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No July 4th fireworks at Woodward
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I am writing in response to the article on Woodward Park and the Fourth of July festivities.  I have lived on East Woodward Avenue, which used to be considered out of town, for 23 years.
I bought a two acre parcel to raise my horses, dogs and cats.  Every year we dread the Fourth of July, not because of us, but because of the terror it brings to our animals.  I have two horses, and I have to sedate my 30-year-old gelding so that he won’t try to run from the explosions and noises of the fireworks. 
Our Fourth of July is spent in the barnyard with our horses until at least midnight.  And it’s not only the city fireworks display we deal with, but our neighbors lighting off illegal fireworks all through the weekend through the end of the Fourth.  We have scared dogs running down our road for at least two months after the fireworks because they have become lost and terrified after breaking out of their yards.
I am appalled that the Manteca City Council would consider having the fireworks display right in the middle of not only a largely populated part of town, but in an area that is still heavily populated by livestock, such as horses, goats, cattle, etc., not to mention dogs, cats and other animals living near Woodward.  There is also a very large population of elderly residents and young children that should not be forced to listen to something so frightening right by their homes.
When Big League Dreams was built, it was supposed to be the fireworks site, which meant those who did not like them did not have to suffer through the noise at ground zero.  And I should mention the traffic jam on Woodard that this would cause, as well as the inundation of vehicles and illegal fireworks in and around the park. This isn’t what those residents asked for when they moved in.  Doesn’t the city even think of these issues?
Finally, the article seems to point only towards the financial aspect of this event.  If the council feels that the Fourth of July fireworks are a burden on the city’s coffers because they do not get participation, then why have it at all?  I am sure our city can benefit from these funds in other areas, maybe in the beautification of downtown.  I, for one, do not want the fireworks display forced on me nor my animals and family.  Keep them on the outskirts of town and out of our neighborhoods!

Michele Painter