Email Campaign To Endorse New Noise Legislation - Rep Kobayashi (Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kapahulu) Reply
Reply below was received from Rep Kobayashi representing Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuku, Kapahulu. Broadly dismissive of our email. Language of his response seems to indicate that he doesn't understand that HR6 is a proposal for a "Study" and not a "one-size-fits-all solution." A study, Rep Kobayashi, is how you begin to develop a priority or two, focus, so to not shotgun widely.
Appears we won't be having support for HR6 from this Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kapahulu Representative.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -Rep Kobayashi Email:
Hi, to whomever,
1. Your organization is unknown to me. Sorry, don't know your blog.
2. .Do you remember CAN/Citizens Against Noise from the 1970s -1980s?..and former St. Rep. Joan Hayes?
3. HR 6 seems too broad [[health AND quality of life impacts, and multiple noise sources, which CANNOT be addressed with a one-size-fits-all solution/law]. Pick a priority or two, focus, don't shot-gun widely.
4. much unfinished noise issues/proposals over the decades –highway noise, especially for homes near highways; leafblowers are now in statute but not noisy vaccum clean-up equipment; aircraft noise; multiple service vehicles, some mentioned in HR6; etc. etc.
Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kapahulu
There are 2 pieces of legislation now in the Hawai'i House of Representatives pertaining to noise. Rather, there is one Resolution and one Bill, that affect numerous of the noise issues we are concerned with here at Quieter O'ahu: Urban Noise and Emergency Response Vehicle Sirens. We are asking your assistance to bring heightened visibility to both legislative actions through an email campaign addressed to the introducers/offerrors of this legislation. There will likely be follow-on email campaigns as this legislation moves through the legislative process.
These legislative initiatives are:
HR6 - REQUESTING THE STATE AUDITOR, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE JOHN A. BURNS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA, TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON THE CUMULATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS OF PERSISTENT URBAN NOISE IN HONOLULU.
This study is important as it will formally document and bring legislative focus and attention to many of the urban noises we are subjected to every day that pose a very real risk to the health of O'ahu residents. Among the topics the study will address include, but are not limited to:
(1) Busses “kneeling” along the Beretania Street, Hotel Street, and King Street routes, which generate a hydraulic noise followed by a beeping noise;
(2) High-pitched and extremely piercing sirens of police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances
(3) The downshifting of fire trucks traveling down Nuuanu Avenue to King Street;
(4) Garbage trucks circling through Chinatown and downtown Honolulu with their back-up beepers and rattling large containers beginning at 4:30 a.m. and sometimes as early as 2:30 a.m.;
(5) Honking car horns and car alarms at unpredictable times;
(6) Tourist trolley bells clanging three to four jingles in a row;
(7) Squealing noises that are particularly penetrating and intense from poorly maintained brakes of buses, garbage trucks, and tourist trolleys;
(8) Loud motorcycle engines that can also trigger more noise by setting off car alarms;
(9) Mopeds without mufflers or with modified mufflers; and back-up beepers on various vehicles that can be heard from blocks away, which are especially noticeable at night and in the early morning; and
WHEREAS, other sources of noise that contribute to the urban cacophony and discord include:
(1) Low—frequency repetitive bass music that emanates with occasional spikes in volume from music playing at area venues, especially open-air venues;
(2) Smokers congregating outside their favorite bar or restaurant, often continuing until 2:00 a.m. or later;
(3) Leaf blowers in the street, in parks, and around residential buildings during and outside legally permitted times;
(4) Persons whistling and yelling at each other throughout the night; and
(5) Homeless campers creating various noises, including the occasional quarrel or fight; and
WHEREAS, other more intermittent noises contribute to additional disruptive noise that intrudes on urban residents throughout the day and night, such as:
(1) Power washing of streets and private plazas;
(2) Grease trap pumping at some restaurants, starting as early as 6:00 a.m. and utilizing a very loud motor;
(3) Street cleaning machines that tend to be operated around 4:30 a.m.;
(4) Recycling operations from bars that involve a large dump of glass bottles all at once and sorting of individual bottles, several times a week at unpredictable hours; and
(5) Harbor noise, including loud hammering.
Full text of HR6 can be read at this link:
ACTION REQUESTED ON HR6:
1. We request that all subscribers send an email To: Representative Saiki, repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov - offeror of the resolution, with a cc: to All Representatives, reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov
2. Email subject: We Urgently Need the HEALTH EFFECTS OF PERSISTENT URBAN NOISE Study proposed by HR6!!
3. Recommended text: Noise on O'ahu has reached intolerable levels, having strongly negative impacts on both health and quality of life. I urge each representative to support HR6. signed - [your name]
HB518 - RELATING TO EMERGENCY RESPONSE VEHICLES
This legislation addresses, among other issues:
Emergency response vehicle noise task force. This proposes establishment of an emergency response vehicle noise task force within the department of health for administrative purposes, as provided in section 26-35, to examine the use and effectiveness of lights and sirens by emergency response vehicles. The task force shall (among other tasks):
(1) Evaluate the impact of sirens at night on communities that surround facilities for emergency response vehicles in urban and rural areas;
(2) Evaluate the relative effectiveness of utilizing lights alone compared to using lights and sirens at night in enhancing the safety of first responders, patients, and the public; and
(3) Recommend rules on the appropriate use of lights and sirens by emergency response vehicles for adoption by the relevant agencies.
The task force shall consist of nineteen members to be appointed in the manner and to serve for the terms provided in section 26-34; provided that the members shall be the director of health or the director’s designee, who shall serve as chairperson.
The full text of HB518 can be read at this link:
ACTION REQUESTED ON HB518:
1. We request that all subscribers send an email To: Representative Holt, repholt@Capitol.hawaii.gov - submitter of the Bill, with a cc: to All Representatives, reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov
2. Email subject: I strongly support HB518 - RELATING TO EMERGENCY RESPONSE VEHICLES.
3. Recommended text: The noise of our emergency response vehicles on O'ahu is ear-splitting and nerve-shattering. And it doesn't have to be this bad. We should curtail the use of sirens and look at alternative sounds which are less impacful such as have been adopted by many European locales addressing this noise in their communities. This noise negatively impacts both health and quality of life. I urge each representative to support HB518. signed - [your name]
If each household addressed by this email sends just one (1) email to above Representatives, we will have over 200 emails in the inboxes of every legislature calling their attention to the worst of noises in our community. If each person in each household send one email, well, imagine the numbers.
Please participate in this email campaign.
We live in town near the Don Quixote. The Palama Market has workers who come nightly to clean their parking lot. At 9pm, I called the police and walked over to let the worker with the leaf blower know that he is disturbing an entire condo building of residents. He apologized and turned it off. I waited on police to come. They also have their parking lot re-striped regularly and have workers with leaf blowers to blow them dry and this will go on until 11pm.
Recently, food trucks with loud generators have been an issue.
There is also a guy named [name removed] who has [a medical condition] and stands in front of our condo to yell. He is not homeless, but simply refuses to take meds. Police can only tell him to keep quiet.
All of the issues above have been brought to the Hawaii State Health department. We are hoping a noise study will be approved and started. Anything further you can recommend to help us with the noise would be greatly appreciated.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Wow. A lot on your plate it seems.
But it seems you're doing the right things. Dept of Health does have jurisdiction over industrial noise; you've non-contentiously engaged the workers who, for the instant, have cooperated; you've contacted HPD about your neighbor - and in that case it is under HPD's jurisdiction to respond. But we understand it's frustrating to be bombarded by noise, doing the right things, and not seeing much progress.
In some cases we have to acknowledge that noise in our very close living conditions just isn't going to go away. In those cases we take the position that noise can be better managed. Do work during working hours; not during rest and sleeping hours. Where cleaning is required when businesses are closed, don't use gas-powered noisy equipment, use electrically powered quieter equipment. As for your neighbor, with all respect and sympathy for his condition, he is just being rude. Confine your noise to your own space and if it's loud and ongoing, consider some additional sound-proofing in consideration for those who live around you. In fact, so much could be accomplished by people just being more considerate.
We, too, would like to see the Community Noise Study move forward and are encouraging representatives to take it seriously. Still, it's just a study and we've had studies before that just became another volume on a dusty bookshelf. What's needed is the realization by our Council and Legislature that Noise Is A Problem on O'ahu And Across The State. Our "Push" thus far has been through the Neighborhood Boards. We encourage attendance and being vocal to express your concerns about noise. When ALL of the Neighborhood Boards are letting Honolulu Hale know that enough-is-enough with da noise maybe we'll see some changes. Help us with that if you can.
We'll post your note and our comment to our blog, absent your name, for the benefit of others.
I've looked at https://www.quieteroahu.com/ on and off for the past several years. Now it's time to join the mailing list.
Living in the country should be quiet and relaxing. However, I live next to a church owned community park accompanied by the noise that comes from people bringing loud music systems, with boom boom bass. It seems they can't play football or basketball without playing loud music.
I've been trying to work with the church officials who oversee the park for over 10 years, but have made little progress. The police do respond and the the music gets turned down, but because of the 15 inch speakers, the boom boom of the bass still penetrates the insulated walls and double paned windows of my house.
Looking for additional information and help.
Mahalo for a wonderful resource.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
If anyone can offer additional advice beyond what's available on our website, please post your response here.
Quieter O'ahu Email to Church Representative:
Subject: Unintended Consequences of Good Deeds
As a quick introduction I represent the non-profit organization, A Quieter O'ahu (www.quieteroahu.com). We have a simple mission, try to make O'ahu a bit quieter to the benefit of the health and quality of life of us all, one noise problem at a time.
We were contacted by a subscriber to our website who, for some time, has been subjected to the overspill of noise from the park at 55-122 Poohaili St. In researching the property I see it is owned by the Church and has been for some time now a community park enjoyed by many residents.
I entitled this email Unintended Consequences of Good Deeds because certainly the Church's act of kindness of providing such a park was intended as a good deed and is certainly, without argument, a better place for youth to enjoy recreational activities than other possible activities. Unfortunately, and this is the unintended consequences part, when any group of people, but in particular youth, are unsupervised in their activities, it is too often the case that manners, common courtesy, and respect for others is just simply forgotten. That seems to be happening here.
Our subscriber tells of increasingly loud activities. Sports, which brings its own level of noise - but which "is what it is" - are increasingly accompanied by people bringing personal, high-powered, high-bass, stereo systems to the park and, atop the sports noise, playing these stereo equipment at their highest levels. Today's stereo technology is such that the bass component of these stereos easily penetrates walls and windows of homes up to several blocks away from the music source. Without the supervision of Church Staff, or anyone in authority saying "Stop this noise" the crowds assume there is tacit approval to do what they will, regardless of the impact on those in the community whose quality of life and health are negatively affected by this noise.
We understand this has been a back-and-forth with the community for some time. We are taking this opportunity to lend our voice to that of the community in asking you, as the Church lead for the park, to work with the community toward an agreeable solution. It would seem that playing sports isn't conditioned upon loud music. So perhaps banning these stereos and posting signage that the park is private property and that music isn't permitted would solve the problem. Such signage would also provide additional standing for community members, in the absence of Church Staff, to contact HPD who could enforce private property postings. Another possibility would be for the Church to have a "Noise Complaint Number" and a "Team" of responders on-call to respond in real-time to community complaints of loud noise. In this scenario the on-call Team Member would respond to the park in person with the authority to address the noise complaint, even if it requires closing down the event.
Yes, we understand that this probably oversimplifies the problem and any workable solution. But recognizing there IS a problem is the first step. And there is clearly a problem here. One that has apparently been ongoing far too long.
We hope that we can count on you and the Church to work with the community in a good faith resolution of this issue.
Our very best regards and sincere Mahalo for the good work of the Church on behalf of the community.
A Quieter O'ahu
Church Representative Response:
Thanks for your email. We have been working this problem for some time. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as quickly as [name omit] would like.
We understand the issues, and want to find a way to make the park useful for everyone. I feel we have made good progress most of the time, but then we occasionally take some steps backwards.
When we see people playing music loudly, we ask them to stop. Unfortunately, we can’t patrol the park all the time.
Anyway, we’re working on it. We appreciate the email.
My counselor, [name omit] is copied in. He has been tasked to work on this issue. Would you like us to keep you posted on what we’re doing?
Quieter O'ahu Response to Church Representative:
Mahalo, [name omit], for your quick turnaround. We assumed this was one of those neighborhood issues that had been simmering for some time. You wouldn't believe how often we encounter well-meaning people on opposite sides of a noise issue that just can't reach common ground because of obstacles both real and artificial. We'll be hoping that something can be done to restore quiet to the neighborhood while still allowing this sports venue to achieve its goal of providing the community a venue for healthy activities.
Please remain mindful that noise is more than a nuisance issue. Scientific studies are increasingly making the connections between noise and stress, depression and other mental health issues, sleep disorders and even cardiovascular issues. I hope our interest isn't viewed as intrusive into this community issue. Like you and the Church we are merely advocates for a better quality of life for O'ahu residents and communities. That said, yes, please copy us on future correspondence for this issue, and please let us know if there is anything we can do as advocates to the City and County, Neighborhood Board, HPD, or other organizations that might help achieve an agreeable solution for all parties.
I have a video of a motorcyclist generating over 120 dB of noise at 6:32 a.m. one recent morning in front of the new condos by Duncan McNaughton on the makai side of the Ala Moana Shopping Mall. This guy is there EVERY morning about the same time. He returns around 4:35 or 5 in the evening, acting the same way each time. I'm interested in nailing him, of course. But I'm interested in the larger issue of what are our laws, what are the penalties and what can be done if the enforcers refuse to enforce.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
That's LOUD. Too LOUD. Hearing damage LOUD.
And from visiting our website you'll also know it's illegal. Illegal in the sense that the Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (PMVI) Guide for motorcycles clearly directs FAILING the inspection on any motorcycle modified to emit noise louder than originally installed. I believe that's around 80dB. See page 5 of the link below.
Police will tell you they have no way of measuring dB. The counter to this is "Fine, then as a sworn officer "suspecting" an illegal modification, remove his inspection certificate and direct that his motorcycle be inspected by the "reconstruction station" to determine if it still meets OEM specifications." They CAN do that. Unless they just want to blow you off.
You can also call or email the media. I believe our website contact information under What To Do When Enforcers Won't Enforce is correct for the TV and print media. Contact them. Maybe they'll come cameras rolling and record the guy and then ask him "Hey, what's up with that?" That's a newsy item and maybe they'd want to tell that story.
Civil Beat is another good outlet. Email them. They're always looking for newsy stories and are particularly good at representing problems of the common man.
Go to your Neighborhood Board and tell this story and that HPD will/won't assist. HPD has a rep at every Neighborhood Board meeting, usually a Sergeant or Lieutenant - let them explain to the neighborhood why HPD isn't enforcing the law!
Just some ideas. But here's what NOT TO DO: don't confront this guy yourself. That just never ends well. Use HPD, use the media, use your neighborhood board. I'm fairly certain that in that mix you'll get visibility for this issue and perhaps resolution.
A Quieter O'ahu
All day there has been an emcee and very loud music/concert...for hours. On the top floor (no roof) of the garage at International Marketplace on Kuhio Ave in Waikiki. It has been so intrustive and distracting. Even with my doors and windows closed (which I prefer not to do for several hours of afternoon and evening air and lanai sitting) I can hear the lyrics of the loud music and do not have quiet enjoyment in my unit. I understand that they are not breaking any rule about the time of night which they must stop playing, but is there any law or enforceable rule to prevent very loud p.a. system with music - such that it can be heard from blocks away? I love music and Waikiki is not a quiet zone but if this is a regular thing that they are going to do it seems very wrong and unfair to residents and even neighboring businesses where some may be enjoying a quiet dinner al fresco. It just does not seem necessary to make the music louder than what is appropriate for the attendees at the music event. Who can I call? How can I report grievance? Is a garage even approved zoning for a concert? Mahalos
Quieter O'ahu Response:
If this is a business establishment then jurisdiction for enforcement of noise standards should fall under "Industry Noise," which is the purview of the Dept of Health.
Complaints about industry noise should be directed to the Department of Health (Noise Section) at 586-4700. Suggest that among the topics you might discuss with them are:
1) What is the maximum allowable noise from a business at a fixed location during 1) daylight hours and 2) evening hours?
2) Was there a "Noise Permit" issued to this business on (provide date(s))?
3) How will the Dept of Health investigate this complaint?
You also have the ability to phone HPD when the noise is occurring and ask them to investigate, to include asking that they verify that the activity has the properly issued "Noise Waiver" from the Dept of Health. We haven't had a great deal of success with HPD, but occasionally they surprise us.
Here are links to Noise Levels by Zoning Type, and the "O'ahu Noise Reference Manual" on our website. It has contact numbers for reporting the various types of noise that you might encounter in the future.
Noise by Zoning: https://www.quieteroahu.com/the-quiet-you-are-entitled-to.html
Noise Reference Manual: https://www.quieteroahu.com/reporting-noise-violations.html
Fireworks, loud car stereos, and loud car exhausts are major problems in Kaneohe. Curious to hear what’s being done about it at the city and county level.
Quieter O'ahu Response:Aloha,
On O'ahu, the City and County Levels are pretty much the same, City and County of Honolulu. And not a great deal has been done historically. Our website has been active for about 13 years now and we try to provide information to the public on noise issues of interest, ordinances and statutes in place to "protect" the public from noise abuses, and a forum via our Blog to air their concerns publicly. We've had some successes, but over the years we reflect that it's always the case of a couple steps forward, but seemingly more backward.
But in light of the disappointments we remain optimistic. HPD under Chief Ballard is seemingly more responsive to noise than her predecessor, Chief Kealoha, and the new mayor, Rick Blangiardi, has already signalled more of a readiness to take on noise issues than we ever heard from Mayor Caldwell.
We very strongly advocate to everyone concerned with noise on O'ahu to work with and through your neighborhood board. The neighborhood board organization is, effectively, the lowest level of City and County Government and the level most integrated with the average citizen/resident. At neighborhood board meetings one "firebrand" or "squeaky wheel" can literally move the entire board to action. You have the ability to speak to the entire board, to question City Officials, and to put your concerns in front of an organization that can move those concerns forward to the Office of the Mayor and the Governor. You'll find that most, if not all, of the neighborhood boards are also concerned with noise. If the trend continues we may see a tipping point in our favor. We urge you to be a part of that. You can find information on Kaneohe's Neighborhood Board, and the other Boards, at the following link.
We will comment that there was recently a very, very large "Bust" of illegal fireworks distributors in Ewa. One bust won't solve the problem, but a strong signal was sent that business as usual will no longer be tolerated.
Mahalo for sharing your thoughts. We'll post your comments and our reply to our Blog.
A Quieter O'ahu
The firework bombs still continue to be shot off in Waimanalo, regularly: Friday 11/20 at 6pm; Sat 11/21 at 6:15; Sun 11/21 at 7pm. This is in the Village are, makai side. There is a tent of people living in the woods between gas station & Moole Street - they also do it. it's startling, to say the least. I dropped a bowl of vegetables on the floor when I was startled by one on Saturday at dinner. PLEASE enforce this law ASAP. Thank you.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
We're so sorry you have to put up with this intrusion on your quality of life in Waimanalo. It never ceases to amaze us how the inconsiderate actions of a few can so negatively impact the lives of so many. And, yes, we agree, HPD should stop this. It's not only the right thing to do, but it's their responsibility and duty to enforce the law.
We're posting your note and our comment to our Noise Blog and we're forwarding a copy to the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board who should be taking action to ensure HPD enforcement. We will "BCC" you on our note to the board to protect your privacy.
A Quieter O'ahu
This is regarding The Pu'uloa Firing Range in Ewa Beach. Loud verbal commands and announcements begin as early as 6am in the Ewa Beach Community where the Firing Range is located. The volume of the PA System is louder than the gunfire. The announcer can be heard miles away and is very disruptive at such an early hour. This occurs almost daily!! I always thought the military strives to be "good neighbors" in the community where they reside. These Noise Concerns have been brought to the USMC and Neighborhood Board but with no success on finding a resolution. We understand that firearms training is imperative but its the early and overly loud start time of the announcer over the microphone and PA System that is very disruptive and negatively affects everyone in the neighborhood.
Quieter O'ahu Response:Aloha,
Yet another voice speaking up about the Pu'uloa Shooting Range.
Please visit the below two links for background on this noise issue. The range noise is top-of-mind for the Ewa Neighborhood Board (No. 23), and I'm certain they will be able to provide you with status of discussions with the USMC about the unacceptable noise there. The links below will hopefully bring you up to speed on the topic.
You can reach the Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23 via email at the link below. Suggest an email to the Chair, Vice Chair, or any of the At-Large members to establish initial dialogue on the topic of noise at the Pu'uloa Range.
Hope this helps.
Take The Time To Comment
Let us know what you think. Are you tired of the noise? Do you have ideas on how to combat the noise? Tell us about it.
Also, use the "Contact A Quieter O'ahu" form (under "About Us" on the menu bar) to let us hear from you. We continue to compile email addresses of those interested in reclaiming quiet for our island to inform of noise and related issues of interest. From time to time Quieter O'ahu may recommend contacting City Council or the Legislator to make your feelings known on a particular noise or related Bill.
TOGETHER we can affect positive change.