2011 Sept. 25: AK Fairbanks: Outdoor boilers’ true cost: Kids, neighbors bear the burden & COMMENTS (Vote yes on Prop. 2 on Oct. 4)
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Although comprising less than 5 percent of solid fuel devices, these boilers contribute more than 50 percent of the smoke containing particulate matter 2.5 …
I am a lifelong Fairbanks resident with children at Woodriver Elementary School. I attended our public schools and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in chemistry. For three winters, I have watched outdoor boilers pump smoke into my children’s school.
At Woodriver, cases of asthma and upper respiratory infection and injury have been reported. During times of good air quality in Fairbanks, outdoor boilers have blanketed the school area in smoke. On several occasions every winter since the boilers were installed in 2008, Woodriver administrators have mandated indoor recess to protect student health because they couldn’t, in good conscience, allow children to run outside on a playground enveloped in smoke.
The education costs are real because fresh air increases cognitive function. On several days in the past three winters, there has been visible smoke in the hallways of the school.
As taxpayers, we all chipped in for Woodriver Elementary to pay for a filtration system that cost more than $44,000.
Should we subsidize the heating bills at a few rental properties and private homes with public money and our children’s health? Really?
Personal costs in the Woodriver area include neighbors installing home air-filtration systems, at more than $1,000 each, in an attempt to have clean air in their homes.
When you are voting on Oct. 4, take a second and imagine what it would be like to have an outdoor boiler installed next door to you, blowing smoke into your home, school or workplace. On Oct. 4, vote “yes” on Proposition 2.
Carl F. Benson has lived in Fairbanks since 1962. He and his wife Anna-Marie are raising their two children in Fairbanks.
« muddr wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 10:58 PM »
You’d throw away “a few million” to hold on to the smoky boilers? You wouldn’t be running for office would you? Your platform serves you and that’s about it.
If Mr Benson is looking for a new school, don’t consider Badger, Tik Brown, or North Pole. The foul stench along Badger isn’t safe for bus drivers or children.
I’m voting yes on Prop 2 to keep the smoke off my land and out of my home. Mr Benson is asking the same for Woodriver.
« TheAlaskaCurmudgeon wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 04:49 PM »
You notice how the same people who are opposed to responsible home heating are the same ones who voted for Miller? And as this article clearly demonstrates, we’re all subsidizing the people fouling our air just like we all subsidized Miller most of his life. And like Miller, the PM 2.5 pukers are the ones who will lecture us all about morals and personal responsibilities, the two things neither Miller nor the pukers ever demonstrate in any way, form, or fashion in their own lives.
Yep, it’s a pattern.
« oldowl wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 02:19 PM »
Time to start phasing out the coal fired power plants as well and not put any new ones into operation.
« blue_eyes wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 01:16 PM »
Lance, nice of you to post an unreadable image. I’m talking about woodsmoke, and ground level. The PM2.5 from the powerplants isn’t what’s measured at ground level in the non attainment level. That’s 60-80% woodsmoke.
Here’s one you can actually see:
« blue_eyes wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 12:05 PM »
Lance, just because you don’t believe a number doesn’t make it not true. 5% of the heating devices really do make up 51% of our woodsmoke pollution. If the number seems astonishing to you, that should be an indication of how truly awful our pollution problem is. Truth is not predicated on belief.
« AuntieOldTimer wrote on Sunday, Sep 25 at 12:04 PM »
Great Letter! Thank you for writing it. Don’t let it bother you that some lack critical thinking skills and can’t understand a logical train of thought. We obviously can’t let a few bad apples ruin the health and well being (not to mention property values) of their neighbors while crying poor me, as if there aren’t plenty of good alternatives to their polluting ways. It’s also obvious these people have no sense of civic responsibility and will not do the right thing as Tammie Wilson seems to imagine. They’ve already proven otherwise. Vote Yes on 2!