Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sound of Beach Music

Pensacola News Journal reporter Jamie Paige is relatively new, so perhaps he can be forgiven for not knowing that the brouhaha over loud bar music disturbing nearby Pensacola Beach residents is merely the latest iteration in a continuing war over noise that goes back over ten years.

Remember Banana Bob's on the banks of Little Sabine Bay? Back in the day, South Harbor condo unit owners and home owners across the bay were complaining about raucous music into the wee hours then, too. What they were saying then could have served as today's script:
Lys St. Aubin, 40, lives in South Harbor condominiums, in the beach's core business area. She runs her washing machine and clothes dryer at night to help buffer the live bands.

"It is very loud, and on the weekends they play until 2 a.m.," said St. Aubin. "You can feel vibrations when you're lying in bed. My nerves are fried. We can't sleep because of it."

The difference is, back then the Escambia County sheriff's substation trained a decibel meter on the problem, enforced the law, and the bands at Banana Bob's were made to quiet down. Today, the sheriff's office (with the apparent complicity of SRIA general manager Buck Lee) is refusing to enforce the law.

The reasons articulated in today's newspaper are laughable. According to reporter Paige:
The Sheriff's Office hasn't actively enforced the ordinance, which would require expensive decibel meters, training and certification to use them, said sheriff's Sgt. Ted Roy, who works at the beach substation.
In other words, Sgt. Roy is saying, 'we can't afford decibel meters and, anyway,we've grown too stupid and untrained to use them as we once did.'

This is patently ridiculous, of course. Is the sheriff's office going technologically backward? Someone there should google enforcing noise ordinances. It's a serious medical problem.

Indeed, someone is even inviting noise pollution stories for a planned book on the subject. South Harbor residents -- use those sleepless hours to send in your tales!

We suspect one of two things is really going on here. Either the sheriff's substation is refusing to enforce the law because beach businesses are more generous campaign contributors than residents, or someone in law enforcement is angling for the dough to attend a noise pollution conference.

We just happened to notice that the Acoustical Society of America is gathering in Paris, France the end of next month. Do you suppose beach residents pay enough in MSBU law enforcement fees to send a deputy there?

2 comments:

panicbean said...

"The Sheriff's Office hasn't actively enforced the ordinance, which would require expensive decibel meters, training and certification to use them, said sheriff's Sgt. Ted Roy, who works at the beach substation."

How many do they need? One? Borrow the one from the SRIA, they aren't using it at midnight, surely.

If they can train to use and purchase tasers, then this should be a no brainer. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Don't the cops kill a lot of people with tasers around there?