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    Letters to the editor

    Boston Globe Magazine readers respond to stories on leaf blowers and why a good man is hard to find.


    I wasn’t amused by Todd Burger’s Perspective, “A Leaf-Cleanup Confession” (December 2). Besides the noise pollution caused by leaf blowers, the environment is being polluted by any animal droppings that are blown into the air for us to breathe. In addition, gasoline and electricity are being wasted. I don’t think Burger has the environmental ideals that he touts. How about raking because it’s better for the environment, not just because it creates family bonding and teaches lessons on hard work?

    Helen Adinolfi / Lexington

    Burger trades his rake for a gas-powered leaf blower that “may be noisy and polluting, but at least [is] fast and effective.” Coal power, too, is fast and effective. Should we switch entirely to that? Where should the line be drawn between our personal principles and our national ones? In the privacy of our homes, the purchase of a gas-guzzling appliance may feel like a minor indiscretion, but the weight of all our collective indiscretions is ruinous beyond our reckoning.


    Andrew L. Maryniuk / Jamaica Plain

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    Don’t rake. Don’t blow. Mow! Mowing with a mulching blade puts back into the soil what was taken out to grow the trees and lawn. The leaves will be chipped into small pieces that will break down over the winter, returning nutrients and organic matter. If you also leave the grass clippings on the lawn throughout the year, you will have added the equivalent of a full nitrogen feeding.

    Betty Sanders / Second Vice President, The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts

    On November 13, I was hurrying down a dark sidewalk in Arlington to a choral rehearsal. Stepping unawares into a shallow leaf-covered hole, I went flying and broke my pelvis. A hospital stay and two weeks of rehabilitation later, I negotiated a four-hour pass for our dress rehearsal. I was hurriedly marking my music at the rehab center when outside my room the yard crew fired up blowers — suddenly I could not hear myself think. I lost time getting the job done, and made a wheelchair grand entrance, late to the rehearsal. I had been neutral about the Arlington leaf blower “issue,” except for annoyance at our town needing to spend money on a special polling. However, ban proponents just gained an advocate. Given a choice, I’d put limited funds into clearing leafy camouflage from our public walkways.

    Cheri Minton / Arlington



    Carrie English’s “When the Dude’s a Dud’’ was great (Connections, November 25). But as a guy who has been recently released back into the dating scene, I have to say there are some equally depressing dudettes out there. English offers some good advice, though. I think I’m going to have to change my opening line to “I love to cook and make late-night Logan runs.’’    

    Andrew Bauld / Atkinson, New Hampshire

     Hang in there, Ms. English. A really thoughtful, discriminating guy will one day sit at your table. Don’t lose faith in us.

    David McGavern / Bedford

    Best. Column. Ever.  Whether you’re 22 or 62 (as I am), every detail in English’s piece has the unfortunate ring of truth. (That whirring sound you hear is moms all over Greater Boston forwarding it to their daughters.) The interesting questions are how and why women’s expectations of men have so diminished. Did we start accepting a little less respect, and that became a lot less over time? Is there a link between the expansion of women’s educational and professional options and the shrinking of their personal ones? I don’t know the answers, but I applaud English’s resolve. The best way to ensure you’ll be treated well is not to accept being treated badly. 


    Barbara Donlon / Winchester

     I have one thing to say: “It takes a mighty fine man to be better than no man at all.’’

    Barbara Roy / Marblehead

    COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.