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Sounding Off About L.A.'s 'Noise Plague'

September 05, 1993

If I could stand the sound, so to speak, I would say Bettijane Levine hits the hammer on the nail with her timely article, "The Noise Plague" (Aug. 22). Living in the city, one expects the noise of airplanes and sirens as a backdrop. But my nerves are increasingly being shattered by people's insensitivity to their neighbors.

Reading in bed, I can tell which TV channels several of my neighbors have on because of the volume. No wonder it's so high--they can't hear it over their own loud voices. Cars honk at all hours for people to come out of their apartments. Doesn't anyone knock anymore? I can set my Monday morning alarm by the leaf blower next door, long before I need to get up.

I've tried pleading with the offenders to no avail. Does no one care for human decency and consideration anymore?

GALE M. McELHINEY

Los Angeles

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Noise--which is sometimes referred to as music , now blared in supermarkets, clothing stores, hospitals, restaurants and professional offices--can make you emotionally as well as physically sick. Once, in a department store, I was assaulted by a rock video pounding out the words again and again, "Can't get a job, can't get a job, can't get a job . . ." I rushed out for my sanity's sake.

I have even begun to wear ear plugs when I go shopping. These sounds invade my privacy in a profound way; they direct my emotions. I feel that assaultive sounds are effectively contributing to a very high anxiety rate and, at worst, chip away at our more tender sensibilities.

GAIL BENHOFF MOORE

Van Nuys

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One would think our beautiful beaches would be a refuge from this nerve-fraying noise pollution that bombards our city.

Not so. On any weekend, the ears are continuously assaulted by deafening single-engine airplanes flying along the beach towing banners that advertise the virtues of Bacardi rum, Body Glove and 1-800-Collect, among other products and services I will never use. And if that isn't enough we have military and business and police helicopters that fly dangerously low along the beach.

I call on readers to boycott the products and services of those who use airplane advertising along our beaches and propose legislation that would prohibit this kind of environmentally incorrect advertising. I ask the Federal Aviation Administration to strictly enforce the laws pertaining to minimum altitude for helicopters and airplanes along the beach.

TERRY W. DILLMAN

Marina del Rey

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