Don't cut 'smoke police' resources, extend them

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Don't cut 'smoke police' resources, extend them

Postby Wilberforce » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:53 am

Sunday, Jan 01 2012 11:06 PM
Don't cut 'smoke police' resources, extend them

I read with incredulity Californian CEO Richard Beene's negative comments in his Dec. 19 "Bakersfield Observed" column about "people from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District driving around town looking for people using their fireplaces on no burn days." Not only do these thoughtless comments encourage people to knowingly break the law, but Beene seems to be unaware of the horrendous pollution problem that exists in this city.

According to a May 2011 report by the American Lung Association, four of the most polluted U.S. cities are located in California, with Bakersfield being described as the dirtiest and most polluted city in the U.S. for particle pollution. The air is terrible for those with respiratory illnesses, and I can tell you firsthand it discourages capable and needed physicians from relocating here.

Personally, I think more money should be spent to stop those offenders and less money spent on some other programs much less necessary. Beene's comments only promote and sanction this aberrant, harmful and illegal behavior. Just so he knows, many new housing developments do not even allow wood-burning fireplaces for the very reasons stated above.

So before Beene offers such an irresponsible opinion to a very wide audience from a powerful position and sarcastically support individuals "enjoying a warming fire" on a no-burn day (which, frankly, every day should be in this city), I suggest he be a little more sensitive to the needs of the city and especially to those individuals with respiratory illnesses.

Harold J. Baer, M.D.
Bakersfield

source
http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/lett ... xtend-them
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