Category Archives: leaf-blowers

The Briggs & Stratton Symphony

The following is the letter to the editor I submitted yesterday to the Burlington Free Press here in northern Vermont.

Having moved to the Burlington area a year ago – from a very busy and thus noisy neighborhood in northeastern Pennsylvania, I knew it would only be a matter of time and season before the noise pollution followed me north. And, after quite a few fits and starts, it did. The time of day was 0730 (the 24-hour military version of time, or TOD). The day was mid-week of June’s last seven-day stretch. And the noisemaker of choice (loads of decibels) was a chainsaw.

Actually, there were two chainsaws and the men operating them were across the street from my abode. And neither appeared to have ear protectors on (something an Air Force doctor warned me to always wear while mowing a lawn).

Having just turned 60, I dutifully traveled the three-or-so miles over to the Vermont Air National Guard base yesterday to get my new retiree identification card. That mission was completed by 1000. And while over there, I got to see some F-16s sitting on the tarmac. The Fighting Falcon was, and still is, the aircraft of the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. I know the 8th, nicknamed the Wolf Pack, very well. I was its public affairs officer from June 1985 to June 1986.

Yes, a taking-off F-16 can and does have a noise envelope. In my 26 year Air Force career I never met an aircraft that didn’t – jet or propeller-driven.

Yes, Burlington-area Vermonters have a right to be concerned about a future aircraft’s noise. But, we all ought to be just as concerned, if not more, about the noise pollution we put up with all the time, regardless of what the Air Guard fighter wing may be up to flying wise. Those chainsaws whose noise pollution wiped out the morning bird song are a sterling example of what’s out there. And this noise pollution is so constant thatmany of us simply take it for granted. Wrong choice.


More and more, the sounds of nature hidden behind human noise

This is my latest newspaper column. I always, by the way, write about a particular conservation issue, not the hook and bullet stuff often written about by other mainstream print media “outdoor” writers.

Nebraska city’s air quality worsening

And the burning of gasoline, a fossil fuel, by homeowners and motorists is to blame. This article explains what is happening in Omaha. And pay attention to the last paragraph: Use a broom, not a gas-fueled leaf blower, and grow a butterfly garden not a turf farm.

Green Up Day: Excuse me, did you drop something?

Green Up Day in Vermont. This is the sort of project that brings people together. That helps real people (not just “consumers”) get back in touch with the reality of their village, town, borough, city, etc. Too damn bad that so many people don’t even know their neighbors and spend their waking hours with a video game, or cell phone, of tee vee, or … In Pennsylvania, the state Department of Transportation (the oufit responsible for destroying, degrading and fragmenting wildlife habitat), asks motorists to help keep Pennsylvania beautiful, as if the highwway itself is something beautiful unto itself.

My newspaper column for this week: Some words on sprawl vs. nature

You can read my newspaper column for today at this link. I chose sprawl as my topic.

Leaf-blowers roaring, blasting

No comment. The video says it all.