Recreational Fires Must Be Eliminated

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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.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday 05/23/2009 Burning

3:15 PM: Somebody is burning grass. I noticed the odor of burning grass as I passed by a window. The smell is light, carried on the breeze. I don't think the burning of grass has been legal for a long time. It doesn't matter. As far as I can tell, there are no fines or penalties for burning yard waste. So, what does a burner have to risk by flaunting the law and burning yard waste? Nothing.

Tonight should be smoky. A nice Saturday evening on a holiday weekend is perfect for recreational fires and the pollution it creates. Who wants to breathe fresh air when one can enjoy the stench of burning wood?

Fresh, clean air is overrated, isn't it?

3:45 PM: No more burning grass or any other smoke.

5:30 PM: Light wood smoke at this time.

6:30 PM: Light wood smoke continues.

8:00 PM: Very strong wood smoke. Someone on the next block has a fire going. I can see the cloud of smoke wafting over the trees a few houses down from me. I can sure smell it. Horrible stench of burning wood! That smoke is blowing right at homes! Homes where people need to breathe the air!

Imagine what those houses would smell like inside if the residents left their windows open as a cloud of smoke rolled right at them. Everything would stink like burning wood! All the furniture, carpeting, and draperies would reek of wood smoke. And that smell would be there all night because they couldn't open the windows to air out the house because the air outside is polluted!

9:00 PM: Moderate to strong wood smoke.

10:00 PM: Extremely heavy wood smoke! HORRIBLE! This air is unfit for human beings! Who the hell could possibly argue that air this smoky is a good thing? Who the hell would want to breathe it? You can't open your windows in this damn city! It is 65 degrees right now and this is perfect weather to open the windows. But you can't! You are a prisoner in your own home in this city thanks to the city government which continues to allow this unnecessary and dangerous wood smoke pollution! Not only does the city allow it, it encourages it on the city website!

To give you an idea of how smoky it is, I spent a very short time outside and my clothes reek of wood smoke. It's almost like I spent several hours in a smoky bar. But I didn't. Only a minute or so. Everything outside reeks of smoke and so do my clothes! The wood smoke is sickeningly strong. I didn't stay outside long, but the wood smoke is probably strong enough to make me nauseous and make my sinuses burn.

Do you like burning sinuses and a turning stomach because of wood smoke? I DON'T!

A shower and a fresh change of clothes is in store right after I finish writing this.

I bet that horrible wood smoke will last all night long. I would not be surprised if the air reeks of burnt logs well into the morning hours like it has many times in the past year. As of this writing, we've had nonstop wood smoke for the past 4.5 hours! It probably won't let up any time soon knowing this city like I do.

Another miserable hell of an evening in North St. Paul, MN!

This city is not a campground. This is not a rural area. This is a dense suburban city with small lots and homes that are close together. Recreational burning of wood should not be allowed! Hundreds of people around me are negatively impacted by this powerful wood smoke. That smoke can travel a great distance, meaning a thousand people or more may be forced to breathe smoky air. And the city leaders don't give a damn!

11:00 PM: Heavy wood smoke continues.

12:00 AM: Still very smoky outside.