Maxwell House residents start petition to silence Holy Trinity church bells

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 10:03 PM
Last updated Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 1:07 AM
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Some residents of Augusta’s Maxwell House apartment complex say they can’t endure the hourly ringing of bells from nearby Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

A petition with about 75 signatures, most of them appearing to be Maxwell House residents, is circulating, demanding the church silence the bells for violating the city’s noise ordinance.

Robert Tyler lives at the apartment complex in the 1000 block of Greene Street while he receives treatment for a stroke at nearby Walton Rehabilitation Hospital. He signed the petition, despite saying he’s accustomed to loud noises as a former long-haul truck driver.

When the bells strike on the hour, “it scares me,” Tyler said.

“Buildings should respect buildings, just like trucks should respect trucks,” he said.

Robin Clarke has lived in Max­well House, which serves low-income adults, for about four years. Grilling steaks behind the complex Thursday, Clarke said she hadn’t signed the petition but wished she could.

“When that bell rings, it rings in my bedroom like it was on the dresser,” Clarke said. “If somebody could just turn it down a few notches.”

Clarke said the sound is probably worse for residents such as her who live on sides of the T-shaped high-rise facing the church.

“All the noise is echoing off of it,” she said.

Richmond County sheriff’s Maj. James Griffin, who investigates noise complaints, said he was unaware of any complaint against Holy Trinity. The city has a noise ordinance, but Griffin said he’s never been asked to apply it to church bells.

Calls requesting comment to the church’s priest, the Rev. Vasile Bitere, were not returned Thursday. A church member who would not give his name said the bells have been ringing for a century and aren’t breaking the law.

Irene Whitehead, who has lived at the complex for three years, said she doesn’t mind the bells.

“It’s kind of spiritual,” she said..

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rebellious 11/30/12 - 03:53 pm
My hat is off

to the priest. Don't acknowledge this trivial complaint by assumed "entitlement recipients" and propelled by a media hungry for a story with a response. If we, as a society, ignore this type of dribble more often the parlayers will get the message. Take a hike!

razordog 11/30/12 - 04:45 pm
What noise ordinance???

I really do wish that someone around here would enforce this so-called "noise ordinance" that I read about. There's nothing worse than sitting at a red light and the goofball three cars behind you has their "music" thumping so loud that YOUR mirrors and windows rattle. I would much rather hear church bells than that crap!

soapy_725 11/30/12 - 06:50 pm
Hardcore rap as an alternative music would please

the fleas and roaches. Remember Noreaga. Remember Quasimodo. Leave the Greeks alone. They gave us democracy.

KSL 11/30/12 - 06:54 pm
Why are they just now

Why are they just now complaining. Has some community activist recently moved in. Didn't the article state that Robin had lived there 4 years?

That is plenty of time to get on your feet and start paying your on way, if you want to.

KSL 11/30/12 - 07:03 pm
We have4 clocks in our house,

We have4 clocks in our house, including one in our bedroom and a grandfather clock in our foyer, that chime. The grandfather clock is pretty loud and in chimes on the quarter hour. You have a choice of 3 different historic chimes. I love it.

myfather15 11/30/12 - 10:02 pm
Just another attack on a

Just another attack on a Church and Christian traditions, plain and simple. Theres no other reasonable excuse for it. As a person who lived in an apartment complex for 3 years, with a train running directly behind it, I know you get used to it and don't even notice it after a while. Maybe everyone living beside a train should sign a petition to remove the train tracks. As KSL said, I bet there is a leftist activist lurking behind this complaint. I would be willing to bet money a leftists activist was the first person to start this complaint. They probably thought "I'd love to shut those Christians up." So they came up with a bogus bell ringing controversy.

ashadow28 12/01/12 - 01:14 am
If they want to complain about noise...

If they want to complain about noise, they should complain about their neighbors IN the Maxwell House. I lived across the street from the Greek Orthodox Church for 3 years and the only noise complaint I had was when the residents over there would set off their fire alarms and I would have to hear fire trucks blaring their sirens at all hours of the day and night...probably from someone cooking steaks...Not to mention the car stereos thumping from the parking lot! Plus, the bells only ring during normal business hours, not at night. So, if people would stop mooching off other taxpayers and get a job, they would never know!

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