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Have you ever noticed a gardener with a leaf blower trying to chase three leaves or just to blow dirt in the air, blowing a cloud of dust, dirt and debris into our homes, into our lungs and on our automobiles?

Every day of the week and weekend on my block, there is a leaf blower. So, hypothetically, you cannot wash your car or clean off your patio and expect it to last a day.

What if we narrowed the window of pollution to one day a week? I propose that we all would have to wear masks that day because the dust would be so thick we could visually see the impact it is having. Each neighbors’ property would be blowing leaves onto the next property.

I believe at least 95% of the gardeners believe in blowing trash and debris into the street and not picking it up, not considering the respect of the neighborhood or our city. I watched one person blow a leaf and piece of paper for five minutes (along with an incredible amount of dust and sand) to just leave everything in the street! You know what is even more disheartening is that some of the gardeners have the attitude that we as a neighbor are against them. How do you resolve this but create a less polluted environment?

Do we believe it is worth all the negative impacts on health, on the money spent to clean-up from the gardeners that use the leaf blowers, and on property aesthetics and noise, when all the ‘trash’ that is blown into the street, then gets blown back in the yard again, sometimes the same day?

I propose that if the gardeners think they need a blower, then, have the blower reversed to suck up the debris and throw it in the trash can. Or let’s have the gardeners pay for our water to wash off our property and automobiles. Or let’s just do away with the leaf blowers as Long Beach tried to eliminate years ago.

This link is a report (Report and Recommendations) written by Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services, and sent to City Manager Patrick West for the Mayor and members of the City Council on Jan. 10:

Why can’t we be like innovative cities surrounding us in Southern California and ban the leaf blowers or at least ban the use of all gasoline-powered blowers as indicated in the report?

The fact is that the people who have invested in Long Beach, a beach community, like myself, should have the respect in which we do not have dust and debris encroached on us daily. We live so close to each other, the proximity of the effects of this tool, the leaf blower, is truly invasive, destructive and disrespectful.

Because some areas are more effected than others, I understand the reason some residents do not think it is a problem in their neighborhood. But I can tell you, here one or two blocks from the ocean, the impact is a huge, daily problem.

Carmen Smith is a Belmont Shore resident.

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