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Chinatown Bars Challenge Noise Measurement Legislation


Bars and restaurants in Oahu’s Chinatown district are drawing attention to a piece of legislation that would limit the volume levels of their establishments.

House Bill 227would allow the Honolulu Liquor Commission to regulate the sound level of any business with a liquor license that’s situated in a populated area. The measure limits volume to 55 decibels from 7-10pm and then 60 decibels from 10pm till 7am. For comparison, the Hearing Care Center says 60 decibels is around the level of normal conversation, where as a hair-dryer is about 90 decibels, and a Jack-Hammer is around 120.  Bars violating the proposed 60 level could be fined or lose their liquor license.  But opponents say that the bill imposes an unrealistic expectation.  Joshua Hancock is the co-owner of Downbeat Lounge in Chinatown. 

Opponents have started an on-line petition against the measure.  The House committee tabled their discussion yesterday, and rescheduled the hearing for Friday at 9am. 

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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