June 1, 2008
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Stockton, California has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for tolerating constant pounding from boom cars. In Stockton, the boom car punks have no fear of the police.
In recent years, thousands of people have fled the crime and the expense of the San Francisco Bay area, hoping to find a new life in Stockton, a city of 290,000. Instead, they have found a city where the boom car situation is very bad, and getting worse.
Jim Tarantino, who left Oakland two years ago, commented that “there is little or no enforcement of noise ordinances in Stockton, so boom car thugs roam our community with impunity, weekends and weekdays, day and night. The boomers are there at every intersection, stop sign, traffic light, and parking lot. I’ve been assaulted by boom car noise while at home, in stores, libraries, movie theaters, and office buildings. I can’t take a short walk around my nice, serene-looking, tree-lined neighborhood without these criminals driving past me, rattling my skull with their ‘music.’ It’s going to get much worse as the weather turns warmer and the boomers have their windows down. I am truly at the end of my rope.”
Tarantino recalls a specific incident of boom car pounding in Stockton: “I was idling at a red light at one of Stockton’s main streets when a boom car pulled up behind me, his pounding subwoofers booming so loudly that it literally vibrated my car. I looked into the rear-view mirror and made a hand-signal as if to say, ‘Come on. Give me a break.’ This seemed to infuriate the thug, as he cranked up the bass even louder,” Tarantino said. “The worst part was that there was a marked city police car two lanes away! I tried to get his attention, but he ignored me. There is no way he could not have heard this aural assault. That same day, I e-mailed the chief of police, but got no response. The desk sergeant told me I could fill out a complaint form. I didn’t bother. Apparently, the boom punks here have absolutely no fear of the police.”
Tarantino added that boom car violators often commit other crimes: “Many, many times, a police stop for a boom car violation results in the discovery of more serious crimes, such as guns, drugs, gang activity, and suspended driver’s licenses. Boom car thugs are practically advertising the fact that they have no regard for the law. The police should pay attention.”
One of Tarantino’s neighbors, Martha Harp, noted that “the boom cars have really gotten worse in the last few years. They are everywhere you go. I have given up walking outside because of the noise. I have hearing loss but I can still hear the boom cars. It would be nice to have peace and quiet here, because this is a nice neighborhood.”
Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, stated that “what’s happening in Stockton is happening all over the country. The boom car thugs have taken over–and the police do nothing. Increasingly, there is no place to hide from audio assault. Police and elected officials need to take strong action against this growing threat to health, public safety, and peace.”
“In Stockton,” Rueter concluded, “it truly is time to lower the boom.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing, Congressman Darrell Issa, and the Massachusetts Department of Education (http://www.noisefree.org/newsroom/pressreleases.php).