How Much Noise Can We Bear?


This past summer the V.I. Senate passed a bill that prohibits noise disturbances between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Sponsored by Senator Liston Davis, the bill defines “reasonable” levels of noise and it has provided the Police Department with $100,000 to purchase sound-level meters. By defining and regulating the levels of allowable noise, the purpose of the bill, according to Senator Basil Ottley, is to protect “the most exclusive right to all of us: the right of sanctity in our homes.”

And on what night might we expect more quiet and peace in our homes than on Christmas Day?  Shouldn’t we be able to spend a Christmas night in our own homes, observing a holy day in our own way without being inexorably subjected to someone else’s form of celebration?

How many of us again this year (and in how wide-spread an area of Gift Hill) were kept hostage to unbearably loud noise on Christmas Night? How many of us sat in homes with windows closed and felt our floors vibrating, our heads aching, and our heart rates racing out of control? How many of us couldn’t hear our family’s voices in our own homes?

In the early morning hours when the noise level finally subsided, how many of us lay sleepless in our beds, still reeling with anger on a day that symbolizes peace and love? Of those who don’t get a paid day off after Christmas, how many of us had to drag ourselves to work exhausted the next day?

How many of us called the police after 11 p.m. to have the sound systems turned down, only to be ignored? Are we willing to join together and demand that the police enforce the law ?

Name withheld by request