The following comes from an October 14 CBS Local story:
Those who love Gospel music refer to it as “joyful noise” and it is anything but quiet.
But the City of Oakland has a different description of it, they’re calling it a “nuisance.” Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in West Oakland recently received a letter from the city threatening a $3,500 nuisance fee and a $500 a day fine unless it toned down its choir practice.
“Kind of hard to believe because we’ve been here about 65 years in the community and all of a sudden we get some concerns about the noise,” said Thomas A Harris III, the pastor at Pleasant Grove.
Church pastors who met Wednesday said the real issue is gentrification. The church sits in a neighborhood full of old Victorians being snapped up by affluent tech workers.
“Those persons who are just new arrivals should not come and try to change the culture that existed before they arrived here,” said George Holland, president of the Oakland branch of the NAACP. “We cannot have people come attack churches about music.”
I really wonder how often, how long, and at what Decibel level the congregation sings. Presumably they have proper zoning to have a church at that site.
Couldn’t be Catholic, since Catholics can’t sing.
Catholics can’t sing? Go to the opera in Italy and see how many of the world’s finest singers are Catholic. Go to Mass in Ireland and swoon at the Catholic voices. The real problem with Catholic music is that we have the most exquisite classical music, our hymns are musical duds. Sorry. We have the best everything else though, so go home and sing all the great Protestant hymns, but keep it down, the noise gestapo is out in force. And you probably can’t sing anyway, being Catholic and all, I presume.
This story is, if not false, at least misleading. The complaint is that the weekly choir practice is conducted with very loud amplifiers and goes past the time when a city ordinance decrees a quiet hour, to wit, 9PM. The complaint is that they sing till 11 or later, making it impossible for the neighbors to sleep.
On the face of Gil’s additional information, the reported story certainly seems misleading. My original comment assumed the Church was in compliance with all relevant ordinances.
How about sending a reporter to Oakland City Hall to read and report on the actual complaint?