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Letter: Noise level from sporting events at the Grape Bowl is unacceptable

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Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:30 pm

Suddenly, around the fall of 2011, the noise of football games at the Grape Bowl near my home became drastically louder. The horrible noise makes it impossible to entertain guests outdoors. Working in the garden is very unpleasant.

From late August to early December, the nicest time of the year, we are prisoners inside our home, with windows shut tight. It starts Friday evening and continues from morning to night on Saturday and Sunday. It’s about as loud as the train going by, if you live near the tracks. At the Kmart on Cherokee Lane, you can clearly hear the announcer bellowing into the microphone.

There is no need for such loud sound at a youth football game where a very small number of spectators watch children play. Maybe you can “tune out” other noises, like the train going by, but this is different. It’s the sound of an emotional human voice shouting into the microphone, like a drill boring into your skull.

Many of my neighbors are upset, though they are not the kind who normally carry picket signs or circulate petitions. About 20 residences are severely affected.

Jeff Hood, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, has done nothing to correct the problem, though he is well aware of it. I addressed the Lodi City Council in November 2013. I also met with former City Manager Rad Bartlam, who said he would try to solve the problem. If the city has made changes to the sound system since then, I have not heard about it.

Continuous, loud, uncontrollable noise does irreversible mental and physical harm, and is even used as torture. This problem will eventually blight my neighborhood. I believe the city’s actions are immoral, illegal and discriminatory. This would never happen in a “nice” neighborhood where mostly white people live. I also hold the BOBS and the high schools responsible.

For 20 years football was played there with no problem, yet Mr. Hood tells me there is no easy solution. What about “just turn it down?”

2014 city council candidates — what is your position?

Timothy Miller


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Andrew Liebich posted at 11:27 am on Tue, Jun 17, 2014.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    The City of Lodi has noise ordinances. Are those complaining incapable of reading them or incapable of having them enforced? Apparently both.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:30 am on Tue, Jun 17, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    THE NEW SOUND SYSTEM is the problem - not trains, planes or anything else.

    Do you get it, Ed?

    I can feel for Mr. Miller since I live behind Twin Arbors and many times during the summer they have swimming events with loud music, the "horn" that is used to signal the start of an event blowing loudly and obnoxiously all day long, and the announcements being made loudly.

    And yes, it is difficult to enjoy sitting in your own yard. Fortunately, they far fewer than Grape Bowl events and we just stay indoors until the noise is over.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:24 am on Tue, Jun 17, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    It is amazing how all the usual suspects have piled on to tell Mr. Miller, who has explained the problem VERY CLEARLY, that he was an idiot to buy a house near the Grape Bowl.

    This certainly shows that people's ability to comprehend the problem - THE NEW SOUND SYSTEM

  • Timothy Miller posted at 8:28 pm on Mon, Jun 16, 2014.

    Tim Miller Posts: 3

    The noise from the Grape Bowl became dramatically worse when the new sound system was installed, in 2010 or 2011. What is "toxic noise"? No one would be able to relax in my front or back yard when this noise is blasting out of the Grape Bowl. I could not possibly entertain a guest in my back yard. The noise is upsetting because it's an emotional human voice. It's much easier to "tune out" the train, by comparison. That doesn't bother me at all, partly because it's a human voice, and partly because it comes by maybe once an hour or so, and it's gone in a minute. The Grape Bowl noise goes on for two or three hours in Friday night, and all day Saturday, from about 9 to 9, and all day Sunday, most weekends from late August until late November.

  • Timothy Miller posted at 8:22 pm on Mon, Jun 16, 2014.

    Tim Miller Posts: 3

    When I moved into the neighborhood in 1990, there was no problem with noise from the Grape Bowl and I never complained, nor did my neighbors. The city upgraded the sound system in 2010 or 2011. The noise became unbearable. If it were just one high school football game per week, I might not mind so much. But it's Youth Football, all day Saturday and all day Sunday, during the nicest time of the year, when people like to be outdoors. It is impossible for me to enjoy being outdoors in the area of my own home when these games are in progress.

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:19 pm on Sat, Jun 14, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Miller: perhaps you could define "Toxic Noise", there is nothing going on at the Grape Bowl now that hasn`t taken place in the last 20 years. As you must know by now, the Grape Bowl is used for graduations ( well not anymore), high school football games, none of which go on past 20:00 hours, and not every week-end. To take your complaint a bit further, when SFO was built, there wasn`t a house within 10 miles in the flight path, I lived in SSF and at times the 777`s flew so low over my house I could see the faces of the passengers, got use to it. Also, there is a situation with the rail road tracks, they were at that location long before there was a Lodi, if you don`t like trains and their horn at 02:00, well you figure it out. When an event is planed at the Grape Bowl, go out to dinner and a show, providing you can put up with the toxic noise coming from the young people and their cell phones. Timmy, just get over it, and learn to deal with it. I live on the fastest 1/4 mile in Lodi, it`s fun in a way to see these fools race to the stop sign, evidently it`s tough being the first looser. [wink]

  • Gail Irons posted at 7:04 pm on Fri, Jun 13, 2014.

    Gail Posts: 10

    The Grape Bowl has been around since the early 1940s, the housing around the Grape Bowl has not. You moved into the neighborhood fully aware of the noise factor. You have a choice, you can either move, get ear plugs or learn to live with the noise.

  • Timothy Miller posted at 6:34 pm on Fri, Jun 13, 2014.

    Tim Miller Posts: 3

    You must not have read my letter very carefully, or you may have been misled by Jeff Hood's reply. I have lived at the same address since 1990. Me and my neighbors had no problem with the noise from the Grape Bowl until 2011. If the noise had been a problem at the time I bought the house, I might not have grounds to complain. That's not what happen. No city has the right to blanket an entire neighborhood with toxic noise. When cities build or expand airports, for example, they have to compensate the residents who suffer increased noise levels.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 7:40 am on Fri, Jun 13, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Some people build houses next to airports then complain about the noise from the airplanes. Go figure.

  • Ed Walters posted at 11:53 am on Thu, Jun 12, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    The Grape Bowl was there long before you moved into your house, along with the railroad tracks that have been there forever. To complain about either is foolish, and I agree 100% with Jeff Hood. Moving is always an option, if not, just deal with it.


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