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.

Tell others about this blog!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Star Tribune article about bonfire smoke

Here is a link to an article on the Star Tribune website about wood smoke from bonfires by Carol Dines. You may wish to read the comments section to witness the bully mentality of wood burners. There is a comment poster called holtjan who claims he or she lives in the city down in the Tower Park neighborhood. holtjan, in my opinion, possesses one of the most abrasive, mean personalities I have ever encountered online. This mean, bully personality trait is common among the small minority of wood burners amongst us polluting our precious air. Mean and nasty. Being an asshole must be a prerequisite to become an air polluting bonfire burner. It has to be because the rest of us are concerned about how our actions affect those around us.

One person's back-yard burn is others' bane

Link to the comments section

My posts are under the nickname of nspresident.

To holtjan: I hope you visit my blog again and I hope you mention it to your neighbors. If you search Google for any combination of the name of the city of North St. Paul you will find that this blog has a placement on the front page of the search results. I've had something approaching 20,000 visitors in the past two years or so to this blog, and that's with this blog not being updated during the winter months. I would like more locals to visit. So please, mention this blog to your neighbors, holtjan.

The Star Tribune comment moderators did not post a comment I made containing some text and a link to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's hazards of wood smoke page. So I will post my unpublished comment here along with another comment I made just in case it is not published.

Submitted at 10:37 PM by nspresident and not published:

Asthma attacks, heart problems, and other medical issues can be triggered by wood smoke. Don't believe me? Here's a link from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. "Wood smoke contains a hazardous mixture of chemical substances such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dioxin, and inhalable particulate matter (PM). Some of the VOCs are irritating, toxic, and/or cancer causing. One of the biggest human health threats from smoke, indoors or outdoors, comes from PM. Wood smoke PM is composed of wood tars, gases, soot, and ashes. Most of the particulate matter in wood smoke is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. These are called “fine particles” or PM2.5. Their small size allows them to go deep into the lungs. Some of the toxic chemicals from wood smoke combine with the fine particles and are also carried deeper into the lungs. Fine particles can trigger respiratory problems such as asthma attacks and even heart problems. Fine particles are considered especially dangerous for young children with developing lungs, the elderly, and people of all ages who have asthma, bronchitis, other respiratory problems, and cardiovascular disease."

My next comment currently awaiting moderation submitted at 11:37 PM:

@holtjan: To say you have an abrasive personality would be an understatement. You are insulting with every breath. You are typical of the BULLY mentality of wood burners who enjoy being a nuisance to hundreds of people. Why such a bad attitude? I have written about the Tower Park neighborhood in the past years and yes, it can be quite smoky over there, but no match for where we live (put "tower" in the search box at the top of the blog to find posts about that area). You like the smoke, do you? I doubt that very much. Because if you do like it, perhaps I could buy your neighbors an entire summer's supply of wood to burn? Would you like that? Tell your neighbors to email me and ask for some FREE firewood and maybe I'll buy them some to make sure you have smoky air ALL summer long. Also, holtjan, there was NO bonfire burning years ago. None. There was no bonfire burning in 1997, and there probably was none in 1990 (I've been told there was none as far back as the 1970s). Not once did we have to close the windows because of smoky air in the late 1990s. Not once. And tell your neighbors about my blog. May your nights be filled with wood smoke so heavy it burns your sinuses and irritates your eyes. Thank you and have a nice night.

holtjan, if you wish to discuss this further with me, you can email me at the address found on this page. I will be happy to post your emails to me on this blog so we can have a discussion on the issue should you be willing to leave your insulting, bully attitude behind. Once more, please tell your neighbors down in Tower Park about this blog. Not all of them love smoky air as much as you do I will wager.

I have been maintaining this blog for over three years now. This is not something I do because I enjoy it. It's something I do so others can see how we are forced to live in this hell called North St. Paul. I did not think this wood smoke problem would last as long as it has. Everything on this blog is what we experience in North St. Paul, MN. Your experience may vary, and it very well may be much worse.