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Month: September 2012

Music Nuisance


Nuisance is defined as “anything that is injurious to health, indecent, offensive to the sense”. There are two types of nuisance: private nuisance and public nuisance.

A private nuisance occurs when a person uses his or her property in a way that harms or interferes with another person’s property. For examples, if someone causing unpleasant odors or dumping waste to neighbor’s property that would be creating a private nuisance, killing neighbor’s grass, making noise early in the morning or late night.

A public nuisance occurs when someone interferes with community, region or area. It may include by disturbing health or safety of a community or may not.
The typical remedy for nuisance is not money damages but an injunction to stop or remove the activity causing the nuisance.

I want to talk about the apartment I used to live in. I left my parents’ house 3 years ago and wanted to live in my own. I moved in to an apartment complex called Reflection. It’s on Bears avenue. It is a furnished apartment. Mostly students live there. I really liked it there; especially to have my best friend as my roommate. The liking did not stay long, one of the reason and the main reason was nuisance, the music nuisance. Music supposed to give peace of mind not annoys people. We had really hard time to sleep, study or just even a quiet time for ourselves. We complained at the apartment office. It really did not work. We had a quiet time for couple of days then went back to the same. It was not only us who thought that music nuisance was disturbing. However, nobody wanted to step up and do anything about it.

So, what can one person do? What can a neighborhood watch group do? The police cannot be everywhere at every time. What they do need are interested citizens can be the “eyes and ear” of the police. The neighborhood watch program consists of interested neighbors in an area who want preserve the peace of their homes and the quality of life in their neighborhood. The problem of neighborhoods noise is a serious one. Close to 500 people complain about disturbances to Council’s Noise Section ever year and occurrences are increasing by 12% every 12 months on average. Nearly 50% of all complaints involve amplified music. Other sources are building works 8.6%, wood/metal working 6.9%, industry 5.3%, ventilation systems 3.3%, animals 3.1%, vehicle repair 2.9%, swimming pool filtration systems 2.6%, canopies, 2.4%, and generating equipment 2.2%.

My roommate and I initiated to do a survey, how to resolve this issue. A survey questionnaire was developed which was used as a tool to determine the extent of the problem, its awareness and impact on the society and the probable solution for it. This questionnaire was designed using the format of “Yes, No” and “Multiple Choice with one possible answers”. The survey was conducted randomly. Residents, both male and female, over the age of 18 years living in Reflection apartment complex were surveyed. Visitors were excluded. A total of 10 questions were asked from the participants in one setting. Each survey took approximately 10 minutes. The data of the survey was analyzed and the results outlined.

Survey results - After conducting the survey and reviewing the results it was obvious that this issue is a concern in my community. It was identified by 8 of 10 people who expressed concern about the loud music nuisance in our neighborhood. 60% of the residents said that the community should post sign restricting loud music and 30% said that the offenders should be penalized. Interestingly 50% of the interviewees thought that loud music is most of time associate with smoking, alcohol and substance abuse. When asked if the community should provide a common place where residents may play loud music in that confined area, 70 % did not agree.
We were unable to do anything about the nuisance. We had to deal with it until our contract was over.

Loud Music causes nuisance in the residential community. Most of the residents are aware of the problem but do not know if there is an easy solution to it. Posting signs, family initiatives and penalizing the offenders are thought to be some of the solutions to this problem. Also long time, expose to loud noise can cause hearing loss. Music nuisance is not only disturbing; it can be harmful to the health.  Our environment is the air we breath and the sounds we hear.

Written by: Tania

Pure Gold not so Simple

We all love gold, it's shiny, bright and symbolizes so many different diversities of culture, status and even love.  Although gold is naturally found in the earth, it needs to be mined for us to be able to use and enjoy it.  The process of mining gold provides work to many nations, it is a profitable industry, no doubt.  The pleasure that gold brings us also comes with a  price, that impacts our environment.

Gold mining is the removal of gold from the ground.  There are several methods used to extract gold from the ground.  These include panning, sluicing, dredging, rocker box, hard rock mining, by product gold mining, and cyanide process.  Cyanide heap leaching is the cheapest way to extract gold and it is most commonly used around the world for this reason alone.  The contamination of the surrounding environment is very hard to control, the leaching is a time consuming process which can take months.  The process leaves behind leaking toxic materials and mounds of washed rock.  Also accidents involving cyanide around the world have made the practice of heap leaching even more toxic and dangerous.

Mercury is another substance that is released freely into the environment as a result of dirty gold mining.  Mercury has been used extensively for gold mining from as early as the sixteenth century.  This accounts for at 30 to 40% of man made mercury pollution.  The mercury can  often enter through river basins, spreading the mercury toxins  across national borders and into larger bodies of water.  Mercury vapor also as serious health consequences for animal as well as humans.

A devastating by product of gold mining is water pollution, this has been for hundreds of years.  Today, modern gold mining techniques consume vast quantities of fresh water, damaging to nearby bodies of water.  The long term effects include acid mine drainage, which raises the acidity levels in our lakes and rivers, and inturn poisons our drinking water supplies, killing wildlife.  The cyanide and metal contamination that mines produce combined with acidic water create a particular lethal mix.  Often this can produce hydrogen cyanide gas which is an even more potent poison than cyanide alone.

Gold mining is often done in many third world nations.  These people are often not compensated fairly for their hard work and the danger they put their health in each and every day.  I have recently watched a video from CNN about gold mining in South Africa.  It was very sad and difficult to watch how the workers are being treated.  What is called "Dirty Gold Mining" has not only polluted water all over the world, but has also created greed and heartache.  Gold is pure and beautiful but surely not very simple in more ways than one.



Keeping Our Cool

Overuse of air conditioning contributes to the increase of climatic change, not to mention the high price that keeping comfortable can cost us as the consumer of energy.  The use of air conditioning requires a high consumption of electricity.  Electricity usage creates more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Also appliances for refrigeration and air conditioning systems emit chlorofluorocarbon substances, which continue to deplete the ozone layer.

I have visited many a restaurant and public place, and always need to carry an extra sweater with me because it is so cold inside.  Placing your air conditioner below 71.6 degrees farenheit is considered abusive.  Most public places especially here in the United States are kept very cool, sometimes too cool.  Throughout the years I have been to many other countries, where the weather can be just as hot and humid as here in the South, where I reside now.  One of the most profound differences I noticed that many of the buildings are constructed with concrete blocks, as opposed to wood and partial brick as many homes and businesses  here in the United States are constructed with.  There is no need for air conditioning in buildings constructed with concrete blocks, they hold in the coolness from overnight and allow the inside to stay cooler during the day.

Air conditioners need electricity to run.  Power plants generate CO2 (carbon dioxide) through the process of power generation.  This CO2 generated from the creation of this electricity is one of the causes of global warming.  When greenhouse gases such as CO2 increase, heat is trapped in the earth's atmosphere and the earth's surface temperature rises.  This is what is known as the global warming phenomenom.  Also the refrigerants used in air conditioners such as fluorocarbons contribute to the global warming and conventional fluorocarbons contribute to ozone layer depletion.  For all of these reasons alone, air conditioning is an increasing problem and risk to the future of our planet and its inhabitants.   Hopefully one day a better solution will be discovered, until then the most we can limit our usage the better for us all in the long run.  Mandatory temperature settings for most public buildings would be a good start.  Lower electricity bills for our homes and offices are a favorable incentive.  Setting the thermostat a little bit lower by us all is definitely a positive idea.  We can all work together to make our planet safe and healthy for ourselves and future generations.


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