Fiddling banned at home in Hamilton, Ontario, by city bureauRATS!!!
This was on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator, today, Tuesday, June 18,2002.
City hall has ordered citizen Metro "Mitch" Elash to cease and desist and lay down his bow. He’s been told to stop playing the violin in his house.
"Honest to God, this is the shock of my life," Mitch says.
"Maybe I’m supposed to apologize to someone, but I don’t know why."
Mitch, 80, and wife agnes, 84, live in a bungalow on —————
Avenue, a pretty street on the Brow.
……early each afternoon Mitch goes to the glass case in his living room and chooses a violin. He has three old ones.
Then he goes to the sunroom and plays for about an hour and a half. "It gives me a lift," he says. Waltzes, polkas, two-steps, jigs. Soldier’s Joy, ‘Turkey in the Straw, St. Ann’s Reel, he does them all. But never late at night. "At nine o’clock I’m getting ready for bed."
Mitch was playing the other afternoon when Agnes collected the mail at the front door. There was a letter from the City of Hamilton. Agnes thought it was the tax bill. It was worse than that.
Agnes read it through, then called Mitch over.
"You’d better read this," she said. "But sit down."
It was from standards and licensing: "It has been brought to the attention of this department that residents in your area have been disturbed by noise caused by the level of volume of a violin that may be coming from your property."
The letter told Mitch that Hamilton has a noise bylaw and he would need to obey it: "Please see that this disturbance does not occur again in order to avoid action being taken pursuant to the bylaw."
I know Mitch, and he is a fine unassuming gentleman, a wonderful fiddler, but he is not loud. Certainly not loud enough for someone to have a legitimate complaint. It is absolutely inconceivable that the City would send such a letter to him, but they did, and they need to be told that they made a booboo, and that they should apologize to Mitch and Agnes.
Please, everyone, please send an e-mail to Hamilton’s mayor and try to salvage what remains of Mitch’s shredded dignity.
The mayor’s name is Bob Wade, and his e-mail address is below.
If you wish, tell him that scottythefiddler sent you….he has already heard from me on this matter, has my address and phone number, and hopefully can be convinced to do the right thing.
Thanks to all