Your letters, Nov. 13

November 12, 2013 

Leaf blowers noisy and nasty

I so agree with Sarah McIntee about the leaf blowers. They’re noisy, nasty business – especially in the fall, but more and more all year around.

Edmunds.com: A 2011 test by car experts showed that “a consumer-grade leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor pickup truck.”

Wikipedia: Emissions from gasoline-powered grounds-keeping equipment in general are a source of air pollution and more immediately (when powered by internal combustion engines, rather than by electricity), noise pollution … with noise levels well above those required to cause hearing loss to both the operator and those nearby. Dust clouds caused by leaf blowers contain potentially harmful substances such as pesticides, mold, and animal fecal matter that may cause irritation, allergies and disease. There are currently 20 California cities that have banned leaf blowers, sometimes only within residential neighborhoods and usually targeting gasoline-powered equipment. Another 80 cities have ordinances restricting usage or noise level or both.

It’s time for the Town Council to revisit the noise level problem

Judy Bergman

Chapel Hill

Ruining the outdoors

I agree with the Nov. 6 letter from Sarah McIntee: Leaf blowers are ruining outdoor living in Chapel Hill.

Most frequently, I observe leaf blowers working in tandem, three to five at a time, in the yards of neighbors who are not even home.

The town of Chapel Hill website states that a permit is needed to allow sound levels to exceed the standard limit (50 decibels) by 10 decibels. The ones used in my neighborhood are over 80 decibels. Now, multiply by three. It’s just awful.

Rachel Conerly

Chapel Hill

Not like Ike

Recently, Gov. Pat McCrory claimed to be an Eisenhower Republican. I have been interested in Eisenhower and a reader of books and articles about Ike since my graduation from West Point 53 years ago.

President Eisenhower authorized cadets at West Point to be appointed officers in the Marine Corps, and I availed myself of the opportunity. I was privileged to salute President Eisenhower when he visited West Point. Since graduation, I’ve read many books on World War II and Ike’s tenures as Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and president.

My reading does not support McCrory’s contention that he is an Eisenhower Republican. McCrory’s lack of support of teachers, universities, transportation, and voter and civil rights isn’t similar to Eisenhower’s governing approach. Ike increased funding for education and research and development (National Defense Education Act), economic stimulus by funding transportation (National Interstate Highway System), civil rights (sent troops to Little Rock) and voting participation (through speeches).

He didn’t attempt to subvert Civil Service by supporting “N.C. Republican party political correct” hiring. I saluted and studied President Eisenhower – McCrory is no Eisenhower Republican.

Robert P. Koontz

Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired

Durham

Choir gathering

Please help us get the word out about the first Threshold Choirs SouthEastern Gathering, taking place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 15-17, at Camp New Hope in Chapel Hill.

Threshold Choirs sing for people on the thresholds of life. We sing healing music to calm, comfort, and support patients, families and caregivers. We will sing at bedsides, in hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Requirements to join Threshold are simply the ability to carry a tune, and the desire to offer singing to those in need of comfort and healing.

Threshold was founded in Northern California by Kate Munger, and there are choirs all over the country offering this gift of healing music.

Our local group, Threshold Singers of the Triangle, is hosting new and prospective choir members from Florida, Virginia and all around North Carolina to join Munger as she sings with us and teaches throughout the weekend.

At 7 p.m. Friday we are holding a community sing and potluck, open to all, at the Camp New Hope Dining Hall. A $5 to $10 donation is suggested so that more people can attend the full gathering.

For more information and registration, please see our website at bit.ly/17oV3Yq.

Susan Siegel

Threshold Singers

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