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Disruptive Noise

May 23, 1999

The soprano at USC's commencement on May 14 was beginning the national anthem quietly, to be followed by a rabbi's invocation. Overhead, a light plane was droning loudly, carrying an advertising banner behind it.

If I had been sitting in the 12th row and I fired up a chain saw (about the same noise level), I would have been justifiably thrown out for disturbing the peace and disrupting the ceremony.

Isn't it about time we outlawed the audial disruption of outdoor ceremonies and speeches by aircraft or any other noise source? The 1st Amendment rights of speakers and ceremony participants should have precedence over the 1st Amendment rights of anyone trying to sell products or snatch pictures using noisy vehicles.

We must take back our peace and quiet.

GERALD JONES

Los Angeles

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