Blockbuster gone, leaf blowers next?

Fade to black and roll the credits – or at least find the remote and change the batteries – Sonoma’s Blockbuster video store is closed. It was a big box store of sorts when it opened in Sonoma, part of a corporate chain that at its peak had nearly 6,000 stores nationwide. The brute was blamed for squeezing out Movie Merchants, a local, owner-operated shop of no small charm… Years later, Blockbuster, like a brash young actor mellowing into loveable character parts, seems almost quaint, just another local retailer staffed by the kids of friends and neighbors. So, another empty storefront, another script to be written. Life goes on, then they make a movie out of it. Usually with Matt Damon.

The Sonoma City Council will likely ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers after voting 4 to 1 to have an ordinance drafted for a final consideration next month. “The time has come,” said Councilman Steve Barbose said. The restrictions imposed on leaf blowers in 2011, including prohibiting use on Sundays and reducing the allowable noise level from 90 decibels to 70, did not go far enough, according to a crowd of speakers at the council meeting. Proponents of the ban site noise, pollution, and the redistribution of dirt and allergens. Opponents, like Councilmember Tom Rouse, say the current restrictions are fine (the city has never issued a noise violation to the operator of a leaf blower) and a ban would drive up landscaper fees.

If it’s Thursday, September 12, your car looks awful. Take it immediately to Jolly Washer, at 19249 Highway 12 next to Maxwell Village, for the WillMar Center carwash and bake sale. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., a share of carwash proceeds benefit the center, which serves children, teenagers and their family members who are grieving the death of someone in their lives, or living with someone with a life-changing illness or injury. Buy a treat, too, but don’t spill crumbs in the clean car.


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