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Mailbag: Variety of topics catch readers’ eyes this week, from leaf blowers to politics

I went for a morning run in our quiet suburb the other day and faced the usual cacophony of barking dogs, tree chippers, chain saws, lawn mowers, helicopters and idling 18-wheelers. But the worst were the leaf blowers — I passed more than a dozen during my 45-minute run. Thankfully most of their operators turned them to idle when I passed, but I still had to run through the fumes. (An oil/gasoline mixture fuels most of them. Thus they emit more than 100 times the pollution of a car or pickup truck.)

Many cities ban gasoline-powered blowers, saving themselves from the noise and air pollution. We purchased a cordless electric blower for our landscaper to use at our house. He finds it fully functional. It is so quiet that when I use it, I don’t bother with ear protection. Unfortunately, with a midsized battery, it can handle only one half-acre lot before it needs recharging, so he cannot use it for his business.

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The recent IPCC report on Climate Change was a wake-up call to act now. Take $300 to your home improvement store and buy your landscapers a cordless blower. Your neighbors will thank you. And if that inspires you, sign up for 100% green energy at SCE and buy an electric car. Your grandchildren will thank you.

George Vine

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La Cañada Flintridge

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On Saturday, Nov. 3, come join Mayor Terry Walker and the LCF Trails Council on a relatively flat 5.5 mile round-trip hike along two of La Cañada's most beautiful trails that make up a short section of the 13-mile City Loop.

Beginning at the historic Flintridge Riding Club at 11 a.m., Mayor Walker will lead the group along the Upper Rim Trail in Oak Grove Park (technically in Pasadena) and the Flint Canyon Trail to Woodleigh Lane (the turnaround point) and back. A reception with free food and refreshments will follow at the Riding Club.

This is an excellent way to be introduced to our town’s trail system, whether as a resident or for those outside our community unfamiliar with this wonderful community asset.

I hope you will join my wife Jennifer and I, along with Mayor Walker and members of the City Council, the LCF Trails Council and other trail enthusiasts for this fun event open to everyone.

Wes Seastrom

La Cañada Flintridge

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It’s ironic that in the same week LCF approved an allocation for a bikeway and pedestrian greenbelt project, in belated commemoration of Arbor Day city officials planted an exotic tree that provides no ecosystem support. Sustainability is about more than driving less.

Is it ignorance or institutional inertia that compels the city to continue its backward, ornamental landscaping that is at odds with sustainable practices? At the Arbor Day planting, Mayor Walker was quoted as saying, “I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the hearts and promote the well-being of present and future generations.”

Functioning ecosystems are essential for our well-being, and they depend on native plants. Reams of scientific data show this to be true, due to specialized co-evolutionary relationships between native plants, insects and other animals. City officials and staff need act on that data and model best practices if our city is to be more than a green wasteland with official happy-talk sound bites.

Across Los Angeles, most recently with the Westwood Greenway project, people are recognizing that forward-looking transportation and pedestrian areas need forward-looking landscaping: native landscaping. The new Westwood Greenway will feature native chaparral, coastal sage and island plant communities. I hope that LCF officials and staff will work with Metro, as are the Westwood Greenway folks, to landscape LCF’s new greenbelt with native plants. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Lisa Novick

La Cañada Flintridge

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Re: “Area doctors question restricted ICU,” Oct. 25. I am not in favor of these so-called “closed” ICU units. Dr. Dorian states that this will mean you have one quarterback running the show.

Up until now, all patients were allowed to choose their own quarterback. We would choose a doctor, develop a relationship with that doctor and entrust our lives to him or her. That doctor made it a point to not only take care of us medically but also to really get to know us and meet our families. They took that time, and because of that they truly cared about each of their patients.

Being in ICU is a frightening experience for any patient and his or her family. When in that situation one turns to their doctor who knows all about them. A doctor who has known you for years and knows your entire medical history is the reassuring voice one turns to in a time of crisis. It is his or her familiar face, familiar voice, that not only calms the patient but also calms the family. Bottom line: I want to choose my own quarterback.

Lindsay Soderlund

Glendale

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I am tired of fake news from the media and our California politicians demonizing President Trump. He has done good things for our nation. Here are just a few of them: lowest unemployment rate for African Americans and Latinos in years, USDA food stamp enrollment on decline, stronger manufacturing job market, etc. Learn more at WhiteHouse.gov.

Meanwhile, our sanctuary state has one of the highest rates of homelessness and undocumented residents in the country. On top of that, California is being sued for voter fraud. Learn more at electionintegrityproject.com.

Educate yourself and vote. Here is a conservative site that can help, CraigHuey.com.

Denise Soto

La Cañada Flintridge

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Sacramento politicians are at it again. This time, they’re trying to scare you into believing if you don’t pay 12 cents more for a gallon of gas and $100 more in car registration fees, our roads will crumble. Never mind you already pay huge taxes at the pump to maintain our roads.

The other tactic is to guilt you by saying, “Who can possibly be against paying a few more cents to keep our roads safe?” Remember, those few cents will add up to about $700 per year. Do not let these slick politicians fool you with their propaganda. They will only continue to raid the extra funds in order to pay for their pet projects.

Don’t be deceived by these greedy politicians who will continue to raise your taxes if you let them get away with this gas tax and increase of registration fees. Vote “Yes” on Proposition 6.

Bob Tanabe

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La Cañada Flintridge

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