Plea for Sound Help

A lack of sleep is health hazard near Zip-O-Laminators

By Ashanti Li

I currently have six out of eight kids home very sick. At what point does it matter that their immune systems are compromised by the Zip-O-Laminators company choices, interrupting their REM sleep every night? 

We are woken at 3:45 am every single weekday, and unable to rest or get away from the vibration and piercing low sound that goes throughout our entire house. Two hours of fever, crying and unsettled sick children from this company’s actions going against the voted emergency noise ordinance.

This big company sneers in the face of its government laws, of mayor and Eugene City Council decisions, of its suffering community, of my family and children. The City Council voted Jan. 23 to amend the code for commercial and industrial noise to include low-frequency sounds.

Two and a half years of damage to our health, quality of daily life and mental health. We have communicated and pleaded with Zip-O to first just change the hours, and then to create some kind of working sound barrier to both the vibration and noise.

Also, as small as it seems, there’s additional damage to our property values, as no one would choose to live in this large community, trapped in the damaging daily survival cycle this Zip-O company has knowingly created for us.

People who have lived here 20 years are talking about moving because what was once a thriving, growing community has become a literal sleep deprived nightmare over the last 2.5 years.

Please help with the next steps of what the next level of governance may be available to help us. The company doesn’t appear to care about our lives or the small $250 daily fine. Does the fine start immediately since we have an emergency ordinance in place?

I have one daughter who is suffering and struggling with sleep, sound, mental health and school. She is 12, and all of her struggles exploded two years ago. She has prescription sleeping meds now. She struggles with school work, as so many other families and their children do with both work and learning on such sleep deprivation.

None of this is acceptable. If this were your daughter, granddaughter, mother, father, son or beloved, would it be? I have a spouse fighting a major illness, and without daily decent REM sleep, will not be healthy and strong.

At what point do we walk our walk of caring for our communities and each other over a company that has made absolutely no viable changes after our communities have begged directly for 2.5 years?

At what point does it matter that our City Council and mayor are trying to help but being ignored by this company?

Anyone out there in our music recording world interested in helping record these daily/nightly vibrations? There are five miles of communities being negatively affected. I believe there are some among you who have the specialized skills to help?

Anyone know a great lawyer who believes in fighting for the communities and quality of life that is being hurt everyday, backed by lots of science around lack of REM sleep and damage?

This week the sound/vibration started at 3 am one day, the usual 3:45 am to 4 am the rest.

Any caring, great pro bono class action attorneys willing to help our communities fight the daily damages occurring in our lives and put a stop to it in the only language they seem to care about, money?

We have been reaching out and trying to work with this company and people for years. The damage is vast and real to each person and family affected.

These are our communities, many multigenerational, now hostages in their beloved homes by a big money company whose lack of actions or acknowledgement shows a clear intent to continue its forced damage on our lives, our daily liberties and the physical and emotional means for the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you, Eugene communities, City Council, and mayor for your continued actions and efforts to help those of us suffering this avoidable trauma.

Update March 2, 2023. Headphones required.

Ashanti Li is a longtime Eugene area resident, mother and has been a foster mother, a volunteer for Oregon Country Fair and involved in many other local groups.