Noise News for Week of January 16, 2000

California Amphitheater's Noise Dispute Settled Before Jury Decision

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: January 18, 2000
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 3; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Karen Alexander
DATELINE: Costa Mesa, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Jeanne Brown, Laurie Lusks, plaintiffs in the lawsuit

The Los Angeles Times reported that a noise dispute between the Pacific Amphitheatre and its neighbors is over, after years of conflict.

The article said that the dispute between the Pacific Amphitheatre and its neighbors has been settled, relieving two Costa Mesa families of the $51,672 in legal fees if they dropped their appeal. In return, the article said, the city of Costa Mesa would monitor the sound from events at the amphitheater for the next 23 years in an attempt to enforce Orange County's noise ordinance.

Richard L. Spix, attorney for homeowners Jeanne Brown and Laurie Lusk, stated that monitoring would be paid for by a $100,000 fund established by the Nederlander Organization, which originally owned the amphitheater.

According to the article, the board of the Orange County Fair and Exposition bought the amphitheater from Nederlander, and was unaware that the noise restriction intake contract would render the amphitheater useless.

The article explained that neighbors Brown and Lusk, who had once opposed Nederlander, joined the suit against the fair to keep the restrictions in the contract. Nederlander settled the case before the jury reached a decision, but Brown and Lusk refused to settle their part of the suit. When they lost, they were ordered to pay $45,872 in attorney's fees, plus $5,800 in court costs.

When they did decide to drop their appeal, the fair agreed to waive the legal and court fees.

The article said that no events have been held at the Pacific Amphitheatre since summer 1995.

When the settlement was finalized, Brown expressed relief, commenting that when there were concerts, "you could feel the bass in your chair. The walls of your house would shake."

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California Residents Protest Los Angeles International Airport Noise

PUBLICATION: City News Service
DATE: January 17, 2000
DATELINE: Inglewood, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mike Stevens, president of LAX Expansion NO!; Mayor Roosevelt Dorn

An article from City News Service reports that protestors will march at Inglewood City Hall on January 19, protesting an agreement that denies their right to sue Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) if the organization that operates the airport pays for sound-proofing their homes.

According to the article, Inglewood mayor Roosevelt Dorn supports the demonstrators and directed city officials to stop asking residents to sign the "avigation easement" agreement with Los Angeles World Airports, the airport's owner. The article says that the agreement would prevent residents from suing the airport over noise concerns, or in the event of an airline disaster.

The article says that activist and president of LAX Expansion NO!, and the group wants the city of Inglewood to challenge the agreement in court, as the neighboring city of El Segundo did in a similar case. Stevens explained that an existing state law permits Inglewood residents to have their homes insulated against jet noise without signing the agreement.

Stevens argues that council members would have to provide homeowners with federal funding that the city was to have used community redevelopment because those funds could be used for soundproofing. He argues further that the city would, instead, want residents to sign the in exchange for the funding.

The article says that the mayor ordered city employees to destroy any agreements already signed, but that the city attorney's effort to get rid of the agreements have been insincere. Stevens is quoting as saying, "...residents say they have been tricked and lied to about the status of easements signed last year."

The article says that residents have threatened the recall of the entire Inglewood City Council if their demands are not met.

For more information about LAX Expansion NO!, contact Mike Stevens, president of LAX Expansion NO!, at (310) 671-9111 and Mayor Roosevelt Dorn, (310) 412-5300.

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New York Environmental Chairperson Wants President to Reopen National Noise Office

PUBLICATION: The New York Times
DATE: January 17, 2000
SECTION: Section A; Page 16; Column 5; Editorial Desk
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: ARLINE L. BRONZAFT Chairwoman, Noise Committee N.Y.C. Council on the Environment

The New York Times printed this letter to the editor regarding noise. The letters appears in its entirety.

To the Editor:

I agree that the Clinton administration has environmental obligations this year (editorial, Jan. 10). One of these should be the refinancing of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise Abatement and Control. This office, closed in 1982, was established to meet the federal government's mandate to protect citizens from the harmful effects of noise. The administration has chosen to keep this office closed, thus denying Americans protection from noise. ARLINE L. BRONZAFT Chairwoman, Noise Committee NYC Council on the Environment New York, Jan. 12, 2000

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New Mexico Residents Oppose Pumice Plant Because of Noise and Pollution

PUBLICATION: The Santa Fe New Mexican
DATE: January 17, 2000
SECTION: Local; Pg. B-2
BYLINE: Sharyn Obsatz
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Mary Dkykton; Arroyo Chamiso/Sol y Lomas neighborhood association

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that neighbors of the C.R. Minerals pumice plant in Santa Fe will voice their opposition to the state Environment Department at public hearings.

The article says that the department must decide whether to grant the C.R. Minerals plant the air quality permit it needs to continue operating, and had determined that the plant's emissions didn't exceed state and federal standards.

According to the article, the plant's neighbors contend that that dust from the plant has caused respiratory problems and a humming noise from machinery has hurt their hearing.

The article quoted resident Mary Dkykton, who says the plant has caused her cough to get worse and caused a significant loss of hearing for her housemate. "It's absolutely maddening, and people are getting sick all around us," she said. The article added that one of her two dogs just went deaf.

The article explains that the factory predates most of the neighboring homes and businesses but Dykton, a member of the Arroyo Chamiso/Sol y Lomas neighborhood association, argued that "nobody has the right to risk the health and safety of anybody. If you're the first person in the forest, you still can't start a forest fire."

The article goes on to say that neighbors asked several technical analysts to testify on the neighbors' behalf at the hearing. The article says that according to Dykton, either C.R. Minerals had hired them all or they told neighbors it could be a conflict of interest because they depend on income from the Environment Department.

The result, the article says, is that the neighbors' only testimony would be from Jane Chavez, a neighborhood association member who has two science degrees and teaches science to high school students at the SER Academy.

"I feel like David and Goliath," Chavez replied when asked about testifying. Chavez explained that she moved into her house in 1973 and that her son, born in 1982, was diagnosed as asthmatic when he was 6 months old. Chavez said her son has had pneumonia more than 30 times and has been hospitalized four times for respiratory problems.

Louis Rose, attorney for C.R. Minerals denies that illnesses are caused from the facility's dust. He added that the city tested the noise levels once and found no violations.

The article goes on to say that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets the requirements for air emissions based on human health studies and sets the requirements for the weakest portions of the population, including the elderly, infants and people with illnesses that weaken their immune system.

The article says that the city of Santa Fe sent a letter to the Environment Department stating that the City Council has received repeated complaints about the plant, and that the City hopes the state will take neighbors' complaints into account before issuing any permit.

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Kenyan Disco Noise Leads to Violence

PUBLICATION: Agence France Presse
DATE: January 16, 2000
SECTION: International News
DATELINE: Nairobi, Kenya

According to an article from the Agence France Presse, the husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and some of his friends beat the owner of disco and hotel, who is now in intensive care because of loud music.

German papers said the prince, Prince Ernst-August of Hanover, was enraged by loud music from a nearby discotheque owned by Joe Brunnlehner, and a group of men beat the owner until he fell in a bloody heap.

The article quoted Brunnlehner, from his hospital room in Mombassa, as telling German radio he was "lucky to be alive."

The article went on to say that the victim would sue the prince.

The article said that Kenyan police are investigating the incident, and the prince admitted responsibility in the German media.

The article said the victim's wife claimed she did not know why her husband was violently attacked, but added that neighbors have in the past complained about the noise from the disco.

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Utah Town Attempts to Solves Noise Problem from Steel Company

DATE: January 16, 2000
SECTION: Local; Pg. B10
DATELINE: Woods Cross, Utah

An article in the Deseret News said that the Woods Cross Council might soon solve noise problems from Metro Steel following complaints from the company's neighbors.

The article said that neighbors complained about when workers unload steel, especially steel balls, off railroad cars onto truck beds near their homes.

Because a dozen nearby homes could be affected by the noise, City Manager Gary Uresk will meet with company officials in an attempt to solve the problem and work with the state Department of Transportation about improving the crossing.

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Virginia Naval Station Proves Costly for Schools

PUBLICATION: Virginian-Pilot
DATE: January 16, 2000
SECTION: Local, Pg. B1
BYLINE: by Alice Warchol
DATELINE: Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Virginia-Pilot reports jet noise from the Oceana Naval Air Station is so disruptive to education in Virginia Beach that 15 schools need better insulation that will cost $3.5 million.

The article says that it will cost that much to make the recommended structural improvements that will reduce noise levels at the 15 schools.

According to the article, the school division in 1998 authorized the $115,000 report on jet noise. The article says that acoustics experts measured noise levels from passing jets both inside the classroom and on the rooftops.

The article explains that if the average sound level inside a classroom over several hours was more than 45 decibels, the level of normal conversation, consultants made recommendations on how to reduce the noise. However, the emphasized that the noise level in the classroom would still be greater than 45 decibels during the seconds that a jet is passing over.

Anthony L. Arnold, director of facilities, planning and construction stated that he was not concerned about jet noise interfering with learning. "I think the impact is minimal overall," he said. Editor's note: other studies prove the exact opposite, adding that continuous jet noise not only interferes with learning, it also adds stress.

The article says that not all school's noise problems will be taken care of during the summer of 2000, adding that others could wait as long as 10 years before they fall into the division's maintenance schedule.

The article goes on to say that school board members received the report in October of 1999, but gave it little discussion.

According to the article, John C. Shick, chairman of Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise, asked why the report does not examine portable classrooms, adding, " would be like being inside of a drum."

Arnold said that the study only addressed permanent buildings, but that school officials could always investigate complaints about portable buildings.

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