Fogzilla at Large Over Pacifica
Alandrome: Fireworks at City Council

Opinion: Pacifica's Fireworks Policy Fails Again

By Lionel Emde, Riptide Correspondent

Pacifica City Council met October 8 to consider a police report on events that transpired this past Fourth of July in Pacifica. To say that enforcement was a failure would be an understatement; Pacifica police issued only six citations during what was, by all accounts and with this writer's personal witnessing, a nightmarish night of loud explosions. (Click link below for the full analysis.)

Download Analysis

(Editor's Note: City Council has voted to form yet another task force to study the issue. Click Comments below to follow and/or join the conversation thread.)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sorry I'm a bit late on this. I was going to say that maybe we need a task force to manage the other task forces as they are called for by our City Council. But meh big sis Kat reminded me of when I bought a can of frozen concentrate orange juice to serve with my famous Pacifica foggy-side-up egg recipe that I was serving my guests for b-fast over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. The instructions on the can said, “For best results, add three cans of water to every one can of concentrate.” So I went back to the store and bought three more cans of concentrate and emptied them out so that I could use them to make my OJ. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but the instructions on those cans said the exact same thing! So I went back to the Safeway again and bought nine more cans of concentrate so the others wouldn’t go to waste. Well, the whole darn thing just kept on repeating itself and I finally gave up and threw in the towel in frustration. I finally ended up serving my guests plain water or something. Kat thinks the same thing would probably happen with my task force idea. She’s usually right about these sorts of things.

I agree. Appointing yet another fireworks task force is a joke. We don't need more committees, studies, consultants, and task forces. What we do need is leadership and action to prevent another disastrous July 4th.

The idea that fireworks can somehow be banned from the beach and not elsewhere is absurd.

"The City Manager, Steve Rhodes, thought the solution to this particular dilemma would be to ban all fireworks on the beach north of Crespi." This is from Pacifica This is the sort of idiocy offered by top staffers who are getting paid a lot of money to puke public pablum in an attempt to assuage the public.

Maybe we should have a quadrennial "Fireworks Task Force" event. How can we best avoid dealing with the subject? You decide. Maybe we should have a public stoning, or a beach incineration of some sacrificial animal. It could be, like, really tribal.

It would be on the level of the leadership currently in place.


The hard-core fishermen around town probably put in more time on the beach than anyone.

And they all agree fireworks on the beach wasn't one of the smartest ideas in town.

I don't have a problem with safe-and-sane fireworks. Just not on the beach.

You guys said nothing when 7.5 million gallons of sewage slipped into the water.

Remember, it was called tar balls by two of our local officials.

Ian, I am willing to chat with you about this or anything else.

You have my email and number.

"I do not understand the so-called environmental radicals around town. This group claims to be "Stewards of the Land” and yet they are not screaming about fireworks on the beach."

Jim, the Pacifica Beach Coalition and many local environmentalists are in fact working hard to get fireworks off the beach. I interviewed one last month:

Riptide readers may be interested in the latest Pacifica Index write-up, which documents the numerous times fireworks issues have come before City Council since 2006.

I do not understand the so-called environmental radicals around town. This group claims to be "Stewards of the Land” and yet they are not screaming about fireworks on the beach.

I heard someone try to justify it by saying, "The plover isn't on the beach in June & July." Well, other seabirds are, not to mention other wildlife and fish. The burned-up fireworks get buried in the sand and poison the ground.

This summer many pelicans have been dying from a virus, and they have been spotted in areas, looking for food. In fact, I saw one on the corner of Terra Nova Blvd. and Oddstad. Never seen that before.

The problems isn't the "safe and sane" fireworks that the local groups sell. It is the illegal M-80s, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and cherry bombs that make Pacifica sound like a war zone.

Why do I have the feeling that someone is going to get their hand blown off before people start screaming!

This council can't seem to do much other than kick a very dented, rusty can down the Coast Highway.

The FTF's report was clear, the nonprofit groups' viewpoint and income figures were clear, the strategy of the police and their viewpoint were clear. What changed was that the city ignored whatever the police may have reported in 2011, and never scheduled it as an agenda item. What exactly is the FTF going to do differently this time?

Pacifica Index is also reporting that the council directed staff to "contact surrounding cities for data as to their legislative and enforcement experiences surrounding fireworks."

Well, that'll be helpful! Every city in the county save San Bruno has banned the stuff. What else do leaders need to lead?

I think the fireworks should definitely be removed from the beach. I understand the pros and cons of the civic groups' financial needs, so I am not against fireworks completely, but the beach has got to be banned. I liked the re-formation of the Fireworks Committee because some good ideas came out of the group a few years ago. Recology is cleaning up fireworks on the street for at least two weeks after the 4th, and this does not include what the street sweepers pick up or what goes down the storm drains. Raising the fines to $5,000 is also a good idea, as well as putting a time frame in place (like 5 to 10 p.m. on the 4th) for fireworks "explosions." My dog is in the closet the entire night under a blanket.

So -- Pacifica is turned into a war zone, where fires erupt and houses can be burned down in the dry, dry summer -- so that 15 nonprofits can get $6,700 a year?

Hardly an equitable trade for those of us who have to live with this. It's time for the nonprofits to take a different approach to earning money for their causes.

New skills would bring more money, better public support for the organizations that are blowing up our town every year. Perhaps something as simple as lawn/yard maintenance, or painting garage floors.

This might yield more income, as people need this a whole lot more than they need exploding cherry bombs or firemen coming to put out a fire.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)