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Local News in Brief : Tradition Ends With Ban on Fireworks

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The San Fernando City Council, bowing to an ultimatum from the city of Los Angeles, has ended a 40-year tradition by banning the sale of Fourth of July fireworks.

The council voted unanimously to renew the city’s contract with the Los Angeles Fire Department, which had said it would not continue to extend service to San Fernando if the fireworks sales continued.

Although Los Angeles’ ultimatum “does not set well with many people . . . fireworks sales should not dictate a critical decision affecting public health and safety,” City Administrator Donald E. Penman said.

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With the sale of fireworks being illegal in surrounding Los Angeles, San Fernando has drawn customers from a wide area, and about 20 community organizations have come to depend on annual profits from the sale of fireworks, with several groups earning as much as $5,000 each.

To substitute for the sales, the council voted Tuesday night to explore offering a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

“It’s a shame to lose a tradition, but we do need the best fire protection,” Councilman Evelio Franco said.

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