No Peace on Thanksgiving

I don’t normally write blog posts about politics or current events here on Focal Plane, but today I’m just so angry that here it comes.

I hate leaf blowers. I hate the shrieking noise, I hate the filth blowing off the nasty things. I hate the pollution leaf blowers cause. I hate the excuses people give for using those things, and I hate the hypocrisy of urging people to ride bikes to reduce pollution and then giving a free pass to the pollution produced by lawn equipment.

Did you know there are no anti-pollution requirements or noise controls on lawn equipment? Why not? Leaf blowers are loud enough they can cause hearing damage, and loud noise contributes to high blood pressure, too, among other issues. It’s especially bad for children. Aren’t we concerned about people’s health and the environment?

“Leaf season” here in College Park is year round, but it’s worse during the fall, of course. I’ve spent the last two days listening to the leaf vaccum truck trundle around the neighborhood sucking up leaves. It sounds like a helicopter it’s so loud; black smoke was coming out of the truck’s exhaust and it was blowing so much leaf debris up into the air that it formed a brown cloud — which promptly traveled half a block up my street made me choke. I’m not exaggerating.

And here it’s Thanksgiving Day, and I have at least one neighbor who thinks it’s fine to be out there with an industrial backpack leaf blower (the loudest type) on a holiday. This guy has already spent the last two or three days cleaning his yard, and the leaf piles were picked up by the vacuum truck for the last two days. But he has to be out there again — on a holiday. What is he doing? The leaves are gone.

I hope you have some peace where you live; I hope your neighbors aren’t the noisy, thoughtless kind that excuse what they do by claiming they’re “cleaning up.”  They’re blowing dirt in the air and making a lot of noise. That is not clean, and it’s not healthy.