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, August 31, 2011

Tuesday 08/30/2011 Air Pollution

With the weather forecast calling for rain sprinkles this evening, I hoped we would be spared the usual smoke pollution.  No such luck.  The smoke wasn't heavy, but it was present as usual.

4:10 PM:  Light grass smoke in the air.  People are coming home from work and are being welcomed by burning yard waste.  That says "you have arrived in North St. Paul".  It is 68 degrees, cloudy, and scattered rain showers are in the forecast.  It looks like rain at this time.  It is common for people to hurry to burn yard waste before rain approaches.

4:15 PM:  Light to moderate grass smoke.  This is heavy for yard waste smoke.  The burner is probably not far, and might be on this block.  Looking around, I do not see any smoke rising from any of the backyards upwind.  It is breezy at this time.  I am not going to drive around looking for it as we are about to prepare dinner.

4:37 PM:  Light grass smoke.  The grass smoke comes and goes.  The breeze is shifting or the burner is burning in batches.

4:39 PM:  Light drizzle fell for a few minutes.  The rain sprinkle arrived.  I hoped this would be the end of the burning for the evening, but it wasn't.

5:54 PM:  A very faint wood smoke is in the air.  There is a light rain mist falling at this time.

6:09 PM:  A very faint smoke of some type is in the air.

6:22 PM:  Faint grass smoke in the air again.  The windows are open.  It is impossible to not notice the smoke coming in. 

6:45 PM:  No smoke.  Fresh air.

7:15 PM:  No smoke.

7:45 PM:  Light to moderate wood smoke for a minute then it was gone.  I don't know what the hell is going on in this city.  It is misting at this time.

8:00 PM:  Light wood smoke.

8:45 PM:  Faint, varying wood smoke.  It is drizzling at this time.

9:20 PM:  No smoke.  64 degrees.

10:15 PM:  No smoke.

I checked one more time between the last check and midnight and there was no smoke in the air.