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Letters to the Editor: Six reasons why Costa Mesa should ban the sale of fireworks

A so-called “Safe and Sane” firework burns on the side of a Costa Mesa street in 2017. A letter writer is calling on the city to ban the sale of legal fireworks.
(Photo by Spencer Grant)

Once again, Costa Mesa turned into a war zone on July 4. The City Council should ban the sale and use of fireworks in Costa Mesa.

Here are the reasons:

(1.) Ostensibly, fireworks are sold to fund nonprofit organizations. But outfits such as Phantom Fireworks take nearly 80% of the sales out of Costa Mesa. Given the cost of putting printed fliers on everyone’s doors reminding them about the penalties for illegal fireworks and the hours allowed for safe-and-sane fireworks, and given the additional economic stress fireworks put on the city through police and emergency responders, it would make sense for the city to simply give taxpayer money to the organizations instead.

(2.) There are dog owners who have to move their pets or leave town because the noise is so disturbing to the animals. (The noise has reportedly also affected some veterans who have recently been in combat.)


(3.) Some streets are littered with the refuse left by those who shoot off fireworks and don’t clean up after themselves.

(4.) More injuries are caused by safe-and-sane fireworks than by illegal fireworks.

(5.) As much as police manage to answer calls and make arrests for the use of illegal fireworks, many continue firing off illegal fireworks all evening long and past midnight with no repercussions. There is simply more use than police can manage (or it may also be the case that the city simply doesn’t expect to enforce the laws adequately).

(6.) There are many excellent public fireworks displays surrounding Costa Mesa.


For economic (taxpayer) reasons, the safety of the community, the concern for dogs and dog owners and pride in a clean and safe Costa Mesa, I urge the City Council to join other cities around us and disallow the personal use of fireworks.

Dennis Okholm

Costa Mesa

Fireworks detract from holiday

Firecrackers and the sounds of war, these faux battles I do abhor. Every year on July 4, why must we emulate the sounds of war?

Ben Miles

Huntington Beach

Commentary on Gershwin minimizes artistic works

Re Jim Carnett’s commentary, “The divine influence on George Gershwin’s genius is present in every note,” (June 26): While in one breath he praises the genius of Beethoven, Einstein, Martin Luther and Gershwin, in the next he insults their brilliance and diminishes their intelligence and ours by declaring, “Clearly they were activated by divine inspiration.” Clearly? According to Carnett, these dudes were really smart but not that smart because without his “supreme genius” lurking about, the “Ninth Symphony,” the Theory of Relativity, “The Ninety-five Theses and “Rhapsody in Blue” would not exist. What drivel. I suggest Mr. Carnett ditch the pen and rent a pulpit.

James Gillen


Huntington Beach

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