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For 30 years of summer Sundays, visitors to Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park have been treated to free concerts put on by local drummers camped out on park benches. In May, however, the impromptu jam session was temporarily canceled after neighbors complained to U.S. Park Police that the drums were disrupting the peace. After discussion with drummers and neighbors, park officials think they have come up with a solution: sound checks. Rock Creek Park Superintendent Adrienne Coleman says she will use decibel-measuring equipment to determine whether the drummers are violating city noise ordinances. Friends of Meridian Hill President Steve Coleman (no relation) favors a less complex solution: Simply have the drummers move toward the center of the park, where they would be farther away from the residential apartment buildings that line 15th Street NW.
Reporting by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Elissa Silverman.
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