Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
My wife and I just laid down for a night’s rest when M-80s went off in close proximity to our house. My Dachshund dog yelped with fear of these illegal fireworks explosions. I had to put him in another room before he quieted down.
Manteca reminds me of the Old West, for anything goes in this city. There is no attempt to curb the illegal fireworks in this city. M-80s shake your windows and definitely keep you from sleeping. I blame Councilman Vince Hernandez for pushing fireworks to be legalized in this city. We suffer extremely high temperatures and dry conditions, while this council throws caution to the wind, in promoting fireworks sales in Manteca. The safety of people and their property should take precedent over fireworks sales in Manteca. The risk to property damage is greater this year than at any time in the past.
Manteca spends at least $40,000 each year to celebrate the Fourth of July. (Money is collected at the gate to the Big League Dreams sports complex, vendors’ fees, and part of the proceeds forma fireworks booth manned by the Manteca Police officers’ Association. The rest comes from bonus bucks paid by developers for sewer allocation certainty.) The money just goes up in smoke. I am writing this on the Fourth of July and the paper was filled with people killed in various cities by fireworks explosions. Risking the lives of people, by allowing these powerful fireworks exhibits, is putting people at risk of the same fate that these people met. I personally think all fireworks sales should be banned from this city and others in this valley. This city turns their back on damage caused by fireworks each year in Manteca.
Kids handle fireworks with no supervision. Bottle rockets and sparklers are listed as the prime source of fire damage incurred by people on the Fourth. People don’t bother to clean up, after a night of setting off fireworks. The question is, should this city support charity sales of fireworks when people’s property is damaged as a result of these sales? It’s time for this city to take action and be more responsible to property owners by discontinuing the sale of fireworks.