Sparks Fly

Dear Editor:
We live in the city of Orange and managed to survive another July 4th. 

Due to our dog’s and cat’s fears of the detonation of “safe and sane” and illegal fireworks, we leave our home for four to five days so they will not have to go through the trauma of days and nights of explosions in a city where fireworks are not permitted. 

When we returned home after a four-day absence, we asked our neighbors how the 4th was. They described feeling as if they lived in a war zone that went on for days and nights. Their tranquillized dog was so frightened, they thought it was having a stroke. Then they told us of two houses on our street that were set on fire by fireworks detonated from the school behind them. This occurred around 11 p.m. Both elderly residents had to be awakened by neighbors so they could flee their burning homes. 

Fireworks are not permitted in the City of Orange. Three contiguous cities made the irresponsible decision to allow the sale and detonation of fireworks in their cities. This was done as a “great fundraising opportunity” for schools. The invisible no-fireworks wall around Orange disappeared. 

Let’s look at the benefits of fundraising. It provides funds for organizations that do not have budgeted funds for improvements, supplies, repairs. However, when the fundraising event incurs excessive additional costs for law enforcement, fire/EMS response, increased ER visits, property damage, burn and explosive injuries, animal care services responses, stress on 911, added costs for storage/disposal of confiscated fireworks, is the value really worth the documented risk? 

Perhaps the “pro-fireworks” cities could have added one shred of responsibility in their ordinances by selling fireworks to only those who could show proof of residency in their cities.  This might curb some of the illegal activities in the responsible cities. 

There are not enough law enforcement officers to respond to every fireworks call, and still provide service for 911 and non-emergency calls, so illegal activity occurs hour after hour without enforcement. 

For those who cannot celebrate our country on July 4th without risking fire, injury, traumatizing pets and those children and adults with disability and functional needs, by having to physically detonate explosive devices, here are some ideas:

Go to a baseball game and get some cracker jacks; go to a free fireworks show where there are professional pyrotechnic experts, fire and EMS on scene; eat a piece of apple pie; salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

 May these suggestions bring you a sense of patriotism, Americanism, and the peace of mind that a house has not burned, police and fire responses can focus on daily calls for services, hundreds of beloved dogs/cats will not escape, get injured or be killed, and ER’s are not flooded with burn/explosive injuries. 

Terre Duensing

Pole position

Dear Editor:
Re: Paderewski medalist
It’s probably not a big deal to most readers, and he’s been dead for years, but (Ignacy, not Ignace) Paderewski was Polish, not Russian.  If fact, he was Prime Minister of Poland in 1919.

Bill Amneus
North Tustin