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Astoria hears concerns about fireworks

One resident calls for a ban
By Katie Frankowicz

The Daily Astorian

Published on July 17, 2018 8:31AM

Lylah Huff watches fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Lylah Huff watches fireworks on the Fourth of July.

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Astoria city councilors briefly discussed a possible ban on fireworks Monday after Mayor Arline LaMear received a letter from a resident worried about how the celebratory explosives impact the city.

The writer asked for a ban on the sale of fireworks in Astoria, LaMear told councilors. LaMear asked if there was anything the City Council could do to give the police and fire departments “a little more clout” in dealing with fireworks complaints.

But the majority of the council didn’t support moving ahead with any kind of discussion to institute a ban. 

City Councilor Bruce Jones and Police Chief Geoff Spalding pointed out that legal fireworks aren’t the main problem. It’s the illegal fireworks that people continue to buy and light off despite the restrictions in place. Police and fire personnel already have trouble enforcing the rules for these explosives, a problem many communities large and small share, Spalding said.

A ban would just be a way to make a statement, City Councilor Tom Brownson said. 

“If we want to make a statement, I think we could have that discussion, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to effectively stop this as much as I agree to a certain extent.”

Though, he added, “I don’t want to ban sparklers.”

The city already has so many issues to prioritize, City Councilor Zetty Nemlowill said, but the letter writer is not the only one concerned about fireworks.

“Perhaps you bringing this up here will bring some other citizens out of the woodwork,” Nemlowill told LaMear, adding, “If there’s going to be any kind of movement here, and I think there’s some merit to it, we need to hear from the citizens if they want a change.”


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