Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, my Oakland neighbors and I were woken by amplified musical instruments tuning up for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community in Schenley Park. I'm not sure how the lyrics "I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker" blasted into your brain on a Saturday morning build a "Healthy Community" in Highmark's eyes, but maybe medical marijuana is gaining wider acceptance than I thought. Doug Shields is an exciting motivational speaker but Doug's voice bellowed into your bedroom the only day all week you have to sleep in doesn't quite have its intended positive effect.
Thirty years living in Oakland, I consider myself a tolerant person. I accept it is best to vacate my happy home during the Race for the Cure and the Vintage Grand Prix. I deal with the late-night shenanigans of my college-age neighbors.
But this incident has brought me to the brink as the number and volume of Schenley Park weekend events multiply. Although parks are supposed to be places of peace and quiet, my proximity to Schenley pulls me as an unwilling participant into every event that takes place there.
The timing of the Highmark sound check violated city code 601.04. But even that code allows "special events" to wake us at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. We need to re-examine the start time, the volume of sound amplification and perhaps the number of event permits granted. We can't afford to drive all the resident taxpayers out of the city, can we?