Noise News for Week of November 10, 1996

Gas Leafblowers Banned in Los Angeles Residential Neighborhoods

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 13, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 1; Metro Desk
BYLINE: Hugo Martin
DATELINE: Los Angeles, California
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Keith Pritzker, assistant city attorney; Councilman Marvin Braude

The article notes that using gas-fueled leafblowers in Los Angeles will now cost gardeners a $1,000 fine, if the use occurs within 500 feet of a residence. The fine is levied under a new law passed by the city council.

The article goes on to say that gardeners, and anyone who asks them to do work, could face the fines. Gardeners said that their work would become much harder to perform, but a council member countered that electric blowers -- which produce less noise and exhaust -- are just as effective.

The article goes on to say that the city has traditionally used leaf blowers to clean public areas. They had planned to buy new blowers, but will use manual techniques such as raking or spraying water for now.

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Proposed California Joint Military Base/Commercial Airport a Bad Idea

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: November 10, 1996
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 11; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Jon Simmons (editorial)
DATELINE: Ventura, California area

The Los Angeles Times recently printed the following letter to the editor by Jon Simmons of Camarillo, California:

U. S. military aircraft noise is the sound of freedom. Since 1946, Point Mugu has been home to a number of different aircraft -- props, jets, helicopters and a variety of missiles. People who live on the Oxnard Plain have accepted the base and acknowledged its contribution to the security of our country.

There is currently a movement to modify Point Mugu's mission to include a civilian commercial airport. Two of the reasons given are to expand passenger capacity in Ventura County and to provide cargo service in the area.

Commuter service to LAX is presently provided by the more centrally located Oxnard Airport. Any need to expand passenger capacity should be in evidence at the Oxnard Airport by full passenger loading on existing flights. The opposite is the case. Since passenger demand does not merit the use of larger aircraft into Oxnard, the idea that Point Mugu would open Ventura County to the entire domestic air travel market seems without foundation. Like it or not, economics dictate that Ventura County is a "commuter market."

Commercial air cargo service into Ventura County does not currently exist. Point Mugu is the only airport in the county with runways long enough to support large cargo airplanes. Cargo airlines generally fly at night with older aircraft (DC-8, DC-9, Boeing 727).

This means residents of the Oxnard Plain can expect older, Stage 2 (noisier) cargo airplanes to fly in and out of Point Mugu with little or no change to existing passenger travel service. We can expect these flights to occur later in the evening or early morning, which will require the airplanes to fly over Ventura, Camarillo, Somis, the Santa Rosa Valley and Leisure Village any time the weather is below basic visual flight minimums.

You might ask yourself if the benefits to the cargo interests are worth the increased noise and pollution the residents of Ventura County will have to endure should a joint facility at Point Mugu be approved. Is this a quality-of-life improvement or just one more nuisance?

U.S. military aircraft noise is the sound of freedom. A joint civilian/military facility at Point Mugu just sounds like a bad idea.

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Next week: November 17, 1996



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