Letter: Alternatives to July 4th fireworks?


Posted by on Sat, June 28, 2008

Considering the condition of our air quality with the thousands of fires all around us, how many are concerned with our community allowing fireworks to add to this pollution. Personal fireworks are already illegal, but our Coastside community fireworks display contributes to the problem.

We are now in "moderate quality" air, and many of the fires are predicted to continue for literally months. Our environment is already in a huge mess as a result of all chemicals

The elderly, those w/asthma and other health conditions are being advised to stay indoors as much as possible. My horse developerd colic last year as a result of the Coastside fireworks display. And I have heard of others angry that their domestic pets suffer. It would be great if someone with a creative mind could come up with a new idea of how to celebrate the 4th.

The pretty lights and the loud noises are for the kids, and they could be entertained in new ways that protect our environment and don’t make it worse.

Susan Webb

There are so many illegal fireworks and gun discharges in my neighborhood every 4th of July (I live in Arleta Park) that this year I am fleeing to Marin County to spend the night with a friend.  My poor dog gets so freaked out by all the illegal fireworks and they are usually the loudest type possible…..nothing pretty about them.  I’ve had it.

I love the community fireworks display at the harbor and I’m glad to see it finally has a stable sponsor.

I think a surprising number of Coastsiders are confused by the fact that as they drive through Pacifica, fireworks are for sale on every corner. They don’t understand that those fireworks are illegal in the unincorporated Midcoast and Half Moon Bay.

Maybe it’s time to hold the cities selling fireworks accountable for property damage, injuries and cleanup due to fireworks.
Also fireworks are Hazmat materials these places sell them to a minors just to get the money. (I can’t even buy certain OTC drugs without showing my license)

Are you kidding me ? Seems as though you are saying that the way most of us celebrate Independence Day is really just an excuse to poison the community.

Alternatives ? Like what? I don’t see any ideas here. If you don’t like the fireworks go up into the mountains and hide in a cave with Katharine and Wolfgang because the ENTIRE country will be watching and igniting the evil bags filled with boom boom powder.

The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington’s inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today. [wikipedia][1]

Next thing I plan to see here is that we should stop giving out candy on Halloween because it promotes tooth decay. Or maybe we should stop buying roses on Valentines day because every rose screams as it’s being plucked off of its bush.

Susan I am sorry to rant here but you sound like a sour puss that needs to blow up some stuff.

The day you personally organize a beach clean up of post 4th beach clean up I will gladly volunteer. I would start by getting together with these guys http://www.SurfriderSMC.org. Don’t expect your county government to do anything that you and a bunch of other concerned people can do by getting the word out and making a difference.

Also “these places” don’t just sell them for “the money” I think that most if not all of them do it for charity.

The San Bruno Police Association donates thousands of dollars each year to a wide variety of groups, teams and charities. Currently, our primary fundraiser is the annual 4th of July “Red Devil” brand, safe-and-sane, fireworks booth (hosted in the JCPenney’s parking lot at Tanforan Park Shopping Center). Currently, state approved “safe-and-sane” fireworks within San Mateo County are only allowed in the cities of San Bruno and Pacifica and only preceding and during the brief 4th of July Holiday.  Recently, the San Mateo County Grand Jury made a recommendation that the county pass an ordinance outlawing the sales and use of state-regulated “safe-and-sane” fireworks in all cities within San Mateo County. If this happens, not only will a centuries-old patriotic tradition come to an end, but our single largest source of fundraising revenue will be curtailed.

Have a great SAFE 4th.

Tim Payne

  [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireworks

Tim don’t point your finger at me, I love boom boom powder and yes without a doubt it is part of our heritage. But there are to many people out there that don’t realize what safety is. With all the dry vegetation some common sense is a needed, middle of the street with no fields no problem.
Have a safe and happy 4th

My apologies Wolfgang. Finger retracted.


Tim, apology accepted, basically in my comment I was just refering to the mentaly challenged that don’t understand the responsibilty of fire safety involved.
take care

Just heard about the lst televised fire over the hill, caused by fireworks “already”!!

This “safe & sound” policy makes absolutely no sense.  O.K., so you can have the ones that drop on the dry ground; just not up into the air??

So it’s money that’s more important.  Well tell the people who have lost their homes & belongings to fires if the money made from the sale of fireworks covers that.

Some “traditions” that are not safe need to be changed.  It’s called “positive growth”.

So, it comes down to this.

Susan you don’t like fireworks. Your horse doesn’t like fireworks. That’s it.

Let’s tear apart each of your arguments one at a time.

With an estimated 265,000 acres scorched already, these fires could have already sent up to 4.6 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

That’s as much CO2 as a mere 9 days’ worth of California traffic generates, according to my back-of-the-envelope estimate. Do you own a car? Ever wonder how much CO2 is involved in feeding and caring for your horse?

Pick on the cars not the 1 day of legal fireworks celebrations on the 4th when it comes to pollution. A few minutes of glorious fireworks is just the smallest scratch on the surface of a huge air quality problem we face every day.

I looked into colic and horses. Seems to be a very nasty problem with many causes one of which is stress. For you and your horse I really think that some tranquilizers or leaving the area is really a good idea.

The elderly and the very young.
If they are being told to stay indoors I’m POSITIVE its not because of fireworks.

Fires over the hill due to illegal fireworks are inevitable and happen every year. I do not condone illegal fireworks, but I can feel comfortable that our law enforcement agencies will deal with that issue as it occurs and keep it to a minimum. This is an issue of the few spoiling things for the many and is why in the majority of San Mateo county fireworks of any kind are illegal.

I wonder if you even realize how much money is generated for our needy citizens from the sale of Safe and Sane fireworks. A typical charity can net $12,000 to $15,000 from a fireworks booth.

Lastly, Fireworks are for everyone not just kids. Don’t try and place an age bias on top of the rest of your weak reasoning against fireworks displays.

Leave the area with your horse and have a great time doing what you do sans explosions. Not taking my advise is just going to put you and your horses health at risk.
Allow the rest of us to enjoy celebrating the 4th in a manor that has hundreds of years of tradition behind it.
Your letter is just a selfish, self serving rant that really adds nothing other than contempt to our community discourse.

Have a super fun 4th

Tim Payne

Tim, your feedback needs no response.  People in the “know” will read & understand the superficiality from whence it comes.

No idea what that means.
People in the “know” about what specifically?

Co2 emissions ?
Colic ?
Elderly care ?
Charity organizations ?
Fireworks ?
All of the above ?

1. Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface: a superficial wound.
2. Concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; shallow.
3. Apparent rather than actual or substantial: a superficial resemblance.
4. Trivial; insignificant:

Which definition do you want to use ?

I think that my comments are a succinct rebuttal to your inane and self centered attack on a sacred holiday.

Maybe you can get one of these people “in the Know” to post here.

Here’s one:  Veteran of 8 years!

Tim—You’re attacks on a fellow American over a “sacred” holiday seem a bit over the top.

Patriots are more considerate of the wishes of their neighbors and seeking alternatives to traditional fireworks isn’t too much to ask.

Besides, rising to the challenge of develop alternatives to fireworks—particularly when you live in a tinderbox—is the American way, not bullying.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

Half Moon Bay already has one excellent alternative: an old-fashioned small-town parade down Main Street.

Community Picnics are another traditional celebration of the Fourth.

It makes me feel really old to mention it, but some years ago we had our own community parade on the 4th in Montara.

Wasn’t there also a Montara/Moss Beach picnic?   

Don’t recall the picnic, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.

I do remember there was usually a good party on Romeo’s Pier at the harbor that anyone could crash. Also, a local crowd would often hang out at the Montara Inn on summer holidays.

Montara Water and Sanitary District, the Montara/Moss Beach Water Improvement Association, and Hostelling International - Pt. Montara Lighthouse Hostel hosted a July 4 party/picnic in 2004 to celebrate a year of locally-owned water service to the Montara/Moss Beach community.

We’re inviting the community to come celebrate the district’s 50th anniversary and 5th year of water service.

Mark your calendars.  August 24th.  We’ll have a web page up soon where you can RSVP so we plan to have plenty of refreshments.

When I moved to Montara in 1976 the Moss Beach - Montara Improvement Association (MMBIA) sponsored a 4th of July parade and picnic.  I seem to remember the parade went down George St. and Sunshine Valley Road to what at the time was Sunshine Valley Ranch, owned by John and Yvonne Selsor.  There we had a picnic.  The highlight was a tug-of-war, Montarans vs.  Moss Beach residents.

I love our community fireworks display, picnics, parades, etc. It is also a celebration of America’s 232nd birthday!

Independence Day (Fourth of July) commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Those 56 signatures on the Declaration knew that they were signing their Death Warrants should they not have been successful. Difficult to imagine their courage?

How about taking five minutes out:

Read it: an amazingly short read.

I alternate reading on this Holliday between The Declaration and The Constitution of the United States:
another amazingly short read.
A Transcription

For those who have never taken an oath, never thought about it or would like to discuss with your kids, try:

“support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”

The Declaration of Independence was written to King George III. The Constitution of the United States was to restrain the Absolute Unitary Executive [United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)].

IMHO, we will never ultimately loose to a foreign enemy, but only should we forget the purpose of this holiday is to remember to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Have a Happy, Safe and Reflective Holliday,

Ken Johnson

What would the 2 sides be in a 2008 tug-of-war?