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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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In Living

The controversial act of leaf blowing.

Social Circle: Thoughts on leaf blowers?


Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.

Now that the leaves are falling, the controversial leaf blower becomes a relevant topic once again as well as the subject of this week's Social Circle question.

OnMilwaukee.com asked the group if they found the leaf blower – which for the record is banned in 20 California cities due to noise pollution – to be obnoxious or effective and, as usual, the responses were all over the place from "I hate them with a burning passion in my soul" to "you can't hold a drink and rake."

But what do you think about leaf blowers? Give us your two cents via the Talkback feature.

Jill Albers: "Leaf blowers destroy beautiful fall days."

J.A. Arenas: "How would I dry my hair?"

Debbie Baran: "Long live the rake."

David Begel: "I don't understand why so many women are even attracted to leaves. Sorry, couldn't resist."

Anne Bisone: "Boooooo! Hate those suckers."

Pat Buechs: "Only use mine to clean out the roof gutters. A threat to the environment, however, and need to get over my laziness."

Denise Cawley: "I find mine wildly addicting."

Frank Datzer: "I use it for a broom in the garage and patio, not so much for blowing leaves."

Steph Davies: "I have a friend in California who did a whole series of work on leaf blowers ("'Leaf' it alone") I didn't get it at first. I mean, what's the big deal? Then one day I heard this sound like someone was using a vacuum cleaner outside and I looked out the window to see someone essentially doing just that, all plugged in blowing leaves off their lawn and thought to myself, 'Yeah man, leave those leaves alone.'"

Kay Erickson Ehlers: "Stupid and obnoxious."

Jeff Fortin: "Great for everything except moving leaves. I use mine to sweep the sidewalk, driveway, deck and patio and it makes a great motorcycle dryer."

Matthew John George: "A waste of energy and resources for the 'stupid white man' which is a quote from the movie 'Dead Man.'"

Amy Gray: "Brooms and rakes are better because you can hear the birds and practicing football teams in the background, and it's hard to play Quidditch on a leaf blower."

Jenn Hinz: "Noisy and pointless. Watch someone blow leaves for an hour, and then watch nature blow all of the leaves right back where they were. Mother Nature always wins."

Elizabeth Howe: "Lazy. Eight of 10 Americans are obese. Our grandparents raked; why are we better than physical activity? Plus, jumping in the leaves after is priceless."

Jeff Kilsdonk: "I don't necessarily hate them, but I do hate how people use them sometimes. I like the leaf vacuums better, myself, but the bag gets really heavy. I don't own anything but a rake, though."

Mike Koppa: "Obnoxious."

Dan Krass: "Leaf blowers are great. You can't hold a drink and rake at the same time."

Margaret Krueger: "A necessary evil in my world. Noisy? Yes, but so are airplanes, lawn mowers, weed whackers, boats, motorcycles, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food processors, loud music. I rake/sweep when I can and blow/vacuum when I need to. I highly recommend the back pack blower!"

John Kruth: "Horrible and ridiculous."

Claudine Lienau: "The only way to get mashed potato flakes off the lawn!"

Lisa Malmarowski: "Obnoxious. The only reason I could see for having one is if you're too infirm to rake."

Richard Menning: "'I've got a decent sized lawn with lots of trees so I'm glad I have one. The electric ones are relatively quiet while the older, gas-powered ones are far more obnoxious noise-wise. Wouldn't see much need for one if you're city folk with a small yard."

Pablo Muirhead: "Unnecessary."

Dax Phillips: "I like the leaf blower. I use it to blow all the crap off my garage floor, as well as all the leaves out of bushes."

Matthew Pickard: "Hate."

Shari Prag: "Mine not only blows but has a leaf mulcher attachment (sucks them up and cuts them up). It's electric and, yes, I won't give it up. I also do not go out at the crack of dawn to do that so I'm not bugging my neighbors too much."

John Revord: "Ain't nothing wrong with a rake."

Nina Schmidt: "I hate them with a burning passion in my soul. I wish we could develop some kind of extra tax for those that insist upon using them. Last year I actually witnessed someone using it to blow snow. Last. Freakin. Straw. Dude. I almost snapped."

Stephanie Sherman: "Stupid."

Jen Skladanek: "I can't stand them! Annoying, rude and just another thing to pollute the air(waves). Two thumbs down. I saw a guy (trying) to blow ONE leaf away for almost three minutes! Really dude? He could have picked it up in one second! Dumb."

Jack Stewart: "They're definitely obnoxious. but so is a snow blower at 6:30 a.m. What drives me nuts is someone blowing one leaf 200 feet to the pile."

Jeanette Sunrain: "I love to rake though where I currently live I don't get the chance to do that."

Monica Thomas: "Never used one, but to me they look more like 'Ghostbusters' than leafblowers so I kinda envy."

Timothy P. Twaddle: "I use it to turn the pages of the magazine I am going to throw away after looking at the pictures."

Nikki Wallschlaeger: "Absolutely unnecessary."

Ruth Weill: "Kind of lame for us city folk with relatively small yards. Rake away, good activity with the kids, less energy use, too."

Christopher Wilde: "Hate them, partly because they are banned in some of the parts of California where I used to live."


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