Saturday, February 26, 2011

Turn Up The Volume, New Paltz

Excuse me, as I turn up the volume. Oh, didn’t you hear? New Paltz is facing a noise ordinance. Which bands do you like? R.E.M.? Pearl Jam? The Rhodes? Ghost Mall? I really like Motion City Soundtrack and Jimmy Eat World. I know that’s a bit emo. But hey, this is New Paltz, and this is quite the noisy town. Oh, I guess I’ll just have to blast something I’m really good at blasting: My words.

New Paltz without noise is like a film without a soundtrack, it’s like a country without a president, it’s like a bar without beer and it’s like a newspaper without articles. This noise ordinance being proposed by the mayor is more than just about New Paltz and its noise level. It’s about the soul of this town. It’s about the music scene. It’s about the college town we are. And believe me; this is coming from someone who hates noise. I’m a quiet soul. I like to write and read, and I like it to be quiet. Though, I love this town and I will not see it be changed by a mayor who wants to turn this into just another town. No. No. New Paltz is a college town. Not a quiet suburb. And it’s time for us college students to fight against the noise ordinance being proposed by the mayor. I ask you; fellow New Paltz residents to stand against the noise ordinance. Turn up the volume and blast Mayor Dungan. It’s time for New Paltz to fight back. Not quite sure what I am talking about? Well. Let’s look at the noise ordinance.

The Noise Ordiance reads that “Otherwise hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful within the limits of the Town of New Paltz for any person to make, continue, aid, countenance, cause to be made or assist in making any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise on Sunday commencing at 8:00 p.m. and continuing through and including Monday at 7:00 a.m. and during the same hours upon each successive evening and morning of each successive day of the week thereafter through and including Saturday at 7:00 a.m. and on Saturday commencing at 8:00 p.m. and continuing through and including Sunday at 9:00 a.m.; provided, however, that the foregoing hours shall be extended until the hour of 9:00 am.” That’s right. Kiss your weekend goodbye, New Paltz. Mayor Dungan wants you to give up your drunken weekend and loud bar nights because he wants it to be quiet on a freaking weekend. I hate to sound like a party animal spoiled brat, but hey! I’m writing this for your own good, New Paltz. This is New Paltz. This isn’t the little hometown you came from. Let’s be honest, fellow New Paltz students. Do you want to give up your weekend nights?

Mayor Dungan wants you to. He wants peace and quiet. And hey, when I’m studying or not going out to the bar myself, I understand the need for peace and quiet. Though, I am willing to give up my discomfort about noise in order for the greater good of New Paltz. The Noise Ordinance reads that “Yelling, shouting, etc.: yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity.” Here, we go again. The Mayor wants to fine you for talking too loud and singing. That’s inane. And I bet, he knows it, and I am willing to bet that this isn’t about just about noise. I feel like this noise ordinance is about a radical transformation of the town of New Paltz.

Notice the language that is used in the New Paltz Noise Ordnance for noises that are deemed acceptable. The ordnance states that “lawnmowers” and “church bells”, as well as noises created by carnivals and the local government and industries shall be excused. It’s ironic that it mentions local industry. What? The bars on Saturday night aren’t a local industry? If it wasn’t for the revenue the students of New Paltz, bring to this town, New Paltz could end up another ghost town. And what about the New Paltz music scene that is so embedded in our town’s culture. This noise ordinance is aimed towards the students of New Paltz. That’s a shame because, as I said, I love New Paltz, and I would hate it to transform into just another town along the freeway. Check out the facebook group "Say No to the New Paltz Noise Ordinance". So join me, New Paltz. And bring your boomboxs.

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