At the end of summer last year I was dismayed because my next door neighbor in my mobile home park was in the habit of using his wood burning stove even during balmy fall days. Because I am uphill from him and his chimney does not provide adequate clearance, I have been forced to inhale his smoke when the wind blows a certain direction. Talking to him and my park managers did no good.
However, there is one person I was able to talk to who truly listened and sympathized with me. This person is Sandy at the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District. Many times I stood outside watching noxious smoke blooming from my neighbor's chimney, talking with Sandy. She didn't tell me to close my windows and deal with it. She informed me that there is an effort underway to educate people in the proper and responsible way to operate their wood burning stoves. Due to the terrain in parts of Scotts Valley and large sections of the San Lorenzo Valley, the wood smoke tends to stagnate and everyone is forced to breathe it at the detriment to their health. Sandy sent my neighbor safe wood burning information. She even called and talked to him on the phone (nicely). Kudos to Sandy at the Monterey Unified Air Pollution Control District and to our wonderful 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson for their efforts to call attention to a little addressed problem that affects so many of us!
Virginia Miller, Scotts Valley