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Letters, Nov. 10

Ditch your gas leaf blower

Noisy leaf blowers can really spoil the tranquility of an autumn day. And it turns out they are better at blowing out pollution than leaves: A two-cycle leaf blower can produce more hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide pollution than a modern pickup truck. Using a two-cycle gas blower for a half hour produces the same amount of hydrocarbon emissions as driving a Ford F150 Raptor truck from Alaska to Texas, according to a recent study by Edmunds.

In California, gas-powered lawn equipment is responsible for more hydrocarbon pollution than automobiles! Now that the wildfire smoke has cleared, our kids should be breathing fresh air not hazardous smog from lawn equipment. Thankfully, there’s a win-win solution: New electric leaf blowers are lower-maintenance, quieter, cleaner and way easier to start than gas blowers. Most are also cord-free rechargeables. While some cities and states are starting to ban gas-blowers, new regulations shouldn’t be required for us to ditch these obsolete neighborhood nuisances.

Becky Kleinhesselink


Freedom and responsibility

Regarding the situation involving Dan Smith, Michael McDonald and Sharon Austin of the University of Florida as reported Nov. 6 in the Mail Tribune:

For 35 years I was employed by the state of Nebraska to teach and conduct academic research at KSC/UNK. At no time did I ever deign to request permission from an administrator, of any standing, to allow me to act in a professional capacity outside the confines of the academic institution.

From time to time the less-than-astute troglodytes of the administrative hierarchy would attempt to “rein me in,” but they regretted their efforts, and as a result sought solace in employment elsewhere.

Nebraska members of the College Board of Trustees and the University Board of Regents understood their relationship with academicians.

With academic freedom comes academic responsibility. The responsibility to act is sacrosanct in this country. What is wrong with the academic leadership of the state of Florida?

Robert I. Price