Too big a burden
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Mar 27, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Too big a burden

Stratford Gazette

It is most disappointing that the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life committee has once again chosen the grounds of Stratford Central secondary school as the location for this all-night event (June 7-8) for the worthy cause to eradicate cancer.

The committee is aware of the sound magnifying characteristics of this location and the detrimental effect on some residents of unstoppable amplified noise but they continue to choose the same location and applied to council for an exemption to the noise bylaw to 1 a.m., telling council the reason is “to help participants stay awake.”

Stratford’s residential noise bylaw prevents amplified sound after 5 pm., a necessary health protection for residents of such an already naturally amplified area.

Would the chair of the event tell residents why the event is returning to this location when less money was raised than at other locations, and why when you know it causes a negative impact on more residents than just myself?

Last year the Relay for Life started full blast with rock concert volume level noise at 5:30 p.m. which continued with interruptions including echoing PA system noise until after  midnight and a PA neighbourhood wake-up call at 6 a.m. When the unplugged Stratford Police Pipes and Drums played they sounded comparatively quiet.

Some residents too ill or not wanting to attend were forced to attend because of the electrical amplification of sound. There was no place inside my home to avoid this unwanted intrusion.

Just one hour of unavoidable boombox noise is unnerving and unhealthy. Many hours was horrendous.

To the chair of the event, if you will not change the location, why not accept my challenge of running this event without electrical amplification? Having more fun and the term “logistics” is not a good enough reason for me to pay with my already tenuous health or be forced out of my home.

The use of electricity only for safety lighting would acknowledge the importance of the environment in health and lack of amplification would show a respect for residents not evident last year.

Unplugged entertainment and announcements supplemented by your radio transmitters should be easily heard by participants in such an “intimate tend city.”

I know how even the word cancer can evoke emotion. I have seen far too many tragedies caused by cancer, but I hope this community, including council, can look at the facts.

Why not acknowledge the physical characteristics of this area and the different levels of abilities and needs of citizens and recognize that “just one night” is too big a burden for some of us.

Gail Caukwell


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