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Letters to the Editor: Why is residential Manhattan quieter than L.A.? It’s the leaf blowers

A gardener uses a leaf blower to clear leaves at a home in Sacramento on Oct. 13.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: The phasing out of gas-powered leaf blowers is welcome and long overdue. (“Add this to the list of things I’ll never miss: The gas-powered leaf blower,” Oct. 17)

Each summer we normally spend a week in a neighborhood in Manhattan. I’m often struck by how quiet and peaceful it feels. Then it dawns on me: There are no leaf blowers or lawn mowers.

I’ve observed maintenance workers and gardeners in Los Angeles chase around a few leaves when a simple push broom or rake would be more efficient.

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The new law banning future sales of gas-powered leaf blowers is not enough. These devices should be banned outright, not phased out over time, and enforcement should be as vigilant as it is for parking violations.

Michael Krubiner, Valley Village

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To the editor: Columnist Robin Abcarian triumphantly reports that noisy, polluting, gas-powered leaf blowers will be phased out. But not until 2024.

In my neighborhood, and probably in yours, the racket from these machines is incessant. They spew dust, debris and toxic fumes everywhere, while landscapers push a few leaves from the yard where they’re working to the yard next door.

In an ideal world, they’d be working with rakes and brooms. But most landscapers feel they can’t afford to slow their pace to work with hand tools.

Here’s an idea: Offer to pay your landscapers more so they can afford to ditch the blower.

Janice Blake, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: Abcarian says everything I’ve wanted to say about gas blowers. It seems everyone in my neighborhood, except me, uses a yard maintenance service equipped with these blowers.

Often a crew will use a leaf blower to push fallen leaves off bare dry dirt. You can imagine the dust that kicks up. I hate those leaf blowers. Has no one ever heard of rakes and brooms?

A few years ago, a fellow who lives here circulated a petition to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. He gathered enough signatures. The City Council passed an ordinance banning leaf blowers.

Alas, there was no enforcement. The leaf blowers kept on blowing, and after one year the ordinance expired. I only hope those darn things are phased out sooner rather than later.

David Williams, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: My gardener uses an electric-powered leaf blower. It makes a melodious humming sound that is not at all offensive. A hose would do a better job, but the water shortage takes priority and a rake takes too much time and work.

Gardeners have a right to make a living. Banning gas-powered leaf blowers is not depriving them of making a living, because they can use electric-powered tools.

This should have been implemented years ago, but that would have required common-sense thinking by our leaders.

Giuseppe Mirelli, Los Angeles


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