Independence Day Holiday Weekend Safety
This year the Independence Day Holiday will be a very different event than in previous years. This year we may have the perfect storm for calamity in our city.
I'M NOT A "SAFE AND SANE" FIREWORKS FAN...
Let's get this part out of the way first. While I love a good professional fireworks show, I am not a fan of so-called "safe and sane" fireworks. I've written about it for several years and my opinion has not changed. However, I realize I may be a minority of one in our city, and, with that in mind, I wanted to remind you of some facts about this holiday.
COSTA MESA PRESENTS A RARE OPPORTUNITY
Costa Mesa is one of the very few cities in Orange County that permits the sale and discharge of "safe and sane" fireworks. In years past that typically meant that you could purchase fireworks in the city and families could put an exclamation point on their neighborhood holiday celebrations by shooting off an array of fireworks - most of which were acquired at booths throughout the city that sold them to provide funding for a variety of organizations. Usually it was youth sports groups that were the beneficiaries.
This year, however, our city council changed the rules. Not surprisingly, they've decided to put the funding of youth groups before public safety - in a variety of ways. This year you can purchase fireworks from booths in Costa Mesa from Thursday, June 30th through Monday, July 4th. AND, you can also legally discharge them from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on July 2nd, 3rd and the 4th, which means an entire weekend of traumatized pets and sleepless nights.
IT'S GOING TO BE A WAR ZONE!
It also means that those folks who journeyed over to Pahrump, Nevada and other venues to purchase ILLEGAL fireworks are going to put their neighborhoods in jeopardy over the entire weekend. Heck, it's already started on the Eastside of town where I live.
SAFETY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The City has made available to you a Public Service Announcement on the city web site via streaming video, HERE, and on Costa Mesa TV, Channel 24 on Time Warner Cable and Channel 99 on ATT U-Verse, that will be instructive for those of you even thinking about possibly firing off illegal fireworks. It will also be useful for you to view if you and your neighbors are just going to shoot off those "safe and sane" products you bought to support your favorite youth sports program. Here's the play schedule for the CMTV presentation:
REDUCED PUBLIC SAFETY PRESENCE & NO A.B.L.E CHOPPER
Adding to the potential for chaos this weekend is the fact that 1) the Police Department is working with a severely reduced staff; 2) the Fire Department staff is stretched thin and 3) the A.B.L.E helicopters will make their last flights on Thursday, June 30th and will not be available to support our diminished public safety organizations over the weekend. Some of you planning to fire off ILLEGAL fireworks may cheer this situation, but if your actions cause the loss of life or property or the injury to anyone, I think you'll change your tune.
AN INJURED CHILD IS A BIG PRICE TO PAY
I hope you all will exercise good judgment when discharging fireworks this weekend. Even the "safe and sane" fireworks can be dangerous if mishandled. An injury to a child is a stiff price to pay for a little carelessness or inattentiveness. Please be safe this holiday. And, oh, yes...
AND NOW A FEW WORDS FROM "THE DUKE"