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Tri-city fireworks summit examines enforcement, culture change

Original post made on Jun 30, 2020

Loud explosions on East Palo Alto's city streets formed a backdrop for a public meeting on Monday night as leaders from three cities met to discuss the growing problem of fireworks.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 11:58 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Dave Ross
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:31 pm

We hear score of explosions each night all the way up in Portola Valley. I can only imagine how much worse it must be in East Palo Alto, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

This seems to be nationwide problem at the moment, with similar reports across the country. Maybe a concerted effort to go after distributors could raise the street price of these explosives high enough to discourage so much use (I know, this approach has had poor success for drug crimes). That would take region-wide cooperation among law enforcement agencies, who already have severely strained budgets. But the cost of individual communities chasing around looking for people in possession or in the act of setting them off seems inefficient.

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Posted by katherine
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Lots of BIG firework explosions, nightly, in The Willows!

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Posted by Margo
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm

I think Reuben Abrica's comments are spot on. Why punish before trying to enlist the community's help. There are many in the areas where the fireworks are set off who know the source. There are also many who know why. What I wonder is where do they get the money? And even more, why do they choose to buy fireworks when there are so many hungry folks in their communities. Clearly we have not done a good job of bringing out the best in people. Where does that happen? In the family, in the churches, in the community organizations, in the schools, in the places where people gather. It's everyone's problem. The police and penalties should be the LAST resort, not the first. Many of our social ills could be solved by first learning the why's.

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Posted by Steve Taffee
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 30, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Yes, engage the community! Find out what is leading people to set off fireworks to begin with and not immediately jump to citations and fines before we try to enlist the assistance of those who - sorry for the pun - get a bang out of setting them off to see what creative, cooperative solutions can be found.

4 people like this
Posted by Twentse
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Where are these fireworks made? In China? If there, stop importing them.

6 people like this
Posted by zisnzat
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Some of these comments amaze me. The fireworks punks know they are breaking the law. As for starting brush fires, I'm not sure they have the intellectual capacity to understand that. Why are people saying we should try to understand them? They do it for two reasons: 1. It is a protest against wearing masks, 2. We are becoming a lawless society. Stop the hand wringing! Change the laws! Enforce them!

7 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2020 at 6:36 pm

I don't know that I would characterize asking for law enforcement to respond to be a first instinct. I think plenty of people have expressed concerns to neighbors on social media asking for fireworks to stop, or at the very least to contain activity to 10:00 pm. All of this has been to no avail for weeks. Police in responding also have discretion, even if they can't make an arrest, they can have a conversation with the individuals and say, if we come back and catch you, you're looking at a serious penalty. Abrica is a bit out of touch. He seems nice, but suggesting that residents approach random people and challenge their lighting of fireworks seems like a recipe for disaster when the offending party decides he wants to take it up a notch. Romero is also a bit out of touch when he says he doesn't want to criminalize this behavior, the reality is it is already criminal behavior, it is already against the law, so what he's saying is, I just don't want to enforce the law to the detriment of everyone else that has to endure the fireworks. That's not how this works, police and prosecutors get to issue warnings or not prosecute, but elected officials are not there to act as law enforcement.

Drones seemed like a decent idea for the gathering of evidence.

15 people like this
Posted by Sir Topham Hatt
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:52 pm

This debate and hand wringing is comical. Obeying laws has clearly become a matter of personal choice and not something all must do or police will enforce. Why should we get all worked up over firecrackers if other laws are optional?

4 people like this
Posted by Oh please
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:02 am

Taylor complains that the cops over police and complains of routine police patrols. Well activate the neighborhood watch or something. It’s a misdemeanor at best. It’s still a ticket.

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Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 4, 2020 at 9:10 am

The night I heard loud fireworks (while listening to a City of MP Council meeting), they were coming from the Menlo College area. My husband saw the fireworks shoot up from what appeared to be the sports area. The article quotes the MP Police Chief as putting extra patrols in Belle Haven. I think they are needed for all areas with limited foot traffic and someone would have the time to set up the display, light it and then disappear quickly.

To report fireworks, the Police want us calling the 24-hour Dispatch Center at 650-329-2413. They certainly are unnerving. What I heard sounded like a large gun battle.

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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 4, 2020 at 10:18 am

Hmmmmm. Fireworks being shot off in the Menlo College area. Could it be people coming clear over from Belle Have? Maybe from Redwood City? Nah, most likely people from Menlo Park or Atherton near by. Just goes to show you stupidity knows no economic status.

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Posted by Murican made
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jul 5, 2020 at 10:07 am

> Where are these fireworks made? In China? If there, stop importing them.

Most in China, of course. Lots in Ohio, a few in SoCal, most back east.

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