Chronological Index for October 1999

1990: Sep
1994: Jul Sep
1996: Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
1999: Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000: Jan Feb Mar Apr

October 15, 1999

Addison, Illinois Hires Consultant to Determine if Sound Wall Would Effectively Reduce Highway Noise, Although Some Say Addison Couldn't Afford the Wall Anyway. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that Addison, Illinois has decided to hire a noise consultant to determine whether a noise wall could ease noise for residents in the Oak Mill neighborhood. Some officials say the the city would have trouble paying for the $1-million-per-mile wall even if it would help. Proponents hope to get half of the money from Illinois' FIRST construction program, and to get the rest from other grants or by postponing less important village projects.

Forest Park, Georgia Residents Upset at Hartsfield International Airport's Failure to Include the City in Negotiations over Approval of a Fifth Runway. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that residents of Forest Park, Georgia are upset that Hartsfield International Airport hasn't been including the city in negotiations over a fifth runway. County authorities negotiated several conditions for approval of the runway, including compensation for lost tax revenue and the promise of attracting new commerce to the area. The County Commissioner promised that their noise abatement program would be the "best in the world", but residents who already endure aircraft noise from the existing runways don't believe it

Haledon, New Jersey Settles Lawsuit with Quarry Out of Court; Agreement Permits Some Night Work, but Requires Regular Environmental Impact Statements. The Record reports that Haledon, New Jersey has settled a lawsuit out of court with a local quarrying firm which had sued over a Haledon law that restricted the quarry's hours of operation. The new agreement allows some night work, but requires regular review of noise and dust levels, traffic plans submitted in advance, and regular environmental impact studies.

Kennewick, Washington Audiologist Says On-the-Job Noise is Often the Cause of Hearing Loss. The Associated Press State & Local Wire discusses hearing loss with expert Francis Aiello from the Columbia Basin Hearing Center. Aiello mentions several ways that recent patients have damaged their hearing. He also explains how hearing loss occurs, and notes that the average age for patients visiting the Center has decreased.

Late-Night Military Combat Drills at Fort Lewis, Washington to Increase Noise for Three Days. The News Tribune reports that late-night military drills at Fort Lewis, Washington will increase noise around the base for three upcoming days.

Letter to the Editor Trashes Airboats as an Annoyance and a Danger to Fishermen, Wildlife, and Residents. Sarasota Herald-Tribune prints a letter to the editor from a Brandenton, Florida man concerned about the impact of airboats. He says that their noise and intrusiveness are a problem for residents, wildlife, and fishermen. Further, he says that the decibel-based ordinance passed in a nearby community is unenforceable.

New Seattle Noise Ordinance Almost In Effect; Mayor and Council Must Agree on Rights of Music Clubs and Protestors. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Seattle's new noise ordinance is almost in effect, but that the Mayor and the City Council still haven't agreed on a few issues. They must agree on whether music clubs will be given warnings before citations are issued, and when or whether protesters will be allowed to use bullhorns and other amplifiers. The Council seems willing to compromise on both issues to get the ordinance approved by the Mayor.

Noise Consultants from Windsor, Connecticut's Bradley International Airport Will Hold Next Information Session in Less than a Month. The Hartford Courant reports that noise consultants for Windsor, Connecticut's Bradley International Airport will hold their next public information session on November 4th. The consultants hope to determine ways to reduce aircraft noise disturbances. The article notes that one method to do this would be to spread flight paths more evenly, but tests this summer prompted a huge increase in noise complaints.

Noise Ordinance Voted Down in Upper Saucon, Pennsylvania After Nearly 90 Citizens and Business People Spoke Against It; Committee Formed to Better Define Commercial Shooting Range for Another Noise-Related Ordinance. The Morning Call reports that the Upper Saucon Town supervisors voted at a recent meeting not to approve a noise ordinance after the vast majority of attendees against it. 100 petitioners originally requested an ordinance to get relief from the noise of motorcycles and other vehicles. The supervisors also stopped working on another noise-related ordinance that would restrict the use of firearms, and a committee will try to define a shooting range so it includes commercial ranges, but does not prevent "professional target shooters and local hunters and farmers [from continuing] to practice shooting on their own properties."

Philadelphia Labor Union No Longer Allowed to Make Excessive Noise as Part of Ongoing Protests. The Legal Intelligencer reports that Philadelphia's United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners can no longer protest at such loud volumes. Use of non-union labor at Society Hill Towers has prompted an ongoing protest from the union which has prompted over 40 noise calls to police. The union's lawyer argued that only the city can enforce noise laws, but the judge said that especially because of the union's use of lookouts to evade proper noise measurement by local police, the NLRB "cannot be required to rely exclusively upon municipal enforcement mechanisms."

Residents Near Knoxville, Tennessee Want Noise Wall, but Officials Say Effective Walls Would Have to Be Too High. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports on a noisy section of Interstate 40 where residents want noise barriers. An environmental study from 1988 called for barriers, but it was shown in a 1990 study that walls there would exceed the $25,000 per home cost. Residents say the number of people who would benefit from walls is being underestimated.

Seattle Editorial Staff Support City's New, Tougher Noise Ordinance. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer prints an editorial which supports the Seattle City Council's proposed new noise ordinance. They agree with the Mayor that music clubs should be allowed warnings before fines kick in, and that protesters should be allowed to use amplifiers during the day. They see the fines as too mild.

October 16, 1999

Builder Gives Tips on How to Soundproof Your Home. The Arizona Republic prints a column that answers questions about building. The builder answers a question about how to soundproof a home that is already built, and then moves on to describe steps that can be taken in the construction of a new house.

Columnist in Columbia, South Carolina Discusses Noise Strategies in Our National Parks. The Sacramento Bee prints a column that discusses noise pollution in our national parks. The column discusses air-tour noise, raft-motor noise, and other problems in our national parks. She mentions that the National Park Service is currently drafting a policy that will require all parks to monitor their noise and establish natural sound levels as well as sources of the most intrusive human-made sounds.

Crewkerne, England Noise Officials Bust Late-Night Party Held by Several City Officials. The Birmingham Post reports that Crewkerne, England noise officials busted the Mayor, the town councillor, and the chair of the noise abatement committee for a 1:15 AM noise violation. The town postmaster, who left his home to complain about the noise, wants the three to resign.

Jacksonville, Florida Resident Upset by Construction Equipment Backup Beepers, but Beepers are Exempt from Noise Limits. The Florida Times-Union prints a question and answer column dealing with construction, housing, and highway issues. One person asked if the Jacksonville, Florida noise code forbids beepers that signal the backing up of late-night construction equipment. In fact, the beepers are mandated by the federal government to be exempt from local noise laws.

Montreal Resident Angry at Aeroports de Montreal for Ignoring Citizen Concerns about Pollution and Noise. The Gazette prints a letter to the editor that questions why Aeroports de Montreal (ADM) consistently ignores resident concerns over noise and pollution from area airports. The author criticizes ADM for blaming aircraft manufacturers and keeping takeoff and landing information away from the public. His main concern is that Mirabel Airport, which has a larger buffer zone for crashes, noise, and pollution, is being ignored as an alternative to overusing Dorval Airport.

Noise from Caltrans Night Construction Bothers Resident; Local Authorities Have No Jurisdiction, and Noise Levels Are Under State Limits. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a resident of Hillcrest, California who has repeatedly complained about noise from night construction caused by Caltrans will probably not get relief. After approaching the highway patrol and the city attorney's office, it seems that noise from Caltrans' work has remained under the 86 decibel limit allowed by the state. Although the city may have stricter laws, it is out of city jurisdiction because the construction is taking place on Caltrans' right of way -- "even if its noise can be heard beyond its property."

Proposed Amphitheater in Vancouver, Washington Faces Lawsuit that Claims Shows Are Not "Public" and Thus Are Not Permitted to Make As Much Noise or to Be Held as Late at Night. The Columbian reports that a lawsuit is threatening a proposed amphitheater in Vancouver, Washington. Opponents fear noise as well as traffic, environmental damage and reduced property values. They argue the noise will be inappropriate for 'non-public' events. Officials claim that the events will in fact be public, and that all concerns were addressed in the application.

Public Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky to Share Strategies from Noise Committee; Report Will Go Next to Airport Authority, then to FAA. The Courier-Journal reports that new noise-reduction strategies have been developed for Louisville International Airport in Kentucky, and will go to the FAA for approval next fall. The article notes that the strategies are in response to a report, which included computer-model data and actual noise measurements. 3,600 homes are now considered to be in high-noise areas.

October 17, 1999

Birdneck, Virginia Resident Upset Over Continued Noise from Oceana Naval Base Jets, and Lack of Concern from Government and Navy. The Virginian-Pilot prints several letters to the editor, including one regarding jet noise. The author notes that although many say that residents knew how loud it would be to move near the base, residents should always be able to enjoy their home. She also notes that naval officials have ignored her concerns and the concerns of her community -- Birdneck, Virginia.

Columnist Derides Montreal's Molson Centre Hockey Arena for Its Noise. The Gazette prints a column, which derides Montreal's Molson Centre Hockey Arena as being too noisy. The scoreboard -- which spews annoying commercials -- and rock music played at the game are too loud. A doctor that was interviewed said hearing damage could result from repeated attendance at the hockey games just as it could at frequent rock concerts.

Connecticut's Fairfield University Steps Up Attempts to Reduce Resident Complaints About Disruptive Off-Campus Students at the Beach. The Boston Globe reports that Connecticut's Fairfield University is taking more responsibility for disruptive and intoxicated off-campus students after years of claiming it is not their responsibility. A special task force, an off-campus student coordinator, a new dormitory, a delayed homecoming weekend, and more on-campus entertainment are intended to reduce disruptions at the nearby beach, where students frequently engage in rowdy behavior. Police are also stepping up enforcement of nuisance ordinances. Students maintain that most students are responsible, but a few students cause most of the noise and other trouble.

Des Moines, Iowa Police Claim Noise Ordinance Will Now Be Enforced. The Des Moines Register reports that Des Moines, Iowa police will now enforce its noise ordinance, which has been around for years.

Grand Prairie, Texas Resident Upset at City's Irresponsible Approval of New Motorplex Near a Residential Area. The Arlington Morning News prints several letters to the editor, including one which protests the construction of a new Texas Motorplex near a residential area. The author has tried to contact city officials but has only been ignored and lectured on the existing noise in his neighborhood. He holds that the current motorplex is not near any homes for a reason: excessive noise; he also says that it is irresponsible for the city of Grand Prairie to build the noisy new motorplex near residences.

Illinois Communities Will Compete for $25 Million in State Funds Allocated to Pay For Up to Half of Highway Noise Barriers. The Chicago Daily Herald prints several short articles on the week's news in local communities. One article deals with the Route 53 communities of Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, and Palatine which are expected to ask for some of the $25 million that Illinois has made available for paying up to half of highway noise barrier projects nationwide. Competition among communities for the money is expected to be stiff.

Noise Measurements Show Noise From Leesburg, Virginia Restaurant's Air Conditioners to Be Within Reasonable Limits, Despite Resident Complaints. The Washington Post reports that after continued complaints regarding noise at a local restaurant in Leesburg, Virginia, a consulting firm determined sound levels were not severe.

Orlando, Florida Resident Upset that Realtor Didn't Mention Future Growth at Leesburg Airport. The Orlando Sentinel prints a letter to the editor from an Orlando, Florida resident. The author is upset that growth -- which will increase commuter and corporate jet overflights near his house -- at the Leesburg Airport wasn't mentioned when he bought his house three years ago.

Renter Asks If He Has Any Recourse Against Noise from Natural Childbirth; Columnists Say "No, Other Than Discussion With the Neighbor In Question". The San Diego Union-Tribune prints a question and answer column for renters and landlords. One questioner asks if a tenant can prevent a planned natural childbirth in his complex -- which could be noisy -- or receive a discount on his rent for any disturbance. The columnists say that the only real recourse that the complainer has is to talk to the couple himself, or to ask the landlord or another neighbor to talk to them in his place; they also say to just "relax".

Tenant Wonders Whether Landlord Is Accountable for Noise from Neighbors Due to Inadequate Insulation; Expert Says "No, Unless Landlord Promised Silence or Knew Other Tenants Would Be Loud". The Boston Globe prints a realty question from a tenant who says his landlord misled him in saying that noise would not be a problem in his apartment. The columnist says effective action would probably need proof that the landlord knew the other tenants would be disruptive, and an unquestionably misleading statement by the landlord. The questioner admitted the tenants were not particularly disruptive, and that the landlord's low-noise claim was ambiguous.