Oh for heaven’s sake

Anti-leaf blowers blow it. They showed up tonight to argue that leaf blowers are deadly, causing high blood pressure, pet suicides and nuclear disaster. It’s enough to me that the damn things are annoying: let’s have a discussion about when an annoyance becomes a public nuisance. Instead, we get a collection of aluminium – hatted fruit cakes claiming that their goldfish are dying from the noise next door and, frankly, that’s not going to generate all that much sympathy.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Oh for heaven’s sake

  1. LLS2

    they might have a point. i don’t care how they get the banned. it’s going to make life nicer for greenwich residents.

    while we are at it, let’s ban all diesel engine idling including ambulances and food trucks.

  2. uh, really?

    just looking at the published work of PJ Lanigan and co at Mt. Sinai, it seems like the following things are true:

    1) certain environmental pollutants things are bad things to breathe and otherwise ingest, especially for kids

    2) leaf blowers could theoretically elevate the risk of these bad things being breathed or ingested, but since there is ZERO published data on that precise topic it’s hard to tell whether there is more harm than good, much like it’s hard to tell if on balance the byzantine process to renew our beach passes is good because it keeps the undesirables out or bad because it’s soooo annoying. probably a wash, until there’s data. perhaps the crew at CALM ought to write for an NIH grant to study the issue – after all, CT is the perfect leaf-blower rich laboratory!

    3) if we’re so concerned about leaf blowers’ health effects, shouldn’t we be MOST concerned with the people operating them??? Shouldn’t THEY be most concerned? Were any leaf-blower operators present to attest to their safety? Also, parents, direct your children not to spend time breathing directly from the exhaust or dust cloud of the leaf blower.

    4) finally, we all agree that leaf blowers suck to listen to and to be near. why don’t we just establish that they should be used on 1+ acre lots? not because i’m worried my kid will end up with mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos particulate from the cat shit of the weirdo house cat from six doors down that eats insulation all day and then shits in my yard and which is then is aerosolized by my landscaping guys, but because they suck to listen to? Would that be so hard?

  3. Cos Cobber

    ct already has a no idliing for more than 3 minutes law and look at the good it does.

    keep the leaf blowers! just limit their hrs from 8am to 5pm.

  4. Van Houten

    Whats next? A ban on chain saws, chippers, and screaming kids?

    From the looks of the pictures posted in the Greenwich Time, the attendee ‘stakeholders’ were for the majority, old and decrepit. Did they bus them in from Nathaniel Witherall?

  5. Walt

    Dude –
    The real problem with leaf blowers is they don’t really do anything. They make a boat load of noise, and move the shit from one side of the street to the other. So they piss everybody off, and accomplish nothing. Exactly like real estate “professionals”. I say we ban them both. It would be a much nicer planet, dontcha think? How do you vote on this matter?
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  6. Treepart

    If Greenwich bans leaf blowers then what are all the illegal immigrants working for the landscape companies going to do?

  7. Cobra

    I like my four-stroke Makita. As Charlton Heston said, ““I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands.”

  8. Red

    My beef is the landscapers who keep blowing dust & grass onto the road, when they see a car approaching. Who wants to drive through that stuff? I stop my car, and hold up traffic, until they turn the blowers away from the road.

  9. We have landscapers and others on Long Island regularly dropping dead from Hantavirus, one just last week on Montauk, a 35year old Chiropractor:
    http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/mourners-come-in-droves-to-remember-hantavirus-victim.

    See: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome; Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002358/

    You blow rodent droppings into the air, breath in, and a horrible death quickly follows.

    Perhaps our Director of Health can opine on the causes for the remarkable increase in asthma in our population. Evidently, our Health professionals seem to take the view that rodents only leave their infected droppings indoors, not in leaf piles or other outdoor areas weekly subjected to blowing.

    I have seen many forested slopes cleaned bare of their leaf litter by multiple-blower teams, leaving bare soil to erode.

    From the link:
    Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick.

    It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with such dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time.

    Hantavirus does not spread between humans.

    Rodents carrying the hantavirus have been found in many U.S. national parks. Campers and hikers may be more likely to catch the disease than most people. This is because they pitch tents on the forest floor and lay their sleeping bags down in musty cabins.

    However, only a couple of cases have been directly linked to camping or hiking. Most people who are exposed to the virus have come in contact with rodent droppings in their own homes.

  10. Georgie in Greenwich

    I’m with ya on this one….this seems like a neighbor conflict than a legitimate issue we all should be worried about.

  11. Riverslide

    We need enforcement of our existing noise ordinance. For example, the cigarette boats that come in Cos Cob harbor are way over the decibel limit. (Also, BTW, the ordinance that says no boat may leave wake that disturbs another boat anywhere in Captains Harbor, meaning out as far as Island Beach and Great Captains, would be worthwhile to enforce in egregious cases.) Also, what about the utterly worthless and very annoying train whistles? If they get an exemption from the local noise ordinance, then maybe our leaders could at least ask Metro North to justify or reconsider their blastings.

  12. anon

    A ban on leaf blowers would actually create jobs since it would take more illegal immigrants to hand rake leaves than it takes using a blower. This would be a good thing since Greenwich will be losing jobs now that New York has legalized gay marriage (and created jobs in New York): http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/No-more-Greenwich-destination-weddings-after-NY-1444661.php

  13. Georgie in Greenwich

    Did anyone check the GT website pictures of the hearing….geez, the average age must be 70! Clearly, people who are home and with way too much time on their hands.

    Seems we have enough regs, but no enforcement of what is in place. Where have I heard that before—Banking crisis!

  14. Cobra

    Based on the average age of last evening’s attendees, I’m surprised they can even hear the dulcet tones of the leaf blowers. Perhaps these wondrous machines don’t bother me as my Widex Inteos may not pick up their sound frequencies.

  15. keri

    I agree with uh, really? – let’s allow them in certain sized properties. If you live in an R12 zone, they are not necessary. If you have 2 acres on North Street, the only way to get the leaves up in a timely manner is to use the leaf blowers.

  16. Maynard

    Anyone who doesn’t think the leaf blowers in Greenwich are a nuisance and a menace maybe ought to have one shoved up their a$$ and revved up to full throttle. I’d like to be able to sleep in on a weekend or relax after a hard day’s work without some jerk running one of these goddamned things right outside my window. They’re useless, and so are the people who use them.

  17. Peeps

    Wow – what a bunch of ageist people on here today. Maybe older people are against leaf blowers because they know damn well that the job can be done without them.
    And there is a flip side to how you are viewing it. People who haven’t yet retired don’t give a sh*t because they’re at work and don’t have to hear it. Talk about being uncaring. Maybe if the hours allowed were instead when they came home from work, they’d hear what they sound like like.
    Another issue is that the exhaust is worse than what comes out of cars, but these pro-leaf-blower advocates don’t give another sh*t about that, because it’s their illegal immigrants whose respiratory systems are getting screwed up, not their own.
    Funny thing is that I’m not even elderly, but I know someday I will be and listening to people being degrading to people who have an opinion based on their age is disgusting. You will be there someday, too. maybe these people used to think like you, but grew to be more wise with the passage of time.
    Your teens probably think they’ve got it all over you, too.

  18. The Voice of Reason

    Well, the person who really blew it is the one who makes a joke out of a serious environmental pollutant. On the neighborhood level, there is no more polluting activity than using a leaf blower. One leaf blower used for 1/2 hour puts out the same emissions as if you had about 100 cars idling in that same space instead of one leaf blower. Would you really want to be in your house, windows open, with 100 cars idling in your yard? I wouldn’t. Yet we all do it with the leaf bowers–that are accomplishing very little or at least very little that really needs to be done–and worse than that, we are forced to inhale all those carcinogens and fumes from our neighbor’s yard even if we ourselves are smart enough to opt not to use them in our own yard! I can CLOSE my doors and windows in spring and summer and STILL have the fumes in my house! And frankly, I’d like to be able to leave the windows open on a nice day and I feel I have the RIGHT to leave them open without breathing seriously harmful and seriously concentrated emissions.

    All of this is apart from the noise, which is a more obvious nuisance. Why does my neighbor’s “right” to blow dry his yard all summer long trump my right to have my window’s open and enjoy a conversation inside my own home?

    Lastly, many of the comments already received show that people don’t understand the proposed ban. We are not talking about interfering with anyone’s ability to collect leaves. The leaf blowers can still be used in the fall and in the spring, we are talking about not using them in the summer months. This is when people’s exposure to them is greatest, children are home from school and outside in yards and on the streets more, and it’s when we want and deserve to have our windows open. If we can’t take a break from our leaf blowers for a few months a year–remember, these are NOT indispensable tools for most of what they are being used for–then that is unreasonable. The people who are asking for a break from the leaf blowers are not the ones who are unreasonable; it’s those who won’t give them a break that are.