As reported in the local press, St. Helena residents have been debating the pros and cons of a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers.
They're not alone: Patch sites around the country have been reporting on ban-the-blower controversies in more cities than I have room to name.
- Burlingame to restrict the use of leaf blowers by day, hour and zone.
- San Mateo's mayor wants to .
- After a seasonal leaf-blower ban was passed in Arlington, Mass., opponents mounted a ballot measure to repeal it ().
More than two dozen California cities already have leaf-blower laws, according to William Lyman of St. Helena, who is pushing for a ban there.
Ban boosters like Lyman cite noise and carbon emissions as reasons to rein in the gas-engine-fired blowers used to tidy the grounds around homes and businesses.
"What's wrong with a rake?" asked one woman quoted in the St. Helena Star.
Opponents of a blower ban argue that restricting use of the tool is too much regulation and will raise landscaping costs.
"I firmly believe the majority of residents oppose this measure as arbitrary," wrote Michael Baggish, M.D. in a letter to the Star calling for a voter referendum on the issue.
Our question of the week: Do you think Napa needs to consider a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?
Take our poll, and let us know in the comments what you think.
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