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Re: [Brookland] Fireworks Crimes: Time For SILENT Majority to Demand Action

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  • Taylor Armstrong
    Not putting myself firmly in either camp, but just had to point out that this is a weak argument: We have a beautiful free and professional fireworks display
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2010
      Not putting myself firmly in either camp, but just had to point out that this is a weak argument:

      We have a beautiful free and professional fireworks display here in our nation's capitol. There is no public good argument that can be credibly made here. 

      So... how about...  "We have a solid infrastructure of metro trains and buses here in our nation's capitol.  There is no public good argument that can credibly be made here for private cars"

      or... if you want more controversy... "We have an armed police force here in our nation's capitol.  There is no public good argument that can credibly be made for private ownership of guns".

      Not taking either stance, just pointing out that there are far better arguments for AND against fireworks than "kids should go and watch the display on the mall".  If you want to make that argument, you need to put more work into it.

      As a kid, I very much enjoyed firing off fireworks at home.  You can blame the difference on whatever you want, but I respected my neighbor's property (when they asked me to stop, I did, albeit sometimes with some grumbling).  I didn't fire off fireworks over crowds of people, I always tried to be careful.  I don't see those same characteristics being practiced regularly today.  The issues are not "fireworks", or "guns", or even "cars", the issues are irresponsible use of dangerous objects/substances.

      (on Otis, who enjoyed watching fireworks in about 270 degrees while sitting on my roof the other night - some professional, some less so).

      On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM, <fmalarkey@...> wrote:

      My father in law is a pediatric opthalmologist who has never had a quiet independence day due to preventable eye injuries to children from fireworks. His first hand discussion of trying to save the eyesight of a child who has been injured by fireworks is chilling. Some people like to think this is down to negligent parenting but even if that is the case, do the children have to suffer because the adults (or other children) in their lives are using explosives? And even if you are watching your children carefully, you are still at risk in this city.

      Last night I was at a family gathering on a rooftop to view the professional fireworks when one of the neighbors in the shared apartment building decided it would be fun to launch home fireworks over the crowd. I had my infant with me as the crowd of people began to flee the rooftop as hot ash materials began to rain down. A few people were mildly burned. So while city officials are busy citing the apparent inability of people to enjoy their fourth without home-use explosives, I'm led to believe that in order to (safely) enjoy the holiday, my family should watch the fireworks on television.

      This city is filled with responsible parents and complete idiots and everything in between. So I can control what I do with fireworks (they're dangerous and we would never use them) but I can't control what my neighbors do. Or the kids walking through our neighborhood. Or the drunks lighting them off in the park across the street. Or the middle of the street. I could go on...

      We have a beautiful free and professional fireworks display here in our nation's capitol. There is no public good argument that can be credibly made here.

      Police are overwhelmed because citizens report fireworks sounding as gunfire. And contrary to what the previous post suggested, it is precisely because some fireworks are legal that police can't or won't act on the illegal fireworks. How can one expect the police to respond to each call and then discern the difference between legal and illegal fireworks? I really see no reason that we should be asked to celebrate our great nation's independence by dodging explosives.

      Fireworks may differ from one another, but they are all dangerous and it stuns me that they have not been banned. And I should add, I have felt this way long before I had a child of my own to protect. Its just simple common sense.

      Is there a place to see how our local elected officials feel about this issue? Has anyone asked this question of any of them in the public arena? Maybe I'm getting old and cranky, but my vote could be swayed by a stance on this issue.

      Stay safe,

      Faye Black
      Michigan Park

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 07:32:50 -0700 (PDT)
      Subject: [Brookland] Fireworks Crimes: Time For SILENT Majority to Demand Action


      Absolutely right Kathy, Patrick and others! 

      Since political leaders in PG and Monty counties have had the courage to ban fireworks for the peace and quiet enjoyment of the vast majority of their residents, the District has become a worsening haven for criminal perpetrators from Maryland (mostly)-- as well as some in DC -- every 4th of July.

      And I'm glad we didn't see Fayette's (HQ's/Chief Lanier's?) earlier post, or we would have been doing a slow burn long before last night's outrageous punk-outsiders perpetrated upon PSA 502 residents the following CRIMES...

      -- unlawful entry

      -- disturbing the peace
      -- cruelty to animals
      -- destruction of property

      Why are thoughtless mob-behavior crimes perpetrated by so few people upon so many DC residents allowed to disturb the peace and quiet enjoyment of the 4th of July? 

      What about the peaceful enjoyment of the 4th of July denied our city's elderly and infirm? 

      Why are the bizarre, selfish "pleasures" of so few allowed to inflict animal cruelty upon residents' dogs, cats and other pets-- as well as other urban wildlife throughout the city? 

      DC has one of the finest licensed, professionally-controlled fireworks displays in the world.  No one in the District will be denied the ability to hear booms and see safe fireworks displays at a reasonable hour on the 4th of July-- assuming Council sees the wisdom and public safety in banning private use.

      Councilmembers' failure to join the overwhelming number of our metro area's suburban neighbors in stopping these fireworks-caused crimes, reflects poorly on the political courage of our entire city government, as well. DC should not be lagging behind our neighbors in providing common-sense protection for our citizens and our pets.  That the entire Commonwealth of Virginia is more progressive than DC on this issue is just an embarrassment.

      MPD's earlier listserv advisory to 5D residents to call the DCFD-- with its implication that MPD should NOT POLICE and enforce our existing LAWS-- was outrageous.  It reflected poorly on MPD, HQ/ Chief Lanier, as well as the Mayor.  But as a law enforcement matter, the political pandering to fireworks nuisance-makers-- many of whom are NOT DC residents-- by DC city leaders, places an unfair burden on MPD's rank-and-file, by not giving MPD an additional criminal tool to end this increasing 4th-of-July mayhem.

      We are unabashed supporters of CM Harry Thomas for re-election as Ward 5 Councilmember.  But we call upon CM Thomas and the entire Council, as well as the Mayor to END these annual fireworks-caused crimes in DC-- including the animal cruelties perpetrated-- on behalf of the peace and public safety of the vast majority of our city's residents.

      Don and Brian
      PSA 502

      PS -- Kudos and thanks to Cmdr Greene and MPD's PSA 502 team for their response in patrolling and ending the disturbances on Otis and around the Metro late last night.  We suspect this will be of keen interest to our ANC on a personal level-- and hope this is another issue upon which we can find common, neighborly ground w/ ANC Carolyn Steptoe.

      PPS --  FYI, Consumer fireworks laws/prohibitions in surrounding jurisdictions...


      Specifically Permitted...
      Sparklers containing no chlorates or perchlorates, ground based sparkling devices that are non-aerial non-explosive, and are labeled in accordance with the requirements of CPSC. Paper wrapped snappers containing less than 3/100 grains of explosive composition, and snakes that contain no mercury and are not regulated by DOT. Note: retailers must submit products for testing and approval to State Fire Marshal's Office prior to sale.

      Specifically Prohibited...
      All others


      Consumer fireworks are illegal to retail or use in Town of Ocean City (Worcester County), Baltimore City, and the following counties: Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's. Companies/individuals should contact local government for all other counties prior to wholesaling/distributing, retailing, or using consumer fireworks. The local government may require additional permits or fees.


      Specifically Prohibited throughout the Commonwealth...
      Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes, and other fireworks which explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air.

      --- In MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com, khenderson029@... wrote:

      > I agree with Patrick; fireworks should be banned with the exception of
      > professional displays on our National Mall. Every year we endure this madness
      > and are essentially held hostage by persons discharging dangerous
      > explosives, while our police are overwhelmed responding to calls to disarm them.
      > Council action is needed to stop this significant breach to our public safety.
      > Six bills were introduced and failed during the recent Council periods 17
      > and 18; our representative failed to take any action other than saying no
      > to the legislation.
      > Kathy Henderson
      > In a message dated 7/4/2010 10:27:22 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      > arodeojock@... writes:

      > I have to send my dog to my parents in Maryland because of this crap.
      > Every year this area turns into Little Beirut. The City Council, the Mayor,
      > 911, and MPD are USELESS when it comes to fighting this culture. They tell us
      > that the fireworks that we see, hear, and feel for WEEKS during this time
      > are illegal, yet they do nothing about it. It’s a waste of valuable MPD
      > resources to go after all the illegal activity around fireworks.
      > We all know that these ramshackle fireworks stands are selling more than
      > sparklers and other “legal” fireworks. We need a ZERO TOLERANCE policy when
      > it comes to these dangerous product. Let Safeway sell sparklers and let’s
      > ban the firework shacks. It would decrease the number of 911 calls and give
      > the MPD the time and resources to focus on real crime.
      > Patrick Nelson
      > 1900 Block of H Street NE
      > From: MPD-5D@yahoogroups. MPD-5D@yahoogroups. MPD-5D@yahoogr MPD-On Behalf
      > Of khenderson029@khender
      > Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 7:32 PM
      > To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups. MP
      > Subject: Re: [MPD-5D] Fireworks Safety

      > Get ready for exploding trash cans, destroyed bus stop signage, fireworks
      > aimed at your person and or property, endless noise, frightened pets,
      > senior citizens with breathing difficulties due to acrid fumes from fireworks
      > discharge and endless mounds of fireworks debris on our streets. Our officers
      > will spend the next twenty-four hours responding repeatedly to calls for
      > relief from seemingly battle-worn residents who are tired of explosives.
      > Expect your Council representative to do nothing to offer any affected Ward 5
      > resident any relief.
      > Kathy Henderson
      > In a message dated 7/4/2010 4:38:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      > svhill3@... a message

      > I will definitely do that. I also think it would have been nice to see
      > some flyers or information put out telling folks not to light or trash other
      > people property while trying to celebrate the holiday.
      > Sabrina On Jul 3, 2010, Greene, Lamar (MPD) lamar.greene@lamar. wrote:
      > Call 911 if you feel that someone has intentionally thrown a fire work on
      > your person. Officers will respond and take the appropriate action.
      > Commander Lamar D. Greene
      > From: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.: MPD-5D@yahMPD-5D@...
      > To: MPD-5D@...: MPD-5D@...
      > Sent: Sat Jul 03 13:01:28 2010
      > Subject: Re: RE: [MPD-5D] Fireworks Safety


      > What is also being done/going to be done with children under 16 being
      > allowed to throw fireworks towards people and other citizen's property?
      > Sabrina Hill
      > On Jul 3, 2010, Philip Blair & Mary Pat Rowan blair-rowan@blair-rowabla
      > wrote:

      > Fayette:
      > Thanks for this. It is useful. Forgive me for adding two suggestions of
      > additions that would make it more useful…
      > What advice do you have for residents who find streets and sidewalks
      > littered the next day with the trash left behind by the fireworks users, trash
      > which might include (and in my experience has included) unexploded duds and
      > unlit fireworks that present a serious hazard for the children who find
      > them?
      > What is the definition or description of what makes a firework illegal.
      > Yours,
      > Commissioner Philip Blair
      > AND 5A10
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: MPD-5D@yahoogroups. MPD-5 MPD- MPD-On Behalf Of Fayette
      > Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 10:42 PM
      > To: MPD-5D@...:
      > Subject: [MPD-5D] Fireworks Safety

      > 5D Community,
      > Reporting Illegal Fireworks
      > To report the use or sale of illegal fireworks, contact the DC Fire/EMS
      > Department's Fire Prevention Division at (202) 727-1600 or (202) 727-1614.
      > If you are aware of fireworks being set off in your neighborhood, call
      > 9-1-1 to have police and fire personnel investigate the situation.
      > Specially-trained teams will respond to ensure that any fireworks being set off are
      > legal and safe. These teams are also inspecting fireworks stands operating in
      > the District of Columbia for compliance with the law.
      > The Fire/EMS Department seizes illegal fireworks products that are
      > discovered in the District and destroys them after 30 days. Whether you're
      > celebrating Independence Day or the New Year, a backyard barbecue or other family
      > occasion, it is important to understand the laws regulating fireworks use
      > in the District of Columbia.
      > Fireworks Safety Tips
      > · Always read and follow label directions.
      > · Always have an adult present.
      > · Never ignite fireworks indoors.
      > · Only ignite fireworks outdoors.
      > · Always have water or sand nearby to extinguish fireworks after
      > use.
      > · Never experiment or attempt to make fireworks.
      > · Light fireworks one at a time.
      > · Never re-light malfunctioning or dud fireworks.
      > · Store fireworks out of the reach of children.
      > · Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
      > · Never throw fireworks at another person.
      > · Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
      > · Stand at least15 feet from burning cones and fountains.
      > · Do not light fireworks near combustibles such as gasoline,
      > newspapers, etc.
      > · Do not ignite fireworks that have been wet and then dried.
      > · Do not light fireworks at any place other than the fuse.
      > ·_Do not use illegal fireworks._
      > (http://fems.dc.gov/fems/cwp/view,a,3,q,636583.asp)
      > · Only use fireworks products that have a label clearly listing
      > the manufacturer'Only use fireworks pr
      > For additional information about safe use of fireworks, or any other
      > fireworks related information, contact the DC Fire/EMS Department Fire
      > Prevention Division at (202) 727-1600 or (202) 727-1614.

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