Civil Liberty Issues

New Louisiana Noise Ordinance Passes Constitutional Litmus Test (Apr. 19, 2000). The Advocate reported that a new noise ordinance in East Feliciana Parish is constitutionally sound, resulting in the Police Jury's support.

Rhode Island Night Club Owners Appeal Noise Violation: Claim it is Unconstitutional (Apr. 19, 2000). According to an article in the Providence Journal-Bulletin, the Town Council suspended a local business for violating an after-hours noise ordinance, but stayed the suspension when a Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order allowing the club to operate until a new court hearing.

Rhode Island Town's New Ordinance is Tougher but Will it Work? (Apr. 19, 2000). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reported that the Town Council in Bristol asked residents to identify areas in their neighborhoods and throughout the town that are noise problems.

Ohio Town Writes New Noise Ordinance Because of Noisy Semi Trucks (Apr. 16, 2000). According to the Columbus Dispatch, truck traffic in downtown Delaware, Ohio has sparked a debate on whether anyone can do anything about the jarring noise, which can shake the mortar loose from the bricks.

Residents in Wilmington, North Carolina Bothered by Loud Music from Bars; Noise Ordinance to be Amended (Apr. 13, 2000). The Morning Star in Wilmington, North Carolina reports that a popular nightclub offering outdoor music reopened two weeks ago in a new location that is bothering residents in downtown Wilmington. The bar, called the Icehouse, had previously been located in a warehouse district of the city, but has reopened in a downtown area near condominiums. The Icehouse had violated the city noise ordinance in the past at its old location.

Muslims in Oslo, Norway Allowed to Use Loudspeaker to Broadcast Calls to Prayer (Mar. 29, 2000). The Associated Press Worldstream reports that a neighborhood council in Oslo, Norway has granted permission to the World Islamic Mission to broadcast calls to prayer on outdoor loudspeakers every Friday.

North Carolina Police Ticket Protesters for Noise (Mar. 25, 2000). An article in the Asheville Citizen-Times that protesters who yelled at an employee of a women's health clinic were ticketed by police for "unreasonable, loud, disturbing, unnecessary noise."

Farmington Utah Residents Say No Sunday Pool and a Ban on Snowmobiles in Yellowtone (Mar. 24, 2000). Should swimming pools be closed on Sunday? An article from the Associated Press reported on such a dilemma in one town in Utah.

Baton Rouge City Council Tries Noise Ordinance a Second Time (Mar. 23, 2000). According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Metro City Council is enforcing an amended noise ordinance after much of it was declared unconstitutional in 1997.

Farmington, Utah Decides to Keep its Public Pool Closed on Sundays (Mar. 16, 2000). The Deseret News reports that the Farmington, Utah city council recently voted not to open the city pool on Sundays, despite some residents' opposition to the closure. Most proponents of the closure cited religious reasons, but some residents were also concerned about increased noise and traffic if the pool were allowed to open on Sundays.

Stuart, Florida Businessman Annoys Residents with Plan to Land Large Jet at Local Airfield (Mar. 13, 2000). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News in Florida published a letter to the editor from a member of Stuart's Airport Planning Advisory Team, who is annoyed with a local businessman who wants to land his Boeing 737 at a local airfield. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

Pittsburgh Reader Vents That Public Noise Levels Are Too Loud (Feb. 16, 2000). 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:

Reader Complains About Pittsburgh Noise (Feb. 16, 2000). 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:

Flordia Ball Field Too Noisy for Neighbors (Feb. 3, 2000). County planners approved a private citizen's request to play ball on the field he bought. Now the owner finds himself beset with noise and land use violations, putting him ad odds with local officials because night activities disrupt the peace and quiet of his neighbors, and the field is not zoned for night games.

Street Preacher Says Beaufort, South Carolina Noise Law that Sets Different Decibel Limits for Amplified and Unamplified Noise is Discriminatory to Street Preachers (Jan. 27, 2000). The Post and Courier reports that a Beaufort, South Carolina preacher has threatened to sue the city for setting decibel limits for unamplified noise lower than those for amplified noise: a rule that discriminates against street preaching.

Seattle City Council Delays Noise Ordinance in 2000 (Dec. 14, 1999). According to the Seattle Times, the Seattle City Council delayed voting on new noise regulations this year because of a possible infringements of First Amendment rights of demonstrators and because it threatened the existence of the city's nightclubs.

Garden Grove, California Planners Approve Mosque Expansion; Some Say Prayers Are Already Too Loud (Dec. 3, 1999). The Orange County Register reports that a mosque in Garden Grove, California received preliminary approval to double the size of their current building. Residents say that the noise from 5 daily prayers is already too much to take. Officials say the expansion will help accommodate more people inside, reducing the need for outdoor speakers

Illinois General Assembly's Noise Law Struck Down Because It Bans Music But Not Advertisements From Being Heard At 75 Feet (Nov. 26, 1999). The Chicago Tribune prints an editorial which explains that a noise law, passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 1990, has been overturned because it played favorites with forms of expression by exempting advertising noise.

Letter to the Editor from a Tujunga, California Resident Says Noise Is Not Specially Protected Because It Comes From a Religious Service (Nov. 25, 1999). The Daily News of Los Angeles prints several letters to the editor, one of which has to do with noise. The Tujunga, California resident says that noise is irritating and should be treated the same, even if it is from a religious organization.

Illinois Municipalities with Ordinances that Exempt Ice Cream Truck Music From Noise Laws May Face Constitutionality Issues, Now that the State Has Thrown Out a Law that Does the Same (Nov. 24, 1999). The Copley News Service reports that since the Illinois State Supreme Court has thrown out an unconstitutional state law that exempted ice cream trucks and other advertisers from vehicle noise laws, many municipal noise ordinances in Illinois may have to be changed as well. State legislators originally wanted to protect ice cream trucks which were just "playing a jingle", but the court and anti-noise activists say "noise abatement is noise abatement."

China Makes Company Executives Liable for Noise Breaches Made By Their Companies (Nov. 13, 1999). The South China Morning Post reports that an amendment to the Noise Control Ordinance will make company executives liable for any noise violations that their company creates. While companies say making one person liable is unfair, government officials say that someone has to be made responsible since the current system isn't working well. Fines will range up to $200,000 for each offense, about ten times the current fines.

Sun Valley, California Methodist Churches Annoy Residents With Amplified Services; Local Officials Say Churches Have Taken Some Measures, But Little More Can Be Done (Nov. 7, 1999). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that two churches in a Sun Valley neighborhood has become an increasing irritant to residents. Over the last two years forty complaints have been made, and the churches have taken some measures to reduce the noise. Although the local noise ordinance was amended to include churches, little can be done without restricting times of services,:a move that would be construed as a limit on religious freedom.

Seattle Council Members Criticized for Accepting "Inflammatory Hypothetical Examples" to Support Nuisance Ordinances (Nov. 4, 1999). The Seattle Weekly prints an article that criticizes Seattle City Council members for voting to approve noise and nuisance ordinances on the basis of "inflammatory hypothetical examples."

Philadelphia Labor Union No Longer Allowed to Make Excessive Noise as Part of Ongoing Protests (Oct. 15, 1999). The Legal Intelligencer reports that Philadelphia's United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners can no longer protest at such loud volumes. Use of non-union labor at Society Hill Towers has prompted an ongoing protest from the union which has prompted over 40 noise calls to police. The union's lawyer argued that only the city can enforce noise laws, but the judge said that especially because of the union's use of lookouts to evade proper noise measurement by local police, the NLRB "cannot be required to rely exclusively upon municipal enforcement mechanisms."

Fine Dropped After Daphne, Alabama Church Takes Steps to Quiet Services; City Removes Allegedly Unconstitutional Exemptions from the Noise Ordinance (Aug. 19, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that a fine imposed on a noisy Daphne, Alabama church was dropped after the church took steps to quiet their services. The church challenged the ordinance that justified the fine, and the city has since agreed to amend the ordinance by removing exemptions to excessive noise; the church had claimed that the exemptions were unconstitutional.

Daphne, Alabama Church Challenges Constitutionality of Noise Ordinance that Was Used to Fine Them (Jul. 14, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that a church in Daphne, Alabama is challenging the constitutionality of the noise ordinance used to ticket them for $166. They claim that the ordinance restricts their right to free speech and is unconstitutional. The church has soundproofed its walls and moved its instruments, and the city attorney plans to recommend dismissal based on those good-faith efforts.

Performers Outside New Orleans' Churches Subject to Jail Time Under New Noise Law (Jul. 13, 1999). The Times-Picayune reports that a new Louisiana law requires street performers and other people to keep noise under 55 decibels within ten feet of a hospital or a church which is having a service. Violators may be subject to a 30-day jail term. The law originated from complaints that street performers in New Orleans were making it hard for parishioners in churches to hear the service. American Civil Liberties Union lawyers say the law restricts the free speech of performers and constrains the city's culture.

Illinois Shooting Range Faces County Opposition Over Staying Open (Jul. 7, 1999). According to the Des Moines Register, an indoor shooting range in rural Polk County is in danger of closing because its neighbors and county officials claim the noise is too much. They want it to move to a new location.

Naperville, IL Seeks to Refine Its Noise Ordinances (Jun. 17, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports the city of Naperville, IL has moved from tackling noisy car stereos to completely remaking all its noise-related ordinances.

Overwhelming Majority of 50 Residents at Upper Saucon, Pennsylvania Town Board Meeting Oppose a Proposed Noise Ordinance to Restrict Firearm Discharge (May 27, 1999). The Morning Call reports that only three of more than 50 residents at a recent Upper Saucon, PA Town Board meeting supported a proposed ordinance to enforce noise levels; the ordinance would restrict shooting ranges to industrial zones.

Vote On Noise Ordinance Delayed at Pennsylvania Township Meeting; More than 50 Protest Proposal (May 27, 1999). The Morning Call reports that over 50 residents attended an Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors meeting to stop a proposed noise ordinance that defines and enforces noise levels and restricts the location of shooting ranges.

French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana is Site of Disagreement for Street Musicians and Parishioners Desiring Quiet (May 17, 1999). The Times-Picayune reports that a Cathedral in New Orleans' French Quarter has become a place of conflict between street musicians and parishioners. Parishioners claim their right to worship is being compromised by street musician's noise, and had threatened to sue the city; in response, no-noise signs have been erected and a pledge has been made by local police to enforce noise limits there.

Police Post Signs Barring Noise at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Street Musicians Are Upset and Think It's Just the Beginning (May 14, 1999). The Times-Picayune reports that police in New Orleans' French Quarter posted signs in front of St. Louis Cathedral suggesting musicians were not welcome. Musicians are upset, and some signs have disappeared. An attorney who has represented street performers in the past say the signs, intended to bar noise above 78 decibels 50 feet from its source during services, seem to suggest that no noise is acceptable at any time. Parishioners planned to sue for their right to worship without disruptive sound, but they are holding off since the city has posted the signs and promised to enforce the noise limits. The noise limits in the quarter are already above the 70 decibels in other residential areas of New Orleans.

Noisy Rooster in St. Tammany, Louisiana, Now Dead, Responsible For Making Barnyard Animals Immune From Noise Nuisance Ordinance (Apr. 20, 1999). The Times-Picayune reports that a rooster who couldn't keep quiet has caused a noise nuisance ordinance to be changed so that barnyard animals are exempt from being cited in rural areas of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana.

Bill Passes Louisiana House, Protects Churches from Outside Noise (Apr. 15, 1999). The Times-Picayune reports a Louisiana State House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would make it a crime to blast music or other noise within 200 feet of a church, hospital or courthouse.

NC Town Amends Noise Ordinance, Debates Purchase of Noise Meters (Apr. 15, 1999). The Morning Star (Wilmington, NC) reports the Carolina Beach, North Carolina, town council took steps Tuesday night to eliminate disparities in its noise ordinance.

Neighbors Fight Proposed FedEx Hub at NC Airport, Fearing Noise and Loss of Property Values (Apr. 15, 1999). Cox News Service reports a neighborhood coalition, objecting to noise and loss of property values, is threatening to block a proposed Federal Express hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina..

Foes of Third Runway at Boston's Logan Airport Question Environmental Justice of Project (Apr. 12, 1999). The Boston Globe reports opponents of a third runway at Boston's Logan Airport are wielding a new argument these days: environmental injustice.

Raligh, NC, Adopts Noise Ordinance to Govern Amplified Music (Apr. 7, 1999). The News and Observer reports the Raleigh, North Carolina, City Council approved a new noise ordinance Tuesday that will govern business where amplified music is played.

NC County May Use "Reasonableness Standard" to Measure Noise and Enforce Ordinance (Apr. 6, 1999). The Herald-Sun reports Durham County, North Carolina, in an effort to make its noise ordinance for enforceable, is considering revising the standards by which it measures noise.

Michigan Town Wants to Lower Volume on Noisy Car Stereos (Apr. 5, 1999). The Associated Press reports some residents of Saginaw Township, Michigan, want to see a change in a local noise ordinance that would focus on noisy car stereos.

British Columbia Town Restricts Noisy All-Night Dance Parties (Apr. 5, 1999). The Vancouver Sun reports the town of Richmond, British Columbia, has drafted a bylaw that will restrict all night dance parties, known as raves, in response to residents' noise complaints and criticisms of other kinds.

Opposition to Logan Expansion Builds in Massachusetts (Mar. 28, 1999). The Boston Globe reports the Massachusetts Port Authority's momentum to get a new runway built at Logan Airport is slowly being matched by the opposition of residents, activists, leaders, and politicians.

Cell Phones are the Boom Boxes of the '90's (Mar. 23, 1999). The Buffalo News published an essay pronouncing cell phones the boom boxes of the '90's, creating enough public noise to annoy and offend.

Letters: Los Angeles Area Residents Speak Out About Airports (Mar. 21, 1999). The Los Angeles Times published the following letters from Los Angeles area residents about voters' rights in the wake of new and expanded airports. The first letter is from Leonard Kranser of Dana Point. Kranser writes to clarify the Safe and Health Communities Initiative:

Denver Councilman Calls for Greater Police Effort to Enforce City's Noise Laws (Mar. 20, 1999). The Denver Post reports a Denver city councilman is pushing for stricter enforcement of the city's noise ordinances.

Proposed Ordinance in RI Town Would Create Decibel-Limit Zones (Mar. 17, 1999). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the Richmond Town Council will resume a public hearing tonight on a proposal to strengthen the town noise ordinance.

Action Group wants Ban on Night Flights at Boca Raton Airport (Mar. 14, 1999). The Palm Beach Post reports Boca Raton, Florida, resident Ellen Lohr who lives northeast of the airport, wants a nighttime ban on all planes and wants a complete ban on what the Federal Aviation Administration calls "Stage One" planes, the loudest and oldest of aircraft. The FAA recently allowed the Naples airport to ban Stage One planes at night. The number of jets taking off and landing at the Boca Raton airport has dramatically increased in the last ten years. In 1990, there were just eight jets based at the airport. Today there are 45. And takeoffs and landings have jumped 42 percent in that time, from 96,000 in 1990 to 136,700 last year - one every four minutes if spread over every hour of every day. The airport's noise hot line logged 318 complaints in January and February, more than triple the amount from the same period last year. About half were for nighttime flights, though most flights occur during the day. When Ellen Lohr moved to Boca Raton in 1990, she fell in love with a relatively quiet South Florida suburb. Now, she's afraid it's turning into a transportation hub. "The planes here, they zoom over the houses," she said. "You can't talk, you can't sleep. It's gotten horrible. Since I've been living here, the quality of my life has severely deteriorated as a result of the noise from the airport," said Lohr, who founded the Boca Raton Airport Action Group (BRAAG) in 1996.

Resident Sees FedEx Hub as Detrimental to Quality of Life in Greensboro, NC (Mar. 14, 1999). The News & Record published a letter to the editor from resident Hildegard Kuehn who sees the proposed FedEx cargo hub along with subsequent noise, third airport runway, and other changes as severely detrimental to the quality of life in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ms. Kuehn writes:

Palmetto, Florida, Looks to Remove Exemptions from Current Noise Ordinance (Mar. 2, 1999). The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports spurred by noise from the Manatee County Fairgrounds, the Palmetto, Florida, City Council plans to tighten the town's noise ordinance, eliminating a number of exemptions.

Letters from Calif. Residents Voice Opinions about Projected Noise from El Toro (Feb. 28, 1999). The Los Angeles Times published a series of letters from residents about the impact of noise on residents from proposed jet operations from El Toro airport near Los Angeles, California. Reacting to a previously published article about noise complaints from residents who live in an area deemed a "Quiet Zone," opinions varied. The first letter is from Edward F. Gogin Jr. of Trabuco Canyon, California. Grogin writes:

'Snowmobile' is a Fighting Word in Yellowstone National Park; Man and Motor Versus Natural Quiet (Feb. 28, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports the snowmobile's noise and pollution in Yellowstone National Park is the latest topic in a larger debate of how to appreciate nature on public lands in the United States.

Palmetto, Florida, Seeks to Create Enforceable Noise Ordinance with a 'Bite' (Feb. 27, 1999). The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports noise complaints from a new arena has prompted the city of Palmetto, Florida, to rewrite their noise ordinance.

U.S. May Retaliate with Concorde Ban if EU Enacts Ban on Hush-Kitted Aircraft (Feb. 25, 1999). The Financial Times reports the U.S. is considering a ban of its own if the European Union goes forward with a ban on older hush-kitted aircraft.

DC Residents Angry about Sen. McCain's Effort to Increase Flights at Reagan National Airport (Feb. 22, 1999). The Christian Science Monitor reports Arizona Senator John McCain(R) is proposing to increase the number of flights in and out of Reagan National Airport and to lift the 1,250-mile limit on outbound aircraft from the Washington DC airport.

Illinois Town Rejects Noise Ordinance as Too Broad and Restrictive (Feb. 22, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports late last week, the village board of Winfield, Illinois, voted to reject a proposed noise ordinance that many residents argued was unnecessary and too broad.

Mass. Communities Disagree on Logan Airport Expansion; Community Advisory Group Challenges Massport on Tactics, Disclosure, and Equity (Feb. 21, 1999). The Boston Globe reports critics ask tough questions of Massport's plans to new runway at Logan Airport. Residents on the Community Advisory Committee, who represent towns affected by Logan, want answers about airport capacity, long-range planning, equity, and value of residents' quality of life.

California State Fair Wins Noise Suit; Bills Two Residents $3.3 Million for Legal Fees (Feb. 15, 1999). The Los Angeles Times reports two Costa Mesa, California, residents who lost a noise suit to the state-run Orange County Fair have been billed $3.3 million in legal fees for prolonging the suit.

Snowmobile Debate in US Parks Goes National with Petition from Green Groups (Feb. 12, 1999). USA Today reports a coalition of environmental groups in the United Sates is calling for the ban of recreational snowmobiles in national parks, setting off a contentious debate covering issues from noise and pollution to local economies and civil rights.

State's Attorney's Office Joins School in Suit Against Chicago for Funds to Muffle Noise from O'Hare Airport (Feb. 7, 1999). The Chicago Daily Herald reports the DuPage County state's attorney's office has stepped into the legal battle between the city of Chicago and a private school system which sued for funds to soundproof the schools against noise from O'Hare International Airport.

Barberton, Ohio, Passes Noise Law Targeting Boomcars; Equipment and Vehicles May be Confiscated (Nov. 23, 1998). The Plain Dealer published an editorial urging readers to move to Barberton, Ohio, to get some peace and quiet now that the town has passed a law authorizing the confiscation of car stereo equipment and vehicles from repeated noise offenders.

Editorial: Minn. Politics and Bureaucracy Nix Citizens' Chance in Fighting New Runway at Metropolitan Airport (Nov. 22, 1998). The Star Tribune published an editorial contending a Richfield, Illinois, couple who fought runway noise at the Metropolitan Airport, and lost, learned a bitter civics lesson involving the mixing of politics and bureaucracy.

Florida Pig Farmers Ordered to Turn Down Music (Nov. 21, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports golfers in Stuart, Florida, won the first court fight Friday against the pig farmers they say are disrupting them with blaring music the farmers say calm their animals.

RI Town Goes to Court to Stop Night-Time Noise from Asphalt Plant (Nov. 20, 1998). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the noise from late-night paving in Johnston, Rhode Island, has turned into a legal issue.

Noise Ordinance in Bristol, RI, Challenged and Repealed for Being Too Broad and Vague (Nov. 18, 1998). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports the town of Bristol, RI, has agreed to repeal a noise ordinance that was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties of Rhode Island.

Mass. Resident Says Noise Escalating from Local Gun Club (Nov. 17, 1998). The Patriot Ledger reports a Pembroke, Massachusetts, resident says the noise is escalating from a gun club on her street.

Chandler, Arizona, Debates Runway and Heliport Issues at Local Airport (Nov. 6, 1998). The Arizona Republic reports Chandler, Arizona, officials Thursday debated the future of the city's airport, addressing such issues as the length of runways, relocating a heliport, and jurisdiction over the airport.

Airport Debate in Chandler, Arizona, Pits Residents who Want Quiet Against Supporters of Economic Development (Nov. 5, 1998). The Arizona Republic reports officials considering accelerating development around the airport in Chandler, Arizona, face opposition from residents who want peace and quiet.

Burbank Airport Begins Noise Study, Wants City to Abide by Night Flight Findings (Oct. 20, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports Burbank Airport commissioners voted unanimously Monday to begin a study that could lead to required anti- noise measures, which may include a mandatory curfew on night flights.

City Councilors Disagree about Banning Jet Skis on Vermont Lake (Oct. 20, 1998). The Associated Press reports Burlington, Vermont's, City Council is considering banning personal watercraft from Burlington Harbor on Lake Champlain.

RI Town Moves Toward Drafting Enforceable Noise Ordinance (Oct. 19, 1998). Providence Journal-Bulletin reports noise problems from loud cars to early morning industrial operations prove challenging to Rhode Island residents.

City Planners in Chesapeake, Virginia, Reject Speedway Based on Projected Noise (Oct. 15, 1998). The Virginian-Pilot reports noise was one of the environmental factors commissioners in Chesapeake, Virginia, cited in rejecting a proposed speedway.

1946 Landmark Ruling Could Help NC Residents Fight FedEx at Piedmont Airport (Oct. 12, 1998). The Associated Press reports a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a chicken farmer could affect the outcome of the proposed FedEx hub at Greensboro, North Carolina's, Piedmont Triad International Airport.

Landmark Noise Case Could be Foundation for Homeowners' Action Against Airport FedEx Hub in Greensboro, NC (Oct. 10, 1998). The News & Record reports a 52-year-old legal case may be ammunition for property owners near the Piedmont Triad International Airport who opposed a Federal Express hub and a third runway at the Greensboro, North Carolina, airport.

Police Called Repeatedly to Enforce Peace and Quiet in Los Angeles (Oct. 1, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports the calls pour in all night long to California's downtown Los Angeles police communications center from Angelenos desperate for a little peace and quiet.

Chicago Alderman Seeks to Soften City's Noise Ordinance, Claiming Ban on Loud Car Music Hurts Retailers (Sep. 30, 1998). The Chicago Tribune reports a Chicago, Illinois, City Alderman has introduced an initiative to amend the city's 1996 ordinance that bans loud music in cars. Opponents of the current noise ordinance say it hurts business at car-audio retailers.

Colorado County Considers Noise Standards for Oil, Gas Industry (Sep. 28, 1998). The Associated Press reports commissioners in La Plata County, Colorado, will reconsider a proposed noise standard for the oil and gas industry after industry officials claimed the restrictions are impractical.

Despite Noise and Safety Concerns, Senate Approves Plan to Increase Flights at Washington's Reagan National Airport (Sep. 26, 1998). The Washington Post reports the US Senate approved a plan yesterday to add flights at Washington's Reagan National Airport despite local fears that it would add to noise in neighboring communities and undermine business at Dulles International Airport.

Senate Approves More Flights from Reagan Airport; Washington, DC, Residents Expect More Noise (Sep. 26, 1998). The Washington Times reports residents who live near Washington, DC's Reagan National Airport are angry about Senate approval of a bill to increase flights at the busy airport. Residents say increased flights mean more noise and traffic.

Noise Complaints in the United Kingdom Decreasing (Sep. 16, 1998). The Birmingham Evening Mail reports environmental health officers in the United Kingdom announced the public may be becoming more tolerant of noisy neighbors.

Illinois Residents Object to Regulation of Law Mower and Snow Blower Noise (Sep. 14, 1998). The Chicago Daily Herald published the following letters it received from Arlington Heights, Illinois, citizens in response to a report that the Arlington Heights Environmental Control Commission said it was looking at limiting the hours when people can operate lawn mowers. The first letter is from Jan Berkley:

Political and Social Issues Accompany Leaf Blower Controversies in U.S. (Sep. 14, 1998). The Dallas Morning News reports with autumn comes falling the leaves, and for some residents and workers in states including Texas, Illinois and California, the re-emergence of the heated leaf-blower controversy is likely.

Editorial Criticizes Residential Growth Near Arizona's Luke Air Force Base (Sep. 11, 1998). The Arizona Republic published the following letter to the editor from Bill Lipscomb of Surprise City, Arizona. In his letter, Lipscomb warns citizens of the dangers of allowing residential growth under the flight paths at Luke Air Force Base. Lipscomb wrote:

Citizens in Gilbert, Arizona, Demand to be Heard about Noise from Williams Gateway Airport (Sep. 10, 1998). The Arizona Republic published the following letter to the editor from Gilbert, Arizona, resident Nick Champion. In his letter, Champion challenges the town council's position on airport noise and its effects on residents' property values. Champion wrote:

Groups Picket St. Louis City Hall Over Expansion Plans for Missouri's Lambert Field Airport, Citing Noise and Safety Concerns (Sep. 9, 1998). The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports three organizations that oppose the expansion plan for Missouri's Lambert Field are scheduled today to picket the St. Louis City Hall. After the picketing, they hope to meet with St. Louis Mayor Clarence Harmon to voice their complaints.

Letter Asks for Equal Coverage of North Carolina Residents' Concerns about FedEx Hub (Sep. 8, 1998). The News & Record published the following letter to the editor from Jeff Johnson, a resident of Greensboro, North Carolina. In his letter Johnson contends recent articles published in the newspaper about the new FedEx hub unfairly deny equal space to citizens' concerns. Johnson writes:

Letter: Don't Neglect to Mention Noise from Santa Monica Airport in Real Estate Articles (Sep. 6, 1998). The Los Angeles Times published the following letter to the editor from two Los Angeles, California, residents who chided the newspaper for omitting the existence of airplane noise in any article about Sunset Park real estate. The Schechters wrote:

New Orleans Enacts Noise Buffer Zone for Cathedral during Services (Sep. 4, 1998). The Times-Picayune reports the New Orleans City Council on Thursday placed limits on noise levels around a city cathedral during religious services after a lengthy dispute between the church and street musicians.

Editorial: Making Providence, Rhode Island Safe for Civility (Aug. 13, 1998). And let Hizzoner memorize City Journal, which has been the Bible in New York. Every issue is a sort of Clausewitz on the war to save our cities.

Selective Enforcement of Noise Ordinance a Concern Says Pittsburgh Editorialist (Aug. 9, 1998). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published the following editorial regarding the enforcement of the city's new noise ordinance. The editorialist says that if the ordinance is "enforced selectively on the basis of race or age or neighborhood, citizens will make their discontent known - loud and clear. Most Pittsburghers want a more civil society, but not at the cost of fairness."

ACLU Says Noise Ordinance in Bristol, RI, Violates First Amendment, Files Lawsuit (Aug. 6, 1998). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a federal lawsuit charging that the town of Bristol's noise ordinance violates the First Amendment.

Noise and Conduct Ordinance Receives Final Approval from Pittsburgh City Council (Aug. 4, 1998). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pittsburgh City Council has approved new "noise pollution" legislation intended to improve the city's quality of life. The ordinance was written as a response to residents' complaints about booming car stereos and is expected to take effect October 1, provided the mayor signs the bill.

NJ Resident Cited for Noise; Neighbors Say Police Acted Too Slowly (Jul. 7, 1998). The Record reports although police issued a ticket to the hostess of a noisy Fourth of July reggae party on Saturday night, angry neighbors say the officers acted too late to save their holiday from being ruined by loud music and crowds of people overflowing onto the street.

Carmelite Nuns Ask for Noise Buffer from New Roads; Texas Town Says Wall Too Expensive (Jul. 1, 1998). The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports two former mayors and a former city councilwoman spoke to the City Council last night on behalf of a group of nuns who say the expansion of two roads threatens the serenity of their south Arlington, Texas, monastery.

German Court Rules in Favor of Neighbors; Enforces Quiet Times at Home (Jun. 26, 1998). AP Worldstream reports Germany's Constitutional Court refused Friday to hear an appeal of a controversial ruling that came from a neighbor's complaints about noise coming from a house for mentally handicapped men.

GA County Says Yes to Outdoor Music for Restaurants but Noise Ordinance Still in Effect (Jun. 25, 1998). The Atlanta Journal reports for the second time in recent months, county commissioners in Gwinnett, Georgia, changed the alcohol law to allow restaurants to play music outside their buildings.

Florida's Martin County Strives to Write Enforceable Noise Ordinance (Jun. 24, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports commissioners in Martin County, Florida, are working to develop a constitutionally sound ordinance to control noise nuisances.

Aim to Quieten Noisy-Nighttime Cruisers near Sante Fe's Tourist Areas Calls for Careful Consideration of Possible Solutions (Jun. 18, 1998). The Santa Fe New Mexican reports their opinion concerning the noise from youth cruising in their automobiles. The cruisers reportedly use a route along the Santa Fe River that passes in front of one of Sante Fe's finer hotels, the Inn of Governors. The article reports that the city's public safety committee want to block off the route for four hours along those portions that are near the hotels at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The paper suggests instead that signs be put up saying the noise ordinance will be strictly enforced along the relevant streets where the public peace is being threatened and then use a tough enforcement measures on its violators.

Nostalgic Ice Cream Trucks Considered a Dangerous Nuisance in Cites throughout the United States (May 27, 1998). The Pantagraph publishes an article discussing the variety of laws and restrictions on ice cream trucks that have popped up across the county.

Two Czech Cities Decide to Wall Off Their "Problematic" Gypsies (May 25, 1998). The International Herald Tribune reports that officials in Usti Nad Labem and Pilsen, Czech Republic have decided to wall off what they call "problematic" public housing residents, mainly low-income Gypsies, because officials say they destroy the quality-of-life of their neighbors. The walled-off areas will be guarded by round-the-clock police patrols. Some say the walled-off areas will be the equivalent of a ghetto for the residents, the article says.

Baltimore City Council Discusses Bill to Ban Amplifiers in Lexington Market (May 19, 1998). The Baltimore Sun reports the Baltimore City Council introduced a bill yesterday to ban the use of amplifiers in the Lexington Market area after merchants complained.

Florida Airboat Owners Demonstrate on River Hoping to Prevent Ban (May 18, 1998). The Press Journal reports the owners of airboats took guests on a "trail ride" to protest a proposed ban being considered by Florida's Indian River and Brevard counties. Airboat owners hoped to prove noise complaints were unfounded.

Florida Pig Farmer Says Noise Laws will Harm Business (May 12, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports Martin County officials will hold a public hearing on a noise ordinance for the county. A Stuart pig farmer says the proposed noise law is aimed specifically at him and will alter his agricultural business.

City in British Columbia Proposes "Anti-Nuisance Zones;" Includes Noise as Uncivil and Illegal Behavior (May 7, 1998). The Vancouver Sun reports the New Westminster, British Columbia, city council has given a first reading to a new bylaw that would create "anti-nuisance zones" where civility would be required. Making noise that disturbs residents is one of the uncivil behaviors addressed in the new bylaw.

Editorial Says It's Time For Vancouver to Object to Portland Airport Noise Exports (May 3, 1998). The Columbian printed an editorial that says Portland International Airport's practice of sending noise over Clark County, Washington, is unacceptable. It's time for residents to object to this noise abuse and secure representation on the Portland Airport's governing board.

Editorial - Van Nuys Residents Want Equity in Airport Noise Decisions (May 1, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles published the following editorial by Ellen Bagelman, president of the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Association. It's Bagelman's opinion that noise complaints from residents who live near the Van Nuys Airport are ignored. Bagelman wrote:

Palm Beach Airport's Noise-Afflicted Neighbors Will Continue to Fight Expansion Despite FAA Approval for Longer Runway (May 1, 1998). The Palm Beach Post reports Palm Beach International Airport received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration this week to lengthen its main runway. Airport expansion and noise continue to be a source of conflict among residents, city officials, and county commissioners.

Crackdown on Smaller Crimes in Greenwich Village Works, but Leaves Some Residents Annoyed (Apr. 27, 1998). The New York Times reports that New York City police have been undertaking a crackdown on minor crimes every weekend in Greenwich Village as part of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's increased focus on quality-of-life crimes. The crackdown, called Operation Civil Village, involves radar traps, sound traps, drunken-driving checkpoints, stolen-vehicle checkpoints, motorcycle checkpoints, and license, registration, and insurance-card checkpoints. The article notes that while police and some residents say the project has been a huge success, other residents complain about being stopped by police when they've done nothing wrong, about police officers harassing people, and about long waits in traffic when police are checking IDs.

Menlo Park Gardeners Try to Avoid Ban with Quieter Leaf Blowers (Apr. 9, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports local gardeners yesterday at Menlo Park City Hall traded in their leaf blowers for new, quieter models, hoping to prevent a ban on the machines.

City Councilors of Pittsfield, Maine Consider Public-Conduct Ordinance Aimed at City's Youth to Prohibit Excessive Nightime Noise (Apr. 8, 1998). The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports a public conduct ordinance was proposed to the Pittsfield, Maine city council by the ordinance committee to prohibit excessive late-night noise from the city's youth.

Chinese Villagers Are Prosecuted After Blocking A Runway in Aircraft Noise Protest (Apr. 6, 1998). The British Broadcasting Corporation printed exerpts of an article published by 'Xinhua Ribao" in Nanjing China on March 20, 1998. The 'Zinhua Ribao' article reported that 26 residents from Zhuanghu Village in Jiangsu Province gathered and blocked the runway of Nanjing Lukou International Airport on February 24, 1998 to protest the adverse affect of the airplanes on their life and demanded compensation.

Silencing of Ice Cream Truck Music by Stafford Township Leads to Filing of Federal Lawsuit (Mar. 28, 1998). The Asbury Park Press of New Jersey reports that Stafford Township's ban on ice cream truck music is being challenged in Federal Court based on constitutional grounds. Jeffery S. Cabaniss, a township resident and the owner of Jef-Freeze Treats, filed the suit against the township council on March 25. He has asked for a court injunction to restore the music in Stafford while the case is pending.

Groups Disagree over Change in Kansas City Noise Ordinance (Mar. 19, 1998). The Kansas City Star reports neighborhood leaders and abortion opponents disagreed Wednesday about a proposal to give police more power to enforce the city' s noise ordinance. Abortion opponents promised to sue if the ordinance is revised.

Will Noise Ordinance be Adjusted for New Jersey Ice Cream Vendors? (Mar. 18, 1998). The Asbury Park Press reports that New Jersey officials in Stafford Township are seeking a compromise in an ordinance that bans ice cream vendors from playing amplified music from their trucks.

LA Residents Write in About Leaf Blowers and Enforcing the Law (Mar. 16, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles published the following letters from residents in the Los Angeles area who cited their views on leaf blowers, the leaf blower ban and its enforcement:

Noise Pollution is Many Americans' Biggest Pollution Problem (Mar. 13, 1998). E Magazine reports that our world is becoming dangerously noisy, with noise pollution and health problems from noise on the rise. The two largest sources of noise pollution, airport and vehicle traffic, are growing at a rate of three to five percent annually, and the most frequent complaint Americans make about their neighborhoods is noise. The article says activists working on noise pollution issues compare the movement today to the campaign against secondhand smoke a decade ago. Like secondhand smoke, they say, noise is both an annoying nuisance and the cause of serious health problems. The article goes on to give an overview of health problems related to noise and to interview several activists involved in the fight against noise.

Residents Seek Relief from Nightly Rail Noise (Mar. 9, 1998). The Grand Rapids Press reports Ada residents have organized to curb incessant night time train noise in their neighborhood. Their prospects for success appear dim.

Scotland's Environmental Health Department Should Enforce Noise Laws (Mar. 7, 1998). The Evening News of Edinburgh, Scotland, printed the following letter from a resident about which agency should enforce noise laws:

Domestic Noise Problems Belong to Environmental Health Department Says Citizen in Eninburgh, Scotland (Mar. 7, 1998). The Evening News in Edinburgh, Scotland ran the following letter regarding the enforcement of noise ordinances. According to the article, legislation was recently amended to provide police the power to seize sound equipment that is causing a nuisance. The resident's letter points out that the Environmental Health Department already had existing powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to enforce the law regarding persistent noise nuisance from both commercial and domestic sources. The letter reads as follows:

NJ Town Bans Amplified Music from Ice-Cream Vendors (Mar. 5, 1998). The Asbury Park Press published an editorial about the decision Tuesday night by the Stafford, New Jersey, Township Committee to ban amplified music from ice cream trucks.

West Virginia Noise Bill May Not Get Through Senate (Mar. 5, 1998). The Charleston Gazette reports a bill that could help secure a little peace and quiet for a West Virginia resident was approved by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Wednesday. However, the deadline is fast-approaching for the Senate to act on its own bills, and this bill may not make it through in time.

Live with PBI Airport Noise or Move: It's Your Choice, Says Resident (Mar. 5, 1998). The Palm Beach Post published the following letter in its Letters to the Editor section from West Palm Beach resident, Noelle Smith. Smith says dealing with noise from the Palm Beach International Airport is a choice she makes. Others, she says, need to take responsibility for their choice of residence. Ms Smith writes:

California Residents Debate El Toro Airport Proposal (Feb. 22, 1998). The Los Angeles Times published the following letters to the editor concerning the El Toro Airport proposal in California:

Animal Rights Activists Make Noise At Circus (Feb. 21, 1998). The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that animal rights activists in Richmond, Virginia protested the Barnum and Bailey Circus using megaphones in violation of the local noise ordinance.

California Legislature Threatens Local Leaf Blower Bans (Feb. 21, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that a state law is poised to overrule city-based laws on leaf blowers in the state of California. Los Angeles plans to rally other cities, and the state League of Cities, to maintain their gas-fueled leafblower bans and restrictions.

New York City Street Screamers Wreak Havoc In Soho (Feb. 8, 1998). The New York Times reports about growing noise complaints in Soho, New York City.

Californai Residents React to El Toro Editorial (Jan. 25, 1998). The Los Angeles Times printed the following letters to the editor in response to a January 18, 1998, editorial titled, "Clarity for El Toro."

Day Care Centers in California Neighborhoods Bring Noise Disputes (Jan. 22, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that some Dublin, California, residents are upset about noise from a nearby daycare center. In a counterattack, the daycare center has brought a suit against two neighbors. Apparently, the contentious battle mirrors other disputes over day care centers moving into residential areas.

Spokane Area Lakes in Critical Condition, Poisoned by Noise, Pollution, Crowds (Jan. 18, 1998). The Spokesman-Review reports several lakes in the Spokane, Washington, area are critically polluted with silt, weeds, noise and overcrowding.

Mining Company Incompatible with Tennessee Residential Area (Jan. 14, 1998). The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that a surface-mining operation has been deemed incompatible with the Millertown Pike area. Planning commissioners were not wooed by company's offer to make road improvements.

California Community Establishes New Requirements For Noisy Bars And Restaurants (Dec. 23, 1997). Ventura County Star reports that the Simi Valley City Council in California approved an amendment requiring noisy bars and restaurants to obtain a special-use permit.

Dallas Bells Take Toll on Church Neighbors' Nerves (Dec. 14, 1997). The Washington Post reports that since the new chimes began ringing on the hour at his church in this north Dallas suburb, the Rev. Thomas Jackson has learned an odd lesson: One man's peace is another man's pest. The article describes how to Jackson and his flock at the Calvary Christian Center, the Westminster chimes sounding a familiar 16-note tune every hour, with a 10-minute medley of hymns twice a day create a few moments of serenity in a hectic day. But to neighbors Billy and Linda Dennis, and Lawrence Cumings, all of whom work at night and sleep during the day, the chimes have shattered their routine and so frazzled their nerves that they have filed complaints accusing the church of violating the city noise ordinance.

Texas Neighbor Strikes Deal Over Bells in The Colony To Ring Five Times Daily Under Arrangement (Dec. 13, 1997). According to the Dallas Morning News, the Calvary Christian Center has turned down the volume of its Westminster chimes, which will now ring only five times daily instead of 13 times, under an agreement announced Friday. The article reports that church pastor Thomas Jackson and Lawrence Cumings, a neighbor who complained about the bells, said they had reached a compromise.

California Neighbors Complain of Noisy All-Night Religion Ceremonies (Oct. 30, 1997). The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Cathy Giorgi of Fallbrook, California, was arrested and ordered to appear in court on a noise issue. Giorgi, a follower of Delbert "Blackfox" Pomani, a Hunkpapa Dakota Indian, built a teepee in her front yard, where she and other followers worship regularly from dusk to dawn. As a member of the Native American Church, Giorgi insists she has a constitutional right to practice her religion. But some of her neighbors object, saying all-night singing, drumming and chanting are disrupting their sleep.

Columnist's Noise Test Finds that Leaf Blowers are as Loud as Dynamite (Jul. 20, 1997). The Chapel Hill Herald printed a humorous editorial in which the columnist laments the loss of silence in America and bemoans the constitutional right of people to use leaf blowers, which he finds are louder than dynamite.

Airlines Challenge San Francisco Benefits Law, Saying They Are Subject Only to Federal Laws (May 13, 1997). Business Wire reports in an industry press release that the Air Transport Association (ATA) today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco which challenges a local ordinance that would force U.S. airlines to offer employment benefits to the "domestic partners" of employees. ATA claims that airlines can only be governed by federal laws, not local laws. (Ed: This issue is relevant to airport noise issues because the airline industry uses the same arguments with respect to local noise ordinances as with San Francisco's domestic partner ordinance.)

Louisiana District Considers Noise Ordinance to Control Loud Music With Profanity (Apr. 9, 1997). The Times-Picayune reports that the St. John the Baptist Parish (Louisiana) Council is considering changing the parish's noise ordinance in an attempt to control loud music that contains obscenities. No action was taken at a Tuesday Council meeting, but Assistant District Attorney Charles Lorio agreed to study the council's options in revising the noise ordinance.

Federal Judge Overturns Part of Louisiana City Noise Ordinance (Apr. 8, 1997). The Advocate reports that a federal judge Monday overturned part of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana city-parish ordinance limiting noise in public, saying the local law violated the constitutional rights of a street preacher who sought to use a bullhorn.

Residents Asked to Give up Right to Sue for Free Soundproofing (Oct. 6, 1996). The Los Angeles Times reported that Burbank Airport plans to offer noise insulation treatment to as many as 2,300 residences if the residents agree never to sue the airport for reasons that relate to noise.

Other Indexes

Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
Home Equipment and Appliances
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Chronological Index
Geographical Index

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