Tag Archive: Washington

Have a friend or family member who is showing signs of hearing loss?

In “Hearing loss: Listening to the signs,” Treva Lind, The Spokesman Review, writes about the 37.5 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss, focusing on the baby boomers who are 20 to 25% of that population.  Lind states that “[t]he American Speech-Language Hearing Association recommends that people age 50 and older have a hearing test every three years.”  She sits in on a hearing exam for 67-year-old Dale Fowler, who came to the University Hearing and Speech Clinic in Spokane, Washington to see if he needed a hearing aid, a visit scheduled at the urging of family members.  Fowler’s exam revealed that he “had some minor hearing loss at high frequencies in one ear, but it wasn’t enough to warrant a hearing aid.”  Fowler’s audiologist, Barbara Peregoy, said that his result was “common among baby boomers.”

Peregoy said that baby boomers often fall into a “gray area,” where they don’t yet need hearing aids but still have some minor hearing loss.  She then explained why people who need hearing aids don’t get them right away (cost, denial, vanity, or fear of appearing older) and the consequences of not addressing hearing loss, noting that hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia.  As for her patient Dale Fowler, although he left without a hearing aid, he did not leave empty-handed–Peregoy handed him a list of good communication skills to help him deal with his minor hearing loss.

Click the link above to read the whole piece, including Barbara Peregoy’s “Ten commandments for good communication skills.”

 

 

Citizens fight back against report that minimizes complaints about jet noise

planeJet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints.  WAMU, American University Radio, reports that “[h]omeowners along the Potomac River in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland are angrily responding to a report claiming that a ‘small, frustrated minority of citizens is affecting aviation policy’ by swamping the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority with thousands of complaints about flights leaving Reagan National Airport in Arlington.”  The report stated that one resident was responsible for the lion’s share of the complaints, implying that jet noise was not a significant issue to other residents in affected areas.  WAMU found another story when they went out to those neighborhoods to speak to residents who deal with a constant barrage of jet engine noise:

To folks whose days and nights are filled with the sound of jet engines overhead, the Mercatus Center report failed to capture the extent of the problem. They say the proof that noise pollution impacts more than a “small, frustrated minority of citizens” is that MWAA formed a working group consisting of people from neighborhoods across the region, and the FAA currently is working with civic associations and neighborhood representatives to potentially alter flight paths to mitigate noise.

Long and short, the reason for the complaints is the FAA’s new NextGen program, “which uses satellite-based navigation to assign planes to direct routes to save fuel and time.”  The program was implemented throughout 2015 in the Washington metropolitan area, giving rise to a spike in complaints.  And it’s not just an issue in D.C.  NextGen has created problems throughout the country, spurring residents to ban together to fight back against plane noise exacerbated by NextGen.

 

Hear, hear!

Why aren’t more motorcycle riders cited for traffic noise?

Adam Lynn, traffic reporter for The Olympian, examines a common lament regarding motorcycle noise.  Namely, Washington State has regulations governing motorcycle exhaust noise but motorcyclists ride with impunity as the regulations appear to be rarely enforced.  Lynn’s research revealed that there were two relevant statutes governing exhaust and muffler noise, so he then turned to the Washington State Patrol to ask them about enforcement.

While the spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol was able to tell Lynn the number of people stopped for excessive vehicle noise (3,214), which presumably included motorcycles, he could not say how many citations were handed out.  “In many instances,” said the spokesperson, “troopers simply inform drivers that their vehicles are illegally modified and need to be brought into compliance with the law,” adding that many owners plead ignorance and claim that they thought the modified exhaust was legal because it was installed by a muffler or motorcycle shop.

Apparently the Washington State troopers are unaware of the legal principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse.  And we must add that the claimed ignorance is less believable when you realize that the offending exhaust pipes are aftermarket.  That is, new motorcycles are sold with less offensive exhaust pipes that the owner must replace with modified exhausts in order to make the motorcycle as loud as possible so as to assault as many ears as possible.

Perhaps the Patrol should hand out citations instead of warnings the first time.  Nothing like a punishing fine to insure that there won’t be a second time.