February 2, 2002
Here’s a question: if you complain on a busy Sacramento street, does anybody hear you? Probably not, and that’s Ted Rueter’s point. He says it’s too noisy.
Rueter says the noise is everywhere. “Look at this,” he said, pointing to a nearby yard crew. “We’re in a residential neighborhood in Sacramento. There’s a leaf blower there and two guys over there. Why can’t people just use rakes and brooms?”
From backup beepers to leaf blowers, Rueter has heard it all, and he’s had enough. So he formed an organization called Noise Free America to reduce noise pollution. He calls noise the “silent killer” and has suggestions for encouraging quiet. “They could write letters to city officials. Write letters to the editor. They can call talk shows, they can sign petitions,” Rueter said.
He also encourages people to avoid businesses that bombard them with music and overhead announcements. “I love Target,” said Rueter. “Target is the quietest store. No background music. I go out of my way to shop at Target.”
Rueter has had some success in his mission. He says his group persuaded the UCLA administration to ban daytime jack hammering.