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While the nation was preoccupied this week with a terrorist attack and its aftermath in Boston and an industrial explosion that leveled much of a small town outside of Waco, Texas, a neighborhood in Stonington was focused on the buzzing of a 15-year-old's dirt bike.
Rather puts things in perspective.
Mason Fusaro, sometimes joined by friends, likes to race his dirt bike around the 2-acre property owned by his mom, Karen Fusaro, and her parents, Donald and Eleanor Weber. Most folks would view this as healthy, fun activity. A 15-year-old boy could be doing much worse things.
But some of those living in the proximity of the Richmond Lane home are complaining about the constant and, from their perspective, annoying buzz the motor bike emanates as the young man navigates the property. It's understandable the whine of the engine could irritate, but then again so can lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, all features of modern-day suburban life.
Residents have asked town officials to do something to make it stop. The problem is no violation of law or regulation is taking place. The chief dispatched officers Thursday to test the decibel level of the small motor bike. That assignment probably made the police officers feel as silly as the whole matter sounds. The dirt bike's noise fell well within legal limits.
Now some of the same neighbors are suggesting selectmen come up with a new ordinance to make the activity illegal. We would urge town leaders not to head down that path, which could prove bumpier than a dirt bike course and end up forcing the good people of Stonington to mothball their John Deeres.
Some facts are in dispute. Complaining neighbors say young Mr. Fusaro rides the bike for hours and hours, while the family claims his riding stints are not very long and that he has set the bike aside when he sees neighbors are having a get-together.
Ideally some neighborhood communication can fix this, maybe over a cookout. We would suggest First Selectman Ed Haberek as mediator. The Fusaros could agree to riding limits at certain parts of the day. Neighbors could show more tolerance. Can't everyone get along?
This is not a federal case, after all; we've seen enough of those lately.
The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.