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How can city justify tab for fireworks?
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Karen Pearsall’s letter in the Jan. 19 issue of the Manteca Bulletin, again this year, makes an exceptionally good argument for not changing the great American tradition of celebrating Independence Day on the 4th of July; her pointed questions are even more relevant than they were last year (at which time we recall that Independence Day was celebrated on Friday the 3rd of July in order to save money by not paying over-time to police and fire personnel for working on Saturday).  This year the economy is in advanced conditions of recession with ongoing  furloughs, layoffs and pay-cuts for many; how in God’s name can extras like fireworks be justified while so many have lost their jobs or had their income impinged?

Neither should anyone have to pay for admittance to Big League Dreeams to celebrate Independence Day, either.  We are in a recession (some call it a “jobless recovery”) let us conduct ourselves accordingly!  It is entirely possible to celebrate fully with a minimum of expense.  

There doesn’t need to be any public funds defrayed at all.  If there is to be fireworks, let them be paid for with private donations.  If there is to be a central gathering, why not hold it at one of our many public parks?  If there are to be food concessions why shouldn’t they be sponsored by local non-profit organizations such as the Historical Society or the Mural Society or the Boy Scouts or the Boys & Girls Club or the American Legion or any of the others that could use such concessions to earn money?  It seems just a little bit wrong to be subsidizing a private business like BLD with a public celebration of Independence Day!  For that matter, we could organize a street fair-type gathering with a central stage for speech making and music and other side picnics in parks.  

Last year I went to Library Park on the 4th and met a great family celebrating the 4th with a picnic.  In this time of globalistic thinking, the sovereignty of the United States should be bolstered and affirmed by publicly rallying on Independence Day, the 4th of July, the proper time set by the founding fathers.  Mrs. Pearsall is right when she asks where the city draws the line.  This was a stupid idea last year and it is still ridiculous this year!  This is no small matter!  The symbolism is absolutely huge!  Americans have killed and been killed to ensure freedom and a constitutional republic.  The 4th of July commemorates the enormous price that has been and is still being paid for this principle.  The city of Manteca does not have the right to ignore this national holiday for local municipal convenience!  What a disgrace!
Steven J. Catalano
Jan . 20, 2010