A Burning Issue For Our Community

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Programming note: Join the Vanguard tonight on KDRT 101.5 FM from 6 pm to 7 pm, as I host Alan Pryor who is one of the leaders in the fight to ban wood burning. You can call in with questions at 792-1648.

On July 29, 2008, the Davis City Council unanimously voted to recommend to the Natural Resources Commission to draft a resolution that would implement a full ban on wood burning in Davis with an exemption for hardship.

I will say at the onset here, that I am fully in support of that decision, particularly with such an exemption for people of lower income backgrounds who rely on wood burning as a cheaper means by which to heat their homes in the winter.

However, at the time I was concerned about the way in which this issue had been dealt with by the city, the city council, and the local paper–or that is, not dealt. I got up to speak before city council on the night of July 29, 2008, to recommend two things. First, that we need exemptions for people with hardships. And second, that we needed better outreach before this meeting.

On the morning of July 29, I wrote this article in the Vanguard. It essentially lays out my position on the technical aspects of this issue. But I believe that for many in this community, they did not know this issue was even under consideration until that article appeared the Vanguard and subsequently an article in the Davis Enterprise on July 31, 2008.

Following that article, the dam broke loose, and there have been several op-eds in the Enterprise, numerous letters to the editor, and commentary by Bob Dunning.

This is all a healthy part of the democratic process, but this should have happened before the July 29, 2008 meeting. This is an issue that effects so many in our community on both sides of the fence. Large numbers of people have come forward to tell of their health problems that they suffer from wood burning smoke during the winter months. They came before the council on that evening to present their compelling cases, and it is my belief that the council was moved by those testimonies and it enabled them to take tougher action that they were probably prepared to do prior to the meeting.

Unfortunately, there is also a group of people in this community who feel strongly the other way, and their voices were not heard on that night.

In yesterday’s Enterprise for example, George Galamba suggests what he terms a more measured approach:

It is too bad that we are unable to see shades of gray in the debate. Yes, burning wood (or gas, oil, coal, etc.) does produce smoke, and smoke is a pollutant. But there is a bit of difference between burning a branch that was blown down a few months ago in an open-hearth fireplace and burning seasoned wood in an EPA-certified stove.

Rather than a draconian ban on burning all wood, why not a measured response to the problem, which is not wood, but rather smoke? I would like to offer a few suggestions:

— If it is not already the law, ban open-hearth fireplaces in new construction. Why put a fireplace in a house and then tell the new owners that they can’t use it?

— As properties change hands, require that fireplaces be retrofitted with approved appliances or bricked up.

— Prohibit burning on days when the air is polluted.

— Issue burning permits that would require attendance at a workshop on how to burn cleanly.

In many ways it was Thomas Cahill editorial on August 5, 2008 that lit the fire.

He writes:

“One of the greatest threats to effective environmental progress is asking the public to bear the cost of environmental actions that later turn out to be unnecessary or unsupported by current science. Such errors erode the political will to do the hard and necessary environmental tasks. Think of the current credibility of the FDA, for example, after it erroneously labeled tomatoes as the salmonella culprit.

Davis is in danger of sliding down this slippery slope in instituting a total ban on wood burning when the science is not supportive of such an action.”

He argues that Davis during the winter months has low levels of Wood smoke and even during the severe problems during this summer, there were no notable increases in doctors’ visits or hospital admissions.

“There are two problems. One is that the city of Davis’ Natural Resources Commission did not have key documents that have actually determined the surprisingly low levels of wood smoke in Davis in winter, a 55-page report submitted to the City Council in March 15, 1995. This work shows that even in the worst stagnation periods, Davis represents a tiny enhancement over the valleywide winter particulate pollution, which is largely caused by diesels and smoking cars.

In addition, for the past month we have been breathing smoke from the much more dangerous wildfires at levels roughly 100 to 200 times what which we saw during our worst stagnation period, the cold, hazy day in Davis on Dec. 23, 1995.

Yet Glennah Trochet, M.D., Sacramento County’s health officer, noted no increases in doctors’ visits or hospital admissions from the present wood smoke even in the worst period of mid- to late June 2008.”

On the other hand, perhaps that should not be the measure of such problems. Many people I know cranked their air conditioning up and simply stayed inside during the horrid smoke and incessant heat of the early portion of this summer.

Alan Pryor, who will be my guest tonight on KDRT, had a response Op-Ed on August 14, 2008.

Mr. Pryor argues that:

“Cahill made three claims that are unfortunately not substantiated by the older data he presented nor accepted by the larger scientific community.”

He then refutes Mr. Cahill’s objections.

“Firstly, Cahill implies that wood smoke is not as harmful as suspected or represented… In that article, a county health officer said they had not yet observed a local jump in hospital emergency admissions due to respiratory difficulties during the recent weeks of wildfire- induced wood smoke pollution. There was no data to support that observation and that was the only item in that article that could be possibly be construed to minimize the hazards of wood smoke pollution.

In fact, the actual thrust of that article was to warn people how dangerous were the then-current levels of wood smoke pollution levels and. Both Kent Pinkerton, a UC Davis professor and expert on the health effects of air pollutants, and Larry Greene, executive officer of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, are extensively quoted in the same article, pointing out the severe adverse health effects of wood smoke. “

Next:

“Secondly, Cahill further claims his own research shows wood smoke concentrations are at “surprisingly low levels” in Davis and thus do not constitute a major pollution or health problem. This observation was based solely on a one-time measurement of air quality taken at only two different points in Davis on a single winter day about 13 years ago… The Yolo-Solano AQMD now estimates that, on average, about one-third of current wintertime particulate pollution in Davis is due to residential wood smoke. In Sacramento, the percentage of particulate air pollution due to residential wood – burning in winter is closer to 50 percent. “

Finally:

“Cahill also claims we can solve any “residual” wood smoke problems that might exist simply by heeding the “more stringent” “Spare the Air” restrictions on wood – burning that are periodically issued by the Sacramento Air Quality Management District. Well, that certainly sounds like a reasonable idea.

Unfortunately, the Sacramento AQMD issued only eight mandatory alerts last winter for restricting open-hearth fireplaces and no alerts at all restricting the use of EPA Phase II stoves. That means that during the unrestricted 112 days of the 120-day burn season (from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28), anyone in Davis could still burn an open-hearth fireplace as long as they wanted, at any time and anywhere — even next to a school, hospital, senior center or the home of an asthmatic child or senior. Similarly, an EPA Phase II stove actually could operate without any restriction whatsoever.”

The debate is interesting, informative, and necessary. I encourage people to read the full op-eds from August 5 and August 14, in addition to the feature article from Claire St. John that appeared last Thursday in the Davis Enterprise.

However, again, I want to go back a step. This debate should have occurred before the July 29, 2008 City Council meeting. That is not to say the ordinance that will emerge from the NRC will be a done deal any time soon. There will be plenty of time to debate, but it would have been helpful to have a full debate prior to the direction to the NRC.

It is easy for a city like Davis to meet the basic Brown Act requirements for open meetings. Posting notices with able lee-time are sufficient for those requirements. But as I said at the July 29 meeting, the Brown Act should be considered the bare minimum standard for public notification, not the extent to which they go to inform the public on issues that they know will generate public debate. And this was clearly an issue that would. The debate that has emerged in the last month bears out my concerns at that time.

The city, in my estimation, does not make use of its considerable power of the bully-pulpit. It is easy to sit back and rely on reporters to report on the City Council meetings. However, in fairness to the Enterprise, at best one receives the agenda on Thursday late afternoon, that leaves Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to report on anything that has to do with the council’s agenda. That is not a lot of time to warn the public and to have any sort of public debate. And so, we often see debates develop after the fact.

Fact of the matter is that the city can write its own story and submit it to the newspaper whenever it wants and the the newspaper is pretty accommodating. Heck, they could submit it to the Vanguard and nine times out of ten, I would probably run it as well.

I think it would have been helpful had the George Galamba’s and the Thomas Cahill’s of Davis had been able to weigh in on the meeting on July 29, perhaps the council would have given the same recommendation, perhaps not. But at least they would have had their say.

I know they will get their say later on in this process, that is the justification that you will hear for the way this has unfolded, but as I have discovered, the further down the field they run with the ball, the harder it is to stop forward progress. Once they get the ball in field goal range, it is all a matter of damage control.

The debate on this issue will fortunately go on, the public will learn much more about this issue before the final vote is taken, it seems likely that the final vote will be considerably weaker than the direction given in late July. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that this is a serious health issue.

In last week’s Davis Enterprise article, Jennifer Anderson of Ace Hardware was quote, among other things she suggested that the city of Davis stay out of the issue.

“Anderson said the YSAQMD should be responsible for regulating wood burning.

‘It would be my dream to just leave it to the Yolo Solano Air Quality realm and not bring it into local politics, because that’s what they’re there for,’ she said.”

As I understand the issue however, the YSAQMD sets emission standards, it does not regulate wood burning or set policy for the city. The local jurisdictions are in charge of setting such policies.

I point this out because these are issues that must be fully vetted in public and explained. What are the emissions requirements that the city has no control over and what policies are needed in order to meet those standards.

The next question is whether those standards are tough enough. Just like the Brown Act, emissions standards can be minimum requirements rather than limitations on regulations. They are often based as much on political expediency as they are on scientific premises. We need to sort through and determine whether we need to simply adhere to these standards or whether we as the city of Davis, need to set our own in order to meet the health needs of the population.

Regardless, these questions still need to be sorted out and the city has a duty to educate the public on this issue. If the city believes that wood burning represents a health threat, then they should use the power of the bully-pulpit to communicate that, rather than sit back and let those who like the comfort of burning dictate the terms of this debate.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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72 thoughts on “A Burning Issue For Our Community”

  1. Anonymous

    While wood fire smoke fills our East Davis neighborhood with dirty air during foggy winter evenings, a total ban on wood burning seems a knee-jerk reaction to a limited problem. A comprehensive, measured look at alternatives seems appropriate. If those folks aren’t burning wood, you know they’ll be burning fossil fuels.

  2. Anonymous

    While wood fire smoke fills our East Davis neighborhood with dirty air during foggy winter evenings, a total ban on wood burning seems a knee-jerk reaction to a limited problem. A comprehensive, measured look at alternatives seems appropriate. If those folks aren’t burning wood, you know they’ll be burning fossil fuels.

  3. Anonymous

    While wood fire smoke fills our East Davis neighborhood with dirty air during foggy winter evenings, a total ban on wood burning seems a knee-jerk reaction to a limited problem. A comprehensive, measured look at alternatives seems appropriate. If those folks aren’t burning wood, you know they’ll be burning fossil fuels.

  4. Anonymous

    While wood fire smoke fills our East Davis neighborhood with dirty air during foggy winter evenings, a total ban on wood burning seems a knee-jerk reaction to a limited problem. A comprehensive, measured look at alternatives seems appropriate. If those folks aren’t burning wood, you know they’ll be burning fossil fuels.

  5. Mike Hart

    Let me see if I understand the key issue here… smoke is bad for you. But, smoke from poor people is okay? Couldn’t ask for a better argument why “low-income housing” is such a bad idea. Who wants these pollution-causing threats to our health living nearby?

    Ahhh… classic Davis theater. A few dozen hyper-sensitive liberals get panties in a bunch about some perceived environmental danger and propose sweeping new rules; a different set of bleeding-heart liberals panic about the impact to the “economically disadvantaged” and create exemption which essentially creates an environmental justice issue. Poor people with health problems who live near poor people who use fires will be the next group to demand concessions…

    you guys crack me up.

  6. Mike Hart

    Let me see if I understand the key issue here… smoke is bad for you. But, smoke from poor people is okay? Couldn’t ask for a better argument why “low-income housing” is such a bad idea. Who wants these pollution-causing threats to our health living nearby?

    Ahhh… classic Davis theater. A few dozen hyper-sensitive liberals get panties in a bunch about some perceived environmental danger and propose sweeping new rules; a different set of bleeding-heart liberals panic about the impact to the “economically disadvantaged” and create exemption which essentially creates an environmental justice issue. Poor people with health problems who live near poor people who use fires will be the next group to demand concessions…

    you guys crack me up.

  7. Mike Hart

    Let me see if I understand the key issue here… smoke is bad for you. But, smoke from poor people is okay? Couldn’t ask for a better argument why “low-income housing” is such a bad idea. Who wants these pollution-causing threats to our health living nearby?

    Ahhh… classic Davis theater. A few dozen hyper-sensitive liberals get panties in a bunch about some perceived environmental danger and propose sweeping new rules; a different set of bleeding-heart liberals panic about the impact to the “economically disadvantaged” and create exemption which essentially creates an environmental justice issue. Poor people with health problems who live near poor people who use fires will be the next group to demand concessions…

    you guys crack me up.

  8. Mike Hart

    Let me see if I understand the key issue here… smoke is bad for you. But, smoke from poor people is okay? Couldn’t ask for a better argument why “low-income housing” is such a bad idea. Who wants these pollution-causing threats to our health living nearby?

    Ahhh… classic Davis theater. A few dozen hyper-sensitive liberals get panties in a bunch about some perceived environmental danger and propose sweeping new rules; a different set of bleeding-heart liberals panic about the impact to the “economically disadvantaged” and create exemption which essentially creates an environmental justice issue. Poor people with health problems who live near poor people who use fires will be the next group to demand concessions…

    you guys crack me up.

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    You’re actually conflating two distinct issues.

    The first is total cumulative affect of emissions from a number of wood burning apparati from across the community.

    The second is the individual impact of the ban on residents who cannot afford other ways of heating their homes.

    The first is accomplished with a generalized ban on wood burning, the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    You’re actually conflating two distinct issues.

    The first is total cumulative affect of emissions from a number of wood burning apparati from across the community.

    The second is the individual impact of the ban on residents who cannot afford other ways of heating their homes.

    The first is accomplished with a generalized ban on wood burning, the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    You’re actually conflating two distinct issues.

    The first is total cumulative affect of emissions from a number of wood burning apparati from across the community.

    The second is the individual impact of the ban on residents who cannot afford other ways of heating their homes.

    The first is accomplished with a generalized ban on wood burning, the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    You’re actually conflating two distinct issues.

    The first is total cumulative affect of emissions from a number of wood burning apparati from across the community.

    The second is the individual impact of the ban on residents who cannot afford other ways of heating their homes.

    The first is accomplished with a generalized ban on wood burning, the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.

  13. Don Shor

    From your prior piece on this topic, Alan Pryor commented:
    "EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-."

    Wind speed was < 5 mph about 40% of the time between November 1 and February 28 last winter. It is almost never the case on rainy days, and on those days the high temperature is usually several degrees below average. So it seems unreasonable to tell people that they can't use wood-burning devices on rainy days, when they are most likely to derive greatest benefit from them and when the EPA Phase II fireplaces, according to Alan Pryor, are not harmful.

  14. Don Shor

    From your prior piece on this topic, Alan Pryor commented:
    "EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-."

    Wind speed was < 5 mph about 40% of the time between November 1 and February 28 last winter. It is almost never the case on rainy days, and on those days the high temperature is usually several degrees below average. So it seems unreasonable to tell people that they can't use wood-burning devices on rainy days, when they are most likely to derive greatest benefit from them and when the EPA Phase II fireplaces, according to Alan Pryor, are not harmful.

  15. Don Shor

    From your prior piece on this topic, Alan Pryor commented:
    "EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-."

    Wind speed was < 5 mph about 40% of the time between November 1 and February 28 last winter. It is almost never the case on rainy days, and on those days the high temperature is usually several degrees below average. So it seems unreasonable to tell people that they can't use wood-burning devices on rainy days, when they are most likely to derive greatest benefit from them and when the EPA Phase II fireplaces, according to Alan Pryor, are not harmful.

  16. Don Shor

    From your prior piece on this topic, Alan Pryor commented:
    "EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-."

    Wind speed was < 5 mph about 40% of the time between November 1 and February 28 last winter. It is almost never the case on rainy days, and on those days the high temperature is usually several degrees below average. So it seems unreasonable to tell people that they can't use wood-burning devices on rainy days, when they are most likely to derive greatest benefit from them and when the EPA Phase II fireplaces, according to Alan Pryor, are not harmful.

  17. Black Bart

    People have been burning wood for heat for 500,000 years. All of a sudden people want to stop. Why, so we can burn more fossil fuels raising our utility bills more than measure W? What happened to the people who want to preserve Davis? This has been how people warmed their houses in Davis for so many years.

    Over kill is the only way to describe this. We might look at having no burn days when there are inversions in the winter but Cahill is right this goes much too far.

  18. Black Bart

    People have been burning wood for heat for 500,000 years. All of a sudden people want to stop. Why, so we can burn more fossil fuels raising our utility bills more than measure W? What happened to the people who want to preserve Davis? This has been how people warmed their houses in Davis for so many years.

    Over kill is the only way to describe this. We might look at having no burn days when there are inversions in the winter but Cahill is right this goes much too far.

  19. Black Bart

    People have been burning wood for heat for 500,000 years. All of a sudden people want to stop. Why, so we can burn more fossil fuels raising our utility bills more than measure W? What happened to the people who want to preserve Davis? This has been how people warmed their houses in Davis for so many years.

    Over kill is the only way to describe this. We might look at having no burn days when there are inversions in the winter but Cahill is right this goes much too far.

  20. Black Bart

    People have been burning wood for heat for 500,000 years. All of a sudden people want to stop. Why, so we can burn more fossil fuels raising our utility bills more than measure W? What happened to the people who want to preserve Davis? This has been how people warmed their houses in Davis for so many years.

    Over kill is the only way to describe this. We might look at having no burn days when there are inversions in the winter but Cahill is right this goes much too far.

  21. Don Shor

    I won't be in broadcast range for the live broadcast of the radio show, so I'll just pose a question for Alan here and hope to hear the discussion on the podcast.

    Weather data is available at ipm.ucdavis.edu. Using 2007 as an example, wind speed between November 1 and Feb. 28 was 5 mph or greater about 60% of the time. Let's assume 2007 was a fairly typical year. Anyone who has the time can compare it to other years.

    According to your research, the EPA Phase Ii fireplaces are a problem when the windspeed is < 5 mph, about 40% of the time. There was only one rainy day when the windspeed was < 5 mph; I don't know if particulate pollution is an issue on a rainy day at any windspeed.
    Would it not be reasonable to restrict use of these fireplaces only on days when there is not likely to be sufficient wind? And to allow full use on any rainy day?

    To put it another way: why do you propose banning use of EPA Phase II fireplaces 100% of the time when they are only a problem 40% of the time?

    If particulate pollution is not a problem on rainy days, would it be reasonable to allow open-hearth fireplace use on rainy days?

    In other words, would it be possible to target the ordinance to effectively reduce the harmful use, rather than eliminate all wood-burning?

  22. Don Shor

    I won't be in broadcast range for the live broadcast of the radio show, so I'll just pose a question for Alan here and hope to hear the discussion on the podcast.

    Weather data is available at ipm.ucdavis.edu. Using 2007 as an example, wind speed between November 1 and Feb. 28 was 5 mph or greater about 60% of the time. Let's assume 2007 was a fairly typical year. Anyone who has the time can compare it to other years.

    According to your research, the EPA Phase Ii fireplaces are a problem when the windspeed is < 5 mph, about 40% of the time. There was only one rainy day when the windspeed was < 5 mph; I don't know if particulate pollution is an issue on a rainy day at any windspeed.
    Would it not be reasonable to restrict use of these fireplaces only on days when there is not likely to be sufficient wind? And to allow full use on any rainy day?

    To put it another way: why do you propose banning use of EPA Phase II fireplaces 100% of the time when they are only a problem 40% of the time?

    If particulate pollution is not a problem on rainy days, would it be reasonable to allow open-hearth fireplace use on rainy days?

    In other words, would it be possible to target the ordinance to effectively reduce the harmful use, rather than eliminate all wood-burning?

  23. Don Shor

    I won't be in broadcast range for the live broadcast of the radio show, so I'll just pose a question for Alan here and hope to hear the discussion on the podcast.

    Weather data is available at ipm.ucdavis.edu. Using 2007 as an example, wind speed between November 1 and Feb. 28 was 5 mph or greater about 60% of the time. Let's assume 2007 was a fairly typical year. Anyone who has the time can compare it to other years.

    According to your research, the EPA Phase Ii fireplaces are a problem when the windspeed is < 5 mph, about 40% of the time. There was only one rainy day when the windspeed was < 5 mph; I don't know if particulate pollution is an issue on a rainy day at any windspeed.
    Would it not be reasonable to restrict use of these fireplaces only on days when there is not likely to be sufficient wind? And to allow full use on any rainy day?

    To put it another way: why do you propose banning use of EPA Phase II fireplaces 100% of the time when they are only a problem 40% of the time?

    If particulate pollution is not a problem on rainy days, would it be reasonable to allow open-hearth fireplace use on rainy days?

    In other words, would it be possible to target the ordinance to effectively reduce the harmful use, rather than eliminate all wood-burning?

  24. Don Shor

    I won't be in broadcast range for the live broadcast of the radio show, so I'll just pose a question for Alan here and hope to hear the discussion on the podcast.

    Weather data is available at ipm.ucdavis.edu. Using 2007 as an example, wind speed between November 1 and Feb. 28 was 5 mph or greater about 60% of the time. Let's assume 2007 was a fairly typical year. Anyone who has the time can compare it to other years.

    According to your research, the EPA Phase Ii fireplaces are a problem when the windspeed is < 5 mph, about 40% of the time. There was only one rainy day when the windspeed was < 5 mph; I don't know if particulate pollution is an issue on a rainy day at any windspeed.
    Would it not be reasonable to restrict use of these fireplaces only on days when there is not likely to be sufficient wind? And to allow full use on any rainy day?

    To put it another way: why do you propose banning use of EPA Phase II fireplaces 100% of the time when they are only a problem 40% of the time?

    If particulate pollution is not a problem on rainy days, would it be reasonable to allow open-hearth fireplace use on rainy days?

    In other words, would it be possible to target the ordinance to effectively reduce the harmful use, rather than eliminate all wood-burning?

  25. Rich Rifkin

    Anon 4:15

    Per usual, Daniel Weintraub writes a good column and is right. However, it’s unfair to associate Mrs. Cecilia DPD with this particular stance of labor unions; and even more unfair to presume her husband agrees with the unions and the California Democratic Party here.

    Just because a person works for a particular organization — I don’t think the SEIU was specifically mentioned in that piece — and generally believes in its cause does not mean one agrees with all of its stances.

  26. Rich Rifkin

    Anon 4:15

    Per usual, Daniel Weintraub writes a good column and is right. However, it’s unfair to associate Mrs. Cecilia DPD with this particular stance of labor unions; and even more unfair to presume her husband agrees with the unions and the California Democratic Party here.

    Just because a person works for a particular organization — I don’t think the SEIU was specifically mentioned in that piece — and generally believes in its cause does not mean one agrees with all of its stances.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    Anon 4:15

    Per usual, Daniel Weintraub writes a good column and is right. However, it’s unfair to associate Mrs. Cecilia DPD with this particular stance of labor unions; and even more unfair to presume her husband agrees with the unions and the California Democratic Party here.

    Just because a person works for a particular organization — I don’t think the SEIU was specifically mentioned in that piece — and generally believes in its cause does not mean one agrees with all of its stances.

  28. Rich Rifkin

    Anon 4:15

    Per usual, Daniel Weintraub writes a good column and is right. However, it’s unfair to associate Mrs. Cecilia DPD with this particular stance of labor unions; and even more unfair to presume her husband agrees with the unions and the California Democratic Party here.

    Just because a person works for a particular organization — I don’t think the SEIU was specifically mentioned in that piece — and generally believes in its cause does not mean one agrees with all of its stances.

  29. Eat Meat

    “…the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.”

    Humm… let’s see… poor people cannot afford to smog their car, so how come they don’t get a pass for that? Poor people cannot afford to pay for parking fees or parking tickets, so why not just let them park everywhere for free? Poor people cannot afford city services, so why not allow them to dump their garbage in public areas? The cumulative impact on the community would be minimal, right?

    The logic of the Davis Do-Gooders is always as entertaining as it is illogical.

    The danger is that there are a growing number of numbskulls that think this way… and they want to control all government!

    Here is where we are headed: residents cannot BBQ because of the dangerous health effects of the smoke and offensiveness to all the vegans living in town… except for the poor who cannot afford meat… except the few vegans they can catch.

  30. Eat Meat

    “…the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.”

    Humm… let’s see… poor people cannot afford to smog their car, so how come they don’t get a pass for that? Poor people cannot afford to pay for parking fees or parking tickets, so why not just let them park everywhere for free? Poor people cannot afford city services, so why not allow them to dump their garbage in public areas? The cumulative impact on the community would be minimal, right?

    The logic of the Davis Do-Gooders is always as entertaining as it is illogical.

    The danger is that there are a growing number of numbskulls that think this way… and they want to control all government!

    Here is where we are headed: residents cannot BBQ because of the dangerous health effects of the smoke and offensiveness to all the vegans living in town… except for the poor who cannot afford meat… except the few vegans they can catch.

  31. Eat Meat

    “…the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.”

    Humm… let’s see… poor people cannot afford to smog their car, so how come they don’t get a pass for that? Poor people cannot afford to pay for parking fees or parking tickets, so why not just let them park everywhere for free? Poor people cannot afford city services, so why not allow them to dump their garbage in public areas? The cumulative impact on the community would be minimal, right?

    The logic of the Davis Do-Gooders is always as entertaining as it is illogical.

    The danger is that there are a growing number of numbskulls that think this way… and they want to control all government!

    Here is where we are headed: residents cannot BBQ because of the dangerous health effects of the smoke and offensiveness to all the vegans living in town… except for the poor who cannot afford meat… except the few vegans they can catch.

  32. Eat Meat

    “…the impact of a few low income residents continuing to burn wood is minimal in terms of the cumulative impact on the community.”

    Humm… let’s see… poor people cannot afford to smog their car, so how come they don’t get a pass for that? Poor people cannot afford to pay for parking fees or parking tickets, so why not just let them park everywhere for free? Poor people cannot afford city services, so why not allow them to dump their garbage in public areas? The cumulative impact on the community would be minimal, right?

    The logic of the Davis Do-Gooders is always as entertaining as it is illogical.

    The danger is that there are a growing number of numbskulls that think this way… and they want to control all government!

    Here is where we are headed: residents cannot BBQ because of the dangerous health effects of the smoke and offensiveness to all the vegans living in town… except for the poor who cannot afford meat… except the few vegans they can catch.

  33. Doug Paul Davis

    Your logic is that poor people are not exempt for a number of things, thus they shouldn’t be exempt from anything? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.

  34. Doug Paul Davis

    Your logic is that poor people are not exempt for a number of things, thus they shouldn’t be exempt from anything? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.

  35. Doug Paul Davis

    Your logic is that poor people are not exempt for a number of things, thus they shouldn’t be exempt from anything? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.

  36. Doug Paul Davis

    Your logic is that poor people are not exempt for a number of things, thus they shouldn’t be exempt from anything? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.

  37. eat meat

    “I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.”

    I’m certainly a fan of the case-by-case basis decision process. Why then don’t we extend this “case-by-case” basis test to more than just poor verses not-poor people? At what point does the individual hardship caused by the ban exceed the perceived cost of impacts to the general population? How can this be calculated? What if one poor person burns 10-times the wood of the average non-poor person?

    Don’t we see the difficulty with this logic? It says “poor people can pollute the air, but not non-poor people.” What if we lived where there were more poor people? I suspect that you would reach a point that you could not support allowing the poor people to burn their wood. This then calls into question the logic of your altruism… because it is situational… e.g., we only care about the poor people in Davis because there are not too many of them.

    Liberal environmentalists have blocked nuclear, gas and oil production increases for years. For example, recently, fears of global warming were used to block a plan for Australia to ship cheap LNG to the CA coast… thereby preventing an increase of the supply and a lowering of the cost of natural gas. So, with all this blocking, energy to heat our homes has skyrocketed… making wood a more attractive alternative. Now the environmental crazies want to block that too… except for the poor.

    I have another idea. How about all the people that cannot stand smelling the smoke from Davis fireplaces move away where the winters are warm. I would support a ban on people that complain about everything before I would support a ban on fireplaces.

  38. eat meat

    “I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.”

    I’m certainly a fan of the case-by-case basis decision process. Why then don’t we extend this “case-by-case” basis test to more than just poor verses not-poor people? At what point does the individual hardship caused by the ban exceed the perceived cost of impacts to the general population? How can this be calculated? What if one poor person burns 10-times the wood of the average non-poor person?

    Don’t we see the difficulty with this logic? It says “poor people can pollute the air, but not non-poor people.” What if we lived where there were more poor people? I suspect that you would reach a point that you could not support allowing the poor people to burn their wood. This then calls into question the logic of your altruism… because it is situational… e.g., we only care about the poor people in Davis because there are not too many of them.

    Liberal environmentalists have blocked nuclear, gas and oil production increases for years. For example, recently, fears of global warming were used to block a plan for Australia to ship cheap LNG to the CA coast… thereby preventing an increase of the supply and a lowering of the cost of natural gas. So, with all this blocking, energy to heat our homes has skyrocketed… making wood a more attractive alternative. Now the environmental crazies want to block that too… except for the poor.

    I have another idea. How about all the people that cannot stand smelling the smoke from Davis fireplaces move away where the winters are warm. I would support a ban on people that complain about everything before I would support a ban on fireplaces.

  39. eat meat

    “I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.”

    I’m certainly a fan of the case-by-case basis decision process. Why then don’t we extend this “case-by-case” basis test to more than just poor verses not-poor people? At what point does the individual hardship caused by the ban exceed the perceived cost of impacts to the general population? How can this be calculated? What if one poor person burns 10-times the wood of the average non-poor person?

    Don’t we see the difficulty with this logic? It says “poor people can pollute the air, but not non-poor people.” What if we lived where there were more poor people? I suspect that you would reach a point that you could not support allowing the poor people to burn their wood. This then calls into question the logic of your altruism… because it is situational… e.g., we only care about the poor people in Davis because there are not too many of them.

    Liberal environmentalists have blocked nuclear, gas and oil production increases for years. For example, recently, fears of global warming were used to block a plan for Australia to ship cheap LNG to the CA coast… thereby preventing an increase of the supply and a lowering of the cost of natural gas. So, with all this blocking, energy to heat our homes has skyrocketed… making wood a more attractive alternative. Now the environmental crazies want to block that too… except for the poor.

    I have another idea. How about all the people that cannot stand smelling the smoke from Davis fireplaces move away where the winters are warm. I would support a ban on people that complain about everything before I would support a ban on fireplaces.

  40. eat meat

    “I think we can look at it on a case by case basis and see where it makes sense and where it doesn’t.”

    I’m certainly a fan of the case-by-case basis decision process. Why then don’t we extend this “case-by-case” basis test to more than just poor verses not-poor people? At what point does the individual hardship caused by the ban exceed the perceived cost of impacts to the general population? How can this be calculated? What if one poor person burns 10-times the wood of the average non-poor person?

    Don’t we see the difficulty with this logic? It says “poor people can pollute the air, but not non-poor people.” What if we lived where there were more poor people? I suspect that you would reach a point that you could not support allowing the poor people to burn their wood. This then calls into question the logic of your altruism… because it is situational… e.g., we only care about the poor people in Davis because there are not too many of them.

    Liberal environmentalists have blocked nuclear, gas and oil production increases for years. For example, recently, fears of global warming were used to block a plan for Australia to ship cheap LNG to the CA coast… thereby preventing an increase of the supply and a lowering of the cost of natural gas. So, with all this blocking, energy to heat our homes has skyrocketed… making wood a more attractive alternative. Now the environmental crazies want to block that too… except for the poor.

    I have another idea. How about all the people that cannot stand smelling the smoke from Davis fireplaces move away where the winters are warm. I would support a ban on people that complain about everything before I would support a ban on fireplaces.

  41. Robert Ramming

    The Woodland biomass plant produces electricity for a few thousand homes by – – burning wood.

    Can anyone provide some perspective by comparing the biomass plant with Davis residential burning on an annual basis(tons of wood consumed; tons of what types of pollutants produced; tons of fossil fuels saved; etc.)?

    And what is the quantitative difference between an EPA fireplace and an open hearth (especially helpful would be comparing them in terms of pollutants per usable Btu produced)? I imagine it may have been mentioned on this blog and it is easily Googled/researched, but the farming season is still hard upon me…

    – Robert Ramming

  42. Robert Ramming

    The Woodland biomass plant produces electricity for a few thousand homes by – – burning wood.

    Can anyone provide some perspective by comparing the biomass plant with Davis residential burning on an annual basis(tons of wood consumed; tons of what types of pollutants produced; tons of fossil fuels saved; etc.)?

    And what is the quantitative difference between an EPA fireplace and an open hearth (especially helpful would be comparing them in terms of pollutants per usable Btu produced)? I imagine it may have been mentioned on this blog and it is easily Googled/researched, but the farming season is still hard upon me…

    – Robert Ramming

  43. Robert Ramming

    The Woodland biomass plant produces electricity for a few thousand homes by – – burning wood.

    Can anyone provide some perspective by comparing the biomass plant with Davis residential burning on an annual basis(tons of wood consumed; tons of what types of pollutants produced; tons of fossil fuels saved; etc.)?

    And what is the quantitative difference between an EPA fireplace and an open hearth (especially helpful would be comparing them in terms of pollutants per usable Btu produced)? I imagine it may have been mentioned on this blog and it is easily Googled/researched, but the farming season is still hard upon me…

    – Robert Ramming

  44. Robert Ramming

    The Woodland biomass plant produces electricity for a few thousand homes by – – burning wood.

    Can anyone provide some perspective by comparing the biomass plant with Davis residential burning on an annual basis(tons of wood consumed; tons of what types of pollutants produced; tons of fossil fuels saved; etc.)?

    And what is the quantitative difference between an EPA fireplace and an open hearth (especially helpful would be comparing them in terms of pollutants per usable Btu produced)? I imagine it may have been mentioned on this blog and it is easily Googled/researched, but the farming season is still hard upon me…

    – Robert Ramming

  45. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting questions in this is what the numbers are.

    I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood.

    On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood.

    If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.

  46. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting questions in this is what the numbers are.

    I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood.

    On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood.

    If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.

  47. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting questions in this is what the numbers are.

    I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood.

    On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood.

    If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.

  48. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting questions in this is what the numbers are.

    I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood.

    On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood.

    If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.

  49. Anonymous

    i haven’t yet seen the Nat Res Comm packet/proposed ordinance on wood burning.

    what are the proposed consequences for wood burning?

    fines only? clean air school? jail time?

    does anybody have any info regarding this?

    thanks!

  50. Anonymous

    i haven’t yet seen the Nat Res Comm packet/proposed ordinance on wood burning.

    what are the proposed consequences for wood burning?

    fines only? clean air school? jail time?

    does anybody have any info regarding this?

    thanks!

  51. Anonymous

    i haven’t yet seen the Nat Res Comm packet/proposed ordinance on wood burning.

    what are the proposed consequences for wood burning?

    fines only? clean air school? jail time?

    does anybody have any info regarding this?

    thanks!

  52. Anonymous

    i haven’t yet seen the Nat Res Comm packet/proposed ordinance on wood burning.

    what are the proposed consequences for wood burning?

    fines only? clean air school? jail time?

    does anybody have any info regarding this?

    thanks!

  53. Calculator

    “I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood. On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood. If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.”

    Let’s see, let me do the math. If only 10% are affected by smoke, and only 5% at most burn wood, then the chances are at most a half a percent that anyone would be affected by burning. That is of course assuming no wind is blowing…

  54. Calculator

    “I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood. On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood. If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.”

    Let’s see, let me do the math. If only 10% are affected by smoke, and only 5% at most burn wood, then the chances are at most a half a percent that anyone would be affected by burning. That is of course assuming no wind is blowing…

  55. Calculator

    “I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood. On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood. If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.”

    Let’s see, let me do the math. If only 10% are affected by smoke, and only 5% at most burn wood, then the chances are at most a half a percent that anyone would be affected by burning. That is of course assuming no wind is blowing…

  56. Calculator

    “I had Alan Pryor on the radio last night and he suggested at least 10 percent of the population is highly allergic and suffers severe health consequences for the particulate matter in the air from burning wood. On the other hand, he believe only about 3 to 5 percent of the city actually burns the wood. If those numbers are true, and I don’t know if they are, it’s pretty clear which way we have to come down on this.”

    Let’s see, let me do the math. If only 10% are affected by smoke, and only 5% at most burn wood, then the chances are at most a half a percent that anyone would be affected by burning. That is of course assuming no wind is blowing…

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