Noise News for Week of September 13, 1998

US Court of Appeals Rejects Challenges to Noise and Airflight Restrictions over Grand Canyon National Park

DATE: September 15, 1998
SECTION: Natural Resources
DATELINE: Washington, DC
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Tom Robinson, spokesman for the Grand Canyon Trust

Greenwire released the following statement announcing a US federal appeals court upheld new noise and flight restrictions in the Grand Canyon National Park. The press release reads as follows:

A federal appeals court last week rejected claims by a coalition of air tour companies that federal limits on flights over Grand Canyon National Park are too strict. Four groups -- the Grand Canyon Air Tour Coalition, The Clark County, NV, Dept. of Aviation, Arizona's Hualapai Indian Tribe and the Grand Canyon Trust, an environmental group -- sued the Federal Aviation Administration on different grounds (Greenwire, 1/7). All four suits were rejected by a three-judge panel. The ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit paves the way for the federal government to complete new tour routes that ban flights over 87% of the canyon. The new routes, designed to minimize noise in the park, are scheduled to go into effect in 1/99. The air tour operators remain concerned that the limits could "have a major economic impact on southern Nevada, since 42% of international visitors to Las Vegas go on to visit the Grand Canyon, many of them by air." Clark County Assistant Director of Aviation Jacob Snow said air tours are "a primary revenue source" at two of the region's airports. A representative of Air Vegas Airlines said that the ruling left the door open for further industry challenges "if we don't think the routes are adequate." But Tom Robinson of the Grand Canyon Trust, an environmental group that sued to strengthen the rules, said: "I see no opportunity for the industry to make any more challenges" (Richard Velotta, Las Vegas Sun, 9/11).

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Illinois Residents Object to Regulation of Law Mower and Snow Blower Noise

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: September 14, 1998
SECTION: Neighbor; Neighbor Fencepost; Pg. 1
DATELINE: Arlington Heights, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald published the following letters it received from Arlington Heights, Illinois, citizens in response to a report that the Arlington Heights Environmental Control Commission said it was looking at limiting the hours when people can operate lawn mowers. The first letter is from Jan Berkley:

Number one, are these commissioners being paid? Don't they have anything better to do than think of ways to use their time? A dozen lawn noise complaints a year in how many thousands of residences in Arlington Heights warrants a commission to look into a problem about noise about lawn mowers? This is totally ridiculous. Are they next going to restrict times when we can take children outside because the children are crying at the wrong time of the day? As far as the snow blowers, I agree with Greg Ford. You do need to do your snowblowing early in the morning or very late at night because of people's work schedules. A dozen lawn mowing complaints doesn't warrant the front page of the paper and setting limits on everybody in the village.

The second letter was written by Marie Koziarski:

I think when they stop the airplane noise, then they can do the other. People don't hear the lawn mowers and the snow blowers because they have their windows closed because they can't sleep with the airplanes. I think that's the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Do something about the airplanes. That would really please everyone in Arlington and the surrounding areas.

The following letter comes from Susan Meehan:

I agree 100 percent that lawn mowers should not be run before 8 a.m. Snow blowers are another thing because that's an emergency - you need to get to work. If people are growing grass on their driveway or on their streets, then they have other problems to deal with.

In the next letter, Beverly Kenny writes:

I think that before Arlington Heights starts talking about private people, they need to look at themselves. We live right across the street from Pioneer Park, and I've had to yell many times about the park mowing the lawns before 7 in the morning. I've had to call the police several times because people are playing basketball after 11 at night, some in the middle of the night. The other morning they were working on the pool, and it was before 7 a.m. So I think they better clean themselves up before they make us do it.

Gerry Souter wrote:

I think these folks have way too much time on their hands. You have to get up early in the morning to clear your driveway of snow, so that clears that one. And anyone who mows their lawn before 7 in the morning needs to be in a sanitarium anyway because the grass is too wet with dew to properly cut. Also, it's just a matter of common courtesy, not an environmental noise hazard. I think these folks should find something else to occupy their time. If they want to put a law on lawn mowing, that's fine. Make it after 10 in the morning; that makes sense because then everybody's lawns will look better, too.

The last letter is this series is from George Haupt:

It's not a problem. We have had possibly 12 calls a year about this. And, I wonder, is that 12 people or is that one person calling 12 times? Why don't they talk to neighbors, and why don't they try to find a common solution? We have had enough laws enacted in Arlington Heights. I do not want to see more laws. And how are people from the commission going to test machines to see if these things are noisy? At what point of the year are they going to test them, with the lawn and vegetation coverage being long and noise -absorbent, or are they going to do it November when it's very noisy? I am totally against any other involvement by this city.

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Most Residents in Chicago Suburb Object to Proposed Regulation of Lawn Mower Noise

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: September 14, 1998
SECTION: Neighbor; Neighbor Fencepost; Pg. 4
DATELINE: Arlington Heights, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald published a second set of letters from Arlington Heights, Illinois, residents responding to an article that reported the Arlington Heights Environmental Control Commission was considering imposing restrictions on homeowners' use of lawn mowers and snow blowers to regulate noise. Included as well are two letters from residents addressing other noise issues in Arlington Heights. The first letter about lawn mower noise is from resident Cathy Robertson:

I see that they already have a village code that starts at 7 o'clock. To me, the only additional laws you might need might be the law of respect and courtesy for your neighbor. I seem to think that having a lawn-equipment law is way beyond what we should be looking at as a village. Maybe communicating with your neighbor and respecting their rights and their property ownership would be the way to go.

The next letter came from Ted Lepucki:

I'd like the village to stop wasting my tax dollars on something as ridiculous as this. It's 11:30 at night, and I've got planes flying over my house. These airplanes are coming over at early hours and late hours, disturbing people, and no one seems to be concerned about that. But yet they're wasting our tax dollars looking into the noise problem with lawn mowers and snowblowers, which affect a real small portion of the people. I wish they would stop wasting my money and get on to some real issues.

Bridget Downey wrote:

I think we should concentrate more time and more effort on the noise made by planes. They shake our house, they go over every 30 seconds and they seem to get worse rather than better. Lawn mowers are not a concern of most people.

The next letter is from Rick Pera:

I think the residents of Arlington Heights do not need any more ridiculous city ordinances or laws regarding something as simple as mowing your lawn. I believe most people use good judgment on what time they mow their lawn. Now the Environmental Control Commission is going to conduct noise tests on lawn equipment to let you know that lawn mowers make noise and are considered a noise hazard. How is a lawn mower a noise hazard? Doesn't the commission have anything else to do? And for the dozen or so people who complained about the noise, maybe they should be a little more tolerant.

The following letter came from Virginia Fugiel:

No, I do not think Arlington Heights should set restrictions on when to mow lawns. The planes can't fly over because those are too noisy, too, so what else is Arlington Heights going to take away from its people besides raising taxes?

The next letter was sent in by Glenn Treat:

Why would we be worrying about lawn-mower noise and weed-whacker noise when we've got the ever-pressing air traffic over head that is far more noise pollution? Secondly, why would you need to do a study? And don't tell me we're going to allocate another $60,000 to decide whether the little old lady next door can mow her lawn at 6 o'clock or operate her weed whacker. Let's get real. Our taxes are high enough for what we get, with all the downtown development going on that's not needed.

From Howard Pollard came these thoughts:

About Arlington Heights setting limits to mowing lawns and running snowblowers: I'm retired, so it really doesn't faze me. But I'm concerned about many people who have early starting times for jobs, and I believe that in some respect this would be a handicap for some of those people. No restrictions should be placed on when you can do your snowblowing; that is something that people have to do to get out of garages. I would not pay objection to a starting time for mowing lawns, say, not before 7 on weekdays and not before 9 on Sundays. I think that might be a reasonable approach to it.

Resident Andrew L. Agoranos writes:

The Arlington Town Square/Freed Project has certainly started off to shaky beginnings.

Let's summarize: 1.) Vehement opposition by at least 6,200 citizens who signed a petition to stop the project, and possibly countless others who would have signed it. 2) Changing the "classy" facade of the condo tower to a less-expensive, boring design. This caused some turmoil and dissension within the ranks of our local government. 3) Arlington Heights Road closure for one week, then extended to two weeks. 4) Workers cutting major phone lines to thousands of residents and businesses. Not once but twice! 5) These things are in addition to the noise at all hours of the day and night. Constant dust and dirt in the air. Our quiet, children-filled sidestreets have become major thoroughfares for gravel trucks, construction vehicles and speeding motorists avoiding the construction site.

With all these problems for starters and just a hole in the ground, I find it extremely offensive that our local government ignores the common sense of its well-informed, well-educated, taxpaying citizens. Only to think that autonomous decisions should be made for the masses by a pompous, select few individuals.

It's a disgrace to the public forum system. Plato and Socrates would be rolling over in their graves. Unless, of course, their graves have already been dug up on the corner of Sigwalt and Arlington Heights Road.

John T. Morrow and Catherine Morrow wrote:

We have been residents of Arlington Heights since 1980. When we moved here, it was a quiet town with many concerned, happy residents. Throughout the years, progress has changed the situation to many, many unhappy residents.

In our situation, we have not been satisfied because of the noise, pollution, lack of sleep due to the airplanes and the lack of understanding from the board for the need of good, safe Section 8 housing in the Arlington Heights area.

The increase of airplanes in the north end of town during all hours of the day and night has only been going on for about one or two months. Sometimes it is impossible to sleep in the very early hours of the morning and very late at night. The patio chairs on our porch are getting black from the soot in the air. We hope that more residents would call the hotline telephone numbers: Arlington Heights - (847) 577-5630 or (847) 253-2340 and Chicago - (773) 686-2377 or (800) 435-9569.

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Political and Social Issues Accompany Leaf Blower Controversies in U.S.

PUBLICATION: The Dallas Morning News
DATE: September 14, 1998
SECTION: Opinion Pg. B-6
BYLINE: Richard Estrada
DATELINE: United States

The Dallas Morning News reports with autumn comes falling the leaves, and for some residents and workers in states including Texas, Illinois and California, the re-emergence of the heated leaf-blower controversy is likely.

The article reports from the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth to the neighborhoods of Chicago, West Los Angeles, and the Silicon Valley, the small but loud gasoline- powered tool has become a bone of contention between lawn-care workers and residents who object to the noise and pollution that leaf blowers spew. Defenders of leaf blowers tell city councils the machines are indispensable. Citing the jobs they help create, the advocates also note that leaf blowers help provide for the long-term well-being of their children. In a demonstration earlier this year in Menlo Park, a little boy carried a sign that read: "It is time for the council to stop the ignorance on all of our Mexican parents. They need the blowers to get money to send us to college because that is the future for us."

The article reports brooms and rakes may be environmentally friendly, but they are too slow. The economics of lawn maintenance crews today demands the fastest work possible in order to do as many lawns as possible. The fact that low-tech leaf blowers could be cited as essential to the livelihoods of thousands of people in Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles reveals a far greater problem than efficiency, aesthetics and pollution. At a time when the skills and educational requirements for well-paying jobs are far higher than ever before, the supply of functionally illiterate workers continues to grow. And because the vast majority of lawn maintenance workers are Hispanic immigrants, the leaf blower controversy has also become a social issue. The popular linkage of low-skill jobs and Hispanic background is becoming more widespread all the time.

The article goes on to say nearly two centuries ago, English workers called Luddites attacked machinery that made manual labor obsolete. At the end of the 20th century, low-skilled newcomers are fighting to retain gasoline-powered leaf blowers that provide subsistence-level income in a modern post-industrial, knowledge-based service economy. Americans may wish to consider the issue in all its dimensions. Is the debate about intolerance toward a particular machine and the people who use it? Is it about government's refusal to spend far more money on education and job retraining? Or, if neither of the above, could it be about an outmoded policy of mass immigration -- one that thoughtlessly downplays factors such as education, skills and numbers of immigrants that heighten the chances of making immigration work for America and the newcomer alike?

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Truck Traffic Ban in Hillsborough, NC, the Beginning of Downtown Revitalization

PUBLICATION: Chapel Hill Herald
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. 4;
DATELINE: Hillsborough, North Carolina

The Chapel Hill Herald published an editorial supporting the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina's, attempt to limit noisy truck traffic.

The article reports the sound of near-silence on Churton Street was almost unheard of until January when the town banned big trucks from the downtown area. The silence is music to the ears of those who own businesses and work downtown. "I feel it's much safer," Cathy Carroll of Carroll Realty and Construction Co. told The Chapel Hill Herald last week. "It's really decreased the noise. And it's easier for people to take their time to park on the street."

The editorial went on to say anyone who frequented Churton Street during morning, lunch or evening rush hours before 1998 had a good idea what it must be like to live in the flight path of a major airport. "It was the vibration and the noise. It just seemed really loud," Carroll recalled. "You would frequently hear the squealing of brakes, and you were leery about looking out the window, afraid it would be another accident." But after a seven-year attempt by Hillsborough officials to ban trucks from Churton Street, the Department of Transportation built an alternate route bypassing downtown and agreed to the town's request to restrict tractor-trailer traffic. Signs and police warnings for the past eight months persuaded most truckers to change their driving habits. Hillsborough officers began ticketing repeat violators last week.

The editorial says the crackdown on truckers is a small step in the right direction for town and business leaders working to jumpstart revitalization efforts in downtown Hillsborough. The ideas under discussion will require private funding and public support, and banning trucks from Churton Street may seem , by comparison, quite simple. But it's a good beginning for which town officials deserve praise.

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Debate over Noise Walls Ranges from Expense and Placement to Materials and Effectiveness; Still, Most Illinois Residents Favor the Sound Barriers

PUBLICATION: Chicago Sun-Times
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Sunday News; Pg. 16
BYLINE: Mark Skertic
DATELINE: Hinsdale, Illinois

The Chicago Sun-Times reports some Illinois drivers may dislike sound walls because they block the view and make the daily commute like driving through a tunnel. But for many suburbanites, sound walls are highly desired. Those who don't have them want them; those who have them want the tallest, thickest wall they can get.

The article reports Scott Dworschak, the noise barrier expert at the Illinois Tollway Authority, said about noise walls, "It's a growth industry. Anytime we do a project, we look at whether walls are warranted. And people ask about them." The walls, usually made of concrete or wood, are designed to deaden the sound before it reaches the neighborhoods next to the busy roadways. "We don't promise it will turn a neighborhood into the country, but we can significantly reduce the noise, " Dworschak said. A wall can cut the noise level in half. The view from Jacqueline Frank's Hinsdale home is of a 20 feet concrete wall. Along with the view of Interstate 294, also gone is the thunder from cars and 18-wheelers that once shook her home's windows. "Now, it's not any noisier than someone living on a busy corner with a stoplight or stop sign," she said. "Before, you couldn't hold a conversation outside."

The article states assessments of noise walls' effectiveness vary. Alex Kemp lives in Western Springs near the North-South Tollway. "When it's loud, it's loud," he said. "(The wall that went in a few years ago) helps a little bit, but not enough to make any difference." Others have found some relief from the sound of truck air breaks hissing as drivers slow down for toll booths and the vibration of rubber on pavement. "I think they make a difference," said Krassi Bel, a Hinsdale resident whose home sits next to the tollway. The shadow from the wall can be seen on her property. At a recent birthday party for her son, those in front of the home didn't have to shout above the sounds of traffic whizzing by as they once would have, Bel said. "I hope it's good for property values," she said. "In front of the house now it's not too bad. In back you can hear it, but nothing's perfect." Noise walls work, but they only mask a problem that is going uncorrected, said Les Blomberg, director of the Vermont-based Noise Pollution Clearinghouse. "They do have practical limits," he said. "In some sense they are the wrong solution, because it's not going after the source. Motorcycle standards, car standards, truck standards have not improved. They need to be much quieter."

The article goes on to state noise walls are an expensive solution. They cost more than $1 million a mile. Because they are so expensive, their need is considered when the state is adding or improving a roadway. Federal regulations require that noise control efforts be considered on projects using federal dollars. If the roadway isn't being repaired or rebuilt, it won't be considered for noise-control efforts. Walls were added along the Tri-State when it was expanded from six to eight lanes. "Unfortunately, we're constrained with money," said Mike Bruns, noise specialist for the state Department of Transportation. "Illinois has never had the money to address problems along existing roadways." The state has about 300 miles of tollway, and about 40 miles have walls on at least one side. The highway system has about 16,600 miles, with about 24 miles protected by sound barriers. IDOT put in its first walls in the late 1970s. The first choice was usually wood, a bad choice in retrospect, Bruns said. "We've paid for our mistakes, because wood walls have not held up well under Illinois weather."

According to the article, the toll road authority still puts in wooden walls along some stretches, usually in areas where the foundation can't be placed deep enough to support the weight of the concrete wall, Dworschak said. The decision to put in wooden walls still angers some in Oak Brook, where they wanted concrete barriers between their homes and I-294. "It's quieter, but it's not what we wanted," one resident said. Kathy Watts looks at the wooden wall behind her Oak Brook home and shrugs. She used to live in the city, and even without a wall the noise here is nothing compared with urban noise. "It's a buffer, but it's not as good as concrete," she said of the wooden wall that hides the entrance ramp from Roosevelt Road to I-294. Her home, with its stone exterior, already did a good job of keeping out traffic sounds. The family knew when they moved in that the wall the state was planning to put in wouldn't eliminate noise altogether, she said. "The tollway was there first," she said, "so I have nothing to complain about."

The article reports Earl Williams has one complaint about the wall behind his home in Berkeley. He wants to know why it doesn't continue down the Eisenhower Expy., which runs along his property's northern border. Although he can recite a long list of complaints about the Tollway Authority over the years, soundproof walls are one change that actually improved conditions for him and his family, he said. "They should put walls along all of them," he said. "They're going to spend the money anyway; they should spend it on something that works."

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Los Angeles Area Residents Debate Impact of Proposed El Toro Airport

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 10; Metro Desk
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Times published the following letters from residents California residents about the proposed El Toro Airport. The following letter was written by Leonard Kranser of Dana Point, California:

In April, before county planners unveiled their "Gateway to the 21st Century" airport plan for El Toro, they had ample time to examine the competing non-aviation Millennium Plan.

So why did $4 million of planning for an International Trade Center, Global Village and Hillside Research Center suddenly get scrapped, just months after Supervisors Silva, Smith and Steiner voted to adopt the plan? What had changed?

What changed wasn't the traffic projections that had been known all along. It wasn't the economics.

The major new element in the picture was the July 2 letter from the 50,000-member Air Line Pilots Assn., objecting to the county's planned north takeoffs into the mountains. While both national pilots organizations had previously objected to easterly takeoffs, the July 2 letter was the first to address the hazards of north takeoffs over Loma Ridge.

The pilots association safety experts call for tearing up the military runways and putting in all new ones, aimed more northwesterly toward Tustin, Orange and Villa Park. Many see the county's sudden decision to remove previously planned major buildings from alongside the runways as a necessary first step toward moving the runways. It may be a necessity for getting approval for El Toro from the aviation industry.

The next letter published is from Bonnie O'Neil of Newport Beach, CA:

The El Toro Reuse Planning Authority sent letters to Newport Beach residents stating they want to "work with us, not against us" and urge us to "tone down the political rhetoric" regarding an airport at El Toro. Their letter suggested we oppose any plans of our city to hire a P.R. firm.

I have a question: if they succeed in destroying the El Toro airport project and have no more worries of it being in their backyard, will they guarantee to put forth the same time, money and effort to prevent John Wayne Airport from expanding?

The following letter was written by Richard Miller of Laguna Hills:

A paragraph in an Aug. 12 article ("El Toro Jet Noise Analysis Isn't Sound, Critics Say") said, "Bert Hack of Leisure World said tests of a Boeing 747 flown 1,000 feet over the Leisure World golf course registered between 86 and 94 decibels. That kind of noise, particularly at night, could have a devastating effect on elderly residents, he said."

The statement is misleading because nobody lives on the golf course. It is, after all, a golf course. Also, noise decreases as the square of the distance from the source.

I live closer to the noisiest part of the Leisure World golf course than more than 99% of the people in Orange County. I may be inconvenienced if El Toro becomes a commercial airport. But I do not believe that I or anyone else in Orange County will be harmed.

S. Stanley of Mission Viejo wrote:

Before the Board of Supervisors and residents of North County rush to vote on the development of an airport at the El Toro base, perhaps they should consider this: All the airlines surcharge us heavily now to fly out of John Wayne Airport compared to LAX.

Case in point: A recent air fare pricing from OC to San Francisco cost $266. The air fare from LAX to San Francisco, however, is $66. What might the fares be from a new airport even further south? It doesn't take a genius to figure out what most of us have to do right now: drive to Los Angeles for a fare a quarter the cost!

The last letter published on this date comes from Nicolas G. Dzepina of Aliso Viejo:

In her Aug. 23 letter, Debra O'Donnell of Santa Ana asks who she should believe--an "unbiased" professional expert in noise, or anti-airport South County residents?

I live 3 1/2 miles south of the primary landing runway at El Toro, also used for takeoffs in the opposite direction by all military and/or civilian transport jets flying in and out of the base. My home is adjacent to the so-called "no-home buffer zone" which is at this point less than 3,000 feet wide, with homes on both sides of that "zone."

The real noise experts are folks like myself living under and/or near flight paths, who have to deal with the intrusive noise associated with each passing plane. Noise is noise, and is disturbing whether it is 100 or 60 decibels, or whether it is the noise from a dripping faucet when you try to go to sleep.

Acoustics expert Vince Mestre tells us that most of the noise will be confined within the base, which is 3 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide. Interestingly, the majority of the noise complaints at John Wayne Airport come from residents who live outside the airport's noise contour lines. According to the county's own figures, residents in Balboa and Corona del Mar, the last to hear departing jets 5 to 6 miles away from John Wayne Airport, registered 165 complaints in a recent quarterly report, while Santa Ana Heights residents, the closest to the airport, complained just six times. Orange and Tustin, under the landing path, called 29 times.

Thus, it is residents who live under or near the flight paths several miles away from the airport who may shoulder the most severe impact of the proposed El Toro airport.

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Some Residents in Bergen County, NJ, Feel No Sympathy for Residents Living Near Noisy Route 287

PUBLICATION: The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. A03
BYLINE: Jeffrey Page
DATELINE: Bergen County, New Jersey

The Record reports readers in Bergen County, New Jersey, mustered little sympathy for a woman unable to get a noise barrier built just beyond her back yard.

According to the article, a couple bought a house in Pompton Lakes that abuts Route 287, a noisy and heavily traveled highway. When the Department of Transportation counted traffic nearby, it found the area is traversed by 48,000 vehicles a day. After the new owners moved in, they were upset to discover that the DOT had placed a seven- to 10-year moratorium on even accepting applications for new noise barrier projects. But at least one resident feels they got what they paid for. "At a cost of $3 million to $4 million a mile for these barriers, as a taxpayer I find it very disturbing that I have to pay to help people who knew what they were getting when they bought a house," says Martin Criscenzo of Hawthorne. In looking for a home in Wyckoff, Criscenzo noted that prices for houses closer to Route 208, another noisy highway, ran as much as 10 to 20 percent less than houses farther from the road. "If people who buy these homes are going to pay $30,000 to $50,000 less, let them foot the cost of the noise barriers if they want them."

The article reports Marvin Winston of Ridgefield Park is more concerned about the walls effect on aesthetics than the cost to the public. "As a driver, I do not enjoy those noise barriers," Winston says. "Rather, trees are much more soothing, and are significantly lower in cost, too." Some drivers find it jarring to drive through a wooded rural area and suddenly find yourself staring at walls.

The article states the issue invariably returns to the costs of noise walls. Angela Kaplan of Hackensack wonders how much the highways themselves could have been improved if the $175 million the DOT has spent on noise barriers over the last 20 years had gone into repairs. "Remember a few years ago when the governor decided to turn the highway lights off to save money?" Kaplan asks. "Maybe we could have kept the lights on with that money or repaired potholes faster. I really don't think noise walls should come out of highway funds. No one forces anyone to buy a particular house."

According to the article, while these all may be cogent arguments, those who've never lived in a noisy environment, near a major highway, under an airport flight path, next to an elevated train, have no idea what noise does. It drowns out conversation. It even can drown out thought. You never get used to the noise.

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Cargo Business at Seattle's Boeing Field Brings Most Noise Complaints

PUBLICATION: The Seattle Times
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. B9; Letters To The Editor
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mike Rees, President of Seattle Council on Airport Affairs

The Seattle Times printed the following letter to the editor from Mike Rees, President of Seattle, Washington's, Council on Airport Affairs. In his letter, Rees contends Boeing Field Airport stopped being a good neighbor when it increased air cargo business. Rees writes:

We found your guest editorial, "Keeping Boeing Field a good neighbor" by Jim Combs, (The Times, Aug. 24) misleading.

It gives the impression that Boeing Field is now a good neighbor. Until the early 1990's Boeing Field was indeed considered a good neighbor, when Boeing and small-plane operations functioned compatibly with the surrounding communities. However, since 1994, Boeing Field management with the support of King County, has promoted what was previously a small segment of their business, namely air cargo, into a major activity. These cargo operations are the cause of the enormous increase in noise complaints.

There were 66 noise complaints in 1994, 5,179 in 1997, and this year they are running at an annual rate of well over 8,000. According to our analysis, 74 percent of all identified complaints (and 86 percent of all the identified nighttime complaints) last year were due to air cargo flights. Cargo flights, however, comprised only 6 percent of all the operations at Boeing Field. Many cargo operators use large, older, noisier model aircraft that have been retired from passenger service.

As Combs points out, the three major cargo companies, United Parcel Service (UPS), Airborne Express and Burlington Air Express bring in only $325 million of approximately $1 billion generated by the airport business into the local economy, but it is these operators that account for most of the complaints. Clearly, cargo business produces little economic benefit for our region compared to Boeing. Boeing flight operations, which are estimated to account for 90 percent of the business generated at the airport, cause very few noise complaints and almost none at night. They do impact residents with engine ground testing noise and associated air pollution, but these can be reduced.

Combs' article failed to mention that the King County International Airport Roundtable (with a membership chosen by airport management) recommended that a moratorium on new airport property leases be lifted, a proposal supported by King County Executive Ron Sims. The County Council put the moratorium in place in 1995, while a Master Plan update and EIS are being prepared. If approved by the County Council, lifting of the lease moratorium would allow UPS and others to lease additional property and develop a major cargo hub at Boeing Field, causing another dramatic increase in cargo operations and nighttime flights.

The Georgetown Community has already reacted by filing a suit against King County, challenging the plan that would allow leasing further property to cargo operators without first preparing an EIS to analyze the impact on communities.

Resorting to litigation would not have been necessary if attention had been paid earlier to the reasonable concerns of the neighborhoods. Communities are concerned with the deterioration of their neighborhoods from airport and aviation operations, and what we see happening at Boeing Field is causing just that.

The Roundtable minority report, signed by a majority of the community representatives, opposes the lifting of the moratorium on leases, until a Master Plan update and an EIS are completed. It offers a community alternative that includes steps to reduce, not increase, cargo operations.

Increasing cargo flights at Boeing Field will cause communities to take a more aggressive position. People will not be driven from their homes without a fight.

On the other hand, if King County policy moves to discourage large jet cargo operations, this will be seen as a welcome sign that Boeing Field wishes to restore its position as a good neighbor.

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Changes in Lambert Field's Expansion Plan Means More Noise, Critics Charge

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Metro, Pg. C3
BYLINE: Mark Schlinkmann
DATELINE: St. Louis, Missouri
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Joe Ortwerth, St. Charles County Executive

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, reports opponents of Lambert Field's expansion plan contend that changes made in the proposal would generate more noise south of the airport than originally anticipated.

According to the article, airport officials deny the allegation. They say that what the critics are objecting to isn't a recent change, but a long-planned option that would be available to air-traffic controllers on a daily basis. At issue is how often the new southwest runway would be used by arriving flights from the east that would fly low over communities such as St. Ann and Woodson Terrace.

The article reports St. Charles County Executive Joe Ortwerth and his aviation adviser, Joe Lintzenich, say the airport had projected that the new runway would be used for such arrivals only 6 percent of the time - in bad weather, about 22 days a year. At other times, arrivals from the east would use two existing runways north of the new one. Recent documents, they said, indicate that the new runway would be used for arrivals from the east 219 days a year, along with the northernmost runway, allowing more landings each hour. "The FAA has continuously ignored the noise implications of the W-1W expansion plan in the city and county of St. Charles," Ortwerth said in a letter to Federal Aviation Administration chief Jane Garvey on Sept. 3. Now, he said, "residents south of the airport are also being treated with the same cavalier attitude." Advisor Lintzenich complained that the FAA environmental impact statement on W-1W issued in December did not spell out the possibility that the alternative could be used, and was flawed.

The article states in response to Ortwerth's allegations, airport officials Jamie Tasker and Mike Cullivan said Friday that the southwest landing alternative is not the product of a recent change. They said it has been known as an option since 1995, when the airport agreed to its use after studying it at the request of pilots and controllers associations. They say Ortwerth's estimate is too high. FAA spokeswoman, Marcia Adams, said Friday that the agency was reviewing Ortwerth's letter and declined further comment. She said the agency expects to issue its decision on the plan soon, but did not give a date. Local officials expect the decision by Sept. 30.

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United Kingdom to Test Rubber Roads to Reduce Noise

PUBLICATION: Times Newspapers Limited
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Features
BYLINE: Sean Hargrave
DATELINE: Surrey, England

Times Newspapers Limited reports Colsoft, a new type of road surface, could come to the relief of United Kingdom residents plagued by traffic noise.

According to the article, trials will begin next month on rubber roads in an attempt to cut traffic noise. Four busy roads in Surrey, England, are to be resurfaced with a new mixture that is claimed to reduce noise by 70%. In the new technique 3mm rubber granules are added to the traditional mix of aggregate and bitumen used to surface roads. The granules are held between the aggregate chips by the bitumen. This stops the stones rubbing together and creating noise. Instead, the energy of a passing car is absorbed by the rubber. Only 3% of the overall mix is made from rubber. It is recycled from used, shredded tires. The process, called Colsoft, is being pioneered by Colas from Crawley. Its French branch received approval for the technique in France three years ago and is laying 100,000 square meters of rubber roads a year. These sections are concentrated on busy streets in residential areas of Paris.

The article reports the first section of British rubber road has been laid at the Transport Research Laboratory in Bracknell. Tests were timed to coincide with National Noise Awareness Day on July 1. The results showed the surface could cut traffic noise by 70%. According to Brian Hicks, business manager of road recycling at Colas, the difference in noise is easily noticeable. "A reduction of five decibels doesn't sound too impressive but that's actually a massive amount," he says. "When we were driving on the test day you could really notice the difference inside and outside the car. Most traffic noise is caused by the tires on the road. If you can cut that down, it drastically reduces the overall level. We want to show that the nuisance of road noise can be easily tackled. One only has to think about the residents near the M3 who are complaining even though noise barriers have been put up. They claim the barriers still let through an intolerable racket. We could stop up to 70% of that noise at source with nothing more complicated than adding little balls from recycled tires to the surface." Hicks went on to say, "It's one of those ideas that when you look at it, you wonder why it hasn't been done before. Everybody knows rubber absorbs vibration, so it would seem an obvious step. It has only been in the past few years that the Highways Agency has really got its act together in getting interested in processes like this. The French government was eager from day one to fast track the process because it realized it made sense."

The article states Colas has been in negotiations with Surrey County Council to establish test sites. Four roads have been selected in Banstead, Stoneleigh, Hythe and Hersham. Each has been chosen because of heavy traffic in residential areas. "The test sites are ideal because they are the sort of places where busy roads are causing a noise nuisance and so we will be able to compare levels on our section of road with the surroundings," says Hicks. "We're not aiming the surface for an entire stretch of road because we estimate it will cost about 10% more than conventional technology. Colsoft is really there to be sold for stretches of road that pass areas where you want to reduce noise. An ideal site, for example, would be a hospital where you don't want a busy road keeping up patients all night. Similarly any main road that goes past houses and annoys residents could benefit."

According to the article, the roads are scheduled to be resurfaced next month and will be monitored for two years by the Highways Agency and testers from the Road Transport Laboratory. Researchers will measure noise levels and check if the rubber mixture is as sturdy as a traditional road surface. If the surface passes the two-year test, Colas will obtain approval for Colsoft from the Highways Agency. This will allow it to be used on any stretch of road. The company expects to have several rubber-road projects in the works by then because it plans to show councils and other potential clients the surface as soon as it is laid. The rubber process is already being used by the company in the construction of drains but requires the mandatory two-year testing period to show it is safe for general road use.

The article goes on to report Colas is also expecting to obtain approval for a road-recycling process it claims will reduce the cost of road repairs by up to a third. Rather than dig up a road, throw away the mixture and start again, the company has developed machinery and a process that reclaims the aggregate and bitumen mix. It is then remixed and refined to the correct texture. As it is laid a foam bitumen is sprayed into the mix to make the recycled aggregate stick together as it falls to the ground. This dries almost instantly so traffic can be allowed on the stretch of road almost as soon as is laid. "It's crazy when you think how much you pay for aggregate that people chuck it away," says Hicks. "We're so far behind the rest of Europe, where recycling roads is seen as an everyday sensible thing to do. Norway recycles 3m square meters of road surface a year. Why throw something away and go to the lengths of having dozens of lorries transport new aggregate when what you need is right under your feet." A section of recycled road was laid two years ago in Somerset and is constantly monitored for endurance. Next summer it will receive a final inspection before it is decided whether to approve the process, which Colas claims reduces the energy required to build a road by 95%. The saving is mainly derived by cutting down on truck fuel because aggregate is recycled rather than delivered to the site.

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Snowmobilers Gather in NH to Discuss Noise and Other Problems that Threaten their Sport

PUBLICATION: The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: Section A Pg. 20
BYLINE: Jeanne Morris
DATELINE: Manchester, New Hampshire

The Union Leader reports snowmobile enthusiasts met in Manchester, New Hampshire, yesterday to discuss how to keep trails open in the wake of numerous complaints from homeowners about the noisy recreational machines.

According to the article, the conflict between riders and homeowners threatens to close or force relocation of some popular snowmobile routes. About 75 snowmobile enthusiasts attending the Northeast chapter of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations meeting yesterday in Manchester discussed how to ease the noise problems and defeat federal legislation that could threaten their sport. In New Hampshire more than 90 percent of the state's 6,000 miles of trails run across private land. Among the major complaints from residents is the high-pitched sound of souped-up racing sleds, which are growing in popularity. To ease the tension, snowmobile associations around the country have begun to ask manufacturers to build quieter machines. Some associations are considering maximum decibel levels for machines.

The article reports New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Tim Acerno said snowmobile noise is annoying more landowners, leading some of them to close trails on their land or threaten to do so. In some cases, trails have been rerouted away from homes. Last June at the national snowmobile association's meeting, the aftermarket manufacturers agreed to research ways to quiet the machines, and associations also began to talk about ways to reduce the sound levels. Jeff Lyons, executive director of New Hampshire Snowmobile Association, said, "When we lose landowners' support, that is really the bread and butter of our sport. We really are trying to be cooperative in any way we can."

The article stated chapter members also discussed possible federal changes that could threaten their access to trails. One of their concerns is the possible listing of the Canadian lynx as a threatened species. The chapter voted to send a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service stating their opposition to listing the Canadian lynx as threatened. Dennis Ford, president of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association, said the listing could result in new restrictions on snowmobiles. Members of the association said there are no scientific studies to show that the lynx was threatened. Another threat snowmobilers considered was the effort by environmental groups to turn the White Mountain National Forest into a national park. Members predicted possible restrictions if the federal government designated the White Mountains a national park, or if it passed the proposed Northern Forest Stewardship legislation. Ford called some of the language in the stewardship legislation vague. He was concerned that might allow some "radical environmental groups to use it to close humans out of the wilderness. It could present a problem in the future," he said.

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Texas Instruments' Corporate Jets at McKinney Airport Brings Noise Worries to Town of Fairview

PUBLICATION: The Dallas Morning News
DATE: September 19, 1998
SECTION: Plano; Pg. 1J
BYLINE: Roy Appleton
DATELINE: McKinney, Texas

The Dallas Morning News reports while McKinney Municipal Airport's first corporate jet fleet will deliver tax dollars and fuel sales, spark airport improvements and spur industrial and airport development, the town of Fairview, Texas, fears all it will get is increased air traffic and noise.

According to the article, final documents haven't been signed, but the deal between Texas Instruments and McKinney Municipal Airport is near closure. "It raises our stature and visibility," airport manager Dave Pearce said of the Texas Instruments move. "It will attract interest from other corporations with flight departments." The move, along with other airport developments, is also attracting interest in Fairview, south of McKinney. Residents and town officials there have complained about plane noise from the airport for months and oppose an increase in air traffic. "Yeah, we're opposed to it, but we want to work something out with McKinney," Fairview Mayor Don Phillips said Thursday. He and town administrator Scott Albert last month told state transportation officials that the town of just under 3,000 had concerns about two proposed federal grants for McKinney airport improvements. The grants were approved. "I asked them for help," Mr. Phillips said. "We want the Texas Department of Transportation and FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] to know we're here. We've made a number of suggestions to McKinney to try to work this out, and we've been rebuffed at every turn," the mayor said. Pearce, the airport manager, said planes from the airport "have met all the FAA criteria" on noise. "We continue to monitor that and continue to look at our impact on communities," he said. As for Fairview, "it's unfortunate the rapport and dialogue are not there," he said.

The article reports the Texas Instruments project calls for the company to lease a 30,000-square-foot hangar and a 5,000-square-foot office at the airport for aircraft and 18 employees. The company has promised to place two planes, valued at $38 million or more, on local tax rolls, Pearce said. The addition, he said, would be worth about $750,000 in tax revenue to the McKinney school district. The company hangar and office also will add an estimated $2.5 million worth of property value to tax rolls. Initial payroll is estimated at $1 million, and the company has agreed to buy at least 100,000 gallons of fuel a year. Each gallon sold brings the city 9 cents.

The article states that in return, the city and McKinney Economic Development Corp. have agreed to provide $1.5 million worth of streets and utilities to the site. The city, at Texas Instruments' request, also will reduce property taxes by 45 percent for 10 years beginning Jan. 1; add a second bay to a fire station expected to open near the airport in 2000; pay the U.S. Customs Service an estimated $ 110,000 to provide an agent to screen international flights; and add a $ 40,000 radar system, the airport's first. The improvements may be initially costly, but they will make the airport more attractive to other corporate fleets, said Bill Sproull, president of the economic development corporation.

The article goes on to report McKinney is involved in other airport projects beyond Texas Instruments. The two federal grants questioned by Fairview will provide $5.2 million for new runway lighting, the airport's first taxiway lighting, new signs, new and rebuilt aircraft parking aprons, and drainage improvements. A third federal grant, for $172,000, provided engineering and design for the projects. The city will pay 10 percent of the total costs, or about $544,000. The city's airport master plan also calls for construction of a second runway and a road looping the site. The additional runway is 10 to 12 years away, based on projected airport activity, Pearce said.

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Maylaysia Limits Singapore's Use of Airspace; Could Mean More Noise for Both Countries

PUBLICATION: Deutsche Presse-Agentur
DATE: September 19, 1998
SECTION: International News
DATELINE: Singapore, Asia

Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports Malaysia's new restrictions on Singapore's use of Malaysian airspace could mean more aircraft noise for residents of both countries.

According to the article, in a surprise move Thursday, Malaysia revoked long-standing bilateral agreements that had allowed Singapore's air force to enter Malaysian airspace without prior approval. As a result, "There could be some inconvenience to those living on both sides of the Western Johor Straits as the new flight patterns could result in more noise, as more aircraft now have to fly along the Straits," Singapore's defense ministry said in a statement released to the media. The Johor Straits, a strip of water about one kilometer wide, separates the island city-state of Singapore from the Malaysian mainland. The Singapore air force has "alternative arrangements" and has been "carrying out its usual training and operational flights," the defense ministry statement said Saturday. The Singapore air force does much of its flying overseas and also uses flight simulators, the statement said.

The article reports the airspace ban is the latest round in a recent row between the two countries, which were united in 1963. Malaysia expelled Singapore two years later due to racial and political difficulties, and the two have had frequent diplomatic spats since the break-up. Malaysians were angered over comments about their country and leaders made by Singapore's elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew in an autobiography released on the day before Malaysia imposed the flight ban. Before the book, ties were already strained over Malaysia's refusal to move a railroad border crossing facility located inside Singapore territory after Singapore had requested the move. There have also been arguments over other issues, including a lighthouse claimed by both countries and Malaysia's threats to forbid its companies from using Singapore's port.

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European Union Mandates Noise Maps for Cities

PUBLICATION: New Scientist
DATE: September 19, 1998
SECTION: This Week: Newswire, Pg. 23
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Ritt Bjerregaard, EU environment commissioner

New Scientist reports every city in the European Union with more than 250 000 inhabitants will be required to draw up " noise maps" of their streets by 2002.

According to the article, the requirement is part of the European Commission's upcoming directive aimed at limiting noise pollution. EU environment commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard told a meeting of noise scientists in Copenhagen last week that 80 million people suffered "unacceptable levels of continuous outdoor transport noise" daily in the EU. By next year, scientists will decide on common methods for measuring and mapping noise. The directive could force a cut in levels of motorized traffic in cities.

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Anti-Noise Candidate in Australia Claims Death Threats-Continues Campaign Against RAAF Jet Noise

DATE: September 18, 1998
SECTION: Nationwide General News; Australian General News
BYLINE: Denis Peters
DATELINE: Sydney, Australia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Michelle Moffatt, political candidate

AAP Newsfeed reports an independent candidate in Australia campaigning against aircraft noise claimed today she and her family had been subjected to death threats.

According to the article, Michelle Moffatt, proprietor of a seafood business at Swan Bay, said the threats had been made since she announced on Wednesday she would challenge sitting Liberal member Bob Baldwin. She had personally received several threats against her life and said her family, including three young children, had also been threatened. Detectives were investigating and were engaged in surveillance to protect her family, she said.

The article reports Mrs. Moffatt is standing as a single issue candidate over noise from military jets flying from the Williamtown RAAF base and bombing at the nearby Salt Ash Bombing Range. She said she refused to pull out of the campaign. "No way. I'm going to give them hell, don't you worry about that," Mrs. Moffatt told AAP. "I'm just thinking about the price you pay. I assumed democracy was a different thing in this country. I think I've just trodden on some pretty heavy toes, to tell you the truth," she said. "I ran a campaign to try and alleviate a whole community of an intolerable noise nuisance. I didn't do it to make my whole family suffer like this." Mrs. Moffatt said her seafood outlet at Swan Bay had been closed for a month due to an unacceptably high noise level from FA-18, Macchi, Skyhawks and other jets making bombing runs overhead. She said she had sought legal advice and called for an expression of interest in a class action.

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Minn. Refuge Paid $20 Million for Loss of Quiet Due to Jet Noise

PUBLICATION: The Associated Press
DATE: September 18, 1998
SECTION: State And Regional
DATELINE: St. Paul, Minnesota
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Nelson French, president of the Friends of the Minnesota Valley; Rick Schultz, manager of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

The Associated Press reports that silence is worth at least $20 million, according to an appraisal of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

According to the article, the refuge near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will lose its capacity as a bird sanctuary and an open-air classroom when a new runway sends more jets overhead. Fair compensation to the public for the diminished value of the nature preserve due to the overhead noise is at least $20 million, according to a Minneapolis real estate appraisal company, whose findings were released by airport officials Thursday. The refuge, one of only a few urban reserves of its kind in the country, comprises over 10,000 acres along the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling to Jordan. It hosts roughly 200,000 visitors a year and is the home of bald eagles, deer, foxes, beavers, ospreys, otters, and many songbirds and waterfowl.

The article reports the appraisal sets the basis for a cash settlement between the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates the airport, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the refuge. That agreement, which acknowledges the environmental damage to the eastern portion of the wildlife refuge from the planned north-south runway, is expected to be approved Monday by the Airports Commission. Because the $20 million is a minimum, the final agreement is expected to be higher. Nelson French, president of the Friends of the Minnesota Valley, said he was gratified by the high value put on the public asset. The group organized during the 1970s to get the refuge established. "Far too often when we lose natural resources there is not adequate compensation for that loss," French said. "In this case, there has been an extremely thoughtful and reasoned attempt to analyze the value of this loss to the community."

The article states the new runway, expected to be in use by 2003, will send planes over the refuge every other minute. Refuge manager Rick Schultz said he expects the noise to be "overwhelming" but added that "it's hard to get a feeling for what the real impacts will be until after it happens." Schultz said the wildlife service originally asked for $27 million to buy replacement habitat upstream. The minimum $20 million identified in the appraisal would allow that. Negotiations continue for additional money for operating public facilities in two locations and for realigning trails and facilities, he said. "From our perspective, it's sad because some of the public-use activities that have taken place in the refuge will no longer be available," Schultz said. "But we do think we've worked out a good agreement with MAC and the Federal Aviation Administration, and we are looking forward to working with them to establish new habitat upstream."

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Federal Grant Funds Relocation Program for Residents Near Georgia's DeKalb-Peachtree Airport

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal
DATE: September 18, 1998
SECTION: Local News; Pg. 04C; Pg. 04C
DATELINE: Dekalb, Georgia

The Atlanta Journal reports a relocation program will be funded with a federal grant for residents who live near Georgia's DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

According to the article, DeKalb County has been awarded a $239,000 federal grant to buy more houses near DeKalb-Peachtree Airport as part of a program to relocate residents who live in areas beleaguered by high noise levels from airplanes. The grant, which will require a $26,500 match from the county, will be used to purchase two additional houses near the airport. Two previous grants totaling $10.5 million are being used to purchase 52 homes and a mobile home park near the airport.

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Residents Demand Action on Jet Noise at NJ's Teterboro Airport

PUBLICATION: The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
DATE: September 18, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. L01
BYLINE: Tina Traster
DATELINE: Teterboro, New Jersey
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Louis Tedesco Jr., mayor of Little Ferry and demonstration organizer; William "Pat" Schuber, Bergen County Executive; Katherine Salfino, resident

The Record reports local New Jersey officials and residents fighting increased jet traffic demanded action at a demonstration at Teterboro Airport on Thursday.

According to the article, before public speeches, demonstrators walked in a circle, holding signs that said: "Enough is Enough, Peace and Quiet, We were here before the jets." A small child holding a sign chanted, "No more planes." The child's mother, Katherine Salfino, called the constant noise harmful. "My daughter holds her hands over her ears because she says the noise hurts her ears." During the early evening rally attended by more than 125 residents and officials, Little Ferry Mayor Louis Tedesco Jr. said, "The noise level has gotten to the point where it can't be tolerated. We no longer want to be told that our correspondence will be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration or the Port Authority," said Tedesco. "We're tired of being told the matter is being looked into. We want action. We want it now. And we want the airport to make its first concession and close between midnight and 6 a.m." Airport officials did not attend the rally.

The article reports Tedesco said a coalition of mayors, including himself, and Bergen County Executive William "Pat" Schuber are determined to raise money to "start a lawsuit" against the Port Authority and the FAA. "We are absolutely fed up with the way we've been treated," said Schuber, who is running for reelection. "We are concerned about air and noise pollution. The officials give us lip service and placebos to keep the opposition quiet. This is a big-city jetport that can't be allowed in a largely residential area. Action needs to be taken at the federal level."

The article states residents and local officials began their campaign against airport noise and air pollution last year when they learned Port Authority planned to reroute corporate jets from Newark to Teterboro. Such a change could increase traffic by 20 percent at Teterboro. Teterboro Airport is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is open around the clock every day of the year. The Port Authority denies it is planning to increase traffic at Teterboro.

The article goes on to say on-going efforts to reduce airport noise are pending. In April, Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, announced plans to ask Congress to increase spending on airport noise -reduction by 20 percent. His aide, Phil Goldberg, said Thursday that the House in July passed a bill to increase President Clinton's 1998 Airport Improvement Program to more than $252 million. If secured, some of the funding could help soundproof buildings in towns surrounding the airport. A final vote on the bill is expected within the month. "Rothman plans to fight in the appropriations process to keep noise mitigation a priority so airports like Teterboro will have access to more federal dollars," Goldberg said. In February, Port Authority officials promised to seek noise relief for South Hackensack Memorial School and other schools in the region where jet noise exceeds 65 decibels, the federal limit. But last year, health officials responding to a request by Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, said it is not feasible to study whether exhaust fumes and other pollutants generated by aircraft at Teterboro are contributing to cancer rates in southern Bergen County towns. Health officials did say, however, that they would continue to gather information about health risks associated with jet fuel.

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Plan to Move Concert Stage Only Moves the Noise, Doesn't Solve Problem, Say Calgary, Alberta, Residents

PUBLICATION: Calgary Herald
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: City; Pg. B1 / Front
BYLINE: Jim Cunningham and Helen Dolik
DATELINE: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jim Besse, representative for Hillhurst-Sunnyside community interests; Hazel Bennett, president of the Eau Claire Community Association

The Calgary Herald reports some Calgary, Alberta, residents believe a proposed permanent stage at the west end of Prince's Island Park would only direct noise away from one location and bother residents in another area.

Acording to the article, a committee considering a long-range development plan for the park is considering recommending that a permanent stage be installed for annual musical events. The stage, which master plan committee head Bernie Amell emphasized is still being designed, would help mitigate noise problems from concerts. Moving the stage to the west end of the island might also help direct the sound of the concerts away from Hillhurst-Sunnyside, the area most affected by the sound, Amell said Wednesday. "Instead of the music going west into Hillhurst and West Hillhurst, it would go east to entertain the animals at Calgary Zoo," Amell explained.

The article reports Jim Besse, who represents Hillhurst-Sunnyside community interests on the steering committee, said residents will be upset with the stage recommendation. Complaints from residents of nearby neighborhoods last summer resulted in the annual Folk Festival adopting strict limits on the sound from stage speakers. "I've got a problem with it," he said. "It doesn't seem community friendly. It will increase noise. " He said the steering committee has received hundreds of comments, and not one person mentioned the need for a permanent stage. Besse fears the permanent stage will lead to more festivals in the park and undermine efforts to identify alternate festival sites. Changing the stage location is just going to bother people in another direction, said Hazel Bennett, president of the Eau Claire Community Association. "I think it doesn't really matter which way the stage is set. It matters in whether they pay attention to the noise bylaw," she said. "And certainly the Folk Festival did this year." Kerry Clark of the Folk Festival said her group was generally supportive of the proposed changes. "We're fine with that," she said of the plan to move the stage and build some sort of permanent base for it.

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Arlington Heights Updates Plans to Fight Noise at Chicago's O'Hare Airport

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Jon Davis
DATELINE: Arlington Heights, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Stephen Daday, village trustee; Virginia Kucera, village trustee; Bert Rosenberg, committee member; Dwight Walton,, village trustee

The Chicago Daily Herald reports Arlington Heights' Advisory Committee on O'Hare Noise began drafting a new battle plan this week to fight airplane noise.

According to the article, committee members informally agreed on three broad goals aimed at reducing noise from O'Hare International Airport, but rejected a fourth proposal to support a third regional airport. Both the committee and the village board said "no" to that idea earlier this year, said the committee's chairman, village trustee Stephen Daday. Resurrecting the idea of supporting a third airport was simply a way to revisit the idea, responded trustee Virginia Kucera. Offered in a draft strategic plan, Kucera's other suggestions - encouraging the manufacture and use of quieter aircraft, opposing expansion of runways or flight operations at O'Hare and maintaining public awareness of airplane-related noise pollution - met with general approval.

The article reports Kucera's draft plan includes continued opposition to converting military flight slots for commercial use. It also invites various homeowners' associations to meet with the advisory committee and encourages residents to request seats on quieter airplanes when making travel reservations. Other ideas, like adding a second noise monitor or pressuring the city of Chicago to enforce existing noise reduction measures on flights from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., will be discussed at the committee's October meeting, committee member Bert Rosenberg said. While encouraging quieter airplanes is a long-term goal, the committee's immediate aim should be getting the city to comply with its own "Fly Quiet" program, Rosenberg said. Trustee Dwight Walton asked the committee in June to re-visit its original game plan from 1991 and to reissue a new plan for mitigating airplane noise in Arlington Heights' airspace. At that time, Walton asked that the new plan track airplane noise trends and determine whether the village is in a position to affect noise at O'Hare.

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Living Under Detroit Airport's Flight Paths is "Hell on Earth"

PUBLICATION: The Detroit News
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: Business; Pg. Pg. B1
BYLINE: Lisa Jackson
DATELINE: New Boston, Illinois

The Detroit News reports one New Boston, Illinois, resident who lives in Detroit Metro Airport's southern flight path says the recent Northwest pilots strike gave her temporary reprieve from unbearable noise.

According to the article, Colleen Modzelewski wishes the Northwest pilots strike was still on. "I feel bad for the people who were laid off, but it was so quiet. It was so peaceful," she said. "For these last couple of weeks there has been a tranquillity my family has never known since we have lived here." Modzelewski's home is in Detroit Metro Airport's southern flight path, a place she calls "our very own hell on earth." She says her children have been affected by airport noise, each suffering speech and hearing problems. "When the planes take off, my daughter holds her ears and screams," she said, her voice cracking. "We have a decibel monitor here and the planes record from 90 to 120 decibels."

The article reports what Modzelewski finds equally frustrating is that her home is just outside the area where the airport and Wayne County could buy her house through its Neighborhood Compatibility Program. Under the program, the airport and county can either buy a home affected by noise, install insulated windows or offer a homeowner the appraised value if they had previous plans to sell. "Right now, we're concentrating on sound-proofing installation," program Director Colleen Probur said. Workers average about 35 homes a month. It's not enough for Modzelewski. "I can't tell you how many people are in the same situation as my family," she said. "They are trying to work on this problem, but it's going to take a long time before everyone is happy."

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Nevada Home Owners Reject New Noise Zones Near McCarran Airport

PUBLICATION: Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV)
DATE: September 17, 1998
BYLINE: Steve Friess
DATELINE: Clark County, Nevada

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Nevada's Clark County Commission indefinitely postponed action Wednesday on a new, noise zone, due to vigorous opposition from residents near McCarran International Airport who fear property devaluation.

According to the article, the issue of whether to create a new set of restrictions for property owners who live in a zone that receives an average of 60 decibels of airport noise won't return to the commission at least until 2000, said Jacob Snow, McCarran assistant director for planning, environment and general aviation. In the meantime, the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the airlines will study how to mitigate noise by changing flight patterns, Snow said. However, Snow said that even after the new study is conducted, he doubted the commission will ever pass a 60-decibel zone. The goal was to provide protection for home-buyers, he said, but the present property owners' opposition seems insurmountable.

The article reports official noise zones and various building restrictions for property in areas that receive 65 decibels or higher from plane noise currently exist in Clark County. The new proposal would have created a 60-decibel zone that originally would have required owners to soundproof their homes and to disclose the noise level to prospective buyers. Many resident complained that would devalue their homes. The airport offered several compromises, including waiving the soundproofing and disclosure requirements for existing homeowners, but real estate agents testified the existence of an official zone would still require the disclosure. About 8,000 businesses and homes exist in the proposed 60-decibel buffer zone around McCarran. The proposed 60-decibel band, designed by computer software, curved around McCarran in a configuration that represents various common patterns of flights taking off and landing.

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Long Beach, NY, Gives First Ticket for Violating Leafblower Ban Four Years After Law Enacted

PUBLICATION: Newsday (New York, NY)
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Page A46
BYLINE: Sid Cassese
DATELINE: Long Beach, New York

Newsday reports the City of Long Beach, New York, issued the first citation for violation of its leafblower ban, a law enacted in 1994.

According to the article, the ticket was issued to a maintenance worker at the Lindell Elementary School on Sept. 8. A court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 8. Irene Ficke, a local activist who lives near the Lindell school and has repeatedly asked school and district officials not to use the noisy leafblowers, said she called the police, and was surprised when they issued a citation. "I would think that schools, who are teaching our children, would be the first ones to set an example of obeying the law," Ficke said. "But see how wrong one can be." Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said yesterday that district officials "were under the impression that the law had been changed because everybody in the city is using leafblowers, but now we have ceased and desisted from their use."

The article reports the City Council enacted the law, the first on Long Island to ban leafblowers, in 1994. Long Beach Police Commissioner Thomas Browne acknowledged that the law had never been enforced. "Everybody had the impression that they were going to change it right away, it was never enforced," said Brown, who did not head the department at the time the law was enacted. Brown said yesterday that the present law would be enforced strictly and he had been advised by the City Council to do so. Last year, after Ficke complained of city workers using the leafblowers on her street, Long Beach officials said the city was exempt from the law. Eugene Cammarato, the assistant to the city manager said yesterday that city employees no longer use the leafblowers.

In July, the City Council considered lifting the ban because so many gardeners had complained that it was too harsh. City Council President Michael Zapson, who could not be reached yesterday, had said at the time that the ban "is no longer useful." But there was such an outcry at a July 21 public hearing on lifting the ban that the resolution was tabled for modification. Corporation Counsel Joel Asarch said he is working on a "package" law that ties decibel levels into the use of the leafblowers, as well as licensing of gardeners.

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Noise is a Hot Topic in Yorba Linda, California

PUBLICATION: The Orange County Register
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: Community; Pg. 01
BYLINE: Eric Johnson
DATELINE: Yorba Linda, California

The Orange County Register reports two of the hottest topics before the Yorba Linda City Council in California were discussed at the council meeting Tuesday. Both issues concerned noise and noise mitigation.

According to the article, Councilman John Gullixson held an informational presentation in an attempt to put to rest controversy about the height of the sound walls proposed for the widening of Imperial Highway. Gullixson said the plan calls for a wall no higher than 6 feet, on top of landscaped berms that vary in height from 3 to 10 feet. Opponents of the plan argued that the 6-foot figure was misleading, because the wall could be 16 feet higher than the street when the berm is factored in. Yorba Linda resident Tom Martin voiced his outrage at the presentation, characterizing it is as campaigning, not informing. Yorba Linda voters will vote in November on a measure proposed to block the Imperial Highway "Smart Street" project. "The public has the right to an even-handed presentation of the project," Martin said. "A fight on the merits, the public deserves it." Emotions ran high as testimony was heard by the council prior to Gullixson's presentation. City Attorney Leonard Hampel was called upon several times to interpret what could or couldn't be presented at the meeting. He repeatedly warned members of the audience not to use the forum as a soapbox to campaign for issues in the upcoming election. The council voted 4-0 to require a staff report about the necessity of sound walls for the Imperial Highway Improvement Project.

The article reports the council then moved on to the rezoning of the Country Club Village Shopping Center and a controversial U-Haul business there - another subject involving noise which divided the audience and the council members. On September 1 the council voted to change the shopping center from a commercial-neighborhood zone to a commercial-general zone. The rezoning of this area allows Reza Vazirian to continue renting U-Haul trucks form his hardware store, which is located in the shopping center. Until the zoning was changed, Vazirian was in violation of the zoning laws because he was not allowed to rent trucks so close to a residential area. The council voted 3 to 1, with one member absent, to allow the zone change to occur. Neighbors of the shopping center upset by the council's refusal to hold off on the zoning change. "What is the rush to rezone this shopping center? " B.J. Hadzoglin said. "By rezoning, you are exposing the residents to tremendous nuisances in the future. You don't know what it's like. " Gullixson reiterated his claim from the first hearing that the shopping center should be rezoned to provide uniformity to all of Yorba Linda's shopping center. Residents demanded a reason, other than uniformity, to explain the change. Neighbors have complained since 1995 that Vazirian's trucks created noise and pollution in an area that was zoned as a residential neighborhood. Hadzoglin argued that the zoning for the residences was in place before the shopping center was built. She also used the Yorba Linda Planning Commission's unanimous vote against the rezoning earlier this year as a reason the change should not have taken place.

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Missouri's Lambert Field to Install New Noise Monitor to Aid Residents

PUBLICATION: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: North Post, Pg. 1
BYLINE: Linda M. Billingsly
DATELINE: St. Louis, Missouri

The Louis Post-Dispatch reports an easement was approved for a new permanent noise monitor to determine the amount of noise residents are subjected to from Missouri's Lambert Field Airport.

According to the article, a permanent noise monitor in Woodson Terrace may help determine how much noise Lambert Field is inflicting on residents there. Woodson Terrace officials approved an easement for the monitor last week. Mayor William Ratchford said about 374 homes there are affected daily by airport noise, primarily in Woodson Hills, a subdivision. Ratchford says the device will look like an electricity pole. "We can get a lot of calls about noise, " he said. "If we get a call that noise was bad at 3 a.m., they can just go into the computer and find out what was going on at that time."

The article reports the monitor is part of the airport's overall noise -management system. That system is aimed at examining the noise problems of municipalities near the airport. Mike Cullivan, project manager for the airport planning and development office, says new technology in the system allows the noise monitors to tap into FAA radar and track flight patterns. He says the airport measures noise in terms of DNL, which stands for day/night levels. The noise monitor will register an average of all aircraft noise in a 24-hour period. He said for property owners to qualify for noise solutions, the DNL count must reach between 65 and 70. "Above the 70 DNL level, we've just about acquired all the properties affected, but we still feel between 65 and 70, there are significant noise problems to look at," Cullivan said.

The article states if noise levels are measured between 65 and 70 decibels, owners have three options for mitigating sound, Cullivan says. The first is acoustical treatment of the house, which involves sound buffering. The second option is called sales-transaction assistance. For those people who want to move because of the noise, the airport will help by paying the difference between the sale price and the fair market value. The third option is called aviation easement. It means that an owner who doesn't want the acoustical treatment and doesn't want to move can agree to put up with the noise and, in return, get between $2,000 and $4,000. Cullivan says the airport receives about five complaints a year from residents in Woodson Terrace.

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Richmond, British Columbia, Establishes Restrictions for "Raves" after Neighbors in Vancouver Complain

PUBLICATION: The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, BC)
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. B4
BYLINE: Gerry Bellett
DATELINE: Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Sun reports after numerous complaints about noise from a recent rave party in Richmond, British Columbia, town officials adopt restrictions.

According to the article, a recent rave party in Richmond brought numerous complaints to police and city hall from persons kept awake by the noise of young people at a dance rave. "We must have had 70 or 80 complaints. People were really upset," said Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt. However, all the complaints came from Vancouver residents. "That's because the party was held in a banquet hall on River Road near the North Arm, which is far enough away from our residential areas but just across the river from people living in Vancouver," he said. Wanting to be a sympathetic neighbor, Richmond voted Monday night to take steps to give Vancouverites the promise of undisturbed sleep.

The article reports, from now on, any business in Richmond that allows rave parties will find its business license revoked if the party causes disturbance to neighbors, has any negative impact on adjoining businesses, causes parking problems or disrupts the peace and quiet of a neighborhood. The intention is not to do away with rave parties in Richmond, Halsey-Brandt says. "We don't want to stop young people enjoying themselves but we have to control how these things are managed," he said.

The article states other parties held in warehouses -- which he said was illegal -- have caused problems for people working in the area. "These parties go from 1 a.m. to about 8 a.m. and people going to work early in the morning have complained about being intimidated by all these young people. And they leave quite a mess behind with garbage strewn all over the place and vehicles parked everywhere. It causes policing problems for us, too. Officers that should be out dealing with b-and-e's or on patrol are tied up instead looking after rave parties," he said. Halsey-Brandt said city officials in the past have visited the two banquet halls which are causing the problem and have received assurances that no more would be held. "Then the next thing we know another one is going on," he said. He said the city will insist on owners allowing only the permitted number of patrons inside a building and wants them to keep their doors closed and stop erecting tents to handle the overflow. RCMP media official Sgt. Willy Laurie said the parties attract between 800 and 1,400 participants and require police to call in off-duty officers to help with crowd control.

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Arlington Heights Questions O'Hare's Compliance with Fly Quiet Program

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: September 17, 1998
SECTION: Metro Northwest; Pg. 7B; Zone: NW
BYLINE: Maryanne Giustino
DATELINE: Arlington Heights, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Stacy Alberts Sigman, deputy director of Arlington Heights' Planning Department; Larry Niemann, Arlington Heights Advisory Committee member; Virginia Kucera, Arlington Heights Advisory Committee member and village trustee

The Chicago Tribune reports an increase in the number of residents' complaints about noise from Illinois' O'Hare International Airport is causing Arlington Heights officials to question the City of Chicago about compliance with nighttime flying procedures.

According to the article, a significant increase in the number of residents' complaints about noise from planes landing and taking off at O'Hare International Airport is moving Arlington Heights officials to question the City of Chicago about compliance with nighttime flying procedures. Members of the Arlington Heights Advisory Committee on O'Hare Noise said they want Chicago Aviation Commissioner Mary Rose Loney to explain why pilots do not appear to be following the city's fly quiet program. "We've seen a huge increase in calls (to the village's O'Hare noise hot line) in July and August," said Stacy Alberts Sigman, deputy director of the village's Planning Department. "There's a greater number after 10 p.m."

The article reports pilot John McNamara, a member of the advisory committee, told the group at its Tuesday meeting that pilots are unlikely to know details of the Nighttime Tower Order, the city's program to curtail flights over residential areas between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. "The way the system is, the majority of pilots don't know, unless they ask," McNamara said. McNamara recited a brief statement on "O'Hare Fly Quiet Procedures" from his pilot's manual that was so vague, committee member Larry Niemann called it "meaningless." The statement advises pilots to "use specially designated runways at certain times of the day." Niemann said, "It basically says (to pilots), 'Follow what the traffic control tower tells you to do.' " Village Trustee and committee member Virginia Kucera said, "Chicago tells the controllers what to do, the controllers tell the pilots." Loney will be invited to an upcoming advisory committee meeting.

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Tourists Don't Like Noise, Say Business Owners who want Tough Noise Laws in Bar Harbor, Maine

PUBLICATION: Bangor Daily News
DATE: September 16, 1998
BYLINE: Catherine Ivey
DATELINE: Bar Harbor, Maine
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Perry Risley, resident and business owner; Roger and Pat Samuel, residents and business owners

The Bangor Daily News reports several Bar Harbor, Maine, residents and business owners say the town is too noisy.

According to the article, parts of Bar Harbor are just too noisy and something should be done about it. That's what several residents told Bar Harbor town councilors at their regular meeting Tuesday night. "There is definitely a problem in this town with trying to control noise to a definite level," said Perry Risley, who owns the Black Friar Inn off Cottage Street. Risley told councilors Tuesday that loud noises, ranging from predawn delivery trucks unloading at the grocery store across the street to a nearby theater company that routinely breaks down its stage at midnight, are hurting his business. At least one longtime guest told Risley he wouldn't return because of the disturbances, he said. "Noise offends tourists. Tourists come to town for peace and quiet to get away from all that noise," Risley said.

The article reports Bar Harbor's current noise ordinance prohibits "any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others, within the limits of the town. " Although the ordinance specifies periods when certain noises are banned -- for example, "yelling, shouting and hooting" are prohibited on the street between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. -- the ordinance doesn't address when other activities, such as loading and unloading trucks, should occur. On Tuesday, several councilors agreed the ordinance may need to be strengthened. Councilor Tom Crikelair suggested that a committee made up of the town manager and the police chief be formed to review relevant noise issues and determine how the ordinance should be strengthened. In the same vein, Councilor Kim Swan-Bennett asked for the formation of a second committee to study noise. Specifically, Swan-Bennett wants the committee to determine whether amplified music should be allowed in the town's public parks and spaces. Bennett said she was inundated with complaints from Chamber of Commerce members following a loud band that played on the Village Green two weekends ago. Both of the committees are to report back to the Town Council with their findings.

The article states discussion about noise at Tuesday's meeting centered largely around concerns two businesses have with early morning deliveries at Don's Shop 'n Save grocery store on Cottage Street. A letter distributed to councilors from Roger and Pat Samuel, owners of Graycote Inn on Holland Avenue, said that deliveries at the grocery store "always begin by 5:15 a.m., usually earlier, and not infrequently before 5 a.m." every day except Wednesday and Sunday. Despite their requests to store manager Charlie Beck to make deliveries at a more "reasonable hour," the couple wrote, the early morning noises continue. Last week, one of the inn's guest couples became so frustrated with the noise that they left a day early, the Samuels said. Beck, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said he has asked delivery companies to try to be more quiet in the mornings and to help the store "be good neighbors" following the Samuels' complaint. Yet, it's the norm for deliveries to a grocery store to be made in the middle of the night, he said.

The article went on to report Councilor Tom Burton said that in a town as busy and as commercial as Bar Harbor there are bound to be complaints about noise. "Something's bothering everyone," Burton said, referring to a recent complaint he heard about church bells in town ringing too loudly. "We're not going to be a perfect society, and I don't know how we are going to solve this problem," he said.

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Noise Complaints in the United Kingdom Decreasing

PUBLICATION: Birmingham Evening Mail (Birmingham, England)
DATE: September 16, 1998
DATELINE: United Kingdom

The Birmingham Evening Mail reports environmental health officers in the United Kingdom announced the public may be becoming more tolerant of noisy neighbors.

According to the article, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health conference was told that complaints about loud stereos, those who constantly used high powered drills, barking dogs, and other nuisances had risen by only a small amount, ending a ten year trend of rapidly rising complaints.

The article reports, however, of those complaints that did end up at town hall departments, a higher number failed to be classified as valid nuisances, suggesting that some members of the public still had unrealistic expectations of their noise environment. Howard Price, assistant secretary, said: "The key message is the need for tolerance and consideration of other people's lifestyles. These figures suggest that people might be becoming more selective in the type of noise complaint they report. If so, then it is good news for local authorities, council tax payers and those with justified complaints. Scarce resources can be directed to where the problem is most acute."

The article reports Price added, "We can't all be expected to go around on tip-toe, yet every one needs peace and quiet. It is much better to come to a prior understanding or to deal with a disturbance informally than to go straight to the council." Speaking yesterday at the conference in Harrogate, Price advocated for more spending on noise insulation in both new and old housing.

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Virginia Beach Hires Consultant to Reduce Noise from Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)
DATE: September 16, 1998
SECTION: Local, Pg. B5
BYLINE: Katrice Franklin
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Virginian-Pilot reports Virginia Beach's City Council decided to hire a consultant to investigate ways to reduce the noise levels from the GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

According to the article, approximately 3,000 homes border the amphitheater. Since it opened in 1996, efforts have been made to reduce the noise levels in the neighborhoods. "I don't see where this is going to ever be perfect, period," Vice Mayor W.D. Sessoms Jr. said. "I'm very sympathetic to these people who live there, but reality has to sit in here. With wind direction and moisture in the air. . . I think it's going to be a tough one to fix to everyone's satisfaction."

The article reports the council also received the results of a random survey conducted by a research firm in Norfolk. Of 200 residents polled near the amphitheater, 80.5 percent said they enjoyed living near the concert facility. About half of residents said they had heard noise from the amphitheater at least once from inside their homes with the windows open. A third said they heard the sound when they had their windows closed. When residents were asked to rate how much of a problem the sound was, the average rating was 2.5 out of 10. A one to two rating means the amphitheater noise is not a significant problem. The survey has a 6.5 percent margin of error. The new study is to be completed in December.

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Council in Stroud, England, Committed to Dealing with Noise Issues

PUBLICATION: The Gloucester Citizen
DATE: September 15, 1998
DATELINE: Stroud, England

The Gloucester Citizen reports members of an environment committee in Stroud, England, are committed to dealing with noise complaints.

According to the article, members of Stroud District Council's environment committee have reaffirmed their commitment to effectively tackle noise problems in a revised noise pollution policy. It was decided adopting the Noise Act introduced by the previous Government to help address night-time noise nuisance wouldn't be efficient. Committee chairman Councilor Simon Pickering said: "Last year we received and effectively dealt with 22 complaints about night-time noise nuisance through our existing out-of hours emergency call-out service." He added: "If we adopted the Noise Act, we would be under a duty to employ two additional staff for every night of the year. The cost of those extra staff would have to be borne by the residents of the district and it is simply not justified. Not only would the Noise Act be costly, the powers it contains to penalize offenders are considerably inferior to those currently used by the council under the Environmental Protection Act."

The article reports the council's liaison with the police in combating noise problems is much improved. A fact sheet stating what the council can do to help if people are bothered by noise is available. Anyone who requires more information should contact the council's environmental health division.

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Minnesota Town Gives Skateboarders a Park, but Noise Brings Complaints from Nearby Residents

DATE: September 14, 1998
SECTION: Around St. Paul; Pg. 1B
BYLINE: Joe Kimball
DATELINE: Stillwater, Minnesota

The Star Tribune reports while skateboarders in Stillwater, Minnesota, are excited about their new rink on the western edge of town, residents are complaining about the noise the skateboard facility brings to their neighborhood.

According to the article, for years, skateboarders in Stillwater have been getting tickets and lectures for riding their skateboards on the sidewalks and streets of downtown Stillwater. A city ordinance prohibits all skateboards in the historic St. Croix River town's downtown district. One kid said he has paid $200 in fines. Others say they have had their boards confiscated for months at a time. Finally, in July, the boarders found their place in a skating rink at Northland Park. But there's still a problem. While the boarders grind and slide over the plywood and metal obstacles, some neighbors on the southern edge of the park aren't happy. To them, the boarders mean constant noise. "I've got no complaints about their conduct. There's no bad language and they're not going into people's yards. My only objection is to the noise, " said Robin Gates, whose back yard abuts the park.

The article reports Tom Schwietz, a local youth advocate, worked hard to open this skating park for the boarders, and he remains their strongest advocate. But he says nobody talked to the neighbors ahead of time. After hearing about the complaints, he visited the neighborhood. "It is a very quiet neighborhood. I'm surprised how quiet," said Schwietz, who works at the Youth Service Bureau and is director of the Graffiti Teen Center. "And when they grind the rails and jump the ramps, there's continuous noise. I can see where it would be very nerve-racking. But the bottom line is: Where are these kids going to go?"

The article states Nile Kriesel, Stillwater's city administrator, said park commissioners will discuss the skateboard facility - its location and times of operation - at their Sept. 28 meeting. "We've gotten letters in support of the skateboarders, too, who say it's important to find a facility for the kids," Kriesel said. "So we're working on finding other locations, hopefully areas where the noise won't be a problem." Schwietz said that if the city can find an appropriate location, he can raise the $20,000 needed for asphalt and a fence. In the meantime, the rink is used less now that kids are back in school. And in response to the noise complaints, Schwietz and the boarders have agreed to stop skating at 6 p.m.

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Editorial Urges Gilbert, Arizona, Town Council and Citizens to do Homework on Proposed Expansion of Williams Gateway Airport

PUBLICATION: The Arizona Republic
DATE: September 13, 1998
SECTION: East Valley Sunday Community; Pg. Ev4
BYLINE: Mark Penxa
DATELINE: Gilbert, Arizona

The Arizona Republic published the following editorial criticizing the Gilbert, Arizona, Town Council for blindly accepting the Williams Gateway Airport Authority's recommendations for zoning without considering its citizens and the common good.

According to the editorial, the issue surrounding the Williams Gateway Airport is the reasonable approach to land development and use that provides for the common good. "Members of the Gilbert Town Council, it appears, are too quick to blindly accept all of the Williams Gateway Airport Authority's recommendations for zoning." While the Authority is a self-serving organization representing a for-profit venture, the editorial charges the council with shifting blame to the authority, developers and home buyers. "Council members are passing the proverbial buck rather than owning to the responsibility of elected public office."

The editorial charges no one, in regards to the airport expansion, has bothered to do the homework. The council and concerned citizens should have taken the time to find answers to the following important questions:

"How many other airports in the country extend noise zones out six miles from their runways?

"What do the thousands of taxpaying residents who are eligible voters think of the plan?

"How many miles does it take the average commercial plane on takeoff to gain altitude above noise zone level?

"Why is Gilbert willing to sacrifice the town's eastern sector homeowners for Mesa's financial gain?

"Would shrinking the "tagged" noise area back to Power and Elliot, as many homeowners are requesting, result in a John Wayne style airport as the Town Council seems to fear?

Why did Gilbert succumb to pressure from developers and approve the building (which goes on today) of so many residential properties in an area clearly designated many years ago for other purposes?

"What does the Federal Aviation Administration currently set as the minimum federal regulatory radius for an airport noise zone? And why?

"How deeply will the new state "downzoning law" affect Maricopa County and Gilbert's financial situation in the form of debt if the zone remains as is?

"How were so many developers allowed by our elected representatives to get away with non-disclosure for so long?

"Were the many schools (existing and planned) in the area, and the effect that a noise zone will have on maintaining Gilbert's high standards of education, taken into consideration during the planning stages?

The editorial concludes by saying until these, and other, questions have been answered to the satisfaction of the growing numbers of Gilbert citizens who are becoming more and more concerned about this issue, no final action should be taken by the Town Council regarding the Williams Gateway Airport project. "The powerful lure of commercial and industrial short-term economic benefit must give way to calm and dispassionate reasoning."

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City Outlaws Nighttime Use of Loudspeakers in Lauderhill, Florida

DATE: September 18, 1998
SECTION: Community Close-Up, Pg. 1, Town Talk
DATELINE: Lauderhill, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel reports that a city commission in Florida has approved a noise ordinance that prohibits the use of loudspeakers near residential areas between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays.

According to the article the city of Lauderhill has prohibited the use of amplifiers only if they are plainly audible from nearby residential properties. Under the provisions of the ordinance any business that fails to pay fines for noise violations will be denied renewal of their occupational licenses.

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