Recreational Fires Must Be Eliminated

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WELCOME TO HELL ON EARTH

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!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Visitors from all over the world

The number of visitors to this blog increased substantially this month. This North St. Paul wood smoke pollution blog has had visitors from more states than I care to count. I am pleased that people from all over the country are reading about the terrible air pollution in North St. Paul, Minnesota, and how our city council members are responsible for it.

I am most impressed by the number of international visitors. I've had readers from:
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Lithuania
  • Pakistan
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Japan
  • Tunisia
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Brunei
  • Serbia
  • Netherlands
  • Mexico
  • Ukraine
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Kazakhstan
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Russian Federation
  • Egypt
  • Switzerland
  • Indonesia
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • Israel
  • Norway
all in the past week. People all over the world are reading about how our four city council members Jan Walczak, Bob Bruton, Terry Furlong, and Dave Zick make us breathe smoky, polluted air all year around.

Wood smoke is expected in the winter. But the air pollution problem in North St. Paul is so bad that wood smoke is far heavier in the summer than it is in the winter. When you should be free to open your windows or sit outside in the spring, summer, and fall, you cannot because the air is too smoky to breathe. But come winter when it gets cold, there is far less wood smoke than during the warm months.

Shame on you city council members for torturing us with polluted air. We deserve better. People all over the planet are reading about you. You should be ashamed.

Wednesday 12/30/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 AM: A faint wood smoke is in the air.

7:15 AM: Faint wood smoke continues. 14 degrees.

4:15 PM: No wood smoke. 21 degrees.

6:00 PM: No wood smoke.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

10:15 PM: A very faint trace of some type of smoke is in the air. It is not much, but you can smell it. Last check of the evening.

Tuesday 12/29/2009 Air Pollution

1:30 AM: No wood smoke. Fresh air.

4:40 PM: No wood smoke. 15 degrees.

9:30 PM: Moderate wood smoke. The air reeks of stinky burning wood. Whatever type of wood is burning is producing an awful smelling smoke. It turns your stomach. The odor of the wood smoke is the same as last night and Saturday the 26th. It is probably the same household using a fireplace and they cannot be too far away.

The air was faintly smoky at 4 AM the next morning.

Monday 12/28/2009 Air Pollution

1:45 PM: Enjoying the day at home. There was no wood smoke all morning up through this time. 20 degrees.

4:30 PM: No wood smoke. 19 degrees.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:30 PM: Moderate wood smoke. The air is very smoky. You do not want to breathe the air in North St. Paul right now. All you can smell is really stinky wood smoke. 13 degrees. This was the last check of the evening until 1:30 AM when the air was fresh.

Sunday 12/27/2009 Air Pollution

12:45 AM: Moderate wood smoke continues. The air outside reeks!

9:20 PM: A very faint trace of wood smoke is in the air. I neglected to check the air quality all evening until this time. There was no wood smoke during the daytime hours. 25 degrees.

Midnight: No wood smoke at this time. The air is fresh!

Saturday 12/26/2009 Air Pollution

6:00 PM: No wood smoke.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke. 19 degrees.

9:15 PM: Moderate wood smoke. The air is very smoky with stinky wood smoke. 18 degrees.

Moderate wood smoke continued until after midnight.

Friday 12/25/2009 Air Pollution

Christmas.

3:40 PM: Faint wood smoke. 36 degrees. The snow is melting.

10:45 PM: No wood smoke. There was no wood smoke from about 6 PM to this time. Last check of the evening.

Thursday 12/24/2009 Air Pollution

1:00 AM: Very faint wood smoke is in the air.

There was no wood smoke at 7 AM throughout the daytime hours.

5:15 PM: No wood smoke. 30 degrees.

7:00 PM: Very faint smoke in the air.

8:45 PM: Light wood smoke.

10:25 PM: Faint wood smoke.

11:45 PM: Light wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Wednesday 12/23/2009 Air Pollution

4:45 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke is in the air. Starting to snow. Windy, 28 degrees.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke. There was very faint wood smoke in the air at 1 AM.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday 12/22/2009 Air Pollution

5:30 PM: Very faint trace of some type of smoke in the air. I cannot say with certainty it is wood smoke. But it is either wood smoke or vehicle exhaust. The air in North St. Paul is not fresh.

6:45 PM: No real smokiness in the air. The air is mostly fresh. 26 degrees.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke yet.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:15 PM: No wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Monday 12/21/2009 Air Pollution

4:45 PM: No wood smoke. 24 degrees, cloudy.

5:45 PM: Faint wood smoke in the air.

7:15 PM: Faint varying wood smoke in the air.

9:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke. The air is not fresh. You can notice that easily.

11:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke continues. Last check of the evening.

Sunday 12/20/2009 Air Pollution

3:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke in the air. 23 degrees.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke.

7:30 PM: Light wood smoke.

10:00 PM: No real wood smoke in the air at this time. Last check of the evening.

Saturday 12/19/2009 Air Pollution

12:10 AM: Very faint wood smoke in the air.

There was no wood smoke from the time I woke up until well into the afternoon.

5:45 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. You can hardly smell it but just enough to know it is present. 20 degrees.

8:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. The air is pretty smoky. 22 degrees.

10:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues. Last check of the evening.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday 12/18/2009 Air Pollution

12:23 AM: Light wood smoke. I checked the air on my way back to bed. As of 11 PM there was no wood smoke. Somebody waited a long time to start a fireplace.

5:00 AM: No wood smoke.

I was home today. There was no wood smoke all day.

4:15 PM: No wood smoke. 26 degrees.

5:45 PM: No wood smoke.

7:20 PM: Very faint trace of something in the air. I cannot say it is wood smoke. But it could be highly diluted wood smoke from a distant fireplace user.

9:00 PM: No detectable wood smoke.

11:15 PM: No wood smoke. There was a little wood smoke after midnight.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday 12/17/2009 Air Pollution

4:30 PM: No wood smoke.

5:15 PM: No wood smoke. 24 degrees.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke yet.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke.

I noticed no wood smoke until I woke up and checked the air after midnight. The air was smoky at 12:23 AM. Somebody waited until very late to start a fireplace.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday 12/16/2009 Air Pollution

2:15 PM: Light wood smoke varying with the breeze. 8 degrees, sunny.

4:00 PM: Faint wood smoke varying with the breeze. 13 degrees.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke.

6:15 PM: No wood smoke.

8:30 PM: No wood smoke.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke.

There was very little wood smoke this evening.

Tuesday 12/15/2009 Air Pollution

There was not a trace of wood smoke at all this evening. 1 degree at 5:30 PM. 0 degrees at 9 PM.

Monday 12/14/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke this evening. 12 degrees at 4:30 PM. 4 degrees at 9:45 PM.

People are not using fireplaces for home heating in North St. Paul.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday 12/13/2009 Air Pollution

8:00 AM: No wood smoke. Only wonderful fresh air. 8 degrees.

3:30 PM: No wood smoke yet. 14 degrees.

5:30 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. 10 degrees.

9:45 PM: No wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Saturday 12/12/2009 Air Pollution

3:30 PM: Faint to light wood smoke. There was no wood smoke prior to this time. 29 degrees, sunny.

5:30 PM: Faint to light wood smoke varying with the breeze.

6:45 PM: Faint wood smoke varying with the breeze.

10:15 PM: No wood smoke. Fresh air. Last check of the evening.

Friday 12/11/2009 Air Pollution

4:15 PM: No wood smoke. 15 degrees.

5:37 PM: Light wood smoke.

7:00 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

9:00 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

Midnight: No wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Thursday 12/10/2009 Air Pollution

9:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke. Not much of it. There was no wood smoke prior to this check. This was the last check of the evening. 3 degrees at this time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday 12/09/2009 Air Pollution

Winter has arrived. We had a cold October, a warm November, now winter comes roaring in. The temperature around noon was 9 degrees. It is hard to tell how much snow we got because the wind is blowing it around so much. Some parts of the driveway were bare and there were 2-foot snow drifts here and there. The news says we got about 3.5 inches in the northern metro.

6:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke. 2 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Interestingly, the colder it gets the less wood smoke there is in the air. Fireplaces are not used for home heating around here. They are used for recreation. The cold weather and lack of wood smoke provides ample evidence to back this theory. It is smokier in the summer than it is in the winter in North St. Paul.

10:15 PM: No wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Tuesday 12/08/2009 Air Pollution

2:45 AM: Light wood smoke. I checked the air on my way back to bed and found it to be smoky. Somebody waited until very late to start burning this evening.

6:00 AM: No wood smoke. Fresh air.

7:00 AM: Fresh air continues.

6:30 PM: Faint to light wood smoke. Old man winter has arrived. We got 2 - 3 inches of snow. It is very windy with a temperature of 19 degrees.

7:45 PM: No wood smoke. Very windy.

9:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke in the air.

10:50 PM: No wood smoke. Windy. 16 degrees. Last check of the evening.

Monday 12/07/2009 Air Pollution

6:45 PM: No wood smoke. There is some very faint type of odor in the air. It is so faint I cannot tell what it is. It is possible it is highly diluted wood smoke from a distant source. 21 degrees.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke. The air is clear.

11:45 PM: Very faint trace of some type of odor in the air.

I cannot say there was any wood smoke this evening. But when I checked the air at 2:45 AM, it was smoky.

Sunday 12/06/2009 Air Pollution

5:20 PM: No wood smoke up to this point. There is a very faint odor in the air. It smells like blueberry muffins baking. 21 degrees.

8:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. 20 degrees.

9:00 PM: Faint wood smoke at this time. 18 degrees.

11:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. Last check of the evening.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday 12/05/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No wood smoke.

4:55 PM: Light wood smoke. 26 degrees.

6:05 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's getting smokier.

7:15 PM: Faint to light wood smoke.

10:00 PM: Faint wood smoke.

Midnight: Faint wood smoke continues.

Friday 12/04/2009 Air Pollution

6:30 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. It's hardly worth mentioning. 18 degrees.

8:00 PM: Very faint odor of some kind in the air. It kind of has a sulfur smell. I can't say it is wood smoke. 18 degrees.

10:00 PM: Very faint odor of something lingers in the air.

Midnight. Fresh air.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday 12/03/2009 Air Pollution

5:30 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. You can barely smell it but enough to know it is present. We got a light dusting of snow overnight.

4:30 PM: No wood smoke. 25 degrees, a few flakes of snow are falling.

6:45 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke.

There was no wood smoke at all this evening.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday 12/02/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No wood smoke. 32 degrees.

5:30 PM: No wood smoke. 31 degrees.

7:30 PM: No wood smoke. 31 degrees.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:45 PM: No wood smoke. I checked the air on my way back to bed.

This is the second evening in a row without wood smoke. Summer is smokier than the fall and winter in North St. Paul.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Negative heat efficiency of fireplaces

A Star Tribune reader with two fireplaces wrote to the paper inquiring as to why they smell smoke in the lower level of their home when the upper level fireplace is going. The columnist wrote that the likely reason is the heat from the upper fireplace is pushing air up the chimney causing the lower level flue to act as an intake to replace the missing air.

Star Tribune

Fireplaces often create negative heat efficiency. They cause more heat loss through the house than they produce. From an energy perspective, they are as inefficient as can be. From an environmental perspective, they add additional pollution to our air harmful to us all.

People who say they need to use fireplaces for home heating are full of hot air. For most fireplace users, the use is purely recreational and completely unnecessary. One person wants to use a fireplace for recreational purposes and everyone from children walking to and from school to joggers and the rest of us have to breathe toxic polluted air.

I have never demanded the banning of fireplace use during cold months. But when you consider the pollution and negative heat efficiency fireplaces produce, I can see no good argument for allowing them.

Tuesday 12/01/2009 Air Pollution

4:15 PM: No wood smoke. Love that fresh air! 45 degrees.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. The air is delightfully fresh. 42 degrees at North High School.

There was no wood smoke this evening up until close to midnight.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday 11/30/2009 Air Pollution

7:00 AM: No wood smoke. Fresh air!

11:00 AM: No wood smoke. I'm home today.

2:00 PM: No wood smoke.

4:15 PM: No wood smoke. 42 degrees.

5:15 PM: No wood smoke. 44 degrees at North High School.

This fresh air is wonderful! It will not last.

6:30 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: Faint to light wood smoke.

10:15 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. Nobody will have any difficultly smelling that wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday 11/29/2009 Air Pollution

7:00 AM: Faint wood smoke in the air. The air in North St. Paul stinks again. There is nothing like opening the door to retrieve the paper and smelling smoky air.

I have said many times that wood smoke is to be expected in the winter. But that does not mean we have to like it.

11:00 AM: Faint wood smoke continues.

1:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke in the air.

2:30 PM: No real wood smoke at this time. The air is fresh for a change. It will not last long. 37 degrees and cloudy.

4:00 PM: No wood smoke. Fresh air continues.

5:00 PM: Faint to light wood smoke.

7:30 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. 36 degrees.

9:45 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke continues.

11:30 PM: Faint wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday 11/28/2009 Air Pollution

Burning wood and some burning leaves. The city of North St. Paul should sell air freshener spray that smells like the air in this city. I know it would be a big seller......

6:00 AM: Very faint stale smelling wood smoke in the air. Have you ever smelled the bottom of an ash tray? This is what the air smells like except it is wood. The air smells like the bottom of a fireplace.

8:30 AM: Faint wood smoke. A little stronger than before.

10:30 AM: Very faint wood smoke continues. We did some shopping over by Maplewood Mall. You could smell a tiny bit of wood smoke over there, too. I guess it is smoky everywhere this time of year.

People concerned about the environment should be screaming at the top of their lungs about wood smoke pollution. Everybody around here has natural gas. There is no need to burn wood and pollute the air for heat. Most fireplace use, I think, is for recreational purposes and not for home heating. Last year, the colder it got the less smoky the air was.

12:55 PM: Faint leaf smoke on the breeze. Somebody somewhere is burning the last of their autumn leaves.

2:40 PM: Very faint trace of some kind of smokiness in the air. I can hardly smell it but enough to know it isn't fresh air.

4:35 PM: Light leaf smoke. Some jackass is burning leaves. I can see smoke rising from a backyard about a block away. They are probably the culprit.

6:00 PM: Light wood smoke. I did not record the temperature. I think it was in the upper 30s.

8:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's getting smokier.

10:00 PM: Light wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

The air was smoky the next morning when I woke.

Friday 11/27/2009 Air Pollution

1:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke. It's really smoky outside. It smells terrible. No wood smoke before this time. 35 degrees, sunny.

3:00 PM: Light wood smoke.

4:15 PM: Moderate wood smoke. Very smoky outside. Can't breathe the polluted air!

7:00 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. Even smokier than before. This air is unfit for human consumption! 36 degrees at this time.

10:00 PM: Light wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday 11/26/2009 Air Pollution

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you like your turkey smoked, because wood smoke is in the air early today.

6:00 AM: Fresh air.

10:00 AM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It smells horrible. 32 degrees at this time. I opened the bathroom window after taking a long, warm bath and had to close it immediately because the air reeks of burning wood. We are prisoners in our home again. Why does everybody have to breathe smoky air because one person feels the need to have a fireplace going? How is it fair that hundreds or thousands have to breathe smoky air because one person can't make it through the day without burning wood?

We are not going to be in North St. Paul for Thanksgiving dinner. Lucky us! If we were cooking, the kitchen would get hot and the window would have to be opened to vent heat and humidity and we would be stuck breathing smoky air inside our home.

I will give thanks today that I won't be having Thanksgiving dinner in North St. Paul.

11:15 AM: No real wood smoke at this time. Must be a shift in wind direction.

1:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke.

6:00 PM: Light to moderate stinky wood smoke. 32 degrees.

8:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues. Last check of the evening.

We expect wood smoke in the winter. We don't like it. But we expect it. My real complaint is the smoky air in the spring, summer, and fall. That's when we have the windows open.

Wednesday 11/25/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No smoke. 39 degrees, drizzling rain.

7:15 PM: No wood smoke yet. There will be. There always is.

8:23 PM: Faint wood smoke on breeze. It's a little windy now. This was the last check of the evening.

Tuesday 11/24/2009 Air Pollution

Yes, the air is smoky again this evening.

5:00 PM: Light wood smoke. 50 degrees, cloudy.

6:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air.

8:00 PM: No real wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MPCA says to avoid burning wood

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued a pollution alert for the Twin Cities yesterday. The air quality level is just below that of unhealthy for sensitive people. The MPCA also says to avoid burning wood.

Star Tribune

Pioneer Press

Avoid burning wood in North Saint Paul? This is the most polluted city in the world and the four city council members encourage it. The air is smoky almost every evening. The air is smokier in the summer than it is in the winter in this town. We had 25 out of 31 evenings of smoky air in July. We had many instances of smoky air from burning leaves this fall as well, as recently as this past Sunday. The MPCA should be issuing air pollution alerts every day in this town.

When I contacted the MPCA about the horrible wood smoke pollution in this town they said they couldn't do anything about it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday 11/23/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: Light wood smoke. 50 degrees at this time.

5:55 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. The wind must have shifted direction.

8:00 PM: No real wood smoke. Last check of the evening. When I woke for the first time at 3 AM the air was fresh.

Sunday 11/22/2009 Air Pollution

6:00 AM: Faint wood smoke in the air.

8:00 AM: Faint wood smoke continues.

12:00 PM: Moderate burning leaves and possibly wood smoke. I don't know what all is being burned, but it smells terrible.

2:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke varying in intensity. There isn't much of a breeze. I could not determine a direction. It's potent wood smoke.

4:30 PM: Light to moderate varying wood smoke continues. It is 57 degrees at this time. Does anyone really need to have a fireplace going when it is 57 degrees outside? Our furnace has not come on all day. Today's high was 2 degrees shy of the record.

7:00 PM: No real wood smoke. A very faint trace of something lingers in the air.

11:30 PM: No wood smoke.

Saturday 11/21/2009 Air Pollution

5:45 PM: Light to moderate stinky wood smoke. Smells terrible.

8:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke. It's very smoky outside. Last check of the evening.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday 11/20/2009 Air Pollution

8:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke at this time. It wouldn't be North Saint Paul without smoky air. 45 degrees.

Midnight: Light wood smoke continues. 39 degrees.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday 11/19/2009 Air Pollution

6:00 AM: Faint wood smoke in the air at this time. Light rain at this time. 42 degrees.

7:00 AM: Faint wood smoke continues. Around this time I passed by Margaret & 19th. It was smoky over there.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. 46 degrees.

8:30 PM: Light wood smoke. The air is always smoky in this town. 47 degrees.

11:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke remains.

Wednesday 11/18/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No smoke. 50 degrees about.

11:00 PM: Light wood smoke. I fell asleep early this evening and did not wake until around this time. I was not surprised to find smoky air. If the air is not smoky, that is what surprises us.

Midnight: No real wood smoke at this time.

Tuesday 11/17/2009 Air Pollution

Late this afternoon we saw a huge cloud of smoke coming from a home on the eastern edge of Silver Lake. It was leaf smoke. The jackass was burning leaves. We could smell the smoke a quarter of a mile away at Margaret Street. It was strong. It smelled terrible.

6:00 PM: No smoke where we live. 47 degrees.

6:45 PM: Light wood smoke.

9:45 PM: No smoke.

11:45 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday 11/16/2009 Air Pollution

1:00 AM: Light wood smoke.

4:25 AM: Faint wood smoke.

6:13 PM: Very faint trace of some type of smoke is in the air. I can tolerate this.

9:45 PM: Moderate wood smoke. It's very smoky outside. Sickeningly smoky. Last check of the evening.

Sunday 11/15/2009 Air Pollution

12:45 AM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. Very smoky outside. You do not want to breathe this horrible polluted air.

3:00 AM: Moderate wood smoke.

5:00 AM: Faint to light wood smoke.

4:45 PM: Light wood smoke.

6:45 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. 42 degrees at this time.

11:00 PM: Light wood smoke.

The air was faintly smoky at 4:25 AM the next morning.

Saturday 11/14/2009 Air Pollution

If you love the smell of burning leaves and burning wood you are in luck. We've got plenty of it.

2:00 PM: Faint leaf smoke at this time. I put my leaves and other yard waste in the yard waste bin. Some burn it.

2:30 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues. The burner must be a few blocks away.

3:00 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

3:15 PM: Light to moderate leaf and some other horrible smelling smoke, possibly wood. The air absolutely reeks of burning leaves or wood and whatever else the pyromaniacs in this messed up town can get their hands on.

4:45 PM: Moderately strong stinky wood smoke. The air is foul. The air reeks. You can't smell anything but that horrible stinky wood smoke.

6:45 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. It is going to be a polluted hell of an evening in this town.

After spending most of the day working around the house, I fell asleep early. I fell asleep shortly after the last check of the air at 6:45 PM and did not wake until around 12:45 AM. At 12:45 AM there was moderate to strong wood smoke in the air.

This city is a horrible place to live.

Friday 11/13/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No smoke. 50 degrees, cloudy, rain is in the forecast.

6:45 PM: No smoke. Rain drizzle at this time. The air has that wonderful rain smell. I took several deep breaths of that wonderful fresh air because it will not last. North St. Paul, MN, is the most polluted city in the world.

9:00 PM: Faint wood smoke at this time.

10:45 PM: Light wood smoke at this time.

11:45 PM: Faint wood smoke.

Faint wood smoke lingered in the air until after 4:15 AM.

Thursday 11/12/2009 Air Pollution

There was not a trace of any type of smoke this evening. 53 degrees and windy at 6 PM. A second evening of fresh air!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday 11/11/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood or leaf smoke this evening. It was 52 degrees at 8 PM, no rain. It was a nice and all too rare evening of fresh air in North St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday 11/10/2009 Air Pollution

12:40 AM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. Really smoky out there. Horrible stench of burning wood fills every breath. I checked the air on my way back to bed.

2:38 AM: Moderate to strong wood smoke continues.

4 AM: Moderate wood smoke continues. It is really smoky considering it is not that cold outside.

5:15 PM: No smoke. 59 degrees at this time. It was another nice, sunny day.

6:40 PM: No smoke.

8:00 PM: No smoke.

10:30 PM: Faint wood smoke is in the air. 49 degrees at this time.

Monday 11/09/2009 Air Pollution

6:40 PM: No smoke. 55 degrees. It got above 60 degrees today, a very nice day.

9:11 PM: Very faint smokiness of some type is in the air.

10:50 PM: Light wood smoke.

The air was smoky all night long. Very smoky at 4 AM.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday 11/08/2009 Air Pollution

Would you believe the air is filled with smoke from burning leaves? This is to be expected in the most polluted city in the world. What would be abnormal is if the air wasn't smoky on such a nice Fall day.

12:50 PM: Light leaf smoke. Somebody upwind is burning leaves. I do not know who is doing it. I see no smoke from here. I smelled the smoke coming in the window. I shut the few open windows around the house. 64 degrees at this time measured at North High School.

1:20 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

1:30 PM: No smoke of any kind at this time. Has the burning ceased or a change in wind direction?

2:25 PM: Faint leaf smoke at this time. Mostly cloudy. Dark rain clouds are to the northwest.

3:15 PM: Faint leaf smoke.

3:50 PM: Light to moderate leaf smoke. Yard waste smoke does not often get this heavy. The burner cannot be far.

4:45 PM: Light to moderate leaf smoke.

5:00 PM: Very faint leaf smoke.

5:45 PM: No smoke of any kind at this time. I expect heavy wood smoke tonight. 62 degrees.

5:55 PM: Very faint smoke of some kind on the breeze. I cannot say what type of smoke it is.

6:37 PM: No smoke of any kind.

7:30 PM: Light wood smoke.

8:45 PM: Faint wood smoke.

9:45 PM: Very faint trace of some type of smoke.

Midnight: Very faint trace of some type of smoke continues.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday 11/07/2009 Air Pollution

1:00 PM: No leaf smoke yet. There will be. 61 degrees, sunny, very nice for November.

4:25 PM: Light to moderate leaf smoke. It smells like burning leaves and paper. 63 degrees at this time. I am upset because I wanted to open the windows to air out dinner odors. I can't because the air is smoky. The house can smell like onions or burning leaves and paper. We'll stick with the onions.

4:50 PM: Light to moderate leaf and paper or wood smoke continues. I can also smell exhaust from someone's leaf blower I hear running.

This city is a nightmare.

5:15 PM: Light to moderate leaf and some other type of smoke continues.

6:10 PM: Moderate wood and some other type of smoke.

7:15 PM: Strong wood smoke. It is smoky as hell outside! Horrible city! Do not buy a house here. You will regret it!

8:15 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke continues.

9:00 PM: Strong wood smoke continues. I stuck my head out the door for a second to check the air and when I entered the kitchen again 15 minutes later I could still smell the wood smoke I let in. The air in North St. Paul is toxic poison.

11:40 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke continues. This was the last check of the evening.

Friday 11/06/2009 Air Pollution

There was something stinky in the air this evening.

5:15 PM: No smoke. Something stinks outside. Almost like a very light manure smell. 62 degrees, a very nice day today.

9:00 PM: No smoke of any kind yet. That stinky smell from earlier is mostly gone.

11:00 PM: No smoke. This was the last check of the evening.

We enjoyed a Friday evening with no wood smoke! I believe this is the second Friday without wood smoke since the start of May.

Thursday 11/05/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No smoke. 53 degrees, a nice sunny day today.

5:15 PM: Moderately strong stinky smoke that smells like burning leaves, wax, paper, and a little bit of wood. It isn't plain leaves burning. It's a bunch of stuff. Maybe garbage. This horrible stinky smoke did not last long. We live in the worst city in the world!

5:45 PM: No smoke. Air is clear.

7:30 PM: No smoke.

9:45 PM: No smoke. Last check of the evening.

Wednesday 11/04/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No smoke. 40 degrees, cloudy.

8:00 PM: No smoke.

8:45 PM: Light wood smoke. 35 degrees. Last check of the evening.

Tuesday 11/03/2009 Air Pollution

4:30 PM: No wood or leaf smoke. Light rain at this time, 39 degrees.

5:40 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke.

8:00 PM: Light to moderate stinky wood smoke varying with the wind. The smoke smells horrible! 35 degrees. Last check of the evening.

Monday 11/02/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No smoke of any kind. 46 degrees.

6:30 PM: No smoke.

8:15 PM: No smoke.

9:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke. Last check of the evening.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fireplaces suck heat out of the home

For all you fireplace users out there, you may not be heating your home as much as you think you are. Fireplaces send most of the heat up the chimney. As the warm air rises up the chimney, it creates a vacuum which pulls in cold air from outside. The overall effect is negative.

http://www.parade.com/askmarilyn/2009/11/Sundays-Column-11-01-09.html

Sunday 11/01/2009 Air Pollution

More burning leaves in North St. Paul, MN. If people aren't burning wood, they are burning yard waste. Somebody is always burning something in this screwy pyromaniac town. Every day almost someone is burning something and fouling the air.

11:05 AM: Faint leaf smoke. Someone somewhere is burning leaves. I can hear leaf blowers running at this time. 44 degrees and sunny.

12:15 PM: Very faint leaf smoke continues.

3:00 PM: No smoke of any kind. Fresh air! People have probably taken a break from polluting the air to watch the big Vikings-Green Bay Packers game coming on shortly. 55 degrees at this time.

5:50 PM: Moderate leaf and or wood smoke. It does not smell much like wood, but kind of does. It sort of smells like burning leaves, too. Whatever it is, it smells horrible and as strong as it is, the burner must not be more than a block or two away. It's smoky outside. 55 degrees at this time and dark.

7:00 PM: No smoke of any kind. Wonderful fresh air!

11:15 PM: Light wood smoke. I went to sleep early today, after 7 PM. I woke up and checked the air on my way back to bed. When I checked the air again at 2 AM it was fresh.

I considered going on hiatus until April since we are heading into the Winter months and smoky air is expected when it is cold. I am debating continuing this blog because it is smokier in the Summer months than it is in the Winter in the city of North St. Paul. Most people would expect it to be smokier in the Winter than in the summer. But that is not how it is around here. Last Winter, the air was smoky in the first half of the Winter regularly. By the second half of the Winter, wood smoke pollution dropped dramatically. Wood smoke pollution increased in the Spring as the weather warmed enough for people to have bonfires. This past Summer was a miserable smoky hell.

I have formed a theory that people aren't using fireplaces for home heating as much as they are for recreational purposes. I may continue this blog to document the smoky air in the winter to prove that Summer is smokier than Winter. I have not finalized a decision. I'm getting a little tired of trying to remember to check the air every few hours. Documenting the horrible air pollution in North St. Paul is not as fun as you may think.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday 10/31/2009 Air Pollution

Happy smoky Halloween.

3:30 PM: Light to moderate leaf smoke around this time. As strong as the smoke is, the leaf burner must not be far. I looked around outside and did not see any smoke. The smoke lasted about a half hour.

9:00 PM: Light wood smoke at this time.

Midnight: Air is fresh.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday 10/30/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood or yard waste smoke this evening. It drizzled rain until around 8 AM then drizzled again around 3 PM. It was around 52 degrees at 8 AM. It was in the 50s today. I forgot to record the evening temperature.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday 10/29/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood or yard waste smoke this evening. Drizzling rain all day and all night long. 51 degrees at 5 PM. People can't burn leaves when it's raining.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday 10/28/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: Faint to light smoke from burning leaves. It's fall. People burn leaves. People burn stuff all year round in this city. If it's combustible, someone will burn it.

9:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. I dozed off early this evening and woke up around this time before heading to bed.

Midnight: No wood smoke. Air is fresh. I forgot to record the temperature earlier, so I did it now. It is 50 degrees at this time. It is a nice evening. Back to bed.

I'm going to document the air pollution in this city until the end of the month then I'm going on hiatus until April. I've documented the smoky air in North St. Paul every day from May through October. I started about half way through April. It has been a miserable smoky year. If history is a guide, 2010 will be smokier than 2009 unless it rains a lot.

Tuesday 10/27/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood or yard waste smoke this evening. We enjoyed fresh air.

The temperature was 52 degrees at 6:00 PM. No rain noted.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday 10/26/2009 Air Pollution

Nothing says welcome home like the stench of burning yard waste.

4:35 PM: Light to moderate leaf smoke. Someone to the west is burning leaves. I cannot see the smoke. As strong as the smoke is, it has to be someone close by, within a block. It's Fall. Leaves are falling. Some of us put them in composting containers to be hauled away. Some mulch them with lawn mowers. Others burn them. The leaf smoke did not last more than 5 minutes. I do not know what time it started as I was not around to check the air. 48 degrees and sunny at this time.

5:00 PM: Air is mostly clear. It isn't fresh, but it does not smell smoky.

6:00 PM: Air is mostly clear.

6:30 PM: Air is mostly clear.

7:15 PM: No wood smoke. Air is clear.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:35 PM: Very faint wood smoke.

10:00 PM: Faint wood smoke. This was the last check of the evening.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday 10/25/2009 Air Pollution

We are not going to have an Indian Summer this year. Not in October. We haven't had a real Fall. The dismal weather is a mixed blessing. While we don't have the opportunity to spend time outside, we don't have as much wood smoke as we would if the temperatures hit the 70s. But we've still got wood smoke in North St. Paul, as always.

4:00 PM: Faint to light wood smoke at this time. This was my first check of the day. Cloudy, 46 degrees. It was raining lightly this morning when I got the paper. No rain now.

6:30 PM: Light wood smoke.

8:15 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke remains. 47 degrees at North High School with a light rain mist at this time.

9:00 PM: Light wood smoke. Going to bed now.

11:30 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke remains.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday 10/24/2009 Air Pollution

It's a polluted hell of a day in North Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a normal day. What wouldn't be normal is if there wasn't smoke from burning wood or yard waste.

3:00 PM: Faint leaf smoke. Someone in the distance is burning leaves. I did not check before this. 50 degrees at this time, cloudy, no rain.

3:30 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

4:00 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

4:30 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

5:45 PM: I found two leaf burners within a half block of each other as I was driving south on Helen heading back into town. From Lydia & Helen all the way into town I could smell burning leaves. Leaf smoke is all over. Both of the burners I saw were actively burning leaves at this time. Both live within a block of city council member Jan Walczak. Do you think she cares if her neighbors are illegally burning yard waste? No, she doesn't. That demonstrates how good of a city council member she is.



Leaf burner 1: The house on the northwest corner of Helen & Navajo was burning leaves in the backyard. It isn't really a backyard, it is more of a gully. The burning was taking place in the backyard and was not easy to see from the road. I have reported in the past that someone at this area burns grass regularly, usually on Tuesdays after 4 PM. It could possibly be this house. I know there is another grass burner three or four houses north on the opposite side of the street who likes to burn grass in the morning hours during the week. It looks like this leaf burner blew all of his leaves from his front yard out into the street as there is a pile next to the curb. This is also illegal. You can't blow your leaves into the street because it clogs drainage sewers.

Leaf burner 2: A house on Longview. I turned the corner at Navajo and immediately spotted a large cloud of smoke rising from this guy's backyard. It was leaf smoke. I went around the block to verify the home address. This guy burns wood four to five times a week all spring and summer long. He disposes of yard waste regularly, too, and has been doing so for years. Last summer I smelled grass smoke after midnight. I tracked the odor right to that house. Can you imagine living next door to this guy? There is something not right about someone who burns yard waste late at night. Or someone who has to burn wood five times a week. If the wind is right, we catch this guy's wood smoke, yard waste smoke, and other stuff he burns. You can smell his burning a quarter-mile away and likely further than that.

5:45 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues.

6:30 PM: Faint leaf smoke continues. 50 degrees and cloudy at this time.

Soon the wood smoke will start. We've had 3.5 hours of leaf smoke already. Then we get to look forward to wood smoke all night long.

Does this city sound like a good place to live to you?

7:30 PM: Moderate wood smoke. It is really smoky outside. Being outside for a few minutes will leave your clothes smelling like wood smoke like you spent hours in a smoky bar.

8:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke continues. I can slightly taste the smoke in the air. North St. Paul, the home of flavorful air.

9:00 PM: Light wood smoke. The wood smoke decreased in intensity.

10:00 PM: Faint wood smoke.

11:00 PM: No real wood smoke. There is a very faint trace of something in the air. It is probably wood smoke, but I can't say it is.

Midnight: No wood smoke. Fresh air!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday 10/23/2009 Air Pollution

If you like smoky air, we have got it for you.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. 40 degrees at this time with rain. It rained all day and we had some snow that stuck to the ground in the early afternoon.

7:15 PM: Faint wood smoke on the wind. Still raining at this time. 38 degrees. A little windy.

8:00 PM: Light wood smoke.

9:00 PM: Light wood smoke.

10:00 PM: Light wood smoke. I am angry because I wanted to step outside to get a breath of fresh air and open the window to let some odor of onions from hamburgers out. We had takeout for dinner this evening. I just ate some leftovers.

11:15 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

Midnight: No real wood smoke. Somebody's fireplace burned out or the wind shifted direction and is no longer bringing wood smoke to us. I stepped outside to get a deep breath of cool, fresh air. I opened a window to get a little fresh air in here for a few minutes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday 10/22/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. 43 degrees, cloudy, no rain.

9:15 PM: No wood smoke yet. 40 degrees at this time measured at North High School.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke.

Midnight: No wood smoke.

An evening without wood smoke.

Wednesday 10/21/2009 Air Pollution

4:30 PM: No wood smoke. Drizzling rain, 45 degrees.

6:30 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: Light wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

There was no more wood smoke up until I went to bed. It drizzled most of the day and into the evening.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday 10/20/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke this evening. It was 50 degrees and misting rain at 5:30 PM. It misted or drizzled most of the evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday 10/19/2009 Air Pollution

It's smoky outside.

5:15 PM: No wood smoke. 55 degrees, sunny at this time. It was sunny this morning then cloudy this afternoon.

7:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke. I opened the window to attempt to rid the house of dinner odors when I noticed wood smoke. Chicken and potatoes smell more pleasant than burning wood. I'll keep the windows closed.

8:30 PM: Light wood smoke. 49 degrees at this time.

11:30 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

Sunday 10/18/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke where we are this evening. It was 62 degrees at 5:00 PM. A nice Fall day like we would expect if not for the stretch of cold the past couple weeks. As of 10:30 PM, there still was not a trace of that horrible air pollution. I went for a walk this evening down by the lake around sunset. It was very smoky along the southern edge of Silver Lake. Terrible stinky wood smoke. There were other people out walking. We all get to breathe smoky air because one person couldn't make it through the evening without using a fireplace. While they are warm and cozy in front of the flickering flames, all of us walking outside get to breathe wood smoke pollution. I saw a bonfire in Maplewood. I couldn't believe it. A house on Beam on the Maplewood side of the street west of Chippewa had a roaring fire in their backyard. What is the obsession with burning wood? It was never like this ten years ago.

Saturday 10/17/2009 Air Pollution

It's another smoky Fall evening.

7:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. 48 degrees at this time. It was sunny earlier today.

9:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues.

10:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues.

This was movie night. Is it too much to ask to be able to step outside and catch a breath of fresh air every couple of hours? It is in this town.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday 10/16/2009 Air Pollution

Wood smoke made a return. The temperature today was about as cool as it was earlier in the week when we were absent of wood smoke. Why is the air smoky on a Friday but not earlier? Are fireplaces being used for home heating or for recreation and mood setting?

I think fireplaces are being used for recreation more than home heating.

5:00 PM: Light wood smoke at this time. 45 degrees, drizzling rain at this hour.

6:00 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

8:15 PM: Light to moderate stinky wood smoke. The wood smoke smells horrible. It smells like an animal carcass is being burned with wood. Icky foul air!

9:00 PM: Light to moderate stinky wood smoke continues. It stinks awful.

10:45 PM: Light stinky wood smoke. This was the last check of the evening.

Thursday 10/15/2009 Air Pollution

No wood smoke this evening. It rained in the morning then we had some snow later in the morning. It rained some more and rained during the evening. The temperature was 38 degrees at 4 PM. Absent of wood smoke.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday 10/14/2009 Air Pollution

Another evening without wood smoke. It is cold, 42 degrees, and cloudy again. There were some rain sprinkles around 6:30 PM and later in the night it was raining. I love being able to step outside to get a breath of fresh air. If the temperatures were in the 70s, this wouldn't be possible. The air would be filled with wood smoke pollution.

Tuesday 10/13/2009 Air Pollution

No wood smoke this evening. It is cold, cloudy, with a temperature in the upper 30s. Nobody is going to have a bonfire when conditions are like this. I am surprised at the lack of wood smoke since the weather turned unseasonably cold. If there was a time you would expect people to use fireplaces for home heating, this is it. I am beginning to believe that people don't use fireplaces for home heating as much as they do for recreational or mood setting purposes. Everyone has their furnaces on now, even those with fireplaces and wood burning stoves.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday 10/12/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: No wood smoke. Light snow at this time.

It snowed again today. It was snowing when I woke up this morning and snowed all day long. We had about 2 inches of snow in the yard when I left this morning. There is about 2 inches in the yard now. There is none in the driveway or in the streets as it melted. 38 degrees.

There was no wood smoke this evening. Not a trace of that foul pollution.

Sunday 10/11/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke this evening. I did not notice any burning yard waste when I stuck my head out the door during the day. I believe the high temperature was in the 40s. I did not write it down and do not remember it. It was another cool day.

Saturday 10/10/2009 Air Pollution

12:30 AM: No wood smoke. The stinky smoke from 11 PM is gone.

2:30 AM: No wood smoke. Windy, light snow falling at this time. This is the first snow for the season. It was enough to coat the grass. It melted later in the day. 28 degrees at this time.

There was no wood smoke this evening. The evening temperature was around 38 degrees. This is October? It seems more like November or December. Winter is making an early appearance in these parts. I do not like it.

What would I prefer? Nice warm temperatures and smoky air or unseasonably cold weather and fresh air? I'll take the cold and fresh air. I can stand outside and get a breath of fresh air if I need to. I could not do that if the evening temperature was 70 degrees. The air would be heavy with smoke.

Friday 10/09/2009 Air Pollution

4:15 PM: Light smoke from burning leaves. Asshole nearby is burning yard waste. It did not last more than 15 minutes. 46 degrees at this time.

7:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke at this time.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

11:00 PM: Light wood smoke at this time varying with the wind. The smoke smells horrible! I don't know what is burning, but it stinks. All the windows are closed around the house and have been for over a week now. The heat is on.

Thursday 10/08/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke at all this evening. Another cool day. I wrote in a temperature of 44 degrees, that may have been the morning temperature. It did not get very warm.

Wednesday 10/07/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke this evening. The high was around 50 degrees. No rain.

Tuesday 10/06/2009 Air Pollution

8:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. 45 degrees at this time. Rained on and off all day. The high today reached the 60s (that is what I wrote in my notepad).

11:00 PM: Still no wood smoke. This was the last check of the evening.

Monday 10/05/2009 Air Pollution

2:00 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air.

5:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke in the air.

7:00 PM: Faint wood smoke. It rained earlier and is raining at this time. Must be a fireplace. 49 degrees.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke. Very faint trace of something is in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke.

11:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke at this time.

Sunday 10/04/2009 Air Pollution

3:00 PM: Faint wood smoke. I wanted to open the window to let a little fresh air in. Can't. The air is smoky. It is cool outside. Probably from a fireplace. Cloudy, about 50 degrees at this time.

4:35 PM: Very faint wood smoke.

7:30 PM: Light wood smoke.

9:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke.

11:00 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke at this time.

At 2 AM a very faint trace of wood smoke remained.

Saturday 10/03/2009 Air Pollution

I have not been updating lately. The weather has not been very good. Not fall-like at all.

3:45 PM: Faint intermittent wood smoke on the breeze. Cloudy, rained this morning and will likely rain again. 50 degrees. Must be a fireplace.

4:15 PM: Faint wood smoke.

6:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:40 PM: Light wood smoke. Breezy. Must be a fireplace.

11:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It has gotten smokier outside.

11:30 PM: Faint wood smoke. This was the last check of the evening.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September and May wood smoke tabulation completed

I complete the wood smoke tabulation for months September and June. Please click the link following to view it.

Wood Smoke Numbers By Month

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday 10/02/2009 Air Pollution

7:00 PM: No wood smoke. Fresh air. 47 degrees at this time. Cloudy, no rain. It rained intermittently all day. It was drizzling at 5 PM.

7:30 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's smoky out there The wind is blowing west behind the houses. I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. There is no fresh air. Fireplaces will be going this weekend I bet.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke at this time.

There was no more wood smoke this evening. It drizzled intermittently throughout the evening and night.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

North St. Paul wind turbine is up

The wind turbine in North St. Paul has been erected. It is not operational as of yesterday. I saw an article in the Pioneer Press about it and drove by North High School where I saw it. I'll try to get some pictures of it soon. You can see it driving down Highway 36 at 1st St. N. on municipal property. It is sitting about where the old SuperAmerica was before the gas station was torn down for improvements to the highway.

Pioneer Press

It is good that we are getting some renewable clean energy in North St. Paul. It would be even better if we could eliminate wood smoke pollution in this city from April through the end of October. This wind turbine isn't going to offset the pollution created from all the recreational burning in this town.

Thursday 10/01/2009 Air Pollution

4:00 PM: Faint wood smoke at this time for a few minutes. Then it was gone. Must be from a fireplace. 51 degrees, cloudy, and raining at this time. The Weatherbug widget on this blog puts the temp at 46 degrees a few miles away in Mahtomedi. It rained on and off most of the day and will probably rain some more this evening.

There was no more wood smoke this evening. It rained intermittently all night.

Wednesday 09/30/2009 Air Pollution

4:05 PM: Light smoke from burning leaves. I smelled it a block away from home as I was driving in. I could not smell it on our property. 61 degrees, sunny.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke yet.

11:30 PM: No wood smoke. I woke up at this time and checked the air on my way back to bed. 50 degrees at this time.

There was no wood smoke this evening.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday 09/29/2009 Air Pollution

7:30 PM: I don't expect any bonfires tonight. It is too cold. The temperature at Mahtomedi is 43 degrees says the Weatherbug widget on this blog. The official Twin Cities temperature at the airport is 50 degrees. There is a frost warning for the Twin Cities tonight. If there is wood smoke, it will be from fireplaces.

8:30 PM: No wood smoke.

10:55 PM: Very faint wood smoke at this time. Must be a fireplace.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday 09/28/2009 Air Pollution

7:30 PM: No wood smoke. A very faint trace of something is in the air. 53 degrees, windy, cloudy.

8:15 PM: Light wood smoke on the wind. I do not think there will be any bonfires with the cold and wind. Someone must be using a fireplace.

9:00 PM: Very faint trace of something in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke. It may be.

There was no more wood smoke for the rest of the night. The air was fresh the next morning.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday 09/27/2009 Air Pollution

After having smoky air much of yesterday morning, much of the afternoon, and all evening, it is wonderful to have a day with no wood smoke.

4:00 PM: No wood smoke. Cloudy, 70 degrees, very windy. Rain is in the forecast.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. Power outage. The electricity went out around this time. The power went out, came back on a few seconds later, went out again, came back on a few seconds later, then went out for the next two hours. Still very windy at this time. The wind may have been responsible for the power going out.

5:30 PM: No wood smoke. Brief rain shower around this time.

6:00 PM: No wood smoke. No rain anymore and much less wind than before.

7:11 PM: No wood smoke at this time. The power is back on!

7:23 PM: Electricity went out again for a few seconds then came back on.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke. Windy again. 55 degrees.

9:10 PM: No wood smoke. Light rain at this time.

9:45 PM: No wood smoke. Drizzling at this time. The Weatherbug widget on this blog measures the temperature at North High School at 45 degrees right now.

If we have any wood smoke tonight, it will be from a fireplace. Polluters can't have recreational fires when it is raining. It's also a bit too cold for a bonfire.

There was not a trace of wood smoke this evening. Other than a little faint smoke from grilling (grilling does not bother me), we had fresh air all day and all night long. Fresh air is heavenly!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday 09/26/2009 Air Pollution

9:50 AM: Faint to light wood smoke varying with the breeze. DAMMIT! Some jackass probably has a fireplace going. 56 degrees. One person has to burn wood and everyone has to breathe smoky air. It's some stinky wood that's burning. It smells terrible. The high temperature is forecast to be 73 degrees today. I do not know how long the air has been smoky. It was not smoky when I woke at 8 AM. The air was fresh then. Now it stinks!

Why the hell do air polluters have more rights in this town than the rest of us?! Why does one person have the right to smoke up the air hundreds around him have to breathe? This city is a nightmare. A decade ago this city was a very nice place to live. It hasn't been for years. We can't even enjoy a cool Saturday morning without wood smoke.

10:45 AM: Faint wood smoke.

11:30 AM: Light wood smoke. It varies every few minutes.

12:00 PM: No detectable wood smoke now. It could be a shift in wind direction. I hope to be able to open the windows soon. I am not going to spend the day in a smoky house!

1:30 PM: Very faint trace of some unpleasant smokiness in the air. It's not enough to keep the windows closed. Most people probably could not smell it. I can.

4:00 PM: A very faint trace of some type of smoke has been in the air all afternoon and it continues.

5:30 PM: Faint to light wood smoke varying with the breeze. 74 degrees, sunny.

6:15 PM: Faint to light wood smoke continues.

7:00 PM: Very faint smokiness of some type continues. It doesn't smell like burning wood. But it could be.

8:15 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's going to be another miserable smoky hell of an evening in North St. Paul.

9:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke at this time. It's very smoky outside. 66 degrees at this time.

I had to edit out some angry words. You readers must understand how frustrating and infuriating it is to live in a city with smoky air all the time.

10:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke continues.

11:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It has decreased in intensity.

11:30 PM: Faint to light wood smoke at this time.

11:45 PM: Very faint trace of some type of smokiness in the air. The air is mostly clear as of this time. This is the last check of the evening. Going to bed.

Friday 09/25/2009 Air Pollution

There was not a trace of wood smoke this evening.

4:45 PM: No wood smoke. 62 degrees and cloudy. It rained across the Twin Cities area this afternoon. Everything is wet. I don't expect many bonfires tonight.

5:45 PM: No wood smoke. Light rain drizzle at this time lasting about a half hour.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke yet.

10:30 PM: No wood smoke. I can hear water dripping from the trees.

Midnight: No wood smoke. It was too wet for recreational burning this evening. Thankfully.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Small black bear killed in North St. Paul

I've never seen bears in North St. Paul, MN. There was one this morning. A small 120 lb. black bear was spotted at Richardson Elementary School. By 9 AM it meandered east to St. Peter's Catholic Church where it was wandering the school grounds and climbed a tree. DNR officers shot bean bags at it to get it out of the tree. After it started to leave the area the bear was shot and killed by police. KSTP-TV channel 5 has video of the cute little critter. Click the link below.

KSTP Channel 5 TV Video
Pioneer Press

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday 09/24/2009 Air Pollution

The streak of fresh air has ended.

6:30 PM: No wood smoke at this time. 77 degrees and sunny. A beautiful evening.

9:25 PM: Light wood smoke and some other type of smoke at this time. It smells like wood and cardboard. It really stinks bad.

10:00 PM: Smoky chemical odor in the air. I suspect someone is disposing of waste and possibly chemicals. I think I know who. I went up by that house. It was smoky but I couldn't see any smoke coming from the property.

11:00 PM: Faint smoky chemical smell remains.

Wednesday 09/23/2009 Air Pollution

There was no wood smoke this evening. Not even a trace. We enjoyed fresh air all evening and all night long for the third night in a row. The windows were left open when we went to bed. I'm not sure what is responsible for this run of fresh air, but we are loving it! The temperature at 6 PM was 74 degrees. It was cloudy all evening with gray clouds. There was no rain in the weather forecast. The clouds looked more like gray clouds of winter than rain clouds.

I wish we had fresh air every night in North St. Paul. But we don't. Fresh, unpolluted air is very rare in this town. Fresh air is like an oasis in the desert around here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday 09/22/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. Cloudy gray sky, 70 degrees. It looks like it may rain, but the weather forecasters say there will not be any.

8:30 PM: No wood smoke. I left the city for a while. On my way back I drove down a few roads and did not encounter wood smoke anywhere.

11:00 PM: Still no wood smoke. Only wonderful fresh air! Often there is a faint something in the air when I can't detect wood smoke, but there is nothing now. You take a deep breath and smell nothing.

Midnight: No wood smoke. We left the windows open when we went to bed. It's nice to be able to go to bed with the windows open and wake up to a house that isn't stuffy and stale. That does not happen often.

This was the second evening in a row without wood smoke. Has the wood smoke tapered off for the season or have the cloudy skies discouraged recreational bonfires? We should have fresh air every day of the week. Not in this town. When we get fresh air in the evening we savor it. You never know when someone will start burning. Recreational air polluters have more rights than we do.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Star Tribune's Fixit talks bonfires

A reader from Coon Rapids mentioned to me in an email last week that he or she wrote to Fixit at the Star Tribune about recreational fires. The Fixit columnist wrote about bonfires in an article posted to the site yesterday. The article doesn't discuss much other than getting smoky bonfires banned is not going to be easy.

Link to article

How can any elected leader support air pollution from recreational fires knowing there are many out there who do not want to breathe smoky air every day?

Monday 09/21/2009 Air Pollution

6:00 PM: No wood smoke. Cloudy, 74 degrees, looks like rain. Rain is in the forecast. It was supposed to be raining by evening rush but the rain never started.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. We are loving that fresh air! 71 degrees at this time.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke.

10:30 PM: No wood smoke. Going to bed. Leaving a few windows open around the house.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke.

We had an evening with no wood smoke!

Sunday 09/20/2009 Air Pollution

3:22 PM: Faint to light odor of burning leaves. Somebody is burning yard waste to the east of us. They are not close by. The smoke would be stronger if they were closer. They could be several blocks away. It did not last for more than a few minutes after I noticed the odor coming in the windows. I did not notice any burning yard waste yesterday when I spent several hours outside enjoying what could be our final stretch of nice weather until next spring. Our air conditioner was on Saturday, it isn't today.

5:00 PM: Very faint trace of some type of smoke. I can't tell what it is. It doesn't smell like a grill and does not smell like wood or yard waste.

7:05 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke coming out of the east. The wind is blowing west behind the houses and seems to be blowing north a block from here. I expected a smoky hell of an evening so I went out looking for the source of the wood smoke. I could not find it. There was a smokiness of some kind up around Shoshone and Indian Way on Chippewa. 76 degrees and partly cloudy at this time. A nice early fall evening.

8:30 PM: No wood smoke at all where we are.

9:30 PM: No wood smoke.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke.

10:30 PM: No wood smoke. This was the final check of the evening. People often start burning late in this town. I don't know if it was smoky after this time because the windows were closed.

This was a very light evening for wood smoke. It is usually much smokier than this on Sundays when the weather is nice. We officially enter fall tomorrow. Burning may be tapering off for the season, but it won't end completely until it is cold enough for fireplaces to be used. We endure smoke all year round in North St. Paul. The first half of last winter was very smoky. The second half was not. There was more wood smoke this summer than the second half of last winter. This could be the only town where the air is smokier in the summer than in the winter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday 09/19/2009 Air Pollution

Miraculously absent Friday, wood smoke made a return this evening.

6:05 PM: Faint to light wood smoke varying on the breeze. It did not last very long. 81 degrees and sunny at this time.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No real wood smoke. A faint odor of something is in the air.

9:40 PM: Faint to light wood smoke coming out of the east. The breeze is blowing west behind the houses this evening.

10:10 PM: Light wood smoke varying in intensity with the breeze. The burner is not near, probably a few blocks away. This was the last check of the air quality for the evening. I did not wake until 6 AM at which time the air was clear.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday 09/18/2009 Air Pollution

5:00 PM: No wood smoke.

5:30 PM: No wood smoke. Partly cloudy and 84 degrees at this time as measured at North High School according to the Weatherbug widget on this blog. The TV news puts the temperature at 81 degrees. It is another beautiful late summer-early fall evening. It will surely be ruined by wood smoke.

With the weather forecast of no rain and high temperatures in the low 80s, I expect this weekend to be another miserable smoky hell just like every weekend has been all spring and summer long. You cannot escape wood smoke in North St. Paul, MN, not even in your own home. We are prisoners in our own homes because of the horrible polluted air in this town thanks to the four city council members.

With the weather so nice, I intend to spend some time outside this evening and tomorrow before the wood smoke starts. Our season for enjoying the outdoors will be over in a few weeks. Then it's snow and cold. We have two seasons in this town. Wood smoke season and winter. We could possibly have another season when fall starts. I call it leaf burning season. I am sure there will be some leaf burning Saturday and Sunday as people do yard work.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:30 PM: No wood smoke. There is a very faint trace of something in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke. If it is, it is very diluted. 74 degrees at this time.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke. Very faint trace of something continues.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. Where is it? Very faint trace of something continues.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke.

Midnight: No wood smoke.

I'll be darned. We made it an entire Friday evening with no wood smoke. It was a beautiful evening with no rain and a pleasant temperature perfect for recreational air pollution. But there was none. According to my records, the last Friday with no wood smoke and no rain to account for its absence was possibly May 1, 2009. I went to bed early that evening around 7 PM and did not check the air after that time. The government weather data shows the high temperature was 60 degrees that day with no precipitation. If there was any wood smoke that evening, it would most likely have been from a fireplace.

No wood smoke on a beautiful Friday evening. We have witnessed a miracle.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday 09/17/2009 Air Pollution

12:30 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke lingers in the air.

5:00 PM: No wood smoke. Sunny, 80 degrees.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:00 PM: No wood smoke.

9:30 PM: No wood smoke. There is a very faint trace of something in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke.

10:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. Very faint trace of something continues. Going to bed.

11:30 PM: No wood smoke. I set my alarm to wake me up at this time for one last check of the air quality. I was surprised the air was clear.

We made it through the evening with no wood smoke. That does not happen often in this town. Recreational burning normally tapers off in the fall. But with the weather as nice and warm as it has been, it is still smoky more often than not in the evenings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday 09/16/2009 Air Pollution

3:45 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke remains in the air. The wood smoke started last night before 9 PM and is still detectable.

5:00 AM: Air is fresh!

10:00 PM: No wood smoke yet this evening. Last night was a smoky hell. We may get lucky tonight. I am tempted to leave the windows open when going to bed. It's a cool 68 degrees at this time. But you never know when someone will start burning late at night. It happens often. When your house fills with the stench of wood smoke, you can't do anything about it. You are stuck in a smoky house all night long. Sleeping isn't easy when you smell wood smoke with every breath. You might as well have someone blowing cigarette smoke in your face all night long. It's the same thing.

11:30 PM: Light wood smoke. DAMMIT! Between now and the last check someone started burning. I was hoping we could make it through the night without any wood smoke. Not in this town. Close the windows. Shortly after this time I stuck my head out the door again and heard my next door neighbor's air conditioner running. Who needs to run their air conditioners when it is 68 degrees outside with moderate humidity? People who live in North St. Paul do. The air is smoky almost every night. We can leave the windows closed and sleep in a stuffy house, run the air conditioner and bear the expense, or breathe smoky air as we try to sleep. This is not a good way to live.

When I woke up at 12:30 AM there was a very faint trace of wood smoke still in the air.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Email from a Coon Rapids resident

I got this email from a resident of Coon Rapids who has a problem with wood smoke in her neighborhood. As is my policy, I do not reveal personally identifiable information about people who email me unless they are public officials. The Coon Rapids resident writes:

Coon Rapids allows fires from 9 am to midnight. This summer has been the worst ever, by far, for stinky smoke from fires. Any time of the day, often all night, and most definitely every weekend. I believe lots of brush is being burned in fire pits. The only way the rules are enforced is by neighbors tattling on neighbors, and then hoping the fire department will follow up. This is an exceedingly poor way to safeguard public health.

Unless the Pollution Control Agency gets involved, I do not believe anything will change. Local politicians on city councils do not seem to care about the big picture when it comes to public health. This is very disturbing on very many levels. I can go to a restaurant and eat in a smoke-free environment, but there are evenings that I can't even taste my meal in my own house because of horrible smoke from neighborhood fires. I am totally disgusted by this situation. We live in the equivalent of a third-world country when it comes to air pollution from air smoke.

Earlier this summer I wrote to the Fixit columnist at the Star Tribune and asked if there were any municipalities in the Twin Cities area that do not allow recreational fires. I never got a response.

Your blog is getting noticed, and maybe eventually someone in the state with the power to stop recreational fires will get involved. Thank you for taking the time to document your smoke observations in your community.


Dear Coon Rapids resident:

I know exactly what you are going through. The wood smoke problem in North St. Paul keeps getting worse each year. Ten years ago, nobody burned wood recreationally. We could leave our windows open days or weeks at a time and never had to worry about wood smoke. Around 2003 or so things changed. Every once in a while there would be wood smoke in the evenings. Then it increased in frequency to the point where there is wood smoke in the air every evening with very few exceptions. People burned yard waste ten years ago. They burn it much more frequently now. Burning does nothing but encourage more burning. The problem will continue to get worse if nothing is done.

You are right about being able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant in a smoke-free environment but not being able to enjoy one in your own home. It makes little sense to me how any city leader can support the unnecessary recreational burning of wood and the air pollution that goes with it when such a small percentage of households burn, at least in my community. I estimate that 15% of the households within a quarter-mile of us burn wood. With about 190 houses in that radius, it is almost certain that one of them is going to burn any night, which is why the air is always smoky.

The people who burn wood frequently have issues. I do not understand the infatuation with burning wood. Most of the burners I have seen are men in their 40s and 50s. It is like they never matured, staying stuck in their boy scout days. Some of them burn almost every day and there is little we can do about it because our city council refuses to address it. One frequent burner nearby burns then leaves his fire smoldering all night long with his house windows closed. It is a nightmare. We can smell his smoke blocks away. The entire neighborhood reeks of his smoke and he sleeps in his house with his windows all closed up.

Do not expect any help at all from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. I made a complaint with them and it took them three weeks to tell me there was nothing they could do, that it was a nuisance issue that the city had to handle. One of our city council members, who lives not far from us, has a number of smoky burners around her. I've been by her house on a few smoky nights this summer and noticed the windows I could see from the street were all closed. Why would she close her windows on a cool summer evening unless the air is too smoky for her? If the air is too smoky for her, why doesn't she understand that we don't like the smoke either and do something about it? She has the power to do something about this wood smoke problem, we don't.

This blog was started to document the nightmare we endure living in North St. Paul, MN. It is one thing to say the air is smoky all the time. It is another to provide documentation that people can quantitatively use. All of our city council members know about this blog. I doubt they visit at all. I don't have many kind words for anyone who makes us breathe smoky air every day. I also want this blog to serve as a warning to anyone considering buying a home in this polluted hell of a city. North St. Paul is a very nice place to live except for the nightly wood smoke. The polluted air completely ruins the quality of life here.

Thank you for emailing me. I always appreciate emails in support. I've gotten emails from others across the metro area and people from around the country. I wish you the best in your struggle against wood smoke pollution. You seem to be aware that it is going to be an uphill battle against the uncaring people who govern our towns.

I'm considering offering free firewood to those living around our city council members next year. It won't be cheap, but if we have to breathe smoky air every day, they should, too.

Tuesday 09/15/2009 Air Pollution

4:22 PM: Passed through a huge cloud of smoke from burning yard waste at the intersection of Helen & Navajo. Someone over there likes to burn yard waste on Tuesdays regularly. It smelled like burning leaves, not grass as it usually does. Next Tuesday I'll be sure to be up there around this time to see if I can identify the burner and call the police on them. 83 degrees and sunny at this time.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. 82 degrees, getting cloudy. There is a rain cloud to the northeast at this time. People can't burn wood when it rains. I hope it does.

7:30 PM: No wood smoke. A few drops of rain fell, not enough to deter recreational polluters.

9:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke at this time. It's very smoky outside. The air reeks of wood smoke. You can't smell anything else. I wouldn't expect this level of smokiness until the weekend. Nobody around us is burning. It could be a burner a block or two away. How many hundreds of people are breathing smoky air because of that one burner? Why does our city council give him more rights than us?

10:15 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke at this time. It has dropped in intensity a little.

11:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues.

I noticed a very faint trace of wood smoke in the air when I woke up the first time at 3:45 AM. Seven hours of smoky air on a Tuesday night? This is common in North St. Paul. This is how our city council forces us to live.

Monday 09/14/2009 Air Pollution

9:00 PM: No wood smoke yet. Went to bed at this time. Around 12:45 AM I woke and detected a very faint odor of some kind in the air. It was not strong enough to determine if it was wood smoke. It was 80 degrees and mostly cloudy at 4:30 PM. A very nice evening.

As I went to bed earlier than usual and did not notice any smoke up until that time, this will count as a rare evening without wood smoke. There could have been wood smoke when I was not awake to notice it. There usually is smoke in the air every evening.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday 09/13/2009 Air Pollution

3:15 AM: Faint to light wood smoke. I woke up at this time to find the air still smoky. Isn't that nice the way our city council makes us breathe smoky air all night long?

5:00 AM: Air is clear of wood smoke.

There was no wood smoke this evening. It was surprising. It was 82 degrees at 5 PM, a beautiful late summer-early fall evening. There was some wood smoke in the morning before 10 AM. It did not last more than a few minutes. In North St. Paul, MN, we live at the whim of recreational air polluters. Any one of the hundreds of homes around us can burn any evening and our air can be smoky. It is legal. In this town, the small percentage of recreational burners have more rights than those of us who never burn.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday 09/12/2009 Air Pollution

It was another smoky hell of an evening. In other words, it was a typical day in North Saint Paul, Minnesota.

2:00 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke. I can hear a loud party off in the distance. It rained earlier around 11 PM for a few minutes. That probably ended most recreational fires, but not all of them.

3:00 AM: Loud party continues a couple blocks away. Can't smell any wood smoke.

5:00 AM: Air is nice and fresh!

6:10 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. The same guy who burns almost every day is burning again. You can smell his smoke blocks away from his yard. Cloudy, 80 degrees, a little humid. It looks like rain but it did not rain this evening. Too bad for everyone.

7:00 PM: Faint wood smoke.

8:00 PM: Very faint wood smoke at this time. 75 degrees.

9:00 PM: No detectable wood smoke at this time. A faint something is in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke.

10:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke. Very smoky outside. Horrible polluted air every day in this town thanks to the city council.

10:25 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It has reduced somewhat in intensity. I fell asleep shortly after this time.

The air was still smoky at 3 AM. Welcome to hell!

Friday 09/11/2009 Air Pollution

7:15 PM: No wood smoke yet. Cloudy, 80 degrees, looks like rain. Rain is in the forecast for tonight. It was forecast for last night, too, but never happened.

11:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke. Very smoky outside. Ick! I went to bed early again this evening. I woke up around 11 PM just as the rain started. I checked the air as the rain was starting and it was very smoky outside. It had to be smoky before 11 PM.

11:30 PM: No wood smoke. The rain did not last more than a few minutes. No real wood smoke at this time.

I woke up again around 2 AM to discover a very faint trace of wood smoke in the air. I could hear a loud party off in the distance. At 3 AM the loud party was still going on.

Thursday 09/10/2009 Air Pollution

3:30 PM: No wood smoke at this time. Sunny, 82 degrees, a little humid. Rain is in the forecast. It was supposed to be raining by now.

8:00 PM: Faint grass smoke. Someone is burning grass. It doesn't smell like there is any wood in it. Grass burners usually burn wood then throw their grass clippings on top of it to hide what they are doing. Going to bed.

10:30 PM: No wood smoke.

I went to bed early this evening so I did not monitor the air quality as much as I normally do. While there was grass smoke, I cannot say there was any wood smoke in it. This will count as an evening with no wood smoke. We were not free of air pollution. My main concern is the daily wood smoke. Burning grass is not pleasant, but it is much less of a nuisance than wood smoke is. Grass burns up quickly. Logs can smolder for hours. The expected rain did not come this evening.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday 09/09/2009 Air Pollution

5:15 PM: No wood smoke. Cloudy, 79 degrees, weather forecasts show a possibility for rain. It looks like it could rain.

6:35 PM: No wood smoke. I noticed a few tiny drops of rain on the trash container earlier. It isn't enough to stop anyone from burning wood this evening.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke yet.

9:30 PM: No wood smoke. The sky is clear at this time.

11:40 PM: No wood smoke yet. Can we make it another 20 minutes without wood smoke? Could this be the first day in weeks without polluted air? Will anybody start burning after midnight? The windows are open. I'll notice if someone starts late night burning, which is not that uncommon. 70 degrees at this time. Nice. Fresh air is so rare in this town.

Midnight: No wood smoke, not even a trace of anything in the air. Fresh air! We made it!

This is the first evening without wood smoke in the past 20 days. The last evening without wood smoke was August 20th. It rained heavily after 6 PM with rain on and off all evening. This is how the North St. Paul city council tortures us. They force us to breathe smoky, polluted air every day against our will.

Officer Richard Crittenden was killed with his own gun

More information has been released about the murder of North St. Paul, Minnesota, Police Officer Richard Crittenden on Monday morning. Tragically, he was killed by Devon Dockery with his own gun after being ambushed responding to an order for protection call at the apartment of Dockery's wife Stacy Terry. From Fox Twin Cities:

From The Star Tribune:

North St. Paul Police Officer shot and killed today
Officer Richard Crittenden reportedly killed with his own gun

Officer Richard Crittenden reportedly killed with his own gun

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (click link for article) is reporting that police officer Richard Crittenden, killed Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2009) while responding to a domestic disturbance and violation of an order for protection at the Aspen Village apartments near 7th Ave. E. and McKnight Rd. N., was murdered with his own gun while struggling with his killer.

Officer Rick died a hero. He put the safety of others ahead of his own and paid the ultimate price. The funeral service for Officer Crittenden will be held at 11 AM this Friday, Sept. 11, 2009, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. Visitation will be held this Thursday the 10th at Sandberg Funeral Home in downtown North Saint Paul from 4 - 8 PM. Click on the links for maps of the visitation and funeral services. A memorial fund has been set up for the slain officer. Donations can be made at any Anchor Bank or mailed to Anchor Bank, 2700 Seventh Ave. E., North St. Paul, MN 55109.

The killer, Devon Dockery, pictured at left, had a long criminal history and was released from jail in August, according to news reports. Dockery served time in prison in 2003 on a charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. Dockery was reportedly killed by a Maplewood police officer who provided backup to Crittenden. The Maplewood officer sustained a gunshot wound to her arm or wrist. Dockery's brother, Anthony Lavelle Edwards (click link for prison inmate information), is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend. Dockery has four children with his former girlfriend, Carrie Wieland.

Dockery should have never been allowed back on the streets with his history of domestic violence and violating restraining orders. He was known to be a danger to others. The end result of the revolving door that is our justice system is a dead cop.

Tuesday 09/08/2009 Air Pollution

The air was smoky again this evening. If it isn't raining, the air is smoky every evening with very few exceptions. City council members Jan Walczak, Bob Bruton, Terry Furlong, and Dave Zick are the reason we endure this horrible air pollution. Read this post for a tabulation of wood smoke pollution by month. The city council forces us to breathe polluted air every day. All four of them have refused to do anything about this horrible wood smoke pollution problem plaguing our city making life here a living hell. Why would elected leaders force the people they represent to breathe smoky air every day? Are they sadists intent on inflicting punishment on us?

Do you want to breathe smoky air when you are in bed at night? You better if you want to be happy in North St. Paul, MN.

12:35 AM: No wood smoke. Woke up. Fresh air!

2:30 AM: Fresh air.

5:00 AM: Fresh air continues.

7:10 PM: Faint trace of something in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke. I don't know what it is. Sunny, 78 degrees at this time. A beautiful late summer evening.

8:00 PM: Faint trace of something remains in the air.

9:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. The air is smoky once again. None of our immediate neighbors appears to be burning. The burner could be blocks away with the wood smoke coming in on the breeze. Wood smoke can easily travel a half-mile or more if conditions are right. If the air isn't smoky, it is a miracle in this town. Going to sleep.

11:00 PM: No wood smoke that I can detect. Light sulfur odor in the air. My nose was stuffy when I woke up. I stuck my head out the back door and took several deep breaths of the air. I could not smell wood smoke but could definitely smell a sulfur odor coming from the industrial section of town.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday 09/07/2009 Air Pollution

It is a sad day in North St. Paul, MN. One of our police officers, Richard Crittenden, was shot and killed in the line of duty this morning.

12:30 AM: Faint trace of wood smoke continues.

2:15 AM: Faint wood smoke.

6:00 AM: Air is fresh where we live. I passed by Indian Way on Chippewa about this time and noticed a smoky, burnt wood odor coming from the intersection. The smell was strongest next to the house on the northwest corner of Indian Way & Chippewa. They may have had another smoky bonfire last night. They had a smoky fire two weeks ago. Last year, I passed by that house in the evening and saw a guy playing fetch with his dog in the backyard while a bonfire roared. Who needs to have a bonfire to play fetch with his dog? Also around this time I noticed faint wood smoke on Helen just north of Beam.

5:53 PM: Faint wood smoke. On a day of great sadness for our city, the wood smoke is not taking a break. Faint wood smoke at this time. I went out to see if it was the usual suspect burning. It was. He has burned 7 out of the last 9 evenings. You can smell his wood smoke blocks away. 80 degrees, sunny, a little humid, the weather is pleasant.

6:15 PM: Very faint wood smoke in the air.

7:00 PM: No real wood smoke. There is something in the air. I can't say it is wood smoke.

8:20 PM: No wood smoke. Something continues to be in the air.

9:30 PM: No wood smoke. Air is as close to fresh as we will get. 71 degrees and a little muggy at this time.

There was no more wood smoke this evening. Overall, a light day for wood smoke. Other than the smoke from the frequent burner who burns almost every day, there was nothing. Wood smoke should taper off a little as school has resumed. But we've got to deal with burning leaves soon.

North St. Paul Police Officer shot and killed today

I am in stunned disbelief. A North St. Paul police officer was killed in the line of duty this morning answering a domestic call. Officer Richard Crittenden, 57, was killed responding to a report of a violation of an order for protection at the Aspen Village apartments near 7th St. E. and McKnight Ave. N. around 8:30 AM. A Maplewood police officer providing backup on the call suffered a non-life threatening gunshot to the wrist. This is the first police officer killed in the line of duty in our city.

Our prayers go out to the family, friends, fellow officers, and all residents of the city of North St. Paul. This is a huge loss for our city which I fear will completely shatter the small town feel many of us enjoy living here. The news is reporting that Officer Crittenden was a father and grandfather.

Links to articles about the slain police officer:

Star Tribune
Star Tribune - The murderer's arrest history including a 5-year prison sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Star Tribune - Contains a quote by North St. Paul Police Chief Tom Lauth.
Pioneer Press
KSTP-TV
KSTP-TV - Interview with killer's wife.

The KSTP article has video with an interview of the killer's wife. She displays no emotion at all about what her husband did.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday 09/06/2009 Air Pollution

1:00 AM: Faint wood smoke continues.

3:00 AM: Faint trace of something in the air. Air is mostly clear.

6:30 AM: Air is fresh!

5:40 PM: Faint to light wood smoke. Went out and checked the usual suspect. It was him. He's burned wood six out of the last eight evenings. I get a real good vantage point on the street north of his property. I can't see through the privacy fence, but I can see the smoke rising next to the fence where he burns. He smokes up the area at least a quarter-mile away. He also leaves his wood smoldering for hours. He smokes up the air from 3 - 10 hours a night. This city allows it! The city council condones this air pollution. He isn't the only recreational wood burner in that area. He isn't the only grass burner in that area. But he is the worst. If I smell burning grass at 1 AM, all I have to do is drive by his house and I know it's him doing it. He did that a few times last year and at least once this year. His fires are not bonfires. The frequent puffs of smoke from his property are not consistent with bonfires. They are consistent with disposal of waste. Bonfires don't belch smoke every minute or two. His fires are constantly refueled for a period then left to burn themselves out over several hours.

6:35 PM: Faint trace of wood smoke in the air. About 75 degrees at this time, sunny.

7:00 PM: Faint trace of wood smoke continues.

8:45 PM: Faint to light wood smoke. 71 degrees at this time. A very nice evening.

9:15 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's gotten smokier in the past half-hour.

10:00 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. Very smoky outside! This air pollution is inhumane! Pray for morning to come quickly.

10:30 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke continues. I stepped outside for a minute to look around. Nobody around us is burning. My clothes have a faint odor of wood smoke from being outside. The air in North St. Paul, MN, is poison!

11:20 PM: Moderate wood smoke. The smoke is decreasing in intensity. Thankfully.

11:55 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. Smoke is continuing to decrease in intensity.

At 2:15 AM faint wood smoke could still be smelled in the air.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday 09/05/2009 Air Pollution

Can this wood smoke nightmare get any worse? I don't think so. You can't get any worse than wood smoke every day.

2:30 AM: Light wood smoke and smoldering odor remains in the air. The air has been smoky for 8 hours now. No end is in sight.

4:00 AM: Faint smoky smoldering odor lingers. You don't want to breathe this stinky air in your bedroom while you are trying to sleep, believe me. Hopefully, the air will be clear enough in an hour or two to open the windows.

6:00 AM: Faint trace of smoldering wood smoke odor remains. At this time I left. It was faintly smoky up at Beam & Helen around this time. At about 6:30 AM I noticed faint to light wood smoke near Lake Blvd & Swan. Somebody over there likes to smoke up the air. I'm not sure who it is. This isn't the first time it's been smoky over there in the morning.

8:00 AM: Air is clear enough to open the windows. Finally! We can get some cool air into the house after having the windows closed for 13-1/2 hours.

6:56 PM: Noticed faint wood smoke in the air. I did not check before this. Wood smoke this early makes me suspect a frequent burner close to city council member Jan Walczak's house. You can smell his burning blocks away. I went out and confirmed my suspicions. The homeowner is burning again. He burns almost every day. He burned five out of the past seven days. He burned Aug 30th, Sept. 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th from what I saw. He may have burned more than that. He is also a frequent yard waste burner. What makes him most interesting is his line of work generates a lot of combustible waste I suspect he is burning at his home. His burning pattern is not typical of recreation fires. You see short bursts of smoke coming from his property followed by a lull of a couple of minutes followed by another burst of smoke. This can go on for an hour or more from what I've witnessed. This is not consistent with recreational bonfires. This is more what you would expect from burning waste. As of 8 PM he was still burning strong.

But when you've got the four city council members supporting daily burning, what can you do? Our city council sucks. I wish we could get them to resign and put some people on the council who actually care about the community. People who care about others wouldn't force them to breathe smoky air every day.

7:50 PM: Faint wood smoke at this time.

8:40 PM: Moderate wood smoke. Very smoky outside. Horrible smoky air.

9:43 PM: Light wood smoke at this time.

I checked the visitor log today. More people researching real estate in North St. Paul, MN, are finding this blog. Anyone considering buying a house in this city should know what a nightmare it is. This wood smoke problem is city-wide. It is not confined to my area. There have been a few times this summer when I found wood smoke elsewhere when there was no wood smoke where we live. If a city allows burning all seven days a week, you will always find someone somewhere burning and smoking up the air.

11:00 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues.

Midnight: Light wood smoke at this time.

Friday 09/04/2009 Air Pollution

It's another smoky hell of a day in North St. Paul, MN. This city is a nightmare thanks to our four city council members. A smoky, polluted hell of a nightmare from which you never wake. We got less than 12 hours of fresh air today. With the Labor Day holiday weekend, it is going to be a smoky hell all over the city.

12:45 AM: Faint to light wood smoke.

2:05 AM: No real wood smoke. A faint chemical smell is in the air. If there is any wood smoke, the chemical smell overpowers it.

5:00 AM: Light to moderate wood smoke. The air has been smoky now for the most of 8 hours. At 5 AM the air is still smoky. The air reeks of smoky, smoldering wood.

6:00 AM: Faint wood smoke smoldering odor remains in the air.

7:00 AM: Faint wood smoke continues.

6:30 PM: Light wood smoke at this time. Our area didn't even get 12 hours of fresh air today. I don't know how long the smoky air lasted this morning.

8:20 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It's smoky out there. It has been smoky since before 6:30 PM. We are at almost 2 hours of wood smoke already tonight and it hasn't even gotten started yet.

9:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke. Very smoky outside.

10:30 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke. It's getting smokier.

11:15 PM: Strong wood smoke. It's smoky as hell outside. Our city council members make us breathe toxic poison!

Midnight: Strong wood smoke continues. The wood smoke will likely continue all night long and well into the morning hours.

This is how we live in North St. Paul. If you move to this city, this is how you will live, too.

You could still smell a faint trace of wood smoke at 6 AM. All night long it was smoky. This is not unusual for North St. Paul.