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, March 17, 2012

Saturday 03/17/2012 Air Pollution

The weather forecast calls for a high of 80 degrees today with a 20 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm. It is unlikely we will have any rain tonight to keep the bonfire burners at bay. That means it will be another smoky hell of an evening in North St. Paul.

9:50 AM: Very faint grass smoke coming in the windows. 65 degrees at this time. It's nice that the yard waste burner out there somewhere is getting an early start. Early to bed, early to burn. The smoke came and went for 15 minutes or so and was gone.

2:50 PM: Very faint grass smoke is coming in the windows. Is this the same yard waste burner as earlier or is this a new one? It is breezy.

3:25 PM: Very faint grass smoke coming and going. 77 degrees in North Saint Paul.

5:30 PM: A very faint smoke of some type is in the air. It is not strong enough to determine what it is. It could be burning grass or a grill off in the distance.

6:45 PM: No smoke. The calm before the storm. Savor that last bit of fresh air because soon there won't be any for many hours. 76 degrees and beautiful. You could not ask for a nicer day. That means the air will be smoky tonight. As it always is.

7:35 PM: The air is not fresh. There is something in it. Dusk is upon us and bonfires start around this time. Getting ready to close the windows soon.

8:10 PM: Light wood smoke is coming in the windows at this time. Close the windows! It is breezy at this time. I went out and it was faintly smoky all over. I found a bonfire on the southern edge of Silver Lake at Margaret & 19th. A home was burning over there last night and tonight a different home is burning. It was also very smoky along 17th at Charles and east near the old Silver Lake Market that is now a bank of some type. It is breezy at this time. The breeze blows north, then west, and alternates between the directions. Wood smoke is being disbursed far and wide. I did not find the source of the wood smoke coming in our windows.

It is a beautiful, breezy summery evening. It would be a nice night to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant air free of insects. But we can't because the air is smoky, as it always is in North St. Paul. Can't open the windows and enjoy the breeze flowing through the house. We can only sit inside with all the windows closed up tight. We are prisoners in our own home was again.

9:00 PM: Faint wood smoke.

9:30 PM: Light wood smoke.

9:45 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke. The wood smoke is getting stronger. Around 70 degrees at this time.

11:15 PM: Faint to light wood smoke. Last check of the evening. There is no chance of opening the windows before bed. We can only hope the air is free of wood smoke pollution come morning so we can open the windows up and enjoy the weather before it gets colder again.

The air was fresh when I woke up Sunday morning. Thankfully. It is common for the air to be smoky in the morning because people leave their bonfires smoldering all night. The air was not as smoky as last night, but was too smoky to sit outside or open the windows.

Smoky, polluted air every day of your life in North St. Paul.