State of Oregon
On July Fourth, the night sky explodes with fireworks to celebrate the birth of our nation. But for many residents of the otherwise quiet Ocean Vista neighborhood of the Cove, the night is one to take cover.
At Seaside’s July 9 City Council meeting, Cindy Daly described the “outlandish use of illegal fireworks in the cove, in the dunes and on the beach. “It was simply a war zone and you couldn’t even tell when the official fireworks started.”
Ocean Vista resident Bill Bosiliko said July Fourth was an “awful time” for locals.
“If you walk up and down the beach, obviously there are things going off, and it’s dangerous. The noise is deafening. It’s like a war zone. And the smoke — you can’t even see the regular fireworks because of the local fireworks.”
Daly asked for a task force to discuss communication, awareness and enforcement. “Let’s not wait for one of our residents to be hit by these missiles or a fire to result. Let’s once again work together to educate and enforce the existing rules,” Daly said.
The Fourth of July will occur on a Thursday next year, she said, and the party will commence that will last a four-day weekend. “If we start now, we can put a stop to this craziness before July 4, 2019.”
The comments come in the aftermath of a busy Fourth of a July week in the South County.
Three boys were hospitalized July Fourth after fireworks exploded in separate incidents in Gearhart and Seaside. In Seaside, a boy burned his hand and in Gearhart, two boys were injured when a mortar-style firework exploded. Both were hospitalized.
In another incident, Seaside police arrested a man after he allegedly dropped mortar-style fireworks into the fire pits of other people on the beach.
It is illegal to set off fireworks on the beach, Fire Chief Joey Daniels said. But because it is under the jurisdiction of Oregon State Parks, the state agency must be part of the conversation.
“I like the idea of a task force,” Tita Montero said. “I live four doors from the beach and three days ahead of time and pretty much till 2 a.m. and they’re big pounding things. I’d like to see us get involved and some of the citizens involved.”
“I’m on the same page with Tita,” Mayor Jay Barber said. “The word is ‘anarchy.’ Things were just out of control. It could get very, very violent.”
“I think we need to get our heads together to begin to think about how proactively we can get the word out that won’t be tolerated,” Barber said. “It would be very tempting to say isn’t this a bad problem and do nothing and all of a sudden it’s July Fourth again.”