My name is Jan …. and I have lived on So I Street for 10 years. I am here to express my concerns about the excessive use of legal fireworks and increasing use of illegal mortars and powerful mortar rockets that deliver unbearable sound concussions that shake and vibrate right through homes.This was the worst year I have ever witnessed for the discharge of illegal fireworks in my area. Updates at bottom of page – and my own turn at bat.Truncated version of my talk to the Sequim City Council and an update as to WHY banning would be good.
This year was so stressful I needed medical help and learned from the doctor and the pharmacy that a lot of tranquilizers are now being prescribed for people because like animals the sound levels and the durations are too much for the nervous systems of many people.
A public display which is safe and handled by professionals and is less polluting than consumer fireworks is provided here in Port Angeles but sadly it does not satisfy. People attend and return home to shoot off displays that rage for hours. (An example of excess- My next door neighbor discharged so many that the spent casings filled a large wheel barrel two feet above the rim in his front yard and there were still casings on the street yet to be picked up.)
I learned the next day that my neighbor and I both had ventured out to spot the location of the discharger for the police. I called 2 times. They were so busy I don’t know if any officer responded. I had to venture out because the toxic smoke was so thick my surveillance cameras were useless. This added yet another security issue for my property. The smoke was like a thick ground fog. This contaminated my yard, vegetable garden, fruits and the water in the bird baths. The next day I cleaned up the spent rockets and firework debris on our property.
1. Not to mention that all the native birds that are federally protected are killed or driven from our neighborhoods—-it takes days for a few to filter back. I ask; why you are allowing all these toxic chemical’s, heavy metals and potassium perchlorate to be spread all over homes? I have enclosed information regarding these chemicals and their dangers in your hand out. I ask you to read this information.
2. This year it cost us nearly $300.00 in the pillows and medical. Our health and that of our birds can never be exposed to this to this amount of concussive hours—I thought we were living on an artillery range. What happened to the civil liberties and protection that our tax dollar pay for?
3. I also want to know why every law and regulation that has been put in place to protect property, life, air, soil and water quality, wildlife, cruelty to animals and livestock and the environment are negated for the use of fireworks and non-dischargers often cannot get response from fire or law enforcement when violations are in progress.
4. The police and sheriff do not have the man power to cover so much territory. This city and County are classed as restricted but the start and stop times are ignored.
5. County and City are left with the bills to cover fires, medical emergencies, extra hours on police and fire, costs like the lake Sutherland fire. I do not know if enough revenue is taken in form the sales of fireworks to cover these expenses. Thank God no firefighter was hurt or killed for someone’s thrill of shooting off rockets. Or that houses were not burned down so private insurance can pay for it.
7. I believe the reservations should take responsibilities and enforce purchasers to use explosive parks on the reservation at the time of purchase. If they want to make money selling it than it should stay on the reservations as it is supposed to not come out into the communities. Some of the injuries are heart breaking —I enclose a press release about a 4 month old baby in you folder. How easy this could happen here. We had some pretty serious injuries here in town this year…just one of these should be enough to make people say it’s time to celebrate in a better way and re-train ourselves to do so.
8. I would propose that each council member forgo their personal 4th of July holiday next year and be a ride along with our officers so you can witness first hand want is happening in our city and what these officers and firemen are up against. Witnessing the mayhem in person it will be much different than reading a report or the newspaper. Many cities and counties in Washington have banned fireworks. Why not here?
9. Clallam County as whole should set an example that there are safe and better alternatives to celebrating holidays than the use of dangerous and toxic fireworks. I would like this this counsel to consider a ban on personal fireworks and maintained our public display. Or make a laser light show! This would free up officers to search out, fine and arrest those who insist on purchasing, and discharge their illegal explosives directly at their neighbors.
10. All such material should be confiscated and destroyed after being used to convict. I would further hope that these people be put into orange jumpsuits and do cleanup work and be responsible for restitution should they injure another party, man or beast.
We on the Olympic Peninsula have been blessed with a pristine and beautiful environment that others do not have the opportunity to live in and it is our responsibility to protect it every day of the year. Thank you!
Jan Butler & Herb Senft — my own presentation of this issue
Please pass this on and check out this site.
Snohomish County also did a great pdf. study on firework pollution. Pg. 15 is very interesting.
Amazing update with cuts to fire service planned which would include fireworks (my response). I hope everyone reads that first link if they are planning to move to this county. You might end up with un-insurable property! These 17 proposed cutbacks and fire station closures will leave much of rural Clallam County in severe danger.