HEARING Feed

Leaf blowers noisy dirty and unhealthy

Leaf blowers noisy, dirty and unhealthy

โ€‹Watch video here.

Our immediate neighbors' leaf blower landscape man is our bane. I know when he and his crew has visited: our front side and back walk areas are much covered in grit and leaves. We live in very modest size twin houses on an urban street graced with large sycamore maple trees. We have very little land area and about 15 feet between non-adjoined houses. The landscaper makes heavy use of a gas powered leaf blower

At times we are unfortunate enough to be at home when he comes. The blower creates a roar from which he is protected by large ear muffs- but not us. On his last visit, I left the house and he was blasting away plant and soil specks more than an hour later when I returned. In addition to being gratingly loud, the blower stirs up a large amount of particulate dust which may contain mold, bird feces and what not, a definite health hazard, which is why some communities have banned them. See New York Times article. I wrote about the issue for WHYY Newsworks back in 2010; click here.

We appreciate that our neighbors want to keep their garden areas looking attractive. One a lawyer, the other a doctor, keep their windows closed with the heat or air conditioning usually running so are not personally disturbed by the noise, leaf and dust storms created by their landscaper. The lawyer, who complains about breathing problems and asthma is not going to start doing her own modest yard work any time soon. The doctor appears not to have the time or inclination to do her own likewise modest yard work.
 
Sadly, their indifference to our distress prompted me to call our City Councilwoman's office. I described the noise and pollution problem to an aide and asked, "Is there anything I can do?" She answered "Not as long as they are doing their job." I then asked "Is there a noise ordinance" and she answered, "No." I believe the aide is wrong on both counts.
 
I've begun a little campaign by posting signs to encourage our neighbors on the block to refrain from garden power equipment use on their small yards and, instead borrow our rakes and push mower!
 
To be continued...

No to leaf blowers

Leaf blower grime


Sign Language Students Act Out

Sign Language Students Act Out

Students in an advanced American Sign Language (ASL) class offered by the Deaf-Hearing Communication Center based in Swarthmore, PA took turns acting out and signing the short and apparently humorous scenarios they chanced to pick out of a paper bag held by their teacher.  Chestnut Hill branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Watch video here.


Friends, one blind, walk Chestnut Hill

IMG_2280.jpg

I'VE SEEN YOU GENTLEMEN WALKING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR MANY YEARS. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT'S YOUR ROUTINE?

JM: My name is John Manola.

WT: And I am William Talero. I met John forty years ago when I was teaching at the School for the Blind in Jersey City. He was a chaplain of a group of blind people who used to be foster grandparents to some of the blind youngsters. And then I met him again nine years ago when I went to a concert in Philadelphia. And we joined forces and we moved here to Chestnut Hill. And we try to walk as much as we can and live a healthy life.

ARE YOU VISUALLY IMPAIRED?

WT: I am totally blind. I lost my vision. I used to have partial vision but eight years ago I became totally blind because glaucoma took the last bit of sight that I had. So living with John has been very beneficial to me because he's and honest person and he happens to like to walk and I always enjoy walking. Before I was totally blind I used to walk all over- the Wissahickon and I did a little bit of the Appalachian Trail...You don't believe it but this gentleman next month is going to be ninety-three.

JM: I'm 92 now; I'll be 93 in December, yes.

I NOTICE YOU WEAR SHADES, ALSO.


JM: Yes, my eyes are sensitive to light, there's nothing wrong with my eyesight.

WT: He has very good sight

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT USING YOUR OTHER SENSES.

WT: Well you know there is a great opportunity to use your other senses when you walk down on the avenue because the bakeries, the dry cleaning, the flower shop, and of course the sounds are certainly very much in evidence. I remember many years ago when they used to have the trolley. And it was always a kind of nice, quaint sound that you always related to Philadelphia. I kind of miss that 23 trolley, you know?


WHAT ABOUT THE COFFEE AND THE GARLIC?Yes, the coffee and all the garlic and all the wonderful smells of the various restaurants, not as many as there used to be.

WHAT RESTUARANTS DO YOU RECOGNIZE BY SMELL?
I definitely know when Iโ€™m getting close to the Japanese restaurant and the Chinese-French place, Cin-Cin, and on this side, of course, the Hotel. We like to go to Rollers. Itโ€™s very friendly and we always have a good meal there.

John Manola (left) and William Talero, along Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill.

Watch video here.