Vineyard Noise Meeting, Wednesday, May 7th, at the Philo Grange, 7:30pm. Everyone welcome, including the Noise People. You want these things stopped, be there! Inland neighbors of the Big Propellers are also encouraged to attend. (If the only propeller you’re aware of is the one on your beanie, Anderson Valley residents are very, very unhappy that they’ve lost ten days of sleep in March and April because vineyard owners have installed huge blowers to prevent crop loss to frost. They used to deploy water sprays to frost-protect, but water in the County having become a scarce resource due to the combined drought and the ever-larger draw on the finite streams of Mendocino (and Humboldt) County, here we are with these wind machines whose racket is measured at well over all known legal decibel standards.
50 DECIBELS is the baseline noise figure for residential neighborhoods. The vineyard fans run, by our crude calculations made a hundred yards distant from our Boonville house, at a decibel level roughly that of a Boeing 737 a mile away. That Boeing airplane is 97 decibels. A mouse urinating on a carpet a hundred feet away is one decibel, and noise doubles every 10 decibels after than. (How did we measure the mouse’s urination? We asked our cat.)
LIVE ROCK MUSIC is 110 decibels. At 110 noise starts to hurt. Beyond a relative silent 50, the neighborhood standard, lie citations, misdemeanors, lawsuits, boycotts, yelps, vigilante vandalism, and the many other negative consequences wrought by heedlessly noisy neighbors.
MENDOCINO COUNTY’S highest allowable decibel level is not more than 75 decibels for more than 30 minutes of an hour in heavy industrial zones. We, the sleep-martyred residents of the rural, non-industrial Anderson Valley, have endured, from an hour or so after midnight 4-7 consecutive hours of an 80-90 decibel din on ten early mornings of March and April, eight of those mornings falling on consecutive days.