One of my joys is to sit in my backyard and read, listen to the birds and enjoy the blue sky, or visit with friends. However, the neighbor across the alley has a fire pit. As soon as they light their fire pit, I am forced to give up my pleasant escape and go into the house.

I have asthma. The smoke affects my breathing. Breathing trumps campfires. To live, you have to breathe. There are no health-affecting consequences if you don’t have a campfire. Even when I go into my house, I can still smell the smoke from their fire pit. 

I urge you to take your residents’ heath seriously. “Life’s better around a campfire.” For whom? Certainly not your neighbors. 

I remember an old saying about rights. “Yes, you have a right to swing your fist. However, your right to swing your fist ends before it hits my nose.” 

If it was possible to keep the smoke only on one’s property, that would be fine. However, we know that’s impossible. To me, there’s no question. Breathing trumps campfires.

Clare Donovan