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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Fireworks: sounding off on explosive celebration

Fireworks lawsuit might not have been too off target

Even a callused fool could have seen the irony in a sign reading “No dogs at public beaches” at many of Seattle’s beaches after the Fourth of July festivities concluded. The irony and disgust sure didn’t slip my mind as I walked down to North Seattle’s Haller Lake. With trash from discarded fireworks (many unlit) scattered heavily throughout the newly renovated park, it was a sight that I wish Ken Schram of KOMO-TV could have seen.

Schram had just given one of his prized Schrammie awards to a man who filed a lawsuit to stop the fireworks display at Gas Works Park [“Suit objects to Gas Works fireworks,” NWTuesday, June 30] until an environmental study was done. He wanted this done not for any damage that the fireworks themselves might do to the environment but for what all the people who showed up at Gas Works might do.

I agreed with Schram’s assessment of the man — that there must be something “seriously absent” in the life of anyone who could file a lawsuit such as this.

I don’t think that way anymore. If Schram had seen some of the damage that we humans did in “celebrating our independence,” he would have given some of his awards to those who truly deserved it.

The brainless: those who bring their kids to a park to watch them play with explosives in the dark.

The heartless: those who don’t care about all the toxins from the fireworks that will be seeping into our lakes once it rains.

And the Grand Schrammie goes to the clueless: those who walked away from these public beaches on the Fourth of July without even a notion of what they just witnessed.

At least they don’t let dogs on the beach, right?

— Marty Zupan, Seattle

Patriotic spirit needs a little control

I admit to having left the fascination of blowing things up well after my preteen years, and I know fully well that my stance will seem that of a dour killjoy. But I equate an all-out surrender to the current state of fire-play during the Fourth of July in the Washington state to insanity.

This holiday, I witnessed continual volleys of “legal” fireworks detonating within yards of an active eagle aerie containing two unfledged eaglets. I found an ancient dog rambling along a highway on Bainbridge Island and gathered its befuddled soul into my vehicle. And I saw a video of the destruction of several homes from fireworks landing on rooftops in the greater Puget Sound area.

Controlled public displays of patriotic spirit and celebration should be allowed. But can we not possibly find a common ground in allowing celebration without destruction to property and cruelty to creatures — all because there is no legislative backbone to confront the profit motives of the fireworks culture?

— Daniel J. Hinkley, Indianola

Enforcement of fireworks laws nonexistent

Every year, I write a letter complaining about the fireworks. This year, it is not only illegal as usual, but tinder dry so that one spark can set a hillside or home on fire.

Yet, crazy people are lighting huge aerial displays like it is their civic duty. Big booms are going off in every direction with people yelling at the top of their lungs.

Cities could reduce their deficit significantly by just nabbing these irresponsible lawbreakers on the spot. Where are the police? Are they just watching the craziness?

— Marietta Alexander, Everett

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