Opinion

Why hasn't county banned fireworks?

Hello, my name is Vickie Woods and I have lived in the city of North Bend for 25 years. I live in the Silver Creek area and I am about a block away from unincorporated King County.

I'm sure that I don't need to tell any of you how the fireworks are getting more powerful and dangerous each year. I see more and more cities banning fireworks, which puts more pressure on cities that still allow them. The Snoqualmie Valley is like a war zone every year and it is dangerous to even go outside of your house. The fireworks start about a week before and go on until at least three weeks after the Fourth of July. Most of them are a 2 a.m. wake-up call. Some of them are so powerful that my lights flicker and the house shakes.

I have called 911 in the past and they tell me that they don't have enough officers to enforce it and it's almost impossible to find out who's firing them off! If it can't be enforced, then why are they allowed? Personally, I'm really sick and tired of hearing about people's rights to shoot off fireworks. What about the people who don't want them around their property? I clean bottle rockets off of my roof and out of trees every year. The animals are in a panic and I pick up frightened dogs after the Fourth every year.

I've had it. It's time for King County to ban the personal use of fireworks and allow only public displays, which can be controlled. I'm tired of being a prisoner in my own home every Fourth of July. When it is dry out, I worry about a wildfire in the area. I feel that King County and the cities that have yet to ban the personal use of fireworks are being negligent. I realize that a complete ban wouldn't stop everyone from using fireworks, but it would be easier to enforce.

I'm tired of hearing excuses from county and city government. Safety first! Obviously the state of Washington can't keep the illegal fireworks on the Indian reservations, so it's time to take action. And shame on the state for not enforcing a state-wide ban on the personal use of fireworks. Read the stats about fireworks related injuries and property damage.

It is my understanding that Kittitas County has proposed a fireworks ban to start in 2005. If anything is to be done, it needs to be done now so it can go into effect next year. I'll be watching and waiting to see how seriously you take this message. Hopefully you will do the right thing and think about everyone's rights. Thank you.

Vickie Woods

North Bend

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