June 1, 2003
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Hanover and McSherrystown, Pennsylvania have won June’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for allowing a region of great beauty and historical significance to be overrun with boom car terrorists.
The greater Hanover area is the sixth largest shopping district in Pennsylvania. Once a bastion of old-fashioned values, it is fast becoming a modern urban area–with the resulting noise from kids who complain of boredom.
The area is home to historical sites of national significance, including the Gettysburg National Military Park and President Dwight Eisenhower’s retirement home. The main shopping area in Hanover, “Golden Mile,” is named in honor of Eisenhower.
“The younger generation, though, disrespects the memory our former president by turning Eisenhower Drive into a ‘decibel drag raceway’ almost every night of the week,” according to Hanover resident Jeff Hess. “These youths actually race with stereos turned up while holding hands out of a car window with those in an adjacent racing car. And many times Hanover police are on the scene watching as this occurs, without citing or arresting these youth.”
Hess notes that the boom car adolescents were in full force over Memorial Day weekend, blasting away at the Eisenhower Raceway.
One reason Hanover-McSherrystown has become an “ear-sore” is the fact that police departments do not respond to noise complaints, are deathly afraid of these young terrorists, or view vehicle vandalism as “just a boy thing” not to be taken seriously. “What we need in this area,” said Hess, “is either the ‘resident state police trooper’ concept used in Maryland or a regional police chief who does not wish to be ‘pals’ with lawbreaking youth.”
Hess also observed that the greater Hanover area is beset with noise from motorcycles. “Approximately 20 miles away, we have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant. Local 55 to 60 year-old men in gray ponytails set the example for the current generation of youth by removing the original equipment and installing the loudest pipes they can find.”
Mark Huber stated that “it is ironic that Pennsylvania is so noisy, given that Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security, used to be the state’s governor. Noise from boom cars and ‘performance exhausts’ drowns out sound people would otherwise hear, like a cry for help or signals of danger. Tom Ridge constantly tells the American people they must be ‘alert and aware’ of their surroundings. I wonder how Secretary Ridge expects Americans to detect the presence of potential dangers beneath the constant roar of ‘2Fast and 2Furious’ car stereos and street racing products.”
Jeff Hess echoed the concern about noise and homeland security. “With boomers having the capability to generate multiple false alarms to police departments due to excessive vibrations,” Hess said, “our police can be sent on numerous ‘side trips’ while a real incident is occurring at another location. Police departments need to crack down on the growing menace of boom car terrorism.”
Noise Free Free America is a national citizens group organizing against noise pollution. Previous winners of the Noisy Dozen award include Congressman Darrell Issa, Governor Jesse Ventura, Flowmaster, Circuit City, and Viper Car Alarms. Noise Free America’s web site is http://www.noisefree.org.