Kudos for quieting the cannery

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San Benito Foods recently put the lid on the clamorous cannery, which used to rattle neighborhood windows for about three months a year while they made everything from canned tomatoes to concentrate in Hollister.

Following up on the promise to hush the cannery roar certainly makes up for sins of the past when it comes to the ruckus that used to dominate Hollister all day and night, every day during the 10-week canning season each summer.

Last year, the Free Lance reported on the cannery’s vociferous vocation and the noise levels that tipped the scale at 90 decibels screaming as loud as a jet liner preparing for take-off. The racket created a serious threat to the hearing of nearby residents and affected the quality of life for the unfortunate souls residing near the cannery’s huge production facility. And the noise clearly violated the city ordinance prohibiting sound above 50 decibels.

Neighbors complained about the noisy operations running day and night and, in response, the city of Hollister unleashed its code enforcement officer on the company demanding action. However, the city also lost that same code enforcement officer in January as part of the layoff of 36 city employees to save money on the dwindling budget, leaving no one to keep an eye or ear on the noise mitigation efforts.

Without the code enforcement officer, the cannery probably could have coasted through at least one more season without addressing its noise violations. But the management at the company did the right thing anyway, and, like a good neighbor, canned the cannery noise all on their own.

Now, Hollister’s cool summer nights are quiet once again.

Granted the company had the responsibility to tame their own noise pollution, but they also deserve a pat on the back for holding firm to their commitment.

Although cannery management wouldn’t put a price tag on what they spent to hush the rumble, it probably did not come cheap. Improving the quality of life in the town where this cannery has operated for the last 88 years might not be priceless, but it’s worth extended good will toward a longtime business partner. Thanks San Benito Foods, you’re efforts have not fallen on deaf ears.

To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 e-mail to [email protected]

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