Noise News for Week of February 13, 2000

Soundproofing Households in UK Can Reduce Noise

PUBLICATION: Evening Chronicle
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Life, Pg. 15
DATELINE: Newcastle, England

The Lifestyle section of the Evening Chronicle printed an article about household noise and how one can reduce it.

The article listed a few ways homeowners can reduce noise external noise.

Soundproof windows by applying a "draft-excluding" strip to window frames buying double-glazed glass for windows.

Soundproof doors by, again, using a "draft-proof" strip or drape a heavy curtain above the door.

Soundproof floors by lifting floorboards and lay a fiberglass blanket or vermiculite on the plasterboard.

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UK Residents Angry Over Noise Pollution from US Electronics Plant

DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Regional News, Pg. 5
DATELINE: Longbenton, England

The Journal reported that a crowd of angry residents in England challenged security guard warnings at a US electronics plant in England, and blocked the plant's entrance for 30 minutes, protesting noise pollution from the plant.

The article said that the Viasystems' Avondale Estate neighbors have long protested the noise invasion from the company, which employs 600 workers.

According to the article, eight "fume abatement chimneys" make noise all night long, routinely disturbing residents' sleep.

Supporting residents is the North Tyneside Council, which plans a law suit against the company over two of the chimneys. Viasystems claims that the chimneys, called scrubbers, do not violate local noise ordinance standards, but the article said that the council conducted a secret test from 2 am to 4 am in January, and recorded 47 decibels--almost double the allowed amount.

In response to the protesters, company officials threatened that 100 jobs will be cut if the chimneys are not allowed to operate, claiming that they are needed because of a "new manufacturing process."

And almost in the same breath, a company official stated that they were "...working to resolve the issue."

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North Carolina Airport Attempt to Change Flight Path to Reduce Noise Fails

PUBLICATION: News & Record
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A10
DATELINE: Guilford and Forsyth counties, North Carolina

According to an editorial in the News & Record, an attempt by airport officials to redirect flight paths is a bad idea, bad politics and bad planning.

The editorial said that the flight path switch was planned to The attempt to appease homeowners on either side of the main runway. The switch would be over Guilford and eastern Forsyth counties, without considering that these homeowners have no notice that they would be in a high-noise zone from the airport, nor did they have any of the usual warnings that other homeowners have when they move into such a zone. In fact, the article said, the zoning for these counties doesn't even mention "air" restrictions.

The Guilford County zoning for the area does not even reflect any "air" restrictions in the building code. The editorial said that the noise is "unbearable" and "deafening."

The editorial went on to say that the new flight path would jeopardize the safety of Colfax Elementary students and is not a factor in the FAA's consideration of the flight path redirection.

The editorial concluded with a challenge to county, state and federal officials to inform the public on their views.

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Florida Editorial Says Noise is Noise According to Who Makes It

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel Tribune
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Lake Sentinel; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jake Vest
DATELINE: Orlando, Florida

A tongue-in-cheek editorial in the Orlando Sentinel Tribune posed the question "when is noise really noise?"

Whether it's the sound of music at a party, a baby crying on an airplane or frogs in a pond, the editorial suggests that defining noise is a subjective process because of our views on what noise really is. And our views are as varied as we are.

The editorial generalizes that we don't complain when we're rescued by an ambulance or firetruck or when it is our infant crying on an airplane.

Singing drunks, snoring, 18-wheeled vehicles and even the vacuum cleaner are all sources of irritating and maddening noise for the writer of the editorial.

The editorial mentioned that the Leesburg City Commission is examining various noise control measures, with "boom boxes" currently at the top of their list, a noise that the writer of the editorial concurred was a bother.

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Virginia Naval Base Will Enclose Engine Noise

PUBLICATION: Virginian-Pilot
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B1
BYLINE: Jack Dorsey
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, Virginia

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Oceana Naval Air base has finally acted on reducing noise from testing jet engines, a source of irritation for the base's neighbors for years.

The article said that Navy officials will spend over $9 million to construct an enclosure known as a "hush house" to test jet engines, and is currently the only major military air base that doesn't such a building. The Navy plans construction sometime in February, and expects completion in October of 2001.

The article said that while the Navy limits testing between 11 pm and 7 am, daytime testing still prompted complaints from neighbors.

The article said Navy officials claim that no jet engine noise will reach the outside, and testing can be done 24 hours a day.

The article said that "hush houses" actually muffle loud noises of high-powered engines, and other Naval bases claim that they've been such successful facilities that noise complaints have been "cut in half." [Editor's note: If, as officials claim, no noise will reach the outside, why are there any noise complaints at all?]

The article said that funds for the facility have been requested for 18 years, but it wasn't until 10 new flight squadrons arrived and complaints increased.

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UK Environmental Minister Maps City Noise

PUBLICATION: Daily Telegraph
DATE: February 18, 2000
BYLINE: Maurice Weaver
DATELINE: London, England

According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, England's environmental minister Michael Meacher said that 12 million people in his country are victims of intolerable noise from traffic, railroads, airports or industry, and he has a way to target the problem and help politicians act to solve it.

The article said Meacher introduced a "noise map," which proposes to define the decibel levels of noise pollution in Birmingham, which is home to "an international airport, miles of busy railway track and hundreds of metalwork factories."

The article says that the noise map is the first of its kind and lays the foundation for mapping the entire country, which will assist town officials set realistic noise ordinances while acting as a catalyst for studies to reduce noise in transportation and industry.

The article said that the current noise map of Birmingham identifies areas of the city where sound levels pose health hazards as well as "hot spots" can reach deafening levels.

According to the article, the noise map is the foundation for studies on the social effects of noise.

The article said the seminar was part of a series of seminars in the country for city planners, "environmental health officials and acoustic specialists" for participation in a country-wide noise -mapping exercise.

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Pennsylvania Residents Challenge Expansion of Convenience Store

PUBLICATION: Intelligencer Journal
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B-2
BYLINE: Dean Lee Evans
DATELINE: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

The Intelligencer Journal reports that residents in one Lancaster County town want to appeal a zoning board's approval of the expansion of a convenience store in their neighborhood.

The article said that the Turkey Hill zoning hearing board did approve variances for the construction, but added conditions.

The article said that neighbors have complained for five months, saying that the expansion will impact their neighborhood negatively, citing problems with noise, light and increased traffic. According to the article, the expansion will include an increase in the number of noisy compressors from two to seven. However, Turkey Hill officials promised neighbors that the noise will decrease because the compressors will be on the roof and enclosed in noise barriers, one of the conditions of the zoning hearing board.

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Albuquerque City Council Against the Sound Wall

PUBLICATION: Albuquerque Tribune
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Local News; Pg. A2
BYLINE: Frank Zoretich
DATELINE: Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal reported on a decision by the city's environmental planning commission to approve the construction of a 10-foot-high, 1,900-foot-long sound barrier against traffic noise near San Mateo Boulevard, a main thoroughfare.

The article said that the barrier, which cost $700,000, is both a plan to reduce noise as well as a public work of art. The next step, according to the article, is getting approval from the City Council.

The article said that the cost is double what a basic freeway sound wall of the same height and length would cost.

The article said that artist Susan Linnell claims that the wall will resemble a natural canyon wall and will include landscaping.

According to the article, that city staff report included objections to the wall because it will create "an unfriendly streetscape for pedestrians," and "set a dangerous precedent which may have significant fiscal consequences to the city."

The article went on to explain that such a precedent could mean that residents on other streets that have similar noise problems would expect a similar wall.

The article said that traffic sound levels have measured 72 decibels where the wall would be constructed, and the wall might not even reduce the noise level to the 67 decibel level that is required by federal regulations.

The article said that officials are aware that excessive noise is a health hazard and has an adverse impact on the ability of children to learn.

The article said that the Environmental Health Department will recommend that the City Council adopt a citywide sound ordinance of 55 decibels in neighborhoods.

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UK Nursery Wins Construction Appeal

PUBLICATION: Derby Evening Telegraph
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Education: Nurseries, Pg.09
DATELINE: Alvaston, England

The Derby Telegraph reported that the owner of a nursery in Alvaston, England won an appeal that will allow her to complete construction of the nursery. Construction was interrupted when the Derby City Council discovered that the plans for the nursery included converting the garage into a baby unit, and had not been approved.

When the owner applied for a second planning permit, the council turned it down because council members felt the unit would be too noisy. The owner filed an appeal with the Secretary of State and won.

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UK Residents Mobilize to Get New Noisy Highway Resurfaced

PUBLICATION: Express and Echo
DATE: February 18, 2000
DATELINE: Feniton and Taleford, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Maureen Jones, chair of "Resurface A30"

According to the Express and Echo, residents of two towns in England are vociferously upset about traffic noise from a newly completed stretch of highway near their towns. They joined a 2,000-member protest campaign calling for the new 13-miles stretch of road to be resurfaced.

The article said that residents at of several towns have complained that noise from the road's surface disturbed their sleep and made it impossible to leave their windows open during the summer.

Maureen Jones, chair of the protest campaign known as "Resurface A30," said that the campaign is going well and will probably heat up as summer comes and more people are outside.

The article said that The Echo is responsible for instigating the resurfacing campaign after ordering noise tests which proved that the noise levels surpassed the original projections stated at a public hearing.

The article said that after the Roads Minister met with residents to her their complaints, he authorized additional noise tests.

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US to Discuss Aircraft Noise With EU

PUBLICATION: Financial Times
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: World News: Trade; Pg. 8
BYLINE: Mike Smith
DATELINE: Brussels

The London Financial Times reported on plans for the US to join in a discussion with the European Union on aircraft noise in order to settle the controversial issue on "hush kit" technology. [Editor's Note: "Hush Kits" are not so quiet as the newer Stage 3 aircraft, and they pollute more.]

The article said that the EU was ready as early as last summer to modify legislation that would ban older, noisier aircraft equipped with mufflers from flying into the EU unless they register by this May.

According to the article, the US claims that the legislation is discriminatory, and promises an attempt to eliminate voting rights of all EU countries in the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The article said that both sides will meet to negotiate an international agreement, but the EU is concerned about the US commitment.

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UK Planning Council Member Responds to Noise Complaint Against US Company

SECTION: Letters, Pg. 10
DATELINE: Kinningworth and Westmoor, England

The Journal printed this letter from a planning council member in England responding to a letter complaining about noise from Viasystem, a US electronics plant. In question are two fume abatement chimneys. The letter is printed in its entirety and defends the planning council's permitting process.

"Within the Killingworth and Westmoor Local Plan, approved in 1987, the land on which ViaSystems is sited was allocated for industrial purposes and the public were consulted throughout the plans process. The Viasystems site has never been green belt.

Through the Unitary Development Plan process the site retained that allocation - again full public consultation was undertaken.

The Viasystems site was designated an Enterprise Zone by the Secretary of State for the Environment in 1995. This allowed general industrial use with the benefit of planning permission in an effort to improve local employment opportunities. As there was no requirement for formal consent from the council the ultimate responsibility for the siting of Viasystems does not lie with the council.

In September 1999 Viasystems contacted officers from the council's environmental health section who had dealt with earlier complaints about noise, to say they needed a seventh scrubber stack. This was passed to the planning department and an application submitted.

The company erected the scrubber in early November without planning permission. This application was refused on February 7.

The eighth stack was erected on January 19, again without consent and in this case without even submission of an application.

Enforcement officers visited the site on the day the eighth stack was being erected and photographed it happening. Viasystems were advised to submit a retrospective application which they have now done.

The council went beyond the usual consultation process in terms of the number of nearby residents informed but even then a line has to be drawn somewhere which may have meant that not all those who suffer from noise emissions were individually consulted. This did not stop representations being made - a letter of objection was received from the Benton and Forest Hall Residents Association.

Information submitted by Viasystems for stacks seven and eight suggested that noise would not on this occasion be a problem which is why we did not consult even more widely.


North Tyneside Council planning department."

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Indian Government to Enforce New Noise Rules Under Environment Protection Act

DATE: February 18, 2000
DATELINE: New Delhi, India

According to an article from the M2 Presswire, the Ministry of Environment and Forests is getting tough on noise pollution, a significant problem in India's cities and urban areas. The article said that the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 aim to regulate and reduce noise at the source.

The article said that the government will focus on reducing noise from industry, construction, generators, loud speakers, public address systems, stereo systems, car horns and other mechanical devices. The article went on to say that the government is focusing on reducing noise to prevent "adverse affects on human health including physical and psychological impacts."

Examples of the new rules include banning public address systems between 10 pm and 6 am (except where such systems operate inside a facility such as an auditorium or conference room); a ban on car horns, public performances and amplified sound within 100 meters of hospitals, schools and courts.

The article also includes restricting noise from traffic and construction activity.

As a result of these rules, State Governments have the authority to categorize cities into these specific zones industrial, commercial, residential and quiet zones. Noise standards will be adopted for day time (6am to 10 pm) and night (10 pm to 6 am). Noise standards for day time are: industrial-75 decibels (dB); commercial--65 dB; residential areas--55 dB; and silence zones 50 dB. Nighttime noise standards for the same zones are: 70 dB; 55 dB; 45 dB; and 40 dB respectively. The article goes on to say that the rules specify procedures for lodging complaints.

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Noisy New York Neighbor Source of Complaints but No Action

DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Real Estate; Page C11
BYLINE: Joe Catalano
DATELINE: New York, New York

Newsday printed a noise complaint letter in the Real Estate section. The letter and the response are printed in their entirety.

"I live in a two-bedroom Rockville Centre co-op that I purchased in 1992. Since I've been here, the people living above me have given me no problem.

In May, however, a young woman moved in and the noise has been intrusive and incessant. She has no rugs. I went up to introduce myself, told her the problem and gave her time to get things rectified. By October, nothing changed. I tried communicating with her in every fashion, but she did nothing and became defensive. I finally reported the problem to the co-op board and managing agent. But nothing was done until I threatened legal action in December.

Prior to that, I was threatened by the woman's father and brother to stop harassing her. "She can't afford rugs," they said. The police were called and the incident reported.

Finally, on Dec. 9, the managing agent and I met and together we inspected my neighbor's apartment. She had taken pieces of wall-to-wall carpeting and strewn them unfastened to the floor. To my surprise, this was fine with the managing agent.

The noise continues. I have no doubt the "carpeting" was removed. I can hear furniture and other things being dragged across the floor. I sleep with earplugs, but still hear the noise. I am afraid to approach her again for fear of retribution from her and her family.

I am in no position to sell and otherwise love living here. I consulted an attorney who said there was nothing I could do short of moving since proving all this and suing the board would cost a lot and be very subjective. Are there any alternatives?"

"Your complaint is common, especially among those who have had quiet upstairs neighbors for years and then get a new tenant, said Edward T. Braverman, senior partner of the Manhattan law firm Braverman & Associates. Your previous neighbor might have been inordinately quiet. The new occupant may be making just a normal amount of noise while you've become oversensitive, he said.

Assuming, however, the noise is out of the ordinary, contact the board again and say the tenant's excess noise is a breach of the proprietary lease's "Warranty of Habitability," Braverman said. This means you should be able to enjoy quiet in your unit.

If nothing is done, threaten to either withhold your monthly maintenance or sue the board. With the former, the board will sue you and your defense will be that the board violated the Warranty of Habitabilty, Braverman said. If you sue, it will be for the same reason.

Either way, you need proof of the noise level. In such cases, Braverman has had clients hire an acoustical engineer who has spent 24 hours in the unit measuring noise levels."

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British Airways Head of Environment Reports on Airline's Pollution Control Measures

PUBLICATION: Daily Telegraph (London)
DATE: February 19, 2000
BYLINE: Christopher Middleton
DATELINE: London, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Paul de Zylva, Transport Spokesman; Friends of the Earth

The London Daily Telegraph reports that British Airway's head of environment discussed the steps the airline takes to attempt to reduce the pollution it generates. He notes that the public will need to compromise in some areas in order to have a cleaner industry that also provides convenient flights.

The article reports that Dr. Hugh Somerville, head of environment for British Airways, realizes that he has a contradictory job. He readily admits that airplanes do much to pollute the environment, in particular by adding to noise pollution levels. But he points out that people still want to fly: air travel is too important in today's world. He says that the airline business is very competitive, and that he and his staff of seven try to ensure that British Airways continues to take the health of the environment into consideration. For instance, the airline has set targets for the reduction of fuel consumption and studied the packaging of its airline food. British Airways now publishes its own annual environmental report. The report points out five areas of environmental concern for the airline: noise, emissions, waste, congestion, and tourism.

The article states that, in its environmental report, the airline routinely publishes decibel levels, and also reports on the population numbers in areas where jet engine noise reaches the "Onset of Disturbance" level (where the noise level averages at least 57 decibels throughout the day.) These areas usually turn out to be the "mile-wide take-off 'corridors' known as Noise Preferential Routes."

The article also reports that the airline publishes the gallons of fuel it uses as well as consumption measured against RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometre) which, at 49 grams per RPK, is worse than Lufthansa's 41 grams, but better than SAS's 62 grams.

The article goes on to say that airline opponents use passenger growth statistics and fuel consumption statistics to boost their case. In one year, passenger numbers have risen from 40 to 45 million, while fuel consumption has risen from 5.2 million to 5.6 million tons. Air travel proponents quote an increase in fuel efficiency and a decrease in the number of Chapter 2 designated noisy planes. Chapter 2 planes will not be used after 2002, and will be completely replaced by Chapter 3 planes, which are quieter.

According to the article, Somerville believes that fewer people complain about noisy planes now than in the past. He is familiar with statistics about everything from airline fuel taxes to airline donations for conservation agencies. Somerville sees his role as "someone whose role is to offer advice, support and provocation. To bring forward issues that are not just to do with the day-to-day running of the business, but about changing the whole culture of the company." He hopes that British Airways will serve as an example for others in the airline industry to follow their example.

The article reports further that Friends of the Earth, an environmental organization, does not agree that British Airway's environmental record is acceptable. Transport spokesman Paul de Zylva states, "Sponsoring some glossy awards is just a short-term piece of window-dressing. As far as we can see, there's no one in BA even remotely planning for five or 10 years down the line. They can't see beyond the end of the cockpit on Concorde."

The article states that Somerville disagrees. He claims that British Airways is "no longer committed to a policy of unrestricted growth." But opponents question the airline's plans to build an additional, fifth terminal at Heathrow Airport. Somerville responds by saying that more terminals mean fewer planes in a holding pattern, which means less noise and less fuel consumption.

In the article, when questioned about whether passengers would be willing to pay extra for their tickets in order to help preserve a clean environment, Somerville responds, "Most people say they will pay more for an ethical product, but our experience has been that they are not prepared to in practice. When BA Holidays introduced a voluntary traveler donation, to be shared out between conservation organizations, only a tiny handful of passengers were prepared to pay it. So they incorporated an obligatory pounds 1 donation into the price of the ticket, and raised pounds 200,000 for conservation worldwide. Now they're having to withdraw it because it's eating into sales. A difference of just pounds 1- pounds 2 on a ticket can throw your customers into the arms of your rivals."

The article states that Somerville admits that the goal of airlines is to carry as many passengers as possible. It is up to passengers to realize that in order to have a cleaner environment, they may have to pay more for the privilege of flying.

The article mentions that next Tuesday, British Airways will announce the winners of its Tourism For Tomorrow awards for this year.

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Soundproofing Your Home

PUBLICATION: Evening Chronicle
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Life, Pg. 15
DATELINE: Newcastle, United Kingdom

The Evening Chronicle of Newcastle, England reports on ways that homeowners can soundproof their houses in order to reduce noise levels around the home.

The article reports that vibrations are the source of all sounds, and that homeowners can be bothered by road traffic, trains, airplanes, or noisy neighbors. Sound vibrations move more easily and travel farther through materials that do not vibrate easily. Brick and stone are good soundproofing materials because they do not vibrate easily, as are soft surfaces such as curtains and acoustic tiles.

The article then gives suggestions on how to soundproof a home. For windows, it recommends applying weather-stripping to window frames or installing double-glazed windows with a gap of at least 7.5 mm between the two layers of glass.

The article also states that a door can be soundproofed by installing weather-stripping as well. Alternatively, a heavy curtain can be hung above the door.

The article reports that wooden floors are noisy, but the noise level can be cut down by taking up the floorboards and insulating underneath with glass fiber, loose-lay vermiculite, or a layer of about 2.5 cm of dry silver sand.

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Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia to Construct Soundproofing Facility for Testing Jet Engines

PUBLICATION: Virginian Pilot
DATE: February 19, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B1
BYLINE: by Jack Dorsey
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Virginian Pilot reports that the Oceana Naval Air Station will build a $9.9 million "hush house" for testing jet engines. The new soundproofing facility will significantly cut down on the noise generated by the testing of jet engines.

According to the article, the Navy announced on Friday that W.M. Schlosser Co., Inc. of Hyattsville, Maryland has been awarded the construction contract for the project, which is slated to be started sometime during this coming month and finished by October 2001. A former base commander at Oceana said that the base had requested construction funds for this project for the past eighteen years. Approval was finally granted by Congress after ten new F/A-18 squadrons arrived at Oceana from Cecil Field, Florida. The arrival and testing of the additional aircraft generated significant complaints from area residents.

The article reports that Oceana is currently the only major military air station that does not have a soundproof "hush house." Oceana houses 350 F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet fighter and attack aircraft. These aircraft are now tested outside. Because of noise complaints from neighbors, the facility has not been testing many of its aircraft between the hours of 11:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M., but the noise still bothers residents during the day. Under current testing procedures, the exhaust from the jets is aimed at a steel deflector.

The article adds that, with the hush house, jet engines, which are routinely tested during ground maintenance, will be able to be tested twenty-four hours a day, because the soundproofing facility will eliminate noise outside. Other Navy facilities report that complaints about noise have been reduced fifty percent after the construction of hush houses at their airfields. The hush house hangar at Oceana will be a 1,098-square-meter, single-story steel and concrete structure. Soundproofing involves installing an air intake with silencers and a silencing system to handle high-temperature exhaust.

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Noise From Neighbors Disrupts Serenity in the Home; Police Say Problems Can Often Be Fixed By Going Through Proper Channels

PUBLICATION: Portland Press Herald
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Real Estate, Pg. 2F
DATELINE: Portland, Maine

The Portland (Maine) Press Herald printed an article in the Real Estate section about obnoxious noisy neighbors.

From an upstairs neighbor who ran machinery late into the night (building furniture) to those late-night party-goers who play loud music on the stereo for boisterous and unruly guests, the article shared tales about inconsiderate and noisy people who live next door or upstairs.

Even the police were asked for input on this article. The article said that the Portland police say that noise is a major reason for problems between neighbors, and accounts for about one-third of their calls.

The article also reported that most people try to solve problems with noisy neighbors personally, contacting the police only when all other avenues had been exhausted. The article went on to say, though, that some people took drastic measures and moved away.

According to the article, the police recommend establishing a good relationship with neighbors before problems occur, but that people should contact them if they do not have an amicable relationship with their neighbors. The article went on to say that contacting a landlord is important because the call will serve as documentation for "disorderly conduct" charges and as a warning to property owners that they can be fined for ignoring warnings.

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Redirecting Flight Path at Seattle International Airport Is Not a Solution

PUBLICATION: Seattle Times
DATE: February 18, 2000
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. B5; Letters To The Editor
DATELINE: Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Times printed this letter to the editor regarding a controversial proposal to switch jet flight paths from some neighborhoods to others. The letter is printed in its entirety.

"I am responding to recent letters supporting the proposal to change the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport flight path. This change would funnel air traffic over Columbia City, Lakewood, Seward Park, Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Mercer Island, south Bellevue, Newcastle and Renton.

The supporters claim that it would be more fair to create two new flight paths over these neighborhoods than to maintain the current, single path.

The solution isn't to spread the misery, which is what this proposal would do. Many more people - nearly 18,000 - would be subjected to disruptive noise levels while only a few people - about 2,500 - would get any benefit. Nearly 4,000 more people would be awakened by flights and 55,000 more people would not be able to carry on a conversation outside. This is a solution? Hardly.

It's unfair that I and others who moved here to get out from under the flight path, now face the prospect of having low-flying airplanes routed over our homes.

Rather than aggravate thousands more people with airplane noise, it seems that the Port of Seattle should seek to reduce neighborhood exposure to disruptive airplane noise. This can be done in other ways than by pitting neighborhood against neighborhood in a battle with no winners."

Rod Regan


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Residents Want to Know Just How Noisy Illinois Peaker Plant Will Be

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: C.l. Waller
DATELINE: Libertyville, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reported on the eighth public hearing over a proposed power plant and the difficulty opponents of the plant have had in getting straight answers from the plant's noise consultants.

The article said that Indeck Energy Services wants to build a 300-megawatt peaker power plant located near a residential area. Some residents have voiced concerns about how much more noise they'll be subjected to, especially during the summer when they are outside more. And according an audiologist, they will notice a difference, but that the decibel level won't exceed 50.

The article said that according to the Illinois EPA, daytime decibel levels should not exceed 61 decibels and 51 decibels at night--for residential areas.

The article said that while the plant's noise level might not exceed noise standards, residents pointed out that noise from air conditioning and heating units on the roof are not factored in.

The article said that residents are also concerned about the psychological and physical health impacts of over-exposure to noise.

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New Library in Tennessee Must Teach Users to Be Quiet

PUBLICATION: Commercial Appeal
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Metro, Pg. B3
BYLINE: Toni Lepeska
DATELINE: Memphis, Tennessee

The Commercial Appeal reported that librarians and staff of the year-old East Shelby public library in Memphis were somewhat surprised that one of their jobs would be teaching young users that one must be quiet in a library.

According to the article, the library is a meeting place for teens, and noise, rowdiness and general unacceptable behavior prompted library officials to hire a security guard.

The article said that library officials were puzzled as to why other library branches on occasionally have trouble, the East Shelby branch is plagued by problems. The article said that library officials believe that the multitude of new users might not understand "library protocol" because the facility is used as a sort of teen center.

According to the article, the library registered 2,500 new users from February through June of 1999, compared with 5,300 new users the first year of operation.

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Proposed Legislation Would Allow Local British Authorities More Power Over Noise Control at Provincial Airports

PUBLICATION: Coventry Evening Telegraph
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 27
DATELINE: Coventry, England

The Coventry Evening Telegraph reports that Parliament will soon discuss possible legislation to control noise at provincial airports, including Baginton Airport in Coventry.

The article states that Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry Chris Mullin recently reported to Coventry MP Jim Cunningham that parliamentary discussion and written questions on the issue, which had been tabled, will soon begin again. The proposed legislation would allow local authorities to have power over controlling noise from provincial airports.

The article adds that Baginton Airport is part of Cunningham's Coventry South constituency.

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Five Resident Opinions Concerning Planned Alterations to Plymouth City, England Airport and Surrounding Roads

PUBLICATION: Evening Herald (Plymouth)
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Boxfile: Postbag, Pg.10
DATELINE: Plymouth, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: P. Barlow,Birdcage Farm Estate; Craig Murray, Barndale Crescent

The Evening Herald, Plymouth, England has printed letters from five residents of the Plymouth area who have varying opinions on proposed changes to Plymouth Airport and alterations to surrounding roads. The letters are printed below in their entirety:

Simon Harvie of Roborough writes:

"At last - cost-effective proposals to save Plymouth Airport, and alleviate traffic mayhem on the northern edge of our city.

But what was excellent news for south-west Devon on Friday was devastating news for a handful of people on Saturday. How selfish the thousands of people who will benefit from road improvements are to want to have the quality of their lives improved at the expense of a minority of residents in the area who could themselves move.

The road and airport were there long before most of the local residents, and are likely to be there a long time.

Let's look at this a little more objectively. By speeding traffic through the notorious George Hotel junction, and easing traffic congestion between Woolwell and Derriford, pollution will be reduced. Yes, a few trees must be sacrificed, but these can be replaced nearby.

The idea that noise will be increased is also unreasonable - moving traffic is quieter than stationary traffic. The road will also be routed through a valley, which will lessen noise. Surely, if this valley reduces noise, it must also ease the visual impact of the road too. Is this a bad thing?

People in Glenholt, Birdcage and East Derriford need to be a little more impartial, and less self-conscious. The whole city and surrounding areas should embrace the proposals with glee, and make sure that Plymouth City Council makes them a reality.

How dare we try to stop the development of our city? Do we not want to open ourselves up and invite would-be investors to Plymouth?

I'm glad I'm not the one who will have to justify the rejection of proposals to expand Bickleigh Down Business Park, because of a few houses a few miles down the road. People need to grow up, and think about the future of this corner of our county, not just themselves."

P. Barlow of Birdcage Farm Estate writes:

"On Friday, February 1, when I read the Herald I was devastated to discover that the Tavistock Road was being moved into my back garden.

I moved to Birdcage Farm Estate three months ago and have a lovely view to the rear of a horses' paddock. I am incredibly angry, as over the last 20 years the council's proposals were to extend the airport out towards the industrial estates and widen the Tavistock Road for the good of Plymouth.

I strongly believe that the latest proposals of Plymouth's councillors will have devastating consequences for the residents of this area. We already have to live with the thundering of the traffic, planes flying low and being woken up daily at 5.30am during the aircraft's warm-up.

However, this latest proposal will destroy the last green belt in this area, affecting the health and safety of local residents. Many years ago this area was developed for residential use.

If the Tavistock Road was being moved into our councillors' back gardens, would it be happening?

It baffles me. On one hand the local council is closing day centres, cutting services for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable, because there is no money.

Then we are informed that grants and loans have been secured to the tune of GBP 8.8 million.

Why not spend the money on the needy citizens of Plymouth rather than destroy Plymouth's fragile environment?

Yes, the road needs to be widened. No, I do not want larger aircraft flying over my home or the Tavistock Road in my back garden."

John Cooper of Peverell writes:

"Again we have the spectacle of people who have bought homes near the airport complaining about noise.

The proposed road alterations go nowhere near far enough towards improving the threadbare flight links to the rest of England.

Until Plymouth has a runway that can land decent-sized jets, instead of minute 42- or 44 -seater turboprops, the city will always be in the dark ages.

Even Exeter has a decent airport. Why can't we have a real out-of-town airport? Think of the convenience of flying on holiday from Plymouth instead of having to go to Exeter, Bristol or some other far-flung airport.

The existing flights (to what is loosely called London) are in reality pathetic. As a frequent flyer overseas, I find it much easier, quicker, cheaper and more comfortable to travel to London Heathrow by hire car than to fly to Gatwick and then transfer by coach to Heathrow."

Fourteen-year old Matthew Diaper of Derriford writes:

"I think all of the arguments against improving the airport are silly and selfish. These people moved near the airport when it was already there and they probably knew that the airport was to expand sooner or later.

I hope the airport expansion does go ahead and can cope with large holiday aircraft."

Craig Murray of Barndale Crescent in Plymouth opines:

"As a resident of Barndale Crescent, I have first-hand experience of the horrendous traffic jams that can occur on the A386, but I would argue that the council's proposals will do little to change what after all is a problem of volume, not routing.

In no part of the Herald report (February 12) is there any mention of a widening of the A386, and, viewing the schematic layout of the A386 (George Hotel junction) realigment [sic], it is obvious that the area set aside for Park and Ride is wholly inappropriate when compared to the area set aside at Home Park.

So when the Park and Ride facility is full, which it will be in next to no time, we will not only still have the droves of people trying to drive into Plymouth, but this will be mixed with a fleet of minibuses caught in the very traffic jams they had been employed to put an end to.

All of this, mixed with the reduction of available parking at Home Park, will force the workers and shoppers to try to find parking within Plymouth city centre.

The only benefit I can see is that the airport will be able to instigate minimum safety requirements (namely gravel pits to act as arrester beds at the end of the runway).

As regards the operation of larger aircraft from Plymouth City Airport, correct me if I am mistaken, but bigger aircraft mean longer runways, and without demolition of the whole of the Barndale Crescent and Birdcage Farm estate, I cannot see how that can be accomplished. In fact it leads us back to the scenario of having to purchase the land on which Stafford Millar presently stands (a previously-shelved plan due to the cost considerations)."

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Resident Group in Exeter, England Continues to Protest Highway A30; Calls for Resurfacing of New Roadway to Reduce Noise

PUBLICATION: Express and Echo
DATE: February 17, 2000
DATELINE: Exeter, England
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Maureen Jones, Chairwoman of "Resurface the A30"

The Exeter, England Express and Echo reports that over 2,000 people have joined the resident group Resurface The A30 (RTA30) to complain about traffic noise from the newly-opened stretch of Highway A30. The group has circulated a petition asking that the new road be relaid with a blacktop surface, which would be substantially quieter than the present brushed concrete surface.

The article reports that residents in the following communities have joined RTA30: Feniton, Taleford, Marsh Green, Rockbeare, West Hill, and Escot. The most recent to join the campaign were the residents of Feniton and Taleford, who complained of road noise after the opening last week of a 13-mile stretch of the road. The first stretch of the road was opened last August between Exeter and Birdcage Lane.

According to the article, the first communities to join were Marsh Green, Rockbeare and West Hill. The noise from traffic on the road caused them to lose sleep, and forced them to keep their windows closed in the middle of the summer because they could not sleep with the high level of noise from the new road surface. When the second phase of the road between Whimple and Patteson's Cross was opened in December, Escot residents joined RTA30 as well.

The article states that The Echo hired Exeter University experts to conduct sound level tests along the new roadway. These tests concluded that some stretches of A30 were noisier than had been earlier forecast to the public. As a response, and after having met with a group of concerned residents, Roads Minister Lord Whitty asked for additional noise tests to be conducted. The tests will take place after Easter.

According to the article, RTA30 has been raising funds to pay for "an independent acoustics expert to work with the Highways Agency on the new noise tests." The group needs to raise GBP 4,000 to hire such a consultant; they still need to raise an additional GBP 750 to meet their goal.

The article mentions that Lord Whitty will be present to officially open the new A30 in Exeter next week.

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New Zealand Resident Says Noise Caused Health Problems and Sale of Home

DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: News; National; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Collett Geoff
DATELINE: Nelson, New Zealand

The Nelson Mail (New Zealand) reports that John Dearden, who lives near the new coastal highway in Nelson, has been severely affected by traffic noise on the new road. Dearden, who first voiced his protests a year ago, complains of health problems and states that he now will be unable to sell his home. The stretch of road that he is concerned with runs south of Mapua, between Maisey Road and Bronte Road.

However, the article states that Transit New Zealand, who owns the highway, said that they tested road noise levels from Dearden's property, and found them to be within acceptable limits for "a rural property alongside a state highway." However, initial sound tests conducted by the Tasman District Council suggested that the noise level was indeed too high.

The article states that Dearden has tried to sell his home, but has been unsuccessful because of the noise from the new road. He has now asked Transit New Zealand to buy his property, which they have declined.

According to the article, Dearden works as a sound technician. He claims that the noise does not come from car engines, but rather, from the type of chip seal used on the highway surface, which generates a lot of tire noise. He asked New Zealand Transit to relay the road with a smoother seal coating, but they have refused. To try to lessen the nighttime noise at his home, he installed MDF board over some of his home's bedroom windows, and has also slept with earplugs. Nothing seemed to helped, and he now only lives at the home part-time.

The article reports that transit project engineer Andrew Adams said, "We're within the guidelines and there's nothing I can do about it." He claimed that Transit uses the same type of seal on other rural highways without complaint. In addition, it is not Transit's policy to purchase properties that are not directly in the path of construction projects. He stated that Transit noise reduction measures might include noise fences or plantings along the edge of the roadway, but only if the noise levels were above the acceptable limit, which is not the case in this situation.

The article states that Dearden predicts that residents along the next stretch of reconstruction, the Ruby Bay bypass, will also find that the noise levels are unacceptable. He also claims that Transit never approached him ahead of time about their construction plans; Transit counters that their plans were advertised to the public before construction began.

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Birmingham, England Becomes First City in the United Kingdom to Publish a City Noise Map

PUBLICATION: Press Association Newsfile
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Home News
BYLINE: Amanda Brown
DATELINE: Birmingham, England

Press Association (P.R.) Newsfile reports that the city of Birmingham, England today has become the first U.K. city to release a city "noise map," which will plot the sources of disturbing noise within the city.

According to the P.A. report, the government sponsored the study to detect levels of unacceptable noise from sources such as trucks, cars, planes, trains, and factories, and to plot how many people are affected by the proximity of such noise sources to their homes. As many as 12 million people may be affected by excessive noise, which can cause sleep disturbance and other health problems.

The article states that the color-coded noise source maps developed by the Birmingham City Council are called "Sound Immission Contour Maps (SICMs)." Local councils will use them to help development city and transportation plans. Environment Minister Michael Meacher was present when the city released the maps. He said that he "hoped the forthcoming Urban White Paper would provide an opportunity to focus on what could be done to improve the quality of life in cities."

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Reader Warns of Danger of Honking Automobile Horns at Horseback Riders on Road

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg. 7D
DATELINE: Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin published the following Letter to the Editor by a reader who is concerned about the dangers of automobiles, especially of honking horns, when cars are sharing the road with horseback riders. The following letter is printed in its entirety:

"I am writing this letter to help educate drivers about the dangers of being a horseback rider on the road.

I am a horse lover, owner and rider. I take my four-legged friends out for trail rides and exercise regularly. I cannot avoid riding on public roadways to get to the trails, and during the winter we are limited to riding on the road because snow and ice on trails can be dangerous.

Riding on the roads is also dangerous. Many people do not even slow down to pass us, and sometimes do not change lanes or move around us when they pass.

They literally come within inches of us with their cars.

Needless to say, a fast-moving vehicle and a horse, in close proximity, can be a downright deadly combination.

Equally frightening, people sometimes honk their horns at us. Occasionally this is done as a greeting, but sometimes people actually think it is funny to startle the horses.

This is an extremely dangerous joke that puts everyone present in jeopardy. A honking horn or other startling noise could easily cause an accident and injury or death to both horse and rider.

Furthermore, some horses startle toward the source of noise, or swing their rears to kick at it in defense. This could cause an enormous amount of damage to a vehicle, and could even cause injury to the driver or passenger.

I am fortunate to have two very street-safe horses. But it took a lot of hard work, training and desensitization to get them there.

If a horse is frightened badly enough during the training and desensitization process, it is likely that it will never feel safe, let alone be safe for a rider, on public roads.

In addition, if a horse that is already confident on the street is badly frightened, it could cause a permanent or long-term fear, and it could take weeks, months or years of counter-conditioning to change how the horse feels.

Please slow down or pull over when approaching a rider - it's the law! Stop if the rider or driver of a carriage is having a difficult time controlling the horse. Pass a horse or horse and carriage with a wide berth.

Do not tailgate. Do not cut abruptly in front of a horse or horse and carriage when returning to the correct traffic lane. And never, under any circumstances, blow your horn at an equestrian, or cause a noise that will startle the horse.

The following are state motor vehicle laws that apply to sharing the road with an equestrian.

Each operator of a vehicle approaching a horse on a public highway shall reduce speed, proceed with caution, or stop if necessary, to avoid endangering the equestrian or frightening or striking the horse. An operator violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

No operator of a vehicle in the vicinity of an equestrian and horse may blow a horn, or cause loud or unusual noises, in a manner to startle or frighten the horse. An operator violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Christina Johnson


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Solutions to Reducing Effects of Neighbor's Loud Stereo

DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Fast Forward
BYLINE: Ian G. Masters
DATELINE: Hamilton, Ontario

The Toronto Star reports that a reader of Ian G. Masters "Sight 'n' Sound" column wrote about a problem he has with his neighbor's noisy stereo.

According to the article, reader Dennis Ganann has a neighbor across the street who turns his stereo up so loudly, especially in the middle of the night, that Ganann can hear the subwoofed bass in his home. He has reported the noise to the City of Hamilton Noise Control department, but it has not helped. He wants to know what he can do to quiet the noise in his house. He has thought about using foam wrapped around his head, employing a white noise generator, or trying a radio jammer. He said, "I found a book listed on the Internet called 'Improvised Radio Jamming Techniques: Electronic Guerrilla Warfare' by Lawrence W. Myers, but I was frightened off by the price."

Masters reports in his column that foam or fiberglass insulation would only work with high-frequency noises, but not with bass. This is because "the long wavelengths of the bass will go right through the material." If the problem were within a home, installing drywall between the walls of different rooms might work, but it won't work when the noise is traveling from building to building, because the noise would continue to travel through windows and doors.

According to Masters' column, white noise might indeed be effective. White noise works because, as the human ear continues to listen to white noise such as the hissing sound between FM radio stations, it tries to eliminate the noise by a process called "temporary threshold shift, thereby desensitizing the ear to all the ambient sounds below a certain level." It helps some people, although others seem to be as distracted by the white noise as they are to the original offending noise. Masters warns, however, that white noise generates mostly high-frequency noise, and may not effectively cover up bass noise. Noise-canceling headphones might be another option, although sleeping with headphones can be annoying, and the headphones can also generate intolerable feedback when you put your hand over the headphone or rest it against a pillow.

In the column, Masters suggests that if the neighbor rents, Ganann might consider calling the neighbor's landlord, because a landlord may legally evict a tenant who disturbs neighbors.

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Residents Panicked by Confusing Test of Ventura's Dam Siren Warning System

PUBLICATION: Ventura County Star
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Editorials; Pg. B09
BYLINE: Lisa Colegrove/Jay Paddock/John Abril/Heidi Barrett/Ann Reich/Cheryl Strieby
DATELINE: Ventura, California

The Ventura County Star published six letters to the editor complaining about the recent test by the City of Ventura of its siren warning system for a nearby dam. The letters are reprinted below in their entirety:

Re: your Jan. 30 article, "Dam siren test evokes panic":

A reader from Ventura ("Complete Panic")writes:

"I was sitting in my living room when I heard what sounded like my neighbor's fire alarm. I opened my front door to see if they were OK, only to hear, 'This is an emergency, seek higher ground.' I was home for all of the other tests and this sounded nothing like that, nor was there any mention of a test.

I immediately told my 10-year-old daughter (who at this point was white as a sheet) to take my 4-month-old son and get in the van. I grabbed my 2-year-old and the car seat and joined them. Fearing for our lives, we left with no shoes or socks and did not even bother to shut the front door. All I was thinking was that if I did not remain calm and get out of there, I was going to watch my children die.

As I turned onto the Avenue, there were people running and driving up to the cross. I decided not to join them, fearing I would be stuck in a traffic jam and ultimately swept out to the ocean, so I headed for midtown. On my way, I tried calling 911, which was busy and made me think, 'This is real.' It was not until I reached the mall that I was able to get through to 911 and was given a number for some kind of dam information.

A very nice, bubbly man answered the phone and assured me that it was only a test and we could safely return home. He told me that all the other times they ran the tests in the daytime when no one was home, and they wanted to do one at night so everyone could see what it was like.

I proceeded to tell him that it would be a miracle if no one was killed, because everyone was in complete panic. I told him that I and just about every other Avenue resident were running for our lives and truly believed that if we didn't get out we were going to die. He was totally shocked by this information.

I am grateful that the dam did not really break, because after the malfunction, people would have thought twice about leaving, and I am sure that there would have been many fatalities."

Another reader from Oakview ("A Failure")writes:

"At a town meeting at DeAnza Middle School, I asked Bill Pennington of the Bureau of Reclamation about the possibility of a 'cry wolf' situation concerning the testing of the siren warning system. All present were informed that the system would be installed by a competent contractor who has been used by the bureau on other projects. The suggestion that something could go wrong was all but laughed at by the government employees conducting the meeting.

I hope that Mr. Pennington saw what happened. The system test was a complete failure. It did nothing but build up the callus in peoples' minds about the reliability of the system. Now if, heaven forbid, there is reason to sound the alarms in an actual dam emergency, the people won't respond and head for higher ground when told to.

Mothers who were running down the road pushing strollers to escape the flood will now stay home. Could the bureau's attitude some day cause people to die? I hope not. Its job is to work for us, not against us.

I also hope that every person or company responsible is fired and never given a government job or contract again.

I would venture to say that none of the contractors' families or any of the lead bureau employees live in the devastation zone, or the warning system would be right -- always right."

A reader from Camarillo ("Insistent Alarm")writes:

"My daughter was visiting a friend on the Avenue in Ventura when the test of the alarm system was initiated. Although my daughter partially heard the disclaimer that it was a test, and despite assurances from her friend that the test was scheduled, virtually all family members got caught up in the hysteria generated by the alarm as they witnessed panic-stricken neighbors packing belongings and loved ones into their cars, shopping carts and bicycles, or scrambling into the already clogged Avenue full of panicked citizens.

The insistent, continuing alarm overcame the peoples' good sense and sent them into a panicked frenzy. How no one was hurt in the ensuing attempt to seek high ground is a mystery."

A reader from Oakview ("Horrible Situation")writes:

"What a horrible way to test the system and scare the life out of the public. I am just furious with the conduct of the Bureau of Reclamation and the local Police Department.

While visiting my mother, we heard some very loud, indecipherable noise, which echoed off of each speaker system. While standing at her front door and trying very hard to hear what was being said, we noticed the neighbors starting to leave and the traffic on Ventura Avenue picked up dramatically.

My mother stated this was the notification system if the dam breaks, but that she noticed it was not the usual message, it seemed a lot longer and that it usually happens during the day.

She had not been notified by anyone that there would be a test that night. Not understanding what was being said, we, of course, jumped in our truck and joined the rampage, only to find out, via the radio, this was a test. The only way the disc jockey knew was because he was being inundated with calls and knew whom to call about the situation.

The statements in the paper were appalling. There were no police in the area helping to settle the situation! There was no help on the streets! We drove around to Main Street and then back to the Avenue to check on my sister, who was in charge of one of the gas stations. She was found standing in the doorway of the station scared and shaking. She is here from out of state and didn't have a clue as to what to do, nor did she understand what the speakers were saying.

People were running for the mountain! We did locate four police officers. Three were doing something with a guy in front of Johnny's Burritos and one was parked at the local fire station. Not one officer was driving the streets calming the residents that we could find.

Where were the bureau employees monitoring this from, Mars? More help should have been deployed to the area. And, most importantly, where was the sufficient notification?

With technology as advanced as it is, I would think there would be a better solution than this. It was horrible! My 9-year-old son was praying to God and crying."

A reader from Ventura ("Absolute Madhouse")writes:

"In response to your coverage of the dam alarm problem, I would like to clarify that the repeated message in English was 'Emergency: Find high ground now.' I live off Cedar Street and had to listen for several minutes before I was able to understand this message.

It seemed to be broadcast in Spanish on one speaker while another speaker in the neighborhood was giving out the message in English. Between that and 'find' and 'high' rhyming, the message was very difficult to understand. I suggest a clearer message: 'Go to high ground.'

Cedar Street became an absolute madhouse, full of speeding cars and hollering people. All responsible parties involved in this fiasco should feel very, very relieved that no one was hurt or killed as a result of the panic. And, no, we had not received anything in our mail regarding any possible testing."

Finally, a reader from Casitas Springs ("Tragic Result")writes:

"On Jan. 28, we had just picked up my new dog from the pound, a little guy about 8 years old. He was so glad to get a new home and we were so glad to have him. Since he was a stray, he had no name, so we decided to call him Butch because he looked like a tough guy and he had just gotten out of doggie prison.

We had a great start and were bonding just fine. By Saturday night, Butch and I both were exhausted and lying down for a few minutes rest. Butch heard the noise first, a loud crackling sound like a very loud stereo with very bad reception.

I got up to look out the window, wondering who would play a stereo that loud in our quiet neighborhood. It was dark outside, I couldn't see any cars and the noise was still muffled. I decided to poke my head out the door to see if I could figure out what the noise was.

As I opened the screen, the sound turned into a loud, blaring squeal. Butch, at my side, darted out the door and ran toward the street. I called him back, but this guy had only had his name for a day and was too scared to listen, if he could even hear me over the garbled noise of the speakers.

I ran out after him and he had reached the other side of the road. There was a truck speeding toward me. I motioned for the truck to stop, with my arms pushing in the air toward him, and I yelled at Butch to stay. Butch did not stay, the truck did not slow down, even after it ran over Butch and twisted his little head like a pretzel toward his spine.

When I picked up Butch, he was still breathing. I couldn't leave him alone, so I carried him back to the house and gently wrapped him in a towel.

I couldn't take Butch to the pet emergency because I could now figure out what the speakers were saying: 'Emergency: Find high ground now!' In our neighborhood, we are instructed to trek up a dirt road for an evacuation route. I tried to call 911 to find out if this was a test, but the lines were busy. So we collected our cat and my dying dog and climbed up the hill behind our home, all the while listening to the message, 'Emergency: Find high ground now!'

We sat on the hill and listened to and saw people fleeing their homes on foot and by car. After what seemed like an eternity, but I'm told was only a few minutes, the warning stopped, a sound like the noise of a bad CB radio was broadcast, followed by the announcement, "This is a test!"

After calling 911 to confirm that what we had been through was indeed a test, we climbed down the hill. I put the cat in the house and we took Butch to the pet emergency and held him until he was gone.

This is just one horrible instance from the dam siren test. I know there were others, children, shut-ins, older folks and families panicked and stuck in traffic.

Just think what a simple post card in English and Spanish with a test schedule could have prevented."

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Anonymous Protest Launched Against Businesses in Support of Virginia's Oceana Naval Base

PUBLICATION: Virginian-Pilot
DATE: February 17, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B1
BYLINE: by Toni Guagenti
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, Virginia
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: "The Silent Jet" (anonymous); H.A. "Herk" Stokely, Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise

The Virginian-Pilot reports that an anonymous person or persons has circulated unsigned leaflets and a letter protesting six Beach businesses' support of the Oceana Naval base. The letter proposes a boycott of the businesses, which claim that the businesses "support jet noise at Oceana." Leaflets have been found attached to telephone poles and erected on stakes.

According to the article, the leaflets have been found in the Oceanfront, Hilltop, and General Booth Boulevard areas, and target the following businesses: Taylor's Do-It Centers, Papco Oil Co., The Breakers Resort Inn, Gee's Group, Coldwell Banker Helfant Realty Inc. and GeoEnvironmental Resources Inc. The owners of these businesses are members of the "Oceana Task Force," a group that comprises eight members whose purpose is to promote the naval base. The two other task force members are not business owners.

The article reports that the fliers say, "Let the Voice of the People Triumph Over the Noise of the Jets!!!!"

The article quotes the following excerpts of the boycott letter, which was signed by "The Silent Jet": "Economic boycott can be a very effective messenger. It can turn a profit into a loss. It can spread and magnify. It can also serve to amplify the noise of the jets for those persons who cannot seem to hear them. This is the first stage of our economic battle and things should get very interesting." The letter criticizes members of the task force, who choose "economic gain above the welfare of the general populace."

The article states that the letter also says, "You speak the language of economics and so we will master your language and play in your arena."

According to the article, complaints about the Oceana base began when 156 F/A-18 Hornet jets were moved to the base last year from Jacksonville, Florida. The task force believes that the anonymous protesters are uninformed, and they are not too concerned about the proposed boycott.

The article quotes Robert Taylor, president of Taylor-s Do-It Centers: "Shoot, you're always going to have people who have different opinions and different ways of approaching things; that's the process we go through. But you don't take this kind of approach. It's just kind of disappointing to see that because that's not really what you expect."

The article adds this statement from Dorcas T. Helfant, president of Coldwell Banker Helfant Realty: "If I'm to be slammed because I support the United States military . . . let me be slammed."

According to the article, H.A. "Herk" Stokely, treasurer for the group Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise, does not agree with the anonymous protester(s). He said, "I didn't think we had anybody in the community that was that kind of activist on this issue. Certainly we would not do anything like that. We're trying to establish a constructive dialogue, not a destructive dialogue. If we did something like that, it would undermine whatever kind of dialogue we got going."

The article mentions that Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise has brought a lawsuit against the Navy for bringing more jets to Oceana.

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European Lobbying Group Supports EC Noise and ATC Initiatives

PUBLICATION: Air Transport Intelligence
DATE: February 16, 2000
BYLINE: Simon Warburton

According to the Air Transport Intelligence, European Commission (EC) spokesman Loyola de Palacio announced that a European airport lobbying group (ACI Europe)supports the EC's initiatives that address both jet noise and air traffic control (ATC) delays.

The article said that representatives from 450 airports across Europe declared its complete support of the EC's goal to set strict international standards "within an ICAO framework."

The article went on to say that an unidentified EC spokesman admits progress is slow, adding that if it can't reach an agreement by 2001, that ACI Europe suggested the European Union set its own standards."

Included in ACI's praise of the EC's work toward a noise classification of the quieter Stage III aircraft and its demand for ATC reform.

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Maryland Senate Committee Wants to Limit County's Authority to Set Local Noise Ordinances

DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Arundel; Pg. D1
BYLINE: Sara Marsh
DATELINE: Annapolis, Maryland

According to an article in The Capital, a state Senate committee in Maryland is looking at legislation that would preclude county officials' setting their own local noise limits on regulating a Pasadena gun club. The reason: business would be at risk if legislation were enacted.

The article said that Senator Philip C. Jimeno, a democratic senator from Brooklyn Park, crafted a bill that would protect the Stoney Creek Fishing and Hunting Club, and asked members of the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee for support of his bill. Jimeno says that two planned residential developments would put the club at risk of closing down because of potential noise violation.

The article went on to say that Gary Alexander, a lawyer for G.W. Koch Associates [developer], asserts that Jimeno's bill would deny the county's authority to adopt its own noise limits and prevent county officials from regulating the gun club and its activities.

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Chicago Area Airport Committee Promises More Pro-Active Position on Reducing Noise

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Jon Davis
DATELINE: Arlington Heights, Illinois

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, Arlington Heights' Advisory Committee on O'Hare Noise

The article said committee members agreed to put pressure on the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission to make the city's noise reduction program "Fly Quiet" a priority and to improve on the airport's general noise abatement plans.

The article explained that the commission will work with airport officials and air traffic controllers to use a specific runway during nighttime hours.

The east-west runway is used for landings and takeoffs routed over non-residential areas.

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A Range of Noise from Slight to Loud Can Damage Hearing

PUBLICATION: Cincinatti Enquirer
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Tempo, Pg. E05
BYLINE: Christine Mora
DATELINE: Cincinatti, Ohio

According to the Cincinatti Enquirer, damage to the ear that can eventually result in a hearing loss is not always caused by a prolonged, loud noise.

The article listed activities that many people enjoy which can damage hearing: listening to music, sitting at a fireworks display, and riding motorcycles are just a few.

The article explained that even a temporary hearing loss can become permanent later on if the ear has been damaged.

The article highlighted the most common causes of hearing damage related to noise: "boom" cars, live concerts, firecrackers, firearms, farm equipment and workplace noise. The article went on to explain that frequent

At first, loud noise causes temporary hearing loss, but recurring exposure to loud noise can lead to permanent hearing loss. causes the loss to become permanent. If you have to shout to be heard; or have pain or a ringing in your ears, your hearing could be damaged.

The article warned that people don't become "used to loud noise," without having ear damage, and added that some people mistakenly believe that being young protects one against noise-but hearing damage affects people of all ages.

The article explained that sound is measured in decibels (dB)and runs from a faint sound to the blast of a rocket, which is greater than 175 dB.

If you are exposed to greater than 85 decibels for a prolonged period of time, you could experience hearing damage and a significantly loud noise such as a gun shot, could cause immediate damage.

But hearing loss is not inevitable. The article listed ways to prevent healing loss related to noise: don't visit noisy places; don't blast stereo headphones; and wear hearing protection if you'll be exposed to noise for a period of time: attending a rock concert; using a lawnmower; riding a motorcycle or target shooting.

The article presented this quick list of decibel ranges associated with certain sounds: soft whisper-30 dB; conversation-66 dB; noisy restaurant-80 dB; woodworking shop-100 dB; pneumatic drill-100 bB; sandblasting-112 dB; car horn-120 dB; gunshot-140 dB.

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Washington Man Claims Toy Airplanes Violate County Ordinance

PUBLICATION: The Columbian
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Clark County/Region; Pg. B3
BYLINE: Dean Baker
DATELINE: Clark County, Washington

According to an article in The Columbian, a Clark County man complained about model airplane noise at a nearby fairground so vociferously that county commissioners ordered sound tests.

The article said that Roger S. Szymczak complained to commissioners that the noise is ever-present and driving him from his home, which is less than a mile from the fairgrounds. The article said that Szymczak's fight with the Clark County Radio Control Society (which leases part of the fairgrounds to fly the planes), over the little airplanes is over a year long, adding that the model airplanes exceed the county's noise ordinance of 57 dB.

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Elevated Vehicle Ramp Noise Lower Than Original Projections

PUBLICATION: Florida Times-Union
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Community News; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Shawna Sundin
DATELINE: Atlantic Beach, Florida

According to the Florida Times Union, a newly constructed elevated vehicle ramp won't be so loud as Atlantic Beach commissioners originally thought, and the cost of noise reduction solutions will be lower as a result.

According to the article, simple landscaping can reduce the traffic level instead of a berm.

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UK Bar Renovations and Night Curfews May Reduce Noise Levels

PUBLICATION: Grimsby Evening Telegraph
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: News:Politics:Local Government, Pg.6
BYLINE: Peter Craig

According to the Grimbsby Evening Telegraph, renovations to a local bar has the support of district councilors because of noise reduction plans bar owners will implement. Council members agree the number one priority is soundproofing the building well.

The article said that concerns included after hours noise from bar customers and noise from the beer garden, disturbing neighbors' sleep.

The article went on to explain that apparently these concerns are moot because bar activity has been reduced. In addition, a night curfew of 11 pm and sound technology for windows will help to reduce what noise there is.

The article said that while it is possible that the bar's owners could apply to have a 2 am opening, the decision would be up to the Licensing Sub-Committee. Members were told that the rationalization of the property would mean that the owners could then apply to have a 2am opening for all of the building, rather than different parts being subject to different opening hours.

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UK Puts Noise on the Map

PUBLICATION: Hermes Database
DATE: February 16, 2000

According to an article from Hermes Database, 12 million people in England are victims of intolerable noise levels from transportation and industry, and the Environment Minister, Michael Meacher announced the nation's first noise map of one city.

The article announced the first "Sound Immission Contour Maps (SICMs) which color maps of road, rail and aircraft noise. The article said that the maps have real substance for local officials to use, and are ahead of a potential mandate from the EU.

Meacher said that the Birmingham maps open the way for other cities to map their noise, and "tackle social, economic and health problems caused by unacceptable levels of noise."

The article said that according to Meacher, a soon-to-be published white paper is a chance to concentrate on how to improve the quality of life in cities and other urban areas. The article went on to explain that the "Green Paper on Future European Noise Policy" (published in 1996) revealed that the 12 million people exposed to intolerable noise could experience a negative impact on their health.

The creator of the noise map, John Hinton (also co-chair of the EU) is quoted as saying that the map is the beginning for Birmingham. What happens next must be actually inputting the information into a geographical information system, figure out the number of residents near different noise levels, and then develop an action plan.

The article said that the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR) publishes Birmingham's noise map for 17.00 and is on the DETR website - http:/ noise.

The article said that a 1991 national survey on noise revealed that 28 per cent of people objected to traffic/road noise and another 22 percent objected to noisy neighbors.

The article said that current steps to curtail noise at the source involved setting maximum noise limits for engines and developing quieter road surfacing material; developing quieter aircraft with tighter controls near airports; and collaborating with the EC to create new noise standards for high speed trains and freight cars.

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Coalition Protests Federal Express mid-Atlantic Cargo Hub Plans

PUBLICATION: High Point Enterprise
DATE: February 16, 2000
BYLINE: Paul B. Johnson
DATELINE: High Point, North Carolina
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Chris Peeler, Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition; Arline Bronzaft, New York Council on the Environment

The High Point Enterprise reports that the Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition, headquartered near Greensboro, North Carolina, is spearheading opposition to Federal Express's plan to locate its mid-Atlantic cargo hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The group is sponsoring a speaker, and public input into the plan will be accepted in the coming months.

The article states that residents near the Piedmont Triad International Airport are concerned because Federal Express, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee, has chosen the airport for its mid-Atlantic hub. They complain that additional planes using the airport, especially late at night and early in the morning, have increased the noise level in the area.

The article reports that the Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition, a group that opposes FedEx's project, is sponsoring speaker Arline Bronzaft on March 2 and 3 in Greensboro and High Point. Bronzaft is affiliated with the New York Council on the Environment and will speak about the dangers of loud noise to children in particular. The talks will take place on March 2 at 7:00 P.M. at the New Garden Friends meeting in Greensboro, and at the same time on March 3 at Covenant Church United Methodist in High Point. The Coalition's president is Chris Peeler.

The article mentions that FedEx has been planning the hub project since April 1998. The cargo hub will cost $300 million and will employ 1,500 workers. The Federal Aviation Administration will shortly release the results of its environmental impact study on the FedEx project. A public hearing will be scheduled in Greensboro when the draft is released.

According to the article, officials from both the Triad Airport and Federal Express have said that most of the additional FedEx plane traffic will be directed over commercial, industrial, and agricultural areas instead of residential neighborhoods. The chambers of commerce in the Triad Airport area are in support of the FedEx project and have published an information packet that addresses noise concerns. The packet states, "By the time the hub opens in 2005, all commercial aircraft -- including cargo aircraft -- will be required to be Stage III aircraft, the quietest of all federal classifications."

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Hinckley Borough Council Enforces Neighborhood Noise Abatement Legislation

PUBLICATION: Leicester Mercury
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: News: 999, Pg.2
DATELINE: Leicester, England

The Leicester Mercury in England reports that a Hinckley resident had his stereo system confiscated and was forced to pay fines and legal fees after he refused to turn down the volume on his stereo system and was reported to the authorities by annoyed neighbors.

The article reports that the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council passed noise abatement legislation in 1996. The Hinckley Magistrates Court was recently presented with its first case dealing with the noise legislation. Stephen Brian Edwards of Hinckley was charged with not complying with five noise abatement orders that were issued to him in November 1999. Neighbors had complained that Edwards was playing his stereo too loudly late at night and would not turn it down.

The borough, using its powers under the noise abatement law, confiscated Edwards' equipment and fined him GBP 850. The Council's future policy will be to charge an owner GBP 150 for return of equipment after confiscation. Robert Parkinson is the Council's senior environmental health officer, and wants residents to know that the Council will not hesitate to enforce the noise abatement laws in order to send the message out that excessive neighborhood noise will not be tolerated.

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LAX Authorizes Soundproofing for Additional Homes in South Los Angeles

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 4; Metro Desk
DATELINE: Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times reports that soundproofing for more homes near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has been authorized by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

According to the article, the LAX's "airport noise mitigation program" pays for the soundproofing of area homes if the airport noise levels are 65 decibels or louder. Soundproofing might involve installing dual-paned windows, solid-core doors, or attic insulation. So far, 9,000 homes in Westchester, Playa del Rey, and South Los Angeles, have been deemed eligible for the program.

The article mentions that the recent authorization affects 22 housing units in 17 buildings in South Los Angeles, and will cost up to $575,000.

The article provides the following phone number for the LAX Residential Soundproofing Bureau: (323) 759-4915.

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Pittsburgh Reader Vents That Public Noise Levels Are Too Loud

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A-20, Letters To The Editor
BYLINE: Jenifer Johnson
DATELINE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jenifer Johnson, Eileen Reutzel Colianni

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a Letter to the Editor by Jenifer Johnson of Shadyside responding to a February 9 Post-Gazette editorial by Eileen Reutzel Colianni titled "The Noise Pollution of Daily Life." Her letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"I read 'The Noise Pollution of Daily Life' (Feb. 9 Midweek Perspectives) by Eileen Reutzel Colianni and said, 'Hallelujah!' At last, someone else who feels assaulted on an almost daily basis by the unrelenting noise in our public spaces!

I also have been troubled by the television's nonsensical drivel while I visit my father battling cancer in the hospital. I am troubled by the individuals on public transportation who speak in loud voices to their neighbors, or even carry on mobile phone conversations, totally insensitive to other passengers' desire for a quiet morning commute. I also was appalled by the Port Authority's intention to test putting TVs on some buses.

There is indeed no escape, it would appear. I believe this lack of agreement on an unacceptable level of noise in our daily life is a major contributing factor to the breakdown of public life and contributes to the "anger epidemic" described in another Post-Gazette article ('Hectic Pace of Modern Lifestyles Blamed for Spreading an ' Anger Epidemic,' ' Jan. 27).

Maybe Ms. Colianni's commentary will be the start of a new movement emboldening many of us to 'buck' the prevailing culture and ask others to please lower their voices, TVs and radios."

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Reader Complains About Pittsburgh Noise

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Editorial, Pg. A-20, Letters to the Editor
BYLINE: Barbara D. Hays
DATELINE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a Letter to the Editor by Barbara Hays of Squirrel Hill responding to a February 9 Post-Gazette editorial by Eileen Reutzel Colianni titled "The Noise Pollution of Daily Life." Her letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

"I strongly agree with Eileen Reutzel Colianni's commentary objecting to loud music and television in public places such as restaurants and jury waiting rooms. May I add waiting rooms at auto repair shops, hospitals and doctors' offices?

Another source of noise pollution that really intrudes on my ability to enjoy a walk in our neighborhood or sitting in the garden is leaf blowers and power mowers. At least these machines could be better 'muffled.' I personally believe that the human-powered rake does just as well as the leaf blower.

In the city where we have small lawns, people could try the 'old-fashioned' push mower and protect their neighbors' enjoyment of their gardens and morning walks. Motorcycles, trucks and poorly muffled cars also add intrusive urban noises that technologically could be lowered.

As the population in our city grows, attention to curbing noise pollution both in buildings and in the outdoor environment should become a major priority for making Pittsburgh a more 'livable' city. It will contribute to our ability to enjoy the city as well as protect our hearing!"

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Press Release Report of the 2240th Meeting of Agriculture Council of the European Commission

PUBLICATION: Commission of the European Communities
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Council Of Ministers Press Release; Pres: 00/13
BYLINE: M. Luas Capoulas Santos, Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of the Portuguese Republic
DATELINE: Brussels, Belgium

The Agriculture Council of the Commission of the European Communities recently issued a press release of its meeting on February 16, 2000. M. Luas Capoulas Santos, President of the Agriculture Council, spoke about "the main priorities of the Portuguese presidency for the next six months." He spoke about labeling, food safety, forests, animal health, the hops market, fisheries, energy, labor and social affairs, and finally, about noise emissions. The section on noise emissions is reprinted here in its entirety:


Approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to noise emissions:

The Council adopted its common position with a view to the adoption of a Directive on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the noise emission in the environment by equipment for use outdoors.

Existing Community laws on noise emissions of this kind comprise nine directives; the aim of the common position is to simplify these laws and establish a framework for reducing the noise emitted by such equipment.

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Applications for Tavern Licenses in New Zealand Questioned Because of Excessive Noise

PUBLICATION: Southland Times
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: News; National; Pg. 12
BYLINE: Hayman Ivor
DATELINE: Wanaka, New Zealand

The Southland Times reports that two restaurants in Wanaka have applied for tavern licenses, which would allow them to serve and sell alcohol and to provide live entertainment until 2:30 A.M. The applications have been questioned because noise complaints have been lodged in the past against both restaurants.

The article states that the restaurants involved are the Kingsway Diner and Paddys Restaurant and Bar. The Queenstown Lakes District planning officer has not acted on the applications in the twelve months since they have been filed because they did not include a plan for noise control. The noise at the Kingsway Restaurant has been measured to be 17 decibels above the allowed level.

The article adds that the Queenstown Lakes District Planning Policy and Consents Committee will hold a hearing next week, at which time it will be discussed whether or not to allow the public to comment on the applications.

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Readers Comment on Helicopter and Aircraft Noise at Hernando County Airport, Florida

PUBLICATION: Hernando Times
DATE: February 16, 2000
SECTION: Letters; Pg. 2
BYLINE: Lawrence Weier; Arthur Waldbusser
DATELINE: Hernando County, Florida

The Hernando Times published two letters to the editor by readers who are commenting about a recent article in the paper about excessive noise at Hernando County Airport, attributed to helicopter pilot training runs. The letters are printed here in their entirety:

"Editor: Re: Pilot training sounds like trouble to some, Hernando Times, Feb. 11:

Your story about excessive helicopter noise in the vicinity of the Hernando County Airport, which will only get worse next year when the Florida National Guard adds its helicopters and cargo planes to existing air traffic at the airport, underscores a major reason the proposed Hernando-Pasco Community College campus should not be built at or near the airport.

Although obvious, the distraction and difficulty of teaching and learning in classrooms enveloped in such an environment has never been mentioned in any articles I recall that gave reasons the campus should, or should not, be built in that location.

State Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite, a proponent of building the campus on airport grounds and who lives south of Brooksville, has provided perhaps the best counter-argument for not building it there: excessive noise.

Your story quotes her reaction to past helicopter maneuvers: "It kept me awake the whole weekend and usually I sleep like a rock. It was like being in the middle of a blender. There were times the helicopters were so low the leaves on the trees were coming down. It was disturbing at best. . . ."

In the same story, Bob Mattingly, manager of the Hernando County Airport, is reported to have said it is a public use airport and, as such, "We can't restrict traffic. . . . Because of FAA standards, I can't necessarily refuse them."

My understanding is that the community college will offer daytime, evening and weekend classes, so there won't be any reasonable periods during a given day that classes can be conducted without aircraft noise.

Imagine yourself as an instructor trying to teach over the din of such noise, or as a paying student trying to hear and learn under these circumstances. It's unfair to both, especially so when it's easily avoidable in the planning stages by selecting another site for the campus.

I urge all parties to the planning process to seriously consider this very real problem that will only get worse with increased air traffic in the future.

Lawrence Weier

Spring Hill

Pilots shouldn't train over populated area

Editor: Re: Pilot training sounds like trouble to some, Hernando Times, Feb. 11:

The article was well written, but a relevant fact was omitted.

First, let me state that I fought in the Pacific during World War II, and low-flying P-38s saved the outfit I was with from being overrun by a superior Japanese force by dropping napalm on them. I am definitely in favor of military pilot training. I do object to it taking place over populated areas, however.

Isn't there a law prohibiting low-flying planes over these areas? Is the military exempt from this law "in the name of freedom"?

Arthur Waldbusser, Spring Hill"

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More Homes in Vicinity of Los Angeles International Airport to be Soundproofed by the Airport

PUBLICATION: Business Wire
DATE: February 15, 2000
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California

The Business Wire reports that more homes near Los Angeles International Airport will be soundproofed due to a recent order by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

According to the article, after this phase of soundproofing is completed, 1,062 homes will have been soundproofed by such means as dual-paned windows, solid-core doors, and attic insulation. The $575,000 contract for completing the work was awarded to P.B.C. of El Segundo, California. The contractor will be soundproofing 22 units in 17 building in South Los Angeles.

The article states that, in order to qualify for the airport's soundproofing program, a community must have a Recorded Community Noise Equivalency Level of 65 decibels or higher. Thus far, 9,000 homes in Westchester, Playa del Rey, and South Los Angeles have qualified.

The article mentions that the noise mitigation program is administered by the airport's Residential Soundproofing Bureau, whose office in the Constituent Services Center at 8475 South Vermont Avenue is open from 1:30 to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Thursday. Interested individuals can visit a soundproofed model home in South Los Angeles at 2050 West 84th Street by calling the following information phone number and making an appointment: 323/759-4915.

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Port Authority in New York Neglecting to Spend Ticket Surcharges on Noise Reduction

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Suburban; Pg. 1
BYLINE: Warren Woodberry, Jr.
DATELINE: New York City
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Representative Anthony Weiner (Brooklyn-Queens), Representative Rush Holt, New Jersey

The Daily News reports that two area politicians have released a report that accuses The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of not dealing adequately with noise problems near LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Newark International Airports.

According to the article, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn-Queens) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) claim that these airports spend less money on noise mitigation efforts than other major U.S. airports with less air traffic. The three airports combined handle more aircraft than anywhere else in the United States. Weiner and Holt's report studied fifteen airports around the country with a high level of air traffic. Specifically, the report accuses the Port Authority of spending no money on noise mitigation efforts out of the $3 per ticket passenger facility surcharge that it has collected on each fare, for a grand total of $5 million, during the past five years. Instead, the money was spent on the Air Rail at Kennedy Airport, and on the I-95 Connector at Newark Airport. Other large airports typically spend about 36% of these surcharge funds on noise reduction projects. Weiner said that New York's three metropolitan airports should have been spending that money as other airports do, on such projects as soundproofing residences and schools, and constructing quieter runways.

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Manawatu, New Zealand District Council to Begin Imposing Fines For Excessive Residential Noise

PUBLICATION: Evening Standard
DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: News; Local; Pg. 1
DATELINE: Feilding, New Zealand

The Evening Standard of Manawatu, New Zealand reports that the Manawatu District Council will begin fining people in Feilding and elsewhere in the District who refuse to comply with noise abatement notices.

The article reports that the Manawatu District Council instituted the fine policy on February 1. Feilding has had problems in the past dealing with noisy parties.

The article states that, "Anyone who ignores an abatement notice for making unreasonable noise can be instantly fined up to $750, while those failing to comply with directions to keep excessive noise down can be fined up to $500." Jim Joseph, the Council's environmental services manager, said that most people would first be given a warning rather than being fined instantly. The Council believes that higher fines will save noise control officers from having to give warnings to the same offenders more than once. In addition to the fines, the Council will also be authorized to seize stereos that had been played too loudly. The stereo systems would only be returned to their owners after payment of an additional $100 fee.

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Plymouth, England Planners to Conduct Noise Reduction Survey of Proposed Manufacturing Plant

PUBLICATION: Evening Herald
DATE: February 15, 2000
DATELINE: Plymouth, England

The Evening Herald of Plymouth, England reports that the planning council in Plymouth, England will not approve an application by West Wise Manufacturing, Limited to build a new factory at Darklake View in Estover until they inspect the building site and conduct a noise survey. Nearby residents are concerned that the new metal fabrication plant would create excessive noise.

The article states that Ray Williams, planning officer for the Council, said that his department had been advised by the Council's environmental health officers that the metal fabrication business in general is noisy. The proposed site is currently on grazing land but has been zoned industrial. However, the residential area of Riverford is located only 60 meters away from the site, and many residents there oppose the project.

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Congressmen Challenge NY Port Authority's Neglect to Fund Noise Abatement Measures

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Section B; Page 6; Column 1; Metropolitan Desk
BYLINE: Ronald Smothers
DATELINE: Newark, New Jersey

According to the New York Times, two congressmen blasted Port Authority in a report on its lack of effort over the past five years to commit federal monies and airport revenue available for reducing airport noise. Instead, the article said, the authority has directed most of its passenger surcharges toward light rail. Kennedy International, Newark and La Guardia are under the Authority's jurisdiction.

The article said that in the report, representatives Rush Holt and Anthony Weiner (New York) revealed that the Authority neglected to apply for the $25 million available from federal Airport Improvement Program for soundproofing homes and public institutions that are adversely impacted by airport noise. In addition, the article said, Holt and Weiner charge that the authority had not targeted any of the $500 million it collected from a $3 per passenger surcharge toward noise abatement.

The article reported that both Holt and Weiner have constituents whose neighborhoods suffer from aircraft noise, and while the authority has neglected to fund airport noise abatement, 11 other airports in the nation committed an average of 36 percent of passenger fees for noise reduction.

The article said that Greg Trevor, an authority official, complained that neither Holt nor Weiner mentioned the money the authority has spent on soundproofing over 60 schools near the airports

According to Trevor, the authority was a leader in establishing the first noise restriction over 50 years ago.

The article said that the New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise supports the congressmen's findings, and called for the authority to make a meaningful effort in responding to noise complaints.

The article said that the coalition's executive director Pamela Barsam-Brown challenged the authority to use passenger surcharge revenue to direct takeoff patterns over the Atlantic Ocean to gain altitude, thereby lessening noise, a move the authority opposes because of fuel cost.

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City of Leesburg, Florida to Formulate Noise Ordinance

PUBLICATION: Orlando Sentinel
DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Lake Sentinel; Pg. 2
DATELINE: Leesburg, Florida

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the city of Leesburg, Florida has decided to institute a noise ordinance and is currently researching just how the ordinance should be worded and enforced.

According to the article, city commissioners are considering using the language in the Tavares city noise ordinance as a blueprint for the Leesburg ordinance. Leesburg city manager Tony Otte, along with Leesburg's legal staff, will be in charge of putting together the ordinance.

The article states that resident Donna Goodwin had complained to the city about compressor noise emanating from a local shop at all hours of the day and night. As a result of her concerns, the city realized that it needed a better way to address noise problems. The commissioners have asked that the new ordinance state that officials may use the noise ordinance without first measuring the decibel levels of the offending noise.

The article mentions that commissioner Bob Lovell wants the police to be able to have the power to control city noise, and the proposed ordinance will do just that.

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Northfield Center, Ohio Approves Noise Regulation

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Metro - Northeast Ohio; Pg. 3B
DATELINE: Akron, Ohio

The Plain Dealer reports on community events in the northeast Ohio metropolitan area. In Northfield Center, a noise regulation has been approved.

According to the article, the resolution will mostly affect liquor establishments, and it will allow the sheriff to take advantage of a state law that says that local townships may enforce noise regulations. A bar whose loud music was creating a disturbance, for example, could now be fined up to $100 for violating the regulation. A first-time violation would be considered a minor misdemeanor.

The article states that trustee Mary Ann Day voted against the resolution because noise complaints in the township are rare, and because violations are already covered under Ohio state law. She said it is not worth it to alienate the five bars in the township that would be affected by the resolution.

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Andrea Electronics Corporation Launches E-Commerce Site; Discusses Agreements Over Next Generation Voice Communications Applications

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Financial News
DATELINE: Melville, New York

PR Newswire published the following press release by Andrea Electronics concerning the launch of its new e-commerce site, and various corporate agreements concerning next generation voice communications applications. The press release is reprinted here in its entirety:

Andrea Electronics Corporation (Amex: AND) announced today the launch of its new e-commerce site,, at the Intel Developer Forum ("IDF") Spring 2000, taking place in Palm Springs, California, February 15th to 17th. As part of the launch, Andrea Electronics has entered into several co-marketing agreements with key industry leaders offering next generation voice communications applications, including Fonix Corporation, HearMe (Nasdaq: HEAR), IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), InterWise, Inc., Logitech, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOGIY), Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP), Voyetra Turtle Beach, Inc. and, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZPLS). The new site, supporting the IDF Spring 2000 theme of "Designing Solutions for the Internet Economy," offers all visitors the ability to download and purchase Andrea Electronics' audio input microphone products and technologies that enhance e-communications solutions. Andrea technologies to be offered through include a free download of patented AudioCommander(R) software, a superior audio interface for PC multimedia microphone control applications; PureAudio(TM) software, a noise canceling algorithm which improves the intelligibility of audio communications by enhancing speech and reducing noise; the Andrea DA-400 Desktop Array(TM), a digital, far-field microphone system which allows users to speak to or through their computers without a headset or handset; the Andrea Universal Serial Bus (USB) Microphone Array(TM), a digital, far-field microphone solution with the convenience of USB plug-and-play compatibility and the new Andrea Sound Card Array(TM), a small desktop device which captures and passes multiple streams of audio to the sound card line-input for audio processing. "We are very excited to launch with the support of the innovative technology companies who are partnering with us on this significant step in the execution of our e-business strategy," said Christopher P. Sauvigne, President and Chief Operating Officer of Andrea Electronics Corporation. "Together, Andrea and its partners provide ways in which our respective technologies create optimum audio communications solutions and, ultimately, advance the acceptance of speech as the natural language interface."

About Partners Fonix Corporation Fonix provides solutions to make human interaction with computers and other intelligent appliances simpler and more convenient. The Fonix suite of products and services, including speech recognition and handwriting recognition technology, provide natural, intuitive solutions that allow people and their technological tools to speak to and interact with each other in human terms. Visit HearMe HearMe (Nasdaq: HEAR) is dedicated to reshaping today's Internet applications into real-time interactive experiences through which large groups of people can interact and communicate using text, voice and video. The company develops, operates and licenses technology that enables real-time Internet communication and communities where people can gather to share affinities, interests, or ideas. Communication tools such as text chat applications and instant messengers are already incorporating HearMe (TM) technology to enable real-time voice interaction among multiple people. The company operates its own real-time consumer Internet communities, and Founded in early 1995, as Mpath Interactive, Inc., HearMe is located in Mountain View, Calif. The Company can be found on the Internet at or reached at 650/429-3900. IBM Corporation IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) speech recognition technology is based on 30 years of speech recognition research and development. With a portfolio of more than 100 patents, an established R&D business that includes researchers worldwide and a robust, proven speech technology available in many languages, IBM is a leader in speech recognition. For more information about IBM Voice Systems, visit InterWise, Inc. InterWise offers eLearning solutions for the extended enterprise. InterWise Millennium offers customers an effective way to extend the reach of their learning programs with live and recorded classes over the Internet. InterWise Millennium enables customers to offer end user training, executive briefings, sales and consulting programs, new product roll-outs and customer training to remote students all over the world. Visit Logitech Logitech Inc. (Nasdaq: LOGIY) designs, manufactures and markets human interface devices and supporting software that link people to the Internet and enable them to work, play, learn and communicate more effectively in the digital world. Logitech's interface products include Internet video cameras; input and pointing devices such as cordless and corded mice, cordless and optical trackballs and cordless and corded keyboards; multimedia speakers; and entertainment products such as force feedback joysticks, force feedback racing wheels and gamepads. For more information about Logitech, visit Net2Phone Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP) is a leading provider of voice-enhanced Internet communications services to individuals and businesses worldwide. Net2Phone enables people to place low-cost high quality calls from their computer, telephone, or fax machine to any telephone or fax machine in the world. Net2Phone develops and markets technology and services for IP voice and e-commerce solutions for the web and other IP networks. For more information about Net2Phone's products and services, please visit Voyetra Turtle Beach Voyetra Turtle Beach is one of the world's leading PC audio solutions providers, focusing on the development of integrated audiophile-grade software and hardware products for creating music and audio with multimedia PCs. For more information about Turtle Beach, visit (Nasdaq: ZPLS) provides consumers with their own permanent Internet telephone number and specialized software that enables them to place and receive phone calls anytime, anywhere via their computers -- completely free of charge. In addition to free PC-to-PC service, provides PC-to-Phone, Phone-to-PC, Phone-to-Phone and voice-enabling solutions for e-commerce companies. To begin using this new service, consumers simply register on-line at, select their permanent Internet phone number and download e-Net's free software.

Andrea Electronics Corporation designs, develops and manufactures audio technologies and equipment for enhancing applications that require high performance and high quality voice input. The Company's patented Active Noise Reduction (ANR READY (R)) earphone, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) near-field microphone, patented Digital Super Directional Array (DSDA(TM)) and patent-pending Directional Finding and Tracking Array (DFTA(TM)) far-field microphone technologies enhance a wide range of audio products to eliminate background noise and ensure the optimum performance of voice applications. Applications for the Company's technologies include: speech recognition programs, Internet telephony, video/audio conferencing, automobile PCs, home automation systems, hand-held devices and multiplayer online games, among others. OEM and software publisher customers and strategic partners of Andrea Electronics' include: IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Clarion Corporation of America, Microsoft Corp., Lernout & Hauspie, Audio Technica, J. D'Addario & Co., Lotus Development Corporation, Fonix Corporation,, InterWise, Inc., ILINC, Logitech, Inc., Net2Phone Voyetra Turtle Beach and, among others. Visit Andrea Electronics' website at or call 1-800-707-5779. This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "seeks," variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve matters that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors, that may affect the business and prospects of Andrea Electronics Corporation (the "Company"). The Company cautions investors about the following significant factors, which, among others, have in some cases affected the Company's actual results and are in the future likely to affect the Company's actual results and could cause them to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements: the rate at which Andrea Anti- Noise, DSDA, DFTA and other Andrea technologies are accepted in the marketplace; the competitiveness of Andrea Anti- Noise, DSDA, DFTA and other Andrea products in terms of technical specifications, quality, price, reliability and service; the sufficiency of the Company's funds for research and development, marketing and general and administrative expenses; infringement and other disputes relating to patents and other intellectual property rights held or licensed by the Company or third parties; and the Company's continuing ability to enter and maintain collaborative relationships with other manufacturers, software authoring and publishing companies, and distributors. No assurance can be given that the Company will achieve any material sales or profits from the products introduced in this release. These and other similar factors are discussed under the heading "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking statements" included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10- K and in the Company's Annual Report to shareholders, and in documents subsequently filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Andrea Anti- Noise, " "ANR Ready," "DSDA," DSDA-PRO", "DFTA", "SuperBeam" and "Desktop Array" are trademarks of Andrea Electronics Corporation or an Andrea Electronics Corporation subsidiary.

SOURCE Andrea Electronics Corporation CONTACT: Carolynne O'Grady, or Jean Mulry,, both of Andrea Electronics, 800-442-7787 URL:

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Andrea Electronics Corporation to Demonstrate its Far-Field Digital Microphone at Industry Show in Palm Springs

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Financial News
DATELINE: Melville, New York

PR Newswire published a press release by Andrea Electronics Corporation announcing its participation at the Spring 2000 Intel Developer Forum in Palm Springs, California. The company will be demonstrating its far-field digital microphone. The press release is re-printed here in its entirety:

Andrea Electronics Corporation (Amex: AND) announced today that it is it is participating at the Spring 2000 Intel Developer Forum ("IDF"), taking place in Palm Springs, California, February 15-17. At the show, Andrea Electronics will demonstrate the capabilities of the Andrea USB Microphone Array, a far-field digital microphone, which takes advantage of Intel Pentium(R) III processing. "The IDF is an ideal opportunity for industry leaders to come together and learn about evolving technologies that enhance the Internet economy," said Raphael Wong, Manager at Intel Corporation. "The Andrea USB Microphone Array enables superior sound quality with a very natural user interface. In addition, the microphone's digital audio software algorithm's ability to run on a Pentium III processor demonstrates how solutions running on Intel technologies are creating greater and more efficient options for end users." "We are excited to join with Intel again to participate in this highly targeted forum," said Douglas J. Andrea, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Andrea Electronics Corporation. "The Andrea USB Array was designed to address new audio quality demands while taking advantage of the superior processing power provided by the Intel Pentium III. By integrating our digital audio enhancement software through USB protocol, the microphone enables an optimal speech recognition computing experience for users." The Andrea USB Microphone Array, incorporating Andrea's patented Digital Super Directional Array (DSDA(TM)) and PureAudio(TM) noise reduction microphone technologies, was developed to address the growing need for a high quality, digital microphone solution that enables users to communicate through the PC and operate command and control speech applications with superior voice clarity, while at a distance from the microphone. Speech processed through the Andrea array is converted to a digital stream using a two-channel USB interface. This USB Microphone Array was also developed to port enhanced speech signals to any speech-enabled application running on Windows(R) 98 Second Edition and Windows(R) 2000. The Andrea USB Microphone Array has been named 1999 Product of the Year by Communications Solutions Magazine and Call Center Solutions Magazine. The IDF is a semiannual conference targeted at desktop, mobile, workstation and server hardware vendors developing the latest platform solutions for the business and consumer markets. The design and development of new platforms that enhance Intel's next generation chipsets, network processors and silicon building blocks for the Internet infrastructure and the design of Intel-based platforms for communications markets will be the primary focus of the event. Sponsors of the IDF include industry leaders such as Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Hewlett Packard and Texas Instruments.

At the Show:

WHEN: February 15-17, 2000

WHERE: Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA Andrea Electronics - Booth 208

Andrea Electronics Corporation designs, develops and manufactures audio technologies and equipment for enhancing applications that require high performance and high quality voice input. The Company's patented Active Noise Reduction (ANR READY(R)) earphone, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) near-field microphone, patented Digital Super Directional Array (DSDA(TM)) and patent-pending Directional Finding and Tracking Array (DFTA(TM)) far-field microphone technologies enhance a wide range of audio products to eliminate background noise and ensure the optimum performance of voice applications. Applications for the Company's technologies include: speech recognition programs, Internet telephony, video/audio conferencing, automobile PCs, home automation systems, hand-held devices and multiplayer online games, among others. OEM and software publisher customers and strategic partners of Andrea Electronics' include: IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Clarion Corporation of America, Microsoft Corp., Lernout & Hauspie, Audio Technica, VCON Telecommunications, Cygnion Corporation, J. D'Addario & Co., Lotus Development Corporation,, IDT/Net2Phone and ILINC, among others. Visit Andrea Electronics' website at

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "seeks," variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve matters that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors, that may affect the business and prospects of Andrea Electronics Corporation (the "Company"). The Company cautions investors about the following significant factors, which, among others, have in some cases affected the Company's actual results and are in the future likely to affect the Company's actual results and could cause them to differ materially from those expressed in any forward- looking statements: the rate at which Andrea Anti- Noise, DSDA, DFTA and other Andrea technologies are accepted in the marketplace; the competitiveness of Andrea Anti- Noise, DSDA, DFTA and other Andrea products in terms of technical specifications, quality, price, reliability and service; the sufficiency of the Company's funds for research and development, marketing and general and administrative expenses; infringement and other disputes relating to patents and other intellectual property rights held or licensed by the Company or third parties; and the Company's continuing ability to enter and maintain collaborative relationships with other manufacturers, software authoring and publishing companies, and distributors. No assurance can be given that the Company will achieve any material sales or profits from the products introduced in this release. These and other similar factors are discussed under the heading "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking statements" included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's Annual Report to shareholders, and in documents subsequently filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Andrea Anti- Noise, " "ANR Ready," "DSDA," DSDA-PRO", "DFTA", "SuperBeam" and "Desktop Array" are trademarks of Andrea Electronics Corporation or an Andrea Electronics Corporation subsidiary.

SOURCE Andrea Electronics Corporation CONTACT: Carolynne O'Grady,, Jean Mulry,, Corporate Communications, both of Andrea Electronics, 800-442-7787 URL:

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Controversy Continues Over NY and NJ Port Authority's Use of Funds Earmarked for Airport Noise Reduction Projects

PUBLICATION: Bergen Record
DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. A4
BYLINE: Doug Most
DATELINE: Bergen County, New Jersey

The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey reports that the New York and New Jersey Port Authority denies claims recently published in a congressional report that it has not spent allotted money on airport noise reduction projects at Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark International Airports. The authority states that it has indeed spent millions on noise reduction efforts in the past five years.

According to the article, the Port Authority has collected $513 million in airport passenger surcharges during that time, some of which were to be used to alleviate airport noise. However, they have spent the money on rail improvement and other projects instead, while five other large airports around the country have spent between $85 million and $264 million on noise reduction projects.

The article states, however, that Port Authority spokesperson Greg Trevor reported that the Port Authority has actually spent $75 million to soundproof 60 area schools; the money came from federal and Port Authority funds. He also said that the rail improvement projects involve connecting Newark's monorail to New Jersey Transit trains, which benefits the airports by allowing more airport passengers to ride the train to the airport instead of driving.

The article reports that the study was conducted under the direction of Representatives Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) and Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Their study mentioned that the $3 fee added to every airport passenger's ticket is money that is supposed to be spent by airports on community projects such as noise reduction. Many other airports in the country spend about 36% (approximately $15 million) of their surcharges on noise reduction.

The article goes on to say that Representative Holt believes that some of the Port Authority's surcharge monies should be used for noise reduction projects at the airports themselves, such as runway improvements and concerns over noisy take-offs, landings, and airplane idling. Holt believes that airport noise is "one of the major detrimental effects on the community."

The article reports that the Port Authority has not conducted its "Part 150 Study," which could have qualified them to receive up to $5 million a year to spend on noise reduction efforts. Port Authority spokesperson Trevor responded that the authority has not conducted the airport noise study because such a study might be rendered invalid after the Federal Aviation Administration finishes its redesign of the nation's airspace by the year 2003.

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Minnesota Twin Cities Officials Pass Compromise Plan for Jet Noise

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 3B
BYLINE: Dan Wascoe, Jr.
DATELINE: Minneapolis-St. Paul

According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, officials from Minneapolis and St. Paul voted to identify an area near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as uninhabitable because of jet noise from a new runway expected to open in 2003.

The article said that the designation of the area is narrower than Richfield officials asked for because the Twin Cities officials feared that state and federal agencies might reject assistance if the area were larger.

The article said that officials declined to give the number of houses to be torn down, but did say that the number could include houses not in the uninhabitable zone. In addition, a member of the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority said that it could be less expensive to tear down houses outside the uninhabitable zone than the cost of reducing noise and vibration of the houses.

The article explained that a key decision rejected defining the uninhabitable zone "so that there would be a four-decibel variation from one side to the other" because, said John Himle, a member of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). According Himle, that variation would make it impossible to get federal redevelopment aid.

The article said that Richfield's city manager wanted larger boundaries than the uninhabitable zone because of noise readings of 87 decibels, but did agree that "low-frequency noise needs mitigation."

While the vote is a compromise, the MAC is pleased that the most impacted area is less than what officials projected a year and a half ago.

The article said there will probably be four zones: (1) a strip where houses would be torn down and new office and commercial structures built where low-frequency noise is projected to be 87 dB or greater (no houses in this zone are in Minneapolis or Bloomington); (2) farther west of Richfield with low-frequency noise ranging from 78 to 86 dB (houses could be insulated against vibration in this zone); (3) an area with low-frequency noise ranging from 70 to 77 dB, (affecting Minneapolis and Bloomington); and (4)an area outside the other three zones where noise is projected to be less than 70 dB.

The article said that the MAC is currently insulating thousands of homes near the airport that measure an average of overhead jet noise of 65 dB. The issue in the low-frequency jet noise program is vibrations from jets landing and taking off, closer to nearby homes than the other three runways.

According to the article, the FAA is paying close attention because it has not yet approved release of monies to cope with low-frequency noise. An FAA program manager, Glen Orcutt, said the agency seeks a valid and consistent method to measure and reduce low-frequency noise, allowing it to "respond to other communities that might seek similar help."

The article said that MAC will include the low-frequency recommendations as part of its review of all mitigation programs.

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A Range of Noise Can Damage Hearing and Results May Not Show Up for Years

DATE: February 15, 2000
SECTION: Life & Leisure, Pg. D4

An article in the Times Union warns us that even simple activities that we enjoy can damage our hearing because they involve loud noise--listening to music; watching fireworks and even riding motorcycles.

Overexposure to loud noise can definitely damage hearing, and if the structures in the ear are damaged, one can suffer "permanent and irreversible hearing loss" that could manifest itself many years after exposure.

The article listed the most prevalent cause of hearing loss related to noise: "boom cars," (loud car stereos); live concerts; fireworks; guns; heavy equipment and workplace noise (manufacturing, etc.).

The article said that shouting to be heard and pain or ringing in the ears are all signs of hearing damage, and the article cautions those who believe they've become accustomed to loud noise because they could already have incurred hearing loss and simply don't know it.

The article explains that sound is measured in decibels (dB), and that the scale of measured sound begins at zero dB (the faintest sound we can hear) to 175 (the noise from a rocket launch). If we are exposed to greater than 85 dB for more than a short time, our hearing is at risk. The article said that a live musical performance measures over 100 dB, and gunshots are even higher and can cause immediate damage.

The article lists ways for people to prevent hearing loss because of noise. Simply lowering the volume on headphones, wearing ear plugs during concerts, mowing the lawn, riding a motorcycle shooting firearms are all important, preventative measures to protect hearing.

The article gives us a few examples of how loud noises are: a whisper measures 30 dB; normal conversation is 66 dB; a noisy restaurant is 80 dB; a pneumatic drill is 100 dB; sandblasting is 112 dB; an automobile horn is 120 dB; a gunshot is 140 dB; and a rocket launch is 175 dB.

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