Please support fireworks on the Coastside in 2011


Posted by on Wed, July 21, 2010

July 14, 2010

Dear Editor,

There was something missing this 4th of July. The parade was brilliant with its pooches, hot cars and patriotic spirit. The sun even cooperated and broke out for most of the parade and lit up the Coastside Adult Day Health Center barbeque and musical event.

However, there was a void of excitement. For the second time in the last four years, the fireworks on the coast were not to occur later that evening. Instead of sitting on the sand and enjoying the show near home, Coastsiders were faced with one of three decisions: drive over the hill and face the traffic and crowds, set off an illegal display and risk a $1000 fine, or forgo the experience all together. The economic effect was also negatively felt by many Coastside businesses, as the Coastside lost its status as a destination for the holiday weekend.

Please join the effort to ensure that fireworks on the coast return next year. The American Legion Coastside Fireworks (ALCF) is committed to organize fundraisers, obtain the permits and hire a quality fireworks firm. But they need help from the Coastside community to raise money. The required amount is $50,000 and is due within the next several months.

Work for next year’s show is going on now. Please do your part and make a donation at: You can also mail a check made out to the ALCF at:
PO Box: 826
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019


P. Shawn McGraw
El Granada, CA

I assume the American Legion has a plan to be transparent with the money raised.  I would like to hear the details.

I remember when a neighbor was elected president of the fireworks committee several years ago.  Unfortunately the fireworks committee overlooked the new presidents federal prison record.  It was alleged that allot of money went missing. The president was the only person with keys to the collection boxes located in stores around HMB.  When it was discovered that money was missing the fireworks committee president fled California. I’m not sure what happened to him.  His home was foreclosed on several months ago.

I always thought it was odd that a person with a prison record would be elected president of a nonprofit fundraising committee. 

It would be helpful if a plan for fundraising transparency was explained with the request for donations.

Sabrina, makes a valid point. In this day and age of.miss spent funds, We share your concerns.
To the best of my knowledge the people involved in ALCP. fundraiser are ‘squeaky clean!’ They will do everything they can to create the biggest Bang for the $‘s With the maximum “transparency”

Telling kids “There’s no fireworks on the coast this year” is like telling them Santa clause is skipping the coast this year.

Its just too damn likely to be foggy/overcast on July 4th around here, for me to support the idea of raising $50k for a show.  Even when we get a sunny afternoon this time of year, its unlikely to be clear in the evening.

Much as I wish it were otherwise… it isn’t.

It would be helpful if organizations asking for donations for an event with a checkered past should be extra transparent.

It is my understanding that the American Legion was not involved with the missing funds when the Light Up the Sky Committee President was collecting money.

The cost would be substantially less if the ridiculous closing of SR 1 is discontinued.  It causes a traffic disaster in El Granada.  No incorporated city would put up with this in a residential area.  (Not to mention that I can’t park near my friend’s house to watch fireworks from the deck.)  Would people in Montara put up with a closing of SR 1 and routing of all traffic onto Main St or Farallone?  I don’t think so.  So why do we have to put up with it in El Granada?

One year I watched as EMTs got stuck in gridlocked traffic on Alhambra trying to respond to an emergency, causing a major delay in response.

The excuse that I keep hearing for closing the highway is “to make it safe for pedestrians to cross.”  That’s the same excuse that was used to justify the unnecessary $1M signalization of the Coronado intersection.  The money is spent, the signal is in, people should use it.

I urge the AL to do a serious investigation of having fireworks without closing the highway.  Please post a breakdown of the cost of closure vs cost of fireworks.