Noise News for Week of January 4, 1998

California Freeway Expansions Create Controversy

DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: Telegraph, Pg. A1, Year Ender
BYLINE: Mark Grossi
DATELINE: Fresno, California

The Fresno Bee reports about the concerns raised by freeway expansions for Freeways 168 and 41 and Highway 180 in Fresno, California.

The report says the state spent $82 million buying 1,526 parcels and moving everything from utilities to houses out of the way for the expansions of freeways 168, 180 and 41. Metropolitan Fresno is crawling with contractors and state engineers. Orange vests and construction hard hats are popping up all over town. Highway 168 is becoming a six-lane freeway going north from Highway 180 in the downtown area to Clovis. Highway 180 is sprouting six lanes east of Freeway 41. And Freeway 41 is widening and stretching north and south. The building will go on for the next decade or two. Government officials forecast the projects will eventually spin off 200,000 jobs and grow into a $1 billion ripple in the community.

According to the article, the projects are producing an economic ground swell and are expected to cover 41 miles and $700 million worth of freeways. State and county officials say it is money that has to be spent and miles that have to be paved. They say the freeways will relieve traffic-burdened streets in Fresno, a city of 400,000. By 2020, when the Fresno population may have more than doubled, this still might not be enough to keep traffic moving. Motorists, already idling in longer and longer lines, have watched and waited 30 years for their freeways. The expansions were designed in the 1960s, but Fresno voters didn't approve the half-cent sales tax funding until 1986.

The article describes how Mendle Smith and some other residents could have waited forever. Some folks hoped everyone would forget about these expansions. Smith, who has lived in his home since 1959, missed the big state buyout by one house. The California Department of Transportation bought his neighbor's house and removed it, but Smith remained. "I've lived here almost 20 years," said Orville Krieger, 58, whose house is a few blocks south of Smith's and just a stone's throw from the future 168. "I had heard about this freeway business years ago, but who knew they would actually do it?"

The article says many neighbors didn't mind leaving their houses, even if their houses weren't in the right-of-way for the state to buy. Some sold 10 percent below the market value. Others panicked and sold even lower, losing a lot of money in the process. Home values probably declined by about 10 percent during the first construction phases, said Rose Willems, community advocate employed by the Fresno County Transportation Authority. But she said she believes the value will return. "Some people value property more because it's close to a freeway," she said. "We should see the value come back." Real estate salesman Stan Smith, 57, agreed. He lives six houses from the 168 expansion. He said a lot of "For Sale" signs went up three years ago, but now there are only a few in his neighborhood. "I see the freeway as a plus," he said. "It's not going to be near as loud as the airport, and we're right next to the flight pattern for that. Billie Hankins, 65, prefers living next to a freeway rather than an apartment complex. Hankins has lived on Harvey Avenue, just south of the current Highway 180 expansion, since 1956. She said she was happy to see old, dilapidated homes removed for the 180 project. "In a way, it's a godsend," she said. "If they built apartments, there would just be thieves and gangs. This way, it will be safer. I shouldn't hear the noise." The freeway projects are designed to cut down noise by constructing the lanes 23 to 25 feet below the level of surrounding housing tracts, Willems said. When the freeway crosses a water source or railroad tracks, the roadway is raised as an overpass. Brick walls also are constructed in some areas to mute freeway sounds.

According to the article, residents said their main health concern is air pollution. State officials say the smog should not be any more of a problem than it already is. "Actually, when you get traffic moving and alleviate congestion, you get rid of a lot of cars idling at stoplights," said Jose Ruano, chief of the environmental services branch in the state Transportation Department's Fresno office. "Idling cars give you more emission problems than cars moving on a freeway." Fresno has a lot of cars idling at surface-street intersections. A major four-lane intersection can handle about 40,000 cars daily without many delays. But more than 85,000 cars daily pass through the instersection Shaw and Blackstone avenues, city traffic counts show. The Shaw-and-Fresno intersection has 70,000 cars a day. In all, 11 Fresno intersections get more than 50,000 cars in a day -- a number well beyond what they were designed to handle. So people sometimes wait through two or three light-change cycles during busy times. The bottlenecks will continue for the next several years as crews build the 168 expansion 8.8 miles from downtown to Temperance, officials said. State engineers say a 1.9-mile stretch from 180 north to Shields probably won't be completed until spring 1999.

The article says plans, information and updates are available at the advocate's office, a two-bedroom house at 4538 E. Weldon Ave., right next to the 168 expansion. The state bought the house and set up shop in the neighborhood because so many residents had complained about the project, saying the sales tax measure was written for highways, not freeways. They also said the freeways would not relieve congestion on Fresno streets. A group of residents even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit. The arguments haven't died, but they don't burn as they did before construction began. Back in the neighborhoods, a lot of opposition sold out and moved away. The all-night work and the billowing dust from last summer are over for now. Streets around the projects are being cleaned up.

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Los Angeles Gardeners Begin Hunger Strike To Protest Ban On Leaf Blowers

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 7; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Jean Merl
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Times reports that protesters who oppose a pending ban in Los Angeles, California on gas-fueled leaf blowers have started a hunger strike. The protesters are gardeners.

The article says that the hunger strike that opposes the gas-fueled leafblower ban bean on Saturday night. The Association of Latin American Gardeners came up with the idea for the strike, and claims that the ban on leafblowers will put many gardeners out of business. The ban was passed last year, but has not yet begun enforcement.

The report explains that many rich people and celebrities from the western region of the city have complained about the noise and pollution from the equipment. The ban as it stands would fine violators $270; the fine was downgraded from $1,000 and six months in jail when the council voted last month to downgrade the misdemeanor to a mere infraction. Councillors will take a second vote soon.

According to the report 43 municipalities in the county don't address leaf blower noise, while eight of them do. Not all of the eight have bans; many just limit the hours the blowers can be operated, and how loud they can be.

The article says that many gardeners must care for twenty lawns every day to pay their bills, and blowers are the only way to be that quick. The gardeners association has staged other protests that included a march without shoes through high-traffic streets. A spokesman pointed out that other polluting, loud technologies -- like cars or helicopters -- are regulated, and not banned.

The report says that those who support the ban say it is long overdue. They say that gardeners had ten years, during which noise problems were being discussed, to prepare for this rule.

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California Resident Calls For Legislative Action On Burbank Airport

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 14; No Desk
BYLINE: Lori Dinkin
DATELINE: Burbank, California

Los Angeles Times published the following letter to the editor:

Former Burbank Airport commissioner Robert Garcin recently criticized your editorial calling for compromise by the cities of Glendale and Pasadena in the controversy over Burbank Airport expansion ("Airport Control," Nov. 16). I believe his letter confuses rather than clarifies the issues of noise and pollution and control.

Commercial jet flights have tripled since 1978 public ownership. Of course, there is a bigger noise problem. And of course, creating an unconstrained growth capacity to handle double or triple the current number of flights will increase the existing noise problem.

Computer generated noise -monitoring reports show a reduction in the number of acres severely impacted by jet noise since 1978. The Airport Authority's computer "averages' jet noise over a 24-hour period. Their noise monitoring reports are sheer nonsense. It's like hitting you in the head with bricks all day and then averaging the number of bricks thrown at you; therefore it won't hurt as much! yeah, right . . .

In spite of this computer-generated magic, recent estimates place the cost of residential soundproofing at $100 million. Sure sounds like a noise problem to me. Also, who wants to live summer and winter in a soundproofed home, not able to open a window. The noise outside has not diminished.

It is time that the city of Burbank seeks state legislative action to dissolve the three-city joint power airport operating agreement. The airport is located in BURBANK; let Burbank own and run the airport.


Valley Village

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Cerritos, California Residents Concerned About Increased Noise, Traffic, and Lighting From Proposed Driving Range

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 10, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 3; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Kevin O'leary
DATELINE: Cerritos, California

The Los Angeles Times reported that residents near Cerritos College in Cerritos, California are opposing a proposed golf driving range on the grounds that it will create noise, traffic, and lighting problems.

According to the article, the current annual rent of $25,000, currently being paid to the college by a strawberry farmer, could increase to $300,000 if the land was leased to the golf range developer. The contract would be for twenty years, with buyout options after ten years.

According to the article, many of the 200 residents that attended a recent city council meeting don't want to see the 120-foot high net to catch the balls -- saying it would degrade the feel of the current open space -- and don't want to hear them sailing through the air. The developer says that the alleged problems will be minimal. The city council avoided making a decision at the meeting. The college decided to wait on their end of the decision until they could discuss the issue with residents more thoroughly.

According to the article, the college would use the lease money -- which would be at least $175,000 each year -- to upgrade classrooms and buildings, some of which date from the 1960s. The council was skeptical that golf balls will make a lot of noise.

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Residents Living Near Ocean County (New Jersey) Landfill Upset Over Noise and Odors

PUBLICATION: Asbury Park Press
DATE: January 9, 1998
BYLINE: Clare M. Lorenc; Correspondent
DATELINE: Dover and Manchester Townships, New Jersey
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jack Moriarty, Whitesville Action Committee (WAC)

Asbury Park Press reports that about 300 residents of Dover and Manchester, New Jersey townships met Wednesday to voice concerns over unpleasant odors and noise from the Ocean County Landfill. The article reports that township residents who live along the Whitesville Road, Route 571 and Route 70 corridors have formed the all-volunteer Whitesville Action Committee (WAC) to handle what they say are problems caused by the Manchester Township landfill. The group held its first meeting Wednesday night at the Pleasant Plains First Aid building.

According to the article, WAC member Jack Moriarty said that the county health department received roughly 600 landfill odor and noise complaints in 1997. This number, taken from a Board of Health report, has climbed in the last three years and is expected to increase as the waste entering the landfill and county population grows, he added in the article.

Joseph Albanese, who lives near the landfill on Grand Woodlands West, said in the article that while the odor is probably harmless, more information should be sought to determine if the landfill poses any other adverse effects. "I do not believe that the odor is harmful to us; however, we cannot tell if substances such as burning sulfur are harmful or not. We need that answered by officials; we need to know what's out there," he said in the article.

The article reported that residents unanimously voted for two resolutions that they plan to bring to next week's Township Committee meeting and also deliver to other county and state officials. The first resolution demands that officials take positive steps to ensure that the landfill adheres to the boundaries of its permit. The other asks that a study be conducted to determine if property values near the landfill have been affected to the extent that a tax reassessment is required.

"I am not asking that the landfill be removed. We just want the landfill to live within the specifics of the permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection," Moriarty said in the article. "This committee is designed to protect us, to make our voices heard."

The article reports that on Dec. 30, then-Dover Mayor George E. Wittmann Jr. wrote a letter to Freehold James F. Lacey, asking the freeholders to continue addressing residents' odor and noise complaints about the landfill.

According to Wittmann in the article, the mayor's office receives almost daily complaints on landfill operations, and he said that residents are frustrated because the Board of Health cannot immediately respond to odor complaints.

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Soundproofing of California Homes Begins as Part of Program by FAA and Los Angeles International (California) Airport

PUBLICATION: Copley News Service
DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: State And Regional
BYLINE: John Rofe
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Copley News Service reports that the first of 25,000 California residences surrounding Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have been "soundproofed" as part of a program funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and LAX. The soundproofing program is taking place in Los Angeles and three surrounding California cities, could cost $500 million and take five to seven years to complete. While residents say that the soundproofing, which includes installing airtight doors and double insulated windows, helps, it doesn't eliminate the noise from jets flying overhead.

The article interviewed Joe McFadden whose Playa del Rey home was one of the first homes to be insulated. "It has helped somewhat," McFadden, who has lived in the home 22 years, said in the article. "But if the jet's flying directly over your house, it hasn't done a damn bit of good. And it's just as noisy outdoors as it ever was."

According to the article the work was mandated under a state law requiring local governments to make their airports compatible with the neighborhoods they are located in. Its implementation had been delayed by legal and bureaucratic red tape for a decade.

The article reports that a construction firm was chosen in November to begin work on the first 126 homes nearest to LAX selected for insulation. McFadden's and several other homes were retrofited several years ago under the program's pilot project.

The article reports that port officials in San Diego, where Lindberg Field's Terminal 2 opened this month, have also applied for FAA money to soundproof thousands of homes. Nyle Marmion, a senior airport noise specialist, said in the article that he expects a response from federal officials late this month or in early February.

"Los Angeles and San Diego are in the same boat," Marmion said in the article. "Under the state law, we both have noise-problem airports."

Marmion also said in the article that the port has agreed to contribute $600,000 a year toward the cost of the program, about the same as Los Angeles pays. He said San Diego would at first target all homes where the average noise level exceeds 70 decibels. As more funding becomes available, homes where the average jet noise exceeds 65 decibels will be insulated.

According to the article similar sound-stifling programs have been undertaken in the areas surrounding airports in San Francisco, Seattle and Tucson. The LAX-area effort, however, is by far the largest.

According to the article the process begins when homeowners are informed that they qualify for the program because the average noise in their area exceeds what is called the community noise equivalent level. In Los Angeles, about 80 percent of those who qualified agreed to the work, which takes between four days and two weeks to complete. Sound readings are then taken at each home.

The article reports that the company taking the readings wait for 10 landings or departures that produce significant noise at LAX. Thist can usually be accomplished within an hour and a half. After establishing the level of sound, the company then chooses which strategies to use in the homes. According to the article, the most common include:

Installing double-pane windows, installing solid doors with rubber seals making them nearly air-tight, pumping insulation into the attic, adding a second sliding glass door, and adding a second set of French doors. In addition, the company may cover vents with noise baffles. Some houses have grilles that allow hot air to escape from the crawl spaces. To reduce the noise entering the structure, construction crews install rectangular devices with vents and cloth that absorb the noise. Another stratgey is to replace mail slots with outside boxes.

According to the article, a second wall might be installed or, in homes with high-beamed ceilings or without attics, a secondary roof may be installed in more severe cases.

According to the article, the work can cost anywhere from $14,000 to $40,000 for a two-story home with a lot of windows. The average cost is expected to be about $26,000.

The article reports that if the FAA grants a request by LAX to charge each passenger departing the airport a $3 facility fee, the 8,850 homes in the city of Los Angeles targeted for remodeling would be completed in five to seven years, airport officials said. If the request is denied, the process could take 15 years.

The article goes on to report that the cities of Inglewood and El Segundo, California are not quite as far along in the process. Only residents of El Segundo would have to contribute to the cost of the soundproofing, because city officials refused to sign a waiver limiting the city's right to sue LAX over noise.

The article ends by bringing up the point that expanding LAX, as city and state officials are seeking to do, could neutralize the gains made by the soundproofing program.

"It would defeat the purpose of the insulation," McFadden said in the article. "The city just banned leaf blowers, but the airport makes a lot more noise than they do. They should think about reducing that."

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Louisiana Residents Worry Over Highway Noise Barriers

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: National; Pg. A14
BYLINE: by Natalie Pompilio
DATELINE: New Orleans, Louisiana
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Roslyn Corr, resident; Ronald Melancon, resident; Debra Deprato, resident.

The Times-Picayune reports that officials in New Orleans Louisiana are preparing to widen highway I-10. Neighbors worry over the increased noise of the larger road.

The report says that State and federal officials have long planned to build sound barriers along parts of I-10 in East Jefferson and New Orleans when the highway is widened. But they still haven't decided on the height and location, Louisiana Transportation and Development Secretary Frank Denton said last week. The department is hammering out the details with the Federal Highway Administration, and Denton said a final solution and public hearing will probably be held within the next few months. The issue has been up in the air since a federal study in May said the noise generated by increased traffic on a wider I-10 will require concrete sound barriers as high as 30 feet in some places and cost $20 million. Denton said the public wouldn't stand for walls higher than the highway's street lights and that the state couldn't afford to put them there. He started working with federal officials on a compromise and ordered the three-year widening project to begin. Federal approval is needed because 80 percent of the I-10 project money comes from Washington.

According to the article, the widening is scheduled to begin soon and neighbors are confused as to how they can begin without sufficient plans and funding for the necessary noise control technologies. "How can they start doing any work without knowing how high it is going to be?" asked Roslyn Corr of Metairie, who lives about 1 1/2 blocks from the highway. "I'd just as soon they wouldn't do anything." Metairie resident Ronald Melancon, whose lives two houses away from the interstate, said he isn't worried about the height of the walls. He just wants a guarantee that they will be built. "Once they do the road, can they say, 'We don't have any money for the walls?' " Melancon said.

The article also describes Debra Deprato, whose Metairie home is four doors from the interstate, said she, too, wants the barriers in place before the expanded highway opens. Besides the increased decibel level, Deprato is concerned about safety: An errant car could easily crash through the existing chain-link fence separating the highway from the service road, injuring one of the many youngsters who rides a bike in the area, she said. Corr also sees the sound barriers as a safety factor, but a negative one. Burglars will target houses hidden behind the barriers, and vandals will fill the walls with graffiti, she said. She doesn't think the benefits will outweigh costs. "With all the things they need the money for, is this a real priority?" Corr asked. "People seem to think this wall is going to perform miracles for them. Earplugs would be cheaper," Corr's mother, Edna, added.

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Rowlett, Texas Seeks Solution To Noise Dispute with Industrial Park

DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: Garland/Mesquite; Pg. 1J
BYLINE: Jeff Mosier, Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
DATELINE: Rowlett, Texas

The Dallas Morning News reports that city officials said they may soon have a solution to the ongoing dispute over noise between southwest Rowlett, Texas neighborhoods and nearby businesses. According to the article, residents of Dexham Estates and Ridgecrest have complained for several years about noise coming from Tolar Industrial Park near Dexham Road and State Highway 66. Although the City Council passed a noise ordinance in January 1997 in response to the complaints, homeowners have said that they have seen little decrease in the noise levels. Possible solutions being discussed include building a sound wall, buying sound measuring equipment, and soundproofing homes, and lowering the decibel levels allowed in the ordinance.

According to the article, Assistant City Manager John Godwin said an acoustical engineering report should be completed by the end of the month that will provide suggestions for insulating a pair of subdivisions from a nearby industrial park. He also said in the article that the recommendations from engineer Tom Rose will likely be presented to the City Council at its Feb. 3 meeting.

"I think we are inching along toward a solution," Mr. Godwin said in the article. "Within three or four weeks, we should know what can be done, or even if anything can be done at all."

In the article, Gregory Craig, a Stallion Circle homeowner, said the noise is not bad in his back yard, but the sounds are distracting when he walks around the streets of Dexham Estates. "The noise hasn't gotten any better," he said. "Sometimes the clanging sounds like a small bomb going off. I hope there is a solution."

Harold Green, a spokesman for Texas Industries, which runs a cement batch plant in the industrial park, said in the article that the study should be a major step toward ending the dispute. "I hope it provides a solution or at least a direction," he said.

But Mr. Green also said in the article that there is little Texas Industries can do now. He continued, saying that the company has spent about $100,000 for sound-proof insulation and to reconfigure the plant so noise is directed away from homeowners.

Mr. Green also said in the article that a masonry fence between the neighborhoods and the businesses would be one of the few steps left to lower the noise levels.

The City Council has also discussed the possibility of building a fence to block out some of the sound, but it is not known if that will be one of the recommendations in the study.

The city is also planning to purchase $2,700 worth of equipment to test sound levels. According to the article, the city previously hired a consultant to test the noise levels, but those measurements usually happened a couple of weeks after the initial complaint.

Council member Dennis Howry said in the article that the City Council may also discuss the possibility of lowering the decibel levels allowed by the city's noise ordinance. "That's an issue that may come up again, although I don't know what my stance would be," he said. "Whatever we do, we need to realize that it will apply to the entire city and not just Dexham."

The article reports that a group of homeowners, mostly in Dexham Estates, began lobbying the city more than a year ago to quiet the businesses in the industrial park about a quarter of a mile away. Dexham Estates was built in the late 1980s, and some of the businesses in the Tolar Industrial Park have been there since the late 1950s.

According to the article, the ordinance adopted a year ago prohibits sounds in residential areas above the 55 to 65 decibel range from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and above the 50 to 60 decibel range from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. On commercial or agricultural land, the limits are 62 to 72 decibels during the day and 57 to 67 decibels at night. That level increases on industrial property to 75 to 85 decibels at all times. According to the article, an average conversation is usually about 60 decibels, and a lawn mower will emit about 90 decibels of noise.

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Noise Monitoring System at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas) Designed to Settle Disputes Between Airport and Residents

DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 29A
BYLINE: Todd Bensman, Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
DATELINE: Coppell, Texas
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: The Citizens Airport Advisory Committee, anti-noise group in Coppell, Texas

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas) International Airport officials have unveiled a noise-monitoring system that they say will be the final arbiter in noise disputes between nearby residents and airport officials. Residents of Texas cities around the airport have long complained about noise from planes that they say are too low and off their prescribed flight paths. And for just as long, many have been skeptical of official assurances that most of the planes were just where they were supposed to be.

According to the article, the Permanent Noise Monitoring System is open to the public, after $4 million and four years of development. The monitoring system will allow anyone with a complaint to see exactly what passed over them - in color animation three giant TV screens wide.

"I don't think there's any question that it will help," Marcia Szerlip, who heads an anti-noise group in Coppell, Texas, said in the article. The Citizens Airport Advisory Committee formed when the airport's new east runway opened in late 1996 and ushered in a sharp rise in complaints about noise and wayward planes over Coppell.

"It's further objective information about what's going on," she also said in the article. "Is it a help? To the extent that that can help. It's certainly no cure-all."

The article reports that starting immediately, anyone can visit a specially built display room on the first floor of the airport's administration building for a birds-eye view of exactly which aircraft they heard, where it flew, its altitude and whether it flew out of its flight path.

From that information, airport officials say, they can either debunk a false complaint or take corrective measures on one that proves accurate.

"This tool will allow us to get the pilots, the community and the controllers in the same room to actually see what happened," Karen Robertson, manager of D/FW's Noise Compatibility Office said in the article. "They can hear it, see it and watch it."

The system's practical uses go even further, she also said. For example, real estate agents can come to the room with clients to see for themselves what air traffic is like over prospective neighborhoods.

"We are open for business, and it is awesome - it is so cool," Ms Robertson said in the article.

The article reports that the system works something like this. Officials of the airport's noise compatibility office type in the reported time, day and location of an incident. The screen then shows which planes from which airlines were there at the time. The article goes on to say that the resulting animation, collected from a variety of sources and integrated by the computer, can be replayed in slow motion on the huge color computer maps from a variety of angles, in 3D or 2D. Using detailed maps, airport officials can zoom in on a single house or pull back to reveal the entire region and all flight "tracks" over it.

The article reports that some of the data come from 35 sensitive noise monitors set up across nine cities in three counties. Each monitor is on a pole about 20 feet high and equipped with a microphone. That information, including a recording of the noise, is combined with flight tracks collected by the Federal Aviation Administration and the D/FW control tower.

According to the article, noise-monitoring systems such as the new one at D/FW are common at airports around the nation, but no others have integrated such a wide array of data and piped it into a single room open to the public.

Airport officials learned years ago that they needed such a system to help manage an outcry among the populations of neighboring cities such as Grapevine, Irving, Euless and Coppell as the airport made ambitious plans to expand, the article says. In 1993, the airport board approved a $3.5 million contract with the Flood Group of Torrence, Calif., to build a sophisticated noise-monitoring system. Officials were hoping the system would be in place in time for the opening of the airport's new east runway in late 1996.

But, according to the article, problems completing the contract led airport officials to cancel it and later give the remaining work to Austin-based Tracor Aerospace.

And acorrding to the article, airport officials were meanwhile greeted by an outpouring of noise complaints from Coppell residents almost as soon as the new runway opened. Many residents accused the airport and the FAA of failing to make sure pilots using the new runway were following prescribed flight paths and altitudes. These allegations were often discounted by airport officials.

The article reports that Coppell officials and some residents say that the initial crush of complaints diminished after six months but remains unacceptably high.

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Residents Living Near Deltona, Florida Park Say Lights Would Mean More Noise

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel Tribune
DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: Local & State; Pg. D1
BYLINE: by Maria M. Perotin of the Sentinel Staff

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that Deltona, Florida City Commissioner and some city residents are in a dispute with neighbors of Wes Crile Park over lighting the park to allow for more nighttime games.

"We just don't want the lights or the extended hours," Jim Kelly, a resident who has collected 108 signatures from neighbors who dislike Perez's idea, said in the article. "These people have no relief seven days a week."

According to the article, Kelly and his neighbors complain that basketball players and other visitors to Wes Crile drive noisy cars, have arguments and curse loudly all day long.

The article reports that the park is in City Commissioner Jose Perez's district, and he has said he's sympathetic to those concerns. But also, he wants to be sure residents have enough access to recreation areas such as Wes Crile. I meet with the sports leagues out there once in a while. They've been looking at me to spearhead the effort," Perez said in the article.

According to the article, Perez insists he wouldn't try to force lights on a neighborhood that doesn't want them, so he wants to brainstorm at a Saturday meeting about other solutions to improve the local park system.

"If that's not good for Wes Crile, then what are the alternatives?" Perez told the Tribune. "Hopefully those ideas may come out of there."

Perez said in the Tribune article that possibilities include lighting up a different park or opening the gym at Wes Crile later at night.

In response, Kelly said in the article that his only priority is preventing any more noise near his home. "All I want is to be left in peace and quiet," Kelly said. "We were here previous to the park."

The article reports the meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the meeting room at Wes Crile.

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An Editorial Advocates Cleaning Up Air Pollution in Roanoke, Virginia

PUBLICATION: Roanoke Times & World News
DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A9
BYLINE: Kelly Polyakov
DATELINE: Roanoke, Virginia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Kelly Polykov, author of editorial

An editorial printed by the Roanoke Times & World News advocates cleaning up noise pollution in Roanoke, Virginia. Kelly Polykov, a student at Hollins College, says in the editorial that like air and water pollution, noise pollution is a very real problem for millions of Americans across the country. It comes from cars, trucks, airplanes, leaf blowers, air conditioners, construction, the booming bass of car stereos and a plethora of other sources. Noise has been getting louder and the problem more widespread every year.

The editorial says that according to the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse noise is unwanted sound and is among the most pervasive pollutants today. The word noise is derived from the Latin word nausea meaning seasickness. Noise that is experienced by people who do not produce it is called second-hand noise, and it can have a negative impact on people's emotional and physical health. Problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction and lost productivity. It is also can reduce quality of life and opportunities for tranquillity.

The editorial states that according to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 25 million Americans are exposed to noise levels that can lead to psychological and physiological damage, including cardiovascular problems, strokes and nervous disorders. Another 40 million people are exposed to noise levels that cause sleep deprivation and work disruption

The editorial claims that many individuals and corporations think they have a right or freedom to use common, or public, areas in any way they like. They mistakenly extend their own private-property rights to that which is publicly owned or cared for. They are the proverbial bully on the playground, and they come in all shapes and noises.

According to the editorial, National Parks Magazine reports that the increase in tourist air flights (along with other air traffic), recreational vehicles and construction equipment is destroying the peace and solitude that many seek when visiting the national parks. The air traffic also disturbs the parks' wildlife. According to the National Park Service, the noise disrupts birds' feeding, resting and nesting. This can increase mortality rates or encourage the birds to leave the area. Physiological and behavioral responses by wildlife to noise pollution in the national parks are increased heart rate, excessive stimulation of the nervous system, unusual head and body shifting and wing flapping, decrease in food intake and habitat avoidance and abandonment.

The editorial also cites a report from the Interior and Transportation departments which concludes that the natural quiet of the parks is being damaged by the excessive air traffic. The sound waves from air traffic also can harm natural geological formations, according to the same report.

The author of the editorial recounts a recent climb up Sharp Top mountain where she experienced the aching violation of intruding noise pollution. "The path up the mountain begins at a parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although I could hear the cars breeze by one after the other, I found that I could put them out of my mind and enjoy the hike. It was the airplanes, the souped-up motorcycles and that booming bass we all know too well that distracted me from the woods and the wildlife. I felt angry and sad and, ironically, claustrophobic."

The editorial goes on to say that as the population grows, so does air and vehicular traffic and many other intrusive noises. Roanoke and the surrounding communities are still relatively small and have fewer noise pollution issues than larger cities, but there are still significant concerns. It is only a matter of time before we catch up with them on the decibel charts.

According to the editorial, the NPC has designated April 30 Noise Awareness Day. The goal of this campaign is to educate the public about the hazards of noise on hearing and health. Among other activities and programs, the NPC is sponsoring a letter-writing campaign focusing on four legislative issues: noisy and dangerous toys, reopening of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise

According to the editorial, many communities across the country have waged war against noise and noise makers. San Jose, Chicago, St. Louis and Chapel Hill are among the many cities fighting against air-traffic noise. Boca Raton, Kansas City and Virginia Beach are trying to reduce road noise. Cities in Virginia, Indiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts are battling against the car-stereo problem. Eleven cities in California have regulated or banned leaf blowers.

The author of the editorial states that we must try to make our neighbors and our government aware of the growing noise pollution in Roanoke, Virginia. She claims that we can be more responsible ourselves by doing the right thing: having a noise ethic, controlling our noise output, and behaving in a sensible and considerate manner.

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Sarasota, Florida's New Noise Ordinance Will Regulate Outdoor Amplified Music

PUBLICATION: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: Local/State, Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Jose Luis Jimenez Staff Writer
DATELINE: Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Sarasota, Florida has adopted a new noise ordinance. The law, which was approved 4-1 by the City Commission, caps the allowable sound level at 75 decibels and requires outdoor music to stop at 10 p.m. during the week and at 11:59 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.

The article reports that before voting on the ordinance, Commissioner David Merrill proposed an exemption for churches because he worried that a police officer might cite a church for ringing its bells. That was the only change to the law that will regulate outdoor amplified music in downtown Sarasota, St. Armands Circle and the Newtown commercial district - along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Cocoanut Avenue to North Washington Boulevard.

According to the article, the law does not address low-decibel sounds, such as the bass-thumping sound from a nightclub, which was a complaint of many residents at the commission meeting. Rather than address it in the new law, the commission chose to create a 10-member panel composed of five business owners and five residents to find a solution to this problem.

The article reports that a slight majority of the 22 residents and business owners in attendance supported the new law. Most supporters were from the Bayfront Condominium Association, who asked the commissioners to lower the decibel level to 70.

"It is not tolerable. It will not do the job in the basin," Phillip Dasher, who lives across the water from Sarasota Quay, said of the law restricting sound to 75 decibels.

But restaurateur Michael Klauber said, according to the article, he has spent thousands of dollars to quiet sounds created by his establishments to avoid complaints and violations. "We are not going to take advantage of our neighbors. We want them to be our patrons," Klauber said.

The article reports that Commissioner Mollie Cardamone cast the opposing vote. However, the majority of the commisioners felt something had to be done to satisfy some residents.

"We have created some hardship for everybody and maybe created some relief for everybody," Commissioner Nora Patterson said in the article. She and other city commissioners said the law could still change, based on new ideas and input from the public.

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Flight Paths of Stage Two Planes May Change at Albuquerque, New Mexico Airport As a Result of Recent Noise Study

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metropolitan; Pg. D2
BYLINE: Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Marianne Dickinson, president Airport Neighbors Alliance

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Albuquerque International (New Mexico) Airport officials and a consultant conducting a noise study have been working with airlines and the FAA to change some flight patterns to reduce noise to nearby residents. As a result, some of the older, noisier planes that have plagued residents of Southeast Heights, Albuquerque may start turning south away from the city after taking off. The noisier, stage two airplanes, which include Boeing 727s, must be phased out or outfitted with "hush kits" by 2000.

The article reports that Ryk Dunkelberg of the consulting firm Barnard Dunkelberg Co. of Tulsa, Okla said if the details can be worked out, about half of the so-called stage two airplanes taking off on the main east-west runway would make a right turn over Kirtland Air Force Base. "That will affect those large aircraft that fly over the neighborhoods north of the airport," Dunkelberg said in the article.

According to the article, the actual number of planes that could be detoured south would depend on weather and airline traffic. Albuquerque lies along major east-west airline travel routes so the skies overhead often are full of planes crisscrossing the country. Any changes in flight patterns must be coordinated with local and regional air traffic.

"It's a very complicated procedure," Dunkelberg said in the article.

However, the article reports that airport spokeswoman Maggie Santiago said that even if half of the stage two aircraft are detoured, it won't be a magic bullet. "There shouldn't be the expectation that all the planes will turn right or that all the noise will go away," she said in the article.

Marianne Dickinson, president of the Airport Neighbors Alliance, said in the article that the number of flights that will turn away from the city is small. "That may not be satisfactory, especially for people living off (the east-west runway)," she said. And the article reports that overall, Dickinson said she's happy to see things moving along.

"We're mildly encouraged," she said in the article. "We have to reserve judgment until the entire package is put together."

According to the article, another possible way to ease noise around the Albuquerque International Sunport is to create a new area for planes undergoing maintenance to test their engines. Currently, planes use several areas to conduct full-power engine runups, which can generate a lot of noise.

Dunkelberg said in the article that his firm is still considering possible ways to address noise complaints from South Valley residents, but said those issues are more complex.

According to the article, Barnard Dunkelberg has been hired by the city to update the airport's noise and land-use compatibility study as required by the FAA. That report may recommend severely curtailing traffic on the north-south runway or closing that runway altogether. Airport officials want to close the runway to make room for a terminal expansion. Dunkelberg was hired this week to conduct an environmental assessment of the north-south runway, the first step in permanently closing it.

The article reports that a public meeting on the noise study is planned for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Bandelier Elementary School.

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Ocan Township, New Jersey Resident Complains About Noisy Trucks

PUBLICATION: Asbury Park Press
DATE: January 8, 1998
BYLINE: Matt Sheehan; Coastal Monmouth Bureau
DATELINE: Ocean Township, New Jersey

The Asbury Park Press reports that an Ocean Township, New Jersey resident is bothered by early morning noise from township trucks. Sandra Krug, of Holland Drive, told the Township Council that since an aging building was torn down in the road department yard on the corner of Beecroft Place and Larkin Place several years ago, the noise of trucks rumbling to life in the morning is amplified. The township maintains that construction of a new building has been held back by NJDEP regulations and testing.

"At 7:15 every morning, those trucks start up and get my whole house going," Krug, who lives across the street said in the report.

According to the article, Township Manager David R. Kochel said that four years ago, the township budgeted to replace that building and remove another dilapidated structure in the yard. State Department of Environmental Protection regulations, however, have prevented the township from moving forward, Kochel said.

"We're really at the mercy of the NJDEP," which has required monitoring wells in several areas of the yard where underground storage tanks were removed, Kochel said in the article. One of the wells is located within the site of the proposed new structure, he also said.

"I can't put a slab over the monitoring well," Kochel said in the article.

According to the article, Kochel said that the state has not indicated when the monitoring period will end.

The article reports that Mayor Terrance D. Weldon said that in the meantime, the township is putting a new fence around the yard and vinyl siding on the remaining buildings, which house road department equipment.

"I don't even care about how it looks at this point," Krug said in the article. "I'm just concerned with the noise."

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Fewer Flights, More Passengers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Says Airport Official

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Robert C. Herguth Daily Herald Staff Writer
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Daily Herald reports that newly released statistics show fewer planes are taking off and landing at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois where aircraft noise has angered many in nearby suburbs. Chicago aviation commissioner Mary Rose Loney said at a recent meeting with suburban business and elected leaders that the number of flights in 1997 dropped about 2 percent from the previous year, from 909,000 to an estimated 890,000. However, some airport noise activists claim that these numbers are too low.

According to the article, domestic flights were down, but international flights grew by 9 percent. At the same time, the number of passengers increased from about 69.2 million to about 70.5 million, Loney said.

"Airlines have gotten more efficient," Loney said in the article, adding they are putting more emphasis on filling seats. At the same time, the domestic market has "matured," she also said.

The article reports that Loney said projections also indicate that in 2005, O'Hare will have 940,000 flights and 80 million passengers.

However, the article also reports that airport noise activists said the figures show the city is purposely keeping down its numbers, because other forecasts are predicting "dramatic growth" at O'Hare.

Chicago should divert additional business to a new third airport in the South suburbs instead of losing it to out-of-state airports, Joe Karaganis, the attorney for the anti-noise and expansion group, Suburban O'Hare Commission, said in the article.

According to the article, Rita Athas, Chicago's liaison to the suburbs, noted problems with the plan for a third airport backed by Congressmen Henry Hyde, a Wood Dale Republican, and Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat. For one thing, the airport would snatch away money used at O'Hare for construction and, among other things, soundproofing schools.

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Lisle, Illinois Residents May Unite to Lobby For Noise Barriers

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Kevin Barrett Daily Herald Staff Writer
DATELINE: Lisle, Illinois

Chicago Daily Herald reports that Lisle, Illinois Trustee Judy Yuill has proposed forming a citizens committee to deal with tollway noise issues and, ultimately, to persuade the authority to install noise barriers. However, Toll officials say that while they welcome the input, the noise levels don't warrant building barriers.

According to the article, Yuill said her organizing efforts were born of frustration with the tollway's lack of response to complaints. "The idea is to get a committee going so they can put some pressure on," Yuill said in the article.

The article reports that residents of the Oak View and Beau Bien subdivisions have pressed the authority for years to build sound barriers to suppress noise. They complain traffic on the East-West and North-South tollways drowns out backyard conversations and forces them to keep their windows shut at all times. The committee idea has the support of Village Manager Carl Doerr, who said similar committees in surrounding towns were successful after years of struggle. "The residents most affected by the noise levels are the ones who have to take an active role," he said.

However, the article reports that toll officials have stood firm against building walls, saying the noise level doesn't warrant them. Scott Dworschak, government affairs manager for the authority, said in the article, "Because some people complain more loudly than others, that's not a good standard for putting up (noise) walls."

According to the article, cost also plays a factor. The price tag can approach $2 million for a 1-mile stretch of wall. In addition, the toll authority says it has built such walls along only 30 miles of its 270-mile system.

The article reports that the village has completed noise studies of its own. The results, officials said in the article, submitted to toll officials almost two months ago, showed some noise levels above the requirements for mandatory suppression efforts.

According to the article Dworschak said he hoped to have a response by spring, but he cautioned that little may change from earlier replies.

"We are constantly barraged by people who live along the tollway," he said in the article.

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City-Imposed Sound Limits May Limit Performances at Proposed Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: National/International; Pg. A-1
BYLINE: John Fritz, Times-Union Staff Writer
DATELINE: Jacksonville, Florida

The Florida Times-Union reports that Jacksonville, Florida officials have placed a 'non-negotiable' limit of 105 decibels on bands performing at a proposed amphitheater. According to The Cellar Door Cos., the promoter negotiating to run the facility, that wouldn't prevent putting topnotch acts on stage. This is despite the fact that one promoter has said acts like KISS, Boston, Alan Jackson or Sawyer Brown generally play at 110 to 130 decibels and country star Travis Tritt's show July 4 at the current pavilion at Metro Park registered highs of 117 decibels.

In the article, Jon Stoll, president of Fantasma Productions, a Florida-based concert promoter, said that probably half of rock bands and a quarter of country acts play louder than the proposed limit, begging the question: Would they be willing to tone it down to play Jacksonville's amphitheater?

'Some would agree and some wouldn't,' Stoll said in the article.

But A.J. Wasson, an executive with Cellar Door, the nation's biggest promoter of amphitheater shows, said in the article that there would be absolutely no problem putting top acts at the proposed amphitheater, even with the 105 decibel limit. "I could not envision a band not playing at that level. If there were a band that wouldn't play at a reasonable level like that, we probably wouldn't want to present them anyway," he said in the article.

"If we lose a rock and roller known to be eardrum-busting loud, I'm not sure that's the worst thing that can happen," agreed Susan Wiles, the mayor's chief of staff.

The article reports that the threat of excessive noise has been a potent weapon for amphitheater opponents, who also argue public access to the riverfront park would be reduced. An expert hired by the opposition group Citizens for Amphitheater Awareness said it would be nearly impossible to control the sound levels of rock groups, which have their own amplification equipment.

However, the city points out in the article that it would retain the right to turn down the volume if things got too loud and to fine bands who break the sound barrier.

And according to the article, the city's sound studies show that the St. Nicholas neighborhood, the root of the opposition across the river, would be shielded by the design and positioning of the amphitheater. Most of the sound, instead, would be directed to neighborhoods directly north of the park, raising new concerns that last month caused the mayor to take a step back to rethink the plan. The city's sound study was based on noise levels just off stage of 117 decibels, the level recorded at Tritt's July 4 concert.

The article however reports that Delaney said that after closer scrutiny of the issues of sound and of the aesthetics of the proposed riverfront theater, he has "gotten comfortable with both."

"We reserve the right to change our minds. My advocacy has always had the asterisks by it. But there still has been nothing that tells me this project should be stopped at this point in time," he said in the article.

According to the article, an updated report which delineates levels based on the maximum 105 decibels the city plans to allow, shrinks the radius of the noise footprint by three city blocks.

"The revised sound overlay is certainly much less invasive than we originally determined, and we will continue to work to improve that," said Wiles, the mayor's chief of staff in the Times article.

According to the article, the amphitheater project, a $20 million package that includes other changes at the park, still must be approved by federal parks officials and the City Council.

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Amended Noise Ordinance in Lee's Summit, Kansas Should be Easier to Enforce

DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Zone/Lee's Summit; Pg. 7
BYLINE: Kevin Hoffmann, Staff Writer
DATELINE: Lee's Summit, Kansas

The Kansas City Star reports that Lee's Summit, Kansas has recently amended its noise ordinance to make it easier to enforce. The police department has begun using hand-held meters to measure noise so that a signed complaint is no longer necessary. The modified ordinance also clearly defines what a noise nuisance is by setting a decibel limit as measured from a property line next to the source of the noise.

The article reports that when the new law was enacted, city officials figured that most noise complaints would be handled as in the past. An officer would arrive and give a warning. Citations would be given only when the officer was called back a second time.

And, the article says, that has been the case. Police Chief Ken Conlee said in the article that he couldn't think of a time since the changes were made that officers have had to write a ticket for noise problems.

"Generally, these things are pretty easy to handle," he said in the article.

Still, Conlee said in the article, the revised ordinance gives the department more flexibility in handling noise problems. If a business near a residential area begins operating loud machinery outdoors late at night or early in the morning, then police can measure the noise and ask the business to mitigate the problem without a neighborhood complaint.

According to the article, the city defines some loud activities, such as a residential party that gets out of hand, as a nuisance only between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Other types of noise, such as loud music blaring from a car radio, are limited at all times. Violators face up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

According to the article, the ordinance also allows for more subjective decisions. For example, if a resident near Raintree Lake calls to say that youths riding jet skis are being too noisy, police can arrive, use the meter to measure the noise and then, depending on the reading, tell the youths to tone it down a bit or tell the complaining resident that the noise is permissible.

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Both Sides of El Toro Airport Debate Claim Victory Over California Judge's Ruling

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Lorenza Munoz, TIMES Staff Writer
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Times reported that in a decision that made both sides of the debate happy, a Superior Court judge ruled that Orange County must fix its environmental review of its proposed commercial airport at El Toro Marine Base, but it doesn't have to redo the entire thing.

The article reports that the judge from San Diego's Superior Court had decided in October that the plan didn't address noise, traffic, and pollution sufficiently in their report. This new ruling ordered the county to fix these problems and make the revisions available for another public comment period. The ruling was made in a lawsuit originally brought against the county by Taxpayers for Responsible Planning and the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority. The two organizations will be paid by the county for the legal fees they incurred in the suit.

According to the article, the county will appeal the ruling, claiming that the review is perfectly acceptable. In the meantime, they are glad that they were not ordered to start the review over from the beginning. That is the result that airport opponents had hoped for.

The article reports that because the plan wasn't fully thrown out, the county is "thrilled." They will fix the areas that were considered understated, and then offer the revisions to the public again.

The article notes that airport opponents had hoped the entire review would be invalidated and stopped. Nevertheless, they were pleased at the "double whammy" to the airport: required revision and another required round of public review.

According to the article, county officials expect to know their schedule for the rewrite within two weeks, although the judge didn't impose any specific time limit. When revisions -- which must consider air quality in the region, noise, and traffic, as well as any negative effects on endangered species and area of farmland -- are completed, they must be available for 45 days of public comment.

The article notes that several assumptions were made in the original document which the judge disagreed with. First, changes must assume that John Wayne Airport remains operating as it is now, instead of predicting a growth and closure to explain away air traffic concerns. Also, traffic must be evaluated using current conditions instead of explaining problems away by saying that new roads will be built to handle increased traffic.

The Times article reports that 1999 will see the closure of the 4,700-acre base. This April, a master plan will be proposed, as will an alternative non-aviation plan. In 1994, a county-wide vote suggested that most residents support the airport, and in 1996 a counter-measure lost, suggesting the same thing.

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Man's Quiet Leaf Blower Impresses Gardeners Striking Over Ban in Los Angeles, California

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Bob Pool
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Times reports that an auto mechanic who lives in Van Nuys, California put together a leaf blower that is ultra-quiet and easily built with standard auto parts. The blower may have an influence on the controversial ban on gas-fueled leaf blowers that is proposed.

According to the article, the blower uses a car battery, a small radiator fan, and a hose to create an almost silent blower. Sound only comes from the air moving, and a small whine inaudible only a few feet away. He talked of adding a water sprayer to help keep dust from billowing up.

The article reports that the auto mechanic went to city hall with his blower -- the design for which he says is from a dream he had -- where gardeners are participating in a hunger strike against the proposed ban, and began using his leaf blower. Protesters didn't know he was coming, and were impressed to the point of gasping. They said it only needs to be made slightly stronger.

According to the article, the mechanic plans to come back today to meet with the strikers, and the mayor. The strikers want the mayor to veto the ban or allow more time so a quieter blower like this one can be created in volume. A striker said of the mechanic, "He and his leaf blower will illustrate the point we've been trying to make all along: that if industry is pressed creatively, they can come up with technology to deal with pollution as well as noise."

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Los Angeles, California Gardeners Continue Hunger Strike Over Leaf Blower Ban

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Matea Gold
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that the steps of Los Angeles' city hall have been home to eight men from the Association of Latin American Gardeners for five days. The men are on a hunger strike which protests a proposed ban on gas-fueled leaf blowers. Their organization was formed last year to fight the ban, and has since produced a union of nearly 1,000 gardeners.

The article goes on to say that the strikers have only had sports drinks in the time they've spent on the steps. Three of their comrades had to go home because of low blood pressure, but the eight remain. They said We have to show them the poor have hearts. We need the tools for our jobs." They went on to say that without leaf blowers, yard work will take twice as long and residents won't pay the extra money.

The article notes that the mayor, who has met with organizers of the strike, doesn't want to veto the ban because an earlier version -- one which would put gardeners in jail for using the blowers -- would then be in effect. He did witness the demonstration of a quieter blower which gardeners hope will be allowed, and has promised to talk with city council members about loosening the laws restrictions. A meeting between the mayor, the strikers, city council, and the manufacturer of the quieter blower should happen later today.

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Letter to the Editor in Raleigh, North Carolina Urges Residents to Complain About Boom Cars

PUBLICATION: The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC)
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Editorial/Opinion; Pg. A16
DATELINE: Raleigh, North Carolina

The following letter to the editor was printed in The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC):

We are encouraged by recent letters complaining about "booming" car noise. If citizens complain to Raleigh City Council members and to police, and if citizen complaints become more of a nuisance to the city than the "boomers" are to the citizens, then Raleigh might do something to control this booming, low-frequency noise.

For two years, our neighborhoods have endured several local nightclubs that not only attract a night-long stream of booming cars past our normally quiet streets but also allow these cars to have loud, impromptu parking lot get-togethers as the clubs close at 3 a.m. Add to this the customary, low-frequency booming from the clubs' sound systems that wakes us in our homes and you can bid your tranquil home-life goodbye.

What has our City Council done about this? After two years of arguing and just plain begging at every council and committee meeting where we are allowed to speak, the council has determined that, since low-frequency noise is difficult to measure, since Raleigh's sound meters do not measure low frequencies and since adequate equipment is considered too expensive, "booming" will not be controlled.

Police officers are reluctant to issue citations without these sound measurements, before or after 11 p.m., although ordinances allow them to do so. Our only recourse is to take offenders to court personally. The cost in time and money can be prohibitive.

So people should complain as often as warranted and maybe, through all our efforts, our City Council will give us the protection we need and expect.

Linda Miller


This letter was endorsed by several other residents of the Forest Acres and Five Points neighborhoods.

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Monks and Environmental Groups in Trabuco Canyon, California Sue Over Proposed Development

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B02
BYLINE: Keith Sharon, the Orange County Register
DATELINE: Trabuco Canyon, California

The Orange County Register reports that the Norbertine monks of Trabuco Canyon, California have filed a lawsuit to stop the development of a shopping center that they say would threaten their sacred lifestyle. The monks fear that traffic noise generated by the proposed 12-acre Live Oak Plaza, which would include a gas station and restaurant, would interrupt their prayers and services. They also say the glare would make it difficult to sleep.

The article reports that the monks, two environmental groups and two Trabuco Canyon residents filed suit against Live Oak Plaza and the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The article reports that until Dec. 2, any commercial development on the proposed site would have been inappropriate. The land, according to the county's general plan and the Foothill/Trabuco specific plan, was zoned for residential housing. However, the Board of Supervisors ruled that the benefits of a shopping center outweighed the potential noise and glare problems at St. Michael's and changed the zoning to allow for commercial development. The development site sits at the mouth of Trabuco Canyon, near residential neighborhoods Foothill Ranch, Hidden Ridge and Portola Hills. The closest gas station to the development site is three miles away.

"We're not being obstructive," Stephen Coontz, the lawyer representing the monks at St. Michael's Abbey, said in the article. "It's not an appropriate place for that kind of use. They should develop it residentially if they want to develop it at all."

St. Michael's Abbey houses about 60 religious tenants, who oversee a parochial school for boys. The Abbey sits at the intersection of El Toro, Live Oak Canyon and Santiago Canyon roads.

According to the article, the Sea and Sage Audubon Society and the Endangered Habitats League joined the suit to protect the rural area from too much development and to rescue the Riverside fairy shrimp, an endangered species that lives in a pond on the site of the development.

"Every time we chip away at it (rural south Orange County), we're losing what makes this place a nice place to live," Pete DeSimone, a member of the National Audubon Society, said in the article.

The article reports that according to Frank McGill, a senior planner for the county, the development is too early in the process to judge. Live Oak Plaza still needs three more layers of planning-commission approval before it becomes reality.

"It remains to be seen whether there is going to be a gas station or a restaurant," McGill said in the article. "We're not anywhere close to finally deciding. "

McGill also said in the Register article that Live Oak may undergo "significant" changes before its subdivision map is drawn. The developer intends to meet with the monks to work out their differences, McGill said.

Coontz said in the article that the monks have not been approached by the developer. "We haven't got any indication of cooperation at all."

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Progress Made in Two Year Dispute Over Waldwick, New Jersey Firing Range

PUBLICATION: The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. L01
BYLINE: Hali Helfgott, Staff Writer
DATELINE: Waldwick, New Jersey

The Record reports that Waldwick, New Jersey officials are seeking architectural plans and cost estimates for enclosing an outdoor gun range that has been the target of a lawsuit by residents in neighboring Allendale, New Jersey. The article reports that Mayor Rick Vander Wende said the borough plans to hire an architect to look at several ways the Capt. George H. Bunning Police Training Facility could be enclosed, diminishing the gunfire noise Allendale residents have said disrupts their peace.

According to the article, Vander Wende said requests for proposals have been sent to several firms, and he anticipates responses in about two weeks. He added that the decision will come down to cost, and that towns whose police departments use the range, as well as the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, will be asked to contribute funds for project. Vander Wende said in the article that he couldn't speculate on what the cost would be to enclose the range, but Police Chief Richard Brady has said the project could cost at least $500,000. The mayor said the town is set to receive a $150,000 grant from the state Department of Community Affairs to make improvements at the facility.

"We're making progress and moving forward, and trying to get some hard facts and numbers so we can move ahead with some sort of improvement," the mayor said in the article."We want to be reasonable and work out a compromise."

According to the article, this is the latest move in the nearly two-year battle over the firing range. In 1996, 29 Allendale homeowners, some of whom live within 500 feet of the 37-year-old facility, sued Waldwick, its former police chief, and the Waldwick Pistol and Rifle Club, seeking to have the range shut down. The residents, who have said the sound of gunfire has increased in duration and volume over the years, want a sound-proof range.

The issue has not gone to court, the article reports, as the two sides have tried to work out a settlement. Communication has often broken down, with the parties putting forth clashing ideas of how much of the range should be enclosed. The Allendale Council recently voted unanimously to take its own legal action if Waldwick and the residents could not reach an agreement. This time, both sides appear a bit more optimistic that a settlement might be in sight.

According to the article, the range is used for state-mandated police qualifications by Waldwick, Midland Park, Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River, and Ramsey. The Waldwick Pistol and Rifle Club also uses the facility for recreation.

The article reports that Allendale Police Department members have not shot at the facility since the legal squabble began, fulfilling their training at the Bergen County Police and Fire Academy in Mahwah.

Allendale Mayor Albert Klomburg said in the article that if the range is fully enclosed, the borough would go back to using it for qualifications. Allendale, he added, would contribute funds toward improving the facility.

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Rezoning Dispute in Spokane, Washington

PUBLICATION: The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: The Region, Pg. B1
BYLINE: Kathy Mulady Staff Writer
DATELINE: Spokane, Washington
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Karen Barniol, head of Citizens for Neighborhood Preservation

The Spokesman-Review reports that developers and residents disagree over the appropriate use of a 40 acre piece of land in Spokane, Washington. Developers are asking the county hearing examiner to rezone the land in north Spokane to allow a large shopping center with Wal-Mart as its centerpiece. But residents, who will live next door to the 40 acres of shopping and parking, argue that a massive shopping center would make a bad neighbor.

"We are not on an anti-Wal-Mart crusade, but people have the right to be able to rely on the comprehensive plan when making an informed decision about buying a home," Karen Barniol, head of Citizens for Neighborhood Preservation, said in the article.

According to the article, the developers maintain that conditions have changed so dramatically around the Newport Highway that big stores are more appropriate than new housing. They also say that the county's comprehensive plan at this time is only advisory, merely a blueprint.

According to the article, the land is currently zoned UR 3.5, which allows 3 houses per acre. The wooded acreage is bordered on two sides by subdivisions including Camelot, College Place and Carriage Hills. Colorado Land Consultants, the developer, wants the land rezoned to B-3, community business, the most intense commercial zoning in the county.

The land is owned by Pente Limited Partnership, which includes the Nelson family. The Nelsons owned the property for almost 40 years, and ran a landscape nursery and landscape design business there.

According to the article, Colorado Land Consultants came to the hearing with the county hearing examiner armed with full-color computer simulations, aerial photographs and a team of experts. Steve Wilson, president of CLC, painted a picture of a shopping center that would be football fields away from the neighborhood houses, surrounded by lush trees and protected from traffic. "You will not be able to see this shopping center from these subdivisions," he said in the article.

A landscape architect for the development team said, according to the article, that 320 trees around the perimeter would be saved.

The neighbors, who according to the article, held garage sales, bake sales and passed the hat at meetings to raise money for their battle countered by pointing out the clear-cutting that was done to build nearby Fred Meyer. Neighbors said in the article that they doubt landscaping will be much more than bare county minimums, and certainly inadequate to buffer noise oor looming parking lot lights.

The article reports that after a full day of listening to testimony from various experts, developers, neighbors and Wal-Mart employees, county hearing examiner Michael Dempsey asked for 30 days instead of the usual two weeks to announce his decision.

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St. Charles, Illinois Officials Consider Ultimatum in Dispute Over Airport Expansion Noise

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: St. Charles Post, Pg. 1
BYLINE: Tommy Robertson; of the St. Charles Post
DATELINE: St. Charles, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Pat McDonald, member St. Charles County Citizens Against Airport Noise (CAAN)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Charles, Illinois City Council is frustrated with the lack of noise abatement strategies in the proposed plan for airport expansion favored by St. Louis and Lambert Field Airport officials. If a noise abatement agreement cannot be reached, the City of St. Charles is considering filing a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis and Lambert Field Airport.

According to the article, Mike Miller, the St. Charles City administrator, urged restraint until the city's legal experts reviewed a recent report by the Federal Aviation Administration. Miller also wanted time to continue the negotiations and dialogue he and St. Charles Mayor Bob Moeller have had with Lambert officials in recent months. Miller said in the article that he was confident some kind of noise abatement agreement could be reached short of a suit.

The article reports that the FAA released its environmental impact statement study of various airport expansion proposals last month, including a $2.6 billion plan favored by Lambert officials. That plan would add a 9,000-foot runway southwest of the current airport and raze about 2,000 houses and businesses in Bridgeton. According to the article, the federal agency stated that the proposal, known as W-1W was environmentally sound, although they did not formally endorse it. A final decision by the FAA on Lambert's expansion is at least a month away.

Acording to the article, St. Charles officials and residents have argued repeatedly that reduced quality of life, property devaluation and classroom disruption by more aircraft noise will be the future for St. Charles County if the W-1W proposal is approved.

Councilman Richard Baum, 6th Ward, said in the aricle that the future of the city was riding on the issue of noise resulting from Lambert expansion. "It probably is time for us to stop being patient," he said.

The article reports that members of the St. Charles County Citizens Against Airport Noise, or CAAN, appeared before the council and urged the city to file suit against St. Louis and Lambert. According to the article, Pat McDonald of CAAN said his group had tried in vain to get Lambert administrators to seriously address the issue of reducing or eliminating flights over St. Charles between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

McDonald said in the article that the group had two meetings with Lambert administrators last fall and no meetings during the past six weeks.

He said the city needed to file suit against the airport now if St. Charles officials ever hoped to extract concessions from Lambert officials. "What we're asking you to do is announce the city's intention to litigate because of that arrogant attitude of St. Louis and Lambert officials," McDonald said in the article.

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Editorial Pushes for Compromise in New Orleans, Louisiana Noise Problem

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. B6
DATELINE: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune printed the following editorial:

Coleman Warner's "What's all the racket?" Dec. 27 went a long way toward acknowledging the multiple facets surrounding the issue of sound levels in the French Quarter. Yet the accompanying random decibel readings repeat the error of both the city's attempts at regulating " noise" and the implication that street musicians are the cause of most of it.

I was heartened that The Times-Picayune found that not all residents believe that "crime and noise are killing the Quarter." Indeed, many of us in the neighborhood's largest residents' association have refused to renew our memberships until it stops targeting musicians as the main focus for curtailing " noise. " I am no less a resident (eight years in the Jackson Square area) because I wholeheartedly support street music and entertainment.

While Councilman Troy Carter is to be commended for encouraging dialogue on equal terms far more than any previous council member, it was the advent of the federal lawsuit that enjoined the city from enforcing two aspects of its noise ordinance and Judge Marcel Livaudais' meetings with proponents and opponents of street music that produced even the possibility of compromise. Before then, our musical ambassadors were often subjected to armed dispatch to Central Lockup.

No hope of compromise can occur without the recognition that everyone is integral to the community. Your Jan. 2 editorial gratefully underscores that fact.

As a residential nonmusician representative of the Committee to Preserve the Art of Street Entertainment, I met with St. Louis Cathedral representatives to hear of their concerns about the intrusiveness of performances during church services. We recognized the solemnity of Holy Week 1997; they justly would've complained otherwise.

For months now, most crowd-attracting performers have unilaterally abstained from performing during Sunday morning services, the ones most disrupted in the past. Councilman Carter's Noise Buffer Zone legislation appears to forge the necessary compromise to balance the various expressive needs of Jackson Square, be they religious from the pulpit or spirit-led from the heart of an entertainer.

Saxphonist Joseph Braun is correct in suggesting that the 8 p.m. curfew on musicians needs to be changed. Like the proposed St. Louis Cathedral buffer zone, such an extension can be structured based upon the environs, with sound levels limited by decibels over time (later hours, lower decibels). Yet such sounds need to be measured honestly - recording just "spikes" or peaks fails to recognize that any sustained hearing loss is caused by sustained sounds. Both your measurements and the city's recently enacted ordinance doom New Orleans' and America's original music form jazz to the dusty museum rather than to the living community that visitors and residents alike celebrate this city for.

Brad Ott

New Orleans

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Hooksett, New Hampshire Noise Ordinance Was Dropped By Mistake

PUBLICATION: The Union Leader
DATE: January 8, 1998
SECTION: Section A Pg. 18
BYLINE: Chris Herbert Union Leader Correspondent
DATELINE: Hooksett, New Hampshire

The Union Leader reports that the Hooksett, N.H. Town Council learned recently that, through an oversight in the early 1990s, the town dropped its noise ordinance.

According to the article, residents of north Hooksett had complained to Town Administrator Mike Farrell about heavy trucks lined up at a sand and gravel pit and making a lot of noise in the process.

The article reports that Farrell called Police Chief Jim Oliver to do something about it only to discover that there was an ordinance about barking dogs, and another limiting mining related operations before 7 a.m. in the morning but nothing else. Farrell quoted Oliver as saying he couldn't do anything about the nuisance "Unless the trucks start barking."

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Quieter Helicopters at the Grand Canyon May Help Meet Noise Restrictions

PUBLICATION: The Arizona Republic
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: Valley And State; Pg. B1
BYLINE: by Mark Shaffer, the Arizona Republic
DATELINE: Grand Canyon, Arizona
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Rob Smith, Southwest representative for the Sierra Club

The Arizona Republic reports that National Park Service officials recently held a news conference to unveil what they hope will put an end to one of the most vexing environmental problems at the Grand Canyon in recent years. Officials are hopeful that the use of the Boeing MD-900 helicopter will enable them to maintain a viable air-tour industry while abiding by a federal law mandating the natural quiet of the Grand Canyon and other national parks. The Boeing MD-900 helicopter produces 73 decibels, compared with the average tour helicopter's 85.

According to the article, longtime park employees say it's never been noisier in the Grand Canyon, despite regulations creating no-flight zones and restricting tour aircraft above Canyon rims. The number of yearly flights over the Canyon has tripled, from 35,000 to just more than 100,000 during the past decade, officials said in the article. The number of passengers has risen from about 325,000 to 1 million during the same period. The FAA has capped the total number of tour aircraft at 270 for the 26 air-tour companies, a $120 million annual industry. But there is no cap on the number of flights they can make over the Canyon.

The article reports that the new Boeing MD-900 may help solve these noise problems. "This is a marvelous technological advance. There's a place for their tours in the park," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in the article. "It's about two-thirds less noisy. At a distance, it reduces the noise significantly."

According to the article, conservation groups also acknowledge the big leap forward in possibly bringing more serenity to Canyon visitors. But a lot more needs to be done, Rob Smith, Southwest representative for the Sierra Club said in the article.

"We can start by cutting in half the number of tour flights over the Canyon," Smith said in the article. "That, with the quieter engines, would make an impact toward adhering with the law."

Dale Christman, a Boeing spokesman, said in the article that the technology for the quieter helicopter was 10 years in the making. One of the first, smaller models of the helicopter was sold to Phoenix Police Department in 1991, Christman said.

According to the article, the question is affordability. Each of the new helicopters costs $3.6 million, three times the price of the noisier models. Buying one of the new birds is voluntary for the air-tour operators. "For this to work for our industry, we have to get some kind of tax break from Congress. We're talking $40 million to $50 million more to change our fleet," Elling Halvorson, chairman of Papillon Airways Inc., said in the article. "We also pay a $25 fee for every aircraft which flies across the Canyon. We donated more than $1 million to the park last year and it would be a great help to see that money go into the quieter aircraft."

Sen. McCain, said in the article that he also feels that the tour operators who get on board with the quieter aircraft should be rewarded. But he didn't say how.

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Kane County, Illinois Officials Consider Fine For Loud Car Stereos

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 6
BYLINE: Eric Krol Daily Herald Staff Writer
DATELINE: Kane County, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that Kane County, Illinois officials recently recommended approval of a measure that would allow sheriff's police to issue a $50 ticket to offenders whose car stereos can be heard from 75 feet away. "It's unfortunate we have to have a law like this," board member Rudy Neuberger, an Aurora Democrat, said in the article. "It's just unfortunate we have to regulate consideration for other people."

According to the article, the county's measure would apply to unincorporated areas in the county. Several towns in Kane County already have ordinances to deal with noisy car stereos. The city of Elgin adopted an anti-noise law two years ago. City officials acted after receiving numerous complaints from residents about teens blaring their stereos through neighborhoods. Elgin's law fines drivers $150 for a first conviction, $250 for a second conviction and $500 for a third within the same year.

The article also reports that while St. Charles and Geneva do not have noisy car stereo laws, police say they can use a disturbing the peace law, which carries a fine of up to $500, to deal with loud cars.

According to the article, Neuberger suggested the county look at a stricter anti-noise law similar to one Aurora adopted. Aurora's law allows police to impound the offending vehicle. It also includes a $75 fine and $250 impoundment fee.

But, the article reports, county board attorney Bob Sandner said he doubted such a strict measure would hold up in court if someone challenged it. Sandner said the county must model its law after state guidelines. The full county board is likely to approve the noisy car stereo law when it meets next Wednesday.

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Los Angeles, California Leaf Blower Ban OK'd by City Council

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N1
BYLINE: Patrick Mcgreevy Daily News Staff Writer
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the Los Angeles, California City Council voted to begin enforcement of a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, despite intense opposition from gardeners, including 200 who packed the chambers and 10 who vowed to continue a hunger strike to seek a veto by Mayor Richard Riordan. The council's 9-6 vote created the enforcement rules, setting a maximum $270 fine for people who operate leaf blowers within 500 feet of residences and for the homeowners who hire them.

The article reports that supporters hailed the decision as an important step for reducing noise and dust, but critics accused the council of bowing to the demands of the city's wealthy property owners at the expense of the working poor. Inside council chambers, gardeners alternated with supporters of the ban in heated testimony.

"It's unjust," Victor Rivas, 29, who rallied outside City Hall after the vote with about 500 protesters, said in the article. The Arleta, CA resident is one of 10 gardeners who launched a hunger strike Saturday to draw attention to their opposition to the ban.

According to the article, gardeners said that without the leaf blower, their work time would be more than doubled, and their income halved.

In comparison, the article reports that actor Peter Graves of Pacific Palisades told council members that the noise and pollution caused by the machines harm the gardeners more than anyone.

"We're all victims of this machine and most especially the gardeners who have to suffer from the use of it," Graves testified, according to the article.

According to the Times article, an aide said Mayor Riordan is likely to approve the ordinance, which simply sets up enforcement guidelines for a ban initially approved by the council and mayor 13 months ago. Riordan would not comment officially until he receives and reviews the council file. He has 10 days to act before the ordinance takes effect.

The article reports that the letter from the six opposing council members said a different policy could be drafted "where we do not penalize the most vulnerable communities while maintaining the sensitivity for those who require machines at lower decibels."

According to the article, supporters of the ban denied that they intend the ordinance to be one that divides the city along class lines.

Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski said in the article that the proposal has been pending for about 11 years and the manufacturers of gas-powered leaf blowers have not acted to reduce the noise and pollution caused by the machines.

She also said in the article that gardeners can raise their rates to cover the cost of spending more time using brooms and other methods to clear sidewalks and driveways.

In the article, Adrian Alvarez, a spokesman for the Association of Latino American Gardeners, questioned how some council members could support the ban while claiming to represent working-class constituencies.

In a related action, the article reports that the council approved a permit allowing the hunger strikers to camp on the south lawn of City Hall for two more weeks as long as they get insurance to protect the city from liability.

The gardeners planned to continue their fast until a mayoral veto because the ban would hurt their ability to earn a living, Alvarez said in the article.

"This (hunger strike) is the only way that we can express our voice," Alvarez said. "This is the only way we can show you how drastic the impact will be. We plan to continue the hunger strike even if we have to die."

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Two NYC Councilmen Join Noise Protest at New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports

DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 1
DATELINE: New York, New York

The Daily News reports that Two New York City Councilmen joined anti- noise activists at LaGuardia Airport yesterday to demand that the city and federal governments act to reduce air traffic noise in the areas around LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.

According to the article, Councilmen Alfonso Stabile of Queens and Noah Dear of Brooklyn said they would urge Federal Aviation Administration officials to redesign air traffic patterns, using new satellite-based technology, to ease jet noise in surrounding residential areas.

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Sports Center in Eagle, Wisconsin Seeks Permit for Clay Shooting Despite Noise Complaints by Residents

PUBLICATION: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: Aukesha Pg. 4
BYLINE: Sam Martino
DATELINE: Eagle, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wern Valley Inc. plans another attempt to obtain a conditional use permit to allow sporting clay target shooting at the McMiller Sports Center, part of the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin. Last year, Eagle, Wisconsin officials declined to renew Wern Valley's permit for sporting clay shooting for another year because of noise complaints from nearby residents.

The article reports that since obtaining its first conditional use permit, Wern Valley and the DNR have been under fire from irate residents living near the McMiller Sports Center who object to increased gunfire noise. The center has been used since 1974 as a fixed gun range for pistol and rifle target practice.

According to the article, the DNR agreed to seek a conditional use permit for operation of the sporting clay range after town officials complained. Officials agreed on a permissible noise level of 60 decibels or less for the sporting clay range. Tests taken by a consultant hired by the DNR in 1996 showed much higher levels.

According to the article the noise issue has led the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against the Town of Eagle for allegedly interfering with the DNR's lease arrangement with Wern Valley. The state contends that town officials do not have any authority to deny the renewal of the conditional use permit, and that the operation of the sporting clay range was a permissible continuation of earlier operations rather than an expansion that required a conditional use permit.

Also, the article reports, the state maintains that town officials should have held a quasi-judicial hearing before denying the conditional use permit last July.

According to the article, Wern Valley has proposed using the sporting clay range 39 days per year for the remainder of its five-year lease with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The firm, which operates a game farm in the Town of Genesee, where clay target shooting is available, expanded its operation at the McMiller Sports Center in 1994 to include a sporting clay range.

The article reports that Town Chairman Don Wilton has asked the DNR to pledge not to grant permission for sporting clay shooting after the Wern Valley lease ends in 1999. Wilton said Tuesday that at various public meetings the DNR has declared that it can't get noise from the center's sporting clay range to stay below the 60 decibel standard.

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Mahoning Township, Pennsylvania Residents and Businesses Voice Opposition to Weeknight Races at Local Racetrack

PUBLICATION: The Morning Call
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: Local/Region, Pg. B1
BYLINE: Wendy E. Solomon; The Morning Call
DATELINE: Mahoning Township, Pennsylvania

The Morning Call reports that residents and local businesses voiced their opposition at a Mahoning Township, Pennsylvania zoning board hearing where Mahoning Valley Speedway owners were asking permission to hold three weeknight races in July and future years.

According to the article, Charles Pollock, one of the raceway's four shareholders, amended his original request Tuesday from three weeknight races in July to two Wednesday night races in July and future years. The article reports that Pollock also asked to race two auto divisions, modified and street stock, instead of the usual six. It would involve about 60 cars as compared to the usual 120 that run on weekends. He said weeknight racing was necessary to be competitive with other racetracks in the region that operate on weeknights.

Maple Tree Inn Tennis Club owner Charles F. Diehl said in the article that the noise from car racing is so loud that it interferes with tennis instruction and forced him to cancel Saturday night tennis. Diehl fears he would have to close his 26-year-old club if additional weeknight racing is added.

"You simply can't hear conversations," Diehl said in the article. He was among several witnesses who were cross-examined by Michael Garfield, a shareholder and attorney representing the speedway, and William H. Bayer, an attorney who represented the tennis club.

According to the report, this is the first public request by the racetrack since May 1991, when Carbon County Judge John P. Lavelle ruled that previous track owners had to stop weekday practices. Lavelle upheld a township ruling that that practices disturbed the rural setting of the township. The township zoning board had served speedway owners with a cease-and-desist order to stop the practices after receiving noise complaints, including one from a tennis instructor at Maple Tree Inn Tennis Club who said students could not hear above the roar of the racetrack.

According to the article, the board has 45 days to make a decision.

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Rerouting of Flights at New York's LaGuardia Airport Seen as Answer to Noise by Some, as Public Relations Ploy by Others

DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: News; Page A22
BYLINE: by Margaret Ramirez. Staff Writer
DATELINE: New York, New York
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Joe Fabio, spokesman for Sane Aviation for Everyone

Newsday reports that two New York, New York city councilmen have called on the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce ear-numbing airplane noise by rerouting flights at LaGuardia Airport. However, some residents are doubtful that this will have a real effect on noise in the communities surrounding the airport.

According to the Newsday article, Councilmen Noach Dear (D-Brooklyn) and Al Stabile (R-Queens) said communities close to airports are being used as dumping grounds for air traffic. At LaGuardia, where more than 1,200 jets arrive and depart daily, Dear urged the FAA to reroute air traffic so noise would be shifted away from residential neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Flushing and diverted over less populated areas or industrial zones.

The article reports that the rerouting would use a satellite-based technology known as global positioning. Aviation officials said in the article that the technology provides a more precise, narrow route in and out of an airport, similar to passing thread through the eye of a needle. They estimate it would cost about $20 million to redesign the eastern region's flight map with global positioning.

"Noise is a quality-of-life issue we can no longer afford to ignore," Dear, chair of the council Transportation Committee, said in the article. "I'm asking the government to make funds available to redesign air-traffic routes in residential areas. It's a small price to pay for the health of our children and the future of our communities."

According to the article, the satellite technology, which is being used for arrivals on two runways at LaGuardia, was designed by the Defense Department to address safety by creating separation between planes. It also allows the airplanes to climb to a higher altitude more quickly and reduces work of air-traffic controllers.

But, the article reports, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said federal officials are still uncertain whether the technology could be used at LaGuardia, which handles 355,000 flights annually. Next month, the agency will be reviewing the routes of the region's three airports to determine the feasibility of new systems.

According to the article, Queens residents like Joe Fabio, of Flushing, are skeptical. Fabio, a spokesman for Sane Aviation for Everyone, said the satellite technology is nothing more than a public-relations ploy and would only move the noise and fumes to another community. Fabio also said a better plan would be to reduce air traffic by restricting airport hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. "This is nothing but a shot of novocaine to keep the people suffering peacefully," Fabio said. "Queens was once a bedroom community. Now it's a place where you can't get a good night's sleep."

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Dispute Between Neighbors and Auto Body Shop Goes Unresolved

PUBLICATION: The Patriot Ledger
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 15C
BYLINE: Gavin Mccormick, The Patriot Ledger
DATELINE: Stoughton, Massachusetts

The Patriot Ledger reports that a year-long dispute between residents and an auto body shop in Stoughton, Massachusetts went unresolved after a recent town selectman's meeting. At the meeting, selectmen told neighbors, who are opposed to the repair shop based on noise, fumes and aesthetic grounds, that they must take their complaints to the zoning board of appeals.

According to the article, at the meeting Peggy DiNatale revisited the woes she says have plagued her and her neighbors on Crescent Avenue, which runs behind the repair shop that opened last January. The neighbors claim a fence separating their yards from the shops is too low, that noise and fumes often disturb them and that the property houses a junkyard operating without a license.

However, according to the article, Building Inspector David Tonis said the neighbors are misinterpreting town zoning laws. Tonis said the 8-foot fence is high enough; the business is not a junkyard; and undue noise and fumes have never been noted by town officials despite a series of announced and unannounced inspections.

According to the article, auto repair shops usually are given permission to operate only in industrial, not residential or general business, areas. But since the property housed a repair shop before the zoning laws went into effect, it was accepted under a "grandfather" clause. While the property had been vacant for 21 months, owner Bruno Schiavo won a Land Court decision last year that said a state law extending grandfathering through two years of vacancy supersedes a town law allowing vacancy exceptions for only one year.

DiNatale said in the article that no town hall official has taken responsibility for responding to the neighbors' noise and odor complaints. "We have been complaining since April of 1997, and now it's January of 1998 and it still hasn't been resolved," DiNatale said. "This has been the most frustrating process."

According to the article, Selectmen voted to make Environmental Officer Denise Cabral the point person to respond to complaints during office hours. During off-hours, the fire department will be instructed to take the calls and note any noxious odors. Cabral said she has visited Crescent Avenue four times, twice in response to complaints, and never noticed undue noise or paint smells.

Additionally, the article reports, the state Department of Environmental Protection inspected the auto shops in June and noted no violations. Four other inspections of the painting ventilation system have found the businesses in compliance with all regulations.

"The DEP has said there will be fumes," said Selectman Joseph Mokrisky, who expressed sympathy for the neighbors. "If we can get a (town official) to witness the fumes as excessive, maybe then we'll have an avenue to follow. But everything else has to go to the zoning board of appeals."

DiNatale's neighbor, Bette Bishop, said in the article, "Part and parcel of the problem is that the (businesses) don't care enough to communicate. They don't try to be good neighbors."

According to the article, Schiavo, who did not attend the hearing, disputed that. "I come from Italy, and my parents taught me to respect my neighbors," he said from his Westwood home. "No other body shop in the whole area has gone through as many tests and inspections as mine. It's cost me time, aggravation and thousands of dollars. It seems like they just want to give me a hard time. They just don't like me." Schiavo also said in the article that the complaints have led him to rent the repair shop rather than run it himself, as he'd originally planned. Claiming the negative publicity has cost him business, he said he's considering legal action against the neighbors.

"If I was another kind of man I'd have (sued) a long time ago," he said in the article. "I have two kids in college, and this is my main business. If they keep pushing me and pushing me, I'll have to do it."

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Plymouth, Massachusetts Residents Against Expansion of Golf Club Operations

PUBLICATION: The Patriot Ledger
DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 13S
BYLINE: John O'keefe, The Patriot Ledger
DATELINE: Plymouth, Massachusetts

The Patriot Ledger reports that a group of West Plymouth, Massachusetts residents is upset over a proposal to expand clubhouse operations and open a golf school at the Squirrel Run Country Club. The residents have asked the planning board to deny the permit unless steps are taken to improve their privacy and cut down on noise from the 18-hole golf course and clubhouse.

According to the article, the owner, Arthur Charles Caranci, has applied for a special permit to hold more functions in the clubhouse. The existing permit limits functions to golf-related events or functions involving residents of the adjacent mobile-home park, which has five homes. In exchange for the new permit, Caranci has offered to build 25 townhouses on the property instead of the 60 additional mobile homes allowed by the existing permit. The townhouses would be rented to people attending the proposed golf school or leased to people 55 or older. Caranci's lawyer, Richard Serkey, said allowing the new permit would generate more tax revenue for the town because the townhouses would be worth more than the mobile homes.

The article reports that about 40 residents attended the planning board meeting. Several nearby residents complained about stray balls landing in their yards and said the proposed golf school would make the problem worse.

"If you think it's bad now with good golfers, think about what it will be like with bad golfers," resident Mark Landers said in the article.

Thomas Holmes said in the article that he opposes any expansion of the facility because it would bring more traffic. "I wish I could say Mr. Caranci and his facility have been a good neighbor to me, but they haven't," he said. "I can't sleep on a summer's night."

The article reports that in an attempt to respond to the concerns, Caranci agreed to a 1 1/2 -page list of restrictions on clubhouse events. Under the proposals, Squirrel Run could hold golf-related functions, events sponsored by civic organizations, business meetings and luncheons, anniversary parties and class reunions. It could not host weddings, baby or bridal showers, bachelor parties or any "boisterous, noisy or offensive function."

The article reports that other conditions include: music at functions could be played for only three hours and the windows of the clubhouse must be closed, rock music would be prohibited, all functions would end by 11 p.m., and when necessary, a police officer would be hired to direct Route 44 entrance traffic.

The aricle reports that the planning board continued the public hearing until Feb. 3 to let Caranci and the neighbors try to work out their differences.

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Boac Raton, Florida Airport Adopts Ban on Touch-And-Go Maneuvers In Effort to Reduce Noise

DATE: January 7, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. 3B
BYLINE: Karla Schuster ; Staff Writer
DATELINE: Boca Raton, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Boca Raton (Florida) Airport recently instituted a weekend and nighttime ban on touch-and-go maneuvers - repetitive takeoffs and landings by student pilots for training purposes. The ban was one of several recommendations from the Airport Noise Compatibility Committee, an advisory group created by the Airport Authority to boost communication and improve the relationship between pilots, airport officials and homeowners.

According to the article, the Airport Authority approved sanctions for violating the ban which range from written notices to barring violators from using the airport, but tabled action on fines and jail time until it could determine whether city police would help enforce those penalties. "We're still talking to the city attorney to find out exactly how to put more teeth into this by using the police power of the city," said Airport

The article reports that Congress passed a law in 1990 that makes it almost impossible for airports to impose flight curfews. So far, restrictions on touch-and-go landings have not run afoul of the 1990 federal law, Nelson Rhodes, Boca Raton's airport manager said in the article.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a national aviation group, told the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport Noise Advisory Committee that they should abandon plans to fine or arrest pilots who violate the new ban. "As an advocacy group for aviation, we'd like to say we do not want any restrictions other than for common sense and safety. We can live with this restriction, but let's don't get too punitive in the enforcement," Ed Everette, the Florida representative for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said in the article. The association, which represents 340,000 general aviation pilots nationwide, thinks the Airport Authority's plans to institute penalties, including a $500 fine and a 60-day jail sentence, are too harsh.

Since the Boca Raton ban took effect, there have been complaints from some pilots, but no violations, Rhodes also said. "So far, people are complying, but we aren't going to let up on the (harsher) penalties."

Dave Freudenberg, president of the Boca Raton Pilots Association and a member of the noise committee, supported the touch-and-go restrictions despite criticism from other pilots. "As a pilot, I hate this because training is very important. But as a homeowner and a member of this group, I felt it was a good thing to do," Freudenberg said in the article. "But I've got pilots in my association who aren't really happy with me right now."

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Letter to the Editor in Favor of Fayetteville, North Carolina Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The News and Observer
DATE: January 6, 1998
SECTION: Editorial/Opinion; Pg. A8
DATELINE: Fayetteville, North Carolina

The News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) recently printed that following letter to the editor:

Some writers of recent People's Forum letters regarding excessively loud music have suggested that Raleigh needs a noise ordinance to protect the citizenry from this annoyance. That's not good enough. There should be a statewide law that would prohibit this noise pollution.

It's a sad commentary on our society when a private citizen of this state can't sit in his own home and enjoy his family without having the pictures on his walls rattled by some obnoxious and inconsiderate jerk who is driving down the street with his or her sound system turned on full volume. They should not be allowed to impose their noise on those of us who do not wish to hear it.

The City of Fayetteville has adopted a model noise ordinance that seems to work very well. This ordinance is being used successfully to protect the citizenry from the "boomers," as well as those who may want to impose their "music" on others. This ordinance should be a basis for a statewide law to ban this type of noise pollution.

I urge our state legislators to take action on this problem. We voters need some relief from this abuse.


Four Oaks

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Device Designed to Slow Traffic in Hollywood, Florida Neighborhood Creates More Noise

DATE: January 6, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. 5B
BYLINE: David Fleshler; Staff Writer
DATELINE: Hollywood, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the residents of North Hills Drive in Hollywood, Florida who had asked the city to install rumble strips designed to slow down traffic now want the city to take the devices out. A drawback of the traffic calming has been the horrible, grinding sound cars and trucks make as they pass over the rumble strips.

But, according to the article, Bob Shair, a homeowners' association member who drummed up support for the rumble strips, said the neighbors still want traffic calming. "It's just a matter of finding which way is quietest," he said in the article. "It's something you want, but how do you do it without annoying people?"

According to the article, after neighbors soured on the rumble strips, which were installed about two months ago, the city dropped plans to install them elsewhere. Other techniques have worked, city officials. It is a matter of trying out different methods to learn which ones do the job, said George Keller, director of development administration.

Each technique has drawbacks. Rumble strips are loud, "hence the name," John Vogt, acting assistant city engineer, said in the article. On North Hills Drive, the city is likely to try gentler, 1-inch high, 10-foot-long asphalt strips that will not make as much noise as rumble strips, Vogt said.

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Committee Seeks Creative Ways to End Noise on Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Street

PUBLICATION: The Vancouver Sun
DATE: January 6, 1998
SECTION: News; Heart Of The City; Pg. B1 / Front
DATELINE: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Sun reports that the Clinton Neighborhood Committee which is lobbying to reduce the noise and traffic on First Avenue in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will hold a meeting Friday night to show city, regional and provincial politicians just how serious the problem is. The meeting will also discuss solutions to the noise problems.

The article reports that the Clinton Neighborhood Committee says First Avenue between Clark and Rupert is one of the noisiest residential streets in the city, with the highest traffic volume -- 57,000 vehicles a day -- of any east-west arterial in the city. According to the article, Friday's meeting, which will be held at the home of a neighborhood resident, creative alternatives for dealing with heavy traffic volumes on First Avenue "Freeway" will be presented. Among the solutions to be discussed are rezoning, noise walls, pedestrian overpasses and pavements made from special asphalt that helps reduce noise.

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Noise Zone Reductions at Baltimore-Washington International Airport Not Enough

DATE: January 5, 1998
SECTION: Jump; Pg. A12
BYLINE: by E. Janene Nolan, Staff Writer
DATELINE: Baltimore, Maryland
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Dennis Stevens, president of the Airport Coordinating Team

The Capital reports that although noise levels near Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport have been reduced through the use of newer, quieter aircraft, some nearby residents think the airport could do more. The Airport Coordinating Team, a watchdog group, at a recent hearing on BWI's 1998 proposed airport noise zone, told airport officials they need to regulate the use of older, louder aircraft.

"This airport has done nothing to restrict the use of Stage 2 aircraft," said Dennis Stevens, a resident, longtime airport activist, and president of the Airport Coordinating Team. Stage 2 aircraft represents older, noisier planes.

The article reports that the noise zone, updated every five years, is part of a state and federal program that requires airports to monitor surrounding areas for high levels of noise produced by aircraft flying into and out of the airport. It represents areas where airplane noise is especially loud.

According to the article, since the early 1980s, the noise zone has decreased because of an expansion by the airlines to using a Stage 3 jet fleet. Stage 3 jets have new, quieter engines. The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring that all airlines have Stage 3 fleets by the year 2000 and airlines at BWI now use nearly 70 percent Stage 3 aircraft.

The article reports that according to Wayne A. Bryant, the airport's noise director, the 1998 noise zone is about 400 acres smaller than the 7,400-acre zone drafted in 1993 and includes 1,300 fewer homes.

The good news for homeowners is that all homes that are now eligible for noise abatement programs the airport runs will continue to be eligible even if they're no longer in the smaller zone, airport officials said in the article, which is the reason that not many residents opposed the new plan.

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Recent Visitors to Santa Fe, New Mexico Discover There is No Law Against Noisy Trucks

PUBLICATION: The Santa Fe New Mexican
DATE: January 5, 1998
SECTION: Opine; Pg. A-9
DATELINE: Santa Fe, New Mexico

An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican recounted the experiences of two recent visitors to Santa Fe, New Mexico who were treated to the sound of diesel engines all night during their stay. The vacationing couple spent a long, sleepless night in their hotel room, discovering that Santa Fe does not have any laws concerning noisy trucks.

According to the article, Craig and Julie Smythe make a yearly visit to Santa Fe from Indiana. During their most recent trip, a trucker parked outside their inn with his motor on and his airbrakes hissing every 15 minutes or so. When the noise kept on, the Craigs called the cops and asked if an officer could get the guy to turn off his truck or at least move it.

The article reports that they were told that there is no law against this. So the Craigs tried calling the mayor. Her number no longer is listed which they found astonishing, though most Santa Feans would consider it only mildly amusing.

According to the article, the truck rattled away all night long, leaving the Indiana couple considerably less than amused. After all, if they'd wanted to hear internal-combustion engines, they could have gone to Indianapolis and saved themselves a trip West.

On their return home, the article reports that the Craigs wrote the mayor a letter. No reply. They forwarded a copy to The New Mexican, and their letter does raise a pretty good question: If present law on disturbing the peace doesn't do the job, shouldn't the City Council consider some steps against such noise?

The article maintains that many trucks, especially those carrying refrigerated goods, may have to stay running to keep their cargo fresh. If they do, however, drivers should park those rigs at a rest stop, or somewhere along an empty stretch of highway.

According to the article, the City Council has shown concern not only for northside apartment dwellers, but also for guests of the Radisson Picacho, by outlawing "jake brake" use on the hill into town from Espanola. The author of the article maintains that city leaders also should look out for Santa Fe's many other hotel guests, not to mention city residents before word gets out that the City Different isn't all that different from Albuquerque or any other truck-stop town.

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Neighbors Afraid Proposed Gas Station/Car Wash in Camarillo, California Will Bring More Traffic and Noise

PUBLICATION: Ventura County Star
DATE: January 5, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A03
BYLINE: Gregg Mansfield Staff Writer
DATELINE: Camarillo, California

The Ventura County Star reports that American Oil Co. wants to build a gasoline station and car wash in Camarillo, California, but neighbors fear the project will increase traffic and create noise.

According to the article, the gas station is proposed for an island of land south of Highway 101 that runs along Petit Street. This is the third time a developer has tried to build a gasoline station at that location, officials said. In 1995, the City Council rejected a service station, delicatessen and car wash. The Planning Commission approved another project later that year but it was never built, city officials said.

The article reports that the proposed gasoline station would have 12 pumps in the main portion and another four pumps near the car wash. It also will include an area to dry the cars, according to a staff report. The city would restrict the station's hours from 5 a.m. to midnight.

Mark McCarthy has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and opposes the project because of the traffic it will generate, the article reports. McCarthy said in the article that the street is congested in the morning with people trying to get to work. He believes the station will add to the traffic problems.

According to the article, the city is requiring American Oil Co. to make improvements to the roads around the proposed station.

McCarthy acknowledges that if the station isn't built he expects another developer will come forward. "That's a pretty desirable chunk of land," McCarthy said. "I would hope for something that doesn't generate a bunch of traffic - like a dentist's office.

"How many more car washes does this town need?" Francisco Garcia, who rents a home in the nearby neighborhood, said in the article. "All (motorists) need to do is a drive a mile further up the freeway to find a gas station."

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Los Angeles Mayor Approves Leaf Blower Ban

PUBLICATION: The Daily News of Los Angeles
DATE: January 9, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. N3
BYLINE: Patrick Mcgreevy Daily News Staff Writer

The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that despite threats by Los Angeles, California gardeners to continue a hunger strike, Mayor Richard Riordan signed an ordinance Thursday that calls for fines of $270 against anyone using a gas-powered leaf blower in a residential area. However, the article reports that before he signed the law, Riordan met for nearly an hour with hunger-striking gardeners in wheelchairs to resolve the dispute, saying his hands are tied. The mayor said that this is because if he had not signed the ordinance setting the $270 fine, a previously approved measure allowing up to six months of jail time for violators would have taken effect.

"In good conscience, I cannot send a gardener or other violators of this old ordinance to jail," Riordan told reporters. "Now, that's not to say that the gardeners don't have a good case for taking a look at both ordinances."

According to the article, the gardeners say loss of the gas-powered blowers threatens their ability to make a living by forcing them to use more time-consuming methods of doing their work.

The article reports that Riordan pledged to form a task force to look at alternatives that include limiting the hours leaf blowers can operate and providing loans to gardeners so they can buy quieter, less-polluting machines. Riordan pledged to work with City Council members Mike Hernandez, an opponent of the ban, and Cindy Miscikowski, the leading proponent of the ban, to "find a solution that makes the homeowners happy (and) allows gardeners to continue to make a living wage."

However, according to the article, Alvaro Huerta of the Association of Latin American Gardeners said the mayor did not provide enough guarantees to the gardeners and so the liquid-only hunger strike, which enters its seventh day today, will continue until city officials provide a signed written commitment to solve their grievances.

The article reports that already, four of the 11 gardeners and protesters who began the hunger strike last Saturday have been forced by doctor's orders to stop because of health problems. The seven who are left remained camped out on the south lawn of City Hall, where they all were in wheelchairs.

Huerta, who is not a hunger striker, said in the article that the ordinance signed Thursday means "at this point the only people whose needs are being met are rich people in West L.A." who sought the ban because of concerns about noise and pollution.

The start of enforcement is still more than a month away and will be done primarily by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The article reports that Riordan's signature approving the leaf-blower ordinance triggers a process that requires the measure to be published in a local newspaper in the next week. The ordinance will take effect 30 days after the notice of the ordinance is published. And once the law takes effect, residents may call the nonemergency number of their local police station to report violations, according to LAPD Cmdr. Maurice Moore.

Moore said in the article that because violation of the blower ban is an infraction, officers will respond to complaints only after handling more serious crimes, including felonies. "We will try to make every effort to respond to them, but this will not be high on our priority list," Moore also said in the article.

Moore also said in the article that officers can only issue citations if they witness a violation. The law does provide the ability of citizens to make citizens' arrests, but Moore said the LAPD is discouraging that kind of activity because it will lead to problems between neighbors.

In addition, the council has authorized inspectors for the Building and Safety Department and Street Maintenance Division to issue citations as they come across violations, but those agencies will not respond to citizen complaints, officials said.

The article reports that the city is in the process of setting up a telephone hotline, to be operated by a street maintenance clerk, to whom people can call and lodge complaints. Officials will send warning letters to property owners and gardeners they identify.

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Park Service Prepares Regulations For Jet Skis on Lake Powell

PUBLICATION: The Salt Lake Tribune
DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: Utah; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Christopher Smith
DATELINE: Lake Powell, Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that federal managers of Lake Powell, one of the West's premier watersports playgrounds, are considering making portions of the Utah-Arizona lake "Jet Ski free."

The article says the National Park Service is preparing a study in response to growing popularity and complaints about personal watercraft (PWC): small, highly maneuverable vessels that use an inboard water-jet pump for propulsion and are more commonly known by brand names such as Jet Ski, Waverunner, Wavejammer, WetJet, Sea-Doo, Wet Bike and Surf Jet. This month, the Park Service plans to publish in The Federal Register details of a proposed rule allowing superintendents at the 97 national parks and recreation areas with navigable waterways to regulate PWC, either by restrictions or outright prohibition. "The parks do not have a mechanism for determining the appropriateness of PWC to their areas, as with bicycles and snowmobiles," said Dennis Burnett of the Park Service Ranger Activities Division in announcing the proposed regulation, which will have a 60-day comment period. Before any changes in PWC use take effect at Lake Powell, Alston said the Park Service will conduct "an extensive public review process," including asking for comments to help the agency determine the appropriateness of continued use in all sections of Lake Powell.

According to the article, PWC enthusiasts fear the regulations may lead to undue restrictions on their fun. "This is a first step in reducing recreation opportunities for the average person at Lake Powell and other national park areas," said John Donaldson, executive director of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association in Washington, D.C. "If the federal government continues to limit access, pretty soon the only way you'll be able to experience a national park is through a movie or video." The Park Service initiative is only the latest in a regulatory crackdown on the 1.2 million PWC in the United States today. At least 43 states have implemented some type of legislation or regulation directed at PWC use, from speed limits and wake-jumping bans to education requirements and adult supervision. Despite an average price tag of $5,000, the speedy watercraft generate annual sales of 200,000 vessels and the unmodified, factory-built PWC can top 60 mph. "Nobody's forcing anyone to buy personal watercraft, but they are extremely popular," said Donaldson. "The high use is a reflection of how people choose to experience their public waterways."

The article explains how PWC are being blamed for fouling waters with unburned fuel, creating safety hazards and making too much noise. "In recent years, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area [NRA] has received more complaints from park visitors dealing with PWC than any other issue," said Glen Canyon NRA Superintendent Joe Alston, who met with Donaldson and other watercraft-industry officials at Bullfrog Marina in October. "To address this growing concern, managers of the recreation area are looking at the possibility of establishing some areas on Lake Powell as motorless, wakeless, and/or PWC free areas." All areas of Lake Powell are now open to PWC operation, with the exception of upstream travel at the Escalante River at the confluence of Coyote Creek, the San Juan River at the Clay Hills pullout, the Colorado River at the base of Imperial Rapid and the Dirty Devil River at the point where downstream current is encountered.

The article explains that while noise and safety comprise the majority of PWC complaints at Lake Powell, the watercraft have come under fire for environmental reasons at Lake Tahoe, straddling the Nevada-California border in the Sierra Nevada. In June, the Tahoe Regional Planning Association (TRPA) voted to ban all two-stroke carbureted engines from Tahoe by the summer of 1999, a move that effectively bans all currently manufactured PWC. The decision came after the association's governing board heard reports that carbureted two-stroke motors release as much as 25 percent to 30 percent unburned fuel into Tahoe's famed pristine alpine water. "Our board felt there was enough evidence on the record that this type of engine poses a particular risk to water quality due to the amount of unspent fuel released," said Pam Drum of TRPA. "We've heard arguments that no engine is 100 percent efficient and that if we ban one type, we have to ban them all, but we did not feel that was a logical argument."

The report continues to describe how Donaldson's Personal Watercraft Industry Association and several other PWC dealers sued TRPA in October in federal court over the 1999 ban on two-stroke engines, arguing that the board's scientific evidence is incomplete. "When people throw out huge numbers of fuel dumped into the lake, those are scare tactics and misrepresentations that have never been proven," said Donaldson, who maintains much of the unspent fuel evaporates. "Once the factual issue is fully explored, this will be back to a question of public policy, whether recreational boating is a reasonable activity."

According to the article, in addition to the engine ban at Lake Tahoe, TRPA imposed a new "no-wake zone," prohibiting wakes up to 600 feet from the lakeshore. "That was an attempt to deal with the noise and nuisance issue," said Drum. "We want to make sure people can come to Lake Tahoe and have a high quality recreation experience and for a number of people that does not involve lying on the beach and listening to carbureted two-stroke engines."

The report says personal watercraft manufacturers are exploring ways to make quieter, cleaner vessels. Bombardier, a major PWC manufacturer, has announced plans to build a new semi fuel-injection PWC for 1998 that reduces hydrocarbon emissions by 35 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved new emission standards for PWC, which go into effect in the 1999 model year. But many PWC enthusiasts will not want to give up their two-stroke carbureted models. "The industry is probably two years away from making anything that's even close to the performance of a carbureted two-stroke personal watercraft," said McDaniels of Page. "You go from a two-stroke to a four-stroke engine and you lose a lot of power and speed." Speed may have been a factor in a fatal PWC accident at Lake Powell in September, when a 32-year-old Phoenix man was killed after his PWC collided with an oncoming 15-foot jet boat.

According to the article, Utah is one of a growing number of states that requires education or adult supervision for young PWC operators. Utah's laws for PWC at Lake Powell apply to residents and nonresidents alike and require that operators be at least 18 years old. Those younger than 18 must have an adult on board when operating. In Utah during 1996, there were 53 PWC accidents compared to 95 for all other types of boats. Arizona has no operator education requirements, although PWC rental operators like McDaniels tell customers to get the Utah certificate no matter where they plan to boat on Lake Powell, most of which lies in Utah. However, for out-of-state residents, the PWC certification process can take months communicating by mail with the Utah State Parks and Recreation Department.

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How To Fix A Noisy Garbage Disposal

PUBLICATION: The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News
DATE: January 4, 1998
SECTION: At Home; Pg. G5
BYLINE: Gene Gary
DATELINE: Stuart, Florida

The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News describes how to quiet a noisy garbage disposal.

The article says different models vary as to the degree of noise they create during operation. However, a unit may malfunction due to other circumstances, making it excessively noisy.

According to the article, if the disposer is not loaded with garbage and vibrates when you turn it on the problem could be that the mounting bolts were tightened too much during installation. Sometimes the mounting bolts are so tight that the resilience from the mounting pads is deadened. Try loosening the mounting bolts slightly. Give them about a one-quarter to one-half turn each. Then test the unit. If it is still noisy and seems to vibrate, try loosening the mounting bolts just a tad more.

Another possibility the article explains is when the disposer has a hard object in the hopper such as a bottle cap, bone fragment, broken glass, etc., which will cause a loud noise during operation and often results in a stuck grinding wheel. Look down into the hopper of the disposer and see if you can spot any object in the hopper that could be causing problems. If you can see an object or any remaining debris, try running the unit with plenty of cold water for several minutes.

If you still have ungrindable debris in the unit,the article recommends you turn off the power to the disposal at the main electrical service panel. Make sure the unit is off by turning on the disposer motor (push the reset button if necessary). If the unit is not operating but you hear a humming sound from the motor, the power is not off. Once you are sure that the power is off, use kitchen tongs or the hook of a flattened wire coat hanger to retrieve ungrindable debris. Never, under any circumstances, put your hand down into the hopper of the disposal. Usually, major obstructions will cause the grinding wheel to stick. Hard objects become jammed between a cutter and the shredder ring around the flywheel of the disposer. Most disposers have an automatic overload switch that shuts off the power in such circumstances. A jammed grinding wheel is the most common cause of malfunction in disposal units. Once the object has been removed and the reset button pushed down to reactivate the electricity to operate the disposer, the problem is solved. In some cases, a jammed flywheel remains stuck and must be activated by using a short length of broom handle or similar rod inserted into the hopper. Use the rod to try turning the flywheel in either direction. You will feel (and sometimes hear) the flywheel break free. At this point, turn on the power, run plenty of water into the hopper and flick the disposer switch on/off in quick sequence. This jolt should spin the flywheel and the water will flood away any loose debris in and around the hopper component. If your unit still sounds noisy after taking the above steps, contact the manufacturer. If your home is new, the unit may still be under warranty.

Send e-mail to copleysd(at) or write to Here's How, Copley News Service, P.O. Box 190, San Diego, CA 92112-0190. Only questions of general interest can be answered in the column.

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Noise Matters: Ban Leaf Blowers, Buy Rakes

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal (Atlanta, GA)
DATE: January 11, 1998
SECTION: Home and Garden; Pg. 01H
DATELINE: Atlanta, Georgia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Julie Newmar, actress; Lee May, writer

The Atlanta Journal reports that noise matters. It points to the clash over leaf blowers in Los Angeles ---a battle that has drawn national attention and counts among its supporters actress Julie Newmar, a leaf-blower hater.

According to a column in The Atlanta Journal, the 12-year LA conflict has pitted neighbor against neighbor and has led to a city ordinance that ranks among the strongest in the nation; it outlaws use of gas-powered blowers within 500 feet of residences. Claiming that banning leaf blowers deprives gardeners of jobs, the Association of Latin American Gardeners of Los Angeles organized a fast on the steps of City Hall to protest the ordinance. This protest drew no sympathy from Newmar and other celebrities. In fact, Newmar distributed anti-blower leaflets in her neighborhood and spray-painted the word "ruido" (Spanish for noise) near a neighbor's house when he refused to silence his Latino gardener's blower. Some opponents deride the leaf blowers as phallic symbols.

The article states that the ban, whose implementation had been delayed, was approved on Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council. Violators could face fines and fees up to $ 270, a reduction from original legislation allowing fines of $1,000 and six months in jail. The ban's in the hands of Mayor Richard Riordan, who's expected to make it a law.

The article says the LA ban raises intriguing possibilities: What if people in other places rose up against leaf blowers? Imagine, as Newmar's leaflet suggests, "the sound of rakes and brooms on a walk or driveway." The writer says she advocates a ban although a leaf blower can be tempting. In fact, she bought an electric one, used it a few times, then gave it up because she couldn't stand the noise. "I just couldn't stand listening to the din. And the gasoline machines are even noisier than mine. The deafening racket is bad enough if you're behind closed doors and windows. But if you venture outside, it's absolutely assaulting, like loud music and raggedy mufflers. Long after using the blower, I'd hear it roaring in my ears. So I went back to rakes and brooms."

In her column, the writer goes on to point out how soothing a rake and broom can be. The steady strokes and easy scraping are natural, she says. "Raking is a caress, leaf blowing an attack." As for those who make a living blowing leaves and grass and dust? The author suggests a solution: Let them get rakes.

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Tolerance of Dallas Residents Vary with Noise Sources

PUBLICATION: The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX)
DATE: January 6, 1998
SECTION: Today; Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Patricia Long Allbee
DATELINE: Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Morning News reports that today it is highly unlikely you live without being exposed to somebody else's noise. It may just be the muffled roar of traffic or music from the house next door. Or it may be wailing sirens, the thunder of a passing plane, the muffled roar of traffic.

The article says "Good neighbors keep their noise to themselves," is the motto of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, a national nonprofit organization that raises noise awareness. Anyone who lives near an airport, mall or just a busy street would probably agree. But one person's noise may be another person's music, literally. And we each have our pet peeves when it come to noise. "At least I don't hear lawn mowers cranking up at 6 in the morning or little kids screaming on their Big Wheels," says Charlie Gilder, who lives in a building above bars, restaurants and other retail establishments in the Exposition Park section of Deep Ellum. "I've lived in a suburban neighborhood, and those lawn mowers can sound like jets." But Mr. Gilder says he could live without the constant roar of buses. "Sometimes it's four or five buses simultaneously, almost as if they are racing. . . . For me, it's like trying to sleep at the forward end of an aircraft carrier." Mr. Gilder says the other nuisance noises he has to deal with are made by people coming and going at all hours. "Private" conservations outside in the parking lot are louder than the talkers think, he says. "Between the buses, the doorslamming and people cutting up outside my window, I have to sleep with an air conditioner or space heater going, and I sleep with the TV on all night."

According to the article, Pam Eubanks, another Deep Ellum resident, also fights noise with noise. Ms. Eubanks, who lives on Elm Street on the ground floor sleeps with a fan on, turned away from her. While the fan drowns out most sounds, she still wakes up when people are talking right outside her door. She is especially sensitive when her parents come for a visit. "When your 74-year-old dad is hearing four-letter words screaming through the night, you notice." But both Mr. Gilder and Ms. Eubanks say they cherish their urban lifestyles in spite of the noise. Mr. Gilder says if you're planning to live in the inner city, you've got to learn to live with the noise. "It's not bad, but it's not quiet."

The article goes on to point out some people even enjoy living near railroad tracks. Connie Chavanell grew up near railroad tracks, and now, Ms. Chavanell is back in the city living about 100 feet from railroad tracks. She likes the sound most of the time. But "early on a Sunday morning after midnight, when you're really trying to sleep," she says, "the trains come through here every two hours, and the conductors ride the horn all the way." Locomotive engineers are required by traditional industry practice to start sounding their horn a quarter of a mile before road crossings - two long blasts, a short, followed by another long. The lack of an exact definition of long and short, however, and the mechanics of the horn leave room for a certain amount of creative expression on the part of the engineer. "The sound is personalized," says Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad. "It's generated by a lever that controls air flow. It can have a different tone depending on how they work the lever." The bottom line is "The prevention of loss of lives is far greater than an occasional loss of sleep," he says. For potential home buyers who can't stand the noise of trains, Mr. Davis has a simple tip: "Check to see if there is a track nearby, and if there are any crossings. Call and ask how many trains run each day."

The article reports the Richardson YWCA Child Care Center is right next door to another "necessary noise, " the driveway of Richardson Fire Station No. 4. The siren "doesn't seem to bother them; we've gotten used to it," says Pam Basile, a lead teacher at the center. "When the babies sleep, we play tapes," she says. "For the toddlers, the sirens are exciting. If they're inside, they run to the windows, where we have step stools for them to look out. If they're outside, they run along the fence, watching and waving." Lt. Danny Roberts says that on life-threatening calls the trucks are required to sound the siren before entering the street. "The only really disturbing noise, " says Ms. Basile, "is when the civil defense siren sounds once a month from the station." But the center's personnel know the siren's schedule and prepare the children so they won't be startled.

The article says Felton Mathis also has a noisy neighbor. He lives near the end zone of the Dallas school district's Forrester Stadium where, from August until December, high school bands play every Thursday, Friday and Saturday during back-to-back football games. "During the peak season, all day on Saturday it's music and games, music and games, music and games," Mr. Mathis says. He can also hear the play-by-play announcer. "In the five years that I've lived here, I've never attended a game inside that stadium," he says. "I've always had a ringside seat." Sometimes, though, the noise can be too much. "During the State Fair," he says, "they have a battle of the bands out here where the winner gets to play in the Cotton Bowl. At least 10-12 different schools compete."

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