The city of Richland warns citizens every year against the use of illegal fireworks. Every year, most people don't read that warning. Several hundred citizens send up rockets, declaring, "I'm right here ignoring the law." Apparently city officials believe they have done their part by telling us not to.
Property damage in Washington amounts to $5 million annually because of fireworks. Two years ago, a Richland resident was killed using illegal fireworks. Not long ago, the Salvation Army building in Richland was destroyed by a roof fire on the Fourth of July.
We go down to the river on Independence Day and watch a great, safe, free fireworks show and manage to get home before the local teens try again to take my pine trees out with bottle rockets and roman candles.
I have a few suggestions that might make the Fourth safer for everyone. First, if the Richland police won't do anything, authorize the fire department to issue citations. Secondly, I would suggest that if those citizens who insist on firing off illegal fireworks would all converge on the large parking lot adjacent to the Police station that they could indeed put on quite a show.
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Have a safe Fourth of July!
JOE GUYETTE, Richland