Tuesday, July 04, 2017

PA Town Council Threatens to Fine Navy Officer for Playing ‘Taps’ to Honor Servicemen

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney is being threatened with a $300 fine by Pennsylvania’s Glen Rock Borough Council for playing “Taps” each night to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the U.S. military.

“When I was in Afghanistan and Iraq, I told myself, I had a conversation with God, and I said, if I made it home, I would do this,” Corney says in a video explaining why playing the song is so important to him – and to those in his community.

The Council sent a certified letter to Corney on Saturday forbidding him from playing “Taps” on an amplified system, except on Sundays and seven designated flag holidays.

As the York Daily Record reports, Corney’s audio tribute takes less than a minute – and the ban could set a dangerous precedent leading to the prohibition of everything from church bells to Christmas carols:

“The 57 seconds of Taps plays each night from a PA system. Corney views it as an "audio memorial," meant to pay respect to servicemen and servicewomen. “If "Taps" is in violation, he says, then so may be other noises like the ringing of church bells and the annual Glen Rock carolers.”

While Corney has stopped playing “Taps” for now, he has begun to fight back. As a first step, he is circulating a petition to “Keep Taps in Glen Rock.” He has also resigned from the borough’s council as he investigates his other avenues of recourse.

"I want to be able to do this right," Corney said. "Maybe it's not that big of a deal to take a break for a while, get my ducks in a row."

Ultimately, Corney says, the final outcome will make define the very values his community holds dear: "It comes down to this is Glen Rock.”



Anonymous said...

As much as I respect his right to do what he is doing I respect the right of those who choose not to have their life intruded on by his playing of Taps. The fact that it lasts only 57 seconds is irrelevant. He is intruding on the rights of other people to live without intrusions on their life. The fact that it is amplified only aggravates the situation. Let him fly the flag but leave his neighbours in peace.

Bird of Paradise said...

The whole stupid City Council all need to lose their american an citezbships over this He should refused to pay the fine and sue the communty of snowflakes

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:21,

I take the "amplified system" to mean that he is not playing the song on a trumpet / bugle, but a recording of it. In fact, the ordinance reads that if he were to play the song on a trumpet / bugle the ordinance would not apply. So if he played Taps on his bugle and at the property line the sound level was 60 dB he'd be fine. If he played Taps on a speaker system and at the property line the sound level was 60 db, he'd be in violation of the ordinance.

Here's the wording of the ordinance:

(h) Any noise or other disturbance that occurs continuously or intermittently for an extended period, which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, including, without limitation,

(I) the loud playing of radios, televisions, amplifiers, and other sound devices so as to be heard beyond the boundaries of the Property from which that same shall emanate,

Taps is not being played "continuously" or "intermittently for and extended period of time." "Intermittently" is defined as "at irregular intervals; not continuously or steadily." Taps is being played at a specified time each day, so that part of the ordinance cannot apply. The 57 seconds it plays would could not be considered "continuously" either.

"Reasonable person of normal sensitivities" is not a legal standard. It can't be. That would mean that if the community liked the playing of Taps, one person could say it bothered them and it could be shut down. Would the rest of the community then be considered "unreasonable persons of not normal sensitivities?"

One the face the ordinance is content neutral, but it is not quantitatively neutral. The standard has to be one of scientific measuring and not random or subjective like this ordinance states.

The ordinance bans kids playing in pool and making noise that carries across a property line. The ordinance would ban two neighbors that are talking and can be heard across a property line. The ordinance bans people on the 4th of July having a party with music that can be barely heard across a property line.

Taking "Taps" out of this equation, the ordinance is horribly written and could never stand up in a real court of law.

Anonymous said...


The whole stupid City Council all need to lose their american an citezbships over this


What would be your reasoning for this stupid course of action you say should happen?

Furthermore, what the heck is "american an citezbships?" Do you think that people can have their citizenship stripped or taken away for following an ordinance? Or are you just a moron who can't think?

He should refused to pay the fine and sue the communty of snowflakes

There is no fine that has been assessed as of yet. Not only can't you write, you can't read.

Furthermore, what is a "communty" and assuming you mean "community," what is the basis of the lawsuit?

The more you post, the more you really show that you need to get out of your mother's basement and into some sort of school.

Bird of Paradise said...

Anon 5:58 That's becuase the city council are a whole bunch of whining little snowflakes

Anonymous said...


So you are a whining about the City Council?

You disagree with the law that they did not pass (it was passed under a different Council) and so your response is to say they have no right to believe differently than you? That they have no right or responsibility to follow the law?

You want to shut them up because why again?

Oh yeah....you want to shut them up because like a true liberal you don't believe in freedom or the rights of people.

Poor l'il liberal birdy can't come up with any rational or legal response other than the liberal snowflake response of "they have to shut up because they offend me."

Anonymous said...

2:18AM Your neighbours must really hate you or you live on a large property. What don't you understand about noise from an adjacent property that pisses you off that you aren't willing to oppose?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04,

Actually, my neighbors love me because I am respectful of them.

If you actually bothered to read what I wrote, my objection is not trying to control noise, but rather the fact that there is no standard that is being applied.

Tell me sir, if you and your spouse are having 4th of July party and the noise level at 1 PM is 65 dB at the property line (which is the level of a normal conversation) is that an issue? Should it be? Assume that you are having a conversation where 4 properties meet with a neighbor. Can another neighbor say "I find his talking "objectionable" and therefore you have to cite him because I can hear it?"

The ordinance is written that a radio playing at 3 in afternoon that is barely heard at the property line is a violation. There is also the subjective nature of the ordinance. If that radio is playing classical music, someone might not object to it. If it is playing classic rock or rap they might object. So what is the issue then? WHAT is being played or the NOISE level?

It's a poorly written ordinance with no standards that can be applied and no "bright line" to step over.

That's the objection.

Unlike you, I am never willing to support an ordinance that is so subjective and without standards. I am never willing to support an ordinance where the content of the noise (taps vs other noise for example) is singled out because "someone doesn't like it."

It is akin to saying "we are citing all people in red cars for speeding" without ever posting or monitoring the speed limit of the car as well as picking on red cars because the cop doesn't like it.

Without standards, the ordinance is a farce.

Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorebird said...

Communities that pass such laws and ordences need to defunded and their city councils and mayors tossed int the slammer