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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Experts: Upcoming CA gas-blower ban requires money, education, tolerance

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023   

Starting January 1st, California's ban on the sale of new gas-powered mowers and blowers will go into effect; and experts say the transition will require money, education and tolerance. It won't be illegal to use existing gas-powered landscaping tools, and the current inventory will be sold until it runs out. Dan Mabe is the founder of the American Green Zone Alliance, a group that helps landscapers, companies and public agencies make the switch.

"I was a worker with gas and electric. Definitely, when you don't have to breathe fumes, electric is zero emission at the source of operation, and the vibration is much less on your body, so you feel less fatigued at the end of the day."

Assembly Bill 1346 created a 30-million-dollar CORE program and fund to give landscapers big discounts on new equipment, which is more expensive than gas models. But the money is running low in some categories.

Mabe's company does a lot of workforce engagement - letting landscapers try out the electric models to learn how they affect their business.

"And because we understand the workload, efficiency differences, we can speak honestly about it. You know, I just think that these folks need the outreach, the education, the information, and they need to be afforded the chance to try the electric technology as it stands now. And in our experience, they are pleasantly surprised."

California is home to more than 51-thousand one-person landscaping businesses. According to the California Air Resources Board, operating a commercial gas-powered lawn mower for an hour emits as much pollution as driving a 2016 Toyota Camry about 300 miles. And for a leaf blower, an hour of operation produces the equivalent emissions of driving the car 11-hundred miles. Check the CORE website for a current list of funds still available.

This story is based on original reporting from Matthew Miranda at the Sacramento Bee.



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