Music Series incident wrap up.
As I present the final part of this report, I truly hope that this never happens again, but in a world of uncertainty, you just never know.
The officer herself admitted that she didn’t think the music was too invasive, and was actually kind of enjoying it. She said she thought I should go to the town council first thing tomorrow, though, when they open, so as to find out before the angry couple gets there first and try to shut us down. I plan to do exactly that tomorrow morning. We thanked the police, and they went on their way. The rest of the concert continued without event, with the performers continuing to play throughout this entire nonsense with absolute professionalism, not even stopping to acknowledge that anything upsetting had been going on or that anyone had tried to commandeer their equipment. I was impressed and I thanked them deeply for their professionalism before they left.
I must admit, I am pretty shaken up by this entire experience. It was upsetting, and so far beyond the pale of my wildest imaginings of what could possibly happen at a Monday Music event. There had been a large and enthusiastic crowd, and several clusters of happy, dancing, playing children on the library plaza while these attacks were going on; there were about 40-50 people of all ages there (and a record breaking crowd of over 60 earlier, before the angry couple arrived), everyone visibly enjoying themselves in a positive and peaceful manner, enjoying the library as a free, open, public space before this violent couple descended upon the proceedings. I find myself horrified and unable to understand how this strange and irrational thing could have happened. I feel chagrined that it occurred on my watch; I really do believe I did literally everything within my power to deescalate the situation and try to prevent it from getting so bad.
Nevertheless, I am glad this couple has now been officially (and even by order of the police) banned from Music Mondays. I never wanted any of that nonsense, and there was no reason for it to have happened at all. I feel embarrassed that I never thought to get a permit; we have been doing these concerts for four years, and never needed to do that before – it simply never occurred to me. We had due permission from MPL, were within the legal time-constraints for noise and I had believed were also within the legal noise limits.
Tonight I learned from Ed Carine that the law in Montclair stipulates that there is no official numerical legal noise level; rather, it is judged by the “least-tolerant neighbor” to the noise, meaning that if someone calls to complain, that’s where the legal noise level is. Unfortunately, this also means that there is no way to judge whether or not one is within the legal limits until someone complains of the noise. Obtaining a permit for all future noise-generating events, and receiving the Town Council’s advice in the meantime will be my top priority for now. I regret this unfortunate occurrence, and am thankful for the support of the library staff, musicians, FBAL members, police and members of the Montclair community who helped us get through and rise above this needless adversity.”
This concludes the incident report filed by Cordelia Siporin. As of this writing, no arrest or charges to my knowledge have been filed.