A wider attack on noise

Fort Collins’ noise ordinance is just part of a comprehensive program to reduce neighborhood blight

Will Chico’s updated noise ordinance do the job? Ken Fleming and Melinda Vasquez don’t think so. A married couple who advocated for a stronger ordinance, they are convinced the city needs to take a comprehensive approach to the problem of excessive noise and neighborhood blight.

They cite the city of Fort Collins, Colo., as an example. Like Chico, Fort Collins is a college town (Colorado State University) and has faced many of the same problems Chico confronts because of the annual influx of young people eager to have fun.

On its website, the city has a 145-page “Landlord-Tenant Handbook” that provides a wide range of information about leases and security deposits and other practical matters. But it goes much further, discussing neighborhood nuisance codes (including noise violations), animal codes and neighborhood relations. It’s a terrific resource for renter and landlord alike.

The handbook was prepared by the city’s Community Mediation Program, and it focuses attention on methods for resolving conflicts and fostering respect among homeowners, landlords and student renters. The city also has set up a Community Liaison Program that provides mediation services as well as all kinds of activities that promote good relations.

Fleming and Vasquez are right—Chico would benefit from a similarly comprehensive approach to protecting neighborhoods. Go to www.tinyurl.com/lthandbook-pdf to see the handbook for yourself.

The candidate weighs in: When City Council candidate Toby Schindelbeck phoned me Friday to reserve the guest comment space in this issue, I assumed it was to respond to my column last week (“Schindelbeck shoots first”). My mistake.

As readers can see, he mentions the column only briefly, to reiterate his complaints about President Obama (though without calling him “an idiot and a coward” and a “useless puke” this time around). He then launches into what amounts to a campaign statement.

Had I known that’s what he was going to do, I would have told him to buy an ad.

I’m not going to respond to his content. His opponents can do that. But he makes one phony argument that all of the conservative council candidates are making—that the current council is ignoring major problems like the budget and police staffing in favor of feel-good projects like banning plastic carry-out bags.

That’s like saying council members can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. In fact, they’ve dealt with big problems extensively and still had plenty of time to take up other matters and be home by 10. It’s a non-issue.

A death in the CN&R family: Janice Porter died Sunday morning. Some readers may know her as the wife of CN&R columnist Anthony Peyton Porter, since he’s written about her several times, but members of the arts community know her as an endlessly imaginative visual artist who was also a loving wife and mother. Those of us who saw her multifaceted Jtown production at the 1078 Gallery in 2009 quickly realized that she was a visionary. Even then she was battling the cancer that eventually claimed her. Our condolences to her husband and three sons.