Noise News for Week of June 13, 1999

Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Prohibit Excessive Noise Near Hospitals and Houses of Worship

PUBLICATION: The Times-Picayune
DATE: June 18, 1999
SECTION: National; Pg. A4
BYLINE: Ed Anderson
DATELINE: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports the Louisiana Senate approved a bill that would prohibit loud noises near hospitals and houses of worship.

According to the Times Picayune, the state senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would set up quiet areas around places of worship and hospitals.

The article states the Senate voted 29-3 to go along with House changes to Senate Bill 909 by Sen. Paulette Irons, D-New Orleans, sending it next to Gov. Foster.

The article notes the bill originally approved by the Senate would have banned music and noises from loudspeakers and other sound-amplification equipment within 200 feet of houses of worship, hospitals and courthouses.

According to the article, Irons said the House deleted the provision for courthouses and made the bill apply only to hospitals and houses of worship when services are under way. She said the House's changes also included the requirement that houses of worship notify passers-by when a service is under way through a sign posted within 10 feet of their entrances.

The articles says critics of the bill predict the law will be difficult to enforce. They feel such noise problems should be addressed through local laws rather than at the state level.

The Times-Picayune quotes Rep. Jackie Clarkson, D-Algiers, who promoted Irons' bill in the House, as saying a law is necessary to ensure proper reverence near places of worship, especially at a church like St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans where noises in Jackson Square sometimes overpower the words of the Mass.

According to the article, the fine for producing noise at a level of more than 55 decibels within 10 feet of a church or hospital will be $100 to $500, depending on the offense.

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Rhode Island Airport Corporation Seeks Grants to Buy Homes of Noise-Weary Neighbors

PUBLICATION: The Associated Press
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: State And Regional
DATELINE: Warwick, R.I.

The Associated Press reports the Rhode Island Airport Corporation is hoping to buy the homes of neighbors near the T.F.Green Airport. The board of directors also plans to create alternative flight paths and insulate some homes against noise.

The Associated Press reports the board of directors of the Rhode Island Airport Corp. has decided to seek federal grants to buy about 210 noise-plagued houses near T.F. Green Airport and is part of an $80 million program that will include consideration of whether T.F. Green should lengthen its secondary runway to accommodate more jets. The home buyout is contingent upon Federal Aviation Administration approval.

The Providence Journal notes the buyout, requested by the homeowners, would cost about $31.5 million and begin in two years.

The AP story says the airport corporation hopes to have a list of eligible homes by the end of summer.

The story also noted the board plans to insulate another 830 homes to block noise, at a cost of $25 million. The board also decided to create new flight paths to reduce noise.

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Miami Club Abandons Noise Ordinance Lawsuit After City Drops Violation Fines

PUBLICATION: Broward Daily Business Review
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: From The Courts
BYLINE: Jake Richardson
DATELINE: Miami Beach, Florida

The Broward Daily Business Review reports a Miami club has abandoned its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several noise ordinances after the city dropped the fines it had levied against the club for violating them.

According to the Broward Daily Business Review, Miami's Club Amnesia has dropped its plans to challenge the constitutionality of the Miami Beach noise ordinances it had been fined for violating.

The article says the South Beach club dropped its Miami-Dade Circuit Court suit when the city, less than a week after the suit was filed, dropped the fines for 10 counts of noise violations.

The article quotes Dennis Bedard, the lawyer who represents Amnesia, as saying, "I wish they would try it again. I would love to take this to court so the statutes could be declared unconstitutional."

According to the article, city officials deny the fines were dropped because of constitutional questions, instead citing flaws in procedure.

The article also quotes Al Childress, the city's director of code enforcement, as saying inspectors were unable to enter Club Amnesia to identify the source of the noise and therefore could not enforce the fines.

In the article, Bedard claims the dropped fines are a tactic to save face because the city knows the ordinances are flawed. They are too vague and overly broad because a violation of the law is determined by law enforcement discretion, he said.

The article says Amnesia is negotiating with the city to avert further problems. Childress said the club may add a sound roof to its building.

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South County Residents Protest Plans for International Airport

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Seema Mehta and Jean O. Pasco
DATELINE: South County, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Meg Waters, El Toro Reuse Planning Authority; Len Kransner, web site author.

The Los Angeles Times reports South County residents have mobilized against the threat of a proposed international airport, saying county-sponsored noise tests were inaccurate.

According to the article, nearly 1,000 South County residents filled Aliso Niguel High School's auditorium Wednesday night to protest an international airport planned for El Toro.

The article quotes Pasto John Steward of the Mount of Olive Lutheran Church in Mission Viejo as saying, "You look at the three supervisors supporting it. You look at their stone-hard faces. Where is the compassion for the hard-working, honest people?" "In their pocketbooks!" an audience member responded.

The article also quotes Laguna Woods resident Dave Schlenker, who sang a song he had written for the meeting: "I'm in love with a beautiful place but they want to take it away. . . . I've got the airplane blues."

The article notes the county Board of Supervisors, which has a 3-2 pro-airport majority, spent $1.3 million earlier this month for two days of flight tests at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, which the military is closing next month. Instead of convincing residents the noise level will be less than feared, the tests mobilized people concerned about noise, pollution and safety and led to Wednesday's meeting.

The Times article also mentions South County resident Len Kransner, who said he received hundreds of e-mails on his anti-airport Web site after the flight tests June 4 and 5. He said he is angry at the pro-airport board majority "for selling out the people of south Orange County for the big campaign donors of Newport Beach."

The article says the board's two anti-airport supervisors, Thomas W. Wilson and Todd Spitzer, spoke briefly at Wednesday's meeting. Supervisors Charles V. Smith, Cynthia Coad and Jim Silva, who support the airport proposal, did not attend. "We invited all of the supervisors," said Meg Waters, spokesperson for the anti-airport El Toro Reuse Planning Authority, the eight-city coalition that organized the meeting. "I'd love to hear what they're afraid of."

According to the Times, the standing-room-only crowd filled the auditorium, which seats 500. TV cameras filmed the dozens of anti-airport protesters outside the building, who carried signs and shouted slogans.

The article notes one sign read, "House for sale, four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. Jet every 2 1/2 minutes." The poster's creator, Aliso Viejo resident Jeana Dagley, said her family will move if the airport is built. "The tests were very noisy... and it wasn't a true test of what an international airport would be like," Dagley said.

The article states eight commercial airliners landed and took off about four dozen times over the two days, but many flights were delayed since pilots were restricted to flying only in clear weather.

The Times says county testers placed 10 decibel-level monitors beneath El Toro's southern approach route and the northern and eastern departure routes. Officials said final readings will not be available until the end of the month, but the county monitors, as well as hand-held monitors used by airport opponents, revealed levels between 70 and 107 decibels.

The article says airport opponents claim the demonstration was rigged, sending lightly-loaded planes along paths that would not be approved for routine commercial use.

The article notes residents still found the noise level excessive. Aliso Viejo resident Mike Thompson said, "We had all of our windows closed and all of our doors closed. That could have wakened the dead. It was horrible."

The article reports a complaint line set up by the county to handle calls during the test only further angered South County residents. Callers heard a "mailbox full" message within the first hour, resulting in irate e-mails to county officials.

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Moore Township Residents Sue Couple to Ban Boisterous Birds

PUBLICATION: The Morning Call
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: National, Pg. A1
BYLINE: Christian D. Berg
DATELINE: Moore Township, PA

The Morning Call reports residents of Moore Township are suing a neighboring couple, charging the couple's peacocks are a noise nuisance and requesting the birds be banned. P>According to the Morning Call, neighbors of Warren and Renate Gosdin, 399 Moorestown Drive, will request at a Northampton County Court hearing today that the Gosdins be required to remove the birds. A complaint township solicitor David M. Backenstoe filed in court last week says the Gosdins' peacocks violate the township's nuisance ordinance by emitting "intolerably loud" screeching sounds that affect the "physical and mental well-being of the residents."

The article quotes the complaint as alleging, "The sounds and noises emanating from defendants' peacocks is so loud, continuous and intolerable that many of the residents of Moore Township and their families are disturbed and annoyed day and night... (they) are absolutely unable to pursue their normal activities in peace and quiet during the day or to sleep comfortably and uninterrupted through the night."

In the article, Backenstoe said approximately three dozen residents will attend the hearing to testify about the birds' effect on their lives.

The article says Backenstoe will request a preliminary injunction requiring the Gosdins to eliminate the noise. With or without the injunction, Backenstoe predicts the case probably will go to trial in about a month if a settlement is not reached sooner.

The Morning Call says the suit is a response to complaints about the peacocks from about 35 residents who attended the June 1 township supervisors meeting and presented officials with a 109-signature petition.

According to the petition as quoted in the article, the Gosdin's neighbors are "just plain tired," and want their neighborhood "returned to the peaceful state it once was." The petition continues, "No longer can we enjoy our properties... we can no longer sit outside, work in our yards outside or have our windows open to get some fresh air due to the fact that we are bothered constantly by nuisance from the peacocks."

The article also quotes next-door neighbors Luigi and Alice Rubino, 405 Moorestown Drive. "It has ruined our lives," Alice Rubino said, "because they screech all time, day and night."

The article notes Rubino is particularly upset about the peacocks because she and her husband supported the Gosdins when they sought permission to keep birds on their property three years ago. "At that time, he had pigeons, and we did not object at all..." Rubino said.

The article says township records show a citation being issued to the Gosdins in September 1996 for keeping fowl on their property without a zoning permit. In December 1996, the township Zoning Hearing Board met to consider the Gosdins' case, and in January 1997, the Gosdins were granted a variance to keep up to 28 fowl on their 3.3-acre property.

The article says Alice Rubino noted the arrival of the peacocks arrived several months later and has found them to be a problem ever since. She said the noise is particularly bad during the birds' mating season, from March through July.

In the article, Rubino said she and her husband filed two complaints about the peacocks with the Moore Township Police Department over Memorial Day weekend.

The article quotes Rubino as observing, "Beautiful as these birds are," she said, "they make a noise that is absolutely unbearable -- like a cat in heat 20 times louder... (The Gosdins) may be in their right to have 28 fowl on their property, but when it destroys people's lives because they can't function during the day because they can't sleep at night, it would seem neighborly love would be more than their rights."

The article noted Backenstoe agreed. Backenstoe said the Zoning Hearing Board decision gives the Gosdins the right to keep birds, not the right to create a public nuisance.

The article said Warren Gosdin disagrees with Rubino's assesment that he and his wife have spent two years ignoring neighbors' repeated pleas for peace and quiet. He said he recently got rid of four of his seven male peacocks because of the Rubinos' complaints. Males, Gosdin said, are the only peacocks that make noise.

The article quotes Gosdin as saying, "I got rid of four and kept three. I figured that would cut the noise down more than half. I did feel bad that they were making noise, and I was trying to be accommodating by getting rid of most of the males."

According to the article, Gosdin said he considered having the peacocks de-voiced through surgery until a veterinarian changed his mind. "I love them too much to put them through that," he said. "I'd rather give them up."

In the article, Gosdin also disputes the Rubinos' assertion that the peacocks are noisy from March through July. He said the mating season starts in May and ends in June.

Gosdin told The Morning Call, "The peacocks can let out a pretty good squawk. I am not denying that. But how can I shut the birds up? It's a natural thing. The male struts his stuff and tells the other birds, 'Those are my girls. Get out of here.'"

The article also says Gosdin claimed the remaining male peacocks will quiet down by the end of the month and shouldn't bother anyone. "The rest of the year, you wouldn't even know they were here," he said.

In the artcle, Gosdin said he has a dozen peacocks in all, as well as about 15 pigeons and pheasants.

The article states Gosdin is surprised at his neighbors' reactions, saying some people who signed the petition used to comment on the birds' beauty and would bring their children and grandchildren to see them. "We all live in a rural, agricultural area," Gosdin said. "They all want the country, and they want their city house at the same time."

According to the article, Gosdin complained he had to find a lawyer after he received the court papers Monday, finally hiring attorney Paul Hensel of Bath. "They are getting the town solicitor to do their (work), and I have to go out and spend big bucks to defend myself," Gosdin said. "It's like fighting city hall."

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Tavares, Florida City Council Postpones Passage of Noise Ordinance; More Objective Definitions Needed

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel Tribune
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: Lake Sentinel
BYLINE: Glory Patterson

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports the Tavares City Council has postponed the passage of a new noise ordinance until it can create more objectives standards for the law.

According to the Sentinel Tribune, Tavares City Council members have postponed passage of their new noise ordinance until their July 22 meeting because they need to create more specific definitions for "too loud" in various situations.

The article quotes council member Robert Moore as saying, "A barking dog may not trip a decibel meter, but it is still annoying. We need to think how we can add objectives for that."

The article notes the proposed ordinance was prompted by complaints from neighbors of Dead River Vic's, a waterside eatery the neighbors say is excessively noisy.

The article says City Attorney Robert Williams stressed that the proposal is aimed at curbing noise all through the city.

The article says the council's decision did not please some neighbors of Dead River Vic's. "We're disappointed it didn't go through yet," said Bill McAuley of Tropical Shores. "It's been seven months since they opened that we've had our sleep disturbed. It's like an outdoor nightclub."

The article also quotes Steve Richey, the attorney for Vic's, who said the noise level at Vic's probably would not change if the ordinance were passed because the existing proposal only prohibits amplified sound. "Four of five City Council members said that the ordinance will have no effect on us because Vic's has never violated any law," he said, adding, "My biggest concern today was that the noise ordinance would have objective standards so that the discretion was not left up to the [police) officer. So, we're glad they're considering that."

According to the article, council members deleted on Wednesday a passage that prohibited sound "plainly audible within 50 feet." Officials said a similar section of a Lee County noise ordinance was successfully challenged in court because it was too subjective.

The article says Councilman Robert Moore suggested measuring sounds in residential and commercial areas to better define excessive noise. Moore also plans to study noise ordinances from other cities for ideas.

The Sentinel Tribune notes the proposed noise ordinance, as currently written, would exempt city events, temporary construction and commercial activities performed during specified hours.

The article says the current proposal specifically targets noise near schools, hospitals, libraries and rest homes. Offending individuals and businesses would receive $50 fines for first offenses and $250 fines for three or more violations.

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Isle of Palms, SC Restaurant Wins Court Battle over "Overbroad" Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Post and Courier
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: East Cooper
BYLINE: David Quick
DATELINE: Isle of Palms, SC

The Post and Courier reports a federal judge ruled that the Isle of Palms noise ordinance is too vague and broad to be legally enforcable.

According to the Post and Courier, U.S. District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy told the city of Isle of Palms its noise ordinance was "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad" and the city should stop enforcing it.

The article says the June 4 ruling is a victory for Coconut Joe's owner Ted R. Murphy, who has fought the city ordinance almost since opening his doors in April 1997. "I thought we'd win, but I thought it would take a longer process," said Murphy, who also noted the city has until July 4 to appeal the decision.

The article says Murphy had been aquitted May 24 by a municipal court jury for five tickets charging him with violating the noise ordinance.

The article says Coconut Joe's - located on Ocean Boulevard between the municipal restrooms and a future Holiday Inn Express - features amplified musicians playing on the restaurant's roof.

According to the article, the police started receiving complaints shortly after the restaurant's opening, with the majority coming from retiree Norman Lubelsky. Lubelsky lives about three blocks away from Coconut Joe's, and the music is carried by the ocean breeze across the relatively open land between his property and Coconut Joe's.

The article says Lubelsky acknowledges he is responsible for most of the complaints, but stresses that he's not alone.

According to the article, Lubelsky says he frequently hears music in his yard and most of his house on windy days. He says he can hear the music in his bedroom with the storm and inner windows closed. He finds the music tolerable on some days, but not on others. "It becomes like a gnat or a mosquito," he said.

The newspaper said Lubelsky has lived in his house for 20 years, but has had problems with loud music only in the last two years. Lubelsky notes calling the police - who usually ask noise ordinance violators to decrease their volume - usually helps.

According to the article, Isle of Palms Police Chief Tommy Buckhannon says while the commercial district has been in existence for decades, the current noise problem is different. "We haven't had amplified, outside entertainment being played on the third-story deck before," he said.

The article says Buckhannon, who lives a few blocks from Lubelsky, has heard the music from his yard on two occasions, and once called the department to complain. He compared the two incidents to having a neighbor playing a radio on his fence all day long. "It was clear enough that you could sing along with the performer," he said.

The article notes the issue is really one question: What is a reasonable level of noise?

The article says Murphy acknowledges the music is audible on Lubelsky's property. "The question is not can you hear the music but rather is the music unreasonably loud?" he said. "If you choose to live on a golf course, expect some golf balls in your yard. If you choose to live one house outside of the commercial beach district, you're probably going to hear some music now and then."

According to the article, Murphy said the city's noise ordinance was too broad and subjective. He stressed he wants a new noise ordinance, but an objective one with time limits and some measurements of the noise.

The article says Murphy tried to avoid going court by writing letters to the city council and speaking at council meetings in 1997. On July 17, 1997, he wrote to Mayor Carmen R. Bunch and the city council, alleging the noise ordinance was vague and broad and allowed "a single individual to 'hold the island hostage' to their personal whims." "...(The) ordinance should be fair and reasonable for all parties," Murphy's letter states.

The article says Murphy, in September 1997, sent the city copies of noise ordinances from Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and Charleston, which include measurable decibel levels and/or specific cut-off times. He also presented a petition signed by 400 people - half residents and half tourists - requesting a change in the noise ordinance.

The article says on the other side, Lubelsky submitted his own petition signed by "twenty-some" residents who said they felt the music was too loud .

According to the article, Murphy made his first threat of litigation on September 5, 1997, and in February of 1998 he filed suit. Murphy's lawyer, Stephen L. Brown, successfully argued that the ordinance was vague and overly broad.

The article says Duffy's ruling included suggestions for an acceptable ordinance. "There are numerous ways in which statutes can be drawn more narrowly - for instance, they can be written in such a way as to limit decibel levels, or to regulate the hours and places that amplification equipment can be used."

The Post and Courier quotes City Administrator Mark Williams as saying he was disappointed with the ruling, but doubts City Council will appeal. "I don't see that there is any reason to appeal," Williams said. "If the old one is flawed, then we need to fix it."

The article notes the city council and its attorneys are mving quickly to create a new ordinance. On Tuesday, the council was expected to give its initial approval to a new version.

The article says Mayor Bunch had not seen Duffy's ruling as of June 10, but she expects City Council will want to have the ordinance rewritten. She said she, too, hears music from the commercial district when she is outside her house and does not think Lubelsky is alone in his annoyance.

According to the article, if the ruling is not appealed, Murphy and the city next will negotiate a settlement to pay Murphy's legal expenses and damages. Murphy estimates those to be more than $100,000. Murphy has documented lost business from being forced to turn off or muffle the live music, which caused patrons to leave.

The article quotes Murphy as saying he would like to give a portion of the settlement to a youth-oriented cause on the island, as long as the city does not appeal the ruling or protest the damages. "For the good of the taxpayers, I would like to think they won't appeal," Murphy said. "I hope the more reasonable members of City Council, there are plenty of them there, will say enough is enough."

The article also quotes Murphy as saying the lawsuit was avoidable. "I'm hoping this whole process will teach them that there is an easier way to do business. You don't have to do it in court. Reasonable people can sit down and talk things through and we can respect the rights of all people," he said.

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Warwick, RI Airport Corporation Creates Noise-Reduction Plan

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: June 17, 1999
BYLINE: by Tony De Paul

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the Rhode Island Airport Corporation approved a plan to reduce noise problems for airport neighbors.

According to the Providence Journal-Bulletin, the Airport Corporation voted yesterday in favor of an $80-million program to reduce the number of homeowners afflicted by jet noise.

The article says the board will seek federal grants to buy about 210 houses near T.F. Green Airport and to study whether Green's secondary runway should be lengthened to handle more jet traffic.

The article says the board also moved to complete its sound-insulation of an additional 830 houses near the airport, at a cost of about $25 million. New flight tracks over Warwick are also included in the plan. The new flight tracks would concentrate noise over highways, commercial and industrial properties, green space and the Bay rather than residential neighborhoods.

The article notes the four measures were part of a 16-month noise-control study adopted by the board yesterday. If the FAA adopts the study, the corporation will become eligible for grants to execute the program.

The article says while area homeowners were pleased by the vote, Executive Director Elaine Roberts cautions the Airport Corporation may not have the buyout funds for another two years, assuming the FAA goes along. She estimates the total buyout time may be five years.

According to the article, the Airport Corporation receives $5 million annually in FAA noise -control grants, while the cost of the study's 38 noise-control recommendations is estimated at $80 million. The proposed buyout alone would cost an estimated $31.5 million.

The article says Roberts suggested the corporation could acquire funds more quickly by applying for FAA permission to levy an additional tax or "passenger facility charge" on ticket sales at Green or by selling airport revenue bonds.

According to the article, funding issues were not finalized at the board meeting. Roberts said the "permanent implementation committee" proposed in the noise study would advise the board on whether to emphasize sound insulation or buyouts, and how to fund it.

The article states the board has not yet determined who will be eligible for the voluntary buyout if it is approved by the FAA. Roberts expects a list by the end of the summer, with the estimate of 210 houses changed.

The article notes some residents were dismayed by the 5-year timeline for buyouts.One woman told the board, "I don't see how we can wait that long. We can't sell our homes. We're trapped ... I'm just hoping you'll move forward with this."

According to the article, though, the FAA spent millions in recent years to sound-insulate most houses in the immediate vicinity of the airport. "The FAA may not want to pay to buy a house that has been recently insulated," Roberts said.

The article states the study concluded that the most effective and comprehensive noise reduction move Green could make would be to extend Runway 16/34, the shorter of its two jet runways. Consultants Landrum & Brown said more jet pilots would use the runway if it were longer than its current 6,081 feet. A longer runway would cut traffic on the 7,166-foot main runway and shift noise to industrial and institutional areas off Pontiac Avenue in Cranston.

The article says the firm cautioned the extension was too expensive if noise control was the only benefit. Landrum & Brown's project manager on the study, Mark Perryman, told the board the $50,000 feasibility study would "find out if there are other reasons, other than noise abatement, to justify extending Runway 16/34." However, the noise study projects a 32-percent increase in Green's airport traffic by 2003, making the extension even more attractive . Roberts said the airport is likely to close the books on 1999 with a record 5 million passengers, with the capacity of the Green's new terminal estimated at 6 million.

The article says the runway study will consider the cost and effects of extending Runway 16/34 in either direction. An extension to the southeast would encounter wetlands in the Buckeye Brook drainage, while one to the northwest would require the condemnation of the Post Road and Airport Road intersection and much of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, extending the runway almost to the Amtrak right of way. Landrum & Brown initially estimated the cost of condemning property and extending the runway to the northwest at $300 million.

The article said yesterday's vote passes the study to the FAA,for a review that could take up to six months. A fall public hearing is expected.

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Sigapore's Land Transport Authority Defends Its Highway Noise Reduction Efforts

PUBLICATION: The Straits Times (Singapore)
DATE: June 17, 1999

The Straits Times (Singapore) printed a letter by Han Liang Yuan of the Land Transport Authority, defending the Authority's efforts to reduce road traffic noise.

I REFER to Mr Davy Lam's letter, "Little done for years to reduce traffic noise level" (ST, June 3), in which he highlighted the problem of traffic noise from the Pan Island Expressway.

Ideally, residential areas should be sited away from main roads and expressways so that they will not be affected adversely by traffic noise. However, in a densely populated and compact urban city like Singapore, this is not always possible.

In Mr Lam's case, we have tried to reduce the traffic noise by using new materials, like porous asphalt, to surface the road.

LTA would like to assure him that we will continue to explore possible means to mitigate the effects of traffic noise. In this respect, LTA will engage a consultant to carry out a comprehensive study into the issue and to recommend suitable measures.

HAN LIANG YUAN (Ms) Manager, Media Relations Corporate Communications Land Transport Authority

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Naperville, IL Seeks to Refine Its Noise Ordinances

PUBLICATION: Chicago Tribune
DATE: June 17, 1999
SECTION: Trib West; Pg. 4; Zone: Dn
BYLINE: by John Chase
DATELINE: Naperville, IL

The Chicago Tribune reports the city of Naperville, IL has moved from tackling noisy car stereos to completely remaking all its noise-related ordinances.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Naperville, IL's noise ordinance efforts began with complaints from Riverwalk neighbors about loud car stereos. The current law says motorists whose stereos can be heard 75 feet away can be ticketed. Some city leaders wanted to consider a law like nearby Aurora's: there, violators' cars can be impounded.

The article says that Police Capt. Paul Shafer and his officers realized changing that a portion of the law meant the rest should be considered as well. Now, city attorneys and police are writing a whole new set of laws, for everything from the hours that power saws can be started to when lawns can be cut in the expanding city.

The article quotes city prosecutor Francis Cuneo as saying, "The size of the city has made this a problem that needs to be addressed. We're working to look at an overhaul of the entire ordinance."

In the article, Shafer said Naperville needs more specific laws, noting that motorists are currently ticketed for lacking a permit to play loud music, rather than for disturbing the peace. "The way we go about it right now is sort of through a back door," he said. "We're not ticketing the motorists for bothering people but for not having a permit to play loud music. We'd like to have a law on the books that is a little more direct, something more specific to the actual violation."

According to the article, Cuneo noted city attorneys and members of the Police Department are reviewing all city laws that deal with noise --from regulating car horns and mufflers to the racket emanating from construction sites--to see if one large ordinance can be created. Exactly what the new laws will include is uncertain, he said. "We want to clarify it and cover more aspects of noise problems in the city, not just car stereos," he said. "We're trying to cover as much as we can."

The article says Cuneo is aware of constitutional concerns. "What we're trying to get at is a law that prohibits any noise that is unnecessary and bothersome, but we can't use those exact words because the courts have said that is too vague," he said. "You could be inhibiting freedom of speech and expression."

The article states another focus for Cuneo is the enforcement of the laws. He said the attorneys are proceeding cautiously to develop the laws so they are as specific as possible. Cuneo hopes to present a draft of the proposed ordinance to the City Council within three months.

According to the article, the city had 700 residents fifty years ago and is now one of Illinois' fastest-growing cities, with a population of 118,000. "We're trying to address the entire din that we hear in Naperville," Cuneo said. "It's louder here than it ever has been."

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Magnolia, WA and Seattle Suburbs Protest Night Flights At Boeing Field

PUBLICATION: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: News, Pg. B3
BYLINE: Judi Hunt
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Magnolia Community Council; Dan Labriola, Magnolia resident /commercial pilot

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports residents of Magnolia, WA and other Seattle suburbs are seeking an alternative night flight path into Boeing Field, instead of the current one directly over Magnolia.

According to the Post-Intelligencer, residents of Magnolia, WA are launched out of sleep three or four times at night by rattling windows and the glare of jet headlights, compliments of jets approaching Boeing Field. The residents have proposed an alternative route slightly to the west, over Elliott Bay rather than their homes.

The article says a new FAA study concludes the move is possible, but Jim Mast, project manager for the Seattle Site Procedures Office, says the change needs to be studied further. Mast, who has been working on the study for four years, cautioned, "...we have to make sure that everything will fit together, especially since this area has two airports (Boeing and Sea-Tac) so close together."

The article notes the Magnolia Community Council has urging a new and quieter flight path for five years. The FAA considered a water approach about 15 years ago, but decided traffic was too limited to warrant a change.

The article says since then, residents and workers in Georgetown, next to the airfield, have repeatedly complained to the FAA and the airport about noise from takeoffs, landings and testing. Residents of West Seattle, western Beacon Hill and Magnolia have also complained.

The Post Intelligence notes neighbors are especially bothered by the increasing number of air cargo companies and overnight delivery services using Boeing Field instead of Sea-Tac, which has stringent noise restrictions.

The article quotes Magnolia resident Dan Labriola, an aeronautical engineer and commercial pilot, as observing that the companies, especially Federal Express and United Parcel Service, fly primarily at night so they can make 8 a.m. deliveries. "The Magnolia approach has been there forever because it's the most direct approach into the Boeing Field runway," Labriola added.

The article further quotes Labriola as saying noise was not much of an issue for about 50 years because traffic into Boeing Field, which has no regularly scheduled flights, was sparse during the day and non-existent at night. The change occured five years ago when Sea-Tac tightened its noise standards, forcing cargo planes that couldn't meet the new criteria to switch to Boeing Field.

The article notes any aircraft is permitted at Boeing Field, including Air Force One, cargo planes, small corporate jets, twin- and single-engine planes and helicopters. "Any old dog can fly into Boeing field, even some ancient DC-8s and the big, heavy Boeing 767s," Labriola said, adding, "Alaska Airlines' freight operations operated out of there and they had some aging, very noisy aircraft."

The article says when other cargo operators also moved, the noise became unbearable to Magnolia residents. "Suddenly, we couldn't keep our windows open at night, and it's almost impossible to get an uninterrupted night's sleep," said Labriola.

The article states Labriola volunteered to work with the FAA on a new flight path over Elliott Bay. The resulting report suggested a feasible plan that would steer aircraft over the water rather than the land, except for Harbor Island. Only Magnolia would be significantly helped by the new approach. Labriola said neighborhoods east of the new flight course, including Beacon Hill, would not be affected by the change. "West Seattle and Alki are geographically closer to the proposed flight path, but planes will still be some distance from the shore and any impact would be minimal," he said.

The article says Labriola feels the change could even help Georgetown inadvertently because then aircraft would be slightly higher on their approach to Boeing Field. He also said only minimal changes would be needed at Boeing before the over-water flight approach could be used.

The article states Boeing Field logged 370,000 aircraft operations in 1997 and 345,000 in 1998, while traffic for the first four months of this year was down 25 percent. A spokeswoman said figures aren't available for the number of planes that fly into and out of Boeing Field during a 24-hour period or at night.

The Post-Intelligencer states reporter Judi Hunt can be reached at 206-448-8348 or

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Arlington, IL Residents Protest Increased Night Noise at O'Hare, Say Flight Path Usage Violates "Fly Quiet" Plan

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Jon Davis
DATELINE: Arligton Heights, IL

The Chicago Daily Herald reports Arlington, IL's village board is getting fed up with increased noise at O'Hare International Airport. The board says the extra noise is caused by greater use of the airport's southeast-to-northeast runways, which the board says runs contrary to the recommended patterns of Chicago's "Fly Quiet" program.

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, the total number of flights at O'Hare International Airport is less than last year, but the noise over neighboring Arlington Heights is greater. Village officials in Arlington Heights says this is due to increased use of O'Hare's southeast-to-northwest runways, known from their compass orientation as the 32s.

The article says the village board's monthly report shows the total number of flights at O'Hare decreasing from the first quarter of 1998 to the first quarter of '99, but the number of flights using the 32s increasing during the same time. Monday's report, released Tuesday to the Advisory Committee on O'Hare Noise - expresses Arlington Heights' growing frustration with Chicago's noise abatement efforts. "I want to irritate some people so they know Arlington Heights is alive and kicking," Trustee Virginia Kucera said Tuesday. "I want to become an irritant so someone listens to us."

The article says Kucera, when asked by O'Hare Advisory Committee member and fellow Trustee Stephen Daday how the village might do that, Kucera suggested sending copies of the village's report to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. It would put Arlington Heights' name on his desk each month, she said.

According to the article, village officials have complained for months that more flights are using the 32s at night, creating more noise in Arlington's airspace during the time when O'Hare's east-west runways are supposed to be the primary flight paths.

The article says the village's April report confirmed that pattern. The total number of flights and the number of flights using the 32s dropped compared to last April, but the number of nighttime flights increased. The report notes there were 62,550 arrivals and departures at O'Hare this April, with 13,350 of those using the 32s - for decreases of 11.69 percent and 9.92 percent, respectively. However, between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., when Chicago's "Fly Quiet" program labels the east-west paths as the primary runways, 2,640 flights used the 32s - an increase of 22.22 percent from last April.

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University Park, TX Neighborhood Battles Church over New Play Areas

PUBLICATION: The Dallas Morning News
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Park Cities; Pg. 1N
BYLINE: Lee Zethraus
DATELINE: University Park, TX

The Dallas Morning News reports residents of a University Park neighborhood are at odds with a local church over the latter's new playground and basketball court.

The Dallas Morning News says residents of a University park neighborhood, led by Jacob Kay, are angry over the creation of a church-owned basketball court and children's play area behind two duplexes near Kay's home. Dr. Kay said the play areas have changed the landscape of the neighborhood, and neither he nor his neighbors were notified about the Preston Road Church of Christ's construction plans. According to the city's zoning ordinance, no notice was required.

The article says a group of neighbors, church officials and the city's building officials have met several times to try to resolve the tension. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, according to Hugh Rucker, the Preston Road Church of Christ elder in charge of building facilities.

The article states the church owns the residentially-zoned duplexes, a classification that allows play facilities. The duplexes back up to the church's parking lot.

According to the article, Kay feels the new areas will cause the neighborhood to deteriorate. Kay, who lives in the upper half a duplex he owns in the 4100 block of University Boulevard, commented, "Even if they get rid of the noise and block it off, the area will still look like a commercial area."

The article says church officials insist they have met building and zoning requirements, but also would like to appease the neighbors. "We were granted the permit to build the facilities, and we built them," Mr. Rucker said. "We are really embarrassed about all the furor this has caused... If we had known all this would happen, we never would have built the facilities."

In the article, Mr. Rucker said shortly after the play areas were built, people other than church members used the basketball court and were noisy. Since then, both play spaces have been fenced.

The article states the church is at the southwest corner of Preston Road and McFarlin Boulevard. The church-owned duplexes face University Boulevard and back up to the church's parking lot. The play court and the one-net basketball court each measure about 30 feet by 40 feet.

The article says in May, the city's Board of Adjustment heard the neighbors' concerns at Kay's request. Kay questioned the propriety of granting a permit for the play areas without notifying residents. He expressed concern this situation could happen in other neighborhoods in the city.

The article says board members delayed a decision on the propriety of the permits until late July in order to review materials. The board encouraged all concerned to work together to resolve the issue. In the meantime, the church has discontinued use of the play areas.

The article quotes Wade McLaurin, a University Park building official, as saying the city's position remains that the church's new facilities are permitted for the current zoning. "As far as the city is concerned, those are allowable uses, whether they are screened [from view] or not," he said, adding that if the church makes any conciliatory gesture to the neighborhood, such as restricting the courts' hours or lighting, it would be strictly between the church and the neighborhood.

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New York City Enacts New, Stricter Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Dessert News (Salt Lake City, UT)/ Associated Press
DATE: June 16, 1999

The Associated Press (through the Dessert News, Salt Lake City, UT) reports some New Yorkers are unhappy with a new, strict noise ordinance recently passed by the city council.

According to the Associated Press, New York City's new noise ordinance has some residents gaping at the severity of fines for offenders.

The article says some dog owners in Central Park Wednesday were astounded by the $45 to $525 fines for first- to third-time offenders.

The article quotes one dog owner who believes the new law may be misused. "Dog barking can be really annoying, but I think landlords will use this to get out unwanted tenants with dogs -- on false pretenses," said Linda Brown, walking her father-and-daughter canines, Rascal and Riva.

The article notes a bar or nightclub that disturbs nearby apartments can be fined $2,000 to $8,000 for a first offense and $6,000 to $24,000 by the third offense. A car alarm that won't stop begins at a $100-$250 fine for a first-time offense, but can increase to $300-$750.

The article states police and environmental inspectors will decide at what level to set the fine, though any fine may be appealed.

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Irish Soldier Receives Financial Award for Army-Related Hearing Loss

PUBLICATION: The Irish Times
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Home News; Pg. 2

The Irish Times reports a long-term Irish soldier successfully sued the Minister for Defense and State for the hearing loss he suffered while in the army.

According to the Irish Times, 18-year veteran Sgt. Patrick Hallissey, of Cappoquin, County Waterford, was awarded 84,022 (pounds) in damages by the High Court yesterday in his "deafness" action against the Minister for Defence and the State.

The article states Mr Justice O'Donovan said the case demonstrated good reasons for departing from the usual formula for measuring hearing disability set out in the "Green Book," which was produced by a group of state-appointed experts.

The article states Hallissey's audiologist persuaded the judge that the Green Book's low fence threshold for a hearing disability distorted the extent of the soldier's high tone hearing loss to an unacceptable degree. The audiologist said such a distortion suggested his hearing disability was significantly less that it actually was.

The article says the judge felt the Green Book's low fence threshold therefore would not accurately measure Hallissey's hearing disability and an exception should be made to the general rule that the book's formula was fair.

The article says the judge noted that if an exception were not made, the level of the Hallissey's damages would be inadequate for the true extent of his hearing disability.

According to the article, Hallissey was exposed to a variety of weaponry noise, including that of mortars, particularly during his Army service in Lebanon and as a member of various Army shooting teams. Despite even the defense's acknowledgement that the noise was extreme, Hallissey was never provided with any adequate protection for his hearing.

The article states Hallissey told the court that, notwithstanding his unprotected exposure to excessive gunfire noise since he joined the Army, he was unaware of any hearing problem until 1996 when he had to take a hearing test before undergoing a course for qualification as a non-commissioned officer.

The article notes Mr Justice O'Donovan said Hallissey was no longer eligible for Army shooting teams. Hallissey, a proven marksman who enjoyed shooting activities, had said he greatly missed his involvement, particularly regretting that he could never become a gunnery instructor.

The article says the judge accepted evidence from Hallissey that, following his promotion to corporal, he was advised by his superiors to transfer to administrative duties if he ever wished to be promoted to sergeant. At the time of the suit, Hallissey was currently engaged as an administrative orderly and had been promoted to sergeant.

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South County, CA Residents Respond to Jet Demonstration at El Toro Base

PUBLICATION: The Los Angeles Times
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 7; Letters
DATELINE: South County, California

The Los Angeles Times recently included letters to the editor regarding the El Toro base in South County, CA. One letter stated a test done at the base supported claims of excessive noise, while one felt noise was not a problem there.

I wish to thank the supervisors who insisted on the El Toro test because the feeble demonstration did in fact illustrate that desperate people do stupid things.

Gee, who would have imagined that all the mountains, valleys and canyons surrounding the El Toro site might reverberate, amplify and extend the time of the aircraft noise.

I guess county planners didn't see that one coming, but it's not their fault, they had no data. There is no data because large airports aren't built in such places and no conscientious planning authority worldwide would attempt it.

The square peg/round hole thing is why the county looks so stupid and Newport Beach's desperation is teetering.

The score of cities and the people of South County need to unite and not become part of this grand experiment, for if they don't they will have to live with unsafe skies overhead, pollution-packed hills and the dull roar that will echo from the mountains to the sea 24 hours of the day forever.


Laguna Beach

We live in Irvine and have not heard a single plane. What is all the shouting about on the Irvine City Council?



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Procedures and Staffing to Change at Los Angeles, CA's Van Nuys Airport

PUBLICATION: The Los Angeles Times
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 3; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Martha L. Willman
DATELINE: Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles Times reports procedural and administrative changes have begun at Los Angeles Van Nuys Airport in an attempt to resolve problems.

According to the Los Angeles Times, operational and administrative changes have begun at Van Nuys Airport in order to eliminate the problems and complaints that have plagued the busy general airport for years.

The article says that starting next week, the 79-member airport staff will be reorganized, with eight members being added to increase efficiency, address noise and business policies and improve operational procedures, said Jens O. Rivera, newly appointed airport manager.

The article states the Los Angeles City Board of Airport Commissioners approved Tuesday the leasing of additional administrative and operational space for the airport and also separate offices for a soundproofing program designed to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on neighbors.

The article says the action is Rivera's first step toward resolving long-term problems at the 725-acre facility, which is sometimes called the forgotten stepchild of Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates the field. Rivera, former acting manager and assistant manager at Ontario International Airport, began at Van Nuys on March 1.

The article quoted Rivera as saying immediate actions include reinstatement of a so-called Part 150 committee to study solutions to noise problems, a 24-hour operational staff to monitor noise and curfew violators, and development and management of business policies, including leaseholds of airport property. "I need to get our internal operations in order so that we can function effectively in our external operations," he said. "There's quite a bit of work that needs to be done. . . . We need to pay a lot more attention to the issues."

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San Antonio, TX Cites Concrete Company for Noise

PUBLICATION: San Antonio Express News
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Sun - Northwest; Pg. 1H
BYLINE: Rudolph Bush
DATELINE: San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio Express News reports a Northwest Side concrete company received a citation for violating the city's noise ordinance.

According to the article, North American Precast Corp., a Northwest Side precast concrete company has been cited for a noise violation by the Office of Code Compliance. The April 15 citation is now in the hands of the City Prosecutor's office, and is one of several violations and lawsuits filed against plants owned by, operated by or involved with NAPCO president Jaime Iragorri.

The article quotes Valerie Adams, a resident of the nearby Quail Creek neighborhood. Adams said NAPCO operates 24-hours a day, five days a week, to mix and pour cement into forms. The noise is intolerable, unpredictable and significantly diminishes the quality of life in homes anywhere near the plant, Adams said. Other residents said clouds of concrete dust billow from the plant and cover homes, cars and pools.

The article says Iragorri claims he wants resolve the issues, but the neighborhood has put him between a rock and a hard place. Building an on-site steel shop and a carpenter's shop would control noise and minimize dust, but that would violate the specific-use permit of NAPC's zoning designation. The zoning was granted before either NAPCO or the neighborhood existed.

According to the article, the area was formerly an an industrial park for cement manufacturers of all sorts. When the neighborhood was started in the late '80s and early '90s, few of those business remained. NAPCO purchased the land in 1994 and received the old light industrial zoning.

The article states NAPCO wants to alter its specfic- use permit to allow the new structures. To do so, NAPCO must go before the City Council and subject itself to a public hearing, which could be damaging to NAPCO.

The article mentions District 7 Councilman Ed Garza, whose office has been bombarded with complaints about NAPCO for months. As long as NAPCO operated according to the original specific- use permit, Garza and the city could do little. A public hearing would change that.

The article says Garza will require changes from NAPCO before considering a variation in its use permit, including reducing operating hours and adding a system of redress to the neighborhood in case of an accident. NAPCO's attorney is in negotiations with the city.

The article quotes Iragorri as saying limiting the plant's hours of operation is unfeasible. "It was discussed but unfortunately our hours of operation must remain the same because we have a cycle," Iragorri said. Changing the operating schedule is Garza's primary stipulation, however.

The article says the situation is complicated by an environmental enforcement order issued by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Iragorri said compliance hinges on the city issuing a new permit. The TNRCC has ordered Iragorri to pave all roads in the plant to control dust, and Air Section Manager Leo Butler said most of that work has been done. However, a 200-300 foot stretch remains unpaved, leaving NAPCO in violation of the order. Iragorri has said that portion will eventually lead to the new office, an office that cannot be built until a new permit is issued. That, he said, is the rock and the hard place.

In the article, Iragorri said the plant has complied with TNRCC's other major demand by installing another blower in the concrete/aggregate mixing baghouse. He noted the blower is useless, though, because NAPCO also installed a completely enclosed turbine mixer, rendering the blower useless. While TNRCC officials agreed in February that NAPCO's system provided excellent dust control, they still insist it will not be in compliance until it trades the mixer for a baghouse.

The article says Butler was surprised and displeased to hear NAPCO was not using a baghouse and blower. But, he said, his office will wait until Austin issues a final order, whereupon TNRCC inspectors will have the power to force NAPCO to comply or refer the case to the Attorney General's office. Officials say that could be as far off as December.

Garza maintains hope some compromise can be struck.

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San Pedro, NM Residents Protest Proposed Gravel Pit

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Journal
DATE: June 15, 1999
BYLINE: Dale Lezon
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Beth German, San Pedro Neighborhood Association

The Albuquerque Journal reports residents near a proposed gravel pit in San Pedro, NM fear noise from the pit will destroy their lifestyle.

According to an article in the Albuquerque Journal, a proposed gravel pit in southern Santa Fe County has residents worried about pit noise and also gravel trucks on school bus routes. The gravel pit would be situated near the village of San Pedro, 30 miles southeast of Santa Fe.

The article says the County Development Review Committee will consider plans for the rock quarry at 3 p.m. today. Mansal Gravel/San Pedro LLC Joint Venture proposes mining five acres of an 80-acre mining claim on land owed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The article states some San Pedro residents worry that N.M. 344, the main neighborhood road near the proposed site, would be unsafe for school buses when gravel trucks are barreling down it. "We have asked the county to prohibit truck traffic before 9 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to avoid (it) interfering with school-bus activities," said Beth German, president of the San Pedro Neighborhood Association. German said the association will submit to the committee today a petition with 75 signatures of people opposed to the proposed gravel pit.

The article refers to a Mansal staff report on the proposed pit, which says about 25,000 tons of rock will be mined per month at the quarry, with 10 18-wheel semitractor-trailer rock trucks in use. The pit would operate between 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. five and half days a week, the report states.

According to the article, the trucks would haul rocks west along N.M. 344 to N.M. 14. The county has recommended the trucks and the school buses not travel N.M. 344 at the same time. German also notes trucks on N.M. 344 would pass at least one elementary school traveling west, and two elementary schools traveling east. She said rocks flying from the trucks would endanger children waiting by the road for school buses.

The article says the county's land-use staff report insists loads be covered with a tarp before leaving the gravel-pit. The report also recommends truck traffic be limited to the period between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on school days. The report further requires the project to comply with state Highway and Transportation Department regulations concerning travel on N.M. 344. Anthony Gonzales, a department public information officer, said the department will review Mansal's proposed truck traffic.

The article quoted German as expressing concern for her neighborhood if loaded trucks have to drive down Heartbreak Hill, a winding, steep portion of N.M. 344 near San Pedro.

The article says noise is also a concern for German and her neighbors. Mansal plans to operate a rock crusher at the site, and German said it would make so much noise the neighborhood's calm would be shattered. "Most of us live out there because we want to have a quiet, rural neighborhood," German said. "Having a gravel-crushing operation right in our neighborhood will destroy that."

The article also quoted San Pedro Neighborhood Association member Elizabeth Prosapio, who noted the area is a traditional mining region and the county may allow Mansal to operate the pit.

The article states the county and Mansal have already met in state court over the proposed gravel pit. On May 6, District Judge Daniel Sanchez granted the county's request for a 45-day preliminary injunction to prevent Mansal from mining the gravel pit until it obtained a county development permit. The county said Mansal must obtain the permit before it can begin mining. Mansal officials countered that the county has no jurisdiction over development concerns on land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. On May 19, Sanchez ordered a meeting between the county and Mansal to discuss the permit. After that, the company filed an application for a permit, and the county land-use staff reviewed it and issued the report.

The article notes Sam Bregman, Mansal's attorney, refused to comment on the case, according to Bob Clark of Bregman's law firm.

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Long Grove, IL Golf Course Owners Protest Time Limits on Noisy Mowing

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: June 15, 1999
SECTION: Neighbor; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Shamus Toomey
DATELINE: Long Grove, IL

The Chicago Daily Herald reports golf course operators in Long Grove, IL say a proposed noise ordinance limiting hours of use for mowers and other such equipment will not allow them sufficient time for course maintenance.

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, Long Grove golf course operators are concerned a proposed village law limiting hours for lawn mowers and other loud equipment leaves too little time to prepare courses in the morning.

The article says the Long Grove village board agreed last week have its attorney draft restrictions on the use of such tools as lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws. Under the proposed ordinance, such equipment would be banned before 6 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on weekdays and not before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on weekends. Hillcrest Homeowner's Association President Camy Gould had asked the board if any such ordinances existed, prompting the board's move. Gould said residents in her subdivision have complained about noise from neighboring Hillcrest Country Club, a private course.

The article states golf course officials say the proposed hours make it almost impossible to prepare their greens before tee-off time, which is typically 7 a.m. "Quite frankly, it's undoable," Hillcrest Country Club president Ed Hockfield said. "It would have a major impact ... Right now, my first question would be why?"

According to the article, Village Manager D.M. "Cal" Doughty said prior to last week's board discussion, no related complaints been lodged with the village. Tom Prichard, superintendent of the private Royal Melbourne Country Club in Long Grove, said he received one complaint in recent years from neighbors. He noted subdivision covenants allow course work to begin at 4 a.m., with mowing and sand trap cleanings starting at 5:30 a.m. each day.

The article quoted Long Grove Trustee and golfer Cydney Weisberg, who lives near Hillcrest's first hole, as saying she has an excellent relationship with the Hillcrest, but has been awakened as early as 5:07 a.m. She said restrictions are needed, although she does understand the course operators' situation and the argument that one of the trade-offs for living next to the open spaces of courses is morning noise. "I think (they're right), but how early is early," Weisberg said. "Is 5:07 acceptable?"

The article states the board has rescheduled the issue for its June 22 meeting. Doughty said he expects at least one golf course to ask for the weekend time to be pushed back to 6 a.m. Weisberg said she was willing to compromise, adding "If 6:30 (a.m.) would help them out on the weekend - that's fine."

The article says the ordinance, if approved, probably would start fines at $50. If the fine isn't paid, the village could prosecute and seek fines up to $500 per day of violation, Doughty said.

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Dallas, TX Columnist Complains about Overly-Stimulating Ballpark Noise

DATE: June 15, 1999
SECTION: Viewpoints; Pg. 13A; William Mckenzie
BYLINE: William Mckenzie
DATELINE: Arlington, TX

The Dallas Morning News ran an opinion column by William McKenzie, who feels ballparks are becoming too noisy for patrons.

Mr. McKenzie noted that the Ballpark's scoreboards now contain a steadier stream of images and noises and that an aggressive edge has been added to the music that blares from the park's sound systems. These changes have also been noted by the Dallas Morning News' Michael Young, ushers, and fans.

Lifelong Ranger supporter Paul Thompson is quoted in a recently Morning News article as saying, "I am not sure I can tolerate the nonfamily-friendly music that I can't talk over and the increasingly circus-like atmosphere."

Mr. McKenzie notes that some fans love the atmosphere, which is becoming a trend at hockey and basketball games too. He fears that creating noise is just part of the strategy of putting bodies in arena seats.

The column notes that restaurants are also part of the phenomenon and that some establishments consider that part of their appeal.

In response, the article notes that the San Francisco Chronicle rated Bay Area restaurants according to their noise levels. Reporter Miriam Morgan found that the volume at one San Francisco cafe equaled that of a passing motorcycle. Other restaurants were as high as 80 decibels, while conversational speech is 60 decibels.

The column notes that noise debates have spilled over into our front yards in communities such as Dallas and Los Angeles over the volume levels of leaf blowers, some of which can exceed115 decibels.

While some people think the noise is fun, Mr. McKenzie worries that it is not healthy. He quotes Evelyn Cherow, an audiologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, "the average person does not realize the toll." A single blast can damage hearing. So can long exposure to high levels of noise. Even extended periods of moderate noise can damage one's hearing.

Ms. Cherow says that "more young people come in with hearing profiles of aging people." Numerous studies depict the problem, including a Vanderbilt University study showing that 11 percent of the children in one school system had hearing problems.

Elderly people may suffer the most. They are more likely to experience hearing loss. And once the problem develops, Ms. Cherow says, the sufferer is likely to grow more intolerant about noisiness. In other words, the problem feeds upon itself.

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Raytheon Aircraft Co. Shows Wares at Paris Airshow, Including Beech 1900D with a Quiet-Cabin Feature

DATE: June 15, 1999
DATELINE: Paris, France

A press release from the M2Presswire Company details the Raytheon Aircraft Company's new showings at the Paris Airshow, including a Beech 1900D model with a quieter cabin.

(NPC ed. note -- the following is a press release)

Raytheon Aircraft Company, a leading supplier of corporate and special mission aircraft, is promoting its broad line of jet and turboprop aircraft during the 1999 Paris Airshow.

The company's products scheduled to be represented at a static display adjacent to the Raytheon Company chalet (A394-A398) are: T-6A military trainer aircraft, Hawker 800XP and Beechjet 400A business jets, 1900D turboprop regional airliner and Beech King Air 350 and Beech King Air B200 turboprop aircraft. Also on display will be a cabin and cockpit mockup of Raytheon Aircraft's new entry-level light jet, the Raytheon Premier I.

The first production T-6A Texan II made its maiden flight during 1998. The single-engine turboprop will provide primary flight training for all U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots well into the next century under the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) program. Following flight test and certification, the first of more than 700 aircraft is scheduled for delivery to the Air Force later this year. In addition, Bombardier Services ordered 24 T-6A-1 aircraft for the NATO Flying Training in Canada program, and Raytheon Aircraft has a pending sale of 45 aircraft to the Hellenic Air Force of Greece.

The Hawker 800XP continued to lead the world in sales of mid-size business jets in 1998. Raytheon Aircraft boosted production of the jet and delivered 48 800XPs in 1998, compared to 33 in 1997. The highly successful lineage reached a milestone in 1998 with the delivery of the 1,000th Hawker ever made. A number of special mission U-125A Hawkers, based on the Hawker 800, have been sold for search-and-rescue use by the Japan Air Self Defense Force.

The Beechjet 400A seven- to nine-passenger light business jet is noted for its speed, cabin comfort, fuel efficiency and sturdy construction. The 400A has a four-passenger IFR range of more than 1,500 nm. Cruise speed is 465 kts. Although designed for corporate use, the aircraft is used by the U.S. Air Force for training its tanker and transport pilots. In addition, the Japan Air Self Defense Force purchased the Beechjet for training search-and-rescue pilots. The Premier I full-size cabin mock-up is on display as part of an eight-city European tour. The aircraft - the first composite-fuselage business jet - conducted its maiden flight in December of 1998 and is currently in the certification flight test program. Deliveries will begin immediately following Federal Aviation Administration and Joint Aviation Authority certification. The state-of-the-art construction method, combined with a supercritical metal swept wing, allows for better performance and a cabin size that is seven inches taller and eight inches wider than competitive entry-level business jets. Also beginning production is the Hawker Horizon super mid-size business jet, featuring a composite fuselage as well.

The Beech 1900D 19-seat commuter airliner has several new options available. Raytheon Aircraft is teaming with Ultra Electronics to offer the UltraQuiet Active Noise Cancellation System. Developed by Ultra's Noise and Vibration Systems Division, the system acoustically cancels the propeller tones in the cabin by introducing sound waves that are of equal frequency and amplitude but are of opposite phase to the unwanted noise. Also available is the 1900D Executive, a first-class business interior option.

The Beech King Air 350 is the largest member of the King Air family. More than 5,200 King Airs of 17 variants have been delivered throughout the world, and the King Air fleet has accumulated more than 20 million operating hours. The 350 is capable of carrying a 1,849-lb. payload with full fuel. Its cabin is nearly three feet longer than the King Air B200 and is typically configured with double club seating for eight passengers. Maximum range with one crew and four passengers is more than 1,700 nm.

The Beech King Air B200 has become the best-selling turboprop business aircraft ever produced with more than 2,000 now delivered into operation around the world. As well as being popular with corporate operators, the B200 has also attracted significant orders from all four branches of the U.S. military, plus many international special mission operators. This mid-sized King Air has a maximum range with four passengers of 1,462 nm. Its 35,000 ft. (10,668 m) ceiling allows operations above most adverse weather conditions for a smooth ride. CONTACT: Kevin O'Hara Tel: +1 316 676 7603 WWW:

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Tavares, FL City Council to Vote on Stricter Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel Tribune
DATE: June 15, 1999
SECTION: Lake Sentinel; Pg. 1
BYLINE: by Glory Patterson

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports the Tavares City Council will vote on a stricter noisie ordinance.

According to the Orlando Sentinel Tribune, the Tavares City Council will meet at City Hall at 5 p.m. Wednesday to vote on a stricter noise -control ordinance.

The article says the council gave preliminary approval to the proposed ordinance by a 3-2 vote earlier this month. Council President Leo Vaughn and council member Debbie Stivender voted against the measure.

The article states city officials have dicussed the definition of a violation, the correct response to possible violations and how subjective investigating officers should be when faced with a complaint.

The article notes City Attorney Robert Williams said although the ordinance was created in response to complaints by neighbors of a waterside restaurant, Dead River Vic's, the new proposal addresses noise complaints citywide.

The article quotes attorney Steve Richey, who represents the restaurant, as expressing concern for the enforcement of the proposed law. Richey said the threshold for violating the measure - noise "plainly audible within 50 feet" - is too vague, and a similar ordinance in Lee County was overturned in court because it was deemed too subjective. "Objective, specific, metered standards would be preferable," he said.

The article says the ordinance's current wording prohibits "excessive and annoying noises which may reduce the enjoyment of life, property and the conduct of business," with specific references made to noise near schools, hospitals, libraries and rest homes. Exemptions would be made for city events, temporary construction and commercial activities performed during specified hours, according to the ordinance. Fines would be $50 fine for a first offense and $250 for three or more violations under the proposed ordinance.

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Milton, MA Selectmen Hear Complaints about Late-Night Maintenance-Truck Beeping on Golf Course

PUBLICATION: The Patriot Ledger
DATE: June 15, 1999
SECTION: News; Pg. 17C
BYLINE: Kimberly W. Moy

The Patriot Ledger reports residents of Milton, MA are complaining to their selectmen about late-night beeping from trucks working on the Quarry Hills Gold Course.

According to the Patriot Ledger, Milton, MA residents say the all-night beeping from trucks working on the Quarry Hills golf course is ruining their slumber.

The article quoted Highland Street resident David Shea, who described for selectmen the beeping the trucks make when in reverse. "People have a right to sleep," he added.

According to the article, Selectmen Chairman Rick Neely said the town gave permission last year for Quarry Hills Associates to work 24 hours a day, six days a week starting after Labor Day 1998.

The article states senior project manager Brian Donahoe of Sverdrup Civil, the engineering firm for the project, was interviewed by phone and said about half of the 1,200 trucks carrying fill from the Central Artery project are going directly into Milton. Developer Charles "Chick" Geilich was also interviewed, telling the reporter the project will cover the town's former landfill to build nine holes of a 27-hole golf course straddling Milton and Quincy. Workers are also hurrying to plant grass before the growing season ends in mid-September, Geilich said. Both men noted this is the prime season to finish the project, with the weather warm and dry.

The article states Selectman Diane Agostino said the approval had been contingent upon the board reviewing the situation if a problem arose.

The article says Shea urged selectmen to work out a compromise during the summer months, saying that even a fan couldn't muffle the beeping; Neely promised to look into the situation.

The article states the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has denied a waiver for the beepers on the trucks, but the golf course developer is still trying to find an alternative that will satisfy OSHA. If the beeping is silenced, OSHA requires that an attendant be on duty instead, said Donahoe, noting three additional people would be required then, one for the fill-hauling truck, one for a bulldozer and one for the backhoe packing the fill onto a pile.

According to the article, Donahoe said the workers try to keep their trucks behind a large pile of fill designated as a sound barrier. However, the pile is periodically shifted, he said, and workers are building a new sound barrier pile which should remain in place for several weeks. "We're trying different things to try to reduce the sound," Donahoe said. Workers are warned the first time they are caught banging their tailgates and removed from the Quarry Hills project on the second offense. Donahoe said the volume of the trucks' beeping adjusts according to the surrounding noise, but still needs to rise above the truck's engine sound at night. "The whole idea of the alarm is to get your attention," he said.

The article quoted Ridgewood Road resident Paul Galinauskas, who said he was dissatisfied with the answers he received from developer Walter Hannon about Quarry Hills trying to meet a certain schedule. "They shouldn't have to inconvenience people for their gain," said Galinauskas, who works in construction and said he normally is a sound sleeper. .

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Hot Springs, AK Police to Target Noisy Car Stereos and "Boom Boxes" in City

PUBLICATION: Associated Press
DATE: June 14, 1999
SECTION: State And Regional
DATELINE: Hot Springs, AK

The Associated Press reports police in Hot Springs, Arkansas will begin issuing more noise ordinance citations in the wake of increased complaints from residents about car stereos and "boom boxes."

According to an Associated Press brief, Hot Springs, AK police responded to a rash of stereo-related complaints with a promise to crack down on violators. "We will start with simple citations, but if the problem persists we may resort to hard bonds and even towing vehicles," Chief Gary Ashcraft said Friday.

The article notes Ashcraft said his office had received complaints that "mostly young people" were making too much noise while cruising the city late at night. "Traffic is a problem... but we wouldn't have near the complaints if the noise was held down so citizens ... could at least get a decent night's sleep," he said, adding, "If the officer can hear the music, he will cite them," he said.

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NASA Predicts Aviation Advances, Including Less Noise, if Program Is Better-Funded

PUBLICATION: Aviation Week and Space Technology
DATE: June 14, 1999
SECTION: Paris Air SHOW '99; Vol. 150, No. 24; Pg. 146
BYLINE: Edward H. Phillips

Aviation Week and Space Technology reports NASA predicts great improvements in aviation design in the next two decades, but only if program funding increases substantially.

According to an article in Aviation Week and Space Technology, NASA and industry research can make significant technical advances in the manufacture and efficiency of subsonic flight crafts in the next 20 years, but only if program funding increases and the commercial aviation industry's design and production process uses a completely integrated systems approach. "As a nation, we will not reach the reduced aircraft acquisition and operation cost goals required to lead the marketplace unless we increase research and development funding for aeronautical breakthroughs," said Samuel A. Morello, NASA's director of the Advanced Subsonic Technology (AST) Program Office at Langley Research Center.

The article states NASA wants about $2 billion annually to pursue new technologies, but the AST program fuding is only $600 million. A NASA official said inadequate funds will damage research and development work on new subsonic technologies, delaying use and future payoffs resulting from such systems.

The article quotes Morello, who also stressed the commercial and military aviation industries must change to a totally integrated systems approach to designing and building future jet transports. In the next 20 years, he said, key gains in efficiency and cost reduction can be made if airframe manufacturers will "strive to get out of the old paradigm of pounding billions of rivets into metal structures."

The article states the AST program, which began in 1994, is scheduled to end this year; the general aviation subset of AST, will continue for two more years. The AST program focuses on advanced composite wing and fuselage material in order to reduce airframe weight and complexity.

The article says Morello and other NASA scientists predict an increased focus on minimizing the airframe manufacturing costs and maximizing the environmental compatibility of jet airplanes through reduced emissions and noise. "The next generation of commercial transports must make a quantum leap in noise reduction to meet future restrictions at airports," Morello said. He and other scientists say research into advanced configurations, like a blended-wing-body (BWB) concept, will bring improvements impossible with existing aircraft design.

The article says the BWB, conceived by McDonnell Douglas Corp., could carry up to 800 passengers, with a range of 7,000 naut. mi. while cruising at 600 mph. NASA said the BWB's lower weight, primarily the result of advanced composite materials, would need less thrust, giving it up to a 33% reduction in fuel burn and lower emissions compared with conventional jets.

The article says one key new technology focuses on an all-composite wing for future aircraft. NASA and Boeing are working to develop a primary wing structure made from stitched carbon fiber composites. With an automated manufacturing process, the wing's production cost would be far less than that of conventional sheet metal techniques.

The article says the wing is made by stitching together pre-preg carbon fabric with synthetic thread dispensed by Ingersoll Rand's automated, four-head machine and infusing resin into the material. Boeing's Huntington Beach, Calif., facility built a 40-ft. semi-span test section wing using the technique. NASA predicts the process, compared to that of a traditional aluminum wing, will cost 20% less to make, weigh about 25% less and significantly reduce the parts count. Morello said the composite structure is very durable, damage-tolerant, and easy to repair. .

The article states the wing will be shipped to the Langley Research Center in August for structural tests beginning this fall, including progressively loading the wing to failure. Morello said the wing's progress thus far suggests that "in 15 years you will see an airplane flying with a total composite wing as primary structure."

According to the article, Boeing is eyeing NASA's stitched-wing research for future transport, also considering its possibilities for doors, flaps and other large assemblies in commercial and military transports. A stitched composite wing for Boeing's large transport could compete with Airbus Industrie's planned A3XX design.

The article states other promising research includes work by scientists at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, who are seeing if shape memory alloys (SMA) on wings will improve their aerodynamic efficiency. The U.S. Air Force, working with Darpa and Northrop Grumman, is developing smart wing structures and systems that look promising, according to George Fendeckyj, the principal materials research engineer at the Ceramics Development and Life Behavior Branch of the Ceramics, Metal and NDE Div. within the U.S. Air Force's Materials Directorate. Fendeckyj said wind tunnel tests of SMA-based hingeless, warpable control surfaces show the surfaces offer numerous aerodynamic benefits, including a 10-15% improvement in rolling moment. Wind tunnel tests of smart wing sections show a four-degree twist in a wing model yields a 10% improvement in lift.

The article says researchers feel SMA-based systems are promising, despite the additional weight and complexity of smart wing systems.

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North Tynsdale, UK Developers Told To Limit Construction Hours or Pay Fines

PUBLICATION: Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, UK)
DATE: June 14, 1999
SECTION: Coast News, Pg. 8
BYLINE: by Andy Lloyd
DATELINE: North Tyneside, UK

The Evening Chronicle reports three housing developers at a Tynesdale, UK development have been formally warned that failure to limit their work hours will result in fines.

According to the Evening Chronicle, North Tynesdale Council leaders have formally served three developers with breach of condition notices, cautioning each that failure to limit work hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. could result in fines of L2,000 per day.

The article states the North Tyneside Council received a 500-signature petition against the developers of the former Northern Electric playing fields in Kings Road, Wallsend. The area is being developed by Bellway Homes, Cussins Homes and MGL Demolition, all of whom were served with the warning notices.

The article says council investigators observed the site before serving the firms with notices yesterday.

The article states MGL Demolition already received one "noise and nuisance" notice from the environmental health officers, and Cussins has informally urged Bellway on three occasions to take action.

The article quotes council deputy leader Eddie Darke as saying "... It is a poor reflection on (the companies') business and the way they view their responsibilities to the law and the community. Restrictions on working hours are made quite clear to companies before any work starts and most firms are careful to comply... Our planning officers have been instructed to take immediate action if residents suffer any further inconveniences."

The article says the council can ask magistrates for a L1,000 fine on each breach, for a maximum of L2,000 a day under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act. The companies would have no right of appeal against the council's decision.

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Noise Greatest Cause of Hearing Loss in Aging Baby Boomers

PUBLICATION: The Palm Beach Post
DATE: June 14, 1999
SECTION: Accent, Pg. 4D
BYLINE: Korky Vann
DATELINE: Farmington, CT
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Diane DeLisa, University of CT; Dr. Stephen Epstein, Alexander Graham Bell Assoc. for the Deaf; American Speech-Hearing Language Assoc.; International Hearing Society; Self-Help for Hard Hearing

The Palm Beach Post reports President Clinton's noise-related hearing loss has prompted other baby boomers to seek treatment for their own noise-related hearing problems.

According to the Palm Beach Post, President Clinton's 1997 physical revealed that he, like many other middle-aged folks, had a noise -related hearing loss. Diane DeLisa, assistant professor of clinical audiology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Conn. said Clinton's diagnosis and subsequent digital hearing aids prompted many others to consider the causes and treatments of hearing loss. "Baby Boomers are more involved in their heath care than any other generation and very interested in the latest technology," DeLisa said.

The article said studies show hearing loss is no longer an old-age issue. The Better Hearing Institute said hearing loss in people ages 40 to 60 is increasing, and a joint study between the National Council on Aging and the Hearing Industries Association on the social, psychological and physiological impact of hearing loss lowered its polling age from 65 to 50. The article quoted Dr. Stephen Epstein, president of Washington's Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, who said while viral infections, head injury, heredity or reaction to medication can cause hearing loss, noise is the primary cause for Baby Boomers. "This is a natural consequence of years of exposure to rock concerts, disco, blasting headphones, power tools, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, jet skis and motorcycles," said Epstein, an ear, nose and throat specialist. "Age-related hearing loss usually occurs when people are in their mid-60s. This group is paying the price of being the first plugged-in generation."

The article says Clinton's hearing loss is blamed on his longtime fondness for loud music. Noise-related loss generally includes difficulty hearing higher-pitched sounds and trouble hearing in crowds.

The article states Clinton was given digital hearing aids that fit almost invisibly inside the ear canal. Digital models are computerized to adapt to an individual's hearing loss. Older, more visible analog models amplify all sounds indiscriminately. The digital aids adjust automatically to filter out unwanted background noise, reduce feedback and amplify important sounds.

The article quotes Epstein as saying unlike older hearing loss sufferers who avoid treatment out of embarrasment, boomers freely seek help. "They love gadgets, they don't want to have trouble hearing and they'll do anything to stay young," he noted.

The article cautions the digital technology is expensive, costing $4,000 to $6,000 per pair, and is generally not covered by health insurance. The devices are not for everyone, working best for mild to moderate hearing loss.

The article lists the following symptoms as indicative of hearing loss: trouble following conversations when two or more people are talking at the same time, difficulty understanding the higher-pitched voices of women and children, problems hearing in restaurants or at parties because of background noise, or chronic ringing in the ears. A primary care doctor can provide a referral to an audiologist, who can measure the extent of the loss and suggest an appropriate device.

The article also lists the following as sources of help: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Helpline, (800) 638-8255 (free information on hearing loss and referrals to certified audiologists); the International Hearing Society, (800) 521-5247, Ext. 333 (free consumer kit on hearing aids); and Self-Help for Hard of Hearing, (301) 657-2248 or 7910 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814 (free information packet on hearing loss, hearing aids and new technology).

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Lake Campbell, Alaska Resident Writes of Necessity of Co-Existing with Local Airplane Noise

PUBLICATION: Anchorage Daily News
DATE: June 13, 1999
SECTION: We Alaskans, Pg. 3H
BYLINE: Gale K. Vick
DATELINE: Lake Campbell, Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News recently ran an opinion piece by a Lake Cambell Resident who notes residents there must accept airplane noise since airplanes are a key mode of transportation there.

(NPC ed. Note -- The following is an opinion piece from the Anchorage Daily News.)

I am sitting at my computer, looking out my window to the immediacy of Campbell Lake. On any single summer's day, 50 or more floatplanes will be landing or taking off, most of them getting lift right outside my home-office window. We live on a point that marks a short straightaway before the lake crooks to the left toward Cook Inlet.

When a plane takes off, there is a 10- to 60-second interval when we can't hear anything else. If I'm on the phone, I will immediately excuse myself, holding the receiver out so the person on the line can hear the plane noise. We bear this noise readily, even at 5 a.m., when there might be a steady stream of planes taking off. This is, after all, why this lake exists.

Campbell Lake is a man-made lake built specifically for floatplanes. We have well over 100 aircraft. There is no public access to the lake, and fishing is prohibited because of the amount of plane traffic. Every house has a floatplane dock in the "back yard." There are Cessna 172s, 180s, 185s, 206s. There are Helio-couriers, De Havilland Beavers (my favorites), Maules, Piper Cubs. There are a Bell Ranger helicopter and two smaller helicopters.

Alaska has a lot of small-airplane traffic because it's a big place with few roads. The small plane is an absolute lifeline to most of our state. Because of our needs and our relative prosperity, we probably have more private planes per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Last summer, visitors from Ireland told us that in their country of more than 4 million people there may be only 100 to 200 privately owned small airplanes. As they looked out over Campbell Lake, they remarked that "all the little planes of Ireland could fit in here!"

The noise can be intense, especially from the two-bladed props. But unlike high-speed boats, which often run around in the middle of the night in a maddening circle of noise, planes take off and are gone. Their noise is temporary, lasting just a few seconds. I can live with that.

We share the lake with neighbors in canoes, sailboats, power boats, even a barge with a Dixieland brass band that travels the shoreline, serenading us on nice evenings. The priority, however, is with aircraft, and everyone understands this.

Even the ducks and geese seem to get the message, because in nine years living here I've only seen one incident between a goose and a plane.

Everyone seems to really watch out for each other. Unfortunately, accidents occur. Last summer, a plane got caught in squirrely winds and crashed near the east end of Campbell Lake. There were no injuries. More recently, however, two of our neighbors lost their lives in separate plane accidents in other parts of Alaska. Their deaths shook us deeply.

I'm not a pilot myself, but three members of our family are. I put my faith in their caution, preparation and skill -- and pray for divine guidance. Still, we know there's no guarantee against tragedy, whether you ride in a boat, car or plane.

Like Lake Hood, Campbell Lake was never meant to be a quiet refuge. It's a residential floatplane base that is still remarkably peace-giving. Maybe someday they will make safer, quieter airplanes, but in our lifetime we live with the occasional noise and risks -- because that's the way we get around.

n Gale Vick is a fishing-industry consultant and free-lance writer who lives in Anchorage.

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Plainview, NY Residents Say Proposed Expressway Sound Barrier Too Intrusive

DATE: June 13, 1999
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 8
BYLINE: by Robert Gearty
DATELINE: Plainview, NY

The Daily News reports residents of Plainview, NY feel a proposed expressway sound barrier would destroy their landscape.

According to the Daily News, Paul Silko and other residents of Plainview, NY are opposed to having a sound barrier between their neighborhoods and the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway.

The article says Silko and the others feel the barrier is too close to their homes and would destroy the area's ambiance. "They said they want to put them right on the edge of our property," said Silko, whose Wallace Avenue home faces the expressway on the west. "We said either put it down alongside the road, like the . . . [Long Island Expressway, where the tall walls are fairly close to the roadway], or we don't want it." Meyer Bloomrosen of Radcliffe Drive added, "We were all for it at firs,. but after thinking about it, it's like what people have been saying it would be like being behind a prison wall."

The article says other complaints were that the wall would lower property values, invite graffiti, block the sun and look ugly. "I certainly don't want to be looking out my window at a 24-foot wall," said Guido Zannone, 66, of Floral Drive West.

The article says Silko and other opponents have formed a committee called Stop Taking Our Property, or STOP, to fight the project.

According to the article, the state Department of Transportation conducted a poll last month on the controversy, and said it would abide by the results. Owners of the first two rows of homes along both sides of the expressway between Old Country Road and Northern State Parkway could vote. Officials divided the area into four quadrants, with one vote per household.

The article states the final tally was as follows: In Quads B1 and B2, on the east and west sides of the expressway between Old Country Road and Southern Parkway, residents voted against the barrier, 21-to-8 and 14-to-7, respectively; Quads B3 and B4, which adjoin the expressway between Southern Parkway and the Northern State, voted in favor, 31-to-27 and 29-to-25, respectively.

The article says Assemblyman David Sidikman (D-Plainview), who obtained $2.5 million for the barriers after being elected to the state Legislature in 1992, is frustrated by the community's change of heart. He said he sought financing because that was what the community originally wanted.

The article notes the 20-24 foot concrete walls would similar to those built on the Northern State in Westbury and along portions of the Long Island Expressway and would be built along the expressway where a chain-link fence is now. The fence is close to property lines, but the Transportation Department said a barrier there would be the most effective in reducing the traffic noise.

The article also quoted Gainsville Drive resident Daveen Dean, who favors the barrier because, "I was just sitting outside, and I couldn't [stay] because I couldn't stand the noise."

The article said barrier opponents Silko and Zannone, who live in the quadrants that voted in favor of the walls, want Sidikman to consider the entire vote total, which was 87-to-75 against the walls. Sidikman said the barriers will be built unless he hears by July 15 that people want dense shrubbery instead.

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Orlando, FL Journalist Bemoans Country's Increasing Volume

DATE: June 13, 1999
SECTION: Florida; Pg. 7
BYLINE: Kate Santich

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune ran an opinion piece by reporter Kate Santich, who worries people are too accepting of this country's increasing level of noise.


"I cupped my hand behind my ear, craned my neck and looked befuddled, the way Ronald Reagan used to look whenever reporters yelled a prickly question at him just as he was about to climb aboard the presidential helicopter," wrote Ms. Santich. This was in response to a neighbor 20 yards away, and he was shouting. His words were lost in the noise from cars, barking dogs, blaring boomboxes and the usual Saturday morning cacophony of lawn mowers, leaf blowers and edgers.

"He repeated himself, louder and more emphatic this time, but it was no use. It was either something about a Neighborhood Watch meeting or a confession to serial ax murders, but my arms were loaded with groceries so I shrugged apologetically and headed into the house."

Ms. Santich thinks its time to stand up against noise, in cities and national parks, from aircraft to jetskis and snowmobiles. In Alaska, she notes, activists have forged a state "Quiet Rights Coalition" to fight for blissful peace in the outdoors.

Even the depths of the ocean are noisy. She sites a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University that found that in some places the noise level - thanks to oil fields, cracking icebergs and military sonar - was the same as in New York's Times Square at midday.

She lists a number of recent noise problems in the news: Catholic monks in Nova Scotia complaining that chain saws from nearby loggers were disrupting their silent meditation; the death of in Birmingham, England, which a coroner ruled that a 46-year-old man was driven to suicide by his neighbors, who frequently played loud music and had noisy domestic disputes; in Hong Kong, a resident set a building on fire and bit the ear of a fellow tenant after an argument about noise; in New York, a man was convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting his upstairs neighbor after a seven-year feud over the racket from her apartment; in New Zealand, a man threatened to shoot down an earsplitting air force jet flying over his home.

Ms. Santich sites the need to care for our acoustic ecology. According to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, growing evidence suggests that excessive noise contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, colitis and migraine headaches. "Adrenalin is released into the bloodstream; heart rate, blood pressure and respiration tend to increase; gastrointestinal motility is inhibited; peripheral blood vessels constrict; and muscles tense," the report says. "Even though noise may have no relationship to danger, the body will respond automatically to noise as a warning signal."

She sites other studies that show the effects on children. School kids in noisy environments such as near airports or freeways tend to have significantly higher blood pressure than kids in quieter neighborhoods and reading scores suffer when children live in noisy apartment buildings.

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British Professor Says Owls' Wing Feathers Are Key to Quiet Flight; Suggests Airplane Engineers Take Note

PUBLICATION: Ottowa Citizen
DATE: June 13, 1999
SECTION: The Citizen's Weekly; C18
DATELINE: Southampton, England

The Ottowa Citizen reports a British professor says the key to owls'quiet flight is in their wing feathers and may offer suggestions to airplane engineers.

According to the Ottowa Citizen, Geoffrey Lilley, professor emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Southampton in England, says owls are perfectly engineered for noiseless flight -- and may offer engineers tips leading to a noiseless plane.

The article states the professor's study of owl aerodynamics, reported in Discover magazine, believes the serrated feathers on the front edges of owls' wings funnel air smoothly over them, reducing noise from rushing air. Each wing has a scarf-like, fringed back edge that prevents the abrupt air-pressure changes -- and noise -- produced by rigid aircraft wings.

The article quotes Lilley as saying he's not quite recommending airplanes with feathers, but "we've done all we can with reducing engine noise, so any extra noise reduction has to come off the airframe."

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Motorcycle Noise Major Problem

PUBLICATION: The Straits Times (Singapore)
DATE: June 16, 1999
SECTION: Forum; Pg. 42
BYLINE: (letter to the editor)
DATELINE: Singapore

The Straits Times (Singapore) printed a letter to the editor protesting motorcycle noise.

I REFER to ENV's reply, "Stricter night noise limit" (ST, June 14). It is certainly a step in the right direction.

However, noise irritation from on-going construction work is not the only scourge in our close-knit living environment. Noisy motorcycles or scramblers are another equally if not worse noise pollutant.

It is not uncommon for riders of such machines to rev their engines, rudely rousing one from one's slumber in the dead of night. The exhaust systems of some of these machines have been tampered with, thus creating the loud noises. Surprisingly, the machines still managed to pass the noise -level test set by LTA.

Perhaps LTA should review the noise -level range permitted for such machines.

It will be for the good of many.


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Clark County, WA Group Fights Proposed Amphitheater

PUBLICATION: The Columbian
DATE: June 13, 1999
SECTION: Front Page; Pg. A1
BYLINE: Dean Baker
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, VA

The Columbian reports residents of Clark County, WA fear a proposed amphitheater will ruin their peace and quiet. For ammunition, they have examined what life is like near Virginia's GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

According to The Columbian, residents of Clark County, WA say a proposed amphitheater to be designed by nationally known sound expert Abraham Sustaito of Houston will put an end to their peaceful nights. To help them in their effort to stop the plan, the neighbors of the site examined the GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater. Seating 7,500, with room for 12,500 more spectators on the lawn, GTE's 72-foot tall concert structure features rock, pop and country fare, launched by its developers' financial dreams and its real or prospective payoff for local taxpayers. Protesters see it as at least a cousin to the 18,000-seat venue a New York developer wants to build at Clark County Fairgrounds.

The article says GTE has netted Virginia Beach a million dollars a year for the past three years, but its 3,000 closest neighbors say it has cost them their peace and quiet, something that scares Clark County residents. The GTE neighbors live within a mile of the stage, with 400 of them within 2,500 feet. Headliners like Metallica, Phish, Rod Stewart, Janet Jackson and Jimmy Buffet bring hours of pounding bass lines and crowd noises into their yards.

The article quotes resident Dennis Borgerding , who lives 2,200 feet from the stage, as saying quiet -- the reason he moved there six years ago before the amphitheater existed -- was "long gone." Toni Green , who at 2,050 feet lives in the house closest to the GTE amphitheater, said Rod Stewart's bass player rattled her windows, and Bryan White's rock band knocked a mirror off her living room wall. She advised Clark County fairground neighbors to "fight it," adding, "If you've got one of these coming to your neighborhood, fight it. I wish to God I had a good lawyer."

The article notes the homes nearest to Clark County's proposed amphitheater are closer than Green's is to the GTE. Bob Grasso, spokesman for Stop the Amphitheater Today, said a half dozen houses are 1,000 feet from the amphitheater or closer, 43 are 2,500 feet away, and 738 are within one mile. Q Prime spokesman Chris Crowley disagreed, saying there are only 500 homes within a mile. He insists many of those won't hear the amphitheater's music, although he admits he's not a sound expert.

The article says concern over sound led Q Prime to hire architect Abraham Sustaita, who has designed eight amphitheaters, including one costing $57 million for the Sultan of Brunei and two sound-containing venues in dense metropolitan Dallas and Camden, N.J. Sustaita said his Clark County design is far more neighbor-friendly than GTE's. Sustaita listed the following points in praise of of his theater compared to GTE's: 160 to180-foot long sound walls at the edges of the covered reserve seating, compared to 32 feet long at GTE; a downward pitched roof with a small sound aperture to focus sound on the crowd rather than over them into the countryside; inward-facing speakers on a sound wall behind the crowd on the lawn far from the stage; and a reinforced concrete stage rather than the GTE's sound-conducting metal.

The article says Clark County amphitheater opponents are not appeased by Sustaita's claims, saying there is no way to check them or to find an identical amphitheater anywhere in America. The Dallas and Camden theaters have a similar design, but are in dense, urban areas. Virginia Beach's, like Clark County's, has open space, forests and relatively distant residential neighbors.

The article says GTE neighbors caution Clark County people to be wary of developers who promise they won't hear the crowd noise or music, which can be constant and insistent.

The article notes that few complain, despite the noise. GTE recorded only a dozen complaints for two events last weekend. The amphitheater is very popular, and Mayor Meyere Oberndorf says the complaints are worth it because GTE "puts us on the map." She calls it the crown jewel of a city treasure chest that also includes a 6,000-seat soccer stadium, and a dozen softball and soccer fields on the 1,193 acres the city bought out of bankruptcy for $11 million five years ago. She hopes the amphitheater will make Virginia Beach the recreation mecca of the East Coast.

The article says Green, GTE's nearest neighbor, doubts the mayor would be as pleased if she lived in Green's house, where she hears every concert for free. Green's husband John, neighbor Borgerding and many others routinely carry sound meters that are as popular there as cell phones.

The article says the legal decibel limit is 60, and Rod Stewart and Dave Matthews' clearly audible lyrics and bass recently registered below that at 52 to 57 in Green's backyard, occasionally hitting 60. In comparison, the sound of children playing in a swimming pool or a slammed car door is 63 decibels. A military A-18 or F-14 jet overhead is 68 decibels and is common sight and sound due to round-the-clock training at Oceana Naval Air Station. Metallica's music, 105 decibels at the sound board100 feet from the stage, rarely makes 60 by Green's property -- but still sometimes shakes her walls.

The article says GTE has lowered its volume twice, to 102 at the sound board last year and 100 this summer, but neighbors still hear the concerts. During Metallica's concert last summer, the wind blew the music 9,000 feet into Courthouse Estates, prompting 30 of the $500,000 homes' owners to complain. Green and her fellow $100,000 vinyl-sided-home owners did not call because "the complaint line was busy (and) we couldn't get through," according to Green.

The article says Borgerding measured the loudest parts of Dave Matthews'concert (crowd cheers and applause) at 60, but most of the soft sound was in the low 50s. "If it was always like this, we could live with it," said Borgerding. Many of his neighbors have leaned to do so; city records show 46 active complainers in 1998, half the previous year's number. The article speculates an area used to jet fighter traffic overhead every 10 minutes easily adjusts to concert noise. The article also quotes Joe LaMattina, who lives a mile away in Landstown and sits on his lawn to enjoy the free music. "It doesn't bother us at all," said LaMattina.

The Columbian article states the proposed 18,000-seat amphitheater at the Clark County Fairgrounds remains markedly controversial. The newspaper's reporter spent more than five days in Virginia Beach, talking to neighbors, GTE managers and public officials. GTE was used as a point of comparison for noise, traffic, property values and other issues, because initially, both the proposal's foes and its sponsor, Q Prime of New York, said the GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater was similar. Q Prime noted similarities in a promotional brochure, but its architect later said the two have very different sound-control methods.

The article states a public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Alki Middle School. Television coverage will be on cable TV channel 47 at 9 a.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

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