|Claimed ban advocates were
racially motivated and bigoted.
|To the knowledge of ZAP,
all references to racial group came from blower supporters.
Only the representatives and members of one ethnic group chose to
bring up this argument in nearly every California opposition to bans.
According to one reporter, the state senator who initiated state proposals
in opposition to bans has a reputation among some of his peers
for ruthless race-baiting. (98.11.1)
Based on these false claims, blower supporter groups threatened and/or
pressured politicians and press who were members of their ethnic group.
One L.A. City Councilmember apologized in council chamber for changing
a previous yes vote on the ban to no, saying
several times that the special interest press was all over
See Race, Class, and Leaf Blowers on the Citizens
for a Quieter Sacramento site.
|When ban advocates suggest
gardeners are being used by manufacturers and
vendors. . .
"We feel those comments are racist, because
it implies gardeners arent intelligent enough to organize themselves.
|Spoken by a non-gardener
activist serving as president of the Gardeners Association which
was formed to oppose the L.A. blower ban.
|Suggested ban might carry
racial overtones because council wants to ban a tool used predominantly
by one group of people in Los Angeles. (98.3.5)
and same person, Weve been thinking if the gardeners were
somebody else another racial group this wouldnt
be happening. A Northern California gardeners association
representative. (98.11.1) The same argument was used in the
press and political offices in Southern California, and during the
State efforts to rescind all local blower bans.
is not a race. There are bans and/or regulations across the
nation, where many different nationalities take on these duties.
With this race argument, one particular newly-formed
association ignored the long history of another L.A. association
and its members.
Such accusations, used only to distract politicians from the real
issues of nuisance and pollution, disparage honest exposure of bigotry
in other situations.
|Ban advocates are mostly
The people fighting leaf blowers, 99 percent of them
are rich people. (activist, represented gardeners association
formed to oppose ban)
| This claim was never checked
to see who makes up ZAP membership or other grass roots community
groups. As far as we know, letters to the editors by individuals
who supported the ban were never followed up to determine the income
of their writers. The press quoted or just took the word of
gardeners and other blower supporters. Terms such as "elite"
"wealthy" "rich" were baselessly attached to references
to ban advocates.
43% of Survey99 participants
had annual household incomes of under $51,000, and they lived in 38
different zip codes. These figures may represent two-income
families. Yet, 62% would like to see blowers banned, and 75%
would like to see more restrictions.
do not want to be disturbed by good, honest gardeners
trying to earn a living (L.A. City Council Member) (90.11.1)
|If some ban advocates have
money, does that mean they cannot also be good or honest?
|. . this is an
Issue of have and have not, not about blowers. Gardeners
association representative. (98.1.3)
|The tranquility of
our homes and our environment is really a health issue L.A.
City Council member (97.8.4)
|People against us, complain
from their million $$ homes in [West Los Angeles] drinking cappuccinos
Gardeners Association representative.
|These claims are a stereotype
based on the assumption that all people bothered by blowers live in
wealthy neighborhoods, that all people who live in wealthy
neighborhoods are actually wealthy; and that all people of wealth
do not care about the welfare of others.
For another opinion, go to Race, Class, and Leaf Blowers
(Source CQS, page 2 of 7)
|Claimed ban advocates were
old, retired and/or rich people who want to sleep late while
gardeners have to work hard all day to support their families.
participant breakdown and results discredit this claim. Participants
represented 38 different zip codes. 56% of participants were
18 to 45 years of age. 75% would like to see more restrictions
on blowers. 62% would like to see blowers banned.
More people are working at home. Many others are night workers,
for whom it may not be a matter of sleeping late, but
of sleeping, at all. The health of those already ill, the young
and the elderly are especially impacted by interrupted sleep.
|Ban advocates should be able
to put up with a blower for a few minutes once a week.
. . .a minor inconvenience for affluent homeowners. (98.1.11)
|Several gardeners each day,
in any given week, may use blowers, mowers, edgers and trimmers whose
noise, emissions and fugitive dust impact from eight to fourteen nearby
properties in a typical Los Angeles neighborhood. That could
be up to three or more hours of noise in a given day, repeated several
days a week.
|.. .accused supporters
of the leaf blower ban of moving callously and carelessly to adopt
an ordinance. . . (98.1.11)
|It took fourteen years to
get the Los Angeles ban. All blower supporters have known since
the inception of blowers that they caused problems.
As noted elsewhere, compromises were made by ban advocates.
Electric blowers are not banned, the ban is only within 500 feet of
a residence, enforcement was postponed to give gardeners time to change
equipment and/or methods.
Ban advocates took additional time to attend task force meetings,
whereas one gardeners association and their party walked out.
The remaining Task Force members (including ban advocates) agreed
to have warning letters sent before fines would be issued, and proposed
the City Council reduce the original fine from $1,000 to $100 plus
court costs of $170; and reduce the original misdemeanor charge to
an infraction (removing possible jail time).
Blower supporters, insisting on a compromise, instead
of a ban, suggested the same decibel limits that had already been
in place for years as noise or nuisance regulations. Limits
which most gardeners violated on a regular basis.
|Noise ordinances cover blowers
|Yes, but the ordinances
are violated and difficult to enforce.
|Claimed other sources
of noise . . ..lawn mowers. . . are louder than modern leaf blowers
(CA State Senate Business and Professions Committee SB1651 Bill Analysis
of April 13, 1998, Support and Opposition.)
|Lawn mowers have a four-stroke
engine, which lacks the irritating and disruptive whine
of the banned two-stroke gas blowers. In addition, four-stroke,
push and electric mowers do not emit unspent fuel and oil or stir
up the same fugitive dust as do blowers.
|Any gas powered engine
makes noise: lawn mowers, blowers, edgers, Rototillers, tractors,
trenchers, etc. Why pick on blowers? (98.8.6)
|Because the two-stroke engine,
its whine, its spewing out of unspent oil and gas, its noise, also
blows fugitive dust far and wide. Because blowers are used right
under open windows and beside open doors of residences.
And because ban advocates have just had enough!
If workers and/or the lawn and garden industry feels some
machines have been left out, there are other people and groups who
are willing to pick on them.
|Well call it that
[leaf blower] although it is mainly used for cleaning concrete or
asphalt surfaces without water! Landscaper (98.8.6)
|As pointed out by the author,
blowers are used a great deal on hardscape, much of which surrounds
and is close to a residence. This makes the blowers, and their
noise, dust drift and emissions even more intrusive.
|Blowers are only as loud as
|IF you are 50 feet away
from the blower, and IF it is one of the newer models that tested
65dB by ANSI standards, and
IF the blower still runs at that decibel level. . .:
Even the sound of normal conversation (50-65 db), when unwanted and
unexpected, can be a disrupting noise. 65 dB is the level of
laughter, or a generally noisy environment where sporadic
conversation is acceptable. . . about half the people will experience
If the blower is closer than 50 feet, it is more likely to sound like
a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, subway
or motorcycle, depending on its distance. NIDC
and Human Factors Design
Also see the Noise Decibel Table