April 22, 2017

"What has happened over the last 10 years, Newton has got more affluent, more two-family houses, not as many people do their own lawn care, and more and more landscapers coming into neighborhoods."

"It’s not just one landscaper, once a week. It’s one comes, then it’s 20 minutes later another one."

Banning leaf-blowers in Newton, Massachusetts. It was hard — harder than raising taxes — but they did it.

I wish they'd do it here in Madison.

118 comments:

Original Mike said...

"I wish they'd [ban-leaf blowers] here in Madison."

We all have things we hate. I hate the flood lights some people leave on all night long.

Original Mike said...

Make that "ban leaf-blowers".

David said...

“I can’t believe it’s gotten this far,” said Mark Cappadona, a landscaper with clients in Newton. “There are better cases than leaf blowers if you want to make an impact on the world.”

Mark, you mistake the motivation. The only world they want to impact is their very own Newtonian paradise.

stever said...

Barking dogs are my bad neighbor deal. Not much leaf blowing in the great southwest except during the windy season.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

There's no purchase in banning all-night floodlights. Unless you yourself are up all night, and looking out of the window, how do you know they're even on?

Re: leaf-blowers: Yes. At least the gas-powered ones; our little electric can stay :-) Seriously, Salem is just as bad as Madison.

Laslo Spatula said...

First they came for the Jews.

Then they came for the Leaf Blowers.

I am Laslo.

Original Mike said...

"There's no purchase in banning all-night floodlights. Unless you yourself are up all night, and looking out of the window, how do you know they're even on?"

I'm up and outside many nights.

They are a blinding eyesore when trying to take a nice evening strole in the neighborhood.

traditionalguy said...

What did people do before leaf blowers? Rake and sweep, rake and sweep.It is better exercise.

rhhardin said...

You get no exercise unless you do your own lawn, preferably with a scythe.

The scythe takes care of last year's leaves as well, piling them on the left along with the grass.

Getting rid of what's piled to the left is another matter. I move it all under the Maple tree and let it mulch. It looks like tree shadow while piled.

Original Mike said...

"What did people do before leaf blowers? Rake and sweep, rake and sweep.It is better exercise."

Yep. I'm a raker/sweeper. It is good exercise.

AJ Lynch said...

Why would a town have more two-family homes as it becomes more affluent?

Fritz said...

Ban flowers that smell and assault the nose.

Yancey Ward said...

AJ,

I was wondering the same thing. I thought maybe the writer was mocking McMansions.

M Jordan said...

Liberals don't like lead blowrers? Then I guess I'll have to start using mine more.

robinintn said...

what did we do before ...anything. Perhaps we should be using nail clippers on the lawn. It would be morally bracing. And good exercise.

Yancey Ward said...

Can banning lawn mowers be far behind?

Paddy O said...

Praise be!

This is amazing and gives me hope. Yard noise is constant around here.

I'd be happy with just designated days, like neighborhoods have trash pickup they'd have yard service day. But banning is even better.

I'm also on board with banning all night floodlights. Motion detector lamps are very cheap and much more useful. I have an LED bulb with a built in motion detector that is perfect for our front porch.

robinintn said...

I was at BC Law in Newton in the late 80s. It was stunningly affluent, by far the most affluent Boston suburb. If 2-family homes are proliferating, it is becoming less affluent.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe the point about 2 family homes is thar they're more likely not to their own yardwork.

Ann Althouse said...

That. Not thar.

I can't enlarge the compose window. So annoying.

BN said...

"First they came for the Jews."

Well, actually, in this case of banning activities that other once-free people were once free to do, it's "first they came for the smokers."

rehajm said...

Newton has the shittiest roads on Earth.

Wonderful defined benefit pensions for city employees, though.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Can banning lawn mowers be far behind?

Well, we can always use those good old fashioned push mowers. Those won't make any noise to irritate the neighbors or pollute with gas emissions. Really good for your leg and back muscles too :-)

I've been weeding the flower beds and other places in the yard today....highly recommend one of these kneeling gardening benches They protect your knees, help you when you need to finally get up and they flip over to be a seat as well! Amazon carries them /wink

Doing my own gardening, other than the really tough things like pruning big limbs or climbing into the trees, is so very therapeutic. It is satisfying to see how neat and tidy a freshly weeded flower bed area is, with newly turned earth ready to put in some new color and texture into the garden. I'm sorry about the earthworms though. Disturbing their little homes. I always try to recover them with the soft dirt so they won't dry out.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why don't they mow over the leaves? Our landscaper uses a leaf blower, but it's usually only for a few minutes to get the leaves away from the house. Then he mows over them.

Based on my listening, the landscapers are quick with the leafblowers while the homeowners run them forever.

Michael K said...

Before leaf blowers, at least in California, you had hoses. People used to hose off the driveway.

Oh the humanity !

Freeman Hunt said...

"I hate the flood lights some people leave on all night long."

Me too.

Tank said...

Electric mowers are much quieter than gas. The blowers aren't.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I hate the flood lights some people leave on all night long."

That is one of the pluses of not having nearby neighbors. We have motion security lights around our workshop and a few other strategic places. Supposedly they are a deterrent if someone is thinking of trying to get into our 'stuff'. We've never had to test that theory out though. Probably because everyone knows that everyone is armed.

The lights only come on briefly when a raccoon, deer, or some other critter is padding through the area, looking for food. Otherwise it is dark dark dark outside unless the moon is up.

Steven Davis said...

I'd respect liberals more if they banned lawns. Huge waste of time and money, and environmentally irresponsible. The detrimental impact of all of the inefficient dirty gasoline machines, the pesticides, the herbicides, and the yard waste in landfills has to be significant.

Original Mike said...

"Otherwise it is dark dark dark outside unless the moon is up."

I bet you have a great view of the Milky Way.

cubanbob said...

I try to earn enough money to hire people to do these jobs so I don't have to. I create employment and economic opportunities for others. I'm just that kind of guy. The Newton progressives on the other hand simply want to immiserate the working class. Typical lefty highhandedness.

OldManRick said...

They tried to ban leaf blowers here in Palos Verdes Estates (in Los Angeles County, California). The gardeners immediately started using hoses to wash down the leaf litter. The ban was very quickly lifted.

You may not like it but it's the most efficient way to get leaf litter off the lawn and gardens. Anything else (raking and hand collection in areas where rakes don't work) adds time (and therefore cost) to lawn clean-up. Nobody seems to want to pay the extra cost.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I thought leaf-blowers were for people who were too lazy to rake. Then I bought a house with multi-level landscaping and a backyard that drops off into a ravine filled with an untamed mile of maple trees. I quickly saw the light, as a hard West wind in late October can bury my house in leaves, and with a blower I can clean it up in just an hour or two. There also great for cleaning roofs and gutters and sweeping dust out of garages. Y'all can keep your buggy whips, I love peace and quiet but I don't expect my neighborhood to be a crypt either.

jaydub said...

Can't believe how all the normally upstanding pilgrims who comment on this site suddenly rolled over in unison for the nanny state.

Ann Althouse said...

The professional landscapers can and should use rakes and brooms.

Why should their preference for a bad tool prevail over the peace of the residents?

Steven Davis said...

@cubanbob

Yard work without machines takes alot longer. It sounds like they are creating jobs, or at least income for those that do those jobs too.

@jaydub

Tough issue for me. I hate govt regulation, but I may just hate lawn care more.

Inga said...

Use that elbow grease you peons.

Howard said...

That's right, professor. Those lazy brown people should forced do even more stoop labor for retired white women, then be deported when they hit 50 and are too old to rake and sweep 12-hours a day.

Original Mike said...

Back to my yard work.

Aussie Pundit said...

Someone who walks around with a leaf-blower is not a 'landscaper.'
They are either a gardener or cleaner.

Freeman Hunt said...

"The professional landscapers can and should use rakes and brooms."

He couldn't do as many houses that way; it would take forever. (I know because I do it with rakes and brooms before and after lawn mowing season.)

cubanbob said...

Steven Davis said...
@cubanbob

Yard work without machines takes alot longer. It sounds like they are creating jobs, or at least income for those that do those jobs too."

You and Ann have apparently a problem with these working class stiffs maximizing their earnings by artificially limiting the number of jobs they could do in a day. They get paid by the job, not by the hour. Think of it as a wage cap.

Achilles said...

The world is full of assholes who want to tell everyone else what to do and how to do it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Someone who walks around with a leaf-blower is not a 'landscaper.'
They are either a gardener or cleaner.


Our guy is a landscaper. He'll do more complicated things, but when he's here with his crew to do basic yard maintenance, he mans the blower and then the fancy mower. This year he has an additional fancy mower driven by another guy. There have always also been one or two extra guys who do edging. They are fast. I should ask him how many yards he manages in a day. It's impressive.

Aussie Pundit said...

Landscapers construct lawns, garden beds, pathways, retaining walls.
Gardeners maintain and care for the landscape once it is complete.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Landscapers construct lawns, garden beds, pathways, retaining walls.
Gardeners maintain and care for the landscape once it is complete."

Our guy does both. I think lots of these guys do both.

Steven Davis said...

@cubanbob

I think no such thing, if a job takes longer, they charge more to do it, more people do it, or it doesn't get done.

But that's actually beside my point. My point is that maintaining a lawn is an irrational, expensive, time-consuming, and environmentally irresponsible luxury.

WA-mom said...

Think American ingenuity in a free market economy… Now that you have identified a market, surely someone can invent a quieter leaf blower.

rehajm said...

The world is full of assholes who want to tell everyone else what to do and how to do it.

Newton certainly is.

Try getting a gun in Newton.

Curious George said...

"I wish they'd do it here in Madison."

Sure, as long as they don't ban Meades.

dbp said...

The main nuisance caused by landscapers is not the noise of their machines: It is that they park their huge vehicles in the street, which reduces the road to one lane. There has been, every single time, a big empty driveway they could have parked in.

Also, Newton is not the richest suburb of Boston, but it is very rich.

billthepill said...

You can have my Stihl BR600 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"I think no such thing, if a job takes longer, they charge more to do it, more people do it, or it doesn't get done."

Which will quickly reduce the popularity of restricting labor saving devices. Turn, turn, turn.

Gahrie said...

Let them use rakes!!!

Bob said...

> "What has happened over the last 10 years, Newton has got more affluent, more two-family houses...."

This puzzled me also. Newton is one of the wealthiest Boston suburbs, and 99.9% Hillary-Democrat.

I'm pretty sure what was intended was "more two-income households," and either the speaker misspoke, or the reporter misunderstood.

Spiros Pappas said...

I also live in an affluent area where people have their lawns cut by professional crews. In the winter, these people get their driveways shoveled and salted by their landscapers. It's very noisy and it's very odd. My neighbors are young men and women in their late forties and early fifties who don't seem to have the energy to do this stuff. And their teenage children, getting fat and surly, won't lend a hand! This is pretty sad. These people's homes can easily fetch seven hundred thousand dollars. Yet they put the minimum down, they buy obnoxiously expensive SUVs and then they struggle to make their mortgage payments. So why needlessly waste money? I don't get it. This is loser behavior.

Howard said...

WA-mom: Moving air fast enough (250-mph) to be effective requires noise. Imagine driving your car at top speed, then crack a window. This is why the electric ones are still loud.

The only market for a noiseless blower is where cat-ladies dominate politics.

Fernandinande said...

"On the whole, rakes may be subdivided into the penitent and persistent ones, the first being reformed by the heroine, the latter pursuing their immoral conduct."

Gahrie said...
Let them use rakes!!!


The Newton Tales: General Prologue

A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also,
That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.
As leene was his hors as is a leaf blower,
And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
But looked holwe, and ther-to sobrely.

Paddy O said...

"The world is full of assholes who want to tell everyone else what to do and how to do it."

Loud lawn maintenance tells the neighborhood not to have conversations outdoors or to enjoy the quiet of a Saturday breeze. So, why do people get to tell the neighborhood what sounds to hear?

Aural pollution is a huge but apparently off-limits problem. HOA's restrict all sorts of visual problems, so having noise pollution shouldn't be any different. I don't care what my neighbors do in their yards, but I don't want them doing it in my yard. And with gas leaf blowers, they're spreading their sound to my space. Why do they get to do that?

Of course, people make noise, but to have a constant source of noise from every direction seems to invite regulation or restriction.

Big Mike said...

It was hard — harder than raising taxes

It's hard to raise taxes in Massachusetts? That's not what I've heard!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well of course they banned leaf blowers. They weren't about to make the mandatory, so what other choice did they have?

M Jordan said...

I use my leaf blower to sweep the garage.

DEAL WITH IT, LIBS!

billthepill said...

Notwithstanding my previous comment on (and love of) the Stihl BRR600, I can understand the irritation in areas that are manicured weekly. For those routine, light sweeping jobs the newer, quieter, lithium battery powered blowers could be a compromise. They are not silent, but they ARE quieter than gas. I bought one about a year ago and am amazed at its capability. Same goes for the lithium powered chainsaws, string trimmers, pole saws and even small lawnmowers. The main downside of lithium powered units is runtime. You can get extra batteries but they are pricey.

However, I fully stand with Cracker Emcee for big spring and fall clean ups. When you have mass quantities of leaves and sweetgum balls that would occupy several days if using only a rake I recommend the biggest, baddest gas powered blower you can afford and strap on.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Well of course they banned leaf blowers. They weren't about to make them mandatory, so what other choice did they have?"

Funniest thing I've read all day.

Otto said...

Snowflakes.

AprilApple said...

Someone should invent a quiet, solar powered leaf blower.

Ann Althouse said...

It's silly at best to racialiaze this.

When there are higher environmental standards, everyone must meet them.

If that makes yard work more expensive, it's the homeowners, who voted for the law, who will have to pay more.

There will be more hours of paid work.

What I object to is someone saving their money or time by imposing burdens on others who are not compensated.

AprilApple said...

Paddy O @ 5:21. Excellent point.

cubanbob said...

Steven Davis said...
@cubanbob

I think no such thing, if a job takes longer, they charge more to do it, more people do it, or it doesn't get done.

But that's actually beside my point. My point is that maintaining a lawn is an irrational, expensive, time-consuming, and environmentally irresponsible luxury."

Yours is an opinion and nothing more. I like my lawn, my garden, my bougainvillea, arecas and orchids and to keep them neat and in order it takes work and expense. It takes money, my money and if Zillow is to be believed my home has more than doubled in value in twelve years keeping the landscaping in good order has also helped my balance sheet which is far from irrational.

LYNNDH said...

Picky picky picky! Big Brother strikes again.

Steven Davis said...

@cubanbob

Yes, we both have opinions. I live in a waterfront home on the Severn River which feeds the Chesapeake Bay. I have at least 6 people knocking on my door every month asking me to sign a petition and give money to "Save the Bay." It's a huge issue here. Save the Bay initiatives are exclusively designed to harm companies, but not residents. The threat to the bay is not the companies, it's the fertilizers, the pesticides, the insecticides, and the road oils carried by storm water from our neighborhoods. I don't use chemicals on my lawn because they will end up in the river the next time it rains, but my neighbors nuke out with them.

BN said...

"What I object to is someone saving their money or time by imposing burdens on others who are not compensated."

Fine, just let me know where does it stop? Where is the line drawn between "burden" and mere "annoyance"? Rock and roll destroyed civilization but nobody banned it, not even the deplorable Christians.

So boo hoo, the world has sound. Airplanes fly overhead. Cars drive by. Working men whistle and make other noises with their big machines. Babies cry.

Compensate me. Or obey me. Either way is fine for most of us it seems.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse - my landscaper responded in Spanish to your suggestion he use brooms and rakes. He said "Cogida que" which Google translates as "fuck that".

Gahrie said...

What I object to is someone saving their money or time by imposing burdens on others who are not compensated.

You mean like a mom killing her unborn child?

epador said...

What about Snow Blowers?

And Garbage trucks, man are they noisy, smelly and ugly!

Jack Wayne said...

How does a blower that converts to a mulcher fit into this discussion? I have 2 huge oak trees and I convert about 35 bags of leaves into mulch. Isn't that a desirable state? But WTH, we live in an unlimited government so ban everything. And what about those of us who like a little noise in the neighborhood? Do we have no rights? Quiet beats noise every time? Ban everything. Conform or die!!!

Jack Wayne said...

It all started with that wack, bored First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Just the name makes me gag. She decided that our federal highways would be much better without the distraction and blight of billboards. So they were banned. Now we have cell phones to distract us. And we make blue signs to alert people to what is on offer at each exit. But you have to pay for the privilege and space is limited. So you end up looking at Google while driving so you can find more than McDonalds. And the drives are endless, boring vistas of greenery. Give me back my Burma Shave assholes!

Curious George said...

Althouse: "Ann Althouse said...
It's silly at best to racialiaze this.

When there are higher environmental standards, everyone must meet them.

If that makes yard work more expensive, it's the homeowners, who voted for the law"

No, the city council voted for the law:

The city council voted 20-4 in mid-January to pass the ordinance. The labeling portions took effect right away and the gas ban starts this year on Memorial Day — May 29.

Newton residents had mixed views on the new restriction.

Simon Kenton said...

As long as some of us are in cranky old-fart mode, I'd like to recall when you piled the leaves, little kids jumped in them for a while, and then you chased of the kids and burnt up the leaves. Smelled nice, left a fertile patch of ash.

ceowens said...

When we lived in town, my wife would mow the lawn three times a week if she thought it needed it. We moved to the lake and now if she sees grass she pulls it out by the roots. Pine needles, ferns and a little myrtle for us. (She will pick up the fallen branches for the fire pit).

Titus said...

Newton is fab, rich and Jewish

Ambrose said...

I have no opinion on the leaf blowers, but isn't "more two-family houses" the very opposite of "got more affluent"?

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, the voters voted for it indirectly, through their representatives.

Doesn't really matter what the contractors would prefer. The citizens get their chouce, and they want quiet.

Unknown said...

The professional folks should leave the clippings where they lie if leaf blowers are banned.

Fernandinande said...

Gahrie said...
"What I object to is someone saving their money or time by imposing burdens on others who are not compensated.

You mean like a mom killing her unborn child?


I think it's more like the cum bucket getting the splooge stooge to pay the bills she decided to incur.

Danno said...

Blogger Original Mike said...I'm up and outside many nights. They are a blinding eyesore when trying to take a nice evening strole in the neighborhood.

Maybe you should consider moving to the country.

Also, I agree that so many of our typically libertarian/conservative commenters and also our cruelly-neutral hostess are control-nazis in their own particular ways. So much for taking a laissez-faire approach to life.

Carry on.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I believe that banning leaf blowers would have a disparate impact on minorities and undocumented aliens. Therefore, it is an expression of the structural racism in our country, and it violates the fourteenth amendment's guarantee of equal treatment under the law.
No ban allowed. It would be unconstitutional. Find one federal judge who agrees, and *poof* goes your so-called self-government. In 2017, "democracy" doesn't mean governing with consent of the governed, it means inflicting justice on the governed.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

I love my leaf blower! It's great for blowing out my garage at winter's end, removing grass clippings from the sidewalk, and cleaning off river rock landscaping now and then.

I don't use it much for leaves though... a rake works better if you have more than a few leaves.

jaed said...

Ideally, these matters are governed by courtesy and mutual regard. So people don't set up powerful floodlights shining in a neighbor's bedroom window, nor do they start up ungodly shrieking machines at 6AM on Sunday, nor would it even occur to them to schedule lawn maintenance without at least a moment's thought to the comfort of their neighbors.

If courtesy and mutual regard fail, and people start doing these things, and "Fuck you! I'll make the place sound like a heavy-industrial district whenever I please!" becomes the order of the day, then people turn to force, because otherwise their houses stop being livable. And the lowest-level escalation of force is to pass a law.

You can have either one, but if you don't have the first, you will eventually have the second. And if you don't get law, you'll eventually get to nastier uses of force.

tim in vermont said...

Fine, just let me know where does it stop? Where is the line drawn between "burden" and mere "annoyance"?

That's why, in a democracy, we have elections to decide this stuff, unless you are a liberal judge, I that case you see which way your knee jerks, and rationalize, rationalize, rationalize, because, making laws is just too much work.

james conrad said...

Ban leaf blowers?

Oh the poor dears just can't cope with the noise! Gimme a break, this is just upper middle class snobbery run amuck, let's tell it like it is rather than the way you wish it was.

Glen Filthie said...

So now the sound of yard maintenance is offensive to stupid people.

Good luck enforcing that one morons. I would pull the muffler on my weed whacker and let the old women listen to THAT by way of protest. What can I say - I am a rebel that will not be commanded menopausal bints and their beta males.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
Yes, the voters voted for it indirectly, through their representatives.

Doesn't really matter what the contractors would prefer. The citizens get their chouce, and they want quiet."

What drivel. Nowhere in the story does it say this law was "citizen" driven. It actually says that "Newton residents had mixed views on the new restriction." but then cites two negative views and one that is on the fence.

tim in vermont said...

What drivel. Nowhere in the story does it say this law was "citizen" driven. It actually says that "Newton residents had mixed views on the new restriction." but then cites two negative views and one that is on the fence.

So if a reporter doesn't actually say it, one can't think it? The issue of who elected these people is off the table? Anecdotes count as comprehensive data? What is this? Do we have instructions from the judge now that we cannot consider any logic or evidence not referred to in the news article?

There is some drivel going on here all right.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's another reason why a ban is needed.

Let's say you're a homeowner who can't or won't do your own yard work. You need to hire it out, and you would like not to bother your neighbors. You probably have no option unless the blowers are actually banned. The services will all say this is how we do it, this is how it's done. But if they CAN'T do it that way, they have to use the quiet methods, and those who buy the service are able to get what they want. Few homeowners WANT to make noise, but without the ban, they have to impose on their neighbors. With the ban, everyone wins.

I personally don't believe it takes longer to use the quiet methods, and I have seen many a leaf-blower-user chasing after a small pile of debris or a handful of leaves that could more easily be swept aside.

Scott said...

I think banning leaf blowers is just a sneaky way to ban Mexicans.

Buncha racists.

Meade said...

Bumper sticker:
Welcome to Madison
NOW STOP THAT

Breezy said...

My landscape team has a very effective leaf plow for fall cleanup. I love watching them take advantage of innovations and become more productive.

(This does not negate the need for the blower, but reduces the time it is used.)

MrCharlie2 said...

"So now the sound of yard maintenance is offensive to stupid people. ... and blah, blah, blah"

A comment worthy of you know who's tweets. Should we expect Mr Trump to address this in an upcoming rally?

Big Mike said...

I personally don't believe it takes longer to use the quiet methods, and I have seen many a leaf-blower-user chasing after a small pile of debris or a handful of leaves that could more easily be swept aside.

I sometimes use the blower to clean up after I mow, and sometimes I use s broom. I assure you that you are, personally, dead wrong.

retail lawyer said...

Althouse: "Ann Althouse said...
It's silly at best to racialiaze this.

Agreed, but in the Bay Area, it's just a fact. A Menlo Park City Councilman argued against a leaf-blower ban by saying the ban would be racist. On the record.

I'm sure our Bay Area Air Quality Management District believes a ban would be racist. The District declares still-air days to be "Spare the Air" days, where the problem is said to be particulate matter in the air. No fires, no pellet stoves, and we're all encouraged to bike to work or take the Tesla. Now, understand that the entire mechanism of action with a leaf-blower is to convert settled particulate matter into airborne particulate matter. It is not an unfortunate by-product, rather it is the desired end result.

But no ban on these particular particulate matters redistributors! Even worse, they are carted around in pickup trucks from the 80s running on 7 cylinders. This is the lowest hanging fruit to improve the air. If you don't do this, you're just not serious.

And then there are the big law firms, medical device companies, shopping malls with big parking lots. They hire big companies to come out in trucks that at least run on all 8 cylinders, and deploy Brown People in Roman Legion fashion to march across the lots, blowers blazing. Plumes of dust drift away, resettling on windows, cars, and my moist face and lungs as I bicycle to work.

Then there is my neighbor, who has OCD and leaf blows 3 times a day, even during storms. In the autumn he climbs the trees to blow down the leaves not yet fallen.

It is not just annoying, it verges on insane.

retail lawyer said...

I mow my own damn lawn, with an old gas powered mower, and I time it for maximum annoyance of my neighbors who all hire professional leaf blowers. I'm getting ready . . . Sunday morning!

stlcdr said...

Re. Two-family homes: I believe this means 'homes which are large enough to house two families but houses only one'. It seems an odd, ambiguous, phrase, and difficult to express without a cumbersome phrase.

Of course, this is why some people hate home owners associations, and prefer a community which, while may have lower aesthetic standards, allows people to live for living. It allows for people who are happy to mow 3 times a week and those who only do it one a month. It also reduces the overall disturbances to ones own living.

In this case, why aren't the lawns being cut and leaves blown during the normal working day? While there are instances where this is still a nuciance, it is a compromise where everyone achieves that perfectly manicured lawn - because there are most likely visual requirements for living in such an area - with minimal aural disruption.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sure, as long as they don't ban Meades."

Meade doesn't even use a power lawnmower.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

Score another victory for Big Rake.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm sure our Bay Area Air Quality Management District believes a ban would be racist. The District declares still-air days to be "Spare the Air" days, where the problem is said to be particulate matter in the air. No fires, no pellet stoves, and we're all encouraged to bike to work or take the Tesla. Now, understand that the entire mechanism of action with a leaf-blower is to convert settled particulate matter into airborne particulate matter. It is not an unfortunate by-product, rather it is the desired end result."

This is important! Thank you.

I'm super-conscious of the particulate matter stirred up by blowers because I wear contact lenses. I cannot walk near these things without covering my eyes. I look like a crazy blower-phobe, but I know from experience that I'll get particles in my eye, it will hurt a lot, and I'll have to get my contacts out and find a way to clean them before I can do anything else.

Ann Althouse said...

The racial argument is deployed to undercut the tendency of people to care about the environment. What a con!

I Callahan said...

The racial argument is deployed to undercut the tendency of people to care about the environment. What a con!

No, the con here is the argument that the environment is in any way in danger because of leaf blowers.

Your argument is pure hyperbole and you know it.

Big Gig said...

Leaf blower bans favor the largest landscape companies at the expense of the little guys. Only a company that can send a large team of workers will be able to devote sufficient time and still remain solvent. The biggest landscape companies tend to pay their workers a lower hourly wage than the mom/pop little guys who can't afford high worker turnover and treat their guys better.

Ironic--and typical--that leftists pass laws to make the environment better without grasping the consequences for the folks living on their plantation.

Gahrie said...

I personally don't believe it takes longer to use the quiet methods

Yeah most small, struggling businesses use the most inefficient way of doing things.....

ALP said...

I love raking leaves. What is wrong with people and their resistance to any physical work? It makes the steel plate in my head hurt to see able bodied people avoid any type of movement. I'll bet the same people who can't bear the thought of raking leaves are in the gym doing upper body exercises to tone their arms. Pay a neighborhood kid to do it if you don't want to, although finding one willing to put down their device might be hard, but if you explain to them you can buy more games with the money they make...

Rusty said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
Here's another reason why a ban is needed.

Let's say you're a homeowner who can't or won't do your own yard work. You need to hire it out, and you would like not to bother your neighbors. You probably have no option unless the blowers are actually banned. The services will all say this is how we do it, this is how it's done. But if they CAN'T do it that way, they have to use the quiet methods, and those who buy the service are able to get what they want. Few homeowners WANT to make noise, but without the ban, they have to impose on their neighbors. With the ban, everyone wins.

I personally don't believe it takes longer to use the quiet methods, and I have seen many a leaf-blower-user chasing after a small pile of debris or a handful of leaves that could more easily be swept aside."

Just excuses to justify your prejudices. Doing it by hand is going to cost more. The next thing to be banned are weed whackers. Another job to be done the old way. Another price increase. People whomare on a fixed income and can't physically do their own yardwork are in trouble.
But.
Thank you citizen!
For a moment there we actually had a choice.
Fuckinleaf blowers.You people are mental.

Gahrie said...

Hey.....I'm just glad they're willing to allow push mowers instead of forcing us to go back to scythes.

Gahrie said...

The racial argument is deployed to undercut the tendency of people to care about the environment. What a con!

Oh NOW racial arguments are a con..........

Original Mike said...

Blogger Original Mike said..."I'm up and outside many nights. They are a blinding eyesore when trying to take a nice evening strole in the neighborhood."

Blogger Danno said..."Maybe you should consider moving to the country."


Apparently, you've never been to the country at night.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The ban is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It's just a summer vacation.

John said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

There will be more hours of paid work.

Here's an idea. Why don't I send a kid around to break out all the windows in your house and car?

That will create a lot of work for people who make glass, ship it, sell it and install it.

Yay!!!! Free money all around.

Sheesh! Stupidity on stilts. And you a retired law professor.

Don't worry, I am not going to have your windows broken. I was playing on Bastiat's "Parable of the broken window"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Speaking of Bastiat and law professors: "The Law" Sometimes called "The law of legal plunder" should probably be referenced here in response to your comment about Yes, the voters voted for it indirectly, through their representatives.. In his book/pamphlet "The Law" Bastiat asks why it is moral for a group of people to do what would be immoral for a single person to do?

We would all agree that it would be immoral for me to appropriate Ann's house to build a hamburger stand. Even if I offered to pay.

Yet few people seem to think it immoral for a group of people, called a "City Council" or the like, to do the same.

He was speaking of taxes but it is the same principle.

Bastiat wrote The Law in 1846 and it is as true today as ever.

https://mises.org/system/tdf/thelaw.pdf?file=1&type=document

Audio version here: https://mises.org/system/tdf/The%20Law%20Frederic%20Bastiat.mp3?file=1&type=audio

John Henry

John said...

BTW: I am no fan of leaf blowers and would be happy if they would go away.

But I have no moral right to use force to prohibit my neighbor from using one. Any more than they have a moral right to stop me using my weed whacker.

I could ask and perhaps we could negotiate an agreement. But it would be wrong for me to hold a gun to his head and say "No blowing".

Unless I did it via govt. Then somehow, it is moral to hold a gun to his head and say "No blowing" I've never understood this.

No, I realize that the govt doesn't literally hold a gun to their head. They don't need to. The ultimate threat is always there, though.

Govt has power to enforce laws only because there is ultimately a gun involved if only in the background.

John Henry