NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) disputes don't often make national news.
But in Vermont, a tussle over church bells — or at least the sound of them — drew the attention of The Associated Press.
The lede of the AP story, published earlier this month:
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The sound system next door is making it hard for Olga Lopatina to love thy neighbor: Christ the King church.
Since last summer, the church has been broadcasting the sounds of bells and hymns to its Burlington neighborhood, a joyful noise unto the Lord that some here think is just an unholy racket.
It's not just the volume, but the timing and type of tune that irks Lopatina, who said she loves the natural sound of bells after growing up in Ukraine.
"It's not really music," she complained of the hymns as she stood in her backyard one recent evening after yet another unwelcome serenade. "This one, it sounds like a teenage iPhone recording, like the first generation ring tones that you pay 99 cents."
The dispute has fueled online jokes — some that posters felt were disrespectful of their faith —and complaints that the bells violate Burlington's noise ordinance. A meeting with a mediator was scheduled for March but was postponed until May 18.
From the start, it's difficult to tell whether this is a battle over noise or religion — or both.
Repeatedly, AP rings the religion bell — starting with the reference to online jokes deemed "disrespectful." But the story never quotes an actual person making that claim.