October 1, 2003
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: New Haven, Connecticut has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for allowing its citizens to be assaulted by dangerous noise from “boom cars” and loud exhausts on cars and motorcycles. While Mayor John DeStafano promotes New Haven as a “livable,” “safe” and “all-American” city, the boom car boys and the loud exhaust crowd thunders away. Indeed, New Haven has become a “safe haven” for violent noisemakers.
Many New Haven citizens have been told by police dispatchers that dangerous noise is not a priority. Police officers in New Haven rarely respond to pleas for help. One frustrated citizen, in a letter to the editor of the New Haven Register, states, “I can’t stay much longer. My neighborhood is quickly becoming an ugly, dirty, noisy place with people coming and going as loudly as possible, at all hours of the day and night.” Another New Haven citizen writes: “Loud noise is totally out of control and has been for years.”
One New Haven resident who dislikes noise wishes to remain anonymous, fearing retribution from both boom car thugs and local officials: “My home is constantly being shaken off its foundation by boom cars, hot rods, and motorcycles with loud exhausts. To the New Haven police, it seems that neighborhood residents don’t count. All of the policing is centered on the downtown/ Yale area that Mayor DeStafano likes to show off. Some of us think we get no attention so as not to mar the mayor’s image. As election time draws near, DeStafano has been announcing that ‘crime is down.’ Of course ‘crime is down’–if the police don’t show up and no report is made!!!”
Mark Huber states that “in 1990, the US Army used loud music to drive Manuel Noriega out of his diplomatic sanctuary. Mayor DeStafano does not seem to understand that the people of New Haven have been pounded with subsonic bass, day after day, for well over a decade.”
Along with their dangerous products, car stereo companies promote harming people and terrorizing neighborhoods. A recent ad for SONY car speakers boasts: “In your case it’s all about bass, and subwoofers are your biggest allies in achieving the sound your neighbors fear.” Pioneer Electronics is running a subversive campaign encouraging their customers to “DISTURB, DEFY, DISRUPT, and IGNITE” American cities.
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “in cities across the country, a permissive attitude toward noise violations has fostered the rapid growth of the car stereo and loud after-market industry. Peddlers of noise terrorism can thrive only in communities where the rule of law, the protection of health and safety, and concern for quality of life are given a low priority.”
“Communities often develop a co-dependence with noise-based businesses,” said Mark Huber. “This co-dependency saps local economies and creates an acoustic atmosphere that impairs the healthy development of children. Once the boom car and illegal exhaust outlets become embedded in the local economy, noise levels increase, the quality of life declines, and the police turn a deaf ear to the noise complaints of citizens.”
Rueter added, “New Haven needs to stop being a safe haven for noise terrorists. New Haven needs to become a safe haven for its citizens. New Haven police and elected officials need to listen to the cries of its citizens for peace and quiet.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to opposing noise pollution. Its web site is http://noisefree.org. Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, Governors Gray Davis and Jesse Ventura, and Flowmaster.