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Old April 19th   #1
Taco
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Huntsville Dragway vs. Michelle Pavlik

Please, everybody who has ever raced or attended and event at Huntsville Dragway, listen to this.

This lady (Michelle Pavlik) has "gotten" (how she did it, I don't know) the Madison County legislature to allow the county commission to pass restrictive noise ordinances directly affecting Huntsville Dragway (and, to a lesser extent) Huntsville Speedway.

I have contacted SEMA regarding the situation, and I also joined the SEMA Action Network (SAN). This organization is dedicated to preserving the automotive hobby and it's enthusiasts, and has played a significant role in many legislative rulings. I encourage everybody to do the same to help us keep our local dragstrip up and running.

Samir, I know you are a PR type guy, so if you have any outlets that may be able to assist, please approach them with our situation.

I think if we can get SEMA and many enthusiasts behind the cause, we can keep things the way they are.

Thanks so much in advance,
Jeremy "Taco" Patterson

Last edited by Taco; April 19th at 11:20 AM.
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Old April 19th   #2
MYLOTOY
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That's exactly what happened to the old Riverside raceway in California. People bought houses neer the track knowing it was there and then they started to complain about the noise so they closed it and built a mall. It was such a shame to see a historic place get torn down for a frikin mall. Some people are so frikin stupid it is like living in the path of an airport and complaining abou it. Give me a frikin break.
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Old April 19th   #3
Samir
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This is a situation I heard about a few times in the last few weeks. Do you have any details on the actual legal proceedings and the course of action? Once we know that, we can see where our voice can be heard.

But this brings to light a bigger issue that is going to need to be addressed--Huntsville needs a complete Motorsports Park. There's a pretty good discussion on this here:
http://www.huntsvillecarscene.com/showthread.php?t=84
http://www.huntsvillecarscene.com/showthread.php?t=85

Even if we can defeat this action, there will be another, and another, until they win. The days of the Huntsville Dragway are unfortunately numbered now. And if the track closes, it is one less motorsports venue in the Huntsville area.
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Old April 19th   #4
CADster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco
This lady (Michelle Pavlik) has "gotten" (how she did it, I don't know) the Madison County legislature to allow the county commission to pass restrictive noise ordinances directly affecting Huntsville Dragway (and, to a lesser extent) Huntsville Speedway.
sema is not going to do anything.

your best bet is to raise just as much hell with the county. start a petition up calling for a recall or step up and help vote another representative for the distric in office (of course you must live out here).

she got the rerstiction because she was vocal and compained.

grandfather clauses dont amount to anything when dealing with development.
att he time the dragway was built, nothing was out here. now its a full on suburb. full of all the retardation that comes with suburbs.

this is why we are moving.... farther out.

Last edited by blakdak91; April 19th at 01:23 PM.
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Old April 19th   #5
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I knew about the ongoing discussion regarding the Huntsville area's need for an all-inclusive motorsports park, and I still support that idea fully, but as far as dealing with the matter at hand, here is what I know...

(From DragRacingOnline.com)
Quote:
COUNTY MAY QUIET HUNTSVILLE TRACKS
On April 17, the Madison County (Ala.) Commission discussed a proposed noise ordinance that would impact the hours and noise levels of Huntsville Dragway and Huntsville Speedway. Both the dragstrip and the circle track have been in existence since 1959, but development increased in the country area, and home owners are now complaining of the noise.

George Howard, owner of the Dragway, testified before the commission, explaining about the track's midnight madness program which takes racing off the street, as well as the impact that nationally rated events have on the local economy.

The proposed ordinance would shut down racing at 10 p.m. and require mufflers on all motor vehicles racing at the strip. In addition, the PA system must not be audible at the property line of any adjoining property. If passed, the ordinance would go into effect on July 1, 2006. [4-18-2006]
From the Huntsville Times:
Quote:
County officials discuss noise law
Proposed rule would set 10 p.m. curfew at raceways
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
By DAVID HOLDEN
Times Staff Writer dholden@htimes.com
Owners of two county racetracks might have to turn down the noise and stop racing earlier at night if they want to stay in business.

The Madison County Commission discussed a proposed noise ordinance Monday that would regulate speedways and drag strips.

Michelle Pavlik of Upland Circle in Toney told the commission Monday that noise at Huntsville Dragway in Harvest is invading her privacy. She said the track, which has been in business since 1959, is about a mile from her house.

"I would like to come home from work, watch my TV, talk to my husband and open a window without hearing about the next race," she said.

The races, which start at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, continue after 1 and 2 a.m., Pavlik said.

"I don't want to listen to something at the level of a 747 when we are ready to go to sleep," she said.

About 18 months ago, Pavlik asked the commission for an ordinance to shut down some of the noise from the drag strip. The commissioners told Pavlik they were powerless to control the noise without permission from the Legislature.

Pavlik lobbied the Legislature for a bill that would give the commission power to create a noise ordinance. The act passed in May 2005 and was signed by Gov. Bob Riley.

George Howard, owner of Huntsville Dragway, said professional racing ends about 10:30 p.m. Then, he said, teens and young adults are allowed to race their street cars on the 1/8-mile strip.

Howard called it the dragway's midnight madness program. He said law enforcement officers have told him the program has taken racing among young people off the streets. Those races run until about 1 a.m., he said.

Howard, who owns two other raceways in Alabama, said Huntsville Dragway has been a good neighbor. It has given savings bonds and scholarships to students.

Howard said he recently paid a county volunteer fire department $1,000 to provide fire protection at an event. By hosting nationally rated racing events and attracting out-of-town spectators, the dragway generates revenue for businesses in Madison County, he said.

Howard estimated that 50 percent of the people who race at the dragway live in Madison County.

Commissioner Bob Harrison said he is a former racetrack owner.

"I agree that racing is a wholesome sport," he said. "It cuts down on street racing."

The proposed ordinance, which would go into effect July 1, would shut down racing at all raceways in the county at 10 p.m., require mufflers on all motor vehicles racing at the strip, and no public address systems are to be operated that are audible or discernible by the human ear at the property line of any adjoining property.

The new law would also affect the Huntsville Speedway on Hobbs Island Road. Owner Martin Pierce said the Huntsville Speedway, which also started in 1959, could better survive if racing could end about 11 p.m.

Commissioner Dale Strong said he wants to find a middle ground that will allow the racing to continue and reduce the impact of the noise on surrounding residents.

In other matters, the commission, heard a request from Madison Greenway and Trails Inc. for money to help with the proposed $1.4 million Bradford Creek Greenway project. The greenway will be a three-mile trail from Liberty School to Palmer Park, said Mike Petersen, president of the group.

The group has a commitment for a $904,000 federal grant that requires a 20 percent match. The Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama has committed $55,000 to buy land. The city of Madison has proposed a $150,000 donation, and a $150,000 Alpha Foundation grant requires a $150,000 match. The project still needs $113,000, Petersen said.

Commissioner Faye Dyer said the commission will consider the request during its midyear budget review that will begin May 1.



© 2006 The Huntsville Times
Those are the 2 most reputable sources, at least that I feel comfortable quoting.

There is also this, that really bothers me... posted by registered user "hydrozene" on the HuntsvilleDragway.com Pit Area discussion board.

Quote:
CIVIL RIGHTS OF HOT RODDERS VIOLATED!


“Representing a sport against which there has been much unfair criticism and unwarranted prejudice, the NHRA is itself a kind of minority group.”

--Officers of the National Hot Rod Association, Circa 1951.


Declaration of the Rights of SAN

‘On behalf of our industry, we are fighting to preserve the rights of enthusiasts to use and enjoy their vehicles.’


The decades-long codependence of the Automotive Aftermarket and consumer-enthusiasts is now manifest in the SEMA Action Network (SAN), “a nationwide partnership between vehicle clubs, enthusiasts and members of the specialty auto parts industry who want to protect their hobby. SAN was designed to help stamp out legislative threats to the automotive hobby and pass favorable laws. SAN rallies the support of 2,000-plus car clubs, thousands of individual contacts, and 100 plus publications, with an estimated reach of 36 million enthusiasts nationwide, amplifying SEMA’s political voice on issues affecting the specialty equipment auto parts industry.” SEMA insists that: “vehicle clubs and individual enthusiasts need to become more active politically, join the SEMA Action Network” and “protect the hobby from government threats” and “ensure legislators understand that we are a united and organized group that will fight for our rights.”

‘the First Amendment provides that “debate on public issues ... [should be] ... uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.”’

--Justice William Brennan, New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964.

Indeed, SEMA uses the consumers of specialty equipment auto parts not only to amplify the industry’s influence in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill, but also to avoid engaging non-enthusiast Americans as equal participants in legitimate public debate regarding matters of rights claimed by groups or individuals that may impact other citizens. Many of the so called rights that SEMA claims for the customers of its constituent businesses impact the health, safety, and quality of millions of American lives; and, tragically, very few who suffer under the tyranny of such noise are aware of the powerful trans-national corporations that (with the aid of organizations like SEMA) are the first cause of their misery. In the preceding paragraph we saw how SEMA, an organization that represents the interests of for-profit industries, uses the pronouns our and we, to bind itself to captive audiences of revenue producing consumer-enthusiasts. Then, by affirming in the minds of consumer-enthusiasts the notion that a lifestyle of social aggression and acoustic violence towards others is theirs’ by right of constitution, and by encouraging enthusiast to respond en-masse as individual citizens for or against legislation as instructed, SEMA ensures its real constituents of continued profits. And, thus, the Automotive Aftermarket has established a direct conduit to legislative decision-makers that bypasses the American people, and the industry’s role in the decline of civility in the United States remains hidden while it continues to feed.

Earlier in this chapter we saw that, for the purpose of offsetting ‘proposed legislation’, speed-merchants chose to use professional publicists and targeted public relations campaigns to create favorable impressions of their enterprise to various segments of the public, including their own customers. It is clear, from Wally Parks’ own words, ‘we could paint our own picture of the types of cars and people we were to the public...’ how the subjective viewpoint of rogue businessmen has subtly been imposed on the wider public: by tailoring images of ‘types of cars and people’ specifically for certain influential groups, say Law Enforcement agencies, Chambers of Commerce, and perhaps local Lions Clubs. Hence, a genuine accounting of the nature of the Automotive Aftermarket and its costs to American communities has never been presented to the public.

At the instigation of industry and consumer-enthusiast oriented medias (particularly those of the Petersen-PRIMEDIA empire); peer pressures would arise, ensuring homogeneity of opinion within revenue producing—and revenue dependent—segments of the hot rod culture. John Stuart Mill, warned of the danger of opinions held at large that have not been vetted by the genuine and public debate of all points of view: ‘...unity of opinion, unless resulting from the fullest and freest comparison of opposite opinions, is not desirable, and diversity not an evil, but a good, until mankind are much more capable than at present of recognizing all sides of the truth...’

In any society, there is, necessarily, a realm where individuals and groups of individuals live together, act on, and react to, one another: the commons. In civilized societies, the commons is host to public forums where the civil rights of individuals and groups who would use the commons are agreed on. As a result of this, most people will realize how they are expected to behave in public places and civility will flourish. Over the decades the core of hot rod culture, being, essentially, a product of symbiotic intimacies between consumer-enthusiasts and the specialty equipment auto parts industry, was formed—by design—in absentia from the greater community of Americans; and, therefore without the beneficial, moderating, influence of external realities. The one persistent theme presented sub rosa to consumer-enthusiasts by the industry via the various enthusiast media it controls is that of hot rodders being treated unfairly by the public.

The industry’s desire for profit, together with delusions of persecution it shares with consumer-enthusiasts, has set in motion a dynamic interaction between the two, which continuously reinforces an aggrieved frame of mind in each. Rapidly achieving a sustained extreme bordering on paranoia, the industry, via the SEMA Action Network, would present sonic aggressors as victims of “government intrusion in the form of anti-hobby legislation and regulation,” as persecuted ‘minorities’ whose ‘way of life’ is threatened with extinction.

Ironically, SEMA, itself being non-human, a mere contrivance, playacts as an imaginary friend to its subjects’, providing for them a hopelessly Manichean, conspiracy laden, world view where “regular folks like you and me” are forced into a defensive battle against an enemy described mostly in non-human terms: “heinous regulations and laws...legislation, big business and small minds [that] threaten our hobby” and not (as is the case) as the human victims of their aggressions, nor as their fellow citizens: regular folks who just wish to enjoy (and have a right to) a peaceful life.

From the SEMA-enthusiocentric position of being wronged by society, other people are of no account and the ideals of right liberty mean no more than getting ones own way—or taking the largest piece of pie. In regards to exhaust noise for instance, SEMA’s definition of unfairness is purely subjective, believing that consumers of loud exhausts have a right to demand the attention and waste the time of other people—to “turn (their) heads” with the “aggressive exhaust note” of Flowmaster’s “American Thunder” exhaust systems; any request for quiet from other people is viewed as a threat. The Flowmaster-SEMA ethos works in opposition to the principals of liberty and justice: the cornerstones of American constitutional democracy.


‘Interested in pursuing fair exhaust noise laws in your state?’

It just so happens that California state exhaust noise law was drafted especially for SEMA by then California State Senator K. Maurice Johannessen (R-4)! On September 14, 2002, Governor Davis signed the SEMA-sponsored law for California automobile hobbyists ‘to fight unfair exhaust noise citations issued by state law enforcement officers.’ According Steve McDonald, “The new law forces compliance with an objectively measured standard in a fair and predictable test. Through this procedure, motorists who drive vehicles legally equipped with modified exhaust systems can confirm that they comply with California’s exhaust noise standards,” ‘For years,’ McDonald claims, ‘the enforcement policy used by police officers deemed nearly all exhaust system modifications illegal, even where the noise levels were not excessive or unusual...Many of these citations are being written without regard to the practical intent of the law.’ That policy left exhaust system manufacturers, dealers and their customers without recourse.’

Squawker’s Rights

The virtue of fairness ought to be discussed in as broad a forum as possible so that the empathy of the one for others and of others for the one may foster a consensus that leads to the fair treatment of all.

The fairness derived from an exclusive forum is arbitrary, representing the subjective worldview of the one, where fairness cannot exist

Steve McDonald seems to think that “the practical intent of the law” is to secure certain privileges for the people who purchase products from the businesses that SEMA represents, namely, products designed to make enough noise to command the attention of many people over a large area of public (and private) space—to distract people, to intrude upon people, to take away people’s time and to interfere with and detract from the right of people to be free to put their freedom of mind and attention to uses of their own choosing.

SEMA often contends that many state exhaust noise codes contain the words ‘excessive or unusual’ but do not ‘define these terms’ and that states do not ‘supply law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation.’ The State of California, the charter signatory of SEMA’s exhaust noise bill, made the meaning of excessive or unusual pretty clear way back in 1955:

‘Words "excessive" or "unusual," as used in this section, are sufficiently certain to inform persons of ordinary intelligence of nature of offense prohibited and are therefore sufficient to establish standard of conduct ascertainable by persons familiar with operation of automobiles. Smith v Peterson (1955, 4th Dist) 131 Cal App 2d 241, 280 P2d 522.

What SEMA has done in California (and is doing or plans to do in all other states) is to remove the objectivity of ‘persons of ordinary intelligence’ from interpreting exhaust noise standards and replacing it with the subjectivity of businesspersons....

SEMA’s member companies claim to be experts in the science of creating ‘aggressive, throaty, sinister, intimidating…’ sounding exhaust systems and at the same time play stupid claiming that the words ‘excessive or unusual’

95 dB (A)
SEMA’s law provides for the establishment of ‘referee stations that will issue certificates of compliance for vehicles when tests of their exhaust systems demonstrate that they emit no more than 95-decibels, under Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test procedure J1169.’ (The measurement is taken at 20 inches from the exhaust pipe.) ‘The law also allows courts to dismiss citations for exhaust systems that have been tested and for which a certificate of compliance has been issued.’ SEMA’s use of the word decibels regarding its noise legislation is inappropriate. The actual text of the law that SEMA wrote for the State of California reads like so:

‘Exhaust systems installed on motor vehicles, other than motorcycles, with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of less than 6,000 pounds comply with Sections 27150 and 27151 if they emit no more than 95 dbA when tested in accordance with Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J1169 May 1998.’

The SAE standard J1169 chosen by SEMA uses the ‘A weighted’ decibel metric which is not meant to measure the low frequency sounds performance exhausts are designed to produce. Bob Andres, a veteran noise control engineer (http://www.oshex.com), notes that "the typically-used A-weighted sound measurement fails to recognize the presence and intensity of very low frequency sound emanating from vehicle sound systems and exhausts. This is because the weighting system virtually cuts off measurement below 80 Hz." Andres observes that "this was not much of a problem in the past, because technology had not yet created the capability to produce the 'bone-jarring' sub-bass so prevalent in modern vehicle systems, and there were fewer cars with aftermarket exhaust systems specially designed to produce more low frequency sound." Low frequency sound travels readily through the house walls and closed windows, changing the spectral shape of the music sound to one with the equivalent of strong bass boost. In addition, interior house furnishings absorb low frequency sound poorly, adding to the low frequencies. In these special circumstances, there seems to be a good reason to use Dbc as a metric.


‘That’s what Borla sounds like!’

Because of the peculiar nature of low-frequency (bass) sound, it is not at all difficult to envision a California Highway Patrol ‘referee’, with dB meter in hand, 20 inches from a revved up exhaust pipe, deeming a muffler as compliant with California State noise law, while at the same time, a child, hearing the rumble from her room, two blocks away, turns her head from her homework. All to often, American citizens, even while in their own homes, are subjected to the disturbing, penetrating character of low frequency noise from unseen car stereos. Typically the thumping is so intense that one’s thoracic cavity seems to resonate with the pulses as if one were being pounded on one’s chest and stationary objects within the home vibrate in sympathy with the beat. BORLA Performance Industries used to promote their mufflers for its “killer sound” but now uses the language from the back of a bottle of merlot “mellow sound of power, aggressive yet elegant…’ to describe the sound of their products. The frequently asked questions section of Borla’s website provides a practical illustration of the shell game that SEMA is playing with ‘exhaust notes’: ‘What does Borla sound like?...like turning up the bass on your stereo system but not changing the volume. That’s what Borla sounds like!’

Where is the PUBLIC in SEMA’s public policy experience?


SEMA Action Network Director Brian Caudill claims that: “SEMA has a great deal of experience with the SAE test standard, both as a public policy matter and as an actual measure of exhaust noise. Before crafting our model legislation,” he declares, “we did plenty of research including performing actual tests-complete with an acoustical engineer and a decibel meter-on a variety of modified cars. What we found” says Caudill, “was that the test was easy to understand, easy to perform and accurate.” But where is the public in SEMA’s public policy? Can Mr. Claudil SEMA has so great a deal of? What does he mean by ‘did plenty of research?’ one acoustical engineer one decibel meter and a variety of modified cars and all SEMA comes up with is ‘that the test was easy to understand, easy to perform and accurate?’ That is certainly nothing to boast about! Anyone could accomplish the same in no time at all.

SEMA claims that, “this evenhanded testing process...will serve to benefit consumers who favor these state-of-the-art products, the aftermarket industry which markets them and even police officers who are charged with enforcing the law.” There is no mention of the people at whose expense these so-called benefits are acquired: people who favor not being distracted from reading, conversation, listening to music or watching a home movie; people who favor not having to close a window when the weather is nice; people who favor a quiet place for their children to study without distractions, quiet times for religious devotion and meditation, and people who appreciate an easy transition from the waking world into sleep without being disturbed by the sound of an ‘aggressive exhaust note.’ As for police officers, SEMA’s new law will make the keeping the peace more difficult and frustrating since the excessive and unusual sounds that SAE standard J1169 does not detect from 20 inches will be plainly audible the human ear at a great distance.

The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.

John Stuart Mill - On Liberty

ENJOY THE DRIVE: YOUR CAR AND THE LAW.
In response to complaints from SEMA and aftermarket exhaust system manufacturers, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has issued new guidelines to clarify state exhaust noise regulations for use by all interested parties.

SEMA and CHP have agreed to educate police officers, consumers and the industry to ensure a clear understanding of the proper exhaust noise limits and enforcement standards. SEMA's goal is to reduce improper citations and encourage modifications that comply with the regulations. It is the responsibility of aftermarket manufacturers to design and test products to ensure they comply with the regulation. Were commend that manufacturers distribute compliance information about their products and the enclosed SEMA summaries to educate consumers about their rights and responsibilities under California's regulations
Same user also posted this...

Quote:
HOPE MR. HOWARD’S IDEA OF BEING ‘A GOOD NEIGHBOR’ IS NOT THE STATUS QUO IN HUNTSVILLE.

No doubt one of the most lucrative spin-offs from Howard’s Midnight Madness program is the sale of noisy high-performance mufflers that ruin neighborhoods and are required on all motor vehicles racing at the strip.

Howard’s, Commissioner Harrison’s, and law enforcement officers’ assertion that this noisy ‘wholesome sport...cuts down on street racing’ must be verified!
The so-called Midnight Madness program seems to be a mirror image of the public relations scam initiated by the racing parts industry, the National Hot Rod Association, the LAPD and the California Highway Patrol some 50 years ago.


Here is a brief history of Midnight Madness like programs in America:

Beginning in the late 1940’s, Petersen Publishing (Hot Rod, Guns & Ammo…) the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), various speed shops, and later SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) successfully pitched the idea of building commercial drag strips (often with public funds) for sanctioned drag races to the leaders of a growing number of communities and to law enforcement agencies as a solution to the epidemic of street racing deaths related to the products they sold. From its beginning the industry’s business practice was to sell high-performance auto racing parts to all comers with no regard of the fact that of there being hardly any established legal venues where their customers could compete. The cost of providing safe-legal venues for the use of their products had somehow been left out of speed-merchant’s business plans. It can be said that they put the cart before the horse or the hot rod before the track. Since the lion’s share of the industry’s revenue came from the sale of highly specialized racing equipment to owners of regular passenger autos, speed-merchants had become addicted to a lucrative but illegitimate business model. A broad-based pyramid-like economic dynamic emerged, which set in motion a cycle of interdependency between the Speed Equipment industry, drag strip owners and the consumer-enthusiasts that continues till this day. Each party reinforced an inappropriate sense of entitlement in the other resulting in an intergenerational delinquent drift fueled by the industry’s perceived right to profit from the sale of noisy (and illegal) speed equipment with no regard as to the cost to communities and by the fostering of the consumer-enthusiast’s “need for speed” and right to aggressive noisemaking.

As street racers of all ages were lured into car clubs and onto NHRA drag strips (not necessarily off of the streets) the sanctioning organization would present itself as socially beneficial and promoted the notion that “working on cars was a natural and an American thing for young men to do but it could lead to traffic situations hazardous to others.” These young men “had to be educated and controlled.” The sport of Drag racing was also presented as healthy way to channel the energies of young men and of keeping them away from the “real” dangers of drugs, alcohol and crime. The characterization of the situation in this manner carried the implication that young enthusiasts would spin out of control and become a danger to society but for the presence of mature experienced strip owners and speed merchants to make straight their paths. The high-performance auto parts industry continued to grow from its corrupt foundations and while at first, the number of street racing deaths declined briefly, but over the years, there occurred peaks and valleys in the number of street racing deaths and in 2002, street racing deaths in San Diego was declared to be an ‘epidemic.’

Some speed merchants and drag strip owners, while unable to comprehend the part they played in the tragic carnage on public roads, may truly have believed that they were providing an essential safety net to prevent youngsters from slipping through the cracks, or worse, killing themselves and others. Some community leaders may have considered the speed merchant’s plan to be practical, cost effective and even good for the local economy. But surely, someone must have pointed out that the greatest force in play here was the profit motive of speed merchants and track owners (or would be track owners since so few tracks existed and almost none that were built by speed-merchants) which was likely to lead to even more irresponsible selling of the noisy speed equipment that set the wheels death and confusion in motion in the first place. Besides this obvious conflict of interest, it must have occurred to some that rather than aspiring to a greater good within the overall social framework, the NHRA plan trended downward justifying the bad of the irresponsible promotion and sales of noisy speed equipment by means of a plethora of greater bads. Ironically the motorsports industry and related publications are traditional promoters of other vices that most parents hope that their children will avoid, namely tobacco and alcohol.

In the early 1980’s Pioneer Electronics and other audio equipment manufacturers began promoting their products by sponsoring NHRA champion Drag racers. Around the same time various car audio retailers featured car stereo loudness competitions with titles such as ‘Car Wars’ to attract business. Straight away Car Audio manufacturers and retailers, using the NHRA’s irresponsible model, established sanctioning organizations to market their products. Marketing wars emerged between the manufacturers behind the various sanctioning organizations such as Car Audio Nationals (CAN), the National Autosound Challenge Association (NACA), the International Auto Sound Challenge Association (IASCA), and dB Drag Racing. Just as the NHRA was an arena for speed-merchants to compete for market share, these organizations served as venues for manufacturer’s to vie for customers based on the loudness of their products. By the 1990’s the promotion of doing violence to innocent people with high-powered audio and automotive performance products became widespread in industry magazines that targeted young consumer-enthusiasts. In recent years automotive enthusiast publications began carry full page advertisements for steroids and drugs that claim to enlarge male genitalia. The United States Armed Forces Recruiting Command advertises heavily in PRIMEDIA Automotive Enthusiasts publications and gains access to elementary school children through the NHRA’s Youth Education Services (YES). Discovery, the Learning Channel, the History Channel and other Telemedia produce many educational Programs that are nothing more than infomercials for the Automotive Aftermarket and the Mobile Electronics industries. Some examples are ‘Pimp My Ride,’ and ‘American Chopper.’ PRIMEDIA’s “Channel One News is the highest rated teen television program, reaching nearly 8 million teens daily in over 350,000 classrooms across America on an average school day. Channel One News is watched by a teen audience that is ten times larger than the nightly newscast of ABC, NBC, CBS and the cable networks combined.” And through all this, the Speed Equipment Market Association and friends are still masquerading as guardians of the children the prey upon. One example is SEMA’s new youth ministry “Take a Kid to a Car Show” which offers these words of wisdom: “Life is full of choices for kids. You can help them make the right ones…”

It has yet to have been demonstrated that any of the speed industry’s programs have in any way abated the many problems that have accompanied its ascendancy; and it is not unreasonable to suspect that a correlation exists between business cycles in the Automotive Aftermarket and street racing deaths and the unhealthy increase of ambient noise in American neighborhoods. Furthermore, it might be, either by design or by happenstance that programs like SEMA’s Racer’s Against Street Racing (RASR) function as a growth engine for the Automotive Aftermarket. These “safety” programs seem to come into play late in the sales-boom cycle after the streets have been flooded with racing products and the number of related deaths have risen to the point of gaining the public’s attention. Programs such as RASR draw consumer-enthusiasts off the streets and on to drags strips for a few hours—drag strips sponsored by speed merchants. Sophisticated “Automotive Lifestyle” market surveys are frequently the centerpiece of industry sponsored education/public safety programs.
I know this is an incredible amount of information to digest in one reading, and most of it is "fluff" but there are some points in there that can and probably will be used to help the opposition!

Just read it as you can and we'll dissect it a chunk at a time.

Thanks again for everybody's help,
Taco
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Old April 19th   #6
Samir
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 22,924
Wow, quite a post with quite a bit of information.

The angle that George is using is that the late night racing takes kids off the street in the form of street racing. I'm sure he has discussed this with legal council before taking this angle, but I believe the better angle would have been that the track was there first and look at the tax revenue I bring in.

The people that have moved into this area should have been informed that there is a drag racing venue nearby. And if they weren't, then real estate agents should be getting hit with legal regulations, not the track.

Since this is a Madison County Commission decision, we need to find out when they meet, and if it is open to the public. Even if it is not open to the public, we need to find out what is required to be heard during their meeting.

Bob Harrison seems like a person we need to get to know. Dale Strong seems like he wants to be fair and make a fair decision.

Someone in the Rocket City Mustang Club has some contacts to Gov Riley. We need to have an audience with him on this subject as he was quite a fan of the Saleen that he sat in during the Mustang Club's check presentation to him. We also need to talk to legislative representatives that were involved in approving the sound ordinance.

The gentleman that posted in the Huntsville Dragway forum has some interesting points that run into areas of philosophy and social sciences. But it fails to his one point--drag racing is a motor sport, sport being the key word. There are problems with every major sport in the world, from soccer riots, to basketball victory looting. Motor sports are mild in comparison. And also, motor sports need venues as they are a valid sport in every way.

And this is where I personally see that the city of Huntsville and Madison County fails us. With the large number of motor sports enthusiasts and hobbyists in the area, it is the government's responsibility to provide some sort of venue or support of a venue, just as they do for other sports such as the soccer fields on airport road or Joe Davis stadium. There is tax revenue being lost and people that are being made unhappy.
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Old April 19th   #7
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Wow, quite a post with quite a bit of information.

The angle that George is using is that the late night racing takes kids off the street in the form of street racing. I'm sure he has discussed this with legal council before taking this angle, but I believe the better angle would have been that the track was there first and look at the tax revenue I bring in.

The people that have moved into this area should have been informed that there is a drag racing venue nearby. And if they weren't, then real estate agents should be getting hit with legal regulations, not the track.

Since this is a Madison County Commission decision, we need to find out when they meet, and if it is open to the public. Even if it is not open to the public, we need to find out what is required to be heard during their meeting.

Bob Harrison seems like a person we need to get to know. Dale Strong seems like he wants to be fair and make a fair decision.

Someone in the Rocket City Mustang Club has some contacts to Gov Riley. We need to have an audience with him on this subject as he was quite a fan of the Saleen that he sat in during the Mustang Club's check presentation to him. We also need to talk to legislative representatives that were involved in approving the sound ordinance.

The gentleman that posted in the Huntsville Dragway forum has some interesting points that run into areas of philosophy and social sciences. But it fails to his one point--drag racing is a motor sport, sport being the key word. There are problems with every major sport in the world, from soccer riots, to basketball victory looting. Motor sports are mild in comparison. And also, motor sports need venues as they are a valid sport in every way.

And this is where I personally see that the city of Huntsville and Madison County fails us. With the large number of motor sports enthusiasts and hobbyists in the area, it is the government's responsibility to provide some sort of venue or support of a venue, just as they do for other sports such as the soccer fields on airport road or Joe Davis stadium. There is tax revenue being lost and people that are being made unhappy.
I'm not going to get deep into this, but I would just like to point out a couple of things...

Joe Davis Stadium/Huntsville Stars - They can't even give tickets away to get people to go.

Whatever Huntsville's Basketball Team's name is - Well I don't even know what the name of it is...but I think it still exists, unless the city finally wised up and stopped wasting money on it.

Huntsville's Hockey Team - I think its the Havoc...I enjoy hockey, I just never have time to go...but even with this...in the last 5 years how many different hockey teams have we had in Huntsville?

Huntsville's Arena Football Team - Are the Vipers still around? I have nothing against football. I used to play football until I was injured. My cousins were cheerleaders for the vipers. I don't really know anyone that ever goes to arena football events...maybe they think like I do...football is to be played on a full field with a full 11 man team...arena football doesnt create the difficulty of getting to an end zone 90 yards away...you can throw 1 pass the entire length of the playing field in arena ball.

If the city stops wasting money on these B.S. sports where not many people have an interest and look at the huge success of NASCAR in the past 5 years...not just 5...the past 20 years, and Drag Racing in the same light.

I propose this: Close Huntsville Speedway. Close Huntsville Dragway.

ALSO: Close Joe Davis Stadium
Close VBCC or VBC or whatever the mayor wants to call it.

Rebuild on the site and surrounding areas of Joe Davis Stadium a motorsports park...let the goofballs in the county have their quiet (like they didn't know it would be noisy moving in next to a racetrack) and put a big friggin racetrack catering to roundtrack and drag racing smack dab in the middle of Huntsville. You wanna talk about revenues? You wanna talk about some huge events that as of right now wont even give Huntsville a second thought? Concerts...NASCAR...NHRA... model it after Bristol...Talladega....Daytona...and you can still have your football teams, and your baseball if you have to, but at least if you're going to waste money on other things, make sure you can bring in some money from other sports.
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Old April 19th   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir

Someone in the Rocket City Mustang Club has some contacts to Gov Riley. We need to have an audience with him on this subject as he was quite a fan of the Saleen that he sat in during the Mustang Club's check presentation to him.
LOL.. want to bet money ?

ill bet you he was a fan of the money he was being presented and could care less about the stang.

lets just go back to the streets. martin road was far more fun then the dragstip ever was

Last edited by blakdak91; April 19th at 03:21 PM.
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Old April 19th   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakdak91
. martin road was far more fun then the dragstip ever was
Not that ANY of us would do that, cough cough, ( excuse me, just clearing my throat)
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Old April 19th   #10
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I completely agree with alot of the things that you guys are saying. Especially you Jay, I dont see why we(city of huntsville) are still waisting our time on the STARS, VIPERS, HAVOC, etc... They are low revenue events. Lets take a typical Stars game for instance, they may make somewhere upwards of 2-3k a night on concessions, ticket sales, and merchandise. Take a venue like Talledega Motor Speed Way, or Steale DragStrip for instance, they make on any given Friday, or Saturday night in excess of around 3-5k a night!!!! Now dont take those numbers to heart, they are just Guestamates! All I am saying is that I would love for the track to stay open, or for a new track to be built.


On another note. This Huntsville Drag Strip, has been pretty much what I would call a life saver for some of us. I know that if it were not for MIDNIGHT MADNESS, I would still be Street Racing, and getting Racing on the Highway, Speeding, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment, ect..... Tickets. I had 9 tickets the first 2 years of my driver existence, just for street racing. I have only had maybe 2 in the past 2-3 years, cause I have been getting my Racing Fix from the Dragstrip. The track is way more controlled, not to mention you can accually talk to the people you want to race in a lighted area. You dont have to worry about someone racing and coming by you at 100 MPH almost clipping your backside(happened a few times). I love going to the track, and without the track I would not have some of the REALLY GOOD FRIENDS that I have now, like Larry, Matt, etc....Heck if it were not for me and Travis almost getting into a fight for him throwing his flashers on me, I probably would have never even spoke to him again.lol(That was crap by the way and you know it Travis,J\K) All I am saying is if it were not for the track a bunch of us would be really screwed. I know I would. If there is any type of Patition that somone is going to start up, or anything that I can do(although my time is limited) Let me know. You can definetly count me in on whatever is decided!!!!
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Old April 20th   #11
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It's been awhile but I know years ago Moulton Dirt Track had to be quiet at 11pm as did Winchester TN track. Midnight Madness may just have to be changed to Sundown Sadness. I believe it will be resolved, as other tracks in the area have, with a compromise on what time at night it needs to close down. Good luck trying to convince commisioners or legislatures in letting a track run until 2 or 3 in the morning. (if they offer midnight, jump on it). I agree it was there before houses, I agree it should be able to run 24/7 if it wants to, I've just seen what has happened in other areas. I have seen the power get cut off to Moulton Speedway when they went past the curfew. (think they got an extra 30 minutes). Maybe a free earplug giveaway for the residents close by would work!!!
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Old April 20th   #12
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Huntsville Times Thursday 4/20/2006 page C5 under headline "Dragway noise heard long before complaints", "The Madison County Commision will meet MAY 1 to adopt a noise ordinance"
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Old April 20th   #13
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well looks like steele and sumiton tracks may be the new dragrace spots. If people go back to the streets that could be bad very bad.
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Old April 20th   #14
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one of the commisioners is a friend of mine . i will bend his ear.
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Old April 20th   #15
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Hate to say it but there will be alot more accidents due to these stupid people that have to complain about something.
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Old April 20th   #16
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Way to go Hoss, Twist it a good one to keep his attention.
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Old April 20th   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakdak91
LOL.. want to bet money ?

ill bet you he was a fan of the money he was being presented and could care less about the stang.

lets just go back to the streets. martin road was far more fun then the dragstip ever was
He didn't seem that bad and had a genuine interest in the cars. His PR guy had to pull him off the cars to do his speech.

The streets can be fun, but I've seen dangerous stuff there too. I wouldn't mind a nice venue that is better than the streets. And I think there is enough demand to support it, although a feasibility study needs to be done.
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Old April 20th   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LagoGarda
and
Huntsville Times Thursday 4/20/2006 page C5 under headline "Dragway noise heard long before complaints", "The Madison County Commision will meet MAY 1 to adopt a noise ordinance"
Rick
Is this an open session? Is this a place that a voice can be heard? A signed petition with over 1000 signatures would probably carry some weight if we can present it to them.
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Old April 20th   #19
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The other sports venues have just as much of a right to exist as a motorsports facility. And yes, maybe some of the sport venues do take a loss or barely make a profit. But they provide a service that improves life in the city. Do you think the public parks (like big spring) are profitable? I don't think so. But they also improve the life in the city.

That being said, a city run motorsports park would require tremendous support and show that it greatly improves the life in the city.
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Old April 20th   #20
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well looks like steele and sumiton tracks may be the new dragrace spots. If people go back to the streets that could be bad very bad.
Not really. Then the commission would have a big problem on their hands that they caused...because they closed down the track...then they may see how much the track needs to be open. No way to learn like the hard way I reckon.
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