VOTE: Do Rahway residents have a right to be annoyed at the marching band?
In 1987, when Manalapan was just a backwater town, as we were searching for our new digs, we traveled down Union Hill Road and came to an intersection with a faded brown sign.
The sign pointed to the right and in rusted lettering was written, “Raceway Park!”
That should have been the first warning that there might be a bit of noise from a neighbor that had been there – from what I reckon - since 1965.
For me, no problem, since I was just coming from Brooklyn and was used to noise at all hours of the day and night.
I could remember the sound of the F train stopping at the Avenue U station in the middle of a summer night – the conductor calling out, “Next stop, Kings Highway, watch the closing doors!” Ding-dong! And off the train would go, rattling on the el.
But other more recent arrivals have had an issue – particularly on “jet car funny night” or whatever they call it!
If only they’d read the sign like I did.
Now comes word that some of the good citizens of Jeff Deminski’s hometown, Rahway, have an issue with the town high school’s marching band practice.
Since the band has to practice in the parking lot of the school, they’re within fairly close proximity to homes that surround the school.
And being in band competitions means they have the need to practice often.
For that reason, cops have been called out to quiet the band down.
"I guess a marching band would be in violation of a sound ordinance. Our band's real important, yet we certainly want to balance that by being a good neighbor." "Rahway High School is built and located in the middle of a residential area. For years, we've continued to try to exist as a good neighbor."
Both he and Rahway Mayor Samson Steinman met to reach an accord as to how the two can coexist.
There had been a deal that the practice schedule would prohibit playing music outdoors after 8 PM.
However there were times when that schedule had to be altered either because of construction or the need for more practice.
Drum major Jazmine Andes said, "to be successful, we need to practice, and we’re only as good as we rehearse," "It’s something we live by."
Thus the issue: Do the neighbors have a legitimate beef? Should the band find a place to play elsewhere; alter their schedule so as not to annoy the neighbors; or should the neighbors just suck it up knowing that they live next to a school with a marching band.
I go back to the Raceway Park dilemma. I know who my neighbors are. So when it’s “Diesel Truckin’ Nationals” week, I know to expect sonic booms coming from 3 miles up the road.
But that’s just me.
Do Rahway HS neighbors have a legitimate beef with marching band?