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Dodd Terrace Residents Complain About Music

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Barbara Bochese, a Dodd Terrace resident, speaking at a Board of Education meeting in March against the work on the lower field.
Barbara Bochese, a Dodd Terrace resident, speaking at a Board of Education meeting in March against the work on the lower field.

Barbara Bochese, a resident of Dodd Terrace and one of the leaders of a group trying to block the work on the lower football field at Verona High School, called the Verona Police Department on Saturday morning to complain about the music coming from the field. A second Dodd Terrace resident also called in a noise complaint, just minutes after Bochese.

Bochese, a resident of 9 Dodd Terrace, is one of the leaders of “Be A Good Neighbor”, a group that has raised multiple objections to the renovation of the lower field since the referendum to fund that work received overwhelming approval from Verona voters on March 11.

According to the police report on the incidents, the first call came in at 11:54 a.m. “Barbara Bochese reports the music playing at the high school prior to the football game is extremely loud,” reads the report. The report does not specify what the music was, although the VHS marching band had been rehearsing at the field that morning in preparation for a competition. The police file notes that Patrolman Thorward “reports that the music is not overly loud.”

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A second call about the music being too loud came in from a female resident of 15 Dodd Terrace at 12 noon. The report does not give the name of that resident. Lieutenant Chris Kiernan was dispatched to speak with that person. “Lt. Kiernan reports there is no issue with the noise,” the report notes at 12:34 p.m.. At 13:09 (1:09 p.m.), which was kickoff time for the football game against Shabazz High School, the report notes that Kiernan will be monitoring Sampson Drive. “At this time there is no unreasonable noise,” the report states.

At 14:29 (2:29 p.m.), the report says that Kiernan was checking on a possible parking violation called in by a male resident at 9 Dodd Terrace, who is not identified by name in the report. At 17:17 (5:17 p.m.) the report notes that a warning was issued on Dodd for a corner violation.

Dodd Terrace is across from the Doc Goeltz Field, which was used as the VHS football field from 1956, when the high school opened, until the late 1970s. The houses on Dodd Terrace were not built until five years or more after the high school opened. Doc Goeltz Field came back into use two years ago after holes opened on the upper field. Under the referendum, the lower field will be turfed and used for football, soccer, baseball and marching band. “Be A Good Neighbor” supporters have addressed both Board of Education and Town Council meetings to oppose the work and the group has been trying to solicit donations for a legal fund. Bochese’s house was listed for sale in June.

Saturday’s complaint was not the first time that Dodd Terrace residents have tried to make sound on the lower field an issue: In May, a resident walked onto the baseball field as the teams were warming up to music and pulled out the plug for the sound system.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]

18 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if this is the same person that complained back when I was in high school in the 90’s. And I also find it funny that no one from grove or Franklin Aves have complained… You will see it’s always the same people

  2. What a joke. These people on Dodd are injuring something that means a lot to VHS. Barbara should go buy a pair of ear plugs and deal with it. I cannot believe there are people actually doing this. It is absolutely pathetic.

  3. Ms. Citrano states in her article “a group trying to block the work on the lower football field at Verona High School”. The BGNHA never stated, anywhere, that they want to block the work on the lower field. What the BGNHA IS SAYING is that the size and scope of the project is too big for the area and 110 ft lights are more obtrusive than anyone fighting the BGNHA will acknowledge, including her. She needs to stop inciting people in town with her biased views. The BGNHA IS NOT OPPOSED TO FIELD IMPROVEMENTS/UPGRADES. The BGNHA JUST WANTS IT DONE RIGHT.

  4. The VHS band is one of the town’s highest examples of excellence and a tremendous source of community pride. I live nearly as close to the high school as the good folks on Dodd, and if I could ask the band to play LOUDER, I absolutely would. Their musicianship is outstanding and so is their community spirit. Turn it up, please!

  5. When I was at VHS, I was a member of the marching band and participated in outdoor sports, and practices/games would often extend well into the evening. At that time, the band practiced outside once a week on fall evenings, and 3 mornings per week during school hours on Doc Goeltz Field. Although most weekend sporting events were held on Sellitto Field during that time, I can’t imagine that the noise level has changed so dramatically with the relocation of once-weekly events like home football games to Doc Goeltz Field, since the band and other sports have been using that field during most daylight hours for years. Nobody forced these residents to buy a home located near VHS. As the article says, the homes themselves were built AFTER the high school, and its recreational fields, opened. If you buy a home near a high school, you must certainly expect to hear the noise associated with student activities – pleasant sounds like instrumental music and cheering – Just the same as residents who buy a home near the Verona Pool should expect to see cars parked in front of their homes when the parking lot fills up on hot summer days, or residents who buy a home near the Community Center should not be surprised to hear the wail of fire engines leaving the firehouse at any time of day or night.

  6. So, I’m going to move next to a factory with smokestacks, and then complain about the pollution coming from the factory…Then, I’m moving to Carteret, and complain about the smell of petroleum in the air….Then, I’m going to move next to a drag car race track in Englishtown, and complain about noisy cars…Then, I’m gonna buy a house in Montclair that backs up to the NJ Trainsit railway, and complain about train noise and commuters parking on my street. Then, I’m going to realize that I’m an idiot.

  7. I plan to comment further, but for now I just want to clarify one thing. The marching band had rehearsal from 9:30am until 11:30am that morning. At that time, the marching band went up to the school to get into their competitive uniforms and have lunch. They attended only the first quarter of the game, in uniform, which started at 1pm. They departed at 2pm for South Brunswick for a band competition at which they were performing at 4:45pm. Soon after the band rehearsal ended at 11:30am, the football team entered the lower field for a fast practice session. During this session, commercial music was played at full volume over the PA system. It is not unusual for the team to practice with music playing over the PA system, but from what I was told, on this particular morning, AFTER the band finished, the music playing over the PA system appeared to be at full volume, which was unusual compared to past practice sessions. The FIRST complaint call to the police was at 11:54am. The 2nd call was at 12:00 noon. The two residents of Dodd Terrace did not call to complain about the marching band music. They complained about the music blasting over the PA system during football practice. I know many of the residents on Dodd Terrace. They are GOOD people and are being described as monsters. They are not monsters. Does anyone remember one particular resident who sadly passed away in 2005? His name was Lou. Remember him? Do you remember what contributions he made to Verona? He did a lot more than most people finding fault with the residents who live on Dodd. A LOT more. His wife still lives there. She loves living there just like the other residents on Dodd. She and the rest of the BGNHA does NOT want to delay or halt this project. They just want the project done right. Why can’t anyone just talk to them? Why cant you just listen to them?? More in my next post.

  8. Something you should all know… and this is the issue that the BGNHA has. The lights. Proposed plans right now call for eight 110-foot light poles with 21 lamps on each pole. 110 feet is about the same as an eleven-story building. 2 Broad Street in Bloomfield is an 11-story building. There are ZERO 11-story buildings in Verona (excluding the Claridge House bldgs). Can you imagine the wattage that will come off of those lights? I work on the 10th floor of a building in NYC. That is HIGH up!! You will most likely be able to see our lit up field across the Hudson River. There are no plans for any bathroom facilities or a refreshment stand. It is quite a lengthy and tiresome walk UPHILL to seek out these basic amenties, especially for senior citizens, those with disabilities, and for families with small children. There is the potential of this field being lit up almost seven nights a week. Have you seen the upper field lately? It is an eyesore now. A black eye on our school campus. Why cant we use part of the referendum funds to repair and improve the upper field with turf and lights? Why should that land not be put back to good use? Lets expand the parking lot next to the tennis courts to ease parking concerns. Lets renovate the lower field into a multi-purpose turf field to accomodate DAYTIME sports and move the lights to the upper field? I want to reiterate from my previous post…NO ONE is saying not to build our dream facilities. We need them. Our kids deserve them. The BGNHA just wants them built right. Thats it! The money is there. But…the finalized plans are not. So lets all come together and build our dream facilities perhaps as I propose. It is NOT too late. And my fellow residents, please find time to talk to the folks on Dodd Terreace. They are good people. They love this town and its sports teams and its marching band just as much as you do. Just listen to them instead of name calling and please stop twisting their words and painting the wrong picture. It is hurtful and quite honestly, does not make you look so good either.

  9. Robin, you have been the voice of reason and civility on this issue, your perspective is to the point and logical. As you have stated, it was the football team and the coaches controlling the field and PA system at the time that the decibel of music was excessive. If indeed one of the teenage players decided to crank it up for the fun of it and the coaches did nothing to rein in the behavior, then it is most unfortunate and alarming that the kids seem to be ruling the situation. I would like to think that the Verona head coach has control of his team and will not let this happen again. Can we count on this coach to do the right thing and teach his players some respect and civility?

  10. Thanks, Palma and Jessica. Palma… In fairness to the coach, I am not aware if he was present. If he was, then he should have controlled the decibels of the music volume. If he wasn’t, then we can’t really hold him completely responsible. Not sure if there needs to be a coach/teacher present at all practice sessions. I would think so, but I cannot say with 100% certainty.

  11. I live on Dodd Terrace directly across from the field. I can see the game from my kitchen and dining room windows. I have never complained about the noise and I never would. Truly it doesn’t bother me at all. What I can’t stand is the amount of people assuming that it is all of Dodd Terrace complaining. I actually open my windows and enjoy hearing the game. I enjoy hearing the announcer call out “touchdown Hillbillies”. I cheer our boys on every home game. The good neighbor group on my street does exist but evidently I am not considered a good neighbor because I am not part of the group.

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