Noise nuisance crackdownPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said he stands by the recent move to bar the hosting of social events at the Marriott beachfront, Kingston.He explained to reporters on Wednesday that this decision was taken because of the negative effect activities hosted on the beachfront have on nearby businesses.“You cannot… do activities that will hurt other people and that is what happens there… They injured them with the noise level so high and they don’t even want, although I told them, get some decibel meters because the range is 100 decibel but they range about 300,” Ramjattan stated.He went on to highlight how recent activities held at the beachfront affected visitors at the Marriott Hotel.“The New Zealand cricket team, and couple of the [other] cricket teams that came for the [ICC Women’s T20] Cricket World Cup, they said they couldn’t sleep. And IMarriott Beachfront in Kingston, Georgetowncame around here and I heard them. It was extraordinarily loud. They do not care one thing about other people’s rights,” the Public Security Minister posited.Earlier this week, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson disclosed that the Government was forced to take this step after the Marriott Hotel filed a lawsuit for noise nuisance.This gave effect to the ban, which prohibits activities that could generate noise above permissible levels between Fort Groyne and Camp Street, Kingston. In a statement issued by the Public Infrastructure Ministry, it was noted that the area will not be used as a venue for entertainment and/or social and other events which involve the use of loud audio and video systems, including those installed in motor vehicles; and for events “characterised by crowd generated noise”.this move, Government related, is in keeping with the recent campaign to clamp down on operators and business owners who facilitate sounds that exceed the provisions stated in the guidelines for noise emission into the environment, much to the annoyance of others nearby.As such, organisers seeking approval for hosting events at the beachfront have since been advised to use alternative venues and to also operate with the relevant regulations for use in public spaces.This, however, has not gone down well with sections of society, especially the business community, which sponsors and hosts the very events that are being curtailed.But Minister Ramjattan is adamant about the ban, saying that they cannot allow these activities to affect surrounding businesses.“Are you gonna affect a big hotel that has made a big investment like this? You want me to give them the authority to come in front of your house to come and play that loud music? We must understand, as responsible citizens, assuming they were to make the application to Ramjattan to come in front of your house, do you want me to give them it because they want to make a living,” the Public Security Minister asked rhetorically before storming off.Guyana Times was told by sources at the Marriott Hotel that visitors staying at the hotel would often leave during the hosting of any event on the beachfront, due to the noise levels.The reliable source noted that the five-star hotel is on the losing end when this happens, since guests will have to be compensated.Last month, Government kick-started a noise nuisance campaign. As part of a training exercise, which some 50 Police ranks undertook, the Environmental Protection Agency together with the Guyana Police Force carried out an exercise on Station Street, Kitty, where they tested the noise level at several popular nightspots using the decibel meters before shutting down a few popular nightspots.Moreover, last week, the Public Security Ministry has re-enforced the ‘2am curfew’ for night spots and other places of entertainment.
The Legend of Zorrodir Martin Campbellout nowIn 1998, The Mask of Zorro, alsodirected by Martin Cambell,was released to general acclaim.A rousing, swashbuckling adventurewith a healthy dose of humour,it made a sequel entirely predictable.Sadly, predictable is certainlythe watchword for this latest offeringfrom the conveyor-belt that isHollywood. The film, essentially aninferior photocopy of the original,is not terrible, but it is terribly mediocre.The sultry spark of the first filmhas vanished, replaced by lazy actingand an even lazier script. Thestory, little more than a series of frequentlyillogical plot devices, opensin 1850 as California votes on joiningthe Union. Zorro is enduringsomewhat less than marital bliss,with his devotion to work resultingin estrangement from his beautifulwife. This potentially emotional storylineis instead played for laughs,as Zorro strives to win Elena backfrom a villain so bland I’ve alreadyforgotten his name. Naturally, healso has to save America.The Legend of Zorro is sporadicallyfunny, but the broad slapstickmerely contributes to its uneventone, as it tries (and fails) to find abalance between grit and sanitisedfamily fare. The introduction of aZorro Junior to the forefront of theaction was always going to be intenselyirritating. One also wonderswhy the skilful swordsman Zorronever actually kills anyone with hissword.Nevertheless, the blockbusterdoes have its moments, and it occasionallyfeels like a better story islurking just out of reach. A mealtimescene proves surprisingly macabreand the rousing fighting ofthe climax is undeniably exciting.On a different front, real emotionis felt when Zorro’s identity is revealed,yet the chief effect of this isto highlight the sterility of the restof the affair.It is a depressing thought that sausagefactory of Hollywood cannotmuster the courage to experimentwith fresh material. Recycling is agood thing when it comes to litter,but not when cinema is concerned.The word ‘sequel’ may arouse producersin Bel-Air, but for me it hasall the excitement of toast.There are exceptions, of course,that prove this rule. This film,as you may have guessed, is notone of them. No amount of scenery,swords, special effects or even(gasp) Antonio Banderas can hidethe unerring feeling that The Legendof Zorro has nothing new tosay. Far from being a legend, thisfilm proved difficult to rememberlong enough to write a review.ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005