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, 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.