Saturday, March 02, 2013

Nonsense about Noise

In a recent posting on the Howard County Citizens Association, perennial naysayer Russ Swatek wrote that “Merriweather Post Pavilion (MPP) was supposed to only serve the community, not be a huge amplified regional attraction.”

He references Columbia’s “original planners” as his source for this blatantly erroneous statement.

Ian Kennedy, who with fellow Columbian Justin Carlson, played a role in keeping Merriweather alive in the dark years, rebutted Russ. He pointed out that that the outdoor theater  named after Majorie Merriweather Post, had originally hoped to be the summer home of the National Symphony Orchestra, not the Columbia Orchestra.

“Furthermore, during the early years of Merriweather -- when the "original" planners still owned the pavilion and ostensibly oversaw its operations -- it hosted such acts as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and other amplified acts.”

It was those types of performances that kept Merriweather viable when the National Symphony opted to make Wolf Trap Farms their summer home instead.

The proposed noise legislation that the Howard statehouse delegation recently approved is intended to protect and preserve Merriweather for future generations of concert goers. It allows for noise levels up to 95 decibels between 9 AM and 11:30 PM within a quarter mile of the theater. Right now there are no residences within this quarter mile radius but as the downtown Columbia redevelopment progresses, this will change. It is inevitable that some of these new residents will complain about the noise just like those who now live outside that radius do now, even though Merriweather was there, rocking away summer nights, long before they moved in.

Predictably, the only member of the HoCo delegation to vote against this legislation was Liz Bobo
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