Fireworks Spectacular and Concert Saturday at East Los Angeles Civic Center

June 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Looking for a family-friendly outing this holiday weekend? You don’t have to go far thanks to the Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks and Recreation and Supervisor Hilda Solis.

The East Los Angeles Civic Center will be the center of a huge celebration bash on Saturday, July 1, from 4:40 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Great music, artists and a spectacular display of pirotecnics make for great family fun, and a 4th of July to remember.

There’s no charge to attend, admission is free and open to the public.

Event kicks off with an artfest, featuring works and booths from local artists. Enjoy live musical performances as you relax on the lawn or if the spirit moves you, get up and dance.

The festivities will close with a spectacular fireworks display that will light up the sky with bursts of color!

The East Los Angeles Civic Center is located at 5801 E. Third Street, L.A. 90022.

For more information, call (323) 260-2360 or visit http://parks.lacounty,org.

For more local 4th of July events, take a look at EGP’s “Family-friendly 4th of July Calendar of Events” at EGPNews.com/free/4th-of-July

For Many, This 4th of July Was Akin to a War Zone

July 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Did you feel like you were living in a war zone this 4th of July?

If so, you were not alone.

The loud thunderous blast from fireworks —most presumably illegal — rocked Angelenos from every direction.

EGP has heard from many residents that they were forced to endure the incessant sound of exploding fireworks for hours on end. The intensity and number of blasts this year from M80 rockets and other powerful fireworks far exceeded what many considered normal for the neighborhoods.

On street after street, fireworks that rivaled the red, green, blue and white flaming lights of sponsored and organized displays filled the night sky.

But these were not professionals trained in handling the dangerous explosives putting on a show, but amateur thrill seekers who thought nothing of putting their lives and those of their family, friends and neighbors in danger.

The explosions were so powerful and numerous they set off car alarms, made windows shake and drove both pets and their owners unable to find refuge into panic.

Where were the police patrols looking for the barrage of illegal fireworks? Residents tell us they weren’t in their neighborhoods.

Were they all busy guarding the big shows, potential terrorist soft targets?

Whatever the answer, it seems Angelenos across the county were left to their own devices to deal with what we are tempted to call a terrorist attack at home to get the issue the attention it deserves.

The numbers of injuries and size of the seizures of illegal fireworks is alarming, but clearly, far more illegal and dangerous fireworks made it into the hands of consumers than was confiscated by law enforcement.

The 4th of July has come and gone yet in many neighborhoods the loud blasts continue. The illegal use of fireworks — and we’re not talking about the so-called safe ‘n sane variety — is getting bigger every year.  It also appears that our law enforcement agencies are less and less able to control the lawbreakers.

There does not seem to be any real concerted effort to stave off the mayhem that comes with illegal use of pyrotechnics. Why not?

How can we expect our law enforcement agencies to protect us against terrorism when they can’t even stem the overt and blatant sale of illegal fireworks that can also be used for malicious purposes?

We understand that most people see fireworks as a great American holiday tradition and loathe the idea of not being able to engage in the activity with family and friends. But the fireworks that once were suitable for backyards and driveways have morphed into something much more dangerous.

If the lawless Fourth of Julys continue, we fear it’s only a matter of time before the scofflaws feel they can continue to skirt the law whenever they please, putting us all in  more danger.

Illegal Use of Powerful Fireworks Puts Community At Risk

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The sound of powerful, commercial grade fireworks exploding across the city is growing every day.

The problem is they are not coming from fireworks displays being put on by professionals, but from amateur thrill seekers who are putting all of us in danger.

The illegal fireworks available today to consumers on the black market are often 100 times more powerful than those sold at regulated firework stands in some local cities and designed to be used by trained professionals.

They pose a serious threat to all of us, especially given the heightened fire danger due to our prolonged drought.

This week, a study published in a journal of the American Geophysical Union, supported the arguments of state hydrologists that it will take until 2019 to recover from the four-year water shortage.

Water conservation rules in response to the extreme conditions have left hillsides and vegetation around homes bone dry, ready to spark at any moment.

If you need more evidence of how dangerous fire conditions are, you need look no further than Santa Barbara, Azusa or Duarte, where thousands of acres have burned, forcing thousands of residents to be evacuated.

Couple those conditions with the irresponsible use of fireworks and you have any number of time bombs ready to explode.

That’s why it is so surprising to us that there has been little public reaction to the danger that these illegal fireworks present. Don’t their users recognize the danger? How about their friends and family? Why don’t they speak up?

We’ve concluded that it’s time for each one of us to look out for these dangerous pranksters, and to let them know they are putting all of us in harm’s way.

If that doesn’t stop them, it’s time to  call 9-1-1.

Extreme Drought Adds Danger to Fourth of July

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

For more than two hundred years, Americans have been celebrating the 4th of July with parades, picnics and the exploding of bright and colorful fireworks in the skies above the nation.

It’s a “patriotic” pastime that can pose a substantial danger to land and limb.

Over the years, the fireworks available to consumers have become increasingly powerful, rivaling what one used to only see in professional firework displays. They can be heard and seen for days, even weeks, before and after the 4th of July holiday weekend.

It has at times seemed futile for police to try to enforce the ban by the City of Los Angeles’ and many other local municipalities on individuals setting off fireworks, especially since the cities that have banned local sales of fireworks have had little success keeping them out.

Why?

Because many neighboring cities allow the sale and use of so-called “Safe and Sane” fireworks, making them readily available to anyone willing to drive a few blocks to buy them.

Every year, the skies above Los Angeles are clouded with the smoke of illegal and dangerous fireworks bought from underground vendors and safe and sane fireworks stands just across city borders. Firefighters and emergency room doctors are bombarded with calls for help when things go awry, and people are injured.

Yet, it seems most people do not fear fireworks and feel they can control the explosives.

In our view, there is no such thing as “Safe and Sane” when it comes to fireworks. The risk they pose to the community, in terms of loss of property and bodily injury, is potentially too high a cost for a few minutes of entertainment.

And this year, there’s even more reason to not allow individuals to put on their own firework displays. Severe drought conditions have left our hillsides, parks, trees, grass and brush all over the county very dry and brittle, dramatically raising the risk of fires close to home.

These conditions are a threat to every neighborhood, to every home in every neighborhood, so residents should think seriously about the potential deadly practice of combining flammable materials and fireworks for a few minutes of fun.

We are disappointed by the number of local city councils that failed to adopt fireworks bans this year given these extreme conditions. Not to mention the large amount of water it takes to put out a fire.

Public safety agencies are already receiving reports of homemade bombs and firecrackers being exploded, yet it’s likely most people just don’t have enough common sense to report those using illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods.

Enlightened self-interest should tell us that it could be our home, school or neighborhood that goes up in flames when a spark from a seemingly harmless sparkler is carried through the air.

This year let the professionals put on the show.

Fireworks Raise Risk of Brush Fires and ER Trips

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Dangerously dry hillsides from years of little rain has fire officials across the state worried that fireworks could spark a new round of wildfires, putting people, animals and structures in danger.

Serious injuries and millions of dollars in property loss happen each year from wildfires sparked by fireworks, warned CAL FIRE, a state agency.

“This year’s extreme drought poses a particular threat for devastating wildfires throughout all of California,” the agency said, adding there is “zero tolerance” across California “for the sale and use of illegal fireworks.” including “sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner.”

In 2014, CAL FIRE responded to 1,000 more wildfires than in an average year and the trend for 2015 appears to be continuing if not surpassing that number, according to the agency.

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Fines for illegally selling, transporting or using fireworks that don’t carry the “Safe and Sane” seal can be as high as $50,000, Cal Fire warned.

It’s not just the forest and outlying areas that are at risk; extremely dry brush on local hillsides also poses a high fire danger to residents across the county.

Fireworks also often correlate with an increase in hospital emergency room visits, according to physicians who urged the public to use common sense this Fourth of July when it comes to using fireworks.

“We see many injuries in the ER due to fireworks around the 4th of July,” said Dr. Michael Gerardi, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). “Many of those ER visits are initiated with the line ‘hey watch this!’”

Eight people died and more than 11,000 people were injured due to fireworks in 2013, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC). Those figures have significantly increased over the years. Sixty-five percent of those injuries occurred in the days surrounding Fourth of July festivities.

It’s estimated that nearly half of all injuries were a result of sparklers and rockets. Over 45 percent of cases involved injuries to a person’s hands or fingers. One-third of injuries were to a person’s eyes, head, face and ears, according to CPSC.

ACEP strongly suggests that instead of discharging fireworks at home, patriotic individuals should leave it to the professionals:

“You should only watch a professional fireworks display managed by experts who have proper training and experience handling these explosives,” said Dr. Gerardi.

If you do, however, decide to use fireworks at home, these do’s and don’ts could help make it a safer experience:

Do — Have knowledgeable supervision by an experienced adult

Do — Buy fireworks from reputable dealers

Do — Read warning labels and follow all instructions

Do — Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand

Do — Light fireworks one at a time

Do — Dispose of all fireworks properly

Don’t — Give any fireworks, including sparklers, to small children; older children should be supervised by a responsible adult

Don’t —Light fireworks indoors or near other objects

Don’t — Place your body over a fireworks device when trying to light the fuse

Don’t — Point or throw fireworks at another person, ever

Don’t — Try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully

Don’t — Wear loose clothing while using any fireworks

Don’t — Set off fireworks in glass or metal containers (the fragments can cause severe injury)

Don’t — Carry fireworks in a pocket.

Don’t — Try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks

 

 

Los Angeles County cities that permit the sale and use of state-approved fireworks:

Alhambra, Artesia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Carson, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, Gardena, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La  Mirada, La Puente, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Rosemead, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate, Temple City, Vernon

 

Local Restrictions:

City of Los Angeles: Prohibits the selling and using of all fireworks, even those with the so-called “Safe and Sane” label.

Vernon: Fireworks may be sold within the city but the use of fireworks in the city is prohibited.

Bell Gardens: Fireworks may be discharged within the city beginning noon on June 28 until noon on July 5.

Commerce: Fireworks may be discharged within the city beginning noon on June 28 until midnight on July 5.

Montebello: Fireworks shall only be discharged within the city boundaries on July 4 between noon and 10 p.m.

Monterey Park: Fireworks may be discharged on July 4 between 10a.m. and 10 p.m.

 

 

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