If you have not remitted your 2000 dues yet, please be reminded they now become payable at the beginning of the calendar year. Your contribution is tax deductible and greatly appreciated. All donations assist in the continued effort to abate the noise onslaught. Thank you for your generosity!

Annual General Meeting - October 14, 1999

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 pm by President Peter Donnelly. A copy of the financial statement was circulated for the attending members' information. The minutes of the A.G.M. of Oct. 15, 1998 were read by Hans Schmid, Ilse Schnirch moved acceptance, seconded by Hans, carried.

As outgoing president, Peter conducted the election of the new board; the following were elected by acclamation: Hans Schmid, President, Ilse Schnirch, Secretary Treasurer, Roy Silverson, Director, and George Jameson, Director.

Peter paid tribute to long-time member and Director Bob Kerr who passed away in August. We will remember him for his dedicated support, generosity and kindness.

Peter then praised Hans for his work over the years in the campaign for quiet. In turn, Hans pointed out Peter's invaluable contributions to the Society's work: His professional skills in producing our newsletters for over 3 years, a noise-abatement handbook and a T- shirt design. Peter also established a website on the Internet for the Society and much more, all at no cost to us.

On the occasion of the 4th International Noise Awareness Day (April 21, 1999) Peter wrote letters to several cabinet ministers of the Provincial and Federal Governments, the Workers' Compensation Board and others, most of whom did not reply. The particular importance of amending the Municipal Act was noted.

Hans has written to over 20 environmental protection organizations requesting their recognition of noise as a serious type of environmental pollution, and implementation of a policy on noise similar to that of the Sierra Club. There, too, was not a single reply.

On the initiative of our member Jhaleh Zaraweh, Hans was invited to speak at a North Vancouver "Philosophers' Cafe", and at the West Vancouver Rotary Club.

Dr. Kathy Pichora-Fuller of the Department of Audiology at UBC and Director of IHEAR gave a talk on the topic, "Is there more noise today? Fact or fiction." A summary follows:

Today, more people are living together more closely. Also, people are living longer. Density is the resulting problem, of which noise is one symptom.

Noise, measured in decibels, is one impression of the world around us; sounds, hearing and listening are involved. The mind can allocate sources of sound. For this purpose, there are more nerves sending messages from the brain to the ears than vice versa. In certain cases, decibels are an inadequate means of defining perceived noise. For instance, when two violins are played simultaneously, the sound is twice as loud as that of one. However, it does not seem twice as loud.

The background noise at a lecture is more annoying if the topic or language are not understood. Statistics show that 30% of students think noise in the classroom to be a problem.

On health values and rights, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of a deaf person's right to communication in a medical situation. The right to a healthy sound environment ought to follow this ruling.

In general, and particularly in North America, it is assumed that loud machines are associated with greater effectiveness.

A comment from the audience speculated on the possibility that genetics may render one person more sensitive to sound than another. Peter thanked Dr. Pichora-Fuller for her stimulating talk and presented her with a Right to Quiet T-shirt. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2000

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