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From the Key West Citizen Editorial Board today:
Sunday, February 9, 2014
A small step to protect our peace and quiet
Jean Arp, a German-French sculptor and painter, is quoted to have said this about noise: “Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation … tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.”
Our fair city soon will convene the city commission in special session to discuss significant changes to our noise ordinance. So far, the issue of controlling noise has raised the ire of many in our community.
We live on a small but vibrant community. We often refer to our quaint town as “paradise.” But to some, if not many, paradise has lost its allure. The burgeoning cacophony of noise likely has reached a point where tighter regulation is required. But, it is a difficult task. Too much regulation may well harm some of our businesses; lack of regulation, and the enforcement of regulations, could destroy our paradise.
According to a study done by the World Health Organization, the health significance of noise pollution is no small matter. Excessive noise in a community can cause hearing impairment; interference with speech communication; disturbance of rest and sleep; psychophysiological, mental-health and performance effects; effects on residential behaviour and annoyance; and interference with intended activities.
In Key West, we have plane noise (Navy jets, commercial and private airplanes), ambulances whose sirens are loud enough to wake the dead, those infernal leaf blowers whose engines come to life at the crack of dawn, and we have those “bees in beer cans.”
What is a “bee in a beer can” you ask? Imagine you are on your morning walk before the sun has arisen. As you approach Flagler Avenue, off in the distance you hear a motor scooter with either no muffler, one that is damaged, or one that has been made loud deliberately. One literally can hear the offending motor scooter as it travels from the east end of Flagler all the way to White Street! If you are unlucky enough to be crossing White Street when the “bee in a beer can” passes, you wonder how the driver can hear anything in the din.
Your first reaction is where are the cops when you need them, and then you wonder why someone would be so rude as to ride through town in the early mornings on what can best be described as a chainsaw on wheels.
We have done a bit of digging into the Florida Statutes and it appears that there are laws against noisy exhausts on motor vehicles (including motorcycles and motor scooters). It seems that it is a violation of Florida traffic laws to operate a motorcycle (including a motor scooter) whose exhaust noise exceeds 82 decibels (give or take a few decibels). Further, it is unlawful to modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle (including a motor scooter) in such a manner that the noise emitted from the scooter is above that emitted by the scooter as originally manufactured.
Those laws are in the book and require no action by our government leaders.
That said, how difficult would it be for one of our able city police officers to park on Flagler Avenue one morning and nab one of those “bees in a beer can”? It would not be long before word got around that you ought not be traversing the city streets with an illegal muffler.
Voila! One small step toward protecting the peace and quiet of paradise.
— Key West Citizen
Am glad to know there is a state noise ordinance on motorcycle and motorscooter noise. Perhaps the four KWPD officers assigned to cruise ships, and the four more KWPD officers assigned to homeless people, can enforce the state noise ordinance against loud motorcycles and motorscooters in Key West.
Meanwhile, what about vehicles with loud boom boxes, bass players? What about loud juke joints? What about loud churches? What about loud neighbors?
I still say, pass a noise ordinance that simply applies to noise of any kind. Allow code enforcement officers and police officers to measure the noise at the point of origin. Allow them to stop offending vehicles, have the operators leave their vehicles, call a towing company, have the vehicles towed, and let the vehicle owners deal with the towing company. Loud churches and juke joints are closed for the remainder of the day. Loud neighbors are relieved of their noise makers, which they can come get the next day at the police station; their parties are closed and the partiers not living there are made to leave. If they don’t leave, take them to jail.
I imagine that’s too simple, too politically incorrect, and too effective to be adopted and enforced by Key West.
In today’s Key West Citizen is this letter to the editor:
Something’s changed with Fantasy Fest celebration
Thirteen years ago, I wrote (in part) the following guest editorial:
Maybe it’s just me but something has changed with our Fantasy Fest celebration.
From the very first Fantasy Fest parade, when my kids were little, we placed our folding chairs on the sidewalk in front of Moe’s Barber Shop in the 600 block of Duval Street. My partner brought his kids; Mr. Moe and his family joined us; and across the street the Appelrouth clan set up their chairs to await the parade.
My children and I would always take a walk to see the costumes of the revelers. I was never embarrassed about what the kids saw because the costumes covered every private part, and were funny and colorful depending on creativity, rather than shock, for their effect.
It’s not just Duval Street that has become explicit territory. For example, three years ago (1997) leaving work, the day prior to Fantasy Fest, I had my way blocked by more than 20 men with bare buttocks, semidressed in black leather and studs, parading in the street — not downtown but at Cobo Pharmacy. It was trick or treat night and kids were in costume, Buzz Light-year, Dorothy, Fairy Princess’s etc., with their parents celebrating Halloween. This bothered me, so I expressed to the city, and the head of Fantasy Fest, “I believe this has gotten out of hand.”
Might I suggest that if the town at large condones public nudity that we establish a naked zone, on Lower Duval Street, adults only. Further, that the parade should not be “X” rated.”
Fantasy Fest and the parade wasn’t always a place where children shouldn’t come. Private parties and clubs are another matter. There is, however, a great difference between private and public goings on. Could we have an adult’s only area so those who enjoy public sex or titillating noncostumes, or want to be nude in public, can do so?
Now, in 2014, this situation has only become worse. I didn’t like the image then or now. We are better than this.
Edwin O. Swift III
I remain puzzled why people like Swift want to change Fantasy Fest to suit them, but seem, based on their lack of public protest, perfectly okay with the raucous bars, strip clubs, lap dance parlors and whorehouses on and just off Duval Street? I personally could care less what the city does or does not do about Fantasy Fest, it has never meant much to me. However, to go after Fantasy Fest, while leaving the city’s day and night 365 sin attractions alone, would strike me as rank hypocracy.
In yesterday’s Key West Citizen was this letter to the editor:
Prophecy presentation is respectful of Islam
I am writing in response to Kent Ducote’s baseless attack against Impact Community Church and the seminar we are hosting on Islam and Christianity in Bible prophecy.
I wish Mr. Ducote had taken his own advice and educated himself before he spewed his ignorance over the pages of The Citizen. If he had even bothered to check our website, he would have discovered that we strive to be a place where everyone is loved and accepted. This includes people of every ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Our website states explicitly that we don’t believe that Christianity should be about politics or condemning people.
Pastor (Tim) Roosenberg’s presentation is inline with this belief. He is a well-known Bible prophecy expert who is very respectful in his presentation of Islam.
I would invite Mr. Ducote to come and listen to the seminar for himself and bring his Muslim friends with him. They will be treated with dignity and respect, and I do not believe they will find the presentation to be offensive.
Pastor Timothy Jemly
Impact community Church
Because of that letter, I attended Tim Roosenberg’s “Islam and Christianity in Bible Prophecy – 09 – Jesus Rescues His People” presentation last night.
I don’t recall Islam being mentioned one time.
I learned that when people die, regardless of whom they are, or what they believe, or what is done with their bodies, they go to sleep and remain asleep until Jesus returns and, if they are saved by Jesus, they wake up in their human bodies with Jesus, and if they are not saved by Jesus, they wake up later in their human bodies in hell, forever. Roosenberg relied on Old Testament prophesies and writings of Paul and Revelation to support his presentation.
Rosenberg’s entire focus was on the future, the Second Coming and thereafter.
There was nothing from Jesus in the Gospels on how to live today:
Take no thought for tomorrow for each day has enough trouble of its own …
Thy kingdom some, Thy will be done, on earth …
Do unto others as you would have done unto you …
I asked Roosenberg afterward what happens to one billion Mulsims when they die? He didn’t seem to understand my question. I said, do they all go to hell and burn forever? He said some do, others go to heaven. Same for Christians, some go to hell and burn forever, some go to heaven. I thought that will be news to those Christians. I suppose Muslims who accepted Jesus as Lord got into heaven, if they were good converted Christains; otherwise, they burned in hell forever.
I told Roosenberg that Paul never laid eyes on the man Jesus, and Paul had told his followers they should stop having sex because Christ’s return was imminent and there was no point in having more children. Roosenberg said I took that out of context. I said that was what Paul wrote, and he was wrong about Christ’s return being imminent, and if Paul was wrong about that, what else might he have been wrong about? I said, if Christendom had stopped having sex, it would have died out and would not exist today.
I asked Roosenberg if he knew of the Priesthood Melchizedek, and he asked me if I knew what Melchizedek was? I said, in the Bible Melchizedek is an Eternal Being. Roosenberg said only Jesus is an Eternal Being. I said not according to Genesis and the Letter to the Hebrews. In Hebrews, Jesus is said to be high priest in Melchizedek. I told Roosenberg he would do well to stop talking about Paul and start talking about Jesus, and he should get to know his Bible better.
I left wondering what caused people to only look to the future, to their version of the rapture? Then, I thought, said to the angels, I suppose some people are so miserable on this world, all they have to look forward to is dying and going to heaven and being with Jesus and God. I left wondering how there will ever be peace between Christendom as long as Islam both religions believe they are the only road to God?
Another thing Roosenberg said during his presentation was, since dead people are asleep, they cannot come to living people and speak to them. What comes to living people posing as dead people is the Devil, Roosenberg said. I thought my mother and father, and my mother’s parents and my father’s father, all of whom sometimes come to me in dreams, my father especially, with advice I need to hear, will be surprised to learn that, and that they are still asleep waiting to some day wake up either with Jesus and God, or in hell. That is not where they are when I dream about them. I never dreamt of anyone departed from this life being in hell, or being asleep.
My mother, who was my religious parent, came to me in a dream last night with advice that I needed to stay home today. I had other dreams later bearing the same advice. I live in Key West, that is my home. My email address is email@example.com. My home is with God, even though I live on this world. It is not a fun home, for the most part, but then it was not a fun home for Jesus when he was on this world, nor for his disciples.
At some point during his presentation, Roosenberg said Jesus judges who goes to hell and who gets to be with him and God. I thought to myself that very well may be true, but I didn’t see Jesus kowtowing to Roosenberg’s perspective, and I saw Roosenberg being really surprised when he leaves this life and finds he is not asleep in the least, nor does he have his human body, and he is surrounded by departed souls from all faiths on this world, and souls from no faiths.
I told the angels after I left Community Impact Church, that I wondered if the angels were going to arrange for Roosenberg and the people who came to hear him have experiences which show them a different way of looking at both the afterlife and living in this life? It will take that, not what I or anyone else might say, to get through to people who have that outlook.
Boots on the ground is where it’s at. That’s why we are here on this world: to experience the daily grist, deal with it, or not, until we leave this life. Otherwse, there would be no point in our being on this world, and God does not do things which have no point. That, too, however, will take more than I or other people saying it to reach people like Roosenberg. It will take angels of the Lord to reach them, or their dying and leaving this life.
P.S. After publishing the above, I pedaled my bicycle to Harpoon Harry’s to have breakfast. En route, and over breakfast, I found myself pondering my last dream this morning. I was in a familiar garden plot I have been tending in dreams since 1995, which has to do with my ancestral religion – Judeo-Christianity. Among the established plants was a small, gnarly thistle-looking plant in a small clay pot. Its roots were covered with sharp hairy spines and were growing into the air instead of down into the dirt in the pot. I pulled the plant out of the pot and with my bare hands dug a hole in the dirt on the side of the garden and planted the plant and its roots in the dirt and covered the hole over with more dirt. The plant is Tim Roosenberg’s theology. Perhaps it will grow differently now, perhaps not – that’s in Jesus and God’s hands.