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Letters to the Editor: How leaf blowers ruin our air and our sense of community

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

To the editor: Making my way up the street where I’ve been walking the dog for quite a long time, I finally met one of the neighbors while she was pruning her roses. It was nice. (“Everyone hates leaf blowers. So why is it so hard to ban them?” letters, Nov. 19)

The ubiquitous gardening companies with their pickup trucks have replaced the actual residents doing a basic and healthy dose of gardening. Even if it seems a trivial fact, neighbors no longer talk to each other about how they came to that special plant, how old is that tree in their front yard or the weather.

Taking care of your garden or front yard is a healthy way to interact with the people who live around you, your “community.” In an antisocial suburban city such as Los Angeles, this simple element of basic binding has been lost, and that’s more damaging than all the noise and fumes that come out of the gardening equipment.

Michele Castagnetti, Venice

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To the editor: I agree with the letter writer who is sick of leaf blowers. He said he’ll keep trying to get his gardeners to minimize their use of the machines.

In my neighborhood, there is no peace, Monday through Friday.

Here’s an idea: Pick up a broom and clean up your own yard. It’s good exercise, quiet and non-polluting. That’s what we do.

Patricia LoVerme, South Pasadena

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To the editor: Aside from the questionable utility of the ubiquitous leaf blower, the best description of their unintended consequence was in a piece by former Times columnist Chris Erskine years ago.

In that column, he wrote that during his regular morning runs, he was forced to navigate a gauntlet of toxic clouds filled with pesticides and microscopic rubber tire particles.

Leo Matsuk, Long Beach


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