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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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unfunny joke in the city newsletter

I read the city newsletter this morning and found that someone at city hall has a sense of humor. Not a funny sense of humor, a cruel one like rubbing salt in an open wound. The city newsletter offers suggestions for saving energy and money on utility bills. The newsletter offers this advice:

If your area cools off in the evening, take advantage of the cool evenings to cool off your entire house. Open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down.

What a great suggestion! I am sure none of us living in North St. Paul would have ever thought of that. The only problem is the air is so damn smoky every evening that you can't open your windows. You are a prisoner in your own home most evenings in this town. Opening your windows will bring all the wood smoke in and your entire house will reek of burning wood. You will choke on smoky air in bed at night as the wood smoke in this city often lasts well into the morning hours and is so strong you can't breathe. Wood smoke contains carcinogens and is a health hazard. Someone at city hall wants us to breathe poisonous air.

Us and all of our neighbors have to run our air conditioners on cool evenings because of the wood smoke pollution in this city. When it is 65 degrees and cool with low humidity, the air is usually too smoky to open the windows. I can see my neighbors' windows and they are usually closed at night, as are ours. I have heard my neighbors' air conditioners running on many cool nights when we should be able to open the windows but cannot. And you never know when someone will start burning wood after 11 PM or leave a bonfire smoldering all night. That happens often.

Ten years ago we left the windows open all the time except when it got really hot. We could leave the windows open for days or weeks at a time and never had to worry about wood smoke. Wood burning is so common these days that almost every evening is smoky. North St. Paul is a nightmare. The four members of the city council have refused to do anything about it. Mayor Kuehn is the only city leader who has offered to help.