Letter At Length, June 23

No room in city for fireworks of any kind

For 14 years I and many others have taken petitions to stop fireworks being allowed in the city of Ashland and Medford. Finally, when we had our new fire chief, who is against them, the Ashland City Council waivered back and forth for months, finally agreed to no longer allow fireworks in Ashland. We were so thankful! I even wrote a letter thanking the new fire chief.

I had lived on Park Street until three years ago, and every morning after the Fourth of July, my entire roof was covered with debris from the items people shot off on the cul de sac next to my house. Our City Council did not listen.

But finally, they passed the law: No more fireworks in the city of Ashland. Then, the other shoe dropped. City residents may still use four items commonly referred to as fireworks but are novelty items: wire-cored sparklers, smoke bombs, snakes and party poppers. The use of any spark-producing item that causes a fire always is prohibited.

Hello? Sparklers get red hot and can burn and start a fire; the metal handle gets so hot the kids throw them down. Years ago up the hill above Siskiyou Boulvard, a boy was playing with sparklers and his father was standing right there and they were obeying all the laws. The sparkler got too hot, the boy threw it out of his hand and it landed into some dry grass and weeds. Their home caught on fire and as I recall it went up and exploded in 30 minutes. Gene Nanamy, who died later, his wife and baby lived next door. If the wind had been going their way, they, and many others, would have lost their home.

The city has lied to us as usual, over and aver again. It is the same old thing as the BP oil spill: You will keep doing this until a disaster happens; it is not important if people lose their homes or lives, until later, then you are so sorry. A moment of fun, years of sadness and sorrow because a city could not do its job properly!

Penny Beck


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