Ken Carlson

County Pulse: Noise expert will present at Stanislaus County planning workshop

Stanislaus County planners have invited noise experts to town for a special workshop next week.

The Planning Commission meeting Thursday will feature a presentation from Luke Saxelby of J.C. Brennan & Associates of Auburn.

Anyone with an interest in understanding noise studies and how noise is measured could benefit from the workshop, said Angela Freitas, director of county planning and community development.

The county Planning Commission has heard noise-related complaints from residents who live near the Larsa Banquet Hall in Turlock and the Fruit Yard east of Modesto. The Fruit Yard restaurant and traveler’s pit stop on Highway 132 and Geer Road wants to expand as a venue for special events and music.

After the Symbiosis Gathering came to Oakdale’s Woodward Reservoir in 2013, county officials required mitigation measures designed to reduce loud-music complaints at last year’s event.

Symbiosis is coming back to the reservoir and county-operated park in September.

“Now seemed like a good time to have a workshop to make sure everyone is up to speed on the science of noise,” Freitas said.

The workshop is set for 6 p.m. Thursday in the board meeting chambers at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., in downtown Modesto.

Health insurance deadline

With the approach of Sunday’s deadline for enrolling in health coverage, Covered California said almost 330,000 new customers had chosen a health plan since the enrollment period began in November.

Almost 150,000 had taken advantage of an opportunity for family dental coverage offered through the state-run health exchange, a press release said Thursday. Covered California was created by the Affordable Care Act to serve as a health insurance marketplace in the Golden State.

Sunday is a significant deadline for adults who lack insurance coverage. The federal government’s 2016 tax penalties for going without insurance are much stiffer than in the two previous years.

Adults younger than 65 can choose a health coverage plan from Covered California by calling (800) 300-1506, or they can enroll online at The government subsidies to lower monthly premiums are available depending on the applicant’s income.

Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321