“I have nothing against patriotism, but this is noise pollution, pure and simple,” posted Kenny Weissberg, a Naval Base neighbor, on the website of the Point Loma Association, a nonprofit working for the community's improvement.
“It’s as obtrusive as a blaring alarm clock and an intrusion on our quality of life. We don’t need an 8 a.m. wakeup call with amplified recorded music to remind us that our country is great. This is browbeating. Lower the decibel level to legal limits. If Humphrey’s Concerts can do it, so can the Navy,” Weissberg commented.
Edward Anderson, a retired Point Loma Naval Base civilian employee and a neighbor living a half-mile from the base, concurred that the amplified music was over-the-top.
“It was definitely an order of magnitude louder than it has been,” said Anderson. “All of a sudden it was like... whoa. It was much louder here (his home) than it was on the base when I worked there ('90s).”
Added Anderson: “I was in my house with the windows closed, and [“To the Colors”] was louder than the national anthem played at Petco Park. It was beyond reasonableness.”
Point Lomans, for years, have heard “To the Colors” from Naval Base Point Loma at 8 a.m. and sunset each day. But in October, on a trial basis, the Naval sub base decided to feed the audio through their giant voice emergency speaker system.
In announcing their first broadcasts Oct. 30-31, the Navy said, “If all goes well, this will be continuing daily and nightly.”
Bowing to popular demand, Sharon Stephenson Pino, public affairs officer for Naval Base Point Loma, said, “We have had many positive comments regarding the playing of ‘To the Colors,’ however, we have had some negative comments pertaining to volume.
“We have listened to the issues and concerns and are currently responding by making adjustments to the speakers, and then continuing to ensure they stay at the compliant level,” Stephenson Pino said. “At this time the test phases are over and our schedule is planned for ‘To the Colors’ to be played daily at sunrise and sunset. Our goal is to always be good neighbors and we always appreciate the community's input.”
Each day at 0800, the flag of the United States is raised. At sunset, it is lowered. The ceremony is performed at Naval Base Point Loma and at other commands ashore and on U.S. ships around the world. In the morning, “To the Colors,” the national anthem and “Carry On” are played. The evening playlist is “To the Colors,” “Retreat” and “Carry On.”