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by Abigail Van Buren

Fear of 'Coming Out' Kept Son in Unnecessary Pain

DEAR ABBY: Am I the only one who's irritated by the noise from leaf blowers?

I can understand using power lawn mowers, but my neighbors now use leaf blowers, too. They're oblivious as they put on their headphones and happily blow leaves and grass from one spot to another for hours -- usually on weekend mornings. What a racket!

I wish they'd consider the noise pollution when they're looking at motorized equipment for use in residential neighborhoods. Our cities are noisy enough. Why not use a broom and get some exercise at the same time? -- AN-NOISED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR AN-NOISED: I suspect you're not the only one. Some communities are considering legislation to prevent leaf blowers from becoming major annoyances. It could be a battle royal because more than a few people would rather fight than give up this labor-saving device.