Noise Rage

One Sunday in Vancouver, an apartment dweller in the 1000-block of Pacific Blvd. could not endure the noise from a nearby construction site any longer. He allegedly armed himself with a bow, stood on his balcony and began firing arrows at construction workers. Nobody was hurt.

Vancouver Police spokeswoman Constable Anne Drennan said the man had complained to police previously about noise at the construction site. He now faces charges of possessing a dangerous weapon, mischief and threatening.

Some months earlier, a noise dispute in Britain proved fatal when an undergraduate was stabbed to death after going to complain about the music from a neighbour's flat. Ross Woolaway, 23, died from a knife wound to the heart. The 6ft 4in rugby playing student was also stabbed in his arm and back. His attacker, neighbour Barry Andrews, 27, then repeatedly stamped on his head.

Andrews had moved into the converted Victorian mansion in Torquay a month before the killing. A few days after, Woolaway and another tenant had been disturbed by loud music during the night. The two asked Andrews to turn down the music. When he refused Woolaway had said he would come in and smash the stereo.

On the night of the killing, Woolaway, a final-year student in hospitality studies at Plymouth University, returned home at 1:30 a.m. after visiting several pubs with friends. Hearing the music again, he went downstairs to complain. Andrews, who was with two friends, got up and went to the door. Those inside heard noises and saw Woolaway wrestling with Andrews and blows exchanged. The friends separated the two, but Andrews broke free and stabbed Woolaway fatally from behind. At the time, Andrews was no longer under any threat or in any danger.

-Sources: The Vancouver Sun, June 13, 2000; The Guardian, December 14, 1999

In a six year period, at least 16 people were murdered or committed suicide due to chronic noise.
-League for the Hard of Hearing

U.S. Office of Noise Abatement and Control

For our members in the U.S., the current election campaign is an excellent time to let the candidates know that we, and many other anti-noise, hearing loss, and environmental groups support the reinstatement of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the Environmental Protection Agency. Many laws against noise pollution have unfortunately gone unenforced since funding to this office was withdrawn during the Reagan Administration.

The presidential hopefuls can be contacted through the Internet:

The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, as part of its mission to provide a comprehensive anti-noise resource, maintains a website at www.nonoise.org which features a library with a wealth of information on noise-related news, research and ordinances.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Fall 2000

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