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 10, 2011

Friday 09/09/2011 Air Pollution

Smoke from a forest fire near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area up close to the Canadian border made its way into the Twin Cities today, or so says the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. I was home today and noticed a wood smoke of sorts around 12:45 PM. As polluted as North St. Paul is with all the wood and yard waste burners around here, I thought that someone was burning waste in their backyard at first. After the smoke got heavier, leaving a heavy haze visible in the air, I realized that it was more than just a regular backyard burner. While the smoke made the air hazier than normal in North St. Paul, the smell of the wood smoke did not come close to approaching what we regularly experience in this town. The smoke covered most of the Twin Cities, reportedly extending from Maplewood and White Bear Lake all the way down to Minneapolis and beyond to Shakopee.

All you people finding this blog by searching for the cause of the wood smoke in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area on Friday, September 9th, 2011, should know that we regularly have heavier wood smoke than this in North St. Paul. Living in North St. Paul is like living in hell. So if you didn't like the smoke you experienced today from the BWCA forest fires, don't think about buying a house in North St. Paul because this city is much worse.

12:45 PM: A faint to light smoke is in the air that smells like some sort of wood. I figured someone was burning in their backyard, as happens every miserable day in this horrible city.

1:00 PM: A moderately strong wood type of smoke is in the air. The air is hazy at this time. We don't usually see a smoky haze in the air like this from the nightly burning that happens in this city. The odor of wood smoke is often much heavier than this in North St. Paul.

2:00 PM: Light wood type smoke in the air. The intensity of the smoke has decreased.

3:00 PM: A faint wood type smoke continues.

4:00 PM: The smoke is almost completely gone.

5:00 PM: The smoke from earlier is now gone. 85 degrees, sunny, a very nice day.

6:00 PM: No smoke.

7:25 PM: No smoke.

After dark, I went out near Silver Lake looking for smoke. There were homes burning on Lake Blvd. Wednesday and yesterday and I found another one burning tonight. That's three evenings in a row that a home on Lake Blvd. was burning. A home on Lake Blvd., which happens to be directly behind city council member Jan Walczak's home, was having a very smoky bonfire. They had another very smoky bonfire earlier this year and may have had more. I don't go looking for burners over at Silver Lake that often. There was no breeze at this time, but the smoke was drifting south. I could not smell the smoke along Lake Blvd. or along Helen St., but the wood smoke was very heavy on 19th between Helen & Lake. I also found more wood smoke on 19th near Longview from a home on Longview that was burning, sending flaming embers up into their neighbor's tree. Assholes who burn wood are not cautious about fire safety. You will see these recreational burners doing dangerous things all the time like having a huge bonfire right next to their neighbor's wooden fence.

8:00 PM: No smoke where we are.

8:25 PM: Faint wood smoke. I knew the air would be smoky. Earlier, the smoke from the two fires I found was drifting south. I guess the burner producing the smoke we smell is to our north. No matter which way the wind blows, the air is smoky every evening in this horrible nightmare city. North St. Paul sucks!

9:00 PM: Faint wood smoke continues.

9:40 PM: Faint wood smoke continues.

10:00 PM: Light wood smoke. The smoke is getting heavier. It looks like the air conditioning will have to remain on all night long. There is no chance of opening the windows any time soon.

10:45 PM: Light wood smoke.

11:00 PM: Light wood smoke continues. This was the last check of the night.

The air was fresh when I woke Saturday morning. It's common in North St. Paul for people to leave their bonfires smoldering all night long. It happens all the time. But not this morning.