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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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday 07/08/2009 Air Pollution

There was plenty of wood smoke in North St. Paul, MN, this evening. A nice breeze kept it from accumulating in one spot. But the wind carried it far and wide -- right into our faces.

7:00 PM: Faint to light wood smoke where I am.

8:00 PM: Faint wood smoke. You can't smell much of it, but you notice it when it gets in your house.

8:30 - 9:30 PM: I went looking for jackasses recreationally polluting the air. I located only two bonfires but found pockets of wood smoke in a few areas. Nobody around me was burning wood this evening -- a rarity. The wood smoke we smelled was drifting in on the breeze.

Bonfires I located

1) Lake Blvd. & Poplar Ave.: I saw a bonfire in the backyard of the first or second house in from the corner on the north side of the street. I could not determine which house it was because the fire was very near the property line. City Council member Bob Bruton lives only a few doors up from that bonfire. If he's home tonight, I hope he has his windows open. Breathe deeply, Mr. Bruton. We want those wood smoke carcinogens to go deep into your lungs. I should offer to buy those recreational polluters some free firewood. If we have to breathe smoky air every day, Bruton should, too.

The household having the bonfire also appeared to be shooting off fireworks of questionable legality. I am no pyrotechnician, but they looked like roman candles. If Bruton was any kind of law and order man, he would call the police on those people.

2) 19th Ave. & Reardon Place: I saw a small bonfire at the second house west from the corner of Reardon on 19th., a white house. It was smoky over there. It was smoky over there last night, too. They could possibly have been burning last night, too.

Smoky areas

3 & 4) Light wood smoke at Helen St. & Helen Ct. and also on the other side of the block on Lake Blvd. at the same spot. I could not locate the source of this wood smoke. City Council member Jan Walczak lives right at that spot. I hope she had her windows open. Breathe deep, Ms. Walczak. Wood smoke contains carcinogens, soot, ash, and other toxic chemicals. The deeper those carcinogens can get into your lungs, the more damage they can do. Since you support recreational burning and force us to breathe smoky air every day, you deserve any ill health effects wood smoke can produce.

5) Very smoky on 18th Ave. between Charles and Margaret Streets. The smoke was heaviest closer to Margaret. I couldn't find the burner. Last year, Charles & 18th was sickeningly smoky every night. It isn't nearly as bad this year.

6) Helen St. & 15th Ave.: Small pocket of strong wood smoke here. Smoke was concentrated a few houses east of the intersection.

7) Tower Park: There must be a frequent burner around here. I couldn't find the source of the burning. The wood smoke seemed heaviest on 14th at E. 2nd St N.

10:30 PM: No wood smoke where I am. It's been a pretty weak day for wood smoke around our home this evening. Let's hope it stays that way.

There was no more wood smoke this evening where I live.