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Four households of them. They all employ the same gardening crew. Commercial gardeners cannot operate under the new regime here in San Mateo County. Yet they do. I spoke with one of their employers and very politely asked that she call them up and tell them not to come. I even offered to mow her lawn for free! (I adore this particular neighbor) She requested that I ask some other employer (neighbor) to do so, saying that she does not want to cause trouble in the ‘hood. I told her that I am asking her because she is a lawyer and as such she must have no trouble whatsoever in saying, “No”, because what good is a lawyer that cannot say, “No”? She gave me their phone number. I said I will not call them because I have no relationship with them and I have tried talking to them but we have no language in common. Eventually she offered that she would tell them not to come because there was a neighbor who would call the police if they did. I do not know whether she followed through, but they arrived again on Saturday afternoon as they usually do. I immediately called the police. The dispatcher seemed annoyed, and told me that some sergeant somewhere would “prioritize” the complaint. The police never came. I totally understand the actual situation for the police – they will be accused of racism, undermining trust of communities at risk, all of that stuff. I suspect that the gardeners knew the police would not respond because they have been around awhile and know that the more petty of the laws do not apply to them. VDH has often described this situation and he is correct. We are a sanctuary. There is nothing illegal about being illegal – or not much, its sort of vague . . . The law is a legal fiction, depending on one’s ethnicity. The gardeners know the lay of the land.
To be honest, my problem with the gardeners does not relate to the virus. I have been known to exceed the only-within-5-mile-from-home restrictions on bike riding. Rather, I suspect I have a genetic predisposition (or something) that makes the sound of a leaf blower disabling for me. It drives me crazy! Immediately. I am trying to use the law to eliminate this blight from my locked-down existence. Continuing with the honesty, this group of gardeners is particularly unsympathetic, because I saw them pointing at me and laughing as I planted a lawn from seed, and another time when my damn mower would not start.
So what to do? I have contemplated filing a suit for trespass for the dust, leaves spores, mold, etc., that is deposited on my property that is the actual purpose (not side effect) of a leaf blower. I could call 911 for an obvious non-emergency. I have already (some years ago) petitioned my local government to restrict leaf blowers. It turns out thats racist!
It is bad enough to be ridiculed by gardeners for being an old white guy trying to start an old lawn mower. Now I feel like an old man shaking his fist at clouds demanding something impossible. Not good!Published in