A strong editorial in the Pensacola News-Journal, by guest columnist John Herron. Samples:
Spring is in the air and commercial landscapers are revving up their gas leaf blowers. These backpack beasts blow winds faster than a hurricane, and they’re loud….
I’ve lived in all parts of the country while in the Navy, and the commercial landscaping noise in our neighborhoods is louder than anywhere else I’ve lived. Roaring blowers continuing into the night is disturbing. Two, three and four blowers operating simultaneously is too many. Eight or eleven hours of cumulative blower noise on weekends is excessive. Hours of blower noise on Sunday mornings is too much.
Each has happened near our home, and the cumulative effect was very disruptive. In each instance, we tried to talk with neighbors to reduce noise and quiet our neighborhood. Some did and I am grateful. A few defiantly refused. Gas leaf blowers have become a test whether we know how to be neighborly.
And the conclusion:
A national organization dedicated to protecting children from environmental hazards explains “communities, children, and those occupationally exposed to noise have a right to be protected.” So why wait?
I worked as a landscaper in my youth and appreciate the work landscapers perform and beauty they deliver. Some say blowers save time, but the argument disregards time stolen from the rest of us. Are policy makers bold enough to ride on the backs of dragons and save us from this menace? For now, it seems there is only us. I don’t want to slay these air blowing monsters … just tame them.