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by Abigail Van Buren

Construction Cacophony Is No Music to Neighbor's Ears

DEAR ABBY: Could you tell me why construction workers feel it is their privilege to have their radios and boom boxes blaring while they work on residential property? What would happen if we all felt we had this privilege? For instance, imagine what it would be like if gardeners, tellers in the bank or checkers in the markets all played their radios at high volume while they worked.

I live next door to a house that has been undergoing remodeling for four months. (The owners moved out and won't return until the work is completed, and who knows when that will be?) One day I was subjected to the noise of three radios -- from three different construction crews.

Time and time again I have appealed to the workers, the contractor and the owners to alleviate the stress of having to listen to this unnecessary noise pollution six and sometimes seven days a week -- often starting before 7 a.m. Nothing has changed.

I have no objection to the noise made by various tools they use, nor to the shouting, banging and dust attendant with the work. It contributes to the betterment of my neighbors' property and to the employment of people. But being forced to endure blaring radios is something else.

I have asked the workers why they can't use headsets, but have received no satisfactory answer. -- BOB PROUDLOCK, LOS ANGELES

DEAR BOB: Headsets could pose a danger to the workers. They would be unable to hear a cry for help or a warning of impending danger. Also, orders from the boss would be blocked.

Since your appeals have fallen on deaf ears, perhaps you should report the noise pollution to the police. Many cities have laws on disturbing the peace.