Noise News for Week of June 14, 1998

Maryland Navy Base Proposes More Flights; Public Makes Few Comments at Hearing

PUBLICATION: The Washington Post
DATE: June 14, 1998
SECTION: Southern Maryland Extra; Pg. M07
BYLINE: Steve Vogel
DATELINE: Calvert and St. Marys Counties, Maryland

The Washington Post reports that the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Marys County, Maryland wants to expand its flight operations. Officials at the base held the first of four public hearings on the proposal Wednesday, drawing a crowd of about 50 people. The meeting didn't provoke much comment or controversy, the article says.

According to the article, Navy officials have prepared a draft environmental impact statement that considers increasing flight hours at the base from the current annual level of 18,200 to three higher levels: 20,700, 22,600, and 24,400. The report says the impact from each level would be minimal, the article says. No further military construction would be required for the expanded operations at either Patuxent River or the Webster Field Annex at St. Inigoes, and the number of workers at Patuxent would not increase, according to the report. In addition, the report says increased flights wouldn't harm wetlands, soils, or air quality, and noise vibrations wouldn't damage any historic structures in the area. The report also says, "Despite a projected increase in the release of practice bombs at the target areas ... probability of direct contact or strikes on fish and wildlife would still be extremely low."

The article explains that only two people gave comments during the public comment period on Wednesday. A representative of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, directly across the river from the base, said there was concern about the noise caused by jet engine testing, but added Navy officials had promised to address the problem. John Bohanan, an assistant to Representative Steny Hoyer (D-5th District), read a statement from the congressman that said, "The Navy has demonstrated its strong commitment to performing its mission without harming our environment in this region." Kelly Burdick, a base public affairs official involved in setting up the hearing, said, "I would have liked to have heard from more people."

The article notes that citizens can get information about the proposal at the base's web site at: Comments can be e-mailed to Three more public hearings are scheduled to gather input, base officials said.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Noise Concerns from Airport Delay New School in Las Vegas

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV)
DATE: June 20, 1998
BYLINE: Lisa Kim Bach
DATELINE: Las Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports noise concerns may stall construction for a new high school planned near Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport.

According to the article, a plan to build a new $38 million high school for the area's rapidly growing population is encountering opposition from the Clark County Department of Aviation. The 40-acre parcel chosen as a tentative site by the Clark County School District is now owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and is located directly underneath McCarran International Airport's primary departure corridor. Students and educators would face an almost constant stream of air traffic, said Jacob Snow, planning director for the Department of Aviation. Air traffic in that area can reach noise levels of 100 decibels, Snow said. "We don't know what the impact on the airport will be," Snow said. "We're more concerned with the impact on the school."

The article reports the new high school was scheduled to open in fall 2000, said Fred Smith, district manager for contracts and construction. But concerns about location may push start date back one year. While some aspects of the school's design are under way, plans such as locating athletic fields and outdoor facilities will have to wait until a definite site is chosen. Smith also said it's getting difficult to find parcels of available land large enough to accommodate high schools in the southwest area. "There are four other sites under consideration in the same general area," Smith said. "But every one of those sites has a different disadvantage." Some of the sites have flood control problems, while utilities would cause problems at other locations. Having to relocate add up to $3 million to the cost of the school, Smith said. "In all honesty, it's difficult to predict what kind of impact this will have," Smith said. "We are participating in discussions with (the Department of Aviation) and hope their objections can be overcome.'"

The article states while some of the district's schools are located in similar flight zones around the airport, the Department of Aviation discourages the construction of new ones. After the airport acquired the old Paradise Elementary School site more than a year ago, Snow said the school district was asked not to site new schools in similar areas. Snow said aviation staffers receive complaint calls daily about aircraft noise. It's one reason why proposed land uses around the airport are so closely scrutinized. "It's very difficult," Snow said. "Some people can't sleep, others have health problems. The constant barrage of air traffic just isn't compatible with some uses." Snow said he hopes the department can work the issue out independently with the district. If that doesn't happen, the matter is likely to be taken before the Clark County Commission.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Village Officials for Arlington Heights Displeased with Increased Noise from Chicago's O'Hara International Airport

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: June 20, 1998
SECTION: Neighbor; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jon Davis
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that the village of Arlington Heights, Illinois is divided over how best to state the its displeasure with the increased level of noise and air pollution generated by nearby O'Hara International Airport, the world's busiest airport.

According to the article, Arlington Heights' trustees unanimously endorsed a motion to restate their position against new runways or expanded flight capacity at O'Hare, but specifically rejected a motion stating the village "recognizes that possible alternatives to O'Hare expansion are expansion of other airports or a new third airport."

The article said the votes resulted from discussions among the village's Advisory Committee regarding O'Hare Noise on May 21st. Trustee Virginia Kucera, who offered the motion, was noted in the article saying the idea behind the second vote was to acknowledge various options "without tying ourselves down to one or the other."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Is Living Under Heathrow Airport's Flight Paths an Asset or Loss for London's Homeowners and Purchasers?

PUBLICATION: Financial Times
DATE: June 20, 1998
SECTION: Property; Pg. 17
DATELINE: London, England

The Financial Times reports that some of Britain's most expensive houses lie on the flight paths into and out of Heathrow airport. The proximity to the airport is considered one of the property's virtues, at least until now. The article poses the question: With construction of the fifth terminal ("Terminal Five") looming on the horizon, will proximity to the airport continue to be an asset or will the proximity push buyers beyond the limits for noise and congestion?

According to the article the properties for sale presently highlight their access to Heathrow Airport via the M4 and M25 motorways as assets, even though it is some of the busiest sections of motorway in the country. Construction of Terminal Five would increase the usage of the airport by an extra 30m passengers to the 58m already using the airport each year. That would mean, according to the article, an extra 13m journeys a year.

The article asks whether the increased inconvenience and noise for those living near the airport would be outweighed by the benefits to travelers and to British business of increased flights.

According to the article some persons believe Heathrow is already an awful a neighbor at it current capacity. Cited among them was Lord Gilmour, a former Tory defense secretary, who is quoted describing one January morning when he wanted a particularly good night's sleep. "I was woken up by an aircraft at 4.13am. I tried to go back to sleep, but further aircraft followed at 4.22, 4.24, 4.36, 4.50, 5.06, 5.13, 5.18, 5.27, 5.29 and 5.35, at which point, exasperated, I got up," he said.

The article reported that 31 more aircraft had passed over Lord Gilmour's Isleworth home on what he reportedly called an unexceptional morning. "Furthermore, I am not a light sleeper and I am becoming increasingly deaf," the article said, quoting Lord Gilmour.

The article describes Robin Paterson as another person cited among those who find current noise levels intolerable. Paterson, a group managing director of Hamptons International, was so fed up with the problem he moved his house from Kew to Chiswick purely to escape aircraft noise. "It was the time they started in the morning," he is quoted saying. "At 4.30 when the first flights come in, you hear them very clearly - even in the winter when the windows are shut. It's the final approaches, when they are low over Kew and Richmond, which are the worst, but you only have to be half a mile on either side of the flight path to be OK."

The article points out, however, the irony in Paterson's position: when he wasn't awakened by the early morning flights, he was often on them.

The sleep of London's southwest residents is disturbed by the flights between Heathrow and places such as Hong Kong and Singapore. But Paterson is noted pointing out that "If those flights did not get in until after 6am, you would get caught up in the rush hour coming in to London." To my mind that is the biggest issue concerning Terminal Five - the traffic congestion. I quite often catch flights at 7am and there are already tailbacks into the airport."

Even the BAA, which wants to build Terminal Five, readily admits to the noise problems. Des Wilson, its director of corporate and public affairs, is quoted saying, "I have lived under the flight path and there were times when I thought the aeroplane was going to come through my bedroom."

But Wilson argues that the Terminal Five addition is a price worth paying for better air services. The article quotes Wilson saying, "The country has to decide whether Terminal Five represents an unacceptable environmental impact, and the answer is that it doesn't."

For those buyers who are not convinced about the acceptability of eleven aircraft overhead in the early hours of the morning, the article offers further details about which areas to avoid and discusses details pertaining to the status and prospects of numerous niches in the market.

The article also states that aircraft noise, up to now, has not been sufficient to turn people off away from moving into the affected residential areas surrounding London. House prices have risen faster in south and west London than in any other part of the country. Detached houses in the best roads in Kew now sell for more than L1m. Estate agents and sellers, however, have a vested interest in keeping the problem quiet. No one knows how many people have adopted Robin Paterson's strategy and moved out.

In spite of the relative lack of widespread discontent in London, the article reports that a group objecting to Terminal Five, called Hacan, has collected members from as far away as Greenwich, where the incoming flights start to queue. According to the article, there are two flight paths: the northern one, which aircraft use in the first half of the day. This first flight path goes along the river Thames and particularly affects Battersea, Fulham and Kew. The southern flight path one, which the later flights use, goes over Clapham, Barnes, Richmond and Twickenham.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Australian Prime Minister Concedes that the Government's Noise Plan Has Failed to Achieve its Goals

PUBLICATION: Sydney Morning Herald
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: Nationwide General News; Australian General News
DATELINE: Sydney, Australia

The AAP Newsfeed reported that Australian Prime Minister John Howard admitted for the first time that his government could not meet its promises regarding aircraft noise.

According to the article, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Prime Minister Howard made the concession in a letter to a Sydney lobby group (called the Sydney Airport Forum) admitting that northern suburbs were still experiencing more than 30 percent of aircraft movements.

The government risks losing the federal seat of Lowe because it disclosed that it wanted to back away from its Long Term Operating Plan (LTOP) for Sydney airport, the article said. MP Paul Zammit of the Liberal party won the seat in 1996 by less that 2,000 votes and has since resigned from the party over the airport noise issue.

According to the article, Air Services Australia figures indicate that aircraft movements to the north increased to nearly 33 percent. Movements over the eastern suburbs in late May and early June, however, fell to less than six percent and to slightly more than eight percent over the west, it said.

The LTOP targets are for 17 per cent to the north, 15 per cent to the west, 13 per cent to the east and 55 per cent over water to the south, the paper said.

The article quotes from the Prime Minister's letter to the Sydney Airport Forum, which sets forth more ambitious targets than those achieved to date. The article quotes the Prime Minister Howard's letter saying, "Changing the operation of the airport is not a simple process, however. It is a major undertaking and it is important that changes are made carefully, safely and in consultation with affected parties. With this in mind, I don't propose to put a date on when these targets will be achieved."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Airport Noise Monitored at Twenty Sites in Chandler, Arizona

PUBLICATION: The Arizona Republic
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: Chandler Community; Pg. Ev3
DATELINE: Chandler, Arizona

The Arizona Republic reports that the Sky Harbor International Airport has positioned noise monitors at 20 sites near Phoenix, Arizona. According to the article data collected from the monitors will be used by airport officials to pinpoint particularly noisy aircraft and to better understand planes' flight patterns.

The article lists addresses of the twenty monitors placed in the Chandler Valley, which includes the communities of Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix.

Readers of the article were invited to call Sky Harbor International Airport at 275-9302 to register noise complaints.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Air Conditioning Unit for Super Market Causes Tremors and Noise Disturbances for Baltimore Neighborhood

PUBLICATION: The Baltimore Sun
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: Local (News), Pg. 3B
BYLINE: Joe Mathews
DATELINE: Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore Sun reports that Cherry Hill neighborhood, located in South Baltimore, is shaking from nine industrial-strength air units erected to provide air conditioning and refrigeration for a new super market. The Super Market is the centerpiece of a major redevelopment campaign spearheaded by Catholic Charities.

According to the article, the air units were placed at the shopping center's southern rim and about 50 feet from Janie Sanders' front door. Sanders, 77, moved her bedroom to the back of her house, putting distance between her and the noise. She also closed all her windows, even though she has no air conditioning, and the heat makes it hard to sleep.

The article describes how other neighbors are similarly disrupted. The article mentions for example neighbor Carol Lewis who called a halt to her famous backyard barbecues. Rosa McCoy, another neighbor, has a china cabinet which has a glass panel that slipped out of place. McCoy also sent her 10-year-old grandson Karl, who had been having trouble sleeping, away for the summer. Mardeen and Haiddie Edmundson entertain their guests on their back porch rather than in front, where the noise makes it impossible to have a conversation.

Tremors are the least of the trouble, the article reports. The loud, ground-moving rumble is keeping residents up nights and well. Wayne Chambers, a resident for 51 years is quoted in the article saying, "It's like living next to a freight train. In two months, I haven't slept through the night once. I can't imagine there's a noisier residential street in all Baltimore."

According to the article Catholic Charities purchased the shopping center - which was long considered an eyesore - last year for $1.1 million and created a nonprofit, Cherry Hill Town Center, to manage the $5.5 million renovation of the complex. The new center will include the Super Pride, a food court, specialty shops and the local branch of the Enoch Pratt Library.

The paper quotes Councilman for the area, Melvin Stukes as saying, "We're happy about the progress at the shopping center, but this noise and shaking is not acceptable." The article says Stukes pointed out that the block of housing most affected by the noise is a cherished pocket of middle-class homeowners. Those are precisely the kind of customers the new shopping center cannot afford to offend if it is to succeed in meeting its stated goal: keeping Cherry Hill residents' money in the neighborhood the article said.

Rosa McCoy helped organize a meeting between Councilman Stukes and the center's project manager. According to the article they visited other city supermarkets to observe their air units. "Every market I visited had their units on the roof, away from houses," McCoy said. "But this one is on the ground, as close to us as they could make it."

The article reports that Fran Minakowski, communications director for Catholic Charities, said that the air units had to go on the ground because the shopping center's roof was not strong enough to hold them. The president of Super Pride Markets, Oscar Smith is also noted in the article saying that he has ordered the building of a concrete wall within two weeks to block the noise and vibration. The article quotes Smith saying, "I understand their concern, and we don't want to do anything to alienate anyone. And if the wall doesn't solve the problem, we will find another way to solve it." Councilman Stukes and the affected neighbors doubt that anything less than a relocation of the units will help.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Excemption to City's Noise Bylaws Granted for Calgary Folk Festival; Appeal Made by Community Association is Defeated

PUBLICATION: Calgary Herald
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: City; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Ron Collins
DATELINE: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jim Besse, co-chairman of Hillhurst Sunnyside's community advisory committee

The Calgary Herald reports that the city's chief bylaw enforcement officer, Earl MacLeod, granted a temporary exemption to the city's noise bylaw permitting Calgary Folk Festival to play music until 11 p.m. on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25. On Thursday, July 23 and Sunday 26, the music must shut down at 10 p.m.

The decision defeats the appeal for speakers to be shut off at 10 p.m. made by the Hillhurst-Sunnyside community association. The community association, however, believes the leniency to allow the extra two hours will open the doors to other groups who will also seek exemptions to the noise bylaw.

Co-chairman of Hillhurst Sunnyside's community advisory committee, Jim Besse, is quoted in the article saying, "Why can't my kids get to sleep at a reasonable hour like other kids across the city? There's a principle and a precedent involved here. This is one of 66 events. Are they just going to declare the whole area a party central? Who will be next looking for an exemption?"

According to the article last year's final act, the Doobie Brothers, played for nearly a half-hour after silence was supposed to descend over the park. Earl McLeod reportedly told the license appeal board: "If there is abuse this year, there will be no approvals next year. I'd like to see them granted one more opportunity. I think and I expect they will meet the obligations."

Although the city license appeal board rejected the appeal from the community association, they nonetheless issued a stern warning to folk festival organizers. "I would say, 'be very careful this year,'" or this could be the festival's last event on Prince's Island, the article said quoting Ald. Patti Grier.

About 30,000 people attended last year's festival over the four-day event, the article stated.

Vice-chairman of the Calgary Folk Festival, Dan Evans, said organizers have been working hard at measures to contain sound to the island. Evans is quoted saying, "We're certainly getting exhausted about the amount of time and effort we have to put into the political battle as opposed to investing all of that energy making a great festival on Prince's Island. We want this to be something that Calgary is proud of. We don't want this to be an ongoing community battle. We're the ones who have the most to lose if we're not good people this year."

The paper said Ald. John Schmal suggested Hillhurst residents need to realize the park is for everybody. The article quoted Schmall saying, "People from Hillhurst better understand that this is not their park. This is a citywide park. When we have a very important function like this, if it runs once or twice to 11 o'clock, surely they aren't going to start complaining. If they are, maybe they should think of moving."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Opinions Regarding the Utility of Expansion at Chicago's O'Hara International Airport Verses Construction of a Third Chicago Airport Debated

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jim Allen and Melissa Knopper
DATELINE: Chicago, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jack Saporito, Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare

The Chicago Herald reports that the city of Chicago is projecting 200 more flights a day at O'Hare International Airport within the next 15 years. However, Illinois state transportation officials believe the growth in jet traffic at the world's busiest airport will be substantially higher. At stake in the dispute between those two estimates for growth is the issue of whether a third airport is needed in the Chicago area.

The Chicago Herald reports that the city of Chicago has an interest in maintaining O'Hare as the region's dominant airport and is using its estimates as evidence that a third airport is not needed. Illinois Department of Transportation says it is using its projections to support the proposition that another airport is necessary and that Chicago will not be able to handle increases in traffic.

According to the article, Aviation Commissioner Mary Rose Loney insisted that the city's new and more modest projections are based upon a realistic demand for air travel. She reportedly made her assertions in a speech to the Civic Club of Chicago on June 18 addressing contractors and others with ties to the airport.

Loney argues that $1 billion in improvements will allow O'Hara to safely shuttle the needed increase in flights and 28,200 more passengers each day through the terminal. Larger planes and improved satellite guidance systems may also permit the city's airports to handle more planes more safely and with less noise, the article said.

However, when asked to quote O'Hare's specific capacity, Loney reportedly balked and said, "[C]apacity is more than just air-fill capacity (by aviation traffic) at an airport. It involves terminal buildings, the amount of space that's available for passenger processing, [and] the number of aircraft boarding gates. Capacity also relates to how well the federal government manages airplanes coming into and out of airports, as well as the size of aircraft and that you need to factor all of those things before you can really understand what the true capacity number is for an airport."

According to the article, critics of the Chicago airport system believe the city will be hard-pressed to demonstrate how larger planes and enhancements of existing facilities will be enough to handle a projected 1 million flights and 35 million passengers each year.

Jack Saporito, from the suburban watchdog group, Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare is quoted saying, "We are opposed to any project that could add more flights or capacity."

The IDOT spokesperson, Richard Adorjan, is quoted as well, asserting that "They either have to have a major expansion of runways at O'Hare or add another airport to accommodate this growth the FAA is predicting."

Opponents also raised fears about the need for a new runway or more nighttime flights. But Loney insisted that the growing demand at O'Hare can be met by improvements that don't include a new runway or more noise pollution in nearby suburban towns, the article said.

So far, the $1 billion plan calls for: - Five new gates that can handle jumbo jets in the original domestic terminals at the center of the airport. - Making room for five more parking slots for jets near the international terminal by relocating the corporate jet facility to the abandoned military land on the north side of the airport. - Building more ticketing and baggage pickup areas. - Adding about 2,200 spaces to the long-term and overflow parking areas. - Installing new computer systems and satellite systems designed to move planes through more efficiently and guide pilots over non-residential areas. - Making road improvements designed to provide separate access for limousines, taxis and airport workers. - And making improvements to reduce congestion on the Northwest Tollway spur to the airport.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Florida's Vero Beach Airport Commission to Sit as its Own Noise-Abatement Committee

PUBLICATION: Press Journal
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: A Section; Pg. A2
BYLINE: Christina Mitchell
DATELINE: Vero Beach, Florida

The Press Journal published an article regarding a special workshop to brainstorm ideas for softening the noise of airplanes flying into and out of the Vero Beach Municipal Airport. However, the Vero Beach Airport Commission decided to sit as its own noise-abatement committee during the workshop.

Airport Director Eric Menger wanted an informal committee instead of the Airport Commission to look into the noise issue so members of the public could be on the committee. He had suggested that business owners, commissioners, staff and area residents participate on the informal committee be set up to discuss the noise issue.

According to the article, Menger's idea was squashed after Menger discovered that there is no such thing as an informal government committee. Positions on the committee must be advertised and the Vero Beach City Council is charged with nominating members, Menger said. And any meetings would have to be open to the public. "Adding another layer of bureaucracy is not the thing to do. We're already here, so we'll do it," the article said, quoting commission Chairman Sidney Greer.

Next month's Airport Commission workshop scheduled for July 9 will be a public hearing, and input from the public will be encouraged.

The paper reported that the airport has received complaints of plane-related noise for years, particularly that associated with the touch-and-go exercises of pilot training programs. Some noise-abatement steps like restricting certain training exercises and reminding pilots that the airport is within a residential area, already have been taken.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

The City of Cumberland, Maryland Agrees to Monitor Noise Levels of Manville Quarry in Response to Residents' Complaints

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Sumathi Reddy
DATELINE: Cumberland, Maryland

Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Cumberland town officials have obtained a seismograph machine to monitor blasting at the Manville Quarry. The action is taken, as a response to quarry's neighbors who have been suffering with the repeated blasts for more than twenty years.

Residents urged the town at a public hearing held in November to obtain its own seismograph, in an effort to monitor the quarry's compliance with regulations. They hope the monitoring will help bolster their claims that the concussions damage their houses. Over 100 residents living near the quarry spoke at the November hearing about the blasting saying that the quarry had been destroying the peacefulness of their homes for more than 20 years.

The article states that Cumberland's Mayor, Francis A. Gaschen believes he will be able to use the seismograph to monitor the blasts independently of any monitoring done by the company. Gaschen said five town officials will be instructed in how to use the seismograph and tests will be conducted on a random basis. Gaschen would not say when the tests would start or how often they would occur. According to the article, the seismograph given to the city from Dyno, the company that does the blasting for the Todesca Corp., which owns the 135-acre quarry on Manville Road, on the east bank of the Blackstone River.

One of the quarry's neighbors, Christina Lemay has been fighting the noise for years, the paper reported. "The past several weeks we've had some beauties, some real beauties," the article said, quoting Lemay. "The house shakes, the stove shakes, you name it. I'm just so discouraged and disgusted."

Lemay said she started documenting the blasts in June. The article notes her June 9 journal entry as follows: "It was terrible. It was like the walls were blowing out. My ears popped. The stove and the doors in the kitchen rattled."

The article says Lemay was one of a group of the quarry neighbors who took their battle to Superior Court in 1976, resulting in regulation of the quarry operations. However, in 1994, the General Assembly passed the more restrictive Hanaway Bill, which became the law regulating all quarries in the state.

Lemay and other residents currently argue that the Todesca Corp. does not abide by the law and does not conduct seismograph readings properly.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Mayoral Candidates Debate about the Noise from T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: John Doherty
DATELINE: Warwick, Rhode Island
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Peg Magill, President of SONIC (Stop Overhead Noise in the Community)

Providence Journal-Bulletin summarized conclusions from a debate between mayoral candidates concerning increased traffic and noise pollution at the T.F. Green Airport. According to the article, two out of three mayoral candidates agree: There isn't much a mayor, by himself, can do about the noise from T.F. Green Airport. The two candidates agreed, however that while the city cannot impose its will on airport operations, by mandating flight hours or flight paths, there are courses of action the mayor can take.

According to the article participants in the debate included Democratic mayoral candidate George Zainyeh and his Cool Mouse Party opponent Timothy Rossano. The Republican, incumbent Mayor, Lincoln D. Chafee, did not attend, citing prior commitments, including an airport-related zoning meeting. According to the article, roughly 20 people attended the debate, sponsored by SONIC (Stop Overhead Noise in the Community).

"The airport isn't going away, and the jets aren't going to get any quieter until jet technology improves," the paper said, quoting Cool Mouse Party opponent, Rossa. "When you moved to Warwick you knew the airport was here. ... All we can get are concessions," the article said still quoting Rossano.

The article said that Democratic candidate, Zainyeh, agreed the battle to reduce noise lies with the state and federal governments and with the state Airport Corporation but added that "the mayor can negotiate very strongly, for caps on flights, and for a moratorium on growth."

The article stated that Zainyeh would push the Airport Corporation to implement an immediate moratorium on additional flights in and out of T.F. Green while a noise study is being completed, and would work for a dispersal of flight patterns so that no one neighborhood is overburdened. Zainyeh also was reported saying that state agencies such as the Department of Health must also do their part and make sure the airport isn't infringing on resident's health and safety. He declared that lobbying of the General Assembly and the governor's office is vital.

Rossano, on the other hand, was reported saying that he believed the mayor shouldn't be going up to the State House. Rather it is the job of the city's General Assembly delegation and residents, to make themselves heard directly to that body. "You can't make it go away, and you can't stop some growth. The only way to do it is through a class-action suit." the article said quoting Rossano. The article stated further that Rossano encouraged lawsuits against the airlines themselves, for polluting the air with noise and fumes.

SONIC president Peg Magill reportedly said at the end of the debate that she was encouraged by the work being done on the local and state levels to curb noise at the airport.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Costly Noise Abatement Program Recommended by Consultants for Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma

DATE: June 19, 1998
BYLINE: D.R. Stewart
DATELINE: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa World reports that the noise consultant for Tulsa International Airport - Barnard Dunkelberg & Co.,- has recommended a five-year $20 million noise abatement program that includes purchases of easement rights, sound insulation and property buyouts for about 1,000 residents of neighborhoods. The consultant also advised Tulsa Airport Authority trustees to alter takeoff and landing procedures so that low-level aircraft flights over residential areas are minimized.

The article stated that trustees believe noise mitigation measures are Tulsa's best bet to settle contentious noise problems that have plagued airport-area residents for more than a decade.

The trustees adopted a new transport landing fee of $2.79 per thousand pounds gross landing weight last month.

The consultant's recommended program targets reducing airport noise for the estimated 1,000 residents who live within the 24-hour-average 65-decibel noise contour. Under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, homes experiencing noise levels of 65 decibels or higher qualify for federal buyout assistance or sound insulation programs.

According to the article, some residents are stating the only solution is a comprehensive property buyout. Dunkelberg is quoted saying, "If you're going to purchase the entire neighborhood -- 1,600 to 1,800 homes -- the cost would be $70,000 to $90,000 per home because under that scenario, you would have relocation costs. At $90,000 per home, you're looking at a property buyout of $180 million that would take 20 to 40 years."

Tulsa's Mayor, Susan Savage, also, believes a buyout is not realistic today. The article quotes Savage saying, "For many people, your home is the largest single investment you will ever make, so the decisions facing this board are difficult . . . because there are limited resources to address the problem."

According to the article, Dunkelberg's recommendations include:

(1) The purchase of aviation easements from property owners at an estimated cost of $3,000 to $9,000 per easement;

(2) A sound insulation program that would include double-paned windows, attic insulation, solid-core doors and double venting. The estimated cost is $15,000 to $20,000 per home;

(3) A sales assistance program that would be offered on a voluntary basis to sellers and would make up the difference between the selling price and the fair market value (no cost estimate is available);

(4) The article stated that the Oklahoma Air National Guard, which will pay for the $ 10,000 noise study, said the military has adopted new procedures to reduce military aircraft noise including: no afterburner use on F-16 aircraft takeoffs to the south or west and attaining minimum altitude of 3,000 feet before pilots initiate turns over neighborhoods.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Properties Eligible for Federal Soundproofing Relief Shrinking in Manchester, New Hampshire

PUBLICATION: The Union Leader
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: Section A Pg. 8
BYLINE: Kathryn Marchocki
DATELINE: Manchester, New Hampshire

The Union Leader reports that residents of Manchester, New Hampshire, petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration this week asking why areas once eligible for soundproofing are no longer eligible.

Ward 9 Alderman Robert Pariseau included a letter with the petition that also requests the FAA review results of a 1996 noise study.

According to the article the soundproofing contours originally extended to Queen City Avenue Extension but since 1996 have shrunk back to Titus Avenue. Only homes that lie within these contours are eligible for soundproofing.

The article said that about 150-200 homes eligible for soundproofing under the older contours no longer are eligible the article said. Alderman Pariseau believes many of the residents were not aware of the changes.

One of the residents affected by the shrinking of noise contours, Andre Gelinas, was quoted saying, "That's a big snow job. It's a great disappointment. It just goes to prove that the airport authority has misled us right along." Gelinas, together with 270 other residents signed the petition.

However, it is the FAA, and not the airport authority that sets the rules for soundproofing, the article stated, referring to a statement from Manchester Airport Director Alfred Testa Jr.

According to Testa a 1990 federal law requires all airlines to use quieter aircraft by Dec. 31, 1999 and this has contributed to the shrinking of noise contours. At the time the article was published Tulsa indicated that 285 homes around Manchester Airport had been soundproofed, forty-four were still under construction and 42 were about to be soundproofed.

The article said that the FAA could not be reached for comment.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Stadium Plans To Go To City Zoning Commission; Plans Get Cool Reception from Residents in Schaumberg and Roselle, Illinois

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Chris Fusco
DATELINE: Schaumberg, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that nearly 125 people attended a Schaumburg zoning hearing June 18 regarding the proposed minor-league baseball stadium. Many residents in attendance argued the proposed stadium site - in the middle of single-family suburbia- was not fitting to the suburban village of Schaumberg.

The article quoted Gail Anderson, a former Schaumburg trustee who now lives north of the stadium, "This is a project most communities would be proud of. But as you will see, it's in the middle of a residential section, including Roselle (a neighboring suburb)."

Gayle Smolinski, the Village President for Roselle was also quoted saying, "When you talk about the impact of a 7,000-seat stadium, you need to look beyond (the immediate area)."

The cost of building the stadium is estimated between $7 million and $10 million, not including the cost of the real estate. The village of Schaumburg and Schaumburg Park District plan to split the cost, the article said.

According to the Schaumburg Athletic Association there are seven teams that must now share two baseball fields. The stadium - if built - would provide a third place for those teams of 15- to 19- year-olds to play.

Residents, however, argued that the stadium doesn't make sense because it is so near to singe family dwellings, the article said. Town houses in the suburb of Roselle are just south of the proposed stadium. Another two dozen households are located to the east of the proposed site on property in unincorporated Schaumburg Township. Other single-family dwellings are north of the ballpark in Schaumburg.

The village's planning department reportedly attempted to rebut the residents' complaints saying that the ballpark would have minimal impact on surrounding areas. Planning director Frank Robbins reportedly said a berm with an 8-foot-tall fence and 13-foot-tall trees would shield residents on the east from lights and noise, although he admitted crowd noise couldn't be controlled.

Findings from traffic studies were presented to show that improvements in the timing of existing traffic signals and police patrols near the proposed site would decrease congestion.

Metro Transportation Group of Hanover Park conducted one of the studies and concluded that only a small percentage would use public transportation and chartered buses and the rest would use local streets. Sixty percent of cars would come to ball games via the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway; fifteen percent would use Irving Park Road; and another 10 percent would use Barrington Road.

The news article pointed out that even though that number - 300 - is small (given the ballpark has a parking capacity of 2,300 spaces) the information was not well received by the crowd attending the hearing.

The findings from the traffic study did not sit well with Smolinski, Roselle's President, either. Smolinski believed Gary Avenue and other Roselle streets should have been included in the traffic study and that Roselle should have been asked for its input. "I think it was very arrogant Roselle was not contacted," the article said, quoting Smolinski.

Schaumbuerg's zoning commissioners had not voted on the project at the time the article was published.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Over 60 Families Suffering from Noise and Vibrations of Power Plant Since 1995

PUBLICATION: New Straits Times-Management Times
DATE: June 18, 1998
BYLINE: Kamarulzaman Salleh Up
DATELINE: Tamen, Malaysia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: S. Gabriel, Committee Chairman, Taman NLFCS Residents' Association

New Straits Times-Management Times reports that government authorities are paying attention to the noise and vibration created by a power plant in Taman NLFCS. Sixty families in Tanjung Gemok, Port Dickson have been affected by the power plant. The Negri Sembilan Governments recently requested that the State Department of Environment (DoE) to submit a detailed report on the problems faced by the surrounding residents.

A preliminary report by the DoE stated that the vibration was within the permissible level, the article said. That study was done because of the cracks had appeared on roads in the housing estate, presumably caused by the vibrations. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad had also asked the State Public Works Department to conduct tests on the affected roads to determine the cause of the cracks. [Editor's Note: the precise title and office of the individual in the prior sentence was not mentioned in the article.]

According to the article the Taman NLFCS Residents' Association claims they had to live with the problem since the plant started operations in 1995. S. Gabriel, the committee chairman for the association said that no effective measures had been taken by the authorities despite numerous appeals. Residents were not convinced that noise and vibration from the plant were within accepted limits, Gabriel said so they requested test reports to review the validity of the test conducted. Their requests were denied by the management of the plant and by the DoE. "We are suffering here and they (the plant and DoE) say there's nothing wrong with the operations of the plant which is about 100m from our house," the article said, quoting Gabriel.

A meeting between the power plant owner, Port Dickson Power Sdn Bhd, and the residents' committee is hoped to bring a positive outcome to the residents' concerns.

The paper reported further that it first covered the noise problems faced by the residents in October 1996. At that time the company's then managing director and chief executive officer, Lt-Kdr (Rtd) Mohd Ismail Che Mat Dinhad, had indicated that the noise and vibration were well within the limits set by the DoE. He told the paper that three independent test results demonstrated that the noise level was not more than 60 decibels and that the DoE had approved the environmental impact assessment.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Noise From a Skating Park Has Homeowners in Neighboring Development Upset in Wilmington, North Carolina

DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Local/Regional; Pg. 2B
BYLINE: Bettie Fennell
DATELINE: Wilmington, North Carolina

The Morning Star reports that noise from a skateboarding business has neighbors living nearby upset. The business, Eastwood Ramp Park, is located in an industrial park that was started before the residential subdivision and according to the article, does not violate any ordinance for nonresidential location. Neighbors have petitioned the County Commissioners to amend the county's noise ordinance to force the business to tone it down.

Neighbor Mark Keating says the ramp next his property has made life unbearable at times. The noise created by the skateboarding is "like someone jumping up and down on your roof or banging a fist against the wall" the article said quoting neighbor, Mark Keating. The constant thump of the ramp begins about 1 p.m. and often doesn't stop until 11 p.m the article said. It's worse on weekends.

Mr. Keating bought the house buttressing the industrial zone under the assumption that the county had rules disallowing the businesses to disturb the neighborhood. But he was mistaken.

According to the article the business isn't breaking any county regulations which is why neighbors are petitioning the County Commissioners to amend the existing noise ordinance. Keating says the current ordinance enforces a double standard because it allows businesses in industrial zones to create noise that is unacceptable in residential zones.

The article reported that some commissioners agreed that the noise can be excessive, but they decided to postpone any action until they could study the long-term impact of changing the rules. The chairperson of the Commissioners said he also wanted to talk with the property owner.

Meanwhile the article states that the business, Eastwood Ramp Park, argues that industrial zones were created to allow manufacturers and other businesses to make noise that wouldn't be acceptable in residential districts. Its owner, Mr. Wigent, leases 12,000-square-foot warehouse from I.L. Smith Construction Co.

Mr. Wigent said that decibel meter readings taken in his doorway by Sheriff's deputies, have demonstrated that his business is not in violation of the existing non-residential provisions of the county's noise ordinance, the article reported.

According to the article Mr. Wigent said he spent a significant amount of money to reduce the level of noise from his business. The article notes that Wigent made several efforts to mitigate the noise for the Keatings. Wooden ramps for example were insulated and enclosed to keep the noise inside. (Concrete ramps don't make as much noise as wooden ones and are easier to maintain, but they also cost more to build. Most of Wigent's ramps are made of wood, but a few are made of concrete.)

Mr. Keating noted that the property owner also installed an insulated, industrial-size garage door on the back of the warehouse to muffle the noise. The door helps, he said, but when it gets hot outside the door has to come up, which makes it useless.

The article also mentioned Mr. Wigent's argument that the skateboard park keeps kids off the streets and out of trouble. Customers, Wigent said, not only use skateboards but in-line skates and bicycles. And that, according to Wigent, meets a demand not met elsewhere.

Ann Hines, county zoning enforcement officer, is also mentioned in the article. Hines notes that the Wildflower subdivision is not unique. Residential and commercial zones, including industrial areas, are often connected along major thoroughfares, and specific buffer and setback regulations apply, depending on the proposed project. Existing buffer and setbacks rules, she said, are more stringent now than they were years ago. According to Hines, part of the Wildflower subdivision, was originally zoned industrial, but the county changed it to residential at the developers' request. Ms. Hines' office has gotten complaints about the skateboard park.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Plans for Expansion at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio Creates Tensions with Neighboring Communities and Residents

PUBLICATION: The Plain Dealer
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. 2B
BYLINE: Alan Achkar
DATELINE: Cleveland, Ohio

The Plain Dealer reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be looking into the noise complaints of residents and public officials in neighboring communities as a part of an environmental study to be completed before the expansion of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport begins. The expansion is intended to give it the ability to handle more flights. Neighbors are already worried about the loud rumbling of airplanes and are wondering if that noise problem will only get worse, the article said.

A number of persons spoke out about their concerns regarding the expansion at a public meeting held by the FAA on June 18 at the Cleveland Convention Center, the article said. A Councilperson from the community of Parma was among them. She was quoted saying, "The noise is unbearable. They're going to have to do a study and see if we can get it under control."

Jim Van Horn, a resident from Columbia Township said that he lives 10 miles away from the airport, but even at that distance "There are certain periods of the day when it's like [the planes] are coming through the bedroom window," he was quoted saying.

According to the article the meeting was intended to focus the FAA's environmental impact study and highlight areas of special interest or concern regarding the expansion.

About 50 people attended the meeting, the article said. Officials from the FAA, the Hopkins administration and the airport's consulting firm, Landrum & Brown, Cleveland's airport consulting firm, also attended and were on hand to answer questions. (Landrum & Brown is working with the FAA on the study.)

Public officials and residents from the nearby city of Olmsted Falls were present and argued about the proposed length of a runway at Hopkins, which could increase the level of noise over their city.

The article states that the proposed expansion at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport includes the following: a new runway, lengthening of an existing runway and new taxiways. One of the runways would be built at 6,450-fee and which will later by extended to 9,000. The second runway would be created by extending an existing runway to 11,250 feet and would be used to handle international flights.

These lengths represent reductions in the original plans, the article said, to appease the Olmsted Falls. But Olmsted Falls officials were still reportedly unsatisfied with the proposed length of 11,250 feet for the second runway. They pointed out that newer and more efficient airplanes will only need 10,000-foot runways for international flights by the time Hopkins' airfield is expanded.

Shorter runways, the article said, mean planes gain altitude quicker, reducing noise in areas surrounding the airport.

According to the article Olmsted Falls studied the impact of the expansion plan on its city last year. Olmsted Falls Mayor Tom Jones is quoted in the article saying, "We recognize the importance of the airport to the community. We also realize there are a lot of things that can be done to reduce people's problems."

Landrum & Brown's director of environmental planning, Mark Perryman, insists that the runway is needed. "Most other international airports have well in excess of 11,000 and 12,000 feet," he said.

According to the article the FAA and Perryman attest that the noise issue will be reviewed carefully through the environmental impact study and that other options for dealing with increased noise, such as altering flight paths of planes and offering soundproofing for homes will be considered. Changes in the expansion plan could still take place they noted if warranted by the study's findings.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Aim to Quieten Noisy-Nighttime Cruisers near Sante Fe's Tourist Areas Calls for Careful Consideration of Possible Solutions

PUBLICATION: The Santa Fe New Mexican
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Opine; Pg. A-7
DATELINE: Sante Fe, New Mexico

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports their opinion concerning the noise from youth cruising in their automobiles. The cruisers reportedly use a route along the Santa Fe River that passes in front of one of Sante Fe's finer hotels, the Inn of Governors. The article reports that the city's public safety committee want to block off the route for four hours along those portions that are near the hotels at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The paper suggests instead that signs be put up saying the noise ordinance will be strictly enforced along the relevant streets where the public peace is being threatened and then use a tough enforcement measures on its violators.

According to the paper young people are getting wound up at the time tourists turn in at night and its causing a conflict. The issue recently surfaced the article said when a couple from Southern California wrote a letter to the editor highlighting the noise.

The paper stated, "While many visitors are from cities far noisier than ours, this noise isn't the same as sirens, trucks and buses in the night: there's something especially alarming about the screech of a tire; a warning of impending crisis. To folks who come to Northern New Mexico in quest of quietude, such sounds accompanied by some jerk yelling 'Tourists go home!' can contribute to a crummy vacation, about which they're likely to tell the neighbors when they go back home."

The city's Public Safety Committee has announced it will be experimenting with a short-term street closure that will block off portions of Alameda at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday for four hours, the article said.

The authors recommended the city instead put up signs saying the noise ordinance will be strictly enforced along Alameda and other streets where the public peace is being threatened. They urged however that tough enforcement be used: "[K]eep a couple of cops on hand to bust the first several smart-alecks who make more than a peep, and let them feel the wrath of Judge Fran who happens to be a member of the Public Safety Committee."

If application of the noise ordinance doesn't work, the author(s) say, the city should consider "such constitutionally questionable, but overall effective, measures such as 'anti-cruising zones,' where computers track the number of times a certain car comes down a street during a certain period of time."

The writers note that one problem with enforcement measure is the noise that could occur when officers stop cars and issue tickets. Such enforcement would call upon officers to be sensible and sensitive. This approach would still be quieter than the horn honking and yelling that could occur at the traffic barricades now being considered, the editorial said.

Heightened enforcement also calls for grown-up behavior by young people old enough to be out cruising. "If the city backs down on the barricades, it will be a vote of renewed confidence in our kids. It'll be their responsibility to keep Alameda open."

The article closes stating that, Mayor Larry Delgado and Police Chief John Denko should include cruising and noise on a follow-up forum with the youth. (A youth conference that was held recently with the mayor and police chief.)

The issue of temporary closures of the cruising route was scheduled for consideration by city councilors Wednesday, June 24.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Residents in Tullahoma, Tennesee Fight City's Plans for a Recreation Complex Because of Anticipated Noise and Traffic

PUBLICATION: The Tennesean
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. 5B
BYLINE: Russel Mobley State Correspondent
DATELINE: Tullahoma, Tenn.
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Thomas Karls, a member of a homeowners' group

The Tennesean reports that plans for a 38-acre recreation complex is being met with opposition by homeowners in a nearby subdivision who believe the park will bring an increase in noise, traffic and loitering near their homes. The plans are under review with Tullahoma city officials.

Gresham Smith and Partners is the engineering and design firm responsible for the elaborate recreation park that borders East Middle School.

According to the article, five softball fields arranged in a wagon wheel format around a concession stand and press box are all included in the plans. There are also plans to include next to the school's soccer field, tennis, basketball, volleyball courts, a practice field, and a maintenance building. Chuck Downham City Administrator says the remaining sections of the land will be used as a passive park with walking trails and picnic and playground areas.

Residents in Tara Estates who are opposed to the recreation park, have circulated petitions to gather support, the article said.

The city board was scheduled to hear the plan at the end of June, the article said. Future meetings for public input were to be scheduled according to Downham. P>Already changes where made to the city's original concept, to address concerns, the article said, referring to Downham's remarks. Most importantly the plan for a bypass through the 38-acrea site was abandoned, the article said. This change was the result of the Tara Estates homeowners banding together last February.

But if the park is developed as now planned "it will be 'a foot in the door' for the city to reinstate plans for the bypass road in the area", the article said referring to statements made by Thomas Karls, a member of the homeowners' group. "I think that the park is just a carrot to dangle over the people who don't live in the area," the article said, quoting Karls. "I don't think that anyone in the group is against a recreation park. We just don't want it in our neighborhood, or anybody else's residential area, either."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

The Expansion of Camarillo Airport Prompts Editorials Regarding Expected the Expected Increase in Aircraft Noise

PUBLICATION: Ventura County Star
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Editorials; Pg. D08
BYLINE: Glenn E. Churchman/Phil Hamilton/Norma Curron
DATELINE: Camarillo, California

The Ventura County Star published the following two editorials regarding the increased airplane noise expected with the expansion at Camarillo Airport. The author of the first editorial sees the expansion as a "legitimate business purpose" and welcomes the noise it brings. The author of the second editorial finds that a decline in land values and loss of tranquility in the entire west end of the county, "is a high price to pay for eight, or even 80, new employment opportunities".

Noise welcomed

Re: your June 12 article, Critics create big noise over airport plans:

I like the sound of jet and rocket engines. Their mere existence reminds me that I am alive!

Unlike Jonathan Chandler, I thrived on such noise from my childhood days in the Santa Rosa Valley through my adulthood in Camarillo.

While Mr. Chandler was missing such selfish pleasures, I had the outrageous good fortune to feel the vibration of the first Rocketdyne tests emanating from the Santa Susana Mountains. And that thrill was topped off by our Air Force alert planes kicking in their afterburners at the Oxnard Air Force Base (now Camarillo Airport). I doubt that Mr. Chandler ever saw or wondered what those four open hangars were all about.

I think that good noise, and not complaining, should be our tradition in Camarillo.

I think its time for the Mr. Chandlers of the world to see both sides of the coin, to understand that small, vocal minorities don't have to oppose every idea as a matter of practice instead of principle. To get all the facts before challenging the cause.

Channel Islands Aviation wants to retrofit airlines, a legitimate business purpose. Its intent is not to unleash unbearable noise over Leisure Village, but to create business opportunity for its principals and employees. Isn't this the American way?

And speaking of noise, I suggest that it won't be heard by Mr. Chandler. Any conclusion to the contrary would demonstrate an awareness that private jet airplanes have been using Camarillo Airport for years, which his statements contradict.

As I see it, if the planes are already there and he doesn't hear the noise, there cant be much noise.

Glenn E. Churchman,


Land values an issue

Re: your June 12 article, Critics create big noise over airport plans:

Expand it and they will come.

A decline in land values in the Camarillo and Oxnard areas, along with the decrease in tranquility in the entire west end of the county, is a high price to pay for eight, or even 80, new employment opportunities.

Camarillo Mayor Charlotte Craven did not address the real noise maker in the recent article about the expansion of Camarillo Airport. Landings are, in fact, almost painless, but takeoffs are a big pain in the ears.

I would enjoy watching from a safe distance a 727 taking off at low power going west during the part of our normal weather pattern when the wind is coming out of the east. The results could reduce our needs for scrap aluminum.

County Supervisor Kathy Long indicated controls with consequences will be in place to minimize problems. The consequences most likely will be insignificant monetary fines or short duration shutdowns, neither of which will return the existing tranquility to our citizens.

Phil Hamilton,


NPC Noise News
NPC Home

New Citizens' Group Organizes around Noise Issues at O'Hara International Airport in Chicago, Illinois

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: June 18, 1998
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 2; Zone: Nw; Overnight News.
BYLINE: Janice Rizzo
DATELINE: Park Ridge, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mark Fishman, Chairperson, Park Ridge Citizens O'Hare Airport Council

Chicago Tribune reports that another group of residents critical about the noise from O'Hare International Airport has organized.

The group, called the Park Ridge Citizens O'Hare Airport Council, says its mission is to provide a public forum for complaints about air and noise pollution from O'Hare, the article said.

Mark Fishman is the council's chairman. Fishman cited the following four main goals which were quoted in the article:

The first goal is to gather information.

The second goal will be to form alliances with other local and national groups, such as one in California that helped institute a flight curfew in Los Angeles.

The third and fourth goals are to provide information to the public and eventually to hold a town hall meeting. The group also plans to explore legal remedies, such as a noise tax, a cut in flights, a flight curfew and a limit on runway expansion, the article said.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Pittsfield City Council Adopts Noise and Conduct Ordinance in Maine

PUBLICATION: Central Maine Morning Sentinel
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: Local; Pg. 8
BYLINE: Larry Grard
DATELINE: Pittsfield, Maine

The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports that the Town Council passed a noise and public conduct ordinance. The ordinance is intended to discourage late-night noise and vandalism in downtown Pittsfield where, according to officers, the behavior of teen-agers and young adults has been a problem for the town for many years.

The ordinance was passed after public input and is considered a "watered-down" version of the original ordinance, the article said. Three exemptions provided under the ordinance include: (1) noise generated from a legitimate activity conducted for the entertainment of the general public; (2) all authorized school events; and (3) events conducted or permitted by the town. Changes to the ordinance addressed concerns that surfaced during the first reading on June 2 and during an ordinance committee meeting the following night.

Councilor Kathleen Brattoya said she received 13 calls in the past two weeks, all in support of the ordinance. But two residents, Tom Quint and Chuck Curtis, were opposed to the ordinance, the article said, claiming it is "vague, ambiguous and open to interpretation". "We're talking about a small section of town where this is happening and we're about to slap an ordinance on the entire Pittsfield urban area. The few who are causing the problem will be holding the entire urban area hostage," the article said, quoting Quint.

According to the article, the council passed the ordinance with a unanimous vote. Harvey Varney, chairman of the ordinance committee, was quoted in the article saying, "[W}e felt we had covered potential things that needed to be clarified. If this ordinance is weakened any more, as the police chief said, we might as well do away with it."

Police Chief Stephen Emery said he had need for another officer to patrol at night and expressed indifference toward the ordinance.

The article states the ordinance will be in effect from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m., and a graduated fine system will be put into place.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

City Councilman and Neighbor Want Music from Noisy Ice Cream Truck Either Turned Down or Eliminated in Warren, Michigan

PUBLICATION: The Detroit News
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Pg. Pg. D1
BYLINE: by Lynn Henning
DATELINE: Warren, Michigan

The Detroit News reports that the amplified music from boom box ice cream vendors peddling neighborhoods has mother, Diane Biskner, and Warren Councilman, Cecil St. Pierre, pushing for a new noise ordinance in Warren, Michigan.

According to the article the boom box thunder Do Your Ears Hang Low begins playing near the Biskner home between 8 and 9 p.m. - the hours when the Biskner children ages 1 and 2 are sleeping.

"My kids play hard during the day and they deserve to get to sleep at night. And I deserve to have them be asleep. But here she (the vendor) and her loud music come, at a quarter to nine, as I'm outside watering my plants. I just want to turn the hose on her," the article said quoting Biskner.

Instead of getting sprayed with water, 14 licensed ice-cream vendors received letters from the city clerk's office asking that they lower the volume of the music or face tougher measures.

Cecil St. Pierre, a Warren councilman, learned of the Biskners' problem, and made it an agenda item at a June 9 City Council meeting. "Either the offending trucks keep the noise below rock-concert levels or the council will consider forcing them to stop operating ahead of the existing 9 p.m. deadline," the paper said referring to Pierre's statements.

"We may have to take them off the street after 8 p.m., that noise has got to be loud to get through the walls and windows of a three-bedroom brick ranch, which is what they (the Biskners) live in... She had a very valid point. If you have young kids, you want to be able to put them to bed at a decent time," the article said quoting Pierre.

The article states that the problem is not confined to one driver, or neighborhood. The article mentions by example Yvette Smith, a Warren mother of two and Diane Biskner's sister. Smith is noted saying the noise has been a constant late-evening problem in her neighborhood as well. "It goes on till 9 at night, loud music, circus music, very irritating. The same song, over and over again. It's a record that sounds warped and crackly, like it's been left out in the sun. And you can hear it three blocks away," the article said quoting Smith.

According to the article, Biskner confronted the vendor two times and urged her to visit the neighborhood earlier in the evening, the vendor flatly refused, Biskner said.

St. Pierre believes such noise amounts to harassment and is a reason to create a noise ordinance that addresses the problem by reducing the hours of operation -- or the hours during which music can be played at high volume.

According to the article, Hamtrack, another suburb in metro Detroit has passed an ordinance in 1996 which mandates ice cream trucks to cut the music after 6:30 p.m. Robert Wozniak, the Hamtramck councilman who initiated the ordinance, the vendors can sell ice cream as late as they wish -- as long as they do so silently after 6:30 p.m.

"The city of Hamtramck has been enjoying a much quieter season because of it, and the kids aren't missing the music. Certainly, the ice-cream vendors aren't screaming that they're losing business, either. It's had an all-around beneficial effect," the article said quoting Robert Wozniak.

Wozniak was quoted saying, "The noise was ridiculously loud, all the way till 10 o'clock at night. When you had eight ice-cream vendors in a row coming down the block, every single night, and when you could hear the music two blocks away, we had to curtail it."

Pat Hyland, president of CK Corp. in Center Line, which has several ice-cream trucks licensed to operate in Warren, said an ordinance in Warren would be unnecessary if drivers responded to parents' complaints and acted logically.

"I've been in business for more than 20 years and never have had a problem. But we have a policy: If we have a complaint, we don't go down that particular street. Plus, we don't play loud music. We have music boxes with a speaker on our trucks, but there's no loud volume involved," the article said quoting Hyland.

The article quotes Hyland further saying, "The problem is that there are trucks out there operating with no peddler's license, and they have amplified music. Enforcement can be a problem when the police have other things to do."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

The City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island Responds to Night Noises with a Police Crackdown

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: News, Pg. 8C
DATELINE: Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that 57 tickets written by police officers June 13-14 under the resuscitated noise ordinance in Woonsocket. Officers wrote the tickets to persons riding loud motorcycles, driving cars with thumping stereos and disturbing their neighbors' night peace.

According to the article Mayor Susan Menard told City Council members that the police officers began the crackdown in response to a call from the sponsor of the resuscitated ordinance, Councilman Normand J. Laliberte Jr.

The recently appointed Director of Public Safety Director, William T. Noonan, conveyed in the article emphasizing the importance of enforcing the noise ordinance. According to the article, the administration opened a hotline to receive complaints about excessive noise. The line is answered by a police dispatcher, which allows the police to immediately respond to a complaint. The majority of calls, the article said, occur during the nighttime when people are trying to sleep.

"The mayor and I believe this hotline will prove helpful to improving enforcement violations. They will be vigorously followed up. We hope to see increased enforcement leading to fewer violations in the future," the article said quoting Noonan.

Noonan and Laliberte are looking to tighten the ordinance further by including a prohibition against "absentee landlords who maintain a noise nuisance."

The city ordinance carries a $50 fine. The mayor said the city is considering increasing incrementally the fines for repeated noise violations.

The article also indicated that police are simultaneously enforcing a state law against motorists with defective or illegal exhaust systems on their vehicles.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Airport-Area Residents, Pilots, and Airport Officials Try Program to Alleviate Aircraft Noise at the Sante Fe Municipal Airport

PUBLICATION: The Sante Fe New Mexican
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: Main; Pg. A-1
BYLINE: Barbara Ferry
DATELINE: Sante Fe, New Mexico
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Andy Wells, Mary Ann Nothwang, Rebecca Smith - Friends of Noise Abatement

The Sante Fe New Mexican reports that airport neighbors are asking administrators at Sante Fe Municipal Airport to make changes that will lower the impact of noise. Airport-area residents - called Friends of Noise Abatement - hope a trial program will help reduce the aircraft noise and alleviate the need to advocate for more restrictive regulation by local government.

One of the groups' members is Rebecca Smith, a resident in the Pinon Hills neighborhood about three miles north of the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. Smith is noted in the article saying her windows rattle and she has to stop talking on the telephone whenever a plane flies overhead. Mary Ann Nothwang, another member, says student pilots often practice takeoffs and landings over her house causing them to circle over her house at odd hours. "Sometimes they start at 1 a.m., sometimes at 5 a.m.. "It's extremely irritating," the article said quoting Nothwang.

The article declares that airport noise is one of those persistent issues that homeowners and aviation buffs tend to see from opposite perspectives. "Homeowners feel under siege by the buzzing overhead, while pilots and airport officials say development creeping up on the airport creates headaches for them."

Harold Jackson, the manager of the Santa Fe Airport's control tower, sums up the later perspective saying, "It's kind of difficult for me to understand why people build homes close to the airport and then start complaining about noise, I have a problem with that."

Who is to blame, however, is not the concern of the Friends of Noise Abatement, or the pilots and airport officials working with them to quieten the aircraft noise.

Andy Wells, a retired National Guard pilot, who now flies for Presbyterian Medical Services, is one of local pilots involved in the group is quoted in the article saying, "[pilots] owe it to their community to come up with a situation that's mutually acceptable."

Wells, together with Smith, Nothwang and other airport-area residents, hope their voluntary noise reduction program called "Flying Friendly," will make an impact on the noise. A national organization, the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association developed the program. Airport Manager Mike Halpin and control tower manager Harold Jackson met with the group June 16 and agreed to try out the program for 60 days. Local flight schools and aviation centers will post the guidelines of the "Flying Friendly" program. After the trial period ends, the Friends of Noise Abatement will present its findings to the city.

It's in the pilots' interest to make "Flying Friendly" program work Smith is quoted saying, because the program probably would be less restrictive than a city ordinance that could be created if there was ongoing complaints from airport neighbors. According to the article, the Federal Aviation Administration sets national regulations for airports, but gives local communities room to set its own perimeters on noise issues, as long as they do not conflict with federal standards.

Wells is noted in the article saying that Federal Aviation rules set minimum cruising altitude at 1,000 feet. Urging the pilots to climb quickly to that level is a major element of the "Flying Friendly" program Wells said. Neighbors say aircraft often drop below that level before they should for the landing descent as well.

Homeowners sometimes have exaggerated notions of how low planes are flying overhead, the article said. Wells is quoted saying, "They'll call up the airport and say 'a plane is flying 100 feet over my house.' But how do they know what 100 feet looks like?" But Wells also said pilots could also be at fault, flying too low. "I think most local pilots are conscious of the communities they fly over. But there are always some who aren't going to get on the bandwagon," the article said quoting Wells.

According to the article Wells recently took Rebecca Smith's husband up in Wells' private plane and flew 1,000 feet over the couple's house, while Rebecca waited on the ground. "I wanted to show them what a safe, legal 1,000 feet looks like," the article said, quoting Wells.

The Flying Friendly program will also ask pilots to change their course while practicing "touch and go" takeoffs and landings.

The article also mentions that dispersing noise from the control tower by rotating runways is another key to managing the noise program.

Tower manager, Harold Jackson, was "not real optimistic" about making changes to curb noise the article said. "I'm paid to separate airplanes, not to separate noise. We already have our hands full trying to keep a safe, orderly, expeditious flow of air traffic," the article said quoting Jackson.

According to Smith, Jackson did agree at the June 16 meeting to move traffic around whenever possible, the article said.

"We understand they're overworked and appreciate them doing what they can," the article said, quoting Smith.

The fact that local governments allow developers to build close to the airport only exacerbates noise problems, the article said, referring to Wells' comments. According to the article, Wells recently found two houses close to the runways just south of the airport. A pilot flying "on the beam," (guided by the plane's instruments, which respond to an electronic signal) would have to come down to only 200 feet above the houses before landing. "That's pretty low close enough to count the rivets on the plane," the article said quoting Wells.

Development around airports is a problem all over the country, the article noted, not just in Santa Fe. "Development goes where there are roads. And there are always roads going to airports," it said, quoting Smith.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

National Parks Service Proposes Ban on Jet-Propelled Water Skis, with Limited Exceptions

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A12
BYLINE: James V. Grimaldi
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Times reports that the week of June 15, National Parks Service proposed a ban on personal watercraft from thousands of pristine lakes and rivers in national parks, while simultaneously permitting them on waterways where they have traditionally been used. The proposal from the parks services does not establish the complete ban sought by some environmentalists, but it does effectuate a total ban in some areas.

According to the article the regulation would be put in effect across the United States and would affect both national parks and recreation areas. Total bans on personal watercraft that should be put in effect later this year include Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park in Washington state and the St. Croix River in Wisconsin. (A complete ban of jet-propelled water skis is already in effect for Everglades National Park in Florida, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Canyonlands National Park in Utah and Glacier National Park in Montana.)

The article states that David Morris, Olympic National Park's Superintendent, concurs with those who believe jet-propelled water skis create an unbearable racket that bothers water enthusiasts and waterfowl. Noise from personal watercraft is "like roller skating through a church," the article said, quoting Morris. (Morris had initially proposed dividing the lake into zones where jet-propelled water-skiing would be allowed or disallowed but abandoned the idea when it was opposed by both environmental and industry camps.)

As previously stated, the article emphasizes that continued use of the watercraft would be isolated to those places where they have become popular, such as Lake Roosevelt in the Eastern section of Washington state.

The proposal could take effect sometime in the next year, at the end of a formal rule-making period. In the meantime the policy, in effect, freezes the status quo across the United States by eliminating the use of personal-watercraft in ponds, lake and rivers that are not yet exposed to the vessels.

The proposal also contains a provision that allows for further bans of personal watercraft on waters where they are now allowed if their use becomes "controversial."

Controversy has come easily to personal watercraft, the article said. According to the article, jet-propelled water skis have become criticized for noise - reaching as high as 95 decibels - and a poor safety record. They also account for 36 percent of water-vessel accidents, even though they comprise less than 3 percent of watercraft, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics.

The Personal Watercraft Industry Association, the primary industry organization, is angered by the proposed regulation, the article stated. But the National Parks Conservation Association, the primary parks lobbying group, is pleased with the proposed regulation even though it is a compromise and is considered by Kevin Collins of the parks association "tragically delayed."

According to the article the history behind the present proposal sheds light on the provisions. Last year, the National Parks Service planned to ban jet-propelled water skis and other watercraft on all lakes and rivers, then allow parks superintendents to grant exemptions. Officials at the Department of Interior rejected that proposal the article said, and reportedly told the parks service that they should include exemptions for areas where jet-propelled water skis are already commonly used.

John Donaldson, director of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, believes parks-service officials will still try to effect a wider ban by urging superintendents to use local park regulation to ban the watercraft, the article stated. Park management's theory is "to manage these parks as a resource to protect - and not to use," Donaldson is quoted saying.

According to the article officials at the parks-service officials would not disclose the areas to be exempted from the ban until its publication in the Federal Register. Areas proposed for the ban in an early draft of the rule included: Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Mount Rainier National Park and North Cascades National Park in Washington; Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Montana; Fire Island National Seashore in New York; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona; Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California; and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.

Dozens of smaller jurisdictions, of counties and city governments, have also banned jet-propelled water skis among them are San Juan County and the Spokane City Council.

The Lake Crescent ban in Olympic National Park of Washington state is to take effect Oct. 1. According to the article, Friends of Lake Crescent, a group of 500 people who own property that has been in private hands long before the creation of Olympic National Park in 1938, are angered by the ban. They believe the National Parks Service is "trying to slowly eliminate all private uses of national parks - from flights over them to driving inside them - and the next step is to eliminate motorboats," the article said. The article states that Superintendent Morris insists there is no hidden agenda: "We want to strongly emphasize that this is not a domino to bring further restrictions on motorboats."

The article mentioned that Chairman of the Department of Interior appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash. has said he might try to block personal-watercraft restrictions. "I am not inclined to support additional regulations that restrict choice and freedom, but rather to ensure existing regulations are being enforced appropriately to ensure a safe and enjoyable recreational environment," the article said, quoting from Gorton's letter. Gorton reportedly backed off from these statements in mid-June saying he was still studying the issue. Telephone and E-mail address for the author of the article are as follows: James V. Grimaldi, phone number: 206-464-8550. E-mail:

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

St. Paul City Council To Consider Emergency Measure to Ban Late-Night Train Whistles in Minnesota

PUBLICATION: Minneapolis Star Tribune
DATE: June 17, 1998
BYLINE: Kevin Duchschere
DATELINE: St. Paul, Minnesota
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Chris Coleman and Mike Harris, Council Members for the City of St. Paul

The Minneapolis Tribune reports the St. Paul City Council will be asked to consider an emergency ordinance to end late-night train whistles that are disturbing the sleep of hundreds of St. Paul residents.

Council Members Chris Coleman and Mike Harris are co-sponsoring the emergency measures, the Tribune said. "It's a pretty serious disruption in people's ability to live their lives and to sleep, and something needed to be done on a quicker basis than the normal process allowed," the paper stated, quoting Coleman. Coleman and Harris will also introduce a permanent ordinance to restrict train noise that could take effect in August. The emergency legislation is necessary to address the problem under the city charter, the paper explained.

According to the article, residents in both West End and Highland Park neighborhoods have been suffering from the train whistles since May 21- that was the date CP Rail System resumed sounding its air horns along its track to the Ford Plant.

The train whistles had kept quiet within city limits for previous years because railroad officials assumed that St. Paul prohibited train whistles except in cases of emergency, just as Minneapolis does, the article said, referring to statement of CP Rail spokesman John Bergene. When CP Rail discovered that wasn't true, the trains began sounding at a score of crossings from Duke Street to Edgcumbe Road for purposes related to liability, Bergene said.

"It's a safety factor. We blow at all crossings - all railroads do - unless prohibited by law. We start blowing a quarter of a mile in advance of the crossing and continue, although that's not always possible with some cities," the article stated, quoting Bergene.

But CP Rail will stay in compliance with any new St. Paul ordinance restricting train whistles, the article reported.

National legislation from Congress mandated whistles at all public crossings in 1994, but the rule was suspended to develop alternatives to provide needed safety. A national study by the Federal Railroad Administration demonstrated that accidents increase at crossings where train whistles are banned.

Three of the most hazardous rail crossing in St. Paul are now being used by CP Rail, the article said. A 1996 study by the St. Paul City Council indicated that rail traffic has increased since the late 1980s, as a result of the Canadian and North American free trade agreements.

Council member Harris is quoted in the article reiterating that "We're not saying they can't sound the horns ever. We're just saying they can't do it at three in the morning." That's when people are least likely to be out on the tracks, Harris said.

Community organizer Gayle Summers is noted saying the frustration ran high among residents who did not understand what happened. She is noted saying that the telephones have been ringing off the hook at City Hall and the Highland District Council offices.

Richard Remnek lives a quarter mile from the tracks in Highland Park. He is one of hundreds who have complained. The article quotes Remnek saying: "We're woken up through the night by the horns and the beeping. It's just unbelievable...The noises are really loud and they occur quite often; they do it multiple times."

The article explains that CP Rail runs assembly line parts from Chicago to the Ford Plant a couple of times a night and returns with a load of automobiles, thus causing the multiple runs.

The paper reported further that there have been reports of individuals tossing rocks and tomatoes at the trains as they roll by. It was unclear whether the whistles prompted the vandalism. One of the proposed rationales for the new ordinance however is for the: "the safety, welfare and convenience of the railroad employees operating locomotives in the city."

The whistles have also awakened Coleman, who lives across the Mississippi River from the tracks. Coleman is quoted saying, "Sometimes it's like the trains are coming through our front yard."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Speedway Expansion Challenged by Residents' Group in Loudon, New Hampshire

PUBLICATION: The Union Leader
DATE: June 17, 1998
SECTION: Section A Pg. 5
BYLINE: Roger Amsden
DATELINE: Manchester, New Hampshire

The Union Leader reports that the New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) track in Loudon, New Hampshire admitted in court that it built more seats than permitted by the Loudon Planning Board. A citizens' group opposed to the expansion are taking legal action.

According to the article the NHIS expanded from 56,000 seats to more than 83,000 in 1990. The 9,000-seat expansion was approved by the Loudon Planning Board for 1999 and would bring the track's seating capacity to 91,000. The Board's decision approving the expansion was appealed by the group of citizens who oppose the expansion (Editor's Note: due in part to the noise such expansion would generate).

However, during the week of June 8, attorneys for the NHIS admitted in court that the track built more seats than it had permits in a recently completed expansion. The information was revealed in a memo filed with the court last week which says that 5,236 seats were built this spring - 1,236 more seats than had been approved by the planning board.

The group of Canterbury citizens who had filed the appeal are now alleging that NHIS acted in willful disregard of their pending court challenge to a second building project. They filed a motion in court asking that NHIS be stayed from any new construction at the speedway until an appeal of the Loudon Planning Board's decision is resolved. They further asked the court to order NHIS to place revenue from those 1,236 seats into an escrow account and to post a bond sufficient to cover the costs of their removal.

A Merrimack County Superior Court judge is expected to rule on the citizens' motion this week.

Scott Hogan, attorney for the Canterbury residents, says state law prohibits construction of any part of the project while it is being appealed. But NHIS's attorney, Richard Wiebusch of the Boston law firm Hale and Dorr, states in the memo that the additional 1,236 seats were built under the approval granted last December for an additional 9,000 seats. Hogan has asked the court to require that NHIS file a report detailing the extent of all construction performed based on the site plan approved by the planning-board Dec. 18, 1997.

The speedway says the court should dismiss the suit brought by the Canterbury residents, because it was filed too late and because the court lacks jurisdiction over the issues raised. It claims it has already sold tickets for two Winston Cup races for the 1,236 seats and that the speedway has no practical means of stopping ticketholders from using those seats at July and August races.

The speedway also states that it has no further construction planned this year so a stay on construction in unnecessary.

The Canterbury group on the other hand argues that that the track is in violation of a Loudon zoning ordinance that disallows expansion of existing non-conforming uses by more than 25 percent.

As part of its approval of the 9,000-seat project, the Loudon Planning Board required that a noise study be conducted. It also set a moratorium on future expansion until that study is completed. The memo filed by the board's attorneys says that NHIS has already spent $ 31,000 for the noise study, which will be conducted this summer.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Claim Made that a Labor Federal Government Would Ensure A Decrease in Noise Impact from Airport in Adelaide, Australia

DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: Nationwide General News; Australian General News
DATELINE: Adelaide, Austrailia

Australian General News reports that a spokesperson for the opposition transport, Lindsay Tanner, said today that a Labor federal government would decrease the impact of aircraft noise around Adelaide Airport. "A Labor government will ensure that every home in Australia seriously affected by aircraft noise is entitled to equal access to insulation," Tanner was quoted saying in the article.

According to the article Tanner explained how the current legislation the federal government could impose a levy on aircraft landing in Adelaide to pay for an insulation program for houses, schools, churches and other public buildings most affected by noise. The article quotes Tanner as saying, "I have been advised by the Department of Transport that around 700 houses would qualify for assistance if the standards that apply in Sydney were applied to Adelaide...But in over two years the Howard government has failed to do anything for the people of Adelaide whose houses are affected by aircraft noise."

The article states that under Tanner's view the people in Adelaide are entitled to the same treatment as people in Sydney. Merely enforcing a curfew will do nothing to help people affected by the current levels of aircraft noise.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

FAA Funds Received by Baton Rouge's Metro Airport to Soundproof 87 Homes

DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 6A
BYLINE: Adrian Angelette
DATELINE: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Advocate reports that 87 families living near the Baton Rouge Metro Airport could begin to see some reduction of jet noise in their homes. Over the last 12 years Baton Rouge's Metro Airport has participated in a noise reduction program. During that time, $25 million has been spent buying property, relocating families and repairing homes and schools.

According to the article Metro Airport Director Anthony Marino said the current grant for $2.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been allocated to seal cracks and crevices in the homes to keep jet noise out of homes.

Eighty-two (82) other homes have already been soundproofed through previous allocations from the federal government. The article says Marino is hoping for "another hit by the end of August."

The article notes that U.S. Senators John Breaux and Mary Landrieu, D-La., likewise announced receipt of the grant on Monday and indicated the money could also be used to help people who live in the noise zone relocate.

A total of 700 houses need to be soundproofed, the article said, referring to statements from Marino. Each home is assigned points in two categories: (1) for the amount of time the existing owner has lived in the house and (2) the house's proximity to the noisiest part of the airport. "People who have lived the longest and are closest to the noise go first," the article said, quoting Marino.

According to the article each house costs about $45,000 to soundproof. Additional state funds will match the federal allocation. The Louisiana Aviation Fund is obligated to pay $388,000 to match the $3.5 million that has been received from the FAA, the paper said, referring to Marino's statements.

Marino will seek authorization from the airport's board to secure bids on 120 homes, instead of the 87 identified for the recent allocation. Marino believes that if existing contracts come in under bid or if more money comes from the FAA, work could begin immediately on the other 33 homes, the article said.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona Announces That it is Keeping Flights on Track with One Million Dollar Monitoring System

PUBLICATION: The Arizona Republic
DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: Valley And State; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Mary Jo Pitzl
DATELINE: Phoenix, Arizona

The Arizona Republic reports that their one million-dollar monitoring system at Sky Harbor International Airport indicates that about 95 percent of airplanes follow the correct flight pattern after they take off. Officials at Sky Harbor International Airport officials announced plans June 15 to keep even more flights on track to protect neighborhoods from noise caused by departing planes. They hope to increase compliance to 97 or 98 percent.

But according to the article, a Tempe official says that even at 97 or 98 percent compliance, homes east of the airport won't necessarily be buffered from takeoff noise. "That's because planes can still fly too far to the north or south immediately after takeoff and still be counted as being on the right path," the article said quoting Ash Campbell, a senior planner for Tempe. "The problem is not planes turning out there over Price Road, it's planes flying over the neighborhoods," the paper said quoting Campbell.

The paper said that according to Campbell the airport's monitoring system tracks whether planes fly four miles east, to Price Road, before turning, but it doesn't measure whether planes wander off their flight path before Price Road. Airport officials reportedly counter Campbell's assertion saying their monitoring system shows that 95 percent of the planes departing east actually go through the Price Road "gate."

The article says the airport plans to increase the percentage of compliance by sending notices to airlines when pilots miss the turning point. The notice program began last Monday according to the Phoenix aviation director, Neilson "Dutch" Bertholf Jr. The notice will ask the airlines to tell them why they didn't fly the flight track, to respond in writing within 10 days and to outline what they can do to avoid repeating the error, the paper said, referring to Bertholf's statements. Some leeway is given for noncompliance since other air traffic, the weather, or safety matters would all be valid reasons for a pilot to fly off the flight track.

According to the article the $1 million monitoring system was developed as a result of an agreement between Phoenix and Tempe that was reached during negotiations over the construction of a third runway at Sky Harbor the article said. That runway is expected to open next year. The monitoring agreement applies only to aircraft taking off to the east.

The paper reported that Tempe officials believe the technology allows them to respond better to citizens when they complain about airport noise. The article recites an illustration where Campbell was able to pinpoint that several Southwest Airlines planes were the subjects of a citizen's complaint. "Armed with precise flight information, the resident then called the airline, and the problem was remedied," the article said.

The chief pilot at Southwest Airlines, is noted in the article saying the new notification system will be no problem.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Proposed Noise and Public Conduct Ordinance in Pittsfield, Maine Revised Again

PUBLICATION: Central Maine Morning Sentinel
DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: Local; Pg. 9
BYLINE: Larry Grard
DATELINE: Pittsfield, Maine

The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports that the town's proposed noise and public conduct ordinance has been modified. Some of the original elements of the ordinance were considered unenforceable and state law already covered others so the council submitted it to a Portland law firm to be rewritten.

On June 2, the revised version went before the city council. But a sizable turnout of residents prompted the council to table action until residents' concerns regarding restraints on public gatherings and family functions could be addressed.

The following night the Planning Board amended the ordinance to exempt public gatherings, including the Maine Central Institute football games, school dances, the Central Maine Egg Festival and other community events.

According to the article the impetus behind the ordinance is late-night noise, intimidation and vandalism on the part of teenagers and young adults. The ordinance as written would prevent anyone from disturbing "the quiet, comfort or repose of any persons" within the urban area between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., the article says.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

New Zealand's Palmerston North Airport and Its Surrounding Development Given New Limits

PUBLICATION: The Evening Standard
DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: News; Local; Pg. 2
DATELINE: Palmerston, New Zealand

The Evening Standard reports that new noise limits for Palmerston North Airport in New Zealand have been set. The limits were set after consideration was given on the parts of the Manawatu District Council, the Palmerson North City Council, and Palmerston North Airport Company.

Manawatu district planner Patrick McHardy said they looked at how much noise the airport was likely to generate in the future, and at proposed limits. He said the council's plans could include direct control over the noise made from planes taking off, landing, and taxiing on the ground.

The district council recognizes the importance of the airport to the district and the region, and didn't want development to impinge on it, the article said, referring to McHardy's comments.

A map accompanied the article to illustrate the plan proposed by the Manawatu district and city councils: (1)That no new houses be built in areas most affected by airport noise(contour 1); (2) That houses be permitted in areas recognized as not so vulnerable, but owners will be required to insulate all habitable rooms to cut the noise (contour 2); and (3) Owners will need to insulate bedrooms to cut noise, and specified building materials will be required (contour 3).

These requirements however, will not apply to existing houses -- only to their alterations and additions.

According to the article a June 25 meeting will give residents the opportunity to discuss the changes as set out in a draft variation for the city council's district plan. Manawatu's city planner Patrick McHardy, city council senior planner Peter Frawley, and noise consultant Nigel Lloyd will be present discuss the proposed variation. The public will be invited to lodge submissions at a later time. The city council for Palmerson North has sent out about 1000 letters to Milson-Kelvin Grove residents this week telling them of the changes, the article said.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

City Councilors Angered at Limited Penalty Fees Required of Noise Nuisance Neighbor in Gloucester, England

PUBLICATION: The Gloucester Citizen
DATE: June 16, 1998
DATELINE: Gloucester, England

The Gloucester Citizen reports that angry city councilors agreed to explore new measures for dealing with people who create a noise nuisance.

According to the article the effort was prompted by a recent case of Mark Green, a tenant in Columbia Close, Kingsholm. Last February Green was found guilty of three separate noise nuisance offences by playing loud music at all hours of the day and night. Other tenants told the court how he had made life miserable for twelve months.

The court fined and ordered Green to pay costs by Gloucester magistrates but later remitted the fine on May 6 leaving him with just prosecution costs of GBP 1,026 to pay to Gloucester City Council.

According to the article, council lawyer Gary Spencer told members of the city council's health committee last night that Green's fine had been lifted because he was unemployed.

The article quoted directly from committee chairman Councilor Paul Trehearne who said: "GBP 7,000 is a massive amount and I don't think anyone expected that level but to quash it is a big slap in the face... Mr. Green made people's lives a nightmare and this is telling him he can continue... It is a shame that someone like this can claim income support, flout the law and get away with it."

In response, councilors agreed to write to the Lord Chancellor and lobby local MPs for a change in the law. They further agreed to explore other measures for dealing with people who create a noise nuisance.

Derek Perry, who heads the environmental health, is quoted saying: "I suggest we look at a seizure option. If we can get a warrant from the court then we can use our seizure power to prevent the noise there and then. And we can follow that up with proceedings...If the fine is not so dramatic, at least we can ask for a deprivation order so the offender cannot get his equipment back."

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Residents of Riverdale, New Jersey Suffer from Non-Stop Quarry Blasts; Legal Restraints Prevent Local Regulation

DATE: June 16, 1998
SECTION: News; 2 Star P; Pg. L05
BYLINE: Barbara Williams
DATELINE: Riverdale, New Jersey

The Record reports that city officials have decided to hold back on adopting an ordinance to regulate stone quarry operations because they want the ordinance to be legally unassailable. A proposed amendment to the ordinance was tabled giving the mayor and council extra time to enable city officials to hire experts and complete several reports to tailor the ordinance.

"If we pass this ordinance now, we believe the quarry will get an injunction against the ordinance, and then we'll be involved in legal matters. We want experts to look at the dust, the blasting, and engineering plans, and then we will have something to back up our ordinance," the paper said, quoting Councilperson, William Budesheim.

That means those affected by the blasts will have to wait at least another 45 days before the ordinance could go into effect, the article said.

According to the article, quarry neighbor, Charlene McKenny of Hamburg Turnpike, rose and said, "We're the experts. Talk to us. We've been living with this for 15 years; we know all about it."

Other residents supported McKenny, the article said. Almost two hours of complaints were made to the council about how the quarry is diminishing their quality of life. The article said that most of the 75 people in the audience said the amount of dust sullying their pools, cars, and patio furniture, the cracks in their walls, the tremors, and the constant noise are non-stop.

Mayor Michael Dedio said the quarry is acting within state regulations, "They are not breaking the law," the article said, quoting Dedio. "We have no control over quarries. The state regulates all aspects of their operations..."

Some of the issues that could be addressed with the new ordinance include limiting blasting hours to one day a week, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and increasing the buffer zone from 150 feet to 500 feet from property and street lines.

The article said Mayor Dedio pointed out, though, that quarry representatives already agreed to limit the blasting to one day a week even though the ordinance was not adopted. "They have been working with us. We don't want to put them out of business. People make their livelihood from that operation," the article said, continuing its quotation of the Mayor.

According to the article residents were still not pleased with the one day per week blasting schedule, and questioned the city council about the frequency and severity of blasts. Mayor Dedio reportedly admitted the strength of the blast is still questionable and stated that this raised an opportunity to contact other municipalities with quarries to consider a suit against the state to change existing regulations.

The paper reported that the council approved Dedio's plan to do so, and Dedio said he will contact the mayors of Haledon, North Haledon, Hawthorne, Prospect Park, and Ringwood.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

The Department of Transportation Releases $2.5 Million to Acquire Land for Noise Compatibility Purposes at the Baton Rouge Airport, Louisiana

PUBLICATION: Congressional Press Release
DATE: June 15, 1998
SECTION: Press Release
BYLINE: John Breaux
DATELINE: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The following Congressional Press Release announced that the East Baton Rouge Parish would receive $2.5 million from the Department of Transportation to acquire land for noise compatibility at the Baton Rouge airport.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 1998 BREAUX & LANDRIEU: $ 2.5 MILLION FOR BATON ROUGE AIRPORT WASHINGTON (June 15) -- East Baton Rouge Parish will receive $ 2.5 million from the Department of Transportation to acquire land for noise compatibility at the Baton Rouge airport, Sens. John Breaux and Mary Landrieu (both D-La.) announced this afternoon. "This $2.5 million, when combined with another $1 million grant Baton Rouge got in March, will go a long way to combating the noise problems for people living near Ryan Field," Sen. Breaux said. "Overall, the better and safer our airports in Louisiana, the more we encourage travel and trade in our state." "Airports are the centers for tourism, travel and trade in any community," Sen. Landrieu said. "However, It's crucial that those citizens who happen to live near the airport do not have to settle for a substandard quality of life. This grant will continue Baton Rouge's efforts at helping those who live closest to Ryan Field." The Baton Rouge Airport Authority will use this new round of funding to continue implementing its plan to combat the effects of noise on nearby residents. A Federal Aviation Administration official said the money could go to help relocate residents who live close to the airport. Today's $2.5 million grant announcement follows a similar on made on March 3 when DOT announced that Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport would receive $1 million to acquire land for noise compatibility.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Residents Say New Muffler Rule at Racetrack Has Not Decreased Noise in Asheville, North Carolina

PUBLICATION: Asheville Citizen-Times
DATE: June 14, 1998
SECTION: Local; Pg. B1
BYLINE: Phil Alexander
DATELINE: Asheville, North Carolina

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that some residents say they haven't noticed a difference since tighter noise restrictions were implemented at the speedway in Asheville, North Carolina. But the track's owner says he's measured a drop in noise since the new muffler rule went into effect.

According to the article, the city of Asheville has been requiring mufflers on racecars for the last decade, with the standard of 50 percent of the noise level of an unmuffled car. But the article says neighbors aren't convinced the noise is less. One resident, Barbara Little who lives a mere 4,000 feet from the racetrack is quoted in the article, "I don't enjoy it at all, I kind of try to drown it out" with the television.

The article stated that track owner, Roger Gregg and track manager Larry Barbare implemented the new rule with the May 22 race. That race includes a 90-decibel limit which is about the equivalent of loud freeway traffic such as tractor-trailers pulling a long hill in low gear.

According to the article, drivers who have not met the 90-decibel limit have not been penalized because all of them have tried to quieten their cars, Gregg said. The article also said that many of the drivers have turned their exhaust pipes down toward the track so the noise from the engine is directed downward.

During one recent race, Gregg said he measured 69 decibels at the entrance to Interstate 240 and 70 decibels at Short Michigan Avenue. These readings compared to readings of 76 and 72 decibels, respectively, on May 15. By comparison, normal conversation is about 65 decibels.

Pete Silva of Leicester, is a driver who, according to the article, has virtually owned the late-model division at Asheville and Greenville, S.C.. Silva is noted in the article-saying that said drivers can meet the new noise restrictions and still accomplish the track's goals if they do their homework. The hard part is changing an exhaust system on which the driver has already spent $1,200 to $1,500, the article said, referring to Silva's comments.

Another driver, Randy Porter of Greenville, S.C. who's won three track championships over the past 15 years was also quoted saying, "We ran mufflers here for years anyway; it's just the last few years they got away from them. This ain't a horsepower track anyway."

The article also quotes several residents regarding the level of noise generated by the speedway.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Bells in Harvard Square Strike Discord with Neighbors in Cambridge

PUBLICATION: The Boston Globe
DATE: June 14, 1998
SECTION: City Weekly; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Tinker Ready
DATELINE: Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Boston Globe reports that the bells at St. Paul Church in Harvard Square though silent for a half-century are now refurbished and chiming every quarter hour. The sound is pleasantly reminiscent to some, but annoying to many others.

According to the article St. Paul Parishioners borrowed more than $600,000 to restore their 75-year-old brick clock tower and are rejoicing at the heavenly sound. Several neighbors and businesses mentioned in the article support the quarterly chiming of the bells. But the article reports that another small group of neighbors, including some Harvard University students, would rather not hear the bells quite so often.

Several among this group notified the Cambridge License Commission, which found after their investigation that the bells violate a city law barring noise that can be heard beyond 50 feet. A June 23 hearing has been set by the commission to decide whether to slap as much as a $300 daily fine on the church. So far the church has refused to stop tolling the bells.

After learning of the complaints, church pastor Monsignor Dennis Sheehan, appeared puzzled, the article said, that "such a sonorous sound would put his church on the wrong side of the law." The article notes how Sheehan explained that the members of the committee planning the bell revival never thought the chimes would bother anyone. "Everyone we talked to who remembered the bells spoke so glowingly about getting them back. We went forward gleefully and innocently," the article said, quoting Sheehan.

One of the individuals opposing the tolling of the bells is Ezra Sims, a classical music composer whose bedroom and his workspace overlook Arrow Street, just down the street from the church. Sims remembers when the bells chimed in the 1970's and he "remembers how happy he was when they stopped," the article says.

"Every time the bells go off, it's an irritation," the article said quoting Sims. Ezra sought to convey the seriousness of the imposition on those who live nearby when writing to the License Commission: "Whatever one is working on, one's mind must stop every 15 minutes, and wait for that mindless machine to have its intrusive say."

According to the article at least four other neighbors have complained as well.

The article also mentions neighbors who are "totally for the bells." Members of the city Historical Commission are supportive. According to the article, they gave the church a 1998 preservation award for renovating the tower, a replica of the town campanile in Verona, Italy.

The article notes that Sheehan doesn't want to get into a contentious battle with his neighbors but as the article states "Still, he asked for support at last Sunday morning's 9:30 Mass. A flier placed in the church foyer reads, 'Save the bells of St. Paul's!'"

The article notes that approximately 30 parishioners had written letters of support, which Sheehan will submit, to the commission.

No matter how much support they garner, the church is technically in violation of the noise ordinance, the article said, referring to comments of Richard V. Scali, executive officer of the License Commission. Scali is quoted saying, "You can say it's a strict ordinance, but we didn't write it."

The article clarifies that the commission also doesn't enforce the noise ordinance unless someone complains. Scali is accustomed to citing nightclubs for loud music or occasionally, asking a homeowner to remove a wind chime. Summoning the archbishop of Boston to a License Commission hearing, however, is clearly uncomfortable for Scali, the article stated. "It's a disturbing case. You don't want to chastise the church for bells. But you can understand how people feel. They're a captive audience," the article says, quoting Scali. The neighbors might be willing to settle for a compromise, Scali said, if the church were willing to ring the bells once or twice an hour, perhaps, rather than four times.

The article says that Sheehan believes the church has already compromised. At first the bells rang 24 hours a day. That has now been changed so, they ring only from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The article further states that Sheehan is not sure whether the antique clock could be rigged to ring just twice an hour. A change of that nature would be costly and the church is already in debt to the archdiocese for the repairs.

Meanwhile, the church has proceeded to appeal to the City Council, which has passed a nonbinding resolution in support of the bell ringing. A copy of the resolution was sent to the License Commission.

A photograph of Monsignor Dennis Sheehan showing off the bell's mechanism in the tower of St. Paul Church accompanied the article.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Contemporary Annoyances of 'Unwanted Sound' in Great Britain

DATE: June 14, 1998
SECTION: The Observer Life Page; Pg. 49
BYLINE: Rosalind Sharpe

The Observer published the following article concerning contemporary annoyances of noise as "unwanted sound".

Noise - defined as 'unwanted sound' has presumably always driven people bonkers, but it is obviously getting worse. There are so many of us, all watching television, listening to hi-fis, using machines and travelling around in things with engines. The anxiety it causes the strain of blocking it out, the annoyance of having to put up with it, the dread that it might start again is inescapable. Complete silence, undisturbed by the murmur of traffic or the drone of a jet, is a rare luxury.

Some people are phobic about sounds birdsong can induce terror but mostly, noise makes people tense, depressed and angry. Families row about it. Neighbors go to court. In the London borough of Brent, where the environmental health department receives 3,000 noise complaints a year, investigating officers have been issued with stab-proof jackets.

Most of the complaints concern amplified music, and many involve old buildings that have been so badly converted into flats that neighbors can hear each other using the bathroom. But inoffensive noises can also be maddening; the particular way a family member sniffs, or the sound of a colleague chewing their daily banana.

Unwanted sound has only recently been taken seriously as a form of pollution and an infringement of people's right to quiet, and the law that empowered local councils to put a stop to noisy activities was passed as recently as 1990. Noise has also become a science. The Institute of Acoustics has 2,300 members, including academics, musical-instrument makers and ' noise consultants'. The latter (see Acoustics in the Yellow Pages) specialize in noise management soundproofing nightclubs, designing 'floating floors' to muffle footsteps in warehouse conversions, and trying to make public address systems intelligible. None of this helps if the way your husband clinks the change in his pockets is driving you to divorce. RS

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Calf. High School Gets More Funds to Soundproof Against Noise from Lindbergh Field

PUBLICATION: The San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego, CA)
DATE: June 19, 1998
SECTION: Local Pg. B-8
DATELINE: Point Loma, California

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports California's Point Loma High School will get additional funds to provide relief from the constant noise of nearby Lindbergh Field.

According to the article, the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $1.34 million to the San Diego Unified School District to complete a soundproofing project at Point Loma High School, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., announced yesterday. The federal funds are the fourth and final installment on the campus's noise - reduction project.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Las Vegas Residents and Business Owners Question McCarran Airport's Agenda in Widespread Buyout Tactics

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Business Press
DATE: June 15, 1998
SECTION: Vol 15; No 24; Pg 1
BYLINE: Ken Ward
DATELINE: Las Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Business Press reports some residents and business owners in areas surrounding Las Vegas are questioning the agenda of McCarran International Airport's seemingly aggressive but selective buyout procedures.

Each year, McCarran International Airport receives $3 million to $5 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants to buy out property owners. The program, one of the most aggressive in the nation, is designed to remove residential neighborhoods from unbearable airport noise. But some say the real bottom line is about money. "They're buying the land, stripping the rights and turning a profit," declares Laura FitzSimmons, an attorney who has clients surrounding McCarran. "They're a quasi-private entrepreneur." Airport officials defend the land program as a good-neighbor policy. A 24-hour noise hotline receives 1,000 complaints annually from residents living two and three miles away.

The article reports McCarran wants to update its 12-year-old airport environs map to include areas where the noise level is measured at 60 decibels. Current maps draw the line at 65 decibels. The new zone, called AE60, would encompass 60 square miles, including 6,914 residential parcels. Currently, 1,105 parcels are covered. To date, 300 residential parcels have been acquired for noise abatement, mostly in the AE70 zone. Roughly 80 percent of the funds come from the federal government, with airport money making up the difference. "It's safe to say we're just in the early stages of the program," says airport planner Jacob Snow. And that proclamation greatly concerns some homeowners and commercial developers.

The article goes on to report by designating a larger noise zone, the airport is ensuring a domino effect of lower property values, says Audna Lang, a real estate agent with the Americana Group. "They're buying land under the guise of noise abatement," she says. "Actually, they're stealing it." Lang would like to see the county pay the difference in appraisal rates where property has been devalued by the "airport environs" designation. She says the AE60 overlay will require full disclosure by sellers since state law and existing property disclosure forms stipulate that sellers must detail "any conditions or aspects of the property which materially affect its value." Lang, who emphasizes that she does not speak for Americana or the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. GLVAR has stated that the existing AE65 boundary provides "sufficient protection for the general population." Commercial owners have also criticized the airport's participatory lease program in which property acquired in noise -impacted areas is turned over to developers. The land is offered free of cost and, in return, the developer pays 50 percent of all revenues to the airport. At the end of the 50-year contract, the lessee leaves and the airport owns all the improvements. Area firms that have not been invited into the program, including the Thomas & Mack Co. and the Gilmore Group, have questioned the selection process and the terms. Some fear that the county-run airport has set up a no-risk, anti-competitive arrangement that could lure tenants from their commercial parks. Triple Five Development Co. of Nevada and Majestic Realty Co. have signed participatory leases and plan to erect roughly 480,000 square feet of office and industrial space.

According to the article, Gary Johnson, who runs the airport's lease program, calls the venture a fair and cost-efficient way to manage environmental concerns. By putting property to work, the airport can generate a new revenue source to keep landing fees low and remain financially independent from the county's general fund. State Sen. Mark James, whose law firm specializes in real estate and environmental issues, praises the airport for trying to make the best of a difficult situation. The Las Vegas Republican praises McCarran's "ingenious" effort to convert noise -impacted properties to productive use. James said, "This community has made a decision to have an urban airport, and you're not going to make everyone happy." He sees the short-term rental and long-term conversion of residential subdivisions to commercial zones as an appropriate transition. "It would be bad if they were running a mini Trammell Crow over there," James says, referring to a prominent West Coast commercial brokerage. But as the airport's holdings grow and its noise boundaries expand, some wonder if that's not exactly what's happening.

The article reports, Steve Gilmore, owner of the Gilmore Group asks, "Is the goal to mitigate residential neighborhoods or to acquire property?" The airport's growing portfolio of commercial enterprises spark suspicion that its agenda goes beyond noise abatement. In 1997, the airport grossed $1.5 million in rental revenue. Attorney FitzSimmons sees clear winners and losers in McCarran's dealings. "The big boys, the lawyers and the entrepreneurs will do fine. The city of Henderson has avoided problems because it sued to block expansion in its direction," she says. "But the small property owners aren't doing so well." She cites the case of Ruthie Hunsaker, who started a small travel agency on Paradise Road. "The airport took her land and turned it into a day care center that's used by airport employees. She never got out of it what she put into it," FitzSimmons asserts. Eminent domain has been used to take vacant parcels from land holders who don't want to sell, or don't like the airport's price. On the other hand, some neighbors, like three mobile home parks on Tropicana Avenue, have been ignored -- even though their thin-walled homes sustain 150-decibel blasts from jets revving for takeoff across the street. "These people are sucking up jet exhaust every day but the federal regulations don't cover mobile homes," FitzSimmons says. "It would probably take $8 million to relocate them." Meantime, negotiations are under way on vacant land immediately to the east.

The article sates critics of McCarran's noise notification program claim it's a bureaucracy run amok. If a quiet stream is measured at 60 decibels, why, they ask, should the airport be using that as its new noise threshold? FitzSimmons, for one, suspects that the airport is simply furthering its financial interests. "They're not truthful about noise. Their data is flawed and therefore the whole process is flawed. It's a lot of computer hocus-pocus to get property cheap." Lang also notes that the latest noise maps carefully avoid such upscale enclaves as Spanish Trail when designating AE60. "That's not a coincidence," she states. But airport officials flatly reject allegations of laws or favoritism. Noting that nearly 5,000 acres controlled by the Bureau of Land Management south and west of the airport could be sold for development at any time, officials believe that proactive property management, stiffer zoning and stricter disclosure rules are in the community's best interest.

NPC Noise News
NPC Home

Previous week: June 7, 1998
Next week: June 21, 1998



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

Chronological Index
Geographical Index

NPC Menu Bar NPC Home Page Ask NPC Support NPC Search the NPC Home Page NPC QuietNet NPC Resources NPC Hearing Loss and Occupational Noise Library NPC Noise News NPC Law Library NPC Library