SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Noise Pollution
By Sharon Preston


May 22, 2008
Thursday PM

Short term or impulse noise is becoming a bigger problem in Ketchikan all the time. Some examples include: whistles, horns, bells, sirens, fireworks, gunfire, blasting, pile-driving, aircraft flyovers, and dogs barking.

"Our bodies react automatically to sudden or loud sounds - blood pressure rises, heart rate and breathing speed up, muscles tense, hormones are released into the bloodstream, and perspiration appears - preparing us physically for this "fight or flight" response." (Quoted from MPCA Impulse Noise Study)

Now knowing that, why would a city government put a gun range in the middle of an area populated with homes on three sides? And in an area that amplifies sound like a canyon? Not only sound travels, bullets do too! Bullets tend to ricochet and stray far from their intended targets! And at times guns go off when they aren't supposed to.

I am sure there must be a better place than above the dump for a firing range. I've heard there is already a gun range way out north; an old Coast Guard facility. Yeah, some people will be put out with driving a long way but that's better than a whole lot of people being miserable because of the noise and fear. We are supposed to be a society that doesn't infringe upon the rights of others. Well, at least that's what I was taught growing up anyway.

Has anyone even done any testing to see what impact the firing range will have? Test various locations and see how far the sound travels at different times of the day, year and in all weather conditions and what impact it will have on residents.

Now, not only will I have the sounds of float planes dive bombing my house (May to Sep.), I'll have the gun fire to go along with it. I'll have the complete battle zone experience!

Sharon Preston
Pennock Island, AK

Received May 21, 2008 - Published May 22, 2008



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Ketchikan, Alaska