In response to Jones' column on gas leaf blowers: It is the simplistic solution of someone who sits on his chair all day and doesn't really understand the landscaping industry. When used properly, the gas machine is a key tool, not to be confused with the cumbersome underpowered homeowner electric models.
To ban gas blowers is flat out discrimination. Are string line trimmers (weed whips) next? Chain saws? How about circular saws? Obviously the list of noisy tools is endless.
Here are some suggestions for efficient use: Blow at the lowest level necessary; blow away from neighbor's property; sweep or rake up all blown materials; don't blow upwind or on days when it doesn't really need it.