How about adopt a leaf blower code

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To the Editor:

This is not as big an issue as whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan, or how many; or which health care plan Congress should adopt.

It is a modest quality of life issue in our town. Id like to suggest that we all agree to adopt the leaf blower code.

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The code is pretty simple: we will not operate our leaf blowers before 9 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. We will not operate them on Sunday.

We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Nothing spoils watching the sunset from ones deck on a beautiful evening like the sound of a leaf blower, particularly the gas powered kind operated by someone who thinks the throttle is made to play some mechanical symphony.

Sometimes its a neighbor, but you can hear them far away like the ones clearing the church parking lots downtown, late on Saturday afternoon. I get up pretty early, so dont get rudely awakened by the mad blowers, but some folk like to sleep in. There are a couple of yard services who will actually blow after dark. Query: how do they know what theyre blowing where?

I love my leaf blowers. I have one that Clint Eastwoods Dirty Harry would use if he had a leaf blower. It will move that dying biomass in large quantities at high speeds. You can walk up to an oak or maple and dare it to make your day. I try very hard to respect the code.

We shouldnt go whining to the town council and ask for an ordinance. We dont need our policemen and women spending their valuable time enforcing inane laws.

Id suggest the following generally non violent method of self enforcement. Since some people may not read the TDB, the first step is to simply remind the offender (thats a real good word in this case) that they are blowing outside the hours of the code. I recommend the same tone of voice as youd like to use on the person sitting next to you in an eating establishment who is talking loudly in baby talk to someone, hopefully a baby, on their cell phone while you dine.

The second offense would allow you to take a crow bar or baseball bat, relieve the instrument of noise from the operator and beat it to a non-operating pulp.

I know there are citizens who work long hours on their jobs and who cant blow before late in the afternoon and those yard service folks would have to find other things to do before 9 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m.. If you get home from work at 5:30 and the preacher is coming over for dinner, use a rake. If you want to clean up the yard at 7 a.m., a rake will work.

As for the prohibition on Sunday, it has some background in the belief that we should respect the day that most people call their Sabbath. It would also simply provide one day without leaf blowers.

Thanks for reading.

Jim Wright