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H.B.’s liberal Council Members starting a war against legal fireworks

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Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman

A two-year trial to reintroduce safe and sane fireworks in Huntington Beach after a 25-year ban expires on Friday, according to the O.C. Register.

The issue has quickly become a partisan scrum.  H.B. Councilman Joe Shaw, a liberal Democrat, posted this message on his Facebook page today:

Don Hansen will be running his candidates for City Council next year: Devin Dwyer and Barbara Delgleize and Matthew Harper will be joining with TNT fireworks to put fireworks on the ballot in 2014. They will gather signatures and it will be paid for by TNT. Devin Dwyer <j.devindwyer@verizon.net>; Barbara Delgleize com>; Matthew Harper <matthewharper@verizon.net>; 
E-mail them now and let them know what you think.

He followed that screed up with this message:

Here’s what happens: a fireworks company comes to town, doles out campaign contributions to whomever will support fireworks – in this case the Hansenistas – Dwyer, Delgleize & Harper – and the fireworks companies go along bring along their sure-fire scheme – let school children sell them and we’ll share the profits. What they don’t tell you is that you will be inundated with illegal fireworks and law enforcement will be overwhelmed. In a city where we see an influx of 500,000 people on the Fourth, the possible amount of illegal fireworks brought into the city are impossible to do anything about it. If the fireworks companies were honest and upright they would recommend using those profits to shore up enforcement efforts against illegal fireworks. But it’s a whole marketing scheme that works for them. Meanwhile our citizens -many of them seniors- and their companion animals live in terror for several days.

Schoolkids selling fireworks? That seems inconceivable.  It turns out Shaw was flat out lying.  Click here to read the H.B. fireworks ordinance, which clearly states that “No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall sell or participate in the sale of “Safe and Sane Fireworks” within such stand.”

Shaw clearly would rather spend the fireworks money on more cops, on overtime of course, than let charities make the money.  What is he thinking?  Perhaps he doesn’t understand what selling fireworks means to families and the youth organizations in H.B.?  He is a single man and he has no kids, according to his Facebook page.

I have four kids and this week my wife and I volunteered at two fireworks stands in Santa Ana, for the local Little League team and for my ten-year old son’s fifth grade science camp fund.  We worked a total of six hours and I personally sold at least $1,500 in that time.  At least 40% of that money went directly to these non-profit organizations.

You want to know who benefit from fireworks sales?  Click here for a list of the non-profits in Santa Ana that ran the 75 fireworks booths in our city.  Note the list is full of churches, schools, and youth sports leagues.  Clearly Shaw doesn’t care about such organizations, does he?

So was the 4th of July really a criminal hotbed in Huntington Beach?  Let’s go to the scoreboard: In Huntington Beach, which years ago was the site of Fourth of July yard pissings, fistfights and riots with police cars overturned and set on fire, there were 22 arrests from midnight to midnight, July 4-5, according to the OC Weekly.  Newport Beach, by comparison, had 100 arrests.  Santa Ana had zero arrests for fireworks, according to the New Santa Ana blog, and 27 arrests overall.

So why is Shaw really all that upset about this issue?  Let’s go back to his Facebook page.  Here is what he wrote “In a city where we see an influx of 500,000 people on the Fourth, the possible amount of illegal fireworks brought into the city are impossible to do anything about it.”

Now hang on a minute.  This anti-outsider point of view that Shaw is suddenly expressing with regard to fireworks stands in stark contrast to what he has said about saving the Huntington Beach fire pits.  Check out what he told the New York Times:

Joe Shaw, a city councilman in Huntington Beach, said the tradition of gathering around fire pits at night “epitomizes the California dream of so many.” Each weekend, scores flock to Huntington Beach’s more than 500 fire pits, which bring in an estimated $1 million annually for the city in parking fees alone.

“I grew up in Oklahoma, and when I was a kid, all I could do was wish that I could live someday in a beach town where they surf all day and clambake all night,” Mr. Shaw said. “That’s what California is to a lot of people. Let’s preserve that.”

Didn’t they have legal fireworks in Oklahoma too?  We all grew up with safe and sane fireworks and it wasn’t until NIMBYs and local politicians outlawed them that they became much of an issue.

It seems like Shaw is saying that he would like for Orange County residents to NOT come to his city on the 4th of July, which means of course that they would not spend any money on parking or on restaurants, bars, or local stores and snack shops.

Hang on, doesn’t Shaw know that this attitude is anti-business?  Well here is the rub.  Guess what Shaw does for a living?  According to his City Council bio, “he is currently a partner in a public affairs consulting firm.”  Well there you go.  There are no bigger rats in our County than the public affairs types who litter our local government – and who make a living in government while supposedly serving the public.

Now mind you I am no fan of H.B. Councilman Matt Harper, but if Harper is looking to put the sale of safe and sane fireworks in H.B. on the ballot this blog will support that effort 100%.

It is ironic that we are having this debate about a holiday that is supposed to be about celebrating our nation’s freedom.  It seems that the elected Democrats in H.B., which include Mayor Connie Boardman, and Shaw of course, don’t value freedom much after all.

Boardman and Shaw are listed on this Facebook page as being in support of banning safe and sane fireworks in H.B.  Boardman by the way also appears to have no kids, as per her own Facebook page.  That anti-fireworks site has only 23 likes!  Maybe the good people of Huntington Beach need to elect folks who actually represent their values and interests?  I cannot imagine that the voters in H.B. will appreciate it if Shaw and Boardman continue to stand against funding local youth sports and non-profits.

 
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23 Comments  comments 

23 Responses

  1. SHipwrek

    I am about as conservative as they come, but I am AGAINST having my neighborhood full of explosions for several days before & after July 4th.
    Get a handle on the ILLEGAL fireworks before legalizing any at all.
    NO ONE in my neighborhood near the Harbour shoots off the “safe & sane”. It’s all M80′s & other ILLEGAL fireworks which were being thrown into traffic as we attempted to drive home.

  2. merle Moshiri

    I’m wrecked with Shipwreck! This is nothing but legalized vandalism. Safe and sane masks the illigal fireworks. And if you think Ms. Boardman or Joe Shaw will suffer in an election you better grab a clue. Many of the older generation are already organizing and we happen to vote…..CONSISTANTLY while the parents involved in hawking of fireworks are at batting practice. And I’m not letting the police off the hook either. They’ll get a peice of my mind too. And……there were kids setting up these stands and selling at the Vons stand in H.B.. So don’t get too self rightous.

    • Seniors do vote but they also die and become demented. If the HB parents vote they will win, as we saw in Fullerton last year.

      And if the kids are selling the fireworks that is another police fail.

      • Lucky Charms

        Is there any kind of a petition to keep fireworks legal here? I’ve missed them for the past 25 years and it’s GREAT to be able to have them once again. People in our neighborhood have always done them anyway, and it’s nice to once again know that they’re legal without worrying about cops. We loved them as kids and never had any accidents, houses burned, etc. I’m sick of government control over the most ridiculous things. We need to get these people out of office who are trying to force us into going to “professional fireworks displays”. Either way, won’t stop anyone from doing them whether they like it or not. I’d just prefer that it was legal so no one risks any charges.

      • Lucky Charms

        P.S. My parents are seniors, but they are all for fireworks and have lived here for 40 years. Never had any issues with them in our house or neighborhood in general, so not all seniors have any issues with fireworks. They’re happy that the fireworks ban was lifted.

        • That’s awesome! I always loved fireworks when I was growing up and I am lucky to live in a city where they are still legal on the 4th of July. I truly believe that the fireworks opponents in HB are a small bunch of angry people.

          • Lucky Charms

            I hope you’re right–all the people in my neighborhood seem to enjoy them and had a 2-hour display last week. We’ve always loved doing them when we were kids as well. Hope we can continue to have them.

    • Lucky Charms

      NEWSFLASH–We’ve had illegal fireworks WAAAAAAAY BEFORE they made safe & sane ones legal again for DECADES. So that’s a lame argument. They’ve been setting off the big stuff for at least a decade in my neighborhood and surrounding areas. No big deal. Using the safe & sane ones as scapegoats to illustrate your little agenda is bull****.

  3. Lucky Charms

    Know what? It’s maybe one week out of the year that you have to deal with it. Get over it. Give your pet a tranquilizer if they’re that upset or get out of town for a few days. Can’t have it your way all the time. Sorry.

    • My dog was happy going after our food! We always have a BBQ on the 4th.

    • SHipwrek

      Great! I’ll go on a month long Alaskan cruise, and you can pick up the bill! You can pay my vet bill as well.

      BTW, ALL fireworks are illegal in HB, and no amount of whining from you is going to change that.

      Keep setting off your ILLEGAL fireworks, and I’ll keep calling the police on you.

      • Clint Lee

        Well SHpwreck this much I will guarantee, if you thought it was bad the last two years when at least a percentage of the fireworks were Safe and Sane you better hold because next year if that option is taken away the only thing you are going to see is Artillery shells and Sky Rockets. Now may be a good time to get that shake roof replaced with a fireproof tile, The Spanish tiles are a little pricier but go good with the Southern California theme and they are fireproof. . Oh don’t you think that people have been calling the cops over the past 20+ years… Tell me what has it got you eh? Some birds cant pull their heads out of that hole in the dirt.

      • The Anaheim City Council voted 5-0 to allow voters an opportunity to lift the ban of Safe and Sane Fireworks. Measure E will be on the ballot with the City’s election and California’s 2014 June primary.
        A yes vote on Measure E would repeal the current ban on safe and sane fireworks in Anaheim in effect since the late 80’s. Once lifted , the City Council will draft a new ordinance that will benefit fireworks consumers and nonprofit organizations within the community. The new ordinance would take effect in July 2015.
        Anaheim joins a growing number of cities in California that have lifted bans over the past decade. In November 2012, Fullerton voters passed Measure X by a 60 % margin. Westminster, Villa Park, Huntington Beach, El Centro, Brawley, Holtville, Lompoc, Tracy, Salinas , Stockton and West Sacramento have all introduced fireworks in the last 5 years. In total, over 30 communities throughout California have legalized the sales and possession of state approved fireworks since 1992- most by a council action.
        Whether it’s back yard family fun on July 4th or a great fundraising opportunity for community non profits, STATE APPROVED FIREWORKS ARE GROWING IN CALIFORNIA!

  4. Clint Lee

    Mayor Connie Boardman is really out of touch with reality as you can see with her statement “”They’re called safe and sane but they’re designed to EXPLODE … the concerns are real.”

    Safe and Sane Fireworks DO NOT EXPLODE!!! Definition of Safe and Sane fireworks quoted from The Fireworks Alliance.org http://www.fireworksalliance.org/cgi-bin/viewpage.pl?p=glossary

    “Safe and Sane” –

    This is a term for FIREWORKS THAT DO NOT HAVE AERIAL EFFECTS OR “E X P L O D E”. Items that are classified as Safe and Sane include sparklers, snaps, smoke balls, fountains, snakes, and (in some cases) wheels. ITEMS THAT ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS SAFE AND SANE include firecrackers, rockets, and cakes. Some States restrict legal fireworks to Safe and Sane items only.”

    Just wanted to address two statements from Fire Capt. Bob Culhane,

    1.) “Now people have fireworks and now you’re trying to distinguish if it’s ‘safe and sane’ or dangerous.”

    2.)”You do tend to get more dangerous fireworks when we have the ‘safe and sane.’”

    I have a hard time with these statements…

    1.) If it goes in the air I would think it would be very easy to see that that a fireworks is not Safe and Sane. I can spot a NON Safe and Sane firework for 4 or more blocks away. I don’t see why Bob Culhane or any police officer would not be able to tell the difference as well.

    2.) Allowing people to have the opportunity to have legal fireworks in no way has any influence on any increases of Illegal fireworks as a matter of fact common sense tells you that some people when given the choice will go with legal firework over illegal ones to avoided breaking the law and the consequences for doing so.

    Both of the statements from Bob Culhane are not passing the smell test.

    THE FACTS!

    •20,000 local residents were able to buy state fire marshal-approved fireworks to safely celebrate the Fourth of July each year in the best of American traditions.

    •Twenty local nonprofit groups raised more than $700,000 over the past two years that will be used to provide services to our community by selling “Safe and Sane” fireworks under our carefully regulated city program.

    •Thousands enjoyed the Pier Plaza fireworks show this year, thanks to a generous $55,000 contribution from fireworks vendor TNT.
    •Proceeds from fireworks sales provide $56,000 each year to our police and fire officials to support a safe holiday.

    The Bottom Line

    The presence and use of illegal pyrotechnic devices diminishes. When our citizens are given the option of celebrating in a legal manner or with illegal fireworks, “Safe and Sane” fireworks are their preference.

  5. Clint Lee

    There needs to be a real push to put the fate of Safe and Sane fireworks to a vote of the people of Huntington Beach to take the power away from the liberals. The last thing that the liberals want to happen is for this to be voted in because it takes that power out of their hands and right now it is clear that some of the council members are voting against Safe and Sane blindly and just taking the word of people that really don’t know the facts. I can understand why Mayor Connie Boardman may defer fireworks education to her fire chief but I see a conflict of interest with Chief Bob Culhane. He made a statement about how he was watching all the illegal fireworks over a TV feed from a helicopter, that’s the kind of stuff that confuses the issue when it comes to Safe and Sane vs. illegal fireworks. Of course you’re not going to notice the Safe and Sane use from a helicopter because they are designed to be tame and will not stand out, the only thing you will see are the illegal aerials! Just common sense people..