Gatetree gets their way Schools & Kids, posted by What the heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm
Great job Gatetree curcle neighbors! You successfully nagged your way to force the school district to turn down the speakers in the stadium. You have effectively made the new system totally ineffective. Now instead of using the new system so that spectators can hear, the new system is set at a level so low nobody can hear. Thanks a lot for nothing. Once again, the whining of the minority has prevailed. I say crank the system up. Pleasanton's city ordinance ststes that schools are exempt from noise restrictions during approved school activities, why has the district given in? Its been said before...the school has been there a lot longer than the homes...I know gatetree residents, your response is that the activities have increased over the years and so has the noise. Remember, there's no ordinance. Amador...crank up the volume.
Posted by gatetree resident, a resident of the Gatewood neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm
What a mature posting. No one should have to listen to an unlimited number of loud events. If you had been reasonable about the number of times that our peace and quiet would be disturbed the outcome might have been much different.
Posted by Business as usual, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 21, 2008 at 10:18 am
This shouldn't be about all of Gatetree Circle as to my understanding its is really only a couple of "long time" residents that led the charge to convice Casey to put the volume soo low that no one in attendance could hear anything. The poor cheerleaders trying to perform thier halftime routine, couldn't even hear thier music standing on the field. They kept calling an
Amador administrator to fix the problem and all he did was make excuses that it was out of his control and mandated by Casey. Apparently Casey went to the field with no one in attendance and decided what the proper volume was and locked it at his deemed acceptable level. Things change dramatically when you introduce 3,000 to 4,000 people in attendance for the annual Pigskin Roast. Amador host what should be a couple of games with even far larger attendance for De Lassale and Foothill.
The Amador Football team sells hats that proudly say "Amador Football Since 1928" I have even heard the announcer mention at the first game. "This year celebrating 85 years of Amador Football tradition". What a shame as it seems that again in Pleasanton, a tiny vocal minority seem to be the tail wagging the dog. The district needs to step up and do the right thing and rectify this situation.
As an 20 year resident of this town, I'm embarrassed that leadership dosen't lead.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2008 at 11:37 am
It was the same story regarding closing the field gate off Gatetree Circle that had been used for a very long time. A few "Gatetree" whined and now many are inconvenienced and at a price tag of over $16000 to the district for a path that was a waste of money. It is a very narrow path and up against the business side fence along the fire road where shrubbery blocks it in many areas. I doubt it is used but "Gatetree whiners" got their way. Now no one can enjoy using the gate or the football games. I thought the school was supposed to be there to support the kids.
Posted by Just pathetic, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm
It is simply pathetic that a couple of people can ruin the good time of soo many. I cannot understand what would motivate this action by the district to take such drastic action based on the opinions of so few. Those who complain about such time honored activities as after Friday night fooball games should be embarrased.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 9:39 am
Just a thought. I don't live there but do live near another school. The constant vandalism to properties on our street, done by the students, would make me vote no on anything even marginally involving those kids. Maybe your students have so badly annoyed everyone around them that the residents used this as a way to exact some measure of revenge. And for the record, I live more than a mile from your school as the crow flies and can hear your audio system -- that's just way too loud.
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm
Last weeks game ran late and it ended at about 9:45PM. They are usually done by 9:30PM.
The "good nieghbor ordinance" for all residents of Pleasanton dictates what the decible level of noise can be as heard by your nieghbor within stated times. I don't know the exact numbers, but I do know a few facts:
1. The school is exempt from this ordinance for events such as football games.
2. When a couple of Gatetree Circle neighbors began complaining about the new sound system (which isn't new but was modified to improve quality)the school responded by borrowing a db sound meter and went directly in front of the neighbor that was complaining and several others. Even at full volume, the readings produced were _lower_ than allowed by the good neighbor ordinance.
3. The unhappy neighbors have continued to call the school and the district constantly whenever the sound system is in use ie... Track meets last year, graduation etc..... and then again this year beginning with the first home football game a couple of weeks ago.
4. Apparently the district office is worried enough about these complaints that they have found it necessary for Dr. Casey himself to go to the school (with no one in attendance), and determine what sound level is acceptable regardless of the ordinance. The school was then ordered to lock the sound equipment rack once turned on and not make any adjustments.
5. At Friday nights Varsity football game with between 2,500 and 3,000 people present, the football players did not know when to run onto the field because they couldn't hear themselves introduced. The Cheerleaders also couldn't perform thier routine because again they couldn't hear the music. This game was also the annual Pigskin Roast which is a celebration in honor of sponsors who purchase adspace in the schools Sports Adbook Program. Upon trying to announce and recognize those sponsors no one in attendance could hear thier names.
Basically the whole thing is aweful. Amador has played football since 1923 and has played on Friday nights as long as anyone I talk to can remember. It is beyond reason, that someone would buy a house on the street next to a school and then have the cahuna's to complain that the school produces too much noise.
Since you don't have to register it can't be verified, but I can pretty much guarantee that those posting on this topic that say they could hear from a mile away are those very compalainers who have demanded that the district take this action (likely for threat of a lawsuit).
First the gate is removed, now the sound system is unusable, the next demand will likely be to move the Football field somewhere else so thier quality of life isn't destroyed. You know the old saying "give them an inch". These select few superior than everyone else neighbors are taking miles in an attempt to ruin things for everyone else.
Why can't these complainers be the same "good neighbors" that they are asking the school to be
Posted by The point is, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:27 pm
If you'd read the thread you'd figure out that its people living (by thier own choice), directly adjacent to a high school athletic field. The school has been there for 85 years.
Maybe the strategy is to mobilize dozens of call to the district insisting that the gameday experience is now ruined by a few. Maybe they will respond to a similar vocal minority in the other direction? Doubtful because you couldn't bring a lawsuit against the district because you couldn't hear the music or announcements.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:42 pm
For "facts": I live on second street, as I said, more than a mile from the school.
I agree that people who move next to a noisy environment should not complain. Have you jumped on this same bandwagon regarding those few residents who bought next to the train tracks and have convinced our spineless city council to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate a "quiet zone"? If the quiet zone is approved it will cost the city MILLIONS of dollars to put it in place. These pelple bought homes near the tracks. Is you sense of outrage in place now or only when it applies to your personal cause?
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:12 pm
What about Concerts in the Park. What is the decible level for this event? Maybe the Gatetree Circle residents can put a ban to all music in town. Sounds like they are ruining it for the majority. Maybe Gatetree Circle residents should move out and live behind the real gates-in Ruby Hill! You won't hear school music/athletic announcements in that area BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL!!!
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm
No this is not a single Amador football issue for me in fact it is a NIMBY issue in general. I myself moved here in 87 and lived at the eastern end of W. Los Positas. I was asked to sign at the time a disclosure document acknowledging that I lived in the flight path of the Livermore Airport which would likely some day be expanded. I signed that acknowledgment knowing it could and would likely happen. Same thing with Train noise! I LOVE Pleasanton, but I hate people who move here and want to pull up the drawbridge. I also loved the modo "City of planned progress". I can't stand "City of no progress". Bottom line, I think we are in violent agreement!
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:51 am
Where would one find the Pleasanton ordinance that states schools are exempt from noise restrictions during approved school activities.
I live just north of the football field at Foothill High and can hear every word that's spoken over the PA System if I'm on my deck. I'm not bothered by the noise(I go inside)but I can imagine the people living adjacent to the football field(on the east side)are blasted since the speakers are pointed directly at them. At some events the PA system is controlled by what seems to be students that apparently feel they must constantly make a noise or play loud rock music.
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:20 am
When I went to Amador High School in the late 70's it was desireable to live on Gatetree Circle because of the proximity to Amador, it's football field and access to watching the games from your two story window! Another instance in which the demographic of Pleasanton has changed. "Facts", you are spot on!!!
Posted by Hmmm, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:58 am
You seem to be in the know Adam. Why didn't you put that you reside on Gatetree? I think everyone on Gatetree Circle knows exactly who the few are that are complaining about this. Fact is they've been complaining for years they've just finally found someone who is stupid enough to listen to their unreasonable demands.
Posted by rodolfo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:58 am
I don't get it? I have read the thread, but I'm still kind of taking it as a joke. I mean, its been said before and everyones is ignoring it. They bought their house next to the school and they get what comes with it, right? There can't be more than 50 people complaining. Why can't the student body "rally" around this cause, or the parents that attend, or just people that enjoy conquering selfish, delusional neighbors.
There has to be more rational people in Pleasanton, than there is these people.
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 9:14 am
That is exactly the point rodolfo. This decision has been made by the Superintendent (Dr. Casey) himself. So far he isn't willing to share why he has caved to this demand by such a small vocal minority. I am aware he has been contacted along with the school board as suggested by a post earlier to at least explain his rational. We'll see if he provides any answers for his actions.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:44 am
I'll ask it again -- where is the similar outrage for those who have conned the city council into spending a few hundred thousand dollars to research the quiet zone for the trains? Are you only angry when something prevents you or your kids from making noise or do you have the same outrage over people moving next to train tracks and wanting to silence the trains? At the expense of all of us in this town! At least those wanting to silence the speakers are not asking the entire tax base in the town to fork over millions of dollars to do so. I followed the nearly non-existent thread some months ago about the train silencers. I guess those with kids at the school think the PA system is much more important than throwing millions of dollars around to quiet the trains. Sorry, I cannot get really angry about the PA system when there is little if any cost involved. My anger is directed toward the waste of millions by Hosterman and her fellow council members.
Posted by Trekmtb, a resident of the Heritage Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:47 am
I also live about 1 mile from Amador (3rd and Neal) and I can hear noise from the football games too. So? I just moved here a few months ago from a "quieter" part of town (Del Prado) where I could hear both Amador AND Foothill football games. Between the sports, concerts, parades, the County Fair (with horse racing), trains, car shows, traffic and whatever else it's impossible to avoid all noise. It's part of what makes a downntown a downtown. I like the fact that things are going on and don't mind knowing about it. If you don't like it, move to the country.
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:08 am
I already answered myself your previous question regarding at least my interest and whether or not it was single issue. I myself have no kids at Amador btw...
I would suggest starting a seperate topic regarding the train, and I would happily ad comment/input. Sometimes the timing of topics limits how many participate in feedback. Silencing the trains IMHO in any fashion is against the character that makes PTown so great!
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:28 am
Thanks for the comments, nice to know that at least some people are not single issue pit bulls. I moved from a town where you could hear a pin drop and there was just about that much excitement. Downtown Pleasanton was a choice, noise and all. Reasonable noise being the key. Remember the Afghan festival at the fairgrounds on Easter Sunday 2007? Now THAT was not reasonable in any way at all. And if I never had to hear another revving Harley that would make my day . . . . . Other than that, if you don't like bars, music, trains, football games or concerts -- move to central Nevada and deal with space aliens or something.
Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59 am
FACTS, Let me clear up a few things about your facts...(I appreciate your willingness to state the facts and want to add)...
#1 The district's "Good Neighbor Policy" has NO specific decibel restrictions written into it. Here is the entire text of the policy:
Pleasanton Unified School District
Good Neighbor Guidelines
District schools are situated within the city of Pleasanton and each share a fence with residents and businesses. It is the intent of the District that staff work to establish a positive relationship with neighbors to the school. While the mission of a school may conflict with that of a home owner or business, we believe that through clear understandings and effective communication, neighbors can learn to appreciate and support each other.
We believe that by following the guidelines below, we will support the development of good neighbor relations.
1. Listen well and take seriously concerns expressed by the neighbors.
2. Since the District is in partnership with the City of Pleasanton regarding facility use, City and District staffs will work together to address concerns expressed by neighbors.
3. Public Information Officer, Myla Grasso, is the direct contact neighbors have to the superintendent’s office. She can be reached at 426-4304.
4. Staff will conduct meetings with neighbors to discuss new construction and modernization building and site improvement plans which are likely to impact the neighbors. Possible solutions will always need to be balanced with cost.
5. Staff asks that respect and concern go both ways.
6. Staff, students and their families will respect no trespassing signs, fences and gates which are meant to guide public access from surrounding premises while traveling to and from school.
7. Staff, students, and parents will be encouraged to park in the parking lots provided at each school, leaving streets available for the public.
8. Staff, students, and their families will be encouraged to stay off of adjacent properties and to stay on hardscape surfaces when waiting or passing by a school (please respect the property of residents near schools).
9. Please be aware that comprehensive high schools generally allow on campus student activities between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. When processing outside facility use permits, elements which must be considered include noise level, times of the day, day(s) of the week (avoid Sundays when possible), use of PA system (manage the volume and the appropriateness of the words used), field light use (generally not past 8:30 pm), and parking and traffic considerations Users of our facilities, event sponsors and participants are encouraged to use school parking facilities.
10. Significant activities will be posted on the school's website to give neighbors a heads up of upcoming activities.
11. Staff is asked to put themselves in the neighbors' place. Think of how our activities and plans would affect them.
12. Staff will make sure that athletics and grounds maintenance equipment are in good condition and stored appropriately.
13. All Use of Facilities requests from school sponsored teams, clubs, and organizations will be coordinated and approved through the school administration. All Use of Facility requests by non-school groups (community-based organizations, etc.) will be approved through the school administration before it is forwarded to the District Facilities Department for final approval.
14. Event supervision and security will be provided for each event as determined by the Pleasanton Unified School District Administration.
15. District and school staff will be supportive of neighbors in resolving traffic issues around school sites. However, enforcement of traffic laws is the responsibility of the police department."
AGAIN...no mention of Decibel levels. This policy is avaliable on the district's website at the following link: www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/pub/GoodNeighborPolicy.pdf
#2 The city municipal code states that ALL approved school activities are exempt from nosie restrictions. Here is the code as it appears on the Pleasanton Municipal code 9.04.060 subsection D. "
" D. Special Events. Any community activity, sporting event, or special event occurring at the Alameda County fairgrounds, upon any PUBLIC SCHOOL GROUNDS, or at any city parks or streets is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the event has been approved by the appropriate fair association official, school official or city department or city council." (emphasis added)
#3 In another subsection of the same municipal code it states the following about the RESIDENTIAL noise limit:
"No person shall produce or allow to be produced by any machine, animal, device, or any combination of the same, on public property in any residential area, a noise level in excess of 60 dBA at a distance of 25 feet or more from the noise source or sources, unless otherwise provided in this chapter."
I'm assuming that this is the level at which the Gatetree neighbors want the school to comply. If this is so, it is a ridiculous request, as 60 dBA is the noise level of a normal conversation between 2 people. The dBA level of the crowd alone must exceed 80-90dBA. If the speakers are at 60 ore even 70dBA, nobody will be able to clearly hear the announcing, music...anything.
#4- In one of the posts above, it states that the speakers are pointed directly at the houses on Gatetree Circle...Whoever made that comment has not been to the stadium to see those speakers. The speakers are, in fact, pointed directly down and inward towards the crowd. NO speakers point towards the homes on Gatetree Circle, or the residents on Tiffany Lane. Visitors side speakers (which are now not being used thanks to our friends on GTC) are also pointed down towards the stands. The only speaker not pointed towards the stands is a lone speaker pointed in the direction of the snack bar.
After all of the facts...let get down to it. How many times is the stadium field used for the school year WITH the speakers ON...checking the athletic schedules on the internet should give us the best idea:
4 more home games for the SEASON!!!!
Boys & Girls Soccer:
13 Games (Soccer noise is NOTHING like football season) (Not all on Friday nights)
Boys & Girls Lacrosse:
13 Games (Again Lacrosse noise in NOTHING like football season) (Again not all on Friday nights)
3 Track Meets (Usually all during daylight hours)
1 time per year (really, are you going to complain about graduation?! Heartless if you do)
So, in summary 34 events on just as many days out of 365 in a year Gatetree residents are "putting up" with crowd noise from a stadium that has been there since before their homes were built. Add the Football games that have already happened (2) and a couple of more events...Special Olympics, (again if you complain about that one you are even more heartless) and maybe 2 other events (I'm just guessing beacuse I don't know what other city events may happen there where they get to use the sound system) adds 5 more which makes it 39. This noise is not happening all day long...at the longest (football events) the sound system is used for probably about 6 hours. Remember...these residents bought a house KNOWING that there was a STADIUM there. Really...is this too much to ask? Gatetree residents will say yes, and apparently their opinion will count for a whole lot more than the rest of our community.
I'd like to reiterate that the municipal code does NOT require any restriction on the noise coming from these events. That means that the school is not breaking any code or law. Threats to bring lawyers into the mix are merely threats. If litigation ensued, it would hit an abrupt dead end when they find there is no code restricting the noise! Isn't it about time that Gatetree residents let go of their animosity towards the school and the district, and be good neighbors themselves. You chose to live there. The school is doing what its always done, support students and give them something productive to do. This whole situation is ludacris!
Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 12:04 pm
I agree...the people who bought next to the tracks are just wasting time, money, and city resources. YOU BOUGHT NEXT TO THE TRACKS! And your house costed less than the rest in the community...get over it. There's my 2 cents...but the folks who bought those houses and live there won't let it go...ahhh the beauty of leaders who don't know how to think for themselves.
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm
Thanks WTH for the compreshesive factual review vs my less detailed and supported one. I would like to address one of your facts:
I'm assuming that this is the level at which the Gatetree neighbors want the school to comply. If this is so, it is a ridiculous request, as 60 dBA is the noise level of a normal conversation between 2 people. The dBA level of the crowd alone must exceed 80-90dBA. If the speakers are at 60 ore even 70dBA, nobody will be able to clearly hear the announcing, music...anything.
This is exactly correct to my understanding. I also know that with the sound at close to full volume (on both sides of the stadium), that a db meter was used by the school and it in fact messured LESS than 60dBA!!! Under the auspecies of the "Good Neighbor Policy" the complaining neighbors are asking for even less than what is allowed by a policy that the school is not obligated to follow for special events! This is exactly while I feel it is so incredible at how far the district seems willing to go to indulge this complaining few.
Posted by Pat, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm
There is no such thing as 'quiet' in any suburb, because everybody has to prove what good people they are by blasting their weed-whackers, leaf-blowers and gas-powered lawn mowers. You know, if you're lawn looks perfect, you're a good person. It's been proven.
Noise pollution and air pollution don't matter, as long as everything on the outside looks perfect.
Posted by Lynda, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm
You're the one whining. I'm quite sure the spectators will be able to hear just fine, the system is sooooo damn loud I can hear it from many blocks away. People have a right to quiet enjoyment of their homes and I don't blame them at all for complaining about the noise.
Posted by dbasemom, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 5:03 pm
For all those who are mad at the poor residents of Gatetree Circle, how would you like it if hundreds of screaming kids & spectators decided to make the same amount of noise on your front lawn - you'd be complaining too so try to sympathize with these poor folks. It's not like when you buy a house that you get to try it out and live there for a while before deciding to buy. They very well may not have realized what type of noise they were in store for.
Posted by rodolfo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm
dbasemam, are you serious or being sarcastic? Are you really saying that because they didn't factor-in "LOCATION" when buying a house, that the historic high school has to adapt to the new residents? Thats hilarious, I'll assume your joking until you are rational. And by rational, I mean accept the fact, that the people that buy houses next to the railroad tracks, and the Fairgrounds, and such just have to take responsibility for their purchases. What about the people that spent alittle more money and bought a house far enough away from the noise areas? Did we NOT have to spend more money to live in a quiet neighborhood, could we have just complained to the "right people", is that fair?
But I'm not saying anything new here, its all been said here before and probably better. Keep up the conversation people...I'm loving it....
Posted by No defending, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm
People keep popping up and defending the right to quiet for various reasons. We are talking about long time, constant complainers with no kids who have lived in the neighborhood for a long time. There is no surprise here.... Please stop defending a few who are only interested in ruining things for a very large group of people. If even one person complains in this town, regardless of how unreasonable their complaint they seem to get attention. It just dosen't make sense.
Posted by happy gatetree resident, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:46 pm
Take this from a Gatetree resident....there is no WAY there are 50 residents complaining. The majority of us love the sound of the roaring crowd, the marching band diligently practicing, the lunch time rallies....it's about the kids! It makes me feel part of a community rich with hometown spirit and school pride! Why are Amador and Casey caving to these whiners?? Let them leave their messages and hit the delete button. Done.
Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Any sane person who looks at the facts will see that the Gatetree neighbors have no legal leg to stand on, as well as no logical reason to complain. The kids at Amador didn't just "show up" in Gatetree circle's backyard...it was there before those homes even existed. Again, the FEW neighbors who have complained, have ruined it for the rest of the Amador community. Once again...Thanks A Lot Gatetree Residents (the few who complain).
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2008 at 7:45 pm
"...have ruined it for the rest of the Amador community. Thanks A Lot Gateree Residents."
You sound like you're two years old.
Is your life ruined now because speakers have been lowered? The void in your life created by the decrease in speaker volume presents an opportunity to create a fuller, more meaningful substitute for yourself.
Posted by Mia, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm
Mary you make no sense.
Yes, a lot is lost when the sound system is not properly effective.
Our Football players practice all summer and train and play in all weather. Our cheerleaders train hard and perfect their sport and the band works at least as hard as any of them to perform for their peers and families.
That a few unreasonable and selfish people can negatively effect an event that is important, to so many, is outrageous.
Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm
We can't hear the announcer, the student athletes can't hear thier names announced, and don't know when to run on the field when they're being recognized for all the hard work they have done practicing for these contests. The Cheerleaders can't hear thier music to do their routines. Of course it ruins the event. How selfish of you to think that we want the speakers turned up just to annoy the neighbors. If it was your kid, grandkid, great grandkid, and you came to watch them at a game or contest...you'd want to hear when their name was called so they could be recognized. What a sin! We want some positive reinforcement for our kids in this world. You'll never agree with me, but I'm telling you your selfish actions have ruined it for all. Once again...thanks for nothing! We really would plead for you to change your mind, and allow the school to use the speakers, but your selfish nature will not allow it. I'd almost be willing to buy all of the complainers tickets to a movie every time there was a game. What a novel idea, get out of the house, go spend some quality time with your family elsewhere when there is a game if it bothers you so much. ALLOW the school to have their games without restrictions to the sound level (which is the municipal code anyway.) I promise the sky will not fall, your house will not crumble, the world will not end.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Sep 26, 2008 at 11:46 pm
I don't have an axe to grind in this little debate so don't yell at me. All I'm asking is where can one find the Municipal Code that apparently refers to "no noise restrictions on school activities". I've tried to find it, with zero results.
"D. Special Events. Any community activity, sporting event, or special event occurring at the Alameda County fairgrounds, upon any public school grounds, or at any city parks or streets is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the event has been approved by the appropriate fair association official, school official or city department or city council."
While we're throwing around the municipal code, how about this:
9.04.010 Declaration of policy.
"It is declared to be the policy of the city that the peace, health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city require protection from excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable noises from any and all sources in the community. It is the intention of the city council to control the adverse effect of such noise sources on the citizens under any condition of use, especially those conditions of use which have the most severe impact upon any person. (Prior code § 4-9.01)"
I highly doubt that the exemption granted in section 9.04.060 D is meant to be a green light to turn the volume up excessively. Perhaps Casey did turn the volume down too low. Perhaps the volume was too high. *shrug* What was the volume level before the new sound system was installed?
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2008 at 12:37 am
Thanks Facts & Stacey.
The exemption does seems to gives school administrators carte blanche over the sounds/noise produced at school sponsored activities. At the risk of being yelled at, even though it's not stated, I would hope some discretion was meant to accompany the exemption.
Posted by Liz, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 28, 2008 at 8:17 am
Jerry if a person is concerned about the predicable noise from a football field they should not move next to a football field. Those homes are a premium to families with kids that want to be a part of the energy of the community. When my kids were in school I watched for homes for sale in that neighborhood.
This belief that they have any right to control the community is what is unreasonable!
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Sep 29, 2008 at 12:51 am
I can appreciate your reasoning. Do you suppose the Amador Valley School Administrators followed Item 4 of the PUSD Good Neighbor Guidelines(site improvement plans)before installing a new PA System. Perhaps any neighborhood concerns could have been addressed at that time.
As one sitting on the outside of this discussion, I would think there must be a compromise to be found that everyone involved could live with. To date, all I've heard is screaming and yelling by both groups involved in this dispute, with neither willing to bend.
In my opinion, if one looks at the situtation with an unbiased eye, "This belief that they have any right to control the community" could apply to both groups.
Posted by Facts, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 29, 2008 at 11:34 am
I will reiterate that the school did _NOT_ install a new sound system. They installed (without getting into detail that would lead to another discussion), enhancements that actually allow the quality to be better with the volume lowered. NO AMPLIFICATION HAS BEEN ADDED! The music since the "enhancement" has been consistently played at a lower volume than over the last several years.
There are occasions when during a rally an over zealous student may have on occasion had access to the volume control and turned the system up too loud, but the situation is always quickly rectified.
These same people that always complain, actually even call the administration to complain when they are trying to test the system during the school day to determine reasonable volume control.
IMO, the school nor district have no intention of "blasting" sound voice, music or otherwise with the specific intent of ruining the complainers lives. It has been my experience that the complainers are systematically addressing issues that have bothered them over a long period of time because they have found a sympathetic audience in the school and district that seems willing to listen and take action based on the opinion/input of a very few. At some point the administration will realize they need to do what is best for all, including those attending the games, graduations etc.....
The great majority of neighbors close to the school do not nor have they ever complained about this or other issues. It is a very small group that is creating all of this chaos!
Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 30, 2008 at 1:58 pm
Facts and What The Heck have some details correct, but many are completely and totally incorrect.
Those that are accurate are the cited Good Neighbor Policy. It is also correct the City Ordinances do not apply to Pleasanton Schools.
Let me share a few items based on what I know to be the negotiations that took place on the Sound System Modifications:
1) Nowhere does the Good Neighbor Policy state what sound levels are deemed acceptable for school activities. Given it has been posted publicly on this thread, that point SHOULD NOW be ABUNDANTLY clear.
2) Bill Coupe was contacted multiple times about the modified system and sound level concerns. He NEVER responded, passing the buck off to Ben Fobert, Vice Principal.
3) It was Ben Fobert who walked the neighborhood on June 5th with the "borrowed" decibel meter. Ben never once knocked on any neighbors doors. One of the concerned neighbors happened to be home and saw Ben. That neighbor approached him, otherwise everything being undertaken would have been totally at the School's discretion. After this "walk," the speaker angles were changed to point down at the field resulting in some improvement, but those immediately adjacent to the visitor side of the stadium saw only minor relief.
4) Dr. Casey was engaged by individuals other than the neighbors, after efforts to work with Fobert and Sandra Lepley at the end of June had failed to deliver permanent results that were carried over into the 2008-2009 school year.
5) Dr. Casey joined Bill Coupe on the football field with a decibel meter. The measures Dr. Casey read when at the common fence line were WELL ABOVE 60 dba.
6) The outcome/end result was to turn off the speakers on the pole at the visitor side bleachers. The amplifier was then set and locked at a reading of 68 dba. Bill Coupe was given authority to increase the setting by a maximum of one unit on the amplifier if the roar of the crowd became louder than the PA system. Coupe was then told to walk the neighborhood to make contact with the neighbors to let them know what was occurring. If no one was home to talk to, he was instructed leave a letter detailing the actions taken.
Note that 68 dba is above what the Municipal Code (which exempts the Schools) states -- not BELOW. Note Bill Coupe is apparently of no significance given "Facts" claims there was "no one in attendance" when Dr. Casey determined acceptable levels.
Note Bill Coupe was able to increase volume levels. If the football players did not know when to run onto the field because they couldn't hear themselves introduced and the Cheerleaders couldn't perform their routine because they couldn't hear the music, then someone should have approached Bill Coupe. Apparently that didn't happen. Please tell me why that is the fault of the Gatetree neighbors? Were they powerful enough to also steal the voices of those who couldn't hear? Doubtful. So apparently it wasn't THAT awful.
I believe what frosted neighbors the most was the blatant disregard for the Good Neighbor Policy, which was ignored. No one notified the neighborhood of the impending upgrade, which is completely contrary to what the District has documented. Staff conducted no meetings with neighbors to discuss the "modernization/site improvement" planned to the PA system. Clearly, this was "likely to impact the neighbors." (see item 4 of the Guideline) Staff clearly did not "put themselves in the neighbors' place," nor did they think of how their "activities and plans would affect" them. (see item 11 of the Guideline) Perhaps they felt that was unnecessary given, as Ben Fobert clearly stated, the funds for this upgrade were Booster funds, NOT District funds. That having been said, concern for the advertisers over that of the neighbors makes total sense.
It is unfortunate "Staff" did not handle the issue appropriately on their own. Had they done so, Mr. Casey would have never been involved. If you want to be mad at someone, take your complaints to Bill Coupe and insist he do his job -- in a timely manner. 2 years to close on the walkway issue was beyond ridiculous. Perhaps that timeline is what caused some neighbors to escalate this one so quickly.
Posted by Embarrasment, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm
Please stop making it sound as if anyone but a couple of very disgruntled "Gatetree Residents" are taking this stand. The great majority has never had and will never had any beef with the school.
It has got to be embarrassing beyond belief for the nieghbors to be considered in any way as sharing your opinion.
Based on your discription above you "another gatetree resident" are the ring leader in this campaign. And clearly you are on a mission to go after Principle Coupe. I must say, if he has the level of control you say he does, if I were him I'd be tempted to have a dance on the football field just to make a point......
Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm
Ring Leader? Hardly.
And you miss my point regarding Mr. Coupe. Had he had the control you seem to imply one feels he has, then:
1) The walkway issue would have been quickly resolved and
2) Mr. Casey would not have been involved in the sound system issue
As all ready stated, (but it will now be put more directly) if some have issue with the current resolution they only have Bill Coupe's overall ineffectiveness to blame. Pass the buck to Fobert. Yep, that was real effective.
Posted by Interesting, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm
It appears Another Gatetree Resident was correct. I just found this out on the web.
Help Boosters To Fund Much Needed Stadium Sound System Improvement
Let's continue that great Amador spirit and show that with an "All In" attitude we can make a difference in the lives of our students.
At this year's Purple and Gold Gala, we announced the 2008 Fund a Need segment which will support the purchase of additional equipment to improve the sound system for the Amador football stadium. This sound system will benefit the Class of 2008 seniors at graduation which will be held at Amador. Additionally, all sports, band members, clubs and student body organizations that utilize the stadium will benefit from the state of the art sound system.
At the Gala we raised over $5500 for this effort. We would like to now open up the request for additional donations to our entire Amador Booster and parent base. Please consider donating $50 or $100 towards this worthwhile cause. Checks can me made payable to AVHS Boosters and sent to the attention of Sally Parsons at 3232 Arbor Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94566. For your tax deductible donation you will receive a ball point pen with the "All In for AVHS" logo.
It was published May 2008. You can read it via this Web Link