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Fireworks require common sense

EDITOR: After reading some of the comments in Pulse of Petaluma regarding fireworks, I had to wonder if any of these people were ever kids. Safe & Sane fireworks don't fly in the air (unless thrown) or scoot along the ground. They don't explode or rip off fingers if properly used. People blessed with common sense don't set them off in grassy fields, next to houses or propane tanks. They supervise their kids.

Many others, also blessed with common sense, keep their pets inside on July 4, not leaving them unattended in the backyard. Okay, they might be a little noisy but Safe & Sane are a lot quieter than the illegal fireworks that shoot into the sky or explode with a window-rattling effect. After all, it is just one night.

Before Glass, Albertson and any other councilperson signal the death knell for fireworks in Petaluma, they should complete a comprehensive study on the problems caused by fireworks over the past 10 years. This would include how many calls for service responded to by the fire or police departments involving legal fireworks; how many for illegal; how many fires or damage caused by Safe & Sane as opposed to illegal fireworks; any and all injuries caused by either; how many citations issued for illegal use. These stats should be available through the department's Record Management System.

I live in an area that was once designated as a Mutual Threat Zone and fireworks are absolutely forbidden in this area. The residents are notified in writing and they comply. Many take their kids to the local park and do the fireworks there with other families. We have yet to have any problems with legal or illegal fireworks in the past 10 years.

You see, these people have common sense and respect. Unfortunately, there are a few that lack either one. I don't buy fireworks anymore. But, I support the nonprofits right to sell them and I thank them for what they give back to the community.

Anthony Morgan, Petaluma

A &‘can do' city

EDITOR: Kudos to the Argus on the front page article of the July 18, 2013 edition as well as the editorial, "Generating power from sewage." Nice, factual reporting.

Thank you to the City Council for responding so quickly to re-evaluate the wastewater treatment plant and addressing the solutions needed to continue to encourage food processing plants and manufacturers to move and thrive here in Petaluma. As an active member of the Chamber Economic Development committee, it is so refreshing to not only have the City listen, but to take positive steps in an expeditious manner. As the Argus keeps the public informed, businesses outside of Petaluma are seeing us as a "can do" city with the positive business climate they are looking for.

Anthy O'Brien, Petaluma

Against a bag ban

EDITOR: I guess the Sonoma County bag ban was coming since Marin banned plastic bags in some cities. But it is merely a power trip by environmentalists who can do what they want today. I have read of no "undisputed evidence" that plastic bags do "substantial harm" to the environment.

But what does substantial harm to the environment is a train that will cut a 72-mile scar through Marin and Sonoma. It will scar pristine marshes and low lands. It will do irreparable damage to wildlife including birds, insects, animals and fish. It will cut a scar in San Rafael through the Red Clapper habitat and they are an endangered species. Yet the same anti plastic bag people are the pushers behind this train.

But what about other environmental harm? It has been written that electric car batteries, when no longer of use, are second only to nuclear waste in disposal problems. Where will those batteries be dumped? Anti-plastic bag environmentalists love electric cars.

But environmentalists like to pick on bags because they can. There are plastic bottles galore, plastic spoons, knives and plates. Most toys are plastic – should Sonoma ban all those items? But I see no environmental damage when plastic bags are placed in a landfill. Who cares if they are 20 feet under the ground and not biodegradable?

But the car batteries will need a special place like the nuclear waste dump. Besides cloth bags used to transport food, if not washed every time, will carry germs injurious to our health. And then daily washing will cause harm to our environment with burning fossil fuels to wash that bag. Oops, I forgot, the Sonoma supervisors are proud supporters of the SMART train to no where. They are environmentalists first, remember that.

Robert A. Casper, San Rafael