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Patriotism and Partying Represent 2 Parts of 4th

Times Staff Writer

Judging from the plans for eight fireworks displays, South Bay communities won’t be neglecting traditional Fourth of July hoopla.

And several cities hope to gently remind their citizens of the reason behind the parties.

“We would like to make the point of what Independence Day actually means,” said Les Fishman, who is helping run the Palos Verdes Independence Day Celebration at Malaga Cove Intermediate School, from 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on the Fourth.

“The point we like to make is that this country was made great because we have been able to express our point of view openly,” Fishman said. In recognition of that precept, each year someone who has made a significant contribution to freedom is honored with an award.

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This year it’s actor Charlton Heston, who will speak at the Palos Verdes Estates event. Heston, a conservative Republican, has campaigned for Ronald Reagan and George Bush and has written articles criticizing anti-gun legislation, Fishman pointed out.

‘Willing to Talk’

“He’s getting the award because he has a strong moral code and he is willing to talk about his views,” he said.

Past recipients of the award--named after local philanthropist Kenneth T. Norris Jr.--have been author Ray Bradbury and Jan C. Scruggs, driving force behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

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Members of the Chinese Students and Scholars Assn., a late addition to the event, will talk about the China crisis and accept donations. “If the Chinese students don’t remind you what can happen without freedom of speech, then nothing will,” Fishman said.

Seven of the fireworks displays are Tuesday night; the other is tonight in Lomita. ;A complete listing is in Calendar on Page 8.

Ringing of Bell

In San Pedro, there will be the traditional Fourth of July ringing of the Korean Friendship Bell. It will be tolled 13 times at 10:30 a.m. to remind people of the original 13 American colonies.

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But most of the holiday’s events will demonstrate the right to spend time as one wishes: to have fun and relax, to be with family and friends, sip a cold drink and maybe play in an impromptu game of softball or volleyball. Then, when night comes, to find a blanket to lie on and stare at the exploding lights in the sky.

Fire officials have issued a traditional reminder: Leave the fireworks to the professionals. California law prohibits any private citizen from using or selling any sort of firework that explodes or rises in the air. And only five South Bay cities, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Manhattan Beach, Inglewood and Carson, allow the sale of so-called “safe and sane” fireworks.


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