Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor
Reader urges vote on leaf burning ban

November 07, 2012

Dear Editor,

I spent time reading the new policy around burning in Clarkston and thought it was a joke until I read on. In order for me to breathe fresh air, I have to submit a doctor's note to the fire department in order to keep from leaves burning near me.

I feel this is old world thinking, only thinking of ourselves and not thinking of the great good of mankind. What the effects are that leaf burning has on the environment, the future of the world, and it's people.

Sometime ago we realized that second hand smoke from smokers is far more deadly and finally created laws to ban smoking in most public places. Did you know that according to the EPA, Leaf burning generates dangerously large quantities of carbon monoxide, particulates, and at least seven proven carcinogens directly related to cancer? A lot worse than second hand smoke.

The health care costs that associate are going up every year is another reason reducing pollution is so important today. We all have to do our part to save the planet and our neighbor. It's not someone else's responsibility it's all of us.

Wake up Clarkston. Many states have banned state wide burning. Many counties in Michigan Banned Burning. So what if it costs us more as individuals, a small amount extra each year to get rid of the waste?

Personally I don't know what trash company you're with, but most of the trash companies in our area remove leaves at no additional fee. You just have to bag them up or even use them for compost. So why has this never been on the ballot in the last 10 years for us to vote on?

I know why, because it would be banned. Yet once again the township wants to do something for the few and not the many. I say, let's quit clowning around and put this up for a public vote.

If the township won't do it, then I think the people need to force the issue to bring it to a vote. Then once the votes have been counted, we can all accept the results.

I am putting up a special email address for all of Clarkston to send me what your thoughts are. Are you for, or against leaf burning? But before you do, please go to this website by the EPA, www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/burn/leafburn2.html.

If there is enough interest, and the city is not willing to get it on the ballot, then I will take the next step and help get the required signatures to get it on the ballot. We all have a responsibility to each other, the community, the world to consider the environment, and our health to do the right thing. My email address is breathwellclarkston@comcast.net

Jim Altene

Independence Township