Members' recent activities

Several of our members reported to us about their efforts to generate more sondscape awareness and reduce noise. Our kudos (compliments) to you all.

In Victoria Ms. J. Landsky wrote to the Victoria Airport Authority about a loud TV-set playing in the security area, with no head-phones provided to avoid afflicting everybody present there. Another letter of hers went to the manager of the Capital 6 theatre to complain about the painfully loud levels, particularly of the trailers. She promised not to return and advise friends as well, until the issue will be addressed. She also wrote Victoria mayor and council to draw their attention to very loud music at Centennial Square that could be heard blocks away. She questioned why the city would permit such an unpleasant racket while it caters to tourists and more mature visitors and citizens. In both cases she enclosed a copy of our yellow leaflet.

When we urged members to write to the mayor and councillors in Victoria re. the change from a "nuisance" based to a "decibel" based noise bylaw, several members heeded our call. In their reply to Ms. B. Hyldgaard there was the promise that the Noise Bylaw will continue to have a "nuisance" provision. Dr. J. Tatum particularly challenged them with four very specific questions, which were totally ignored.

In Vancouver Ms. Margaret Friesen e-mailed city hall on two occasions. She reported the frequent noise of bongo drummers, the cacophony of the Junkyard Symphony and other loud, undesired entertainers in public spaces of Vancouver's West End. On Aug. 9 the culprit was loudly amplified noise from a ship touring English Bay and False Creek disturbing residents in the vicinity.

Mrs. Christine Callihoo Shared with us what she undertook to date to catalyse the Vancouver police to enforce the bylaws supposed to mitigate excessive vehicular noise, particularly the absolutely pain-inducing noise from motorbikes with deliberately altered mufflers.

She initiated a dialogue with several police officers to discuss the their possibilities to address that type of noise. One officer informed her that every spring police set up checkpoints to directly target violators. However, it was revealed that such checkpoints are not set up at the east side of Vancouver, only on the west side, where most complaints come from. Mrs. Callihoo also wrote letters to local media outlets to promote her effort and get East Vancouver Residents more involved. Unfortunately, she received no replies.

Mr. Neil Davis discovered a rather limited definition of the term "pollution" on the Greater Vancouver Regional District's website and e-mailed them with the request to also include light and sound pollution. Their reply was in a nutshell: The GVRD has only limited responsibility that does not include light and sound pollution. Noise is a municipal matter.

Mr. J. Martyn took a North Vancouver fuel station to task for playing disruptive music at the pumps. A customer service specialist from Imperial Oil replied to inform him of having notified that station and credited him with 500 Esso Extra points on his account.

Two letters were sent by Ms. K. Deux in Saskatoon, one to Parks Canada re. a loud party at a campground, the other because of music played at a local swimming pool. The reply in each of these cases was that, yes, we will try to accommodate your request, but we also have to make sure we meet the wide variety of needs, wants and desires of other users of our facilities.

Already some time ago Mr. F. Buehler has made efforts to stop muzak in stores in the Waterloo/Kitchener area in Ontario. In Edmonton Ms. S. Rempel and Mr. J. Rose are pursuing noise issues to make things quieter. We all need to speak out much more about the problems with noise to finally be heard and taken more seriously than we were so far. Please let us know of your respective endeavours.

Clutter books purchased and distributed
Our Society bought 62 copies of the recently published book "Unclutter Your Life - Transforming Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Space", by Katherine Gibson in Victoria. The books were donated to a selection of public libraries across British Columbia to provide access to good reading to people all over our province. An entire chapter is devoted to the topic of "clutter"-noise in which the Right to Quiet Society is mentioned. We also appear in the resource list of this interesting, very educational book. We owe thanks to our member Dr. Blyth Hughes to take care of the books and promptly deliver them to the Public Libraries Branch for distribution.

SOUNDBITE - The historic coliseum in Verona, Italy, used for opera performances, has such extraordinary acoustics that no electronic amplification is needed. - The Vancouver Sun, Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Fall 2004
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