Dear Editor:

 

I was interested to read (SMDP, May 17, 2017) that  a “city crackdown silences leaf blowers.” However, it seems that the “silence” has yet to reach Sunset Park – – I still hear these polluting noise-makers blasting away throughout our district.

 

Leaf blowers are bad news for several reasons. First, as noted above, they can be annoyingly loud, in some cases as noisy as a gas-powered lawn mower. Second, they’re a health hazard, blowing containments and dust up from the ground. Third, they’re not that efficient, and sometimes totally inefficient. Remember the rake? I have easily and quickly raked a scattered patch of autumn leaves into a neat, high pile, then watched an able-bodied worker down the street maybe 50 years my junior (I’m 85) aim his blower nozzle  on a similar cluster, scattering leaves, dust, cigarette butts, etc. all over the place, including into the street. No wonder  these guys wear dust masks!. Finally, leaf blower operators (and, by extension, their clients) are simply breaking the law. As the Daily Press  article points out, “it is illegal to operate any kind of leaf blower in the city, whether gas, electric or battery operated.”

It’s hard to believe Santa Monica has “one of the strictest leaf blower ordinances in the area,” considering the large  number of violators in my neighborhood.

Arguments favoring leaf blowers  are unacceptable- – e.g. they’re less labor-intensive than raking or sweeping; city enforcement personnel have better things to do than seek out and fine blower users; they keep the leaf blower industry in business, etc.

So go at it, Santa Monica – – Keep weeding out the offenders (especially the gardening contractors and home-owners, not just the  low-paid guys wielding the blowers) , but please step up the code enforcement in Sunset Park!

 

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