"PARD is not against growth and business - but that's a subject for another letter."Here's the subject of another letter. Not only is PARD against growth and business, so is Joan Harris.
- Joan Harris
The subject of Harris' previous NIMBY whining (and vandalism): Yet another Bishop Boulevard business, good 'ol unionized, PARD-supportin' Safeway.
From the August 30, 2003 edition of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Supermarket's noisy air conditioner keeping Pullman neighbors awake; 'Nobody would buy these places if we wanted to move'
The price of progress shouldn't include being deprived of a good night's sleep.
It shouldn't cause residents to give up on their backyard gardens.
And it shouldn't mean having to yell at your neighbor, just to be heard, when she's standing 5 feet away.
At least that's what Jennifer Eldridge, Joan Harris and Anna Sherwood contend.
But that's how they've been spending their evenings and days off since July 6. That's when Safeway Food and Drug cranked up its air handling system on the roof of the new store on Bishop Boulevard in Pullman.
"It's on 24-7," said Eldridge, 43, who lives on Shoemaker Street next to the new store. "They never, ever turn it off."
It's not that the three women and some of their neighbors don't like Safeway. They shop there, at least some of them still do.
Just so people knew she wasn't exaggerating, Eldridge walked up to the 8-foot fence Safeway erected at the ridge line above the store. There, she turned on a hand-held sound meter.
It read 68, then 64, then 58 and then 62 decibels.
Eldridge moved again, a few steps to her left. The same decibel pattern flashed across the digital screen.
Eldridge said city officials indicated 55 decibels is the "maximum acceptable" limit.
"I have to put the radio right down on my bed to hear it," said Harris, 75, a former newspaper reporter, now dental office manager.
"There was this cute little (sign) picture of a village when we moved out here," said Sherwood, 44, as her daughter, Kyra, 5, hid behind her mother's legs. "So much for that."
"I don't get to sleep until 1:30 and I get up at 6:30," said Sherwood, who works at Washington State University. "I don't use my backyard anymore but I have to use my air conditioner."
Having the windows open might keep things cool enough, but they also let in the noise.
"Nobody would buy these places if we wanted to move," Eldridge said.
Officials with Safeway are looking into options.
"We have retained an architect and an engineer," store manager Chris Nash said.
The store is considering installation of noise baffles. The baffles have to be designed, custom built and safety tested. Nash said the process could take three months. He noted that a poorly designed or installed noise baffle could pose a serious safety threat.
Residents who live near the store think the job can be done a lot quicker.
Another 100 days with little and sometimes no sleep just doesn't cut it, a group of residents recently told the Pullman City Council. Council members agreed. They urged public works officials to work with Safeway.
The women also aren't happy with the erection of the chain-link fence along their property lines.
Harris noted that homeowners can only erect a 6-foot-tall fence.
"So who is going to try to go over the fence to get into Safeway?" she asked, jokingly.
Harris and Eldridge confessed to a little "creative sabotage" to remove green slats that originally ran up through the chain crossings. Harris used tools to move the slats up while Eldridge, on a ladder, pulled them out at the top of the fence line.
Now there is a 20-foot-long section of fence with no slats.
Arrest them, they said.
At least now Eldridge and Harris say they can go back to watching the sunset over Sunnyside Hill, if only from inside of their homes.
But Harris looked sadly at a copy of the holiday greeting card that she sent out last year. It was a photograph of a sunset, minus the fence and store, viewed from their hill.
"I'll never be able to take that photo again," she said. "I'm glad I have this one." Technorati Tags: wal-mart walmart