Local resident speaks out against noise

Loyal Gifford

It was disturbing to hear of the problems that Melanie and Kevin Meismer are having with the Little Oaks Child Care Center in Germantown Hills.

The article also stated that Mr. Crawford “does not want to be a bad neighbor,” and in the next breath, he added he “could bring charges against the couple.” Also, that he “wants an immediate cease and desist on the videotaping of the children because it is a violation of the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, and I could prosecute you.”

How does that prove he does not want to be a “bad neighbor?” Sounds more like a public threat that he could be prosecuted for.

I realize that the center does provide a valuable service to the community. No one questioned that.

I also know that noise from children is to be expected. But as village trustee, Jim Booth also noted in the article, during his visit, he “could hear the ongoing and steady sounds of children playing from the couple’s (Meismer) backyard with SPIKED INCIDENTS of SQUEALS.”

No one wants to hear screams or squeals, as it denotes distress. Children are more prone today to scream and squeal than in days past.

As an example, on NBC’s “Today” show, they have the weather report done outside, and in days past, people just waved banners, placards and the like and there was an occasional shout. Now, as soon as the camera is on the crowd, most of them start to squeal so loudly that the weather report cannot even be heard.

Noise has escalated too much. All the Meismers are asking is the center instruct (i.e. teach) the children that having fun and playing games does not need to be proven to the world with loud squeals or screams. They can have the same fun without their mouths going nuts. It is called self control.

The fact that Ms. Sasso spoke of another neighbor could also hear the noise but was not bothered by it is proof the noise level is not just made up by the Meismers.

Ms. Sasso also stated that her observation that all the background noise was the same. Sorry, lawn mowers, birds and dogs and traffic all make different kinds of noise. Birds are natural and uncontrolled, dogs are natural but can be controlled, lawn mowers are necessary to keep yards in good order, traffic is necessary and can be controlled.

SQUEALING and SCREAMING are only natural when you are being attacked and should not be used to cry wolf all day long. Yelling something like “Throw it to me!” or the like is one thing, but the shrill of a scream and just constantly screaming is not natural and can be (and should be) controlled.

Generally, recording both video and audio of an activity that anyone not a party to, can also witness from the public way or that can be seen or heard from private property is fair game if the activity, by its very nature, draws ones attention to it, is legal.

Threatening another citizen in public or private is illegal.

I checked under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, (720 ILCS 5/Art. 14 heading) ARTICLE 14. EAVESDROPPING, Sec. 14-3. Exemptions.

“The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this Article: (i) recording of a conversation made by or at the request of a person, not a law enforcement officer or agent of a law enforcement officer, who is a party to the conversation, under reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation is committing, is about to commit, or has committed a criminal offense against the person or a member of his or her immediate household, and there is reason to believe that evidence of the criminal offense may be obtained by the recording.”

It is a shame that Mr. Crawford shows that he is unwilling to help his neighbors by showing that he will exercise more control over the noise made by the children through proper training of these children, or even installing some means to control the high, uncontrolled noise levels.

Children who are not controlled or trained today in proper behavior will be the social problems in the neighborhoods of tomorrow.

Loyal Gifford