Season's Scrooging from Maricopa County

Tags: christmas, county, people, maricopa, quality, matter, micrograms, reaction, arizona, government

I must confess to having had a major laugh today to my seven-year old's reaction to the Maricopa County (Arizona) Air Quality Department's issuance of it's fifth no-burn day since Christmas Eve. Her reaction to our local government Scrooge: "that's not just stupid, it's idiotic!"

As a very practical matter, I have to agree, federal threats over the County's violation of particulate matter standards notwithstanding. At a time when people are generally frustrated with big government at all levels, how out-of-touch is it to start rolling out a sequence of burn-bans on Christmas Eve, the moment that families typically come together to do enjoy things like eggnog and presents around a fireplace? Or New Years Eve celebrations, for that matter.

Better dial up the fireplace DVD in Maricopa County though, or else you're looking at a $50 to $250 fine if some bureaucrat in a truck spots the smoke from your chimney. The good news is that despite government's urging, citizens don't seem willing to turn in their neighbors for ignoring this nanny-state overreach—per the Arizona Republic (emphasis mine):

Last week's Christmas Eve no-burn advisory upset hundreds of people, who vented their anger on and in phone calls and e-mails to the county Air Quality Department. [...]

Even with warnings about the health risks of polluting the air, many people went ahead and burned Christmas Eve fires anyway. The 24-hour average for fine-particle pollution was 39.6 micrograms per cubic meter on Christmas Eve. The next day, the average spiked to 87.6 micrograms per cubic meter. [...]

Even with the smoke clearly visible in the air, the county did not receive one complaint from residents, who are encouraged to report violators.

Nanny Scrooge's response is typically tone-deaf:

"People would say, 'How dare you tell me not to burn on Christmas?' " said Holly Ward, a spokeswoman for the county agency.

"We don't do this based on what day of the week it is. It's based on meteorology and air-quality data. The air was really bad on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we put restrictions in place to keep people from adding to pollution."

I hope it's not lost on Maricopa taxpayers that the whole reason for these spoilsport moves is that the Feds have threatened to withhold highway money from the County if it doesn't meet a D.C.-set standard of so many micrograms per cubic meter of some tiny particles between 7 to 28 times smaller than a human hair (PM10 and PM2.5, respectively). Given all of the other naturally-occuring airborne dusts out there that we have no hope of controlling, I, for one, feel much safer that our wise leaders in D.C. are on top of these two.

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Lely said... Rating: 0   Vote +   Vote -  

First off, I live in Ca. The majority of Mexicans here don’t want to prsoper in the way immigrants from other countries strived to do in the past. They hang the Mexican flag on their homes and decorate their vehicles with Mexican flag bumper stickers, and other representation of Mexico. They continue to reproduce so they can get extra head counts in Welfare. Not only are they rewarded a nice monthly allowance of welfare, but they are rewarded food stamp debit cards, and WIC. The immigrants in the past when the country was founded were desperate and excited to learn English, and prsoper. They learned trades, and took the appropriate steps to become U.S. Citizens. These people just send the money they do make back to Mexico. They frequent garage sales and send goods back to Mexico. They refuse to learn English. G.T. Maloney has made some worthy observations, and you can bet Kasy’s teacher is Hispanic. Racism is way off the mark in her topic, but the Mexican way of life and upbringing is how to get by and cheat the system and get a free ride. How can one parent hold down a job, have 3 to 5 kids, drive a Yukon or big SUV or truck, shop at Coach, Dooney and Burke purse oweners, take their family to the Cheesecake Factory and places of that nature, Disneyland, etc. and make the mortgage, bills and receive welfare? I have seen parents pick up kids at school who get free lunches, but they sure have the top of the line stereo and spinning wheels. Then, it’s this same class of people who get the free lunches, free school supplies at events held at parks, free health insurance, etc. And everything is geared towards Mexicans now. Even the Los Angeles Museum Events coming up, and everytime you turn around it’s Hispanic this, and that crammed down your throat. Just go home! **** the first posting and receive welfare was ommited as I had to check the oven. Excuse me.

8/23/2012 10:41:37 AM