I saw you speak at the Waikiki Neighborhood Board 2 or 3 years ago and appreciated your presentation very much.
Tomorrow at the full Council meeting Tommy Waters is going to introduce his bill about amplified noise in Waikiki. It is focused on how the street performers' amplified music is adversely affecting Waikiki residents. It is so much worse than ever because now ALL performances have amps that they put up very loudly. The sound bounces off the Kalakaua buildings and up into the night air and we residents on the MAUKA side of Kuhio have to hear it all evening.
Past efforts to control it were challenged in the courts and the street performers won because it seemed like the little guys against big business. I believe this bill may have a better chance against challenges because it is trying to protect actual RESIDENTS.
I know your main focus is modified mufflers, but would you be kind enough to write testimony today to support Bill 43 about amplified noise from street performers? Your expertise on how unhealthful it is for Waikiki residents would go a long way :)
Thank you for your kind consideration.
For testimony (sorry for the last minute request, needs to be done urgently if the council will see it in tomorrow's meeting packet)
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Will be happy to submit testimony.
With that said, even if this passes, it is on its face unenforceable. Horribly, horribly written. Perhaps that's the point. Pay lip service to the community by introducing a Bill; cave to business interest by making it unenforceable.
For example, wording from the Bill:Quote
“Noise disturbance” means any sound that:
(1) Is unreasonably loud or disturbing;
(2) Endangers or injures the health of humans;
(3) Annoys or disturbs a person of normal sensitivities at a distance of 30 feet from the sound amplifier; or
(4) Exceeds ___ decibels measured from a distance of 30 feet from the sound amplifier.
Let's look at that key wording, upon which all enforcement would rely.
(1) Is unreasonably loud or disturbing. What does that even mean? How is "Unreasonable" or "Disturbing" defined? The person playing the loud music, for example, would find it neither unreasonable or disturbing. And, lacking any legal, objective, definition for those two terms, it is unenforceable by law enforcement or the court.
(2) Endangers or injures the health of humans. Really? How would you legally "Prove" Endangerment; or legally "Prove" Injury? You can't. Again, legally unenforceable.
(3) Annoys or disturbs a person of normal sensitivities at a distance of 30 feet... Again, how is "Annoy" and "Disturb" legally defined, and what - by a legal and enforceable definition - is "Normal Sensitivities"? Being undefined, these, too, are totally unenforceable.
(4) Exceeds ____ decibels measured from a distance of 30 feet... What kind of decibel? A, B, or C weighted? Who is going to measure? HPD Officers are neither issued nor trained on the use of sound metering equipment. And by the way, on the copy I have the dB level isn't even filled-in, would it be 85 dB(A); 90 dB(A) or something else? And again, who measures? Who's the authority for the sound readings?
We will support this Bill, but would have preferred to see simple and enforceable wording such as:
Quote "Any sound-emitting device in operation in a public place will be considered in violation of this ordinance if it can be heard from a distance of 30 feet or more from any part of the sound-producing system. For purposes of this ordinance, "heard" does not require an understanding or discernment of the musical lyrics or sound content, only that the sound is audible at a distance of 30 feet or more in any direction." Unquote
Anyone can measure 30 feet; and anyone can understand "Heard" as plainly written.
Will nonetheless submit testimony today.
-------------Testimony Submitted on Bill 43 (2021) By Quieter O'ahu--------------------
Noise on O'ahu and across all of Hawai'i is out of control. Noise pollution, like every other form of pollution, affects both Health and Quality of Life. A Quieter O'ahu, a Hawai'i 501(c)(3) organization, has for the past 14 years been a source of information to O'ahu and Hawai'i residents on the problems we have with noise. You have but to visit our website at https://www.quieteroahu.com to read about this growing problem, this menace to health and individual well-being. On our home page, for example, is a video from the TedMed series by eminent Psychiatrist and scientist Dr. Mathias Basner discussing the harmful effects of noise. On our Noise Blog read dozens and dozens of submissions by O'ahu residents who tell story upon story of the negative impact of noise on their day to day life, and that seemingly there is no-one to help end the noise. But apart from this, common sense should tell you that noise can't be good for people. And to the subject at hand, uncontrolled noise on the streets of Waikiki, this is just one more onerous example of noise-out-of-control. Like the aftermarket exhaust industry which equips vehicles with noise-producing exhausts that create noise that is illegal by current Ordinances and Statutes; and the aftermarket stereo industry who install mega-wattage stereo systems that produce noise that is illegal by current Ordinances and Statutes; this is but one more industry that seeks to make a buck at the expense of the health and quality of life of everyone else. And we MUST stop it, and stop it now. This Bill may not end the noise, but it is a step in the right direction. A Quieter O'ahu strongly urges approval and enactment of Bill 43.