Recreational Fires Must Be Eliminated

Do you support clean air? Click the Facebook Like button if you have a Facebook account.


The air is smoky from burning wood in North St. Paul, MN, almost every evening. It is a nightmare. What used to be a nice place to live has become a living hell.

WARNING: If you buy a house in North St. Paul, MN, you will regret it! It may be the biggest, most expensive mistake you ever make. You will breathe smoky air almost every day of your life in this town. This is not an exaggeration. The wood smoke in this town gets heavy and gets heavy often. When you want to get out of this dump of a town, how many people do you think are going to want to buy a house in a city where heavy air pollution every night is normal and clean air is rare? This blog gets thousands of visitors every year. The word is out: North St. Paul is a horrible place to live!

Fresh air is very rare around here. If you are considering moving to North St. Paul or buying a home here, I strongly recommend that you do not do it no matter how good of a price you get. The only way you will be happy in this town is if you love breathing smoky air almost every day. North St. Paul, MN, is a horrible place to live because of the smoky air!

Burning wood, grass, leaves, paper, cardboard, and sometimes plastic, construction materials, and chemicals, if it is combustible it gets burned in North St. Paul and you are going to breathe it.

The air was smoky 25 out of 31 evenings in July 2009. We had 37 hours of continuous wood smoke in the air Aug. 29th - 31st. There was wood smoke in the air 19 consecutive evenings from Aug. 21st to Sept. 8th. It rained heavily on Aug. 20th, providing the only relief we got from wood smoke for almost three weeks.

Is this a good way to live? No. It is a horrible way to live. Take it from someone who knows. Breathing smoky, polluted air every day is misery.

Every day in this city several people are having recreational fires. Every evening the air is filled with the stench of burning wood. I am one person sick and tired of breathing smoky air every day. Is it too much to ask to be able to breathe fresh air in your own home?

Who is responsible for this wood smoke nightmare? The four city council members are responsible. Council members Jan Walczak, Bob Bruton, Terry Furlong, and Dave Zick have refused to do anything about this wood smoke problem. They don't care if you have a child with asthma. They don't care if you have to live like a shut-in because the air is so polluted. They don't care if your sinuses burn because the wood smoke is so heavy.

Our four Council members have defended the rights of a small percentage of households to burn wood daily over the rights of all the rest of us to breathe.

You have no right to breathe under Walczak, Bruton, Furlong, and Zick. Burners have the right to burn wood 49 hours a week recreationally. The rest of us have no rights at all.

If you are considering purchasing real estate in the city of North Saint Paul, Minnesota (55109), factor this blog carefully into your decision. Buying a home in this city means that your kids will breathe smoky air while playing in the yard almost every day. Your baby will breathe smoky air in her crib should you leave the windows open around your house. If you leave your windows open you will wake up in the middle of the night choking on smoky air.

Perhaps worst of all, your utility rates will be high because you will have to run the air conditioner instead of leaving the windows open on a cool summer evening. You have no other choice because almost every night the air is too smoky to breathe in this city. Consider this blog your warning.

North St. Paul, Minnesota, is a wonderful community other than the wood smoke. If we could restore fresh air like we used to enjoy, life would be happy again. But that is not going to happen any time soon.

Tell others about this blog!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday 08/29/2008 Burning

It is a smoky night in North St. Paul.

There was very light wood smoke from about 5 PM on to 7:30 PM.

7:30 PM: At this time it got really smoky. Heavy stench of smoke, had to close all the windows and sit in a hot stuffy house. I went for a walk around the block this evening and spied a guy sitting around a roaring fire in his backyard. I wanted to thank that jerk for smoking up the air we must breathe. I bit my tongue and kept walking. This is the first time I've ever seen a fire at that house. A new burner. Yaaay!

9:00 PM: Still very smoky.

10:00 PM: Not as smoky as before, but you can smell it.

11:00 PM: Smells like onions and burning wood outside. Not pleasant air to breathe. No sir.

I stepped outside at this time and two of my neighbor's air conditioners kicked on the two minutes I was out. There is no real need for air conditioning this evening as cool as it is, about 70 degrees. We have no choice but to waste electricity to keep the air conditioning on because the air is too foul to breathe. I wonder how much electricity and money is wasted by residents in the city of North Saint Paul because everyone has to keep the windows shut at night.

What do you think, city council members and mayor? I keep getting crap in the mail reminding me of the benefits of energy conservation. Is leaving the AC on because the air is fouled by burning wood a good way to conserve electricity?

Thurdsay 08/28/2008 Burning

Light smokiness from about 4:30 PM on to 7 PM, then it died down. I was forced to get out of bed at 10:30 PM and run around the house closing windows because some jerk decided to burn some wood.

Wednesday 08/27/2008 Burning

Nobody burned at all this day. It was terrific to breathe fresh air all evening long!

Tuesday 08/26/2008 Burning

Light smokiness from 4:30 PM on to roughly 7 PM. It was threatening rain so that kept the burners at bay. After that time, nobody burned. I slept with the windows open and awoke to a wonderfully cool house!

Monday 08/25/2008 Burning

Light smokiness from burning wood between the hours of 5 PM and 8 PM. After that, nobody burned. Nothing but fresh air. I love it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday 08/24/2008 Burning

12:00 AM: Still extremely smoky outside.

2:15 AM: Woke up, stuck my head out the back door. The air is still smoky. Not extremely smoky like before, but smoky enough to be uncomfortable to breathe.

4:30 AM: Woke up, checked the air. The air is still lightly smoky. Smells like smoke and the remnants of burnt wood.

8:00 AM: Rise and shine. The air outside smells like burnt wood. Nobody is burning at this time. The odor of leftover ash and burnt logs fills the air. Horrible stink!

4:00 PM: Light smokiness from someone burning wood. There is a bit of a breeze, so the smokiness isn't constant.

This mild, intermittent smokiness lasted until about 7 PM. After 7 PM nobody burned for the rest of the night! Wonderful cool air without the horrid stench of burning wood that council member Jan Walczak loves so much!

I'll bet council member Walczak is disappointed because the residents of her community actually can breathe fresh air for a change. "My subjects don't deserve fresh air! Let them breathe smoke and pollution!"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday 08/23/2008 Burning

1:00 AM: I woke up and decided to stick my head out the back door to check the air quality in North Saint Paul. Still very smoky at this time. The air outside is uncomfortable to breathe to say the least.

8:00 PM: Getting smoky at this time. Very smoky. The guy down the street burned some wood for about an hour. Then the smoke from him stopped, but the air still reeked of smoke from other burners that I couldn't see.

9:00 PM: Incredibly smoky, polluted air. You can barely breathe. Good thing the windows were kept closed!

11:00 PM: Still extremely smoky air outside. Horrible conditions to have to endure just to live.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday 08/22/2008 Burning

9:30 PM: Someone is burning wood. It isn't that strong, you can smell it. It is weak. Still, I wouldn't want the windows open and have to smell that damn wood smoke. There was no smoke detected prior to this.

11:00 PM: Very smoky outside. All you can smell is the powerful odor of burning wood. Offensive? Very.

This night would have been perfect to leave the windows open. Cool with dropping humidity. You just can't do that in this city. If you leave your windows open, your house will reek of burnt wood. We all have to waste electricity keeping the AC on at night because the mayor and city council sided with the burners.

Thursday 08/21/2008 Burning

Very faint smoke from burning wood could be smelled around 7 PM or so.

Wednesday 08/20/2008 Burning

Very faint smell of burning wood detected between the hours of 7 PM and 9 PM. Somebody off in the distance was burning wood.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday 08/19/2008 Burning

Nobody burned today! Terrific! As of this writing near 10 PM nobody is burning. I just stuck my head out the back door before I turn in for the evening.

It's warm and humid out with a high today around 90 degrees. That's the reason no one burned wood.

Monday 08/18/2008 Burning

Nobody burned! It was hot and not too humid. When you get temperatures close to 90 degrees, very few people burn.

Extreme heat or rain are always good to keep those pyromaniacs at bay.

Sunday 08/17/2008 Burning

5:00 PM: Faint smoke from burning wood could be smelled. Somebody off in the distance is burning some wood. No surprises here.

This faint smokiness persisted all evening until at least 9:00 PM when I went to bed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday 08/16/2008 Burning

1:00 AM: Still smoky as hell outside. Still a cloud of smoke blanketing the ground. If you turn on the light you can see the smoke cloud.

2:00 AM: Still smoky as hell.

4:00 AM: Woke up, stuck my head outside. Yes, still smoky as hell.

12:30 PM: Nothing like the smell of burning wood in the afternoon. Somebody is burning wood now. I don't know who. Nobody near me. Smoke smell is mild. You can smell it and it is irritating.

3:00 PM: I've smelled wood smoke off and on all afternoon outside. It comes and goes.

5:00 PM: No smoke now.

8:00 PM: Somebody has a fire going somewhere. Nobody near me is burning. It could be someone a block or more away.

9:00 PM: Very smoky outside. Smoke is strong.

10:00 PM: All you can smell outside is the stench of wood smoke. That's it. You can't smell anything else.

11:00 PM: Still very smoky outside. It's not as smoky as it was last night. Unless you are trapped in a log cabin that is burning around you, you will never experience smoke like we had last night.

11:59: Still very smoky outside.

Thank goodness we have Jan Walczak and Mayor Mike Kuehn to stand up for the people who make life in this city A LIVING HELL!

Friday 08/15/2008 Burning

7:00 PM: Somebody is burning wood, and it isn't any of the usual suspects. Moderate level of smokiness. It's pretty much all you can smell.

8:00 PM: Still smoky.

9:00 PM: Very smoky.

10:00 PM: This is the smokiest night I have ever experienced in my entire life. The wood smoke is so strong it is choking. You can't breathe outside! The air reeks of smoke.

11:59 PM: You won't believe this, but it is even smokier than before. At midnight I went outside and I could hardly breathe. The air everywhere was a smoky haze. The smoke was so thick you could see it. It was surreal. You could see the smoke cloud when looking at the street lights or in the beam of a flashlight. This is the smokiest night ever in the city of North St. Paul.

The wood smoke was like a thick fog. There was no wind to blow it away. The temperature was cool, upper 60s with 50% humidity, perfect weather to leave your windows open. When I stepped outside two of my neighbor's air conditioners came on. Everyone has to leave the AC on because you can't breathe the damn air!

But this is how council member Jan Walczak and Mayor Mike Kuehn want it. They like smoky air and have stood up for the burners in our town. Next time you take a breath of smoky air, think of Jan Walczak and Mayor Kuehn. They have the power to eliminate this pollution and they have refused to do anything about it. They may have been the ones who put the ordinance in place that lead to this smoky hell of a city.

I want to mention that during this evening nobody around me was burning. None of the neighbors who burn frequently were burning this night.

08/12/2008 - 08/14/2008 Burning

Not a whole lot of burning these three days. I saw one guy burning something in his backyard on the ground on 8/14, but I could not smell it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Harassment Continues

I received about four dozen comments the past three days, all of them negative. Most of them are from outside of the state. Several have been from the Twin Cities from people using the two dominant broadband providers in this area.

I don't know why you people at that discussion board think it is funny to harass me. Hundreds of you have visited my blog according to my visitor statistics. A few of you have made threats, one to beat my head with a log. I am not going to take them seriously unless they come from the local area. My family's safety comes first. If any of you local people make threats against me, I will forward them to the authorities. I'm not going to let you troublemakers discourage me from documenting the smoky conditions in this city.

Several people left mean comments telling me that I must have a brain tumor. If what you say about brain tumors causing people to smell smoke that does not exist is correct, do brain tumors also cause you to see people sitting in lawn chairs next to roaring fires that do not exist as well? I've seen plenty of smoky fires this summer. It is not my imagination.

I also received one hate-filled email. That is not very nice. Do you jokers really have nothing better to do than to harass bloggers you dislike? I do not understand why you people at that discussion board feel the need to attack me. If you don't like this blog, don't read it.

If the harassment continues I will disable public commenting completely.

Monday 08/11/2008 Burning

Nobody burned this day. It was terrific to have dinner outside without smoky air.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday 08/10/2008 Burning

9:45 PM: Very smoky outside. It was smoke free all evening until about 8 PM when there was just the faintest trace of smoke. At this writing it is very smoky outside. It is all you can smell. Tonight, unlike the past few nights, I know who is doing it. It is the guy who lives down the street who has several recreational fires per week. They have their back lights on and I can see a huge cloud of smoke hanging above his yard over the fences.

It is only 68 degrees outside right now. That's cool for mid-August. What a shame it is to have to close the windows and have the evening ruined by the horrid stench of burning wood!

The mayor and city council are to blame. They are the ones who put the ordinances in place and are the ones who have defended them. Let's get them out of office!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday 08/09/2008 Burning

3:30 PM: Already someone is burning wood. The breeze is blowing it from the west right into my yard.

Light smokiness lasted until about 8 PM. After that, the evening was smoke free!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday 08/08/2008 Burning

Back in the smoky city.

9:30 PM: It is smoky outside at this time. Anyone surprised? I noticed that all my immediate neighbors have their windows closed. No need to wonder why that is. Their windows were open as recently as 6 PM before it got smoky. I guess they don't want to breathe smoky air from burning wood in their homes either. It is about 74 degrees right now and is supposed to get down into the low 60s tonight. There is no need for air conditioning, but nobody has any choice because of the polluted air in North St. Paul.

We were on vacation and that is why there were no posts for the past 10 days. I was told that during that timeframe only last weekend (Saturday 08/02 and Sunday 08/03) was smoky. The reason for that is the heat and humidity.

I noticed several negative posts waiting in the moderation queue from trolls who live all over the country and in Canada. Apparently, somebody posted a link to this blog on a discussion board. I went to the board and saw what it was: a bunch of pathetic souls who waste their lives on discussion boards complaining about websites they don't like. I saw that some of the people on that board had been registered for years. They had to pay money to register an account on that board and then they waste their time making comments about this blog.

You people at that site really need to get dates instead of complaining about my blog. This isn't intended to be anything other than a public documentation of the smoky air in the city of North St. Paul, Minnesota. That's all. It is nothing more. It doesn't take me more than a couple minutes a day to log the breathing conditions in this city. So if you don't like my blog, don't read it and find something else to do other than criticizing it.

Going forward, I will only be publishing comments from people who live in this city. This does not concern you people in Canada or on the east coast. So be gone.

11:30 PM: Very smoky outside. Even smokier than before. Nobody around me has a fire going. It must be someone a block away or more.