Resign council seat? Leafblowers, and a message from L.A. | Letters to he Editor

Mar 22, 2019

Give it up

Councilmembers running for mayor should resign their seats. I suggested the same thing in 1995, 1998 and 2001.

Alvin Rutledge
Edmonds

 

The leaf blower noise pollution is getting worse

The noise pollution from leaf blowers is getting worse in my neighborhood, especially from commercial gardeners.

They arrive on our street several times a week, wearing ear protection, then spend up to half an hour per home running their gas blowers. The blowers are a lot louder than they used to be. They are also a lot louder than most mowers.

I don’t have ear protection available when they arrive next door or across the street. Shutting my windows gives little relief as the high noise frequencies penetrate. Furthermore, they are blowing surfaces that at this time of year, and through the summer, have few leaves or debris, and this includes bare dirt and topsoil-threated surfaces.

Frequently a neighbor’s drive might have less than a dozen leaves or the sidewalk with just a few grass trimmings, but the blower operators seem compelled to just keep running their equipment regardless.

During dry periods they stir up clouds of dust and disperse birds that are nesting now. Soon allergenic pollen will be settling only to be re-suspended by the blowers.

Is anyone else in Edmonds experiencing this increasing noise?

I don’t know if there is an Edmonds City regulation on noise, or if any officials have been monitoring the decibels. But they should.

If nothing else, our commercial gardener companies need to respect nearby citizens and limit their use of these blowers.

Alan Mearns
Edmonds

 

Editor’s note: Regulations on noise are in chapter 5.30 of Edmonds’ city code. Leaf blowers are not specifically mentioned. But there’s something else to consider. As pointed out by James Fallows in the current issue of Atlantic magazine, the two-stroke engines used in leaf blowers and lawn mowers cause much more pollution that the modern four-stroke engine used in most modern cars.

They also produce extremely unhealthy levels of benzene, a carcinogenic pollutant. As a result, two-stroke engines so prevalent in lawn-care equipment are being banned and phased out worldwide.#

Words of caution from an Angeleno

I am writing a long overdue and well-intended letter regarding the beauty of your town. I am an Angeleno, but I consider Edmonds home for many reasons, least of which is that my parents are proud residents.

They moved just a few years ago, after a peripatetic lifestyle that had them between Florida, Washington, Connecticut, and Europe for 10-plus years. They retreated back to the Seattle area after about seven years away, and after a thorough search in the tough housing market, settled in Edmonds.

I couldn't believe the town when they first drove me over for a visit – it felt truly out of a film, or a fairy tale. I had never pictured them living seaside, with such soaring trees and sprawling mountain views.

Their new home, nestled on a quiet friendly street at the top of the Edmonds Bowl, serves up dramatic sunsets and cloudscapes bordered by wonderful, mature pine trees.

Each evening and morning, passers-by with their children or dogs enjoy their daily strolls. And we spend hours outside each summer, reveling in the fresh air and natural light into the late hours of the night.

Over the past year, change became evident.

A slew of home sales (likely in the hands of families for years) started to take place, and the usual lot subdivisions and developments ensued. Two of these are very close to home.

Those mature pine trees quickly started, and will continue to come down, and the reality of what the skyline will become is stark. These anchors, and frames for the local environs are being felled one by one, and I wonder at eventually what cost to the town’s identity and character.

All I will say is how much I valued the natural landscape, where change is inevitable (and I am all for smart housing development) – but measured change is important to consider, especially for a town so special, and truly rooted in nature.

I will miss those trees when I visit this summer and winter, and only hope that in time, the town will begin to preserve what it had to begin with.

So the new families – moving into these new developments – will experience what I first did.

Meghan Murray-Merriman
Los Angeles

 

Here’s some information on the town of Moser

Tim Raetzloff should dig a little deeper before he puts his thoughts in writing (“Edmonds didn’t record history well,” History Files, March 14).

Maybe he personally has never found any memories of (the town of) Mosher. However, in 1952 Gordon Hunter (1879-1971), a pioneer of what is now Lynnwood, in fact from the property where I live, wrote a very enlightening article on just that subject.

I don't believe it was ever officially published at that time, although the lady who interviewed Mr. Hunter meant to do so in the future. I transcribed her article, which is titled “Memories of Mosher & McDonald Logging Camp,” and have it in my files.

It was later published in September 2013 in the Alderwood Manor News Clippings by Alderwood Manor Heritage Association.

Raetzloff should check with local heritage and historical societies when writing his column.

Betty Gaeng
Lynnwood

 

 

 

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