Not sharing the noisy fun hours Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
January 9, 2002

NOISE can be fun, in many places and a lot of the time.

But the agony poured out by the letter writer today is one shared by thousands in and around Georgetown.

`Bel Airian' lives blocks away from the Sheriff Street, Georgetown entertainment centres that have been driving him crazy in the wee hours of the morning.

His letter, on many points, emphasises the extreme nuisance that noise has become in residential areas with the authorities seemingly impotent to do anything about it.

The noise nuisance, including that on Sheriff Street, has been complained about many times before and we have had cause to comment on it before.

There have been numerous bitter complaints from people along the coast, and in almost all cases, it is the deafening din from massive music boxes that has been driving them nuts.

Most people would put up with loud music in their neighbourhood for weddings, parties on special occasions and during holidays, like the recent Christmas season.

But when the music goes on and on and can no longer be sweet to the ears and be the food of love of which Shakespeare so movingly wrote, it is time for the authorities to act.

Former Police Commissioner Laurie Lewis had often spoken about taking on the noise makers but his efforts seemed to have made little, if any, impact.

`Bel Airian' is certainly not impressed with any previous efforts because for the last few months he has been awakened between 02:30 - 04:30 hrs practically every day by so-called frolic music emitting from the entertainment centres on Sheriff Street.

It is time for someone or some group to make this a cause around which to rally citizens who want to regain control over their surroundings.

Maybe `Bel Airian' can be moved to go beyond writing to us and round up others in his neighbourhood who must be sharing his pain to counter their tormentors.

It just would not do to react by moving with massive music boxes on to Sheriff Street and other noise centres and turn up the volume when the tormentors should be catching up on their sleep. Two wrongs don't make a right.

But an anti-noise campaign can be started within the law and we think it is time for citizens to get on the move against the din.

Entertainment centres dishing out loud music are usually soundproof places in many other countries and the owners and operators can be hauled before the courts if their noise disturbs the neighbourhood.

Loud music is also allowed only up to a certain time and special permission is needed if people want to party to music after certain hours.

In some places, dog owners face penalties if they can't keep their pets from barking and being a nuisance to neighbourhoods.

The noise has become too much and something has to be done if the nuisance is to be curbed.

Curbs have to be introduced and soon - before people like `Bel Airian' decide to go beyond writing letters of complaint to the newspapers.