. Adopting rules on where and how pilots fly in the airspace located over the city could cut city noise levels as well, the article said, referring to Roberts' comments.

The article notes that Director of the Warwick Planning Department, Johnathan Stevens criticized Landrum & Brown for disregarding the neighbors' ideas. Stevens said Warwick appreciates the economic growth that Green Airport produces but "at the same time, we don't want to write a blank check for an unlimited number of (flights)."

The article reports that Stevens has requested Landrum & Brown's project manager, Mark Perryman, to schedule a separate meeting to decide whether Warwick should seek the mandatory controls that Woodward rejected.

A representative of Governor Francis and Hoxsie, Karen Kalunian, sits on the committee and is quoted in the article saying, "I'd like to see this Part 150 study completed so we can see where we stand. Then, whatever it's going to take to satisfy this community - even if it is a Part 161 study - that's what I want to see done."

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Committee Bans Personal Watercraft Banned within 1,200 of San Francisco's Shoreline

PUBLICATION: The San Francisco Chronicle
DATE: AUGUST 14, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A20
BYLINE: Edward Epstein
DATELINE: San Francisco, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and the Blue Water Network

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reported unanimously to ban personal watercraft within 1,200 feet of the city's shoreline.

The legislation, initiated by Supervisor Gavin Newsom, has been in the works for almost a year and, according to industry experts, may establish some of the country's most restrictive sets of regulations on personal watercraft.

The article reports witnesses' testimony to the Health, Family and Environment Committee describing how jet skis cause accidents on the bay, disrupt other forms of recreation, disturb wildlife and cause pollution.

"Personal watercraft are easy to buy, easy to manipulate, and they're very dangerous," the article said quoting officer Danny Lopez of the police bay patrol. Jet skis can cruise along at more than 60 miles per hour the article stated.

The legislation's author was noted saying, "There is extraordinary concern about the impact these skis have on the environment and on the ability to enjoy the bay, on the noise they make and on their tremendous toxic impact." He and others cited alarming indicators for California last year: there were 391 serious accidents involving jet skis, causing 271 injuries and eight deaths. Jet skis reportedly account for only 17 percent of all boats registered in California but are involved in 42 percent of accidents on waterways.

The article indicated that the full Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the law August 24. If they pass the measure San Francisco would join a long list of states and cities that have restricted jet skis.

Newsom's legislation provides two exceptions, the article said, from the ban. They could enter the bay through a 200-foot-wide corridor at Pier 52 near Mission Rock. They could also refuel at the city boat harbor near the Marina Safeway, but would still be unable to enter or leave the water there.

The legislation prohibits gas-powered skis within 1,200 feet of land from 3Com Park in the southeast corner in the city, all the way around the shoreline and down Ocean Beach to Harding Park in the southwest. It also prohibits them around Angel Island, Alcatraz and Yerba Buena and Treasure islands.

Persons found in violation of the ban would be fined $50 for the first violation and up to $250 for a third violation within a one-year period.

Residents could bring civil action against persons they think have violated the ban.

"Diverse organizations support this ordinance. A small number of jet skis have already become an extraordinary concern," the article said quoting Kathryn Morgan of the Blue Water Network, an environmental group.

According to the article testimony was heard from a variety of environmental and conservation groups, people representing swimmers, rowers, kayakers and surfers, fishermen, bird watchers, and the parks and neighborhood groups.

The Port Commission raised the only jurisdictional concern. It wanted to know what requirements might be placed upon it to help enforce the ban. The police unit reported that it already responds to calls in the bay for the port.

No one spoke on behalf of the jet skiers at the hearing.

The authors of the article interviewed Keith Bush, the associate editor of Personal Watercraft Illustrated, an independent monthly magazine for their opinions. Bush is quoted saying the proposed "1,200 feet sounds a little extreme." Bush said most of the 34 states and hundreds of localities that restrict jet skis require them to respect no-wake zones for boaters and swimmers.

"There is a lot of conflict on the water. This is unfortunate for personal watercraft users, who aren't as well established as other groups. In reality, in most cases, it's possible for people to share the water," the article said quoting Bush.

Bush further indicated that the industry is advancing to address opponents' concerns. Less-polluting motors are being mandated to replace the old two-cycle engines and reduce noise, the article said. The industry furthermore advocates that licensing or training should be mandatory for all persons operating boats. Laws like that proposed for San Francisco could slow business.

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Tulsa International Airport Proposes 2.5 Million Noise Abatement Budget

DATE: August 14, 1998
BYLINE: D.R. Stewart
DATELINE: Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Tulsa World reports that the Tulsa International Airport has proposed a budget for 1999, which includes $2.5 million for noise abatement. If the trustees adopt the budget it will mark the first year airport trustees have directed local funding to a five-year $20 million aircraft noise abatement program.

The article reports that the proposed program includes a three-step approach of sound insulation for doors, windows and attics; cash payments for flyover easements; and a home sales assistance program for those wishing to move.

All three of the programs would be implemented in conjunction with a consultant experienced in aircraft noise mitigation work, the article said referring to the words of Airport Director Brent Kitchen. The article quotes Kitchen saying, "We think -- and we have given this a lot of thought -- that this program meets the needs of the people. Those who want to can leave the neighborhood, and for those who remain, the program will improve the home or add income. Hopefully, that will improve the integrity of the neighborhood."

The noise effort will include the purchase of 12 homes scattered throughout industrial zones west of Sheridan Road, north of Apache Street and south of 36th Street North, the article notes, referring to Kitchen's comments. Kitchen was quoted saying, "We will offer them a buyout and relocation benefits because they are in noncontiguous neighborhoods and they have indicated they want to be bought out."

The program would begin next summer with $500,000 in local funding through the locally collected $3-per-enplanement passenger facility charge and an additional $2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Trust Fund. According to Kitchen, the trust fund has more than $3 billion in unexpended funds. Airports are awarded money after the FAA assesses noise mitigation efforts proposed by an airport. The fund includes money from federal airline ticket taxes and aviation fuel taxes.

Tulsa's noise abatement plan will be submitted to the FAA later this month, the article said. The FAA will have 180 days to review the program and, if approved around January, airport trustees can apply for FAA discretionary noise abatement funds.

Over the five-year period the noise abatement program calls for $2.5 million in noise spending in 1999 and $5 million for each of the following three years and $2.5 million in 2003.

According to the article trustees also discussed last week the five-year $53.05 million capital improvement budget recommended by the staff at the airport authority. Tulsa International Airport shows a 2 percent increase in useage in July 1998 compared with July 1997 and a 2.5 percent increase in usage over the January-through-July period of 1997.

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City Council in Port Allen, Louisiana Votes Unanimously to Modify Noise Ordinance

DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 4B
BYLINE: Michael Danna
DATELINE: Port Allen, Louisiana

The Port Allen Advocate announced the city council's unanimous vote to revise the city's noise ordinance. The revised ordinance is an effort to reduce the loud "boom box" music and is fashioned to allow the chief of police more discretion in writing citations.

"The old ordinance was kind of vague," the article said, quoting Police Chief Adrian Genre. "This will give our guys more discretion in making a call on these things. "

Under the old ordinance, enforcement was hindered because distances from which the noise could be heard had to be taken into consideration. Since the Port Allen police were not equipped with any noise measuring devises, it was difficult to cite for example moving vehicles playing loud music.

The article mentioned a recent incident where an officer was able to hear music from a car at a service station more than 600 yards away. The new ordinance, will give "us greater enforcement power in a situation like that," the article said, quoting Genre.

In the past Genre's department issued, on average, three to five noise citations each month, the article said.

Specific requirements for stereos are included in the ordinance for the hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Violators can be penalized with a maximum of 30 days in jail and maximum $500 fine, the article stated referring to comments from the city attorney Victor Woods.

The article closes with a brief discussion of other city council business.

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Changes in Land-use Policies Recommended to Mitigate the Impact of Airport Noise in Albuquerque, New Mexico

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: Metro & New Mexico; Pg. D1
BYLINE: Tania Soussan
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal reports that noise consultants are recommending new land-use policies for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico and the surrounding county to help mitigate the impact of airport noise.

The recommendations are one among many made by Barnard Dunkelberg & Co., a noise consulting firm from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The firm's recommendations were presented at an airport committee that oversees the noise study. The article announced that an open house scheduled August 13 would offer the public an opportunity to comment about the recommendations.

The firm recommends that all homes near the airport be built with soundproofing and that the north-south runway be closed. New homes would be required under the firm's proposal to reduce indoor noise levels by 25 decibels. Sound insulation would be required in homes at Mesa del Sol, a proposed 13,000-acre development, which sits south of the airport on property owned by the state Land Office.

The average new home today already is built to reduce noise by 20 to 25 decibels, the article said, referring to statements of consultant Paul Dunholter, president of Bridge Net Consulting Services of Costa Mesa, Calif. Dunholter is quoted saying, that its good to "make sure it's at that high end" The addition of good insulation, noise-rated windows and baffled vents could add $2,000 to $3,000 to the cost of a home.

According to the article airport neighbor Norm Gagney thought the sound insulation requirement was a good idea. "If folks want to build down there in Mesa del Sol, God bless 'em but don't let them come back screaming about how the airport is messing up their life," he was quoted saying.

Any sound insulation requirement would have to be approved by the city and county before it could take effect the article noted.

According to the article Dunkelberg also specifically advises the city and county to change their zoning rules and prohibit new schools, churches, rest homes and hospitals within two miles of runways.

Consultants also recommend closing the north-south runway. According to the article the runway is used only during high winds when its needed for safety. The runway has reportedly generated a multitude of noise complaints from Southeast Heights residents, but pilots and others insist that the runway should not be closed.

"That runway gives us a lot of options," the article noted, quoting Billy Self, who handles noise issues for Southwest Airlines.

Gagney, the neighbor quoted earlier in the article, agreed. Gagney is also a pilot and is quoted saying, "For aircraft safety under extreme conditions, it is truly irresponsible to close that runway." Closing of the runway would force more aircraft traffic and noise over fewer neighborhoods, the article said, referencing Gagney's opinion.

Approval from the Federal Aviation Administration must be secured before closing the runway, the article said. And any approval would have to be preceded by an environmental assessment.

Noise consultants also proposed that the airport use monitoring equipment at least twice a year in the winter and summer to gauge the success of the noise reduction programs. The cost was reported to be about $150,000 a year.

Noise problems have been addressed the article said to some degree by changing some of the flight patterns. For example, pilots are told to climb to 6,500 feet before turning when winds force them to take off to the north or northeast. Also, some of the older, noisier planes now turn south away from the city after taking off on the main east-west runway in an effort to minimize noise.

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Winter Park's City Council Prohibits Engineers from Blowing Their Whistles

PUBLICATION: The Denver Post
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: A Section; Pg. A-01
BYLINE: Steve Lipsher
DATELINE: Winter Park, Colorado

The Denver Post reports that the town council in Winter Park unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting the train engineers from blowing their whistles at the two crossings last month. The new development was spurred on by complaints from developers, lodging owners, visitors, and local residents.

But others say a derailing of the longstanding practice of sounding whistles is to turn their backs on the history of Winter Park. Tim Flanagan, a local merchant and one-time member of the defunct Moffat Tunnel Commission, is quoted setting out his observation early in the article: "It's like the people who build homes near an airport and then complain about the noise. The train was here first. I think it's very important that we don't forget our heritage."

The article points out that but for the train there would be no means of transportation across the Continental Divide - and "no ski area, no town, no reason for Winter Park."

According to the article, however, the council's vote has not quieted the steam engines' whistles. "The perception is that it has not gotten quieter, and in fact may have gotten noisier," the article said quoting Mayor Nick Teverbaugh.

Locals such as Kathee Thomure and Gary Spruytte are quoted in the article saying that since the ordinance passed, engineers seem to be "laying on their horns" longer than ever. "It's just getting ridiculous. It's like they're trying to get even with us," the article said quoting Thomure.

The article also describes a developer, Jack Dorwart, who recently built townhomes a mere 35 feet from the tracks. The whistles the article says have brought the sales to a screeching halt.

Dowart is quoted saying, "I've had two people not buy my units, that I know of. One guy was sold on it, and we were all ready to sign the contract when a train went by. ... (The engineer) blew the horn for a minute and a half, and this guy said, 'I'm not going to buy this. I'm out of here!"'

Visitors to the Winter Park area are also affected, the article said. Robin Wirsing a manager of trackside properties and warns potential guests about the trains when they may reservations, the article said. Some still demand refunds after a sleep-deprived night. But Wirsing herself takes a different attitude and is quoted saying, "It's one of the things you deal with. It snows up here, too," she said.

The whistles have not always been the source of a lot of grumbling. The article notes that the increase whistle blows started about a year ago, when Union Pacific closed its line over Tennessee Pass and rerouted many of those trains along the Moffat route.

Teverbaugh, a manager for the Beaver Village condominiums is quoted saying, "It used to be we were getting 12 or 13 trains a day, and now we're getting about 30. When that happened, we started getting more complaints."

A spokesperson at Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha, John Bromley, highlights the fact that the grumbling is nothing new to them. "This is an issue going on all over the country. There's a number of communities that have done this very thing. We generally have opposed those ordinances because there's no protection for us from the liability standpoint."

"What has happened is more and more towns have grown up around our tracks, especially in the West, where the economy is booming. With more people around, the train is becoming more noticeable."

The article further notes that regulations require trains to sound the whistle as a quarter-mile advance warning. This accounts for the long whistles from the heavy, slow moving coal trains approaching the Moffat Tunnel at a steep grade.

According to the article quieter whistles attached to gates rather than moving trains are being considered by Union Pacific but federal regulations don't yet accept such devices.

Other improvements are available - such as longer crossing gates and barriers that deter motorists from going around them in an attempt to race against trains - but they would generally have to be paid for by the town itself.

Running the trains without whistles or improvements would just be inviting crashes the article said, referring to Bromley's remarks. "They passed one of these ordinances in Florida. As a result, the accident rates more than tripled," the article said, quoting Bromley.

Teverbaugh could recall only one accident in entire the Fraser Valley, more than a decade ago, when a driver blinded by a whiteout slammed into the side of a moving train, was knocked out and eventually suffocated in a snowdrift.

According to the article the new ordinance calls for fines and even jail time for engineers who violate the whistle ban except in cases when safety is in jeopardy. Last year another ordinance was passed prohibiting the trains from blocking crossings for more than 15 minutes. Several engineers were ticketed and fined $300 under the older ordinance - prompted when a number of visitors missed flights because of delays at crossings - but to date, none have been cited for the noise ordinance.

Teverbaugh believes those most affected by the whistles are the guests staying a few nights - who subsequently vow never to return. Teverbaugh is quoted saying, "We do have a strong railroad heritage. We're not saying don't run any trains. What we're saying is that times change. We've also been a resort community and have a long history of trying to provide guest services."

Winter Park, renowned today for its skiing, grew up in the middle of the railroad. The first skiers, the article notes, were, in fact, the folks digging the Moffat Tunnel. And most of the ski runs at Mary Jane reflect railroad terms including as Railbender, Derailer, Cannonball and Gandy Dancer.

Ski area spokesperson, Mary Nicols, is quoted at the close of the article saying, "It's something that's very unique to Winter Park. It's our history. It'd be like someone in Breckenridge saying, 'All this mining stuff - let's get rid of it."'

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Bradley International Airport Gears Up for a Noise Study

PUBLICATION: The Hartford Courant
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: Town News; Pg. B5
DATELINE: Windsor Locks, Connecticut

The Hartford Courant reports that state officials have hired a national engineering firm to study ways to reduce noise caused by planes departing from Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.

According to the article the Department of Transportation manages the airport and last week signed a contract for $187,900 with HNTB Architects Engineers Planners to complete the study.

According to the article almost 600 complaints were registered last year about noise from planes leaving Bradley, far more than in any prior year. The greatest number originated in Suffield. Robert Juliano, information chief of the department's bureau of aeronautics and ports, has said he worries that the number of complaints has been inflated by a "bandwagon" effect, and noted that a few households are responsible for dozens of complaints.

According to Juliano the HNTB's findings over the next six to nine months would be incorporated in a larger-scale noise study being undertaken by the DOT under Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The FAA's study may take two to three years.

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Committee Will Consider Curfews on Business Practices in an Effort to Curb Noise in Weymouth, Massachusetts

PUBLICATION: The Patriot Ledger
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 20C
BYLINE: Elizabeth W. Crowley
DATELINE: Weymouth, Massachusetts

The Patriot Ledger reports that Selectman are forming a seven-member committee that will recommend new town bylaws that would disallow noisy business practices early in the morning and late at night.

The article recounts experiences of local residents suffering from interrupted sleep originating with noise from garbage trucks to construction builders. The article states that neighbors have repeatedly complained to Selectmen that businesses located next to residential neighborhoods don't always make the best neighbors.

Selectmen Chairman William E. Ryan has adopted the cause. Ryan is noted saying that whether it's disposal companies making their rounds beginning at 4 a.m. or contractors pounding nails before daybreak, the noise level near some neighborhoods early in the morning is unacceptable. Since the town has no bylaws to disallow racket from such companies, he and other selectman are going to the task of creating some.

Building Inspector Jeffrey R. Coates is quoted being in support of the idea of having "bylaws. . .about such things as when construction can be done," or when trash bins can be emptied.

Several Selectman are forming a seven-member committee that will review existing town bylaws and come up with new ones to limit business noise during early morning and late night hours. The committee - referred to, as a quality of life improvements committee -will also look at citizen's concerns that certain existing bylaws are not being enforced - such as the bylaw that limits trucks over a certain weight from using some streets.

The article states that Selectman Peg Goudy will be chairwoman of the new committee. Building Inspector Coates together with two residents and representatives from the planning board and police and fire departments also will join the committee. Persons interested in serving on the committee were invited to sent letters of interest and a resume to: Board of Selectmen's Office, 75 Middle St., East Weymouth, MA, by Sept. 8.

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Newport, Maine Adopts a Prohibition on Amplified Entertainment

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Vaughn Watson
DATELINE: Newport, Maine

Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Newport's City Council has adopted an amendment to its existing noise ordinance to prohibit amplified entertainment after 8 p.m.

According to the article the measure passed by a 5-to-2 vote. Councilpersons Richard C. Sardella and James W. Baccari dissented. According to the article, a public hearing that preceded the vote incited disputes between council members and leaders from the hospitality industry.

Persons from the entertainment and hotel industries complained that the restriction is unfair because it punishes all establishments - even those who are not persistent noise violators.

"It would really hurt our business, and hurt the quality of business for some of the nicer places," said Doug Cohen, a co-owner of Hotel Viking. The hospitality industry fears that the city's regulation could inhibit business.

Residents, on the other hand, reported being bothered by the music played after dark.

The article quotes Mayor David S. Gordon pointing the finger at "three to five" Thames Street establishments as the source of the problem. The article notes that Gordon found it troubling, that the managers of those nightclubs were not present at the meeting. Gordon is quoted saying that the city should investigate "issuing a subpoena as a public nuisance" and "Make them sit here and explain."

Councilman Dennis F. McCoy, a supporter of the measure, called it "a clear signal that the public safety of the city in general is being impacted adversely by the number of people who are gathering on weekends."

Councilperson Dennis F. McCoy was in support of the measure and states, "We know who the problem people are. If the industry can't police itself, I think the council has to police it."

The article also includes the opinion of former councilperson, Paul Eckhart who reminded the council that noise is an issue that Newport, as a vibrant city and tourist destination, will always grapple with. "If you don't want that. You should move. You don't go to Manhattan and complain about the tall buildings."

Council members on both sides of the issue agreed that the board and the industry should continue to talk about how to deal with residents' concerns.

The article announced that a second public hearing, scheduled for Aug. 26, would have to be completed before the measure's comes before the council for final adoption.

Other council business is discussed at the close of the article.

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Editorial: Making Providence, Rhode Island Safe for Civility

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. 7B
BYLINE: Dave Brussat
DATELINE: Providence, Rhode Island

Providence Journal-Bulletin published the following editorial from Dave Brussat, which discusses noise as one element in the quest for civility in urban life. Dave Brussat editorial discusses the Mayor's recent commitment to eliminating motorcycle noise in the context of the larger need to remove all "stigmas of disorder" for the revitalization of older neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

Quoth Mayor Cianci to this reporter: "You couldn't have a bigger or stronger ally against motorcycle noise than me." He listed the steps being taken by the Providence Police Department: Between 10 and 30 tickets a week are being issued in downtown alone; two additional motorcycle officers have been assigned; 16 new decibel meters have been ordered. "They've had a push on," said the mayor.

A call from Capt. Jack Ryan brought more information. He noted that both the noise and the absence of a baffler in the muffler are illegal, with fines of $100 and $ 47 respectively. He admitted that meters are difficult to use against motorcycle noise, but said the department has been using the traditional "two-telephone-pole" method: If the noise can be heard that far away, it is too loud. Ryan assured me that "it has been accepted by the court."

This sensible attitude by the courts here reflects a slow shift away from the 1960s-style theory that holds, in essence, that public nuisances are merely expressing themselves, and have a constitutional right to do so. This theory played a major role in the decline of cities as civilized places. But at last it was challenged by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, who argued in a pathbreaking 1982 Atlantic Monthly essay that nuisance crimes create the environment for more serious crimes.

Their "Broken Windows" theory became a mantra at the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, and was tested when that city attacked subway graffiti. With this battle won, the city attacked disorderly conduct on board the subways themselves.

"(P)olice," wrote Kelling in the Winter 1991 issue of the institute's quarterly, City Journal, "should restore order to the subway. Those who trivialize the issue by suggesting that police are too busy and ought to be 'catching criminals' simply do not know what they are talking about. Of course criminals should be caught, but catching the criminal who has just assaulted and robbed a passenger is of scant solace to the passenger. For that reason, the basic function of police has always been to prevent crime. A primary means of doing so is by maintaining order."

Success underground transformed enforcement on the streets above. The rest is history: Not only is crime down big-time, but the civility of life is returning to the Big Apple. Mayor Giuliani is invincible.

But when this battle was first joined in the subways, there was no crystal ball assuring official New York that the war would be won. Mayor Cianci is lucky to have such a crystal ball sitting 166 miles south on Route 95. He must take advantage of it.

It is difficult to underestimate the importance of the mayor's commitment, in the words of Captain Ryan, to "see if we can't completely put a stop" to motorcycle noise. Such a commitment, so boldly stated, offers hope that Cianci understands the dynamic that will make or break the Providence renaissance.

The mayor frequently speaks as if the city's renaissance is an accomplished fact. It is not. The riverfront is lively, but most of the thousands who come to WaterFire do not visit Downcity. Neither will the shoppers of Providence Place come to be entertained in Downcity, nor professionals and suburbanites to live in Downcity, if they are affronted by the stigmata of disorder: broken windows, loud vagrants, nightclub roustabouts, panhandlers, dirt and trash, crumbling sidewalks, the smell of urine, etc.

If the new Downcity lofts attract only artists and others allegedly willing to put up with the stigmata of disorder - who perhaps mistake it for a "funky" urban environment - then the renaissance will not generate the tax base required to revive the older neighborhoods and enrich the city as a whole.

The stigmata of disorder should not be confused with those eccentricities of the street that differentiate urban from suburban life. All citizens have a right to be downtown, but none has a right to engage in behavior that deters others from downtown. Civility has a manifestly superior right to the public realm than incivility. I defy anyone to deny that people of all backgrounds know, and agree on, which is which.

Cianci needs to make this distinction key to his urban policy, or he will end up with half a renaissance, tilting inexorably toward the mall. And he needn't look far to see how little wealth such a renaissance would spread, or how briefly it would last.

The city has done a fine job combatting graffiti downtown, and the police, if they heed the mayor, will put a stop to motorcycle noise. These are the easy battles to win. Mayor Cianci also must now find a new home, and soon, for

Travelers Aid, and push again, harder, for a downtown management district.

And let Hizzoner memorize City Journal, which has been the Bible in New York. Every issue is a sort of Clausewitz on the war to save our cities.

The article includes the editorialists e-mail address:

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Human Powered Gardening Replaces Noisy Power Tools in British Columbia

PUBLICATION: The Vancouver Sun
DATE: August 13, 1998
SECTION: News; Pete Mcmartin; Pg. A3
BYLINE: Pete Mcmartin
DATELINE: Shaughnessy, British Columbia

The Vancouver Sun reports about the peaceful home gardening business of Shaughnessy's Graham Clark, whose human powered gardening replaces noisy power mowers and leaf blowers.

According to the article, Clark's customers appreciate the difference. Ellen Parsons states "I find him really neat to work with." Parsons reports that she had gardeners who made her feel she was under siege when they cut the lawn. "[T]hese guys would come in fast and furious with their weedeaters and gas-powered mowers and gas-powered clippers, and we'd have to escape from the house. I just thought, 'This is overkill.' It's like bringing a bazooka to play a game of Monopoly."

Graham Clark's customers are attracted to the peace and quiet. In Shaughnessy, where most of his customers reside, there are days when there are so many hired gardeners mowing the homes' big lawns that the decibel level approaches Flight Path. "We call it 'Shaughnessy airport,'" the article said quoting Clark.

The article's author contemplates humorously how gardening, one of the most soothing pastimes has become the most industrialized": "Growling mowers, whining leafblowers, buzzing weedeaters -- I suppose there's some comfort in finding out that even our most privileged citizens inflict the same irritants on themselves as we plebes: they shatter the long-awaited weekend quiet, pureeing and blow-drying their lawns just as I and my neighbours do."

The article chronicles Clark's path from trained engineer to founder of Human Power Gardening. The article highlights how Clark's enthusiasm, in the beginning, had a kind of touching zealotry to it. "When I originally started," Clark is quoted saying, "I bought all used gardening tools for about $200 -- a push mower, rakes, hedge clippers -- and rather than use a truck, in my first year, I bought a mountain bike and put a sidecar on it I made to carry my tools. I was totally gas-free for one summer."

The article recounts how he started out alone, delivering flyers on his mountain bike to drum up business and trying to do everything manually but later discovered his own human power was limited. "Power-raking and lawn-aerating I did by hand the first year; it almost killed me," the article said quoting Clark. "It took me all day. It wasn't very cost-effective."

The article reports that Clark was 33 when he got started-- a married man and college graduate who was going from house to house like a schoolboy, asking people if he could cut their lawns. All he could offer them, the article said, was peace and quiet.

According to the article Clark now employs four people and recently purchased his third truck which he admits is a necessary evil: "You can't haul a yard of topsoil in a mountain bike's sidecar." His customer base grows steadily. The article quotes Clark debriefing: "Some people think what we're doing is really good, generally the younger gardeners. But some of the older gardeners think we're crazy. They just can't figure it out. One guy [a professional landscaper] we talked to asked how much our mower was, and I said $200. He had a professional gas mower worth $2,500, and we cut the lawn as quickly as him."

According to the article Clark's favorite mower is a Clemson, a pushmower approaching antique status. It hasn't been made for 15 or 20 years, the article reports. Clark is quoted in the article reporting, "I keep them very sharp. I think most people's experiences with push lawnmowers is taking granddad's heavy, rusted old lawn mower out of the garage and trying to push it through the grass. But the new ones will cut just as quickly and as well as a power mower."

The article also points out his choice in other gardening tools. For example, his crews use Sandvik hedge clippers "as sharp as all get out" instead of reciprocating power shears, two-wheel edgers to trim sidewalk borders and rare, old, one-wheeled edge mowers rather than weedeaters. The good old rake takes the place of the leafblower.

The author of the article, Pete McMartin, can be reached at or at 605-2095.

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FAA Official Says FAA Has Yet to Approve Requested Flight Curfews and Growth Caps

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: August 12, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Lee Condon
DATELINE: Burbank, California

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports on a recent meeting between Burbank's city officials, airport officials and FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. According to the article Garvey said any application to the FAA for flight curfews and growth caps would be welcome but cautioned that six U.S. airports have sought already sought FAA approval for curfews and growth caps and none of them have been accepted by the agency.

"I think it would be wrong to prejudge any outcome," the article said quoting Garvey.

According to the article Garvey spoke at a news conference following a private meeting with the disputing city and airport officials. Garvey is quoted saying, "It's fair at this point to keep all options on the table," but also said neither she nor her staff would mediate the dispute. Rather, her new deputy chief of staff, Marie Therese Dominguez, will offer technical support to solve noise and other issues that block expansion proposals pending at Burbank and Los Angeles International airports.

"I want to be part of the solution, but the FAA will not be that solution," the article said quoting Garvey. "The real answers are going to be found here, in Burbank."

Accoriding to the article Garvey said enough to please both sides. Garvey's comments supported the contention of Burbank city officials that flight restrictions can be imposed to make the airport quieter. But she also emphasized in support of the airport that such restrictions must come from the federal government, not from the airport.

Peter Kirsch, a lawyer who represents the city, is quoted saying, "The airport has been saying getting noise rules is futile. Garvey is saying everything is on the table." Kirsch has represented the city in most of the nine separate lawsuits related to the expansion battle.

Kirsch is further quoted saying, "The only role she had here is setting the record straight. She said, 'I will help you go through the process.' In the past the FAA stood in the way."

Airports in six different cities started the process of applying for operations restrictions by beginning Part 161 studies. According to the article none has completed its application - only two are still active - and no restrictions have been approved.

With regard to the fact that restrictions have not been approved at any of the previous cites Garvey states, "I'll be very straight with you. It's not something we have a lot of experience with."

The six cities whose applied for restrictions include in Aspen, Colorado; Maui, Hawaii; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; San Francisco, California and San Jose, California.

Garvey is noted in the article saying she is committed to working with community groups on the airplane noise issue nationwide. She pointed out that while she was the director of Logan Airport in Boston she dealt with noise issues head on.

The article quotes her saying, "I don't think there is anything more important to an airport than to be a good neighbor." Garvey also mentioned that she will return to Burbank in September or October.

Richard Simon, a lawyer for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, said that even though the FAA can consider curfews and operation caps, it is difficult for the agency to approve the restrictions under a 1990 federal law. The article quotes his statement, "Very clearly the FAA is tied by federal laws. (Garvey) is not at liberty to ignore them."

Simon mentioned that work on a noise -restriction study at Burbank will begin once the airport is done with its noise compatibility study.

The airport's executive director, Thomas Greer, is noted asserting his belief that Burbank Airport is one of the quietest airports in the nation - and that most night flights are already have limited curfews.

The battle between the airport authority and city is over where to relocate the passenger terminal. The new location must meet safety standards for the distance between runways and terminals. The battle also centers on the airport's desired expansion from 14 to 19 gates to accommodate the air traffic they expect to double to 10 million by 2010 - with or without a new terminal.

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Mission Hills, and Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Woodland Hills arranged the meeting between local officials and Garvey. Both were in attendance.

According to the article Rep. James Rogan, R-Glendale, did not attend but sent a letter to Garvey saying that despite the airport being ahead of others in the nation in terms of getting its carriers to convert to quieter aircraft, it still generates too much noise in Burbank and surrounding Los Angeles communities.

A photograph of protesters at the Burbank news conference accompanies the article.

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Editorial: Keep Your Darned Noise to Yourself

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal
DATE: August 12, 1998
BYLINE: Joseph Spear
DATELINE: Les Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following editorial from Joseph Spear, a writer for the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Spear's article identifies with and applauds the advocacy efforts of noise haters nationally saying: "There are hundreds of thousands of noise haters out there, and a movement of some kind is clearly a-building." The editorial reads as follows:

While on a mini-vacation a couple of years ago, my wife and I stopped off at Blackwater Falls State Park, W. Va., to take in the natural beauty of the Mountain State. It was a magnificent, sunny day in midsummer, and we delighted in being many miles from anywhere, breathing clean country air, sniffing the bouquet of wildflowers, and hearing naught but the sounds of songbirds and the sibilant swish of a gentle breeze wafting through the leaves of the huge trees that shaded our path to the falls. The roar of the water was a gentle sound at first. It grew to a crescendo until we finally stood before the cataract and took in its splendor. For the moment, the world seemed peaceful, and there was no place on God's planet we would have rather been. Then, from somewhere off in the distance, there came the discordant sound of a machine rending the air with rhythmic whacks. "It's a confounded helicopter," I said, searching the skies through the canopy of leaves over our heads. Sure enough, a whirlybird gradually appeared and descended with an intolerably clamorous THWACKA-THWACKA-THWACKA to the rocky bank just to the right of the waterfall and hung there for five or 10 minutes while we held our ears and watched as some photographer jumped out and unloaded what appeared to be a crate of equipment. The helicopter finally departed, but the roar in our ears wouldn't go away, and we realized our bird-and-breeze-listening pleasures were finished for the day. Darn it, we said, there oughta be a law. Shortly thereafter, I began researching noise pollution and started a file. What I discovered is that I am not the only American who has had it with din and discord. There are hundreds of thousands of noise haters out there, and a movement of some kind is clearly a-building. In California, a torrent of opposition has arisen to leaf blowers, those raucous gas-powered devices that have been adopted by hi-tech gardeners and lawn-service companies to blow leaves and debris off lawns and sidewalks. Scores of communities _ including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Laguna Beach, South Pasadena and Menlo Park _ have adopted restrictions or outright bans on the infernal machines. Los Angeles even toyed with the idea of giving tax breaks or $100 rebates to gardeners who turned in leaf blowers. The movement has spread east, as California movements are wont to do, and leaf blowers are now under fire across the country. "Leaf blowers make bad neighbors," editorialized the Chicago Tribune last January. "Really, really bad neighbors. In January, admittedly, that sickening, high-pitched leaf blowing whine is only a memory. But now, today, this very minute, it is not too early to begin efforts in your city, town, suburb or exurb to get the damned things outlawed by fall." In Washington state, those abominably loud wet-bikes known as "Jet-Skis" have been banned from the serene waters around the San Juan Islands. Restrictions have also been posted in Key West, Fla., Monterey Bay, Calif., the Sacramento River and numerous other locations around the nation. I say God bless the banners. In Washington, D.C., the federal government is in a rip-roaring fight with wet-bike manufacturers and tour-plane operators over their abuse of tranquility in the national parks. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, wants to restrict tour-plane and helicopter flights over national parks. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., is trying to restore the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise Abatement and Control, which was eliminated by the Reagan administration. Some other noisemakers that could be regulated or eliminated with no tears shed here: Cars wired as stereo speakers; weed whackers; cigarette boats; ear-piercing sirens; motorcycles; those stupid clap machines at baseball parks.

Joseph Spear writes for the Newspaper Enterprise Association.

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Small Town Turned Suburb Suffering from Noise Pollution in Pennsylvania

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DATE: August 12, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. N-1
BYLINE: Darlene White Natale
DATELINE: Adams, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that life is miserable for some township residents in Adams, Pennsylvania. Residents complained to the Township Supervisors about noise emanating from dirt bikes and industrial functions. They are asking town supervisors to adopt a noise ordinance so noisemakers can be brought to court.

According to the article Adams was formerly a rural community that is becoming a burgeoning suburb.

Resident Audrey Manerino conveyed her frustration about the snarl of motorcycles running from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day on adjacent property. She frustrated by the Adams police department's lack of action on the noise problem. "We feel the police have done nothing for us," the article said, quoting Manerino.

Manerino lamented that when she has called the police, the neighbors are listening to their police scanners, and by the time the police get there, the "children would be licking their ice cream cones" with their motorcycles parked in the garages. Her husband, Dr. Al Manerino reported that the want the town supervisors to adopt an ordinance issue citations and let the courts decide if there is a remedy.

Persons living in other neighborhoods expressed their complaints about dirt bike noise.

The article stated that an Adams solicitor Jim Taylor prepared several drafts of noise ordinances that the supervisors' could review. Taylor reportedly emphasized that the problem with setting standards with objective scientific data is that they are very hard to enforce against a moving object. The township could also consider limiting certain activities to specific times and predetermined distances from a property line.

The noise problem in the township is not solely from recreational vehicles.

Alex Kroll of Downieville brought a complaint about the James Austin Company. Kroll explained how the company noise emanates out of a large garage 24 hours a day. The article said that Kroll believes that he would be happy if the company would simply close the garage door. Supervisor Don Aiken reportedly offered to discuss the problem with Austin officials.

Another source of frequent noise complaints is the Roessing Bronze company.

The article notes that resident Pete Ferraro has repeatedly brought before the supervisors his concern about the noise from the plant's exhaust fans. Ferraro was noted saying the noise levels had recently dropped 25 percent when the company installed noise-reducing baffles. At past meetings, he reportedly emphasized that the township needs a noise ordinance.

The article also mentions that Police Chief William Westerman had looked into buying a decibel meter and that he can buy an inexpensive model for $35 but that it cannot be certified for accuracy for court proceedings. Westerman reported he has spoken with another dealer who has one available for $1,200, plus an additional $300 to have the machine certified.

According the article supervisors will review drafts of the noise ordinances at the next meeting. The Adams Township Planning Commission has also been studying noise ordinances and is prepared to insert noise regulations in the new zoning plan they will submit to the supervisors.

The article reported that the panel is considering a maximum allowable level of 55 decibels at the property line and will reduce that level to 45 decibels for businesses operating between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Strict noise regulations are also being considered for new construction that would require insulation or barriers to reduce noise emission from a site.

The article includes discussion of other township business.

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Editorial: Loud Stereos are a Problem in Amherst, New York

PUBLICATION: The Buffalo News
DATE: August 11, 1998
SECTION: Viewpoints, Pg. 3B
DATELINE: Amherst, New York

The Buffalo News published the following letter regarding multidecibel audio-assault vehicles. The editorialist says Amherst, New York needs to draft a new noise ordinance, use a decimeter to track noise levels, and start issuing tickets.

In a recent News story, Amherst Police Chief John B. Askey said he doesn't believe loud music coming from cars is a big enough problem in Amherst to take action against it.

I would invite him to sit on our porch some evening, or in a car in the bank parking lot next door to our house, and listen to the sounds we are forced to endure most anytime, night or day, year-round.

Even though we live in a busy area -- Harlem Road near Main Street in Snyder -- and have resided here for 26 years, we have never been bothered by the usual traffic noise, such as trucks, buses and fire truck and ambulance sirens.

But the boom-boxes in the multidecibel audio-assault vehicles are very loud and annoying.

The worst times are usually Friday and Saturday nights, and into the wee hours of the morning. Even though all our windows are closed and the air conditioner is on, the booming sounds seem to come right through the walls.

It goes on even longer if one of these cars is waiting for the traffic light at the corner. I am sure other neighborhoods in Amherst are also experiencing this type of noise pollution.

Perhaps Amherst could follow Cheektowaga's lead in combating this invasive problem. It should draft a new noise ordinance, use a decimeter to track noise levels, talk to parents of these young drivers, issue tickets for abnormally high levels and then give them traffic tickets. It seems like a good "sound" plan. Carolyn S. Potts Snyder

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The FAA To Assist the City of Burbank and the Airport in Reaching a Solution Regarding Airport's Proposed Expansion

PUBLICATION: City News Service
DATE: August 11, 1998
BYLINE: Justin Stoner
DATELINE: Burbank, California

City News Service reports that Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey is willing to help the city of Burbank and the airport come to a solution in their dispute over the airport's proposed expansion.

"Nobody wants to be in litigation for the next 20 years. The FAA will not be the solution," the paper said, quoting Garvey. "The real solutions and the real compromises and the real answers are going to be found here in Burbank. We at the FAA can be part of that solution."

According to the article the FAA would be available to provide technical assistance, but refused to discuss other specifics.

The feud between the city and airport has been going on for years. The airport has proposed a 19-gate terminal on a 130-acre parcel once used by Lockheed Martin Corp. City officials say an enlarged terminal will result in more flights and more noise.

The article notes that Garvey is very familiar with the community issues involved when airports expand their facilities since she was once the airport director in Boston.

Garvey is quoted saying, "One of the participants (during the meetings) said we are all stakeholders in this, and I think that's a good way to describe it."

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority was recently granted a noise variance permit by Caltrans that calls upon the panel to continue to discover ways to alleviate noise pollution around the airfield.

The article notes that Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, told reporters that noise is still a problem around the airport.

The article quotes Sherman saying, "We should not be waking up hundreds of thousands of people to accommodate a few flights. Ninety-six percent of the flights take place after 7 a.m. and before 10 p.m. It's a handful of flights before 7 a.m. and around 11 p.m. (that are a problem)."

Sherman also reportedly highlighted the fact that it is "critical" that the airport have a terminal that is "as safe it could possibly be." He added,"It is unfortunate that the dispute over the possible expansion of Burbank airport, in terms of the number of gates, the number of flights and the amount of noise, has been allowed to slow down the construction of a safer terminal."

According to the article airport officials argue that the current terminal is too close to the runway. The proposed location for the new terminal is hundreds of feet further away from the landing strip.

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Police Officers Crack Down on Noise Violators at Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey

PUBLICATION: Asbury Park Press
DATE: August 10, 1998
BYLINE: Caren Chesler
DATELINE: Neptune, New Jersey

The Asbury Park Press reports that Point Pleasant Beach has issued a new noise ordinance that stipulates how much noise is acceptable. Persons who exceed the limits can be issued summonses.

The ordinance was approved as a tool to handle the swell of noise that occurs in the summer months as the borough expands from 5,000 to 100,000 people. As the population rises, the article notes so does the noise and the number of noise complaints.

The author of the article aptly depicts the scene: "Visitors don't always walk the boardwalk, they stomp it. People leaving the bars don't just talk, but yell. And party music doesn't just play. It screams."

The article indicates that any yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or even singing on any public street, thoroughfare or boardwalk, is prohibited particularly between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., if it disturbs the quiet and comfort or residents.

The article also indicates that any sound that is audible from more than 50 feet can be considered offensive, and the offender can be issued a summons. Noises from particular sources are also specified in the ordinance including noise from radios, "phonographs," loudspeakers, animals, vehicles, powered saws, and sounds related to loading and unloading supplies.

Limits of 65 decibels are permissible in residential areas during the daytime. Fifty (50) decibels is the limit at night. In commercial zones, 65 decibels is the limit at all times and in the marine commercial district, decibels are permitted up to 75 decibels.

Robert Evans, a deputy construction official is quoted saying, "People have a misconception that you can make noise until 10 o'clock. Sure, you're allowed 15 more decibels (up until 10 p.m.), but that isn't much."

The article emphasized that a noise meter is used in case the borough needs to fight a summons in court. Evans keeps the noise meter in his car at all times but is quoted admitting, "I don't bring the meter out much. Just about everything is a violation."

The article recites how traffic registers at 53 decibels, a conversation comes in at 69, whistling at 68-70, and a car stereo registered at 76.

The article indicates that most summonses are issued without a meter reading having been taken. Instead the instrument serves more as a deterrent.

Meter readers will be taken at locations where there are chronic complaints or where an officer needs to determine just how offensive the sound really is. "It's easier with the meter. There is no discretion," the article states, quoting Evans.

"One person might find the noise objectionable. Someone else might not. But when someone is sleeping, people are entitled to peace and quiet," the article said repeating the words of Mayor Hennessy.

Officers claim the borough has been quieter but tend to attribute the quiet more to an "animal house" ordinance, which cracks down on rowdy group rentals.

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Selective Enforcement of Noise Ordinance a Concern Says Pittsburgh Editorialist

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DATE: August 9, 1998
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. C-2
DATELINE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published the following editorial regarding the enforcement of the city's new noise ordinance. The editorialist says that if the ordinance is "enforced selectively on the basis of race or age or neighborhood, citizens will make their discontent known - loud and clear. Most Pittsburghers want a more civil society, but not at the cost of fairness."

With the enactment of a new ordinance targeting excessive noise, the so-called "civil society" movement continues to gain force in Pittsburgh. But here as elsewhere, city officials and police need to be careful that civility does not become an excuse for heavy-handed and selective law enforcement abuses that are also antithetical to a civil society.

Civil society proponents, also known as communitarians, argue that supposedly minor urban irritants like petty vandalism, graffiti, blaring car radios, aggressive panhandling and unruly behavior by teen-agers foster a larger sense of neglect and hopelessness on which serious crime can feed.

Officials in New York and Chicago have attacked these ills with a vengeance, and they claim that their crime rates have dropped at least partly as a result.

The city of Pittsburgh was acting on civil society principles when it passed an ordinance regulating panhandling and another establishing a curfew to keep teen-agers off the streets late at night. Now council has turned its attention to noise pollution from car radios.

By a 6-3 vote council passed an ordinance proposed by Councilman Dan Onorato that set a $150 fine for playing stereo systems louder than 68 decibels. For a second citation, violators will pay $300 and have their cars booted if the first fine hasn't been paid. A previous noise ordinance set the standard at 85 decibels.

Police will be given 14 new sound meters to judge decibel levels coming from cars or homes. Police without meters can issue citations if stereos can be heard from a distance of 75 feet.

Although the new law is well-intended, and the problem it seeks to resolve a serious one, you don't have to be an extreme libertarian to worry about how the law will be enforced - especially in cases when a police officer doesn't have a sound meter and must rely on his or her subjective judgment.

If the impression is created that the ordinance is being enforced selectively on the basis of race or age or neighborhood, citizens will make their discontent known - loud and clear. Most Pittsburghers want a more civil society, but not at the cost of fairness.

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