Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winter 2010 – page 6

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Noise Threat to Marine Mammals

An article in The Province last August detailed concerns by The Living Oceans Society about potential damage to whales and other marine species by a recent federal decision to allow an American research ship to conduct seismic blasting.

These blasts will be conducted in a protected marine area 250 kilometres off Vancouver Island. Established in 2003, this area, called Endeavour, is the first Canadian marine protected area and is home to 12 species of marine life, including threatened fin whales.


The month long American research involves soundings of 180 decibels—louder than a jet engine—every two to three minutes, and is lead by the department of geological sciences at the University of Oregon.

Ecojustice, acting for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, was planning to challenge the recent decision in Federal Court; its argument will be that the Canadian government has no right to permit a foreign vessel to harass marine mammals in Canadian waters.

— Edited by Carole A. Martyn

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Boom-Box Busters

Under the headline “LOWERING THE BOOM ON LOUD MUSIC,” Ross Weitzner wrote some 10 years ago in the Morning Journals about Lorain, Ohio, police officer Pete Rewak destroying a stereo system with a sledge hammer.

The City of Lorain has cranked up its excessive-noise ordinance, and a second offense results in stereo equipment being confiscated and destroyed, according to Lorain Municipal Court Judge Mark Mihok, to avoid it being returned to the streets.

“The last three to five months, there’s been about one loud stereo citation issued a day; about 40 a month,” Lorain Law Director Mark Provenza said.


We recently looked at the Lorain website and found the following provision in their ordinance:


No person shall operate any radio, music player or audio system in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of other persons. The operation of any such sound device at any time in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from any vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation.

(Ord. 177 02. Passed 10 21 02.)

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More Protection from Railway Noise in Germany

BERLIN – Stress, sleep loss, heart-attacks: Too much noise can be harmful to health and well-being in many ways. Thus, transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee wants to greatly reduce the noise burden at roads, railways, and airports by 2020.

Rail traffic is at the centre of the programme he presented last August. To remove old, squeaky locomotives and rail-cars from the


tracks, a system for a noise-dependent levy on freight-trains will be introduced by 2013.

According to that plan, approximately 2.5 billion Euro will be invested in the reduction of railway noise, plus 1.5 billion in the abatement of noise from federal roads and freeways. In all of that, says Tiefensee, half of the investment in tracks and cars is to be born by the railway administration.

— Darmstaedter Echo/AP

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The musical vineyard

How and why a wine becomes a masterpiece depends not only on the climate or the weather conditions. The soil plays a role, as well as the air and the vegetation of the surrounding area.

A wine grower in Tuscany has developed a very special way to produce a wine of masterly excellence from his grape tendrils. Giancarlo Gignozzi’s vines grow and


flourish to the tunes of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.

The music, says the vintner, stimulates the growth of the vines and wards off vermin. He has consulted experts and has the impact of the music tested. His wines are said to receive top ratings.


Calmer beaches in Rio

Last month the Daily Telegraph reported of extra police officers being hired to enforce a new law in Rio de Janeiro. Hundreds of police are being drafted in to enforce a ban on ball games on the beach, says the report, as part of a campaign to reduce the chaos and noise on the waterfront. The ban will cover the hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and will run until the end of the southern hemisphere’s summer in March.


The prohibition is the latest in a series of measures implemented by Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes, who was elected to clean up Rio and its tarnished image as a city where petty lawlessness and chaos are endemic.

Police will also cut out unruly jet skis and illegal vendors. Some extra 300 agents are to join the 96 regular officers for the operation.


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Entire contents © 2006 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society

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