Quiet-List 1997

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FW: Sound Rights Newsletter

Sent:  Tuesday, September 02, 1997 10:05 PM
To:  'quiet-list@igc.org'
Subject:  Sound Rights Newsletter

S O U N D   R I G H T S  
Citizens for a Quieter Environment  -  Volume 1, Issue 3  -  Summer  1997
It is difficult to say how much damage there is to hearing from everyday noise 
pollution.  Individual susceptibilities and damage from noise exposure vary 
widely.  We do know that continued exposure to sound over 85 decibels can 
cause hearing loss as can a single exposure to 100+ decibels at a rock 
concert.  What we don't know is how much damage is done to our health from the 
rising decibel levels in our urban environment. 
Loud noise triggers the body's "fight or flight" response; a rise in the level 
of adrenaline, and a subsequent increase in blood pressure, dilation of the 
pupils, and contraction of muscles.  For our ancestors, noise often meant 
danger, and these responses helped them cope with emergencies.  Now, when 
incessant noise prompts these reactions hour after hour, the result is stress, 
fatigue, impaired sleep and the health damage they can cause.
With sirens, airplanes, motorcycles, car alarms, and amplified music 
everywhere in our lives we are exposed more and more to startlingly loud 
sounds.  For this reason the City of Seattle has a noise ordinance to protect 
its citizens from disrupted sleep and an unhealthy environment.  Let our 
officials know we expect enforcement of our noise ordinance.
As human beings we hear sounds all around us.  As busy citizens of an 
industrial culture we listen selectively.  Take time in your day to actively 
listen to the sounds in our environment, the comforting sounds as well as the 
annoying noise.  How much noise do we generate for convenience?  How much to 
transport ourselves?  What would a city sound like without cars and trucks?  
Listen to your world.
Invite Sound Rights to attend your next community meeting. Contact Heinz 
Leistner, 623-7384.

A recent news item from the Seattle PI tells of a Tucson judge who has had 
constant ringing in his ears since he attended a 1993 Barry Manilow concert.  
"Let me say I expected Barry Manilow to be soft amplified music," Arizona 
Court of Appeals Judge Philip Espinosa said in a deposition.  Instead it was 
the loudest concert he ever attended.  He is suing for unspecified damages.  
Health care practitioners recommend use of a good set of ear plugs in any 
environment with sustained, loud noise.  Even one concert can irrevocably 
damage your hearing.  Sustained exposure to 85 decibels is considered harmful. 
 Some Seattle nightclubs have tested at over 100 decibels.

Internet Resources
League for the Hard of Hearing:  http://www.lhh.org/noise
Rutger U. Noise Institute:  http://snowfall.rutgers.edu/envsci/noise.html
Right to Quiet:  http://www.islandnet.com/~skookum/quiet
Quiet-List (discussion/e-mail list): contact 'quiet@igc.org'

Sound Rights will host a gathering at Magnuson Park July 21st at 7 PM.  (On 
Lake Washington at 65th NE and Sand Point Way.)We will meet at the sound 
sculpture.  Enter the park, go left and follow road by the water to last 
parking lot.  Park and continue by foot on road  to the Sound Garden.  The 
park is alive with bird sounds, kite sounds, people laughing and playing.
In the summertime we all become more aware of the sounds around us.  Doors and 
windows are open and we spend more time outside.  Our neighbors' leisure time 
choices sometimes prevent us from enjoying a quiet environment.  Warm weather 
brings out motorcycles, personal watercraft, concerts in the park, cruising 
cars with loud stereos and other forms of entertainment.  
This gathering will give us an opportunity to listen carefully to all the 
sounds in one of our beautiful waterfront parks.  Join David Mahler and other 
Sound Rights members for an active listening experience.
For its size and speed, no form of transportation is more sound efficient than 
the bicycle.  It emits only the quietest of mechanical whirs and clicks as it 
goes about its business at speeds that can challenge in-city auto traffic, and 
the slightness of its contact point on the pavement produces little road 
noise, too.  (When we talk about the sounds of transportation, let's be sure 
to talk about both the sounds for the transported - the passengers, and the 
sounds for the innocent bystander.  While car designers have worked hard to 
make their product quieter for its passengers, there is no quieting of the 
experience for the listener who is outside of the car.)
Besides being sound efficient, the bicycle makes sound that is, relative to 
its actions and to its size and speed, appropriate.  It doesn't intimidate, or 
bully its way.  It is the kayak of land transportation.  
In downtown Seattle I have claimed the north/south alleys as my bicycle 
byways.  There are numerous advantages to riding the alleys.  If I do meet a 
motorized vehicle, it is most often a delivery truck in a stationary mode.  
Even the presence of cars in an alley is less troublesome than on the main 
streets, since there is not room in most alleys for more than one car width of 
traffic.  Alleys are especially advantageous when they intersect with one way 
streets.  A quick glance in the direction of approaching traffic is all it 
takes to say all clear, or stop here.  Even crossing two way streets presents 
little delay, since there are no traffic lights, and it usually requires only 
glances left and right to assure that it s okay to proceed.
The best part of riding the alleys may be the quietness of them.  Alleys are 
shielded from most motorized traffic.  I often ride "by my ears" in the alleys 
- that is to say, attentive listening supplants some of the work that my eyes 
have to do when riding on streets.  Because the noise level is so much quieter 
and less continuous in alleys, my listening is heightened.  
My bicycle is outfitted with a simple bell that serves as a warning device.  
Though the bell can't compete with auto sounds on streets, it is effective in 
alleys and when used to warn pedestrians at alley crosswalks.  The bell is 
gentle, percussive, unmistakable, benign, and to the point.
I've even had pedestrians turn to me with a smile when I ring it.
The University of California at Santa Barbara, where several years ago I spent 
a week as Listener-in-Residence, allows cars only on the perimeter of the 
campus.  Once you've parked your vehicle and walked toward the center of 
campus you begin encountering bicycles.  Hundreds and hundreds of bicycles.  
There are bike "freeways" throughout campus, complete with pedestrian 
crosswalks.  The thrum of moving bicycles on that campus is an indelible sound 
in my mind, a sound that displays none of the aggressiveness that we have come 
to associate with people being transported quickly.  The sound is cheery and 
encourages conversation and listening.  In my dream of the ideal city, I 
envision bikeways that provide such a quiet, unobtrusive means of travel, and 
that are at at one with an overall goal of calming the urban experience.       
* David Mahler

1.	Preserve and protect the quality of life in ur neighborhood
2.	Provide 24-hour contact numbers to reach senior management
3.	Encourage patrons to be respectful of establishment's neighbors
4.	Keep noise outside the establishment to a minimum
5.	Encourage our patrons to act in a responsible manner
6.	Be a good neighbor

I live next to a building with an aggressive and sporadic air conditioner on 
the roof of a retail space that is closed from 6 PM to 10 AM.  It should be 
turned off each night but it is not.  After many complaints I delivered a box 
of chocolates asking them to remember to turn off the air conditioner each 
night.  It worked.  Every once in a while they forget, but it's an oversight 
and easier to forgive.  Skinner would have approved.   
* Ed Marquand

        Police                  625-5011
        DCLU                    684-7843
        City Complaints         684-8811
        Boeing Field            205-5242
        Sea-Tac                 433-5393
        Railroad Noise          525-6220

Seattle Municipal Code 25.08.500:  It is unlawful to knowingly cause, make or 
allow unreasonable noise which disturbs another and to refuse or intentionally 
fail to cease when ordered to do so by a police officer.  
We are ever on the lookout for ear-friendly environments.  The following are a 
few suggestions:  
. Downtown YMCA has no piped in music in workout areas.
. Crest Theater has normal speakers that don't hurt your ears.
  Trattoria Mitchelli in Pioneer Square has an eating area without speakers.
This is a short list.  Send your discoveries to be added.  Where can you have 
dinner and conversation without amplified music?  Are there parks that are 
especially quiet?  Send in your suggestions.

The Seattle Police Department has taken action to curb excessive noise from 
motorcycles.  Community Police Officers Jason Kasner and Stuart Colman created 
a handout in response to increasing complaints about the noise created by 
large groups of motorcyclists riding throughout the city.  Now that the 
motorcycle owners have been given a warning the police officers will begin 
issuing citations to ensure public safety and peace within the city.  Support 
their efforts by writing Chief Norman Stamper, 610 Third Ave.  
Seattle, WA   98104.
Thank you to all citizens who worked on this problem.  And a special thank you 
to Officers Colman and Kasner.

There is a plan to operate a tourist floatplane landing strip on Puget Sound 
in an already congested area at Pier 54 near Ivar's Acres of Clams.  It would 
allow 72 landings and takeoffs daily.  For those of us concerned with noise 
this is an important issue.  It is already difficult to carry on a 
conversation while walking on the waterfront because of the noise from highway 
99.  What impact will these planes have on residents and workers in the 
downtown area?
Register your concerns with:       
Seattle City Council
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA  98104
684-8888  FAX  684-8587

We are a group of citizens who are concerned about the ever increasing 
intrusion of noise (an annoying sound) into our daily lives, especially with 
the deleterious effect it has on our health.
The group has its origin in individual citizens who found that noise impacts 
have become intolerable to them.  Over time, these people became aware of each 
other's particular concerns and efforts to minimize these impacts; and 
subsequently met to share their concerns and the efforts they individually 
have undertaken.

Sound Rights is a grass roots organization devoted to the protection of 
everyone's right to a quiet environment, and the restriction and regulation of 
unwanted and unnecessary noise in the city of Seattle.

. Raise the awareness of the harmful effects of noise 
. Educate the public to quiet alternatives and the wonders of natural sound
. Lobby for effective legislation to address noise levels and promote quiet
. Support advocates of noise reduction
. Work with public and private institutions to improve the quality of life in 
our community

. Put my neighborhood on your Noise Map
. $15 covers newsletter and postage
. $30 Supports educational work
. Volunteer


PO Box 4665
Seattle, WA  98104

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