By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt Staff
DATELINE: THE LA RIVER RIVERBED (or just the LA Riverbed, right? Where's that damn style-guide?)
Experts Advise Residents To Prepare For ‘Unprecedented’ High Decibel Levels, Sustained Clamor.
THOSE in Canoga Park for the long Independence Day weekend will experience (or, in many cases, contribute to) a wall of noise from a variety of sources that’s expected to run continuously from early afternoon Friday and not end until some point late Monday evening; and will be perhaps loudest in the area around the Los Angeles River, according to predictions.
While Canoga Park has always been a boisterous area — indeed, it came in at number one on ApartmentDespair.com’s Annual List of Noisiest Places to Live — holidays, particularly the Fourth of July, are known as an especially rowdy time of year here in the West Valley, and this year’s holiday weekend should be one for the record books, say experts.
|Weekend Noise Forecast Map. Image courtesy|
Canoga Park Office of Uproar Encouragement
“We recommend earplugs, a white noise machine, humming loudly, or all three at once [to combat the noise] for those who are allergic to loud, sustained sound,” says Chuck Kritchman of Canoga Park’s Office of Uproar Encouragement. “We anticipate this to be the mother of all weekends, volume-wise. It should be glorious. I can’t wait to hear about it when I get back from San Diego on Tuesday.”
“It’s the Fourth of July, so you’ve got the illegal fireworks, which have already been intermittent since, what, Memorial Day,” says Dr. Morris Detzer, head of the Urban Anthroacoustics Department at Pierce College Winnetka. “But there’s many other unique factors at play here too making it really the ‘perfect storm’ of noise, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.”
“If the holiday fell on a Saturday , it would be pretty damn loud,” continues Detzer, “Even on a Sunday, it would be an incredibly noisy couple of days, but the volume would reach its apex by the end of the two-day weekend. However, with the Fourth on a Monday, we’ll be experiencing a crescendo of noise, turmoil and chaos that already started in some areas on Thursday night but will not achieve its loudest point until late Monday evening. It’s going to be something indeed. I’ll be in Big Bear.”
Detzer points to the unseasonably warm weather as a factor in ‘upping’ the din factor. “If it were blazing hot, you’d have folks staying inside more, with their air conditioners on. But as it is, it’ll only be really hot, so you’ll have people outside, into the wee hours of the morning, carrying on loudly.” Factor in excessive holiday weekend drinking and how cranky and argumentative people get when it’s too hot, and the noise is magnified exponentially, the professor of sonic pandemonium notes.
The area’s usual disorderliness, vandalism and crime (with the ensuing police helicopters & sirens), out-of-control house parties and the West Valley’s increasingly popular sport of illegal street racing will add to the bedlam. Barking dogs, too, will be a factor. “We’ve always got the barking dogs,” notes Detzer, “but with the fireworks, this will exacerbate that situation.”
|Doreen Farber. Photo: Fred Farber.|
Doreen Farber, president in charge of neighborhood cacophony of the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club, notes that her organization’s headquarters, long known as the area’s hottest, anything-goes nightclub, will be going full-tilt all weekend long. “Booked solid,” she beams while riffling a stack of one hundred dollar bills. “We already got the cash, and Fred and I are leaving for a bed & breakfast in Santa Barbara for the weekend, so [the renters] can do whatever the hell they want there — we won’t be around to hear it! Fred, get in the car!”
Large groups of raucous mobs congregating in public parks will likewise increase the overall decibel level throughout Canoga Park, though Barbara Walczek, Reservation Coordinator at Lanark Park notes that she has not seen an appreciable uptick in the number of applications for permits legally required by those wanting to host parties or inflate bounce houses there this weekend. “To be honest, no one ever bothers getting [the permits], and we never check, so that really wouldn’t be a good indicator anyway,” says Walczek. “And even if they did want to get one, it’s too late now because I’m leaving for San Luis Obispo in five minutes.”
|Lanark Park, the recreation center so sublime they made it rhyme, will be Canoga Park's|
#1 destination this holiday weekend for bounce houses, barbecues and brawling. File photo.
Canoga Park residents without triple-pane windows or who must venture out into the chaotic uproar are recommended to stay away from such noise 'hot spots' as the aforementioned Lanark Park, where dueling sound systems and arguments over who gets to set up their rows of white, rickety folding chairs where are expected to result in loud, angry free-for-alls throughout the next three days; the LA River basin, whose concrete lining makes for unparalleled acoustics and enormous sonic amplification — and is therefore a magnet for those with firecrackers, fireworks and explosive noisemakers — and “anywhere at all on Valerio Avenue east of Canoga Blvd,” suggests Captain Reed Malloy, Cyber Support Bureau Officer of Noise Ignorement.
|The LA River in Canoga Park is a popular place for illegal fireworks due to its acoustic properties|
as well as the fact there's nothing to burn, unless her polluted waters were to catch fire. Staff photo.
“Really, for those who have to stay here in town this weekend,” suggests Capt. Malloy as he climbs into his RV in the parking lot behind LAPD's Topanga Station to head to Sequoia for four days of camping, ”the best and safest way to celebrate and enjoy Independence Day in Canoga Park is to assume the fetal position, stick your fingers in your ears and rock back and forth in a corner of your home.”