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Mailbag: On the front lines with fireworks

January 04, 2012

I am responding to your Huntington Beach City Council fireworks debate article in last week's edition of the Independent ("Council ignites fireworks debate," Dec. 22).

Our family has lived downtown on 14th Street for 11 years, and I am appalled that Mayor Don Hansen wants to legalize fireworks for the Fourth of July. His comments and actions reflect a lack of knowledge of what occurs downtown on the Fourth. The fireworks are already out of control. Connie Boardman's quote that it is a war zone is correct. I will give you an example of how bad it is:

Several years ago, there was a police shooting on the corner of 14th and Orange Avenue on July 3. My husband was napping in a room in the front of the house and he didn't realize the shots were from a gun; he thought they were more fireworks! All hours of the day and night, the fireworks go off several days before the holiday and throughout the night. We take extra precautions to water our lawn and rooftops to prevent a fire. There are so many parties with excessive alcohol served in the neighborhood, I don't know how people can use fireworks responsibly.

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Also, there are so many tourists who do not respect the neighborhood that may be setting off fireworks. One year, there was a party on a rooftop on our block and the partyers set off fireworks from the rooftop that set a palm tree on fire. The partyers then left the neighborhood as we helped our neighbors put out the fire!

On many occasions, I leave with my husband and children to enjoy the Fourth somewhere else. Our only concern is that our house will be standing upon our return! On a final note, on July 5 there are so many burnt fireworks on the streets that need to be cleaned up that it truly looks like the aftermath of a war zone.

Shame on the City Council for making an uninformed decision that could endanger the downtown citizens' homes! They should spend the night downtown on July 4 before they change this law! I agree with the chief of the fire department; he is correct!

Debra Thompson

Huntington Beach

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Council made the right call

Congratulations to Mayor Don Hansen and the City Council on making the correct decision to vote to bring back safe and sane fireworks to our town. Other communities in Orange County have them, so it is good to know a little bit of freedom is being restored here in Huntington Beach.

Mark Cohen

Huntington Beach

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H.B. should rise above neighbors

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