From the Editor: Illegal fireworks

Friday, July 1, 2016

By Diane Hettrick

All personal fireworks are illegal, right down to sparklers.

They are also a bad idea for a number of reasons.

Emergency rooms fill up every 4th of July with people who held on to fireworks too long, who didn't back away far enough, who lit them in cars, and the occasional child who lights themself on fire.

Pets, particularly dogs, are terrified by the noise. Many are traumatized and many run away.

Shoreline has over 8000 veterans from World War II on down to the various Iranian plateau wars. Explosions do not have pleasant memories for them and are known to bring PTSD symptoms to the surface.

Errant fireworks have been known to set houses and lawns on fire.

Scofflaws are not particularly good about cleaning up after themselves and even those who do have a hard time seeing the debris in the dark so there's usually a mess left behind.

Some people have suggested designated areas for fireworks. Imagine all the above people in one location and you have Long Beach, Washington, where they are trying hard to deal with the hundreds of people who come to their beaches every year.

From The Seattle Times:

According to Washington State Parks and Recreation, which oversees state beaches, many of last year’s visitors illegally camped on the beach, built beach bonfires during a statewide burn ban, engaged in rowdy behavior and left tons of trash behind. Parking problems, noisy parties and illegal fireworks troubled nearby residential areas.

Shoreline and Lake Forest Park Police departments will be out on patrol and responding to calls about fireworks. If you can, report the address or exact location where fireworks are being shot off.

Every year I hear the stories from people who are frustrated at the noise and upset that the police did not appear immediately and arrest someone. The stories are different in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline.

In Lake Forest Park, which is an area of hills, ravines, trees, and winding roads, sound travels oddly. People will be convinced that the explosions are coming from the ravine behind their home when it is actually from somewhere else.

In Shoreline, the stories are usually about kids on the beach, or the neighborhood problem house - which always manage to be quiet when the police arrive.

Judging from the traffic Friday night (a three hour wait at the Edmonds ferry) many people are out of town. For those who are left, I wish you a sane and quiet Fourth of July.


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