Resident Don White found this partially burned firework in dry leaves behind his home. (Photo courtesy of Don White)

LETTERS: Illegal fireworks pose fire hazard

Also in Letters to the Editor: Pokemon Go poses safety concerns
By: 
Aug. 2, 2016

Illegal fireworks pose fire hazard

Dear Editor:

I know this has lost some of its timeliness from a news point of view. But I hope all can stand just one more letter on the lack of enforcement of fireworks laws, because I believe I have an important life/property safety perspective that needs to be front and center in the discussion. Attached is a picture of an expended “KM136” 3¾’’ long by 9/16” diameter bottle rocket that I found this past weekend in dry leaves that smoldered and partially burned, about twenty feet from the structure of my home, in the woods behind my house.  

I hope you print this picture so that people can see just what a serious piece of ordnance this is. But if you don’t, I need to point out that among the other warnings on it, it states, “THIS ROCKET TRAVELS AT HIGH SPEEDS AND TRAVELS LONG DISTANCES. MISUSE MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR FIRES.”

I have nothing against legal fireworks in the right, controlled, supervised settings where life and property are not put at risk. But that clearly was not the case here. I shudder to think of the consequences of what nearly happened, of what potentially could have happened had this ordnance and the dry leaves where it landed not smoldered out. 

My wife and I were out of town over the July 4th weekend and no one else was in our home. Fortunately for us, the neighbors on either side of us, the entire neighborhood, indeed, all of Flagler County, it did burn out without spreading. 

Visions and smells of the fires of 1998 and a devastated Seminole Woods quickly come to mind. Doesn’t anyone else remember these? No responsible, thinking adult — no matter how much of a thrill it might give kids and adults alike — would allow these to be set off in a residential neighborhood, especially where it would inevitably land in woods or on someone’s roof.

I live in a small neighborhood in unincorporated Flagler County, not in a densely populated area of Palm Coast or in Flagler Beach where lack of enforcement of fireworks laws has been blamed on various things. There were no documented calls from my neighborhood about fireworks made to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. 

Next time there are illegal fireworks being set off in my neighborhood, however, they will be called because I promise to call them continuously until I see a continuous, roving patrol in the neighborhood and the fireworks stop. I am confident that the Sheriff’s Office will enforce the law, or at least respond with a presence that will deter those intent on breaking it, because this was way to close — and dangerous — for comfort.

Don White

Flagler County

Pokemon Go poses safety concerns

Dear Editor:

I am commenting on the article "Thank You, 'Pokemon Go,' for filling our park with smiles," by Ms. Emily Blackwood in the Thursday, July 28 edition of the Palm Coast Observer and the Ormond Beach Observer.

Though I can appreciate Ms. Blackwood's excitement about having town people gathering and having fun at Cassen Park in Ormond Beach, I would like to take a moment and address the safety concerns with this new viral activity. I am all for and support good clean fun though unless one is careful, it can turn ugly quickly.

This week, we have had a lot of neighborhood road/bike traffic with "Pokemon Hunters." Cars with young kids are either racing down our quiet roads or "suspiciously" driving slowly in what gives an appearance of "casing" our houses. My wife was out walking our dogs just to return to our house and finding one of these cars, with four young men inside, blocking our driveway. She was forced to encounter them just to find out that they are out "hunting for their Pokemon." Not sure how it happened, but it appears we may have a Pokemon stop at our house. Though they drove away, we continue to have local traffic looking for the same stop, which is making our family very nervous. 

Pokemon hunting should be limited to public areas. I did speak with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, and they told me there is nothing we can do as what they are doing is legal as long as they are not on our property, and we were told that if we are concerned or they come on our property, we should call 911 when the hunters are here. This is very disappointing and if the Pokemon hunters continue in our community, I am afraid something bad may happen.

People quickly forget that only a few weeks ago, a local resident shot at some Pokemon hunters in the middle of the night, thinking they were burglars/home invaders. Thankfully no one was hurt but common sense needs to reign. Yes, let's have fun, but we need to limit activity like this to open public locations like the park noted in the article, and not in our residential communities!!

Thank you,

Brian Rosen

Palm Coast