Volume 95, Issue 34

Thursday, November 1, 2001
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Masturbators lurk, paths remain unlit

Smokers burned by new law

Lindros' lawyer talks shop

The world at war

Downtown noise pisses off cranky locals

Alum loves proteins, donates cash

News briefs

Downtown noise pisses off cranky locals

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Tensions are brewing in downtown bars and for once, students are not to blame.

A number of London residents living in the Oxford, Richmond and Kent street areas are fed up with loud music coming from downtown bars and a lack of police response to their complaints.

Paul Lock, president of the North Talbot Community Association, which represents disgruntled area residents, said he is not pleased with the city's response to his constituents' dilemma.

This week, a task force was formed by the city's planning committee to bring together bar owners, residents and city officials to discuss a solution to the problems.

"They sandbagged us by putting us into a task force," Lock said.

"It's clear that the thinking among the majority of [city] councillors is that we should try and find a medium point with the bars. We are giving something up as soon as someone tries to find middle ground. Our residences existed before those bars were there," he said.

Lock's comments on the situation were met with some aversion by Ward 3 city councillor Fred Tranquilli, chair of the city's planning committee.

"I take great offense to his comment because I think the community, the neighbourhood and the business owners all have a genuine interest in solving the problem. Comments like [Lock's] really challenge the process of finding a solution," he said.

Tranquilli said residents' most common complaints have to do with loud sound systems and noise made by people leaving bars after last call.

"It is a localized problem in a very specific area and there were many businesses there before people decided to live there. The city is not in a position to stop people from laughing, dancing and singing on their way home," Tranquilli said.

Mike Smith, owner and operator of Joe Kool's, Jim Bob Ray's, The Runt Club, Fellini Koolini's Italian Cuisini and Chancey Smith's, said that, while he is willing to make concessions for valid complaints, people living in the downtown and busy areas have to accept the "facts of civic life."

"We want to get along with everyone, but they have to be realistic. This is a commercial area zoned for bars," he said. "Downtown is the logical place to have bars if you want to lessen events of drinking and driving. If people want to solve the issues, they need to talk about it and communicate. Otherwise, what recourse do they have?"

Tranquilli said city councillors are negotiating with the interests of the greater public and students in mind.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001