This article appeared in The West Sacramento News-Ledger on September 30, 2015.
West Sacramento Reacts to TBD
Writing and photographs by Thomas Farley
Social media and telephone lines blew up on TBD weekend to praise and protest the event. Common ground for all sides seemed reachable if noise levels could be better managed. Controlling that din, though, proved difficult, despite shorter hours and City monitoring. On the subject of noise that weekend, no one agrees.
Mayor Cabaldon told me at the last City Council meeting that “TBD had dramatically less noise impact this year compared to the first year.” Perhaps. Last year, according to CBS 13, West Sacramento Police reported 73 complaints. The City this year received 228 official noise complaints but they conducted more outreach than before. The City’s Communication Manager, Paul Hosley, says that a noise hotline and their West Sacramento Connect App may have encouraged more people to report in. The noise affected different people differently.
Robert Raubach contacted me to say that he is not opposed to the festival, just to the venue. “I live two miles away from where TBD was held. My house was booming Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. I could close all doors and windows and still hear the bass. It vibrated the walls and windows. My daughter had a softball tournament this weekend. It meant early to bed and early to rise both days. Hard to do when our house is being invaded by unwelcome noise. Other people say we should have left town, gone somewhere else for the weekend. I find this suggestion repugnant and offensive. My house is my castle. My house is my refuge of peace and sanity. If I was to go anywhere for peace and quiet, it should be my house. Why should I have to go somewhere else?” Other people tolerated the sound, even to the point of discomfort.
Casey Gibson wrote to say, “My wife and I have lived in West Sacramento for a total of seven years. I personally have no problem with the noise associated with the TBD fest and quite frankly welcome the revenue generated, job opportunities provided, and exposure that result from the event. I have very high hopes for where West Sacramento is going as a city and am more than willing to endure a little bit of ‘bad’ for the greater good and long term growth and development. While I see where others are coming from with regard to noise complaints, I personally am happy to bite the bullet for three days in exchange for generating revenue for the city and fostering fiscal and communal growth.”
The City of West Sacramento was unable by press time to provide figures on the economic impact of TBD. They were also unable to say what the promoters paid to have the police department work the event.
The Mayor says the festival gets people thinking about the riverfront and about investing in the area. He says it reminds young people that West Sacramento is a place for them. What remains to be seen is whether these laudable goals can be achieved at 100 decibels.