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Sunday, September 29, 2013
You What’s On Your Mind readers are a curious lot. You want to know more about local geography — where things are and why. So when I stumbled across a Facebook group called “Roanokers, Where Am I?” I thought of you.
Started by professional musician and iPhone restorer Jeff Maiden, the group is a place where people can post pictures and ask folks to try to identify where they were taken. I’ve been spending way too much time there recently, and invite you all to check it out too.
I asked the members of the group what they liked best about it, and Carol Warner Mesimer, who lives in Franklin County but works in Roanoke, summed it up best. “Seeing the posts is like a treasure hunt from my own home. As I go about my day around town, I look at Roanoke with different eyes, looking for that unusual, quirky spot that would make a good picture to post.”
If you’re curious, hit the link to the group up above. I’ll also post a link to it on the blog.
Q: I was wondering how many noise ordinance tickets the Roanoke city and Roanoke County Police have issued since the first of this year? How many were for loud music and how many were for loud motorcycle mufflers? Do they selectively issue tickets? Why?
I am sure I will have the Hells Angels circling my house if published.
Paul Gensurowsky, Roanoke County
A: I’m going to answer your question, but first I have two of my own. Do we even have Hells Angels in Roanoke? And why isn’t there an apostrophe in Hells Angels? Shouldn’t it be Hell’s Angels?
A quick Internet search reveals that except for the 1930 Howard Hughes film about two brothers who join the Royal Flying Corps to fight the Germans, (four stars on the IMDB website) the common spelling does NOT include what would seem to be the required punctuation.
But to answer your question, assistant Chief of Police Chuck Mason helpfully sent along the county’s noise ordinance, which states , “It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the County of Roanoke to promote an environment for its citizens free from excessive noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare or degrades the quality of life within Roanoke County.”
It goes on to define noise disturbance as any sound that is dangerous to property and people or annoys or causes physical or psychological harm to them.
It’s a little more complicated than that, and I’ll post a link to the ordinances for both localities on the blog for those who are interested. They are pretty similar, though the city ordinance is a bit more detailed. While it seems that by this definition a lot of things could pass as violations, there are some caveats.
It sounds like a lot of your problem is with loud motorcycles. Apparently, as long as a bike muffler complies with the standards of motor vehicle inspections, the operator can’t really be cited for revving up a motor as they pass by.
That might explain why as of Sept. 19, Mason says, the county has issued only one charge for a noise violation this year. According to figures provided by Scott Leamon, the Roanoke City Police public information officer, the city seems to enforce with a bit more gusto. So far this year they’ve issued citations for 47 vehicles, 10 residences, and four “other” noise disturbances.
Unfortunately, neither locality has a lot of easily accessible details to offer on the specifics of each case, and while I doubt that the city is 47 times louder than the county, the fact that the city is more densely populated might lead to more noise complaints from neighbors.
My advice would be to call the county police with any specific complaints . I’m sure they’ll protect you when a motorcycle gang shows up in your driveway.
If you’ve been wondering about something, call “What’s on Your Mind?” at 777-6476 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to provide your full name, its proper spelling and your hometown.
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