Teen Mania has been leveling a number of accusations against the City of San Francisco since the City's Entertainment Commission limited the "BattleCry" event's use of amplified sound at AT&T Park before 10 A.M. on the morning of Saturday, March 10, 2007.

Here's a quick summary of Teen Mania head Ron Luce's statements over the past week, assertions now being made in an "action sheet" now being distributed online to "BattleCry" participants, and the facts of the matter:

Ron Luce: "The city of San Francisco has imposed a last minute noise ordinance..."

Fact: AT&T Park must apply to the City's Entertainment Commission for a loudspeaker permit individually, for each event, other than baseball games, at which amplified sound will be used. On February 20, the City granted the permit for the "BattleCry" event, with certain conditions. No "last minute noise ordinance" was passed by the City, nor by any City agency.

Ron Luce: Asks that teens write to the Mayor and City Supervisors to express their concern about an "action taken by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors."

Fact: The Board of Supervisors is not involved. The issuance of permits for this kind of event falls to the Entertainment Commission, an administrative department with four members nominated by the Mayor and three appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Ron Luce is asking people to write to the Supervisors about an ordinance that does not exist and an action that they didn't take.

Ron Luce: The City is "unfairly singling out and menacing the peaceful gathering of Christian youth and parents."

Fact: According to the Deputy Director of the Entertainment Commission, to their knowledge, no other organization has attempted to use amplified sound in AT&T Park before 10 A.M. in the entire history of the venue which opened in 2000. Teen Mania staged "BattleCry" in the stadium last year; the disturbance to residents resulting from the early Saturday start time of that event resulted in complaints to the Police Department and the City. The Police Department recommended to the Entertainment Commission that because of the complaints received by the police last year, that the use of amplified sound be delayed. Responding to that recommendation and direct complaints to the Commission, the sound permit was granted with the condition that amplified music not be played before 10 A.M.

Ron Luce: "And the action of the Board will be remembered as an ineffective act of intimidation one step removed from prohibiting our Constitutional right to free speech."

Fact: For the second year in a row, Ron Luce and Teen Mania are making an extraordinary and unique request to the City of San Francisco to be permitted to start their event at 8:30 A.M. Saturday, a situation that caused problems last year. They fail to recognize that policies change as the result of experience.

While Teen Mania may be accustomed to playing in enclosed stadiums, arenas and churches where sound concerns often do not involve neighbors, the concerns of neighbors must be considered by any open-air venue when events begin or end at unusual times. Government may reasonably limit the use of amplified sound as long as such "time, place and manner" restrictions are content neutral, serve a governmental interest and provide for alternative means of expression. The conditions imposed on this event are driven entirely by the unusual hour and the disturbance to neighbors by noise.

Ron Luce: In a recorded phone message informing "BattleCry" registered participants of the sound restriction, played during a phone call from the Teen Mania East Texas campus on March 6 and received by an AcquiretheEvidence.com editor at 11:48 AM Pacific time, Ron Luce characterized the City's response to its residents' concerns as the kind of thing that would be expected in a Communist country.

Fact: Actually, this is the kind of thing that you might expect from a city government that is responsive to its citizen's concerns and needs.

Posted 2007-03-09