Hollywood Bowl hopes feds will quiet intrusive copters
Helicopters and classical music go together brilliantly -- if you're watching the scene from "Apocalypse Now" in which a helicopter attack squadron commanded by Robert Duvall flies into battle with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" blaring from its loudspeakers.
In all other circumstances, the twain should never meet. But to the consternation of audiences and musicians at the Hollywood Bowl, they meet repeatedly, night in and night out during the summer concert season.
Here's a story about the mounting frustration felt by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which operates the Bowl and is its leading tenant -- and about the hopes the Philharmonic is placing in legislation now before Congress that aims to re-route helicopter traffic away from residential areas throughout Los Angeles County.
The bill by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) is called the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act of 2011. It's patterned after a U.S. Senate amendment earlier this year that authorized the FAA to draft new rules to alleviate helicopter noise over Long Island, New York. An FAA spokesman said Thursday that the Long Island rules have been written but not yet implemented.
If it comes down to a case of who was there first, music fans win: The Hollywood Bowl's inaugural season was 1920, and the first helicopters capable of reliable flight didn't take off until the mid- to late-1930s.
-- Mike Boehm
Photo: A helicopter at Van Nuys Airport has an attached telephoto camera. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times